The NFL Draft is just over a month away, and with every passing day the excitement builds just a little bit more.
There are so many questions that will be answered on draft night. Aside from Trevor Lawrence going No. 1 to the Jaguars, pretty much everything else is up in the air. Adding to the intrigue is the possibility that one or two big-name quarterbacks get dealt on Thursday, April 29, along with some other less-attractive yet still-appealing names at the position.
With a world of possibilities, let’s get into some early predictions for the NFL Draft.
The Jets Don’t Draft a Quarterback at No. 2
What we learned during Joe Douglas’ first draft as a general manager last year was that he’s always going to be aggressive when it comes to trades. He’ll look to turn assets into more assets however he can. His greatest asset yet may be the No. 2 pick, which will turn into either Zach Wilson, Justin Fields or Penei Sewell, and I think he will look to capitalize on its value.
I am making this call for two reasons. One, I think that the Jets see plenty of ways to fill their many holes in this first round, be it a tackle, edge rusher or wideout. Douglas knows his team is still a draft or two away from being a quarterback away, and I think by building out the rest of the team he’ll not only give Sam Darnold a chance to reach his potential, but will set up his team to draft a quarterback to compete the rebuild in two years.
The other reason I think this is possible is because, though the momentum has calmed down, there is still a very real possibility the Jets trade for either Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, because there’s no better way for the Texans or Seahawks to replace those guys than with the No. 2 pick.
The Falcons Do
Yes, I think the Falcons are a perfect team to move up two spots and take a quarterback. Whether it be the Jets or Niners (my money’s on the former) I think the Falcons are still stubborn enough to think they can win now, but surely they see the writing on the wall with the aging Matt Ryan. Zach Wilson or Justin Fields presents them the opportunity to inject some life into an offense that still has some big-time playmakers at skill positions, and also a chance to seamlessly transition at quarterback, a position they haven’t addressed in quite some time.
Mac Jones Goes Before Trey Lance
Ever since Jones dazzled in the CFP Playoffs, he’s begun to charge up the board and leapfrog Lance as the fourth-most coveted quarterback in this draft. He makes all the throws and presents a much safer option, which I think either Carolina or Washington would be delighted to have. Neither of those teams are in a position right now where they can take a big swing, they both have teams that are ready to win now and with a quarterback that simply won’t make mistakes, they can get enough victories under their belt to reach the playoffs. That contrasts a bit with teams like the Patriots and Raiders, who might want to take a risk given they have some sort of plan already at quarterback, but one that could be improved upon.
Jaylen Waddle Goes Before Devonta Smith
Before Waddle was injured this year, all you heard about was how much of a shoo-in Waddle was as the top wideout in the draft, and top-five pick to boot. Well, that was for good reason. Not only was Waddle amazing, he has the build of a successful wide receiver, a big frame with plus speed and great hands. Most teams today want to go with the big body like this over someone smaller and faster like Smith. I think enough time has passed since the injury that the Smith momentum has slowed, and teams are beginning to realize why they liked Waddle so much in the first place. It doesn’t hurt that Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb were in the same exact position last season, and Jeudy exceled in his rookie season despite coming into the draft with similar injury concerns.