The 2016 NFL Draft: Unfair, Predictable, but full of Possibilities
As I finish my 3rd cup of coffee this morning…I’m still waiting on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to give the New England Patriots back their first round pick that was taken away as a result of “Deflategate.” However, as the fog in my brain clears, I realize the first round is over and the Patriots continue to be victims of an unsubstantiated claim of tampering with footballs.
What is clear, are the results from other NFL teams during the opening round of the NFL Draft. Here are some thoughts to ponder.
QB’s go #1 and #2
Jared Goff is in the right city with the LA Rams, and Carson Wentz is in the right city with the Philadelphia Eagles. Both of these guys have the ability to play in the NFL and be successful. My point on them being with the right teams has little to do with X’s and O’s, and everything to do with being in a culture more representative of their personality.
More than any other position, the QB has to be “liked” by the fans of his team. The QB has to fit in with the culture of a city/team/fans.
Jared Goff is a California kid who is laid back and known by LA sports fans. The Rams’ fan base will “get/understand” the tempo of Goff’s answers when being interviewed on a daily/weekly basis. He’s not a fiery, “in your face” type guy. That doesn’t mean he isn’t a serious competitor. It just means his delivery is laid back and under control. Philadelphia Eagles’ fans are demanding and in-your-face. There’s nothing wrong with that, at all. Goff would have been challenged culturally, in Philadelphia. Side thought: Sam Bradford’s much like Goff and would probably agree with this assessment.
Carson Wentz is a good fit for Philadelphia! He’s far more outspoken and direct… which Eagles fans will welcome. That is, until he throws 3 picks and gets booed off the field. Ha.
The same goes for Goff. The fans in LA will be demanding, too. It just helps when the fans and a player seem to understand each other.
Emotional moment of night
For me, that was watching the reaction of Ohio State’s Joey Bosa when he was selected #3 by San Diego. I don’t know Joey. None of us really do…only his teammates and family know the young man. Yet, his natural reaction, when chosen at #3 by San Diego, spoke volumes to me. Joey was genuinely humbled/honored to be chosen at #3. I will be watching and pulling for Joey Bosa to do well.
How ’bout them Cowboys?
I’d have gone with Jalen Ramsey to help secure the Cowboys secondary for the next 10 years. Yet, the Cowboys made a decision to go with running back Ezekiel Elliott. If you watched my pre-draft evaluation of Elliott, you’ll know I compared him to Hall of Famer, Marcus Allen. Elliott is going to be good. This pick means the Cowboys will run the ball a lot! They’ve got 3 good runners: Elliott, Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. There will be some games that Tony Romo only throws the ball 20 times! They averaged 33 per game in 2015. That means 13 extra runs per game. Fewer pass attempts means fewer potential hits on Romo. Plus, many passes will now come off of play action and/or bootlegs. The Cowboys want to keep Romo standing for 16 weeks and felt this addition of Elliott gives them a lot upside. We’ll see…
Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil became the “story” of the night. Tunsil says someone hacked his Twitter account and posted a video of him wearing a gas mask, attached to a bong with him smoking dope. At one time, Tunsil was considered a top pick. He slid to #13 and the Miami Dolphins. Note to EVERYONE: there is an eye in the sky watching you! I don’t care if you’re a football player or joe-diddly…we are all under the microscope. This Twitter video cost Tunsil a reported $10 million dollars. For his sake and the Dolphins’, I hope he’s clean and will be a rule-abiding citizen in the NFL. Side note: I’ve known Miami Dolphins’ GM Chris Grier since he was a little boy. His dad, Bobby, was my running back coach in New England. Chris comes from a family of “scouts”. Bobby is now director of pro scouting with the Houston Texans, and his brother Michael is a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks. Rest assured that Chris did his homework and knows what he’s doing. Chris didn’t walk blindly into this “gamble” on Tunsil.
It’s shaping up to the be the young-guns of the Eagles’ QB, Wentz and Washington Redskins’, Kirk Cousins… vs. the old school of NY Giants Eli Manning and Cowboys, Tony Romo. I really like what the Redskins are doing with the addition of free agent star DB Josh Norman and 1st round pick WR Josh Doctson. The Redskins aren’t Josh’n around! I had Doctson the top WR on my chart.
If you follow my football season podcasts…you’ll know I’m a big Oakland Raiders fan. At #14, the Raiders got a great safety in West Virginia’s Karl Joseph. I talked with a former WV coach who said Joseph hits so hard that he wasn’t allowed to touch anyone during practices! I’m also told that Joseph is quiet, hard working and will be a great player when he gets on the field this fall. Coach Jack Del Rio has added Bruce Irvin to go along with Khalil Mack and others which means – the Raiders defense is going to be tough! I’m thinking playoffs for the Silver and Black!
There can be no second-guessing the recruiting ability of Ohio State coach, Urban Meyer! The Buckeyes had 5 of the first 20 players chosen! That’s crazy!! Two things: Meyer knows talent and he knows how to prepare individuals to reach their maximum ability.
There’s always a lot of buzz surrounding the first round, but it’s these next rounds that make a HUGE difference in depth on teams. Stay tuned…