2014 NFL Draft Mailbag

I received many e-mails and tweets about my 2014 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.

7/8/13


From Matt McKenzie, Laguna Niguel, California

“Do think it’s probable that we could see 4 to 5 QBs go in the first 10-15 picks of the 2014 NFL Draft? Maybe even more? Teddy Bridgewater, Tahj Boyd, Johnny Manziel(should he declare) and David Fales are locks, but what if AJ McCarron and Aaron Murray is picked that high up? I see the McCarron sort of like system-QBs, mainly because they benefit from the talent around them (see: Alabama’s entire team). Do you think teams would seek to trade up next year to grab these guys and hope to build the franchise around them?”


I do think four or five quarterbacks could go in the first round and potentially the top half. I think all of the guys who you highlighted have the potential to end up grading out that high. There are others who could factor in as well like Fresno State’s Derek Carr and UCLA’s Brett Hundley.

I agree with you on McCarron and you’ve probably seen me write it many times. While others have him as a first-rounder, I don’t think he’s proven that yet. McCarron has had one of the best offensive lines in college football history the past two seasons with elite running backs and a great defense. The senior will have a good supporting cast in 2013. but there should be some drop off with three of last year’s linemen moving on to the NFL.

I think the success of some recent big trades could prompt other teams to give up a lot to move up high for a quarterback. The Redskins’ mega-trade for Robert Griffin III and the Falcons’ deal for Julio Jones have paid off for those two franchises. I could see other teams doing similar deals to land Boyd, Manziel, Bridgewater, etc. Playoff teams like Houston, Minnesota or Cincinnati could be in play there depending on how things shake out next season.

I could see plenty of other quarterback-needy teams looking to move up to make sure they get their guy. Teams like Arizona, Cleveland, Kansas City could be picking in the No. 5-15 range and be forced to move up if they want to land a franchise signal-caller.



From Joshua Bigler, Arroyo Grande, California

“Do you think it’s possible that Derek Carr (Fresno State) could be picked in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and even picked before David Fales? Plus, could the “bust” status of his older brother, David, unfairly hurt his draft stock?”

I definitely think Derek Carr has the potential to rise high in the 2014 NFL Draft. I could see him going in the early second or end up getting first-round consideration. I do think that his brother being a bust will cause some hesitation with some teams, but I don’t think it would prevent him from being a first-rounder if his play warrants it. There have been sibling quarterbacks in the NFL with a good one and a bad one, multiple backups and multiple good ones. The Palmers, McCowns and Mannings are recent examples. I like what I saw out of Carr last season and he will be fun to watch as a senior. I could see him turning into a prospect similar to Mike Glennon and go on the second day of the 2014 NFL Draft.




From twitter Tyler Robey, @Rams_Bulls_News

“Yes!!! Nix and Dix to the Rams! Been saying that since conclusion of this year’s draft! Defense would be epic! Best in NFL!”

I agree that Alabama safety HaHa Clinton-Dix and Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix would be a tremendous haul for the Rams. I think Clinton-Dix’s pass coverage and rangy ball-hawking ability would be a nice complement to T.J. McDonald playing strong safety.

Nix would also be a good fit for in St. Louis. He could be a disruptive nose tackle who would help keep double-teams away from Robert Quinn or Chris Long. I think LSU’s Anthony Johnson would also be a great fit as a speedy three-technique in the Rams’ defense. With another good draft I think the franchise could end up building one of the more talented young rosters in the league. Everybody seems to be forgetting how well Sam Bradford played as a rookie.

I think St. Louis has done a really nice job of upgrading the talent level of its team in the past two offseasons. If the Rams were in the AFC, I think they would be a serious playoff contender. The problem for them is the NFC is loaded and their division features two superpowers in the Seahawks and 49ers. St. Louis may not go on a playoff run this season, but I think it could come in 2014 or 2015.


