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

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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 

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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

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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

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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

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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

IMG_2586
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

IMG_2094
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.

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Guards

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 20: Hjayle Froholdt, Arkansas

IMG_2142
Hjalte Froholdt

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 311

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.17

Red Flags: None

 

Froholdt has in my top five interior linemen to start the season and it clearly it didn’t work out well. Froholdt moves super well for a bigger player there are plenty of reps of him getting to the second level and eating up linebackers. He’s a good puller into space as long as he doesn’t meet any resistance before the second level. I will probably say this a lot but offensive lineman needs to be excited to hit people. Froholdt doesn’t like to hit people and that’s a huge problem for me. He will shy away at contact at times and that is unacceptable for me. Froholdt has a lot of upside but I’m not sure he has the demeanor to make it in the NFL.

 

Number 19: Nate Herbig, Stanford

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Nate Herbig

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 336

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.35

Red Flags: None

 

Herbig is a massive presence in the middle of the O-line when he wants to be. He has plenty of functional strength and athleticness to move people in space. Sometimes it looks like he doesn’t he respects his opponents enough. He will get lazy and not establish his hands quickly enough to control the rep. When pass blocking he as good hip and knee flexibility that allows him to build a pretty good base to absorb contact. Herbig, like Froholdt, isn’t physical enough for my liking. Herbig should get drafted and have an opportunity to make a 53-man roster.
Number 18: Terrone Prescod, North Carolina State

Image result for terronne prescod

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 338

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.78

Red Flags: None

 

Prescod is a pure mauler from the guard spot with natural power built into his frame. He had plenty of reps where he uprooted opposing lineman deep in the trenches. He has a good anchor when he’s able to get back to it he can absorb defenders trying to bull rush him. First thing I noticed with Prescod is that he has a lot of sloppy weight on his frame. He doesn’t have great contact balance either so he ends up on the ground a little too much for me. Prescod is a pretty slow mover in general so he doesn’t offer a whole lot of upside. Prescod has a chance to make a 53-man roster but won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.

 

Number 17: Lamont Gillard, Georgia

Image result for lamont gaillard georgia

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 295

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.06

Red Flags: None

 

I’m probably way lower than most people will be on Gillard but hear me out first. He’s just not a good mover in space. Mobility is something that is becoming more and more necessary for modern-day interior linemen. With that said, he does have some appealing traits that project well to the league. He’s got good power at the point of attack where he shows the ability to move people out of there lanes. He has strong hands but he doesn’t land a good enough punch for them to be effective at times. Gillard has a chance to compete for a starting spot but he will probably be a backup in year one.

 

Number 16: Garrett Brumfield, LSU

Image result for garrett brumfield lsu

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 299

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.59

Red Flags: None

 

Brumfield is one of the more athletic linemen in this class. He’s a free mover in space and can make a lot of good plays at the second level. He plays with a good pad level and knows how to take advantage of leverage he is given. I like that Brumfield will look for work if he is left unblocked. He doesn’t always find it quickly but at least he looks for it. Brumfield is a bit of a technical mess when it comes to the passing game. He has a false step that leads to him getting beat by speed rushers way too often. He will get clowned by swim moves at times leading to some big hits in the backfield. Brumfield has some upside to make an impact at the next level but he’s got a long way to go.

 

Number 15: Lester Cotton, Alabama

Image result for lester cotton alabama

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 324

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.70

Red Flags: None

 

Lester Cotton is the least talked about Alabama offensive linemen from this year. Cotton is a powerhouse of a run blocker. He’s got some plays on his tape where he just rag-dolls a defending player out of the play. He has really good hand placement when he fires straight out in the running game controlling a lot of reps from the inside. He’s got a pretty anchor that he uses to absorb contact from opposing defenders and stalemate them. The problem with Cotton is that he isn’t a great athlete in space. He really struggles to get to the second level and struggles when asked to pull out in front of the play. Cotton has a really low floor as a starter in a run-heavy offense. His ceiling as a player is limited though because of his athleticness.

 

Number 14: Jon Baker, Boston College

Image result for jon baker boston college

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 300

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.01

Red Flags: Injured most of his Junior season.

 

Baker played center for one of the best run blocking teams in the country this season at Boston College. Baker has some impressive leg drive which allows him to move defenders down the field. Baker has a great anchor that really eats up power rushers typically pushing them to the ground. I saw Baker do a good job handling twists and stunts up front communicating with his Boston College teammates. The big issue with Baker is that he has not been able to stay healthy for his college career. Baker also has some athletic limitations that will lower his overall upside at the next level. He has enough tools to be a spot starter in the NFL but will spend most of his time as a backup.

 

Number 13: Michael Jordan, Ohio State

Image result for michael jordan ohio state

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 310

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.15

Red Flags: None

 

 

Mike Jordan is sadly not the guard equivalent of Michael Jordan the basketball player. He does, however, have a really good frame for working in the middle with a sturdy lower half. He has good leg drive and always keeps them going even if he is stalemating someone. Jordan false steps so often that I actually stopped watching his tape because I was getting angry. He will let his base get narrow at times which lead to him tripping on his own feet a couple of times. Jordan gets out of his stance pretty quickly so that will mask some of his issues at times. Jordan could start in spots, but he’s a backup if you’re asking me.
Number 12: Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin

Image result for beau benzschawel wisconsin

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 317

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.46

Red Flags: None

 

The Wisconsin offensive line was the best in the nation this past year and is sending many players to the next level. Benzschawel is the one who gets the least amount of love in the media, but he has some strengths. He has a great anchor and can absorb defenders like a sponge in the middle of the line. He does a good job bullying defenders at the point of attack creating holes for his runners. Benzschawel lacks good contact balance and will get knocked onto one foot way too easy. In his pass sets, he can stand too straight up at times and lose leverage which leads to him getting pushed back into the pocket. Benzschawel has the same outlook as Jordan. A spot starter who should be a primary backup.

 

Number 11: Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama

Image result for ross pierschbacher

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 304

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.04

Red Flags: None

 

Pierschbacher might be a hot commodity in the middle rounds when draft night rolls around. Plenty of teams are hunting for a plug and play starting center and there isn’t that many in this class. The former product Alabama has the perfect size and frame combined with multiple years of experience that teams will love. Pierschbacher is technically sound with his hand usage and frequent use of leverage to win his battles. My big knock on Pierschbacher is that he isn’t a great athlete in space. He’s not gonna be effective when asked to pull out in front of runs and will struggle with faster linebackers at the second level. Overall, he could come in and start day one if needed.

 

Number 10: Nate Davis, UNC-Charlotte

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Nate Davis

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 311

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.31

Red Flags: None

 

Davis is someone I found when doing research for the Senior Bowl back in February. He’s a small school player so it took me a while to get enough tape on him to feel good about my grade. Davis played some tackle in his career but his tape on the interior of the line is way better. Davis is a great run blocker who drives defenders down the field with strength alone. I liked Davis’s ability to move well in space and take good angles for his blocks giving him good leverage. Davis has some problems with consistency, especially, in his pass sets. He will false step at times which leads to him getting beat. Davis can sometimes get off balance if he doesn’t fire out of his stance quickly. Davis is a high upside pick with some ability to start now if a team desperately needs it.

 

Number 9: Connor Mcgovern, Penn State

Image result for connor mcgovern penn state

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 323

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.28

Red Flags: None

 

Mcgovern is super athletic with fantastic body control in space. He does a great job quickly getting up to the second level to eat linebackers alive. I like his anchor in pass protection when he’s able to get back into it quickly enough. I saw him uproot a couple of defenders in the running game which tells me he might be stronger than he plays at times. Mcgovern has some trouble when he has to take deeper pass sets because he allows his base to become too narrow. Mcgovern also struggled to pick up blitzes at Penn State at times. Mcgovern can be a year one starter but I would like to see him sit for a year so his high upside can be groomed.

 

Number 8: Ben Powers, Oklahoma

Image result for ben powers oklahoma

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 313

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.39

Red Flags: None

 

Powers is the first of two interior offensive linemen to come from Oklahoma this season. Powers does a great job creating leverage at the line of scrimmage while uprooting and driving back defenders with ease. He looked like an effective puller into space with enough acceleration to get to the edge in the run game. Powers is a super physical player and will attempt to finish just about anybody in the running and passing game. Powers lacks the athletic ability to be considered a high upside player. He doesn’t have a lot of use in space and sometimes can get beat by pure burst from defenders. What you see is what you get with Powers which is a decent multi-year starter.

 

Number 7: Dru Samia, Oklahoma

Image result for dru samia oklahoma

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 297

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.66

Red Flags: None

 

Samia is the second interior linemen from Oklahoma to crack the top 10 this year. I loved the way Samia mirrored defenders when pass blocking and his ability to use his hands to stun defenders. Samia is a solid athlete who moves well in space and is much more effective player at the second level than his teammate Powers. I like Samia’s reps when he was asked to pull out in front of running plays. Samia is a smaller frame than most interior linemen do which can cause some issues for him at times. His anchor is decent, but sometimes he will get bullied in the run game by more physical players. Samia can be a starter from day one if the scheme is zone and pass heavy.

 

Number 6: Erick McCoy, Texas A@M

Image result for erik mccoy

Class: RS Junior  

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 310

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.63

Red Flags: None

 

McCoy is a really solid plug and play center who blew up after the Senior Bowl where he dominated a lot of reps. McCoy is great as a pass blocker with quick feet to mirror speed rushers and the anchor to absorb power rushers. He has some nice grip strength in his hands allowing him to rag-doll some defenders out of the way. His smooth footwork works well in a zone run blocking scheme where he creates plenty of room for his runners. He doesn’t have the ideal length in the middle and it can show up at times. McCoy is going to start for someone day one if he goes to the right scheme fit.

