Category Archives: NFL

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Reed Blankenship S-Middle Tennessee

We talked about Blankenship’s ability to disguise last season after he earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors following a two-interception performance against Tennessee State (see below). After a strong start to the 2019 campaign, the senior defensive back went down to an ankle injury in mid-October. Blankenship enters 2020 with over 200 tackles (233), 15.5 tackles for losses, eight interceptions, 18 passed defensed and two blocked kicks. The former West Limestone HS (Ala.) star has a chance to hear his name called in the 2021 NFL Draft.We break down his diverse, well-rounded game in our video feature.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Thomas Graham, Jr. CB-Oregon

It didn’t take long for Graham, Jr. to make an impact on Oregon’s campus. The preseason 2020 All-Pac-12 corner has now made 39 consecutive starts due to a combination of agility, football smarts and toughness. We go inside the game of one of college football’s best perimeter defenders in our video spotlight. Heading into 2020, Graham is the active FBS leader in passes defensed (40) and has eight career interceptions.

Graham had four tackles, one interception and one pass break-up versus Auburn in the 2019 season opener.
Graham’s ability to maneuver his frame allows him to get in-and-out of his breaks quickly when playing either press-man or off-man coverage.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: Deommodore Lenoir CB-Oregon

Lenoir, a former four-star recruit as an athlete coming out of Salesian HS (Calif.), brings a fast aggressive approach to the cornerback spot. Not only does he support the run with an element of pizzazz, he works to disrupt the wide receiver’s release at the line of scrimmage. After making the numerical switch from No. 15 to No. 6 in 2019, the AP second-team All-Pac-12 corner finished with 47 tackles and nine passes defensed. In a conference loaded with solid players on the edges, the senior will look to take the next step in 2020 along with running mate Thomas Graham, Jr.

Lenoir (No. 15 pictured in the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl) changed his number to six in the 2019 campaign. He went on to earn AP second-team All-Pac-12 honors.
Lenoir has started 27 consecutive games for the Ducks and registered 24 passes defensed (4 INTs, 20 PBUs) the last two seasons.

2021 NFL Draft Preview: K.J. Britt MLB-Auburn

Auburn senior LB K.J. Britt brings the thunder week-to-week in the SEC. In his first year as a starter, Britt earned All-SEC honors after breaking out as a junior with 10 tackles for loss. We take a quick peek at his game in our video spotlight.

Auburn senior linebacker K.J. Britt (No. 33 pictured) registered 69 tackles, 2.5 QB sacks, 10 TFLs, FF and one PBU as a junior.

DraftNasty Throwback (circa 2014): Oklahoma State’s Tyreek Hill vs. FSU’s Jalen Ramsey

On August 30, 2014, the Florida State Seminoles squared off against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Advocare Classic. The result? A hard-fought 37-31 victory for the top-ranked Seminoles. The game within the game featured two future NFL All-Pros matching up at different positions then they would eventually star at in the NFL. At the time, current Kansas City WR Tyreek Hill was a running back/return specialist and Los Angeles Rams CB Jalen Ramsey was starring in a safety/nickel back role. In what proved to be a precursor for the future, Hill tallied an incredible total of 278 all-purpose yards. Ramsey contributed 12 tackles and 1/2 tackle for loss, while displaying outstanding agility and body control. We go inside one of college football’s best matchups of the past decade.

Hill (No. 24 pictured) was used in a myriad of ways during the matchup with the Seminoles, but Ramsey’s responsibilities (No. 8 covering Hill out of the backfield) varied quite a bit during the day as well.

2021 NFL Draft preview: Elijah Molden 5’10 191 DB-Washington

Washington’s Elijah Molden takes his footwork as seriously as his father, Alex, did at Oregon before becoming a first-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in the 1996 NFL Draft. Molden is frequently tasked with the tough assignments in the litany of man coverage used by Washington current head coach and former defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake. The former West Lin High School (Ore.) product earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2019 after finishing with 79 tackles, four interceptions and 13 pass break-ups.

Washington DB Elijah Molden is a Walter Camp 2020 preseason All-American.

