Category Archives: Draft preview

Rashawn Slater OT-Northwestern: “Slater slayin”

Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater has all of the requisite tools to suggest he can become an intriguing starting option for NFL teams. The 37-game Big Ten starter is light on his feet and finishes assignments with tenacity. Despite weighing in the 305-pound range, Slater plays a much bigger game on Saturday afternoons. The Clements High School (Tex.) product has shown an ability to play on either side of the offensive line.

Rashawn Slater pictured in the 2018 SDCU Holiday Bowl
During his career, Slater (pictured in the 2018 Holiday Bowl) started at both tackle spots for the Wildcats.

“Climbing the Hill”: A Justin Hilliard story

How do you define impressive?

Is it recovering from an Achilles injury and multiple bicep tears to make it on the doorstep of professional football? Using your offseason to travel to Costa Rica and spend time with local youth imparting knowledge on sports and other life skills? Earning two degrees in six years?

All of the above. Most impressively, this is the resume of one person, Ohio State’s Justin Hilliard.

The beginning of the climb wasn’t as arduous for the Cincinnati native, who was a five-star recruit out of St. Xavier High School. ESPN ranked him the number one outside linebacker. He was also an Associated Press all-state selection and the publication’s Division I defensive player of the year in 2014.

However, a meniscus injury forced him to miss the 2015 U.S. Army All-American game and from there, the hits kept on coming.

During his first three seasons in Columbus, Hilliard suffered consecutive injuries to his bicep.

“I’ve had so many times where, like you said, I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to push through,” Hilliard told Spectrum News before the 2021 National Championship against Alabama. “The first three years here at Ohio State were probably the toughest because year after year I had a bicep tear in my left, a bicep tear in my right and then a bicep tear in my left again.”

During his first three seasons, Hilliard only played in 17 games total and compiled 18 tackles.

Justin Hilliard on the kickoff team versus Indiana in 2017
Former Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard (No. 47 pictured on the kickoff team vs. Indiana in 2017) was a significant factor on the Buckeyes kickoff team from the time he arrived on campus.

Long road back

Things started to look up in 2018 when he recovered from the biceps injuries and began to contribute as a backup and a special teamer. But like his fortunes up to that point, he dealt with another tough blow.

During spring practices in 2019, the former five-star recruit suffered another blow to morale when he tore his Achilles.

“The first thing that went through my head is that was probably my last practice and the last rep I’ll ever play football,” said Hilliard, when he reminisced about the injury.

“Climbing the hill”

If not for his father and a conversation with head coach Ryan Day and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, Hilliard would’ve put away his cleats… but he pressed on and as fate would have it, he would get another chance.

“It was some hard times, but we made it, we made it. There was times where Justin had to lift me up. There was a lot of times when I had to lift Justin up,” Carl Hilliard, Justin’s father said according to an article in Cleveland.com. “But when we look back at it overall — only thing I can say is, ‘God is Good.’ No weapon formed shall prosper.”

Despite the grueling rehab, Hilliard returned six months later and played 12 games in the 2019 season.

After the NCAA granted a sixth year of eligibility to Hilliard, it looked like he would be relegated to being a backup and a special teamer because the starting linebacker corps was manned by fellow NFL prospects Tuf Borland, Pete Werner and Baron Browning.

But once again, life had other plans. The COVID-19 pandemic forced Browning and Borland to miss time and Hilliard turned in career performances with his newfound opportunity.

Against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship game, he had nine total tackles, two for loss, one interception and a fumble recovery. His interception stopped the Wildcats from taking a double digit lead in the third quarter and showed off the athleticism that helped him as a youth baseball player.

Justin Hilliard LB Ohio State
Hilliard finished with 25 tackles, five tackles for losses and an interception in his final three career games.

Ending strong

The storybook ending would not conclude there. Hilliard had back-to-back eight tackle games in the College Football Playoff semifinal and final, against Alabama and Ohio State.

“A lot of people hit me up, almost surprised that I can still play at that level,” He said. “I promised myself after I tore my Achilles that if I wasn’t feeling like I can still play at the level I wanted and achieve those high expectations (I set) for myself, I wasn’t going to keep playing.”

In the two combined contests, he finished with 16 tackles, three for loss and a fumble recovery.

And a month later, he put an exclamation point on his collegiate career. Hilliard had a standout performance during Senior Bowl week in Mobile, Alabama.

On the field, Hilliard catches the attention of scouts with his ability to contribute on special teams. They will also like that he played snaps at each linebacker position in college.

But the real value of Hilliard will be his ability to climb the hill and conquer adversity head on. A hill can have bumps and be rocky, but the former Buckeye is a walking testimony that reaching the top comes with appreciation and gratification.

“This whole journey, man, it’s been tough but it’s been such a blessing at the same time,” said Hilliard.

— Troy Jefferson, DraftNasty staff reports

Zach Wilson QB-BYU: 2021 NFL Draft Preview

Former BYU quarterback Zach Wilson led the Cougars to two bowl victories and three bowl game appearances during his three-year run in Provo. After recovering from injury setbacks as a sophomore, he led his team to an 11-1 record in 2020. Prior to injury in 2019, Wilson faced what proved to be the stiffest competition of his career. In a three-week span, BYU took on Tennessee, Southern Cal and Washington. He found a way to win two of the three contests. We look back at some of best moments during the stretch.

Jordan Smith DE-OLB, UAB, Florida: Does he land?

A breakout 2019 season set up UAB’s Jordan Smith for 2020 and put everything on the table. Respond at the same high level and it would continue to restore his standing with NFL teams. Did the 6-foot-6, 255-pound stalwart deliver? Find out in our breakdown on Smith.

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Fluidity at his size. Rushes from the two-point ROLB/LOLB spots and has lined up at either defensive end. Plays the Sam in a number of their packages. As a three-technique DT or 4i-DE, he will use inside clubs to get skinny and make plays in the run game (ULL ’20). Gives OTs the dance footwork to set up his outside arm-over and wins inside (QB sack, 1st QTR, UTSA ’20). His change-up is the left-handed post to push the pocket (1st play, WKU ’20). Slippery, yet explosive on T-E stunts (QB hit, 2nd QTR, UTSA ’20). When intent (see below), he can set the edge with his length (run game). Chases down plays in pursuit (1st QTR/0:08, C-USA Champ ’19). Did a good job keeping contain early in the 2021 Senior Bowl (game). As a zone blitz dropper, he nearly picked off a slant pattern in the second quarter of the UTSA game in 2020. He had an athletic interception on a tipped pass against Western Kentucky in 2020. Runs down at the R4 on the kickoff team and made an assisted tackle on the unit vs. South Alabama in 2020. Then he nearly made the next tackle on the following kickoff (USA ’20).

Weaknesses: Penalties have been an issue in school. Lost composure against in the 2019 C-USA Championship game. He had an offsides penalty and personal foul in this game (3rd QTR). Posted a personal foul against ULL in the first quarter of their 2020 matchup. Posted a personal foul in the 2021 Senior Bowl. After he uses his slap down (of OT’s hands), he gets pushed too far up the field. Can he consistently set a firm edge in the run game (1st QTR, TD, C-USA Champ ’19)? He will get sloppy on the edge and lose contain vs. athletic QBs (Lewis, ULL ’20). Despite fluidity, Smith fails to change directions instantly. Did not stand out on his first kickoff cover repetition vs. Miami (Fla.) in 2020. Two career pass breakups. Off the field problems at Florida contributed to him being suspended for the entire 2017 season (https://www.palmbeachpost.com/article/20170927/SPORTS/812027714).

