To follow that I am now going all the way to the other end of the NFL spectrum and reviewing the draft class of the reigning champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
For franchises like the Bengals who need to improve on a poor season, the object of the draft has to be finding the players that can help rebuild and recharge the team and increase the amount of positive results on the field. In the case of the Chiefs, the short-term aim is different – work towards staying ahead of the chasing competition; repeat last season’s success and defend the Super Bowl title.
This is the group that Kansas City fans hope will assist the team in remaining at the top of the NFL.
– Round 1 (#32) –
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB), LSU
At the end of the first night the Chiefs made their opening selection with one of the best picks of the entire round.
There are actually very few offensive systems where it would feel as though Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s skill-set would not be valuable, but placing him in Kansas City’s high-powered offense is a wonderful fit and his large workload throughout the last college season should mean that he will be fine learning pro schemes.
He is the kind of back that is such a fun watch and uses his short and stocky build to full effect with a strong running style, possessing great balance and side-to-side movement – many of his best highlights show him slaloming away from defenders on the move so footwork and vision are both very good. Also has good top speed once he is in open space. Edwards-Helaire is the best receiving running back in the 2020 class and LSU used him on all sorts of routes.
It is this versatility that gives him the potential to flourish early out of the Chiefs backfield, especially on short-yardage downs.
– Round 2 (#63) –
Willie Gay Jr. (LB), Mississippi State
Gay Jr. flew up big boards everywhere by acing his NFL combine performance.
The ultra-athletic linebacker is capable of getting to the football from anywhere and his powerful tackling means he can finish plays very well.
He does look raw in some mental areas of play and needs to find more consistency, but defenders with his athleticism are often preferred by teams in today’s NFL, and the Chiefs took a chance on him in round two. They will hope Gay Jr. is a fast learner – if so, he could see some playing time along the linebacker formation during his rookie year as effort and toughness are certainly not an issue.
A big plus is that he has the traits required to play in the much-coveted hybrid LB role, with the speed to hold up in coverage even against medium and long passing situations.
– Round 3 (#96) –
Lucas Niang (OT), TCU
There is a bit of “boom or bust” about Niang as a prospect, with scouts and analysts rather split on his overall potential pre-draft.
Indeed, I was relatively low on him while evaluating those at the offensive tackle position, yet I would not have been surprised if a team made Niang a second-rounder. For that reason, there could be some good value here if he hits his ceiling in the NFL, it should also be noted that injury concerns would have attributed to his fall to the bottom of the third.
He looks best as a run blocker, showing good instincts, positioning and the ability to force space for his running back to work through. In the passing game, Niang gets set well and is solid enough to develop into a long-term protector for quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
The Chiefs coaching staff will surely have ideas about where they expect Niang to contribute and he will get opportunities to prove himself right across the offensive line as he has a technique suited to both tackle and guard.
– Round 4 (#138) –
L’Jarius Sneed (S), Louisiana Tech
I evaluated and graded Sneed as a safety because that’s where he spent most of his final college season, but many will also have him as a cornerback.
He has a long, rangy style and looks and plays a lot taller than he actually is, with enough speed to react and get to plays quickly that come into his zone – demonstrating the sort of instincts for the ball that you want to see from your safeties.
He is like fellow defensive rookie Gay Jr. in that he will add some aggression and energy to his position group; bringing an all-effort approach to the game that should have the Chiefs’ fanbase warming to him.
Sneed was moved around a lot in the secondary, similarly to the career of Chiefs all-pro safety Tyrann Mathieu, who will no doubt be a mentor to Sneed now that they will compete on the same defense.
– Round 5 (#177) –
Mike Danna (DE), Michigan
Recent years have shown that it is not a bad idea to draft edge rushers from the University of Michigan. Danna was in fact only at Michigan for one season following a transfer and was used sporadically along the D line during his time there.
For a player that looks undersized and whose technique has quite a bit of room for growth, selecting Danna in the fifth round does feel like somewhat of a reach by the Chiefs. He does have good power and a quick first step; as his senior year saw him as a rotational defender you really have to trust in Danna’s strengths.
Kansas City obviously see some things they want to work with here and as they are pretty well set at defensive end, there is no huge rush in terms of developing Danna. He will be a project for a few years and it will be interesting to see if he can progress into a starting role.
– Round 7 (#237) –
Thakarius Keyes (CB), Tulane
The Kansas City Chiefs certainly need to find more help at cornerback this off-season and at this point they traded back into the draft for one last go in round seven.
I think it was a surprise that they waited this far into the draft to select a CB, unless, as mentioned earlier, you are counting the Sneed pick as one at the position. The lack of depth remains an area to address, but taking Keyes here with their final pick is another good value move for the Chiefs.
He has plenty of upside and plays with good speed and physicality – looking comfortable at taking on receivers running a variety of routes on the outside, most effectively in close coverage. Keyes has some nice aggression to his playing style and will fight for a spot in the starting secondary from day one.
The Chiefs faithful should be optimistic about how the organisation went about this draft. In the immediate reviews and analysis, picking Edwards-Helaire became the favourite moment of the first round among many observers. He and Niang could certainly be making plays straight away on the offense as rookies.
The other selections, which all focus on the defensive side, are all developmental players with lots of potential, and Kansas City is the right team for all of them to realise that potential quickly. As these pre-season months for the Chiefs are all about ensuring they stay champions, this draft appears to have been a good way to begin that process.
First things first, the term “generational player” seems to get some people’s backs up. If you take the term at it’s literal meaning, then sure, it’s extremely rare to find one, and, almost impossible to predict one to have a hall of fame career. But, if you accept that this overused term is used to describe a player that could end up being in the top tier of elite talents for the majority of their careers, then we can explore the possibility of seeing a potential “generational” player from this years’ draft.
Over the last few decades, we’ve seen many running backs progress through the collegiate ranks and create a buzz within the NFL community when the draft rolls round. Some players have lived up to the hype, Emmitt Smith, Eric Dickerson, Barry Sanders, Adrian Peterson and Saquon Barkley to name just a few, and some have developed into upper echelon elite backs when not so hyped coming out of college – Le’veon Bell and Frank Gore come to mind. But, of course there have been those that have failed to progress to the pro-level and have proved complete busts, please stand up Trent Richardson, Ki-Jana Carter and Darren McFadden, with an honourable mention to Leonard Fournette who “some” considered a “generational” talent.
What constitutes a “generational running back” label?
NFL analysts/journalists/reporters or whatever title you want to give someone that discusses this sport with an audience generally speak about their opinion which in most cases is backed up with some kind of statistical data. To me, that’s how a player with this label comes about. It’s a blend of stats from their collegiate careers mixed with what NFL scouts and professional analysts portray their talent level’s to be.
For me, I think that to be considered “generational”, the player must have a productive college career. I put that number at 1,000 rushing yards season average, and in more recent times, some proven receiving ability. I know that’s not a water-tight system, but when you look at “generational talents” that have had elite-level careers, they all had this level of productiveness at the collegiate level.
It’s only very recent that the new breed of “generational running back” ‘must’ be productive in the passing game as well as on the ground.
Previous “generational” running backs
So by using that logic, I’ve devised a list of former players since the year 2000 that have seen that level of collegiate productiveness, hyped by the media as generational talents, and drafted within the top 50 (indicating NFL scouts also believe in the talent). Productiveness is seen here by using the players’ rush yards, receiving yards and touchdowns per season averages whilst at college.
These 11 players drafted over the last 20 years have had the “generational player” tag linked with them coming out of college football. Judging by the season average stats, you get a good indication of what’s required in order to be projected a great future.
Current potential “generational” running backs
From this year’s prospects, it’s apparent to see that one player fulfills the criteria of being a “generational talent”; Jonathan Taylor. In fact, his rushing yards and TDs per season average are miles ahead of any other running back out of college in the last 20 years.
J.K Dobbins isn’t far behind statistically although he doesn’t meet my particular criteria as he was drafted outside of the top 50. Statistically though, Dobbins too could be considered a generational level player.
D’Andre Swift comes in third and not a million miles away from hitting the criteria having been the most productive in the receiving game out of these selected players.