 

Number 5: Mike Dieter, Wisconsin

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Mike Dieter

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 320

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.65

Red Flags: None

 

The most appealing part of Dieter’s game is his ability to move freely in space despite his massive size. He’s able to do that through exceptional footwork and solid body control. Dieter is experienced at multiple spots on the offensive line including right tackle but I think he fits better at guard. Dieter does a great job keeping his hands inside of his assignment which allows him to control reps at the line of scrimmage with ease. My concerns with Dieter have to do with his lack of length which is why I think he is better on the inside. Sometimes he doesn’t get full extension allowing the defender to get up into his chest and control the rep. Dieter can start at either guard spot or at right tackle if a team is that desperate.

Number 4: Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State

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Elgton Jenkins

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 313

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.74

Red Flags: None

 

Jenkins is a player I’ve been high on since the beginning of the season and I’ve stayed pat on that love. Jenkins is a smooth mover in the middle with a strong anchor that absorbs power rushers well. He finds good leverage in the run game through stout hand usage leading to him uproot some defenders. Jenkins has experience playing all three interior spots in college so he has plenty of versatility. His ability at the second level is top notch making him a good modern day center. Jenkins lacks some natural power in his frame which makes me think he is a zone scheme specific player at the next level. He can struggle sometimes in 1v1 situations with speed rushers because of a lack of length. Jenkins could start from day one depending on the scheme he gets drafted to.

 

Number 3: Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

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Chris Lindstrom

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 305

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.09

Red Flags: None

 

Lindstrom is an elite run blocker from one of the best college lines in the country this past season. He fires out of his stance quickly and creates space with his leg drive. His first punch is strong and typically has a good location stunning defenders in their tracks. Lindstrom did not get a lot of chances to pass block 1v1 but I liked what I saw in his limited reps. He showed off a good anchor and showed enough mirror skills to project well to the next level. Lindstrom is another player who I think has to be in a zone scheme to be successful at the next level. He lacks some of the elite athletic traits you like to see from guards today. Lindstrom could start for a team who is running a zone-heavy scheme from day one.

 

Number 2: Dalton Risner, Kansas State

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Dalton Risner

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 308

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.37

Red Flags: None

 

My favorite part of Risner’s game is his versatility along the line. You might see some draft analyst rank him as a tackle prospect, but I like him better at guard or center. He showed great mirror skills in pass protection and a fantastic anchor to eat bull rushers alive. I loved his meanness in the run game plowing people back and off the line of scrimmage. Risner does a great job in space seeking out someone to hit and then punishing them into the ground. He uses his grip strength to control defenders in the run game fairly well. The cons of Risner come down to him being limited as an athlete. He doesn’t have the most explosive traits or best quickness in the world. Risner isn’t scheme specific and depending on the team could start at three different positions day one.

 

Number 1: Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State

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Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 300

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.03

Red Flags: None

 

Bradbury is a run blocking savant in the middle of the line. He always plays with good hand placement and leverage. He’s of the smoothest movers in this class getting to the second level to seal off linebackers. His foot speed is elite which gives him a great advantage when pass blocking on an island. I love his football IQ in the middle of the line handling rushers and blitzers from all angles of the field. My only issue with Bradbury is his lack of pure strength which he masks by using advanced technique. If your team needs a starting center then Bradbury should be the first guy off the board and a day one starter with pro-bowl potential.

 

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Tight Ends

Welcome, to the fourth 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: Kendall Blanton, Missouri

Image result for kendall blanton missouri

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 260

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.08

Red Flags: None

 

Blanton is a huge man with the ability to use his body to fend off most defenders to make catches in the red zone and down the field. The only problem with Blanton is that he can not separate at all and completely relies on his size to be productive. He doesn’t show much upside as a blocker either which limits him even more. Some team might take a shot in the seventh round based on size but it is hard to see how Blanton can make an impact on the field at the next level.

 

Number 22: Andrew Beck, Texas

Image result for andrew beck texas

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 260

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.09

Red Flags: None

 

Beck is a bit of a throwback tight end which just doesn’t bode well for his NFL outlook. Beck is a tough player willing to go up against anybody in the run game. The only issue is, Beck doesn’t win that often 1v1. He does a good job as a chip blocker and supporter on double teams. He has pretty solid hands in the passing game, however, he’s super limited as both a route runner and athlete. Only chance Beck has at an NFL career is being a third-string tight end who is used as a blocker with the occasional pass-catching opportunity.

 

Number 21: Brandon Fritts, North Carolina

Image result for Brandon Fritts

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 250

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.61

Red Flags: None

 

Fritts has a lot of tools that I actually like a lot for someone most people don’t even have ranked. Fritts is a good blocker who understands leverage and how to apply it in the running game. He has experience lining up as a fullback, in-line tight end, and in the slot. He displayed soft hands and the ability to sit down in zone coverage as a pass catcher. Fritts is tough to evaluate because he never got thrown at in college. North Carolina had one of the worst offenses in the country this past season, with a specially bad passing game. Fritts isn’t a great athlete but he offers a lot as a blocker and enough as a pass catcher to make it at the next level.

 

Number 20: Donald Parham, Stenson

Image result for donald parham stetson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’8 and 240

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.69

Red Flags: injured pretty much the entire pre-draft process.

 

Yes, you read that right. Donald Parham is a massive 6 foot 8 inches tall! The reason I have him ranked higher than someone like Kendall Blanton is because Parham looks like a fluid mover on tape. Parham showed the ability to make some difficult catches by snatching the ball out of the air away from his body. Parham is a high upside pick but that comes with significant risk because he is pretty raw. He doesn’t show much in the realm of route running or much in the way of blocking. There is a pretty good chance Parham goes undrafted because he’s been injured since the Senior Bowl, and he comes from a small school. If he taps into his potential he can be a unique weapon for an NFL offense.

Number 19: Caleb Wilson, UCLA

Image result for caleb wilson ucla

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 235

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.87

Red Flags: None

 

Caleb Wilson opened some eyes with his impressive testing numbers at the combine this year. I went back to the tape to see if I missed something on Wilson, and turns out I didn’t. Wilson has some experience as a receiving tight end that some teams might like. He showed the ability to sit down in zone coverage and make some difficult catches outside of his body. While Wilson’s best trait is probably receiving, he has a lot of drops scattered throughout his tape. Wilson isn’t really much of a blocker either. He rarely creates any type of leverage or holes for his runners when asked to block in-line. Wilson may have some use as a slot tight end only, but that limited versatility will make him hard to draft before the fifth round.

 

Number 18: Kaden Smith, Stanford

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Kaden Smith

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 253

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.14

Red Flags: None

 

When I see Kaden Smith I almost feel like a failed parent at times. I talked him up all college football season as the third-best tight end in this class. If you couldn’t tell by his ranking: things didn’t really work out. I love his reliable hands and ability to make difficult catches away from his body. He has some really impressive plays on tape but he’s just so limited. Smith doesn’t offer much as a route runner or as an in-line blocker. He also ran a 4.90 40-yard dash which is just unacceptable. I challenge you to find a tight end in the NFL with success that ran as slow as Smith did. Smith may offer some ability as someone who can run the seam and make plays in the red zone, but he has a lot of work to do if he wants to stick in the league.

 

Number 17: Zach Gentry, Michigan

Image result for zach gentry michigan

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’7 and 248

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.20

Red Flags: None

 

I could copy and paste pretty much the same pro’s and con’s that I had for Kaden Smith for Zach Gentry. Gentry is a reliable target with effectiveness in difficult catch situations. Like Smith, he ran in the 4.90’s at the combine and doesn’t have much upside in the blocking arena. Gentry has a huge frame so is lack of blocking is a frustrating thing to watch on tape. Gentry may be able to carve out a role as a seam runner who makes some plays in the red zone. The combine just really killed Gentry’s stock this year.

 

Number 16: CJ Conrad, Kentucky

Image result for cj conrad kentucky

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 245

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.34

Red Flags: Heart condition discovered at the combine. He has been cleared since.

 

Conrad had a scare at the combine when he was diagnosed with a heart condition that could have ended his career. He’s been cleared since and the last that I heard was that he would work out at Kentucky’s pro-day. Conrad showed that he is a solid route runner in the shorter areas of the field and that he had enough speed to stack defenders up down the field. I liked his work against zone coverage as well with an ability to sit down and open space to make plays. Conrad lacks the burst and athletic ability to be a truly dynamic threat in the passing game. He has experience in multiple fronts and is good enough to stick at the next level.

 

Number 15: Isaac Nauta, Georgia

Image result for Isaac Nauta

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 246

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.52

Red Flags: None

 

Nauta is the third tight end on this list to run in the 4.90’s, but Nauta’s pre-combine grade was high enough that he didn’t fall as far as the other guys. Nauta is a willing blocker and he is really good at it. There is a rep from a game in 2017 where he single-handedly beat Kentucky edge Josh Allen in the running game. As a pass catcher, Nauta has limited production to go off of but he was most effective running the seam and sitting down in zone coverage. Nauta has a chance to be a reliable backup tight end but might struggle at the next level because he lacks the ability to separate.

 

Number 14: Trevon Wesco, West Virginia

Image result for trevon wesco

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 270

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.00

Red Flags: None

 

Wescon has been a late riser out of this tight end class this season for me. His tape is some of the most fun I had this season. He kills people blocking in the running game with brute strength and good hand placement. He excels as a reliable underneath target that gets a lot of YAC yards because he is so big and physical. Wesco suffers from some of the same problems of guys like Nauta, Smith, and Gentry in that he is super slow. Wesco ran a 4.87 which just kept him out of the 4.90 death zone for tight ends. At the very least, Wesco can be a reliable TE 2 for some team needing help run blocking or protecting the quarterback while having some pass-catching ability.

