Dallas Cowboys - Michael Gallup WR Colorado St
- Overall, I think this draft class is not one of my favorites where I doubt linebacker Leighton Vander Esch or tackle Connor WIlliams with their first two picks will make that big of an impact. Even after those two picks it\'s a mixed bag, but I can see a talented receiver like Michael Gallup emerging as Dak\'s top option on the outside. The competition ahead of him on the depth chart is not stiff at all with the enigmatic Terrance Williams and oft-injured Allen Hurns above him at the moment. Neither of those guys should really slow down Gallup from seeing snaps early in the season and eventually taking over one of the top two spots. He is a natural athlete, but is not known as the smartest or most technical route runner yet. If he is coached up he could turn into a solid 2nd option at the very least. The only issue holding him back from stardom is Dak Prescott\'s willingness to spread the ball around and work within the offense. Rather than target a specific receiver, which is why Dez Bryant just did not work there and is now gone.
New York Giants - Saquon Barkley RB Penn St
- I was not a fan of taking a running back in the first five picks of the draft. Especially, when it came with passing up a possible franchise quarterback like Sam Darnold. However, I do expect Barkley to be a fantastic rookie putting up solid numbers with the Giants most likely using him as the centerpiece of their offense and taking the ball out of Eli Manning\'s shaky hands. I do worry that in college he never really had a huge workload and he was often tackled behind the line of scrimmage due to his hesitancy to hit the hole or inability to find it in time. Behind an okay Giants o-line that could be even harder for him going against NFL talent. At the moment, he is already a media darling a week into camp and I expect him to be a household name by mid-season. However, how upset will Giant fans be if Sam Darnold brings home a Super Bowl trophy to the Jets before Barkley does or none at all?
Philadelphia Eagles - Dallas Goedert TE South Dakota St
- I doubt he gets a lot of snaps, but the Eagles did not trade up for him to just ride the pine. Granted, a lot of their picks are going to be redshirted this season on their loaded roster, but I expect Goedert to see the field. He should fill the Trey Burton role after the Super Bowl champion moved on to Chicago. Burton did see some snaps with Ertz on the pine and even with him he saw some solid numbers. Goedert should fill the same role and nab the same stat line. I doubt he explodes this year, but eventually Ertz could move on due to salary constraints allowing Goedert to blossom in their explosive offense.
Washington Redskins - Derrius Guice RB LSU
- One of the easiest positions to transition to the NFL is running back where the concepts and ideas are all the same at every level. I have no doubt Guice should be a good bell cow back for the Redskins who have been seeking a go to runner since Alfred Morris was cast aside. Guice when motivated is a powerful bruising back who has a good blend of size, speed, and strength to be a solid to great back in Washington. The issue is his hands that need work coming out of LSU\'s stagnant offense and his own motivation issues. Those motivation issues are what caused him to slide so much in the draft along with his abrasive attitude towards coaches and GMs that wanted to talk to him leading up to the draft. He should be a good back until his contract is up and if he gets the big contract he could pack it in much like Chris Johnson of the Titans did a handful of seasons ago.
Chicago Bears - Anthony Miller WR Memphis
- I would lean towards Roquan Smith, but his currently unsigned and not practicing that will hold him back a bit to start the year as he gets up to speed. Plus, off ball linebackers rarely get the recognition they deserve even ones in Chicago known for their linebacker history. However, one player who has looked smooth and explosive from day one at camp has been 2nd rounder Anthony Miller who looks the part of an NFL slot receiver. Under new head coach Matt Nagy who likes to spread the ball around and get the hands in explosive players I am sure Miller should see his fair share of opportunities. The main issue is the fact that the Bears for once have a healthy compliment of options to play with between Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Adam Shaheen, Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Kevin White, and Trey Burton all expected to be important parts of the offense. I do think Miller should put up numbers comparable if not better to what Cooper Kupp put up last season for the Rams.
Detroit Lions - Kerryon Johnson RB Auburn
- Running backs are an easy cop out in these rookie breakout predictions just because how easy the transition is and honestly how good these backs in this draft class are. I though Johnson was one of the more overlooked backs in this class and he could be the same if not better to what Saquon Barkley can be in my opinion. Especially, since Johnson is landing in a scenario with a better overall offensive line, and a better quarterback to keep teams more honest. I also, expect them to make sure Johnson is a focal point of their offense to the point where I think he gets a 100 yard rushing game right off the bat in week one to get that monkey off their backs. Kerryon Johnson is my sleeper to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year and if the Lions have a solid season he should be more recognized.
Green Bay Packers - Jaire Alexander CB Louisville
- Let it be known, I think the Packers won this draft in the first round just by tricking the Saints to giving up a first round pick to move up for an edge rushers. However, I do not love their class as much as many other evaluators do. I expect either Jaire Alexander or Josh Jackson to see the field sooner than later and right now Alexander as the first rounder has the inside track to the job. Alexander has a special athletic skills set that gives him the upside to becoming a game changing talent. His injuries however, have limited him the past couple seasons and stunted his development. If he can stay healthy and develop his technique to compliment his athletic gifts he should be a solid player. I also suspect, his explosive talents make him a more media noteworthy name over to the more steady, but less flashy Josh Jackson.
Minnesota Vikings - None
- Much like the Eagles I suspect many of these picks to sit behind the proven veterans for a year or two before they see a lot of valuable snaps. One possible rookie who can play is Mike Hughes, but outside of Xavier Rhodes the Vikings have not really developed corners all that well over the years. I was also not a big fan of Hughes due to his inconsistent play in college against stiffer competition out of conference and some motivational issues. If you are not motivated as a corner you will be eaten up all day and if you are overconfident, which he also tends to be, he can be over aggressive and give up a big play or two.
