2020 Draft Prospects with the Highest Floor by Maxwell Petitjean

This is a list of a few interesting prospects from the 2020 NFL draft. These are not necessarily the best players at their respective positions, but they are the least likely to fail.

COLE KMET

The 2020 NFL Draft is filled with a large selection of talented and productive athletes at Tight End. While many have a lot of potential, Kmet has the highest floor.At 6ft 5in, 250lbs, Kmet is the prototypical size at the position. In a productive Notre Dame offense, he was seen as the most versatile talent, playing in a variety of positions: In-line Tight End, Fullback, Wingback, Slot receiver and Single Receiver to the boundary.As a blocker, he is more than capable of blocking defensive ends at the point of attack. Also, he has excellent awareness when required to kick out defensive line on a slice block, or arc to a 2nd level defender.

As a receiver, although not an explosive vertical threat, he is an excellent route runner. He is able to consistently find space against both man and zone coverage, showing excellent footwork and body control. Moreover, he has very safe hands, rarely dropping the ball in his college career.

Having watched his tape, he is eerily reminiscent of a young Jason Witten. He would be an excellent fit at a team like the Texans, who use Tight Ends in a variety of positions, and give Deshaun Watson an extra weapon.

See some of Cole Kmet’s film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqX_raekOrk

CURTIS WEAVER

As many draft commentators’ swoon over the more remarkable athletes at pass rusher, there is one prospect who is a “shoe-in” to be a solid player at the next level.

Curtis Weaver is a man amongst boys. The Defensive End from Boise State has been one of the most productive pass rushers in football. At 6ft 3in, 265lbs, Weaver is big and strong, but he is unlikely to test too highly in the athletic testing of the NFL combine. Despite not being the best athlete, he has one trait that separates him from his peers: his hands. Weaver has the most refined hand-fighting ability of any defensive end in the class. He is consistently able to win in pass rush scenarios through high-level technique.

Moreover, when it comes to run defense, he is extremely strong at the point of attack. He has powerful hands and can swiftly throw away blockers to make a tackles on the ball carrier.

As far as pro comparisons go, I cannot look past former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison. Like Harrison, Weaver doesn’t physically look like he should be able to contort his body when rushing around the edge or win a hand fight against a much larger tackle. However, Weaver consistently beats anyone lined up against him.Finally, it is worth noting that as part of the Broncos defensive scheme, Weaver is often asked to drop into zone or spy coverage. He has been successful in this role showing good footwork and change of direction. This will make him valuable to almost every defensive scheme.

See some of Curtis Weaver’s film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEpzcH5xz74

JEFF GLADNEY

The 2020 Cornerback class is one of the strongest I’ve ever seen. So many incredible athletes of different shapes and sizes. Whilst some have been more productive, and some are more athletic, Gladney has the highest floor.Gladney is undoubtedly, the “stickiest” defender in the 2020 class. He has a remarkable ability to use his speed and technique to never allow receivers to gain separation. Occasionally there will be catches made against him in man coverage, but the receiver will not be open, and the catch will be contested.At 6ft 0in 183lbs, Gladney is not the most athletic prospect, and will not be the most physical corner. However, he is still a solid and secure tackler. TCU played some run heavy offenses during his college career, and Gladney was always able to show his efficient and clean ability to tackle.In zone coverage, although he did this less often, he was able to quickly diagnose passing patterns and break on the football before the ball was thrown. His patience and anticipation are core traits that NFL scouts will love.

The ease to which he covers receivers reminds me of Denzel Ward, although relatively new to the league, Ward has shown the value of “stickiness” against the best receivers in the league. Fundamentally, every team in the NFL uses man coverage as a key part of their defense. He could go into most teams in the league and, at worst, be a solid addition to their sub-packages as a man coverage specialist.

See some of Jeff Gladney’s film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCTX_nfKong

Post Superbowl Mock Draft by Lee Wakefield

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs, congratulations to Andy Reid, Superbowl champions.

And that’s the end of the congratulations. If you want to hear more about Mahomes and the Chiefs, head over to your favourite podcast provider and tune into Tim, Shaun and Lawrence and see what they’re saying about it…

Over here on the college side of things, the Superbowl champions being crowned just means we know the exact draft order now, minus compensatory pick, of course.

So what better way to celebrate with a, not one, not two but three round mock draft.

Enjoy.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

No Explanation needed. Just enjoy the next decade, Bengals fans.

  1. Washington Redskins – Chase Young – Edge, Ohio State

No explanation needed. Just enjoy the next decade, Redskins fans.

  1. Detroit Lions – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

No explanation… Nope. Ok, this one needs an explanation.

Yeah, so the draft starts when the Detroit Lions, or whomever is actually picking at 3, gets on the clock. This pick is/will be up for grabs to the highest bidder, I’m sure of it BUT no trades for me in this mock so here is the pick.

I almost feel bad for putting a position next to Isaiah Simmons. He is the modern NFL defender – Why wouldn’t Matt Patricia want that? I know Jeffrey Okudah, I know they need a corner but this draft is deep at corner and, spoiler alert, Detroit get a good one later on, so yes, enjoy him for the next decade, Lions fans.

  1. New York Giants – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

New York beat the Redskins to essentially gift wrap Chase Young for their divisional rivals so they better draft the best offensive tackle they can get.

Quick footed, agile, strong, can pass protect and loves to bury guys. All of the boxes are ticked when it comes to Wills. I don’t mind that he played on the right side at Alabama – every team needs two top tier bookend tackles nowadays.

  1. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

#TankforTua – Mission Accomplished. It doesn’t go down the way it was supposed to with Tua going #1 overall to the Dolphins but it’s done, nontheless…

However, food for thought – If Tua stayed healthy but Burrow still won the National Championship, would Tua have gone #1? I have a hard time looking past Burrow, personally.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

New stadium, new era under center and a fresh face to (hopefully) energize Angelinos into coming and supporting the Bolts on Sundays.

 Anthony Lynn has always wanted a more mobile QB to pilot his offense and Justin Herbert has everything you’d look for in a QB in the modern NFL and coaches will believe his kinks can be worked out. 

  1. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

Do not rule out Carolina from being a team that gets aggressive on draft night – Maybe even looking to move up to Detroit’s spot at #3 – If they did they wouldn’t be taking Derrick Brown but in a no trade scenario it is the Auburn defender for the Panthers.

Brown is a terror for anyone he squares off against. He can play all along the defensive line, he’s an unbelievable athlete for his size with the quickness that’s as fast as a hiccup off the snap. Brown is also stout against the run too and could become a real leader for years to come for this new look Carolina team.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Last year Kliff got his QB and gave him some weapons in order to be able to begin to execute his offense. Now it’s time to protect Murray – who was the joint most sacked QB in the NFL last year.

It’s also felt like Arizona has needed a tackle for years, so picking up a potentially elite talent with a high floor in Andrew Thomas feels safe, but ultimately sensible.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

How quickly do we think the Jags would run this card up should the draft play out like this?

Months after losing Jalen Ramsey, the Jags are able to select the best corner back in the draft class and get a potential lock down boundary corner for a fraction of the price and also a fraction of the ear ache.

  1. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Wirfs is one of three tackles that I consider the tier 1 of offensive tackles in this draft along with Jedrick Wills and Andrew Thomas.

It is absolutely imperative that New GM, Andrew Berry and Cleveland build an offensive line to protect Baker Mayfield and give Kevin Stefanski’s offense time to flourish. Time simply wasn’t a commodity afforded to Mayfield in 2019 and why have the weapons the Browns have if you’re not giving them time to get downfield?

Oh and Wirfs can kill people in the running game too, so win/win – Another plus point for Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

  1. New York Jets – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

Name the last edge rusher to have 10 or more sacks for the Jets and don’t use Google.

Yeah, exactly.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Jon Gruden wanted Antonio Brown to take his receiving corp and offense to the next level – Obviously, that did not go to plan.

Enter Cedarian Lamb. Lamb is a dominant wide receiver with excellent ball skills, ability to use his body in a nuanced way to keep the defenders away from the football and superb ability to create after the catch with ball in hand.

A true wide receiver 1.

  1. Indianapolis Colts – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

A few months ago, Jeudy dropping this far down the draft order was simply unheard of but Alabama didn’t make the college football playoffs and recency bias is real.

I am probably as guilty as anyone for that since I’m here giving him to the Colts at 13. Once the combine comes around, we’re all going to fall in love with Jeudy’s agility, dancing feet and route running and he’ll be back to being mocked in the top 10.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

This is a marriage I’ve been hot on for a while, I just think it makes too much sense given how good Kinlaw is – he was a huge winner of Senior Bowl week – and given how much Tampa Bay needs to reload the defensive line.

Kinlaw next to Vita Vea with Shaq Barrett off the edge is a fun thought.

  1. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Word around the campfire is that Denver want to add speed in the off season – Henry Ruggs III is about as fast as can be when we’re talking about draft prospects; he’s a blurr, he runs quick on slo-mo replays and he’s potentially going to break the 40 record at the combine in a few weeks time.

Courtland Sutton, Henry Ruggs and Daesean Hamilton – That’s a young, explosive and diverse mix of receivers, right there. Now add in Drew Lock, who looked good at the back end of the year, Noah Fant and Phillip Lindsay… Yeah, Denver is fun now. If only they had a line… Aha! The draft is but 7 rounds long.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Atlanta was surprisingly bad this year, right? Or is it just me who “Stans” for them every year and ends up with egg on my face?

