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.

7/22/13


From Vinnie, Staten Island, New York

“I know it is really early and the “QB competition” hasn’t run its course but I feel like the Jets need to start Geno Smith as soon as possible. My reasoning behind this is the Jets need to figure out if they have a keeper in Smith or not due to the perceived very strong class of QBs coming out next season.

It will be a shock to pretty much everyone if the Jets aren’t selecting in at least the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft, putting them in range to take a shot at drafting another potential franchise QB. Sanchez is a sunk cost and is only on the roster because he is too expensive to cut so no reason to waste anymore time on him. Find out if Smith has the ability to develop into a franchise QB before you spend a high pick on a non-QB in a strong QB class. Make sense?”


Vinnie,

I agree with you that Sanchez is a sunk cost and would have been cut if it weren’t for his contract. The Jets are stuck with him for next season, and all the coaches can do is hope to squeeze some wins out of him before he gets benched. I think you’re also right that the Jets would be in a much better position for building the franchise if they can get a sense about Geno Smith after his rookie season.

At the same time, New York may not get an accurate answer if it forces him on the field before he is ready. There are have been a lot of questions about his maturity and it will be a test of his mental strength to see how he responds to adversity. That wasn’t his strong suit in college. Also, the Jets need to give him support so he is in a position to succeed. Letting Sanchez start until Santonio Holmes comes back makes sense in that regard.

Overall, I agree with you that getting answers on Smith is in the team’s best interest but they should do that with his time table to make sure he gets a fair shot.



From Christian

“Hi Charlie!

I love the work you do on WalterFootball.com and your insight on college players I don’t get a chance to really see. As a BYU fan, I love our top two receivers, Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo. Where do you think their draft stocks are for their respective drafts? I think Hoffman could be a 1st round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft with better QB play, and I haven’t really read anything about Apo’s NFL future. Thanks Charlie!”

Thanks for reading Christian. I appreciate it. Right now, I think Hoffman is a second-day pick for the 2014 NFL Draft. What he has accomplished with less-than-ideal quarterback play is very impressive, but I’m not sure he has the speed to be a first-round pick. Big receivers who have questions about their speed tend to fall into the second or third round. If Hoffman shows he has a speed threat to his game and runs well at the Combine, he could go in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Ross Apo is a player I need to watch more before I feel confident giving a round estimation. He was only a sophomore last year and when I watch games I’m focused on the players for the upcoming. Looking at the numbers, Apo has nice size to him and he should get plenty of good looks as a junior with teams double-teaming Hoffman.




From twitter Joe, @Joe2577

“What are your personal projections for Jadeveon Clowney? Is he going to be up for the Heisman this year? Or is he overhyped?”

Considering what Clowney’s done in his first two seasons of college football, I don’t think that he is being overhyped. I do think his tackle for a loss and forced fumble in the Outback Bowl against Michigan have been overhyped by the media. If you look at that play the Wolverines blew their blocking assignment and let him come unblocked. It was a great display of power and explosiveness, but it isn’t like Clowney flung Taylor Lewan to the ground to make that play.

My personal projection for Clowney is a top-five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. I think there is a strong possibility that his sack total will dip into the 7-10 range as a junior because teams will be game planning for him and sending tons of extra blockers his direction.

Even with a dip in his numbers, I expect Clowney to go in the top five. He so fast and explosive with great size for an edge-defender in the NFL. I’m eager to hear from scouts how Clowney checks out off the field as a teammate and citizen. I want to know how he will handle the fame, money and how much he loves football. As a player, I think Clowney is the safest defensive prospect to enter the NFL since Ndamukong Suh in the 2010 NFL Draft.


From twitter Chris Rock, @CCasey329

“Who do you think is best fit at QB for the Eagles? Also, thoughts on who the best sophomore QB will be?”

I think Nick Foles gives the Eagles the best chance to win this year. Foles should be better after getting some experience, and he has a nice skill set to be a NFL quarterback. In my opinion, Michael Vick is a bad quarterback. He’s an inaccurate, inconsistent and injury-prone turnover machine. I don’t think Vick should be any thing more than a backup.


From twitter Chance Trombley, @Trombley22

“Why is everyone so down on the Eagles’ offense? ”

I think the reason is the Eagles don’t have a clear franchise quarterback. The other reason is there is skepticism about how well Chip Kelly’s system will translate to the NFL. Also they have Pat Shurmur and his West Coast offense to use, so it is hard to believe in something that hasn’t proven to be successful yet.

I don’t like Michael Vick for the reasons stated above and I’m not alone in that opinion. I think the Eagles have a nice offense around the quarterback with good runners, wide receivers and talent on the offensive line.

Philadelphia would have the most success, in my opinion, if it features LeSean McCoy and a running offense. Make Foles the starter and build in a downfield play-action passing attack to DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. That would make Foles and the defense’s job easier if they have a running-based offense.




From Logan Ping

“Dear Charlie,

I followed the logic of your original Sammy Watkins pick. I wasn’t necessarily a fan, but that stems from my personal evaluation of Watkins. However, your most recent selection has me somewhat baffeled.

I can’t really get behind having the Colts reach for a cornerback, particularly one whose size would seem to limit him to the slot. The Colts are set to go into the 2013-2014 offseason with Greg Toler and Darius Butler already under contract. Further, given the amount of cap space available, it is probably Vontae Davis will get an extension. Those three comprise the starting cornerbacks and the primary nickle back. Add in Cassius Vaughn (who I wouldn’t want on the outside but is passable in nickle/dime) and hopefully one of Sheldon Price or Dax Swanson for depth and that is decent cornerback corps.

However, the Colts do have serious issues along the defensive line and at outside linebacker. Ricky Jean-Francois looks to be a good starter and the team has good depth, but outside of Cory Redding there isn’t anyone who can pressure the passer from the inside. Robert Mathis is aging and Erik Walden doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher (his strenghts being against the run). It just seems to me that someone like Tuitt, Murphy, Van Noy, Hubbard, Lawrence or Nix would provide better value at the position..”

Thanks for the email, Logan. I agree that a defensive lineman is in play for the Colts. I’m not as certain they would go with another edge-rusher after signing Walden and drafting Werner, but I could definitely see the team beefing up at the line of scrimmage. I think staying Indianapolis staying in state to land either Stephon Tuitt or Louis Nix makes the most sense of the players you mentioned above. Tuitt would be a perfect five-technique 3-4 defensive end for the Colts while Nix could be an awesome nose tackle.

I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree when it comes to cornerback. I think Toler is decent when he plays, but he’s injury prone. I think Toler’s only a short-term answer and the organization didn’t give him a big financial commitment. I think aside from Vontae Davis, the cornerback position is going to be a weakness for the Colts. I agree with you on Indianapolis being likely to re-sign Davis after it gave up a second-rounder to get him. The Colts should re-sign him because he probably is their best defensive player and has shown the ability to be an excellent cover corner. I think in the team’s defensive scheme really requires two tough corners. Thus, I’ve had Indianapolis drafting a corner in my 2014 NFL Draft mocks.


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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