I wanted to offer some thoughts following the breaking news that Lions cornerback Jeff Okudah has been dealt to the Falcons for a fifth round pick. I think it could have some fairly significant ramifications for the draft.
— This creates a hole at cornerback for the Lions and increases the chances they’ll take the best one in the draft at #6. It might be time to pencil in Christian Gonzalez or Devon Witherspoon to Detroit.
— I’d previously expected the Lions to take the best pass rusher available at #6. Dan Campbell is a trenches guy. Adding even more to their defensive front felt like a good fit. I doubt he’s the type of coach who has much interest in working with Jalen Carter. Campbell likes passionate, football die-hards. He once said he wants “kneecap-eaters” on his team. Carter is, well, the opposite of that. However, I could well imagine him having interest in Will Anderson or Tyree Wilson. Is this move, potentially setting the team up to go cornerback at #6, indicative of the Lions expecting both Anderson and Wilson to be off the board?
— The Falcons had a need at cornerback. Okudah has had a massively underwhelming career so far and this doesn’t definitively solve that problem. However, it seems they’re willing to give him a year in a new environment to see how things work out. Thus, they aren’t very likely to spend a top-10 pick on a corner.
— What will Atlanta do? I’ve thought for a couple of weeks they might be the most likely to trade up to #3. Their support of Desmond Ridder at quarterback has amounted to basically saying, ‘he’s our starter this year’ with no definitive long-term commitment. Anthony Richardson would be an ideal fit for their offensive system. Arthur Blank, the owner, isn’t a conservative type content to settle. It wouldn’t be a surprise if solving this need today is a precursor to the Falcons moving up.
I listened to Lance Zierlein’s appearance on Brock & Salk this week. He said he’d spoken to three teams who rated Tyree Wilson higher than Will Anderson.
We’ll see how this plays out. I remain sceptical about Wilson. The frame is certainly intriguing and coaches, undoubtedly, will feel like they can develop his game. At the moment he’s a good bull-rusher who prefers to barge his way into the backfield. There’s no speed rush in his arsenal though. I’d struggle to justify taking a player in the top-five who can’t scream off the edge. There are also too many ineffective, passive reps. Not to mention he has an injury that has lingered for some time and he’s an older player overpowering younger linemen in a poor conference.
The argument, I suppose, is that Aldon Smith’s college tape didn’t leave you feeling like you were watching one of the best pass-rushers in his generation.
Zierlein is plugged into Houston and got both of their first round picks right a year ago. Could they seriously take Wilson at #2 as he predicted last week? I think any team, including Seattle, sitting within range should be ready to move up if C.J. Stroud gets out of the top-two.
If the draft goes Bryce Young, Wilson and Anderson to kick things off, that’ll create quite a twist at the top of round one.
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