Welcome back to Sports Krunch with DKrom ladies and gentlemen, I’m your host David Kromelow. This is the final episode of our 2018 Dash To The Draft series…and what better way to wrap it up than with a look at the draft classes of the NFC West. With Josh Rosen joining Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, and Jimmy Garoppolo, the NFC West could be the most exciting division to watch in the NFL during these next 5-10 years. Aside from the addition of Rosen, did the 2018 draft hauls of the 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks and Rams do anything to make such excitement even more possible? Joining us to answer that question and more is our good friend, one of THE best football minds in the business, Jordan Reid. Jordan hosts his own podcast “Climbing the Pocket” and was recently added to the incredible team at InsidethePylon.com. It’s always a treat having you on the program Jordan, how are you?
1. The 49ers dedicated the first part of their draft to supporting their new franchise QB Jimmy Garoppolo. With the ninth overall pick, they got some much-needed protection for Garoppolo by selecting Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey. To many, McGlinchey can grow into an elite RT in the mold of Jack Conklin and Ricky Wagner. However, there is talk that McGlinchey will eventually replace Joe Staley (who’s getting long in the tooth) at left tackle when Staley retires. Should McGlinchey spend his entire career on the right side, or do you think he’s capable of developing into a rock solid blindside protector?
2. After getting Garoppolo that protection in round one, they got him another weapon in round two, as they traded up for Washington WR Dante Pettis. Matt Waldman, a good friend of the program and one of THE brightest football minds out there, had Pettis as the top receiver in this class. When he was previously on the program, he said that Pettis fits the current mold of WR that has seen instant success in the NFL; not the tallest or fastest, but quick with excellent route running ability and the versatility to play either in the slot or on the perimeter. However, Mike Mayock said while discussing this pick on the NFL Network broadcast that Pettis is only a slot guy in his view. Does your evaluation of Pettis side more with the opinion of Matt Waldman or of Mike Mayock?
3. My personal favorite pick the 49ers made in this draft was their selection of BYU LB Fred Warner in round three. Warner was one of my favorite guys that I watched at the Senior Bowl, as his speed and ability to cover a lot of ground in a hurry were on display in each practice. Do you see Warner winning a starting job in training camp and assuming the “KJ Wright” role in Robert Saleh’s defense?
4. The 49ers added another intriguing receiver in the seventh round in Middle Tennessee’s Richie James. He compares very favorably to Jamison Crowder of the Redskins. However, with all the receivers on this 49ers team right now; Garcon, Goodwin, Pettis, Trent Taylor…I can’t find a role for him in this offense at least this season. What do you envision Richie James’ role being in both the short and long term?
5. The Arizona Cardinals traded up five spots in the first round to select who they hope will be their next franchise QB in Josh Rosen. According to many during the pre-draft process, most notably his college coach Jim Mora, Rosen had to land somewhere with an offensive coordinator that would challenge him intellectually. New Cardinals OC Mike McCoy runs a very complex system that is comparable to that of Josh McDaniels. Because of McCoy, could Rosen have asked for a better landing spot?
6. My personal concern with Josh Rosen wasn’t his character. It was his durability. His extensive injury history coupled with his limited mobility and the problems he has under pressure are even more worrying to me given the fact that the Cardinals OL is arguably a bottom-five unit in the league. Do you think it would be wise for the offense to be centered around David Johnson this year in order to best protect Rosen?
7. In round two, the Cardinals took Texas A&M WR (and Arizona native) Christian Kirk. What makes this pick so interesting is that Kirk and Josh Rosen have known each other since high school. Head coach Steve Wilks stressed after the draft that they want Christian Kirk on the field early and often. Do you think the experience Rosen and Kirk shared in high school will help their connection on the playing field pay immediate dividends?
8. The Cardinals addressed their OL in the third round with Michigan C Mason Cole. While that selection alone likely won’t solve their entire OL problem overnight, Cole is a very solid, durable, consistent player. Do you see him beating out A.Q. Shipley for the starting center job in training camp?
9. After losing Jimmy Graham, Paul Richardson and Luke Willson in free agency, the Seahawks decided to give Russell Wilson a new weapon in the first round with San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny. While this pick may have been a bit of a reach, many believe that Penny’s diverse skill-set (run game, pass game, return game) is very similar to that of Saquon Barkley. Would it surprise you if Penny has an equally significant rookie impact for the Seahawks as Barkley does for the Giants?
10. The Seahawks began their long-term defensive overhaul in round three with USC DL Rasheem Green. A scout from an AFC team told NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein that if Green returned to school this fall, he could’ve been a top-10 pick in the 2019 draft. Moreover, Zierlein noted that he projects best as a base DE that will kick inside in sub-packages. That sounds like Michael Bennett to me. Do you think he’ll grow into the Seahawks long-term successor to Bennett?
11. My personal favorite pick the Seahawks made was that of Ohio State OT Jamarco Jones in the fifth round. If it wasn’t for his poor combine performance, he would have been drafted much earlier. Some believe his tape is infinitely better than his workout numbers suggest. Do you share that view? Would it surprise you if he makes a strong push for that starting RT job at some point this season?
12. The Rams urgently needed offensive line depth. Most of their starting OL is long in the tooth and/or coming out of contract after this season. They selected three developmental players in OT Joe Noteboom (TCU), C Brian Allen (Michigan State), and G Jamil Demby (Maine). Which one of those three would you be the most excited about long-term if you were the Rams offensive line coach?
13. One of the best value picks of day three in my opinion was the Rams taking Oklahoma edge rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo in the fifth round. He likely slid as far as he did because he recently underwent foot surgery. Although he will struggle to make an impact early in the season, can you see him eventually tallying 3-4 sacks by the end of the year? He’ll be on the field with Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh after all.
14. Overreaction/Not an Overreaction
-D.J. Reed will be the 49ers starting slot corner and main punt returner in 2019
-Chase Edmonds will get 10-15 touches per game this season in order to keep David Johnson fresh
-The Seahawks will give Shaquem Griffin a frequent role as a dime linebacker in sub-packages this year
-Micah Kiser will assume the starting job Alec Ogletree recently had in the Rams base defense
Thank you Jordan…and that concludes our 2018 Dash to the Draft series. Thanks to all of you for tuning in. We will be off for this next month and a half, but Sports Krunch will return with a vengeance in mid-July as NFL training camps begin…so stay tuned! In the mean time, be sure to check out the episode archive 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 Jordan, especially since there’s NEVER an “offseason” for talking football.
For Jordan Reid, our producer Chris Brodhead, this is David Kromelow saying so long, and as usual, stay awesome!!!
Jordan’s Twitter handle: @JReidDraftScout