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Alabama’s Locksmith

Perhaps the receiver with the most expectations this season on the Alabama football roster is junior All-American Jerry Jeudy. However, the one player who continues to prove capable of ascending his game through the season’s first three weeks is fellow junior DeVonta Smith.

When he first came out of Amite High School (La.), Smith weighed in the 157-pound range. While he has put on some pounds to add to his slender frame, he still hovers around the 175-pound mark. Surprisingly, it is his penchant for going across the middle of the field that draws high marks. But when asked about whether or not his heart starts to beat a little bit faster when going across the middle with linebackers and safeties coming across at him prior to the team’s 2018 contest versus Ole Miss by AL.com, Smith had the perfect response.

“No. Not at all,” Smith responded matter of factly.

The greatest thrill of his career up until this point may be his game-winning touchdown catch in the 2018 College Football Playoff national championship game against Georgia. In an offense that often utilizes four or five wide receivers/tight ends, the opportunities are limited. It is a fact not lost upon Smith.

“No matter who it is, which one of us gets it we can all make the same play,” Smith told AL.com back in 2018. “When a play is called, you never know whether you’re going to get it or not. You just wait for the quarterback to throw it.”

Smith vs. South Carolina, 9-13-19: In-game report

Most locksmiths specialize in rekeying, repairing, opening and modifying. Some numbers have meaning in the process, while others do not. It fits perfectly with what Smith communicated to AL.com when asked about whether he had accumulated the most receptions on the squad through Week 2 of the 2018 campaign.

Smith’s response?

“I don’t keep up with stats.”

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akD2oUl51rg

DraftNasty lenses: Aaron Fuller 5’11 188 WR-Washington

Today, we go inside our lenses with  Washington senior wide receiver Aaron Fuller.  Fuller -who caught five passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns last Saturday versus Eastern Washington- continues to impress with his high-flying antics.

Photography by: Corey Chavous, DraftNasty Magazine

 

 

NCAA FB Week 1 report (8-31-19): DBs stand out

There were a number of defensive backs who stood out in Week 1 of the 2019 college football campaign.  We take a look at seven who made their respective marks.

Saeed Holt 6’0 195 DB-Sophomore Toledo

Notable stats vs. Kentucky, 8-31-19: 10 tackles, TFL

The Rockets used Holt in a number of ways around the line of scrimmage and in coverage.  He closed off the edge late in the first quarter to record a tackle for loss one play after coming up to deliver a shot versus Kentucky 6-foot-6, 247-pound freshman tight end Keaton Upshaw in the flats.  For a team that lost two of its better players from its 2018 secondary –CB Ka’dar Hollman (6th round, 185th overall, 2019 NFL Draft, Green Bay Packers) and S Josh Teachey– Holt’s 10 tackles and one tackle for loss provided relief for defensive coordinator Brian George.

Nevada Secondary

Notable stats vs. Purdue, 8-30-19:

  • 6 Tyson Williams 5’9 195 DB-Sophomore: 12 tackles
  • 25 Daniel Brown 5’11 185 DB-Senior: 5 tackles, TFL, 2 INTs and PBU
  • 1 Berdale Robins 5’9 185 DB-Junior: One tackle, 3 PBUs
  • 4 EJ Muhammed 5’11 190 DB-Senior: 10 tackles, FF
  • 5 Emany Johnson 6’2 210 DB-Freshman: 7 tackles

Nevada defensive backs Daniel Brown (No. 25 pictured) and EJ Muhammed (No. 4 pictured) both had big contributions in Nevada’s 34-31 victory over Purdue last Friday night.

The Wolf Pack defensive backs entered last Friday night’s contest against Purdue knowing that they would have a tough test.  Aside from having to slow down Boilermakers All-American sophomore receiver Rondale Moore, the team also had to slow down All-Big Ten tight end Brycen Hopkins and two four-star recruits in freshmen David Bell and Milton Wright.   Defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel’s 3-3-5 stack defensive requires multiple roles for a number of defensive backs.  Each of the five aforementioned names had big impacts.

Brown displayed good feet and eye discipline in zone coverage early in the game on a key red zone pass break-up off of a wheel concept to Purdue slot receiver Jackson Anthrop.   He matched his career interception total with a slick grab off of an ill-advised third down and 10 throw by Purdue quarterback Elijah Sindelar.   The senior cornerback then grabbed his second interception of the game with at the 0:38 mark of the fourth quarter to set up Nevada’s game-winning field goal.  Nevada used a three-deep zone where Johnson broke from the deep one-third to knock away a Sindelar pass intended for freshman receiver Bell.  The tip resulted in Brown’s second theft. 

Muhammed -who started two games in 2018 before going down to injury- tackled with intensity most of the night.  He forced and recovered his own strip off of Wright in the second quarter to stop a Purdue offensive drive.  The tackling of he, Robins and Williams helped stymie much of Purdue’s offensive attack in the second half.  Moore was limited to just three receptions for 10 yards in the second stanza of the game.  In addition, Sindelar completed just 3-of-9 passes for 10 yards and one interception in the fourth quarter.

Myles Wolfolk 5’11 205 DB-Junior North Carolina

Notable: 6 tackles, 2 INTs (33 yards)

New North Carolina defensive coordinator Jay Bateman knew he would need a big game from his secondary to slow down the South Carolina offensive attack led by quarterback Jake Bentley.  Wolfolk delivered in a big way.  After initially starting his career as a nickel corner/linebacker for the Tar Heels, he has since moved full-time to the safety position.  Coming off an injury-plagued 2018 campaign,  the junior safety twice earned the team’s new turnover championship belt with interceptions off Bentley.   On the game-winning pick, the former high school wideout displayed the ability to bait the Gamecock quarterback.   On a third down and 10 from the North Carolina 26-yard line, Bateman ran a version of a zone blitz (brought four rushers and dropped his strong defensive end into the middle hook area) which tasks Wolfolk with curl-flat responsibility towards the short side of the field.  After he took his initial drop, Bentley thought he had an open crossing route to his No. 4 receiver (coming from the strong side) because Wolfolk stayed outside the numbers to the weak side No. 1 X-receiver while reading the quarterback’s eyes.  As soon as Bentley let go of the ball, the former high school wideout took a B-line path to the crossing route and picked it off with ease.  The pick sealed the win for the Tar Heels and got the ACC a much-needed victory over an SEC opponent in head coach Mack Brown’s return to Chapel Hill. 

“We’re all aiming to get this (belt) every week,” Wolfolk explained while wearing the turnover belt in the locker room after the game. “This week was mine and I’m blessed to say it.” https://www.thestate.com/sports/college/acc/article234615997.html

 

 

 

 

DraftNasty lenses: Zack Moss 5’10 222 RB-Utah

Utah running back Zack Moss returns in 2019 with the hope of finishing what he started just three seasons ago.  The Hallandale, Florida native suffered a knee injury prior to the Oregon game and was lost for the remainder of his junior campaign.  Despite the injury, Moss managed to rush for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in just nine games.   The school’s fourth all-time leading rusher’s health will go a long way in determining the Utes’ fate in the Pac-12 South. 

 

 

 

Week 1 Preview, 8-31-19: Auburn defense vs. Oregon offense

Oregon’s offense heads into the 2019 campaign with a huge contest looming versus an Auburn defense that ranked 30th in the nation in opponent third down conversions a season ago.  They are led by a defensive line that features three disruptive edge rushers in Marlon Davidson, Big Kat Bryant and Nick Coe.  Coe led the Tigers with seven quarterbacks sacks in 2018. 

Oregon QB Justin Herbert’s ability to throw under pressure will be key in the team’s Week 1 matchup versus Auburn.

Davidson has occasionally shown the ability to peel (come off of his pass rush to cover RBs) versus quick running back flares to the flats (see UGA ’18-third quarter).  As we spotlighted in the Tigers dominating 63-14 win in the 2018 Music City Bowl versus Purdue, even backup front seven personnel (i.e. Bryant) are capable of reacting to tipped passes.

Auburn OLB/DE Big Kat Bryant (No. 1 pictured) returned a tipped ball (by No. 94 Tyrone Truesdell, pictured) for a 20-yard TD interception return in the second quarter of the 2018 Music City Bowl.

It makes this a tough defensive line to puncture even if they aren’t recording sacks. The team’s front seven accounted for 15 of Auburn’s 54 pass break-ups (T-30th in the nation) in 2018.  Bryant, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 253 pounds, accounted for three of those pass break-ups despite starting just three games.

Derrick Brown vs. Oregon interior OL

Throckmorton, pictured, has started at four different positions on Oregon’s offensive line heading into 2019.

Auburn defensive lineman and 2020 NFL first-round draft prospect Derrick Brown can win on twists/stunts, displays range and is capable of using his vision versus double teams.  It will be important for 2018 second-team All-Pac-12 LG Shane Lemieux -a  38-game starter entering 2019- to win on his angle/cut-off blocks versus Brown’s quickness.  The Ducks have to take away snaps from the Tigers defensive front with some semblance of a running attack.  Brown  may match up slightly better with the Ducks’ most versatile lineman, right guard Calvin Throckmorton (has actually played more at the tackle spot).   In 2018, Oregon ran much more than they passed on first down.  Passing on that down early in this contest could halt Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele from hiding the defense’s intentions in obvious passing situations. 

