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Q&A with Chicago Bears DE Trevis Gipson: “Put in the work”

Tulsa defensive end Trevis Gipson totaled 13 quarterback sacks in college and in 2019 doubled his sack production from four to eight. DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous caught up with Gipson (6’3, 259) during the 2020 Senior Bowl media day to discuss his favorite pass rush moves and the chances of improving his draft stock.

Chavous: You worked so much at the four-technique (DL) and oftentimes you play bigger than your size, what do you feel like this week offers in terms of showing you can be as an edge rusher?
Gipson: I feel like that will show my versatility to scouts and general managers that will be observing our practice. Like you said, I came in sometimes four-I (inside shade of tackle), four (head-up versus offensive tackle) or sometimes even five (outside shoulder of offensive tackle), but just being on that edge showing I can bull rush or speed rush, speed-to-power, just showing a lot of versatility in my pass rush. I feel like that will help my overall draft stock at the end of the day.

Gipson finished his Golden Hurricane career with 25.5 tackles for losses and eight forced fumbles.

Chavous: Some of our notes on you include the right-hand post from the left defensive end spot and then using that same arm to dip and make the 90-degree turn against Cincinnati this year. When you go against bigger tackles, like the guys you’ll face this week, do you feel like your long arms will allow you to get some extension away from these big tackles?
Gipson: I feel like it will. I have certain moves for certain tackles. Taller tackles I like to dip the corner or use my speed because they are longer than me. It all depends on what type of tackle I’m going against and just being able to turn that corner…wearing that down. That will open my opportunities to do the bull rush or power pass rushes overall.

Chavous: Do you think if you show here what you showed against other Power 5 teams that you could move up into the first round discussion?
Gipson: Most definitely, my confidence in myself is out of this roof. I feel like once I show them my pass rush is unstoppable in my opinion then it will help my draft stock. Overall, run-stopping, also, I feel like that will help me. Just dominating in all aspects man, that’s a part of my game plan. Of course everyone wants their draft stock to rise, but you’ve got put in the work to do it. That’s my first milestone and I’ll cross that coming this afternoon (here at the Senior Bowl).

Chavous: You kind of touched upon it, you’re a good run defender. That separates you from potentially some of the other players. Why is it such a commitment to you in terms of holding the point or being able to two-gap?
Gipson: In order to get to third down, you have to stop first and second.

Chavous: Yeah.
Gipson: I feel like I have more fun rushing the passer but I can’t do that unless I stop the run first. Of course delivering big hits….just enjoying the physicality of the game, that’s part of the reason I do it man. I love the game. You can’t take physicality or you can’t take running away from the game. Everybody is gonna run the ball. Some teams more than others…like Navy.

Chavous: Right, right.
Gipson: I didn’t get many pass rushes versus them (Navy).

Chavous: Protect your legs….(laughs).
Gipson: Ah man, I had blood coming down my shins and everything. It was crazy man. But stopping the run is a big part of getting to that third down and that’s what comes first. So I take that more serious.

Chavous: You kind of remind me of those guys who are multi-dimensional, like Za’Darius Smith or Preston Smith, the guys that play up in Green Bay. Guys who can play the run and rush the passer. Who do you pattern your game after at the next level? Maybe a guy where you say that kind of reminds me of myself a little bit. I can work on developing some of what he already has in his arsenal.
Gipson: I like to compare myself to Marcus Davenport (New Orleans Saints), he’s 6-foot-7 (6’6″). But just his story, coming out of UTSA, a small school, he was underlooked.

Chavous: He kind of rose up during this week (Senior Bowl) too, right?
Gibson: Yeah, he did and that’s my plan. Seeing him become the 14th overall pick, it just gave me nothing but hope and pride. I’m going to try and kill this week and show scouts what I can do. Overall, perform at a high level.

Chavous: Thanks a lot man, we enjoyed watching you play. Best of luck.
Gibson: Thanks a lot.

