Auburn Odds 2020 Final Four Line NCAA Tournament Betting
Auburn Odds 2020 Final Four Line NCAA Tournament Betting
Sharp betting money squarely on Clemson for national title
College Football betting tips: Clemson @ Syracuse - Sports
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Falcons 2020 Offseason Review
Hi, I’m u/CokeZ3ro and welcome to the Falcons’ 2020 Offseason review
2019 Record 7-9 (4-2 in division); 2nd Place in the NFC South I’ll be starting off with a quick tl;dr for those who can’t read the whole post Coaching Changes: Officially promoting the 2 Defensive coaches that saved the season, new TE Coach, and some minor stuff. Free Agency: Todd Gurley and Dante Fowler were the biggest splashes. Otherwise we filled depth. Draft: Filled a CB need with A.J. Terrell, supplied the DT pass rush with Marlon Davidson, filled depth. Quick Roster Evaluation:
QB: We got Matty Ice and Matty Schaub, we good
RB: Gurley and his friends run a committee. Likely nobody will stick out as great, but let’s just hope it gets the job done.
WR: Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and a boat load of depth. It’s great here.
TE: We’re betting on Hayden Hurst being better than the Ravens showed.
OL: Last year’s rookies fill their roles. Let’s hope for no injuries and pray that they don’t try to kill Matt Ryan again.
DE: Please get sacks Dante Fowler, and hopefully Takk McKinely will play for money. Big question mark here.
DT: Grady Jarret and friends Tyeler Davison (good against run) and Marlon Davidson (good at pass rush)
LB: Deion Jones continues to play well, and he has good company, it’s a strong unit.
S: Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, and Damontae Kazee are back together. If Neal’s ACL doesn’t explode again, they should be really good.
CB: A bunch of hopeful younglings (two 2nd years and a rookie). This is the team’s greatest question mark.
Specialists: Younghoe Koo is back and we have a punter fight.
Now for the in-depth breakdown
Defensive Coordinator: Raheem Morris Would you believe it, Morris started the season coaching offense? The once Head Coach of the Buccaneers served as an assistant coach & wide receivers’ coach for the first half of the 2019 season. After the disastrous start to the season, one of the changes made was to move Morris over to Secondary Coach, where he shared defensive calling responsibility with Ben Ulrich. The benefits of that change (and others) were immediate. Over the final eight games, the team went 6-2 and the defense went from having the lowest amount of takeaways in the first half of the season (4) to finishing with the second-most in the NFL (16) after Week 9. The defense also vaulted from the bottom of the league rankings to the top 10 in sacks (32nd to 10th), scoring efficiency (32nd to 9th), and red zone efficiency (31st to 6th) over the final eight weeks of the season. As such, Quinn is keeping the coaching changes he made in place, with the hope we’ll see similar results for the whole season this year. Why Morris instead of Ulbrich? Morris was in charge of the potentially more difficult 3rd downplay calls this past season, and he has a long resume of defensive coaching that will enable him to naturally fill the role. Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers: Jeff Ulbrich While Ulbrich didn’t get DC, his efforts during the 2019 season were not unrewarded. Taking play calling responsibilities for a majority of defensive plays after the bye week, Ulbrich showed he was more than capable as a coach and strategist. The accolades that I gave to Morris earlier can just as well go to Ulbrich as well. This will be Ulbrich’s 6th year as Linebackers Coach, a stint that has provided the Falcons’ most consistent defensive unit in recent years. Tight Ends Coach: Ben Steele After the retirement of Mike Mularkey in January, Steele was promoted up from Offensive Assistant. Steele is a veteran of Dirk Koetter’s offense, having worked under him as the Buccaneers’ Tight End Coach during the 2017 season. Credited as a contributing factor in Austin Hooper’s great season, Steele will now have the important responsibility of coaching a vastly different tight end group. Defensive Line (Des)/Run Game Coordinator: Tosh Lupoi Last season Lupoi served as the Browns’ Defensive Line Coach. On the falcons he will specifically focus on defensive ends (Jess Simpson will coach Defensive Tackles more specifically this year). Secondary/Defensive Pass Game Coordinator: Joe Whitt Jr. Another Cleveland coach, Whitt served in the same role last season at Cleveland. Minor Changes: Aden Durde to Outside Linebacker Coach ; Chad Walker to Safeties Coach ; Danny Beyer as offensive assistant. Overall Thoughts: The two biggest coaching “moves” basically happened during the season, the titles are just official now. The hope is that Quinn, Morris, and Ulbrich can once again find whatever defensive magic came to them in the 2nd half of the season. It was this change in the defense that “saved” the season, and prevented the whole structure from being torn down, so the pressure is certainly there. If the defense carries any similarity to last year’s finish, it will be one of the better defenses in the NFL. But if I’ve learned anything over the past couple of seasons, it’s that nobody can predict how the Falcons’ defense will play. Beyond defense, tight end is the most important coaching to watch. With Hooper’s departure, the position is an unknown, with the hope that Hayden Hurst will live up to his draft potential. Steele will hopefully play an important role in improving and integrating the group into the offense. Overall, it’s a much calmer coaching offseason than last year, with the hope that the energy from the end of last year will continue.
1-yr / $750,000
3 yr / $4,300,000 / $1,950,000 Gtd
3 yr / $12,000,000 / $4,550,00 Gtd
5th Round Tender / $2,133,000
1 yr / $950,000
1 yr. / $1,187,500 / $137,500 Gtd
1 yr Extension / $4,500,000 / $3,250,000 Gtd
Re-sign Thoughts: Nothing too major or risky here. If Koo can keep up the highs of what he did last year, we should be in good shape (more onsides would be cool too). The others serve helpful depth roles that we’ll need this year. My one issue is with the size of Keith Smith’s contract, it feels pretty large for how much he contributed last season. But fullbacks are a dying commodity, so maybe there’s bigger plans for him.
Hurst + 2020 4th for 2020 2nd + 2020 5th
Harris for 2021 7th
Trade Thoughts: With Austin Hooper’s departure, the Falcons were left with a greatly depleted group, and a huge question mark at the position. Hurst’s trade hoped to solve that question and profit off of the 1st round pick. Hurst is still an unknown however, since he did not see ample playing time in Baltimore thanks to the likes of Mark Andrews. If Hurst lives up to the potential that Baltimore drafted him for, the cost will have been well worth it, but the jury is still out. Harris is a low-cost attempt to put some depth into one of the teams most worrying positions. Nice if it pans out well, not too painful if it doesn’t. Free Agent Signings
San Francisco 49ers
1 yr / $1,050,000
1 yr / $910,000
Dante Fowler Jr.
Los Angeles Rams
3 yr / $45,000,000 / $23,000,000 Gtd
Buffalo Bills (2018)
1 yr / $910,000
New York Jets (2018)
1 yr / $750,000
Los Angeles Rams
1 yr / $5,500,000 / $5,500,000 Gtd
1 yr / $860,000
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1yr / $910,000
Free Agency Addition Thoughts: I would like to thank the Los Angeles Rams for our two splashiest signings. Both Gurley and Fowler will likely be the best players at their positions, and the team desperately needs them to at least perform averagely. If Fowler is able to put up the same numbers he did last season it would be a godsend to a struggling Falcons’ D-Line. While it’s likely that the Falcons will employ an RB Committee this year, Gurley’s skills will be vital in tough situations. Even a shadow of his former self would be the best RB on the team. If you hadn’t heard, Gurley and Treadwell’s signing complete an offense potentially composed entirely of 1st Round draft picks. I don’t expect the other signees to see the field much, but any depth is always appreciated.
Departures Thoughts: Per usual this list features a mix of blown expectations, too expensive, and free agent losses. Hooper is probably the most painful loss, but he was going to be too expensive to re sign after his explosive season. Trufant’s release was inevitable sadly, he hasn’t played up to his 2015 level and the contract he earned. Unfortunately it leaves the cornerbacks without a veteran presence. Freeman was way too expensive for the pitiful numbers he’s put up recently. He has an intense injury bug, and hasn’t been that great when he was able to play. Campbell also sucks some since he was pretty decent at LB, he played a big role when Deion Jones was injured. The terror of Vic Beasley is finally over, but our DE position is still desperately weak.
A.J. Terrell: While many fans were pining for a Defensive Tackle, Cornerback was a huge need after the release of Desmond Trufant. In typical Falcon’s fashion they drafted someone nobody had mocked them to. In Terrell Atlanta will gain a large, physical outside corner, capable of playing both man and zone. Terrell is great at both reading the quarterback, and being physically present over the receivers he covers. While he only faced 30 targets before the playoffs last year, he still earned First Team All-ACC. I’ll acknowledge his LSU game before someone else does. It wasn’t great, but nobody played well against Jamar Chase last season, and it was ultimately one day. If there are doubts on how he’ll play against good competition on the big stage, look no further than the previous national championship where he scored a Pick-6 against Tua. Somethings Terrell can improve on include improvements at the catch, and more physicality for NFL level play. Ultimately, while picking Terrell left questions on the D-Line, it filled a depleted cornerback group with a starting presence, and was debatably the best option available for them without a trade up. B Marlon Davidson: While Derrick Brown attracted all the hype coming into the draft, it was actually Davidson who led the team in sacks (6.5-7.5 source dependent). Roughly a fourth of his tackles were for loss, as he and Brown dominated opposing lines. Ideally, Davidson will form a similar DT partnership with stalwart Grady Jarrett and give some bite to a lacking Falcons D-line. Davidson posses a great ability to penetrate opposing lines to disrupt the play, with tackles and sacks to boot. Furthermore, he also serves well to stand tall to halt runningbacks in their tracks. One worry of note is that Davidson played a decent amount of snaps as an edge player at Auburn. With Atlanta he’ll predominantly be lined up at tackle, especially given the defenses leaning towards 4-3, so he’ll need to adjust to that. This past draft was one deep at Defensive Tackle, and the Falcons have found a great partner for Jarrett. A Matt Hennessey: Finally I can expand my gameday drinking options. But in all seriousness Hennessy serves to fill a need that doesn’t exist quite yet. This year is Alex Mack’s last season on contract with the Falcons, so the position is an unknown next year. Hennessey will train to potentially fill his role come next year and will compete for and play at Left Guard in the meantime (he played guard some in college). It may seem dubious with our commitment to the O-line through FA and the Draft last season, but Matt Ryan was sacked for a career high 48 times last season. More help is needed. Hennessey excels at moving quickly to his one or two assignments and will commit to extending the play beyond that point. He needs to work on his strength and size if he is to maintain a spot on the starting lineup. Ultimately, he’s a solid investment for the future, with benefits this season. And I really hope he pans out because his name is great. A- Mykal Walker: After departures in the past season, Linebacker has become a thin position behind Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun. Walker has the size and strength to be good at the position. He displays position flexibility, playing both edge and inside linebacker in college. His movements remain somewhat stiff in comparison to what is needed, but there’s time to work on that. Walker will likely see both rotation at LB and special teams play. B Jaylinn Hawkins: Speaking of position flexibility, Hawkins started at wide receiver, moved to cornerback, before finishing college at safety. Hawkins as good speed and does well to create turnovers, something the Falcons have been lacking. While he’s considered a reach in the 4th, he’ll fill in some much-needed safety depth, considering the injury history of Allen and Neal. Otherwise he’ll serve well on special teams. C+ Sterling Hofrichter: Hofrichter was brought in to give punter Ryan Allen some competition going into the season. Hofrichter was a 4-time Ray Guy award nominee, so he’s no schmuck himself, and was great at giving airtime. It’s low risk but begs the question why it couldn’t have been an UFDA signing. Oh well. C
Undrafted Free Agent Signings
CB Tyler Hall, DE Austin Edwards, DT Hinwa Allieu, FB Mikey Daniel, LB Jordan Williams, LB Ray Wilborn, DE Bryson Young, DT Sailosi Latu, C Austin Capps, CB Delrick Abrams, LT Hunter Atkinson, TE Caleb Repp, WR Jalen McCleskey, RT Scottie Dill, WR Chris Rowland, TE Jared Pinkney, CB Rojesterman Farris, OT Evin Ksiezarczyk, WR Juwan Green and OG Justin Gooseberry.
Training Camp Battles
RB2*: I put an apostrophe here because a lot will depend on who Gurley shapes up. While Gurley is presumed to be the important situation and 3rd down back, it’s less clear who will be the primary back to relieve him. And that of course is assuming there will be someone who stands out. The two primary candidates are Ito Smith and Brian Hill, who both performed serviceably last season behind Freeman. Quadree Ollison and UDFA Mikey Daniel serve as candidates for short yardage situations. WR3&4: We have a lot of receivers. Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are the obvious 1&2, but there’s less certainty after that. Russell Gage will most likely play as WR3, he was the best of the group last season. Behind him is an extensive list including: Laquon Treadwell, Olamide Zacchaeus, Christian Blake, Brandon Powell, Devin Gray, and Chris Roland; to name a few. It’s easily the deepest group on the team. TE2: Unless things go terribly; Hayden Hurst will be the starting tight end. Jaeden Graham leads the charge of potential candidates for the backup spot. Graham was a UDFA who made the 53-man roster last season, so he has the most experience of any of the candidate. Graham’s competition includes Carson Meier, Jared Pinkey, and Caleb Repp. LG: James Carpenter started 11 games at guard last year, which he played serviceably, but Quinn has indicated that there will be competition for the position. Hennessey is the main competition for the spot, even though center will be his long-term position. I would imagine they DT2: This competition will be to determine the how often and the roles in which either Tyeler Davison or Marlon Davidson will play. Wow those last names will be confusing to hear. Davison has proven himself to be an asset to halting the run game, while Davidson provides a more potent pass rush. If Davidson is able to adapt to increased play as a run blocking DT, I could see him taking the starting spot later on in the season, but it’ll take some time. LB Depth: Behind Deion Jones and Foye Oluokun the position is very untested. It’s likely rookie Mykal Walker will see playing time, but the 4th spot will be contentious. Contenders include LaRoy Reynolds, Ahmad Thomas, Edmond Robinson, and Jordan Williams. Punter: Hell yeah, we have a punter fight. Ryan Allen started 8 games last year after Matt Bosher bit the bullet, but we’ve spent a draft pick on Sterling Hofrichter to challenge him. Supposedly, the ability to pin punts within the red zone will be a key factor in determining the starter. May the better punter win and do it for the culture.
Likely Starting Lineup
QB: Matt Ryan Even coming off a lesser season, Ryan remains one of the better Quarterbacks in the league. No issue here as long as the O-line doesn’t conspire to kill him again. RB: Todd Gurley, kind of . Given the uncertainty around Gurley’s knee, he will be receiving a limited workload this season. So, while he may be the RB1 by all indications, he’s unlikely to put up any RB1 numbers, and the RB position will be committee based on most downs. Now if he found some of Russell Wilson’s magic water and is suddenly fine, then you could easily count him as RB1. FB: Keith Smith I’ll say the same thing I said for Ricky Ortiz last year. It’s a hard life for Fullbacks in today’s NFL, and Smith is no Patrick DiMarco, he’s going to have to prove his worth. TE: Hayden Hurst, Jaeden Smith You don’t spend the draft capital we did on Hurst and not start him, and he’s likely the best TE regardless. My bet is on Smith to earn the TE position, but his use will be limited. WR: Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage Above the smorgasbord that is our WR depth, these three are set nicely within their roles. While Sanu is missed personally, his role is well filled by Gage, and Ridley continues to improve. LT: Jake Matthews Last year Matthews was one of the best players on the line last year. He will continue to hold up the vital position. LG: James Carpenter Carpenter has done decent in the past but he’s definitely facing pressure for his spot this year. Matt Hennessey may take the start later on, but I would bet on Carpenter starting with it, due to experience if anything. C: Alex Mack Even after a down season last year, Mack is one of the most important players on the offense. Hopefully, his intelligent play will bring the offense back to glory. RG: Chris Lindstrom When he was healthy Lindstrom proved he was more than capable of playing the position well. Now we can only hope he stays healthy this season. RT: Kaleb McGary Last season McGary proved himself capable as an NFL tackle, winning the spot and performing decently enough with it, for the most part. However, McGary had an issue with giving up sacks (13, 1st according to PFF), a trend which must be nipped quickly. DE: Dante Fowler, Takk McKinley This group will have to step up this year as the team has had poor sack numbers in recent years. This year is a contract year for McKinley, so hopefully that will drive some results. Fowler’s performance last year gives some hope, but ultimately, it’s unknown if he can sustain those numbers. DT: Grady Jarret, Tyeler Davison I have no doubt in both Grady’s run stopping ability and his pass rush. I think at the start of the season Tyeler Davison will see play more often as Davidson works to improve. Especially with how unsure practice will be this season, Davison is the safer pick. LB: Deion Jones, Foye Oluokun 2 great recent draft successes, Oluokun especially has risen and proven his worth in recent seasons. This should be a pretty good group if the injury bug leaves Deion alone. CB: Kendall Sheffield, A.J. Terrell, Isiah Oliver Christ this is a young group. Sheffield and Oliver are both on their sophomore year, and Terrell is the shiny 1st round pick. As such, this is probably the greatest unknown on the entire team. Sheffield was surprisingly good last year (Those OSU corners are something else), Oliver had good flashes, and Terrell offer hopeful potential. Alternatively, they may all crumble to the harsh challenges of being a CB in the LOADED NFC South. Who knows? S: Ricardo Allen, Keanu Neal, Demontae Kazee Allen is the brain of the defense and was vital to saving our secondary last season. Keanu would be great as a Strong Safety if his ACL didn’t fucking hate him. Furthermore, this is a contract year for him, so one would hope that he’ll try his ass off to make up for 2 lost seasons. Last time Kazee was at Safety he led the NFL in interceptions, which was pretty cool. I expect that Kazee will play corner roles (he played corner last year) occasionally in order to help out the younglings at CB. P: Ryan Allen I expect Allen’s experience to help him win out the job, but it could easily go the other way. K: Younghoe Koo Koo was pretty good as a place kicker when he came in last season, and his onside kicks are the stuff of legend . Unrelated, but at 2:37 in that video look at the top right of the screen and you’ll see my favorite thing from last season. KR: Brandon Powell He returned kicks a few times for the lions. Long Snapper: Josh HarrisHe’ll steal your girl if you aren’t careful.
