Once the Super Bowl is over, the draft season begins. It’s already happening with the East-West Shrine Bowl and the Senior Bowl, and the combine is upon us. What draft prospect are you most interested in throughout this process as a player who could be on the rise?
Doug: One of my evaluative pet peeves is the idea that safe position isn’t crucial in today’s NFL. Must be nice living in 1983. To that end, the player I’ll be watching the most closely is Notre Dame goaltender Kyle Hamilton, and that’s more about his possible draft position than anything he’s got. shown in the field, or what he could do at the combine. I believe Hamilton is the best player in this draft class, but a safety has never been selected first overall in any draft. This was understandable in previous eras when safeties were not considered to be players of primary importance over others like edge carrier, cornerback and center linebacker, but in the football of ‘Today, if you don’t have at least a very good safety that can play at a high level on the last seven, your defense is in trouble. Given Hamilton’s ability and performance, and the changing defensive guard, I’ll be fascinated to see if this is the year a safety is finally selected first overall in the draft.
I also loved watching Northern Iowa offensive tackle Trevor Penning during Senior Bowl week because the dude chooses violence with every rep, although his technical fundamentals might get him in trouble for a while at the level. of the NFL.
Luke: I’ll throw out a few names that should get more discussion in the top 10: Cincinnati CB Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and Utah LB Devin Lloyd. Gardner has elite height and arm length, and hasn’t given up a single touchdown in his entire college career. Don’t be surprised if he’s the first corner on the board, ahead of LSU’s Derek Stingley Jr. Lloyd is another defender with rare size and athleticism, big-play ability and a three-man skill set. He can do everything we’ve seen from Georgia’s Nakobe Dean this year, and he’s a lot taller.
North Dakota State WR Christian Watson also made a real impact during Senior Bowl week.