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Rob's Rankings: Which players will cause NFL GMs to look foolish?

The 2018 NFL Draft is in the books and NFL general managers are getting to know their newest additions. Some of said additions will make GMs feel like football geniuses sent by the universe to help the city’s beloved franchise.

The fun part, however, is when the draft makes them feel like morons. That’s what we’ve chosen to concern ourselves with today. Below, you’ll find the five picks most likely to make NFL general managers, who sometimes tend to overthink things, feel stupid for ignoring the obvious to justify selecting them or passing on them.

RELATED: Top 10 former five-stars who were picked in 2018 | Four-stars | These 10 could be first-rounders in 2019 | How SEC stars fared in draft | Draft by position | NFL Draft by conference | Gorney's Takeaways | Grading the first-round picks


Josh Rosen
Josh Rosen (AP Images)

Draft position: No. 10 overall to the Arizona Cardinals

Which front offices he might make feel stupid: Browns, Jets, Bills

Why: Rosen was the fourth quarterback selected, which means at least three GMS ignored his superior tools and decided to focus on … well, something nobody could really quantify. In the wake of the draft, Browns VP of Player Personnel Alonzo Highsmith said there was “something” about Rosen that bothered him, then proceeded to tell a story involving a UCLA volleyball coach and an airport as justification for the mysterious “something.”

Nobody has ever doubted Rosen’s football ability, so NFL front offices seemed to use fake character flaws, an inquisitive mind and the fact that the former UCLA quarterback has interests outside of football against him. Rosen being great would set off an incredible story, as it would cause some people to explain why they passed on a franchise-changing player because he seemed too smart.


Draft position: No. 7 overall to the Buffalo Bills

Which front office he might make feel stupid: Bills

Why: Allen was selected ahead of a number of quarterbacks that had much more impressive college careers on much larger stages. General managers love his arm strength, but it’s possible we’ve put too much stock in being able to throw the ball far. Allen’s college highs weren’t particularly high, while his lows were things like going 9-for-24 against Oregon last season and a five-interception game against Nebraska in 2016. Allen has upside, sure, and he may well be a great NFL quarterback, but even his staunchest supporter can see the risk in the selection. The seventh overall pick is quite a thing to gamble on a player that was sometimes sorta good against Mountain West teams.


Draft position: Seventh round to the Dallas Cowboys

Which front office he might make feel stupid: All of them

Why: Scarborough’s injury history is real but not totally alarming. His production slid last season as well, but passing on a massive, impossibly strong back with shocking quickness is asking to be embarrassed.

Nevertheless, nearly every team did just that. In Dallas, Scarbrough will share a backfield with the quicker Ezekiel Elliott and has the chance to come into his own early in his professional career.

Even if Scarborough doesn’t become an eight-time Pro Bowl selection the fact that he slid to the seventh round seems … excessive. The chance that he’ll outperform his draft slot seems large with the only question being “by how much.” NFL front offices sometimes overthink things. Finding a way to ignore a 6-foot-2, 225-pound back with a history of success at the highest levels of both high school and college football might be an example of that.


Draft position: No 32 overall to the Baltimore Ravens

Which front office he might make feel stupid: Browns, Jets, Bills, Cardinals

Why: The last pick of the first round, Jackson had the best college career of any quarterback in the draft. The most popular knock on his NFL future are accuracy concerns, but Jackson has improved his completion percentage in each of his three college seasons and boasted a slightly better career percentage than Josh Allen, who played in the Mountain West and was anointed as Superman by some draft experts.

Is Jackson a lock to be an NFL star? Not at all, but betting against an electric Heisman Trophy winner with NFL-level tools isn’t exactly a safe wager.There’s certainly a chance he embarrasses an executive or four.

Jackson was an afterthought in the quarterback discussion that raged from the end of the college football season until draft day. So if NFL GMs are embarrassed, it’s likely that draft experts will be as well. And everyone loves that.


Draft position: No. 27 overall to the Seattle Seahawks

Which front office he might make feel stupid: Seahawks

Why: Penny’s first-round selection was a bit of a surprise to a lot of people. Penny was a fine player at San Diego State, but drafting him before prospects such as LSU star Derrius Guice, Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson and Georgia standouts Sony Michel and Nick Chubb.

Penny led all FBS players in rushing yards a year ago, but didn’t run up against the sort of defenses as some of the aforementioned backs. His numbers are impressive, sure, but the Seahawks selected the Mountain West standout above players with better measurable and a more solid track record against truly elite competition. There are countless Group of Five stars in the NFL, so Penny isn’t doomed by any stretch, but it’s not hard to imagine a world in which Guice, Chubb, Johnson and others far outperform him at the professional level.


This week in overtime, we have a look at some players selected after the first round that could end up being bargains. And while they probably aren’t glaring enough oversights to make any front office look or feel stupid, I have a sneaking suspicion each could end up looking like a first-round player down the road.

1. Derrius Guice

Draft position: Second round, No. 59 overall (Washington)

I don’t understand the NFL Draft. Guice is a better player than a lot of the backs taken before him in nearly every way despite phantom “character issues” that may or may not even exist.

2. Christian Kirk

Draft position: Second round, No. 47 overall (Arizona)

The former Texas A&M star is not as undersized as he’s portrayed. Kirk is nearly 6-foot and is one of the most explosive players I’ve ever covered.

3. Mason Rudolph

Draft positon: Third round, No. 76 overall (Pittsburgh)

It’s easy to label Rudolph as a “system quarterback” because he played at pass-happy Oklahoma State, a school that could post massive passing totals with a teaching assistant under center, but Rudolph has nice measurables and is capable of making every NFL throw.

4. Lorenzo Carter

Draft position: Third round, No. 66 overall (New York Giants)

Carter seemed to get better every game in his final season at Georgia, so I’m not sure his development will suddenly stop because he’s being paid. Carter has the quickness and the frame in place. He seems like the kind of player that could suddenly go from “solid” to “star” in his second or third year as a pro.

5. Da'Shawn Hand

Draft Position: Fourth round, No. 114 overall (Detroit)

Hand never became what we hoped he would when we ranked him as the No. 1 player in the 2014 class, but you’ll have to forgive me for not being ready to give up on a 6-foot-4, 300-pound defensive end just yet. There’s still a chance for a happy ending here … I think … maybe.