Category Archives: NFC West

2021 NFL Draft Recap: NFC West

The 2021 NFL Draft Recap: NFC West edition featured more than a few diminutive but exciting all purpose receiver selections. The Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams had limited picks in this year’s draft but opted to select smaller receivers in D’Wayne Eskridge and Tutu Atwell. San Francisco had to figure out the quarterback position after years of injuries to their signal callers, with that said, they traded up for Trey Lance. However, as Arizona showed, defensive picks can still be worthy of a first round selection (Zaven Collins- 16th overall). But as the trend seems to be, the Cardinals like LA and Seattle, drafted a short receiver in Rondale Moore (pictured above).

San Francisco 49ers     
SelectionTeamPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotes
1st round, 3rd overallSan Francisco 49ersTrey Lance6’4 226/QB-North Dakota State34/2nd RoundLance goes to an offense that should spotlight his ability to operate on the edges or from inside the pocket.
2nd round, 48th overallSan Francisco 49ers (from Las Vegas Raiders)Aaron Banks6’5 338/OG-Notre Dame177/3rd RoundInside, he can move bodies with thump at the point of attack. His base will get too wide in pass protection and the challenge for him surrounds improving hand placement. Pass rushers have a tough time moving him if he can form a lockout and sit down in the chair.
3rd round, 88th overallSan Francisco 49ers (from Los Angeles Rams)Trey Sermon6'0 216/RB-Ohio State, Oklahoma57/2nd RoundHis strength is very good, as is his ability to pick his feet up through trash around his ankles and feet. We expect him to improve in pass protection due to his natural lower body explosiveness. He has upside as a receiver out of the backfield because he can make the first tackler miss in space. Durability issues aside, Sermon has starting potential in the NFL as a Melvin Gordon III-type (Denver Broncos).
3rd round, 102nd overallSan Francisco 49ersAmbry Thomas6’0 187/CB-Michigan53/2nd RoundOn the outside, he needs to be technique-sound because he is not necessarily a long corner. Thomas has lost quite a bit of practice time over the past two seasons and the fact that he has been able to still perform at a high level bodes well for his future prospects.
5th round, 155th overallSan Francisco 49ersJaylon Moore6’4 311/OT-Western Michigan164/3rd RoundMoore is durable and strong. This is where you have to begin with him because he has the ability to sit in the chair and grapple with opponents. Overall, he provides the ability to potentially backup three-to-four line positions.
5th round, 172nd overallSan Francisco 49ers (from New Orleans Saints)Deommodore Lenoir5’10 199/CB-Oregon137/3rd RoundFinished his career with 34 straight starts.
Lenoir wore three different numbers during his career and the results were largely the same in each year.
We think he is physical enough as a tackler that he could possibly move inside to safety.
5th round, 180th overallSan Francisco 49ers (compensatory selection)Talanoa Hufanga6’1 215/S-USC182/3rd RoundHufanga is an intense junior-entry who flies all over the field and brings quite a bit of juice when he unloads on contact. It is a big reason he was able to force four fumbles in school. We think his best attribute is an ability to blitz off the edge, either by disguise or when coming down late off of movement by the offense
6th round, 194th overallSan Francisco 49ersElijah Mitchell5’10 215/RB-Louisiana-Lafayette143/3rd RoundHe runs with power, contains a vertical style and rarely is caught moving side-to-side if unnecessary. Every three-to-four carries, he will bust a long carry (see Georgia State ‘20) due to his churning style. He does not mind taking the three-or-four-yard runs to set up the bigger carries.
Arizona Cardinals
SelectionTeamPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotes
1st round, 16th overallArizona CardinalsZaven Collins6’4 260 LB-Tulsa13/1st RoundCollins’ skills can now pair with Simmons to give the Cardinals defensive flexibility in spades. The team adds a player who creates difficult one-on-one matchups for teams on third down.
2nd round, 49th overallArizona CardinalsRondale Moore5’7 180/WR-Purdue40/2nd RoundStrong in the lower body. Squats over 600 pounds. His ability to track the football overcomes a somewhat limited catch radius. Overall, he is a first-round talent with enough durability question marks to last until Day 2.
4th round, 136th overallArizona Cardinals (from Baltimore Ravens via Kansas City Chiefs)Marco Wilson6'0 187 Nickel/Florida131/3rd RoundThe former Freshman All-SEC defender can cover multiple spots, play as a big nickel and even contribute outside at
corner. Injuries were an issue in school. 4.38 speed. 43 1/2” VJ.
6th round, 210th overallArizona Cardinals (from Baltimore Ravens)Victor Dimukeje6'2 262/DE-OLB-Duke259/4th RoundDimukeje is a leverage-based pass rusher with experience both standing up and playing with his hand in the dirt. His bend will be questioned by NFL teams, but he overcomes that by attempting to lean on the offensive tackle's upfield shoulder.
6th round, 223rd overallArizona Cardinals (from Minnesota Vikings; compensatory selection)Tay Gowan6’1 186 CB/UCF341/5th RoundGowan is a tall, angular cornerback with positive football instincts and very good length for the outside cornerback spot. We were impressed with his balance and footwork when using a bail-and-run technique.