2020 NFL Draft recap: NFC West

Arizona Cardinals  Notable Pick: The pick of Simmons has major significance because the Cardinals drafted former Temple linebacker Haason Reddick just three seasons ago. DC Vance Joseph has to move Simmons around, but will it be natural within his defensive structure?
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (8) Isaiah Simmons6’4 238
LB-Clemson
4/1st Round Simmons is clearly one of the more talented defenders to come into the league in quite some time. The consensus first-team All-American seems intent on wanting to play linebacker at the next level.
3 (72) Josh Jones6’5 311
OT-Houston
71/2nd RoundAfter just an okay junior campaign, the first-team All-AAC tackle took his game to another level in 2019. It easily could have resulted in him going off the board much earlier than 72nd.
4 (114) Leki Fotu6’5 327
DT-Utah
46/2nd Round Fotu’s value should not be diminished in today’s pass-happy NFL. He is still an important entity and routinely handled double teams in school.
4 (131) Rashard Lawrence II6’2 308
DT-LSU
274/4th RoundLawrence is a heavy-handed player who will surprise on occasion with his snap count reactions. His balance on line games proved to be up-and-down in the film viewed.
6 (202)Evan Weaver6’2 237
LB-California
102/3rd Round Arguably the most active collegiate linebacker in the country the last two years, Weaver slipped because there are questions about his ability to transition into a three-down linebacker.
7 (222)Eno Benjamin5’9 207
RB-Arizona State
117/3rd Round Benjamin can catch, run in-between the tackles bigger than his size and he’s slippery. It was a surprise that he lasted until Round 7.
Despite being lauded for his ability to hold the point of attack, new Arizona Cardinals DT Leki Fotu tallied 17 tackles for loss over the last three seasons, including 8 TFLs in 2019.
Seattle Seahawks  Notable Pick: The Seahawks have traditionally found a way to involve the tight end and Parkinson’s arrival means that trend will continue. He expands the team’s Red Zone capability while also extending the seams of the field.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (27) Jordyn Brooks 6’1 240
LB-Texas Tech
116/3rd Round Brooks is fast, long and generally at his best going forward. He became the team’s first All-American LB since former Red Raider and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Zach Thomas.
2 (48) Darrell Taylor 6’4 253
DE-OLB Alabama 
185/4th Round Taylor had a knack for punching balls loose in school (six forced fumbles) and played two-to-three different spots for the Vols. He was equally effective from a two-point or three-point stance.
3 (69) Damien Lewis6’2 327
OG-LSU
60/2nd Round Lewis provides options at any of the three interior line spots. His heavy nature belies his movement skills. The former junior college All-American has to improve picking up line games.
4 (133)Colby Parkinson6’7 252
TE-Stanford
191/4th Round Parkinson (see above) finished his career averaging 13.5 yards per reception with 12 touchdowns.
4 (144)DeeJay Dallas5’10 217
All-purpose-Miami (Fla.)
38/2nd RoundDallas -a former WR for the Hurricanes- averaged 17 yards per punt return in 2018. He is excellent in the screen game and has positive contact balance.
5 (148) Alton Robinson6’3 264 DE-Syracuse 169/4th Round Robinson did not match his breakout junior year with a sparkling senior campaign. Nevertheless, his ability to generate speed-to-power will make him a challenge for offensive tackles.
6 (214) Freddie Swain 6’0 199
WR-Florida
176/4th RoundSwain carries his equipment on game day and provides savvy as a slot receiver. In addition -particularly at this point in the draft- his value comes on special teams, where he was solid as a punt returner.
7 (251)Stephen Sullivan6’5 245
TE-LSU
386/5th RoundSullivan -a former four-star recruit at WR- was satisfactory at that position in school. He is a flex option either on the outside or in the slot.
Lewis’ upper body strength was a big factor in the success of LSU’s offense in 2019. He can add some punch to the Seahawks offense in what will continue to be a physical running game.
San Francisco 49ers  Notable Pick: Of the draft’s first three selections, McKivitz will be in the battle for a roster spot with the 49ers depth at tackle. He has improved as a run blocker, but his ability to slide down to guard, if necessary, will likely determine his fate. The fact that NFL teams can now have three extra offensive linemen helps his charge.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (14) Javon Kinlaw 6’5 324
