Prospect Preview: 2020 Running Backs

Scouting and ranking running backs is something that I struggle with almost every draft season. There is a huge debate about whether or not the position is even valuable anymore. If you ask some of the people who focus only on the analytics they will tell you that running ball is futile unless you score a touchdown every time. I don’t agree with those numbers or theories because I think a good running game makes everything easier on offense and that’s valuable to me.

Not only do I have to deal with the question “How valuable are running backs in today’s NFL?”, but I also must ask the question “Which style of running back is most valuable in today’s NFL?”. That is where I start to fight with myself while making rankings which is why this article is slightly late. It’s a lot like picking ice cream because there are so many different “flavors” of running backs. You have pure speed backs, receiving backs, one-cut backs, and power backs. You have shifty backs, stiff backs, and a lot of players who are somewhere in between. Figuring out which style a running back is and if it’s valuable or not is a long process.

The 2020 class is filled with high upside talent at the running back position after what I would consider to be a down year in 2019. I scouted 13 players for this summer preview and have 4 left over that I either didn’t get to or didn’t find enough tape on to feel good about ranking them. Full disclosure, I generally like all 13 running backs that I have ranked, so if you feel like your favorite guy is too far down the list just remember I don’t think they are bad. It’s a stacked class so some talented backs are further down the list.

As always if you have any comments or suggestions on some players I am missing feel free to hit me up on Twitter @DanteCollinelli.

 

Number One:

D’andre Swift, Junior, Georgia

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Georgia

During last season’s SEC championship game I tweeted out that I wish Swift was draft eligible for 2019 because he would have been RB 1 for me. Well, that was before I put Swift’s tape under the microscope and oh boy I was impressed when I finally did. The two best words to describe Swift are dynamic and versatile. His ability to make people miss in the open field and in tight quarters is intoxicating to watch. He’s versatile as a runner because he poesses quickness, power, and long speed all bundled together. Swift will use them all on runs sometimes and it just makes you think “What can’t this guy do?. His ability to be a legit receiver out of the backfield adds another layer to his versatility. I struggled to find things that I think Swift is “bad” at. Is he better at some things than others? Yes. Does he have any glaring weaknesses though? I honestly don’t think that he does. Remember how I was talking about ice cream earlier? Well, Swift is if all the flavors were combined and it still tasted good. He’s truly a unique player, and I can’t wait to watch him more this season. 

Number Two:

Travis Etienne, Junior, Clemson  

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Etienne is known for his world-class long speed that he used it to burn defenders during the entire 2018 season. People, the young man can scoot! Etienne might end up being the fastest running back that I’ve scouted in my young career. He breaks down the angles of would-be tacklers so easily and it’s a pleasure to watch. In scouting, we talk about running backs having a “third gear” which refers to there max speed. Etienne is one of the few guys who has a “fourth gear” that he can get to. What makes his speed so effective is the great acceleration he has when hitting the hole. In short, it doesn’t take him very long to hit that “fourth gear” he’s so blessed with. Etienne surprised me with how good his contact balance is and how often he would break tackles in the weeds of the defense. He played with more power and urgency than some of the bigger running backs in this class. My only real complaints with Etienne are that he doesn’t have great usage in the passing game, and I wish he had a little more “shake” in his game. Etienne is a true homerun hitter which is where the NFL is trending at the running back position.

Number Three:

Jonathan Taylor, Junior, Wisconsin

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It feels like I’ve been watching Jonathan Taylor forever at the University of Wisconsin, but he’s just a junior. Taylor has spent the last two seasons making up about 85% of Wisconsin’s offense since they are allergic to good quarterback play. Taylor’s best trait is the way he blends both speed and power. Taylor does a great a job hammering away at the defense picking up 5-7 yards every play by running between the tackles. What surprised me was how many times he used his long speed to break away from defenders and create long touchdown runs. I was worried that Taylor would be a little one-dimensional, however, I could not have been more wrong. He even showed that he could run out of the shotgun later in the season when they switched quarterbacks (See Miami game). The two things I worry about with Taylor is milage and strength of his offensive line. Taylor is used as a workhorse for Wisconsin, so it’s hard not to wonder if he has used up some of his prime years already. Wisconsin’s offense line produces NFL talent every single season, and on tape, you can see them making Taylor’s job quite easy. The question for Taylor will be: Can he create for himself when things breakdown?

Number Four:

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RS Senior, Vanderbilt

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Vaughn was an unknown to me heading into this scouting series. Despite seeing some things on Twitter about him, I was in the dark for the most part. Vaughn’s ability to break big-time runs jumped out to me right away. I encourage you to go watch his performance against Baylor in last years bowl game. He broke a couple of long touchdowns in that game all of which showed his amazing burst and long speed. Vaughn displayed some pretty nice contact balance allowing him to pick up a lot of extra yards after initial contact. He did a great job staying patient allowing his blockers to set up in front of him too. Vaughn carries enough shake in his game to make people miss in the open field, but he prefers to run them over most of the time. Vaughn is one of the few senior running backs in this class with some national media attention, so he’s got a unique opportunity to make himself the best running back of the senior class. However, he needs to get more involved in the passing game and be a little more decisive at the mesh point before he can claim that crown.

 

Number Five:

Zach Moss, Senior, Utah

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Moss is the other senior running back who has an early chance to be the best of the 4-year players. Like Vaughn, Moss wasn’t on my radar until I started working on this summer scouting series. I love running backs who hit the hole hard and Moss does that all the time so he quickly moved up my rankings. I thought his speed at the second level was great and pointed to him being a homerun hitter. If you haven’t noticed, that has been a common theme with all of these running backs so far. Moss posses solid contact balance and always fell forward for extra yardage which is another trait that I love to see in my running backs. One of the most frustrating things about Moss’s tape is that Utah lined him up as a wide receiver often but never threw him the ball. He would line up wide and in the slot only to be used as a decoy or as a blocker. When given a chance he looked natural catching the ball, but I need to see more of it. I have some questions about his vision as well. He can sometimes just miss holes entirely or just not wait long enough for them to open up. If Moss can make his vision more consistent and continue to be explosive he will shoot up boards during draft season when everyone catches on.

 

Numbers 6-13

 

Number 6: AJ Dillion, Junior, Boston College

Number 7: JK Dobbins, Junior, Ohio State

Number 8: Anthony Mcfarland, RS Sophomore, Maryland

Number 9: Reggie Corbin, Junior, Illinois

Number 10: Najee Harris, Junior, Alabama

Number 11: Eno Benjamin, Junior, Arizona State  

Number 12: Cam Akers, Junior, Florida State

Number 13: Kylin Hill, Junior, Mississippi State

 

Players I still have to watch/ need more tape on

 

Number 1: JJ Taylor, RS Junior, Arizona

Number 2: Darryton Evans, Junior, Appalachian State

Number 3: Greg Mccare, Junior, Central Florida

Number 4: Micheal Warren II, Junior, Cincinnati

Grading Every First Round Pick in the 2019 Draft

The first round of the NFL draft is one of the most exciting days of the entire year, and is a culmination of hundreds of hours of work for a lot of people who work in the industry. I have graded every single pick of the first round for your viewing pleasure. I tried to keep the explanations short and sweet covering everything from value, need, and overall skill set of the player. The grades are between A+ and F- (Yes, that’s a thing when Dave Gettleman is picking players) but it is important to remember that these are knee jerk reactions. Things will change when teams make more picks to fill their other holes on the roster.

On Sunday, I’ll have another article out grading every team’s full draft class so keep an eye out for that. As always direct all of your hate and questions to @DanteCollinelli on twitter I’m always down to talk football.

 

RD 1 Pick 1: Arizona Cardinals

Selection: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

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Grade: B+

To the surprise of nobody, Murray goes number 1 overall to the Cardinals. Murray fits Kingsbury’s scheme to perfection and will give the Cardinals one of the most exciting players in the entire league. Murray wasn’t my QB 1 and I’m worried about how prepared he is to make NFL level throws on a consistent basis. Murray will be one of the most interesting players to watch this upcoming season. I’m not worried about Murray’s weight or height at the next level at all. I think he does a good job of protecting himself when running down the field. 

 

RD 1 Pick 2: San Francisco 49ers

Selection: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

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Nick Bosa

Grade: A+

Nick Bosa is the unquestioned best player in this entire draft class. His football IQ, technique, speed, and power make for an elite edge rushing prospect that fills the 49ers biggest need. Bosa will join Deforrest Buckner and Eric Armstead on the 49ers defensive line, making for an elite pass rush combination. Bosa does have some injury concerns throughout his career so it’s something to keep an eye on going forward. 

 

RD 1 Pick 3: New York Jets

Selection: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

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Quinnen Williams

Grade: A

The Jets took advantage of the Cardinals’ selection of Kyler Murray, allowing them to take the second best player in the draft at pick 3. While he doesn’t fill a need on the team, Williams provides the Jets with an elite interior pass rusher that isn’t currently on the roster. Williams is one of the youngest players in the draft and will only get better from this point going forward. He can play in any scheme so the Jets will find a way to get him on the field for the majority of their snaps.

 

RD 1 Pick 4: Oakland Raiders

Selection: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson

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Clelin Ferrell

Grade: B

The Raiders make the first surprise pick of the draft by selecting Ferrell at number 4 overall. Ferrell is a high floor player with refined hand technique and power in his base. He fills the Raiders biggest need after trading away Khalil Mack last season. However, this is a reach to be selecting a player like Ferrell with Devin White, Ed Oliver, and Josh Allen still on the board. Ferrell will be a productive player for the Raiders for years to come, but his low ceiling will keep him from being a true elite talent. 

 

RD 1 Pick 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Selection: Devin White, LB, LSU

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Devin White

Grade: A+

Tampa Bay fills their biggest need after the Raiders make a surprising pick at number 4. White is the fastest linebacker I’ve ever scouted and will bring a new element of speed and tenacity to the Buccaneers defense. He’s an elite playmaker and will cause multiple turnovers a season. His mindset is contagious to the people around him, making everyone on the field meaner and better. This is as good as it gets for Tampa Bay.

 

RD 1 Pick 6: New York Giants

Selection: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

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Daniel Jones

Grade: D

The Giants’ selection of Daniel Jones is one of the biggest reaches for a quarterback in recent memory. Jones has a great football pedigree and has a lot of similarities to Giants’ current quarterback Eli Manning which is probably why they took him. Jones is limited as a passer down the field and doesn’t have the needed football IQ to succeed early in the league, so I think he will sit behind Eli Manning for at least one season. Jones has a long way to go before he can be a quality starting quarterback at the next level. Even then I think he lacks the ceiling to be anything more than Ryan Tannehill. 

 

RD 1 Pick 7: Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky

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Josh Allen

Grade: B

Josh Allen doesn’t fill a need for the Jaguars right away, but he is arguably the best player left on the board due to the Giants and Raiders making reaches. Allen improved mightily in his senior season with his hands and overall technique. He’s a pure speed rushed off the edge with great movement skills in space, allowing him to play in coverage, as well as rush the passer. The Jaguars now have one of the fiercest pass rushes in the entire league.

 

RD 1 Pick 8: Detroit Lions

Selection: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa

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TJ Hockenson

Grade: A+

TJ Hockenson is the best tight end that I have scouted in the last 3 years. He is a proficient pass catcher and an extremely good blocker in the run game. His versatility will give the Lions a dynamic chess piece that they can move around the formation. Hockenson will give quarterback Matthew Stafford a reliable target in the middle of the field and in the redzone. Hockenson will also make it easier for the Lions to run the football because of his blocking prowess.

 

RD 1 Pick 9: Buffalo Bills

Selection: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Houston
Ed Oliver

Grade: A+

The Bills get a gift at number 9 with Ed Oliver falling down the board. Buffalo fills one of their biggest needs with one of the elite players of the draft. Oliver fits the Bills’ scheme perfectly and will provide them with a great penetrator and run stopper. Oliver may be undersized, but his speed, quickness, and power make up for his lack of size in spades. Oliver should be used better in Buffalo than he was at Houston, which should make him more productive in the NFL.

 

RD 1 Pick 10: Pittsburgh Steelers (via Denver Broncos)

Selection: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

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Devin Bush

Grade: A+

The Steelers trade up 10 spots with the Denver Broncos in order to fill the biggest need on their team with the selection of Devin Bush. Bush is a fast, hard-hitting linebacker, who will change the tone of the Steelers defense for years to come. The Steelers only gave up pick number 52 in order to move up for this selection, which is a good value. Bush should be a productive first-year starter in the middle of the Steelers’ defense.  

 

RD 1 Pick 11: Cincinnati Bengals

Selection: Jonah Williams, OT/IOL, Alabama

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Jonah Williams

Grade: A-

Jonah Williams is the most versatile offensive lineman in this draft class. He can play all 5 starting positions on the offensive line, including left tackle. He is a people mover in the run game and a smooth pass protector. He instantly upgrades the Bengals’ porous offensive line from last season. Some fans might’ve wanted a quarterback to be the pick here, but Williams fills a need at a good value.

 

RD 1 Pick 12: Green Bay Packers

Selection: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan

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Rashan Gary

Grade: C+

The Green Bay Packers take a huge risk by selecting Rashan Gary at pick 12. Gary lacked production at Michigan, despite having an elite athletic profile. Gary was misused at Michigan by playing out on the edge and could be better used on the interior of the defensive line. Green Bay spent a lot of money on the edge position in free agency so Gary wasn’t a need this early in the first round. The Packers will have to bet on his athletic upside and that his best football is in front of him. Gary also had plenty of injuries throughout his career that kept him off the field often at Michigan. 

 

RD 1 Pick 13: Miami Dolphins

Selection: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

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Grade: B+

The Miami Dolphins have a barren defensive line with little to no talent. Christian Wilkins adds a high character and high-quality player to that group. He is an impressive penetrator in the passing game and stout run defender. Wilkins fits the prototype that the Dolphins’ general manager Chris Grier talked about all offseason. Wilkins will be a productive player for a long time and give the Dolphins some needed punch on the defensive side of the football. 

 

RD 1 Pick 14: Atlanta Falcons

Selection: Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College

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Chris Lindstrom

Grade: B-

The Falcons make a surprise pick by reaching for Chris Lindstrom here at number 14. While Lindstrom is a good guard prospect, the Falcons passed on bigger needs and better players. Lindstrom will provide them with a steady presence up front for the next 10-12 years. Lindstrom will have to prove that he can be a consistent pass blocker at the next level to reach his ceiling because he wasn’t tasked with doing that often at Boston College. 

 

RD 1 Pick 15: Washington Redskins

Selection: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

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Dwayne Haskins

Grade: B+

The Redskins get my number 1 overall quarterback without having to trade up into the top 10. Haskins should come in and be the day 1 starter for the Redskins in 2019. He will excel in their short passing heavy offense with his short to intermediate accuracy. Haskins is still a very young player and has tremendous upside. His football IQ will allow him to have a productive rookie season. The Redskins would be wise to surround him with some more weapons with their other picks. 

 

RD 1 Pick 16: Carolina Panthers

Selection: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

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Brian Burns

Grade: B

 

Brian Burns might be the best pure pass rusher in the draft class. He possesses elite speed and the ability to bend the edge quicker than anyone else. He fills arguably the biggest need for the Panthers early in round 1. He will need to put on a little bit of weight on his frame in order to be more effective against the run at the NFL level. His immediate impact should help the Panthers compete in a pass-heavy division with Drew Brees, Jamies Winston, and Matt Ryan. 

 

RD 1 Pick 17: New York Giants

Selection: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

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Dexter Lawrence

Grade: C-

Lawrence is a huge reach at number 17 for the Giants. He doesn’t fill one of their bigger needs and isn’t a top 20 player in this class. His role as a pure run-stopping player is no longer highly valued in the NFL. The Giants passed on way better players in a position where they need a lot of talent to compete this season. Lawrence will serve his role well, however, his role is not of high value anymore. Dave Gettlemen traded Damion Harrison last season for a fifth-round pick and then took essentially the same player with the 17th pick in the draft. I just don’t understand this team at all. 

 

RD 1 Pick 18: Minnesota Vikings

Selection: Garrett Bradbury, IOL, NC State

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Grade: A

Bradbury is the best IOL in this draft class. He is a smooth mover in the run game and is able to get to the second level with ease. He has great hand placement and always plays with leverage. The Vikings desperately needed help on the offensive line in order to protect Kirk Cousins moving forward. Bradbury was a top 10 player for me in this class, so it’s a great value for the Vikings at 18.

 

RD 1 Pick 19: Tennessee Titans

Selection: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

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Jeffery Simmons

Grade: B

Jeffery Simmons has a long and complicated route to the NFL. He has character concerns in his past, stemming from a video of him striking a woman during a fight. He then proceeded to have a great career at Mississippi State. Simmons would have been a top 5 pick in this class if it was not for his character concerns and injury concerns. Simmons tore his ACL during the pre-draft process, which aided in his fall down the board. There is no question that Simmons is talented, but he will have to prove that he is a changed person from his high school days in order to be successful at the NFL level. 

 

RD 1 Pick 20: Denver Broncos (via Pittsburgh Steelers)

Selection: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

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Noah Fant

Grade: B

Denver passes on a quarterback again at number 20 by taking tight end, Noah Fant. Fant is a dynamic pass-catching threat from multiple spots on the field and he is one of the most athletically gifted tight ends in recent memory. He will give Denver a real speed threat down the middle of the field for aging quarterback Joe Flacco. Fant will have to work on his hands and route running to reach his ceiling, however, all the tools of a pro-bowl tight end are present.

 

RD 1 Pick 21: Green Bay Packers

Selection: Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland

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Grade: C+

Savage has experienced a huge draft rise since January when he attended the senior bowl and impressed a lot of scouts. Savage gives the Packers a playmaking safety for a team that desperately needs more turnovers this season. Savage is a hard-hitting player in the run game that will add a mean streak to the Packers’ defense. Savage is a bit of a reach here in the first round, but he still fills the Packers’ biggest need. 

 

RD 1 Pick 22: Philadelphia Eagles (via Baltimore Ravens)

Selection: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

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Andre Dillard

Grade: C+

The Eagles surprised everyone by trading up for Dillard with the Baltimore Ravens. The Eagles needed to find a replacement for Jason Peters at left tackle, so I see why they did it. Dillard is a fluid athlete with a strong pass set and plenty of experience pass protecting from college. In the running game, he doesn’t get good leverage and will get pushed back way too easily. Ideally, he will sit his first season in Philadelphia and be given a chance to mentally develop and bulk up his frame, making him more effective in the running game. The Eagles needed to get in front of the Houston Texans in order to make this pick because trust me they would have taken Dillard at 23. 

 

RD 1 Pick 23: Houston Texans

Selection: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

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Grade: C-

The Houston Texans desperately needed to find protection for Deshawn Watson this season. Howard is a smooth mover with long arms that allow him to stay in front of most pass rushers. He comes from a small school and will need considerable technical refinement before making an impact at the NFL level. Houston passed on a much better player in Jawaan Taylor at right tackle for a developmental pick at the same position. Howard has the tools to be successful but a long way to go before he hits his ceiling.

 

RD 1 Pick 24: Oakland Raiders

Selection: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

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Josh Jacobs

Grade: B

This was one of the most obvious picks of this draft class after Marshawn Lynch left the team this offseason. Jacobs is one of the most physical runners in recent memory and upgrades a sad Raiders running back depth chart. He will give the Raiders a runner with attitude while being able to add value in the passing game. Jacobs has limited tread on his tires because of limited carries in college. This pick fits like a glove for the Raiders here at the end of the first round.

 

RD 1 Pick 25: Baltimore Ravens (Via Philadelphia Eagles)

Selection: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

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Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

Grade: B-

Marquise Brown is an elite speed threat down the field and in short areas. His ability to take a short pass all the way to the house will give a new dynamic threat to the Ravens offense. His ability to create separation will give Lamar Jackson an easy target to hit at all three levels of the field. Brown has a foot injury to deal with right now but should be ready for the regular season, according to all reports. This is a small reach for the Ravens, but I understand why they felt the need to make this pick here.

 

RD 1 Pick 26: Washington Redskins (Via Indianoplis Colts)

Selection: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State

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Montez Sweat

Grade: B

Montez Sweat was a consensus top 10 pick for most of the pre-draft process, especially after his record-breaking combine. Problems popped up when his medicals came back that he had a heart condition. That took him off some teams board, however, Washington gets great value trading back into the first round to select him. He fills a position of need and if healthy could be an instant impact starter. Sweat is a great run defender and pure power rusher which results in some impressive reps against lighter competition.

 

RD 1 Pick 27: Oakland Raiders

Selection: Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

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Grade: C

Jonathan Abram is one of the hardest hitting players in the entire draft class. He was even thrown out of a game for hitting in his own teammate once. Jon Gruden loves physical players and that’s what they get with Abram. The Raiders didn’t have a lot of talent at the safety position, so he fills a need as well. I don’t love Abram’s ability in coverage so he will have to make a living stopping the run in the box at the next level. I love Abram’s physical mentality. However, I think Oakland would have been better served to take a free safety or cornerback at this spot.