NFL teams most likely to go from worst to first in 2020
We have talked a lot about the draft, biggest remaining needs for every NFL team, some breakout candidates and other stuff, so let’s now get back to more of a big picture and look at some teams from an angle of where could they go next season. In this article, I am analyzing those teams that finished fourth in their division this past year and why they could win it in 2020 or land at the bottom once again, plus an outlook where I actually see them. Of course much of this is about these eight teams and how much better or worse I feel about them than the general public, but it was heavily dependent on their three division rivals as well. The top half I could certainly see earn a playoff spot and surprise some people if everything goes right. After that a lot of my faith is more built around the lack of great competition and giving some hope to these respective fan bases. As the cliché goes – everybody is 0-0 right now. https://preview.redd.it/rs90lt6ckf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=3ddfc8945862472b52b5ef8c69076acde904c44c
1. Arizona Cardinals
Why they can win the division: Let’s just start with the main point here – this Cardinals squad has all the ingredients to make a big jump in 2020. I expect Kyler Murray to enter the superstar conversation in year two, after impressing with his arm talent and ability to extend plays in a (somewhat controversial) Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign. Steve Keim managed to unload a bad David Johnson contract and basically acquire an elite receiver in DeAndre Hopkins for a second-round pick. Kenyan Drake now has a full offseason to learn this offense and make himself a major factor once again, following up an outstanding second half of the season once the Cardinals traded for him with Miami. He perfectly fits into this offense with a lot East-West based rushing from shotgun sets and his involvement in the pass game, including those quick throws as an extension of the rushing attack. Arizona’s defense should be a lot better with run-stoppers being added in the draft that fit their 3-4 base front with Utah’s Leki Fotu and LSU’s Rashard Lawrence, since they can stay in those packages against the other teams in their division running a lot of 12 and 21 personnel probably. Add to that a do-it-all player with ridiculous range and overall athleticism in Isaiah Simmons at eight overall, plus all the other guys being in their second year under DC Vance Joseph. I love Budda Baker as a missile from his safety spot and I think some of the other young guys on that unit will take a step forward, like second-year corner Byron Murphy, who I talked about last week. Now let’s get to rest of the West – every other team in that division has some issues. The 49ers are facing the objects of a potential Super Bowl hangover and some limitations with Jimmy G at the helm. The Seahawks have question marks on the edge on either side of the ball with Cedric Ogbuehi and Brandon Shell fighting for the starting gig at right tackle and Jadeveon Clowney still on the open market, with a bunch of draft picks these last couple of years having to step up. And the Rams had one of the worst O-lines in football last season and they lost some pieces on defense. The Cardinals already gave all these teams issues in 2019 and have now added pieces that were clearly missing when last matching up against each other. Why they could finish last again: Most importantly, I am still not completely sold on the Cardinals offensive line, with D.J. Humphries being signed to a rather expensive deal as a below-average left tackle, third-rounder Josh Jones – while earning a late first-round grade from me – still needing an overhaul on his footwork before he can slide in at right tackle and guard Justin Pugh finally having played a full 16 games for the first time since 2015 last season. NFL coaches had a lot of time to study Kliff Kingsbury’s Air-Raid offense, which when you break it down is pretty simplistic in the amount of schemes they run. Yes, he diversified it a little as last season went along, going under center and running some pro-style rushing plays, but at its core, you can learn how to create some issues for all those mesh concepts and spread sets. As far as the Cardinals defense goes, it is more about pieces than proven commodities. Patrick Peterson is seemingly on the decline, they are thin in the secondary and could Chandler Jones follow soon, after he has been one of the most underrated pass-rushers in the league for a while now? You are staring the reigning NFC champs in the eyes, a team that was a few inches away from earning a playoff bye and another squad that went to the Super Bowl just two years ago. This is probably the best division in the entire league. Bottom line: I still believe the 49ers have done enough to repeat as division champs, re-tooling for all the losses they have suffered this offseason. However, I’m feeling pretty good about the Cardinals earning a wildcard spot. While I believe in the Seahawks quarterback and the Rams head coach respectively to not allow their teams to not have throwaway seasons, I also see enough issues with those squads to make me believe the Cardinals could have the second-best year of anybody in the West. To me they are pretty clearly the best of these eight teams, because they have a young phenom at quarterback, stars at pretty much every position, a different type of system around them and what I’d like to call “juice” coming into 2020. https://preview.redd.it/anrr9erfkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=5655b4452baff2691a0e060e8d70918d58801a4c
2. Detroit Lions
Why they can win the division: Matt Stafford is back healthy and when he was in the lineup last season, this was a team that defeated the Eagles, Chargers and only didn’t finish the job against the eventual Super Bowl champion Chiefs because of some crazy stuff going on late. The veteran QB stood at 19 touchdowns compared to five picks and was playing at a near-MVP type level. However, Detroit’s identity will be built on the run game with re-investments in the offensive line as well as adding D’Andre Swift to form a dynamic one-two punch with him and Kerryon Johnson. Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones may be the most underrated receiving duo to go with Danny Amendola as a tough guy in the slot and T.J. Hockenson coming into year two as a top-ten pick a year ago, having shown flashes when he was healthy. The defense is finally starting to take shape with third-overall Jeffrey Okudah as an elite corner prospect being added to an underrated secondary, Jamie Collins being a chess piece in the front seven after already having worked well with Matt Patricia and some young guys up front trying to prove themselves to go with the versatile Trey Flowers. Maybe more importantly than the Lions themselves – Nobody else got that much better and none of the other three really stand out to me. Other than the Vikings probably – who had the advantage of making a record-breaking 15 selections – the Lions might have had the best draft within the division. Thanks to that last-place schedule, they get to face the Redskins in the East (instead of Eagles & Cowboys) and Cardinals in the West, who I just talked about taking a step forward, but are still a better draw than the reigning conference champions or possibly having to travel to Seattle. I believe that new regime in Detroit has finally built an identity on both sides of the ball with the heavy investments in the run game and back-seven on defense. Winning ten games might earn you a division title, if everybody plays each other tough. Why they could finish last again: Can these guys finally stay healthy? Matt Stafford to my surprise played a full 16 games in eight straight years before last season, but a lot of that had to do with his toughness to fight through pain and he had major issues with that shoulder early on in his career before basically breaking his back after putting the team on it for the last decade. Kerryon Johnson has missed 14 of 32 possible starts and he has never carried the ball more than 118 times a season. Their receiving corp has been banged up quite a bit too. More glaring even – how will all these additions of former Patriots players work out? Can Matt Patricia build a New England 2.0 in Michigan or is he just bringing in players he knows will listen to him and the way he wants things to be done? Detroit could also rely on a lot of rookies to be immediate impact players – possibly two new starting guards on offense, running back D’Andre Swift probably sharing the load with Kerryon, Jeffrey Okudah having to immediately become their CB1 and Julian Okwara being asked to become a much more consistent player if they give him major snaps. And I recently talked about how their uncertainty at punter could be an issue for their ball-control, defense-minded style of play. They also have an early bye (week five), which I’m never a big fan of, after facing the Bears, Packers, Cardinals and Saints, which probably includes three playoff teams. If Chicago can get any competent QB play, all these teams should be highly competitive. Bottom line: I don’t think any team in this division wins more than ten games. Unfortunately I don’t see the Lions go over that mark themselves either. The Packers won’t come out victorious in so many close games (8-1 in one-possession affairs), the Vikings have lost a few proven commodities and look for young talent to immediately replace those and the Bears still have a quarterback competition going on. So if Detroit can do any better than just split the season series with those three teams, I see them finishing above .500, but ten wins is the ceiling for me. In terms of the competition inside the division, the Lions may be my number one team in this conversation, but I see a much clearer path to things crashing down for Matt Patricia and them having another disappointing season than I do with the Cardinals. No team in this division may finish below that 8-8 mark. https://preview.redd.it/7ivo914ikf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=d029ddd274b78e78f5bc932d00086b8c697a466e
3. Miami Dolphins
Why they can win the division: When you ask the general public, the Buffalo Bills right now are the favorites to win the AFC East, but they haven’t done so since 1995 and they still have to prove they really are that team. The Patriots lost several pieces on defense and Tom Brady of course, which probably leads them to starting a quarterback, who over his four career pass attempts has thrown more touchdowns to the opposing team than to his own. The Jets are still building up that roster, with GM Joe Douglas trying to plant seeds on burnt earth, and they face a BRUTAL schedule. So Miami has a lot of things going in their favor for an organization that I believe in what they are trying to build. Depending on what happens at quarterback, you could have a veteran in Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was by far the best inside the division in several key categories last season and/or Tua Tagovailoa, who had one of the most prolific careers we have seen from anybody in the SEC. They added at least two new starters on the O-line, they now have one of the premiere cornerback trios in the league with the all-time highest paid player at the position in Byron Jones and first-round pick Noah Igbinoghene to go with Xavien Howard and with some added beef up front, they are finally looking a lot like what Brian Flores had in New England. DeVante Parker really broke out over the second half of 2019 and Miami should have a much better rushing attack because of the additions up front and two quality committee backs in Jordan Howard and Matt Breida being added. They have two other young pass-catchers ready to break out this upcoming season in tight-end Mike Gesicki and a UDFA receiver from a year ago in Preston Williams. Whenever Tua’s name is called upon, he will be a perfect fit for Chan Gailey’s horizontal passing game. Why they could finish last again: As much as I like what I see from this entire organization, it is probably just a year too early for Miami. So many young players could be thrown into the fire and a lot of them I look at as needing that experience – 18th overall pick Austin Jackson (USC) is more of a developmental tackle still with his footwork and hand-placement issues, 30th overall pick Noah Igbinoghene (Auburn) has only played cornerback for two years and was bailed out by his athletic tools at times, third-rounder Brandon Jones has to develop more of a feel in deep coverage and at least one more rookie lineman will likely start for them. Even outside of this year’s draft class, they already had several players on their roster that are still moving towards their prime. Whether you look at last year’s first-rounder Christian Wilkins, a lot of second- and third-year pass-catchers or their young linebackers outside of Kyle Van Noy. The Bills are entering year four of that turn-around under Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane, the Patriots still have the greatest coach of all time and will be a tough matchup solely based on that and the Jets at least have people playing for their jobs, plus a very talented young quarterback I still believe in. As much as I doubt Adam Gase, as long as Sam Darnold doesn’t get mono again, the offense should at least be competent, and the defense could potentially have a top-five player at every level with All-Pro Bowl safety Jamal Adams, an 85-million dollar linebacker in C.J. Mosley and my number one prospect in last year’s draft on the interior D-line with Quinnen Williams. Bottom line: As I mentioned before, the Bills are the front-runners in this division for me. As much respect as I have for Bill Belichick, I haven’t seen enough from Jarrett Stidham to make me a believer and he shrunk in some big moments at Auburn. The Jets to me could be a lot better than they were in 2019 and still go 6-10 just because of the type of schedule they are up against. So the Dolphins to me could easily finish anywhere from second to fourth, depending on how some of the players on that roster progress. I wouldn’t bet on them actually making the playoffs, but they could absolutely be a pain in the butt for some of the better teams in the AFC and in 2021 they might be the pick here. https://preview.redd.it/nme3explkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=3998c6026125c1b9b48438e3fc9afaf9601b116e
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Why they can win the division: First and foremost, this Chargers defense is absolutely loaded with no real hole that you can point to. Derwin James is back healthy after a first-team All-Pro rookie campaign, Chris Harris Jr. comes in to make this secondary one the elite units in the NFL to go with two more Pro Bowlers among it and they have some guys I expect to break out like Jerry Tillery, Drue Tranquill and Nasir Adderley. In terms of having matchup pieces and a versatile pass rush to challenge Kansas City, nobody in the league may be on the same level as these guys. Offensively, Ihave talked about how the left tackle spot is concern for L.A. with a battle between Sam Tevi and Trey Pipkins for the starting job, but the other four spots are as good as they have been in a while, acquiring Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner via trade, signing a top five right tackle in Bryan Bulaga and getting Mike Pouncey back healthy. Tyrod Taylor can steer the ship and even if Justin Herbert is thrown into the fire – which I wouldn’t recommend – they have the skill-position players and willingness to run the ball to take pressure off those guys. While the Chiefs return 20 of 22 starters from a year ago, this wouldn’t be the first time we saw a Super Bowl champion have some issues the following season and as much as we want to hype up the Broncos and Raiders, both their quarterbacks (and other players of course as well) have a lot to prove still. Outside of KC, the Chargers likely have the smallest changes to what they do other than moving on from Philip Rivers and we saw that formula work the year prior, when they challenged Kansas City until the very end for the division crown and the conference’s top seed potentially. While they probably would have liked to bring in Tom Brady over the offseason, the fact they decided against signing Cam Newton to a roster that is ready to win right now, shows you the confidence they have in that quarterback room. Why they could finish last again: I’m not a huge fan of Derek Carr, but the Chargers will probably have the worst quarterback in the division in 2020. And their starting left tackle could be the worst in the entire league. As good as their defense will probably be, you can not consistently win games in which your offense doesn’t put up 20+ points in the league today – especially when all these teams in their division have spent so much on acquiring offensive firepower these last couple of years. I believe all three of their division rivals got better this offseason and the Chargers spent their top draft pick (sixth overall) on a young quarterback, who might not even help them win games this season. As I already mentioned, Kansas City brings back almost their entire starting lineups and they went 12-4 despite Mahomes seemingly having his knee cap facing the sideline while laying on his back. I have uttered my thoughts on Denver several times now, which you can read up on later. As for Las Vegas’ new team, they did start last season 6-4 and just heavily invested into their two major issues – wide receiver and linebacker. And while I don’t like to talk about it – injuries have been a huge issue for this Chargers team in recent years and I don’t really know what it is even, but I can’t assume that they all of a sudden can stay healthy. Bottom line: In terms of talent on the roster outside of the quarterback position, you could make a pretty compelling argument that the Chargers are ahead of all the other teams on this list. That’s the reason they have a pretty high floor of finishing around .500 and if everything works out, they could absolutely be a playoff contender. However, for this exercise in particular, I believe their upside is capped by what they have under center. Tyrod Taylor can be a top-20 quarterback in the NFL this season and in terms of upside, Justin Herbert has all the tools to become a difference-maker once he steps on the field, but they don’t have the explosiveness the Chiefs or the Broncos have for that matter. With so much continuity on a team that has the best player in the entire league, I can’t go against the Chiefs and in the end we are evaluating the chances to actually win the division. https://preview.redd.it/rywropjokf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=ed77a7303af810b862abb2100c4f0b86841a2d38
5. Washington Redskins
