So Dave Gettleman's thrown out "blue goose" as an example of a rare
But who fits? Identifying a player that may be a future Hall of Fame
player is nearly impossible, and
It will be an easier list if we drop the charade on a number of players
that just won't fall. Let's exclude the top two rushers – Jadaveon
Clowney, Khalil Mack; the top two receivers – Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans.
And, honestly, even if in need for a QB, I don't like anyone top ten,
so I'm going to avoid the nightmare of that position entirely. Greg
Robinson and Jake Matthews are clearly blue chip tackles who could fit,
if Carolina had a top five pick; neither will be there anywhere near 28.
I don't know that any of the remaining WR are as good. Brandin Cooks
might fit the bill, but the chance of him being passed by more than one
other receiver is slim. Adding in Taylor Lewan and Zack Moses, and you
have some guys Carolina would never likely have a shot to draft.
Who might be, though? Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA. He's the second best at
his position behind former teammate Khalil Mack, has length and elite
rush ability. He doesn't have a lot of coverage skill and needs to
refine if he were to do more than just rush, but that has value.
Ridiculously athletic, rushes, has the size for the strongside and could
play the type role Von Miller plays. Guys who are fulltime rush OLB at
his size aren't as rare as they used to be, and teams aren't clamoring
to play 3-4 the way they had. If a few teams ahead of Carolina did need
a guy like that, they might have a greater need all-around than Barr's
raw skill. Carolina doesn't need that - they have good linebackers.
A linebacker pick would be, at first sight, catastrophic. But a pick
like this could fill a future SLB need, which means AJ Klein becomes
heir apparent to Thomas Davis; it could also land Barr as a future DE,
with the muddy futures of Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson.
Nonetheless, via advancedfootballanalytics' analysis of the 28 pick,
they suggest the rarest player available would be CB Kyle Fuller,
followed by Morgan Moses at OT, then Kony Ealy. Ealy would fill a
somewhat similar need to Barr, though he can't play OLB. He can more
easily produce what either DE is currently providing, so it would depend
on what flavor of rusher you want across from the one you'd keep in this
scenario (I'm in favor of both current guys staying and just paying the
price, but you don't draft a rusher in the first with that type of
at 60, the data suggests that Boise St DE DeMarcus Lawrence would be a
rare but possible pick. The tweener rusher is interesting here, where he
could push an end inside for rush downs that, at the least, provides
some outside quickness to respect (which opens up things a little more
inside). The other interesting data point at 60? Jordan Matthews,
which would be a great pick.
The analysis suggests it's more likely than not that need-type players
will be there. Blue geese aren't likely at 28, but that seems to be the
sort of thing Dave Gettleman might label an outside-the-box type pick