Welcome back to Sports Krunch with DKrom ladies and gentlemen, I’m your host David Kromelow. Well, the Combine is over and the lying and smoke screening have begun in earnest. And in our third edition of our “Dash To The Draft” series, we have a very special guest that will do his best to help separate the signal from the noise coming out of the Combine. He is Eric Galko, one of the best and most well-connected figures in the NFL Draft industry. He is the owner, director (and founder) of Optimum Scouting, a consulting service that writes scouting reports for several professional football teams. He also hosts his own podcast called “Scanning the Field,” a podcast I would HIGHLY recommend to all of you, and he also writes for Sporting News. It was a pleasure meeting Eric down in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl, and it is a pleasure to welcome him to the program for the very first time. How are you Eric?
1. Let’s begin with arguably the best overall prospect in this draft class, and that is Saquon Barkley. There was a lot of chatter coming out of Indy that he will be highly considered by the Browns to be the first overall pick. That said, you adamantly predicted on Twitter yesterday that it wouldn’t happen. However, there has been some talk from even before the Combine that the Giants would take him at two. And if past is prologue, that is actually believable given what GM Dave Gettleman said at the Combine about the devaluation of the RB position being a “myth” plus the fact he selected Christian McCaffery at eight overall with the Panthers last year. Also, the team has been strongly emphasizing since January that they believe Eli Manning has multiple seasons left. Based on the intel you have, which is more likely to happen: the Giants drafting Saquon Barkley at two or the Giants drafting Eli Manning’s successor at two?
2. On a recent episode of your podcast, you said you believed there would be 8-10 OL drafted in the first round. And what intrigues me about this OL class is the crop of interior O-linemen (Quenton Nelson, Will Hernandez, James Daniels, Billy Price, Austin Corbett, etc.). Down in Mobile, I asked an AFC scout if he thought the guard and center positions are becoming equally as valuable at the OT position, especially given the presence of guys like Fletcher Cox and Aaron Donald plus the DT monsters expected to enter the NFL in 2019. He responded that he thinks they’re all ready equally as valuable. Do you share that view?
3. Arguably the guy who lost the most $$ at the Combine was Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown. He only got in 14 reps on the bench press, ran one of the worst 40 times in Combine history (5.86) and was yelled at by coaches for loafing during OL drills. This morning, NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein tweeted out that Brown’s drop down draft boards will “not be a small one” and that more than one team told him that they believe he won’t be drafted until Day 3. Where do you think Brown ends up getting drafted?
4. A position I personally had my eye on during the week was the WR position and three guys stood out to me. The first was LSU’s DJ Chark, one of the MVP’s of the Senior Bowl, who likely further increased his stock by running a 4.34 40, posting a 40-inch vertical as well as a 129-inch broad jump. Do you see Chark as a top-50 pick right now? Chark wasn’t the only WR named “DJ” that impressed. DJ Moore of Maryland absolutely tore the Combine up with a 4.42 40, 39.5-inch vertical, 132-inch broad jump, 4.07 second 20-yard shuttle, and an 11.18 second 60-yard shuttle. Several on Draft Twitter see him as the best WR in this class. Do you see him sneaking into the first round? Last but not least, Florida WR Antonio Callaway, despite a whole lot of red flags, had a great week. Callaway was accused, yet later cleared of sexual assault in 2016 and was suspended for the entire 2017 season due to a credit card fraud scandal. However, he impressed in not only workouts, but in the meeting room as well. Several teams reportedly said that they believed him when he said that having a daughter made him change his ways. When is the earliest you think Callaway goes?
5. Another big winner from the Combine week was Penn State TE Mike Gesicki. Today, draft analyst Trevor Sikkema of Pewter Report tweeted out that Gesicki’s numbers were better across the board than David Njoku’s last year, and some significantly better. How likely is it that Gesicki is the first tight end off the board?
6. Now let’s talk about the most inspiring story not just at this Combine, but maybe any Combine I’ve ever paid attention to, and that is Shaquem Griffin. He showed the entire world that if you still doubt him because he lost one of his hands due to a rare birth defect, do so at your own peril. He got in 20 reps on the bench press and ran the same 40 time as his twin brother Shaquill did last year (4.38) despite being more than 30 pounds heavier. Dane Brugler tweeted that he believes Griffin’s combine performance puts him in the conversation to selected within the top 100 picks. Do you agree? If not, when do you think he gets drafted?
7. Aside from Griffin, which other defensive players made the most money at the Combine?
8. QB carousel predictions:
That’s it for today here on Sports Krunch with DKrom. But we will be back early next week to preview NFL free agency with NFL insider Erick Trickel, so stay tuned!! Also, be sure to check out the episode archive (including all the interviews I conducted at the Senior Bowl last week) 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 Eric, especially since there’s NEVER an “offseason” for talking football.
For Eric Galko, our producer Chris Brodhead, I’m David Kromelow saying so long, and of course, stay awesome!!!
Eric’s Twitter handle: @OptimumScouting