7th round, 243rd overallArizona CardinalsJames Wiggins5’11 20926/2nd RoundHe has everything NFL teams desire in flex-safeties with his combination of foot speed, short-area quickness and explosiveness on contact. In addition, he has extensive experience covering slot receivers in school. If there is a question on Wiggins, it revolves around some tightness in the lower half. Despite first-round talent, can Wiggins stay healthy?
7th round, 247th overallArizona Cardinals (from Chicago Bears through Las Vegas Raiders)Michal Menet6’4 312/OC-Penn State207-4th RoundMenet is one of the more balanced centers in this year’s draft class. Rarely out of control, Menet’s overall football awareness for blitzes, stunts and line games is very sound.
Los Angeles Rams
SelectionTeamPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotes
2nd round, 57th overallLos Angeles RamsTutu Atwell5’9 155/WR-Louisville141/3rd RoundIf there is a more electric, elusive, fully-charged offensive player in the draft we haven’t found him. NFL teams just have to know what they’re purchasing.
Is it former Louisville wide receiver and two-time Pro Bowler Ernest Givens (Houston Oilers) or former West Virginia star Tavon Austin?
3rd round, 103rd overallLos Angeles RamsErnest Jones6'2 230/LB-South Carolina258/4th RoundJones, a junior-entry in the 2021 NFL Draft, has many tools worth taking a long look at for NFL teams. One of the things he has to improve at is getting offensive linemen off of his defensive linemen.
We think he would fit best as a run-and-chase Will linebacker at the next level because he still has to room to grow reading the triangle.
4th round, 117th overallLos Angeles Rams (from San Francisco 49ers)Bobby Brown III6'5 323/DT-Texas A&M96/3rd RoundThe first-team All-SEC defender contains lateral quickness, upper body strength and ankle flexibility. His inconsistent hand usage and up-and-down intensity are two drawbacks for teams looking for a consistent disruptor.
4th round, 130th overallLos Angeles RamsRobert Rochell6’0 195/CB-Central Arkansas129/3rd Round4.4 speed. 43 VJ. He tackles well enough and has thrown his body around with force and intent to clip the legs or wrap up ballcarriers. Rochell has all of the tools, but his technique simply has to get better for him to have a chance on Sunday afternoons.
4th round, 141st overallLos Angeles Rams (compensatory selection)Jacob Harris6'5 219/WR-UCF230/4th RoundIn watching and studying fellow receiver Gabriel Davis (Buffalo Bills) a season ago (2019), Harris kept showing up. The former soccer player’s stride sneaks up on unsuspecting cornerbacks and UCF quarterback Dillon Gabriel often had problems keeping up with it.
5th round, 174th overallLos Angeles Rams (from Buffalo Bills)Earnest Brown IV6’4 1/2” 270/DL-Northwestern217/4th RoundBlessed with an 82 1/4-inch wingspan and 34 1/2" arms, Brown IV can keep blockers away from him. We were impressed that he was able to drop into zones effectively and consistently affected the three-step passing game.
7th round, 233rd overallLos Angeles Rams (via Houston Texans (rom Cincinnati Bengals)Jake Funk5’10 204/All-Purpose-Maryland301/4th RoundSince 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. Despite playing RB and averaging 8-plus yards per carry, Funk had 28 tackles in school on special teams.
7th round, 249th overallLA Rams (via Jacksonville Jaguars from Tennessee Titans)Ben Skowronek6'2 211/WR-Notre Dame276-4th RoundSkowronek’s wasted movement has improved dramatically since his freshman year at Northwestern. He closes the cushion of defenders with an underrated stride off the ball.
Most Northwestern fans will remember his game-winning diving touchdown grab that put the Wildcats in the 2018 Big Ten title game. He beat Denver Broncos starting cornerback Michael Ojemudia on the play.
Seattle Seahawks
SelectionTeamPlayer SelectionPosition- SchoolDN Big Board Rank/ GradeNotes
2nd round, 56th overallSeattle SeahawksD’Wayne Eskridge5’9 184/All-Purpose-Western Michigan115/3rd RoundDespite standing just 5-foot-9, he packs a solid 188 pounds on his frame. He breaks arm tackles and excels when he runs through the reception point, particularly on quick slants. His toughness is also exemplary, especially considering that he has played the cornerback position respectably and stood out crack blocking safeties. The 2020 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year fits the definition of an all-purpose prospect.
4th round, 137th overallSeattle SeahawksTre Brown5'9 184/CB-Oklahoma179/3rd RoundBrown is an ultra-quick cornerback with good transition ability to drop his weight on intermediate routes. Physically, he may have to deal with the physical rigors of a nickel position to secure a spot in a Seattle’s defensive back rotation.
6th round, 208th overallSeattle Seahawks (from Chicago Bears)Stone Forsythe6’8 307/OT-Florida452/6th RoundNFL bloodlines. Has started at RT and LT. Also has seen time at OG. Looks the part.
During the postseason, it was important for the former Gator to prove that his ability to hold down a starting spot on the blindside in the SEC had as much to do with his movement as it did his size. Mission accomplished.

