After several weeks of analysis, interviews, brainstorming and more, Carolina Panthers coach Frank Reich revealed earlier this week that there is indeed a consensus regarding the No. 1 in the repechage.
What a tease.
Reich did not confirm the widespread expectation that Carolina would select Alabama quarterback Bryce Young first in the draft. He also didn’t shock the world and said he and general manager Scott Fitterer (with team owner David Tepper’s blessing) had someone else in mind for the honor.
Instead, Reich promised this: “We will announce this Thursday around 8 o’clock.”
It could also be seen as an exercise in prolonging the suspense. Or maybe milk the drama. Despite the typical practice of disclosing the pick or outright announcing the intent, the Panthers appear to be playing it under the official draft rules.
NFL Draft Center: Latest NFL Drafts, News, Live Picks, Ratings & Analysis
Reich maintained that the Panthers didn’t even tell Young — or the other three quarterbacks they met during the draft process — that he would be the pick.
Shoot, a prospect’s ability to keep a secret should also factor into the rating.
Young, however, insisted during his appearance at an NFL community event Wednesday in Kansas City that he had no inside information to release.
“Nothing – I don’t know anything,” Young told reporters, relayed by NFL.com. “I don’t think or expect anything. I’m kind of just for the ride. And you know, I feel like no matter what, wherever I go, you know, I think that’s where God wants me to be.
All this is rather modest. But just for the ride? Yes indeed.
Stupid NFL Draft Season:Will Levis’ betting odds to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft have skyrocketed after the Reddit post.
Sign up for our NFL newsletter:Everything you need to know about the NFL Draft delivered straight to your inbox
Either way, Aaron Rodgers Darkness Retreat’s approach is more suited to this project.
Quick, take a look at your fictional draft. Midway through the first round on Thursday night, you can best believe he will be patched beyond recognition.
The mystery begins when we consider where the highest-rated prospects go to the most important position in the game. In addition to Young, CJ Stroud of Ohio State, Anthony Richardson of Florida and Will Levis of Kentucky are expected to rise high in the first round.
Are the four quarterbacks worthy of being in the top 10 picks? Maybe not, according to some accounts. Still, there’s a premium on position that not only makes top-10 projections real, but also leads to the possibility of draft-day trades that could be fueled by teams desperate for pitching.
An additional mystery comes with the dilemma some teams high in the draft — including the Seahawks with the fifth pick and the Raiders with the seventh pick — could face in weighing perhaps the third or fourth quarterback against a prospect more proven for the trenches.
This is the plot of the project in a nutshell. Three years from now, we might look back and wonder how so-and-so ruined everything (you know, the whole Mitchell Trubisky thing about Patrick Mahomes).
And perhaps the big swing factor this year won’t even be a quarterback, because Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter has sparked so much boom-or-bust debate.
Still, we love the draft — which has gone on to become its own industry, pulling in over 10 million prime-time viewers — because of that plotline.
Don’t believe the hype some sell with the “logical” choices in fake drafts. It turns out that the information (and misinformation) released during the NFL’s “season of lies” usually has connotations of sleight of hand.
“Everyone has an ‘inside source’ that gives them information on what’s going to be done,” Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard told reporters. “I think, as you all know, just watch the dummy drafts and tell me how accurate they are after the draft. Nobody knows. No one gives any information. »
Several NFL decision makers — who are running their internal simulations as part of their preparation — have said this year’s draft is one of the toughest to predict in years. I guess they were shooting straight.
One thing is certain: the phone lines will buzz. A trade action can surely be triggered if a targeted prospect slips on the chart or there is a run on a certain position. And just as there are teams eager to go up, there is also an attraction to go down and collect additional picks.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have an interesting storyline. Pittsburgh has the 17th first-round pick, plus the first second-round pick (32nd overall) that was traded from the Chicago Bears last year for Chase Claypool. Omar Khan, Pittsburgh’s new general manager, said at his pre-draft press conference this week that he fully expects to speak to each of the other 31 teams in the draft.
“It’s natural,” Khan said. “People call us to find out if we are interested in going up or down. You know, often all you have to do is fish to get information.
Hey, it wouldn’t be the draft without it.
Levis, whose top QB stock has seemingly fluctuated, no doubt spoke the truth when asked at Wednesday’s community event where he would end up.
“I really, really have no idea,” he said. “Your guess is as good as mine.”
Which could well be the essence of another NFL Draft.