All posts by Peter Worilther

Darren Waller TE-Las Vegas Raiders: DraftNasty Throwback

When former Georgia Tech wide receiver Darren Waller came out of school in an option-based offense back in 2014, he was largely an afterthought for many NFL teams. This despite standing 6-foot-6, weighing 238 pounds and running in the 4.4-range. After all, he started just 12 games over his last two seasons for the Yellow Jackets. His first few seasons in the NFL as a Baltimore Raven were largely unproductive, but Waller has become one of the NFL’s most versatile tight ends. We revisit our report on Waller from DraftNasty’s 2015 NFL Draft Manual.

Darren Waller 2015 NFL Draft Scouting report
Former Georgia Tech wide receiver Darren Waller, a 2020 Pro Bowl selection for the Las Vegas Raiders, has transformed himself into one of the NFL’s best tight ends.

2021 NFL Draft Recap: AFC South

The AFC South’s 2021 NFL Draft featured a new quarterback in Houston, a new cover corner in Tennessee and a pass rusher for the Colts. Kwity Paye and Caleb Farley will be expected to provide immediate dividends for the Texans and Titans. In Jacksonville, new head coach Urban Meyer brought two former teammates back together in hopes of reinvigorating the fan base.

Houston Texans      
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
3rd Round, 67th overallHouston TexansDavis Mills6’4 225/ QB-Houston166/3rd RoundThe trend of injuries dates back to his high school days, where he was once ranked ahead of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 247Sports’ 2017 rankings. So what does he bring to the table? Mills is an inexperienced quarterback with a smooth delivery, good mobility and an even-keeled nature. That calm in the face of the storm helped him deliver after falling behind in games as a junior.
3rd Round, 89th overallHouston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)Nico Collins6’4 215/WR-Michigan157/3rd RoundAbove all else, it is his tremendous high-wire acts that grabbed the attention of scouts. In order to maximize those flurries of splashes, Collins has to play with more attention to detail.
5th Round, 147th overallHouston TexansBrevin Jordan6’3 247/TE-H-back-Miami (Fla.)66/2nd RoundHe has operated as a fullback, flexed-out slot receiver, outside receiver, down tight end and even off the ball tight end. Injuries may have caused his draft slide.
5th Round, 170th overallHouston Texans (via Jacksonville Jaguars from Cleveland Browns)Garret Wallow6’2 220/LB-TCU120/3rd RoundThere is little wasted motion and he fires his frame downhill in a burst that is reminiscent of a gun fighter in an old Western movie. His quick-twitch reactions also show up in the passing game to get into position versus quick route concepts
6th Round, 195th overallHouston Texans (from Dallas Cowboys through New England Patriots)Roy Lopez6’2 304/DT-Arizona, New Mexico State462/6th RoundLopez, a former state heavyweight wrestling champ, was a factor creasing gaps throughout two different stops. He finished with 23.5 career tackles for loss. 36 bench press reps at 225 pounds on his Pro Day.
Indianapolis Colts
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st Round, 21st overallIndianapolis ColtsKwity Paye6’3 270 DE-Michigan9/1st RoundPaye was one of the draft’s best run defenders and he should get better as a pass rusher. With all of that said, however, the Colts need him to be a front line player from Day 1 on a roster that no longer features Justin Houston.
2nd Round, 54th overallIndianapolis ColtsDayo Odeyingbo6’5 285/DE-Vanderbilt52/2nd RoundA recent Achilles injury may hold back his draft stock, but the Colts went ahead and took a chance on Odeyingbo, who could end up as one of the best players in this year’s draft class. Their defense may allow them to sit him for a redshirt year while he recovers. His profile is similar to Colts DL DeForest Buckner.
4th Round, 127th overallIndianapolis ColtsKylen Granson6’2 245/H-back/SMU307/4th RoundThose run after the catch skills were apparent at SMU whenever he got the ball in his hands. He actually may have been faster with the ball in his hands than when running routes. A viable NFL comparison could be drawn to NFL free agent H-back/fullback Trey Burton (Eagles, Bears, Colts).
5th Round, 165th overallIndianapolis ColtsShawn Davis5’10 199/S-Florida318/4th RoundDavis is a well-built, muscular safety who brings a load down-to-down as a hitter. He can tend to play a step too fast and not break down consistently in space. We think his play speed is adequate and it allows him to overcome any lower body stiffness.
6th Round, 218th overallIndianapolis Colts (from New Orleans Saints via compensatory selection)Sam Ehlinger6'1 222 QB-Texas304/4th RoundOver the course of his career, he has improved his accuracy. Ehlinger’s adequate arm strength is offset by inconsistent footwork. Speeding up the efficiency of his drops could help timing on possession route concepts. To earmark Ehlinger’s effectiveness as a goal line runner, look no further than his production against Oklahoma in his career. In those contests alone, he rushed for nine touchdowns.
7th Round, 229th overallIndianapolis Colts (from New Orleans Saints via Jacksonville Jaguars)Michael Strachan6’5 226/WR-Charleston (West Virginia)237/4th RoundThe Division II All-American tends to get choppy in-and-out of his routes while counting some of his steps. Those are the technical flaws, but he gives an NFL wide receivers coach plenty to work with this summer. One possibility that could be intriguing is moving Strachan to an H-back position.
Jacksonville Jaguars
