We come to the final week before the 2014 NFL Draft, and the intrigue is still as thick as it has ever been. I'm putting this week's draft out early because with the draft on Thursday, this will be irrelevant pretty quickly. So I'm giving folks some time to discuss. By now, I think I have just flat run out of new (yet realistic) ideas for how the Chiefs will approach the draft. A quick recap:
Week 1: We made a boring, but solid, move and invested in protecting our most valuable assets.
Week 2: We moved back and created some depth.
Week 3: We got aggressive and got "our guy" to lead the franchise into the future.
Week 4: We went with the popular opinion and drafted for apparent need.
Week 5: We made some moves and looked to the future while letting go of a fan favorite.
Week 6: We got some great value and took advantage of a top talent player falling down the board.
So, honestly, I have to say I'm pretty happy about how I have kept things open. There are so many options that the Chiefs can take advantage of. The talent in this draft makes it almost impossible for us to find ourselves in a position where there isn't an excellent player to draft or a move to make. After having explored all of thes options, and having spent way too much time researching all of this, I'm ready to make an actual prediction. Now, I find it to be impossible to make a prediction without taking all things into consideration. So this week, I am going to include a complete 1st - 3rd rd mock draft that shows how I see things developing. Trying to put some perspective into it. Now, I was only going to post the complete 1st rd, but since my research went all the way through the 3rd, I decided to go all out (suck it Kiper and McShay).
When looking up what other teams could be doing, I came to the conclusion that this draft is going to be a lot of fun to watch. There are going to be some big moves made by teams. There will be a few surprises, but not a lot of big reaches or gambles on picks since the talent is so deep. Instead, we will see teams moving up for specific players that they believe will help them...and other teams that are more than willing to abuse them on the other end of the deal.
The 2014 NFL Draft is officially open. The Houston Texans are on the clock.
1. *TRADE* The Atlanta Falcons trade their 1st (#6), 2nd (#37), 5th (#147), 2015 1st, 2015 3rd, and 2016 1st to the Houston Texans for the #1 overall pick.
Atlanta Falcons (from the Texans): Jadeveon Clowney - DE - South Carolina: The Falcons aren't just in "win-now" mode, they're trying to make up for last season. An active Free Agency period gives way to them going all in for the best prospect to come out of college in years.
2. *TRADE* The Buffalo Bills trade their 1st (#9), 2nd (#41), 2015 1st, and 2016 1st to the St Louis Rams for the #2 overall pick.
Buffalo Bills (from the Redskins via the Rams): Sammy Watkins - WR - Clemson: The rumor mill is saying that the Bills want to trade up. It is also saying that they covet a WR pretty badly...as they should. If you're going to upgrade, might as well do it with the best option possible.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Khalil Mack - DE/LB - Buffalo: The Jags could really use an answer at QB, but Gus Bradley is a defensive guy and Mack would be the top prospect in most other drafts. Jacksonville takes the better prospect and waits on fixing the QB position.
4. Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel - QB - Texas A&M: With Watkins off the board, this pick becomes a no-brainer. There's not much to discuss for the Browns as they invest their future on the wild card, Johnny Football. This organization could use some confidence, and Johnny certainly has that.
5. Oakland Raiders: Mike Evans - WR - Texas A&M: This pick becomes interesting as the choice is between WR and OT. Greg Robinson is the better prospect (by far) and fits the Green Bay way of doing things that Reggie McKenzie would prefer. However, this is where we find out just how much control Mark Davis has chosen to keep as he forces the issue on a WR.
6. Houston Texans (from the Falcons): Blake Bortles - QB - UCF: Last year's collapse not withstanding, the Texans are a strong organization that has drafted some major talent. It shows here as they are able to trade back and still get the QB they coveted at #1 overall...not to mention a ton of free picks.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Teddy Bridgewater - QB - Louisville: New HC, new GM, and now a new QB. This is how you rebuild a franchise. Yes, Lovie Smith has said that Josh McCown is his guy, but the team is not paying him that way as nothing in his contract is guaranteed. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions point to Bridgewater being in Tampa.
