With The 11th Pick, in the 2017 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots Select ...

Updated: May 7th

 

 

 

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Okay, I'm finally starting to feel like I have a handle n this Draft. Even if it is just a little. 

1st Round Post Draft

Picks 1-7.

Picks 8-14.

Picks 15-22.

Picks 23-27.

Pre-Draft:

2nd Round

Picks 33-48.

Picks 49-64.

3rd Round

Picks 65-80.

Picks 81-96.

Index.

 

 If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com

 

 

Team

My Picks: 

Key Needs:

Team Moves:

8.

Panthers

Defense: 4-3

Christian McCaffrey

RB/WR Stanford

6', 197, #5

DB, RB, WR(FA), OL, ORT, DB, DE, 

2016 Picks:

1-30 Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana T.

2 (62) James Bradberry, S, Samford

3 (77) Daryl Worley, CB, WVU

5 (141)  Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma

7 (252) Beau Sandland, TE, Montana State

Key F.A. Signed:

OLT Matt Kalil

DE Charles Johnson

OLB Julius Peppers

DT Kawann Short (Tagged)

DE Mario Addison

DE Wes Horton (R)

CB Captain Munnerlyn

SS Mike Adams

Key F.A.: 
WR Corey Brown (R) 
WR Laron Byrd (R) 
WR Brenton Bersin
OG Donald Hawkins (R)
OG Andrew Norwell (R) 
OG Chris Scott
ORT Mike Remmers
DT Kyle Love
ILB AJ Klein
FS Michael Griffin
FS Colin Jones
CB Leonard Johnson
CB Robert McClain
CB Teddy Williams

Key F.A. Lost:

WR Tedd Ginn, Jr. 

FB Mike Tolbert 

DT Paul Soliai 

The Team: I had this Pick. McCaffrey to Panthers is 4 of 8. Leader of the pack again. 

McCaffrey helps this offense from front to back. "There are a number of things," Gettleman said. "Heís a young man who has a proís approach already. He knows what it takes. He understands the game. He has elite skills in terms of running, his vision, his run-patience, his receiving skills and he can step on the gas and go. On top of that, heís a big-time punt returner. Thereís just so much value there that he was a guy we targeted and were hoping to get him. The Good Lord was smiling down on us." He was the top special teams maven in college in 2015.

Newton took a big nose dive last season, and not just physically but mentally as well. "I think thatís a big part of it," Rivera said. "I know in terms of talking with Mike about the ways that they used him and the things that they did with him, that was very beneficial to us. When you look at the different things that heís capable of and how he will fit, weíre excited about it. Again, there are some matchup situations that can occur. Heís going to allow guys like Greg Olsen to do what he does best. Heís going to allow Jonathan Stewart to be a better runner. Heís going to help the receiving game. Again, the threat of him coming out underneath is going to create some opportunities for other guys. Weíre very excited about how heís going to fit us and the things he can do for us." He is going to take hits off of Cam as the 3rd down back.

His job now is to take hits off of Cam. "I think this is a guy that you can get the ball into his hands in many different ways and quick," Rivera said. "So weíre pretty excited about that. Heís going to take a lot of pressure off of him. I think doing some of the things that we want to do in terms of the matchups we can create with him. Again, moving him around and watching how the defenses will react to him, itís going to be big thing that will really help our quarterback and help the rest of our offense. Again, a lot of things get told when you start moving backs in and out of the backfield." Get the ball out of Cam's hands quick.

That's it, get the ball out of Cam's hands quick, so he doesn't get hit. "What I think is very unique about Christian is [that he's] the best tackle-box runner Iíve ever seen is Curtis Martin when he came out of Pitt," Rivera said. "Christian is right there with him. Running in that tackle box takes unique vision and unique foot quickness and heís got it. Curtis Martin had it. He had a great career, a Hall of Fame career. This kid has that kind of skill." Cam never has to run the stupid option again.

I will applaud the Panthers for taking the player who can help Cam not take hits the most. Now they just have to stop with the stupid option. This is more of a hopeful pick. Just like I will stand up and clap for Bortles when the Jags take Fournette, I will stand up and cheer for Newton if the Panthers take McCaffrey here. McCaffrey could ensure he never runs a stupid QB Option again.

They need to help the offense. "You know, again, I think at the end of the day, weíre going to go with the best player around at No. 8," GM Gettleman said. " And thereís going to obviously be a lot of options." They have to stop acquiring DLs at this obsessive level. They had to bargain basement Kony Ealy off to the Pats for squat so they could resign five other DLs. 

Peppers would be a nice fit for this team, but he isn't a D-end. "We want to evaluate a player like him, because we did the same thing with Shaq Thompson," Ron Rivera said about Peppers. "We had everybody talking to us, saying he's just a special teams player, to he's just a running back, or a safety or a linebacker. We looked at where he would best fit us. For us, it was a linebacker and what we call the ĎBuffalo' where you can take a bigger guy and put him out onto a slot receiver and still have some athleticism." Why not? Start obsessively drafting LBs now as well.

This team's collapse is by far the most shocking. But they seem to have hopefully put it all together against the Raiders. It's tough to believe that they can't turn it around next year, but they have to start by getting help for Newton.

The Player: 4/08 Christian McCaffrey: Pretty Fly For A White Guy.

The Reason: McCaffrey garnered more yards in one season in 2015 then any other player in history. "Well itís going to be about position flexibility more so than anything else," HC Rivera said. "Heís going to be used a lot in a way of how they used him at Stanford. When you watch the tape, break the tape down, you see him line up sometimes in the backfield as a running back. Sometimes heís a quarterback in their wildcat offense. Sometimes they motion him out and put him out to the slot. Sometimes they motion him out and put him wide. So weíre looking at opportunities to create opportunities for him to make plays for us. Thatís the biggest thing more so than anything else. Heíll be a great change-of-pace back." He makes this offense better in multiple ways.

They can line up behind Cam, and then motion him outside and suddenly be 4-Wide with him and Olsen in the slot. "As far as Jonathan Stewart is concerned, hereís a guy that touched the ball over 30 times per game and was very productive. His last two seasons at Stanford were about as productive as anybody has had in several years in college football. So weíre very excited about it. I know Mike Shula is extremely excited. Weíre very fortunate too, in Lance Taylor who was there with him at Stanford. He gave us tremendous insight into his skillset, what heís capable of doing. We had an opportunity to visit with him on several occasions in terms of getting an understanding and feel as to the type of young man he is. As Dave said, that this young man is a pro. Heís going to fit in very well to our culture and our locker room. Itís one of those things that this is the kind of young man that can help make an impact very early for us." McCaffrey has great football intelligence.

He can help an offense in more ways than any other player in this Draft. "Itís been very important. First of all, if you bring in smart football players, guys that get it and understand, thatís a little bit less teaching that youíre going to have to do in terms of the basics," Rivera said. "So now you can get going full speed, right away. You can speak the language with the whole group instead of just having to go with baby steps. I think that helps you as a football team. It gets you rolling very quickly. Secondly, I think it builds confidence very quickly in these guys when their teammates know they know what theyíre doing. So to have these types of guys there, thatís huge. Third, we donít have to worry about them off the field. If you donít have to worry about that, that takes a lot of pressure off of you. I think thatís big. Thatís why itís very important we bring the right kind of young men into this environment." He is as dynamic with the ball in his hands as anyone in this Draft.

Plus, he will help the offense right away with field position on punt returns. "I think this is a guy that you can get the ball into his hands in many different ways and quick. So weíre pretty excited about that. Heís going to take a lot of pressure off of him. I think doing some of the things that we want to do in terms of the matchups we can create with him Ė again, moving him around and watching how the defenses will react to him, itís going to be big thing that will really help our quarterback and help the rest of our offense. Again, a lot of things get told when you start moving backs in and out of the backfield." This team just got a while lot better.

If they take McCaffrey here, they will be back in the Playoff next year. Or, Newton will continue to take a beating as they continue to moronically run QB-draws and options to him. They desperately not only need to help Newton, they need to take some of the beating he takes off his body as well. McCaffrey could take most of the beatings off of him (if the coaches comply and stop the stupid QB run plays).

9. 

Bengals

Defense: 4-3

 

*Jon Ross

WR Washington

 

OJ Howard-

TE Alabama

6-6, 245, (U) 4.51!

