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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.
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‘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?
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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. 
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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,

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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.

Related Images:

DraftNasty spotlights Baltimore Ravens 2018 1st Round pick Lamar Jackson

Former Louisville QB Lamar Jackson accounted for 119 touchdowns in back-to-back ACC Offensive Player of the Year seasons (2016-17).  Along the way, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner produced over 5,000 yards in each of his final two seasons.  We go deep inside his game in our video spotlight.

 

Q&A with former Penn State TE Mike Gesicki: ‘Eveready’

Former Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki has all of the tools to become one of the NFL's next multi-dimensional tight ends.  The former Under Armour All-American and Southern Regional High School (N.J.) basketball and volleyball standout often leapt over the competition in Happy Valley.   He is a player who has shown a knack for the clutch grabs on some of the team's biggest stages. We caught up with the Academic All-Big Ten standout  during the week of 2018 Senior Bowl practices to discuss his confidence, athleticism and goals for the future.

Gesicki (pictured with ball) ran in the mid-4.5s (40-yard), had a 41 1/2" vertical jump, 10'9" broad jump and 6.76 3-cone drill at the 2018 NFL Combine.

DN: In terms of your week (Senior Bowl 2018) how have you felt it has gone? Seems like you've been a tough match-up for a lot of the guys covering you, both safeties and linebackers.  How have you felt about your route running?

Gesicki: I felt really good all week.  Starting on Tuesday and leading all the way up to this practice and then through it.  Felt really good.  I'm a kind of guy that's really confident in my abilities.  So when I line up I know I'm going to win.  Whether it's man coverage or if it's zone I'm going to find that open spot.  So, all week in the one-on-ones that's all of the stuff that I take pride in.  It's you versus another man and I'm doing whatever I can to win.

DN: It seems like a lot of your numbers that you've had -in terms of your workout numbers- were amazing in school.  10'7" broad, you run in the 4.5-range and 38, 39-inch vertical. Talk a little bit about some of your goals for the combine and Pro Days.

Gesicki:  Yeah, the combine...that's kind of something that people ask me, 'Are you nervous for the combine?', all that kind of stuff.  No, I'm not nervous at all.  That's kind of what I do.  I run fast, I jump high, I'm strong, all that kind of stuff.  So when I go to the combine I've got goals and aspirations that I want to reach.  Whatever it is I'm going to continue to train and continue to work hard.  I obviously want to run anywhere around the 4.55-range in that area (40-yard dash).  Like you said, I want to get up in the long jump and try to break the record of 11'2" for tight ends.  I want to get somewhere around 11'3.  Just continue to show off my athletic ability.

DN: Finally, confidence has always been a big part of your game. When you get a one-on-one matchup, you've wanted the ball throughout your career.  Talk a little bit about what brings that out in you.

Gesicki: My entire life it's just kind of been who I am in terms of confidence. Playing basketball growing up, if there was three seconds left I want to take the last shot.  Now (at PSU) if we are in the Red Zone, one-on-one, I want the ball.  Last play of the game, put it up to me on third down.  Whatever it is, that's just kind of who I am.  I'm a big-time competitor.  I'm going to do whatever it takes to win. I'm very confident in my abilities. So when I get out on the field and my number is called, I know I'm going to come up and deliver.

DN:  Best of luck man. Appreciate the time.

Gesicki: Thank you very much.

----2018 Senior Bowl practices, Day 3

DraftNasty staff reports

DraftNasty’s Week 1, in-game report: Kentucky vs. Southern Miss, 9-2-17

We go inside the game of a few prospects who stood out in Kentucky's hard-fought 24-17 victory over the Golden Eagles this past Saturday.

Kentucky Wildcats

93 Matt Panton 6'5 233 P-Senior

The Australian-bred punter had an outstanding day for the Wildcats.  The fact that he averaged 42 yards per punt on nine kicks tells just part of the story.  In what proved to be a battle of field position throughout the afternoon, the rugby-style punter often pinned the Golden Eagles deep in their own territory.  One of his pooch punts was downed at the one-yard line after a funny bounce and he had another pooch punt that he got off in a respectable 1.22 catch-and-kick time.  While he lacked hang time (3.91) on yet another punt that was fair caught at the 15-yard line, he did generate 57 yards in distance on the kick.  Despite prototypical NFL-size for a punter,  the biggest question mark remains how he would fare kicking from a traditional style.

41 Josh Allen 6'5 230 OLB-Junior

Stats: 5 tackles, QB sack, 3 TFLs, FF

Allen did a fine job of working through traffic to slant inside (from a 2-pt LOLB spot) when the team ran zone blitzes from the wide side of the field.  From this same OLB spot, he ran down screens and quick swing passes that worked away from him with positive lateral pursuit angles.  When the team attempted to block him with H-back Julian Allen, he used his hands to snatch-and-pull him while maintaining his force as the quarterback flushed his way.  Despite somewhat of an angular frame, he translated speed-to-power to nearly post a safety running through Golden Eagles OT Paul Gainer, Jr. from the ROLB spot in the fourth quarter.  Allen's ability to slip OTs was evident from either side, and he posted a quarterback sack and forced fumble in the first half.  He was equally effective slipping offensive guards when aligned head-up over them.  The junior's versatility shined when they used him to walk out over the slot as he changed directions to break with fluidity versus screen passes.

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

32 Xavier Thigpen 6'5 240 OLB-Senior

Coming into the game, we knew Thigpen would line up all over the place in DC Tony Pecoraro's multiple schemes.   Once again, he was often featured in a stand-up OLB position in the team's amoeba defenses on third down.  He flattened effectively to thwart a Kentucky inside run on a 3rd and 6 attempt, displaying adequate flexibility.  On this play, Pecoraro had all 11 players standing up prior to the snap.  His versatility also showed up when re-mapping his course to stop a potential big kickoff return in kickoff coverage.  With his hand in the dirt as a LDE, he still needs work constricting his courses to prevent getting pushed by the pocket.  He was at least satisfactory plugging the puller versus power schemes.  His leggy nature was a bit evident when attempting to defeat cross-blocks from H-backs on split zone run concepts.

19 Curtis Mikell 5'8 170 CB-Senior

The diminutive Mikell has always overcome his size with zeal and fire.  Additionally, he's adept at climbing the ball to fend-off potential catch opportunities down the field for bigger opponents.  In this game, he used his bail technique to keep vision on the quarterback before going up to deflect a post pattern away from the Wildcats 6'3, 214-pound sophomore WR Tavin Richardson.  His vision came up big when mid-pointing a seam route from the outside-in to nearly pick off another pass when in three-deep zone.  He also showed the ability to turn-and-run on a go route when in off-man coverage   versus one of Kentucky's faster wideouts in Isaiah Epps.  His tackling stood out when defending smoke screens to the Kentucky wide receivers.