NFL 2022: The draft thread

Pretty sure he had a very on the field attitude concern this season.

Looking ahead to Thursday night, and I'm concluding that the Panthers are screwed no matter who they pick (or don't pick) at No 6.

If they take Kenny Twogloves: "You passed on Malik Willis! He's got more upside than any QB in the draft! He can run. And he can run fast! And he's a fast runner! Also, you're reaching here."

If they take Malik Willis: "You really think you can afford to sit Willis for a year? I mean, c'mon, Sam Darnold's your starter. Oh, and you're reaching here. Should have traded down!"

If they take any other QB: "You really passed on Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett? Also, you really need a LT."

If they take a LT: "You know you really need a QB, right? Also, Aiden Hutchinson was still available."

If they take an edge rusher: "Uh, remember Brian Burns?! Also, you need a QB and a LT."

If they trade down: "So you're passing on a QB and the deepest group of LTs in the recent memory to take [fill in the blank]?!"

And so on. Carolina has no good options and whichever option they pick I have to expect the worst.

If it makes you feel better, it seems impossible that Hutchinson will be available at the Panthers’ pick.

The Deebo ain't staying club video (NSFW language)

I'm sure Legion has seen this but for everyone else incase you haven't.

Supposedly Treylon Burks is sliding down draft boards because of interviews. Would be a power Shanahan move to trade Deebo. Draft Burks. Turn Burks into Deebo 2.0 and come out ahead in draft capital and reset the rookie contract.

So that said I really hope it doesn't happen.

It's DRAFT WEEK!!!!!!!

The schedule

Thursday: starts at 8 p.m. (1st round only)

Friday: Also start at 8 p.m. (rounds 2-3 only)

Saturday: Starts at noon (rounds 4 till finish)

How to watch

TV: Over the air on ABC; on cable or streaming on ESPN and NFL Network

Mobile: Supposedly free on the NFL, ABC and ESPN apps

GWJ programming note

Let's keep all the draft crap here. I'll start a preseason thread sometime next week.

FWIW (and it's not worth much), Peter King of all people put out a mock draft. It's notable only for the fact that he has the Jags screwing my header pic to this thread and taking DL Travon Walker of Georgia. Walker seems to be the hot pick all of a sudden.

I think I've seen a couple of mocks where the Packers move up to take a WR and it's not even the one I want.

Thursday might be a very confounding and frustrating night.

They better draft a WR and preference would be Olave, Burks/Pickens. Olave probably won't be available at 22 if there's a run on WRs. Burks could be at 22. Pickens/Dotson should be at 28.

I've messed with some mocks where they get Burks + Pickens. This will never happen but one can dream.

God, this draft is sad and depressing for me.

I’m very excited for the Jags to draft Travon Walker. We’ll finally reach a point of convergence, on the biggest stage, where all of analytics and data evaluators are pushing against Walker and all of the “traditional” tape and tools guys are pushing for him.

Though I haven’t watched a second of college tape I’m pretty comfortable in saying a guy who could not get production on one of the greatest college defences of all time (supposedly), a guy who ranked outside the top-20 in PFF College grade at his position in the past 3 years for players drafted in the 1st round, a guy who’s production profile is literally “doesn’t warrant a top-5 pick because he doesn’t have a single production metric that merits it”; that guy doesn’t deserve to be drafted #1 let alone top-10. But he sure as heck deserves to be Baalke’s pick!

I think the funniest possible thing that could happen on Thursday is the Packers trade Jordan Love, and then use their first-round pick to take a QB. Would be a truly epic draft moment.

staygold wrote:

Though I haven’t watched a second of college tape I’m pretty comfortable in saying a guy who could not get production on one of the greatest college defences of all time (supposedly), a guy who ranked outside the top-20 in PFF College grade at his position in the past 3 years for players drafted in the 1st round, a guy who’s production profile is literally “doesn’t warrant a top-5 pick because he doesn’t have a single production metric that merits it”; that guy doesn’t deserve to be drafted #1 let alone top-10. But he sure as heck deserves to be Baalke’s pick!

Georgia did his draft tape no favors, standing him up at outside linebacker to drop into coverage, lining him up at defensive tackle, and sometimes putting him on the edge.

He's an incredible athlete, but do you really spend the #1 overall pick on a guy who's NFL-level role is going to be that much of a projection? And is Jacksonville the place to undergo such projects? (No, and no.)

I think his best position might actually be on the inside. Put on some weight and play a DeForest Buckner sort of role. Is that the plan for him?

Apparently Pederson wants Ekwonu, the scouting department wants Hutchinson, and Worst GM wants Walker.

Oh hell yes. 49ers further restoring their classic uniforms:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/e3Y6HJR.png)

*Legion* wrote:

Apparently Pederson wants Ekwonu, the scouting department wants Hutchinson, and Worst GM wants Walker.

This goes for all sports but why even have a scouting department if you're just going to draft the guy YOU want?

The absolute worst GMs always do this.

Worst GM wants to be the smartest guy in the room. Can't do that with consensus.

