Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana
Well, the Ford Family decided to shake things up a little more in their FO and that included hiring hired me. Though, I wasn’t given a specific title; Martha did give me some specific tasks and one was to control the 2016 NFL Draft for the Detroit Lions. Given the proximity of the draft’s date, she decided not to hold any pressers & keep the moves very low key. Well, while catching my flight to Detroit; it just so happened that I was in the Philly Airport at the same time Villanova was returning from Houston after winning the National Championship!!!
Eskin spotted me along with R. Frank… ugghh! They corned me right before I reached the escalator. Eskin asks "Who are you, why you?" I responded, "Well, I am not Chipper & won’t run things like Millen, my resume speaks for itself!" Reuben asked me," I heard you had to perform some extra duties for Martha, ANY TRUTH TO THAT?" Me, "No comment; one last question".Eskin asks "is it true that you were given a ’67 Fastback as a signing bonus?" I responded, "Yes, to replace mine when I had to move a few years ago, I really worked hard for that bonus ... oopss!!!"
Well, Detroit has a lot of holes. I am not entirely sold on Stafford as the QB to take us very deep into the playoffs. Losing Megatron to retirement was massive. The defensive line has never been the same since Fairley & Suh departed. The o-line is in shambles; the running game is suspect etc. (my head hurts now). So, I decided to seek some advice from my good friend who is also an NFL executive with another organization. I have to keep his identity anonymous. I gave him a call and instead of getting any guidance he offers me an (undisclosed) trade for Stafford. I got off the phone real quick; after seeing how he ripped off a certain team in FLA & another in TENN. No way, I am doing a deal with him. Although, having the opportunity to pick somewhere between 7 & 9 in the first (again anonymity) is enticing but it did show me Stafford is worth holding onto for now, anyway.
DT/DL is the deepest position in the draft so a lot of good talent can be had in the mid rounds; I already precluded myself with the Millen comment from taking a WR in the first, besides this class is a bit underwhelming. But in 2013, Stafford was sacked 23 times, in 2014 that number nearly doubled to 45 & last season sacked 44 times. Only 2 other QB’s were sacked more in the past 2 seasons. So, o-line is the way to go! So, I decided to do my research and hit the road. I started with the players that were feasible at 16: Decker, Conklin and Spriggs. Schedules were tight so, I agreed to meet with Decker at a diner real close to his gym. I arrived early and decided to walk down to his gym. "Oh my God!! Who does that in public". I see him walking towards his car wearing a Cowboys’ cap!!
Well, Spriggs had the tightest schedule of all. We agreed to meet at the soup kitchen he was working at before he had to go to the Children’s Hospital where he volunteered in the cancer ward. And then that weekend he apparently was flying out to participate in some disaster relief in an extremely poverty stricken area. It wasn’t Flint or Detroit, so there is a negative mark against him. We starting talking & I asked all the normal questions before moving onto the more important ones. I asked about his favorite sport related movie & he was split between Hoosiers & Invincible. His favorite fictional character - Rocky, he loves Hall & Oats. I then asked him about the NFL players he likes. He got very silent & paused before stating, "Well sir, I am sorry but there aren’t any Lions on my list, Brian Dawkins & JP are my guys as they are from my favorite team the PHL Eagles". Insert heavenly hum "AAaHhH"! The sky got bluer, the clouds whiter, the heaven parted and the sun shone brighter …PLOP!!
I awoke in the hospital; where the dr. explained I passed out and Jason carried me the 4 + miles to the hospital. Apparently, the father of the homeless family that Jason loaned his car to hadn’t returned to the shelter & no ambulances would go to that address. There was some debate among the staff whether he did it in 17 flat (minutes) or, not as there are some extra-long stop lights along the way.
Well, despite the fact he is an All-American, voted best O-lineman at the Sr. Bowl, a 4 year starter at Indiana missing only 1 game & allowing only 2 sacks in each of those years; he saved my life!!
Pretty much every evaluator has him ranked as a top 5 tackle. Mayock finally moved him ahead of Beavers and probably the best draft evaluator Brian T. Grant has him ranked as the 2nd or 3rd best tackle in the class. He blew it up at the combine posting some of the best numbers of all OL; showing off his true athleticism. A former tight-end (sound familiar) his bodily dimensions are nearly identical to Lane Johnson. Lane’s arms are about an inch longer. Most project him to start at right tackle and he’ll need to transition from a spread offense; it could take some time to acclimate to more traditional NFL techniques. After a little time in strength & conditioning program he’ll develop into an NFL ‘LT’. Both Decker & Conklin project to be better fits at RT. Just watch the first few minutes of the game vs. Ohio and you’ll see how clean he keeps the pocket and doesn’t allow defenders to get their hands on his body. His game stands out!! Some may think 16 is too high but I think it’s a steal to likely get the 2nd or 3rd best tackle prospect in the draft. The only negative I really noticed was when he reached the 2nd level in run blocking he got a bit ahead of himself. Since the combine his stock has been climbing just like Lane from a solid 2nd rounder to a sure fire 1st!!
You can see him handle Bosa and Ohio State:
Jason Spriggs highlights:
2016 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Titans (ablesser88) - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss - [Explanation]
2) Browns ( Genius) - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State - [Explanation]
3) Chargers (StoneColeKiller58) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal - [Explanation]
4) Cowboys (kamjam) - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
5) Jaguars (drc242) - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State - [Explanation]
6) Ravens (rohan915) - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon - [Explanation]
7) 49ers (LAOJoe) - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA - [Explanation]
8) Eagles (slickpablovick) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame - [Explanation]
9) Buccaneers (OneBucFan47) - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky - [Explanation]
10) Giants (Paulie97) - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida - [Explanation]
11) Bears (Kiko's Delivery Service) - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State - [Explanation]
12) Saints (kylebruneault) - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson - [Explanation]
13) Dolphins (wildcatlh) - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State - [Explanation]
14) Raiders (Luxury_Used_Vehicles_By_Braman) - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State - [Explanation]
15) Rams (NowWhat?) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis - [Explanation]
16) Lions (bri g) - Jason Sprigs, OT, Indiana - [Explanation]
17) Falcons (thealien2696) -
18) Colts (ei78) -
19) Bills (naderg43) -
20) Jets (Quacking_Eagle) -
21) Washington (TheCoxishere) -
22) Texans (jeppsforst) -
23) Vikings (WScott151) -
24) Bengals (burkhart_b) -
25) Steelers (theaction) -
26) Seahawks (tfrank9811) -
27) Packers (3Trace) -
28) Chiefs (jawmo) -
N/A) Patriots - Cheaters
29) Cardinals (big DUB) -
30) Panthers (zatch2k) -
31) Broncos (JALupowitz) -