Previewing Tar Heels in the 2016 Draft with “NFL Draft Geek”


While the Tar Heels were shut out of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Class of 2016 has a few notable prospects that could be drafted in the first round, including Quinshad Davis, Landon Turner and maybe even Marquise Williams.

As an early preview, Keeping It Heel reached out to to get some more opinions about these prospects and about the 2016 NFL Draft in general.

Questions are from Keeping It Heel and answers are from the NFL Draft Geek, Nolan Vasan. Go follow him on Twitter @NFLDraftGeek


Q: The University of North Carolina has a few prospects next year for the NFL Draft in WR Quinshad Davis, OG Landon Turner and QB Marquise Williams. What are some of your general thoughts about this crop of prospects?

A: During the Butch Davis era most of the NFL prospects to come out were on the defensive side of the ball. However this year, like the past couple, we’re seeing Fedora doing a nice job of developing some difference makers on offense. Landon Turner and Quinshad Davis are obviously the two premier guys with Davis being a more house-hold name, but Collins is somebody people are going to become familiar with very quickly. Might even throw in Ryan Switzer as an underclassmen and senior D-Lineman Jessie Rogers as guys to keep an eye on.

Q: Turner is the prize of this class. What do you think is the highest he could rise with a strong senior season?

A: Usually the top draft eligible interior lineman will somewhere in the mid-to-late first round, and Turner definitely has a chance to be in that mix. A lot of people noticed Turner in this recent article which ranked him as the eighth best senior NFL prospect. I wouldn’t rank him that highly just yet, but he’s definitely one of the premier run-blockers scouts will be keeping an eye on.

Q: The NFL had a number of successful rookie wide receiver last season, and this year’s draft crop, including Kevin White and Amari Cooper, look to follow in their footsteps. Do you think the 2016 WR class, including Quinshad Davis, has impact players like the previous two classes?

A: Yeah, its been amazing the last two wide receiver classes and its going to be three straight in 2016 with stars like Duke Williams (Auburn) Laquan Treadwell (Ole Miss) Rashard Higgins (Colorado State) and more. Quinshad Davis I don’t think is in that elite company, but I like him in the day two range. Will be looking to see how he recovers from his injury and if he can continue to haul in the touchdowns. Big question with Davis is the speed. Few are better in jump ball situations and winning 50/50 balls, but I’m not sure if he has the explosiveness NFL teams look for.

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

Q: QB is shaping up to be a very deep position in the 2016 draft. Marquise Williams is a very talented quarterback, but realistically how much farther up the QB draft ranks can he climb, even with a great senior season?

A: It’s going to be tough for Marquise with average height and the system he runs to make serious noise in this year’s quarterback class, but he has a full year ahead of him to show development as a passer. Obviously he’s a great athlete, but unless he shows he can hang in the pocket and shed the persona of being a run-first decision maker, NFL teams won’t seriously consider him as a quarterback.

Q: Who do you have going number one overall in your 2016 NFL Mock Draft and why?

A: In our first 2016 NFL Mock Draft (Crazy I know) we have Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg first. It’s funny because the three big contenders are all Big 10 quarterbacks in Hackenberg, Connor Cook out of Michigan State and Cardale Jones out of Ohio State. Pass rusher Joey Bosa is another guy to keep an eye on, but as you might expect these predictions tend to be completely antiquated by the time September/October rolls around.


Thanks to NFL Draft Geek for joining us, and remember to go check out their content soon!