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
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.
- Chase 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.
- Jeff 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.
- Jerry 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.
- Isaiah 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.
- Joe 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.
- CeeDee 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.
- A.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.
- Tua 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.
- Andrew 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.
- Henry 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.
- Derrick 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.
- Javon 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.
- Tee 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.
- Tristan 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.
- Jedrick 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.
- J.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.
- Kenneth 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.
- Laviska 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.
- Justin 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.
- Justin 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.
- Tyler 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.
- Yetur 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.
- Grant 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.
- Kristian 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.
- Xavier 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.
- Mekhi 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.
- Terrell 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.
- CJ 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.
- D’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.
- Bradlee 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.
- K’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.
- Michael 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.
- Bryce 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.
- Trevon 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.
- 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.
- Neville 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.
- Patrick 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.
- Josh 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Zach 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.
- 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.
- Julian 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.
- 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.
- Austin 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.
- Jonathan 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.
- Donovan 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.
- Cole 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan
Projects as a starting center at the next level. Cesar Ruiz has the size you want for an interior linemen.
- John 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.
- Marlon 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.
- KJ 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.
- Prince 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.
- Jonathan 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.
- Malik 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.
- Lloyd 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.
- Damon 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.
- Leki 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.
- Jacob 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.
- Troy 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.
- Jared 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.
- Josh 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.
- Raekwon 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.
- Clyde 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.
- Denzel 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.
- Adam 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.
- Ben 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.
- Justin 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.
- Devin 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.
- 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.
- Matt 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.
- Jake 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.
- Noah 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.
- Trey 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.
- 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.
- Jordyn 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.
- Jaylon 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.
- Cam 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.
- Kenny 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.
- 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.
- KJ 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.
- A.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.
- 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.
- Chase 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.
- 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.
- Troy 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.
- Anfernee 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.
- Dane 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.
- Van 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- James 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.
- Logan 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.
- Nick 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.
- Isaiah 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.
- 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.
It’s time to get this pre-draft process truly underway. The East-West Shrine Bowl is an excellent opportunity to begin scouting players more in depth. Most of these players won’t hear their name called on Day 1 or maybe even Day 2, but there are always a few players who climb up draft boards with their performances in this game and the Senior Bowl. In 2018, Chase Edmonds, Phillip Lindsay, DaeSean Hamilton and Poona Ford all featured. 2019 had Cody Barton, David Blough and Jesper Horsted. These aren’t the stars of the draft, but plenty of these guys will be Day 3 picks come April. Additionally, the talk is this year’s roster is much better than last year’s.
Looking at this group, the offensive line group is particularly impressive. There are a few players I have third and fourth round grades on at this point set to play, including Calvin Throckmorton, Jack Driscol and Darryl Williams. Here are the players worth keeping an eye on Saturday January 18, at 3 pm on NFL Network.
Jack Driscol, OT, Auburn (6’5″, 296 lbs)
Driscol started all year at right tackle for Auburn. He would probably be best suited to stay on that side or even kick inside in the NFL. He has the length, but he will likely need to bulk up a little bit once he gets drafted. His movement skills have already been on display this week at practice.
Darryl Williams, C, Mississippi State (6’3″ 310 lbs)
Another lineman who started for an SEC school in need of some gym time here with Darryl Williams. His is technically sound, but definitely needs to improve his play strength. This is really clear in the run game because he doesn’t often generate a ton of drive off the line. Buzz at practice this week is he is looking stronger already.
Charlie Heck, OT, UNC (6’8″, 315 lbs)
This is a name I have seen popping up in mock drafts more frequently. Charlie Heck undoubtedly has the size to play tackle in the pros, but he flew under the radar a bit at UNC. His hand usage is pretty good and he actually held up pretty well when he played Clemson. A good showing here could push him up a lot of boards. He has NFL pedigree as well as his dad Andy was a former first round pick.
