The 2017 NFL Draft will have 22 prospects attending in Philadelphia, but these three players might have uncomfortably long waits in the green room.
As is the case annually, the 2017 NFL Draft is a three-day window for dreams to come true. All 253 players that have their name called throughout April 27-29 will have the chance to make their football dreams come true. It’s truly a special moment for every prospect. Yes, it’s great to go in the first round, but just to make it is an accomplishment in itself.
With that said, there are certain players that undoubtedly have expectations that they feel are realistic. Obviously it takes confidence to get to this level of football, but there are some signs when players think that they’re about to be a high pick. The biggest indicator is the players who accept the invite to attend the NFL draft.
On Thursday, the 22 players that will be in Philadelphia to attend the 2017 NFL Draft was announced. There are both big names that will be in attendance and some that won’t, Myles Garrett most notably falling in the latter category as the projected No. 1 overall pick.
We see it every year though. For whatever reasons, some of the players who attend the draft fall farther down the board than expected. Robert Nkemdiche falling to the Arizona Cardinals at the end of the first round is one example. But it can get worse. Sometimes, players are awkwardly waiting in the green room all through Day 1 and have to return for the second day of the draft. It’s even worse if they fall farther than that.
Having that in mind, here are three players attending who should prepare for a long stay in the green room in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft as they’ll tumble a bit down the board.
Others receiving votes: Chidobe Awuzie (Colorado), Kevin King (Washington), Takkarist McKinley (UCLA)
Oct 29, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive lineman Malik McDowell (4) stands on the field between plays during the second half of a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
3. Malik McDowell, DT – Michigan State
Malik McDowell is one of the most talented players in the entire 2017 draft. When you watch the game film when he’s engaged and playing hard, it’s phenomenal. Based on that, his measurables and his potential, the Michigan State product would undoubtedly go off of the board with a top-10 pick. Of course, there’s much more that factors into a player’s value when it comes to the draft. And, unfortunately, they weight McDowell down in a big way.
When it comes to the former Spartan’s attitude and effort level, there are red flags galore. On tape, the inconsistency that you see is absolutely infuriating. It’s not maddening because he’s a prospect still learning, but rather because he’s capable of dominating every time that he puts his hand down and his motor seems to vary on a play-to-play basis. What’s more, there have been numerous rumblings that he was a questionable teammate, some former teammates saying he was selfish and consistently tried to show his “brothers” at Michigan State up.
The negativity concerning McDowell’s attitude isn’t going away as there’s been nothing to dispel those rumors and rumblings. Subsequently, it’s not hard to imagine teams not being willing to use a first-round pick on a player that brings that type of demeanor into a locker room. Again, there’s no denying his talent, but McDowell sliding to Day 2 is a viable possibility.
Sep 23, 2016; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; USC Trojans defensive back Adoree’ Jackson (2) reacts after returning a kickoff for a touchdown against the Utah Utes during the first half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
2. Adoree’ Jackson, CB – USC
There are players every year coming into the draft that, when you study their film, you just kick back and enjoy what you see. Adoree’ Jackson was absolutely electric throughout his time at USC. That was most evident whenever he was back returning kicks.
He has great speed, tremendous quickness and vision, and is a threat to break a play open as soon as the ball touches his gloves. It’s a great time watching him go to work. It’s similarly enjoyable to watch him make plays on the ball when he’s at cornerback as he’s so athletic and gifted.
However, there are definitive shortcomings when it comes to Jackson’s ability as a cornerback. Though teams could look to get creative with him, that is the position that he’s entering the league at. And in a deep class at the position, Jackson simply isn’t among the best. Yes, his value is undoubtedly boosted by the fact that he is such a special teams threat. However, is that enough to really vault him ahead of some of the other top-tier corners who excel in coverage? Maybe not.
Jackson has far too much potential and ability as a returner to fall out of Round 2, though his pure corner skills right now would likely place him in that third-round range in my opinion. With that said, I don’t think that he’s going to come near the first round. Teams love upside and athleticism and Jackson has that in bunches. Ultimately, though, I don’t think that’s enough for him to not return to the green room for Day 2.
Sep 17, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback DeShone Kizer (14) attempts to throw the ball against the Michigan State Spartans during the first quarter of a game at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
1. DeShone Kizer, QB – Notre Dame
To put it as simply as possibly, with no malice intended, I think that DeShone Kizer is making a massive mistake attending the 2017 NFL Draft. The Notre Dame quarterback was once considered a top-three pick, but his stock has steadily been on the decline since then. He struggled at the end of the season for the Fighting Irish, posted just a 4-8 record with the team and raised a ton of questions.
What’s worse for Kizer is the fact that his showing at the NFL Scouting Combine and through tape-watching hasn’t done him that many favors. While players like Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb have seen their stock rise since season’s end, Kizer’s has either plateaued or even dipped further since then. With the likelihood that man teams aren’t going to look for a quarterback early in this draft, that spells bad news for Kizer.
Personally, I wouldn’t take Kizer until the third round of the 2017 draft. However, I realize that quarterbacks make teams do crazy things, especially one with Kizer’s physical tools. With that said, I would be floored if the Notre Dame product went off the board in the first round. By my estimation, he’s going to be the fourth or fifth quarterback taken in this draft, which means that he’s got a long wait ahead of him in the green room.