Player Profile: Logan Wilson, Linebacker, Wyoming

Whilst we’re all currently bound to the constraints of our homes at the moment due to the outbreak of Covid-19, so what better way to wait for the apocalypse than watch tape of college players that’ll never play in the NFL?

That is not because these players aren’t good enough but because the world is going to succumb to our new viral overlords and mankind will cease to be, therefore no more NFL.

Today I’m going to bring you my thoughts on Wyoming linebacker, Logan Wilson.

This is a player whom I was recommended to watch by Logan Wilson fan, Simon Carroll (@NFLDraftSi on Twitter).

Before I get going I have to make a small disclaimer – I’m not a huge fan of this linebacker class this year, so with that, I wasn’t expecting a great deal from Wilson when I pressed play on the tap this morning. I did, however, put my prejudices aside and tried to watch and note-take with a clear mind, and be as candid as possible.

Unfortunately there isn’t a great deal of tape available for Wilson – I was only able to find two games; New Mexico State from 2018 and San Diego State from this past season. Usually I like to watch at least 4 games of a player before making a solid judgement, so I can’t really be completely happy, or indeed complete in my judgement due to the small sample size.

However…

I was pleasantly surprised.

Photo credit: Montanasports.com

I’m not head-over-heels with Wilson by any stretch of the imagination, but in a linebacker class that I’m not a massive fan of, he probably stands out more than most and I actually would love to see more film on him to expand on what I’ve seen – Please hit me up @Wakefield90 on Twitter if you know of any other cuts of Wilson.

I’m going to break this report down into three segments, in a different way than I usually do due to the lack of tape; each of the two games and then off the field – this will be interviews I watched, his athletic testing numbers, stats and background information.

Let’s start at the end of that list with the off field stuff.

So what do I like about him when it comes to the number and off the field?

I really like the way Wilson talks in interviews, I feel like he considers his answers, he takes pause before answering the question at times and gets to the heart of what he’s saying and speaks in a measured and concise manner. I’ve seen interviews with him when he’s been asked about why he didn’t skip the bowl game this past year, why he chose Wyoming and what it was like to play for his home state university and each interview has impressed me with his maturity and his honesty. I feel like Wilson speaks with a good amount of gratitude and he realises what football has given him, but also what he has put into football and seems to know what he can get from it in return. From this, it’s easy to see why Wilson was a 3 year captain for the Cowboys.

Wilson came to Wyoming as a safety, having grown up in Casper Wyoming, around 150 miles north of the Cowboys’ campus in Laramie. He has spoken about the transformation his body has gone through in order to transition from safety to linebacker – Offering praise to the university, its facilities and the coaching staff at Wyoming. It just feels like he’s gone about things in the right way and has taken good advice from good people, and is now reaping the benefits. For reference Wilson said he arrived on campus as a 195lb safety, 5 years later he’s a 241lb linebacker.

When you are looking at late day 2, early day 3 players, this is the kind of attitude and the kind of guy you want on your football team – honest, hard-working and selfless. These are your grinders, your culture guys and the guys that back the back end of your roster better than other teams, and really elevate the overall level of your team.

Let’s talk numbers.

Stats and production get two big check marks here. Whilst I’m not an advocate of tackles as a high value stat without context, Wilson has been the model of consistency in his four years as a starting linebacker – the lowest number of total tackles that he registered in a season was 94, in his Freshman year. He racked up 111 in his Sophomore year, 99 as a Junior and finished off with 105 last season.

The tackles for loss numbers were consistent too, 7.5, 8, 10.5 and 8 in each year chronologically.

Wilson also affected the game in a number of ways, something I always like to see from defenders; he registered 10 interceptions throughout his college career and has a further 14 pass deflections – You can see that safety background in these numbers a mile away.

5 forced fumbles and 7 sacks in four years aren’t gaudy numbers but they add a little something on top of what is four years of very solid production. A multi-faceted, multi-dimensional prospect on the defensive side of the ball. Nice.

Let’s talk about athletic testing.

Wilson measured 6’2 and 241lbs in Indy, with 32 ⅜” arms and 9 ½” hands. All of which range from slightly above average to slightly below average for an NFL linebacker and that’s going to be the theme of this segment, average.

