By Seth Rivello
I may not be Mel Kiper Jr. or Todd McShay but I like to think I’m knowledgeable when it comes to the NFL draft. It is almost a given the Cleveland Browns or a team like the New York Jets will botch its picks. Tonight at 8 p.m., teams will invest in their future and it could go two ways: good or bad.
The Cleveland Browns are first on the clock and general manager John Dorsey won’t tell the nitwits below who he plans to take. It’s been leaked that quarterback Josh Allen from Wyoming could be the pick. This kid is a huge project. His big frame and arm cover his many blemishes. Allen struggles with accuracy, consistency, pocket presence, field-reading and completion rate.
In Cleveland, he won’t have too much time to stand in the pocket. When he is forced to roll, his accuracy decreases. At Wyoming, he never had a completion percentage higher than 56 percent in his two years as a starter. Allen rarely competed against top tier teams at Wyoming and when they did, it ended in a loss by a double-digit margin. Allen is a prospect that just isn’t ready to jump in. If he lands in Cleveland, he’ll have some time to sit behind Tyrod Taylor but that might not help too much.
The New York Giants, New York Jets, Cleveland and Denver Broncos pick in that order after Cleveland. Four more quarterbacks could fall off this board with these picks. If Allen goes first the next best available would be Sam Darnold. The product of the University of Southern California has a thick frame like Allen but excels where Allen struggles. Darnold is very mobile for a big man and can make all the throws. Darnold can be careless with the ball at times and take sacks when incompletions are available. He does have a strange windup but with a solid coach that can change.
If he falls to the Giants that would be a blessing. New York needs a back-up plan for when Eli Manning decides to call it quits. If Darnold can sit for a year and learn from Manning that would be the best possible situation for him.
Now the New York Jets are a mess, They need all the help they can get. Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater are the only reasonable quarterbacks on the depth chart. Now, the best available option would be Josh Rosen from the University of California Los Angeles. Rosen does have some character problems but he seems like the closest thing the NFL has seen since Aaron Rodgers.
Rosen does struggle on the move especially when being forced out of the pocket. Quarterbacks aren’t really drafted for their speed but Rosen ran a 4.92 40-yard dash at the NFL combine which really shows how slow he is. Sometimes he does struggle with pre-snap reads and doesn’t have a huge arm compared to the other quarterbacks but that’s about it. He is the best quarterback in this draft and if he slides to teams like the Arizona Cardinals or New England Patriots, he could be molded into an all-time great.
Then finally it comes down to the Oklahoma Sooners gritty quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield takes a lot of heat for his height and the way he conducts himself on and off the field. Barely cracking 6-foot-1, he’s been compared to the likes of Johnny Manziel, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Mayfield played in a spread offense that gave him easy throwing windows and lacking BIG 12 defenses, but those are just a couple things “experts” say to diffuse his great abilities.
Mayfield would be perfect in Denver. A team with a great defense, offensive weapons and seven more draft picks. Baker will need help to win and Denver gives him that all around help and edge.