Thursday, April 9, 2015
NFL Draft Guesses
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
As many of you know, I’m a big football fan. Not nearly as much as basketball (my first Love) but it’s still pretty noteworthy. The past few years since I disconnected my TV (for a multitude of reasons) I haven’t been able to see as much as I usually do… but I keep abreast with what’s going on the NFL and even some college here & there… so here are just my thoughts on what’ll happen in the NFL draft in a few weeks… as usual with my draft predictions… this is just how I would do things if I were a GM… but there’s a very good reason that I’m not a GM for a pro football team… as you’ll see below. Oh, looks like commissioner Roger Goodell is making his way to the podium now…
1. Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston – QB from Florida State – This one is pretty much a lock… former Heisman winner, from Florida, on a Florida college team, picked by a Florida pro team, who desperately needs a quarterback. I have to laugh whenever you hear commentators question picking somebody because of off-the-field issues (outside of felonies, of course). I believe it’s basically to cause controversy… because look at the top two quarterbacks being picked apart, you have the charismatic, out-going, outspoken at times Winston… and then you have the quiet, reserved & realistic current Heisman-winner Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. Both are criticized for being either too braggadocio & confident… or too quiet by not feeding into the bullsh*t… and yet, when you step on the football field, who gives a f**k as long as you make plays & influence your teammates at that position? Also… what’s the happy medium that their basing that on? John Elway, Joe Namath & Joe Montana were pretty f**king cocky… Peyton Manning is f**king everywhere… Tom Brady talks sh*t on the field but all the right things in the press conferences… I’m pretty sure that Jay Cutler is retarded based on his mannerisms… what? Are you looking for Andrew Luck’s demeanor? Trent Dilfer has more Super Bowl rings than he does. Anyway, he’s gonna be the first pick. Period. Would’ve been last year probably too. The reason you have the #1 pick is probably because your quarterback sucks (or was injured all year, shout out to Indy).
2. Tennessee – Leonard Williams – DT from USC – Now, this is where the draft REALLY gets interesting! Tennessee has the number two pick… and obviously needs a LOT of players to be relevant again. Yes, their current quarterback situation consists of a guy who couldn’t even start on his college team (Zach Mettenburger) but at least looks like a QB… and that’s only after a guy that was never really good & I can’t understand for the life of me why anybody thought he was ever good, even in college, because he absolutely sucked every single time that he played surprisingly retired at the age of 26 out of the blue (Jake Locker)… so it would make some sense to pick Oregon QB Marcus Mariota at this spot. However… since they have so many other needs… I’d consider trading the pick. Look, I’m a believer in Mariota & think he could really be great… but I know it’s not going to go well for him when he doesn’t have an offensive line that can protect him, people to throw to or a decent running back to help take the burden of him to learn the pro game. Also, he’d better get used to losing wherever he goes… as he’s never really felt that at Oregon. Basically, here’s the top three scenarios I see with the #2 pick here:
a. If they keep the pick, I think they go with the Leonard Williams who’s being compared to Warren Sapp and will tremendously help their waning defense and be an anchor for them for a long, long time on his way to the Hall of Fame (only slight exaggeration?)
b. They make a trade with the NY Jets so that the Jets can pick Mariota… and the Titans get their 6th overall pick to use as they wish and maybe even something like Jets QB Geno Smith or another key player who could start immediately… or at least like a 3rd round pick. I don’t know, I’m obviously not a GM but that seems fair.
c. They make a trade with Cleveland so the Browns can pick Mariota… and the Titans get the 12th & 19th picks… and again, maybe another guy who could start for the Titans. Seriously, what’s QB Johnny Manziel going to do if the Browns pick Mariota? Throw him in maybe? The only problem is… I don’t see the Titans really wanting him over any prospect later on the 2nd round or 3rd round or something… this is just my guess. Basically, Mariota is in demand for some teams& this is the prime position to get him ahead of everybody else.
3. Jacksonville – Dante Fowler – LB from Florida – I’m not going to lie… I’ve never seen this guy play, only a few highlights. Why? Because the Gators have sucked since Tebow left mostly… but also again, I just haven’t had TV the past two years. However, I understand that this guy is supposed to be a great 3-4 LB/DE guy who always has high draft priority nowadays… and after guys like Raiders LB Khalil Mack wrecked through the league last year, this seems like a pretty good fit for Jags coach Gus Bradley’s system… so I’d say go for that. They already have their QB for the next few years in Blake Bortles from last year (again, Florida kid goes to Florida college to Florida pro team) and they need a lot of help to be relevant… but this is probably their best bet… unless of course trading down, but that’s unlikely.
