Tag Archives: Cincinnati Bengals

2020 NFL Draft recap: AFC North

Baltimore Ravens  Notable picks: The Ravens went LB twice in its first five picks. It is a position that they plan to revamp with Queen and Harrison. Harrison relied on his natural instincts in school and Queen outran any poor reads. Both players have to develop quickly for the team to come close to its 2019 success in 2020.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (28) Patrick Queen6’1 229
LB/LSU
90/3rd Round Despite being just a one-year starter, the Ravens are banking on Queen’s foot speed to outrun any rookie mistakes.
2 (55) J.K. Dobbins5’9 209
RB/Ohio State
45/2nd Round This was an interesting selection. Sure it looks good to have another RB in the mix, but where does his insertion into the rotation leave Gus Edwards (back-to-back 700-yard campaigns) and Justice Hill (2019 4th -round pick).
3 (71) Justin Madubuike6’3 293
DT/Texas A&M
30/2nd Round For a DT with just 9-inch hands, Madubuike certainly overpowered a number of OL in school. His biggest weakness actually revolves around hand placement. He was flagged for four facemask penalties in 2018.
3 (92)Devin Duvernay5’10 202
WR/Texas
/3rd Round Duvernay’s breakout 2019 season featured increased understanding of the position. He has flashed as an outside receiver as well. If he can begin to use his strength more on the outside lanes, there are possibilities for multiple roles.
3 (98)Malik Harrison6’3 247
LB/Ohio State
18/2nd Round Harrison fits more of the 1980s profile for exchange LBs. His eyes have often taken him where he needs to get but he left some plays on the field. His coverage capability will either make him a starter or solid backup.
3 (106) Tyre Phillips6’5 331
OG/Mississippi State
273 /4th Round
The collegiate left tackle more than held his own as the Bulldogs blindside protector in 2019. During the postseason, he displayed starting capability as a guard. Either way, his presence (84 5/8-inch wingspan) gives the Ravens one of the bigger offensive lines in the league.
4 (143)Ben Bredeson6’5 310
OG/Michigan
125/3rd RoundBredeson plays balanced and completes a large majority of his assignments. His latch needs to improve when sustaining blocks. Bredeson was the rare junior team captain in the Jim Harbaugh-era at Michigan.
5 (170)
Broderick Washington
6’3 305
DT/Texas Tech
374/5th Round
Washington has enough quickness to play the four-technique in three-man fronts, three-technique in four-man fronts and occasional one-technique DT. He is heavy-handed and durable (37 straight starts to end career).


