It’s a fairly volatile landscape to try and find value in, but my God, we’re going to try for you.
The NFL Draft is now the central sporting even in the world and I’d anticipate record-breaking viewership across its associated broadcast partners.
That’s enough justification in itself to become invested in an oasis of sport for three days – regardless of whether or not it’s just a bloke reading out names on pieces of paper for many hours at a time.
I’ll be up at 1am on Thursday night/Friday morning, and not because it’s the only thing on, but because these three days are always my favourite of the year anyway.
So I may as well come in some form of use, and try to point you in the direction of a few decent wagers.
Stay safe, folks.
Here’s what we know: the Chargers have repeatedly said they’re confident with Tyrod Taylor. I’d have agreed last year that he’s the best backup in the NFL and I’m not changing my view, even allowing for Marcus Mariota going to Vegas.
We also know that some teams have taken Tua Tagovailoa off their draft boards completely because they’ve ruled him out on medical grounds. Given the Chargers’ history with being stung by injury and the fact their general manager Tom Telesco emphasised durability in his presser on Friday.
Isaiah Simmons is comfortably the best defensive player in this draft not named Chase Young, and even if it came down to nabbing a franchise left tackle, I believe the Bolts see someone like Ezra Cleveland in the second round as a better selection than a linebacker like Zack Baun.
I can easily see the Clemson prospect Simmons being the selection at #6.
CJ Henderson is an incredible athlete who’s got a rare blend of both size and speed. His time at Miami ensured he was facing the nation’s top receivers on a regular basis and he stood up against all of them.
Yes, there are reasons why he isn’t being projected quite where the Big Ten’s Jeffrey Okudah is – and that’s generally because of his lack of reads when in zone defence. That, and the Cover 3 system is becoming more and more common in the NFL.
Two names — neither are shockers — that are getting far more Top 10 buzz than they were a month ago at Combine:
1. CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
2. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
— Peter Schrager (@PSchrags) April 14, 2020
But, as QB pressure becomes more important in the modern game, defensive coordinators are looking to bring five and sometimes six blitzers – with very few zone corners being able to carry the man-to-man responsibility of covering someone downfield with no safety help.
This is where Henderson excels and I could see a host of teams before 12 falling in love with him throughout this process.
Those teams are Carolina, Arizona, Jacksonville and New York.
Nice bit of value, isn’t it?
Joe Burrow said that Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the most intelligent player he’s ever played with. Joe Burrow was a transfer to LSU from Ohio State. Just go and look at the players he’s played with and note their impact.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that if Edwards-Helaire did a Wonderlic test and had meetings with multiple teams, they’d have been blown away by his play dissection.
Some might argue he’s undersized and not fast enough – my hands are up – his 40-yard time wasn’t superb.
But he’s got the best patience of any back in the draft; he’s the best receiving back in the draft; he doesn’t go down on first contact; he’s a solid pass protector – and he’s a brilliant personality in the locker room.
More and more emphasis is being played on versatility and leadership. He has those in abundance. If D’Andre Swift or Jonathan Taylor lines up behind a quarterback, we can probably rule out half of the playbook.
With Edwards-Helaire? Confusion. He’s the best running back in this draft, and while I don’t think any back is going to be taken in the first round, I would suspect he’d be the first back taken in the second round.
*All odds correct at time of publication