Preseason Positional Top 5’s: Offense

With College Football right around the corner, it’s time to update my top 5 player rankings at each position (draft eligible players only). 

Since I released my first rankings, I’ve watched a heck of a lot more tape and feel much more in touch with this draft class than I did in June. However, we are still waiting for Saturday and the first snap of a live football in many months and there will be plenty of movement between now and April 23rd 2020 in Las Vegas. 

So, here we go with the offensive side of the ball… Enjoy!

Quarterbacks

  1. Justin Herbert, Oregon (-) 
  2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (-) 
  3. Jake Fromm, Georgia (-) 
  4. Jordan Love, Utah State (New Entry) 
  5. Khalil Tate, Arizona (-) 

Same top 3 as back in the early summer and for now, that feels pretty set. I still have Justin Herbert top of the pile with Tagovailoa closely behind; I have these two in the top tier.

Jake Fromm is in the second tier on his own and after that I think it gets pretty messy when it comes to draft eligible players – I really don’t feel a lot towards many of this senior class.

I do feel quite a lot for Jordan Love, on the other hand. I think he’s the best group of 5 QB in college football – You could say I have a lot of love for Jordan.

Running Backs 

  1. Travis Etienne, Clemson (-) 
  2. D’Andre Swift, Georgia (-) 
  3. J.K Dobbins, Ohio State (-) 
  4. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (-) 
  5. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt (-) 

No movement here at all. This is a very fun running back class, one that I’m really looking forward to watching this season.

Eno Benjamin of Arizona State and J.J Taylor of Arizona are 6 and 7 for me right now. 

Wide Receivers 

  1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (-)
  2. Laviska Shenault, Colorado (-)
  3. Collin Johnson, Texas (-)
  4. Tee Higgins, Clemson (-)
  5. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (-) 

No change here amongst my wideouts. This class is excellent, no two ways about it. There’s plenty of scope for change here as the season progresses because I could quite easily have gone and named a top 10 and probably still felt like I left some guys out. 

Tight Ends 

  1. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt (+1)
  2. Albert Okweugbunam, Missouri (-1)
  3. Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma (+1)
  4. Colby Parkinson, Stanford (New Entry) 
  5. Hunter Bryant, Washington (New Entry) 

I was fairly down on this class on first viewing but I’m now a little more positive. I like the match up issues that Bryant and Parkinson could cause this season and therefore, their potential. 

Offensive Tackles 

  1. Andrew Thomas, Georgia (+2)
  2. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (-1)
  3. Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn (New Entry) 
  4. Lucas Niang, TCU (New Entry) 
  5. Trey Adams, Washington (-) 

This is a good group of offensive tackles. Thomas and Wirfs are in the top tier but I love the potential of Tega Wanogho and Niang so again, there’s potential for that too tier to become more bloated as we move through the season.

Again, still rooting for Adams to blossom after injuries in his past. 

Interior Offensive Line 

  1. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (-) 
  2. Tre Smith, Tennessee (-) 
  3. Darryl Williams, Mississippi State (-) 
  4. Shane Lemieux, Oregon (New Entry) 
  5. Jake Hanson, Oregon (New Entry) 

Still not a huge fan of this interior offensive line class but after watching the Oregon unit, I certainly feel much better about it than I did in June!!

I actually feel like they’re the best unit in the country… Shame on me for taking so long to watch them. 


Check back on Wednesday for the defensive rankings. 

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Follow Lee on Twitter @Wakefield90

SEC Preview by Tom Borrett

The SEC Preview

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

Sooo many questions…

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

Looking back at 2018

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

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

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

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

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

What should you expect for 2019?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking back to the West

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

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

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

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

Sleeper team 

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

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

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

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

What’s your take on these?

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

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

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

Help me on the Vols!

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

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

Propping up the bottom

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

To conclude…

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

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

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


Follow @Full10YardsCFB on Twitter

Supply Lines – Alabama Linebackers

Alabama, as every college football fan knows, is an absolute juggernaut, a behemoth and a factory of talent, especially when it comes to linebackers. 

Every year it feels like Alabama has a linebacker who is regarded amongst the top in the class and not just for linebackers, I’m talking about the whole class.

