NFL Draft Podcast – College Football opt outs and player demands

Chris is finally back recording the show! He breaks down the decisions of Caleb Farley, Rashod Bateman, Rondale Moore, Gregory Rousseau and Micah Parsons to opt out of the 2020 season. He also discusses the impact of the Pac-12’s player demands and how the Big Ten followed suit. Plus, catch up on the latest regarding the Power 5 conference schedules for the upcoming season. Listen to the latest episode now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
https://anchor.fm/theaftermath

MLB’s struggles with COVID-19 are a bad sign for football

Commissioner Rob Manfred conducts his annual #ASG Town Hall at #FanFest.
Rob Manfred has already warned teams that the season is in jeopardy due to coronavirus outbreaks. (Wikimedia Commons)

If you have been keeping tabs on the MLB’s delayed season so far, you no doubt know that it is not going too well from a player safety stand point. The league has already had to postpone or cancel a number of games due to coronavirus outbreaks within two separate clubs. 21 members of the Miami Marlins organization tested positive for the virus. At least 13 members of the St. Louis Cardinals have tested positive and that number is still rising. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has already started to discuss potentially shutting down the season.

It is at this point that I’m sure the league and potentially many of its players wish they had opted for a bubble format like other professional sports leagues. The NWSL ran it’s Challenge Cup tournament without a hitch. MLS had some hiccups at the very beginning of it’s tournament, but things have been smooth sailing since teams entered the bubble. The WNBA and NBA have gotten off to strong starts. The NHL has no positive tests inside its bubble so far.

Baseball clearly looks to be in trouble. MLB seems to be at a loss for how to isolate and prevent these outbreaks from spreading through teams like wildfire. Red flags are going up all over the place for college football and the NFL as a result.

Despite the warning signs, Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL’s league office are resistant to forming a bubble for the 2020 season. The league is plowing ahead with restrictions and safety protocols in place at training camps.

580px-bill_belichick_2019_28cropped29
Bill Belichick has a unique challenge ahead of him with eight Patriots players opting out of the 2020 season so far. (Wikimedia Commons)

There are not even plans in place to build a potential bubble. As a result, dozens of players are opting out and even more find themselves on the newly created COVID-19/Reserve list to open training camp.

With fans not allowed to attend games in many states and percentage caps implemented at stadiums in others, it is hard to understand why the NFL is not at least attempting to create a bubble plan. It seems like many traditional revenue streams for teams will be interrupted this season, so I would imagine cutting costs would be a priority. I won’t pretend to be an expert on the league’s finances, but eliminating weekly travel would likely cut down on a huge expense for each franchise.

There would be plenty of costs that come with securing a bubble site large enough to accommodate all the players, coaches, trainers, medical staff, referees and more that go into staging an NFL season. You can’t do this for free, but the league has the finances to make it happen.

I understand it also might be a bit of a tough sell for players to commit to leaving their families to live in a bubble for the next four to six months, but that is the price of playing football in 2020. I totally respect players opting out for their own safety or for the safety of their families. I know that creating a bubble puts some strain on these athletes, but it is clear based on what is happening in baseball that without the bubble, the risk of spreading the virus is much higher. Let me reiterate it from before: the bubble works!

From a player and public safety perspective, the bubble set up seems to be the only way the 2020 season will be able to take place. MLB’s early blunders underlines how difficult it is to limit the spread of the virus with larger rosters traveling across the country.

For college football, it is much easier said than done to craft a bubble scenario. Universities have taken some larger steps to account for the concerns that come with playing the sport during the pandemic. All the Power 5 conferences have announced plans to play conference-only schedules this season. The ACC and Big 12 did throw in the added wrinkle of one non-conference game to be included in the 2020 schedule.

Cutting down or eliminating non-conference games limits travel to some degree, but not as much as would be considered the safest measure possible. These teams still will be traveling to multiple states across the country, the travel will simply be more regionalized. Emphasis on more here because conferences like the ACC still have travel involving Massachusetts, Indiana and Georgia.

memorial_stadium_pano
Texas is holding out hope for fans to attend games this fall, announcing plans for 50 percent capacity at home games. (Wikimedia Commons)

Unfortunately, due to the massive number of teams in Division I, it would be impossible to create a bubble setting for all of college football. The potential for a conference-only bubble to work is much higher, but there are still hurdles that would need to be cleared, including many the NFL would not face given the makeup of the player pool.

Even if these conferences found appropriate sites to host these bubble seasons, student-athletes would still need to attend classes. While some would undoubtedly be able to take classes online, it is unlikely every athlete would be able to take every class virtually.

It also feels like a lot more to ask of athletes who technically hold amateur status to isolate in a bubble for three or so months.

Look, I am not pretending this is an easy issue to solve. In fact, I am acknowledging that it is very difficult. However, I think it is pretty easy to connect the dots here regarding which formula works and which one does not. It is time to start taking the appropriate steps to suitably prepare for the season.

Let’s not kid ourselves. This virus has killed over 150 thousand people in the U.S. alone. It is disproportionately affecting communities of color. People of color make up the majority of NFL and college football rosters. If we really want to place high priority on bringing back sports, we need to do so in the safest way possible, recognizing the impact potential missteps could have on local communities. That is clearly establishing a bubble format. It’s time for the NFL to change its tune and for college football to start getting as creative as possible.