Why they can win the division: These guys are very reminiscent of the 49ers with their defensive line, in terms of having invested a lot of high draft picks into the unit these last couple of years and now with that second overall pick bringing in a true stud from Ohio State – this time in Chase Young. When you look at all those guys up front – with the Bama boys patrolling the middle, Matt Ioannidis capable of moving around the front, Montez Sweat looking to break out in year two and Ryan Kerrigan still being there as a productive veteran – they will wreak some havoc this season. Ron Rivera could finally bring some structure to this organization and help them turn it around on defense with the addition of an old companion in Thomas Davis, plus some high-upside players like Reuben Foster and Fabian Moreau looking to prove themselves. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins had a very underwhelming rookie campaign, but he clearly wasn’t ready to be out there and found himself in a bad situation in terms of the support system around him. I like a lot of their young skill-position players the front office has surrounded him with, when you look at Terry McLaurin trying to become a young star in this league, who produced despite shaky quarterback play last season, Kelvin Harmon and Antonio Gandy-Golden being two big-bodied targets I liked these last two drafts, Derrius Guice hopefully finally being able to stay healthy to lead this backfield and this year’s third-round pick Antonio Gibson being a chess piece that you can manufacture touches for. Somebody I forgot to mention in this discussion recently is Steven Sims Jr., who is a jitterbug with the ball in his hands. New offensive coordinator Scott Turner will implement a system that should make life easier on his second-year signal-caller as well, while relying heavily on the run game. Why they could finish last again: Haskins is by far the least proven QB of the bunch, with Daniel Jones even being head and shoulders above him in their respective rookie seasons. No pass-catcher outside of Terry McLaurin had any major production to speak. Counting on a 37-year old Thomas Davis to not only be a leader for them, but also make plays on the field, could create issues, and Washington lost some pieces in the secondary. This offseason is a challenge for any team, that is looking to implement a new system on each side of the ball, but I think especially for a motivator like Rivera, who can give his squad a heartbeat and push them to success, not being there in person with those guys will hurt. Most importantly however, this division to me will be a two-man race between the Eagles and Cowboys – as it has been for a while now. They both will likely have top ten quarterbacks, better receiving corps, better offensive lines and more experienced defenses. The Giants may not blow anybody away coming into 2020, but looking at the two matchups from last year between them and the Redskins, Big Blue beat them 24-3 the first time around, when Daniel Jones threw one touchdown compared to two interceptions and then he diced them up for five TDs and no picks in week 16. The one area Washington would have had the clear upper hand was with their front-four, but New York just invested a lot of draft capital into their O-line to prevent that. Just go through the Redskins’ schedule and show me more than six wins. I dare you. Bottom line: These last two sentences really say it all. Even if Philly and Dallas split the season series and Washington can get a game off either one of them, it will be tough to turn around this squad as quickly as this season – with reduced practice time and team activities – to a point where they can finish above both of them. Both of them could easily win double-digit games in 2020 and while I think the Redskins are on the right track if Haskins looks more like the Ohio State version of himself, other than their defensive line, no unit for them is ready to compete for the division quite yet. Just going through their schedule in an objective manner, it is tough to find any lay-ups and say Washington has some baseline of wins they count on. To not have them any lower than this is more due to the respect for Riverboat Ron and how high I was on a lot of the guys they drafted recently. https://preview.redd.it/szpawv9rkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=62ca5fe882d8155d83eb3328e9bf1f1681a17384
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
Why they can win the division: I was going back and forth between my number six and seven teams, because the Jaguars are projected to pick first overall come next April for a reason – they did lose a lot of pieces. However, to me it came down to the fact that the AFC South might be won at 9-7 or 10-6 and this coaching staff actually has to win to keep their jobs. There is a lot noise about the Colts, but when you go back to last season, Philip Rivers was a turnover machine with serious questions about his arm strength. Bill O’Brien made some very questionable decisions for Houston and Tennessee is counting on a formula that is built on a 250-banger running the ball 25+ times and Ryan Tannehill finally repeating a career year, as they are coming off an AFC title game appearance. As far as Jacksonville goes, Gardner Minshew was the highest-graded rookie quarterback according to PFF and altogether I would have put him second only behind Kyler Murray. D.J. Chark broke out as one of the young star receivers and I had a first-round grade on Colorado’s Laviska Shenault if he can be healthy, because his talent is off the charts. I think the O-line would have benefitted from another tackle to kick Cam Robinson inside to guard, but those guys are some road-graders to make the run game work. Defensively the only real contributor from that Sacksonville group a couple of years ago who actually wants to be there is Myles Jack, but I really like their young duo off the edge in first-rounders Josh Allen last year and now K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU). There are some questions about the back-end, but they were built front-to-back with a lot of zone coverage behind it and depending on the development of ninth overall pick C.J. Henderson, they can roll away from him matching up with the opposing team’s number one receiver. Avoiding some of the better AFC squads altogether is pretty sweet as well, to go with facing no playoff team from last year outside their division until the middle of November. Why they could finish last again: I’m just not sure if all of these players are ready to fight for that coaching staff and organization. Two of their remaining veterans (Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue) have openly talked about how they want to be traded, they only have a few actually proven commodities on that entire roster and with the way they have unloaded big cap numbers, they have set themselves up for a true rebuild potentially, as they are expected to be in the Trevor Lawrence-Justin Fields sweepstakes come next April. Even if they can get a few breaks and the division is up for grabs, does this organization even want to win this season? If not for the injury to Jacoby Brissett in the middle of the season, all three other teams in that division would have almost certainly finished above .500 and the Colts are actually the team that improved by far the most among them. That Texans, who have actually won the South four of the last five years, including last season, may be the smallest challenge and still sweep Jacksonville. Vegas rarely misses completely and the Jaguars right now are the odds-on favorite to pick first overall come next April, with an NFL-low OveUnder of 4.5 wins on the season. And as favorable as the early portion of their schedule looks like right, check out this eight-game stretch after their week seven bye – at Chargers, vs. Texans, at Packers, vs. Steelers, vs. Browns, at Vikings, vs. Titans, at Ravens. Ouch. They might go winless over that period. Bottom line: The Jaguars to me are a very interesting team, because I believe they have accumulated a bunch of young talent, which gets lost a little when you see all the names that aren’t there anymore. There is a lot to like about this roster, when you look at what these players could develop into, but that doesn’t mean they will have success this year already. The Colts have the best 53 currently in the division (or 55 now), the Texans have the best quarterback and the Titans are coming off an AFC Championship game appearance. Gardner Minshew could make this kind of a tough decision if they end up picking anywhere after first overall and I think some of those other kids will put up pretty good numbers, but they are still pretty clearly fourth in the South as for now. https://preview.redd.it/5myv276vkf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=7fb25f47d0759e9b5a07876ea01787898c6cc817
7. Carolina Panthers
Why they can win the division: Nobody knows for sure what Matt Rhule and his new coaching staff will throw at them. Joe Brady gets to work with Teddy Bridgewater once again, who he already coached in New Orleans – so there will be familiarity for him in this system and they already “speak the same language”. That young receiving corp with D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, free agency addition Robby Anderson and even an up-and-coming tight-end in Ian Thomas is pretty underrated actually, plus of course they have one of the truly elite weapons out of the backfield in Christian McCaffrey, who is probably set to break his own RB reception record once again. The Panthers defense-only draft has brought them a monster in the middle in Derrick Brown (Auburn), a really talented edge rusher in Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn State) on the opposite of last year’s rookie stud Brian Burns, a super-rangy safety with linebacker size in Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois), what I think is a starting corner in Troy Pride Jr. (Notre Dame) and some other pieces in the secondary. The talent is clearly there and now you bring in a scheme that is probably going to be unique for the NFL level as well, when you look at that 3-3-5 Baylor ran under Rhule and defensive coordinator Phil Snow. As much as we want to praise our legends of the game, the quarterbacks of the two front-runners in this division will be 41 and 43 years old respectively and let’s not forget that Atlanta started out last season 1-7. Why they could finish last again: Especially this offseason, without certainty if there will be anything like training camp or even a real preseason, that completely new staff with new systems they are trying to teach will certainly have some growing pains. Bridgewater has been a top-20 starting QB maybe one year of his career and even when he was applauded for the way he filled in for Drew Brees last season, he finished dead-last in intended air yards among quarterbacks with at least 100 pass attempts. How will that mesh with a lot of vertical targets around him? When he has those guys running free on slants and dig routes, the ball will get there, but will he be willing to throw that deep post or give his guys a chance on go-balls? Defensively they are counting on a lot of young players and they have nobody to even come close to replacing Luke Kuechly, as well as making the switch to an unproven scheme possibly, if they actually use some of those 3-3-5 looks coming over from Baylor. When you look at Rhule’s track-record, it always took him until year two to show improvement and then in that third season is when those teams can really make some noise. And that was in the AAC and Big 12 respectively. Now he is in the NFC South with a team that just went 13-3 in the Saints and a Bucs squad that already was 7-9 and lost six of those games by one score, only because despite finishing fifth in takeaways, they ranked in the bottom five in turnover differential due to easily leading the league with 41 giveaways. That should get a lot better with Tom Brady coming in, who has never even quite thrown half of Jameis Winston’s 30 interceptions in any of his 20 years in the league. Even the Falcons – for as poorly as they started last season – went 6-2 after really coming together and making some changes in their bye week last season. Bottom line: The Panthers are clearly the most unproven team in this division. While new systems that haven’t been scouted yet certainly have an advantage in terms of game-planning early on, especially in this offseason with heavily limited live reps most likely, that might equal a net minus. You have to root for a guy like Teddy Bridgewater and the way he has worked his way up to a starting spot again, but I just don’t look at him as a surefire franchise signal-caller. The other three teams in the South all have top ten quarterbacks in the league in my opinion and much more continuity around them. Until the Panthers finally get to their bye week at the start of December, I don’t see them winning more than four of those twelve games. At that point they may have their eyes on a different goal already, if Teddy B isn’t the clear answer under center. https://preview.redd.it/y7agj2n2lf751.png?width=720&format=png&auto=webp&s=221af0a1f689d3b19d5e250fac0b58a35877edad
8. Cincinnati Bengals
Why they can win the division: We’re not that far away from 2015, when the Bengals won the AFC North with a 12-4 record as the fifth year in a row making the playoffs. Since then this is the first time I feel like there really is change happening with this team. Marvin Lewis was replaced by a young Zac Taylor, trying to prove himself to the league, they drafted Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow first overall to replace as average a quarterback as we have had over the last decade in Andy Dalton and the front office finally spent some money in free agency. While you would think a quarterback going first overall usually comes into a situation, where he is devoid of talent around him, Cincinnati suddenly has one of the better group of skill-position players in the entire league, assuming A.J. Green is back healthy. Tyler Boyd is a stud in the slot, who will be Burrow’s version of Justin Jefferson, a 50-50 ball specialist in second-round pick Tee Higgins (Clemson) matches perfectly with Burrow’s expertise of winning with ball-placement and if they get anything from former first-rounder John Ross at least as a decoy with his speed, that’s a plus. I expect Joe Mixon to be among the league leader’s in running back receptions and be more effective in space with those receivers around him as well. The signings the Bengals have made on defense gives them a lot more talent and complements very well what they already had. D.J. Reader is one of the most underrated defensive linemen in the league and frees everybody up along the front, they completely overhauled that linebacker group, which was a major issue these last couple of years, they brought in a starting CB2 and nickel from Minnesota to pair up with William Jackson III, who is ready to announce himself as one of the best corners in football, and Von Bell is a great match with the rangy free safety Jessie Bates. Why they could finish last again: As talented as all those guys throwing, catching and running the ball may be, it all starts with what’s happening up front and the Bengals offensive line is still in transition. They could have two of the worst starters in the league at both guard spots and right tackle once again, with the prior ones close to reaching that bust status and Bobby Hart still somehow having a starting job. As great as Joe Burrow was last year at LSU and how clean his evaluation was, how much better than Andy Dalton will he be right away, especially going up against those scary defensive fronts inside his division? Defensively they could easily have six new starters, which obviously can be looked at as a positive sign, considering they allowed 20+ points in all but two games last season, but there is also a lack of continuity and reduced time to fit all those pieces together. Cincinnati’s coaching staff hasn’t really proven anything yet and they will be facing a massacre of a schedule, with three occasions of back-to-back road games and while three of their final four games of the season are at home, they will face the Cowboys, Steelers and Ravens, to go with a trip to Houston in-between. If they don’t beat the Chargers in the season-opener, they probably don’t get that first W until week four against the Jaguars and then they have to hope they can sneak out another one until their bye week. Baltimore is tied with Kansas City for the highest projected win total with reigning MVP coming into just his third season, Pittsburgh is favored to make the playoffs with Big Ben back under center and Cleveland was the offseason favorite in 2019, while fielding an even better roster this year. Bottom line: I feel bad for putting this team last, because I thought Joe Burrow was the top quarterback and definitely worthy of that number one pick and the Bengals finally spent big money in free agency to retool the defense. To me this is less about them than the Ravens, who just were the number one overall seed in the playoffs at 14-2 and haven’t done anything other than get better themselves, a Steelers team that made a run at the playoffs with the worst quarterback play in the league now getting Ben back and a Browns roster that is among the top ten league-wide in most people’s opinion. Still, there is a lot to like about this team at the skill-positions, which is probably behind only Cleveland in terms all the weapons they have, some young standouts on defense and hope that all of this brings a fresh breath of air. If you enjoyed this content, I would really appreciate if you could visit the original piece (with video clips) - https://halilsrealfootballtalk.com/2020/06/16/nfl-teams-most-likely-to-go-from-worst-to-first-in-2020/ You can also listen to my breakdown on Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9kCcuPobNU
2020 NFL Draft Review - Analysis and Career Predictions for Each Team's Draft Class - AFC North
If you missed the first installment of this series, you can read the NFC North review here. Every year after the draft, I write a way-too-long review of each team’s draft. The purpose of this draft review is to give predictions for the careers of each team’s drafted players. I’ve watched film of each player I’m commenting on. Draft grades are overly optimistic and unrealistic. Unlike the majority of post-draft coverage out there, I will pick busts. Keep in mind that 23.4% of all first-round picks bust. Let me preface this by saying: predicting the career of an NFL draft pick is a ridiculous exercise. There is so much unknown that goes into whether a player succeeds or fails at the next level. I can make educated guesses based on team situation, supporting cast, and research about the prospect’s character and work ethic, but there’s a reason teams make so many mistakes every year. You simply don’t know for sure how a player will react to being a pro. Injuries are also a huge factor in the fate of a player and impossible to predict accurately. I still write this long prediction article for three reasons: 1 - No one else does it. 2 - It’s more interesting than draft grades. 3 - It’s fun to try to get things right.
Like NFL teams, I’m going to get things wrong. The greatest football mind in history drafted Ryan Mallett and Chad Jackson. I also like to argue against the consensus when my evaluations allow me to. That has gotten me in trouble with some unpopular predictions that turned out to be hilariously wrong. On the flip side, I don’t think anyone else predicted Lamar Jackson would be the best quarterback of his draft class. All of my picks are rooted in comprehensive film study and a mathematical understanding of what drafts typically produce (spoiler: draft grades are unrealistically generous). Before we start, here are some of my general thoughts on the 2020 NFL Draft. Quickly on the broadcast - they did a great job given the circumstances. The production quality was great and they did more actual analysis than usual. My main gripe with draft coverage every year is that they don’t show incredible highlights (they somehow didn’t show the Aaron Dobson catch in 2013). This year, they showed more footage of actual football and I appreciated that. The only two negatives for me were the constant tragic stories and Booger McFarland. Oh, and if any poor soul bet on Justin Jefferson Under 21.5 draft position, ESPN should apologize to you. They showed him on the phone celebrating right before cutting to Goodell announcing the 21st pick - Jalen Reagor to the Eagles. Jefferson was of course on the phone with the Vikings, who took him at 22. Brutal beat. As for the draft, remember this tweet about mock drafts being “wronger” than ever? Funny, this was probably the chalkiest first-round ever in the internet age. Nothing was truly shocking to me, including the Packers trading up for Jordan Love (more on that here). I had Damon Arnette in the first round in my first mock draft this draft season. I wrote an article lauding Jordyn Brooks as an undervalued commodity. Noah Ibinoghene going in the first was surprising, I suppose. But there was no Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 or Tyson Alualu at No. 10. It speaks to how the media and internet scouts might be catching up to, or God forbid actually influencing the teams. So here is the first installment of my annual draft review. Each player will receive their career prediction in parentheses following their name. For example: Joe Burrow (5). Here's how the picks break down: 5 – All-Pro: Starter who has performed at an elite level at his position. 4 – Above-Average: Starter who has been among the best at his position. 3 – Solid: Starter or valuable back-up with significant positive production. 2 – Replacement Level: Below-average starter or back-up who made minor contributions. 1 – Bust: Player who didn’t amount to anything positive. Next up, the AFC North.