Since 2000, there have been fifteen Crimson Tide linebackers get drafted into the NFL, nine of which were drafted in the top 50 of their respective drafts and in that group there are everything from Superbowl champions to multiple Pro Bowlers to guys that haven’t really made the leap yet.

However, the bottom line is, Tuscaloosa is the place to be if you’re a young linebacker – Alabama, to me at least, is Linebacker U. 

Before I get into the meat of the article; for anyone who is going back and looking up who those fifteen guys are, YES, I am counting Mark Barron as a linebacker. He may have been drafted as a safety but Barron was amongst the first of the hybrid safety/linebackers… Barron was doing that before the Chargers made it cool, man.

Anyway…

In recent years, the production line of talent at the linebacker position has been unbelievable, listen to these names since 2012; Mark Barron, Dont’a Hightower, C.J Mosley, Reggie Ragland, Reuben Foster, Rashaan Evens and Mack Wilson.

We can go even further back into the 2000’s for guys like Rolando McLain and DeMeco Ryans and then to the 80’s and 90’s for Derrick Thomas too. ‘Bama have been producing these guys for decades!

I get it, they’ve not all the recent guy have been hits in the NFL and Mack Wilson slipped to the 5th round after being rated as the best linebacker in the class prior to last season but my, oh my were these guys all excellent college players, in fact, we’ve known that all of those guys can play ball every since they were in high school. That is an all star cast of high school athletes… Every single one of those guys was rated either 4 or 5 stars coming out of high school and a couple of them were rated as the #1 linebacker in the country when they were recruited.

So what am I talking about? Alabama just recruits well, right?

Well… Yeah but that’s not the point. Nick Saban and his staff get these guys to go on several levels whilst they’re under his tutelage – nobody rests on their laurels and sits back just waiting for things to happen, they all go out and work, both on and off their field and they win National Championships, over and over and over again, and as much as fans will rave about Alabama’s receivers this year and how they’ve always been a talent factory for running backs, we all know that the backbone of the Tide, is their defense.

And who are the heartbeat of the defense? Tone setting linebackers.

Let’s have a look at the college careers of those players I’ve mentioned and see what sort of talent they’re creating down there.

The answer really is all kinds. All kinds of linebackers, from tackling machines like Mosley, Ragland and Foster (who all have 100+ total tackle seasons) to guys who are modern day coverage linebackers such as Wilson with a nose for picking off the ball to those who are a little bit of everything and can get to the QB.

So, I hear you ask, who’s next?

That would be Dylan Moses. Moses was almost literally born to be a linebacker. His Father trained him from around 9 years old to be a linebacker, so much so that Moses was running a 4.40, 40 yards dash at 14 years old and training with college freshmen a couple of years after that.

Moses is listed at 6’3, 235lbs so he’s around what you expect for the modern day linebacker who can both cover sideline to sideline and come downhill to lay the wood on a ball carrier.

Aside from his physical attributes, you can see on tape that he simply knows how to play the position of linebacker; Moses is always communicating and even last season as a Sophomore, he is telling his more experienced team mates where to line up. Another thing which shows his football IQ is that he seldom gets sucked into play-action and rarely wastes steps or mis-steps in the wrong direction on a play.

I’m really looking forward to watching Moses next season as he assumes a bigger role in the Crimson Tide defense. Moses hasn’t been a full time starter and has come of the field in certain situations but I feel like he shouldn’t miss many snaps in 2019, save for when Alabama are blowing their opponents out and starters are sure to be rested.

I feel if we see Moses continue on his upward trend, the 2020 NFL draft will be yet another draft where we see a Crimson Tide ‘backer go in the first round.


Keep your eyes peeled next week for the next installment of Supply Lines, next week we’ll be on the offensive side of the ball.

Follow @Full10YardsCFB on Twitter


Pick It Apart; Dexter Lawrence

The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?


We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….


Pick: 17


Player: Dexter Lawrence


Drafted By: New York Giants


Grade: B


Analysis: 

Lawrence was draft a few spots behind teammate Christian Wilkins (13); I wonder if they had a side bet on that. This was the pick in the trade deal with the Browns for OBJ.

