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Draft Season is Upon Us

Justin Raasch /  March 28th, 2022 /  Photo: 

 This is my favorite time of year it gives every team well every team except the rams a chance to look forward to a breath of fresh air.  Sometimes they hit Justin Jefferson and sometimes they don't Garrett Bradbury.  I still to this day remember watching him perform at the combine; doing the on field drills and running the 40 immediately texting my buddy that he just made a ton of money.  

So let's take a look at some of the prospects that may be there in Round 1.  

Even with the signing of Chandon Sullivan and Nate Hairston, CB seems to be a pressing issue again.  Fortunately, this draft has some talent that could help out.

Ahmad Gardner seems to be out of play, barring a trade up, as he hasn't allowed a touchdown his entire career at Cincinnati. He's tall and would bring a level of swag to the defense that we haven't had in a long time if he's available at 12. Barring a huge trade offer. I would expect the card to be turned in immediately.  

Another CB who is #1 on a lot of people's boards is Derek Stingley Jr. If Maurice Clarett would have won his lawsuit, and football players were able to come out early, he would have been a top 5 pick as a true freshman - he was that good. Since then, he's lost focus and dealt with a lisfranc injury, the type of injury that may linger and keep him from showing what he was as a true freshman.  

It is for that reason, and all the 1s we have used at CBs that are no longer with us: Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mike Hughes, and Jeff Gladney that make this selection a huge risk. If he hits, problem solved! But, if it lingers 2 or 3 more years, we will be drafting ANOTHER CB Round 1.  

The prospect I am most excited by at the CB position is Kaiir Elam. He's tall, physical, he's athletic. He ran a better 40 time than most people expected. He just happened to be on a bad Florida team. R1,12 may be too high for him, but if a player is dropping, we may be able to trade down and pick him later.  

Other CBs that could come in to play later include Trent McDuffie, a solid scheme fit  - exceptional footwork, just on the wrong side of 6 foot, and short arms. Or Calvin Booth Jr., he also has had injury problems this off-season, or he would be higher.

Other positions that may come into play Round 1:

This is a deep de/olb draft and having just added Za'darius Smith makes it less of an issue but let's not forget Danielle Hunter worked at dt against New Orleans and feasted on the guards in the playoffs so Jeremiah Johnson who plays the pass and run equally well and had a great week at the senior bowl would be a great pick. Getting pressure on the qb makes the cbs look better and we could still get a Martin Emerson or Roger McCreary later if we do go someone like Johnson rd 1.  

And finally the most exciting option wr.  Kevin O'Connell comes from a Rams team that ran a lot more 3 wr sets.  Jefferson, Thielen and Osborn all played well last year Ihmir showed flashes but can you ever really have enough shiny new toys and also prevents these wrs from dropping to Green Bay and the Chiefs after they traded away their superstar wrs.  The 4 names to watch out for are Garret Wilson not a burner but fluid and great route runner, Chris Olave who blazed his 40 at the combine, Jameson Williams who is recovering from injury and will not be able to play until week 6ish but is a mismatch w speed to kill and one of my favorite prospects who fits with where todays NFL is going and can be used all over the field similar to Deebo Samuel or how we used to use Percy Harvin, Treylon Burks.  

It will be interesting to see the direction the new regime goes and what competitive rebuild as Kwesi says means during the draft.  Add weapons to help Kirk now and whoever the qb is that will replace him or shore up the defense and try to win this year.  

Thanks for your time and as always skol vikingnation!