NFL Draft time is back @ NFLRT 3/10

NFL draft…

That time is coming up again and the crew offers up some opinions on the players and the strategy of picking the players…

1) Projected as the 7th best player, and the probable best linebacker, in the upcoming NFL draft, former Alabama player Reuben Foster managed to get himself kicked out of the NFL combine when he pulled the old “Do you know who I am” card after getting into a heated discussion with staff because of delays during required hospital tests.

Is this outburst from Foster a red flag that teams should be aware of when considering Foster for their roster? And, will it hurt his overall draft positioning?

Chad: He may slide in the 1st round but I see this as a blip rather than like a Domestic Violence situation. It’s something to take note off but nothing permanent.

Dan: While the entire exchange isn’t known to me for what prompted why he would’ve said that, I don’t think it’s as much of a red flag as most would expect. The only red flag to me is that he’s at a doctor office with all the other NFL draft prospects going through the same thing. I don’t think this will hurt his overall draft positioning or stock at all. It’s a non-factor to me and I believe it was overblown more than what it’s worth. Worth looking at, but, not enough to move him up or down based on just this.

David: Not sure it matters to some, but, I bet to other teams it is a flag.

I would have to see if this was an isolated incident or a patter. A one time incident, then, not much of an issue. But, if it was a pattern, then, personally, I would have a hard time drafting someone who was that much of a prick before becoming rich and famous.

Earl: It’s a red flag, yes. It shows him being a hot head and being a bit of a primadonna to be honest. Not the best example you want to show your prospective employer.

Will it hurt his draft stock, however? No. I don’t think so. If, he fits a need on your team, you’re still going to roll the dice and draft him. You just have to hope that his production outweighs his negatives. 

2) On Friday, ESPN.com released a video by Myles Garrett, the presumptive #1 pick in the NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, that pleads with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and HC coach Jason Garrett to give the Brown’s Tony Romo and a bevy of draft picks so they can trade up and take him to play for his hometown Cowboys. Myles Garrett later said it was a joke and that he had forgotten he had made the video. (Editor’s note: The video, posted by ESPN Friday night, was from December 8th, but ESPN didn’t reveal that until later.) But, to be safe, he also apologized to anyone who took it the wrong way… especially to any Brown’s front office personnel and/or fans.  

In your opinion, is this just a joke that went bad in a hurry or was Garrett seriously trying to get himself traded away from the Browns?  And, in the big picture of the draft does it matter one way or the other?  It isn’t like he said “Do you know who I am?” Or, was it? 

Chad: I think it was a joke that got out of hand. It looks he will be the number 1 overall pick to Cleveland and be able to come right in and contribute for a bad Browns’ roster.

Dan: I think it was just a joke that wen

While I don’t think he wants to play for the Browns due to them being so bad, and, I do believe he wants to play for the hometown Cowboys, I wouldn’t worry myself with this joke video. It doesn’t matter overall. He proved he’s the number one pick with his combine and he’ll be the number one overall pick come draft day.

David: I’m drafting him number 1 anyway if I’m the Browns. I don’t care how much he loves Dallas, he can buy a house and a private plane with the money I’m going to pay him.

Earl: I did not think much of it to be honest. Garrett also said that he prefers not to be drafted by a cold weather team, and, Cleveland sure is cold.

But, I think he’s just a young kid kind of shooting off at the mouth. If, the Browns take him first overall, he’ll be happy to go to Cleveland, and they will be happy to have him there.

This is far more lighthearted than what Foster did in my opinion.

3) CBS.com is reporting that the Buffalo Bills will decline their $30 million option on promising but unproven QB Tyrod Taylor thereby making him a free agent.  If, he is released (as all reports seem to indicate) the Cleveland Browns will most likely scoop him up for their starting QB, thereby allowing them to use their two #1 picks (1 and 12 in the 1st round) on other dire needs… starting with the rumored pick of Myles Garrett.

What is your opinion on this rumored strategy by the Brown’s? And, what happens to the strategy, if, the Bills do pick up the Taylor’s option or Taylor decides to go elsewhere?

(Editor’s Note: Prior to this column going to press… On March 8th, just 3 days ahead of the original deadline to pick up Taylor’s 2017 option or let him test free agency, the Buffalo Bills decided to restructure Taylor’s contract. The restructure lowers Taylor’s cap number to just under $10 million in the 2017 season. It had been around $16 million. The team also gave him a $7 million signing bonus.)

