2018 NFL Draft: Patriots land their QB of the future and other bold predictions for Day 3
Here are some bold predictions for Day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft
After a NFL Draft on Friday, don't be surprised if things get absolutely crazy for the final four rounds.of the
The final day of the draft can sometimes turn into a circus, but only because that's exactly what the NFL wants. If you tune in to the draft on Saturday, here's a small sample of things you might see:
- A Buccaneers draft pick (Note: I love parrots) a
- Chewbacca somehow announcing who the next 49ers wookie will be (or is it rookie?)
- The Jaguars announcing multiple draft picks from London (where they're not moving, even though their owner just bought a stadium there)
- The gold medal-winning U.S. curling team announcing a pick for the Vikings
It's never easy to predict what's going to happen on the final day of the NFL Draft and that's mainly because the final day consists of four mostly unpredictable rounds. However, we're going to try to take some of the unpredictability out of it with a few bold predictions.
So what's going to happen on Saturday? Here are three bold predictions for the final day of the NFL Draft.
1. The Patriots land a possible quarterback of the future
If you've been following the Patriots at all over the past seven months, you may have noticed that they decided to get rid of all of their backup quarterbacks last season. First, it was Jacoby Brissett, who to the Colts in September. One month later, the Patriots pulled off possibly the when they shipped Jimmy Garoppolo off to San Francisco.
The explanation for these trades is that Tom Brady convinced the Patriots he could play forever, so they figured that they wouldn't have any use for any of their backup quarterbacks. However, science says that Brady can't going to play forever, which means the Patriots need to start thinking about drafting his potential successor. Although they could make that move next year, it makes a lot more sense to do it this year, and that's because Brady is about to turn 41.
The good news for the Patriots is that there are two quarterbacks left in this year's draft who seemingly fit the mold that Bill Belichick looks for when he's drafting a QB: Richmond's Kyle Lauletta and Washington State's Luke Falk. Lauletta's biggest upside might be the fact that he's viewed as a Jimmy Garoppolo clone, which definitely a good thing based on what I've read on Twitter.
Well, that's not exactly football related, but this is: Lauletta is someone who proved in college that he's able to accurately make all the short-to-medium range throws that would likely be called for in the Patriots offense. Like Garoppolo, Lauletta also will be coming from an FCS school where he was mostly successful. Now, the problem here is that Belichick already had one Garoppolo and he let him go, so why would he go after a Garoppolo clone?
That's where Falk comes in. If the Patriots go after a quarterback on Saturday, the bold prediction here is that they take Falk. Although he played in a spread offense in college, Falk has plenty of attributes that Belichick would potentially love. For one, he's accurate. The former WSU quarterback completed 68.3 percent of his passes during his college career, which is currently the 13th-best completion percentage in NCAA history. Also, Falk doesn't turn the ball over, which is a big thing because Belichick abhors turnovers. Well, Belichick hates mistakes, and there's no bigger mistake for a quarterback than a turnover, but that shouldn't be an issue for Falk. Over the past three years, Falk threw 106 touchdown passes to just 32 interceptions.
One thing to keep in mind about Falk is that he played under Mike Leach, and Belichick has actually drafted a quarterback from a Leach-coached team before. Back in 2003, the Patriots drafted Kliff Kingsbury out of Texas Tech. However, Kingsbury was placed on IR during his rookie year and never actually played for the team. Kingsbury, who now coaches at Texas Tech, has clearly proven that he's very football knowledgeable, and if Falk is just half that knowledgeable, then he should be a good fit with the Patriots.
On the other hand, if Belichick doesn't think Falk will be able to make the switch from running a college spread offense to running the Patriots offense, then Lauletta seems like a perfectly good fallback option.
2. The Raiders will draft a punter
If you've been watching the NFL Draft over the past two days, then you may have noticed that the Raiders have going slightly old school with their picks. When Jon Gruden said he was going to turn the clock back to 1998, he wasn't kidding. As a matter of fact, Gruden's draft choices so far have been such a throwback that even his own mom has noticed.
If you haven't been keeping track of the Raiders' choices through the first three rounds of the draft, here's a quick rehash: They've completely given up on skill players. With their first four picks over the first three rounds, the Raiders have taken two offensive tackles (Kolton Miller, Brandon Parker) and two defensive lineman (P.J. Hall, Arden Key). Gruden is going after big uglies, and he's not apologizing to anyone for it.
If Gruden wants to take his old school strategy to the next level -- and really channel his inner Al Davis -- then his next move will be easy: He'll draft a punter.
No one was better at drafting punters than Davis. Since 1970, the Raiders have only drafted a total of three punters; however, two of those punters turned out to be two of the best in NFL history in Ray Guy and Shane Lechler. Guy is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and Lechler is going into his 19th season in the NFL.
Basically, the Raiders know when to grab a once-in-a-generation punter, and this draft just happens to have one in Michael Dickson. During the 2017 season, the former Texas punter led the nation in net punting yards, punting average and punts inside the 20. Dickson was also named the MVP of the Texas Bowl, which doesn't even sound believable -- because how did a punter win MVP? -- but trust me, it happened. The problem for the Raiders is that Dickson might not last past the fourth round and the Raiders only have one fourth-round pick, which will be the 10th pick on Saturday (110th overall).
The Raiders do have multiple fifth round picks and if they're smart, they'll use one on a punter. The bold prediction here is that the Raiders will take a punter in the fifth round, and that punter will be Dickson, unless he's already off the board. In that case, the Raiders could go after Alabama's JK Scott or Florida's Johnny Townsend. If the Raiders want Townsend, they'll probably be able to wait until the sixth round, but if they want Scott or Dickson, they'll likely have to pull the trigger in the fourth or fifth round.
3. Shaquem Griffin ends up in NFC West (but not with the Seahawks)
One day ago, theGriffin would get taken in the third round. Since that didn't happen, we're going to double down here and boldly predict the team and the round where Griffin will be selected on Saturday. Although the former Central Florida linebacker fell out of the third round on Friday, I don't think he'll fall much farther than that, which means he should probably get ready to hear his name called at some point in the fourth round.
Although Griffin is hoping to be selected by the Seahawks so he can be on the same team as his brother....
... that's not where this prediction is headed. Instead, I have Griffin landing in Los Angeles with Sean McVay and the Rams. Obviously, the upside here is that he'll still get to be on the same field with his brother, Shaquill, twice a year. Of course, the downside there is that he'll be facing his brother instead of playing on the same team.
Drafting Griffin is a move that almost makes too much sense for the Rams. For one, outside linebacker is definitely one of the team's top needs heading into the final day of the draft. With three picks in the fourth round, it's almost a lock that the Rams will select at least one outside linebacker, and the bold prediction is here is that Griffin will be that linebacker.
Wade Phillips is one of the smartest defensive minds in the game and there's a good chance that he could quickly figure out how to best utilize Griffin. The linebacker from Central Florida, who lost his left hand at a young age due to a birth condition, is slightly undersized (6-foot, 227 pounds) for his position. But that likely wouldn't matter to Phillips, who could develop several special defensive packages for an Griffin, who was named the Peach Bowl MVP this year.
Of course, if the Rams don't take Griffin, don't be surprised if the Seahawks end up grabbing him. Seattle's a good fit, and you can bet that Shaquill Griffin will spend some serious time trying to lobby the team to take his brother.
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