Top remaining potential draft steals

Most of the well-known names are off the boards, it is the point in the NFL Draft where everyone is looking for a potential steal. The fourth round is about to get under way. Here are my top five potential steals left on the board as we enter day three.

Cardale Jones, Quarterback, Ohio State
Jones’ potential is through the roof. He has a tremendously high ceiling but also a very low floor. That comes as a result of Jones being very raw and sporadic. He has some really great game film from the end of the 2014 college season. However, his film from 2015 is less than compelling. The biggest concern is his inconsistency and lack of game experience. He will be a project, but he is oozing with potential.

Jordan Howard, Running Back, Indiana
His very interesting college career might be causing him to slide. He has very solid speed, running a 4.59 40 time. However, he lacks some agility that would make him a great player at the professional level. He might not always need it though because he is a bit of a bruiser. Howard had a ton of production in college, which should bode well for him going forward. He could be a great compliment to a speed back somewhere else in the league.

Christian Westerman, Offensive Guard, Arizona State
He started out at Auburn and eventually went back home to ASU, but he projects well in the NFL. He has massive hands, which allows him to control defensive players at the point of attack. Westerman has great raw strength, but he doesn’t always find the best way to translate that into his play. Give him a year to learn from an experienced line coach and Westerman could be a starting lineman in 2017.

Miles Killebrew, Safety, Southern Utah
I am very surprised to still see Killebrew on the board. I really thought he would be a day two selection, which means him still being on the board gives him the label of a steal. He is hard hitter with great size at 6’2″ and 215 pounds. He also possesses really good straight-line speed running a 4.5 at his pro day. He is a bit of a raw talent, but he was very productive at Southern Utah. I wonder if his time at a small school is hurting him here, but he should be a special teamer early on before moving into a potential starting role down the line.

Scooby Wright III, Middle Linebacker, Arizona
This is a tough one. Wright was one of the best linebackers in college football in 2014, but fell off significantly in 2015. Part of that is due to a knee injury, but the dropoff is concerning. He was a very productive college player, but his play is often described as sporadic. He is not a clean tackler and often lacks balance needed to stay on plays. With some coaching and some time to clean up his technique, he could be a very good player. Some scouts were comparing him to Zach Thomas. I wouldn’t mind drafting another Zach Thomas in the fourth or fifth round.

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First Round Draft Grades

Our coverage of the NFL Draft continues here on The Aftermath. The first round is in the books. The second round is under brown, and there are some really good players still on the board. (Myles Jack, Reggie Ragland, Sterling Shepard, Derrick Henry and Jarran Reed to name a few)

Let’s take a look at how each team did in the first round. I am looking at not just the player each team took, but how he fits into the team’s philosophy, how he projects in the team’s system and where they selected him.

Arizona_Cardnals_logo_(1994-2004)Arizona Cardinals: Robert Nkemdichie, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss
Grade: A-
This wasn’t exactly a need for the Cardinals but this team has been looking to improve the pass rush for the last few years. Adding Chandler Jones this offseason started the trend and Nkemdichie makes it even better. He has some off the field concerns, but I think Bruce Arians will handle that well.

Falcons logoAtlanta Falcons: Keanu Neal, Safety, Florida
Grade: C+
Atlanta certainly had a need here, getting a nickle safety who is physical enough to drop down into the box and provide run support. He was probably a bit of a reach at 17 though, but after Karl Joseph went 14 to the Raiders, the Falcons did not want to wait though which is why this pick does not score higher.

Ravens logoBaltimore Ravens: Ronnie Stanley, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
Grade: B+
Larmey Tunsil is probably the better player, but clearly his social media antics caused him to slide. Stanley will improve this offensive line, eventually at left tackle but probably beginning at right tackle. Stanley is a much better pass protector than run blocker, and Baltimore really needed the latter, but Stanley is still a good pick.

