Texas A&M at Alabama Picks, Odds & Betting Lines - Sat 01
Alabama Crimson Tide at Texas A&M Aggies odds, picks and
Alabama-Texas A&M Betting Guide: Even With Inflated Line
Alabama opens as double-digit betting favorite over Texas A&M
Lost in the Sauce: Trump Tower inflated profits to obtain larger loan...again
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. TOMORROW: I’m going to post a keep_track look at issues involved in police brutality, prosecution of cops, protests, etc. Housekeeping:
HOW TO SUPPORT: I know we are all facing unprecedented financial hardships right now. If you are in the position to support my work, I have a patreon, venmo, and a paypal set up. No pressure though, I will keep posting these pieces no matter what.
NOTIFICATIONS: You can signup to receive notifications when these coronavirus-centric posts are done and/or the weekly political-legal posts (Lost in the Sauce) are done.
Trump announced Saturday he is postponing the annual G7 summit, which was due to be hosted in the U.S. in June, until September — and plans to invite four additional non-member nations including Russia. Boris Johnson responded by saying that he will veto any push by Trump to readmit Russia to the G7 gathering. The U.S. National Security Agency says the same Russian military hacking group that interfered in the 2016 presidential election has been exploiting a major email server program since last August or earlier. The NSA might have issued an advisory to publicize the IP addresses and a domain name used by the Russian military group, known as Sandworm, in its hacking campaign — in hopes of thwarting their use for other means. A Russian oligarch is reportedly backing an effort to smear Biden and states he is working with the Trump administration to leak additional damaging material… The oligarch, Oleksandr Onyshchenko, gave tapes of Biden on a phone call with then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to pro-Russia Ukrainian politician Andriy Derkach, who then leaked the tapes. The audio consisted of edited fragments of phone conversations from years ago when Biden joined other leaders in pressing for the ouster of Ukraine’s corrupt prosecutor general.
Derkach met with Rudy Giuliani last year. Onyshchenko worked with another Giuliani associate, Pavel Fuchs (also a co-developer of Trump’s Moscow Tower), to launder hundreds of millions in frozen Yanukovych assets bought from a Russian tycoon. Now, this same group of oligarchs tied to Trump and Giuliani are leaking tapes of unknown provenance to try to undermine a US political campaign.
Pro-Trump One America News Network wanted Onyshchenko to come to the US to help with Rudy's disinformation campaign. OAN tried to help him get a visa to travel to the U.S.
Giuliani is also trying to raise $10 million to finance the production of a Biden-Ukraine documentary that can be released this year. Giuliani and his partners have considered the possibility of drawing in investors from overseas, raising the possibility that Giuliani is (again) attempting to orchestrate foreign involvement in the current presidential election.
Last week, the DNI office released the transcripts of the December 2016 calls between former national security adviser Michael Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak… The transcripts confirm that Flynn lied to the FBI when he claimed that he had not discussed the sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration in response to Vladimir Putin’s attack on the 2016 election. The transcripts show Flynn encouraged the Russians to not retaliate severely, suggesting that when Trump took office things between Moscow and Washington could be smoothed over… At no point does Flynn castigate Kislyak for Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election. As the Obama administration was trying to impose a punishment on Putin for that attack, Flynn, on behalf of the Trump gang, was sending an utterly different message: We don’t care about that.
In fact, Flynn was signaling to Putin that once Trump took office, Trump wouldn’t be pursuing the matter and, instead, would be reaching out to Russia as a partner. (A few months later, Trump, in the Oval Office, would tell Kislyak that directly.)
Kisylak argued that the Obama administration sanctions were aimed at damaging the incoming Trump administration just as much as they were the Kremlin… “I just wanted to tell you that we found that these actions have targeted not only against Russia, but also against the president elect,” said Kislyak, adding that he hopes “within two weeks we will be able to start working in [a] more constructive way. Tidbit: Mueller’s team asked Trump a series of questions about Flynn's calls with Kislyak; the president simply ignored them. Tidbit: Flynn told Kislyak in December 2016 that "the boss" (Trump) was aware of Russia's request to have a secure teleconference between Trump and Putin.
The FBI's top lawyer Dana Boente was asked to resign on Friday following criticism by Fox News for his role in the investigation of Flynn… Two sources familiar with the decision to dismiss Boente said it came from high levels of the Justice Department rather than directly from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Before he moved to the FBI General Counsel job, Boente was the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia—the last US Attorney appointed by President Obama to leave office during the Trump era.
Trump’s given reason for firing the State Dept. Inspector General last month was proven to be a false pretense… Trump claimed he was fired for leaking to the media when, in fact, IG Steve Linick was cleared earlier this year by an independent investigation. Pompeo recommended Linick’s removal at a time when the office was investigating multiple instances of abuse of power by the Secretary of State. Members of three House and Senate committees will interview former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Wednesday, as part of an investigation into his abrupt firing. Linick will speak to members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Oversight and Reform Committee, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee behind closed-doors.
The committees also plan to call Brian Bulatao, undersecretary of State for management; Lisa Kenna, Pompeo's executive secretary; senior adviser Toni Porter; Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs R. Clarke Cooper; former Deputy Assistant Secretary Marik String, a legal adviser to the department; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Political-Military Affairs Mike Miller; and former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Charles Faulkner.
Mike Pompeo's CIA advisory board rankled agency veterans… As CIA director, Pompeo and his wife Susan organized an undisclosed board of outside advisers while he was director of CIA that some at the agency viewed as inappropriately weighted toward wealthy individuals and well-connected political figures. Op-Ed: Mike Pompeo Is the Worst Secretary of State Ever. The F.B.I. said a Saudi Air Force trainee who killed three U.S. sailors and wounded eight others at a Navy air base in Pensacola, Fla., on Dec. 6 was an act of foreign-planned “terrorism.” ...That sort of intelligence failure — the first foreign-planned terrorist attack on U.S. shores since 9/11 — is something you’d expect Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be particularly upset about… He just smirks and marches on. But every American should care. The morale and effectiveness of our State Department — and our standing in the world — are both the worse for him. Last week we learned that the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general exaggerated his credentials… Joseph Cuffari’s official government bio claims “Dr. Cuffari earned a Ph.D. in philosophy,” but new reporting revealed that his degree is from an unaccredited “diploma mill” that required no classroom instruction and issued degrees for low flat fees. Additionally, the Ph.D. is in management, not philosophy.
Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday about the origins of the Russia probe. "Mr. Rosenstein will testify about the new revelations contained in the Horowitz report concerning the FISA warrant applications and other matters," Chairman Lindsey Graham said in a statement. "This will be the first in a series of oversight hearings regarding all things Crossfire Hurricane and the Mueller investigation."
Reminder: After Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein begged for his job, reportedly trying to assure President Trump that he was on his team. “I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein[said on a call with Trump. “I can land the plane.”
Top Republicans are suing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over new proxy voting plans that will allow some members of the House to vote from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. The decision to allow proxy voting was approved by the House earlier this month, largely along party lines, and is only temporary. House Republican introduces bill to hold up members' pay if they vote by proxy… Rep. Ted Budd (R-N.C.), who is leading the effort, said: “Outsourcing the duty of a member of Congress is unconstitutional and wrong. House members should not be allowed to send someone else to do their jobs for them.” Last week, Trump unexpectedly withdrew his support from a FISA reauthorization bill, leading Republicans to abandon the proposal and the House to pull a vote on the legislation. However, as Rep. Justin Amash pointed out, in 2018 Trump himself signed into law the long-contentious spying authority he recently began railing against.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham urges senior judges to step aside before the November election so Republicans can fill vacancies… Graham said:
“This is a historic opportunity. We’ve put over 200 federal judges on the bench. … If you can get four more years, I mean, it would change the judiciary for several generations. So if you’re a circuit judge in your mid-60s, late 60s, you can take senior status, now would be a good time to do that, if you want to make sure the judiciary is right of center…”
Op-Ed: Should Trump lose, you can bet that the day after, McConnell will be on the phone to the White House Counsel’s Office demanding that they nominate someone for every vacant seat, ASAP. It won’t matter who — somebody’s neighbor, somebody’s nephew (there isn’t even a requirement that judges be lawyers) — so long as they’re committed conservatives, and as young as possible so they can serve for decades
Democratic lawmakers are scrutinizing one of President Donald Trump’s outside advisors and his multimillion-dollar “dark money” network for rigging the judicial nomination process… The Senate Democrats’ report details how an interlocked group of anonymous donors has been directing the judicial nominations process through media and lobbying campaigns. Leading this effort is allegedly Leonard Leo and his conservative organization, the Federalist Society. The Supreme Court late Friday rejected a California church’s challenge of the state’s new pandemic-related rules on worship services, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s liberals in the 5-to-4 vote… Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent falsely accused the state of religious discrimination in an extremely misleading opinion that omits the most important facts of the case. Roberts went out of his way to scold Kavanaugh’s dishonest vilification of the state.
