Five non first-round picks who will be NFL stars

Every NFL Draft season, there tends to be a thought among fans that only first-round players will be NFL stars. Every single year, that thought gets proven wrong. Some of the most recognizable names to not be drafted in the first-round of previous drafts are QB Russell Wilson, CB Richard Sherman and WR Antonio Brown.

NFL Stars
Stanford vs. UC Davis 2018” by Daniel Hartwig is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The 2019 NFL Draft likely won’t be any different, as several players who weren’t drafted in the first-round will emerge as NFL stars. After looking over the results of the NFL Draft, I compiled a short list of players who weren’t drafted in the first-round who I believe will be NFL stars.

 

WR J.J. Arcega Whiteside, Philadelphia Eagles (Round 2, No. 57 overall)

Standing at 6’3″, 225 lbs, J.J. Arcega Whiteside has the build of an elite red zone threat. His build is similar to that of his new teammate, Alshon Jeffrey. Arcega Whiteside proved his red zone presence by recording 14 TDs in his final season at Stanford. He recorded a total of 28 TDs over his three college seasons.

Arcega Whiteside only had one season of 1,000+ receiving yards at Stanford, but he improved every year he was there. I believe that makes him a perfect fit for the Eagles. It may take a little while for Arcega Whiteside to be among NFL stars, but he’s in the perfect situation to have time to develop.

WR Alshon Jeffrey and TE Zach Ertz will be huge red zone threats to every defense they play. While they’ll be getting all the attention, Arcega Whiteside will be seeing single coverage on less talented DBs. He can play that role until Alshon Jeffrey eventually moves on, whenever that may be. When Jeffrey does leave the Eagles, they will be able to easily replace him with Arcega Whiteside. J.J. Arcega Whiteside may not have the best stats over his first few seasons, but when he gets the chance to play a greater role, I believe he’ll put up huge numbers.

 

S Juan Thornhill, Kansas City Chiefs (Round 2, No. 63 overall)

What’s one of the most important things for a defense to do in today’s NFL? Get takeaways. What does Juan Thornhill do best? Getting takeaways. In three seasons as a starter at Virginia, Thornhill recorded 13 INTs. Six of those INTs came in his final season, proving he’s continuing to become a ball hawk in the secondary.

Thornhill will instantly provide the Chiefs’ secondary with something they desperately lacked last season. The secondary for the Chiefs gave up a lot of yards and points last season, which was their downfall in the biggest moments. Juan Thornhill won’t fix all their problems in the secondary, but he will provide an instant boost.

With Patrick Mahomes on the other side, the Chiefs’ defense has to find ways to get him on the field as much as possible. Thornhill and his ability to take the ball away will do just that for the Chiefs, making him one of the next NFL stars.

 

WR D.K. Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks (Round 2, No. 64 overall)

Does anyone else remember D.K. Metcalf, the shredded 6’3″, 228 lbs WR who ran a 4.33 40 yard dash, put up 27 bench reps, had a 40.5 inch vertical and a 134 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine? Yeah, I thought so. Metcalf was widely considered a first-round talent, at least we thought.

The Seahawks got their star WR of the future when he fell to them at No. 64 in the second-round. Metcalf never really had great production at Ole Miss, but he’s also never had a QB like Russell Wilson. Metcalf has the ability to be Wilson’s go to guy. It might take a little bit of time, but he’s got the talent to do it.

Russell Wilson has the ability to place the ball in the perfect spot, while Metcalf has the ability to blow past and jump over defenders. He’s also stronger than probably any WR in the NFL right now. Metcalf needs to work on his fluidness and route running, but that will come in time. The Seahawks have their star WR of the future.

 

RB David Montgomery, Chicago Bears (Round 3, No. 73 overall)

I loved this select by the Bears in the third-round. Montgomery is a big RB who can be effective as both a runner and receiver. In three seasons at Iowa State, Montgomery recorded 2,925 rushing yards. He went over 1,000 rushing yards in each of his last two seasons. In addition to those two seasons of 1,000+ rushing yards, Montgomery record 10+ TDs in both those seasons.

Montgomery recorded 71 receptions for 582 yards during his three seasons, proving he can impact the game in multiple ways. Now he steps in to a Chicago team who needed to get better at running the ball. Montgomery will step in as the starter right away, and will play a big role in leading the Bears’ offense.

How many times in recent history have we seen a rookie RB lead the league in rushing yards? I’m going to go out on a limb and say David Montgomery has a legit chance at being the next rookie RB to do so.

 

EDGE Jaylon Ferguson, Baltimore Ravens (Round 3, No. 85 overall)

There was a time when Jaylon Ferguson was mocked in the first-round of the NFL Draft. Unfortunately for him, he fell to the third-round because of poor workouts during the pre-draft process. While that may have been unfortunate for him, it was fortunate for the Baltimore Ravens.

Jaylon Ferguson holds College Football’s all-time record for sacks (45). Yes, he played against lesser competition while at Louisiana Tech, but I don’t care. If you can get sacks, you can get sacks. Jaylon Ferguson can get sacks. He may not become the NFL’s all-time leading sack artist, but he will be a guy who can consistently get after the QB.

I think Ferguson landed in the perfect spot in Baltimore. He feels like a player who belongs on the Baltimore defense. He fell because of poor workouts, and now the all-time leading sack artist in College Football gets his chance to prove everyone wrong.

 

NFL Draft review: Green Bay Packers

The 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone. As a die hard fan of the draft, I’m now left with a void until next draft season when I can feel this excitement all over again. Time to start prepping for the 2020 Draft, I guess.

Packers
NFL Draft, Chicago 2016” by swimfinfan from Chicago is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

All kidding aside, let’s talk about the Green Bay Packers. The Packers came in to the draft with 10 picks and left with eight, trading up nine spots in the first round while losing both fourth rounders. On paper – like every team in the NFL likes to believe after making their selections – the Packers added talent. They filled some needs and added some depth. It’s the recipe of a good draft. It now becomes a matter of did they hit on their draft picks, or are these just promising names on paper?

Let’s take a look at the Packers’ draft picks. I’ll give what I like about each pick, what I don’t like about each, and a grade for each pick. Enjoy.

 

ROUND 1, PICK 12

  • Rashan Gary – LB/DL – Michigan – 6-4/277 LB

What I like: Gary is an athletic freak based upon his combine numbers, and the Packers need athleticism on defense. The Packers get a near 280-pound human who can run as fast as many NFL receivers. A Packers scout made an interesting point that in studying film, Gary was double and triple teamed a lot during his time at Michigan, so having better players around him should help alleviate those double teams. The Packers get another pass rusher, and Gary could fill the Julius Peppers role the Packers had a few years back. Gary likely made players around him at Michigan better just by his presence on the field.

What I don’t like: Gary’s lack of production in college. Was it a result of the aforementioned double and triple teams? Maybe. Or maybe he’s just overrated. Also, speculation of a labrum tear in his shoulder. Gary claims he’s fine, but so did Shaq Lawson from the Buffalo Bills before he was selected in the first round of the 2016 draft. Same injury as Gary, and Lawson required surgery just a month after being drafted. Something to monitor. And taking him 12th? I really hope the Packers knew what they were doing here, especially since Clemson DL Christian Wilkins – who I was way higher on than Gary – was taken on the very next pick.

Summary: Where will Gary play? Will he be a stand-up rush linebacker? Or will he play with his hand in the dirt? I am hoping Gary isn’t a “project” for the coaching staff. I’m also hoping the lack of production is a result of seeing a lot of attention from opposing offenses focused on stopping him. All I know is, all this hoping I’m doing is starting to scare me. Prove me wrong, Rashan.