In the least shocking news of the day, the 49ers have picked up Nick Bosa's 5th year option. Though both sides seem to expect a contract extension will be agreed upon well before then (possibly even before this season starts).

Carolina supposedly is not going to trade for a QB "prior to the 1st round" of the draft.

Reading between the lines, I think that means they know that these QBs aren't worth taking at #6, but they might target one if and only if they can finagle a trade-down.

If that doesn't happen, well, they don't have any draft picks on Day 2 anyway, so they might as well spend the day trading for a QB. Preferably the handsome one, not the whiny one.

*Legion* wrote:

Carolina supposedly is not going to trade for a QB "prior to the 1st round" of the draft.

Reading between the lines, I think that means they know that these QBs aren't worth taking at #6, but they might target one if and only if they can finagle a trade-down.

If that doesn't happen, well, they don't have any draft picks on Day 2 anyway, so they might as well spend the day trading for a QB. Preferably the handsome one, not the whiny one.

Gabbert's not available for trade.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Gabbert's not available for trade.

Too important to the succession plan?

Can't wait for Gabbert, Kyle Trask, and Spencer Rattler to battle it out next offseason.

Wonderlic scores of the QBs were leaked:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/eNB91MF.png)

Also, someone leaked a photo of the test taking area, and you can see Pickett taking the test:

Spoiler:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/hNY4b6A.jpeg)

Some of the best articles on The Athletic are when they talk to scouts and assistant coaches anonymously.

Here's the big draft article of unsourced sh*t talk, spoilered like all the Athletic content I steal and post here:

Spoiler:

There is nothing quite like the run-up to the NFL Draft for chatter and opinions. Some might chalk a lot of this up to smokescreens, but it’s usually not that. It’s really more a byproduct of how a lifetime of football experiences shape someone’s perspective.

And that brings us to Ickey.

By now, you’ve heard about Ikem Ekwonu, NC State’s unheralded recruit turned All-American O-lineman whom a year ago almost no one knew about aside from ACC coaches. The 6-foot-4, 320-pounder, like many of the guys mocked to be first-rounders, is a polarizing topic in NFL circles. On Tuesday, The Athletic talked to one NFL O-line coach who called Ekwonu “a future All-Pro” and proceeded to rave about him for nearly five minutes, saying there is no offensive line prospect close to him in this draft.

“His game film is ridiculous,” said the coach. “It’s special. You see all the outside and wide zones and him finishing guys at the second level. He’s blocking linebackers 10 yards downfield. He has 34-inch arms, big-ass hands. He’s everything that you’re looking for. His pass protection is still a little raw, but that’s college guys. He still needs some work in pass protection, countering inside moves — shutting down inside moves is his biggest weakness — but he’s just so athletic with great lateral movement skills and is so smart and so tough. His motor was different, and the IQ interview is thorough the roof. … He has all the tools. We have to build his toolbox.

“He’s a generational guy. He’s a Day 1 impact starter. He is, by far, the best lineman.”

The Athletic next called a veteran NFL scout. His take on Ekwonu: “He’s completely overrated. He is talented; has the athleticism, the foot quickness and all that stuff. I worry about his core strength. He plays in a sh*tty league. I like Evan Neal and (Charles) Cross more.”

Later that night, we talked to another NFL line coach and brought up the big disparity on Ekwonu. The coach, who also is a big believer in the 21-year-old from Charlotte, said he wasn’t surprised.

“I think it’s like this: Coaches love him; the scouts and personnel people don’t because of what he looks like,” he said. “He’s really knock-kneed — he has caved-in knees. He’s thin-legged. Initially, when I first saw him, I thought, how the f*ck is this guy possibly the first pick? But then when he starts moving, you see that he’s crazy athletic.

“We evaluated about 60 guys and he was, by far, the best. His demeanor of play is just different. His run blocking is really good. It’s how nasty he plays. His game film is like a highlight tape. A lot of these guys, they ride the roller coaster. It’s like the guy from Ohio State (Nicholas Petit-Frere), they get beat once and then they get beat several times in a row. They weren’t competing the way you’d want him to. Ickey is always competing. He finishes plays. When the whistle blows, he’s either on a second-level player or a third-level player.”

As for the shot at playing in the ACC, the coach was quick to point out that Ekwonu “played great against Florida State,” which had projected first-round defensive end Jermaine Johnson, who didn’t have a single TFL in the game.

“I’m telling you, he’s friggin’ good, man,” the coach said.

Worth noting: None of these three sources’ teams have a pick in the top 15, so it’s doubtful their comments are subterfuge to help jostle Ekwonu or some other O-line prospect their way.

Over the past few weeks, The Athletic has spoken to more than a dozen NFL coaches and personnel people to find out who and what is catching their eye as the 2022 NFL Draft approaches.

Quarterbacks

There has been a lot of talk that this is a very down year for quarterback prospects. How many guys are seen as legit first-round talents?

QB Coach 1: Usually you have the consensus No. 1 guy or some real top-10 picks. With this group there’s a lack of depth, and you may get some of them pushed up into the first round. But I view these guys, the top ones this year, as second-round talents.