Cam Akers needed to be more productive in the ground game, whereas ironically, the first RB off the board in this years’ draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire is someway off what I would deem as a “generational” player.
Predicting their futures
Of course now these players have been drafted into the NFL, lot’s of new variables come into play to determine whether or not they can translate their college production into a pro-level. What’s their new offensive line like? Are they a part of a committee? Do they have proven veterans ahead of them? Are they a part of a run-friendly scheme? Does their new Head Coach like to run the ball frequently? Are they playing in a similar scheme to what they did in college?
You’d like to think the NFL teams and their scouts have done their homework before drafting the players onto their rosters in order to get the best out of their high-capital picks, but some times that doesn’t always work out.
Let’s look at those previously mentioned players and how their NFL careers progressed (some of course are still active) and whether their “generational player” tag rang true in their pro-careers.
It’s been quite a mix bag of success. From the HOF careers of LT and Adrian Peterson to the bust and near bust careers of Ron Dayne and T-Rich.
Predicting just how the careers of the Class of 2020 is almost impossible, but judging by historical data and recency bias, these prospects will unlikely be busts in their careers.
It’s hard not to love Jonathan Taylor after seeing what he’s done in his college career and ending up behind one of the best offensive lines currently in the NFL with Indianapolis.
D’Andre Swift could potentially see a path to a majority backfield after the Lions clearly signaled that Kerryon Johnson by himself is not the answer, and J.K Dobbins is in a ripe running spot with a run-first team in Baltimore. However, Dobbins may have to wait for Mark Ingram to move on before claiming the backfield for himself.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has landed on a team coached by a run-favouring HC in Andy Reid and is the most talented RB on that roster, and despite Cam Akers running behind an ageing o-line, Todd Gurley had a very successful rookie contract for the Rams when he was healthy.
Final Opinionand Career projection
Jonathan Taylor, Indianapolis Colts – A “Generational talent” who is in the right spot to produce elite numbers over his career
J.K Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens – Borderline “Generational talent” who is on a team that could lead him to produce elite numbers over his career
D’Andre Swift, Detroit Lions – Elite college talent that could be elite in the NFL if the right team is built around him and he’s used as a swiss army knife.
Cam Akers, Los Angeles Rams – Elite college talent but is likely to put up average numbers unless drastic changes in the future help him progress to the next level.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs – Good college talent helped by one outstanding season. Is in the right spot to be very productive, but will likely only return good, not elite production.
Some NFL teams have more picks than others heading into a draft. As the event progresses, a team can gain or lose its draft capital through trade deals. The formula for the Cincinnati Bengals this year was simple – seven selections, one placed at the beginning of each of the seven rounds.
The Bengals war room stuck at every one of their picks during the three days; made no deals and put together a very good draft class to take into the 2020 season. Here is what Cincinnati fans should expect from the players that make up this year’s draft class.
Round 1 (#1) – Joe Burrow (QB), LSU
With the first overall pick, the Bengals made Joe Burrow their new signal-caller. A year ago, Burrow would have owned a mid-round grade at best from most observers, but an incredible National Championship winning season full of record-breaking numbers during his final year with LSU, propelled Burrow up to being the consensus QB1 in the draft.
He excels in the leadership and mental aspects of the game, with an ability to read defenses quickly and react to pressure. Give Burrow time and he shows great poise and pocket movement to use just a step or two to extend a play. He is an accurate thrower and I really like the way he leads receivers when completing a pass.
It certainly does feel like time for a quarterback change in Cincinnati and Burrow arrives with the experience of winning plenty of big games as the head of one of the most potent offenses in college football history.
If he continues the sort of growth seen during last season, the Bengals have a strong new leader capable of bringing success.
Round 2 (#33) – Tee Higgins (WR), Clemson
Pairing Burrow with the man who was the number one receiver at Clemson for the last couple of years is a very nice way to build the passing game in your offense.
Higgins’ draft stock dipped during the process owing to questions about his athleticism, which actually is not that bad, and the Bengals took advantage to select him at the top of the second round. The production that Higgins put up at Clemson was impressive, he works best lined up on the outside and likes to use his frame against close coverage – give him the chance to challenge a defense physically and he will be effective.
This is a great landing spot for Higgins, as he will have the opportunity to be paired with Cincinnati’s all-pro wideout A.J. Green, which should help his development.
The Bengals will enjoy having a new big WR on the team, who can potentially take over from Green as “the guy” in the future.
Round 3 (#65) – Logan Wilson (LB), Wyoming
I loved seeing Logan Wilson go at the start of round three. One of my favourite linebackers in the entire draft, he will be a good addition to a Bengals defense in need of some help in the middle of the field.
I was happy to see his high level of play over the last few seasons backed up with a great workout at the NFL combine. Wilson is solid as an outside linebacker – a smart player who reads and reacts to what the offense shows in front of him and gets to the ball at speed.
There are some good highlights showing that when asked to drop into coverage, his athletic ability gets him up into passing lanes like a defensive back to break up a play or get an interception.
Wilson suits the classic linebacker leader role with the versatility to be tried inside the defensive formation, and if he can get to grips with pro schemes quickly, the Bengals have a guy who will see a lot of playing time during his rookie year.
Round 4 (#107) – Akeem Davis-Gaither (LB), Appalachian State
Why draft one linebacker with huge potential, when you can draft two! Cincinnati followed the Wilson pick by selecting the up-tempo Davis-Gaither to kick off the last day.
He is a slim, athletic linebacker who is not going to win with strength, instead was able to make a lot of plays using great burst and body control. Appalachian State liked to use Davis-Gaither on the outside, close to the line of scrimmage where he could blitz at speed and also disrupt the run game. His skill-set compliments Wilson’s very well and I can see them working at each end of the LB core.
Davis-Gaither would have been further up big boards (including mine) if he played more coverage and bulked up – the lack of weight aids his acceleration, but he will need to add more size to be effective in the NFL.
For this reason, he will likely start on special teams, but his relentless playing style means he could turn into a real fan favourite in 2-3 years.
Round 5 (#147) – Khalid Kareem (DE), Notre Dame
Kareem is a nice addition to the Bengals’ defensive end depth chart, and the fifth round seems good value too. The defender out of Notre Dame wins his battles in the trenches with strength above anything else; he appears difficult to move around once he is engaged.
Kareem currently projects as a better run defender, as trying to go all-power off the edge when pass rushing at the next level will result in him being nullified by the top offensive linemen he faces. Kareem needs to add more variety to his technique when fighting through contact, if he is able to do so soon, he will see playing time in his rookie season.
For now, he will be a backup in Cincinnati.
Round 6 (#180) – Hakeem Adeniji (OT), Kansas
Having found Joe Burrow a new target in receiver Tee Higgins, Cincinnati decided to begin adding extra protection for their new QB in the form of Adeniji in round six.
The offensive line was a weak point for the Bengals last season and Adeniji will have the chance to compete for a place at the offensive tackle position. There was talk pre-draft that teams may try him at guard too, so the coaches will like that versatility.
He does look undersized to play OT, and his strength as a blocker lies in his movement, which showed up during his athletic combine, rather than power and technique.
Adeniji needs to develop in those areas in order to be a regular NFL starter.
Round 7 (#215) – Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue
To end their 2020 draft, the Bengals went back to building at the linebacker positions. Bailey feels like great value in the seventh, although he did fall due to injury concerns.
When healthy, he was a playmaker at Purdue with strong tackling skills and the ability to finish very well. He worked best against the run, so projects as a middle linebacker in the NFL that can attack plays in front of him.
Bailey will begin life in the pros on special teams but has enough upside to work his way into the defensive lineup. After the selections of Wilson and Davis-Gaither, picking up Bailey here mean the Bengals have a whole new set of high ceiling linebackers to play with.
I like the possibility of seeing all three of them playing together in Cincinnati across the defense.
From top to bottom this looks like a strong draft for Cincinnati Bengals fans to get excited about. The team addressed needs and appeared to find good value players throughout the rounds. Burrow will be the highlight of the class – every NFL team is under pressure to find a franchise quarterback to build their future around and the Bengals may well now have that box ticked. With the qualities these players bring, over the next few seasons this could be seen as the draft that the Bengals faithful look back on as the start of some progression for the team.