DOJ memo offered to buy out immigration board members… The buyouts were only offered to Board of Immigration Appeals members hired before Trump took office. Critics view the move as an effort to push out the civil servants on the board and stack it with new hires who would align with the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration agenda. An immigrant woman sued a private prison company on Wednesday alleging she was raped inside an ICE detention center in Texas that resulted in her giving birth to her attacker's daughter. The woman, identified in the complaint as Jane Doe, was detained at the Houston Processing Center, operated by CoreCivic. The Trump administration is accelerating efforts to seize private property for Trump’s border wall, taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to survey land while its owners are confined indoors. However, landowners are largely fighting the effort in court. Since December, the administration has obtained only seven miles of land. Family separation returns under cover of the coronavirus… Citing the coronavirus to seal the border, the Trump administration is engaged in a pressure campaign against immigrant parents to get them to give up either their kids or their legal claims to protection in the U.S.
Trump Tower’s 2010 Profits Magically Grew By $3 Million In New Loan Filings. One set of reports listed the tower’s 2010 profits as $13.3 million; a second put them at $16.1 million. That helped the Trump Organization borrow $73 million more than it had before.
Last year, ProPublica revealed another set of income discrepancies at Trump Tower and other company-owned buildings, ones that seemed to hark to the testimony of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who testified that Trump would inflate income figures when seeking a loan and deflate the figures when filing taxes. Other Trump Organization properties investigated by ProPublica reported higher profits in the CMBS filings than they did in tax filings. A Trump Organization spokesperson said at the time that “comparing the various reports is comparing apples to oranges” because reporting requirements differ.
Trump Towers Istanbul partner lobbied the president and White House cabinet to sizably boost trade with Turkey in response to the novel coronavirus. Asked whether the president performed favors for a business associate, a senior White House official emphasized the longstanding trade relationship with Turkey, a NATO ally. Lawmakers urge Trump to cancel DC's July 4 event… "Given the current COVID-19 crisis, we believe such an event would needlessly risk the health and safety of thousands of Americans," the lawmakers wrote. "Further, this event would come at the cost of millions of taxpayer dollars while we are facing an unprecedented economic downturn due to the pandemic," they added. The Republican National Committee held its winter meeting in January at Trump’s struggling Doral golf resort, giving Trump more than half a million dollars from the RNC and 13 state GOP committees. The state Republican party committees of West Virginia, Texas, Connecticut, Minnesota, Iowa, North Carolina, Alabama, Colorado, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Georgia, and Wyoming all contributed to the massive tab. Trump’s Spent Nearly $20 Million on Lawyers to Carry Out His Political Vendettas… A large part of recent spending is aimed at curbing mail-in voting.
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.
2020 NFL Draft Review - Analysis and Career Predictions for Each Team's Draft Class - AFC East
If you missed the first three installments of this 2020 NFL Draft review series, you can read the NFC East, AFC North, and NFC North. 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. Nevertheless, this is a fun exercise and gives us a chance to review how each team approached the draft.
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 East.
New York Jets
The Jets came into the draft with well-defined needs at tackle, wide receiver, and as usual, edge rusher. They moved around a bit and still filled those needs with the No. 12, No. 24, and No. 53 ranked players on my board. This Jets draft class will undoubtedly be defined by two of the riskiest boom-or-bust prospects in the entire draft. Their first and second-round picks arguably have the highest ceilings at their respective positions but are both extremely raw. Mekhi Becton (4) was my top-ranked tackle in a good tackle class. His film shows inconsistent technique, somehow getting driven back into his quarterbacks' lap by bull rushes. Becton's size-to-athleticism ratio is folklore at this point, and he has the physical traits of the best tackle in the NFL. One of my notes: "you have to teach him everything." Jets offensive line coach Frank Pollack has his work cut out for him, but Becton will be a dream to coach if he's willing to put in the work. Joe Douglas' strength is supposed to be offensive line, so in some ways, his reputation is at stake with this pick. Scouting draft prospects is not just about the film - NFL teams do a ton of research on projecting work habits, character, and intangibles. My main concern with Becton is keeping his weight in check. I want to believe in Douglas here. Trading back to 59 and still getting my No. 24 overall player in Denzel Mims (4) was one of the best moves in the entire draft. Mims' fall was one of the few things that actually surprised me, and it's interesting that even the team that ultimately picked him passed on him in the mid-second. I couldn't find any character or medical flags with Mims so why did a prospect who was super productive and aced the draft process fall so far? After watching his film, I just don't have an answer. He's sloppy and raw, but scouting is about traits, and he has the traits of a WR1. They teach the wide receiver position a little different at Baylor - round most cuts, find grass rather than run precise routes - so teams may have been spooked by Corey Coleman and the like. Mims is going to have to be coachable, but his ceiling is undeniable. His mix of strength, physicality, and ball skills pops off the screen, with frequent high-points and flashes of tremendous hands. There are very few reps that display 4.38 speed, but it's not like he's slow on film either. A huge part of route-running at the pro level is subtle hand fighting and push-offs. To me his mid-route handwork was advanced, and his traits to use his hands to gain separation make him a potential contested-catch warrior. The one trait that wasn't elite was his lack of suddenness, but his 6.66 3-cone suggests he has well above-average change of direction. Someone please explain to me why Denzel Mims lasted until pick 59. Ashtyn Davis (3) in the third was a curious pick and probably raised some eyebrows after months of Jamal Adams rumors. However, the draft isn't just about filling needs for the upcoming season, it's about building for the future, and it's clear the Jets are preparing for Marcus Maye to walk in free agency next offseason. A case can definitely be made that Davis was the best player available at pick 68. His film showed excellent speed, instincts, and the ability to play center field in single-high looks. He's a smart player with good tackling technique and showed nice pass-breakups and interceptions on film. His film wasn't flawless, as he took some bad angles in the Washington game, giving up a 4th-and-1 touchdown to their running back. I project Davis as a Jim Leonhard-ish starter down the road next to Adams. The Jets used their final day-two pick on a pass-rusher I wasn't high on in Jabari Zuniga (2). I also would have liked for them to add another receiver at some point. For the most part, however, they nailed this draft, mostly because Mims fell so far. Passing on CeeDee Lamb was probably a mistake, but if Becton and Mims live up to their ceilings, watch out. In three years it will be clear if Lamb/Josh Jones should have been the move instead of Becton/Mims.