DT-South Carolina
5/1st Round Kinlaw was an effective player in school but it could be argued that he can give even more. His quickness is supplemented by heavy hands. His fit into the 49ers defensive line rotation should be something to monitor in 2020…and beyond.
1 (25) Brandon Aiyuk 6’0 205
WR-Arizona State
20/2nd Round Aiyuk got more opportunities as a featured receiver in 2019 but it did not take away from his impact in the return game. The positive aspect of this draft pick is that he has yet to fully tap his vast upside at the receiver spot.
5 (153)Colton McKivitz OT-West Virginia 204/4th RoundMcKivitz was a durable 47-game starter in school. He added positive play strength as he went along. He fits the profile the 49ers seek in their tackles.
6 (190)Charlie Woerner 6’5 244
TE-Georgia
427/5th Round One of the top recruits in the Class of 2016 when he came out of Rabun County HS (Ga.), Woerner had limited opportunities in school. He still flashed all of the skills that made him a four-star recruit at the prep level when given his opportunities. Very good blocker on the move
7 (217)Jauan Jennings 6’3 215
WR-Tennessee
331/5th Round Jennings dealt with injuries, suspensions and inconsistency but, when wired, he was one of the nation’s most competitive players. His run after the catch ability and field speed eases concern over average workout testing numbers.
San Francisco 49ers seventh-round pick Jauan Jennings has been a tough player to tackle since arriving in Knoxville. He averaged 16.4 yards per reception in 2019 (8 TDs).
Los Angeles Rams Notable Pick: The Rams got to a Super Bowl on the strength of former PK Greg Zuerlein. He came from a small school and now the team will give Sloman a look late in the draft. The former Redhawk took his game to another level in 2019.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (52)Cam Akers5’10 217
RB-FSU
58/2nd RoundThe former five-star recruit out of Mississippi averaged just under five yards per carry in school but was effective as a runner, receiver and passer during his three-year run in Tallahassee. Akers is stronger than his frame suggests.
2 (57)Van Jefferson6’1 197
WR-Florida, Ole Miss
17/2nd Round
Jefferson was productive at two different stops in the SEC due to his combination of body control and football intelligence. Some of his press-man releases have been unorthodox, yet sudden and effective.
3 (84)Terrell Lewis6’5 258
OLB-Alabama
48/2nd Round It would have been interesting to see how Lewis’ career would have gone had he not been sidelined by injury in two consecutive seasons. He uses 83 1/2-inch wingspan to pole OTs back into the lap of QBs. Can he stay healthy?
3 (104)Terrell Burgess6’0 202
DB-Utah
285/4th Round Burgess’ movement skills gives the team options with him as a nickel, outside cornerback or safety. He largely was drafted off of one productive year, but his skills translate to the next level.
4 (136)Brycen Hopkins6’4 245 TE-Purdue135/3rd Round Hopkins had some issues with the occasional concentration lapse, but the Big Ten’s Kwallick-Clark TE of the Year in 2019 averaged 17 yards per reception as a junior (2018). his speed and ability to stretch the seams of the field adds yet another layer to the Rams attack.
6 (199) Jordan Fuller6’2 203
S-Ohio State
279/4th Round Fuller generally played a sound game in school. His movement skills for a taller safety were substantiated by some of the tough coverage assignments Ohio State gave him early in his career.
Johnston, pictured, led the Bears with 99 tackles in 2018. Before going down to injury in 2019, he had 58 tackles, 2.5 QB sacks, 8 TFLs, one interception and 5 PBUs.
7 (234)
Clay Johnston
6’0 229
LB-Baylor
301/5th Round
Johnston’s impressive start to the 2019 season was upended by a midseason knee injury. Prior to the injury, he had already posted four double-digit tackle games.
7 (248)
Sam Sloman
5’8 207
PK-Miami (OH.)
586/7th Round
Sloman connected on 87-percent of his field goals in school, but it was his senior year uptick in range that caught the eyes of scouts. Prior to 2018 he was not as effective as a kickoff specialist. Over the last two years, he posted a 63-percent touchback percentage on kickoffs.
7 (250)
Tremayne Anchrum
6’2 314
OL-Clemson
241/4th Round
For a player who operated exclusively on the edge in school, Anchrum was fairly impressive turning out the opposition on designed runs to his side. In pass protection (either outside or inside), he will have to get better at handling inside movement.