 

RD 1 Pick 28: LA Chargers

Selection: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

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Grade: C+

The LA Chargers played their last game against the New England Patriots where they got gashed up the middle of the defense by the running game. Tillery is a player who needs to be more consistent but when he’s on he’s really on. His quickness and pass rush moves are easy to see on tape and should translate well to the next level. Defensive tackle was a big need for the Chargers even though I would consider Tillery a reach here. If the Chargers can get Tillery to put all of his traits together this pick could be a real steal.

 

RD 1 Pick 29: Seattle Seahawks

Selection: LJ Collier, Edge, TCU

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Grade: D

The Seahawks opened up a huge hole on their defensive line by trading away Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs. Collier is a huge reach here for an edge rusher who isn’t a great athlete and didn’t produce that much in the Big 12. Ideally, you would like to see him sit a year so he can learn some pass rush moves but he will likely be thrust into the starting lineup too soon. Collier does provide some power and run defending prowess which I’m sure the Seahawks value. I just don’t see the upside of tacking Collier here instead of taking someone like Jawaan Taylor to protect Russell Wilson.

 

RD 1 Pick 30: New York Giants (Via Seattle Seahawks)

Selection: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

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Deandre Baker

Grade: B

Baker has had quite the fall since the start of the college football season but the Giants clearly bought into his outstanding tape here at pick 30. Baker is a physical man to man corner and has plus ball skills. His footwork and transitions are fantastic allowing him to stick with defenders down the field. The Giants needed a lot of help in the secondary so not only is Baker a good value, but he fills a position of need. This is by far their best pick of the night and you could still argue its a small reach. 

 

RD 1 Pick 31: Atlanta Falcons (Via LA Rams)

Selection: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

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Grade: C-

This pick shocked me quite a bit as we have another team to pass on Jawaan Taylor here in the first round. McGary is a mauler in the run game and very physical down the field when hitting linebackers. The Falcons needed a new right tackle badly, but again, I just think McGray could have been had in the second or third round. McGary has a long way to go as a pass protector, however, he has the needed movement skills to improve in that area over time.

 

RD 1 Pick 32: New England Patriots

Selection: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

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N’Keal Harry

Grade: B+

It pains me to say this but I love this pick for the Patriots. N’keal Harry has been my number one or two ranked wide receiver since the summer. His ability to make plays after the catch and at the catch point is truly impressive. New England has been looking for an “X” wide receiver for quite a while now and Harry fits that mold perfectly. He will play perfectly off the all the small slot receivers already present in New England. 

Collinelli’s 2019 Mock Draft 4.0

We are in the endgame now. The draft is just hours away so it is the perfect time for me to make my final predictions for the first four rounds of the draft. Making mock drafts is not something that I love because one trade can blow the entire mock draft apart. I was thinking about doing trades in this mock but that just makes things way too complicated. Plus, there probably won’t be more than three trades in the first round.

This mock is going to be predictive of what I think will happen not what I would do. Some players that have been falling recently because of injuries are Montez Sweat and Rashan Gary. Also, Seattle shook up the draft be acquiring the 29th pick from Kansas City which changes things pretty drastically.

As always if you have any questions or comments hit me up on twitter @DanteCollinelli. Let me know what you think of your teams haul; I love talking ball on the internet.

 

 

Round One 

Number 1: Arizona Cardinals

Selection: Kyler Murray, QB/ Oklahoma

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There has been some talk this past week that Murray won’t go number one overall on Thursday. All of the people that I trust in this business say that nothing has changed and that Murray will be the first overall selection. Murray would come in and replace last years first round pick Josh Rosen and be a perfect fit for new head coach Kliff Kingsbury offense. Murray isn’t my QB 1 but he does possess a lot of elite traits to be a franchise changing player at the next level. I am secretly hoping this pick isn’t Murray because that makes things way more fun.

 

Number 2: San Francisco 49ers

Selection: Nick Bosa, Edge/ Ohio State

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Nick Bosa

This might be the obvious pick in the entire draft for a number of reasons. The first one being that Bosa is the best player available and fills the 49ers biggest need by far. I know the 49ers have invested a lot on first-round defensive linemen, but they haven’t hit yet on a dominant edge rusher. Bosa is one of the most technically polished players to come out of the draft in the last number of years. Bosa is going to be a productive player in any scheme the 49ers cook up for this season.

 

Number 3: New York Jets

Selection: Quinnen Williams, DT/ Alabama

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Quinnen Williams

I considered three different players in this spot but I can’t see the Jets passing on a talent like Williams. The Jets are where the draft truly starts in my eyes because not only do they have a lot of options if they stay at pick three, but they are also a prime trade up partner. The Jets have a lot of needs, and while Williams doesn’t check one of those boxes, he’s an elite talent that will make the team instantly better. If I was doing trades then I would predict one here so I’ll give a few teams to keep an eye on Washington, Giants, Cincinnati, and the Raiders are all options.

 

Number 4: Oakland Raiders

Selection: Devin White, LB/ LSU

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Devin White

The Raiders are one of the toughest teams to get a handle on because they have been linked to just about every player in the top 10. The buzz right now is that they like Dwayne Haskins, however, I ain’t buying that right now. I believe that the Raiders will take either Devin White or Quinnin Williams depending on who the Jets take. White comes into Oakland and gives them their best linebacker in at least the last five years. He’s one of the fastest players in the class including all the skill positions, so he brings a different dynamic than their current set of linebackers.

 

Number 5: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Selection: Josh Allen, Edge/ Kentucky

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Josh Allen

Allen was widely viewed as a top three pick for most of the season so the Buccaneers get a good value here. I think Tampa would prefer to have either Devin White or Quinnin Williams here but Allen is an elite prospect at a position of need. Pairing him with Jason Pierre-Paul would make for a dynamic pass rush that Tampa hasn’t had in a long time. Head coach Bruce Arians said in a press conference that Tampa wouldn’t trade down because there are five elite prospects that can be at pick 5. Allen is one of those players if you ask me.

 

Number 6: New York Giants

Selection: Dwayne Haskins, QB/ Ohio State

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Dwayne Haskins

The Giants are yet another team that is very difficult to get a handle on just hours before the draft. Hell, Gettleman said “We didn’t sign Odell Beckham to trade him” and then proceed to trade him. The noise coming out of the Giants have been that they are sticking with Eli Manning next season but I am not buying it. Haskins fits the Giants offense perfectly under head coach Pat Shurmur. Despite what Gettleman says Manning isn’t good anymore and the Giants need to find his replacement quickly. This isn’t a joke but I considered about seven different players in this spot. In the end, I sided with the pick I didn’t think the Giants would make because they always do the opposite of what I think.

 

Number 7: Jacksonville Jaguars

Selection: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa

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TJ Hockenson

This pick just makes too much sense for me to pass up here. Tight ends typically don’t get taken this high but Hockenson is one of the best tight end prospects in recent years. The plan in Jacksonville is to surround Nick Foles with the same things that made him successful in Philadelphia. The Eagles strong tight end play was a big part of that success and Jacksonville’s tight end depth chart is sad. Hockenson is one of the best blockers in this class and is a plus athlete making him the perfect scheme fit for the Jaguars ground and pound attack.

 

Number 8: Detroit Lions

Selection: Ed Oliver, DT/ Houston

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Houston
Ed Oliver

Oliver would join an already crowded defensive front in Detroit but his value is too good to pass up here. Detroit is a tough team to draft for because they addressed a number of needs in free agency and Bob Quinn (their GM) has made some weird picks over the years. Olive fits the type for the trench dominant team they are trying to become under head coach Matt Patricia. Oliver can play in multiple schemes and play pretty much every position along the line. Detroit will find some way to get him on the field.

 

Number 9: Buffalo Bills

Selection: Jonah Williams, OT/IOL/ Alabama

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Jonah Williams

The Bills have invested a lot of money into their offensive line in free agency, but yet, they still have holes to fill. Williams can play any of the five starting spots along the line which would give Buffalo an opportunity to have their five best players on the field at all times. He fits the new Buffalo model which is a high character player from a big name school in the first round. If you are gonna draft Josh Allen to play quarterback then your top priority needs to be making sure he can stand upright in the pocket at all times. Jonah Williams gives you the best versatility among the available options.

 

Number 10: Denver Broncos

Selection: Devin Bush, LB/ Michigan

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Devin Bush

Throughout the entire draft process, I have firmly believed that Denver would be all over Drew Lock. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve become less confident in that because I think Elway believes in Joe Flacco. Devin Bush fills a huge need in the middle of the defense and helps the team win now. He gets sideline to sideline very quickly and will bring a mean streak to a defense that has to deal with Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers, and Derrick Carr twice a year.

 

Number 11: Cincinnati Bengals

Selection: Drew Lock, QB/ Missouri

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Drew Lock

Some people have Drew Lock falling way farther than this, but I just can’t see the NFL letting a prototype QB like Lock fall too far. The Bengals brought in former Sean McVay assistant Zac Taylor who is known to be a “quarterback whisperer”. You’re trying to tell me that he is gonna stick with Andy Dalton and not invest in Lock’s upside? I really believe the Bengals will end up with either Haskins or Lock via trade up or having one fall down the board to them. If Lock and is Haskins is gone then I expect Devin Bush to be the pick here.

 

Number 12: Green Bay Packers

Selection: Brian Burns, Edge/ Florida State

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Brian Burns

Look, I know the Packers have spent a lot of money on the edge rusher position in free agency which means they might not think its a need come tonight. I think there are two reasons that might make them consider Burns here at 12. First, all of the edge players on the current roster are power rushers. Burns would provide a much-needed infusion of speed to their pass rush. Second, you can never have enough good pass rushers in a day where quarterbacks are the focal point of the league. Burns might see some limited reps as he tries to bulk up his small frame but he helps this team now and in the future.

 

Number 13: Miami Dolphins

Selection: Jawaan Taylor, OT/ Florida

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Jawaan Taylor

This would be a dream selection for me as a Dolphins fan at 13 if the board fell this way. It’s common knowledge that the Dolphins want to trade back into the first round but I just don’t see any partners that aren’t Seattle or Houston. If the Dolphins stay here they have to address the loss of Juwaan James in free agency to the Denver Broncos. Taylor has great pass sets and is powerful in the running game. He’s the prototype right tackle that Brian Flores will love. Miami has a long list of needs and needs to check off the premium ones early.

 

Number 14: Atlanta Falcons

Selection: Christian Wilkins, DT/ Clemson

Image result for christian wilkins

Here are some things I know about the Atlanta Falcons current group of decision makers. They love defensive linemen, they love high character players, and they have a need at the interior D-line spot. Christian Wilkins fits all of that criteria and is a fantastic player to go with it. I considered Montez Sweat here but the Falcons like Vic Beasley more than draft twitter does. Grady Jarrett is on the franchise tag so not only is the spot next to him open but his spot could be open next season. Wilkins fills a need now and into the future giving the Falcons great value here at 14.

 

Number 15: Washington Redskins

Selection: Daniel Jones, QB/ Duke

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Daniel Jones

I am convinced that Washington will come away with one of the top three quarterbacks via trade or if one falls to them. There is no way they will go into camp with just Case Keenum and Colt McCoy at quarterback right? I know Daniel Jones is the punchline of a lot of jokes in the draft community but the reality is that the NFL likes him more than we do on Twitter. Jones would fit nicely into Jay Gruden’s offensive scheme comprised of mostly short passes. There is a chance Jones goes at six and Haskins (or Lock if Haskins goes at 11) is the pick here but Washington needs a new signal caller.

 

Number 16: Carolina Panthers

Selection: Montez Sweat, Edge/ Mississippi State

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Montez Sweat

Sweat took a mini slide because there have been some teams who have failed his medicals. The Panthers can strike at that opportunity by getting a consensus top 10 pick at pick 16 that also fills their biggest need. The Panthers have gotten no pass rush the past couple of seasons and Sweat should provide immediate impact as power rusher off the edge. His work in the run game is fantastic as well so he should be a three-down player at the next level giving the Panthers even more value here. It’s a small risk but one worth taking for a team with one of the worst pass rushes in the league.

 

Number 17: New York Giants

Selection: DK Metcalf, WR/ Ole Miss

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DK Metcalf

The Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr for this pick so taking his “replacement” here makes a lot of sense. The Giants are currently rolling with Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate at receiver. Those players aren’t bad but they practically serve the same purpose. Metcalf would give them a legit threat down the field and in jump ball situations. The new Giants offense core now has Haskins, Metcalf, Barkley, Ingram, Shephard, and Tate. That’s not a bad group of mostly young players to work with moving forward.

 

Number 18: Minnesota Vikings

Selection: Cody Ford, OT/IOL/ Oklahoma

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Cody Ford

The Vikings have needs at both the guard spot and at offensive tackle. Cody Ford projects as a guard at the next level but his tape at right tackle is pretty good so he could fill either role for the Vikings. Minnesota has a lot of money tied up in Kurt Cousins so getting him cheap reliable protection has to be a priority for them in this draft. Ford is a great run blocker so it will make sense with the Vikings spending the offseason telling anyone that will listen that they want to run the ball more in 2019.

 

Number 19: Tennessee Titans

Selection: Garrett Bradbury, IOL/ NC State

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This might be the most pivotal year in recent Titans memory when it’s all said and done. It’s time to decide if Marcus Mariota is a franchise quarterback or not. That can be hard to do when he’s hurt all the time, so protecting him needs to be high on the Titans list for the offseason. Bradbury is a fantastic zone scheme player and one of the best space movers in the IOL class. The Titans would have to shuffle around their current offensive line a bit to fit Bradbury in but he would make them better instantly.

 

Number 20: Pittsburgh Steelers

Selection: Rock Ya-Sin, CB/ Temple

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Rock Ya-Sin

Some of you may look at this pick and call me a homer for taking a reach on a player from Temple in the first round. I don’t have Ya-Sin rated this high on my personal board (he’s number 39) so it’s not me banging the table for him. What kind of players, specifically corners, do the Steelers love? Man to man physical press corners who are long and somewhat athletic. Ya-Sin checks all of those boxes in spades. There is a chance that after Artie Burns the Steelers move away from that prototype and take a more unconventional route here. I’m betting on history when it comes to this pick.  

 

Number 21: Seattle Seahawks

Selection: Clelin Ferrell, Edge/ Clemson

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Clelin Ferrell

The Seahawks shook up the entire draft when they traded Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for pick 29, on Tuesday. That left a gaping hole at the edge position for the Seahawks which needs to be filled right away. Ferrell is a high floor and high character player who can come in and give you 7-12 sacks every year. He’s got the toughness that Seattle loves in their players as well as the high football IQ they typically value. Don’t be shocked if they package 21 and 29 to move up in the first round. In a draft without trades, Ferrell makes a lot of sense for them here.

 

Number 22: Baltimore Ravens

Selection: Marquise Brown, WR/ Oklahoma

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Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

At first glance, this probably looks like a questionable pick for a Ravens team working with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Brown dominated using shallow crossing routes in college which is where Lamar Jackson is most accurate. It’s easy to say that you need big receivers when dealing with an inaccurate quarterback but guys who can get open easily and track the ball down the field can be valuable. Brown also adds an element to the Ravens offense that is different from there ground and pound style. People whom I trust have said Brown will go somewhere in round one, and I believe them.

 

Number 23: Houston Texans

Selection: Andre Dillard, OT/ Washington State

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Andre Dillard

The Texans had an interesting plan this past season which was “let’s try to kill Deshaun Watson and still make the playoffs”. Surprisingly, they pulled it off perfectly Deshaun Watson was the most sacked quarterback in the league and they made the playoffs. Houston would be wise not to repeat this formula for next season. Dillard is the best pass blocker in the draft class and his elite movement skills would pair perfectly with a mobile quarterback like Watson. This is a perfect value and fit for the Texans if they don’t move up.

 

Number 24: Oakland Raiders

Selection: Noah Fant, TE/ Iowa

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Noah Fant

Not gonna lie, I had a really hard time fitting Noah Fant into the first round of this mock draft. I had him at two different spots before settling on him here to the Raiders. Oakland desperately needs offensive weapons outside of the receiver position. Fant can be an elite pass-catching chess piece that Gruden can move around the formation as he pleases. With Fant, the Raiders would be giving Derrick Carr a supporting cast including Fant, Antonio Brown, and Tyrell Williams. That is one explosive group of pass catchers moving forward. If Carr isn’t the guy at quarterback then it will be easy to see after this season. 

 

Number 25: Philadelphia Eagles

Selection: Rashan Gary, DT/Edge/ Michigan

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Rashan Gary

I know this might be an unpopular pick for Eagles fans but it’s the most “Eagles” pick I could think of. Gary is a long, athletic, and versatile defensive linemen. Tell me that isn’t something the Eagles would value. Gary was considered a top 10 talent coming into the season but didn’t produce well at Michigan and was banged up with injuries which lead to his fall. The Eagles are getting older upfront so Gary gives them a young high upside option on both the edge and the interior.

 

Number 26: Indianapolis Colts

Selection: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S/ Florida

Image result for chauncey gardner johnson

The Colts took a huge jump last season because of the performance of their rookie class which included to All-Pro selections. Gardner-Johnson brings a high level of versatility to one of the teams weaker units. The Colts have Maliek Hooker roaming the field as a free safety already but need someone who can match up with skill position players. Gardner-Johnson provides that with his ability to play in the slot and handle some tight ends on the outside. Johnson will give the Colts even more range on the backend with his speed and body control in the air. Chris Ballard has a proven track record of success as a GM and Gardner-Johnson would continue that trend.

 

Number 27: Oakland Raiders

Selection: Josh Jacobs, RB/ Alabama

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Josh Jacobs

This is probably the most obvious pick to make in any 2019 mock draft so I won’t spend a lot of time on it. The Raiders have no running backs on the roster right now with the departure of Marshawn Lynch. Jacobs is about as close to Marshawn Lynch as you are going to get in this draft class. With this pick and my selection of Noah Fant at 24, the Raiders suddenly have one of the better offenses in football. Jacobs is tone setter as a running back which I’m sure Jon Gruden will love.

 

Number 28: LA Chargers

Selection: Hakeem Butler, WR/ Iowa State

Image result for hakeem butler

Full disclosure, I don’t like Hakeem Butler much at all he’s got a third round grade on my board. The NFL is much higher on Butler than I am so he’s gonna go here to the Chargers. Butler would be the replacement for Tyrell Williams who went to the Raiders. Butler is a contested catch machine and has some really impressive flash plays down the field. The Charges are in a win-now mode so adding more weapons will be on the table in every round of the draft, especially, when the best tackle prospects are off the board.

 

Number 29: Seattle Seahawks

Selection: Greedy Williams, CB/ LSU

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Greedy Williams

Look, I have no idea where Greddy Williams is gonna go tonight but I think either of the Seattle picks is a good spot. Williams is a perfect fit for the Seahawks scheme as a long-press man corner. The only knock on Williams is that is effort is less than ideal in both the running game and the passing game at times. Where the corners come off the board will be one of the more interesting parts of the first night.

 

Number 30: Green Bay Packers

Selection: Nasir Adderley, S/ Delaware

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Nasir Adderley

At number 12, I took Brain Burns for the Packers which was more of a luxury pick than a need. Adderley fills a need and is a good value here at pick 30. Adderley would add a playmaker on the backend of the Packers defense that needs to create more turnovers in 2019. He can also add value as a punt and kick returner which could lead to a couple of splash plays throughout the season. It may scare some people that Adderley comes from Delaware but he’s got all the athletic traits to compete with the big boys.

 

Number 31: LA Rams

Selection: Byron Murphy, CB/ Washington

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Byron Murphy

In my opinion, Byron Murphy is the best corner in this draft class so him falling to the Rams is a huge break for them. The reason Murphy falls this far is that he’s a smaller zone corner which doesn’t fit a lot of team’s schemes. The Rams schemes are a little more versatile, so I think they would be more open to Murphy. The Rams struggled to defend the pass last season and their current corners aren’t getting any younger. Murphy would be the steal of the draft if he were to fall this far.

 

Number 32: New England Patriots

Selection: AJ Brown, WR/ Ole Miss

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AJ Brown

If the Patriots make this pick I’ll be shocked because I think they will either move up or out of the first round. They have 12 picks in this draft class which means they will at least move some of their picks. Brown strikes me as the perfect Patriots receiver given that he can play in both the slot and on the outside. Brown is a great route runner and has reliable hands which are two things almost every Patriots receiver have. New England is a true wild card this year because of their surplus of picks, long list of needs, and there factoring in their normal philosophy.