The Dolphins played the smokescreen game beautifully. The Chargers basically admitted they wanted Tua, and while there's no proof they had him ranked higher than Justin Herbert, common sense says they were fine with both but preferred Tua. After all the smoke about Herbert, a tackle, and trade-ups, the Dolphins stood pat at No. 5 and got their franchise quarterback. Tua Tagovailoa (4) is a fascinating study in draft value as it relates to risk. Every doctor or agent that came out declaring his injuries as non-stories had an agenda. There is no doubt that his durability is a huge question mark after suffering a myriad of ailments, including a very serious hip injury, over his short career. His injury history is horrifying, and if I was a general manager I would have been terrified to take him and terrified to pass on him. The main reason for concern isn't just about his history, it's about his tendencies on film to hold onto the ball too long or try to make plays that just aren't worth it. Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray are amazing at not taking unnecessary hits. They know how to contort their bodies, slide, step out of bounds, and just wisely give up when they need to. Tua does not have this sixth sense. The situation reminds me of RGIII coming out. Amazing prospect, but major concerns about his ability to stay on the field. As a football player on the actual field, Tua is special. His best trait is his ball placement, as he mastered the RPO-heavy attack at Alabama, routinely throwing dots to his star-studded receiving corps. He is athletic and creative outside the structure of the offense, making plays with his eyes downfield. He also has excellent mechanics which points to coachability. There are some on-field question marks - a terrible pick on the goal line against Tennessee and some missed throws against New Mexico State. However, his 69.3 career completion percentage and 87/11 touchdown-to-interception ratio are for real. I don't feel confident predicting his NFL career due to injury concerns as it relates to playing style. If he's healthy, he'll be a star. Austin Jackson (2) was a bad pick. He's young with some upside, but there were much better players on the board at 18. If any team can afford to take on a project it's Miami right now, but I would have preferred Ezra Cleveland or Josh Jones. I saw Jackson get beat by a spin move and generally struggle to place his hands. He has the size and physical ability, but I wanted to see more consistency. His kickset is natural but he turns his shoulders too much against speed rushers. I expect him to get victimized early and often. I don't think he's quick enough. 📷 My final note on Noah Igbinoghene (2): strong and long, get him in zone. Igbinoghene got beat twice by J'Marr Chase, but also laid the wood on Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He's physical enough, ran a 4.48, and returned a kick for a touchdown against Arkansas. His biggest weakness is that he doesn't get his head around down the field. He'll be much better playing facing the quarterback in zone coverage than in man. I would have taken one of the safeties over him at 30. Quick thoughts on their other picks: Robert Hunt (2) could start at guard but isn't powerful enough to be more than average. Raekwon Davis (3) was highly underrated for stupid reasons like stat production. He's a starting run-stuffer right away and has all the traits you want. I thought New England would take him. Brandon Jones (1) didn't strike me as a pro. He was a big-time recruit and has some speed, but got beat too much. I liked Solomon Kindley (2), but his body just might not work, and I noted Curtis Weaver (1) as "one-dimensional, only speed rush" so I'm not hugely surprised by his fall. He can bend and run the arc, but he has no moves in terms of handwork. Too jag-ish versus Colorado State for me. I expect people to warn us about sleeping on the Dolphins, but the reality is they traded a great young safety and great young left tackle that would have been building blocks for Brian Flores. I expect most of this draft class to underwhelm, but what matters most is Tua's health. If he can stay healthy, he'll be a franchise quarterback that will keep the Dolphins contending in the AFC East for years to come. What Flores did with that Miami roster last year was extremely impressive.
New England Patriots
My next project is an even more comprehensive updated study on the value of draft picks, which will eventually lead to an evaluation of teams' drafting. My guess is that it will reveal what I have always thought: Bill Belichick is not a great drafter and is probably below average. He is the best coach in history and does a phenomenal job of developing a winning culture, but a lot of his draft picks have underwhelmed or busted. Part of that is due to a small draft board and focus on players that fit their organization specifically. I did not like this Patriots draft class. They took a division-two safety, situational edge rusher, the fifth-best player on Alabama's defense, two tight ends, and a probably racist kicker. Kyle Dugger (3) clearly didn't belong in D-II. He plays fast, can run and hit, and did some flat-out dominant things on film. His breaks on the ball were at a different speed, he knocked down tight ends, and had some pick-sixes that made him look like Deion Sanders. Obviously, it's all about how he'll react to a jump in level of competition. Dugger's great Senior Bowl week was definitely a huge factor in his ultimate draft slot. He's not fundamentally there yet, but being mentored by Devin McCourty and coached by Belichick gives him a real chance to develop into a pro bowl player. I did not see it with Josh Uche (1). The Iowa offensive line had no problem with him, and the only sack I saw in the games I watched was on a free rush. Michigan didn't even rush him in big spots. He's thin with no plan. His only translatable trait is a great first step, which is not that difficult to mitigate if he has nothing else. I actually like Anfernee Jennings (2) better. He's stiff and can't bend, but he's stout at the point of attack and can be a solid stand-up run defender right now. I thought the Patriots should have taken a shot with one of the quarterbacks, and they drafted two tight ends in a terrible tight end class. It will be fascinating to see how Belichick fares without Brady, but it wouldn't shock me to see them focus on player development and position themselves for a quarterback in next year's draft. Their roster just isn't that talented right now.
The Bills traded their first-round pick for Stefon Diggs, adding a much-needed weapon for Josh Allen. They ended up getting huge values, landing the No. 16 player on my board a 54, the No. 54 player on my board at 86, and the No. 65 player on my board at 207! Teams that draft close to the consensus internet rankings usually end up with better drafts than teams that don't. A.J.Epenesa (3) has a high floor and terrific film but I wasn't shocked to see him fall to 54. His poor 3-cone time is extremely disturbing, and teams were clearly spooked by his lack of athleticism. However, "traits" doesn't always pertain to purely physical attributes, as his football traits are tremendous. Epenesa looks much twitchier on film than his testing numbers suggest, and his strength is unquestioned. He walked back the Michigan left tackle, displaying his obvious plus power. He has a good get-off and his physicality plays in the league. He can knife in on inside moves and uses his length to make plays. Probably more of a left end than right end, he's a solid pro edge in the mold of a bigger Patrick Kerney. Zack Moss (3) made the Utah offense go. He has the potential to be a true 1A running back for the Bills, but his long injury history clouds his future. Moss' film is fantastic. He has terrific burst, change-of-direction, and always falls forward. His technique is poor but he gets it done in pass protection and as a receiver. As a pure runner, he's right up there with Jonathan Taylor, and only lacks that home-run long speed. He's twitchy, patient, and shows quick jump cuts that play in the league. His lack of production against Texas and Washington did concern me. I still expect him to unseat Devin Singletary and emerge as a fantasy stalwart assuming he can stay healthy. I prefer Isaiah Hodgins (3) to Gabriel Davis (2) but I love doubling up on wide receiver in this loaded class. Hodgins having success would be somewhat of an outlier. He has the size and tremendous hands, but a lot of his film probably doesn't translate . He was a double-move beast, but his 4.61 shows. I'll take a stab with great hands. Davis played inches off the boundary as an outside receiver at UCF, so he'll need to adjust to real alignments and actual routes at the next level. He was incredibly productive but doesn't have the speed or technique of anything more than an average pro. He was schemed for one-on-one matchups against spatially-confused corners. 📷 With a solid head coach and talented roster, the Bills will enter 2020 as the favorites in the AFC East. Josh Allen's accuracy remains a concern, and with more weapons there will be no excuses. He needs a big year. The defense has building block pieces at all three levels and the solid additions of Epenesa and Moss should support the foundation. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more divisions in the coming days. AFC East Full Article with gifs: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-afc-east/736202 NFC East: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-east/735919 AFC North: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-afc-north/735564?src=cat_feat_9954 NFC North: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-north/734932
2020 NFL Draft Review - Analysis and Career Predictions for Each Team's Draft Class - NFC East
If you missed the first two installments of this series, you can read the AFC North review here and 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 NFC East.