Shyheim Carter, S, Alabama (6’0″, 191 lbs)
He is nowhere near as polished or talented as his Crimson Tide counterpart Xavier McKinney, but Shyheim Carter could be a sleeper in this draft. He moved around a lot in the Alabama defense, showing some nice versatility. He might not be an immediate starter, but he could end up being a solid depth player right away.
Michael Divinity II, LB, LSU (6’2″, 242 lbs)
No one has had a more interesting season than Michael Divinity. Between academic issues and team rules violations, Divinity missed a solid chunk of LSU’s late-season games. However, he was cleared to play in the national championship game. He has the prototypical size of an NFL linebacker. He is talented enough to play in the NFL, where academic issues won’t follow him. Any team misconduct will be something teams will address during the combine.
Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami (6’1″, 241 lbs)
This was not the season expected of Miami entering the year. Shaq Quarterman and the defense were solid though despite the disappointing record. He topped 100 total tackles and showed flashes of playmaking ability. Size shouldn’t be a problem, so if he can play sideline to sideline again, he should be in good shape.
Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte (6’4″, 242 lbs)
Here is the list of players with more sacks than Alex Highsmith this season: Chase Young and Gregory Rosseau, potentially the top two edge players selected in the 2020 and 2021 NFL drafts. Highsmith obviously did it against much weaker competition. He will need to get stronger to truly compete in the NFL, but he reads his keys and has a good number of pass rush moves to go to.
Tavien Feaster, RB, South Carolina (6’2″, 221 lbs)
The former Clemson running back stayed in state and moved to the SEC. He likely fits as a complementary back at the next level, but he has some receiving work under his belt as well. He could be an interesting Day 3 prospect. His size could have teams interested in using him as a short yardage option.
Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy (5’9″, 190 lbs)
Malcolm Perry bounced all over the place at Navy and finally landed at quarterback. He mostly ran the ball for the Midshipmen, but this week, he will get a chance to show off his receiver skills. He could be a late-round flyer teams hope to develop into a receiver. The athleticism is definitely there. Reports are he has looked fairly comfortable this week running his routes. I’m excited to see how he handles this new role in a game.
Calvin Throckmorton, OT, Oregon (6’5″, 309)
Calvin Throckmorton was part of one of the best offensive lines in college football this year. He played right tackle, but his size could lead him to a future at guard in the NFL. He played all over the place in 2018, starting at every position but left guard. He will find a home somewhere and his versatility could make him appealing for teams looking to fill multiple depth positions with one player.
Binjimin Victor, WR, Ohio State (6’4″, 199 lbs)
Despite not getting as much press as the receivers that came before him Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell, Binjimin Victor seems ready to stand out. His size and speed make him intriguing. Word is that he has impressed this week in practice as well. He likely won’t go before Day 3, but he could have an early impact.
Yasir Durant, OT, Missouri (6’7″, 330 lbs)
Entering this process as a massive prospect, Yasir Durant is a wild card in this tackle class. He started the past two years for Missouri at left tackle and put together some decent tape. The hype around Missouri died down without Drew Lock, but Durant’s size should be enough to keep teams interested. Some solid work here could help him be a mid-round selection.
Levante Bellamy, RB, Western Michigan (5’9″, 190 lbs)
One of my favorite sleepers in this year’s draft, Levante Bellamy is explosive. He was a great playmaker for Western Michigan this year. He is a bit undersized, but his speed should help him turn some heads. If given the right opportunity to shine here, he could find a home in the later rounds.
Kelly Bryant, QB, Missouri (6’3″, 225 lbs)
Two years ago, he was starting in the national title game. Now Kelly Bryant is hoping he can do enough to convince an NFL team to give him a chance. His mobility has never been an issue, but his accuracy and mechanics are questionable. He is one of the biggest profile players in Florida based on name-recognition. People will be talking if he can show some improvements.
Jon Runyan Jr., OT, Michigan (6’5″, 321 lbs)
Another offensive tackle to add to the mix. Jon Runyan, son of former Washington offensive tackle Jon Runyan, has reportedly looked solid all week at practice. He is very fundamentally sound and clearly understands how to play the position. If he can show some nastiness and consistency, his physical tools should he enough to pique someone’s interest.