Smith finished the 2019 campaign with 10 quarterback sacks, 17.5 tackles for losses and four forced fumbles.

Other Notes: Attended Lithonia HS (Ga.) and was an Atlanta Journal Constitution Class 4A All-State selection after recording 86 tackles, 6 FFs and three TD receptions • He was ranked 211th in the ESPN300 Class of 2016 • 2015 Nike Sparq testing results: 4.75 40-yd, 4.63 20-yd SS, 29″ VJ • 2019 (14 gms, 2nd Team All-C-USA): 53 tackles, 10 QB sacks, 17.5 TFLs, 4 FFs, PBU • 2020 (8 gms, 1st Team All-C-USA): 41 tackles, 4.5 QB sacks, 9.5 TFLs, 36-yd INT, PBU • Career Stats: 94 tackles, 14.5 QB sacks, 27 TFLs, 4 FFs, INT, 2 PBUs • 2021 Senior Bowl measurements: 83 1/4″ wingspan, 9 1/4″ hands, 33 3/8″ arms • 2021 UAB Pro Day: 16 reps-225 lbs, 4.8 40-yd, 33″ VJ, 9’9″ BJ

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Smith came out of high school weighing in the 220-pound range as a linebacker/defensive end prospect. Considering his width, it was nearly a guarantee that he would develop into a hand in the dirt defensive end or rush outside linebacker. At UAB, he was used in both capacities. This has increased his draft stock for NFL teams. Smith still needs added repetitions establishing his pass rush counters and eliminating wasted movement out of a right-or-left-handed stance at end. When standing up, his flexibility allows him to strategize versus offensive tackles. Offensive tackles guide him by the pocket as a result on his speed-to-rip move. He has flashed using snatch-and-pull maneuvers or his patented coordinated swim moves. Teams will want to know more about the suspension at Florida. In addition, why did the needless penalties show up from time-to-time. It could be a reflection of the last chance attitude. We did not question Smith’s effort at any point in the film viewed and liked some of his work on the kickoff unit in school.

GRADE: 5.71 (3rd Round)

DN Big Board Rank: 185

Jake Funk RB-Maryland: Special Value

Former Maryland running back Jake Funk brings a multitude of possibilities to an NFL team’s table this spring. The former Damascus High School (Md.) product ranks as our 16th-best all-purpose prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft. Find out why in our scouting report on Funk.

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Athletic bloodlines. Classroom warrior. As a RB, he cuts off of his inside foot to get outside in one motion. Plays fast on outside run schemes (4th QTR/3:38, TD, Minnesota ’20). Demonstrates positive vision in pass pro (4th QTR, Minnesota ’20). At his best on downhill gap-schemed runs. Translates speed-to-power on contact. Even though he has to chop his feet to get back vertical, he flashes an ability to maneuver his paths (2nd QTR/11:51, Penn State ’20). Catches the ball well on check down passes. He has returned kickoffs for the team (as an off kickoff returner). Gets downhill with good speed and a straight-ahead style in this aspect (Temple ’19, 1st KOR of game). Outstanding special teams player. Used as a hold-up player at RE on the punt return unit. When running down at the R3 position on the kickoff team, he measures up his tackling entries from 10-to-20 yards away and then sinks low to clip the legs of the KOR (tackle inside the -12-yd L, 3rd QTR, Temple ’19). Uses the wrap around technique to get back into his lane in KO cover. He also uses butt-and-press techniques to run through blockers. Gets excited to cover kicks!! The team even used him in motion on the punt team as a gunner-type (Temple ’19). As a tackle on the punt team, Funk uses a snatch-and-pull technique to get rid of hold-ups by the blockers. Served as a wing on the punt team as well. 28 career tackles.

Weaknesses: After making cuts to reach the edge, he has to chop his steps to make inside-out defenders miss (4th QTR/4:40, Minnesota ’20). After his straight-line speed, he lacks a defining trait as a running back. Longer ends on the punt team can get off of his hold-up attempts with their length (2nd QTR/12:05, Temple ’19). Major durability concerns. Had a wrist injury in 2018 that was followed by a torn ACL. He then tore his ACL in the same knee (left) vs. Temple early in 2019 covering a kick (in a game he was playing very well).

Other Notes: Attended Damascus HS (Md.) was ranked as a two-star recruit by some outlets despite rushing for 2,866 yards and 57 TDs while earning 2015 Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year honors • Father, Jim, played at Penn State and his mother, A’Lisa, was a 22-time All-American swimmer at Clarion University • Grandfather, Walter, played basketball at Penn State and his older brother, Josh, was a captain of the Ohio State lacrosse team • 2015 Nike Sparq testing results: 4.63 40-yd, 4.19 20-yd SS, 37 1/2″ VJ • 2016 (13 gms): 29 rushes for 1136 yards (4.7 YPC) and one TD; 7 catches for 42 yards (6 YPR) and one TD; 16.3 yds/KR (three returns); 12 tackles, FF • 2017 (12 gms, Special Teams Player of the Year): 27 carries for 145 yards (5.4 YPC) and 4 TDs; One completion for three yards; One receiving TD; 18.4 yds/KR; 9 tackles • 2018 (3 gms): Two carries; One reception; 4 tackles • 2019 (3 gms): 17 carries for 173 yards (10.2 YPC) and 2 TDs; 4 receptions for 16 yards; One kickoff return; 3 tackles • 2020 (4 gms, 3rd Team All-Big Ten): 60 carries for 516 yards (8.6 YPC) and 3 TDs; 10 catches for 68 yards and one TD; 2 tackles • 2021 Maryland Pro Day: 9″ hands, 30 1/4″ arms, 72 1/2″ wingspan, 22 reps-225 lbs, 4.48 40-yd, 38″ VJ, 10’2″ BJ, 6.73 3-cone, 4.14 20-yd SS

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Since Funk came out of high school, he has gotten bigger, stronger and faster in school. All of this occurred while enduring two torn ACLs to the same knee in consecutive seasons. This speaks to his work ethic and overall football character. Prior to the injury, he ranked as one of the top special teams players in this year’s draft class. Adding a breakout season at running back -something the team felt he was on his way to in 2019- is just adding icing on the cake. So can Funk stay healthy? This is the question for teams as they ponder whether to use a draft pick (perhaps late on Day 3) on a player who could immediately be one of your core special teams players while adding value as a runner with some home run capability. That capability would be maximized in a gap-schemed run game that features some man blocking and pulling offensive linemen. We have no issues with him being competent in pass protection. Funk, one of our favorite all-purpose prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft, has Day 3 value and…..lots of it.