QB Coach 2: Our highest-graded quarterback this year is Sam Howell. I’ve got a second-round grade on him. We’ve got a third-round grade on Kenny Pickett, and if you looked at his 2020 film, it’d be a sixth- or seventh-round grade.

What stands out most about Howell?

QB Coach 2: I love his arm and I think he sees the field the best of all these guys even though he’s only 6 feet. He can shape throws; throws with touch, can throw a good deep ball; can anticipate and get zip on the ball to be deadly in the RPO and quick game. He carried a bad team. He’s very accurate at all three levels. He is probably maxed-out physically, which is OK. He’s also really tough.

His big flaw, you don’t really feel him. He’s just kinda there. I think Kenny will be a much better leader. Guys in the locker room will love him.

What gives you the most hesitation about Pickett as a potential first-round pick?

QB Coach 1: I love everything about Pickett’s game, but the hand size (measuring 8 1/2 inches at the combine) is a legit concern. In the history of the league since 2000, there’s only been three quarterbacks taken in the first three rounds with hands that small: Michael Vick, Charlie Frye and Kevin O’Connell. If Pickett’s hands were 9 1/2 inches, it’s a first-round (grade). I think it’s a big difference, especially when you play in cold weather.

QB Coach 2: I do think it is something you have to consider. They are small … however, when I shook it, it wasn’t like, whoa, you have a baby hand. It was strong. You could feel like his thumb felt a little wonky. People say “but he played at Pitt.” Yeah, and he fumbled like 38 times at Pitt. It was a problem. I’ve talked to coaches who have guys with 9-inch hands and they say they have to keep it in mind in-game and talk about cold-weather games where their guy has fumbled twice and just dropped the ball.

Pickett wears gloves, which helps, but as soon as those gloves get wet — oof. You can change to leather gloves and all of that, but it’s not the same as using sticky gloves.

Lots of folks really talk up Malik Willis’ arm but have concerns about the system he played in college. How concerned are you about how his game translates to the NFL and what his transition will be like?

QB Coach 2: You have to commit if you take him and change your offense and go to something like what the Philadelphia Eagles do. He’s more like Jalen Hurts, who is powerful, strong and (like Willis) gives defense problems with his legs.

Malik’s arm is really strong. It’s legit strong, probably a top 8 in the NFL. Jalen Hurts, I think, throws it better right now than Malik. More accurately. Has more throws in his arm where he has some touch and can throw with pace. If you’re taking Malik, you gotta make it the college offense, and not do the drop back, read the coverage, play it out. To me, it’s a square peg, round hole, at least while they’re young and really learning.

Scout 1: I think Malik’s ceiling is so high because of his arm and he’s so athletic. I’ve heard he’s a smart kid. There are those errant throws, but the more plays, the better he’s gonna get.

QB Coach 3: Someone’s gonna fall in love with the arm, but the system he played in worries you. I think with him, you’re gonna have to structure the system, like the Eagles do with Hurts. He’s become more accurate depending on how much you give him to read. There is elite power in the arm (with Willis). The question is the other throws, guys running across the field and when you have to layer the ball and on the comebacks. You can’t be a flat-line passer in this league.

There’s been some skepticism about whether Desmond Ridder is accurate enough to be a good starting quarterback. How concerned are you about his accuracy?

QB Coach 2: It is a concern. He is really intriguing as an athlete. I love the person. He’s super mature. Really smart. It’s almost frustrating because he checks all the boxes that almost every guy in every draft is missing one of, like he has a strong enough arm; he has played in a pro style offense. He’s just not a very natural processor and not a very natural thrower. He’s pretty robotic. He looks like a really good athlete that said, “I want to play quarterback.” He trained hard at it and got good at it in college. but the things that Desmond’s not good at are more talent-based than they are skill-based.

(Private QB coach) Jordan Palmer has Desmond and he’s gonna say, ‘You can improve accuracy. Look at (another Palmer protege) Josh Allen.’ I think that is an oversimplification. Josh is freaky talented, and I still would not say that he’s not pinpoint accurate. That offense had a lot more gimme throws, a lot more bubbles, a lot more quick game and more RPOs, so there’s more easy throws. He also got Stefan Diggs (in 2020), who gets really open, and when teams want to double him, everybody else is one-on-one. I think it’s not a coincidence that Josh Allen was 55 percent (58.8 percent) and they get Diggs and it jumps to 65, 70 percent (69.2 percent). When people say, “Yeah, you can get better at it,” I just don’t think that you really can. It’s like speed. You can tweak it and help yourself out, but you’re either naturally accurate or you’re not.

QB Coach 1: I think (Ridder) could be the best quarterback of this group in a year or two. I do see inconsistencies. He’s a long-levered guy; I think it’s a mechanical thing that he’s gonna have to keep working on.

Scout 1: Man, I like the good, but I hate the bad. He’s a winner; I think he really needs to clean up his mechanics. His pro day was off target, so I went back and watched the film and you see a lot of, Dang, how you gonna miss that one?

Matt Corral is intriguing as a talent but seems to have given some evaluators more concern. What have you noticed with him?