Bills logoBuffalo Bills: Shaq Lawson, Defensive End, Clemson
Grade: A-
Rex Ryan gets another defensive player and a Clemson guy in one pick. He will lessen the blow of Mario Williams leaving in free agency. Overall, Lawson should aid the pass rush right away and down the line become a great three-down lineman. Kyle Williams is coming off knee surgery at age 33 as well, making this pick even more of a need.

Panthers logoCarolina Panthers: Vernon Butler, Defensive Tackle, Louisiana Tech
Grade: B+
The Panthers did a good job not to panic and reach on a corner at this spot. Instead, they take one of the best players left on the board in Butler. However, this is already a very talented defensive line, so it will probably be a while before we see him get significant playing time.

Bears logoChicago Bears: Leonard Floyd, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
Grade: B+
The Bears needed to improve their pass rush and they accomplished that by taking Floyd. He has a bit of a ways to go before he is a complete linebacker, but he should help a rebuilding defense from day one. Bonus point to them for sneaking ahead of the Giants to snag him too.

Bengals LogoCincinnati Bengals: William Jackson III, Cornerback, Houston
Grade: A-
This was a great selection for Cincy. They have spent a lot of first round selections on corners but I think Jackson is a better fit. He has great speed that makes him a natural fit at nickle corner as a rookie and he can grow into the defense as he develops.

Browns logoCleveland: Corey Coleman, Wide Receiver, Baylor
Grade: A
Cleveland nailed this one. Coleman is probably the receiver in this draft with the highest ceiling. The Browns are not going to be a contender this year so grabbing a receiver with high upside makes sense. On top of that, they raked in a bunch of early round picks over the next three drafts. That’s a good way to start rebuilding.

Cowboys logoDallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliot, Running Back, Ohio State
Grade: A
The likelihood is Dallas might have been able to trade down a few spots and still take Elliot. However, Elliot is a slam dunk pick for Dallas. NFL.com compared him to Edgerrin James. I think he is like LeVeon Bell. This kid is going to be really good in the NFL.

Denver_BroncosDenver Broncos: Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis
Grade: D
The Broncos needed a quarterback in the worst way after Peyton Manning retired and Brock Osweiler spurned them for Houston, but this was not the one to take. Lynch is going to need a few years of sitting on the bench before he can really contribute, but the Broncos have a roster built to win now. That pairing doesn’t seem to make much sense.

Lions LogoDetroit Lions: Taylor Decker, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State
Grade: B+
Many thought the Lions would go receiver with this pick but the move to take Decker is a smart one. Riley Rieff’s contract expires after this season and the Lions need to give Matt Stafford more time in pocket. He should also improve a struggling Detroit running game.

Packers logoGreen Bay Packers: Kenny Clark, Defensive Tackle, UCLA
Grade: C-
The Packers are usually one of the best team’s on draft day, so maybe I just don’t understand the genius of this pick, but with Jarran Reed, A’Shawn Robinson and Vernon Butler still on the board, taking Clark is confusing. I also still think this should have been Reggie Ragland, so Green Bay could finally move Clay Matthews back outside.

Texans logoHouston Texans: Will Fuller, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
Grade: F
Yeah, I really don’t like this pick. Fuller is a straight line speed guy who struggles to run routes. He has small hands and a small frame. He is a deep threat, but not a first round talent. Also, why the heck did you give up a sixth round pick to move up one spot to take him? Yeah, I just really don’t like how this went down.

Colts logoIndianapolis Colts: Ryan Kelly, Center, Alabama
Grade: A-
I really thought the Colts could have traded down and still grabbed Kelly, but he is a great player and it definitely fills a need. Andrew Luck has to be very happy about this selection.

Jaguars logoJacksonville Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback, Florida State
Grade: A
Jacksonville was patient and ended up landing probably the best prospect in the draft, much like the Jets did last year with Leonard Williams. Gus Bradley has to be thrilled with this pick, but now he is out of excuses. This defense needs to perform this year.

Chiefs LogoKansas City Chiefs: No Selections
Grade: B
Kansas City was smart to trade back and rack up a couple more selections. There weren’t any receivers going at that point. Now they sit early in the second round, and picked up a fourth and sixth.

