NFL Roundtable: Pre-Draft Edition and Josh Norman

Welcome to the NFL Roundtable! This week we get ready for the draft, and if you have questions, by all means post it below.

1. Thoughts on Josh Norman going to the Redskins?Josh Norman

DJ: According to the critics, they over-paid him but it was a good signing. He’s just 28 so he’s smack dab in his prime and deserving of being paid as one of the better CB’s in the league. I would have loved him on my Raiders opposite Sean Smith but we only had 9 million left after our free agent spending spree. Makes me wish we had targeted him before we signed Smith.
Let’s look at some things, shall we? The Redskins were  25th in the league in pass defense, allowing 258 yards per game. They allowed 30 TD’s through the air and had just 11 INT’s.  The Redskins pass defense could have been because of an average pass rush (tied for 14th on sacks) but Norman instantly gives them a  stud CB who opposing QB’s will not want to throw to, putting more pressure on Washington’s #2 CB.
IMO, Norman was a very solid signing. Much better than some of Washington’s free agent signings like Albert Haynesworth, Jeff George, Brandon Lloyd, etc.

Dan: It was a great move by Washington to jump on Norman. He wanted to play & the Saints were going to push hard for him with Drew Brees saying he’ll take a pay cut in order to get Norman on their roster. Washington had the opportunity & jumped on it. They did right. What the Panthers were doing was just crazy. Okay, so you can’t get close in contract negotiations right now, who’s to say that at the end of the season or some point during the season you two don’t come close? At least you have the franchise tag on him & will get him for 1 more year. Why just let him go immediately like that? Didn’t make sense to me at all. Didn’t make sense to reporters either from what I’ve read.

Jim: It’s just further proof why Carolina will never be a team that sustains success.  When you aren’t loyal to your players, they simply bail on you.  To tell a player he’s the “franchise player”, then without even giving him a head’s up, you release him….that shows the lack of integrity of the head office.  Of course, Norman now has to go to one of the three worst franchises in football, but at least he’ll lose with millions in the bank.

Earl: Norman being released from his franchise tag is the bigger shock than him signing with the Redskins in my opinion. Once Norman was a free agent, him to the Redskins became a possibility in my mind because owner Daniel Snyder loves the big move, but I’m shocked the Panthers either didn’t or couldn’t find a trade partner. That shocked me.

Joe: Josh Norman is an excellent corner and was arguably one of the top two or three in the NFL for the 2015 season. Now, he is the best paid corner and has to live up to the expectation. Can he do that? I give a reserved “yes.” The rational for that reservation is I that I think he can do it for the next few years but can he do it for the full term of his contract and I’m leaning towards “no”.
If, you think paying top dollar for a very good, to a possibly elite, corner player for three years, and, then for a below average player for another two, is well spent, then it’s a good deal. However, if you don’t, then it’s a bad deal. I think its in-between.
I do think Washington believed they needed to move fast to corral Norman and did it by offering him top money. Obviously, it worked.

2. Who made the more defensible move Eagles or Rams?Eagles Browns

DJ: No Idea

Dan: You can defend the Rams’ move easier than you can the Eagles’ move. The Rams are arguably jus a quarterback away from being in playoff contention & didn’t give up as much for the overall 1 picks. The Eagles, however, are giving up a ton of picks & some future top picks for the number 2 spot & the quarterback who isn’t supposed to be as good. To really evaluate this trade, we’ll have to wait until the draft is over but I think the Rams’ move was easier to defend.

Jim: The Rams, of course.  New city, new fans, season tickets to sell…no better way than to move up to #1 and take a franchise quarterback. It’s not about next year.  It’s not about anything other than right now for the Rams.  And they proved it to their new city by making this move.  And it will pay off.  Guaranteed.  They might just win 6 games this year. And for the Rams, that’s HUGE.  Philly is gonna suck for a few more years, no matter what they do.  Chip left them nothing more than an empty paper bag of a team.

Earl: I’m not sure either move is defensible since I’m not that high on Goff or Wentz but since it looks like Goff to the Rams and Wentz to the Eagles, the one that gets the better QB over time will be the one that made the right move.

Joe: The Rams did. They get the better choice of the two available best QBs in this year’s draft. The Eagles get the leftovers… UNLESS… the Rams screw it up. Which, I doubt they will.
The Eagles could have waited until they picked with their eight pick to get a QB, if that’s what they want… then they could have either gone for the leftover, if, he dropped that far or taken either Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook.
But, more on this in a later answer to another question.

3. What do the Browns do now for a QB?cle-browns-helmet

DJ: Robert Griffin III is officially the man in Cleveland now after the Browns traded their #2 pick and moved down in the draft.
Hue Jackson is banking on RGIII being healthy and able to fit into their offense. I like it a lot, I thought Denver should have been targeting him when Manning retired and Osweiler bolted for the $.  RGIII is a solid player who is still young enough to recapture his rookie season form. And he should be healthy after having sat sand watched Kirk Cousins steal his job for the past 2 seasons.
However, the Browns need to get him some help at WR and they need to be able to protect him so they may need to upgrade the OL through the draft.  They really need a tackle.

Dan: I think the Browns should go after Paxton, the quarterback out of Memphis. If that’s not an option for them, then they need to wait in the draft until a good quarterback is available later. They do have RGIII & there’s also Ryan Fitzpatrick out in free agency if they really feel desperate. But I think as long as they go after Paxton, Cleveland will be okay at quarterback.