4. Oakland – Amari Cooper – WR from Alabama – I just want to state that this is what I THINK will happen, based on team needs & tendencies. The Raiders… are always a surprise. I think the Khalil Mack pick last year was the first time in a decade that I just didn’t go “what the f**k?” when the Raiders made their top-10 pick… so basically anything they do will more than likely be “out there” but probably WIDE out there… like a wide receiver… and the best one in this draft is Amari Cooper. It’s really between him and Kevin White from West Virginia… who’s taller & bigger than Cooper, more in that Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss mold of big play deep route running receivers that the Raiders always want (as most teams in the NFL but nobody else was going to pick Darrius Heyward-Bey in the top 10 EVER!). So why do I think they’ll pick Cooper instead? Because the Raiders are unpredictable… but the reason I like him over White is that yeah, he’s a little smaller… but he’s still fast & stout and has great hands… he’s also a proven winner… and he’s more in that dependable Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, Andre Reed, Tim Brown mold of receiver… not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest, just the best & most determined. Roll Tide… to the other side of the Bay.
5. Washington – Randy Gregory – LB from Nebraska – I think they’re best pick would be to solidify their defense with the best player available… and that’d be this guy who can play defensive end or linebacker depending on the scenario. I’ve only seen the highlights… but he looks like a beast.
6. NY Jets – Marcus Mariota – QB from Oregon – Again, if they don’t work some trade out with Tennessee for that #2 pick, this is really the latest that I expect Mariota to last. There’s a lot of talk out there about him dropping to the Eagles at #20 (which I’d LOVE) and the Jets not really looking for a QB because Geno Smith was two years ago… but I think that’s all BS so they can grab him at #6 like last year Teddy Bridgewater went from consensus #1 pick to #32 based merely on speculation. He’d be a good fit for them too… because he’ll probably have to run for his life all year unless they upgrade their offensive line & the people around him.
7. Chicago – Kevin White – WR from West Virginia – Brandon Marshall is gone… Jay Cutler is still a pussy… and he’ll need people to throw at… so Kevin White (or Cooper if they switch picks) would match up well with Alshon Jeffery to form quite the young receiver duo for Da Bears.
8. Atlanta – Vic Beasley – LB from Clemson – They need defense… so I’m down to either him or a big linestuffing defensive lineman like Danny Shelton from Washington… but I’ll give it to a more local flavor like Beasley (Clemson is in South Carolina, a few hours from Atlanta).
9. NY Giants – La’El Collins – Tackle from LSU – I assume they’ll want somebody to keep their QB Elisha Manning from being destroyed… and I’m told he’s the best out there… seriously though, what do I know about offensive linemen though? I know you want them BIG but nimble… but even then, it’s just a rolled ankle away from being Tony Boselli… sigh… what could have been?
10. St Louis – Dorial Green-Beckham – WR from Oklahoma/Missouri? – This kid has been in some issues since being the star receiver of the SEC two years ago… including getting kicked out of Missouri… transferring to Oklahoma… getting kicked out of there… but he’s still 6’6” and basically has most of the upside of a potential star troublemaking receiver in the Randy Moss, Dez Bryant, Terrell Owens mold without the wear & tear of playing college football… so I see somebody desperate for a receiver boost to take a gamble on him. If the Rams don’t take him as high as #12, then he’s definitely not getting past Kansas City at #18. Both teams need a LOT of help on wideouts… and a deep threat like this will help out QB Nick Foles get used to the Rams offense, paired with speedster WR Tavin Austin.
11. Minnesota – Brandon Scherff – Guard from Iowa – I have no idea if they’re going to have “disgraced” superstar RB Adrian Peterson next year… but they’ll still want to protect QB Teddy Bridgewater and run the football from time to time… so they’ll probably go with the best lineman available… or possibly a receiver, but my money’s on the offensive line.
12. Cleveland – Shane Ray – DE from Missouri – There’s no way they pass on Mariota if he’s still available here… but I don’t see them using a first-rounder on another quarterback… but probably their early 2nd rounder on one of those 2nd tier QB prospects. They just need help all around… and if Shane Ray falls this far, I can seem him anchoring their defense for a while.
13. New Orleans – Bud Dupree – LB from Kentucky – Not going to lie… this pick is mostly because of the name. Can you imagine? Bud Dupree as the anchor of the New Orleans defense? It just rolls off the tongue so naturally… even better than Bobby Boucher! Also, he’s a great athletic talent, 6-4, played in the SEC, all that stuff… probably not a bad pickup honestly.