Baltimore Ravens third-round pick Tyre Phillips (seen pictured in the 2019 Music City Bowl) starred at the LT spot in college for the Bulldogs. The Ravens could possibly use him at guard, where he played well in the postseason all-star circuit.
6 (201) James Proche  5’11 201
WR/SMU
119/3rd Round
Proche caught 301 passes for 3,949 yards for an eye-popping 39 TDs in school. He excelled at making the acrobatic catch in school but also has outstanding strength (20 reps-225 lbs.).
7 (219) Geno Stone 5’10 207
S/Iowa
266/4th RoundThe junior-entry has enough instincts to play a nickel linebacker spot in school. He carries a number of similarities to former Tennessee Titans fourth-round pick Amani Hooker in terms of size, responsibility in school and play speed. He will have to make an impact on special teams to make the final roster.
Cincinnati Bengals  Notable pick:  The Bengals have a number of weapons available at Burrow’s disposal. The most important -RB Joe Mixon- can serve the role of Burrow’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire at LSU. Burrow may just be the QB to take advantage of Mixon’s skill-set.
Round, Selection,
Player Position/School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (1)Joe Burrow6’3 221
QB-LSU
15/2nd Round Burrow’s quick decision-making will be asked to ramp up early in a division that may be competitive down to the last week of the season. He excelled in spread sets as a senior and expect the Bengals to incorporate plenty of those concepts.
2 (33) Tee Higgins 6’4 216
WR-Clemson
33/2nd Round A.J. Green’s long-term prospects with the team is uncertain. Higgins’ long arms and deceptive running style carry similarities to Green’s and the two would be a viable pair to complement John Ross and Tyler Boyd.
3 (65) Logan Wilson6’2 241
LB-Wyoming
27/2nd Round Wilson -a former star high school DB- recorded 10 interceptions in college and was a magnet chasing plays down sideways. If he can improve his initial footwork, he should be able to compete early in an underrated LB corps.
4 (107) Akeem Davis-Gaither6’2 224
LB-Appalachian State
85/2nd Round It could be argued that Davis-Gaither fits the LB room as good -if not better- than Wilson. He was one of the more impressive LBs during the postseason and his on-field range stands out week-to-week.
5 (147)Khalid Kareem 6’4 268 OLB/DE-Notre Dame172/4th Round Kareem is a power rusher with positive awareness to affect the passing game once his rush has been stopped. He has experience rushing from a four-point, three-point or two-point stance.
6 (180)
Hakeem Adeniji
6’4 302
OG/OT-Kansas
89/3rd RoundOne of the most durable OL in the draft, Adeniji made starts at LG, RT and LT in school. He needs to improve versus line games, but exhibited quickness and explosiveness in school.
7 (215)
Marcus Bailey
6’1 235
LB-Purdue
309/5th Round
If not for durability concerns during his career, Bailey would likely have gone much higher in the draft. He finished his career with 327 tackles and 28 TFLs.
Cincinnati Bengals sixth-round pick Hakeem Adeniji started 48 straight games for Kansas during his career.
Cleveland Browns   Notable pick:  The team has been looking for a consistent left tackle it seems since Baker Mayfield entered the lineup. Although Wills, Jr. protected the blindside for Tua Tagovailoa, it was from the right side. How he adjusts to the other side will determine the Browns success in 2020.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (10) Jedrick Wills, Jr. 6’4 312
OT-Alabama
3/1st RoundWills, Jr. continued to improve what was already satisfactory hand placement in 2019. The penalties were a problem. For a team that had its issues with those in 2019, it must be something they address with him early in the season.
2 (44) Grant Delpit6’2 213
S-LSU
50/2nd Round Perhaps no prospect was as mystifying as Delpit. The 2019 Jim Thorpe Award winner missed so many tackles during his award-winning year that injuries were given as part of the problem. Either way, he will have to make the one-on-one tackles in a bruising division. If he can live up to the task, then his athleticism should shine getting off of the hash marks.
3 (88) Jordan Elliott6’4 302
DT-Missouri
121/3rd Round Elliott was probably most effective when the team clearly defined his responsibilities. He is a positional-flex candidate with quickness and a slippery nature.
3 (97) Jacob Phillips6’3 229
LB-LSU
160/3rd Round He can slide effectively for a taller LB and actually sink to tackle. Phillips does take an extra step or two to get in-and-out of transition. As he grows into his role for the team, making positive weight gains could help his cause.
4 (115)Harrison Bryant 6’5 243
TE-FAU
114 /3rd Round Bryant went to a team that may use him in two TE sets quite a bit of the time. With David Njoku’s injury history a subject of concern, Bryant may get an opportunity sooner than later.
5 (160) Nick Harris6’1 302
OC-Washington
166/3rd Round Harris will get the opportunity to become the team’s eighth OL on game day with the new NFL rules allowing for two more OL to suit up on game day. His mobility could add layers to the Browns offense.
6 (187)Donovan Peoples-Jones6’2 212
All-purpose-Michigan
168/4th Round The former Michigan Gatorade Player of the Year was an underrated punt returner in school and routinely made some spectacular adjustments on difficult catches. Rounding out his consistency could give him a chance to make the team.
Cleveland Browns first-round pick Jedrick Wills, Jr. frequently handled the blindside protection for Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa.
Pittsburgh Steelers  Notable picks:  McFarland may seem like a pick to simply add a different element, but if 2018 is any indication, he could steal valuable playing time from a number of quality RBs in front of him on the depth chart.
Round, Selection,
Player School DN Big Board Rank/ Grade ‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (49)Chase Claypool 6’4 238
All-purpose/
Notre Dame
23/2nd Round We were trying to find a way to put into perspective the number of special teams plays Claypool made while at Notre Dame (25 tackles). But those plays only amplify some of his high-wire body control full extension grabs. He gets stronger as the season progresses.
3 (102)Alex Highsmith
6’3 247
OLB-Charlotte
170/4th RoundConsistent three-year starter with non-stop energy. He reacts well to counter OTs, but his tendency to leave his feet as a pass rusher is something the team may look to adjust early in training camp.
4 (124)Anthony McFarland 5’8 208
B-Maryland
120/3rd RoundMcFarland’s home run gear will add a jolt to the Steelers offense not seen since the days of Willie Parker.
4 (135)Kevin Dotson6’4 310
OG-Louisiana Lafayette
178/4th Round
Standing 6-foot-4 with 10 1/2-inch hands, Dotson does not have a lot of bulk in the lower body. Instead, he wins with solid hat-and-hand placement on a down-to-down basis. His length gives him a chance to keep pass rushers at bay on the interior.
6 (198)
Antoine Brooks 5’11 220
S/LB-Maryland
77/2nd Round
There’s not much Maryland did on the football field defensively without Brooks in mind. Over the course of his stay in school, he was used at LB, nickel, safety and on the punt team. Brooks contains an outstanding feel for working through tight spaces to make tackles.

7 (232)

Carlos Davis
6’2 314
DT-Nebraska
237/4th Round
The two-sport athlete was a second-team All-American in the discus. On the football field, he is an effective two-gap defender who needs to improve his balance.
Pittsburgh Steelers second-round pick Chase Claypool averaged 15.7 yards per reception with 13 TDs for Notre Dame in 2019.

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: AFC North

Ferguson, pictured, totaled 26 tackles for losses in 2018 while also posting 17 quarterback sacks. He ended his career as the FBS’ all-time sack leader.