Dan Quinn needs to have a good season and corner has been an issue for the Dirty Birds – ergo, draft Kristian Fulton and lock up one side of your defensive backfield, he’s the best corner in the class not named Jeffrey Okudah.

  1. Dallas Cowboys – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

It feels like Dallas has needed a safety for a while now, doesn’t it? And they can no longer tell everyone that they’re trading for signing Earl Thomas next year, either.

Xavier McKinney gives them a presence in the backfield and he could also enforce against the run, adding to what they already have in that department in Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith.

  1. Miami Dolphins –  Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Quarterback? Check. Next up, offensive linemen to protect said quarterback.

Brian Flores was in New England the same time as now, Las Vegas Raiders left tackle, Trent Brown and Mekhi Becton has serious Trent Brown vibes about him – They simply do not build many folks like Becton.

An enormous young man at 6’8 and over 360lbs but he is a true dancing bear who doesn’t lumber and plod, but who looks light and agile like a man 40lbs lighter – a true rare specimen.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

So, yeah… This is a bit of a reach. However, if your players turn out god then who cares?

Vegas need a lineback, badly and let me tell you, if you haven’t already heard, the 2020 NFL Draft is not the correct time to be desperate for a linebacker.

Queen has his issues tackling in space at times but he’s the modern day, sideline-to-sideline ‘backer who can run, cover and make tackles all over the field.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Jacksonville has a bunch of receivers who can run fast and get vertical but they don’t have a lot of guys to take advantage of the space creates underneath – Enter Justin Jefferson.

A nuanced route runner who although not possessing the top end physical gifts, always seems to be open and has the ability to make catches and find the end zone.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

This simply had to be a wide receiver or a corner back for Philly – both are huge needs where they require both starters and depth pieces.

Gladney is a sticky coverage guy who should fit the attitude of a Jim Schwarz defense. They can attack receiver in round and since both positions are loaded this year, the Eagles shouldn’t have to sweat on getting a good one.

  1. Buffalo Bills – A.J Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

I feel like Buffalo need a really big injection of youth on coming off the edge. Trent Murphy and Jerry Hughes have had solid careers but are getting up there in age and Shaq Lawson has been inconsistent at best through his first 4 years – 16.5 career sacks isn’t what Buffalo would have hoped for when he was drafted 19th overall, in the first round of the 2016 draft.

I feel that if Lawson is going to stick around, he can be the speed element whereas Epenesa can be the high motor, blue collar strong side end who can set the edge against the run and collapse the pocket from the opposite side. 

  1. New England Patriots – Zack Baun, Edge, Wisconsin

Bill Belichick and New England love these hybrid edge/linebacker types and they’ve had success with this type of player in the past; D’onta Hightower and Jamie Collins are two recent examples

Baun could be moved around depending on the down and distance – He has some value as a pass rusher and he would also be very comfortable playing as a SAM linebacker. This versatility would suit the Patriots down to the ground and Belichick would get a lot out of him.

  1. New Orleans Saints – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Can you imagine how fun this would be? It’s almost like, what’s better than Taysom Hill? That’s right, two Taysom Hill’s! Only one is a very good wide receiver.

Sean Payton’s creativity mixed with Shenault’s versatility would just be an absolute blast! Even just a wide receiver, Shenault would give the Saint’s opponents something else to think about aside from Michael Thomas and he would also offer a deeper threat to that of what Thomas offers.

  1. Minnesota Vikings – Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU

I’m not calling Garrett Bradbury a bust just yet, so don’t read too much into drafting another top center.

Having Bradbury and Cushenberry would allow Minnesota to be able to mix and match to find the best combination of 5 guys up front protecting Kirk Cousins – And that’s the bottom line – Protecting Kirk Cousins. The Vikings squad is Superbowl ready if they can get that right.

  1. Miami Dolphins – Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise State

I don’t think Miami makes 3 first round selection on draft night but if they do, they will want to hit, QB, offensive tackle and edge rusher. The 3 most important positions in football and they’re all pretty big needs, corner, the next most important position comes with their next pick.

Weaver is a versatile edge rusher with power and scheme versatility. Coming off a productive college career at Boise State, Weaver will add another disruptive force on the defensive line, who will put the work in – Similar to Christian Wilkins, whom they drafted last year. Another culture guy for Brian Flores.

  1. Seattle Seahawks – Josh Uche, Edge, Michigan

Seattle is always tough to mock because of their unpredictability in the first round.

I know they selected L.J Collier last year and traded for Jadeveon Clowney but firstly, Collier was a reach and also will they resign Clowney?

Uche made himself a lot of money at the Senior Bowl a couple of weekends ago – He blew up the game and also performed very well in the practices, playing some edge and also some off ball linebacker.

Another little caveat here, the Executive Director of the Senior Bowl, Jim Nagy, is a former Seattle scout – John Schneider will still be in contact with him and will have gotten Nagy’s opinion on Uche after the work he put in.

  1. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Everyone knows that Baltimore blitz more than any team in the league, so they need weapons to enable themselves to continue to do so.

Murray is an incredible blitzing linebacker and he can also fill a role being a tackling machine all over the field.

Patrick Owuasor is out of contact and the Ravens could opt to replace him with a younger and cheaper model.

  1. Tennessee Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn. State

The Titans defense really stepped up and alongside Derrick Henry, the unit really pushed this team to the playoff berth and a win.

YGM is a long and lean pass rusher who can compliment Harold Landry on the other side, really nicely. Good luck to teams defending those two and Jeffrey Simmons through the middle. Teams should be built to win their division, so given that the Colts have an incredible offensive line and the Texans have DeShaun Watson who is nye-on impossible to sack, the Titans need to have guys who can combat these factors.

  1. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

Apparently, the word around the Senior Bowl was that most if not all teams have Brandon Aiyuk graded higher than N’Keal Harry last year and he’s seen by almost everyone as a first round talent. This shocks me and doesn’t fit with my rankings but when I hear something like that it’s tough to ignore.

Aiyuk fits nicely with Green Bay – He’d give Aaron Rodgers an underneath target and a smaller target which adds diversity to a receiving group that is taller guys who thrive downfield.

  1. San Francisco 49ers – Grant Delpit, S, LSU

The 9ers really need to upgrade at safety and like many teams in the league, they could use a center fielder with range and playmaking ability… Hello Grant Delpit. Yes, he has his tackling issues and his stock is lower than this time last year but he’s still a great prospect.

The problem and quandary for San Francisco is do they stay at this pick and potentially grab Delpit or do they trade back? They don’t have another pick until the 139th pick… That’s a long wait.

Are they one player away from making another run or, will they seek an offer from a team looking to jump back into the first?

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The Champs defense definitely improved last season but they still have a glaring need at corner.

Diggs gives them a potential CB1 for years to come at the back end of the first round – something that doesn’t come around too often. He’s long and physical and comes with obvious pedigree from Alabama, but like every corner taken at this spot or later, he has his weaknesses and areas to work on. 

Round 2

  1. Cincinnati Bengals –  Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
  2. Indianapolis Colts – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
  3. Detroit Lions – Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama
  4. New York Giants – Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame
  5. Los Angeles Chargers – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
  6. Carolina Panthers – C.J Henderson, CB, Florida
  7. Miami Dolphins – Bryce Hall, CB, Virgina
  8. Arizona Cardinals – Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma
  9. Cleveland Browns – Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
  10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU
  11. Chicago Bears – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
  12. Indianapolis Colts – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
  13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
  14. Denver Broncos – Prince Tega Wanagho, OT, Auburn
  15. Atlanta Falcons – Robert Hunt, IOL, Louisiana
  16. New York Jets – Matt Peart, OT, UConn
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers – Johnathon Greenard, Edge, Florida
  18. Chicago Bears – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
  19. Dallas Cowboys – AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
  20. Los Angeles Rams – Jabari Zuniga, Edge, Florida
  21. Philadelphia Eagles – K.J Hamler, WR, Penn. State
  22. Buffalo Bills – Quartney Davis, WR, Texas A&M
  23. Atlanta Falcons – Ashtyn Davis, S, California
  24. Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
  25. Houston Texans – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
  26. Minnesota Vikings – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
  27. Seattle Seahawks – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
  28. Baltimore Ravens – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
  29. Tennessee Titans – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
  30. Green Bay Packers – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
  31. Kansas City Chiefs – J.K Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
  32. Seattle Seahawks – K.J Hill, WR, Ohio State

Round 3 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M
  2. Washington Redskins – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
  3. Detroit Lions – Noah Igbonoghene, CB, Auburn
  4. New York Jets – Cesar Ruiz, IOL
  5. Carolina Panthers – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
  6. Miami Dolphins – Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
  7. Los Angeles Chargers – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
  8. Arizona Cardinals – Bradley Anae, Edge, Utah
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
  10. Cleveland Browns – Antione Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
  11. Indianapolis Colts – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
  13. Denver Broncos – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
  14. Atlanta Falcon – Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee
  15. New York Jets – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
  16. Las Vegas Raiders – Troy Pride Jr, CB, Notre Dame
  17. Las Vegas Raiders – Damien Lewis, IOL, LSU
  18. Dallas Cowboys – Leki Fotu, IDL, Utah
  19. Denver Broncos – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
  20. Los Angeles Rams – Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s (Minnesota)
  21. Philadelphia Eagles – Marlon Davidson, Edge, Auburn
  22. Buffalo Bills – Rashard Lawrence, IDL, LSU
  23. New England – Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU
  24. New Orleans Saints – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
  25. Minnesota Vikings – Shane Lemieaux, IOL, Oregon
  26. Cleveland Browns – Trey Adams, OT, Washington
  27. Las Vegas Raiders – Alex Highsmith, Edge, Charlotte
  28. Baltimore Ravens – Anfernee Jennings, Edge, Alabama
  29. Tennessee Titans – Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State
  30. Green Bay Packers – Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
  31. Denver Broncos – Jason Strowbridge, IDL, North Carolina
  32. Kansas City Chiefs – Nick Harris, IOL, Washington

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Post Black Monday Mock Draft; By Lee Wakefield

Yesterday Black Monday in the NFL and for 20 teams that means we can officially welcome them to #DraftSZN. Although for some, including your writer, draft season never sleeps.