2020 NFL Draft recap: AFC North

Baltimore Ravens  Notable picks: The Ravens went LB twice in its first five picks. It is a position that they plan to revamp with Queen and Harrison. Harrison relied on his natural instincts in school and Queen outran any poor reads. Both players have to develop quickly for the team to come close to its 2019 success in 2020.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (28) Patrick Queen6’1 229
LB/LSU
90/3rd Round Despite being just a one-year starter, the Ravens are banking on Queen’s foot speed to outrun any rookie mistakes.
2 (55) J.K. Dobbins5’9 209
RB/Ohio State
45/2nd Round This was an interesting selection. Sure it looks good to have another RB in the mix, but where does his insertion into the rotation leave Gus Edwards (back-to-back 700-yard campaigns) and Justice Hill (2019 4th -round pick).
3 (71) Justin Madubuike6’3 293
DT/Texas A&M
30/2nd Round For a DT with just 9-inch hands, Madubuike certainly overpowered a number of OL in school. His biggest weakness actually revolves around hand placement. He was flagged for four facemask penalties in 2018.
3 (92)Devin Duvernay5’10 202
WR/Texas
/3rd Round Duvernay’s breakout 2019 season featured increased understanding of the position. He has flashed as an outside receiver as well. If he can begin to use his strength more on the outside lanes, there are possibilities for multiple roles.
3 (98)Malik Harrison6’3 247
LB/Ohio State
18/2nd Round Harrison fits more of the 1980s profile for exchange LBs. His eyes have often taken him where he needs to get but he left some plays on the field. His coverage capability will either make him a starter or solid backup.
3 (106) Tyre Phillips6’5 331
OG/Mississippi State
273 /4th Round
The collegiate left tackle more than held his own as the Bulldogs blindside protector in 2019. During the postseason, he displayed starting capability as a guard. Either way, his presence (84 5/8-inch wingspan) gives the Ravens one of the bigger offensive lines in the league.
4 (143)Ben Bredeson6’5 310
OG/Michigan
125/3rd RoundBredeson plays balanced and completes a large majority of his assignments. His latch needs to improve when sustaining blocks. Bredeson was the rare junior team captain in the Jim Harbaugh-era at Michigan.
5 (170)
Broderick Washington
6’3 305
DT/Texas Tech
374/5th Round
Washington has enough quickness to play the four-technique in three-man fronts, three-technique in four-man fronts and occasional one-technique DT. He is heavy-handed and durable (37 straight starts to end career).