A quite nippy, 40 yards time of 4.63 second (74th percentile), was kind of cancelled out by a poor vertical jump of 32” (28th percentile) and aside from a nice performance in the broad 121” (76th percentile), every other event was just ok throughout the combine.

Which is all, well… fine. The lack of high end explosivity shows up on tape and is there for all to see, I’m not saying Wilson is a bad athlete – He’s not – He’s just not great either.

I don’t see this getting much better either unfortunately, the reason being, the one number I’m not least keen on of all, 24 – The age Wilson will turn in July. So we’re looking at one of the older rookies in the league, plus I also feel his frame is pretty maxed out considering he’s already packed on just over 45lbs since coming out of high school.

In summary, I like what I have heard and the production but not blown away by the athletic ability or age, but as I said, this is all fine for a mid round linebacker.

Anway, let’s talk football…

Game 1: New Mexico State, 2018

Wilson played mainly as a SAM or Mike linebacker in this game, which is where I feel he is most suited to playing at the next level. Wyoming trusted Wilson a lot in coverage throughout this game, which against New Mexico’s offense which on all but one play, lined up with either 4 or 5 wide receivers. Wilson’s flexibility and ability to guard running backs or tight ends when they flexed out wide was valuable – New Mexico ran a fair few times out of these spread formations, so Wyoming was able to keep another thumper out there instead of having 6 defensive backs and potentially getting eaten up in the run game.

This versatility is a great trait to have when you’re a back-up at the next level. As a mid round selection, you’re not a certainty to make the final 53 but being able perform a wider spectrum of duties definitely raises your odds of making it – for this reason, I definitely think that Wilson makes a final 53 man roster come the start of the season.

Throughout the game, I noted Wilson’s solid coverage ability in short zones and also his ability to keep his eyes on the backfield and where the ball was – His read and react skills were apparent in the game, as he was able to break off the man he was covering and head towards the action quickly once the ball was caught in another area of the field.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all great news against New Mexico. It was quite apparent that at this time, Wilson struggled to get off blocks and on a couple of occasions, he was completely eaten up by a block and gains were made in his vicinity.

Overall, a solid if not spectacular outing.

Game 2: San Diego State, 2019

In this game, I saw many of the same positives that I saw in the previous game – Wyoming trusted him in coverage, he barely ever came off the field and he was proficient when defending both the pass and the run.

There was even an occasion early when Wyoming was trying to sell an exotic blitz package which Wilson appeared to be a part of, but were actually sending just one lineback as a 5th rusher, along with a safety as a 6th – Wilson bailed deep and was actually asked to play deep middle of the field, with the other four defensive backs playing man coverage underneath him. I feel that this shows that Wilson is able to grasp complexities in the defensive scheme and also gained a lot of trust in his coverage ability from coaches. 

A more traditional positive aspect of his play was that I feel that I saw a good amount of evidence that Wilson is able to set the edge and contain against the run, without ball watching and ruining the integrity of the defense. Wilson is also able to stop the run and has really good form as a tackler on top of this.

When dropping into short zones, I noted Wilson’s eyes are in the backfield and when they aren’t, his head is on a swivel as he’s looking for receivers coming his way – This shows up in his excellent reading of the game, I no longer felt like he overpersued plays, something I did see once or twice in the first game I watched.

Physically, I feel like Wilson had developed from the first game too and no longer found it so difficult to get off blocks in the run game, he’s still not too great at playing through the trees but he doesn’t have the elite physical tools to do so, however he definitely seems to have the strength to break free from blocks nowadays.

One thing I would love to see from Wilson is the development of some kind of pass rush move or plan – This is part of his game I simply don’t see anything in, aside from a basic bull rush. Wyoming rushed him a couple of times in his outing but I just had a sense that he was there to make up the numbers.

It would really add another string to his bow if he was able to show some hand-fighting proficiency and perhaps put some pressure on the passer from time-to-time and become more of an all around player.

To Sum Up

To sum up, I see Logan Wilson as a nice mid-round linebacker prospect who will be a hard worker and certainly add to a team’s locker room, but also be able to make some contribution on the field too.

I feel like this type of linebacker is definitely in vogue at the moment when it comes to him being comfortable in coverage but also good at traditional linebacking duties such as coming downhill to stop a ball carrier or maintaining edge and gap discipline in the run game.

Due to his relatively average athleticism I’m not too sure how high the ceiling is for Wilson but due to the football IQ, versatility and experience, the floor is fairly high.