So, what better way to kick off draft season than with a mock draft?

No mock trades at this point – It’s not even 2020 yet, the playoffs are still to come, so at this point I’m more interested in throwing out some names and thinking of scenarios, and above all having fun with it.

Enjoy!

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Let’s be honest, if the Bengals could hand their card in now, they would. Burrow has one game left in what could be one of the greatest standalone seasons for any player at the collegiate level, ever.

The Heisman Trophy winner is going home to play for Cincinnati, write this in sharpie, or blood, or whatever is the most permanent medium you wish to choose – I even think he’d survive a Laremy Tunsil-esque bombshell dropping on draft night.

  1. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

Edge isn’t a particular area of need for the Redskins but when you’re picking second in the draft and the best player in that draft class falls to you, you have to ensure he doesn’t drop any further.

Young is the latest superstar pass rusher out of Ohio State – I want to avoid tags such as “generational talent” – So let’s stick with the description that Young is an absolute monster off the edge. When teams are triple teaming you to erase you out of the game, you’ve won and that’s what happened to Young on multiple occasions this season.

Don’t overthink this.

  1. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Matty P looks to have survived Black Monday at the time of writing so to me, minus a trade, Detroit will look to bolster their defense.

Patricia is straight out of the Belichick school of defense where man-coverage is king – Detroit has Darius Slay on one side, so selecting the best cover man in the draft to play on the other side of the field makes sense since teams literally avoid Slay. Pairing these two in the secondary forces teams to pick their poison.

  1. New York Giants – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Daniel Jones fumbles 18 times in 2019, losing 11 of them. Jones also threw 12 interceptions – That’s a heck of a lot of turnovers for anyone to give up. The Giants also allowed 43 sacks this year.

Now, I’m not saying all of this was the fault of the offensive line – New York have more problems than just that – But I feel like building a robust and stable offensive line would be sensible and would benefit their young QB, Especially given that their victory over the Redskins ensured that their division rivals, the Redskins are probably going to get Chase Young – So the Giants have to be able to block Chase Young effectively for the next decade.

Jedrick Wills is, in my opinion, the best offensive tackle in the draft class. Wills is both an excellent pass protector and also seems to enjoy burying defensive linemen in the run game.

I’m sure Jones and Saquon Barkley will approve of this pick.

  1. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

How on Earth has Brian Flores won 5 games with this Miami team? For me, he’s a legitimate Coach of the Year candidate and to me, if he can galvanize this group of players, it seems like he has a good command of the building and that is certainly something to get excited about in Miami, especially after the chaos of Adam Gase.

All along, the plan was to shed players, acquire picks and lose enough games to be able to select a quarterback, preferably Tua Tagovailoa. Congratulations Miami. Mission accomplished.

Tua’s hip injury may mean that Miami will have to wait a little while to see him under center but it also could put teams off paying the price to trade ahead of Miami for a chance to get him.

Time will tell but for now, Tua is a Dolphin.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Sadly, the time has come for a new era for the Bolts and with that should probably come a new quarterback.

Philip Rivers has been an incredible player for the Chargers and as a Chargers fan, it will be weird to see him in another team’s jersey but he is on the decline and whether we like it or not, he’s tied to San Diego. Rivers and his family are a part of the community in San Diego and I think, with the move to SoFi Stadium – it’s even more of a reason to move on to the next era of Chargers football.

Justin Herbert is from the west coast, he’s got a strong arm, he’s young, marketable and also has the ability to move the chains with his legs that Anthony Lynn would prefer in his QB.

I do think this is a bit of a reach and the Chargers would maybe try to trade back and still be able to get Herbert in the 9-12 range (before Tampa Bay gets on the clock) but in this scenario, I’d be ok with it.

Thanks for the memories #17.

  1. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

So in Carolina, Gerald McCoy, Kyle Love and Vernon Butler are all free agents, therefore the interior defensive line is in need of a boost.

How convenient that Derrick Brown, one of the most disruptive interior forces in college football is just waiting to be scooped up?

Brown can play from any spot on the line from 0 to 5 tech – Just line him up and watch him go after the quarterback or ball carrier. Speed, power, spins you’ll see it all – This is a home run pick at 7 for the Panthers as they get one of the best players in the whole draft class.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

In the 2019 NFL Draft, I think a lot of people applauded what the Cardinals did. I thought they had a good draft and did a good deal with Miami for Josh Rosen and selected, on the whole, a lot of good players.

However, one thing that I and many others were bemused by is their complete lack of investment in their offensive line.

And where did that get them?

Well, Kyler Murray was sacked 50 times. That’s where.

Thomas is one of only a few true left tackles in this class and is a mighty fine one, at that. Thomas is powerful in the run game, more than passable in the passing game, the ceiling is sky high and he is experienced, as a 3 year starter for Georgia.

You’re welcome Kyler.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

How someone convinced a 6’4, 230lb pure athlete like Isaiah Simmons to play defense will remain one of my favourite mysteries in football.

Usually these kinds of players are out on the field catching touchdowns and getting to dance in the endzone – That’s usually what appeals to the kids nowadays, right?

Simmons can line up pretty much anywhere on the defense – Will, Mike, Strongside linebacker rushing the passer, Nickel corner, outside corner, box safety and he can even cover routes deep down the field. Think versatile but then times it by a million and you get Isaiah Simmons – But the best thing is, his level ranges from “pretty good” to “outstanding” at all these spots.

Truly someone built for today’s NFL.

  1. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The Freddie Kitchens experience is over. It remains to be seen who will take over in Cleveland but whoever it is will surely want to protect Baker Mayfield much better than he was this season.

Baker needs to find himself again, in my opinion, much of this season he seemed unsure of himself and scatty in the pocket – He didn’t trust someone, whether that was the five guys in front of him or the guy calling the plays, who knows? But the bottom line is, the Cleveland Browns were a huge disappointment in 2019.

Tristan Wirfs can go some way to protecting Mayfield and he’s also a mammoth in the run game, so that’s going to be good news for Nick Chubb after a fantastic season from him. Wirfs definitely needs to add some polish to his game and the Browns would probably do well to keep him at right tackle for the time being whilst he brushes up on some things but long term, the sky really is the limit for the Iowa tackle.

  1. New York Jets – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Jets need a wide receiver 1. Well, actually, before that the Jets need to fire Adam Gase but that doesn’t seem like it’s happening so let’s try to make them better for the next guy, in 2021 (I’m there for you, Jets fans).

CeeDee Lamb will be the best friend to Sam Darnold for years – He’s big (enough), fast (enough), he’s a nuanced route runner, he’s strong at the catch point, he can get yards after the catch and after contact, he tracks the football in the air exceptionally well. Lamb is actually the complete opposite, in fact – He’s an alpha dog – He’s pretty similar to a guy who used to play for the other guys in New York not too long ago… You know who I mean.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Jon Gruden wanted to have Antonio Brown as the focal point of his offense is 2019, unfortunately for him – Brown’s complete and utter meltdown; burnt feet, a banned helmet, racial abuse of General Manager; he was denied that focal point. Lucky for Gruden, there is a wide receiver who is also undersized, an exceptional route runner, quick and slippery, just like Antonio Brown and that is Jerry Jeudy.

As soon as Jeudy steps foot on to an NFL field, he’s one of the better route runners in the league and with that and his quickness, he finds separation very easily. Jeudy has suffered with some uncharacteristic drops at times and in some big moments for Alabama this season, but there’s a lot there to work with and he’s a born wide receiver 1 for any team.

  1. Indianapolis Colts – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Speed kills. Henry Ruggs III is the fastest guy in college football and I think he stands a great chance of beating John Ross’ 40 yard dash record at the scouting combine. Ruggs will also obliterate a bunch of other events in Indianapolis and when the Colts’ GM, Chris Ballard sees his performance in his building, I think we won’t want to let him out… I mean, I guess he’ll have to, he can’t hold him hostage but he’ll want him back ASAP.

I honestly believe that once the combine is over with, Ruggs’ performance could propel him ahead of Lamb and Jeudy, and he could be the first receiver off the board on April 23rd.

The Colts receiver room is bad outside of TY Hilton, fortunately for the Colts, pretty much all of them are out of contract too, so that should make the remodelling job a bit easier.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

Jason Pierre-Paul, Ndamukong Suh and Beau Allen are all free agents along the D line for the Bucs and I’m not sure if any of them are certainties to be back in 2020.

Shaq Barrett has played himself into franchise history by breaking the sack record off the edge and has also played himself into securing the bag. Like, a lot of bag. Which will impact the likes of Suh and JPP.

Javon Kinlaw is someone who could team up with Willie Gholston and Vita Vea on the defensive line and they could form a nice trio, especially given how Vea can move the pocket and Kinlaw definitely has that in his arsenal too, all of whom compliment Barrett off the edge and suddenly, Tampa Bay could have a very fearsome group up front. Thrown in grinders like Carl Nassib and then Devin White blitzing every now and then and this defense is looking pretty good…

Now, if only they had a QB who didn’t throw the ball to the other team so much…

  1. Denver Broncos – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

It feels like it’s the end of Chris Harris in Denver, so neither of the famed, no fly zone corners are in Denver anymore and it’s time for a new era.

