By Ben Babcock
These three guys were all very similar scenarios in which a first round talent fell well out of the first round and in the case of Mason Rudolph, more than one round farther than projected.
Jackson was a top 3 corner in this draft and I thought for sure he was a first round lock. I didn’t see a single 1st round mock draft where he wasn’t taken. There were plenty of teams that could’ve used him but for some reason didn’t take him. The Patriots, Steelers, Seahawks, Browns, Bucs, Colts, or 49ers could’ve all used him and had the chance to take him before the Packers finally did. The Packers got the Saints first round pick next year and two of the top 3 cornerbacks in this draft. They had the best first two rounds of the draft in my opinion. Josh Jackson is an absolute steal at no.45.
The Titans are right behind the Packers, having a great first two rounds. I had the Titans taking Landry with their first round pick, but they got Rashaan Evans in the first round and Landry fell to them in the second. The Titans pass rush is lacking and Landry was a top tier pass rusher in this draft, behind Bradley Chubb and Marcus Davenport. Landry would’ve been a good pick for the Titans at their original spot no.25, but hey traded up to get linebacker Rashaan Evans who was the other guy I saw the Titans taking in the first round if he was available. So the fact that Landry fell to them at no.41 gave them both of the players that were first round options, and is a massive upgrade for them on defense.
Again, Rudolph is a guy that could’ve gone in the first round, and would’ve been a valuable second round pick, but he fell all the way to the third round. Mason Rudolph was in the top tier of quarterbacks in this year’s draft class. I didn’t expect him to go in the first round, but I for sure thought he would be gone early in the second round. The fact that zero quarterbacks were taken in the second round is mind blowing. I had the Giants taking him at no.34 and I thought the Patriots might take him at no.63 if he fell there, but the Giants took Will Hernandez, who also fell out of the first unexpectedly, and the Patriots made about 5 different trades with their two second round picks. Mason Rudolph was considered the best deep ball thrower in the draft, more of a pocket passer like Brady or Roethlisberger. He fits the role in Pittsburgh very well, and has a great quarterback to learn from. The Steelers got a quarterback with low first and high second round value, early in the third round. There’s so much value in this pick, I don’t know how he fell so far.