 

Round 2

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Taylor Rapp

Number 33: Arizona Cardinals: Dalton Risner, IOL/OT, Kansas State

Number 34: Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Number 35: Oakland Raiders: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Number 36: San Francisco 49ers: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Number 37: New York Giants: Chase Winovich, Edge, Michigan

Number 38: Jacksonville Jaguars: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

Number 39: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lonnie Johnson Jr, CB, Kentucky

Number 40: Buffalo Bills: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Number 41: Denver Broncos: Erick McCoy, IOL, Texas A@M

Number 42: Cincinnati Bengals: Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College

Number 43: Detroit Lions: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State

Number 44: Green Bay Packers: Irv Smith Jr, TE, Alabama

Number 45: Atlanta Falcons: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

Number 46: Washington Redskins: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

Number 47: Carolina Panthers: Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Number 48: Miami Dolphins: Charles Omenihu, DT/ Edge, Texas

Number 49: Cleveland Browns: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Number 50: Minnesota Vikings: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Number 51: Tennessee Titans: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

Number 52: Pittsburgh Steelers: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Number 53: Philadelphia Eagles: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

Number 54: Houston Texans: Elgton Jenkins, IOL, Mississippi State

Number 55: Houston Texans: Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan

Number 56: New England Patriots: LJ Collier, Edge, TCU

Number 57: Philadelphia Eagles: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

Number 58: Dallas Cowboys: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Number 59: Indianapolis Colts: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

Number 60: LA Chargers: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

Number 61: Kansas City Chiefs: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

Number 62: New Orleans Saints: Emmanuel Hall, WR, Missouri

Number 63: Kansas City Chiefs: Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State

Number 64: New England Patriots: Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss

Round 3

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Number 65: Arizona Cardinals: Michael Dieter, IOL/OT, Wisconsin

Number 66: Pittsburgh Steelers: Terry Mclaurin, WR, Ohio State

Number 67: San Francisco 49ers: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

Number 68: New York Jets: Ben Bagnou, Edge, TCU

Number 69: Jacksonville Jaguars: Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida

Number 70: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland

Number 71: Denver Broncos: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A@M

Number 72: Cincinnati Bengals: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

Number 73: New England Patriots: Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois

Number 74: Buffalo Bills: Christian Miller, Edge, Alabama

Number 75: Green Bay Packers: Andy Isabella, WR, UMass

Number 76: Washington Redskins: Dru Samia, IOL, Oklahoma

Number 77: Carolina Panthers: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

Number 78: Miami Dolphins: David Long, CB, Michigan

Number 79: Atlanta Falcons: Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, LA Tech

Number 80: Cleveland Browns: Dre’Mont Jones, IDL, Ohio State

Number 81: Minnesota Vikings: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

Number 82: Tennessee Titans: Zach Allen, Edge, Boston College

Number 83: Pittsburgh Steelers: Dax Raymond, TE, Utah State

Number 84: Kansas City Chiefs: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa

Number 85: Baltimore Ravens: Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota

Number 86: Houston Texans: Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State

Number 87: Chicago Bears: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt

Number 88: Detroit Lions: Kahale Warring, TE, SDSU

Number 89: Indianapolis Colts: Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston

Number 90: Dallas Cowboys: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia

Number 91: LA Chargers: Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn

Number 92: Seattle Seahawks: Ben Powers, IOL, Oklahoma

Number 93: New York Jets: Connor McGovern, IOL, Penn State

Number 94: LA Rams: Darnell Henderson, RB, Memphis

Number 95: New York Giants: Drue Tranquill, LB, Notre Dame

Number 96: Washington Redskins: D’andre Walker, Edge, Georgia

Number 97: New England Patriots: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Number 98: Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo

Number 99: LA Rams: Vosean Joseph, LB, Florida

Number 100: Carolina Panthers: Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia

Number 101: New England Patriots: Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford

Number 102: Baltimore Ravens: Oshane Ximines, Edge, Old Dominion

Round 4

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Jarrett Stidham

Number 103: Arizona Cardinals: Trysten Hill, DT, UCF

Number 104: San Francisco 49ers: Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami

Number 105: New York Jets: Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma

Number 106: Oakland Raiders: Maxx Crosby, Edge, Eastern Michigan

Number 107: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State

Number 108: New York Giants: Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina

Number 109: Jacksonville Jaguars: Damien Harris, RB, Alabama

Number 110: Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke

Number 111: Detroit Lions: Anthony Nelson, Edge, Iowa

Number 112: Buffalo Bills: Myles Boykin, WR, Notre Dame

Number 113: Baltimore Ravens: Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma

Number 114: Green Bay Packers: Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU

Number 115: Carolina Panthers: Gerald Willis, DT, Miami

Number 116: Miami Dolphins: Daniel Wise, DT, Kansas

Number 117: Atlanta Falcons: Chuma Edoga, OT, USC

Number 118: Green Bay Packers: Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois

Number 119: Cleveland Browns: Mike Jackson, CB, Miami

Number 120: Minnesota Vikings: Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State

Number 121: Tennessee Titans: Dylan Mack, DT, Texas A@M

Number 122: Pittsburgh Steelers: Marquise Blair, S, Utah

Number 123: Baltimore Ravens: Antoine Wesley, WR, Texas A@M  

Number 124: Seattle Seahawks: Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon

Number 125: Denver Broncos: Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

Number 126: Chicago Bears: Ugochukwu Amadi, S, Oregon

Number 127: Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Singletary, RB, FAU

Number 128: Dallas Cowboys: Alize Mack, TE, Notre Dame

Number 129: Indianapolis Colts: Joe Jackson, Edge, Miami

Number 130: LA Chargers: Dontavius Russell, DT, Auburn

Number 131: Buffalo Bills: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

Number 132: New York Giants: Beau Benzschawel, IOL, Wisconsin

Number 133: LA Rams: Nate Davis, IOL, UNC-Charlotte

Number 134: New England Patriots: Cory Ballentine, CB, Washburn

Number 135: Indianapolis Colts: Damarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss

Number 136: Dallas Cowboys: Kingsley Keke, IDL, Texas A@M

Number 137: Atlanta Falcons: Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A@M

Number 138: Philadelphia Eagles: Ross Pierschbacher, IOL, Alabama

 

Collinelli’s Final Top 200 Big Board

We are now in the final days before the 2019 NFL draft. The night that I’ve spent hundreds of hours preparing for since June of 2018. During that time, I have amassed 260 scouting reports which hopefully you’ve all gotten a chance to read at this point. This Big Board will cover my top 200 players which is essentially everyone who I think can get drafted. That means cutting out all of my seventh round, UDFA, and some sixth round grades.

Just so you understand how I ranked these players I will outline how I ranked them. They are ranked according to there number grade which is calculated by own personal grading formula. I don’t calculate for things like position value, character issues where I don’t have a good source, and medicals where I don’t have a good source. In the case of a tie, players were broken up by simply which player I think will be more successful at the next level. Athletic testing is factored into my number grade so I didn’t want that to be the tiebreaker. Basically, all this means is that I don’t care if Kyler Murray plays quarterback he’s not a first round GRADE even though I think he’ll be the first overall pick in the draft.

One last disclaimer before we get started on the board. I don’t have 32 round one grades because not everyone who gets picked in the first round is successful. I see people on twitter hassling draft people as to why they only have 20 first round grades. In the draft community, that is a pretty standard number for a given year. Not every player in the first round will perform up to their draft slot, so we don’t have 32 players who should be drafted in the first round.

As always any questions on my rankings or about any player that I didn’t rank hit me up on twitter @DanteCollinelli.

 

Top 200 Big Board

Numbers 200-180

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Elijah Holyfield

 

200. Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State/ 6th round grade

199. Mike Edwards, S, Kentucky/ 6th round grade

198. Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia/ 6th round grade

197. Shareef Miller, Edge, Penn State/ 6th round grade

196. Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State/ 5th round grade

195. Bruce Anderson, RB, NDSU/ 5th round grade

194. Garret Brumfield, OG, LSU/ 5th round grade

193. Ulysses S Gilbert, LB, Akron/ 5th round grade

192. Travis Fulgham, WR, Old Dominion/ 5th round grade

191. Brandon Fritts, TE, North Carolina/ 5th round grade

190. Ryan Davis, WR, Auburn/ 5th round grade

189. Sione Takitaki, LB, BYU/ 5th round grade

188. Donald Parham, TE, Stenson/ 5th round grade

187. Lester Cotton, OG, Alabama/ 5th round grade

186. Marquise Blair, S, Utah/ 5th round grade

185. Ryan Bates, OG/OT, Penn State/ 5th round grade

184. Tyler Roomer, OT, SDSU/ 5th round grade

183. Isaiah Prince, OT, Ohio State/ 5th round grade

182. Jahlani Tavai, LB, Hawaii/ 5th round grade

181. Derrick Baity, CB, Kentucky/ 5th round grade

180. Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA/ 5th round grade

 

Numbers 179-159

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Jaylon Ferguson

 

179. Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami/ 5th round grade

178. Ricky Walker, DT, Virginia Tech/ 5th round grade

177. LJ Collier, Edge, TCU/ 5th round grade

176. Terrill Hanks, LB, New Mexico State/ 5th round grade

175. Stanley Morgan Jr, WR, Nebraska/ 5th round grade

174. Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston/ 5th round grade

173. Jon Baker, IOL, Boston College/ 5th round grade

172. Lukas Dennis, S, Boston College/ 5th round

171. Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo/ 5th round

170. Savion Smith, CB, Alabama/ 5th round grade

169. Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford/ 5th round grade

168. Micheal Jordan, IOL, Ohio State/ 5th round grade

167. Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson/ 5th round grade

166. Chuma Edoga, OT, USC/ 5th round grade

165. Zach Gentry, TE, Michigan/ 5th round grade

164. Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, LA Tech/ 5th round grade

163. Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State/ 5th round grade

162. Ryan Finley, QB, NC State/ 5th round grade

161. Deandre Walker, Edge, Georgia/ 5th round grade

160. Kingsley Keke, DT, Texas A@M/ 5th round grade

159. Emmanuel Hall, WR, Missouri/ 5th round grade

 

Numbers 158-138

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Tyree ST. Louis

 

158. TJ Edwards, LB, Wisconsin/ 5th round grade

157. CJ Conrad, TE, Kentucky/ 5th round grade

156. Wyatt Ray, Edge, Boston College/ 5th round grade

155. Myles Gaskin, RB, Washington/5th round grade

154. Jacobi Myers, WR, NC State/ 5th round grade

153. Evan Worthington, S, Colorado/ 5th round grade

152. Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt/ 5th round grade

151. Tyree St Louis, OT, Miami/ 5th round grade

150. Ben Beauschawel, IOL, Wisconsin/ 5th round grade

149. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford/ 5th round grade

148. Issac Nauta, TE, Georgia/ 5th round grade

147. Vosean Joseph, LB, Florida/ 5th round grade

146. Karan Higdon, RB, Michigan/ 5th round grade

145. Keeshaun Johnson, WR, Fresno State/ 5th round grade

144. Dakota Allen, LB, Texas Tech/ 4th round grade

143. Dillion Mitchell, WR, Oregon/ 4th round grade

142. Terry Godwin, WR, Georgia/ 4th round grade

141. Isaiah Buggs, DT/Edge, Alabama/ 4th round grade

140. Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern/ 4th round grade

139. Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State/ 4th round grade

138. Trevon Wesco, TE, West Virginia/ 4th round grade

 

Numbers 137-117

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Ryquell Armstead

 

137. Micheal Dogbe, DT/Edge, Temple/ 4th round grade

136. Ross Pierschbacher, IOL, Alabama/ 4th round grade

135. Tre Watson, LB, Maryland/ 4th round grade

134. Micheal Jackson Jr, CB, Miami/ 4th round grade

133. Will Harris, S, Boston College/ 4th round grade

132. David Sills, WR, West Virginia/ 4th round grade

131. Justin Hollins, Edge, Oregon/ 4th round grade

130. Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma/ 4th round grade

129. Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo/ 4th round grade

128. Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple/ 4th round grade

127. Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia/ 4th round grade

126. Devine Ozigbo, RB, Nebraska/ 4th round grade

125. Nate Davis, OG, UNC-Charlotte/ 4th round grade

124. Jalen Jelks, Edge, Oregon/ 4th round grade

123. Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss/ 4th round grade

122. Lonnie Jackson Jr, CB, Kentucky/ 4th round grade

121. Maxx Crosby, Edge, Eastern Michigan/ 4th round grade

120. Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke/ 4th round grade

119. Terry Mclaurin, WR, Ohio State/ 4th round grade

118. David Long, LB, West Virginia/ 4th round grade

117. Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami/ 4th round grade

 

Numbers 116-86

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Daniel Jones

 

116. Dylon Mack, DT, Texas A@M/ 4th round grade

115. Joe Jackson, Edge, Miami/ 4th round grade

114. Damrakus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss/ 4th round grade

113. Mark Fields, CB, Clemson/ 4th round grade

112. Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A@M/ 4th round grade

111. Trysten Hill, DT, UCF/ 4th round grade

110. Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State/ 4th round grade

109. Malik Gant, S, Marshall/ 4th round grade

108. Armon Watts, DT, Arkansas/ 4th round grade

107. Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina/ 4th round grade

106. Jordan Ta’mu, QB, Ole Miss/ 4th round grade

105. Zach Allen, Edge/DT, Boston College/ 4th round grade

104. Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State/ 4th round grade

103. Gerald Willis, DT, Miami/ 4th round grade

102. Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State/ 4th round grade

101. Alize Mack, TE, Notre Dame/ 4th round grade

100. Bennie Snell, RB, Kentucky/ 4th round grade

99. Montre Hartage, CB, Northwestern/ 4th round grade

98. David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin/ 4th round grade

97. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn/ 4th round grade

96. Daniel Wise, DT, Kansas/ 4th round grade

95. Anthony Nelson, Edge, Iowa/ 4th round grade

94. Tommy Sweeny, TE, Boston College/ 4th round grade

93. Drue Tranquill, LB, Notre Dame/ 3rd round grade

92. Khale Warring, TE, SDSU/ 3rd round grade

91. Daniel Jones, QB, Duke/ 3rd round grade

90. Connor Mcgovern, IOL, Penn State/ 3rd round grade

89. Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma/ 3rd round grade

88. Andy Isabella, WR, UMass/ 3rd round grade

87. Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State/ 3rd round grade

86. Ben Bangou, Edge, TCU/ 3rd round grade

 

Numbers 85-65

IMG_2440
Yodney Cajuste

 

85. Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington/ 3rd round grade

84. Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota/ 3rd round grade

83. Darnell Henderson, RB, Memphis/ 3rd round grade

82. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama/ 3rd round grade

81. Ben Powers, IOL, Oklahoma/ 3rd round grade

80. Oshane Ximines, Edge, Old Dominion/ 3rd round grade    

79. Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia/ 3rd round grade

78. David Long, CB, Michigan/ 3rd round grade

77. Amani Hooker, S, Iowa/ 3rd round grade

76. Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State/ 3rd round grade

75. Will Grier, QB, West Virginia/ 3rd round grade

74. Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina/ 3rd round grade

73. Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State/ 3rd round grade  

72. Foster Moreau, TE, LSU/ 3rd round grade

71. Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State/ 3rd round grade

70. Antonie Wesley, WR, Texas Tech/ 3rd round grade

69. Dru Samia, IOL, Oklahoma/ 3rd round grade

68. Yodney Cajuste, OT, West Virginia/ 3rd round grade

67. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame/ 3rd round grade

66. Drew Lock, QB, Missouri/ 3rd round grade

65. Drew Sample, TE, Washington/ 3rd round grade

 

Numbers 64-44

IMG_2636
Khalen Saunders

 

64. Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame/ 3rd round grade

63. Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson/ 3rd round grade

62. Devin Singletary, RB, FAU/ Florida Atlantic/ 3rd round grade

61. Jerome Washington, TE, Rutgers/ 3rd round grade

60. Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan/ 3rd round grade

59. Khalen Saunders, Western Illionios/ 3rd round grade

58. Christian Miller, Edge, Alabama/ 3rd round grade

57. Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State/ 3rd round grade

56. Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma/ 2nd round grade

55. Amani Oruwaryie, CB, Penn State/ 2nd round grade

54. Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma/ 2nd round grade

53. Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia/ 2nd round grade

52. Darnell Savage, S, Maryland/ 2nd round grade

51. Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson/ 2nd round grade

50. JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford/ 2nd round grade

49. Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama/ 2nd round grade

48. Dax Raymond, TE, Utah State/ 2nd round grade

47. Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State/ 2nd round grade

46. Erick McCoy, IOL, Texas A@M, 2nd round grade

45. Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State/ 2nd round grade

44. Micheal Dieter, OG/OT, Wisconsin/ 2nd round grade

 

Numbers 43-22

IMG_2139
Dalton Risner

 

43. Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State/ 2nd round grade

42. AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss/ 2nd round grade

41. Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss/ 2nd round grade

40. Elgton Jenkins, IOL, Mississippi State/ 2nd round grade

39. Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple/ 2nd round grade

38. Charles Omenhiu, DT/Edge, Texas/ 2nd round grade

37. Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State/ 2nd round grade

36. Kelvin Harmon, WR, NCST/ 2nd round grade

35. Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida/ 2nd round grade

34. Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College/ 2nd round grade

33. Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A@M/ 2nd round grade

32. Taylor Rapp, S, Washington/ 2nd round grade

31. David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State/ 2nd round grade

30. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama/ 2nd round grade

29. Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia/ 2nd round grade

28. Dalton Risner, OG/OT, Kansas State/ 2nd round grade

27. Irv Smith Jr, TE, Alabama/ 2nd round grade

26. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida/ 2nd round grade

25. Chase Winovich, Edge, Michigan/ 2nd round grade

24. Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State/ 2nd round grade

23. N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State/ 2nd round grade

22. Rashan Gary, DT/Edge, Michigan/ 2nd round grade

 

Numbers 21-1

IMG_2160
Devin Bush

 

21. Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson/ 2nd round grade

20. DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss/ 1st round grade

19. Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama/ 1st round grade

18. Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware/ 1st round grade

17. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State/ 1st round grade

16. Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida/ 1st round grade

15. Clein Ferrell, Edge, Clemson/ 1st round grade

14. Cody Ford, OT/OG, Oklahoma/ 1st round grade

13. Greedy Williams, CB, LSU/ 1st round grade

12. Byron Murphy, CB, Washington/ 1st round grade

11. Jonah Williams, OT/OG, Alabama/ 1st round grade

10. Garrett Bradbury, IOL, NC State/ 1st round grade

9. Ed Oliver, DT, Houston/ 1st round grade

8. Devin Bush, LB. Michigan/ 1st round grade

7. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa/ 1st round grade

6. Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky/ 1st round grade

5. TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa/ 1st round grade

4. Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State/ 1st round grade

3. Devin White, LB, LSU/ 1st round grade

2. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama/ 1st round grade

1. Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State/ 1st round grade

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Safeties

Welcome, to the tenth, and final, of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted.  Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

 

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  

Number 23: Marvin Tell, USC

Image result for marvell tell usc

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 195

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.50

Red Flags: Worst effort I have ever seen from a player.

 

I the red flag that I have down for Tell basically covers everything you need to know about him as a football player. I try to refrain from just bashing players in these scouting reports, but Tell was a special kind of bad. He takes horrible angles in the open field and at the line of scrimmage which leads to a lot of missed tackles. Not only does his tackling suck, but he doesn’t do well in coverage either. He lacks the football IQ to be effective in zone coverage and the technique to be considered a man to man option. Tell doesn’t have good long speed or short area burst so his ability to cover ground as a safety is compromised. Tell can fill his gaps in the run game fairly well but his inability to tackle hurts his productivity. Tell isn’t an NFL player if you ask me.

 

Number 22: Andrew Wingard, Wyoming

Image result for andrew wingard 

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 209

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.80

Red Flags: None

 

Wingard does his best work in the box as a run defender because he’s a great reader of the backfield. He reacts quickly to shoot gaps in the run game, and despite his size, he does a decent job wrapping up. He’s got enough burst to be effective in zone coverage when he’s able to make more shallow drops. Wingard doesn’t meet any of the NFL thresholds as an athlete and may struggle to compete at the next level. He really struggles to change direction which shows up when pass defending a lot. If he gets moved off of his spot in coverage he lacks the ability to recover. I actually think that Wingard would be better served to play linebacker in the NFL rather than safety. Even with that, he’s still gonna have to fight to prove he can compete athletically at the next level.

 

Number 21: Mike Bell, Fresno State

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Fresno State
Mike Bell

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 202

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.46

Red Flags: None

 

I was pretty high on Bell coming into the NFL combine back in April. He had a legit chance to land inside my top 10 safeties based off his tape. Clearly, something went very wrong between then and now. Bell ran a 4.83 forty-yard dash at the combine which landed him in the 2nd percentile all time. That is a new level of slow for a safety prospect, and typically, safeties do a lot of running for a defense. Bell does have some appealing traits at the catch point like good ball skills and plenty of length to disrupt receivers. His work in the run game is pretty good too as he will always fit his gap and make the tackle. Again, Bell running a 4.83 is just unacceptable for an NFL safety. If he gets drafted I’ll be shocked but all it takes is one team.

