Seaside NFL Draft Thoughts, 4/26
Part 1 for Monday
NFL Draft Thoughts
Daniel Jeremiah Mock Draft Media Call:
Eagles likely to use more zone coverage this year. How does that inform their interest in this corner class. Jeremiah says teams are high on Asante Samuel, Jr. in this regard. Thinks edge rusher makes sense at 12. Maybe move up for Kyle Pitts; Greg Newsome could make sense for the Jets at pick 23; Jeremiah only has two defensive tackles in maybe his top 75-80 picks and it is the worst DT class he has seen since he started in 2003; lots of incomplete medical information this year as compared to all previous years; Jeremiah rates Dillon Radunz higher than most; Houston DE Payton Turner could go early in round two; that’s about half of the media conference.
Side note: Zach Wilson isn’t overrated. Definite top-two pick quarterback. I think there are three top-two quarterbacks in this draft.
This is the first I’m hearing of this being the smallest draft pool in modern NFL history: 657 eligible players. Last year, there were 1,932 eligible players.
If this is the case, then already the 2022 NFL Draft class is looking much better than the 2021 draft class regardless of what happens this season just by way of the fact that so many players decided to return for an extra year of eligibility in college. Obviously many players who got early draft grades would have declared, but the NFL is largely made up of undrafted free agents and late round players and it would make sense that many of them went back to school to try and improve their stock. It means that a team could theoretically trade a sixth round pick this year for a seventh rounder next year. I was thinking earlier today of this exact scenario and if Seattle would attempt to acquire an additional pick by trading out of their 2022 picks. It also means that the undrafted free agents will be of a much lesser quality than usual and that many players who get drafted may not have had draftable grades in past years.
This would explain Jeremiah saying this is the worst DT class he’s ever seen. It could also explain the obsession with the top-five quarterbacks and the reason for five quarterbacks potentially going so early. It would help explain the possibility that no defensive players will go in the top-ten. It could be why certain players seem “overrated” and why it has kind of seemed easier to rise up the draft boards late. The draft kind of seems strong for receivers, offensive linemen, and cornerbacks, but those are positions with a lot more prospects in general and it might not be that deep per capita. Specialty positions, like tight end, center, nose tackle, free safety are light on choices. Any one specialist then becomes a valuable commodity, such as Kyle Pitts. But then there might not be a center drafted in the top-50. If the draft class is really that weak on day three, Seattle might not have interest in adding draft picks. Teams might hesitate to trade down for anything less than 2022 and 2023 picks. Day three could be like pulling scratch tickets: there will be some great players who fall because of a lack of pre-draft information, but you will also have a lot more picks than usual that don’t turn out to make a 53-man roster.
Panthers ran more cover-3 than any other team. The Goat House YouTube channel says Patrick Surtain could go to Carolina.
Teams “high” on Patrick Surtain. I do think he will be the first defensive player taken. Christian Barmore apparently liked more by NFL teams than by the mock drafts. As high as a top-ten pick. That mock draft says that Azeez Ojulari could go in the top-15. I haven’t heard any negative opinions about Ojulari. Rumors that the Cardinals are extremely high on Zaven Collins. Buzz that Joe Tryon goes in the first round.
Michael Smith speculating that the Dolphins could trade for Deshaun Watson during the draft. It would explain why Miami immediately traded back up and acquired additional draft capital.
Raiders GM Mike Mayock talking about the importance of medical records. There are only about 150 players in the draft this year that team’s have confirmed medical reports on:
Comps for five NFL draft running backs:
Travis Etienne::Kareem Hunt. Michael Carter::Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Chuba Hubbard::Phillip Lindsay. Javonte Williams::David Montgomery. Najee Harris::Steven Jackson.
Giants are most likely to go with edge rusher in the first round.
A story about the company /Slant, whose AI-based tracking data is now partnered with the Senior Bowl to measure player data from cameras on the field
A video about draft picks that got booed. I forgot that JJ Watt drew criticism as the Texans pick. And here’s boos and Mike Mayock saying “third round grade” when the Cowboys selected Travis Frederick.
Cards GM Steve Keim on the small draft pool:
Todd McShay answering some questions. Bears want to trade up for a QB, but probably won’t. Would stick at 20, pick OL. Christian Darrisaw is a left tackle, Teven Jenkins is a right tackle.
Peter King FMIA for Monday, 4/26: Julio Jones trade? I’ve been saying for a long time that I expect the Falcons to stick at four and pick the top weapon, either Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase. I prefer Chase and that was with Jones in the fold. Makes even more sense without him. What else did King have to say?
“The 49ers ruined the market by trading two ones to move nine spots,” one GM said. San Francisco, to go from 12 to three in the first round, gave Miami two future first-round picks and a third. So if Denver, for instance, wants to go from ninth to fourth with Atlanta to pick a quarterback, for example, Paton would have to pay a ransom because of the Niners’ market-setting move. I won’t be surprised if there are no trades in the top 10.” (I am not even a GM and I said that the Niners trade killed most other trade possibilities, which is why the Niners did it.)
“Most notably, the Falcons putting the framework of a trade together for star wideout Julio Jones, and making the trade effective June 2. That way, Atlanta could split Jones’ cap charge between 2021 and 2022 instead of getting bashed with it all this year. So if such a trade happens, I expect it could involve a future pick or picks, nothing this year.”
Giants rumors: “Three things I’ve heard: Joe Judge loves DeVonta Smith; the organization likes cornerback Jaycee Horn a lot; and Dave Gettleman loves Parsons.”
On the Cards: “Peter Schrager, whose mock I sincerely respect, had the Cards trading up from 16 to 7 to take Jaylen Waddle. Kliff Kingsbury, it seems, is smitten with getting more firepower for Kyler Murray.”
“Every year, I like to put at least one “Who!!!” in my first round. So in my calls over the last few days, I’ve asked most of my football contacts who they’d put in the first round that no one has there. One GM practically blurted “That Georgia corner, Tyson Campbell. He’s big and fast and had lots of experience in a passing conference.””
Here’s a list of 100s of prospects by Thor Nystrom.
Okay, I’ll post this for the AM and have another report later on Monday.