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April 28, 2022 40 mins

The Tape Heads: Draft Season podcast kicks off Draft Day with Former NFL GM Rick Spielman joining the show.  Bob Wischusen and Greg Cosell ask about the timeline for the day and how teams handle their last hours before drafting.  Rick talks about the expectations of drafted players and what evaluations are still being made.  If you have the top pick, you want a franchise QB but since the Jaguars already have that you can either trade out or take the best available player.  Without a lot of QB's, Rick doesn't feel like there will be a lot of movement...but he does believe one of these QBs will be a surprise like Patrick Mahomes.  Rick likes the mentality of Malik Willis and how moments never seem too big for him.  We discuss how pass rushers will dominate this Draft early followed by the depth of WR's.  Rick gives us some surprise players that have impressed him and could end up being impact players.  We wrap up preparing for Thursday night and discussing how a player sliding down in the draft could ultimately be better for their careers.

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:03):
Tape Heeds. It's a production of I Heart Media and
the NFL. Welcome to Tape Heeds Draft Season. It has
finally arrived. It is finally time to turn in the cards.
It is finally time to make some picks. Yes, it
is time for the draft. We have been building for this,

at least on this podcast for a couple of months,
but there are some that have been building for this
for about three hundred and sixty three days. Because that
is the industry that we are in. We talk about this.
The minute this drafts over, we'll start talking about the
next one. That's what makes the NFL so much fun.
It literally is a three hundred and sixty five day
a year conversation. Bobo shusan longtime radio voice of the
New York Jets, of course college football and ESPN as well.

Greg Cosal has been breaking down the old twenty two
at NFL films during the season games off season, always
looking at these draft prospects, and we have been breaking
them down throughout the off season getting you set for
the draft tonight, and Greg, we're gonna kick it right
off with a guest who has lived this life, has
in the chair that you know I'm sure many of

us out there are envious of tonight, but there's a
lot of pressure that goes along with it as well,
and that is former NFL General Manager Rick Spielman, who
joins us to talk about what life is like to
be a GM on Draft Night Rick before we get
started as well, I think people probably want to know
where they can catch you because you're in Las Vegas
and you are covering the Draft. You're gonna be doing
some shows on Fox Sports Radio with Jay Glazer CBS

Sports as well this weekend. So where can folks hear
your opinion as the draft progresses this week? Yeah, Well,
I've I've got a couple of things going. I'll be
on the cover in the first round on Fox Radio
with Glaze and I think LaVar Arrington tonight and Robs.
Rob Stone's going to be uh kind of the quarterback
of of that crew. And then uh, I'll be doing
a lot of work with CBS Sports HQ. They've got

a studio set up over in the NFL Fan Experience,
So looking forward to that. And then I do have
a TikTok account that I've been actually breaking down players,
uh since TikTok asked me to come on and see
if I would do a few things for him. So
I'm doing a little two may minute segments for them
as well. So I've been very busy with some other
consulting work I've been doing over the past couple of months.

Unlike your brother Chris, who now has gone back to
the good side of life running a team and being
involved in that, you have come over to the dark side.
So welcome to it. Welcome to the media. We're glad
to have you. I'll be listening all weekend. And you
know what, before we get into some some specific players,
just take us inside the day of a general manager today.

How early does it start, how much movement is there
is the hay in the barn and you just wait
for the draft to start tonight, Or how many conversations
will there bay of these teams in the top ten
or top fifteen heading up towards the first card being
turned in tonight. You know, I always took the morning
uh to go take my wife to breakfast, walk the dogs. Uh.
You know, because there's no more there's no more discussions.

Everything is pretty much discussed a lot of times when
the trades, potential trades, are gonna start happening before the draft,
maybe two or three hours before the draft. You're making
your calls that the interesting thing this year is, I think,
and correct me if I'm wrong, I think there are
eight teams without first round picks this year, and there
are numerous teams with multiple picks. So I'm excited to

see how people utilize all this draft capital that they have,
if they're going to move up or down, or teams
are going to try to select get more draft picks,
select more players. Because it's a pretty deep draft class
on Friday as well, so it should be interesting to
see what happens tonight. You know, I guess, since we
want to focus Rick on tonight, the first round, what

when you were doing this as a general manager, what
was your expectation when you drafted a player in the
first round. What did you expect him to be? I mean, obviously,
I think when you draft in the first round, you're
looking for that guy to be a starting player for you.
But what what's the expectation when you draft a player
in the first round. Well, from a team perspective, it depends,

