James Rapien

James Rapien

James Rapien came to talk sports and chew gum, and he's all out of gum.Full Bio


Five Hot Takes to get you ready for the NFL Draft

1. The Browns will take Baker Mayfield tonight and people will mock them for doing so. Some will say he's too short, while others will say he's Johnny Manziel 2.0. IF Mayfield is picked by Cleveland, I think they'll turn it around in a hurry. He doesn't have the size of Philip Rivers, but that's who he reminds me of. Dave Lapham said it best: He's a player you love to play with and hate to play against. 

I'd understand the Browns taking any of the top quarterbacks, except for Josh Allen. Why would anyone think he's the best quarterback in this draft? Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Mayfield and Lamar Jackson are better players. 

2. The Browns will trade down from the fourth pick. Michael Lombardi mentioned it today and I've thought about it a lot this week. They could move down and draft Denzel Ward from Ohio State, Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame or another top player on their board – maybe Derwin James?

 3. The Bengals won't draft a quarterback until day three, despite flirting with the idea of taking one earlier. No one can say they didn't do their due diligence at the quarterback position during the draft process. They brought in Jackson and Mason Rudolph for visits. They don't think either quarterback is worthy of the 21st overall pick. I do believe they would be tempted if Jackson or Rudolph fell to round two, which is unlikely.

4. That is a good transition to my next take. I think SIX quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round. I keep hearing about Wyoming quarterback Allen and why he's going to get picked in the top five. Mason Rudolph from Oklahoma State is a better player. There are plenty of QB-needy teams in the NFL. It is better to draft a quarterback at the end of round one, than at the start of round two because of the fifth-year option. I expect a team who has an early round two grade on Rudolph to trade up and get him at the end of tonight's draft. Here are the six QB's I expect to be drafted in the first round in no particular order:

Josh Rosen

Sam Darnold

Baker Mayfield

Josh Allen 

Lamar Jackson

Mason Rudolph

5. A team will draft the successor to their aging, future hall of fame quarterback tonight. That could be the New Orleans Saints who are currently picking 27th. That may mean the New England Patriots move up and get Lamar Jackson or another quarterback that they love. Heck, I think the Pittsburgh Steelers could seriously consider drafting one of the top signal callers if one falls to them at 28. 

For more on who the Bengals could pick at 21, check out some of my work below:

We talk all things Bengals draft on Cincy 3:60.

Mock Draft 5.0 is worth your time.

I chat with Dave Lapham in our Bengals draft primer.

WATCH: I preview the NFL Draft with George Vogel and Geoff Hobson.

Let's revisit a poll question about the Bengals and the Reds.

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Subscribe to the Locked on Bengals Podcast here. 

Subscribe to my iHeartRadio channel that includes every episode of Cincy 3:60, interviews with Bengals, my hottest takes of the week & more here.

Email Me: JamesRapien@ESPN1530.com

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