Barroom Big Board — 26-31

Barroom Big Board — 26-31

This is the first of a week-long series where we reveal the NFCN Barroom’s Big Board. Our top draft analysts all submitted their own Big Boards and we’ve aggregated them to see where the prospects land. This is not a mock draft. This is a ranking of the Best Player Available (BPA). Our goal is to list the top 31 players (we finished with 32 as we had a tie at 31), and use that as our BPA come draft time. As in all draft rooms there are disagreements. Some players on our Barroom draft board did not make the top 31 on some of our analysts individual boards. So, when this list is fully revealed it will not match any of the analysts’ own picks.

Our seven analysts are Jose Cotto, Shayne Marsaw, Kent Platte, Danny Shimon, Austin Belisle, Executive Editor BJ Reidell and Lead Draft Analyst Jordan Reid. Each of these men spends hours looking at tape and come to us with years of experience. In other words, we’re in good hands.

Let’s get to it.

Big Board

As mentioned above, when the points were tallied the Big Board had two players at #31. Clemson junior Kevin Dodd, who has been jetting up draft boards across the internet, made our board.

BJ Reidell had Dodd at #29 on his list:

“It is difficult to stand out when you are not even the best edge-rusher on your own team. Playing on the same field as Shaq Lawson initially made Kevin Dodd an afterthought, but he has an NFL body, noticeable positional instincts and plays with a 16-cylinder diesel engine under the hood. Dodd’s no-quit mentality combined with the physical stature and instincts necessary to compete at a high level make him worthy of a first-round selection.”

Dodd was not on the top 31 on three of our seven analysts’ lists. Dodd’s biggest problem, according to some analysts is he’s had only one year of production at a high level – going into his final season at Clemson, he had no sacks. In 2015, he was second in the nation in sacks (behind teammate Shaq Lawson) and this rocket-like ascension is not enough to convince some that he’s a first round talent.

Big Board

Some people believe Corey Coleman is the best wide receiver in the draft. None of our analysts went that far, but Danny Shimon believes he’s the second-best wide receiver – he’s at No. 19 on his board, behind Laquan Treadwell.

Shayne Marsaw has Coleman as his third-highest ranked wide receiver:

“If you’re gonna be a sub 6′ WR in the NFL you better be dynamic. Coleman is definitely that. Still raw in terms of the NFL route tree, you can’t deny his elite level explosion & athletic traits. He comes in on day 1 as a deep threat specialist and a return man. Will take him some time to adapt to the NFL but it won’t limit him in making big plays on the big stage.”

Kent Platte likes Coleman, but there’s one issue with the Baylor receiver that kept him out of his top 31:

“Corey Coleman is an elite athlete, not only for this draft class, but for any class dating back to 2005. He has good open field maneuverability and agility. He is fun with the ball! However, he has a tiny, tiny catch radius and this why he’s not I’m my top 31. ‘s “

This GIF shows a simple drop from Coleman on a pass thrown to his hip.
Coleman drop

GIF via ProFootballFocus.com

Marsaw isn’t too concerned.

“Coleman does have small hands, but his 40.5 vert sure helps that catch radius an awful lot. 10′ 9″ broad jump shows he can get up and get up high quickly to secure the ball. Shows real good hands and arm extension on the deep balls that are over his head. Him posting guys up ala Alshon Jeffery isn’t the way he will be used. Speed kills.”

One thing is certain. Coleman knows what to do after the catch.
GIF via PFF

GIF via PFF

Big Board

Conklin is one of three offensive lineman who appear to be a lock for the first round. But, he was missing on three of our seven draft boards, including Marsaw’s:

“Hard head lunch pail type OL. Some think he can play LT in the NFL but I don’t think that’s where he will be at his best. To me, Conklin will find a home at right tackles in the NFL. He doesn’t have great feet but understands anchoring and positioning. Not projecting as an NFL LT pushes him down my board a bit but I expect him to be a quality RT for years to come. Conklin would come it at #34 overall if my board was extended beyond 31.”

Jose Cotto also had him missing from his board:

“I tend to rate guys I view as ‘right tackles only’ types a little lower. I like him, though. He plays with tenacity.”

Tenacity is one of the reasons Austin Belisle had Conklin at No. 19 on his board. And, while he agress with Cotto that Conklin is better suited for the right side, he likes the lineman too much to keep him off his list:

“While Conklin isn’t on par with Ole Miss’s Laremy Tunsil or Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley, he’s this year’s next best tackle prospect. It’s his experience — 40 starts at Michigan State — and attitude that make him so intriguing for offensive line-needy teams like the Minnesota Vikings. Conklin showed an impressive ability to play within a “phone booth;” he’s one of the most powerful, explosive lineman at the point of the attack, especially as a run blocker. While Conklin moves well once he gets his momentum moving, he’s not an elite athlete like Tunsil or Stanley. The Michigan State tackle struggles to mirror edge rushers and does not have the quickest feet to handle speed from quicker pass rushers. A move to the inside — at guard — will not automatically make Conklin a better player, but he should thrive in a system that allows him to maul in the running game, and possibly, start his career at right tackle.”

29 Eli Apple

Cornerback Eli Apple’s length and strengh is part of the reason he’s gathering so much attention. With taller corners now in vogue, Apple fits the bill. But, some of our analysts are not convinced he’s a first round talent.