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st Round, 1st overallJacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQB-Clemson5/1st RoundLawrence's underrated athleticism works for an offense that already features a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.
1st Round, 25th overallJacksonville JaguarsTravis Etienne5’10 215/RB-Clemson22/1st RoundEtienne re-unites with Trevor Lawrence in what could prove to be a game-changing backfield combination. He will team with James Robinson for a powerful one-two punch.
2nd Round, 33rd overallJacksonville JaguarsTyson Campbell6’2 194/CB-Georgia126/3rd RoundA big corner with good foot speed and at least satisfactory quickness. His balance is a characteristic that needs to improve.
2nd Round, 45th overallJacksonville JaguarsWalker Little6’7 313/OT-Stanford167/3rd RoundLittle has not played for a two-year period. When he was on the field, his smooth nature stood out. Rarely did he get overwhelmed with the pace of the defensive end. Can he stay healthy?
3rd Round, 65th overallJacksonville JaguarsAndre Cisco6'0 203/FS-Syracuse54/2nd RoundThe fact that he can make a number of tough tackles hides some of the flaws on the makable misses. Nevertheless, his middle of the field instincts and overall activity are similar to former Wake Forest safety Jessie Bates (Cincinnati Bengals). Due to the ACL knee injury he suffered in October, his final draft position does not reflect his overall value.
4th Round, 106th overallJacksonville JaguarsJay Tufele6’2 305/DT-USC75/2nd RoundTufele is a strong player. We have even noted repetitions where he overpowered guards to make tackles when he didn’t even get lined up prior to the snap (3rd QTR/11:07, Colorado ‘19). Versus double teams, he works to defeat one blocker to prevent the chip from the other blocker.
4th Round, 121st overallJacksonville JaguarsJordan SmithDE-OLB/UAB, Florida 185/3rd RoundFluidity at his size. Rushes from the two-point ROLB/LOLB spots and has lined up at both defensive end spots. Plays the Sam in a number of their packages. He was one of the C-USA’s best players for a two-year period and still found time to run down on kickoffs after off the field issues at Florida.
5th Round, 145th overallJacksonville JaguarsLuke Farrell6’6 250 (E)-TE-Ohio State377/5th RoundFarrell is a player who accepted his role in school and did it with a good amount of attitude as a blocker. He aligned at a number of spots, moved in motion and was asked to block both in-line and in space.
6th Round, 209th overallJacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)Jalen Camp6’2 226/WR-Georgia Tech199/4th RoundMuscular. 33 3/4” arms. Reportedly bench presses 400 pounds and squats nearly 550 pounds. Stride length can get on top of CBs in the move area. His one-hand grab vs. Alcorn State in 2018 showed his catch radius.
Tennessee Titans
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPositionSchoolNotes
1st Round, 22nd overallTennessee TitansCaleb Farley6’2 207 CB-Virginia Tech17/1st RoundOne of the draft’s most talented corners has ball skills, instincts and health concerns. His skills fit Tennessee’s defensive
2nd Round, 53rd overallTennessee TitansDillon Radunz6’6 300/OT-North Dakota State50/2nd RoundHe has worked on keeping a bent posture over the last year, and this despite appearing in just one game in 2020. There were never any question marks regarding the All-American’s pace, foot speed, or quickness.
3rd Round, 92nd overallTennessee Titans (from Green Bay Packers)Monty Rice6’0 235/LB-Georgia93/3rd RoundThere were still the flash outstanding athletic plays from Rice in 2020 (see Tennessee), but a nagging foot injury hampered his effectiveness for stretches. The overall range and speed in his play are both in place. Rice plays a little bit narrow in his stance and tends to get too thick versus offensive linemen.
3rd Round, 100th overall Tennessee TitansElijah Molden5'9 1/2" 192/Nickel-Washington74-2nd RoundNumbers may not tell the entire story for Molden, who seems to be a player capable of filling a myriad of roles for an NFL defense. Despite being primarily a nickel back during school (even on first/second down), there are possibilities for him working off the hash.
Molden has very good quickness, change of direction and elite eye speed.
4th Round, 109th overallTennessee Titans (from Houston Texans via Carolina)Dez Fitzpatrick6'2 204/WR-Louisville244/4th RoundFitzpatrick helped himself with a second-team All-ACC performance as a senior. His career was full of big moments sprinkled in spots. In fact, he was one of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets all the way back in 2017.
4th Round, 135th overallTennessee Titans (from Green Bay Packers)Rashad Weaver6’4 265/DE-Pittsburgh122/3rd RoundIt is impressive that he was able to come back from a knee injury with so much success in one year. We expect him to be a step quicker by the fall. The consensus All-American has somewhat of an unorthodox style in that his initial hand usage sets up his counter moves.
6th Round, 205th overallTennessee TitansRacey McMath6’2 224/WR-H-back-LSU329/5th RoundFormer TE moved to WR and never really was able to fully cut loose with his 4.4 speed. He was seen running down on kickoffs at inside positions, played gunner in school on the punt team and was used as a hold-up blocker on punt return.
6th Round, 215th overallTennessee Titans (from Kansas City Chiefs)Brady Breeze5’11 204/S-Oregon336/5th RoundWhen discussing Oregon’s talented secondary, Breeze is often the player forgotten about. It is hard to believe considering he was the team’s Defensive MVP in the 2020 Rose Bowl. The first thing teams will like about Breeze is the energy he plays with snap-to-snap. Breeze overcomes any rigidness with his play speed.