TE, ILB, DL(FA), OL, RB, DL, WR, DL, OL, DB, 

2016 Picks:

1 William Jackson III, CB, Houston

2 (55) Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh

3 (87) Nick Vigil, ILB, Utah State

4 (122) Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

5 (161) Christian Westerman, G, Arizona St

6 (199) Cody Core, WR, Ole Miss

7 (245) Clayton Fejedelem, S, Illinois

Key F.A.:  
WR Brandon LaFell

RB Rex Burkhead

ORT Andre Smith

CB Dre Kirkpatrick

Key F.A.:  

RB Cedric Peerman
OC TJ Johnson (R)
ORT Eric Winston
DE Wallace Gilberry
DE Margus Hunt
DT Brandon Thompson
CB Chykie Brown
K Zach Hocker

Key F.A. Lost:

OG Kevin Zeitler
OLT Andrew Whitworth

DT Domata Peko

The Team: That is three WRs in the top ten. This is not going to end well. One had a wittle spwained ankle and couldn't run. One ran, and was a 4.5 guy who struggled to get separation on Tape. And then the Flash, with a bum knee. "If you can jump through the hoops and pass our medical, then youíre pretty good," Lewis said about his injury history. "Itís not my concern once they pass him. If heís able to stay on [The Bengal's] Board, then heís pretty good." He was able to stay healthy, and be the most dynamic WR on college turf last season.

He is a top ten physical talent, but he also has a bum shoulder. "Iím a [Combine] numbers guy," Urban said. "There are certain things that lead to helping in the process, but at the end of the day, like what Coach Lewis said, the film jumps out. And then you see the 40 time. Then you need to spend time with him. All of those things checked out, he checked all the boxes. The surgery on the shoulder calls for investigation, and our medical people did a great job investigating it. We feel comfortable where he is. But with the numbers I got, most show that heís effective when the ball is in his hands. He makes plays with the ball in his hands. And at the end of the day that is what we are looking for, playmakers to help us win football games." When he is on the field he will help them win games.

He is friends with DeSean Jackson. "Iíve heard that comparison quite a bit," Urban said about the DeSean connection. "Heís from Long Beach, where DeSean is from. Heís undersized like DeSean was. Extremely fast. West Coast type player. There are comparisons. Their great game-breaking speed ability is there. I know John and DeSean have worked out together. So I can see that. DeSean reached out to him and said, 'come on, come with me young fella.í' The thing about both of them, theyíre both football players. Take size away, speed away, and theyíre both at the end of the day football players. Thatís what really attracted us to John." Ross credits DeSean with teaching him to run routes slower, so he can make those explosive breaks in and out of his cuts in patterns. 

You cannot run patterns at the same speed. "Absolutely," Zampese said. "Every player we look at that way: What about their strengths? How do we get them into the offense? What do they do best? Make sure everybody has a role. This guy really jumps out at you with his speed. The thing that jumps out at you as well when you watch him more, heís a technician. And he takes great pride getting in and out of breaks. Not a lot of wasting motion. He transitions very well." He knows when to get slow and low, and then burst away from the CB in pattern.

I said before the Draft that teams that wanted offensive players would have to reach, and this was a reach, because of health concerns. "Theyíre Ďwowí plays," Lewis said. "We felt good about the nine guys we had up there. I made the comment to Mike [Brown] on Monday morning. That where we ended up, that when you watch those guys play on tape, you felt them. And I think thatís a good thing. Sometimes when you watch guys on tape, you get bored, and those guys fall down a little further in my mind. These guys! The way it shook out for us with the nine guys we felt fit us best? When you watch them play, you really felt them." I feel you Marvin. 

I'm not saying he sucks. I'm not saying that. "When you watch, itís just play after play after play that he has an opportunity with the ball in his hand to make [big plays]," Lewis said. "Whether itís the inside slant, whether itís what we call lightings, and the things like that, Where heís driving guys off, when youíre playing against him, people feel his speed." But his body has not been able to handle his speed.

Guys who have had two knee surgeries in college (and shoulder surgery right before the Combine) are flat out risks. "Thatís part of it," Zampese said about his dynamic quicks. "But then, when you meet him, the character stands out quite a bit. Where you see him fit in with the rest of the guys and molding into our unit. He has a lot of things we were looking for character wise. The way he goes about his business. The work ethic that he has. Heís battled back from injuries. Heís lived on the top. Heís been all places. We really like him." But he is a joy to see on the field. 

I just keep coming back to what will make Dalton a Playoff winner? "Itís painful when there are teams playing that replaced us," Lewis said about the Playoffs. "It hurts. It ought to hurt. It ought to hurt every coach and player in this building." They need to start by helping their QB.

A tight end can help an offense in so many different ways. "Itís important to do while fresh in our minds to go back and look at us," Lewis said. "Weíll follow that up after Mobile when we have the opportunity to look at our peers around the league and what they do well. Then weíll be getting into the areas of tweaking installation and how we do it." What he saw in Mobile, was that Howard was the best player available at the Senior Bowl.

The Player: Ross had to have surgery on his shoulder in March 14th. "Recovery for my shoulder," Ross said. "Take it easy. Get down the mental side more and just get ready for the draft. I'm glad this is all over. Now I can focus on that." But he was able to participate in his Pro Day.

He was said to faster than the QB throwing to him. "WR John Ross (5-11, 188) stood on his Combine numbers" Gil Bryant wrote. "But he showed in his workout that he's not just a speed guy (he set the combine record with a 4.22-second 40-yard dash). His routes were precise, his explosion in and out of his brakes was impressive, and he caught all but one pass. He's scheduled for shoulder surgery on Tuesday." It was said to be successful.

He does have some negatives, as he showed at the Combine when he couldn't finish the Combine. "He will get emotional on the field when he drops one or when their quarterback leaves an open deep ball short," a Scout said. "And I've heard other scouts call it 'bad body language.' I just think he's an edgy player. He's competitive and shows it. You'll take some attitude when a guy scores as many touchdowns as he does." But his speed will just be too enticing for too many coaches.

Ross is a speedster, whose size has hurt him staying healthy. His Draft position is solely locked on his Combine speed. If he runs a 4.3 he could go as high as Fuller last year. Every tick after that will cost him a 1/4 Round or 2. But he is a track guy. He ran 10.4 100, which is great. He was clocked, by Washington toadies, at 4.29. Great speed on the deep post pattern. He can catch the deep pass through contact. He can be a bit of a body catcher. He will out run the throw sometimes, and have to slow to catch it, which allows the CB to catch up. He runs by CBs, like a deer. He runs a deadly comeback. You have to respect his speed, which opens up the inside stuff. He can run a nice Slant.

Alabama: You have to respect his speed, which opens up the inside stuff. He returns kick-offs, and has returned four for TDs. When he breaks off his patterns he is near impossible to cover short. They were really going to Ross short a ton to start the Playoff game, which was interesting because he doesn't really run a lot of short patterns. He showed he could be effective underneath. He is a small guy who will cough up the ball when he gets hit by big guys sometimes.

Colorado: Great suddenness in his shoulder when he one-steps inside, and then takes the sideline. He is such a hot and cold player. He can disappear for quarters. You could see he was getting frustrated in the 1st half and had two drops against Colo. He runs a great jerk route. He is so twitchy changing direction in space. DBs just can't touch him sometimes. He reminds me so much of Fuller at ND. But he has better hands. He is one of those guys who gets shut out for three quarters, and then makes one great play that everyone remembers. He returned kick offs in the Bowl game.

Cal: He has a great quick burst inside off the outside fake. He can get low, and catch the pass at the knees inside. But he still caught it with his body. He uses his speed and quickness in pattern so effectively that he gets so wide open that the body-catches didn't hurt him in college. He had three TDs against Cal in the 1st Half, all three were body catches. But when you catch three TDs in a Half it does sound like knit picking. He ran a deep skinny Post in the 2nd quarter, and finally extended his hands to make a catch away from his body. It looked like he had small hands, but they grab the ball and held on as he was hit.
Great at adjusting to the deep ball and getting underneath it. But he still wants to body catch the deep ones. He can change the speed in his patterns. He gets tripled teamed a lot. DBs often try to rough him up on the 2nd level. He can run through the double, get shoved illegally, regain his balance, and still get behind the DBs. 
He receives a lot of attention. On one play he was Quadrupled against Cal. He has to be the best deep threat in this Draft. He will slow down to catch the ball sometimes, and still be a couple yard in front of the CB, after slowing down for 15-yards for the under thrown ball. Elite amazing speed in pattern. Then his speed and quickness in space can makes him untouchable after half the defense catches up, and he breaks back and then across the field to score.

