It’s that time. The NFL Draft is almost here. By now, you’ve been flooded with mostly useless information about draft prospects, like how they balance their weight; or how good they are in a phone booth. Couple this with the fact that in the eyes of every draft #expert, every prospect is a stud who compares to a current Pro Bowl caliber player of the corresponding race. I tried to do things a little differently and cut out the bullshit, while also acknowledging the fact that there will be a bust or two, or ten in the first round. So if you don’t want to look like moron in front of your friends on Thursday night, please feel free to utilize my NFL Draft Primer as your guide to looking more competent than all of the GMs and coaches who will actually be doing the drafting.
This year’s crop of quarterbacks is about quantity over quality. As you’ve probably heard by now from Todd McDouche and all the other #Experts, there’s no Andrew Luck or Peyton Manning in this draft class. Cool, but there wasn’t a Peyton Manning in any draft from 1999 to 2011, and yet somehow, there’s still some competent quarterbacking going on the NFL right now. This draft class is kind of like 2011—There’s a bunch of guys who teams could convince themselves to like, but there will be some serious bust action going on. Is there any sure thing this year? No, but Matt Ryan wasn’t a sure thing in 2008, and neither was Derek Carr, nor were any other of the capable QBs in the league. So just because there isn’t a “sure thing,” don’t think that isn’t a franchise guy available, except for anyone the Browns draft.
Best Prospect: Mitchell Trubisky-North Carolina
Trubisky has enough to become a good starting QB, and at the very least should put up good stats on bad teams. Mitchell has good arm strength and can make accurate throws downfield. On top of this, he’s a pretty good athlete, and not just a good athlete for a white guy. He does, however, come from a simple offense, one that Forrest Gump would understand, where he basically had the field cut in half for him, and he took almost all of his snaps from the shotgun. Like I said though, he’s good enough.
Pro Comparison: Marcus Mariota
Boom or Bust: Pat Mahomes-Texas Tech
Mahomes has the best arm out of any of the prospects, can make accurate throws downfield, and is great at avoiding the pass rush. He would be ranked higher if only his team at Texas Tech wasn’t so shitty by dropping passes and leaving free lanes for pass rushers to demolish him. That being said, he had a losing record his senior season at Texas Tech, and played in their stupid offense.
Pro Comparison: Derek Carr
Most Overrated: Deshone Kizer-Notre Dame; Deshaun Watson-Clemson
Two DeShawns (neutral spelling), two future busts. I couldn’t choose just one: Watson is way overhyped after a great career at Clemson, and Kizer is so bad but so highly rated. Watson makes bad decision, played in a goofy offense, and has terrible ball placement. Kizer has all the “tools” but he has no idea how to use them. At best, Watson is the next Tyrod Taylor—a guy whose flaws are masked by a good coach; and Kizer is Geno Smith reincarnated.
The running back class is supposed to be something special, and you know what? I agree. That being said, I hate Leonard Fournette (as a prospect), and Christian McCaffrey is a highly touted gadget player. But there is so much depth to this class with guys like Dalvin Cook, James Conner, Alvin Kamara, Kareem Hunt, Joe Mixon, etc. I could see four or five of these guys becoming solid, even Pro Bowl type backs so long as they don’t punch women in the face on camera.
Best Prospect: Dalvin Cook-Florida State
Cook is an incredible prospect that has the speed, quickness, and vision that will leave linebackers with torn ACLs. He’s pretty damn good, and is a starter from day one. The problem is that he’s dealt with injuries, and he’s had some petty arrests. But at least none of the dumb shit he did was caught on camera, so he’s probably good to go.
Pro Comparison: Jamaal Charles
Boom or Bust: Alvin Kamara-Tennessee
When you watch Kamara play, you see him do things that no human should be able to do with the ball in his hands. He’s quick, has incredible balance, and runs through arm tackles with ease. Kamara’s a big play waiting to happen. Despite this, he’s never, I repeat, never carried the ball more than 20 times in a game yet. That’s fucking crazy for a guy who was such Pro Comparison: A young Felix Jonesa stud and the former top running back recruit out of high school.
Pro Comparison: DeAngelo Williams/Felix Jones
Most Overrated: Leonard Fournette-LSU
I have already expressed my disdain for the former top high school recruit, but dammit, I need more space to rant. Fournette is the classic great college running back with “special” talent who’s going to be shit in the NFL. Fournette has good straight line speed and great power, but that’s it. He’s not quick, he misses holes wider than a Romanian prostitute’s snizz, and he’s overweight. Fournette is the next Trent Richardson.
I see this receiver class as having one or two good starters, and the rest being mediocre turds starting for teams like the 49ers and Rams. The guys who have a legit shot at going in the first round are Mike Williams, Corey Davis, and John Ross. Mike Williams is the big guy who lacks elite speed, but how many of the top receivers have elite speed? I think it’s fucking stupid that a guy is knocked for not having elite speed, but who gives a shit. Many of the best receivers don’t have great speed because it takes more than being a track star to be a good receiver. As Marquise Goodwin how his career is going. You just have to be athletic enough, which Williams is. Then you have Central Michigan receiver Corey Davis who caught a shit ton of passes, but seems like a number two guy to me. And of course we have the man who won himself an uninhibited private island but turned it down, John Ross, who ran the fastest 40 time recorded in NFL Combine history at 4.22.
