⇐ My Mock Drafts
Published at 3/19/2017 9:58:33 PM
Go time. You're not my supervisor.
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Not much to say here. Garret has earned the #1 prospect label for this draft. Like a lot of people, I think Cleveland has a different strategy at QB than taking one here.
To me, Lattimore is the top CB this class (probably the only corner in fact deserving of top 10 consideration). He has fantastic tape and is a prototypical athlete for the position. GM John Lynch, a former DB himself, has to feel most secure scouting players in the secondary. He knows full well how rare a player of Lattimore’s caliber is at one of the league’s premier positions. I appreciate the sentiment that the same argument could be made for one of the top safeties set to go in this rage; however, the ‘9ers already have Eric Reid, and made it known that Jimmie Ward will be moving back to safety as well. With that in mind, another safety makes little to no sense.
My man. Appreciate for a second that Jon Allen has dominated college football for two straight seasons, playing in a conference known for it’s abundance of future-NFL talent along the line of scrimmage. Frankly, it’s embarrassing to read draft analysis that somehow suggests his combine workout was bad enough to negate any of that. It was in fact above-average. On the other hand, medical issues–specifically, his shoulders–would be a better reason (in fact, the only reason) for Allen to slide out of the top 5 picks.
Why should any of Jacksonville’s three current running backs be safe? Granted the O-line was underwhelming a year ago, but Yeldon, Ivory, and Robinson each were around 3.6 YPC and 4 combined rushing TDs. Awful. Tom Coughlin's addition only makes this player/position more logical, as his teams always featured a strong rushing attack. Fournette is a generational talent. In addition, I was not one who felt that a running back should not be a top 10 pick. Obviously, the right back can be a huge boon for any offense. There’s also a new rumor floating around that this may be Jacksonville's pick. I had this pick mocked 6 weeks ago, and haven't found a reason to move off of it. Fournette is an animal who can generate 1000 yards rushing next season.
Injured until training camp? Not really an issue. The Buckeye safety is a top 1% athlete, even by NFL standards. That said, Hooker isn't Ed Reed just yet. He's special enough to cover up for some mistakes and slow reads, even turning them into nice plays. Hooker is very young and absolutely has a lot of room to grow. I would argue he's hands-down the least refined player mentioned amongst the elite tier of this draft class. With that in mind, there's some bust potential here. Obviously, I think he'll work out.
Thomas is perplexing. He's built like an edge rusher, and tested like one at the combine. Still, his best film is absolutely when lined up over a guard. Thomas put out one of the best defensive tapes by any one player this season, no question. He was unbelievable against UNC’s O-line in their bowl game, routinely and systematically embarrassing Tar Heel right guard, R.J. Prince. In other games, Thomas is not as fantastic, hence, he received mid-first to second-round grades by many evaluators interviewed by this site. Thomas is not the accomplished defender on the edge that he is inside by any stretch. I think Thomas is very good–that’s not the debate. It is difficult to find one position for him, and that's potentially problematic. Unless he gets bigger, he will have to play significant snaps outside regardless of what front he plays. The Jets have wanted an impact OLB for a long time.
Adams is a stud and ready to go Day 1. Right now, his tape is better than Hooker's. Adams is significantly more polished, making far fewer mistakes. Adams will be making big plays and wearing a C on his chest during his NFL career.
Williams is an average athlete with plus size who plays his position very well. It’s well known that he has a possession skill-set, but I also just love how he gets after it. Williams is highly competitive on every ball. Carolina typically drafts the BPA, and it appears that moniker is up for grabs after the first 7 position players have come off the board.
Before I get roasted on this, hear me out. Lamp is widely liked in the scouting community due to his 1st-Round caliber athleticism and high-degree of positional skill. In recent years, guards have cracked the top 10 picks (Brandon Scherff went 5th overall two years ago). Looking at the hefty FA contracts of the top guards over the last two seasons also strongly evidences this reality: The value of every position along the O-line is growing. Cincinnati’s O-line took a significant hit this offseason by losing both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler (their best two lineman). Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher did not have promising sophomore campaigns, making helping the O-line an even higher priority. It just so happens that this year's O-line class is the weakest in a decade.
Bold prediction? O.J. Howard isn’t going to be the fourth overall pick (i.e. Todd McShay). Craziness aside, I think Howard was already a lock for the top 20 in January, and has only backed up hype on him that dates back years. Howard is a complete, accomplished college TE–a rarity. Buffalo currently has Charles Clay at TE and not much else. Clay is a solid player, but he’s also not the game-changer Buffalo thought they were getting when they signed him.
Sometimes you’d like to be a fly on the wall. For instance, how does someone manage to be removed from the combine for yelling at a staffer? Not that it really matters, but I honestly wish I knew. Foster is a great prospect. I had him going 13th overall in my last update. At that time I wrote, “I think Foster can’t fall beyond the top half of this class. Conversely, a selection in the top 5 or so–say, to the New York Jets at #6, for instance–would be pretty shocking.” That still holds true, and I even felt compelled to move him up.
Mitchell, if you're nasty... I believe Trubisky is clearly the top QB in this class. Where he, or whoever is the first QB taken, will come off the board is debatable. That said, we do see quarterbacks pushed up the draft board and taken in the top 5 nearly every year. I don’t believe this should be that kind of year. Trubisky appears to have a good feel for the game and is able to make some plays outside the pocket as well as within. His 13 starts are less than half of what teams like to see when evaluating a player. In case you're keeping track, Trubisky is my only 1st Round QB in this update–it's just an unimpressive class.
Davis is not considered a flashy pick at the moment since he won't be performing on television prior to the draft (injury) and isn't really a big name. Yet, he will likely have a very short wait in the green room on draft night. Davis isn't a blazer, but he breaks down well and changes direction with sneaky burst for a bigger guy. His ball skills are unquestionably great. Arizona has to be thinking about the future after Larry Fitzgerald, particularly since Michael Floyd didn’t pan out.
McCaffrey is a phenomenal weapon and a personal favorite of mine. He isn’t “small” either. Philly was able to run the ball well last year as a committee, finishing 11th in yards per game. That said, Ryan Mathews (12 carries per game in 2016) and Darren Sproles (6 carries per game in 2016) are both running on E.
Indy needs help on every level of their defense. Barnett is definitely filling a need in that area. While he's not phenomenally athletic, he simply wins all the time. Barnett’s college productivity was ridiculous for anyone (52 TFL, 32 sacks), let alone for somebody playing against the coaching and talent from the top down in the SEC.
Trade: Baltimore receives Seattle's #26 (700) & #58 (320) for Baltimore's #16 (1000) & #186 (16.6)
Firstly, Baltimore can get a good player in Seattle’s spot, while picking up an additional second rounder for their biggest need: quality depth. Meanwhile, unless their planning on marching out Tom Cable himself next year, I have to believe they're not done adding offensive lineman. Their biggest signing thus far has been colossal bust Luke Joeckel. Seattle’s O-line has to improve a lot more before September. Despite what some draft pundits are suggesting, there's slim to no hope that any of the top three tackles will be available when Seattle picks, which would leave them reaching at #26 for Taylor Moton or Antonio Garcia. To me, Ramczyk has the best film at LT in this class, looking like a fringe top 10 pick. His game has few holes in run and pass protection, and he is a plus athlete for the position.