Joey’s Thoughts: Day 3

Change of heart, I’m going to talk about my favorite picks of day 3 and that’ll be it. I realized as teams were taking players I’d never heard of that grading the entire class would be impossible. Afterwards, I’ll talk a bit about what’s to come for 2019.

Bengals take Mark Walton at no. 112: Personally having Mark Walton as a round 2 prospect, the Bengals got a steal in the 4th. Even though he isn’t straight line speed fast, his lateral agility and ability to make defenders miss is very good and should give him a long NFL career. While he joins a loaded backfield, getting good players, especially on day 3, should be the goal of every draft.

Broncos take DaeSean Hamilton at 113: By adding him and Courtland Sutton, the Broncos suddenly have a bright future after the Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders era. Some felt Hamilton was the best pure slot in the draft, and he was underrated throughout this entire draft process. There’s no doubt in my mind he can be a contributor on a winning team.

Chargers take Kyzir White at 119: Kyzir White was a fun safety to watch. The major knock on him is his speed (4.69), but playing him close to the LOS should alleviate some of those concerns. I’m not sure how he’ll factor in with Derwin James already in the fold, but the talent is there to be a starter sooner rather than later.

Atlanta Falcons take Ito Smith at 126: I’m completely shocked that Smith didn’t get more hype leading up to the draft. He has the best moves maybe in the entire draft, making defenders fall over constantly. With Tevin Coleman potentially on the move after his contract expires, Smith can take over as the complement to Devonta Freeman and thrive in that role which is perfect for him.

Eagles take Josh Sweat at 130: The rich get richer. Some thought Sweat could even sneak his way into round 1 as an undeniably athletic edge rusher out of Florida St. The Eagles are putting together the deepest defensive line rotation I’ve ever seen. They’re putting the belief “you can never have enough pass rushers” to the test.

Raiders take Maurice Hurst at 140: Ever year, it seems as if a potential first round player falls because of a medical and off field concern, and somebody ends up getting a steal (think Vontaze Burfict, La’el Collins). This year, that player is Maurice Hurst, a top 20 talent who in a way saved the Raiders draft. An incredible value, Hurst should be a stalwart for Jon Gruden.

Seahawks take Shaquem Griffin at 141: My second favorite pick of the day. Griffin was an easy day 2 talent to me, a person who can contribute at multiple positions. A player with the highest motor in the draft, Griffin gave 100% effort on every play and had a huge impact on the game. I assume he’ll play WLB in Seattle, with the ability to flex to SAM, SS, and maybe even EDGE.

Lions take Tyrell Crosby at 153: When Crosby fell all the way to 153, I assumed some character issue popped up late that the public wasn’t aware of. However, this was not the case, and the NFL just wasn’t high on him. The player I wanted the Bills to take at 96, Crosby looks like a day 1 starter with room to grow.

Rams take John Kelly at 176: Here is the best pick of the day by a mile. John Kelly was a 1st round talent with the ability to have a Kareem Hunt like impact on the team that drafted him. A bulldozer who never goes down on first contact, Kelly is also a great receiver out of the backfield. It’s sad he’ll be behind Todd Gurley, but Kelly is a tremendous talent.

Ravens take Deshon Elliot at 190: Deshon Elliot was a playmaker at Texas, also seeming to be in the right position to get interceptions. He ran a modest 4.58 40, showing he had enough speed to compete in the NFL. For a team on the rise, getting a 3rd round player on my board should only help them compete in the AFC next year.

Vikings take Ade Aruna at 218: I’m a huge fan of taking raw, hyper athletes late on day 3. Ade Aruna fits this perfectly. While I wasn’t overly impressed with his tape, having great athletic ability gives one a high ceiling, not matter how low the floor is. If he doesn’t he work out, only a 6th round pick was wasted, with the upside being much more.

Broncos take David Williams at 226: David Williams is an intriguing HB out of Arkansas with a small collegiate workload. Every carry he had was maximized in yardage, showing off impressive burst and power. Adding him and Royce Freeman into the backfield gives them a couple of similar runners with solid potential.

Colts take Zaire Franklin out of 235: Being a Syracuse fan, I’m biased towards this pick. However, he fits the bill as a super athletic player. His combine was unbelievable, with all of his events placing him top 5 at the combine if I remember correctly. A three time captain in college with great production, 7th round picks don’t get more interesting than this.

Bengals take Logan Woodside at 249: My favorite QB outside of all the big names, Woodside is only lacking one trait, arm strength. He has the accuracy, decision making, and mental processing to succeed in the NFL, with only his arm holding him back. He should have a long NFL career as a high quality backup and maybe even spot starter.

Those were my favorite picks on day 3. Later today, I should start having players on the prospect page, with links to game tape. Whenever that is done, I’ll start to put short reports on 2017 tape for prospects with at least 3 games, with very preliminary rankings on the rankings page.