8. *TRADE* The New York Jets trade their 1st (#18), 3rd (#80), 6th (#195), and 2015 2nd to the Minnesota Vikings for the #8 overall pick.
New York Jets (from the Vikings): Brandin Cooks - WR - Oregon St: The Jets are desperately trying to upgrade their offense, and Cooks becomes a major piece of what they are looking for. Cooks has the potential to be a contributor early on and a #1 WR, similar to Santonio Holmes, in the long-run. Matched up with Stephen Hill, Cooks will be a solid option both underneath and down the field. They might be jumping a little high here for Cooks, but with the Rams, Lions, and Titans all potentially in the WR market, they have to get a little aggressive. And Rex has something to prove to his city...and Belichick.
9. St Louis Rams (from the Bills): Greg Robinson - OT - Auburn: Ladies and gentlemen, please stand and give a slow clap for the Rams. Traded back from #2 overall to #9...and still got the same player they likely would have taken at #2. That's just...man, that's just well-played. The Rams don't "need" a huge upgrade at OT, but they got one anyways.
10. Detroit Lions: Justin Gilbert - CB - Oklahoma St: The Lions need some secondary help, and Gilbert is a tremendous prospect. Gilbert's ball skills and natural athleticism may take some time to fully translate to the NFL, but he has all the things you can't teach.
11. Tennessee Titans: Eric Ebron - TE - UNC: The Titans need to find weapons and Ebron is a good one. Getting a reliable TE who can also be split out may help keep Locker upright a little more often this year.
12. New York Giants: Jake Matthews - OT - Texas A&M: Need and value square up nicely right here for the Giants who need to protect Eli Manning. Matthews would have been an easy #1 overall pick in 2013, and is a top-10 caliber talent for this class as well.
13. St Louis Rams: Hasean Clinton-Dix - S - Alabama: The Rams work on their deep secondary here with HaHa. This pick is kind of a gimme, but if you sat down after that last slow clap for the Rams, go ahead and give 'em another round. Their 1st rd has resulted in a top 5 prospect (Robinson), filling their biggest need (FS), and adding several quality picks in this draft and the next two. That is how you draft folks.
14. Chicago Bears: Aaron Donald - DT - Pitt: The Bears are totally revamping their DL this year...and doing a helluva job at it. With Jared Allen and Lamaar Houston on the outside, Donald is going to see a lot of favorable matchups. This is my early pick for DROY as I think Donald exploits a lot of single-blocking.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: CJ Mosley - LB - Alabama: The Steelers have a number of directions they can go here, but Mosley presents the best value to them. A top 10 prospect that can also fill a need is quite a steal at #15. Mosley is the future of the Steelers defense.
16. Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Barr - OLB - UCLA: Ths is really a toss-up between Barr and Kony Ealy, but Barr has gotten more hype which makes me think Jerry Jones will take him over the player that is actually a better fit. Not that this is a bad pick. Barr will certainly make an impact and he has tremendous upside. Of course, this is Dallas, so it's likely to be neither player and we'll see something off the wall happening here.
17. *TRADE* The Arizona Cardinals trade their 1st (#20), 3rd (#84), and 2015 3rd to the Baltimore Ravens for the 17th overall pick.
Arizona Cardinals (from the Ravens): Derek Carr - QB - Fresno St: Carson Palmer is not going to lead the Cardinals to greatness, so they need to get a QB who can take over and keep the franchise moving forward. Derek Carr's biggest flaw might be his last name. A lot of people seem to put too much stock in what David Carr did (or failed to do). Carr has a strong arm that should be able to take advantage of the talents of Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. It's a little bit of a reach, but with Minnesota picking next, the Cards know they have to move on this.
