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.
|Houston Texans||Notable pick: The team drafted Tytus Howard in the first round a season ago and recently re-signed Laremy Tunsil to an extension. Thus the selection of former UNC OT Charlie Heck means the team is seeking quality depth on the edges. At 6-foot-8, can he provide depth at OG?|
|Round, Selection, ||Player||School||DN Big Board Rank/ Grade||‘Nasty’ Take:|
|2 (40) acquired from Arizona||Ross Blacklock||6’4 290|
|47/2nd Round||Blacklock’s quickness and natural agility shined in his 2019 return from injury. The former Big 12 co-Freshman of the Year regained his form and provides the Texans with the ability to play two-to-three different positions down-to-down.|
|3 (90)||Jonathan Greenard||6’3 262 DE-Florida||129/3rd Round||Greenard (VIDEO) played with his hand in the dirt or from a two-point standup position in school. This fits the scheme-diverse system the Texans employ. |
|4 (126)||Charlie Heck||6’7 311|
|78/2nd Round||Heck (VIDEO) benefited from a solid postseason and strong pre-draft workouts. The big key for Heck will be sitting in the chair.|
|4 (141) Acquired from Miami||John Reid||5’10 187|
|70/2nd round||Reid is the latest in the line of Penn State defensive backs to get an opportunity in the NFL. The former four-star recruit from St. Joseph’s Prep School (Pa.) got his hand on 33 passes during his career.|
|5 (171)||Isaiah Coulter||6’2 198|
|98/3rd Round||Coulter -a junior-entry- improved his draft stock by running in the mid-4.4s at the 2020 NFL Combine. He is fluid in-and-out of routes.|
|Indianapolis Colts||Notable pick: In our estimation, Blackmon (VIDEO) was the Utes’ top defensive back over the course of the last two seasons. If he can recover adequately from a late season ACL tear, this pick could provide long-term dividends.|
|Round, Selection, ||Player||School||DN Big Board Rank/ Grade||‘Nasty’ Take:|
|2 (34) from Washington||Michael Pittman, Jr.||6’4 223 |
|74/2nd Round||Pittman (VIDEO) has a unique combination of size and physical skills. Quite capable of competing in either the slot or the outside lanes. Over 2,500 receiving yards and 17 tackles on special teams.|
|2 (41) from Cleveland||Jonathan Taylor||5’11 226|
|26/2nd Round||Taylor’s ball security issues have been well-documented but he did improve markedly as a receiver out of the backfield in 2019. One of the more impressive areas of his development was the potential he showed in the screen game. |
|3 (85) from Detroit through Cleveland||Julian Blackmon||6’0 187|
|106/3rd Round||Blackmon was an All-Pac-12 caliber cornerback before making a smooth transition to the safety spot. Aside from the late season injury, he needed to do a more consistent job of monitoring his angles off the hash. Overall, a very good prospect. |
|4 (122)||Jacob Eason||6’5 229|
|69/2nd Round||Eason’s lukewarm performance during his one year at Washington didn’t do much to extinguish the flames of those who felt he needed another year in school. He did have some success at Georgia. Learning from Philip Rivers could be the recipe for the former five-star recruit. |
|5 (149)||Danny Pinter||6’4 302 |
|97/3rd Round||Pinter played well versus NC State in 2019 and those types of performances went a long way in him getting drafted here. He fits the team’s scheme.|
|6 (193)||Robert Windsor||6’4 290 |
|234/4th Round||Windsor provides options as a third down pass rusher. If he can clean up some balance issues, he has a chance to make the roster. |
|6 (211)||Isaiah Rodgers ||5’10 175|
|269/4th Round ||Rodgers ran in the high 4.2-to-low 4.3-range in a virtual Pro Day leading up to the draft. His work on the field reading routes and returning kicks was largely just as impressive. Needs to make weight gains. |
|6 (212)||Dezmon Patmon ||6’4 228|
|184/4th Round ||Patmon is a physical wide receiver with a big frame, solid speed and decent quickness off the line of scrimmage. Concentration lapses foiled him at times. 12 career starts. |
|6 (213)||Jordan Glasgow||6’0 220 S/LB-Michigan||429/5th Round||Glasgow’s value continued to trend in an upward manner for the Wolverines over a two-year period. His ability to blitz is complemented by excellent special teams capability.|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Notable pick: The team is building a diverse set of cornerbacks, many of whom have quality size. Scott (5’9 185) -the team’s fourth-round selection- could provide options as a nickel back due to his willingness to mix it up as a tackler.|
|Round, Selection, ||Player||School||DN Big Board Rank/ Grade||‘Nasty’ Take:|
|1 (9)||C.J. Henderson||6’1 204 |
|9/1st Round||Henderson’s ball skills and ability to transition effectively in-and-out of his breaks made him a Top 10 pick. He has true No. 1 cornerback capability for a team that relied on Jalen Ramsey in that role for the better part of three seasons.|
|1 (20)||K’Lavon |
|6’3 254 |
|86/2nd Round||Injury concerns aside, Chaisson can turn into a surfer off the edge with his bend. He did more than just rush the passer at LSU. Chaisson was at least adequate when dropping into coverage.|
|2 (42)||Laviska Shenault, Jr.||6’1 227|
|87/2nd Round||The Jaguars will look for Shenault, Jr. (in-game report, 10-6-18) to fill a number of roles on their football team in 2020. Much like he did at Colorado, expect to see him in the backfield, the slot and on the outside. |
|3 (73)||Davon Hamilton||6’4 320 |
|152/3rd Round||Hamilton has always shown strength at the point of attack, but he went a long way in 2019 of proving that he can perhaps develop into a competent pass rush artist. The Jaguars continue to diversify its defensive front. |
|4 (116)||Ben Bartch||6’6 310|
OT-St. John’s (MN.)