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

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

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

2020 NFL Draft recap: NFC West

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

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: NFC West

    Murray (No. 1 pictured) was often tasked with finding passing lanes behind a mammoth offensive line in school.

 

Arizona

Cardinals

Notable Picks: Two-time executive of the year Steve Keim let the draft come to the team patiently.  It is a big reason he picked up a center who we felt was one of the best overall players in the draft in Gaillard.  He may be able to battle for a backup spot.  Miles was an underrated athlete and collegiate left tackle with a legitimate six-inch punch.  The trade of 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins netted the team its second round pick (62nd overall), UMass WR Andy Isabella, and a fifth-round pick in 2020.  Allen is a heck of a football player and may have to provide a presence as an interior pass rusher after the team didn’t pick up a true outside rusher in the draft.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (1) Kyler Murray QB/

Oklahoma

17/1st Round Murray’s disciplined pocket approach is complemented by an ability to create once the pocket breaks down.  Whether or not the team did enough to address its offensive line is to debate, but it could be argued that its starting five is already in place.
2 (33) Byron

Murphy

CB/

Washington

24/2nd Round DraftNasty’s top-ranked corner has all of the tools to develop into a frontline starter. For this to be a value pick, he has to develop into at least an immediate starting nickel.
2 (62)

Acquired from Miami in the Josh Rosen trade

Andy

Isabella

WR/UMass 137/3rd Round For better or worse, Isabella’s name will always be associated with Josh Rosen’s in terms of who got the better end of the deal.  In an offense where slot wide receivers have had large degrees of success on fade routes from the slot, Isabella’s speed will put pressure on defenses. He has been inconsistent tracking the ball down the field.
3 (65) Zach Allen DE/Boston College 190/3rd Round Allen gets as many points for batting down footballs as he does putting the quarterback on the ground.  In school he notched 14 pass break-ups, but he also tallied 40.5 tackles for losses. He is a feisty defensive end who excels at playing to half a man. 
5 (139) Deionte Thompson S/Alabama 66/2nd Round Although he is somewhat of a shoulder-block tackler, the 195-pound Thompson rarely runs away from contact.  Injuries clouded his postseason and left scouts wondering about his durability. 
6 (174) KeeSean Johnson WR/Fresno State 175/3rd Round One of the draft’s best route runners, Johnson plays a game that doesn’t rely completely on long speed.  He is adept at changing his speeds to achieve separation at the top of routes.  His ball skills are above average.
6 (179) Lamont

Gaillard

OL/Georgia 51/2nd Round We were bullish on Gaillard’s stock and certainly ranked him higher than most teams.  We like the fact that the former four-star recruit has experience at both OG and OC.  He has finishing DNA as a football player.
7 (248) Joshua Miles OL/Morgan State 227/4th Round Not many 314-pounders notch 36-inch vertical jumps.  This is a mere additive for the former Morgan State left tackle.  He became the first player from the school drafted since Visanthe Shiancoe in 2003 and just the second since 1982.
7 (249) Michael Dogbe DL/Temple 235/4th Round Dogbe translates perfectly as a four-technique DE for the Cardinals and his quick, slippery nature could get him looks at a three-technique position in Bear fronts.  He can play a number of spots in obvious pass rush situations, but he is sound defending the run versus reach or angle blocks.
7 (254) Caleb Wilson TE/UCLA 207/4th Round Mr. Irrelevant has 4.56 speed but limited thump as a point of attack blocker.  He became more willing in this regard as a cross-blocker when at the fullback or U-off position, but he is at his best after the catch or when working the seams of the field.

Collier (No. 91 pictured) had 14.5 quarterback sacks and 20.5 tackles for losses in 42 career games.

