Josh Norris

Draft Decisions

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Draft Decisions: NFC West

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


How does a draft writer spend the first weeks after the big event? I’m not sure, but I have decided to watch every press conference for every team after each day of the draft, so you don’t have to. The goal is to pick up tendencies, tells and specific reasoning for selections. Sometimes the coaches and general managers have a role in mind, and as I’ve learned, too often they do not.

 

NFL franchises are honest in two ways: with their wallets and with their draft picks.

 

As you can see, the notes are very rough. This is not transcribing, more so noting the important points involved in an entire thought.

 

Arizona Cardinals


Speaking: Steve Keim and Steve Wilks, together for all three days


Received:

2018 first round pick (10)


Traded:

2018 first round pick (15)

2018 third round pick (79)

2018 fifth round pick (152)


1 (10). QB Josh Rosen, UCLA - A primary goal this offseason was to be aggressive. Trading up is an indication of what we think of Rosen. Great intangibles. One of the most mechanically sound quarterbacks to come out in some time. We were all in unity with this pick, scouts and coaches… Put in a lot of work into getting to know Rosen… Didn’t have to mortgage the future, preserved the second round pick and future 1s… Bradford likely remains the starter, one of the best we’ve seen when healthy, but every job is open for competition… Likely is some credence to 2017 draft having an impact on being aggressive this year, two teams jumped them. But we had to believe in the player. Franchise-type quarterback. Have to pull the trigger, especially at that price.… Roen believes in his thoughts and his intelligence, isn’t afraid to speak his mind and that is not a bad thing. Same trait many successful quarterbacks had. Wired the same way, had a thirst to learn more from the coaches, asked for more responsibility, the guy is dialed mentally… We all know this is the “why?” generation. We want to make sure we give the guys the “why.” Why we are doing certain things. To make a difference you’ve got to be different… As we got closer to the draft, we started moving from evaluating the player to evaluating the person with these quarterbacks. Their personalities. That’s a little different. A lot of the position is played between the ears. Arguably the most intelligent quarterback in the class. Hobbies are reading, studying, the stock market… Keim saw him play twice live. Friendly with former OC Mazzone. Stage was never too big for Rosen… There can be a tendency to over-evaluate players. Fall in love with their footwork, mechanics, throwing and then pick them apart in the spring… More time we got to spend with Josh, the more we got excited… You can’t forecast injuries. I’ve seen some guys banged up in college then they’ve never had an injury in the NFL, and vice versa… His command of the room stood out at the Combine and in Arizona. Outstanding meeting with coaches and the OC on the board… Two parent home. Mom was a journalist, dad was a doctor. Just how he carries himself, he is mature. No. 1 recruit in the country, pulled in so many ways, and he handled it well… If he doesn’t hit I might not be here. We’ve talked about it a lot that he’s on a rookie contract and we can spend money in other areas… If Sam Bradford stays healthy, he can be NFL Comeback Play of the Year


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2 (47). WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M - Local product, followed his career for quite some time. Class act off the field. Dynamic player at receiver. Return game help… “We don’t have a scheme, we have a system.” Put players in a position where they can be successful. Can play inside or outside. We are going to move our guys around… Smart, will pick up things quickly. Dedicated to his craft… Great way to get people in the community excited, and it shows how far the local programs have improved... Visited. Special to hear him talk about being a Cardinal fan growing up… He’s ready to play. Very smart. Puts the time in.


3 (97). C Mason Cole, Michigan - Tremendous visit at the Combine. Has started 51 consecutive games. Hasn’t missed a practice. Durable… Played right tackles, center, left tackle. Versatile… People at Michigan stood on the table for him. Has the DNA we talk about… We find players who have deficiencies in certain areas. But our job is to figure out what we can hang our hat on. How they can make a difference on our team… Comes from a pro-style offense. Great technician. When you get to the middle rounds that is what you look for. Smart, tough, competitive. Weight room leader, impacts his teammates. Mental toughness… Could’ve been a higher draft pick at center, but unselfishly played left tackle when they asked him to move… We want to build the offensive line.


