The draft is almost upon us, and teams will be hoping to land franchise changers over a three-day period to bring short and long term success. Most of you are probably bored of mock drafts, so we decided to do something a little bit different with this article. Below are some outside of the box moves that we believe certain teams should make in the upcoming draft.
The New York Giants trade up for OJ Howard:
The Giants added Brandon Marshall in the off-season, but adding a dynamic tight end could potentially make this one of the best teams in the League. The Giants don’t have many glaring needs, as defensive line depth can be solved on the second and third days, and Paul Perkins showed signs last year that he is ready to become a starting running back in the Giants shotgun offence.
The Giants could easily part with a couple of mid-round picks and it wouldn’t really hurt them in the long-term, as Howard in their offence would mean they have four potent receiving weapons around Eli Manning, whose window is about to slam shut. My colleague David Howell called Howard ‘the most underutilised player in College football history, and it is unlikely Ben McAdoo would mis-use him as much as Alabama did. He is also an excellent run blocker, which would help the Giants as their offensive line is mediocre.
The Detroit Lions double down with skill position players
The Lions clearly have some glaring needs on defence, but they still don’t have great skill position players. Golden Tate and Marvin Jones are good, but neither are the field stretcher that this offence needs, and if they could land John Ross, Mike Williams or even Corey Davis in the draft, then they could have the best offence in football next year.
The Lions ran a true ‘dink and dunk’ style offence last year which made sense given their offensive line issues, but they just signed the two best right-sided pass protectors in free agency, so it wouldn’t make sense to run such vanilla concepts again next year.
Their running back situation is also quite poor, so they could target someone such as Curtis Samuel, Alvin Kamara or Joe Mixon in the second round, and they would all add an extra dimension to their offence. Defence is a need, but creating an offensive juggernaut would get them close to contending than creating a middle of the road defence would.
The Jacksonville Jaguars Trade Down from the fourth pick
The Jaguars are the only team without any needs on the defensive side of the ball, as their depth and talent pool is quite staggering. The three biggest needs are offensive line, quarterback and running back, with the latter not being a full need because Chris Ivory looks a good fit in Doug Marrone’s offence.
Sadly for the Jaguars, the offensive line class is weak, and taking one of the top two prospects (Forrest Lamp, Ryan Ramczyk) would be a huge reach with the fourth pick. Instead, the Jaguars should look to trade down into the middle of the first round, and acquire an extra second or third round pick to use on a guard, center or running back.
Tom Coughlin may be tempted to draft a quarterback with the fourth pick, but he is a smart man and someone who knows what it takes to win, so it is hard to see him reaching for a mediocre prospect. Mitchell Trubisky is the best quarterback prospect, but is nowhere near ready to be an NFL starter.
Trading down is something the Jaguars should seriously consider here.
The Cleveland Browns take Joshua Dobbs (QB,Tennessee) In the Fourth Round
The Browns are reportedly caught in a stand-off, as Hue Jackson wants Mitchell Trubisky at one, but the analytics based front office want to take Myles Garrett. I am of the belief the Browns should trust the process and side with the front office, but they are in a position where they can take a flier on a late round QB and potentially give him a couple of starts next year.
In recent weeks, I have been doing tape study of some of the late round QBs, and Dobbs is someone who has stuck out to me, for a couple of reasons. Hue Jackson likes a QB with a quick release, and Dobbs is someone who can get the ball out quickly. His deep ball needs some work, but Hue Jackson is someone who wouldn’t put a quarterback in an overly tough situation, so I like the fit here.
Dobbs also has an excellent pair of legs, and the Browns offence were at their best last season when Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson were helped by a mobile quarterback, and Dobbs is someone who could legimately make this Browns offence really effective. The offensive line is there, and so is the receiving corps, so why not add a mobile quarterback to the ranks, and make the Browns great again.