Around the NFL  

 

Pressing questions heading into draft's final day

Print

By the end of the third round, we're normally able to tell which directions teams are going in. The table is set and most -- if not all -- of the more recognizable names are off the board.

But this year's draft has been bizarre from beginning to end. The front-loaded talent was expected to lend itself to more trades early on, not deep in the draft like we saw on Friday.

2015 NFL DRAFT

Draft coverage:
Video:

The quarterback class is also normally easier to decipher, yet we have some of the premiere names continuing to slide.

All of this is contributing to a final round that may lack some of the star power, but not the intrigue. That leads us to a few burning questions heading into the final day:

1. Will La'el Collins get drafted by a team on Saturday? His representatives have made one thing clear: If he wasn't picked in the second or third round, he would not sign a deal. The second and third rounds have passed and Collins is still scheduled to meet with police in connection with the shooting death of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Collins is not a suspect, but concerned teams want to wait for the investigation to play out before spending a pick on him. He is without question one of the best offensive line prospects in the draft and clearly thinks he is more deserving of a higher pick. Chances are, the stalemate lingers until we're provided with more information. Then again, enterprising teams might try and get creative.

2. Where will the rest of the quarterbacks land? After Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, it was Garrett Grayson to the Saints and Sean Mannion to the Rams. That leaves Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley out of UCLA, among others, still looking for work. Petty and Hundley looked to be the leaders of the next tier after Winston and Mariota but it's clear many big boards saw it differently. The Saints were obviously targeting a quality backup and understudy to Drew Brees and didn't look in either direction. Will another team give them a shot Saturday?

3. Will the Browns draft a receiver? Cleveland got a lot tougher in this draft but has done little to aid the tandem of Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline. Some potential stars in Dorial Green-Beckham, Sammie Coates, Tyler Lockett and Jaelen Strong all came and went without much of a thought by general manager Ray Farmer. Last year amid one of the greatest wideout classes in recent NFL history, Farmer stayed put despite the fact that he was in the process of losing Josh Gordon. Is he comfortable doing this again?

4. Will the Cowboys select a running back? It seemed like one of the more elementary connections we could make heading into this draft. DeMarco Murray is gone, now someone else needs to fill the void. That hasn't happened yet.

5. What will happen first: Chip Kelly will take an Oregon player (Ifo Ekpre-Olomu remains on Gil Brandt's best available players list) or Bill Belichick nabs a prospect out of Rutgers? It's bound to happen. Come on.

6. Where will Zack Hodges, the inspirational defensive end out of Harvard, land? The Cardinals might be a good fit for the Ivy Leaguer among several other teams looking for a speedy situational pass-rusher. Hodges should make a quick transition to a 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker.

7. Will the running back trend continue? Jay Ajayi out of Boise State is still available, as is Jeremy Langford out of Michigan State and David Cobb, a supremely talented running back out of Minnesota. As we noted Friday morning, the NFL is changing. Don't be surprised if this remains a trend heading into Rounds 4 through 7.

8. Will Ickey Woods still be shuffling? He didn't deserve the Oscar-music treatment. Let the man dance!

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps the first round of the NFL Draft. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

Print

Fan Discussion