Herbert vs. Auburn third down disguise

For Herbert to enjoy sustained success in this contest, he and his offensive line have to be cognizant of Auburn’s multiple disguises and line games on third downs.  Dating back to his freshman campaign, he has protected the football relatively well.  However, Auburn tied for 24th in the nation a season ago with 14 interceptions.  Eight of the players responsible for 11 of those picks return, led by senior cornerback Javaris Davis.  Davis -the team’s longtime nickel back- enters 2019 with six career interceptions and one touchdown, and his pre-snap identification on this all-important down could help Herbert decipher the team’s final coverage.

There are times when Steele will show a five or six-man pressure look in the pre-snap and then rush just four defenders with a two-or-three-deep zone behind it (see Purdue, Music City Bowl ’18, 3rd and 10, 2nd QTR/14:14).  In these instances, Herbert’s patience will be tested.

Oregon’s answer may be a dummy snap count that will attempt to force Auburn to show its hand.  Herbert often looks to the sideline for the pre-snap adjustment before running the play (3rd and 8, 1st QTR, SJSU ’18-defensive pass interference).   In Week 3 of the 2018 campaign, San Jose State DC Derrick Odum would sometimes keep his linebackers and defensive linemen in stationary positions prior to bringing six-man pressures (3rd and 15, 1st QTR, incomplete pass, QB hit).  In these instances, Herbert displayed pocket toughness to deliver the ball while getting hit by the unblocked blitz threat. 

On the next five Oregon third down attempts (San Jose State ’18), the Ducks posted a false start (3rd and 9, 2nd QTR), an incompletion to a tight end in the end zone while backed up (3rd and 13, 2nd QTR), a one-yard completion (3rd and 13, 2nd QTR), an 11-yard completion (3rd and 8, 2nd QTR) and an incompletion (3rd and 8, 2nd QTR).  Many of the coverage concepts included two-or-three-deep zones mixed with split safety looks.

So what was the common theme prior to these third downs?

San Jose State’s front seven (led by former NT Boogie Roberts) wreaked havoc on first and second down.  The team’s linebackers reacted to what they saw and forced the action.  An inability to create forward movement in the running game (2.7 yards per carry) caused Oregon to stay in third and long much of the afternoon.  For the game, the Ducks converted 39-percent (7-of-18) of its third down attempts.  To even reach that mark against the Tigers front seven, Oregon OC Marcus Arroyo has to create manageable third downs for Herbert and his offensive line. 

There will be many games for Auburn to study when attempting to corral one of the 2020 NFL Draft’s top quarterback prospects in Herbert.  One could argue that the Michigan State defensive performance in the 2018 Redbox Bowl ranks at or near the top of the list.  Surprisingly, however, the job done by San Jose State DC Derrick Odum in slowing down Oregon’s offense has some intriguing hints for Auburn DC Kevin Steele.

 

 

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC West

Lock, the team’s second-round pick, finished his career with 12,193 yards passing (second in SEC history).

Denver Broncos Notable picks:  The team traded its 10th overall pick, yet still got the draft’s 21st player overall at Pick 20.  In addition, the team nabbed our 32nd-ranked player in Risner early in the second round. Although Lock was deeper on our board (54th overall), we don’t think the Broncos could have waited any longer to pull the trigger on the third-best QB in the draft.  Of the team’s undrafted free agents, Nevada’s Malik Reed has the most suddenness and could have easily been a draft pick.  For the second consecutive year, John Elway added solid players to an underrated nucleus.  Ultimately, however,  this draft’s eventual grade will come down to the development of Lock.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

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Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (20) Traded its first round pick (10th overall) to the Pittsburgh Steelers for the team’s Noah Fant TE/Iowa 21/1st Round Although his teammate T.J. Hockenson won the 2018 John Mackey Award, it was Fant who earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as voted on by the coaches. Fant’s 4.5 speed will be a welcome addition down the seams for new quarterback John Flacco.   
2 (41) Dalton

Risner

OL/Kansas State 32/2nd Round It doesn’t take long to understand the value of Risner, who despite having natural lateral quickness, needs to close off the bottom of the pocket more consistently as an outside tackle.  If he moves back into the center position (where he started in 2015), then we think he’ll challenge for a starting spot.
2 (42)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Drew Lock QB/Missouri 54/2nd Round Lock can challenge all parts of the field with range that is comparable to Joe Flacco, the man he is asked to backup initially in Denver.  We felt that the former Tiger needed a bridge quarterback and Flacco fits the bill.
3 (71) Dre’Mont Jones DT/Ohio State 33/2nd Round Jones’ outstanding footwork frequently allowed him to work over guards after gaining an edge.  For him to become a legitimate starter, he will have to play heavier at the point of attack.
5 (156)

Acquired from Minnesota

Justin Hollins DE-OLB/Oregon 202/4th Round Hollins proved during 2019 East-West Shrine practicesthat he was at least adequate as an exchange LB.  It is a big reason he took home East-West Shrine Game Defensive MVP honors.  The former Duck forced eight fumbles in school. 
6 (187)

Acquired from Carolina

Juwann

Winfree

WR/

Colorado, Maryland

425/5th Round Winfree has unique route-running skill and underrated field speed.  The former Terrapin rarely has to idle himself into patterns.  The Broncos struck gold by staying in-state a year ago with UDFA Pro Bowler Phillip Lindsay and hope to do so again with its sixth-round pick.

Hardman averaged nearly 21 yards per punt return in 2018 and accounted for eight touchdowns (7 REC, 1 PR).

 

Kansas City Chiefs Notable picks: The Chiefs went into the draft looking to add pieces as opposed to having to fill them.  One position of note that the team didn’t address until Day 3 is cornerback.  Heading into the 2019 campaign, they have a rather unproven group of outside cornerbacks.  They will likely have to depend on Kendall Fuller to give them some reps on the flanks after the loss of underrated CB Steven Nelson. In addition, the team is probably depending on Emmanuel Ogbah, who has quietly posted 17 pass break-ups in his career, to be a serviceable left defensive end opposite the recently acquired Frank Clark.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (56)

Acquired from Los Angeles via New England via Chicago

Mecole Hardman All-Purpose/Georgia 72/2nd Round It doesn’t take long to determine where Hardman is inclined to work.  He can become a serious contender for playing time in the slot if he can show increased ball skills and awareness. His biggest strength is the ability to accelerate through the reception, but he left some passes on the field.  We think he is one of the top return threats in the draft. `
2 (63)

Acquired from Los Angeles

Juan

Thornhill

DB/Virginia 179/3rd Round Thornhill, a former corner at Virginia, doesn’t mind mixing it up in coverage.  His biggest weakness came when routes broke away from him (either at safety or corner).  The former high school basketball star uses outstanding leaping ability to supplement first-rate instincts.  He was used in somewhat of a hybrid role in 2018.
3 (84)

Acquired from Seattle

Khalen Saunders DT/Western Illinois 179/3rd Round Saunders has some traits that are similar to former Texas DL and current New Orleans Saints DL Malcom Brown.  An above average athlete, he was a tough block for guards or tackles.  Stamina is a bit of a question mark.
6 (201) Rashad Fenton CB/South Carolina 269/4th Round Have you ever seen a player who may not look as fast as he really is?  This is the case for Fenton, who shined as a kickoff returner at various points of his career.  His quick-footed nature and overall toughness means he could get looks at the nickel back spot.
6 (214) Darwin Thompson RB/Utah State 306/4th Round An explosive Pro Day forced evaluators to go back to the tape for Thompson.  What they found was a patient runner with enough speed to bounce runs outside.  A season that featured a 15.3 yards per reception average proved he can catch too.
7 (216)

Acquired from San Francisco

Nick

Allegretti

OG/Illinois 220/4th Round The former Illini two-time team captain started 36 straight games to end his career. We feel the right guard position gives him the best chance to earn a roster spot. Why?  He shifts his weight on opponents as well as any guard in this year’s draft.

 

Jacobs (No. 8 pictured) scored 14 touchdowns on just 154 touches in 2018.