Los Angeles Rams logoLos Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, Quarterback, California
Grade: C+
The Rams gave up a lot to take Goff, who doesn’t really fit the system Jeff Fisher runs. However, he should be the best quarterback on the Rams’ roster by the end of 2016. He might take a little while to get going, but he should be a solid player.

Dolphins logoMiami Dolphins: Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
Grade: A+
The Dolphins ended up with the likely steal of the first round. Tunsil is a future stud and while Miami might not be the best environment given his off the field antics, the Dolphins’ offensive line is set with him and Juwan James for the next several years.

Vikings logoMinnesota Vikings: LaQuon Treadwell, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
Grade: A
This fills a need for Minnesota and it is the right guy for their system. Treadwell should be a good possession receiver to compliment the explosive potential of Stefon Diggs and Corradelle Patterson. Also a great run blocker for a team that has Adrian Peterson in the backfield. Teddy Bridgewater needs to deliver now.

Patriots LogoNew England Patriots: No Selections
Grade: C

No movement to speak of for the Patriots, they will get two picks at the end of round two. For right now, they are just average.

Saints logoNew Orleans Saints: Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Tackle, Louisville
Grade: B+

This is what many assumed the Saints would do at 12. Passing on Lynch was a good move for them. They had the worst defense in the league last year so any defensive player was a smart move for them.

Giants LogoNew York Giants: Eli Apple, Cornerback, Ohio State
Grade: C-

I have to admit I was a little confused by this one. Hargreaves was still on the board and this wasn’t a major need for the Giants. Apple will be a good player, but this definitely a reach.

Jets logoNew York Jets: Darron Lee, Outside Linebacker, Ohio State
Grade: B+

The Jets didn’t take Paxton Lynch, which already makes this a good pick. Lee is far from perfect, but this Jets’ linebacking core has needed an infusion of athleticism for a long time. They get that with Lee.

Raiders logoOakland Raiders: Karl Joseph, Safety, West Virginia
Grade: B-
Oakland definitely jumped the gun by taking Joseph at 14, but they got their guy. He is a big play safety with a nose for the ball. The Raiders needed someone to bolster the secondary. Slight injury concern with him, but still a solid pick.

Eagles LogoPhiladelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State
Grade: B
Wentz might end up being the best quarterback in this draft when all is said and done. However, Philly created a major quarterback controversy with this pick and had to give up some high draft picks to make this selection. The future is set, as long as the locker room survives it.

Pittsburgh_Steelers logoPittsburgh Steelers: Artie Burns, Cornerback, Miami
Grade: C
Pittsburgh filled a need with this pick, but Artie Burns is a questionable first round selection. Obviously, the Steelers would have preferred if William Jackson had fallen just one more pick. Pittsburgh addressed a problem in the secondary, but not with the best player.

Chargers logoSan Diego Chargers: Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State
Grade: B
He isn’t a great system fit, as he would have done better in a 4-3 system, but Bosa is a great player for San Diego. He definitely helps a Chargers defense that ranked 27th against the run last year. He is a polished product ready to contribute from day one.

49ers LogoSan Francisco 49ers: Deforest Buckner, Defensive End, Baylor and Joshua Garnett, Guard, Stanford
Grade: B
Trading up into the first round for Garnett hurts this grade. Buckner was a great pick for the 49ers and should be a force from day one. Garnett is a good player and fills a need for San Francisco, but trading up to get him didn’t make a whole lot of sense considering that no one else was likely to take him.

Seahawks logoSeattle Seahawks: Germain Ifedi, Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
Grade: A-
Trading back and still getting offensive line help is a big win for Seattle. He is a tough, physical and will be able to contribute fairly early in his career. Picking up some extra picks in the process makes it even better.

Buccaneers logoTampa Bay Buccaneers: Vernon Hargreaves, Cornerback, Florida
Grade: A
Tampa needed this guy all along to help fix their secondary. They also added a fourth round pick for their swap with Chicago. He plugs in as a starter from day one.

