Tag Archives: JAYLON FERGUSON

The Final 4-Round Mock Draft: Round 1

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

Round 1

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma 

Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray appears to be the new Arizona Cardinals quarterback.
Photo: AP Photo/Alonzo Adams

With only days before the draft, Murray hasn’t been signed to a rookie contract and Josh Rosen hasn’t been traded? Arizona has milked this draft for every ounce of news/marketing they could get. Having said that, seeing Heisman winner Kyler Murray run Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense should be very exciting!

2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

The 49ers add one of the most polished defensive players in the draft, Nick Bosa. The team added Dee Ford in free agency, and this will be the fourth defensive lineman they’ve drafted in the first round in the last five years: DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, Arik Armstead, and Bosa. Bosa has exceptional short area quickness and excellent low body strength.

3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

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: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Oliver was one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the county over the last two seasons. Gruden loves guys who can pressure the quarterback, and Oliver and do just that.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

Allen won the 2018 Nagurski Trophy for National Defensive Player of the Year.
Photo: Courier-Journal

For a long time, it looked like the Bucs with go with Devin White, but when a player like Josh Allen falls into your lap – you take him. Allen’s a player that the Bucs will be able to line up in a variety of place, keeping offenses guessing.

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

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.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

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

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: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

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. Drafting Lawrence to step in to Williams would be perfect.

10. Denver Broncos: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

The Broncos surprise many by selecting K-State’s Dalton Risner in the top ten.
Photo: Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics

The Broncos picked up OT Ja’Wuan James, CB Bryce Callahan, CB Kareem Jackson, and QB Joe Flacco in free agency. Those were their most pressing needs. They could trade down here, but I’m going out on a limb and saying they take Dalton Risner from Kansas State. Risner can play four of the five line spots, and Denver’s been high on him this entire post season.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, ILB, LSU

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. LSU’s Devin White has long been considered the best linebacker in the class. He’s the high character leader HC Zac Taylor wants.

12. Green Bay Packers: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

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. Keeping QB Aaron Rodgers off the ground should be a priority. Williams play pass block and run block, play inside or out.

13. Miami Dolphins: Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan

With QB Ryan Tannehill shipped off to the Titans is Fitz-Magic is the answer? Do they take a quarterback here? I think they need one, but don’t think they take one here. However, HC Flores is a defensive guy, so I’m going with the second best linebacker in the class.

14. Atlanta Falcons: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Burns had 15.5 TFL’s and 10 sacks last year at Florida State.
Photo: Nick Lisi|Associated Press

The Falcons need help off the edge. Burns has excellent natural bend around the corner. He’s athletic enough, he can drop back into coverage as well.

15. Washington Redskins: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

The Redskins have questions about their quarterback position, and they could go in that direction, but I think they wait until the second round. They could use a lock-down corner and Williams’ man skills would be a great fit in Washington.

16. Carolina Panthers: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

The Panthers have concerns on both sides of the line. Andre Dillard and Clelin Ferrell would both be viable options for Carolina. However, the Panthers attended Sweat’s Pro Day and had him in for a Private Workout. Seems like they like him.

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

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: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi

The Vikings are looking for some help on the offensive line. Little can pass block and run block. He has good length and plenty of athleticism. Has all the talent, needs some good coaching to reach potential.

19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

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: Bryon Murphy, CB, Washington

The Steelers have a reputation for playing solid, tough, defense. Murphy would fit right in give Pittsburgh an exciting playmaker on the back-end.

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. Rumor has it they are shopping DE Frank Clark, that’s another option to gain some picks. If they stay where they are are Simmons would be excellent value, even if he has to miss the beginning of the season due to his ACL injury.

22. Baltimore Ravens: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

Gary’s stock drops a bit because of a torn labrum. He could possibly miss the first six weeks of the season. However, like Simmons, Gary becomes a good value pick at this spot. The Ravens like stout defensive linemen and they could be creative about a player as athletic as Gary.

23. Houston Texans: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

Houston has to find a way to protect QB Deshaun Watson. Dillard may be the best pass-pro tackle in the class. Houston might be taking a couple of linemen in this draft. Dillard can play left tackle.

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chi): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Jacobs is widely considered the top running back prospect in the nation.
Photo: Marvin Gentry|USAT

Would Oakland take Marquise Brown here? Or would they go with a starting running back here? With the chance that the Eagles could go after Jacobs, the Raiders grab their guy with the twenty-fourth overall pick.