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo Gallery/Practice Notes: National Team, Day 2

We look at Nebraska’s Brenden Jaimes’ technique, as well as many of the National team’s offensive linemen on Day 2 of the 2021 Senior Bowl. A Big Ten linebacker began to stand out with his positional versatility and a Pac-12 linebacker wasn’t too far behind.

2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo Gallery/Practice Notes: American Team, Day 2

We spotlight a hard-charging safety, two hybrid defensive line prospects, an underrated SEC wideout and a couple of intriguing tight ends in our breakdown of the American team’s Day 2 practice at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl.

2020 NFL Draft Recap: NFC North

Green Bay Packers Notable picks: Deguara showed patience setting up his routes, good hand-eye coordination and improved blocking skills in 2019. While not a burner, he plays fast and brings toughness to the table. He was a solid kickoff cover guy early in his Bearcats career.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (26) Jordan Love6’3 224
QB-Utah State
35/2nd Round Love’s playing style (VIDEO) has some similarities to starting QB Aaron Rodgers. Using his eyes with more effectiveness to maneuver defenders should be on the top of his to-do list.
2 (62) A.J. Dillon6’1 247
RB-Boston College
64/2nd RoundDillon’s physical prowess is defined by upper and lower body power. He is patient when following his pullers on power schemes (either inside or outside). Can he be a factor in pass protection? Will he even need to be with Aaron Jones in the mix?
3 (94) Josiah Deguara6’2 245
TE/H-back-Cincinnati
136/3rd RoundAt the prep level, Deguara caught 24 TDs as a senior. This past season, he led the Bearcats with 7 receiving TDs as a flex/H-back option. He improved every year as an on the move blocker.
5 (175)Kamal Martin6’3 240
LB-Minnesota
423/5th RoundThe former all-state QB makes up for a relatively high playing disposition with good feet. Eliminating some of the wasted motion gives him a better chance to earn a spot as a special team contributor/backup.
6 (208)Jake Hanson6’4 303
OC-Oregon
454/6th RoundHanson -a former DL with aggression- started 48 games in school. He was an effective communicator in the pre-snap when it came to line games and potential twists. Can snap-and-pull in confined areas.
6 (209)Simon Stepaniak6’4 321
OG-Indiana
434/6th RoundStepaniak-who carries 10 3/8″ hands- was a 31-game starter in school and grappler at the OG spot.
7 (236)Vernon Scott6’2 205
DB-TCU
N/AScott made a statement about his film study when he recognized a bunch formation against Oklahoma on his lone career interception returned for a score. His tackling has been hit-or-miss (see Texas ’19).
Dillon (No. 2 pictured) powered his way behind a stout offensive line for three years. Boston College finished eighth nationally in rushing yards per game in 2019.
7 (242)

