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NFL Draft Mailbag: Comparing 2017 prospects to Hamilton Characters

Ask me whatever you want!

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Each week BGN draft writer Ben Natan will be answering your draft questions. If you have a question for Ben, ask him on Twitter at @TheBenNatan or email him: bgnatan4@gmail.com.

"In this year's draft, which player is most like a) Hamilton, b) Lafayette, c) John Laurens, d) Hercules Mulligan and e) Aaron Burr?" - Jeanna

Finally, the question I have been waiting to hear. Rarely do I get to intersect my theatre education and my football writing so here we go:

  • Alexander Hamilton- Deshuan Watson is definitely the Alexander Hamilton of this class. Despite being continuously underestimated by teams and pundits, all Watson does is win and climb. He is young, scrappy and hungry to win football games in the NFL and teams will regret passing on them if they need a quarterback.
  • Marquis de Lafayette- Patrick Mahomes is the wily gunslinger of this class. He is going to do amazing things and frustrating things at the quarterback position, but ultimately teams will need him to win. He's not french, however.
  • John Laurens- Curtis Samuel is young, can do a lot of great things on offense and has limitless potential. Samuel's versatility is going to be an asset for an offense. He could be a team's top receiver or running back. Similar to how John Laurens was a great soldier and a great political writer, Curtis Samuel will do it all for a football team to help them win games.
  • Hercules Mulligan- Solomon Thomas is a powerful force who can "go behind enemy lines" with his incredible first step and upper body strength. While he is still a bit raw, he has as good of peaks as any player in this class. You definitely want him in the trenches with your football team.
  • Aaron Burr- Mitch Trubisky seems to be universally liked but rarely can anyone put a finger on exactly why. Maybe because he "looks the part" and "plays the quarterback position the way it's meant to be played". Trubisky has his merits, sure, but to call him a top three player in this class is wildly falling for a charade. Similar to Burr, a team putting their faith in Trubisky and spending a lot of capital to put him in a leadership position could prove very costly.

I am not sure how much of a demographic that question/answer reached, but I don't care.


"1) What do you think is the most important Combine event in terms of grading running backs and wide receivers? 2) Do any of the secondary players out of Ohio State fit well with Schwartz' scheme?"- Alexis

To answer your first question, I think it depends on the player. Players should test well in workouts that correlate to what they do well on tape. For instance, Ryan Switzer's agility should show up in a three cone and shuttle drill. Jamaal William's power should show up in his broad jump. Mike Williams is not the fastest guy, but his ability to go up and get the football should show up in vertical jumps. If guys test well in what they do well on tape, it gives hope to those traits translating. If they don't it raises questions and warrants a second look.

In terms of fits in Schwartz' scheme, I think the three OSU secondary prospects all fit in Schwartz' scheme. Hooker is a pro-typical free safety and Schwartz likes to use safeties in specific strong/free roles rather than rotate them. Conley and Lattimore are both excellent athletes who can play off coverage. Lattimore might be the best pure cover guy in this class and to come out of college in a while. In short, the Eagles defense would get better adding any three of those guys.

"If Davis/Cook/Wilson/Tabor/Humphrey fall to the Eagles who should they take if they're all still on the board?" - Morgan

I have thought about this quite a bit and I would have to say Davis is the logical pick. While I am very pro-taking a running back high, Dalvin Cook does have some questions about health and off field that would give a talent tie to Corey Davis. Davis is a polished, pro ready receiver who can step in as a number one and we all know the Eagles desperately need that. Davis, Cook and Tabor are all Top 12 talents in this class, but if all three are there, the Eagles should run to podium and grab Corey Davis.

"Do you think the Eagles should draft a backup QB this year? Or should they just sign Vernon Adams?  He can't make it in the CFL so he's available, and according to at least one draft expert he is far better than Carson Wentz." -Terry

Well, I do love a bit of shade on a Wednesday morning. I definitely disregarded how much the NFL would dislike a small quarterback who only played at the FCS level and at Oregon for a year and that bit me in the ass. Then again, this is the same league that drafted Jared Goff first overall and let Dak Prescott fall to day three and they went on to have, statistically, the worst rookie season ever and the best, respectably.

On a less cheeky note, I would not hate if the Eagles drafted a back up quarterback. In fact, it is likely they will add one at some point during the draft process. Doug Pederson and Andy Reid have a history of adding young quarterbacks every so often to add competition and develop guys on the bench. Who could they take? Well, there are definitely some day three guys that are interesting. PJ Walker is a local guy who has mobility and a live arm. Or they could stick with red heads and draft Cooper Rush out of Central Michigan. It's not like they need to push Carson by adding a guy, so drafting a player late who could develop into a nice back up would not be a bad move.


"Hi Ben I just rewatched a few games from last year and it's clear the Carson Wentz is complete garbage!  You were spot on with your analysis there during last years draft. So my question is, which QB do you think the Eagles should trade up for in the 1st round to replace him?  Or do you think someone will fall to 14/15 that can be our QB of the future?" - Dean

This mailbag has taken a turn...

While I am not sure this is serious (I hope it's not), the truth is that Carson's rookie season was fine. He was not great and he made a lot of mistakes, but he flashed more than enough to give fans confidence about what he can do in the future. The reality is that the offense is bereft of skill talent and could benefit massively by adding playmakers. Receivers and running backs should be a priority this offseason. Period.

"It's not Reggie McKenzies style to trade up, as he values picks, despite trading up for Connor Cook but..For a Super Bowl run, I identify 2 players who would, I think, put Oakland over the top... and they are, Ruben Foster or Dalvin Cook. Can you see Reggie moving up from #24 for either and what picks would it cost them?" - Kevin

I guess I can answer a Raiders question... Like you said, the Raiders front office seems to value draft capital quite a bit. I agree that they are close to being a legit Super Bowl contender but they would be smart to prioritize a defensive playmaker in the first round. While they already have a lot of young talent on that side of the ball adding a playmaker at any level of the unit would really help out the likes of Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Karl Joseph. If the Raiders stayed put, I'd love to see them add Jaleel Johnson, Budda Baker or Teez Tabor. However, if Reuben Foster falls for whatever reason, targeting an elite linebacker to put in the middle of a defense never hurt anyone.