My last and more ambitious attempt at predicting tomorrow night’s draft.
1. Carolina: Marcel Dareus, DT, Alabama
You know what I really don’t like about Cam Newton, more than anything else? 14 career starts. College games started is a quite strong predictor of QB success in the NFL, before those of you less into statgeekry dismiss this, the best explanation for the predictive power of that stat I’ve seen has everything to do with the people breaking down tape rather than looking at the stats. The more tape scouts have to look at for a prospect the better they can evaluate them. Of the 7 QBs being considered in the early rounds, only Newton has less than 28 starts. Newton is a massive gamble, and the stakes are too high with the #1 pick.
2. Denver: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Denver needs to add defensive talent and Peterson is the best defender still on the board. If Dareus isn’t the top pick he could be taken over Peterson as DT is a more pressing need and Dareus is at the very least close in value to Peterson.
3. Buffalo: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Is Ryan Fitpatrick the caliber of QB you want starting for you, no, but a defense that can’t pressure the other QB is a massive obstacle to respectability that they can do much more to address in this spot.
4. Cincinnati: AJ Green, WR, Georgia
The Bengals have some promising complementary targets, but they need a better top guy after a year of Owens and Ochocinco failing to live up to their big names.
5. Arizona: Robert Quinn, LB, North Carolina
The Cards OLBs are old and weren’t especially productive last year. There are more question marks than you’d like on Quinn, but he’s a top 5 talent.
6. Cleveland: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Like Cincy Cleveland has some useful pieces, but nothing #1 quality.
7. San Francisco: Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska
Yeah, I don’t like this QB class. Amukamara will be a big help in bringing the Niners pass offense up to match it’s excellent run D.
8. Tennessee: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn
Too much talent and production to fall much further, but drafting a player with only 1 year of production early is a big gamble.
9. Dallas: Cameron Jordan, DE, California
Dallas didn’t get much from their DEs and Jordan is ideal for a 3-4.
10. Washington: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
Any prospect that responds to “give me a play you ran at (your college) with a blank stare is not someone I want to gamble millions on, but someone will and Washington is a real candidate to.