Another Arm Chair GM Draft

I am not a scout…I am not a GM. I’m a fan and I have always loved this time of year. As a kid, I loved reading the SI, Athalon’s and Pro Football Weekly magazines around this time of year. As an adult, I don’t have the same amount of time to follow all of the information about each and every player. But since these things are at the touch of a finger it is easier to watch some game film for certain players on a lunch break and, as a result, it seems all of us are informed in some capacity. That makes it even more fun, even if we are all armchair GMs.

This team may be in a rebuild but this draft has the potential to jump start that process. Pundits anticipate a lot of trade activity and we are in a good position to make moves and still get really good players. Or, we can stay pat (after trading back) and get one of the best players in this draft. I’m excited for draft weekend.

One of the things that I keep thinking is that Ballard acquired assets with the Jets trade…that’s why he made the trade early rather than closer to the draft. It give him the ammo to go get players he wants. That being said, here are the three scenarios I have been thinking about; 1) The Status Quo, 2) The Trade Back, and 3) The Double Trade.

The Status Quo:

Given the hype around the QBs, there is a good chance that one of the top 3-4 players in this draft is there when we pick. This is my mini big-board: 1) Chubb, 2) Barkley, 3) Nelson, and 4) Roquan Smith. I would have a hard time moving from 1-6 if one them is available….I might risk it for Smith depending on how far back I would drop. But assuming the best-case scenario:


1-6: Bradley Chubb, DE, NCSU. Sexual innuendo aside, I’ve been on the Chubb train for some time now. I think his skill set and attitude make him a great player that changes the identity of this defense moving forward.

2-4: Isaiah Wynn, OG, UGA. This is the best-case scenario, so getting Wynn here would make the entire draft for me. It is very unlikely. But the more I watch him, the more I love his game. Minus Nelson, Wynn is the premier interior OL in the draft. If he’s gone, then Chubb here

2-5: Nick Chubb, RB, UGA. Back-to-back picks for the Bulldogs. Chubb is going to be a productive back in the NFL. He and Mack would make for a dynamic backfield and give Luck lot’s of options at the line of scrimmage.

2-17: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State. Gallup is the best route runner in the draft and the most NFL ready behind Ridley. I really like his game opposite from TY and with Grant in the slot.

3-3: Geron Christian, OT, Louisville. Because of how Louisville swaps their tackles in games, Christian has plenty of experience at both LT and RT. He plays a bit tall but he has the feet to adjust in play. He may remind some of Clark, but his base skills are better.

4-4: Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State. I love his film. He has the build of a WILL but he plays with the headiness of an MLB. I want to see him get stronger and wrap more….he tackles with his shoulder too much…but he will be a solid addition to our defense.

5-3: Andrew Brown, DT, Virginia. He is not the ‘space eater’ we have valued over the past few seasons but he is an ideal fit in our new 4-3. His snap quickness is unreal and he plays best behind the line of scrimmage where he can be very disruptive.

6-5: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan. Not a big flashy corner, but he is quick in space and gets to the ball quickly. He also has some above average return skills. With the switch to a cover-2, Phillips has a lot of value here.

7-3: Ito Smith, RB, Southern Miss. One of the most elusive backs in the draft. He’s small but if you use him wisely he can be an impact player.

The Trade-back:

This assumes that Chubb, Barkley, and Nelson are gone. As has been discussed many times on the board, several teams appear interested in moving up. I think Buffalo is the most realistic trade partner and based on the point values, their 2 firsts are just fine with me. But if only two QBs go in the top 5, there could be some wiggle room to sweeten the haul.

Dropping back to 12 is a bit of a risk, but we still have a shot at a top player. At least one QB is going at 6 and Miami has shown some interest in a QB at 11, so that leaves us with a great shot at Smith, Ward, Fitzpatrick, Hurst, Payne, or James. I don’t think any of the remaining OL are top 20 picks.


1-12: Roquan Smith, LB, UGA. Smith would be a marquee player in new 4-3 defense no matter where you line him up (MLB or Will). I would not be upset if he was our pick at 1-6 so 1-12 is great value in my opinion.

1-22: Mike McGilnchey, OT, Notre Dame. This is a BPA pick all the way. I would rather have McGilnchey than Landry, Vander Esch, or one of the remaining CBs. Plus, this is a pick that could pay off in the future if we decide to move on from AC74.

2-4: Isaiah Wynn, OG, UGA.

2-5: Nick Chubb, RB, UGA.

2-17: Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State.

3-3: Da’Shawn Hand, DL, Alabama. He has all of the physical traits you want in a DL. If he ever plays with a sense of urgency, he will be a force.

4-4: Jeff Holland, OLB, Auburn. One of the fiercest players I have ever watched in CFB. With an NFL training program, "Sensei Mud" could turn into a solid starter with pass rushing skills.

5-3: 5-3: Andrew Brown, DT, Virginia. He is not the ‘space eater’ we have valued over the past few seasons but he is an ideal fit in our new 4-3. His snap quickness is unreal and he plays best behind the line of scrimmage where he can be very disruptive.

6-5: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan.

7-3: Ito Smith, RB, Southern Miss.

The Trade Up:

GMs acquire extra draft picks for two reasons 1) fill roster holes and 2) use them as trade chips. It seems like Belicheck has been doing this masterfully for years. Obviously, we have a lot of holes to fill but Ballard now has the assets to be aggressive if a player falls in the first round that he really likes. We honestly do not know how this draft will shake out given all of the potential trades and various positional runs….do all of the top OL go early?….all of the DBs? It’s anyone’s guess at this time. But every year, a good players falls. This year, those players could be Minkah Fitzpatrick, Rashaan Evans, Marcus Davenport, Jaire Alexander, McGilnchey, Da’Ron Payne, Maurice Hurst, Harold Landry, or Calvin Ridley. Some of these guys could slip to us in the second round but we might have to go get them.

My trade up proposal is this: We send 2-4 (540 pts), 2-17 (410 pts), and 5-4 (35.5) to New Orleans for 1-27 (680 pts), 3-27 (136), 4-27 (45 pts). We lose the advantage on points but get an immediate impact player. Why would NO do this? I think they are targeting the heir to Drew Brees and the top 5 will be gone by 27. Mason Rudolph is their guy but probably not a first rounder. They do not have a 2nd this year, so trading back lets them grab Rudolph and another starter (TE?) to add to a competitive roster this season.

1-6: Quentin Nelson, OG, Notre Dame. Chubb is gone (NYG) and so is Barkley (CLE). Grabbing the best interior OL in recent memory is a great consolation prize. Nelson changes the identity of this offensive line.

1-27: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College. He doesn’t have the ideal size to play DE, he’s strong, fast, and uses his hands well. He upgrades our pass rush in much the same way that Vic Beasley helped Atlanta’s a few years ago.

2-5: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama. He may not have elite physical traits but you cannot ignore the instincts and the production. He becomes the best LB on the team and defensive captain.

3-3: Rashaad Penny, RB, SDSU. Penny has a nice blend of speed, power, and vision and is going to be a good back in the NFL. Hunt proved last season that non-power conference RBs can be impact rookies

3-27: Geron Christian, OT, Louisville.

4-4: Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State. He is a big target with a well developed route tree. I don’t buy into the "bigger WRs are needed argument" but I do think Ateman can be a good outside WR.

4-27: Tray Matthews, SS, Auburn. Matthews was a leader on last season’s Auburn defense. He is a tough player that plays very strong in run support and would provide depth at the SS position.

6-5: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan.

7-3: Ito Smith, RB, Southern Miss.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.