DN Grade: 5.29 (4th Round)

Big Board Rank: 301

2021 Seven-Round NFL Mock Draft

The 2021 NFL Draft is quickly approaching. Where will quarterbacks like Zach Wilson and Trevor Lawrence land? Do the Atlanta Falcons target a weapon for Matt Ryan? DraftNasty’s 2021 seven-round NFL Mock Draft will answer some of your questions about how we project each team will pick. In this mock draft, we used a variety of factors to determine who each team will pick including: past general manager selections, team needs, current roster after free agency and the impact a player could have immediately.

For example, does the Washington Football Team target a quarterback since they already signed Ryan Fitzpatrick and, if so, will they reach for a quarterback if the top four prospects at the position are taken? Scroll below to see but, unlike other Mock Drafts, we factor in the front offices. Remember, Washington has a unique conglomerate of GM-esque decision makers: HC Ron Rivera, GM Martin Mayhew and executive VP Marty Hurney.

Another important factor in our Mock Draft is the 2021 DraftNasty Big Board. There are more than 550 prospects on the Big Board this season. Note: the complete Big Board can be found in our 2021 NFL Draft Guide, which is available for purchase.

SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPositionSchoolNotes
1st Round
1st overallJacksonville JaguarsTrevor LawrenceQBClemsonLawrence's underrated athleticism works for an offense that already features a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.
2nd overallNew York JetsZach WilsonQBBYUWilson could be a BYU mix of former Cougar standouts Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
3rd overallSan Francisco 49ersJustin FieldsQBOhio StateSan Francisco wouldn't trade up for anything other than a quarterback. Fields finds a home early in the draft.
4th overallAtlanta FalconsKyle PittsTEFloridaNew HC Arthur Smith adds to Ryan's vast array of weapons in hopes of recapturing MVP form.
5th overallCincinnati BengalsPenei SewellOTOregonThe Bengals get added protection for quarterback Joe Burrow.
6th overallMiami DolphinsJa'Marr ChaseWRLSUReuniting with former teammate D. Smith would have been nice, but Dolphins pick '19 Biketnikoff winner.
7th overallDetroit LionsMicah ParsonsLBPenn StateNew HC Dan Campbell drafts a talented linebacker he can build defense around.
8th overallCarolina PanthersRashawn SlaterOTNorthwesternNo matter who plays QB, the Panthers have to do a better job protecting the passer up front.
9th overallDenver BroncosChristian DarrisawOTVirginia TechThe Broncos spend a high pick on an insurance policy if Ja'Wuan James can't return to 2019 form after opting out of the 2020 campaign.
10th overallDallas CowboysPatrick Surtain IICBAlabamaCan you win with two Alabama CBs on the edges? We are about to find out.
11th overallNew York GiantsJeremiah Owusu- KoramoahLBNotre DameNew York targeted offensive weapons during free agency and now they add another piece to its improving defense.
12th overallPhiladelphia EaglesJaycee HornCBSouth CarolinaHowie Roseman takes one of the best corners off the board but in reality he may continue his trend of reaching for position players.
13th overallLos Angeles ChargersKwity PayeDE/LBMichiganLos Angeles bolsters its defensive front seven with a Melvin Ingram-clone.
14th overallMinnesota VikingsAlijah Vera-TuckerOG/OTUSCMinnesota adds to their offensive line with Vera-Tucker, who can play both guard and tackle.
15th overallNew England PatriotsDeVonta SmithWRAlabamaNew England could add Trey Lance here, but instead they opt for Smith, our number one overall prospect.
16th overallArizona CardinalsCaleb FarleyCBVirginia TechArizona brushes off injury concerns and picks arguably the draft's most talented corner.
17th overallLas Vegas RaidersZaven CollinsLBTulsaOakland gets some help at the linebacker position. Collins can help their pass rush and aid last year's back end selections.
18th overallMiami DolphinsTeven JenkinsOTOklahoma StateHC Brian Flores gets some help along the offensive line after drafting a receiver early in the proceedings.
19th overallWashington Football TeamTrey LanceQBNorth Dakota StateHC Ron Rivera gets his new-age version of former MVP Cam Newton.
20th overallChicago BearsJaylen WaddleWRAlabamaChicago spices up its offensive weapons, but can Waddle remain healthy?
21st overallIndianapolis ColtsGregory RousseauDEMiami (Fla.)Rousseau slides to the AFC South, where his size will mesh with fellow 6'7 stalwart DeForest Buckner
22nd overallTennessee TitansChristian BarmoreDTAlabamaTennessee went with Bud Dupree in free agency and now adds an interior disruptor to its defensive front seven.
23rd overallNew York JetsNajee HarrisRBAlabamaThe Jets get a power back to go with their power left tackle in Mekhi Becton.
24th overallPittsburgh SteelersTravis EtienneRBClemsonNow that the run on running backs has started, Pittsburgh gets a new featured back. Etienne's improved receiving skills help the room.
25th overallJacksonville JaguarsTrevon MoehrigSTCUThe Jim Thorpe Award winner adds stability in a division with plenty of big receiving threats.
26th overallCleveland BrownsJevon HollandS/ Nickel/ ReturnOregonCleveland opts not to reach for a linebacker but instead bring in a swiss army knife defender.
27th overallBaltimore RavensAzeez OjulariOLBGeorgiaThe Ravens go all-in on Ojulari, a burgeoning pass rusher and underrated run defender.
28th overallNew Orleans SaintsMac JonesQBAlabamaSean Payton gets an accurate signal caller, who will compete with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill for the starting job.
29th overallGreen Bay PackersRashod BatemanWRMinnesotaBateman is used to the cold and he'll find some more of it Wisconsin.
30th overallBuffalo BillsJaelan PhillipsDE/OLBMiami (Fla.)Phillips could be the steal of the first round, but can he remain healthy?
31st overallBaltimore RavensLiam EichenbergOTNotre DameSolid player who will pair with fellow Fighting Irish tackle on the other side.
32nd overallTampa Bay BuccaneersTerrace Marshall Jr.WRLSUTom Brady gets an outside weapon to replace Antonio Brown if he isn't retained.
2nd Round
33rd overallJacksonville JaguarsRichie GrantSUCFThe former UCF star can go right down the road to change addresses.
34th overallNew York JetsKelvin JosephCBKentucky/ LSUThe pick here will be between Joseph and Stokes. Or does Campbell usurp Stokes?
35th overallAtlanta FalconsEric StokesCBGeorgiaRead the above note.
36th overallMiami DolphinsMilton WilliamsDLLouisiana TechVersatile skill-set fits Flores' scheme. Offers outside/inside presence.
37th overallPhiladelphia EaglesBaron BrowningLBOhio StateBrowning could be an immediate Day 1 starter at OLB for a team that now has addressed its front seven and back end.
38th overallCincinnati BengalsTrey SmithOGTennesseeIf he can keep his weight at a balance under control, then Bengals secure potential Pro Bowl talent with swing versatility.
39th overallCarolina PanthersJabril CoxLBLSUA Shaq Thompson/ Jabril Cox pairing would draw similarities to fellow NFC South tandem Devin White and Lavonte David.
40th overallDenver BroncosLevi OnwuzurikeDLWashingtonTeam solves some of its depth issues with quick interior line disruptor.
41st overallDetroit LionsKadarius ToneyWR-RetFloridaThe Lions take a calculated gamble here, but the Florida receiver will slip no further.
42nd overallNew York GiantsGreg Newsome IICBNorthwesternNewsome II can become a starter, but health is the question mark.
43rd overallSan Francisco 49ersPaulson AdeboCBStanford49ers go right down Rte. 101 for a cornerback from Stanford.
44th overallDallas CowboysCarlos "Boogie" BashamDE/ DTWake ForestJerry Jones brings in the cousin of Tarell Basham to help with the departure of Aldon Smith.
45th overallJacksonville JaguarsDillon RadunzOTNorth Dakota StateRadunz brings an athletic presence to the edges and is insurance if Robinson doesn't regain form.
46th overallNew England PatriotsJamin DavisLBKentuckyBill Belichick brings in another linebacker who can contribute immediately for an unproven group sans Dont'a Hightower.
