“Who’s the best candidate to end up All SEC this year outside of the obvious (Barnett, Sutton Dobbs etc)” – @JTRock21
Daniel: Outside of the obvious candidates, which I would include Jalen Reeves-Maybin in, I think Trevor Daniel would be a pretty good guess. Maybe one of the interior offensive linemen too like Dylan Wiesman, Coleman Thomas or Jashon Robertson. I think Darrin Kirkland Jr. might play at an All-SEC level this year, but will probably get overshadowed by JRM.
Nathanael: I like Daniel’s pick of Trevor Daniel, and I’d agree with that one. I think Evan Berry could too as a special teams player. I also agree with Jashon Robertson as a candidate as well. Don’t rule out Todd Kelly Jr. either.
“If Curry can’t play the entire 2nd round series, who is the favorite to win the title?” – @cjramsey13
Daniel: It’s still the Warriors for me, assuming he can come back for the Western Conference Finals. I think Warriors without Curry vs. Blazers/Clippers probably goes six or seven with Golden State coming out on top, which would be a two-week+ series, giving Curry a decent shot to be back if everything looks good.
If he can’t play in the Western Conference Finals, I’ll go Spurs. But if Curry is even 80% healthy, I’m not going to bet against GS right now.
Nathanael: I think the Warriors are fine in the second round without Curry regardless of it’s the Clippers or Blazers (and with the injuries, it looks like it’ll be the Blazers). I think they’re in trouble if Curry isn’t healthy when they face the Spurs, though. I think they’re in trouble when they face the Spurs regardless. But the Warriors are still the favorite in my book.
“Jalen Hurd declaring for the draft after ’16 season seems to be a given for most in the media. Why am I not buying this?” – Tennessee Williams
Daniel: It’s my prediction that he will declare as well, but you’re right that it shouldn’t be a complete given. I also thought pre-2015 that Cam Sutton would go pro, so things can change and media can certainly be wrong. I think the general consensus is that Hurd is a pretty sure-fire NFL talent (where he’ll be picked is debatable, but somebody will want him relatively early), and with the way that NFL running backs drop like flies before they hit 30 in many cases, the best move for him, especially with his physical style of running, is to go ahead and get paid before he gets too much wear and tear.
If you’re building a case for why he could stay, you can really look at this potential draft class at the running back position: Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, Samaje Perine, Royce Freeman, Wayne Gallman, and the list goes on and on. It’s too early to say exactly what the 2018 class will look like, but it’s hard to imagine it being better than that. So maybe Hurd ultimately does opt to come back, obliterates every UT rushing record and then finds himself in a better draft position – I just wouldn’t bet on it right now.
Nathanael: I’d like to have your faith, Tennessee Williams. But Hurd will be gone after his junior year. This team will be better than the 2017 team, Hurd will have Tennessee’s rushing record, and he’ll still have relatively fresh legs thanks to sharing carries with Kamara and Dobbs. If he stayed around for his senior year, he’d carry the load big time in the running game, and running backs have a limited amount of miles they can put on their legs. He’s gone after this year.
“What would be your idea of a successful draft for the Titans? Focus on defense or just BPA?” – Michael Fister
Daniel: Michael, you saint. A billion Twitter points for you for asking a Titans questions this week. I think the genius of the trade was that Jon Robinson realized that the Titans need significant upgrades at almost every position group. Realizing the problem is the first step in fixing it. Of all those needs, offensive tackle is really only one that stands above the rest. The Titans must find a starter at that position with one of their first few picks for Mariota’s well-being.
Outside of that and a few other common-sense parameters (obviously don’t pick a QB early), I think a successful draft means getting the best-player available virtually every other pick. There really isn’t a position outside of starting quarterback that you can convince me doesn’t either need an immediate upgrade, better depth or a potential fill-in for an aging and/or overpriced player. Robinson should look at the next two drafts holistically as a chance to build a playoff contender by 2018. He has, at this point, 11 picks in the first three rounds of those drafts to do so. It’s fine to deal one or two of those to move up if the right guy is there, but overall, the goal should be to use those to upgrade virtually every position group on the roster.
“Who would you rather build a franchise around? Shea Weber or Marcus Mariota?” – Phil Masters
I’m tempted to stop there, but if you’re going to make me choose, I have to go with Marcus because, even though he’s not as proven yet, he plays the most important position in his sport and arguably the most important position in any sport. A top-notch, two-way defenseman is incredibly valuable in the NHL, but opponents can do things to limit his effectiveness. A great QB, which I think Marcus has the potential to be, can’t be neutralized.
Nathanael: I may not know a ton about hockey, but I do know Shea Weber is very, very good. But I agree with Daniel on this one. Mariota plays the most important position in the NFL, and while Weber is more proven, you need, absolutely need, a reliable starting QB in the NFL to have any chance of competing for titles. That’s why I’d pick Mariota right now.