Seaside NFL Draft Thoughts, 4/26.2
Monday’s NFL Draft Thoughts
At the bottom of the page, I’m going to write down notes from Kiper and McShay’s livestream with Field Yates today. Thoughts on all 32 teams. Then I’m gonna hit publish and start a new thread.
Patriots could be looking to trade down. No surprise there. I only see two options for Bill Belichick: He only wanted Mac Jones, which is why the 49ers beat New England to the trade, so the Pats aren’t moving up. They’ll either stick and take the true BPA (OL or DB or WR or LB are all reasonable assumptions) or they’ll trade down. Teams will have a harder time trading down for less than early day two picks or 2022 picks.100%. Wouldn't be shocked to see the Patriots trade down to the bottom of the 1st and to pick up a selection in that 46-96 window. Outside the top 12, not seeing a huge difference between 15th overall and 45th.As of rt now, the #Patriots will go 50 selections between rounds 2 and 3 (46 in the 2nd, 96th in 3rd). There is a strong belief in certain circles league-wide that is something the team would like to rectify. Lot of good players will fly off the board in that window.Michael Giardi @MikeGiardi
I would look out for the Panthers to trade down. If Justin Fields and Trey Lance make it to eight, and I believe they will, then Carolina could posture that they or Denver would draft a quarterback. At this point, the team I think is most likely to take the bait is the Chicago Bears. General manager Ryan Pace is aggressive and he might want to save face after missing out on every QB he was looking to get earlier in the offseason. As opposed to Washington, a team that doesn’t really even have a clear direction outside of what Ron Rivera wants to do, and Ron Rivera doesn’t strike me as the “trade up for a quarterback” kind of coach. The Bears, as usual, might be bidding against themselves. Why not pick 20 and a 2022 first for pick eight? I could see that.
Raiders, Steelers apparently among teams that will try to avoid players who opted out of the 2020 season.
Remember last week I highlighted that Justin Fields play where he “looks off his first and second read” but then I couldn’t find any explanation as to WHO Fields’ second read was meant to be? There was nobody within 30 yards of the left side of the field when he “checked it” and then threw a deep post bomb for a touchdown against Clemson. Well, here’s that same clip, but now with an angle where you can’t even see the field so people just assume there must be players who Fields is looking at when he goes to his “third read.”
I just want to emphasize that being able to accurately throw a ball 40-50 yards downfield is not that unique of a trait among NFL quarterback prospects. Many non-NFL quarterbacks have incredible college highlights. There are plays by Fields worth showcasing. This is one I would have been hiding if I were arguing to draft Fields over other quarterback prospects. People are gonna go ape shit when the Falcons draft Kyle Pitts or Ja’Marr Chase and they’ll be wondering if they tuned into the wrong dimension if he slips past the Patriots. But I wouldn’t rule that out.
Is Ole Miss WR Elijah Moore the clear cut #4 WR in the class? Todd McShay thinks so.
TOTAL TRADE SPECULATION ALERT WARNING: I think that the most obvious team to trade up to four for Kyle Pitts is the Dolphins, but a sleeper team is the Jaguars. They have picks 25, 33, 45, and 65. They could try to trade 25 and 65 to move up into the middle of the first round, then that pick, 33, and a 2022 second rounder to get to four. Urban Meyer would start his NFL career with Trevor Lawrence and Kyle Pitts. The Falcons could have two of the first three picks on day two and still come away with a solid prospect in the first.
Some notes from Todd McShay on this Insider article about the draft: “Sewell-Pitts-Chase sounds like the current plan at No. 5”; “the Lions are looking pass-catcher here”; “If Kyle Pitts goes to Atlanta and Ja'Marr Chase goes to Miami, Carolina would likely be focusing in on whichever of DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle the Lions don't select at No. 7”; “And a GM whom I spoke with said he heard Buffalo might be tempted to move up from No. 30 into the early 20s to land Etienne”; “Notre Dame's Liam Eichenberg might sneak into Round 1, and North Dakota State's Dillon Radunz could be off the board not long after.”; “Wisconsin-Whitewater guard Quinn Meinerz. He is getting a lot of love, and the consensus on him that I've gotten is late in Round 2 or early in Round 3.”
Here’s every Elijah Moore play against Alabama. I’ve queued it up to an exciting play for the hell of it:
Grayson McCall is my guy for 2021, but Ole Miss QB Matt Corral is also an underrated player I have my eye on for next season and next year’s draft.
Elijah Moore highlights. He’s definitely got the look of a modern top-25 pick receiver.
Tom Pelissero says that the Patriots could trade into the top-ten. I don’t think it would be for a QB.
