Apr 23, 2017
Storylines Surrounding the 2017 NFL
By: Logan Beatty
Hey guys, Intern Logan.
With the draft coming up in a few days, my football interest is again reaching fever pitch (sick baseball reference for April). This sort of thing always happens to me. Base(d)ball starts and I get suuuper into it with a fantasy team I won’t pay attention to come June. Couple that with ludicrous expectations for the Brewers and an NBA playoffs where the Bucks may or may not be doing shit (check it out, they are) and I have a recipe for another killer spring. Then mid April hits and I’m scouring the internet for mock drafts on some dark web sports site from a blogger from North Korea who claims he has an in about just what the hell the Bengals are REALLY going to do in the third round. It’s a tradition unlike any other.
In a way I kind of feel like the NFL pushed the draft back just so they could try to string along as many of the idiot fans they could like us who eat this shit up. Oh, Kiper has his mock draft 8.0 up and it’s only mid March? HELL YEAH GIMME SOME OF THAT SWEET SWEET HAIR AND MOCKS BABY. We’re dumb, we buy it, we’re football fans. I mean Jesus, they had an entire show when the SCHEDULE came out so overpaid gasbags (whose job I wish I had) can predict what teams will make the playoffs even before the draft and training camps have happened. And we watch it in record numbers instead of the aforementioned baseball and NBA playoffs. Football is king, you nerds, and it’s time to get used to it.
So, with this monstrous event coming ever closer, I started get some questions about the upcoming draft.
1. What is Cleveland going to do in the first round?
Cleveland finds itself picking first on draft night once again. Last year, they were one of the more active teams in the first round (and in the entire draft really), and received very sizable pick compensation from both the Eagles (for Wentz) and Titans (for Conklin) that will resonate in this current draft. The Browns hold five of the first 65 picks in the upcoming draft, and while that sounds perfect for a team that STILL has holes everywhere, they don’t necessarily have the best track record when it comes to draft weekend in terms of selecting players, or trading up or down (I have proof). They need to fill the two-decade long gap at quarterback, but I’m not sure they address that in the first round. I think it’s pretty certain they are going to select Garrett first overall (I’ve never seen him play so I’m not going to sit here and say he’s a no doubter, nor am I going to parrot what the guys on ESPN with the perfectly quaffed hair say about him), so he’s gotta be good at something. The real questions to me come with those other high picks they have this year. Do they go quarterback at No. 12? Does a quarterback go as high as No. 12? Was that last sentence just a tease for later in this article? Are they going to try to trade up, back, or for established talent? They seem like a team that could afford to offer a third or fourth for Sheldon Richardson and find out if he really wants to play in this league and get some value out of him.
Either way 1.) it’s the Browns 2) they suck at drafting and trading 3) their owner is a criminal and is legit a crazy person and meddles too much so 4) it’s going to be fuckin’ entertaining.
2. Just how many DE’s/Pass Rushers/ Secondary Players are going to go in this first round?
Have you seen some of these mocks out there? In just about every one that I have seen there are about 15 pass rushers/secondary players total going in the first round. That’s kind of crazy right? Including the first few picks in the second round, that number could easily jump up to 20, but really in the way the league is currently operating it’s really not a trend we should be seeing an end to anytime soon. Obviously, every team is trying to land that quarterback that can lead a team for the next decade, but it’s becoming more and more evident by the number of early first-round draft selections of defensive ends and the sheer number of corners and safeties that have gone in the first round the last few drafts, coupled with some of the guaranteed deals these guys are getting on the open market (its fucking QB money in some cases) that the positions designed to stop the quarterback are becoming more and more valued. Gone are the running backs from the first round. Less wide receivers are being selected in the first 32 selections. Hell are we going to even see a quarterback in the first half of the first round? The league always has its shifts (remember the wildcat? Oh man that was fun for a season and a half!) and we are currently in the middle of a huge shift towards edge rushers and secondary. Are these guys in this draft really this good where they are all “worthy” of the first round, or is it just this shift elevating them based on these needs?