Lawrence was ranked the no.2 recruit in his class when coming in to College in 2016 and was a highly sought after DT. That was backed up when being named the 2016 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and recorded 4 tackles when winning the National Title vs Alabama for Clemson.

His whole college production was good, but you have to wonder the reasons as to why his production dropped in his Junior year (doesn’t help he missed the playoffs after testing positive for PEDs, a requisite for entering the NFL).

So what does Lawrence bring?

Size, length, power and versatility; his athleticism allows him to fit in a 4-3 or a 3-4 front. His strength will obviously be a run stuffer for the Giants as long as they can rekindle his production from his 1st year in College. He isn’t going to be a guy that feasts on the flesh of the QB that often judging by his pass rush abilities but he will certainly do a job for the New York Football Giants.

The jury is out as to whether he was worth the pick here and whether he is a 3 down guy in the NFL (and wont have the luxury of having the talent around him like he did in the Clemson D), but he is a guy that will warrant double teams, be a disruptive menace in the gut of the defensive line and is a Gettleman guy in terms of big and strong on the D line.

At the very worst, he is someone that can be built around in the next few years.


Fantasy Football Impact: 

Similar to most other teams in the top half of the draft, defences will not be taken for most of these teams in fantasy unless it’s a stream or a deep league.

Lawrence will probably not trouble the top end of scoring in IDP and screams a real life decent player, but not for the stat sheets.

Don’t get all defensive

We turn our attentions to the defensive side of the ball for this podcast and are helped out by Joel Bishop of The Inside Zone, Inside the Pylon and Pro Football Ready.

Before that we find out whether Game of thrones returning was a greater comeback than Tiger Woods’s win at Augusta, what Wilson’s contract means for the next guys up and why avocado share prices have soared.

Adam Foxcroft tries to better Adam Walford’s score on the Full10Questions and we announce the winner of the April competition (you have 1 week to claim!)

Times:

1st Down – News and Notes : 4:29

2nd Down – Defence draft prospects : 10:51

3rd Down – Full10Questions: 49:15

4th Down – Podcast housekeeping and Competition winner: 57:39

Mock Draft 2019 – Never too early!

Written by Kieran Patterson – @TrueHybridKP

2019 Mock Draft 1st Round

The upcoming 2019 NFL Draft is going to be one of the most stacked drafts in recent history in terms of defensive talent, with many experts having maybe 20 or so players in their top 25. I’m not an expert but my draft board is no different. So without further adieu let’s get into this 2019 NFL Mock draft.

Pick Number 1: Oakland Raiders select defensive end Nick Bosa (Ohio State)

Nick Bosa is holding first place on many draft boards this year and with good reason, the Ohio State defensive end has shown himself to be the best defensive end in this years draft class, despite his decision to sit his final year to make sure he is injury free. We all know the Raiders tend to make crazy picks that very often don’t pan out but Bosa is a sure fire pick to bolster the struggling Raiders defense.

Pick Number 2: San Francisco 49ers select defensive tackle Ed Oliver (Houston)

Ed Oliver has Aaron Donald like potential and is arguably just as good if not better than Nick Bosa. Pair him with Buckner, Armsted and Thomas and the 49ers have one of the scariest looking defensive lines in the league. Once Jimmy G is healthy again pairing him with a defence like this puts the 49ers on the right track heading into the next season.

Pick Number 3: Arizona Cardinals select wide receiver N’Keal Harry (Arizona State)

While an offensive tackle might be a smarter move, Arizona definitely needs to give young quarterback Josh Rosen more weapons. Pair N’Keal Harry with Christian Kirk and Rosen suddenly has a lot more options on what he can throw. N’Keal is fast, fluid and smart, he runs routes flawlessly and has great hands. This pick might be a little off given the offensive line but I really think it’s a better pick for the Cardinals.

Pick Number 4: New York Giants select quarterback Justin Herbert (Oregon)

After passing on quarterbacks like Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen to draft generational talent Saquon Barkley in 2018 The Giants are now in position to address the biggest issue within the team, the quarterback position. While not a particularly deep draft for quarterbacks Justin Herbert is head and shoulders above most quarterbacks going into this draft. The Giants would be insane to pass up on Herbert.