GRADE: D+

 

ROUND 1, PICK 21 (TRADE UP FROM 30)

  • Darnell Savage, Jr. – S – Maryland – 5-11/198 LB

What I like: I’ve been high on Savage during the entire pre-draft process. I mocked him to Green Bay in the 4th round of my first mock, and at pick 30 in my final mock. Savage was flying up boards in the weeks leading up to the draft, separating himself in a weak safety class. Savage is extremely fast and athletic, had seven INTs over the past two seasons, and can play all over the field. HC Matt LaFleur described him as “an eliminator.” He has production and played in a conference known for playing defense.

What I don’t like: There isn’t really a whole lot I don’t like about Savage as a player or the pick itself, but if there was anything, it would be losing both fourth round picks to move up to get him. There’s a chance he would have been there at 30, but sources said the Ravens at pick 22 and the Colts at pick 26 were high on Savage. I can’t really be mad at the selection, since it filled a need and Savage was the highest rated at his position.

Summary: Savage should step in and start immediately. Paired alongside free agent signee Adrian Amos in the secondary, I believe the Packers have solidified their safety position for the next four years.

GRADE: A-

 

ROUND 2, PICK 44

  • Elgton Jenkins – C – Mississippi State – 6-4/310 LB

What I like: Jenkins fills a need for a high-quality offensive lineman in the Packers’ rotation. Jenkins will compete for a starting spot at one of the guard positions and will likely be a starter in week one. Jenkins only allowed 19 QB pressures over the last three seasons and is a paver in the run game. Can play all three interior line positions. A safe and solid pick.

What I don’t like: As a selfish fan, I was hoping for something a little more…sexy. There were some big name skill players still on the board here, and I thought Green Bay would go that route. Not disappointed by the pick, but the selfish part of me wanted something more exciting.

Summary: Elgton (pronounced “Elton”) will be a mainstay on the Green Bay line for the next eight seasons. He played in the highly competitive SEC and didn’t allow many of the high-powered pass rushers in the conference to get to his QB. With Aaron Rodgers under center, Jenkins is exactly the kind of guy you need up front protecting the face of the franchise.

GRADE: B+

 

ROUND 3, PICK 75

  • Jace Sternberger – TE – Texas A&M – 6-4/251 LB

What I like: Sternberger was an All-American at the tight end position last season, putting up a 48-832-10 (17.3 avg) stat line; the production is there. Picking Sternberger in the third gives the Packers a player who doesn’t have the pressure of having to be “the guy” immediately at tight end, where Sternberger can learn behind veterans Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis. He’s a good route runner and should be a very good match-up tight end in LaFleur’s offense. The pick was a perfect union of value and need, as Sternberger was expected to go somewhere in this area of the draft.

What I don’t like: Sternberger needs work on his run blocking, but like I mentioned above, he doesn’t have to step in immediately and can ease into the position. He’s a bit slow, but makes up for it in precise route running. Again, the selfish fan in me would have liked one of the more complete Iowa tight ends, but you can’t get everything you want. I was really hoping Memphis running back Darrell Henderson fell here, but he was swooped up five picks earlier after the Rams traded up to snag him.

Summary: A very solid pick in terms of value and need, Sternberger could have a lengthy career in Green Bay. Green Bay had visited with Sternberger twice pre-draft, so they were obviously pretty high on the kid. If he works on his run blocking, he already has above-average receiving skills and could morph into a top-tier tight end in the NFL.

GRADE: B+

 

ROUND 5, PICK 150

  • Kingsley Keke – DT – Texas A&M – 6-3/288 LB

What I like: Keke provides another big body on the defensive line. Keke led the Aggies with seven sacks in 2018. Projected to go in the third or fourth rounds, getting him midway through the fifth was a great value. Keke – like the two earlier defensive picks – provides the Pack with a highly athletic defensive player. Keke ran a sub-5.00 40 (4.95), which for 288 pounds is pretty dang good. Keke should see snaps early on.

What I don’t like: Keke played defensive tackle at A&M, but looks to transition to end in the NFL. Learning new gap techniques and line positions could slow his growth. Another potential Packer “project.”

Summary: Drafting Keke and Gary likely signals this will be Mike Daniels’ last season in Green Bay, and likely that Muhammed Wilkerson will not be re-signed. Keke, Gary, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster, and Montravious Adams will all be under age 26 after next season, giving the Packers plenty of hope in the defensive trenches for the future.

GRADE: B-

 

ROUND 6, PICK 185

  • Ka’Dar Hollman – CB – Toledo – 6-0/190 LB

What I like: Following a trend for the draft, Hollman is crazy athletic for the CB position. Hollman tore up his pro day, running a 4.39 40 with a 38″ vertical and 6.81 three-cone. The forty time would have been fourth fastest, three-cone would have tied for fifth, and vertical would have been in the top-12. Projected as a fifth rounder, the value is there. I love that Hollman had 27 passes defended in three years as a starter and allowed just a 40% completion rate in 2018. Hollman received no scholarship offers out of high school and worked his way into a sixth round pick. I love a guy who plays with a chip on his shoulder and worked to get where he’s at.

What I don’t like: Two career interceptions. With all the passes defended, it’s surprising he didn’t have more. Also, Hollman will be a 25-year-old rookie. Not that that’s a terrible thing, but most rookies are finishing their first rookie contract at age 25. Also after using first and second round picks on three CBs over the previous two drafts, a bit surprising the Packers added another corner to the already crowded CB room.

Summary: Hollman has a knack for knocking down passes and finding the ball. If he can put together a nice camp over the summer and maybe pick off Aaron Rodgers a few times, his play could spell the end for Tramon Williams. His selection leads me to believe the Packers are looking for a back-up plan to the Kevin King experiment, which could be entering its final season.

GRADE: B 

 

ROUND 6, PICK 194

  • Dexter Williams – RB – Notre Dame – 5-11/212 LB

What I like: Williams has very few “miles” in terms of usage in college, with just 257 carries while at Notre Dame. He averaged 6.4 YPC over four years (6.3 as a senior) and had 22 career rushing touchdowns (12 as a senior). Has good size for the position and provides Green Bay with an above average replacement behind starters Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Plays faster than his 4.57 40 time. Was expected to go higher than sixth round, so getting him here is an extremely good value.

What I don’t like: Has an arrest (2016) and four-game suspension (2018) in his background, a possibly reason for falling to sixth round. Also, his small sample size. He was just a one-year starter, so can he handle a possible larger role in the NFL?

Summary: This may be my favorite pick. The Packers didn’t have a dire need at RB, but getting Williams is a superb value and insurance policy if Jones or Jamaal Williams get hurt. The Packers felt strongly enough to see past his earlier character issues and draft him. If you haven’t heard the story of Williams’ relationship with his ailing mother, take a minute to look that up – it’s one of the better feel-good stories from the draft. Williams should be an impact player for Green Bay when called upon.

Grade: A

 

ROUND 7, PICK 226

  • Ty Summers – LB – TCU – 6-1/241 LB

What I like: The Packers get a solid player to play on special teams and possibly compete for playing time at a thin position. Yet again, Summers is another athletic player drafted for the defense. The production is there too, as Summers had eight sacks over his final two collegiate seasons from the inside linebacker spot with 317 tackles over four years. With Blake Martinez the only sure-fire player in the middle, Summers is a solid need/depth pick. A good value in the seventh, too, as he was projected in the fifth.

What I don’t like: The Packers waiting until the seventh round to address the middle linebacker position. This isn’t a knock on Summers, because we don’t know what he’ll bring, but the Packers haven’t addressed a high pick on the middle in quite some time. I’ve read he’s not great in coverage, so being a liability in that department could limit him to a two-down role to start his career.