 

Number 13: Alize Mack, Notre Dame

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Alize Mack

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 251

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.86

Red Flags: Sat out his sophomore season because of academics. Had injuries his junior season. Suspended for the Citrus Bowl in 2017.

 

Alize Mack has been in trouble for so much of his career it is hard not to worry about that going into the NFL. Despite his character concerns, Mack brings a lot of desirable traits to the table. Mack has great body control out in space and in the air allowing him to make some impressive contested catches. He has enough speed to stack some defenders down the field but isn’t really a burner. Mack lacks some of the burst in and out of his breaks that make you think he can be a good route runner at the next level. Overall, Mack is an appealing option for a team looking to bolster its playmakers if you can make it past some of the off-field problems.  

 

Number 12: Tommy Sweeney, Boston College

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Tommy Sweeney

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 255

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 6.06

Red Flags: None

 

I can almost guarantee that nobody else is as high on Tommy Sweeney as I am. I’ve been on his game since September, and I’m not backing off now. Look, is he the most athletic guy? Or the fastest guy? No, to both of those. With that said, he has some of the best hands in this class with some truly impressive catches on his resume. He uses his big body to box out defenders down the field and get position in the red zone. He’s a great blocker in the run game with his hands and sheer power. As a pass blocker, he was given limited opportunity but looked fine when he was given a chance. Sweeney projects as the perfect TE 2 for a team that needs a great run blocker that’s a big target with reliable hands.  

 

Number 11: Kahale Warring, San Diego State

Image result for kahale warring

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 252

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.20

Red Flags: None

 

Warring is someone who I found super late in the process, like, he was one of the last prospects I watched this year. Warring is basically a big receiver when out on the field, typically playing in the slot. He has some impressive plays on film where he makes diving catches and plenty where he jumps over people. One of the things that impressed me the most was his route running ability for a smaller school guy. He has good short area quickness which allows him to create consistent separation down the field from his defenders. Warring has a long way to go as a blocker when it comes to technique but he has the brute strength that should allow him to develop effectively. Warring is a good TE 2 with some TE 1 upside if he can continue to work on his game.  

 

Number 10: Foster Moreau, LSU

Image result for foster moreau

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 256

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.58

Red Flags: None

 

I’m not gonna lie, but I really didn’t like Moreau for most of the college football season. I wrote him off as a pure blocker with no pass-catching upside at LSU. It was easy to do because he had almost no production at his time in college. Well, Moreau opened my eyes at the Senior Bowl with his performances. He looked like an above average athlete who could be an effective route runner with soft hands. When I popped in Moreau’s tape I saw some flashes of an athletic balanced tight end. His blocking is pretty good in both the passing and running game that should get him on the field early as a TE 2. Just like Warring, I think he has the upside to become a TE 1 some day.  

 

Number 9: Drew Sample, Washington

Image result for drew sample washington

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 251

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.85

Red Flags: None

 

Sample is one of the safest prospects in this entire draft class. He is not the best athlete in the world or a dynamic threat in the open field, but he is reliable. He has good soft hands that allow him to make some contested catches. He’s a solid route runner who is experienced in working the middle of the field. Sample ran well enough at the combine to be considered a deep threat depending on the matchup that given week. I like Sample’s ability to be a good run blocker consistently opening up lanes for his backs. Sample may be limited in some ways but his overall skill set should be valuable for a lot of NFL teams. Sample can be a starter down the line if given the right chance.

 

Number 8: Jerome Washington, Rutgers

Image result for jerome washington

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 268

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 7.04

Red Flags: He’s been consistently injured every year of his career at Rutgers.

 

Alright, people here you have it my big sleeper for the tight end class. Washington is a huge risk for a number of reasons but the biggest one is injuries. He’s just never been able to stay on the field which is a shame because he’s so good on it. Washington is a decent route runner with some impressive catches littered throughout his tape. He is one of the better blockers in this class, especially, at the point of attack, which makes him a balanced option. There is a good chance that Washington doesn’t even get drafted because of playing at Rutgers, having little production, and lots of injuries. If a team is willing to take a chance on Washington then I think he has the upside to be a true TE 1 at the next level.

 

Number 7: Dax Raymond, Utah State

IMG_2634

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 280

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.57

Red Flags: None

 

Dax Raymond’s best quality is his strength which he uses in all facets of his game. As a receiver, he bullies defenders down the field with strong hands and boxes them out at the catch point. While his blocking needs some work, there are plenty of flashes of him using his functional strength to manhandle guys. Raymond excels after the catch with his bigger body allowing him to flat out run people over down the field. His route running is helped by the fact that he has great contact balance. That just means he can beat press coverage and fight through contact down the field. If you can improve Raymond’s blocking in the run game then he has all the tools to be an effective starting tight end at the next level.

 

Number 6: Josh Oliver, San Jose State

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Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 253

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.73

Red Flags: None

 

Last season, I was super high on a Mike Gesicki (TE, Penn State), and I was pumped when the Dolphins drafted him in the second round last year. Gesicki had a less than an ideal rookie season, putting it lightly. Oliver reminds me of Gesicki when it comes to playing style and some athletic traits. Oliver has a great athletic profile and he has some great catches on film where shows elite body control and jumping ability. Oliver isn’t a polished route runner or a good blocker in either the running or passing game. Oliver is an athletic ball of clay that can be molded into an elite weapon but could also fail easily. If he doesn’t pan out it’ll be the last time I make this mistake.

 

Number 5: Dawson Knox, Ole Miss

Image result for dawson knox mississippi

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 250

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.92

Red Flags: None

 

Dawson Knox is difficult to evaluate because Ole Miss literally never threw him the ball. He caught 0 touchdowns in three seasons at Ole Miss! So, what am I asking you to invest in here? Knox has some really appealing athletic traits combined with good hands and good blocking. Knox tore up the combine and his traits show up on his limited opportunities on tape. He runs the seams with speed and efficiency, which is where most of his production came from. Knox shows incredible body control when having to adjust to poorly thrown balls. His lack of production may scare some teams away but his athletic profile definitely means he will be a better pro than college player.

 

Number 4: Jace Sternberger, Texas A@M

NCAA Football: Northwestern State at Texas A&M
Jace Sternberger

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 250

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.10

Red Flags: None

 

Sternberger is a JUCO transfer with only one real season of college football under his belt, but he impressed this year. Sternberger has a great frame helping him win down the field and in contested catch situations. Sternberger is a great athlete who can control and contort his body in the air to make tough catches. In the blocking arena, Sternberger uses his big frame to control defenders and keep them in check for the most part. Sternberger will have to work heavily on his route running and pass blocking, but he has all the tools to be a TE 1 at the next level.

 

Number 3: Irv Smith Jr, Alabama

Image result for irv smith jr

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 243

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.38

Red Flags: None

 

Smith is one of the better route runners to come out of the class since he went to Alabama. The Crimson Tide tight ends run a much more varied route tree than most. Smith will use hesitation to throw his defenders off and create space for himself. Smith also provided value as an elite run blocker with experience in multiple schemes throughout his career. He even showed off some open field juke moves at times, but I wouldn’t call them anything special. Some questions I have with Smith are if he can make contested catches and is he athletic? He was almost always wide open at Alabama so it’s a bit hard to gauge those two things, functionally speaking. Smith has all the talent to be a starter at the next level.

 

Number 2: Noah Fant, Iowa

IMG_2088
Noah Fant

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 234

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.10

Red Flags: None

 

It’s hard to classify Noah Fant as simply a tight end because he is more than that. Fant is a premier NFL weapon. He is crazy athletic for his size and is blazing fast for his size as well. He runs the seam like a receiver would but has the body of a tight end to box out defenders and bully them at the catch point. Fant is the only tight end in this class that you can lineup on the outside as an “X” receiver, in the slot, and on the end of the line. There is this narrative that Fant can’t block but that isn’t true at all. He could use some work for sure but his blocking is good enough to get him on the field early in the NFL. Fant is the future of the NFL tight ends and one of my favorite players in this class.

 

Number 1: TJ Hockenson, Iowa

IMG_2590
TJ Hockenson

Class: RS Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 243

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 9.17

Red Flags: None

 

TJ Hockenson and Noah Fant are one of the best duos of college players to come to the NFL in a long time. They are very different players but play the same position. Hockenson is more of a classic tight end who lines up at the end of the line every play. Hockenson blocks in the run game better than some offensive tackles in this class and can hold his own in the passing game. He is a great route runner with strong, soft hands to rope the ball in. Hockenson has plenty of speed and athletic ability to be a legitimate threat down the field. He’s got plenty of spectacular catches scattered all over his tape to prove it. Hockenson is one of the best tight ends to come out of the draft in quite a long time and it wouldn’t surprise me if he made an immediate impact in his rookie season.

 

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Wide Receivers

Welcome, to the third 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 31: Tyre Brady, Marshall

Image result for tyre brady marshall

Class: RS Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 201

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 1.61

Red Flags: None

 

Brady has some appealing traits but overall has a long way to go. His short area quickness in and out of breaks is something that popped to me. He only ran vertical routes at Marshall, however, he did have a lot of success with them. You will hear me say this a lot if you read the whole article: I don’t like receivers with bad ball skills (AKA they drop the ball a lot). Brady has too many drops on his tape for my liking. He will have an uphill battle to make a gameday roster.

 

Number 30: Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Texas

Image result for lil jordan humphrey

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 220

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.16

Red Flags: None

 

Lil’jordan Humphrey has one of the best names in the draft and, honestly, it may be the best thing he has going for him right now. Humphrey should have gone back to school for his senior season so he could work on his route running, hands, speed, and overall athletic ability. I try to be a positive as possible so I will say that Humphrey made some impressive plays at the catch point and he does a great job in the scramble drill. He might not even get drafted, but I think he could make an impact on special teams.