Baltimore Ravens third-round pick Tyre Phillips (seen pictured in the 2019 Music City Bowl) starred at the LT spot in college for the Bulldogs. The Ravens could possibly use him at guard, where he played well in the postseason all-star circuit.
6 (201) James Proche  5’11 201
WR/SMU
119/3rd Round
Proche caught 301 passes for 3,949 yards for an eye-popping 39 TDs in school. He excelled at making the acrobatic catch in school but also has outstanding strength (20 reps-225 lbs.).
7 (219) Geno Stone 5’10 207
S/Iowa
266/4th RoundThe junior-entry has enough instincts to play a nickel linebacker spot in school. He carries a number of similarities to former Tennessee Titans fourth-round pick Amani Hooker in terms of size, responsibility in school and play speed. He will have to make an impact on special teams to make the final roster.
Cincinnati Bengals  Notable pick:  The Bengals have a number of weapons available at Burrow’s disposal. The most important -RB Joe Mixon- can serve the role of Burrow’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire at LSU. Burrow may just be the QB to take advantage of Mixon’s skill-set.
Round, Selection,
Player Position/School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (1)Joe Burrow6’3 221
QB-LSU
15/2nd Round Burrow’s quick decision-making will be asked to ramp up early in a division that may be competitive down to the last week of the season. He excelled in spread sets as a senior and expect the Bengals to incorporate plenty of those concepts.
2 (33) Tee Higgins 6’4 216
WR-Clemson
33/2nd Round A.J. Green’s long-term prospects with the team is uncertain. Higgins’ long arms and deceptive running style carry similarities to Green’s and the two would be a viable pair to complement John Ross and Tyler Boyd.
3 (65) Logan Wilson6’2 241
LB-Wyoming
27/2nd Round Wilson -a former star high school DB- recorded 10 interceptions in college and was a magnet chasing plays down sideways. If he can improve his initial footwork, he should be able to compete early in an underrated LB corps.
4 (107) Akeem Davis-Gaither6’2 224
LB-Appalachian State
85/2nd Round It could be argued that Davis-Gaither fits the LB room as good -if not better- than Wilson. He was one of the more impressive LBs during the postseason and his on-field range stands out week-to-week.
5 (147)Khalid Kareem 6’4 268 OLB/DE-Notre Dame172/4th Round Kareem is a power rusher with positive awareness to affect the passing game once his rush has been stopped. He has experience rushing from a four-point, three-point or two-point stance.
6 (180)
Hakeem Adeniji
6’4 302
OG/OT-Kansas
89/3rd RoundOne of the most durable OL in the draft, Adeniji made starts at LG, RT and LT in school. He needs to improve versus line games, but exhibited quickness and explosiveness in school.
7 (215)
Marcus Bailey
6’1 235
LB-Purdue
309/5th Round
If not for durability concerns during his career, Bailey would likely have gone much higher in the draft. He finished his career with 327 tackles and 28 TFLs.
Cincinnati Bengals sixth-round pick Hakeem Adeniji started 48 straight games for Kansas during his career.
Cleveland Browns   Notable pick:  The team has been looking for a consistent left tackle it seems since Baker Mayfield entered the lineup. Although Wills, Jr. protected the blindside for Tua Tagovailoa, it was from the right side. How he adjusts to the other side will determine the Browns success in 2020.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (10) Jedrick Wills, Jr. 6’4 312
OT-Alabama
3/1st RoundWills, Jr. continued to improve what was already satisfactory hand placement in 2019. The penalties were a problem. For a team that had its issues with those in 2019, it must be something they address with him early in the season.