Pick Number 5: Buffalo Bills select wide receiver AJ Brown (Ole Miss)

Now on this pick I was torn between Kelvin Harmon from NC State or AJ Brown but watching both play, Brown just seems to be a more capable receiver. Fast, smooth and athletic this might be a perfect weapon for Josh Allen to do some real damage with going into his sophomore NFL season.

Pick Number 6: New York Jets select cornerback Greedy Williams (LSU)

Even with a pair of good safeties in Jamal Adams and Terrence Brooks the Jets would be kicking themselves missing out on a chance to take such a good cornerback. As an LSU fan I watch Greedy Williams play every week and he might be the best cornerback in D1 football right now. Long, fluid and dangerous Williams can do big thing for the Jets in the 2019 season.

Pick Number 7: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select defensive end Clelin Ferrell (Clemson)

Another brilliant edge rusher in this draft, Clelin Ferrell possesses all the traits of an elite edge rusher and would give Tampa Bay a much-needed edge on the D-Line that they seem to missing right now. While many would suggest a quarterback it is unlikely that the front office are willing to give up on Jameis Winston just yet.

Pick Number 8: Jacksonville Jaguars select safety Deionte Thompson (Alabama)

If this season has shown us anything it’s that a big mouth and poor attitude can’t make your secondary great, so the Jaguars drafting the talented safety Deionte Thompson will give them some much needed help in their secondary. I hope for the Jaguars sake that this season is a temporary blip. Thompson is a sure fire way to help them next season, even if they need a new quarterback too.

Pick Number 9: Detroit Lions select Raekwon Davis defensive tackle (Alabama)

Another defensive tackle, are you starting to see a trend here? With just another all around poor season for the Lions (despite wins over the Patriots and Packers) they definitely need more help on that defensive line. With a big strong defensive lineman like Raekwon Davis crashing into opposing tackles this pick just reinforces the general theme of this draft. Pass rushing and shutting down the run.

Pick Number 10: Atlanta Falcons select wide receiver Hakeem Butler (Arizona State)

Now this might be a slightly unexpected pick given Ridley, Jones and Sanu but with the Falcons paying out such a huge amount to Matty Ice they need to give him some weapons. Hakeem fills that role perfectly whether it’s in open field on in the slot, Hakeem shines. If Atlanta take this talented receiver it will be interesting to see how much he improves the Atlanta offence.

Pick Number 11: Cleveland browns select wide receiver Kelvin Harmon (NC State)

Like AJ Brown and Hakeem Butler, Kelvin Harmon is a strong athletic receiver with smooth route running and dominates in the high point department. Couple this with the accurate Baker Mayfield throwing to him Harmon could be a very dangerous addition to an already deadly offence.

Pick Number 12: Philadelphia Eagles select offensive tackle Greg Little (Ole Miss)

The Eagles really need to start planning for their future and keeping Carson Wentz protected is a priority. Little has the skill set to be a franchise tackle if he gets a little help with his footwork. This isn’t an exciting pick, it’s a necessary one.

Pick Number 13: Denver Broncos select quarterback Daniel Jones (Duke)

Jones has the size and arm to be a quality quarterback at the pro level. If he gets to sit behind Case Keenum for the 2019 season to develop his knowledge and game he could be very dangerous. While this draft isn’t really packed with quarterback talent the way the 2018 draft was there are still a few gems available for teams to pick up.

Pick Number 14: Green Bay Packers select safety Lukas Denis (Boston College)

While he might not be as big of a difference maker as Deionte Thompson, Lukas Denis is not to be overlooked. With amazing pace and great vision Denis could be the new star of the Packers secondary. The Packers young secondary is just one or two pieces away from being one of the best in the NFC. Lukas could elevate them to that point.

Pick Number 15: Cincinnati Bengals select offensive tackle Dalton Risner (Kansas State)

In 2018 the Bengals began to rebuild their offensive line with Cordy Glenn and Billy Price. This will continue with Risner. Maybe the best right tackle prospect of this draft class. Like I said with the Eagles this isn’t a flashy or exciting pick but it can certainly lead to a big difference in what Andy Dalton can do with talented tackles holding up a pocket for him.

