Later today, the NFL draft will finally be underway and we all get to witness the various GMs across the league struggle with technology. The whole thing might well be worth watching just for that.
Meanwhile, Alabama is— as they seem to be every year— looking to set the record for the most 1st round draft picks from one college in a single draft in history. It more than likely won’t happen, but the Tide does have a chance.
We’ll have plenty of coverage later on what actually happens, but, for now, the RBR staff is giving their predictions on where the various Alabama players will wind up getting drafted. Winner gets extra bonus points in his paycheck this month.
Tua Tagovailoa - #3 overall. Fearing the Chargers will trade up, Miami beats them to the punch to grab Tua.
Jedrick Wills - #8 Arizona. The Ewok needs protection.
Jerry Jeudy - #12 Raiders.
Henry Ruggs III - #13 49ers, unless Philly or Denver trade up.
Xavier McKinney - #23 Patriots
Trevon Diggs - Early 2nd round; maybe Carolina at #38 or Jax at #42.
Raekwon Davis - 3rd. Scouts love his size.
Terrell Lewis - 3rd round. Health and skipping the Citrus Bowl hurt his stock.
Anfernee Jennings - 4th round. Someone is going to get a steal.
Shyheim Carter - 6th round
Jared Mayden - UDFA, maybe Buffalo?
Matt Womack - #253 or UDFA Vikings because he looks like one.
- Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Burrow
- Washington Redskins - Chase Young
- Detroit Lions trade to Miami - Tua Tagovailoa
- New York Giants - Tristan Wirfs
- Miami Dolphins trade to Detroit - Jeff Okudah
- Los Angeles Chargers - Justin Herbert
Wills #10 Cleveland
Jeudy, #9 Jacksonville
Ruggs. #12 Raiders
X McKinney. #17 Dallas
T Diggs. #29 Tennessee
Raekwon 3rd round
Jennings. 4th round
Lewis. 4th round
Carter 7th round
Tua Tagovailoa - #5 overall to the Carolina Panthers. Carolina sees that Tua drops to 5, gets nervous the Chargers will take him at 6, and swaps spots with Miami
Jedrick Wills - #7 overall to Miami. The Dolphins use the extra trade value they got from Carolina elsewhere and still get their guy. Plus fans are much more accepting of a lineman pick when it’s not a top-5 pick.
Henry Ruggs III - #12 overall to the Raiders. Gruden overthinks things, falls in love with that 4.27 forty, and makes Ruggs the first receiver drafted
Xavier McKinney - #30 to Green Bay. The Pack’s current safety tandem is Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos. Who? Amos is solid if not a big name, but they could definitely use more help. And McKinney can work as slot corner and dime backer for them as well.
Trevon Diggs - Late 2nd round. His poor tackling against LSU and the total lack of combine/pro day testing make a lot of teams nervous early on.
Raekwon Davis - Early 3rd round. Some team will watch his sophomore season and think they can bring that explosiveness back to his game to add with his improved run defense fundamentals. I like Jacksonville here
Terrell Lewis - Late 3rd round. All the potential, none of the production. Plus a litany of injuries. Lewis is a guy that could go anywhere from early 2nd to undrafted. One of the teams with comp picks will take a flier on him. The Steelers could see him as a project to groom to take over for either Bud Dupree or TJ Watt when they get too expensive.
Anfernee Jennings - Late 4th round. I personally think he should go higher, but some teams will look at his height, speed, and short arms and overthink things. This just FEELS like another Baltimore guy
Jared Mayden - Late 6th round. Mayden didn’t exactly impress in college, but he has good size, speed, and positional versatility. San Francisco might pick him up as a project.
Matt Womack - Mid 7th round to the Seattle Seahawks. Pete Carroll just loves a giant, mauling tackle/guard to go along with his desire to force the run game, and he needs a replacement for George Fant in the 6th OL/TE role.
Shyheim Carter - UDFA. Short, light, and not very fast. Carter might have been a productive starter, but I don’t see any NFL team willing to use a draft pick on someone of his measureables.
R1. 3rd Selection: Tua Tagovailoa (SOMEONE). The Lions are going to trade this pick and still be able to get their man: Simmons, Young, or Okudah. Washington isn’t backing off its No. 2. Who gets Tua? Take your pick of most probably the Dolphins, followed by the Chargers or Panthers.
