Welcome to Draft Day! No, there is no Kevin Costner appearance in this scenario.
Tonight in Chicago, rosters will be upgraded. Future stars will be selected and veterans will be put on notice. Don’t be surprised if the first night of the draft is chaos. With the Titans, Browns and Eagles reportedly looking to move around, multiple moves could be made. Even Denver could be looking to go up, if a player they like is dropping, i.e. Paxton Lynch.
Getting value in trades is a fluid process, often favoring one team in trades involving first round picks. In 2013, the first round trade between Miami and Oakland was over 500 pos in favor of Oakland, according two the NFL trade chart.
Trade talk kicks off this week’s podcast featuring the finale of Draft Science Edge rushers. Here’s the show.
Crashing the Edge
The outside pass rushers are collectively called “Edge” players. As we’ll see on my Draft board later in this column, not all edge players are created equal or even similar. My board, just as the Chiefs’ board, will feature players that can played in the schemes used in Kansas City.
The West Coast offense and the 3-4, nickel and dime defenses have skills and physical requirements that need to “fit”. Joey Boas is a quality prospect, but he is not a 3-4 outside linebacker. He is a 4-3 defensive end. Due to that and the fact he won’t be on my board. Others that will be available in the the 2nd/3rd or later rounds as “value” and could be fit in the nickel/dime could be on the board as value.
So, here I’ll look at 3-4 OLB Edge candidates. As always, click on the image for a full-size view.
Background: More than one way to a sack
The AFC West happens to be one of the premiere conferences in the NFL, featuring two elite pass rushers and one high-end De/OLB who could soon join them. These three players represent a wide athletic variation in how they attach the offense. Each has strengths that show there is more than one way to get it done.
Justin Houston has the best overall athletic matrix of the three. Houston is impressive in the power he can generate in his pass rush and the speed at the snap. Most impressive is how efficiently he can convert his speed into power.
Houston, as well as Khalil Mack, have very good short area quickness. However, Denver’s Von Miller is elite in the SAQm, allswiign him to “been the edge” better than any pass rusher in the NFL today. This skill was on display in Super Bowl 50 against Carolina.
Kahlil Mack, on the other hand stands out in another area: pure explosion. His power acceleration to first contact dwarfs both his elite AFC West counterparts. Although is total PowerM and SAQm fall behind the others, his physical attack is the most well rounded.
Next: How does this class match up to the KC Pass Rushers?