We've spent a lot of time talking about 2017 NFL Draft prospects that have really helped themselves since the college football season ended. Players like Haason Reddick and Zay Jones impressed at all-star games, the NFL Scouting Combine and their respective pro days. They've also aced the interviews with teams and received glowing endorsements from sources around the program. However, for one player to move up, another player must move down. I reached out to five NFL executives and asked them to predict one player who could have an unexpected fall on draft day (April 27-29 in Philadelphia). Here are their answers.
Executive 1: Western Michigan WR Corey Davis
"I like Corey Davis as a player, but he's been out of sight, out of my mind in the spring. The fact that he won't run a 40 (yard dash) isn't a huge deal but it could impact the thinking of some teams around the league. I could see him falling to the late first or early second round."
Executive 2: Alabama LB Reuben Foster
"I was at the Florida pro day and Jarrad Davis was very impressive. I think there's a chance both Davis and (Haason) Reddick get picked ahead of Reuben Foster. He's a great player but he hasn't had a great spring."
Executive 3: Alabama DL Jonathan Allen
"I'll be surprised if Solomon Thomas doesn't go ahead of Jonathan Allen. That probably wasn't the thinking right after the season ended. Allen just isn't very explosive. Good player but I could see him sliding a little bit more than people think."
Executive 4: Foster
"I think Foster is going to slide. Combination of some character concerns and poor interviews."
Executive 5: Washington WR John Ross
"I could see Ross sliding because of durability concerns. It will be interesting to see how he comes out of the combine medical recheck."
Summary: Two votes for Foster, and one apiece for Davis, Allen and Ross.
Conclusion: These are some big-name players mentioned above. Personally, I know there are some concerns with these players but they are too special as players to fall very far in this draft. I'm sure there are several teams hoping one of these players falls into their lap. The one piece of information most likely to cause a top player to fall in the draft -- the medical report. That takes the decision away from the personnel evaluators and puts it into the hands of the team doctors. That's only one of the many reasons it's impossible to accurately project what will happen in Philadelphia on April 27.