 

Oakland Raiders Notable pick: Newly-hired GM Mike Mayock selected potential core players who add substance to the roster.  Ferrell and Jacobs both played large parts in each of their respective team’s national championship runs. Although Abram represented a personality pick, how different is he from former West Virginia safety Karl Joseph?  The selection of Crosby means the team now has a number of edge rushers to throw at teams, even if none of them would be described as a dominant game changer. Mullen, Johnson and college free agent Keisean Nixon join a cornerback group suddenly filled with young talent and depth.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (4) Clelin Ferrell DE/Clemson 15/1st Round Ferrell averaged 17 tackles for loss per year over the course of the last three seasons.  His ability to finish on the quarterback is undeniable.  The big knock on him was a relative lack of natural bend off the edge.  He is long enough to compensate.
1 (24) Josh Jacobs RB/Alabama 61/2nd Round Jacobs’ running style and receiving skill largely mirrors that of the runner who started for the Raiders the last two seasons, Marshawn Lynch when he came out of school.  He is just not as fast as Lynch was coming out of school. 
1 (27) Johnathan Abram S/

Mississippi State,

Georgia

52/2nd Round Somewhat of a Donte Whitner-type (Bills, 49ers), Abram could become a complement to fellow safety Karl Joseph.  The former Georgia Bulldog has covered the slot effectively, but we don’t think that’s a role he will be asked to man consistently in the NFL.  He will, however, be asked to lock down tight ends.
2 (40) Trayvon Mullen CB/Clemson 95/3rd Round The former high school WR has positive hand-eye coordination and timing. During his two years as a starter, he displayed a keen sense of handling man or zone assignments.  At 6-foot-1, 199 pounds, he is an adequate tackler. 
4 (106) Maxx

Crosby

DE-OLB/Eastern

Michigan

273/4th Round Crosby’s gangly, unorthodox style conjures up images of former Buffalo Bills star Bryce Paup.  For him to make it, he has to play with more sand in the pants.
4 (129)

Acquired from Indianapolis

Isaiah Johnson CB/Houston 139/3rd Round Johnson’s ability to win in zone coverage comes from his receiving background.  In addition, he is one of the top gunners in the 2019 NFL Draft.  Standing 6-foot-2, 208 pounds, the former wideout will find playing time in some capacity in Year 1.
4 (137)

Compensatory pick acquired from Atlanta

Foster Moreau TE/LSU 181/3rd Round Although he wasn’t featured as a receiving tight end at LSU, Moreau contains underrated athleticism and will be a fine on the move or hand in the dirt Y-tight end.  It would not be a surprise to see his receiving skills expand at the NFL level.  He can create separation at the top of his routes.
5 (149)

Acquired from Dallas via Cincinnati

Hunter

Renfrow

WR/

Clemson

126/3rd Round The operative thinking is that Renfrow turns into a multi-year contributor at the slot wide receiver position and you’re done with it…right?  What about special teams production for a receiver weighing in the 180-pound range?  Despite showing up at the gunner spot (ex: Russell Athletic Bowl ’15), he posted just four career tackles.  He did, however, serve as the team’s emergency punter.
7 (230)

Acquired from Atlanta

Quinton Bell Prairie View A&M N/A Bell averaged 13.6 yards per catch before transitioning to defense in 2018.  He responded with 7.5 quarterback sacks and 10 tackles for losses.  He’s bulked up in weight while still maintaining his explosiveness (41 1/2-inch VJ). 

 

Tranquill (No. 23 pictured), a former safety, finished with 292 career tackles for the Fighting Irish.

 

Los Angeles Chargers Notable picks: Tillery’s unique athleticism (4.33 20-yard short shuttle) and heavy hands (10 5/8”) offsets an inconsistent pad level.   Adderley’s range belies his timed speed.  Pipkins has a skill-set and profile that closely mirrors incumbent right tackle Sam Tevi.  Stick may be used in a surprise role for the team and Broughton can play multiple positions.  Tranquill’s foot speed and safety experience could earn him a role in sub-packages, but we expect him to star on special teams immediately.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (28) Jerry Tillery Notre Dame 19/2nd Round Tillery has all of the tools to be a multi-purpose defensive lineman in the NFL.  His style lends itself to somewhat of an Arik Armstead-type (San Francisco 49ers).  Both players were bunch producers in school.
2 (60) Nasir

Adderley

DB/

Delaware

43/2nd Round Adderley’s timed speed does not accurately represent the speed that really matters….his eye speed. His ability to read the quarterback’s body language really was unparalleled in this year’s draft class.  His major key will be finding a balance when it comes to making open field tackles consistently in space.
3 (91) Trey Pipkins OT/Sioux Falls 119/3rd Round He displays positive bend, impressive mobility and an element of finish necessary to compete on Sundays.  His short lateral kick-slide will have to deepen if he is going to stay outside.  We went into how his outstanding NFL Combine workout would be the final factor in swaying NFL coaches and personnel.
4 (130) Drue

Tranquill

LB/Notre Dame 194/4th Round The former safety uses his 4.5 speed to make plays all over the field.  His stock stayed steady due to his ability to return from a couple of freak ACL injuries during school.  It didn’t stop him from finishing his career with 292 tackles and 25 tackles for losses in 52 career appearances.
5 (166) Easton Stick QB/North Dakota State 301/4th Round His 4.6 40-yard dash time opens eyes, but maybe not even as much as his blistering 6.65 time in the three-cone drill.  It is a big reason he rushed for 41 TDs in school.  He doesn’t have former Bison QB Carson Wentz’s arm, but he does have even more impressive athleticism.  The Chargers will find a way to incorporate it on a deep team.
6 (200) Emeke

Egbule

OLB/

Houston

490/5th Round His defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio said of Egbule, “he’s our most versatile player in space.”  It will be imperative for him show these traits for scouts during training camp to earn a roster spot.
7 (242) Cortez Broughton DL/

Cincinnati

247/4th Round In a deep 2019 defensive tackle class, it probably isn’t a surprise that Broughton was one of the overlooked prospects.  Aside from notching 16.5 tackles for losses in 2018, he also put together a pretty good week at the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. Icing on the cake for Broughton came on Cincinnati’s Pro Day, where he notched an impressive 33 1/2-inch vertical jump at 293 pounds.

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC South

Omenihu, the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2018, has nearly 37-inch arms. He could be a fit in DC Romeo Crennel’s schemes.

Houston Texans Notable picks: Howard and Johnson both ranked in our Top 50 and represent potential starting players in Year 1.  Scharping is as technically advanced as any OL in the draft and Warring could be a factor in two tight end sets.  The signing of Matt Kalil ensures the team goes into training camp with competition at the offensive tackle spot. Of the team’s Day 3 draft picks, Omenihu may be asked to adjust right away from a need perspective. Will Fuller’s injury history could leave the team depending on backups again late in the year.
Round,

Selection,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (23) Tytus Howard OT/Alabama State 41/2nd Round The former high school quarterback often talked about the task of gaining weight and has gotten up to the 322-pound range.  His quick-footed nature could become a fit on the right side for the Texans.
2 (54) Lonnie Johnson CB/

Kentucky

47/2nd Round Johnson’s occasional pass interference penalty sometimes comes from not using his length to disrupt the wide receiver’s release.  When he does, it is tough for the wide receiver to get off the line. On the plus side, his tackling technique and hip flexibility make for a unique combination at 6’2, 213 pounds. 
2 (55) Max

Scharping

OT/Northern Illinois 81/2nd Round We talked about how Scharping’s NFL Combine performance alleviated some of the concerns about pure quickness heading into the draft.  The Texans went into this year’s draft hoping to cure some of the ills along its offensive line and this selection continues to work in that direction. 
3 (88) Kahale

Warring

TE/San Diego State 57/2nd Round Warring uses his foot speed to get on top of opponents as a receiver.  He still needs refinement in terms of sustaining blocks, but his best football is ahead of him.
5 (161) Charles Omenihu DE/Texas 122/3rd Round Omenihu’s 36 1/2-inch arms continued to aid him in his development while in school.  The Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year began to display increased pass rush acumen as a senior when it came to counters.  He is a solid run defender and will compete with Carlos Watkins, who has largely been disappointing. 
6 (195) Xavier Crawford CB/Central Michigan, Oregon State 300/4th Round After missing seven games at Oregon State in 2017 due to a back injury, the first-team All-MAC corner defended 13 passes in 2018.  He competes on routes outside the numbers.
7 (220) Cullen Gillaspia FB/Texas A&M N/A Texas A&M’s 12th man was a special teams stalwart and team captain.  The former walk-on posted nine tackles in 2016.

Tell III (No. 7 pictured) impressed NFL personnel at the 2019 NFL Combine with a 42″vertical jump, 11’4″ broad jump, 4.01 20-yard short shuttle and a 6.63-second time in the three-cone drill.

