Tag Archives: Bill Belichick

2021 NFL Draft Round 1, Recap

The 2021 NFL Draft’s first round is complete and the offensive players took much of the focus early. Five quarterbacks were selected in the draft’s first 15 selections. Later in the round, teams made sure that they took plenty of pass rushers to contend with some of the NFL’s high-powered offenses. In fact, defensive players comprised the final five picks of the first round. We look at each pick in our recap of the draft’s first night.

       
Round 1
SelectionTeamPlayer selectionPosition-SchoolDN Big Board Rank/GradeNotes
1st overallJacksonville JaguarsTrevor Lawrence6’5 5/8” 213/QB-Clemson5/1st RoundLawrence's underrated athleticism works for an offense that already features a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.
2nd overallNew York JetsZach Wilson6’2 214/QB-BYU25/2nd RoundWilson could be a BYU mix of former Cougar standouts Jim McMahon and Steve Young.
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.
4th overallAtlanta FalconsKyle Pitts6’6 245/TE-Florida10/1st RoundNew HC Arthur Smith adds to Ryan's vast array of weapons in hopes of recapturing MVP form.
5th overallCincinnati BengalsJa’Marr Chase6’0 201/WR-LSU12/1st RoundChase re-unites with his former Heisman QB in hopes of re-igniting their 2019 national championship rhythm.
6th overallMiami DolphinsJaylen Waddle5’9 1/2” 180/WR-Alabama28/2nd RoundWaddle is the next receiver to go off the board to be re-united with his former college QB. His foot speed expands the Dolphins’ vertical passing game.
7th overallDetroit LionsPenei Sewell6’5 331 OT-Oregon3/1st RoundSewell’s nastiness made him one of the best picks in this year’s draft and fits what the Lions are trying to do with a physical running game.
8th overallCarolina PanthersJaycee Horn6’1 205 CB-South Carolina19/2nd RoundThe Panthers needed a big corner and they took one of the draft’s longer ones in Horn.
9th overallDenver BroncosPatrick Surtain II6’2 208 CB-Alabama7/1st RoundThe Broncos take the second consecutive CB off of the board and his technique is arguably the best.
10th overallPhiladelphia Eagles (from Dallas Cowboys)DeVonta Smith6’0 166 WR-Alabama1/1st RoundThe 2020 Heisman Trophy winner will get an opportunity to re-unite with his former QB too, just like Waddle and Chase earlier in the draft.
11th overallChicago Bears (trade from New York Giants)Justin Fields6’3 227 QB-Ohio State31/2nd RoundFields goes to a football team where he can add arm strength to pierce balls through the wind and add diversity to the team’s running team.
12th overallDallas Cowboys (from Philadelphia Eagles)Micah Parsons6’3 246 LB-Penn State2/1st RoundParsons’ speed goes with rare size at the position. He has a chance to develop in Dan Quinn’s system.
13th overallLos Angeles ChargersRashawn Slater6’4 304 OT-Northwestern16/2nd RoundSlater’s technique gives the Chargers added flexibility on its offensive lineman, as the former OL has started at both RT and LT.
14th overallNew York Jets (from Minnesota Vikings)Alijah Vera-Tucker6’4 302 OT-USC6/1st RoundVera-Tucker could pair with Becton on the left side to potentially power an offensive line that could develop into one of the AFC’s best.
15th overallNew England PatriotsMac Jones6’2 217 QB-Alabama39/2nd RoundJones goes to the Patriots to develop in a system that could spotlight all of his respective strengths.
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.