Diondre Overton, WR, Clemson (6’4″, 210 lbs)
A late arriver after the Clemson-LSU game, Diondre Overton made an instant impression on Wednesday with one of the catches of the week. He had to play behind some really talented receivers at Clemson. I am excited to see how he does in a more prevalent position here. He is a big body target with production in the red zone. He could fit a role right away in the NFL.
For more NFL Draft coverage, check out the Aftermath’s NFL Draft Podcast, with new episodes every Thursday.
Is it just me, or does it feel like conference championship games were forever ago? Bowl season was a long slog, but we made it out the other side. Our patience was rewarded with an entertaining, if not always super competitive, College Football Playoff. While some of these bowl games certainly felt pointless, it is an excellent opportunity for players to put together game tape in front of a national audience heading into the pre-draft process. Unfortunately, it also means some players will walk away with a less-than-stellar end to their season and potentially tank their draft stock. It’s hard to blame some of the top prospects for skipping these games.
With bowl season done though, it is time to review the big risers and fallers from the past month. Before you get on me about players like Jerry Jeudy or Joe Burrow, they obviously played great games. However, their draft stock is pretty well cemented. There really isn’t a whole lot higher they could possibly climb. Let’s take a look at some players whose bowl performances made a real difference in their draft stock.
A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
A.J. Epenesa capped off a huge second half to the season with a dominant showing in the Holiday Bowl. Going up against a likely top-50 pick in Austin Jackson, Epenesa consistently got pressure, often times in different ways. He showed a wide array of pass rush moves and good burst off the edge. I think he should find himself in the top 10 come draft day, but there is a lot to happen between now and then. He will definitely be in the draft after declaring on Tuesday.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Man this kid can run. I’ve been saying he reminds me of Maurice Jones-Drew. Some of that is size profile, but Clyde Edwards-Helaire also brings that same kind of elusiveness mixed with power. He definitely lacks breakaway speed, but he could he effective in the right offense. With Chuba Hubbard and Najee Harris returning to school, he is now up to RB5 and I thinking solidly into the Day 2 conversation. I’m worried his stock will dip if he doesn’t run super well at the combine, but he should develop into a starter in the NFL.
Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
I have loved what I have seen from Bradlee Anae over the past few months. He has incredible burst and timing off the edge and actually does a decent job setting the edge against the run. He still has a long way to go in terms of disengaging bigger blockers and varying up his pass rush moves. From a physical traits stand point, he has what teams want. That was on display against Texas, even if it doesn’t show in the box score. He finished with half a sack, but had a bigger presence than that.
Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
Chase Claypool balled out against Iowa State in the Camping World Bowl. He showed a good ability to go up and make plays in traffic. His body control was impressive. His size is great too and you can’t coach that. Claypool sits behind a long list of guys right now on my big board because of how stacked this draft class is at the receiver, but his tape left a very positive impression heading into the Senior Bowl.
Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
I was resistant to putting Tyler Johnson here because I have heard so many mixed reviews, but wow he balled out against Auburn. I went back to rewatch the tape of Marlon Davidson and Johnson stood out every time. He showcased great athleticism and an impressive ability to adjust to the ball in the air on a few spectacular catches. I know there are scouts who are knocking him down because he didn’t get a Senior Bowl invite, but he looked the part of an NFL receiver in the Outback Bowl.
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
That was a really tough way for Jalen Hurts’ college career to end. Hurts simply looked inaccurate against LSU in the CFP semifinal. He showed out as a runner, but he is built more like Tim Tebow than Lamar Jackson. The truth is, Hurts reminds me of Tebow, but with slightly better mechanics. He lacks great arm strength, often times having to float balls over the middle, rather than hitting receivers on a line. We will see Hurts as part of a loaded quarterback group at the Senior Bowl though, so maybe he can start to rehab his value.