Indianapolis Colts Notable picks: General manager Chris Ballard continues to add positive pieces to one of the better young rosters in the NFL.  Ya-Sin and Banogu have a chance to add an element of speed and toughness that the defense continues to expand.  Okereke and Willis will be special teams contributors in Year 1 with the expectation that they can challenge for bigger roles early.  Tell III may be asked to move to cornerback, where his smooth change of direction could perhaps shine.  Campbell has the speed to stretch defenses vertically to take some of the pressure off of stud WR T.Y. Hilton, but his potential contributions in the kick return game should not be underestimated.  Patterson will compete to backup all three interior line spots.
Round,

Selection,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (34) Rock Ya-Sin CB/Temple, Presbyterian 63/2nd Round The first-team All-AAC selection has a background that includes a stint as an All-Big South corner for the Blue Hose.  Watching him play puts you in the mind frame of viewing a 6-foot-2 corner (he is nearly 6’0) because he plays bigger than even his size would indicate. 
2 (49) Ben Banogu DE-OLB/TCU 44/2nd Round Banogu moved around so much in school and with so much effectiveness, he shouldn’t have been pigeon-holed as a Rush outside linebacker.  His loose nature gives him options, but the team is expected to start him with his hand in the dirt. 
2 (59) Parris Campbell All-Purpose/

Ohio State

39/2nd Round Campbell’s speed was used more going sideways in school, but he did work the middle of the field on deep crossing patterns and square-ins.The team has a number of targets already efficient in those roles, so how he is incorporated will be interesting to observe.  He may be a dynamo as a kickoff returner early.
3 (89) Bobby

Okereke

LB/Stanford 162/3rd Round Okereke’s speed would seem to be a match for the type of scheme the Colts run.  His size/speed/weight ratio is in line with 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard and fellow LB Anthony Walker.  He will start off as a special teams contributor.
4 (109)

Acquired from Oakland via Jacksonville

Khari Willis S/Michigan State 87/3rd Round Willis’ high football IQ and overall steady nature earned him praise through the draft process.  His ability to cover tight ends at 213 pounds also adds to his value.  He gives the Colts unique depth at the safety spot.
5 (144)

Acquired from Cleveland via Jacksonville

Marvell Tell III DB/USC 387/5th Round We speculated that a team would look at Tell’s physical profile and project him to cornerback.  He may in fact get an opportunity to show off his cover skills outside in training camp. 
5 (164) EJ Speed LB/Tarleton State N/A Speed overcame some off the field and injury concerns to get into the draft after totaling 106 tackles, 5 QB sacks and 12.5 TFLs in 2018. 
6 (199) Gerri Green OLB/

Mississippi State

210/4th Round Green appeared in 52 games during school and has made starts at both DE and OLB.  He will likely become an exchange linebacker, where he has been pretty good at sliding and shuffling despite weighting in the 250-pound range.  Versatile performer. 
7 (240) Jackson Barton OT/Utah 341/5th Round Barton’s lateral kick-slide won to a spot on many occasions in pass pro.  He is a decent athlete with questionable leverage.  There are possibilities for him to compete with Joe Haeg and Le’Raven Clark for a backup spot outside.
7 (246)

Acquired from Philadelphia via New England

Javon

Patterson

OL/Ole Miss 404/5th Round The former five-star recruit has to overcome small hands that make it difficult to latch.  On the positive side, he is an effective pulling option and cuts off on angles with efficiency as a run blocker.  The fact that he has started at OG and OC could him stick in Indy.

 

Taylor (No. 65 pictured), a former Freshman All-American, made starts at both right tackle and left tackle as a Gator.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars Notable picks: It will be interesting to see DC Todd Wash intends to use Allen.  He got up to around the 262-pound mark prior to the draft, but he has played in the 240-pound range in the past.  He has enough flexibility to be at least serviceable in coverage, but they drafted him to rush the passer.  The selection of Taylor would seem to add positive depth to an offensive line always in search of physical players.  Williams and Armstead will increase the team’s speed on special teams. This was a solid, if unspectacular, draft haul that produced a number of players who fit the personality and make-up of the current roster. 
Round,

Selection,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (7) Josh Allen Kentucky 6/1st Round Allen will get an opportunity to build on what was a breakout senior year.  He finished his career with 41 tackles for losses and 11 forced fumbles.  His activity in school was his biggest strength.  Look for the team to make him a wild card type of player tough to identify.
2 (35) Jawaan

Taylor

OT/Florida 7/1st Round There may have been some concerns about Taylor’s health, but he is in line with what the Jaguars want to do when it comes to running the ball.  Taylor has quality footwork that shines when he is in optimum condition.
3 (69) Josh Oliver TE/San Jose State 107/3rd Round Oliver’s foot speed, ball skills and ability to flex add an element perhaps missing from the team’s offense prior to the draft.  He and free agent acquisition Geoff Swaim could potentially form a solid one-two punch at the position. 
3 (98) Quincy Williams LB/Murray State 339/5th Round Quinnen Williams’ older brother found a way to sneak into the third round due to his speed and explosiveness.  The former safety was frequently walked-out in an overhang position for the Racers, and there is work to be done when it comes to key-and-diagnose from the exchange LB spot.
5 (140) Ryquell Armstead RB/Temple 153/3rd Round Armstead’s downhill running style closely mirrors many of the running backs he will compete with for a roster spot.  The difference?  His 4.45 speed overcomes a bit of a rigid nature and he played a few snaps on defense in 2018 for the Owls.
6 (178) Gardner Minshew QB/

Washington State,

ECU

372/5th Round Minshew carries similar traits to current Jaguars backup Cody Kessler when it comes to hand size, height and weight.  He was a bit of a gambler at ECU, but he played at a faster pace under Mike Leach while at Washington State.
7 (235)

Acquired from Oakland via Seattle

Dontavius Russell DT/Auburn 183/3rd Round Russell kind of got lost in the shuffle in what proved to be a deep defensive tackle class. We felt he had underrated strength, particularly when aligned in an inside shade of an offensive guard or center.  If he earns a roster spot, it will be to take some of the snaps off of the team’s starters. 

 

Long (seen scooping the ball versus Utah in the 2017 Heart of Dallas Bowl) was named an AP second-team All-American and the Big 12’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. He finished with 111 tackles, 8 QB sacks, 19 TFLs and 4 PBUs.

Tennessee Titans Notable picks: Simmons may not be available for action until 2020, which requires this draft class to drift into somewhat of a wait-and-see proposition.  Brown, however, will have his slot evaluated early on. The same can be said for both Davis and Hooker.  Hooker brings a lot of desirable traits to a defensive backfield full of capable playmakers.  Walker’s inability to perform until late in the process caused him to slide, but he was at his best against the best competition.  There are not many drafts that allow you to draft a conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in the sixth round, but the Titans picked one up from the Big 12 in Long, Jr.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (19) Jeffery

Simmons

DT/

Mississippi State

5/1stRound With Brian Orakpo’s retirement, the onus falls on Harold Landry -last year’s second-round pick- to take the next step.  Although Simmons may redshirt in 2019, he could become a Pro Bowler if he can return to full health after suffering an ACL tear while training for pre-draft workouts.
2 (51) A.J. Brown WR/Ole Miss 16/1st Round Brown’s strong run after the catch skills make him a tough tackle for any defensive back at 226 pounds.  He displayed the ability to go outside against Vanderbilt, but he primarily worked from the slot on his Pro Day.
3 (82) Nate Davis OG/

Charlotte

92/3rd Round Despite playing right tackle in 2018, he was outstanding with his quick-set technique as a LG.  We were most impressed with his vision, but he needs work on preventing his frame from getting overextended.  He will compete for the right guard position in training camp.
4 (116) Amani Hooker DB/Iowa 34/2nd Round The Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year may have been hurt by the fact that he covered the slot in school.  He will have to prove that he can get off the hash in coverage, which he has done effectively on occasion.  He is at his best reading and passing off underneath routes.
5 (168)

Acquired from N.Y. Jets via New Orleans

D’Andre Walker OLB/Georgia 85/2nd Round Walker received one of final second round grades and the Titans were able to pick him up in the fifth round.  We liked his ability to work from either a two-point or three-point stance effectively.  This team needed more pass rushers and he can play from either side. 
6 (188)

Acquired from Miami

David Long, Jr. LB/

West Virginia

115/3rd Round Long was nicked for his size and lack of length.  He was also unable to complete a full workout until late in the process.  The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year routinely attacks the action and consistently trusts what he sees in front of him.  He will have to shine on special teams to earn a roster spot.

 

 

 

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC East

Williams led the SEC in passes defended in 2018 after posting career-highs in interceptions (4) and pass break-ups (14).

