We wrote about it earlier this week Mel Kiper Jr.’s choice for the Chiefs, Stanford OT Walker Little, a risky choice. That got some good discussions about the risk and the design. Each choice carries a certain risk, of course, but this year is very unique. Some of the assessment tools teams typically have are not available to many prospects.
In the case of Little, the team’s final film about him will hit Northwestern in August 2019. This is the last time he played a game. You won’t have the NFL Scouting Combine for reliable medical evaluations of his knee injury. You won’t have top 30 visits or workouts before the draft. They are essentially flying blind compared to previous years. The risk you take in drawing the player increases when you consider what to forego in the evaluation process this season.
One name that was used as a comparison was Alabama C Landon Dickerson, but I’m not sure if the two players can really be compared. Dickerson’s concerns about durability are well documented, but he’s also played 25 games in the last two seasons. A team can hang up their hat in the evaluation process. It’s hard to say the same about Little’s two year old tape. With a player like Little, you leave a lot more to the projection than with a player like Dickerson.