In 2008, Scott Wright began his “Dream Draft” Series, one of my favorites at Draft Countdown. As draftniks, all of us feel like we can do a better job picking players than most real GMs, so the Dream Draft puts it to the test. I will be continuing his series and using the team he drafted from 2008-2019 (active players listed at the bottom of this post) and mine from 2020-2023. See the Shane Hallam NFL Draft Dream Draft below. Here are the guidelines for the challenge:
- I will get one selection in the middle of every round of the draft.
- In each round, I can only select a prospect who actually went in that frame.
- I can’t take anyone who was selected before my mid-round slot.
- I can’t choose more than one prospect at each position.
- I will also be allowed to sign one undrafted free agent.
- I will not be selecting for any particular offensive or defensive scheme.
See the 2021 article here
See the 2022 article here
Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State
It was truly a weird season for JSN. Coming into the 2022 season, he appeared to be poised as the next elite WR prospect who could go Top 10 in the NFL Draft. An early ankle injury kept him off the field for nearly the entire season, unable to showcase his true abilities. Despite great agility workouts and some hype, the believe of JSN being “slot only” caused a fall in the draft.
Ultimately, I think JSN was an elite talent in his first two years at Ohio State. Add in Brian Hartline’s tutelage, which has made NFL WRs like Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave into what they are, and I am in. My Dream Draft team doesn’t exactly need WR help, but I can’t pass up JSN.
Actual: Seattle Seahawks (#22 Overall)
Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
Brian will be happy I got a Gamecock on the list. Smith had a solid SEC season as the CB1 for South Carolina, shutting down some top WRs. His size and press ability made him a potential first round selection after multiple starting years. He has the makings of a starting NFL CB and it might happen immediately with Jalen Ramsey going down already this season. The corners on my team are severely lacking, so this could become a huge upgrade.
Actual: Miami Dolphins (#51 Overall)
DeMarvion Overshown, LB, Texas
Overshown was someone I was on before his final college season even began. Though small, the instincts and toughness are not to be overlooked. I love Overshown’s multifaceted ability and it should fit right in with a Cowboys defense led by Micah Parsons. As Parsons rushes, Overshown can react on the weakside (or even middle) and make plays. Though we may not see a ton of him as a rookie, I expect Overshown to develop into a starter (and the Dream Draft LBs do need some help).
Actual: Dallas Cowboys (#90)
Jon Gaines, iOL, UCLA
Gaines jumped up the draft board after working out at the Combine. His Short Shuttle and 3-Cone were in the 97th percentile, a key workout for interior linemen. He showed the ability to pull and get low at the collegiate level in Chip Kelly’s offense. Now, he goes to an open situation in Arizona with a new offense that suits his skillset. I’ll take a chance at the quick feet and sneaky power Gaines brings to the table.
Actual: Arizona Cardinals (#122)
Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
Johnson was one of my highest rated safeties in the class with his coverage ability and wrap-up technique. Poor workouts pushed Johnson down the board with an abysmal Vertical and 3-Cone that left many questioning if he can take the angles to be an NFL safety. The tape doesn’t lie though, and Johnson can flat out play. He is tall and rangy, and should be a nice swing Safety for the Jaguars moving forward.
Actual: Jacksonville Jaguars (#160)
Scott Matlock, DL, Boise State
This was a tough choice int he 6th, but Matlock really won me over in the offseason during NFLPA and Shrine week with his toughness and bend. He is a tough sparkplug who can man a NT spot or be versatile enough to move around a DL. He feels like the type that sticks around as a back-up and you don’t lose a ton if he has to come in due to injury.
Actual: Los Angeles Chargers (#200)
Max Duggan, QB, TCU
I’m going back to back Chargers here. Though Duggan is not extraordinary by any means, his toughness and athleticism impressed me during the college football playoff. The arm strength may be lacking, and throwing to a spot consistently can be spotty, but if I’m taking a QB in the 7th round, I want that leadership mentality. He may have as much talent as Chargers back-up Easton Stick and could be a career Colt McCoy type of QB.
Actual: Los Angeles Chargers (#239)
Undrafted Free Agent
Deneric Prince, RB, Tulsa
A 220 pound RB who can catch while having the best speed score in the entire class? Count me in. After I drafted Isaih Pacheco last year in the 7th round, I’ll take his new running mate in the upside pass catching back of Prince. I was surprised he went undrafted, but the opportunity is ripe to pass CEH and maybe even inherit the Jerick McKinnon role in a year.
Actual: Kansas City Chiefs
Active Dream Draft Team Members
OT: Samuel Cosmi (‘21) Orlando Brown (‘18) Zach Banner (‘17) Jason Spriggs (‘16) Jordan Mills (‘13)
iOL: Jon Gaines (‘23) Tyler Linderbaum (‘22) Trey Smith (‘21) Quinn Meinerz (‘21) Kyle Hinton (‘20) Joshua Miles (‘19) Will Clapp (‘18) La’el Collins (‘15) Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff (‘14)
EDGE: Dominique Robinson (‘22) Rashad Weaver (‘21) James Lynch (‘20) Josh Sweat (‘18) Bud Dupree (‘15) Randy Gregory (‘15)
LB: DeMarvion Overshown (‘23) KJ Britt (‘21) Justin Strnad (‘20) D’Andre Walker (‘19) Terrill Hanks (‘19) Jeff Holland (‘18) Harvey Langi (‘17) Dadi Nicolas (‘16) Jordan Tripp (‘14) Christian Jones (‘14) Lavonte David (‘12)
CB: Cam Smith (‘23) Tariq Castro-Fields (‘22) Shakur Brown (‘21) Cameron Dantzler (‘20) Cordrea Tankersley (‘17)
2008-2019 players were selected by Scott Wright
2020-2023 players were selected by Shane P. Hallam
Follow Shane P. Hallam on twitter @ShanePHallam for more Shane Hallam NFL Draft takes.