The versatile Terrapin

If it looks like Antoine Brooks, Jr. is anticipating the play before it happens, as if he is a quarterback, it is because he was one.

Brooks, Jr. excelled at Duval High School in Bowie, Maryland, where he was a quarterback and a defensive back. As a quarterback, he took home the Prince George’s Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year in 2015 despite playing in just six games after suffering a broken wrist and leg.

Almost five years later, Brooks, Jr. sees how his experiences in high school have shaped him into a versatile defensive prospect.

“Honestly (playing quarterback) helped me a lot with the transition of being on defense,” Brooks, Jr. said during media day at the Senior Bowl. “Even with being a leader. It just shows I can communicate and get the right play down.”

The three-year starter was asked to digest a bevy of tasks within the team’s system. This allowed him to play a variety of roles from week-to-week.

At the University of Maryland, Brooks, Jr. played nickel back, safety and outside linebacker.

While he is known in College Park for his diving interceptions or hard sideline hits, the cerebral part of the game is not lost on Brooks, Jr.

Unprompted, Brooks, Jr. recalled a moment from this past year’s AFC Championship game when his favorite player to watch, Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, correctly diagnosed a read-option pass to Titans receiver Corey Davis over the middle of the field.

Mathieu knocked Davis two yards behind the line of scrimmage for a loss but this was after he saw the Patriots run the same play for N’Keal Harry, who broke Mathieu’s tackle and got a first down in the red zone in Week 14 of the regular season.

Mathieu then took to Twitter after the game and said film preparation helped him identify the play and correct his previous error.

“It just shows watching film is so important,” Brooks Jr. said. “Those are the little things that help me succeed.”

His film study made a huge difference for the Terps defense, who used him as a Swiss Army knife.

Brooks, Jr. broke out during his sophomore season when he transitioned from linebacker to defensive back in the offseason.

Brooks earned All-Big Ten honors three times in his career (2017 Honorable mention All-Big Ten, 2018 2nd Team All-Big Ten and 2019 3rd Team All-Big Ten).

In 2017, he had 9.5 tackles for loss, which were the most by a Big Ten defensive back in the regular season. He also led the Terps with 53 solo tackles, while also contributing a quarterback sack and two interceptions.

The success he had as a nickel back hasn’t pigeonholed Brooks, Jr. During interviews with NFL personnel at the 2020 Senior Bowl, he admitted that his preferred position is strong safety.

Like a terrapin, Brooks, Jr. is undersized but can adjust to different surroundings.

“You just have to ask me (where to play),” Brooks, Jr. said of the prospects of being asked to play multiple positions. “I’m going 100 percent and I win most of my battles.”

The numbers at the University of Maryland speak volumes. In his career, Brooks, Jr. had nine pass deflections, four interceptions, 27.5 tackles for loss and three-and-a half quarterback sacks.

Brooks Jr. knows his speed will be a question mark if he is asked to play in the secondary, but he trusts his 40-yard dash time will calm any doubts.

“I’m hoping to run in the low 4.4s,” said Brooks Jr., who ran a 4.5 going into college. Worth noting, he ran a 4.64 at the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

Confidence wasn’t something that was lacking for Brooks, Jr. during Senior Bowl week. The former Terp could be seen on the practice field communicating demonstrably during the on-field drills and asking questions from the Cincinnati Bengals coaches, who led the South roster.

However, the three-time All-Big Ten performer is ready to put the questions and talking aside and get to what really matters.

“I’m just ready to play football,” Brooks, Jr. said.

Q&A with former Utah State PK Dominik Eberle: “It’s always about the next kick”

Former Utah State kicker Dominick Eberle set a new Mountain West Conference all-time mark for field goals when he hit four goals versus Wyoming in 2019. He also aced a game-winning field goal against Fresno State in 2019. Despite being a Lou Groza Award finalist in 2017, he dealt with a career-defining low point in the 2017 Arizona Bowl. DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous caught up with Eberle during the week of the 2020 East-West Shrine Bowl to talk about redemption, technique and confidence.

