Tag Archives: Darnell Savage

The Final 4-Round Mock Draft: Round 2

With the NFL Draft beginning this Thursday night, Nat L. Faybian’s Senior Writer Douglas Love compiles a final four-round mock draft.

Round 2

33. Arizona Cardinals: Elgton Jenkins, OC, Mississippi State

Jenkins can help the Cardinals protect their quarterback.
Photo: The Clarion-Ledger

Get a new quarterback, how about adding some blockers. Jenkins is an intelligent player who knows how to read a defense and make the proper line calls. He has played up and down the line, giving him the ability to better help his fellow linemen identify schemes and blitzes. Best pass blocker in the group.

34. Indianapolis (via NY Jets): Irv Smith, Jr., TE, Alabama

The Colts give Luck another weapon, and the offensive has improved tremendously. Smith surprised a little, by coming in at 6′ 2″, he was a little shorter than anticipated. He ran a good 4.63 forty, but was only average in the rest of the drills. However, Smith comes from a football family and has football smarts. He knows how to create separation and has excellent hands. And he’s a good route runner. He’ll find his way on the field.

35. Oakland Raiders: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

The Raiders add a corner who can play tight man coverage. A transfer from Presbyterian to Temple, Rock Ya-Sin is the best name in football. Had a good week at the Senior Bowl. Plays aggressively. Likes to drape receivers, but isn’t a penalty waiting to happen. Tough, physical player who should, with good coaching, excel at man coverage.

36. San Francisco 49ers: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

Love is a leader on the field. He is thick bodied and not afraid of contact. He’s not going to be flashy, like Greedy Williams, but Love will be steady, consistent and reliable. He is patient and doesn’t over-react. Trusts his eyes.

37. New York Giants: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt

Williams had 23 passes defended in the last two seasons.
Photo: The Tennessean

Giants take the tallest cornerback in the draft. There just are not that many 6′ 4″ corners. And with receiver getting taller and taller, teams are taking a good long look at Joejuan Williams of Vanderbilt. HC Derek Mason compared Williams to Richard Sherman. Likes to press and plays best close to the line of scrimmage.

38. Jacksonville Jaguars: A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi

Brown is a big slot receiver, capable of 70-80 catches a year. He is Mississippi’s all-time leader in receiving yards. He can line up anywhere on the field. Reliable hands and knows how to create separation from defenders. May be the most polished receiver in this class.

39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn

Maybe a surprise to some, but HC Arians specifically state his priority was speed on defense. Dean ran a blazing 4.3 at the Combine. He’s a man-on-man cover corner that mirrors very well and rides the hip of his opponent. Dean’s had several knee surgeries during his career, but if his medical evaluation is good, there’s no reason to believe he won’t go this high. Dean, fills two needs, the Bucs get themselves a man-to-man cover corner with top-end speed.

40. Buffalo Bills: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

Sternberger has been getting a lot of attention from teams – including the Buffalo Bills. He is very athletic, a former three sport athlete, and takes his conditioning seriously. One of the fastest rising players in the draft. A tight end that can block, run good routes and catch the ball. Solid pick.

41. Denver Broncos: Daniel Jones, CB, Duke

A protégé of coach David Cutcliffe, Jones knows his X’s and O’s. His experience playing in a pro-style offense has helped him prepare for the next level. Has good arm strength, but not top-notch. Releases ball at it’s high point. Could start right away at the next level, but might benefit by not being asked to do too much in his first season. By getting a QB in the second round, Flacco can feel secure in his position while Jones has a season to learn.

42. Cincinnati Bengals: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Missouri’s Drew Lock has thrown for over 12,000 yards in his career.
Photo: Dale Zanine|USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals pull the trigger on Dalton’s eventual replacement. There are something you just can’t coach, and one of them is arm-strength. Lock has the best arm in the class. Lock’s throwing motion resemble a Major League pitcher. He really torques that elbow and has a lot of range in his shoulder. Has four-years of playing experience against top level competition. Could start right away at the next level.

43. Detroit Lions: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

Layne is 6′ 2″ with impressive quickness. A former wide receiver that understands the route tree. Has good instincts and light feet. How shown explosiveness and good closing speed. Has long arms and likes to play man-to-man. Solid tackler.

44. Green Bay Packers: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

Tillery has surprising agility for a guy six-foot-six. He’s quick off the ball and can get his pads low rather consistently for a tall man. He’s a long-strider with good backside pursuit. If it weren’t for an injury, Tillery would have gone higher. Great value pick for the Packers.