2020 NFL Pro Potential Power Rankings

Welcome to Year 5 of the NFL Pro Potential Power Rankings! The more things change, the more things stay the same at the top. Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Florida are all still part of the top five. However, we are starting to see the on-the-field struggles for Florida State and Stanford catch up to them. Both have fallen outside the top 20 and could potentially drop out of the rankings altogether if things don’t get turned around.

I love doing these rankings every year because it shows you which schools are the best at preparing players for the NFL draft. Obviously, it should be taken into account that usually these schools are also the ones that excel in recruiting, but there is a lot more to it than that. Receiving the right exposure, playing in a specific system or especially competing against the best talent all play a role in shaping a prospects draft stock as well. This is not a predictive measurement of how well players from these schools will do in the pros. For high school prospects with dreams of playing on Sundays, these are the best programs to get you there.

Previous rankings: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016

The scoring system is as follows:
1st round-10 points
2nd round-7 points
3rd round-5 points
4th round-4 points
5th round- 3 points
6th round- 2 points
7th round- 1 points

Alabama Logo1. Alabama Crimson Tide- 315 points
Previous: 1 (281 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Quinnen Williams, 3rd Overall, 2019
This is just unbelievable. The Crimson Tide have led these rankings every single year I have made them. Their point total has reached a staggering 315, becoming the first school to eclipse the 300-mark. For the fourth straight year, Alabama had four players selected in the first round. That doesn’t include the countless players selected in the second round, third round and beyond. Ohio State closed the gap significantly, but ‘Bama is still the king.

Ohio State Logo2. Ohio State Buckeyes- 285 points
Previous: 2 (229 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Nick Bosa/Chase Young, 2nd Overall, 2019/2020
While Alabama is clearly the best football factory in the country, there is no question Ohio State belongs in the conversation. Ryan Day sent a huge batch of players to the NFL in 2020, including two players in the top three picks. And as if you haven’t heard already, Joe Burrow started his college career in Columbus as well. There is still a long ways to go to catch the Tide, but for the first time ever, it feels possible for the Buckeyes to take the top spot in the future.

Louisiana State University logo3. LSU Tigers- 202 points
Previous: 6 (132 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Joe Burrow, 1st Overall, 2020
This will go down as one of the greatest draft classes in NFL history. Five first-rounders and 14 players drafted in total, the latter of which was a record. Joe Burrow became just the second LSU player to go first overall in program history. I am a little skeptical that the Tigers will continue to dominate like this in the draft with so much turnover, but they became the only school other than Ohio State and Alabama to eclipse the 200-point threshold.

Clemson Logo4. Clemson Tigers- 171 points
Previous: 4 (158 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Clelin Ferrell, 4th Overall, 2019
Another team regularly producing NFL talent, it feels like Clemson is just ramping up for a special run in these rankings. The Tigers had two more first rounders this year from a draft class of seven players selected in total. Given the expectations surrounding the Tigers in 2020 and the continued pipeline of elite recruits, Clemson should be a regular in the top five and make a real run at climbing higher.

Florida logo.jpg5. Florida Gators- 161 points
Previous: 3 (166 points)
Highest Drafted Player- CJ Henderson, 9th overall, 2020
The on-field success is steadily building and the draft success is staying steady. Florida is consistently turning out players going in the first three rounds. With the Gators seemingly on the verge of breaking into college football elite, it would be a surprise to see them drop much further than this. If they could get a few more players going in the first round, they should solidify their spot in the top 5.

MichiganWolverines6. Michigan Wolverines- 144 points
Previous: 8 (127 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Devin Bush, 10th Overall, 2019
Jim Harbaugh might not be able to knock off Ohio State, but he is still ending boatloads of players to the NFL. For the second time in four years, Michigan saw its number of players drafted reach double digits. They have been a little streaky, with two years with just two players drafted in the past five drafts. While there are plenty of questions surrounding Harbaugh, he continues to prepare players for the next level.

Notre Dame Logo7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish- 136 points
Previous: 14 (110 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Ronnie Stanley, 6th Overall, 2016
Tied for the biggest riser in these rankings this season, it was a nice bounce back for the Fighting Irish. Even though they didn’t reach the College Football Playoff this season, Notre Dame still put together another really impressive draft class. With six players taken in the 2020 draft, including three in the first three rounds, the Irish continue to make waves. Brian Kelly continues to do a great job putting players in position to make the jump to the pros.

Oklahoma Logo8. Oklahoma Sooners- 133 points
Previous: 9 (125 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Baker Mayfield/Kyler Murray, 1st Overall, 2018/2019
With two more first-round picks, Oklahoma continues to rise up the rankings under Lincoln Riley. The Sooners seem to be on verge of becoming a football factory once again. However, after a three-year run of transfer quarterbacks either winning the Heisman or finishing as the runner up from OU, there is some uncertainty at the position. Now that won’t diminish any of the talent still existing elsewhere on this roster, but it could rob a number of players of the same big stage to showcase that talent.

