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Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network Draft Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
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March 22, 2023 8:20 pm

Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network Draft Analyst

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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March 22, 2023 8:20 pm

Daniel Jeremiah joined Zach to discuss whether Bryce Young or CJ Stroud will have the better NFL career and which five players will be the best from this draft. 

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Thanks for doing this. How you been? I'm doing great.

Great to be with you. Well, I know you were sitting next to Thomas Davis the other day when he said that it's a surprising pick potentially for the Panthers and from what he knows people upstairs are enamored with Anthony Richardson. How do you kind of process that one a day or two later? Yeah, that one shocked me for sure. So I don't think anybody knows exactly what's going to happen there. Obviously, Thomas has dialed in with his connections, you know, in that organization. So I always take what he says seriously, you know, especially talking about the Carolina Panthers, but that one would still that would shock me if that's where we ended up after this whole time. You know, I think they're continuing to go through the paces here with all these quarterbacks at the pro days.

They were out full force today at CJ Stroud's there at the at Ohio State and they'll be at Ohio State or they'll be at Alabama tomorrow for Bryce Young. So I still think to me it makes the most sense ends up being one of those two guys and I'm still leaning towards Alabama and Bryce Young, but it's going to be a fascinating draft. We don't know who the first pick is going to be. No doubt about it and it seemed like when the Panthers moved up to one, the intention was to draft CJ Stroud. I know you just mocked and you just said it, Bryce Young should be the number one overall pick.

It does feel like the last week just from different reporters that maybe the tide is turning back to Young being the number one pick. Well, I just I think he's the best player. So, you know, much has been made about the size and you know, can you physically hold up but just as the as the players on tape, you know, you look at all these top quarterbacks. I think Bryce has the best tape and I think by a pretty significant margin, so I still think that's where it ultimately ends up. You land on that who the best player is, but you know, I think again, let's see what he looks like tomorrow and they get a chance to visit with them. You know, there's some intriguing options in this draft for sure, but that one I just keep coming back to is the one that makes the most sense.

Well, here's the way I look at it. I was more impressed with Bryce Young this year than CJ Stroud. I thought Bryce Young did more with less and then you look at CJ Stroud. I know what he did up against Georgia was incredible and even said to me at the Heisman, he's more athletic than what people give him credit for and he hopes to put that on display soon and he did.

I just wonder with CJ Stroud why it took that long to show off that athleticism throughout the season. Well, I think that's fair. You know, I think that's 100% fair when you lob that, you know, criticism.

I've had the same one where, you know, I just kind of wondered what, you know, why didn't we see more of this, you know, throughout the process. Now the old scouting adage is if you can do it once, we know you can do it. So there is that. I would say the argument though of what he did, you know, in that game against Georgia, you know, should be enough to vault him over Bryce Young. I would counter that and say when you pull up the numbers of Bryce Young when he had his receivers healthy in the SEC Championship game against the Georgia defense that was much better than the one we saw last year.

The one previously, which had all those of the record number of draft picks, including the first overall pick, Trayvon Walker, he was, he was 26 to 44 for 421 yards, three touchdowns, no picks, and also had 40 yards on the ground and another touchdown on the ground against that Georgia defense. So, you know, that's why, you know, I think Bryce, I want to shortchange him there, no pun intended. And then the other thing I would say is the best receiver that Bryce Young got to play with in his time at Alabama was the receiver that had to leave Ohio State because he couldn't get off the field.

How about that? Daniel Jeremiah here with us and you're not wrong on that. When you look at Bryce Young, people talk about the size or the lack of it. I've watched him play football for two years, never thought he was too small to play the position. I know his size isn't ideal, but he fought through that.

How big of a concern is the size from people you talk to? I don't think it's as big, you know, and talking to people around the league, there's preferences, you know, if there was a player of similar ability and he was bigger, you would go with the other player, that would be the tiebreaker. But I think that's exactly what it is. It's a tiebreaker. And I don't think, you know, most teams I talk to have him as the top guy and feel like there isn't, you know, it's not close enough where the size would be the deciding factor. He's just a better player, so we'll deal with that and, you know, with the risk that comes along with it.

But I haven't heard it as much of a critique in league circles as maybe you see in the media. Talking to Daniel Jeremiah, at their best, but what is the ceiling for Bryce Young and CJ Strad in the NFL? Well, I mean, I think with Bryce Young, he plays the game similarly to the way Joe Burrow plays the game.

He just doesn't have that size. So, I mean, that's lofty praise, but I don't think that's, you know, out of the question that he can play at that level. And then with Strad, you know, I think CJ Strad's got a chance to be a really good, pure pocket passer.

