With the NFL Draft just 10 days away, there are still a lot of questions that have yet to be answered. Who trades up, down and those willing to make a big splash feel relatively certain, but there is always one team or player that shocks us come day one. With that in mind, I thought I would take the time to answer any draft questions people may have leading into the NFL’s annual selection meeting.
When looking at the athletic testing from tackles this cycle, two names jump out to me: Brady Christensen and Spencer Brown
At BYU this season, Christensen was PFF”s top rated offensive tackle in the 2020 season. Not only does he have solid technique, but the athleticism jumps off the page. His RAS (seen below from Kent Lee Plate @mathbomb) puts him in the 98.4 percentile of every tackle since 1987.
Brown, however, is a behemoth out of Northern Iowa. Standing at 6082 and 311lbs, Brown is the most athletic tackle of all-time according to RAS and it jumps out on film. While he projects as a sole right tackle, there is a lot to like with Brown’s projection.
I think the surprise first rounder will be DT Levi Onwuzurike from Washington. With this interior defensive line class being really weak, someone is likely to be over drafted and Onwuzurike feels like the perfect candidate. A 3 technique that was used out of position quite often by the Huskies in their unique defense, he has a dominant first step and will thrive being placed in the right situation.
As far as favorite late round guys, I like Shane Buchele a lot. He doesn’t have an elite trait, but he does have a good arm and has the gunslinger mentality to make all the throws. His decision making and average athleticism leaves something to be desired, but as a late round quarterback, Buchele is a dart worth throwing and could be a solid backup for a decade.
Blue chip prospects to me are ones that are can’t miss and top-tier for their position. This year, I only have : Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, Kyle Pitts, Penei Sewell and Jaylen Waddle. This is a weak defensive draft without a player truly worthy of of being a top 5 selection, which is an anomaly. Usually there is a Chase Young or Myles Garrett type player in a class, but all of those players are on offense. The most interesting betting prop is which defensive player gets drafted first. I personally believe it will be Patrick Surtain II at either 8 or 10.
Reggie Adams Jr-“If the Vikings trade down and acquire a 2nd round pick, who are the two players you hope they draft?
If they are able to get a second-round pick back in return, I would project that it’s a pick in the mid-’20s with my projection being pick 24 with the Steelers. In this scenario, I would target both Oklahoma State OT Teven Jenkins and Houston EDGE Payton Turner. Not only do both of them fit the athletic measurables that the Vikings are after, but they also would represent really good value. Jenkins is a mauler in the running game with good pass protection skills and room to grow. Turner who is one of my favorite players in the draft, is a great athlete at edge who has the size (6’5″ 270), power, and bend to be a great NFL edge.