Georgia Logo9. Georgia Bulldogs- 131 points
Previous: 10 (122 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Roquon Smith, 8th Overall, 2018
Another strong year for Georgia turned into another great draft class. What is impressive is that this class could have been even deeper if a few defensive stars had entered the draft and not returned to school. That sets up the Bulldogs well for continued success next year. I don’t expect them to leave the top 10 any time soon. Count on Kirby Smart to continue cultivating NFL talent.

Washington Huskies logo.jpg10. Washington Huskies- 110 points
Previous: 5 (140 points)
Highest Drafted Player- John Ross, 9th Overall, 2017
After years of dominating the draft, the Huskies took a massive hit. Dropping 30 points of value is pretty steep. Washington only had two players selected in 2020 this was definitely a down year. It doesn’t help either that Jacob Eason was the first Husky taken this year in the fourth round. With a very small 2016 draft class, Washington should not fall much next year, but could be in danger in the future.

USC logo11. USC Trojans- 104 points
Previous: 13 (114 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Sam Darnold, 3rd Overall, 2018
This is not your grandfather’s or even your father’s USC. The Trojans have fallen from college football’s elite, but still seem capable of sending some top-tier talent to the NFL. Having two players drafted in the first 33 selection is a really nice start, but Austin Jackson and Michael Pittman ended up being the only Trojans taken. More depth would be nice going forward considering USC dropped points, but still moved up.

Auburn_Tigers_logo12. Auburn Tigers- 101 points
Previous: 19 (82 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Derrick Brown, 7th Overall, 2020
Derrick Brown and Noah Igbinoghene were Auburn’s first first-round selections since 2014. This class had depth beyond those two as well, which led to a nice jump up this list. The Tigers have not been at the same level as they were at the beginning of last decade, but these are the type of years that make you believe Auburn still has it when it comes to producing NFL prospects.

Penn_State_text_logo13. Penn State Nittany Lions- 100 points
Previous: 17 (93 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Saquon Barkley, 2nd Overall, 2018
Saquon Barkley still stands alone as the only Penn State player selected in the first round since 2010. However, a pair of second rounders and a few late-round selections still created a solid class. James Franklin is still a step behind Ohio State and Michigan, both on the field and in these rankings. Given that the Nittany Lions have clawed their way into the top 15, I think its fair to say they are trending in the right direction when it comes to preparing players for the next level.

UCLA logo.jpg14. UCLA Bruins- 98 points
Previous: 15 (100 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Josh Rosen, 10th Overall, 2018
The on-field product has been rocky so far in the Chip Kelly era, but Oregon became a pipeline to the NFL under his tutelage. The Bruins have been a constant in these rankings, even in some of their leaner years. If Kelly can put his stamp on the program, I have a feeling that will continue and we could possibly see UCLA climb back up the ranks.

Ole_Miss_Rebels_logo15. Ole Miss Rebels- 93 points
Previous: 15 (100 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Laremy Tunsil, 13th Overall, 2016
Trouble is on the horizon. While Ole Miss didn’t slide, this team is trending in the wrong direction. Not a single player from the program heard his name called in the 2020 draft. The Rebels produced a monster class in 2016, featuring three first-round picks. With this being the last year that class will be included in these rankings, I think it is fair to expect a huge drop off in the 2021 rankings. However, Lane Kiffin is in charge now and could very well turn this around. While a dip is coming, Kiffin is the type of recruiter that could have Ole Miss surging back soon after.

1000px-mississippi_state_bulldogs_logo.svg_16. Mississippi State Bulldogs- 91 points
Previous: 18 (86 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Jeffery Simmons, 19th Overall, 2019
It might not be a star-studded group, but the 2020 draft class looks pretty solid for Mississippi State. On one side of things, the Bulldogs continue to send players to the NFL with consistency. However, there are a number of players who have slipped into the middle rounds of the draft that have had a lot of success. It begs questions about Mississippi State ability to elevate their player’s stock the same way other top programs have. It will be really interesting to see how this develops with Mike Leach taking over in Starkville.

Texas A&M logo17. Texas A&M Aggies- 90 points
Previous: 16 (95 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Myles Garrett, 1st Overall, 2017
Jimbo Fisher has yet to reach the same heights he hit at Florida State. He hasn’t quite hit the same level at producing NFL talent yet since taking over at Texas A&M either. However, we could see that change pretty soon. Fisher’s first full recruiting class will be draft eligible this year, which could see them start to climb in these rankings. They are a team to watch with interest over the next few seasons.

Utah_Utes_logo17. Utah Utes- 90 points
Previous: 20 (81 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Garrett Bolles, 20th Overall, 2017
For the third time in four years, Utah has filled the middle rounds of the NFL draft. 2018 was a bit of a dud, with only one player taken. Outside of that, the Utes have sent eight, five and now seven players respectively to league. Utah has been knocking on the door of the College Football Playoff. If they can break through, we could start to see a few of these players start to go in the big money rounds.

iowa_wordmark19. Iowa Hawkeyes – 86 points
Previous: 20 (81 points)
Highest Drafted Player- T.J. Hockenson, 8th Overall, 2019
When you think of old-school NFL factories, Iowa definitely comes to mind. While the Hawkeyes might not be the best, they certainly have a knack for sending at least a few players to the next level. Iowa has had at least three players taken in each of the past four drafts. Given that the team’s 2016 group consisted of just one seventh-round pick, there is plenty of potential for a rise in next year’s rankings with another good class.