Corey: I want to take you to a game a couple years back. The Arizona Bowl (2017). That game. What did you feel like it did for you….the learning experience? Talk about that moment and how you built from that.
Eberle: That moment is something where I truly felt like I let my teammates down. I felt like I didn’t perform to the best of my abilities and it wasn’t gonna be something that I was gonna be remembered for. That was gonna be something where it has happened, but the learning experience from that, really challenging myself to whatever accolades came before that didn’t matter, because that was the last game I had played in. So I really wanted to make sure that that bitter taste out of my mouth kinda came out of that. Because just through hard work, really focusing on what I can do better and what I can control, that was something that I learned a lot from it and wanted to just consistently improve on every single day. And those are the lessons that you need as a kicker. You need to be mentally tough, you need to be able to just focus on the next kick because what happened doesn’t matter anymore. It shapes who you are but it doesn’t matter anymore. It’s always about the next kick. And that’s kind of the mentality that I took this year as well. It doesn’t matter if I made three field goals already, the fourth one, the next one is really the one I focused on. Just taking it one kick at a time.

Utah State’s Dominik Eberle made 79-percent of his field goals in school and never missed an extra point.

Corey: I think you were like 18-of-22 (16-of-18) going into that game (2017 Arizona Bowl) or something like that. It was kind of crazy just how efficient you had been. Big reason the team was even in the bowl game, right? But did you find yourself punching at the ball in that game? What was it technically that you learned from it?
Eberle: From that game, I was wrapping around the ball a lot. If you look at the seam, I was hitting so far on the right seam where even though I had distance on it, it was just kind of shoot off your foot with a weird left rotation and spin out to the left of the upright. And that’s what I did on three of the field goals that game. And the very last one, I really just punched at it, it went right, hit the upright. That’s something where I looked at it where it was sometimes just trusting your technique isn’t enough. Sometimes you’ve gotta be really able to not revamp it, but add certain things that can help you. So what I did going into the next season (2018) was really following through straight and using my momentum, similar to Justin Tucker’s, to carry myself through the ball straight and have my hips pointing right at my target. That’s something that I worked with cone drills, just kicking the ball into the net. And that’s something where every single day I’m kinda working at that getting that consistency right through my target.

Corey: And talk a little bit about that. For placekickers, the target line is a big deal. That target line is really where you’re trying to get the ball to and in that sense, that’s really what you’re talking about from an explanation standpoint, right?
Eberle: Exactly. For us, when we’re facing our building side right between the S and T or the K and the S for Maverik Stadium (Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium, Utah State’s home field), small little gap. That’s something we’re always aiming at. It’s high up and everybody can see it and that’s my target line. So whenever I hit in that Allstate Hands (kicking net) or something, right down my target line. That’s something I always focus on in practice, whether it’s here (Tropicana Field, East-West Shrine Bowl), when I’m looking above you can kinda see the Tropicana Field. That’s something where I’m aiming at and really know if my ball is truly where I was gonna hit it.

Corey: One of the best kickers in Mountain West history. If there is one thing you feel good about translating the next level what would it be? In terms of moving forward to the next level. You’ve kicked off, are you going to be a touchback kicker in the NFL?
Eberle: I can certainly improve on kickoffs. The scheme was different this year (2019) than it was last year (2018: 64-percent touchback percentage). We tried to play the ball around a little bit more, steal a possession here or there, so my touchback percentages might of not have been near as similar…

Utah State PK Dominik Eberle, pictured, became the sixth player in NCAA history to kick three 50-yard field goals when he connected on three 51-yarders versus New Mexico State in 2018.

Corey: Sky kicks.
Eberle: Exactly. Sky kicks, little pooch kicks.

Corey: Hang times to sometimes get a fair catch?
Eberle: Exactly. So that was kinda what we were working with this year rather than just telling me to boot the ball out of the end zone. I know I can do that but I’m more of a team player. Realizing against LSU we had a little pooch kick over to about the 30-yard line where we knew the guy wasn’t experienced catching the ball and maybe steal a fumble. So we pooched the ball over and he fumbled it but he recovered it rather than us. That is where I realized that can just as much of a weapon as just kicking the ball out of the end zone.