45. Atlanta Falcons: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland

Savage is a safety that can work in the nickel. So he’d give the Falcons an extra CB with amazing range and downhill speed. He had an impressive Combine, he ran a 4.36 with very good numbers in the broad jump and the vertical jump. Showed light feet and fluid hips. However, what really stands out about Savage is his playing speed. Turn on the game film, and he is consistently the fastest player on the field. Plays exceptionally well downhill. Looks like a first round pick.

46. Washington Redskins: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

Fleet-footed Parris Campbell averaged 12.4 yards per catch at Ohio State.
Photo: The Game Haus

Campbell ran a 4.31 at the combine, pushing him up the boards. When you look at the success Carolina is having with Ohio State’s Curtis Samuel, Campbell should go in the first or early second round. Besides running routes, Campbell could also be used on jet-sweeps and bubble screens.

47. Carolina Panthers: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington

McGary’s strength is in the run game. Let him move forward and use his nasty aggression to maul defensive linemen. He’s athletic enough to projects at right tackle at the next level. He does have a prior medical condition that teams will need to check out before they select him. If all checks out well, McGary should have a bright future ahead of him on the field.

48. Miami Dolphins: Jochai Polite, DE, Florida

Polite has been working to rehab his reputation after turning numerous teams off during the Scouting Combine interview process. At one time he was being talked about as a potential first round pick. He has too much talent to ignore and Dolphins will give him a second chance. Flores continues to rebuild his defense, surprising many by taking Polite in the second round.

49. Cleveland Browns: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Rapp hopes to be the highest Chinese-American player ever drafted.
Photo: AP Photo|Marcio Jose Sanchez

They could’ve gone CB here, but instead take Rapp, one of the nation’s top safety prospects. High football IQ, anticipates well. Well -built and likes to play aggressive. Solid tackler that takes good angles. Didn’t run the forty at the Combine, but came in under 4.0 in the 20-yard shuttle.

50. Minnesota Vikings: Erik McCoy, OC, Texas A&M

McCoy has jumped up draft boards based on his athleticism. He has gradually improved each year with his technique and overall strength. Can play the run and pass equally well. Vikings continue to add pieces to their offensive line.

51. Tennessee Titans: Deebo Samuel, WR, So. Carolina

During the Senior Bowl, Samuel really raised his draft status. Several scouts said that Samuel was playing at the higher level than everyone else. He can also double as a return man.

52. Pittsburgh Steelers: De’Andre Walker, ILB, Georgia

Steelers grab the third best linebacker in the class. Sure tackler with plenty of size and strength making him a better fit on the inside. Likes to get in the mix and lower his pads and hit somebody. Quick to fill the hole. Looks like he could be a good blitzer at the next level and could also slide up to rush off the edge on occasion.

53. Philadelphia Eagles (via Bal): Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State

Eagles have worked Howard out a couple of times, so the interest is there. This would be a great spot to select him. Tytus Howard is perhaps the second best technician in the class behind Jonah Williams. Shows good pass pro technique. Shows a nice kick off the snap and excellent mirroring skills to drive defenders out of the picture. Will need to improve his strength and may really bloom in his second year.

54. Houston Texans (via Sea): Yodney Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

The Texans take another offensive lineman to help protect Watson. Cajuste has long arms, big hands, and is strong. Has excellent burst off the ball, which shows his background as a high school basketball star.

55. Houston Texans: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

Henderson averaged, something like, 8 yards per carry over his career at Memphis. That’s just crazy. Henderson doesn’t have great speed, but he is fast enough. His real strength is his vision, his ability to read blocks and leverage his angles. The Texans are known to be high on him.

56. New England Patriots (via Chi): Johnathan Abram, SS, Mississippi State

Abram started his career at Georgia before transferring to Mississippi State.
Photo: Mississippi State Athletics

Abram is that guy everyone tags as the “pure strong safety” in this group. He plays exceptionally well in the box, that is true. But don’t be fooled, Abram has played both safety positions in his career. He has shown good fluidity and enough speed to cover the back end.

57. Philadelphia Eagles: Vosean Joseph, OLB, Florida

Joseph shows plenty of downhill speed and lateral quickness. Has good instincts and trusts his eyes. He’s a powerful and physical ‘backer that makes splash plays. Athletic enough to cover any back.

58. Dallas Cowboys: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

Dre’Mont Jones is explosive off the snap and has the agility to make plays at or near the line of scrimmage. He’s not just one who just pushes linemen back, Jones likes to get to the quarterback. He fills a need for the Cowboys and is the best player available at fifty-eight.

59. Indianapolis Colts: Treyvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

Mullen is a 4.44 forty guy that is coming out early. He has good height and a solid frame. Long limbs and plenty of upside. Had outstanding coaching in college.

