NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: (Front L-R) NFL Draft prospects Trent Richardson, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Justin Blackmon visit the NYSE Trading Floor at New York Stock Exchange on April 25, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
I know the headline is stolen from Peter King, but it's just too easy. As I thought about the tonight's first round and the lack of intrigue for the Colts, I came up with some thoughts about things I will be watching tonight. Here we go:
- Ryan Tannehill in the top 10 would be a mistake for any team.
- Dontari Poe will be the next Mike Mamula.
- Matt Kalil at 6 would be a steal.
- RGIII will win next year's Offensive Rookie of the Year.
- Andrew Luck will have a better career than RGIII.
The first round of the draft needs to be about starters. The top 10 needs to be about, to quote the currently smoke-blowing former Colts Assistant Leslie Frazier, "game-changers." I really don't care how you have a guy graded. If he is gonna need time to develop before you even feel comfortable putting him on the field, he is not a top 10 pick. Any team taking Tannehill in the top 10 is reaching and hoping. Not a good draft day strategy.
Player has an okay college career. Player shows flashes of potential. Player goes to combine and blows the competition away. Player flies up draft boards. Player enters the NFL with all kinds of hype. Player never lives up to that hype, but has a productive career. History repeats itself folks. From the games I've seen him play in, Poe should go in the second round. His combine performance was brilliant. When he gets taken in the first, his career production will be measured against other 1st rounders and be a disappointment. Productive, but not a star.
The draft is more about smoke screens than anything else. I really think that's what the Vikings were throwing out earlier. I still think they take Kalil at 3 and protect Christian Ponder. If that doesn't happen and Kalil slides down to 6, he would be the steal in the draft. I see him as the 2nd best player in this draft. I do like him better than RGIII. Not saying I still wouldn't take RGIII 2nd overall, but I think Kalil has All-Pro written all over him.
Speaking of RGIII, with his talent and the talent around him in Washington, I can see RGIII having a year similar to what Cam Newton had last year. I don't think Griffin will run as much as Newton did, but I do see him being successful. I think it will be interesting to watch how the Redskins offense changes around Griffin. I actually see the Overly Tan One (Mike Shanahan) running a more vertical offense than ever before. Think Eagles.
I don't want you to think I forgot about the Colts first pick in the draft. I do see Andrew Luck developing into a better QB than RGIII over the course of their careers. Both will have good careers but Luck will pass Griffin in the long run. The Colts will not run the same offense we have seen. We will get some bigger receivers who can use the touch and accuracy of Luck to our advantage. Once it all comes together with a solid running game and improved pass rush and secondary play, look out.
6-10 after the jump...
- Trent Richardson will go in the top 5. No other RBs will be taken in the first round.
- Cleveland will reach for a QB in the first.
- Shea McClellin and Chandler Jones are players people aren't talking about that will star on NFL defenses.
- Coby Flener will be gone before the Colts 2nd Round pick.
- The chances of these nine things actually happening are slim to none because, hey, it's the NFL Draft.
Talk about evolution in the NFL. There are what, six feature backs left in the NFL today? It is just not as important to run the ball in today's NFL as it was even 4 years ago. If you are gonna run, you better have two backs at least that can be productive. One guy carrying that load just doesn't make sense. I actually think this will be one of the last times we see a back in the top 5. Back just don't have the NFL life span and then lose value quickly.
The Browns took Colt McCoy two years ago and have been nursing him along. He shows potential in one play and lack there of in the next. With the NFL being such a win now league. I think the Browns will go for a QB in Round 1. As I said earlier, round 1 picks should be starters. This is true unless you are using a late round pick to groom a successor. Tannehill or Brandon Weeden to the Browns with their respective 1st round picks would be a stretch. Just another example of the Browns living up to their reputation.
Chandler Jones out of Syracuse has a chance to be the best defensive player in this draft. He reminds me of Simeon Rice when I see him play. His length and speed will cause problems. I think his development will be off the chart. I got to do the draft profile on Shea McClellin a few weeks back and I love the kid. He should go in the mid to late 20's and will flourish. If by some stretch he would fall to 34, he would be my pick in about 10 seconds.
Look no further than the AFC Champion New England
Cheatriots Patroits to see the value in this pick.. Players like Antonio Gates, Arron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski have redefined the TE position. With defenses not able to take peoples heads off over the middle anymore, the TE will be increasingly used to gain mis-matches. When you find a guy that can run like Fleener and has size, his value is undeniable. I expect early to mid 20s for Fleener to go.
Alright, now's your chance. I am not a talent evaluator. I don't work for an NFL franchise. I have no more access than anyone else on my block. These are opinions and every year the draft fools me. What do you think? Where am I way off? Got a bold prediction? Let's hear it. I never thought I would find people walking back a forth on a stage so intriguing. That's the NFL for you.