The NFL Draft evaluation process is quite the extensive review. During all the scouting events, combine drills and all star games, sometimes we forget to watch game film. In a lot of cases, the NFL Draft can be the splitting of hairs when it comes to ranking players and having to make a case for someone. I use the eye test from watching the games as they occurred or rewatching game film. A shuttle run, high jump or catching passes without anyone else on the field can be misleading.
First off, I’m not saying every player highlighted below is terrible and has no business being drafted. In every draft, there are players that are elite, players that have yet to peak, some that aren’t very good, some stop working once they get drafted, but a bunch of higher draft picks are set up to fail purely because on the number or round they are selected in. Their abilities are their abilities, it’s the teams that completely choke on their evaluation and ranking. There’s also a position that is naturally inflated and overvalued from a draft ranking perspective and that’s the quarterback. Since 1 can play at a time and everyone is desperate to find their franchise QB, your draft position and value is escalated. Regardless of true talent and how NFL ready they are, they get bumped up 50-75 spots in draft rankings. In looking at Will Levis, he struggled with consistency and his 43 TDS to 23 INTS while in Lexington is worrisome. The antics of the mayo in coffee or eating a banana while still in the peel makes him look like a clown. I think people have hyped him up just because there are 5-6 teams in the top 12 that need a quarterback. He is going to be a bust regardless of wherever he’s drafted. The five players I have listed below will struggle to meet expectations if they are drafted high in Kansas City.
QB. ANTHONY RICHARDSON. (FLORIDA):
- LESS THAN AVERAGE ACCURACY AND ABILITY TO READ COVERAGES
- CAREER PRODUCTION OF 215-393 (54.7%) FOR 3,105 YARDS, 24 TD PASSES AND 15 INTS IS PAINFUL
- AVOID BEING MESMERIZED BY COMBINE NUMBERS AND PRO DAY DRILLS AGAINST AIR
- PHYSICAL GIFTS AS AN OVERALL ATHLETE, BUT MUST DEVELOP AS A QB…..CAN’T JUST RUN IMMEDIATELY ON EVERY PLAY IN THE NFL.
- 7-7 CAREER RECORD AS A STARTER
- AS A STARTER AGAINST GEORGIA, LSU, FSU(2 STARTS EACH) AND KENTUCKY ( 1 START), HE PRODUCED…83-180 (46%) FOR 1,101 PASSING YARDS (AVG OF 157 YDS A GAME), 9 TDS AND 7 INTS, HE ALSO RAN FOR 263 YARDS ON 66 CARRIES AND 2 RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS
- HE SHOULD BE A 2ND ROUND PICK AT BEST, BUT WILL BE A TOP 12 PICK AND NEVER LIVE UP TO THOSE LOFTY EXPECTATIONS.
- BEST CASE SCENARIO IS BEING DRAFTED BETWEEN 23 AND 31 SO THE EXPECTATIONS ARE LESSENED AND POSSIBLY COULD SIT A YEAR OR 2.
- MY NFL COMP IS JAMARCUS RUSSELL (SELECTED 1ST OVERALL BY THE RAIDERS IN 2007) AND ZACH WILSON (SELECTED 2ND OVERALL BY THE JETS IN 2021).
EDGE. TYREE WILSON. (TEXAS TECH):
- GREAT SIZE, BUT SIZE ALONE DOESN’T PRODUCE AS A TOP 10 PICK.
- 17 CAREER SACKS IN 4 SEASONS
- 32 CAREER TACKLES FOR LOSS
- 4 OF HIS 7 SACKS IN 2021 CAME IN 2 GAMES (K STATE & MISSISSIPPI STATE)
- 6 SACKS IN FIRST 6 GAMES OF 2022, BUT…1 TOTAL SACK IN THE FINAL 4 GAMES (1/2 SACK VS TCU & 1/2 SACK VS WEST VIRGINIA).
- 1 CAREER FORCED FUMBLE AND 1 CAREER FUMBLE RECOVERY
- NOT A TOP 12 OVERALL PLAYER…NO WAY HE WILL LIVE UP TO THOSE EXPECTATIONS OF 10 PLUS SACKS A YEAR FOR A DECADE….BETTER SERVED TO BE SELECTED BETWEEN 16 & 31
- MY NFL COMP IS VERNON GHOLSTON. (SELECTED 6TH OVERALL BY THE JETS IN 2008).
QB. HENDON HOOKER. (TENNESSEE):
- PRODUCT OF JOSH HEUPEL’S CHECK WITH ME / UP TEMPO SPREAD OFFENSE…SIMILAR PRINCIPLES AND PLAYS TO KLIFF KINGSBURY’S OFFENSE.
- AMAZING STATS THE PAST 2 YEARS…..58 TD PASSES AND 5 INTS.