14. Miami – Marcus Peters – CB from Washington – It’s either him or Trae Waynes from Michigan State but Miami needs help in its secondary… and since I don’t know much about either from watching them play, I have to go with highlight reels & who the “experts” say are best. First secondary player off the board…
15. San Francisco – Andrus Peat – Tackle from Stanford – Sweet Jesus, is anything sadder than the mass exodus from San Francisco the past few months? All of their linebackers retiring, their coach going off to coach college, a handful of players that’re going to be suspended yet again… if Dupree, Beasley, Gregory, Fowler, Ray or any other possible linebackers are still available at #15, I’d say they go for one of them if just to stop the bleeding… but since they’re all picked on my board, why not go with the Stanford behemoth who can help QB Colin Kaepernick get back to not sucking? Then again, he may be gone earlier too… and that would just suck… the Niners need help… and I still have faith in Colin, I’ve been a HUGE fan of his since the Reno days… but it’s gotta be tough.
16. Houston – Landon Collins – Safety from Alabama – Not sure why I’m going with this guy… but big safeties are a priority in the league now (as they always should have been since I’ve been yelling since I was in junior high that you can probably take giant out-of-work receivers & place them in your secondary to incredible results!!!) and he’s supposed to be the best. Alabama just makes good pro players. Fact.
17. San Diego – Todd Gurley – RB from Georgia – I see the Chargers as the team that’s going to bring back the 1st round running back selection… and it’s really between Gurley & Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon who goes first. For Gurley, you have the guy who’s blown his knees & has his off-field issues… but when he does play, looks like a grown ass man playing against children most of the time. For Gordon, he’s the hard-working spark plug kind of back who just consistently finds holes & broke all the NCAA records… but it’s at Wisconsin… and they own all the rushing records since nobody else even tries anymore, they just pass-pass-pass at all other schools. Name the last great Wisconsin quarterback. I thought so. So that’s basically the argument… 50-50 shot on the next Bo Jackson? Or the steadfast Curtis Martin kind of running back? Interesting choice to be made…
18. Kansas City – Devante Parker – WR from Louisville – Again, KC needs receivers… and if Green-Beckham isn’t available here, then they might make a reach for another highly prospected receiver like Parker.
19. Cleveland – Jaelen Strong- WR from Arizona State – I’ve seen this guy play a few games… and I’m always baffled by how little people talk about him as a pro prospect. He’s huge, he’s got great hands, he’s dominated big games, he’s a Sun Devil receiver… and anybody who’s seen football and/or “Jerry Maguire” knows about Sun Devil receivers… and yet most experts are like “eh, second tier receiver… could be a good pro… maybe…” and I’m like WATCH OUT! THIS GUY’S A POTENTIAL BEAST! Anyway… Cleveland needs a few good receivers since Josh Gordon can’t get his sh*t together… but also it won’t matter if nobody can give them the damn ball…
20. Philadelphia – Trae Waynes – DB from Michigan State – I would LOVE for them to get Strong if he’s around… but they’re OK at receiver for the moment I guess… they could also go for a big guy on the offensive or defensive line… but they REALLY need help in the secondary… so go with the best available… and he’s used to playing in the cold weather too, being in East Lansing the past few years. Also, I have no idea what the Eagles are doing with their transaction this past little while so… not even going to try to explain it… just believe in the program.
21. Cincinnati – D.J. Humphries – Tackle from Florida – Probably going to with the best lineman available… they’re pretty solid elsewhere.
22. Pittsburgh – Danny Shelton – DE from Washington – Not going to lie… kinda forgot this guy was still around but he could definitely be the new anchor for the Steelers defense for the next decade if he drops this fall. There’s a split where experts think he’s a top-10 pick… or late first-round… but here’s the fact… he’s HUGE!!! Like… potentially dangerous to himself & others huge… so there’s health risk involved… but this is football, there’s always a health risk involved… and defenses like the big space-eaters in the center of their defense. Absolutely last spot he’d be picked… is here at #22 by the Steelers… but probably earlier…
23. Detroit – Arik Armstead – DT from Oregon – Again, space eater… and they have a big void to fill after Ndamakong Suh finally got p-p-p-p-p-paid! They tried filling it temporarily with aging Haloti Ngata, but it’d be great to have this guy take some of the load off the veteran while also learning the ropes. Just a thought…
24. Arizona – Melvin Gordon – RB from Wisconsin – TWO running backs in the first round? Surely I’ve gone MAD!!! Look… it’s a good fit… they need a run game to open up their passing game… why the hell not? They almost made the playoffs last year… and the Niners are definitely set to tumble… so yeah… this could be the year of the Cardinal?
25. Carolina – Cedric Ogbuehi – Tackle from Texas A&M – Taking the best lineman available… and this guy’s pretty good… and I think I’m just going to cut off my predictions from here… everybody else in the first round is just going to go with either the best player left… or the best player for their system… that’s why they’re on top, right?
Anyway, these are my “bold” predictions for what will happen… and we can revisit them after the draft… or more appropriately in a few years when we can really dog my picks… or exhault my Nostradamian skill for telling the future! Have a great day everybody!!! Yay football!!!