Corey: You talked about Justin Tucker (Baltimore Ravens) earlier, who were some of the other kickers that you study at the NFL level with some of those technique we were talking about?
Eberle: Shayne Graham (15-year NFL veteran with 14 teams) would be one as well. He was really consistent. He was someone that when I first was learning to become a kicker was still playing in the league. He was with the Bengals at the time, bounced around with the Saints and everything. I was watching him and how smooth he sometimes appeared where it looked effortless. Will Lutz (New Orleans Saints) as well, he has incredible ball-striking ability. That’s something I want to learn from him. And just Adam Vinatieri (Patriots, Colts). The more you read about him or hear stories about him, he had that killer instinct in the fourth quarter. He was so in the zone that you knew he wasn’t going to miss.

Corey: Thanks a lot for your time and best of luck in the draft.
Eberle: Thanks a lot.

Q&A with former Miami (Fla.) LB Shaq Quarterman: “From start to finish”

Former Miami (Fla.) linebacker Shaquille Quarterman -a four-time All-ACC selection at linebacker- finished his storied career with 356 tackles, ninth all-time in school history. In 2019, Quarterman became the only Hurricane to start 52 consecutive games without missing a start. DraftNasty editor-in-chief Corey Chavous caught up with Quarterman during the week of the 2020 East-West Shrine Bowl. They talked about why finishing was an important part of his legacy. Quaterman modeled his game after his idol, a former Hurricanes linebacker and NFL first round pick who currently serves as his mentor.

Corey: First, I’d like to ask how do you think the week has gone for you so far?
Quarterman: I think the week has progressed for me very well. First day of pads, I already knew it was knocking off the dust. Not for just me, but everybody out here. As it gets better, people get more comfortable, you get to see who really can play. So today I felt like it was night and day from my first day. I just feel like as the week keeps going I’m going to get even better.

Corey: We actually shot your last bowl game (2019 Independence Bowl). A lot of your teammates made the decision not to play in that game. For you, as a team captain, one of the things that you talked about was just how important that last game was to you. Ended that game with 11 tackles. Even though it was a little bit of a debilitating loss, your defense played well. Talk about how you felt about finishing the right way.
Quarterman: I’m a man of principle. I really stick to my principles and morals. I could not have my team out there and feel like they’re better off without me because I wanted to go train just a couple of days early. That’s not the way I want to set a standard. That’s all I’ve ever talked about was the standard. It’s not bailing on your team, because I love my guys and they made their decisions for why they made their decisions. But I’m a team guy, that’s all it is. I couldn’t be on the sidelines and then I was thinking about going but that makes it worse. I’m going to play with my team.

Corey: Right.
Quarterman: 55 is going to lead his team out there. I never folded. I never did that.

Quarterman (No. 55 pictured) finished his career with 356 tackles, 12 quarterback sacks, 46.5 tackles for loss, an interception and 13 passes defensed.

Corey: Our notes on you surround the ability to stack-and-shed. That is one of the things that is a little bit underrated in your game. Talk about why that is important to you…using your hands as a linebacker.
Quarterman: Because that’s how you’ve got to survive in the league (NFL). In college, you can still get away with being more athletic than a lot of guys. But at the next level, that margin of error is cut drastically shorter. You have to be able to do a lot of things to survive. It’s about longevity. The standard career time is already like 2.3 years, so if I can’t use my hands as a linebacker I don’t see how I’m going to see the field. And that’s just being honest. Because it’s a business, it’s about producing. I undertand that. That was one of my critiques last year, so this year I knew I had to work on that. I knew I had to put it on tape multiple times. Like you said, I put it on tape, but it’s very underrated. So I’ve got to change something about me to make it not underrated.