Titans logoTennessee Titans: Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle, Michigan State
Grade: B-
Conklin fills a major need here for Tennessee, who needs to better protect Marcus Mariota. However, even with the character concerns, Tunsil was still on the board and the Titans had to give up some picks to get up to take Conklin. Probably smart to move ahead of the Giants, but still a little bit early for him.

Washington made up logoWashington: Josh Docston, Wide Receiver, TCU
Grade: B
Not necessarily a need for Washington, but Docston should help make Kirk Cousins look even better. Bonus points for adding an extra draft pick by moving down one spot. Not sold on Doctson yet, but he shows some potential with that big body.

Studs and Duds from the 2016 NFL Draft

It is so tough to predict which prospects will pan out. Every year the NFL draft is littered with Hall of Famers and busts and many that fit somewhere in between.

The draft is tonight and with that, let’s take a look at who will be the best and worst picks from the 2016 draft.

Studs

Ryan Kelly, Center, Alabama
This guy played against top competition just about every week he was in college playing at Alabama. Kelly was about as close to flawless as you can get during his career with the Crimson Tide. His name has popped up as a late first round candidate now. He will likely be one of the top three centers in the league by the time the calendar reads 2020. Whoever takes this guy is getting a stud to build the offensive line around. Just to give you some reference, the last five centers drafted in the first round were Nick Mangold, Alex Mack, Maurice Pouncey, Mike Pouncey and Travis Fredricks. They have 14 Pro Bowls between them, with Fredricks being the only one not to go yet, but he is only 25. If Kelly goes in the first round, he will be joining some pretty elite company.

Ezekiel Elliot, Running Back, Ohio State
He might have dropped all the way to 18 in our mock draft, but Elliot is probably even better than Todd Gurley. The former Buckeye was a beast in college and reminds me a lot of LeVeon Bell. His versatility to catch the ball out of the backfield, stay in to pass block, run inside or outside makes him special. If he goes to Dallas, there is a chance this kid is a Pro Bowler as a rookie. He will be a top five running back in the league by 2020, if he isn’t already the best by then. Gurley might challenge him for that title though.

Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
This kid is flat out tough. There has been a lot of adversity surrounding him, but I think he will push past all of it and be an impact player in the NFL. Scouts complain that he could put more on his frame, and maybe he will after a year or two, but he already measures in at 6’5″ and 310 pounds. He has very good footwork and solid upper body strength. His will develop into a better run blocker at the next level and he is already a very polish pass protector. He played in the SEC and is used to competing against top talent. I think he is pro-ready and will get even better as he plays more.

Duds

Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis
I am far from sold on this kid. Most are projecting Lynch to go in the first round, but I’m not buying the hype. Similar to the concerns about Carson Wentz, Lynch didn’t have great competition in college and as a result, his college numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt. There are also a lot of concerns about his ability to progress through reads on the field and to master an offensive gameplan. Those are two massive red flags to me. Everyone knows that Lynch is not pro-ready, but with some of the flaws he has, I don’t know if he will ever really be set to play at the professional level.

Emmanuel Ogbah, Defensive End, Oklahoma State
This is the classic example of a guy who doesn’t really have a position. He possess good speed, but not great agility. He could play in a 4-3 or outside linebacker in a 3-4. He seems to be a man without a position and I think that will hurt him as he tries to adjust to the professional level. If he becomes an outside linebacker, he will have to develop the coverage skills necessary to stay on the field. Otherwise, he is a liability. He is much more comfortable playing along the line and his strength will prevent him from getting knocked around but he relied on it to pass rush in college. Relying on strength alone won’t cut it in the pros.

Will Fuller, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
Fuller is a speedster with great college numbers, but I don’t think he will translate to the next level. He doesn’t have great hands, dropping a number of passes over the past two years. Fuller has decent height, but lacks much bulk. He only weighs 185 pounds and only managed to bench 10 times at the combine. Fuller also has small hands, measuring in at eight and a quarter inches. He reminds me a lot of a slightly shorter Darrius Heyward-Bey. His route running isn’t polished and I just don’t see him developing into more than a speedy slot receiver.

