NFL Draft Preview: possibly deepest draft we’ve ever seen

For the first time in it's history, the NFL Draft will be held in Philadelphia. (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Mike Eshleman
Staff Writer

There is only a week left until the NFL Draft comes to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. The draft is star-studded this year and many are calling it one of the deepest draft classes in a long time. Many teams may be able to find a franchise changing player as late as the 5th round.

The Cleveland Browns currently hold the first pick in this year’s NFL Draft and many analysts and fans expect them to take defensive end Myles Garrett out of Texas A&M. Many see Garrett as a franchise changing defensive end who could be an anchor for the Browns defense for years to come. Garrett ran a freakish 4.64 40-yard dash which is astoundingly high for a 6’4”, 272-pound defensive end. It would be a shock to see anyone other than Garrett off the board at #1 overall for the Browns.

As far as offensive skill position players go, there are a slew of running backs who could come right out of the draft and start for many different teams. The cream of the running back crop is Leonard Fournette out of LSU. Fournette is a beast of a running back who has drawn comparisons to legendary running back Adrian Peterson. Fournette is a physical down-hill runner who will likely be off of the board within the first ten picks. Many suggest Fournette goes to the Carolina Panthers with the 8th overall pick in the draft.

Some debate that Fournette may not even be the best back in the draft. There are other running backs who could come out and be the best out of this class in a few years. Christian McCaffrey out of Stanford is an all-purpose back who could be a dangerous weapon in the running and passing game. Dalvin Cook is poised to slide down the boards after a rough combine outing and looming off the field issues and D’Onta Foreman from Texas is a big back comparable to LeGarrette Blount. Many teams would be happy with any of these players.

There is still a lot of debate as to who is the best quarterback prospect in the draft. UNC QB Mitch Trubisky is the favorite as of now after a solid combine effort, but many still remember that Deshaun Watson is up for grabs. Watson led the Clemson Tigers to a college football championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide after leading a game winning drive.

Watson has the killer instinct and leadership that many teams would kill for, but he also has some mechanical flaws that could cause teams to look the other way. Either way, Trubisky and Watson are far and away the top two prospects in this draft. The Cleveland Browns should look at one of the two with their second first round pick at #12.

Out of all the teams in the draft, the Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans are poised to improve on last season as both teams have two first round picks. The Browns acquired a first last season in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Titans own the Los Angeles Rams #5 overall pick. The Titans were playoff contenders until they lost franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota to a knee injury.

Another year has come and the draft looks to be as entertaining as ever yet again. NFL fans can tune into ESPN and the NFL Network on April 27 – 29 to watch it all unfold and see who their favorite team will take. If fans even want to get in on the fun of the draft madness, they can head on over to NFL.com/draft and create their own mock draft with “predict the pick”.

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