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Mile High Monday: Zach Wilson over Trevor Lawrence is for real

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

People are worried about not having football on Sundays – but not me. There’s always plenty of football when it comes to the pre-draft season. It’s my favorite time of year when I get to watch coach’s film of most every prospect coming into the league.

I like when I can just dig in and watch film of college prospects for hours upon hours. It takes a lot of time, and I like to have notes from at least five games per season a player has started. The labor of love pays off with the NFL Draft each year, and it truly is one of the biggest passions in my life.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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Too Obvious

Mock drafts used to be just for the hard-core fans of the NFL draft – or fans who really love their teams and hang on every shred of information that comes out about the franchise they obsess over. Now, everyone and their grandmother have a mock draft – seriously, just ask!

In all seriousness, I don’t pay attention to many mock drafts out there. I stick with the most reliable people in the business who are going through these exercises, partly because they have to (mock drafts ALWAYS get clicks) but also because they have a bright mind for the game, the players and what teams are likely to do.

Guys like Chad Reuter or Daniel Jeremiah from NFL Network, or Matt Miller (now of ESPN, way to go Matt!) are people I trust when it comes to the predictive nature of mock drafts. Charlie Campbell, from WalterFootball.com, might be at the top of the list. He’s well-connected around the league and his mocks feature inside information that he’s picked up over the time leading up to the draft.

One year, Eagles GM Howie Roseman was seen having Campbell’s mock draft up on his wall in the “war room” during the draft. Needless to say, when Campbell does a mock draft, I will click through.

In his latest mock draft, Campbell has the Broncos going in an obvious – and much-needed – direction. They are slated in this mock to select Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. That sounds about right and fits what the Broncos need.

Here’s what Campbell wrote about Farley to the Broncos:

“The Broncos could use a cornerback upgrade, and Farley could be their long-term No. 1 corner.

“The 6-foot-2, 207-pound Farley has an excellent skill set with size, speed and athleticism. After starting out at wide receiver for the Hokies, Farley missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL. He had a bad year 2018, but was excellent in 2019, recording four interceptions with 12 passes broken up and 20 tackles. It was impressive that Farley played that well considering he had a serious back injury for a lot of the season.

Farley decided to sit out the 2020 season because of the pandemic, so he will enter the 2021 NFL Draft having been a one-year wonder and flagged with durability issues. His physical tools, however, could be enough to lead to him being selected during the opening night of the 2021 NFL Draft.”

It’s not going to be a “sexy” draft for the Broncos. The needs for this team (outside of quarterback) are on the defensive side of the ball and in the trenches on the offensive line. I believe the Broncos, if they hold onto their top pick, need to be considering a defensive back at No. 9 overall. That means Farley, Patrick Surtain (Alabama) or even Jaycee Horn (South Carolina) need to be in contention for that spot.

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Dream Big

It’s important for all of us to dream. By going through the dreaming process, we can determine what we want and create goals for what we want to be. I say “dream big,” but that may be bad advice for Broncos Country when it comes to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

The Broncos are rumored to be one of the most interested teams if/when Watson is on the trade block. That sounds great, but is that really going to happen?

The Texans insist they are not going to trade Watson, but that relationship seems fractured beyond repair so many are expecting him to change teams at some point this offseason. That point may be in the distant future, maybe right before the 2021 NFL Draft at the end of April, so any fans that are excited need to be patient.

Getting a superstar quarterback like Watson in the prime of his career would take a Herculean effort from the Broncos front office. Sure, draft capital – and lots of it – would have to be surrendered but that’s not all the Texans could be looking for. They’ll want a quarterback in return, so that means Drew Lock would have to be included in the deal. Reporters around the Texans like John McClain from the Houston Chronicle insist the Texans would also want two defensive starters in return. For the Broncos, that means giving up on star players they don’t want to.

I really hope the Broncos can get Watson; I’m just not planning on it happening. I hope I’m wrong, and I hope the Broncos can find some way to pull this blockbuster deal off. It would be great for the franchise on the field, but it would also be great for the community as Watson is known as a leader who cares about those who need help.

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Faux Outrage

I swear there is nothing worse than “faux outrage” on the internet. It happens all the time, so perhaps it would be best if I ignored such fallacy, but here we are.

When it comes to the NFL Draft, a lot of beat reporters have no idea what they’re talking about. Nobody knows everything when it comes to talent evaluation, but there are some who cover the NFL that just don’t pay attention at all.

Case in point; see what’s going on with people’s reactions to the news that some NFL teams like BYU quarterback Zach Wilson more than Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Some beat reporters and bloggers are losing their minds because of how ludicrous such information sounds. After all, Lawrence is someone who has been on NFL radars since he was a true freshman at Clemson.

Wilson is the new guy on the scene (to some), and he’s even drawing some Patrick Mahomes (gasp) comparisons. So, instead of doing research or watch film or talk to NFL coaches or scouts, these media types jump on social media to shake their fist to the heavens in 180 characters or less.

That’s a weak position to take on this situation for a few different reasons – and I have Lawrence ranked above Wilson in my grades for the 2021 Draft. First off, incredibly reliable sources like the aforementioned Matt Miller or Eric Galko are reporting this information. That means it’s legit and truthful. Secondly, this type of things often happen as teams do not agree on every assessment of a player.

See what I reported last year about how some teams liked Justin Herbert more than Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa. That report was met with some backlash, but it’s what I heard from team sources, so I passed it on. As we saw last year for the Los Angeles Chargers, there’s a lot to like about Herbert and he had the best rookie season of the trio in question. Those teams I talked to who liked Herbert more than the other two top quarterbacks were essentially proven right – at least for one season.

It’s weak sauce to holler “Wilson over Lawrence is unbelievable!” Instead, know that teams are going to take their own approach and will not follow the “groupthink” that many in the media have out there – because they don’t do research or know these prospects like NFL teams do. Wilson has looked like a stud quarterback for some time, and while I hesitate to use Mahomes as a comparison, I will say that he’s one of the most gifted and exciting quarterbacks in this draft class.

Wilson has been one of my favorite college quarterbacks for some time, and I’m excited to see him make the jump to the pros. He needs to work better under duress, and there are sometimes he gets “too cute” with the football, but Wilson certainly has the making of a Pro Bowl quarterback and star in the NFL. I can’t wait to see how his future works out.

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Expanded Universe

Todd McFarlane has been an inspiration for me since I first saw his artwork in Amazing Spiderman back in the 1990s. I love his style of artwork, and I followed his career when he started Image Comics in the early ’90s. His book, Spawn, helped launch the company and now has become the longest published independent comic book in history, surpassing 300 issues in 2020.

It’s been an exciting time to be a Spawn fan, and things may heat up as talks of a movie starring Jamie Foxx have been out there for some time. Comic books are booming, and comic book movies dominate the industry as they’ve become mainstream.

Last week, McFarlane made the announcement that he was expanding the Spawn universe, which now will have four monthly titles featuring various characters from the stories within the pages of his critically acclaimed book. This means instead of just following Spawn each month, readers will get to keep up with other characters in expanded roles. McFarlane has created a universe like the Marvel Universe we see at the movies with the MCU. I can’t wait to see these stories go deeper into the mythology of the Spawn universe created by McFarlane.

Do you read Spawn comics, and are you excited about this announcement? Hit me up on social media and let me know!

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