Here is McShay, Kiper:
Kiper: Wide receiver is deepest position in the draft.
McShay: Jags committed to bring in players to support Trevor Lawrence (my Q-sized theory: HUGE move up the draft for Kyle Pitts).
McShay: Jets want to protect the QB with next pick.
Kiper: Mac Jones seems the pick at 3, Tyson Campbell or Asante Samuel make sense for 49ers in round 2.
McShay: Lots of love for Kyle Pitts within Falcons org and he’s fairly confident that Pitts is the guy if it’s not a quarterback.
McShay: Dolphins praying that the Bengals take Penei Sewell so that they can draft Ja’Marr Chase. (Why I think Miami probably trades up with Falcons, if another team doesn’t beat them to it.)
Kiper, McShay: Alijah Vera-Tucker is one of the hottest names in the class. He’s not going to make it to 18. He can go 12 or higher. (What I’ve been thinking the last two days.)
McShay: Two GMS are hearing that Panthers will pick Justin Fields if he is there at eight, either as a ploy to create interest in a trade. (My hunch has been that Carolina will trade down and probably make Bears bite on a deal.) Lions would love to trade down first, grab Micah Parsons.
McShay: It makes no sense that the Panthers would draft Justin Fields, doesn’t believe they really will. (This is one part in the video where McShay and Kiper and Field all gets very animated.)
Yates: Panthers should draft to help Sam Darnold, not grab Fields.
McShay: Panthers could draft Rashawn Slater. “I’m annoyed just talking about (Panthers drafting Fields)”
Kiper: Broncos always wanted to give Drew Lock competition, but Micah Parsons also makes sense. McShay and Kiper both think that Darnold is a much better QB prospect at this point than Lock.
McShay: The Cowboys are taking Patrick Surtain II.
McShay: Eagles have 11 picks, most in the draft, WR and CB are top two needs. Five of those picks are in rounds 6-7 (weaaaak spot.) Eagles are floating out idea that they might take a quarterback. Either Jaycee Horn or trading down makes the most sense, assuming top three receivers are gone.
Kiper: They need to fix Justin Herbert’s protection. Maybe Eric Stokes in round two.
McShay: I think Trevon Moehrig is worth a top-15 pick. Caleb Farley is the best man-to-man corner in the draft. Everyone is convinced that Elijah Moore is WR4 in this draft and he could go 16 to the Cardinals.
Kiper: Jaelan Phillips screams “Raiders.” Another Gruden guy for round three or four is Jamien Sherwood out of Auburn.
McShay: Washington is interested in Davis Mills. Micah Parsons is going to fall further than anticipated and he could be available at 19. Jeremiah Owusu-Karamoah is better coverage linebacker. Offensive linemen are going earlier than expected.
Kiper: If Bears don’t trade up for QB, they could draft offensive help for Andy Dalton. (Literally alllll the talk about quarterbacks by Kiper and McShay implies that they are 99-percent sure that Mac Jones is going to the 49ers.)
McShay: Liam Eichenberg could be a late first round pick, per GMs. Zaven Collins could go high as 21 to the Colts. Bills are trying to get higher in the draft to take Travis Etienne. Najee Harris fits the Steelers. (Everything I’m reading is that Harris is going to be the pick for Pittsburgh.)
Kiper: Dyami Brown could go as high as Browns at 26. (First time I’m hearing him mentioned in late first.) D’Wayne Eskeridge is looking like an early second.
Kiper: Not sold on Tyson Campbell. Likes Malcolm Koonce, edge rusher, Buffalo, to which McShay says “He’s the player you’ve most overrated in this entire draft.”
McShay: Ravens have interest in Rashod Bateman, who will wind up late first round range. Maybe with Packers. Lots of love for Greg Newsome too. Some think Newsome will go ahead of Farley.
(Sidenote: How crazy is it that we’ve become accustomed to watching ZOOMS?! How crazy is it that Kiper, McShay, and Yates are all recording IN THEIR HOMES with WEBCAMS?! For..ESPN. Crazy crazy, that’s how crazy.)
McShay: Bucs interested in drafting a quarterback in the first round, potentially. (Not that surprising, really.)
The Seahawks only wish they had first, second, and third round picks this year:
Kiper: Maybe Javon Holland or Benjamin St-Juste for Seahawks (Kiper reading Seaside Draft Notes?) Maybe Gregory Rosseau falls this far. Speculates Landon Dickerson could fall out of the top 55. Creed Humphrey might sneak into first round.
McShay: Dickerson might fall to end of second round, but doubt it.
McShay: Texans’ clearest need is wide receiver. Both he and Kiper love Damar Hamlin as a mid-round pick.
Okay, see you next time.