Well, Draft season is finally over. The 32 NFL teams combined to make 253 picks in seven rounds stretching three days. The NFL Draft really is one of the great events in all of sports. However, when one draft season ends, another begins. Even though we are still an entire year away from the 2017 NFL Draft, here are five predictions.
1. Myles Garrett Will Be A Top 5 Pick.
Myles Garrett is a monster. An unstoppable mix of length, athleticism, and motor. Garrett is 6’5″, 260 with long arms. That is the perfect body for an edge rusher. Garrett will likely run a 40 yard dash in the 4.5/4.6 range. Even with Von Miller and Khalil Mack. Garrett has an explosive first step with a great bend around the edge. The thing I like most about Myles Garrett is his motor. He never quits. Against Arizona State, he was caught inside on an end around, only to flip his hips and chase down the runner at the sideline. I have seen him line up as a three technique, bullrush a guard, and blow up a play. If the draft was today, I would take Myles Garrett first overall in a heartbeat.
2. Return Of The Running Backs
We are all familiar with the unfairly gifted man-child that is Leonard Fournette. But “Buga” is not the only running back likely to be taken in the first round. Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, Georgia’s Nick Chubb, and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey all have a very realistic chance of being first round picks. The last time four or more running backs were taken in the first round was 2008, when Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall, and Chris Johnson were selected.
3. LSU Will Have A Strong Showing
This year, LSU had just one player taken in the first three rounds (linebacker Deion Jones). Expect that to change next year. LSU might make a push to break or tie Miami’s record of six first round picks. Fournette, safety Jamal Adams, cornerback Tre’Davious White, receiver Malachi Dupre, linebacker Lewis Neal, and interior lineman Ethan Pocic are all names to watch.
4. Deshaun Watson Will Be The First Quarterback Taken
Deshaun Watson was a Heisman finalist as a sophomore and led Clemson to an appearance in the national championship game. Watson is a smart quarterback who can beat you with his feet, but does not rely on them. If Watson continues to impress, and nobody else has a ridiculous season (both of which are very possible), Watson will be the first quarterback taken, and he should not have to wait long.
5. Cleveland Will Have Two Top Ten Picks
Due to Cleveland’s trade with Philadelphia this year, Cleveland owns the right to Philadelphia’s 2017 first round pick. This offseason, the Eagles have shipped off a large number of players that were brought to the team under Chip Kelly. This mass exodus of players makes this a rebuilding year for Philadelphia, which should cause them to have one of the ten worst records in football. Cleveland, meanwhile, will continue to be Cleveland and finish 4-12.
Top Ten Draft Prospects So Far (no order):
Myles Garrett, EDGE, Texas A&M
Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU
Christian McCaffrey, Running Back, Stanford
Deshaun Watson, Quarterback, Clemson
Dalvin Cook, Running Back, Florida State
Jonathan Allen, Defensive Line, Alabama
Tim Williams, EDGE, Alabama
Jabril Peppers, Defensive Back, Michigan
Cam Robinson, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
As the year goes on, this list of players will change depending on how the help or hurt their draft stock.
Video Courtesy of GoodBullHunting.com