I think where you get them in the first round.
So if you're talking top fifteen players, you're expecting that
player hopefully to come in and be an impact starter
for your right away And and I know as a
rookie coming in, he's going to have to learn and grow,
but you're drafting him that high to become a starter.
As you get lower in the first round, and if
you talk to a lot of teams, I don't know

how many teams would say they have thirty two first
round starters in the draft. So as you go down
and you go down further in the draft, you're drafting
guys based off of unique physical traits that are good
football players but may need some time to develop. And
we had a category in that area called he may
not start Day one of his rookie year, but by

game three, four or five, as he continues to develop
and our coaches continue to develop, and we think he'll
be a starter within his rookie year. And I guess
the follow up to me as we talk about the
NFL would be when it comes to defense, where there's
multiple packages. You know, teams play in their base state.
Teams can play nickel, teams can play dime. So a

lot of players play on defense, and most teams actually
as you know, play more in their sub defense than
their base. So if there's a player who you view
as a really good player, really good prospect, you like
everything about him, but you see him certainly initially, uh,
because everything then becomes a projection, certainly initially as a

guy who would let's say, only play in your base.
Would that still be someone you would look at as
a as a top fifteen or top sixteen pick. Would
you be happy to talking about Davis the big defensive
tackle from Yeah, because you know what's funny, I've I've
been taking a lot of grief because you know, I
watched probably about eight or nine games of Georgia, and

I would have two questions for Kirby Smart. Maybe you'd
have different questions, and I don't know Kirby Smart, and
I'm sure you do. Um My questions would be why
did he play twenty snaps a game? And why didn't
he play on third down? I think I would want
to know that answer before I would take him, let's say,
with the twelfth pick in the draft. Yeah. I can
maybe make a couple of points on this. I I've

also had the opportunity to watch him, and he's there's
no question of his physical ability. I mean what he
did at the combine was almost, if I could use
the term in human being able to move that big
at that size. And Greg, I don't know what you saw,
but I saw him as a very good run players.
Pat do get high a little bit. He does have range.

And when I see a big guy, and I'm talking
about what I've been experienced when I had worked with Pat,
Williams Uh and even Limbo Joseph, those big guys, if
they can get outside and show range and make some
tackles outside the numbers, especially on run plays outside, that
tells me that's a big man that can move where.
I had some struggles with him as his pass rush

and I'm trying to I think, is that pass rush
because he doesn't have very many pass rush moves that
he's going to rely on his power all the time.
The other thing in that rotation, when you watch Georgia's
defensive line, they have a lot of very good nickel
pass rushers and uh, you know Walker, the Trayvon Walker

who they're talking about. When I charted his games, I
think five of the sacks that I saw came when
he was inside over a guard that we're using up
some kind of stunt. So I don't know. I never
talked to Kirby about the rotation. I think teams are
going to ask, because of this guy's size, his unique
testing numbers that he did at the combine, it can

we make him a three down defensive tackle or not?
And that's that's a lot of the questions and probably
a lot of the discussions that went on in the
draft rooms these past couple of weeks. Because again, as
I've been telling people, my daughters can see that he's
a unique physical specimen. That's not the issue you. The
issue then becomes deployment in the NFL, and because we

live in a league where more teams play in their
sub packages than they do in their base I would
think that you'd want him to be able to do
that if you're going to draft him high. Well, you know,
I believe last data, and you don't quote me on this,
but I think se are a little higher of the
offensive snaps now or you're in your sub package or
your nickel situation. So that's why pass rushers and cover

guys have become so important, and especially with the type
of quarterbacks defenses are trying to defend right now because
of the mobility of the Patrick Mahomes and the Josh
Allens of the world. Um, and even I don't think
he has gets enough credit. But Burrow from Cincinnati, as
I think, is a very good athlete. So not only

do you have to be able to rush these guys,
but you have to have some athletes up front. Uh.
And I remember we went out to Arizona lost on
the missfield goal at the end of the game. But
are our guys running around Jason cal Murray all over
the field. And that's why you have to have a
rotation to keep those guys fresh and have seven or