18. Minnesota Vikings (from the Jets): Zack Martin - OT/OG - Notre Dame: Well, this is why you just take the QB when you have the chance. The Vikings didn't like the value of Carr at #8 and moved back, which allowed Arizona to jump over them and steal him. The Vikes could decide to take Tom Savage here, but he is a bit of boom/bust pick and they will probably wait on QB. Martin is a solid value here and will be able to help protect whomever ends up under C in Minnesota this year.
19. Miami Dolphins: Taylor Lewan - OT - Michigan: The Dolphins probably want Zack Martin here, but this is a prime example of how events in the draft can send things way off course. Miami has a bigger need at OG, but OT can use some long-term help as well. Lewan is tremendous value here and will start for them right away.
20. Baltimore Ravens (from the Cardinals): Calvin Pryor - S - Louisville: The Ravens have to be happy about trading back and still getting Pryor. Some argue that he is a better prospect than HaHa. I don't know if I agree, but there is little doubt that Pryor would match up very well with Matt Elam in the Ravens secondary. Their talents compliment each other well, and should make the Ravens tough to pass against for a while.
21. *TRADE* The Cleveland Browns trade their 1st (#26), 3rd (#83), 5th (#145), and 2015 5th to the Green Bay Packers for the 21st overall pick.
Cleveland Browns (from the Packers): Odell Beckham Jr - WR - LSU: The Browns take advantage of some stockpiled picks and get a WR to put opposite of Josh Gordon. With Sammy Watkins being taken at #2, the Browns were able get their QB early and watch how things developed. With the Eagles, Chiefs, Bengals, and Chargers all being strong potential landing points for a guy like Beckham, the Browns get aggressive. And, since the 1st and 3rd are extra pics, this trade really doesn't cost them much at all.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: Marqise Lee - WR - Southern Cal: With Beckham and Cooks both gone, this is now an easy decision for the Eagles. Lee was highly coveted out of high school by Chip Kelly, and one would almost have to imagine that only got stronger as Kelly watched Lee gash his defenses at Oregon. The Eagles take a step towards replacing DeSean Jackson.
23. *TRADE* The San Francisco 49ers trade their 1st (#30), 3rd (#77), and 7th (#245) to the Kansas City Chiefs for the 23rd overall pick.
San Francisco 49ers (from the Chiefs): Kony Ealy - DE/OLB - Mizzou: The 49ers see a lot of value here with Ealy and make a move. With Justin Smith closing in on retirement and Aldon Smith likely to be inhabiting a rehab clinic, mental institution, or prison at some point this season, the 49ers need to invest in someone who can play the edge. Ealy has the frame to bulk up and play 3-4 DE, or he can keep his current size and line up more as an OLB while moving to DE in a 4 man front. The Chiefs could also take Ealy and be very happy, but the additional picks allow them to build the roster depth they need moving forward.
24. Cincinatti Bengals: Darquenze Dennard - CB - Michigan St: The Bengals have to be pretty happy about this. Early runs on QB and WR have allowed, arguably, the best CB in the draft to fall to them. The value and need match up like a dream here and the Bengals sprint to the podium with this pick.
25. *TRADE* The New England Patriots trade their 1st (#29) and 3rd (#93) to the San Diego Chargers for the 25th overall pick.
New England Patriots (from the Chargers): RaShede Hageman - DT/DE - Minnesota: The Patriots need DL help and have seen some excellent talent fall to this point. However, with the needs of the teams picking in front of them, that talent is likely to thin out a little bit before #29, so the time is right to move up. Hageman is a boom or bust pick, but let's face it, he will boom in New England. Some folks will question why the Patriots moved up this year, but when has Hoodie ever explained himself to the media?
26. Green Bay Packers (from the Colts via the Browns): Timmy Jernigan - DT - Florida St: A lot of people are going to be surprised to see Jernigan here, including the Packers. The value and fit just hasn't added up for Jernigan until now, though Green Bay may not even be the best fit. However, the Packers have never let something like "poor fit" get in the way of their DL draft picks in the past.
27. New Orleans Saints: Kyle Fuller - CB - Virginia Tech: The Saints could look a number of places, but their pass defense was attrocious last year and Kyle Fuller's value is about right. They could also look for a pass rusher, but both Shazier and Ford have more questions in their game than Fuller.
