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Pigskin Paul’s Pre-Draft Thoughts/Musings

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April can get to be a pretty muddied month when it comes to discussions surrounding the 2024 NFL Draft. Call it smoke screen, or disinformation time, but the point is that April is for liars around pro football. But like everyone else, I have thoughts and musings on the 2024 NFL Draft.

Pigskin Paul’s Pre-Draft Thoughts/Musings

The Michigan QB

One of the biggest and boldest “stories” of the month has been the scenario being presented that J.J. McCarthy is possibly the 3rd best QB prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft. Move aside MAYE, PENIX & Bo Nix. J.J. is the man, despite the thinnest resume folder on the group of Top 6 QB who are all expected to be gone by fairly early in Round 2.

But the surprising aspect to me is the willingness of so many talent evaluators to ignore the lack of actual production, as opposed to embracing that old sports apparition called “potential”. I do not argue with the consensus that CALEB WILLIAMS & JAYDEN DANIELS are the top Franchise Saving QB this year, but then things look pretty murky to me. 

I’d like to present some comparative numbers between NIX & McCarthy.

                                                  McCarthy              NIX

CAREER STARS/College                28                        61

HGT/WGT                                   6’2/219               6’2/215

40-Time                                         4.60                     4.75 

’23  completion %                       73.2%                  77.4%

TD Passes/’23                              22                         45

INT/ ’23                                          4                             3

YPC/Rushing                               2.9                         4.3

PassingYds                               2851                      4508

Hand Size                                    9″                          10 1/8″

I’m just saying that….     like most QB prospects who are expected to “carry” their NFL teams to multiple Super Bowls the fit of schemes & coaching philosophy to the players’ talents is the biggest key. 

The Chi-Town Situation

DA BEARS under GM RYAN POLES are at a very important juncture in their rebuilding (whoops, NFL folks like to call it roster retooling) process. But in the rush to take command of the NFC North, Poles had best be cautious not to push too hard and quick to improve his roster. I do not quarrel with placing the franchise in the hands (and the right arm) of CALEB WILLIAMS. He is indeed special! But I also believe that he flubbed the process of getting JUSTIN FIELDS out of town way too quickly, and for pennies on the dollar. I do believe the STEELERS just got their QB of the future for a late Pick and a 6-pack of Rolling Rock beer.

I would also be concerned if I were a Bears fan that the team enters the Draft with a whopping 4 Picks this year. They have not remolded that roster so thoroughly that they don’t need the Draft any longer to stock said roster. They have Picks at 1 & 9, 75 & 122. I suggest strongly that Poles trade out of Pick 9 for extra Draft Picks on Day 2.

Cheesehead Fever

Their division rivals the PACKERS come loaded for Bear (excuse pun here friends) with 11 Picks, 5 of them in the first 91 Picks. They have multiple needs for those Picks especially along the OL and in the Secondary, but I just saw a suggestion last week that they still may take a shot at another WR.

Excuse me, but that thought borders on insanity. The NFL does not play “flag football” during its regular season, yet, and they are so loaded with wideouts, most under the age of 25, that they might be looking to trade a couple of those guys this Summer for a few extra 2025 Draft Picks. 

NFL Network…What the Hell?!

As the Draft rapidly comes charging at us, I thought the timing was “interesting” to read early last week that the NFL Network was trimming salaries within its on-air talent troops, with personnel cuts again. And if you look carefully at the list of “cuts” I get the impression that the League (which owns the franchise) has its own self-imposed Salary Cap in place.

I don’t like what I saw, and to be blunt this viewer has been increasingly disappointed in many of the on-air products that they schedule for consumption on their network. I watch less and less of NFLN offerings just about every month that goes by. Also, I am so tired of being inundated with 30-30 programs and game replays, from only they know what play-list they have to pick from.

Pretty soon, yours truly may decide there is not enough quality programming to pay for the upgrade channel package they are in as cable prices continue to climb, despite competition galore for the TV dollar.

ESPN also WTF?!

And to some degree, I would say many of the same things to ESPN with their personnel decisions. I still miss Todd McShay with some of his “outside the box” player evaluations and ongoing debate sessions with Mr. Kiper. And when Mike Mayock is done collecting severance payments from the Raiders would someone please rehire him for Draft coverage? I know that the role was diminished by ongoing health issues. But I know I am going to miss Chris Mortensen. His total absence from Draft coverage this year. Once again I say R.I.P. Mort.

Draft Depth

As a final note, I feel compelled to respond to the recently voiced concern from many. That the 2024 Draft is a bit thin in talent, especially once we get to Day 3, Rounds 4-7. I concur in general. We enter the new world of NIL. Where later prospects may receive more dollars to stay on campus rather than if drafted late. We are also still under the extra year of eligibility granted for those in school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

One result of this reported prospect depth issue is that we will likely see a Draft Pick trading frenzy heading into Saturday’s Round 4. It could be pure trading” madness”. Not unlike that on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange every morning. Be sure to get up a bit early to check out the transactions that transpire over Friday Night into early Saturday around the league. 

Cheers to all. 

Pigskin Paul

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