The Reason: I can dig getting weapons for your QB. "Weíre really excited to be able to pick John Ross," Lewis said. "Obviously, his abilities, the dynamic of his speed, the playmaking ability that he showed over his career there at Washington. [He started] playing on defense, playing cornerback and making tackles. So he has shown his toughness all the way through. Obviously. His dynamic speed. It shows up on tape. When you watch the tape, you feel this guy playing. He gives us another option offensively and balances the field some. Weíre really excited. Heís obviously a guy whoís had surgery and should be ready to go right about the start of the season. That would be about the only question mark going in with him. Itís exciting." There WR corps. might be tops in the League now, when their on the field.

When Ross and Green are the field together Ross will be uncoverable. "There are ways," Lewis said about covering Ross and Green when their on the field together. "But thatís what we have to [do] offensively. We have to create opportunity in our offense for all the guys. A guy with his speed and ability to make the play over the top really creates an issue defending [our passing game]. So weíve got to do a good job. Itís not [just the ] players; Itís what you do with them and how you execute." Ross's speed could also open some things up for Green underneath.

It will certainly open things up for LaFell underneath. "He catches the ball well," Urban said. "Thereís a few he wishes he had back, but who doesnít? He catches the ball well and will continue to grow in that area. Like Coach [Zampese] said, 'we will find ways to use his strengths.' He comes into a situation where heís got two great veteran guys in A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell. Who do things the right way and act like pros, and three younger guys who helped us out last year quite a bit and who had just been through the process. So he walks right into a situation where heís got guys who are going to bring him along, and heís going to jump right in and do things our way and then let his great ability go." When Ross is on the field he is the fastest and quickest player on the field, and he catches the ball.

He is not just a speed route runner. "When you watch his ability to separate laterally, it jumps out down in the red zone," Zampese said. "The corners get up closer in press coverage, and his abilities to go sideways as fast as he can go vertical really helped him. You saw in those clips, there was some really great lateral separation." He might be the best route runner from this Draft.

He can slow his patterns to make explosive cuts, and multiple moves in pattern. "I hadnít seen him on tape prior to the combine. Maybe I saw a little bit when we sat down with him that night when the coaches have tape of these guys in the room. But thatís the only video I had seen of him. I guess I did see a bit of his junior video. What impressed me about his junior video was him playing defense. He did a good job," Lewis said, and then continued. "I think that year he had 30/39 catches, and that year he was playing on defense as well. I think he was playing a little bit of both. I know where the kid grew up. Heís jumped through the hoops to get to this point." He is one of those guys, who athletically looks like he can just step onto the field and do whatever he wants.

And when he gets a Corner's shoulder with an explosive move, he is gone. "Again, heís got great acceleration, great speed, and he plays with it. Itís not just track speed. You see the speed on the football field," Lewis said, and then continued. "Heís returned kickoffs. I donít think he had returned punts, but obviously thatís something he ought to be able to do, and thatís something we need to find a way for him to do." He will step in as a rookie and help right away.

They need some changes made on offense and defense "Weíll be vastly different no matter what," Lewis said. "Weíll have some of the same players, but we know every year there is going to be a change of players. We rip things up scheme wise all the time. Thatís no change." They have to replace Burfict.

But as one HC looking for a QB said, you have to help your QB first. "I think there are all kinds of ways to [help your QB]," Browns HC Jackson said. "You have to support [your QB] position the right way. Itís not just about putting a quarterback on the team and saying, 'Here we go.' You have to make sure he has enough weapons. You have to make sure youíre able to protect him, and you put him in the right spot so he can have success." Howard helps his QB in more ways than any other player in this Draft..

 USC

Elite elusiveness on the 2nd level with the ball in his hands (:47). Very light and slight, but he will try to block for teammates. But it can look ugly sometimes (1:10). He has a great shake and back that makes DBs miss badly. He is so quick in the release that he juked inside, and broke Adoree Jackson ankle and took off down field for a 70-yard TD  (1:54). That was one of the best release off the line I have ever seen. He glides so effortlessly down the field.

He will get little chip blocks in on the 2nd level for his teammates (2:14). He will make an instant impact on the offense with field position from returning kicks (2:49). When extends his arms he can catch the ball away from his body and over his head (3:00). He will sometimes body catch the deep ones, but he shows enough catching the ball away from his body on intermediate routes that I think you can trust his hands.

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27.

To,

10.

Chiefs

Defense: 3-4

*Pat Mahomes II

QB TT

6-2, 225, 6.88 3-Cone!

4.08 SS! (O) 4.8, 

RB, ILB, NT, OLB, WR, OT, OL, DB, DL, QB,  

2016 Picks:

12 (37) Chris Jones, DT, Miss ST
3 (74) Keivarae Russell, CB, ND
4 (105) Parker Ehinger OG Cincinnati
4 (106) Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
4 Demarcus Robinson, WR FLA
5 (162) Kevin Hogan, QB, Stanford
5 (165) Tyreek Hill RB W. Alabama
6 (178) D.J. White, CB, Georgia T.
6 (203) Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, OLB, Virginia Tech

Key FA Signed:

DT Bennie Logan

Key FA:
RB Bishop Sankey (R)
WR Albert Wilson (R)
C Mike Person 
DE Kendall Reyes
DE David King (R)
FS Eric Berry
FS Daniel Sorenson (R)
CB Terrance Mitchell (R)
K Cairo Santos (R)
LS James Winchester (R)

Key FA Lost:

QB Nick Foles

RB Knile Davis

NT Dontari Poe

The Team: I had this pick. I told everyone a month ago that this was their guy. I just couldn't predict that radical move up here to take him. It's funny, all three teams who took QBs in the 1st round traded up for them. I had all three 1st Round QBs going to the right teams, at their original spots. No one else had all three 1st Round QBs going to the right teams. Even though all three teams took them at different spots. PatsDraft.Com is the only site you need to forecast the NFL Draft.

This is one of the most bizarre picks I have ever seen. "Listen, Deshaun Watson is a great kid," Dorsey said. "Heís the senior who battled for the title, who won the title. Those are things that are very special. But at the end of the day, we had Mahomes rated above Watson. We think theyíre both really good football players. We just thought we with what we do, Mahomes would fit in well." He doesn't fit their system at all.

Reid is a control freak coach who runs a very tight and structured System. "We tried to bury him," Andy Reid said. "We try to throw the kitchen sink at him and you try to keep it as close to what weíll do." Their is nothing tight and structured about Mahomes. He is the most long term developmental QB in this Draft.

He did nothing in college that approximated their heavily controlled West Coast system. "I felt to get this player, I had to be at 10. I know there were three teams that wanted this player very badly" Dorsey said. "I can see this guy developing into a really good football player, so why not take a shot at it? This is a quarterback-driven league. What youíre doing is building for the future of the organization. And from a compensation standpoint, I donít think thatís a lot, because at the end of this thing, heís going to be a really good player, he can sit back and learn. I couldnít be more excited." It is a projection that just isn't on Tape.

He will be Bambi lost in the woods in Training Camp. "Thatís pretty awesome," Mahomes said about playing behind Smith. "Heís had a successful career in the NFL, so you know heís doing things the right way." Terrible feet, he is one of those flat-footed Air Raid QBs, who would go five plays with out moving a foot in the pocket.

I have never seen a guy with worse footwork in the pocket. "We brought him in here and grilled him," Reid said. "We had him here for six hours. When we got him in here we tried to bury him [on the board] the best we could in order to find out. Thatís the only way you can find out. Thatís whatís real. We get him in here and we throw the kitchen sink at him and expect him to spit it out. When they donít, we try to re-teach it to them and spit it out again." He has the arm and the smarts, but he needs five years on the bench behind Smith, but Smith is 35-years old now.

The Chiefs one and only agenda this off season is to turn Alex Smith into a Playoff Winning QB. Maybe getting some competition to push him a little will help. He is also getting older. So getting a guy they can groom behind him for four or five years is not going to hurt.

