Lee Wakefield Final 2020 Mock Draft

Here we go then, the draft is now just hours away.

Hours of film work, thousands of tweets, loads of articles and several podcasts, all combing over and and discussing many, many points of interest over the last college football and draft seasons, have boiled down to this.

I hope you have your time off booked for Friday and the food and drink in the fridge and you’re all set for what will be the most unique of drafts, maybe ever.

For me and many other draft nerds it’s the end of a cycle and the event where we finally get the answers that we’ve been waiting for.

I hope you’re looking forward to it as much as I am.

With that, let me present my final mock draft of the year. Enjoy.


  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

I wish I could bring myself to do something a little more creative here but I just can’t. The writing has been on the wall for months, no matter how much the media have tried to create a story that isn’t there.

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

Another team that the media tried creating a story about because the writing has been on the wall for months. The Redskins just take the best player available and enjoy him for the next 10 plus years, no need to get cute.

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

It would have been ideal for Matt Patricia to pair Slay with Jeffrey Okudah but Slay had been creeping towards the exit door for over 12 months if we’re all honest. So Okudah ends up being the replacement instead of the partner but Detroit isn’t in a bad spot – they replaced a CB1 with a cheaper and younger alternative. 

Okudah’s combine workout with regards to his footwork, in particular, was teaching tape for any young DB’s out there. He’s been college football’s most refined and dominant corner for the past year and is NFL ready from day 1.

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  1. New York Giants – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

It’s often the done thing to dunk on Dave Gettlemann and whilst drafting an offensive tackle doesn’t get the blood pumping, nor does seeing the QB you just drafted, to replace a franchise legend, on his backside a lot of the time.

The Giants have to protect Daniel Jones and drafting one of the top tackle prospects is actually pretty sensible, no matter what you think of the GM.

Giant’s fans may not like this move, especially with Isaiah Simmons sitting there and waiting to be picked but it isn’t a bad move at all.

Wirfs is a potential All-Pro tackle with unbelievable ability to move people in the running game, which not only helps Jones but Saquon Barkley too.

If they’re going to draft a running back second overall… The Giants might as well maximise him.

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  1. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama 

I know a lot of people are still expecting some kind of trade up from the Dolphins, most likely with the Lions, however, I really question whether Miami needs to at this point now that Darius Slay is an Eagle and the Lions need Jeffrey Okudah in the worst way.

Firstly, I would like to point out that if Miami has been angling (tanking) for Tua for over 12 months and they don’t come away with the former Alabama passer, it’ll be one of the most egregious wastes of draft capital that we’ve ever seen. However, if Miami holds their nerve I think they can keep their picks and let Tua fall right into their laps.

I don’t buy the interest in Tua that the media has tried to drum up from Washington – Arizona dumping Josh Rosen after one year is an outlier with a particular set of circumstances, not a rule.

In terms of a trade up: Detroit isn’t taking Tagovailoa at 3 and Dave Gettleman never trades back, so I would be SHOCKED if he did now.

Which leaves us with the Chargers… Tom Telesco has never made a big move up in the draft and is generally a stoic and conservative GM. Miami can also blow any offer out of the water, should Telesco move up so would the Chargers risk making a move, only to have Miami move up above them? I don’t think so.

Besides, if you don’t think Miami has called all 4 teams above them and told those teams they’ll beat any serious offer that comes their way from another team, then you’re out of your mind.

No one can win a bidding war against Miami, so why bother?

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  1. Los Angeles Chargers – Isaiah Simmons, Defense, Clemson 

I have said a couple of times on recent podcasts that I really think that the Chargers are edging towards picking the best player available at number 6 and then looking at a QB later on.

Anthony Lynn loves Tyrod Taylor and seems to really believe in him and his skill set, so I think he’s going to get a fair crack at the starting job next season, without having a top 10 QB breathing down his neck, similar to what he had in Cleveland.

This of course, allows the Chargers to draft Isaiah Simmons and create a defense that is, on paper at least, absolutely out of this world.

I’ve been joking that this defense could hold opponents to 10 points per game… Or was I joking?

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  1. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Trade – Carolina receive picks 10, 74 & 115

Cleveland receive pick 7

The Browns spring a trade here to move ahead of Arizona in the queue for these incredible offensive tackle prospects. New GM, Andrew Berry has been talking about the possibility of moving up or down but says that, “best player available” will be their “driver”.

Carolina is an easy trade candidate considering they’re beginning a rebuild with Matt Rhule and happily accept a generous trade package from the Browns.

Becton gets the nod over Wills and Thomas due to starting left tackle experience and simply because they don’t make them like Mekhi Becton very often – a mountain of a man with dancing feet.

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  1. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

He becomes the third tackle off the board but I personally feel that Jedrick Wills is the best tackle prospect in the draft. He’s maybe even the best tackle prospect I’ve evaluated since I began doing this… maybe. I am absolutely in love with how rounded he is in pass protection and how he loves to bury any defensive lineman that is unfortunate enough to take him on.

I know that I mentioned Becton being selected above Wills for Cleveland due to Becton having left tackle experience, but I don’t have any qualms about Wills playing on either side of the offensive line. DJ Humphries signing a new contract probably means Wills starts life on the right side anyway but he could easily switch later in his career if required.

This relegates Marcus Gilbert to swing tackle duty, which will suit him since he’s 32 and has missed a lot of time over the past two seasons.

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  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – C.J Henderson, CB, Florida

Just a short time ago, it felt like the Jaguars had the best corner tandem in football in AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey…

Both of those guys now reside out west with Ramsey in L.A. with the Rams and Bouye a recent trade acquisition for the Broncos, which leaves the Jags starting corners as DJ Hayden and Tre Herndon… 

So, yeah, the position needs some serious investment. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Jacksonville double down on corners in the draft.

Henderson isn’t a player I’m personally super high on, but Jacksonville will like taking a local product and I believe the NFL will be higher on him than I am. His athletic abilities were on show in Indianapolis a couple of weekends ago too and that is what he will lean on at the next level. 

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  1. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

This trade back really worked well for Carolina as they net Derrick Brown, a player they would have loved to have taken at #7, and now they have another couple of swings of the bat later down the line, too.

Brown has been a game wrecker at multiple spots on the defensive line this year for Auburn and I’d expect him to be used in multiple spots by new Panthers DC, Phil Snow, as he looks to exploit weaknesses in the offensive line and accentuate Brown’s penetrative traits and athleticism (don’t let Brown’s combine fool you, he’s a monster off the snap on tape).

I will be looking forward to how Snow uses Brown should this happen in the real draft too, because no disrespect to Baylor and the guys who played on their D line, Brown is on another level in comparison.

Note: Carolina needs to freshen up the defensive line and I could imagine that they will double dip this position later on – I would imagine that Rhule and Snow would love to bring in James Lynch, the defensive lineman from Baylor, later in the draft on early day 3, potentially even with pick 113, their pick in the early part of round 4.

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  1. New York Jets – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

The Jets’ situation on offense kind of reminds me of what division rivals Buffalo had on their hands around 12 months ago. They have a promising young quarterback who needs more protection and some guys to throw the ball to, and I feel like the Jets went about free agency in a similar way to what the Bills did – bring in a bundle of cheap, middling free agents, on short contracts and see what turns out to be your best combination on the line and also who Darnold builds good chemistry with. The Bills added Cody Ford out of Oklahoma last year to add some potential star power and some youth to their rag-tag bunch of hog-mollies. 