The Bengals have historically been pretty good at drafting despite having the smallest scouting staff in the league. With the first pick in each round, they would have had to try to mess this up. Instead, they had the single best draft in the entire league, drafting the No. 1, No. 14, No. 52, and No. 69 (nice) players on my board. Joe Burrow lacks the ideal competitiveness after transfer- just kidding. The Tiger King just had the greatest season in the history of college football, capped off by a dismantling of a Clemson defense with multiple day-one picks. Joe Burrow (5) is going to be a franchise quarterback and Zac Taylor is a lucky man. Joe Exotic is being praised everywhere for his poise, accuracy, touch, and athleticism. What stood out to me on film was his ability to create outside the structure of the offense. He is dynamic in that he can scramble to run or throw - a defensive coordinator’s nightmare. LSU even ran him on designed quarterback draws, an indication they were comfortable with his durability. Burrow’s 2018 obviously wasn’t great (57.8% comp., 16/5 TD/INT), but it’s not smart to question his ball placement after his 2019 film. His offensive supporting cast was amazing, but it was overwhelmingly obvious that the game moved extremely slowly for him at the highest level of college football. When the NFL bullets start flying even faster, Burrow will have an easier time adjusting than most quarterbacks. Tee Higgins (4) may have been the best value in the entire draft. Higgins’ perceived draft status on the internet was just odd. From WRU with 28 career touchdowns and undeniably impressive film, Higgins was widely accepted as the 5th-8th best receiver in this class. Why? I don’t care much about his lack of timed speed (4.54) as he played fast enough and has other dominant traits. The only legitimate reason for the lack of respect is his thin body as it relates to durability. He came up lame a lot on film, and NFL teams are spooked by medical issues. I am not going to be shy about endorsing this pick. Tee Higgins has unbelievable hands, body control, and ball-tracking ability in a 6-4, 216-pound frame. He didn’t look great against Jeff Okudah and Ohio State but was clearly banged up. There’s also no shame in struggling against Okudah, who’s probably a top-five NFL corner right now. Joe Burrow to Tee Higgins will be the premiere QB-WR connection in the league by 2023. Logan Wilson (3) was one of “my guys” and Akeem Davis-Gaither was close (No. 69 on my board). Wilson was arguably the best coverage linebacker in the draft and is probably not terrible at tackling, considering he tallied 409 (!) of them at Wyoming. His film was fun to watch, as an off-ball linebacker with ten career picks. As for Akeem Davis-Gaither (3), he’s light but lightning fast. His floor is a contributor on specials, but in a pass-happy league with Lamar Jackson running around, his speed plays on defense as well. He’s not going to take on blocks in a phone booth but he made some wow plays at Appalachian State, constantly finding the ball and getting tackles-for-loss on the edge from his Sam position. Doubling up on linebacker with two talented prospects was a great strategy. The Bengals aced this draft. Loading up on defense will be the priority for the next few years, as they have one of the best young offensive cores in all of football.
The Ravens always draft well and this year was no different. They selected my No. 11 overall player at 28, my top-ranked running back at 55, and four other players in my top-100. The legacy of Ozzie Newsome lives on. Patrick Queen (4) showed some inconsistencies on tape in terms of missing tackles and angles and possibly even taking plays off. However, his highs on film are as impressive as any player in this class, and in the Ravens organization, they feel confident in coaching him up to play at that level consistently. Put on the National Championship game and Queen looks like the best defensive player on the field. Put on Texas and watch the goal-line sequence where he almost scores a 99-yard touchdown on third down and then fits up for a 4th-down stuff. His Auburn tape isn’t as impressive, getting beat by their running back (No. 3) and blocked in space on screen passes. In Baltimore, he’ll be kept clean and asked to fly around and hit people. He could not have gone to a better situation. J.K. Dobbins (3) was my No. 1 running back in this class. He is a tougher (love a back not wearing gloves) runner than Jonathan Taylor and plays with great contact balance and low pad level. He has a stiff-arm, ideal burst, and necessary physicality and creativity. He’ll be a hammer learning from Mark Ingram in Baltimore. Again, a perfect fit for the Ravens in real football, but probably not the best landing spot for fantasy, at least in the short term. As for their other picks, the only one I’m not excited about it is Justin Madubuike (2). He screams Reverse Planet Theory to me, taking advantage of bad guards with splash plays that don’t translate. Devin Duvernay (3) can be an actually-explosive version of Willie Snead. Malik Harrison (3) is a thumper who can call the defense and make plays. Ben Bredeson (3) was one of my favorite mid-round guard prospects. I’m very happy Lamar Jackson won MVP last year, and this class will help keep the Ravens among the elite teams in the NFL.
The Browns were easy to mock for going into the draft, with two huge needs at left tackle and safety and a fairly stacked roster everywhere else. They unsurprisingly filled those needs with their first two picks, grabbing arguably the best prospect at both positions. Jedrick Wills Jr. (3) was not exactly my favorite tackle. I noted balance issues, which scare me more than anything else for an offensive lineman. I saw his head snap back too many times, noted some off-target punches, and really scary attempted shoulder blocks. His traits are all top-notch, including his uncommon lateral agility for his size. There are winning reps that highlight his strength (grabbing and throwing guys down on speed rushes), but don’t inspire in the way of translatable technique. He’s a better prospect than Ereck Flowers, but some of his mis-timed and off-balance punches remind me of the Giant bust. There’s more risk here than people realize, but coaching can take care of the sloppy technique. Grant Delpit (4) was my favorite safety. His 2018 film was tremendous, and his 2019 film showed a clearly banged-up player toughing it out to help lead his team to a championship. Delpit has tremendous change-of-direction skills and great instincts as a center field player. He is a little sloppy and all-over-the-place, but again not at 100%. Bottom line is that he gets it done, and the game is slower for him than most. He’ll start for years to come and make multiple pro bowls. As for the rest, I didn’t think Jordan Elliot (2) was big enough to be as not-really-that-quick as he was. Jacob Phillips (2) called the LSU defense and fills a need, but strikes me as more of a special teamer at the pro level. Harrison Bryant (1) profiles as a possible TE2 but according to my notes “might just be a college dude.” He had two touchdowns versus Utah’s exclusively NFL-player secondary though. Finally, Donovan Peoples-Jones (3) falling to 187 made no sense talent-wise so there must be off-field or medical concerns. He’s raw and the game didn’t come easy to him, but I liked his activity as a blocker and he ran solid routes (comebacks especially). He showed good hands and has a ton of potential, perhaps even slotting in as the WR3 this season. I don’t think Shea Patterson is good. I was never high on Baker Mayfield, but it's easy to be excited about this Browns roster going forward. There is no real personnel weakness anywhere. If Mayfield can be coachable and tone down the turnovers, the Browns have enough talent to compete for one of the for-some-reason seven AFC playoff spots.
The Steelers essentially used their first-round pick on Minkah Fitzpatrick, who would have easily been the best safety in the draft. They came into the draft needing a quarterback, tackle, and cornerback, but somehow didn’t select any of those positions. I wasn’t a huge fan of their haul, which was headlined by one of the most overrated receivers in the draft. After being burned by Limas Sweed and Sammie Coates, the Steelers went back to the big-and-fast archetype at wide receiver with Chase Claypool (1). I ultimately labeled him as an “average pro if that” after noting his below-average ankle flexion, tight hips, and general clumsiness. Claypool’s large hands are fantastic, and he’s obviously very fast, but I wasn’t feeling his film as translatable to the next level. I love that he was still on the punt unit but I don’t see a high ceiling as an outside receiver against quicker corners. There were better receivers on the board. Alex Highsmith (1) was the first of two Charlotte… uh… Bobcats?... selected this year. Highsmith attempted to tackle Travis Etienne versus Clemson and was run through like a middle-schooler. Throughout that film, he was quite easily neutralized by the Tigers' left tackle. He tries really hard, has a decent first step, and can bend just a little. I’m a big 3-cone guy for edge rushers, and his 7.32 in addition to poor film against Clemson doesn’t help his case. 📷 Every single Anthony McFarland (2) mention starts with his legendary performance against Ohio State in 2018. Unfortunately looking closer at the film, they simply missed some fits and he exploded on the edge. He did show some one-cut ability in the open field, but his tape shows someone who is clearly comfortable on the edge, which doesn’t really fit the NFL at all. McFarland has traits, but the game is difficult for him, getting stuffed on the goal line by Temple, showing bad ball security, and rarely pushing the pile. He’s a satellite speed guy, which if schemed right can be valuable. I'm sorry Steelers fans, but this year could be the last dance for Ben Roethlisberger. Minkah Fitzpatrick is really, really good at least. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more divisions in the coming days. Link to this article: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-afc-north/735564?src=cat_feat_9954 Link to NFC North article: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-north/734932
I've been getting a lot of individual questions so I thought we'd do a mini-update for Offense and Defense respectively QB - 0 Current QBs: 3 (Ideal is 4) Potential Departures: 0-2 2021 Needs: 1 Overview: Alabama had a 2021 QB commited, got Bryce Young in 2020 and lost their 2021 QB. This basic dynamic is probably the biggest story of Alabama's recruiting: who wants to go up against Bryce Young. Alabama is actively recruiting both prospects and is a legit options for both
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Miller Moss - EE
4* (#52, #5 PRO)
Moss is an California QB with a big arm and a sturdy frame. Moss has a final 4 of USC, UCLA, Alabama, and LSU. LSU has a QB commit and Moss hasn't visited Baton Rouge so they aren't a legit option. Current pulse favors him staying out West (Covid should have that effect on multiple kids this cycle). UCLA does not feel good (despite a mid confidence CB pick), given their past few years and Chip Kelly's allergy to recruiting. USC is the presumed favorite, due to proximity, peer connections, and personal rooting interest but USC already has a QB in the 2021 class in high 4* Jake Garcia. Moss himself isn't bothered by multiple QBs in the same class (Bryce Young isn't a deterrant either) but there is concern on how Garcia will react. Alabama and Steve Sarkisian has recruited Moss well, prioritizing him in this class and building those relationships, so much so that sources have said that if geography wasn't as much of a factor, he would already be commited to UA. USC makes the most sense today but I do think Alabama is close and realistic option that will be close to watch over the next few weeks.
40% USC, 34% Alabama, 25% UCLA
June (Next 2-3 Weeks)
2. Texas Commit Jalen Milroe
4* (#79, #4 DUAL)
Milroe is a dual threat QB playing at the highest level in Texas and thriving as a smooth operater. Milroe and Drake Maye were the final 2 for Alabama's QB commit last summer, Drake took that spot andMilroe went to Texas. Alabama has been in contact, alongside Miami, but Milroe seems pretty solid and has been an active peer recruiter for Texas. Would take a lot to flip, as of today.
85% Texas, 15% Alabama
RB - 0 Current RBs: 7 (Ideal is 4-5) Potential Departures: 2 2021 Needs: 0-1 Overview: Alabama signed 3 RBs in 2020, so RB recruiting in 2021 is pretty far down the list. Alabama could lose its top 2 rushers and still have ideal numbers. Alabama would like a back in 2021 but it's not a requirement and I'd be hard-pressed to project any guy on this list, as of today.
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Jaylin White
4* (#220, #13 RB)
Jaylin is a in-state RB with a compact frame, quick feet, and a slippery frame. White runs low to the ground and doesn't heisitate in his cuts. I see Jaylin as the most likely RB addition and Alabama hasn't even offered (that should tell you how RB recruiting is going in 2021). FSU has an early lead but I fell Jaylin will wait on at least one of the in-state schools to pursue him.
50% FSU, 50% Alabama
1. Donovan Edwards
4* (#37, #3 RB)
(Michigan) UGA, Penn State, Notre Dame, Alabama
Alabama has had success with Michigan RBs and Edwards is Coach Huff's top guy on the RB board. Originally seen as a likely Ohio State commit until they filled up. Michigan has surged, even ahead of UGA, and is the likely choice. I think he stays up north regardless.
50% Michigan, 30% UGA, 20% Penn State/Notre Dame, 5% Alabama
2. Camar Wheaton
5* (#16, #1 RB)
(Oklahoma, Texas) SMU, LSU, Alabama
Camar Wheaton is the nation's #1 RB; kid runs angry. General consensus is Wheaton doesn't want to go too far from home, which is why Oklahoma and Texas seems to be in a good spot alongside SMU of all schools. LSU and Alabama also have some buzz due to some campus visits last season but the current thought is staying close to home, particularly Oklahoma.
Johnson is another elite Texas RB and is a workhorse at the high school level. TAMU has surged here and though he does want to revisit UGA before commiting, this may not go past the summer
80% TAMU, 7% UGA, 7% Texas, 6% LSU
Summer or early fall
4. Kyree Young
3* (#458, #30 RB)
(Kentucky) Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, UGA, Michigan State
Kyree is a lesser known RB from Ohio. Not a ton of film at this point. Buzz is still on Kentucky
WR - 2 Current WRs: 10 (Ideal is 9+) Potential Departures: 2-3 2021 Needs: 3-4 Overview: WR is a big priority position in the 2021 class and Alabama is in on numerous elite receivers. Alabama's got a great sales pitch for 2021, with recent elite production, playing time to offer, and a shiny new QB to pass the ball. It's key for Alabama to hit on WR in this class and there's a good feeling here.
1. Jacorey Brooks - ES
4* (#38, #3 WR)
Brooks reminds me a lot of Tee Higgins: Tall/long but still quick, great on contested balls, consistent scoring threat. Alabama beat out Florida at the last minute for a guy who could end up back in the 5* range at the end of the cycle. Well respected guy in South FL and should help in peer recruiting the area in 2021 and 2022
2. Agiye Hall - EE
4* (#74, #13 WR)
Hall is another taller WR who I think is one of the best athletes in the whole class. A little raw but the ceiling is so high if he buys in. Minor risk taken by Alabama but worth it IMO and in the opinion of the staff.
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Brian Thomas Jr
4* (#63, #9 WR)
(Alabama, LSU) UGA, TAMU
Thomas is a Louisiana receiver with big-catch ability and a surprising amount of speed. As a Louisiana recruit, his top 2 is automatically Alabama and LSU. It's still Alabama-LSU, with a slight edge to the Tide due to deeper built relationships between Thomas as the UA staff
55% Alabama, 45% LSU
2. Christian Leary
4* (#130, #23 WR)
(Alabama,) Florida, Oklahoma, Auburn
Leary is a dynamic WR and wildcat QB for his high school team. This kid can fly when he gets going. Oklahoma, Alabama, Aubrun, and Florida are his top 4 and all 4are realistic options leading up to his commitment. Leary was considered a OK silent in the spring, along with Mario Williams and Caleb Williams but a lot of that confidence has dissapated. Alabama has really surged here, selling proximity (important to mama), a professional approach and a Jaylen Waddle comparision. Florida is always an option, as the closest school an a school that's really selling the upcoming NLI situation but it feels like Alabama/Florida to me and there's Bama buzz out there now.
Johnson is another speedy receiver who can play the slot, like Leary. Johnson has been very complementary of Alabama so far and in a suprising turn, Oklahoma did not make his top 8. Alabama could be seen as the early favorite but the other SEC Powers are in her also
Hilton is another Louisiana wideout of a similar build to those Alabama and LSU had success with last year: 6 foot even, shifty, speed, and effortless cuts to shake defenders. Unlike Thomas, Hilton is more likely a LSU lean but this is a close recruitment that Alabama is still very involved in. Hinton should commit soonish
Worthy is another recent addition to the WR, with near Ruggs-esque speed and acceleration. Michigan and Oregon are the front-runner at this time but Alabama could get in the mix, depending on how long this recruitment goes and its luck with the other slot targets.
Franklin is an elite west-coast receiver defined by one word: smooth. Franklin releasted a top 4 on Tuesday of Oregon, Washington, ASU, and Alabama. Oregon is the presumed favorite, due to a great recruiting staff and buzz as the Pac-12 contender of the future, followed by Washington, whose QB and WR commits are on the same team as Franklin. Alabama has gained ground here, selling a Smitty comparison, that was unheard of in the spring but it's still difficult to see him leaving the West Coast. A lot will be dependant on what Thomas does.
50% Oregon, 25% Washington, 15% Alabama, 10% ASU
4. Malik McClain
3* (#405, #64 WR)
TAMU, Tennessee, Alabama
McClain is a former Alabama resident with Julio Jones comparision (no, really). McClain is a behemith of a receiver, who catches over, around, and through defenders; I think he could make a hell of a TE if weight was added to his frame. TAMU and Tennessee have been the early names here but as a former AL resident and Julio fan, Alabama could be in a good spot.
5. Jahlil Farooq
4* (#133, #23 WR)
(Oklahoma,) Penn State, Alabama, UGA, Maryland
Farooq is a DMV receiver that I'd call a poor man's Devonta Smith: good on the deep ball, good size, strong hands. Oklahoma is the heavy favorite, with Farooq being another Caleb Williams fan. Alabama has interest but not the connection Oklahoma has.
80% Oklahoma, 10% Penn State, 5% Alabama, 5% Everyone Else
6. Deion Colzie
4* (#45, #5 WR)
(UGA,) Notre Dame, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee
Colzie is another elite, tall WR native to Athens, Georgia. Until recently, Colzie was commited to Notre Dame. I am surprised he hasn't commited to UGA yet.
7. Caleb Johnson
3* (#583, #93 WR)
TAMU, Oklahoma, Alabama, UGA, LSU
A recent WR addition, Johnson is another slot guy Alabama likes. Pretty early in his recruitment so hard to say where he stands with Alabama or any other schools.
TE - 0 Current TEs: 7 (Ideal is 5-6) Potential Departures: 2 2021 Needs: 1-2 Overview: TE is another priority position in the 2021 class, as Alabama has spent the last few seasons attempting to add an elite tight end to this dynamic offense. The question right now is more on talent than numbers but Alabama will lose 2 tight ends after the season but it's more key that Alabama gets at least 1 elite player at the position.
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Hudson Wolfe
4* (#225, #9 TE)
(Ohio State, Alabama,) Tennessee, UGA, Ole Miss
Wolfe is a big-bodied in-line blocker, but runs well with the ball in his hands and gets physical with defenders. Alabama had been a long favorite here but current belle of the ball Ohio State has locked in on Hudson Wolfe for one of their final scholarship spots and has likely taken the lead. It will be critical for Alabama to get Wolfe back on campus before he commits; otherwise, he's all Buckeye.