So, you know, who that is, it's tougher to come up with one on that front. I would say, you know, you say this name and people think this is a bad thing, but if you look at the career that Kirk Cousins has had, I think Strad plays the game similarly to Kirk Cousins. He's a better athlete. But he plays the game from the pocket and is very, very accurate. And that's what you've seen from Cousins throughout his career.

We're talking to Daniel Jeremiah. You have the Colts right now mocking, taking Anthony Richardson in your latest mock draft. When you look at Richardson, I know at the combine, right, he blew the roof off the place at Lucas Oil Stadium. What are you hearing a few weeks removed from the combine about Anthony Richardson? Just a total wild card. Everybody loves him as a kid.

Everybody loves, you know, the traits that he has, which are off the charts, rare, rare, rare traits. And just know that you got to believe in your development plan with him. You know, if you have the right pieces in place and you have some patience, it could pay off bigger than anybody else in the draft. You've got the biggest upside.

So I don't think that's really changed. It was obviously an incredible show that he put on there. It's kind of a risk-reward operation with him. You're going to take some risk here, but the reward is pretty incredible. So I think he ends up going in the top 10. It's just a matter of how the other guys come off the board.

But I definitely think someone's going to talk themselves into that just because it's so, so intriguing. Daniel Jeremiah, you had Will Leviss going 19th right now in your latest mock draft. When do you think the earliest is that he could go, though, in the draft? No, I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if he was, you know, the fourth pick. I think that, you know, Indianapolis is a real spot there that I would not sleep on with him. I think the Raiders are one that I point to, even with Jimmy Garoppolo, that he could be in their plans there. I think the Tennessee Titans picking 11.

I wouldn't be surprised at that. There's a lot of potential spots for him. I would say, you know, to me, the Colts make the most sense in terms of how high he could go, unless there's a team and maybe it's the Raiders that wants to move up a few spots to get ahead of the Colts at three now where Arizona is right now. Maybe there ends up being a market there and he could land in that spot. If Caleb Williams and Drake May were in this draft, they would be one and two?

Yeah, I mean, look, I haven't done the same level of work on them as I have in this class. You know, I try and stay where my feet are here, but I've seen enough of them and doing crossover tape, doing other players to know that those are two really, really special talents that don't come around very often. And talking to folks around the league, there's that same level of excitement about what's to come. If we sit here and we go once Young and Stroud are off the board, if you're a team that's looking at Richardson or if you're a team that's looking at Levis, maybe you think, oh, next year we'll go get Williams or we'll go get Drake May.

How realistic is that, though, from a team thinking? Because if you're thinking that way, then you think you're going to stink next year and why you'd be in that position to get one of those two guys. Yeah, no, you might be positioning the organization and whoever took your job to make that pick. That's usually not a great way to go, and it's one of those things where even when you see people trading for assets next year, you go, oh, we're going to have a war chest with picks, so next year we can trade up and get our guy. Well, when you get these players like we've got next year, teams don't trade off that. The only teams that would trade off that are the teams that are going to win too many games to be up there. So there's no way you're going to get teams to trade off the first or second pick when you've got quarterbacks like that. So I think that if you find one that you like right now that's better than what you're playing with, you have to take them. You can't sit here and hope and wish and pray that somehow you have a way to navigate up to get one of those guys next year. There's just no guarantees.

The Henson Hooker is the consummate professional. I did see you have him sneak it into the first round in a 23. How likely do you think it is, though, that he goes in the first?

You know, I'm curious to see all the medical stuff, how it comes back. I have not heard that yet. But as a player, I think he's a first-round player. Do I wish he was a little younger? Do I wish he was coming off a healthy season?

Absolutely. But I think he's got NFL starter ability and I think he's got a chance to be an 8-10 year starter in this league. That warrants first-round consideration and that's why I put him in there. There are some teams picking.

When you look at those two teams, Tampa, Minnesota, those are quarterback teams. Those are teams that I think at that point in time Henson Hooker has to be a serious consideration. I saw that you had four first-round wide receivers go. Jackson Smith in Jigba, Zay Flowers, Addison out of USC, and then Quentin Johnson. What is the highest upside with Jackson Smith in Jigba? Because we've seen recently guys like Jamar Chase, Justin Jefferson come into the league and right away take the league by storm.

Yeah, I know the numbers he put up at Ohio State. I wouldn't put him in their class. He's not nearly as dynamic or as explosive as those guys.

But a really, really good player. He's going to be in the slot. He's going to be a high-volume guy. So I think he's going to catch a ton of balls. I just don't think he's quite as electric as those players.

But I think he's ready to go. It's a good receiver group. It's not quite what we've had the last few years. I would take both of Smith and Jigba's teammates from last year over him. We saw the way those guys exploded on the scene with Garrett Wilson and Crystal Labe.