A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
You had to know this was coming. His last game was brutal. A.J. Terrell got smoked by JaMarr Chase. Chase has made a lot of defenders look foolish this year, but Terrell looked was completely overmatched. He showed he does not have the top line speed to run with top-end receivers or the physicality to make up for that. This might force him to go back to school for another year; he is just a junior. If he does come out, I expect him to be a fringe second round player at this point.
Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The reason why Austin Jackson is on this list is because A.J. Epenesa is one of the risers. Jackson got a big test facing the Iowa edge rusher. I actually pegged him as one of the players who could help his draft stock the most given the opportunity. I think to say he failed is extreme, but he also didn’t pass with flying colors either. There were moments where he flashed franchise tackle potential. I think it is going to take some good coaching and a bit more seasoning for him to get up to NFL speed for him to reach his ceiling. Jackson might still find his way into the first round, but should not be thought of as a day-one starter.
Marlon Davidson, EDGE, Auburn
Auburn got pushed around a bit in the Outback Bowl by Minnesota. Marlon Davidson was no exception. He was undisciplined against the run a lot in that game. He didn’t make much of a mark as a pass rusher either. Auburn likes to kick him inside next to Derrick Brown. I see him as more of a 3-4 or 4-3 end, but he will need to improve his gap discipline and work on reading his keys before he can make an impact at the next level.
Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
The athleticism is there. The frame is there. The production and presence are not. Raekwon Davis flashed some moments of creating good leverage, but he spent much of the game simply locked up and ineffective. He looks like a project player who has the physical tools to develop into something special. The problem is, he has looked like that for two years, failing to take the next step. Alabama’s Citrus Bowl win over Michigan was just the latest example.
For more NFL Draft coverage, check out the Aftermath’s NFL Draft Podcast, with new episodes every Thursday.
Monday night was a coronation of what we have all expected since at least November. Joe Burreaux led LSU to a dominant national championship victory over a Clemson team that was simply overmatched. JaMarr Chase made a real case to be a top-5 pick in the 2021 NFL draft in the process. There have been few teams in sports in general that were ever more fun to watch offensively than LSU this year.
After watching another great game, I couldn’t wait to dive into another mock draft. A lot has changed even in the past two weeks since my last mock draft due to all the player declarations. Even beyond that, my opinion on players has changed with the chance to go back and watch more film. With college football season officially over, it is time to fully shift our attention to the NFL draft process. This current order is according to Tankathon.
1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Joe Burrow is far from a perfect quarterback prospect. However, he has the mobility, football IQ and arm talent to be a solid starter in the NFL and get Cincinnati back into playoff contention. Everyone once in a while, he makes a play that is flat out special.
2. Washington (3-13) – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
I don’t care who will be running the Washington front office. Even with a decent front seven, Chase Young is definitely the best option. He has the physical tools to be a Hall of Fame pass rusher.
3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
This is where the draft gets really interesting. Detroit could realistically trade down from this spot with a team needing a quarterback. If they don’t trade down, tabbing the best corner in this draft is a great move. Jeff Okudah would immediately start for this Lions defense.
4. New York Giants (4-12) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
Dave Gettleman is known for taking offensive and defensive linemen, but he should break that trend given how talented Isaiah Simmons is. He would provide the Giants with a defensive playmaker capable of lining up all over the place. New York’s defense could use the help as well.
5. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
He has entered the draft, which means he must have some good news regarding his recovery. If you put the injury history aside, Tua Tagovailoa has the tape, experience and intangibles to be the first overall pick. That injury history will probably make him the second quarterback drafted, but he should stay in the top five.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
L.A. desperately needs a future quarterback, but I think the Chargers will go the veteran route at the position and bolster the offensive line instead. Andrew Thomas is a great run blocker who moves well in pass protection. He also faced top-tier competition playing for three years in the SEC.
7. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Who will start at quarterback next year for Carolina? With Matt Rhule joining the Panthers, odds are he will want to find a young quarterback to work with. Justin Herbert has the physical traits, from arm strength to mobility, to be a successful starter. He needs some refining, but Rhule can help get him there.