From twitter Kyle Morehead, @kmorehead91

“I’m pretty sure @walterfootball and @DraftCampbell called Tebow going to the Patriots about a month ago. Best place for football info”

Thanks for the compliments! In early May, we did write in our NFL Draft Rumor Mill that the Patriots signing Tim Tebow made a lot of sense for both parties. I think New England is the perfect landing spot for Tebow. Considering the media frenzy about Aaron Hernandez, the Tebow attention is a much better distraction.




From twitter What the Buc?, @WhatTheBuc

“Wo Charlie. I expect much more.”

This is in response to the Bucs season preview of Walt’s prediction of Tampa Bay going 5-11 in 2013. Just to be clear, Walt writes the season previews and I write the rookie forecasts. In my opinion, I think the Bucs will be in the 7-9 win range. If you had to nail me down right now, I would go with 8-8 this season.

To those of you who don’t know WhattheBuc.net, I recommend you check them out. Derek “Old School” Fournier and his crew are very astute football minds and know the Bucs inside and out. They don’t pull any punches and aren’t afraid to get explicit in their analysis, so obviously they’re fun to listen to. Derek does a great job behind the mic on his podcasts and always provides interesting content.


From twitter UK_Raiders, @UK_Raiders

“I believe Raiders will sign Josh Freeman if coaching staff remains in place. If not I love this…..now just be right!!”

Well you want Walt to be right with his prediction for the Raiders to land Josh Freeman. If the Bucs go 8-8 like I think it all depends on how that 8-8 looks if Freeman is brought back. If the Bucs do go 5-11 or around there I think they should get a new front office and bring back Lovie Smith to be the head coach. Steelers Director of Business & Football Administration Omar Khan, Vikings assistant general manager George Paton or former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo could be good hire for a general manager. I think Smith would be an awesome fit for Tampa Bay’s head coach.

I agree that Oakland is a likely landing spot for Freeman if the Bucs let him go and the Raiders keep their coaching staff. Freeman is very close personally with Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson. Freeman also had his best pro season in 2010 with Olson as his offensive coordinator. Olson’s offense helped cover up some of Freeman’s limitations and that is why he had a big drop in his interceptions that season. The next season the schedule was a lot tougher and those problems couldn’t be hid.

I know from speaking with sources at the Bucs that there are staffers that believe there are limitations with Freeman’s game and that is why he’s been inconsistent in three of his four seasons. They’ve said he just isn’t naturally accurate as a passer. That was visible back in college at Kansas State, so it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. Olson’s West Coast offense helped disguise those issues in 2010 and 2011 when he completed 61 and 62 percent of his passes respectively, but it is hard to win in the NFL with a completion percentage of 55 percent from his 2012 and 2009 seasons.

Sources with the team said that before 2012, the smartest quarterback on the team was Josh Johnson and last year it was Dan Orlovsky. I know others close to Freeman have stated that the 25-year-old still needed to mature. I never got that sense and was surprised to hear it, but it sounds like he has room for improvement in his knowledge of NFL defenses.

Freeman is a good guy and he comes from a strong family. In a recent radio interview, Freeman sounded strange and said there were some off-the-field issues he was dealing with. Through sources, WalterFootball.com has learned what those off the field issues are, but out of respect for Freeman’s privacy we won’t disclose them. We can say that those issues weren’t his fault in any way, shape or form. Freeman has addressed the issues responsibly and they shouldn’t be a distraction for him going forward.

I think in the right situation Freeman could be successful, but that may not be with Greg Schiano in Tampa Bay. If Freeman remains inconsistent in 2013 it may be best for the team and Freeman to go their separate ways. Doug Williams, Steve Young and Trent Dilfer all won Super Bowls after leaving. From the team’s perspective, after letting Dilfer go they landed Brad Johnson and a Super Bowl title a few years later. So if Freeman ends up leaving the Bucs it isn’t the end of the world for either him or the organization.


Once again send questions/comments via email [email protected] or on Twitter @draftcampbell.





2014 NFL Draft Mailbag Archive:

2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - April 21
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - March 23
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - Aug. 5
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - July 22
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - July 9
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - June 26
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - June 2
2014 NFL Draft Mailbag - May 16








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