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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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).
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
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
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.
|1st overall||Jacksonville Jaguars||Trevor Lawrence||QB||Clemson||Lawrence's underrated athleticism works for an offense that already features a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.|
|2nd overall||New York Jets||Zach Wilson||QB||BYU||Wilson could be a BYU mix of former Cougar standouts Jim McMahon and Steve Young.|
|3rd overall||San Francisco 49ers||Justin Fields||QB||Ohio State||San Francisco wouldn't trade up for anything other than a quarterback. Fields finds a home early in the draft.|
|4th overall||Atlanta Falcons||Kyle Pitts||TE||Florida||New HC Arthur Smith adds to Ryan's vast array of weapons in hopes of recapturing MVP form.|
|5th overall||Cincinnati Bengals||Penei Sewell||OT||Oregon||The Bengals get added protection for quarterback Joe Burrow.|
|6th overall||Miami Dolphins||Ja'Marr Chase||WR||LSU||Reuniting with former teammate D. Smith would have been nice, but Dolphins pick '19 Biketnikoff winner.|
|7th overall||Detroit Lions||Micah Parsons||LB||Penn State||New HC Dan Campbell drafts a talented linebacker he can build defense around.|
|8th overall||Carolina Panthers||Rashawn Slater||OT||Northwestern||No matter who plays QB, the Panthers have to do a better job protecting the passer up front.|
|9th overall||Denver Broncos||Christian Darrisaw||OT||Virginia Tech||The 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 overall||Dallas Cowboys||Patrick Surtain II||CB||Alabama||Can you win with two Alabama CBs on the edges? We are about to find out.|
|11th overall||New York Giants||Jeremiah Owusu- Koramoah||LB||Notre Dame||New York targeted offensive weapons during free agency and now they add another piece to its improving defense.|
|12th overall||Philadelphia Eagles||Jaycee Horn||CB||South Carolina||Howie Roseman takes one of the best corners off the board but in reality he may continue his trend of reaching for position players.|
|13th overall||Los Angeles Chargers||Kwity Paye||DE/LB||Michigan||Los Angeles bolsters its defensive front seven with a Melvin Ingram-clone.|
|14th overall||Minnesota Vikings||Alijah Vera-Tucker||OG/OT||USC||Minnesota adds to their offensive line with Vera-Tucker, who can play both guard and tackle.|
|15th overall||New England Patriots||DeVonta Smith||WR||Alabama||New England could add Trey Lance here, but instead they opt for Smith, our number one overall prospect.|
|16th overall||Arizona Cardinals||Caleb Farley||CB||Virginia Tech||Arizona brushes off injury concerns and picks arguably the draft's most talented corner.|
|17th overall||Las Vegas Raiders||Zaven Collins||LB||Tulsa||Oakland gets some help at the linebacker position. Collins can help their pass rush and aid last year's back end selections.|
|18th overall||Miami Dolphins||Teven Jenkins||OT||Oklahoma State||HC Brian Flores gets some help along the offensive line after drafting a receiver early in the proceedings.|
|19th overall||Washington Football Team||Trey Lance||QB||North Dakota State||HC Ron Rivera gets his new-age version of former MVP Cam Newton.|
|20th overall||Chicago Bears||Jaylen Waddle||WR||Alabama||Chicago spices up its offensive weapons, but can Waddle remain healthy?|
|21st overall||Indianapolis Colts||Gregory Rousseau||DE||Miami (Fla.)||Rousseau slides to the AFC South, where his size will mesh with fellow 6'7 stalwart DeForest Buckner|
|22nd overall||Tennessee Titans||Christian Barmore||DT||Alabama||Tennessee went with Bud Dupree in free agency and now adds an interior disruptor to its defensive front seven.|
