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Josh Norris

Draft Decisions

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Draft Decisions: AFC West

Monday, July 16, 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.

 

NFC South

NFC North

NFC West

NFC East

AFC North

AFC East

AFC South

 

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Denver Broncos


1 (5). EDGE Bradley Chubb, NC State - “We didn’t think he was going to be there. Heard some rumors day of that he might be there”... Base downs we are a 5 man front team, sub downs we are a 4 man front team. He will play on the outside. Over half the snaps are sub packages… Most likely would’ve traded out if Chubb wasn’t on the board. Had a lot of phone calls and a lot of options… Happy for Lamar Jackson that he went to Baltimore… Did not want to trade up. Wanted to stay at 40… Did a lot of work on the quarterbacks. We felt comfortable with Case and Paxton. Still believe in Paxton… Having depth on the edge is good… We felt he was the best defensive player in the draft. He plays hard. That is half the battle in the NFL


2 (40). WR Courtland Sutton, SMU - Big and fast. Really raw. Tremendous ceiling and upside. Can help us right away… Thought we had an offensive lineman but it didn’t happen that way… We need to sharpen his route running ability. Has all the physicals tools necessary. Third receiver is like a third corner, everyone is in sub package, everyone is in three wide. It’s like a starter. He can play X, Z, he can play in the slot… His skill set is special. He has No. 1 traits as a receiver. He can be that in the future… Character reports were tremendous. Met with at the Combine.


3 (71). RB Royce Freeman, Oregon - Has carried the ball a lot. Tremendous production. Big banger which we haven’t had for a while… Running back spot is open. Gotta have 2 or 3 backs anyways… Big back with speed… Workload shows that he is durable. Wasn’t a concern for us… Has a lot better speed than CJ Anderson. Breakaway speed. If we can get him on the safeties he has a chance to break it… Hope to three round picks can help right away


3 (99). CB Isaac Yiadom, Boston College - Coached him at the Senior Bowl and liked him there. Long, can run and help stop the deep ball… All three had “no clue” Broncos would draft them. Elway had to hide interest, keep it quiet… Got better everyday. Fits our profile at corner. We want long corners with long speed. Will help on special teams


4 (106). LB Josey Jewell, Iowa - All of our picks have a level of maturity. When you go on a losing streak you need that level of maturity… Coaching the Senior Bowl is a clear advantage. We drafted three players from that team. You don’t draft guys blindly… Will be a MIKE backer for us. Great instincts. Great size. Strong side Mike for us.


4 (113). WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State - Big guy who has played all three positions. Not narrowing him as a slot guy. Skill set we wanted: big, fast guys with ball skills. Slot guys is by design… Was our best receiver at the Senior Bowl.


Received:

2018 fifth round pick (156)

2018 seventh round pick (226)


Traded to Seahawks:

2018 fifth round pick (149)


5 (156). TE Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin


Received:

2018 sixth round pick (183)

2018 sixth round pick (217)


Traded to Rams:

2018 fifth round pick (160)


6 (183). G Sam Jones, Arizona State - Big and aggressive. Our offensive line coach really liked him.


6 (217). LB Keishawn Bierria, Washington - Were not aware of his mother having leukemia.


7 (226). RB David Williams, Arkansas



Kansas City Chiefs


Received:

2018 second round pick (46)

2018 third round pick (100)


Traded to Bengals:

2018 second round pick (54)

2018 third round pick (78)


2 (46). DL Breeland Speaks, Ole Miss - Veach doesn’t believe he’s been a part of a team that didn’t have a first round pick… You always hope teams value players differently than you, so the players you like are still on the board. Before second day you associate the top players on your board with possible destinations ahead of you. Pro staff identifies other teams’ needs and when they might fill them… High motor, intense player. Love his play strength. Someone who can play the run and the pass. Did a little bit of everything at Ole Miss… Veach has a tendency to “wear” Andy Reid “out” when he likes a guy. So Reid has watched every game Speaks has played. Every snap… Never on the ground. Very similar player to Tamba and Suggs in terms of frame… Brought him in for a visit… Veach had his eye on him all along. He was going to target him. Get aggressive. That is his nature… Never saw him take a play off. And he played a lot… Owned up to whatever things went on in his past… Look at how often a DL is on the ground. Core strength, player where he is double teamed and fought through it, the hustle. How well do they use their hands?... Veach wore him out with LeSean McCoy, Desean Jackson, Fletcher Cox, Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones. He gets on one… Started the process with Speaks as a third round value. Pass rushers are tough to come by. “He’ll never be there by the time we pick in round three, so we might have to pick him at 54. Then we realized he likely wouldn’t be there at 54.” If you’re hearing round four, he goes in three. If you’re hearing three he’ll go in two…. Have to evaluate the Detroits and Dallas and the Colts… Power rush player. I’ll take a 4.7 guy who can power rush versus a 4.5 guy who can’t. It’s not always pretty but it’s physical… This was our opportunity to get a guy who can impact the quarterback… We monitored other teams that worked him out… Veach watched him in October, immediately went into someone’s office to ask if he’s watched him.


Received:

2018 third round pick (75)


Traded to Ravens:

2018 third round pick (86)

2018 fourth round pick (122)


3 (75). DL Derrick Nnadi, FSU - Identified players Friday morning and worked to get in position to draft them… Toughness and temperament… Steeler teams and Ravens teams, we want to emulate that. Roll your sleeves up and play football. Play four quarters… Our need was to just get tougher… Was a big gap after Nnadi, so we went up and got him.


3 (100). LB Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson - Chess piece for us. Dime and sub-packages. Will be able to cover tight ends. We had him graded as the best special teams player… Money back, dime backer. Possibly develop into a WILL. He’ll be on the field in Dime and we play a lot of Dime.


4 (124). S Armani Watts, Texas A&M - You notice the instincts… Will learn from Eric Berry… Risk taking was all scheme. Whenever he gambles there was a safety on top of him. He had freedom underneath… Skateboarder. Great in the community and locker room… Doesn’t have to be the fastest guy on the field because he understands route concepts… Good tackler but he can get better… Kept bringing up that he will learn from Eric Berry… Worked out 15 pounds heavier than his playing weight.


6 (196). CB Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas - Everything he does is full speed. He’s very confident. What stood out is he gets his hands on a lot of balls. He’s always around the ball.


Received:

2018 sixth round pick (198)


Traded to Patriots:

2018 seventh round pick (233)

2018 seventh round pick (243)


6 (198). OL Kahlil McKenzie, Tennessee - Nose tackle traits can translate to offensive line. “If that kid had played offensive line from the get-go, watch out”... He looked better than all three offensive linemen he worked out with… Brought up the idea to him “I’d be willing to do anything”... He would’ve been a two gap run defender. That’s it. This lets him do more.




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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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