Corey: Now if there’s a question the scouts are asking you when you talk to them. What’s the biggest question they have for you the rest of the postseason? Certainly you’re coming down here this week dispelling any questions they may have. What do you hear the most?
Quarterman: It’s always about my ability to play in space. I’ve been in the box so long at Miami, so good at playing the run, that my coaches didn’t have to worry about that. So if you don’t have to worry about one spot, you can find pieces around him that could play the pass.

Corey: Absolutely.
Quarterman: So I was never groomed for my pass coverage basically. That’s why those question marks exist.

Corey: And they had you coming forward a lot.
Quarterman: Right.

Corey: The tackles for loss weren’t just this year, they were a year ago as well.
Quarterman: Exactly.

Corey: Run blitzes, timing run blitzes.
Quarterman: They just let me do what I do best. And I understand that. But now I’m in a position where I’ve got to show people that I can do the other side of the spectrum.

Corey: And how have you felt that has gone out here (East-West Shrine week)?
Quarterman: The first day was rusty. Today, a whole 180. I didn’t win a single one-on-one yesterday, and I didn’t lose one today.

Corey: That’s awesome man.
Quarterman: Yes sir.

Corey: The tradition at your school is pretty deep at the linebacker position. But if there is a player, even beyond Miami (Fla.), that you’ve looked up to from the NFL perspective -either presently or in the past- who would that be? .
Quarterman: Jon Beason (10-year NFL veteran, former Miami (Fla.) linebacker-2007 NFL Draft, 1st Round, 25th overall, Carolina Panthers). That’s my mentor, man.

Corey: Wow. Really good player.
Quarterman: That’s my mentor. I want to play like him. I still watch his tapes. He let me get a hold of his tapes, so I still watch him. We’re almost built the same. I’m a little taller than him, but as soon as I stepped on campus they talked about our neck sizes and stuff like that. I just love the way he plays the game. I try to do everything that he would do and beyond. Because he did everything the right way. He played through injuries and all that. To have a chance to go to Miami (Fla.) and meet your idol and have him mentor you. And take you underneath his wing and see that he sees it in you. It’s something different. It’s a lot of weight on that.

Quarterman (No. 55 pictured) played the entire 2017 season with a torn left AC joint and finished that year with 83 tackles, 2.5 QB sacks, 7 TFLs and 5 PBUs.

Corey: Four-year starter at Miami from your true freshman year on. The meaning of that?
Quarterman: It’s different. It’s hard. Very difficult. I just really thank Coach Richt and Coach Diaz for trusting in me. It takes a lot to put a true freshman out there…at any position in college football. I really appreciate that. I tried to uphold it as long as I could.

Corey: Well, man, good luck and continue the tradition. I know you gotta get outta here. Nice to meet you. Enjoyed watching you throughout your career.
Quarterman: I appreciate that.

2020 NFL Draft: Kent State Jamal Parker 5’8 177 (E) CB-S-KR Kent State

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Has started at both safety and corner for the Golden Flashes. Communicates with fellow DBs. Physical and instinctive. He will stick his foot in the dirt to break forward vs. the screen game with a sixth sense (TFL from 10 yards off, Toledo ’19). Works around traffic in man coverage and -after doing so- can react to tips and overthrows (3rd and 6, 2nd QTR, Bowling Green ’19). Comes up to support the run on the edge after getting off of blocks. In three-deep zone, he displays excellent transition out of his zone turns on sail route concepts (reads eyes of QB through route combo, hands INT, Bowling Green ’19). Adjusts his angles as a blitzer on corner cats to make tackles (Ohio ’19). Affects the three-step passing game in these instances (Ohio ’19). He is capable of breaking down to handle intermediate routes on the perimeter (Toledo ’19). Rakes through the hands of WRs on downfield routes to pilfer balls loose (PBU, 3rd and 11, Toledo ’19-fade pattern). Carries the No. 2 WR vertical and then will go up to high-point interception opportunities (Toledo ’19). After getting beaten, he will keep competing (PBU vs. back-shoulder fade, Tropical Smoothie Cafe Bowl ’19). As a kickoff returner, he runs through traffic at 90 miles per hour much bigger than his size. He has shown the ability to make the last man miss in kickoff coverage as a kickoff returner (98-yd TD, vs. Ohio ’19, called back). Did a good job of returning a squib kick with just under three minutes remaining vs. Utah State in the 2019 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Bowl.

