Tag Archives: Josh Allen

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

Omenihu, the Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2018, has nearly 37-inch arms. He could be a fit in DC Romeo Crennel's schemes.
Houston Texans Notable picks: Howard and Johnson both ranked in our Top 50 and represent potential starting players in Year 1.  Scharping is as technically advanced as any OL in the draft and Warring could be a factor in two tight end sets.  The signing of Matt Kalil ensures the team goes into training camp with competition at the offensive tackle spot. Of the team’s Day 3 draft picks, Omenihu may be asked to adjust right away from a need perspective. Will Fuller’s injury history could leave the team depending on backups again late in the year.
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

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Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (23) Tytus Howard OT/Alabama State 41/2nd Round The former high school quarterback often talked about the task of gaining weight and has gotten up to the 322-pound range.  His quick-footed nature could become a fit on the right side for the Texans.
2 (54) Lonnie Johnson CB/

Kentucky

47/2nd Round Johnson’s occasional pass interference penalty sometimes comes from not using his length to disrupt the wide receiver’s release.  When he does, it is tough for the wide receiver to get off the line. On the plus side, his tackling technique and hip flexibility make for a unique combination at 6’2, 213 pounds. 
2 (55) Max

Scharping

OT/Northern Illinois 81/2nd Round We talked about how Scharping’s NFL Combine performance alleviated some of the concerns about pure quickness heading into the draft.  The Texans went into this year’s draft hoping to cure some of the ills along its offensive line and this selection continues to work in that direction. 
3 (88) Kahale

Warring

TE/San Diego State 57/2nd Round Warring uses his foot speed to get on top of opponents as a receiver.  He still needs refinement in terms of sustaining blocks, but his best football is ahead of him.
5 (161) Charles Omenihu DE/Texas 122/3rd Round Omenihu’s 36 1/2-inch arms continued to aid him in his development while in school.  The Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year began to display increased pass rush acumen as a senior when it came to counters.  He is a solid run defender and will compete with Carlos Watkins, who has largely been disappointing. 
6 (195) Xavier Crawford CB/Central Michigan, Oregon State 300/4th Round After missing seven games at Oregon State in 2017 due to a back injury, the first-team All-MAC corner defended 13 passes in 2018.  He competes on routes outside the numbers.
7 (220) Cullen Gillaspia FB/Texas A&M N/A Texas A&M’s 12th man was a special teams stalwart and team captain.  The former walk-on posted nine tackles in 2016.
Tell III (No. 7 pictured) impressed NFL personnel at the 2019 NFL Combine with a 42"vertical jump, 11'4" broad jump, 4.01 20-yard short shuttle and a 6.63-second time in the three-cone drill.
Indianapolis Colts Notable picks: General manager Chris Ballard continues to add positive pieces to one of the better young rosters in the NFL.  Ya-Sin and Banogu have a chance to add an element of speed and toughness that the defense continues to expand.  Okereke and Willis will be special teams contributors in Year 1 with the expectation that they can challenge for bigger roles early.  Tell III may be asked to move to cornerback, where his smooth change of direction could perhaps shine.  Campbell has the speed to stretch defenses vertically to take some of the pressure off of stud WR T.Y. Hilton, but his potential contributions in the kick return game should not be underestimated.  Patterson will compete to backup all three interior line spots.
Round,

Selection,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (34) Rock Ya-Sin CB/Temple, Presbyterian 63/2nd Round The first-team All-AAC selection has a background that includes a stint as an All-Big South corner for the Blue Hose.  Watching him play puts you in the mind frame of viewing a 6-foot-2 corner (he is nearly 6'0) because he plays bigger than even his size would indicate. 
2 (49) Ben Banogu DE-OLB/TCU 44/2nd Round Banogu moved around so much in school and with so much effectiveness, he shouldn’t have been pigeon-holed as a Rush outside linebacker.  His loose nature gives him options, but the team is expected to start him with his hand in the dirt. 
2 (59) Parris Campbell All-Purpose/

Ohio State

39/2nd Round Campbell’s speed was used more going sideways in school, but he did work the middle of the field on deep crossing patterns and square-ins.The team has a number of targets already efficient in those roles, so how he is incorporated will be interesting to observe.  He may be a dynamo as a kickoff returner early.
3 (89) Bobby