 

Number 20: Jojo Mcintosh, Washington

Image result for jojo mcintosh

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 219

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.82

Red Flags: None

 

Mcintosh is the second of two draft-eligible safties from Washington University this year. Clearly, he is the less valuable of the two when it comes to the draft. Mcintosh has the length that you want in your safety for him to be an effective tackler and coverage player. Mcintosh, however, only checks one of those boxes. His work in the run game is pretty solid especially when he can come downhill and lay the boom on ball carriers. His work in coverage is one of the worst in the class. He doesn’t have the acceleration to succeed when asked to close on the ball in zone coverage. His man coverage technique leaves a lot to be desired due to poor footwork and poor transitions. Mcintosh can provide some value as a hard-hitting box safety but not much else.

 

Number 19: D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin

Image result for d'cota dixon nfl

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 200

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.17

Red Flags: None

 

Man, Dixon plays with a lot of heart on the backend for Wisconsin but is lack of traits makes it hard to project him to the next level. I actually think that Dixon could be a valuable special teams player for a team. His speed is good enough to qualify for the NFL and his tackling form should be taught in classrooms. He doesn’t have a lot of ball skills to make plays on the backend and his athletic ability will lead to him getting out jumped at the catch point most times. He didn’t do a great job with seeing routes developing in front of him and then driving down on them to make a play. Like I said earlier, Dixon can contribute on special teams but won’t give you much in the terms of playing safety.

 

Number 18: Delvin Randall, Temple

Image result for Delvon Randall

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 210

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.62

Red Flags: None

 

Randall is the last Temple player that I got to watch this season which makes this a difficult report to write. I wanted to be higher on Randall because I know how good a leader he is in the Temple locker room, but his play on the field left a lot to be desired. Randall has some of the best ball skills in the class and made some impressive interceptions throughout his career. Randall is a good tackler out in space as he always gets squared up to his target before making contact. Randall struggled mightily as a run defender at times which was weird to me because it wasn’t something I noticed during the season. He was too late to fill his gaps way too often for my liking. He was the culprit of a couple of long runs given up this season by the Owls. I was at Randall’s pro-day and he didn’t meet any of the athletic testing thresholds for an NFL safety. He wasn’t too far off but I worry about him competing at the next level.

 

Number 17: Ugochukwu Amadi, Oregon

Image result for ugochukwu amadi oregon

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 200

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.14

Red Flags: None

 

I’ve been told by other people on draft twitter that I am way too low on Amadi, but he’s just too raw for me to rank him higher. It easy to see how fluid of an athlete he is out in space and in coverage. He did a good job closing on the ball when asked to play in zone coverage which made for some tight throwing windows down the field. I saw some encouraging reps when asked to play press man coverage which included patient feet combined with a strong first punch. I have some legit questions about Amadi’s long speed because he gets beat over the top way too often. His tackling isn’t great which is a big concern for a player that played a lot of their snaps inside the box. Amadi has some good traits but they don’t match up with the style he played while in college and that transition won’t be easy for him.

 

Number 16: Mike Edwards, Kentucky

Image result for mike edwards kentucky

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 200

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.42

Red Flags: None

 

Edwards is another guy with some fans on draft twitter but, clearly, I am not one of them. Edwards has enough range to survive as a cover two safety at the next level and does a good job playing in shallow zones. Frequently, he would do a good job of playing through the hands of the receivers in order to dislodge the ball. His tackling and effort in the run game are up to NFL standards but could benefit from trusting his keys a tad more. On tape, Edwards doesn’t look like a great athlete by any stretch of the imagination. His quickness is just a tad below what I like to see which robbed him of making a couple of plays. His long speed isn’t good enough for him to be a single high safety at the next level either. Edwards can be a decent safety in a cover two scheme that allows him to roam the shorter areas of the field at times.

Number 15: Marquise Blair, Utah  

Image result for marquise blair utah

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 195

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.78

Red Flags: None

 

Blair has the needed speed and acceleration to be an effective zone safety at the next level. He didn’t allow a lot of plays over the top and was able to close down some throwing windows in front of him. Blair has a couple of highlight plays in the run game where he comes flying in like a missile to make a tackle. His mentality is one that will change the temperature of an defense in the way Jamal Adams does for the Jets. Blair was never tested in man coverage, so I have no idea if he can be a matchup option. His footwork and transitions can be sloppy at times which will lead to him being late to break up passes. Occasionally, he will come in a little too hot in the run game which leads to some missed tackles. Blair has some intriguing positives to his game but has a long way to go mentally before he can make an impact on the field.

 

Number 14: Sheldrick Redwine, Miami

Image result for sheldrick redwine miami

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 195

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.87

Red Flags: None

 

Redwine was able to chase down tackles from all parts of the field leading to some highlight level open field hits. His speed also always him to have pretty good range over the top with some potential to be a single high safety at the next level. Redwine is a fluid athlete in space so he does well to redirect himself in zone coverage. Redwine’s problem is mostly around consistency in all aspects of the game.  He has the speed and quickness to close on the ball but rarely makes the play. When he does drop back into a single high look, he plays way deeper than most safeties do. That is, typically, done to mask weaknesses in coverage, but Redwine runs a 4.40 40-yard dash which means he doesn’t need to be that deep. If Redwine can round out all the parts of his game he can be an effective single high safety at the next level.

 

Number 13: Lukas Dennis, Boston College

IMG_2267
Luckas Denis

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 185

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.05

Red Flags: None

 

My first exposure to Dennis was against Temple when he was thrown out of the game for targeting. That was the biggest hit of Dennis’ career because he wasn’t a fan of contact from what I saw. He would shy away from blockers in the running game and get outmuscled at the catch point in the passing game. Dennis does do a good job at the catch point when there isn’t a lot of contact to be had. He has great movement skills in the open field which makes him a great player in zone coverage. With Dennis’ different skill sets it is tough to say what his role will be at the next level but in a league which focuses so much on passing he certainly has a place to be a starter.

 

Number 12: Evan Worthington, Colorado

Image result for evan worthington colorado

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 205

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.41

Red Flags: Suspended from the team in 2018.

 

Worthington has the needed combination of long speed and short area quickness to be a single high safety at the next level. He did a decent job covering tight ends in man to man coverage which makes him even more versatile. His work in the run game is admirable because of his size and length giving him a natural advantage when tackling. He flashed some pretty impressive plays on the ball while in the air which points to some great body control. Worthington has some pretty bad off the field issues which lead to him getting suspended off the team. Any team who takes him would take a huge risk because of those character concerns. I would take a flyer on Worthington in the fifth round.

 

Number 11: Will Harris, Boston College

Image result for will harris boston college

Class: Senior

Height/Weight:6’2 and 210  

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.21

Red Flags: None

 

Will Harris is the second Boston College safety to make my list this season. Harris is the faster and more athletic of the two players. He ran in the 4.40’s at the combine and it will show up on tape with all the ground he covers. Harris did a good job in man coverage, especially in the slot, because of his physical hand usage at the line of scrimmage. Harris’ is a tricky player to project because despite having great open filed skills he has almost no ball production in his four years at BC. His tackling isn’t great either because he doesn’t come to balance when coming downhill to make a stop enough. Harris’ blend of speed and athletic ability will be enticing for some teams but he’ll need to be more productive with his skills at the next level.

 

Number 10: Jaquan Johnson, Miami

IMG_2263
Jaquan Johnson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 190

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.49

Red Flags: None

 

Johnson is a player who I was super excited about coming into the season and was at the top of my safety rankings for a good chunk of the season. I don’t wanna say he disappointed me, but he didn’t develop like I hoped he would this season. I’ll start with the good, Johnson has solid quickness and long speed which allows him to close gaps well and keep receivers in front of him. As a run defender, Johnson showed admirable tackling and the football IQ to fill the correct gaps. My biggest worry with Johnson is that he doesn’t do a good enough job identifying routes breaking in front of him. He’s just too late to make a play on the ball, and even when he does get there on time his ball skills aren’t very good. Johnson has plenty of skills to work with as a mid-round player but needs mental development at the next level.

 

Number 9: Malik Gant, Marshall

Image result for malik gant marshall

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 194

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.76

Red Flags: None

 

So, Gant is my official sleeper pick for the safety class this season. One of my friends tipped me off to him, and I was really impressed with what I saw. He covers enough ground with his long speed to get by at the next level. He is a physical force on the field in both the passing and rushing games. In the passing game, he will use his body to dislodge the ball from receivers at the catch point. In the running game, he will come downhill and just lay out the ball carrier even if he’s the smaller player. His reps in man coverage were surprisingly really good, especially against NCST, where he matched up with Jacobi Myers a lot in the slot. He showed off the ability to mirror receivers footwork which is rare for a safety. Gant’s faults come when talking about some of his athletic traits. He lacked ball production at Marshall because he didn’t have the quickness or flexibility to get to the ball on time a lot. I have questions about his change of direction skills because of his stiff hips. Gant should get a chance to compete for a starting strong safety job in 2019.

 

Number 8: Amani Hooker, Iowa

IMG_2639
Amani Hooker

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 210

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.53

Red Flags: None

 

I really like this safety class a lot, and these next eight players are ones that would be in consideration no matter where I was picking in their graded rounds. Hooker does a great job in zone spacing to close on the football with quickness and change directions with fluid hips in the open field. I love his football IQ when he can just sit over the top of routes and attack downhill when routes break in front of him. Hooker has some impressive ball skills and is a true ball hawk on the back end. Hooker does a number of limitations that prevent him from being higher on this list. His long speed really limits his range and to a certain extent his ability to be a ball hawk. He doesn’t have a lot of experience in man coverage situations, so I think he’s only going to be effective in deep zone schemes. Hooker might be way higher on certain teams board’s depending on their scheme. For those teams, Hooker may be a day one starter.

Number 7: Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State

Image result for jonathan abram

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 205

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.57

Red Flags: None

 

Okay, before you yell at me for having Abram so low in my rankings I want you to hear me out. I love the player and what he brings to the team as far as his leadership, mentality, and run defense is concerned. Abram is one of the hardest hitters in the entire class and has plenty of highlight reel tackles on his tape. He fills his run gaps well and is a better run defender then half the linebackers in this class. Abram has the hyper-physical mentality that can change the temperature of an entire team, and I value that. The problem is that Abram just isn’t a great pass defender. He lacks the long speed and short area quickness to break up passes and keep things in front of him. Abram can almost get too wild at times which leads to him missing tackles in the running game and him playing the body instead of the ball in the passing game. Abram could be a first round pick for a team looking for a strong safety to change the dynamic of their defense. With that said, I can’t rank him any higher than this because his coverage was sub-par at best and that’s half of playing safety.

 

Number 6: Darnell Savage, Maryland

Image result for Darnell Savage

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 191

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.55

Red Flags: None

 

Savage is one of the rare players in this class that has enough range to be a single high safety at the next level. His short area quickness combined with anticipation skills allowed him to make a lot of plays on the ball at Maryland. Savage is another player who hits hard in the run game when coming downhill from his safety perch. Savage looked like a free mover in space with great change of direction skills aided by fluid hips. His biggest weakness is by far his tendency to get overaggressive at times. In the running game, he will come in too hot and miss a tackle. In the passing game, he will overplay his zone and leave easy throwing windows which lead to some big plays. If Savage can learn how to dial himself back and be more under control he can be a lot like Eddie Jackson has been for the Chicago Bears. Savage is one of the few players who can play as a single high free safety.

 

Number 5: Juan Thornhill, Virginia

Image result for juan thornhill

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 195

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.55

Red Flags: None

 

Isn’t that crazy? It took almost 250 reports to get a tie in the same position group but we have our first one here between Thornhill and Savage. The reason that I have Thornhill higher is that he has a more proven track record than Savage. Thornhill does a great job sitting down in shallow zones to erase throwing lanes. Thornhill’s best trait is anticipating where the ball is gonna go before it gets there. His ability to identify routes breaking in front of him and the ability to make a play on the ball is impressive. Thornhill has some good reps playing slot corner in both man and zone looks to be a useful matchup piece at the next level. Thornhill can struggle to get in and out of his transitions at times so his use in the slot may be limited. He can be a sloppy tackler at times aiming too high on his target and getting run over. Thornhill’s value is as a matchup player in a zone-heavy scheme where he can make plays on the ball.

 

Number 4: Deionte Thompson, Alabama

Image result for deionte thompson

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 194

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.57

Red Flags: None

 

Yes, that’s right we almost had a three-way tie in the middle of the top 10 rankings. Thompson finished just ahead of Thornhill and Savage because he’s the best free safety in this class which is the more valuable position. Thompson has elite range and is a true ball hawk capable of getting to all part of the field. He’s got great body control and ball skills while in the air allowing him to come down with a lot of interceptions at Alabama. Teams are looking for true playmakers on the backend and Thompson is one. My worry with Thompson is that he’s got one of the thinnest frames I have ever seen. Safety is, typically, a hard-hitting position and Thompson doesn’t the body or play style for that part of the game. Obviously, for the same reasons, Thompson is a liability in the running game. He just isn’t built to come downhill and bang with the big boys. Thompson will provide a team with a playmaking free safety, however, he will need a strong safety partner to help in the running game.

 

Number 3: Taylor Rapp, Washington

IMG_2264
Taylor Rapp

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 212

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.18

Red Flags: None

 

Taylor Rapp was my favorite player to watch this past season despite not being my top overall safety. Rapp has the best downhill skills of any player in this draft class when it comes down to it. He lays the boom on anybody coming through the middle of the defense and is the best tackler in this class. He always comes to balance before contact and drives through the lower half of the ball carrier. When Rapp was able to play over the top in zone coverage you could see him use his anticipation to make plays on routes breaking in front of him. Rapp’s ball skills are good enough to make some plays at the next level he just needs to arrive on the ball a little quicker at times. Rapp is another guy who will change the temperature of a defense Jamal Adams style. The concerns with Rapp are about his long speed for the most part. It is reported that he ran in the 4.70’s at his pro-day which is less than ideal, to say the least. On tape, I didn’t think Rapp was a burner but he didn’t look that slow to me either. With Rapp, I think it comes down to trusting the tape and putting him in a place to use his best skills often.

 

Number 2: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida

Image result for chauncey gardner johnson

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 207

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.40

Red Flags: None

 

Gardner-Johnson is a player who improved a lot from his sophomore to junior season which is something I love. Gardner-Johnson is a fluid mover in space who transitions quickly to collapse on routes breaking in front of him. He has plenty of long speed and quickness to get sideline to sideline adding to his overall range. He does a good job picking up the ball when it leaves the quarterback’s hand and tracking it down the field. His biggest asset is his ability to essentially play every position in the secondary. He’s got some great reps as a slot corner and could cover tight ends if they were flexed out wide. Gardner-Johnson’s problem is being able to tackle consistently. He missed a lot of tackles his sophomore season, however, he improved a little bit this past season so I have some hope for him moving forward. The NFL is quickly moving toward matchup based defense and Gardner-Johnson could be a great chess piece for teams to move around depending on the week.

 

Number 1: Nasir Adderley, Delaware

IMG_2403
Nasir Adderley

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 205

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.77

Red Flags: None

 

That’s right not only is Nasir Adderley my only safety with a first round grade but he comes from a non-FBS school. Adderley has all the tools to be a true single high safety at the next level including long speed, quickness, and range. His athletic ability shows up on tape when high pointing the ball and when returning kicks for the Blue Hens. Some of his interceptions are highlight reel level that showcases his amazing body control. In the running game, he does a good job coming downhill to lay big hits on ball carriers. Adderley has loose hips that allow him to unhinge quickly and get vertical down the field. He has the physical tools to be a matchup cornerback against bigger tight ends and bigger slot receivers. With that said, he’s got a lot of technical work to do when it comes to man coverage. Sometimes he can get tunnel vision in zone coverage which leads to him over pursuing on plays. Adderley is a top-notch athlete who is an elite playmaker on the backend of the defense. Don’t overlook him just because he went to Delaware.

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Cornerbacks

Welcome, to the ninth of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted.  Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

 

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  
Number 23: Jamal Peters, Mississippi State

Image result for jamal peters mississippi state

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 218

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.75

Red Flags: None

 

Early in the season, there was buzz from certain draft media members that Peters could have the makings of a first round pick. That talk put him on my radar and, at first, I was on board with the idea. Peters has the perfect size and length that teams look for in a modern-day press-man corner. Sadly, looking after watching his tape that is all Peters really has going for him. Peters gets burned too easily down the field by speed. He doesn’t have the quickness to keep up with smaller “route running” receivers either. His footwork at the line of scrimmage is all over the place and will have missteps often. Peters will have to try and make the NFL as a special teams player.

 

Number 22: Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State

Image result for kendall sheffield

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 185

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.35

Red Flags: Suffered torn pectoral muscle at the combine.

 

Sheffield was billed as a speed demon coming out of Ohio State with reports saying he would run the fastest 40-yard dash in the class. While that is great and all, two problems get in the way for Sheffield. One, he got injured at the combine so he never got a chance to run his forty. Two, there is more to playing cornerback than just being fast enough to keep up with receivers. Sheffield makes too many false steps at the line of scrimmage which leaves him with a lot of ground to make up down the field. His transitions in and out of breaks can be really choppy at times as well. Sheffield may have value as a returner or special teams gunner because of his speed but his corner play leaves a lot to be desired.

 

Number 21: Hamp Cheevers, Boston College

Image result for hamp cheevers boston college

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 170

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.28

Red Flags: None

 

Cheevers is the first of a couple of guys who I think should be considered as “slot corner”. Cheevers has a rail-thin frame and gets bullied by bigger receivers on the outside. His best traits should translate well to the slot. Cheevers does a nice job exploding out of breaks to keep up with receivers. His foot speed is also above average which will him stick with those pesky small slot receivers at the next level. The reason Cheevers is a lot lower than some other slot corners is that I have questions about his coverage IQ. He missed a little too many assignments for my liking in 2018. He isn’t going to add anything at the catch point either because he will get out muscled just about every time. If you’re looking for a slot corner Cheevers could be a late day-three steal, however, anything past that is not good value.

 

Number 20: Kris Boyd, Texas  

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Khris Boyd

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 195

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.85

Red Flags: None

 

Boyd has all the physical tools you could want in a corner but he fails in the technical aspect of playing the position. He does a good job being physical through the contact window with a strong first punch in man coverage. When in zone coverage, Boyd did a decent job sitting on the top of routes and then working downhill to make a play on the ball. Boyd just bought way too much cheese at the line of scrimmage that put him behind way too often. He has stiff hips so his transitions leave plenty of room for separation. Boyd provides some value as a press-man corner but needs considerable technical work before he should be allowed into an NFL game.

 

Number 19: Derrick Baity, Kentucky

Image result for derrick baity kentucky

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 182

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.85

Red Flags: None

Baity is actually an okay press-man corner with all things considered. He does a good job being patient at the line of scrimmage and not false stepping. I thought he did a good job playing through the contact window with his hands. His transitions are fairly smooth most of the time and he’s got enough speed to keep up with most vertical threats down the field. The most concerning part of his game are the lack of ball skills. There were too many plays on his tape where he would be stride for stride with a player and then not even contest the catch. When he does go up at the catch point his small frame leads to him getting mossed. Baity isn’t a great run defender either because he struggles to get off of blocks. If Baity can pick up some ball skills and disengagement techniques he can be an adequate starter in the NFL.

 

Number 18: Isaiah Johnson, Houston

Image result for isaiah johnson houston

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 195

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.96

Red Flags: None

 

Isaiah Johnson is the first of many super raw cornerbacks in this class who have great physical profiles that teams will overdraft them for. I’ll start with the pros, Johnson has exceptional length which makes him effective at the catch point and when closing off throwing windows in zone coverage. His speed is good enough to keep up with just about anybody down the field so he won’t get burned often. Johnson is new to the position of cornerback, and you can tell when watching his tape. His footwork at the line of scrimmage and down the field is super sloppy which allows for easy separation. He didn’t do a good job using his length to affect receivers through the contact window. The simple way of putting that is he isn’t a good press corner despite having the traits of a press corner. Johnson is a full-blown developmental project with enough traits to get excited about on day-three.

 

Number 17: Saivion Smith, Alabama

Image result for saivion smith alabama

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 198

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.07

Red Flags: None

 

Smith is someone who got overshadowed a good bit on the Alabama defense, and I think he could have benefited from returning for his senior season. Smith has a good first punch at the line of scrimmage which can stun receivers. He does a good job in “bail technique” where he can see routes developing in front of him and then react. Smith has a pretty aggressive nature which benefits him at the catch point and when he comes up to make plays in the running game. My biggest issue with Smith is around his overall long speed and short area quickness. His testing numbers from Alabama’s pro-day were not great so those concerns still exist for me. He lost too many receivers coming in and out of breaks with them. Smith can provide value as someone who can be an effective zone corner if but in a position to be over the top of routes.