eight of those defensive lind being able to go in
there and rush the passer. Probably why a lot of
mock drafts right now have a guy like Trayvon Walker
rising up to the first pick overall. And a couple
of months ago it was Cavon Thibodeaux. He was kind
of be like no brainer, number one pick in the draft,
but now many have Walker going first to Jacksonville. Is

it precisely to the point you and Greg are talking
about you never have to take him off the field, Well,
you have to take it. You have to have to
get arrest. You have to mean what I mean, he's
a he's a three down player, right. Oh yeah, No,
those guys him, Hutchinson, all those guys I believe are
three down players that that can run, that can rush
the passer. Uh. Some of them can play the run

a little better than the others. But they're going to
be players that you can put in a rotation or
start right away and especially have them as a critical
factor on your third down rushes. With Rix Biellman here,
former NFL general manager, on taped's draft season one more
wide angle lens question I have about this draft, and
then I'm sure Greg will dig down into some of

the prospects, and I have a couple of questions about
prospects as well. But this according too many because we
don't have the quarterbacks ranked at the top of the draft.
Is a kind of quote unquote bad draft. To have
a top ten pick, a really bad draft. Maybe to
have the first pick, because you can maybe take the
top ten or top twelve prospects in this draft and

jumble them together and you might get just as good
a player at ten as you're going to get at one.
You gotta pay the guy at one heck of a
lot more than you have to pay the guy at
ten A. Do you agree with that? And be if
you were a team with a top ten pick that
wanted to trade out of the top ten and get
out of there and add draft capital, how hard will

that be for teams to do? Tonight? Let me digest
set that was a pretty good Well, let me let
me start off first by saying that, you know, usually
if you're the number picking number one in the draft,
you are hoping that your franchise quarterback is there. And
Jacksonville did get there, I believe the franchise quarterback last year.

So now, uh, if it wasn't Jacksonville who drafted a
franchise quarterback last year, it may be a little different. Well, jeez,
you know, we're number one, but I still can't get
my franchise quarterback. But I think there's in these ten
there there are going to be some very good players
that are gonna come in and make immediate impacts either
on the offensive line or on the as a as

some rushers. So you have to say, well, Jacksonville, maybe
they are excited about it because they got a chance
to take the best player besides the quarterback because they
wouldn't take a quarterback with the number one overall pick.
The only negative about that is I do agree there's
a lot of depth and not a lot of separation
in the top ten. If there was a franchise that

everybody saw as a franchise changing type quarterback in this draft,
then potentially Jacksonville would be able to trade out that
number one pick. But I don't anticipate a lot of
teams are a lot of movement in the first ten
picks because I think there's a couple of offensive linement,
a couple of defensive linement, a couple other players there.

I don't know if there anyone will come up and
try to get a quarterback in the top ten the
way you know you read in the media side, But
I don't know. I don't know how other teams feel.
And there may be some surprises, uh this year, uh
in the draft. But I do believe that there's not
going to be a lot of movement because there's no
unique quarterback that everybody is saying. The one thing that

I will disagree with on everybody, or think I shouldn't
say everybody, but just what I've been listening to in
my opinion, one of these quarterbacks may end up being
a Patrick Mahomes type player, because I remember when he
came out okay Man, maybe he's the top of the
second round pick in Kansas City, felt very strongly about

him and moved up and got him in the first round.
But if you graded Patrick Mahomes is tape in college,
very unique, armed, good athlete, but you know, the erratic
play and coming out of the the red red rifle
or whatever they call it the offense down there. But
no one thought that Patrick Mahomes are going to be

who he was, or they would have taken him with
the number one overall, that's true. So I believe that
someone in this class quarterback class, maybe one of the
next Patrick Mahomes or some of these guys are gonna
be pretty good quarterbacks in this league. Yeah. Well, it's
funny because one of the things we wanted to talk
about was quarterbacks. But I think we'll wait for the
next segment to really delve deeply into that, Bob. But

because I I've always felt Rick and we can just
maybe prequeue it that most drafts and maybe this one
is a little different, because it seems that quarterbacks are
not being talked about at that level. But I always
taught like you had two drafts. You have the quarterback
draft and then the rest of the draft, because I
think teams always feel, particularly if you need one, that

