“NFL Draft–Strangest in Years”
We are a week out from the NFL draft, and the 2022 draft could be the strangest we have seen in years, in decades.
There are no quarterbacks ranked in the top selections, in a league where you need Qs and teams have significant QB needs.
A year in which Defensive lineman….Offensive lineman…and wide receivers dominate the top of the draft board.
Bad news in Carolina, Seattle, Pittsburgh and Atlanta, all teams with huge needs at the NFL’s most important position
Carolina has Sam Darnold,on the final year of his 18M-contract, but does not seem to want him, after an injury and turnover plagued season. They don’t seem interested in bringing back Cam Newton, who went (0-5) as the starter after Darnold went down.
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger has retired, and the Steelers depth chart is made up of journeyman Mitch Trubisky and career backup Mason Rudolph..
Atlanta traded away legendary star Matt Ryan, imported Marcus Mariota and has no game plan going forward.
Seattle moved Russell Wilson to Denver in the shocker of a trade, got former 1st rounder Drew Lock back from the Broncos,but he could be a project at best since he is so unproven.
Baker Mayfield and his big money contract has to be moved from Cleveland, but at what cost, and what are teams getting, considering his failure with the Browns.
There’s no one else out there.to go get in free agency or trades.
The draft board ranks Kenny Pickett of Pitt as the number one candidate, but he is not ranked among the top 10-players on the board, and most reports say he is like a David Carr, who manages games, but does not dominate games with his skill.
The 2nd ranked QB is Malik Willis, from Liberty University in Virginia, a big physical specimen, built to to stay in the pocket, a physical presence like a Roethlisberger. But he hasn’t played a Big Ten or an SEC schedule. Liberty is the former 1AA school.
The mystery player is the do-everything QB at Cincinnati, Desmond Ritter, who went (44-6) with the Bearcats. He is big (6’4), accurate, and can run and throw deep. Some of the same traits Patrick Mahomes brought to the NFL. He has had alot of meetings with NFL teams within the last two weeks, and could be moving up the board.
Beyond that is the great unknown list of quarterbacks, who could be taken from the 3rd round back, with no guarantee anyone will be a Tom Brady-sixth round success.
Matt Corral managed games at Ole Miss, but is not a statistically dominating QB.
Sam Howell had a solid season at North Carolina, but no big time breakout wins and was not a big passing yardage guy..
Carson Strong of Nevada rang up big numbers, seems to make alot of different throws and is a firebrand personality, but this was in the Mountain West Conference.
A small college thrower at Western Kentucky, Bailey Zappe, put up staggering numbers in 1AA football, and was a perfect fit for an Air Raid system. But he is just 6’1 and seems undersized. Somebody will take a look in the late rounds, but who knows about potential.
At the top of the board, you will hear Aiden Hutchinson-Michigan…Evan Neal-Alabama…and Ike Ekonwu of North Carolina State, will go 1-2-3. None of these are sexy picks, but all of these are proven products who will help teams immediately.
This will be a fun week to see what rumors turn out to be true, what are smoke screens, and if there are more trades to come.
Don’t know if we can top the 11-major trades we have seen since March.
Don’t know if we are done with trades, considering 7-first round picks moved.
Do know there will be no quarterbacks taken early, a real oddity in any NFL draft.
Fun week ahead.