RB’s NFL Draft Predictions That Will Probably Be Wrong
Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are on Mock Drafts 1,450,267.4, so why can't I make a few predictions that will end up being wrong too?
Guessing the entire NFL Draft is a crap shoot. Teams trade up or down, players mysteriously drop and everyone's carefully constructed blueprints get set ablaze. Instead of going pick by pick like all the other analysts, lets set more practical goals. How hard can it be to pick five, sure-fire, storylines for the NFL Draft?
Will the Browns go full Cleveland and break the bank for Marcus Mariota? How far will Shane Ray fall after his pre-Draft marijuana fiasco? Who will be the first RB selected and where will they go? So many questions, so many different ways to end up being wrong.
With the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select...
1. Famous Jameis
The debate of Jameis Winston versus Marcus Mariota waged on leading up to and through the College Football Playoffs, but can we all finally put that to bed?
Cleveland can go ahead and trade their whole roster to move up and take Mariota number two because Famous Jameis will already be packing his bags for Tampa Bay. Leonard Williams is probably the best prospect in the draft, but QB's are the sports cars on the lot. Tampa Bay needs a Lamborghini, badly.
Say what you want about Winston's "off-the-field issues." His on-the-field smarts outweigh that by a ton. Watch Jon Gruden's QB Camp with Winston and try to act like he doesn't "get it." When it comes to drawing things up on the board, telling his guys where and when to be on the field and pure leadership, Winston is the guy. Also, Mariota is boring.
Boring shouldn't be the deciding factor in choosing your franchise QB, but it's the final straw to break the Bucs' camel's back. Hopefully the grocery stores around Tampa stay stocked up on crab legs...King Crab for Famous Jameis, preferably.
This prediction isn't that Winston will go first. Everybody knows that. The prediction is that he will be a good, possibly great, NFL Quarterback. I finally see it. Do you?
Next question: Who will drive their fan base crazy with an idiotic pick? (Hint: This should be easy.)
2. Cleveland Gonna' Cleveland
Should it surprise you that the franchise who selected Tim Couch and Courtney Brown with back to back 1st overall picks completely backfired on themselves again last year?
Follow this trail of terrible decisions: Cleveland drafts Trent Richardson (bad). Cleveland trades Trent Richardson for 1st round pick (good), which they then use on Johnny Manziel (bad again). After Manziel checks himself into rehab, rumors come out about the Browns moving on from their first round pick (all bad). Finally, draft people say Cleveland wants to trade WAY up to select Mariota 2nd overall. What makes you believe that would be a good idea?
There's a chance Mariota could flop in the NFL, based on the system he lands in. Those chances sky rocket if he heads to Cleveland. Because Cleveland. Trust me, I've learned not to put my hand on that hot stove anymore.
Don't worry, even if Cleveland doesn't mortgage their whole franchise for Marcus Mariota, they will make some other comedic mistake. History repeats itself, especially when it comes to the Cleveland Browns.
HONORABLE MENTION: The New York Jets. You can never rule out those knuckleheads.
Jumping to the opposite side, who will be the hidden gem of this class?
3. Not-So Momma's Boy, Alabama S Landon Collins
It takes a strong-willed young man to disobey your mother's wishes on national television, which Collins did when deciding to attend Alabama over LSU in his high school All-American game. He won't be selecting his team this time around, they will be selecting him. Whoever calls his name is looking at a future Pro-Bowler, and a sure-fire "hit."
If more teams were in need of a top level safety, Collins would probably go in the top 10. His ability to lay licks from the secondary and make reads on passing plays sets him atop the list of safeties in the draft, for sure.
Nick Saban's been cranking out NFL players for the last few years, but Collins is a special breed. He got better every year for the Crimson Tide, and his familiarity with pro-style structure and intense coaching makes him an attractive selection that should contribute immediately.
Collins will probably play more than 10 years in the league and make a few Pro-Bowls. Any team lucky enough to select him (projected 1st Round, early 20's) should be solidified at the safety position for years to come.
What about those RB's? Are they worth 1st Round picks?
4. Give Me A Gurley Man?
Most mock drafts have both Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon and Georgia RB Todd Gurley going in the first round. Keep in mind, a whopping total of zero backs were selected in the first round last year. Are they deserving of the grade? Absolutely. Will one of them be overdrafted? Absolutely.
Gurley is coming off an ACL injury last November, which kept him from doing all the drills and little things scouts wanted at his pro day and at the combine. That still hasn't stopped several draft analysts from slating him at 17th overall to the Chargers. What makes them think General Managers would pull the trigger that early, and for Gurley first?
I just don't see it. Hopefully the cameras don't stay too focused on the Georgia back with the hobbled knee because he could be sitting all the way into the mid to late 2nd Round.
Gordon, on the other hand, will and should go in the first round. No health issues. Workhorse mentality, check. Moves in space, check. The only thing remaining is his hands, which he worked on for NFL scouts. If he's as good as Gurley in the class room and in front of the whiteboard, it should be a no-brainer. If only we could be inside those interview rooms...not really, Roger Goodell. Don't get any ideas.
Every year there is a trade completely out of left-field? Surely it couldn't come from the New Orleans Saints...
5. Sweet Fro, Bro.
That flowing mane belongs to USC Defensive Lineman Leonard Williams, who might be the most dominant player in the entire draft. Most mock drafts have him off the board before the fifth pick, but if he's still there...
The game plan is clear for the New Orleans Saints: by the end of the 3rd Round, a new offensive lineman, cornerback and edge rusher should be on their way to the Crescent City. We've learned over the years that predicable game plans aren't exacly Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis' styles though. Instead of looking at trading up and taking Williams as if his first name was Ricky, think of the possible trade up as a move that improves the entire defense.
Top-level defensive lineman change the landscape of an entire defense. Williams can physically dominate on the interior or wreak havoc on the outside, depending on where you put him. You know who else can do that? JJ Watt. He's not the same player as Watt, but he has the upside to warrant such a lofty comparison in terms of immediate impact.
This prediction will probably be wrong, along with the thousands of other "hunches" or "hot tips" given out by draft experts every year.
It's fun to think we can predict the future, huh? It doesn't mean any of us are right, it just means we're all looking for the next Aaron Rogers to fall in our team's lap.