Dan Hanzus takes questions from you, the readers, in his latest mailbag. Today, it's all about the draft.
This was already a great, fun draft ... but things really went to another level when the Pats got that second first-rounder from the Rams. All of a sudden, we've added Bill Belichick madness and Tom Bradyintrigue into the proceedings. Delicious! New England has needs after the offseason exodus of several productive veterans, but finding a Brady successor has to be near the top of the list for Belichick, especially with the GOAT apparently now waffling on the whole I'm-going-to-play-until-I-can-get-the-seniors-discount-at-the-Arclight mindset.
That's why you can't rule out the Pats blowing everyone's minds and trading into the top six for a quarterback. It would address a huge need for the franchise, especially in light of this rocky offseason.
While we're here ...
Now we're cookin' with gas, people! Gronk was at a dirt bike rally this weekend (why not!) and was asked if he planned to attend any voluntary workouts with the Patriots. "No," he responded. "I've got dirt-biking skills to work on." A saucy troll job and exactly the type of insolence The Hooded One is not known to tolerate. I absolutely believe Gronk could be moved in a trade if New England gets something that approximates fair value in exchange.
I love the idea of Jon Bon Jovi, acoustic guitar in tow, showing up at Brady's mansion to deliver the bad news. Just two handsome, middle-aged dads face to face at the center of the football universe. Maybe Jon even delivers the news in song form? The man's now a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, after all. He's got the gravitas to handle a situation as delicate as this.
Pretty much everything we're hearing has the Giants staying away from quarterback at No. 2 ... and it remains baffling. Big Blue got a back-door gift from the Football Gods: landing a premium pick in a draft loaded with QB prospects. Their future Hall of Fame quarterback is 37 and has been in decline for two seasons. Why would New York tear up this golden ticket to maintain stability at the game's most important position?
The most logical answer: Sam Darnold is the only quarterback they like and they don't think he'll be there after the first pick. But what happens if the Browns take Darnold, the Giants pick Barkley or Chubb, and the Jets land a QB (likely Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield) who turns into a star? Things could get very uncomfortable, very quickly, for new Giants GM Dave Gettleman.
(nods head ...)
I feel like a simple "False" is not a strong enough reply here. How about "Insanely False"? "Impossibly False"? "You broke the True/False scale and now the world's collapsing into itself"? You broke Earth, BRO.
As a Jets fan, I've already prepared myself for the electric storm of human emotions -- excitement, doubt, elation, dread -- if Rog calls Baker Mayfield's name at No. 3. And given the (mostly unfair) comparisons that have been drawn between Mayfield and Johnny Manziel, I'd have to say the most concerning walk-up song would be "Draft Day", the Drake deep-cut that soundtracked Manziel's walk to center stage at Radio City Music Hall in 2014.
Then again, it would also represent a twisted work of subversive genius from Mayfield. I'm either your savior or your worst nightmare ... and you're in too deep now to bail. Buckle up.
(Yes, I'm aware Mayfield won't be attending the draft. Back off!)
I think your general manager is making it very clear what he's looking to do in 2018. The Colts' roster is a mess and Andrew Luck remains a question mark. A sensible goal for the upcoming season is to get this ship out of the storm and back to port. Don't overspend on win-now guys when you're a win-tomorrow squad. Use the draft to patch the multiple glaring holes on the roster. And give Andrew Luck a long runway to get back to being Andrew Luck.
Staying at six and picking the BPA makes sense -- especially if it's Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, a nasty dude believed to be a generational talent. But trading out of that pick to collect even more draft capital makes sense, too. If you have a strong draft, and Luck gets healthy, you can be aggressive in free agency next year. Call it an accelerated rebuild plan.
The window closed for the Browns being cute at the quarterback position the moment the Jets traded into the three spot. To me, it comes down to this: Cleveland has royally botched golden opportunities to solve their forever QB riddle in each of the past two years. In 2016, they foolishly traded out of No. 2, a pick that became Carson Wentz. Last year, Cleveland shipped the 12th pick to the Texans, who selected Deshaun Watson.
Those miscalculations make this the most important draft in Browns history -- and it's why I believe they'll be more conservative in their third go at this. It's also why I think Sam Darnold, not Josh Allen, will be the first pick. Cleveland routinely outsmarted themselves in the Sashi era. The moment is ripe for a little conventional thinking. John Dorsey seems like a guy who will lean into that.
Speaking of Josh Allen, I'm with Rotoworld wizard Evan Silva, who said on the Around The NFL Podcast that Allen made sense as a prospect who could tumble out of the top 10 despite the steady drumbeat that has connected him to the Browns at 1. It's been an unusual pre-draft walk-up for Allen. He rocketed up draft boards in recent months thanks to his freakish arm strength, dream measurables and an eye-opening performance at the combine:
But Allen seems to have become a much more divisive figure in the last few weeks of this process. I can see the top of the draft getting spooked -- which has the potential to greatly benefit the Bills if they stay at No. 12.
As all fantasy football owners can attest, the draft doesn't always go your way. I would have so much respect for the general manager who holds his first presser after the draft and just keeps it real. "Yeah, I had a plan going into this, but (insert buddy/rival GM) went right before me and picked my guy, so I kind of panicked and chose (insert first-round pick) before time ran out. By Saturday afternoon, I was dejected and drunk, so I just let auto-draft handle the back end."
I mean, that guy's gotta get fired, but it'd be nice not to be lied to for once.
Good luck to your favorite team's GM. 'Til next time.