Andrew Thomas fits the mould here and gives New York what could be a franchise left tackle for years to come and hopefully keeps the ghosts away from Darnold’s blindside.

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

Last offseason, the Raiders put all their eggs in one basket case at wide receiver and it kind of derailed Jon Gruden’s offensive masterplan before it got started. Tyrell Williams is fine, in fact, he’s good, but simply isn’t a WR1 in the NFL and should be used accordingly. Again, Hunter Renfrow is going to be a really nice slot receiver for them for a while, but it’s going to scare a defense like an Antonio Brown would. Las Vegas would also be mindful to guard against Darren Waller regressing, at least somewhat.

With the talent at wide receiver that is available, the now Vegas Raiders get a chance to right that wrong, by selecting the best wide receiver in the draft class.

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  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Trade – San Francisco receive picks 21 & 53

Philadelphia receive pick 13

Big trade alert! Howie Roseman is never afraid to make a move and this draft gets off to a flying start for Philadelphia.

DeSean Jackson is out, Alshon Jeffrey is oft-injured and unfortunately, JJ Arcega-Whiteside… well, didn’t have the impact that some people expected after ranking him as WR5 last year… So the Eagles need to make a move and bring in someone who will make an impact.

Ruggs is a flier but not only a flier who catches deep balls, he’s got fantastic hands and he thrives in the short game where we can create for himself.

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

This is one pick that I feel just makes a lot of sense. Beau Allen has gone even with the resigning of Ndamukong Suh, the defensive line needs retooling in Tampa and I think they’d like to keep adding to this unit, in a similar vein to San Francisco over the past few years.

Kinlaw brings a lot of juice to the defensive front and alongside Vita Vea and Shaq Barrett he could form a young trio who can all get after the QB.

I also feel the Bucs are now going to try to put as much talent around Tom Brady as possible – The modus operandi for both Brady and Head Coach, Bruce Arians will be to win a championship and then retire simultaneously.

This pick and generally boosting the defense fits that plan nicely.

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  1. Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Broncos offense may just be on the precipice of being really quite good. Drew Lock showed some flashes, Gordon and Lindsay are solid in the backfield and Courtland Sutton took big strides last year.

It remains to be seen what Daesean Hamilton and Noah Fant will become but they have both shown some promise at the very least. Jerry Jeudy can come in and form another part of the offense and potentially take Denver to another level. Jeudy would be a matchup nightmare both inside and outside with his precision route running and slippery nature after the catch.

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  1. Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

Atlanta are absolutely crying out for an edge defender. Vic Beasley has flamed out and will be looking for a fresh start in Tennessee, Adrian Clayborn is in Cleveland and has never been a top shelf edge defender. Plus, the drafting of Takk McKinley hasn’t really worked out either for the Dirty Birds.

This is a move that doubles down on the pick up of Dante Fowler and gives Atlanta a pair of edges that have a very high ceiling.

Chaisson adds a good amount of athleticism to the defensive front and isn’t just an edge rusher either, he’s possibly the best run defending edge in this class and has the versatility to play standing up and with his hand in the dirt.

There’s talk of Atlanta wanting to move up, and I wouldn’t doubt that Thomas Dimitroff would want to do so for a second, I’m just not sure if they can find a dance partner without overpaying.

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  1. Dallas Cowboys – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Cowboys just had too many people who needed paying this offseason and now Byron Jones is a Dolphin. This leaves a hole in the secondary and I feel they need to address that need sooner rather than later. The ‘Boys neglected to bring in a replacement via free agency so I have them drafting Kristian Fulton, who I actually believe is being short changed in this draft cycle, by a fair bit.

I believe if it wasn’t for the fact Jeffrey Okudah is better than a lot of the corners in the NFL, and the fact that this is a deep class generally, Fulton would be getting much more recognition than he is right now, the guy is an unbelievable prospect.

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  1. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Trade – Miami receive picks 25 & 89

Minnesota receive pick 18

The Vikings love to draft corners under Mike Zimmer.

There is also a vacancy or two on the roster at the position since they cut Xavier Rhodes last week and also have Trae Waynes, Mack Alexander and Marcus Sherels heading towards the exit door.

This leaves Mike Hughes, their first round selection from 2018 as the CB1 on the roster at the time of writing and we’re not even sure that Hughes is an outside corner at the NFL level.

So why Gladney and why trade up in a deep class?

Well Zimmer loves physical corners who can be sticky in man coverage and don’t mind laying a hit on someone. Jeff Gladney fits the bill on this score and even in a deep class, you might as well go up and get the best guys when you can.

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

Jon Gruden continues to shop at the name brand schools. Queen strikes me as a Gruden linebacker – He’s active and very athletic, he could use some work on his tackling, which I do admit, could be an issue for a linebacker but the ceiling is very high.

Last year, Gruden brought in a leader on the back end of the defense in John Abraham and also a leader up front, in Clelin Ferrell. Free agency this year brought Nick Kwitakoski and Corey Littleton – Queen rounds out what would be an excellent linebacking group and generally a great looking defense to combat the red hot offenses in the AFC West.

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  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Let me tell you… The Jags have issues. Sizable issues. It’s a fire sale and it’s going to be a long road back.

So how do you go about resolving this? Well, you bring in good football players and players who will contribute towards a positive culture in and around the team for years to come.

It would be ideal if these players played at premium positions but this isn’t a one year fix, it’s going to be a process.

Whilst this isn’t a great fit, given that Jacksonville already has a player of a similar ilk on the roster in Ronnie Harrison, the Jags do need safety help and I feel the fact Harrison is already on board will mean that McKinney is moved around the defense a little bit, perhaps as in big nickel packages and allowed to get after tight ends and running backs.

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  1. San Francisco 49ers – Laviska Shenault. WR, Colorado

Trading down from 13 to 21 gives San Fran a second round pick and whilst losing the chance to draft Henry Ruggs is never a positive, the 49ers don’t lose out on drafting a dynamic offensive weapon.

A dream scenario and Shenault’s diverse skill set is paired with one of the best offensive minds in the game in Kyle Shanahan.

If this goes down, I will be watching a lot of 49ers games next season to see what the results of this marriage are. This is purely a team fit, there aren’t many other teams that will look at Shenault this early.

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22. Minnesota Vikings – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Wide receivers are flying off the board in the 20’s!

Does Minnesota get the best one of them at 22? I think that is a distinct possibility.

Justin Jefferson showed that he’s a complete wide receiver last season at LSU – operating well out wide and out of the slot, being productive in terms of yards and also putting the ball in the paint, like most of the LSU offense, he had a career breakout year at the best possible time.

The Vikings need to come away with a corner and a wide receiver from the first round and picking Jeff Gladney and Justin Jefferson makes this a home run first round of them.

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  1. New England Patriots – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

I actually don’t believe I’m mocking this myself, to be quite honest.

However…

If Justin Herbert falls past the Dolphins and the Chargers, where does the slide end?

It’s a genuine question, and it’s not an indictment of Herbert as a prospect or as a QB because I think Justin Herbert is very good but where does he go in this situation?

The Raiders are the only team I can think of that are a slight possibility and I just can’t see Jon Gruden loving Herbert, plus they brought in Marcus Mariota and they have an entrenched starter in Derek Carr.