 

Number 29: Penny Hart, Georgia State

Image result for Penny Hart

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 5’8 and 180

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.67

Red Flags: None

 

I feel bad because I wanted Penny Hart to be a lot better than he actually is. Hart looked fantastic at the Senior Bowl which put him on my radar. He looked like the perfect slot receiver for today’s NFL with his route running and quickness. The only problem is when you turn on his tape he’s just not that good. I think because his legs moved so fast it gave the illusion to me that he is fast but he ran in the high 4.6s at his Pro-Day. Hart might catch on as someone’s backup slot receiver but he is small and slow which isn’t a great combination.

 

Number 28: Anthony Ratliff-Williams, North Carolina

Image result for anthony ratliff williams nfl

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 205

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.95

Red Flags: None

 

It is really hard to grade Williams because I feel like a lot of his shortcomings are not his fault. He was used more like a gimmick player and return specialist. Think along the lines of Cordarrelle Patterson. Williams clearly has great speed and overall athletic abilities but he didn’t’ get great chances to showcase them. He has a long way to go as a route runner with limited exposure at UNC. It is tough to judge if Williams is good in contested catch situations because he barely got any chances to make them. Williams is a dynamic enough athlete to be drafted just on the prospect that he will return kicks and punts. He has a slight chance to develop into a consistent deep threat.

 

Number 27: Jalen Hurd, Baylor

Image result for jalen hurd baylor

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 229

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.24

Red Flags: None

 

Hurd started his career playing running back at Tennessee in front of Alvin Kamara before transferring to Baylor and becoming a receiver. Honestly, the transition went a lot better than I was expecting for Hurd who showed enough to get drafted this past season. Hurd has the size and build to be a dominant threat over the middle of the field and in the red zone. He is a natural catcher of the ball and picks up a lot of yardage after the catch. Hurd struggles with a lot of the technical parts of playing receiver which can be expected for someone with only one year of experience at the position. Hurd is a long term project but one that I think is worth taking a flyer on during day three of the draft.

 

Number 26: Parris Campbell, Ohio State

Image result for parris campbell

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 208

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.39

Red Flags: None

 

Oh boy, out of all of my hot takes this year this might be the hottest one of them all. There are people in major media and on “draft twitter” that think Parris Campbell is a first round player. I just don’t see it at all. Yes, I understand he is one of the fastest players in the country, and he has some great athletic traits. All he did in college was catch shallow crossing routes and take them the distance. He has no idea how to be a good route runner and was never tested in contested catch situations. He has almost no versatility because you have to manufacture touches for him to be effective. He isn’t a receiver right now he’s just an athlete, which is fine for a day three draft pick but not for the first round for crying out loud. Campbell will make a team and might make a couple of splash plays but I don’t see long term production for him in the NFL.

 

Number 25: Travis Fulgham, Old Dominion

Image result for travis fulgham

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 215

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.6

Red Flags: None

 

Fulgham’s best weapon is his size which he knows how to employ to make the most of his reps. He was effective in contested catch situations down the field and in the red zone. I thought he had a surprising amount of nuance to his route running for a bigger guy. Nuance points to some upside in his ability to improve as a route runner down the road. Some of the issues with Fulgham center around his lack of quickness and lack of production at ODU. Players from small schools who don’t produce big numbers scare me a little bit because they played against sub-par competition for so long. Fulgham has all the tools needed to be a vertical threat down the field and a red zone ace.

 

Number 24: Ryan Davis, Auburn

Image result for ryan davis auburn

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 175

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.67

Red Flags: None

 

Look, I know that I’m way higher on Ryan Davis than the NFL is, so if I had to guess he won’t be drafted come April 27th. I’m also aware that Davis is used in a similar fashion to both Parris Campbell and Ratliff-Williams who I killed for being gimmick players.  Here’s the deal, I’ve seen Davis do some impressive route running at the shrine game and on his tape that is better than the guys mentioned above. He is almost as fast as Campbell and further along in the process than Campbell is. Does he still have a long way to go? Yes, he does. He is higher for me because I think he does more receiver things than Campbell does. Davis will be used in a similar fashion as Cordarrelle Patterson if he makes an NFL team.

 

Number 23: Stanley Morgan, Jr, Nebraska

Image result for stanley morgan jr

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 201

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.95

Red Flags: None

 

Morgan is someone I found pretty late in the process while I was watching tape on Nebraska’s running back Devine Ozigbo. Morgan does a good job of quickly snapping off his routes and plucking the ball out of the air away from his body. Morgan was tasked with running a much more diverse route tree than most college receivers, which I love to see. My concerns with Morgan are around his athletic abilities. He didn’t look very smooth or bendy on tape, especially in his hips. His play strength is a little lacking as well so he might struggle a lot against press coverage. Morgan projects as a “big slot” receiver at the next level that make a living as a matchup nightmare.

 

Number 22: Anthony Johnson, Buffalo

Image result for anthony johnson buffalo

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 201

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.05

Red Flags: None

 

I had the pleasure of scouting Johnson in person this year when Buffalo played Temple in week two (heartbreaking loss btw). My favorite thing about Johnson is how effective he is making tough catches outside of his body. He has natural strong hands that just pluck the ball out of the air. He also provides some level of versatility being able to play on the outside and in the slot. Johnson had a lot of problems separating at Buffalo which is pretty concerning. He made a living catching deep passes but he rarely ran straight by someone. He isn’t very quick so he has trouble creating space as a route runner as well. Johnson’s best shot in the NFL is to be used as a “big slot” guy and just try to outmuscle defenders for the ball.  

 

Number 21: Hunter Renfrow, Clemson

Image result for hunter renfrow

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 185

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.15

Red Flags: None

 

Every single season there is one small white receiver who dominates in the slot that you know is gonna at least one team better (cough, cough, The Patriots). Renfrow runs some truly beautiful routes and creates consistent separation from his corners at all levels of the field. Renfrow has made some of the biggest catches on some of the biggest stages in college football so he’s no doubt a clutch performer. He has great hands and almost never drops the ball when it’s thrown where he can get to it. All of the knocks on Renfrow are the same ones for short white slot receivers everywhere. He isn’t a great athlete and he is limited because of his size. Let me tell you something though: don’t bet against him finding NFL success.

 

Number 20: Emmanuel Hall, Missouri

Image result for Emmanuel Hall

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 200

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.31

Red Flags: Plenty of injuries over the years

 

If you couldn’t tell already, receivers with speed as the best trait kinda scare me as an analyst. In Hall’s defense, he is one of the better pure speed guys this draft has to offer. Hall averaged 23 yards per a catch at Missouri because every route he ran down the field was a “go” route. My concerns with Hall are that he has no idea how to run routes and that he drops way too many passes. I don’t know why people want to think that drops suddenly go away at the next level but it is very rare that they do so receivers with inconsistent hands scare me. Hall has the ability to be a true deep threat at the next level with his speed and ball tracking ability.

 

Number 19: Jacobi Myers, NCST

Image result for Jacobi Meyers

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 203

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.4

Red Flags: None

 

I’ve been saying this a lot recently, Meyers best spot to make an impact at the next level is as a “big slot”. He has the chops to work the middle of the field with quick breaks in his routes and soft hands. Meyers is pretty limited though when you break down his tape. He doesn’t run a lot of vertical routes and it doesn’t seem like he has the speed to burn people down the field. Overall, he is gonna have to work hard on his footwork and speed if he wants to stick at the next level.

 

Number 18: Keeshaun Johnson, Fresno State

Image result for Keesean Johnson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 201

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.68

Red Flags: None

 

Johnson’s best weapon is his ability to create separation with route running and good footwork. He always seemed to open up easy throwing windows for his quarterback. He ran a fairly varied route tree in college when compared to a lot of the other receivers in this class. Johnson surprised me with his ball skills at times jumping up into the air to make some eye-popping catches. Johnson starts to run into some issues when you dig into his athletic profile. He isn’t very fast and although I have seen out jump some guys he doesn’t do it very often. It doesn’t look like he has the needed acceleration to be a threat after the catch either. Johnson projects as a tweener between the slot and the outside.

 

Number 17: Dillon Mitchell, Oregon

Image result for Dillon Mitchell

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 201

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 4.76

Red Flags: None

 

Mitchell is an interesting prospect because he has a lot of traits that I love, but he’s also pretty raw. Mitchell has some impressive short-area quickness that makes him a real threat after the catch. I love the way he makes difficult catches in the air with an explosive vertical and elite body control. Mitchell would be a bit higher on this list if weren’t for having so many drops on his tape. I also see him struggle to track the ball down the field at times which is weird because he has plenty of snaps under his belt. Mitchell projects as a developmental outside receiver who can make plays after the catch.

 

Number 16: Terry Godwin, Georgia

Image result for terry godwin georgia

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 185

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 4.95

Red Flags: None

 

Godwin is a fun player to watch on tape because he plays super hard and physical despite his smaller frame. He makes his money using short-area quickness to create separation at the top of routes. He isn’t afraid of going over the middle to put his body on the line to make difficult catches. All receivers from Georgia are good blockers and Godwin is no exception despite being a tiny man. Godwin’s frame does hold him back in a lot of ways like at the catch point where he gets outmuscled pretty often. Godwin will struggle to handle press coverage at the next level because of his frame as well. He can make a living as a slot/outside hybrid for some team.

 

Number 15: David Sills V, West Virginia

Image result for david sills v

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 205

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.23

Red Flags: None

 

I feel like this might be a hot take for some people because I have seen most major media members have a much lower grade on Sills. The thing I love most about Sills is that he catches everything. I swear he has glue on his hands at all times like he didn’t drop one ball at the senior bowl. Yes, I am aware that he is a bit slow and unathletic but his combine numbers were a little bit better than expected so he’s not that bad of an athlete. Sills will have an uphill battle in the NFL but there is value for a smart outside receiver who catches everything thrown his way.