60. Los Angeles Chargers: Dennis Daley, OT, So. Carolina

Daley is a big bodied mauler that can help the Chargers (and RB Melvin Gordon) in the running game.

61. Kansas City Chiefs: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

Thornhill has 13 career interceptions at Virginia.
Photo: UVA Athletics

Physically, Thornhill tested off the charts. He had a 4.42 forty, 21 reps of 225 on the bench, a 44″ vertical jump, and a 141″ broad jump. A former basketball star, his athleticism shows up on film. Will sacrifice his body, but not a thumper. While listed as a safety, Thornhill’s real value might be in the nickel matching up against tight ends and running backs.

62. New Orleans Saints: Connor McGovern, OC, Penn State

The Saints need interior line help. McGovern is not as athletic as Bradbury or McCoy, but he is an intelligent player capable of playing all three interior positions. For not being super-athletic, he plays with good understanding of angles and leverage, keeping defenders at bay. He had made significant leaps every year. Only a junior, his floor is high.

63. Kansas City Chiefs (via LAR): Lonnie Johnson, Jr., CB, Kentucky

Excels at playing man-off. Has nice fluid backpedal and smooth hips. Can mirror receiver, using his long frame to his advantage. Flashes physicality and hit power coming downhill. Tracks ball well in the air. The Chiefs needed to get at least two corners and a safety out of this draft – they’ve made solid moves in the right direction in this round.

64. New England Patriots: Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State

Warring is a rare combination of size and athleticism. He’s still learning, but growing steadily. He didn’t play football until his senior year in high school. He was an all-league water polo goalie and basketball player at rural Sonora High in Northern California. He also competed on the cross country, swimming, soccer and tennis before trying his hand at football.

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MORE: Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3 | Round 4


Draft talk  . . . draft picks, rounds, team needs, and prospects to watch.

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE | MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

Safeties: Final Position Rankings

2019 NFL DRAFT: TOP RANKED SAFETIES

This safety class is really deep. There’s the top 12, and those guys should go in the first three rounds. Savage, Thornhill, and Hooker, anyone of them has a chance to sneak into the bottom of the first round. However, it’s more likely that the run on these top 12 safeties will begin in second round.

There’s a second tier of about 12 guys and they should go in the middle rounds. The two small school guys, Malik Davis and Billy Inge, have speed and kick return experience.

Finally, there’s the last group of 14, and they’ll go in the late rounds or be signed as UDFAs.

Darnell Savage has rare game speed and should go in the first round.
Photo: Art Pittman/USA TODAY Sports

1. Darnell Savage, Maryland, 5-11/198

Savage had an impressive Combine, he ran a 4.36 with very good numbers in the broad jump and the vertical jump. Showed light feet and fluid hips. However, what really stands out about Savage is his playing speed. Turn on the game film, and he is consistently the fastest player on the field. Plays exceptionally well downhill. Looks like a first round pick.

2. Juan Thornhill, Virginia, 6-0/205

Physically, Thornhill tested off the charts for a cornerback. He had a 4.42 forty, 21 reps of 225 on the bench, a 44″ vertical jump, and a 141″ broad jump. A former basketball star, his athleticism shows up on film. Will sacrifice his body, but not a thumper.

3. Amani Hooker, Iowa, 5-11/210

Instinctive player with loose hips and light feet. Has good agility and size. Will fly to the ball and is eager to throw his body into the ball carrier. Good at tracking the ball in the air and will go for the pick.

4. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida, 5-11/210

Gardner-Johnson is a play-maker who improved tremendously in 2018. He looks to be a player on the rise. Has very good coverage skills. Can shadow receivers and has good closing speed. A bit of a ball-hawk. Willing tackler that does not hesitate.

5. Taylor Rapp, Washington, 6-0/208

High football IQ, anticipates well. Well -built and likes to play aggressive. Solid tackler that takes good angles. Didn’t run the forty at the Combine, but came in under 4.0 in the 20-yard shuttle. One of Rapp’s goals is to become the games highest drafted Chinese-American player. If teams overlook his poor Pro Day performance, he could go higher.

6. Deionte Thompson, Alabama, 6-1/195

Thompson has a ton of potential. He didn’t run at the Combine or his Pro Day (has a screw in his wrist), but is reported to run in the 4.3’s. Physically, he looks the part. Quick, fluid, light feet and good hips.

7. Sheldrick Redwine, Miami, 6-0/196

Redwine had a good Senior Bowl showing and a good Combine too. He’s a well-built safety will good field awareness. Can cover well enough to stay on the field and fill the slot. His versatility will be an asset.

