SDS Mailbag: SEC’s top 2022 receivers, predicting the 2022 No. 1 draft pick and Playoff expansion thoughts
Well, folks, what a first round that was, right? I didn’t expect any of that to happen!
(I’m writing this on Thursday afternoon, so I actually have no idea what happened in Round 1 of the 2021 NFL Draft.)
But, the draft rolls on tonight and tomorrow, with Rounds 2-7. Round 1 gets all the attention, but these next 2 days are where teams are built.
We’ll probably have more draft-related questions in next week’s Mailbag, but for this week, I stuck with questions where I didn’t need to know the results of Round 1 to give an answer.
So, here are your questions for this week’s Mailbag:
The SEC had several receivers drafted in the first couple of rounds of the draft. Which SEC receivers do you think could be Round 1 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft?
Well, I was going to say that Kayshon Boutte will be a definite first-round pick, but not so fast, my friend. He’s only a sophomore in 2021, so he still has to play in 2022 before he’ll be eligible for the draft.
There are still a handful of guys I think could work their way into the Round 1 conversation, though. Here are the SEC receivers I’m most confident in heading into 2021:
- Treylon Burks, Arkansas
- John Metchie, Alabama
- George Pickens, Georgia
- Jacob Copeland, Florida
- Jontre Kirklin, LSU
That’s 5 guys right there. I don’t expect all of them to end up as first-round picks, of course. Heck, it could be that none of them go in Round 1 next year. But, what is certain is that the SEC is producing talented receivers at an impressive rate.
Who do you think will be the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft?
That depends on which team has the No. 1 pick, of course, but most analysts expect the Houston Texans to be horrible in 2021. Their roster is depleted and they may need to move on from QB Deshaun Watson due to ongoing legal issues.
If that’s the case, I would think that either North Carolina QB Sam Howell or USC QB Kedon Slovis would be in the mix to be the top pick. I’ll give Howell a slight edge right now, but Slovis is a guy I really like.
If a team that doesn’t need a QB gets the top pick, keep an eye on Oregon DE/edge Kayvon Thibodeaux. He’s a beast, and pass rushers sometimes go No. 1 overall. I think Derek Stingley Jr. is going to be a great player, but corners don’t go with the first pick. They just don’t.
I’ll put my money on Howell at the moment. Now, we’ll see if he has a great season for the Tar Heels this fall.
It seems talk of Playoff expansion is heating up. Are you for or against it?
I’m fine with whatever they decide. I think 4 teams is better than the BCS system, but I could also be talked into 8 teams. I do think anything above that would be too much, but there are proposals out there for 12- or 16-team fields.
I think that’s too much without eliminating a regular-season game, and since Mizzou isn’t likely to be in the Playoff very often, I’d rather the Tigers get to keep 12 regular-season games. Expanding the Playoff to 16 teams would mean you have to have a Sweet 16 game, quarterfinals, semifinals, and a title game. That’s a gauntlet for college athletes.
I’d say move it to 8 teams. That seems to be the best compromise. Three rounds of CFP action, more teams involved, Group of 5 teams getting in the mix. I see very few downsides there.
But, of course, once we expand to 8 teams, the school that finishes No. 9 in the rankings at the end of each season will start complaining.
Where would be the worst place for Aaron Rodgers to end up?
Well, since I’m a Packers fan, I’d hate to see him pull a Brett Favre and end up on the Vikings. The Bears are a close second. For general football fans, having him end up in New England with Bill Belichick and the Patriots is probably something many would like to avoid.
Could you imagine Bill Belichick and Aaron Rodgers beating Tom Brady and the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl next February? It makes me shudder!
Here’s hoping the rumors are just rumors and Rodgers stays with the Packers so I don’t grow to hate football. I’d rather him retire and become the full-time host of Jeopardy, to be honest.
If I were the Packers, I’d simply give the reigning MVP any contract he wants in order to stay. He’s one of the best players in NFL history. You don’t let someone playing at that level walk out the door.
Have a question for next week’s Mailbag? Tweet at us using #SDSMailbag or email me at ASpencer@SaturdayDownSouth.com.