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  1. I’d like to see a trade down at #34. There will likely be interest in that pick coming at the top of the round so it could generate a good return. I’d group those WRs in to the same general tier with guys like Shenault, Pittman Jr., Claypool, and Hamler. I like some better than others but would rather trade down and pick up an extra third so we can potentially grab two from that pool — or fill another need at OL, CB, etc. The total lack of activity in free agency with the receiving group makes me think Ballard might want to double dip the position early in the draft. Something like Aiyuk/Shenault and Pittman Jr would be ideal to me.
  2. This is pretty much what I’m thinking. I don’t think Reich wants to limit Campbell to a slot-only option. For all his struggles last year, Agholor had a really nice year in 2017 under Reich and Groh working primarily out of the slot. For the draft, Michael Pittman Jr. is a guy that checks pretty much all of Ballard’s boxes. Team captain, good production (100+ catches, 1275 yards, and 11 TDs as a senior), solid athlete (85th percentile SPARQ), Senior Bowl attendee, and NFL bloodlines. He also has added value as a gunner on special teams. Not sure why it seems like he’s flying under the radar a bit but I can’t help but think he’s going to be a target.
  3. Exactly. This might be the first offseason I can recall where the supply of available QBs might actually outstrip demand. In free agency, you have Brady, Rivers, Winston, Bridgewater, Tannehill, and Mariota. Andy Dalton is available via trade, and Cam Newton and Derek Carr might be. With the draft you have Burrows, Tua, Herbert, and Love as first round type guys. It’s pretty clear that Cincinnati, San Diego, Tampa, and Indy will be in the market for new QB starters. New England, Las Vegas, Tennessee, and Carolina might be. Chicago and New Orleans are probably looking for high-upside backups that could step in as long-term starters this year (Chicago)or next (New Orleans). If Tampa moves on Bridgewater early in free agency as rumored, I’m not sure there’s another good fit for Rivers outside of Indy. Maybe New England if Brady moves on?
  4. I could see that. Spanos needs to fill seats in their new stadium and Brady would do that and give them a shot to be competitive — assuming they shore up the OL in free agency and the draft and their defense stays healthier next season. In that case someone like Hurts could develop at a reasonable pace without having the expectations of a first round pick or the fans clamoring for him to take over for a lame duck starter at QB. I could also see them tailoring their offensive to a running QB, similar to the Ravens. Word is that Lynn prefers athletic QBs, and they already have the right placeholder QB to make that transition in the near term with Tyrod Taylor on the roster. Hurts would obviously be a good fit to run that kind of system in the future as well.
  5. Claypool was also one of best gunners in college football last season — which isn’t surprising given his size/speed. Obviously you’re not drafting him in the second or third round based on his teams ability, but it’s definitely an added benefit that boosts his floor.
  6. Analytics departments absolutely will. I don’t know the extent to which analytics informs the scouting process for the Colts, or if they even have a seat at the table at all, but college strength of schedule does seem to be a predictive factor when modeling QB success at the NFL level. Here‘s a good overview of this year’s class from a purely statistical standpoint — and which factors tend to be statistically significant— for anyone that’s interested: https://www.rotoworld.com/article/nfl-draft-preview/early-nfl-draft-qb-rankings-analytics
  7. I don’t put much credence in something like this and Love is still my favorite (realistic) choice but I’ve been wondering if Love will actually have grades closer to the mid second than early first for most teams. I mean is he really a better prospect than Drew Lock? Similar size and both are good athletes for the position — Love will probably test better but Lock was no slouch, with a 4.69 40 at 228 pounds. Both have big arms and were known for a similar gunslinger mentality in college. But Lock had better stats than Love (165 QBR vs 158 as a junior; 148 vs 129 as a senior) against much better competition in the SEC. And Lock went #42 overall in what might be a weaker overall draft. On the other hand, Love had better stats against better competition than Josh Allen —and will likely have a similar physical profile — and Allen went #7 overall.