The Eagles came into the draft with primary needs at wide receiver and inside linebacker. In a loaded wide receiver class with some really solid day two inside linebacker prospects, they would have to try to mess it up. According to some, they did just that. Jalen Reagor (3) was ranked 20th overall on my board and over Justin Jefferson. I obviously don't think this pick was a mistake. Reagor's play style is reminiscent of Antonio Brown because of his twitch and ability to make contested catches at his smaller stature. Reagor struggled with drops a bit, but also had one of the worst quarterback situations of all the receiver prospects. His play speed looks closer to the sub-4.3 from his make-believe pro day than the turtle-like 4.47 at the combine. If you knocked him for that "slow" time, it pretty much proves you didn't watch his film. He's faster than 4.47 and the red flag is that he didn't prepare enough to execute his 40 at the highest level technique-wise. Back to actual football, Reagor will make a ton of plays as a pro, but continue to drop passes. In the second round, the Eagles made one of the more shocking picks in recent memory, selecting Alabama back-up - I mean Oklahoma Heisman finalist - Jalen Hurts (2). I disagree with this pick for one reason - I do not endorse Hurts as a franchise quarterback. However, under the assumption that the Eagles view him with that potential, it was a wise choice. Carson Wentz is always banged up, and there's nothing more valuable than a quality quarterback in the NFL. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere - THE EAGLES LITERALLY WON THE SUPER BOWL BECAUSE OF THIS POSITION. It's insurance with upside at the most valuable position in sports on a team with a constantly injured starter. As for the actual player, Hurts lacks ideal decision-making, tucking as a runner too quickly and showing almost no ability to go through reads at a pro level. On the "did Manziel make Mike Evans or the other way around" spectrum I lean towards CeeDee Lamb (watch Texas). His arm strength also isn't ideal, as a lot of his throws outside the numbers, including simple hitches, take an hour to get there. He has decent touch and accuracy, but his game is based on rushing ability and improvisation. I knew he would go fairly high in part due to Lamar Jackson's success. However, I was incredibly high on Jackson because he was an UNREAL runner. Hurts doesn't have that type of wiggle, speed, or elusiveness. He can run the heck out of power read though - expect that to be the staple of his rookie year package. Philadelphia was one of few teams that actually took advantage of the wide receiver depth in this draft. There is a very low chance they didn't add a quality deep threat after selecting John Hightower (2) and Quez Watkins (3) in addition to Reagor. Watkins was one of my favorite speedsters after a highly productive career at Southern Miss. He fights the ball a bit, but his blazing 4.35 speed with that production plays in the NFL. Hightower was similar on the smurf turf and has upside. Jack Driscoll (1) did not impress on film. He's heavy-legged, gets beat by good handwork, and doesn't show particularly good functional strength. I would give Prince Tega Wanogho (2), a lump of clay who doesn't know how to play yet, more of a chance to be a decent pro. Despite getting laughed at by many, the Eagles' reasoning in taking Jalen Hurts in the second makes sense. I'm a proponent of Reagor over Jefferson and loved what they did in the later rounds, including the tripling up on deep speed at receiver. This class has the potential to pay huge dividends down the line.
New York Giants
It's time to admit that Dave Gettleman is a good drafter. His schtick is easy to make fun of, but I was in favor of the Beckham trade and the decision to draft Saquon Barkley at 2. I had mixed reactions to last year's picks but Daniel Jones had a promising rookie year. The Giants came in with a need at tackle, and Gettleman took the most polished offensive lineman in the draft at 4. Andrew Thomas (4) fell down media draft boards due to over analyzation. Looking back, we were silly to believe any other of the technically-developing younger tackles would jump him on the Giants draft board. I had Thomas ranked as my No. 2 tackle (I love the upside of Becton), but this is one where his ultimate draft spot makes me question my ranking. Thomas was a stalwart on the Georgia offensive line, and generally performed at an extremely high level. He mostly won the battle with K'Lavon Chaisson, and showed probably the best awareness picking up stunts in this class. I noted him as a mauler, and highlighted his length as a positive. He recovers after an initial punch in pass pro and overall shows better technique than the other tackles. He plays a little high and shows some waist-bending tendencies, but will likely usurp Nate Solder at left tackle and become a solid starter for many years in New Yor- Jersey. Xavier McKinney's (3) evaluation boils down to one question: does he have the range to play deep? His 4.65 is a concern, and the film suggests he's more of a strong safety. The bottom line is that he projects as a quality player who excels most in the box. The head-scratching part is where they choose to play Jabril Peppers, because he's more comfortable in the box as well. A sound gameplan can have them both on the field at once in sub-packages, but McKinney's development as a deep safety is a situation to monitor. As for the rest of their draft, I wasn't particularly high on Matt Peart (2), Darnay Holmes (1), or Shane Lemieux (1). Peart isn't strong yet but has good athleticism. I thought he was more of a guard. There's upside though. Holmes projects as a slot corner but has slow reaction time, isn't good in off coverage, and gets tossed around because he's so weak. Lemieux looks powerful against smaller defensive linemen and on double teams but he doesn't have pro traits in terms of his size-power ratio translating. The Giants got their top-ranked offensive lineman and top-ranked safety. This is a huge litmus test for their scouting department because it's not very often you get your top pick at two positions. There will be some chatter about a sneaky Giants team contending in the NFC East, and it will come down to Danny Dimes. But don't forget that Saquon Barkley has an MVP-caliber year in him. With their pedestrian defense, it probably won't matter much.
The Cowboys are getting a ton of praise for following the consensus internet big board to make almost all of their picks. I used to think teams were so much smarter than media and internet scouts. However, after studying the draft for the past 15 years, it has become clear that teams that make "weird" picks usually end up being wrong and teams that simply take the consensus higher rated players usually end up doing better. CeeDee Lamb (5) was ranked 5th overall on my board. I like Jerry Jeudy, and I see Ruggs' potential, but Lamb is a dog. He's the quintessential WR1 and probably the best run-after-catch receiver I've ever scouted. Lamb isn't a freak athlete, but neither is Michael Thomas and neither is DeAndre Hopkins. The Cowboys needed a slot receiver and lucked out in a big way. Lamb will relegate Amari Cooper to a WR2 in the near future. Trevon Diggs (3) is an interesting prospect. He's the brother of Stefon and a gifted football player in the general sense, having actually earned snaps at wide receiver and punt returner at Alabama. He surely graded out well as a college corner, but the translatable traits don't pop out as positive on film. There's an awkward mistimed jump to play the ball, struggling to stay in-phase along the boundary, and an overall theme of probably being more comfortable facing forward than backward. He plays high and I envision him getting beat a lot early in press, but there's upside there and he'll develop nicely in a zone-heavy scheme. I wasn't huge on Neville Gallimore (2) (notes read: jag-ish, jolted back too much, spin gets home but that doesn't translate), but based on everyone else's board it's a good value at 82. I also think Bradlee Anae's (1) ultimate draft slot is telling in a bad way. His sacks don't translate in terms of athletic traits or technique, and he's not big enough for strength to be his best skill. I did, however, love the Reggie Robinson (3) pick. He showed out against Michigan State and Oklahoma State with a "sick" pick (goes back to YouTube), great feet, "sticking to the MSU receiver's hip," and "nice play vs the run." The Michigan State quarterback stopped looking at him after some great breaks on the ball. It wouldn't surprise me if he ended up being better than Diggs. Finally, Tyler Biadasz (3) is a badass. Injuries made him fall, but I liked him better than Cushenberry. Just a tough Wisconsin center. 📷 The Cowboys killed it, and they needed to. Cheap young players on rookie contracts will be all they'll be able to afford after they extend Dak Prescott.
I was not a big Dwayne Haskins fan last year, so I would have strongly considered a quarterback at 2. In the end, the deciding factor probably had little to do with Haskins and a lot to do with the absolute monster they chose instead. Here's some hard-hitting in-depth analysis: Chase Young (5) is going to be good. He doesn't play with the power of some other elite edge rushers, but his twitchiness is just absurd. Play recognition, hands, inside moves, ability to run the arc, ability to anchor against the run - he has the makings of a hall-of-famer. The most underrated trait that can be evaluated on college film is balance. Chase Young has other-worldly balance for his size. Rumor has it the Wisconsin coaches burned their film against Ohio State. To say Young wrecked that game would be an understatement. You know how Derrick Henry was just largely responsible for a deep playoff run? Chase Young is the Derrick Henry of defensive ends and will do the same for the Redskins in 2025. In the third round, the Skins took offensive playmaker Antonio Gibson (3) of Memphis. Gibson played mostly slot receiver for the Tigers and wasn't exactly comfortable running routes. He still managed to score 14 touchdowns on just 77 career touches, including an absurd touchdown run versus SMU (gif below). He's a little tight and struggled against better competition like Penn State, but the SMU tape shows off his 4.39 speed and playmaking ability. I was surprised how seamlessly Tony Pollard made the transition to running back last year. I don't know if Gibson has that in him, but as a gadget guy and specials contributor early it's worth it to see if you can develop him. 📷 Other picks included Saahdiq Charles (2) who has character issues but pretty good film, and Antonio Gandy-Golden (3), who was a steal at 142 for his size/production mix. He'll be a surprise contributor this year on the fantasy scene. The Redskins can thank Daniel Jones for beating them in overtime last year, as that loss locked up the second overall pick. They'll go through the motions with Dwayne Haskins, but ultimately Ron Rivera will get his own young quarterback to develop during Chase Young's prime. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more divisions in the coming days. Full article with Gifs: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-east/735919 NFC North: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-and-team-grades-nfc-north/734932 AFC North: https://www.rotoballer.com/2020-nfl-draft-review-afc-north/735564?src=cat_feat_9954
2020 NFL Draft Review FINAL - AFC West + links to all divisions - Analysis and Career Predictions for Each Team's Draft Class
The AFC West is the final division in the 2020 NFL Draft review series. Catch up on the other installments of this 2020 NFL Draft review series with the NFC West, AFC South, NFC South, AFC East, NFC East, AFC North, and NFC North. 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. Nevertheless, this is a fun exercise and gives us a chance to review how each team approached the draft.