Kristian Fulton has shown that he’s the best corner in the class not named Jeffrey Okudah. He’s been tested against high level competition in the SEC and now in the College Football Playoff and he’s looked like a high class player worth every bit of a top 15 selection.

Fulton is a man coverage corner with great fluidity and footwork and was even getting hype over Greedy Williams last draft season as the best corner for LSU.

Fulton does need to work on his tackling and hasn’t turned multiple pass deflections into picks but he also doesn’t get beat and teams respect him so much that they don’t throw at him – A reason why Derek Stingley, his running mate at LSU, has had such a productive year.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

Dan Quinn is surviving Black Monday when it seemed to be touch and go at one point.

I feel like Quinn is going to use this and work with GM, Thomas Dimitroff, and try to get back to the essence of his philosophy and that leads me to Epenesa.

Quinn is from the Pete Carroll/Seattle system where they love big, strong D linemen with high motors and Edge defenders who can kick inside as they did with someone like Michael Bennett.

Epenesa isn’t the most fluid or the most polished edge rusher in the class but I feel like he fits this mould to a tee.

  1. Dallas Cowboys – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Dallas simply do not have enough money to go round. They need to resign Dak Prescott – who will command a huge salary as the QB of the Dallas Cowboys. They need to sign Amari Cooper, who is their wide receiver 1 and whom they spent a first round pick to acquire from Oakland and they also need to resign Byron Jones, their hyper athletic defensive back who has been with the team for 5 years.

I feel like Jones is going to be the odd one out of these guys, so Dallas needs to turn their attention towards finding a replacement.

They shouldn’t look more than 20 miles.

Texas Christian University is located in Fort Worth, Texas. Their home field is a touch over 17.5 miles away from AT&T stadium. The Cowboys keep a close eye on players from universities in the area – They will know all about Gladney and his sticky coverage ability.

Gladney is another guy who I feel like fly up draft boards once the Scouting Combine is over with.

  1. Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

This year, we saw Jonathan Taylor become a complete offensive weapon as he added some receiving prowess to his game. The former track star had already long proven he was a dangerous player when running the football but this year saw him really complete his skillset to the tune of 2,118 all purpose yards and 26 touchdowns. Part of, 6,444 yards and 55 scores over the past 3 years.

Simply put, I think he’s the best running back in college football, he’s got the traits and he’s got the production.

These days, selecting a running back in the first round isn’t a done thing and is only reserved for the top echelon of prospects at the position.

Taylor is worthy.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

*Edited: Just after the mock went live overnight, Dylan Moses announced that he was returning to Alabama for his senior year.

I had originally given the Raiders Moses since I think Gruden will want to keep building his defense around strong leader and culture guys.

Unfortunately there’s no linebacker really worth reaching for at this stage as a direct replacement but I’ll stay with a ‘Bama guy since I know Gruden likes to recruit from the big programmes – note that he picked 3 Clemson players last year and Josh Jacobs from Alabama.

Diggs has the size, he has the bloodline and he has the ceiling. The Raiders corner back room has undergone some surgery recently but Diggs has a chance to make himself the CB1 in Las Vegas. He gambles at times which results in burns but he’s comfortable in zone and man and can reroute receivers when in press – an essential skill in today’s NFL.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

The Jags definitely have a “type” when it comes to wide receivers and this pick fits the mould of that type.

If you can run down the field and catch the football, there’s a good chance the Jacksonville Jaguars want you to play wide receiver for them. Jalen Reagor can do just that, what he does do though, is he does it better than all the guys the Jags current have.

What this allows the Jags to do is to roll with Reagor and D.J Chark as the 1 and 2 and then diversify their receiving corp. Go get a shifty slot, go get a redzone/jump ball guy… Give Nick Foles (and later Gardner Minshew) a group of guys you can do different things with, because we know both of these QB’s can push the football downfield, that’s why they draft fash guys!

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Everyone saw the state of the Eagles wide receivers late in the season. Carson Wentz threw for 4,000 yards and didn’t have any of his wide receivers go over 500 yards… Give the guy some help.

Hopefully we’ll see JJ Arega-Whiteside make a leap, hopefully Alshon Jeffrey can get healthy and hopefully they can add to the ranks too.

That’s where Tee Higgins comes in. Higgins is another big bodied receiver, the kind that Philly love to collect. Higgins is also the kind of receiver that Clemson have a rich history in – speedy guys who can win downfield at the catch point.

Sounds like a win/win.

  1. Tennessee Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

A long and sturdy strong side defensive end who can also get off the ball in an instant and who is strong against the run. Sounds like the perfect foil for the speed and bend of Harold Landry on the other side – This would also move Jeffrey Simmons inside next to Jurell Casey… Yeah? You like the sound of that Titans fans?

You should do.

  1. Buffalo Bills – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Last off season, the modus operandi for the Bills was to protect Josh Allen and to put some weapons in place for him to use, to enable him and the offense to grow.

They were largely successful in doing so – However, the offense being based on John Brown and Cole Beasley as the leading receivers isn’t sustainable in my opinion. Brown is a decent option and Dawson Knox looks like a useful option at tight end but this team needs a WR1.

Enter Colorado’s offense, sorry… wide receiver Laviska Shenault. Shenault has been used in pretty much every way possible by the Colorado Buffaloes (I also love the symmetry of the team names here) – outside receiver, slot, in the backfield, wildcat QB, you name it – Outside of playing on offensive line, Shenault has done it.

The way I feel that Shenault helps Buffalo is that his RAC-ability gives Josh Allen, a QB who notoriously struggles with accuracy, some easy completions that Shenault can use his skillset to eat up yards after the catch. Furthermore, this team is built off the running game with Davin Singletary and Josh Allen (and probably a new running back to replace Frank Gore) – Now you can incorporate Shenault into that too.

Lastly, Shenault is used to playing in the cold in Colorado – Which is always useful in Buffalo.

It makes too much sense.

  1. Minnesota Vikings – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

The Vikings offensive line sticks out as an area that could definitely be upgraded. Riley Reiff, meh, Pat Elflein… hasn’t been great. Josh Klein, *shrugs*.

Brian O’Neill has evolved into something pretty good and although Garrett Bradbury hasn’t been good this year, I don’t think he’s a lost cause by any stretch of the imagination.

You get where I’m going here…

Alex Leatherwood has seen his stock drop a little bit recently, maybe because he’s not played to expectations this year and maybe it’s because of a little bit of juxtaposition because the other Alabama tackle is the hottest tackle in the draft class at the moment.

That shouldn’t matter. Leatherwood is steady and he can also play inside at guard too, which could appeal to the Vikings as they search for the most effective combination of 5 guys in front of Kirk Cousins.

  1. Miami Dolphins – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

Miami needs an edge presence. They brought in Christian Wilkins last year for some inside push but now the Dolphins need some speed. Chaisson gives them speed in abundance.

Chaisson has been a slow burner throughout his college career in terms of production and really, in terms of this season too.

Chaisson only produced 3 sacks prior to this year and only 6.5 during this season but he’s coming to the boil now and during the biggest games. I also feel LSU’s scheme is part of the reason that he doesn’t get as ton of production – it requires Chaisson to drop into coverage more than your usual edge rusher.

I’m very interested to see how far Chaisson’s athleticism gets him – The guy can MOVE.

  1. Seattle Seahawks – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama

This is always the wildcard when writing a mock draft. When selecting for the Seattle Seahawks, you have to think outside of the box because you know that they don’t often do the obvious thing.

Davis isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination, I like him a fair bit but I know this a reach but this is Seattle.

Davis is a massive defensive tackle who is super smart, very disciplined and plays with really low pad level considering his length (6’7) and I feel like that’ll appeal to Seattle and the way they want to construct their defensive line and their defense.

Davis and Jarran Reed would be superb against the run and is Davis can work out some pass rush moves, which is an area where he can certainly improve in, they’ll have some push on the interior to mix in with Jadeveon Clowney (who they are almost certain to bring back).

  1. New England Patriots – Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise State

Last year, I pegged Chase Winovich to the Patriots from very early on, I even think that I had the Patriots picking him in one of my earliest mock drafts, just as a method of getting my take out there.

I get the same vibes with the Patriots and Curtis Weaver.

Weaver has production, he can play inside and out, he’s good against the run, he’s a blue collar, red-hot motor kind of guy. He is a Patriot.

Let’s be honest, the Patriots don’t care for flashy pass rushers – They traded Chandler f’ing Jones! They care for guys who do their job™.

Weaver and Winovich as edge defenders gives the Patriots the most Patriots-y pair of edge rushers possible, I love it, pull the trigger, Bill.

  1. New Orleans Saints – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

The Saints have one of the best QB’s to ever do it, however he’s 41. I think Drew Brees will be back next year, for one last rodeo but the backup spot should be available since I think Teddy Bridgewater showed enough in lieu of Brees this season to earn a juicy offer to QB for another team next season.

Jordan Love isn’t perfect by any stretch and didn’t even have an impressive season for Utah State but the potential is all there – Physical tools galore and maybe, just maybe it was down to the lack of talent around him at Utah State…

It’s a perfect scenario for the Saints and Jordan Love to be a marriage in heaven – They have the chance to sit Love and let him learn his trade behind Brees for at least a year. They have Sean Payton, who is one of the best offensive minds is football and would surely come up with a plan for Love in a year. Lastly, the Saints play in a dome which makes it easier for QB’s – It’s a small point but it absolutely aids the transition of a young QB. 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

If there’s one thing I know about the Kansas City Chiefs, it’s that they like to collect players who are fast.