8. Will Harris, Boston College, 6-1/207

Hard hitting safety from Boston College, Harris was a four-year starter. Harris can blitz, cover receivers, and put the screws to a running back. Also adds special teams experience.

9. Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State, 5-11/205

Abram is that guy everyone tags as the “pure strong safety” in this group. He plays exceptionally well in the box, that is true. But don’t be fooled, Abram has played both safety positions in his career. He has shown good fluidity and enough speed to cover the back end.

10. Marvel Tell III, USC, 6-2/198

Tell hasn’t received the press some of the other safeties have, but he’s got good quickness. Tall and lanky, yet muscular. Can go sideline-to-sideline and would make a good high (or free) safety at the next level.

11. Nasir Adderely, Delaware, 6-0/206

Was talked about in the most positive of terms over and over again at the Senior Bowl. Had a good week to back up those opinions. Has excellent range and short-area quickness. Matches up well in coverage. Could be moved to nickel.

12. Marquise Blair, Utah, 6-1/195

Blair is another safety that loves to hit. Unfortunately, he’s not as big as Harris or Abram, and so won’t be drafted as high. Runs all over the field and is a tone setter for his team.

OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  1. Saquan Hampton, Rutgers, 6-1/206
  2. Mike Edwards, Kentucky, 5-10/205
  3. Darius West, Kentucky, 5-11/208
  4. Zedric Woods, Mississippi, 5-11/205
  5. Nick Scott, Penn State, 5-11/201
  6. Tyree Kinnel, Michigan, 5-11/209
  7. Malik Davis, Austin Peay, 5-11/191
  8. Billy Inge III, East Stroudsburg, 5-9/188
  9. Evan Worthington, Colorado, 6-2/212
  10. Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, 6-0/209
  11. Ugo Amadi, Oregon, 5-9/199
  12. Khari Willis, Michigan State, 5-11/213
  13. Jamal Peters, Mississippi State, 6-2/218
  14. Kyle Gibson, UCF, 5-11/185
  15. Parker Baldwin, San Diego State, 6-2/215
  16. Kiy Hester, Rutgers, 6-0/208
  17. Bisi Johnson, Colorado, 6-0/204
  18. Ridwan Issahaku, Texas Christian, 6-1/193
  19. Malik Gant, Marshall, 6-0/209
  20. Luke Denis, Boston College, 5-11/190
  21. Jaquan Johnson, Miami, 5-10/191
  22. John Battle, LSU, 6-3/203
  23. Adarius Pickett, UCLA, 5-11/203
  24. Anthony Gore, Jr., Kennesaw State, 6-0/201
  25. D’Cota Dixon, Wisconsin, 5-10/200
  26. Mike Bell, Fresno State, 6-3/205

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Team Needs:

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE |MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

Nat L. Faybian’s 2019 NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0, Round 1

With the NFL Draft only a couple of weeks away, Senior Writer Nat L. Faybian and Editor Douglas Love alternate picks in this three round mock – Version 4.0. Nat will pick first.

Round 1

Nat: Will Arizona take Murray or not? That storyline has held the draft captive for months now. Logically, they have a top 10 quarterback in Rosen, they don’t need one.

Doug: And Rosen was drafted by GM Steve Keim, who was just given a four-year contract extension in February. Certainly, Keim doesn’t believe he blew that pick.

Nat: Right. On the flip side. Give the new coach the quarterback he feels he needs to win. If that’s Murray, then give Kliff Kingsbury his man — and then there’s absolutely no excuses for not winning.

Doug: So, Nat, who will the Arizona Cardinals take with the number one overall pick in the 2019 NLF Draft?

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Nat L. Faybian)

Bosa has been a consensus top three pick going back to the fall.

Bosa appears to be the most polished of the elite talent, and we’ve said that numerous times. Yet, there’s all this talk the head coaches’ relationship with Kyler Murray. But, really, when you get down to it, this was GM Steve Keim’s team before it was Kingsbury’s team. Keim has been with the Arizona Cardinals since 1993, and he’s been GM since 2013. I don’t see him throwing Rosen out the window, unless he gets a trade offer he just can’t refuse – something crazy like the Ricky Williams deal. It’s got to be big, or no deal. I think it’s a smoke screen, honestly. Rosen has a year under his belt, and he should be better in his second year; while, Bosa is a day one starter and immediately improves the defense.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky (Douglas Love)

This is a hard one. The 49ers have $22 million wrapped in up defensive linemen that were first round draft picks: DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, and Arik Armstead. Plus they just added defensive end Dee Ford in free agency for another $14 million. That’s a $36 million dollar defensive line. The expectation is they should be able to get the job done. This team shouldn’t need to take a defensive lineman with the second overall pick. GM John Lynch could trade down. And that would make a lot of sense to me. They could move newly acquired ILB Kwan Alexander to weakside and go after a player like ILB Devin White – but that’s a reach at number two overall. Not that long ago, they made Garoppolo the highest paid QB in the NFL – although he’s only started a handful of games in the last two seasons – so, doubtful they go QB. If they stay where they are, it would seem most likely, they take the pass-rushing linebacker from Kentucky, Josh Allen.