The only other possibility I could think of is New England trading up to get him but then, as this shows, would the Patriots need to do so?

Talk about landing on your feet. 

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Image result for saints logo png

  1. New Orleans Saints – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

The Saints offense needs someone who can do something Michael Thomas generally doesn’t do – catch the football down the field.

Denzel Mims is a linear receiver who will not only replace Ted Ginn as the deep threat, but simultaneously open up the underneath spaces for Thomas and Alvin Kamara.

Mims is also the best blocking receiver in this class and is extremely tenacious and I can see Sean Payton loving his attitude and demeanor in this regard.

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  1. Miami Dolphins, Josh Jones, OT, Houston

I feel like it’s been fairly well documented that the Dolphins want to come out of the first round with a QB and an offensive tackle.

I also feel that it’s become consensus now that Josh Jones is the best tackle from tier 2 of this draft class.

Mission accomplished, Miami.

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  1. Miami Dolphins – Zack Baun, Edge/LB, Wisconsin

The fact that Zack Baun hasn’t been invited to the virtual draft makes me a little nervous of this pick and in all honesty, I’m not certain that Miami makes three first round selections – I strongly suspect that they’ll use their abundance of draft capital to move around the board freely and unload capital in trades in order to secure the players that they really want.

However, in this event, they haven’t needed to get rid of their pick and do still have a need at edge. Baun isn’t a prototypical edge defender and can drop in and play linebacker but that is exactly the kind of player that Brian Flores worked with in New England and for that reason I feel like Baun fits the mould really nicely here.

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  1. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Trade – Seattle receive picks 37 & 71

Los Angeles receive pick 27

Seattle won’t make this pick, they barely ever make their first pick before trading back so the Chargers spot an opening and make a leap up the board in order to secure their potential quarterback of the future.

Jordan Love has the physical traits that everyone is looking for now in terms of arm talent and mobility, he also works well outside of structure which also lends itself well to the modern NFL.

Love isn’t coming off the greatest season and was actually much more impressive in 2018 when he had more offensive talent around him, so his uneven college career gives me pause when I try to fit him into the conversation as a top QB prospect.

Time would be on his side with Tyrod Taylor in situ and with Love attracting comparisons, in some circles, to Patrick Mahomes, it could be a gamble worth taking.

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  1. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray, LB,Oklahoma

This is a hand-in-glove fit between player and ballclub here.

Kenneth Murray is a downhill, aggressive, tackling machine who is excellent as a blitzer off the edge or on delayed blitzes.

Murray has the mindset and the on field playing style that fits what the Ravens go for in the defender – No defense blitz more than the Ravens too so Murray should be in a nice situation here.

I see him as the replacement for Patrick Owuasor and filling a jack of all trades role as an outside linebacker and he will affect the game in multiple ways each week.

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  1. Tennessee Titans – Austin Jackson, OT, USC

Each time I do a mock draft and I come to the Titans, I look around their roster and look for an area of improvement and I often come to the same conclusion – That this roster is really good and quite underrated throughout the NFL community.

The Titans don’t have many (if any) league renowned stars, you could make a case for Kevin Byard, potentially Derrick Henry and maybe Taylor Lewan but it feels like this whole roster is under appreciated.

Jon Robinson really deserves some high praise for how he’s put this team together!

One casualty of this off season is right tackle Jack Conklin, who left during free agency, so I feel this is the most obvious place to start for Tennessee. 

Jackson is a little rough around the edges but he should make the starting job his over the offseason and be a nice addition to the Titans line.

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  1. Green Bay Packers – Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M 

I know the consensus here is that Green Bay will go for a wide receiver here but with 6 already gone, is there value there at 30 for a receiver like Jalen Reagor or Brandon Aiyuk?

I’m not certain.

This class of wide receivers is deep and there will be value and good players to be had later down the line – Remember, the draft is 7 rounds long.

One area where there isn’t a whole lot of depth is on the defensive line – The likes of Justin Madubuike, Ross Blacklock, Neville Gallimore and to a degree Jordan Elliott – The tier 2 interior defensive linemen are all nice prospects but after those guys the drop off is fairly sharp.

Outside of Kenny Clark, the Packers could use some talent up front. Justin Mabubuike will give them some juice and mixes that with nimble footwork and hand placement as a rusher.

These late round picks always get a bit wild and this is certainly one of those – It’s a gamble but could pay off in a big way.

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  1. San Francisco 49ers – Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan

The 49ers really aren’t too far away and after the trade back with Philadelphia, they now hold pick 53 which is where I feel they can get good value for a cornerback and fill another big need.

For now, John Lynch continues to give Kyle Shanahan what he needs on offense. Ruiz is a stout center who holds up really nicely in pass protection and is a powerful adversary for any defensive lineman in the run game.

Ruiz has the mobility to hold up nicely in Shanahan’s complex running scheme too, whether that be from the center position or from right guard, both of which he has played at Michigan.

I think Ruiz will end up at the pivot in time but due to Weston Richburg, may begin his career at right guard – Either way he makes this line better now and in 5 years time.

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  1. Kansas City Chiefs – A.J Terrell, CB, Clemson

With the final pick of the first round the Kansas City Chiefs improve an area of their team which is one of the only areas of their roster that requires some serious investment, the cornerback position.

Terrell has slipped in the hearts and minds of a lot of fans because of the College Football National Championship game which Clemson lost to LSU in crushing fashion, with LSU running out 42-25 winners.

However. Terrell put together a great season overall and showed his prowess as a great corner prospect with his play.

Terrell is an unbelievable athlete, who possesses excellent coverage ability and has all the physical attributes and movement skills to be a CB1 for any team in the league. 

Player Profile: Logan Wilson, Linebacker, Wyoming

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

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

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

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

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

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

However…

I was pleasantly surprised.

Photo credit: Montanasports.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s talk numbers.

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

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

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

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

Let’s talk about athletic testing.

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

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

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

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

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

Anway, let’s talk football…

Game 1: New Mexico State, 2018

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

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

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

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

Overall, a solid if not spectacular outing.

Game 2: San Diego State, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To Sum Up

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

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

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

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

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

Follow Lee on Twitter @Wakefied90

Follow Full 10 Yards CFB on Twitter @Full10YardsCFB

Main photo credit: The Denver Post

“The Million Dollar Cam”: Mississippi’s new star

By Alex Lewis (@alexlewis226)

Florida State University has managed to produce a solid set of running backs over the last 30 years including Devonta Freeman, Warrick Dunn and Chris Thompson and following the conclusion of the 2020 NFL combine, another one could be about to smash the league apart.

Cam Akers, who hails from Clinton, Mississippi, put on an exceptional display in Indianapolis to put himself firmly within that elite top three of draft running backs – or at least so I think.

Now this revolution of FSU running backs hasn’t just returned, the Minnesota Viking’s running back, Dalvin Cook, slipped to the second round of the draft in 2016 and has gone on to prove a lot of teams wrong by becoming an RB1 in just three years.

The physical comparison between Cook and Akers is incredibly similar, but what skills the two backs bring to the field are a bit more different.

What will be the same however, is there dominance on a Sunday afternoon.

Cook, who left for the NFL before Akers arrived at FSU, had enough time with his successor to realise what it was possible for Akers to achieve.