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 next 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 West.
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders came into the draft with needs at wide receiver and cornerback. They wasted no time addressing those positions and ended up taking two corners and two-and-a-half wide receivers total. I think they aced this draft, but not for the reasons you might think. Las Vegas opted for speed over production by selecting Henry Ruggs III (3) as the first receiver off the board. Ruggs played a supporting role alongside lead dog Jerry Jeudy at Alabama, but ran a 4.28 at the combine and aced the draft process. His speed popped on film, as he routinely cribbed slants and ran by people in the SEC. Ruggs was lauded for his competitiveness and edge, particularly as a blocker, which directly conflicts with my notes of his film. I noted missed blocks, him getting tossed, and labeled him as “weak.” Perhaps I watched the wrong games or my standards are too high. As far as receiving the football, Ruggs was fantastic, making highlight diving catches and using his hops to climb the later and show off his above-average hands. There are two major unknowns with Ruggs - how he will deal with being the No. 1 option, and how he will develop as a route-runner. Unfortunately, I do not believe he will live up to his physical attributes. Derek Carr ranked 25th in Air Yards Per Completion last year, and while accurate, has never excelled at utilizing a deep threat. I also have a hard time endorsing a player who was not the number one receiver on his own team to be the number one receiver in a loaded draft class. At No. 19, the Raiders took Damon Arnette (3), which was a surprise to some. I had Arnette going in the first round in my first mock draft of the year and liked his film more than most. His skillset is that of a quality starting corner, despite unorthodox technique and tendencies. Arnette’s play was up-and-down at Ohio State, in part due to being thrown at so much. He showed weird stances and punches from all different angles and body alignments in press coverage, but generally got the job done. At the NFL level, if unique individual technique is effective, coaches don’t care. Arnette is more comfortable in press than off and will give up the inside. Most importantly, he can get his head around defending vertical routes in man. He was competitive and alert on film, flying down in run support and showing the necessary swagger and short memory needed from a pro corner. He’s going to get beat, but I like his transition to the league as someone who’s been picked on a bit but kept getting better. At No. 80, the Raiders took one of my favorite players in the draft in Lynn Bowden Jr (4). Lynn Bowden Jr. played quarterback and receiver at Kentucky and is most known for throwing a punch in a pre-game scuffle before the Belk Bowl. Bowden’s film is that of a grown man with an edge. His receiver film shows nothing in terms of advanced route-running, but his speed absolutely plays and his hands are good enough. His quarterback and returner film shows joystick moves in the open field and elusiveness that rivals Lamb and Shenault. I don’t know if he’s a pro wide receiver (neither do the Raiders), but I’ve seen too many converted quarterbacks have success to bet against his natural football traits. I expect Jon Gruden to use him all over the field and for him to be one of the most explosive swiss army-knife weapons of this generation. 📷 With the very next pick, the Raiders again took one of my favorite players in Bryan Edwards (4) of South Carolina. Edwards was the No. 15 overall player on my board so I obviously loved this pick. Aside from injury concerns and a few miscommunication issues working the boundary with his quarterback, Edwards’ film was outstanding. He’s technically sound with strong hands, tremendous contact balance, evidence of beating press, and great concentration skills. As a physical run-after-catch threat, he’s dynamic and strong. He is the prototype big-bodied NFL receiver in terms of traits, plucking the ball and transitioning as a runner smoothly. I predict he’ll be better than Ruggs. He just needs to get and stay healthy. I think Tanner Muse (2) can be a special-teamer (tripping up J.K. Dobbins was a gigantic play in the National Semifinal), and John Simpson (3) was a steal. I love mauler guards who fall due to a lack of quickness. Simpson is physical and sometimes dominant in the run game. His stance gives away pass or run, but he can be coached and work on his body to develop into a starting guard. The Raiders took yet another one of “my guys” in Amik Robertson (4) at pick No. 139. I had Robertson ranked 75th overall and featured him in this article. Robertson is tiny and his film isn’t without flaws, but I am always a proponent of taking players whose main knock is lack of size. I think Robertson will struggle with the brute size and strength of NFL football, and I actually don’t think he’s that fast (didn’t run a 40). But as far as being a pure football player and having coverage instincts and ball skills, Robertson is unbelievable. Robertson plays big, talks a lot, and backs it up. He jacked up the 6-6 Collin Johnson at the line of scrimmage and almost mossed No. 16 on Texas. He’s able to match everything, has a smooth pedal, and gives up almost no separation in man. Slight jersey tug but disciplined hands play in the league. His production at the college level was unreal - 14 interceptions, 2 blocked kicks, 3 defensive touchdowns, and an onside kick return for a touchdown. I worry about his tackling, but I project him to be one of the best slot cover men in the league. The Raiders chose to stick with Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota, despite having enough draft ammo to move around and take one of the quarterbacks. I loved what they did with most of their picks. Carr now has more weapons and zero excuses. This is a huge year for him.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers came into the draft with primary needs at quarterback and inside linebacker. They addressed those needs in the first round, selecting the No. 3 and No. 8 players on my board. The madmen did it. They took Justin Herbert (4) at 6. After being inundated with negative Justin Herbert analysis, I went back for a second look at the former Oregon Duck. In terms of college performance, Herbert’s film is reminiscent of recent busts, including Mitchell Trubisky. He lacks ideal anticipation, inexplicably misses some throws, and wasn’t always trusted by his coaching staff. It is also fair to wonder about his transition, coming from a screen-heavy, spread system at Oregon. However, evaluating NFL prospects is not just about college performance - it’s about projecting traits. Scouting quarterbacks is difficult, and there’s a reason so many teams miss. A lot of times teams fall in love with physical traits such as arm talent and are burned because the player struggles with the complexities, speed, and decision-making difficulty of the NFL game. I believe a critical look at Herbert’s film through the lens of traits-based scouting gets him to potential franchise quarterback level worthy of a high pick. Like with all prospects, his ultimate NFL fate will come down to a lot of surrounding and unknown factors such as situation, coaching, and intangibles. I will pick my No. 3 overall prospect to succeed. His traits are that of a franchise quarterback and his intelligence and athleticism will help his transition. Arm talent, throwing on the run, short-level accuracy, ball handling, and mobility make Justin Herbert the complete package in terms of traits. He poorly placed just one throw under five yards in the games I watched. He has good footwork, touch, and excels with play-action. The translatable trait that makes me confident is his ability to look like the best player on the field in the face of pressure. Herbert can move around and deliver strikes on the run or simply use his legs as a weapon. He also showed the ability to go through full-field "rainbow" reads. Players with his running ability can afford to not be the most accurate passers in the world. He showed off his rushing skills in the Rose Bowl win against Wisconsin. I understand the negatives, but with good coaching, I think Herbert can develop into a franchise quarterback as a mix between Josh Allen and Cam Newton. 📷 After selecting their quarterback at 6, the Chargers traded up for the best inside linebacker in the draft in Kenneth Murray (5). Murray had a productive and storied career at Oklahoma, displaying all the traits of a great pro off-ball linebacker for the Sooners. His speed and instincts make him a sideline to sideline threat, and he has the strength on contact of a thumper. His tackling technique is terrific, pointing to his ability to be coachable. He’s a little out of control at times, but he’s better than Devin White. The move up was worth it. The Chargers want to bring Justin Herbert along slowly, and will look to make the playoffs with Tyrod Taylor as the starter. The surrounding talent is enough to take them there. With young stud defenders at all three levels, the Bolts just need to build an offensive line and add weaponry for Herbert to compete with the Chiefs in a few years.