If Wilson can contribute in limited snaps on defense and also as a special teamer, I feel he could earn the trust and respect of coaches and his peers quite quickly leading to an increased role and a solid NFL career long term.

There we have it then, some words on a potential pick that rounds out a team’s overall draft and makes a GM look pretty smart – If you would like to see more words on mid to late round picks who you like or feel could make a difference – get in touch on Twitter and I’ll put something together.

Follow Lee on Twitter @Wakefied90

Follow Full 10 Yards CFB on Twitter @Full10YardsCFB

Main photo credit: The Denver Post

Rob Grimwood’s Mock Draft 1.0

Now that the NFL combine has concluded and we have a better idea of what this class’ draft stock is, I thought i’d join the masses in predicting who will go where come April in the first round when the draft party descends on Las Vegas.

Pick 1: Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB – LSU

I wanted to go against the flow, i really did. For me, Chase Young is the best talent in this draft, but I think the Bengals need to rebuild from top to bottom, and that starts with a franchise QB. Burrow was the stand out player in College football in 2019, he’s done enough to prove himself a quality option for the NFL. Cinci need him, the re-build of the Bengals dynasty starts here.


Pick 2 MOCK TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders via Washington – Chase Young, EDGE – Ohio State

What a way to kick start their new identity as the Las Vegas Raiders than blowing Day 1 out of the water with a monster trade in front of their new home fans, right! With two first rounders and three third rounders in this years’ draft, I think the Raiders will put any stock necessary in order to pair Young up with last years’ first pick, Clelin Ferrell. Corner, Wide Receiver and QB needs can be addressed either in the free agency or later in the draft.

As previously mentioned, I believe Young is the best player in this player pool. With Washington not having a need at EDGE, the offer from another team, in this case Las Vegas, will be too big to turn down. The Skins will have opportunities to strengthen later down this list.


Pick 3 MOCK TRADE: Miami Dolphins via Detroit – Tua Tagovailoa, QB – Alabama

It’s bold predicting trades early on, i know! But i can see it happening. Detroit need secondary help above anything else with Darius Slay on the downturn and no obvious replacements currently on their roster. They will be able to grab the player they need back at pick 5 though, as well as gaining a sweetener extra pick later in the draft.

After seeing Burrow picked at 1, the Dolphins will be keen to get it over and done with before anyone else jumps in to this slot before them (sorry Charger fans). Tua has been destined for Miami ever since the ‘Tank for Tua’ slogan appeared early on at the beginning of last season when it looked inevitable that Miami would probably be picking first. Well, that wasn’t to be, however, with Tua’s unfortunate injury at the end of the 2019 campaign, his draft stock took a small dent too. Stars have aligned, Tua will still be a Dolphin.


Pick 4: New York Giants – Tristan Wirfs, OL – Iowa

After seemingly finding Eli’s replacement this time last year in Daniel Jones, the next logical step for the G-men is to get him protected. Wirfs was one of the stand-outs in this years’ combine which has probably justified his ‘Top 5’ value.


Pick 5 MOCK TRADE: Detroit Lions via Miami – Jeff Okudah, CB – Ohio State

Still available here for the Lions will be the best corner in the draft. Plug in and play alongside Slay in order to gain experience from him and replace him when his contract expires in 2021. It’s a no brainer, probably the best lock down corner through the draft since Jalen Ramsey and a big need for Detroit

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Pick 6: Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB – Oregon

The Chargers will be fighting an internal battle over this pick. They are still desperate for offensive line help and there are some gems in this draft class, yet their team is not a million miles away from being playoff worthy. However, to be that, they will need a replacement for Pip Rivers. Herbert ticks a lot of boxes. He was slated to go 1.01 last season before heading back to Oregon for another term and he impressed at the combine as expected. Herbert could be the answer Charger fans.


Pick 7: Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB – Clemson

Luke Kuechly is gone. He was one of the centrepieces of the organisation and Simmons will fit into Matt Rhules’ desire to build a formidable defense as Kuechly’s replacement. Can also play at Safety if the Panthers prioritise building their defensive secondary first


Pick 8: Arizona Cardinals – Mekhi Becton, OL – Louisville

Offensive Line has been a glaring need for a few years now in Arizona. At 6’7 and 364lbs, Becton is still one of the most athletic freaks in this class. He’ll be a game changer for Kyler Murray as he searches for the next level.


