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Todd McShay Talks 2017 NFL Draft On ESPN Conference Call

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NFL

Todd McShay Gives Insights on 2017 Draft

Today, I had the outstanding opportunity to gain some insights on the 2017 NFL Draft on one of the country’s top experts.  ESPN’s Todd McShay held a conference call for media members today and I had the pleasure of representing TSJ Sports.  After listening to everything McShay had to say, here are some key things that stood out:

This Year’s Tight End Class Is Very Impressive

One major thing that I took from this call is that Todd McShay is very high on this year’s tight end class.  After listening to what he had to say, he has very many reasons to feel this way.

The biggest prospect that McShay raved about was Alabama tight end, OJ Howard.  In McShay’s latest mock draft, he has Howard being take at fourth overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars.  This would be the highest that a tight end has been selected in the history of the NFL Draft.  Howard had an outstanding 2016 season for the Crimson Tide, accumulating 45 receptions for 595 yards and three touchdowns.  He also wowed scouts at the NFL Combine, running a 4.5 forty yard dash with a 30 inch vertical jump and 22 reps on the bench press.

McShay said that he believes that the tight end class is deep overall.  He believes that Evan Engram from Ole Miss could possibly slip into the late first round.  Also, he lists prospects such as Jake Butt (Michigan), Gerald Everett (South Alabama), Adam Shaheen (Ashland), and David Njoku (Miami) as possible second day selections.

The 2017 Running Back Class is Deep

McShay stated that he believes the running back position could be the best offensive position group in this year’s draft.  He discussed top prospects such as Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, and Christian McCaffrey stating that you are getting what you see with these prospects.  He also said that he believes McCaffrey’s stock is going to keep rising as we get closer to the draft.

McShay also discussed some second-fourth round running backs who he believes can have great NFL careers.  Among these backs are players such as Alvin Kamara (Tennessee), Joe Mixon (Oklahoma), Kareem Hunt (Toledo), and D’Onta Foreman (Texas).

On Kamara McShay said “Kamara catches the ball extremely well and his explosiveness stands out after watching game film.”  He went on to say that Kamara is a guy that could possibly sneak into the first round.

Another guy that McShay was high on is Joe Mixon, saying that he believes Mixon is the second most talented back in this year’s draft.  However, he believes that Mixon will fall to the third round based on his off-the-field issues.

On Hunt and Foreman, McShay believes that they are both powerful backs that will be drafted in later rounds that can have great careers.

The 2017 Draft Has Some Great DBs

Todd McShay is very high on this year’s defensive back class.  One guy that was brought up in a lot of questions during this conference call was Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers.  McShay said that he believes Peppers can have a great career but has a lot of developing left to do.  He discussed how Peppers will have to play in the nickel position more and work on his coverage.  McShay said that Peppers has shown that he has the speed to cover tight ends and slot receivers but that he had to use his hands and grab a lot in college.  Obviously, NFL officials won’t allow Peppers to grab as much at the next level.  McShay believes that Peppers will be a mid-late first/second round pick.

Some other guys that McShay raved about included Malik Hooker and Marshon Lattimore (Ohio State).  When discussing Hooker, McShay stated that “Hooker has the best ball skills and is the best playmaker out of all the DBs in this year’s draft.”  He lists Hooker as a top five prospect.  As for Lattimore, McShay believes that he is the best cover corner in the 2017 draft.

McShay On 2017 QB Class

There was a lot of discussion during this call on this year’s QB class.  First, McShay answered questions on the top three quarterback prospects.  This includes Mitchell Trubisky (North Carolina), Deshaun Watson (Clemson), and DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame).  On Trubisky and Watson. McShay believes that they are basically even with each other.  He says that he believes Trubisky is just as mobile as Watson.  However, he gives Watson the edge in production in big games and gives Trubisky the edge with mechanics.  He also went on to say that he believes Kizer is the best QB prospect based on physical attributes.  Kizer is behind Trubisky and Watson due to production.

McShay went on to discuss some late-round QB prospects that he likes.  These include prospects such as Nathan Peterman (Pittsburgh), Josh Dobbs (Tennessee), Pat Mahomes (Texas Tech), and Brad Kaaya (Miami).  McShay is very high on Dobbs saying “The more film I watch, the more I like him.”  He is also very high on Mahomes, who he believes is a developmental prospect.

McShay believes that Mahomes has a high ceiling but also has a lot to learn.  He compared Mahomes to Brett Favre and Johnny Manziel based on his arm strength and ability to maneuver around and outside the pocket.

On Peterman, the only thing that McShay is concerned about is arm strength.  However, he praised Peterman’s leadership and ability to learn new systems, as Peterman had to learn two different offenses in college. McShay has Peterman, Dobbs, and Kaaya as possible prospects for a team like the Redskins, who could be moving on from Kirk Cousins eventually.  He has Mahomes as a second round guy that could possibly sneak into the first.

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