The Broncos came into the draft with a clear plan - get Drew Lock some weapons. To say they achieved their goal would be an understatement. Their haul included my No. 7 overall player and my No. 1 tight end. Jerry Jeudy (5) suffered from some prospect fatigue as analysts scrambled to poke holes in his game. While most of his success did come from the slot at Alabama, it’s not like his traits don’t translate to the outside. In Denver, Jeudy can man the slot primarily, whereas if he went to the Jets he may have had to learn an entirely new position. The only question about Jeudy is whether or not Drew Lock is good enough to allow him to reach his extremely high ceiling. Jeudy has amazing quickness, length, and top-notch speed, but is known most for being an outstanding route-runner. He is the best route-runner I have ever scouted in college. He understands the nuances of changing speeds, is quick with a plan, and shows an uncommon ability to separate that surely translates to the pro game. He’ll be a star if Drew Lock proves to be competent. 📷 With their second pick, the Broncos doubled down on wide receiver with K.J. Hamler (2) of Penn State. Hamler is the prototypical deep threat and an excellent complement to Jeudy and Courtland Sutton in theory. He might be too small for the NFL, but his college film shows route-running ability on slot fades and out routes that rival most pros. His main weaknesses are due to his lack of size, as he struggles in contested catch situations and is dominated by strength in terms of ball security. Hamler made a couple of tremendous sliding catches but does not display much in terms of hands an almost exclusively body-catcher. It’s a common misconception that receivers are never taught to catch with their body as coaches will teach it in certain situations. Hamler can succeed in the NFL, but there are too many mouths to feed in Denver for him to be more than a situational deep threat. Michael Ojemudia (2) has the athletic profile and size to be a starter, but his film doesn’t show the natural football traits of a pro. He isn’t physical enough and doesn’t show great awareness in zone, letting receivers get behind him. Lloyd Cushenberry (2) was one of the most overrated prospects in the draft. He’s a classic case of a decorated collegiate who gets overdrafted due to great character. He was beaten badly by the Texas nose tackle and generally lacks balance. McTelvin Agim (1) was overdrafted as a former five-star recruit who didn’t dominate in the SEC. He has the size and tools to be a rotational defensive lineman, but plays too high and bends at the waist, losing leverage and balance too easily. Denver's best pick after Jeudy was Albert Okwuegbunam (3). His size/hands mix is rare and his physical ability is special. After last season I thought he’d be a high pick, but he never seemed to put it together. He’s an instant red-zone threat as a project with huge upside. The draft community is giving high praise to this Broncos class. I think they nailed their first pick but wasn’t overly impressed with the rest of the haul. Denver’s defense is loaded with talented veterans and a returning Bradley Chubb, so Drew Lock’s progress will be an intriguing storyline in the AFC Wild Card race.
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
This is a list of "my guys" from this years draft. The common theme is that every one on the list was a breath of fresh air when I watched them on film and I have each player above the consensus, some significantly so. Some of the guys are highly regarded top end players, some are day 2 type of players, and some are day 3 players that I tagged as really good bets to exceed expectations. For the top end players, these are the guys I feel immensely confident in becoming high end NFL players. For some of the players listed I fully understand the significant issues holding them back but they may have some fantastic trait or are incredibly fun to watch. I create full positional rankings and big boards but the success of my evaluations this year, in my opinion, will hinge more on how the players fare that I feel especially strong towards. Here is my list from 2019: https://www.reddit.com/NFL_Draft/comments/bbi73chwf3rds_my_guys/ From 2018: https://www.reddit.com/NFL_Draft/comments/8ct6na/chwf3rds_my_guys/ From 2017: https://www.reddit.com/NFL_Draft/comments/675cbc/5_prospects_i_have_significantly_above_the/ This year I did an additional list of late Day 3 guys that I feel good about. Jordan Love, QB, Utah St, 6'3/224 Grade: Round 1 (Top 20 overall) I would take Love in the top 10 overall if I had a need at QB. Love easily has the best arm talent in this draft class, routinely making jaw dropping throws. He's not a Josh Allen type either with scattershot accuracy and only capable of throwing the fastball. His accuracy is precise at all levels and he can manipulate his velocity and throw with touch. Furthermore, Love is a very mobile QB with the ability to evade pressure, escape the pocket, and keep his eyes downfield. Some of his throws on the run are reminiscent of Patrick Mahommes or Carson Wentz. The issue with Love is simply decision making - locking into his first read or trusting his arm too much. However, you look at his 2018 season and the volume of those bad decisions is not there. In 2019, Love lost not only his coaching staff but his main offensive weapons as well. Considering his elite traits, I'll gladly bet that Love can return to his 2018 form. https://gph.is/g/aKAgJje (throw vs LSU) https://gph.is/g/Z5YbQ36 (rollout) https://gph.is/g/4L5bqK0 (tight window) https://gph.is/g/aQO5gDA (touch) Cam Akers, RB, Florida St, 5'10/217, 54% SPARQ Grade: Top 20 A former top recruit, Akers chose to go to Florida St at the wrong time. Akers demonstrates every trait I look for in a RB at a high level - burst, toughness/violence, contact balance, lateral agility, and receiving ability. He didn't have the stage of Swift, Dobbins, CEH, or Taylor and didn't have the same type of huge games given the awfulness of Florida St. However, he's the most well rounded of the top RBs this year and has the highest upside. The one issue I have with Akers is questionable vision at times but it's hard to know whether to attribute that to him or the OL. https://gph.is/g/apb5eq6 https://gph.is/g/aKAbBy3 https://gph.is/g/4bB5Yen Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis, 6/228 Grade: Round 3 Gibson mostly played slot WR at Memphis but I project him as a RB. As a RB, Gibson's combination of size, speed, and receiving ability creates an upside similar to David Johnson. Gibson doesn't really know what he's doing at RB yet and is a projection but he demonstrates phenomenal traits for the position including burst, contact balance, and lateral quickness. He is dynamic player with the ball in his hands, whether on receptions, carries, or special teams, with special athletic ability and open field vision. Not only is his upside as a RB through the roof but his floor is decent as well as a great returner and valuable gadget player on offense. His SMU game is maybe the most fun game I've watched this year. https://gph.is/g/ZOk5mNj (crazy run) https://gph.is/g/EGgbr8M (catch in traffic) https://gph.is/g/aeA5wDX (return TD) https://gph.is/g/aXJ53nR (good run) https://gph.is/g/aKAb9z9 (receiving TD) Rico Dowdle, RB, South Carolina, 5'11/213, 81% SPARQ Grade: Round 4 Dowdle demonstrates all the traits you look for in a high level 3 down RB but lacks the production to match. He's a high level NFL athlete and that athleticism shows on film with his awesome burst. He's a really tough runner with good size, contact balance, and a compact and powerful frame. He demonstrates decent vision behind the LOS and has receiving ability to boot. He doesn't have a ton of wiggle but everything else is there. https://gph.is/g/46vb3Y8 (tough run vs Alabama) https://gph.is/g/ZWw52yv https://gph.is/g/amX59YJ Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona St, 5'11/205, 89% SPARQ Grade: Round 1 Aiyuk is my WR3 and ranked in my top 20 overall. Aiyuk can create easy separation all over the field in a variety of ways: deep with straight line speed, with physicality, or with quickness and burst out of breaks. While he's not necessary a burner, Aiyuk is one of the most twitched up and dynamic WRs in this draft. He has the rare ability to cut without losing much speed and maintaining that speed after the catch. He's not necessarily a jump ball catcher but he has flashed the ability to make contested catches. Even in games where his production wasn't there, he's consistently open play after play. He's sometimes portrayed as just a deep ball and YAC guy but he has the ability to be so much more