Jose Cotto was one of four anaylsts who did not have Apple on his board.

“It seems taller corners have been grossly overrated in recent years. I believe that is the case with Apple. While he did run well at the combine, he is not worthy of a first round selection in my opinion. Too often he is “inspecting” the pile as opposed to being physical and making the play himself. His lack of physicality and elite coverage ability to compensate for it is what turns me off with him. If you are going to draft a one dimensional corner he needs to be a quick twitch freak that teams are afraid to test. I feel he benefited from being sourrounded by elite talent at Ohio State.”

Danny Shimon, on the other hand, loves Apple, and had him ranked 11th, our highest ranking. Shimon sees Apple as being aggressive and thinks playing with a premier football team, and playing well, adds to his desireability.

“Apple is a good sized corner who is physical and like to get his hands on receivers to slow them down. His aggressiveness in coming up and supporting the run shows me he is not afraid of contact and has a chance to develop into a complete corner. After redshirting his first year in Columbus, Apple comes with a winning pedigree. He was a starting corner on a National Championship team as a redshirt freshman and that tells me he is not afraid of the spotlight and is a winner.”

Apple represents one of those players who will surely inspire a lot of debate in draft rooms come April 28th.

Big Board

One player sure to be a huge topic of debate is Jaylon Smith. Prior to his grisly knee injury in the Fiesta Bowl, Smith was destined to earn a top three Big Board ranking. But, the knee injury damaged nerves and his draft stock. It is almost a certainty that Smith will miss the 2016 season. Smith has told the media that his doctors have assured him he will make a full recovery, but can not  accurately determine how long his rehabilitation will take.

Danny Shimon wants to know more about Smith’s mist recent medical  re-evaluation, but based on what he knows now he’s posted Smith at No. 10:

“I still have Smith ranked in my top 10 primarily because his talent level is off the charts. He also possesses such a high football character that if not for the injury he would have been in my top three. I knocked him down to ten overall, because of the knee. The results of the medical recheck in Indianapolis are still being evaluated and will be huge in determining how the knee, but mainly the nerve, is responding to rehab. If there is any indication that the knee/nerve have improved than I expect him to go in the first round, and the team drafting him will wait a full year for him to recover. This kid is that talented!”

A preliminary report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport has Smith’s knee not showing any significant improvement, but many teams do expect him to be back to form for the 2017 season. Nonetheless, the majority of our analysts, while enamored with Smith, took a more cautious approach — BJ Reidell included:

“First-round picks are ideally supposed to be able make an impact right away. The expectation is Jaylon Smith will be sidelined for at least the the 2016 season and potentially even longer due to the catastrophic knee injury. Drafting him early is just too risky with other quality players available. Had he not suffered the injury, however, Smith would be a top-3 player on my board.”

27 Jonathan Bullard

After Jose Cotto finished studying tape on Jonathan Bullard he texted me to share that he had a man-crush on the defensive lineman. That crush was evident when Cotto’s Board revealed Bullard was No. 6.

Holds the point with strength and aggressiveness. He’s scheme versatile and plays with high effort. I believe he can play anywhere on the defensive line in a 4-3 and would make an excellent 5 tech in a 3-4 base and provide interior pass rush in sub packages. He’s a force against the run and an excellent pass rusher. I would compare him to a young Justin Smith.

But, the majority of our anaylsts didn’t have Bullard in their top 31. In fact, he was only on two of our anaylsts lists (Cotto and Platte). The concerns for the defensive lineman lie in the lackluster pass rush metrics over a two-year period, and whether he’s a true three-down player.

Big Board

If you were, like me, one of the draft nerds, watching hour after hour of the Combine on NFL Network than we might have had the same reaction while watching Jason Spriggs’ workouts: Wow!

His athleticsm reminds me of Kyle Long. Kent Platte thinks Spriggs is such a promising offensive lineman he is worthy of being  No. 11 on his board.

Spriggs is one of the best athletes in this draft class at any position. That by itself would be impressive if he wasn’t also one of the best pass protectors in this class. Run blocking isn’t his forte, but if you run a pass first offense like most teams do, you want someone who can move like he does.
 But, not everyone is as high on Spriggs as Platte. BJ Reidell was one of four analysts without Spriggs on their board:

Simply, outside of his above-average height, a frame that promotes physical growth and 34” arms, nothing about Jason Spriggs says first-round pick to me. He does not do anything at an elite level, which, even in a down year, knocks him out of the first-round consideration in my eyes.

#####

Here are the twitter handles of our analysts. Let them know what you think and make sure you share this story with other like-mind draft aficionados. Part II is out tomorrow!
Jose Cotto – @Panch_55
Shayne Marsaw – @wasram
Kent Platte – @MathBomb
Danny Shimon –@dshimon56
Austin Belisle – @austincbelisle
BJ Reidell –  @RobertReidellBT
Jordan Reid – @Jordan_Reid8

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Aldo Gandia

Aldo Gandia

Among my career highlights I have produced two films while in high school that received nationwide attention; leaned out of a helicopter over the Gulf of Suez at the age of 20 to shoot movies of oil rigs; won an Emmy award for a sports special and another for a kid's fitness show; and led a team of very talented creative professionals to produce break-through corporate communications.



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