R1. 5th Selection: Jedrick Wills, Jr. Lots of rumors tonight that the Dolphins are looking to give up some selections to get two picks inside the 5. That gives them one of the quality tackles to go with their new shiny quarterback of the future. Having taken Tua at 3, Wills is the best of the tackle bunch. Roll Damn Fish.
R1 9th Overall Selection: Henry Ruggs III turned a lot of heads during the Combine, but Jerry Jeudy has been the best of an historically-strong class for 2-3 years. If the Jacksonville Jaguars don’t trade back, Gardner Minshew instantly inherits the best wide receiver he’s ever played with...or likely ever will. If they do trade this pick, look for it to be the Philadelphia Eagles: they desperately need a WR1 with star power (who can catch a pass.)
R1. 12th Selection Going to go with Henry Ruggs III to the Philadelphia Eagles (via trade to the Raiders.) Philadelphia has made no secret that they really want to get one of the top three wide receivers. And once one of these guys goes, the other two come off the board quickly. Philly will panic, and Mike Mayock will extort a heavy price from Philly to merely swap picks down to 21.
R1. 17th Selection. One of the quiet risers of the draft season has been Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. In terms of pure athleticism, he may actually be the best one that Alabama has produced. Dallas could use help back there, so the ‘Boys it is (OR the Cowboys make a lot of hay trading this pick to a team that desperately needs secondary help.) Don’t sleep on Arians either. It’s hard to find a better fit than McKinney to the Tampa Bay Bucs at 14 — pass-happy division, awful secondary? Check.
R1. 25th selection. Trevon Diggs to the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikes won’t win out on the top two corners in this draft, but they will get the best pure-man corner. We were thisssss close to reuniting the Diggs brothers. Instead, they will “settle” for Diggs the Younger after losing their top three corners during the offseason. That will make Trevon a Day One starter, whether he’s ready or not.
Late 2nd: Raekwon Davis. Space-eating, inside-outside run-stuffers are still a premium product. His god-given size and toughness moves 99 up a round. Who? Having parted ways with some more expensive commodities on the DL, the Detroit Lions make the most sense here.
3rd Round: Anfernee Jennings productivity and lunch pail attitude get him into the 3rd. Magic Eight Ball, show me the Patriots. And, yes, several GMs failed him physically, but if Terrell Lewis was okayed by any team in need of pass-rushing depth, the Sexy Pterodactyl could wind up being one of the steals of the draft. Getting a Round One talent, who was derailed by injury, turns to be a great value pick. Buffalo could use a young pass rusher, and this is just the kind of talent-on-the-cheap that the Bills have been thriving off of.
5th Round: Speaking of steals, in a passing league having some dedicated, experienced nickel/dime specialists like Shyheim Carter wins games. This is a good spot for SC5 to land at, and a great chance for a playoff team to develop corner depth. By god, that is the walk-up music for the Tennessee Titans. Admit it, Carter seems like a Vrabel pick, dunnit?
6th Round: Matt Womack was nothing but productive every time he stepped on the field. Having a physical combo tackle/guard on the depth chart is fantastic cash-saver for teams bumping into salary cap problems. The Packers are set to lose 60% of their line following the 2021 season; Womack in Green Bay makes a lot of sense.
UDFA: Jared Mayden
Tua Tagovailoa - 6th overall, to the Chargers. Just a hunch that something else happens with Miami.
Jedrick Wills, Jr. - I’m going to go 4th overall to the Giants, though they seem hung up between him and Tristan Wirfs. If they trade back, probably Arizona at #8.
Jerry Jeudy - Raiders at #12. Gruden is a massive Gump.
Henry Ruggs III - 49ers at #13. Bama’s two WRs both go west.
Xavier McKinney - Dallas at #17. There is lots of smoke here.
Trevon Diggs - I’m going uber-Gump and saying that the 49ers double dip on Alabama players, taking Diggs at #31. Alabama ties the all-time record with six first rounders.
Terrell Lewis - I think he goes in the third.
Anfernee Jennings - 4th
Raekwon Davis - 4th
Shyheim Carter- 4th
Jared Mayden - 6th
Matt Womack- UDFA