| March 20, 2018

Football: Draft Anticipation Reaches Its Peak

April 21, 2016

The moment is monumental for a number of participants.

Former college football players wait anxiously in green rooms. General managers throughout the league frantically attempt to trade picks for players and players for picks. Fans wring their hands as they remain glued the to television screen.

The 2016 NFL Draft is quickly approaching. A number of key moves have already been made by several teams, potentially impacting how the future season will play out.

Quarterbacks have naturally been at the forefront for scouts and analysists. Jared Goff from California and Carson Wentz from North Dakota State have generated the most buzz of this year’s draft class.

The Tennessee Titans originally possessed the No. 1 overall pick. The Cleveland Browns followed the Titans with the No. 2 selection. Both teams traded away their top picks for more selections, for not only this year’s draft but 2017 and 2018 as well.

The Titans already have a hopeful franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota, who was drafted last year. The team’s current need is a player to anchor the offensive line to help protect Mariota from the brutal hits he took last year.

Los Angeles suffered greatly at the quarterback position last year. After acquiring Nick Foles, the Rams only earned a 7-9 record. Foles was benched midway through the season in favor of backup Case Keenum.

Cleveland acquired Robert Griffin III during the offseason. Based on this trade, the team seems committed to him for the time being. The Browns will want to build the team around RGIII with the handful of picks sent to them by the Eagles.

Philadelphia earned the No. 2 pick in the trade with the Browns but the move does not make sense. Former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly traded for Sam Bradford a year ago, hoping that the newcomer could take the reins as quarterback. The Eagles’ vice president of football operations stated publically that Bradford would be the starter in 2016.

Despite this statement, the Eagles are still expected to take either Wentz or Goff at No. 2.

Goff, who played in the PAC-12, has much more experience against elite opponents. However, the California quarterback took very few snaps under center, spending most of his time playing in a spread offense.

Goff’s initial experience could make him a good player to see immediate starting time, which is what the Rams are looking for. If Los Angeles can adapt to his playing style, Goff will fit right in to the Rams’ organization along with second year running back Todd Gurley.

Wentz played primarily in a pro-style offense while at North Dakota. Wentz also weighs almost 20 pounds more than Goff, which makes him more likely to take big hits from the defense.

Since the Eagles are committed to Bradford for 2016, it makes sense for the team to draft Wentz with the second choice in the 2016 NFL Draft. Wentz could benefit from sitting on the sideline for a year and earning experience in a much more competitive setting.

While the initial draft selections remain obvious, a lot can happen between now and draft day.

Brandon Hill can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill  

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