3. Are we going to see a shit-ton of trades again?
Just look at last year: http://www.prosportstransactions.com/football/DraftTrades/Years/2016.htm
And this is 2014: http://www.prosportstransactions.com/football/DraftTrades/Years/2014.htm
That’s 23 combined trades in two out of the last three first rounds of the draft. This year? I expect to see more of the same. There are a lot of teams selecting in high spots they are not accustomed to in recent history, coupled with your draft trading favorites who have either a bunch of draft ammo, or are potentially one young stud away. Expect to still see the draft fireworks a’boomin’ come this week. Carolina, Denver, Green Bay, New England and Cleveland are all teams I would expect to make day-one moves. Someone is moving up to select a quarterback because it always happens, someone will trade up to overdraft someone because it always happens, Dallas will trade up because it always happens (and Jurruh Jones is a nut). That’s three right there and that’s just the predictable stuff.
4. What in the hell are the Packers going to be drafting in the first round this year?
No really I have no idea. Generally I have an idea of like maybe a few guys. Ok not really because it’s generally just an outside linebacker we’ve never heard of or a random defensive tackle who has had a terrible injury history, or a basketball player, or a kid who just started playing football in college, or….sorry got sidetracked.
But really, they have some holes in places but we know that they have never gone corner in the first round since Ahmad Carroll, they don’t value middle linebackers, and they aren’t going to take an offensive lineman early to fill the hole at guard. They can just address all those positions of need with undrafted free age-ARRRRHGHAHHHAHDGHADHGASHG god damn it what a stupid fucking way to build a team with the best quarterback of this generation. FUCK, TED DO SOMETHING!!!!!
5. Are the Bears going QB earlier than you think (remember that tease!)?
Sorry for the irrational Logan outburst from the last question. I promise this part will be more logical.
I really think the Bears are going to take a quarterback at No. 3.
JUST KIDDING ABOUT THAT LOGICAL PART. But hear me out before you stop reading.
Yes the bears just signed a fuckin’ dinosaur-necked bastard for a ridiculous sum of money (when they could have just brought in Colin Kaepernick for 10 million less to pair with Handsome Sanchez if they wanted a placeholder at QB), but does anyone really think he is any good? Anyone? Bueller?
Here are some reasons I see Chicago going QB.
a. There is only $4 million guaranteed for Glennon passed 2017. If they thought he was the guy, wouldn’t there be at least a little more commitment?
b. That front office really needs a win and to do right by its fans. According to some of my friends who are Bears fans and much of my family that lives in the suburbs of Chicago, a quarterback is what they want. Plus most of my family being from the suburbs, I just automatically assume they have ties to the mob because, well, Chicago, thus they would have an “in” when it comes to these matters. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m out of bounds for saying so, but these are my reasoning’s.
c. I’m sure every Bears fan you know will tell you this because they bitch about everything (your baseball team just won a World Series, stop for like 5 minutes), they had a helluva lot of injuries last year. Just as many as the Packers did if that is your preferred reference point. If they had stayed even remotely healthy, I don’t think it would have looked like they had as many holes.
d. The one glaring hole Bears fans always seem to bitch about (more so than usual) is their woeful quarterback position since I have literally been alive. That thing hasn’t been solved since I have been alive. 28 years. Think about that.
e. I think Deshaun Watson is the best quarterback in this draft and it blows my mind that a QB who was just in the last two National Championships, both against what is considered the most NFL-styled defense in the NCAA in Alabama, is getting kind of disrespected. Mitchell Trubisky? Really? First off he didn’t want to have the quintessential badass “QB name” in Mitch Trubisky. I mean you can set you clock to cheerleaders dampening their panties when they hear that name, but no, this fuckin’ nerd had to be like “Uh please guys its Mitchell, please call me Mitchell from here on out.” Lost all respect for him in that moment. He doesn’t have the “it” factor and that alone proves it. Watson beat Bama on the biggest stage and was an onsides kick away from doing it twice in two years. Kid’s got it, and I think he could really benefit from a year with a clipboard, which I think the Bears could honestly afford.
f. Who else would waste an opportunity to gain value in trading down from No. 3?
Oh yeah, heh, the Bears.
Tune in here for the podcast we talked about these pre-draft questions