Whole Nine Sports

3 Common Top 10 Draft Fits I Hate

Justin Herbert
Photo by Chris Pietsch, AP Photo
Mason LeBeau
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Sorry I got a little click-baity there. Maybe hate is a strong word, but would you have clicked on this article if it was titled “Three common top 10 draft fits I can understand but have my indifferences toward”? Obviously, anything is possible and in reality, most of us only know what gets leaked through to the media. However, there are three picks I keep seeing that I simply don’t agree with. In this article, they’re ranked from least to most egregious. With the combine about to start things are likely to change but here’s how I stand in late February.

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Any Round 1 QB to the Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert
Photo by Jaime Valdez, USA TODAY Sports

This one I can rationalize. This team needs a spark (get it?) after moving to LA, playing in a small soccer stadium, and playing second fiddle to the Rams. Both teams disappointed this last season, but the Chargers never got their chance to make a run. With a new giant stadium on the horizon bringing in an exciting new face of the franchise might be the move. More so, the Chargers do have a talented roster so they may see this as the only chance to grab a good prospect at QB. 

BUT. I don’t think a rookie QB will find success behind that offensive line which very well may be the worst in the league. And I don’t think a rookie QB fits their timeline. LAC isn’t a very young team outside of a few key contributors. Keenan Allen, Melvin Ingram, and Casey Hayward are all important veterans ready to win now. With that talent and that OL, the Chargers might be better served fixing some holes with youth and getting a veteran that can maneuver a pocket at NFL speed.

The Chargers are in a fantastic spot to let the rest of the NFL scratch and claw for the top two QBs (Burrow/Tua) and Chase Young and getting a fantastic talent at a position of need. Jeffrey Okudah should be the dream, but Derrick Brown would be nice too. Isaiah Simmons would make an incredible duo with Derwin James defensively. But assuming those core three go before pick six, LA will at minimum have a choice between two of Jedrick Wills, Tristian Wirfs, Andrew Thomas, and Mekhi Becton. Whoever the next Chargers QB may be, they’ll desperately need protection to properly utilize the outside receiving threats.

It’s typical of Los Angeles to make a splashy play, but the responsible non-sexy one is the right move to make.

Derrick Brown to the Panthers

Derrick Brown
Photo by Douglas DeFelice, USA TODAY Sports

Others are way higher on Brown than I am, but it isn’t a talent issue for me. This was even my mock pick almost two months ago so I entirely understand the rationale. Yes, the Panthers could fortify the defensive line with youth. Now that Luke Kuechly is gone, that isn’t the worst idea. But former GM Dave Gettleman really put this team in between competitive windows. Christian McCaffrey might be the best skill player in the league at the moment, but without Cam Newton last season, his efforts were wasted. Unless Carolina’s new leadership wants to trade him for a haul and embrace the tank (unlikely), they need an option that can set them up long term but add wins now. 

The Panthers are a team I think will be more aggressive for a QB than others expect. I essentially see them in the position most see the Chargers in. I also believe Carolina is better set for a young QB’s success. Not only that, but new owner David Tepper has shown a willingness to be aggressive. New head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady come from recent college success. Justin Herbert makes all the sense in the world to me here, or potentially even Jordan Love if that’s what the FO prefers. Two good young wideouts, a decent OL, Christian McCaffrey, and an offensive-minded head coach. Sounds like a good fit to me.

Even if the Panthers show patience and aren’t enthralled by Herbert or Love, I think there’s a few other options they could go with. Isaiah Simmons wouldn’t replace Kuechly, but he could be a very interesting fit. CeeDee Lamb has that true X frame you like in a receiver. One of the linemen will still be on the board to really solidify that group. Derrick Brown does make sense, but only until you remember that last year’s defensive scheme was often in wide nine. That led to a porous run but good pass defense.

Isaiah Simmons to the Jaguars

Isaiah Simmons
Photo by Richard Shiro, AP Photo

This is the one I’m most certain of. If Jacksonville sees themselves in a mini rebuild and opts for BPA, then so be it. To me Simmons’ skill-set and the Jaguars’ needs on defense do not overlap. It’s important to know that Simmons is a true LB/S hybrid, playing a majority of his snaps as a slot CB with plenty at box safety and WLB. Point is, he patrols the middle of the field. That’s not what the Jags need on defense. Myles Jack is already a fast young LB and should Telvin Smith return (not exactly looking great… but I miss him) then they’ve doubled down on speedy LBs. 

With Jalen Ramsey gone and AJ Bouye a likely cap causality, the need at CB will be on the perimeter, not the slot. When Marcell Dareus went down halfway through the season, the Jacksonville run defense tanked to one of the worst in the league. Run stuffer, cover corners, overtop safety… there’s a lot of need on the Jags defense and I don’t think Simmons is the exact Swiss Army knife defender that addresses those issues. 

Derrick Brown is the dream pick here. Not only doe he shore up that run defense properly, but he can eat up space and require extra blockers while pushing the pocket outside to Yannick Ngakoue or Josh Allen. A LT would also help as Cam Robinson didn’t come back from injury as well as they had hoped. A hard look at the top WRs is also likely. 

So did I make some good points you agree with or am I dumb? Let’s talk about it! Tweet me @DTH_Mason and tell me why. Thanks for reading!