With the introduction (and look back at the inaugural 2013 draft) out of the way, it's time to get started on the 2014 version, led off by resident under-the-radar specialist HaroldHill, who will surely be staying on the radar for his picks in this draft. Lead us off, HH. -- GoBR
Round 1, Pick 1 -- HaroldHill
Arlington Martin defensive end Myles Garrett
I considered picking Jerrod Heard or someone from the class's group of top-flight defensive backs, but after much thought I chose Garrett because he's a 6'4" 235 lb. freak of nature playing a position at which the Longhorns badly need bodies in the 2014 class, and his body happens to have genes the characters in Gattaca would kill for.
I would normally have reservations about picking someone I haven't seen in person or on film (hoping to remedy that when Martin opens their season in 2 weeks), but I've seen his measurables, read the Inside Texas interview where his high school coach said he was already Martin's best performer in pro agility tests, and seen glowing reports on him from people whose evaluations I respect. Garrett has unbelievable athletic potential and has a very good chance at being the top in-state player for the class of 2014.
MT— Wescott Eberts (@SBN_Wescott) August 17, 2012
@espnwilkerson: Caught up with 2014 DE Myles Garrett yesterday. He clearly needs to spend more time in weight room. twitter.com/ESPNwilkerson/…
Alex Okafor will be in the NFL in 2013, and Jackson Jeffcoat will follow him in 2014 at the latest. The Longhorns do not currently have a commitment from a defensive end in the 2013 class, and until they do they face the possibility of going into the 2014 season with only Bryce Cottrell, Shiro Davis, Cedric Reed, Hassan Ridgeway, and whoever they sign at the position in 2014. Those four I just named all have potential to be impact players, but Garrett has a higher ceiling than any of them.
In making these picks we are, to a certain extent, projecting what these guys will look like in two years when they begin their college careers (hopefully in Austin). A lot can happen in two years, but based on what he looks like now if Myles Garrett signs with Texas he could be the most physically impressive true freshman DE to wear the burnt orange since perhaps Tim Crowder in 2003 (he was 6'4" 250 lbs. and could already bench press over 400 when he reported to his first fall camp.) It's a cliché, I'll admit, but the sky is the limit for him.
(I'll now be mildly surprised if Wescott picks anyone other than Heard.)
Round 1, Pick 2 -- GoBR
Beaumont Ozen cornerback Tony Brown
A bold pick there with your first effort in the second annual My Guys Recruiting Draft, HH. Quite the start. I've been wrestling with this pick all afternoon in looking over the rankings and finding the balance between the My Guys philosophy I use for the Texas post and the different approach that doing this in the recruiting setting represents.
So, after much deliberation, I will deliver you your mild surprise, Mr. Hill, and select with my first pick of the first round, Beaumont Ozen cornerback Tony Brown. Not that I don't love Jerrod Heard, because I do, but I have Brown higher on my board because I see him as one of the most unique talents in this loaded defensive back class.
Perhaps because Mansfield Timberview's Edward Paris still seems like such a tough recruitment, Brown is becoming My Guy in the group. Overall, the defensive backs are so good that I felt like I had to choose the one who really stands out to me the most.
Maybe I dig the braids, the gold braces, the do-rag, the fact he's never wearing a shirt if he doesn't need to be, but still manages to pull all that off without seeming overly brash. Just the right amount of Neon Deion to equal maximum swag.
He's also pretty good at football, as well, by the way. Of all the defensive backs, he's the most remarkable physically because he looks like a college defensive back. Hell, there are some pretty skinny cover guys in the NFL Brown already surpasses in that department.
He's also fluid enough to play cornerback, with elite recovery speed for his size. He would be the total package, but there's some thought he doesn't track the ball overly well, which can really sink a defensive back. I'll take my chances. After all, if he doesn't stick at cornerback for some reason, he'll be a really good safety. Definitely some Aaron Williams in this kid.
Without further ado, then, I'm going to throw this up for Blake to make his first pick before we let the newbie, The Audit Horn, dive headfirst into this whole deal. I would speculate about your choice, Blake, but I really don't have a sense for the guys you like in this class. Hoza Scott's still on the board as the top player in the state by Orangebloods...
Round 1, Pick 3 -- GoHornsGo90
Mansfield Timberview safety Edward Paris
Round 1, Pick 4 -- The Audit Horn
Denton Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard
I'd be lying if I told you I expected to have 4 of the top 5 guys on my board still available for my first pick. But here I am. And frankly, I wish someone made this choice easy for me. When it comes to drafting, I tend to lean towards drafting need over best available. So while the higher rated prospects on my board are defenders (quick aside: not surprised first three off the board are defense, as this class is loaded with top level DEs and DBs), I'm gonna think I can get a couple top-notch guys in a middle round. So with my first pick, I'll keep it simple, play it safe, and grab the one guy on the board at his position.
Denton Guyer QB Jerrod Heard. For me, the pick works for many of the same reasons he is a great take for Texas. At 6-2, 200 lbs, he's got solid size with 2 years to grow. Heard stepped in as a sophomore and took over for departed Oklahoma State QB JW Walsh, and did a fine job doing so, leading Guyer to an 8-4 record and posting a stat line to the tune of 130-223, 2,286 passing yards and 28 TDs to 10 INTs, while rushing for 700 yards and 5 TDs. Not a bad debut.
He's a true dual threat in every sense of the term. Arm strength to make any throw and consistently improving mechanics. Dangerous speed and mobility to be a threat in the zone-read game. When he scrambles, he keeps his eyes downfield. Under the tutelage of Guyer offensive coordinator Lee Vallejo (who also oversaw the HS careers of Kirby Freeman, Jarrett Lee, Casey Pachall, and JW Walsh), Heard will make his way to campus as polished a QB Bryan Harsin can ask for. The take makes perfect sense on the heels of 2013 QB commit Tyrone Swoopes.
Whether its luck of the draw, or careful planning by the offensive staff, Harsin follows the super high-ceiling but low-floor Swoopes with not-so-high-ceiling but high-floor Heard. Needless to say, but Harsin has taken to his new, shiny, dual-threat toys in the Great State, and Heard is more than just bet-hedging.
So I wrapped up the first round with what is likely the safest take of the first round. But don't worry, I saved plenty of flash and sexiness for my second pick.
So there it is, the first round is in the books. Agreements, disagreements, general commentary? How about the fact that the top player in the state by Orangebloods, La Porte linebacker Hoza Scott, is still on the board? -- GoBR