3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama (NLF)

Williams is coming off a season where he dominated. The Jets have an impressive history of taking top notch defensive linemen in the draft – Sheldon Richardson and John Abraham come to mind. Williams would make a great addition to the 2019 NY Jets.

4. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State (DL)

Gruden built his reputation on being a quarterback guru. The Raiders have David Carr, but Gruden inherited him. Is there a quarterback Gruden is infatuated with enough to draft at number four overall? I think they take a freak like Montez Sweat. Sweat can get after the quarterback, with enough athleticism to drop in coverage. Every team is looking for pressure off the edge, and Sweat would give the Raiders just that.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, ILB, LSU (NLF)

With the departure of Kwan Alexander, the Bucs need a middle linebacker. Plus with the team moving to more of a 3-4 scheme, they’re actually in need of several linebackers. White is built like a tank, runs a 4.4, and is a high character team captain kind of guy.

6. New York Giants: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri (DL)

Drew Lock is a four-year starter with the strongest arm in the draft.
Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants just rewarded Eli Manning with a nice big contract extension, but he’s getting up there in age. Even if they plan to play Manning this year, they’ll need to start grooming a successor. Swirling rumor is that GM Gettleman likes Lock’s four years of experience over Haskins’ one year. Lock certainly has the stronger arm and would be a good fit in New York.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida (NLF)

Jacksonville is in need of help along the offensive line, no secret there, they gave up 50+ sacks last year. The team signed QB Nick Foles, so, doubtful they draft one here. Taylor is the best run blocking tackle in the draft. And I think they’ll look to take the pressure off Foles by running the ball more. So, Jawaan Taylor to the Jaguars.

8. Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa (DL)

The Lions need weapons. I think they could go in several directions here. D.K. Metcalf and his 4.33 speed is one option. However, a player like Hockenson has more value for this team and their needs. He can inline block, adding value to the running game. He runs clean routes, gains separation, and has easy hands – adding value to the passing game. He’ll just be involved in more plays than a wide receiver.

9. Buffalo Bills: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan (DL)

The Bill finished with the NFL’s number two defense last year. In 2019, they return ten of the starting eleven, the lone loss being the retirement of DT Kyle Williams. Gary would give them a player with day one talent, and the ability to keep that defensive near the top of the rankings. Christian Wilkins would also be a consideration for the Bills. They could also trade down for Dexter Lawrence, who to me looks more like a Bills kind of guy.

10. Denver Broncos: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi (NLF)

The Broncos picked up OT Ja’Wuan James, CB Bryce Callahan, and CB Kareem Jackson in free agency. Those were their most pressing needs. They also signed a new offensive coordinator in Rich Scangarello – a supposed quarterback guru. Then they signed Joe Flacco – who Elway praised highly. So, do they go QB here? I think they role with Flacco. However, they still need a big play wide receiver. At 6′ 3″, 228 lbs, and 4.33 speed – Metcalf can be that big play threat Denver needs to stretch the field.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan (NLF)

Michigan’s Devin Bush is a tone setter in the middle of the defense.
Photo: Detroit News

The Bengals address several of their biggest needs during free agency. However, they are still in need a leader in the middle of that defense. Michigan’s Devin Bush has long been considered the second best linebacker in the class. He’ll give them speed, range, and an explosive and physical hitter.

12. Green Bay Packers: A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi (DL)

The Packers have two picks in the first round: picks 12 and 30. The Packers are looking for help on the OL and DL, along with a wide receiver, and a tight end. With Hockenson off the board, I doubt they take Fant this high. Njoku didn’t go until 29th overall, and Fant should be in that 20’s range. But, I could see them taking Mississippi’s A.J. Brown here. Brown is an incredibly effective slot receiver that could have a 100 catch season – that doesn’t seem far fetched to me, in the right system. Speedster Marquise Brown is another option, but this might be too high for him with the medical.

13. Miami Dolphins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma (NLF)

With Tannehill being traded away, Miami must have felt confident in their ability to draft a starting quarterback at thirteen. Lock has the most arm strength the class, but he’s off the board. Murray has been to Miami for a private workout, so we know the interest is there. Unless, Fitz-Magic is the answer, they take a quarterback here.

