It’s easy to look back at drafts past and say “Damn! We could have gotten that Pro-Bowler, but instead we got this dope.” Until you go on the clock with the GM and make a decision, you don’t really know how hard it is to pick winners. I should also say, it’s very easy to just make picks and disregard the work that went into the trades to get those picks. All the credit in the world goes to Joe and his team to get those trades in. This experiment will center around the picks made. Going back about 7 or 8 years, I have been making my picks before our GM turns in their cards. I am sure a lot of you do the same. This is a fun long-term experiment. Make those picks, and then follow their progress 3 to 4 years down the line. You start to get a look at what a team drafted by you would actually look like. Did you guys make picks right alongside Joe Douglas? Let’s see how you guys did when you were on the clock. How were my picks compared to Joe’s?
Round 1 (Pick 4)
My Pick: EDGE, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
JD’s Pick: CB, Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati
I went into the draft about 90% sure EDGE was going to be the pick here. I thought it was too big of a risk to see who would drop. On top of that, I was comfortable with Reed and Hall as our presumptive starters. Thibodeaux was too good to pass up here. As my EDGE 1, I was thrilled to see him on the board still. We’ll never know where JD had Kayvon ranked unfortunately.
Round 1 (Pick 10)
My Pick: WR, Chris Olave, Ohio State
JD’s Pick: WR, Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
When it came to WR in this draft cycle, it was all about what flavor you preferred. These two WRs were my respective WR 1 and 2. They both have the straight line speed to take the top off of a defense. They both have top tier route running skills to win when they aren’t going deep. In my opinion, Olave played just a little faster and had a little more reliable hands. In the run game I saw a little more effort from Olave with blocking. I think both receivers will have incredible careers. In my eyes this is more or less a push.
Round 1 (Pick 26)
My Pick: S, Lewis Cine, Georgia
JD’s Pick: EDGE, Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
We don’t have a crystal ball to see how far a player will drop. Maybe JD does or he just has elite level resolve. Johnson was my EDGE 2, and I could have never foreseen the circumstances that pushed him down in the 1st. Granted JD didn’t think he would fall as far as he did either, as he tried to trade up at 15 for him. Since I already drafted my EDGE 1, I was free to attack another position in our secondary. Cine is a Dawg. His ability to play both safety positions in our defense at a high level was unmatched in this draft. His playmaking skills are sorely needed on the back end of this defense.
Round 2 (Pick 36)
My Pick: LB, Nakobe Dean, Georgia
JD’s Pick: RB, Breece Hall, Iowa State
Unfortunately I don’t have access to the medical reports that the teams do. If I did, I would have gone with Hall as well. I went with Dean because I believed it was both great value and a huge need. We really didn’t do much to improve our linebackers. I hope that doesn’t come back to bite us. My intentions were in the right place, but I must concede this pick to JD.
Round 3 (Pick 101)
My Pick: OL, Zach Tom, Wake Forest
JD’s Pick: TE, Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State
I went back and forth here when it came to OL depth or TE depth. There were so many more TEs I liked than OL. Tom also just checked so many boxes. He is sound technically, ran a sub 4.47 short shuttle, stonewalled my Jermaine Johnson and can play all 5 OL positions. I thought that value was too much to pass up. Ruckert is a nice story but I had my eye on others. Considering I could have gotten Tom a little later, JD should have the edge here. We will have to see how they shake out in the next 3 years.
Round 4 (Pick 111)
My Pick: RB, Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M
JD’s Pick: OT, Max Mitchell, Louisiana-Lafayette
I passed on Hall earlier, and was rewarded by still having my #3 RB on the board here in the 4th round. Spiller offers so much in terms of vision, power and cutting ability. When he gets going, he is trouble for the other team his 6’/217 pound frame would help a lot in short yardage. I liked Max Mitchell, but not as much as Tom. By my positional rankings, I feel like I got better value on this pick.
Round 4 (Pick 117)
My Pick: TE, Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
JD’s Pick: EDGE, Micheal Clemons, Texas A&M
The more I watch Clemons, the more I love him. His athleticism at his size is simply incredible. His LSU game was by far the best. He victimized the LSU LT. Those were the only sacks that LT gave up all year. Clemons Age is a minor worry, but in terms of depth, this is a home run. Likely was my #2 TE. I thought this was incredible value for him here in the 4th. What he offers as a receiver can be a real help for Zach. His blocking isn’t horrible, and he has room to develop. I like Clemons so much, I will give JD the win here.