Ideal Landing Spots for Blue Chip Prospects
Consistent success in the draft is the chief building block of building a perennial contender. Teams like the Packers and Seahawks have illustrated that dedication to draft and development provide a way to build a strong roster in the era of bloated contracts. Finding success in the draft, however, extends beyond picking the best players at positions of need. The reason for a players skills translating to the NFL, or not translating, have just as much to do with their fit with the team and scheme as they do with their talent level.
With this in mind, let’s look at five of the drafts top players and what teams they might fit well in.
Laremy Tunsil, OT, Mississippi
Best Fit: Tennessee Titans
Tunsil has been described by many as the best overall player in the draft and has been the consensus first overall pick for draft analysts in mock drafts. The team holding that first pick, the Titans, would be an ideal fit for him. The Titans have been moving towards bigger, more athletic lineman in the past year, as indicated by trading Andy Levitre to the Falcons last offseason. Tunsil, at 6’5 and 310 pounds, is plenty big enough and displays elite athleticism for the position. Tunsil is powerful and moves well both forward and laterally. He projects similarly to Tyron Smith of the Cowboys and could be an elite left tackle for years to come. This move would allow former first round pick Taylor Lewan to slide over to right tackle, leaving the Titans with a much improved offensive line from a year ago.
Jalen Ramsey, Defensive Back, Florida State
Best Fit: Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have come a long way since the days of Ed Reed and Ray Lewis leading the league’s most punishing defense. Last year, their secondary was among the worst in the league. Ramsey is a versatile playmaker like Ed Reed that can immediately improve this secondary to some of its former glory. Ramsey is an exceptional athlete, running a 4.41s 40 yard dash with a 11’3 broad jump and 41’5 vertical. He has excellent cover skills and can move around the field to take away the opposing team’s greatest offensive threat. Ramsey can be moved around as the matchups will dictate for each week, much like Tyraan Matthieu of the Cardinals. He is a plug and player starter that can provide an immediate impact to whatever team drafts him due to his exceptional versatility.
Joey Bosa, Defensive End, Ohio State
Best Fit: Dallas Cowboys
In a draft lacking true star power in terms of pass rushers, Bosa has been the consensus top choice throughout the predraft process. Bosa is an excellent run defender and gets off of the line well in the passing game. However, he lacks the raw burst and explosion necessary to be a top tier pass rusher. He projects to being a consistent 10-12 sack per year type of player rather than a truly dominant force like a Von Miller or JJ Watt. He would pair well with the smaller, but far more explosive Randy Gregory, who the Cowboys invested a second round pick in a year ago. This would offer an ideal replacement for Greg Hardy and give the team another blue chip player to contend for a title soon.
Myles Jack, Linebacker, UCLA
Best Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars
Myles Jack may have been the top pick in the draft if not for his injuries. If he returns to his former form, which draft pundits believe he will based on his current progress, Jack will bring top tier athleticism to the field and can stop the run from sideline to sideline. He played running back in college and shows accordingly good motion and ball skills. Jack also has experience at safety, allowing him to play excellently in coverage. The Jaguars have done a good job building an offensive nucleus through the draft, and have just begun the process with this offseasons free agency spending spree. Jack, like Ramsey, offers the team a versatile player that can captain the defense and potentially be a generational talent, provided that he returns to his former form. Paired with Donte Fowler, Malik Jackson, and Prince Amukamara, Jack would create a nice addition to one of the weaker defensive units in the league.
Jared Goff, Quarterback, California
Best Fit: San Francisco 49ers
With the start of the Chip Kelly era in San Francisco, the 49ers cannot afford to pass on a quarterback in the first round. While Kaepernick’s athleticism may be a tempting option for Kelly, he is a broken passer than lacks the accuracy to run an NFL offense. While Kelly’s read option does place a premium on speed, his offense is more importantly predicated on quick decision making and accuracy, with predefined reads build into the offense. Jared Goff would excel in such a system. Goff projects similarly to Matt Ryan, with a strong enough arm to make all of the throws and upper level accuracy. He also possesses above average athletic ability for a quarterback, which is more than can be said about Kelly’s previous quarterbacks. The common knock on Goff, like Marcus Mariota a year earlier, is that he comes from an offensive system at Cal that won’t translate to the pros. This is a legitimate concern, one that could cause serious reservations for most other teams in the league. Kelly’s offense, however, runs much like such college systems and will be a much easier transition for Goff to take.