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NFL Draft Day sliders and risers

NFL Draft Day sliders and risers

With the NFL Draft beginning later today, all of the rumors of the the last few months will finally be shown to be either true or false. Today we cut through the noise and misdirection employed by many of the NFL’s teams and give a reasonable summary of some things to expect in this upcoming draft. To be more specific, who could slide and become a bargain, and who could be selected earlier than expected?

Sliders

Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen is the most pro-ready quarterback in this draft, playing in three separate pro-style offenses at UCLA. He knows much of the terminology used in the NFL as a result.

NFL Draft Day sliders and risers
Josh Rosen (Photo from AP)

However, with Sam Darnold the likely first overall pick in the draft and Baker Mayfield looking like he may have jumped up to be the second quarterback selected, Rosen could be left in a bit of a free fall. In addition to all of this, if a team becomes enamored with Josh Allen, he could be selected before Rosen. Therefore, it is not out of the question that he could fall all the way until the Miami Dolphins take him at the 11th pick.

Look for a team like Arizona to trade up to 10th to get ahead of the Dolphins if Rosen does slide. Overall, a slide on draft day might work out in Rosen’s favor. This is because he could end up on a team with a much higher talent level. For example, the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals are much better than a team like the New York Jets.

Antonio Callaway

News recently broke about Callaway testing positive for marijuana in his combine drug test. Callaway was considered a high upside day-2 pick. However, now he could be a late-round pick or even undrafted.

Callaway has the talent of a first-round prospect. This is offset by the fact that he has a poor reputation. He has already faced significant concerns off the field regarding a sexual assault allegation and drug misdemeanor charges. Although he was eventually cleared of wrongdoing in the sexual assault case, many people worry because the investigator looking into the incident was also a Gators football booster.

Callaway should still be selected. An NFL team would be hard-pressed to overlook the talent of a prospect who, minus the character concerns, could have been a day-1 selection.

Minkah Fitzpatrick

Minkah Fitzpatrick is a very talented defensive back. The issue that could cause him to slide is that teams may value Derwin James over Fitzpatrick. This is because James is more athletic and versatile. This is supported by the fact that Fitzpatrick may have been a little overhyped as a top-10 lock, especially when not many teams in the top 10 are looking for a defensive back. There also may be a rush for quarterbacks in the top 10, forcing top prospects at other positions to slide back.

Risers

Josh Sweat

NFL Draft Day sliders and risers
Josh Sweat (Photo from Glenn Beil of USA Today)

Pass rushers are valued at a premium in the NFL. The only position considered more important by evaluators is quarterback.

Josh Sweat went to Florida State as a five-star prospect and has all the athletic tools to become a dominant pass rusher. He stands at 6-foot-5 with long arms and a 4.53 40 time, which projects well for his ability at the next level. Main concerns about Sweat are his thin frame and injury history.

If we have learned anything in the last few drafts, it is that teams are willing to overlook some problems. Recent years of the draft have shown us many teams reach for a guy whose potential they believe in. In 2014, the Philadelphia Eagles selected Marcus Smith in the end of the first round despite his thin frame. In last year’s draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Taco Charlton at the end of the first round regardless of concerns about him. This year could be similar with Josh Sweat sneaking into the end of the first round.

Baker Mayfield

Over the last few weeks, we have seen Heisman winner Baker Mayfield rise from being projected in the mid to late teens. Now he is seen as a potential top-five pick. Originally, many thought he would not be selected early due to his size and character concerns. However, rumors have recently surfaced that Mayfield was being considered by the Browns at first overall. Plus, many well-informed insiders have been projecting him to be drafted in the top five or top 10.

Courtland Sutton

Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley has been considered the top receiver in this year’s draft for the most part. After a middling combine performance that failed to build hype, concern has been voiced about Ridley’s size and athleticism.

In addition, Courtland Sutton had a very nice combine performance and has prototypical size at 6-foot-3, 218 pounds. This means that he could rise up and surprise as the first receiver selected in the NFL draft. He has even been endorsed by the all-time best receiver Jerry Rice through a tweet on April 23.

Justin Reid

NFL Draft Day sliders and risers
Justin Reid at the NFL Combine. (Photo by Pats Pulpit)

Reid is an athletic playmaker at the safety position. He is able to play a center fielder type role as well as cover the slot. He could actually be the best center fielding safety in this whole draft.

Teams will see this, and a team who needs a cover safety as opposed to an enforcer type box safety could draft him towards the end of the first. At that point in the draft, many teams are looking to grab players they think will not last through the beginning of the second round. Teams to look out for are the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles.

In the end, just like every year, this draft is sure to have some major surprises that no one saw coming. It will be interesting to see who will rise and fall this year.

 

Featured image from Yahoo Sports

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