Pick 9: Jacksonville Jaguars – Derrick Brown, DT – Auburn

Last year Josh Allen fell in their laps at pick 7 last year, and Brown is going to do the same this year for them. Defensive line is a need for Jacksonville and in a lesser talent-filled class, Brown would be considered a top 5 pick.


Pick 10: Cleveland Browns – Jedrick Wills, OL – Alabama

The Browns need a tackle. Their O-line has never lived up to the hype that it was supposed to be, and with the news of Greg Robinson’s arrest. they’ll need to sure the line up. Two stud O-lineman remain on the board, but I think Wills nudges it over Andrew Thomas down to a better showing in their Junior year.


Pick 11: New York Jets – Andrew Thomas, OL – Georgia

The need for O-lineman in the NFL is plentiful. The Jets’ are in that conversation and will take the last remaining stud tackle in this first round. Andrew Thomas is an NFL ready tackle who will provide better protection for Sam Darnold. Good pick.


Pick 12 MOCK TRADE: Washington Redskins via Las Vegas – C.J Henderson, CB – Florida

Henderson had a great combine and boosted his draft stock back into the top half of day one. Although Josh Norman hasn’t performed well over the last couple of years, he’ll still need replacing and it would be good if the skins could pair another stud corner with last years’ stand out Quinton Dunbar.

I have the Skins’ down for acquiring both Raider first rounders for the 2nd over all pick, other needs can be addressed later.


Pick 13: Indianapolis Colts – Jerry Jeudy, WR – Alabama

If Indy don’t acquire a QB in free agency, then Jordan Love/Jake Fromm could be in play here. However, Indy need better receiving options for whoever is slinging the rock in 2020. TY Hilton is the speed threat, Jeudy will be an all round threat. Remember Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne? Time for a repeat. A few slated Jeudy’s combine, however, his combine was still statistically better than those from DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas and Davante Adams…and they turned out to be elite receivers… just sayin’

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Pick 14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jordan Love, QB – Utah State

Similarly to Indy, this pick is dependant on whether the Bucs address the QB position in the free agency. However, even if Jameis was to return, Jordan Love would be the type of QB the Bucs would like – a stronger, faster and dare I say less mistake prone version of famous Jameis. The Bucs already have a stellar offensive cast of characters, Love would be a great fit.


Pick 15: Denver Broncos – CeeDee Lamb, WR – Oklahoma

Courtland Sutton is the up and coming receiver in Denver and it would be nice to pair him up with another stud on the opposite flank. Denver has a few other needs including o-line and cornerback, but personally I think Lamb is the best player available in those needed positions.


Pick 16: Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE – LSU

Offensive line, defensive secondary, tight end, (providing Hooper isn’t re-signed), running back are all big needs for Atlanta. None more so than on the Edge now Vic Beasley is out of town. Chaisson is the pick here to help provide some much needed quarterback pressure.


Pick 17: Dallas Cowboys – Javon Kinlaw, DT – South Carolina

If Kinlaw falls this far, it’ll certainly be a case of taking the best player available for the Cowboys. Defensive line is a need for them if Maliek Collins heads to free agency, so this pick should go down well with the Cowboys’ faithful, even if that means not replacing Byron Jones or Amari Cooper if they haven’t been re-signed either.


Pick 18: Miami Dolphins – Patrick Queen, LB – LSU

Pick a position (except QB as they now have Tua of course) and it’s a need for Miami. Queen had a good combine and as a result his draft stock has risen. He’s an explosive linebacker with a strong presence, just what Miami need on defense.


Pick 19 MOCK TRADE: Washington Redskins via Las Vegas – Josh Jones, OL – Houston

With Brandon Scherff likely off in free agency and an ageing tackle Donald Penn, the Skins need to bolster their offensive line. Some might think Jones is a reach at 19, but with all the ‘studs’ gone already, the next best will start to come into play around now. Washington will be happy if they walk out of day 1 with a stud cornerback and a potential elite offensive lineman. Tight end and receiving depth can be easily found on day 2


Pick 20: Jacksonville Jaguars – A.J Terrell, CB – Clemson

Corner seems to be a big need these days for Jacksonville, we’ve not had to say that for a while, have we. Terrell could be Jalen Ramsey’s true replacement and has all the traits and measurables to make it in the NFL too. No brainer Duval, let’s rebuild that defense this year and start from square one… again.