But it's a good group this year. But man, we've just been on an unbelievable run of wideouts the last few years and it's not quite at that level. I never know how to predict running backs anymore. I know Bijan Robinson's going to go in the first round. Daniel Jeremiah, you had him going 14th to the Patriots. When do you think the earliest is that he could go? Because I'm really lost now when it comes to predicting running backs in the NFL draft. Yeah, you and me both.

I have no clue. I could make up a team and say, okay, he could be here. I have no idea who's going to buck the trend here with running backs taking high in the draft. Guys like him don't come around every year. He is a rare talent. He's a special player in a draft year where we have so much uncertainty and so much risk.

I think this is a guy you know exactly who he is and what he is. He's going to be a real impact player. The shelf life isn't long at this position, but I still think you get a premier player like this. You've got the five years. You've got a franchise here. You could be signing up for six years of elite play.

Anything you were to get after that would be gravy. I still think there's a lot of value with him. Do you see him making a McCaffrey or a Zeke impact right away for a team? Yeah, that's the caliber of back he is. You look at those guys that have gone up there. It's actually a really high hit rate for the most part of these backs that have gone in the top ten.

We can argue about longevity and durability. You look at Todd Gurley and what he did in the first few years of his career. He's a real difference maker. Daniel Jeremiah does a great job at NFL Network Analyst. He's also the host of the Move the Sticks Podcast along with Bucky Brooks.

A few more with you before we let you run. I love Dalton Kincaid. I see you have him as the best tight end, the first tight end coming off the board.

Why Kincaid over Mayer in your opinion? He's just more explosive. He's just more sudden.

More kind of a play maker. More after the catch in terms of being able to run away from you as well as make you miss and run through a tackle. Mayer is a true in-line tight end, a power player.

Wall guys off and make contested catches but I just think you get a little more juice with Kincaid. Who are your sleepers? Who are guys right now that we should be talking more about that you're falling in love with that's not getting a lot of burn nationally? Well there's some good players all the way through.

If you go guys that I have just outside the top 50 who I think are really good players, I can give you a couple. There's a corner from Iowa Riley Moss who I think is going to go on day 2 at some point in time. He's got a legit track background. Just a really tough competitive physical player. I look at guys that don't run great at Indy as being bargain picks. Jair Brown from Penn State is a safety.

I still think he's the best safety in the draft but he didn't run particularly well right in the mid 4-6's. I think he goes from somebody that could have snuck into the bottom of the first round to some point in time. Now you're going to get him in the middle of the late portion of the second round. That's just a tremendous value there with him.

So those are just a couple of BB's off the top of my head that I think are going to be real value picks. Is Will Anderson the best defensive player in this draft? I think that he's going to be the safest great defensive player in this draft. I still think Jalen Carter is a more dominant player.

But for the well documented reasons there's some risk involved there. You've got to make sure that he's focused on the right things and taking care of business off the field. But on the field I think he's the most talented player. And I saw he avoided jail time last week. Is he in danger of falling out of the top 10?

I don't think so. You know you look at the 10th pick, the Philadelphia Eagles, his former teammates there, Nicobe Dean and Jordan Davis. I would think they'd have a very good feel for him and feel like that's an environment that they could look after him and take care of him and get him where he needs to be.

I just couldn't envision a scenario where they would pass on. And last thing I'll ask you Daniel Jeremiah. Let's just say we're talking five years from now. Who are the five players that are the best from this draft class? Well I love Devin Witherspoon, the corner from Illinois. One of my favorite players to watch. We touched on Kincaid. I feel great about him being a slam dunk type player. Bijan Robinson we mentioned.

I think these guys are all guys you know exactly what you're going to get. Peter Skowronski whether he's playing guard or tackle from Northwestern. I'm buying him all day long and then I'll give you one other offensive lineman here in Darnell Wright Tennessee. He's a plug and play Wright tackle who was good on tape in the fall, great at the Senior Bowl, excellent combine. Usually when you pass all three of those tests you end up being a really good player.

Isn't it funny how that works? You spend all this time talking about quarterbacks and then a quarterback's not in that five for you. Oh it's the toughest thing to evaluate in all of sports and it's the toughest thing to project and predict and you're dependent on what's around you and coaching you and playing in front of you and playing on the outside.

So many factors going to those guys being successful that I never feel like you know really really comfortable saying that's a slam dunk. Always appreciate your insight Daniel Jeremiah. Really appreciate you carving out the time for us today. Thank you. All right have a great day. We'll see you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-22 22:44:33 / 2023-03-22 22:52:32 / 8

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