 

Baltimore Ravens Notable picks: First-year GM Eric DeCosta did a very good job of adding layers to the Baltimore offense.  Brown’s challenge will be to hold his weight at the 175-pound mark while not losing his decisive speed.  Ferguson has more pressure to produce than most third-rounders because of the loss of Terrell Suggs in free agency. Boykin will compete with holdovers Jaleel Scott, Chris Moore, and Jordan Lasley for playing time.  Powers helps improve the depth of the interior line.  Will Marshall move to safety?  The addition of Hill provides the team with a home run threat at the running back position.  He will, however, have to fight for playing time.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (25)

Acquired this pick from the Philadelphia Eagles for its 22nd overall pick

Marquise Brown WR/

Oklahoma

77/2nd Round Brown has a chance to become dynamic in the Ravens offense in a different type of way than he was at Oklahoma.  Expect to see him used on fly sweeps, seam routes, shallow crossers, nine routes and post patterns.  Will he be a fit with fellow Florida native Lamar Jackson? Physical cornerbacks have competed well against him in the past.
3 (85) Jaylon

Ferguson

DE/

Louisiana Tech

20/2nd Round After a subpar postseason, Ferguson saw his stock slide despite breaking former Ravens’ OLB Terrell Suggs’ all-time NCAA sack record.  Ferguson plays even longer than his size would indicate and he may have to bully tackles early on.  He has a 10-yard burst.
3 (93) Miles Boykin WR/Notre Dame 48/2nd Round Boykin is an upside pick after just one year of high-level production, but he did draw as many pass interference calls as any receiver in this year’s draft.  Can he build on his breakout final year in school?
4 (113)

Acquired from Minnesota

Justice Hill RB/

Oklahoma State

55/2nd Round Hill has the burst to slip-and-slide in-between the tackles on gut runs.  His 4.4 speed is aided by an underrated ability to at least compete in pass protection. 
4 (123) Ben Powers OG/

Oklahoma

136/3rd Round If Powers can sustain blocks with more efficiency, then his ability to gain position can be effective in the NFL.  He excels with hand placement initially and passes off line games well.  His experience gives the team comfort he can translate to the next level.
4 (127)

Acquired from Philadelphia

Iman

Marshall

DB/USC 120/3rd Round It is hard to find cornerbacks who have started 48 games in school.  The Ravens found Marshall, who is physical enough to perhaps transition to the safety spot.  In a crowded cornerback room, he may be asked to shift to the safety spot in nickel/dime packages.
5 (160) Daylon Mack DT/Texas A&M 185/3rd Round The former five-star recruit’s big knock didn’t revolve around power or explosion at 330-plus pounds.  It basically comes down to endurance.  We think he can give the team a solid 20 snaps a game if needed and those snaps can be impactful. 
6 (197) Trace

McSorley

QB/Penn State 101/3rd Round We felt McSorley was one of the better quarterbacks in this year’s draft, but his final year at Penn State included a knee injury that affected his accuracy.  While most expect him to play a variety of roles for the team, we think he can be productive under center in at least a backup capacity.

 

Finley’s experience includes stints at two different schools. He led the ACC in completion percentage (67.4%) in 2018.

Cincinnati Bengals Notable picks: The Bengals were fixated on finding more competition along its offensive line and Williams will be asked to move back to his original spot in college, right tackle.  Sample is underrated as a receiver, but his true value comes as a blocker for a team intent on running the ball effectively.  Pratt’s foot speed will give him an opportunity to compete for a spot in DC Lou Anarumo’s schemes. Can Finley’s experience and maturity actually challenge Andy Dalton?
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (11) Jonah Williams OT/Alabama 46/2nd Round Williams’ experience includes starts at both the right and left tackle spots.  He is an outstanding run blocker with positive bend and mobility.  After whiffing on a number of outside tackles in prior drafts, the Bengals hope to strike gold with the former ‘Tide stalwart.
2 (52) Drew

Sample

TE/

Washington

277/4th Round Sample amplified his draft stock when he ran in the low 4.7-range at 255 pounds.  He is getting better at the little things when it comes to running routes (sinking his weight, using his size, etc..).  He can play multiple spots. 
3 (72) Germaine Pratt LB/North Carolina State 223/4th Round If Pratt -a former safety- can improve his stack-and-shed, we think he can compete early for a spot.  He has had some shoulder issues in the past, but is a fine blitz threat with good ball skills to finish interception opportunities.
4 (103) Ryan Finley QB/NC State 64/2nd Round Finley’s accurate and flexible nature is demonstrated with a quick release when his feet stay quiet in the pocket.  His playing style could fit well in Zac Taylor’s offensive schemes.
4 (125)

Acquired from Denver via Houston

Renell Wren DT/Arizona State 280/4th Round Wren played his best football late in his career but was quietly productive over a two-year stretch.  He gives the teams options in terms of moving their defensive fronts. 
4 (136)

Compensatory pick acquired via Dallas

Michael

Jordan

OG/Ohio State 131/3rd Round Jordan will get the opportunity to move back to the guard spot and play alongside former Buckeye teammate and Bengals center Billy Price.  It could prove to be a winning combination for the Bengals.
6 (182) Trayveon Williams RB/

Texas A&M

71/2nd Round It is hard to find players who rush for over 1,700 yards available in the sixth round, but there were questions surrounding Williams’ true change of direction after ordinary postseason workouts.  A closer look reveals a back capable of slipping in-and-out of tight quarters with burst and power packed into a 206-pound frame.
6 (210) Deshaun Davis LB/Auburn 150/3rd Round Davis is an instinctive linebacker who fits, wraps and seeks to inflict pain on opponents.  He got knocked for a bit of stiffness in pass coverage.  He finished his career with 266 tackles and 29 tackles for losses. 
6 (211) Rodney

Anderson

RB/

Oklahoma

246/4th Round Anderson’s talent has never been in question, but his injury history is concerning.  He is a pick that could reap major rewards if he is able to stay unscathed over the next year and a half.  The former Sooner has soft hands and is good in pass protection. 
7 (223) Jordan Brown CB/South Dakota State 90/3rd Round For the team to pick up one of the draft’s better cornerbacks in terms of size and footwork is a potential heist.  Brown, an FCS All-American, trusts his instincts, tackles well enough and may be able to play multiple spots on the backend. 