47th overallLos Angeles ChargersTyson CampbellCBGeorgiaTechnically, he's a work in progress, but Chargers bet on size, speed and SEC experience.
48th overallLas Vegas RaidersHamsah NasirildeenS/LBFSUNew DC Gus Bradley gets another athletic hybrid player in the second round.
49th overallArizona CardinalsJoe TryonDE-OLBWashingtonCardinals add an edge rusher with upside in Round 2.
50th overallMiami DolphinsJavonte WilliamsRBUNCWilliams adds some power to the backfield alongside Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed.
51st overallWashington Football TeamRondale MooreWR-RetPurdueMoore opens up the offense with gadget possibilities alongside versatile Gibson.
52nd overallChicago BearsDavis MillsQBStanfordMills could see action in the middle of the season if things go south with Andy Dalton and Nick Foles.
53rd overallTennessee TitansDayo OdeyingboDEVanderbiltMuch like former first-round pick Simmons, Titans put injured Odeyingbo on ice.
54th overallIndianapolis ColtsElijah MooreWROle MissWe contemplated Elijah Moore here in the first round but the Colts get him a round later to be the successor to T.Y. Hilton.
55th overallPittsburgh SteelersWyatt DavisOGOhio StateSteelers seek to regain identity up front.
56th overallSeattle SeahawksAmbry ThomasCBMichiganThe Seahawks were 31st in pass defense last season, Thomas helps them.
57th overallLos Angeles RamsCaden SternsSTexasSterns' range could help alleviate the loss of Johnson in free agency.
58th overallKansas City ChiefsCam SampleDE/ OLBTulaneHC Andy Reid adds to his defense. The Buccaneers kept their defensive linemen fresh in the Super Bowl, now KC can do likewise.
59th overallCleveland BrownsNick BoltonLBMissouriThe Browns need a tone-setter in the middle of their defense. Bolton brings thump and leadership.
60th overallNew Orleans SaintsAlim McNeillDTNC StateThe Saints have to address their interior defensive line and McNeill is a solid remedy.
61st overallBuffalo BillsRonnie PerkinsDE-OLBOklahomaBuffalo brings in yet another pass rusher in the second round for the second year in a row.
62nd overallGreen Bay PackersAsante Samuel Jr.CBFSUJaire Alexander and Asante Samuel Jr. are two of the more competitive cornerbacks and will be needed as they battle for conference supremacy with the loaded Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
63rd overallKansas City ChiefsSamuel CosmiOTTexasThe pick here is either Cosmi or Michigan's Jalen Mayfield. The Chiefs go with the traits.
64th overallTampa Bay BuccaneersJay TufeleDTUSCTufele will learn from one of the league's better interior defenders of teh last decade in Ndamukong Suh.
3rd Round
65th overallJacksonville JaguarsMichael CarterRB-RetUNC
66th overallNew York JetsLandon DickersonOG/CAlabama
67th overallHouston TexansKellen MondQBTexas A&M
68th overallAtlanta FalconsTrey SermonRBOhio State, Oklahoma
69th overallCincinnati BengalsMalcolm KoonceDE-OLBBuffalo
70th overallPhiladelphia EaglesAmon-Ra St. BrownWRUSC
71st overallDenver BroncosChauncey GolstonDLIowa
72nd overallDetroit LionsElijah MoldenS-NickelWashington
73rd overallCarolina PanthersPat FreiermuthTEPenn State
74th overallWashington Football TeamBrevin JordanTE- H-BackMiami (Fla.)
75th overallDallas CowboysBen ClevelandOGGeorgia
76th overallNew York GiantsKenneth GainwellAll-PurposeMemphis
77th overallLos Angeles ChargersJalen MayfieldOTMichigan
78th overallMinnesota VikingsCreed HumphreyOGOklahoma
79th overallLas Vegas RaidersAaron RobinsonCBUCF
80th overallLas Vegas RaidersDaviyon NixonDTIowa
81st overallMiami DolphinsAlex LeatherwoodOTAlabama
82nd overallWashington Football TeamMonty RiceLBGeorgia
83rd overallChicago BearsJames HudsonOTCincinnati
84th overallPhiladelphia EaglesChazz SurrattLBUNC
85th overallTennessee TitansTommy TrembleTENotre Dame
86th overallNew York JetsJayson OwehDE-OLBPenn State
87th overallPittsburgh SteelersMarco WilsonCBFlorida
88th overallLos Angeles RamsBrady ChristensenOTBYU
89th overallCleveland BrownsShaun WadeCBOhio State
90th overallMinnesota VikingsKyle TraskQBFlorida
91st overallCleveland BrownsOsa OdighizuwaDTUCLA
92nd overallGreen Bay PackersSpencer BrownOTNorthern Iowa
93rd overallBuffalo BillsZech McPhearsonCBTexas Tech
94th overallBaltimore RavensDavid MooreOGGrambling State
95th overallTampa Bay BuccaneersQuincy RocheDE-OLBMiami (Fla.)
96th overallNew England PatriotsAdetokunbo OgundejiDENotre Dame
97th overallLos Angeles ChargersRobert JonesOLMiddle Tennessee
98th overallNew Orleans SaintsIhmir Smith-MarsetteAll-PurposeIowa
99th overallDallas CowboysPete WernerLBOhio State
100th overallTennessee TitansShi SmithWRSouth Carolina
101th overallDetroit LionsDyami BrownWRUNC
102nd overallMiami DolphinsNico CollinsWRMichigan
103rd overallLos Angeles RamsKendrick GreenOGIllinois
104th overallBaltimore RavensJosh PalmerWRTennessee
105th overallNew Orleans SaintsDylan MosesLBAlabama
4th Round
106th overallJacksonville JaguarsHunter LongTEBoston College
107th overallNew York JetsAndre CiscoSSyracuse
108th overallAtlanta FalconsPatrick Jones IIDE-OLBPittsburgh
109th overallHouston TexansMarvin WilsonDTFSU
110th overallCleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles)Tyler ShelvinDTLSU
111th overallCincinnati BengalsTylan WallaceWROklahoma State
112th overallDetroit LionsBuddy JohnsonLBTexas A&M
113th overallCarolina PanthersD’Ante SmithOT-OGECU
114th overallDenver BroncosJoseph OssaiDE-OLBTexas
115th overallDallas CowboysCharles Snowden IIIDE-OLBVirginia
116th overallNew York GiantsChris Rumph IIOLBDuke
117th overallSan Francisco 49ersDivine DeabloS-LBVirginia Tech
118th overallLos Angeles ChargersElerson G. SmithDE-OLBNorthern Iowa
119th overallMinnesota VikingsAmari RodgersAll-PurposeClemson
120th overallNew England PatriotsTarron JacksonDECoastal Carolina
121st overallLas Vegas RaidersRobert HainseyOT-OGNotre Dame
122nd overallNew England Patriots (from Arizona Cardinals through Houston Texans)Seth WilliamsWRAuburn
123rd overallPhiladelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins)Kylin HillRBMississippi State
124th overallWashington Football TeamJackson CarmanOT-OGClemson
125th overallMinnesota Vikings (from Chicago Bears)Janarius RobinsonDE-OLBFlorida State
126th overallTennessee TitansDan MooreOTTexas A&M
127th overallIndianapolis ColtsJamar JohnsonSIndiana
128th overallPittsburgh SteelersJimmy MorrisseyOC-OGPittsburgh
129th overallSeattle SeahawksRobert RochellCBCentral Arkansas
130th overallJacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)Quinn MeinerzOC-OGWisconsin-Whitewater
131st overallBaltimore RavensIfeatu MelifonwuCBSyracuse
132nd overallCleveland BrownsD’Wayne EskridgeAll-PurposeWestern Michigan
133rd overallNew Orleans SaintsJames WigginsSCincinnati
134th overallMinnesota Vikings (from Buffalo Bills; conditional)Chatarius “TuTu” AtwellWRLouisville
135th overallGreen Bay PackersAmen OgbongbemigaLBOklahoma State
136th overallBaltimore Ravens (from Kansas City Chiefs)Darren HallCB-NickelSan Diego State
137th overallTampa Bay BuccaneersHamilcar Rashed, Jr. OLBOregon State
138th overallDallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)Rodarius WilliamsCBOklahoma State
139th overallNew England Patriots (compensatory selection)Cameron McGroneLBMichigan
140th overallPittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)Thomas Graham, Jr.CBOregon
141st overallLos Angeles Rams (compensatory selection)Derrick BarnesLBPurdue
142nd overallGreen Bay Packers (compensatory selection)Ta’Quon GrahamDE-DTTexas
143rd overallMinnesota Vikings (compensatory selection)Garret WallowLBTCU
144th overallKansas City Chiefs (compensatory selection)Sadarius HutchersonOG-OTSouth Carolina
5th Round
145th overallJacksonville JaguarsJosh MyersOC-OGOhio State
146th overallNew York JetsPressley Harvin IIIPGeorgia Tech
147th overallHouston TexansAntonio PhillipsCB-NickelBall State
148th overallAtlanta FalconsMichael MenetOC-OGPenn State
149th overallCincinnati BengalsChuba HubbardRBOklahoma State
150th overallPhiladelphia EaglesBobby Brown IIIDT-NGTexas A&M
151st overallCarolina PanthersFranklin “Mac” McCain IIICBNorth Carolina A&T
152nd overallDenver BroncosShemar Jean-CharlesCB-NickelAppalachian State
153rd overallDetroit LionsWilliam Bradley-KingDE-OLBBaylor, Arkansas State