Miami logo19. Miami Hurricanes- 86 points
Previous: 11 (117 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Artie Burns, 25th Overall, 2016
The U isn’t quite back yet. They are definitely getting close though. Miami had a respectable four players selected, but none went before the fourth round. With a few potential first-round prospects for 2021, the Hurricanes could be in line for a quick bounce back, but this has been a disappointing stretch for Miami’s NFL production.

Stanford Cardinal21. Stanford Cardinal- 85 points
Previous: 12 (116 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Solomon Thomas, 3rd Overall, 2017
When I started these rankings back in 2016, Stanford ranked seventh and was still riding the Andrew Luck years. While there have been a handful of top prospects to emerge since then, this has to be a disappointment to fall outside the top 20. The Cardinal had only two players selected in 2020, one in the fourth and one in the seventh. David Shaw has his work cut out for him to get Stanford back to national relevance and seeing more players take the next step in their football careers.

1000px-north_carolina_state_university_athletic_logo.svg_22. North Carolina State Wolfpack- 83 points
Previous: 22 (79 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Bradley Chubb, 5th Overall, 2018
It was a quiet year for the Wolfpack, but they are mostly surviving off a great 2018 draft class. They did have Garrett Bradbury go in the 2019 first round as well. Just two draft picks in 2020, one in the fifth and one in the seventh, isn’t too impressive though. It will be interesting to see which direction NC State is heading by next year.

Florida State Logo23. Florida State Seminoles- 80 points
Previous: 6 (132 points)
Highest Drafted Player- Jalen Ramsey, 5th Overall, 2016
Talk about the bottom falling out. Florida State started out at No. 2 in these rankings back in 2016. The program has been a mess in recent years and it was only a matter of time before these rankings began to reflect that. With just a single player selected in 2020, the fall might not be over for the Seminoles.

1280px-TCU_Horned_Frogs_logo24. TCU Horned Frogs- 79 points
Previous: Not ranked (55 points)
Highest Draft Player- Jalen Reagor, 21st Overall, 2020
For the first time in school history, TCU had two players selected in the first round as both Jalen Reagor and Jeff Gladney heard their names called. This is also the first time the Horned Frogs have entered these rankings. With five draft picks in 2020 and at least three players selected in four of the past five drafts, TCU has potential to stick around. Hopefully, Gary Patterson is up to the task.

Wisconsin logo25. Wisconsin Badgers- 73 points
Previous: 25 (74 points)
Highest Drafted Player- T.J. Watt, 30th Overall, 2017
The Badgers had a solid if unspectacular 2020 draft class. They failed to land a player in the first round, but they did have four players come off the board and all before the sixth round. Wisconsin debuted in these rankings at 15 back in 2016 so dropping to the edge is definitely disappointing. That being said, you can count on a few Badgers being selected in the middle rounds of the draft just about every year like clockwork.

Others Receiving Votes: West Virginia (63 points), Boston College (56 points), Temple (56 points)

Note: All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 

NFL Draft Podcast – Senior Bowl Recap

After a week off, I am back breaking down all things NFL draft. With the Senior Bowl and Super Bowl behind us, draft season is officially underway. It time to recap the week in Mobile and discuss who helped their draft stock and who could have had a better week. Plus, a little preview of some future episode topics. Listen to the latest episode now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. https://anchor.fm/theaftermath

NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100 Post Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl week was awesome as we got to see some excellent standout players shine and others we weren’t familiar with take the big stage. Projected first round picks like Justin Herbert, Javon Kinlaw and Terrell Lewis showed up. Unheralded prospects like Kyle Dugger, Ben Bartch and Dane Jackson showed they were more than ready for the NFL. Overall, it was a great opportunity to evaluate these players in a different setting and see them put to the test against many others they are competing against to be drafted.

Between the College Football Playoff, East-West Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl, a lot has changed since my last big board. While there are still plenty of questions left following the week, we now have a much better sense for where each player stands heading into the combine. There will be plenty more to learn and dissect following week-long event, but as we stand, here is my latest top 100 prospects.

