If you’ve listened to me before, you know I get on a soap box on a few topics. Player/Team fit is one of those. I watched the 1st round of the 2018 NFL Draft through the lens of: ‘Where are the best Player/Team fits’.
You can read full scouting reports on each of these players in the 2018 Inside the Pylon Draft Guide.
Here are the pairings I am most excited about:
Denzel Ward – Cleveland Browns
Gregg Williams would like to play Press-Man on defense. A player like Denzel Ward, who is the best Press CB in the draft, allows them to call more of the coverage they believe in while Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah rush the QB.
Roquan Smith – Chicago Bears
Let’s set the history of the Bears and LBs to the side. Vic Fangio is one of the top defensive minds in the game and to give him a true, premium 3 down stacked LB who can play the run and the pass with no issues, especially behind a defensive front that includes Hicks, Goldman, and Bullard, gives Fangio more options to defend the middle of the field.
Derwin James – Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers’ Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley has serious weapons on the defensive line and at CB. Now he has a weapon in James that can enforce the middle of the field like Kam Chancellor has for Seattle and can match players out of the Slot, giving the Chargers great flexibility in their sub packages with Desmond King.
Isaiah Wynn – New England Patriots
Listed as a Tackle when his name was called. Wynn was the best practitioner of LT in the 2018 draft class and while everyone wanted to kick him out of a position he executed very well (due to perceived size issues), it sounds like New England will give him a chance to remain in the position he proved capable of while pairing him with an elite OL coach in Dante Scarnecchia.
I’ve gone back and forth on calling this a ‘fit’ because I believe he would have the same impact anywhere, but congrats to Quenton Nelson and the Indianapolis Colts as I believe the Colts traded down from #3 to #6, added three 2nd round picks and still came away with my favorite player in this draft class.