Sports Column: On the NFL
Jaylen Carr – Sports Editor
The NFL Draft is coming up, and many mock drafts have predicted the potential order of who will go where. The draft is an entertaining night with a few shocking trades and moments, and I enjoy watching the draft because you can always expect the unexpected.
The Carolina Panthers will have the first overall pick, and it is evident by most that they need a new quarterback. Chicago Bears originally had the first pick but made a blockbuster trade in March to get star wide receiver DJ Moore from the Panthers.
General manager of the Bears, Ryan Poles, made the right decision to trade down from the top pick in the draft because the Bears have their answer at quarterback. Bears starting quarterback Justin Fields has shown massive improvement in accuracy and IQ.
The Panthers have everything but a starting quarterback. They have pro bowl player in defensive ends Brian Burns and added former Philadelphia Eagles running back and 2023 Pro Bowler Miles Sanders from free agency, which will help solve their running back issue.
Regarding this year’s draft, the Panthers should pick Alabama’s, Bryce Young. Young has the maturity and experience in the big moments.
“Young is a short, spindly framed passer with a rapid release. He is patient in the pocket and a sudden athlete, allowing him to bounce away from pressure regularly,” according to a CBS Sports scouting report. “Super creative to avoid pressure, and can release the ball from any arm angle or platform- Tough as nails, willing to take hits behind the line or in space.”
With the second, the Houston Texans will probably be with Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, who has caught some traction among sports media and NFL general managers. Whoever drafts Levis will be taking a risk because he comes from a non-football program, and people haven’t seen him play as much on national television.
On the other hand, there is a possibility that he can do well in the NFL, but he is going to the Texans, so all I can say is, Levis, good luck.
The fourth pick belongs to my favorite team, the Indianapolis Colts, and it’s apparent that they have to handle the quarterback issue. C.J. Stroud is the pick for the Colts because he can withstand a hit which will be pivotal if you’re behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league.
Stroud is one of the best quarterbacks coming out of the draft because of his size, arm strength, and command of an offense.
“He’s a good athlete for the position, allowing him to scramble and extend the play as well as hurt defenses on his own after escaping the pocket,” according to SB Nation. He keeps his upper and lower halves synced up and does a good job of generating power from the ground up, and doesn’t have to “overthrow” to get velocity or distance. The economy and repeatability of his throwing motion and a sky-high football IQ allow Stroud to precisely place the ball at will.”
The Las Vegas Raiders have the seventh pick in the draft and need help in the defensive backfield. Top cornerback, Christain Gonzalez from Oregon University, has been a top recruit since his high school career.
“Gonzalez has great length and good top-end speed to be a man coverage cornerback in the NFL, according to a CBS Sports scouting report. “Does an excellent job of using the sideline as an extra defender.”
There is so much talent coming out of this year’s draft that some players in later rounds will be available that can be potential starters for some teams. The Colts must decide which quarterback they want or which will work out better for the team. I just hope that whoever becomes the quarterback for the Colts, let’s make sure that he is protected and supported only on the file but off it.