Morning Cup of Coffee: NFL Draft 101

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With the draft pushed back until May this year, the wait is painful. On the other hand, it creates a longer free agency period and more time for prospect breakdowns. As the draft talk heats up, lets go over a few common aspects all should be weary of before the big event in May takes place.

 The Main Goal – Add Talent:

People disconnect from this simple theory way too often. The goal of the NFL Draft is to make your roster better than it previously was, while making the most out of all of your selections.

When the Jets selected Sheldon Richardson last Spring, many fans booed. My friend I watched the draft with had no idea who he was, therefore he was disappointed with the pick.

A year later, it seems the Jets landed a top three talent from the 2013 draft (potentially the best player). They did not restrict their selection by ruling out positions that already seemed crowded. The front office realized Richardson was an upgrade and pulled the trigger on him.

Now this does not mean the Jets should completely ignore the holes on the roster. It is quite obvious Geno Smith needs better options in the passing game. Overall, the point is to not rule out anything.

If the top two tight ends are gone (Eric Ebron and Jace Amaro), the drop off is significant. While a wide receiver may be a much needed addition, what if a talent such as outside linebacker Khalil Mack falls?

Yes, the defense is already quite good. But Mack has the potential to take the front seven to a level that is rarely reached. It would be a shock if he fell, but this is a small example of how talent always triumphs need.

 

Nothing Gold Can Stay:

The period of February until May will be extremely volatile in terms of draft prospect’s stock. A few months back, there were “sources” reported as saying A.J. McCarron could go first overall. Recently, it seems like McCarron would be lucky to come off the board by the end of day two.

Johnny Manziel is another example of a player that will fluctuate all over draft boards. Some feel his unique skill set is worthy of a number one overall selection, while other’s feel he does not have what it takes to be a NFL quarterback.

It may seem tough, but take everything with a grain of salt. Players will rise and fall, especially after the combine. Teams often get suckered into raw athletic ability and forget what the tape reveals on the turf.

With that being said, one has to wonder why many players are shy to reveal or show off their skill set. AJ McCarron skipping the senior bowl was quite mind boggling. On top of that, many quarterbacks will probably shy away from throwing at the combine.

The NFL is a passing league, making a top flight arm a hot commodity in any draft. If a prospect has an NFL arm, they should take advantage of putting it on display. Unless they are injured, you get the sense some of these guys are hiding flaws within their game.

An unorthodox prospect such as Johnny Manziel might not “shine” in throwing drills (although his arm is not too shabby), where a fringe first rounder such as Derek Carr (who has one of the better arms in this draft class) could elevate his stock. Why not seize the opportunity to move up a few spots if you are Carr?

 

Follow Connor Rogers: @Real_CR3

 

  • Cole Patterson

    Excellent point about talent > need. Could not have said it better myself.