28. Carolina Panthers: Morgan Moses - OT/OG - Virginia: The Panthers roster is almost a joke at WR, DB, and OL. I mean it is just pathetic. However, the most surefire early impact they are going to find at this point is Morgan Moses on the OL. He can start right away for them at either RT or either OG spot (yes, it is that bad for them).
29. San Diego Chargers (from the Patriots): Allen Robinson - WR - Penn St: The Chargers had a great year throwing the ball in 2013, but there are questions about their weapons moving forward. Gates is another year older and has to be looking at retirement soon. Floyd is not what he once was. And Royal is a solid #3, but not much more. The Chargers look to keep the air attack going with Allen Robinson and Keenan Allen on the outside, which should have the league very concerned.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (from the 49ers): Dee Ford - OLB - Auburn: See below.
31. Denver Broncos: Jason Verrett - CB - TCU: The Broncos signed some big talent this offseason, but for every addition they made on defense, they lost 2+ contributors from 2013. Now, that might not be a big deal for a defense that wasn't very good...except for the fact there has been no effort made to replace those players at all. Verrett is undersized, but very aggressive and a playmaker. His best role will be matched up against the smaller, shiftier WRs of the league, whether on the outside or in the slot.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Stephon Tuitt - DE - Notre Dame: The Seahawks have to like this value as Tuitt is probably the most well-rounded 5-tech prospect in the draft. Tuitt may or may not be a day 1 starter for the Seahawks...but that's because they have a ton of talent on their roster.
33. Houston Texans: Demarcus Lawrence - DE - Boise St
34. Washington Redskins: Cyrus Kuoandjio - OT - Alabama
*TRADE* The Minnesota Vikings trade their 2nd (#40) and 3rd (#80) to the Cleveland Browns for the #35 overall pick.
35. Minnesota Vikings (from CLE): Tom Savage - QB - Pitt
36. Oakland Raiders: Juwan James - OT - Tennessee
37. Houston Texans (from ATL): Louis Nix III - NT - Notre Dame
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Donte Moncrief - WR - Ole Miss
39. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jordan Matthews - WR - Vanderbilt
40. Cleveland Browns (from MIN): Bradley Roby - CB - Ohio State
41. St Louis Rams (from BUF): Cody Lattimer - WR - Indiana
42. Tennesse Titans: Scott Chrichton - DE - Oregon St
43. New York Giants: Xavier Su'a-Filo - OG - UCLA
44. St Louis Rams: Jimmie Ward - S - Northern Illinois
45. Detroit Lions: Joel Bitonio - OG - Nevada
46. Pittsburgh Steelers: Martavis Bryat - WR - Clemson
47. Dallas Cowboys: Lamarcus Joyner - CB - Florida St
*TRADE* The Oakland Raiders trade their 3rd (#67), 7th (#219), and 7th (#247) to the Baltimore Ravens for the #48th overall pick.
48. Oakland Raiders (from BAL): Jimmy Garoppolo - QB - Eastern Illinois
49. New York Jets: Jace Amaro - TE - Texas Tech
50. Miami Dolphins: Dominique Easly - DT - Florida
51. Chicago Bears: Jeremiah Attaochu - OLB - Georgia Tech
52. Arizona Cardinals: Carlos Hyde - RB - Ohio State
53. Green Bay Packers: Austin Seferian-Jenkins - TE - Washington
54. Philadelphia Eagles: Philip Gaines - CB - Rice
55. Cincinnati Bengals: Kelvin Benjamin - WR - Florida St
56. San Francisco 49ers (from KC): Kyle Van Noy - OLB - BYU
57. San Diego Chargers: DaQuan Jones - DT - Penn St
58. New Orleans Saints: Davante Adams - WR - Fresno ST
59. Indianapolis Colts: Marcus Smith - DE/OLB - Louisville
60. Carolina Panthers: Cameron Fleming - OT - Stanford
61. San Francisco 49ers: Pierre Desir - CB - Lindenwood
*TRADE* The Kansas City Chiefs trade their 3rd (#87), 6th (#193), and 7th (#245) to the New England Patriots for the 62nd overall pick.