Seattle Seahawks Notable Picks: Fair or unfair, this draft may very well come down to a comparison between the team’s first-round pick L.J. Collier and the departed Frank Clark (Chiefs).  It shouldn’t.  GM John Schneider used the trade to pick up a 2020 second-round pick, swapped a third-rounder in 2019, and then traded its own first-rounder (21st overall) to the Green Bay Packers for its 30th pick in the first round and then picked up the 114th overall pick (4th round) and 118th overall pick (4th round).  After that, the ‘Hawks traded the 30th overall pick in the first round to the New York Giants for the 37th overall pick (2nd Round), a fourth-round pick (132nd overall) and a fifth-rounder (142nd overall). They used that fifth-round pick to select Washington LB Ben Burr-Kirven. What did they do with the 37th overall pick?  They traded it to the Panthers to get the 47th overall pick (Marquise Blair) and the 77th overall pick (3rd Rounder).  They used their other draft capital to trade back up into the third round with the Vikings to select Barton 88th overall while receiving the 209th overall pick (Christmas). There were other trades and moves that allowed a team with limited selections to end up grabbing 11 players, but you get the point.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1(29)  L.J. Collier DE/TCU 125/3rd Round Collier was always a flex player for the Horned Frogs, but he arguably turned in his best season in 2018.  His improved play defending the run complemented an improvement when it came to setting up his pass rush moves.  He had two sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in the 2019 Senior Bowl. 
2 (47) Marquise Blair S/Utah 58/2nd Round It would not at all be a surprise to see Blair employed as a potential cornerback.  We felt as if his fluidity could work at the position, much like the safety the Seahawks took a season ago in Tre Flowers.  Blair, however, is unique in his skill at translating speed-to-power on contact as a tackler.  Will his frame hold up with his violent playing style?
2 (64) D.K. Metcalf WR/Ole Miss 37/2nd Round Metcalf’s lack of production can be attributed to a lack of repetitions due to injuries, some of them fairly major in nature.  When healthy, the former Rebel has demonstrated range, power and tracking skill down the field.  Can he put it all together as a route runner?      
3 (88) Cody Barton LB/Utah 177/3rd Round Although Barton presents a tad bit of stiffness, he often corrects his angles of pursuit.  Barton projects as a Will linebacker.  The former high school DB has awareness in coverage and can contribute in sub-packages.
4 (120) Gary Jennings WR/West Virginia 116/3rd Round The Seahawks continue to load up on wideouts with the uncertain status of WR Doug Baldwin.  Jennings impressed outside the numbers in the postseason after winning for most of his career in the slot with toughness and 4.4 speed. 
4 (124) Phil Haynes OL/Wake Forest 165/3rd Round Haynes competed well at the guard spot after initially playing the right tackle position earlier in his career.  His length will serve him well as a backup at both guard spots initially, but he has starting potential.
4 (132) Ugo Amadi All-Purpose/Oregon 271/4th Round Amadi’s ability to return punts is supplemented with an ability to cover the slot, contribute off the hash and as an eighth man in the box. 
5 (142) Ben

Burr-Kirven

LB/

Washington

200/4th Round The former high school track & field runner was often a blur running by his teammates on his way to an FBS-best 176 tackles.  His segmented nature, however, does result in some misses in space.  The former Husky reads the eyes of the QB well in zone coverage. 
6 (204) Travis Homer RB/Miami (Fla.) 170/3rd Round The team values special teams production and it doesn’t get much better than Homer’s 22 career tackles.  In-between running down at the gunner spot or on kickoff coverage, Homer used his 4.4 speed to rush for over 900 yards in back-to-back seasons. 
6 (209)

Compensatory pick acquired via Minnesota

Demarcus Christmas DL/Florida State 254/4th Round There is still a place for Christmas on an NFL roster.  While most point to his lack of sack production, it is worth noting that he broke up 13 passes in his career. 
7 (236)

Acquired from Jacksonville via Baltimore

John Ursua WR/Hawaii 413/5th Round Ursua finished his career with 189 receptions and 24 TDs while averaging over 14 yards per catch.  He has been an effective slot receiver and could add a different element of quickness in the slot.  His injury history is a concern at just 178 pounds.

Bosa, pictured, did 29 reps at 225 pounds at the 2019 NFL Combine and recorded a 4.14 20-yard short shuttle.

 

San

Francisco 49ers

Notable Pick: Over the last three years GM John Lynch has put together a talented roster. His draft picks from this year continue to indicate he is intent on building it through the draft.  Samuel and Bosa are the headliners, but both have extensive injury histories. They need to stay healthy.  If he has as much success with his 2019 third round pick (Hurd) as he had with his 2018 selection (Fred Warner), this draft could land high marks in a couple of years.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (2) Nick Bosa Ohio State 3/1st Round Bosa has all of the tools to become a potent bookend at the DE spot opposite Dee Ford.  We think he will provide matchup problems if aligned on the left side versus the tackles of the Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals. Can he stay healthy?
2 (36) Deebo Samuel All-Purpose/

South

Carolina

69/2nd Round In 30 career games, Samuel scored 32 touchdowns.  There was a marked difference when we viewed him early in the season as opposed to the postseason (due to past injury issues).  He has had injury scrapes in each of his seasons on campus.  If not, he may have been a Top 15 pick. 
3 (67) Jalen Hurd WR/Baylor, Tennessee 97/3rd Round Hurd could have made an impact at the 2019 Senior Bowl, but was unable to participate due to injury. After starring as a running back early in his career at Tennessee, he impressed with his work in the slot at Baylor in 2018.  The big question he faces is whether he can be as effective outside the numbers.
4 (110)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Mitch

Wishnowsky

P/Utah 451/5th Round Wishnowsky has a wide repertoire of punts.  From the running rugby-style (which he won’t use) version, he’s executed the now popular hook punt.  We think he can perfect this and some of his other punts from a traditional punting platform, which he executed from on occasion with success.  His highest hang times got up into the high 4-second range, but he was generally capable in the 4.6-range depending on the style of kick. He can also kickoff.
5 (148)