Okereke

LB/Stanford 162/3rd Round Okereke’s speed would seem to be a match for the type of scheme the Colts run.  His size/speed/weight ratio is in line with 2018 Defensive Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard and fellow LB Anthony Walker.  He will start off as a special teams contributor.
4 (109)

Acquired from Oakland via Jacksonville

Khari Willis S/Michigan State 87/3rd Round Willis’ high football IQ and overall steady nature earned him praise through the draft process.  His ability to cover tight ends at 213 pounds also adds to his value.  He gives the Colts unique depth at the safety spot.
5 (144)

Acquired from Cleveland via Jacksonville

Marvell Tell III DB/USC 387/5th Round We speculated that a team would look at Tell’s physical profile and project him to cornerback.  He may in fact get an opportunity to show off his cover skills outside in training camp. 
5 (164) EJ Speed LB/Tarleton State N/A Speed overcame some off the field and injury concerns to get into the draft after totaling 106 tackles, 5 QB sacks and 12.5 TFLs in 2018. 
6 (199) Gerri Green OLB/

Mississippi State

210/4th Round Green appeared in 52 games during school and has made starts at both DE and OLB.  He will likely become an exchange linebacker, where he has been pretty good at sliding and shuffling despite weighting in the 250-pound range.  Versatile performer. 
7 (240) Jackson Barton OT/Utah 341/5th Round Barton’s lateral kick-slide won to a spot on many occasions in pass pro.  He is a decent athlete with questionable leverage.  There are possibilities for him to compete with Joe Haeg and Le’Raven Clark for a backup spot outside.
7 (246)

Acquired from Philadelphia via New England

Javon

Patterson

OL/Ole Miss 404/5th Round The former five-star recruit has to overcome small hands that make it difficult to latch.  On the positive side, he is an effective pulling option and cuts off on angles with efficiency as a run blocker.  The fact that he has started at OG and OC could him stick in Indy.

 

Taylor (No. 65 pictured), a former Freshman All-American, made starts at both right tackle and left tackle as a Gator.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars Notable picks: It will be interesting to see DC Todd Wash intends to use Allen.  He got up to around the 262-pound mark prior to the draft, but he has played in the 240-pound range in the past.  He has enough flexibility to be at least serviceable in coverage, but they drafted him to rush the passer.  The selection of Taylor would seem to add positive depth to an offensive line always in search of physical players.  Williams and Armstead will increase the team’s speed on special teams. This was a solid, if unspectacular, draft haul that produced a number of players who fit the personality and make-up of the current roster. 
Round,

Selection,

Player School DN Big Board

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Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (7) Josh Allen Kentucky 6/1st Round Allen will get an opportunity to build on what was a breakout senior year.  He finished his career with 41 tackles for losses and 11 forced fumbles.  His activity in school was his biggest strength.  Look for the team to make him a wild card type of player tough to identify.
2 (35) Jawaan

Taylor

OT/Florida 7/1st Round There may have been some concerns about Taylor’s health, but he is in line with what the Jaguars want to do when it comes to running the ball.  Taylor has quality footwork that shines when he is in optimum condition.
3 (69) Josh Oliver TE/San Jose State 107/3rd Round Oliver’s foot speed, ball skills and ability to flex add an element perhaps missing from the team’s offense prior to the draft.  He and free agent acquisition Geoff Swaim could potentially form a solid one-two punch at the position. 
3 (98) Quincy Williams LB/Murray State 339/5th Round Quinnen Williams’ older brother found a way to sneak into the third round due to his speed and explosiveness.  The former safety was frequently walked-out in an overhang position for the Racers, and there is work to be done when it comes to key-and-diagnose from the exchange LB spot.
5 (140) Ryquell Armstead RB/Temple 153/3rd Round Armstead’s downhill running style closely mirrors many of the running backs he will compete with for a roster spot.  The difference?  His 4.45 speed overcomes a bit of a rigid nature and he played a few snaps on defense in 2018 for the Owls.
6 (178) Gardner Minshew QB/

Washington State,

ECU

372/5th Round Minshew carries similar traits to current Jaguars backup Cody Kessler when it comes to hand size, height and weight.  He was a bit of a gambler at ECU, but he played at a faster pace under Mike Leach while at Washington State.
7 (235)

Acquired from Oakland via Seattle

Dontavius Russell DT/Auburn 183/3rd Round Russell kind of got lost in the shuffle in what proved to be a deep defensive tackle class. We felt he had underrated strength, particularly when aligned in an inside shade of an offensive guard or center.  If he earns a roster spot, it will be to take some of the snaps off of the team’s starters. 