you have to go get one. And you may go
get a guy that's not rated as highly on your
board as as uh you know you might like, but
if you don't have one, you have to go get one. Yeah,
And I think you've seen that this offseason. I mean,
look at all the movement, uh Russell Wilson and when
Denver did, Cleveland went at and got Deshaun Watson. Uh,

you know last year the Rams wenton got Matthew Stafford.
So teams are starting to look at this a little differently.
And I agree with your point that if you don't
have one, you have to go try to get one,
and if you don't, think you could get one in
the draft, and teams have become very very aggressive and
trying to go out and get the quarterbacks in free

agency or via trade. Now. So I think that is
is a true statement, but I also don't just because
it may not be in people's terms, and who knows
will judges quarterback class three years from now. Uh doesn't
mean it. It isn't a strong draft and you're going
to get some very good players in this year's draft. Well,

let's get a closer look at those quarterbacks with Rick Spielman,
Bobo Shoes, and Great co Sell taped's draft season. When
we come right back, Bobo shooes him, Greg co Sell,
Rick Spielman, former NFL general manager with us here on
taped's draft season and Greg was just talking about the quarterbacks. Rick,
let's dive deeper this quarterback class. What do you think

there's there's obviously a very kind of wide variety of
quarterbacks that we would think potentially could go in the
first round. Different body types, different traits, also different Achilles heels.
What's your take on this crew? Yeah, you know, I
get an opportunity to see a couple of these guys
play live this fall. You know, the kid that's probably

was the most intrigued to me as Malik Willis. I
know I watched his junior tape. He had some now
big wins, and he's the one Liberty is not going
to have the same level of talent that I watched
him play against North Carolina State in two thousand twenty
and had them in position to win that game, to

beat a Virginia Tech UH to go to a bowl
game and beat Coastal Carolina if I if I recall,
I went watched them play live against Syracuse this year
and one of the funniest things that I saw was
he came out in pregame and the students. I always
go very early to the games, and he's out there

warming up even before two hours before the game. They
let the students come running in and there all in
the end zone there, and as he comes walking out,
they're yelling over rated, over rated, and he turned around
to him and just start clapping with him over rated.

So that told me a little bit about his personality,
which I thought was incredible. But what I really thought
that he did a great job with is through this
whole predraft process and when you watch him play against
the power of five teams. And I'm not saying he
doesn't have negatives or he had doesn't have weaknesses that
need to be corrected, but from a mentality standpoint, nothing

ever really seemed too big for him. He went down
and performed at the Senior Bowl, he went down and
performed at the Combine h he's been. He had a
good Pro day, So every time that he was put
on that stage and the lights were on him, he
seemed to really uh flourish in those situations. Now, I'm

not saying I know, you know, if you want to
break down the tape on the strengths and weaknesses, I
see the same things too. But that really told me
something about out the kid and and what his character
and what he is his fibers made up with inside.
You know, I guess that which raises to me were
kind of the the larger question which now is very
much part and parcel of quarterback evaluation, And maybe everybody

sees it differently, and it's obviously individual to specific quarterbacks,
but sort of the balance between quarterbacks now who are
able to make second reaction improvisational plays versus the ability
to be efficient snap after snap from the pocket. You
know what, what is the balance there? How did you
look at that? Because obviously I think willis because I

watched him last year as you did, and I certainly
watched him this year as well, you'd probably say that
he's not quite as efficient at this point in his
development as you would like to be an NFL quarterback,
but he certainly has those other traits to make second
reaction special plays. So what's the balance. How do you
kind of put that all together when you evaluate quarterbacks. Yeah,