  8. This is a loaded OT class. I’d be happy if Ballard chose to double up on both WR and tackle this year.
  9. Not necessarily my choices — or particularly under the radar — but here’s who I think Ballard might be interested in: - Maliek Collins: Young, good pass rusher (top five in pass rush win rate according to Next Gen Stats), can play 1 or 3T, played in pretty much the same system Eberflus runs while in Dallas, shouldn’t be unaffordable. -Shelby Harris: Productive, good pass rusher, can play 1 or 3T, shouldn’t be unaffordable, seems like a Ballard guy (7th rounder who was cut by multiple teams but worked his way up to a starter for Denver). -Derek Wolfe -Nelson Agholor - Had his best season under Reich and Groh in Philadelphia, by all accounts is a good locker room guy, should be pretty cheap. Other than those guys, maybe a veteran TE like Tyler Eifert or Vance McDonald for depth (I think Hunter Henry gets franchised and Austin Hooper probably ends up way overpaid). I could also see a vet NT with a little more pass rush talent/potential (Mike Daniels?) to rotate with Stewart and/or a base end (Carl Nassib, Quinton Jefferson?) if they want to move on from Sheard. Just my two cents.
  10. In a typical QB market? Probably. Although Carr is pretty analogous to 49er-era Alex Smith, who was traded to the Chiefs for a late second and conditional pick. But in this one? Where Rivers, Brady, Bridgewater, Winston, and Mariota are all free agents with a pretty good shot to hit the open market. Dalton, Newton, and Carr may/will be available in trade. And Burrow, Tua, Herbert, and Love are all there at the top of the draft. Not sure if I see it. There’s a really good crop of potential QB options for teams to consider this offseason.
  11. Four verts is also an air raid staple though — maybe only trailing mesh and WR screens. If that stat is accurate, it’s probably an indication that Gordon has some arm strength issues or struggles with deep ball placement. My biggest question with Gordon — or Hurts, or really any of the third round or later round QB prospects— is if he’s a better long-term prospect than Chad Kelly. In Gordon’s case, He’s a 5th year senior, only has one year starting experience in the PAC 12, and has some size/arm talent questions. I like the release and production but nothing else about that resume really stands out. He had a good Senior Bowl game but mediocre week of practice. I’m not a Kelly truther but he’s still just 25, had two years starting experience in the SEC, a couple of years of NFL roster experience, and by all indications has a good enough arm by NFL standards. I think it’s pretty clear that Kelly’s likely the minimum threshold that a QB prospect will have to clear to be considered draftable by the Colts.
  12. Greg Olsen was under contract with Carolina through next year before they decided to release him. Rivers has no contractual obligations with LA past the close of the league year, which ended after the Super Bowl. LA can’t release Rivers because he’s no longer under contract to them. That’s the same scenario for every free agent. LA could negotiate with him if they choose up to free agency but every other team has to wait until the legal tampering period starts. Players that are released don’t have to wait until the legal tampering period and can negotiate and sign with a team of their choosing immediately. They also don’t count against the formula for determining draft pick comp picks.
  13. To my amateur eye, the easiest way to judge arm strength is the sideline throw to the far hash. Peyton Manning had more than enough velocity to make that pass look easy. With Fromm, I think he really struggles with getting enough speed on that throw in particular. I haven’t really seen him put that on a frozen rope — it tends to loft and take a while to get there, which I think is a concern at the next level. He does throw a beautiful fade and has an advanced feel for using back shoulder throws. Great placement to drop the ball in a bucket.
  14. The one who’s medically red flagged, probably. Taylor (knee), Metcalf (neck), and Montez Sweat (heart) all fell out of the top 15 due largely to injury concerns. Outside of that maybe one of the receivers? I could see Ceedee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy if one of them doesn’t measure/test real well, which is a possibility. Especially if someone like Ruggs kills it at the combine.
  15. I don’t see it. I know he was better rushing the passer last year than years past and Houston mixes in one gap concepts, but to me he’s still an ideal two gap NT. On top of that, he’s one of the best 3-4 NTs in the league and is going to be paid accordingly.
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