Greg Cosell is one of the most respected minds around NFL circles. The NFL Films executive producer has watched film of 267 prospects, sometimes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cosell called into Murph and Mac on Wednesday, and when asked to list the best players in the draft, he rattled off Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett, followed by Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.
“The 9ers obviously draft No. 2,” Cosell said. “Reuben Foster is an inside linebacker. I think he’s a very complete, multi-dimensional player but most people would say, I think, that you don’t draft an inside linebacker in today’s NFL with the No. 2 pick in the draft. Now, that may or may not be true. That becomes in the eye of the beholder and the team and the scheme. But I think Reuben Foster is a really high-level prospect.”
Murph asked the proper follow-up. Why isn’t a linebacker of Foster’s caliber worth it at No. 2?
“Worth is one of those terms that means different things to different people. For years and years, we heard in the NFL that there were four premium positions: Quarterback, left tackle, pass rusher and corner. Now, the game has changed. And again, people see this differently. But the game has changed. Last season in 2016, cumulatively NFL teams played out of a sub-package defense — meaning five, six or seven defensive backs — almost 70 percent of the snaps. So that means that there are certain positions that we did not think of years ago as being really important positions. Like slot corner, which are now very important positions and clearly defined positions. Safety has become a really important position in many ways in this league and I’ve talked to coaches about this. John Lynch would probably agree with that since he played the position.”
Another player Cosell likes: Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis.
“I really like him. Now, you’re going to hear the small school argument and I get it, there’s merit to that, but I think this kid has a chance to be really special. He’s about 6′ 3”, 210 (pounds), he’s explosive. I’m not going to invoke any names but when you watch him on tape and you see him take quick slants and just burst with a tremendous explosion, you know there’s not a lot of guys who do that. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I think he’s Julio Jones, but I think he’s more like that than just a big possession receiver. I think there’s an explosiveness to his game, and I think that’s what separates him.”
For what it’s worth, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper has Foster going 15th overall and Davis 18th, while Todd McShay has Foster going 17th and Davis being selected with the 9th overall pick.
Listen to the full interview below.