 

Long (seen scooping the ball versus Utah in the 2017 Heart of Dallas Bowl) was named an AP second-team All-American and the Big 12's Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. He finished with 111 tackles, 8 QB sacks, 19 TFLs and 4 PBUs.
Tennessee Titans Notable picks: Simmons may not be available for action until 2020, which requires this draft class to drift into somewhat of a wait-and-see proposition.  Brown, however, will have his slot evaluated early on. The same can be said for both Davis and Hooker.  Hooker brings a lot of desirable traits to a defensive backfield full of capable playmakers.  Walker’s inability to perform until late in the process caused him to slide, but he was at his best against the best competition.  There are not many drafts that allow you to draft a conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in the sixth round, but the Titans picked one up from the Big 12 in Long, Jr.
Round,

Selection,

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Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (19) Jeffery

Simmons

DT/

Mississippi State

5/1stRound With Brian Orakpo’s retirement, the onus falls on Harold Landry -last year’s second-round pick- to take the next step.  Although Simmons may redshirt in 2019, he could become a Pro Bowler if he can return to full health after suffering an ACL tear while training for pre-draft workouts.
2 (51) A.J. Brown WR/Ole Miss 16/1st Round Brown’s strong run after the catch skills make him a tough tackle for any defensive back at 226 pounds.  He displayed the ability to go outside against Vanderbilt, but he primarily worked from the slot on his Pro Day.
3 (82) Nate Davis OG/

Charlotte

92/3rd Round Despite playing right tackle in 2018, he was outstanding with his quick-set technique as a LG.  We were most impressed with his vision, but he needs work on preventing his frame from getting overextended.  He will compete for the right guard position in training camp.
4 (116) Amani Hooker DB/Iowa 34/2nd Round The Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year may have been hurt by the fact that he covered the slot in school.  He will have to prove that he can get off the hash in coverage, which he has done effectively on occasion.  He is at his best reading and passing off underneath routes.
5 (168)

Acquired from N.Y. Jets via New Orleans

D’Andre Walker OLB/Georgia 85/2nd Round Walker received one of final second round grades and the Titans were able to pick him up in the fifth round.  We liked his ability to work from either a two-point or three-point stance effectively.  This team needed more pass rushers and he can play from either side. 
6 (188)

Acquired from Miami

David Long, Jr. LB/

West Virginia

115/3rd Round Long was nicked for his size and lack of length.  He was also unable to complete a full workout until late in the process.  The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year routinely attacks the action and consistently trusts what he sees in front of him.  He will have to shine on special teams to earn a roster spot.

 

 

 

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Baltimore Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills, 9-9-18: In-game report

In an AFC showdown, the Baltimore Ravens completely dominated Buffalo and left the Bills searching for an answer at quarterback. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions of the Ravens 47-3 victory in this in-game report:

Ravens defense

The Ravens turned in a performance reminiscent of their defensive glory years of the early 2000s.  Cornerback Tavon Young recorded two sacks in the first quarter as defensive coordinator Don Martindale varied his blitzes and coverages early and often. In total, the Ravens held the Bills to 70 yards rushing and 83 yards passing. Even more impressive was the long list of names who contributed to the effort.  Safety Tony Jefferson had his second interception as a Raven when Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman sailed a pass high to his 6'6" wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin.  Jefferson was one of seven Ravens to finish with a tackle for loss.