Redwine (No. 22 pictured), a former cornerback, impressed teams with 4.44 speed, a 39-inch vertical jump, 10-foot-10-inch broad jump and 4.14 20-yard short shuttle at the 2019 NFL Combine.

Cleveland Browns  Notable picks: Williams and Takitaki both have question marks surrounding different aspects of their games.  Redwine has a load of talent and the former cornerback should be able to operate effectively in man coverage versus tight ends.  Mack Wilson’s eye control will determine his ultimate place on the roster, but his kickoff coverage ability will be a bonus while he develops.  An uncertain kicking situation led to the pick of Seibert, who hasn’t had a number of pressure-packed kicks on his resume’.  Forbes’ selection indicates the team is still looking for competition on the flanks of its offensive line. 
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (46) Greedy Williams CB/LSU 45/2nd Round Williams has to play more physical to survive in a division that prides itself on that style of play.  His cover skills, short memory and outstanding ball skills give him an opportunity to earn playing time opposite Denzel Ward.
3 (80) Sione Takitaki LB/BYU 191/3rd Round Although his space tackling is an issue, he did improve in pass coverage slightly as a senior.  The Browns linebacker corps features a ton of speed, hard hitters and undervalued prospects coming out of the college ranks.  Takitaki fits the bill, but his discipline in pass coverage will ultimately determine whether he can find a role.
4 (119) Sheldrick

Redwine

S/Miami (Fla.) 196/4th Round The former CB has the hip flexibility to cover most tight ends and occasionally matches up with slot WRs effectively (UNC ’18).  His skill-set is very similar to current Browns safety Damarious Randall. 
5 (155) Mack Wilson LB/Alabama 42/2nd Round Despite starring in pass coverage in 2017, Wilson’s inconsistent eye control caused a precipitous fall on draft weekend.  His pad level needs to improve stacking-and-shedding OL (see SEC Champ ’18).  We think he is one of the best kickoff cover guys in the entire 2019 NFL Draft class.
5 (170)

Acquired from New England

Austin Seibert PK/

Oklahoma

596/6th Round Seibert carries a slight right-to-left drift on some of his shorter field goals in the NFL’s extra point range (33-yd GW FG miss, Army ’18).  In addition, he has left some returnable kickoff opportunities for opponents (TCU ’18).  On the plus side, he connected on 80-percent of his career field goal attempts, has range up to about 60 yards and can even be an effective punter in a pinch.  He placed 65 punts inside the 20-yard line during school. 
6 (189) Drew Forbes OG/

SE Missouri State

N/A Forbes ran in the 4.9-range, pumped out 28 reps at 225 pounds, and posted a 30 1/2-inch vertical jump on his Pro Day.  His footwork may give him an opportunity to play the tackle spot, the position he played at in school. 
7 (221)

Acquired from

Jacksonville

Donnie Lewis CB-Nickel/Tulane 158/3rd Round Lewis was one of the more active cornerbacks in the AAC over the last two seasons.  He routinely challenged WRs in man coverage. Postseason injury issues caused him to fall in the draft. He also has experience covering in the slot.

Snell, the Steelers fourth-round selection, was a major factor for Kentucky in the fourth quarters of games. His style fits the personality of the AFC North.

Pittsburgh Steelers Notable picks: GM Kevin Colbert and his scouting department apparently came into this draft looking to increase the team’s speed at the linebacker spot and on special teams.  Bush, Gilbert and Smith go a long way towards reaching that goal. For the second straight year, the team drafted an Alabama defensive lineman on Day 3 of the draft process.  Justin Layne adds a long corner to a group really devoid of size on the edges.  If Johnson can duplicate former WR Antonio Brown’s younger years as a punt return specialist, it could amplify his role within the offense. 
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (20)

Acquired in a trade from the Denver Broncos that sent them the 20th overall pick in the first round

Devin Bush LB/Michigan 11/1st Round Bush, our top-ranked linebacker, brings 4.43 speed and plenty of explosion to the Steelers defense.  The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year’s mentality brings a tone-setting edge to the team’s defense. 
3 (66)

Acquired from Oakland

Diontae

Johnson

All-Purpose/Toledo 189/3rd Round Johnson’s instant nature gives the team the hope that they may have found yet another gem from the MAC.  We think he offers major upside in the return game.  The 2018 MAC Special Teams Player of the Year averaged 18.5 yards per punt return as a junior and 20.2 yards per punt return in his career (2 TDs).  He also returned two kickoffs for scores while in school. 
3 (83) Justin Layne CB/Michigan State 53/2nd Round Layne is a smooth bail-and-run corner with decent fluidity.  The former WR got better as his career went along, but his sense of urgency has to improve when playing off of wideouts.
4 (122) Benny Snell RB/

Kentucky

146/3rd Round The fourth quarter finisher will compete with James Connor to finish off games. Snell’s attitude and energetic style will be a complement to the team’s running back by committee-approach.  He finished his career with 48 touchdowns. Controlling his emotions will be a big key. 
5 (141)

