Tag Archives: Grant Delpit

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.

Maestro of Returns

Utah State wide receiver/kickoff returner Savon Scarver’s foot speed and elusiveness have put him on a historic pace. Although he has returned just eight kickoffs in 2019, the Aggie speedster is averaging nearly 43.8 yards per kickoff return. As of press date, he is the all-time leader in career kickoff return average in the Mountain West Conference. He has several attributes that distinguish him in this phase of his game.

Technique

Since his insertion into the team’s kickoff return game back in 2017, Scarver has excelled on right returns that feature a double team. During this season (2017), the Aggies would occasionally double team the R4 (fourth man in from the outside-in) on the opposing team’s kickoff coverage unit (with their right tackle and right guard). One of the reasons he is effective on these types of returns surrounds his ability to swerve through traffic. His swivel hips allow him to stay on a north-south trek without losing speed. Many of these returns during that year featured a five-man front (left tackle, left guard, center, right guard and right tackle) on the Aggies kickoff return team (five men on the front line).

On this kickoff return against New Mexico State in the 2017 Arizona Bowl, Scarver’s balance and underrated core strength prevent him from losing speed as he navigates through traffic. Prior to any of that happening, however, it is his underrated ability to catch the ball coming forward that allows him to get on top of the kickoff return unit. Many of the all-time best kickoff returners gain one-to-two steps by creating a lean with their posture as they field the ball.

Top-end speed

Scarver’s 101-yard kickoff return against Nevada on October 19, 2019 came out of a 4-2 kickoff return front (six-man front). Normally, many of these fronts feature four of the blockers in the six-man front aligned 10-to-12 yards from the ball. The two centers (right center and left center) normally align approximately 15-to-20 yards from the ball in-between the left guard and right guard. On this return, the Aggies front featured the two centers aligned 10 yards from the kickoff team with its left and right guards aligned in-between the tackles and centers.

The Aggies used an inverted 2-4 kickoff return alignment on their first return versus Nevada in 2019. The two guards (left and right) align at the 45-yard line in-between the tackles (aligned at the 49-yard line) and centers (aligned at the 46-yard line).

This front allows the Aggies left tackle (37 Sam Lockett, 6’0 190, S-FR) and left guard (25 Jarrod Green, 5’11 180, CB-SOPH.) to execute a double team on the fourth man in from the right (Nevada’s L4 in their blocking designation). At that point, Scarver is asked to pop the return going to his left. As opposed to bouncing the return, he squeezed it back vertically off the block of the team’s right wing (47 Logan Lee, 6’4 245, TE-JR.) versus the third man in from the right side (Nevada’s L3). It took just one small swivel from Scarver to elude Nevada’s placekicker in the middle of the field. Once he did, the former Centennial HS (Nev.) prep level track star easily ran away from Nevada’s kickoff coverage unit en route to his 101-yard touchdown. The former 21.5-second 200-meter speedster once set a state record with a 37.8-second time in the 300-meter hurdles. He is not going to be caught once he reaches his top gear.

Areas of improvement

When we first saw Scarver back in 2017, we felt as if he had an opportunity to develop into a top-notch wide receiver prospect as well. While he can break down the cushion of unsuspecting defensive backs, he has not been totally reliable as a pass receiver. He let a quick slant carom off of his shoulder pads against LSU in the fourth quarter after beating Tigers senior cornerback Kristian Fulton off the line of scrimmage. A possession earlier, his speed varied on a post route and then he was unable to wrestle the ball away from LSU safety Grant Delpit.

Scarver caught five passes for 90 yards in a 23-17 win over San Diego State on September 21, 2019.

Of quarterback Jordan Love’s three interceptions versus LSU, two were on targets to Scarver. On the first interception, he beat LSU cornerback Derek Stingley off the line of scrimmage on a fade pattern but Love underthrew the ball and Stingley picked it off. Overall, his physical ability shined on occasion against LSU’s cornerbacks but he wasted too much time at the line of scrimmage. Physical corners can deter his paths.

At this point, he has morphed into an elite return specialist by trade. For him to become a dual-threat in the true sense of the word, Scarver needs to return to his early season form. If so, he could help re-ignite Love’s draft stock over the last month of the season. The two should be on more of the same page in their third season together.