|23rd overall||New York Jets||Najee Harris||RB||Alabama||The Jets get a power back to go with their power left tackle in Mekhi Becton.|
|24th overall||Pittsburgh Steelers||Travis Etienne||RB||Clemson||Now that the run on running backs has started, Pittsburgh gets a new featured back. Etienne's improved receiving skills help the room.|
|25th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars||Trevon Moehrig||S||TCU||The Jim Thorpe Award winner adds stability in a division with plenty of big receiving threats.|
|26th overall||Cleveland Browns||Jevon Holland||S/ Nickel/ Return||Oregon||Cleveland opts not to reach for a linebacker but instead bring in a swiss army knife defender.|
|27th overall||Baltimore Ravens||Azeez Ojulari||OLB||Georgia||The Ravens go all-in on Ojulari, a burgeoning pass rusher and underrated run defender.|
|28th overall||New Orleans Saints||Mac Jones||QB||Alabama||Sean Payton gets an accurate signal caller, who will compete with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill for the starting job.|
|29th overall||Green Bay Packers||Rashod Bateman||WR||Minnesota||Bateman is used to the cold and he'll find some more of it Wisconsin.|
|30th overall||Buffalo Bills||Jaelan Phillips||DE/OLB||Miami (Fla.)||Phillips could be the steal of the first round, but can he remain healthy?|
|31st overall||Baltimore Ravens||Liam Eichenberg||OT||Notre Dame||Solid player who will pair with fellow Fighting Irish tackle on the other side.|
|32nd overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Terrace Marshall Jr.||WR||LSU||Tom Brady gets an outside weapon to replace Antonio Brown if he isn't retained.|
|33rd overall||Jacksonville Jaguars||Richie Grant||S||UCF||The former UCF star can go right down the road to change addresses.|
|34th overall||New York Jets||Kelvin Joseph||CB||Kentucky/ LSU||The pick here will be between Joseph and Stokes. Or does Campbell usurp Stokes?|
|35th overall||Atlanta Falcons||Eric Stokes||CB||Georgia||Read the above note.|
|36th overall||Miami Dolphins||Milton Williams||DL||Louisiana Tech||Versatile skill-set fits Flores' scheme. Offers outside/inside presence.|
|37th overall||Philadelphia Eagles||Baron Browning||LB||Ohio State||Browning could be an immediate Day 1 starter at OLB for a team that now has addressed its front seven and back end.|
|38th overall||Cincinnati Bengals||Trey Smith||OG||Tennessee||If he can keep his weight at a balance under control, then Bengals secure potential Pro Bowl talent with swing versatility.|
|39th overall||Carolina Panthers||Jabril Cox||LB||LSU||A Shaq Thompson/ Jabril Cox pairing would draw similarities to fellow NFC South tandem Devin White and Lavonte David.|
|40th overall||Denver Broncos||Levi Onwuzurike||DL||Washington||Team solves some of its depth issues with quick interior line disruptor.|
|41st overall||Detroit Lions||Kadarius Toney||WR-Ret||Florida||The Lions take a calculated gamble here, but the Florida receiver will slip no further.|
|42nd overall||New York Giants||Greg Newsome II||CB||Northwestern||Newsome II can become a starter, but health is the question mark.|
|43rd overall||San Francisco 49ers||Paulson Adebo||CB||Stanford||49ers go right down Rte. 101 for a cornerback from Stanford.|
|44th overall||Dallas Cowboys||Carlos "Boogie" Basham||DE/ DT||Wake Forest||Jerry Jones brings in the cousin of Tarell Basham to help with the departure of Aldon Smith.|
|45th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars||Dillon Radunz||OT||North Dakota State||Radunz brings an athletic presence to the edges and is insurance if Robinson doesn't regain form.|
|46th overall||New England Patriots||Jamin Davis||LB||Kentucky||Bill Belichick brings in another linebacker who can contribute immediately for an unproven group sans Dont'a Hightower.|
