On Monday afternoon, Pro Football Focus senior analyst Steve Palazzolo gave his thoughts to the media before the start of the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday. In what was an information heavy conference call, here are the highlights about the draft in general and what Palazollo thinks the Jets and Giants will do.
General Statements About The Draft:
Sports Illustrated and PFF will be having a live show at the draft on Thursday, in which Palazzolo will be featured analyzing every pick. For those interested in watching, the show will air on the Sports Illustrated Facebook page.
Palazzollo, from the start, noted that this draft features many prospects at cornerback, edge-rusher, safety, tight end, and, most notably quarterback. Palazzollo also noted that up to five quarterbacks could come off the board in the first round, with many being taken in the top ten picks.
Furthermore, Palazzollo added that “this draft is an opportunity for teams to turn their defensive misfortunes.” However, he was quick to clarify that “drafts don’t always fit the needs of teams” and that he does not believe in “building a team solely with the draft.”
Sitting at the sixth pick overall, the Jets are right in the quarterback mix to get their man of the future. With North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky most likely being on top of the Jets big board, the Jets may have to trade up to get him. In a recent mock draft, Palazzollo has the Jets trading up to number two (49ers pick) to get Trubisky.
If the Jets do not trade up to get Trubisky, Palazzollo believes that the Jets could take Clemson quarterback, Deshaun Watson. If not, other options would include taking Ohio State cornerback Marshon Lattimore or Tennessee edge-rusher Derek Barnett to fulfill the defensive needs that head coach Todd Bowles wants to fill.
From the start, the question is again according to Palazzollo “will the Giants finally draft a linebacker?” If the Giants decided to break the streak, Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham is a great fit for the Giants in Palazzollo’s eyes. Cunningham would be a good fit as he is a three-down back but does need to clean up a lot of the loose tackles.
If he falls to the Giants pick, Palazzollo thinks the Giants could make a move to grab Alabama tight end, O.J. Howard. In another possible offensive move, the Giants could also draft Stanford superstar Christian McCaffrey. Palazzollo is fascinated at the options the Giants have to upgrade their offense to help out the aging Eli Manning.