New England Patriots Notable picks: Williams could be a chess piece when the team has to defend the Travis Kelce-types at tight end and the A.J. Green-types at wide receiver.  Cajuste has more talent than his draft position indicates, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him push for playing time.  Bailey will challenge incumbent Ryan Allen in one of the training camp battles to watch.   Harry’s size is similar to Josh Gordon.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (32) N’Keal Harry WR/Arizona State 65/2nd Round Harry won’t be asked to take the top off of defenses, but he will be tasked with adjusting to a variety of passes outside the numbers.  We think some of his best work came in the slot, where his superior run after the catch skill comes into full focus.  His overall style fits the offense and adds a bit of pizzazz.
2 (45) Joejuan Williams CB/

Vanderbilt

31/2nd Round Williams will be able to match up with bigger WRs  one week and then can cover the TE the next week, if needed.  While his 40-yard dash times didn’t impress in the postseason, he did demonstrate strength and explosion.  He was arguably the SEC’s most competitive corner in 2018. 
3 (77) Chase Winovich DE-OLB/

Michigan

93/3rd Round Winovich provides a versatile nature capable of rushing from a number of spots.  He plays longer than his length would suggest and is adept at causing havoc with his hand in the dirt. 
3 (87) Damien

Harris

RB/Alabama 56/2nd Round Harris will have a role in this offense but it may be according to game plan.  The Patriots continue to evolve into a team capable of running the ball to take pressure off of Brady.  He will compete for snaps with Rex Burkhead behind 2018 rookie sensation Sony Michel.
3 (101)

Compensatory pick acquired from Los Angeles via New England

Yodny

Cajuste

OT/West Virginia 67/2nd Round If not for his injury issues, Cajuste likely would have challenged for a spot in the second round.  Many of the DL we talked to said Cajuste was the best tackle they faced in the Big 12.  He provides insurance at the outside tackle spots, particularly if Isaiah Wynn is not fully recovered from his knee injury.
4 (118)

Acquired from Los Angeles

Hjalte

Froholdt

OG/

Arkansas

302/4th Round Froholdt’s mobility ranks as one of his strengths, as does his upper body strength and ability to latch.  The former DL’s lack of length is the one reason he lasted this long, but he has experience at both guard and center. 
4 (133)

Acquired from Los Angeles

Jarrett

Stidham

QB/Auburn 114/3rd Round Stidham’s 2017 performance against Alabama landed the Tigers in the SEC Championship game.  We spotlighted his upside in our feature on him in the 2018 Music City Bowl. 
5 (159)

Acquired from Minnesota via Seattle

Byron

Cowart

DL/

Maryland, Auburn

251/4th Round Cowart’s dramatic improvement after transferring to Maryland came after the former five-star recruit didn’t have a lot of success with the Auburn Tigers.  His size affords him the team the flexibility to line him up at the zero, one, two, three or four-technique DL spots.  He is an ideal scheme fit for the team.
5 (163) Jake Bailey P/Stanford 401/5th Round Bailey -our top-ranked punter- pinned opponents in school, never had a punt blocked and flipped the field with directional punts that still produced hang time averages in the 4.8-to-5.0-second range.  In addition, he may be able to handle kickoff duties if needed. 
7 (252) Ken Webster CB-Ole Miss 294/4th Round The knee injury from 2016 lingered into other ailments but Webster seemed to recover slowly in 2018.  At his best, he is an explosive athlete capable of challenging WRs in press-man.  Could he be a late-round find for the team?

 

Wilkins (No. 42 pictured) moved around quite a bit in Clemson’s schemes and is likely to do much of the same for the Dolphins.

 

 

Miami

Dolphins

Notable picks: The Dolphins draft is required to add Josh Rosen, who they traded their 62nd overall pick in the second round for while giving up a 2020 fifth-round pick.  Add Wilkins and Deiter, two potential starters, and you have a pretty good start to the proceedings.  The two final picks, Cox and Gaskin, both have questions to answer about their potential contributions on special teams.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (13) Christian Wilkins Clemson 12/1st Round Wilkins’ positional versatility could very well shine in Brian Flores’ multiple schemes.  His flexibility is outstanding, as is his ability to win going sideways.
3 (78) Michael

Deiter

OG/

Wisconsin

129/3rd Round It can be argued that Deiter can provide backup options at three-to-four spots on an offensive line.  He frequently wins wrestling matches once he latches the opponent. 
5 (151) Andrew Van Ginkel LB/

Wisconsin

513/6th Round Van Ginkel is an above average blitzer with solid flexibility.  There are still questions regarding his efficiency as an exchange linebacker.  We think he can be a core special teams player in Year 1.  It may be his road to earning a roster spot. 
6 (202)

Acquired from New Orleans

Isaiah Prince OT/Ohio State 219/4th Round Prince’s length (35 1/2-inch arms) allowed him to cover up for a number of technique errors on the perimeter in school.  Consistency is the word that comes to mind when evaluating whether or not he can earn a roster spot. His best work comes as a run blocker.
7 (233)

Acquired from Tennessee

Chandler Cox FB/Auburn 332/4th Round Cox demonstrated a unique feel for hitting opponents on the move from a number of spots when blocking for a multitude of runners.  The former U.S. All-American started 41 games for the Tigers, but contributed just one career tackle.
7 (234)

Acquired from Cleveland via Pittsburgh

Myles Gaskin RB/

Washington

130/3rd Round Aside from question marks surrounding his size, Gaskin’s high volume (945 career carries) in school likely caused him to slide into the seventh round.  Despite weight in the 205-pound range, Gaskin has contact balance. He did 24 repetitions at 225 pounds.   

Singletary rushed for 66 touchdowns over a three-year period. He possesses outstanding short-area creativity.

 

Buffalo Bills Notable picks: The first two picks, Oliver and Ford, chart a direction for the team.  Both players have a physical presence at their respective positions.  If Singletary gives the team the juice expected as a backup, then the rest of the draft could simply be evaluated for the purposes of depth.  With that said, Knox could become a starter in due time.  Of their Day 3 picks, it could be argued that Johnson has a chance to become the best of the group.
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1 (9) Ed Oliver DT/Houston 4/1st Round Oliver’s pad level and leverage could be a perfect fit as an under tackle in the team’s 4-3 schemes under Sean McDermott.
2 (38)

Acquired from Oakland via Jacksonville

Cody Ford OG/

Oklahoma

23/2nd Round Ford’s finish drew high marks from several evaluators, but the injury history is rather extensive. The Bills may end up slotting him opposite left tackle Dion Dawkins or they could decide to move him to the guard spot.  He’s started at either spot in school.  Playing lower will only help his development. 
3 (74) Devin

Singletary

RB/FAU 105/3rd Round Singletary’s low center of gravity and short area change of direction draws comparisons to the Pro Bowl running back in front of him, LeSean McCoy.  Learning the nuances of the game as a smaller back from an All-Pro will likely aid the former Owl’s development.
3 (96)

Compensatory pick acquired via Washington

Dawson Knox TE/Ole Miss 134/3rd Round A quick glance at Knox’s statistics don’t take into account that he had three receivers with significantly more targets.  He runs in the low 4.6-range and plays at a fast clip.  At 254 pounds, he can line up with his hand in the dirt or flex-out (as he did quite a bit at Ole Miss) for the Bills. 
5 (147) Vosean Joseph LB/Florida 379/5th Round Joseph’s overall lack of size showed up on occasion but he did impress as his career went along when it came to matching routes. He is also a positive blitz threat (four sacks in 2018).
6 (181) Jaquan Johnson S/

Miami (Fla.)

176/3rd Round Johnson was dinged for his lack of timed speed, but he generally played faster than his teammates on Saturday afternoons.  Something to ponder is whether the hamstring injury that forced him to miss time in 2018 lingered over into the postseason.  His instincts and special teams contributions in school only add to his overall value.
7 (225) Darryl

Johnson

DE/North Carolina A&T 481/6th Round Johnson didn’t stand out against ECU tackle and 2020 NFL prospect D’Ante Smith, but even in that game he displayed his long nature.  The MEAC Defensive Player of the Year finished with 10.5 QB sacks and 19 TFLs in 2018.
7 (228) Tommy Sweeney TE/Boston College 262/4th Round Sweeney’s portfolio dates back to the 2016 campaign, when he was used as a Swiss army knife.  He can align as a FB, Y-tight end or H-back depending on formation.  He will likely end up getting snaps on the punt unit, where he will have to prove capable of running down effectively in coverage.

 

Polite (No. 99 pictured) forced six fumbles for the Gators in 2018 and finished third in the SEC in tackles for losses (17.5).

New York Jets Notable picks: The Jets needed to come out of this draft with a legitimate pass rusher after Jordan Jenkins and Henry Anderson tied for the team lead in sacks a year ago.  There has been talk of Gregg Williams sticking with the 30-front scheme that has fit the Jets for the better part of over a decade.  Expect to see elements of his 4-3 background, but most of the remaining parts and additions suggest elements of the 3-4 defense will be in play.  At offensive tackle, Edoga will have the opportunity to challenge for playing time. 
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (3) Quinnen Williams DT/Alabama 1/1st Round Williams is able to attack gaps two-to-three gaps over with outstanding lateral agility.  Despite being a one-year wonder, he did post 6.5 tackles for loss in a secondary role back in 2017.
3 (68) Jachai Polite DE-OLB/Florida 103/3rd Round Polite uses a combination of inside posts with clubs, dips his weight and can take his surface area away from tackles.  Nevertheless, his power component is largely unearthed at this stage of his development.  In 2018, he posted 17.5 tackles for loss while forcing six fumbles because he is tough to grasp.
3 (92)

Acquired from the Minnesota Vikings

Chuma Edoga OT/USC 121/3rd Round Edoga’s disposition on the field is probably a bit more erect than what you’d expect from a 6-foot-3-inch tackle, but his light-footed nature draws high marks.  His profile matches the team’s current starting left tackle Kelvin Beacham. 
4 (121) Trevon Wesco TE/West Virginia 392/5th Round The former high school QB has all of the intangibles to continue to improve as a receiving threat.  His 267-pound frame was often used as an insert blocker in the Mountaineers rushing attack.
5 (157) Blake Cashman LB/

Minnesota

187/3rd Round Cashman’s breakout year came at just the right time, as he forged his way into the NFL Draft.  We think he is one of the top kickoff cover men in the 2019 NFL Draft.  His instincts either off the ball or when rushing downhill are solid.
6 (196)

Acquired from Oakland via Chicago Bears

Blessaun Austin CB/Rutgers 151/3rd Round The Jets didn’t travel far to grab the former New York high school product.  Despite two consecutive years of knee injuries, he still finished his career with four interceptions and 19 career pass break-ups.   Few cornerbacks get their hands on wide receivers with the efficiency of Austin.  If he can return to full health, he’ll have a chance to earn playing time. 