|47th overall||Los Angeles Chargers||Tyson Campbell||CB||Georgia||Technically, he's a work in progress, but Chargers bet on size, speed and SEC experience.|
|48th overall||Las Vegas Raiders||Hamsah Nasirildeen||S/LB||FSU||New DC Gus Bradley gets another athletic hybrid player in the second round.|
|49th overall||Arizona Cardinals||Joe Tryon||DE-OLB||Washington||Cardinals add an edge rusher with upside in Round 2.|
|50th overall||Miami Dolphins||Javonte Williams||RB||UNC||Williams adds some power to the backfield alongside Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed.|
|51st overall||Washington Football Team||Rondale Moore||WR-Ret||Purdue||Moore opens up the offense with gadget possibilities alongside versatile Gibson.|
|52nd overall||Chicago Bears||Davis Mills||QB||Stanford||Mills could see action in the middle of the season if things go south with Andy Dalton and Nick Foles.|
|53rd overall||Tennessee Titans||Dayo Odeyingbo||DE||Vanderbilt||Much like former first-round pick Simmons, Titans put injured Odeyingbo on ice.|
|54th overall||Indianapolis Colts||Elijah Moore||WR||Ole Miss||We 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 overall||Pittsburgh Steelers||Wyatt Davis||OG||Ohio State||Steelers seek to regain identity up front.|
|56th overall||Seattle Seahawks||Ambry Thomas||CB||Michigan||The Seahawks were 31st in pass defense last season, Thomas helps them.|
|57th overall||Los Angeles Rams||Caden Sterns||S||Texas||Sterns' range could help alleviate the loss of Johnson in free agency.|
|58th overall||Kansas City Chiefs||Cam Sample||DE/ OLB||Tulane||HC Andy Reid adds to his defense. The Buccaneers kept their defensive linemen fresh in the Super Bowl, now KC can do likewise.|
|59th overall||Cleveland Browns||Nick Bolton||LB||Missouri||The Browns need a tone-setter in the middle of their defense. Bolton brings thump and leadership.|
|60th overall||New Orleans Saints||Alim McNeill||DT||NC State||The Saints have to address their interior defensive line and McNeill is a solid remedy.|
|61st overall||Buffalo Bills||Ronnie Perkins||DE-OLB||Oklahoma||Buffalo brings in yet another pass rusher in the second round for the second year in a row.|
|62nd overall||Green Bay Packers||Asante Samuel Jr.||CB||FSU||Jaire 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 overall||Kansas City Chiefs||Samuel Cosmi||OT||Texas||The pick here is either Cosmi or Michigan's Jalen Mayfield. The Chiefs go with the traits.|
|64th overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jay Tufele||DT||USC||Tufele will learn from one of the league's better interior defenders of teh last decade in Ndamukong Suh.|
|65th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars||Michael Carter||RB-Ret||UNC|
|66th overall||New York Jets||Landon Dickerson||OG/C||Alabama|
|67th overall||Houston Texans||Kellen Mond||QB||Texas A&M|
|68th overall||Atlanta Falcons||Trey Sermon||RB||Ohio State, Oklahoma|
|69th overall||Cincinnati Bengals||Malcolm Koonce||DE-OLB||Buffalo|
|70th overall||Philadelphia Eagles||Amon-Ra St. Brown||WR||USC|
|71st overall||Denver Broncos||Chauncey Golston||DL||Iowa|
|72nd overall||Detroit Lions||Elijah Molden||S-Nickel||Washington|
|73rd overall||Carolina Panthers||Pat Freiermuth||TE||Penn State|
|74th overall||Washington Football Team||Brevin Jordan||TE- H-Back||Miami (Fla.)|
|75th overall||Dallas Cowboys||Ben Cleveland||OG||Georgia|
|76th overall||New York Giants||Kenneth Gainwell||All-Purpose||Memphis|
|77th overall||Los Angeles Chargers||Jalen Mayfield||OT||Michigan|
|78th overall||Minnesota Vikings||Creed Humphrey||OG||Oklahoma|
|79th overall||Las Vegas Raiders||Aaron Robinson||CB||UCF|
|80th overall||Las Vegas Raiders||Daviyon Nixon||DT||Iowa|