Acquired from Denver

Dre

Greenlaw

LB/Arkansas 186/3rd Round The operative thinking is that Greenlaw will just provide depth as a fourth or fifth LB who could see time in sub-packages.  However, we think he could challenge Malcolm Smith in due time.
6 (176) Kaden Smith TE/Stanford 241/4th Round Smith was one of the best tight ends in this year’s draft at making contested catches on seam passes.  If he can overcome his pedestrian speed to earn a roster spot, he could allow Kyle Shanahan to incorporate some two tight end receiving sets.
6 (183)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Justin Skule OT/Vanderbilt 389/5th Round Skule will have every opportunity to grab the third tackle spot behind Staley and McGlinchey.  He’s probably best suited to backup McGlinchey, who he is nearly identical to in terms of size and quickness.  He played LT as a senior at Vanderbilt, but he did start at RT in school. 
6 (198)

Acquired from Cincinnati via Dallas

Tim Harris CB/Virginia 226/4th Round Harris is a developmental draft pick in the mold of former third-rounders Tarvarius Moore and Ahkeilo Witherspoon.  Moore started two games in 2018 and Witherspoon has quietly started 21 games in two seasons. Harris’ durability question marks overshadowed 4.4 speed and decent foot quickness.

 

Henderson (No. 8 pictured) averaged 8.9 yards per carry for the Tigers in 2018 and scored 25 touchdowns.

 

Los Angeles Rams Notable Picks: Despite not having a first-round pick, many would argue that the Rams got better value than each of their picks in the first three rounds.  We had Rapp ranked lower than some teams and Long earned a second-round grade from us.  Grabbing Gaines in the third round had to feel like a coup for the team.  The pick of Scott in the seventh round was the classic ode to special teams coordinator John Fassel, a future NFL head coach.  Scott was Penn State’s best special teams player in each of the last two seasons.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (61) Taylor Rapp S/

Washington

94/3rd Round Rapp had a chance to go even higher had he put together a better 40-yard dash time (4.7), but he excelled in short area change of direction drills (3.99 20-yd SS, 6.82 3-cone).  On the field, he is a player who carries his pads.  He needs a lot of work timing his breaks when working off the hash marks.
3 (70) Darrell

Henderson

RB/

Memphis

154/3rd Round We spotlighted the explosive Henderson early in the year when he was averaging an insane amount of yards per carry.  In years past, the Rams have had bigger runners backing up Todd Gurley but this is a departure from that philosophy.  Henderson is an underrated receiver out of the backfield (15.5 YPR in 2018).
3 (79) David Long CB/Michigan 79/2nd Round The former high school wideout and U.S. Army All-American displays outstanding competitiveness in man coverage. He didn’t play quite as big as he measured in at during the postseason, but his flexibility is above average.
4 (134)

Acquired from New England

Greg Gaines DT/

Washington

106/3rd Round The nimble Gaines can translate speed-to-power when pushing the pocket and is underrated as a two-gapping force.  Gaines has even stood up to rush from the edge.
5 (169) David

Edwards

OT/

Wisconsin

288/4th Round Edwards has some technique flaws but his hip flexibility and footwork are both adequate.  The light-footed former TE battled through injury in 2018.  He needs to play lower to earn a roster spot.
7 (243) Nick Scott S/Penn State 438/5th Round The pick of Scott in the seventh round was the classic ode to special teams coordinator John Fassel, a future NFL head coach.  Scott was Penn State’s best special teams player in each of the last two seasons.  In 2018, he began to find another gear in pass coverage as well. 
7 (251) Dakota Allen LB/Texas Tech 218/4th Round Allen trusts his eyes and delivers on contact at a violent clip. The two-time team captain overcame off the field troubles to become one of the Red Raiders team leaders. His short area change of direction rivals that of many of the class’ top defensive backs.

2019 NFL Draft: Fourth down

The NFL is always looking for versatile performers capable of transitioning to the next level. Here are three prospects who bring value to teams on fourth down and beyond.

Travis Homer 5’10 201 Miami (Fla.)

Homer took his game to another level the last two seasons at the running back spot. He averaged nearly six yards per carry in 2017 and followed that up with nearly the same yards per carry average in 2018. The former four-star recruit was a team captain for the ‘Canes and one of its best leaders.

As a freshman in 2016, he rushed for just 44 yards. During that same season, however, he notched eight special teams tackles. He used his 4.48 speed for three seasons to continue to perform admirably at the gunner position, which essentially is a displaced wide receiver on the punt team used to run down and cover punts.

Miami (Fla.) running back Travis Homer posted 22 tackles for the ‘Canes in three seasons and ranks as one of the better special teams cover guys in the 2019 NFL Draft. Homer ran a 4.48 at the 2019 NFL Combine, posted a 39 1/2″ vertical jump and 10’10” broad jump.

In 2018, despite starting at running back, Homer posted 10 tackles.

He has also lined up inside on the punt team. You can look at his work on the punt return unit as a hold-up guy and laud his work as well (see Berrios big punt return, Russell Athletic Bowl ’16). When former Miami (Fla.) head coach Mark Richt was asked about why Homer remained on the special teams, he had the perfect response:

“We need good players on there (special teams) and he’s one our best at it. You better have guys who know what they’re doing and can get people on the ground.” (https://www.foxsports.com/florida/video/1102010435956).