The dust has settled, we’ve all got some sleep and this weekend is going to see rookie fantasy drafts kicking off across the US and Europe.
With one of the deepest WR classes in the modern history of the game, there seems to be value all over the place if your dynasty team is lacking in the pass catching department.
And here at the Full 10 Yards we’re generous people, and we want to give you every chance to grab that player who is a fixture on your roster for the next 10 years.
So, we’re going to break down the top 10 rookies that landed in good spots this year, some that were drafted in the first round, right through to some late round picks who have a chance to make an impact.
Antonio Gibson – Washington Redskins
With a lot of heads being turned by Twitter darling Antonio Gandy-Golden being drafted by the Redskins in the 4th round, his new teammate Antonio Gibson is going quietly under the radar.
Gibson offered up a showcase at the combine, where he ran a 4.39 40. But those who have watched the Memphis product during his college career will have already been excited about the versatility he brings to Ron Rivera’s new look roster.
During his senior season, Gibson racked up 738yrds receiving, 369yrds rushing and 645yrds as a returner. That multi-position value is perfect for the modern game and will translate well for fantasy players who want to add a flex receiver with big upside.
Quintez Cephus – Detroit Lions
The third overall pick, Jeffrey Okudah, recently named the most difficult opponent he faced in college as Wisconsin’s Quintez Cephus. Coincidently, they’re now teammates in Detroit, where Cephus sits behind Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola on the depth chart.
Naturally, that immediately limits his short-term fantasy value. However, Cephus has a lot of potential in deeper dynasty leagues. With Jones and Amendola free agents at the end of the season, there’s a chance for the Georgia native to learn from three of the most undervalued receivers at the league, polishing his footwork and several other attributes that need work.
But, with an ability to bully his opponents, win contested catches and run aggressively after the catch, the raw ingredients are already in place. Stash Cephus on that taxi squad now, and get ready to promote him when the Lions get rid of Matt Patricia and appoint an offensive mind to get the most out of Matt Stafford before it’s too late.
CeeDee Lamb – Dallas Cowboys
Many expected Lamb to the be the first receiver off the board last week, as it happened he fell ever so slightly to the Cowboys.
The immediate reaction of fantasy players was one of disappointment, with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup already on the Cowboys roster, it appears that, at least for now, Lamb won’t be the automatic WR1 in Dallas.
However, that doesn’t mean you should be avoiding the former Sooners’ star, there’s a reason he came touted as the top player in a deep class. Lamb’s YAC threat, separation ability and tendency to pull off the spectacular mean that he shouldn’t be a fantasy benchwarmer for long. And, with Jerry Jones insisting he take #88, it’s fair to say there’s a bright future in Texas for this young man.
Jalen Reagor – Philadelphia Eagles
Another first round receiver takes the number seven spot. With Carson Wentz throwing to Greg Ward and not a lot else during the Eagles’ late play-off run, it was only natural that the Eagles address the receiver position in this draft.
Step forward TCU’s Jalen Reagor. Reagor brings an array of talents to Philadelphia, acceleration, speed and versatility being the three that immediately jump to mind. He offers a different style of play to established veterans Alshon Jeffrey and Deshaun Jackson, and has every chance of quickly making a fantasy splash immediately due to the injury prone nature of the aforementioned players.
With a current ADP of around 1.12 in SF, 12 team leagues, it seems like the new Eagle is the least being overlooked by those who are looking for the flashier names of the Jeudys and Jeffersons of the world, let’s keep it that way as Reagor looks to be a bargain.
Isaiah Coulter – Houston Texans
There’s already a limited buy now window on Coulter, with lockdown Twitter sharing and re-sharing the Rhode Island star’s highlight reel. It’s not hard to see why, and it’s easy to imagine that in a normal year he may have gone a lot earlier than the 26th pick of the 5th round.
As it stands, it looks like the Texans got a bargain. Coulter is a true wideout in the conventional sense of the word, he’s a prototype X receiver with the ability to get up above his opponents, he has fantastic catch radius and the speed to turn short catches into chunk plays.
If those attributes sound familiar, it’s because the Texans just flipped a player that checked all those boxes as well. Now, Coulter isn’t Hopkins, but he is a receiver with a lot of NFL potential on a team that hasn’t got a natural WR1 on their roster. Grab him whilst you can.
KJ Hamler – Denver Broncos
A quick reminder that this article is looking at best fantasy fits for wideouts, so whilst it doesn’t include Jerry Jeudy, I’m not saying his new teammate is better than him.
KJ Hamler is set to become the AFC West’s latest explosive slot receiver, along with Tyreek Hill and Henry Ruggs, he’s the definition of the NFL’s new need for speed. A natural field stretcher with the speed to separate from his corner, Hamler is also set to benefit from the talent of those around him as he lines up next to Courtland Sutton and fellow rookie Jeudy.
With the two bigger names drawing the opposition’s A & B corners, it feels inevitable that Pat Schurmur will scheme Hamler open time and again, allowing Drew Lock to let rip and showcase his big arm talent. If that isn’t attractive to you as a fantasy owner, then Hamler’s early landing spot as an early 3rd rounder in rookie fantasy drafts should be.
Tyler Johnson – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Is there any doubt that Tampa’s offense is loaded ahead of the 2020 season? Fantasy legends Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been joined by the best QB to ever play the game and one of the targets that allowed him to achieve that status.
If there is one question left after one of the most exciting off-season’s in team history, and I’m not sure there is, it is who takes over from Breshad Perriman as WR3.
Vying for that spot, is 5th round pick, Tyler Johnson, who comes off the back of a 1318yrd, 13td season for the Minnesota Gophers. In my eyes, Johnson isn’t competing for the traditional slot role that is associated with the third receiver on the roster, Chris Godwin was electrifying in that role last year. Instead, Johnson is competing for the position opposite Mike Evans, as a traditional touchline receiver who can beat opponents with his route running ability and strength.
Good news fantasy fans, he can do both. Add to that the likelihood that he’s going to be working against lesser coverage AND Tom Brady is throwing him the ball, and you’ve got a potential steal on your hands.
Justin Jefferson – Minnesota Vikings
Stefon Diggs was targeted 94 times as a Minnesota Viking last season, now he’s freezing in the tundra of Buffalo. The man who the Vikings drafted as Diggs’ successor comes with Championship pedigree, and four touchdowns against the Sooners’ in the playoff semi-final last year.
A pure route runner, with great hands and a ridiculous catch radius, Jefferson is one of the best players in this draft. And, in Minnesota he’s a fantasy addition made in heaven. With no real threat added since their playoff defeat (unless you’re a Tajae Sharpe fan), the LSU standout seems likely to slot right into the target share left by Diggs. And, with Adam Thielan not getting any younger, it feels like he won’t have long to take over as the unquestioned WR1.
Bryan Edwards – Las Vegas Raiders
I know, I know, Henry Ruggs was the first receiver drafted in the class, but is he honestly what you’d consider a WR1? For me he’s not. But I tell you who does fit the bill, South Carolina standout, Bryan Edwards.
I’ve been raving about Edwards for a few months now, not least because of his 2018 tape against Alabama, where he was arguably the best receiver on a field that contained Ruggs, Jeudy and more of the Alabama production line. A tough, resilient player, Edwards finds space easily with his natural route running ability, before adding significant yards after the catch with his fast acceleration and strong frame.
For fantasy players, it might seem a weird decision to have a 3rd round pick this high, but when his competition for the X-receiver role is Tyrell Williams, it’s not hard to envisage Edwards moving swiftly to WR1/2 on this Raiders team. Grab him in the middle of the 2nd round now, before his value creeps even further up the board.
Denzel Mims – New York Jets
I can almost see the disgust on your face as you’ve spent a few mins scrolling through this to see a New York Jets receiver sat here smiling at you. Well, turn that frown upside down, as Denzel is set to make a splash in the Big Apple.
The Jets had a very good draft, bolstering their offensive line and adding a projected first round talent in Mims in the middle of the 2nd.
You don’t see players of Mims’ build running a 4.38 40 very often, and you see a player with that speed throwing up Randy Moss style catches in the end zone every week even less. Mims is an exciting prospect with all the tools to make it as a team’s lead pass catcher in the NFL, but that’s not what makes him the number one on this list.