Summary: Summers should be an instant special-teamer due to his athleticism. Time will tell, but due to the lack of bodies at the inside position, Summers could get playing time by default. I just hope that doesn’t come back to haunt the Packers should Martinez get hurt and Summers is relegated to a larger role.

Grade: B-

 

Overall summary: 

Defense- One thing was obvious for the Packers in the 2019 draft: get faster and more athletic on the defensive side of the ball. They did just that while also filling valuable needs at safety and the front seven. With Mike Pettine entering his second year running the defense, the pressure to succeed is on as he’s loaded with plenty of young players at his disposal, from this year and previous drafts. The foundation is in place, now let’s see if the results translate.

Offense- The Packers filled two needs with Sternberger and Jenkins and got a luxury pick with Williams. All three were safe and solid, and each provided good value where they were selected. Gutenkunst felt comfortable with the receiver position by not selecting one this year after taking three in last year’s draft. In what is a loaded 2020 receiver class, maybe Gutey is waiting until next year to take one. It’s now on LaFleur to use what the offense already has and get the them back to elite status.

Overall draft grade: B+ After two drafts in the books, Gutekunst has done a very good job making the picks. I like this year’s version better than last, and time will tell which one produces; as Packer fans, hopefully they both do. All-in-all, a very solid 2019 class.

 

 

Fourth Quarter Sports’ final 2019 NFL mock draft

Tomorrow is officially the biggest day in the NFL offseason. It’s draft day baby! It’s time of the year we finally get to see just what our favorite teams are planning on doing for the 2020 season! The internet has been flooded with mock drafts and opinions on who is taking who from fans and experts alike. Here at Fourth Quarter Sports, we wanted to join the party!

With most of the smoke screen’s up, and all the rumors out there, Joel, RahimAli and myself put together our thoughts on tomorrow nights first round! Below you’ll find our picks for each team, along with a breakdown of some of our most notable picks.

 

Mock Draft breakdowns

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RahimAli

I think it’s obvious Kyler Murray will be the No. 1 overall pick at this point. It’s going to be amazing to see what new Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury can do with a talented quarterback like Murray. The question that remains is, what are they going to do with second-year quarterback Josh Rosen?

For the Niners, this pick makes perfect sense. They didn’t do as good as they had hoped for last year with the additions of Jimmy Garappolo and Jerrick McKinnon, but both of those guys got injured and missed the rest of the season. So the Niners should leave the offense alone for now, especially after drafting to protect their quarterback last year.

The Jets’ offense is still a question, but they did find ways to stay in games with the offense they did have, so let’s get them better on the defensive line. The Raiders, oh Raiders! We could honestly go anywhere with this first pick, but they have three picks in the first round thanks to the Amari Cooper to Dallas and Khalil Mack to Chicago trades. The fourth pick belongs to the Raiders, and with that pick, they will try to find their replacement for Khalil Mack in edge rusher, Josh Allen. The Raiders will then draft TE Noah Fant to replace the loss of Jared Cook to the Saints, and add RB Josh Jacobs to add more depth at a position they just couldn’t get a handle on over the past few years.

Now I know the pick for Dwayne Haskins may surprise you for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they could probably get their guy at 10, so they trade with the Denver Broncos. Let’s be honest, the Broncos are completely lost at QB and are looking for anything and everything that will get them back on the right side of things. They signed Case Keenum last year, and then traded him to Washington after trading for Joe Flacco, but Flacco isn’t the best option either. Tampa Bay is looking for a guy who could help them with the weak defense they had last year. That guy could be linebacker Devin White.

The New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are also two teams who could’ve used a QB with their pick, but it appears that neither one will get one. The Giants actually take wide receiver D.K. Metcalf to replace their loss of Odell Beckham Jr. They also did go with QB Daniel Jones in hopes that he could potentially take over for Eli Manning.

With Haskins and Metcalf already off the board, the Jaguars would settle for an offensive linemen to both protect newly acquired QB Nick Foles, and help the run game of RB Leonard Fournette. That offensive linemen is Jawaan Taylor, and he will be asked to do more earlier on the season, as they try to reclaim the division.

The Detroit Lions’ biggest struggle wasn’t on offense, but instead it was on defense. They could honestly use a lot of help in different areas, but we’ll have them take an EDGE like Rashan Gary.

The Buffalo Bills used free agency to help them improve themselves with the offensive weapons, and their defense is fairly decent, but they need to worry about one thing. That one thing is protecting second year QB Josh Allen, who will be one of the young bright stars in the league if he can stay healthy. Hopefully drafting an OT like Andre Dillard will help with that.

The Cincinnati Bengals are like the Lions in the fact that they need more than what they can get. Though the offense took a big hit with injuries to the QB, WR, TE and RB, all those guys are expected back ready and healthy, so the Bengals will focus on getting themselves an EDGE in Montez Sweat.

The Green Bay Packers are going to be a totally new looking team. They will have a new head coach and several different players. The one constant is QB Aaron Rodgers, and they will look to the draft to find him more offensive weapons. With the 12th pick, Green Bay will draft TE T.J. Hockenson as the future of Green Bay with the injuries and age of Jimmy Graham being in question. The late first round pick, 30th, will be a speedy receiver who will come in to take the place of Randall Cobb, who has moved on to Dallas.

The Miami Dolphins are most certainly looking for a QB in this draft, but don’t be surprised if they try to trade up to get Haskins or Murray. I think Drew Lock might be a better pick for how they like to run their offense. Let’s see how the Dolphins’ players around him can play though after being very inconsistent all of last season.

At 14, the Atlanta Falcons have their man. Okay, we all believe they should be trying to draft an OL to help protect QB Matt Ryan, but when one of the best defensive linemen falls to you, there’s no way you pass him up. Plus, the Falcons are known for going defense early in drafts, so that’s why Ed Olivier makes perfect season. Pairing him up with Grady Jarrett could be good for the Falcons, who struggled defensively last season.

Washington now has three different QB’s on the roster, and that’s why we can’t see them taking one in the first round. Whether it’s Colt McCoy, Case Keenum or Alex Smith who starts for the Redskins, they need to find a way to protect and keep them healthy, so the addition of an OT like Jonah Williams would help!

The Carolina Panthers offense wasn’t the problem at all, despite watching QB Cam Newton struggle to play through an injury all season. We aren’t focusing on the offense, because the defensive is the bigger priority. They too need an Edge rusher who can disrupt the opposing QBs, especially being in a division like the NFC South. That’s why Clelin Ferrell is the perfect pick here.

The Minnesota Vikings are one of those teams who are almost ready to get to the big game, they just need a few more pieces to help with that. Those pieces are on the offensive line, and an addition of Cody Ford could be a huge plus for the Vikings as they try to give Kirk Cousins more time to do what he does best.

The Tennessee Titans could go with many different positions here, but with an aging defensive line, it’s only fitting they go with a younger defensive linemen in Dexter Lawrence, as he hopes to lead the Titans in sacks and hopefully help them get back into the playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could go in any direction, but we know the offense will figure things out without having to worry about the drama of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, so we’ll leave the offense allow for now. Instead, let’s help them get better on defense with one of the best linebackers available in the draft, Devin Bush!

Had the Seattle Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson not agreed to a deal, this pick might have happened earlier, and with different people involved. Fortunately, it was a done deal this past week, and now the Seahawks can turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. There is always going to be the defensive first when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks and their draft picks. This year will be no different as they select DL Christian Wilkins.

The Baltimore Ravens pick is pretty obvious. They are going to go one of two ways with a receiver or a DB. Given the style of offense that the Ravens play with Lamar Jackson at QB, I am going to pass on them taking a wide receiver here. Instead, they will take safety Jonathan Abram to try to help feel the void that is left with Eric Weddle’s departure.