Isaiah Johnson 6’2 207 CB-Houston

There aren’t many prospects who have run a hitch route, covered the opposing team’s top receiver and run down at the gunner position. Johnson is one of those prospects. The former 110-meter hurdler at Rudder HS (Tex.) contains one of the more intriguing profiles in the 2019 NFL Draft. Blessed with 33-inch arms, he is still rounding out his game at cornerback. The former collegiate wide receiver does, however, exhibit a feel for recognizing route combinations.

In 2018, Johnson posted 66 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass break-ups. Back in 2016, the former Cougar notched 15 receptions.

In-between repetitions at cornerback and wide receiver, Johnson managed to sneak into the 2019 Senior Bowl despite just 15 career starts at cornerback. He also managed to sneak in time on special teams. In the 2016 Las Vegas Bowl, he consistently defeated one-on-one hold-ups at the gunner spot and he also stood out against SMU in that same year (tackle, SMU ’16). The upside in developing Johnson as an outside corner is that he can instantly be a special teams contributor. He has also shown up as an L2 on the kickoff team and was often the first player down the field. His size and 4.4 speed make him tough to grasp in either facet of his game.

Blake Cashman 6’1 237 Minnesota

Cashman impressed NFL personnel at the NFL Combine with his 4.5 speed and lower body agility. It all came after a third-team All-Big Ten campaign that featured 104 tackles, 2.5 quarterback sacks and 15 tackles for losses. He also scored on a fumble return and notched five pass break-ups.

The former Eden Prairie High School star won four straight state titles at the prep level. It took him until the spring of 2017 to even earn a scholarship from the Golden Gophers. When we covered him in the 2016 Holiday Bowl, he earned MVP honors after dominating the game against Washington State on both special teams and defense (12 tackles, QB sack, two tackles for losses).

As an R2 on the kickoff team, he ran by multiple blockers for most of the night and posted three tackles on the kickoff team. He generally plays faster than everyone else in either punt (where he has forced several fair catches, see Northwestern ’16) or kickoff coverage. As a linebacker, he trusts his first read and believes what he’s seeing on the field. We think Cashman is one of the true value picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Barton gene

Cody Barton is a Utah Ute through and through.

The Utah linebacker is the son of two former Utes: his mother, Mikki, played basketball and volleyball. In 1993, she was named the WAC Player of the Year in basketball and led the nation in blocks in volleyball to earn all-conference honors. His father, Paul, played football and baseball in Salt Lake City. He went on to spend a year in the minors with the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization.

Paul and Mikki not only passed on the Utes genes to Cody but his older brother, Jackson, and his younger sister, Dani, also donned the red and white.

Cody’s brother, Jackson (No. 70 pictured), is an NFL prospect in his own right after starting 29 games at both right and left tackle over a four-year span.

Dani plays volleyball while Jackson played offensive tackle for the last four years. Jackson finished this season as a first team All-Pac-12 performer while Cody was named All-Pac-12 honorable mention.

Despite having a brother on the team and a family of Utes, the person on campus Cody Barton might be closest to is linebacker Chase Hansen.

Last offseason, Barton helped Chase in his transition from safety to fellow linebacker.

“We had a strong bond,” said Barton during the week of the East West Shrine Game. “Me and Chase were very close. He’s one of my best friends on the team besides my brother, I stayed at his house a couple nights during the week.”

Barton said he and Chase would compete in everything from lifting in the weight room to running in the hallways.

Utah All-Pac-12 linebacker Chase Hansen, pictured left, working hand placement with fellow friend and teammate Cody Barton prior to the 2018 Holiday Bowl.

The bond translated from Chase’s studio apartment all the way to the gridiron. The pair finished as the team’s two leading tacklers.

Barton finished with 117 tackles while Hansen added 114. Barton also bested Hansen with four sacks to two. He added another piece of hardware to his trophy case during the week of the 2019 East-West Shrine game, when he won the Pat Tillman Award, which is given to a player who best exemplifies intelligence, sportsmanship and service.

“Throughout his career, Barton has demonstrated a relentless drive and great awareness on the field, frustrating offenses like the man for which the award is named,” stated a press release from the East West Shrine Game.

The Utes finished 13th overall in yards allowed per contest and that mark could be attributed in part to Barton’s work as the commander of the defense.

“Just about every play we’re communicating with (the defensive line),” Barton said. He also on occasion talks with the back end of the defense.

The communication between the three levels of the defense allows the Utes to run various stunts and shades in the front while timing blitzes between the linebackers.

Barton (No. 30 seen rushing Clayton Thorson in the 2018 Holiday Bowl) posted nine career QB sacks and 23.5 tackles for losses.

The NFL prospect credited Utah Utes defensive coordinator and safeties coach Morgan Scalley for the harmony among the Utes defense.

“We’re always disguising,” Barton said. “Everything we were doing we were always disguising.”

One thing Barton doesn’t disguise is the brotherhood he has with his fellow Utes and the personal competition he has with Chase.