QB Coach 1: His quickness is elite. But at his pro day, it was a lower and tighter release, which was a concern. You have to throw from different arm slots and change the launch point. I love the player, but he’s gotta get that fixed.

QB Coach 2: I watched his pro day. It was bad. He missed on a lot of throws, and I was like, what is he doing? He already has a borderline too quick of a release. It’s like someone told him you need to make it even faster. He was barely bringing the ball back. Typically, most guys turn the ball away from their head and then bring it back forward. Some guys, like Tom (Brady) and Mac Jones, barely turn it at all. Corral literally brings the ball from his carriage, up by his ear and then forward. It’s kind of impressive he can get anything on the ball. Compact is good and quick is good, but now it’s almost so shot-puttish it can lead to a good amount of batted balls. That motion can limit your throw repertoire. It can be inconsistent when you have to layer a throw, like on a comeback with an outside linebacker or a nickel buzzing out and you have to get it over that guy.

I think his biggest issue is the off-the-field. I might be a little overly critical just from guys we’ve had to deal with, but I wouldn’t touch him. With his personality, I have a hard time viewing him as a backup or a third-string because usually those guys are super supportive, super smart. He might be all of those things, but I didn’t get that vibe.

Scout 2: I like Matt; I don’t love him. His pro day was terrible. He started spraying it everywhere. I think he’ll get over-drafted. I don’t worry about the off-field stuff with him. Prior to this year, I did.

Scout 1: My big questions when I saw him at the combine and saw how thin his frame is and how small his joints were: Is he gonna be playing in January? Can he hold up?

Wide receivers

Who do you think is the best receiver in this draft?

WR Coach 1: Jameson Williams. To me, it’s not close. There’s a big drop after him. He’s blazing fast and you can’t replicate that top-end, and his play speed is different — like Tyreek Hill different — he’s running away from SEC guys. His explosiveness after the catch is rare. His quickness at the line of scrimmage is just different. He’s a hands catcher not a body catcher. I think he’s a good catcher, not a great catcher.

Scout 2: Love Jameson Williams. He’s competitive as hell, not only in games but at practice. I haven’t seen a wide receiver compete at practice like he does since Michael Thomas was at Ohio State. I do worry about his maturity, though.

WR Coach 5: I wasn’t sure what to think of Jameson Williams. I thought he was just gonna be a deep threat, but he’s more than that. He’s got a really good skill set. It’s not just speed, it’s his acceleration, but he can get back to full speed really quick, like very few guys can do. He is a little bit of a smaller guy, but he’s not afraid to do some of the dirty work.

WR Coach 2: Garrett Wilson. He’s just so twitchy. He’s very quick and he’s polished. He’s not as explosive as Williams, but his ball skills are excellent, and I think he can excel both as an inside guy and as an outside guy.

Can Treylon Burks impact a game like Deebo Samuel?

WR Coach 3: He is a freak show, but he is super raw. I think he can do anything you want him to do. He didn’t really run routes at Arkansas. I don’t blame those coaches. He was a really good player in that system. He runs a lot like Deebo, but he’s a lot bigger than Deebo. He’s about two biscuits away from being a flexed-out tight end.

WR Coach 1: I really like him. They used him like Deebo. He has to learn how to run routes. They’d do some go routes, but on film he’s rarely sinking his hips and running curls and comebacks. But there’s stuff there, like the back-to-back catches against Ole Miss over the top of their heads, you’re like, Damn!

QB Coach 2: Liked him a lot. Do you have to manufacture touches for him like the Giants did for Kadarius Toney? I think you’ll have to find ways to get him the ball with option routes, put him back on punt return. Can he do it from a deep cross or a dig? How many specialty plays are we gonna have to put in for this guy?

How do you separate the two Ohio State receivers, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave?

WR Coach 1: Wilson is more of an inside guy who can play outside. He’s a lot looser. He’s gonna be really good option-route running, and things he does in and out of his breaks really translate to this level. He’s faster than I thought he was.

WR Coach 3: Wilson’s more dynamic; more physical. I’m not sure how physically tough Olave is. A lot of times guys struggle when they’re not that physical at this level. I think he’s a fantastic kid, but he’s not gonna rip your face off out there.

WR Coach 4: Wilson is overall better. He’s better after the catch and a little tougher. Olave’s routes are better than you think. He’s not just a deep guy. I think he’s a well-rounded guy.

WR Coach 5 Olave is more smooth; he’s a really good route runner. Garrett is more athletic and has more burst; mo:re more dynamic. But I don’t see that 4.38 (that he ran at the combine) on tape.

QB Coach 2: Wilson was not good in the interview we did with him. Olave was awesome, but his tape isn’t as good.

WR Coach 1: I think there’s a little bit of edge to Olave, a little chip on his shoulder because people are saying Garrett’s better, and (Jaxon Smith-Njigba) is even better than both of them.

Which WR is the most boom-or-bust guy?

Scout 2: George Pickens. There’s a lot of upside, but he can’t get out of his own way. He’s been enabled his whole life.