than. https://gph.is/g/Zd75D5D https://gph.is/g/4zqY3DK https://gph.is/g/4AjblvO https://gph.is/g/Z2mbxg7 Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU, 5'11/206, 89% SPARQ Grade: Round 1 Reagor is my WR4 and in my top 25 overall. Reagor immediately stands out when watching him as he looks like he's moving at a different speed than everyone else on the field. He's exceptionally twitched up and explosive and is among the easiest separators in the entire class. His game just looks effortless. Not only does he offer separation, YAC, and deep speed but he also shows the ability to make contested, difficult catches and displays excellent body control. He's a lot more well rounded to me than someone like Henry Ruggs or KJ Hamler. My biggest issue with Reagor is that he struggles to extend beyond his frame and thus doesn't give his QBs a huge target. https://gph.is/g/4w8d3Lx https://gph.is/g/4L5bpev https://gph.is/g/ZPm5zPX Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado, 6'1/227 Grade: Round 1 Shenault is my WR 5 and in my top 25/30 overall. For clarity, my grade is not taking into account injury concerns as I don't have access to his medicals. Thus I wouldn't be surprised if he drops due to medical issues and I'm fine if that's the case. Nonetheless, Shenault has largely been forgotten about given the combination of WR depth this year and his injuries. He really shouldn't be as he is such a dynamic and exciting WR with huge upside. My comp for him is Sammy Watkins and AJ Brown. He has RB size with awesome physicality and YAC ability. He's a little raw in his routes and Colorado didn't do him a lot of favors as they just wanted to get the ball in his hands as much as possible and the easiest way to do so was on wildcat plays, reverses, and screens. Nonetheless, Shenault expresses excellent route running traits and creates easy separation with his burst and physicality. While I don't think he's a burner, he has sufficient speed to threaten and win deep. Combined with his contested catch ability and skills with the ball in his hands, Shenault is an incredibly exciting WR prospect. https://gph.is/g/apbqw33 https://gph.is/g/Z7ge57R https://gph.is/g/46vO5Dd https://gph.is/g/ZrdDloG Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina, 6'3/212 Grade: Round 2 (top 35 overall) Edwards is another WR that is being somewhat overshadowed due to injuries and WR depth. Like Shenault and Aiyuk, Edwards is another big, dynamic, explosive WR with phenomenal YAC ability, toughness, and physicality. Furthermore, Edwards has been incredibly productive at South Carolina starting with his true freshman season at only 17 years old. Edwards can line up all over the formation and turns into a RB with the ball in his hands. Not just a YAC guy, Edwards flashes fantastic hands and the ability to make incredible circus catches. While he doesn't create consistent separation, his quickness and burst is more than sufficient. https://gph.is/g/EJYbRne https://gph.is/g/a99bdlP https://gph.is/g/EGgb9Ml https://gph.is/g/aRW5N7w James Proche, WR, SMU, 5'11/201 Grade: Round 3 Proche projects as a slot WR in the NFL. Proche had a very productive season at SMU as their go to offensive weapon. His calling cards are hands and YAC ability. Proche has the best hands in the entire draft and can make difficult circus catches along with strong catches in traffic. He has some separation issues due to a lack of speed and quickness but if he's moved to the slot a lot of that should be accounted for. https://gph.is/g/ZYl5LwD https://gph.is/g/ajW55yG Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama, 6'4/312 Grade: Top 10 (5th player overall) I have Wills in a tier of his own among the OL this year and I think he's an elite OT prospect. Of the big 4 OTs, Wills is the most well rounded. His balance is phenomenal and he's always in control. His pass sets look great and he combines an immoveable anchor to counter power rushers with sufficient feet to meet speed. As a run blocker, he's incredibly powerful as a drive blocker and has the movement ability to block at the second level. His Auburn game is absolutely phenomenal. Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia, 6'6/350 Grade: Round 2 If Mechi Becton weren't in this class, Wilson would be getting a lot more buzz. An absolute mountain at 6'6/350, Wilson carries that weight as well as one possibly can. If you're looking for a traditional RT, Wilson is your guy. He's a mauler in the run game and plays with a nasty demeanor, throwing around SEC defenders. He projects immediatly as a great run blocker in the NFL. In pass pro, he has an easy anchor and shouldn't struggle against power. While he'll struggle some mirroring speed rushers, his kickslide looks fluid and even without ideal feet, his it'll be a struggle for defenders to get around a 6'6/350lbs OT with 93rd percentile arm length. Ben Bartch, OT, St. Johns, 6'5/309 Grade: Round 2/3 For a new OT convert playing at a tiny school, Bartch has one of the prettiest pass sets in this class. This demonstrates a willingness on his part to learn the position and a natural aptitude for pass blocking. He absolutely dominated awful competition at St. Johns and demonstrated great traits including light feet to mirror speed and a natural anchor to stop power. In the run game, Bartch bullied and dominated. He still doesn't look completely natural and can lose his knee bend at times but that's to be expected for such a green player. What really sold me was when he played great at the Senior Bowl against top competition. Robert Hunt, IOL, Lousiana, 6'5/323 Grade: Round 2 Hunt is a college RT that projects inside in the NFL. His upside as a guard is huge as he is moves extremely well for the position. He demonstrates great balance and control with a great anchor to stop power. Moreover, he plays with a great nasty demeanor fitting for a guard. While he struggled some in space against speed, moving inside will ease those concerns. Matt Hennessy, OC, Temple, 6'3/293 Grade: Round 2/3 At only 293lbs, Hennessy is limited to zone schemes. He has great movement ability to reach difficult blocks and has easy transitions. He's extremely quick off the snap and maintains great positioning to create holes for the RB. He's not a powerful drive blocker but won't be asked to do so in a zone scheme. He struggles some with power and lacks ideal strength but he is rarely beat as uses his pad level and hands to effectively anchor down when needed. Tyre Phillips, IOL, Miss St, 6'5/331 Grade: Round 3 Philllips was a college RT who I project inside. He's an absolute unit at 331lbs with 88th percentile arm length and a massive, thick upper body. He has incredibly powerful, sticky hands and moved SEC defenders with ease. While his foot speed presented issues at tackle, he projects very well inside given his strong anchor. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina, 6'5/324 Grade: Top 10 Kinlaw is one of the most disruptive players in this class and possesses elite physical traits. Not only is he massive and long (92% length), but his burst off the ball is incredible. He simply outpowered and outphysicaled the best OL in the country in the SEC. He displayed good hand usage and rip moves and has the ability to stack and shed vs the run using his size and length. While his upside is sky high, there is some downside with Kinlaw given his inconsistency. He can play too high and struggle to anchor at times, getting washed and pushed around vs the run. I'll take the Chris Jones type upside and accept that risk. https://gph.is/g/ZYl558p https://gph.is/g/EGgbb5d McTelvin Agim, DL, Arkansas, 6'3/309 Grade: Round 3/4 Agim is former 5 star high school recruit who just switched from DE to DL this past year. While his athletic profile is incomplete, he ran a sub 5.0 40 at the combine at 4.98. That athleticism showed on film as he has some of the best get-off in this class. Not only is his initial burst phenomenal, but he can convert that speed into power and bench press SEC OL into the backfield. He's pretty raw and lacks any kind of hand usage right now. Furthermore, he struggles holding up against the run and may have to start off as a pass rushing specialist. Nonetheless, he has room to grow given his youth at the position. https://gph.is/g/ZOk55DP https://gph.is/g/EGgbbbp https://gph.is/g/E0rbj6y Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee, 6'4/267 Grade: Round 2 (top 50) A discount K'Lavon Chaisson/Terrell Lewis. Taylor is a flash player with ideal Edge traits. Taylor has an awesome rocked up frame with little body fat. He shows great burst, flexibility to corner, and power to bull rush. Taylor possesses a phenomenal all-around skillset that projects