 

Number 14: Mecole Hardman, Georgia

Image result for Mecole Hardman

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 183

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.29

Red Flags: None

 

Mecole Hardman and his former teammate Terry Godwin are very similar in a lot of ways. They are both short and tough receivers with considerable upside. So what separates Hardman? He is a supreme athlete with blazing speed. I have hated a lot on speed guys in this piece, but Hardman is more than a pure speed guy because he has some actual skill. Like any Georgia receiver, Hardman didn’t get thrown at a lot so it’s tough to say just how good he is at route running. I love Hardman’s upside to turn himself into Tyreek Hill type of player.

 

Number 13: Terry Mclaurin, Ohio State

Image result for terry mclaurin

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 205

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.48

Red Flags: None

 

Mclaurin flew onto the scene after he impressed the scouting community at the Senior Bowl. Mclaurin did not get a lot of targets at Ohio State, so he flew under the radar during the entire college football season. Mclaurin is the ideal outside vertical threat that teams look for. He has strong hands and tracks the ball down the field very well. He showed the ability to shake his corner at the top of the route before getting vertical down the field. My concerns with Mclaurin are centered around his ability to make contested catches. He wasn’t given a lot of chances at Ohio State and I wouldn’t describe him as a physical freak.

 

Number 12: Damarkus Lodge, Ole Miss

IMG_2397
Damarkus Lodge

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 199

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.58

Red Flags: None

 

Lodge is a tough guy to project because he is all upside and not a lot of finished product. He flashes some amazing ball skills at times where he jumps over people and makes great plays on the sideline. Then he will come back the next drive and drop a ball that is thrown right at him so I just don’t know. He has some impressive athletic traits like bend and quickness which should allow him to improve as a route runner with NFL coaching. If Lodge hits his potential he will be one of the steals of the draft.

 

Number 11: Andy Isabella, UMass

Image result for andy isabella umass

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 190

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.29   

Red Flags: None

 

Welcome everybody, to the best pure slot receiver in the 2019 draft. Andy Isabella led the entire country in yards this past season and he runs under a 4.40 40-yard dash. He really is a great route runner with nuance in his steps and sure hands to bring in the ball outside of his body. Obviously, with his blazing speed, he can be a solid threat on the outside to just run by guys at times. Isabella runs into all of the same problems that typical slot receiver run into. He’s small so he will struggle against press coverage and will have difficulty making catches outside of his body. Isabella should be someone’s starting slot receiver when the season starts in September.

 

Number 10: Riley Ridley, Georgia

Image result for riley ridley georgia

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 200

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.41

Red Flags: None

 

Ridley is a super smooth route runner on par with the best in the class. Ridley showed the ability to go outside of his frame to make catches as well. He was by far the best receiver at Georgia because he could be effective at all three levels of the field. Here is the problem with Ridley though, the dude can’t really run. His 40-yard time was in the 4.70s which is pretty unacceptable for a receiver. I rewatched Ridley’s tape after the combine and you can tell that he is not a blazer. I think Ridley can still be successful on the outside at the next level with his route running and physical tools.

 

Number 9: Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

IMG_2080
Deebo Samuel

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 215

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.56

Red Flags: Lower body injuries his junior year forced him to come back for senior season.

 

Samuel has taken the long path to the NFL, but he is finally here. Samuel suffered an injury his junior season that forced him to come back for his senior season. Samuel came back and got off to a slow start before turning it on big time in the end. Samuel is incredibly quick and dynamic in the open field making him a touchdown threat every time he touches the ball. I saw him improve his senior season as a route runner as well. I would be amiss if I didn’t mention how good he was at the Senior Bowl because he made some corners look really silly over the week. If Samuel can stay healthy he will be a great inside and outside threat for a team in need of some playmaking.

 

Number 8: Hakeem Butler, Iowa State

Image result for hakeem butler

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 225

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.63

Red Flags: None

 

Boom! I have got another spicy take for you all in my receiver rankings. This one probably isn’t as hot as my Parris Campbell take, but I know some people that have a first-round grade on Butler. Butler is one of the biggest receivers in this draft class and on tape you can seem bully corner while mossing them down the field. He improved as a route runner over the course of the season which gives him some upside heading into the NFL. So why am I not higher on a six foot six monster who dominated games at times this year? I told you we would be coming back to this a lot; he drops the ball too damn much to me. Guys who drop the ball in college typically drop the ball a lot in the NFL. Butler has all the tools to be a dominant outside threat for a team but needs to work heavily on improving his consistency.

 

Number 7: Antoine Wesley, Texas Tech

Image result for antoine wesley

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 200

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.64

Red Flags: None

 

Sleeper alert! Antonie Wesley is my official sleeper pick for the 2019 receiver class. He has great size and amazing body control allowing him to make acrobatic catches down the field. He runs a lot faster for someone of his size, as well, which shows on tape when he is stacking corners on vertical routes. Wesley is one of the best ball trackers in this class due to his quarterback play being less than ideal this past season. Wesley was only a one-year starter at Texas Tech, so he has trouble running a diverse route tree and getting off of press coverage at times. Wesley won’t get drafted before Deebo Samuel or Hakeem Butler in April, but I’m betting on him making a big jump in his play with some NFL coaching.

 

Number 6: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

IMG_2445
Marquise “Hollywood” Brown

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 168

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.46

Red Flags: Foot surgery after the 2019 season.

 

Marquise Brown is an exciting prospect because has elite level speed combined with some real solid receiver traits. He does a nice job as a route runner, despite limited assignments, breaking quickly in and out of his breaks. Brown has the ability to take any pass to the house with his speed and open field juke moves. I liked his ability to track the ball down the field and then secure the catch with a defender on his back. Brown has some really exciting upside because of his natural traits, but his frame holds him back. Brown is rail thin and already banged up before even getting to the league. I think Brown can play on both the outside and the slot, however, you have to be careful about who matches up with him on the outside. If it is a physical press corner then Brown will get washed out of the play quickly.

 

Number 5: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Stanford

Image result for jj arcega whiteside

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 225  

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.55

Red Flags: None

 

Arcega-Whiteside’s tape was actually a pleasant surprise for me. I was expecting a slow receiver who couldn’t run routes and was only effective in the red zone. That could not be farther from the truth because Whiteside is a good route runner for a big man. He has some good burst in and out of breaks allowing him to create some consistent separation down the field. Obviously, the dude is a touchdown machine in the red zone because of his strong hands, ability to play through contact, and amazing body control in the air. Whiteside is not the fastest guy in the world and he doesn’t have the upside of some of the other guys in this class. I think he can be a team’s backup outside receiver (meaning number 3 on the depth chart, still comes with plenty of snaps) day one.

 

Number 4: AJ Brown, Ole Miss

IMG_2077
AJ Brown

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 225

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.72

Red Flags: None

 

I have used the term “big slot” a lot in this article so I guess it’s time you meet the granddaddy of them all. Brown played in the slot his entire career at Ole Miss and was incredibly productive despite a crowded receiver room. Brown is an excellent route runner with elite foot speed and speed in and out of his breaks. He showed reliable hands while being able to take on some contact through the catch point. That is a rare trait for a slot player but Brown has it. Athletically, Brown showed some upside with his good performance at the combine so he might get even better down the road. The only thing you can really knock Brown for is that he is only a slot guy. I think Brown has enough physical tools to play on the outside if the matchup is right.

 

Number 3: Kelvin Harmon, North Carolina State

Image result for kelvin harmon

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 215

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.92

Red Flags: None

 

I really wish Harmon ran just a little bit faster at the combine because speed was his only big question mark. Harmon uses his huge body effectively to box out defenders and win at the catch point so often it’s a joke. He is actually a pretty nuanced route runner especially at the top of his routes where he will use head fakes and stutter steps to throw off opposing corners.  Harmon has really long arms so he can make a lot of catches outside of his catch radius. Harmon doesn’t have the athletic upside that other guys in the class have, but he can come in and start day one as a teams number two receiver.

 

Number 2: N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

IMG_2078
N’Keal Harry

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 216

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.53

Red Flags: None

 

N’Keal Harry started the season as my WR 1 and he really didn’t fall much during the course of the season. I encourage you to go to YouTube and watch some N’Keal Harry highlights if you haven’t yet because they are insane. He has some of the most impressive athletic tools in the class that he combines with strong hands and elite after the catch abilities. The question all year was if Harry was fast enough to be considered an elite receiver prospect. Harry went to the combine and silenced all of the haters running a 4.53 which at his massive size is plenty fast enough. Harry is one of only two receivers in this draft class who I believe can actually be a teams number one receiver because of his upside.

 

Number 1: DK Metcalf, Ole Miss

Image result for dk metcalf

Class: RS Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 225

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.75

Red Flags: Neck Injury ended his sophomore season.

 

This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody who has actually seen Metcalf play at Ole Miss. Yes, I watched the combine and saw the insane numbers that Metcalf put up but I was not really shocked. Metcalf’s tape is equally impressive with plenty of examples of him running past guys, mossing corners at the catch point, and running over people in the open field. Metcalf showed good natural hands and the ability to hold on to the ball at the catch point through contact. Some people have made a big deal out of Metcalf’s bad agility times at the combine. I understand the concern because you have to be able to bend to play receiver at the next level. First, I think Metcalf can slim down a little bit and get some NFL coaching which should help with his agility. Second, when you put on his tape you can see him create separation with route running. Metcalf is a poor man’s Calvin Johnson and let me tell you that is not a knock on him at all.

