Daily Dr. Roto—April 23, 2018
With the NFL draft just around the corner, I’ve decided to step away from Fantasy Baseball for a few days and do some Draft previews.
There are five players who are expected to be drafted in the 1st Round:
Josh Allen — At the end of the day, I feel that the Browns will select Allen as the first player in this year’s draft. He’s got the size (6’5”, 240 lbs) and a cannon for an arm. He is the prototypical pocket passer that every team wishes they had under center. His accuracy is in question (under 56% for his college career), but how many guys have his arm strength and can make the throws he does? Additionally, Cleveland is a bad weather city and they need someone who can throw in wind, rain, snow, etc. The Browns brought in Tyrod Taylor this season, mainly so they could take their time and not rush whomever they draft. With time, Allen has huge upside and it will be a major surprise if he doesn’t go first.
Prediction: 1st overall to the Cleveland Browns
Sam Darnold — If the Browns take Allen as I predict, then the New York Giants will be on the clock and have huge decisions to make. Do they take a QB like Sam Darnold? Do they take Saquon Barkley? Or do they trade down and make a monster deal that can set them up for the future? My guess is that the Giants pass on Darnold and take Barkley. Had this been a year ago at this time, I would have been incredulous at that proposition. Darnold looked amazing in his Freshman season, and at that point he seemed a likely 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft. However, last season I saw a QB who made many mistakes and forced bad passes all over the place. The Pac-12 is not the NFL, so I can only imagine what will happen in Darnold’s first few years in the league when he is first learning to read professional defenses. Do I think Darnold can play in this league? Certainly. But if you ask me whether I see a Pro-Bowl level talent here, I don’t see it right now.
Prediction: 3rd Overall to the New York Jets
Baker Mayfield — If the Giants take RB Saquon Barkley at 2 overall as I think is likely, the New York Jets will have multiple QBs to choose from with the 3rd overall pick. The name that seems to be surfacing right now in the tabloids is Baker Mayfield. It’s obvious that Mayfield is passionate about playing football (and he won tons of games in college), but I would be very surprised if the jets passed on Sam Darnold if he is available. There are two key reasons for this: 1) Mayfield’s size is and always will be an issue. Offensive Lineman in the NFL are usually 6’3” and above. At 6’ 1” Mayfield is a slight bit on the smallish size and NFL front offices seem to really want guys who can see over the OL, and 2) Mayfield played in a prolific spread offense in college. And although he is highly accurate, it’s going to take him time to learn to be a drop back passer in the league. Most teams expect their coaches to win now and Mayfield represents a player who is going to have to learn a pro-offense under a coach who will have time to teach him properly. Can he do it? I think so, but it will take him a year or two to get caught up to speed.
Prediction: I can see Mayfield going to Denver at 5 assuming the Broncos do not trade the pick. Case Keenum is a perfect mentor for Mayfield and I believe that Broncos GM John Elway sees Mayfield returning the team to their old glory.
Josh Rosen — Rosen is getting an incredible amount of bad press leading into the draft. There are questions about his character, desire, and injury history. That said, he is still a very talented QB who takes what the defense gives him. Although he’s not blessed with a Josh Allen-type cannon for an arm, he is able to find open receivers and is incredibly accurate. Because of his cerebral style and the fact that he does not appear to be passionate about playing football, I can see Rosen falling in the draft. This could be a potential mistake, as Rosen’s mechanics are close to flawless and he might be the most pro-ready QB of the entire bunch.
Prediction — Buffalo Bills HC Sean McDermott will absolutely fall in love with Rosen’s cerebral approach to the game. Look for the Bills to be somewhat aggressive and trade up from #12 (possibly with San Francisco at #9) to get their QB of the future.
Lamar Jackson — There was perhaps no better athlete in college football in the past two seasons that Louisville’s QB Lamar Jackson. Jackson ran, threw, and dominated most games the Cardinals played. As good as he was in college, Jackson represents a very difficult philosophical selection for a team. To use Jackson correctly means changing a team’s offense to allow him to run, pass, and use the skills he needs to be successful. The Houston Texans were open to this concept last season when they traded up to take DeShaun Watson. Which team will be willing to do that this year for Jackson? Jackson’s Wonderlic score was atrocious, and there are many questions about his decision making and arm strength. Much like Michael Vick, he reminds me of a QB who can take his team to the playoffs, but not to the Super Bowl.
Prediction: The Baltimore Ravens need to give their franchise a facelift. Head Coach John Harbaugh is on the hot seat, and the team needs to eventually find a replacement for Joe Flacco. If the Ravens are willing to give Jackson the personnel around him to succeed, he could bring a lot of excitement to the city of Baltimore.