As the NFL Draft approaches, APC’s contributors are putting our heads together to give you some of our individual impressions about specific prospects in the 2017 draft class. For each of the next few days, you’ll hear from various writers about our favorite prospects, those we think will be over-drafted, and maybe even a prediction or two for the Green Bay Packers at pick #29.
Today, we tackle players who we think are massively overrated, will not be worth the draft pick that will likely be used on them, or who we for some other reason just don’t like as football players.
Jason B. Hirschhorn on S Jamal Adams (LSU)
In a vacuum, LSU's Jamal Adams offers plenty of intrigue. His possesses strong leadership and playmaking ability, rare for a player so young. However, his subpar athleticism -- he scored in just the 36th percentile athletically among -- and lack of range limit him to playing primarily in the box. To spend a top-10 pick on a player that can only impact the game such a role seems foolhardy, especially given other options on the board.
Evan “Tex” Western on RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)
Cook had huge production in his three years at Florida State, but I just don’t see a player who projects as a star running back in the NFL, and if you’re a running back getting drafting before the end of round two, that’s what you had better become. When watching him pick up 8- or 10-yard gains regularly, I feel like a truly great runner would be making one more tackler miss and extending them out to 20- or 30-yard runs. In addition, he seems to be a one-cut and go runner, which is fine in certain schemes but doesn’t fit what the Packers would like in their running backs. Furthermore, his 7.27-second 3-cone time confirms poor lateral agility skills. Add in a history of minor but significant off-the-field troubles and you have a player that I would much rather see end up disappointing a different fan base.
Jon Meerdink on CB/S/LB/PR Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)
I do understand the appeal of Jabrill Peppers, but I would be extremely wary about taking him early in the draft. It bothers me that he never really had a position in college. Even though players with similar backgrounds have gone on to success in the NFL, I wish he’d shown a little more as a safety, a corner, a linebacker, or really anything in his college career. I won’t be surprised if he does well as a professional, but I would just be scared of taking him early.
Mike Vieth on OT Garett Bolles (Utah)
A lot of people are in love with the measurables of Utah offensive lineman Garett Bolles and I can’t argue with that either. He’s 6’5”, 300 pounds and was one of the most athletic linemen at the NFL Combine. While he was a first team Pac-12 player at Utah, the Pac-12 wasn’t known for having many top-notch defensive linemen last year and there is something about him, to me, that doesn’t project well as first round draft pick.
I think he lacks the strength and base to compete against the pass rushers of the NFL. He may be able to make up some the difference with his athleticism but the NFL veterans will bull rush him and dump him on a lot of plays. With the lack of strength, he will struggle moving the defender in the run game as well. He will be better suited in a zone scheme where his movement will be utilized more than his strength. I think his lack of experience will be a huge factor too.
Bolles entered the NFL Draft “early” as a junior but had only played one year of FBS football. Before that, he was a Snow College, a JUCO in Utah, and didn’t even play football for the first two years after high school due to a LDS mission trip. If you add all that up, he will be a 25-year old rookie by the start of the season in and will be 30 by the time his rookie contract runs out if he’s drafted in the first round. I think that might be too much a risk, for a team, for him to grow and hit his potential in a few years when he’s 28 or 29.
Garett Bolles is definitely prospering on that this is one of the weakest offensive line drafts in recent memory and should probably go in late round two or three but someone will take a chance on him on day one. I hope he proves me wrong but I think the odds are stacked against him.
Paul Noonan on RB Alvin Kamara (Tennessee)
Ugh, where to begin. When a team signs or trades for a failing reclamation project, you will often see some media outlet lead with them as a “former first rounder”. This is always a warning sign of something else. Kamara’s NFL Combine profile beings with:
“One of the top high school running backs in the country as a high school senior...”
The reason they are telling you this is to excuse all of what follows; his injuries, arrests, transfers, and lack of big counting stats. Kamara scouts well, with good quickness, explosion, and solid hands as a receiver, but while that talent is evident sporadically, he is just as likely to stutter in the backfield, and can be indecisive at times. He is not a natural at following his blocks, and relied on his athleticism to recover from read-mistakes. If Kamara is as talented as some would have you believe, it should have shown up on the field more frequently, and an unimpressive 40 time (especially for his size) didn’t do him any favors in my eyes. In Bob McGinn’s column some anonymous scout said of Kamara:
I’ll believe it when I see it. For a player with a ton of red flags and limited on-field production at an unimportant position, he’s likely to go far too high.