Acquired from Oakland

Zach Gentry TE/Michigan 448/5th Round The former New Mexico high school four-star QB recruit didn’t develop into a prized signal-caller, but he did become one of the best tight ends in the Big Ten working from the inside-out on pass patterns. Ordinary workouts likely caused a bit of a slide, but he averaged 16.1 yards per reception for the Wolverines in 2018. 
6 (175)

Acquired from Oakland

Sutton Smith LB/Northern Illinois 143/3rd Round Smith’s impressive work in terms of flexibility gives the team hope that he can develop into an exchange linebacker.  With such a knack for rushing the passer off the edge, the hope for the Steelers is his knack for timing can develop from a number of spots.  He finished his career with 30 QB sacks and 58 tackles for losses in just 39 games. 
6 (192) Isaiah Buggs DL/Alabama 319/4th Round Buggs is an intense two-gap defender who relies on power, but he is actually more efficient with his angles as a pass rusher.  He could line up as a three-technique in some of their fronts or the inside shade defensive end in others.  He has value at this spot in the draft. 
6 (207)

Compensatory pick acquired from Arizona

Ulysees Gilbert LB/Akron 313/4th Round The Zips playmaker finished with 112 tackles in a breakout junior campaign but took a bit of a step back in 2018.  He runs in the high 4.4-to-low 4.5-range and will get plenty of opportunities as a core special teams player. 
7 (219)

Acquired from Tampa Bay

Derwin Gray OT/Maryland 368/5th Round Gray has shown that he can sit in the chair and he often plays with an offensive guard’s demeanor.  He possesses adequate length to remain on the edge, but he has to stay healthy.

Q&A with Louisiana Tech OL O’Shea Dugas: Brotherhood

Former Louisiana Tech offensive lineman O’Shea Dugas lined up all over the place for the Bulldogs in what turned out to be a very good career. We sat down with Dugas during the week of 2019 East-West Shrine practices to discuss his game and overall bullying approach to football. He also gives insight into some of his one-on-one battles with the NCAA’s all-time sack leader in teammate Jaylon Ferguson.

DN: The first thing that we wanted to ask you about is when you found out you would be coming down here what was your immediate reaction?
Dugas: Excited. Excited to get to work and show my talents.

Dugas (pictured vs. Texas A&M DT Daylon Mack in the 2019 East-West Shrine practices) often re-corrals his frame once off-balance due to his 37 1/4″ arms and 86 1/2″ wingspan. The first-team All-C-USA offensive lineman blocked for three 1,000-yard rushers in school.

DN: It seems like you’re a player that has very heavy hands, been a multi-year starter. Out here (2019 East-West Shrine practices), you’ve kinda proved to a lot of people -at least thus far this week- that your power is something that people have to contend with. What do you think about how you’ve imposed your will?
Dugas: I mean, it’s part of my game. It’s what I do. I’m trying to show it as much as I can.

DN: When you think about some of the things you wanted to work on coming into your final year, what stood out at the top of the list?
Dugas: My footwork was the number one thing on my list to get better at.

DN: Was it your short-set, your quick-set, maybe getting more vertical? From a technical perspective, what do you think you kind of centered on?
Dugas: More lateral movement. My hands were there but I wasn’t always in position with my feet so that I could use my hands how I want to.

DN: Right. Talk about the success you’ve had the last couple of years winning some bowl games.
Dugas: Unfortunately, I didn’t play in the Hawaii Bowl (2018). But the first three years going to a bowl game, it was an amazing experience. It hurt me that I wasn’t able to go to Hawaii with my team. But everything works out for the best.

DN: Your offense has been one of the more productive offenses in C-USA football. You had a guy in J’Mar (Smith) who kind of came on. How was your relationship with him and Teddy Veal, who’s come on to the program and done some good things, you’ve had a running back that got drafted last year (Boston Scott, 6th Round, 201st overall, 2018 NFL Draft, New Orleans Saints). You’ve had several running backs who’ve been productive, aside from just Boston (Kenneth Dixon, 2016 NFL Draft, 4th Round, 134th overall, Baltimore Ravens). Talk about the success of those guys.
Dugas: It’s not a surprise that those guys had an opportunity to go to the league. For us, it’s a brotherhood. That’s my brother. We love to play with each other and we give everything. I’ll lay my life down for those guys at Louisiana Tech.

DN: In terms of positional versatility, you have the ability to move to either guard spot and you’ve played some tackle. What do you feel like is your best position for the next level?
Dugas: I would say guard would be my best position at the next level. But I can go in-or-out, it doesn’t matter to me.

DN: Well, you have moved around some in school. What would you say is the toughest opponent you’ve gone against? Is there one guy at the end of your career, you’d say he was a dawg?
Dugas: I’m going to have to say my dude J-Ferguson (Jaylon Ferguson, DE-Louisiana Tech). By far, he was one of the best players that I went against.

DN: In terms of competitive streak from both of y’all, what was the one thing you kind of learned from him?
Dugas: How D-ends can switch from speed-to-power. I learned from him the different hand swipes that they do and me putting my hands in the right places.

DN: No doubt. If there is an NFL player you look up to, who would it be?
Dugas: Have to be Trent Williams (Washington Redskins).

DN: Want to thank you for your time and best of luck in this year’s draft.
Dugas: Yes sir, thank you.

DN: Thank you.