2 (44) Grant Delpit6’2 213
S-LSU
50/2nd Round Perhaps no prospect was as mystifying as Delpit. The 2019 Jim Thorpe Award winner missed so many tackles during his award-winning year that injuries were given as part of the problem. Either way, he will have to make the one-on-one tackles in a bruising division. If he can live up to the task, then his athleticism should shine getting off of the hash marks.
3 (88) Jordan Elliott6’4 302
DT-Missouri
121/3rd Round Elliott was probably most effective when the team clearly defined his responsibilities. He is a positional-flex candidate with quickness and a slippery nature.
3 (97) Jacob Phillips6’3 229
LB-LSU
160/3rd Round He can slide effectively for a taller LB and actually sink to tackle. Phillips does take an extra step or two to get in-and-out of transition. As he grows into his role for the team, making positive weight gains could help his cause.
4 (115)Harrison Bryant 6’5 243
TE-FAU
114 /3rd Round Bryant went to a team that may use him in two TE sets quite a bit of the time. With David Njoku’s injury history a subject of concern, Bryant may get an opportunity sooner than later.
5 (160) Nick Harris6’1 302
OC-Washington
166/3rd Round Harris will get the opportunity to become the team’s eighth OL on game day with the new NFL rules allowing for two more OL to suit up on game day. His mobility could add layers to the Browns offense.
6 (187)Donovan Peoples-Jones6’2 212
All-purpose-Michigan
168/4th Round The former Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year was an underrated punt returner in school and routinely made some spectacular adjustments on difficult catches. Rounding out his consistency could give him a chance to make the team.
Cleveland Browns first-round pick Jedrick Wills, Jr. frequently handled the blindside protection for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Pittsburgh Steelers  Notable picks:  McFarland may seem like a pick to simply add a different element, but if 2018 is any indication, he could steal valuable playing time from a number of quality RBs in front of him on the depth chart.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (49)Chase Claypool 6’4 238
All-purpose/
Notre Dame
23/2nd Round We were trying to find a way to put into perspective the number of special teams plays Claypool made while at Notre Dame (25 tackles). But those plays only amplify some of his high-wire body control full extension grabs. He gets stronger as the season progresses.
3 (102)Alex Highsmith
6’3 247
OLB-Charlotte
170/4th RoundConsistent three-year starter with non-stop energy. He reacts well to counter OTs, but his tendency to leave his feet as a pass rusher is something the team may look to adjust early in training camp.
4 (124)Anthony McFarland 5’8 208
B-Maryland
120/3rd RoundMcFarland’s home run gear will add a jolt to the Steelers offense not seen since the days of Willie Parker.
4 (135)Kevin Dotson6’4 310
OG-Louisiana Lafayette
178/4th Round
Standing 6-foot-4 with 10 1/2-inch hands, Dotson does not have a lot of bulk in the lower body. Instead, he wins with solid hat-and-hand placement on a down-to-down basis. His length gives him a chance to keep pass rushers at bay on the interior.
6 (198)
Antoine Brooks 5’11 220
S/LB-Maryland
77/2nd Round
There’s not much Maryland did on the football field defensively without Brooks in mind. Over the course of his stay in school, he was used at LB, nickel, safety and on the punt team. Brooks contains an outstanding feel for working through tight spaces to make tackles.