  1. Ohio State LogoChase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
    Unquestionably the best prospect in the draft. About as polished as you could hope for as a pass rusher entering the league. Young does an excellent job against the run as well.
  2. Ohio State LogoJeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
    The more I watch Jeff Okudah, the more I love what I see. He mirrors receivers so well and shows excellent closing speed to disrupt passes. He seals it with being a proven tackler as well.
  3. Alabama LogoJerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
    This is one of, if not the best receiver class ever. It is headlined by Jerry Jeudy, who has showcased the speed, ability to separate and awareness to be an elite NFL receiver. He has had a few drops, but it looks like a fixable problem.
  4. Clemson LogoIsaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
    You could start Isaiah Simmons in a lot of places. He could be an excellent off-ball linebacker or a ball hawking safety. His speed, instincts and football IQ make him an elite defensive prospect.
  5. LSU LogoJoe Burrow, QB, LSU
    After an incredible senior season, Joe Burrow will likely be the first overall pick. He has incredible mobility and excels at making plays outside the pocket. He doesn’t have the strongest arm, but he can still make plays down the field. His intermediate accuracy is scary good.
  6. Oklahoma LogoCeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
    If you want a player who can make something out of seemingly nothing, CeeDee Lamb is for you. Put on the film against Texas and you will see him simply willing himself to the end zone. He will have to prove he can generate separation at the next level, but his playmaking skill makes him an immediate starter.
  7. iowa_wordmarkA.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
    I list A.J. Epenesa as an edge player, but he could also kick inside as a five technique tackle. That versatility makes him an intriguing option for any team needing a disruptive defensive linemen. He played exceptionally well over his final few college games.
  8. Alabama LogoTua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
    Were it not for the injury, Tua Tagovailoa would push Joe Burrow for the top quarterback taken in 2020. As it stands, there are major red flags regarding Tua’s durability. When healthy, he reminds many of a southpaw Drew Brees.
  9. Georgia LogoAndrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
    When you turn on tape of Andrew Thomas, you see someone with the power to be an high-level starter in the pros. He struggles at times with speed rushers, but he has the frame and technique to start right away.
  10. Alabama LogoHenry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
    Meet the fastest player in this draft. One of the most exciting things about the upcoming combine will be if Henry Ruggs threatens the 40-yard dash record. He is a complete receiver and decent size given his explosiveness.
  11. Auburn_Tigers_logoDerrick Brown, DL, Auburn
    I’m not as high on Derrick Brown as most. He has shown flashes of being a game-wrecker, but he is too inconsistent as a pass rusher for me. However, he might be the best interior lineman against the run in this class.
  12. South Carolina logoJavon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
    Javon Kinlaw essentially ran unchecked through Mobile. He bolstered what already an impressive draft stock and proved he is a great interior rusher. If he measures well at the combine and shows some good agility in the three cone drill, he could move ahead of Brown.
  13. Clemson LogoTee Higgins, WR, Clemson
    The biggest knock on Tee Higgins is his inability to separate. I think that has been overblown and his catch radius should limit those concerns anyway. There might not be a better jump ball player in this draft.
  14. iowa_wordmarkTristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
    I think Tristan Wirfs projects best as an interior lineman, but he does have some experience at both tackle positions. He moves well for a player his size. He is a more polished version of Mekhi Becton.
  15. Alabama LogoJedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
    While he might not be as physically imposing as the other tackles projected in the first round, Jedrick Wills is the best pass blocker of the bunch. He isn’t a mauler, but he is technically sound and pro ready.
  16. Ohio State LogoJ.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
    Few running backs have the blend of speed and power J.K. Dobbins possesses. He will likely go a lot later than this on draft day, but he is that talented. Position value will just cause him to slide.
  17. Oklahoma LogoKenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
    The NFL continues to trend towards smaller, faster linebackers. Kenneth Murray fits the mold of the new prototype. His speed alone makes him an impact player. He wraps up well and with a little refining in coverage, he should be a three-down player.
  18. colorado_buffaloes_alternate_logoLaviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
    Laviska Shenault gets lost in the shuffle of the big name receivers in this draft. Prior to a banged up 2019 season, Shenault dominated the Pac-12 in 2018. He is athletic and has some interesting positional diversity. Colorado used him as a wildcat quarterback just to get the ball in his hands more.
  19. LSU LogoJustin Jefferson, WR, LSU
    No player benefited more from Joe Burrow’s Heisman season than Justin Jefferson. He thrust himself into the first round conversation with an incredible statistical season. He has the size and physical skills to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.
  20. Oregon logoJustin Herbert, QB, Oregon
    There are still some questions regarding Justin Herbert, but he showed he could be a leader at the Senior Bowl. He showcased his arm talent once again. His mobility makes him a dynamic option who could develop into a Pro-Bowl-level quarterback.
  21. Wisconsin logoTyler Biadasz, OL, Wisconsin
    Teams looking for a plug and play center will be doing their homework on Tyler Biadasz. He is a grinder and has put together some excellent tape. He had hip surgery at the end of the year, which is certainly a red flag. How he tests at the combine could solidify his first round status or drop him out of the top 50.
  22. Penn State logoYetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
    Yetur Gross-Matos put together another solid season following an impressive 2018 campaign. He has the size to play as a 4-3 or a 3-4 outside linebacker. He should be a situational pass rusher from Day 1.