In speaking with OrlandoSportsBlog on YouTube in 2017, Cook said of Akers: “he’s ready to learn, ready to see what the older guys could teach, I think it’s another version of what I went through, high recruit but still ready to learn”

“I think he’s got some greatness in him.”


Cam vs Cook – an apt comparison  


The similarities between the two Seminoles, at least physically is an extensive list.

Both standing at 5”10 and around 210 pounds, it would be a challenge to separate their tape had they worn the same number.

It doesn’t help matters that when you try to compare the combine scores and times of Akers, it becomes possible to conceive that Cook may have just competed for a second time in Indianapolis.

In actual fact the draft capital of Akers took a huge upswing following his performance on Thursday.

As you can see, the similarities in the combine performances of Akers and Cook are striking.

Not only did Akers numbers trump (marginally) those of former Seminole, Cook, but if anything, the speed and explosiveness that the scores suggest is far more important to Akers draft day potential than it was to Cook.

For an explanation of why that is so can be found in the tape study of both of these players college careers.

Dalvin Cooks ability to take five-yard toss plays and make it a 50-yard house call was just about unparalleled in his class but when forcing him inside between the tackles, it’s a totally different story.

With a mixture of an upright running style and a consistent desire to bounce runs outside, rather than plant and go downhill, it came as no surprise to many that his combine performance was an impressive one.

For Akers however, who’s main criticism has been an inability to take big long runs and hit his head on the goalpost, an impressive amount of athletic explosion has the potential to boost his eventual draft position far more than it did Cook.

Now for Cook, a suspicion that there was some off-field issues eventually dropped him to the second round and the 41st overall pick, and although Akers doesn’t have those same concerns, a feeling that his hands are less natural than Cooks will likely leave him on the board until a similar range.


Mock draft riser


Outside of the stats and numbers that Akers was able to post in the workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium, his performance in the drills caught the eyes of far more General Managers and analysts.

The brand new Duce Staley drill was dominated by Akers, who demonstrated quick feet and smooth hips to navigate what is fresh territory for the talent scouts of the NFL.

The same themes followed him throughout the more standard off-tackle drill which Akers successfully displayed to pretty much perfection, which will go a long way to convince some that despite entering the draft as a junior, he has the gap-reading maturity of some of his fellow class-mates.

Akers also impressed at the stand when addressing the media before his on-field display later in the week.

Coming across with that same level of maturity that he managed to display in the drills, he supported Dalvin Cooks revelation that he was willing to listen and take guidance from those that has come before him.

Asked by 247Sports.com what sort of running back he is, Akers said:

“Just an all-around running back,

“Somebody’s who’s, of course, able to run the ball but another important aspect of running back is being able to block also. I just think I’m a complete back from catching to blocking to running.”

Instead of being pre-draft rhetoric, its possible to believe that following the combine, Akers has a point.

A one-handed grab on a swing pass drill may help to alter the narrative that he struggles to make catches outside his frame, as did a smooth participation of the new “Texas” route drill.

Get 10% off at NFL Europe Shop with code FULL10


Hang on a second


Despite all of the above-mentioned successes and improvements for Akers at the combine, the original tape concerns still warrant some thought before he flies up the relevant draft boards.

His 4.4 speed will assist concerns about his chunk play ability, that he hasn’t demonstrated in high volume in his three years of Seminole football and will also address how well he can bounce plays to the outside.

During college Akers has been excellent inside the tackles, and falling forwards for small gains on first down, but the question as to whether he can do the same against the bigger bodies of the NFL will need to be considered.

He also faces questions in the passing game, which despite a strong combine showing, will still be something to consider when thinking about drafting him as high as FSU compatriot Dalvin Cook.

Akers can be comfortable in the fact that he is a far more advanced blocker than Cook was coming into their respective drafts, giving him an extra upside as the league moves further into a pass happy style.


Where will he go?


In totality, Cam Akers combine show-off was about as beneficial to draft stock as any single player this year.

Showing off in the areas that he had failed to dominate at in college, his 4.4 speed and soft hands will go some way to convincing teams that Akers really is a three down back.

Pre-combine mock drafts listed Akers as a 3rd round talent but following all of the above combine boosts, I would not be surprised to see him in that early to mid-second round range.

Partially because you should never question the power of combine hype, but also because there is some teams in that area who really need a running back and have Dalvin Cook as a case study to prove Akers could make it as a RB1.

Any of the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers or the Houston Texans should be considered strong contenders should they move up to in and around that area of the upper second round.

Whoever ends up with Akers on their roster, they should consider themselves very lucky to have a stud, and likely at a discounted price.

Post Black Monday Mock Draft; By Lee Wakefield

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

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

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

Enjoy!

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t overthink this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for the memories #17.

  1. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

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

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

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

  1. Arizona Cardinals – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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

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

And where did that get them?

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

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

You’re welcome Kyler.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

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

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

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

Truly someone built for today’s NFL.

  1. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Denver Broncos – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

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

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

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

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

  1. Atlanta Falcons – AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

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

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

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

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

  1. Dallas Cowboys – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

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

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

They shouldn’t look more than 20 miles.

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

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

  1. Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

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

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

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

Taylor is worthy.

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

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

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

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

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

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

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

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

Sounds like a win/win.

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

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

You should do.

  1. Buffalo Bills – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

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

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

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

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

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

It makes too much sense.

  1. Minnesota Vikings – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

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

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

You get where I’m going here…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Seattle Seahawks – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Baltimore Ravens – Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama

The supply line from Tuscaloosa to Baltimore lives on!

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

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


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

Player Profile: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington by Lee Wakefield

Is there a prospect that had more intrigue surrounding him prior to the season than Washington QB, Jacob Eason?

The Huskies QB had just sat a year out in 2018 due to the NCAA transfer rules after he left Georgia. Eason, a former 5-star recruit who headed back to his home state to kick start his college career and I, for one, was excited to see what the future would hold for a player who was full of potential.

However, the issue at hand was that in the summer of this year, when we were going through our summer scouting routine, the only game tape we had of Jacob Eason was from 2016, when he was playing for Georgia. Operating in an offense that was different to the Jake Fromm Georgia offense that we see today.

We just had to wait and see…

Fast forward to today and Eason is 10 games into his Huskies career and I feel like now, we can at least begin to assess what kind of quarterback we have on our hands and whether it would be wise for Eason to declare for the NFL draft after this season, his Junior season, with another season of eligibility remaining.

Player Profile

Eason is 6’6 and weighs in at 227lbs, per school measurements. These are nice measurables that NFL scouts and front office staff will love, yet I would like to see Eason pack on a little bit of muscle before entering the pros – I feel like he looks sort of lanky and an extra 10 or 12 pounds would help him be more durable at the next level.

Coming out of Lake Stevens High School in Washington, Eason ranked the No. 4 overall prospect in the nation by 247 sports; rated No. 7 overall, as well as the No. 1 quarterback, by Rivals; listed by ESPN as the No. 13 overall prospect nationally.

So he was pretty good. No shock he was highly recruited and went to Georgia then.

Whilst in a Bulldogs uniform, Eason threw 204/370 (55.1%) for 2430 yards, 16 TD’s and 8 INT’s in his Freshman year.

The next season, in 2017, is when Jake Fromm arrived on the scene and assumed the role of starting QB in Athens. Eason only ended up appearing in 3 games and throwing 7 passes.