7 (232)

Carlos Davis
6’2 314
DT-Nebraska
237/4th Round
The two-sport athlete was a second-team All-American in the discus. On the football field, he is an effective two-gap defender who needs to improve his balance.
Pittsburgh Steelers second-round pick Chase Claypool averaged 15.7 yards per reception with 13 TDs for Notre Dame in 2019.

2020 NFL Draft recap: AFC West

Denver Broncos  Notable pick: Muti was unable to stay healthy in either of his final two seasons, but the former college LT has the footwork to demand a look during training camp.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (15)
Jerry Jeudy
6’1 193
WR-Alabama
22/2nd Round Jeudy’s ability to run through the reception should immediately make him a highly targeted threat in the Broncos ever-evolving offensive scheme. QB Drew Lock is very accurate on skinny posts into the middle of the field, and that is a route (along with the quick slant) that Jeudy excelled on during school.
2 (46) K.J. Hamler
5’9 178
WR-Penn State
63/2nd Round Hamler has a different level of speed of anyone else in the Broncos receiving corps. In an attempt to get him the ball, the Nittany Lions moved him around quite a bit, but there is no doubt that the team could use him on the outside on vertical concepts. He may have gone higher if he had been able to workout for scouts prior to the draft.
3 (77) Michael Ojemudia
6’1 200
CB-Iowa
215/4th Round Ojemudia certainly increased his level of play as a senior. Since his days as a high school safety, he has always been physical. In fact, the Hawkeyes matched him on different personnel in 2018 (inside) to take advantage of his size in coverage.
3 (83) Lloyd Cushenberry
6’3 312
OC-LSU
24/2nd Round Cushenberry should be able for a job at any of the three interior line positions. Although he was our top-ranked center, there are little doubts about his ability to transition to a guard spot.
3 (95) McTelvin Agim
6’3 309
DT-Arkansas
159/3rd Round Agim started his career as a multi-dimensional DE/DT for the Razorbacks but he eventually just grew into the defensive tackle spot. His quickness and ability to gain an edge on opponents should make him a good fit as a four-technique DE for the Broncos.
4 (118)Albert Okwuegbunam
6’5 260
TE-Missouri
174/4th RoundOkwuegbunam never exactly played to his workout numbers in school, but that doesn’t mean he was not a field-stretching presence. His Red Zone productivity was evident (23 career TDs). Although he improved as a blocker, the team frequently used him more in an H-back/FB type of role within their offense. He may take targets away from Noah Fant due to his relationship with QB Drew Lock.
5 (178)Justin Strnad
6’3 238
LB-Wake Forest
190/4th Round Strnad was one of the more active LBs in the ACC the last two seasons and proved his worth in coverage. He may start out on special teams, but he could compete for a backup role in nickel packages at LB.
6 (181)Netane Muti
6’3 315
OG-Fresno State
134/3rd Round Where would Muti have gone had he been able to stay healthy in either of his final two seasons. That point is debatable, but what is not up for debate is the aggression he plays the game with down-to-down. His technical deficiencies surround a tendency to dip his head when latching.
7 (252)
Tyrie Cleveland
6’2 209
WR-Florida
249/4th Round
Cleveland flashed as a downfield threat, gunner and kickoff returner in school. His best chance to make the team will be to upend former CFL star Diontae Spencer for the KR role. It won’t be an easy task.
7 (254)
Derrick Tuszka
6’4 247
DE-OLB-North Dakota State
235/4th Round
Tuszka is effective on the move or getting out of his three-point stance. There were even times when the Bison would use him inside (DT) on third downs. His energy gives him an outside chance of making the team despite entering a crowded OLB room.
Denver Broncos first-round pick Jerry Jeudy -the 2018 Biletnikoff Award Winner- averaged 17.2 yards per reception with 26 receiving TDs in his career.
Kansas City Chiefs  Notable pick: Sneed is the type of developmental prospect that the Chiefs have traditionally loved to take over the years. His 4.37 speed will be used most effectively in man coverage. The team will need him to locate the ball down the field but his profile fits their defensive scheme.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (32) Clyde Edwards-Helaire5’7 207
RB-LSU
68/2nd Round Edwards-Helaire runs option routes, pops off of tacklers in-or-out of the box and competes in every phase of the game. The Chiefs will have a plan for his skill set.
2 (63)Willie Gay, Jr.6’2 243
LB-Mississippi State
21/2nd Round Gay, Jr. was arguably the most explosive LB in this year’s draft class. A litany of suspensions and games missed in 2019 did him no favors. The fact that he remained an integral part of nearly every special teams unit, however, speaks to his football character.
3 (96)Lucas Niang6’6 315
OT-TCU
133/3rd Round Niang is long, relatively light on his feet and aggressive. It can be argued that he was perhaps more impressive as a run blocker.
4 (138) L’Jarius Sneed6’1 192
CB-Louisiana Tech
283/4th Round Sneed didn’t look the part consistently at safety and part of that was due to an uneven feel for the position. What he did do a very good job of was competing in man coverage, which seems to be his favorite thing to do.
5 (177) Michael Danna6’2 261/
DE-Michigan, CMU