 

 

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC North

Ferguson, pictured, totaled 26 tackles for losses in 2018 while also posting 17 quarterback sacks. He ended his career as the FBS’ all-time sack leader.

 

Baltimore Ravens Notable picks: First-year GM Eric DeCosta did a very good job of adding layers to the Baltimore offense.  Brown’s challenge will be to hold his weight at the 175-pound mark while not losing his decisive speed.  Ferguson has more pressure to produce than most third-rounders because of the loss of Terrell Suggs in free agency. Boykin will compete with holdovers Jaleel Scott, Chris Moore, and Jordan Lasley for playing time.  Powers helps improve the depth of the interior line.  Will Marshall move to safety?  The addition of Hill provides the team with a home run threat at the running back position.  He will, however, have to fight for playing time.
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1 (25)

Acquired this pick from the Philadelphia Eagles for its 22nd overall pick

Marquise Brown WR/

Oklahoma

77/2nd Round Brown has a chance to become dynamic in the Ravens offense in a different type of way than he was at Oklahoma.  Expect to see him used on fly sweeps, seam routes, shallow crossers, nine routes and post patterns.  Will he be a fit with fellow Florida native Lamar Jackson? Physical cornerbacks have competed well against him in the past.
3 (85) Jaylon

Ferguson

DE/

Louisiana Tech

20/2nd Round After a subpar postseason, Ferguson saw his stock slide despite breaking former Ravens’ OLB Terrell Suggs’ all-time NCAA sack record.  Ferguson plays even longer than his size would indicate and he may have to bully tackles early on.  He has a 10-yard burst.
3 (93) Miles Boykin WR/Notre Dame 48/2nd Round Boykin is an upside pick after just one year of high-level production, but he did draw as many pass interference calls as any receiver in this year’s draft.  Can he build on his breakout final year in school?
4 (113)

Acquired from Minnesota

Justice Hill RB/

Oklahoma State

55/2nd Round Hill has the burst to slip-and-slide in-between the tackles on gut runs.  His 4.4 speed is aided by an underrated ability to at least compete in pass protection. 
4 (123) Ben Powers OG/

Oklahoma

136/3rd Round If Powers can sustain blocks with more efficiency, then his ability to gain position can be effective in the NFL.  He excels with hand placement initially and passes off line games well.  His experience gives the team comfort he can translate to the next level.
4 (127)

Acquired from Philadelphia

Iman

Marshall

DB/USC 120/3rd Round It is hard to find cornerbacks who have started 48 games in school.  The Ravens found Marshall, who is physical enough to perhaps transition to the safety spot.  In a crowded cornerback room, he may be asked to shift to the safety spot in nickel/dime packages.
5 (160) Daylon Mack DT/Texas A&M 185/3rd Round The former five-star recruit’s big knock didn’t revolve around power or explosion at 330-plus pounds.  It basically comes down to endurance.  We think he can give the team a solid 20 snaps a game if needed and those snaps can be impactful. 
6 (197) Trace

McSorley

QB/Penn State 101/3rd Round We felt McSorley was one of the better quarterbacks in this year’s draft, but his final year at Penn State included a knee injury that affected his accuracy.  While most expect him to play a variety of roles for the team, we think he can be productive under center in at least a backup capacity.

 

Finley’s experience includes stints at two different schools. He led the ACC in completion percentage (67.4%) in 2018.

Cincinnati Bengals Notable picks: The Bengals were fixated on finding more competition along its offensive line and Williams will be asked to move back to his original spot in college, right tackle.  Sample is underrated as a receiver, but his true value comes as a blocker for a team intent on running the ball effectively.  Pratt’s foot speed will give him an opportunity to compete for a spot in DC Lou Anarumo’s schemes. Can Finley’s experience and maturity actually challenge Andy Dalton?
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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (11) Jonah Williams OT/Alabama 46/2nd Round Williams’ experience includes starts at both the right and left tackle spots.  He is an outstanding run blocker with positive bend and mobility.  After whiffing on a number of outside tackles in prior drafts, the Bengals hope to strike gold with the former ‘Tide stalwart.
2 (52) Drew

Sample

TE/

Washington

277/4th Round Sample amplified his draft stock when he ran in the low 4.7-range at 255 pounds.  He is getting better at the little things when it comes to running routes (sinking his weight, using his size, etc..).  He can play multiple spots. 
3 (72) Germaine Pratt LB/North Carolina State 223/4th Round If Pratt -a former safety- can improve his stack-and-shed, we think he can compete early for a spot.  He has had some shoulder issues in the past, but is a fine blitz threat with good ball skills to finish interception opportunities.
4 (103) Ryan Finley QB/NC State 64/2nd Round Finley’s accurate and flexible nature is demonstrated with a quick release when his feet stay quiet in the pocket.  His playing style could fit well in Zac Taylor’s offensive schemes.
4 (125)

Acquired from Denver via Houston

Renell Wren DT/Arizona State 280/4th Round Wren played his best football late in his career but was quietly productive over a two-year stretch.  He gives the teams options in terms of moving their defensive fronts. 
4 (136)

Compensatory pick acquired via Dallas

Michael

Jordan

OG/Ohio State 131/3rd Round Jordan will get the opportunity to move back to the guard spot and play alongside former Buckeye teammate and Bengals center Billy Price.  It could prove to be a winning combination for the Bengals.
6 (182) Trayveon Williams RB/

Texas A&M

71/2nd Round It is hard to find players who rush for over 1,700 yards available in the sixth round, but there were questions surrounding Williams’ true change of direction after ordinary postseason workouts.  A closer look reveals a back capable of slipping in-and-out of tight quarters with burst and power packed into a 206-pound frame.
6 (210) Deshaun Davis LB/Auburn 150/3rd Round Davis is an instinctive linebacker who fits, wraps and seeks to inflict pain on opponents.  He got knocked for a bit of stiffness in pass coverage.  He finished his career with 266 tackles and 29 tackles for losses. 
6 (211) Rodney

Anderson

RB/

Oklahoma

246/4th Round Anderson’s talent has never been in question, but his injury history is concerning.  He is a pick that could reap major rewards if he is able to stay unscathed over the next year and a half.  The former Sooner has soft hands and is good in pass protection. 
7 (223) Jordan Brown CB/South Dakota State 90/3rd Round For the team to pick up one of the draft’s better cornerbacks in terms of size and footwork is a potential heist.  Brown, an FCS All-American, trusts his instincts, tackles well enough and may be able to play multiple spots on the backend. 

Redwine (No. 22 pictured), a former cornerback, impressed teams with 4.44 speed, a 39-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-10-inch broad jump and 4.14 20-yard short shuttle at the 2019 NFL Combine.

Cleveland Browns  Notable picks: Williams and Takitaki both have question marks surrounding different aspects of their games.  Redwine has a load of talent and the former cornerback should be able to operate effectively in man coverage versus tight ends.  Mack Wilson’s eye control will determine his ultimate place on the roster, but his kickoff coverage ability will be a bonus while he develops.  An uncertain kicking situation led to the pick of Seibert, who hasn’t had a number of pressure-packed kicks on his resume’.  Forbes’ selection indicates the team is still looking for competition on the flanks of its offensive line. 
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2 (46) Greedy Williams CB/LSU 45/2nd Round Williams has to play more physical to survive in a division that prides itself on that style of play.  His cover skills, short memory and outstanding ball skills give him an opportunity to earn playing time opposite Denzel Ward.
3 (80) Sione Takitaki LB/BYU 191/3rd Round Although his space tackling is an issue, he did improve in pass coverage slightly as a senior.  The Browns linebacker corps features a ton of speed, hard hitters and undervalued prospects coming out of the college ranks.  Takitaki fits the bill, but his discipline in pass coverage will ultimately determine whether he can find a role.
4 (119) Sheldrick

Redwine

S/Miami (Fla.) 196/4th Round The former CB has the hip flexibility to cover most tight ends and occasionally matches up with slot WRs effectively (UNC ’18).  His skill-set is very similar to current Browns safety Damarious Randall. 
5 (155) Mack Wilson LB/Alabama 42/2nd Round Despite starring in pass coverage in 2017, Wilson’s inconsistent eye control caused a precipitous fall on draft weekend.  His pad level needs to improve stacking-and-shedding OL (see SEC Champ ’18).  We think he is one of the best kickoff cover guys in the entire 2019 NFL Draft class.
5 (170)

Acquired from New England

Austin Seibert PK/

Oklahoma

596/6th Round Seibert carries a slight right-to-left drift on some of his shorter field goals in the NFL’s extra point range (33-yd GW FG miss, Army ’18).  In addition, he has left some returnable kickoff opportunities for opponents (TCU ’18).  On the plus side, he connected on 80-percent of his career field goal attempts, has range up to about 60 yards and can even be an effective punter in a pinch.  He placed 65 punts inside the 20-yard line during school. 
6 (189) Drew Forbes OG/

SE Missouri State

N/A Forbes ran in the 4.9-range, pumped out 28 reps at 225 pounds, and posted a 30 1/2-inch vertical jump on his Pro Day.  His footwork may give him an opportunity to play the tackle spot, the position he played at in school. 
7 (221)

Acquired from

Jacksonville

Donnie Lewis CB-Nickel/Tulane 158/3rd Round Lewis was one of the more active cornerbacks in the AAC over the last two seasons.  He routinely challenged WRs in man coverage. Postseason injury issues caused him to fall in the draft. He also has experience covering in the slot.

