Tag Archives: Green Bay Packers

Fresno flanker’s NFL family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indianapolis Colts vs. Washington Redskins, 9-16-18: In-game report

Washington had a chance to move to 2-0 for the first time since 2011 but strong play from the Colts defense and key adjustments in the offensive passing game led to an upset.  Washington (1-1) fell to Indianapolis (1-1), 21-9.  DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:

Darius Leonard 

Meet the NFL’s tackle leader: Darius Leonard, the 31st-ranked player on DraftNasty's 2018 Big Board.  And if you watched Leonard at South Carolina State this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Leonard stuffed the stat sheet against the Redskins, posting 18 tackles, one quarterback sack, a forced fumble and a pass deflection.  As his numbers would indicate, Leonard was dominant in the run and pass game.  What was most impressive in the game against Washington was Leonard’s ability to use his closing speed to diagnose plays and keep potential 10-15 yard gains to minimal pickups. The rookie linebacker wears the helmet transmitter during games and has made himself into the quarterback of the defense.   His athleticism allows him to match up against tight ends and running backs in the pass game and is willing to help in the run game. He reminds me of Derrick Brooks with his sideline-to-sideline quickness and his matchup versatility.  Look for the Colts, who are in a rebuilding mode, to continue to build the defense around rookie linebacker Darius Leonard.

Colts offense

Hilton has 12 receptions and two receiving touchdowns in the first two games of the year.

Frank Reich has made a name in the NFL as a coach because of his ability to adapt and tailor his game plans from week-to-week. The Colts used a heavy diet of pick plays against man-to-man coverage that caught the Redskins off guard.  Washington has several corners, including Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar, who excel in press man coverage and the pick routes used by the Colts allowed their quick-twitched receivers to roam free over the middle of the field and took away the Redskins' strong suit of jamming receivers at the line. T.Y. Hilton, the Colts star receiver, was the beneficiary of the game plan and from the first drive of the game it was clear that the Colts plan of attack centered on getting Norman off of his body.  To begin the second quarter, Luck bought Hilton in motion from the right sideline to the numbers and immediately snapped the ball, which gave the Pro Bowl receiver more room to work with on his post route against Norman, who couldn’t jam the receiver at the line. Hilton finished with seven catches for 83 yards and a touchdown against Washington.

Redskins offense

If the Colts offense was original, the Redskins offense was vanilla and predictable.  The Redskins  finished with just 65 rushing yards and 269 passing yards, the bulk of which came in garbage time. Washington thrived in Week 1 with a balanced running attack but as has been the case in Jay Gruden’s tenure, the team has a tendency to abandon the run for no obvious reason.  The team's receivers aren’t at the level to carry their offense and struggled against the Colts cornerbacks to get separation in their routes.  Look for Washington to get back to a more balanced attack against Green Bay as Gruden may open the game with a deep ball or two to loosen up the Packers secondary.

 

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

NFC North

 

Green Bay Packers

Alexander (No. 10 pictured) may be relied upon to work at the nickel back spot for the Packers.

Notable picks: Alexander and Jackson could eventually develop into the two outside starting cornerbacks. Alexander’s ability to return kicks, play outside or in the slot makes him one of the more versatile players in the 2018 NFL Draft. The potential combination of Alexander, Jackson and Kevin King could be game-changing for the Packers secondary.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (18) Jaire

Alexander CB-5’10 196

Louisville 40 (2nd Round) Teams relied heavily on his outstanding 2016 film. Believes in his recipe. Will he play the nickel with Jackson and King on the outside.
2 (45) Josh

Jackson

CB-6’0 196

Iowa 55 (2nd Round) Jackson is used to this part of the country and the elements won’t be a factor. His ball skills will aid a defense which finished 23rd in pass defense.
3 (88) Trade from Carolina Oren

Burks

LB-6’3 233

Vanderbilt 71 (3rd Round) Burks adds another coverage linebacker to a group that needs more on-field speed. The former safety has all of the tools to develop into at least a nickel contributor in Year 1.
4 (133) J’Mon

Moore

WR-6’3 207

Missouri 160 (3rd Round) Moore was the rare SEC wide receiver to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
5 (138) Cole

Madison

OL-6’5 307

Washington St. 127 (3rd Round) Former TE with good feet, durability and tackle experience. While he played RT in school, he could battle former UCF star Justin McCray (8 starts in 2017) for playing time at OG.
5 (172) JK

Scott

P-6’6 208

Alabama 411 (5th Round) Four-year starter who punted and kicked off the ‘Tide. Can be dominant kicking in Domes. Catch-and-kick times average between 1.15 and 1.25 seconds. Reminiscent of former Clemson punter Bradley Pinion.
5 (174) Marquez

Valdes-Scantling

WR-6’4 207

USF 281 (4th Round) Valdes-Scantling built on a good junior campaign with a breakout senior campaign.
6 (207) Equanimeous

St. Brown

WR-6’5 214

Notre Dame 80 (3rd Round) St. Brown probably may have more to give than even the team’s fifth-round pick. Regardless of the team’s QB play, he didn’t finish on the ball as well in 2017.
7 (232) James

Looney

DL-6’3 287

California 243 (4th Round) NFL bloodlines are complemented by a steady diet of lateral quickness and strong hands. He is an inconsistent pass rusher and Tyson Alualu-type.   35 ½” VJ.
7 (239) Hunter

Bradley

LS-6’3 241

Mississippi State N/A (long snappers, page 388 of Corey Chavous’ 2018 Draft Guide) Bradley, a long snapper, ran in the 4.7-range and was a big reason for P Logan Cooke’s success.
7 (248) Kendall

Donnerson

DE-6’3 250

SE Missouri State N/A Donnerson turned heads in private workouts prior to the draft with a 40” VJ and 10’11” BJ.