62. Kansas City Chiefs (from NE): Keith McGill - CB - Utah
63. Denver Broncos: Tre Mason - RB - Auburn
64. Seattle Seahawks: BIlly Turner - OG/OT - North Dakota St
65. Houston Texans: Deonne Buchannon - S - Washington St
66. Washington Redskins: Weston Richburg - C - Colorado ST
67. Baltimore Ravens (from OAK): Ego Ferguson - DT - LSU
68. Atlanta Falcons: Bishop Sankey - RB - Washington
69. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carl Bradford - OLB - Arizona St
*Trade* The Washington Redskins trade QB Kirk Cousins to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 70th and 114th overall picks, and a conditional 2015 3rd rd pick.
70. Washington Redskins: Terrence Brooks - FS - Florida St
71. Cleveland Browns: David Yankey - OG - Stanford
72. Minnesota Vikings: Kareem Martin - DE - UNC
73. Buffalo Bills: Gabe Jackson - OG - Miss St
74. New York Giants: CJ Fiedorowicz - TE - Iowa
75. St Louis Rams: Chris Smith - LB - Arkansas
76. Detroit Lions: Stanley Jean-Baptiste - CB - Nebraska
77. Kansas City Chiefs (from TEN via SF): Bruce Ellington - WR - South Carolina
78. Dallas Cowboys: Troy Niklas - TE - Notre Dame
79. Baltimore Ravens: Chris Borland - ILB - Wisconsin
80. Cleveland Browns (from NYJ via MIN): Jeremy Hill - RB - LSU
81. Miami Dolphins: Dakota Dozier - OG - Furman
82. Chicago Bears: Dion Bailey - S - Southern Cal
83. Green Bay Packers (from PIT via CLE): Marques Roberson - CB - Florida
84. Baltimore Ravens (from ARI): Trent Murphy - DE - Stanford
85. Green Bay Packers: Paul Richardson - WR - Colorado
86. Philadelphia Eagles: Trevor Reilly - OLB - Utah
87. New England Patriots (from KC): Kelcy Quarles - DT/DE - South Carolina
88. Cincinnati Bengals: Marcus Martin - C - Southern Cal
89. San Diego Chargers: Jackson Jeffcoat - DE/OLB - Texas
90. Indianapolis Colts: Justin Ellis - DT - Louisiana Tech
91. New Orleans Saints: Dri Archer - RB/WR - Kent St
92. Carolina Panthers: Bashaud Breeland - CB - Clemson
93. San Diego Chargers (from NE): Jaylen Watkins - CB - Florida
94. San Francisco 49ers: Jared Abbrederis - WR - Wisconsin
95. Denver Broncos: Antonio Richardson - OT - Tennessee
96. Minnesota Vikings (from SEA): Jordan Tripp - LB - Montana
97. Pittsburgh Steelers (Comp): Caraun Reed - DT - Princeton
98. Green Bay Packers (Comp): Andre Williams - RB - Boston College
99. Baltimore Ravens (Comp): Jack Mewhort - OT - Ohio St
100. San Francisco 49ers (Comp): AJ McCarron - QB - Alabama
The Chiefs Picks:
1st (#30 from SF): Dee Ford - OLB - Auburn:
The Chiefs take the last of the top end outside pass rushing threats in this year's draft. There is a big drop off from Ford to Van Noy and beyond. Ford has the talent to see playing time early, which will tempt the Chiefs to test the market on Hali, but does need to develop more of his game to make the Chiefs defense more versatile.
*TRADE* The Chiefs trade their 3rd (#87), 6th (#193), and 7th (#245) to the New England Patritos for the #62 overall pick.