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Running Backs

Welcome, to the second 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.

Here’s another disclaimer for you: Any running back on this list could rush for 1,000 yards if they are put in the right situation. Running backs is the hardest position to realistically rank because of this reason.

 

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: Travis Homer, Mami

Image result for travis homer miami

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 195

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.0

Red Flags: Injury concerns throughout his career at Miami.

 

Homer has some exciting flashes, but he was too injured at the University of Miami to invest in those flashes. He does show some good vision and the ability to wait behind his blockers for holes to open up. Homer runs super hard and will try to run people over in the open field, however, his frame does not allow for him to be very successful in that area. Homer is not gonna be a bell cow at the next level and will have to fight for a chance to carve out a backup role in year one.

 

Number 21: Tony Pollard, Memphis  

Image result for tony pollard memphis

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 200

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.04

Red Flags: None

 

There are two running backs from Memphis that should be drafted when April comes around. Pollard is the worse of the two, in my opinion, but he does have some value as a third down back. Pollard is a good pass catcher and has the quickness to be effective in an inside zone running scheme. Some of the concerns I have with Pollard are his ability to be an effective runner for more than a couple of carries a game. He has some questionable vision and a tendency to bounce outside too quickly. Pollard can contribute on special teams and be a third-down passing catching back right away.

 

Number 20: Dexter Williams, Notre Dame

Image result for dexter williams notre dame

Class: Senior

Height/weight: 5’11 and 203

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.32

Red Flags: None

 

Dexter Williams is a tough study because he has the production that suggests he should be higher on this list but lacks the needed traits. Williams had a good Senior Bowl where he showed off some good vision and short area quickness. That got him on my radar, so I went to watch his tape only to find out he has a lot of problems. Williams is a smaller back but I do not see the breakaway speed with him or the ability to a real pass catching threat out of the backfield. Pass catching for running backs is a big deal in the NFL right now so it kills Williams that it is not a strength. I wish he ran with some more power at times as well. He just does not finish falling forward enough for my liking. Williams could carve out a backup role if he displays the same amount of vision and quickness he showed at the senior bowl.

 

Number 19: Elijah Holyfield, Georgia

Image result for elijah holyfield georgia

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 215

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 3.5

Red Flags: None

 

I have to admit, I really liked Holyfield a lot more before the combine rolled around. I had a round four grade on him but then he ran his famous 4.89 40-yard dash time. Which is one of the slowest times for a running back all time. When you watch his tape you get excited because of how good his vision is and how powerful he runs. I understand if some people don’t drop him as far as I did but he plays running back! You know, the position where running is like your main job. Holyfield has plenty of talent to carve out a specialty role for himself as a short yardage/goal line back or a primary backup. With that said, his lack of speed really limits his upside and potential at the next level.

Number 18: Bruce Anderson, North Dakota State University

Image result for bruce anderson north dakota state

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 202

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.57

Red Flags: None

 

Anderson is someone who is flying under the radar in this running back class as we approach the draft. I love his ability to make cuts in the open field and make defenders miss at the second level. He has an angry running style and despite being a smaller guy he will often fall forward for extra yards. Anderson looks like a natural receiver out of the backfield and even showed the ability to be a solid route runner. Anderson starts to get into trouble sometimes because he always looking for the big play. He has a tendency to bounce runs outside too quickly and will lose a couple of yards instead of gaining a couple. I have some questions about his long speed as well, but I do not think it is too bad. Anderson has the skills to be a solid all-around contributor at the next level.   

 

Number 17: James Williams, Washington State

Image result for james williams wsu

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 195

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.10

Red Flags: None

 

James Willaims is everything the new hyper passing NFL looks for in a running back in that he is basically a receiver. Williams finished his career at WSU with over 200 catches but never ran for more than 100 yards in a single game. He runs routes like a receiver and has the ball skills that receivers have, which is great. The only problem is that he plays running back and I have a lot of questions about his effectiveness in that area. His vision is spotty at times especially when you consider that he ran against light boxes because of WSU’s offensive scheme. Williams also has a tendency to bounce runs instead of taking a small gain inside the tackles. Williams is the perfect third-down back for today’s NFL so it would not surprise me if he had a productive rookie season.

 

Number 16: Mike Weber, Ohio State

Image result for mike weber ohio state

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 215

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.21

Red Flags: None

 

Weber got lost in the shuffle this season at Ohio State with all of the talents they had on offense. Weber has elite contact balance, for a smaller player, which allows him to kind of just pinball around and before you know it he has picked up five yards. Weber is the definition of consistent because despite not having a lot of big plays he is going to get positive yards every time and that is valuable. Weber lacks long speed and burst so his NFL upside is a little limited as far as being a starter is concerned. Weber can be the perfect compliment to running back like Kenyan Drake, who has some big plays but he will also lose a lot of yards. Don’t be shocked if Weber gets some carries his rookie season.

 

Number 15: Myles Gaskin, Washington

Image result for myles gaskin

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 191

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.39

Red Flags: None

 

It feels like Gaskin had been playing at Washington for 100 years, but his time is finally at an end. Gaskin is one of the most productive backs in this class rushing for 1,000 yards every year he started at Washington and became their all-time rushing leader. Gaskin has good vision always hitting the correct hole which he combines with smooth footwork allowing him to avoid contact at the line. Gaskin has a lot of physical limitations that come with his size. He can’t really run with power. He also does not have the elusive traits at the second level that would make him a true dynamic rusher. When it comes to Gaskin you know what you are getting: a player who will come in and be a productive player from day one that you can rely on.

 

Number 14: Bryce Love, Stanford

Image result for Bryce Love

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 196

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.47

Red Flags: He’s been injured basically every year at some point in time.

 

Bryce Love is actually kind of a tragic story when you break it down. Love ran for 2,000 yards in 2017 and was a finalist for the Heisman trophy. There was some talk that Love could have been a high draft pick in 2017, but he decided to go back to school for his senior season. Love spent most of 2018 on the bench with injuries which is a common theme for his career. When Love is healthy he is one of the fastest running backs in this class with the ability to run it to the house on every play. Outside of injuries, I am worried about Love’s vision behind the line of scrimmage; he just does not pick the correct hole enough for me. Love can work as a compliment to a power based back like Frank Gore or Chris Carson. I like Love a lot when he is healthy, but I am not sure he can ever stay that way.

 

Number 13: Karan Higdon, Michigan

Image result for Karan Higdon

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 190

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 4.67

Red Flags: None

 

Higdon is someone who flew under the radar a lot this season at Michigan. Something I noticed right away was that when Michigan gave Higdon a lot of carries they played better. I liked his ability to run between the tackles and wear defenses down despite being a smaller player. I liked his short area quickness especially at the second level where he is able to string together multiple moves to make people miss. My concerns with Higdon start with when I consider his style vs what his body type allows him to do. What I mean by that is, Higdon tries to run hard in between the tackles but because he is so small he gets tackled pretty easily. Too many times he was brought down by arm tackles. Higdon could be a rotational back at the NFL level next season.

 

Number 12: Ryquell Armstead, Temple

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Ryquell Armstead

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 215

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.28

Red Flags: None  

 

Armstead is someone I have had the pleasure of scouting in person since I attended all of Temple’s home games this year (and one away game). I was also at Armstead’s Pro-Day and I have to admit I was impressed. He looked super smooth going through drills, and he caught the ball well which I had some questions about. Armstead was a bell cow for the Owls this season and I think he can be a starter if put into a zone-heavy running scheme. My problems with Armstead have to do with his vision, especially in the open field. He makes some weird choices when he breaks contain. I’ve seen him almost run into contact instead of running away from it at times. Armstead could be more patient as well but overall I think he will have a productive career at the next level.

 

Number 11: Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska

Image result for devine ozigbo

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 230

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.29

Red Flags: None

 

The first thing you probably noticed is that Ozigbo and Armstead are only separated by one one-hundredth of a point; I really like both players as sleepers. Ozigbo did not get invited to the combine which is mind-boggling to me because his tape is pretty good. Ozigbo makes quick cuts in the hole with efficient footwork. He has good vision from the mesh point and will usually pick the correct hole. Something I love to see with prospects is how they improve over their college careers. Ozigbo improved tremendously from his junior to senior season, especially with his footwork. Ozigbo is not gonna burn anybody down the field with his speed and really struggled in pass protection at times. Ozigbo has some starter upside, but will probably be a backup his first year. Let’s not forget that Devine Ozigbo is one of the best names in this draft class either.

 

Number 10: Trayveon Williams, Texas A@M

Image result for trayveon williams texas a&m

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 200

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.73

Red Flags: None

 

Williams was someone I found pretty late in my tape watching cycle, but I was pretty happy with his tape when I finally got to it. He does a really good job finding running lanes that go against the grain of the defense. In simpler terms, he does a great job finding cutback lanes. Williams is a good receiver out of the backfield as well which NFL teams love. In theory, Williams has enough skills to be an everyday running back, however, I do not think he has the body type to do it. Willaims is small and though he runs with power he just isn’t very successful at it most of the time. In short stretches, you can see all of the skills that would make a team think he could be their featured back. Williams projects more as a rotational piece with the ability to be a spot starter if needed.

 

Number 9: Justice Hill, Oklahoma State

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Justice Hill

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 190

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.83

Red Flags: None

 

I might be the only person that I’ve seen with Hill in their top 10 running backs but guess what? I do not care because he is really good. Hill displays some of the best “cut on a dime” abilities in this entire draft class. Hill has great short area agility which allows him to juke the hell out of defenders in the secondary. Hill is also a threat in the passing game especially in the screen game because of his open field prowess. I have some similar concerns with Hill that I have with Trayvon Williams. Hill does not have much meat on his frame and is not very tall either so I worry about his durability. Hill did not show a lot of ability to run between the tackles either which could have been a scheme problem at Oklahoma State, but either way, I wish saw more of it. Hill has the same role at the next level as Trayvon Williams being a rotational back with starter upside.

