WILKES-BARRE, PA – Folks, it is finally draft week!
This is one of the more exciting times of the NFL year.
The NFL Draft is where teams reload and build for the future. One right pick can build the structure of a dynasty. But at the same time, one wrong selection could set a team back years to come.
This year’s draft class is extremely deep and has positions full of talent. This tight end class might be the greatest ever and the draft is full of talented secondary pieces. Even the quarterback class. While there’s no Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, there’s plenty of future starters and even potential stars.
Thursday starts three days of fun! And to prime you for it, I have an NFL Draft edition of Ebs’ Hot Takes.
Seven quarterbacks will be taken in the first and second rounds. Four quarterbacks: Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes II and Deshone Kizer. All will be taken in the first round.
Like I said, there’s no Andrew Luck. But Trubisky has talent, even though he has limited playing time. Watson has the clutch gene and great intangibles. Mahomes was a real fast riser through the pre-draft process and has a ton of talent, but is extremely raw. And I mean extremely, extremely raw. Kizer, like Mahomes, is also raw but has a lot of potential.
Then you have your second-round quarterbacks: Joshua Dobbs, Nathan Peterman and Davis Webb. Both Dobbs and Peterman have also been fast risers in the pre-draft process. Dobbs has some talent and is a great runner, but didn’t grow much at Tennessee. Peterman comes from a pro style at Pitt and might be the most-ready quarterback of the bunch. Webb is another quality quarterback that’s on that second tier.
Something worth of note: ESPN NFL Draft insider Todd McShay said on one of his recent First Draft podcasts, that he’d rather take Dobbs and Peterman in the second round than any of the first round quarterbacks. However, I’m a fan of all four of the projected first rounders. Trubisky has some serious skills. Watson’s a winner and with some seasoning will succeed at the next level. Mahomes is a perfect fit for a spot like the Arizona Cardinals or Pittsburgh Steelers, where he can sit back and learn for a couple of years before stepping in. And the same with Kizer.
Patrick Mahomes II could be a future New York Giant. When it comes to draft needs, it’s pretty simple for the New York Giants. They need offensive tackle and linebacker help and should start to think about the future at the quarterback position.
However, drafting at No. 23 likely means that former Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster is gone and an offensive tackle isn’t exactly a position worth drafting in the first round this year.
That leaves best player available or the quarterback position. If I’m the Giants and Pat Mahomes is on the board, I take the former Texas Tech quarterback. Mahomes is a project, but might have the highest ceiling out of any quarterback in the draft.
The Giants present the perfect situation for Mahomes too. With Eli Manning in place he won’t be asked to start until the 2019 at the earliest. That’s plenty of time for the Giants to get their hands on Mahomes and help him work on his mechanics and reach his potential.
If Mahomes isn’t there, which is a possibility, former Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis could be the pick.
Leonard Fournette’s landing spot is Carolina. My thought process is pretty simple with this one.
Cam Newton needs someone to help him relieve the pressure. The scheme is a perfect fit. Jonathan Stewart is starting to wear down. Leonard Fournette is also the best player available at pick eight. It’s a match made in heaven.
If Fournette doesn’t go to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 4, or the New York Jets at No. 6, it’s a pretty safe bet the former LSU Tiger ends up with the Carolina Panthers. If Fournette is gone before No. 8, don’t be surprised if Christian McCaffery’s the pick.