2nd (#62 from NE): Keith McGill - CB - Utah:
The Chiefs trade up to get a CB who may be the biggest matchup nightmare for opposing offenses. You can tell that his coaches over the years have always thought he should be a WR because of his build and athleticism. It shows up in his ability to read what an offense is going to do. McGill was used predominantly as a press corner at Utah, but was a JUCO All-American at FS. The knock on him? He has durability questions, but it really just stems from one injury that took a long time to heal because of a botched surgery. The Patriots, meanwhile, used the trade to add a few more picks on the back end.
3rd (#77 from SF): Bruce Ellington - WR - South Carolina:
The Chiefs add a WR, but this pick is more about Special Teams contributions early on. Ellington has excellent speed and athleticism to make him an effective Punt Returner that should be able to take the job early on. Will likely never be a primary receiving target, but he does offer matchup difficulties whenever brought into the game. Underneath quickness and top end speed will make him an effective weapon on short drag routes and outlet passes to the flats.
4th (#124): Josh Huff - WR - Oregon:
The Chiefs go back to the well at WR hoping to churn the bottom of the roster. This is how you get guys to step up, by showing them that their jobs aren't safe. Huff has the athleticism and speed needed to be effective in the NFL, but he's still a raw talent and hasn't learned how to be a WR yet. If he can develop the finer points of the game, he'll be a great fit in Reid's offense one day.
*TRADE* The Kansas City Chiefs trade QB Chase Daniel to the St Louis Rams for the #153 overall pick.
5th (#153 from STL): Brandon Linder - OG - Miami:
The Chiefs send a backup QB to the Rams who have picks to burn at this point. In his place, the Chiefs add a mid round prospect that may be able to start at RG right away. Linder simply hasn't blown anyone away with his natural ability, but his football talent is exceptional. He knows how to block, how to finish, how to identify, and how to get where he needs to be. He just doesn't have the raw strength or athleticism to exploit this knowledge to its fullest. The Rams, meanwhile, invest in a backup option in case Bradford struggles or goes down again.
5th (#163): Larry Webster - DE - Bloomsburg:
The two-sport star from a small school has unlimited potential. 3-4 DE, 3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE, and even TE are all possibilities for Webster...and he could develop into a star at any of those positions. Of course, he could also just wash out of the league, but I don't see that happening when I watch him. Webster has size, strength, and athleticism that make him an incredible prospect. But because there is such limited tape on him, teams are unlikely to take a gamble until the later rounds. The Chiefs need to be the team willing to take that gamble.
6th (#200): Jonathan Dowling - FS - Western Kentucky:
I've been banging the war drum for him all offseason, and I won't stop now. Hopefully John Dorsey is reading this and agrees with me. Dowling could be the absolute steal of the draft. This is a guy who should have been a 2nd or 3rd rd prospect easily. Getting kicked out of Florida has killed his draft stock, but it has also put a chip on his shoulder now that he sees the results. This is a very talented player who now feels he has something to prove. Make it happen.
Brynn Renner - QB - UNC
Lorenzo Taliafaro - RB - Coastal Carolina
Zack Kerr - NT - Delaware
Quincy Enuwa - WR - Nebraska
Lonnie Ballentine - FS - Memphis
Notes from the draft:
1. I do like how the Chiefs draft turned out. The first three picks all have an opportunity to contribute early, and the later prospects are all guys that have big upsides to them. I don't expect all of them to turn out great, but overall I think this is the kind of draft class that we could be happy with.
2. While I gave the Falcons the big trade for Clowney, and I do believe it will happen, I don't agree with it. It all feels like frustration instead of strategy to me. They are still trying to justify the moves of the past decade: Ryan over Vick, trading up for Jones, and trading for Tony G. That is leading them into just digging themselves into a deeper and deeper hole. I think Clowney will be great...but that roster is heading towards the same situation that Oakland found itself in after going hard for Richard Seymour.
3. The Bills trade, on the other hand, I absolutely love. They have been connected to Mike Evans in almost every mock out there. I think Evans will be the biggest bust in the draft. So the Bills getting aggressive and going after Watkins is a strong move. They don't have a bad roster, and getting EJ Manuel a quality weapon is going to do a lot to help him progress.
