NFL Draft: Chutes and Ladders

Brian Bassett , TheJetsBlog.com

Some updates on draft rumors around the league.

A Chance He’s Gone — Top guard prospect Chance Warmack might be gone by the 5th pick, according to Jason LaCanfora.  No guard has gone in the top five since 2001 when Leonard Davis was taken second overall by the Cardinals.  Ironically, the Cards are also implementing a system that would play to Warmack’s skills.  The value of taking a guard that high is not palatable for many NFL teams, so it’s hard to know if this is some sort of smokescreen by either the Lions or Warmack’s agent.  But should he fall, don’t be surprised if the Cards take him.

travis-kelceKelce Lately — Travis Kelce was one of the players I was hoping would last into the third or fourth rounds a few months ago, but it sounds as if everyone is aware of his potential and what he would bring to any offense and expect to see him drafted in the second round.

The Call Me a Freak — Patterson’s former recruiting coordinator at UT Darin Hinshaw said of the potential top WR in this draft that he is a physical freak and is far superior to the other two UT prospects Justin Hunter and (former Vol) Da’Rick Rogers.  Hinshaw said that “he’s the best I’ve ever seen with the ball in his hands,” and that he’s not a one year wonder, but a 15 year wonder in the NFL.

U MAD BRO? – Apparently many NFL teams didn’t agree with Nawrocki’s narrow and transparent ripping of top QB prospect Geno Smith.  So teams actually see him for his abilities and the person he is rather than trumping up nonsense to fit their preconceived notion of who Smith is, who Griffin is, or Newton was before him.  Congrats to Nawrocki who looks like a shoo-in to win the Best Troll of the Year – NFL Draft award for the third straight year.

Crossing Jordan — Dion Jordan has teams very interested and many seem to think that Chip Kelly will take his former player with his first pick, but could Eric Fisher be the player they take instead?  Most Jets fans would love to seem Jordan slide past Philly, but it’s hard to imagine whether he’d still be there for them at nine.

Tim-BURRRRR!! — Schefty reported that one NFL GM predicts that quarterbacks will drop “like logs” based on the flurry of QB activity that took place last week.  While some QBs might have been drafted too high had the activity not taken place, the market found a way around that outcome with all the movement that teams made to give themselves the luxury of not feeling forced to draft a player far too early in the first or even trade back into the first to get their pick.  Peter King seems to disagree … but take that for whatever it’s worth (or not).

Milliner’s Crossing – Dee Milliner had shoulder surgery almost a month ago and has now shed his sling and is “feeling good.” Milliner is another pick that is linked to the Lions and should Warmack get taken there, it’s hard to imagine that Milliner would slide to nine as there are teams with cornerback concerns (Browns, Bills) in that 6-8 range.

Jump Out the Gym — Christine Michael is a player that has everyone’s attention on their radar and is a player Mayock has a hard time thinking will last into the third round.  His physical skills are remarkable, but seemed to get in the doghouse with his coach at A&M last year.  Can he live up to his physical gifts?

Touching a Nerve — QB to WR project Denard Robinson seemed to have a bit of a scare regarding his ulnar nerve and it’s ability to heal and that seemed to hurt his draft stock as he was unable to feel half of his hand during the Senior Bowl, a week when he a number of drops.  The now-healed nerve is said to have “twice the strength” that it had at the Combine.  This news should help his draft stock as a WR project in the NFL.  Robinson might be a late round team looking to run a limited about of pistol plays in their offense.

Surprise, Surprise — Could the Dolphins be serious about considering DJ Fluker with the 12th overall pick?  It seems like something an agent might embellish based on a half-truth, but if this is true and the Dolphins do take Fluker with that pick, then it would seem to not be able to content themselves with overvaluing players in free agency and are looking to do so again in the draft.  Add in that there’s another report where the Dolphins have “questions” about Lane Johnson.

Drop the Beat– Has Jarvis Jones’ spinal stenosis scared away top ten teams?  Potentially, as Ian Rapoport reports that teams seem to like him and his playmaking, but feel like his measurables and spinal stenosis might hold teams back from a high draft spot.  Jones is drawing T-Sizzle comparisons … if that means anything …

Swing ManJustin Pugh, a OL prospect that could be had in the late second or even third round has said that different teams have told him that they envision him at different spots.  While he’s 6’4″ and is used to playing tackle, rather short arms (32″) and a lack of core strength might limit him to a guard, at least early in his NFL career if a team drafts him to play immediately.  Pugh is agile and has good feet, but will need some conditioning should a team want to play him at tackle.  Could a player like Pugh be someone that the Jets consider should they not draft an offensive linemen in the first two rounds?