He’s number one because of his landing sport, the New York Jets. Not many teams have less talent at wide receiver than the Jets this year, sure Jamison Crowder and Brashad Perriman are ok, but they’re not the sort of players that are going to help Sam Darnold showcase his potential as a QB1 in the league. Mims is that type of player. Go get him now and more importantly, feel good about getting yourself a future stud.
Don’t forget to go and find out about some other winners and losers from the fallout of the NFL draft with Sean’s articles posted recently. Do I agree with his selections? Let’s find out:
With almost every single pick in this entire draft being perfect besides a couple on the back end it’s hard to argue against Cincinnati having probably the strongest draft class this year.
Adding superstar LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick and giving him Tee Higgins with the first pick on day two was just fantastic. AJ Green’s future past 2020 (or maybe even before?) is uncertain so grabbing Higgins ensures that their new shiny toy has a bit of time to perfect his craft before the armbands are taken off.
Later in day two they added stud linebacker Logan Wilson, a player who I’d spoke very highly about in the weeks leading up to the draft. Going into day 3 the Bengals then picked up Linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither, Edge Rusher Khalid Kareem, Offensive Lineman Hakeem Adeniji and Linebacker Markus Bailey.
These are some fantastic picks which give the Bengals a ton of young talent going into the 2020 season.
Coming out of this draft the Miami Dolphins are a scary looking team. Not only did they add a ton of free agent weapons they went crazy in the draft and picked up a ton of talent (honestly, it could’ve been harder to do bad considering they had three first round picks).
They started with a marquee name and picked up though in Alabama Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, grabbed Austin Jackson at tackle to protect him and Noah Igbinoghene to pair with Byron Jones at cornerback.
Going into day two and three they managed to pick up Robert Hunt and Solomon Kindley, even more protection for Tua. Meanwhile adding Raekwon Davis, Brandon Jones, Jason Strowbridge and Curtis Weaver to augment the defense. They added the LSU long snapper Blake Ferguson and Navy wide out Malcom Perry to finish up their draft.
Yes, there were a lot of darts to throw at the board for Brian Flores and company, but the Dolphins managed to hit the bullseye on multiple occasions rather than the floor.
This Miami team is going to be a real problem for the rest of the AFC this year.
Green Bay Packers
This might be one of the most inept drafts I’ve ever seen from a team. They entered a draft rich in wide receiver talent and didn’t draft one.
They could’ve really used some help for Aaron Rodgers but decided to use their first round pick on a below average quarterback with below average stats to sit behind a guy who probably has 3-4 years left at the helm. I can see why Packers fans are calling for blood.
With their remaining selections they picked up AJ Dillon a semi decent running back from Boston college, Cincinnati Bearcats tight end Josiah Deguara. Defensive picks were just as much of a mess picking up Kamal Martin, Vernon Scott and Johnathan Garvin, All very average players. They also added Jon Runyan and Simon Stepaniak to their offensive line but I don’t see either of these guys making a start.
Sorry cheeseheads, it’s going to be a tough season in Wisconsin.
New England Patriots
The Patriots really surprised me by trading out of the first round considering the talent available and the holes we needed filled, regardless on day two we starting making our picks and it wasn’t pretty. With the ESPN coverage indicating it was Bill’s dog Nike making the picks, they really did woof this draft!
The first selection the Patriots made was Kyle Dugger a safety from a DII school who while impressive would’ve been available much later one. Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings went next with Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene being two tight ends we picked up in the same round. Next off the board was a kicker in Justin Rohrwasser, a man with seriously questionable right wing tattoos and average at best stats.
In the final two rounds, the Patriots picked up Micheal Onwenu, Justin Herron and Dustin Woodard too add to the trenches while defensively we picked up team mate of Logan Wilson, Cassah Maluia. Now we know the Patriots love to pick players who can do one thing extremely well but given the amount of talent available when Bill had to call in his picks, this was extremely poor drafting.
Let’s hope we can have our returning veterans really help elevate these guys come season time.
I will be making another part to this article if you guys enjoyed it! Please let me know your winners and losers from the NFL Draft and more importantly, if you disagree with mine!
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If you believe the main commentators, most of the 32 NFL teams had a decent draft. There were a lot of A grades bandied about, with the Ravens, Cardinals, Cowboys, Vikings and even the Bengals getting praise for their hauls. But which teams raised a few eyebrows, had us wondering what they were thinking or just messed with our minds? Here are five teams that were more conundrum than consensus.
1. What are the Packers trying to tell Aaron Rodgers?
As we approached the draft, the general feeling was that the Packers needed more offensive weapons for Aaron Rodgers to throw to. And, with one of the deepest receiver classes in a long time, it was easy to predict that they’d pick one or two to keep Davante Adams company. But rather than finding Rodgers offensive tools to elevate his game, Green Bay opted for his heir apparent, Utah State QB Jordan Love, instead. I would not have wanted to be the pet cat in the Rodgers household on Thursday evening.
Getting all kinds of heat for this pick (our very own Kieran gave it an ‘F’) asx well as the draft as a whole (‘D’ and ‘loser’ grades were not uncommon), you have to question why they traded up to #26 to pick a high-risk guy with 17 interceptions last year. OK, Rodgers is 36 and on the back nine of his playing career (to mix my sporting metaphors), but there’s still plenty of life in the old dog yet – he’s still contracted for another four years.
They made matters worse by failing to pick a single WR – criminal, given the number of pass-catching options available in the 2020 class. Instead, they opted for a power running back (AJ Dillon) and then reached for a TE (Josiah Deguara).
With roster needs at receiver and offensive tackle, as well as linebacker and defensive line, it seems odd that they wouldn’t want to push on from reaching last season’s NFC championship game. But it seems the Pack have a longer-term vision and may be planning for the post-Rodgers era rather than building around him with a Tee Higgins or a Michael Pittman Jr. They could still have win-now aspirations and may just have wanted a decent backup in case the old boy gets crocked, but you can’t help but feel that Green Bay wasted their picks this time around… and upset their franchise QB to boot.
2. Did the Patriots make a dog’s dinner of the draft?
Bill Belichick doesn’t do templates; he does things his own way, ploughs his own furrow as it were. Being the coaching guru he is, what often seems like an odd pick to the rest of us usually works out OK. But even for him, this year’s draft seemed a little off-script. Maybe we should take more stock from the video feed from Belichick HQ that suggested Bill’s dog Nike was in charge of making the picks.
With Tom Brady, Danny Shelton, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and the once-retired Gronk all leaving town this spring, conventional wisdom would be to fill some of those holes with the Patriots’ 12 picks. But somewhat unconventionally (at least for everyone else bar Belichick), there was a bit of horse-trading, they moved back out of the first round and made their first pick at #37 instead of #23. Small-school safety Kyle Dugger – at least we’ve all heard of Lenior-Rhyne now – was followed by defensive linemen Josh Uche and Anfernee Jennings: decent enough picks, but defence was never the issue here.
We were left with a few questions after New England’s business was done. We all expected tight ends to be on the shopping list but were Devin Asiasi (#91) and Dalton Keene (#101) the right selections at the time? Given their limitations last year, they also needed help out wide so, just like the Packers, why didn’t the Pats pick up at least one receiver, especially from this deeper-than-deep class?
They also didn’t take a QB, so we have to assume they trust former fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham to pick up the reins in TB12’s wake. They could have a Gardner Minshew on their hands or he could be more of a Ryan Finley – eek. Apparently, not going after Jalen Hurts, Jacob Eason or Jake Fromm to reduce the risk “wasn’t by design, it just didn’t work out that way”… not words you usually hear Belichick utter. (Then again, he may yet trade for Cam Newton or Andy Dalton and all this conjecture would be pointless.)
Not only did they ignore the quarterback prospects, they did so in favour of a kicker no one had heard of in Justin Rohrwasser. Without one on their roster, a kicker was always a need but was he the best value at #159, especially with Tyler Bass and Rodrigo Blankenship – arguably the two top options – still available? Apparently, his familiarity with playing and training in bad weather was a key selling point but even so, it still seemed a bit odd that the first kicker off the board was ranked about 12th in his position.