Jonathan Garvin

6’4 263
DE-OLB-Miami (Fla.)
219/
4th
Round
The smooth DE gained nearly 45 pounds in school and it didn’t really rob him of much short-area burst. He slips offensive tackles and defeats blockers in the run game, but he has to generate a go-to move to win in the NFL.
Chicago Bears Notable Pick: The selection of Kmet means the Bears can now use a number of two tight end formations with both he and free agent signee Jimmy Graham. It is a clear sign that the team is intent on attacking the middle of the field in 2020.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (43)Cole Kmet6’6 262
TE-Notre Dame
53/2nd Round The former left-handed closer on the baseball team handled multiple roles for the Fighting Irish. He can be effective on the move as an H-back or in-line as a tight end.
2 (50) Jaylon Johnson6’0 195
CB-Utah
73/2nd Round Johnson finished his career with seven interceptions (165 yards, 2 TDs) and 21 pass breakups.
5 (155)Trevis Gipson6’3 259
DE-Tulsa
128/3rd
Round
Gipson’s ability to play the run from the four-technique position often took away pass rush opportunities. In that facet (pass rushing), he has to become a better bender overall.
5 (163) Kindle Vildor5’10 191
CB-Georgia Southern
54/2nd RoundVildor was a team leader and excellent tackler while at Georgia Southern. He impressed in the postseason with 4.44 speed and an 11’1″ broad jump.
5 (173) Darnell Mooney5’10 176
WR-Tulane
295/4th RoundMooney has the skill-set to run routes outside the numbers or in the slot. He has very good run after the catch skill.
7 (226)Arlington Hambright6’4 307
OL-Colorado, Oklahoma State
161/3rd RoundHambright impressed protecting the blindside for quarterback Steven Montez as a senior in 2019 but largely was unavailable for Oklahoma State in 2018 due to a high ankle sprain.
7 (227)Lachavious Simmons6’5 290
OT-Tennessee State
N/ASimmons’ aggressiveness getting off the ball as a left guard overcame the occasional balance issue. the first-team All-OVC selection has seen time at LG, RG and LT.
Minnesota Vikings Notable pick: The number of picks could be considered what is notable. One pick of particular interest, however, is Metullus. During the pre-draft process, he seemed to go largely undervalued and the Vikings have traditionally struck gold with late round or free agent pickups after draft.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (22)
Justin Jefferson
6’1 202
WR-LSU
32/2nd Round Jefferson was already a good player in 2018, but his confidence soared in 2019. He enters the NFL believing no one can guard him in one-on-one situations.
1 (31)Jeff Gladney

5’10 191
CB-TCU
55/2nd Round Gladney’s competitiveness made him a fiery contributor for a Gary Patterson defense that requires a lot of man coverage from its cornerbacks. The Horned Frogs led the Big 12 in pass defense in each of the last three seasons. Gladney was a big reason why.
2 (58)Ezra Cleveland
6’6 300
OT-Boise State
88/2nd Round Cleveland is smooth, experienced and efficient with his footwork in pass protection. Can he maintain a consistent lockout? The former high school wrestler enjoys tying up defenders, but needs to improve his initial pop as a run blocker.
3 (89)Cameron Dantzler
6’2 188
CB-Mississippi State
90/3rd Round Dantzler’s workouts didn’t reflect his instincts, timing and willingness to tackle. In Minnesota, the team will challenge him to trust his technique and he should be able to earn a role in nickel and dime packages as a rookie.
4 (117)D.J. Wonnum
6’5 258
DE-South Carolina
252/4th Round After a breakout sophomore campaign, Wonnum’s sack production diminished in 2018 due to injury (ankle). He began to regain his form in 2019.
4 (130)James Lynch
6’4 289
DL-Baylor
57/2nd Round
The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year played up-and-down the Bears defensive front in school. Lynch finished his career with 33.5 TFLs, 7 PBUs and three blocked kicks.
4 (132)Troy Dye
6’3 231
LB-Baylor
129/3rd Round
Dye’s teammates voted him the team’s defensive MVP as a rookie and it was a sign of things to come. Although angular by nature, Dye has unique eye speed, flexibility and field speed.
5 (169)
Harrison Hand
5’11 197
CB-Temple, Baylor
218/4th Round
Hand has good size, toughness and footwork. Technically, he is a work in progress (see UCF ’19). With that said, he brings capability in either man or zone coverage.