 

Number 8: Benny Snell, Kentucky

IMG_1996
Benny Snell

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 223

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.86

Red Flags: None

 

The best way to describe Benny Snell is just to call him a bowling ball of a player. He has really good short area burst and can just hit holes so hard that he blows them open himself. He has great contact balance so it usually takes a couple of defenders to get him on the ground. Snell is probably another running back that you won’t see in a lot of people’s top 10 lists but I love him. He is such a reliable runner always picking up 4 yards and falling forward for more. The questions with Snell are around his overall athletic traits, so I understand he won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. He does not have any type of breakaway speed or ability to make defenders miss in the open field. If your team just needs a solid starter who is gonna run with attitude and be productive then Snell is your guy.

 

Number 7: Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma

Image result for Rodney Anderson

Class: RS Junior

Height/Weight: 6’1 and 219

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.26

Red Flags: Major injuries in three straight seasons

 

Man, Anderson is just a really difficult evaluation because of his injury history. The kid has had major neck, ankle, and knee injuries in just three seasons at Oklahoma. When he is on the field Anderson displays all of the skills to be an every-down back at the next level. Anderson runs with decent power in between the tackles and has enough speed to be a threat to blow the top off of a defense. His receiving skills are very good as well, and he is probably one of the better route runners when it comes to running backs in this class. Anderson can have some questionable vision at times but it was not a huge issue at Oklahoma. If not for injuries Anderson is probably in talks for the best running back in this class.

 

Number 6: Darrell Henderson, Memphis

Image result for darrell henderson memphis

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 200

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.35

Red Flags: None

 

Henderson is a one dimensional running back so he only does one thing well, but he does that one thing extremely well. Henderson is the classic “home run” hitting back who can take any carry to the house. He has great long speed and can run away from anyone even if they have a good angle on him. He runs a lot more physical than his frame would suggest always keeping his legs moving through contact. Most of my concerns with Henderson are about what type of role he would fit at the next level. He is not a good pass protector or pass catcher so he won’t see the field on third downs. He also is not a bell cow type player so most of the time you won’t play him on both first and second down. Henderson could start at the next level for a team with established veteran running back that can come in on third downs and short yardage situations.

 

Number 5: Damien Harris, Alabama

IMG_1997
Damien Harris

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 216

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.37

Red Flags: None

 

Harris is almost the direct opposite of Darnell Henderson. Henderson is great at one thing and poor in a lot of areas. Harris is great at nothing but good at everything. Harris runs with good power which he combines with good contact balance making him a difficult guy to bring down. He has really good vision at the mesh point and knows how to set up defenders to pick the wrong holes giving him wide open space. My only concern with Harris is that was not used much in the passing game at Alabama. His balanced skill set means he can be a day one starter for a team that has a glaring hole at running back, but he is not gonna get much better than what he already is. What you see is what you get with Harris.

 

Number 4: Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic University

IMG_1999
Devin “motor” Singletary

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 200

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade 6.96

Red Flags: None

 

I try not to brag about players who have not produced anything at the NFL level yet, but I called this Singletary hype a long time ago. He was my number five running back in August and I have only strengthened my love for his game. Singletary is one of the most fun running backs to watch in this class because he makes defenders look silly. He has amazing footwork and can cut on a dime which leads to some highlight reel juke moves. His vision is solid as well so he can make good use of his cutting ability at the second level which leads to big runs. His acceleration is something that jumped out at me because his long speed is not very good. He really hits the hole hard and can gather speed for a short burst to get by defenders. Singletary did not have a very good combine but his numbers were not bad enough to change my mind about his grade on my board. Singletary can start at the next level and can be an every-down back depending on how he develops as a pass catcher.

 

Number 3: Miles Sanders, Penn State

IMG_2628
Miles Sanders

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 211

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.61

Red Flags: None

 

I have to admit I was not that high on Miles Sanders when the college football season ended. After I did a deep dive into his tape and watched him ball out at the combine I was sold on him being a top running back prospect. Miles Sanders has some of the best open field cuts in the class and his foot speed is out of this world good. He runs with a plan and has a good burst to hit the hole hard making the most of his opportunities. He sat behind Saquon Barkley for so long that I think I forgot just how good he could be. My one and only concern with Sanders is sometimes he tries to do much. I said he runs with a plan but sometimes it is not the best plan. He will bounce runs too often to the outside instead of taking the simple two-yard gain. Sanders should be a starter somewhere next season and a successful one at that.

 

Number 2: David Montgomery, Iowa State

IMG_1995
David Montgomery

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’11 and 216

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 8.22

Red Flags: None

 

I feel like David Montgomery does not get enough credit for what he did at Iowa State these past two seasons. This man was basically 80 percent of ISU’s offense the past two years; he was a bell cow running back and a reliable receiver out of the backfield. Montgomery’s tape is filled with him breaking tackles and making defenders miss at all three levels of the field. He has amazing contact balance and always keeps his legs moving when he gets wrapped up. Montgomery had to deal with some really poor blocking in front of him and was still productive which is something I love to see in college running backs. At times, Montgomery can start to freelance too much and pick the wrong hole or not follow his blockers. I think it is more because he did not trust his guys (can’t say I blame him) rather than him having bad vision. Montgomery has all of the skills needed to come in day one and be a three-down starting running back.

 

Number 1: Josh Jacobs, Alabama

IMG_2587
Josh Jacobs

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’9 and 216

Round Grade: 1

Number Grade: 8.77

Red Flags: Hamstring injury has been bothering him since the end of the season.

 

I was really surprised when Jacobs decided to enter this year’s draft, but I am really happy he did. Jacobs is one of the most powerful runners I have seen in my short time covering the draft. He will run people over at any level of the field and in any game situation. He has excellent vision and is able to find holes that a lot of other players can not. Jacobs does a really good job of making a crisp cut and then accelerating out of that cut into open space making for some big plays. Jacobs looks like a solid receiver out of the backfield so he can play on all three downs for any team. There are some questions about Jacob’s long speed because he ran a 4.60 at his Pro-Day. If you watch Jacob’s tape you can see he does not have the long speed but that is not really his game. Jacobs is the best running back in this class by a good margin and should start day one for someone next season.

Official Grades and Scouting Reports: 2019 Quarterbacks

Welcome, to the first 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 18: Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

IMG_1990
Nick Fitzgerald

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height/ Weight: 6’4 and 230

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.87

Red Flags: Suspended at the start of his senior season.

 

Nick Fitzgerald is the definition of a quarterback who would be better off switching positions at the NFL level. Fitzgerald excels as a runner where he can use his big frame and deceptive speed to pick up good yardage. Fitzgerald lacks the needed arm strength and mental processing to be a successful quarterback at the next level. His tape is littered with inaccurate throws and terrible ball placement. I am not kidding when I say this, but I actually think Fitzgerald could be a successful running back in the NFL.

 

Number 17: Jake Browning, Washington

Image result for Jake Browning

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 205

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.90

Red Flags: None

 

It feels like Jake Browning has been the quarterback for the Washington Huskies forever now. He won a lot of games there, but I don’t see a lot of NFL traits on his tape. Browning lacks the needed arm strength to play the position and has a long delivery that makes the problem worse. His balls usually lose velocity when he has to throw outside the numbers or when he’s moved off his spot. Browning does typically make good decisions with the football, and he did have a couple of nice touch throws during the season. For Browning to make an NFL team, he would have to go to a West Coast System that is looking to hold onto a third quarterback for the 2019 season.

Number 16: Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State

Image result for taylor cornelius

Class: Redshirt Senior

Height/Weight: 6’6 and 232

Round Grade: UDFA

Number Grade: 0.92

Red Flags: None

 

Cornelius spent most of his college career sitting behind Oklahoma State legend Mason Rudolph who is now on the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is easy to look at Cornelius and see the mold of a prototypical NFL quarterback. He has a big frame and a decently strong arm that a lot of teams will love. The problem for Cornelius comes when he actually has to throw the football. There are really bad interceptions all over his tape from last season where it didn’t even look like he tried to read the opposing defense. His accuracy wasn’t very good to any part of the field either so you are really just praying whenever he throws the ball. It wouldn’t surprise me if he gets drafted in the seventh round, but I wouldn’t do it.  

 

Number 15: Easton Stick, North Dakota State

Image result for easton stick

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 220

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.03

Red Flags: A lot of injuries at the college level that made him miss games.

 

I felt like everybody in the draft community really wanted to fall in love with Easton Stick this year. It’s easy to see why at times. He won championships for North Dakota State and played his heart out every snap for that team. The problem with Stick is that he just lacks the required football IQ and accuracy to be effective at the next level. Stick consistently attempted to throw into windows that were not open which lead to interceptions. He would also miss a lot of receivers, with high throws, who were open throughout his time at NDSU. I know my opinion might not be the popular one but it’s the unbiased and objective one. Stick can be a backup in the NFL and that’s it.

 

Number 14: Trace Mcsorley, Penn State

Image result for trace mcsorley

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’0 and 201

Round Grade: 7

Number Grade: 2.15

Red Flags: None

 

So, this is another profile where I think my grades will probably get me a lot of heat because people love Mcsorley. I know he won a lot of games at PSU and played on some great teams but I just don’t think he is gonna have enough to be anything more than a third-stringer in the NFL. He doesn’t have the needed arm strength, frame, football IQ, and accuracy to play much in the NFL. He will get some team to fall in love with him because of his athletic abilities as a runner and his strong leadership skills, but he will have an uphill battle to be drafted and remain on a team.