|81st overall||Miami Dolphins||Alex Leatherwood||OT||Alabama|
|82nd overall||Washington Football Team||Monty Rice||LB||Georgia|
|83rd overall||Chicago Bears||James Hudson||OT||Cincinnati|
|84th overall||Philadelphia Eagles||Chazz Surratt||LB||UNC|
|85th overall||Tennessee Titans||Tommy Tremble||TE||Notre Dame|
|86th overall||New York Jets||Jayson Oweh||DE-OLB||Penn State|
|87th overall||Pittsburgh Steelers||Marco Wilson||CB||Florida|
|88th overall||Los Angeles Rams||Brady Christensen||OT||BYU|
|89th overall||Cleveland Browns||Shaun Wade||CB||Ohio State|
|90th overall||Minnesota Vikings||Kyle Trask||QB||Florida|
|91st overall||Cleveland Browns||Osa Odighizuwa||DT||UCLA|
|92nd overall||Green Bay Packers||Spencer Brown||OT||Northern Iowa|
|93rd overall||Buffalo Bills||Zech McPhearson||CB||Texas Tech|
|94th overall||Baltimore Ravens||David Moore||OG||Grambling State|
|95th overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Quincy Roche||DE-OLB||Miami (Fla.)|
|96th overall||New England Patriots||Adetokunbo Ogundeji||DE||Notre Dame|
|97th overall||Los Angeles Chargers||Robert Jones||OL||Middle Tennessee|
|98th overall||New Orleans Saints||Ihmir Smith-Marsette||All-Purpose||Iowa|
|99th overall||Dallas Cowboys||Pete Werner||LB||Ohio State|
|100th overall||Tennessee Titans||Shi Smith||WR||South Carolina|
|101th overall||Detroit Lions||Dyami Brown||WR||UNC|
|102nd overall||Miami Dolphins||Nico Collins||WR||Michigan|
|103rd overall||Los Angeles Rams||Kendrick Green||OG||Illinois|
|104th overall||Baltimore Ravens||Josh Palmer||WR||Tennessee|
|105th overall||New Orleans Saints||Dylan Moses||LB||Alabama|
|106th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars||Hunter Long||TE||Boston College|
|107th overall||New York Jets||Andre Cisco||S||Syracuse|
|108th overall||Atlanta Falcons||Patrick Jones II||DE-OLB||Pittsburgh|
|109th overall||Houston Texans||Marvin Wilson||DT||FSU|
|110th overall||Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia Eagles)||Tyler Shelvin||DT||LSU|
|111th overall||Cincinnati Bengals||Tylan Wallace||WR||Oklahoma State|
|112th overall||Detroit Lions||Buddy Johnson||LB||Texas A&M|
|113th overall||Carolina Panthers||D’Ante Smith||OT-OG||ECU|
|114th overall||Denver Broncos||Joseph Ossai||DE-OLB||Texas|
|115th overall||Dallas Cowboys||Charles Snowden III||DE-OLB||Virginia|
|116th overall||New York Giants||Chris Rumph II||OLB||Duke|
|117th overall||San Francisco 49ers||Divine Deablo||S-LB||Virginia Tech|
|118th overall||Los Angeles Chargers||Elerson G. Smith||DE-OLB||Northern Iowa|
|119th overall||Minnesota Vikings||Amari Rodgers||All-Purpose||Clemson|
|120th overall||New England Patriots||Tarron Jackson||DE||Coastal Carolina|
|121st overall||Las Vegas Raiders||Robert Hainsey||OT-OG||Notre Dame|
|122nd overall||New England Patriots (from Arizona Cardinals through Houston Texans)||Seth Williams||WR||Auburn|
|123rd overall||Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins)||Kylin Hill||RB||Mississippi State|
|124th overall||Washington Football Team||Jackson Carman||OT-OG||Clemson|
|125th overall||Minnesota Vikings (from Chicago Bears)||Janarius Robinson||DE-OLB||Florida State|
|126th overall||Tennessee Titans||Dan Moore||OT||Texas A&M|
|127th overall||Indianapolis Colts||Jamar Johnson||S||Indiana|
|128th overall||Pittsburgh Steelers||Jimmy Morrissey||OC-OG||Pittsburgh|
|129th overall||Seattle Seahawks||Robert Rochell||CB||Central Arkansas|
|130th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)||Quinn Meinerz||OC-OG||Wisconsin-Whitewater|
|131st overall||Baltimore Ravens||Ifeatu Melifonwu||CB||Syracuse|
|132nd overall||Cleveland Browns||D’Wayne Eskridge||All-Purpose||Western Michigan|
|133rd overall||New Orleans Saints||James Wiggins||S||Cincinnati|