Pick Number 16: Miami Dolphins select defensive end Josh Allen (Kentucky)

The Dolphins are another team that will benefit from this heavily defensive draft. Cameron Wake isn’t as young as he used to be so adding a productive player like Josh Allen will be a massive help to the defence. Not only is Allen a high production speed rusher he can also make plays in coverage.

Pick Number 17: Minnesota Vikings select offensive guard Ben Powers (Oklahoma)

With a quarterback like Kirk Cousins and stellar receivers in Diggs and Thielen, Ben Powers is the perfect fit for the Vikings. Displaying some of the best pass blocking in college football currently, he could well prove to be a franchise player for the Vikings providing Cousins with brilliant protection for years to come.

Pick Number 18: Washington Redskins select cornerback Julian Love (Notre Dame)

Julian Love is a disruptive, ball hawking corner. He’s not the most athletic player in the draft, not by a long shot but his football IQ is through the roof and his motor is incredibly high. Definitely a welcome addition to the Redskins secondary giving them more options to break up pass plays and pick opponents off.

Pick Number 19: Tennessee Titans select tight end Kaden Smith (Stanford)

The Titans might be the team most in need of a tight end right now, Delanie Walker’s days are definitely numbered so Smith’s speed and massive catch radius will be a welcome addition to the Titans offence and a great weapon for Marcus Mariota.

Pick Number 20: Baltimore Ravens select wide receiver Anthony Johnson (Buffalo)

The Ravens are slowly but surely making a new receiving corps for Lemar Jackson to utilise in Baltimore. Johnson is a big deep threat and looking at his college stats he has a very impressive yards after catch ability. A skill that could make him one of the top receivers in the NFL with a talented quarterback like Jackson throwing to him.

Pick Number 21: Carolina Panthers select defensive end Brian Burns (Florida State)

Burns has all the tools to be an All-Pro player providing he can pack on a little weight and get himself stronger. Carolina addressing their edge concerns with a pick like this is vital. Burns has the dimensions and athleticism to be a great NFL player provided he addresses the aforementioned weight and strength concerns. If he addresses those issues Carolina have an all time great on their hands.

Pick Number 22: Seattle Seahawks select safety Khaleke Hudson (Michigan)

Needing to replace a hole left by Earl Thomas III leaving the team, Seattle need a young and instinctive safety to fill that gap. In my opinion Seattle should try and trade up to get Deionte Thompson earlier as he is heads and shoulders above any other defensive back in the draft. Not to discount Hudson who would give lots of quarterbacks in the NFL trouble. With great vision and natural instinct Hudson is still a very smart pick for Seattle to make.

Pick Number 23: Indianapolis Colts select defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (Clemson)

The Colts have a very overlooked defence currently and adding a more muscle up front on the line could benefit this team exponentially. Wilkins is a very physical but versatile defensive lineman who can put the Colts defence on the map next year. Couple that with Andrew Lucking coming off one of his best years in the league and the Colts could start looking like a serious play off team for the first time in a long time.

Pick Number 24: Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys) select linebacker Devin White (LSU)

White shows rare athletic ability giving him scary speed on the outside and when he gets going there’s not stopping him. Fast, physical and menacing Devin White could replace the void left by Khalil Mack as a mean edge rusher. Despite recent form White still might be the best linebacker in this draft class.

Pick Number 25: Houston Texans select offensive lineman Trey Adams (Wasington)

Adams has displayed he can play both sides of the line. Dominating at right tackle in 2017 and having a strong year on the left side in 2018. This pick is a must for the Texans as they need more protection for Deshaun Watson up front. Adams versatility means the Texans can use him to bolster either side of the line they need to the most.

Pick Number 26: Pittsburgh Steelers select cornerback Deandre Baker (Georgia)

Baker has been a difference maker at Georgia this season and he’d be a welcomed addition to the Steelers secondary. He possesses all the traits of an elite cornerback.  Vision, speed and great hands. All of this makes him a brilliant pick for the Steelers giving their secondary the extra support it needs.