Corey Chavous, DraftNasty staff reports, 2019 East-West Shrine practices, Day 1

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 12-30-18: In-game report

The Steelers squeaked past the Bengals but it wasn’t enough to qualify for the playoffs.  Despite a 16-13 victory, a number of midseason disappointments allowed the Baltimore Ravens to walk away with the AFC North division title. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Steelers spread attack

The Steelers employed the spread attack as its primary offensive set during the regular season and this included the season finale against the Bengals.  It allowed them to get their playmakers out in space but it did leave quarterback Ben Roethlisberger susceptible to increased pressure from four-man fronts.  Cincinnati only sacked Big Ben once, but they were able to get him off his throwing spot without blitzing while still keeping two safeties high.  With Antonio Brown out, Roethlisberger started the game by throwing seven completions to five different receivers.  A majority of these passes were wide receiver screens and slants.  As was my concern early in the season, Roethlisberger did fall back into a pattern of turning the football over, not only against the Bengals but all season long. For the game, Roethlisberger finished with one passing touchdown, one interception and 287 passing yards on 68-percent passing.  James Conner led the team with 64 rushing yards on 14 carries. As the Steelers assess their 2018 season offensively, look for them to carry over their spread principles into next year while also finding ways to cut down on the turnovers. 

Turnover differential 

Pittsburgh ranked sixth in scoring offense and were in the top ten in passing yards and rushing yards allowed.  The offensive and defensive stats tell a story of a successful season but turnovers doomed the Steelers and almost cost them their game against the Bengals.  In 2018, Pittsburgh finished with a -11 turnover differential, which ranked 28th in the NFL.  The other four teams with a worst differential than the Steelers were Arizona, Jacksonville, San Francisco and Tampa Bay, all teams who finished with losing records.  Against Cincinnati, Roethlisberger threw a pick- six to Shawn Williams, which represented the Bengals’ only touchdown for the game.  Defensively, Pittsburgh was not able to force the Bengals, who were missing wide receiver A.J. Green and quarterback Andy Dalton, into any mistakes. 

Cincinnati playmakers 

Cincinnati All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green caught 46 passes for 694 yards and six touchdowns despite appearing in just nine games in 2018.

With A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and Tyler Eifert out, it was evident that the Bengals just didn’t have the firepower to get players open against the Steelers.  Alex Erickson caught all six of his targets for 63 yards and was able to work over the middle but his longest catch was for just 13 yards.  The Bengals next most productive reviewer was Auden Tate, who caught one pass for 15 yards. Joe Mixon ran for 105 yards and finished with 1,168 yards on the season. The 22- year-old running back should be able to be relied upon for the long- term, but look for the Bengals to continue to try and develop their young playmakers like John Ross, a former Top 10 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. 

2018 NFL Draft Recap, pick-by-pick: AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Hayden Hurst (No. 81 pictured) runs over tacklers in a game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and Vanderbilt Commodores at Dudley Field in Nashville, TN Photo by Thomas McEwen/Draft Nasty

Notable pick: Brown could make this a home run in the draft. If his pre-draft workouts were any indication, a simple uptick in work ethic may be in order to match his impressive on-field play. Hurst and Andrews extend the middle of the field from Day 1, as does former New Mexico State high-riser Scott.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (25) Hayden

Hurst

TE-6’5 250

South Carolina 39 (2nd Round Smooth. He even spent a game tracking punts in 2016 (Georgia).   Underrated run after the catch skill.
1 (32) Trade from Philadelphia Lamar

Jackson

QB-6’2 216

Louisville 10 (1st Round) Underrated as a passer, Jackson will make tacklers miss in the NFL…too.
3 (83) Orlando

Brown

OT-6’8 345

Oklahoma 158 (3rd Round) Brown’s barrel-chested approach extended itself into the fourth quarters of games.
3 (86) Mark

Andrews

TE-6’5 256

Oklahoma 92 (3rd Round) Andrews has the ability to run routes from a flexed position and is strong enough to make contested catches.
4 (118) Anthony

Averett

CB-5’11 183

Alabama 206 (4th Round) Averett’s uncle Bryant McKinnie once played for the Ravens.
4 (122) Kenny

Young

LB-6’1 236

UCLA 187 (4th Roiund) Young’s coverage ability is reminiscent to former UCLA LB Jayon Brown (Titans).
4 (132) Jaleel

Scott

WR-6’5 218

New Mexico St. 208 (4th Round) Scott’s one-hand grab vs. Arizona State in 2017 was just one of many spectacular on-ball adjustments he made as a senior. Catch radius (34-inch arms) helps his cause.
5 (162) Jordan

Lasley

WR-6’1 203

UCLA 259 (4th Round) Lasley is a smooth receiver who balanced concentration lapses with an ability to roll speed cuts.
6 (190) DeShon

Elliott

S-6’1 210

Texas 115 (3rd Round) Elliott has some stiffness, but he reacts well breaking downhill on the ball. His eyes have been undisciplined. He has potential as a special teams cover guy.
6 (212) Greg

Senat

OT-6’5 302

Wagner 434 (5th Round) Senat brings an 84-inch wingspan and a look reminiscent to former Boise State Bronco Charles Leno coming out of school.   Leverage issues need to be corrected.
6 (215) Bradley

Bozeman

OC-6’5 317

Alabama  482 (6th Round) More of a position than drive blocker, Bozeman uses his size to win as a run blocker. A lack of foot speed is evident.
7 (238) Zach