 

 

Chicago Bears

Smith's ability (No. 3 pictured) to run down plays laterally could increase the speed of an already formidable Bears rush defense.

Notable Pick: Smith could make life painful for opposing running backs as he combines with playmaker Danny Trevathan. He rejoins former Georgia Bulldog teammate Leonard Floyd.   All of the linebackers will have to pay attention to fourth-round pick Joel Iyiebuniwe. He could challenge for playing time.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (8) Roquan

Smith

6’1 236

Georgia 13 (1st Round) Smith’s speed will increase a defensive unit that is going…all the way up.
2 (39) James

Daniels

6’4 295

Iowa 41 (2nd Round) Daniels has he mobility to challenge for a starting offensive guard spot right away. In addition, he is athletic enough to backup at a tackle position.
2 (51) Anthony

Miller

5’11 201

Memphis 43 (2nd Round) Miller’s quickness will open up options on the outside or in the slot. His play speed will make him a major option in the run-pass-option game with Trubisky.
4 (115) Joel

Iyiebuniwe

LB-6’1 229

Western Kentucky 112 (3rd Round) The Bears continue to overhaul their LB corps with a ‘backer who can run and hit.
5 (145) Bilal

Nichols

DT-6’3 306

Delaware 97 (3rd Round) Nichols very easily could have gone higher if not for questions regarding his pad level. He could provide a challenge for DE Jonathan Bullard.
7 (224) Javon

Wims

WR-6’4 215

Georgia,

Belhaven

223 (4th Round) The Bears took a late-round flyer on a player who excelled adjusting to tough passes in 2017. He’s another tall, long wideout in the mold of current Bears Robinson and White. Can he play special teams?

 

 

 

Minnesota Vikings

Carlson connected on 13 field goals of 50 or more yards in school.

Notable pick: Carlson’s ability to hit field goals near the midfield mark will extend the team’s offensive range. Jalen Holmes brings positional versatility to the table and could be a big factor on third downs rushing from an interior line position.   Aruna could become a Day 3 find with his immense level of athleticism.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (29) Mike

Hughes

CB-5’10 183

UCF 16 (2nd Round) Hughes not only offers sub-package immediate potential, he is one of the draft’s best returners.
2 (62) Brian

O’Neill

OT-6’6 298

Pittsburgh 66 (3rd Round) O’Neill has starting potential as a left tackle if he can learn to sit down with more urgency.
4 (102)

 

Jalen

Holmes

DE-6’5 283

Ohio State 156 (3rd Round) Holmes can play up-and-down a defensive front.   He is improving with his hand usage.
5 (167) Daniel

Carlson

PK-6’5 223

Auburn 267 (4th Round) Despite six blocked kicks in school, he kicked 13 field goals of 50 yards or more.
6 (213) Colby

Gossett

OL-6’5 311

Appalachian State 105 (3rd Round) Gossett started 37 games at RG, 8 games at RT and one game at OC in school.
6 (218) Ade

Aruna

OLB-6’5 262

Tulane 219 (3rd Round) Former two-star recruit was much better in 2016 when he stood up as a two-point OLB much of the year.
7 (225) Devante

Downs

LB-6’1 245

California 515 (6th Round) Downs finished his career with 211 tackles and five interceptions despite missing significant time as a senior.   His eye speed makes up for ordinary explosion.

 

Detroit Lions

Johnson's workhorse mentality was complemented with an ability to throw the halfback pass.

Notable picks: Detroit went into this draft with the desire to get more physical on both sides of the ball. They drafted Johnson to run behind Ragnow and then selected the draft’s best blocking fullback in Bawden. Johnson will make-or-break this crop. If he can provide a one-two punch with some of the current Lions backs, it will finally take pressure off of Matthew Stafford.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (20) Frank

Ragnow

C-6’5 307

Arkansas 121 (3rd Round) Ragnow has always carried starter-traits, but leverage can be an issue for him vs. squatty nose guards.
2 (43) Trade from New England Kerryon

Johnson

RB-5’11 213

Auburn 101 (3rd Round) Johnson’s power and stride length make him look like a 6’2 runner on the field. He contains underrated lower body explosiveness at 213 pounds.   Easy mover.
4 (114) from New England Da’Shawn

Hand

DL-6’4 297

Alabama 137 (3rd Round) Hand is a player with heavy hands and an ability to defend the run. He may never be a great pass rusher, but he fits the profile desired on an underrated defensive front.
 
5 (153) Tyrell

Crosby

OT-6’5 319

Oregon 14 (1st Round) Crosby ranks as one of the best steals of the draft.   He may not look the part, but his 11-inch hands and 35-inch arms will make a difference at the right tackle spot.
7 (237) Nick

Bawden

FB-6’2 240

San Diego State 210 (4th Round) Bawden –a former college quarterback- reads through defenses with an ability to seek and destroy.   A true passion player with huge upside as a blocker. He adds substance to the team’s desire to run effectively in December.