154th overallNew York Jets (from New York Giants)Tre McKittyTE/H-backGeorgia, FSU
155th overallSan Francisco 49ersIsrael MukuamuCB-S-NickelSouth Carolina
156th overallMiami Dolphins (from Dallas Cowboys through Philadelphia Eagles)Drew DalmanOCStanford
157th overallMinnesota VikingsJonathan MarshallDT-NGArkansas
158th overallHouston Texans (from New England Patriots)Tamorrion TerryWRFSU
159th overallLos Angeles ChargersAaron BanksOGNotre Dame
160th overallArizona CardinalsJack AndersonOC-OGTexas Tech
161st overallBuffalo Bills (from Las Vegas Raiders)Brenden JaimesOT-OGNebraska
162nd overallLas Vegas Raiders (from Miami Dolphins)Jordan SmithDE-OLBUAB, Florida
163rd overallWashington Football TeamJaylon MooreOT-OGWestern Michigan
164th overallChicago BearsSimi FehokoWRStanford
165th overallIndianapolis ColtsDaelin HayesDE-OLBNotre Dame
166th overallTennessee TitansK.J. BrittLBAuburn
167th overallLas Vegas Raiders (from Seattle Seahawks)Talanoa HufangaS-LBUSC
168th overallMinnesota Vikings (from Pittsburgh Steelers through Baltimore Ravens)Jose BorregalesPKMiami (Fla.), FIU
169th overallCleveland Browns (from Los Angeles Rams)Riley PattersonPKMemphis
170th overallJacksonville Jaguars (from Cleveland Browns)Tedarrell “TJ” SlatonDT-NGFlorida
171st overallBaltimore RavensSam CooperOGMerrimack College, Maine
172nd overallSan Francisco 49ers (from New Orleans Saints)Jason PinnockCB-NickelPittsburgh
173rd overallGreen Bay PackersCole Van LanenOTWisconsin
174th overallBuffalo BillsForrest MerrillDT-NGArkansas State
175th overallKansas City ChiefsElijah MitchellRBLouisiana Lafayette
176th overallTampa Bay BuccaneersJamie NewmanQBWake Forest
177th overallNew England Patriots (compensatory selection)Quinton BohannaDT-NGKentucky
178th overallGreen Bay Packers (compensatory selection)Austin FaoliuDE-DTOregon
179th overallDallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)Tre BrownCB-NickelOklahoma
180th overallSan Francisco 49ers (compensatory selection)Isaiah McDuffieLBBoston College
181st overallKansas City Chiefs (compensatory selection)Brandon StephensCB-SSMU, UCLA
182nd overallAtlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)Shaka ToneyOLBPenn State
183rd overallAtlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)Patrick JohnsonOLBTulane
184th overallBaltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)Ernest JonesLBSouth Carolina
6th Round
185th overallLos Angeles Chargers (from Jacksonville Jaguars through Tennessee Titans)Evan McPhersonPKFlorida
186th overallNew York JetsTre NixonWRUCF
187th overallAtlanta FalconsTim JonesWRSouthern Miss
188th overallNew England Patriots (from Houston Texans)Jalen CampWRGeorgia Tech
189th overallPhiladelphia EaglesCornell PowellWRClemson
190th overallCincinnati BengalsQuintin MorrisTE/H-backBowling Green
191st overallDenver BroncosJaret PattersonRBBuffalo
192nd overallDallas Cowboys (from Detroit Lions)JaCoby StevensS-LBLSU
193rd overallCarolina PanthersKenny YeboahTE/H-backOle Miss, Temple
194th overallSan Francisco 49ersJaelon DardenAll-PurposeNorth Texas
195th overallHouston Texans (from Dallas Cowboys through New England Patriots)Marlon TuipulotuDT-NGUSC
196th overallNew York GiantsRashad WeaverDE-OLBPittsburgh
197th overallNew England PatriotsJoshua KaindohDEFlorida State
198th overallLos Angeles ChargersTommy DoyleOTMiami (OH.)
199th overallMinnesota VikingsAdrian EalyOTOklahoma
200th overallLas Vegas RaidersWalker LittleOTStanford
201st overallNew York Giants (from Arizona Cardinals)Benjamin St. JusteCBMinnesota, Michigan
202nd overallCincinnati Bengals (from Miami Dolphins through Houston Texans)Larry BoromOT-OGMissouri
203rd overallHouston Texans (from Washington Football Team through Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins)Marquiss SpencerDE-DTMississippi State
204th overallChicago BearsNate HobbsCBIllinois
205th overallTennessee TitansRichard LeCounte IIISGeorgia
206th overallIndianapolis ColtsAlaric JacksonOTIowa
207th overallKansas City Chiefs (from Pittsburgh Steelers through Miami Dolphins)Josh BallOTMarshall, FSU
208th overallChicago Bears (from Seattle Seahawks through Miami Dolphins; conditional)Mark GilbertCB-NickelDuke
209th overallLos Angeles RamsBrandin “Beezy” EcholsCB-NickelKentucky
210th overallBaltimore RavensTyree GillespieSMissouri
211th overallCleveland BrownsDarius HodgeOLBMarshall
212th overallHouston Texans (from New Orleans Saints)Harry CriderOCIndiana
213th overallBuffalo BillsTommy KraemerOG-OTNotre Dame
214th overallGreen Bay PackersDrue ChrismanPOhio State
215th overallTennessee Titans (from Kansas City Chiefs)Chris EvansRBMichigan
216th overallPittsburgh Steelers (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers)Wyatt HubertDE-OLBKansas State
217th overallTampa Bay Buccaneers (compensatory selection)Malik HerringDE-DTGeorgia
218th overallNew Orleans Saints (compensatory selection)Michael StrachanWR-H-backCharleston (W Va.)
219th overallAtlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)Feleipe FranksQBArkansas, Florida
220th overallGreen Bay Packers (compensatory selection)Shakur BrownCB-NickelMichigan State
221st overallChicago Bears (compensatory selection)Carson GreenOT-OGTexas A&M
222nd overallCarolina Panthers (compensatory selection)Gerrid DoaksRBCincinnati
223rd overallArizona Cardinals (from Minnesota Vikings; compensatory selection)DJ DanielCBGeorgia
224th overallPhiladelphia Eagles (compensatory selection)Jacob HarrisWRUCF, Western Kentucky
225th overallPhiladelphia Eagles (compensatory selection)Keith TaylorCBWashington
226th overallNew York Jets (from Carolina Panthers; compensatory selection)Payton TurnerDE-DTHouston
227th overallDallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)Ian BookQBNotre Dame
228th overallChicago Bears (compensatory selection)Kene NwangwuAll-PurposeIowa State
7th Round
229th overallNew Orleans Saints (from Jacksonville Jaguars)Justin HilliardLBOhio State
230th overallSan Francisco 49ers (from New York Jets)Camryn BynumCB-NickelCalifornia
231st overallMiami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)Darrick ForrestSCincinnati
232nd overallTennessee Titans (from Atlanta Falcons through Miami Dolphins)Damar HamlinSPittsburgh
233rd overallHouston Texans (from Cincinnati Bengals)Dez FitzpatrickWRLouisville
234th overallPhiladelphia EaglesJames SmithPCincinnati
235th overallCincinnati Bengals (from Detroit Lions through Seattle Seahawks)Jonathan AdamsWRArkansas State
236th overallBuffalo Bills (from Carolina Panthers)Chris WilcoxCBBYU
237th overallDenver BroncosRiley ColeLBSouth Alabama
238th overallDallas CowboysJerome JohnsonDT-DEIndiana
239th overallDenver Broncos (from New York Giants)Cameron MurrayDTOklahoma State
240th overallPhiladelphia Eagles (from San Francisco 49ers)Demetric FeltonAll-PurposeUCLA
241st overallLos Angeles ChargersJohn BatesTEBoise State
242nd overallNew England PatriotsBen MasonTE/H-backMichigan
243rd overallArizona CardinalsZach DavidsonTE-PunterCentral Missouri
244th overallWashington Football Team (from Las Vegas Raiders)Jake FunkAll-PurposeMaryland
245th overallPittsburgh Steelers (from Miami Dolphins)Isaiahh LoudermilkDE-DTWisconsin
246th overallWashington Football TeamJon RhattiganLBArmy
247th overallArizona Cardinals (from Chicago Bears through Las Vegas Raiders)Brady BreezeSOregon
248th overallIndianapolis ColtsAr’Darius WashingtonS-NickelTCU
249th overallJacksonville Jaguars (from Tennessee Titans)Roy LopezDT-NGArizona, New Mexico State
250th overallSeattle SeahawksLarnell ColemanOTUMass
251st overallTampa Bay Buccaneers (from Pittsburgh Steelers)Dicaprio BootleS-NickelNebraska
252nd overallLos Angeles RamsAnthony SchwartzAll-PurposeAuburn
253rd overallDenver Broncos (from Cleveland Browns)William ShermanOT-OGColorado
254th overallPittsburgh Steelers (from Baltimore Ravens)Nahshon WrightCBOregon State
255th overallNew Orleans SaintsTory CarterTE/H-backLSU
256th overallGreen Bay PackersRoyce NewmanOG-OTOle Miss
257th overallCleveland Browns (from Buffalo Bills)Alex KessmanPKPittsburgh
258th overallMiami Dolphins (from Kansas City Chiefs)Dai’Jean DixonWRNicholls State
259th overallTampa Bay BuccaneersEthan TuckyOLB-LSCincinnati