Former Kent State cornerback/kickoff returner Jamal Parker (No. 7 pictured) finished his career with a 27.5 yd/avg. on kickoff returns (TD).

Weaknesses: Size is a major deterrent. Play strength. QBs have slipped out of his grasp on corner blitzes (Rourke breaks tackle, Ohio ’19). In man coverage, he will open the expressway on the outside lanes (Arizona State ’19). He has posted some unnecessary penalties working outside the numbers in man coverage (4th QTR, P.I., Bowling Green ’19). Struggled mightily with the size of Siaosi Mariner in the 2019 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Bowl. Posted a pass interference and allowed fade.

Other Notes:

  • Attended Central Catholic HS (N.J.) and was a football/basketball standout
  • 2016: 28 tackles, QB sack, TFL, 3 INTs (57 yds), PBU and one blocked kick
  • 2017 (11 gms): 57 tackles, QB sack, 2 TFLs, FF, INT and 11 PBUs; 20.8 yds/KR
  • 2018 (12 gms): 83 tackles, TFL, 2 INTs (20 yds), 16-yd FR-TD, 7 PBUs; 30.1 yds/KR
  • 2019 (13 gms, 2nd Team All-MAC): 62 tackles, 3 INTs (21 yds) and 10 PBUs; 27.5 yds/KR and one TD
  • Career Stats: 230 tackles, 2 QB sacks, 4 TFLs, FF, FR, 9 INTs (99 yds), 20 PBUs; 27.5 yds/KR and one TD
Parker also posted 230 tackles, nine interceptions and 20 pass breakups.

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): The team’s coaches lauded Parker for his energy. In fact, the coaches created a music playlist and always had music playing during practices. Along with defensive lineman Theo Majette, he was a player who stood as one of the centerpieces on a scrappy defensive unit. The reason he made our all-purpose list is because…well, he can do just about everything on the football field. Whether it is playing outside, lining up at safety or returning kickoffs, the former All-MAC selection had a hand in it. In fact, he felt that playing safety helped his overall football IQ.

“It improved my football IQ,” Parker said. “Knowing what everyone else is doing.”

Justin Strnad 6’3 238 LB Wake Forest

We had former Wake Forest linebacker Justin Strnad in our book ranked as one of our Top 20 linebackers, but his scouting report was omitted from the first online version of the publication.

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Team captain. Versatile. Athletic. Good field speed. Can read-and-flow to handle cutback runs (Louisville ’17). Demonstrates good inside-out closing speed vs.quick bubble screens from the exchange LB spot (Clemson ’18). Long strides cover ground as a blitz threat (2nd half, UNC ’19). Responsible for coverage assignments vs. WRs. Has good range and pursuit to wrap tackle (Dillon, Boston College ’18). Extremely nimble/flexible as a curl-flat dropper. Creates positive depth. Smooth backpedal in his curl-hook on his plant-and-drive breaks (PBU over No. 2 slot, 4th QTR/1:00, UNC ’19). He had a very good fourth and one stop on a goal line bootleg vs. Rice in 2019. Closes well on routes in front of field. Covers ground on the field. Made the last tackle of the game (UNC ’19-4th QTR). Led the team in special teams tackles (10) in 2017.

Weaknesses: Left an interception on the field vs. Rice in 2019 (run-pass-option). His frame will get overextended and he’ll lose his balance falling back to tackle (MT, Rice ’19). He can be a step late to read the triangle when the gaps change (Clemson ’18). Doesn’t always sink to tackle instantly. Ruptured his biceps tendon vs. Florida State (2019) and missed the remainder of the campaign.

