Hooray, college football is back baby! That means this weekly column of all things NFL Draft, whether it be NFL rookies, college football studs, or random rankings is back too! Basically every week I’ll see what’s up in NFL Draft news, check-in on NFL rookies, spotlight different prospects, pick the NFL prospect game of the week, rank something/mock a draft, and look at some awesome underclassmen. This will be a lot of fun, just like this debut game for Purdue WR Rondale Moore, so join me all season long!
Tweet of the Week
Mississippi State/Ole Miss fans, would you accept this trade: DK Metcalf for Kylin Hill?
— SportsTalk Mississippi (@SportsTalkMiss) August 29, 2018
This had to be included. Do people not know how good DK Metcalf is? I saw this and first thought it was a joke, and honestly it might be, but I have no idea. Maybe Metcalf isn’t getting the respect he deserves from people outside of Oxford and the NFL Draft community. AJ Brown might be the biggest name in the dominant Ole Miss pass catching group, but Metcalf is the most talented. He has a rare size and speed combination and his ability to highpoint and win 50/50 balls is awesome. For a bigger guy his release off the line is quick and calculated. Mix in his work as route runner with explosiveness out of his breaks and an understanding of how to stem his routes to attack defensive back’s leverage. Maybe, Kylin Hill is a dude who will make a massive impact this season, but he’s still playing behind the lethargic Aeris Williams. Even with no Jordan Wilkins and questions at running back, I’d take DK Metcalf and nobody at running back over the Bulldogs #2 back right now.
In the News
Generally, the Senior Bowl is beloved by all NFL Draft nerds and is a huge opportunity for prospects to shoot themselves up the board. The Senior Bowl staff does a great job each year putting together fun and impressive prospects for the big week down in Mobile. Each August before the college football season begins, the Senior Bowl puts out their season watch list. It’s full of the top Senior prospects around the country at each position. Below is the best player at each position on the watch list.
|QB||Easton Stick||North Dakota State|
|WR||Deebo Samuel||South Carolina|
|TE||Tommy Sweeney||Boston College|
|OT||Dalton Risner||Kansas State|
|S||Lukas Denis||Boston College|
Star: Ed Oliver, ID, Houston (6’2”, 290lbs)
The first star prospect of the season may as well be the guy who everybody has been hyping since his first game as a Freshman. In his college debut, Ed Oliver racked up seven tackles, two TFLs, and two sacks on his way to helping Houston upset Oklahoma. He has kept up the productivity and dominance ever since. Oliver is the type of 3-tech defensive tackle every team wants in today’s NFL. A freaky athlete who can apply pressure up the middle can change a defense, and that’s what Oliver brings to the table. He might lack some size, but that no longer matters for interior defensive linemen if they are elite athletes with enough strength to hold up versus the run. Oliver is a freak off the line with his explosion and his quickness to beat lumbering offensive linemen. He doesn’t just win with his athleticism either, he has heavy hands and knows how to use them. The craziest thing is, he might have the best motor among all defensive linemen in the country. He never takes a play off and always ends up around the ball. His lower body is strong enough to hold the point in the run game and he plays with terrific leverage. This is a freak talent.
Pro Comparison: Aaron Donald
Sleeper: Myles Bryant, NB, Washington (5’8”, 182lbs)
Budda Baker Pt II??
Football is an ever evolving game and as it because more pass-happy, defenses change. Nickel defenses are now essentially every NFL teams’ base defense, meaning the nickel position has never been more important. We’ve seen in recent years: the nickel almost becomes a different positon from cornerback, and really it is. That’s why finding nickels in college football, like Myles Bryant, has never been more important. The Huskies are known for producing talented defensive backs like Budda Baker, Desmond Trufant, and Marcus Peters, and this year is no different. Taylor Rapp and Byron Murphy have a lot of the hype right now, but Bryant might be the best one. He’s the ideal nickel with feistiness in coverage, physical tackling, and great instincts against the run and pass. Even with a small build, he plays much bigger. Bryant is a Swiss Army Knife and the best nickel in the country.