Running with the Bull: Jaret Patterson- Buffalo RB

26 Jaret Patterson

5’6 1/2″ 195 RB- Junior

Running with the Bull: Jaret Patterson Buffalo RB

The junior Buffalo Bull running back has made a mark with his elusive yet powerful running style. He currently ranks as the 212th best player on our Big Board.

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Built well. Outstanding boxer-like feet.  Can tap dance in the hole and make safeties miss (Wade, 1st QTR/14:48, Penn State ’19). Sticks his foot on inside spins to find room on the edges and will look to not go out of bounds.  Spins on first contact instinctively (3rd QTR, Bahamas ’19).  Four-or-five-yard runs turn into highlight film runs.  Shifty stop-and-start quickness is aided by acceleration (42-yd TD, Rutgers ’18).  Sticks his right foot in the ground, drops his right shoulder into tackler and leans forward for three or four yards (1st QTR, Penn State ’19).  Displays energy on his stiff-arms when bouncing runs (EMU ’18).  On gap-schemed runs to the right, he flashes quick burst.  On goal line runs, he lowers his pad level and runs through LBs with a low center of gravity (TD, Bahamas ’19).  Takes a hip away from LBs in the open field.  Lead blocks for fellow RBs with vengeance.  Translates speed-to-power along the sidelines vs. CBs who come up to tackle (runs over Castro-Fields, 2nd QTR, Penn State ’19).  He’s an instinctive open field runner in the screen game. 

