The Mountain West Conference is expected to have at least ten players selected in the draft sometime this weekend. Plus quite a few more who could see themselves turn into UDFAs. This will be your place to keep track of all the action going on for MWC players. Thursday saw three players from the conference get drafted in the first round.
QB Josh Allen
- Drafted 7th overall
- Drafted by the Buffalo Bills
The Bills actually traded up to acquire Allen and he immediately becomes their QB of the future. He is certainly a developmental project, but has perhaps the highest upside in the draft. He may go through some growing pains in Buffalo as they build around him, but that isn’t uncommon these days. Looking at Carr in Oakland, Luck in Indy, and Mitch in Chicago, teams tend to give their young QBs experience in year one and then begin to build around them. Expect the same for Allen, who may not even be the day 1 starter. It will be a few years before we see what Allen is actually capable of and what kind of talent and coaching they surround him with. Overall it’s a good landing spot for him and the fact that the Bills traded up for him show that they are committed to developing him.
LB Leighton Vander Esch
- Drafted 19th overall
- Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Broncos? Boise State southeast? There is something about this connection as LVE becomes the 5th former Broncos to suit up for the Cowboys. Scandrick, Crawford, Lawrence, Moore, and now Vander Esch. He has the talent to play immediately and the depth chart should allow him to step into one of the linebacker spots. LVE will add to an impressive defense and should become a run-stopper right away. It will be interesting to see how they use him in passing situations, as he did a bit of everything in college. The biggest question for him might be will he be a solid starter or potential Pro Bowler type in the NFL?
RB Rashaad Penny
- Drafted 27th overall
- Drafted by the Seattle Seahawks
In a somewhat surprising move, the Seahawks got Penny in the first round. While his production and level of talent is unquestioned, some will see this as a reach as he possibly could have been had in the 2nd round. Regardless, Penny should have a bright NFL future. He is a powerful, fast, and balanced runner. He should have no issues enduring the pounding that an NFL running back takes on. Penny comes into a retooling type of situation in Seattle and will have the benefit of an established QB in Wilson to help him ease in. His biggest question is if he can develop his receiving skills that is needed by running backs in today’s NFL.
Your turn: What are you thoughts on the picks so far? Guesses on the players to be selected in the upcoming rounds?