Videos by OutKick
Sean McVay basically mocked the New England Patriots picking Cole Strange in the first round during the NFL draft. The Los Angeles Rams coach joked how his team wasted its time watching tape of Strange with designs of maybe picking him in the third round.
And what we saw in that public moment is what happens all around the NFL in private: Teams look at other teams select some players and then rip their rivals internally because they think the picks came way too early.
This year, for whatever reason no one can really explain, multiple picks were curious in that teams picked players several others believed would have been available later.
So teams overdrafted like the dickens.
And those questionable picks are privately criticized while the teams making the picks feel compelled to defend them.
“It’s not all so cut and dry with where you think a guy is going to go, and you’ve got to look at what the rest of the board is telling you,” New England director of player personnel Matt Groh told reporters. “If you value a player high enough, then you want that player to be a part of your team.”
Groh was basically defending the selection of Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton, who the Patriots took in the second round with the 50th selection overall – a pick they traded up with Kansas City to get.
Most mock drafts had Thornton going in the fourth round but forget that. Mock drafts don’t matter. Some NFL personnel people who do matter didn’t understand the pick that early, despite the fact Thornton is tall (6-foot-2) and had the fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine with a 4.28.
“The Chiefs need receiver help and they traded out of that pick,” one scout told OutKick. “I personally had him in the fourth round.
“I like his tape if he was playing against SEC (Southeastern Conference) competition because they actually challenge guys over there. But he played in the Big 12 and when he gets to the NFL he’ll understand it’s not the Big 12 anymore. I don’t know if he’ll be able to get off the line of scrimmage his rookie year.
“And by his second year, once he learn to get off, then DBs will redirect with relative ease. What I’m saying is he’ll never be where Mac Jones expects him to be.”
It’s ironic that McVay had some fun at Bill Belichick’s expense because several personnel people believe the Rams reached with that No. 104 pick that they were thinking of using on Strange.
The Rams picked Wisconsin offensive lineman Logan Bruss with the pick.
“Not a bad player, just too early to take him,” one NFC South personnel man said. “He leans, he oversets, I don’t love his pad level.”
In the second round the Kansas City Chiefs selected Cincinnati safety Bryan Cook. And here’s the problem they faced:
“They picked him early, I suppose, because they know they needed a safety to replace Tyrann Mathieu, and then Juan Thornhill when he becomes a free agent,” one AFC East personnel man said. “But I don’t know, to me he’s more a strong safety, a short-area defender.
“Great attitude. Great desire. But if you put him in certain defenses, like a Cover 2, I’m not certain he’s always going to get there unless he reads and reacts quickly.”
The San Francisco 49ers selected LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price in the third round with the 93rd overall selection.
“He definitely looks the part,” one scout said. “But then I watched the tape and it left me frustrated. His ball security can be a problem and he’s not good in pass pro, which I think might take some time to address.
“So when does he get on the field? Pass downs? No. Early in the game? He gets better the more he carries the ball. It’s going to be interesting to see. But he’ll impress early because he looks great in shorts and shells when no one is hitting anybody.”
Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero