Introducing Thoughts from the Throne: The NFL Draft

Welcome to the Stain’s Thoughts from the Throne. Shaun and I are well aware that we’ve been light on the content for the past year or so. Both of us being new fathers, as well as general laziness, has contributed greatly to that. That said, we do want to post more frequently, and we think we have the solution with Thoughts from the Throne. 

It’s pretty simple. We talk about sports all day long. We debate, we bicker, we agree, we wax poetic, and at the end of the day, the conversation dies and starts anew somewhere else another day. For the purposes of sharing our thoughts with you, our conversations were wasted. Well, no longer.

See, the beauty of a blog like ours is that we can share things the way we honestly feel about them. Not watered down, not catering to anyone, just our truth. So what we’re doing now, once a week or more, is taking a few questions floating around the sports universe and telling it how it is. Think of it as kind of a mail bag, like we would have if we had enough readers to generate one. 🙂

We hope you enjoy Thoughts from the Throne. Our first edition will focus on the upcoming NFL draft, with a bonus question pertaining loosely to FIFA and its lengthy tradition of corruption. 

Roberto Aguayo is considered by some to be the best kicking prospect ever. What round can you justify taking a kicker?

Shaun’s thoughts: If Al Davis was still alive and running the Oakland Raiders, I would say first round to the Raiders as he has selected a punter (Ray Guy) and kicker (Sebastian Janikowski) in the first round in years past. In a non-Al Davis world, I would say a fifth round pick might be a reach, however the new PAT rules proved to be very impactful, making kickers even more important. Now I would say a third round pick could be justified if it is a contender looking to solidify a championship roster, otherwise I still wouldn’t take one until day three.

Torsten’s thoughts: I say it a lot. When was the last time a team with a lousy kicker won a Super Bowl? I don’t think you could ever justify using a first or second rounder. That’s where you’re looking for players who have an impact on a high percentage of plays throughout the game, whereas a kicker (or punter for that matter) only impacts a few. That said, those plays lead directly to points. If I’m a team with playoff aspirations, or even already a legit contender, and have a dodgy kicking situation (I’m looking at you, Carolina, Houston, Cincinnati…), I’m starting to give it serious consideration in the third round. Just look at Super Bowl 50. Graham Gano clanked a very makeable kick with the outcome still in doubt. It didn’t ultimately affect the end result, but it could have.

Robert Nkemdiche is a freakish athlete but has serious off-field red flags. Do you see him going in the first round?

Shaun’s thoughts: Yes, so long as he doesn’t fall out of any more hotel windows. He might be the best defensive tackle prospect since Ndamukong Suh who went number two overall after a certain favorite team of a Stain writer took Sam Bradford. Without the off-field issues, Nkemdiche might be in the mix to go number one, but a team at the back end of the first round who is, again, a championship contender should definitely take a flyer on him.

Torsten’s thoughts: If I’m the GM, no. I’m not against second chances, nor am I suggesting that he isn’t worth using a second rounder on, but my confidence that his incident is an aberration rather than a habit (minus the whole falling thing) isn’t there. For my first rounder, I want a guy who won’t have his ability to make a difference on the field impacted by those pesky four-game suspensions. That said, he’s absolutely a first rounder in April. There are a few teams who would take a serious look at him but on the off chance he’s still on the board when Seattle picks, he wouldn’t get by them.  

How many quarterbacks go in round one? Where do you see them landing?

Shaun’s thoughts: Two, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see four. Despite the small hands, I still feel Goff goes number two to the Cleveland Browns. I have been a big fan of Carson Wentz for over a year now, and would love to see him go to the Cowboys. If Joey Bosa does not fall to them, I could definitely see them taking Wentz, and I would love that (although I would like the Bosa pick more and see the Cowboys get a Connor Cook or Paxton Lynch in the second round). Should the Cowboys not take Wentz, it will get really interesting to see who moves up for him as the 49ers and Rams would suddenly be in the bidding war to get him. The Christian Hackenberg-Bill O’Brien connection is real and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Texans take him in the first round, but ultimately I don’t think it happens. I could also see the Arizona Cardinals getting their QB of the future in Lynch, but again I don’t see it happening.

Torsten’s thoughts: Two. And they both go early. I would be beyond shocked if Jared Goff or Carson Wentz was still on the board after the first five or six picks. The drop-off from those two to Paxton Lynch isn’t necessarily all that severe, but there is some very intriguing mid-round talent at the quarterback position for teams willing to develop a guy for a year or two, such as Connor Cook, Dak Prescott, or Cardale Jones. Another guy I haven’t personally watched play, but read some complimentary things about this weekend is Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty. Why would you reach for Lynch when a handful of other guys in his tier project to be there for you in rounds two and three?

With the FIFA presidential election complete, what will be the next corruption scandal that rocks the sports world?

Shaun’s thoughts: NFL. With all the concussion issues, poor accounting, and Goodell losing the initial court battle with Tom Brady, there will soon be something big that happens that will really impact the NFL. If I were to guess, there will be a document that comes out that proves the NFL has been falsifying medical documents when it comes to head injuries that leads to a law suit big enough that the NFL owners fire Goodell.

Torsten’s thoughts: I’ve thought for years now that the NFL had a serious gambling problem with its referees. Referees’ “performance” in 2013 and 14 had me convinced I was right, but in 2015 I started to waver. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t suddenly become good. But the dubious calls in 2015 looked far more like general incompetence than in previous years where they looked like poorly disguised endeavors to impact the result of the game as it pertained to the Vegas lines. A large scale NFL scandal certainly wouldn’t shock me, but sadly I think it might be the NCAA. It’s well established that the NFL crapped the bed with concussions. It’s tragic to see guys in their 40s and 50s descend into mental illness and ultimately kill themselves. But now we’re starting to see it with young men in their 20s. It breaks my heart, but what I think is going to happen is some 22-year-old is going to eat the business end of a gun. They’ll find CTE in his brain, and some video will surface of him obviously having sustained a concussion but being allowed to continue playing anyway. And that will be the tip of the iceberg.

Well, on that uplifting note… thanks for reading. If you have something you’d like us to discuss in a future column, email us at thestainsports@gmail.com or tweet us @thestainsports.

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