With the NFL draft being a little over two months away, experts from around the world are starting to pump out their list of where they believe the nation’s top prospects will go. Nevada football stars Quarterback Carson Strong, Tight End Cole Turner, and Wide Receiver Romeo Doubs are the highlights of the draft for Nevada. But one question remains: Where will the offensive trio of Nevada wind up?
Carson Strong: First/second round to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Strong had an amazing season in his last for the university. Putting up 4,186 passing yards (eighth best in the league) and 36 touchdowns (tied seventh best) all while keeping a 70% completion percentage, Strong has earned his spot in the top five quarterbacks in the 2022 class.
These numbers showcase the traditional manner in which Strong plays. This is why he is a strong candidate for the Steelers, who have had Ben Rothlesberger for almost the last two decades. Having the traditional Strong come in would be a smooth transition that would not require any major adjusting to the playbook.
Despite being an elite passer, there are still a couple items that hinder Strong’s resume from being even stronger. One of those items is his immobility. In a league where the top young quarterbacks are able to move out of the pocket and even produce yards with their feet, Strong is well behind the curve. Adding his problems with decision making and reading defenses, Strong will have to have a standout performance in the combine and other activities in order to truly be a guaranteed first round pick.
Cole Turner: Early third round to the Jacksonville Jaguars or New York Jets
The fourth best tight end in the draft according to nfldraftbuzz.com, Turner proved himself worthy of the title. Producing 677 receiving yards (eighth best in the league among tight ends) and 10 touchdowns (tied third best), the six-foot six Wolfpack beast was one of Nevada’s most impactful players in 2021.
Adding to his catching ability both as a traditional TE and a receiving end is his pass block ability, making him an amazing dual threat position player. These reasons are why Turner would be a great fit for a team such as the Jags or the Jets, who need a player who can be both a blocker and a playmaker.
However, even with all the positives, there are a couple blemishes. For starters, Turner’s lengthy frame doesn’t have that much bulk to it, making it harder for him to beat stronger opponents on the line and in the secondary. On top of that, his route running and selection can be a bit of an issue as well. Improvements in these spheres could increase Turner to a potential first round pick, but to a different squad.
Romeo Doubs: Third/fourth round to the Washington Commanders or Denver Broncos
Totaling an astonishing 1,114 receiving yards (twenty-fifth best in the league) and 11 touchdowns (tied eleventh), Doubs continued to increase his level of play such as previous seasons. Being able to cause havoc for secondaries with his technique as well as his size, Doubs can be an overall package for a team.
Adding to Doubs’ pros is his versatility, being able to play as both an outside receiver as well as in the slot. With all of this in mind, it make sense why Doubs would be a good fit in a place like Denver or Washington. Both teams are in need of a WR2 currently, and if they don’t pick one up through trades or free agency, Doubs would be an easy answer in the middle rounds.
However, there is always a second side to the story. Despite the stats, Doubs’ decision making while the ball is in the air can be questionable at times. In addition, his lack of a diverse route tree holds him back a lot of the time. Improvements in both of these categories could potentially net Doubs a higher pick, but at most a guaranteed third rounder due to the volume of high profile wide receivers.
DISCLAIMER: As mentioned previously, there is still over 60 days until the NFL draft. The combine still needs to take place, and a lot of situations can change depending on what each team does in free agency and in trades. The predictions mentioned below are those as of Feb. 19, and are subject to change as the league progresses to the draft.
Derek Raridon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush