The NFL Draft has it’s doubters and “experts” every year. It seems this community is growing and with a growing community comes diversified opinions. The 2017 NFL Draft is no different. When such opinions become off the beaten path and/or unpopular , they have earned the term ‘hot take’. Which means, you and your opinion are on your own. I have listed here five of my ‘hot takes’ which are probably not welcomed by the vast majority of the community I mentioned earlier. I know these aren’t Steelers-related, but bare with me. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to let me know in the comments or on twitter @Cnic__ .
**Name calling is expected but discouraged.
1. Brad Kaaya is my ‘Dak Prescott’ this year.
Only in terms of underwhelming in college football, Kaaya will surprise most at how much better he is as a professional football player than he was in collegiate football. I think his supporting cast and system limited Kaaya in his progression. His mechanics are as good as any. He has a ton to work with and mold into a really good NFL quarterback if drafted to a team who doesn’t force him into play before he is ready. If groomed correctly, by the right coach and system, with a vet quarterback in place, he can be real diamond in the rough. If drafted by a QB thirsty team with no veteran quarterback presence and a poor supporting cast, he will struggle, as Jared Goff did in the same situation.
2. Josh Reynolds is a top 5 wide receiver.
The clear cut 1-2-3 seem to be Mike Williams, Corey Davis and John Ross. After that, it is pure speculation and up in the air. Reynolds is a guy I really like who doesn’t have many flaws. I love his game and think he has the ceiling to be even a top three wide receiver out of this class when it is said and done. I know they came from the same school, but in my eyes he is Mike Evans-lite. 61 receptions for 1039 yards (17 yards per catch average) and 12 touchdowns in 2016. Seems Mike Evans-esque to me.
3. Takkarist McKinley’s shoulder injury has been overblown.
McKinley had off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum and broken glenoid in which he played with his entire senior year. McKinley still put up 61 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. The UCLA product also participated in the NFL Combine before his surgery, performing 24 reps on the bench press with the injury. Knocking McKinley for his surgery would be a mistake since he proven that, even injured, he can be productive.
4. At least four quarterbacks get selected in round one.
The San Francisco 49ers (2), NY Jets (6), Cleveland Browns (12) and Houston Texans (25) all need starting quarterbacks. The Buffalo Bills (10), New Orleans Saints (11, 32), Arizona Cardinals (13), Kansas City Chiefs (27) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (30) could be seeing a very near future quarterback change. That is 10 selections that I could see a quarterback landing in. I believe with compensatory picks now being available for trade, there will be more trading for quarterbacks than ever before, especially in the second half of the first round. Mitchell Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer and Patrick Mahomes are the four I’d believe go in round one, but lately Davis Webb for some god awful reason is getting round one hype. Could be a war for quarterbacks.
5. There will be more than 2016’s five 1st round Draft-Day trades.
Yes, there were 7 total trades in the first round (Rams and Eagles traded up prior to Draft Day), but I’m speaking to only trades on Draft Day. Starting this year, compensatory picks may be shopped and that makes for a whole different world for trading. The Patriots, Rams and Vikings are without first round picks and may want to jump into the first round to secure the 5th round option attached to first round picks that can be so valuable. The Browns, Titans and Saints all have two selections in the top 32, and can use these picks as ammo to trade and collect more selections to help bolster their teams. I think there will be many teams yell “CRAP” or a more derogatory word before their selection when their ‘guy’ gets snatched before their pick, increasing the interest and giving motive to move out of their respected pick.