 

Number 16: Jimmy Moreland, James Madison

Image result for jimmy moreland

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 175

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.21

Red Flags: None

 

Moreland has had a pretty good rise during the pre-draft process this season. First, he balled out at the Shrine Game which earned him a call up to the Senior Bowl. He then proceeded to have a pretty good showing there as well. Moreland is another corner who can only make a living in the slot because of his small stature. Moreland has quick feet and does a good job mirroring receivers all the way down the field. His short area quickness allows him to stay hip to hip with his receiver in and out of breaks. So, Moreland’s greatest strength is his ability to play in the slot, but that is also his greatest weakness. Teams do not value slot corners like they do outside corners. Moreland gets bullied on the outside all the way down the field and at the catch point. If you need a starting slot corner Moreland might be able to come in and fill that role right away.

Number 15: Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt

Image result for joejuan williams vanderbilt

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 208

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.42

Red Flags: None

 

Joejuan Williams is who fits all of the size requirements but doesn’t exactly back any of it up on tape. Williams does a good job staying in the hip pocket of his receiver in the shorter parts of the field. His ball skills are above average with a couple of really impressive flash plays on tape. His length gives him a natural advantage at the catch point and in closing windows when asked to play zone coverage. One of the biggest question marks with Williams was his long speed down the field. His combine numbers didn’t make me feel any better about it, so I think he will get burned a lot at the next level. Williams needs to be more consistent when he is pressing at the line of scrimmage. He needs to time his punch better and become more patient with his feet. Williams has some intriguing upside as a press-man corner but still needs technical work before he can make an impact on the field.

 

Number 14: Mike Jackson Jr., Miami

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Mike Jackson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 200

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.06

Red Flags: None

 

Jackson is strictly a press man corner which isn’t really a bad thing it just limits what teams will take him. He does a good job with his first punch to redirect receivers off of their spots. Jackson will use his natural size to pin receivers up against the sideline and suffocate their routes. Jackson has some good ball skills on tape and was frequently wearing the turnover chain for the hurricanes this season. Jackson struggles to change directions because his hips are pretty stiff. His backpedal is stiff, as well, so I can’t see him being much of an option in off-man or zone coverage. His long speed isn’t great either so if he doesn’t get hands on the receiver early they will blow right by him. Jackson could find the field early depending on what team drafts him, but he needs to be in the right scheme.

 

Number 13: Lonnie Johnson Jr., Kentucky

Image result for lonnie johnson kentucky

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 206

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.57

Red Flags: None

 

Say hello to yet another cornerback who checks all of the size boxes but has bad tape. Johnson uses his length to affect receivers at the catch point with high frequency. He made some impressive plays on the ball in the Bowl Game against Penn State this past season. Surprisingly, I actually think that Johnson has fluid hip movements for someone as big as he is. He can unhinge quickly from his backpedal to turn and run down the field. The frustrating thing about Johnson is that he doesn’t always use his tools all that well. When asked to play press man he doesn’t use his length enough to suffocate receivers and will open up his hips too soon leaving him open to being burned down the field. Again, Johnson has great traits but needs to use them better or he might not have a defined role at the next level.

 

Number 12: Mark Fields, Clemson

Image result for mark fields clemson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 180

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.67

Red Flags: Grumblings of character concerns from Clemson coaches.

 

Mark Fields is such a weird evaluation because you watch his tape and he looks like the best cover corner on Clemson. So, what gives then? He wasn’t on the field all that often and it wasn’t because of injury. Fields was a backup for his entire time at Clemson and just didn’t get a lot of snaps. When he is on the field, Fields shows elite down the field speed with smooth transitions in and out of breaks. His ball production is actually pretty high, especially, for someone who didn’t play that many reps. According to Bleacher Reports draft analyst Matt Miller, Clemson coaches felt “rubbed the wrong way” by Fields so he didn’t get on the field that much. My only knock on Fields on the field play is that he can be too overconfident at times in his speed which leads to some false steps. He’s a smaller player so the slot might be the best place for him at the next level.

 

Number 11: Montre Hartage, Northwestern

Image result for montre hartage

Class: Senior

Height/Weight 6’0 and 195

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.87

Red Flags: None

 

Hartage is one of my sleepers picks in this years draft class not just with corners. He showed off tremendous ball skills while at Northwestern. He was able to use his patience in zone coverage to bait quarterbacks into bad throws. He does a great job playing through the hands to the receiver to break up passes. His reps in press coverage show some scheme versatility because he possesses a good first punch at the line. Hartage isn’t a great run defender and will often shy away from contact. His speed down the field is also a question mark for me because on tape you can see receivers start to separate from him around 20 yards down the field. He needs to do a better job in out of breaks of staying with receivers. Hartage should be a zone corner at the next level with some man to man upside for good measure.

 

Number 10: Justin Layne, Michigan State

Image result for justin layne

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 185

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 6.3

Red Flags: None

 

There are some people who believe Justin Layne is a top-five cornerback in this draft class but I don’t see it. He has the height and length to be an effective press-man corner at the next level but has some technical problems. Layne has pretty good ball skills that are helped by his IQ in zone coverage and his natural length. He does a good job coming downhill to make a play on the ball. Layne is a physical run defender and will lay down the wood on ball carriers around the line of scrimmage. Layne starts to lose me when talking about his ability to change directions on a dime. He has an extra step when going in and out of his breaks giving the receivers a chance for easy separation. His hips can be a little stiff at times too so, I worry about his ability to keep up with better route running receivers. Layne has the tools to be an elite press-man corner but he didn’t play with that style in college.  

 

Number 9: David Long, Michigan

Image result for david long michigan

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 187

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.49

Red Flags: None

 

Long popped off at the combine with a blazing forty-time and three-cone times putting his name on the map. I like Long’s work at the line of scrimmage with staying patient and being squared up to the receiver at all times. Long is a zone cover corner when projecting his role to the next level. He does a good job using his speed and football IQ to close windows in zone coverage. He doesn’t bite on double moves down the field either so you want to see him get burned often. Long doesn’t have the short area quickness that typically goes with being a zone corner at the next level. With that in mind, I think his ball production will drop when he gets to the NFL. Long isn’t very good in run support either which may turn some teams off from him. Long can be a decent starter in a zone scheme at the next level.

 

Number 8: Julian Love, Notre Dame  

Image result for julian love notre dame

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 193

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.68

Red Flags: None

 

Love is someone who took a huge jump in play from his sophomore to junior season. This year his ball production went through the roof. He does a great job of playing through the hands of the receiver. Love is a zone corner through and through he uses his football IQ to break on the ball in the flats very well. Love has some elite short area quickness which allows him to close on the ball quicker than most. Love can be stiff in the hip at times which leads to him having trouble staying with receivers in and out of breaks. He’s a little too small to play man vs man on the outside of the defense so his versatility is very limited. Love has some questions with his long speed as well so when if forced to turn and run he will struggle. Love is a solid starting corner in a zone scheme will ball production to back it up.

 

Number 7: Trayvon Mullen, Clemson

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 Florida State at Clemson
Trayvon Mullen

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 190

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.94

Red Flags: None

 

Mullen is another player with good height and length to be a man vs man corner, but he actually played that in college. He has good hand usage at the line of scrimmage with a good first punch to stun receivers. He does a good job of forcing receivers to the boundary making for some tough throwing windows. Mullen had good ball production at Clemson by using his length to disrupt the receiver at the catch point. He showed off his ball skills in the national championship game when he intercepted future Dolphin Tua Tagovailoa. Mullen can struggle with his transitions at times. He will get left at the line of scrimmage by receivers with a creative release. He doesn’t stay in the hip pocket when coming in and out of breaks down the field at times. Mullen provides a solid man coverage corner for a team willing to invest in his upside and ball production.

 

Number 6: Sean Bunting, Central Michigan  

Image result for sean bunting

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 180

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 7.00

Red Flags: None

 

Yes, I’m super high on a small school corner this year. Bunting has all the physical attributes to compete with the big school guys, and I would argue he uses them better than most of the bigger school guys. Bunting is a super smooth corner when going through his transitions. He can unhinge his hips and get vertical very quickly. He did a great job in zone coverage reading the quarterback’s eyes and then reacting to the play. His length gives him a weapon at the catch point to disrupt receivers with. Bunting is a little raw when it comes to his work at the line of scrimmage. His footwork can be sloppy at times, but I saw it improve as the season went on. His first punch at the line could also use some work as typically he doesn’t time it up well. Bunting has all the tools to be a scheme versatile starting outside cornerback with some refinement to his technical skills.

 

Number 5: Amani Oruwariye, Penn State

IMG_2259
Amani Oruwariye

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 204

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.48

Red Flags: None

 

First off, Oruwariye has one of the best names in this draft class. Second, he’s a pretty good scheme versatile cornerback. Oruwariye is physical in the contact window when asked to play press-man coverage while using his size to push guys toward the boundary. In zone coverage, Oruwariye works best when he is able to sit on the top of routes and break on the ball. He has some pretty impressive interceptions on his tape because of his elite body control in the air. Something that stuck out to me was Oruwariye had trouble getting on the field in his first three seasons at PSU. Penn State isn’t exactly known to be DBU, so its something to keep in mind. Oruwariye also struggles when asked to change directions at times down the field. His hips can get a little stiff leading to some separation. A team who drafts Oruwariye is getting an all-around solid cornerback with scheme versatility.

 

Number 4: Rock Ya-Sin, Temple

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Rock Ya-Sin

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 190

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.85

Red Flags: None

 

Speaking of players with fantastic names, Rock Ya-Sin? I mean come on it doesn’t get much better than that. I had the privilege to scout Ya-Sin in person this past season and attend his pro-day. Ya-Sin is a bully at the line of scrimmage just beating up receivers with his first punch and big body. I liked Ya-Sin’s ball skills after watching him in person and on tape. I saw him make plenty of high point plays and a couple of juggling interceptions. He has the needed length to be effective as a zone corner and close down throwing windows which makes him scheme versatile. Ya-Sin may struggle with being penalized at the next level because he can get grabby down the field. His footwork at the line of scrimmage could use a little work too. He has a gather step before making his break that gives receivers an opening to get open. Ya-Sin can be a starter week one for a team running press-man coverage.

 

Number 3: Deandre Baker, Georgia

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Deandre Baker

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 185

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.28

Red Flags: None

 

Deandre Baker has been one of my favorite corners in this draft class since September and things haven’t really changed much. Baker is a uber physical man to man corner who just sticks to his man all the way down the field. Baker has good foot speed and will close down tight angles to make a play on the ball. Baker does a good job using his football IQ to mask some of his physical limitations. He’s always in the right place when playing zone coverage and reading the eyes of the quarterback. I had some questions about Baker’s long speed but he tested well enough at the combine to get by. The question is about Baker’s character. The chatter throughout the entire draft process is that teams were not a fan of his private meetings. I didn’t want to put a red flag because I can’t pinpoint where this started or why teams felt like he was snubbing them. Either way, Baker is an extremely productive and smart corner option at the next level.

 

Number 2: Greedy Williams, LSU

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Greedy Williams

Class: RS Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 182

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.85

Red Flags: None

 

I feel like if Greedy Williams just put in his best effort this year he would be the unquestioned CB 1 in this draft class. It is easy to see on tape that Greedy had no intentions of playing in the running game. He wouldn’t even move towards the line of scrimmage at times to help out his teammates. In coverage, Williams displays potent ball skills combined with elite length that make him a terror to throw the ball over. He has great long speed and can stay with any receiver at any part of the field. His hips are pretty fluid so he can stay attached to the hip pocket in and out of breaks. Willams has all the ability in the world to be a lockdown corner on the outside if he can just put in the effort.

 

Number 1: Byron Murphy, Washington 

IMG_2442
Byron Murphy

Class: RS Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 175

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.92

Red Flags: None

 

Byron Murphy is as close to a complete corner as you’re going to get in this draft class. In man coverage, he did a great job mirroring receivers down the field and using short-area quickness to close on the ball. He makes a lot of plays in zone coverage because of his high football IQ. He will read the eyes of the quarterback and react quickly to close on the ball to make the play. Murphy does a good job seeing what routes are developing in front of him and then jumping them. Murphy has fluid hips as well so he can turn and react quickly in zone coverage plus turn and run quickly when playing man coverage. The only grip about Murphy is that he is a smaller corner. I think some teams will view Murphy as a slot corner but he’s got the traits to be a day one starter on the outside.

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Linebackers

Welcome, to the eighth of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted.  Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

 

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  

 

Number 25: Tre Lamar, Clemson

Image result for tre lamar

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 250

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.75

Red Flags: None

 

Tre Lamar is one of the slowest linebackers I have ever seen in my life. He looks like he is running in mud when chasing players around the field. 10 years ago Lamar probably would’ve been viewed as a top 100 pick. He does a good job coming downhill in the running game and being a thumper with his big body. Problem is, that type of linebacker is getting phased out of the game and he’s not even that good at it. I really don’t see any role for Lamar at the next level.

 

Number 24: Khalil Hodge

Image result for Khalil hodge

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 235

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.75

Red Flags: None

 

Hodge plays like there is a firecracker up his butt at all times and has a pretty decent nose for the football. He does his best to weed through all of the traffic created at the line of scrimmage which is admirable. Personally, I don’t think checks any of the other boxes required to be an NFL player. He doesn’t have the athletic profile or the football IQ to make an impact on an NFL field. I feel bad saying that because you can tell that Hodge has a lot of heart but he just isn’t on a high enough level right now.

 

Number 23: Kendall Joseph

Image result for kendall joseph clemson

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 225

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.80

Red Flags: None

 

I really expected more from two linebackers on one of the best defenses in the entire country, but man, they ain’t it. Joseph has exceptional football IQ and always follows his keys in the running game. Joseph still struggles though because he isn’t a free mover. So, you will see him start to head towards the right place, but he lacks the burst, speed, and acceleration to make the play. He is super stiff in the hips which makes him a huge liability in coverage which is something modern linebackers are doing more of. Joseph might be able to make it stick on special teams, but I really doubt it.

 

Number 22: Deshaun Davis, Auburn

Image result for deshaun davis auburn

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 246

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.93

Red Flags: None

 

Davis is another player with high football IQ but lacking the physical traits to actually make the play. Davis reads his running keys well and typically tries to shoot the correct gap to make the tackle. He did a decent job passing off receivers in zone coverage despite not having much ability to make plays on the ball. Davis has super stiff hips and can’t open up to run with anybody. He lacks the speed and burst to go sideline to sideline which limits his upside at the next level. Davis will probably get a camp invite but shouldn’t make the team.

 

Number 21: Chase Hansen, Utah

Image result for chase hansen lb utah

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 220  

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.63

Red Flags: None

 

Hansen does a couple of things well that don’t really line up with what he does poorly. Hansen did a great job tracking the running back in the backfield and then shooting gaps when they opened up. He has a really nice wingspan but was a poor tackler in college which was weird to see. He did a good job when heading downhill to be a thumper at the line of scrimmage, but I don’t like his initial burst. Hansen showed some short area quickness when asked to play in zone coverage, however, he struggled to use short area quickness to get separation off of blocks. Hansen has some hybrid ability if he can be coached up and taught how to use his strengths to his advantage.

 

Number 20: Gary Johnson, Texas

Image result for gary johnson lb texas

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 252

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.02

Red Flags: None

 

So far the linebackers that I have talked about have been players with good football IQ but couldn’t move in space. Gary Johnson is the exact opposite because he can move in space well but has no clue where he is supposed to be. Johnson popped to me (and others) at the combine because of his gaudy athletic numbers. Johnson has the speed and burst to get sideline to sideline fairly quickly which points to higher usage and upside in the NFL. With that said, Johnson almost never fires through the correct gap in the running game and will get lost in coverage way too often. Johnson has some traits that are worth taking a flyer on, but I wouldn’t bet on him.  

 

Number 19: Ben Burr-Kirven, Washington

Image result for ben burr-kirven

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 222

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.08

Red Flags: None

 

Burr-Kirven has a cult following on twitter so I’ll try to be careful not to offend them here. Burr-Kirven does a good job flying around the field and being around the ball despite having a long way to go to make the play. You can tell he has a solid feel for the game in zone coverage with reacting to the quarterback’s eyes. Burr-Kirven runs into trouble a lot because he is so small and doesn’t have the needed quickness to get away with his frame at the NFL level. Burr-Kirven will challenge O-linemen all the time but he almost never wins the battle. He doesn’t have a great wingspan which limits his tackling ability and separation skills. Kirven might make it as a special team player if he sticks at all in the NFL.

 

Number 18: Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame

Image result for te'von coney notre dame

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 240

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.27

Red Flags: None

 

Has a run defender there is a lot to like about Coney’s game. He does a good job trusting his keys and won’t fall for all the motion back there. He’s a thumper for sure always hitting people hard while trying to wreak havoc on every play. Coney can use his hands to disengage with blockers when heading downhill fairly well. Has a pass defender there is nothing to like about Coney’s game. He lacks the hip fluidness to open up and run with receivers, tight ends, running backs, and quarterbacks. He doesn’t have the instincts to be truly effective in zone coverage. Coney will have to improve his coverage skills at the next level, despite that, I think he’s enough of a playmaker against the run to make a roster in the NFL.

 

Number 17: Bobby Okereke, Stanford

Image result for bobby okereke

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 232

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.30

Red Flags: None

 

Okereke has a cult following on twitter especially over at TheDraftNetwork; I mean, wow, those guys love him. I like that Okereke is a sure-handed tackler from multiple angles even when coming in with a full head of steam. He showed the ability to be a great gap shooter at times with his natural quickness. I thought he did a good job in zone coverage due to his hip fluidity allowing him to move freely in space. Okereke starts to get into trouble with me when it comes to football IQ. He will get caught peeking into the backfield way too often for my liking. When he drops into coverage he looks out of place to me. He doesn’t seem to quite grasp route concepts yet which is concerning. Okereke struggles to get off of blocks despite having long arms and decent power in his hands. Okereke has a long way to go to be considered for a starting spot at the next level.

 

Number 16: Ulysses S Gilbert, Akron 

Image result for ulysees gilbert

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 225

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.59

Red Flags: None

 

Gilbert’s best trait is by far his sideline to sideline range combined with his athletic ability. Gilbert racked up a lot of tackles at Akron just based on his effort level and gigantic wingspan alone. He did an okay job handling running backs out of the backfield in man to man coverage. He can stay with them speed-wise but struggles with good route runners. Gilbert also displayed some pretty impressive change of direction skills. Gilbert is essentially a ball of clay at this point of his career. He played at a small school and is still super raw when it comes to the mental side of the game. Gilbert has an intriguing upside in a really poor linebacker class with minimal depth in the later rounds.

 

Number 15: Sione Takitaki

Image result for sione takitaki

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 245

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.69

Red Flags: None

 

I liked what I saw from Takitaki when it came to the mental side of the game. He showed the ability to understand what offenses were trying to do while identifying pulling linemen coming up to hit him. When he gets into range to make a tackle he displays great closing speed and solid tackling fundamentals. He did a good enough job in zone coverage that should get him by in the NFL but I would like to see him open up quicker. I worry about Takitaki’s ability to shed blocks in the running game. He doesn’t have the natural length to just move blockers off of his chest plate. His overall athletic ability doesn’t always look great either especially when asked to go sideline to sideline. Takitaki has some of the makings of a successful NFL linebacker but still has a way to go.

 

Number 14: Jahlani Tavai, Hawai’i

Image result for jahlani tavai

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 235

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.81

Red Flags: None

 

I love that Tavai doesn’t fall for all the motion happening in the backfield and trusts his keys. He flashed the ability to get rid of his opponent’s hands in order to shed blocks but needs to do that way more often. He did make some plays that required him to go sideline to sideline which is rare for this class and adds to his overall upside. He’s got enough quickness and strength to get through gaps in the running game. Tavai isn’t a great tackler which is something very important to me when it comes to linebackers. He doesn’t keep himself balanced through contact which allows ball carriers to shake him off. Tavai can look stiff at times on tape and was rarely asked to open his hips and run at Hawaii. Tavai can make an NFL impact as long as he works on his tackling at the next level.

 

Number 13: Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State

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Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 235

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.95

Red Flags: None

 

Man, I really wanted to grade Hanks a lot higher than this after watching him make some plays at the Senior Bowl. He then proceeds to go to the combine and break my heart by finishing in the third percentile for the 40-yard dash. On tape, it looked Hanks had fluid hips that make him effective when dropping into zone coverage. I love the motor that he plays with; he’s always around the ball and trying to make an impact on every play. He can shoot gaps at the line of scrimmage by getting skinny and reducing his surface area. Hanks has just one year of experience at linebacker as a converted safety. To put it mildly, he has no idea where he is supposed to be on the field like 90 percent of the time. He plays like a chicken with his cut off but with really bad speed. Hanks has a lot of growing to do at the position and flashed enough to show ample upside to warrant a fifth-round pick.