55% Ohio State, 45% Alabama
Preseason, maybe early Fall
2. Robbie Ouzts
3* (#755, #35 TE)
(South Carolina, Alabama,) VT, Duke, UNC
Ouzts is a Carolina TE with a big frame and long legs. Ouzts has always liked Alabama but it remains to be seen how hard the staff will push. South Carolina is the early favorite but UNC is one to watch. Currently has a preseason commitment timeline but I would bet this goes into the fall
40% South Carolina, 30% Alabama, 30% UNC
3. Gunnar Helm - EE
3* (#547, #24 TE)
Alabama, Auburn, LSU
Helm is a more recent addition to the TE board with an established connection, as his sister attends the University of Alabama, despite the family residing in Colorado. Another in-line blocker type, Helm reminds me of Hale Hentges, as a great blocker but a big rumbler with the ball in his hands. It is still pretty early in his recruitment but Alabama, Auburn, LSU would be some early realistic contenders
4. Thomas Fidone
4* (#91, #2)
(Nebraska, Iowa,) LSU, Michigan, Alabama
Fidone is a midwestern prospect, with a big frame and WR receiving skills. Fidone is highly coveted by SEC programs such as Alabama and LSU, but has focused much of his recruitment of Big10 schools closer to home. Alabama would REALLY like to get him in on a visit and Fidone does have interest there but if he sticks to his current timeline, it would be tough to project UA as the selection. LSU could be a dark horse here.
60% Nebraska, 40% Iowa
5. Cal Commit Jermain Terry
4* (#200, #7 TE)
Terry is a west-coast TE with jumbo size and big play potential. Terry is a coveted prospect for the Tide, despite being commited to Cal, and Steve Sarkesian is working hard to get him on campus in the fall. Definitely one to watch.
80% Cal, 20% Alabama
6. Mizzou Commit Ryan Hoerstkamp
3* (#937, #47 TE)
A new addition, Ryan is a recent Mizzou commit and is an active recruiter for the Tigers. Not much to see here.
OL - 0 Current OLs: 15 (Ideal is 15) - 7 OT/4 OG/ 4 OC Potential Departures: 4-5 2021 Needs: 4-5 (At least 2 OTs, 1-2 IOL, 1-2 as flex) Overview: OL is the most important position in the 2021 class, purely based on the potential number of departures and additions. Alabama is looking to bolster both the tackle positions, as well as the interior, and has numerous high-quality targets with high interest in the Tide
Top Schools (List within the List)
1. Tommy Brockermeyer - EE
5* (#5, #1 OT)
(Alabama, Texas) LSU, Auburn
Tommy is the top offensive tackle in the 2021 and with good reason, possessing an NFL-ready body, athletic pedigree, and advanced technical knowledge. As a Texas legacy, the Longhorns would always be a player in this recruitment but Alabama has taken a nice lead here, thanks to their simultaneous pursuit of Tommy's twin brother James (the rare legit Package Deal). The Brockermeyers like the winning pedigree, have hit it off with the new S&C staff, and had actually planned to take 2 OVs to Alabama, as they can attend as the brother of the other for each visit. Alabama's in the driver's seat for a recruitment that should not go past August.
75% Alabama, 25% Texas
2. JC Latham
5* (#17, #5 OT)
(Ohio State, Alabama,) LSU, Oklahoma
JC Latham is amongst the top athletes amongst linemen in the 2021 class and a guy Alabama has surged for over the past few months. Ohio State and LSU were the early top 2 but success in the NFL draft and a relationship with Evan Neal has caused Alabama to move squarely into Latham's top 2 with Ohio State. Latham's family is in Chicago so proximity favors the Buckeyes but sources have said that Alabama has sold itself better to Mom so far. Latham likely won't commit without visits, which will be crucial for Alabama's chances.
Mims is a nice complement to Brockermeyer: Mims is a physical mauler and absolute specimen at the tackle spot. Mims has stated Alabama is his leader throughout the spring and heading into summer, citing his relationship with Coach Flood and earlier playing time at UA but most feel a kid that close to UGA's campus with so many UGA connections will still end up in Athens. Visits will be huge for Mims and helps the Tide, as he won't commit until October.
45% UGA, 40% Alabama, 10% Tennessee, 5% Auburn
4. James Brockermeyer - EE
4* (#192, #1 OC)
(Alabama, Texas) LSU, Auburn
James is the twin of Tommy and is a high-quality center to boot. Same thing as Tommy: Alabama leads by a good bit for the twins but Texas will always be in the background. Look for a preseason commitment.
75% Alabama, 25% Texas
5. Jager Burton
4* (#160, #10 OG)
(Ohio State, Kentucky, Alabama,) Oregon, Clemson
Burton is a midwester lineman Alabama likes a lot and one Alabama has surged for, placing themselves in good competition with Ohio State and Kentucky. Proximity and need favor the Buckeyes but Kentucky is a real contender. Despite this, sources say Alabama is right there behind the scenes.
40% Ohio State, 35% Kentucky, 25% Alabama
6. Terrence Ferguson - EE
4* (#52, #3 OG)
Another big-time road grader on the interior, it's generally bad gambling to bet against UGA for an in-state offensive lineman but Alabama is definitely making things interesting, with serious interest from Mr. Ferguson around joining the Tide.
Parker is a Tennessee tackle that has more recently emerged as a more serious target. Parker lists Alabama as his dream school but both Alabama and Parker are taking things slow at this point. Tennessee is the biggest competition here so far.
80% Tennessee, 20% Alabama
2. Noah Josey
4* (#284, #17 OG)
(UGA, Alabama,) Ohio State
Josey is a Kyle Flood favorite, as another diamond -in-the-rough, blue coller, guard. UGA surged in the spring but it appears no team in his top 3 are ready to take his commitment.
33% UGA, 33% Alabama, 33% Ohio State
3. Ross Maseuli
3* (#618, #28 OG)
(USC) Michigan, Alabama
Maseuli is another Cali lineman who's a USC lean with Alabama interest. I know he was somewhat star-struck by the Alabama offer but I think a campus visit will be the real litmus test. Michigan is a realistic option also.
80% USC, 10% Michigan, 10% Alabama,
As always, feel free to ask any question that comes to mind. Defensive Update should come Fri morn.
Hey All, I've generally had a complaint that mock drafts are blind to GM tendencies, team schemes, and upcoming contracts / need for cap flexibility, so a couple friends and I used quarantine to throw together a three round mock draft (trades inclusive) that tries to pay attention to this. Obviously, we can't know your team's scheme and history as well as you, but we figured it'd be great to share our mock draft anyway and invite any thoughts on it. NFL_Draft can be a little critical, as it should be given we're making guesses that impact the future of your franchise, but we're also big boys so feel free to tear this thing to shreds (or compliment it if you feel so inclined). The thing is far from perfect, so to add to the discussion and educate us a little bit, please feel free to let us know what picks you liked/disliked. To make this easier to read we broke it out similar to Matt Miller's early mock drafts, with Round 1 up front with short descriptions on each pick followed by Rounds 2 and 3 with no detail. Additionally, we've added in the back a summary of trades as well as a break out by team. T-5 days until Thursday! Round 1: CINCINNATI: Joe Burrow, QB There's not much to explain here. What doesn't Cincinnati need? That list starts and ends at WR. They could take any number of players here and they would start tomorrow, but when you're building a team from the ground up, you take a QB, and who better than the guy who threw for 60 TDs, 5,671 yards, a 76% completion percentage, won a national championship, and ripped a cigar in the locker room… small hands and all. WASHINGTON: Chase Young, EDGE Say what you will about Dan Snyder, and you're probably right, but the guy tends to make the right call in the top 10. Since buying the team in 1999, the Redskins have picked in the top 10 an amazing 9 times, but those picks have been Champ Bailey, LaVar Arrington, Chris Samuels, Sean Taylor, Carlos Rogers, LaRon Landry, Trent Williams, RGIII, and Brandon Scherff. Every single one of those players has been a Pro Bowler. Not much to overthink here. Dan Snyder gets a generational talent and easily the best player in the draft, bringing back the hometown kid. DETROIT: Jeff Okudah, CB Patricia's defense is predicated upon a strong secondary playing predominantly press-man coverage, sticking to receivers long enough to create coverage sacks. While Justin Coleman has been vastly underrated for the Lions, there's also no way to play him on the outside, and the Lions will need someone to line up opposite Desmond Trufant with Slay in Philadelphia. Taking a DB in the top 10 is always risky, but so is trading down here. Patricia insists on a versatile defense with no particular scheme, and Okudah's well-rounded skillset including strength as a cover corner, in press-man, in off-man, and zone fits perfectly in Detroit. NY GIANTS: Tristan Wirfs, OL\* Gettleman is no stranger to controversy, but his pick here is far from that. Isaiah Simmons is the best player on the Board, but the young cornerstones of this franchise stand behind a line that with the exception of Will Hernandez probably shouldn't be there in four years. Lucky for Gettleman, he gets his pick of OL, four of whom are arguably worth a top 10 pick almost any year. While Judge may want to take the most NFL-ready prospect in Wills, I imagine Gettleman can't pass up on the athleticism and versatility of Wirfs. With his speed in the open field, quickness in getting to the second level and ability to make blocks in the open field, Wirfs can become Saquon's best friend pretty quick, especially on screen plays. *But honestly, leave it to Gettleman to fool everyone and make a pick out of left field. No, literally, this guy could make a pick from left field and ask Brett Gardner to take NJ Transit down to MetLife on Sundays. MIAMI: Tua Tagovailoa, QB Miami refuses to tank and still wins the Tua Sweepstakes. With all that has gone on in 2020, at least there's some good in the world and Brian Flores is about 40% of it. I completely understand that there are injury concerns about Tua that are hard to overlook. But it's also hard to overlook issues with Justin Herbert -- namely just how off target he could be throwing down the field. I'm not doubting his athleticism or the absolute rocket he has attached to his shoulder, but the fact of the matter is his completion percentage, which is already lower than Tua's, is aided by playing weaker defenses in the Pac-12 and the absolutely absurd number of easy bubble screens and dump passes he throws behind the line of scrimmage. Both QBs are phenomenal, but Tua's accuracy, ability to extend plays, willingness to take hits, and ability avoid sacks outweigh the injury risk. If you're lucky, you have a potential Hall of Fame quarterback, and if you're unlucky, Brian Flores will still probably get you to 7-9 with the Goldman Sachs analyst you call a backup QB. LA CHARGERS: Justin Herbert, QB I spent most of the last pick talking about why not to pick Justin Herbert, but here's why you should: 6'6", 237 lbs, with easily the best arm in the draft and a Josh Allen-esque ability to move. Oregon's play call didn't give him much of a chance to throw it downfield, but when he did it was brilliant. He's the kind of QB prospect that could have tested like Maurice Claiborne on the Wonderlic and still been drafted 1st overall 10 years ago. However, his inconsistency and inability to leverage his athleticism to feeling comfortable throwing on the run and outside of the pockets relegates him to third on my QB Big Board. I don't know whether I buy that the Chargers are planning on starting Tyrod Taylor this year, but whether Herbert gets his shot this year or next, he has a legitimate chance to be a star. CAROLINA: Isaiah Simmons, LB Matt Rhule walks into a full re-build with both ownership and CMC's buy-in. The one thing Carolina doesn't have for the first time in nearly two decades is a Pro Bowl LB. Hurney and company fix that immediately by taking the best athlete in the draft. This isn't Carolina's biggest need -- they have only two DTs that are going to make a roster, so I understand the Derrick Brown arguments -- nor is it typically Rhule's favorite position -- I understand arguments that they may try to continue to add to the line to protect their new franchise QB -- but Simmons is just too talented to pass up. He basically lines up everywhere from safety, to linebacker, to nickel linebacker, and even edge. If you need any more convincing, he ran a 4.39 40 (good enough for 5th best by a WR). ARIZONA: Derrick Brown, DT Keim isn't need blind, but historically he has definitely valued talent over need. If you need proof of that, just go back to last year when Keim and Kingsbury determined Kyler Murray was the best player in the draft and (rightfully) gave up on the Josh Rosen experiment. The Cardinals also just so happen to need a 3-tech guy to anchor the interior of their line, and preferably someone with some versatility given Vance Joseph's scheme (Brown played from 0- to 5-tech at Auburn). The biggest knock is his lack of athleticism, but Brown has shiftiness for his size, attacks at the line, uses his hands well, and explodes through his man. I know a lot of people mock a T here, and that makes sense too, but I just don't see Arizona's line as that urgent of a need that Keim will pass up the best player on the Board. JACKSONVILLE: CJ Henderson, DB If Dave Caldwell had the remote from Click, I'm pretty sure he'd fast forward to the 2021 draft and grabbing Trevor Lawrence. The 2020 season is going to be an ugly one for Jacksonville, and it's only going to get worse as they explore trading Fournette and Ngakoue. Caldwell won't completely ignore the best player available approach -- see Josh Allen last year -- but he definitely leans toward filling a need, and their secondary is an eye sore. I personally think spending a top 10 pick on a corner with Cam Robinson potentially become a free agent is a mistake, but there's also a mile between Henderson and the next best corner available. I imagine the Jaguars explore a trade down a little bit before taking arguably the best cover corner in the draft. TRADE: DENVER - 10 CLEVELAND - 15, 77, 118 Andrew Berry wants Ezra Cleveland, but a top 10 pick is a little rich for him. John Elway wants Henry Ruggs III, but he won't be there at 15. Berry moves back, picking up valuable draft capital to secure rookie contracts for when the bill eventually comes due on the Browns players and they can't afford to extend everyone. DENVER: Henry Ruggs III, WR Henry Ruggs III is an OC's dream. The guys finishes every play and does the little things in a way you rarely see on the offensive side of the ball. He's a great route runner with world class speed and endless hustle, whether he's running with the ball after the catch, finishing a block downfield, or making a tackle on special teams. By moving up six picks, Denver leaves Day 1 with suddenly one of the better WR corps in the league. It's amazing it took everyone this long to notice Ruggs III is the top WR in this class, but I guess that's what happens when you play in Tuscaloosa and everyone on the team is an NFL-caliber player. NY JETS: Jedrick Wills, OL I've seen a lot of mock drafts put a WR here, but I honestly buy that Gase is not that concerned about his WR corps. Not only that, but the value is going to be there in the second round -- especially for a team that needs a big target that can actually go up and get it in the red zone or on a deep route when Darnold wants to gun it downfield. That leaves offensive line as the biggest need, and in particular LT. Gase prefers lineman who are strongest in pass protection, and one of the most NFL-ready OL and pass blockers is somehow still on the Board at 11. Wills can easily slide over the left side and protect Darnold from getting sacked every few snaps, something only mono has been able to do thus far. LAS VEGAS: CeeDee Lamb, WR Numerous outlets have linked Lamb to Las Vegas, and I'm not one to argue. Gruden and Mayock both typically pick their guys and could care less how other people value them. Lamb may be the best true route-runner in this draft class and his toughness is certainly going to translate to the NFL. I've read the criticisms that he has never been forced to play against press-man in college and that he lacks world class speed, but his strengths more than make up for it and at the end of the day he's one of the more high floor WR prospects I've ever seen. SAN FRANCISCO: Andrew Thomas, OL Before trading for Emmanuel Sanders, the 49ers were 6-0 with a WR core anchored by Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, and Kendrick Bourne. They obviously need a WR, but they've also shown they can fair just fine without one. What they would struggle much more to replace is Joe Staley in the supposed 50/50 case he retires. If Staley plays another year, Thomas can kick inside or learn behind him. Shanahan prefers offensive linemen athletic enough to block in a zone scheme, and Thomas is not out-of-this-world athletic presenting a potential issue, but he's also high character and high football IQ, which Shanahan also wants in his players. Would I be surprised if Lynch and Shanahan opted to take Jeudy here? No. Do I see them passing on one of the safest bets to replace Joe Staley? Also, no. TAMPA BAY: Mekhi Becton, OL There wasn't a ton to overthink here in my book - the Bucs are going to take the best T available at 14, and here it's Becton. Tampa Bay's priority is protecting Tom Brady, and Becton gives them the best chance to do that. In a dream world, they get someone a little more polished and ready to play tomorrow (especially given the likely shortened offseason) but Becton is incredibly mobile for someone his size, able to quickly recover, and strong enough to still get ends outside. He'll need to improve his hands and get better in true