So far this season, Eason has completed 63.7% of his passes for 2472 yards, 20 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.

So What’s to Like?

So let’s start to dissect Eason then… Well he’s tall, he’s got a strong arm and he’s white, so he’s nailed on to be a first rounder. End of article. Thanks.


I’m joking, of course…Although John Elway is still an NFL General Manager.

Ok so, whilst (spoiler alert) he’s far from a perfect prospect, Eason is a good QB prospect who has good arm strength, which he can use to push the ball to the sidelines without the ball hanging in the air. He can also push the ball downfield when he needs to – This isn’t something we’ve seen a great deal of but there is evidence that he can do this. Here’s one fantastic throw – Strong armed, accurate and pushing the ball to the sideline from the opposite hash mark. Lovely. 


From the game film I’ve seen, Eason works really well off of play action and both offenses he’s worked in have used this trait to good effect to set up deep shots down the field. This example is again from the game against Arizona earlier this season – Eason has standard 5 man protection out of I-formation and finds his man deep.

When it comes to passing the football, I feel like Eason is best over short to intermediate distances and when he can get the ball out of his hand on time and in rhythm – Eason has a short, sharp release which aides him, especially when looking to hit receivers on horizontal routes. I feel like early in his career, he would often put the ball behind receivers running across the field and his ball placement generally was spotty at best. He’s still not got the greatest ball placement, don’t get me wrong. He still has the tendency to miss receivers high to this day, but it’s certainly an area of his game that he has taken strides in whilst on Washington’s scout team in 2018 and this year as the Huskies starter. Here’s a few examples below:

First off, the good stuff  – Eason hits Hunter Bryant in stride and leads his tight end for a 15 yard gain against Oregon.


Unfortunately, here’s an example of Eason missing an open receiver with a high pass from his Georgia days.


And another from more recently, against Oregon on a clutch 4th down play.


When it comes to being pressured, Eason isn’t afraid to hang in the pocket and find a pass knowing that he’s about to get leveled by an oncoming defender. Although that said, Eason has this crazy tendency to roll to his left when he feels pressure – I felt that this was a big enough issue that I will explore this later in the article. Before that, here’s a great example of Eason delivering a great pass in the face of a blitz and getting a whack for his troubles.


However, it must be stated that this isn’t wholly positive – Eason’s completion percentage drops below 40% when he’s under pressure. That’s pretty alarming and it’s lower than every 1st or 2nd round pick from the past three drafts aside from Giant’s QB, Daniel Jones. 

Just before we close out on the good stuff, I will mention that Eason displays sneaky athletic ability for a man his size when he does choose to tuck the ball under his arm and run. He needs to do a better job of protecting himself and the football when a runner but he is brave and has shown the ability to make tough yardage and a first down. Eason is also the master of the QB sneak – from what I’ve seen, the guy is pretty much Tom Brady-automatic from a yard or less.

And The Bad Stuff?

One thing I absolutely need to see from college quarterbacks is accuracy. If you’re not accurate in college, you don’t magically become more accurate when throwing against defenders who are better in coverage and better athletes at the next level – it simply doesn’t work like that.

Eason has improved his accuracy from 55.1% at Georgia in his Freshman season, to a mark of 63.7% (202/317), which is where he stands at the time of writing at Washington, as mentioned previously.

For comparison, Joe Burrow of LSU currently leads FBS quarterbacks with 78.9% (236/299), that mark is frankly outrageous but even an extremely high volume passer (and less talented QB) such as Washington State’s Anthony Gordon is throwing 71% (323/455) and Eason’s percentage is exactly the same as Hawai’i QB, Cole McDonald – someone who came into the season with questions over his own accuracy.

Food for thought.

The issue for Eason seems to be careless ball placement which crops up at times as discussed earlier. The other issue that I feel Eason is only just weeding out is that until recently, he seemed completely incapable of throwing the ball with any touch.


Woah there Jacob, we know you’ve got a strong arm… your receivers are probably better without broken fingers.

And that leads us into our next problem… Eason knows he’s got a pretty strong arm and at times he trusts it way too much.

This throw was super, ill-advised… trying to hit your guy who was in triple coverage against one of the best defensive backfields in college football.

Silly. Justin Blackmon east those up. 

This was the first of two picks that Eason threw in the game against Utah… the other one, Jaylon Johnson returned for a touchdown.


Speaking of throwing into coverage… Well, this is something that Eason seems to have a pretty annoying habit of doing. Is this a case of not having the mental processing skills associated with high level quarterback play? Yes. Could this improve in future? Maybe.

For every throw like this one against Oregon where he lays it in nicely in between zones…


There’s one like the Blackmon interception or one like this, from his Georgia days against TCU


I mean… Come on, it was a good thing he throws this one long.

Let’s get inside the pocket now and see what Eason is like as a pocket operator.

You’ll notice in the clips I’ve used that one thing that you don’t see much of with Jacob Eason is nifty footwork. In fact, you don’t see much footwork inside the pocket at all; no climbing; no sliding to give himself extra time; I just don’t see much movement.

In the modern NFL, you need your QB to be mobile. I’m not talking Lamar Jackson style athletic ability, that’s ancillary and a huge bonus, I’m talking that bare minimum is Brady/Rivers/Brees type little movements to just avoid that defender’s outstretched arm or just moving up in the pocket to allow your tackle to push the edge rusher downfield.

Eason is a statue, a lot of the time – I feel that this is something that comes with games and experience, knowing when to move, knowing the tendencies of you offensive linemen and of the pass rushers who are hunting you.

Obviously this could develop in time, but it’s just a matter of games,yet there’s no guarantee that it’ll click for him and Eason could just be the next (post Superbowl) Joe Flacco instead of the next big thing.

Now let’s dive into Eason biggest pocket habit…

To the Left, To the Left

Jacob always rolls outta the pocket, to the left…

It is startling to see. For a right handed QB to want to escape to the left this badly just doesn’t make sense. In the video below, you’ll see how often this happens, he even throws in a double spin to the left for good measure at one point.

Don’t get me wrong, he does escape pressure to the left at times but as a righty, it doesn’t make sense.

As a right handed QB, if you’re running to the left, it takes longer to turn your body to reset your feet to throw off of your usual base OR you end up throwing across your body – both of which result in your throw being less accurate and both of which are obviously compounded by having to throw under duress whilst on the move. These will be contributing towards the sharp drop in completion percentage when under pressure, which I went over earlier.

It’s something that Washington Head Coach, Chris Peterson addressed after the Utah game, saying, “We’re trying to emphasise him staying in the pocket. It’s your game to step up [in the pocket], not out”.

Here’s a short video on the issue:


Summary

I feel that Eason has a very high ceiling, both from what I’ve seen on tape and the improvements he’s made from 2016 to now and also the physical traits and measurables that he possesses.

However, the mental side of his game, his footwork and his accuracy aren’t what I would want from an NFL quarterback, especially one that I may be drafting in the first round, and these areas need work.

He simply wouldn’t get away with the shoddy ball placement and throwing into coverage nearly as much in the NFL as he does in the Pac-12.

NFL defensive co-ordinators would gameplan for his tendency to move to his left and just to apply pressure on him generally to see if they could exploit his lack of footwork and he would obviously have to avoid bigger and strong defensive players coming for him whilst trying to process the game quicker.

