NFL Draft Primer

So I’m taking a brief break from my hiatus. This will be the one blog I post before one of my papers is done, though. My Hulk Hogan paper is most of the way done and the due date got pushed back a couple days so I feel comfortable briefly getting back to the blog for today. I won’t be regularly posting again until I’m done with both papers, however. I’ve got an interview for my other paper set up for Wednesday, though. He’s a guy who gives great insight so hopefully his interview will write a large chunk of my paper for me. So anyways, with the blog, the original plan with this week’s Draft thing was going to be just a Big Board, however I thought about it and I think I want to do a little bit more. Basically superlative stuff that will lead into the Big Board. I think that would be a little more interesting than just ranking 50 prospects with no explanations. So let’s get to the Superlatives. The one superlative I won’t do is “best prospect” because that would spoil my Big Board rankings.

Most NFL-Ready Quarterback: Josh Rosen-UCLA

Rosen is the one quarterback I’d be comfortable with starting Day 1. He does everything well on the field. The complaints about him are mainly questions about his love of football, but I doubt that it’s as profound as people are making it out to be. He’s just a guy who has lots of interests, football being one of them. He’s about as good a quarterback prospect as I’ve seen since Jameis Winston and Rosen doesn’t have the off-field baggage the former Florida State Heisman winner had.

Prospect I Just Don’t Understand the Hype For: Vita Vea-DL-Washington

Vita Vea is huge (6’5 340 pounds) and a really good athlete for his size. But every time I watch footage of him to try and understand why scouts love his game so much, I leave just as confused as before. Yeah he clogs space, but his get-off is so slow that any quality NFL offensive lineman is going to get the edge on him. He also kind of just plays patty-cake with offensive linemen when he does eventually get off the ball. Granted, he is my #2 interior defensive lineman, but that’s mainly because I do see potential with him. If he can work on his reaction to the snap, then I think he could be a beast and be impossible to run on.

Prospect I Like More Than Other People Do: Deshon Elliott-S-Texas

Elliott’s a guy that a lot of people have going in the third or fourth round of this year’s draft. I think he’s a high second-rounder, maybe even late-one if my defense needs a centerfielder-type safety. His instincts are really impressive to me and he always seems to be around the football, as he takes good routes to the ball-carrier. My one issue with him is that he looks like he lacks confidence as a tackler. He’ll make the tackle, but he seems hesitant to shoot the gap and deliver the hit. But he is as good a ball-hawk as there is in the nation. Just watch the USC game. He seemed to have Sam Darnold’s number all night. And one thing to note about guys that I like more than others. In the past, that honor has been held by the likes of Keenan Allen, Justin Houston, and Alex Collins. Just saying.

Most Impressive Prospect: Shaquem Griffin-LB-Central Florida

It kills me that I haven’t gotten a real chance to blog about this dude yet because he really is an inspirational story. He had to get his hand amputated when he was young due to a birth defect and for a lot of people, that would be the end of their usefulness. But Griffin instead became one of the top linebackers in the country and absolutely blew up the NFL Scouting Combine. He needed to use a prosthetic hand so that he could do the bench press, but he then went on to do 20 reps at 225 pounds. I have 2 perfectly functioning hands and the best I’ve done on the bench press is 5 reps at 165 pounds. Oh and there’s the whole thing about how he ran the fastest 40-yard dash ever recorded by a linebacker at 4.38. I watched his Auburn tape after this and he pretty much took over that game. He’s so quick that he can make offensive linemen look really stupid when he’s rushing the passer. He’d probably be a top-5 pick if he had two hands based on the tape I’ve seen and his Combine performance. But the guy has 4 career interceptions for God’s sake. I really do think he could be the steal of the Draft.

Most Intriguing Prospect: DJ Chark-WR-LSU

I had heard nothing about this guy until the Combine. Then he measured at 6’4 and ran the fastest 40-yard dash at 4.34. Those are Calvin Johnson-like measurables. However his production at LSU was limited. He did have over 800 yards as a senior but poor quarterback play I think hindered his ability to reach his potential. He could be one of those lesser-known guys that really blows up once he hits the NFL.

And now, on to the Big Board.

50. Shaquem Griffin-LB-Central Florida

900345778

49. Courtland Sutton-WR-SMU

896335618

48. James Daniels-C-Iowa

869607382

47. Harrison Phillips-DL-Stanford

874487454

46. Donte Jackson-CB-LSU

873290874

45. Mason Rudolph-QB-Oklahoma State

492180502

44. Ronald Jones II-RB-USC

888606854

43. Mike Gesicki-TE-Penn State

900390344

42. Uchenna Nwosu-EDGE-USC

873387638

41. Deshon Elliott-S-Texas

848580052

40. Taven Bryan-DL-Florida

860409110

39. Maurice Hurst-DL-Michigan

867505138

38. Carlton Davis-CB-Auburn

at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama.

37. Sam Hubbard-EDGE-Ohio State

880064266

36. Will Hernandez-OG-UTEP

630332806

35. Brian O’Neill-OT-Pittsburgh

851936890

34. Derrius Guice-RB-LSU

at Neyland Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

33. Mike Hughes-CB-Central Florida

878824576

32. Malik Jefferson-LB-Texas

855315388

31. Jaire Alexander-CB-Louisville

842291112

30. Ronnie Harrison-S-Alabama

at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama.

29. Dallas Goedert-TE-South Dakota State

926551756

28. Isaiah Wynn-OG-Georgia

903572028

27. Leighton Vander Esch-LB-Boise State

893950460

26. DJ Moore-WR-Maryland

890566042

25. Justin Reid-S-Stanford

839702956

24. Isaiah Oliver-CB-Colorado

624455684

23. Rashaan Evans-LB-Alabama 

903539054

22. Kolton Miller-OT-UCLA

862024242

21. Mike McGlinchey-OT-Notre Dame

867656202

20. Josh Jackson-CB-Iowa

873013328

19. Harold Landry-EDGE-Boston College

845055390

18. Vita Vea-DL-Washington

842326208

17. Da’Ron Payne-DL-Alabama

902750908

16. Josh Allen-QB-Wyoming

during the first half of a game on December 21, 2016 in San Diego, California.

15. Christian Kirk-WR-Texas A&M

872121300

14. Connor Williams-OT-Texas

626794344

13. Baker Mayfield-QB-Oklahoma

900362232

12. Derwin James-S-Florida State

858813286

11. Calvin Ridley-WR-Alabama

911321850

10. Roquan Smith-LB-Georgia

900366328

9. Sam Darnold-QB-USC

899638710

8. Josh Rosen-QB-UCLA

873071578

7. Marcus Davenport-EDGE-UTSA

625015098

6. Tremaine Edmunds-LB-Virginia Tech

865952696

5. Quenton Nelson-OG-Notre Dame

866447892

4. Denzel Ward-CB-Ohio State

884603372

3. Minkah Fitzpatrick-S-Alabama

873799394

2. Bradley Chubb-EDGE-North Carolina State

855935168

1. Saquon Barkley-RB-Penn State

877862322

So that’s it for today’s blog. Again, I won’t be posting consistently until my papers are done. But I will guarantee that I will have my mock draft ready for next Thursday’s event. Let me know what you think of the primer in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter @jimwyman10.

2 thoughts on “NFL Draft Primer

  1. I agree about Vita. He’s good no doubt, but it feels like half his tape is him tackling scrambling QBs who ran into him at the line of scrimmage.

    • He’s kind of got the Josh Allen effect for me. Has pretty much every measurable you could want but then you look at the tape and you wonder where it all goes. He’s 18th on my Big Board mainly due to potential.

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