2016 Aftermath NFL Mock Draft

Well, it is finally here. The season of lying is almost over. This time tomorrow night, Commissioner Goodell will take a walk up to the podium to start the NFL Draft.

This draft has had a lot of focus on it already with all of the trades that have gone down over the last several months. It will be very interesting to see how many more occur on draft night.

Matt Luppino, Brian Mandel and Jack Venezia joined me on Skype earlier this week to make this happen. We took the first 32 picks of the draft, including the first pick of the second round, and divided them up between the four of us. We acted as the general manager for those eight picks, selecting who we think each team should draft.

So without further ado, here are the results of the draft.

Los Angeles Rams logo1) Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff, Quarterback, California
This pick was a no-brainer. In my opinion he is the best quarterback on the board, and the reason why the Rams traded up. -Mandel

Eagles Logo2) Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz, Quarterback, North Dakota State
With the big trade up to number two, everyone is saying that the Eagles are taking whichever quarterback the Rams do not take. We shall see if Wentz is the starter from day one or if he rides the bench for a little while. -Venezia

Chargers logo3) San Diego Chargers – Jalen Ramsey, Cornerback, Florida State
At the third overall pick, the Chargers land the best prospect in the draft. Ramsey is listed as a corner but could easily play safety or a nickle linebacker from day one. That kind of versatility makes him the right pick for San Diego. -McGlynn

Cowboys logo4) Dallas Cowboys Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State
I was deciding between Ezekiel Elliott and Bosa here, but I am convinced that any running back could do well behind this offensive line. So Dallas should wait until later and take the best defensive lineman on the board. -Luppino

Jaguars logo5) Jacksonville Jaguars – Deforest Buckner, Defensive Lineman, Oregon
Joey Bosa and Jalen Ramsey are both off the board and Myles Jack has injury concerns, so Buckner is the pick. He is the best all around D-lineman after Bosa. -Mandel

Ravens logo6) Baltimore Ravens – Laremy Tunsil, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
With Tunsil falling to the sixth pick, the Ravens have to take him. Baltimore’s offensive line has been rag tag for a while now. Tunsil should fix that problem. -Venezia

49ers Logo7) San Francisco 49ers – Ronnie Stanley, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame
We get a mini run on tackles here. San Fran needs a quarterback of the future, but it is too early to take one here. Instead, they plan for the future when Joe Staley retires and grab the best player still on the board without any injury concerns. -McGlynn

Browns logo8) Cleveland Browns Pick: Myles Jack, Linebacker, UCLA
My draft board for Cleveland didn’t have its needs, but rather what it didn’t need (offensive tackle, guard, corner and tight end), so I will be picking best available player. And getting an athlete like Jack for the center of their defensive is great value. -Luppino

Buccaneers logo9) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Vernon Hargreaves III, Cornerback Florida
The Bucs’ secondary is more barren then the Sahara Desert, and Hargreaves is clearly the best corner after Ramsey. He will slot in right away across from Brent Grimes. -Mandel

Giants Logo10) New York Giants – Jack Conklin, Offensive Tackle, Michigan State
The Giants have had so many injuries along offensive line over the last few years. They may address other issues with this pick, but I think an offensive lineman would be a safe add here. -Venezia

Bears logo11) Chicago Bears – Leonard Floyd, Outside Linebacker, Georgia
Chicago passes on Ezekiel Elliot with Jeremy Langford firmly in place and instead addresses the major issue it has at linebacker. John Fox will be intent on adding more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.- McGlynn

Saints logo12) New Orleans Saints – Sheldon Rankins, Defensive Tackle, Louisville
This was the top player on my board for New Orleans, with a big need up front on the D-line. If they can shore up their pass rush, that abysmal secondary could see improvements. -Luppino

Dolphins logo13) Miami Dolphins – Shaq Lawson, Defensive End, Clemson
Although they just signed Mario Williams, Miami needs to look towards the future with their pass rush. Lawson looks like a steal at this range. -Mandel