Best Prospect: Mike Williams-Clemson
Williams has the size, hand strength, and athletic ability to be a good primary receiver in the NFL. The only thing working against him? That would be his unfortunate name. You see, there have been two receivers with the name Mike Williams, who bear striking similarities to this version of Mike Williams. Mike Williams 1.0, if you remember, was a stud 6’5” receiver from USC, who was one of Matt Millen’s three top 10 receivers in three years. He was the real deal, but was a dumbass and ate himself out of the league, topping out at 250lbs. Williams 2.0 was another stud who was suspended in college and eventually quit the team, and had like two good years in the league, but signed a massive extension with the Buccaneers, and quickly fell out of favor. Hopefully Mike Williams 3.0 doesn’t follow the same fate as his two previous incarnations, but if history is any indication, he will be a head case in the pros.
Pro Comparison: Alshon Jeffery
Boom or Bust: JuJu Smith-Schuster-USC
How the hell does someone end up with the name JuJu? To be fair, his real name is John, but it’s almost even worse that he somehow earned the nickname JuJu. Anyway, JuJu was projected as an early first rounder in early mock drafts, but will now likely be selected in the second or third round. JuJu is a good sized receiver with incredibly strong hands, and he can contort his body better than anyone named JuJu ever has before. The problem is that he only makes these crazy catches, and is pretty mediocre as an all-around receiver. With some decent coaching, he could become a 1,000 yard, 10 touchdown kind of guy. Or he could become the next Cody Latimer, constantly fighting to justify his roster spot.
Pro Comparison: Cody Latimer/Keenan Allen
Most Overrated: John Ross-Washington
To be fair, I’m probably a little biased after watching a similar player in Phillip Dorsett do nothing but drop passes and not get open for the past two years. But Ross is a one trick pony who can blaze past the secondary for a long touchdown. At least that’s what he did in college, and that shit isn’t as easy in the pros as he made it seem in college. Ross can be a great player in the league, but his bust potential is high.
Finally, we have some good tight end prospects. As per usual though, there’s a ton of guys who will forever be number two or three tight ends who catch about 12 passes a season. Despite the crap that will be scattered throughout rounds 3 through 7, David Njoku, OJ Howard, and Gerald Everette all have the chance to be big time receivers at the next level.
Best Prospect: OJ Howard-Alabama
Howard is like the black version of Travis Kelce, but more athletic. He’s fucking huge, athletic, can block, and makes plays after the catch. Unfortunately for him, Alabama criminally underutilized Howard, and there’s not a lot of tape of him catching passes. But he has all the prerequisite skills that will translate to him becoming a future All-Pro.
Pro Comparison-Travis Kelce
Close Second Best Prospect: David Njoku
If only this class didn’t have OJ Howard, Njoku would’ve generated a lot more hype. Njoku is basically a wide receiver in a tight end’s body, and it shows with his outstanding athleticism and route running. The former Miami TE is a big play waiting to happen, and can be a QB’s bff. The biggest knock on him is his blocking. Screw his blocking, playmaking receiving tight ends don’t need to block.
Pro Comparison-Antonio Gates
Boom or Bust: Gerald Everette-South Alabama
I fully expected that a prospect like Everette from a school that no one’s ever heard of was kicked off an SEC school’s team for not going to class and getting arrested on the reg, but apparently he was just a crappy basketball player coming out of high school and decided to give the whole football thing a try. Everette has the size, speed, and all that to become the next basketballer turned NFL star, but with all that potential comes risk. Risk that he won’t develop and that he looked good against schools that end with A&T. But if you’re a team with a need at tight end, fuck it, draft him, you’d probably just waste the pick anyway.
Pro Comparison: Julius Thomas/Ladarius Green
Sorry if you take offensive line play so seriously that it offends you that I lumped all of them together. This class of gut busters is pretty damn weak; features no legit center prospects; and isn’t worth getting too deep into.
Best Prospect: Forrest Lamp-Western Kentucky
Fuck yeah, a prospect named Forrest. Seriously, you can’t go wrong drafting a guy named Forrest. Unlike his borderline retarded counterpart, Lamp isn’t fast and won’t score any touchdowns, but he’s a solid guard/right tackle prospect. Lamp isn’t a sexy pick (unless you’re in to fat white guys, which is completely OK in 2017), but he could be a 10-year starter on some team’s offensive line.
Pro Comparison: Marshal Yanda
Boom or Bust: Cam Robinson-Alabama
Alabama’s track record with offensive linemen is a wee bit shaky to say the least. Robinson has all the potential to be a solid left or right tackle, but he’s what you call a shithead. He’s capable of being a stud, and has more felony charges than sacks allowed. Robinson pretty much shut Myles Garrett down, and held his own against Derek Barnett.
Pro Comparison: Andre Smith
Most Overrated: Garrett Boles-Utah
I’m assuming that Boles is a Mormon since he’s white, from Utah, and will be a 25 year old rookie. That’s the price you pay I guess when you put trivial things such as religion and being a good person over football. With this, Boles only weighs 295lbs, and doesn’t have much room to grow as a pro.
Stay tuned for your NFL Draft Primer Defense Edition coming soon!