Pick 21: Philadelphia Eagles – Grant Delpit, S – LSU

LSU’s star DB is still on the board due to teams ahead prioritising other needs. Yes Philly need a field stretching receiver, yes there are still quality wide-outs on the board, but they also need defensive secondary help. Delpit is a talent far superior to anybody left on the board. Should be a top 20 pick.


Pick 22: Buffalo Bills – A.J Epenesa, EDGE – Iowa

Lorenzo Alexander has retired and Shaq Lawson looks set for free agency making an edge rusher one of the main needs for the Bills this off-season. Epenesa’s stock has fallen after a poor combine, but he has plenty of tape which will back any argument up for him to be a potential star at the next level. A bit of a gamble but plenty of upside.


Pick 23: New England Patriots – Henry Ruggs III, WR – Alabama

The combine superstar will wind up a Pat. They have a veteran route runner in Edelman and they have an all rounder in N’Keal Harry when he finally comes to fruition. What they need is a speed freak on the outside to give -insert here the QB that’s replacing Brady- a plethora of different style of receiver. Tight end comes in day 2 or 3

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Pick 24 MOCK TRADE: Chicago Bears via New Orleans- Austin Jackson, OL – USC

This is all assuming Brees is back. The Saints have no second round picks and no real pressing needs other than receiver depth and defensive secondary cover which they can get in the second round if needs be.

Chicago trades both of their second rounders to move up and grab the last of the ‘next best’ tackles in the draft. The Bears know the Vikes might go OL and the Dolphins are up again in a couple of picks and are likely wanting a piece of this o-line friendly first round too. Chicago needs o-line strengthening after a poor 25th PPF ranked finish when the 2019 season was over.


Pick 25: Minnesota Vikings – Tee Higgins, WR – Clemson

With the best of the offensive lineman off the board it becomes a ‘best player’ available in a position of need for the Vikings. They could look to strengthen their already stout defense and take Gross-Matos, Kristian Fulton or Trevon Diggs… but I think they lean on bolstering their offensive weapons and replace the underwhelming Laquon Treadwell. Tee Higgins is the receiver they wanted Treadwell to be.


Pick 26: Miami Dolphins – DeAndre Swift, RB – Georgia

As with Minnesota, it’s best player available. Again, they could go different routes, but why not break into a position that’s remained untapped thus far. Swift offers more than just rushing upside, he’ a Swiss army knife and will be a great compliment for Tua. Sorry fantasy fans.


Pick 27: Seattle Seahawks – Trevon Diggs, CB – Alabama

The continuing theme throughout the back end of this draft is the same – these teams need offensive lineman! However, with the good ones, well, the first round worthy ones all gone, there’s too much talent left in other positions to turn down and reach for the next wave of o-lineman. Diggs is just this. A superb corner and will tick off one less need for Pete Carroll this off-season


Pick 28: Baltimore Ravens – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE – Penn State

The Ravens don’t have many needs as things stand with how they move the ball. They invested in wide receivers last year and have a stout defense. However, they would benefit from having a stronger pass-rush. Tie this in with Gross-Matos being one of the best players left on the board and ‘voila’. Gross-Matos put up solid numbers in his junior season for a formidable Penn State defense, falling to 28 is a gift for Baltimore.


Pick 29: Tennessee Titans – Tyler Biadasz, C – Wisconsin

If Derrick Henry doesn’t return then this pick is Jonathan Taylor, however I believe Henry has proved his worth and will be back in Nashville in 2020. This opens the door up to improve at Centre by taking the best on the board in Tyler Biadasz. There always seems to be a Centre go day 1…so this is it!

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Pick 30: Green Bay Packers – Justin Jefferson, WR – LSU

Geronimo Allison, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, E.Q St Brown, Jake Kumerow and Allen Lazard. All average receivers that have had their spoils but ultimately aren’t trustworthy enough for Aaron Rodgers to use reliably. The Packers could thin that group down and take a versatile all round talent who turned heads at the combine, solidifying his worth as a first round prospect. Unload the deadwood McCarthy brought in and restock with talent you chose Matt LaFleur.