Raiders logo14) Oakland Raiders – Jarran Reed, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
With Khalil Mack getting to the quarterback, the Raiders will get a good run stopper in Reed. This gives them a nice one-two punch on their defensive line. -Venezia

Titans logo15) Tennessee Titans – Taylor Decker, Offensive Tackle, Ohio State
The Titans acquired DeMarco Murray to pair with Marcus Mariota. Now they need someone to block for them. Decker can start on the right side while Taylor Lewan mans the left. Protecting the franchise quarterback should be a priority. -McGlynn

Lions Logo16) Detroit Lions – Laquon Treadwell, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
Again, top player on my board for Detroit, who NEEDS to replace Megatron after he retired.  Treadwell is big and has great route running and footwork, so he could be another big body for Stafford to throw too. However, with him still on the board, I’m debating Ezekiel Elliott. -Luppino

Falcons logo17) Atlanta Falcons – Darren Lee, Outside Linebacker, Ohio State
It seems like every the Falcons are picking an edge rusher, but Lee is more than that. He has the potential to be an all around good linebacker, which is something Atlanta desperately needs. -Mandel

Colts logo18) Indianapolis Colts – Ezekiel Elliot, Running Back, Ohio State
The Colts have to take Elliot if he falls this far in the draft. Frank Gore did well enough this year but Father Time will come soon enough. -Venezia

Bills logo19) Buffalo Bills -Kevin Dodd, Defensive End, Clemson
Mario Williams left in free agency and Kyle Williams is coming off knee surgery. It is only a matter of time before Rex Ryan needs to find a new starter on the defensive line, so Buffalo stays ahead by drafting Dodd. -McGlynn

Jets logo20) New York Jets – Emmanuel Ogbah, Defensive End, Oklahoma State
I nearly got Paxton Lynch here, but I could see the Jets making trades here for him, or working to resign Ryan FitzMagic. So instead, let the Jets get the fastest defensive end in the draft and convert him to an outside linebacker, and he could be devastating. -Luppino

Washington made up logo21) Washington – Karl Joseph, Safety, West Virginia
By signing Josh Norman at corner, the Redskins need to look towards safety.  He is a bruiser and will make the secondary stronger. -Mandel

Texans logo22) Houston Texans – Josh Doctson, Wide Receiver, TCU
Doctson is a big wide receiver and even though he may be a bit raw, he will make an instant impact. If he can stretch the field well, DeAndre Hopkins will have some of the receiving weight taken off of his shoulders. -Venezia

Vikings logo23) Minnesota Vikings – Corey Coleman, Wide Receiver, Baylor
Coleman was an explosive scoring machine at Baylor and Minnesota needs some more offensive weapons to take the pressure off Adrian Peterson. I’m sure Teddy Bridgewater will enjoy having Coleman and Stefon Diggs running routes for him. -McGlynn

Bengals Logo24) Cincinnati Bengals – A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
The Bengals have a couple of needs here, like wide receiver next to AJ Green, but I think a defensive tackle to work behind or alongside Domata Peko until he retires fits the bill.  Coming from Alabama, however, he could be ready immediately, which makes this pick even better. -Luppino

Pittsburgh_Steelers logo25) Pittsburgh Steelers – Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Tackle, Ole Miss
The Steelers need an upgrade at defensive and why not take a gamble at Nkemdiche. If any one can keep him on the track and allow him to show his potential, it is the Steelers. -Mandel

Seahawks logo26) Seattle Seahawks – Andrew Billings, Nose Tackle, Baylor
The Seahawks sure like building up their defense. Barring any drastic changes to earlier picks, I would expect the Seahawks to bolster their defensive line, even if they can’t get a plug and play starter. -Venezia

Packers logo27) Green Bay Packers – Reggie Ragland, Inside Linebacker, Alabama
If he is still on the board at 27, the Packers need to take Ragland. He would allow them to finally bump Clay Matthews back outside to rush the passer. He also has the ability to contribute as a rookie, and has the potential to develop into a three-down player. -McGlynn

