#45 Kevin Minter: ILB, LSU - There are two takes on this pick: first the trade, then the player.
I’m against the trade. Sitting at #38, we had a tremendous opportunity to land unarguably the best QB in the draft. No matter what Buffalo thinks, Geno has more tools than anyone else to be successful: arm, accuracy, mind, strength, and via all observations the kid has heart. However, he needed to go to a place that could let him sit for a couple of years. AZ would have been perfect. He could have picked up the offense from CP and pushed for the starting job in a couple of years. This trade was a mistake. QB is too valuable a commodity to pass up, especially one as good as Geno at pick #38. This trade will always be under the microscopic inspection of how the value of Geno Smith compares to Kevin Minter, Earl Watford, and Andre Ellington (all the byproducts of the trade). I’d give the trade grade a C, only because of the value a QB brings to a team. I actually like the three guys we drafted instead of him though.
I love the Minter pick. At #45 there wasn’t anyone better or filled a bigger need than he does at SILB. He can get all over the field, is a good tackler, and will be a guy we can start from day one and keep for the remainder of his career. Next to DWash, this might be the most athletic interior LB corps in the NFL.
I like Manti’s intangibles more than Minter’s, but not his athleticism. I’d probably be fine with either even though I had Manti graded slightly higher than Kevin. And one more odd thing on Manti, the Cards just let go of a player, Kerry Rhodes, who is being accused of being gay. I’m wondering if there’s a connection between cutting Rhodes and not drafting Manti. Just curious.
BPA: There is no doubt Minter was the BPA at #45. In fact, he’s the last of the 3rd tier of players, well, at least my 3rd tier. I see him as a full two rounds better than Bostic who went 5 picks later. There is no doubt we hit a homerun here. BPA grade: A
Need: Our run D was awful last year. One of my favorite players, Paris Lenon, had hit the wall and was on his last leg. This was our #1 need on D, and #2 OVL. Need grade: A
Positional value: SILB is not a sexy position. It probably gets about as much love as the NT. The reason why is that it focuses so much on run stoppage and containment that there aren’t a ton of stats to go with it. Except tackles. All 130 of them. So he’s a solid producer for his position. Plus, he should be able to play some WILB when needed. However, SILB is easy to replace. So grabbing one this early isn’t going to land a great grade. Positional value: B
Depth value: There were some good SILBs in this draft. I liked Bostic for round 3 and Klein for round 4. Bostic went in the 2nd and Klein in the 5th. After them, I wasn’t overly impressed with the group. And I wasn’t interested in drafting Ogletree. Still, there were only four solid prospects at the position. I think we nabbed the best one per what BA wants to do. Depth value grade: A
Overall: Minus the trade I love the pick. I won’t count the trade in my grade. This is a starter from day one at a key position of need. Love it. OVL grade A