Snell, the Steelers fourth-round selection, was a major factor for Kentucky in the fourth quarters of games. His style fits the personality of the AFC North.

Pittsburgh Steelers Notable picks: GM Kevin Colbert and his scouting department apparently came into this draft looking to increase the team’s speed at the linebacker spot and on special teams.  Bush, Gilbert and Smith go a long way towards reaching that goal. For the second straight year, the team drafted an Alabama defensive lineman on Day 3 of the draft process.  Justin Layne adds a long corner to a group really devoid of size on the edges.  If Johnson can duplicate former WR Antonio Brown’s younger years as a punt return specialist, it could amplify his role within the offense. 
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1 (20)

Acquired in a trade from the Denver Broncos that sent them the 20th overall pick in the first round

Devin Bush LB/Michigan 11/1st Round Bush, our top-ranked linebacker, brings 4.43 speed and plenty of explosion to the Steelers defense.  The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year’s mentality brings a tone-setting edge to the team’s defense. 
3 (66)

Acquired from Oakland

Diontae

Johnson

All-Purpose/Toledo 189/3rd Round Johnson’s instant nature gives the team the hope that they may have found yet another gem from the MAC.  We think he offers major upside in the return game.  The 2018 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year averaged 18.5 yards per punt return as a junior and 20.2 yards per punt return in his career (2 TDs).  He also returned two kickoffs for scores while in school. 
3 (83) Justin Layne CB/Michigan State 53/2nd Round Layne is a smooth bail-and-run corner with decent fluidity.  The former WR got better as his career went along, but his sense of urgency has to improve when playing off of wideouts.
4 (122) Benny Snell RB/

Kentucky

146/3rd Round The fourth quarter finisher will compete with James Connor to finish off games. Snell’s attitude and energetic style will be a complement to the team’s running back by committee-approach.  He finished his career with 48 touchdowns. Controlling his emotions will be a big key. 
5 (141)

Acquired from Oakland

Zach Gentry TE/Michigan 448/5th Round The former New Mexico high school four-star QB recruit didn’t develop into a prized signal-caller, but he did become one of the best tight ends in the Big Ten working from the inside-out on pass patterns. Ordinary workouts likely caused a bit of a slide, but he averaged 16.1 yards per reception for the Wolverines in 2018. 
6 (175)

Acquired from Oakland

Sutton Smith LB/Northern Illinois 143/3rd Round Smith’s impressive work in terms of flexibility gives the team hope that he can develop into an exchange linebacker.  With such a knack for rushing the passer off the edge, the hope for the Steelers is his knack for timing can develop from a number of spots.  He finished his career with 30 QB sacks and 58 tackles for losses in just 39 games. 
6 (192) Isaiah Buggs DL/Alabama 319/4th Round Buggs is an intense two-gap defender who relies on power, but he is actually more efficient with his angles as a pass rusher.  He could line up as a three-technique in some of their fronts or the inside shade defensive end in others.  He has value at this spot in the draft. 
6 (207)

Compensatory pick acquired from Arizona

Ulysees Gilbert LB/Akron 313/4th Round The Zips playmaker finished with 112 tackles in a breakout junior campaign but took a bit of a step back in 2018.  He runs in the high 4.4-to-low 4.5-range and will get plenty of opportunities as a core special teams player. 
7 (219)

Acquired from Tampa Bay

Derwin Gray OT/Maryland 368/5th Round Gray has shown that he can sit in the chair and he often plays with an offensive guard’s demeanor.  He possesses adequate length to remain on the edge, but he has to stay healthy.

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: NFC West

    Murray (No. 1 pictured) was often tasked with finding passing lanes behind a mammoth offensive line in school.

 

Arizona

Cardinals

Notable Picks: Two-time executive of the year Steve Keim let the draft come to the team patiently.  It is a big reason he picked up a center who we felt was one of the best overall players in the draft in Gaillard.  He may be able to battle for a backup spot.  Miles was an underrated athlete and collegiate left tackle with a legitimate six-inch punch.  The trade of 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins netted the team its second round pick (62nd overall), UMass WR Andy Isabella, and a fifth-round pick in 2020.  Allen is a heck of a football player and may have to provide a presence as an interior pass rusher after the team didn’t pick up a true outside rusher in the draft.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (1) Kyler Murray QB/

Oklahoma

17/1st Round Murray’s disciplined pocket approach is complemented by an ability to create once the pocket breaks down.  Whether or not the team did enough to address its offensive line is to debate, but it could be argued that its starting five is already in place.
2 (33) Byron

Murphy

CB/

Washington

24/2nd Round DraftNasty’s top-ranked corner has all of the tools to develop into a frontline starter. For this to be a value pick, he has to develop into at least an immediate starting nickel.
2 (62)

Acquired from Miami in the Josh Rosen trade

Andy

Isabella

WR/UMass 137/3rd Round For better or worse, Isabella’s name will always be associated with Josh Rosen’s in terms of who got the better end of the deal.  In an offense where slot wide receivers have had large degrees of success on fade routes from the slot, Isabella’s speed will put pressure on defenses. He has been inconsistent tracking the ball down the field.
3 (65) Zach Allen DE/Boston College 190/3rd Round Allen gets as many points for batting down footballs as he does putting the quarterback on the ground.  In school he notched 14 pass break-ups, but he also tallied 40.5 tackles for losses. He is a feisty defensive end who excels at playing to half a man. 
5 (139) Deionte Thompson S/Alabama 66/2nd Round Although he is somewhat of a shoulder-block tackler, the 195-pound Thompson rarely runs away from contact.  Injuries clouded his postseason and left scouts wondering about his durability. 
6 (174) KeeSean Johnson WR/Fresno State 175/3rd Round One of the draft’s best route runners, Johnson plays a game that doesn’t rely completely on long speed.  He is adept at changing his speeds to achieve separation at the top of routes.  His ball skills are above average.
6 (179) Lamont

Gaillard

OL/Georgia 51/2nd Round We were bullish on Gaillard’s stock and certainly ranked him higher than most teams.  We like the fact that the former four-star recruit has experience at both OG and OC.  He has finishing DNA as a football player.
7 (248) Joshua Miles OL/Morgan State 227/4th Round Not many 314-pounders notch 36-inch vertical jumps.  This is a mere additive for the former Morgan State left tackle.  He became the first player from the school drafted since Visanthe Shiancoe in 2003 and just the second since 1982.
7 (249) Michael Dogbe DL/Temple 235/4th Round Dogbe translates perfectly as a four-technique DE for the Cardinals and his quick, slippery nature could get him looks at a three-technique position in Bear fronts.  He can play a number of spots in obvious pass rush situations, but he is sound defending the run versus reach or angle blocks.
7 (254) Caleb Wilson TE/UCLA 207/4th Round Mr. Irrelevant has 4.56 speed but limited thump as a point of attack blocker.  He became more willing in this regard as a cross-blocker when at the fullback or U-off position, but he is at his best after the catch or when working the seams of the field.

Collier (No. 91 pictured) had 14.5 quarterback sacks and 20.5 tackles for losses in 42 career games.

