Tonight, college football players from across the country will gather in Philadelphia (and some at home around their television sets) for the 2017 NFL draft with the hopes of hearing their name being called by Roger Goodell.
Since the end of the college football season in January, prospects have been training day in and day out to try and catch the eye of NFL coaches and general managers. Will the hard work pay off? We will find out, but one thing is for sure: Nobody, not even the experts, knows what teams will select come draft night.
In the age that we are in now, players are placed under a microscope and their abilities are picked apart to the nth degree. If you have a weakness, you can bet that an NFL talent scout will find it. For most general managers and head coaches, the idea is to find the guy that best fits whatever system is being run.
Teams who play a 3-4 defense have to look at defensive ends and outside linebackers who have never played a 3-4 defense before and evaluate whether or not they can translate his game into their system. A team that runs a zone-blocking scheme in the running game will have to pick apart offensive lineman who are powerful yet patient. It goes for running backs in a zone-blocking scheme as well.
What it all comes down to is that there is a ton of research and preparation put into scouting prospects that teams will most likely not end up drafting. Maybe a guy that a team was eyeing to select in the second round ends up going in the top 15. A pick like that will send a shockwave through a team’s draft war room. Nothing is guaranteed no matter what you might hear from the experts or see on an ESPN mock draft.
The Jets and the Giants both have first-round selections tonight and I can honestly say I have no clue who they are going to pick. I know that the Giants need a running back, could use some help at the offensive tackle spot and desperately need a playmaker at tight end.
With the 23rd pick in the first round, will Big Blue play it safe and take tackle Cam Robinson out of Alabama or will they take a chance and draft Miami tight end David Njoku?
Or will they trade their pick? It’s all a crapshoot.
The Jets, on the other hand, need help at every position minus their defensive line. It is more likely that the Jets trade the sixth-overall pick to move down further in the first round and aggregate picks in later rounds. There are talks of Gang Green taking another quarterback to try and build their future around but in my opinion, that quarterback is not in this draft (or at least not in the first round).
We don’t have to wait much longer. Tomorrow morning, New York’s newest players, whether they wear blue or green, will grace the back pages of the papers and will then have to deal with the ruthless New York media’s critiquing up until Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season. Good luck!