10 things I'm absolutely overreacting to after the 2020 NFL Draft
To the surprise of nobody except Danny Kanell, the SEC dominated the 2020 NFL Draft.
Pick a record, the SEC likely broke it.
The SEC landed the No. 1 pick for the 9th time in the past 23 drafts. The SEC set draft records with 6 picks in the top 10 and 15 picks in the 1st round.
Rinse, repeat, retweet.
What a weekend. Heck, even notable former SEC players were drafted.
Here are 10 things I’m absolutely overreacting to after the NFL Draft.
10. Can somebody please get Roger Goodell an SEC pronunciation guide?
These guys went in the 1st round. They didn’t sneak up on anybody.
If you butcher a 6th-round pick from a struggling school nobody has heard of, say, Florida State, then that’s excusable.
When you’re the commissioner and can’t pronounce the name of the most talked about quarterback over the past 3 years, that’s problematic.
— Cole Thomson (@Cole_Thomson04) April 24, 2020
He wasn’t done, either.
What did Roger Goodell just call K’Lavon Chaisson? lol
— Sean Lasley (@sean_lasley) April 24, 2020
9. Mock drafts
You love them. I largely ignore them.
Update: Mock Draft SZN is officially cancelled
Correct Predictions@McShay13 7/32 21.88%@PSchrags 7/32 21.88%@MelKiperESPN 6/32 18.75%@MoveTheSticks 6/32 18.75%@nfldraftscout 6/32 18.75%@ProFootballTalk 6/32 18.75%@ColinCowherd 5/32 15.63%@StevenCheah 5/32 15.63% pic.twitter.com/mHuvOOXXLj
— Brendan Alas (@balasbfit) April 24, 2020
Ranking players is perfectly acceptable and encouraged. I am extremely interested in where certain analysts rank certain players, especially as I compare my thoughts to theirs. They need to stop there, however, and understand the games NFL sources are playing when they convince you they are taking Player Y.
Ryan Clark had the right approach. Adopt it. Embrace it. Live it.
8. Speaking of mocks … I’ve been telling you for 3 years Jake Fromm is Aaron Murray
There’s nothing wrong with being a great college quarterback, but I’m surprised people still equate college success with NFL draftability.
They are separate entities. Sometimes, maybe a lot of times, the skills and abilities NFL teams covet will allow a QB to have a lot of success in college. But there is no straight-line correlation. Cincinnati didn’t draft Joe Burrow because he put up numbers in 2019. The Bengals drafted Joe Burrow because he can make NFL throws. All of them. Lasers to lobs, sideline to sideline and, most important, over the middle. Those throws, turns out, work pretty well against college secondaries, too.
Jake Fromm, as great a leader as he is, physically can’t make all of those throws. Few college teams could exploit his arm deficiencies, but every NFL defense can. That’s why I rolled my eyes every time I saw Fromm mocked up as a potential 1st- or 2nd-round pick.
I was genuinely surprised that Fromm decided to leave Georgia early. The Bulldogs would have been national championship favorites had he returned for his senior year. Had that happened, he could have run for Governor in 2030.
I was not surprised, at all, that he had to wait until the 5th round, but I was amazed at how some in the media thought teams blew it. He seemingly spent half of the draft atop some people’s “best player available” lists.
Aaron Murray, by the way, was a 5th-round pick, No. 163 overall — 4 spots sooner than Fromm (No. 167).
7. Huge congrats to Jacob Eason
I would have drafted him earlier, but Eason landed in an ideal spot in Indianapolis.
He’ll get to learn from eventual Hall of Fame QB Philip Rivers, who might be a 1-year rental, and will be coached by a former QB in Frank Reich. He also has Andrew Luck in town and Peyton Manning a phone call away. What a table for 4 at St. Elmo that would be, Eason, of course footing the bill.
It Eason doesn’t make it, it won’t be because of a lack of coaching. It won’t be because of a lack of physical skills, either.
I love velo. Eason’s arm is the reason I said all year he’d be drafted before Jake Fromm.
Eason had the easiest velo in college football and that tool always plays in the NFL Draft.
This stat merely confirms what I saw from the minute he arrived at Georgia.
6. No, that doesn’t automatically mean Kirby Smart made the wrong call
Fromm was Smart’s guy, and Fromm was a great college quarterback. Not a good one. A great one.
I think Eason would have made Georgia more dangerous than Fromm simply because Eason forced defenses to defend over the top.
But Fromm won games, big games, important games. He swept Florida and put Georgia in position to win a national championship in 2017 and 2018.
