This is the most unpredictable draft I think we’ll see for a good few years. I suspect we’ll have the greatest disparity between teams on a pick-by-pick basis. And that’s leading to a lot of speculation.
There’s going to be very little consensus on a lot of these players and positional groups. There’s going to be a lot more picking for scheme or physical preference. And that’ll make virtually every pick unmissable this week.
It starts right at #1. I’m actually hoping we don’t see any leaks before Thursday. Contract negotiations usually begin in the week between the prospect likely to go first overall and the team picking in that spot. In every draft I’ve ever covered, we’ve known the guy going #1 weeks in advance. Not this year. It’d be pretty cool to see the top picked called out without the usual reveal before hand. We’ll see if that happens.
Tony Pauline is reporting today that some members of the Chiefs’ staff prefer Eric Fisher over Luke Joeckel. For me, Fisher has the higher ceiling. Yet he hasn’t faced anywhere near the same level of competition. Jason Smith had a similar amount of upside (#2 overall in 2009) and struggled to make the step up. Given the choice between the two, I go for Joeckel. Solid, dependable, you know what you’re going to get. He’s faced some of the best pass rushers in college football (SEC and Big-12) and excelled.
Bob McGinn’s pieces are fairly interesting, quoting scouts and usually complaining about every prospect under the sun.
The piece I’ve linked to above is basically yet another bashing of the quarterback market. I’ll say this — don’t assume Geno Smith is the first quarterback off the board. When we’re talking about personal preference, this is the position where it matters the most.
A case in point… from what I am led to believe (take that for what it’s worth) a lot of teams would’ve drafted Blaine Gabbert #1 overall in 2011 over Cam Newton (at least those who desperately needed a quarterback). I also believe one of the teams who preferred Gabbert over Newton was Seattle. With hindsight, nobody would second-guess Carolina’s pick. Yet in many other scenarios, Gabbert goes #1 two years ago.
In the same draft, Tennessee took Jake Locker #8 overall when a lot of other teams had him ranked way down in the mid-round range. I believe Washington would’ve loved to get Locker at #10, but rejected the chance to draft Gabbert as an alternative. And Minnesota liked the class enough to tick guys off and still take Christian Ponder at #12 — a player others didn’t rate anywhere near as highly.
That doesn’t mean this will happen all over again and we’ll see a host of quarterbacks flying off the board. But don’t be surprised if the order in which the quarterbacks are drafted contradicts what we’ve been hearing in the media for the last few weeks.
More than half the league might rank Matt Barkley in round two or lower. And he might still be a top ten pick on Thursday. He could be Buffalo’s guy. Do not be shocked. Yeah the cold weather. Blah blah. Ryan Nassib used to play for Doug Marrone. It’s a fair point. Some teams — and I include the Bills here — are going to see value in Barkley. His ability to start quickly, be an intelligent leader from the get-go and facilitate the playmakers in Buffalo. He’ll need more at receiver, but there will be options in round two and three. The Bills can become competitive in the AFC East quickly with solid quarterback play. I can see this happening.
Geno Smith might be the consensus top quarterback as McGinn’s study reports, but he might go lower than expected — just like Gabbert. And players like Nassib and E.J. Manuel — despite having limited ability on tape — might also find they go earlier than we expect, in the same way Ponder did two years ago.
Pick your poison. That’s what teams do. And if you think you’ve found the guy you can win with, you’re not worrying about a talking head in the media saying that same guy is a ‘fourth round pick’ or whatever silliness we’ve heard this off-season.
On defense, Tank Carradine had his work out today, as he continues to return from an ACL injury. Chris Mortensen has the details…
Florida St DE Tank Carradine, 135 days post-ACL surgery after 11 sack yr, had good private workout for teams: 4.75-4.85 in 40 at 273 lbs
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 20, 2013
Other people have suggested he ran in the 4.9’s. There are mixed reports out there.
I’m not a huge fan of Carradine, unlike some others. He might prove to be one of those players who just has a natural knack of getting to the quarterback. Maybe. Yet I think he has a lot of ‘easy’ sacks on tape and I’m always sceptical of pass rushers out of Florida State. I’m not sure he or Bjoern Werner will go on to have great careers in the NFL.
Carradine tries to swipe away blockers and side step to the edge. He doesn’t mix it up or use a great speed rush and his hand-use could be better. I’d challenge my tackle to let him dip inside and run into traffic. Show him the inside route to the quarterback. I don’t think he has the speed to capitalise on that and could end up looking pretty pedestrian if you take away his swipe move. He doesn’t explode out of the blocks. He has got a good motor though and prototype size.
My top three at #56 remain the same for now:
1. Khaseem Greene
2. Quinton Patton
3. Christine Michael
However, this is assuming there’s going to be a rush on offensive and defensive tackles, limiting the options for Seattle. I’m going to re-watch some Sio Moore tape tonight. Of course, you never know who might fall or what the Seahawks are planning. I could just as easily see them going for a Vance McDonald — athletic, out-there, Seahawky. Only a few more days to wait and find out.