Jayhawks and the NFL Draft

via images.chron.com

Tonight the NFL begins it's annual amateur draft with round one coverage live from New York City.  Three Kansas Jayhawks appear positioned to have their names called sometime between Thursday evening and Saturday. 

Darrell Stuckey, Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier all left their mark on Kansas.  So where might they end up next.  What's the final verdict on their strengths and weaknesses and what round might we see them go? 

Today we take a slightly deeper look and discuss the possibilities here at Rock Chalk Talk.

Dezmon Briscoe - Final Projection: 4th Round

The final verdict on Briscoe is that he has the playmaking ability, he's strong with the football and goes after the ball when it's in the air.  The reoccurring concern is speed.  Briscoe doesn't appear to have the speed to get separation in the NFL and that will hurt his position in the draft. 

Final projections have Dezmon Briscoe somewhat firmly planted in the 4th round.  He was able to improve on some of the areas of concern a the combine with a solid pro day but it really wasn't enough to catapult him into that 2nd-3rd round conversation.  More and more Briscoe is looking like a solid pick for a team needing a #3 type receiver.

Possible Destinations: 

  • Tampa Bay: It's more likely that the Bucs need a bigger impact at the position, but with so many needs right now it's not out of the question that they might see a guy like Briscoe in the fourth and elect to address a need.
  • Kansas City: It's the Chiefs. Don't they need everything?
  • Seattle: Plenty of needs, wideout is one of them, just depends when they address it.
  • Cleveland: Same story as the above two.  Cleveland has plenty of picks and plenty of needs, just hope a Jayhawk doesn't end up here because it just feels like a death sentence.
  • Buffalo: The Bills need offensive line, defensive line and a quarterback.  After that, they are looking for wideout depth.  Briscoe might fall to the perfect spot for the Bills to make the pick.
  • Denver: After trading away a clear #1 in Brandon Marshall.  The Broncos appear to think that Eddie Royal and Jabar Gaffney can be the #1 and #2 in Denver.  Still they need depth.  Dezmon Briscoe at the #3?
  • Pittsburgh: Traded away Santonio Holmes, brought back Randle El, still could use some depth at the position.
  • Cincinnati: Time to start developing young talent to replace an aging offense.
  • New England: Almost a perfect fit in this one.  They don't need an impact receiver, but are looking to add depth.  The Patriots present a golden opportunity for the right type of player to make a name and build a successful foundation to a solid career.
  • Dallas: It's the Cowboys, they need a wideout and Dezmon did a pair of individual workouts with the 'boys.
  • Carolina: Wideout is one of their top needs so it's likely they'll move on it during one of the early rounds.  Still could look for further depth late if they so choose. 
  • Chicago: They have the big arm, but no receiving help.  Like Carolina they probably need a higher caliber receiver, but I wouldn't rule them out as a possible destination.

 

Darrell Stuckey - Final Projection: 2nd/3rd

This draft is loaded at safety.  Eric Berry, Taylor Mays, Earl Thomas, Morgan Burnett and Nate Allen all look like possible first to early second round picks.  Because of the depth at the position a guy like Stuckey will likely slip to the second or third round when in any other year he could likely be a top 5 talent at the position. 

With that in mind the final test results don't show a tremendous amount of separation in terms of the measurables between those in the top 5 and Stuckey.  That means whichever team is able to grab Stuckey in the 2nd or 3rd, is getting a steal in the draft.  Especially when you consider the character that he'll bring in to any organization. 

Possible destinations:

  • St. Louis: Safety is a need, but they sure aren't spending a #1 overall on the position with a QB out there.
  • Tampa Bay: Suh or McCoy will be around at the three so it's likely the Bucs will take a DT.  Still they've been eying Eric Berry as well so it's possible they could look to the safety spot in round 2 or 3. 
  • Kansas City: Same scenario as the Bucs.
  • Seattle: So many needs, so few picks.  Seattle is a possibility depending on how the cards fall.  If the pick gets to them and Stuckey is viewed as the best available, they might nab him.
  • Cleveland: Safety is viewed as one of their top four needs and they are certainly eying several with the #7 pick.  If they wait, Stuckey to Cleveland could be a go.
  • Jacksonville: Jacksonville is looking at Earl Thomas as a potential first rounder.  If they elect to go with a more pressing defensive need in round one, Stuckey might solve a problem in 2 or 3.
  • Cincinnati: If the Bengals look to continue the improvement on a young and talented defense then safety is a spot they could move on.  However, the offense is aging so they could focus primarily on placing the beginning pieces of the rebuild.
  • Philadelphia: The Eagles appear poised to go after one of the top 5 safeties in round one as this is on of the teams top needs.  If for some reason they choose to move in a different direction early, perhaps Stuckey enters the picture with one of their 7 picks prior to round 4.  Personally, I like the fit here.
  • Baltimore: The Ravens are beginning to look at the safety position and getting a little bit younger.  A great spot for Stuckey to develop under one of the leagues best defensive teams.
  • Dallas: The Cowboys released a starting safety from a year ago and haven't filled the spot to date. 
  • New York Jets: Rex Ryan is a defensive coach, the Jets need a safety.  Just a matter of when and where they address that need.
  • Minnesota: The Vikings are likely going to be looking for a pair of safeties as the position was by far the weakest on a very good defense in 2009.

Kerry Meier - Final Projection: 6th/7th

What should have been a very big day for Kerry Meier certainly takes a back seat after this weeks tragic death of his brother Dylan.  It's hard to imagine a better representative for Kansas football and in general a better football family in the state of Kansas.  What happened this week puts everything in perspective and here's wishing the best to the Meier family as they go through this very difficult time.

In terms of the draft, Meier has great strength, size and is extremely reliable.  From the moment the season ended there were faint comparisons to a guy like Dallas Clark in Indianapolis. Beyond that Meier is an interesting prospect because he has so many different areas he could fit in.  He's a football player with pro pedigree plain and simple.  That means something in the NFL and could result in a guy like Meier being selected in the 5th, higher than projected.

Possible Destinations:

In general this is a bit of a wildcard because besides the obvious two position of WR and TE, Meier's name has been discussed on the defensive side of the ball as well.  Not sure where he fits, but someone will take a shot at him for the same reason someone will go after Tebow.  Versatility, work ethic and football aptitude.

  • Kansas City: TE and WR are both a need.  Not likely, but it could happen
  • Seattle: Broken record here but Seattle needs to look at everything.  Especially on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Cleveland: TE and wideout are both viewed as high priorities on offense.
  • Denver: Traded away Tony Scheffler but he was great in the Denver offense.  Please bring Kerry Meier to Denver...please?
  • Cincinnati: Top two offensive needs at the moment are TE and WR.  Just as the others, the big question will be if they go for a tweener type in Meier. 
  • Patriots
  • Baltimore: Only happening if they view Meier as a potential alternative to Todd Heap.  They need someone behind him but Meier might not fit the prototypical mold they are looking for.
  • Arizona
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