The Player: Mahomes reminds me of Manziel (but there is absolute no implications that he has off field mental issues!). He has that stunning and amazing knack for the spectacular and impossible throw. But displays no other viable NFL skills. His best throws are back yards throws that have nothing to do with the offense. Plus, I would never draft a QB who has a Mohawk. Any other position, no problem at all, but the QB position is the most unique in all of sports. Where if they have the slightest flaw mentally, personality wise, or a simple oddity, it just gets magnified so tragically that is cracks them.

"It didn't always look like maybe it was supposed to look, his style of play, but you could always see he had an immense skill set," his HC at TT Kingsbury said. "It was pretty evident he had ability, and I felt if we could corral it in enough that he could be exceptional. He ended up being exceptional."
I admit I don't know why, but you have to be so uncompromisingly dedicated to the position in such a crazy and obsessive way, or you just can't handle the choices that an NFL QB has to make in a split second. You have to be Rain Man on the field and know that 356 toothpicks fell on the floor instead of 360 in a split second, "definitely 356". Or you'll throw INTs when it matters most. 

He has that ability to count the 356 toothpicks and whip the ball in wacky fashion when no one else can see what he saw, but he showed no aptitude to run an offense. You also have to have the ability to known what everyone else on the offense is doing, and why. It is a series of three or four impossible tasks. I could never do any of them. And if you are failing at one of them (never mind all of them;), you cannot win in the NFL. He is failing, like Manziel, in the ability to run an offense, and the basic understanding of what everyone is doing in the offense. 

He is a converted baseball player with the best arm in the Draft. "He really worked on the mental aspect of it and studying film and learning our offense and the intricacies of it," Kingsbury said. "The strides I saw him make were astronomical, and I can only guess that is going to continue." I hope so, because mentally he has a vast chasm to overcome.

He played in the QB killing Air Raid offense that does nothing to help a QB translate to the NFL. "I have reservations about anyone coming out of Texas Tech," a scout said, "Washington State, or pick your school with that system," He did nothing, except physically throw the ball to a WR, that translates to the NFL from that system.

TT is were QBs go to become coaches. "The criticism of quarterbacks in this system carries no merit with me," Kingsbury said about his system, even though he is an example of a QB who failed to translate to the NFL out of that system. "But I understand where they get it from. With Patrick, you can put on the film and see that he is able to do things within a spread offense that very few quarterbacks can. His arm talent is elite. His athleticism is way up there. He is a very cerebral player. So it's hard for me to say he could be lumped in there with other guys just because they played in a spread offense." It is hard for me to believe that you can't.

Raise your hand if you've heard this before. "If you watch me play and you compare me to those guys, you realize I am a different type of quarterback," Mahomes said. "It's me controlling the offense and having full control. That's the stuff that I feel teams are looking at, and that is why you are seeing the momentum grow in my corner." Is that a quote from Kingsbury or Tim Couch when they came out of the Air Raid system?

Plus (and I admit this is unfair) he strikes me as guy who says what he thinks people want to hear. "It has been fun just really getting to meet with a lot of the great offensive minds in football and getting to talk to them," Mahomes said. "They kind of pick my brain, but I am learning from them. Every day I am taking an opportunity to get better, whether it's on visits or workouts. I'm listening to those guys." He is a very smart kid who knows how to say the right thing.

People who really like him have been comparing him to Aaron Rogers. "When you're talking about guys who can make those unbelievable throws, and Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre are all-time greats," Kingsbury said. "So I hate to make that comparison, but his style of play is that. It might not always be on schedule. It might not always be pretty. But he has an ability to extend plays, to move to his right and move to his left, and make incredible throws down the field that most quarterbacks simply can't attempt. That's a special talent." I think they both absolutely love to make that comparison, and believe it whole-heartedly.

He tested very well athletically at the Combine. "He's got a great arm, big balls and he's mobile," an exec said. " He is going to drive his head coach crazy for the first couple of years, and there is no getting around that. If it clicks for him and he's coachable, I think he could become a special quarterback." He also had some great interviews, and is a mature kid who played in college for five years.

He is a terrific athlete who can throw on the move.  "You [know] how John Elway could scramble around and at the last second just square up and throw the ball the length of the field?" a scout said. "This guy can do the same thing. He didnít play in a bowl game this year but, remember, John Elway never played in a bowl game. [His team] had the worst defense in the nation. He had no backs and receivers this year. Excellent athlete and arm strength. He's got a gunslinger mentality." He can make every throw.

He plays in the Air Raid system that pumps up stats too far past talent. "He plays in that junk offense and has a lot to learn," a different scout said. "A lot. Heís got quick feet and a [NFL arm]. 4.0 student. Good kid." Moving mentally from the Air Raid, is like a moving a kindergartner into the NFL.

I keep hearing he might have the best arm talent in this Draft. "He could [become on NFL QB], but I donít see it," some scout said. "He has no vision, no mechanics. Heís erratic as hell. Makes a lot of mistakes." I'm glad I'm not the only one.

He is a "not me" player. "Definitely there are a lot of guys who are really good in this class, Webb said. " Iím going to compete hard. I definitely think I could be (the best QB). I have the talent to be. So itís going to be all on who works the hardest off the field from the film work, the in your practice, exactly how you want it. That will determine who is the best guy." You can take a chance on him, but not me.

Career Passing Statistics:
Season GP CMP  ATT   INT  YDS    TD   Long   %    AVG/P  AVG/G
2014     7    105    185     4     1547    16    82      .57    8.4        221.0
2015   13    364    573   15     4653    36    90      .64    8.1        357.9
2016   12    388    591   10     5052    41    81      .66    8.5        421.0

The Reason: He has a chance in KC, because he is going to sit and be developed for  three to five years. "I donít worry about Alex on this. Alex knows we trust him. Alex is the starting quarterback. Nothing is going to change there. The kid is going to take some time. He understands that," Reid said. "But thereís gonna be a day Alex isnít playing anymore and weíll need someone to step in and play." If they don't Garoppolo him for over 4 or 5 years he will be a bust.

He shows virtually no mental ability to play in the NFL, off what he did in college. "Right now Patrick isnít absolutely ready to play, heís got some work to do," Reid said. "He's going into a great [QB] room. He can learn from Alex. We have to be patient with him. Tremendous upside. Good person, intelligent with great skill." There is a difference between intelligence and football intelligence.

I'm not saying he is a dumb. I'm not saying that. "When you do a move like this, you have to do it with everybody. All the way back when we evaluated him in September, the consensus was he has unbelievable talent and the skill-set to be an unbelievable player when you make an aggressive move like that," Dorsey said. "When you do a move like this, you have to do it with everybody. All the way back when we evaluated him in September, the consensus was he has unbelievable talent and the skill-set to be an unbelievable player when you make an aggressive move like that." I'm saying the offense he played in in college taught him nothing about playing in the NFL.

Watch some of his deep throws that every goes nuts about, and you can see his feet are sideway (SideWays!) on some of them. "Very seldom do you have a perfect pocket in the National Football League. And we thought he did that well." Reid said. "Iíve been around the best gunslinger ever with Brett Favre. Iím not into comparisons. Theyíre different players. Brettís a Hall of Fame player and this kid has a long way to go before that, but I think when you have an opportunity to talk to him and be around him, he has an energy and certain intensity you like." Favre was another idiot savant in the pocket.

Reid saw Favre's arm, and his instincts to throw the ball in the right spot, even though he didn't always understand the what, where, and why of the throw. "Youíve got to learn from your mistakes. That gunslinger mentality to make the throws [can be good sometimes, but usually not], but when you have a defense like the Chiefs have, you have to make sure you protect the ball," Mahomes said. "Itís extremely exciting to play for a coach you know will coach you well. Itís something you always want." As much as this pick makes me nuts (and historically had been a disaster every, single, time) he has a chance. 