|164/3rd Round ||Due to sub-standard length, Bartch will most likely get looks at an inside guard spot. The former tight end provides potential as a sixth or seventh offensive lineman on game day because he is a capable tackle. |
|4 (137) ||Josiah Scott||5’9 185|
|Scott’s ability to mirror wide receivers in off-man coverage offset concerns about injury issues that surfaced in each of his first two years on campus. He started all 13 games as a junior. |
|4 (140) ||Shaquille Quarterman||6’1 234 |
|51/2nd Round ||Quarterman’s leadership capability has been influenced by mentor and former first-round pick Jon Beason (Panthers, Giants). |
| 5 (157)||Daniel Thomas||5’10 215|
|314/5th Round||Thomas plays with energy and closes ground on the field quickly; particularly when breaking forward on the action. He is strong, explosive and capable of filling a role as an eighth man in the box. Special teams production will determine if he earns a roster spot.|
|5 (165) ||Collin Johnson||6’6 222|
|138/3rd Round||To get a receiver with Johnson’s potential in Round 5 is a huge win for the team. If he can avoid the minor injury hiccups that seemed to stop him at times from truly becoming a dominant player, then the former Longhorn has a chance to make the roster. He is going to a team with a relatively deep receiving corps. |
|6 (189)|| Jake Luton||6’6 224|
QB-Oregon State, Idaho
|232/4th Round ||Luton has starting-caliber size, arm strength and toughness. The 2019 Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year narrowly missed leading the Beavers to a bowl berth in 2019. |
|6 (206)|| Tyler Davis ||6’4 235|
TE-Georgia Tech, UConn
|N/A ||Davis began his career as a big wide receiver at UConn and displayed excellent Red Zone capability as an outside receiver dating back to 2018 (see ECU ’18). He settled down at Georgia Tech in 2019.|
|7 (223)|| Chris Claybrooks||6’0 176 |
|N/A||Despite playing in just nine games this past season, Claybrooks was explosive in the kickoff return game, averaged nearly 31 yards on 11 returns. |
|Tennessee Titans||Notable pick: Evans’ work ethic should not be dismissed. He shaved nearly a half-second off of his 100-meter time in high school in one year. Not only can he factor in the kickoff return game, |
he also is outstanding in the screen game.
||Player||School||DN Big Board Rank/ Grade||‘Nasty’ Take:|
|1 (29)||Isaiah Wilson||6’6 350|
|96/3rd Round||Wilson served as perhaps the biggest Wildcat QB in the history of prep level football and once scored three touchdowns in a game. An improving pass blocker, he will provide immediate returns as a run blocker. |
|2 (61)||Kristian Fulton||6’0 201|
|91/3rd Round||Fulton, a physical outside corner, allows the team to experiment with a number of different looks in their nickel/dime packages. |
|3 (93)||Darrynton Evans||5’10 203|
|173/4th Round||Evans could prove to the perfect change-of-pace runner to give Derrick Henry a breather during games. He contributed over 4,600 all-purpose yards in school. |
|5 (174)||Larell Murchison||6’2 294 |
|44/2nd Round||If you’re wondering why a player with a higher grade lasts this far, it is simple. Bunch production. Too much of Murchison’s productivity over a two-year period came in spots. His technique will be challenged by the Titans staff and the results could pay huge dividends. Effort is not the issue. |
|7 (224)||Cole McDonald||6’3 215||216/4th Round||McDonald’s inconsistency led to a benching at one point during the year. He has all of the tools a team desires in a backup and his size/athleticism closely mirrors that of Ryan Tannehill when he came out of school. |
|7 (243)||Chris Jackson||6’0 185|
|316/5th Round||Jackson’s competitiveness ranks at the top of his characteristics board. He contains a short memory after getting beaten. It doesn’t hurt that he got his hands on 52 passes during school (seven interceptions). The two-time Florida state champion hurdler enjoys man coverage.|
Former Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault, Jr. brings a burly, strong build to the receiver position. In 2018, he cleared the 1,000-yard barrier on 86 receptions. Over the last two seasons, Shenault, Jr. has rushed for seven touchdowns in a variety of ways. Frequently, the team would put him in the Wildcat quarterback position during school. The Jaguars have plenty of options with the native Texan.