Buffalo Bills quarterback dilemma

The Bills are still deciding whether Nate Peterman, pictured, will remain the team's starting quarterback after the team's lopsided loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Bills started the game with Nate Peterman at quarterback. The former University of Pittsburgh quarterback threw two touchdowns and five interceptions last season with a 49-percent completion percentage.  His propensity to miss receivers and throw the ball to the opposition showed itself again on Sunday.  Peterman completed 5-of-18 passes for 24 yards and two interceptions before being taken out of the game for rookie Josh Allen.  Allen didn’t fare much better either going 6-of-15 for 74 yards.  He did show an ability to escape the pocket.   In his first possession, he fled the pressure up the middle and from Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs on the outside.  Allen didn’t find an open man and ended up throwing the ball away but at least it wasn’t a turnover.  It must be noted that the Bills got behind so quickly that in order to attempt to keep pace, they went into a lot of obvious passing formations, which allowed the Ravens to unleash its  pass rush.  All things considered, look for head coach Sean McDermott to take a long look at the quarterback position.

New look Ravens receivers

Quarterback Joe Flacco has seen a steady dip in his production since the Ravens won the  Super Bowl in 2012.  General manager Ozzie Newsome’s remedy to his perceived quarterback's decline was bringing in some fresh blood at receiver in the form of a speedster John Brown and a move the chains-type in Willie Snead.  The Ravens also acquired a consistent veteran in former 49ers and Oakland Raiders standout Michael Crabtree.  It didn’t take long for the trio to stand out.   Brown worked his way back to the sticks and caught a laser from Flacco, after he extended a play with his legs on 2nd and 26.  Crabtree made an impressive toe-tapping catch in the back of the end zone to give the Ravens a 27-0 lead before halftime and all but put the game out of reach.  Snead worked the middle of the field, catching four passes for 49 yards and one touchdown.

 

2018 Preview: Kentucky Wildcats

Season outlook

Head coach Mark Stoops' defense got a boost when it found out senior safety Mike Edwards and senior linebacker Josh Allen (6'5, 230) would forgo the NFL Draft and return for another season in Lexington.  The defense should be in solid hands behind the two stalwarts.  On offense, junior running back Benny Snell, Jr. (5'11, 223) was productive, finishing the 2017 campaign with 1,333 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. The key for the Wildcats will be who is under center.  Sophomores Gunnar Hoak (6'4, 206) and Terry Wilson (6'3, 205) will battle it out in camp to decide the starter.  No matter who wins, Stoops will look for ball security. The Wildcats enjoyed a bowl- eligible season behind Stephen Johnson, who completed 60 percent of his passes and threw just seven interceptions. If Kentucky can get the same type of smart quarterback play in 2018, look for them to compete in the SEC East.

Troy's player to watch

7 Mike Edwards 6'0 201 S-Senior
Edwards has contributed 196 tackles, nine and a half tackles for losses, seven interceptions and 15 pass break-ups the last two seasons.

Edwards has led SEC defensive backs in tackles for consecutive seasons.  The senior safety likes to crowd the line of scrimmage and is a force in run support.  He also has a knack for picking off opposing quarterbacks.  Last season, Edwards had four interceptions. Look for the Cincinnati native to continue to fine tune his craft this season and make the jump to the NFL in the spring.

Game of the season

September 8th at Florida
Kentucky went toe-to-toe with Florida last season before ultimately falling 28-27.  This year, the Wildcats will have to travel to Gainesville during the second week of the season. Stoops' team could establish themselves as a legitimate power in the SEC East if they can secure a statement win against the Gators.

DraftNasty's Prospect Watch

8 Derrick Baity 6'3 186 CB-Senior

Kentucky senior cornerback Derrick Baity (No. 8 pictured) posted 11 passes defensed in 2017.

Although Baity has been beaten down the field on occasion (see Hall, Missouri '17), he exhibits good feet in off-man for a taller cornerback.  In addition, he contains the necessary short memory to continue to battle after giving up plays.  While capable of reading the action instinctively to tackle on plays in front of him, there is some body-block tackling in his game.  The Wildcats have three pro prospects at the cornerback position (Chris Westry, Lonnie Johnson) entering 2018 and Baity is arguably the most fluid of the trio.  For him to carve out early-round consideration, he has to clean up the occasional concentration lapses that show up week-to-week.

