I’m going to start by going through the UDFAs which I will be adding to my team and then my draft and finishing up with an overall grade.
I always give myself 5 UDFAs, this year I will take the following:
WR Kevin Austin Jr (Jaguars) – explosive WR who can take the top off defenses and has good hands. Raw though.
OT Kellen Diesch (Dolphins) – one of the highest graded Power Five OTs in 2021. The problem is that he has T-rex arms. Every once in a while you get a guy working out regardless, I’m willing to give him that shot.
CB Vincent Gray (Saints) – Tall guy with good arm length. Plays with a good level of aggression and gets his hands on the ball.
S Smoke Monday (Saints) – hard hitting, good tackler in space who comes flying towards the LOS.
LB Jeremiah Moon (Ravens) – Tall, long arms, explosive in a straight line. Needs a lot of development if he will be a DE at the next level, which would probably be his best spot.
This draft was a really weird one (not just for my picks). There were a lot of trades, whole position groups went higher or lower than expected. But overall I got a bunch of players I really wanted, so I can’t be mad at the group of players I got. I went into the draft with the advantage that I didn’t have a glaring need at any position and therefore the one big miss I had – Wide Receivers – felt like less of a blow.
I got really lucky with the Linderbaum pick, which was forced because there wasn’t really any trade downs I felt good about so when he went off the board at the same position I felt like I was winning. Of course that feeling completely dissapated with the Raimann situation. I gave away almost all of my day 3 to move up, because I felt like he was the next OT off the board (an idea supported by the consensus board). In the end he went more than a round later and even the guy playing the opposite Tackle position from him in College went before him.
Then I got to my pick 2.52 thinking “on the one hand I have one top DT left on my board” AND “on the other hand I still have 3 WRs and if needs be a TE on my board”. I take the DT, thinking “what are the chances that between pick 2.52 and 2.57 all of those guys go off the board”. Well they did. One after the other. From 2.52 to 2.55. I died a little inside.
On the other hand my next pick Nakobe Deam may end up being one of the best steals of the draft when he gets healthy and I wasn’t bummed about getting Matt Corral in the third either.
Day 3 was very limited due to the Raimann trade, but I got one of the guys I was very excited about. TBH I would have only liked CB Tariq Woolen more, but I also think Woolen is more of a project.
Let’s get into the players:
1.25 (1.25 / Ravens) C Kyler Linderbaum
Top C in this draft. Athletic and nasty player, similar in play style and frame to Jason Kelce. One of the few people who could beat Penei Sewell at wrestling in college. If he brings all that into the trenches in September, I believe he can be a day 1 starter and stick there for a long time, which is what you want from your 1st round pick.
2.34 (3.77 / Colts) OT Bernhard Raimann
Has already shown massive growth in the short time that he has been playing the position, having moved there from TE. Graded very well according to PFF. Great athleticism though and I believe that he can stick with the players in the NFL. And I love having an Austrian in my team.
2.52 (3.76 / Ravens) DT Travis Jones
He is a big guy who can eat up space, but at the same time he has no problem moving and rushing the passer either. Great DT in my eyes who really packs a punch.
2.57 (3.83 / Eagles) LB Nakobe Dean
This guy is a leader who can read the field for himself and everyone lined up around him. Great football IQ and the movement skills to match. I liked what I saw so much, that I moved away from the high percentile wingspan that I like so much at the position.
3.79 (3.94 / Panthers) QB Matt Corral
So he has a few character concerns regarding drinking and depression and how that will manifest for a professional in the NFL. If you are happy to take that chance you get a guy with the fastest release in the class, accurate throwing and an above average athlete who can make plays with his legs. I like how he presents himself in the interviews he’s given and he seems like a leader to me in that respect also.
5.160 (6.182 / Giants) LB Darrian Beavers
High energy and intelligent MLB prospect. Played WR/S in highschool as well as doing Basketball and Track, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. I love the way he plays, love his athleticism in the 80th percentiles and his 97th percentile wingspan. Doesn’t need to be a starter right away, but could develop into one.
All of the players I drafted were players that I really wanted this year. Add to that a bunch of intriguing UDFAs, who have the potential to contribute at some point if everything goes right for them, which is everything you can ask for from an UDFA. That was offset by the wasted move up the board for Raimann and dropped my grade. Altogether I am excited about this class.