The Houston Texans have had some success with their offense and how things have been going for them! They will need to address the aging defense and having a young corner back like Greedy Williams could definitely help as they look to go even further.

The Philadelphia Eagles could also use the help at cornerback as they saw what Saints QB Drew Brees and WR Micheal Thomas did to them twice last season. An extra DB to help them cover the better receivers in the NFC could help them be a Super Bowl team again and I think Byron Murphy will be a good addition.

The Indianapolis Colts shocked the world last year the way they were able to make the playoffs. The good thing about this pick is that they know what direction they want to go in, but it’s a matter of which one they want to draft.  After watching the young defense hold teams down, the offense led by QB Andrew Luck would turn it up. They need to get him more weapons though and that’s where this pick comes in at. Marquise Brown will be a nice complimentary piece to the weapons like T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Marlon Mack.

For the Chargers, it’s a pick that will help add a few more years onto QB Philip Rivers playing career. That pick is offensive guard Chris Lindstrom.

Had it been the Kansas City Chiefs pick , they would’ve taken a receiver because we know how important it is to have somebody who can catch the ball deep for the arm of QB Patrick Mahomes. It’s also a security blanket for if anything does go wrong with the investigation of WR Tyreke Hill. That’s why A.J. Brown would be a nice addition to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Los Angeles Rams are probably the most stacked team on the defensive side of the ball and they don’t really need to go out and draft much, but they will need to think about the future of their offensive line and QB and that’s why this pick to grab Garrett Bradbury makes perfect sense. It will allow him a year or so to develop into one of the young offensive players.

But now it’s the pick that everyone is always interested in. That pick is the pick of the Super Bowl winning champions, New England Patriots. It’s a tough decision because you want to see them go for a tight end, but with both Hornsenon and Fant have already gone off the board this late, we could see the Patriots find a steal in a player like Brian Burns who has fallen in the draft because of other positions on the offensive side that needed to be addressed. So why not take advantage of another man’s treasure.

 

jac.fbc.vsColorado.09.17.16.0505” by Maize & Blue Nation is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Dennis

This draft is a polar opposite from last years draft. The year before was loaded with quarterbacks and offensive weapons while this one is loaded on the defensive side of the ball. All positions have crazy first round depth and all can be major play makers for their respected teams.

Arizona fans will see yet another quarterback took in the first round this year, this time a Heisman Trophy winner in the name of Kyler Murray. Murray going here is not that much of a surprise. The only question left is where Josh Rosen is going to go and how much are the Cardinals going to get for him.

I think the biggest surprise in the top ten is going to be TJ Hockenson, Tight End from Iowa going as high as eight to the Detriot Lions. Matt Patricia is a protege of Bill Belichick and I think he is going to try and model his offense around the great one. Though I think it is a stretch for a Tight End, but he is versatile and I think used well could produce for the Lions.

Another surprise to round out the top ten will be Drew Lock going to the Broncos. Rumors have it that Elway is in love with the quarterback out of Missouri and I think we can all say that Joe Flacco isn’t the long term answer for them. Expect them to sit Lock behind Flacco, learn a little and take over as early as this season.

A pick that I really love is Marquise Brown, a wide receiver from Oklahoma going to the Redskins at fifteen. The Skins have not seen a great receiver since the days of Art Monk running routes. With Derrius Guice getting healthy alongside Alex Smith and newly acquired Case Keenum, I think this is a great opportunity for them to add more weapons for the future.

RaShan Gary once considered a top ten pick, drops in the laps of Pittsburgh at twenty. I am a Michigan fan and I will be the first to say that Gary is highly overrated. Never produced the numbers many in Ann Arbor expected from a top recruit in the nation. Really is a workout warrior and I think tape really shows that. An environment like Pittsburgh could change that though.

At twenty-two, I think the Raven’s will go with EDGE rusher Brian Burns. To me, this is a typical pick for the Ravens who lost half their defense to free agency this year. Needing to replace the likes of Suggs and Preston Smith, Baltimore is going to need rebuild in that area. Burns will play a pivotal part in that process.

At twenty-four and twenty-seven, the Raiders add to their offense with weapons like RB Josh Jacobs from Alabama and TE Noah Fant from Iowa. The second TE took from Iowa, Fant will replace the missed Jared cook in the Silver and Black. A better pass catcher than a blocker, Fant will provide a safety blanket for Carr. With the news of Marshawn Lynch retiring, Oakland now has a need at running back and Jacobs is the best option. Built like a tank Jacobs was the best runner in the three-headed monster that formed the Bama backfield. He is also the best pass catcher the Tide had to offer as well.

All in all, I feel there will not be many shockers in this first round. I will say though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints trade up into the first round to take one of the premier defensive players this draft has produced.

 

Devin White, SELU vs LSU at Tiger Stadium, September 8th 2018” by Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
Joel

Despite the rumors we’ve heard about Kyler Murray not going No. 1 overall to the Cardinals, I still believe he’s going there. If he goes number one, Nick Bosa is a sure fire second pick. The next few picks of Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen coming off the board are pretty standard compared to most mock draft’s I’ve seen.

The biggest variation between the three of us starts at pick five, where I have the Bucs taking OT Jawaan Taylor. I believe the Bucs need to get better along the offensive line if Jameis Winston is actually going to be what he was drafted to be. The back and forth rumors of the Giants taking or not taking Dwayne Haskins at six hasn’t swayed my pick. I believe that’s where the Giants should go. At pick seven, the Jags need to get Foles a big target, which is why D.K. Metcalf comes off the board there.

Now let’s skip down a bit to where the Titans pick. You’ll notice I have them taking Rashan Gary. If you’ve seen a lot of mock drafts, you probably haven’t seen many where Gary is out of the top 10, if not the top five. I believe Gary will fall because he doesn’t stick out to me as being on the same level as the guys who are slated to go above him.

Another interesting pick I have comes right after the Titans. I have the Steelers selecting Antonio Brown’s cousin, Marquise Brown. I think a lot of people want to see that happen, mostly for the drama it will cause, although that’s a reason why it may not happen.

I think the last really interesting pick I have in the first-round would have to be QB Daniel Jones going to the Chargers. Jones will become the next franchise QB for the Chargers. He’ll sit behind Rivers for a year or two, and then take over the starting role after watching and learning from a great QB.

Frank Clark trade

Frank Clark trade: Grades for the Chiefs and Seahawks

Frank Clark has been traded to the Chiefs! How will this impact both teams? Find out our grades for both teams involved in the Frank Clark trade!

Frank Clark trade
IMG_722” by M I K E M O R R I S is licensed under CC BY 2.0

After being franchised tagged by the Seattle Seahawks, it became quite clear Frank Clark was likely not signing the one year deal. He wanted to be paid like an elite pass rusher, but the Seahawks didn’t want to go that high on price, especially after just breaking the bank for QB Russell Wilson.

After no progress had been made on a deal to sign Frank Clark long term, the Seahawks have decided to send their star pass rusher elsewhere, facilitating a Frank Clark trade with the Kansas City Chiefs.

I’m going to give each team a grade for this trade which shakes up the NFL Draft, but first, let’s take a look at what each team received.

 

Trade Recap:

Seahawks receive: Chiefs’ 2019 first-round pick (No. 29), a 2020 second-round pick and a swap of a 2019 third-round pick.

Chiefs receive: DE Frank Clark and a swap of a 2019 third-round pick.

No that we’ve recapped what each team received in this trade, let’s get into some team grades for the Frank Clark trade.

 

Seattle Seahawks

In my opinion, the Frank Clark trade makes perfect sense for the Seahawks. Frank Clark was franchised tagged earlier this offseason, but the two sides had yet to come to an agreement to keep him around long term. The Dallas Cowboys signing DE DeMarcus Lawrence to a huge contract not too long ago probably had something to do with that.