5 (176)
K.J. Osborn

6’0 205
WR-Miami (Fla.), Buffalo
246/4th Round
Osborn was arguably the Bulls best receiver in 2018 despite the presence of All-MAC receiver Anthony Johnson. The narrative largely remained the same at Miami (Fla.) as a grad transfer after the disappearing act of Jeff Thomas.
6 (203)
Blake Brandel
6’6 302
OT-Oregon State
529/6th Round
Brandel -a 48-game starter in school at both tackle spots- made most of his starts on the left side of the line (39). He has 10 3/8″ hands, 33 1/4″ arms and an 80 1/8″ wingspan.
6 (205)
Josh Metullus
5’11 210
S-Michigan
153/3rd Round
Metullus -a 38-game starter in school- is smart, communicates well and can get off of the hash marks. Michigan challenges all of its defensive backs in man coverage. He has shown aggressiveness as a tackler.
Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes, pictured, finished his career with 26.5 quarterback sacks and 51 tackles for loss.
7 (225)
Kenny Willekes
6’4 264
DE-Michigan State
104/3rd RoundWillekes -the 2019 Burlsworth Trophy Award winner- was the rare dominant former walk-on. He plays low enough, handles tight ends in the run game and times his snap count reactions. Will his leverage allow him to overcome his length deficiencies?
7 (244)
Nate Stanley
6’4 231
QB-Iowa
132/3rd Round
Stanley has all of the physical tools, but his work in the pre-snap phase of the game identifying fronts often allowed him to make checks at the line of scrimmage in the run game. He may have helped himself by playing in a postseason all-star game.
7 (249)
Brian Cole II
6’2 213
S-Mississippi State, Michigan
181/4th Round
Cole II -a one-year starter- timed his blitzes (off the slot or from the edge), covered the slot and played a LB-type position for DC Bob Shoop and the Bulldogs. The former WR also returned kicks in school.
7 (253)
Kyle Hinton
6’2 296
OG-Washburn
616/7th Round
Hinton’s Pro Day performance (4.9 40-yd, 34 1/2″ VJ) subsidized a decent showing during the 2020 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. During school, he showed the ability to get out and hit the occasional moving target.
Detroit Lions  Notable pick: The Lions have been searching for a Top 10 running back it seems like for the entire Matthew Stafford-era in Detroit. Can Swift be more than just a change of pace for Kerryon Johnson? If so, their running game could become a team strength as opposed to question mark.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (3) Jeff Okudah6’1 205
CB-Ohio State
11/1st RoundOkudah will be challenged in man-to-man coverage and that should fit his skill-set. The former high school safety brings an assertive nature similar to the last Lions cornerback taken in the Top 5 in the first round, Bryant Westbrook (1997 NFL Draft).
2 (35) D’Andre Swift5’8 212
RB-Georgia
7/1st RoundSwift has been afforded the luxury of being in a rotation during his career and this should remain the case in Detroit. An underrated receiver with outstanding peripheral vision as a runner, Swift’s only big knock was the occasional nick during school.
3 (67) Julian Okwara6’4 252
DE-OLB
Notre Dame
186/4th RoundOkwara stood up, played both DE spots in school and even dropped into coverage effectively out of a two-point stance (see Michigan ’18). He has contributed effectively on the field goal block team.
3 (75)Jonah Jackson6’3 306
OG-Ohio State, Rutgers
225/4th RoundJackson has started at right guard, center and left guard. Before arriving at Ohio State, he was a team captain at Rutgers. The criminal justice major plays with heavy hands and takes good angles in the run game, particularly on combination blocks.
4 (121)Logan Stenberg 6’6 317
OG-Kentucky
110/4th RoundStenberg -despite his height- latches LBs on the second level. He runs his feet on angle blocks and uses a solid skip-pull technique in confined areas. He has starting potential.
5 (166) Quintez Cephus6’1 202
WR-Wisconsin
130/3rd RoundCephus overcomes small hands with confidence catching the ball, solid weight distribution and suddenness. We feel he has room to grow in either the slot or on the outside.
5 (172) Jason Huntley5’8 182
All-purpose-New Mexico State
385/5th Round Electricity is the name of the game for Huntley in both the return game and as an all-purpose specialist. He can become even more effective with less touches, as he was in 2017 while playing with Larry Rose III.
6 (197) John Penisini6’2 318
DT-Utah
425/5th Round Strong DL capable of slanting and spiking. The former Ute is satisfactory holding the point vs. double teams.
7 (235)Jason Cornell6’3 284 (E)
DL-Ohio State
N/ACornell enjoyed a breakout season in 2019 with 4 QB sacks and 6.5 TFLs. He has played both DE and DT in school, and stood out in the 2019 CFP national semifinal.
Detroit Lions second-round pick D’Andre Swift averaged 6.6 yards per carry during his career at Georgia.