|134th overall||Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo Bills; conditional)||Chatarius “TuTu” Atwell||WR||Louisville|
|135th overall||Green Bay Packers||Amen Ogbongbemiga||LB||Oklahoma State|
|136th overall||Baltimore Ravens (from Kansas City Chiefs)||Darren Hall||CB-Nickel||San Diego State|
|137th overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Hamilcar Rashed, Jr.||OLB||Oregon State|
|138th overall||Dallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)||Rodarius Williams||CB||Oklahoma State|
|139th overall||New England Patriots (compensatory selection)||Cameron McGrone||LB||Michigan|
|140th overall||Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory selection)||Thomas Graham, Jr.||CB||Oregon|
|141st overall||Los Angeles Rams (compensatory selection)||Derrick Barnes||LB||Purdue|
|142nd overall||Green Bay Packers (compensatory selection)||Ta’Quon Graham||DE-DT||Texas|
|143rd overall||Minnesota Vikings (compensatory selection)||Garret Wallow||LB||TCU|
|144th overall||Kansas City Chiefs (compensatory selection)||Sadarius Hutcherson||OG-OT||South Carolina|
|145th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars||Josh Myers||OC-OG||Ohio State|
|146th overall||New York Jets||Pressley Harvin III||P||Georgia Tech|
|147th overall||Houston Texans||Antonio Phillips||CB-Nickel||Ball State|
|148th overall||Atlanta Falcons||Michael Menet||OC-OG||Penn State|
|149th overall||Cincinnati Bengals||Chuba Hubbard||RB||Oklahoma State|
|150th overall||Philadelphia Eagles||Bobby Brown III||DT-NG||Texas A&M|
|151st overall||Carolina Panthers||Franklin “Mac” McCain III||CB||North Carolina A&T|
|152nd overall||Denver Broncos||Shemar Jean-Charles||CB-Nickel||Appalachian State|
|153rd overall||Detroit Lions||William Bradley-King||DE-OLB||Baylor, Arkansas State|
|154th overall||New York Jets (from New York Giants)||Tre McKitty||TE/H-back||Georgia, FSU|
|155th overall||San Francisco 49ers||Israel Mukuamu||CB-S-Nickel||South Carolina|
|156th overall||Miami Dolphins (from Dallas Cowboys through Philadelphia Eagles)||Drew Dalman||OC||Stanford|
|157th overall||Minnesota Vikings||Jonathan Marshall||DT-NG||Arkansas|
|158th overall||Houston Texans (from New England Patriots)||Tamorrion Terry||WR||FSU|
|159th overall||Los Angeles Chargers||Aaron Banks||OG||Notre Dame|
|160th overall||Arizona Cardinals||Jack Anderson||OC-OG||Texas Tech|
|161st overall||Buffalo Bills (from Las Vegas Raiders)||Brenden Jaimes||OT-OG||Nebraska|
|162nd overall||Las Vegas Raiders (from Miami Dolphins)||Jordan Smith||DE-OLB||UAB, Florida|
|163rd overall||Washington Football Team||Jaylon Moore||OT-OG||Western Michigan|
|164th overall||Chicago Bears||Simi Fehoko||WR||Stanford|
|165th overall||Indianapolis Colts||Daelin Hayes||DE-OLB||Notre Dame|
|166th overall||Tennessee Titans||K.J. Britt||LB||Auburn|
|167th overall||Las Vegas Raiders (from Seattle Seahawks)||Talanoa Hufanga||S-LB||USC|
|168th overall||Minnesota Vikings (from Pittsburgh Steelers through Baltimore Ravens)||Jose Borregales||PK||Miami (Fla.), FIU|
|169th overall||Cleveland Browns (from Los Angeles Rams)||Riley Patterson||PK||Memphis|
|170th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars (from Cleveland Browns)||Tedarrell “TJ” Slaton||DT-NG||Florida|
|171st overall||Baltimore Ravens||Sam Cooper||OG||Merrimack College, Maine|
|172nd overall||San Francisco 49ers (from New Orleans Saints)||Jason Pinnock||CB-Nickel||Pittsburgh|
|173rd overall||Green Bay Packers||Cole Van Lanen||OT||Wisconsin|
|174th overall||Buffalo Bills||Forrest Merrill||DT-NG||Arkansas State|
|175th overall||Kansas City Chiefs||Elijah Mitchell||RB||Louisiana Lafayette|
|176th overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jamie Newman||QB||Wake Forest|
|177th overall||New England Patriots (compensatory selection)||Quinton Bohanna||DT-NG||Kentucky|