Clark wanted to be paid about the same amount of money Lawrence received from the Cowboys. I think it’s safe to say the Seahawks didn’t see him as that type of player. After earning 13.0 sacks last season, it’s clear Clark can make a huge impact on a defense. It will be tough for Seattle to replace his production, but they now have the draft capital to replace him with production at a much cheaper cost.

In return for Frank Clark, the Seahawks receive the No. 29 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. They also get a second-round pick next year, in addition to swapping a third-rounder with the Chiefs this year. Getting that second-round pick in 2020 was nice, but let’s focus on the first-round pick this season.

Seattle already held the No. 21 pick in this draft, meaning they have two first-rounders now. The No. 29 pick was a huge get for this team, especially considering they don’t have a second-round pick and only had four picks total in this draft before the trade.

Now having two first-rounders, if the Seahawks wish to do so, they can trade up in this draft to get an elite player of their choosing. Or, if they choose to do so, they can stay put at No. 21 and No. 29 and select two top players in this draft.

To recap, losing Frank Clark hurts, but he’s not the type of player who makes this Seattle defense significantly worse if he’s not around. He wasn’t worth the money for the Seahawks. Instead, they can now focus their draft on filling some needs with cheaper players who can be just as impactful. The Frank Clark trade was a smart move by Seattle.

Grade: A

 

Kansas City Chiefs

I was just telling you about how it was a smart move for the Seahawks to not pay Frank Clark DeMarcus Lawrence type money. Well, the Chiefs did give him that money.

After trading for Clark, the Chiefs signed him to a five year, $105.5 million deal with $63.5 million in guaranteed money. His contract is larger than Lawrence’s overall, but with slightly less guaranteed. I personally don’t think Clark is on the same level as Lawrence, so I’m not a huge fan of this signing.

It’s not just about giving that contract to Clark though. It’s also about the salary cap. Before this trade, the Chiefs had $21.9 million in cap space. With this signing, most of, if not all of that cap space will be gone. That will only create problems for them in the future.

Although I’m not a huge fan of the deal the Chiefs gave Clark, I do think the Chiefs got a great player. He’s totaled 35.0 sacks in his first four NFL seasons. He’s been very productive rushing the passer, and should only help this Chiefs’ defense, especially after the movement they’ve had on that side of the ball this offseason.

In terms of the picks the Chiefs gave up, I think it may have been a little too much. Had they given up just a first-rounder, I think that would’ve been perfect. I believe the first-rounder and second-rounder next year were too much. With that being said, I do like that the Chiefs went and got a proven NFL pass rusher. That’s better than reaching for a guy at No. 29 who may or may not turn out to be a good NFL player.

To recap the Chiefs’ end of the Frank Clark trade, I love the player they got. Frank Clark is a legit NFL pass rusher. I think that’s better than reaching for a guy who may not pan out. The Chiefs got a great player, but I believe they gave up too much for him. They did that while paying him a crazy contract. Good move to get a talented player, but was it the best business decision?

Grade: C

Green Bay Packers

Seven-round Green Bay Packers mock draft: 1.0

With the NFL Draft happening at the end of next month, I’ll begin a series of mock drafts focused on the Green Bay Packers.

Even after being very active at the beginning of the free agency period, the Green Bay Packers still have needs. With 10 picks in this years draft – including four picks in the top 75 – the Green Bay Packers have no excuses for not being able to acquire two or three players who should be able to contribute immediately.

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers huddle” by Mike Morbeck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I used Matt Miller’s big board from Bleacher Report of overall player rankings, as well as a mock draft generator, with available players coming off the board via automatic algorithm. I then picked from the pool of remaining players and took who I would take. This is the format I’ll use for all upcoming mocks.

Without further adieu, here is my Packer mock draft: 1.0.

 

ROUND 1, PICK 12

  • T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Hockenson is the most complete tight end in the draft, and I believe will be as good as – if not better than – San Francisco’s George Kittle. He provides Aaron Rodgers with a sure-handed weapon in the passing game, as well as a stout blocker in pass protection. Head coach Matt LaFleur has made it clear he wants to run more two tight end sets and run the ball more, so Hockenson makes perfect sense here.

 

ROUND 1, PICK 30

  • A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Green Bay hasn’t selected an offensive skill player in the first round since taking Rodgers in 2005, but I have them taking two in this mock. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein describes Brown as a “slot bully” and an excellent route-runner, exactly what Green Bay needs. Brown could step into the slot role immediately and provide Rodgers with a sure-handed beastly safety blanket underneath, forcing defenses to shift focus away from Davante Adams. Brown would thrive in Green Bay.

 

ROUND 2, PICK 44

  • Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Even though Green Bay signed safety Adrian Amos in free agency, the position still needs help. Abram was a stud for the Bulldogs, leading the team with 99 tackles and also contributing three sacks and two interceptions. Abram plays like an extra linebacker on the field and has the speed to play sideline-to-sideline. Based upon scouting reports, to me Abram sounds like a lesser-known version of Chargers all-pro safety Derwin James.

 

ROUND 3, PICK 75

  • Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

A running back in the third round may seem like a reach, but Aaron Jones has had multiple injuries in his career. Jamaal Williams is an above-average back-up to Jones, but if Jones were to go down, it’s Williams and that’s pretty much it. Henderson might be the best kept secret in the draft and would provide Green Bay a shiny new toy at running back. At 5’8″, 208 lbs, he looks like a combo of Tarik Cohen (elusiveness) and Kareem Hunt (receiving ability) on tape. He had 2204 yards on 223 touches (9.5 avg) for 25 TD in 2018 – explosive. Put him in the stable with Jones and Williams, and the Green Bay Packers are scary at RB.

 

ROUND 4, PICK 114

  • Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland

Another safety? Well, the position needs help. Like Abram, Savage is a hybrid-type safety and can be used in multiple roles. Savage excels in the ‘ball-skills’ department, as scouting reports highlight his ‘sticky coverage skills’ and ‘ability to close on throws from all areas of the field.’ Play-makers and speed on defense are what the Packers need, and Savage fits the bill.

 

ROUND 4, PICK 118

  • Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin

After signing OL Billy Turner in free agency, the Packers have the luxury of waiting until the middle rounds to beef up the o-line. Enter Deiter. Deiter primarily played guard at run-heavy Wisconsin, where they always have success running the ball. He projects on the interior in the NFL, but started 14 games at left tackle in 2017 for Wisconsin, meaning he could be a successor to Bryan Bulaga on the right side in 2020. He could likely start if needed, but will have the luxury of slowly learning the nuances of the NFL as a back-up.

 

ROUND 5, PICK 150

  • Dru Samia, OL, Oklahoma

Samia played on a very talented offensive line at Oklahoma and was named second-team All-American for his play in 2018. Samia didn’t allow a sack in 14 starts at guard in 2018, and only allowed five sacks on 1,675 pass-blocking snaps across a four-year career. Wow. Protecting Aaron Rodgers is a priority, and Samia has proven he can pass block. Samia could be a steal in the fifth round and prides himself on his self-proclaimed nastiness on the field.

 

ROUND 6, PICK 185

  • Renell Wren, DL, Arizona State

Wren is raw, just becoming a full-time starter in his senior year in 2018. He has phenomenal size (6’5″, 318 lb) and athleticism for a defensive end. He showed that to scouts at the Combine (5.01 forty, 30 bench reps, 32″ vert). Wren doesn’t have eye-popping college stats, but would add an intriguing piece to an already talented defensive line. Mike Daniels is entering his free agency year, so depth is necessary in case he leaves after this season.