I think it's it's as you sit there and you're
you're talking with your offensive coordinator or head coach and
your scheme. I mean, you know, we were you see
all these teams and you know, uh Patrick Mahomes. I
know when uh Gary Kubiak and we were in the
West Coast system, and you know when we signed Kirk Cousins.
The number one thing we want to look for was

accuracy because of how quick it gets out out of
the hands. And I think Gary has been one of
the all time great offensive coordinators in this league. But
I think you are starting to see some of these
offenses evolve into more two and three receiver sets, utilizing
because most of these quarterbacks coming out now trying to

utilize what their strengths are and utilize, uh, their athletic
skill set. The biggest example to me of a team
evolving to their quarterback was Great Roman and John Hardball
in Baltimore when they drafted Lamar Jackson, who when he
came out, I mean he had a good arm. Some

questions accuracy, but there's no question about his unique physical
ability to make plays with his feet. And they adjusted
their offense and adjusted their scheme to fit what that
what Lamar Jackson's strengths are, and I think you're going
to see more and more of that. The teams are
going to have to adjust to what type of quarterbacks

are coming up into our league now. So I guess
the question. Then the follow up would be, is there
a time if you want to be a championship team, um,
where your quarterback is going to have to master the
drop back passing game and your offense is going to
have to function in the drop back passing game too,
you know, to to win quote unquote big games against

really good teams which you face in the playoffs. Yeah,
because they're the defenses are pretty good on this up
in this league as well. So uh, you're then there
are a lot of smart people on the defensive side
of the ball. So I do believe that you're still
going to have to have a run game, You're still
going to have to be able to throw from the pocket.

You're still the quarterbacks still have to go through a
progression and one of the biggest things that I learned
through my career, uh and where I may have made
where I did make some mistakes, was I always thought
the quarterback had to be very smart, and I think
that is true, But what I've learned is that they

also have to process quickly. So I have seen quarterbacks
who I thought were extremely intelligent go up and draw
on a board and install a concept installed. Well, this
is how I adjust to if this linebacker is coming
off this edge or the safety drops down in the box,
and draw it up there better than the the coach did.

But what I think you have to try, and what
we tried to get to was can that same player
that sounded just like an offensive coordinator that is very smart,
can he do that and process that in two and
a half seconds or less. And that's where I felt
that we were trying to get to to make sure

that yes he's very smart, but yes he can also
process quickly as well. Where else is the best deepest
pool of talent in this draft? Is it the pass rushers,
the wide receivers. Obviously there's some corners that are thought
to go high. If we're talking about the quarterbacks not
being the dominant position rarely we have a trap that
that's the case. Where where else am I going for

the best, most impactful players? In your opinion, I believe
it's going to be the pass rushers. I think you're
going to come see them come flying off the board. Uh.
And I do believe. It seems like every year there's
always been a really good receiver class. I think this
is another very good receiver class. Um on what I've
seen so far. The question is that I think a

lot of teams when you sit there and you're trying
to decide, Okay, I'm at twelve or am I'm at
ten or eleven? If I know there are six receivers
that we have, uh, definitely top players that can come
in and and start for us right away, Do I
take a receiver there? Or do I go towards another

position and let's say maybe it's corner or maybe it
is you know, the offensive tackle drops class drops after
the first three or four go um. So that's what
you're weighing up in on during the draft is you
have to also know what other teams are going to do,
what their needs are. You know what your need is,

but can you be patient enough to fill two needs
by knowing that if I want a receiver and I
know I've got five other guys that are like just
as well, can I wait and maybe get one of
those receivers and get another position that may not be
as deep in the draft. A couple more minutes with

Rick Spielman here on tape's Draft season, Bobo Shoos and
Greg co cell and one other quick one for me.
We really have tried to dive behind the draft and
how teams put together their boards, and Greg has done
a deep dive during this draft on you know, really
mining deep for talent that might be diamonds in the
rough that other people don't see. Do you have two
or three guys that you think would fit that bill?

I mean, if if if I'm watching later on tonight,
even over the weekend, and I see my team draft
a guy or two and maybe I'm not familiar with them,
is there's there a guy or two out there where
you would say, oh, no, your team got a gem,
just wait and see. Oh that's a great question. Uh,
And I'd have to go back even in the first

round tonight. Is there so many can sneak in there
that would surprise people? I'm just going through my rollodex
here there there are a couple of guys as I think,
uh stuck out to me and apologize if I don't
remember their names. I believe there was a right tackle
at Washington State, Lucas Yeah, who I thought was a

very good I went out and saw him play against
Washington and I thought that he was he was going
to be a very good offensive line and either is
a right tack or guard, but built the way you
want them, built, very smart. I believe he had a
pretty good if I'm not mistaken, Senior Bowl down there
and held up his own down there as well. Yeah,

