Today’s blog will reach into the mailbag and answer a few questions related to the NFL Draft.
NOTE: There may be time for one more mailbag closer to the draft. Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make every effort to respond either in a future blog or via e-mail.
Question from Joey P: What players are rising on draft boards? Falling?
With most NFL teams having set their draft boards, the risers and fallers look like this:
Rising: QB Weeden, WR Hill (remember, not all teams need to like him, but enough do to put him back in the 1st round), OG Zeitler, OG Silatolu (Midwestern State), DE/OLB McClellin, CB Norman.
Falling (again, it only takes one team to love a draft pick and end the fall): QB Cousins, TE Charles, DE Perry, CB Jenkins (No. Alabama).
Question from Fast Eddie: Give me a sleeper player to look at at each position, a guy who will easily outperform where he is drafted.
Interesting question. Not all positions are created equal, so I may list more than one at WR for example. Here’s what I have:
QB: None come to mind, as I am not high on the QB crop after the top 2, but I’m rooting hard for Boise QB Moore, who has all the intangibles.
RB: Robert Turpin as a two-down back and Florida’s Chris Rainey as a 3rd down pass catching back and return specialist.
WR: Broyles will give a team future value. Deep sleepers I like are Brazill from Ohio U and Jordan White from W. Michigan
TE: Missouri’s Egnew was highly productive in college.
OL: At tackle, FSU’s Datko has upside, at OG, I can’t pick Silatolu as he’s no longer a secret but the versatile Nate Potter can start in the NFL.
DE: I like Jared Crick and Vinny Curry if they get drafted by the right teams
DT: Josh Chapman is hurt but the former Alabama player has the skill set to out-perform his draft grade.
LB: None readily come to mind, but watch deep sleeper DeMario Davis from Arkansas St. He is fast and strong, did well on the field and in drills and can play OLB or ILB.
CB: Coastal Carolina’s Josh Norman in the mid-rounds and I’m taking a hard look at very deep sleeper Asa Jackson of Cal Poly.
Safety: Not a particularly strong position this draft. Keep your eyes on SJ St’s Duke Ihenacho and Wisconsin’s Aaron Henry.
Question from Paul 7666: What do you see the New York Giants doing at the end of the 1st round?
The Giants usually go for the best player available, and that technique has served them well. Last year they got a CB who dropped (Amukamara) and a DT at #52 (Austin) who I had in my top 30-35. Both got hurt but have a chance to be really fine players. If they find a draft dropping DL they may go in that direction. The same is true if one of the OL fall. If value is not available at either position I see them taking a RB at #32, perhaps Doug Martin or David Wilson.
Question from anonymous: What shocking story could happen on Thursday’s first day of the draft?
First, could we see WR Floyd drafted ahead of Blackmon? Second, what about Tannehill NOT being selected by Miami, where his college coach is now the offensive coordinator, putting either KC or Cleveland back in the mix (sorry, not Seattle). Third, a player like OT Martin or OG Glenn gets selected AFTER Center Konz.. 4th, could ILB Kuechly fall out of the top part of the draft?
Now, what would be the story I most want to see? Here it is: As Cincy GM, I would take one of our 1st round choices and sign Pittsburgh WR Wallace away from Pittsburgh. Cincy has PLENTY of cap space. They would instantly improve at WR while stealing talent from a key Divisional rival and STILL have a #1 choice. They won’t do it!
Question from anonymous: What blockbuster trades might happen on Thursday? (1st round)
I wrote an earlier blog which can we read right on my blog site about each teams’ trade likelihood. As I see it, Jacksonville and Carolina are in prime trading spots, and teams like Philly, San Diego and maybe the Jets might move up to those spots. Denver or Pittsburgh are longer shots to move up. Could Jacksonville shock us all and move UP in the draft?
Final question, again anonymous: What team or teams do you see making a big mistake in the first round of the draft? What player or players will be drafted early that should not be drafted early?
Regarding teams, I am always skeptical of what Jacksonville may do, and worry that San Diego will over trade or reach for a diamond in the rough. Both teams will do this later in the draft but hopefully not this early.
Mistakes are made when a team reaches for a player that does not fit their team scheme or could have been drafted 20 or so picks later. I would not take Ryan Tannehill in the top 10, but do think he has 1st round value because of the position he plays and the new more friendly NFL rookie wage scale. I would not take Dontari Poe in the top part of the draft because there has been no on-field production, and he played in Conference USA where he should have been more dominant. Perhaps he fits at #16 to the Jets but I’m not sure he fits before that. “Insiders” such as Peter King have people believing OG Zeitler goes #24 to Pittsburgh, QB Weeden goes in the 1st round and Safety Harrison Smith also sneaks into the 1st round. All three of these prospects fit in the 2nd round for me.
Got a draft question. E-mail it to me at email@example.com.