4. What player that has fallen or risen in the rankings has been most surprising?
The one that is fascinating to me is Joey Bosa. Early on, we were all talking how this guy was just too good to pass up at #1. Titans were gonna have to take him just because of how good he was. All of a sudden, he could be a 6-10 pick. Interesting to see that fall, but I expected it. I thought after the combine that people would notice that his numbers weren’t anywhere close to JJ Watt’s and thus that aura that “he was exactly like Watt” would go away.
Joey Bosa was the clear cut number one draft prospect for the better part of two years now. All the sudden, people seem to be finding flaws in his game. Sure, his numbers were down his final year at OSU, but if you were being triple-teamed on a regular basis, yours would be, too. And despite putting up similar NFL Combine numbers as J.J. Watt, he still seems to be falling. If he somehow falls to the Browns at eight, I’d be ecstatic, then the Browns would pass on him, because you know, Browns.
Joey Bosa. He went from being a consensus #1 pick, to top five to now being a wildcard. There are whispers of off-the-field issues involving illegal substances, but none of that has been corroborated by credible sources. Frankly, I am surprised that Urban Meyer has not been more vocal in talking him up on the record.
I think the rise of the majority of the quarterbacks, especially Paxton Lynch is surprising. I know it’s a quarterback-driven league, but you need a lot of other players to be successful. I really hope the Browns build this thing right and refuse to reach for another QB. Lynch is just as likely to be picked at 32 as he is at eight in my opinion.
The prospect that I am still enamored by is Ohio State WR Braxton Miller. He has been climbing draft boards since the Senior Bowl and could go early in the 2nd round. He has played one season of wide receiver and had little to show for it. I’m not buying him.
I continue to be shocked at how far Baylor DE Shawn Oakman has dropped. Entering this past season, Oakman was believed to be a top five pick and could even be taken before Joey Bosa. He’s had a multitude of off-field issues, including a recent sexual assault charge, to pair with a disappointing season on the field.
At first, I was tempted to pick Notre Dame’s Will Fuller, a WR who has steadily moved up the rankings since his NFL Combine and Pro Days. However, he IS a player on a team that is generally laden with talent. Instead, I am going with William Jackson III, the CB from Houston. The program itself had become mediocre, with D.J. Hayden being the last player drafted in the 1st round since 1994. He has good arm length and aggressive physicality, which have helped him move up the draft boards. He is currently the fifth-ranked CB and is projected to go late first round, early second round. The rise of Houston as a program has contributed to the surprising rise of its senior CB prospect.
One player that has surprisingly come out of nowhere in recent days is Michigan St. OL Jack Conklin. Conklin has always been regarded as a top lineman in this draft, but many are expecting him to be a top-15 pick and some even have him pegged in the top-10. Coming from a very pro-style offense at Michigan St, Conklin already has many pro sets down. He doesn’t have the footwork that Laremy Tunsil or Ronnie Stanley has, but he is a big strong kid who is an absolute road grater. Look for Conklin’s name to be called sooner than anticipated.
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