I really jumped you know. That was one of if
you want to call your rat hole players that you
kind of keep in the back of your pocket. I
thought he was a very good player. I was really
impressed with the fullback h back tight end from Maryland
and he ended up testing out very well. I got
an opportunity to see him play live and watch the

tape on him when Maryland played at Minnesota, and then
I saw him Penn State at Irland. But a very
athletic kid that fits the bill of trying to be
a mismatch on linebackers. Uh. In the passing game, got
the ball very well. Reminded me a little bit of
Coughlin when we took Coughlin uh. Uh when he came

out of Central Michigan. Uh. And he lined up outside
all the time, and so we had to teach him,
you know, put him in. And you know, with Irv
Smith getting hurt last year, he had a pretty good
year for himself. So uh. Those are two of the
guys that really kind of jumped out to me, just
as I'm thinking through on guys that I looked at

it the fall and Greg, I apologize, I don't remember
the Maryland's kid's name, but I think, yeah, I did
not look at him, so I can't help you. They
are one one maybe one final point, just if we
can just wrap up a little bit here. You know what,
you hear a lot and I don't know if if
gms think this way, but obviously the media does, and
they think about you know, they talk about positions that

you shouldn't draft high. And because I've had the opportunity
rick in my career to get to know a lot
of coaches and talk to coaches, you know, you know
how it works. It's easy to talk about that now,
But then when you get to Sunday, if you don't
have players at certain positions, you can't do certain things.
You know, I've had these conversations with coaches. My playbook
shrinks because hey, I don't have a good safety or

hey we're wee get offensive guards, so we can't do
certain things that I really like to do. So did
you deal with the draft in terms of, hey, there's
there's we we all understand quarterback pass, right, we understand
there's three or four positions. Everybody gets that. But beyond that,
how did you sort of deal with the principle of
positional value? Yeah? We we always that. I always relied

on the coaching staff that you know, if you're building
your football team and if your Blues or your top
you know, players that are Pro Bowl caliber or you know,
then your red players. But we would consider solid starters
and starters you could win with sixteen games. And what
we've we we viewed is like purple Purple players would

be Purple players that were backups that maybe can win
five or six games, but we're not going to be
able to match up versus the RESI Blues for a
full sixteen game season. So I'd have the coaches and
coaching staff tell me where you want your four blues,
where you want the rest of your reds, and you
have to hide two purples because no teams ever gonna

have all blue players across the board. So what are
the positions? And it varied from staff to staff. If
I want my blue players to be a quarterback or
running back, left happle and a receiver, Well, where you're
going to hide the two guys that you may not
we may not have blues or reds at and hopefully
we're draft one of those guys that they turned into

a blue or red. So and as it was the
same thing on defense, where do you want us to
put our resources? Where can what can you do from
a schematic standpoint to maybe hide a guy with less
talent And you're going to have to do that anyway
during the season more than likely because no team stays
completely healthy now through a seventeen game season. So we

kind of did that. But you know, you always value
the guys that are gonna put points on the board.
I thought, or guys are going to cover and rush
the pass her And then when you talk about you
know the two down Mic linebacker and I don't know
if they even exist anymore. Minosaurs or the two down
run stuffing nose, defensive tack or what value is that?

Do you take a guy like that in the first round,
or can you find a guy they can play the run,
they can anchor at the point uh in the later
rounds or in the or you know in free agency
that you don't have to pay got a ton of
money too. So those are a lot of the discussions
that you have internally as you go through this. Rick,
thanks so much for doing this. We appreciate we can

talk to you for two more hours. Oh man, you
have given us so much to dive into and so
enjoy it tonight we'll be watching this weekend, all right.
Thanks for having me on. I really appreciate it. Thanks
Thanks rich. Former general manager Rick Spielman joining us here
on TAPEDS Draft Season Bobo Shusan and Greg co Sell
Back in a sec to talk about what we talked
about with Rick Spielman breaks some of that down. Stay

with us back here on TAPEDS Draft Season Bobo Shoes
and Gregg co Sell Draft Night. It has finally arrived.
Just had a chance to talk to former general manager
Rick Spielman, who of course has lived this life Greg
and he made the interesting point, and I think, uh,
you know you have stories about it as well. There