WR Coach 3: Pickens. You love his game, but there’s some issues. Do you want to work with him? He’s a top-6 talent-wise, but it’s impossible not to add those other things. He has the size, has really good range. He positions his body on deep throws. He consistently beats press coverage. Has good start-stops with some AI (Allen Iverson) crossover in his game. A lot of the stuff in (Todd Monken’s) system translates to the NFL. But I wouldn’t touch him.

WR Coach 5 on Pickens: On tape, he is probably a top-5 wide receiver but there’s just so many red flags, and they’re big red flags. He’s got a lot of growing up to do. If he goes to the right place with a room full of veterans that help him go the right way, I think he’ll have a chance.”

WR Coach 2: North Dakota State’s Christian Watson. He’s got excellent size and he’s a freak athlete testing-wise, but man, I worry about how well he catches the ball. He drops easy catches. Does he have vision problems? He just doesn’t look natural trying to catch a football.

Which WRs do you think are sleepers and not getting talked about enough?

WR Coach 3: WMU’s Skyy Moore. He raised really high during this offseason, but I loved him already. His combine and pro day were really good. He has great instincts, is tough, durable. Never hurt, ever. He can do a lot; play inside and outside. I think you can line this dude up in the backfield. He’s powerful. He’s wired right. He went there as a corner. I am surprised he didn’t transfer. Tells you a lot about the kid. I like the fact that he stuck around.

Scout 2 on Alabama’s John Metchie: I know people don’t see him as a No.1 receiver. I think he’s gonna excel in the NFL. He’s really quick. Has really good hands and is competitive as f*ck. It’s all just really good with him.

How do you view the rest of the WR class?

WR Coach 4 on Penn State’s Jahan Dotson: He’s a better player than the hype he’s getting. He’s faster than you think.

WR Coach 3 on Dotson: He has phenomenal ball skills. He will run right through a football in traffic. He is so talented.

WR Coach 1 on Dotson: He’s got the best ball skills in the draft. He does a great job of attacking the ball, but he’s so slight even compared to those Ohio State guys. I think he’s gonna have to play inside to translate in the NFL.

WR Coach 3 on Purdue’s David Bell: I think he’s gonna struggle. He can’t run away from anybody. He’s heavy-legged. He’ll get pressed. People bring up that Anquan Bolden also didn’t run a good 40-time, but he played fast. You saw explosion out of his break. With Bell, there’s no second gear, no suddenness to him. It’s all the same speed.

WR Coach 1 on USC’s Drake London: He has really good movement skills. He runs well without being blazing fast and has that basketball ability to post people. Inside or out, he finds the ball. He has better ball skills and is more consistent than (former USC teammate Michael Pittman).

WR Coach 5 on London: He’s so young, and his body is still developing. His arrow is up. His speed is concerning, no doubt about it. I think he’s a little more advanced than Mike Evans was at this stage; but Mike was a little faster, but they make the contested catches and they go inside-and-go outstanding. I do see those comparisons.

WR Coach 1 on Utah’s Britain Covey: I think he’s strictly a return guy. He doesn’t flash as a receiver. I think he’d struggle in the slot because he doesn’t have elite quickness and he’s so tiny. He would get pinballed around in there, but he is a dynamic return guy.

WR Coach 1 on Kentucky’s Wan’Dale Robinson: I like him. He’s a hybrid guy. He transferred to Kentucky (from Nebraska) and got to play in a pro-style offense. If he doesn’t go to Kentucky he’s not draftable. He can play in the slot. I see a lot of Randall Cobb in his game. He’s just so good with the ball in his hands; I think he’s more than just a gadget guy.

Offensive line

If Ickey isn’t the top O-lineman, who is?

Scout 2: Evan Neal. He’s my favorite tackle. He’s a massive human being with freakish upside. He’s good but not great. He’s no Trent Williams, and if Tristan Wirfs were in this class, he’d be ahead of Neal.

OL Coach 2 on Neal: You never know what you’re gonna get with him. He has a lot of potential. He absorbs guys in pass protection. At the combine, he looked like he was 250; it was crazy.

OL Coach 1: We liked (BC’s) Zion Johnson. He’s so smart. Good swing player. He has the flexibility to recover; is good in pass pro, explosive in the run game. Does the weight room translate to the field? With him, it does. We were fired up about Neal because of his intensity and play demeanor. He underwhelmed. His run blocking needs to be developed. It’s night and day when it comes to how his motor compares to (Ekwonu). He is an elite pass protector and a good kid, but in the run game he leaves a lot to be desired.

What did you think of the other O-linemen talked about as potential first rounders?

OL Coach 1 on MSU’s Charles Cross: We didn’t really like him. We saw him as much more of a project. The system hurts him. It matters. We didn’t love his interview. He has the tools, but he’s not as thick and powerful. We don’t think he’s a Day 1 guy.

OL Coach 1 on Northern Iowa’s Trevor Penning: We like his physicality. He’s nasty. Has good feet. He’s probably a backup Year 1.

OL Coach 2 on Penning: You don’t know how he’s gonna translate against better competition. He has obvious physical talent; was being a prick at the Senior Bowl. Some people are into that and some don’t like it.