17th overallLas Vegas RaidersAlex Leatherwood6’5 312 OL-Alabama104/3rd RoundThe 2020 Outland Trophy winner may make a move to the inside, where he was a second-team All-SEC player at RG in 2018.
18th overallMiami DolphinsJaelen Phillips6’5 260 DE-Miami (Fla.), UCLA43/2nd RoundPhillips has all of the tools to become an instant contributor opposite Emmanuel Ogbah. Can he stay healthy?
19th overallWashington Football TeamJamin Davis6’4 234 LB-Kentucky61/2nd RoundHC Ron Rivera finds a linebacker who has the traits to become like the LBs he had in Carolina.
20th overallNew York Giants (from Chicago Bears)Kadarius Toney5’11 189 All-Purpose/Florida49/2nd RoundHis ability to get in-and-out of traffic with the ball in his hands makes him a threat as an all-purpose prospect and slot WR.
21st overallIndianapolis ColtsKwity Paye6’3 270 DE-Michigan9/1st RoundPaye was one of the draft’s best run defender and he is going to get better as a pass rusher.
22nd overallTennessee TitansCaleb Farley6’2 207 CB-Virginia Tech17/1st RoundOne of the draft’s most talented corners has ball skills, instincts and health concerns. His skills fit Tennessee’s defensive
23rd overallMinnesota Vikings (from New York Jets)Christian Darrisaw6’5 314 LT-Virginia Tech4/1st RoundThe Vikings get one of the draft’s best offensive line talents after sliding back in the first round. Good moves again by the Vikings front office.
24th overallPittsburgh SteelersNajee Harris6’1 231/RB-Alabama11/1st RoundThe Steelers get the former five-star recruit whose game continues to grow both as a receiver and blocker. They get one of the better prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft.
25th overallJacksonville JaguarsTravis Etienne5’10 215/RB-Clemson22/1st RoundEtienne reunites with Trevor Lawrence in what could prove to be a game-changing backfield combination. He will team with James Robinson for a powerful one-two punch.
26th overallCleveland BrownsGreg Newsome II6'1 190/CB-Northwestern64/2nd RoundNewsome’s technique goes along with smooth on-field movement. The Browns now have three cornerbacks to match up with the AFC’s fast-paced offenses.
27th overallBaltimore RavensRashod Bateman6’0 190/WR-Minnesota18/2nd RoundBateman gives Jackson yet another weapon after the signing of Sammy Watkins. The team is continuing to attempt to get it right at the position.
28th overallNew Orleans SaintsPayton Turner6’5 290/DE-Houston111/3rd RoundTurner impressed on his Pro Day with a 4.33 20-yard shuttle time at 290 pounds. Turner got better during his career week-to-week.
29th overallGreen Bay PackersEric Stokes6’1 194/CB-Georgia35/2nd RoundStokes continued to get better year-to-year, but prior to 2020 he hadn’t finished on the ball. The 10.39 100-meter sprinter finished with four interceptions as a senior.
30th overallBuffalo BillsGregory Rousseau6’6 5/8” 266/DE-Miami (Fla.)8/1st RoundThe Bills take a pass rusher with 11-inch hands and an 83” wingspan. Rousseau had 15.5 QB sacks in 2019 and was tough to latch while working from a number of spots.
31st overallBaltimore RavensJayson Oweh6’5 252/DE-Penn State143/3rd RoundThe Ravens bet on Oweh’s upside, which includes 4.3 speed and very good upper body strength.
32nd overallTampa Bay BuccaneersJoe Tryon6’5 252/DE-Washington69/2nd RoundTryon has played from a two-point stand-up OLB or with his hand in the dirt. This was a perfect scheme-fit for the Buccaneers.