Prediction: 7-5

According to DraftNasty's Troy Jefferson, Kentucky will fall to Florida and Tennessee on the road and Mississippi State, Georgia and South Carolina at home. The Wildcats will still win enough games to qualify for a third consecutive bowl game. 

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

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills
Edmunds will be a major factor in both coverage and as a potential rush threat. He posted 10 career quarterback sacks.

Notable picks: The Bills didn’t waste their first round picks.  Allen will be tough to keep off the field despite the presence of A.J. McCarron.  Will his right shoulder hold up?  The pick who may end up being the game changer though is Edmunds. The two slot wide receiver selections –McCloud and Proehl- will battle for playing time.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (7) Josh

Allen

QB-6’5 237

Wyoming 34 (2nd Round) Steam thrower can work through the snow and winds of Buffalo.  All the talk of his inaccuracy overshadowed durability concerns in college.
1 (16) Tremaine

Edmunds

OLB-6’4 253

Virginia

Tech

8 (1st Round) Edmunds contributed 35 tackles for losses in school. He will provide versatility on either inside or outside.
3 (96) Harrison

Phillips

DT-6’3 303

Stanford 217 (4th Round) Phillips’ activity offset an occasional lack of elite balance. He’s quick off the ball and has an element of
4 (121) Taron

Johnson

CB-5’11 192

Weber State 85 (3rd Round) Johnson has the look of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes.
5 (154) Siran

Neal

S-6’0 206

Jacksonville St. 139 (3rd Round) Neal will bring a physical presence to sub-packages and he is one of the more explosive gunners in the 2018 NFL Draft.
5 (166) Wyatt

Teller

OG-6’4 314

Virginia

Tech

236 (4th Round) He’s an experienced player with above average movement skills. The former DE has balanced a difficult medical condition (off the field) to become a pro prospect.
5 (187) Ray-Ray

McCloud

WR-5’9 191

Clemson 249 (4th Round) McCloud’s ability to catch the ball away from his body was clouded by some concentration lapses in both the return game and at receiver. He may become a better professional.
7 (255) Austin

Proehl

WR-5’10 175

North

Carolina

429 (5th Round) Proehl has a chance to become a fixture in the slot if he can prove capable of adding special teams to his resume. His 4.07 time in the 20-yard short shuttle lays credence to his quick nature.

 

Miami

Dolphins

Fitzpatrick scored on four of his nine career interceptions for the Crimson Tide.

Comment: Fitzpatrick brings a level of flexibility to a Dolphins secondary that finished with just nine interceptions in 2017. Baker’s presence aids an improving young defense. Gesicki will have a chance to earn a starting role early in his career if he can commit to any level of consistency as a blocker.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (11) Minkah

Fitzpatrick

DB-6’0 204

Alabama 5 (1st Round) Fitzpatrick began his career as a cornerback and was a consistent presence at the nickel position in each of his seasons in Tuscaloosa.
2 (42) Mike

Gesicki

TE-6’5 247

Penn State 83 (3rd Round) Sky riser with major confidence. Can he contribute as an in-line tight end? Impressed during the Senior Bowl in one-on-one passing drills.
3 (73) Jerome

Baker

LB-6’1 229

Ohio State 69 (3rd Round) His ability to match TEs will diversify a team’s nickel package on passing downs. Of his 158 career tackles, 17.5 were tackles for losses.
4 (123) Durham

Smythe

TE-6’5 253

Notre Dame 220 (4th Round) Smythe has more to give than given credit for as a receiver. He is already adept as a blocker.
4 (131) Kalen

Ballage

RB-6’1 227

Arizona State 175 (4th Round) Ballage may have gone higher if he had been more instinctive as a runner. His pass-catching skills are advanced for a 227-pounder.
7 (227) Quentin

Poling

LB-6’2 239

Ohio 114 (3rd Round) Poling surprised scouts with his sub-4.6 speed in individual workouts prior to the draft. It shouldn’t been have a surprise. He returned three interceptions for TDs in school.
7 (229) Jason

Sanders

PK-5'11 190 (E)

New

Mexico

N/A Missed just one field goal in 2016. Posted enormous touchback percentages as a kickoff specialist.

 

New

England

Patriots

Dawson -ranked 73rd on DraftNasty's 2018 Big Board- returned three of his six career interceptions for touchdowns during his time in Gainesville.