I mean, a five year chance to sit on the bench and relearn everything he never learned about playing quarterback in college. "Ron Wolf taught me a long time ago," Reid said. "When that happens, you go get him. And Dorse attacked that." They have projected him to be Favre. Who Wolf traded a 1st Round pick for, after Atlanta took him in the 2nd the year before. 
He is not Favre. Favre did not play in the QB-Killing Air Raid offense. Favre had great feet in the pocket. "I could change any play at any time of the game," Mahomes said. "Thatís Coach Kingsbury believing in me." Yeah, good luck with that

I just can't believe that anyone would take this guy in the 1st. But everybody and their brother is saying it is so. At least here in KC they can Garoppolo him for four or five years. So he could have a chance. But the more QB-needy the team is that takes him the bigger his bust potential gets. Any team that think he can play within the next three year will destroy this kid.

11.

Saints

Defense: 4-3

**Marshon Lattimore

CB Ohio State

6', 192, (U) 4.36,

 

CB, WR, DE, LB, OT, LB, CB, WR,

2016 Picks: 

1-12 Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville
2 (47) Michael Thomas WR Ohio ST
2 (61) Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State|
4 (120) David Onyemata, DT, University of Manitoba
7 (237) Daniel Lasco, RB, California

Key F.A. Signed:  

ORG Larry Warford

DT Nick Fairley

OLB Alex Okafor

ILB Manti Teío

Key F.A.:  
RB Travaris Cadet
RB Tim Hightower
FB John Kuhn
WR Brandon Coleman (R) 
OG Jahri Evans
OG Tim Lelito
LT Tony Hills
DE Darryl Tapp
OLB Paul Kruger
OLB Kasim Edebali (R) 
OLB Michael Mauti
OLB Chris McCain (R) 
SS Roman Harper
SS Jamarca Sanford
CB BW Webb (R) 
CB Brian Dixon (R) 
CB Sterling Moore
CB Kyle Wilson
LS Justin Drescher 

Key F, A, Lost:

Brandon Cooks WR

Malcolm Butler CB

The Team: I did not see this coming. Teams must have been more concerned with his hamstrings than I thought. This means that the Pats have Malcom Butler staying a Patriot. Saints take  Lattimore with  11 Pick. So no Pick 32 for the  Pats (which helps the 2018 Super Bowl run for the Pats;). This is good news for the 2017 Patriots season.

Plus, teams were taking offensive players early, as they knew they could get starting DBs in the 3rd and 4th Round (and Brandon King in the 5th;). "Itís hard to tell. Itís hard to predict. Obviously, thereís always the quarterback factor and thatís significant and obviously for a number of good reasons," Payton said about all the Offensive players being reached for in the top 12. "I think three tight ends got selected today. That was a little surprising. The receivers we talked about went early. It is just hard to predict and I think that there werenít a bunch of offensive lineman. When you look at this draft, in those first 15 picks, we are looking at one, two, maybe three offensive lineman in the first 18 or 20 picks. I think a lot of the mocks and I think a lot of thought was that those defensive players would go off the board and a number of them did. It was just a few offensive players slide into the draft that maybe people didnít expect. Really itís all about the team and them making a selection. A lot will be written in the next three, four or five days and I think the teams are worried about what is written three or four years from now in regards to the player. Thatís how we kind of look at it. Itís sticking to your grades and the strength of how you feel about the player." At some point these defensive players became steals.

If anyone said they saw Lattimore falling to New Orleans they were lying. "No," Payton said when asked if he though Lattimore would drop. "We had a lot of conversations about backing up a couple, three or four. It would be normal during that time frame a couple picks prior and often times those discussions are always the idea if this guy is not available then can we back up. We had those conversations at pick 32 as well and ultimately you weigh the options and I think at 11 clearly for us we werenít going to move out of that pick. We had talks about moving up a couple of picks just to secure Marshon, and yet it happened at a fairly good rate. There was one trade up. Kansas City came up and got Patrick. I think there were a few things that took place that gave us this opportunity and we felt pretty good about how it worked out." Like three WRs with some questions going in the top ten.

The Saints didn't even bring him in for a meet and greet. "Well, we were all there for the pro day," Payton said. "[We] had dinner and spent time with him. We felt like we had a pretty good handle on our evaluation with him. There are a handful of reasons why someone might come in. We may not have had the exposure postseason, maybe it would be a medical or maybe it would be character or makeup that we want to go through. Clearly with him we didnít feel the need to." This was a pure shocked-he's-there pick. 

The Saints were truly desperate for a CB. "No, we had a pretty good grasp as to their draft class, but I donít know that factored in as much," Payton said. "Certainly you talk to Michael Thomas a few months ago about the early part of the process and thoughts that he had on some of his players. There is valuable information when youíre able to talk to players on your own team with regards to a free agent or maybe someone thatís relatively new that would be able to give you a little bit of background, but I think that we value obviously his prototype, his size. We value his speed, he has tremendous ball skills and there were a number of things that when you get a high-graded player at a position of need then it becomes an easier selection and in this case that was that player." Plus, they have shown they have a nice connection with Ohio State.

The Saints are on all out all the time crusade to improve their defense. "It was pretty simple," Payton said. "He has missed some time. The good news is that he just came off of a year playing healthy. Obviously, it is something that you have to work on maintaining and all of the things that heíll have to do in regards to hydration and taking care of himself. He is kind of one of those guys thatís wound tight. But it wasnít a medical grade that said hey, this guy is only going to have two or three more years. It was more of weíve got to be smart with our attention and the workload heís receiving. Itís just that heís one of those types of players. Certainly, itís an alert in regards to just how we train and making sure that heís on a good maintenance schedule." That had started with an Corner. 

This Draft is loaded at Corner, but when a talent like Lattimore is on the Board he is tough to pass on. "It was outstanding," Payton said about the reaction to the pick. "Through a lot of the different scenarios, he was one of those players we felt would be difficult to anticipate him being there. Things happen and each team has a certain goal and a certain way they want to approach it. Right from the beginning when Ryan Pace and Chicago went up to two and took a quarterback, that surprised a lot of people I think. There were other positions we thought they might be drafting and right away, there were some fluid surprises." This was a great pick by the Saints.

This pick is turning into a very interesting pick. Unsubstantiated rumors have been unfurled that maybe the Saints will sign Butler to a contract, and snag Butler that way to complete the deal they started with Cooks. He is scheduled to go to New Orleans for an interview, medical, and contract talks on Thursday. "#Saints coach Sean Payton to AP: #Patriots RFA Malcom Butler visiting New Orleans on Thursday." Martel. They are proceeding cautiously because it is complicated for both teams. 

However, if the Saint offer him a Gilmore contract the Pats don't get their pick back. The Pats get this pick back. Which as you can see above would be a very interesting pick to have. And as Florio pointed out, neither side can really talk about it. "Thereís no trade talks going on with Carolina," Belichick said back in 2009 about Julius Peppers. "They donít have a signed contract. They canít talk about trading a player that isnít signed." But their are consequences for both sides if a contract is actually signed.

The whole Butler saga has me upset. "I don't know what's going to happen with that," Stephon Gilmore said. "But I'm looking forward to it. He's a great player. He made a lot of good plays in the league. I'd love to team up with him and play with him." It is feeling like an unraveling in an unsettling way. 

I get what Butler is saying. He is saying that he is worth Gilmore money, and he is. I also get what the Pats are saying. They have his nuts in a vise and they won't unravel them. I side with Butler in the short term. If I were him I would be pissed. 

And if ever there was a guy to give a break too it is Malcolm. "Obviously, he came in the league and grinded his way up to the top and made a lot of good plays in the league," Gilmore said. "You've got to respect him as a player. He made a lot of great plays on big stages, so I definitely respect him as a player. Playing in the league, you've got to have a strong mentality at the corner position and I think he has that fight in him. So that's one thing that sticks out from watching him. If you get him, he always comes back and puts it behind him and makes plays the next play." He almost single-handedly won a Super Bowl for the Pats. So you want to give him a break.

However, while the Pats are wrong in the singularity of the case, the problem is the macro. While it makes sense to give the Super Bowl hero a break, the problem is that next season, and beyond... The Pats will have to face the same question from agents every year, "Well you did it for Butler?" So they cannot concede to Malcolm no matter what the cost, or it messes with their Program. So he is gone.

The good news is that if the Saints just give him a contract, and the Pats don't match, the Pats get this pick. So how do they work that out? They can't sign him while he is under the shadows of the restricted tag. Or, they have to give this Pick to the Pats. Which is not a bad deal for them. I would rather have Butler signed under a Gilmore contract for five years than this pick. Or as the rumor goes, maybe that is the deal. 