 

Number 12: TJ Edwards, Wisconsin

Image result for Tj Edwards

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 248

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.33

Red Flags: None

 

Edwards is a heady 4-year starter that adds value to a linebacker room through his anticipation. He does a good job trusting his keys in the run game not getting moved by all the movement in the backfield. Edwards has great power in both his hands and pads which he uses to disengage from blocks. Edwards does a good jump of slipping through the cracks in the offensive lineman to make plays in the backfield. Edwards isn’t a free mover in space which limits his upside a good amount. He has super stiff hips especially in zone coverage where he has to open up and move laterally. Edwards isn’t going to keep up with anyone in man coverage either, so he’s really just a run defender. Edwards might be able to find the field with his mental processing but his impact will be limited.

 

Number 11: Vosean Joseph, Florida

Image result for vosean joseph

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 227

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.62

Red Flags: None

 

Joseph is a player who if asked to do a lot then he will fail, but if he’s asked to just run downhill and make plays then he will be fine. He has good pop in his pads when coming downhill and is a decent tackler to finish plays. I liked the way he was used as a coverage defender against running backs and tight ends. He has a great ability to flip his hips and run in space with just about anybody. Joseph is another linebacker who suffers from the chicken with no head syndrome. He runs well and has a great motor to get to plays that don’t involve him, but the path he takes there isn’t great. He doesn’t trust his run keys and will take weird paths to the football at times. Joseph has exciting movement tools but he needs considerable mental development before he can make an impact.

 

Number 10: Dakota Allen, Texas Tech

Image result for dakota allen nfl

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 235

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.86

Red Flags: Charged with Burglary in 2016

 

It should tell you something that we are in my top 10 linebackers and the tenth one is a 5th round grade with a burglary charge. Allen has some off the field concerns but I think that he has some traits to be successful at the NFL level. Allen was a successful blitzer while at Texas Tech because of his quick first step and downhill mentality. He does a good job when asked to drop into zone coverage because he has smooth hips and feet. He will have these moments when he comes downhill and blows up a play that will make you say “wow” out loud. Too often, however, he gets stuck amongst the trees and can’t separate from his blocker. Allen has a lot of stuff to work out but the traits are present for at least a rotational player at the next level.

 

Number 9: Tre Watson, Maryland

Image result for tre watson maryland

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 235

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.04

Red Flags: None

 

Watson was a small breath of fresh air for me because he’s the first player on this list that didn’t make me wanna bang my head on the wall. Look, Watson isn’t great but I’m excited about his upside. Watson does a good job of using his quickness to avoid blocks in the open field as he just slips around people like a snake. He showed off good tackling ability as someone who always plays behind his pads and wraps up. He made five interceptions in college which points to some ball skills. I think he lucked into a couple of those though so manage your expectations in that regard. I did like him dropping into zone coverage with smooth hips while using his football IQ to move on the ball. The big thing for Watson will be if he learns how to disengage from blocks once he’s tied up. He can avoid contact well enough but that gets harder at the next level. Watson could make an impact in a couple of years with some development.

 

Number 8: Joe Giles-Harris, Duke

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Joe Giles-Harris

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 240

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.46

Red Flags: None

 

Giles-Harris starts a three-player run I like to call “linebackers who disappointed me at the combine”. On tape, you see a smart linebacker who fills his holes quickly and trusts his keys at all times. He even showed that he could generate some separation on blocks because he has powerful hands. Originally, I had down that Harris would be effective as a coverage player in space but then he ran in the 37th percentile for the 40-yard dash. To make matters worse he finished in the 7th percentile for vertical jump and 13th for broad jump. He struggled with opening up his hips but I didn’t think he lacked explosiveness and long speed on tape. Giles-Harris doesn’t hit many of the athletic thresholds for the position but has enough skill to find some success at the next level.

 

Number 7: David Long, West Virginia

Image result for david long west virginia

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 225

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.49

Red Flags: None

 

Next up in “you disappointed me at the combine” we have David Long who didn’t do any athletic testing. The only thing he did was measure in and oh boy did he measure in super small. On tape, I liked Long’s closing burst when he was making tackles both coming downhill and in the open field. He’s a pretty good gap shooter in the run game with enough football IQ to pass in the NFL. He likes to use leverage as his advantage when tasked with getting off of blocks. He plays low to the ground and uses that to disengage. All of my concerns about Long had to do with coverage ability and movement skills. Since he didn’t test at the combine I can’t go back and say I was wrong about those things. Long has some starter upside but his ability to cover will be huge for him sticking in the league.

 

Number 6: Germaine Pratt, NCST

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Notre Dame
Germaine Pratt

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 245

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.76

Red Flags: None

 

Last but not least in my favorite game “you disappointed me at the combine” we have Germaine Pratt. Pratt was my number three linebacker heading into the combine because I thought he could cover backs and tight ends in the open field. Well, guess what? He actually ran super well(88th percentile)! Ha, bet I fooled you on that one. Pratt let me down when it came to his other testing numbers. 47th in the broad jump is concerning plus his arm length and hand size isn’t great. Combine that with his struggles to get off of blocks on tape and you have a bad combo. Pratt is good in coverage and showed the ability to track the ball all over the field. That right there means he might get a chance to see the field his first season. If he can figure out how to get off of blocks he will produce at a decent level.

 

Number 5: Drue Tranquill, Notre Dame

Image result for drue tranquill

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 233

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.2

Red Flags: Tore his ACL two straight seasons.

 

So, Tranquill breaks the streak of combine let downs by actually being someone that impressed me greatly at the combine. Tranquill tore his ACL twice but he was fully healthy this past season and looked pretty good. Tranquill does decent job shedding blocks with good hand usage and a powerful initial pop in his strike. I liked his movement skills in space and in coverage. He did a good job going from sideline to sideline to make plays out along the boundary. He had smooth hip transitions on tape, and his combine testing reflected that. Tranquill is a converted safety, so he’s super green when it comes to the mental part of playing linebacker. He needs to improve in his ability to read running backs behind the line of scrimmage and identifying which gap he should hit. Tranquill’s movement skills are intriguing and worth a look on late day-two but he comes with plenty of risks.

 

Number 4: Blake Cashman, Minnesota

Image result for blake cashman lb minnesota

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 235

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.33

Red Flags: None

 

I haven’t been doing this for a long time but Blake Cashman is actually a first for me. He came into the combine as a relatively unknown player and tested out of his mind. Usually when that happens scouts go back to the tape and find out the player is just an athlete and not a football player. Well, Blake Cashman turned that stereotype on its head because he’s actually a solid football player. Cashman does a great job shooting gaps in the running game by making tackles against the grain. His closing burst when he’s making tackles at any angle is really good which is rare for the class. His movement skills are above average which gives him upside as a coverage player as well. Cashman’s smaller frame can betray him in the running game sometimes leading to him getting swallowed up by bigger linemen. Overall, I think Cashman can have an impact year one with his movement skills.

 

Number 3: Mack Wilson, Alabama

Image result for mack wilson nfl draft

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 231

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.26

Red Flags: None

 

Mack Wilson could have gotten a round one grade from me in about November but he regressed this season. Last year, he showed great instincts in the running game to shoot the correct gap and make a TFL in the backfield. He showed that in flashes this season but had way more false steps in 2018. Wilson is a smooth mover in space and has good short area quickness which helps him doge blocks and is effective in man coverage. During his sophomore season Wilson was a coverage ace for Alabama but this past season he blew way too many coverages. Wilson has the sideline to sideline range that teams will look for in a middle linebacker. He should be on the field at some point during his rookie season but he must be more consistent if he wants to stick there.

 

Number 2: Devin Bush Jr., Michigan

IMG_2160
Devin Bush

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 235

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.05

Red Flags: None

 

I really freaking love Devin Bush. He started the season as my number one overall linebacker and he will finish the season my eight overall player in the class. Bush is a game changer with his attitude and play speed. He runs around the field like runaway missile hitting everything that moves. He was one of the best blitzers in the country coming downhill to lay the boom down on opposing quarterbacks. He has the range to get sideline to sideline on just about every single play. He’s a smooth mover in space with a lot of really promising reps in both zone and man coverage. The only bad thing I can say about Bush is that his small frame will get him eaten up in the run game at times. He will need to improve his hand usage when engaging with linemen. Bush should be an instant impact starter at middle linebacker. He will change the attitude of an entire defense.

 

Number 1: Devin White, LSU

IMG_2161
Devin White

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 240

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.20

Red Flags: None

 

I really freaking love Devin White. Sound familiar? I could copy and paste pretty much everything I said about Devin Bush and it would apply to Devin White. With that said, White does everything to a higher degree than Bush. White is the fastest linebacker I have ever seen in my short time covering the draft. He gets sideline to sideline in the blink of an eye and it’s so exciting to watch. He’s got plenty of speed and short area quickness to be effective in both zone and man coverage. He hits like a truck especially when coming downhill in against the running game. He’s a playmaker always going to strip ball carriers and make sacks when blitzing. White is a great tackler in space and in tight quarters from all different angles. The only issue with White’s game is that he’s still a little green mentally. During his sophomore season, he made a lot of bad choices about shooting gaps. He improved a lot on that area this season, so I’m convinced he will continue to do so at the next level. White should be a day one-starter and pro-bowl contender this season.

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Edge Rushers

Welcome, to the seventh of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted.  Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

 

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  

 

 

Number 27: CeCe Jefferson, Florida

Image result for cece jefferson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 242

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.66

Red Flags: None

 

Cece Jefferson is someone I had high hopes for coming into the college football season, but he fell way short. Jefferson has a pretty good first step out of his stance which can give him an early advantage. He does a good job in the run game using his hands to stack blocks and holds the edge on the outside. Jefferson starts to lose me when you get into his major pass-rushing traits. He doesn’t possess the bend that is required at the position and that’s my most important trait for an edge rusher. If Jefferson is gonna play in the NFL he’s gonna have to make an impact on special teams.

 

Number 26: Sutton Smith, Northern Illinois   

Image result for sutton smith niu

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 225

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.11

Red Flags: None

 

I know that Sutton Smith has some fans out there, but I just don’t see it. Smith is a quick and fast edge rusher but doesn’t often win with speed around the edge if that makes sense. He has good lateral movement and will keep up when chasing people in open space but doesn’t have good speed around the edge. He has some good hand usage which allowed him to shed some blocks pretty quickly. Smith is just way too limited because of his size and lack of length for me. He gets washed out in the run game and gets swallowed up by bigger tackles. Smith strikes me as a good special teamer which is how he will have to make his bones in the league.

 

Number 25: Carl Granderson, Wyoming

Image result for carl granderson wyoming

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 255

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.22

Red Flags: Injury and character concerns coming from Wyoming

 

Carl Granderson just couldn’t stay on the field during his years at Wyoming and it hurt his stock a lot. Granderson battled injuries and suspensions over the years which limited his tape. When he was on the field, Granderson showed some good hand usage to get to the passer like a cross chop and rip move. He was a good tackler and would run down plays from all over the field. Granderson lacks any kind of burst off the edge which is going to limit his game tremendously at the next level. I wouldn’t be surprised if Granderson didn’t get drafted at all due to his off-field and injury concerns. 

 

Number 24: Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia

Image result for jonathan ledbetter

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 277

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.65

Red Flags: None

 

When you first look at Ledbetter you see a player with the perfect frame to be an NFL edge player. When you pop in the tape, you see a player with heavy hands that can really hold the edge in the run game. The problem is that he doesn’t have any bend or pass rush moves to get to the quarterback. He just tries to overpower every single offensive tackle he faces and that’s gonna be harder at the next level. Ledbetter could fit a role as a run stopping edge player but his impact will be limited to that.

 

Number 23: Austin Bryant, Clemson

Image result for austin bryant

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 265

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.02

Red Flags: None

 

Remember back in August when we were all told that Clemson had four first-round picks on the defensive line? Well, Austin Bryant did not live up to that hype at all. Not to take anything away from Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, and Dexter Lawrence because I like those players a lot. As for Bryant, he does a good job rushing with speed and making himself skinny to shoot through some gaps. Bryant showed a lot of promise as a stand-up rusher which is rare in this class so that’s something he’s got going for him. Bryant never rushes the passer with any kind of plan, so he’s got some awful reps on tape. His effort can bother me sometimes as well because he doesn’t run down every play that his teammates did. Bryant can provide some value as a backup stand-up edge player for a team but not much more.

 

Number 22: Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State

Image result for jordan brailford oklahoma state

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 250

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.10

Red Flags: None

 

Brailford is a tough player to scout because there are some flashes of brilliance but they are too few and far between. When it is an obvious passing situation Brailford does a good job pinning his ears back and creating some pressure. He has good natural length which showed up plenty on tape with him moving tackles off of his chest plate. Brailford has some of the worst hand usage in this class. He rarely gets his location correct and his punch is never well timed to stun the opposing lineman. Brailford will also struggle to string together multiple pass rush moves in a row when the first one fails. He needs a lot of development but everything he lacks is teachable. You can’t teach someone to have long arms and a good motor. Brailford might make it as a backup if he can refine his hand usage.

 

Number 21: Shareef Miller, Penn State

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Shareef Miller

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 256

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.5

Red Flags: None

 

Miller was a player that I scouted back in August, and I was a pretty big fan of his sophomore tape. My thinking was that he would take a big jump in year three but that just didn’t happen at all. Miller has a good first step which he uses to put tackles on their heels right off the snap. Miller has some functional athleticism and looked like a smooth mover in space. He did a good job rushing the passer from the “wide 9” position which is rare for this class. Miller didn’t have a lot of success outside of the “wide 9” look so that makes him pretty limited as a pass rusher. Miller isn’t a good run defender at all. He doesn’t get down into his anchor quick enough plus his anchor isn’t that great anyway. Miller can serve a very specific purpose well but the lack of versatility is also his greatest weakness.

 

Number 20: LJ Collier, TCU

Image result for lj collier tcu

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 276

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.91

Red Flags: None

 

There is some top 50 talk for Collier which is mind-boggling to me because he’s so unathletic. After watching his tape I was concerned that he didn’t meet the NFL thresholds for an edge player. His combine didn’t make me feel any better either. He finished in the 12th percentile for the short shuttle and 20th for the three-cone drill. The best thing that Collier has going for him is his natural power. He does a good job using a push and pull counter to create some separation for himself. He can also convert speed to power pretty well, but he doesn’t have a lot of speed so I wouldn’t bank on that. Collier is a fine rotational rusher at the next level, however, this top 50 talk needs to stop.

 

Number 19: Jaylon Ferguson, LA Tech

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Jaylon Ferguson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 269

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.21

Red Flags: None

 

Honestly, I feel bad for Jaylon Ferguson because he has had an awful draft process. First, he wasn’t allowed to workout out at the combine because he got into a fight during his freshman season. Second, at his pro-day which had a lot of NFL eyes, he ran an 8.08 three-cone. For reference, Ferguson is now the proud owner of the “worst three-cone of all time award”. I have never seen or heard of anyone running that slow in that drill. Here is the crazy part about Ferguson though. He is the NCAA all-time sack leader! That’s right, the guy who can’t bend or accelerate is the all-time sack leader. It boggles my mind to this day, and I expect for years to come. Ferguson did a good job of converting speed to power to overwhelm opposing tackles. He was also a pretty good run defender because he set a hard edge with his football IQ. I honestly don’t know what the future holds for Ferguson, but I wouldn’t bet on it till day-three.   

 

Number 18: D’Andre Walker, Georgia

Image result for d'andre walker georgia

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 240

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.27

Red Flags: None

 

Walker is another player who has this cult following on Twitter who think he is a top 50 player, but again, I just don’t see it. Walker has powerful and heavy hands which he uses to get a hold of lineman and control the rep right off the snap. Walker has enough functional athletic ability to be an OLB at the next level which is a nice departure from Collier and Ferguson. The problem with Walker is that he lacks any kind of pass rush plan or pass rush counters. He doesn’t have the flexibility to bend the edge either so he’s pretty much just a run defender. He can use a bull rush to get to the passer but that’s about it. Walker does have a role at the next level as a rotational run defender for a team in a 4-3 defense.

Number 17: Wyatt Ray, Boston College

Image result for wyatt ray boston college

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 250

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.36

Red Flags: None

 

There are a couple of colleges that I always find myself falling in love with their players. Even if I don’t rank their players high they are players that I would bang the table for. Boston College is becoming one of those schools for me so by extension I like Wyatt Ray a good bit. Ray has long quick strides which allows him to get up the rush arc fairly quickly. He always plays with a good pad level in the running game. He converts speed to power well especially when he can build up his speed a little bit before getting contacted. He moved pretty well in open spaces, so I think he has some athletic upside. Ray can struggle at times because he lacks both size and length which gets him eaten up at times. Ray also needs to develop some kind of pass rush counters if he wants to be a starter at the next level. I like Ray a lot as a developmental backup for a team who needs depth.

 

Number 16: Justin Hollins, Oregon

Image result for justin hollins

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 238

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.25

Red Flags None

 

Hollins does a good job getting skinny in the run game to shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield. He does a good job using “arm over” and “jab” moves to create good rushing angles for himself to take advantage of. Hollins struggles to bend his hips and the edge to get to the quarterback. He almost never “corners” around the tackle, but instead, relies on either power or for the tackle to screw up by oversetting. Hollins provides some value as a rotational pass rusher while also having enough upside to be a real contributor at the next level.

 

Number 15: Jalen Jelks, Oregon

Image result for jalen jelks

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 245

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.35

Red Flags: None

 

So, there are two Oregon edge rushers in this class that are draftable players. Honestly, I think Jelks and Hollins about the same, but when I sat down to give out grades Jelks finished just ahead of Hollins. I thought that Jelks had a great first step that allowed him to shoot gaps in the running game. Jelks had a lot of good bull rush reps on his tape where he used leg drive and lower body power to overwhelm his opposing linemen. Jelks has good fluidity in his hips which allowed him to change directions at the mesh point. Jelks had some trouble with his hand usage at Oregon. He would typically miss location and timing with his punches in the trenches. He also needs to add some more pass rush moves to his arsenal before he can be a legit threat. Jelks is another rotational player with some upside to be a starter someday.

 

Number 14: Maxx Crosby, Western Michigan

Image result for maxx crosby eastern michigan

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 265

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.4

Red Flags: None

 

Crosby is an interesting small-school sleeper prospect to be aware of when day-two roles around even though I have him in the fourth round. Crosby does a nice job of using his length to create separation for himself in order to shed blocks. He has really good hang usage in the trenches. Crosby will use a pull and push move often that will get him some advantages when pass rushing. Crosby really struggles to play with any kind of power in both the passing and rushing game. Crosby doesn’t create any kind of push into the pocket so he relies solely on his hand usage to get to the quarterback. In the run game, he will get washed out way too easily because he lacks the functional strength to compete with the lineman. Crosby needs to grow into his frame more but he adds value right away as a rotational pass rusher with starter upside.

 

Number 13: Joe Jackson, Miami

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Joe Jackson

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 258

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.53

Red Flags: None

 

Jackson is another player who I had high hopes for coming into the season but didn’t pan out the way I hoped. Jackson has some pretty insane upper body strength which helped him stun blockers with his hands and uproot them in the running game. Jackson flashed the ability to dip his shoulder and bend the edge but needs to do that more consistently at the next level. Jackson does a decent job as a stand-up rusher, especially, in the running game where he can show off his anchor. Jackson can really struggle to get off the line quickly and fire out of his stance. I noticed that he was typically the last player to get going on the Miami D-line. Jackson doesn’t look like a great athlete in space so his use as an OLB is limited. Jackson can be a situational pass rusher with a specialty in stopping the run.

 

Number 12: Zach Allen, Boston College

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Zach Allen

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 285

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.81

Red Flags: None

 

Zach Allen is a super interesting player for a number of reasons. First, he doesn’t have a dynamic athletic profile but was still productive. Second, he played on both the inside and on the edge with good and bad reps from both spots. So, the question is where do you play him? My answer is simple. Just move him around depending on the matchup; Allen has great hand counters combined with short area quickness. He’s a stout run defender with a solid anchor and the football IQ to string out runs. Like I mentioned earlier, Allen is pretty limited athletically so he struggles to chase runners down in space and isn’t going to the corner the edge often. Allen has all the tools to be a reliable starter for many years but lacks the upside to be an elite player.

 

Number 11: Anthony Nelson, Iowa

Image result for anthony nelson iowa

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’7 and 271

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.96

Red Flags: None

 

Nelson is a tricky prospect to get a grip on because he gets so hot and cold at times. He obviously impressive natural size standing at 6’7 and 271 pounds. With that comes natural length which is by far his best weapon has a pass rusher. There were some reps where he just pushed people off his chest plate and then drove them back into the quarterback. Nelson has strong hands in the running game which allows him to set hard edges. Here is the other problem with scouting Nelson. When I was watched his tape he appeared to be athletically challenged but he tested super well at the combine. He finished in the 92 percentile for the three-cone, however, I didn’t see a lot of burst on his tape. Nelson scares me because I don’t know what I am going to get. If he puts it together he could be a true force on the edge. If his testing is a fluke then you get an above average run defender at best.

