I have always felt that Rounds 4-7 truly make or break an NFL teams’s Draft each year. Teams ought to be able to do well in the Top 100. But finding a couple of eventual starters in Round 4-7 is critical to long term success. Teams must also acquire some depth and Special Teams help in the rounds today.
So let’s take a look at some of the aftermath from Rounds 1-3 first.
IMO the STEELERS are on the cusp of a roster saving Draft this year. BUD DUPREE could be the impact edge rusher the team had to find, and SENQUEZ GOLSON, tho smallish, has the ability to change games with his ball-hawking on the Corner. And if they are patient SAMMIE COATES/WR has the potential to make them one of the toughest long ball threats to face in the League. And don’t doubt for a second that BIG BEN doesn’t still have the arm to spin it deep. Now they need to find some power on Day 3.
SCOTT McCLOUGHAN,the REDSKINS new talent guru, has done what he set out to do when things got rolling. It may not be sexy, and he could be accused of reaching a bit but BRANDON SCHERFF should be a plug and play upgrade along their OL, wherever they put him. I’m not sure I agree that PRESTON SMITH can play OLB as they announced with the pick, but at worst he can beef up a bit and play 5-Technique for them. And MATT JONES/RB is a between the tackles runner, who should have lots of tread left on his tires. But just as importantly the guy who said he wanted to acquire more Picks has done so. The ‘SKINS now have 2 Picks in each of the next 3 rounds today. Welcome back SCOTT.
TED THOMPSON and the PACKERS may have one of the more interesting tasks ahead right out of the chute. I would appear that Round 1 Pick will get his first look 89with the team at CB not S. Conversely, I would bet some M&M’s thaT QUENTIN ROLLINS may end up being shuffled to a S slot. By the way TY MONTGOMERY certainly doesn’t help fill the void at ILB but in addition to adding WR depth I would expect to see him returning kicks and punts on Special teams units immediately. Here’s a cautionary word to PACKER faithful… I’m not sure I see a whole lot of ILB quality coming up over the next 4 Rounds.
AS is often the case I thought there were some major reaches and projections in Round 3 like GENEO GRISSOM, CHAZ GREEN, SEAN MANNION, JORDAN HICKS,JAMON BROWN, CRAIG MAGER to name a few. I believe much of the reaching is because certain teams have “discovered gems” that they must have, but they become fearful that if they wait too long their gem will be snatched away from them by another team. SO they take a player they luv a round or two early. Conversely, we get into Round 4 and some “surer” players are taken than the reaches before them. Of course another factor at play on all this is that as SHAKESPEARE said, ‘Every eye forms its own beauty’.
Another factor at play in any Draft is the element of random selection. By that I mean that more often than you might think a team’s needs just do not line up with the best talent available when their next pick comes due. A good example of this phenomenon was Round 2 Friday. Clearly the PACKERS need to be on the hunt for some ILB help after purging their roster at said position this off-season. However, before the PACKS pick at 62 rolled around the following ILB went off the Board: Pick 43/McKINNEY, PIck 45/KENDRICKS, PICK 48/PERRYMAN. Combine those selections with the fact that the SAINTS grabbed ANTHONY @ Pick 31, right after the PACKERS passed on him, and the run on ILB cleaned out the quality closet. It could be several rounds before the next quality ILB comes up again for consideration. THis is one factor that prompts team to trade a few even just a few spots in the heat of Draft battle. to get their guy.
The two biggest name players who are still on the Draft Board now have reasons clearly defined as to why they have slipped so far, and may continue slipping. LA’EL COLLINS is in Louisiana awaiting a blood test to determine paternity and answer more police questions about the death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Carly there is some serious concern around the League about this becoming he next AARON HERNANDEZ affair. JAY AJAYI is off some teams’ Draft Boards because there is concern about an old knee injury which some feel will develop into a bon-on-bone situation in the knee and end his playing career in a few years. He should get taken by someone today but at a Pick late enough that if he only plays 2-4 years it was still worth the Pick for short term reward.
Here by position are some of he top names I think we should watch for in today’s selection process:
QB/ BRYCE PETTY, TODD HUNDLEY
RB/ JAY AJAYI, BUCK ALLEN, JEREMY LANGFORD, MIKE DAVIS, KARLOS WILLIAMS, DAVID COBB
WR/ RASHAD GREENE, VINCE MAYLE, JUSTIN HARDY, STEFON DIGGS, JAMISON CROWDER
TE/ MYCOLE PRUITT, JESSE JAMES, NICK BOYLE
OL/ BJ FINNEY, ARIE KOUANDJIO, JAMIL DOUGLAS, JARVIS HARRISON, TJ CLEMMINGS, COREY ROBINSON, DARYL WILLIAMS,SEAN HICKEY
DL/ CEDRIC REED, GRADY JARRETT, ZA’DARIUS SMITH, MICHAEL BENNETT, MARCUS HARDISON, XAVIER WILLIAMS
LB/ BEN HEENEY, HAYES PULLARD, KWON ALEXANDER, TAIWAN JONES, JAKE RYAN, MAX VALLES
DB/ IFO EKPRE-OLOMU, DORAN GRANT, JOSH SHAW, NICK MARSHALL, ANTHONY HARRIS, CODY PREWITT, JAMES SAMPLE, ADRIAN AMOS, DERRON SMITH, GEROD HOLLIMAN
Enjoy the day folks. Be back with some live time blogging in about an hour.