Seattle Seahawks Notable Picks: Fair or unfair, this draft may very well come down to a comparison between the team’s first-round pick L.J. Collier and the departed Frank Clark (Chiefs).  It shouldn’t.  GM John Schneider used the trade to pick up a 2020 second-round pick, swapped a third-rounder in 2019, and then traded its own first-rounder (21st overall) to the Green Bay Packers for its 30th pick in the first round and then picked up the 114th overall pick (4th round) and 118th overall pick (4th round).  After that, the ‘Hawks traded the 30th overall pick in the first round to the New York Giants for the 37th overall pick (2nd Round), a fourth-round pick (132nd overall) and a fifth-rounder (142nd overall). They used that fifth-round pick to select Washington LB Ben Burr-Kirven. What did they do with the 37th overall pick?  They traded it to the Panthers to get the 47th overall pick (Marquise Blair) and the 77th overall pick (3rd Rounder).  They used their other draft capital to trade back up into the third round with the Vikings to select Barton 88th overall while receiving the 209th overall pick (Christmas). There were other trades and moves that allowed a team with limited selections to end up grabbing 11 players, but you get the point.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1(29)  L.J. Collier DE/TCU 125/3rd Round Collier was always a flex player for the Horned Frogs, but he arguably turned in his best season in 2018.  His improved play defending the run complemented an improvement when it came to setting up his pass rush moves.  He had two sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in the 2019 Senior Bowl. 
2 (47) Marquise Blair S/Utah 58/2nd Round It would not at all be a surprise to see Blair employed as a potential cornerback.  We felt as if his fluidity could work at the position, much like the safety the Seahawks took a season ago in Tre Flowers.  Blair, however, is unique in his skill at translating speed-to-power on contact as a tackler.  Will his frame hold up with his violent playing style?
2 (64) D.K. Metcalf WR/Ole Miss 37/2nd Round Metcalf’s lack of production can be attributed to a lack of repetitions due to injuries, some of them fairly major in nature.  When healthy, the former Rebel has demonstrated range, power and tracking skill down the field.  Can he put it all together as a route runner?      
3 (88) Cody Barton LB/Utah 177/3rd Round Although Barton presents a tad bit of stiffness, he often corrects his angles of pursuit.  Barton projects as a Will linebacker.  The former high school DB has awareness in coverage and can contribute in sub-packages.
4 (120) Gary Jennings WR/West Virginia 116/3rd Round The Seahawks continue to load up on wideouts with the uncertain status of WR Doug Baldwin.  Jennings impressed outside the numbers in the postseason after winning for most of his career in the slot with toughness and 4.4 speed. 
4 (124) Phil Haynes OL/Wake Forest 165/3rd Round Haynes competed well at the guard spot after initially playing the right tackle position earlier in his career.  His length will serve him well as a backup at both guard spots initially, but he has starting potential.
4 (132) Ugo Amadi All-Purpose/Oregon 271/4th Round Amadi’s ability to return punts is supplemented with an ability to cover the slot, contribute off the hash and as an eighth man in the box. 
5 (142) Ben

Burr-Kirven

LB/

Washington

200/4th Round The former high school track & field runner was often a blur running by his teammates on his way to an FBS-best 176 tackles.  His segmented nature, however, does result in some misses in space.  The former Husky reads the eyes of the QB well in zone coverage. 
6 (204) Travis Homer RB/Miami (Fla.) 170/3rd Round The team values special teams production and it doesn’t get much better than Homer’s 22 career tackles.  In-between running down at the gunner spot or on kickoff coverage, Homer used his 4.4 speed to rush for over 900 yards in back-to-back seasons. 
6 (209)

Compensatory pick acquired via Minnesota

Demarcus Christmas DL/Florida State 254/4th Round There is still a place for Christmas on an NFL roster.  While most point to his lack of sack production, it is worth noting that he broke up 13 passes in his career. 
7 (236)

Acquired from Jacksonville via Baltimore

John Ursua WR/Hawaii 413/5th Round Ursua finished his career with 189 receptions and 24 TDs while averaging over 14 yards per catch.  He has been an effective slot receiver and could add a different element of quickness in the slot.  His injury history is a concern at just 178 pounds.

Bosa, pictured, did 29 reps at 225 pounds at the 2019 NFL Combine and recorded a 4.14 20-yard short shuttle.

 

San

Francisco 49ers

Notable Pick: Over the last three years GM John Lynch has put together a talented roster. His draft picks from this year continue to indicate he is intent on building it through the draft.  Samuel and Bosa are the headliners, but both have extensive injury histories. They need to stay healthy.  If he has as much success with his 2019 third round pick (Hurd) as he had with his 2018 selection (Fred Warner), this draft could land high marks in a couple of years.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (2) Nick Bosa Ohio State 3/1st Round Bosa has all of the tools to become a potent bookend at the DE spot opposite Dee Ford.  We think he will provide matchup problems if aligned on the left side versus the tackles of the Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals. Can he stay healthy?
2 (36) Deebo Samuel All-Purpose/

South

Carolina

69/2nd Round In 30 career games, Samuel scored 32 touchdowns.  There was a marked difference when we viewed him early in the season as opposed to the postseason (due to past injury issues).  He has had injury scrapes in each of his seasons on campus.  If not, he may have been a Top 15 pick. 
3 (67) Jalen Hurd WR/Baylor, Tennessee 97/3rd Round Hurd could have made an impact at the 2019 Senior Bowl, but was unable to participate due to injury. After starring as a running back early in his career at Tennessee, he impressed with his work in the slot at Baylor in 2018.  The big question he faces is whether he can be as effective outside the numbers.
4 (110)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Mitch

Wishnowsky

P/Utah 451/5th Round Wishnowsky has a wide repertoire of punts.  From the running rugby-style (which he won’t use) version, he’s executed the now popular hook punt.  We think he can perfect this and some of his other punts from a traditional punting platform, which he executed from on occasion with success.  His highest hang times got up into the high 4-second range, but he was generally capable in the 4.6-range depending on the style of kick. He can also kickoff.
5 (148)

Acquired from Denver

Dre

Greenlaw

LB/Arkansas 186/3rd Round The operative thinking is that Greenlaw will just provide depth as a fourth or fifth LB who could see time in sub-packages.  However, we think he could challenge Malcolm Smith in due time.
6 (176) Kaden Smith TE/Stanford 241/4th Round Smith was one of the best tight ends in this year’s draft at making contested catches on seam passes.  If he can overcome his pedestrian speed to earn a roster spot, he could allow Kyle Shanahan to incorporate some two tight end receiving sets.
6 (183)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Justin Skule OT/Vanderbilt 389/5th Round Skule will have every opportunity to grab the third tackle spot behind Staley and McGlinchey.  He’s probably best suited to backup McGlinchey, who he is nearly identical to in terms of size and quickness.  He played LT as a senior at Vanderbilt, but he did start at RT in school. 
6 (198)

Acquired from Cincinnati via Dallas

Tim Harris CB/Virginia 226/4th Round Harris is a developmental draft pick in the mold of former third-rounders Tarvarius Moore and Ahkeilo Witherspoon.  Moore started two games in 2018 and Witherspoon has quietly started 21 games in two seasons. Harris’ durability question marks overshadowed 4.4 speed and decent foot quickness.

 

Henderson (No. 8 pictured) averaged 8.9 yards per carry for the Tigers in 2018 and scored 25 touchdowns.

 

Los Angeles Rams Notable Picks: Despite not having a first-round pick, many would argue that the Rams got better value than each of their picks in the first three rounds.  We had Rapp ranked lower than some teams and Long earned a second-round grade from us.  Grabbing Gaines in the third round had to feel like a coup for the team.  The pick of Scott in the seventh round was the classic ode to special teams coordinator John Fassel, a future NFL head coach.  Scott was Penn State’s best special teams player in each of the last two seasons.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (61) Taylor Rapp S/

Washington

94/3rd Round Rapp had a chance to go even higher had he put together a better 40-yard dash time (4.7), but he excelled in short area change of direction drills (3.99 20-yd SS, 6.82 3-cone).  On the field, he is a player who carries his pads.  He needs a lot of work timing his breaks when working off the hash marks.
3 (70) Darrell

Henderson

RB/

Memphis

154/3rd Round We spotlighted the explosive Henderson early in the year when he was averaging an insane amount of yards per carry.  In years past, the Rams have had bigger runners backing up Todd Gurley but this is a departure from that philosophy.  Henderson is an underrated receiver out of the backfield (15.5 YPR in 2018).
3 (79) David Long CB/Michigan 79/2nd Round The former high school wideout and U.S. Army All-American displays outstanding competitiveness in man coverage. He didn’t play quite as big as he measured in at during the postseason, but his flexibility is above average.
4 (134)

Acquired from New England

Greg Gaines DT/

Washington

106/3rd Round The nimble Gaines can translate speed-to-power when pushing the pocket and is underrated as a two-gapping force.  Gaines has even stood up to rush from the edge.
5 (169) David

Edwards

OT/

Wisconsin

288/4th Round Edwards has some technique flaws but his hip flexibility and footwork are both adequate.  The light-footed former TE battled through injury in 2018.  He needs to play lower to earn a roster spot.
7 (243) Nick Scott S/Penn State 438/5th Round The pick of Scott in the seventh round was the classic ode to special teams coordinator John Fassel, a future NFL head coach.  Scott was Penn State’s best special teams player in each of the last two seasons.  In 2018, he began to find another gear in pass coverage as well. 
7 (251) Dakota Allen LB/Texas Tech 218/4th Round Allen trusts his eyes and delivers on contact at a violent clip. The two-time team captain overcame off the field troubles to become one of the Red Raiders team leaders. His short area change of direction rivals that of many of the class’ top defensive backs.