4. The Jaguars show what happens when you don't go after the QB you want. They passed on a QB early and then found themselves completely out of position to get one in the 2nd and 3rd rds which resulted in trading for Kurt Cousins. Maybe that works out, but you have to figure if that was their original plan, it would have already happened. The Vikings also passed on a QB early, but found themselves in a better position to be able to get aggressive for one later. Having three picks in the 1st round last year also gives them some leeway to be aggressive wherever they feel they need to be this year.
5. Some folks will call it being anti-Denver, but I legitimately don't think John Elway is going to be any good when it comes to drafting talent. Who has he added thus far? He got a no-brainer in Von Miller and definitely deserves credit for Julius Thomas, but other than that, his guys have yet to show anything. When you really look at the offseason moves he's made, there hasn't been a lot of long-term planning involved.
6. Watching the Oakland Raiders thus far in the offseason has convinced me that Reggie McKenzie is no longer running the show. Hard, but smart, decisions have been replaced with knee-jerk signings and questionable front office moves. I think Mark Davis is listening to his dad's old friends and exerting more power.
7. The Browns and Rams absolutely cleaned up in this draft. Every time one of their picks came up, it seemed like they were in a perfect situation, or could easily get there. They have no excuse for not doing the same in real life. It seems weird to say that, but so far the Browns new FO has made some good moves and the Rams are now operating with Jeff Fisher at the helm. Maybe these two franchises can turn it around.
8. The Ravens and Texans also had strong drafts. This is what quality teams are able to do. Most of the players they drafted won't have an immediate impact, but they will put the teams in strong positions later to not have to overpay for talent. Both teams have some big contracts on the way, and they would like to be able to set their own limit on negotiations instead of having to cater to the player. This is how you put yourself in that kind of situation.
9. I know a lot of pundits have Teddy Bridgewater dropping, but I just don't see it. This guy already does all the things you try to teach a QB to do. He spent almost 2 years as the consensus top QB in this class, and it may have just worn people down. After a while, guys just start looking for problems.
10. Yes, I do believe there will be a run on both QBs and WRs early in the draft. I think it's ridiculous, but teams will overreact to the Sammy Watkins trade and get overly-aggressive. Most of the WRs taken this year won't have any kind of real impact on their respective teams for 2-3 years. So these teams aren't fixing their holes right now.
1st Rd Best Pick: St Louis Rams take Greg Robinson #9 overall - Traded back from #2 to #9 and still got the guy they would have taken if they just stayed put.
1st Rd Worst Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars take Khalil Mack #3 overall - The player is great, but passing on a QB here put the Jags behind the 8-ball throughout the next couple of rounds. Eventually they had to give up a lot for Cousins who is not a guarantee...or the guy they wanted in the first place.
2nd Rd Best Pick: New York Jets take Jace Amaro at #49 overall - Great value on a 1st rd talent that fills a need for them. He could have a bigger impact early on than Cooks does. And, possibly more importantly, he's not in New England.
2nd Rd Worst Pick: Arizona Cardinals take Carlos Hyde #52 overall - The Cards need some offense, so getting the top rated RB makes sense. I just don't think Hyde is going to be any good at the NFL level. I see some better RBs, but I'm trying to approach this from the team's point of view and not my own.
3rd Rd Best Pick: New York Giants take CJ Fiedorowicz #74 overall - Fiedorowicz isn't the athletic playmaker that Ebron or Amaro are, but he is the best all-around TE in the class. The Giants invested in protecting Eli, and getting him a reliable TE that can catch passes and be an effective blocker is one of the best ways to do that.
3rd Rd Worst Pick: New Orleans Saints take Dri Archer #91 overall - Archer has a lot of talent and is exciting to watch, but I don't like him this early. However, the Saints are simply trying too hard to replace Darren Sproles which leads to them reaching on a guy who has a lot of boom/bust qualities to him.