Which starts to sound good for both teams. The Pats get Cooks (for two-years), the Saints 4th (which the Ass Monkey has already said he will steal in unprecedented fashion, because when you get fined a pick you get fined your pick in that Round not some other team's pick you acquired later, ALWAYS!), and this pick (11th) in the NFL Draft. While the Saints get Butler for five years, the Pats 3rd, and Pick 32. Maybe I'm nuts but that sounds like a fair deal to me. 

Ironically, Butler and Cooks had an interesting battle in Preseason. "No, not really," McCourty said when asked if he saw it. "I was on the field. We'll watch the film. But two very good players going at it. So I think that's just good work for both of them." It would be even more ironic if they had a chance to battle again this Preseason. 

They did a good job addressing their defense in last years Draft, but they didn't really address the secondary. They grabbed a Safety, but didn't even take a peek at a CB. That was a big mistake. 

The Player2/18 Marshon Lattimore: Best Hips In The Draft.

The Reason: He missed 21 games because of his Hammies. But he has great movement skills. 

He is a press corner, who is best when he can get his hands on a WR. So they just sat at 11 and let him fall. "No," Payton said about trying to trade up. "We had a couple discussions. It was a little pricey. We just felt like this next couple rounds of this draft was where the strength of this daft was, and to not have pick 42 or even the two threes [was foolishly pricey]. I think this is the strength of this draft, weíre going to see tomorrow. Just looking at the list before coming down here, there are lot of good football players still on the Board. We felt like it was hard to think about with the number of needs we have [on defense]. A two for one [meant one less good player]. Ultimately, that was the sense." Elite burst going down field to explode in front of the WR and grab the ball.

Very physical at the LOS. "He was three or four for us," Payton said. He was up there. "I think he is an outside player and Iím not saying he canít play inside, but I think he goes to one side of the ball or the other and depending on what youíre doing by scheme, but that would be the evaluation." Great returner after the INT. He is a elite CB prospect. Nice blitzer off the edge. He can back off a little, and play a little Off. 

Once they took him the deal for Butler was long forgotten. "Yes and yet all of those things still remain open," Payton said about trading for a veteran CB. "If weíre in the draft at some point, and we feel like the grade on a particular player is such that weíd draft. Again the key is the vision with both players we drafted. Today the vision was pretty clear." Elite at the end of patterns, Especially deep down field.

He can run under the ball 50-yards downfield and catch it like a WR. "Yes we did, and yet we werenít looking at it like just necessarily all these defensive players," Payton said about all the tasty morsels left on the board. "Malik [Hooker] was one. There were a couple players that just kind of maybe were projected to go earlier. Jonathan Allen is a real good football player. Itís just hard to factor in some of the other needs and some of the other evaluations of the other teams, but probably one of our best scenarios would be to have that corner be available so we wait ten minutes just to make sure there are no other offers, but we felt real excited about the way it unfolded." He is a one year wonder.

He is not as good in the slot. He is primarily an outside guy. "Thought it was one of the more interesting drafts weíve been in with some of the selections at the top of the draft and kind of how it unfolded," Payton said. "There is always a little bit of unpredictability with regards to what certain teams may or may not do. We thought there might be two quarterbacks taken before our pick and I think the receiver position maybe there was one more taken then we would have expected. We didnít feel like in a lot of our own mocks and maybe our own projections that weíd have a chance at Marshon (Lattimore). Weíre excited, real excited about him being there at 11." He is good pushing off WRs trying to block him, but he is not great in run game.

I think they made a big mistake to pass on Butler. But they didn't want to give up pick 11, and the Pats couldn't take less for their best DB. When the Saints had a great secondary they won it all. Butler would be a good start in that direction. If not? Than Thomas is a guy you can build your passrush around.

12.

Texans

Defense: 3-4

*Deshaun Watson

QB Clemson

6-2 1/2, 215, 

 

QB, ORT, NT, WR, ILB, OG, DB,  

2016 Picks:

1 (21) Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
2 (50) Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
3 (85) Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio ST
4 (119) Tyler Ervin, RB San Jose ST
5 (159) KJ Dillon, S, West Virginia
5 (166) D.J. Reader, NT, Clemson

 

Key F.A. Signed:

TE Ryan Griffin

Key F.A.:

RB Johnathan Grimes
G Oday Aboushi
DT Devon Still
NT Vince Wilfork
DT Brandon Dunn (R)
DE Antonio Smith
LT David Quessenberry
ILB Akeem Dent
P Shane Lechler
K Nick Novak
CB Charles James (R)
CB Robert Nelson (R)
SS Qunitin Demps
FS Don Jones

Key F.A. Lost:

QB Brock Osweiler

QB Brian Hoyer 

NT Vince WIlfork

OLB John Simon

CB AJ Bouye

The Team: I had this pick. This is the 6th Pick I forecasted correctly in the top 12. Nobody does it better. It makes me feel sad for the rest.

This is a guy you have to root for. "I knew it was a possibility," Watson said. "But I didnít know it was going to happen like this. To trade up like they did and believe in me, itís amazing. Itís hard to even talk about. Iím so stoked. Itís so surreal. Itís a blessing." He got his first real chance in a Habitat for Humanity House.

He played very well against Alabama twice in Champ Games. "My personality and the way I carried myself was just a great fit for the team," Watson said. "I just canít wait to get down there and get to work." He completed a tick above 64% of his passes in those two Champ games, against an Alabama defense that was the best over the past two years.

He is a terrific QB. "One of the things that impressed us the most was his ability to retain information with poise," O'Brien said. "We do several different things with our conversations with our quarterbacks. He handled it all very well. That impressed us." He only lost one game last season, against Pitt.

He threw too many INTs. "Youíre playing probably the hardest position in professional sports," OíBrien said. "You have to make decisions at a momentís notice. You have to be ultra-prepared. You have to be an ultimate competitor. You have to be a great communicator. You have to have leadership skills." He had more than one INT against Troy, Louisville (3), FLA ST, Ohio ST, and of course Pitt (3).

However, in the six biggest games of the last two seasons, he was great. "One thing that stood out to me was how he played in clutch moments, in big games, games that really meant everything, national championship games, big ACC games, the guy came through," OíBrien said. "When the chips were down, he was able to lead his team to victory. And I think that says a lot about a quarterback in the end. One of the things we look at." He was easily the most clutch QB over the past two years. 
He is going to have to sit for a year or two. "I love the guy," Houston QB Tom Savage said. "Thatís what I look forward to, is going to practice every day. Heís going to be hard on me. Thatís what you want as a quarterback. Heís the type of guy that is always talking shop with you, and thatís the type of guy you want to go out there and you want to brawl for." There are no plug and play QBs in this draft.

Okay, let's face it. "With saying very little, he brings a presence to him," Jordan Palmer said. "I know a lot of the teams felt it. Players feel it. The Clemson players in the NFL were all calling their coaches telling them to take this kid. So he has this presence around him with and he does it by saying very little. And he wins. Heís 89 and 9 as a high school and college starter." They have one need and one need only, QB. Everything else is BS.

They have some trouble. Losing their top CB is going to hurt in this defense. "A.J. [Bouye] is a very important part of our team," Bill O'Brien said. "Iíve said that all along. Heís a guy that has really worked hard to improve his own skillset. He played very well for us this year. He played well for us last year. John Butler, our secondary coach, has done an excellent job with him. So we really want him back. We realize that free agency and things like that Ė we understand the process of how it all works. Hopefully we can get him back before free agency starts but if it doesnít, weíll continue I know to work hard to try to get him back on our team. But weíd like to have him back." He opens up a big hole in their secondary.
They were scouting down at the Combine for some players who fit in with their team. "For me personally, the most important parts of the combine are the interviews at night and the medical reports," O'Brien said. "The on-field stuff I think is good, but theyíre not wearing pads, the quarterbacks arenít facing a rush. Thereís some things you can take from the on-field stuff. Iím not saying itís bad. I donít want to go down that road. Iím just saying itís more about the other two things for me." He learned from Belichick that team building has as much to do with character as talent.
But none of it really matters until they get a QB. "As it relates to quarterbacks, again, when youíre able to talk to these guys in the room, youíre able to really get [time with them in a box], you have 15 minutes," O'Brien said. "Fifteen minutes is actually kind of longer than you think. You can get a lot of information out of them. You can talk to them about their offense. You know, ĎHey, what was going on in this game protection-wise? Are you directing the run game? Are you in charge of this? How did you handle this two-minute situation?í Iím really looking forward to talking to these guys that weíre bringing into our room about all the different games that Iíve watched on them and see what their thoughts are on them. To me, itís the interview process with the quarterbacks, just like every other player." They will likely have to go offense here.

