Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated
The NFL Draft is here, which means it’s time to finalize your mock draft. This year’s draft is a big mystery with the biggest question mark being at the #1 pick. Most people still believe the Cardinals will take Kyler Murray, but with Rosen still on the roster and reports that the Cardinals have not decided who they will pick yet, anything can happen. With that said, here are four guys (who are projected to go either on Thursday or early Friday) who I think will be great picks and three guys I think will be busts.
Four Great Picks:
Quinnen Williams is projected to go top five in almost every mock draft, but my love for Quinnen is extreme. I think Williams is by far the best player in this draft, and I think he will be contending for DPOY honors for years to come. I currently have Williams going to the Raiders at #4, and that would be a great pick for Gruden and Mayock. Quinnen Williams is not only an elite interior run stopper, but he is one of the best interior pass rushers I have ever seen. I’m hesitant to say that Williams is the next Aaron Donald considering the generational talent that Donald is, but I think when it’s all said and done those two guys will have had similar careers.
Devin White is another guy projected to go high, and I think he is the second best player in this draft behind Williams. Devin White is 240 pounds and runs a 4.4 40 yard dash. That is incredible. If you want to see some unbelievable film at the linebacker position, go watch Brian Baldinger’s breakdown of White’s film. In his final two seasons, White finished with 256 total tackles. That number is staggering. The main knock on White is his instincts at the ILB position, but even if Devin White’s field awareness is minimal, his insane athleticism and violent play on the field is enough to make him a worthy NFL starter. I have the Giants taking White at six, and if Dave Gettleman wants to try and piece back together his reputation with the fans this would be a great place to start.
Hollywood Brown is the best receiver in this class. He obviously has the elite speed that is comparable to Tyreke Hill, but he also can run a complete route tree. No Brown isn’t going to win a lot of 50-50 balls, but he will keep opposing corner’s on their toes and require defenses to have safeties guarding the deep ball at all times which will assist in opening up the box for the run game. Brown put up an outstanding 2400 yards and 17 touchdowns in two seasons at Oklahoma. I see the Ravens taking him at #22 which will give Lamar Jackson a much-needed weapon to throw the ball to.
Rock Ya-Sin not only has one of the best names in this draft, but he has the game to back it up. At 6’0 and 192 pounds, he has great size for a CB. He also put up 18 reps on the bench press at the combine which was second among corners. But most of all, Rock Ya-Sin has an incredible motor. Temple coaches have praised his relentless play on the field, and from what I have seen he will cause problems in press coverage for opposing receivers. I have the Colts taking him at #26 which I would be very happy with especially considering the current depth we have at CB.
I’m about as big of a D.K. Metcalf hater as you’re going to find out there. Metcalf is a freak of an athlete, anyone who saw the combine or his shirtless pictures can see that. But there’s one main problem I have with D.K., and it’s a pretty significant one: he can’t run routes. Yes, at the combine he had insane numbers on his 40 time and vertical and all that, but his shuttle and cone drill times were similar to that of Tom Brady. This might just be my opinion, but I feel like being able to change direction and go in and out of cuts is decently important for an NFL wide receiver. College football should have been where Metcalf dominated. His combination of speed and size should have made him a man amongst boys in college, and he should have been putting up record-setting numbers. If that had happened we’d be here talking about how in the NFL his size and speed isn’t as much of an advantage, and his lack of route running ability will catch up to him, but his case is even worse than that. Metcalf did not dominate college football. In his final two seasons, he put up a very underwhelming 1215 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sure he didn’t have the best QB throwing him the ball, but if D.K. really was the generational talent people are saying he is he would’ve put up better numbers. If he can’t even dominate college football, how is this guy- who can only run two routes- going to survive in the NFL? I hope whatever team that drafts him only plans to use him on fades and go routes because that’s all they’re going to get. I wouldn’t use a pick in the first two rounds on Metcalf.
As a Notre Dame fan, I don’t like talking bad about my own guys, but Tillery is being SEVERELY over-graded. Sure he’s a smart guy (31 on the Wonderlic test), but his talent is not nearly good enough to warrant a late first round or early second round pick like he is being mocked. Tillery is a big boy, but he is soft. Around the Notre Dame community, he’s been nicknamed “Fairy Jerry”. That is not a nickname I want my NFL team’s interior d-linemen to have. Tillery isn’t a great run stopper for a DT (only 23 career TFL in 42 games at Notre Dame), but many analysts are calling him a great interior pass rusher, and I’m not so sure about that one. He had a solid seven sacks in his senior season, but four of those came in the same game against Stanford. In the other 11 games he played in, he only had three sacks. And I’ll be damned if I didn’t ask this question as a pissed off ND fan still healing from the college football playoff: where the hell was Tillery against Clemson (didn’t even record a single tackle)? I wouldn’t take Tillery on day one or even day two of the draft.
This time as a Notre Dame fan, I enjoy pointing out this one. Gary came to Ann Arbor as the #1 recruit in his class, and in my opinion, he did not even come close to living up to that. In three seasons at Michigan, he only managed to finish with 9.5 sacks. Many people claim that he was “misused”, but I struggle to picture how he can be used much differently. Not to mention the fact that these same people (mostly Michigan fans) that claim Gary was misused also claim that Don Brown is the best coordinator in the country, so how does that work? Surely the best coordinator in the country would know how to use his guys. A lot of scouts throw around the term “versatile” when talking about Gary, but I think they’re confusing versatile with misfit. To me, it isn’t that Gary can play multiple positions, it’s that he doesn’t fit at any position. Everyone and their mother has an opinion on whether or not Gary should play as a 4-3 DE or a 3-Tech in the NFL, and to me, that’s always a major red flag. In addition to all of this, Gary has struggled with injuries and there is a buzz around the NFL that many team doctors are very worried about his shoulder. All this together is way too much risk for me to take Gary in the first round.