Once the NFL got done with all their BS pre-Draft “junk” TV, the teams got down to business with some drama, and some surprising results. For those of us that have said for the past month that we like MAC JONES, but not at the 3rd Pick in the whole Draft, it didn’t take long to be vindicated. Sanity prevailed, and the 49’ers took TREY LANCE, he of seemingly unlimited potential. Now we know why the Niners said they wanted JIMMY G on their roster for the start of the 2021 season. Hopefully, LANCE will be prepped and ready whenever JIMMY’s next injury dictates a starting QB change. Feels like about sometime in October, LANCE should be ready. Hey, they also have the competent NICK MULLENS on that roster too.
Kudos to the Broncos for not tying themselves into knots and loading up at the QB position. DREW LOCK deserves another year, at the very least, with a complete cast of capable teammates to work with. Trading for TEDDY BRIDGEWATER, and only having to pay $3million for 2021 is pure genius. Drafting a starting CB in SURTAIN, instead of another QB is also genius. I hope for their sake that the Broncos continue to NOT be QB obsessed with Picks 40 and 71 tonight.
There are two fairly common phrases used to how teams handle their Drafts. You can either ‘work the Draft’ and trade up and down to fill needs or take advantage of other too hungry teams. Or you can ‘let the Draft come to you’. This basically means sit at your Pick and have player options available to choose from when your allotted Pick slot comes up. For the latter approach, a new definition was established last night by BILL BELICHICK, who patiently (though I am sure a bit anxiously) waited for MAC JONES to drop to him at Pick 15, instead of giving up Picks to move up for his QB of the future. Another phrase might fit here about holding your water.
Clemson, Florida campus, was established last night when the JAGS went twice to Clemson stars to start their rebuild of their team. LAWRENCE was a slam dunk at Pick 1, and RB/ETIENNE, was a solid value down at Pick 25. The Jags right now possess the first Pick tonight at 33. Then they also have Picks 45 and 65. Five Picks in the Top 65 is rarified air in an NFL Draft. Then they have 5 more for Saturday. MEYER seems totally aware that this Draft can be a big boost for his roster. One of the biggest mysteries of the day is whether or not some team will blow them away with an offer for that 33rd Pick tonight.
NICK SABAN’s program stole the show again last night. His latest National Championship team produced 5 first rounders, only one (SURTAIN) from their Defense. His brand is strong, and it brings him tons of talent, most of which turn into collegiate stars and NFL Draft Picks. SABAN doesn’t just have a team at ‘Bama, he’s got a programmed brand in place.
A pleasant, and mild, surprise to many was NORTHWESTERN getting 2 players in Round 1. That’s a first for these Wildcats, and quite the testament to Head Coach PAT FITZGERALD for the program he has built in Evanston. Egghead U and football factory are not usually found in the same sentence. Student/athletes… who’d a thunk?
Biggest surprise players in Round 1, in order of their selection:
Pick 17 ALEX LEATHERWOOD OT RAIDERS
Pick 28 PAYTON TURNER DE SAINTS
PICK 29 ERIC STOKES CB PACKERS
None are bad players, just prospects I had projected to go later, but all are in my Top 100.
Next up, tonight my favorites to go early:
AZEEZ OJULARI ER Georgia
JEREMIAH OWUSU-KORAMOAH LB/S Notre Dame
ELIJAH MOORE WR Ole Miss
JAVONTE WILLIAMS RB UNC
TREVOR MOEHRIG S TCU
CHRISTIAN BARMORE DL Alabama
The above 6, I expected to go in Round 1, last night.
TERRACE MARSHALL WR LSU
TEVEN JENKINS OT Oklahoma State
NICK BOLTON LB Missouri
CARLOS BASHAM DE Wake Forest
DILLON RADUNZ OT N. Dakota State
JOSEPH OSSAI OB/ER Texas
JEVON HOLLAND S Oregon
JABRIL COX LB LSU
LEVI ONWUZURIKE DT. Washington
CREED HUMPHREY OC Oklahoma
Next QB off the Board DAVIS MILLS Stanford
Should be KYLE TRASK Florida
KELLEN MOND, Texas A&M could also come into play in Round 3 because of the value and need for QB prospects.
Cheers for today. I’ll be watching and Tweeting again tonight on Twitter /PigskinPaul