345/4th RoundDanna moved in-and-out of a number of line spots for Michigan after standing out as an edge defender at CMU. His power and explosiveness stood out in the postseason.
7 (237)Thakarius “BoPete” Keyes6’1 202/CB-Tulane220/4th RoundKeyes has length, patience and positive foot speed. DC Jack Curtis challenged him over a three-year period in loads of man-to-man coverage and he responded favorably.
Kansas City Chiefs fourth-round pick L’Jarius Sneed ran a 4.37 40-yd dash, had a 41″ VJ and went 10’11” in the broad jump at the 2020 NFL Combine. Sneed returned three of his eight career interceptions for touchdowns while at Louisiana Tech.
Las Vegas Raiders  Notable pick: If Robertson produces anywhere near the level of his collegiate productivity, then the Raiders will get at least a viable nickel back candidate. His toughness is exemplary, but his wrap tackling was inconsistent in school.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (12) Henry Ruggs III 5’11 188
WR-Alabama
43/2nd Round
Ruggs was arguably one of the better kickoff and punt cover guys in the country (17 tackles in career). Aside from starring in those roles, he stood out with his field speed on downfield routes and after the catch.
1 (19) Damon Arnette 6’0 195 
CB-Ohio State
56/2nd Round Arnette’s physical playing style didn’t dissipate while playing with a broken hand in 2019. In fact, it could be argued that he took his game to another level. His style fits that of a classic Raiders DB.
3 (80) Lynn Bowden, Jr. 5’11 203
All-Purpose Kentucky
118/3rd Round Bowden will have to be located if used in a number of ways, which may in fact be the plan in Las Vegas. If there was ever a player worth hitting the jackpot on in Round 3, then the all-purpose SEC standout fits the bill.
3 (81) Bryan Edwards 6’3 212 WR-South Carolina 61/2nd Round
While we talked about the Raiders potentially hitting the lottery in Round 3 earlier, they may have doubled down with the selection of Edwards. South Carolina’s all-time leader in receptions is smooth, fast and contains outstanding spatial awareness on the field.
3 (100) Tanner Muse 6’2 227 S-Clemson 313/5th Round
Muse was Clemson’s Special Teams Player of the Year back in 2016 and took his game to another level each year. His speed was on display when he ran down Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins in the 2019 CFP semifinal to save a TD.
4 (109) John Simpson  6’4 321
OG-Clemson
101/3rd Round
Simpson has the burly build and overall wrestling-type background make him tough to get away from once latched. He was the first Clemson offensive lineman selected since 2014.
4 (139) Amik Robertson 5’8 187
CB-Louisiana Tech
66/2nd Round
Robertson’s production speaks for itself. During his time in Ruston, the former Bulldog notched 14 INTs (265 yds, 3 TDs) and 34 PBUs. In addition, he posted 23.5 tackles for losses.
Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick Damon Arnette was an active four-year contributor for the Buckeyes at the cornerback spot, but he also saw time at nickel back in 2019.
Los Angeles Chargers  Notable pick: The Chargers already have Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson in the fold and they typically have used a running back by committee approach. If Kelley is going to penetrate the lineup, then his ability to get the grind it out yardage is the route.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (6) Justin Herbert6’6 238
QB-Oregon
13/1st Round Herbert’s physical skills often outpaced his decision-making but he began to learn how to win the tough games as a senior. Staying in school to get more repetitions proved to be the right decision for the former Duck. Can he eventually compete with the high-octane offenses developing within the division?
1 (23)Kenneth Murray6’1 241
LB-Oklahoma
28/2nd RoundMurray improved dramatically in Alex Grinch’s defensive scheme in 2019. His discipline improved but his activity (155 tackles in 2018) largely remained the same.
4 (112)Joshua Kelley5’10 214
RB-UCLA, UC-Davis
92/3rd Round Kelley used a strong postseason to backup his solid production while at UCLA. His vision may be his strongest asset. Although he wasn’t used much in the passing game, he displays potential as a receiving threat.
5 (151)Joe Reed6’0 223 All-purpose-Virginia149/3rd Round Reed was used in the screen game to almost serve as an extra RB in 2019. This came a year after averaging nearly 19 yards per catch. His real value comes in the return game.
6 (186)Alohi Gilman5’10 202
S-Notre Dame, Navy
183/4th Round Gilman may be quicker than fast but his play speed stands out. While at Navy, he displayed tremendous timing as a blitzer. His eye speed is outstanding for the position but his effort has stood out on both the punt and kickoff cover units.
7 (220)K.J. Hill6’0 196
WR-Ohio State
194/4th Round Hill had the occasional concentration lapse, but his feel for setting up defenders is without a doubt one of his better characteristics as a route runner. He is strong enough to handle the inside duty of being a slot receiver.
After arriving from the Naval Academy, Los Angeles Chargers sixth-round pick Alohi Gilman posted 94 tackles, 3 TFLs, 2 FFs, 2 INTs and 5 PBUs for the Fighting Irish in 2018.

2020 NFL Draft Recap: NFC North

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

Jonathan Garvin

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

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

5 (176)
K.J. Osborn

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