Jim: RGIII.  I don’t care about McCown or any other QB on that miserable roster.  You don’t sign RGIII if you don’t intend to play him.  So if you sign him, you trade away the pick that would have let you get a good quarterback in the draft.  Which is what they did.  It’s really not even worthy of a discussion.  RGIII is the starting QB of the Cleveland Browns…until late August, when he gets hurt, and McCown leads them to a 6-10 season.

Earl: The Browns could either go with Paxton Lynch but I don’t think he’s the one for them. I’d expect Hue Jackson would look at Christian Hackenberg since he did play in a pro system when Bill O’Brien was at Penn State and he does appear to be pro ready. Taking Hackenberg in the 2nd round would be the way to go.

Joe: Wait until another one appears and take him… one will come around eventually. Paxton Lynch or Connor Cook, for example.

4. What are your takes on all the Mock Drafts?Mel Kiper

DJ: No Opinion

Dan: Nothing more than they’re just mock drafts. They’re nothing more than just a guess by reporters & draft experts on what player goes where. The Packers have had picks all over the place, but mainly have stayed in the ILB/DL position which is good in my opinion. I prefer them to get Billings out of Baylor, granted he falls to GB. If not, take the next best DL then a ILB – or whatever position player is higher on their board at the time. I’ve heard rumors of some executives are saying the Packers’ biggest needs are DT/RB/OL which I agree on two of the three, but don’t think they need to waste an early pick on a RB. We’ll see when the draft is here how close the mocks were to actual results.

Jim: I have rarely in my life seen an accurate mock draft, so they are just fun things to do to fill space between the Super Bowl and April.  They mean nothing at all.  There were thousands of mock drafts and then both #1 and #2 were traded, and it changed everything.  I could do a mock draft today, and it still wouldn’t be near correct.  That’s why I don’t read them.  They’re meaningless words typed by terrible sports reporters with nothing else to do to fill their time sheets.

Earl: I read mock drafts and I’ll watch them on ESPN & NFL Network but the whole thing is more entertainment than prediction for me. Its a crap shoot but it’s something that fills time during the day.

Joe: Honestly? Except for the top ten picks… and most times it’s only the top three or four if that… these media dudes have no idea what the hell they are talking about and its just their so-called informed and expert opinion that says this team will take this player and that team will take that player.
You could probably pick a mock draft by placing all the names on pieces of paper and then throwing them into a hat and picking one out for each team. Might be better than what some of these mock drafts tell us.

5. Are there any chances we don’t see QB / QB / Larry T in the first three picks?

Mississippi Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil (78) lines up in position during an NCAA college football game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU won 10-7. (AP Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher)
Mississippi Rebels offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil (78) lines up in position during an NCAA college football game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on Saturday, October 25, 2014 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU won 10-7. (AP Photo/Aaron M. Sprecher)

DJ: Nope. The Rams will most likely take Jared Goff in their splashy return to Los Angeles and needing a face of the franchise type player .
The Eagles will probably  select Carson Wentz or Goff if the Rams select Wentz at the last second.
The Chargers will take Tackle Laremy Tunsil so they can protect their franchise QB in Rivers.
The only way I can see it not happening is if SD decides to go with CB Jalen Ramsey and I think that’s a less than 10% chance of happening. The Rams and Eagles will both take a QB because they are in desperate need of a young QB to groom.

Dan: I think there’s a slight chance, like there always is for variation, but I think the top 3 is pretty much set in stone. The Rams are getting Goff. The Eagles want Wentz. Chargers are getting Tunsil. That’s how I’ve seen every mock lined up, that’s what’s expected by experts. That’s what we’re going to see come draft day.

Jim: I’m pretty sure the top three are set at this time.  I can’t see anything changing.  The only scenario that might change is who drafts LT at #3.  If someone wants him bad enough (like Tampa), they could trade up…but it wouldn’t be to get anyone else at #3.  They’d be targeting LT.

Earl: Quarterback will be one and two. We can book that. Tunsil at 3 to San Diego should be the pick but I wouldn’t be too stunned if either the Chargers take Jalen Ramsey or if someone offers the Chargers a solid trade package to come up for Ramsey. For example I wouldn’t be too surprised if the Buccaneers came up to #3. They really would need a game changer in Ramsey.

Joe: Yes.
I think a QB goes in the first pick… and, then things could change… I’m not so sure the Eagles take a QB with their pick.
The Eagles already have Sam Bradford signed with a two-year, $36 million contract with $22 million guaranteed and then have high-end backup Chase Daniel signed to a three-year, $21 million deal with $12 million guaranteed. So, it’s very arguable that they need another QB. I don’t think they do and I think they feel the same. I think they go after another player to fill a need or go for the best available talent.
If, they go best available talent… they take Laremy Tunsil.
If, they fill a need they go for either a defensive back or an offensive guard. I don’t think anyone has any offensive guards rated very highly, so, my guess is they go for a defensive back if they try to fill a need. That means they take either Jalen Ramsey or Vernon Hargreaves.
But… I think they take Laremy Tunsil. And, sorry, Tunsil may wind up being a great player in the NFL, but to get him and give up what they did? I don’t think so…

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