What are some of the thoughts this week on the offensive prospects as we get nearer to the draft?
- Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) is getting that last minute QB draft bump as of late. He’s a system QB that thrived on the Pistol / Air Raid hybrid that the Pokes have run successfully for the entirety of Mullet Mike’s tenure in Stillwater. I just don’t see it with him.
- Lamar Jackson (Louisville) is still my QB2 on the board. He’s an electric playmaker that can score from anywhere on the field. While he wasn’t a total head case in the pocket in 2016, his pocket awareness has been visibly improved in 2017. Not a finished product in the pocket but the tools are there to mold. A plus arm. I feel like that if he’s placed in a situation where he can be developed for a year or two, he can be something special. I was impressed by his Pro Day efforts. His receivers are still not good. The issue that I have is that he is involving his family too much in the offseason process. It could turn out disastrous like the Tyron Smith or Eli Apple situation.
- Josh Rosen (UCLA) is the most ready to start on Day 1 in this year’s QB crop. He has all the physical and mental tools. The injury history is quite alarming, however. I try not to put too much stock into allegations but there is a perception that he is too cool for school ala Cutler. Teams may not like that he isn’t a grinder and football junkie. Personally, I don’t care but the idea is out there in some circles.
- I still maintain my stance that Saquon Barkley (Penn State) isn’t the generational running back that he’s being made out to be. He’s still very good but not AP coming out of college good. I really like his athleticism and vision. Do I think that he’ll among the best backs in the league? Yeah. I’m really concerned about the workload that he took in Happy Valley. 700 touches in 3 years is a lot.
- I’m still a huge Rashaad Penny (SDSU) fan. He broke a ton of school records and frankly, guys his size usually don’t have the skills that he does. A 4.46 40 at his 5’11 220 frame is moving at a pretty good pace. I do have some concerns about his pass blocking ability. SDSU a RB factory? Who knew, right?
- Justin Jackson (Northwestern) is growing on me the more I watch his tape. He basically dragged the Wildcats to a bowl game that was very fun. He could be a late round steal for someone. Seems like an one cut and go type instead of meandering aimlessly until he finds a hole.
- Ito Smith (Southern Miss) is another late round back that I’ve grown to like after researching further. He’s a lightning quick jitterbug that would excel on special teams and as a 3rd back. Very fun to watch his highlights, trust me. He didn’t do much against a less than inspired and somewhat competent FSU defense in the bowl game, though. Size may be a question for him as well. Exciting to watch.
- DaeSean Hamilton (Penn State) is the hands down best route runner in the class and it isn’t particularly close. The speed question was answered in a less than ideal way when he ran a 4.55 (which is plenty fast) but isn’t a game breaker. He dominated the Shrine Game and got an invite to the Senior Bowl where he dominated that too. I really like him but the speed thing just bothers me in an offense that loves speed like they’re Maverick from Top Gun. Allen Robinson 2.0?
- Speaking about a need for speed, DJ Moore (Maryland) has it. He’s risen up the boards very quickly once teams realized that Maryland is abjectly terrible as a program as their uniforms are (right now) and Moore basically carried that team. I would love to see Moore in the Titans offense but the way he’s projected makes that dream an impossible reality unless Jon Robinson is pulling off the best cons of all time. Stefon Diggs 2.0.
- The Corey Davis Award for Godawful QB Play goes to....Michael Gallup (Colorado State). He has the size and skillset to become something solid in this league. One of the better route runners that I’ve seen. Nick Stevens is so terrible, it was quite difficult to evaluate Gallup at times.
- Yeah I’ll say it. We all have been thinking this. Courtland Sutton (SMU) has to be a stone cold lock to hometown Dallas, right? It sure seems that way with all the signs. Sutton really blossomed into a surefire first round pick under the tutelage of now Arkansas HC Chad Morris.
- The center class is not good.
- I wouldn’t be surprised if the Titans ignored the guard class completely and try again next year but they likely won’t.
- Kolton Miller (UCLA) is a guy I just don’t get why he’s so highly rated. He didn’t pop off the screen for me. Just a guy.
- KC McDermott (Miami) needs to make the switch to guard. He’s not that good at tackle. Slow off the snap and struggles against pass rushers because of it.
- Will Hernandez (UTEP) is good, man. He’s a massive mountain at guard and plays like it. Was downright beastly at the Senior Bowl by all accounts. I’m sure he’ll be a top 20 pick. If he slips, I don’t think he’s in play at 25.