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NFL Draft Predictions

Manny Shklar

Managing Editor

  1. Don’t overthink it: The Bears stay at #1

The Chicago Bears find themselves in a predicament that most teams would kill for. Not only do they have the first and ninth overall picks, they have a solid young quarterback in Justin Fields and loads of cap space. Fields has yet to show true arm talent in the NFL, but he’s shown flashes of excellence and the Bears haven’t gotten him much help. Despite this, Fields will be traded and the Bears will select Caleb Williams with the first pick. At 6’1” and 215 pounds, USC’s 22 year old was born to play football. His only real issue is aggression as a passer, as Williams can be hesitant to throw a short checkdown and would rather take off with his legs or look downfield. Outside of that, he’s fast, athletic, has a rocket arm and projects to be an elite player for years to come.

  1. Michigan’s gunslinger rises on draft boards

Watching the College Football Playoff National Championship, JJ McCarthy’s maturity on the football field stood out. The QB is a very raw talent, and we haven’t seen him do too much, as he was surrounded by a legendary coach and a great running back and defense. Even with this, McCarthy looked like a veteran when he needed to make plays, asserting a strong pocket presence and making clutch throws when necessary. He just turned 21, so a team with great weapons or an aging quarterback to select him in the top 10 and develop his craft.

  1. The best defender doesn’t even go top three in his position

Analysts have loved talking about the numerous possibilities at quarterback and wide receiver during the draft, but a position that deserves more attention is cornerback. It’s very possible that as many as five or six corners end up in the first round this year, a number that has seemingly gone up every draft recently. Of the top ones this year, Iowa’s Cooper DeJean sticks out like a sore thumb. He can play all over the field, has the best ball skills in the class, can read an offense and is able to tackle, all making for the perfect cornerback prospect. However, Clemson’s Nate Wiggins, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell, and Alabama duo Terrion Arnold and Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry have all made valid arguments to be CB1 this year. Each of them, though, lack traits the DeJean can do with ease, but their elite skills can shine through. Teams love players with that ability to be so good at specific skills as opposed to being solid as an all around player, forcing DeJean to fall in the first round.

  1. Three pass catchers in the top 10

The term “generational” is thrown around with seemingly every top pick, but it's fair to say Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. lives up to this label. The son of a Hall of Famer, the 6’4” wide receiver is far and away the best college football player we’ve seen in years, and his combination of athleticism and ball skills will translate perfectly into the next level. In short, the future All-Pro is a lock to go in the top four. Following Harrison, there’s a close battle for the class’s second best receiver between Washington’s Rome Odunze and LSU’s Malik Nabers. Each player has a valid argument to be in this conversation, as Odunze catches seemingly every pass thrown to him and Nabers can turn a short throw into a long touchdown with ease. Both wideouts can land in the top 10, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see one move into the top 5.


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