Joey’s Thoughts: Day 2

The first two days are in the books. Only 156 picks to go tomorrow, but today I will break down the best decisions and most questionable moments of the second and third rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. Tomorrow, I plan on grading team’s drafts as a whole, but I will touch on a few of my favorite picks from the last day. Overall, I think teams have done pretty well with not many teams ending up on the worst hauls list.

Best Hauls:
Chicago Bears: James Daniels and Anthony Miller are 2 1st round talents in addition to taking Roquan Smith last night. Daniels is a fundamental, impressive center with plenty of skills, and he should instantly upgrade the Bears o-line. Most believe he’ll push Cody Whitehair out to G and form a formidable interior. Next, they chose Anthony Miller, a dynamic WR who offsets the loss of Cam Meredith. A great return man, Miller will team up with Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel to form a great receiving contingent for Mitchell Trubisky. Chicago easily has the best draft my a mile after 3 rounds.

Denver Broncos: Denver made 3 rock solid picks in Royce Freeman, Courtland Sutton, and Isaac Yiadom. Freeman should be able to step right in and take the starting position from Devontae Booker. Underrated all draft process, Freeman is extremely light on his feet for a 230 lb back. At pick 40, Courtland Sutton is a steal who may mark the beginning of the end of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. John Elway needed to address WR eventually, and Sutton fits the bill to be a future no. 1 target. Finally, Isaac Yiadom was an underrated CB from Boston College who adds to a deep secondary. Chris Harris is on the wrong side of 30, and Yiadom could potentially play nickel corner to start with Bradley Roby being the no. 2.

New York Giants: The Giants made a couple fantastic picks that greatly improve their outlook on offense and defense. Will Hernandez was the second best guard in the class and will provide tons of running lanes for Saquon Barkley. Lorenzo Carter projects to be a high energy pass rusher who plays with his hair on fire each play. A highly touted recruit who many thought underperformed at Georgia, Carter should be an effective player with tons of upside. He was an absolute steal at 66. While I’m not as big on B.J. Hill, he will add to the rotation with Damon Harrison and Dalvin Tomlinson.

San Francisco 49ers: I credit the 49ers for being aggressive in getting their guys. My second favorite pick of the day, Dante Pettis is the best receiver in this class and has legitimate 4.3 speed on the outside. The best punt returner in NCAA history, the sky is limit with him teaming up with Jimmy G and Shanahan. Secondly, Fred Warner is an versatile, athletic LB who is a perfect pick in early round 3. His game vs. Boise St. was one of the better ones by a LB all year. Lastly, Tavarius Moore is admittedly a reach, but the tremendous talent of the first 2 picks makes day 2 a successful for a team on the rise in the 49ers.

Washington Redskins: Going into the day, I said the team that got Derrius Guice wins the draft. For this reason, it was beyond baffling to see him fall the way he did. Reportedly, a lazy attitude and an altercation with Eagles’ staff was the culprit. On the field, Guice is the best RB in the class and with incredible power and a great ability to keep his legs moving. The Redskins got a future All-Pro late in the 2nd round who was rumored to them at 13 and changes the outlook of their offense. After him, they took Geron Christian, a tackle I am lukewarm on out of Louisville. He will add into the mix and compete for playing time.

Worst Hauls:
Oakland Raiders: Tom Cable strikes again. A day after having his way in taking Kolton Miller, the Raiders orchestrated a trade up to get Brandon Parker out of North Carolina A&T. His method worked so well in Seattle, so let him run your draft in Oakland I guess. On top of him, Arden Key has Pro Bowl talent, but off the field issues and a lack of production this year made a potential top 5 pick free fall all the way to pick 90. Lastly, P.J. Hall is a solid player from Sam Houston St. who without a doubt has been the best pick for a Raider team falling flat of expectations.

Detroit Lions: After a great pick in the first round, Detroit made a couple head scratchers that made little sense. Kerryon Johnson was a day 3 talent taken over more impressive backs like Guice, John Kelly, Mark Walton, and Royce Freeman. Already having Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah, the Lions didn’t have a huge need but still felt the need to trade up for Johnson. Their other pick, Tracy Walker, was a consensus reach out of ULL who will factor into the secondary equation somehow. Two uninspiring picks combined with a trade up to do so land the Lions on this list.

Kansas City Chiefs: A team with a less bad day 2 as the teams above, the Chiefs selected Derrick Nnadi and Dorian O’Daniel. Nnadi is an intriguing defensive line option with quite a bit of potential and a decent chance to make an early impact in Kansas City. The real issue I have is the Dorian O’Daniel selection. Personally grading him in the 7th round, O’Daniel is a decent coverage guy with not much else to offer in his game. His tackling leaves a lot to be desired and he offers almost nothing in run support. Even though he was the last pick of the draft today, he is still quite a reach who could’ve been had in a later round.

Joey’s Thoughts: Day 1

A hectic first day of the NFL Draft is officially over, and we’re just getting started. A day full of trades and surprise picks, nobody could have predicted the shocking picks that were selected tonight. I’m going to go over my favorite day 1 picks and talk about the top available players for day 2.