One thing atop of my scouting notes for Travis Etienne – it says, is fast.

Simple as that. You see how this is a good match?

Travis Etienne is absurdly fast, he has angle destroying speed, if it wasn’t for Henry Ruggs III, I’d be saying that Etienne has a chance to best John Ross’ 40 record, I guess he might but Ruggs is quicker.

KC also doesn’t have a long term viable option at running back and whilst this is a deep running back class, so there’s no rush to grab one at 29 overall but with the marriage of pure speed, I think it makes too much sense.

  1. Green Bay Packers – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

The Packers are desperate for a linebacker. It’s that simple. Their defense is good, really good, they have a strong defensive line, Preston and Za’Darius Smith have formed a fearsome pass rush duo, their safety tandem is young and extremely talented and they have good corners too.

The gaping hole is that Blake Martinez is a tackle machine but limited and I don’t even know what a BJ Goodson is. Fortunately for the Packers, both of those guys are out of contact. Martinez will likely be back though, which isn’t bad. Even more fortunately, the Packers can afford to drop a late first round pick on Kenneth Murray to give themselves a huge dose of athleticism in the linebacker room.

This pick gives the Packers another young star down the spine of the defense.  

  1. San Francisco 49ers – Grant Delpit, S, LSU

I’m not going to shy away from it… Grant Delpit has been disappointing this year. Some of that is because we all had sky high expectations of him coming into the year – I was calling him a top 5 player in the class prior to the season starting – So I was as guilty as anyone on that.

However, the disappointment mainly stemmed from the fact that he has literally forgotten how to tackle.

I don’t know how this has happened but Robert Saleh, you better fix him if you get your hands on him.

Let’s balance things up here… Delpit is still insanely talented and if any team can bag him at pick 31 or later it is AN ABSOLUTE STEAL.

  1. Baltimore Ravens – Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama

The supply line from Tuscaloosa to Baltimore lives on!

Baltimore has the luxury of selecting well, a luxury player as they’re picking 32nd overall. Lewis is a play who has ridiculous athletic traits as a pass rusher but injuries have marred his career so far.

If he were to be parachuted on to this Ravens roster, there would be no immediate need to start him. He could play as a rotational pass rusher to begin with, whilst his body acclimated to the rigours of playing in the NFL. He would also need to learn how to control himself as a pass rusher and learn some actual pass rush techniques and counter moves when hand fighting with offensive tackles – this side of his game needs some serious polish but at pick 32 it’s all about upside.


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And a happy new year from everyone at The Full 10 Yards

College Football Staff Midseason Mock Drafts: Lee

We are back! Maxwell delivered an excellent mock for all of you lovely people yesterday and I’m about to do the same.

I loved a lot of the picks we made as a group on last week’s podcasts but this in my chance to put across my ideas and just throw some possibilities around at this very early stage.

Here goes…

#1. Bengals – Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

Take the best player in the draft. Yes the Bengals aren’t good, hence why they’re nailed on for a top 3 pick but this QB class is good, and so is the next one, so if the Bengals aren’t good again next year they’ll have another high pick anyway.

Take a player who is going to be a top 5 player at his position, one of the most important positions in football, in the next two to three years. Young is a guaranteed star, that’s why you pick him first overall.

#2. Dolphins – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Wait… What? Tank for… Burrow? That’s not what what the people want!

No it isn’t but Joe Burrow is the hottest name in college football right now and he’s playing out of his mind. I don’t care what anyone says, LSU are the best team in college football and unlike what we thought before the season, it’s the Tigers’ offense that’s the driving force behind their great season.

Will Jeux Burrow be QB1 come April? I think there’s more of a chance than people think.

#3. Redskins – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

We know Trent Williams is done in D.C. and may even be dealt prior to the trade deadline in a few days time, so the Redskins will be in the market for a new blindside protector for Dwayne Haskins.

Andrew Thomas is by far the best tackle in this draft class and will be a ready made replacement for Williams.

#4. Falcons – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Can you imagine? Julio Jones on one side, Calvin Ridley in the slot and Jerry Jeudy on the opposite side?! Oh and Austin Hooper too for good measure.

First off, as much as he isn’t slowing down, Julio is getting up there in age and won’t be around forever. Having Jerry Jeudy alongside him and then take the mantle of WR1 when he’s retired means Atlanta’s offense has a go-to receiver for years to come which will be great for the next QB.

I also feel that Atlanta will go for an offense HC once they (surely) give Dan Quinn the bullet and a bright offense mind would love all those weapons to play with.

#5. Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Sam Darnold needs some protection. I feel like Tristan Wirfs can provide some of the exorcism that he needs and he’s also very good in the run game which has the dual effect of opening up more lanes for Le’Veon Bell which relieves some pressure off Darnold.

Wirfs certainly needs work and isn’t a ready made player like Thomas is but he’s maybe got the highest ceiling of all the tackles in this class.

#6. Jaguars – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Replace Jalen Ramsey. That should be the modus operandi for the Jags with one of their two first round picks in April.

Jeffrey Okudah is the best corner in the class in my eyes imat this moment in time. He has the smooth athletic ability and the coverage skills to be a CB1 at the next level.

Another top quality defensive back out of Ohio State.

#7. Browns – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

Baker Mayfield has been a real big disappointment this season and the Browns haven’t been as explosive as many had hoped. The reason for this, or at least one of the reasons is that he’s had a bunch of turnstiles masquerading as an offensive line.

I feel like drafting Lucas Niang would go some way to solving that. The TCU star didn’t allow a sack last season and only gave up 7 pressures, this year he’s been strong is pass protection again.

#8. Dolphins – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

A new QB needs some weapons and CeeDee Lamb is about as good of an offensive weapon available in this draft class.

Just put the ball in his hands and let him make plays.

I’m also a big fan of getting a young QB a young wide receiver and letting them grow up together to form a long term double act.

#9. Giants – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

DeAndre Baker, Julian Love, Corey Ballentine and Sam Beal. All corners that have been drafted by the Giants in the past few years. Do you think any of them will be stars?

I liked Love and I think he’ll make a decent career being a slot guy. Baker is an undersized but incredibly feisty outside corner who is ideally suited to being a CB2 on a team. To follow those guys up, Ballentine and Beal are project guys that you hope develop into good third and fourth corners, which is what you need in today’s NFL.

Jenoris Jenkins is over the hill so despite all this recent investment the Giants need to get a star corner…Enter Kristian Fulton. A tall and rangy corner with excellent cover skills. He’d add height to a shorter cornerback group and instantly be “the man”.

#10. Chargers – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

If Philip Rivers stays around and resigns in LA, he’ll need protection next year because simply put, this year hasn’t nearly been good enough in that area.

I feel that the Chargers need to make a few picks along the line next spring and the most sensible thing to do would be to invest a first round pick, something they haven’t done since DJ Fluker was drafted in 2013.

It’s time.

Prince Tega (an actual Prince, by the way), is a giant of a man with excellent athleticism for his size and can drop anchor and not move. He also possesses the power in the run game that would appeal to the Chargers staff.

I’d start him on the right side then allow him to take over from another tackle of Nigerian descent, Russell Okung, in a couple of years.

#11. Titans – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Marcus Mariota isn’t it, and nor is Ryan Tannehill so it’s time to start over in Nashville.

Justin Herbert has the accuracy, pocket movement and high level decision making to be an excellent pocket passer at the next level.

He also possesses great physical gifts to get him and his team out of a jam and pick up a first down.

He’s basically everything they wished Marcus Mariota was.

#12. Buccaneers – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Jameis Winston ain’t it, so it’s time to start over in Tampa.

Tua is a star and has been ever since he burst on to the college football scene.He’s got superb accuracy, he doesn’t often turn the ball over and has excellent arm strength to make all the throws in the book.

He’s basically everything they wished Jameis Winston was.

Mariota and Winston will always be linked; two can’t miss picks who have both missed; two can’t miss pick who will be looking for work at the same time. They’ll both get a second chance to prove themselves again but they’ll both be on a short leads.

@Bengals

#13. Broncos – Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Safety is criminally underrated in the draft. Last year, we didn’t know where we stood with the safety group we had before us and nobody had Darnell Savage as their top safety, yet he was drafted first.

The fall to 13 represents somewhat of a slip for someone as talented as Delpit, who will certainly be higher on my final big board come the spring.

A homing missile when coming downhill to make a tackle and has the range to break up passes down the field – a complete safety and a complete bargain for Denver.

#14. Cardinals – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin

It was really strange that whilst pimping out their offense with a new QB and a bunch of weapons in the last draft, the Cardinals neglected their offensive line.

Lightning can’t strike twice on that front or they’ll once again to hamstrung by the amount of duress Kyler Murray will face.

There’s not top level tackle worth taking at 14 in my eyes so they opt to boost the interior with the best interior lineman in the class in Tyler Biadasz.

Great in pass pro and possessing the athleticism to be a weapon in the run game, he’ll be a very good 10 year starter on the NFL and a great anchor to build the rest of the line around.

#15. Cowboys – Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise State

Boise State have fed the Cowboys a few times down the years, most recently with Leighton Vander Esch.It’s time to use that supply line again and draft the second best edge defender in the class. Weaver is a pure pass rusher who can compliment DeMarcus Lawrence very nicely and even rush next to him from the same side.

I feel adding another productive pass rusher will take the already strong Dallas defense to another level.