Chiefs Logo28) Kansas City Chiefs – William Jackson III, Cornerback, Houston
If I’m Kansas City, I’m excited to see Jackson here, who clocked a 4.37 to lead all cornerbacks at the combine. When you have to face Derek Carr, Phillip Rivers, and the tandem of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders twice a year, you need a top secondary. -Luppino

Arizona_Cardnals_logo_(1994-2004)29) Arizona Cardinals – Ryan Kelly, Center, Alabama
There were still cornerbacks on the board, but the Cardinals also need an upgrade on the O-line. With Kelly, they have a nice pick that projects well to the future. -Mandel

Panthers logo30) Carolina Panthers – Eli Apple, Cornerback, Ohio State
After losing Josh Norman, the Panthers need some help at corner. Apple was the best available in this mock draft in my opinion, but Carolina could way some other options here to fill the spot. -Venezia

Denver_Broncos31) Denver Broncos- Paxton Lynch, Quarterback, Memphis
Obviously, if he stays on the board this long, someone will trade up to snag him. However, none of us really thought Lynch deserved to go before this point. He will take at least a year to develop and coming from such a different style at Memphis, I don’t know how well the transition to the NFL will go for him. -McGlynn

Browns logo32) (Round 2, Pick 1) Cleveland Browns – RB Derrick Henry, Alabama
This is still Cleveland, so plenty of room for curveballs.  Here, they need offense desperately, and the Heisman Trophy winner is on the board, but is he too much like Trent Richardson? Don’t be surprised if it’s a defensive lineman or center though. -Luppino

Kerr didn’t deserve Coach of the Year

I mean come on. This is a joke right? Steve Kerr was named the 2016 NBA Coach of the Year today. That’s a little tough to swallow.

Steve Kerr
Kerr returned to the Warriors’ bench on January 2o. (Wikimedia Commons)

Obviously, it actually has nothing to do with Kerr’s coaching ability. He is a great coach. His personnel usage is incredible and he seems to have a close connection with his players.

Kerr missed half of the season though. Actually more than half if you want to get into specifics. Due to health concerns, Kerr missed the first 43 games of the season and Luke Walton coached in his place. The Warriors ended up winning a record 73-games this season, but Kerr’s record while coaching was 34-5. Walton’s was actually better at 39-4.

While the reason why Kerr missed half of the regular season games this season was out of his control, it does not mean that it should be forgotten that he missed all of those games. Kerr’s triumphs off the court were probably more important than anything Golden State did on the court this season and he should be honored and praised for that. Just not with the Coach of the Year Award.

In my opinion, there are two ways this could have gone instead that would have been much more acceptable. The first one would be if they named Kerr and Walton Co-Coaches of the Year. They each contributed pretty much evenly to the team’s success this season.

This would be somewhat similar to 2012, when Bruce Arians won the NFL’s Coach of the Year award, despite being the interim replacement for Chuck Pagano while the later missed most of the season for cancer treatment. Arians coached 12 of the team’s 16 games, so he received the award. Walton coached slightly more than half, but with the split being so close to even, I think it would be fair to have the two coaches share the award.

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The Spurs went 40-1 this season under Popovich. (Wikimedia Commons)

The other option would have been to give the award to the next deserving coach, in this case Gregg Popovich. Pop’s Spurs won 67 games this year, and he coached all of them. That comes in tied for seventh all time for most wins in a season.

Popovich rested his guys throughout the year and showed that, similar to Golden State, he knew how to manage his team. He played small ball, he went big. He played fast, he slowed it down. Pop can get his guys to do anything he wants.

In most other seasons, San Antonio would have finished with the best record in the league. In fact, the Spurs became the team with the most wins to not finish with the best record in the league this season. Usually, that would mean that the team with the best record had the best coaching. However, in this case, it was not just one coach. If the award is meant to go to an individual and cannot be shared, then it should have gone to Popovich.

I like Steve Kerr a lot and I am not trying to argue that he isn’t a great coach, but give me a break. There is no way he deserved to win this award. It should have gone to someone else.