Everyone seems to be set on the fact either Laremy Tunsil, a left tackle from Ole Miss or Joey Bosa, a dominant defensive end from Ohio State will be the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. While both players are the best at their position, the best player – best athlete in this Draft – may come from the west coast.
Chase Goodbread of NFL.com and a college football analyst, believes Myles Jack, a linebacker with speed to burn, is the best player this year to come out. He could be a steal should he fall past the fifth overall pick where Jacksonville sits.
“He’s the best player in the draft,” an NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He’s a slam dunk. He can play modern-day football. He ain’t never leaving the field.”
Jack didn’t perform any drills here this week at the NFL Scouting Combine as he continues to rehabilitate a knee injury that shortened his final season at UCLA. He went through a rigorous medical exam at the combine and expects to be cleared by doctors in time for his March 15 pro day
I wasn’t sold on Jack, who started his career for the Bruins playing linebacker and running back for coach Jim Mora. Now, after seeing Jack on film, he may be the best pure athlete to be drafted. And with the shortage of sideline to sideline linebackers in the NFL, he should be a hot commodity. If both Bosa and FSU safety Jalen Ramsey are gone by the fifth pick, the Jaguars would be crazy not to grab him and plug him in opposite Telvin Smith.
While it is almost a surety that both Jared Goff and Carson Wentz will be first round draft picks in April, there are other signal callers that make this class better than last year.
According to Kevin Seifert, there is some intrigue as to who might shine in the NFL from the players eligible to be drafted.
“The good news is that if your team is not in position to draft Goff or Wentz, there are more Day 2 options available this season than in 2015 — when not a single quarterback was drafted between Marcus Mariota at No. 2 overall and Garrett Grayson in the third round (No. 75 overall). This class should surpass the sum of seven drafted quarterbacks from last season, the lowest total since 1955.”
Connor Cook, Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett could all be drafted on the second day and have a long career in the NFL and have the potential to start.
One player to watch is Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, who may be the object of Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien.
Hackenberg played for O’Brien when he was the former Nittany Lions head coach.
RUSHING TO JUDGMENT
While the NFL has become a passing league, the arrival of both Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry is helping to buck a trend that running backs are making a strong comeback in the NFL Draft.
David Steele of the Sporting News thinks both backs will excel in the NFL, especially with this Draft class heavily dominated on the defensive side of the ball.
“It’s a shaky year for quarterbacks, even though teams are almost a sure bet to reach for one or more earlier than they should. It’s generally considered a down year for offensive talent, period, with wide receivers getting a particularly bad rap for slow times at the Combine.
“But running backs? It’s different. Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry, not necessarily in that order, are the exception, at least in terms of recent history.”
Steele also said next year could be a solid year at the position with Leonard Fournette of LSU and Dalvin Cook of FSU eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft.