Trying to predict the NFL Draft is impossible, despite our love of the mock draft. It is also nearly impossible to put together a “big board,” trying to rank the players in an order that will cover all 32 teams. Scouts see things slightly differently between each team and among the media, and teams weigh their internal grades and needs differently than anyone else may. It leads to some players being selected way earlier than expected, while other players seem to fall further than anyone who have anticipated.
It is the falling players that get categorized later as “draft steals.” At Fox Sports, Dieter Kurtenbach published this morning his list of the 15 steals in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the Miami Dolphins land among his best steals of the three-day selection process. Kurtenbach lists Miami’s selection of Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley as the second-best steal.
Tankersley was the top corner for a title-winning team, allowed a passer rating of just 41 over his last two seasons, and he has the prototype frame and speed for a No. 1 cornerback. In earlier mock drafts, I had him as a first-round pick — there was chatter that the Seahawks liked him at No. 26. He was my No. 49 prospect and went No. 97 in the draft.
The only player/selection that Kurtenbach rated as a higher steal was the Cleveland Browns’ pick of Notre Dame quarterback Deshone Kizer.
The Dolphins drafted their board Thursday through Saturday, and were surprised a few times during the process when a player they rated highly was still available, including first-round pick, defensive end Charles Harris, and seventh-round pick, wide receiver Isaiah Ford. According to Kurtenbach, that Tankersley was still available with the 97th overall pick should have also been a surprise - and may prove to be one of the top value picks in the Draft.