NFL Draft Recap on PredictionStrike
One of the best days of the year has passed. Before we embark on the dog days of the NFL, the storylines of hope and revival of our favorite teams still loom large. As they say in physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. The same can be said as it relates to veterans and the arrival of these rookies to their new homes.
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Coming into the draft, rumors were circulating that Hendon Hooker might end up going in round 1. As it turns out, Hooker had a similar fate to that of Malik Willis ($1.21) as he went from projected day 1 pick to flailing round 3 pick. However, he does end up in Detroit and has a chance to develop behind Jared Goff ($1.95). If Hooker can recover from his ACL injury, he finds himself in an envious situation. Behind an expensive veteran with explosive weapons on the perimeter in Jameson Williams ($2.71), Amon-Ra St. Brown ($12.51), and now Gibbs as well. The Lions played the situation perfectly, and Hooker could join the ever-growing list of quarterbacks rising to prominence from lower-than-expected draft capital.
To no one's surprise, Bryce Young ended up in Carolina. However, one of the biggest surprises for me was Anthony Richardson being drafted to Indianapolis at #4. Not only was he drafted to Indianapolis, but he is expected to play early if owner Jim Irsay has his way.
The best thing for a rookie quarterback to lean on is the run game. It is hard not to get excited about the prospect of Richardson running a bunch of zone reads to Jonathan Taylor ($5.87), along with run-pass options to Michael Pittman ($1.98). The hard part for the Colts is going to be making sure Richardson can play early without risking shattering his confidence. He does have one of the better teams around him compared to his peers, but their owners also didn't come out and openly say they expect him to play early. This can't be good for Gardner Minshew ($4.72) and his 2023 prospects nonetheless.
Another notable selection from Thursday was Buffalo selecting Dalton Kincaid in the first round at pick 25. While the Bills didn't "need" a tight end, Kincaid certainly was an entertaining selection. Not only does this keep him away from Cincinnati Bengals, but he also gives Josh Allen ($25.28) another viable weapon in the passing game. After there was a run on wide receivers, the Bills ended up getting the best pass catcher left on the board. This should hopefully take pressure off of Stefon Diggs ($4.86) but the real winner here was Gabriel Davis ($2.63). No top 3 selection was used at the position which bodes well for Davis as of now, barring a Deandre Hopkins ($3.98) trade which I think is still feasible post-June 1.
Lastly, in the cruel world of the, NFL Pete Carrol has pulled another Pete Carrol move. Years ago we watched them grab Rashaad Penny ($10.22) to "compete" with previous 7th-round rookie Chris Carson ($3.54). As much as things change, some things remain the same as Pete has done it again. After drafting Kenneth Walker ($6.04) in the second round last year, this year he makes another tailback selection with Zach Charbonet. Things never seem to make sense in Seattle, yet somehow they have worked out for Pete more than we give him credit for.
Outside of the selection, the Seahawks also grabbed Jaxon Smith-Njigba out of Ohio State who gets to join DK Metcalf ($4.04) and Tyler Lockett ($5.48). While Seattle is a run-first squad, Geno Smith ($1.28) must feel great with no added competition but instead added weapons around him. I think Geno had a fairytale 2022 season, let's see if it was a fluke or if he is here to stay in 2023.
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