Weaknesses:  Lacks a true home run gear once he gets into the open field.  Eighth men in the box surprise him at times and his reactions have been less than stellar (3rd QTR/8:01, Liberty ’19).   Can he get himself out of a mess (3rd QTR/6:33, big hit along sidelines, Liberty ’19)? Speed begins to die out at the 25-yard mark.  Struggled with injuries down the final back half of his junior campaign.  Injured his right leg in the 2020 MAC Championship game, left the game and came back with a brace on the leg.  Struggled in that game and did not play in the team’s bowl game.  Zero receptions in 2020. 

Other Notes: Attended Saint-Vincent Pallotti HS (Md.) and rushed for 2,045 yards and 23 TDs as a senior •  Accounted for 558 all-purpose yards in one high school contest (Riverdale Baptist) •  Twin brother, James, plays football for Buffalo • 2018 (14 gms, 6 sts, 2nd Team All-MAC, MAC Freshman of the Year): 183 carries for 1,013 yards (5.5 YPC) and 14 TDs; 7 receptions for 62 yards • 2018: Started 11 games at RT • Rushed for 298 yards and 6 TDs vs. Bowling Green on 11/29/19 •  2019 (1st Team All-MAC): 312 carries for 1,799 yards (5.8 YPC) and 19 TDs; 13 receptions for 209 yards (16.1 YPR) and TD •  31 carries for 301 yards and 4 TDs vs. Bowling Green on 11/17/20 • 36 carries for 409 yards and 8 TDs vs. Kent State on 11/28/20 • 2020 (6 gms, 1st Team All-MAC): 141 carries for 1,072 yards (7.6 YPC) and 19 TDs • Career Stats: 636 rushes for 3,884 yards (6.1 YPC) and 52 TDs; 20 receptions for 271 yards (13.6 YPR) and one TD • 2021 Buffalo Pro Day: 9 1/4″ hands, 28 3/4″ arms, 68 3/4″ wingspan, 19 reps-25 lbs, 4.57 40-yd, 30″ VJ, 9’9″ BJ, 7.03 3-cone, 4.35 20-yd SS

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary):  One of the big things that Patterson has improved on is ball security.  After fumbling the football four times in 2018, he has put the ball on the ground just once the last two seasons.  He didn’t finish the 2020 season as strong as he did in 2019, when he finished the season with six straight 100-yard rushing games. He plays low, balanced and contains excellent vision to find cutback lanes.  While he doesn’t have blinding speed, Patterson gets to his top speed in a hurry and surprises opponents with his low center of gravity.  On top of that, he actually shows better receiving skills than one would imagine from a running back with zero receptions in 2020.  Much like former Buffalo running back Branden Oliver (Chargers), the wear-and-tear of so many carries began to add up for Patterson.  Backup running back Kevin Marks, arguably as good of an NFL prospect, carried the load for the Bulls much of the postseason in 2020.

Running with the Bull: Jaret Patterson Buffalo RB

Grade:                                                                                           5.33 (4th Round)

DraftNasty Big Board Rank:                                            212

Run-of-the-mill? Davis Mills- Stanford QB

15 Davis Mills

6’4 217 QB-Junior

Stanford

Davis Mills could be an intriguing middle round prospect. Can the Stanford Cardinal quarterback be as effective as former greats from Palo Alto like Jim Plunkett and Andrew Luck?

What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths):  Good ball handler.  Smooth, compact delivery. Gets the ball out of his hand quickly on possession routes.  Forgets his mistakes within a game and bounces back (UCLA ’20).  Extends the ball away from his frame on ball fakes.  Exhibits relaxed quiet feet before throwing nine routes outside the numbers with touch.  From under center, he can turn his back to the defense on seven-step drops and fire deep comebacks accurately (3rd QTR/7:23, Northwestern ’19).  Keeps a shoulder-width base and can make these passes on his third hitch in the pocket. Places back-shoulder passes to his No. 2 slot WR (4th QTR, TD, UCLA ’20) or to the X-WR on fades vs. tight man coverage (3rd QTR, Northwestern ’19; OT, UCLA ’20).  Projects with touch throwing the ball in the middle of the field. Capable of making the free rusher miss and then scrambling for yardage (3rd and 10, 3rd QTR, California ’19).  Has good feet speed running to the corner to outrun defenses.  Projects with touch throwing the ball in the middle of the field. Described as “even-keeled” by coaches (https://www.stanforddaily.com/2019/11/14/mills-to-start-against-wazzu-as-injuries-continue-to-plague-cardinal/).  Led a game-winning drive vs. Oregon State in 2020 and also a fourth quarter comeback vs. UCLA in 2020. 

Weaknesses:  He has left some layups on the field (3rd and 5, 2nd QTR/5:01, California ’19).  Some of his double posts to the No. 1 WR don’t get up-and-down in the middle of the field (3rd QTR, Northwestern ’19).  Loses some passes on deep over (Dover) concepts (INT, 3rd QTR/11:08, California ’19).  Locks in on his targets and takes safeties to the ball (INT, 3rd QTR, California ’19).   Fooled by UCLA CB Jay Shaw in a two-deep trap coverage and threw a hitch (five-yard stop) into the trap (INT-TD, 4th QTR, UCLA ’20). Time management is still a work in progress.  Needs more reps. He had two delay of game penalties vs. California in 2019.  Eyes drop in the pocket too soon when reading through coverage (4th QTR, Northwestern ’19).  Knee injuries hampered Mills for most of his first two seasons at Stanford.  Also missed time after suffering an injury against Washington in 2019.  In high school, he did not play in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American game due to injury.

Other Notes:  Attended Greater Atlanta Christian HS (Ga.) and was ranked as the nation’s No. 1 QB ahead of Tua Tagovailloa and Jake Fromm in the 247Sports class of 2017 •  2016 Nike Sparq testing results: 4.32 20-yd SS, 33″ VJ • 2018: Appeared in two games • 2019 (8 gms): Completed 158-of-241 passes (66%) for 1,960 yards, 11 TDs and 5 INTs; 44 yards rushing; TD reception • 327 yards passing (55%), TD vs. Colorado on 11/14/20 • 2020 (5 gms): Completed 129-of-195 passes (66.2%) for 1,508 yards, 7 TDs and 3 INTs • Career Stats: Passed for 3,468 yards (65.5%), 18 TDs, 8 INTs; 86 yards rushing, 3 TDs • Stanford Pro Day: 9 1/2″ hands, 31 3/8″ arms, 77 3/4″ wingspan, 4.78 40-yd, 32″ VJ, 9’2″ BJ, 6.95 3-cone, 4.4 20-yd SS

Time to get NASTY (Our Summary):  There was a reason that former Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello left the Cardinal program for Mississippi State.  Some people may point to injury, but in reality it was due to the emergence of Mills.  After Costello’s injury in 2019, Mills could not truly grab the job and he himself went down to injury.  The trend of injuries dates back to his high school days, where he was once ranked ahead of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in 247Sports’ 2017 rankings.  So what does he bring to the table?  Mills is an inexperienced quarterback with a smooth delivery, good mobility and an even-keeled nature.  That calm in the face of the storm helped him deliver after falling behind in games as a junior.