- OTHER QB’S WHO PUT UP BIG COLLEGE PASSING NUMBERS WITH HEUPEL CALLING PLAYS….DILLON GABRIEL IN 2020 (3,570 YDS 32 TDS / 4 INTS IN 10 GAMES), DILLON GABRIEL IN 2019 (3,653 YDS. 29 TDS / 7 INTS IN 13 GAMES), McKENZIE MILTON IN 2018 (2,663 YDS. 25 TDS / 6 INTS IN 10 GAMES), DREW LOCK IN 2017 (3,964 YDS. 44 TDS / 13 INTS IN 13 GAMES), DREW LOCK IN 2016 (3,399 YDS. 23 TDS / 10 INTS IN 12 GAMES), PLUS SAM BRADFORD AND LANDRY JONES.
- GREAT COLLEGE STATS, BUT BUYER BEWARE OR FOR HIS CASE, HE ISN’T DRAFTED IN THE TOP 20 …NEEDS AT LEAST 1 YEAR TO SIT AND LEARN.
- IF HE IS DRAFTED BETWEEN 23 & 40 HE’LL BE IN A GREAT SPOT JUST BASED OFF THE PRESSURE OF THE PICK BEING LIFTED…….IF HIGHER THAN 23 (AND THAT’S A STRETCH, IT WILL REQUIRE WORK).
- HE HAS RAW SKILLS THAT WILL NEED TO BE COACHED AND DEVELOPED…A GREAT FIT WOULD BE MINNESOTA OR THE LA RAMS.
- MY NFL COMPS ARE GENO SMITH, KYLE TRASK & KYLER MURRAY (ALL WERE A BLEND OF GOOD, COLLEGE STATS AND LIMITED WHEN THEY WERE DRAFTED).
WR. JALIN HYATT. (TENNESSEE):
- PRODUCT OF JOSH HEUPEL’S SPREAD OFFENSE
- NO ROUTE TREE DEVELOPMENT….JUST A GO ROUTE AND BUBBLE SCREEN
- JUST VERY FAST
- PEOPLE JUST SEEING A 40 YARD DASH TIME AND STATS ON A PAGE
- A FEW SCOUTS HAVE CLAIMED THAT HE’S A ONE TRICK PONY
- WORRIED ABOUT HIS ABILITY TO RUN PRECISE ROUTES, READ COVERAGES AND ADAPT TO A SOPHISTICATED PASSING ATTACK.
- IF HE’S DRAFTED IN THE FIRST ROUND, I DOUBT HE’LL LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS OF 1,000 YARDS A YEAR FOR THE NEXT 5-7 SEASONS.
- MY NFL COMPS ARE KEVIN WHITE, JOHN ROSS AND JALEN REAGOR (ALL SPEED 1ST ROUND PICKS THAT NEVER SURVIVED THEIR INITIAL CONTRACT).
EDGE. LUKAS VAN NESS. (IOWA):
- ONLY 34 SOLO TACKLES IN HIS CAREER
- NEVER STARTED A GAME AT IOWA…DOUBT HE’S A MATT CASSEL
- 13 CAREER SACKS & 19 CAREER TACKLES FOR A LOSS
- MOVEMENT IN SPACE IS LIMITED AND HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT HIS ABILITY TO COVER BACKS, TE’S, MUCH LESS CHASING DOWN A MOBILE QB.
- IN 2022: VS MICHIGAN, OHIO STATE, PURDUE AND KENTUCKY HE PRODUCED….7 SOLO TACKLES, 12 TOTAL TACKLES, 2.5 TACKLES FOR LOSS AND 1.5 SACKS….NOT TOP 25 OVERALL WORTHY AGAINST TOP COMPETITION.
- IN 2021: VS MICHIGAN, PENN STATE, PURDUE AND KENTUCKY HE PRODUCED…4 SOLO TACKLES, 10 TOTAL TACKLES, 2 TACKLES FOR LOSS AND 1 SACK…NOT TOP 25 OVERALL WORTHY AGAINST TOP COMPETITION.
- ONLY CAREER MULTI SACK GAME WAS AGAINST KENT STATE IN 2021.
- IF HE’S DRAFTED IN THE 2ND ROUND, THAT’S OK, BUT ANYONE THINKING HE’S WORTH A TOP 25 PICK NEEDS TO HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON.
- MY NFL COMPS ARE DION JORDAN (SELECTED 3RD OVERALL BY THE DOLPHINS IN 2013) & CLELIN FERRELL (SELECTED 4TH OVERALL BY THE RAIDERS IN 2019).
If you are looking for positional rankings of the draft eligible players on offense and defense, we have you covered at Spinnable Sports. You can also find my Top 105 NFL Draft Prospects, Day 3 Gems on Offense & Defense and draft needs for every division in the same spot. My 3 Round Mock Draft takes us from pick #1 to pick #102. The Irrational Confidence Podcast (@IRConfidencePod on Twitter) will be dropping our Live Mock Draft Episode very soon. You can find The Irrational Confidence Podcast on any podcast platform as well as the Spinnable Sports YouTube Channel.