  23. LSU LogoGrant Delpit, S, LSU
    In terms of diagnosing plays and putting himself in position to succeed, Grant Delpit is a great player. He struggles to always make those plays though. A clear inability to wrap up showed up on film this year and he needs to improve his angles downfield.
  24. LSU LogoKristian Fulton, CB, LSU
    Often overshadowed by Derrick Stingley Jr., Kristian Fulton has the physical tools to develop into a No. 1 corner. He tracks the ball well in the air and will make some plays in coverage. He still has to iron out some inconsistencies and show he can handle the pressure of being picked on.
  25. Alabama LogoXavier McKinney, S, Alabama
    For teams looking for an aggressive safety, Xavier McKinney checks a lot of the desired boxes. He measures in well and he can play up near the line. He is comfortable stepping into the slot occasionally as well.
  26. Louisville logoMekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
    Mekhi Becton is a behemoth. He is 6’7″ and roughly 365 pounds. His power in absolutely incredible. He is also incredibly raw. His potential is huge, but he definitely needs a decent amount of work before he can be trusted as a starter.
  27. Alabama LogoTerrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
    After a solid week in Mobile, Terrell Lewis is showing some depth to his game in addition to just being a pass rusher. He played some off-ball linebacker and flashed his athleticism. Testing well could see him crack the top 20.
  28. Florida logoCJ Henderson, CB, Florida
    At times, CJ Henderson looks ready to make the jump. At others, Henderson can look overmatched and out of position. He breaks well on the ball and uses his hands well to break up passes. He needs to improve his press coverage.
  29. Georgia LogoD’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
    The hype around Georgia’s offense dipped in the second half of the year. Word is injury slowed down D’Andre Swift during the drop off. I want to see him compete at full health at the combine to see how dynamic he can truly be.
  30. Utah_Utes_logoBradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
    This is my biggest draft crush at this point. Bradlee Anae jumped out on tape over the past month of the season and dominated the Senior Bowl. He showed out in the game and has a first round grade from me at the moment.
  31. LSU LogoK’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
    As a pass rusher, K’Lavon Chaisson is a speed rusher with decent power. The thing that bothers me is how bad he is against the run. He never keeps contain and will get dragged for extra yardage.
  32. USC logoMichael Pittman, WR, USC
    Another Senior Bowl standout here. He sat out Saturday’s game with an ankle injury, but he balled out in practice. Michael Pittman lacks blazing speed, but he can still separate and projects as an excellent possession receiver.
  33. 800px-virginia_cavaliers_wordmarkBryce Hall, CB, Virginia
    Prior to an ankle injury, Bryce Hall was playing like a first round pick for Virginia. If he can get healthy by the combine, he could work his way back into the first round.
  34. Alabama LogoTrevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
    Trevon Diggs has the size and speed that NFL teams love. However, he has some rough games on film. There were a lot of corners torched by LSU, but it still shows Diggs has some growing to do.
  35. 350px-utah_state_aggies_logo.svg_Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
    One of the most controversial prospects in this class, I think Jordan Love would be an excellent value in the late first round or early second round. His arm talent is impressive. His decision making and inability to move through his reads is concerning.
  36. Oklahoma LogoNeville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
    Few players bring the type of savvy Neville Gallimore has. He should be a high floor, starting option early in his career. He looked sharp during Senior Bowl week.
  37. LSU LogoPatrick Queen, LB, LSU
    I still have a lot more film to break down on Patrick Queen after expecting him to return to school for most of the year. While I think he is currently being overhyped, showing up on a big stage is promising.
  38. logo_of_university_of_houston_athleticsJosh Jones, OT, Houston
    One of the clear winners from Senior Bowl week, Josh Jones is now generating first round buzz. He solidifies himself in that second tier of tackles. His potential and grit are enticing.
  39. 237px-arizona_state_sun_devils_baseball_logo.svg_Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
    Unfortunately, Brandon Aiyuk was forced to sit out Senior Bowl week with an injury. His production from his senior year has some talking about him being a first round pick. He gets vertical and stacks defensive backs well to make big plays downfield.
  40. 1280px-boise_state_22b22_logo.svg_Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
    One of the most consistent players in college football over the past three years, Curtis Weaver finished his junior year with 13.5 sacks and a career total 34. I’m eager to see him at the combine.
  41. 250px-tcu_horned_frogs_logo.svg_Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
    Speedy playmakers that play above the rim are a commodity. Jalen Reagor had a dominant 2018 season before taking a step back this year. If he can clean up the drops at the combine, he should have enough physical skill to standout in a loaded draft class.
  42. Wisconsin logoZach Baun, LB, Wisconsin
    Zach Baun completely changed the scouting report on himself during Senior Bowl week. After spending his time at Wisconsin as an edge rusher, he showed his versatility and coachability by moving to linebacker. He could draw first round interest.
  43. 300px-california_golden_bears_logo.svg_Ashtyn Davis, S, California
    As a track star at California, Ashtyn Davis could stand out at the combine. He missed out on the Senior Bowl with an injury. He still has some questions to answer about his ability to cover at the next level.
  44. Notre Dame LogoJulian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
    After wrapping a solid if unspectacular career at Notre Dame, Julian Okwara is a player capable of making an early impact. He failed to take a step forward during his senior year, but he has some potential to develop into a consistent pass rusher.
  45. 250px-tcu_horned_frogs_logo.svg_Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU
    I am still in the early stages of breaking down film on Ross Blacklock. He has great size and holds his position well. More to come on him.
  46. USC logoAustin Jackson, OT, USC