|178th overall||Green Bay Packers (compensatory selection)||Austin Faoliu||DE-DT||Oregon|
|179th overall||Dallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)||Tre Brown||CB-Nickel||Oklahoma|
|180th overall||San Francisco 49ers (compensatory selection)||Isaiah McDuffie||LB||Boston College|
|181st overall||Kansas City Chiefs (compensatory selection)||Brandon Stephens||CB-S||SMU, UCLA|
|182nd overall||Atlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)||Shaka Toney||OLB||Penn State|
|183rd overall||Atlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)||Patrick Johnson||OLB||Tulane|
|184th overall||Baltimore Ravens (compensatory selection)||Ernest Jones||LB||South Carolina|
|185th overall||Los Angeles Chargers (from Jacksonville Jaguars through Tennessee Titans)||Evan McPherson||PK||Florida|
|186th overall||New York Jets||Tre Nixon||WR||UCF|
|187th overall||Atlanta Falcons||Tim Jones||WR||Southern Miss|
|188th overall||New England Patriots (from Houston Texans)||Jalen Camp||WR||Georgia Tech|
|189th overall||Philadelphia Eagles||Cornell Powell||WR||Clemson|
|190th overall||Cincinnati Bengals||Quintin Morris||TE/H-back||Bowling Green|
|191st overall||Denver Broncos||Jaret Patterson||RB||Buffalo|
|192nd overall||Dallas Cowboys (from Detroit Lions)||JaCoby Stevens||S-LB||LSU|
|193rd overall||Carolina Panthers||Kenny Yeboah||TE/H-back||Ole Miss, Temple|
|194th overall||San Francisco 49ers||Jaelon Darden||All-Purpose||North Texas|
|195th overall||Houston Texans (from Dallas Cowboys through New England Patriots)||Marlon Tuipulotu||DT-NG||USC|
|196th overall||New York Giants||Rashad Weaver||DE-OLB||Pittsburgh|
|197th overall||New England Patriots||Joshua Kaindoh||DE||Florida State|
|198th overall||Los Angeles Chargers||Tommy Doyle||OT||Miami (OH.)|
|199th overall||Minnesota Vikings||Adrian Ealy||OT||Oklahoma|
|200th overall||Las Vegas Raiders||Walker Little||OT||Stanford|
|201st overall||New York Giants (from Arizona Cardinals)||Benjamin St. Juste||CB||Minnesota, Michigan|
|202nd overall||Cincinnati Bengals (from Miami Dolphins through Houston Texans)||Larry Borom||OT-OG||Missouri|
|203rd overall||Houston Texans (from Washington Football Team through Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins)||Marquiss Spencer||DE-DT||Mississippi State|
|204th overall||Chicago Bears||Nate Hobbs||CB||Illinois|
|205th overall||Tennessee Titans||Richard LeCounte III||S||Georgia|
|206th overall||Indianapolis Colts||Alaric Jackson||OT||Iowa|
|207th overall||Kansas City Chiefs (from Pittsburgh Steelers through Miami Dolphins)||Josh Ball||OT||Marshall, FSU|
|208th overall||Chicago Bears (from Seattle Seahawks through Miami Dolphins; conditional)||Mark Gilbert||CB-Nickel||Duke|
|209th overall||Los Angeles Rams||Brandin “Beezy” Echols||CB-Nickel||Kentucky|
|210th overall||Baltimore Ravens||Tyree Gillespie||S||Missouri|
|211th overall||Cleveland Browns||Darius Hodge||OLB||Marshall|
|212th overall||Houston Texans (from New Orleans Saints)||Harry Crider||OC||Indiana|
|213th overall||Buffalo Bills||Tommy Kraemer||OG-OT||Notre Dame|
|214th overall||Green Bay Packers||Drue Chrisman||P||Ohio State|
|215th overall||Tennessee Titans (from Kansas City Chiefs)||Chris Evans||RB||Michigan|
|216th overall||Pittsburgh Steelers (from Tampa Bay Buccaneers)||Wyatt Hubert||DE-OLB||Kansas State|
|217th overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (compensatory selection)||Malik Herring||DE-DT||Georgia|
|218th overall||New Orleans Saints (compensatory selection)||Michael Strachan||WR-H-back||Charleston (W Va.)|
|219th overall||Atlanta Falcons (compensatory selection)||Feleipe Franks||QB||Arkansas, Florida|
|220th overall||Green Bay Packers (compensatory selection)||Shakur Brown||CB-Nickel||Michigan State|
