2016 NFL Draft Mark My Words
Bold predictions in late November are a bit silly but I wanted to get a few thoughts out on some guys I like that may surprise as they rise through the 2016 NFL Draft season.
First, I’ll touch on a couple of guys that you all have heard of and then on to some without the mainstream recognition they may deserve. Secondly, I want to make some positional predictions that I could see happening coming late April. And finally, let’s talk about a team no one is talking about and their relative wealth of NFL prospects.
Watch out for Corey Coleman
Look everyone’s talking about Corey Coleman and for very good reason. He’s exploded this year with monster numbers. As nice as the numbers are I see Coleman being that type of receiver that everyone thought Tavon Austin was going to be. Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he’s the first receiver off the board – possibly in the top 10. Yes, he doesn’t have elite size but he plays big and could be a better version of Nuk Hopkins, who oh by the way is emerging as a top five receiver in the NFL.
Michael Thomas will have a more productive NFL career than his uncle Keyshawn Johnson
So this one may be bold. Having spent a bunch of time around OSU, I’ve grown so impressed with Mike Thomas that I think the sky is the limit with this kid. He has everything you want in a big time receiver – size, hands, route running, and deceptive speed. Look, Keyshawn had a very nice NFL career – over 10,000 receiving yards and 64 TD catches but in today’s NFL I could see Thomas surpassing those numbers if he stays healthy.
William Jackson III will be this year’s Kevin Johnson
When you start checking the boxes of a prototypical NFL corner on William Jackson you realize how good he could be. Size, athleticism, production, ball skills, physicality at LOS. Jackson has all those in spades. I could see a scenario play out that has Jackson falling in the mid to late first round by the time April rolls around.
Missouri Western has another FCS standout that will draw big time NFL attention – and his name is Michael Jordan
Is Missouri Western the FCS pipeline to the NFL? It’s beginning to look like it and the best prospect from that school could be a guy by the name of Michael Jordan. Jordan has the size and ball skills to make a name for himself at the next. At 6’0” 200 pounds Jordan has a nose for the ball and can hold his own at the line of scrimmage. He’s built similar to Pierre Desir but may have the more NFL ready game of the two. With that in mind, don’t be surprised if Jordan doesn’t work his way into late day two of the draft.
The Year of the Corner
I’ve talked about a couple of them already, so we might as well go into a full fledged love fest for the position. Teams in need of a corner – everyone – should have their pick. There is top end talent (Jalen Ramsey and Vernon Hargreaves) and I could see as many as six more first rounders if a few guys declare. Those six are Mackensie Alexander, Eli Apple, Desmond King, Tre’Davious White, William Jackson, and Kendall Fuller. That’s not including Cameron Sutton, who I haven’t watched an ounce of film on. Could we see as many as nine first round corners – probably not but it’s possible.
Looking for a couple of sleepers in the mid rounds. How about Oklahoma State’s Kevin Peterson, Georgia Tech’s DJ White and West Virginia’s Daryl Worley to name a few. This could and should be a good year to find a starting corner early or a little later.
That Team is Indiana
I love Nate Sudfeld. Let me say that right off the bat. If I’m a team I take a shot on this kid on day two and never look back. He possesses NFL size and tools. A team that is willing to let him develop through some growing pains could be rewarded handsomely down the road. For Indiana it doesn’t end there. Jason Spriggs could a late first round tackle when it’s all said and done. The former TE moves well but I’ve been impressed with his ability in the run game. Spriggs has a ton of upside and I don’t see him making it out of the top 50. Jordan Howard is a guy that I can’t take my eyes off when I watch Indiana. Howard is a big back that will surprise you with his burst. If he opts to declare this year – and he should – keep an eye on him in the top 100. Guard Dan Feeney is a junior but has NFL written all over him. Another not-so known that I love on this team is junior LB T.J. Simmons. Simmons won’t be an early round guy (most likely in 2017) but I would be surprised if he wasn’t an NFL contributor early on in his career.