Just a few things to think about less than 12 hours from the start of Round 1 tonight…
Might be important for Patriots fans to know that the current Picking order for them is now,
R1, Pick 21.
R2, Pick 54
R3, Pick 85
R4, Pick 127
R5, Pick 158
R6, Pick 183, Pick 200, Pick 210
R7, Pick 245
But be prepared for Pick trading action. BILL BELICHICK leads the NFL in Draft Day trades with 83 such deals since 2000. Guess we can call him Trader Bill.
Speaking of the PATS, don’t be surprised if the team takes one of the top Punters on Day 3. Three Punters seem draftable this year, and the Patriots may have been forced into a tough decision on their current Punter JAKE BAILEY.
You see BAILEY was selected as a Pro Bowler and per the current CBA that meant a reward for BAILEY for that honor. BAILEY’s contracted salary for 2022 of $965,00 got bumped up to $3.96-million by that CBA clause. So now the PATS have the highest paid Punter in the NFL. Is BAILEY worth that extra $3-million against the Cap? Just a couple of weeks ago the PATS were reported to be just a bit over $5-million below the Cap. That’s pretty tight, and cutting BAILEY would would add almost $4-million to their Cap space. Chances are Mr. BELICHICK is giving those numbers some serious thought, as well as the scouting reports on;
MATT ARAIZA San Diego State
JORDAN STOUT Penn State
JAKE CAMARDA Georgia
I have a draftable grade on all three of these Punter prospects. Thanks to PATS beat writer MIKE REISS for that little gem of info.
Perusing my notes and lists regarding the 2022 Draft, I came across this interesting (at least to me) Prospect tidbit.
I do not have any Miami Hurricane players in my Top 200 Prospect list. Their 2 highest rated prospects for me are S/BUBBA BOLDEN & OT JARRID WILLIAMS who are both in my 200+ ranking group. Meanwhile, MIAMI (Ohio) from the MAC has two prospects that I rank as follows;
STERLING WEATHERFORD S/LB No. 115
DOMINIQUE ROBINSON ER/DE No. 150
Which of these two schools is the football factory now? Oh how the mighty have fallen in South Florida.
Someone recently asked me a couple of questions about the NFL Salary Cap. And with all the talk around Free Agency and Draft activity at this time of year, I felt it might be worth mentioning just a couple of financial related numbers to keep in your heads.
The team Salary Cap max for the 2022 League Year is set at $208,200,000 per team.
The Cap expenses per team are based on the top 51 salaries of each team (not sure why 51 not 53).
Teams are expected to have certain amounts available when the Draft begins to cover the League calculated costs of their drafted Rookies based on Pick slots and the number of Picks.
Per the CBA, Rookies working for League minimum will have salaries of not less than $705, 000.
There is a sliding scale in place based on years of service. For instance, a 5-year vet must make at least $1,035,000. So you can see the difference between a low-end Rookie and a vet. Teams have to find some serviceable Rookies working for the League minimum to help offset the AARON RODGERS-type contracts at the top of the financial mountain. 10-12 players making League minimum is the roster goal for most teams.
Enough of the Cap and dollar talk, before I get a headache.
Just about everyone I talk to in the Draftnik community, and read about in the sports press, are expecting that once again there will be NO RB taken in the first round of the 2022 Draft. And thats too bad, especially for BREECE HALL, who is almost unanimously considered to be RB prospect No.1 this year. I understand some of the economics involved with the RB spot, and the second contract vis-a-vis lack of longevity at the position. But at the same time, how much do you hear about a team’s ability or inability to run the ball, especially during Play-Off action? A lot, in my book and memory cells. BREECE is elite with power and speed, as well as soft hands as a receiver. He was hands-down the most highly ranked athlete in the RB group at the Combine. And yet he’s likely a Day Two Draftee.
I, for one, am so sick of hearing about the Packers NOT taking a WR with either of their Round One Picks that I could puke. How about some of you? 2002 with Javon Walker was indeed the last time the team took a wideout in Round One. Some are speculating that they will look to fill the “Davante Adams” roster hole with one of their second round Picks at 53 or 59.
For what it’s worth, my prospect ranking chart says that may be hard to do. They are not getting a sure thing that late in the process at wideout.
Round One will likely see the following WR’s all taken;
#7 GARRETT WILSON, #11 DRAKE LONDON, #12 JAMESON WILLIAMS, #17 CHRIS OLAVE, #19 TREYLON BURKS, #30 CHRISTIAN WATSON
Then in Round 2, my rankings would show the following gone by Pick 52;
#37 JAHAN DOTSON
That might leave them with the following receivers to be considered:
#53 SKYY MOORE, #58 GEORGE PICKENS, #75 CALVIN AUSTIN
So if the Packers stick to that supposed scenario then my plug-in for them would by SKYY MOORE, a highly regarded MAC wideout. MOORE at 5’10/195, ran a 4.41/40 at the Combine and caught 96 balls, for 1,293 yards, and 10 TD’s last season at Western Michigan. Quicker than fast, he has surprisingly large hands for his size at 10 1/4″, but he is like several of the returning receivers in the Packers WR room in being under 6′ tall and quicker than fast. Namely Randall Cobb & Amari Rodgers.
Seeing lots of negative press recently about PICKENS, indicating he was unimpressive in his interviews with NFL teams at the Combine, Pro Days and team visits. Too much of a “me guy” for some tastes.
At first blush this looks to be a year when the Draft lists are heavily populated with “smaller school” prospects of note. I am not referring to non-Power 5 in most cases, but D-2, FCS, HBCU level players.
I have 6 such players in my TOP 100, with the highest ranked being TREVOR PENNING OT N. Iowa at #13.
I have another 12 such players in my 106-200 ranked prospects.
And another 7 in ranking group of 201-300.
A big thanks to the folks at the Senior Bowl, Shrine Bowl and NFLPA Bowl All-Star venues for their work bringing in players of this ilk to their games, which give us a great chance to scout and evaluate them against D-1/FBS level players.
I just wish these venues were spaced out better, and I had a bigger travel budget to take them all in.
It’s Draft Day and the fun starts tonight.
PS….. I have 3 QB’s in Round One on my final Mock Draft.