    Prior to his bowl game, there was some first round hype around Austin Jackson. That died down after he struggled to keep up with A.J. Epenesa. He has the physical tools to develop into a starting left tackle.
  47. Wisconsin logoJonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
    From a talent perspective, Jonathan Taylor is near the top of the class. However, he has a ton of mileage on his legs and issues with fumbling. That makes it harder to justify picking him.
  48. MichiganWolverinesDonovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
    It is becoming more and more apparent that his lack of production was likely linked to Shea Patterson. He should be an intriguing option to improve in a new offense.
  49. Notre Dame LogoCole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
    I am still working on catching up on Cole Kmet film after he changed his draft decision. He shows good hands and has the size NFL teams want at the position.
  50. 212px-temple_t_logo.svg_Matt Hennessy, OL, Temple
    Matt Hennessey won’t overwhelm anyone with his power, but he fits well into any zone scheme. He has no problem sprinting out on reach blocks and picking up players in the second level.
  51. 250px-tcu_horned_frogs_logo.svg_Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
    He doesn’t jump off the page from a measurable or statistical standpoint, but Jeff Gladney is consistent and crafty. He understands how to position himself well to make plays. Would love to see him come up with a few more interceptions.
  52. MichiganWolverinesCesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan
    Projects as a starting center at the next level. Cesar Ruiz has the size you want for an interior linemen.
  53. Clemson LogoJohn Simpson, G, Clemson
    About as battle tested as they come. John Simpson played in back-to-back championship games and held up well against some very good competition.
  54. Auburn_Tigers_logoMarlon Davidson, DL, Auburn
    I am still a little uncertain what Marlon Davidson’s best fit in the NFL will be. He lined up all over the place for Auburn. That type of versatility is something to work with.
  55. Penn State logoKJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
    I am much lower on the Penn State speedster than most. I don’t see KJ Hamler as being much more than an average slot receiver. His speed is his best quality.
  56. Auburn_Tigers_logoPrince Tega Wangho, OT, Auburn
    He was put through the ringer at times blocking in the SEC. He still has some room to grow, but I like his ability in pass protection.
  57. Florida logoJonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
    He isn’t too flashy, but he works hard and understands his assignments. Greenard made a good impression after transferring from Louisville to Florida.
  58. Ohio State LogoMalik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
    A downhill playmaker, Malik Harrison is a fun prospect. He made a lot of disruptive plays. He still has to grow as a block shedder and coverage option.
  59. LSU LogoLloyd Cushenberry, OL, LSU
    He struggled through the College Football Playoff, but put together a solid week in Mobile. He has some plug and play potential.
  60. Ohio State LogoDamon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
    Clearly not as well known as Ohio State’s other corners, Damon Arnette played a solid final game of his college career. He can press well and could develop into an outside option.
  61. Utah_Utes_logoLeki Fotu, DL, Utah
    He is a massive man playing in the middle of defensive lines. Leki Fotu has excellent burst off the line as a pass rusher. He has a ways to go with his technique and stamina.
  62. Washington Huskies logoJacob Eason, QB, Washington
    The strong-arm quarterback from Washington has more questions than answers. His lack of mobility is concerning, but Jacob Eason’s arm talent should see him go on Day 2.
  63. Oregon logoTroy Dye, LB, Oregon
    A tough and fast linebacker, Troy Dye is a bit undersized even by today’s expectations. He fights through traffic well, but needs to up his play strength.
  64. vanderbilt_commodoresJared Pickney, TE, Vanderbilt
    Jared Pickney is the most well-rounded tight end in this class. He is a solid blocker and showed his chops as a pass catcher. His play is consistently above average.
  65. MichiganWolverinesJosh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
    Much like Bradlee Anae, Josh Uche had an excellent showing at the Senior Bowl. He showed his speed off the edge consistently. Uche hasn’t shown a whole lot of other ways he can win though.
  66. Alabama LogoRaekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
    From a traits perspective, Raekwon Davis checks every box. From a production and reliability standpoint, Davis has been a did. He has gone backwards in his final two years at Alabama.
  67. LSU LogoClyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
    Maurice Jones-Drew 2.0 showcased his bruising running style en route to a national title. Clyde Edwards-Helaire can catch the ball out of the backfield as well. His top speed is average at best, but he has a clear role to play.
  68. Baylor logoDenzel Mims, WR, Baylor
    Part of Baylor’s surprising resurgence this season, Denzel Mims proved he is a playmaker. He has excellent body control and seems to be improving as a route runner.
  69. 320px-dayton_flyers_winged-d_logo_redAdam Trautman, TE, Dayton
    Another riser from Senior Bowl week, Adam Trautman showed off some solid hands and decent blocking skills. He made some ground in this deepish tight end group.
  70. MichiganWolverinesBen Bredeson, G, Michigan
    Ben Bredeson had an uneven week in Mobile, with a couple of poor reps in 1-on-1 drills. However, he also flashed some solid technique and could develop into a quality option.
  71. Texas A&M logoJustin Manduibuike, DL, Texas A&M
    He showed up on tape for Texas A&M right away. He is relentless in his pursuit, but needs to improve at reading his keys.
  72. Texas_Longhorns_logoDevin Duvernay, WR, Texas
    Pretty much every receiver had a good week in Mobile, but I am really starting to like Devin Duvernay. He looks like a quality slot receiver with good route running ability. His film over Texas’ final few games is impressive.
  73. 176px-purdue_boilermakers_logo.svg_Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
    My assessment of Brycen Hopkins is still very incomplete. At times, he looks like the best tight end in this draft. At others, he looks like a backup at best.
  74. uconn_logo1Matt Peart, OT, UConn
    Matt Peart might be the best of the project tackles in this class. His size and length make him a fun prospect to work with.
