The NFL Draft might not get the same attention as the flashy free agency acquisitions, but the moves made in the process shape your roster for the next four years and some franchises have certainly been known to struggle in late April.
Here’s five moves that teams simply can’t afford to make in the upcoming draft.
Rushing in for a Quarterback
There are some intriguing prospects here, but perhaps only one of them has the potential to be an NFL starter, let alone a top player in his position.
The primary reason teams should show caution is because the 2020 draft is shaping up to be the best quarterback class since 2004, and a high pick here is likely wasted.
Daniel Jones from Duke is the best day one signal-caller in this class, while he’ll likely be taken behind the projects that are Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Will Grier.
The Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos are some of the likely contenders to over-evaluate these players.
Taking Josh Allen over Quinnen Williams
The problem with every defensive tackle coming out of college now is that they’re always going to be compared to Aaron Donald. It should typically be a negative, but honestly, if you consider their traits at this point in their careers, you could even make the case that Williams looks a better prospect.
He’s one of only three can’t-miss players in this draft alongside Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry and LSU’s Devin White, but edge players are trendier and are seemingly worth more of a premium.
Josh Allen from Kentucky is getting rave reviews from all four corners of the country for his tangibles, but his technique is poor and once his speed rush and dip are figured out by the best tackles in the NFL, he’ll look like a poorer version of Jerry Attaochu.
Hey, New York Jets, I’m looking at you.
Taking any Running Backs in the First Round
I really think we need to slow down here. Running backs are considered generational because of one thing – their offensive lines.
Let’s take a look back at some of the running backs taken high over the last few years.
Saquon Barkley, Rashaad Penny, Sony Michel, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon.
Who, of those, would you consider top tier and who of those would you consider not to have fulfilled their potential?
Elliott is running behind the best o-line in the NFL, Fournette had a very solid front to block for him (in his first year) and Gurley, Michel and McCaffrey have benefitted massively from well-drilled beef.
Melvin Gordon has generally struggled with the Chargers as their run blocking leaves a lot to be desired, as does the Seahawks. Saquon Barkley is the one who was worth the selection because he’s already the best back in the NFL.
Alabama’s Josh Jacobs is not the answer.
I’m looking at every NFL team here. Don’t do it.
Taking Dexter Lawrence in the First Round
Dexter Lawrence is an animal. He’s honestly one of the best plug-in day one starters in this draft. He’s got little in the way of character concern and his injury bill is relatively clean.
So why are we avoiding him like the plague? Simple.
Lawrence is an old-school nose tackle, meaning his sole purpose is to clog running lanes, but he can only truly be effective in the first two downs as he lacks any form of pass rushing ability.
Given the NFL is trending that way and third down usually consists of four pass rushers lining up in front of a quarterback, his value depreciates massively.
Effectively what you’re getting is someone who can only play on half of your snaps in a successful drive. It’s definitely something you could see the Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs or Oakland Raiders doing.
Let New England take Noah Fant
We’ve just gotten rid of one half of New England’s biggest cheat code, so the NFL cannot collectively allow Fant, a carbon copy of Rob Gronkowski in skillset, go to New England.
I don’t care who you are – if you’re an AFC team, you cannot let it happen. I couldn’t care less if you’ve already got nine tight ends on your roster, allowing Bill and co to have this weapon again will set you back another three years.
Please be aware of this, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. Your AFC East lives depend on it.