Now that several former members of Huskers football have moved on to greener pastures, it’s time to predict who the next ones will be, right?! Nearly everyone in Lincoln is abuzz over a name that’s been tossed out as next year’s potential No. 1 overall selection: Randy Gregory.
Yes, that’s right. Some mock drafts already claim that Gregory will forgo his senior season and not only head to The League, but come off the board first. Those are some powerful crystal balls.
While I admire both the moxie and ability that the Nebraska defensive end has, I’m afraid I have some bad news for fans of Huskers football. If he does choose to enter the 2015 NFL Draft, Nebraska’s Eater of Worlds will not be going No. 1.
NFL organizations apparently had a “one strike, you’re out” policy when it came to scouting and working the big boards this year. It showed this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Trades were being executed like one half of a grade school cafeteria had pizza and the other had jumbo cupcakes.
The Cleveland Browns came into the draft with a U-Haul full of picks and left with six selections, all by the end of the fourth round. Seattle wouldn’t make a pick to save Pete Carroll’s life for a while. It was one big game of Risk from Blake Bortles on.
While the structure of how an organization drafts may have changed, there’s an element of college football that has only gotten better. I speak of a man who only loves bling more than crab legs: Jameis Winston.
Sure, he makes questionable decisions regarding seafood, but the kid is coming off the best true freshman season in modern true freshmandom.
You thought Manziel Mania was bad? We were fortunate that Winston was around to cut it, because now it’s going to be all Winston Watch all the time.
He’s the most likely player to challenge Archie Griffin‘s Heisman double dip since the last kid we all said that about. Winston may have a razor’s edge more of a chance, though. Not only is Florida State good enough to reach the new College Football Playoff, the Seminoles have a legitimate chance to win it and repeat as national champs.
Where does Gregory come into play? The good news is that he’ll steer clear of the gypsy curse that demands Bo Pelini lose four games and a Nebraska senior star be crippled every season.
That No. 1 pick is always valuable. It’ll sparkle just as much next year as this year’s did thanks to Jadeveon Clowney. Winston will likely take even more acclaim with him to the big time than Clowney did, though. Sure, the worst team in the league (Jacksonville) could pick Gregory and be on its merry way into the second round, but that’d be too easy and ain’t gonna happen.
There will be at least one team out of 31 franchises that will pay a king’s ransom to get their hands on Winston. At least one team will be that can’t miss athlete away from having all the pieces to win a Super Bowl (or so management will think).
The result? The Jags get a multitude of picks and Gregory probably gets snagged within the remaining four spots.
A top pick snub may rub Big Red fans the wrong way, but call me overly optimistic if you wear red on Saturdays. I think No. 44 runs out his eligibility, gets even better and then we talk No. 1 overall again for 2016.
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