#16. Jaguars – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The NFL is always on the lookout for versatile defenders who can fill multiple roles. Isaiah Simmons is a safety turned linebacker with the kind of body type that you’d usually find in a wide receiver.

I believe Simmons has the potential to be one of the better mismatch neutralisers in the NFL in years to come.

#17. Lions – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Matty P would love another versatile defensive chess piece to deploy all over the defensive backfield and after the Quandre Diggs trade to Seattle, the Lions have an opening.

McKinney is an explosive athlete who can play close to the line of scrimmage or can play deep but most importantly, he can affect the game from any spot.

#18. Colts – Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame

As I was saying on the podcast last week, I feel the Colts need some star power off the edge. Their group is fine, just like the rest of their D… I feel like their defense is very much predicated on being more than the sum of its parts.

Okwara and his genuine game breaking speed off the edge, could really add some star power.

#19. Raiders – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

Physical, aggressive and a damn good football player. Sounds like a Jon Gruden player who fits the “just win baby” ethos of the Raiders.

Wallace should dovetail very nicely with Tyrell Williams’ ability to take the top off the defense and if Derek Carr (or whoever is the Raiders QB in 2020) can just get the ball into his hands and see what he can create after the catch.

#20. Panthers – AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin are old so how does the speed of Brian Burns and the raw power of Epenesa… Sounds good, right?

Epenesa would be the hand-in-the-dirt traditional defensive end and Burns a stand up rusher and they could be the best young duos of edge defenders in the game pretty quickly.

#21. Eagles – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

The Eagles tried to get their hands on Jalen Ramsey just before he went to the Rams. They also have a need for a true CB1 despite making a fair bit of investment in the position via the draft in recent times. Much like the Giants before, it’s time to get a number 1…

Paulson Adebo is having a slight down year but he’s still one of the better corner prospects available. Super athletic and good ball skills… who wouldn’t want that?

#22. Raiders – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Another area of need for the Raiders is corner, Jaylon Johnson is the best player on one of the best defenses in college football.

Tylan Wallace is a physical receiver and Johnson is an equally physical corner. Aggressive at the catch point, aggressive when in press at the line… Maybe a little too much at times but he is a Raider in that regard. He also has good ball skills to make splash plays and break up passes.

#23. Ravens – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

I would love to see Shenault meshed into the Ravens running game and their offense as a whole.

I also love the idea of adding Shenault to Miles Boykin and Hollywood Brown since they all bring a different skill set to the Ravens.

Shenault would really make the Ravens an extremely diverse offense and at times it would be unplayable.

#24. Vikings – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

The Vikings have a really nice defense and a pretty complete roster in general so this pick can afford to be a little bit of a luxury.

Minnesota has one of the best edge rushers in the league in Danielle Hunter, now they can add a fantastic interior rusher and run stuffer in Derrick Brown.

Brown gives the Vikes a ready made replacement for Linval Joseph too.

#25. Dolphins – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Leatherwood is a super athletic tackle prospect with the movement skills to match the speed rushers that litter the NFL.

He’s a little raw around the edges, I’ll admit that but he’ll be coming into the NFL well coached and since it’s a growing process in Miami, I guess that they won’t mind taking someone with a high ceiling.

#26. Bills – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

I’ll go back to the podcast and I just feel the Bills need to strengthen their defense even further by adding some youth into their pass rushing ranks. YGM is quick off the line and his motor runs red hot every single down. He’s also long and understands how to use his length without playing with his pads too high.

#27. Saints – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Can you imagine how fun Henry Ruggs would be in a Sean Payton offense with Michael Thomas to take a lot of the defense’s attention away?

Ruggs is a legitimate candidate to break the 40 yard dash record at the scouting combine in Indianapolis, I expect a time in the 4.2 range, at the least.

#28. Seahawks – Trey Adams, OT, Washington

The Seahawks drafted a lot of guys who went to college on the West Coast last year. I feel like they’ll do that again and keep Trey Adams in Seattle to give a boost to their offensive line.

Adams has had his injury problems but when healthy he could be amongst the best tackles in this class.

#29. Chiefs – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

Bryce Hall is the best cover corner in this class for my money. Hall is explosive and he’s got great man coverage skills, I don’t even mind that he’s injured and out for the year, he makes Kansas City’s defensive back room better, much better. He’s instantly the best player in that room even if he doesn’t play right away in his rookie year.

#30. Packers – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Imagine if Aaron Rodgers had a star running back alongside him? If the Packers keep Taylor in Wisconsin, that’s exactly what they would have.Taylor can do it all and he’s been putting up huge numbers for the Badgers for a few years now.I know Aaron Jones is OK, he might even be good, but he’s not Jonathan Taylor… He would add another layer to the Green Bay offense and dare I say it, make him better.

#31. 49ers – Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

The 49ers are potentially the biggest surprise of the NFL season so far and probably won’t be picking at 31 come April but even so, I feel like they could get Humphrey in the 20’s and nobody would bat an eyelid.Humphrey is the linchpin of one of the better units in college football at Oklahoma.

Humphrey is great at dropping his anchor and not budging – he comes from a wrestling background and his gives him a fantastic knowledge of leverage, and you can tell immediately.

#32. Patriots – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

Kinlaw is having a great year and the tape he has from his recent game against Georgia is really one game he can hang his hat on.Super explosive off the snap and can easily gain penetration and get himself to the QB.

New England could add him to their defensive line rotation and at first they can pick and choose when to unleash him.

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Follow Lee on Twitter @Wakefield90

6 Pre-season SEC takes compared to the week 5 reality by Tom Borrett

After joining the College Football writing team at TheFull10Yards I immediately got to work on my 2019 SEC season preview. I think it’s safe to say there weren’t too much many shocks, Alabama v Georgia in the SEC championship game, Arkansas and Vanderbilt propping up the table, Tua continuing his form from last season, but what about the ones that were wide of the mark?

A few of my takes have turned out to be slightly wrong. A few takes have been proved completely wrong. Then again, there are a few others that make it seem like I may actually know a little something about SEC football. This week I’m bringing you a comparison article, a look at six takes from my sneak peek preview and how they have aged through week four of CFB150. So, pour that fresh cup of coffee, sit back in your chair and enjoy laughing at, and agreeing with me.

Take 1 – Georgia to win the SEC East

I think It’s safe to say that as long as we don’t see a couple of freak upsets I will have got this spot on, not that that’s necessarily an impressive take, if you asked any SEC fan pre-season, in fact most college football fans preseason, who would win the East? I think UGA would have been the clear leader.

The Bulldogs defence did a great job this past weekend at holding – still top ten ranked – Notre Dame to a total of 46 yards on the ground and as discussed on Tuesday night’s CFB pod, my guy Jake Fromm continues to lead from the front.

The Georgia schedule isn’t particularly difficult between now and the SEC championship game, they will have to face a Mizzou team and Kelly Bryant who seem to be growing and improving by the week, TAMU and Kellen Mond who I’m sure will continue to improve as the season goes on and a Florida team who are still unbeaten but have some injury problems.You may ask why I have ruled out 4-0 and 9th ranked Florida from the East title race, but it’s simple. They are yet to play Auburn, Georgia and LSU. I know that Georgia has tough match ups remaining but the likelihood of Florida beating those three? Very slim in my opinion. I could however put forth an argument for each of those other three teams beating one and other, I just can’t see Florida doing so.

Take score: 9/10

I’m pretty confident Georgia wins the East.

2 – Alabama to win the SEC West

I never thought I’d say this but I’m slightly less confident in Alabama reaching the SEC championship game than I am Georgia right now… although, when you look at the strength of the West that’s not surprising.

Alabama are 4-0 and haven’t moved from their pre-season national ranking of #2, however they have two conference rivals who have climbed the rankings and are snapping at their heels (If only that could have been a Gators reference). #4 LSU and #7 Auburn both look strong.

Auburn have beaten a very good Oregon team on a neutral field and most recently and perhaps more impressively, a win on the road in College Station against, despite two losses (Clemson and now Auburn) a very good Texas A&M side.

Over in Death Valley, LSU have gone off so far this season, they have had a strong defence for a long as time but have been very one dimensional in simply running the football down the oppositions throat. Enter the 2019 Joe Burrow, this kid is on fire, he is throwing TD’s for fun and is currently a stand out Heisman candidate. This means I have the West as a three-horse race, and the great thing about it is they all have to play each other! Imagine an unbeaten Alabama v unbeaten LSU on November 9 or an unbeaten Auburn v Bama in the Iron Bowl in the final game of the season – madness!

Take Score: 7/10

I still think Alabama have the best chance of going unbeaten with Tua and his WR group but this may be closer than first expected!

3 – Georgia to beat Alabama in the SEC championship game

It’s clearly still way too early to deliver a more informed take on this, what I would say is that after watching the Bulldog’s performance against Notre Dame, they may be getting there defensively but they would definitely need to score more points against the Crimson Tide.

Tua and his group of receivers; Jeudy, Waddle, Smith and Rugs III are elite and no matter how good your secondary they will score points on you.Currently I’d be more confident in an LSU win over Bama simply for that reason and their ability to score points through Burrow so far this season.

Take Score: 5/10

Too early to call really however if they played tomorrow, I’m not sure UGA would win.