dropback pass protection given Brady's tendencies, but he can potentially be a huge piece for a team that needs to re-tool its offensive line. CLEVELAND: Javon Kinlaw, DT Cleveland's two biggest needs are LT and FS, but if they were going to take a LT here they would have stayed at 10 and Andrew Berry comes from the Howie Roseman school where you don't pay safeties. Given his analytics background, I imagine he takes best player available, and that's easily Kinlaw. While raw, Kinlaw's talent is undeniable. He's long, strong, and has incredibly active hands. Kinlaw honestly looks like David Irving out there sometimes given his ability to manhandle 300lb offensive linemen, but the Browns wouldn't have to deal with all the off-field issues. The Browns can leave Ogunjobi in on base downs and bring in Kinlaw for 2nd and 3rd down pass rush. Getting Kinlaw also gives Berry the flexibility to make Ogunjobi, Richardson, or Billings cap casualties in future seasons if Kinlaw comes along quicker than expected. ATLANTA: K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE If you watched Atlanta play last year you know this is going to be a defense-heavy draft. It's easy to see that Atlanta needs an outside corner, but it's also hard to justify taking one here with Okudah and Henderson off the Board. I know Fowler enters the fold this year, but I still think Chaisson provides value in his ability to both get to the QB and drop back into coverage. To be successful in the NFC South, Atlanta is going to need to get to the QB, and quickly. Chaisson has legitimate speed and power coming off the edge, making him an every down player. The CB is still there for Atlanta, but it can wait until the 2nd round. DALLAS: Jerry Jeudy, WR This is a similar message to Atlanta above. Dallas absolutely needs an outside corner, but it's just not there. Safety is also a need and the best guy is still on the Board, but the Cowboys have also not historically valued safeties in drafts, especially this high. Thirty years of Jerry tells me that he'll take best player available at 17, and while WR isn't a high priority position for the Cowboys Jeudy's value here is just too good to pass up. The defense still needs attention, but you can address that Day 2. Besides, how much do you need defense if you can put up 40+ points per game surrounding Dak with Zeke, Cooper, Jeudy, and that line? And with 40+ points per game, that's at least 5+ cuts to Jerry grinning and high-fiving in the owner's box. MIAMI: Xavier McKinney, S Brian Flores really started making a name for himself in New England as a safeties coach where the most important piece of a Super Bowl winning defense was Devin McCourty. Miami has plenty of holes, but it also has plenty of picks. The Miami system values versatility and McKinney provides just that as he can play just about anywhere in the secondary. Not only that, but he can provide value as a blitzer as well. The coincidence that this pick was the return for Minkah Fitzpatrick is not lost on me, but another top-tier S from Alabama with a longer runway on his rookie deal is not a bad thing. TRADE: NEW ENGLAND - 19 LAS VEGAS - 23, 98 Suggesting the Patriots trade up in any mock draft is a dangerous endeavor, but they also have an absurd number of picks in this year's draft. Giving Las Vegas a compensatory third to move up and get your pick of the draft's top LBs isn't too bad a price to pay. NEW ENGLAND: Patrick Queen, LB I'm not going to pretend to know what Belichick is going to do in this draft. It's equally likely that he trades out of the first round as it is he moves up, but I what I do know is the Patriots could use more help at LB. In particular, someone with speed who can blitz up the middle and off the edge. Anyone who watched the CFB Playoffs last year saw the speed Queen had off the edge as well as his ability to cover out of the backfield and underneath. He's equally comfortable dropping into zone as he is speed rushing the edge. High football IQ and athleticism screams Patriot to me and he just so happens to fit a position of need. JACKSONVILLE: Kenneth Murray, LB Jacksonville is a little hard to mock for in that they have need at just about every position. However, the defense hasn't been the same since Telvin Smith left. With Joe Schobert joining the fold as an inside linebacker and Myles Jack pushing to the weak side, Murray can work on the strong side. You can make an argument that the usage here isn't worth a first round pick or that Murray can lack football IQ at times, but he also possesses incredible speed and playmaking ability. He can get sideline to sideline and blow up plays in the backfield, and that kind of explosiveness can really help tie a defense together. PHILADELPHIA: Justin Jefferson, WR Philadelphia needs a receiver as bad as I need football right now, and after more than a month in my parents' basement I can tell you that's pretty damn bad. It got bad enough last year I thought the team was going to make an Invincible throwback and call up the guy from the viral fire video for a tryout. You can make an argument for any number of WRs, but Jefferson checks the boxes for Eagles fans: fast and with hands not made of bricks. The guy just had a way of getting open in college, and that's something Philadelphia has really missed the past few years. MINNESOTA: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE This is a risky pick in a mock draft. Minnesota's front office does not historically take DL early in the draft - the only one Minnesota has taken in the first 2 rounds in the last 10 years was Shariff Floyd - instead opting to fill in the line with late round players. However, Griffen's departure leaves obvious need here, and the idea of a player with Gross-Matos' intangibles is interesting for a 4-3 defense that loves to dial up blitz packages on 3rd down. His speed, length, and power are things you can't teach, and his ability to maneuver around offensive linemen is particularly impressive at his height. LAS VEGAS: Kris Fulton, DB Mayock and Gruden trade down from 19 and still grab their next favorite CB prospect along with an additional 3rd round pick. Last year, they demonstrated a desire to fill in team needs with prospects from winning programs. Unless you buy Eli Apple as the outside corner opposite Mullen, this is certainly a position of need. Last year, going after winning players meant a number of Clemson guys. This year, they grab their first National Champion in Fulton. Fulton's ability to stick with his man is why some have him graded as the number 2 CB in this year's class. He's rarely caught out of position, and despite a lack of top-end speed, he shows an incredible ability to recover. TRADE: INDIANAPOLIS - 24 NEW ORLEANS - 34, 75, 193 New Orleans really doesn't have a lot of positions of need this year, and make fun of me if you will, but I buy that Sean Payton is okay with Taysom Hill playing QB for at least a season if needbe. That isn't to say the Saints won't draft a QB, just that they won't reach on one at the end of the first and without a second round pick. The Colts on the other hand will - especially if they value Jordan Love as highly as others have speculated in the past month. Indianapolis gets to take advantage of the Saints wanting to trade down and gives up less than they'd ordinarily have to in order to get back into the first round. INDIANAPOLIS: Jordan Love, QB Not much to get into here. I don't buy for one second that Jacoby Brissett is the long-term answer in Indianapolis, and there have been a lot of experts suggesting the Colts buy the Jordan Love hype train. The upside here is prototypical size for a NFL QB, strong pocket presence, great arm strength and touch all over the field, and high athleticism. He also comes with a ton of risk, namely his inconsistency, turnovers, dangerous throws across the middle, and his regression last year. I'm not going to sit here and defend the pick too much. I tend not to like QBs who take steps back and throw almost as many interceptions as touchdowns playing in the Mountain West. However, while I personally think there's too much risk for Jordan Love to warrant a Day 1 grade, this isn't a Big Board, it's a Mock Draft, and a lot of people smarter than me have suggested Love is a top 10 caliber talent. If you believe that, then he's certainly worth trading up for and grabbing in the back end of the first round. MINNESOTA: Jaylon Johnson, DB After Henderson, it's really a toss-up who you think the next best corner is, but Jaylon Johnson should at least be in the discussion. Utah was quietly one of the best defenses in college football last year and Johnson was certainly a part of that. Johnson is highly instinctive with 4.5 speed and good enough height/length. I'm not sure how much his physicality will translate to the next level given his size, but his ability to read plays and act on them should make him a good cover corner at a minimum. If you need proof, look up his pick sixes on Eason and Huntley last year, where he recognizes the play and makes a change to his coverage and a jump on his ball before it's even thrown. Spielman and Zimmer have shown no aversion to drafting DBs in the first round, and with Rhodes and Waynes departing this off-season Johnson helps the Vikings fill an obvious position of need. MIAMI: Josh Jones, OL Miami could frankly use two tackles, but they wait until it makes sense value-wise and take Josh Jones here. Whoever they pick is going to have to be ready day 1, which makes Austin Jackson out of the question. Jones had a stellar senior year and cemented it at the Senior Bowl. Given he blocked for D'Eriq King he should be comfortable outside of traditional pass sets, which could prove useful if Miami picks Tua as this mock draft predicted. Jones has prototypical size and strength to be an NFL tackle and gets right into the shoulder pads of the defense. The Dolphins have a lot of needs, but thankfully spends its first three picks filling the most important ones. SEATTLE: Julian Okwara, EDGE Death, taxes, and the Seahawks reaching late in the first round. Even if Clowney chooses to re-sign with Seahawks, the team could use another edge rusher to challenge LJ Collier who put together a whopping two tackles his rookie season. I'm honestly surprised mock draft experts haven't been higher on Okwara. He explodes off the line and uses his length and speed to get around tackles. You need to look no further than his performance vs. Virginia, which he absolutely dominated. His bull-rush is NFL-ready and he has the build and mobility to drop off into coverage as necessary. The criticism will remain given his smaller frame, but the production was clearly there at Notre Dame. BALTIMORE: Cesar Ruiz, OL The truth is the Ravens don't have a ton of needs and the top LBs are off the Board at this point. If there's a weakness on the Ravens' offensive line it's at the center position. Ruiz gets out of his stance quickly and stays with defenders throughout the play. Criticism of his athleticism is overblown given he's a center. He's also incredibly young, so there's room for growth. TENNESSEE: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE The Titans biggest need is at corner, but given the number that have gone off the Board already the value just isn't there. Instead, Tennessee can address the hole on their defensive line created by Jurrell Casey's departure. Jeffrey Simmons has the size and athleticism to allow for flexibility in how Tennessee constructs its line, and this means Jon Robinson can approach this pick with a little more of a best player available approach. The best defensive lineman on the Board is A.J. Epenesa. GREEN BAY: Jalen Reagor, WR Nick Bosa embarrassed the entire city of Green Bay on national television and made clear the need for a new tackle, but I don't think Green Bay addresses that quite yet. Brian Gutekunst comes from the Ron Wolf school of thought about best player available, and the T position is a little drained here. Instead, I think GB chooses to find someone to put opposite Davante Adams. Jalen Reagor's fall into the second round of many mock drafts is hard for me to explain. The production was there in college and the combine only supported what we knew from the tape: Reagor is a superb athlete. I think the biggest knock is drops, which would likely only get worse in the NFL, but pairing him with Adams and Rogers could be absolutely dynamic. His double move is something to behold and he's great after the catch. Putting that next to, and allowing him to learn from, Adams is a match made in heaven. TRADE: CLEVELAND - 31, 210 SAN FRANCISCO- 41, 77 San Francisco lacks draft capital given their trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, but has needs. The Browns moved back earlier because Ezra Cleveland is their guy. Berry can't afford to let him go and can get back into the 1st round for a fair price given the Niners need for 2nd and 3rd round picks. CLEVELAND: Ezra Cleveland, OL Cleveland trades back into the first round and addresses its biggest position of need by getting somebody to protect Baker Mayfield. If you buy the rumors that Andrew Berry likes Ezra Cleveland, which I do, then it makes sense to grab him here before anyone else can in the early second. KANSAS CITY: A.J. Terrell, DB Brett Veach and Andy Reid have always valued cornerbacks, and despite the re-signing of Bashaud Breeland the Chiefs are still thin at the position. Given this, I think the Chiefs could go with the next best corner available in their mind. Terrell measures out well with good speed. I'm pretty sure Terrell still has nightmares about Ja'Marr Chase, but so do a lot of CBs not named Cameron Dantzler. That performance shouldn't erase years of strong tape otherwise. Round 2: CINCINNATI: Isaiah Wilson, OL NEW OLREANS: Zack Baun, LB DETROIT: Marlon Davidson, DL NY GIANTS: Josh Uche, EDGE LA CHARGERS: Austin Jackson, OL CAROLINA: Neville Gallimore, DL MIAMI: D'Andre Swift, RB TRADE: NY JETS - 40 HOUSTON - 48, 120 NY JETS: Michael Pittman Jr., WR SAN FRANCISCO: Denzel Mims, WR JACKSONVILLE: Antoine Winfield Jr., S CHICAGO: Trevon Diggs, DB INDIANAPOLIS: Tee Higgins, WR TRADE: MIAMI - 45, 173 TAMPA BAY - 56, 154, Future 4th MIAMI: Brandon Aiyuk, WR DENVER: Jeff Gladney, DB ATLANTA: Noah Igbinoghene, DB HOUSTON: Raekwon Davis, DL PITTSBURGH: Robert Hunt, OL CHICAGO: Kyle Dugger, S DALLAS: Cameron Dantzler, DB LA RAMS: J.K. Dobbins, RB PHILADELPHIA: Grant Delpit, S TRADE: CINCINNATI - 54, 167 BUFFALO - 65, 107 CINCINNATI: Willie Gay Jr., LB BALTIMORE: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR TAMPA BAY: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB LA RAMS: Netane Muti, OL TRADE: LAS VEGAS - 58, 132 MINNESOTA - 80, 81 LAS VEGAS: Jalen Hurts, QB SEATTLE: Ross Blacklock, DL BALTIMORE: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB TENNESSEE: Damon Arnette, DB GREEN BAY: Lucas Niang, OL KANSAS CITY: Terrell Lewis, EDGE SEATTLE: Ben Bartch, OL Round 3: BUFFALO: Curtis Weaver, EDGE WASHINGTON: Cole Kmet, TE DETROIT: John Simpson, OL NY JETS: Jonathan Greenard, EDGE CAROLINA: Shane Lemieux, OL MIAMI: Lloyd Cushenberry III, OL LA CHARGERS: KJ Hamler, WR ARIZONA: Jonathan Taylor, RB JACKSONVILLE: Bryan Edwards, WR CLEVELAND: Ashtyn Davis, S NEW ORLEANS: Cam Akers, RB TAMPA BAY: Justin Madubuike, DL SAN FRANCISCO: Jordan Elliott, DL ATLANTA: Jake Fromm, QB NY JETS: Troy Pride Jr., DB MINNESOTA: Terrell Burgess, S MINNESOTA: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR DALLAS: Adam Trautman, TE DENVER: Prince Tega Wanogho, OL LA RAMS: Jordyn Brooks, LB DETROIT: Tyler Johnson, WR BUFFALO: Zack Moss, RB NEW ENGLAND: Hunter Bryant, TE NEW ORLEANS: Bryce Hall, DB MINNESOTA: Logan Stenberg, OL HOUSTON: Jeremy Chinn, S LAS VEGAS: Malik Harrison, LB BALTIMORE: Anfernee Jennings, EDGE TRADE: NEW ENGLAND - 93 TENNESSEE - 100, 195 NEW ENGLAND: James Morgan, QB GREEN BAY: Jacob Eason, QB DENVER: Tyler Biadasz, OL KANSAS CITY: Matt Peart, OL CLEVELAND: Logan Wilson, LB LAS VEGAS: Davon Hamilton, LB NY GIANTS: Matt Hennessy, OL TENNESSEE: Van Jefferson, WR SEATTLE: Kenny Willekes, EDGE PITTSBURGH: Leki Fotu, DL PHILADELPHIA: Troy Dye, LB LA RAMS: Amik Robertson, DB MINNESOTA: Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR BALTIMORE: K'Von Wallace, S ------- Trades: DENVER - 10 CLEVELAND - 15, 77, 118 Andrew Berry wants Ezra Cleveland, but a top 10 pick is a little rich for him. John Elway wants Henry Ruggs III, but he won't be there at 15. Berry moves back, picking up valuable draft capital to secure rookie contracts for when the bill eventually comes due on the Browns players and they can't afford to extend everyone. NEW ENGLAND - 19 LAS VEGAS - 23, 98 Suggesting the Patriots trade up in any mock draft is a dangerous endeavor, but they also have an absurd number of picks in this year's draft. Giving Las Vegas a compensatory third to move up and get your pick of the draft's top LBs isn't too bad a price to pay. INDIANAPOLIS - 24 NEW ORLEANS - 34, 75, 193 New Orleans really doesn't have a lot of positions of need this year, and make fun of me if you will, but I buy that Sean Payton is okay with Taysom Hill playing QB for at least a season if need be. That isn't to say the Saints won't draft a QB, just that they won't reach on one at the end of the first and without a second round pick. The Colts on the other hand will - especially if they value Jordan Love as highly as others have speculated in the past month. Indianapolis gets to take advantage of the Saints wanting to trade down and gives up less than they'd ordinarily have to in order to get back into the first round. CLEVELAND - 31, 210 SAN FRANCISCO- 41, 77 San Francisco lacks draft capital given their trades for Dee Ford and Emmanuel Sanders, but has needs. The Browns moved back earlier because Ezra Cleveland is their guy. Berry can't afford to let him go and can get back into the 1st round for a fair price given the Niners need for 2nd and 3rd round picks. NY JETS - 40 HOUSTON - 48, 120 WRs haven't fallen