“I hope he sees this and knows I’m faster,” said Barton. It’s worth noting, Barton finished with a 4.64 40-yard dash at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, while Hansen didn’t participate due to a hip injury.

Fresno flanker’s NFL family

Fresno State doesn’t have the name recognition of other West Coast powers like USC or Stanford but one thing can’t be ignored, the Bulldogs have shown a propensity for producing NFL wide receivers.

Henry Ellard, Adam Jennings, Paul Williams, Devon Wylie, Davante Adams, Bernard Berrian, Rodney Wright… the list of receivers drafted from Fresno goes on and on.

Former Bulldog great Stephone Paige set an NFL single-game receiving yardage record in 1985 with 309 yards against the San Diego Chargers. The record stood until it was broken by Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Willie ‘Flipper’ Anderson in 1989 (336).

Former Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson caught 275 passes for 3,463 yards (12.6 YPC) and 24 touchdowns in his career.

The next in the lineage could be KeeSean Johnson and he doesn’t need a history lesson, he knows the guys who have come before him.

“I learned about their stats and learned what they did,” Johnson said during the week of the 2019 East-West Shrine Game. “Those type of guys come back to the school and talk to you and you have to take it all in.”

One person Johnson said he models his game after is Davante Adams, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers before Johnson’s freshman season.

Adams went from Fresno to the NFL and worked his way into a reliable target for Aaron Rodgers, producing two Pro Bowl seasons.

Adams and Johnson also both attended Palo Alto High School, where Johnson played both football and basketball.

The 6-foot-1, 201-pound prospect said Adams’ clean release off the line is what stands out to him. Johnson is a good route runner in his own right and says he also likes watching Cooper Kupp (LA Rams) and Keenan Allen (LA Chargers).

“You can learn anything from anybody on the field just by watching them,” Johnson said. “That’s how I learned and that’s what helped me.”

Of Johnson’s 66 career catches on third down, 47 went for first downs.

The film study has paid off for Johnson, who says he can see himself playing in either the slot or on the outside.

“Whatever team I get a chance to play for hopefully I get a chance to make an impact at wherever (position) they play me,” Johnson said.

He finished his senior season with 95 catches for 1,340 yards and eight touchdowns.

Among his other accomplishments include back-to-back nominations to the All-Mountain West second teams.

Over the last three seasons, Johnson has started all 40 games and has amassed 238 receptions, 3,126 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Three things are certain. Death, taxes and Fresno State will produce an NFL wide receiver. And if Johnson can produce like he did for the Bulldogs at the next level, look for him to return to Fresno and groom the next pup.

Los Angeles Rams vs. Chicago Bears, 12-9-18: In-game report

Chicago used a physical defense and excellent special teams play to defeat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.  The Bears topped the Rams, 15-6, and are on the doorstep of winning the NFC North.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in- game report:

Tarik Cohen

The Sunday night showdown was largely about the defensive efforts of the respective teams but running back Tarik Cohen left his mark on the contest. Head coach Matt Nagy is as creative a playcaller as there is in the NFL, he follows his mentor, Andy Reid’s philosophy of getting your best players the ball in space.  Cohen can make plays in the passing game, the running game and through his return ability. Cohen (5’6 179) is one of the smaller players in the league but he is built well and has very strong legs. The back isn’t afraid to lower his shoulders and run behind his pads and between tackles. Coupled with his acceleration, Cohen is a hard cover. His running back mate, Jordan Howard, runs most of the power running plays between the tackles but Cohen can run the same concepts but at a lower rate. The former North Carolina A&T running back makes his money on the outside and in space.  The Bears running back finished with 111 all-purpose yards, and the team as a whole put up 336. 

Bears defense 

A mark of a good defense is the ability to make the opposing offense uncomfortable and force them to find new ways to score. Chicago forced Rams quarterback Jared Goff to throw four interceptions and held Los Angeles to 214 yards of total offense. The pocket was rarely clean for Goff, who was sacked three times and when it was clean, he rushed throws and made errant reads.  Chicago didn’t do much better than the Rams offensively (294 total yards) but the Bears have the type of defense that can carry its football team. Khalil Mack stirs the drink but the Bears possess playmakers at all three levels of the defense. 

Rams play calling 

The Rams rank in the top five in scoring per game, passing yards per game and rushing yards per game but looked ordinary against the Bears.  Sean McVay is a Coach of the Year candidate and the honor is warranted but his play calling was suspect on Sunday night.   The Rams best player offensively, Todd Gurley, carried the ball just 11 times and he finished with just three receptions despite being targeted seven times in the passing game. The passing numbers aside, Gurley should’ve seen more touches in the running game.  On 2nd and 15 to start the third quarter, McVay opted for a shotgun set when his team was on its own five-yard line.  Bears defensive lineman Eddie Goldman capitalized and sacked Goff for a safety. 

“Really, consistently over and over I continue to put our players in bad spots,” McVay said during the postgame press conference. “Certainly a humbling night, but it’s one you get a chance to look at yourself critically, find a way to get better and move forward accordingly and that’s exactly what we’re going to do and that’s all I know how to do.  And I have to be better for our football team.  This loss is on me.  I didn’t do a nearly good enough job for us today.  I trust we will respond the right way.” 