3. Did the Eagles get Hurts in case Wentz gets hurt?
I don’t recall any mock drafts pairing the Eagles with Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts, but that’s who they used their second-round pick on. Philly have already coughed up a cool $137 million on extending Wentz’s contract so they obviously see him as their QB1 for a fair while yet. So is investing the #53 pick in his understudy a wise move?
Their first pick, WR Jalen Reagor from TCU, gives Wentz a new target to throw to, and they got more speed later in the draft, as well as through a trade for the 49ers’ Marquise Goodwin. But opting to bring in a new backup at quarterback, rather than address corner, safety and linebacker, or give their current QB more playmakers to aim at, was an unexpected move.
GM Howie Roseman obviously believes in his current play-caller but also stated that he wants to make Philadelphia “a quarterback factory”. They do like a strong second choice, be it Nick Foles, Chase Daniels or Josh McCown, and it’s saved the day of late, especially with Wentz twice suffering season-ending injuries. But unless they use the athletic QB in a Taysom Hill-like way, as a Swiss Army knife on special teams, Hurts’ only hope of seeing the field in the short term will be if Wentz fails to suit up for some reason over the next three or four years. That may not happen for some time, if at all, so not waiting till Day 3, when Jake Fromm and Jacob Eason came off the board, seems like a reach with their second pick.
4. Just how many tight ends does Chicago need?
Having passed their first-rounder to the Raiders as part of the Khalil Mack deal, the Chicago Bears didn’t have many picks and only joined the draft at pick #43. Many were expecting them to use their two second-round selections to fill gaps at corner and safety. However reasonable the choice of Utah CB Jaylon Jennings was at #50, many of us were surprised that at #43, Chicago plumped for Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet with their first pick.
Don’t get me wrong: seen in a vacuum, he’s a great pick – Kmet was very much a top TE choice and will give Mitchell Trubisky or Nick Foles a viable red zone target. However, the Bears had added Jimmy Graham to an already-crowded tight end room during free agency, so the selection of Kmet only muddies the waters further. Unbelievably, his arrival means the Bears now have ten (yes, 10!) of ‘em – maybe someone’s getting TE and TEN confused?
5. Houston, do we have a problem?
One of the lasting images of this year’s remote draft will be Texans Head Coach – and now General Manager – Bill O’Brien losing his cool and storming off when a potential trade with Detroit fell through at the last minute. Not the personification of poise and professionalism maybe, but that frustration only mirrors how Houston fans must feel about O’Brien.
The fact that he has traded away two big stars, Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins, without getting a first-round pick for either are black marks against his record. The friction between him and Hopkins, and the arrival of a sub-par David Johnson in his stead, were part of the most puzzling free agency move this off-season. They also gave up a fourth-round pick in that deal, as well as a second-rounder in exchange for the LA Rams’ Brandin Cooks and a first-round spot (plus two top picks in 2021) when acquiring former Miami left tackle Laremy Tunsil. That may yet prove to be as high a price as the $66 million extension they’ve just forked out.
Those shenanigans left them with just five selections this weekend. Having seen DJ Reader leave for Cincinnati in free agency, at least DT Ross Blacklock was a sensible choice with their only selection in the first two rounds. Linebacker Jonathan Grennard in Round 3 was probably a reach, and neither CB John Reid nor WR Isiah Coulter seem to be immediate impact players, given the Texans’ depth at both positions.
Rather than roster-building, O’Brien seems to be slowly doing the opposite, leaving Houston fans increasingly frustrated with his unpredictable choices.
Best quarterback to ever step field in at the college level. Joe Burrow will be the face of the Cincinnati Bengals for the coming years and hopefully take the Bengals back to the playoffs in the coming years.
Another obvious no brainer, the best pass rusher in a long time will add some more punch to the Washington defense. Couple him with Daron Payne and this defensive line is going to cause some headaches in the upcoming season
3rd Pick – Detroit Lions select: Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State, A+
Needing a replacement for standout corner Darius Slay, Detroit pick up arguably one of the best corners in recent memory. Jeff Okudah can tackle, defend the pass and most importantly bait quarterbacks. Big upgrade for the Lions secondary going forward.
4th Pick – New York Giants select: Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia, C
Not who I expected Giants to take with all the lineme but Andrew Thomas is still a great linemen with tons of upside and some great technical ability.
5th Pick – Miami Dolphins select: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama, B
While Tua has been dogged with injuries he’s still the second best quarterback in this draft class and will be a welcome sight as a signal caller in south beach.
Provided he can stay healthy Miami have a future pro-bowler on their hands.
6th Pick – Los Angeles Chargers select: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon, D
Despite many analysts and colleagues of mine marveling over Justin Herbert’s amazing raw ability, he’s boom or bust and in my eyes – he’s going to be another Mitchell Trubisky. Hopefully the Chargers coaching staff can refine Herbert to help him realise his potential.
The best defensive tackle in the 2020 draft and a very scary player. Derrick Brown is a massive defensive tackle with a huge frame and freaky strength. A complete mauler the Panthers have a new boogeyman to help them out come season time.
Arguably one of the most talented players in this draft. Isiah Simmons can play in coverage, stuff the run or rush the quarterback. Great side to side speed and a real nose for the ball. Simmons is a great addition to help the cardinals make a run at the playoffs this year.
9th Pick – Jacksonville Jaguars select: CJ Henderson, Cornerback, Florida, B
After losing AJ Bouye it was a no brainer for Jacksonville to pick up another corner who can make a real difference. CJ Henderson showed out in the very strong SEC and made a case for himself time and time again. Henderson will be able to ply his ball hawking trade for the Jags as they hope to push back into the winning ways of 2018.
The best tackle in this draft without a doubt. Jedrick Wills has a huge frame and some great technical ability with an elite kickset and amazing body control. This is the browns first step towards protecting Baker Mayfield and becoming the team everyone expected them to be.
11th Pick – New York Jets select: Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville, B
Without a doubt the most violent lineman in this draft. Bullying pass rushers in the ACC was what Mekhi did day in day out. Great pick to hopefully stop Sam Darnold seeing so many ghosts on Sunday.
12th Pick – Las Vegas Raiders select: Henry Ruggs III, Wide Receiver, Alabama, A
Is anyone really surprised that the Raiders went for the fastest receiver on the board? Henry Ruggs will take the top off a defense and open up some huge play opportunities for Derrick Carr in Las Vegas.
13th Pick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers select: Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa, C
While highly touted I see a lot of problems with Wirfs’ consistency and technique. While it may take him a year to adjust to NFL I think this pick will pay off in a year or so if he can get the coaching he needs.
14th Pick – San Francisco 49ers select: Javon Kinlaw, Interior Defensive Line, SouthCarolina, B
A real great and strong defensive tackle who can impose his will on offensive lines up and down the country. Carolina are serious about turning their defense up to 11 by adding a great anchoring defensive tackle in Javon Kinlaw.
15th Pick – Denver Broncos select: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama, A
Arguably the best receiver in the draft Jerry Jeudy is going to make a great target for Sophomore signal caller Drew Lock. With some insane routes and safe hands Jeudy is going to be a fantastic target up in Denver in the approaching season.
16th Pick – Atlanta Falcons select: AJ Terrell, Cornerback, Clemson, B
AJ Terrell was a real difference maker in Clemson during his 2019 campaign. He did nothing but show out all year and help Clemson have one of the strongest defenses in the college football world. A fast strong playmaker who isn’t afraid to tackle will make a big impact in the NFC this year.
It’s hard to go wrong with any of the top wide receivers in this class, CeeDee Lamb is no exception. Fast, clean routes and strong hands make him serious downfield threat to help Dak Prescott this year. This pick gives Dallas one hell of a receiver group.
Another strong Lineman in this class, Austin Jackson was a terror at USC with his large frame and powerful hips allowing him to anchor down and keep a pocket intact.
This was a brilliant choice to keep their number 5 pick safe for his rookie year.
19th Pick – Las Vegas Raiders select: Damon Arnette, Cornerback, Ohio State, B
Moving to the opposite side of the field in 2019 due to a wrist injury took a little shine away from Damon Arnette but even with an injury he continued to be a great compliment to Jeff Okudah at Ohio State. The Las Vegas Raiders have a great piece to augment their secondary here.