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.
Quarterman: 55 is going to lead his team out there. I never folded. I never did that.
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.
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.
Corey: The tackles for loss weren’t just this year, they were a year ago as well.
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.
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.
Aside from torching Pac-12 defenses for 171 receptions for 2,549 yards (14.7 YPR) and 19 touchdowns, former USC wide receiver Michael Pittman, Jr. also found time to post 17 tackles and blocked three kicks. In addition, he returned one punt for a score. Similar to his father, Michael, Sr., he is a true all-purpose threat on the football field.
Former Utah defensive back Julian Blackmon earned AP second-team All-American honors in 2019 as he led a Utes defense that ranked 12th nationally in pass defense. For his career, Blackmon returned two interceptions for touchdowns.
Former North Carolina offensive tackle Charlie Heck started at both tackle spots for the Tar Heels over a three-year period. In 2019, Heck earned second-team All-ACC honors for the Texans at the left tackle spot. He accomplished the feat after suffering a broken hand early in his senior campaign.
Former Florida and Louisville DE-OLB Jonathan Greenard was the Houston Texans third round selection (90th overall) in the 2020 NFL Draft. Greenard finished his career with 19.5 quarterback sacks, 38.5 tackles for losses, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery (TD), two interceptions and seven pass breakups.
|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.|
|Player||School||DN Big Board
|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/||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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Player||School||DN Big Board
|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/||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.|
|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.|
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.|
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/||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.|
Acquired from Philadelphia via New England
|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.|
|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.|
|Player||School||DN Big Board
|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.|
|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/
|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.|
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.|
|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.|
|Player||School||DN Big Board
|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/
|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.|
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.|
Acquired from Miami
|David Long, Jr.||LB/||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.|
The Houston Texans have a chance to clinch a first round bye in the AFC playoffs if they can finish the regular season with two wins after defeating the Jets on Saturday. The Texans, as they have done all season, relied on solid quarterback play, an elite receiver and a ferocious pass rush to defeat the Jets, 29-22. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:
Football is a simple game when wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is on your team. Deshaun Watson and the Texans don’t have to overthink or scheme Hopkins open, as the former Clemson Tiger can go over, around and run past defensive backs. Hopkins (6’1, 215) has elite timing and jumping ability, which allows him to make catches while draped by cornerbacks, resembling a gymnast more than a football player. Hopkins has 94 receptions for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns on the season. Even more impressive, 67 of those catches have gone for first downs. When the league’s best receivers are being discussed, Hopkins name should be at the forefront. Defensively, anything short of double coverage won’t suffice and at times -as he showed on Saturday- that may not be enough.
DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson highlighted Sam Darnold in the preseason against the Redskins and was impressed with his command of the offense. 15 weeks into his rookie season and the same holds true. Darnold has a good feel for the game for a rookie quarterback, he isn’t afraid to run when nothing is there and did his best work during the two-minute drill before halftime. The former USC Trojan will have to work on his feet when surrounded by the rush. If enough pressure gets around him, he exhibited the tendency to float the ball and not get his lower body involved. This lack of torque in his throws led to balls with less velocity and forced receivers to work back to the ball from their routes (see his two third down throws on the second possession of the game). These tweaks should be correctable. Along with Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Darnold has showed promise in his first season under center. Like his fellow draft mates, Darnold must cut down on the turnovers (14 passing touchdowns-to- 15 interceptions on the season.)
Robby Anderson (6’3 190) has a similar lanky build as Hopkins but is more of a vertical threat than he is an acrobatic catcher.
“They’ve got a receiver that probably runs as fast as anybody we’ve played in Anderson,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said before the matchup.
As he has gotten comfortable with a rookie quarterback, Anderson has caught 38 passes for 588 yards and five touchdowns. The 25- year old receiver is playing his best football as the season comes to a close, notching 11 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns over the last two weeks. He hasn’t had the luxury of steady quarterback play early on in his career but the skills are in place. As the former Temple Owl grows with Darnold, look for the duo to establish more of a connection in the seasons to come.