The Player: 4/15 Deshaun Watson Bio.

The Reason: They don't really feel comfortable with Strong. "We've said all along that we feel comfortable with Tom Savage," their GM Rick Smith said. "Tom Savage, in this offense, knows how to operate this offense. So that's our expectation. Deshaun comes in and learns. I think he has some things to improve on. But we're in a good situation where we do feel good about Tommy at the position. We'll let Deshaun come in and learn, compete and do all those things we do at every other position on the football team." They need Savage to hold down the fort for a year or two.

Watson was top three in taking a hit, and completing the next pass. "They have a lot of weapons," Watson said. "They can spread you out. There's so many different things you can do from what I've seen and I've learned from Coach O'Brien over the visits. They have a great defense. A great O-line, great weapons around me. For me, all I need to do is keep my head down, don't say anything, learn from all the veteran guys, learn from Tom Savage, learn from Brandon Weeden and just play my role, whatever role that is, play it well and help the team out, win." Texans did a great job getting my top QB, as the third QB taken. 

He just wins baby. He was the MJ of college football. "It was actually the whole offensive staff that met with Deshaun when he came," Bill O'Brien said. "Which I donít think is easy for a young man to come in. Obviously, a bona fide draft prospect, a guy to come in here and have to stand up in front of nine guys in the room: offensive line coach, receiver coach, quarterback coach, head coach." The Texan have a shot with him if they can keep him on the bench for a couple of years.

He needs some work on his accuracy. "He comes in, he learns, puts his head down and goes to work," Smith said. "Starts to try to earn the respect of his teammates to try to learn how to play quarterback in pro football. Right now, weíre very comfortable with where we are with the quarterback position with Tom [Savage]. Tom is going to continue. I like Tomís potential in this offense." He throws it to the wrong shoulder way too often.  

One of the reasons Williams made so many spectacular catches is that Watson struggled to put it in the bread basket his whole career. "He met with our whole offensive staff," OíBrien said. "It was impressive. He was able to learn plays. Teach the plays back to us." His offense didn't help him out any either.

But he showed a propensity for putting the ball in the right place in the most clutch of situations. "Well, let me just give you a general answer and then Iíll give you a more specific answer on that. For me personally, the most important parts of the combine are the interviews at night and the medical reports. The on-field stuff I think is good, but theyíre not wearing pads, the quarterbacks arenít facing a rush. Thereís some things you can take from the on-field stuff. Iím not saying itís bad. I donít want to go down that road. Iím just saying itís more about the other two things for me," O'Brien said at the Combine. "As it relates to quarterbacks, again, when youíre able to talk to these guys in the room, youíre able to really get 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes is actually kind of longer than you think. You can get a lot of information out of them. You can talk to them about their offense. You know, ĎHey, what was going on in this game protection-wise? Are you directing the run game? Are you in charge of this? How did you handle this two-minute situation?í Iím really looking forward to talking to these guys that weíre bringing into our room about all the different games that Iíve watched on them and see what their thoughts are on them. To me, itís the interview process with the quarterbacks, just like every other player." Watson blew them away at the Combine.

He played in the biggest games in college the past two years. "Heís a winner, 33-5 as a college quarterback, national champion," OíBrien said. "When I met him at the Combine, very poised guy. I felt that he was a guy that answered the questions very honestly, had a good memory, good recall of specific plays that happened during his college career." He was 5 and 6 in the Playoffs and ACC Champ Game the past two years.

Ironically, B'OB is going to be fired because of his inability to acquire an NFL caliber QB (for those tasteless non-Pats fans, Bill was Brady's QB coach before he went to Penn ST;).

When you have a young QB you have to do certain things to help him out. "Competition is open with every position on our team. Obviously with the exception of a few [positions]," O'Brien said. "I mean, Iím not going to stand up here and tell you that every single position is open. Obviously, thereís positions that we know certain players are going to start. But the majority of positions on our team, thatís what weíve based our program on from the day we walked in here. Weíve based our program on competition and competing in practice. Thatís kind of what we... really believe in. The depth chart changes with us. I think you guys have seen that whether itís quarterback or any other position. So thatís what our team is based on. Thatís what our coaching staff believes in. Competition will always be a part of our program here." McCaffrey helps out their wretched refuse at QB more than any other player left on the Board.

You have to get a defense that can help him win, check. You have to get him an elite OLT to protect his back, check. You have to get him some weapons to throw to. That is almost a check. Hopkins is almost a check by himself. You also have to get him an RB to take some pressure off of him. 

13.

Cardinals

Defense: 3-4

Haason Reddick

LB Temple

6-1.5, 237, (O) 4.52! S-1.6,

11'1"Broad! †36.5"Vert,

7.01 3-Cone, 4.37 SS,

24 Reps, 32 3/4" Arms,

 

CB, QB, 5-T(FA), ILB, DB(FA) LB, NT, OLB, OLB, OL, CB,

2016 Picks:

1 Robert Nkemdiche, DT Ole Miss

3 (92) Brandon Williams, CB, A&M

4 (128) Evan Boehm, C, Missouri

5 (167) Marqui Christian, S, Midwest State

5 (170) Cole Toner, OT, Harvard

6 (205) Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Key F.A. Signed:

RB Andre Ellington

TE Jermaine Gresham

OLB Chandler Jones

OLB Jarvis Jones

Key F.A.:

RB Chris Johnson
RB Stepfan Taylor
WR Jaron Brown
WR Brittan Golden (R) 
TE Darren Fells (R) 
OG Evan Mathis
OG Taylor Boggs (R) 
OG Evan Mathis
OC AQ Shipley
RT Earl Watford
DE Josh Mauro (R) 
DT Frostee Rucker
OLB Joplo Bartu
ILB Kevin Minter
K Chandler Catanzaro (R)
LS Aaron Brewer
P Ryan Quigley
CB Mike Jenkins
CB Tharold Simon
SS DJ Swearinger

Key F.A.:

DE Calais Campbell

OLB Alex Okafor

SS Tony Jefferson

CB Marcus Cooper

The Team: I knew he was going here. I was going to change this pick and I didn't. And I knew I was going to regret it. 

He was incredible at the Senior Bowl. "This guy has an eternal chip that sits on his shoulder and his passion, his energy are really infectious when he walked in our interview room," Keim said. "He had just this infectious smile, this way about him, yet at the same time, you could tell he was a passionate guy who had a presence and that was one of the things that drew us to him." I tried to do a Tape of him, but what he did at Temple had nothing to do with what he did at the Senior Bowl, which is what got him drafted in the top 15. 

He was the best off the ball LBs I saw at the Senior Bowl in year. "I mean, the tape was excellent," Keim said. "10 and a half sacks, he was explosive. He went to the Senior Bowl, he played stack linebacker, which he has never done before, and he looked like a guy who made the transition with ease, which we know is hard to do when youíre playing with your eyes and instincts." I have been comparing every LB and his brother to Collins, but he truly is a Collins clone without the crazy. 

Both played Safety. "And then he went to the combine and blew up the tests, running a 4.4. at 240-pounds," Kiem said. "And heís 6-2, and then we just talked to the kid more and more and then brought him out here to Phoenix and again just the mentality that he has, and the adversity that he has faced in his life. We just felt he would be a great fit in this organization." Both played LB in college, and then played DE their Senior Years at somewhere in the 230s. 

They both have that knack for hitting the quarterback. "Iím not one for other peopleís opinion,Ē Reddick said. "Iím not worried about being compared to anybody. Iím not trying to be compared to anybody. Iím just trying to be Haason Reddick." He is a very unique player. 

They both had 10 sacks as a senor edgerushers. "He will have a huge impact at a lot of different positions," Arians said. "He gives us a lot of flexibility." Dansby is slowing down a little, and Bucannon is not going to last long playing inside every down.