Round 1 trades/notes:

•   The Dallas Cowboys traded the 10th pick overall to the Philadelphia Eagles to the Dallas Cowboys for the 12th overall pick and the Cowboys picked up Philadelphia’s 2021 third-round pick.
•   New York Giants traded the 11th overall pick to the Chicago Bears in return for the Bears 2021 fifth-round pick, 2022 first-round pick and  2022 fourth-round pick   
•   Minnesota Vikings traded the 14th overall pick to the New York Jets in exchange for the 23rd overall pick 
•   The first quarterback to ever get selected in the first round of the draft by a Bill Belichick-led team becomes Alabama’s Mac Jones
•   New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman traded back for the first time in his career
•   There were four sets of teammates reunited in the first round.  Former LSU WR Ja'Marr Chase (1st Round, 5th pick overall) teams back up with his Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in Cincinnati, Alabama WR/All-Purpose threat Jaylen Waddle (1st Round, 6th pick overall) teams up with former Alabama quarterback and current Miami Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama WR DeVonta Smith (1st Round, 10th pick overall) will play with former Alabama starting quarterback Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, Clemson RB Travis Etienne (1st Round, 25th overall) gets to share the backfield again with Jacksonville first overall pick Trevor Lawrence.

DraftNasty Rewind: “Running with the Bills”- Josh Allen

Josh Allen was one of five quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Like fellow first round pick, Baltimore Ravens quarterback, Lamar Jackson, Allen can get a lot done with his legs. Under the direction of Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Allen plays with a uniqueness to the position.

In order to better understand this now NFL starter, let’s look back at our evaluation of the former Wyoming signal caller:

What makes this player NASTY? (Strengths): Prototype size. 10 1/8” hands. Good instincts. Competitive. Tough” (Corey Chavous 2018 NFL Draft Guide).

Fast forward a year and a half and these same attributes are at the top of the list when describing Allen. Take a look at this scramble for a touchdown against Miami. Immediately, what jumps out is the large hands as well as the instincts previously described, Allen is able to scramble right, palm the ball and unlike some other quarterbacks, he doesn’t look to move the chains and dive. Allen goes into the teeth of the defense and even dips his shoulder against a linebacker as he runs into the end zone.

For his career, Allen has thrown 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions with a 56.7 completion percentage. He’s also run for 1,070 yards and averages 5.8 yards per carry, while losing three fumbles.

“He’s like a running back,” New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said during a press conference before playing the Bills this season. “He breaks tackles. He’s got good speed, good power, and he’s shifty. He avoids and breaks a lot of tackles. It’s another dimension, sixth receiver in the passing game if you will. Gives them another blocker in the running game when they have designed run plays for him.”

For his career, Allen has 17 rushing touchdowns compared to Jackson’s 12 and when the two met earlier this month, their combined 1,407 rushing yards was the most ever between two opposing starting quarterbacks. When looking more into Allen’s rushing touchdowns, you also see that he will run in it on each and every down, he has at least one rushing touchdown on each down with two rushing touchdowns coming on 4th and 5 or more.

Like a running back, Allen leaves himself susceptible to some big hits (see his scramble against the New England Patriots on third down in the fourth quarter, where he took a hit to the helmet). One of the weaknesses, we highlighted was “Allen’s reckless playing style has led to durability concerns.” Last year, Allen missed time with an elbow injury.

Digging deeper into the numbers, Allen has proven to be an effective runner on first and second down, where he averages 8.5 yards per attempt. This highlights what has been an effective recipe for the Bills offense when they’re successful: A big run on early downs, which allows for Frank Gore to get carries in short yardage situations and allows Allen to utilize the play action on second and third and short.

At the :23 second mark of the video below, we can see the athletic ability that Belichick is referring too. DraftNasty had Allen rated as the No. 4 quarterback in the draft and one reason why is that we felt his skills would have to be maximized by an offensive coordinator. Last year, during the opening week of the season versus the Ravens, DraftNasty highlighted in our in-game report some of Allen’s abilities. However, Allen had to sit behind Nathan Peterman and wasn’t given the reigns fully until the season began. A year later, Allen is the unquestioned starter and his coordinator has opened up more of the playbook. Daboll has mixed in run-pass options with deep shots to Bills speedster John Brown and uses Cole Beasley in the slot. Look at the similar play calling Daboll used when he was at the University of Alabama with then quarterback Jalen Hurts at the 2:20 mark.

The successful marriage between offensive coordinator and quarterback has led to a 9-4 season for the Bills and has them in the running for an AFC East division title, which they haven’t won since 1995. Another strength DraftNasty highlighted of Allen was his ability to run a pro-style offense with multiple shifts and two-tight end sets in Wyoming. Daboll has utilized his quarterback’s ability to handle multiple formations and has adopted the philosophy of his former mentor, Bill Belichick, who has been known to alter his schemes from week-to-week. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, through the first 10 games of this season, the Bills used 246 different offensive personnel combinations which is the fourth-most in the league behind the Dolphins, Lions and 49ers. Worth noting, the Lions and Dolphins both have head coaches who have ties to Belichick.