Notable picks: Wynn’s tool kit can translate to multiple positions. Dawson adds another cover guy to help combat the departure of Malcolm Butler (Titans). The team made a concerted effort to add depth at the linebacker spot.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (23) Isaiah

Wynn

OL-6’2 308

Georgia 6 (1st Round) Wynn’s footwork should not be discounted if given a chance to earn playing time at a left tackle spot. Either way, he can play four different positions.
1 (31) Sony

Michel

RB-5’11 214

Georgia 33 (2nd Round) Michel found time to rush for over 1,000 yards twice in school despite being the team’s feature runner just once in a four-year period.
2 (56) Duke

Dawson

DB-5’10 197

Florida 73 (3rd Round) Dawson's ability to cover the slot showed up when covering shifty receivers (see Kirk, Texas A&M '17).  In addition, he was a threat to score anytime he got his hands on the football.
5 (143) Ja’Whaun

Bentley

LB-6’1 253

Purdue 288 (4th Round) Bentley recovered from a 2015 ACL injury to the same knee he injured in high school. He has enough girth to handle an inside linebacker spot, but he also has a chance as an outside linebacker.
6 (178) Christian

Sam

LB-6’2 250

Arizona

State

266 (4th Round) Sam can make plays in space but he’s also able to fall back in the box. Sudden gear shifts from runners have affected him on occasion.
6 (210) Braxton

Berrios

WR/PR-5’9 186

Miami (Fla.) 230 (4th Round) Berrios is a tough player who played much bigger than his size in 2017 in the Red Zone. His comfort tracking punts gives him a chance to earn playing time in the slot with the departure of Danny Amendola (Dolphins).
7 (219) Danny

Etling

QB-6’2 222

LSU, Purdue 337 (6th Round) Etling got a lot of negative heat based on everything but his improvement in 2017. He posted the second-best TD:INT ratio in SEC history.
7 (243) Keion

Crossen

CB-5’10 180

Western

Carolina

N/A Improved in each season on campus. Notched 21 starts the last two seasons.
7 (250) Ryan Izzo

TE-6’5 256

Florida

State

383 (5th Round) Izzo was a big factor for the Seminoles on third downs when given opportunities. He is not sudden as a route runner but he has a feel for finding opening

 

New

York

Jets

Darnold's ability to move around in the pocket could make him a fan favorite in New York.

Notable picks: Darnold may get time to develop behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. How long will the team allow him to sit? Shepherd and Fatukasi beef up an interior front that finished 24th in the NFL versus the run in 2017.

Round,

Selection,

 

Player School DN Big Board

Rank/

Grade

‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (3) Sam

Darnold

QB-6’3 221

USC 19 (2nd Round) Darnold’s energy rarely wavers during games. He wins with ball placement, foot quickness and command. Will his arm strength translate to December on the East Coast?
3 (72) Nathan

Shepherd

DT-6’3 315

Fort Hays St. 35 (2nd Round) Packs some of the heaviest hands in this year’s draft. He has the juice to run over NFL guards or centers.
4 (107) Chris

Herndon IV

TE-6’4 250

Miami (Fla.) 238 (4th round) Herndon IV is sort of the poor man’s version of David Njoku (Browns). He’s proven as a flex option, but his sense of urgency has to increase as an in-line blocker.
5 (179) Parry

Nickerson

CB 5’10 182

Tulane 150 (3rd Round) Nickerson’s 16 interceptions are just a small measure of his tremendous eye speed. He shocked the masses by running in the low 4.3-range at the NFL Combine (4.32).
5 (180) Foley

Fatukasi

DL-6’4 318

UConn 97 (3rd Round) Fatukasi provides tremendous value because he’s gotten reps at a four-technique DE and zero-technique NG. This experience will benefit him in the Jets defensive schemes.
6 (204) Trenton

Cannon

AP-5’10 182

Virginia

State

523 (6th Round) Cannon has the burst and explosion to contribute immediately in the return game. He’s underrated as a receiver. Runs with a ferocious attitude at just 182 pounds.  He averaged 7.7 yards per carry in 2017.

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.