Hub Arkush: Draft Information Worth Noting

Hub Arkush at rips the process of putting together mock drafts. Justifiably. But then gives out some information that he thinks is reasonably reliable based upon sources were willing to go on the record on:

“One team’s general manager told me Monday morning he’s sure it’s no better than 50-50 right now that the Bucs are taking Jameis Winston. They might, but don’t bet the farm on it.

“Another individual who will be picking for his team told me cornerback Kevin Johnson of Wake Forest is one of the fastest risers on a number of draft boards right now as we count down to draft day.

“And one highly respected offensive coach told me, ‘Todd Gurley will be the best offensive player in this draft.'”

For what its worth.

If the Minicamp Doesn’t Affect the Draft, Why Have It Now?

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune doesn’t think the Bears voluntary minicamp, which starts today, will affect their draft much:

“It’s difficult to imagine that much of what happens on the field will affect plans for the draft. General manager Ryan Pace isn’t going to lay eyes on Jay Cutler throwing the ball and decide he needs to be in position to choose Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota.

“Coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio aren’t going to size up candidates at outside linebacker and come to the realization they’re a young pass rusher away from being where they need to be. Draft preparations have been made, and those opinions have been shaped by long meetings and longer hours spent doing film work. Three practices leading directly into the draft are not going to turn the team’s board on its side.”

Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times says pretty much the same thing. One question neither bothered to answer is this: If it won’t affect the draft, why have it now? The Bears are the only team in the NFL having their first minicamp before the draft, not after.

I don’t have any doubt that all of the preparations have been made and the board has been stacked. But there is a reason the Bears are having that minicamp now. Fox has said repeatedly that he won’t really know anything about anyone until he sees the players hit the grass. Today, that’s what they’re going to do. It’s only positional drills but its live and they’re going to get to see them.

The Bears want a look at what they’ve got before the draft starts because it might affect what decisions they make in later rounds when they are choosing positions to make a priority. That makes the next couple days reasonably significant.