The NFL Draft isn’t without drama. Teams rising and falling to take players they know will help franchises. Aaron Rodgers fall into the Green Bay Packers’ lap. The Jacksonville Jaguars trading away the team’s draft picks in 2008 to grab Derrick Harvey who was a bust. The Buffalo Bills moving up to select Sammy Watkins.
There is a lot of jockeying going on right now to see if teams are will to play “Let’s Make A Deal.”
This year’s draft is loaded with defensive linemen and cornerbacks. Players will slide up and down the draft board based on need. There will be a few surprises. Here is a look at five bold predictions for this week’s NFL Draft.
Reuben Foster will fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Somehow, I see this unfolding.
Foster tested positive for a diluted drug sample at the Combine, which may have led to his altercation with medical staff.
The Steelers need a young, fast linebacker to replace Lawrence Timmons. This just makes too much sense for it not to happen. Foster’s stock is falling faster than United Airlines on Wall Street. Regardless of the positive test, this kid can still play and is the best at his position. Playing for the Steelers will also help this kid mature into one of the best linebackers on the next level.
Pittsburgh could also trade up if he is still on the board around the 20th pick.
The Patriots will trade Jimmy Garoppolo
I still hold out hope some team (Cleveland) is going to call New England and offer a king’s ransom for an unproven quarterback.
Cleveland is the logical choice and fans will praise Sashi Brown for making the “right” move. Based on paper, Garoppolo is better than the draft options (with the exception of maybe Deshaun Watson). The Patriots hope to keep Garoppolo under contract to one day replace Tom Brady. Waiting may get tiring for him.
The Browns have plenty of draft picks the next few years to come up and make a deal. This would be the first big move of the Hue Jackson era in Cleveland.
Leonard Fournette will go second to 49ers
You heard it here first. Well, you read it somewhere else as well.
Fournette is the closest thing to Adrian Peterson in this draft class. Carolina and Jacksonville are praying to the draft gods he will be available for their picking. The Jaguars seem more likely to get their wish – unless there is a trade.
While there was talk last week of a San Francisco-Carolina trade in the works, nothing materialized. The 49ers have needs of their own, including a stud running back for the offense. If new general manager John Lynch wants to make a splash, this is the pick he should make.
Patrick Mahomes will be the best quarterback in this draft
There have been mock drafts that have Mahomes taken as high as sixth to the New York Jets. That’s a bit too high in my opinion, but 13th to the Arizona Cardinals could be the right spot.
Mahomes is going to prove to naysayers that he is not a product of the system with Texas Tech and could be a starter next season after learning his rookie year. He has all the tools to be the best passer of this draft class.
Mitchell Trubisky and Deshaun Watson could both be drafted before him, but they will have to start immediately. Looking and learning will help Mahomes excel on the next level before he is thrown to the wolves.
Dalvin Cook Tumbles
The hardest part of being a running back prior to the NFL Draft is showing inconsistency. Which Dalvin Cook will show up on Sundays?
Players tend to do better at their Pro Day than at the Combine. That is because the surroundings are familiar and the pressure isn’t as great. Cook put on a better show last month. It helped him but did not answer all the questions about him. Can he pass block? Will he be able to find his second gear on the next level? Will the people he associates with become a distraction?
Without answers, the FSU product could fall to the top of the second round of the NFL Draft.