off the Board the way many have thought they would at the start of Round 2, but the Niners would be sure to start that trend, potentially with Pittman. As much as Gase likes smaller, fast receivers, the Jets desperately need a big guy who can work with Darnold. Pittman and Darnold have the USC connection already, and it makes sense to move ahead of San Francisco to get him. MIAMI - 45 TAMPA BAY - 56, 154, 173, Future 4th With WRs beginning to fly off the Board and Brandon Aiyuk still there due to injury concerns, Miami trades up to get him. Tampa Bay, lacking a ton of immediate needs having already added a T, gets extra draft capital in exchange for moving back to a point where at least one of the top four RBs should remain. CINCINNATI - 54, 167 BUFFALO - 65, 107 This is a tough one. There are a number of rumors that Cincinnati is enamored with Willie Gay Jr.'s athleticism and ball instincts. If that's true, there could be legitimate fear that the Ravens could take him at 55 or 60 given their needs. The Bills need picks given their trade for Diggs. The Bengals make the call to get ahead of an in division rival for their guy. LAS VEGAS - 58, 132 MINNESOTA - 80, 81 It's no secret that John Gruden loves his QBs and I think there's a legitimate chance the QB he likes in this draft class that's within reach for him is Jalen Hurts. Getting back into the second round allows him to be the first to take the QBs not projected to go in the first round. NEW ENGLAND - 93 TENNESSEE - 100, 195 There have been rumors that the Patriots' favorite QB prospect in this draft is James Morgan given his arm and the New England climate. Similarly, he's tied to Green Bay who just so happens to be on the clock at 94. If the rumors are true, Belichick should be willing to pull the trigger to move up and get him. By Team: ARIZONA: 1.8 - Derrick Brown 3.72 - Jonathan Taylor ATLANTA: 1.16 - K'Lavon Chaisson 2.47 - Noah Igbinoghene 3.78 - Jake Fromm BALTIMORE: 1.28 - Cesar Ruiz 2.55 - Laviska Shenault Jr. 2.60 - Akeem Davis Gaither 3.92 - Anfernee Jennings 3.106 - K'Von Wallace BUFFALO: 3.65 - Curtis Weaver 3.86 - Zack Moss CAROLINA: 1.7 - Isaiah Simmons 2.38 - Neville Gallimore 3.69 - Shane Lemieux CHICAGO: 2.43 - Trevon Diggs 2.50 - Kyle Dugger CINCINNATI: 1.1 - Joe Burrow 2.33 - Isaiah Wilson 2.54 - Willie Gay Jr. CLEVELAND: 1.15 - Javon Kinlaw 1.31 - Ezra Cleveland 3.74 - Ashtyn Davis 3.97 - Logan Wilson DALLAS: 1.17 - Jerry Jeudy 2.51 - Cameron Dantzler 3.82 - Adam Trautman DENVER: 1.10 - Henry Ruggs III 2.46 - Jeff Gladney 3.83 - Prince Tega Wanogho 3.95 - Tyler Biadasz DETROIT: 1.3 - Jeff Okudah 2.35 - Marlon Davidson 3.67 - John Simpson 3.85 - Tyler Johnson GREEN BAY: 1.30 - Jalen Reagor 2.62 - Lucas Niang 3.94 - Jacob Eason HOUSTON: 2.48 - Netane Muti 3.90 - Jeremy Chinn INDIANAPOLIS: 1.24 - Jordan Love 2.44 - Tee Higgins JACKSONVILLE: 1.9 - CJ Henderson 1.20 - Kenneth Murray 2.42 - Antoine Winfield Jr. 3.73 - Bryan Edwards KANSAS CITY: 1.32 - AJ Terrell 2.63 - Terrell Lewis 3.96 - Matt Peart LA CHARGERS: 1.6 - Justin Herbert 2.37 - Austin Jackson 3.71 - KJ Hamler LA RAMS: 2.52 - JK Dobbins 2.57 - Netane Muti 3.84 - Jordyn Brooks 3.104 - Amik Robertson LAS VEGAS: 1.12 - CeeDee Lamb 1.23 - Kris Fulton 2.58 - Jalen Hurts 3.91 - Malik Harrison 3.98 - Davon Hamilton MIAMI: 1.5 - Tua Tagovailoa 1.18 - Xavier McKinney 1.26 - Josh Jones 1.39 - D'Andre Swift 1.45 - Brandon Aiyuk 3.70 - Lloyd Cushenberry III MINNESOTA: 1.22 - Yetur Gross-Matos 1.25 - Jaylon Johnson 3.80 - Terrell Burgess 3.81 - Donovan Peoples-Jones 3.89 - Logan Stenberg 3.105 - Antonio Gandy-Golden NEW ENGLAND: 1.19 - Patrick Queen 3.87 - Hunter Bryant 3.93 - James Morgan NEW ORLEANS: 2.34 - Zack Baun 3.75 - Cam Akers 3.88 - Bryce Hall NY GIANTS: 1.4 - Tristan Wirfs 2.36 - Josh Uche 3.99 - Matt Hennessy NY JETS: 1.11 - Jedrick Wills Jr. 2.40 - Michael Pittman Jr. 3.68 - Jonathan Greenard 3.79 - Troy Pride Jr. PHILADELPHIA: 1.21 - Justin Jefferson 2.53 - Grant Delpit 3.103 - Troy Dye PITTSBURGH: 2.49 - Robert Hunt 3.102 - Leki Fotu SAN FRANCISCO: 1.13 - Andrew Thomas 2.41 - Denzel Mims 3.77 - Jordan Elliott SEATTLE: 1.27 - Julian Okwara 2.59 - Ross Blacklock 3.64 - Ben Bartch 3.109 - Kenny Willekes TAMPA BAY: 1.14 - Mekhi Becton 2.56 - Clyde Edwards-Helaire 3.76 - Justin Madubuike TENNESSEE: 1.29 - AJ Epenesa 2.61 - Damon Arnette 3.100 - Van Jefferson WASHINGTON: 1.2 - Chase Young 3.66 - Cole Kmet
Disclaimer #1: This is based on what I would do not what I think will happen Disclaimer #2: This mock will include trades 1.01 CIN - Joe Burrow QB LSU Duh 1.02 WAS - Chase Young EDGE The Ohio State Again, duh Trade: MIA receives 1.03. DET receives 1.05, 2.39, 2.56, & 2021 MIA 2nd 1.03 MIA via DET - Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama In a bidding war between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Miami Dolphins, Miami just has too much draft capital to spend for their QB of the future. If this was a normal year where teams would be able to get Tua in their building for updated medicals, then I'd be much more willing to spend extra 1st round capital to trade up and get him for either LA or Miami. The injury concerns obviously make this pick very risky, but some of it has simply come down to bad luck for Tua. When healthy, he's obviously an extremely talented passer who can cut apart a defense in so many different ways. Personally, I don't think the Fins are going to trade up for a QB. I think they want to keep as many draft picks as possible and are more than happy with either Tua or Justin Herbert at 5. However I have a solid gap between Tua and Herbert as prospects, so for me I feel like I need to go up and make sure I get my far and away top QB available.0 1.04 NYG - Jedrick Wills OT Alabama I think this pick will be Isaiah Simmons come Thursday, however I would definitely be looking at taking one of these OTs at 4 for the G-Men. At the end of the day, Daniel Jones needs more help on the offensive line and specifically with his bookends. Nate Solder has been plagued by poor play since signing with the Giants, and Cam Flemming is much more suited to being a backup than relied on as a starter. With Wills, there might be freakier athletes in this OT class but I don't see anyone who has more pluses to their name than Jedrick. He's a very good athlete, has good length, and is probably the most technically sound OT in this draft class. Rarely is a pick ever "safe" but Wills is as good as it gets when it comes to tackle prospects in the NFL Draft. 1.05 DET via MIA - Jeffery Okudah CB The Ohio State For the third time, duh 1.06 LAC - Andrew Thomas OT Georgia So this pick has pretty much always been Justin Herbert, however I wanted to do something different and go through a scenario where the Chargers don't go QB. When I look at Herbert, I'd be okay with his currently development if he were a 2 year starter instead of a 4 year starter. I'm worried about some of the mistakes Justin makes with so much experience under his belt, however he dealt with numerous WR injuries in 2019 and Marcus Arroyo was (IMO) way too conservative in his play calling throughout much of the year (the Auburn loss in particular I blame a lot on Arroyo). There were flashes of Herbert being able to handle a heavier offensive load in 2019, however we never really got to see that come to fruition consistently. Herbert, like Jordan Love, really needs the right place to develop and I'm not sure the Chargers are it. I don't think it's a horrible place for him, with guys like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, and Austin Ekler as targets. However that OL needs some serious work, and after playing with the best OL in the nation at Oregon I think the adjustment could be tough for Justin. Instead I want to experiment with a different route in Andrew Thomas. Thomas has SEC experience at both RT and LT, along with solid athleticism, technique, and amazing strength and length. Thomas is as solid as they come, and whether it's for Tyrod Taylor, another vet, or a young QB, he should be a rock on the OL for whoever the Bolts starter is in 2020 and in the future. 1.07 CAR - Isaiah Simmons DEF Clemson My #2 overall player comes off the board to Matt Rhule and the Panthers here at 7. Carolina has a lot of needs, and at the end of the day I think they just need to take the most talented player on the board at their pick. Enter Isaiah Simmons, the do-it-all slot cornesafety/linebacker who has the talent and athleticism to transform a defense. Simmons isn't a 1-to-1 replacement for Luke Kuechly, but you need a similar type of game changer on the defense. I believe Simmons is that player, and he should provide day 1 impact to a team in a rebuilding phase. With Brian Burns at DE and Donte Jackson already at CB, now Carolina has a young building block on all 3 levels of their defense. 1.08 ARI - Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa This pick has got to be on either the offensive line or the defensive line for the Cardinals unless a player like Isaiah Simmons or Jeffery Okudah falls to them. I think a guy like Javon Kinlaw makes a lot of sense here, however like with the Giants, I am most concerned with protecting my young QB. Tristan Wirfs is an other-worldly athlete who has P5 experience at LT and RT. In terms of athleticism and strength, Wirfs has a rare combination of both of those tools to work with at the NFL level. Tristan needs some more development in the technical department in the NFL, but even though the Cards have vets like DeAndre Hopkins, Chandler Jones, Larry Ftizgerald, and Patrick Peterson, I don't feel that they need him to be awesome from day 1 and they can just let him learn at his own pace. If you can develop Wirfs properly, you'll have a fantastic bookend for Kyler Murray for a very long time. Trade: TB receives 1.09. JAX receives 1.14, 3.76, 4.117, & 2021 2nd 1.09 TB via JAX - Mekhi Becton OT Louisville I think this trade makes a ton of sense for both sides. Jacksonville's roster has been gutted over the past couple needs, and they just need to get as many picks as possible to try and build back up their roster. Tampa acquired the services of Tom Brady in free agency, and their win-now window has become obvious. The Buccaneers have a really good offense with guys like Brady, Howard, Evans, Godwin, Brate, Marpet, and Jensen as well as a great offensive mind in Bruce Arians as head coach. At this point with where the Bucs are at, I'm most concerned with fortifying the rest of the OL and spending whatever draft capital I have to in order to do it. Becton is by far the best OT left on my board and he's worthy of this pick. He's an absolute freak with incredibly nimble, explosive feet at 6'7 364 lbs. Leverage will probably always be a bit of an issue for Becton since he's so big and I think he needs work on his hand placement, but at the end of the day someone that huge and that athletic will be able to stop plenty of pass rushers. For Tampa, your time is now so let's go get someone who will have an immediate impact protecting your new investment at QB. Trade: DEN receives 1.10. CLE receives 1.15, 3.77, 3.95, 4.118 & 2021 3rd 1.10 DEN via CLE - Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama With all 4 top OTs off the board, Cleveland has the freedom to trade down and get a couple more assets for missing out on their top need. Denver gets to jump up into the top 10 after trading out of the top 10 in the 2019 draft. With the top WR still available, this is a no-brainer choice for the Broncos to help round out their offense. Denver seems to be prioritizing a top WR in this draft to pair with Courtland Sutton and I feel like that's a great approach to take. While Henry Ruggs would also be a great fit in Denver, I just can't pass on the overall talent that someone like Jeudy brings. Route running, speed, YAC, production, Jerry has it all and an offense with Jeudy, Sutton, Fant, Lindsay, and Gordon should give Drew Lock all the weapons he needs to have a good sophomore campaign in the Rocky Mountains. 1.11 NYJ - Henry Ruggs WR Alabama And well, here's my WR2 coming off the board. The Jets have made an effort to sign a lot of offensive linemen in free agency and while none of them are good enough to stop them from taking an OT in the 1st round, it does give them somewhat of a safety net in case they aren't able to get one of the top 4 OTs. Henry Ruggs is a top 10 rated player in this entire class for me and I feel like he'll be an absolute game changer at the NFL level. Ruggs has good hands, amazing speed, and really promising route running as an underclassman. Ruggs can win at any level and take any route to the house. Sam Darnold needs as much help on offense as possible and a playmaker like Ruggs will sure go a long way in making Darnold's life better in the Big Apple. 1.12 LV - CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma Yeah this pick is another real easy one for me. The Raiders need another WR to complete their offense and give Derek Carr all the weapons he could hope for. With that OL, Lamb as a #1 option, Tyrell Williams, Renfrow in the slot, Waller at TE, and Jacobs at RB, Las Vegas should have one of the better offenses in the league if Carr can perform like a quality starting QB. 1.13 SF - Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina I don't necessarily think the Niners need to be desperate for a Deforest Buckner replacement, but in this spot the board just lines up perfectly to take a DT. Kinlaw is the best player left on my board and although San Fran already has a talented DL, they certainly could use a player like Kinlaw. With the top 3 WRs all off the board, that leaves SF the freedom to really take BPA and I love the fit for Kinlaw. He would be able to make an impact early while not having the pressure on him to develop right away with all the talent around him. This is a BPA pick that could really keep the gravy train rolling in the bay area. 1.14 JAX via TB - CJ Henderson CB Florida Time for CB2 to come off the board. The teens are right around the sweet spot for CJ to go and a place like Jacksonville makes a lot of sense. With both Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye gone from the team, there's a large hole that needs to be filled in the secondary for the Jags and Henderson has the talent to help fill those holes. With long arms, great speed, smooth hips, and the ball skills to make plays on the ball, CJ can make an immediate impact in coverage for a team that needs to reload with impact players. 1.15 CLE via DEN - Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma This is a really tough pick for me, because nothing they can take here is particularly great value. I considered taking Denzel Mims just because I think he offers something a bit different to that WR room. I also considered safety here but with Karl Joseph, Andrew Sendejo, and Sheldrick Redwine already in house I just wasn't sure if addressing it with their first pick was the right move. At the end of the day I went with Murray because when I talked to Browns fans it seemed like LB was the other big need. I'm personally not a Takitaki fan but I'm a big Mack Wilson fan. With Mack having the main coverage responsibilities at the 2nd level, Murray can be allowed to do what he does best on passing downs and blitz the QB and make plays happen underneath. Murray can be slot into a starting spot immediately for Cleveland and make a terrifyingly athletic LB duo with Mack for years to come. 1.16 ATL - Kristian Fulton CB LSU I know many might consider this pick a reach, but I believe that this is around the right value for Kristian Fulton. Fulton is still a talented corner with good, patient footwork and smooth hips. Fulton proved that he has the long speed to compete on the outside at the combine with a 4.46 40 yard dash. Fulton doesn't have great length, but he's got the athletic traits to still be a quality corner, and he gave many of the SEC's best WRs a ton of trouble as a CB. With the loss of Desmond Trufant, corner is solidified as the top need for the Falcons, and a player like Fulton will help in plugging up that hole on their roster. 1.17 DAL - K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU Another LSU Tiger comes off the board in the teens, the Cowboys have a number of options to consider here at 17. Even though a few corners are off the board, guys like Jeff Gladney, Trevon Diggs, AJ Terrell, and Jaylon Johnson could be considered in the first round. Safety is an option too with none of them being selected so far. However at this spot I went with a pass rusher since it's become a sneaky important need following the departure of Robert Quinn. Chaisson has the burst and hand usage to develop into a dynamite pass rusher on Demarcus Lawrence's opposite side. K'Lavon also has the discipline and strength to hold up as a stout run defender on the edge. Chaisson doesn't wow with amazing size or arm length, but he's got the necessary package of traits to be a quality DE in the NFL. He also had the honor of wearing the #18 for LSU this season, so his character and work ethic will not be questioned in the NFL either. After Chase Young if I had to bet on any other EDGE in this draft class being a successful pro, it would be K'Lavon Chaisson. Trade: BAL receives 1.18. MIA receives 1.28, 2.55, 4.129, & 2021 3rd 1.18 BAL via MIA from PIT - Patrick Queen LB LSU Well look at this, 3 LSU Tigers get selected in a row here in the middle of the first round. I think a trade up makes sense from Baltimore's perspective since they actually have a good amount of picks to work with and not a lot of holes on their roster. After trading away a couple 2nds to get Tua, Miami is able to recoup a 2nd round pick and move up 40 spots on day 3. The weakest spot on the Ravens team is at LB. They lost CJ Mosley to free agency in 2019, traded away Kenny Young to LA for Marcus Peters in-season, and lost Patrick Onwuasor in free agency this year. These departures leave a talent gap that needs to be filled, and with Isaiah Simmons and Kenneth Murray already off the board, Queen is clearly the best LB on the board and there's a significant gap between Queen and the rest of the LBs on the board. With a fairly desperate need and a big talent drop off, it makes sense for Baltimore to be aggressive in trading up for Patrick in their contending window. 