With the strength of the 2019 LSU team being one of the best ever seen in college football it was only a matter of time before more key pieces like K’Lavon Chaisson were snatched up. Looking to earn back the moniker of “Sacksonville” the Jaguars pick up one of the strongest linebacker prospects in this draft
21st Pick – Philadelphia Eagles select: Jalen Reagor, Wide Receiver, Texas Christian, C
With receivers like Brandon Aiyuk and Justin Jefferson still on the board this was a massive shock. The horned frog Jalen Reagor has some excellent production and great physical traits but hasn’t really demonstrated himself to be a day 1 talent. The Eagles are hoping they’ve made the right call here.
The perfect replacement for Stephan Diggs, Justin Jefferson has been dominant all year. He can play in the slot or split secondaries out wide with crazy speed and some of the best ball tracking I’ve ever seen in a wide receiver.
23rd Pick – Los Angeles Chargers select: Kenneth Murray, Linebacker, Oklahoma, B
Another top linebacker in a stacked draft Kenneth Murray was one of the reasons the Oklahoma Sooners defense was so dominant in 2019. With physical attributes like this, Kenneth Murray will be a great addition to the rebuilding Chargers.
24th Pick – New Orleans Saints select: Cesar Ruiz, Interior Offensive Line, Michigan, B
A bit of a surprising pick personally but not a bad one. The best Centre in college football was the wolverine Cesar Ruiz. A powerful man hit a great football IQ an amazing hands to control defensive linemen and linebackers looking to stuff the run or sack his quarterback.
25th Pick – San Francisco 49ers select: Brandon Aiyuk, Wide Receiver, ArizonaState, A
A wide receiver who I thought would come off the board a lot earlier is Brandon Aiyuk. Playing alongside fellow first round pick N’Keal Harry in his earlier days Aiyuk developed into a real threat for the sun devils in his last year filling the gap that Harry left. Jimmy G will have a great target in this man.
26th Pick – Green Bay Packers select: Jordan Love, Quarterback, Utah State, F
Honestly a massive shock that Green Bay traded up to get a quarterback with 20 touchdowns to 17 picks in 2019. Maybe they see something that I don’t and maybe Aaron Rodgers can really help develop this raw talent into something tangible.
Either way, I think this pick was a bit of a waste for a team with a quarterback with as many years left as Rodgers.
With Clowney’s future still up in the air the Seahawks needs to make a move at linebacker to help bolster their defense. Jordyn Brooks was a standout on a decidedly average Texas Tech team. Powerful and instinctive Brooks punished opposing offenses with a punishing and fast play style.
28th Pick – Baltimore Ravens select: Patrick Queen, Linebacker, LSU, B
Patrick Queen can do it all, built like a safety he can play coverage, stuff the run or sack a quarterback. One of the best to do it for LSU Patrick Queen was a marvel to watch. With obvious comparisons to former team mate Devin White clearly warranted you can be sure you’ll see Queen at a Pro Bowl very soon.
The second Georgia offensive tackle taken in this first round Isiah Wilson is a big mauler with a violent play style and a frame to match. The Titans clearly wanted someone to move people to get Derrick Henry into the open field and this is the man to do it.
A man somewhat overlooked until Auburn had a fairly decent ending to their season, even beating Alabama in the Iron Bowl. Noah Igbinoghene will be a great piece for this strong Miami roster looking to give everyone problems in the 2020 season.
31st Pick – Minnesota Vikings select: Jeff Gladney, Cornerback, TCU, C
The second horned frog taken in this first round, Jeff Gladney was lights out all season. With some tremendous ball tracking skills and a long frame that he uses to stop receivers getting their hands on passes Gladney will be a solid if not high level player in Minnesota.
32nd Pick – Kansas City Chiefs select: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Running Back, LSU, A
Even though I had him in my “dark horses” article it seems many people finally sat up and listened. The powerful back with quick hips and fast eyes will be a great addition to the superbowl champions roster. Expect to see Cydle Edwards-Helaire in contention for OROY as he plies his trade in Kansas.
33rd Pick – Cincinnati Bengals select: Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson, A
The 2019 ACC receiving touchdown leader lands in Cincinnati as a prime target for new franchise quarterback Joe Burrow. Higgins excels at creating separation and using his height and speed to make plays downfield or out ride. Excellent pick for the Bengals to kick off round 2.
34th Pick – Indianapolis Colts select: Michael Pitman, Wide Receiver, USC, B
The 2019 all PAC-12 wide receiver is a new target for Phillip Rivers in Indianapolis. Michael Pitman excels in the slot at 6’4” being a match up problem for any one having to cover him. While not the fastest his high catch point and freak work rate makes him a great pick for the Colts.
35th Pick – Detroit Lions select: D’Andre Swift, Running Back, Georgia B
If you need a guy who can break off some big downhill runs and really exploit holes in a defence this is the guy to do it. D’Andre Swift is a first round talent who managed to really stand out despite the running back pedigree of his college. With solid hands Swift can also make himself a receiving threat when Matthew Stafford needs a safety valve.
36th Pick – New York Giants select: Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama A
The 2019 all SEC safety is the newest member of the New York Giants, a physical safety with massive versatility and physical upside. He has played under Nick Saben which gives him a massive defensive football IQ and that shows with his on field instincts.
37th Pick – New England Patriots select: Kyle Dugger, Safety, Lenoir-Rhyne University C
A shock pick to say the least but with great hands and a 42 inch vertical makes him a physical freak. 6 punt return touchdowns and a great nose for the ball gives this man great utility on special teams and defense. With an emphasis on special teams at the Patriots Kyle Dugger will look to make an impact on day one.
38th Pick – Carolina Panthers select: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State C
A tall, athletic defensive end with a great motor is a great pairing with the Panthers first round pick to turn this pass rush into one of the best in the NFL. His size and work ethic make this man one of the first round talents who unluckily fell to the second round. The Panthers get a steal here.
39th Pick – Miami Dolphins select: Robert Hunt, Interior Offensive Line, Louisiana, D
2018 2nd Team all Sun Belt guard from Louisiana is another pick in service of keeping the Dolphins first round quarterback protected. A vicious pass and run protector with a great technical skillset who can be an instant starter in the NFL.
40th Pick – Houston Texans select: Ross Blacklock, Interior Defensive Line, Texas Christian, B
A big defensive tackle to help bolster the Texans line, Ross Blacklock has quick twitch speed and an elite first step which will make him dangerous from day one. Pair him with JJ Watt and this Texas line is going to give people headaches all year.
41st Pick – Indianapolis Colts select: Johnathan Taylor, Running Back, Wisconsin, C
A player with great awareness and physical attributes that make him a three down back. With speed to burn linebackers and jukes to fool the secondary Taylor is one of the top backs in this class and a steal for the colts.
An explosive playmaker with a big physical frame who can use his body to box out defenders and make catches. He can really make things happen on the run after the catch too at 230lbs defenders bounce off him and he will be a big time weapon in Jacksonville.
43rd Pick – Chicago Bears select: Cole Kmet, Tight End, Notre Dame, B
The first tight end of the board and a great pick from the bears. His size and hands make him a great red zone threat. Pair him with Jimmy Graham and the Bears will have some great redzone help in 2020, something that Mitchel Trubisky really needs if he wants to keep his job.
44th Pick – Cleveland Browns select: Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU, A
In my opinion the best safety in this draft, Grant Delpit will be with some LSU teammates in Cleveland. A great safety with big tackling ability, playing close to the line of scrimmage who can really transform a team’s secondary. Great steal for the Browns here at pick 44.
45th – Tampa Bay Buccaneers select: Antoine Winfield, Safety, Minnesota, B
A super smart safety with great side to side speed and crazy good instinct. His hands are crazy good and his motor will keep him in any play on the field. While he’s only 5’8” he makes plays and will be a threat to any quarterback in the league.
46th Pick – Denver Broncos select: KJ Hamler, Wide Receiver, Penn State, C
Breaking the Penn State freshman record for yards KJ Hamler has the dynamic slot skills and great speed in open field. He’s got some great cutting ability and acceleration who can take the top off some of the best defenses in the NFL.