Pick 31: San Francisco 49ers – Xavier McKinney, S – Alabama

A close battle between McKinney and Delpit for the best Safety out of college this year. I’ve edged with Delpit, others with McKinney. Both are first round talents, both will be excellent in the pros. San Fran have very few holes either side of the ball, however with Jimmie Ward heading to free agency, Safety becomes a need.


Pick 32: Kansas City Chiefs – Jonathan Taylor, RB – Wisconsin

Fantasy fans rejoice. A superstar running back is heading to a team where the coach knows how to run the ball extremely well. It’s KC’s glaring hole in their elite offense, and I think Coach Reid will be licking his chops to get a talent like Taylor on his roster.


AMIK ROBERTSON: ALL-IN

By Alex Lewis @(alexlewis226)

About this time last year, I wrote an article about now-Washington Redskins corner back Jimmy Moreland.

Coming out of James Madison, Moreland was undersized and playing at a small school with little credible, quality opposition, but presented some of the most intriguing and impressive highlight reel I had seen in the entire process.

Despite now being an established nickle corner for Washington, Moreland wasn’t always so highly rated.

Despite being just 5”10, the JMU prospect boasted excellent instincts, an uncanny eye for the ball and really sticky coverage, which at least in my mind, had him being drafted well before the end of proceedings in Tennessee.

Eventually taken 227th overall, Moreland has since made himself a major part of the Redskins defence as the nickel corner, even with less than ideal play on the outside by the veterans, with Josh Norman being released after the seasons conclusion.

So here we are in 2020, and I’m seeing chatter begin to grow about another small school, undersized defensive back called Amik Robertson out of Louisiana Tech, so it would be rude not to have a look what all the fuss is about.


What’s to love?


Amik Robertson has a lot to love when you watch his tape from the last year.

Not only can he give you all the coverage ability that you get from some of the top prospects, but he also has some of the more elite instincts of any corner in the draft.

Whether that’s reading the ball in the air and deciding when to come out of coverage to go get it or when to come up and make tackles, Robertson has a confident and enjoyably aggressive play style.

In general, Robertson’s tackling is impressive, and you can find lots of clips from his tape where his reading of the play has led to big hits and crushing blows.

In the modern age where tackling on DB’s is often their weakest link, Robertson’s willingness to get players down by any means necessary is a welcome change.

His attributes, all of which lead me to believe he can become a starting nickel corner in the NFL, show a raw athleticism that should excite scouts and evaluators across the teams.

An injury to his groin means that Robertson will not participate in the combine drills in Indianapolis this week, but if his own predictions are to be believed, a 4.3 40 could have been on the cards.


What’s not to love?


Amik Robertson is not a perfect prospect, despite a whole host of upsides.

The size is certainly not prototype at just 5”9 and 182 pounds, but in his own words, his height isn’t changing, so probably best to try and look past it.

Robertson has good jumping and has addressed the need to put some weight on in the gym, so it should be possible to survive the NFL at his size, his quest likely aided by the increasing need for smaller nickel corners.

In full, his lack of size concerns me far more in the running game than the passing, he understandably struggled with 6”6 Collin Johnson against Texas this past season.

His instincts, as great as they are, also need some harnessing; the splash plays where he blows up a screen in the flat look great when they work but leave his team hurting when they don’t, so any defensive co-ordinator worth his salt will want to control Robertson’s overshoots sooner rather than later.

In reality there is small degree of rawness to Robertson’s game.

In forgoing his senior year as a Bulldog, Robertson will miss out on an opportunity to polish his skills but that shouldn’t be something that people look down on, and instead as a harness-able weapon that some late round picks won’t have to fall back on.


Robertson in review


I find it particularly fitting that Robertson’s twitter profile has a photo of Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu as its header.

The apparent need to inspire players around him through his own passion is visible even through the screen and his character helps to define his potential as a prospect.

I love his instincts, his passion and his desire to make every tackle and every play, and this will carry him through a lot as he adjusts to the size and speed of the pro-game.

Overall though, Robertson is an outstanding prospect with excellent speed and agility which gives him sticky coverage ability in short and intermediate routes.

His height will probably have him move inside to nickel corner at the pro-level and this should help him avoid some of the bigger receivers in an attempt to make him feel comfortable.

Expect a third or fourth round pick to be used on Robertson, but also expect him to make waves the second he gets on the practice field as a pro player.

I look forward to using him as a comparison this time next year.

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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