Chad: The Browns could look at options in the trade market if the Taylor move falls through. I like the move to go Defense.

Dan: I wouldn’t pick a quarterback with either first round selection if I was the Browns’ GM anyway. They have a lot bigger, immediate needs than a quarterback right now.

Tyrod Taylor… Browns & Jets interested?

Speaking of Tyrod Taylor, though, the Jets have a lot of interest in him and he might want to stay in the AFC East to get back at the Bills multiple times a year. I don’t think he has a lot of interest in joining the Browns, but, if, the Jets don’t pursue him like rumored, the Browns could sweep in.

Either way, Cleveland needs to go after positions of need or best player available. Myles Garrett first then another defensive player or an offensive lineman in a weak O-Line class.

David: #1 Myles Garrett, with the other pick, best player out there, unless Watson falls. I have no problem with Taylor as a stopgap. I’m not playing any QB I draft as a rookie anyway.

Earl: Is Tyrod Taylor a star quarterback? No. However, he is better than what Buffalo thinks he is. Statistically he had a good season. He’s not going to light teams up but, if, you keep defenses off of him, and allow him to just make plays he will burn the opposition.

If, Cleveland is going to take the risk with Taylor, they better beef up their offensive line and get a running game to support him. They will have a bunch of draft picks so they better use them wisely. 

4) If, Myles Garret goes #1 in the NFL draft, as is being projected, who goes #2?  Why?

Chad: The 49ers have the second pick and with no QB on the roster I would think they go Quarterback. The question is  whether its Trubisky from UNC or Deshaun Watson from Clemson.

Dan: Mitch Trubisky goes number two the San Francisco 49ers.

Deshaun Watson or Mitch Trubisky at #2 to the 49ers?

Why? Well, there’s one simple reason: they do not have a quarterback on their roster. Yes, you read that right. If, the season started today, the 49ers would walk out onto the field with nobody to grab the ball from center and the quarterback out of North Carolina is the top quarterback available. While they have an entire team in need of being re-done, they need a quarterback the most and will take one.

David: Whomever trades up for Mitch. I can’t see them being that stupid and someone is going to go all Draft Day on the rookie GM.

Earl: Good question. I spent most of the weekend either watching the combine or keeping up with it on Twitter and I’m not sure if there’s a can’t miss prospect that San Francisco has to take at #2.

With that said, I think it will be a quarterback because they tend to go high and they do need one. So, I’ll say Trubisky just for the sake of answering the question. 

5) You are a GM with a top pick in the draft. Your team has specific positional needs (QB or CB for example) but no one player at your positional need “knocks your socks off.” Do you opt for the best player at your positional need that is available or do take the best player regardless of position? Why? 

Chad: I think a lot of it comes down to position in the round and the status of the Big Board. I personally would take the best available so that he can develop for a year or two and then maybe get what you want in the later rounds, or trade, or free agency.

NFL Draft: Should Teams Draft for Need, or the Best Available Player?

Dan: It depends on how my team played the season before and what I need the most. If, I need an offensive tackle the most and the class is weak, I’ll grab the best one available as quick as I can. The only exception would be if I have a player who was graded at round 3-5 who I like more, then I’ll wait and grab the best available but still at a position of need.

If, the best player available is a wide receiver, and I have three solid wide receivers and have absolutely no need, there’s no point in wasting a first round pick on one. I have to have at least somewhat of a need for that position for me to draft a certain player.

David: Trade Down. Unless I really care about a player, I’m trading down.

I’d be a hated GM for my fans for the first few years. Unless it’s a top 10 pick, I’d swap it yearly for more picks. What’s that? Drop down 5 spots for a 2 and a 1 next year? Done, What? go down another 7 spots for 2 seconds and a third? Done.

If, I can’t find a trade partner, I grab the best O-Lineman available. Name me the last time a coach said, you know what? I just have too damn many starting offensive linemen.

Earl: I would say best player available. The rookie salary cap makes it easier to draft a kid and stash him. Kind of like what the Jets did a few years ago with Leonard Williams. Having Williams on the roster is a luxury that allows the Jets to try and trade either Wilkerson or Richardson. Because now they can sign Williams cheaply compared to the kind of outlandish salary rookies were getting prior to the cap being implemented.

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