The NFL Draft hasn’t been kind to Tar Heel prospects lately, with just six total Tar Heels being selected in the last three drafts. This time around, though, the program is expecting to hear the name of five former players called. Today, we’ll take a unique look at the Tar Heel prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft with a look at our player comparison and where we think their best landing spots are among the 32 teams in the league.
Comparison: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Three Best Landing Spots: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Cincinnati Bengals
Brown will make his living at the NFL level as a deep threat that can take the top off of defenses, but, like Valdes-Scantling, he has a chance to develop into more than just a deep threat. Just about anybody fits the Kansas City Chiefs system, but with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson becoming free agents in the offseason, they may be in the market to replace one or both of those guys, something Brown could help do. Matthew Stafford had a lot of success when Kenny Golladay was on the field the last few seasons and while Brown might not be as complete of a receiver as Golladay, he would give him that deep threat that the Rams roster currently lacks. The Bengals will likely be losing long time lead receiver A.J. Green, but Tee Higgins seems ready to fill his shoes, though. With Joe Burrow looking like the long term future at quarterback, getting him a receiver like Brown could be a nice addition for him.
Comparison: Myles Gaskin
Three Best Landing Spots: Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers
Carter really showed some nice elusiveness and quickness in the open field, something that Gaskins was able to showcase this season in a breakout year with the Dolphins. The Ravens are a great fit for any running back with the success they have had, but with Mark Ingram and possibly Gus Edwards moving on, adding Carter as the change of pace to J.K. Dobbins could be in the cards and would be a phenomenal situation for Carter. The Jets may once again be in the market for a young running back with all that is departing this offseason and it could be a spot where Carter could go and have an immediate impact. The Chargers may be in a similar market as they continue their search for a lead back after moving on from Melvin Gordon and could be in the market for a running back that can also help them pass protect for quarterback Justin Herbert.
Comparison: Kendrick Bourne
Three Best Landing Spots: Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions
Newsome will make his living out of the slot making plays in the open field after the catch, but he has the length and route running ability to play on the outside, as well, similar to Bourne. The Eagles are in desperate need of receivers once again, and the slot is the area they still need some help. Bourne is a free agent this offseason and is coming off of the best season of his career in a contract year, meaning he may be looking for some money, opening the door for someone like Newsome to possibly fill that role as a cheaper option. The Lions have a solid receiving corps in place, but with a new coaching staff and Jared Goff now at quarterback, they will be in need of receivers that can make things happen in the short to intermediate passing game.
Comparison: Cole Holcomb
Three Best Landing Spots: Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Football Team
Both Surratt and Holcomb are guys who thrive off of instinct and can always find a way to be around the football. Both guys also have the perfect amount of physicality to their game to succeed when blitzing in the A and B gaps and are not a liability in pass coverage situations. The Arizona Cardinals have historically been proponents of adding the tweener type of players and they could be in the market to add another one, especially if De'Vondre Campbell, one of their star linebackers was to depart in the offseason as a free agent. The Pittsburgh Steelers have always been amongst the league's best at developing linebackers and with all of the injury problems that they had this past season at the position, they may be looking to add some more depth at the position that can contribute. The Football Team may be looking to add some help alongside Holcomb and with the success that he has had in the system, adding Surratt might be in the cards in this draft.
Comparison: Kareem Hunt
Three Best Landing Spots: Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks
Williams is one of the most complete backs in this draft with his great combination of power and speed and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield similar to what has allowed Kareem Hunt to have such a successful career in both Kansas City and Cleveland. The Atlanta Falcons would be the clear best fit here with Todd Gurley and Brian Hill both likely leaving in free agency, meaning that Williams could come in and be the team’s top running back immediately. The Buccaneers are set to lose both Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy in the offseason and Williams could bring a similar skillset to what Fournette provided the team this season at possibly a cheaper price tag. The Seahawks have been searching for a consistent replacement for Marshawn Lynch since his original retirement back in 2015 and Williams plays with the physical edge that Pete Carroll and his staff like in their running backs.