Grade                                       5.75 (3rd Round)

DN Big Board Rank:     168


FIU OL Shane McGough: Centered in his approach

Former FIU center Shane McGough traveled from Tampa’s Gaither High School down the road to Miami, Florida following in the footsteps of his brother Alex, currently a quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. McGough learned some tips from his brother, quarterbacked the Panthers offensive line and found time to start at all three interior line positions in school. We sat down with McGough this offseason to talk about some of his goals as he embarks on a potential NFL career.

DN: In terms of the workout process for the draft, where are you training for the draft?

McGough: I’m actually in my hometown of Tampa, Florida training with The Trench Academy, trying to get all these times ready for Pro Day. And I think it’s going really well.

DN: What are some of your goals, ‘let’s just say it might be the 20-yard short shuttle or maybe the 3-cone or maybe the bench press?’ Any specific goals that you’ve earmarked with your trainer?

McGough: Yeah, we’ve all got some times that we’re really trying to hit. In my short shuttle, I put down a time the other day that I’m really trying to stay around. I ran a 4.56 in the short shuttle (did 4.58 on Pro Day), so that’s pretty fast for an offensive lineman. So if I can keep it right there, then that’s a good number. The 10-yard split is really important for an offensive lineman, showing explosiveness off the line. If I can keep that under a 1.7, that’s what we’re shooting for (On McGough’s Pro Day in late March, he ran in the 5.1-to-5.2 range in the 40-yard dash).

DN: You were at the College Gridiron Showcase and also at the Tropical Bowl. You weighed in at 304 pounds right at 6-foot-2, and you pretty good hand size at 9 3/8”. Those measurements are favorable for you, projecting to the center spot, correct?

McGough: Yes sir.

DN: Who were some of the guys that were there before you (at FIU) that kind of paved the way for you?

McGough: Neal (Mars) was a guy that I played under, as I was his backup. He was always there to teach me and we competed for the spot. Having a guy like that who was willing to help you and show you the ropes, knowing that I was competing against him was really good. Jordan Budwig was an older guy that was actually there when my brother was there. Missed a couple of years due to injury but him being an older guy and having a lot of experience; he was able to teach me the game as a younger player. Understanding different defenses and being able to pick things up.

DN: Rich Skrosky (offensive coordinator) kind of brought NFL-type principles to the program. In terms of line calls, talk about how being in somewhat of a pro-style scheme the last couple of years can help your progression.

McGough: It helps a lot with the way we did our stuff with Skrosky. In the NFL, a lot of it is put on the center to make a lot of those calls, protection calls and stuff like that. That’s exactly how we did it. We did get help from the quarterback but they did rely on the center a lot to make adjustments right there on the line. Tell the quarterback what you see and let him change it. Make sure everyone is on the same page. Skrosky always said, ‘As long as all five of us are wrong together, you’re still right.’ Being able to be in the middle as the quarterback of the offenslve line, make all the line calls, get the protection, get the slide where we need to be and pick up all the different blitzes is really going to show out on my film. Maybe some of those NFL scouts that are looking for those centers who are able to slide over, pass off twists and pass all the way off to an edge blitzer.

DN: We regarded you as the best bender on your offensive line in some of the matchups viewed. Talk about the guys that you went against from Western Kentucky, as that was a multiple defensive front. How did that contest challenge you intellectually?

McGough: Their defensive line was an experienced defensive line, they had a lot of older guys. Their nose guard and shades that I was going against I had played multiple times. We’ve seen each other, kind of got a few tricks under our sleeves. They ran a few different formations and just competing against those guys was fun. It gets boring if you’re not playing against good competition.

DN: You used some different techniques after you’ve snapped the ball. You used some of these against FAU, the game in which you guided and mirrored their nose guard on the inside zone touchdown. Talk a little about some of your run blocking techniques, particularly when you wall-and-steer defenders to turn them out.

McGough: It’s something that you kind of read the defender on that, depending on how he plays the flow in the backfield. It kind of changes how you react to what he does. On a lot of the ones you’re talking about when I’m walling off and mirroring him, he’s not really giving me a defined read I’m just trying to stay in front of them. And don’t let the running back see color (defender), because if he sees color he’s gotta cutback. You’re not making the decision for the running back. When I tear him over, ‘you called it a hip toss,’ it’s a lot of times on an A-gap zone where they’re coming right off my butt. And being able to tear them (DL) past the read spot of the ball opens up that lane. It’s usually when I feel the defender going that way, I just use his momentum against him and take him where he wants to go and run him past the ball.

DN: You started nine games at guard in 2018 (right guard) and started three games at guard (left) in 2019. The ability to play all three interior line positions after measuring in at 6’2, 304. You put NFL offensive line coaches in a better spot there, right?

McGough: Yeah, that’s one thing that’s super important. Especially nowadays in the NFL is being able to swing. All it does is put more stuff on your resume’. You can’t really say I only play one position unless you’re that veteran in the league. A rookie coming in you’ve got to have multiple positional abilities. I can say I only play center but there’s a guy behind me who plays right guard but also plays center. Well that opens up another spot on the roster if I’m not on it.

DN: The toughest opponent you went against in school?

McGough: I’d have to say the University of Miami (Fla.).

DN: Best football player you’ve played with?

McGough: Laughs..

DN: Come on Shane we’ve got to give you some tough questions…

McGough: It’s probably messed up if I didn’t say it was my brother (Alex).

DN: What’s the best thing you learned from him?

McGough: He’s shown me a lot about defenses. How to pick up or read if its four-down, three-down (defensive fronts). In high school, that was a little complicated to me.

DN: The number one center you’ve studied in the NFL.

McGough: I’ve watched a lot of Jason Kelce (Eagles) film. Cause he’s kind of got the same measurables as I do.

DN: What about A.Q. Shipley?

McGough: Yeah, I’ve watched him. We talk about him a lot with my agent and trainer. He’s another guy whose kind of got the same measurables. It’s always good to watch a guy tat’s similar to you because he uses similar technique you need to use to do your job effectively.

DN: Your number one goal a year from now, what would it be?

McGough: Just to get an opportunity to play. That’s all I can ask for. You want to shoot high but at the end of the day it only takes one team to take a chance on you, whether that’s getting drafted, getting an invite or signing free agency. Just to be on a team and getting the opportunity to play again.

DN: Really enjoyed getting a chance to catch up with you.

McGough: Absolutely. Appreciate it.

DN: Have a safe rest of the year and good luck in the 2021 NFL Draft.

McGough: Thanks, you too.

Avery Williams: Walking on to the Blue Turf

Boise State return man Avery Williams went from a walk-on to an indispensable force for the Broncos. In 2019, he was voted the Mountain West Conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year, which shouldn’t have come as a surprise after notching weekly honors five times during his career. He also set the NCAA all-time record for punt and kickoff return touchdowns (nine).

Williams averaged 11.6 yards per punt return and 27.4 yards per kick return in his career.

But that’s not all…

Williams can make plays at cornerback. For his career, he had 152 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, four interceptions and 22 pass breakups. At cornerback, he is quick-footed and can mirror opposing receivers. How does he do it as a return man? The Pasadena, California native possesses the ability to dart, slide and break tackles on a regular basis. The former high school running back impresses on film with his balance.

For a full scouting report on Williams, purchase Corey Chavous’ 2021 NFL Draft Guide this spring.