In short, I feel like Eason simply needs more experience. He’s got the talent but with another year of eligibility left, I feel he would be wise to use it and work on the aspects of his game that need some polish.

Jacob Eason turns 22 years old this Sunday, (17/11/19), next season may be the season when he takes the leap. It seems to be the way of things that QB’s hit a golden zone around the age of 22/23. Patrick Mahomes won NFL MVP at 23, Joe Burrow has taken a giant leap this season when he has turned 23 years old, Lamar Jackson (who is 4 weeks younger that Burrow(!!)) is tearing up the NFL at 22 and will be 23 in January.

Could Eason be the next QB to go through this growth spurt at this time? I think it’d be worth trying to find out… It’s an awful lot easier to develop in college than it is in the NFL.

Stay in school Jacob, it may just be on the verge of clicking.

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How the Mustangs Offense are Running Wild in College Football by Maxwell Petitjean

Setting the scene:

Saturday 2nd November 2019, the Memphis Tigers handed the Southern Methodist University Mustangs their first loss of the season. Both teams ended the game with an overall record of 8-1. Despite the loss, SMU are home to one of the finest and most surprising offenses in college football.

Over the past 5 years, SMU have averaged a disappointing 4 wins a year, averaging less than 27 points per game on offense. The 2018 season was Sonny Dykes first year as head coach, and despite going only 5-7, the programme was clearly much improved.

The main reason for the success this year is due to the high-flying offense averaging 43 points per game. There are two main features to this offense that have been so successful:

  1. The Rushing Attack

Schematically, the run game is not anything special. They primarily run the ball out 10 personnel and where possible, SMU use their slot receivers to crack block interior linebackers. This opens space on the edge of the field for Jones to run into. An example of one of their key runs can be seen here:

Lead running back Xavier Jones has 905 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. More impressively, he is currently averaging 5 yards per touch. He is an incredibly special athlete who threatens to score every time he touches the ball.

The running philosophy is simple: Give Xavier Jones the ball, as quickly as possible, with as much space as possible.

Here are some highlights of Jones’ best carries so far in 2019, including this play above:

  1. The Deep Passing Game

Shane Buechele was the starting Quarterback at Texas in 2016 before losing his starting job to Sam Ehlinger mid-way through the 2017 season. Although his time at Texas was unspectacular, he has finally hit his footballing stride by transferring across the state to SMU. So far this season, through 9 games, he has scored 25 touchdowns for only 7 interceptions with over 300 passing yards per game.

One of the biggest reasons for this success is due to the extremely well-structured deep passing attack of SMU.

SMU have two primary types of deep passing; One-step Fades & Play-action Posts. We will explore these below

  1. One-step Fades:

These passes are the perfect compliment to the threat of Xavier Jones. As mentioned, they primarily run the ball from 10 personnel, a formation with 4 wide receivers, designed to spread out the defense and create more space for Xavier Jones to run the ball.

In their attempts to stop Jones, many coordinators try to stop SMU with man coverage. They put their cornerbacks on an island against the SMU wide receivers. This gives Buechele an opportunity to attack, he trusts his receivers and is incredibly accurate on deep outside throws.

Below is an example of a one-step passing concept. When opponents regularly use man coverage, SMU call a play like this. The QB takes the snap, takes a drop step, and throws a fade to one of the outside receivers.


  1. Play-action Posts

The other type of deep pass that you see from SMU, is the Play-action Post. Typically, they run this from either 11 or 12 personnel, and it usually involves a 7-man pass protection and 3 offensive players running a route. Although they often have three routes, the play is designed to throw to the deep Post route.

An example of this concept can be seen below:


This is excellent play design for so many reasons; Firstly, because there are 7 blockers, Buechele always has lots of time to throw, making post-snap defensive coverage reads much simpler and reducing errors resulting from a fast pass rush.

Secondly, because they always call this play out of either 11 or 12 personnel, it forces defenses to align with more players in a position to stop the run. This makes the pre-snap reads more clearly defined, as the defense is unable to hide what type of coverage they are in.

Thirdly, it’s a very straightforward throw. Although the throw is about 50 yards, the catch is almost always made by a wide-open receiver, being trailed by a single defensive back. Therefore, he doesn’t have to thread the pass between layers of defenders, he just throws it to the deep middle of the field.

Finally, it is a simple read for the Quarterback. Buechele essentially only has one option, throw to the deep Post. He’s a talented QB, but he is at his best when he doesn’t have to think about where he is throwing the ball.

See some highlights of these deep passes below, including the example pictured above:

Special Mention: The Pass Rush

There is one reason for SMU’s success that is also worth noting; this is the much-improved pass rush. Although the defense isn’t great, they are getting lots of opportunities to rush the passer, because opponents are trying to keep up with the high-scoring offense. They currently have 40 sacks through 9 games, the joint most in college football.

A great example of the success is Patrick Nelson, the former safety who has converted to linebacker. He has 10 sacks this season, one of the most in college football. This is particularly impressive for a defender so capable in coverage.

Summary:

Players like Xavier Jones & Shane Buechele are excellent college football players who have learned to expertly execute this offensive scheme. But more importantly, the scheme is perfectly built around the skillsets of Jones, Buechele & their extremely fast receiving unit.

If defensive coordinators don’t respect Jones and the rushing attack, he will make them pay.

If opponents overcommit defensive resource to the run & rely on man coverage, then SMU will attack with deep passing concepts.

Right now, this offense is a nightmare for coordinators everywhere.

College Football Staff Midseason Mock Drafts: Maxwell

To back up the pair of podcasts that we did earlier this week, that made up our Full 10 Yards College Football Midseason Mock Draft, we’re now going to put out a couple of individual mocks.Working together was great but we all have our own ideas and tastes in players and of course, all of our big boards are different, so these individual mocks give us our opportunity to really show these off.Of course, it is still midseason, there’s a lot of football still to be played, so at this point we’re looking at possibilities and bouncing ideas around, a lot can and will change between now and April but here goes…

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

Young is as talented as any pass rusher coming into the NFL in the past few years. He mixes elite speed & athleticism mixed with a remarkable toolbox of skills and technique to beat opposing linemen. Moreover, he is strong enough to run defender at the point of attack.

#2. Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tua has been a superstar since day 1. Before he played a snap of college football, he was the Elite 11 champion, and his first real game helped Bama beat Georgia in the 2018 National Final. He has arm strength, accuracy, decision making & athleticism to be a legitimate NFL starter. The only downside is that he had a poor performance against Clemson last year, throwing two pretty awful interceptions. If he has a strong end to his season, he should be the #1 QB off the board and the man who ignites the Dolphins attempt to rebuild in 2020.

#3. Redskins – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

With the coaching staff in flux, it’s hard to say whether the new HC will want to move on from Dwayne Haskins. If they decide that the QB position isn’t the issue, then Andrew Thomas is the right pick. Thomas is an amazing athlete who has grown every year. He has excellent footwork and body control in the pass game, whilst being a strong and consistent mauler in the run game. Georgia’s offense has had an up-and-down year, but Thomas has been flawless throughout.

#4. Falcons – Grant Delpit, S, LSU

The Falcons have had a disappointing 2019 season so far, and its mainly due to a lack-lustre defense. They could do with support at LB or edge rusher, but safety is also a weakness. In drafting Grant Delpit, they can fill a position of need with one of the most solid picks in this years draft. Delpit may not be as dominant a blitzer as Jamal Adams, but he has excellent range and makes a bunch of tackles at the line of scrimmage. A great building block for this poor defense.