 

ROUND 6, PICK 194

  • Daylon Mack, DL, Texas A&M

Mack is a very big kid (6’1″, 336 lb) and would add another vital depth piece to the defensive line. Mack is similar in size and athleticism to B.J. Raji, who the Packers have struggled to replace since his abrupt retirement in March of 2016. Mack would give the Packers a legit run stuffer in the middle, as well as someone who occasionally gets to the QB (5.5 sacks in 2018).

 

ROUND 7, PICK 226

  • Trey Pipkins, OL, Sioux Falls

Pipkins finished third in the voting for the Gene Upshaw Award in 2018, given to the nation’s top D2 lineman. He was also named first-team D2 All-American by the Associated Press in 2018. Pipkins is a developmental tackle prospect, but has proven success against lesser competition. I’m intrigued by his size and length (6’6″, 309 lbs, 34″ arms). Definitely worth a shot in the later rounds.

 

Recap

To recap, LaFleur has made it clear he wants to run the ball more and win in the trenches. In my first mock, the Green Bay Packers take five lineman on either side of the ball. This team needs a newfound aggressiveness in the trenches if they want to have any success running the ball like LaFleur wants. Let’s hope they hit on draft picks from top to bottom in every facet of the team.

Mock draft 2.0 coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Odell Beckham Jr. trade

Grading the Odell Beckham Jr. trade

After going 0-16 just two seasons ago, the Cleveland Browns improved their record to 7-8-1 after several great moves in free agency and the NFL Draft. The Browns are looking to continue their improvement next season, as they just traded for Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. Like every time there’s a trade of this caliber, we have to grade the trade. Let’s give grades to both the Giants and Browns on the deal they got in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade.

Odell Beckham Jr. trade
“Odell Beckham Jr.” by Erik Drost is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I think the Browns won the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, but not by much. Both teams actually did pretty well. This trade is more of a win now move for the Browns, but for the Giants, it’s a move that will help them build for the future. Let’s take a look at my grades and break down what each team received.

 

Cleveland Browns: A

One of the biggest needs the Browns had this offseason, was getting a legit number one WR for their young QB, Baker Mayfield. Mayfield had Jarvis Landry, and while he’s a good WR, he’s not the number one guy teams are looking for. Odell Beckham Jr. is that guy. You can easily make the case that Odell Beckham is the best WR in the NFL.

His presence for this team almost completes this offense. Mayfield had a phenomenal rookie season, and will only get better. WR Antonio Callaway and RB Nick Chubb had solid rookie seasons. Cleveland signed RB Kareem Hunt this offseason, although he may not be around every game because of suspension issues. With a young core and established veterans in Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., this offense could be one of the best in the NFL next season.

Now let’s get into what the Browns gave up. The first thing that sticks out is the first-round pick. The Browns gave the 17th overall pick to the Giants. In addition to that, they gave up a third-round pick and DB Jabrill Peppers.

Just focusing on the picks, it may seem like a lot, especially when you consider what the Raiders got Antonio Brown for. However, if you think about it, there was a good chance the Browns would have drafted a WR with the 17th overall pick anyway. The Browns won the Odell Beckham Jr. trade because they got a WR who’s far better than any WR they could have drafted in this draft.

Jabrill Peppers is a young DB who’s shown promise, but I think Odell Beckham Jr. is a far better player. A talent like Odell Beckham Jr. is far better than a player like Jabrill Peppers, despite what side of the ball they play on.

 

New York Giants: B+

I’m not giving the Giants as high of a grade in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade, but I do think they still did really well.

One of the main reasons why the Giants get a B+ and not an A in this trade, is because they gave up one of, if not the best WR in the NFL. You never want to lose a talent like that. You can make the argument the Giants didn’t want to deal with Beckham’s drama anymore, which is valid, but are they better without him? The answer is no.

Remember when Odell Beckham was injured two seasons ago? Eli Manning was significantly worse. Just look at his stats. The entire offense struggled because he wasn’t there. I kinda feel sorry for RB Saquon Barkley, because now he’s the only threat on this offense. Teams no longer have to worry about Odell Beckham, so now they can focus just on stopping Barkley.

Where the Giants won this trade comes from the picks and getting DB Jabrill Peppers. After losing S Landon Collins to the Redskins, the Giants had to get someone to replace him. Peppers isn’t the same caliber of player Collins is, but he does give them someone with at least some experience who can play a nice role for this defense.

In addition to getting Jabrill Peppers, the Giants got the 17th overall pick and a third-round pick in the draft. Let’s focus on the first-rounder. Having the No. 6 pick and No. 17 pick, the Giants can now get two players at positions of need to build this team for the future.

Most people believe the Giants will go QB at No. 6, whether that be Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, Drew Lock or someone else. If they do go QB, they could then target a WR with the 17th pick. If they got both a QB and WR in the first-round, it’d give this offense a young QB and WR to grow together with their young star RB, Saquon Barkley.

Cleveland won this trade for the now, but the Giants received great compensation to build their team for the future.

 

Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft

2019 Post-Combine NFL mock draft

Last week, before the NFL Combine, I put out my first 2019 NFL mock draft. To take a look back at my Pre-Combine NFL mock draft, follow the link here. Now that the Combine is over, several players have changed their draft stock, meaning things will look a little different this time around. Who will your favorite NFL team select? Let’s take a look at my Post-Combine NFL mock draft! 

Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft
jac.fbc.vsColorado.09.17.16.0505” by Maize & Blue Nation is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Post-Combine NFL mock draft

1. Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Although Kyler Murray didn’t participate in any workouts during the NFL Combine, he came out as the consensus No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. The buzz around Murray being the first pick continues to grow stronger, so I think there’s a pretty good chance this happens. He’s a great fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. What does that mean for QB Josh Rosen? We’ll find out later in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft.

 

2. San Fransisco 49ers: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

If the Cardinals select Murray first, Bosa is going to be the pick here. Bosa is widely considered the best player in the draft, and with a strong workout at the NFL Combine, his draft stock was only solidified. After ranking 23rd in the NFL in sacks last season, it’s clear the 49ers could use an elite edge rusher. His brother Joey Bosa came into the league and made an immediate impact for the Chargers. Scouts are saying Nick is a better prospect, so the 49ers should expect him to come in right away and improve their pass rush.

3. New York Jets: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

I believe the Jets are more in need of an edge rusher, but Quinnen Williams is too good to pass on. With him and Leonard Williams on the inside, the Jets could have one of the best, if not the best pair of interior lineman in the NFL. With a lot of money to spend in free agency, the Jets could look there for an edge rusher. That would allow them to take the best player available, which would be Williams.

 

4. Oakland Raiders: DE Josh Allen, Kentucky

We all know the Raiders were historically bad at rushing the passer last season. That makes this selection easy. Josh Allen is the second best edge rusher in this draft, with Bosa being the first. Oakland’s number one priority has to be improving on their lowly 13 sacks from a season ago. Allen instantly upgrades that pass rush. Easy selection here.

 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan

There are several ways the Buccaneers could go here. I had them taking CB Greedy Williams last time around because of how bad their pass defense was last season, but I think they need to take the best player available. That player is Rashan Gary. The Bucs were 21st in the NFL in sacks last season, so Gary also fits a need for them, giving them a pass rusher with elite potential.

 

6. New York Giants: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

This pick remains the same for me. Dwayne Haskins is seen as the best QB in this draft by many. Even if the Giants do view Kyler Murray as the better QB, he’s off the board. I think Haskins is a better fit for the Giants anyway, as they’re used to having a pocket passer in Eli Manning. Haskins could sit and learn from Eli for a bit, and then take over mid season. Eli won’t last that long.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

If the Jaguars are getting Nick Foles, they’re going to need to give him weapons. Foles had a great connection with Alshon Jeffrey in Philadelphia. Jeffrey is a big receiver who can go up and get the ball, which Nick Foles absolutely loved. D.K. Metcalf is also a big receiver, but he’s a big receiver who’s as fast as anyone on the field. The Foles to Metcalf connection could be great for sometime. Metcalf made a big jump up in my Post-Combine NFL mock draft because of his great Combine performance. He’s likely a top 10 pick, and this is a great spot for him.