Sieler

DE-6’6 288

Ferris State N/A Wins during the second phase of downs. His combination of size and strength could help him land a roster spot.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Former Texas LB Malik Jefferson (No. 46 pictured) will look to break into a crowded Bengals linebacking corps.
Photo by: Corey Chavous, DraftNasty Magazine

Notable picks: Price has to be able to create more forward movement for what has been a stagnant rushing attack. In addition, his line calls will be important for a unit that struggled giving up sacks. Bates III and Jefferson will have a tough time earning playing time with a number of veterans currently on the roster. The Bengals added quality depth at a number of spots on the defensive side of the ball. Harris may be the surprise of the group.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (21) Billy

Price

OC-6’4 306

Ohio State 37 (2nd Round) Price’s addition will help a unit that averaged just 3.6 yards per rushing attempt in 2017.
2 (54) Jessie

Bates III

S-6’1 200

Wake Forest 18 (2nd Round) Bates III’s eye speed is elite and his ball skills are above average. His range could enhance the Bengals’ coverage packages.
3 (77) Sam

Hubbard

DE-6’5 270

Ohio State 50 (2nd Round) Hubbard has impressive change of direction (6.88 3-cone) at 270 pounds. Needs to work on developing more speed-to-power as a pass rusher.
3 (78) Malik

Jefferson

LB-6’2 236

Texas 88 (3rd Round) Jefferson- an underrated blitzer- improved his key-and-diagnose in DC Todd Orlando’s schemes.
4 (112) Mark

Walton

RB-5’10 202

Miami (Fla.) 148 (3rd Round) Walton’s ability to break tackles is aided by an ability to run routes out of the backfield.
5 (151) Davontae

Harris

CB-5’11 205

Illinois State 98 (3rd Round) This is a player who impressed at every stop of the postseason process. He will challenge for playing time either outside or inside due to his physicality.
5 (158) Andrew

Brown

DT-6’3 294

Virginia 125 (3rd Round) Brown never quite lived up to his pre-collegiate hype, but he still produced 26.5 tackles for loss in his career.
5 (170) Darius

Phillips

AP-5’10 188

Western Michigan 190 (4th Round) Phillips, an all-purpose maestro, scored 14 touchdowns five different ways in school. He needs work on his coverage techniques at corner.
7 (249) Logan

Woodside

QB-6’1 213

Toledo 402 (5th Round) Woodside’s proclivity for the big stage shined when facing teams like Miami (Fla.) in 2017. His efficiency, athleticism and moxie make for a good combination.
7 (252) Rod

Taylor

OG-6’3 320

Ole Miss 111 (3rd Round) Taylor has started at LT, RT and RG in school.   He projects inside but could be a backup at a number of spots.
7 (253) Auden

Tate

WR-6’5 228

FSU  239 (4th Round) Tate led the ACC in touchdown receptions as a senior (10), but there are questions surrounding his ability to create separation in short areas.
 

 

 

Cleveland Browns Notable pick: The Browns may have found their new lockdown cornerback in Ward (No. 12 pictured). Could he be an even better version of former Browns Pro Bowler Joe Haden? The team has now created quality depth at the cornerback spot with Ward, Howard Wilson, Boddy-Calhoun, Taylor and recent signee Travis Carrie.
Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (1) Baker

Mayfield

QB-6’0 216

Oklahoma 54 (2nd Round) Mayfield’s mentality may be the juice that the Browns need as an organization. He will need to prove he can handle the elements.
1 (4) Denzel

Ward

CB-5’11 183

Ohio State 9 (1st Round) Ward brings immediate nickel potential from Day 1 with his level of footwork and quickness. He will need to improve playing with his back to the quarterback. Rare physical skill-set.
2 (33) Austin

Corbett

OL-6’4 310

Nevada 42 (2nd Round) Corbett- a college LT- can provide assistance at any of four offensive line spots. He is one of this draft’s smartest prospects.
2 (35) Nick

Chubb

RB-6’0 227

Georgia 26 (2nd Round) One of the SEC’s all-time best runners, Chubb will be a workhorse if he can remain healthy.
3 (67) Chad

Thomas

DE-6’5 281

Miami (Fla.) 142 (3rd Round) Thomas may eventually morph into a four-technique DE, but he already can be a factor inside on third downs for Gregg Williams’ multiple fronts.
4 (105) Antonio

Calllaway

WR-5’10 200

Florida 163 (3rd Round) Callaway has to become more consistent in his decision-making both on and off the field. Just as quick as he is fast.
5 (150) Genard

Avery

LB-6’0 248

Memphis 59 (2nd Round) Powerball player who runs over opponents.   Impressed scouts with his 4.5 speed in the postseason.
6 (175) Damion

Ratley

WR-6’3 200

Texas A&M 405 (5th Round) Ratley has 4.4 speed and is shifty after the catch. He will need to eliminate the concentration drops and speed up his release vs. bump-and-run.
6 (188) Simeon

Thomas

CB-6’3 203

Louisiana-Lafayette 625 (7th Round) Off-and-on starter whose size allows him to recover down the field. His cousin, Marvin Bracy, was a two-time All-USA selection in track & field

 

Pittsburgh Steelers Notable pick: Edmunds (No. 22 pictured) will challenge for playing time immediately and put pressure on whoever is in front of him at safety. He could very well play the role of former Steeler and current free agent Mike Mitchell.
Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (28) Terrell

