2017 NFL Draft Preview

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2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:28 am

As this thread evolves, we'll get more specific on players / team needs, but let's start as we always do with some basics.

1) What teams need QBs?

This is where you have to start every year when projecting the first round. Here's the possible landing spots for QBs in the 1st round -

#1 CLE, #2 SF, #3 CHI, #4 JAX (has Bort's leash run out?), #6 NYJ, #7 LA Chargers (if they trade Rivers), #10 BUF (if they let Taylor walk), #12 CLE, #13 ARI (doubt they spend a 1st on a QB with other pressing needs), #25 HOU (very unlikely due to Brock's cap hit / Savage)

2) What QBs have first round grades / talent?

It's early in the process, but I think the only 3 QBs that could *possibly* go in the first round are Trubisky (UNC), Watson (Clemson) and Kizer (ND). Now, I'm on record as saying I wouldn't draft Kizer in the first round, but I'm willing to keep the idea open that he may go in the first round. However, there are two things that I believe are true - a bunch of teams need immediate QB help (at least 4) and that there isn't really enough 1st round talent at the QB position in this draft that satisfies that demand. Therefore, I think you will see a few QBs go much higher than their grade indicates they should go and that the competition for those assets will be increased.

If CLE wants to draft a QB, and they desperately need a QB since I don't think Kessler is the long term solution, I don't think they can wait till the 12th pick. Therefore, their only real option is probably to take a QB at #1 (seems unlikely since no QB has an elite grade), trade back to around the 6th or 7th pick or not take a QB in the first round again which might be fine in this instance since the value of their picks doesn't really align with the draft grades of the QB prospects. TL;DR - I don't think the Browns end up with a QB in the 1st round again. Yeesh.

Dark horse sleeper to somehow end up in the first round? Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) who many thought would be a 3rd day guy seems like he's about ready to shoot right up draft boards. His arm talent is going to be on full display during the draft process and I think the stigma of Texas Tech system QBs isn't going to be enough to hold him down. I think around the 3rd round is appropriate for Mahomes, but it would not shock me if he has a meteoric rise.

3) What RBs may go in the first round?

Fournette (LSU) and Dalvin Cook (FSU). Even though I have seen some early mocks with Cook going slightly before Fournette, I think Fournette will go before Cook and I think there's some recency bias at play with Cook's current draft projections vs Fournette's current draft projections.
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Re: 2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:15 am

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Re: 2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:37 am

http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/mock-draf ... iah/335600 - Jeremiah's 2.0.

Some things of note -

1) He has the Giants taking a QB. I don't think that happens.
2) He doesn't have Kizer in the 1st round. I've been pounding the drum that Kizer isn't a 1st round guy, but I do feel like the Bills at 10 may take him. Just seems like a very Bills-like thing to do.
3) Cook to the Colts is a great fit, especially with the lack of OL talent this year in the 1st round.
4) I'm starting to wonder about Fournette some in the modern NFL if he can't really play on 3rd down. He has Fournette going 6th to the Jets, I just think that's too high.
5) Lattimore going 2nd seems high to me too, SF needs so much help, I don't know if taking him second makes much sense.

After some initial mock drafts putting a bunch of QBs super high, which is a tell tale sign they are making stuff up, we're seeing the mock drafts line up closer to the actual talent of the players.
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Re: 2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Sat Feb 11, 2017 4:52 pm

Some "sleepers" that might be better than guys drafted before them at the same position -

Joe Mixon (RB - Oklahoma) - off the field issues will drag him down for sure, but he might be one of the best RBs in the draft.
https://twitter.com/GrahamBarfield/stat ... 5449713664
Graham Barfield ‏@GrahamBarfield 3h3 hours ago
More
Almost 9.1% of Joe Mixon's carries in 2016 went for 20+ yards, which leads all RBs not only in the 2017 class -- but last year's class, too.


Chad Hansen - (WR - California)
https://twitter.com/Marcus_Mosher/statu ... 3905447936
Looks like very good speed, obviously very good at attacking the ball at the high point


We'll see how these guys test out at the Combine, but those are two names not in the first round that might be very good picks for some team.
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Re: 2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:07 pm

Jason_OTC @Jason_OTC
So right now Im estimating that 9 teams will have $50M+ in cap space- Cle, SF, Ten, TB, NE, Jax, Was, Ind, and Chi


Something to keep in mind when you think about draft needs and how you can fill out your team via FA.
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Re: 2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:48 pm

Another sleeper -

Alvin Kamara - RB - Tennessee

There's so much hype around the top 3 RBs (Fournette, Cook, McCaffrey), but Kamara could end up one of the more productive backs in the league. Explosive player, good pedigree, could be a total steal if he falls into the second round where 3 other teams may draft RBs before him. 39 inch vert, ran a 4.53 though which wasn't great, but was in the range of the other top guys.

However, there are some red flags on this guy. Left Alabama. Only started 8 games. Then ran a second effort 4.65 so you might have to worry about this guy's mental strength.

I think he will go ahead of Mixon in the draft, but he probably shouldn't.
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Re: 2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Wed Mar 22, 2017 2:45 pm

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Re: 2017 NFL Draft Preview

Postby hagrin » Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:21 pm

Ok, day of the draft.

I'm going to try and do some player observations I have strong opinions on.
Then, I'll try and outline some scenarios.
Then, I'll try and mock out the order some.

Player Evals
QBs
Mahomes - A+++ arm talent, above average athlete for the position, ability to make all throws, throws a better deep ball than your video represents, severely below average NFL readiness to read opposing defenses, terrible mechanics that lead to a self-diminishing of his own arm strength (back foot / hop throws), overrated accuracy (easy Air Raid system read throws, gigantic throwing lanes / windows), worrisome decision making at the NFL level, will need to be highly receptive to coaching, not a hip thrower (all arm / wrist), still huge room for improvement, high upside prospect, but delayed timetable. At least a 2 year project, think a lot of his throws that were ok in college are going to be turnovers in the NFL. Would not draft him in the 1st round, but someone will.