8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I still think Jerry Jeudy is the best receiver in this class, but I know there is a connection between Kyler Murray and CeeDee Lamb. Lamb fights through contact and uses his hands well to snag the ball out of the air. His route running might need some refining coming out of Lincoln Riley’s wide open system, but he should eventually take over as the top receiver when Larry Fitzgerald wraps up his Hall of Fame career.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
With Yannick Ngakoue slated for free agency, Jacksonville is going to need another disruptive edge rusher. A.J. Epenesa is about as good a replacement as the Jaguars could hope for. He is a perfect fit for a 4-3 system. If he can continue to build on his second half of the 2019 season, he will be an impact player.
10. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Cleveland needs to do a much better job keeping Baker Mayfield upright. New coach Kevin Stefanski will be tasked with trying to get Mayfield back on track. That job will be much easier with a potential franchise tackle on the roster. Jedrick Wills is an elite pass blocker who should be able to anchor down the left side of the line.
11. New York Jets (7-9) – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Tristan Wirfs could be a starting left tackle in the NFL. That is his ceiling. His floor is likely as a starting caliber guard or right tackle. Truth is, the Jets could use an upgrade at every position along the offensive line. Sam Darnold needs more protection and Wirfs should open some holes for Le’Veon Bell in the run game.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Oakland Las Vegas is in desperate need of a No. 1 receiver and Jerry Jeudy might just fall into their lap. If Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb or Henry Ruggs is here, I fully expect the Raiders to tab a receiver. Especially with another first round to work with, this feels like an easy decision.
13. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
There are already rumors swirling about the Colts trading down, but it would be hard to pass up a player with Henry Ruggs’ speed. He was the most dynamic playmaker in college football this season and is more than just a straight-line runner.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Tampa Bay could be interested in a quarterback, but that secondary needs loads of help. Grant Delpit would give Todd Bowles the type of player he had in Jamal Adams when he coached in New York.
15. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Tyler Biadasz, OL, Wisconsin
While receiver is certainly an option here, Denver looks to continue to build its offensive line in front of Drew Lock. Tyler Biadasz is the best interior lineman in this class. He could slot in at guard or center from day one.
16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
With no good edge rushers available, Atlanta finds a run stuffing option with pass rushing potential. In watching Derrick Brown’s film, I think he has a bit of ways to go as a pass rusher still. It’s hard to justify drafting an interior defensive linemen who doesn’t generate a ton of pressure in the top 10. At 16, his potential and talent make him a great value.
17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Unlike Derrick Brown, Javon Kinlaw has put together some solid tape as a pass rusher. He is not as physically dominant, but should help the Cowboys defensive line right away. He would be a menace playing alongside DeMarcus Lawrence.
18. Miami Dolphins via Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Miami tabs its franchise quarterback with the fifth pick, but the Dolphins still need more people for him to throw to. Even after locking up DeVante Parker, Tee Higgins would be a great fit to run alongside him. They have slightly similar play styles, but would offer Tua a pair of great downfield targets.
19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears (8-8) – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Las Vegas needs help along the middle of its defense and the best solution for that at this spot is grabbing a speedy linebacker. Kenneth Murray is a decisive playmaker who would immediately give the Raiders someone to cover tight ends and running backs while making plays in the backfield.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Jacksonville continues to reshape its defense by grabbing the best corner left on the board. Kristian Fulton is a physical presence who has the chops to turn into a starting-caliber corner. LSU sends a few great defensive backs to the NFL every year, so you can trust his pedigree.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Philadelphia will get healthier at receiver and can afford to wait until the second round to draft one. Instead, the Eagles grab a big-bodied corner who projects as a future starter. Trevon Diggs has the athleticism and size to help what has been a terrible Philly secondary.
22. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
John Brown and Cole Beasley have performed admirably this season, but Buffalo needs to find a player who can be a number one receiver. Justin Jefferson benefited from playing with Joe Burrow in a pass-happy offense, but he has the size, speed and ball skills to become the Bills’ top option within a year or two.
