Draft King Analysis|
September 30, 2014
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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I don't know if UCLA QB Brett Hundley will be a first round NFL Draft Pick, but he sure looked good this past Thursday night with his performance against Arizona State. Playing through an injured non-throwing shoulder, Hundley went 18-for-23 for 355 yards and four touchdowns against zero interceptions. He's throwing for better than 72% on the season, and while that does come from a limited sample size, it's an important development.
Speaking of college quarterbacks, there was rightful outrage over Michigan keeping the apparently concussed Shane Morris in at QB this past Saturday. It's an encouraging advancement from the disappointing lack of disdain shown when Baylor did the same thing to RG3 in 2011. But, sadly, I'm not sure to what degree Michigan would be criticized right now if they were unbeaten.
It's an interesting point in the season after four weeks. Clearly early results are being watched carefully, as evidenced by Oakland firing head coach Dennis Allen. For as much as the Raiders gained from trading Jon Gruden to the Bucs after the 2001 season, that franchise hasn't been the same since then. Any hope that the death of Al Davis would lead to a more normal course of operation has been put out some time ago.
At the same time, it's easy to overreact to early results. Just look at the 2012 Arizona Cardinals for evidence of that; they started 4-0, including a win at New England, then went into a tailspin and finished 5-11.
Speaking of the Patriots, there have been several obit-style burials of them, and especially QB Tom Brady, after last night's one-sided loss at Kansas City. Maybe they're right, but I wouldn't etch it in stone just yet.
It goes vastly under-appreciated, but the Patriots are on a run of truly historic proportions. Going back to 2001, the Patriots have made the playoffs every season except for 2008. That year? Tom Brady was injured for the season in Week 1 against Kansas City, Matt Cassel stepped in as the starting QB, and the team still managed to go 11-5. It was only through a massive fluke that New England missed the playoffs.
This year, New England is attempting to make the post-season for 13 times in 14 seasons. It's been a remarkable run. Contrast that to what Buffalo Bills have had to endure in that same time: zero playoff appearances and only one winning season (9-7 in 2004) -- that's it.
Up next on here, an update to the 2015 NFL Mock Draft. At this point my opinion is that
Randy Gregory is the most likely player to go #1 overall in May, with Oregon QB Marcus Mariota developing into the top QB prospect. But keep in mind that it's still early in the season...