Well, the 2018 NFL Draft is just over three weeks away and the table is being set for what should be a dramatic night on April 26. And in that spirit tonight, we conclude the positional breakdown installment of our 2018 Dash To The Draft series with a dive into this defensive line and edge rushing class. And we have just the guy to help us analyze this crop of talent…he is our good friend Nick Kendell, NFL Draft analyst for MileHighHuddle.com. And since he is one of the best specialists when it comes to OL, DL, and Edge play, we like to call him “Dr. Trenches.” Welcome back to the program Dr. Trenches…how are you?
- Many view Bradley Chubb as a surefire, blue chip prospect. However, based on conversations we’ve had before, you don’t seem that high on him. Why is that?
- How big of a gap is there between Chubb and Harold Landry? If you’re the Browns at four, is that gap small enough for you to trade down with say Buffalo at 12 and let Landry fall to you instead?
- This edge class is arguably the weakest in years, but given the importance of the position, many are likely to get over-drafted. Two guys that are candidates to go off the board in the late portion of round one are Marcus Davenport (UT-San Antonio) and Josh Sweat (Florida State). Compare and contrast each of these athletic specimens and tell us who would you rank higher on your non-Broncos board and why?
- Another edge prospect that has become one of the darlings of Draft Twitter in recent weeks and months is Lorenzo Carter. Josh Norris (Rotoworld) has Carter as the 20th overall prospect on his big board. Some in the NFL believe he can grow into a productive pass rusher, although he is apparently better in space than he is hunting down QB’s at the moment (a la Haason Reddick). Do you think he can be a threat off the edge, or his is long-term role in the NFL more like Reddick’s? How high do you think he’ll be drafted?
- Two DT’s many expect to go in round one are Vita Vea (Washington) and Da’Ron Payne (Alabama). However, when it comes to players like them, the proverbial question always is are they capable pass rushers or are they just two-down run stuffers? I remember in 2016, all of us were expecting two other Alabama DT’s (Jarran Reed and A’Shawn Robinson) to go in the first round, but they fell to round two because the league viewed them as only two-down players. In which category do Vea and Payne belong in and would it surprise you if one of them was available on day two?
- Arguably the best interior pass rusher in this class is Maurice Hurst (Michigan). His draft stock appeared to be in serious jeopardy after he was diagnosed with a heart condition at the Combine. However, cardiologists at Harvard and the University of Michigan cleared him in time for his Pro Day, and his stock appears to have recovered. Current Bills DT Star Lotulelei had a very similar experience in the lead-up to the 2013 draft, and he ended up being a top-15 pick. If Hurst’s medical re-checks come back clean, is he worth a top-15 pick?
- You are arguably the biggest fan of Taven Bryan. As freakishly athletic and super promising a player he is, he has his fair share of doubters. People criticize his football IQ, lack of a so-called “pass rush agenda”, and inconsistency. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report said he was essentially Rashede Hageman 2.0. What is your rebuttal to the Taven Bryan doubters and why will he grow into the special player Hageman has failed to become?
- Buy Or Sell: Kemoko Turay, Joe Ostman, Uchenna Nwosu, Sam Hubbard, Duke Ejiofor, Jeff Holland, Nathan Shepherd, Foley Fatukasi, Tim Settle, B.J. Hill, R.J. McIntosh, P.J. Hall, Andrew Brown, Tyquan Lewis
That’s it for today here on Sports Krunch with DKrom. Stay with us these next 22 days as we preview the draft plans of all 32 teams on a division-by-division basis…so stay tuned!! Also, be sure to check out the episode archive (including our 100th episode special with long-time NFL scout Greg Gabriel) as well as an up-to-date blog of mine at SportsKrunch.com!! And if you enjoy these podcast episodes please consider leaving us an iTunes review and donating to our Patreon at Patreon.com/SportsKrunch so we can improve our iTunes ranking and afford to produce even more shows with awesome guests like Nick, especially since there’s NEVER an “offseason” for talking football.
For Nick Kendell, our producer Chris Brodhead, I’m David Kromelow saying so long, and of course, stay awesome!!!
Nick’s Twitter handle: @NickKendellMHH