Some of the comments are the most interesting thing, eg Wirfs could be an All Pro at OG:
Brandt’s top 16:
Brandt’s 16 top-rated players, the players he thinks should comprise the first half of the first round April 23, along with his comments:
1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU. Came farther than any player I can remember in his last year of college football.
2. Chase Young, edge rusher, Ohio State. The best football player in the draft.
3. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson. Played safety, slot corner and linebacker at Clemson. What’s amazing is he had 23 pressures last year on 70 pass-rushes.
4. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. So much going for him. Very smart, better speed (4.68 in the 40) than you think. Strong arm.
6. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn. Stayed in school when he could have been a high pick last year. Wish he was a little faster than 5.12 seconds in the 40.
7. Jedrick Wills, T, Alabama. Only played right tackle, but I think he can be a guard or left tackle. Quick and athletic.
8. Tristan Wirfs, T, Iowa. Small-town Iowa kid, three-year starter, long arms, good explosion for a guy his size. He’ll get stronger.
9. Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia. Started 41 straight games at a high level of competition. Played 1,021 passing snaps in three years, allowed five sacks.
10. Mekhi Becton, T, Louisville. Another one of these freaky athletic guys, and huge. Started at both left and right tackle. Size/speed combination is great.
12. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama. Excellent route-runner. Plays a lot like Antonio Brown, without the baggage.
13. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State. Shutdown corner with big upside. I probably have him too low.
14. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida. Good speed (4.39), and a starter against top competition. Will play a long time in the NFL.
15. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina. Tore up the Senior Bowl. Productive three-year starter. Very strong. Will play early and could dominate.
16. Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama. You can teach a guy to catch better, but you can’t teach speed like he has. Ran a 4.27 40 at the combine.
Jeremiah is one of the best in this business in my opinion!
I value his opinion way more than guys like McShay or Kiper!
McShay? An internship with former NFL scout Gary Horton in 1998.
I’ve seen enough— I am fully on board with
Taking Young at 3 if he’s there
Trading down if he’s not there
Thanks Free, both rankings are by people who’s opinions I value
The interesting ranking is Brandt’s because you know it’s shaded toward positional value. Though he admits Okudah at 13 is placing him too low, he can’t help himself. Likewise, the athleticism of Simmons is so great that he has him behind only Burrow and Young despite his lower positional value.
Things that make you go hmm.
@Simmonsorbust should love this.
Brandt should swap 6 and 13. The list would look a lot better and he wouldn’t have to add the caveats “I wish Brown was faster” and “I probably have Okudah too low”.
I haven’t been following him for very long, but I remember his big board for last year’s draft was pitiful. Like, my dog could have drawn names out of a hat better.
I’ll be very curious to see where Okudah ends up. Obvioiusly, if Quinn takes him at #3 he will ruin everything for me, lol. But if we take the BPA which I want, I wonder how far he falls.
Seems like Brandt has a similar take on him as I do. Is he the best CB in the draft? Probably, maybe, sure, who knows. But the best out of a mediocre group doesn’t necessarily make him elite.
As notes with Henderson one spot below him at #13, Henderson played against much better competition. If Okudah played in a pass happy, wide open conference and lit it up, he would be borderline worthy of a top 5 pick. Covering mediocre big ten WRs with weak big ten QBs with the best pass rusher in the nation in the QBs grille non stop, made his job pretty easy. Not really battle tested.
Yeah, aside from our own position and interests, there are some intriguing players. I guess with Okudah being so much accepted as a known commodity, I don’t really think of him as one, though.
Simmons, Brown, Herbert, Love, Tua, the entire OT group. These guys are all over the place. Like you are with Okudah or NYL is with Burrow, I look at Brown and go “huh?”. How do pundits overlook the Alabama tape or disregard the amount of time he ends up on the turf?
Then you’re looking at potentially the top OT and a he’s connected to being an all-pro GUARD at the next level?
Weird draft, bro. Will be interesting to see where things land for sure.
Yes, this draft seems to be the least “challk” I can remember. Like, will Tua go top 2, or will he fall like Brady Quinn? Will Brown drop out of the top 15? And yes, where oh where does Okudah go? Will a team that think’s it’s close (like Green Bay) go all in and trade up to get Jeudy or Lamb??? (scary thought, lol.)
Free…thanks for posting…very informative.
I too value the opinion of Jeremiah and Brandt.
It appears to me that Simmons is more universally regarded as a better prospect than Okudah.
I like them both. I truly think Okudah will be a stud. His character is off the charts to boot.
With all that said, my gut is telling me Simmons could be very special.
Trade down to 5 would be optimal.
Their getting one of the top receivers in this draft is a legit fear that I try not to think of.
Just curious how you came up with this observation:
Based on this analysis:
Not criticizing, just a very different interpretation than I took from the quote.
This is kind of a weak argument and one you have stated about a million times. Young played against the same offenses and Simmons played in the worst major conference so does them playing against weak competition invalidate their contributions as well?
Because by stating upside and having him ranked much lower than most, he sees what I see. A guy with talent, no doubt, but will his grabbing translate to the NFL? Can he cover for longer than he had to at OSU and still be as good.
He was in a spot that it was damn hard to not look good as a CB. Elite pass rusher. League that is slow and more ground and pound than any other league. Terrible QBs he faced. Mediocre WRs he faced.
He has size and numbers, but he wasn’t tested a lot and when he was, he ran thru guys and grabbed them.
DJ is my favorite Draftnik by a wide margin
Here’s what I think you’re missing. The Big Ten is CHOCK full of big ass offensive lines. A lot of offensive linemen go to the NFL. They are known for having beefier lines than conferences like the Big 12, Pac 12, etc.
For Young to dominate against those types of lines is much different than Okudah having to cover weak ass WRs for 2 seconds, while weak armed QBs loft balls to said WRs.
Okudah’s work was much easier than Young’s. EVERYONE schemed to slow down Young. He still was dominant and against, as I said some damn good offensive lines.
Ohio doesn’t have to play the best team in the bjg ten,.Third rate schedule, nope, Chase Young saw netter playersin practice than he ever played against.
Even Michigan shut him down.