OL Coach No. 1 on CMU’s Bernhard Raimann: We liked him. He had a good interview with us. We graded him as a backup offensive tackle. He’s a good fluid athlete, but he needs to get stronger. He’s more of a finesse blocker, not a thumper.

Intriguing O-line sleepers to keep an eye on?

OL Coach No. 1: Chattanooga’s Cole Strange: He was a good interview. There’s a lot of depth to him. Like him athletically. He can bend; has pop; can climb and finish and is strong at the point of attack and he really understands leverage. He’s an asshole out there; he won’t back down. I think he has the intangibles.

Scout 2 on Strange: He’s grown me on me. Was an excellent interview. He’s got kind of a small-school learning curve. It’ll take some time with him.

OL Coach No. 1: LSU’s Ed Ingram. We loved him. I heard he’s dropping on some team’s board because of his football IQ, but he is very explosive and can move guys off the ball on an iso block, which is really hard to do. He kills guys on pulls. Physically, he’s one of the best guards out there. There’ll be a learning curve, but someone will take a chance and invest in him. Once he gets it, he can be a good starter. Him being around some pros will help him out.

OL Coach No. 2: Washington State’s Abe Lucas. He’s a good athlete. The system he played in will hurt him and people make the obvious comparisons to (former WSU first-rounder Andre Dillard) and that’ll hurt too, but we like him. He was very mature in his interview.

OL Coach No. 1: Nebraska center Cam Jurgens. He’s like a Corvette with no control out there. He is so quick-twitch and is such a high-effort guy. He will climb to the second level but he’ll miss the guy because he’s out of control.

Defensive line

Aidan Hutchinson is atop a bunch of mock drafts going No. 1 overall to Jacksonville. Does that make sense to you? Do you buy him as a top overall talent?

Defensive coach No. 1: I’m not sure he has quite the ceiling as a few of these guys, but his floor is very high. He’s the safest guy in the draft. Like if they take him, I don’t think anyone’s gonna be like, man, we f*cked that pick up. I just don’t think when you watch the film, he doesn’t have that holy crap, how are we gonna block this guy? He just doesn’t have that one rare trait. He’s just a good, talented, high-effort football player.

Defensive coach No. 2: I wouldn’t take him there or even in the top four. He doesn’t have the arm length (32 1/8 inches). I don’t see the twitch. I don’t think he’s got explosiveness where we’d have to take him. There’s nothing special about him athletically to go that high. He does have really good change of direction, and he’s a really good fundamental player, but other than his makeup and his fundamentals, there’s nothing special about him athletically. I don’t see him consistently winning off the edge with his initial move. I don’t see him being a 12-15 sack guy. I think his production in college is because he’s a really good technician. I’d rather take the athlete over the technician because we can teach him the technique. I don’t think he’s gonna get that much better.

Defensive Coach No. 3: I like his twitch and bend. He’s going to transition fast because his makeup is so good.

Defensive Coach No. 4. His arm length is very concerning. He looked like a man among boys out there a lot because he’s really developed and technically advanced. In the NFL, he’s going to be going up against men, and I’m not sure he’s going to stand up. I think he’ll be a really good player but not a great one. Do you take a guy with the first overall pick who may never be a double-digit sack guy?

People love Travon Walker as a talent, but are you concerned about his relative lack of production as a playmaker?

Defensive Coach No. 3: That guy has got it all. He’s the one you’re drooling over.

Scout No. 1: He will play through you. He is such a violent, explosive guy. He will steal your lunch money.

Defensive Coach No. 1: I do like him. There’s no reason to think he can’t do all that you hope he can do. But you’re making a projection and betting on the traits with this guy. Is he an outside guy on first and second down and then kicks inside on third down? You know what you’re getting with Hutchinson and Jermaine Johnson, you see it on the film. With this guy, you’re hoping his best football is ahead of him. I think it is.

Scout No. 2: As a possible first or second overall pick? I don’t love him that high. For sure, top 10. He’s so big, strong and long, but I don’t see a rare talent. He could be 290 easily. He put up ridiculous numbers at the combine, but none of that stuff really translated on tape. Even during their pro day, he was the third-most athletic D-line dude behind Jordan Davis and (Devonte Wyatt), and he didn’t look as freaky as those other dudes.

Defensive Coach No. 5: At Georgia, they played him at a 4i — inside technique off the tackle. When you’re in there, you’re doing a lot of grunt work. Testing-wise, he’s better than Myles Garrett. He’s a freak and he is aggressive. With Myles, we didn’t really know how much he wants to set the edge against the run. His motor was up and down. This guy is an animal. He was playing on such a loaded team, but when the production isn’t really there, it does kind of scare you.

Defensive Coach No. 2: They played him as 3-4 end. That’s not his position. I think he’s a 4-3 edge-setting defensive end. He’ll be 280 soon and can really run.

Which of the top D-linemen do you think is most underrated in the draft chatter you’ve heard?

