An informal look at the draft, maybe even potential bets!

As you will probably be aware if you’ve found this site, things happen slightly differently on the other side of the pond to over here. I think anyone who’s made it this far probably has a pretty good knowledge of the game and doesn’t need me dumbing it down for them. BUUUUUT just in case.

There’s no transfer fees in NFL, no exchange of money between the clubs, just exchange of player contracts. The players are the teams property until they finish their contracts, and the teams can do pretty much what they want with them. At the end of a contract they’re usually free to talk to other clubs and see what they can get as free agents. If you want a player before his contract expires you can offer other players or draft picks in order to take that guy on his current contract. – That explains nothing of the draft…

The Draft. Basically… the team with the worst record picks first and it goes up until the Superbowl winner gets the 32nd pick. There’s 7 rounds in that order. However teams can trade picks for players or other benefits, hence the reason the Browns and Titans have 2 first round picks, and the Rams and Patriots have 0. The whole idea is to promote parity in the league and make it more exciting for everyone involved.

Unfortunately from a betting stand point at the moment the draft is a bit of a dud. Myles Garrett is around 1/16 to be drafted first… There may however be a little value in the first WR drafted. It only seems to be Ladbrokes with the market, but I think it’ll be Corey Davis and he’s second favourite at 27/20 behind Mike Williams (6/5 on PP). I’m also not sure i’d have Fournette as short as 1/5 to be the first RB drafted although I wouldn’t back against him. Pat Mahomes seems like a bit of a stretch to be the first QB drafted, but there’s a lot of hype building about him and 14/1 (On betstars) is a big price Reliably informed that PP have him at 33/1!. Trubisky is the current fave in that category, and while it shouldn’t be Mahomes, you never know when it comes to QBs. It seems that Skybet will be taking Request a bets on the draft starting next Monday so there should be more interesting options available then!

Now i’m not going to do a full mock draft as that’s info you can find everywhere and anywhere and it’s unlikely I’m going to add any perspective that’s new so I figured I’d re-hash some of the things I’ve been hearing from various podcasts/websites. (Move the sticks, the football guys, gridiron gents and a few others)

The Browns have the first pick overall, and consensus from everyone who’s done any kind of mock draft is that they will take Myles Garrett, and it’s not hard to see why, the guy is a goddamn machine. It’s like someone made him on Madden and set everything to 99. It’s that physique that allowed him to get  141 total tackles, 31 sacks, seven forced fumbles and an interception across 34 games with the Texas A & M during his 3 years there. Definitely not someone you would want charging at you. Surely not even Cleveland can mess this one up, they’ve spent big on the Offensive line in free agency to greatly improve that, and while they still need a whole load of players, they can improve their defensive line greatly in this one pick alone. Oh, and as recently today Garrett has said this to the Browns… “…if you don’t draft me No. 1, I will punish your team for the next 10 to 12 years. I’ll knock your QB out of the game every time we play you…” – Awesome.

The 49ers are second on the board, and again there seems to be a pretty much agreed upon player here too, Solomon Thomas – He’d add some well needed pass rushing to the Niners defence. Again it’s a tough one with the 49ers as they need so many pieces on either side of the ball!

I’ll skim over most of the rest, but I think the Jags will be taking Fournette at no.4. As I alluded to above, they have a cracking defence now, one that came on well last season, and has been added to considerably in free agency. While there’s still some mocks with them picking another defensive piece, I personally think they’ll sort out that stinking run game, which should open up the whole offence, and maybe, possibly… I’m getting on that train again, help Blake Bortles re-connect with Allen Robinson next season!

The Titans have 2 picks in the first round, it seems inevitable that they’ll take a WR with one of them, I doubt it would be their first pick but if they’re really keen on one of them then who knows. Hopefully it will be Mike Williams and they’ll leave Corey Davis for my Bengals at 9. The Jets, they stink, they need everyone and anyone. Chargers… I’d like to see them take Christian McCaffrey to replace Danny Woodhead, but it’s too much of a stretch at 5 for an RB despite him seeming to me like the ideal replacement for little woody, and it seems most of the mocks have them grabbing Malik Hooker, one of the top rated Safeties on the board. The Panthers are at 8, and it seems probable that they’ll take a running back, if the Jags are really after Fournette then there’s a chance they’ll try and trade up with the 49ers to grab him at 2, but this is a good RB class so I don’t think there’s much need with Cook and McCaffery still there in the first round and a few others later on if needed.