Pro Comparison: Tyrann Mathieu
Overrated: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri (6’3”, 225lbs)
It seems like every year there’s a big armed quarterback who people either love or love to hate. Drew Lock looks to be that guy this year. His name is a hot topic, especially in first-round mock drafts. He put up huge numbers for Missouri last year in Josh Heupel’s offense, now the UCF head coach, but with Derek Dooley coming in as OC there will be extra pressure on Lock. Like a lot of quarterbacks with rifle arms, Lock leans on his arm too much and forces throws. A lot of the time Lock will stare down his receivers and rarely gets off his first option. He doesn’t work through his progressions like some of the other quarterback prospects. There are also issues with accuracy in Lock’s game. He’s really not consistent anywhere on the field. His poor footwork has something to do with that as he frequently has dead feet in the pocket. He’ll just stop his feet completely instead of keeping his eyes, arm, and feet all in sync. The bright spots are bright. He can make every throw, has NFL size, and solid athleticism. He’s just closer to a third or fourth-round pick right now than a first.
Pro Comparison: Jay Cutler
Game of the Week
#6 Washington vs #9 Auburn at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, GA)
Every week there’s going to be great college football games, but most weeks there will be one that stands out above the rest. The goal for my, “Game of the Week,” is to find the matchup with the most NFL Draft eligible talent. This week is a treat with the Washington Huskies taking on the Auburn Tigers in the Atlanta Falcons Mercedes-Benz Stadium. There will be plenty of NFL prospects playing in the game (see chart below), but the matchups, player-for-player, are what makes this game great. Jarrett Stidham is a potential first-round pick taking on a whole secondary of NFL players. Myles Bryant, Byron Murphy, and Taylor Rapp are all studs. Both teams have potential NFL starting left tackles in Trey Adams and Prince Tega Wanogho. Alongside Adams are three other potential NFL offensive linemen and together they’ll take on Auburn’s defensive line headliners Derrick Brown, Andrew Williams, and Dontavius Russell. Beyond that there’s even a whole mess more of potential NFL players to checkout.
|#6 Washington||#9 Auburn|
|Taylor Rapp, S||Jarrett Stidham, QB|
|Myles Bryant, NB||Javaris Davis, CB|
|Trey Adams, OT||Prince Tega Wanogho, OT|
|Myles Gaskin, RB||Derrick Brown, DL|
|Byron Murphy, CB||Andrew Williams, DL|
|Tevis Bartlett, LB/ED||Dontavius Russell, DL|
|Ben Burr-Kirven, LB||Jeremiah Dinson, DB|
|Nick Harris, C||Darius Slayton, WR|
|Jesse Sosebee, OG||Will Hastings, WR|
|Greg Gaines, NT||Nate Craig-Myers, WR|
|Kaleb McGary, OT||Kam Martin, RB|
|JoJo McIntosh, S||Ryan Davis, WR|
|Drew Sample, TE||Marlon Davidson, DL|
|Jake Browning, QB||Deshaun Davis, LB|
|Jamel Dean, CB|
|Darrell Williams, LB|
|Montavious Atkinson, DL|
|Nic Coe, DL|
2019 NFL Mock Draft
If you’re looking for a purely NFL Draft podcast, checkout Seven Rounds in Heaven on the Armchair Media Network. It’s a podcast where AJ Marchese and I focus on everything NFL Draft all year long. We recently finished up our Summer grades and attempted our first on pod 2019 NFL Mock Draft. These were the results. If you’d like to hear the reasons behind the picks check us out on Armchair, iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.