Defensive Coach No. 2: Jordan Davis. He’s really intriguing. He’s over 340 and runs 4.78? That’s f*cking insane. Watch Atlanta take him at 8. He’s been really well-coached there. Trey Scott is an excellent D-line coach. I think he’s more explosive than Vita Vea. He’s not as strong but is much more quick-twitch. I think he can be very disruptive.

Defensive Coach No. 1: (Miami of Ohio DE/OLB) Dominique Robinson. He’s played so little defense in his life, but for a guy who has transitioned over to defense after playing wide receiver, you can see the physicality and the willingness to put his face in there. With offensive guys, you worry about the transition: Do they have that nasty side of him to play defense? I’m watching his film and thinking, holy sh*t, this guy is really f*cking good. It’s the whole package: He’s got the length, athleticism, the change of direction and the explosiveness. Watch him drop into coverage; you see that he recognizes exchanges and routes. I would be shocked if he’s not high on the 3-4 OLBs list. He’s gonna be a starter.

Scout No. 2: (FSU DE) Jermaine Johnson. He’s an elite talent. Can play the run because he is long enough and heavy enough and he plays his balls off. He comes across as super cocky, but the more I’m around him, the more I like him. He’s not too big for anything. Everybody at FSU raves about the guy, talking about how he came back to work with younger guys.

Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of the most polarizing prospects in this draft. How do you see him?

Defensive Coach No. 2: He needs to be in the right system. I am a fan of the pass rusher. He can roll now. His first step is as good as anyone’s. He’s twitchy. He’s a poor run defender. If a 4-3 team takes him, they’re gonna wish he can get bigger. I don’t see it. He’s a smaller-boned dude.

Scout No. 1: I like him. When he turns it on, it’s as good as it comes. Is he gonna turn it on consistently? He’s lean, but he is strong and explosive. I do think he will do enough to be a three-down guy. I don’t think he’s a dumb kid. He knows what he’s doing. I do think he’s gonna make it.

Defensive Coach No. 1: He’s a big personality. If you’re a team that isn’t comfortable with one player pushing himself into the spotlight, he’s probably not for you. The issues to me are gonna come up with the competing focus. Is he too worried about his brand? When we brought him in, I was like, whoa, sh*t, this guy is a handful.

Linebackers

How do you evaluate Nakobe Dean, and do you think he goes in the top 20?

Scout No. 2: The tape is unbelievable. In a way, the injury helps him out. I didn’t expect him to run fast. He’s really undersized and he’s like a 4.69 (40) guy, but he’s the ultimate football guy. I think he’s a Day 1 starter. His instincts are too good. He’s explosive. The coaches (at Georgia) said he’s the fastest person to ever learn that playbook, and it was as a true freshman. On Day 1 install, he knew like all the checks and everything and was teaching all the freshmen how to get lined up. But I could see him falling out of the first round. He never ran. He’s had some injury issues. I was thinking, uh-oh, when I saw his name on the draft list, because he might be that guy stuck in the green room.

Which linebacker’s stock do you think has really risen?

Scout No. 2: Quay Walker from Georgia. He’s got great length and had one of the most impressive pro days I’ve ever seen in my life. He did a bunch of rare sh*t there. He’s so big, long and fast. He’s 247 pounds and his ability to drop his weight and change direction and get through the bags was like, holy f*ck! He moves so effortlessly, like he’s 215. He was really just trying to figure it out last year when they rotated him and Channing Tindall quite a bit.

Defensive Coach No. 3: Troy Andersen from Montana State. He’s so intriguing. He played a bunch of different sports. Has great measureables, ran 4.42, broad-jumped 10-8 at 243 pounds. He’s very bright. He’s a unique case. He’s played quarterback and sees the game from that view and he plays nickel. He’s very impressive.

Defensive Coach No. 1: DeAngelo Malone from WKU. He really flashed at the Senior Bowl that he can be an NFL player. His film is inconsistent. But he showed that he was quick-triggered and explosive and can be violent off the edge. When he knew it, he really reacted. The question you wonder: Is he gonna be 235 or get to 250 and hold it?

Scout No. 3: JoJo Domann from Nebraska. He doesn’t have good length, but he is a really good player. He reminds me of (former Ohio State second-rounder) Pete Werner, but he’s not as big or long. He runs very well and is physical and just has a knack for making plays.

Defensive backs

Sauce Gardner is being touted as a top-10 pick. Does he really merit that kind of hype?

Defensive Coach No. 7: Yes. Sauce has ascended. He’s a wiry guy who can run and he’s physical. He wows you in the interview; he’s himself. He’s got confidence and he’s very smart.

Defensive Coach No. 3: I think so. He’s got it all, and he’s coachable and a good teammate. You watched him closely in this process, in his pro day, he was so aware of his teammates, so engaged in how they were doing at pro day. You don’t always see that from those guys who are so locked in about what they’re doing. It was more, wow, he’s a guy that got every reason to be a dick, and he’s the exact opposite.

Derek Stingley Jr. was fantastic as a true freshman in 2019 but battled injury and looked like a different player the past two seasons. What do you make of him as a prospect?

