Monday, April 24, 2017

The 12 Most Interesting Prospects in the 2017 NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is almost upon us. I touched on the top running backs and quarterbacks last week, so this week, I really just want to point out the most interesting prospects in this draft. Maybe I like them, maybe I don't, and maybe I don't know what to think, but no matter which way you slice it, these are the most interesting names that will hear their name called over the next few days.

Jonathan Allen - Defensive Lineman - Alabama
Allen was a monster for Alabama and was seen as a definite top five pick at the end of the season. Then, at the combine, he basically shit the bed. He seemed to lack any sort of explosiveness in his athletic traits. But then you go back to the tape and it sure looked like he was explosive enough. I understand the concerns, but I am always going to side with the tape over the measurements, so although he isn't my favorite defensive lineman, I still think he's worthy of a very high pick.

Derek Barnett - Defensive End - Tennessee
Barnett had a ton of production in college as he broke Reggie White’s Tennessee sack record. Still, people are hedging their bets on him since they don’t see a great enough athlete to translate everything to the next level. I mean, the way people talked about him, I thought he was going to be Bjoern Werner, just plugging along and getting hustle sacks. But that ain’t Barnett. The guy is explosive, and he has a great feel for pass rushing. I consistently saw him explode off the snap and give offensive linemen a hell of a tough time all day long. Does he have the ceiling of a Myles Garrett? Definitely not, but if I had to bet my money on one guy producing multiple double-digit sack seasons, I’d put it on Barnett.

Zane Gonzalez - Kicker - Arizona State
People laughed last year when Roberto Aguayo went in the second round. And then the season started, and they laughed some more, because Aguayo was terrible at the beginning of the year. But Kicker is a lot like Quarterback, where you really want them to ride the pine for a year to learn the intricacies of the sport. Zane Gonzalez should not go in the second round, but he’ll probably go in the third, and you will laugh. Meanwhile, I’ll be laughing at you, as Gonzalez is basically the Peyton Manning of the kicking game. He’s so cerebral that they let him call his own plays. Yes, that only play is him saying, “Imma kick it,” but it works more often than it doesn’t. Could be the highest scoring player in the draft.

Jaleel Johnson - Defensive Tackle - Iowa
Some people love the tape, others hate the testing numbers. The short of it is that he’s been inconsistent where some days you wouldn’t notice him, and on others, he would seem to take the whole world over. The long of it can be found here.

Chad Kelly - Quarterback - Ole Miss
So I wanted to look at one under the radar quarterback who has been getting some buzz. Initially, I looked at Josh Dobbs, but there was nothing there. He's studying to become a rocket scientist, so I think he'll be fine without football. So after studying a rocket scientist, I figured I would go with the opposite and look at Swag Kelly. I think anybody who comments on a guy's character without having any real access to information is an idiot, but yeah, in the public, there have not been many nice things said about him. But dude can throw a football. He's also pretty damn athletic. His pocket awareness is good, and he does a good job of keeping his eyes down the field, although he doesn't scan the field effectively. Still, considering that nobody is talking about him as any more than a late round flyer or free agent acquisition, I think it'd be a good flyer to take late in the draft. Just doing a quick look at the talent, there is enough to be a second day pick, but considering the character concerns, he'd be a steal late in the draft.

Desmond King - Cornerback - Iowa
I love Desmond King, as you can’t teach this guy’s instincts. Although many are convinced he has to move to safety, I think he has the skills to stay at corner, but you can find everything about King here.

George Kittle - Tight End - Iowa
Kittle is going to drive me crazy, as he didn’t produce much in college, and I know exactly why. Because of a dipshit offensive coordinator, Greg Davis, who refused to utilize his tight ends, despite that being, by far, Iowa’s best receiving threats. It has been a sad trend in Iowa football, as Iowa continually sends tight ends to the pros despite unimpressive production in college. But Kittle is maybe the hottest tight end prospect out there right now. He was incredibly impressive at the combine, and his third best athletic comparison from those numbers is a name very familiar to Hawkeye fans, Dallas Clark. That means the only real question is whether he can block, and I think this play answers that question pretty clearly.
They are still trying to dig that NDSU player out of the turf. If Kittle can stay healthy, he is going to make a team very happy.

Marshon Lattimore - Cornerback - Ohio State
What I saw on the field was very good, but he has a history of hamstring injuries that makes me terrified of taking a high pick on him. Hamstring injuries always seem to recur, and the fact that he's had this many injuries while young does not give me a positive outlook for his future.

Haason Reddick - Defensive Player - Temple
This is a guy who has been shooting up draft boards as he tested off the charts at the combine. When I went to watch the tape, I didn't see anything to get excited about. I saw a guy who was weak at the point of attack, and I'm not totally sure where you put him. He's supposed to be an edge rusher with his athleticism, but I think he will get annihilated by linemen there. These super athletes are never my jam, and sometimes I am very wrong on them, but this isn't a chance that I think is worth taking.

Cam Robinson - Offensive Tackle - Alabama
Cam Robinson was a three-year starter at Alabama. That's not easy to do, because, like, there's a lot of talent at Alabama, so to stand out that early and keep that role is pretty impressive. Still, it seems like people aren't talking about him as a first round pick. I don't think he's Orlando Pace, but in a class that is weak with offensive linemen, you could do worse than Cam Robinson.

Ryan Switzer - Wide Receiver - North Carolina
Draft this man. He’s probably going to fall to the middle rounds, but when watching tape of Mitchell Trubisky, I couldn’t help but fall in love with Switzer along the way. The guy is an ideal wide receiver for the slot, as he has a combination of speed, quickness, and route running that makes him nearly impossible to cover. If you’re looking for a downside, he has alligator arms. Like, they might literally be alligator arms, as his arm length is only 28 inches, which ranks in the zero percentile of all wide receivers, and I’m pretty sure it’s the shortest arms for any prospect ever. Don’t care, Switzer is the shit...zer.

Solomon Thomas - Defensive Lineman - Stanford
Solomon Thomas is everything you want in a defensive lineman. There is no reason for him to drop out of the top five. Honestly, I could make a pretty compelling case about what I've seen on the field to take him ahead of Myles Garrett. I mean, just look at this play where North Carolina is trying to tie the game on a two-point conversion with 25 seconds left.

Enough said.

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