#DraftBag: Answering your NFL Draft questions about busts, Texans needs, WR rankings and more
Hey look, it’s something new! People sent in questions on Twitter and I picked a handful to answer. Have one yourself? Leave it in the comments.
Based on the positive response on Twitter, I’m starting up a new mailbag-style feature to post on the site every Friday.
The premise is simple. You ask questions about the NFL Draft and I answer them. Want to get in on the fun for next week? Fire a question at me and use #DraftBag so it’s searchable. Yes, hashtags are dumb.
Or you can just leave a question in the comments and it’ll get answered there.
This week’s questions hit on busts, wide receiver rankings, needs for the Houston Texans and more.
— Alex The Great (@AlexRunPlay) December 2, 2014
Let’s assume this is referring to players I liked coming out of college who ended up busting in the NFL. If it’s referring to 2015 players I think will be busts, that’s obviously impossible to know right now. In looking over personal busts, let’s also not include players from the last two drafts.
My personal draft busts start with running back Trent Richardson. The third pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, I viewed Richardson as a back with few negatives. Richardson, now on his second team, never materialized in the NFL. The vision he showed in college didn’t translate. Maybe it’s unfair, but that makes me pause slightly about Todd Gurley of Georgia this year. To me he’s a bigger version of Richardson.
If we’re asserting that busts are players I judged wrong, add Von Miller to that list. Coming out of Texas A&M in the 2011 draft, I didn’t think Miller’s style would translate to the NFL as well as it has. From that same draft, I preferred Blaine Gabbert to Cam Newton. Whoops. In 2009, I wrote that linebacker Aaron Curry was “the smart pick at No. 1.“
This is getting embarrassing, so onto the next question.
@MockingTheDraft If Dak Prescott comes out this year, what round would he be projected in?
— Joey Harvey (@joeyharvey) December 2, 2014
Throughout this college football season, the common notion was that Prescott is a better version of Tim Tebow. But, really, is that a compliment? Prescott is a good running quarterback who has the type of strength that makes him hard to tackle. While his throwing motion is nowhere near as broken as Tebow’s, it is flawed. Prescott isn’t the most accurate passer either, particularly on deeper throws.
If Prescott, a junior, goes pro he shouldn’t be targeted until the end of Day 2 or the early part of Day 3 of the draft. He has some tools, but needs refining. Quarterbacks tend to get overdrafted because of positional value, though.
— ASAC HENNIG (@HashtagHennig) December 1, 2014
The quarterback class for next year’s draft isn’t good. It would get slightly better if Cook decides not to return for his senior season at Michigan State. Cook likes to work the ball around the field, and can be erratic. His decision-making can get better, and with time it will. But should that time come in college or the NFL? If Cook chooses to go pro after this season, he has the tools to be taken in the top 40 picks. He has the size and arm to warrant it. So many teams need a quarterback as well and that inflates his value.
@MockingTheDraft Where would Amari Cooper have ranked amongst 2014 draft WRs? Ahead of Evans, Watkins, ODB, Kelvin?
— Peter Barlow (@BarlowPeter) December 2, 2014
Firstly: I moved Amari Cooper of Alabama to No. 1 in the wide receiver rankings.
The 2014 draft had what could turn out to be a historically great wide receiver class with those players, and several others. Cooper can hang with most of them. If we were to mash up the last two wide receiver groups, Sammy Watkins is at the top followed by Mike Evans. After those two is where there’s a real debate between Cooper and Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham has unquestionably better hands. Cooper can do more after the catch. For now, Beckham gets the nod but it could be argued Cooper has the greater potential because of his athleticism and size.
What would it look like if Kevin White of West Virginia and DeVante Parker of Louisville were worked in? Like this:
@MockingTheDraft Assuming the Texans feel like they can afford to wait on drafting another QB in 2015, what do you see as their main needs?
— Brian Strand (@bhsman89) December 1, 2014
For a team that went with Ryan Fitzpatrick for most of the season, the needs for the Texans start at quarterback. Ryan Mallett didn’t prove quite enough in two games to make Houston ignore the position if a good player is available. Of course, they would also have to judge whether or not that player is better than fourth-round pick Tom Savage.
After that, the secondary for Houston sticks out. Kareem Jackson is a free agent and Jonathan Joseph could end up being a cap casaulty. That could leave the Texans open to taking more than one cornerback in the draft. Marcus Peters of Washington would be a great fit. A middle linebacker to pair with Brian Cushing is a need, but maybe not in the first round. A coverage safety, offensive line and interior defensive line depth and maybe even a running back round out Houston’s most pressing needs.