Kevin's got some last minute opinions on tonight's NFL Draft.
Ok, so the first round of the NFL Draft is tonight, and I have no idea what is going to happen. I have treated this draft season like every draft season for the past few years by spending almost all of my free time looking at countless mock drafts and listening to draft related podcasts, and I’m still not sure what’s going to go down in Nashville later today. This is absolutely one of the more confusing years for draft analysis, and there is almost no consensus among the so called draft gurus about who is even going first overall. In years past the first overall pick was at least somewhat locked up within a day or two of the draft, and sometimes even weeks and months beforehand. This year, that is not the case.
So let’s start with number one overall. The Arizona Cardinals hold the number one overall pick after an abysmal season with rookie QB Josh Rosen under center, and are widely believed to be hitting the reset button after only one year by drafting Kyler Murray out of Oklahoma. That is insane. The Cards traded up to number ten last year to take Rosen, so they’ve already invested more than just the pick they used to take him. It’s hard to believe they would do something this confusing, but this is also a team who bailed on Steve Wilks after only one year as head coach last year, in favor of Kliff Kingsbury who has never held any type of coaching position with an NFL team. Yikes. So maybe they do pull the trigger on Murray. One thing is for sure though, the longer they wait, the less they’re going to get back for Rosen. At this point, barring some surprise (Raiders anybody?), I would say he could bring back a second rounder at best.
Now what about my beloved Giants? They have two picks in the first round after taking a dump last season to earn the number six pick and then trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns for the 17th pick. I’ve read a ton of articles saying that they’re taking a QB to groom behind Eli, but I wouldn’t be so sure. This is one of the best defensive drafts in recent memory, and I think it’ll be hard for GM Dave Gettleman to pass on a potential game changing defender at six. Guys like Ed Oliver, Josh Allen, and Devin White just make so much sense there, and other than Murray, I can’t see a QB they would have a higher grade on than any of those guys. Now at 17, I think it’s a different story. If there is a QB available, and this is a big if with several QB needy teams picking in the early teens, I could see them going for it then. Drew Lock and Daniel Jones could be available there, but truthfully the Giants might have to consider trading up in front of teams like Miami and Washington if they really want to get one of those guys. If there isn’t a QB available, Gettleman will more than likely grab one of his beloved “hog mollies.” There are plenty of offensive and defensive linemen who should be available, and Gettleman loves drafting trench players to build around. Guys like DL Clelin Ferrell or OL Andre Dillard would make sense, and would both fit the scheme. But really, I have no idea what’s going to happen. The Giants could just as well draft Dwayne Haskins at six and then hope somebody like Rashan Gary or Montez Sweat slips to them at 17. Or maybe Gettleman trades both first rounders for Terry Bradshaw.
Final thoughts: the Raiders are going to do something dumb. I don’t know what it is, but they have three first round picks and I can’t shake the feeling that Jon Gruden is going to take a QB at 4, and it’ll be somebody nobody expects to go that high, and it’ll just screw everything else up. I think four QBs go in round one this year, possibly five again like last year. Keep an eye on Will Grier from West Virginia as a dark horse to be the fifth guy off the board late in the first round. This is a really good Tight End class, and I think more TEs go in round one than WRs.
Anyway, here’s my mock draft:
1. Cardinals - QB Kyler Murray
2. 49ers - Edge Nick Bosa
3. Jets - DT Quinnen Williams
4. Raiders - Edge Josh Allen
5. Buccaneers - DT Ed Oliver
6. Giants - LB Devin White
7. Jaguars - OT Jawaan Taylor
8. Lions - OLB Brian Burns
9. Bills - OT Jonah Williams
10. Broncos - QB Drew Lock
11. Bengals - QB Dwayne Haskins
12. Packers - TE TJ Hockenson
13. Dolphins - QB Daniel Jones
14. Falcons - DL Rashan Gary
15. Redskins - DT Christian Wilkins
16. Panthers - OT Andre Dillard
17. Giants (via Browns) - DE Montez Sweat
18. Vikings - C/G Garrett Bradbury
19. Titans - LB Devin Bush
20. Steelers - TE Noah Fant
21. Seahawks - S Nasir Adderley
22. Ravens - WR DK Metcalf
23. Texans - OL Cody Ford
24. Raiders (via Bears) - RB Josh Jacobs
25. Eagles - DL Clelin Ferrell
26. Colts - DT Jerry Tillery
27. Raiders (via Cowboys) - WR N’Keal Harry
28. Chargers - OT Greg Little
29. Seahawks (via Chiefs) - CB Rock Ya-Sin
30. Packers (via Saints) - OL Dalton Risner
31. Rams - CB Greedy Williams
32. Patriots - TE Irv Smith Jr
If I get more than half of those right, I will do a shot of one of the last couple hot sauces we had during the Hot Ones Tribute video.