The Bengals are at 9 and I have seen more mocks with them than any other team in the process as their my team. Personally I’d like to see them take Corey Davis here, he seems to be rated as the top WR in the draft by many of the people I listen to and respect, and he’s got some seriously impressive numbers coming out of Western Michigan. Since he stated there he’s been the best in his division, winning freshman of the year in his rookie year. Second year just the 1,400 yards and 15 TDs. Third year 1,436 and 12 TDs, then this last year a ridiculous… 1,500 yards and 19 TDs. Him opposite AJ Green would be something to see. Although the reason that may not happen is how awful their offensive line is, and definitely an area they need to strengthen, although that position is generally a stretch at no.9 so i’m hoping they save that until later. Another position linked with the Bengals seems to be LB, Reuben Foster or Hassan Reddick are commonly mocked players. While they will need to strengthen there, I personally would prefer offence. Possibly a TE to help with the blocking that the O-Line seems likely to fail on. OJ Howard.

The Bills. Meh, I don’t care. They need a WR to play opposite Watkins (or instead of when he’s injured after 3 mins of the first game) and John Ross (who set the quickest 40 time ever at the combine) or Williams seem to be better fits than Davis (who will hopefully be gone by now anyway) The Saints surely have to take defence at 11?! They have the best scoring offence in the league and need to get off this 7-9 “Bullshit.”  The Browns have their second pick of the first round at no.12 and a few think they’ll take a QB. I don’t. They’re such a mess I think they’ll save that for a year and go for another defensive player. If Jonathan Allen is still there he’d be a good move. Cardinals need to improve their O line, the Eagles actually aren’t looking too bad, most seem to have them picking a Cornerback, of which there are tons in this years draft. Marshon Lattimore seems the consensus top guy in that position. Colts next up, Offensive line. Again?! Keep Luck on his feet, he’s a generational talent and you’re killing him! The Ravens could do with help replacing Steve Smith Snr. so probably the remaining WR of the top 3 guys…

This is where it all gets a bit more tedious as teams are essentially upgrading strength with strength. The Redskins need to nail this draft after losing key players everywhere and the mess they created when sacking their general manager. WR, RB, DLine, the mock guys have all gone defence with this pick though. Jabrill Peppers being one named, he’s an extremely interesting guy, talented everywhere but seems to be falling quite low as he’s a jack of all trades and people don’t seem to know what position he’d actually be playing.

Bucs – RB. Broncos – O Line, Lions – TE, Dolphins – Defence, Giants – RB/O line, Raiders – LB, Texans – QB… Somehow I’ve got to here (no.25) without mentioning a Quarterback in the first round. Even though there are QB needy teams throughout the first round and even some who need to plan for the future (Giants/Cards) It’s widely regard as a pretty poor QB class. Mitchell Trubisky seems to be the favourite amongst mock-ers, but he’s only played 1 year so seems a risk to me. Deshaun Watson “just wins” led his team to the championship last season. Deshone Kizer had a cracking year 2 years ago then lost a lot of his offence, but still did fairly well, from what I’ve heard he is probably the most reliable to start early on. Then there’s Pat Mahomes. His dad was a pro baseball player, he’s a leader with a huge arm. There was a video out recently of him throwing the ball 78 yards in the air. That’s pretty damn far! He needs a lot of refining, but has the highest obvious upside of any of the big 4.

Most of the remaining teams it seems will be going for defensive players. Adoree Jackson is one of the most athletic corner backs going anywhere so will be a good pick for someone, baby Watt, TJ seems likely to go at the back end of the first or start of the second, it’s not just the surname, the kid can play and impressed at the combine. Cam Robinson or Garrett Bolles appear to be the top two offensive tackles from the draft class.

I’ve skimmed over the Tight ends for some reason, I’d be amazed if there isn’t one taken by this late in the draft, and probably in the top 10, again this seems a historically deep class in that position, and one thing I was listening to yesterday they laughed that we consider Hunter Henry the best tight end in recent years, claiming there’s 4 or 5 who are probably going to be better than him from this class alone. OJ Howard seems the most likely to go first, David Njoku second, then there’s a few that follow him, the most interesting to me is Evan Engram who is essentially a gigantic WR, and that’s what teams seem to want in this NFL, he’s the best route runner out there at the position.

So that’s a very brief round-up of what I’ve been hearing/seeing/thinking from my mediocre knowledge of the NFL. I’ll happily admit i’m far more interested in the offensive side of the game as opposed to the defensive, so my picks will probably always lean that way.

I have purchased the 40 yard scouting @mattphillips78 guide to the draft which weighs in at 215 pages of information for me to plow through so I need a night without distractions to get on that and maybe flesh this out a little

I think, depending on interest, I will look at doing a little competition to make things more interesting come draft night. Everyone picks who they think each team will pick. If you get it correct 2 points. Wrong 0 points. 1 point if that player is taken elsewhere in the first round. Winner gets a years subscription to this completely free site and a big thumbs up.

Jay is working on a few mock drafts for the Fantasy already with some interesting results. Some moron took Devonta Freeman at 6 overall?! There’s some weird people out there. He’ll be posting about that soon enough.

 

Adam – @cavey007

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