14. Atlanta Falcons: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (DL)

Oliver is the best player on the board at this point. He’s disruptive, quick as lightning, and as strong as an ox. Atlanta loves fast, athletic, guys. The biggest question with Oliver isn’t his ability, it’s where does the team plan to use him? I think Atlanta would probably keep him inside as a 3-technique or under tackle, similar to the way the Rams use Aaron Donald.

15. Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State (NLF)

The Redskins have questions about their quarterback position. They’ve had just about every possible QB candidate on their radar. Depending on how the interviews go, and which QB GM Bruce Allen feels most comfortable with as a “fit”, that’s where they’ll go. I think Duke QB Daniel Jones will have a better x/o interview, just because of his time with David Cutcliffe. However, I think Haskins has more upside, more untapped potential.

16. Carolina Panthers: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama (DL)

The Panthers have concerns on both sides of the line. I realize Williams isn’t the trending pick, but I think he’s the right pick at sixteen. There was some debate about his 33 5/8″ arms. Let me just say, six-time Pro Bowl tackle Joe Staley only had 33″ arms. And Washington’s Andre Dillard only has 33 1/2″ arms – so I think that issue can come to rest. Anyway, the Panthers like a balanced attack, and Williams is the most well-rounded tackle in the draft. They could also go for Clemson’s Clelin Ferrill here.

17. New York Giants (via Cle): Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson (DL)

Clemson Tigers defensive end Clelin Ferrell (99) celebrates against in the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants are a team that likes to snap up quality pass rushers. Ferrell is about as complete an end as there is in this draft. Quick enough to get the corner and stout enough to hold up against the run.

18. Minnesota Vikings: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State (NLF)

The Vikings are looking for some help on the offensive line. Dillard is the most pass pro ready tackle in the class. He’s got light feet and plenty of athleticism to handle the edge.

19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (NLF)

Wilkins won the “Academic Heisman” in 2018 – also known as the William V. Campbell Trophy. He shows a quick first step and is able to beat double teams. Wilkins can play anywhere on the line, adding to his value.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland (DL)

The Steelers have always loved a tough-as-nails defense. Savage has some amazing game speed. He trusts his eyes, understands angles, and shoots gaps like he’s launched out of a rocket. He’s at his best when he’s asked to be a downhill, attack, player, but he can cover running backs and tight ends too. Johnathan Abram might hit harder, but doesn’t have Savage’s cover skills.

21. Seattle Seahawks: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State (NLF)

The Seahawks only have four picks, so I would expect them to trade down to accumulate some extra selections. Oakland might be the most logical trade partner here. However, since we aren’t doing trades. We know that the Seahawks have shown interest in athletic defensive tackles like Rashan Gary and Mississippi State’s Jeffery Simmons. Let’s go with Simmons to Seattle with pick twenty-one.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Jaylon Ferguson, DE/OLB, Louisiana Tech (DL)

Ferguson uses his hands well and can quickly disengage from blockers.
Photo: Tom Morris/LATechSportsPix.com

The Ravens are looking for pass-rushing linebacker or a 3-4 rush end, which typically means a thicker bodied player with outstanding initial quickness. Ferguson didn’t workout like scouts would have hoped, but his stats tell the story. Ferguson has the third most career tackles-for-loss in NCAA history. He has an excellent understanding of momentum, balance, and angles.

23. Houston Texans: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU (NLF)

Williams has the traits and physically tools teams look for in today’s cornerback. He has 4.37 speed. He’s 6′ 2″. He plays with swag – that attitude that says, “You can’t beat me.” In a passing league, teams today need at least three starting quality cornerbacks.

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chi): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (DL)

Too good to be true? Antonio Brown teaming up with his little cousin, Marquise Brown in Oakland? Todd McShay recently remarked that he hadn’t seen a guy with Marquise’s kind of explosiveness since DeSean Jackson came out of Cal. And we all know, Gruden loves speed.

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama (NLF)

The Eagles are looking at D-line and also at running back. Josh Jacobs can do everything: lining up at wild-cat, in the slot, taking the pitch, taking the hand-off, catching the swing pass, running the wheel route, and staying at home to block.

26. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State (DL)

Lean and lanky with long arms and a nice bend around the corner. They’ll bulk him up at bit, and he’ll be a force off the edge. He ran a 4.53 forty at the Combine, he’s got some serious speed.

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple (NFL)

Ya-Sin gained national attention once he transferred from Presbyterian to Temple.
Photo: Temple University Athletics

One of the best names in the draft, Rock Ya-Sin. And he played at Presbyterian before transferring to Temple. A guy Gruden scouted at the Senior bowl. Sticks to receivers like glue. They also might consider Johnathan Abram and Taylor Rapp here, but they might wait on a safety until the 35th pick.

