Open Rants by vaughanmoore1

2017 NFL Draft: Studs, Steals, and Busts (Predictions)
Published at 3/31/2017
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Millen  Bill

I think this is easily the best draft since 2011. I do this every year: compile a list of guys I think will be studs, duds, and steals. Here's a list of the guys I think at the top of the draft that will not only meet expectations, but exceed them:

Myles Garrett - I think he's going to become one of the best players in the NFL and a future Hall-of-Famer.

O.J. Howard - He will be a top-3 TE from his first NFL snap, eventually surpass Gronk as the best, and is a future Hall-of-Famer.

Deshaun Watson - He has the intangibles, athleticism, arm talent, and intelligence to overcome his accuracy problems. A top-10 QB and future All-Pro who will be a winner just like he was in college. Reminds me a ton of Dak Prescott as a player and with the scrutiny that comes along with him entering the draft.

Jabrill Peppers - He will develop into the ideal S/LB and become one of the best defenders in the game. He has too much talent and athleticism to bust if you factor in his work ethic and leadership. He could define an NFL position.

Jamal Adams - He will immediately be an impact player and an elite safety for 10-15 years. Perennial Pro Bowler and potential Hall-of-Famer. 

Jonathan Allen- His shoulder issues may cause him to slide, but one lucky team will take advantage of his fall. One of the best defensive linemen in the game, perennial All-Pro, and potential Hall-of-Famer.

Zach Cunningham - I think he will be VERY good in the pros. Played great in the toughest conference in college football and has everything you want from an ILB. 

Christian McCaffrey - There isn't anything wrong about this guy. He has great intangibles as a leader and was insanely productive at Stanford. Underrated and will be fantastic in both real life and fantasy. 

Adoree Jackson - Special talent who can return kicks with the best of them. Has tons of potential as a lockdown corner who has tremendous speed and quickness. 

Leonard Fournette - How can I forget. Hall-of-Famer all the way if he doesn't get hurt. The Jags cannot pass on him, as he's even better than Ezekiel Elliott. 

I think the vast majority of the other top flight (top 15-ish) prospects will meet their draft value: Derek Barnett, Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, Solomon Thomas, Taco Charlton, Mike Williams, Gareon Conley, Ryan Ramczyk, Charles Harris, Corey Davis, Cam Robinson, Dalvin Cook, and John Ross.

Here's a list of the guys who I think will bust:

Marlon Humphrey - I just have a gut feeling he won't work out, considering Nick Saban runs his players into the ground. There are some elite draft prospects who always go bust, and in a loaded class, I think he is one of the few in the top-15 that will. 

David Njoku - He just doesn't strike me as a special player, unlike Howard. I think Njoku will be one of the few major busts in this class. 

Garett Bolles - An old, one-year-wonder. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success. I know his talent level purely based on last season, but this is off gut feeling. 

Mitchell Trubisky - I have a feeling Trubisky will go major bust. One year starters don't have a good track record for the NFL. And if he's such a highly touted QB prospect, why wasn't he able to beat out undrafted free agent Marquise Williams in 2015? He also doesn't possess any special traits and doesn't stand out to me at all. 

DeShone Kizer - Kizer was a loser in college who failed to lead his team to any sort of success, even though he had great talent around him. He was very inconsistent and while he has the talent, I don't think he has the leadership qualities or intangibles to be a starting QB in the NFL. Unlike Trubisky, I do see a pathway where he can succeed: if he can sit behind a guy like Drew Brees or Philip Rivers (NOT Eli Manning) for a couple years. But I do think he will be a bust. 

Reuben Foster - Again, a guy I just have a gut feeling won't pan out in the NFL. Rolando McClain didn't really work out with the exception of a couple good seasons, and I think Foster could have a similar career in spite of his talent. He is also a one-year-wonder who has some off-the-field concerns. 

Alvin Kamara - Sure, he is pretty much all upside, but that scares me. He wasn't able to beat out Jalen Hurd, who has to switch positions for the NFL! He should have been more productive and gotten more playing time given his ability.

Tim Williams - Every time I think of Williams, I think of one name: Randy Gregory. As a senior from Alabama, Saban has run him into the ground. He also doesn't have the immense talent level of Jonathan Allen.

Ryan Anderson - Ditto to Williams, without his off-the-field issues or talent level. 

Tanoh Kpassagnon - Too raw and reminds me too much of Margus Hunt, who disappointed me greatly in the pros given his size and potential.

Quincy Wilson - I think an NFL team will throw him into the fire and start him from day 1, only to watch him struggle mightily due to his lack of experience. He was the #2 corner on a college team for one season. 

Caleb Brantley - Has character concerns and only fits as a DT in a 4-3 defense. A 3-4 team could easily take him and be disappointed greatly due to his poor fit in their scheme. 

Here's a list of guys who may not go in the 1st round who I think will become steals and exceed their draft value:

Sidney Jones

Malik McDowell

Gerald Everett

T.J. Watt

Jarrad Davis

Pat Mahomes

Evan Engram

Adam Shaheen

Marcus Maye

Desmond King

Forrest Lamp 

Tre'Davious White

Dan Feeney

Montravius Adams

Bucky Hodges 

Carlos Watkins

Jordan Willis

Chris Wormley

Carroll Phillips

Obi Melifonwu

Derek Rivers

Zay Jones

Brad Seaton

Jessamen Dunker

Budda Baker

Joe Mixon

Charles Walker

Tyus Bowser

Tarell Basham

Ethan Pocic

Cordrea Tankersley

Brendan Langley

Carl Lawson

Anthony Walker

Avery Moss

Pat Elflein

Devonte Fields

Lorenzo Jerome

Elijah Lee

Richie Brown

Elijah McGuire

Ethan Cooper

Josh Malone

As you can see, I like the defensive players a lot more than the offensive players in this draft, but that's only because this might be the best defensive draft of all time. I also think this is the best TE class ever. 

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