|Pick||Team||Player||School||Pick Made By|
|1||New York Jets||Nick Bosa, ED||Ohio State||AJ|
|2||Miami Dolphins||Justin Herbert, QB||Oregon||Rob|
|3||Chicago Bears||Ed Oliver, ID||Houston||AJ|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||Brian Lewerke, QB||Michigan State||Rob|
|5||Buffalo Bills||Jonah Williams, OT||Alabama||AJ|
|6||Arizona Cardinals||Rashan Gary, DL||Michigan||Rob|
|7||Cleveland Browns||Devin White, LB||LSU||AJ|
|8||Washington||Clelin Ferrell, ED||Clemson||Rob|
|9||Indianapolis Colts||David Edwards, OT||Wisconsin||AJ|
|10||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Greg Little, OT||Ole Miss||Rob|
|11||Seattle Seahawks||N’Keal Harry, WR||Arizona State||AJ|
|12||Detroit Lions||Brian Burns, ED||Florida State||Rob|
|13||Baltimore Ravens||DK Metcalf, WR||Ole Miss||AJ|
|14||Tennessee Titans||Jeffery Simmons, ID||Mississippi State||Rob|
|15||Denver Broncos||Greedy Williams, CB||LSU||AJ|
|16||Carolina Panthers||Yodny Cajuste, OT||West Virginia||Rob|
|17||Oakland Raiders||Mack Wilson, LB||Alabama||AJ|
|18||New York Giants||Easton Stick, QB||North Dakota State||Rob|
|19||Kansas City Chiefs||Michael Jackson, CB||Miami||AJ|
|20||Dallas Cowboys||Deebo Samuel, WR||South Carolina||Rob|
|21||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jarrett Stidham, QB||Auburn||AJ|
|22||Los Angeles Chargers||Christian Wilkins, ID||Clemson||Rob|
|23||Houston Texans||Michael Dieter, OL||Wisconsin||AJ|
|24||San Francisco 49ers||Deionte Thompson, DB||Alabama||Rob|
|25||Atlanta Falcons||Beau Benzschawel, OG||Wisconsin||AJ|
|26||Green Bay Packers (from Saints)||David Montgomery, RB||Iowa State||AJ|
|27||Green Bay Packers||Noah Fant, TE||Iowa||AJ|
|28||Los Angeles Rams||Joe Jackson, ED||Miami||Rob|
|29||Pittsburgh Steelers||Rodney Anderson, RB||Oklahoma||Rob|
|30||Minnesota Vikings||Dre’Mont Jones, ID||Ohio State||Rob|
|31||Philadelphia Eagles||Devin Bush Jr., LB||Michigan||AJ|
|32||New England Patriots||Taylor Rapp, DB||Washington||Rob|
Underclassmen on the Radar
Freaky Frosh: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Seems pretty ridiculous to write about a Freshman quarterback who hasn’t played in a college football game nor been named the starter at his school. I do not care, it’s hard to find a frosh to write about yet, so I’m basing this off of what Trevor Lawrence showed me in his Spring Game. Lawrence is a tall, lean, passer with a cannon of an arm and a frame that looks like it could add up to 30-pounds. Yes, Lawrence could be a 6-6, 235 pound rocket armed quarterback who can make plays outside of the pocket. Obviously, I’m premature on this, but Lawrence is the future of Clemson football. That throw to Tee Higgins is a thing of beauty.
Super Sophomore: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
WHAT. A. GAME.
The last one was based off a Spring Game, this one is based off of one half of football and overtime. At least that one half+ of football was the National Championship and one of the greatest wins in college football history. Yes, everybody knows Tua Tagovailoa after he won it all for Alabama as a Freshman. Tua has been hyped for years. He’s basically the standard when it comes to Elite 11 QB play and Trent Dilfer measures all of them vs him. Everywhere he goes he shines. Even with him only being named the Alabama co-starter at quarterback, with Jalen Hurts, Tua is one of the most talented young quarterbacks in the country. He has three things working against him: a wonky throwing motion, lack of height, and he’s a lefty. Despite that he has the potential to one day be a top pick. His arm talent is real. Tua can spin it and make deep outside throws. Even with a long throwing motion the release is quick, sort of like Russell Wilson’s. He uses his mobility to supplement his passing ability and has the X-factor of being able to make plays as a runner. With the talent around him, all Tua will need is playing time to put himself on the NFL map.
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