|221st overall||Chicago Bears (compensatory selection)||Carson Green||OT-OG||Texas A&M|
|222nd overall||Carolina Panthers (compensatory selection)||Gerrid Doaks||RB||Cincinnati|
|223rd overall||Arizona Cardinals (from Minnesota Vikings; compensatory selection)||DJ Daniel||CB||Georgia|
|224th overall||Philadelphia Eagles (compensatory selection)||Jacob Harris||WR||UCF, Western Kentucky|
|225th overall||Philadelphia Eagles (compensatory selection)||Keith Taylor||CB||Washington|
|226th overall||New York Jets (from Carolina Panthers; compensatory selection)||Payton Turner||DE-DT||Houston|
|227th overall||Dallas Cowboys (compensatory selection)||Ian Book||QB||Notre Dame|
|228th overall||Chicago Bears (compensatory selection)||Kene Nwangwu||All-Purpose||Iowa State|
|229th overall||New Orleans Saints (from Jacksonville Jaguars)||Justin Hilliard||LB||Ohio State|
|230th overall||San Francisco 49ers (from New York Jets)||Camryn Bynum||CB-Nickel||California|
|231st overall||Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)||Darrick Forrest||S||Cincinnati|
|232nd overall||Tennessee Titans (from Atlanta Falcons through Miami Dolphins)||Damar Hamlin||S||Pittsburgh|
|233rd overall||Houston Texans (from Cincinnati Bengals)||Dez Fitzpatrick||WR||Louisville|
|234th overall||Philadelphia Eagles||James Smith||P||Cincinnati|
|235th overall||Cincinnati Bengals (from Detroit Lions through Seattle Seahawks)||Jonathan Adams||WR||Arkansas State|
|236th overall||Buffalo Bills (from Carolina Panthers)||Chris Wilcox||CB||BYU|
|237th overall||Denver Broncos||Riley Cole||LB||South Alabama|
|238th overall||Dallas Cowboys||Jerome Johnson||DT-DE||Indiana|
|239th overall||Denver Broncos (from New York Giants)||Cameron Murray||DT||Oklahoma State|
|240th overall||Philadelphia Eagles (from San Francisco 49ers)||Demetric Felton||All-Purpose||UCLA|
|241st overall||Los Angeles Chargers||John Bates||TE||Boise State|
|242nd overall||New England Patriots||Ben Mason||TE/H-back||Michigan|
|243rd overall||Arizona Cardinals||Zach Davidson||TE-Punter||Central Missouri|
|244th overall||Washington Football Team (from Las Vegas Raiders)||Jake Funk||All-Purpose||Maryland|
|245th overall||Pittsburgh Steelers (from Miami Dolphins)||Isaiahh Loudermilk||DE-DT||Wisconsin|
|246th overall||Washington Football Team||Jon Rhattigan||LB||Army|
|247th overall||Arizona Cardinals (from Chicago Bears through Las Vegas Raiders)||Brady Breeze||S||Oregon|
|248th overall||Indianapolis Colts||Ar’Darius Washington||S-Nickel||TCU|
|249th overall||Jacksonville Jaguars (from Tennessee Titans)||Roy Lopez||DT-NG||Arizona, New Mexico State|
|250th overall||Seattle Seahawks||Larnell Coleman||OT||UMass|
|251st overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Pittsburgh Steelers)||Dicaprio Bootle||S-Nickel||Nebraska|
|252nd overall||Los Angeles Rams||Anthony Schwartz||All-Purpose||Auburn|
|253rd overall||Denver Broncos (from Cleveland Browns)||William Sherman||OT-OG||Colorado|
|254th overall||Pittsburgh Steelers (from Baltimore Ravens)||Nahshon Wright||CB||Oregon State|
|255th overall||New Orleans Saints||Tory Carter||TE/H-back||LSU|
|256th overall||Green Bay Packers||Royce Newman||OG-OT||Ole Miss|
|257th overall||Cleveland Browns (from Buffalo Bills)||Alex Kessman||PK||Pittsburgh|
|258th overall||Miami Dolphins (from Kansas City Chiefs)||Dai’Jean Dixon||WR||Nicholls State|
|259th overall||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ethan Tucky||OLB-LS||Cincinnati|
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
15 Davis Mills
6’4 217 QB-Junior
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
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?
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.
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).
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.