Brandon Thomas would be the first player I look at. We can sign a stopgap vet, and hope this kid comes back soon. Easley and Powell are 2 players who when healthy can be pro bowl talent.
I would take a look at Colvin, Thomas, and Hurst, but no earlier than 5th-6th round
It doesn't have to be injury. I like it when top players slip solely due to altered opinion, like Lee and Van Noy this year.
If you're going to rely on bounce back from a major injury, make sure the player was extra special beforehand. Those types can overcome it and still have plenty left, like Frank Gore. If you allow too much benefit of doubt to an average or above average player coming off an injury, you deserve to be burned and most likely will be.
Easley is going to be picked higher than expected. At the Canes/Gators game last September, fans from both sides were raving about him in the stands.
Zurlon Tipton is a guy that people are sleeping on because of an injury which took away most of his final season at Central Michigan. Averaged 6 yards per carry with 1500 rushing yards and 19 TDs in 2012 but only played 6 games in 2013 and none of those games were played truly healthy and explosive like he was in 2012. He only started to get a full load in the final 3 games of the season when he ran 65 times for 380 yards and 7 TDs...but he didn't have the same explosiveness after breaking his ankle in early September. He played those 3 games approximately 10 weeks after breaking that ankle.
I know people will be down on Tipton for his measurables but Arian Foster had near identical measurables to Tipton when he came out of Tennessee. You don't have to be fast at that position when you're big and powerful and explosive.
Here's what he looked like about 10-12 weeks after the ankle surgery. You'll notice he looks big and maybe a bit soft around the middle. That's not coincidental. You break your ankle, you're going to have a tough time staying in shape. And he came back from the broken ankle so quick he didn't have time to get back into shape before he came back. The ankle should've ended his season but he ran for 7 TDs in those last 3 games anyway.
It all depends on the injury they're recovering from.
Most breaks, hamstring injuries, Achilles tears (rather than ruptures), The milder PCL/MCL/ACL tears, triceps tears, some dislocations, turf toe... Stuff like that players,can make a full recovery from and not expect the recovered area to always be susceptible, or indeed ever again in most cases.
Groins, hernias, spinal injuries, shoulder dislocations, repeat concussions, multi-ligament tears of the knee, big ankle ligament tears, degenerative knee cartilage,..... That stuff there is no way of knowing you will ever fully recover from.
I'm not a doctor but I know that all injuries are not created equal and so all player slides in the draft aren't equal. James Hurst strikes me as a good value example. Easley is an incredible prospect, but a second rounder on him couldn't be described as a value pick with the attached risk. The prospect of having a healthy Easley is kinda tantalising though.
Jared Abbrederis is a terrific receiver, but if the multiple concussion stories are true, it could be like throwing a pick out the window.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. - S. Beckett
Based on everything I've heard Hurst should be ready for training camp, he might drop because he hasn't been able to work out for teams but in the 4th round he'd be a steal. Same goes for Brandon Thomas, though he'll have to be redshirted.
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I think a lot of fans would be gun shy of that strategy given last years top four picks were injured and provided very little first year production. Ireland obviously got a little carried away. However, this season, all those guys are healthy and should be ready contribute. This year given the right player and depending on the injury, I would do it.
With only 7 picks, I would hesitate to roll the dice too much. I want to trade down, get more picks, and then we can start rolling on some red flag high-upside talent, for sure.
What can we get for #50?
CB Dexter McDougle, Maryland and OG Spencer Long, Nebraska.. Those two would make a great end to the draft in my opinion.
I'm curious to see how far Brandon Thomas falls after the ACL tear. I still think someone takes him in the fourth/early fifth and redshirts him gladly. Great talent.