Other Notes:

  • Attended East Lake HS (Fla.) and was named a 1st Team All-Pinellas County selection as a senior
  • 2016 (13 gms): 19 tackles
  • 2017 (13 gms) 51 tackles, 4.5 QB sacks, 8.5 TFLs, 2 FFs, 3 INTs (44 yds) and PBU
  • 2018 (13 sts, Honorable mention All-ACC) : 105 tackles, 1.5 QB sacks, 8.5 TFLs, FF, 5 PBUs
  • 2019 (7 gms, (Honorable mention All-ACC): 69 tackles, 2 QB sacks, 5.5 TFLs, INT and 4 PBUs
  • Career Stats: 46 games, 20 starts, 244 tackles, 8 QB sacks, 22.5 TFLs, 3 FFs, FR, 4 INTs and 10 PBUs
  • 2020 NFL Combine: 6’3 238 9 1/8” hands, 31 3/4” arms, 4.74 40-yd, 29” VJ, 9’5” BJ, 4.49 20-yd SS

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Strnad was one of the more impactful players in the ACC at the linebacker spot before going down to injury in 2019. He creates consistent pictures running to the action. In today’s NFL, you need linebackers who are capable of getting it done in zone coverage. We feel he is one of the best in this year’s class at planting-and-driving on underneath passes off of the quarterback’s indicators. If there was a question about Strnad even prior to his biceps injury it revolved around his explosiveness. There were those occasions where he was unable to cause knock-back as a tackler. It is an area of needed improvement at the next level. It would not come as a surprise if he becomes an NFL starter at some point within his first three seasons. Strnad brings extra value on special teams.


Grade: 5.638 (4th Round)

DraftNasty Rewind: Atlanta Falcons punter Matt Bosher

DraftNasty sat down with former Miami (Fla.) placekicker/punter/kickoff specialist Matt Bosher over nine years ago to talk about his plan for attacking the NFL. At the time, the three-time All-ACC kicker was still figuring out what NFL position he would play full-time.

Matt Bosher, punter, Atlanta Falcons, DraftNasty Magazine
Atlanta Falcons punter Matt Bosher (No. 5 pictured) was on DraftNasty’s radar nearly a decade ago and is still going strong today. The nine-year pro has been among the NFL’s leading punters and kickoff specialists ever since arriving from the ‘U.’

It turns out he has become a pretty good punter/kickoff specialist for the Atlanta Falcons. He has a career 55-percent touchback percentage on kickoffs and has averaged nearly 46 yards (45.7) per punt. Bosher has ranked in the Top Five for punting average five times in his nine-year career. In the process, he has posted an impressive 28 tackles, which was something he discussed in our sit down with the former Hurricane.

2020 NFL Draft: Michael Warren 5’10 218 (E) RB-Junior Cincinnati

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Most NFL teams will find it surprising in their research of Warren that he was a good kickoff returner in the AAC as a freshman. This lays credence to his level of hand-eye coordination and athleticism. It is a big reason the team has put so many different responsibilities on his plate during school. He was once described as having a “high football IQ” by Bearcats offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock. Jordan Howard (Bears, Eagles) is the player Warren most resembles currently playing in the NFL. Howard was also a big back with underrated athleticism when he came out of Indiana. Warren won’t blow up the workout circuit leading up to the draft, but he could surprise once he gets into an NFL training camp with his balance, lower body strength, vision and instincts. He needs to make sure he is in top-notch physical condition to ensure that possibility.

Editor’s note: For the full scouting report on Cincinnati RB Michael Warren or any other of your favorite 2020 NFL Draft prospects (including Strengths, Weaknesses and Other Notes), please check out Corey Chavous’ 2020 NFL Draft Guide (available later this year).

