The Mitchell ReportMy high school coach, one time, explained to us in a way a bunch of high school boys with dreams of the NFL that the odds are stacked against us.
“There are about 50 of y’all,” he said after one practice. “Maybe 10 of you will play at a major college football program. Some of y’all will go play at lesser schools. Of those ten, though, maybe one of you will make it to the NFL.”
Of course, that was a completely hypothetical situation. Of that group, just one player went on to play (as a starter) on a major college football team and that was Oklahoma (ironically, that one guy is going to be drafted this week at some point).
So, when a kid from a town of roughly 12,000 people makes it to the NFL draft as one of the best players at his position, it’s the definition of beating the odds.
On Thursday night, Fletcher Cox will beat the odds.
Cox is expected to go within the first 15 picks of the NFL Draft in New York City. Cox will be in attendance, meaning he’ll get to hear the commissioner call out his name, shake his hand and hold up the jersey for the whole world to see.
What team’s jersey he’s holding, though, is a mystery of sorts. But one I’m willing to help solve.
For about a month now, it’s been widely assumed the first two picks will be quarterbacks Andrew Luck to the Colts and Robert Griffin III to the Redskins. USC tackle Matt Kalil is the best pick for Minnesota to add protection for their young quarterback.
What the Browns do with the fourth overall pick is the first big mystery of the draft (but not the one I’m working on). Quarterback, running back and wide receiver all possibilities. Trading the pick is a big possibility too. Defensive tackle is not a need, though.
Let’s say the Browns take Alabama running back Trent Richardson, leaving Claiborne for Tampa Bay at five and the Rams get their man, Justin Blackmon, after trading the second overall pick to Washington.
The seventh pick belongs to Jacksonville, who desperately needs help along the defensive line. However, I think they’ll go defensive end with Melvin Ingram from South Carolina, despite them falling.
Miami’s defense isn’t their problem and will look to the offensive side of the ball with the eighth pick, quite possibly quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
That leaves the Panthers with the ninth pick and, sure enough, they have a need for a defensive tackle. With the best DT left on the board, I have the Panthers picking Cox.