Atlanta Falcons - Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
- Ridley followed a similar draft path to JuJu Smith-Schuster granted he was still a first rounder, but much like Smith-Schuster he went from the first receiver taken to tumbling down draft boards after mediocre final seasons in college. However, I suspect Ridley to explode just like the former Trojan did at the pros showing off his route running skills and advanced technical ability he should show teams that passed him up that he should have been the first receiver taken. He might not be the fastest, biggest, or most athletic receiver, but he has a lot of experience and should take over games across from Julio Jones. The issue is if Matt Ryan is able to throw the ball to anyone else other than Jones, which I believe has made the offense stagnant and more predictable to defend. If Ryan can get over that hurdle and move the ball to Ridley then this offense can really begin to dominate.
Carolina Panthers - D.J. Moore WR Maryland
- D.J. Moore could be the other rookie first round receiver in the NFC South to dominate for his team if given the opportunity. Moore has the talent and all around ability to be an inside or outside talent for the Panthers. His speed and twitchy ability should compliment well with Devin Funchess\' larger size on the outside. Much like Ridley, his biggest hurdle to jump over is his quarterback. Ryan is better than Newton by far in my opinion, which is the issue here. Newton\'s accuracy and inability to hit short routes, where Moore should see the most looks is an issue in my opinion. Moore is the biggest boom or bust prospect from the first round and if he clicks he should be a media darling.
New Orleans Saints - Marcus Davenport DE UTSA
- Full disclosure, I always hate teams trading up in the draft and the first round in particular if they do not take a quarterback. That is what the Saints did here and it cost them a future valuable first rounder for a relatively unknown defensive end from a small school. However, I understand their thought process since at the moment Davenport was the last "sure" thing on the edge in the class and the Saints were desperate to find a compliment to Cam Jordan their dominant pass rusher. I also have to admit the Saints have drafted very well over the past couple seasons and I doubt they suddenly lose that touch here. Davenport should be a solid and steadily improving end for them that could be the missing link to finally rounding out this defense. He could also never find his way like Robert Nkemdiche for the Cardinals or just be okay like Derrick Morgan of the Titans. I will hedge my bets that he should be a solid B- to B+ pass rusher for them.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ronald Jones II RB USC
- Overall, I think the Bucs had one of the better drafts getting good value in most of their picks from Vea to Jones to Carlton Davis and Jordan Whitehead later in the draft. Even though I love Vea I doubt a nose tackle gets much notice in the media and now with an injury that could hold him out some will not help his notoriety to get any better. Like I said previously, running backs have the easiest transition to the NFL and a talent like Ronald Jones should have no problem hitting the ground running. What helps him the most is the lack of talent on the depth chart that provide little challenge for him to earn the lion share\'s of the carries. Plus, not having Jameis Winston for the first three games I expect them to lean heavily on the young do-it-all back. I also do not love Winston even when he comes back with his penchant for throwing bad picks so I expect Jones to take a lot of carries to limit the turnovers. Jones is a good pass catcher as well and I could see him having a Kareem Hunt type explosion to start the season.
Arizona Cardinals - None
- I know, I know Josh Rosen should be the media darling or the player who at least will get the most attention. However, I expect him to start the season on the bench and when Bradford gets hurt behind a leaky line Rosen will be thrown to the wolves. With his injury history he is no sure thing to hold up behind what could be the NFL\'s worst o-line this season. I do like Christian Kirk, but his quarterback issues and the hard transition for receivers to the NFL will make it hard for him to find consistency. A lot of pundits love Chase Edmonds change of pace and pass catching abilities behind David Johnson. However, remember Johnson suffered a wrist injury not a knee or leg one that is a bit more worrisome. He just never came back since the season was essentially lost from the start. David Johnson should see the majority of carries and leave Edmonds with scraps to work with. Plus, the o-line will do neither of them much favors.
Los Angeles Rams - None
- A lot like the Vikings and Eagles the Rams have an overall loaded roster. For a rookie to make an impact an injury had to have happened ahead of him and injuries are the toughest thing in the NFL to predict (next to the NFL Draft, of course). I do love John Kelly\'s ability to move all around the offense as a gadget like player for them, but I doubt he gets consistent enough looks. Overall, this class probably will not make an impact this season and maybe not even next season until some of these veterans start to move due to salary constraints.
Seattle Seahawks - Rashaad Penny RB San Diego St
- Not that I loved the pick at all, but they reached for him for a reason. They did not have another pick until the third round and must have thought he would be gone by then so they nabbed him when they had the chance. The Seahawks have been seeking a running back to balance out this offense after falling out of favor with MarShawn Lynch. I really do not see Penny as one of the top five backs of this draft having Barkley, Guice, Kerryon Johnson, Mark Walton, Ronald Jones, and Royce Freeman all ahead of him. However, the Seahawks need him to work and he is accustomed to having a big workload so I expect him to get looks early and often. I do worry about this shaky line opening holes for him so it might be tough sledding for the rookie this season.
San Francisco 49ers - None
- The most likely to break out is Dante Pettis, but that is mainly on special teams with his return skills. The issue here is they took players at spots of depth not need, which can be smart long term, but right away it might take a bit to see the fruits of their labor. McGlinchey was a bit of a reach and unless he lights the world on fire he will not get the notice as a right tackle. Meanwhile, they reached and took many small school defensive backs who will battle it out on the depth chart. Overall, I did not love this draft and thought they had a chance to really compete with the Rams had they drafted more immediate impact players.
|Austin Vershel||Frank Ragnow already dominating in camp, not to brag. Would love if he was a superstar, but would be more than happy with KJ, too!|
|Kyle Kunert||No offense to o-line guys and I respect the hell out of them. They, just don\'t garner break out status due to their lack of playing a glamorous position.|