Kizer - Plenty of thoughts above, for as much as I hate Kizer as a prospect, I think I'd rather risk a second rounder on Kizer than a 1st on Mahomes.

Webb - The hype train, which has him sneaking into the 1st, is WAY out of control. This is a guy who lost his job to Mahomes and had to transfer and now he's a 1st round pick? And he came from an Air Raid system and the same system Goff was just in where Goff had no idea what he was looking at on the other side of the ball? If he goes in the 1st round, he's going to get some scout fired, that's insane. I have a mid 3rd round grade on him and behind Trubisky, Watson, Mahomes, Kizer, Dobbs and Peterman.

Dobbs - This is the 2nd rounder, for the value, I think I would be most interested in. Pro system QB, throws to spots, numbers were far worse than his play because his offensive line was awful. Super smart kid, probably the best athlete of the realistic QB prospects this year, better arm than Watson, with the right system could succeed. Like almost every QB, he will need a decent O line to prosper however. But, of all the mid level QB prospects, he's the one I would push my chips in on.

Trubisky - Honestly, I really don't know. There isn't that much really good tape out there of him - some great tape, a lot of average tape. My only stance is that if the Browns take him #1 they are insane. Taking him #1 is absolutely a mistake. At best, taking him at #12 would be acceptable at best, before that is slightly insane. If he goes #1 to CLE, I'd expect that he doesn't reach his expected value for that trade position. I'm hoping that DePodesta is using Trubisky to try and trade down for #1 for more assets, if not, then he's lost all power in that war room already.

Watson - Hardest evaluation for me. I think his arm borders on too weak, accuracy an issue, athleticism is very good, very tough under pressure at times, even lacked the ability to stretch the field due to arm issues. His arm strength really bugs me and he grades out a high second round prospect, not a 1st round prospect. As for a prediction, I have literally no idea - he could go anywhere from #3 to the Bears to out of the 1st round completely. I'll guess he goes in the late part of the 1st round.

RBs
Fournette - Don't love him nearly as much as others do and I think it would be a huge mistake by the Jags to take him at #4. He's a mid 1st round prospect at best being a 2 down back and he isn't nearly the complete back Zeke is in facets outside of pass catching. I think someone like Fournette drags your offense down overall and makes your offense far too predictable on 1st and 2nd down (think Vikings play calling with AP).

McCaffrey - I've been on this train for a long time. Elite 3 cone Combine time, isn't really a RB, is a RB/WR. 4 down player. He's going to be unguardable out of the slot. I do think you should spend a Top 10 pick on McCaffrey as he isn't just a fungible RB, he's far greater than that and can even run inside to keep defenses honest. He keeps your entire playbook open on every down with elite measurables.

Others - Mixon might be the 2nd best RB in this draft, whatever team gambles on him is going to get a really good player. I have Mixon >>>> Kamara even though Kamara will most likely get drafted before Mixon.

WRs
Just some quick notes - I don't like Williams, Davis or Ross as 1st round talents. This is not a great upper crust WR class. Ross is probably the best of the 3. Williams I worry about winning in the NFL, but I do hold out hope for him if he's matched with a QB with a much stronger arm than Watson. I think Davis should probably fall to the bottom part of the 1st round. Zay Jones, Chad Hansen, I have a strong feeling that the best WR from this class will not be from the 1st round.


Scenarios
1) CLE & DePodesta will try desperately to try and trade out of the 1 spot. I think teams are smart enough not to bite. I actually think there's a better chance of the 49ers trading out once the Browns pick Garrett.
2) The Titans like to trade down and I think there's going to be some demand for their pick. I wouldn't be surprised if they trade out with teams looking to jump the Jets. OJ Howard, Trubisky or McCaffrey could all go 5 in a trade up.
3) There's going to be panic starting around the 5th pick around teams wanting OJ Howard and McCaffrey. I expect at least one trade between picks 5 and 12, but more likely two trades.
4) I think the Browns will have a much, much easier time trading their #12 pick if they chose to do so which I think they will be very willing to do. Don't be surprised if a team trades to 12 to take Mahomes before Arizona (which would be insane, but that's the game theory here). I think with the Mahomes @ 13 rumors, the Browns wanting to collect assets, the probability of the 12th pick being traded down by CLE is super high. If CLE uses this pick to trade up, it's going to be a gigantic mistake.
5) I think the last third of the first round could be a total free for all. Teams trading back up for the extra year with a late 1st round QB, teams looking to grab a sliding player (Foster, Conley), etc. Mocking the last 3rd of the 1st round is a fool's errand.


Mock
1 CLE Garrett
2 SF Thomas
3 CHI Adams
4 JAX Fournette
5 TEN Lattimore
6 NYJ Howard
7 LAC Hooker
8 CAR McCaffrey
9 CIN Allen
10 BUF Williams
11 NO Foster
12 CLE Trubisky
13 ARI Mahomes
14 PHI Reddick
15 IND Barnett
16 BAL Humphrey
17 WAS Cook
18 TEN Ross
19 TB Charlton
20 DEN Ramczyk
21 DET Watt
22 MIA Lamp
23 NYG Njoku
24 OAK Jarrad Davis
25 HOU Watson
26 SEA Conley
27 KC Cunningham
28 DAL Harris
29 GB White
30 PIT Corey Davis
31 ATL Cam Robinson
32 NO Adoree Jackson
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