Counting Chickens Before They're Hatched: Or falling in love with next year's prospects too early


The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes you get your neck caught in the fence taking the risk. There is some thought that next years draft class is significantly better a certain positions than this year's class. Specificially at quarterback and wide receiver. Rather than take a risk on a guy this year, wait until next year when the talent is better. But let's take a final quick look at this year's draft for a moment.


Matt Barkley was thought to be a top 10 draft pick in the 2012 draft, until he decided to return to school. Many ranked him ahead of RGIII at the time. Even after returning to school, it was thought that he would likely be a top 3 pick in 2013. Many poo-pooed the thought of using a top 10 pick on Ryan Tannehill, or trading multiple first rounders for RGIII, when a guy like Barkely could be availble next year. Now here in April 2013, Barkely is a longshot at even being a first round QB.

Landry Jones stepped into the QB slot after Sam Bradford left Oklahoma for the NFL. He too was thought to be a potential first rounder in 2012, so seemingly with another year of experience under his belt, that would transfer into 2013 . However after deciding to return to school, many flaws in his game were exposed this year. He's projected by most outlets to now be drafted in the 3rd or 4th round.


Justin Hunter was anticpated to be the second comming of Randy Moss, due to his rare length and speed. Keenan Allen and Robert Woods were sure-fire first round studs. Each has shown their flashes of talent and potential, but injury has been a hinderance to each prospect's game on the field this year.


At the start of the season, Eric Reid and TJ McDonald looked to be lock first-rounders, perhaps with a shot to go top 10-15. Their athleticism, matched with prototypical size made them coveted safety prospects. It's now a longshot for either to go in the first round. You can add Robert Lester from Alabama to this list as well. He looked great a year ago next to Mark Barron, but fell way off from his initial draft hype to start the season. His projection is now for round 6 or 7.

Some guys started high and will finish high this year (i.e. Star Lotuelelei). Others seemingly came out of nowhere (i.e. Lane Johnson, Eric Fisher). You may want to cast off this year's WR class for Sammy Watkins and Marquise Lee next year. Or cast this year's QB class off for Teddy Bridgewater or David Fales next year. But rememember, the grass may or may not be greener on the other side of the fence. And by this time next year, there is always a chance for these guys to be viewed much differently than they are now.

(With that said, I'm already getting my bandwagon ready for a LT next year...Jake Matthews, Taylor Lewan, and Cyrus Kouandjio will go early, but we can still get a stud in Antonio Richardson from Tennessee since we will (hopefully) be picking later in the first. (He's the young riser who made them move Dallas Thomas inside to guard.) Get on board, it's never too early...)

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