I received many e-mails and tweets about my 2017 NFL Mock Draft and the NFL Draft in general. To share the answers to the questions publicly, I decided to start up a mailbag column. Pass along your NFL draft questions and comments. I'll put together a mailbag periodically that answers questions/comments sent via email [email protected] or on Twitter @draftcampbell.
June 30, 2016
From twitter Rob Markel, @LakeRaMan
"Why do you see Rams having 2nd worst record? I have been a fan for 40+ years and I just don't see that at all. I guess you guys are too big to respond? Just wanted to know what you saw. #unfollow "
I think that Jared Goff is going to struggle as a rookie, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if he's a bust. He is undersized, doesn't have a great athletic skill set, and comes from a college offense that has him behind in learning in a NFL offense. A lot of good quarterbacks have had rough rookie years, and I think Goff will follow suit. On top of that, he lacks talent at wide receiver to work with and his offensive line is built more for run blocking than pass blocking.
Considering how defenses are going to be selling out to stop Todd Gurley, I could see Gurley having a hard time finding running room. I had Gurley as the second-rated player in the 2015 NFL Draft and wasn't surprised at how good he was a rookie. However, durability has been an issue for Gurley and he's going to be the focus of defenses this fall.
Defensively, I think the Rams are going to miss Janoris Jenkins as well. They have good teams in their division as well. Also, the move from St. Louis is very unsettling for the franchise and I think everything being new will be a distraction without a comfort zone for the team. Looking at their schedule, I have them going 3-13.
From Tom Ferrone
"Hey Charlie, Every Year, their is a stronger position in the drag than normal. This Year, it was Running Backs and Edge Rushers. The Year before that, it was receivers, before that, it was Offensive Lineman, and before that, it was quarterbacks. What position looks the strongest this up coming draft?
Tom Ferrone "
It's too early to say definitively, but entering the season I would say running back, tight end, linebacker and safety. Of those, running back really stands out to me as being especially strong.
From Edmund Kuhn, Bangor, Maine
"Charlie, who are some of the prospects you're most excited to see this season? I can't wait to watch Jalen Tabor. My Bears need a corner. Thanks."
I agree with you on Tabor. I'm eager to see him, and I think he could be a special cornerback prospect. One of the players I'm most excited to see is his teammate Jarrad Davis. Davis was phenomenal last year, and late in the season, he was all over the field against good teams and running backs like Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry. Davis made a huge impact for Florida, and I wonder how his game will evolve now that he has a year of starting experience.
On the offensive side of the ball, I'm really interested to see Nick Chubb. I'm curious to see if the Georgia running back is the same player after his knee injury. The tight end prospects also are exciting after a few years of bad tight end classes. Alabama's O.J. Howard, Ole Miss' Evan Engram and Michigan's Jake Butt are all intriguing, and I hope they get a lot of targets to show what they can do.
From Heinrich F., St. Cloud, Minnesota
"Why do you have the Packers picking 32nd? They're a declining team that was clearly not as good as the Vikings last year. You must be a Green Bay fan."
First of all, I'm not a fan of any team in the league. I honestly don't care who wins or losses the games.
As for the Packers, my draft order is based on two factors. The quality of the team's quarterback, and then the rest of the roster. Obviously, Aaron Rodgers is among the best signal-callers in the NFL, and I think that will be the case next season. Green Bay also has young talent and depth on the defensive side of the ball. I think the offense will get back to it's old form with Jordy Nelson coming back, Eddie Lacy losing weight, and Jared Cook being a secret weapon. I think Rodgers has another Super Bowl run in him.
From Jack Strep, Austin, Texas
"I enjoy your draft awards article every year. I do disagree on the Bills having the best draft class. I think my Cowboys definitely had the best draft of anyone. To not have them in the honorable mentions is absurd."
I agree with you on a few things. One, the Cowboys had an excellent draft. Landing Ezekiel Elliott, Jaylon Smith and Maliek Collins with their first three picks was superb. Secondly, I agree that Dallas should have been in the honorable mentions. I do think that the Bills' haul was better because there is less risk with their prospects. Both teams went with a linebacker and defensive tackle on Day 2. Smith's knee is a big question mark, and Collins had a drop in play last year compared to 2014. The Bills linebacker (Reggie Ragland) was one of the safest players in the entire draft, while their tackle (Adolphus Washington) was consistent the past two seasons. Overall, both the Bills and Cowboys did a great job in the 2016 NFL Draft.
From Kyle Miller, Ann Arbor, Michigan
"I think you have Jabrill Peppers too low in your mock draft. He's a top-10 talent all the way."
Well, I do think that Peppers is an excellent and versatile athlete, but I don't see the cover skills yet of a top-10 defensive back. I'm skeptical about the separation he allows in coverage, and he has been used more as a strong safety. There really hasn't been a strong safety to go in the top-10 since the Buccaneers had Mark Barron go bust in the 2012 NFL Draft. To me, Peppers looks like a mid- to late first-rounder entering this season.
From twitter Brian Arbour, @bkarbour
"There are rumors that LSU might move Pocic to LT. Would that help or hurt his development? help or hurt his draft status?"
Good question, Brian. I think overall it would be a net positive because it would show his versatility, and he could potentially step in at left tackle in an emergency for his NFL team. If Pocic performs well on the left side, he might be able to get some teams to consider him at tackle, and that could really elevate his draft stock. At 6-foot-7, he has the length for the edge. It would hurt his development at mastering the center position, but I don't think it would hurt his draft stock significantly. As long as Pocic has a quality season at any position, I think he'll be a second-day pick.