23. New England Patriots (12-4) – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
New England bowed out of the postseason after managing a meager 13 points against Tennessee. All season long, the Patriots have needed a tight end to help stretch the field and open up the offense. Cole Kmet should be able to do that from his first day with the team.
24. New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
It was another heartbreaker for the Saints, but rather than look to rebuild, I think New Orleans will continue to get the most out of Drew Brees’ final few seasons. Adding another receiver to play across from Michael Thomas has to be high on the to-do list. Laviska Shenault Jr. is a proven playmaker with a skill set I believe Sean Payton can maximize.
25. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Bryce Hall was one of the best corners in the country before going down with an ankle injury. He is big enough with good enough ball skills to aid a depleted Vikings’ secondary early on. I believe he has the potential to become Minnesota’s top corner down the line.
26. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans (11-5) – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Given Miami’s overall lack of talent on the roster, the Dolphins are probably still a year away from really competing in the AFC East. That gives them time to develop a player like Austin Jackson. The USC left tackle is a bit raw, but has shown flashes of franchise tackle potential. With a bit of patience, he might just become the Dolphins’ long-term starter.
27. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Jadeveon Clowney and Ezekiel Ansah are free agents this offseason. That means it’s time for Seattle to address its pass rush. Yetur Gross-Matos is a high-motor player with plenty of pass rushing moves to go to. He is close to be a finished product, but could use a bit more polish before being a double-digit sack option at the next level.
28. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
After a shocking exit from the playoffs, Baltimore has very few holes to fill. Matt Judon is a pending free agent and regardless, the Ravens could afford to add another pass rusher. Terrell Lewis impressed in his return from injury this season and should contribute right away.
29. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Somehow, Tennessee is still alive after knocking off New England and Baltimore. The Titans did beat the Chiefs earlier this year, so anything is possible, but looking to their future, the Titans should continue to stock up on pass rushers. Curtis Weaver was dominant in his three years at Boise State and should translate well to the NFL.
30. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Green Bay is lacking a player who can take the top off the defense and can be electric in the open field. Jalen Reagor should do exactly that and give Aaron Rodgers a speedy target. Reagor brings a blend of athleticism and aggression that make him a fun addition to this offense.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Kansas City’s defense is improved from what we were accustomed to, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a bit more young talent. CJ Henderson has a bunch of physical traits teams look for in a corner. He needs to work on his press technique and improve his tackling, but his speed and hand usage make him a player worth taking here to develop.
32. San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
If the NFL valued the safety position more, Xavier McKinney would probably go in the top 20. As it stands, he would slot in very nicely for a San Francisco 49ers team in need of an upgrade at the position. His physicality and experience make a great option to start right away.
33. Cincinnati Bengals – Michael Pittman, WR, USC
34. Indianapolis Colts via Washington – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
35. Detroit Lions – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
36. New York Giants – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
37. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
38. Carolina Panthers – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
39. Miami Dolphins – Ashtyn Davis, S, California
40. Arizona Cardinals – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
41. Cleveland Browns – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
42. Jacksonville Jaguars – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
43. Chicago Bears via Las Vegas Raiders – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
44. Indianapolis Colts – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Trey Adams, OT, Washington
46. Denver Broncos – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
47. Atlanta Falcons – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
48. New York Jets – Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
49. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
50. Chicago Bears – Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
51. Dallas Cowboys – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
52. Los Angeles Rams – John Simpson, G, Clemson
53. Philadelphia Eagles – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
54. Buffalo Bills – Zach Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
55. Atlanta Falcons via New England Patriots – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
56. Miami Dolphins via New Orleans Saints – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
57. Houston Texans – Justin Mandubuike, DL, Texas A&M
58. Minnesota Vikings – Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
59. Seattle Seahawks – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
60. Baltimore Ravens – Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
61. Tennessee Titans – Matt Hennessey, OL, Temple
62. Green Bay Packers – Jared Pickney, TE, Vanderbilt
63. Kansas City Chiefs – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
64. Seattle Seahawks via San Francisco 49ers – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
For more NFL Draft coverage, check out the Aftermath’s NFL Draft Podcast, with new episodes every Thursday.