Pick Number 27: Los Angeles Chargers select defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (Clemson)

Another Clemson prospect on this list, Lawrence has proven himself to be a premier nose tackle with brilliant handwork and an impressive burst off the line. A mountain of a human being Lawrence is going to be a problem for a lot of offensive lineman upon his arrival in the NFL. Due to Brandon Mebane’s contract being up this season the Chargers may have to fill his spot and Lawrence is the man to do it.

Pick Number 28: Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears) select wide receiver Ahmmon Richards (Miami)

Losing Amari Cooper was a serious blow to the Oakland offence and Richards can be a great replacement for him. Gruden needs a legit star at receiver and Richards can be that guy. With explosive speed and great hands Richards can be a threat anywhere on the field. The Raiders need to make picks like this to ensure they can have a better year than the tumultuous season 2018 as Gruden has taken over.

Pick Number 29: New England Patriots select quarterback Drew Lock (Missouri)

Now this pick may be controversial at least to my fellow Patriot fans who think Tom Brady is going be playing even into his 50’s. The Patriots need a new quarterback and Drew Lock could be a potential replacement if he’s groomed right coming in. While many would have the Patriots take a linebacker or defensive back to help out Gilmore and Hightower I think a quarterback pick is essential. While I looked at sleeper picks like KJ Costello, I think Lock is just a better fit for the Patriots organisation.

Pick Number 30: Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints) select defensive end Zach Allen (Boston College)

The Packers need to address the outside edge rusher spot in their team and Allen can transition into that role quickly. A player who is very quick and alert on the field with great hand and footwork make him a formidable edge rusher who can put quarterbacks under pressure and force desperation throws while collapsing a pocket.

Pick Number 31: Kansas City Chiefs select defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones (Ohio State)

In their game against the LA Rams the Chiefs made it painfully apparent that they need some serious talent on their defence, especially on the D-Line. Dre’Mont Jones is a very similar prospect to Chris Jones (the only Chiefs player who was doing anything against the Rams offence) so pairing them together would be a much needed helping hand on the Chiefs defence.

Pick Number 32: Los Angeles Rams select cornerback Bryce Hall (Virginia)

A tall, playmaking cornerback would elevate the Ram’s secondary to deadly levels. While Hall isn’t the twitchy reactionary player like earlier cornerbacks in this draft he does have a nose for the ball, which means he is always lurking, and hawking balls from all over the field. I’m excited to see how much the Rams can elevate themselves with a defence as effective as their offence.

 

Wildcard Prospects:

Dakota Allen linebacker (Texas Tech)

Defensive star of Netflix documentary ‘Last Chance U’, Dakota Allen has been maybe the hardest working linebacker in the country after arriving back at Texas Tech. With a high motor and ridiculous work ethic Allen would be a steal for any team willing to take him. I don’t see him going any later than round 3 but I can easily see him being picked up early second round by a team who needs a solid linebacker to add to their roster.

 

KJ Costello quarterback (Stanford)

Now this might be a long shot for a lot of people but I really like KJ Costello and think he can make a splash in the NFL if he’s picked up by the right team. A potential fit for the Jaguars if they need someone game ready to step in for Bortles. Costello is very competent and accurate with the football and I see him doing good things in a pro style offence.

 

Jalen Hurd wide receiver (Baylor)

After switching to Baylor and making the move from running back to receiver in order to take less punishment on his body Hurd has shown he can play both positions well. A fast athletic receiver with great vision and awareness would be a steal for any team wanting to add a little more depth to their wide outs.

 

Bryce Love runningback (Stanford)

The second Stanford player I’m adding to this list is probably going to be overlooked in the first round due to the amount of defensive and receiving talent in the first round. Love is a fast and agile running back with a great football IQ helping him see gaps and lanes very quickly. He shows great patience and versatility on the field, which can make him a very big name in the NFL.

 

If you have any thoughts or corrections to share you can find me over on Twitter @TrueHybridKP even if you just want to tell me your predictions for a first round draft or ask me why I have chosen these players feel free to get in touch!