Matt Miller’s Scouting Notebook: How the Draft Really Went Down & What It Means

You watched for three days as 256 players heard their names called and saw their hopes of playing in the NFL realized. You watched as Shaquem Griffin, Jordan Mailata and others became household names. You watched as quarterbacks flew off the board in Round 1 and then disappeared in Round 2.

Those are the stories you know from draft weekend. These are the ones you didn’t see happen.

The week after the draft is my time to catch up with NFL sources and talk about what went down in their draft rooms. What player broke their hearts by coming off the board two picks too soon? Why did some of the top players in college drop down the board?

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—Failed Drug Tests Hurt Players

The NFL Scouting Combine is every year in late February and yet each season we have players fail the mandatory drug test in Indianapolis. NFL sources told me Holton Hill (Texas), Desmond Harrison (West Georgia) and Antonio Callaway (Florida) all failed the test. Each dropped in the draft because of it.

What can agents do, short of babysitting players 24/7 in the months leading up to the draft? It’s impossible to blame anyone but these players for failing a test they knew was coming. You may not care if players (or people) use drugs, and largely the NFL doesn’t either. What matters to teams is if it gets in the way of being available to play.where to buy nfl jerseys online

—Seattle Shocked the NFL in Round 1

I polled 12 NFL scouts or executives after the Seattle Seahawks selected San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny in the first round. Not one team agreed on that value. The highest grade I could confirm was a mid-Round 2 value from an AFC china jersey

This doesn’t mean Seattle was wrong—just different. If Penny hits, the front office will look brilliant. But this is a team that’s lost some of its shine in recent years because of poor offseasons. John Schneider and Pete Carroll might finally be on the hot women jersey

—Sam Darnold, Not Baker Mayfield, Is Consensus QB1

Baker Mayfield was the first quarterback off the board, but only two teams were confirmed to have him as their top quarterback—the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots. On the flip side, I spoke to over 15 teams that listed Darnold as their top nfl jerseys differences