are always diamonds in the ruff that squeeze through, right.
There are always guys that, you know, two, three or
four years later we look back and say, how could
everybody have been dumb enough to miss that guy? And
Patrick Mahomes might be the perfect example of that. Yeah,
he's the poster child for that. Because you know, it's funny.
I remember Bob being at the Combine, which I've been
fortunate enough to go to every year since. I think,

and I remember for people who are listening who've been
to the Combine or no Indian Indianapolis. You're in the
bar at the J. W. Marriott, and I was talking
to a number of coaches. It was the year Patrick
Mahomes came out and his tape, as as Rick Spielman said,
obviously has the great arm. Everybody could see that, but
there was a certain recklessness to his game and a

lot of coaches I spoke to, UH coaches who if
I told you who they were, people go out. Those
guys are really smart, they said, you know, I worked
sixteen seventeen hours a day putting in my offense, my
game plan. We have a whole off season where we
do all this, and I don't know if he's going
to execute my offense because he's a very undisciplined player,
which by the way, he certainly was in college UM,

which again takes nothing away from the fact that everybody
knew he had he was an elite arm thrower. UM.
And here that's why he gets drafted tenth and obviously
the Chiefs traded up to get to him ten UM.
And now it seems funny. It seems like all these
guys are stupid, but they're not stupid, you know. That
was a concern. And uh Rick also spoke about Malik Willis,
who may fall into that category. And again I'm not

suggesting he's Patrick Mahomes. Only time will tell on that,
but a player that can obviously make special second reaction
improvisational plays. But I guarantee many will question whether snap
after snap after snap he can execute at the highest
level efficiently from the pocket, that would be the question.
He will have a transition in that regard. So there's

a balance there, and it's not a mathematical equation. No
one specifically knows the answer to that question. Here's what
I'll say about Malik Willis, and I'll see if you agree.
The longer he sits there tonight, the better it is
for his career. I agree with you, And I don't
know if he would think that right. I mean a
player's ego, like you want to go as high as possible,
you want to walk up there is the first pick

in the draft. But if a Carolina on Atlanta, a Seattle,
a Houston, a team right now that doesn't really have
a clear cut answer on their roster long term to
quarterback and probably will be a losing team this year
drafts him. Then the general manager in the coach, maybe
with certainly with the fan base and the media chirping

the minute the starter goes out there and throws two
or three interceptions and they lose two or three games,
but absolutely at times the reality of the owner even
chirping in their ears, saying, hey, we drafted this guy
in the first round. Play him. Why are we not
playing him? And there are certain guys I think that
can handle that. There are certain guys I think that
would massively benefit from having a year to get ready. Right,

everything you hear about Malik Willis is it's late. He
doesn't see it, it's not on time. He's not ready
for this yet. He can do this. He's got obviously
a huge ceiling talent wise. But even Mahomes is a
perfect example. I mean, people think he played as a
rookie almost because he's been around so long. He didn't.
He played the last game of his rookie year. That
was it. He sat behind Alex Smith the whole first year.

He didn't play as a rookie. And he's the outlier.
Right when you draft these guys in the top ten
or top fifteen of the draft, they play. It doesn't
matter what the teams say. When the team say the
guy's not playing, they are lying to you. He is
going to be on the field at some point. Every
single year. It happens over and over again, and I
think we've seen some teams that aren't ready to support

the player because the team's bad, or if the player
isn't ready to actually go do this, their career can
be ruined. Whereas like a Lamar Jackson, I mean, how
much of a favor did the Ravens do of taking
him and putting him on the field with a really
good team around him to support him. And to me,
I think if Malik Willis goes like tonight, that's better

for him than going sixth. And you know, it's interesting
because Rick made the point about Lamar and I think
this needs to be reiterated. The Ravens did something that
no team in the NFL had done. They basically built
an offense around Lamar Jackson as a runner, not as
a passer, which is unheard of in the NFL. That
was the foundation of what they did with their offense.