Tyler Hall 5’10 190 CB-KR Wyoming

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Has started at CB, nickel and KOR. His feet never stop moving in the down (either in the return game or at DB). Uses a catch technique in press-man on the goal line and looks over the inside shoulder of WRs to play through the ball (GL, 1st QTR, Missouri ’19; then PBU, 2nd QTR). Out of his shuffle zone-turn, he transitions with fluidity vs. speed outs (PBU, 1st QTR, Georgia State ’19). Contains a relatively smooth motor-press bump-and-run technique. Squeezes to the upfield hip when WRs establish inside releases. He also squeezes to the upfield shoulder of WRs and uses the sidelines as an extra defender when defending fade patterns (gets head around for PBU, 2nd QTR/4:38, Missouri ’19). Goes for the rip-and-strip as a tackler (FF, 1st QTR/5:34, Missouri ’19). Forced four fumbles in his career. Although he receives the contact, he is willing to come up as a rolled-up CB to tackle in two-deep zones (2nd and 7, 2nd QTR/7:24, Missouri ’19). On middle kickoff returns, he displays good contact balance and vision to hit the return in a forward motion. Possesses top-end speed in the open field (Texas State ’17).

Weaknesses: Didn’t show a level of recovery speed trying to chase down Utah State’s Saiosi Mariner in 2019. Watch getting opened so quickly in your motor-press man technique. Gets stuck on stalk blocks too long on the perimeter (Nance, Missouri ’19). Loses WRs in the second phase of the down when plastering (allowed TD, GL, Missouri ’19). Sudden jerks cause him to react too violently and he raises his frame in bump-and-run (3rd and 10, 1st QTR, Arizona Bowl ’19). Double clicks show up once he’s opened his hips to break back downhill in off-man coverage (3rd QTR, Missouri ’19). Missed the UNLV game in 2019 due to a concussion.

Other Notes:

  • Attended Juniper Serra HS (Calif.) and was named a 1st Team All-Mission League selection
  • 2017 (5 sts): 30 tackles, ½ TFL, 2 INTs and 4 PBUs; 33.9 yds/KR and 2 TDs
  • 2018 (11 sts): 39 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, INT and 9 PBUs; 22.4 yds/KR
  • 2019 (12 gms): 37 tackles, 72-yd INT-TD and 8 PBUs; 33.4 yds/KR
  • Career Stats: 107 tackles, 3 TFLs, 4 FFs, FR, 4 INTs (97 yds, TD), 22 PBUs; 31.7 yds/KR and 2 TDs (28 returns
  • 2020 Wyoming Pro Day: 5’10 190 18 reps-225 lbs, 4.4 40-yd, 38” VJ, 7.0 3-cone

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): We kept watching Hall and looking for negatives other than him being slightly undersized. It was hard to find many. He didn’t make the number of plays on the ball you would expect from a player with his level of footwork and movement skills. Hall transitions in-and-out of his breaks like a high-round pick. The former Cowboy finished third in the country in kickoff return average as a junior due to his foot speed and initial burst. He would have been among the nation’s leaders again in 2019 if not for just eight returns. Hall is the definition of an all-purpose player, but it is questionable if he can hold up as a full-time kickoff returner. If not, he has upside as a nickel back or outside corner. The California native has Day 3 value in this year’s draft.

2019 Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl Gallery

First-year Louisville Cardinals (8-5) head coach Scott Satterfield led the team to a 38-28 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the 2019 Franklin American Music City Bowl. Despite moving on prior to last year’s New Orleans Bowl as head coach of the Appalachian State Mountaineers, Satterfield has now led teams to four consecutive bowl victories. Led by redshirt sophomore signal-caller Micale Cunningham’s Music City Bowl MVP performance (350 total yards, 2 TDs), the Cardinals amassed over 500 yards (510) of total offense.

Louisville cruised to its first bowl victory since the last time they were in Nashville (2015 Music City Bowl). During the 2015 Music City Bowl , game MVP Lamar Jackson accounted for 453 total yards (4 TDs). The 2019 Franklin American Mortgage Music Bowl MVP this time was redshirt sophomore quarterback Micale Cunningham, who totaled 379 yards (2 TDs).