  75. Georgia LogoJake Fromm, QB, Georgia
    A lack of arm strength limits Jake Fromm’s upside. He is very cerebral and poised, but lacks the zip to hit tight windows or stretch the field.
  76. Auburn_Tigers_logoNoah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
    He is starting to generate some buzz. When I watch him, I see good speed and excellent use of the sideline to help him in coverage, limiting the space for receivers. He still has some work to do with his technique.
  77. Washington Huskies logoTrey Adams, OT, Washington
    When totally healthy, Trey Adams should be in the conversation with Josh Jones and Austin Jackson. A checkered injury history and shaky movement skills knock him down a lot.
  78. 250px-tcu_horned_frogs_logo.svg_Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
    Projecting as a right tackle, Lucas Niang has the size you want. He is pretty powerful, but still underdeveloped. He missed most of the year with an injury.
  79. redraiderlogoJordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
    This is someone I could see rising up my board. He has good speed and can run with backs out of the backfield. He is smart with how he attacks opposing quarterbacks.
  80. Utah_Utes_logoJaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
    While he has some better moments, it is hard for me to get past the film against USC. Jaylon Johnson has no interest as a tackler and is still developing in coverage.
  81. Florida State LogoCam Akers, RB, Florida State
    Cam Akers is the type of player you can expect to improve in the NFL after getting out of that terrible Florida State offense. He should carve out a role early on with some potential to take over as a starter down the line.
  82. Michigan State logoKenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
    He won’t wow you with his athleticism, but he grinds down opposing offensive linemen and finds way to be productive. Kenny Willekes could end up being a steal.
  83. 1000px-mississippi_state_bulldogs_logo.svg_Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
    As a proven tackler, Cameron Dantzler will be on some teams boards for that reason alone. If he can refine his approach as a man corner, he will turn into a quality corner.
  84. Ohio State LogoKJ Hill, WR, Ohio State
    KJ Hill had an excellent week in Mobile, showing his route running ability. He still needs to work on generating separation earlier in his routes, but he is crafty.
  85. Clemson LogoA.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
    What is the opposite of recency bias? A.J. Terrell got torched in a variety of ways in the national championship game. He is definitely a project player with some upside.
  86. 300px-california_golden_bears_logo.svg_Evan Weaver, LB, Cal
    Evan Weaver led the country in tackles this year. He has a nose for the football and contributes on special teams.
  87. Notre Dame LogoChase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
    With teams looking to find red zone specialists, Chase Claypool should draw some interest. He has a big body and adjusts well to balls in the air.
  88. Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s
    He came out to play with the big boys and did not disappoint. Ben Bartch has a steep learning curve ahead, but looks like a future starting tackle.
  89. Notre Dame LogoTroy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
    As far as speed goes, Troy Pride showed at the Senior Bowl that he can run with anyone. Someone will take a chance on him with the hope of developing the rest of his game.
  90. Alabama LogoAnfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama
    I was surprised to see Anfernee Jennings listed as an inside linebacker on the Senior Bowl roster. I’m not sure how much upside I really see in a position switch for him.
  91. 320px-pittpanthersDane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
    He might not go to a small school, but Dane Jackson still came from way off the radar with his performance in Mobile. He made a really positive impression that is going to force me to watch some film on him.
  92. Florida logoVan Jefferson, WR, Florida
    This is much more of a traits thing than anything else. Van Jefferson didn’t have elite college production, but he showed in Mobile that he can make contested catches and find ways to create a window for quarterbacks to throw into.
  93. 1000px-north_carolina_state_university_athletic_logo.svg_Larrell Murchison, DL, NC State
    NC State seems to produce solid defensive linemen every year. Larrell Murchison should just continue the trend. He had a decent Senior Bowl week. I will be revisiting his film before the combine.
  94. 512px-oklahoma_state_university_athletics_logo_28four_colors29.svg_A.J. Green, CB, Oklahoma State
    Not to be confused with the injured Bengals receiver, A.J. Green made a name for himself at the Senior Bowl. He rose to the challenge of facing the incredible receivers in attendance and fared well.
  95. Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir Rhyne
    I don’t even know where Lenoir Rhyne is, but I can tell you Kyle Dugger is an NFL-caliber player. He had some really nice moments in Mobile and acclimated nicely to the speed.
  96. Baylor logoJames Lynch, DL, Baylor
    After a fantastic season where he was named Big 12 defensive player of the year, James Lynch still seems like a mid round player. His production was impressive, but his upside and measurables are less so.
  97. Kentucky logoLogan Stenberg, G, Kentucky
    He didn’t stand out as much during Senior Bowl week, but he did nothing to hurt his stock. Logan Stenberg has some solid film in the SEC to fall back on.
  98. Washington Huskies logoNick Harris, C, Washington
    Pretty much everyone I have talked about had a good week in Mobile. Nick Harris did not. He got bullied in 1-on-1 drills. His tape is more promising, but this exposed some clear weaknesses.
  99. Georgia LogoIsaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
    The other Georgia offensive tackle, Isaiah Wilson is all about his traits. He has the size and frame to develop into a starting option. He faced good competition, but he never stood out.
  100. 237px-arizona_state_sun_devils_baseball_logo.svg_Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State
    Eno Benjamin is a shifty running back I could see rising up boards at the combine. He played on a middling Arizona State team that didn’t get much press. He could start to work his way into the top five conversation with a good showing in Indianapolis.For more NFL Draft coverage, check out the Aftermath’s NFL Draft Podcast, with new episodes every Thursday.