4 – Tennessee to be the most improved team in the conference

If we could swiftly move over this point that would be great… to be fair I said in my pre-season review that I had no idea which way to go with the Vols, they have had a couple of really strong recruiting classes and I was hoping it was going to start to click. However; an opening loss to group of five opponent Georgia State followed by and OT loss to BYU proved I may be very wrong on this call. Tennessee went on to beat Chattanooga convincingly – as you’d expect any SEC team to do – yet showed no signs of improvement at all against Florida at the weekend leaving them 1-3 for the year. To add insult to injury Jeremy Pruitt announced on Wednesday that WR Jordan Murphy and CB Terrell Bailey would be red-shirting the rest of the season and entering the transfer portal. So with seven out of their eight remaining fixtures being against SEC competition the rest of the season doesn’t look bright for the Vols. Let’s take a moment to pray for the Tennessee football fan base as two of those remaining SEC fixtures are against Alabama and Georgia.

Take Score: 0/10

I had a shocker with this one.

5 – Missouri to be 8-0 before playing Georgia and to finish with 9 wins.

So this looked like a terrible call week one as Mizzou went 0-1 in a 37-31 defeat at the hands of Wyoming. Yet since then, they have beaten West Virginia convincingly, blown out SEMO (as to be expected) and last weekend took a big W over SEC rivals South Carolina. I said at the start of the season that I really liked Kelly Bryant at QB and I thought Mizzou would go 8-0 before Georgia. This team is certainly growing and learning how to play with each other. Bryant has looked sharp since week two and I am fairly confident that they will beat; Troy, Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky which will take them to 7-1 before the UGA game as oppose to my predicted 8-0.

I like this team and I think 7-1 compared to an 8-0 preseason call isn’t bad going, we’ll have to sit tight and see how the Tigers go but I’m pretty happy with this take.

Take Score: 7/10

If they get to 7-1 before UGA I’m almost certain they will end win at least 9 wins (Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas left to play) If they finish with 10 wins I’m upgrading this to a 9/10 score!

6 – Texas A&M to win at Clemson week two

Shall I just score this 0/10 and leave it there….?

To be fair, whilst it was a bold call, I don’t think it was one that was completely unbelievable. If you believed the Aggies pre-season hype and listened to Kellen Mond at SEC media day, you’d have every right to think there was a small chance. Plus; they ran them very close last season, Trevor Lawrence didn’t have the greatest game week one and I do think Jimbo’s Aggies will be a very good team in the next season or two. TAMU also kept it at 0-0 in the first quarter, held them to 7 in the third and 0 in the fourth. It was the Second Quarter where they conceded 17 that killed the game for them. The problem here was Mond didn’t have a great game, Clemson weren’t incredible, but their defence was as solid as usual. Overall a very hopeful but poor take from me.

Take Score: 2/10

I’m giving myself a two because I tipped TheFull10Yards family to back Texas A&M +17.5 and they did only lose by 14.

So there you have it, six preseason takes compared with the current reality of the 2019 College Football season. Huge thank you for the support you’re showing the Full10Yards CFB guys, we’re really enjoying putting the weekly pod out and providing you with some College Football Content. Give us a follow on twitter @Full10yardsCFB – you can find me at @BlogsBoz for more SEC content and general College Football chat.

Kash Daniel – Where do you draw the line? By Tom Borrett

I think it’s safe to say we are all fans of CFB players that have that little extra something; intensity, a competitive edge, supreme physicality however where do you draw the line? Should the desire to win and temptation to cheat ever outweigh the core values of sport? I think not.

Kash Daniel LB University of Kentucky is an outstanding player, a team captain and has a reputation of let’s face it, being absolutely mental. He is fearless, he leads from the front and he is definitely not one to shy away from contact.

In last Saturday’s matchup between UK and Florida Kash was caught on the skycam seemingly twisting Kyle Trask’s ankle. Trask reacted in a way that certainly made me, as a viewer, sit back and take note. On being asked about the incident since Saturday Kash has stated that his arm was stuck under one of the linemen and the ankle twist was unintentional. He stated he would never intentionally twist someone’s ankle or injure a fellow player.

On Thursday however, new footage emerged. A side-line camera angle was able to show the full incident as it occurred on the ground. Trask was stopped on a 3rd and short QB keep just two yards from the Kenutcky endzone, Danielsl is involved in the tackle and ends up on top of him.

You can quite clearly see from the footage that not only is Kash’s arm free and clearly not stuck underneath the lineman as he initially suggested but he uses BOTH hands to grab the boot/ankle of Trask, he then proceeds to forcefully twist his ankle.

Now I’ve played contact sports my entire life and have played Rugby to Academy level and represented the region where I grew up. I have seen red on the pitch before, I have been in rucks where foul play has occurred and I would be a liar and a hypocrite if I said I hadn’t retaliated myself.

I get it.

The adrenaline is pumping, you are in a physical battle, you feel like perhaps you’ve been wronged, and you want some revenge. This isn’t it though.

The issue I have with the Kash situation is he has obviously seen the sky cam footage, which is a little inconclusive, he obviously doesn’t think there is another angle and he has then lied to the press, teammates and coaching staff. 

He clearly knew what he was doing, it was unprovoked, but to potentially injure a fellow young athlete is wrong, to then lie and say it was unintentional knowing full well what he did is a straight red.

I wouldn’t go as far as some commenters saying he should lose his scholarship or anything like that, as mentioned I would be a hypocrite, he’s an athlete playing at the highest level and he plays on the edge anyway, these thing happen, people lose control. The lying about it is the main issue I have.

Kash should definitely serve some form of ban – three matches for me. 

CFB Team Preseason Top 25’s

With the week 1 schedule of games kicking off later on tonight, the college football team have put together their Top 25’s and some of them even threw in their final four and bowl game predictions.

Let us know what you think!

Lee
 Preseason Top 25

  1. Alabama 
  2. Clemson
  3. Oklahoma 
  4. Georgia 
  5. Ohio State
  6. Oregon
  7. Notre Dame 
  8. LSU
  9. Utah
  10. Florida
  11. Washington
  12. Texas
  13. Auburn
  14. Stanford 
  15. Virginia 
  16. Miami 
  17. Michigan State 
  18. Texas A&M
  19. Michigan 
  20. Iowa
  21. Syracuse 
  22. UCF
  23. Wisconsin
  24. Boise State 
  25. Cincinnati 

New Years 6 Bowls
CFB  Playoff

#1 Alabama vs. #4 Oregon – Peach Bowl

#2 Clemson vs. #3 Oklahoma – Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State vs. Utah – Rose Bowl

Georgia vs. Texas – Sugar Bowl

Miami vs. LSU – Orange Bowl

Notre Dame vs. UCF – Cotton Bowl

Trevor
Preseason Top 25

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Ohio State
  5. Oklahoma
  6. LSU
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Florida
  9. Oregon
  10. Texas A&M
  11. Washington
  12. Michigan
  13. Auburn
  14. Utah
  15. UCF
  16. Texas
  17. Iowa State
  18. Missouri 
  19. Michigan State
  20. Penn State
  21. Minnesota
  22. Syracuse
  23. Iowa
  24. Wisconsin
  25. Boise State

New Years 6 Bowls
CFB Playoff 

#1 Clemson vs #4 Alabama – Peach Bowl

#2 Ohio State vs #3 Georgia – Fiesta Bowl

Notre Dame vs UCF – Cotton Bowl

Virginia Tech vs Florida – Orange Bowl

Minnesota vs Oregon – Rose Bowl

Oklahoma vs LSU – Sugar Bowl

Tom
Preseason Top 25

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. LSU
  6. Ohio State
  7. Oregon
  8. Texas
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Florida
  11. Michigan
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Utah
  14. Washington
  15. Auburn
  16. UCF
  17. Penn St
  18. Wisconsin
  19. Michigan St
  20. Iowa
  21. Syracuse
  22. Washington St
  23. Iowa St
  24. Missouri
  25. Stanford

New Years 6 Bowls
CFB Playoff


#1 Georgia vs. #4 Clemson – Peach Bowl

#2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Alabama – Fiesta Bowl

Ohio St vs. Oregon – Rose Bowl

LSU vs. Texas – Sugar Bowl

Miami vs. Florida – Orange Bowl

UCF vs. Notre Dame – Cotton Bowl 

Thomas
Preseason Top 25

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Ohio State
  6. Texas
  7. Michigan
  8. Oregon
  9. LSU
  10. Utah
  11. Florida
  12. Notre Dame
  13. Texas A&M
  14. Washington
  15. Auburn
  16. Penn State
  17. UCF
  18. Syracuse 
  19. Michigan State
  20. Wisconsin 
  21. Iowa 
  22. Washington State
  23. Iowa State
  24. Stanford
  25. Nebraska 

No NY6 Bowls Predicted. 

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Follow the boys on Twitter:

Lee: @Wakefield90 | Tom: @BlogsBoz | Thomas: @Rowberry_ | Trevor: @tgriswold1

SEC Preview by Tom Borrett

The SEC Preview

The Southeastern Conference, where do I begin? I mean, it just means more right? Both the West and the East are absolutely stacked with talent. 11 of the 13 teams went bowling last year, six teams are present in the CFB coaches’ top 25 preseason rankings and results last year show that anyone can beat anyone on their day. We have a vast amount to get excited about this season; multiple players who will be competing for the Heisman, Coaches hoping to prove they now own their programmes and can produce the results needed, as well as talented players joining the conference through the transfer portal. 

Sooo many questions…

Will Alabama and Georgia meet in the conference decider again? Can Jake Fromm finally take the Bulldogs past the Crimson Tide? How will Kelly Bryant perform going home to Missouri? Will Jimbo and the Aggies be able to safely navigate their way through their extremely tough schedule? Can Auburn and Florida live up to expectations and challenge this year? Will Joe Burrow and the offense at LSU be able to produce the same quality produced by their awesome defence? Can Kentucky back up 2018 without Josh Allen & Benny Snell Jr? Will Coach Muschamp deliver in his fourth year at SC? I could go on for hours… but let’s get into it  

Looking back at 2018

So 2018 was dominated again by those boys from Tuscaloosa. Alabama won the SEC West and went 14-1 with their only loss coming to Clemson in the National Championship Game. Georgia gave them a close-run SEC championship match-up where Alabama needed an intervention from back-up QB Jalen Hurts to take the OT win, but apart from that, no one in the SEC really looked like challenging.