 

Number 10: Ben Banogu, TCU

Image result for ben banogu

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 249

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.30

Red Flags: None

 

Not going to lie it took me a couple of tape studies to come around on Banogu being a top 100 player on board but here we are. Banogu is currently my 86th overall player and I feel confident about that placement. He has some good pass rush moves like a club and swim combination that was pretty devastating. I liked Banogu in the running game because he always played with good leverage and set a hard edge. Banogu has a relentless motor and will chase down plays from all over the field. My concerns with Banogu are his first step and his ability to corner to the quarterback. Those two traits are my most important for edge rushers and he doesn’t check those boxes. Banogu has plenty of traits that will make him a decent threat off the edge but lacks the traits needed to be an elite threat.

 

Number 9: Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion

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Oshane Ximines

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 247

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.40

Red Flags: None

 

I might be the only person in the draft community who didn’t drop Oshane Ximines down to a day three pick after the combine. Ximines didn’t do well in his size testing but he finished in the 66th percentile for the three-cone which isn’t bad. Ximines showed some short area quickness when attacking tackles who are off balance. I liked his swim and club move that he used to make most of his sacks. He’s a decent run defender with good closing burst while being a reliable tackler. Ximines doesn’t have great bend off the edge which limits his upside but that seems to be a theme in this class. Sometimes I have to question Ximines’ effort on the field because he doesn’t chase down every play the way you would want. Ximines can be a reliable pass rush option with some scheme flexibility at the next level.

 

Number 8: Christian Miller, Alabama

Image result for Christian Miller

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 240

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 7.2

Red Flags: Injured throughout his time at Alabama.

 

Finally! Someone who can actually bend the edge with hip flexibility and ankle flexibility. Miller is being overlooked and this class, but I understand why. He isn’t on the field a whole lot because of injuries. When he was on the field, Miller showed an arsenal of pass rush moves with his favorite being a cross chop. Miller isn’t just a pass rusher either because he defends the run well. He has a good first punch which stuns blockers and allows him to set a hard edge. My biggest concern with Miller, outside of injuries, is his lack of burst out of his stance and at the line. He doesn’t fire out as fast as I would like. Miller can be an effective pass rusher off the edge and contribute right away if he can stay healthy.

 

Number 7: Jachai Polite, Florida

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Jachai Polite

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 260  

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.05

Red Flags: None

 

Hey! Another edge rusher who actually has bend and can corner the edge to get to the quarterback! Polite has had one of the worst pre-draft processes in recent memory, but he hasn’t become a worse football player in that time. I’ll do a quick review in case you missed it. Polite showed up to the combine performed horribly in athletic testing, complained about teams being critical of him, and then left the combine early. Not a good look for some who was viewed as a first-round pick. I dropped him on board a little bit but I’m still super excited about the things he can do on a football field. He has the best natural bend in this class which is my number one trait for edge rushers. If Polite can get his off-field together, he can be a consistent speed threat off the outside.

 

Number 6: Chase Winovich, Michigan

Image result for Chase Winovich

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 253

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.4

Red Flags: None

 

Chase Winovich has had one of the biggest draft rises during the pre-draft process than anybody else in this class. I just wanna say that Winovich spent most of the season inside of my top 50 and will finish 25th overall. Winovich has a great first step and I thought that he ran the edge with some good speed rushes. He has really refined hand usage which allows him to stack and control blocks in the run game. He had good production at Michigan unlike his teammate Rashan Gary. Winovich has plenty of pass rush moves in his arsenal such as a push/pull move, a club move, and a rip through move. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how good his motor is. My only gripe with Winovich is that he could do for a better anchor in the run game and could use his pass rush counters a tad more consistently. Winovich should be an instant starter at the next level.

 

Number 5: Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

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Montez Sweat

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 241

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.47

Red Flags: Was flagged for a heart condition at the combine but was cleared soon after.

 

I can’t tell if I’m lower on Sweat than most people or if I’m in the middle. He’s got one of the highest round two grades in the class, so I like him a good bit. Sweat is a fantastic power rusher; there are some truly impressive reps of him just putting opposing tackles into the ground. His leg drive allows him to just push tackles back into the pocket with ease. He’s an athletic freak with some crazy combine numbers such as 99th percentile 40-yard dash, 82nd percentile three-cone, and 92nd percentile broad jump. With all of that said, I do have some legit concerns that keep him out of the first round for me. Sweat didn’t show any bend in his hips, despite his off the wall testing, or in his ankles to corner the edge to the quarterback. He’s a bit of a one trick pony at times because his pass rush counters are underdeveloped. I expect Sweat to come in and start right away for a team in need of edge help.

 

Number 4: Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

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Clelin Ferrell

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 260

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.81

Red Flags: None

 

I am so sick of people slandering Clelin Ferrell by saying he’s a second-round player or that he doesn’t have upside. Ferrell is one of the most reliable players in this entire draft class while also being one of the most technically sound. Ferrell has a good first step to challenge tackles right off the bat and the elite hand usage to grab ahold of them to control the rep. He does a good job stringing together pass rush moves when his first one gets shut down. He did a good job making himself skinny in the run game in order to shoot some gaps. He’s got a good enough anchor to set a hard edge in the running game. Ferrell has excellent football IQ and always knows how the offense is trying to attack him. The one thing about Ferrell that I don’t like is that he can be stiff in the hips at times which limits his ability to bend the edge effectively. Ferrell is a day-one starter and a day-one contributor.

 

Number 3: Josh Allen, Kentucky

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Josh Allen

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 230

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.15

Red Flags: None

 

Josh Allen took the long and winding road to the NFL by staying his senior season even though he probably would have gone on day-two last year. Allen led the NCAA in sacks and was named the top defensive lineman in the SEC this past season. Allen is a classic speed rusher who wins with a deadly first step and elite bend around the edge. If you couldn’t tell that is the type of edge player I love. He has a great forearm sweep and shallow rip in his pass rush arsenal already. Something that stood out to me was how good he was in space even making some plays when asked to cover. The only thing holding Allen back is that he can be a little one-dimensional at times as a rusher; he could use some more power in his game. Allen should be a consistent threat from day one in the NFL.

 

Number 2: Brian Burns, Florida State

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Brian Burns

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 250

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.19

Red Flags: None

 

I didn’t like Brain Burns for pretty much the entire college football season. He was in my top 50 for the most part but he didn’t get me excited. I thought he was way too thin and one dimensional as a pass rusher. Once I started my deep dive into his tape (and he weighed in at 250 at the combine) I realized how wrong I was about him. Burns has an insane first step off the line with great burst and suddenness that puts tackles on their heels right off the bat. Burns has some rare flexibility in his hips allowing him to corner the edge quicker than just about anybody. In the running game, he uses his long arms to create some separation off his chest plate. I liked his hand placement and usage for the most part as well. Burns came in heavier than I expected but he still gets washed out a little too much in the run game at times. Burns is my number 4 overall player and should be a star in the league.

 

Number 1: Nick Bosa, Ohio State

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Nick Bosa

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 270

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.50

Red Flags: Torn ACL in high school and a core muscle surgery this year.

 

I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone because I have never wavered in my support of Nick Bosa. Bosa is my number one overall player in this class, and I don’t plan on changing that any time soon. Bosa has an elite first step which really puts tackles into a defense mode pretty quickly. Bosa has elite hand usage in the trenches which allows him to pretty much control every single rep. He has plenty of very effective pass rush moves including club, spins, and rip through which killed tackles. Bosa is a stout run defender as well with a great anchor and football IQ to identify what an offense is trying to do. The only problem with Bosa is that he has a tendency to get hurt. Bosa is an instant impact player and an instant starter at the NFL level.

 

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Defensive Tackles

Welcome, to the sixth of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

 

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted.  Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

 

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

 

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  

 

Number 24: Greg Gaines, Washington

Image result for greg gaines washington

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 322

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.28

Red Flags: None

 

Greg Gaines shares some similarities with the dinosaurs in that players like him are going extinct. Gaines is a huge run defender in the middle of the defense whose sole purpose is to eat up blocks. The problem is, the NFL is moving away from these types of defenders unless they bring some kind of pass rush ability to the table. Gaines doesn’t have any notable pass rush moves which limits his usage and upside. Gaines’s only chance in the NFL is to find a team who likes a hole-plugging nose tackle who can only play on two downs. To be fair to Gaines he is pretty good at plugging those gaps and making the life of running backs a little bit harder.

 

Number 23: Terry Beckner Jr., Missouri

Image result for terry beckner jr

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 305

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.17

 

Beckner has great size and a great frame to be a defensive tackle at the next level. He comes with some natural power that he uses to stack defenders at the line of scrimmage. He has some good hand usage allowing him to shed off of blocks and make some plays in the backfield. Beckner can really struggle to tackle at times which is a huge concern for me. Against Georgia, in 2018, he missed about three tackles in the first half. I was about ready to throw my computer at the wall at that point. He doesn’t play with leverage either and at times will be way too upright in the trenches. Beckner’s first step leaves something to be desired on most snaps he’s the last off the line. Beckner has some nice skills at the point of attack, but he has way too many technical problems to be anything more than a backup.

 

Number 22: Demarcus Christmas, Florida State

Image result for demarcus christmas fsu

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 308

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.88

Red Flags: None

 

Christmas is another one-dimensional player who only really adds value in the running game. He does a good job keeping his anchor and not getting pushed off the line of scrimmage. He has a decent first step which allows him to work off of the outside hip of his blocker. Christmas does a good job tackling runners on the inside as he just kinda works like a black hole in there. Christmas lacks length which leads to him struggling to get off of blocks and making plays in the backfield. Like I said, he doesn’t have any pass rush counters or good hand usage so his impact on the game is limited. Christmas will have to work his way in as a run stuffing back up for a team in need of depth.

 

Number 21: Dontavius Russell, Auburn

Image result for dontavius russell

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 310

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.33

Red Flags: None

 

Russell is an interesting player to project to the next level because he was super solid at Auburn but lacks upside. Russell does a nice job playing with leverage giving him a natural advantage in the run game. He did a good job using his natural power to reset the line of scrimmage in the running game fairly often. I loved seeing him run down the field and try to make plays across the line that he has no shot at. The problem with Russell is that he lacks the physical upside that a lot of players have in this class. He doesn’t have good burst off the line or any notable pass rush moves. He has some limited range behind the line of scrimmage. That means even if he does come barreling through that players will get away from him. Russell should stick as a backup for team selecting him on day three.

 

Number 20: Ricky Walker, Virginia Tech

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Ricky Walker

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 302

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.88

Red Flags: None

 

Ricky Walker was someone I was super excited about coming into the season because he popped when I was watching Tim Settle’s tape from last year (I missed on Settle by the way). Walker took some steps back this season compared to 2017, so I was disappointed, to say the least. Two things that stand out when watching Walker is his first step and hang usage. He does a great job firing of the line and attacking the leverage of his matchup. He has a couple of good hand counters that he uses to disengage from blocks in the trenches. Here is the main issue with Walker: he is nowhere near consistent with any of these traits. Also, he’s very short. Walker never put his game together and at times looks like a mess on the field, despite having some good traits. Walker should stick as a backup with the small possibility to be a starter on the right team.

 

Number 19: Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M

Image result for kingsley keke

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 305

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.28

Red Flags: None

 

Keke is another player, like Walker, with plenty of skills but not enough consistency with them. He has some solid pass rush counter on the inside with decent change of direction skills that serve him well on passing downs. He flashed some good hand usage in the running game allowing him to disengage from blocks. Keke has a good motor and I saw him chase guys to the outside despite knowing he wasn’t gonna catch them. Keke has some bend in his hips from playing on the outside at Texas A@M, but he’s limited in that area for an edge player so he’s better off inside. Again, all of these things are great but Keke doesn’t put it all together often enough to take him any higher than day three of the draft. Keke has some upside though, so I think that he will stick on some teams roster as a backup situational pass rusher.

 

Number 18: Isaiah Buggs, Alabama

Image result for isaiah buggs alabama

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 292

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 4.95

Red Flags: None

 

Buggs is another player who played on the edge in college but projects much better on the inside of the line. Buggs does a good job holding his ground at the point of attack with a good anchor and inside hand placement. Buggs likes to rip his hands through the blocker to disengage from blocks and it’s fairly effective for him. His frame is pro ready to play on either the outside or inside at the next level. There were some comments from Nick Saban about Buggs, maybe, not having the best effort in the world. It is not a good sign when your coach doesn’t vouch for you. On the field, I think Buggs hustled around just fine so I’m gonna ignore Saban here. My issues with Buggs are about his burst, range, and bend. He doesn’t fire out of his stance with much urgency. His hips are super stiff, especially when playing on the edge, and people run around him way too easily. He will find a place as a versatile backup in the NFL.

 

Number 17: Michael Dogbe, Temple

Image result for michael dogbe

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 280

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.04

Red Flags: None

 

If I could use one word to describe Dogbe it would be STRENGTH. I had the privilege of watching him all season at Temple and this man is yoked let me tell you. Doge is another player who can play on the edge and on the inside but I thought his reps on the inside were better. He was able to use his long arms to create separation and get blockers off his chest plate. He showed a nice “arm over” move that he often used to disengage and get into the backfield. Dogbe will struggle with consistency a lot of the time which can make his tape a struggle. He has good length but can sometimes struggle to use it well. I would like to see Dogbe develop some more pass rush moves as well because he’s lacking in that area right now. Dogbe is a good football player and had plenty of upside to help him stick onto a roster at the next level.

 

Number 16: Daylon Mack, Texas A&M

Image result for daylon mack

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 320

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.49

Red Flags: None

 

Mack was a highly recruited player but never had the production people were expecting at Texas A@M. Mack has a great first step that can really pop off the screen when you watch his tape. He does a good job using his hands to reset the line of scrimmage in the running game and collapsing the pocket in the passing game. Mack flashed big time in the Shrine Game which reignited his stock. Mack doesn’t offer a whole lot as a pass rusher because all he does is use a bull rush. Sometimes he can be caught way too off guard when teams double team him and that needs to improve. Mack has some starter upside especially if he can figure out an effective pass rush plan.

 

Number 15: Trysten Hill, UCF

Image result for trysten hill ucf

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 330

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.75

Red Flags: None

 

I feel super bad for Trysten Hill because his coaching staff screwed him over this past season. Hill was a starter in 2017 and then for no reason was not a starter in 2018 under coach Josh Heupel. Hill was the best player on UCF and should have been a starter the entire year. Hill does a great job pressing gaps in the run game and slipping into the backfield to make TFLs. I liked Hill’s spin move that he used when pass rushing that got him into the backfield often. Hill is a twitchy defender upfront and has a great first step which will often give him an early advantage. Hill is another player, however, that just has not put it all together yet. He isn’t consistent at all and has some pretty sloppy reps at times. Hill has starting potential at the next level with some needed technical development.

 

Number 14: Armon Watts, Arkansas

Image result for armon watts

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 309   

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.77

Red Flags: None

 

Not gonna lie, I didn’t even know that Watts existed until someone told me about him about three weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting much because of how bad Arkansas was this past season, but man was I wrong. Watts does a great job firing out from his stance low and using that leverage to uproot blockers in the running game. I saw plenty of reps where Watts would ragdoll blockers onto the ground and then reset the line of scrimmage into the backfield. Watts showed some good football IQ by identifying when a pulling guard was coming. When that happened Watts was able to avoid getting pinched down in a trap play. Watt’s biggest problem is that he doesn’t have a good first step. First step is very important to me when scouting lineman, so that’s why he isn’t higher up on the board. Watts doesn’t have a great tackle range because he lacks some lateral mobility. Watts could be a day one starter depending on which team drafts him.

 

Number 13: Gerald Willis, Miami 

Image result for gerald willis miami

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 280

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.85

Red Flags: Dismissed for Florida his freshman year.

 

The first college football game that I watched this season was LSU vs Miami on Saturday night. Miami got killed but Gerald Willis balled out the entire game getting into the backfield. He has some really elite flashes of gap penetration skills where he makes himself skinny in order to slip through the cracks along the line. His first step looked pretty good when he was able to pin his ears back and just get after the quarterback. Willis had some personal issues at the University of Florida which forced him to transfer to Miami. He struggles a lot with his consistency, especially in the run game. He will get washed out way too easy by lesser talents. In the passing game, he needs to use his pass rush counters way more than he does right now. If Willis can put it all together he can be a productive starter at the next level.

 

Number 12: Daniel Wise, Kansas

Image result for daniel wise kansas

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 290

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.94

Red Flags: None

 

Kansas had a dreadful season this past year but Wise flashed a lot of desirable traits for the NFL. Wise has really good length which he used to get blockers off of his chest plate and then shed them. Wise shot some gaps with his quick first step and he does a nice job using his hands to swipe away some hand traffic in the gaps. During Shrine Game practices Wise flashed some pass rush counters that looked more refined than they did during the regular season. Wise isn’t the best athlete in the world and that will limit his upside at the next level. He looks stiff in the hips at times which limits his ability to attack the outside hip of his blocker. Wise lacks some versatility, so I can only see him being used as a three-technique at the next level. With that said, he should be an effective starter given the right scheme is in place.

 

Number 11: Renell Wren, Arizona State

Image result for renell wren arizona state

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 295

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.56

Red Flags: None

 

Wren has really good length that he uses to stack blockers at the line of scrimmage and then shed off to make the play. He has really good lower body strength and leg drive which he used to reset the line of scrimmage pretty consistently. Wren is one of the few players in this class that has enough lateral movement skills and length to control two different gaps in the run game. Wren flashed some quickness out of his stance and bend on the inside which leads to some flash sacks. Wren needs a lot of work when it comes to his hand work in the trenches. He has trouble landing his punches with timing and location. He has no pass rush counters so he relies only on lateral movement and bend to get to the quarterback. Wren has plenty of traits to be a potential starter at the next level.

 

Number 10: Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame

Image result for jerry tillery notre dame

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 306

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.92

Red Flags: None

 

There are a lot of draft analyst who will have Tillery way higher on their boards than I do. Tillery is really effective on passing downs when he can use his length and lateral burst to get to the quarterback. Tillery does a great job using his leg drive to put blockers on their heels and collapsing the pocket. My issues with Tillery are mostly focused on his play against the run at Notre Dame. He gets washed through by lesser talented blockers way too much for me at times. I saw him get pushed way too far down the field by pulling blockers and will often get caught in traps at the line. Tillery has plenty of talent and traits that will make him an effective starter at the next level.

 

Number 9: Khalen Saunders, Northern Illinois

IMG_2636

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 318

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 7.10

Red Flags: None

 

So, here is my personal favorite player in this position group: Khalen Saunders. Saunders is an athletic freak for his size. If you haven’t seen it yet go on youtube and look up the videos of Saunders doing backflips, it is crazy. Saunders is superhuman strong with plenty of reps of him throwing fools around the field. He does a great job tackling in and around the line of scrimmage. He sort of operates as a black hole in the middle just eating up any runner who tries to attack the middle. Saunders flashes a really nice club move as a pass rush counter that if he can get too quickly will be very effective at the next level. Something that bothers me about Saunders is the level of play he faced at Northern Illinois. He won with pure strength a lot of the time and that’s gonna be harder at the next level. Saunders could be a starter from day one with tremendous upside to be a real force on the line.

 

Number 8: Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State

IMG_2148
Dre’Mont Jones

Class: RS junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 295

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 7.32

Red Flags: None

 

Dre’Mont Jones is a tough player to project to the next level because he is built more like an edge but plays way better on the inside. Jones is the best interior pass rusher in this draft class with a solid pass rush counter and just pure quickness. Jones does a good job making himself skinny to shoot through gaps during passing downs. While Jones is a great pass defender, he struggles majorly as a run defender. He will get pushed 10 yards of the line of scrimmage at times by guys who won’t even make the NFL. His hang usage in the run game is rough as well because he doesn’t keep his hands on the inside of the chest plate. Jones is a super high risk and high reward player who could make a dynamic impact at the next level.

 

Number 7: Dexter Lawrence, Clemson

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Dexter Lawrence

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 340

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.5

Red Flags: PEDs suspension during College Football Playoff

 

Dexter Lawrence is a massive massive man in the middle of the defense. He does a great job clogging up lanes in the middle of the defense with good hand usage and pure strength. Lawrence moves super well for someone of his size which is where most of his value and upside is. NFL teams will like to bet on him getting some pass rush counters to go along with his elite run defending skills. While teams may bet on it, I just don’t see it being that easy for him. He didn’t show a lot of pass rush prowess at Clemson and just because someone moves well for their size doesn’t mean they will be a good pass rusher. Lawrence will probably go higher than people think but he reminds me too much of Vita Vea from last season.