It started with him as a runner. And and obviously
you do have to throw the ball in the NFL,
but they did not throw a lot of passes. And
they did not throw a lot of passes uh reactively.
They threw them proactively when it was all running looks,
running personnel, multiple backfield actions, a lot of deception, a

lot of misdirection. He was a runner first, then a passer.
Now he's developing over time and that's the hope. So
the question is, if you draft Malik Willis, do you
think in those terms or do you put him into
what would be considered a more conventional offense like Andy
Reid with with Patrick Mahomes, and I think that's a

question too that you have to consider when you draft
Malik Willis, is do you have to structure it specifically
to him or does he simply fit into your offense?
And you know, you have that special second reaction movement ability,
and yes, you do add in some design runs and
those looks, but you don't really change your offense. I

think that's a great question as well. A couple of
other nuggets from Rick Spielman that I was really interested in.
And again, it's why we've done this podcast, right, we
have not done mock draft the entire time we've done this.
We haven't done what you're getting anywhere else, which is,
let's just talk about you know, one through ten on
the board and keep bouncing back and forth, which guys
we think are gonna in our mock draft change around

or that's not what we do. We've hopefully brought people
on a much deeper dive and the conversation about a
Jordan Davis or you know, just kind of that wide
angle lens conversation of a two down Mike linebacker who
in the old days, you know, like would Mike Singletary
be the player you all are Dick buck gets like,

would they be the first pick in the draft? Is
hall of fame linebackers in today's game, or would somebody
sitting there going, oh man, the way we play today,
like that guy might be minimized. As crazy as that sounds.
And that conversation that teams now have in a draft
room where a player that plays a position where you
think he might be a Hall of Fame level player

twenty five or thirty years ago, the way football used
to be played, how it's played now, and how those
positions are valued, it's really interesting. Yeah, And I think
that is a great, great point because now defensively in particular,
do draft players high that only really play in your
sub defenses? Because you play in your sub defense. And

I don't have the number right in front of me,
but I guarantee, league wide, I would bet it's it's
well over um. It might even be higher than that UM.
But the point is is, in today's NFL, you play
in your subdefense far more than you play in your
base defense. So do you draft the player in the
first round that you foresee as a base defense player

unless you believe that a year two years down the
road he can develop and evolve into playing in your
sub defenses. Um. I thought it was fascinating in our
discussion about Jordan Davis uh that Rick brought up Lynnville
Joe's of who obviously played in Minnesota and and you know,
Hiboub really really good run defender, one of the best

interior run defenders in the NFL. So the question is,
if Lynnville Joseph was in this draft, would anybody think
that Lynnville Joseph was a top fifteen pick as good
a player as he is. My guess is no. So
you know that's what you have to think about when
it comes to defensive players. How are they deployed within
the context of your defense? And if they're not going

to be sub package players, do they have first round value? All? Right?
So final thing before we wrap up, because we're here
right finally have arrived at the draft. We're gonna have
cards turned in tonight and tomorrow when we come back
and drop another episode of this podcast, we will finally
have the ability to react to what we're seeing because

we've been speculating for two months. So what kind of
surprises do you expect? How do you think this is
all going to play out tonight, UM, you know, will
there be some trades to a Deebo Samuel thing? Maybe
factor in what you know, what are you expecting we'll see? Well.
I think the two positions I'm most intrigued by tonight
UM are wide receiver when they start coming off the board,

and if there'll be a run on wide receivers, because
wide receivers get drafted more than any other position over
the last six seven years, maybe with the exception of
a year, and I think that year they were second UM.
So the wide receiver position will be fascinating to me,
and the other position will be corner because we're dealing

with the two positions that get drafted the most, and
the two positions that I think teams really feel. We
know about pass rush. I'm gonna leave that out. We
spoke about that with Ray, but I think corner, then
on defense, is the position that teams will tell you
you never have enough corners because they're going to have
to play against three wide receivers, sometimes four wide receivers.

If you've got a real weakness at corner, that can
be exploited big time, and then you start giving up
explosive lays, which is the bane of every de coordinator's existence.
So I'm very anxious to see the wide receiver situation
tonight when they start coming off and corner. We know
about Stigley and Gardner, but there's other corners that I

I believe would be first round talents and I'm very
curious to see when that starts. Well. We will have
those answers tonight and we will be back with a
Friday drop of an episode of tapeds Draft Season to
react to the first round pre people, We'll see you
over the weekend and we'll be back after the weekend
as well to break down the draft as a whole.
So please rate, please subscribe, fire away your questions on

social media. We are going to be alongside you watching
the first round tonight and reacting to it tomorrow. So
join us then on tapeds Draft Season
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