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (DL)

DT Brandon Mebane missed significant time last year. The Chargers could use a player that would make an impact on the interior of the defensive line. Lawrence comes into the NFL looking like the second coming of Vince Wilfolk.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State (NLF)

Risner is the top senior offensive tackle in this class. He is pro ready. Doesn’t give up sacks. Plays with a combination of technique and tenacity. Takes pride in keeping his quarterback clean.

30. Green Bay (from New Orleans): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa (DL)

As I said earlier, Fant reminds me a bit of David Njoku when he came out of Miami – a very athletic tight end. Njoku ran a 4.64 forty and Fant ran a 4.58. Both would be considered big bodied wide receiver types that can play on the line or line up in the slot. Fant’s blocking improved in 2018, and he’ll continue to get better.

31. Los Angeles Rams: De’Andre Baker, CB, Georgia (NLF)

De’Andre Baker won the Thorpe Award for the best cornerback in the nation. I thought he was the best Senior corner in the draft. He’s not flashy or super fast. But he finds a way to get the job done. Might end up at nickel at the next level.

32. New England Patriots: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke (DL)

The New York Giants aren’t the only team with an aging quarterback. The Patriots have a lot of picks in this draft and can afford to use one on a future quarterback. Jones is cerebral, like Brady, and would learn much as an understudy.

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MORE: Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3


Draft talk  . . . draft picks, rounds, team needs, and prospects to watch.

AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE | MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE

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The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.

2019 Reese’s Senior Bowl

Rosters for the 70th Reese’s Senior Bowl were released on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. The game will be played on Saturday, January 26th.

Football Gameplan with Emory Hunt “The Czar of the Playbook”

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SOUTH TEAM

Coached by: San Francisco 49ers

QB: Will Grier, 6-2, 223, West Virginia; Tyree Jackson, 6-7, 245, Buffalo; Gardner Minshew II, 6-2, 220, Washington State; Jarrett Stidham, 6-3, 215, Auburn

RB: Ryquell Armstead, 5-11, 215, Temple; Bruce Anderson, 5-11, 211, No Dakota State; Wes Hills, 6-2, 218, Slippery Rock

Being named the MVP of the NFLPA Bowl got Hills a ticket to the Sr. Bowl.
Photo: Slippery Rock Athletics

FB: Trevon Wesco, 6-4, 274, West Virginia

WR: Tyre Brady, Marshall, 6-3, 206; Travis Fulgham, 6-3, 215, Old Dominion; Anthony Johnson, 6-2, 210, Buffalo; Hunter Renfrow, 5-10, 180, Clemson; Deebo Samuel, 6-0, 210, South Carolina; David Sills V, 6-4, 210, West Virginia; Gary Jennings, 6-1, 210, West Virginia

TE: Foster Moreau, LSU, 6-6, 256; Josh Oliver, 6-5, 250, San Jose State; Dax Raymond, 6-5, 250, Utah State

OT: Oli Udoh, Elon, 6-5, 356; Dennis Daley, 6-6, 324, South Carolina; Andre Dillard, 6-5, 306, Washington State; Tytus Howard, 6-6, 311, Alabama State

OG: B.J. Autry, 6-5, 340, Jacksonville State; Ben Powers, 6-4, 313, Oklahoma; Dru Samia, 6-5, 303, Oklahoma; Javon Patterson, 6-3, 314, Mississippi

OC: Elgton Jenkins, 6-4, 316, Mississippi State; Ross Pierschbacher, 6-4, 309, Alabama

K: Cole Tracy, 5-11, 188, LSU

DE: Jaylon Ferguson, 6-5, 262, Louisiana Tech; Carl Granderson, 6-5, 261; Wyoming; Jonathan Ledbetter, 6-4, 280, Georgia; Oshane Ximines, 6-4, 255; Old Dominion; Montez Sweat, 6-6, 245, Mississippi State

Sweat has been showing out at the Senior Bowl.
Photo: MSU Athletics

DT: Isaiah Buggs, 6-2, 286, Alabama; Dontavius Russell, 6-3, 320, Auburn;  Kingsley Keke, 6-4, 305, Texas A&M; Daylon Mack, 6-1, 320, Texas A&M; Demarcus Christmas, 6-4, 305, Florida State

OLB: Terrill Hanks, 6-2, 230, New Mexico State; Gerri Green, 6-4, 255, Mississippi State; Sione Takitaki, 6-2, 230, BYU

ILB: Bobby Okereke, 6-3, 234, Stanford; David Long, Jr., 5-11, 221, West Virginia; Deshaun Davis, 5-11, 246, Auburn

