In my last post, I gave you the players I love a little more than you do so it’s only right I give you the players you love a little more than I do. The below prospects were first round picks out of the NFL Draft 2017 that I considered to be reaches. These guys are some of the more riskier players, they might not be able to reach the lofty goals that comes with their respect draft position. If you are a fan of the teams that selected these guys you are probably hopeful that they will carry your team for years to come but I am here to let you know, temper your expectations.
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Mitchell Trubisky – Ryan Pace and the Bears organization obviously loved Mitchell Trubisky more than many after trading up from the #3 pick in the draft with the San Francisco 49ers to select him #2 overall. They weren’t the only franchise to fall head over heels for the 13 game starter at North Carolina as the 49ers claimed to have other options on the line. Even my esteemed colleague CPGM Drew couldn’t stop singing the Trubisky praises. After originally watching tape on Trubisky way back at the start of the draft process, I wasn’t a fan in the least bit. I saw a player that thrived immensely due to Larry Fedora’s offensive system at UNC with huge windows to throw threw and easy reads on the majority of his attempts. I didn’t get the hype so I reached out to a few folks who told me to watch more tape as the Stanford and Georgia games weren’t fair games to get a true assessment of the 1 year starter. In my estimation these were the best games to watch him face off against some solid defenses but I obliged and watched more tape. The more and more I watched him pick apart below average defenses and a Seminoles defense who continued to blow coverage, the further I dropped him down my draft board. I would’ve loved to see Trubisky taken by a team that would allow him to sit for a year and learn the nuances and intricacies of the game but being picked number two suggests he will be the starter from the onset of the season. Trubisky has a steep hill to climb until then due to his lack of footwork, mechanics, and ability to read defenses post-snap while working through his progressions. Not to mention learning a whole new playbook with different verbiage and getting his team in and out of the huddle while adjusting his protection. After mastering all of the above his ceiling is Alex Smith.
Christian McCaffrey – Let me start out first by saying I like Christian McCaffrey. He is a versatile running back who has vision and patience to run between the tackles with the ability to line up as a slot receiver and run clean routes. He is a bit undersized at 202 pounds but with the NFL game being specialized he will be good for about 15-20 touches per game. He is a solid player but the reason he makes this list is due to draft evaluators and the draft community going cashews over this guy. He is being compared to Le’Veon Bell, LeSean McCoy and Brian Westbrook. Pump the brakes! Although he totally destroyed the combine (mind you is conducted in t-shirt and shorts) he is not the football specimen or athletic beast you all think he is. McCaffrey is more of a straight line runner who lacks the wiggle in tight spaces compared to the ball carriers above. The fit in Carolina is a good one for McCaffrey as I believe he is a good fit for the Panther’s zone read mesh point offense, although this was not what he ran in college. His skill-set will translate into the NFL but the #8 selection in the draft is a little too high for my liking. Leading up to the draft there were rumblings he would go as high as number 2. McCaffrey is the 4th best back in the class behind Cook, Fournette and Mixon but is being propped up as the best.
Patrick Mahomes – I will let my partner CPGM Juice go in on Patrick Mahomes in his breakdown of the quarterback position, but my take on Mahomes is that getting drafted by Andy Reid gives him a decent chance to play in this league longer than 5 years. Throughout the draft process I’ve been steadily combatting all the Mahomes hyperbole on social media with facts about his mechanics and the time it will take for him to adjust to the NFL game. The splash plays by the former Texas Tech air raid quarterback was exciting to watch at times, how he slings the ball down the field with his strong arm on broken plays. Yea it’s flashy but where is the substance in his game. The NFL is not Big 12 football and ad-libbing. Playing outside the confines of the offensive system does not translate to the next level. That’s why the Chiefs and having Coach Reid is the best place Mahomes could’ve landed. He gets the tutelage of Reid while sitting behind a mature quarterback that understands the game in Alex Smith who has gone through a dramatic improvement as a quarterback over his 12-year career. Smith like Mahomes came from a college system that was made to take advantage of less talented defenders with spread formations. He was the number 1 pick who didn’t live up to expectations but made himself into an average quarterback with consistent film study and work ethic. Mahomes should not leave Smith’s side and learn from the veteran quarterback. He has a lot more arm talent than Smith which gives him a higher ceiling. All that said I still don’t believe he is a first round talent and I guarantee you love him a lot more than I do.
Marlon Humphrey – One of the best tackling defensive backs in the entire draft goes to a team that preaches physicality on all levels of their defense. On paper the fit looks great as Jimmy Smith has been looking for a running mate on the opposite of the field in the last couple years. Humphrey fills a definite need for the Ravens who will fly to the football and be excellent in run support. However, this is where I have a problem with the former Alabama corner. Just like other Crimson Tide corners that have come before him, Humphrey doesn’t do a good job of getting his head around on passes where he has to run deep down the field. I am sucker for ball skills and awareness at the moment of truth for all defensive backs and Humphrey struggled at Alabama with plays more than 15 yards down the field. He can be a solid zone corner when the ball is in front of him but this is a pass happy league with smart coordinators that will look to expose Humphrey in coverage. We will see where on the field the Ravens plan to play Humphrey but if you leave him on the outside to cover down the field, it could be disaster.
Garett Bolles – The 25-year-old offensive tackle out of Utah, Garett Bolles was the first lineman to be taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. He was selected at pick 20 by the Denver Broncos who desperately needed an offensive tackle to anchor a weak position group. The pick makes a ton of sense schematically as Bolles comes from a zone blocking system and is probably the most fluid athlete at that position in the draft. He gets to the second level with ease and is technically sound in the run game to open up holes for C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker and newly signed Jamaal Charles. My biggest gripe with him however is the lack of strength he has at the point of contact in pass protection. On tape I saw him get bullied far too often against power rushers and he was often times on the ground. You can’t protect the passer if you are consistently on the floor. Block sustainability will be a key for him against grown/stronger men in the NFL. The Broncos’ zone-scheme will help mask his deficiencies but when playing from behind and you’re out there on that left tackle island against superior pass rushers it will be a long day for Bolles.