The Rams coach accepted blame for the loss. Look for Los Angeles to establish the running game early in their next game against the Eagles. 

Seattle Seahawks vs. Carolina Panthers, 11-25-18: In-game report

The Carolina Panthers inability to convert on third down and score touchdowns in the red zone, doomed them in a key NFC matchup. The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Panthers, 30-27.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Christian McCaffrey

The term “all-purpose” may be thrown around a little too much. However, it certainly applies to McCaffrey, who finished with 125 rushing yards and 112 yards receiving  against the Seahawks. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner used McCaffrey every which way against the Seahawks:  swing passes, runs between the tackles, single back in the option game, split out wide and on screens.  The main cause for concern in Carolina is that the offense could be seen as too vanilla.  Besides McCaffrey and D.J. Moore, who caught eight passes for 91 yards, no other player tallied more than 50 yards. The Panthers looked predictable at times, especially on 3rd down (3-of-8 against the Seahawks) and in the red zone (3 touchdowns on 7 attempts).  In his first season as coordinator, Turner has showed the ability to put his playmakers in position to make plays, however, he needs more players to step up in both third down and Red Zone situations. 

“McCaffrey was awesome. Cam (Newton) was awesome. But when they got into the red zone, we stopped them. We had four big stops, and they were all crucial,” said Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during the postgame press conference. 

Middle linebackers duel

A game might not feature a better matchup of opposing middle linebackers than Sunday’s contest,  Bobby Wagner and Luke Kuechly combined for 25 tackles and one tackle for loss.  Both players led their teams in tackles and are the best players on their respective defenses.  Wagner was able to stand Cam Newton up at the line of scrimmage on a critical 4th and 2, preventing the Panthers from scoring on their first drive. On the other side of the ball, Kuechly helped hold the Seahawks number one ranked rushing offense to just 75 yards. 

“Luke Kuechly (pictured left)  is one of the best linebackers in the game, so you know he’s going to make a couple plays,” Seahawks running back Chris Carson said during the postgame press conference.  “For the most part we did what we could do in the run game.”

Tyler Lockett

You can tell a lot about the quarterback’s trust factor by looking at who he throws to on third down.  By that measure, Tyler Lockett was Russell Wilson’s best friend against the Panthers. The Seahawks receiver caught five passes for 107 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, three of which came on third down including his touchdown in the third quarter. On the final drive of the game, Lockett caught a deep pass for 43 yards on 3rd down after Russell Wilson was able to buy some extra time in the pocket, ultimately setting up the Seawhawks game winning field goal. 

“When Russell (Wilson) keeps it alive, we understand how hard it is for defenders to try to guard somebody more than five seconds,” Lockett said.  “If it is longer than four or five seconds, it puts us in a better position to get open.”

Oakland Raiders vs. San Francisco 49ers, 11-1-18: In-Game Report

A battle of the Bay Area featured two of the worst teams in the NFL. However, San Francisco thoroughly dominated its area rivals on Thursday Night Football, winning 34-3. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in game report:

Nick Mullens 

Undrafted second-year quarterbacks don’t usually complete 16-of-22 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns in their first career start.  But thanks to a poor defense and an excellent game plan, Mullens was aided in his debut. Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s first 15 script of play calls allowed his quarterback to get comfortable through the use of bootlegs, screens and power running.  The 49ers scored their first touchdown of the game with a play action pass from Mullens to wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who ran wide open over the middle.  Mullens’ teammates said his ability to perform on the primetime Thursday night stage didn’t surprise them.

“It was cool that he didn’t change under the big lights and these circumstances,” cornerback Richard Sherman said, during a postgame press conference according to ESPN.  “We’re not really surprised. We’ve seen him do it in practice. He plays with a lot of confidence.”

Mullens executed the game plan to perfection and might see additional playing time as the team’s primary backup, thanks to a strong performance. 

George Kittle

Mullens looked to tight end George Kittle whenever he needed a big play.  Kittle finished with four catches on four targets for 108 yards and one touchdown.  The second-year tight end made an impressive one-handed grab over the middle on 2nd and 12 and sprinted for a 71-yard gain to open the third quarter.  On the season, Kittle has caught 41 passes for 692 yards and three touchdowns.  As the 49ers cycle through quarterbacks, Kittle has remained a constant at tight end and his production hasn’t slipped no matter who has been behind center. 

Raiders miscues 

The 49ers had their way with the Raiders but Oakland committed more than their fair share of mental mistakes.  On offense, Derek Carr was harassed all evening due to a  shuffling offensive line because of injuries. The Raiders gave up eight sacks and as a team totaled just 242 yards of total offense. Defensively, the Raiders were penalized for having too many men on the field in the second half, left receivers wide open on bootlegs and couldn’t set the edge to prevent long runs.  Oakland traded away young talent in Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack and it looks like their eyes are on the future. The Raiders might not win many games in 2018 thanks to a lack of talent but that doesn’t excuse the mental errors that plagued both sides of the ball against the 49ers.