Now, keeping Fromm instead of Justin Fields is an entirely different conversation, one we already know the answer to if, for no other reason, Fields still has at least 1 more year to dominate college football.
Smart chose the wrong guy in that debate.
But Eason vs. Fromm? That worked out pretty well for everybody involved.
5. John Elway wasn’t kidding when he said he’s all in on Drew Lock
I really like what the Broncos did. Already armed with a terrific defense led by a generational star in Von Miller, the Broncos went all in on offensive playmakers to help their 2nd-year QB, Drew Lock.
They absolutely needed to. Denver finished 28th in passing last season. They were last in touchdown passes with 16.
Their first 2 picks were WRs, led by Jerry Jeudy, who left Alabama with 26 TD catches in 3 seasons.
The coup came later, when they snagged Missouri TE Albert Okwuebunam in the 5th round, reuniting him with Lock.
MIZ! Welcome to Denver Big Boi!@AOkwuegbunam 😎
— Drew Lock (@DrewLock23) April 25, 2020
4. Danny Kanell’s 4 dumbest tweets of the NFL Draft
It's no surprise the SEC is dominating the draft and have for the past decade. They buy the best players. CFB is an arms race. When you can outspend everyone else it creates the imbalance. Big prob for ACC, Big 12, and PAC 12. Only Big 10 can come close
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) April 25, 2020
Kanell ended up walking back this tweet a bit, explaining that, of course, he meant above-board recruiting budgets. He then jabbed SEC fans for automatically thinking he meant SEC teams were cheating.
The similarities between Tua and Tebow are fascinating.
In convo for best college QB's all time
Had personal ESPN PR/Hype machine
Had coaches who got angry if you questioned whether they would succeed
Were so like-able it was hard to criticize
Intangibles off the charts
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) April 24, 2020
After getting ambushed, 2 entries later, DK gets to the obvious difference, the only thing that matters: Tua is a substantially better thrower. Few poke the bear quite like Kanell.
Man my timeline is filled with Kentucky, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas fans bragging about the SEC’s draft. Congrats on the draft championship!!! You guys should put up a banner or something
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) April 24, 2020
It’s one of his go-to tweets. Here’s the thing. The SEC had 63 players drafted. Eliminate LSU (14) and Alabama (9), and the SEC still had 40 players drafted. Every program except Ole Miss had at least 1 player selected.
The Big Ten finished with 48 picks. The Pac-12 had 32, the ACC 27 and the Big 12 21.
Wow….Big 10 had 3 first players in the draft!!!
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) April 24, 2020
He knows Burrow transferred to LSU, but stirring the pot is his favorite hobby.
I wish he knew the Big Ten despises the numerals and insists on spelling out “Ten.”
3. Crush ’em, Tua
Before the draft, our staff debated whether we’d select Tua Tagovailoa with a top 10 pick. I said I wouldn’t. Love everything about his talent. He’s Steve Young. Who wouldn’t want Steve Young?
I said I wouldn’t simply because of his injury history. It’s not even so much where the injuries have occurred, but how regularly. If I were a GM, that would scare me.
It didn’t scare the Dolphins. They took him 5th overall. I absolutely hope this works out.
I wish Tua nothing but a career full of 40 TD seasons. He has Canton abilities.
I’m thrilled for my friends in South Florida, who have been waiting on a QB since the original No. 13 left the building.
Just keep him safe, OK?
2. Go on, Jalen
Who didn’t smile when the Philadelphia Eagles selected Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round?
He’ll make the Eagles, and he’ll make them better. Where? Probably not at quarterback, but that’s OK. He can play the position, too, if (when?) Carson Wentz gets injured. But I expect the Eagles to use Hurts similarly to how New Orleans deploys Taysom Hill.
That’s a future issue. I’m just extremely happy for Hurts, who was justly rewarded after being a model teammate and pretty damned good football player for the past 4 seasons.
1. Super Joe
Who Dat to Who Dey?
There was zero suspense surrounding Joe Burrow’s draft status. Cincinnati taking him No. 1 overall was a homecoming months in the making.
But what made it even better was the sincerity Burrow showed throughout the process. We got our first real glimpse at the Heisman ceremony, but the Lowe’s commercial where he surprised workers in his hometown with a phone call and promise of hosting them at a game? That came off as genuine because it was.
When it’s your home, it just means more.
SEC fans have been spoiled. Not only have you gotten to see 4 of the best QBs in the country compete at the highest level for the past 3, 4 years, but there isn’t a knucklehead in the bunch.
Don’t take that for granted.
I know I don’t. Actually, I probably appreciate that more than the 60-yard rainbows.