#5. Jets – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

In a division with Bill Belichick and the mighty Bills defense, Sam Darnold needs all the help he can get. He could do with support on the line, but at pick #4 there is a receiver who cannot be missed. Jerry Jeudy is one of the best WR prospects in recent years. Crisp routes, great speed, solid hands & big play after-catch ability. An immediate upgrade for the Jets franchise.

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

The Jaguars have just lost their superstar Cornerback in Jalen Ramsey, and although their defense is talented they could do with a new starting CB. Jeff Okudah out of Ohio State is an elite athlete with great ball skills. There are still some question marks around his aggression on underneath passes, but there isn’t an NFL receiver who can outrun the silky smooth Okudah. Perfect fit for Jaguars Cover 4 heavy scheme too.

#7. Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

The Browns desperately need support on the offensive line and Mekhi Becton is maybe the most talented tackle in this class. In his 2018 Junior season, Becton showed flashes in a good performance against Alabama, but he still lost a few one-on-one scenarios. In 2019 he’s come back fitter, lighter and has developed into a dominant Left Tackle. His breakout game against Notre Dame showed he could thrive against high quality opponents with clean footwork, strong hands and great body control.

#8. Dolphins – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Having picked Tua at #2, they now need to find a weapon for him. CeeDee Lamb is the most explosive weapon in college football. Unbelievable jukes, elite quickness, spectacular catches & elite route running. Lamb will make any offense 100% more watchable, he’s the closest prospect I’ve ever seen to Odell Beckham Jr.

#9. Giants – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Giants have had made some awful picks at cornerback over the last few years. Although we’re not yet sure how DeAndre Baker will turn out, even with him, they are still short at DB. Kristian Fulton could be the answer to the Giants issues. The definition of a “sticky” defender, he never lets receivers get away from him & he finishes every rep with aggression and desire to get the ball back.

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

The Chargers have had a disappointing start to 2019 and they have issues in a number of areas, but the offensive line should be a key target area for improvement. Prince Tega Wanogho could be a great fit for the Chargers. He has an excellent base in pass blocking and has the athleticism to keep up with premium pass rushers. But he really impresses in the run game, not only is a big and strong, but you can see him relish the opportunity to finish reps and bury defenders.

#11. Titans – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The Titans have finally given up on Mariota, and Tannehill is clearly not the future. The future of the Titans is with the 6′ 6 Quarterback out of Oregon. Herbert has all the potential to be a franchise QB. His Arm strength, accuracy & decision making are all reminiscent of a young Carson Wentz. The only issue is that fantastic Ducks offense which manufacturers lots of easy throws.

#12. Buccaneers – Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Although there are rumours surrounding Jameis Winston’s future in Tampa, I believe Arians will have faith in his QB and look to build around him. They are in desperate need of support on the OL and Josh Jones is the next best on the board. Jones is one of the most polished tackles in the class. He’s athletic with a strong base and he has excellent hands to fend off pass rushers, getting many pancakes due to his hand fighting skills. He also possesses great spatial awareness, always “staying busy” by looking to pick up looping blockers.

#13. Broncos – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

The Broncos know that Joe Flacco is not the long term answer for their franchise, and from everything we’ve seen & heard, Drew Lock is not the guy. Meanwhile, Jordan Love out of Utah State is a quarterback with all of the necessary skills to make it in the NFL. Love has so many skills, excellent arm strength, great accuracy, ability to move & throw on the run. Even in a poor showing against LSU, he was mainly hindered by a slew of drops from his out-gunned receiving unit.

#14. Cardinals – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin

I’m a big fan of the new Kyler Murray & Kliff Kinsbury era in Arizona, but they have one huge weakness, the offensive line. Tyler Biadasz is a consistent Centre with great footwork and a violent desire to finish plays. A great building block for the Cardinals.

#15. Cowboys – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

The Cowboys have developed a pretty dominant defense over the past few years, but if there is one area they could improve, it’s the middle of their defensive line. Javon Kinlaw will not only help sure up the middle, he is a genuine threat as a pass rusher.

#16. Jaguars – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

In the Alex Grinch defense, Kenneth Murray has had a breakout 2019. Murray is a game-changing linebacker who is a threat to take-away the ball at all times. He’s both a ball hawk in zone coverage and a devastating blitzer. The Jags may have had other needs, but with Telvin Smith’s future with the franchise in question, Murray is a huge upgrade on Quincy Williams.

#17. Lions – Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise State

Matt Patricia’s Lions defense has improved a lot in 2019, but he doesn’t really have a pass rush. In fact, Patricia often runs a 5-man line to try to generate as much pressure as possible. Curtis Weaver is a true edge rusher. Fantastic hand-fighting, quick feet, textbook bend; Weaver has it all. Although Boise are a smaller programme, his skills are undeniable and he would be a huge upgrade on Romeo Okwara & Devon Kennard.

#18. Colts – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Although Frank Reich is an offensive genius, when TY Hilton is out of the line-up, the Colts offense looks very short on weapons. Tee Higgins is a player who could change that. Deceptive speed, clean route running, strong hands & a unique ability to steal the ball in traffic. Could quickly become a favourite target for Brissett.

#19. Raiders – Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma

Gruden & the Raiders have made it very clear they are thinking long term and they are looking to build on their talent. Neville Gallimore is a freaky athlete on the defensive line who has had a breakout 2019 season. It’s not often you get a 320lb man who can perform a lightning fast spin move. The once stunted Raiders defense will inevitably be transformed by a talent like this.

#20. Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The Panthers front seven seem to be thriving since Ron Rivera took the bold move to move to a 3-4. However, if there is one area they are short, it’s in their Nickel package, as Javien Elliot playing as their nickel back. In Isaiah Simmons, they can bring in a player who covers like a Safety at the size of a Linebacker. Simmons is a dominant tackler who can take on offensive linemen and play in man coverage. A unique talent.

#21. Eagles – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Miles Sanders hasn’t quite worked out in Philadelphia. Although they have problems on their defense, is more due to injury than a lack of talent. Therefore, the perfect choice for the Eagles is to take the best RB in the class, and that is the Wisconsin Heisman candidate, Jonathan Taylor. Fantastic size and speed, Taylor has all the skills needed to be the every-down back that the Eagles have been searching for.

#22. Raiders – A.J Terrell, CB, Clemson

AJ Terrell is one of the most underappreciated defensive backs in the class. 2018 was a breakout year for Terrell as he had huge performances against Alabama and Notre Dame in the College Football playoffs. Terrell is an elite athlete who looks incredibly comfortable in press or off-man coverage and his technique is textbook. The Raiders defense hasn’t looked good in 2019, but with Gallimore & Terrell, they could become dominant.

#23. Ravens – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

The Ravens are in a new era of professional football. With Lamar Jackson and that dominant run game, they need to find ways to become more consistent on defense. Derrick Brown will undoubtedly help the Ravens to be a better defense. Although he’s not an inside pass rusher, he’s a dominant run stuffer at the point of attack, and he will allow Wink Martindale to do a lot with the players around him.