 

8. Detroit Lions: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Same position as last time for the Lions, but a different player in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. With the Lions likely moving on from Ziggy Ansah, they need a pass rusher to step in and fill his spot. Montez Sweat greatly helped himself at the NFL Combine, showing athleticism and speed. He showed everything teams want from their star pass rushers and significantly increased his stock.

 

9. Buffalo Bills: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida

I’ve still got Taylor to the Bills in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. He didn’t work out at the Combine, so his stock wasn’t helped or hurt. Many still view him as the best OT in this draft. There are many ways this team could go, but I believe they need to get Josh Allen protection if he’s going to reach his potential.

 

10. Denver Broncos: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

After hearing the Broncos acquired Joe Flacco, I thought there was no way the Broncos would take a QB this early. After more thought, I think it’s a real possibility. Joe Flacco can be a good bridge QB for the Broncos as they ease Drew Lock in slowly. Denver needs to find their next franchise QB, and Joe Flacco isn’t that. Lock didn’t have the greatest workout at the Combine, but he didn’t hurt his stock too much. He’s still the best QB on the board at this point.

 

11. Cincinnati Bengals: DT Ed Oliver, Houston

I had Drew Lock at this spot in my Pre-Combine draft, but with him off the board now, the Bengals go with the best available player in my Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Ed Oliver overcame a few concerns at the Combine, which has raised his stock back up a little. Oliver is the best player left on the board at this point, but I also think the Bengals could use another DT to help the middle of their defensive line, so it’s a great match.

 

12. Green Bay Packers: LB Devin White, LSU

With the possibility of losing Clay Matthews, the Packers should try to acquire the NFLs next great LB. That could be Devin White. Even if Matthews comes back, he’s not the same player he once was. Devin White is big, strong, quick, athletic, instinctive, and just about everything teams look for in a LB. It seems like every year now, some of the best players in the NFL are rookie LBs. Now it’s Devin White’s turn.

 

13. Miami Dolphins: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

I originally had QB Daniel Jones here, but I don’t think he goes this high after his Combine performance. Instead, the Dolphins will look to address one of their biggest needs in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Last season they had just 31 sacks, ranking 29th in the league. That needs to be better, and Clelin Ferrell can help with that. He’s an experienced and proven pass rusher who can help the Dolphins from day one.

 

14. Atlanta Falcons: CB Greedy Williams, LSU

Although Greedy Williams had a good Combine performance, I have moved him down a little in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft, but it’s not because of his talent. I just think the players ahead of Williams are considered to be the better players. Anyway, the Falcons had all sorts of problems on their defense last season. A lot of that was because of injury, but it was also because of underperformance. The secondary could use an upgrade, and Williams could step in nicely as not only their big CB, but their fast CB.

 

15. Washington Redskins: WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

Don’t get confused because I didn’t go QB here. I know the Redskins need a QB, but if the Cardinals are taking Kyler Murray first, I think Washington is a leading candidate to land Josh Rosen. If the Redskins land Rosen and still have their first-round pick, they need to get Rosen a legit receiving threat. A.J. Brown didn’t do as well at the Combine as D.K. Metcalf, but, did anyone? He still had a nice performance, proving he’s one of the top WRs in this draft.

 

16. Carolina Panthers: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama

The Carolina Panthers’ OL needs to be better. Period. Cam Newton has suffered through several bad offensive lines over the years, and this needs to be fixed. The beating Newton is taking is impacting him as a QB. Jonah Williams can help this line right away, giving Newton a lot more protection and helping him get back to his best form.

 

17. Cleveland Browns: CB Byron Murphy, Washington

CB may not be the biggest need for the Browns, but I absolutely love the pairing of Byron Murphy with Denzel Ward. Ward had a great season in his rookie year. Now he needs someone reliable across from him. Murphy is a good sized CB who may not be the fastest, but he’s a hard hitter who can also play well in coverage. With Ward and Murphy together, the Browns will greatly improve their defense.

 

18. Minnesota Vikings: C Garrett Bradbury, NC State

We all know the Vikings need to improve their offensive line. They could go with several different offensive lineman with this pick. I had Jonah Williams here before, but he’s not on the board in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Instead, the Vikings go with Garrett Bradbury, who had an impressive performance at the NFL Combine and secured himself a spot in the first-round. I also believe he’s a good fit here because he can play multiple OL spots. The Vikings can plug him where they need him and get better by doing so.

 

19. Tennessee Titans: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

At first I didn’t think the Titans would go TE, but I don’t think it can hurt to have multiple impactful TEs on a roster. Hockenson is the best TE in this class because of his ability to not only catch the ball, but block. He’s a well rounded player who knows how to play to his strengths. He will greatly help Marcus Mariota.

 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

I had Brown as my first WR off the board in my first draft, but his stock dropped a little bit in my Post-Combine NFL mock draft because of his injury and not working out at the Combine. Anyway, this would be an interesting pick, wouldn’t it? Picking the cousin of disgruntled Antonio Brown! Risky move, but I like what Brown brings to the table. He’d be a nice addition to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

 

21. Seattle Seahawks: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson

I’m sticking with Christian Wilkins here. I still believe the Seahawks need to upgrade the middle of their defensive line. Wilkins is the best interior defensive lineman left on the board in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft, making him the selection.

 

22. Baltimore Ravens: LB Devin Bush, Michigan

With CJ Mosley being a free agent, the Baltimore Ravens will need to find a replacement at LB if they don’t re-sign him. Devin Bush would be a great replacement. He may be a little undersized, but he’s a quick LB who plays sideline to sideline and just flat out makes plays. Losing Mosley would hurt this defense, but adding Bush would make it hurt a lot less.

 

23. Houston Texans:  OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma

I had Andre Dillard, another OT, in this spot before, but I think Cody Ford has put himself ahead of Dillard for now. Regardless of who they pick, the Texans have to address the offensive line, and must address it early. Deshaun Watson can’t be allowed to take so many sacks. I can only imagine how good their offense could have been had Watson not been sacked the most times out of any QB.

 

24. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago Bears): S Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State

LB Devin Bush was in this spot previously, but he’s taken in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Instead, the Raiders look to improve their secondary by taking the top S in the draft, Jonathan Abram. I think the Raiders could really use a guy like Abram on their defense, as he can not only play safety, but could step in at LB at times. He’s a versatile player this defense doesn’t have.

 

25. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama

I’m sticking with Josh Jacobs in this spot. Jacobs didn’t workout at the NFL Combine, but he still remains the draft’s best RB. As I said before, the Eagles don’t have a workhorse RB. They struggled to run the ball last season, and need to improve their run game for Carson Wentz to get back to his MVP form.

 

26. Indianapolis Colts: DE Brian Burns, Florida State

After Jachai Polite had a bad showing at the Combine, I’ve not only removed him from this spot, but from the first-round all together in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. However, I still have the Colts going with a DE. They need to get better pressure off the edge for this defense to get even better than it was. Brian Burns had a great showing at the Combine, elevating himself into the first-round.

 

27. Oakland Raiders (From Dallas Cowboys): TE Noah Fant, Iowa

After going defense with their first two picks, the Raiders look to improve their offense. TE Jared Cook is a free agent and may not return. If he’s gone, Noah Fant would be a good option to fill his spot. Fant is a quick, athletic TE who can easily run by people and make big plays. This offense lacked big plays last season, so Fant’s abilities to do so would be much welcomed.