47th Pick – Atlanta Falcons select: Marlon Davidson, Interior Defensive Line, Auburn, B
The sack leader at Auburn last year, Marlon Davidson is a versatile player with some great physical ability that he can use to rush the interior or push the edge to put pressure on the quarterback or snuff out runs before they develop.
Another big defensive pick for the Seahawks, Darrell Taylor is a big defensive end with a huge frame and great quick feet to help him move linemen to make it to the quarterback. A big physical guy with some great upside for the defensive minded Pete Carroll.
The first Canadian player taken in the 2020 draft, Chase Claypool is 6’4” and his size is his biggest weapon. He can high point the ball on go routes and use his body to jump over people and win contested catches in the endzone. A big redzone weapon for the Steelers.
50th Pick – Chicago Bears select: Jaylon Johnson, Cornerback, Utah, B
Jaylon Johnson played very tough and aggressive in 2019 despite being injured. Super aggressive from the cornerback stop who is always trying to make big plays on the balls and change the momentum in games. Comfortable tackling or in coverage makes Johnson very very dangerous in the NFL.
It’s hard to find a cornerback with this size, he’s a lockdown player who can defend a ton of different routes and due to playing at Alabama his defensive IQ and understanding of his position is already very developed and he will be a great replacement for Byron Jones down in Dallas.
52nd Pick – Los Angeles Rams select: Cam Akers, Running Back, Florida State, B
Only the 3rd running back to have more than 1000 yards in a season. Quick, compact and agile Akers had to do it all on his own at Florida State so with some top linemen and a competent offensive coach the sky’s the limit with Akers in Los Angeles.
53rd Pick – Philadelphia Eagles select: Jalen Hurts, Quarterback, Oklahoma, D
The former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback was a Heisman finalist and SEC championship winner and has all the tools to be successful in the NFL despite the fact he’s a little bit of a project with the right coaching he will be successful in the NFL. Just watch the Eagles use him in a Taysom Hill type roll in upcoming seasons.
54th Pick – Buffalo Bills select: AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa, B
Another player who could’ve easily gone on day one. He’s the type of defensive end who can slap down a lineman’s hands and run right through him. Despite playing on the outside in college AJ Epenesa could easily play on the interior and create as much chaos as he does on the edge.
55th Pick – Baltimore Ravens select: JK Dobbins, Running Back, Ohio State, A
A common theme in this second round is the amount of first round talent that still remains. JK Dobbins is one of these guys. He’ll run the gap scheme almost as good as anyone else and will make people miss in open space. A focused and determined back who can really help move the chains for the Ravens.
This Miami defense is looking seriously scary, and Raekwon Davis just makes them even more nightmarish. Davis is very physically gifted and while his pass rushing may need some work he might be one of the most intimidating looking players to have on your defensive line.
57th Pick – Los Angeles Rams select: Van Jefferson, Wide Receiver, Florida, C
The son of Shawn Jefferson with fantastic routes and body control. Great soft hands who can make some very awkward catches and really give defensive backs headaches. Great fundamentals and hands are what make Van Jefferson the ideal weapon for Jarred Goff in LA.
While not highly recruited out of high school, watching Ezra Cleveland play makes it clear that he has the footwork and technique to protect Kirk Cousins in the NFL. Big, strong and technically capable Cleveland is one of the top tackles I’ve scouted and definitely will be a great addition for Minnesota.
59th Pick – New York Jets select: Denzel Mims, Wide Receiver, Baylor, B
Denzel Mims is a player I expected to go in the first round, a player with elite athleticism who can track the ball and high point it as well as anyone in the draft. This is a great pick up for the Jets who are getting a guy with reliable hands who never stops working and will make a play when you need him to.
60th Pick – New England Patriots select: Josh Uche, Linebacker, Michigan, B
Another need addressed for the Patriots, Josh Uche is a hard working linebacker with elite speed and a great IQ to help him run the QB Spy. While his hand to hand skills haven’t been displayed as much as possible due to his elite first step getting him off linemen quickly, trust me when I tell you it’s there.
61st Pick – Tennessee Titans select: Christian Fulton, Cornerback, LSU, B
One of the top corners in this draft with great ball tracking and incredible patients. With amazing timing and incredible double moves he’s very dangerous to every receiver on the field. He also has some amazing make up speed which means it’s very rare he’ll get beaten even against more agile receivers.
62nd Pick – Green Bay Packers select: AJ Dillon, Running Back, Boston College, C
With one of the best combines amongst running backs this year AJ Dillon is an old school running back who is going to drop his shoulder and truck over anyone trying to bring him down. With an imposing stature and great speed Dillon is going to be a tough player to stop when he breaks free from the line.
63rd Pick – Kansas City Chiefs select: Willie Gay, Linebacker, Mississippi State, B
Another needed piece for the superbowl champions, Willie Gay is one of the fastest linebackers in the combine and is a great starter for Mississippi State. Despite some of the field trouble which caused his draft stock to slip this NFL chance will cause him to keep his head straight and focus on his play.
64th Pick – Carolina Panthers select: Jeremy Chinn, Safety, Southern Illinois, C
With some great numbers and nose for the ball Jeremy Chinn has incredible speed and really turned heads at the combine. Great tackling and heavy hits make him dangerous for receivers who aren’t paying enough attention to him or locating him quickly enough.
A player I featured in my draft dark horses, and incredible athlete with great hands and massive frame. The fact he even made it to the third round is honestly a shock. Not only can he pressure the quarterback but he can get into space and pick the ball off too.
66th Pick – Washington Redskins select: Antonio Gibson, Wide Receiver, Memphis, C
Despite being listed as a receiver because of what he can do on the outside Antonio Gibson has great instincts running the ball and can line up in the backfield if needed. Incredibly versatile and can make a real difference as a gadget player when needed.
67th Pick – Detroit Lions select: Julian Okwara, Linebacker, Notre Dame, D
Not the strongest linebacker left on the board but still managed to put up decent numbers in college. With a great work ethic and will to get better Okwara will have a lot of improvements to make if he wants to make a final roster but he definitely has the work ethic to do so.
68th Pick – New York Jets select: Ashyn Davis, Safety, California, C
Originally a walk-on, Ashtyn Davis is a great athlete who needs to work on his consistency to be a top level player but definitely has the tools to do so. In the slot he can really do some work against bigger receivers due to his physical skills and technique.
A massive player who made a perfect 79 for 79 in his assignments against Alabama, Damien Lewis is a talented guard who will shut anyone down when he gets his hands on them. One of the most underappreciated players at LSU this year Lewis is a big reason why Joe Burrow remained upright on route to his 60 Touchdown passes.
A great safety from the storied Texas program, Brandon Jones is a versatile playmaker with the skills to make it on this stacked Miami defense. With great physical ability it will be good to see how he plays alongside the defensive pieces Miami has picked up in this draft and off season especially as a weapon on special teams.
While he’s not the strongest player available on the board it’s clear what Baltimore’s strategy is: sure up the line and make sure you’re as explosive on defense as you are on offence. Decent pick for the ravens. But not who I would’ve taken.
A guy I didn’t expect to fall this far , Josh Jones is a very very talented lineman who can grab and pull on the line and will add some much needed protection for the Cardinals here in the 3rd round. Hopefully this pick will stop Kyler Murray getting sacked less than 50 times in the 2020 season with help from Josh Jones.
73rd Pick – Jacksonville Jaguars select: Davon Hamilton, Interior Defensive Line, Ohio State, C
Really upgrading all 3 levels of their defense here in the draft the Jags grab a brilliant productive nose tackle who can really make some plays and put pressure on quarterbacks and stuff runs before they develop.
74th Pick – New Orleans Saints select: Zach Baun, Linebacker, Wisconsin, A
Another guy who could’ve gone in round 2 Zach Baun is a great athlete with speed and athleticism who can win great one on ones despite his size. His size lends to his versatility and he has proved how he can improve when given the right coaching.
