After a thoroughly depressing off-season, Ron’s Comms finally offer a glimmer of hope – how did they do and what will they do next?
In the immortal words of Frankie Valli, oh what a night. That was the most interesting and exciting draft I can recall with trades all over the place which included a mini blockbuster, helped in no small part by teams not hanging about running their cards up to the table.
However, before getting on to last night and what might come next, let’s get some things off my chest. The off-season thus far has been a complete Jarvis*. Whether it was the name change, a new bout of scandals, the ridiculous, panicky over-pay for Carson Wentz and the direct impact that has had thus far in other areas, and most recently the hardly surprising news that they weren’t going to extend Daron Payne (duh, everyone knew that after the Jonathan Allen extension) having not resigned Tim Settle and cut Matt Ioannidis, it’s been nothing but thoroughly depressing.
*Jarvis, as in Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of the Pulp and rhyming slang over here for a shocker.
Which leads us nicely on to last night, where the first green shoots of hope began to emerge as the Commies did what many of us had been clamouring for, and what Ron’s Brains Trust said they would try and do and traded back from 11. They swapped picks with the Saints at 16 and obtained a late third rounder and early fourth, resulting in the Commies picking at 16, 47, 96, 113 and 120 instead of 11, 47 and 113.
On the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, we got slightly below value having traded the 11th (1250 points) for 1162 points in return, but on the Rich Hill Trade Chart trade chart we got slightly above, giving away a pick worth 358 points and gaining 360 points’ worth of picks in return. The former chart is heavily skewed towards to the front of the draft and given the nature of this draft, I don’t think we can crab what we got in return for moving back 5 spots. Olave was a reach for me anyway at 11 (thanks to @Jamual for previously highlighting his lack of missed tackles and YAC). I fear we may rue skipping on Kyle Hamilton but at least he went to the AFC, and I can see four or five other players who could fill that role at a slightly lower level (Jalen Pitre, Jaquan Brisker, Bryan Cook and Nick Ross)
What we can potentially crab is what appears to be a reach in drafting Jahan Dotson at 16, as he surely would have been there later. There were further offers to trade down into the twenties and there’s every chance he would still have been there. That said, he was in Kiper’s and Jeremiah’s top 30 with Kiper having him as the 6th receiver and 22nd overall, was mocked as high as 16 and on average in the first round. I do not argue that it wasn’t a reach at all, but it isn’t such a reach that it deserves major criticism and if Ron & Co had him atop or close to the top of their board at 16 then you take your guy, especially with the Eagles, Packers and Chiefs on the hunt for a WR.
Put simply, I far from hate the pick and certainly like what I’ve seen on tape and what I’ve read (especially from Mel Kiper) and if Matt Miller and our own @MarkTyler are correct with their comp for Dotson and he’s as good as Tyler Lockett by the end of the season, no one will be complaining. When you add the selection to the two extra picks, I give the Commies Round 1 a surprisingly solid B+ (much as draft grades are useless until the end of year one).
Day 2 is already more interesting for the Commie faithful now that we have a third rounder, and it must be 50/50 that we trade back again from 47. Now that it’s confirmed we had offers for the 16th pick and it’s clear team’s boards are more diverse than ever, I’d be really surprised if we don’t get offers especially if a couple of the Top 5 QBs are still there. I can certainly see several teams ahead of us taking one – particularly the Giants, Atlanta, Seattle (surely, with back-to-back picks) and Detroit.
So, over the next two rounds what will we do and what should we do? Here goes be best stab at it.
What will Ron & Co do?
They could and hopefully will trade back but I’m convinced if they pick anywhere close to 47, they’re going Safety (or "Buffalo Nickel") or O-Line at 47 and my best guess would be a player like Jaquan Brisker or Jalen Pitre if it’s safety, or Luke Goedeke if it’s OL.
As I pointed out to @MattinBrisVegas in the comments on his tealeaves piece, I wouldn’t pay much attention to one-on-one visits/meetings the front office had with prospects but they did meet with both Brisker and Goedeke and Pitre is the type of character they wouldn’t need to meet with.
I wouldn’t be mad at any of those three picks.
What should they do/what would I do?
As with any draft prediction, this depends on who’s there.
For example, if Nakobe Dean falls that far (spoiler alert – he won’t) I’m sprinting up with my card as soon as we’re on the clock. I would do the same with Malik Willis but can’t see him being there either.
More to the point when it comes to Willis, whilst I am firmly in the camp that they should take a QB if one falls to them, (ideally Willis but I’d take Howell as I think he’s got it). I won’t do that in this scenario as I don’t want this exercise to be futile and Ron & Co seem fully bought in to Wentz. Don’t say I didn’t tell you when at least two of this year’s "Big 5" QBs will go on to be at least average to above average starters.
Taking it as a given that Dean and Willis are not there, I wouldn’t take any of the three I think they’ll take as comparable players will be available later (I’m particularly thinking Bryan Cook and Nick Cross on the safety front or Luke Fortner, Zach Tom and Dylan Parham on the G/C front).
