So what if Zeke is a rookie? And they didn't draft him #4 overall, given that he's a prototype 3-down back, to have him in a timeshare with Morris or McFadden. Behind that line, coupled with his skills as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker, there's no way he should fall past the first round.
@Walter I don't see how you think Fitz is "fine" there, given the fact you pointed out Palmer's diminishing arm strength and generally not liking older players. I get he's produced with awful QBs and they're not running him deep anymore, but even so, the point you made about AP apply even more to Fitz. Bad pick
I received many e-mails and tweets about my 2013 NFL Mock Draft and the upcoming 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.
From twitter Stefanos Yowhannes (@StefanosY)
"Is Rob Gronkowski a product of the system in New England, or could he be plugged in anywhere else?"
Gronkowski definitely is not a product of the system. He would be one of the league's best tight ends regardless of the team he played for. As long as Gronkowski had just an average quarterback, he would be a productive receiver. The reason is Gronkowski's fantastic skill set combined with his size, speed, hands and route-running. He also is no slouch as a blocker.
After signing a mega-extension with New England, we won't know absolutely if Gronkowski is truly a product of the system, however the Patriots have had a number of quality tight ends during Tom Brady's tenure and none of them have been the weapon that Gronkowski is. In my opinion, he is the real deal.
From Amar Iyengar, Indianapolis, Indiana
"I just recently discovered the site but I find it to be a breathe of fresh air, keep up the good work. Anyways, what do you think of Casey Pachall? We saw the kind of impact Andy Dalton had as a rookie and Pachall exceeded any season that Dalton ever put up statistically and is bigger with more physical tools. Any chance he could be a first rounder next year with another big season?"
First of all, thanks for the compliments. I agree with you that Pachall could end up being a first-round pick. Right now I would say the 6-foot-5, 226-pounder looks like a second-rounder, but if he improves as a junior and senior, he could move into the top 32 in his draft class.
Pachall set single-season TCU records for completions, completion percentage and passing yards in 2011, his first year as a starter. He completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 2,921 yards with 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Pachall stepped up with a massive game in TCU's one-point road win over Boise State. He threw for 473 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. Aside from that game, Pachall beat up on some weak competition. He will see better defenses with TCU's move to the Big XII this season.
If Pachall continues to improve while playing better talent, his draft stock will really rise.
From Jason McCann, Springfield, Illinois
"Do you think that Michael Buchanan's broken jaw will impact his draft status?"
Right now, there is not a lot known about the altercation that led to Buchanan breaking his jaw. On the field, he should be fine. Buchanan isn't expected to miss any time, and in August, he'll be able to add back any weight/muscle he loses while on a liquid diet with his jaw wired shut.
Illinois is expecting Buchanan to pick up the slack for the Illini with Whitney Mercilus moving on to the NFL. Buchanan looks like a second-day pick right now, but if he has a big season, he could crack the top 32.
The off-the-field incident that led to Buchanan's jaw being broken is a wild card that could be harmful to his draft stock.
From Andre Morris, Durham, North Carolina
"You were a big fan of Josh Norman and said he was a steal for Carolina. With him surprising everyone and pushing for a starting job already, does that take away Carolina's need to draft a corner early in the 2013 draft?"
That is definitely possible. If Norman is solid on the other side from Chris Gamble, the Panthers could wait until the second day or mid-rounds to find some depth and nickel competition.
I do think that Norman was one of the steals of the 2012 draft. For months I had him going in the third round, and I thought he would end up becoming a quality starter in the NFL.
It was clear at the East-West Shrine practices that Norman was more talented than any other player there with the possible exception of Miami of Ohio guard Brandon Brooks. All week, Norman had dominant practices that showcased him producing some splash plays.
In his collegiate career, the 6-foot, 197-pounder totaled 13 interceptions with 35 passes broken up, four forced fumbles, four blocked kicks and 196 tackles. He broke out with eight interceptions as a sophomore in 2009.
In my Day Three Winners and Losers story, I had Carolina as a winner for taking Norman and Tampa Bay as a loser for passing on him in the fifth round for a backup linebacker in Najee Goode. Taking Norman could bolster the Panthers' secondary for years to come.
From Rob Brozny, Reno, Nevada
"Who are two dark horse candidates for offensive and defensive rookie of the year?"
There a lot of guys to pick from, but I'm going to go with Baltimore outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw and Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin.
The Ravens have a great coaching staff and a lot of talent around Upshaw. I think they will use his pass-rushing skills well and get him in position to make a real impact in sack production. The easiest way to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year is to put up a big total of sacks or interceptions.
With Terrell Suggs injured, I think Upshaw stands a good chance of having a significant impact as a rookie. He plays for a prominent team and won't go unnoticed.
I love Martin's versatility and I think as the season progresses, his playing time will increase on a weekly basis. He provides some sudden explosiveness that the Bucs have needed in their backfield along with outstanding receiving ability.
Martin makes a defenses' job more difficult because of the different ways he can contribute on any given play. LeGarratte Blount is good runner, but more one-dimensional. As a result, I think that by the end of the season, Martin will be seeing a lot more snaps than Blount. Martin could rack up some good numbers, and I think he stands a good chance of being in the discussion for Offensive Rookie of the Year.