Favorite picks:
New York Jets take Sam Darnold at no. 3: I was skeptical of the Jets trading up weeks before the draft and sacrificing 3 2nd round picks to make it happen, but they were gifted with the best QB in the draft. Darnold becomes an instant future franchise player in New York who doesn’t have to start until he’s fully ready. With long time veteran Josh McCown and the knowledgeable Teddy Bridgewater to go along with an underrated supporting cast with Robby Anderson, Jermaine Kearse, and Quincy Enunwa, Sam Darnold is a great position to succeed and was a great value for the Jets.

Chicago Bears take Roquan Smith at no. 8:: Thanks to some questionable decisions ahead of them, the Bears were able to sit pat and have Roquan Smith fall right into their laps. A player I assumed would be gone by no. 6, the Bears get an incredible talent at LB who can slide right into Jerrell Freeman’s old role and become a cornerstone of this defense. A player who will provide much needed speed, Chicago got one of the best picks on the night without having to do any maneuvering to get him.

LA Chargers take Derwin James at no. 17: There’s nothing quite like having a surefire top 10 talent fall all the way to 17. There were at least 5 spots I thought Derwin would go to make him reach nowhere near the Charger’s range. Incredibly, he kept being passed on, and now LA has one of if the not the best young secondary in football. Jason Verrett, Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and now Derwin James will be a terror on the rest of their competitive division and provide much needed support to a team on the rise.

Dallas Cowboys take Leighton Vander Esch at no. 19: A team I did not believe would prioritize a LB on day 1, the Cowboys made one of the best picks of the night. A big, yet athletic playmaker from Boise St., LVE, Jaylon Smith, and Sean Lee will form a fantastic trio. Although there are injury concerns with all three of them, the raw talent of Vander Esch was way too appealing to pass up on in the late teens in a weaker WR class, their perceived biggest need.

Baltimore Ravens trade up for Lamar Jackson at no. 32: After questioning what the Ravens were doing for most of the night, they made a fantastic move to secure a future franchise QB at 32 in Lamar Jackson. While he probably won’t, Lamar is good enough to take over for Joe Flacco on day 1 and greatly improve the underwhelming Ravens offense. Getting the third best QB in the draft when he was the 5th one taken with the last pick of the 1st round is a tremendous value that sets up the rest of the draft well.

Least Favorite picks:
Buffalo Bills trade up for Josh Allen at no. 7: You knew it was coming. A QB with little to offer outside of the physical aspect of the game, Josh Allen was nowhere near worth a first round pick, let alone trading away an additional 2 second rounders for the right to take him. Selecting him with Josh Rosen still on the board is completely baffling, and makes no sense in any way. One of the best comparisons I’ve seen for Allen is Logan Thomas, a current Bills TE.

New Orleans Saints trade up for Marcus Davenport at no. 14: While everyone thought the Saints were about to get Drew Brees successor Lamar Jackson, they shocked just about everyone by taking the super raw Marcus Davenport from UTSA. An EDGE with a long way to go, spending two first with Harold Landry continuing to be on the board into day 2 is very poor value for a guy I believed was a mid day 2 selection himself.

Oakland Raiders move back to take Kolton Miller at no. 15: The curse of Tom Cable strikes again. The man responsible for taking the Seattle Seahawks o-line and not developing anything has spent a top 15 pick on the athletic specimen Kolton Miller. He dazzled with combine scores such as a 10’8″ broad jump, Miller still needs a ton of development as a football player, and not to mention there were much better tackle options available, such as Isaiah Wynn and even Connor Williams.

Baltimore Ravens move back to take Hayden Hurst at no. 25: Normally I’m a fan when teams move back, accumulate more picks, and then select a player. However, Hayden Hurst is a 25 year old TE with no great strength to his game. For a offense that lacks explosive playmakers, TEs such as Mike Gesicki or Dallas Goedert or even a WR such as Calvin Ridley would have done a much better job at making a stagnate offense much tougher to defend.

Seattle Seahawks move back to take Rashaad Penny at no. 27: The Seahawks have been so good at moving back and taking undervalued players who outperform their draft position for so many years. That is why the selection of Rashaad Penny was surprising to everyone. With RBs such as Derrius Guice, Sony Michel, and Nick Chubb still available, Seattle reached for a player almost certain to still be there a round later. Penny does has some impressive athletic scores, but not moving back again and prioritizing him round 1 makes little sense.

Pittsburgh Steelers select Terrell Edmunds at no. 28: This was easily the most surprising pick of the night. Terrell Edmunds was a player many had outside of their top 100 players and considered him an early day 3 prospect. A normally intelligent organization like the Steelers could have taken a different player and waited on Edmunds or could have allowed another team to move up and then take him after the trade down. They had been linked to a S for awhile, with Justin Reid being the odds on favorite.

Top Players for Day 2:
Derrius Guice
Ronald Jones
Harold Landry
Josh Jackson
Maurice Hurst
Connor Williams
Will Hernandez
James Daniels
Dallas Goedert
Mike Gesicki