These multiple formations not only serve as window dressing for the defense but allow Allen to simplify his reads.

Look at how Daboll uses a motion man in the opening drive vs. the Redskins to manipulate the linebackers and allow Allen to decipher if it’s man or zone defense while tilting the formation for running plays. It’s important that the Bills play well early in situations because Allen has thrown nine interceptions to just five touchdowns with a 51 percent completion percentage when trailing. As opposed to four touchdowns and three interceptions with a 53 percent completion percentage when ahead.

As the Bills jockey for playoff positioning, we see how much Allen means to Buffalo’s offense. And almost two full NFL seasons later and we think this analysis of Allen still rings true.

“While he could use a year or two of development behind a bridge quarterback, he may be able to transition to the NFL game at a faster pace than expected. He’s an emotional, fiery player who will need to hone his footwork, timing and trajectory as a passer. We feel he’s an early-round talent capable of competing for a starting job early in his career,” according to our 2018 assessment of Allen.

DraftNasty feels like the Bills have found an adequate coordinator in Daboll, who can maximize Allen’s abilities. If the signal caller is to continue to ascend look for an improvement in his mechanics and to be more judicial when running.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New England Patriots, 10-14-18: In-game report

Two of the premier coaches in the NFL faced off in primetime on Sunday Night Football.  New England (4-2) was able to keep pace with the Chiefs (5-1) in the conference after a last second field goal pushed them to victory.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Patriots power running game

The Patriots use of offset I-formations with fullback James Develin (No. 46 pictured) and Rob Gronkowski (No. 87 pictured) led a running game that carried the offense for the much of the night.

Bill Belichick flipped the script on Sunday night, instead of relying on his future Hall of Fame quarterback, the longtime coach relied on a power run game.  The Patriots used fullback James Develin in the I-formation and the offset I-formation, while also putting Rob Gronkowski at the tight end spot with his hand in the ground in order to establish a strong push in the run game.  Kansas City ranks 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed and the Patriots took advantage of it.  New England ran for 173 yards and actually ran three more times than they passed.  This power run game will probably be an outlier, but credit to Belichick for his willingness to adjust the game plan for specific game-to-game needs.

Patrick Mahomes 

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has a 112.2 quarterback rating through six starts in 2018.

The first-year starter has burst onto the scene and what immediately jumps out about Mahomes is his raw arm talent. Mahomes can make plays off schedule while falling off his back foot reminiscent of the kinds of throws that are usually reserved for Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.  In the first quarter, Mahomes darted  a pass from his back foot and across his body to the waiting hands of Chris Conley, placing the ball where only his receiver could make the play.  The Chiefs quarterback finished with 352 passing yards and four touchdowns but he did throw two interceptions, which led to points for the Patriots.  Mahomes first interception came when Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower faked a blitz and dropped into coverage, fooling the young quarterback.  The second came on a pass where Mahomes was rolling right and tried to throw across his body to tight end Travis Kelce, who was double covered.  Mahomes should be able to fix those types of interceptions with experience. For now, Mahomes should remind Andy Reid of another talented gunslinger that he coached in Brett Favre. 

Patriots defense 

Bill Belichick’s defensive mantra has remained constant since he came to New England: make your second or third best players beat us offensively.  The Patriots doubled Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce all night and sacrificed the pass rushing of Dont’a Hightower and Trey Flowers in order to chip Kelce at the line. The game plan worked as the Pats held Kelce to five catches for 61 yards. However, Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill were left with more room to roam free as a result. The pair combined for 327 total yards and four touchdowns. It was a tale of two halves for the Patriots, who led 24-9 at halftime. If these two teams meet again in the playoffs, Belichick might have to tinker with his game-plan because despite holding Kelce in check, Hill and Hunt nearly upended New England in Foxboro.