1.19 LV via CHI - Jeff Gladney CB TCU This is another easy pick for me to make. Gladney is my CB4 and final CB with a first round grade. Jeff brings the competitiveness that Jon Gruden absolutely loves, with ball skills and athleticism that should help him be a quality corner on the opposite side of Trayvon Mullen. Other than WR, CB is the biggest need for the Raiders but with the pair of Big 12 playmakers that I've taken for them in the 1st round, their roster rounds out really well and should be a tough team to play in a very competitive AFC West. 1.20 JAX via LAR - AJ Epenesa EDGE Iowa I know AJ isn't the most popular prospect after a pretty disappointing combine, but I still think there's a lot of talent there to work with, and over the past couple seasons of Big 10 play we've seen how good Epenesa can be. With Yannick Ngakoue wanting out of Jacksonville despite receiving the franchise tag (we'll get to this later), The Jags will need a new running mate for Josh Allen with Calais Campbell also out of town. AJ Epenesa still flashes a lot of burst, flexibility, and hand usage off the edge despite the pedestrian combine numbers. On a defense where he can still make an impact but not have the pressure of being the #1 pass rusher, Epenesa and Allen could form to make a formidable pass rush duo on the outside for the Jacksonville Jaguars. 1.21 PHI - Justin Jefferson WR LSU Justin Jefferson is actually my WR5 on my board, however I feel like the fit in Philadelphia is too perfect to pass up. Jefferson's combination of hands, athleticism, route running, and ball skills should fit very well to Carson Wentz, Doug Pederson, and that Eagles offense. With how much Pederson likes to keep defenses off balance with the quick game and RPOs, Justin should transition seamlessly into that offense and be an immediate contributor whether he's in the slot or out wide. Overall not only does Philly need athleticism at WR, but they also need reliability and with the receivers left on the board, no one is as reliable as Justin Jefferson. 1.22 MIN via BUF - Denzel Mims WR Baylor And now here we are getting to my WR4. Mims has the traits you want out of an outside receiver wit his size, catch radius, and athleticism. His combine and senior bowl proved that he can run any route you want him to, and that he can also win against press and physical coverage. While this is somewhat a Stefon Diggs replacement, they are different body types and do some different things. What will be present from day 1 is the type of receiving threat that Mims can be, he'll win with his size and speed on intermediate and deep routes from day 1 and I think he'll be the product of some favorable coverages with teams worrying more about Adam Thielen. Minnesota needs to make some key picks for the talent they lost in the offseason, and I believe that Mims is a high upside pick that can help that offense keep on chugging even in Diggs' absence. Trade: IND receives 1.23. NE receives 2.34, 4.122, & 2021 2nd 1.23 IND via NE - Justin Herbert QB Oregon Finally we're seeing some QBs come off the board after the Chargers passed on Herbert at 6. I personally see Indianapolis as a much preferable spot for Justin's development compared to the Chargers. The main reason I believe this is for a couple reasons. 1. Having Jacoby Brissett and Philip Rivers would be really good for Herbert, as I feel like they have a less likely chance to force Justin into starting than Tyrod Taylor, who failed to Baker Mayfield off the bench in Cleveland. 2. Most of all though, I have more trust in Indy's OL compared to LA's. With Anthony Costanzo back after contemplating retirement, Quenton Nelson as one of the best young OGs in the NFL, and other solid starters on the OL, Justin will having comfort in his OL much more similar to his Oregon days than anything he could dream of for the Chargers. Having a target like TY Hilton and an all-around RB like Marlon Mack for the future as weapons doesn't hurt either. With Brissett and Rivers both on 1 year deals, Herbert can then take over the starting job after a year learning the offense and learning from 2 veteran QBs. 1.24 New Orleans - Jordan Love QB Utah State Similar deal here at 24 with New Orleans. The Saints have a very limited number of holes on their roster and with Drew Brees getting older and older, this is the perfect spot for Jordan Love to develop. With coaches like Sean Payton and Pete Charmichael, a veteran HOF QB in Brees, a very good and young OL, and young weapons like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, Love is in a prime position to grow his first year or two and then thrive as Brees' successor. I really feel like NOLA is the best possible place for Love to end up and I think the Saints could be able to keep the good times rolling after Drew with Jordan at the helm. 1.25 MIN - AJ Terrell CB Clemson I actually have Trevon Diggs slightly above AJ Terrell in my CB rankings, however I think AJ is the better fit in Minnesota. Diggs is very raw since he's only been playing CB for a few years, and I feel like the Vikings need a corner who will offer better play in year 1 because of how many CBs they need and because the Vikings probably still fancy themselves as playoff contenders. Terrell offers versatility in coverage, great athleticism/speed, and great length as a boundary corner. I don't think AJ offers a ton in the way of playmaking like someone like Trevon Diggs does, but AJ is still a very solid CB prospect who should be considered here in the late 1st round. 1.26 MIA via HOU - Josh Jones OT Houston I would love to take Lucas Niang at this spot, but I just can't bring myself to take not 1, but 2 players with serious hip injuries for a single team. Instead I'm going with the senior bowl standout in Josh Jones. I wasn't in love with Jones' feet or hand placement on his college tape, but he could absolutely rock any pass rusher on a punch with his heavy hands and he certainly has the athleticism to play tackle in the NFL. Even as someone who didn't love his Houston tape, even I have to admit he was fantastic down in Mobile and that performance has me more comfortable with the prospect of taking him in the 1st round, I just wouldn't do it in the early or middle parts of round 1. Other than QB though, OT is the biggest need for the Fins. With a QB like Tua who does his best work in the pocket and has had the injury problems he's had, you need to build a strong OL to keep him upright and Jones has the potential to be a rock at either tackle spot for Tua for a long time. 1.27 SEA - Lucas Niang OT TCU Trust me, this late 1st round Seattle pick from TCU has much better film than the late 1st round Seattle pick from TCU in 2019. Niang had a hip injury that cost him the 2nd half of his senior season, but his 2018 tape is some of the best tackle tape of anyone in this class. Niang has nimble feet, strong hands, great length, and good athleticism when healthy to be a pass protector in the NFL. He's also a very powerful run blocker who has strength and athleticism in his arsenal. Seattle has needed to address their OL for a while now, while they did that a couple of years ago by trading for Duane Brown, Brown is getting older and they haven't done a ton outside of that. Now all of a sudden the Seahawks have a nice mix of vets and young guys on the O-line to help Seattle and Russel Wilson in their playoff contention. 1.28 MIA via BAL - Grant Delpit S LSU I know that Delpit is an extremely polarizing prospect and has many detractors, but I still think Grant is the beset safety in this class and for me he still has a 1st round grade. I actually think this is a tad bit late for Delpit, however there just isn't a great spot for him above this where he fits better than the other prospects taken. Combine that with the fact that it's a deep safety class and now you can see why Delpit has fallen a bit. While his 2019 left something to be desired, Delpit's 2018 tape is still incredible and needs to be taken into account when evaluating him. His size, range, instincts, and playmaking are exactly what you want for a safety who can play in a number of roles. For Miami, after addressing their 2 biggest needs in QB and OT, I feel like they can just start taking BPA and at this spot in the draft, Grant Delpit is just about BPA for me. 1.29 TEN - Justin Madubuike DT Texas A&M My surprise DT2 makes an appearance in the first round! I'm not really sure why the Titans traded away Jurrell Casey for a mere 7th round pick, but there's a definite hole in his absence that I feel Madubuike can fill. The reason that I have Justin rated higher over Derrick Brown is simply because I think Madubuike can offer more pass rush than Brown. Justin has fantastic burst to combine with hand usage and a good frame for an interior pass rusher. With 22 TFLs and 10.5 sacks the past 2 years as a DT for the SEC TAMU Aggies, Madubuike is a proven disruptor that will help replace some of the production lost from Casey. 1.30 GB - Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State Once again an Arizona State WR finds himself in the back end of the 1st round. Aiyuk is a dynamite athlete as seen by his combine testing, who flashes a good ability to create separation in his routes and has a great ability to create with the ball in his hands. With so much attention going towards Davante Adams, Aiyuk should get plenty of chances to wreak havoc with the ball in his hands like he did in the desert in 2019. Aaron Rodgers needs more weapons on offense outside of Adams and Aaron Jones and Aiyuk should provide precisely the playmaking the Packers need. Trade: DET receives 1.31. SF receives 2.39, 3.67, & 3.85 1.31 DET via SF - Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Penn State With all the extra draft capital that the Lions picked up from trading back with Miami, it allows them the freedom to jump back in the first round to a team that really need to trade out of 31 and get some more draft picks. With no 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round pick, San Fran trades back to 39 and gets an early 3rd and early 5th for their troubles. Even though Detroit gave up those picks, they still have plenty of good assets. Outside of corner, Detroit's next biggest need is probably at pass rusher. The Lions defense was pretty poor overall, and Trey Flowers needs a solid running mate opposite his side on the DL. YGM lacks a lot of consistency, especially against the best competition he faced, but he has all the traits you look for in a 1st round pass rusher. The Penn State product has length, explosiveness, and strength that you want out of a DE, and he doesn't have bad bend either. He needs to work on his hands and his plan as a pass rusher, but those were areas that he improved on a little bit last season. If he continues to improve in those areas, he could become a young cornerstone for a defensive revival in Detroit. Trade: CAR receives 1.32. KC receives 2.38, 3.69, & 2021 3rd 1.32 CAR via KC - Derrick Brown DT Auburn It's okay Derrick Brown fans, I still have the big Auburn man going in the first round. Carolina needs help in the trenches so with someone like Brown still on the board, it makes sense just to go up and get him before anyone else can. I think Derrick has some serious limitations in terms of his upside as a pass rusher, but he should still be a damn good run defender and with his size he'll be able to always make an impact in the NFL. Kansas City shouldn't feel any desperation at 32, and being able to get a couple of 3s to move down a handful of spots is fine business for a team that doesn't really have a prospect staring them in the face that they have to take at 32. I think this is a sensible deal for both sides. 2ND ROUND 2.33 CIN - Lloyd Cushenberry IOL LSU 2.34 NE via IND from WAS - Laviska Shenault WR Colorado 2.35 DET - Cesar Ruiz IOL Michigan Trade: JAX receives 2.36. NYG receives Yannick Ngakoue 2.36 JAX via NYG - Xavier McKinney S Alabama 2.37 LAC - Jalen Reagor WR TCU 2.38 KC via CAR - Jaylon Johnson CB Utah 2.39 SF via DET from MIA - Bryan Edwards WR South Carolina 2.40 HOU via ARI - Terrell Lewis EDGE Alabama Trade: WAS receives 2.41. CLE receives Trent Williams 2.41 WAS via CLE - Austin Jackson OT USC 2.42 JAX - Jacob Eason QB Washington 2.43 CHI via LV - Trevon Diggs CB Alabama 2.44 IND - Michael Pittman Jr WR USC 2.45 TB - D'Andre Swift RB Georgia 2.46 DEN - Prince Tega Wanogho OT Auburn Trade: MIN receives 2.47 & 2021 5th. ATL receives 2.58 & 3.105 2.47 MIN via ATL - Matt Peart OT UCONN 2.48 NYJ - Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia Trade: KC receives 2.49 & 2021 6th. PIT receives 2.63 & 3.96 2.49 KC via PIT - JK Dobbins RB The Ohio State 2.50 CHI - Jeremy Chinn S Southern Illinois 2.51 DAL - Bryce Hall CB Virginia 2.52 LAR - Tyler Biadasz IOL Wisconsin 2.53 PHI - Ashtyn Davis S Cal 2.54 BUF - Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin 2.55 MIA via BAL from NE - Cam Akers RB Florida State 2.56 DET via MIA from NO - KJ Hamler WR Penn State 2.57 LAR via HOU - Julian Okwara EDGE Notre Dame 2.58 ATL via MIN - James Lynch DT Baylor 2.59 SEA - Josh Uche EDGE Michigan 2.60 BAL - Zack Baun EDGE Wisconsin 2.61 TEN - Jack Driscoll OT Auburn 2.62 GB - Noah Igbinoghene CB Auburn 2.63 PIT via KC from SF - Neville Gallimore DT Oklahoma 2.64 SEA via KC - Donovan Peoples-Jones WR Michigan 3RD ROUND 3.65 CIN - Akeem Davis-Gaither LB Appalachian State 3.66 WAS - Adam Trautman TE Dayton 3.67 SF via DET - Ben Bredeson IOL Michigan 3.68 NYJ via NYG - Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa 3.69 KC via CAR - Malik Harrison LB The Ohio State 3.70 MIA - Ezra Cleveland OT Boise State Trade: DAL receives 3.71. LAC receives 3.82, 5.165, & 5.180 3.71 DAL via LAC - Kyle Dugger S Lenoir-Rhyne 3.72 ARI - Ross Blacklock DT TCU 3.73 JAX - Cameron Clark OT Charlotte 3.74 CLE - Antoine Winfield Jr S Minnesota 3.75 IND - Jonathan Greenard EDGE Florida 3.76 JAX via TB - Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU 3.77 CLE via DEN - Tee Higgins WR Clemson 3.78 ATL - Antonio Gibson RB Memphis 3.79 NYJ - Jabari Zuniga EDGE Florida 3.80 LV - Jalen Hurts QB Oklahoma 3.81 LV via CHI - Troy Dye LB Oregon 3.82 LAC via DAL - Matt Hennessey IOL Temple 3.83 DEN via PIT - Willie Gay Jr LB Mississippi State 3.84 LAR - Zack Moss RB Utah 3.85 SF via DET - Damon Arnette CB The Ohio State 3.86 BUF - Kenny Willekes EDGE Michigan State 3.87 NE - Brycen Hopkins TE Purdue 3.88 NO - Troy Pride CB Notre Dame 3.89 MIN - Cameron Dantzler CB Mississippi State 3.90 HOU - Darnay Holmes CB UCLA Trade: PHI receives 3.91. LV receives 4.127, 4.145, & 2021 3rd 3.91 PHI via LV from SEA - Reggie Robinson II CB Tulsa 3.92 BAL - Lynn Bowden Jr WR Kentucky 3.93 TEN - Terrell Burgess DB Utah 3.94 GB - Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame 3.95 CLE via DEN from SF - Robert Hunt IOL Louisiana-Lafayette 3.96 PIT via KC - Van Jefferson WR Florida 3.97 CLE via HOU - Darrell taylor EDGE Tennessee 3.98 NE - Jordan Elliot DT Missouri 3.99 NYG - Isaiah Hodgins WR Oregon State 3.100 NE - Curtis Weaver EDGE Boise State 3.101 SEA - Amik Robertson CB Louisiana Tech 3.102 PIT - Hakeem Adeniji OL Kansas 3.103 PHI - Jordyn Brooks LB Texas Tech 3.104 LAR - Logan Wilson LB Wyoming 3.105 ATL via MIN - Markus Bailey LB Purdue 3.106 BAL - Ben Bartch OL St. John's MN
Clemson features the best defensive line in the country this season, and most pundits pegged that outcome preseason. The Tigers lead the nation in sacks (52) and rushing yards per carry allowed (2.4). Clemson then won four more in a row, but lost to rival South Carolina for the fifth time in a row. The Tigers then finished on a high note, with an Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State, ending up 11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS. Dabo's boys are now 32-8 SU, 24-16 ATS over the last three seasons. This year Clemson has to replace 10 starters from last year. Clemson will play host to Auburn at 7:00 EST on Saturday, September 9, at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. It will be televised nationally on ESPN. Oddsmakers have made Clemson 6-point favorites. However, initial betting has favored Auburn after Clemson originally opened as 8-point home favorites. College football best bets, Week 12: Betting lines, score predictions for Georgia vs. Auburn, Oklahoma vs. Baylor, 19 other games Updated Nov 15, 2019; Posted Nov 15, 2019 LSU vs. Clemson spread, odds, line: Predictions, picks and props for national championship 2020 There's nothing left to do but #TrustTheProcess one last time for the 2019-20 college football season
Clemson vs. Ohio State, Oklahoma vs. LSU analyzing betting odds The Daily Line NBC Sports
The College Football Playoff starts this weekend, and the Wizard of Odds himself Kenny White joins the Daily Line to take a look at the matchups. #NBCSports #TheDailyLine #CollegeFootballPlayoff ... Alabama Crimson Tide vs Clemson Tigers Picks, Predictions and Odds for College Football Playoffs Matchup: Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV host Ralph Michaels @CalSportsLV, Marco D’Angelo ... Alabama Crimson Tide vs Clemson Tigers Predictions, Picks and Odds for their National Championship showdown on January 7, 2019, from Levi's Stadium. Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com, TV host ... Projecting Betting lines for Auburn vs Georgia Vernon SpeaksSports-Auburn. ... Can Auburn be considered ... January 13, 2020 - CFP National Championship Game - #3 Clemson vs #1 LSU - Duration: 3 ... Drew & Big Man bring you a live update on their college football picks and use their handicapping skills to preview the late games on Saturday NCAAF action. They will cover Clemson v Miami, Ohio ...