CB: Isaiah Johnson, 6-4, 203, Houston; Lonnie Johnson Jr., 6-3, 206, Kentucky; Rock Ya-Sin, 6-2, 190, Temple; Shedrick Redwine, 6-1, 195, Miami; Mark Fields, 5-11, 180, Clemson; Jimmy Moreland, 5-11, 175, James Madison

S: Johnathan Abram, 6-0, 215, Mississippi State; Mike Edwards, 6-0, 201, Kentucky; Juan Thornhill, 6-0, 210, Virginia; Darius West, 6-0, 210, Kentucky; Jaquan Johnson, 5-11, 195, Miami

P: Jake Bailey, 6-2, 202, Stanford

LS: Nick Moore, 6-3, 250, Georgia

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NORTH TEAM

Coached by: Oakland Raiders

QB: Ryan Finley, 6-4, 212, North Carolina State; Trace McSorley, 6-0, 203, Penn State; Drew Lock, 6-4, 225, Missouri; Daniel Jones, 6-5, 220, Duke

RB: Karan Higdon, 5-10, 202, Michigan; Dexter Williams, 5-11, 215, Notre Dame; Tony Pollard, 5-11, 200, Memphis

Michigan’s Karan Higdon is looking to power his way up the draft boards.
Photo: AP/Paul Sancya

FB: Alec Ingold, 6-2, 242, Wisconsin

WR: Alex Wesley, 6-0, 184, Northern Colorado; Penny Hart, 5-8, 180, Georgia State; Terry McLaurin, 6-1, 204, Ohio State, 6-1, 204; Keelan Doss, 6-3, 206, UC Davis; Andy Isabella, 5-10, 195, UMass; Jaylen Smith, 6-4, 220, Louisville; Jakobi Meyers, 6-2, 203, NC State

TE: Donald Parham, 6-8, 240, Stetson; Drew Sample, 6-5, 251, Washington; Tommy Sweeney, 6-5, 260, Boston College

OT: Kaleb McGary, 6-8, 324, Washington; Dalton Risner, 6-5, 308, Kansas State; Max Scharping, 6-6, 320, Northern Illinois; Chuma Edoga, 6-4, 295, USC

OG: Chris Lindstrom, 6-4, 310, Boston College; Nate Davis, 6-3, 311, Charlotte; Mike Deiter, 6-6, 310, Wisconsin; Beau Benzschawel, 6-6, 315, Wisconsin

OC: Garrett Bradbury, 6-3, 300, North Carolina State; Eric McCoy, 6-4, 315, Texas A&M

K: Austin Seibert, 5-9, 214, Oklahoma

DE: John Cominsky, 6-5, 275, Charleston; Zach Allen, 6-5, 285, Boston College; L.J. Collier, 6-4, 276, TCU; Charles Omenihu, 6-6, 275, Texas; Bryon Cowart, 6-4, 293, Maryland; Jalen Jelks, 6-6, 245, Oregon; Anthony Nelson, 6-7, 271, Iowa

DT: Greg Gaines, 6-2, 310, Washington; Khalen Saunders, 6-2, 310, Western Illinois; Renell Wren, 6-6, 297, Arizona State

Khalen Saunders makes Western Illinois University history as first Senior Bowl invitee.
Photo: Larry Dean/WIU Athletics

OLB: Ben Banogu, 6-4, 249, TCU; Drue Tranquill, 6-2, 233, Notre Dame; Sutton Smith, 6-1, 237, No Illinois; Dre Greenlaw, 6-0, 229, Arkansas

ILB: Te’Von Coney, 6-1, 240, Notre Dame; Germaine Pratt, 6-3, 240, North Carolina State; Cameron Smith, 6-2, 250, USC

CB: Corey Ballentine, 6-0, 204, Washburn; Kris Boyd, 6-0, 195, Texas; Amani Oruwariye, 6-1, 201, Penn State; Jordan Brown, 6-1, 195, So Dakota State; Iman Marshall, 6-1, 205, USC

S: Nasir Adderley, 6-0, 200, Delaware; Marquise Blair, 6-2, 195, Utah; Darnell Savage, 5-11, 200, Maryland; Khari Willis, 6-0, 215, Michigan State; Will Harris, 6-2, 210, Boston College

P: Mitch Wishnowsky, 6-2, 220, Utah

LS: Dan Godsil, 6-4, 233, Indiana

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THE REESE’S SENIOR BOWL
DATE: Saturday, January 26, 2019
TIME: 1:30pm CT
WHERE: Mobile, Alabama
STADIUM: Ladd-Peebles Stadium (38,888)
TELEVISION: NFL Network