We’re still a good ways off from the NFL Draft, but with the Combine underway, the first round picture should start coming into clearer focus.
Well, unless revelations this week totally throw everything out of whack once again.
For example, we’ve come to tentatively expect that, when everything was said and done, the Cleveland Browns would take Texas A&M edge rusher Myles Garrett at the top of the draft, given his immense talent and reasonable certainty of NFL success.
But the Browns have always been rumored to like UNC quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who is considered among the best quarterback prospects in the draft. It’s just that no one was ready to step way out and predict that the Browns would actually select Trubisky first overall.
Some folks are probably going to start predicting it now, thanks to a Cleveland.com report, citing sources, that indicates the Browns “are strongly considering drafting hometown boy Mitch Trubisky No. 1 overall.” The report comes after Trubisky checked in at over 6’2″ today at the Combine. (There had been rumors that he was going to measure much shorter than folks had expected, and the NFL does not have a consistently rich history of shorter QB success.)
To be sure, most pundits will still be predicting the Browns to take Garrett at the top of the draft. But the seed has been planted, and the Cleveland.com piece features a number of glowing Trubisky reviews from inside and outside the Browns’ organization.
Meanwhile, one of the names most heavily projected to the Bears at number three overall was thrown for his own loop today, as Ian Rapoport reports that Jonathan Allen’s college doctor told him the medical reviews at the Combine are going to reveal arthritis in both of his shoulders after he suffered a number of injuries in college. That doctor was quick to point out that Allen has been able to play without symptoms or chronic problems, however.
Be sure to check out Rapoport’s report for more context on the previous Allen injuries, and his doctor’s opinion on the prognosis going forward.
It’s not immediately clear what impact the report – or subsequent medical reviews – will have on Allen’s draft stock, but it’s all the more reason to be nervous about using such a high pick on a player who could surprisingly miss time right out of the gate. Even granting that Allen can be a dominant player worthy of the number three overall pick, when making these kinds of extremely high-leverage selections, any small thing can be the tie-breaker between two talented players. The Bears absolutely cannot afford to miss with their pick.
We’ll see how the rest of the Combine goes for Allen, and whether it changes teams’ minds about where he should go in the draft.