75th Pick – Detroit Lions select: Jonah Jackson, Offensive Guard, Ohio State, B
While not the best guard at Ohio State with the right coaching Jonah Jackson can make a difference on this Detroit Lions team. Tall and long the Rutgers transfer was a guy I said to look out for in the later rounds and getting his number called proves I was right.
76th Pick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers select: Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Running Back, Vanderbilt, D
With some great wiggle and burst when he hits the open field Ke’Shawn Vaughn is a great pairing with Ronald Jones in Tampa Bay. I do have some questions about his speed and instincts which could make him a problem against some of the more athletic guys in the NFL.
Needing to address the defense here in the third round Micheal Ojemudia is a great pick for Denver to make. Despite there being some better players on the board corner was a big need for Denver and this is a decent pick.
78th Pick – Atlanta Falcons select: Matt Hennessy, Interior Offensive Line, Temple, B
A big tough player with an insane work ethic, Matt Hennessy is a fantastic player and is a total student of the game on every level. With a decent skill set when snapping the ball with decent size and skill to anchor in the middle this is a very good pick for Atlanta.
79th Pick – New York Jets select: Jabari Zuniga, Edge, Florida, C
While the Jets needed more instant impact on the edge, Jabari Zuniga has all the physical tools to make it in New York, but he’s very coachable and has some he can make improvements when needed.
80th Pick – Las Vegas Raiders select: Lynn Bowden, Wide Receiver, Kentucky, D
Despite being a great utility player who can provide speed in the slot or a change of pace at running back this wasn’t a real need for Las Vegas and ultimately a wasted pick in my eyes.
81st Pick – Las Vegas Raiders select: Bryan Edwards, Wide Receiver, South Carolina, A
Bryan Edwards is a first round talent who fell in the draft due to his foot injury. A contested catch beast with deceptive yards after catch and a crazy ability to create separation. Good pick up for Gruden and the black and silver.
Neville Gallimore is a strong player who can disrupt the gaps and has a crazy motor and should fit well with the existing Cowboys schemes. Given enough first team reps and you’ll see Gallimore become an important part of the Cowboys defence.
A guy who arguably could’ve been taken in the early second Lloyd Cushenberry is a long powerful blocker who can play anywhere on the interior. His athletic ability makes him a real problem.
84th Pick – Los Angeles Rams select: Terrell Lewis, Linebacker, Alabama, B
While injuries could be a worry with Terrell Lewis he has the full prototypical edge rusher profile. Long, powerful hips and great burst. Lewis can get to the quarterback very well and has super heavy hands. This is a great pick up for the Rams but his injury concerns stopped me from marking him as an A graded prospect.
85th Pick – Indianapolis Colts select: Julian Blackmon, Safety, Utah, A
Making the move from corner to safety Justin Blackmon has elite level instincts, quick hips and great explosive bursts. While he isn’t the fastest he’s a great compliment to Malik Hooker and can play corner if needed.
A hard working player with the ability to drop the hammer on people. While he can lose speed downfield he can make some great jump cuts and leave linebackers tackling the air. Should be a good partner for Devin Singletary in Buffalo.
87th Pick – New England Patriots select: Anfernee Jennings, Edge, Alabama, B
With polished hand work and a wide frame that enables him to set a strong edge Anfernee Jennings is a great run defender who can also make it flat to the quarterback when needed. Not the best pickup the patriots could have made but solid nonetheless.
88th Pick – Cleveland Browns select: Jordan Elliott, Interior Defensive Line, Missouri, B
High motor, Heavy hands and great technique are what make Jordan Elliott so good. While he’s not super athletic and can wrap up too high sometimes these are things that the Browns can develop and turn Elliott into an absolute steal.
While tall and showing prowess in zone and press coverage Cameron Dantzler isn’t very fast and his skinny frame can lead him to be shaken off by bigger wide outs. Despite his great ball skills he doesn’t track very well and can be easily beaten by a receiver who can run a crisp route.
90th Pick – Houston Texans select: Jonathan Greenard, Edge, Florida, B
With a chiseled frame and first round flashes during his college career Jonathan Greenard has great power and his high motor will make sure he’s constantly working on the field. He’s a great prospect and filled a real need that the Texans had.
91st Pick – New England Patriots select: Devin Asiasi, Tight End, UCLA, B
With great ability to separate and create space at the next level Devin Asiasi has some great size to make him a red zone threat, He doesn’t have the ability to be a great blocker or have the long speed of other tight ends but he fits the exact type of player that the Patriots normally love.
A rare type of slot receiver in that he’s faster than he is quick. Small player but can track the ball like a first rounder. Great strong hands, while his release is slow he adds some great speed to the Ravens wide receiver group.
Darrynton Evans is a zone runner with great one cut ability and serious explosion for a man of his size and physique. While he’s not the fastest or best after contact he’ll give some good depth behind Derrick Henry.
94th Pick – Green Bay Packers select: Josiah Deguara, Tight End, Cincinnati, D
Despite being a hard worker and some solid hands there is nothing spectacular about Josiah Deguara’s game at all and this was a wasted pick by Green Bay.
A pass rushing specialist with long arms and active hands. His slender frame seeing him get shut out against the run more often than not but is a very coachable young player with a ton of upside if he works in training camp.
96th Pick – Kansas City Chiefs select: Lucas Niang, Offensive Tackle, Texas Christian, B
While this isn’t a major need for the superbowl champions right now Lucas Niang has some great lateral movement and great size which could really come in handy when he gets some reps as a starter in Kansas City.
97th Pick – Cleveland Browns select: Jacob Phillips, Linebacker, LSU, B
Watching Jacob Phillips is a great jack of all trades linebacker with solid tackling and a large tackle radius. Could be a quality player in Cleveland if given the right chances on the field.
98th Pick – Baltimore Ravens select: Malik Harrison, Linebacker, Ohio State, C
A strong run stopping specialist who can shed blocks and make quick reads. While not especially athletic he can make plays in coverage and fits in well with the Ravens defensive schemes.
99th Pick – New York Giants select: Matt Peart, Offensive Tackle, Connecticut, A
A long athletic lineman with great feed and solid pass protection. Great lateral quickness makes this man a solid anchor that will only get better overtime. Great pick to go alongside first rounder Andrew Thomas.
100th Pick – Las Vegas Raiders select: Tanner Muse, Safety, Clemson, D
Quick and tall linebacker safety hybrid who can sometimes be a problem in coverage. Great speed and can be competent as a blitzer on certain formations. Might not make a massive impact but could see some playtime on special teams.
101st Pick – New England Patriots select: Dalton Keene, Tight End, Virginia Tech, C
Athletic H-Back type who looks to be another special teams pick for the Patriots. He can make some plays after the catch and can make some blocking too when it’s needed. Not a groundbreaking or sexy pick but seriously functional.
102nd Pick – Pittsburgh Steelers select: Alex Highsmith, Edge, Charlotte, C
A great rusher with some nice off the line speed and a fairly decent first step. Doesn’t have the power of some other defensive ends but he’s a solid player who could make some serious improvements with the right coaching.
103rd Pick – Philadelphia Eagles select: Davion Taylor, Linebacker, Colorado, B
A strong player with a ton of raw talent that could be turned into something seriously dangerous with some coaching and guidance. He actually looked fairly decent when playing at cornerback and could have some serious utility value.
104th Pick – Los Angeles Rams select Terrell Burgess, Safety, Utah, B
With solid instinct and coverage skills Terrell Burgess plays with the speed and agility of a cornerback which makes him more than a match to cover slot receivers hitting the second level of the ield. A guy who loves to make plays all across the field is a great addition to the Rams secondary.
105th Pick – New Orleans Saints select: Adam Troutman, Tight End, Dayton, B
With fairly impressive speed and acceleration for his size Adam Troutman has the ability to create separation and make some big plays downfield, while I wouldn’t exactly call him a steal you could easily make a case for Troutman being drafted a lot sooner than now.
106th Pick – Baltimore Ravens select: Tyre Phillips, Interior Offensive Line, Mississippi State, C
A massive immovable man mountain in pass coverage with some solid fundamentals make Tyre Phillips a great little project for the offensive line coaches in Baltimore. While he lacks the hips and kick set of an elite lineman these are things that he can be taught which coupled with his size could make him a great piece in the Ravens trenches.