Defensive Coach No. 7: I don’t know. You wonder, what are you gonna get? Who is he? In 2019, you saw those big flashes. He is a legit talent. He’s got elite ball skills, really good feet. He can return punts. He’s a better all-around pure athlete than Patrick Surtain. He’s probably a top-5 pick if he could’ve come out after 2019. But now what? You just gotta keep on digging.

Kyle Hamilton has some people talking about him as a top-5 talent, which is rare for a safety. How high would you take him?

Defensive Coach No. 7: Safeties are not a premium. He’s a unicorn, and he is a very good player. He’s really versatile. He doesn’t fit the mold. He’s built like a sam linebacker. His man coverage isn’t great and his short-area quickness isn’t great. He could be on the No. 3 in the 3-by-1 formation or on a slot. You can’t name a lot of safeties who can really cover a slot.

QB Coach No. 2: I don’t get it. It’s like he’s too tall. His FSU game was impressive, but people are talking about him like he’s another Derwin James, and he’s not. When the Chargers practice, Derwin James covers Keenan Allen and covers him well. Keenan Allen would make Kyle Hamilton want to retire.

Who are your DBs you don’t think get talked about enough?

Defensive Coach No. 3: Lewis Cine from Georgia. He’s so bright. His football IQ is extremely high. He jumped out as an ultra student of the game.

Scout No. 2: Decobie Durant from South Carolina State. He was 157 pounds out of high school. He played at an HBCU and didn’t have all the resources to get heavier. He was 170-something his whole career, but he’s gotten up to 183 and was up to 186 the other day, and he’s well on his way to being 195. He’s a really good nickel who had two picks against Clemson and played a hell of a game. I love everything about that kid. He’s tough as sh*t. He’s got good feet, is competitive and smart.

*Legion* wrote:

Carolina supposedly is not going to trade for a QB "prior to the 1st round" of the draft.

Reading between the lines, I think that means they know that these QBs aren't worth taking at #6, but they might target one if and only if they can finagle a trade-down.

If that doesn't happen, well, they don't have any draft picks on Day 2 anyway, so they might as well spend the day trading for a QB. Preferably the handsome one, not the whiny one.

*Everyone* knows that none of these QBs are worth taking at 6. Who knows if "everyone" includes Carolina, the team that can't decide if they're rebuilding or just One Player Away.

The Maximum Chaos version would be for Carolina to trade down to New Orleans. The Saints take future all-pro Malik Willis at 6, and then the Panthers use the 16th pick on Kenny Twogloves, who as it turns out is haunted by real ghosts ("Don't you see them, too, Sam?!") and is out of the league by 2026.

*Looks at the calendar* Hmm, the draft's 3 days from now.
*Looks at GWJ Draft Thread* Wonder when we see *Legion*'s all-GIF QB draft guide?

*Legion* wrote:

Wonderlic scores of the QBs were leaked:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/eNB91MF.png)

Annual Reminder that Carson Wentz scored a 40

*Legion* wrote:

Oh hell yes. 49ers further restoring their classic uniforms:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/e3Y6HJR.png)

Jimmy G will look good in that!

UpToIsomorphism wrote:

Jimmy G will look good in that!

But will Deebo? Maybe not.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/moy50J2.jpg)

It sounds like a team will have to trade significantly more to get Deebo than it cost to get Tyreek or Davante. Which on the surface sounds silly, but the 49ers have a leverage advantage in that they're not motivated to sell. The team can have Deebo play out the final year of his deal, and franchise him twice.

I think Deebo staying in SF is the likeliest outcome - either with an extension, or playing out this year and then repeating the showdown next offseason when he gets tagged. But the possibility of a blockbuster trade is peak draft week drama.

And if he goes, then trading Jimmy G for Carolina's 2023 2nd round pick will be only the second biggest Niner trade this week!

If it's a first and a second this year that's by default better than the Hill/Davante package because the Jets picks are higher.

The 49ers should realistically rip that hand off and take that.

10th would be too high to take Treylon Burks but maybe he slides to 35/38.

Regardless not the best draft but still seems like some solid players that 10th + 38th pick > Deebo.

My impression is that the Niners aren't budging without getting two 1sts.

And if Deebo leaves, I want the Niners to call up that ratf*ck Baalke and grab Laviska Shenault.

*Legion* wrote:

My impression is that the Niners aren't budging without getting two 1sts.

And if Deebo leaves, I want the Niners to call up that ratf*ck Baalke and grab Laviska Shenault.

FO ranked 91 WRs last year; Shenault was #89 in DYAR and #88 in DVOA. So, uh, good luck with that being a Deebo replacement?

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

FO ranked 91 WRs last year; Shenault was #89 in DYAR and #88 in DVOA. So, uh, good luck with that being a Deebo replacement?

Do note cite the Jags trash offensive stats to me, witch. I was there when they were written.

Shenault has been underdeveloped and wasted by an offense run by morons, and now they're likely going to turn around and sell him off cheaply.

Deebo's production isn't getting replaced by one guy. But for the cost of a Day 3 pick, Shenault should be one of the guys brought in to fill some of those roles.

From 49ers reddit:

EDIT: Let's try Vimeo embed.