They also have two free agents ILB they apparently don't want to sign. "I hate saying it, but Von Miller," Arians said, and instantly regretted it. "Heís just a little smaller than Von. Heís got that unbelievable speed and heíll turn the corner. But then heís also played inside and you can see that stack linebacker ability hat he has. So I donít like comparing them like that, but thatís the one guy I can think of." This pick as a big deal for this defense. 

They drafted him as a plug and ply ILB. He can also like up as the Will in even fronts, and can rush from the edge. "We love two-for-one players," Arians said. "He will have a huge impact in a lot of different positions." He will line up and rush the QB as well. Though less than most people think.

He is more of a 4-3 OLB than a 3-4 OLB. "I donít like comparing him like that," Arians said about him comparing him to Von Miller. "But thatís the one guy I can think of. I donít want to say itís not a projection, because they are all projections. But I felt it was a pretty easy pick." He is not Von Miller. That comparison is ludicrous. 

They are going to use him the way the Pats used Jamie Collins when he was at his best. "When they told me Iíd play inside linebacker, my mind was [like], 'hey, here goes a new position I have to go dominate,'" Reddick said. "It's nothing new to me." He will blitz up the middle like Collins, and cover in the Flat and the box. He can also chase the TE down the seam.

The Player: 5/04 Hassan Reddick: Reminds Me OF Jamie Collins.

The Reason: They had to get an ILB for their 3-4 who could help lead the defense. "A lot of these young men were big time 5-star recruits where they were coddled at whatever college they played at. Hereís a guy who had to work for everything he got," Keim said. "Being a walk-on at Temple, growing up tough, and he is really, really made a tough situation turn into a success story, and I admire him for that, and that will carry over on to his NFL career. Because these guys, they all face adversity. Whether itís adversity in their home life, adversity on the field, and the guys who are weak mentally and weak physically, they donít know how to respond. Well, when things are going to happen to Haason Reddick, he is definitely going to answer the bell, in my opinion." Buchanan has played great, but he is still a Safety playing ILB. 

They needed a true thumper, and a guy to run the show. "More along the lines of Ryan Shazier with the Steelers," Kiem said. "A guy who, in terms of the size, the speed, and the explosiveness, this kid is a little more unique in terms of positional flexibility. With the chance to play outside linebacker in our scheme, to play inside. Thereís no secret we have coveted hybrid players here the last several years. Talking about guys like Tyrann Mathieu, who can play deep, they can play in the slot. Guys like Deone Bucannon, whoíve played safety, they can play Will linebacker." Teams don't usually like to take ILBs this high.

But he can rush the passer, and get into the backfield and find the RB. "So to me, this game has become a matchup game, an isolation in space game," Kiem said. "So to have a linebacker who can not only bounce to play outside linebacker, rush the passer, or to play stacked in the box, and cover backs and tight ends. To me, I think itís a tremendous benefit." They need a leader in the middle, a run stuffer, and a guy who can cover RB out of the backfield.

14.

Eagles

From

Vikings

*Derek Barnett

OLB/DE

6-5, 265, #9 

 

CB, OLT, OLB, RB, CB, DB,  ILB, OG, WR, DL, 

2016 Picks:

1  Carson Wentz QB N.Dakota ST
3 (79) Isaac Seumalo, OC Oregon ST
5-153 Wendell Smallwood RB WVU
5 Halapoulivaati Vaitai OT, TCU
6 (196) Blake Countess, CB, Auburn
7 (233) Jalen Mills, S, LSU
7 (240) Alex McCalister, DE, Florida
7 (251) Joe Walker, ILB, Oregon

Key F.A. Signed:

QB Nick Foles

WR Alshon Jeffery

WR Torrey Smith

OC Stefen Wisniewski 

Key F.A.:

RB Kenjon Barner (R)
WR/TE Trey Burton
WR Michael Johnson
OLB Bryan Braman
ILB Najee Goode
ILB Stephen Tulloch
FS Chris Maragos
S Jaylen Watkins (R) 
LS Jon Dorenbos
P Donnie Jones

Key F.A. Lost:

QB Chase Daniels

DE/OLB Connor Barwin

DT Bennie Logan

CB Nolan Carroll

The Team: Derek Barnett is a great technician on the edge, but his Forty was not what Passrushers want. "Achieving that sack record definitely meant a lot to me, but I would have traded it away in a heartbeat to have won a championship while I was in college," Barnett said. "So understand that even though I've achieved some noteworthy things and won some individual awards, they are not what drives me. I want to lead a defense. I want to be an important part of a winning team. I want to win a Super Bowl." They need him hitting the QB like he did at Tennessee.
He reminds me of Terrell Suggs, and both ran a bad Forty at the Combine. "It went well," Barnett said. "I met everyone on the defensive coaching staff. They think I'll be a good fit. They compared me to Terrell Suggs. They said I was a 'young-version of T-Sizzle. I feel like I fit good with them, too." But he showed he could hit the quarterback like Suggs, but in the SEC.
Now he has to translate that to the NFL. "I'm very coachable," Barnett said. "I think I can be efficient everywhere on the football field. Whatever the job description is, I think I can get it done." He has to turn the corner and hit the QB.
The Eagles really wanted improve their defense. "They're getting a player who can stop the run. I'm relentless. I don't give up on plays. They're getting someone who they know can get after the quarterback." They took defensive players with their first three picks. 
It was always seems like Philly is looking for a Edge Rusher. "What Derek is highly proficient at is at the top of his rush," Joe Douglas said. "So when the D-lineman gets to the top, he is excellent. Excellent ankle flexion, excellent ability to bend at the top and finish. He can close. And he uses a variety of moves. He uses the speed rush. He can use power." He has great hands to get to the QB.
Great dip and rip under either Tackle. "He fits the scheme, he fits the culture we're trying to build," Roseman said. "I think we have a tremendous player and a tremendous person." He is known for his top character.
You need to be relentless to be a great rusher in the NFL. "I think I'm a relentless ball player," Barnett said. "I don't give up on plays. I think I'm pretty consistent, too. I know how to get to the quarterback. Also, I can help the run there." He is not just a pure edgerusher.
He might also be able to rush inside a little. "It was an important job interview and if I didnít run it, a lot of people would have questioned my toughness," Barnett said. "I'm not going to run from anything, Iím a very competitive person." Barnett is a little shorter, but he reminds me physically of McGinest. 

The Player: 4/24 Derek Barnett: Fight For Consistency.

The Reason: The Eagles had to improve their defense. "We couldnít be more excited about Derek," Douglas said. "He is a guy as tough as nails. When I think of some of the teams I used to grow up watching here in Philadelphia heís going to fit in with some of those guys from the late 80ís, early 90ís Eagles teams." They have started with an edgerusher. 
This Draft is loaded edgerushers, but when the best SEC rusher is sitting on the board he is a tough guy to pass on. "We did expect at the 14th pick that there would be some good players,Ē Eagles vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said. ďThe names of those guys may have been a little different than we anticipated. Weíre always going to build along the lines. But at the same time we want to stick to our board and take the highest-rated guys that Joe and his staff put together. Derek fits our scheme. We fits the culture weíre trying to build. We think we got a tremendous player and a tremendous person." He has that knack for hitting the quarterback.
If he is as good as Suggs they will be ecstatic. "I actually did make a comparison between him and Terrell," Douglas said. "Just from the perspective that both guys didnít test outrageously at the combine setting but both are highly productive players." Suggs has helped the Ravens' defense for 15-years.
This is a good step towards the playoffs for this defense. "My plan is to come in and get around the vets and learn from them," Barnett said. "And hopefully when the season starts Iíll be able to contribute." They will line him up on the Blindside and set him loose.
You better have a great defense if you have a young QB and want to win. "What Derek is highly proficient at is at the top of his rush," Douglas said. "When the D-lineman gets to the top, he has excellent ability to bend at the top and finish. He can really close. And he uses a variety of moves. He can speed rush. He uses power on people. Youíre getting a guy who knows how to finish when he gets to the top of his rush." Barnett can help them get there.

Barnett was really the guy they wanted all along. "All through the process, in fact in December, Joe and I had a moment when he came to my office and started raving about Derek Barnett," Roseman said. "And I showed him a piece of paper that I had written down his name. So it was kind of a funny moment we had there." I hope he was right.

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