Edmunds

S-6’2 220

Virginia Tech 133 (3rd Round) Edmunds has covered the slot, played in the box, and also contributed on special teams. Impressed the Hokies’ coaching staff with his toughness playing through a shoulder injury in 2017.
2 (60) James

Washington

WR-5’11 213

Oklahoma St. 48 (2nd Round) Plays faster than he times in T-shirts and shorts. Has the length of an offensive tackle. Tracks the ball.
3 (76) Mason

Rudolph

QB-6’5 234

Oklahoma State 102 (3rd Round) Rudolph goes into a situation where he can develop behind a quarterback who is similar in size.
3 (92) Chukwuma

Okorafor

OT-6’6 320

Western Michigan 138 (3rd Round) Okorafor actually played LT when Willie Beavers was in school but he will likely project to the right side for the Steelers. He may be a better run than pass blocker.
5 (148) Marcus

Allen

S-6’2 215

Penn State 119 (3rd Round) One of college football’s best tacklers, Allen has to improve his ability to steal second base off the hash.
5 (165) Jaylen

Samuels

AP-5’11 225

NC State 95 (3rd Round) Samuels never seems to be going at a speed where he allows himself to get out of control. While it works offensively, he will need to play with more of a sense of urgency to contribute consistently on special teams.
7 (246) Joshua

Frazier

DT-6’3 321

Alabama 494 (6th Round) Frazier exhibited a powerful long-arm to post back guards and centers. He is active but too often gets tied up losing to the spot.

Q&A with Cincinnati Bengals safety Clayton Fejedelem

Long before Cincinnati Bengals safety Clayton Fejedelem made it to the NFL, he made quite a statement in his final season for the Fighting Illini.  After starring at St. Xavier (an NAIA school in Illinois), Fejedelem decided to walk-on at Illinois in the spring of 2013. In his final season in the Big Ten, he led the conference with 140 tackles. DraftNasty’s Corey Chavous caught up with the former high school wrestler during the week of the 2016 East-West Shrine game to find out what drives him day-to-day.

Corey: What’s been the best experience so far this week in terms adjusting to these players after having such a good year in the Big Ten?

Fejedelem: It’s nice coming down and getting the top players in the nation from all over the nation. So you get to kinda test your worth
against a lot more conferences, a lot more different styles of play, different offenses and it’s pretty cool.  The coolest thing coming down here was getting the opportunity to talk to all those different scouts and all the guys you’ll see in the future.

Corey:  When you look at your game and how it evolved, would you say one of the more underrated aspects was just how quick you triggered forward in some of the quick game stuff when you were in man coverage (like against Minnesota)?  Talk about your eyes and how you see things on the field.

Fejedelem: Absolutely.  I take pride in preparing myself for the game, watching the film so I get out there and it’s muscle memory.  You only need to see a few keys and you already know the play that’s coming.  I take pride in the speed that I play the game and I think that’s one of my biggest assets.

Corey:  It seemed like there was competition between you and your other safety-mate (No. 3 Taylor Barton) when it came to just getting to the football and breaking on the football.  Was there a little inter-competition between you and him?

Fejedelem:  Me and Taylor Barton are pretty good friends off the field.  In practice, we’re always messing with each other on who can get their hands on more footballs and in the game it’s no different. That’s how you get paid..so.  He came up on top with a few more interceptions than I did this year.

Corey: You had more tackles though.

Fejedelem: I had a lot more tackles. There were throwing his way because there were scared to throw my way.  That’s the reason (laughs).

Corey:  That’s what I like to hear.  Finally, you kind of remind me of one of my former teammates, the late Pat Tillman (Arizona Cardinals, 1998-01),  in your tenacity and ability to get to the football. Also in your ability to play special teams.  Who do you compare yourself to at the next level?

Fejedelem: Currently playing, probably Eric Weddle (Baltimore Ravens). He’s out there and he’ s kind of a savage.  I like his style
of play; he’s very scrappy.  If I’m going back some years, I try to model my game as kind of a hybrid Ed Reed/Brian Dawkins.
Reed’s ballhawking ability and he wasn’t afraid to stick his neck in there. And Brian Dawkins was just an overall freak.  I try to hybrid
that.

Corey: Talk about your work in the weight room. What are your expectations in the short shuttle and other testing? Your coaches have talked about you being one of the faster players on the team. Tell us a little bit about your workout numbers, some of the stuff you’ve put up and what are your goals for the postseason?

Fejedelem:  Right.  I was one of the workout warriors as our head strength coach (former Illinois head strength coach Aaron Hillman) would say. I just enjoy the grind; I really do.  I think the more you prepare yourself in the offseason the better it’s gonna be.  Even if you are the most talented player all the extra work is gonna make you that much better. I put the extra time in with the squats, the benching.  I did pretty well last summer with my 225-lb test; I’m shooting a little bit higher.  I think that test was 22 (reps); right around there.  I’m shooting for that 38-inch vertical; right around there.  And I’d like to get under a four (4.0) in the shuttle and 40 (yard dash), try to run that high 4.4.

Corey: That’s awesome man.  We just want to wish you continued success and thank you for your time. Make it to the league.

Fejedelem: Thank you.  Appreciate it.

—Corey Chavous, 2016 East-West Shrine practices