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Miller Mailbag: Fixing the Eagles, Bust Potential, and more!
As the college football regular season ends (Go Army!) and we look toward the postseason in both the college and professional ranks, it’s almost time to start shifting into Draft mode at The Draft Scout.
For some of us, we’ve already been there. And if you’re a fan of a team with less than five wins right now—or eight losses—you’re probably already starting to focus on veneral manager candidates, new head coaches, and which draft prospects can help your team next year.
That’s where we come in. The Draft Scout’s best time of year is December through mid-May. We’ll be coming to you live from the Senior Bowl, pro days, private workouts and giving a full-out assault on the draft calendar. So buckle up, make sure your subscription is active, and get ready. We definitely are.
@liam_sagz — What do you do this offseason if you’re the Eagles?
I feel like the Eagles’ offseason can be summed up in three steps.
Build around Jalen Hurts — I know some might not be a fan of Hurts or believe that he is the long-term answer at quarterback, but I have seen enough from Hurts given the talent around him to believe he can be the franchise quarterback if the Eagles better support him. So while some will pine for Deshaun Watson or Russell Wilson, Hurts is my guy here when you factor in the cost of the other options.
Keep the three first-round picks — There will be temptation to trade around and acquire more picks given the Eagles’ three picks in Round 1, but I would hold tight and not miss out on potential top-tier talent at key positions like pass-rusher and defensive back in this class. The Eagles currently are projected to have picks Nos. 12, 13 and 17 overall. Instead of packaging those for a move up the board or for a veteran quarterback, I’m sitting tight and drafting three Year 1 impacts. Realistically, the Eagles could walk away Thursday night with Drake Jackson (DE - USC), Roger McCreary (CB - Auburn), and Ikem Ekwonu (OL - NC State). That’s more valuable, in my opinion, than one player in the top 10 picks.
Use free agency to add to the wide receiver class — this is an historically deep free agent class at wide receiver and the Eagles need to tap into that. Jalen Reagor isn’t the answer opposite DeVonta Smith but someone like Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin or Juju Smith-Schuster could give them the physical receiver they need.
@BTGiants — Are you still podcasting sorry if I’m out the loop but season is almost ending and that’s when I like to hear your work
I am back podcasting and will begin sending those out via The Draft Scout newsletter service. For now, you can subscribe to QB1 via the Callin app or traditional podcasting channels. I’m also doing The Draft Scout show exclusively on Callin—more things like AMAs and post-article podcasts.
@sam_teets33 — Which RB in this year’s draft will fall to Day 3 and turn into a productive/borderline starter for his team in 2022?
I’ve had running back prospects throughout the season that were targets for Day 3 studs, but so many have risen up the board this year. Kenneth Walker III (Michigan State) and James Cook (Georgia) were two of them but I think both have played their way up the board now to the Round 2-3 range.
As for a true Day 3 guy (right now), Zach Charbonnet at UCLA fits the mold of a player I could see out-playing their draft stock in the right system. Charbonnet is a big back (6’1”, 220 lbs) and an ideal downhill runner. Get him a scheme that will let him be an inside runner and he could cook!
@bigcodyf — How did you get started in the scouting/draft analysis world?
I always start this story by saying, “I was the worst high school football player in the history of Missouri sports.” That might be a small hyperbole, but by 16 years old I knew that my life-long love and passion for football needed to be channeled into something other than playing once high school was over.
Thankfully, around this same time, the Internet really blew up in my small rural town. As the Internet boomed, online communities popped up around virtually every topic imaginable. This allowed the NFL draft community to be established online and once we had a reliable connection at school and home, I was hooked.
At 17 years old I was writing for small NFL draft websites and eventually started my own in the early 2000s. During this same time frame I was also working as a coach at the high school and semi-professional level as a part-time job and working as an independent consultant/scout for Arena League and Canadian Football League teams.
The combination of owning and running a website and the knowledge being put together from coaching and scouting really gave me the confidence to believe I could do this full-time. In late 2010 I applied to Bleacher Report with that experience as my resume.
They hired me and the rest is history.
@BlumbergKellen — Does Spencer Rattler still have a chance to be a top tier QB?
I don’t see it. Rattler’s natural talents are impressive (arm strength, mobility) but his leadership and actual on-field play haven’t been good enough to warrant viewing him as a top-tier player. Could that change? Yes, it can. He’s a young player and a new environment could help him reach his potential. But right now he could be viewed as a quarterback with good talent and the potential to compete for a starting quarterback job at the college football level. To me, that’s all he is right now.
@classicfinder — Who, with a current first round grade, has the biggest bust potential and who has the lowest?
I feel like bust potential is based so much on where a player is drafted and how highly they’re selected. With that being said, if any of the 2022 quarterbacks are selected in the top five picks, the expectations that come with that highly of a draft pick will set them up for “bust” potential.
We can look at Baker Mayfield as an example of this. Baker has been a good quarterback but he hasn’t been great. Has he lived up to the No. 1 overall pick in a class that featured Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson? He hasn’t, and could be on the verge of the bust label alongside Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen from the 2018 draft class if he’s not re-signed in Cleveland.
This isn’t a hedge, but an important distinction in what a bust is. To me, a bust is a player that cannot live up to their draft status. So we’ll have to see where players are drafted before judging bust potential.