4 (134). RB Chase Edmonds, Fordham - Quite different than TJ Logan. Has great lateral cut skills. I don’t want to tell you who we compared him to, because it is a bit lofty. Has the athletic makeup of successful runners. Answered tests since the end of the season… We grade football character and off-field character. If you’ve made a mistake and you’re remorseful, we can live with that. If you fall into that category, your football character must be off the charts. We cannot ignore red flags anymore… We don’t have to change things when he’s in the game versus David Johnson


6 (182). CB Christian Campbell, Penn State - A late bloomer. Penn State had a lot of depth. Can take players a while to pick up coverage concepts. Picked it up later, athletic profile is there… In terms of not drafting more defensive players, we can’t look at the bottom of the board when these other names on offense stand out at the top…  


7 (254). T Korey Cunningham, Cincinnati - All were team captains except for Campbell… There were some guys we liked at tight end, but it didn’t fall that way… We put even more of an emphasis on players who have done it at a high level… I keep evolving. As I keep looking back, taking chances on small school guys who didn’t have the right DNA. Or the extremely talented ones who didn’t love it enough, that’s where you get in a bind. I’ve even told myself we will take a player, even if they are a little less talented, but they have that makeup.



Los Angeles Rams


Speaking: Sean McVay and Les Snead, together for all three days


When the No. 23 pick was on the clock, the Rams broadcast a highlight reel of Brandin Cooks’ top players. “It looked pretty good”... Some oooohs and aaaaahs… Enjoyed watching the quarterbacks unfold. I was a fan because I was removed from it. Mayfield is a “great player.” Rumor that Mayfield’s flight to Indy sitting next to McVay “helped his stock” (joking)...


Received:

2018 third round pick (89)

2018 sixth round pick (217)


Traded:

2018 third round pick (87)


3 (89). T Joseph Noteboom, TCU - Played left tackle the last two years. Started 40 straight games. Able to play against very good rushers at the Senior Bowl… Learn behind starters right now, develop him and turn him into a good player for us… To be active on gameday you have to know two positions, left and right tackle. He can do that. From there he has to earn a job on the field… Get removal in the running game. Lock people up in the passing game… Met with him at the Combine… I don’t think any offensive tackle will be in a better situation than behind Whitworth… He was one of the scenarios we talked through. An offensive lineman we can develop for the future… Felt good about the trade looking at the teams between and their needs… Athleticism stood out at TCU and at the Senior Bowl. There are skills in the body that can ascend. Want to make sure the floor is solid as well…


4 (111). C Brian Allen, Michigan State - One of those players who will wake you up when you’re dozing off watching 50 prospects. Finishes people, gets in position and drives people off the ball. Just a fun player to watch… technician, smart, great guy but mean on the field...


4 (135). EDGE John Franklin-Myers, Stephen F. Austin - Targeted players with traits who could fill certain roles…


Received:

2018 fifth round pick (147)

2018 sixth round pick (197)


Traded:

2018 fourth round pick (136)


5 (147). LB Micah Kiser, Virginia - Great communicator. Listen the coaches talk about him day in and day out. Brought him in for a visit.


Received:

2018 fifth round pick (160)


Traded:

2018 sixth round pick (183)

2018 sixth round pick (217)


5 (160). EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma - Senior Bowl is a useful tool.


6 (176). RB John Kelly, Tennessee - Will add toughness and competition to the room… Anytime you can acquire someone who can make plays with the ball in his hands, it’s a good thing… Offset gun runs he had a Tennessee, playing against high-level defenses. You see the explosiveness and toughness. Good complement to Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown.


Received:

2018 sixth round pick (192)


Traded:

Tavon Austin - One of my favorite human beings on the planet. Mentally tough. Deserved a chance to be Tavon. Was all about the right stuff despite being down on the depth chart… Tavon led our team in touchdowns the year before we signed him to the contract… Teams checked in during the Combine. Conversation got going on the day of the draft out of the blue… Sometimes you make decisions for the person. You don’t want to lose players who can make plays.


6 (192). OL Jamil Demby, Maine - NFLPA then graduates to Senior Bowl. Guard-tackle flexibility. Guys coach Kromer is looking to develop.


Received:

2018 seventh round pick (244)

2018 seventh round pick (256)


Traded:

2018 sixth round pick (194)


6 (195). DL Sebastian Joseph, Rutgers


Received:

2018 sixth round pick (205)

2018 seventh round pick (231)


Traded:

2018 sixth round pick (197)

2018 seventh round pick (256)


6 (205). EDGE Trevon Young, Louisville


7 (231). LB Travin Howard, TCU


7 (241). EDGE Justin Lawler, SMU



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Josh Norris is an NFL Draft Analyst for Rotoworld and contributed to the Rams scouting department during training camp of 2010 and the 2011 NFL Draft. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Josh Norris



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