#24. Vikings – Jedrick Wills, OT, AlabamaI

love Kirk Cousins, and the introduction of Gary Kubiak has allowed the Vikings to develop a dominant run game with Dalvin Cook. However, against better defenses, they have struggled to protect Cousins. Jedrick Wills is not the most refined Tackle, but he’s only a Junior and he’s incredibly talented. In last year’s National Championship game, he was the only Bama linemen who didn’t get beat-up by the dominant Clemson DL.

#25. Dolphins – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

After picking Tua & CeeDee Lamb earlier in the first, you may think that the Dolphins would consider looking to improve the defense. However, by pushing all resources into the offense, they could change the outlook of their entire franchise. D’Andre Swift is a phenomenal athlete, elite quickness, strong in contact and a genuine ability to make defenders miss. Sony Michel has had a great career so far in the NFL, but Swift is a much more fluid runner and a better prospect.

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

The Bills Defense is already very talented, but Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy are not top-end pass rushers. Yetur Gross-Matos is a raw, but extremely talented athlete. His early college tape was spotty at best, but he always flashed his excellent athleticism. But in 2019 he’s taken his game to a new level and he’s shown some real refinement in his pass rushing.

#27. Saints – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

The Saints offense is always efficient, but that is in spite of a lack of weapons. Outside of Kamara and Thomas, they have a lot of good players, but nothing special. In Tylan Wallace, the Saints will be adding a true #2 receiver who can perfectly compliment Thomas. Excellent route running, great hands and a talented runner with ball-in-hand. Wallace would be a great addition to the Peyton offense.

#28. Seahawks – Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame

The Seahawks always take a pick that no one else is expecting, and I’m sure this year will be no different. The Legion of Boom is long gone & they are desperately looking for resources to improve their defensive back unit. Alohi Gilman may not be the most talented player, but he is a tone setter. Excellent tackler, good range, Gilman is a Navy transfer who moved to Notre Dame to explore his chances of playing in the NFL. Gilman could quickly become the leader of the defensive backs and lead a new age in Seattle.

#29. Chiefs – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

The Chiefs defense is still struggling despite having lots of talented individuals. However, their linebacker unit is relatively weak. In Dylan Moses, the Chiefs are maybe getting the most talented LB in the 2020 draft. Although Moses is missing this season due to injury, we have seen players come back from knee injuries and return to their previous level. The Chiefs will be hoping Moses can be their version of Jaylon Smith or Myles Jack.

#30. Packers – Albert Okwuebunam, TE, Missouri

It has been well documented that Jimmy Graham has not been too great this year in Green Bay. Whilst I’m sure Rodgers would love a new WR to throw to, a great Tight End would be even better. Albert Okwuegbunam may not be the most refined route runner, or the best blocker, but he is a physical specimen with the ability to run away from defensive backs. If the Packers find their version of Evan Engram they will be very happy.

#31. 49ers – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Kyle Shanahan is one of the best play designers I’ve ever seen. He has some incredibly creative ways of getting the ball to his athletes in space. Laviska Shenault is the type of “swiss-army-knife” that Shanahan would go crazy for. Wildcat packages, Jet sweeps, end-around passes; Shenault can do it all. A potentially great addition to a great offense.

#32. Patriots – Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame

The 2019 Patriots defense has been pretty much flawless, but this is largely because Bill Belichick is a genius, they are not actually the most talented team ever. More impressively, they have had this success without a pure pass rusher. Julian Okwara may be a great example of the rich getting richer. Okwara is an explosive athlete who has speed and bend off the edge. Although he’s not the biggest edge defender, his ability to get after the QB is an invaluable skill that would take the Patriots defense to another level.There we have it, keep those eyes peeled for another mock draft coming your way tomorrow.

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5 Preseason Big XII Takes Compared with the Midseason Reality – By Lee Wakefield

I’m back again, warming you all up for another big day of college football with another look back at what I predicted prior to the season getting underway – Today I’m looking at the Big XII and there are a few surprises in here.

Let’s get to it!

Take 1 – The Big XII is known for bad defense

This was one that I had down as a given when I wrote my preview back in mid August. However, I feel like I’ve been proven wrong on this score, quite badly in some places. Oklahoma have a great defense and Alex Grinch had the Sooners D flying all over the field last week in the Red River Rivalry game, Texas also played some great defense in that game. Although I guess the biggest surprises for me are both Iowa State, who have conceded no more than 26 points in a game all season (despite being in the Big XII) and even in their two loses they conceded 18 points to Iowa and 23 to Baylor… Which brings me on to my other surprisingly good defense, the Baylor Bears, the 6-0 Baylor Bears to give them their full title. Maxwell, our usual Big XII writer detailed this beautifully here. Really recommend reading that one boys and girls.

Take score – 4/10

Take 2 – Oklahoma are the team to beat

You have to make the easy ones folks.

Yes, Oklahoma have won the last four Big XII championships and they’ve won twelve Big XII championships overall, so calling them the team to beat isn’t a ballsy call but it was correct.

Oklahoma look incredible and have blown out all of their opponents aside from maybe Texas last week, albeit, I do believe the final score could and probably should have been by a wider margin than it was.Oklahoma have one ranked opponent left to face in the Big XII this season and that is the aforementioned Baylor Bears – If Jalen Hurts and the offense has a day against one of the best defenses in college football, it’ll go some way to warming them up for the college football playoff – where they’ll finally face some opponents on the same level as themselves.

Oklahoma is going unbeaten this year, just as I’ve said all along.

Take score – 10/10

Take 3 – Jalen Hurts to win the Heisman whilst rushing for more than Kyler Murray’s 1,001 yards

All this Oklahoma talk brings me on to their QB, Jalen Hurts. Hurts has been fantastic all year. He has improved his accuracy and his decision making, last week in the red zone notwithstanding and he looks absolutely locked in both on and off the field. Hurts wasn’t thought of as an NFL talent previously, but now, he’s executing at an extremely high level both through the air and on the ground. Hurts has gone from Alabama reject to Heisman candidate and borderline first round pick. If it wasn’t for Joe Burrow and his performances, Hurts would be the clear favourite.

In terms of the rushing numbers, Hurts is on course to eclipse Murray’s rushing numbers from last year, with 630 yards through 6 games at 8.5 YPC. Hurts won’t throw for over 4,000 yards but he may end up with more all purpose yards than Murray did last year, which would be some achievement. 

Take score – 8/10

Take 4 – Lucas Niang and Creed Humphrey are the best tackle and interior lineman in the conference

This is held up pretty well. Niang is one of the best tackles in the class, last year he didn’t allow a sack and only allowed 7 pressures, which included stonewalling Nick Bosa and Chase Young last year. The giant TCU tackle is again having a great year and is cementing himself as a top 15 pick.

Creed Humphrey was the only starter that Oklahoma returned this year and despite leading a completely new offensive line, he’s elevated his play and the play of those around him. I may even rank Humphrey above the other star center in this draft class, Tyler Biadasz.

Take score 8/10

Take 5 – Baylor won’t be very good

As I said before, Baylor have one of the best defenses in the whole of college football and have a record of 6-0 so far this season. I had Baylor down for a 7-5 record this year and unless there is some sort of collapse, they’ll go way beyond that record. Tonight, the Bears face another team who I didn’t have down to do so well, Oklahoma State, who I had down for just 3 wins… Another L for me here too since the Cowboys already have 4.

Take Score – 0/10


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