well to the NFL as he can win with power or speed. His BYU game from this past year and his Kentucky game from 2018 were phenomenal. The issue with Taylor is that his flashes are very inconsistent and he lacks pass rushing moves. Still, he demonstrates elite Edge traits. As he was stuck on a poor team, he didn't receive the same publicity as other, similar type of players in this class (Chaisson and Lewis). https://gph.is/g/amXNxVQ https://gph.is/g/Z5YxwnG https://gph.is/g/Zxe6GD7 https://gph.is/g/4bBb9VG https://gph.is/g/Zd7WBzo Zack Baun, LB/Edge, Wisconsin, 6'2/238 Grade: Round 2 (top 35 overall) If I was coaching a game today and needed a sack, Baun would be my second choice in this class behind Chase Young. He's one of the few pass rushers in this class with some advanced pass rushing moves and can win in a variety of ways. He can win with a pure speed rush, flashes some speed to power with a long arm move, and has a nice spin move. Overall, he was consistently disruptive off the edge for Wisconsin. While he lacks size and natural strength, he use of leverage allows him to hold the edge vs the run. In the NFL, I think he projects as a SAM/Rush LB. He has some experience dropping back at Wisconsin and looked natural in space. https://gph.is/g/46vbVv9 https://gph.is/g/Z8eP7Bd https://gph.is/g/EqGQO5K Willie Gay Jr, LB, Miss St, 6'1/243, 98% SPARQ Grade: Round 2 (top 50) Gay is my LB4 or 5 (depending on what you list Zack Baun as) and he has the biggest upside at the position in this draft outside of Isaiah Simmons. He had an elite combine as he tested in the 98 percentile of SPARQ. That athleticism was clearly apparent on film as in the few games he played he looked like a top 20 draft pick. He's all over the field with sideline to sideline range and awesome closing burst. He has ideal LB size and plays with awesome physicality. Moreover, he has the fluidity necessary to drop back in coverage. In short, he demonstrates the traits of an all-pro 3 down LB that can play in the box or in coverage. He can be late on his reads and his angles are off at times but those issues may be due to his lacks of playing time. Even if those issues are never fixed, if he plays how he did in college in the NFL he easily projects as an impactful NFL starting LB. The off-field issues are well known but apparently he impressed teams in interviews. https://gph.is/g/4w8dlJ2 https://gph.is/g/4oL5dxJ https://gph.is/g/ZYl5Bdw https://gph.is/g/EGgbvdp https://gph.is/g/a99bmYo Evan Weaver, LB, Cal, 6'2/237, 26% SPARQ Grade: Round 4 Weaver is a tough, physical, productive, and instinctive LB that is incredibly fun to watch. He's an incredibly reliable tackler that is always around the ball. He's all over the field making tackles with an A+ motor. At the very least, Weaver will be a great character guy and a plus vs the run on early downs. While he's not a great mover and has some issues changing directions, his awareness in zone is pretty good and I see some upside as a 3 down LB. https://gph.is/g/aRW5AjJ https://gph.is/g/Zk65Ony https://gph.is/g/4zqYDxl https://gph.is/g/Zd75qG3 CJ Henderson, CB, Florida, 6'1/204, 95% SPARQ Grade: Top 10 (7th overall player) He's been getting a little more hype the past few days as a top 10 pick but I've had Henderson in my top 10 since February. I really don't see a huge difference between Henderson and Okudah. He's the ideal man to man CB with elite mirroring ability. His feet are incredibly quick, he has easy fluidity in his hips, and his closing burst is fantastic. Additionally, Henderson has the ideal frame and physical profile at 6'1 with 4.39 speed and 60th percentile arm length. He has two main issues - tackling and ball production. For me, the ball production is more concerning but I prioritize sticky man coverage over ball production. In sum, Henderson is a rare prospect with elite traits at a valuable position. https://gph.is/g/aRW5ApN https://gph.is/g/46vby3d https://gph.is/g/Zd75q3P Reggie Robinson, CB, Tulsa, 6'1/205, 92% Grade: Round 2/3 Robinson is an athletic, physical press man CB. He's an incredibly physical boundary CB that beats up WRs and uses the sideline to his advantage. He has quick feet and twitch to mirror in man coverage and the deep speed to stay with WRs downfield. His game vs Tylan Wallace really stands out.Moreover, he's great vs the run and comes up with physicality against the run and screens. The issues with Robinson are that he's overly physical to a fault and lacks the preferred fluidity in his hips. https://gph.is/g/Zywoxjd https://gph.is/g/EJYb1QB https://gph.is/g/4L5bzPR https://gph.is/g/EBmvkyK https://gph.is/g/4oL5mlP Antoine Winfield, S, Minnesota, 5'9/203 Grade: Round 1 (top 20 overall) Winfield is a versatile, high IQ, physical safety prospect with excellent ball skills. He's incredibly physical and ball carriers feel him when he hits. His reactions are very quick and combined with his ball skills, his ball production at Minnesota should translate to the NFL. Against the run, blockers don't phase him and he's a reliable tackler as the last line of defense. He didn't look like an especially explosive or sudden athlete on film but he killed the combine with a 82% SPARQ score. His main issues are his size and injury history. https://gph.is/g/ajW5zqG https://gph.is/g/Z2mbq0W https://gph.is/g/E0rbwyX https://gph.is/g/ZPm5Ldp https://gph.is/g/ZrdXbjw https://gph.is/g/amX52lB K'Von Wallace, S/NCB, Clemson, 5'11/206, 97% SPARQ Grade: Round 1/2 (top 35 overall) Wallace is my #3 ranked safety and I would be comfortable taking him late Round 1 or early Round 2. He projects as a slot CB, safety hybrid with elite athleticism. He's extremely twitched up on film with a phenomenal closing burst on the ball. He reacts decisively on his reads and consistently makes plays on the ball with very good ball skills. Moreover, he's an extremely physical player that plays with an attitude and tenacity. https://gph.is/g/aN851zv https://gph.is/g/ZOk5zAg https://gph.is/g/aQO53KB https://gph.is/g/aQO53q5 https://gph.is/g/4AjbX8G Intriguing Late Day 3 Guys JaMycal Hasty, RB, Baylor Mike Warren, RB, Cincinatti Benny LeMay, RB, Charlotte Joe Reed, WR, Virginia CJ O'Grady, TE, Arkansas Cameron Clark, OT, Charlotte Michael Onwenu, IOL, Michigan Jonathan Garvin, Edge, Miami DJ Wonnum, Edge, South Carolina Broderick Washington, DL, Texas Tech Bravvion Roy, DL, Baylor Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno St John Reid, NCB, Penn St Julian Blackmon, S, Utah (not late day 3 but like him a lot) Josh Metellus, S, Michigan
The top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0, 2-0 SEC West) travel to Kyle Field in College Station, Texas to face the 21st-ranked Texas A&M Aggies (3-2, 1-1) at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday (on CBS). Below is a breakdown of the Tide vs. Aggies sports gambling odds and lines, with sports betting tips on the moneyline, spread and Over/Under, along with suggested bets. The betting line is out for the upcoming matchup between No. 1 Alabama and No. 24 Texas A&M, and the Crimson Tide is nearly a three-touchdown favorite over its sixth opponent of the season. Alabama vs. Texas A&M odds, line: 2019 College football picks, predictions from proven model on 68-42 roll SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Saturday's Texas A&M vs. Alabama game Picks, odds, and game forecast for Texas A&M at Alabama on Sat 01/12 8:30 PM GMT in Tuscaloosa Alabama Crimson Tide vs Texas A&M Aggies Odds - Saturday October 12 2019. Live betting odds and lines, betting trends, against the spread and over/under trends, injury reports and matchup stats for bettors.
Texas A&M vs Alabama Predictions and Odds (Texas A&M Aggies vs Alabama Crimson Tide Picks - Sept 22)
Alabama vs Texas A&M, 2018 (in under 35 minutes) - Duration: 35:00. PC Alabama Enthusiast 99,742 views. 35:00. Mix Play all Mix - College Football Nerds YouTube; Urban ... LSU Tigers vs Texas A&M Aggies Predictions, Picks, and Odds for their showdown on Saturday, November 30, from Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA. Direct from Las Vegas, the WagerTalk handicapping crew ... Alabama Crimson Tide vs Georgia Bulldogs Predictions, Picks and Odds for their College Football showdown on December 1, 2018 from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV ... Alabama Crimson Tide vs Texas A&M Aggies: Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com TV host Marco D’Angelo @MarcoInVegas, Ralph Michaels @CalSportsLV and Cris @lasvegascris from Vegas Synergy ... Alabama Crimson Tide vs LSU Tigers Predictions, Picks and Odds for their College Football showdown on November 3, 2018 from Tiger Stadium. Direct from Las Vegas, WagerTalk.com, TV host Kelly ...