 

Number 6: Charles Omenihu, Texas

Image result for charles omenihu texas

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 275

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.9

Red Flags: None

 

Omenihu was named the best defensive lineman in the Big 12 this past season and it’s easy to see why. He has a myriad of pass rusher counters including a bull rush, rip/club, and rip/dip that show up plenty on tape. He does a good job using his elite natural length to stack blockers in the running game. His hands have some real power behind them when he’s able to land them with good timing. Omenihu has some versatility with experience on both the inside and outside at Texas. Omenihu needs to do a way better job of using his hands in the trenches. He will lose a lot of hand fights in the running game which forces him to get pushed back off the line at times. He doesn’t have a great first step either which is disappointing because he’s an effective pass rusher without it. Omenihu should be an effective starter with inside and outside versatility for teams who like power rushers with long arms.

 

Number 5: Rashan Gary, Michigan

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Rashan Gary

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 281

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.59

Red Flags: Extensive injury history in all three years at Michigan.

 

Rashan Gary is probably the most controversial player in the NFL draft this year. I’ve seen him ranked anywhere from the top 10 to the third round. Gary was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school but never lived up to the hype at Michigan. He battled injuries all three seasons he was there and struggled to play on the edge (not his natural position). Gary has some really exciting athletic traits like short area quickness, power in the trenches, and overall speed. He has some flash plays where he destroys his matchup but also has plays where he gets washed out too easily. If you’re drafting Gary then you’re betting on traits and his unworldly upside. That, of course, comes with the risk of him staying the injured mostly unproductive player he was at Michigan. Gary provides value as an inside-outside threat with tremendous athletic ability that will lead to some flash plays at the next level.

 

Number 4: Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Image result for christian wilkins

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 300

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.64

Red Flags: None

 

If I could use one word to describe Wilkins it would be: solid. Wilkins does a great job shedding defenders in the run game with elite hand usage. Wilkins has a fantastic motor and will run down plays from the backside with consistency. Wilkins does a good job shooting gaps with his short area quickness and acceleration that catches lineman by surprise. Wilkins converts speed to power as good as anyone in this class which puts blockers on their heels right off the snap. Wilkins has been lauded for his leadership in the Clemson locker room which teams will love. My only gripe with Wilkins is that he lacks the natural length to control some blocks on the inside. His length does hurt his tackle radius a little bit but it was rarely an issue on tape. Wilkins should be a productive starter at the next level for 10-15 years.

 

Number 3: Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

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Jeffery Simmons

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 301

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.78

Red Flags: Torn ACL and off the field problems in high school.

 

Simmons is one of the best players in this class when you only look at his on the field traits. When you look off the field two red flags jump out pretty quickly that hurt his stock. Simmons is currently going through ACL rehab and was caught on video striking a young woman when he was in high school. Both of those things will scare teams but they can’t ignore the talent on the field for too long. Simmons has really good length which he used to toss blockers out of the way leading to some crazy splash plays in the backfield. Simmons has an extensive pass counter arsenal including swims, rips, and clubs. He does a good job playing with leverage at all times giving him a built-in advantage. Simmons has all the tools and traits to be an elite defensive lineman at the next level.

 

Number 2: Ed Oliver, Houston

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Houston
Ed Oliver

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 290

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.03

Red Flags: None

 

So there is a saying that I think applies to scouting pretty well this time of year: “Time is a flat circle”. Basically, all it means is that eventually, you will end up where you started in life. I never wavered on my support for Ed Oliver but the rest of the community did and now all of a sudden everyone loves him again. Oliver sheds blocks like nobody’s business with aggressive hand techniques. He has a great bull rush as a pass rusher and he flashed a nice swim and rip move as well. He has insane acceleration skills for someone who plays on the inside which leads to him shooting gaps with consistency. Ed Oliver is a plug and play starter who will be an impact player right away while also having plenty of upside to tap into.

 

Number 1: Quinnen Williams, Alabama

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Quinnen Williams

Class: RS Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 285

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.24

Red Flags: None

 

So, here is my second overall player in this years draft class: Quinnen Williams. He came out of nowhere this season and had one of the most dominant seasons from a defensive lineman since Ndamukong Suh at Nebraska. Williams has elite hand usage and has plenty of moves that allow him to shed blocks in the running game. In the passing game, Williams uses his elite first step to blow by potential blockers with ease. He even has some pass rush counter to go with his quickness. He showed the needed length to clog up running lanes in the middle and patrol multiple gaps. Williams uses his pure power to reset the line of scrimmage in both the running game and passing game. He will collapse the pocket despite being double-teamed at times. The scary about Williams is that he has a lot of potential upside because he is so young still. Williams is an instant pro-bowl caliber player and will upgrade any D-line that he gets drafted to in April.

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Offensive Tackles

Welcome, to the fifth of my official draft reports for the 2019 NFL draft. I will be going position by position giving a full report and grade on every player that I have scouted this season. Obviously, I can’t scout every single prospect in the entire country since I am a one man army and a full-time college student. I’ve tried to get at least 20 done at each position, so I think I’ve covered a pretty good chunk of the players who will be drafted. Each article will start with the worst and get to the best, so if you want to skip down to some of the better prospects you can do that.

Each profile will have some biographic data including name, school, year, height, weight, and “Red Flags”. It will also include a numerical value between 1 and 10 that will dictate there placement in the rankings. The number is calculated based on my own personal grading formula for draft prospects. The profile will have a “round grade” that is based on a scale that I will put at the end of this introduction. Round grades are not a prediction of where a player will get drafted, but where I think they should be drafted.  Last but not least, the profiles will include a small paragraph on my overall thoughts on the prospect and some explanation on their NFL outlook. I’ll try to explain some of each players strengths and weaknesses as well.  

As always you can hit me up on twitter (@DanteCollinelli) if you want to discuss my rankings further. I love talking ball with people so please let me know what you think.

 

Grading Scale

 

First-round: 8.75-10

Second-round: 8.74-7.45

Third-round: 7.44-6.15

Fourth round: 6.14-4.85

Fifth round: 4.84-3.55

Sixth round: 3.54- 2.25

Seventh round: 2.24- .095

UDFA: 0.94-0.0  

 

Number 22: Martez Ivey, Florida

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Martez Ivey

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 313

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.93

Red Flags: None

 

So, I could really sum up Martez Ivey by saying that he can’t really pass block and that would be enough to justify a UDFA grade. I’ll try to elaborate a little bit more though. Ivey false steps all the time and struggles against practically every single pass rush move that you can think of. He has some ability in the running game moving bodies with pure power but his technique still needs work in that area. Pray your team doesn’t draft Martez Ivey because he’s not gonna make the team.  

 

Number 21: Tariq Cole, Rutgers

Image result for Tariq Cole

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 320

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.56

Red Flags: None

 

Cole is a very very big man if you couldn’t tell by looking at his height and weight. He uses that size and power well in the run game to move bodies off the line of scrimmage. He’s got a decent anchor but it’s more because of his sheer size rather than good technique. Cole lacks pretty much all the movement skills required for a modern tackle. His lower body is very stiff and he has trouble moving out in space to be the lead blocker for running plays. Cole is an interesting developmental project if you can slim him down and maximize his running blocking abilities.

 

Number 20: Mitch Hyatt, Clemson

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Mitch Hyatt

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 305

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.55

Red Flags: None

 

Let me describe Mitch Hyatt to you all a little bit, okay? He’s a four-year starter for one of the best teams in the country at the most important position on the offensive line. He’s widely regarded as a great leader and had some success at Clemson. After all that you’re probably thinking this player should be a lot higher, right? Let me describe him some more for you then. He gets horrible hand placement while lacking the natural strength to move people off the line. Hyatt doesn’t have a good anchor to compete with power rushers or the athletic ability to compete with speed rushers. After all of that, what do you think now? Hyatt can provide a team with a good locker room presence and some depth on the line but that’s it.

 

Number 19: Oli Udoh, Elon

Image result for Oli Udoh

Class: RS Senior

Height: 6’6 and 327

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.63

Red Flags: None

 

Oli Udoh had some hype heading into the Senior Bowl as a deep sleeper pick for a tackle. I’m not gonna lie but I have only seen three games for Udoh because getting good film for someone from Elon is not easy. Udoh has some intriguing physical traits that I think a lot of teams will love. He’s got sufficient power to be effective in the running game. My issues with Udoh have to do with questions of athletic ability and his pass blocking technique. He can get sloppy with his footwork and open his stance too much leading to him getting off balance at times. He’s an interesting prospect at the position but not the sleeper that everyone was hoping for.

 

Number 18: Max Scharping, Northern Illinois

Image result for max scharping northern illinois

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 320

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.99

Red Flags: None

 

Scharping is another player who I think people wanted to like in January but once they turned on the tape they cooled on him. In the run game, Scharping does a good job with seal blocks collapsing the line and getting to the second level to eat linebackers alive with his size. Scharping is yet another prospect that I just don’t like as a pass blocker all that much. His kick slide doesn’t cover a lot of ground and sometimes he will open up his hips way too much at the line. He doesn’t look like a smooth mover in the open field and his foot speed feels pedestrian, which limits his upside a good bit. Scharping is nothing more than a depth option on the line.

 

Number 17: Calvin Anderson, Texas

Image result for calvin anderson texas

Class: Senior Graduate Transfer

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 300

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.27

Red Flags: None

 

Anderson has been playing college football for 5 years now and there is a good chance he doesn’t get drafted in April, however, I see some developmental traits in his game. When given a short pass set he does a good job to build his base before the defender can get on top of him. He has good length so he can keep defenders off of his chest plate and reach defender down the line in the run game. Anderson has some athletic concerns when it comes to moving in space and handling speed rushers off the edge. Sometimes you will see him just chase guys around the edge instead of forcing them out there like he should. His lower half can be stiff at times, as well, which leads to him being late getting into his anchor. Anderson has some traits that could lead him to be a perfect “swing tackle” for a team looking for depth on the line.

 

Number 16: Ryan Bates, Penn State

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Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 305

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.79

Red Flags: None

 

I was expecting Ryan Bates to be an undrafted free agent grade on my board going into his tape. I typically don’t love offensive lineman from Penn State and I had never heard of him before. Like a good scout though I made sure my mind remained open, and I was surprised. Bates has enough traits to be a decent swing tackle at the next level for some team needing some depth. He does a good job with hand usage and swiping away defenders hands with a nasty club move. He has some pretty quick and active feet in the run game that will benefit him in an outside zone scheme. Bates struggles on occasion with landing his first punch and stunning defenders in there place as well as letting defenders get into his chest plate to easily.

 

Number 15: Tyler Roemer, San Diego State

Image result for tyler roemer san diego state

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’7 and 307

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.80

Red Flags: Dismissed from team in 2018

 

Here’s how you know that a certain position group isn’t very deep: you count all the hype “Sleepers” that aren’t actually good. Roemer is another guy who got some hype a couple of months ago before people eventually cooled down on him. This happens because scouts want to find good players that nobody knows about so they hype up people before watching there tape. When I turned on Roemer’s tape I saw a player who does a good job with vertical run blocking and has some decent pass sets. He has a long way to go with his hand usage because he rarely wins those battles. To add onto his overall rawness he was dismissed from San Diego State in 2018 which isn’t a great look for a player.

 

Number 14: Isaiah Prince, Ohio State

Image result for isaiah prince ohio state

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 310

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.81

Red Flags: None

 

Man, I really wanted to like some of Ohio State’s prospects this year but I’m just super low on them across the board. I’m low on Haskins, Campbell, and Michael Jordan. Prince has some appealing length that he can use to keep pass rushers at bay, and he does a pretty good job in vertical pass sets. Something that stuck out on tape to me was that he looked a little soft to me. He didn’t use his length much and just seemed afraid of contact in certain situations. Prince could have some use as a right tackle at the next level with some “swing tackle” upside, but he’s got a lot of technical work to do first.

 

Number 13: Chuma Edoga, USC

Image result for chuma edoga usc

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 295

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.18

Red Flags: USC coaches have questioned his work ethic. 

 

Edoga is a tough prospect for me to evaluate for more than on the field reasons. After the Senior Bowl, Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) said that USC coaches said Edoga’s work ethic was not good at all. Matt Miller is the head media scout over at Bleacher Report and someone who I have a lot of respect for, so I believe him. As far as on the field goes, Edoga showed out at the Senior Bowl which is what put him on my radar. He’s a pretty smooth mover in space and has quick feet which allowed him to build his base pretty quickly in pass protection. Edoga has a soft anchor leading him to get by bull rushers way too often. Teams will have to weigh whatever potential off the field issues against his upside as a potential starter in the league.

 

Number 12: Tyree St Louis, Miami

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Tyree ST. Louis

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 312

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.44

Red Flags: None

 

St Louis is such a frustrating player for me because he has some impressive flashes on tape but isn’t consistent with it at all. For a bigger guy, St Louis has some pretty nimble feet and can move laterally pretty well. I like his hip flexibility which makes his anchor quick and strong against power rushers. He has the natural power and length that teams look for in tackle prospects but he’s lacking consistency. He struggles to get good depth on his pass sets out of his kick slide at times. The timing of his punches needs some work as well because his hands hit hard when he syncs everything up correctly. I think St Louis has some starter upside at the next level at either tackle spot.

 

Number 11: Tytus Howard, Alabama State

Image result for tytus howard

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 332

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.00

Red Flags: None

 

Of all the tackle sleepers from this draft class Tytus Howard is the only one who I have any kind of belief in at the next level. Howard is a massive man who can move people with pure power and leg drive in the run game. Something I noticed with his pass sets is that he displays some pretty good patience to let pass rushers fall right into his anchor, which is strong. Howard is a little bit raw with his pass sets as sometimes he can false step. His movement skills for someone of his size will definitely get him some looks from a lot of NFL teams in round two. Something else that impressed me with Howard is that he handled some of the best competition he saw throughout his career. His game against Auburn showed that he has some legit starter upside.

 

Number 10: Bobby Evans, Oklahoma

Image result for bobby evans oklahoma

Class:  RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 299

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 5.25

Red Flags: None

 

Remember last year when I spent a good chunk of my time killing Orlando Brown for not being able to move? His Oklahoma counterpart, Bobby Evans, is almost the direct opposite of that. Evans can get out into space quickly and be an effective blocker once he gets out there. I like his leg drive in the run game especially considering that he is a bit light for a tackle. Evans showed a good ability to handle stunts and blitzes from all over the field. Evans struggles when he gets into hand fights at the line sometimes. He doesn’t have a “go to” move to swipe away the opposing defender’s hands. Evans can be late to establish his anchor at times when facing power rushers. Overall, I think Evans has enough tools to be a starting right tackle in the NFL with some swing tackle upside.

 

Number 9: Greg Little, Ole Miss

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Greg Little

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 325

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.35

Red Flags: None

 

The fall of Greg Little has been a truly tragic one. Little started the season out as a consensus first round pick for a lot of people (including myself). Once everyone started to dig into his tape some issues started to arise. Little will get beat cleanly by both speed and power rushers at times for no reason other than effort. Sometimes he will get off balance and end up being on one foot. Little does have some good traits still. He has a good pass set as long as he is engaged in the game. He has good length to keep rushers off of his chest plate and he has good natural strength. Little tested horribly at the combine, but I wasn’t expecting anything different. He has enough traits to be a starting right tackle and some upside to be a left tackle as well.

 

Number 8: Dennis Daley, South Carolina

Image result for dennis daley

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 312

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.78

Red Flags: None

 

Here is my official sleeper pick for this tackle class and it’s someone you have probably never heard of. Daley is a massive man and an absolute force in the run game with his leg drive, natural power, and massive frame. Daley’s massive frame also allows him to swallow up power rushers with an effective anchor in the passing game. I like Daley’s ability to find work quickly when running out into space. He isn’t the best athlete in the world but he takes good angles and is rarely standing around in space. Daley struggles to get deep enough in his pass sets at times which lead to some easy sacks. I thought I saw some improvements from him over the course of the year, so I’m hoping he will do better with NFL coaching. Daley has enough tools to be a starting right tackle in the NFL with some upside.

 

Number 7: David Edwards, Wisconsin

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David Edwards

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’7 and 319

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.87

Red Flags: None

 

So, David Edwards played right tackle on a team with a left-handed quarterback meaning he protected the backside of his quarterback. Edwards is a large man with some impressive length he uses to grab onto defenders and control reps from the start. I like that Edwards was almost forced to be off balance when battling with rushers. His first step off the line in the run game is great because it gives him an early advantage to drive defenders off the line. Edwards can get sloppy in his pass sets at times so he’s gonna need some technical work at the next level. Edwards has a lot of experience and size to work with heading to the next level. He can be a starting right tackle right away.

 

Number 6: Kaleb McGary, Washington

Image result for kaleb mcgary nfl

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 318

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.32

Red Flags: None

 

McGary is someone who has been getting a lot of love in this pre-draft process, especially after the combine. McGary is a good vertical blocker with his size and leg drive allowing him to create space off the line. I love that McGary is always looking for work on the line and in space. He finds someone to hit on every single play and I love that demeanor in a player. McGary does a great job finishing guys into the ground making sure that they have no impact on the play. Something that concerns me about McGary is his pass set versus speed rushers. He got beat way too often for my liking off the edge against speed. If you haven’t noticed, the NFL is filled with those guys. McGary projects favorably as a starting right tackle with some left tackle upside if in the correct scheme.

 

Number 5: Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia

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Yodney Cajuste

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 315

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.68

Red Flags: Core muscle injury during the pre-draft process.

 

Cajuste is a super intriguing player to project to the next level because of his strengths and weaknesses. He does a great job in both long and short pass sets coming from a West Virginia team that threw on almost every down. He has heavy hands that can pack a good first punch stunning defenders in their place. I liked what Cajuste was able to do when collapsing the line of scrimmage in the run game making for some big outside lanes. The biggest issue on Cajuste’s tape is that he seems a little bit soft at times. He will back down from contact at times and try to just guide defenders away from the ball which isn’t ideal. He also has the core muscle injury that he recently got surgery on so that will make his early availability in question. I think Cajuste can be a starting left tackle at the next level with some development.

 

Number 4: Andre Dillard, Washington State

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Andre Dillard

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 306

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.64

Red Flags: None

 

Andre Dillard’s game is one of duality as far as his strengths are concerned. He’s a fantastic pass blocker with plenty of experience with it at Washington State. He does a good job quickly getting back and setting up his base. Dillard does a nice job handling speed off the edge with his above average athletic traits. He mirrors defenders well when he gets engaged with their hands. Dillard is a great mover in space and has some of the best short area quickness in the entire tackle class. While Dillard is a great pass blocker, he isn’t a great run blocker. Dillard is super light on tape (I don’t think 306 is the weight he will play at in the NFL) and he gets pushed around way too easy for my liking. He doesn’t create a lot of movement at the line of scrimmage either so his lanes are pretty tight. He doesn’t have a lot of natural power, so I’m not sure who much things can be improved. Dillard can start at left tackle for a team from day one but needs work as a run blocker.

 

Number 3: Jawaan Taylor, Florida

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Jawaan Taylor

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 334

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.81

Red Flags: None

 

Taylor came out of nowhere this season to be one of the best tackle prospects in this entire class. On tape, he looks like an athletic freak holding down the right side of the line for the Gators. He has some of the quickest feet in the draft allowing him to always be set and ready for pass rushers coming down hill at him. He’s a terror when asked to pull out into space using his short area quickness and size to overwhelm most linebackers. He went up against some really talented edge rushers this year and handled them all pretty well. My only gripe with Taylor is that his hand usage could be greatly improved. Taylor is a starting right tackle day one and I think he could work fine on the left side as well.

 

Number 2: Cody Ford, Oklahoma

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Cody Ford

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 330

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.82

Red Flags: None

 

Most people on draft twitter will tell you that Ford should be ranked as a guard prospect because he lacks the needed length to play tackle. I understand that, but I think his tape at tackle is good so I’m keeping him there. Ford has elite quickness and does a great job getting into his pass sets quickly. He does a great job mirroring rushers once he’s engaged with their hands. Ford always keeps his hands inside when run blocking allowing him to control the point of attack fairly often. I like what I saw from when asked to pull outside and be the lead blocker on a running play. He showed enough athletic ability to get out into space and eat up linebackers at the second level. The only flaw in Ford’s game is that sometimes he can be overwhelmed with speed off the edge making for sloppy pass sets. Ford can start at either guard or right tackle on day-one which only adds to his overall value.

 

Number 1: Jonah Williams, Alabama

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Jonah Williams

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 301

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.01

Red Flags: None

 

I think both of my parents would describe me as pretty stubborn when it comes to a lot of things. One of those things is insisting that Jonah Williams is a left tackle at the next level despite everyone telling me otherwise. His pass sets are beautiful to watch he takes fantastic angles and always gets back into his stance quickly. He does a great job creating movement in the running game with leverage and quickness. His first punch is powerful and typically located very well. His football IQ is through the roof. On tape, he showed that he could handle blitzes, stunts, and twists. I know that his lack length is a concern for some when talking about Williams playing on the outside but it doesn’t show up on tape often at all. I will sum it for you like this: Williams can start at left tackle, right tackle, either guard spot, and center for a team from day one. If that doesn’t make him an elite prospect than I don’t know what does. I would draft Williams to be my starting left tackle if given the chance.