I would therefore would be looking to move back later in Round 2 and pick up an additional 3rd or early 4th (perfect scenario would be a straight swap for the Vikings two thirds at 66 and 77, which equates to a roughly fair value swap on both charts). That’s what should happen.
What will Ron & Co do?
Whatever position isn’t taken at number 47, they’ll fill the other need. Let’s say it’s Safety at 47, I can see them looking at Spencer Burford if he’s still there. He’s got the traits and, importantly, the position flex that Ron covets. Goedeke will be gone so Zach Tom, Dylan Parham and Luke Fortner could be play here, or at least I hope they are.
If they took Goedeke at 47 or thereabouts, I genuinely think Bryan Cook from Cincinnati or Nick Cross from Maryland, the former especially standing out to me as a Ron type – a leader with an alpha mentality ideally suited to that Buffalo Nickel role. They were also mob handed to Cincinnati's and I don't believe it was for Desmond Ridder.
What should they do/what would I do?
On the basis that I would have traded back in the second for either a late second and third or two thirds, I’m working on the basis I’ve got three picks here to go with the other two in the fourth.
My areas of focus in Rounds 2 to 4 would be Safety, Corner, Linebacker, O-Line and Tight End, and I really believe if we had five picks between the bottom of the second and 120, we could find potential year 1 starters at three of those positions.
At Linebacker, I’d personally be targeting a player like Montana LB Troy Anderson, a high character, high upside, supremely athletic Linebacker for whom the sky’s the limit. He wouldn’t need to start immediately but could contribute straight away on special teams and I don’t think it would be long before he could contribute in a rotation with Cole Holcomb, Jamin Davis (who I believe will surprise people this season with the his disappointing rookie campaign being largely on the coaches for trying to shoehorn him into a MIKE role) and David Mayo. Ron & Co won’t, as they don’t seem to value LB and seem determined to fill the Buffalo Nickel.
Anderson would be my favourite choice, but Chad Muma looks good, and I also think that Channing Tindall is being overlooked and might slip into the 4th. They could also look to try and steal a Damone Clark from LSU in the 4th if the prognosis on his spinal fusion surgery isn’t too bad, but that seems far more like a Bruce Allen move so I immediately hate myself for suggesting it..
My safety targets would be Bryan Cook and Nick Cross but neither might be there, so I’ll throw in Tycen Anderson as another option to play Buffalo Nickel with the right character and leadership qualities. There then seems to be a big enough fall off on the Safety front after this point which is why I wouldn’t be averse to choosing Brisker or Pitre at 47 or close to it.
My top three cornerbacks by now are Cobe Bryant, Marcus Jones and Zyon McCullum. I’d be thrilled with any of those for different reasons which are obvious when looking at their draft profiles. I lean towards Marcus Jones simply because I’ve fallen in love with his highlight reel, and he’d be a threat to score on any return (whilst Dotson can return punts, I don’t think they’ll risk him as a punt returner except in situations where they really need a good return. I like Bryant and he’s another Ron type from a character standpoint (can you see the theme here?) and is ridiculously overlooked despite winning the Jim Thorpe award for best DB in the country having lived in Sauce Gardner’s shadow.
As for O-Line, fingers crossed one of Zach Tom, Dylan Parham and Luke Fortner are in this range and with regards tight end the only two I’m interested in really are Greg Dulcich and Jelani Woods, and I wouldn’t want to draft them too high. If they’re gone, I’d look to strengthen the running back room in the fourth round, ideally with Dameon Pearce from Florida or Brian Robinson from Alabama (who, if we’re lucky, might last until the 6th).
So, what’s the end of day 2 summary?
What will Ron & Co do?
I think they’ll draft Jalen Pitre or Jaquan Brisker in the second alongside Spencer Burford in the third. My back-up option is Chris Goedeke in the 2nd and Bryan Cook.in the 3rd.
What should they do?
Just imagine, if by some miracle, that by the time Round 4 ended our draft looked like this:
- Jahan Dotson, WR
- Troy Anderson OR Chad Muma OR Channing Tindall, LB
- Bryan Cook OR Nick Cross, S
- Zach Tom OR Dylan Parham OR Luke Fortner
- Cobe Bryant OR Marcus Jones OR Zyon McCullum, CB
- Greg Dulcich OR Jelani Woods, TE OR Dameon Pearce, RB
That would be an A++ draft. The chances of a haul like that occurring are no better than 1% though, but as a fan of this team all you have is hopes and dreams…
On the basis I can’t be bothered to write another 2000 words on a Fan Post that hardly anyone will read especially on a public holiday (in the UK) weekend, and on the fact I’m living in cloud cuckoo land, I won’t be doing a day two review and day three preview.
What I would say is that I'm convinced they're going to draft Jeremiah Gemmell, the LB from North Carolina in the 7th round, and out of all their visits I also think they'll take Samuel Womack with their other 7th rounder. You heard that 100,000 to 1 shot here first!
But what do you think Ron & Co will do next and what do you think they should do?