 

28. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Daniel Jones, Duke

Daniel Jones dropped down the board after his Combine performance, but he’s still going in the first-round. This may be one of the best spots for Jones, as he would get to learn from Philip Rivers for a season or two before taking over as the starter. With a guy like Jones, I think it’d be best for him to sit and learn for a least a little bit, rather than being thrown in as a starter right away. Jones can learn, and the Chargers get their QB of the future. It’s a win for both sides.

 

29. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Deandre Baker, Georgia

Deandre Baker remains the pick at this spot for the Chiefs. Their secondary last season was one of the worst in the league, so this has been an easy choice for me so far. Deandre Baker can make an early impact on a secondary who struggled mightily a season ago.

 

30. Green Bay Packers (From New Orleans Saints): OT Andre Dillard, Washington State

One of the biggest issues the Packers have on offense is along the offensive line. I think G is their biggest need. Andre Dillard is an OT, but I don’t think he’d have any problem sliding inside to be a G. We’ve seen this done several times before, and I think Dillard could be the next candidate to make the switch while still being very impactful.

 

31. Los Angeles Rams: S Taylor Rapp, Washington

I had Jonathan Abram slotted here last time around, but he’s off the board this time. The Rams will still go with a S though, choosing Washington’s Taylor Rapp. Rapp is another versatile safety the Rams could use in a lot of different ways. With Lamarcus Joyner potentially not coming back, this pick would fill a need for the Rams, and I think, improve their defense as well.

 

32. New England Patriots: DE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech

Jaylson Ferguson is relatively unknown because he played for a smaller school, but his impact on the field was not small in any way. This guy set an NCAA record for sacks, totaling 45 during his college career. He may have played for a small school, but he knows how to rush the passer. Teams will shy away because he had a small character issue a few years back, but he’s been good since then. The Patriots don’t have a problem taking players with character issues anyway.

 

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Make sure to stay tuned for my next 2019 NFL Mock Draft, as it’s sure to be different next time around! NFL Free Agency is about to start, meaning several teams will fill positions of need and look elsewhere come NFL Draft time. 

2019 NFL Combine winners and losers

The 2019 NFL Combine is officially complete. With the Combine being over, it’s time to take a look back at the 2019 NFL Combine winners and losers.

2019 NFL Combine winners and losers
Devin White, SELU vs LSU at Tiger Stadium, September 8th 2018, Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer, Devin White, #40” by Tammy Anthony Baker is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

With so many great performances, and quite a few disappointing ones, we could list several 2019 NFL Combine winners and losers. However, we’ve narrowed down the list to just five 2019 NFL Combine winners and five losers. These lists contain the names of players who helped or hurt themselves the most as we inch closer to the 2019 NFL Draft.

 

2019 NFL Combine Winners

  • D.K. Metcalf

D.K. Metcalf lit up the NFL Combine! He measured in at 6’3″, 228 lbs. His measurements had everyone talking about him before he did anything. It wasn’t just his size that impressed scouts though, it was also his workouts. Metcalf ran a 4.33 40-yard dash. That’s incredible for a guy of his size! He also put up 27 reps on the bench. His agility drills weren’t the best, but his other workouts heavily outweighed those. Metcalf’s combine performance will likely have him as the first WR off the board in the upcoming NFL Draft. Among all the 2019 NFL Combine winners, Metcalf may have helped himself more than any other player.

  • Garrett Bradbury

Garrett Bradbury was already considered to be the best interior lineman in the NFL Draft, but he wasn’t a for sure first-round pick. After his combine performance, Bradbury secured himself a spot in the first-round. A 4.92 40 time as a 300+ pounder, 34 bench reps, etc. Bradbury excelled in every drill. There’s no question to as to whether or not Bradbury will be a first-round pick. He is a first-round pick.

  • Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray didn’t do any drills at the NFL Combine, but coming out as the heavy favorite to be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft makes him one of the biggest 2019 NFL Combine winners. His measurements helped scouts feel better about his size. He must have done well in his interviews. When you don’t do anything except get measured and talk to teams at the NFL Combine, being considered the number one pick is a huge win!

  • Montez Sweat

Montez Sweat was a top five ranked DE in many rankings before the NFL Combine, but his performance will likely move him up several draft boards. Sweat’s biggest accomplishment was running the 40 with a time of 4.41. That’s quite impressive for a guy who’s 6’6″, 260 lbs. While his speed was the highlight for him, Sweat also put up good numbers in pretty much every workout. I don’t think Sweat put himself in the same conversation with Nick Bosa or Josh Allen, but he did close the gap a little bit.

  • LBs named Devin (Devin Bush and Devin White)

Both Devin White and Devin Bush had great performances at the NFL Combine. Both guys were likely going to be first-round picks anyway, but their performances only secured their spots as the top two LBs in this draft. Devin Bush is a little undersized, but he showed great speed, movement and athleticism. His workout will help teams feel much better about his lack of ideal size. Devin White put up equally impressive numbers, which only reassured scouts of their assessment on him.

 

2019 NFL Combine winners and losers
GA VS LSU E101318” by Tammy Anthony Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

2019 NFL Combine Losers

  • DE Jachai Polite

Jachai Polite was heavily mocked as a first-round draft pick before the NFL Combine, but that’s likely not going to be the case now. He didn’t perform as expected in drills. He ran a 4.84 40 and had a 32 inch vertical. Not the worst numbers, but he was expected to do much better. He was dealing with an injury, so the low numbers have an excuse, but that’s not the only thing that hindered Polite. Polite didn’t perform great on the field, but he really lowered his stock in interviews. Several teams walked out of interviews unimpressed with Polite’s personality. He’s got some work to do during the rest of the draft process to elevate his stock once again.

  • RB Elijah Holyfield

Elijah Holyfield has been considered an underrated RB in this draft class. I haven’t seen him mocked in the first-round, but I have seen him as an under the radar second-rounder. After his combine performance, Holyfield may not be drafted as high as he’d like. One of the biggest ways for an RB to elevate their stock, is to run an impressive 40 time. Elijah Holyfield did exactly the opposite. On his first two attempts, Holyfield ran a 4.78 and 4.81 in the 40. He was one of the slowest RBs at the combine, and NFL teams aren’t looking for slow RBs.

  • WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey

Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Say it with me again. Lil’Jordan Humphrey. I’d draft this kid just because of his name! Not only does he have a cool name, but he’s got outstanding size for a WR. Humphrey stands 6’4″, 210 lbs. While Humphrey has great size and an awesome name, he proved at the NFL Combine he doesn’t have what NFL teams want in their WRs. Speed. Lil’Jordan Humphrey doesn’t have speed. Humphrey clocked a 4.75 40 time. QBs, TEs, defensive lineman, and just about every position had someone run faster than Humphrey. This will, and already has caused NFL teams to question his ability to separate.

  • CB Joejuan Williams

Joejuan Williams is a 6’4″, 211 lb CB. His size will help keep his draft stock up, but his chance of getting into the first-round may have been lost after he ran the 40. Williams ran a 4.64 40 time, which isn’t exactly what teams want to see from their CBs. Being 6’4″, it’s okay for Williams to run a slower 40 time. Richard Sherman ran a slow 40, and look how he turned out. However, Sherman was a fifth-round pick. Williams could have put himself in serious first-round consideration, but his slow 40 time probably cost him.

  • RB Devin Singletary

Devin Singletary has widely been considered a top five RB in this class. The small school RB needed to have a great combine to not only keep, but elevate his draft stock. Singletary didn’t do that. Singletary ran a 4.66 40, which was very surprising. I didn’t expect him to run any slower than 4.5. His slow 40 time will force teams to go back and take a look at his tape. Hopefully he can have a better pro day.