Let’s just be real about it…I am a polarizing person because when I say something there is SOME weight into it. People hear what I have to say mainly to tell me I am wrong. Putting my opinion out there though is two-fold. A.) I genuinely love talking about sports and B.) I like calling my shot and getting it right like I’m Babe Ruth (he’s overrated but that’s a different convo. Happy Opening Day!).
Anyways, regarding the upcoming draft, these are the guys I’m tying myself to in terms of their success and failure. Us over here at TFTB aren’t going to be spot on with the “my guys” because we did a draft to produce different content about incoming players. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who loves some of my picks here.
Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner
Any man referred to as “Sauce” got to be a stud. This man has an elite collegiate track record in terms of production, the swagger to pair with the collegiate production, is doing it playing a position where you’re on an island a majority of the time, and needing that ego to play on that island. In 1100 snaps playing cornerback at Cincinnati, he did not allow a single TD over the course of his career. That’s incredibly hard to fathom considering cornerback is probably the hardest non-QB position in the game of football. Your job is predicated on sticking with receivers when you don’t necessarily know what route is coming or essentially dissecting routes on the fly playing the zone. That island can get lonely but he has held it down out there in a massive way. Even near the goal line, you can MAYBE win the inside for a slant or something unless your name is Sauce. This year alone, he didn’t allow a pass to exceed 13 yards. That’s pure dominance. At 6’3” and 190 lbs, he ran a 4.41 at the combine and is going to make an instant impact in the league. I genuinely cannot wait because I guarantee that he will be a star. GUARANTEE IT!
John Metchie III
This man is a damn warrior. I’m mad about how he got hurt because you never want to see it. That goes for anyone entering the draft process, but it’s receivers like Metchie that should make GM’s grin ear to ear. The position is typically known as a diva position, but Metchie is quite literally wired the opposite. He’s not afraid to get physical, go across the middle where he could get his head taken off, and even blocks. He’s probably going 3rd round in this draft, but whoever gets him is getting a tough player. He produced one of my favorite college football plays in quite some time.
I’ve been extremely high on this dude in relation to the rest of the QB class. Like Metchie, he fits the bill of being wired different. For a QB, that’s extremely magnified because you’re the defacto leader of the team. He has all of the fire that Baker Mayfield showed at Oklahoma, but none of the drama that came along with Baker. That’s a leader a football team can believe in. Opting to play in the Sugar Bowl because he wanted to be out there with his teammates, he got hurt and it costed him millions because he had a chance to be the QB1 in this class. Odds are that Corral does not care as he’s going to end up on a team and compete to win that locker room over right away. In relation to Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett, I always held Corral on a higher pedestal because he played in the SEC. QB evaluations aren’t perfect, but a good measuring stick is the level of competition and how a dude plays in said level of competition.
Admittedly, this is a guy I started to fall in love with during the combine process. Partially because it became evidently clear that the Steelers would be in the safety market to perfectly compliment what Minkah Fitzpatrick does. Insert Cine who is that man. He fills lanes extremely well when playing over the top and is quick to the point of attack. For run support, the man is fearless and runs downhill with intent to harm. I love seeing that in a safety. In pass coverage, he does have the speed to run man-to-man as he ran a 4.37 at the combine. He’s not a ball hawk by any means as he only has 1 career interception. With his speed, I have no doubt he would match up well with TEs and RBs out of the backfield which is what you want to see out of a strong safety.
At the beginning of this process, he was someone I believed was a one trick pony. Someone who’s best strength would be as a WR2 taking the top off of defenses. I was right BUT played myself because of how smooth of a route runner he is. Olave may be the best receiver I’ve seen at the release off of the line of scrimmage in some time. When talking OSU receivers, the convo does start with Garrett Wilson. Whoever ends up with Olave, if they have an elite pass catcher there already in place then that offense will thrive. It just would not shock me to see Olave ball out in year 1 and emerge as a reliable option early on in an offense. Just look at him absolutely cook the defender in these routes near the goal line. Pair that with his 4.39 speed and in the right offense, he is going to be special on the field and someone worth targeting in fantasy drafts.