 

Number 13: Kyler Shurmur, Vanderbilt

Image result for kyle shurmur

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 223

Round Grade: 6

Number Grade: 2.79

Red Flags: None

 

I was actually pleasantly surprised by Shurmur’s tape because I was expecting something much worse. Shurmur has decent arm strength with decent accuracy that both meet NFL thresholds. He also worked in a Pro-Style Offense at Vanderbilt which gives him some mental advantages over other prospects. The problem with Shurmur is that when he is put under any type of pressure everything falls apart for him. His accuracy, mechanics, and decision making just fall off of a cliff when he has to move or readjust. Shurmur has some skills that will make him an attractive developmental prospect for some team picking late in day three of the draft.

 

Number 12: Gardner Minshew, Washington State

Image result for Gardner Minshew

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 221

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade: 3.50

Red Flags: None

 

Minshew and his mustache took over college football for a brief time this season with some impressive offensive performances under head coach Mike Leach. Minshew has a nice compact throwing motion and had a lot of success throwing crossing routes over the middle of the field. He even flashed some touch throws on deep passes outside the numbers that make you think he can be developed more. Minshew had every single throw wide open at Washington State and almost never had to drive the battle into a tight window. He struggles with consistent footwork at times which can lead to some underthrown balls down the field as well. Minshew has enough tools to make it as a career backup in the NFL if he continues to improve his game.

 

Number 11: Ryan Finley, North Carolina State

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Ryan Finley

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 190

Round Grade: 5

Number Grade 4.22

Red Flags: None

 

Finley is a prospect who some people in the NFL and in the media will love, but I just don’t really see it. Finley has good accuracy on short to intermediate throws and the height to throw over the top of defenses. I liked his ability to hit receivers with good timing and in stride allowing for yards after the catch. The problem with Finley is mostly arm strength. He doesn’t have the needed power to drive the ball into tight windows, down the field, and outside the numbers. That limits his game greatly because it takes away 50% of the field from him. Finley doesn’t really give you much in the form of movement either and that includes throwing on the run. For me, Finley will play his career as an average backup who can win some games with a great team around him.

 

Number 10: Clayton Thorson, Northwestern

Image result for clayton thorson

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 225

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 4.49

Red Flags: Struggled with injuries the past two seasons.

 

Thorson has been getting some sleeper hype as of late because of some comments from his coach and rumors that NFL teams “love” him. There are some things to like about him like his overall accuracy and good decision making with the football. He has the perfect frame to stand in the pocket and throw over the offensive line. Thorson is a little limited because of his inability to drive the ball down the field. He doesn’t hit a lot of deep balls with accuracy or hit a lot of deep crossing routes. Thorson doesn’t offer much in the form of athletic ability which is something the NFL is moving away from. Thorson has the tools to be a long time reliable backup in the NFL.

 

Number 9: Tyree Jackson, Buffalo

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Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’7 and 245

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.26

Red Flags: None

 

Jackson is something I like to call an “all upside pick”. Jackson has a lot of natural talent that is built into his massive 6’7 frame. He has a great arm and is capable of making some truly incredible throws at times. The issue with Jackson is that he just isn’t consistent enough to make me feel comfortable making his grade higher than it is. For every amazing throw outside the numbers, there are some bad interceptions or gross overthrows of wide open receivers. He has some impressive movement skills for someone who is his size which will peak the interest of some teams. For me, however, Jackson is a project who isn’t mentally developed enough to warrant spending anything other than a day three pick on.

 

Number 8: Jordan Ta’amu, Ole Miss

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Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 209

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.81

Red Flags: None

 

Ta’amu is someone who I feel like should be getting some more buzz in the draft community. He throws outside the numbers well and was able to fit the ball into some tight windows at times which tells me has good arm strength. Ta’amu does a nice job of executing timing routes and hitting his receivers in stride allowing for yards after the catch. Ta’amu is a pretty good athlete who is able to avoid pressure inside and outside the pocket. My biggest issue with Ta’amu has to do with the simple offense he ran at Ole Miss. He wasn’t asked to read defenses very often or go through multiple progressions to make a throw. It showed up often because most of his interceptions were him throwing into coverage traps. Ta’amu projects as a backup with some starter upside.

 

Number 7: Brett Rypien, Boise State

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Brett Rypien

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 203

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.85

Red Flags: None

 

When people ask me for a quarterback that their team should take in the middle rounds the name that I give them is Rypien’s. Brett is a good decision maker who is one of the most accurate throwers in the entire draft class. Why is he so far down the list then you ask? Well because his accuracy starts to vanish a bit once you get past 30 yards down the field. His deep ball isn’t that great and sometimes he has trouble driving the ball down the field into smaller windows. Rypien is exactly what the word “game manager” implies. He won’t win you a lot of games, but he won’t lose you a lot of games either. With a good team around him, I think Rypien could win between 7 and 10 games every year.

 

Number 6: Jarrett Stidham, Auburn

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Jarrett Stidham

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 218

Round Grade: 4

Number Grade: 5.90

Red Flags: None

 

Jarrett Stidham is a tough prospect to grade because he has flashes of being a great quarterback and plays that make you think he doesn’t belong in the league. Stidham throws a pretty ball and was one of the few quarterbacks in this class to hit some nice touch passes. He has a smooth release and will work on time with his receivers for the most part. Stidham starts to get into trouble when he is pressured because his mechanics just go out the window. His footwork starts to fall off and he ends up throwing inaccurate balls that are intercepted. Auburn’s offense had a lot of scripted throws for him, so I am not sure how developed he is mentally. Stidham has some starter potential but needs to find a way to be more consistent with his ball placement and decision making.

 

Number 5: Daniel Jones, Duke

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Daniel Jones

Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 6’5 and 220

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.26

Red Flags: None

 

For a lot of the season, there was round one hype around Daniel Jones and it wouldn’t surprise me if someone took him late in round one. I just don’t see round one talent after watching every single throw he made this season. Jones has a good football pedigree coming from Duke and has the ideal size and movement skills teams will love. He is pretty accurate to the shorter parts of the field and will throw timing routes pretty well. He has some impressive deep balls on his tape but they are few and far between. Jones reminds me so much of Ryan Tannehill and I can’t unsee it now. He is limited down the field and has next to zero pocket awareness which will get him killed at the next level. Look, Jones has some starter potential and on a good team, he can probably get you to the playoffs. With that said, it’s gonna take the right team and a lot of development.

 

Number 4: Will Grier, West Virginia

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Class Senior

Height/Weight: 6’2 and 214

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.56

Red Flags: Suspended his first year at Florida and was forced to transfer to West Virginia

 

I think the thing that sold me on Will Grier more than most is that he throws a nice deep ball which is rare in this class. I loved his touch down the field and in the red zone where he dropped the ball into a bucket at times. Will also has something I call “the clutch factor” and in quarterbacks, it’s something I value a lot. The comeback that Grier led against Texas that ended with him dropping a touchdown in a bucket down the field and running in the two-point conversion sold me. With that said, Grier does come with some pretty obvious limitations. His decision making isn’t always the best whether he is being pressured or not. There were too many times on tape where he threw into double or triple coverage. He also throws way too flat-footed sometimes. Grier has a lot of traits that make me think he can be a long time starter in the league if given a chance.

 

Number 3: Drew Lock, Missouri

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Drew Lock

Class: Senior

Height/Weight: 6’4 and 225

Round Grade: 3

Number Grade: 6.69

Red Flags: None

 

Drew Lock has the look of a perfect NFL quarterback in a lot of ways. He has the perfect frame combined with a cannon for an arm and pretty good movement skills. Some people like John Elway might even see a little bit of himself when they watch Lock play. The problem is though that Lock isn’t John Elway at all. Sure, he has some pretty impressive throws but he also has some real accuracy concerns. I’ve seen Lock make some pretty awful over and under throws to wide open receivers. I always worry about his ability to go through progressions because it wasn’t something he had to do very often at Missouri. There is no doubt in my mind that Lock will go in the top 15, come April, just based off his upside. I believe that Lock is a high-risk pick with a lot growing to do before he can make the kind of impact a first round pick should make.

 

Number 2: Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

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Class: Junior

Height/Weight: 5’10 and 195

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.51

Red Flags: None

 

That’s right people I don’t have a first-round grade on Kyler Murray, and he’s not my top overall quarterback. I don’t just hand out first round grades to anybody and Murray just didn’t cut it. I love Murray’s arm strength and ability to place the ball pretty much anywhere on the field from inside the pocket or on the run. Obviously, his athletic ability and running ability is a plus in today’s NFL. My problems with Murray come from two main things and no they are not his height and weight. He makes so many bad throws into double coverage or to covered receivers for my liking. My other big problem is that Murray is always throwing to wide open receivers. I know Baker had success at the NFL level in his rookie year but I saw him go through way more progressions than Murray did this season. I have no doubt Murray will be a top 5 pick but I don’t think he is as much of a finished product as everyone thinks he is.

 

Number 1: Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

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Dwayne Haskins

 

Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Height/Weight: 6’3 and 220

Round Grade: 2

Number Grade: 7.72

Red Flags: None

 

I have no idea why the hype has died down on Dwayne Haskins the past couple of weeks. Haskins is accurate to all parts of the field and gets the ball out on time while doing it. He rarely makes a bad choice with the football and will always lead his receivers into open space for yards after the catch. I feel like people forget just how young Haskins is, but I see someone who is already playing way better than his age dictates with more room to grow. Haskins has some downsides, of course, with one being that he can play it too safe at times. He will take the checkdown instead of throwing to an open receiver down the field. At times he can let his footwork get away from him when he is pressured but I think it has more to do with inexperience rather than ability. I don’t know where Haskins will be drafted but he is the top QB on my board, and I think he will have a long NFL career.