Elsewhere in the West there are notable mentions for LSU and Texas A&M, not only because they treated us to a 72-74, seven OT thriller but they finished second and third respectively. Both finished with conference records of 5-3, LSU didn’t lose a non-conference match and also defeated the 25-0 UCF Knights in the Fiesta Bowl whilst TAMU finished nicely with a four-game win streak.

Over in the East, Georgia dominated, (apart from that championship game against Bama and their away loss in Baton Rouge) they made light work of the rest of the conference. Georgia went 7-0 at home last season plus Jake Fromm firmly confirmed that the Bulldogs are his team.

Big shout out in the East goes to Florida and Kentucky, both teams finished with a 5-3 conference record like their 2nd and 3rd place equivalents in the West and took some significant scalps along the way. Florida were unbeaten on the road at 4-0 and UK made Kroger Field a fortress going 6-1 with the only loss coming to that strong Georgia side.

Oh… and just to reiterate my point that on their given day anyone really can beat anyone in the SEC, last season; LSU beat Georgia, Texas A&M beat LSU, Auburn beat Texas A&M while Tennessee beat Auburn. Tennessee also beat Kentucky, but UK had a great season and beat Mississippi State, Florida and South Carolina. Mississippi State beat Auburn but lost to Florida, and then Tennessee got beat by Missouri, Vanderbilt and South Carolina. It’s a madness!

What should you expect for 2019?

I’m coming straight back at you with an Alabama v Georgia SEC championship game, what a surprise…. In fairness there has been a lot of talk about Florida taking Georgia in the East this year however come the Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on November 2 I think the Bulldogs will prove too strong for the Gators. 

Alabama are still the football powerhouse they always have been under Nick Saban, the depth down in Tuscaloosa means even when they lose good players to the NFL guys are lining up and ready to be counted. The have last season’s Heisman Runner-up Tua Tagoviloa returning in the QB spot, Tua told the press at SEC Media day that he is arguably in the best shape he’s ever been in having dropped down to 215lbs from 230lbs before Spring-practice begun. His eye will be set firmly on the National Championship and the Heisman trophy in what will be his last season before heading to the draft.

Elsewhere on the roster there are studs everywhere you turn, Jerry Jeudy is the best WR in the nation in my opinion and if he can have a season with even better stats than 68 receptions for 1315 yds and 14 TD’s he may even put himself in Heisman contention with the pool of talented QB’s around the nation. 

Defensively’ players like Xavier McKinney and Raekwon Davis will keep this strong Alabama defence hard to beat and keep an eye out for LB Dylan Moses, wow, ranked as the no.1 recruit in his 2017 class, Moses will be key to the Bama D. Check out Lee’s article on Supply lines and Alabama LB’s here.

As mentioned, I think they will meet the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship decider. If there is a season that Georgia are going to go all the way, it’s got to be this one, right? Jake Fromm returning, Heisman hopeful, arguably the best leader in the country – Check out my piece on the race to the Heisman here – and with the experience of a National Championship and SEC championship loss in consecutive seasons at the hand of Alabama you’d hope this time he will be able to deliver… third time lucky?

The Bulldogs lost some seriously talented receivers in Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin but in my opinion they have the best O-Line in all of college football. This is going to create space for elite running back De’Andre Swift and five-star recruit Zamir White who was the number one ranked player in High School Football 2018. The O-Line should also allow Fromm a little extra time on the ball to pick out those less experienced receivers. 

Florida were the most improved team in all of the SEC last year and are heading in to year two of Dan Mullen’s reign off the back of a ten-win season. Feleipe Franks has shown us he can throw the football and seemed to be a new, much more confident, man at SEC media day. Whilst I think Franks and the Gators will get the better of many next season, I have Georgia down in Jacksonville on what I’m sure will be the SEC East decider.

Looking back to the West

Both LSU and Texas A&M have strong teams again. Coach O is in Baton Rouge to stay and Jimbo moves in to year two of his programme, but how will they fair?

Firstly I’ll touch on TAMU, despite really liking the Aggie’s I am finding it hard to see them winning the magic 10 games this season. Matches against Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and LSU stand out as to reasons why it may be unfeasible. I think they can definitely get one win out of these four and I have a sneaky feeling it may come against National Champions Clemson. TAMU pushed Clemson very close at Kyle Field last year and they play them early on again this season, if they hit the ground running, they could cause an upset that will have a dramatic knock on effect on the College Football Playoffs. 

When it comes to LSU, well, I think their schedule means they won’t finish top of the West with tough matches against Texas, Florida, Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M – I certainly don’t think they will win out – However I do think they will be a top ten team this season and with Joe Burrow returning perhaps they do have a recipe for an attack on that top spot… because the LSU Defence is outrageous!

Keep a particularly close eye out for Safety, Grant Delpit – Coach O said at SEC media day that he genuinely believes Delpit is the best Defensive Back returning to College Football and boy does his stats from last season prove it. He had 46 solo tackles, 9.5 for a loss – as a Safety! – 5 sacks and 5 interceptions. He will be a first round NFL pick for sure.

Sleeper team 

There has been a lot of talk about Auburn being the sleeper team in the SEC West but again I think their schedule will prove too tough. They have one of the best Defensive units in the nation with a line led by seniors Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson as well as Junior Nick Coe. 

They are going to have either a redshirt or true Freshman at the helm, personally I think Bo Nix wins the battle this season but whether he has what it takes against an experienced Oregon side and first round NFL prospect Justin Herbert opening day will be another story. They also have to navigate their way past Texas A&M, Florida, LSU, Georgia and Alabama. I think their absolute ceiling is 8 wins this year.

For my sleeper pick in the SEC this year you have to look East to Missouri, bold take but I genuinely believe they could be 8-0 before they have to play Georgia and Florida back to back. Mizzou aren’t bowl eligible this year and many players were targeted in the transfer portal… but they remained. Not only did players remain but they have star quarterback Kelly Bryant joining from Clemson who, let’s be honest, has only moved on because a certain Trevor Lawrence seems to be on another planet.

Bryant is going to offer much more than an improved passing game, he’s a dual threat QB who has the ability to take off and make things happen on the ground. If key defensive players like LB Cale Garrett play to their potential, then Coach Odom and Mizzou’s nothing to lose attitude may upset the apple cart this season.

What’s your take on these?

Kentucky obviously had a great season in 2018, they only lost at home once and that was to Georgia and they went on to beat Penn State in the Citrus Bowl to top off a successful 10-3 season. This year however, may be a bit of a challenge. Kentucky had five players drafted in to the NFL, that’s the most in one draft since 1979 where eight players were selected. They lost defensive powerhouse and leader Josh Allen who was drafted 7th overall, along with RB Benny Snell Jr who went in round 4. Lonnie Johnson Jr., Mike Edwards, and George Asafo-Adjei made up the five and I simply cannot see Kentucky filling these very big shoes. Kentucky to fall in the rankings this season.

Will Muschamp feels that he has his strongest side to date and as he moves in to his fourth year programme at South Carolina, he now has a full squad of players recruited by him and his staff. One date you should definitely add to your diary is November 30th where the Gamecock’s host rivals Clemson. Muschamp was asked about being the ‘little brother’ now to Clemson and his response was clear – We are not the little brother, OK – don’t miss that one folks.

Mississippi State have a relatively straight forward schedule this year, so I have the over under on wins this year at 7.5. I don’t however think they will be good enough to beat Auburn, LSU, Bama and TAMU so they won’t be in contention in the SEC West.

Help me on the Vols!

Tennessee are driving me mad this pre-season! Obviously, they will hope to be an improved team and I think they could potentially be a surprise package this season. Moving into the second year under Jeremy Pruitt the Vols will be looking to improve on their 5-7 record last year. The only way is up right? Well… maybe not, there is a more-than-likely chance they will lose to Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and my sleeper team Missouri… that’s four L’s right there.

But will they? There is a lot to get excited about, they beat Auburn and an in-form Kentucky last season and they have lured in a top-quality recruiting class ranking 10th in the nation. Included in that is Henry To’oto’o who they have stolen from Alabama and they also have Wanya Morris and Darnell Wright who are both five-star offensive tackles. 

Propping up the bottom

Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, Arkansas…. I’m conscious that this piece is getting pretty lengthy now, so I won’t keep you much longer. For me I can’t see vast improvements at Vanderbilt, Ole Miss or Arkansas, I mean… Arkansas will improve I’m sure after an 0-8 conference record last year, but I think their absolute ceiling is 6-5. Ole Miss are going through a bit of a rebuilding patch and Vandy aren’t getting more than 6 wins. 

To conclude…

Breaking it all down, and making ridiculously early predictions for this season I’m taking;

  • Georgia to win the SEC East
  • Alabama to win the SEC West
  • Georgia to beat Alabama in the SEC championship game. 
  • Tennessee to be the most improved team in the conference
  • Missouri to be 8-0 before playing Georgia and Florida and finishing with 9 wins
  • Texas A&M to beat Clemson (I know that’s technically non-conference)

Thanks for your time in reading this piece, I will be covering the SEC this season so please feel free to tweet me at @BlogsBoz with anything you’d like me to cover.


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