The 2015 NFL Draft is this weekend. All the dissecting of these athletes to see which team might draft what player will come to an end.
I like watching the draft and I also like watching the NFL Combine that happened about 2 months ago. A lot of NFL analysts feel that the Combine is a waste of time. Just watch the tape and you can find out if these players can play football.
About 5 years ago, I decided to do predictions on if and where a person might get drafted based solely on their 40 time. I picked one person at each position who participated at the Combine and gave my reasoning.
I haven’t heard of 90% of these players and I’m no draft guru. I just like seeing how speed relates to being drafted. So with that being said, we are off.
Running Back – With my first prediction of the 2015 year, I’m going to say Karlos Williams of Florida State will be drafted in the early 5th round. Karlos is the exact same size that Le’veon Bell was a couple years ago, but faster. He runs a 4.48 in the 40. With the running back position being devalued the way it has, we will see if this guy’s speed and size was worth a darn on the football field.
Wide Receiver – Since 2010, 3 receivers have run under 4.3 seconds and J.J. Nelson of UAB is one of them. The previous two guys both were drafted and J.J. ran a 4.28 leading all the receivers at the Combine this year. The problem is this guy weighed 156. I don’t know if NFL coaches will want to take a gamble on this speedster thinking he might get crushed at some point. Anyways, I’m going to predict a mid 6th round pick for this guy thinking the speed is too enticing.
Tight End – Having the fastest 40 for a tight end doesn’t really mean squat. Since 2010 the fastest tight ends each year have been drafted in the following rounds – 7, 3, 6, 7, and not drafted last year. Mycole Pruitt from Southern Illinois was the unlucky chump to run the fastest 40 this year. Based on past years and his size, I’m going to keep the formula going and say 7th round.
Tackle – Ah the prize possession of the O-Line. The tackles are generally viewed as the most athletic of the lineman and if having a fast 40 equates to some type of awesome athleticism than you are looking at a high draft pick. Jake Fisher of Oregon had the fastest 40 and the best time in several other Combine drills. I’m going to guess a mid 1st round pick with this fast behemoth.
Guard and Center – The 40 time is thrown out the window for these players. The tape is truly looked at with these two positions. That being said, I look not just at the 40, but at the other drills to see how they competed. For the guards, I’m going to guess Mitch Morse of Missouri will go in the 3rd round and centers, Ali Marpet of Hobart and William Smith (what??) will go in the 5th round. Ali had the fastest time for centers and was 1st or 2nd in all the other categories. He’s got to get drafted right?
Defensive End – The offensive tackle for the defensive line. They want athletic, fast dudes. Since 2010, the defensive end that ran the fastest 40 got drafted in the 1st with the exception of one player and he was a 4th round pick. Danielle Hunter of LSU won that honor this year, so I will guess a late 1st round pick.
Defensive Tackle – Xavier Cooper from Washington State ran the 2nd fastest 40 at 4.86 seconds. Since he is a little bigger than the fastest guy and had a few other good measurements with his drills, I’m going to forecast him as a 2nd round pick.
Outside Linebacker – Bud Dupree of Kentucky ran the 3rd fastest time at 4.56 and he jumped real well to show his explosiveness. He’s also big at 6’ 4” 269. With that size and speed I’m going to guess a 4th round pick for this dude.
Inside Linebacker – Stephone Anthony of Clemson ran the fastest time at 4.56. He also has some size and did great with the other drills. Unless he is a blockhead and can’t remember plays, I’m going to say 2nd round for him.
Safety – Running fast for a safety isn’t nearly as important as size and stuffing the run. Eric Rowe of Utah ran the 2nd fastest 40 at 4.45 and ranked in the top 4 out of all the other drills. He is 6’ 1” 205, but they usually don’t draft safeties high. I say he doesn’t go further than the 3rd round.
Cornerbacks – The fun speed position. They now like big db’s with speed. If you get invited to the Combine and can run faster than a 4.5, you are almost guaranteed you will get drafted. Don’t know where, but you will be drafted. Josh Shaw of USC ran a 4.44 and also was the number 1 bench presser. He is 6’ 201 and I think that makes a lot of NFL teams drool. I will say early 2nd round for him.
That’s all. Now watch the draft and I’ll report on how I did with my predictions in a few weeks.
Photo courtesy of Parker Anderson on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pdaphoto/