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2018 NFL Draft Random Thoughts: Pre-Combine Edition

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NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to the start of “Random Thoughts” on the NFL draft this year. I’m often stuck with a bunch of smaller discussion points as draft season progresses, and these posts allow for a great opportunity to share them with the community.

  • I’ll start this off similar to how I started one of the posts last year. First round running backs are not worth it. Given the coaching change in Tennessee, there has been a lot of talk about the value of rushing in the NFL. It is simply not as important as it used to be. Here is an article looking into running backs and the NFL draft: “Spending a top-20 pick on a RB is one of the worst decisions a team can make.” I haven’t done much running back scouting yet, but there are always mid- and late-round picks that can come in and contribute. We’ll discuss ideal RB pairings with Derrick Henry in a later post.
  • Probably the “most linked” name to the Titans in mock drafts is Harold Landry and it is easy to see why. He’d be an ideal fit for the Mike Vrabel/Dean Pees defense. He can quickly get low and dip under offensive tackles, and has a variety of other pass rush moves at his disposal. I expect his stock to rise quickly. There are not a lot of elite edge rushers in this draft that fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
  • One name that is being overlooked for the Titans so far is Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans. He is one of the more unique linebackers I’ve seen in a while. He isn’t a traditional seek-and-destroy player like Reuben Foster was from the Tide last year. He is more of a coverage ‘backer than a run-stopper, in my opinion. What separates Evans from other coverage linebackers is that Alabama also lined him up outside and let him rush the passer...and it worked. He flashed speed and spin moves off the edge. If Vrabel really wants to get creative with his front-seven, adding Evans provides him that freedom.
  • Lamar Jackson is just flat out fun to watch. I find myself rooting for dual threat quarterbacks because with the right coaches they tend to inspire offensive creativity and innovation. The key with Jackson will be finding that right coach.
  • My Vita Vea evaluation is an absolute mess. I can’t figure him out as a prospect. The Washington defensive tackle pairs excellent strength with surprising quickness for such a big man. He consistently draws double teams. Its easy to see why so many scouts and analysts love him. My concern is that there was also a lot of time when I thought he was just there - simply occupying his space and blocker but not creating plays (positive or negative).