25. Philadelphia Eagles: De’Andre Baker, CB, Georgia

The Eagles are looking at D-line and also at running back. They could also use a cornerback. Thorpe Award winner De’Andre Baker is a solid tackler and good communicator, things DC Jim Schwartz values.

26. Indianapolis Colts: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

The Colts added a deep threat in Metcalf. He’s a solid route runner, that doesn’t mind blocking. He ran a 4.33 forty at the Combine, he’s got some serious speed.

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Gruden loves guys who can take the top off a defense. With a player like Brown sitting here at twenty-seven, this should be a no-brainer. Plus Marquise can learn from his cousin Antonio.

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College

Chargers could go DT here, but they also need interior offensive line help. Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom would be a solid selection here.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaylon Ferguson, DE/OLB, Louisiana Tech

Jaylon Ferguson racked up 45 sacks in his career.
Photo: Tom Morris/LATechSportsPix.com

The Chiefs need a couple of corners and a safety. But with their first pick, they take a guy who can get after the quarterback. Ferguson had 26 tackles-for-loss and 17.5 sacks last year.

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

Fant was the pre-season favorite to be the top TE in the draft, that is until his teammate came on like a freight train. But at the combine, Fant made a statement by running 4.5 forty, had a 6.81 3-cone, and an 11-49 90-yard shuttle – all best in his position group. Rodgers will appreciate another big, fast, target.

31. Los Angeles Rams: Garrett Bradbury, OC, NC State

The Rams are a zone blocking team that needs a center. Bradbury’s athleticism would make him the perfect fit.

32. New England Patriots: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

The Patriots would trade down if given the option. If they stay here, they take the best offensive lineman on the boad – Cody Ford, Oklahoma.

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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

***

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

Defensive Ends: Final Position Rankings

2019 NFL Draft:  Top Ranked DEs

This class is very deep and has talent at every level. The top five players are all first round picks. Then there’s the next tier of about fourteen players that we will see go between the end of the first and the end of the third – starting at Brian Burns and going down to L.J. Collier and Shareef Miller. The last tier is incredibly deep compared with some other position groups. From the fourth to the seventh rounds we’ll see defensive ends come off the board at regular intervals.

Bosa projects as the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Photo:  Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nick Bosa, Ohio State, 6-4/266

Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Joey Bosa, Nick looks to be the most polished and NFL ready pass rusher of the bunch. Has exceptional short area quickness and excellent low body strength.

2. Josh Allen, Kentucky, 6-5/262

Allen could play end or linebacker at the next level and may be asked to do a combination of the two. Uses his physical tools to his advantage. Understands when to use speed, when to use his length, or when to use a counter move. Some experts have listed Allen going number one overall in the draft.

3. Montez Sweat, Mississippi, 6-6/260

This guy just doesn’t stop. He lit it up at the Senior Bowl. He was the toast of the weekend. Then the comes to the NFL Scouting Combine and runs a 4.41 forty, a 36 vertical and a 7.0 3-cone shuttle at 260 pounds. He understands leverage and angels and maximizes his potential at every opportunity. I think we’ll hear Sweat’s name called before Rashan Gary’s on draft day.

4. Rashan Gary, Michigan, 6-4/277

Gary is a physical specimen with outstanding upper and lower body strength. He can play outside or inside, and most likely will, depending on the down. Shows quickness off the ball and backside speed to track plays down. Has always had superior physical talent and may have to work harder at the next level. Smart player that understands the game.

5. Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, 6-4/264

In just about any other year, we would be talking about Ferrell being the best defensive end in the class and near the top of every draft board — that’s just how deep this year’s defensive end class truly is. He looks pro ready and should have an outstanding rookie season.

6. Brian Burns, Florida State, 6-5/249

Burns will have to grow into the NFL. He’ll need to get bigger, but he’s got the traits scouts seek. Tall and lanky, cat-quick first step, good bend and long arms. He could end up being a boom-or-bust player, but he’s certainly worth the gamble.

7. Jochai Polite, Florida, 6-3/258

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. So, he has too much talent to ignore and some team will give him a second chance.

8. Austin Bryant, Clemson, 6-4/271

Has good burst off the line. Uses his long arms to punch and has a variety of hand techniques. Shows good bend and understands leverage. Played with a talented group and didn’t need to be the star – but understood his role in the scheme.

9. Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech, 6-4/256

He’s a downhill pass rusher. Has above average ball get off. Uses his hand well. Understands angles and has good balance. Doesn’t show up much in the run game. Ferguson did not light it up at his Pro Day. He didn’t stand out during Senior Bowl week.

10. Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion, 6-3/253

Was the darling of football writers earlier this year. Ximines has spent a lot of time in the backfield of the opposing team. Didn’t face top notch competition and lined up over the right tackle the majority of the time. His specialty has been the speed rush and he might fit best as a situational third down specialist.

OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  1. Anthony Nelson, Iowa, 6-7/271
  2. Joe Jackson, Miami, 6-4/275
  3. Chase Winovich, Michigan, 6-3/256
  4. Malik Carney, No. Carolina, 6-2/251
  5. Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State, 6-3/252
  6. Maxx Crosby, Eastern Michigan, 6-5/255
  7. Markus Jones, Angelo State, 6-3/260
  8. L.J. Collier, TCU, 6-2/283
  9. Sheriff Miller, Penn State, 6-4/254
  10. Justin Hollins, Oregon, 6-5/248
  11. Carl Granderson, Wyoming, 6-5/254
  12. Charles Omenihu, Texas, 6-5/280
  13. John Cominsky, Charleston, 6-5/286
  14. Porter Gustin, USC, 6-4/255
  15. Jalen Jelks, Oregon, 6-6/246
  16. Gerri Green, Mississippi State 6-4/250
  17. Kyle Phillips, Tennessee, 6-4/277
  18. Derick Roberson, Sam Houston State, 6-4/250
  19. Cece Jefferson, Florida, 6-1/266
  20. Wyatt Ray, Boston College, 6-3/257
  21. Dare Odeyingbo, Vanderbilt, 6-2/262
  22. Darryl Johnson, NC A&T, 6-6/253
  23. Mike Onuho, Texas A&M Commerce, 6-5/255
  24. Adonis Davis, Florida Tech, 6-3/260
  25. Iseoluwapo Jegede, Valdosta State, 6-5/273

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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.

2018 CUSA Awards

CONFERENCE USA

CUSA MVP: BRENT STOCKSTILL, QB, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

Photo: Jim Brown/USA TODAY Sports

Middle Tennessee graduate QB Brent Stockstill is the recipient of the C-USA Most Valuable Player Award. Stockstill leads C-USA in completions (301) and touchdown passes (28) this season, ranking fourth in the FBS in completion percentage (70.5) and 15th nationally with 3,214 passing yards.  He has thrown multiple scores in seven straight games and nine total outings on the year, topping the 300-yard mark in passing four times.  He’s also tied for 20th all-time in the NCAA in touchdown passes (105), and the owner of virtually every passing record in school history.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JAYLON FERGUSON, LOUISIANA TECH

Photo: Tom Morris/USA TODAY Sports

In 2018, Louisiana Tech’s Jaylon Ferguson passed Terrell Suggs (Arizona State) to become the NCAA all-time sack leader with 45 career sacks. He leads the FBS with 17.5 sacks in 2018, while ranking second nationally with 26 tackles for loss.  Ferguson broke his own school record for single-season sacks, which he set in 2016 with 14.5.  A four-time all-conference selection, he has recorded 64 total tackles this season, including 37 solo stops, while he has also recorded nine quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. 

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: MASON FINE, NORTH TEXAS

Photo: Gary Sanderson

North Texas junior Mason Fine becomes the fifth player in C-USA history to be named Offensive Player of the Year multiple times, winning the honor for the second straight season.  He ranks eighth in the FBS in passing yards (3,743) and is eighth in the FBS in passing yards per game (311.2) through 12 games.  Fine has completed 295-of-457 passes (64.6%) for 3,743 yards and 27 touchdowns with only five interceptions.  He topped the 300-yard mark five times and the 400-yard mark twice, while throwing for 240 or more in all but one outing.  Fine, who also had a pair of rushing scores, threw multiple touchdowns in 10 games while becoming the all-time leading passer in program history in less than three full seasons (9,358 yards).

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: JACK FOX, P, RICE

Several NFL teams have Fox on their radar.
Photo: Rice Athletics

Fox led C-USA in punting for the second consecutive year, finishing with a career-best 45.5 average.  His average was second best in the nation among punters with at least 60 punts in the regular season and ranked 8th nationally among all punters.  He topped the FBS with 3,636 punting yards in the regular season, which also set a school record.  He had 26 punts of 50 yards or longer and he placed 31 punts inside the 20-yard line, both top figures in the conference. 

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: CHRIS ROBINSON, QB, FLORIDA ATLANTIC and ISAIAH GREEN, QB, MARSHALL

Photo: FAU Athletics

Robison played in all 12 games for the Owls, completing 63.2 percent of his passes (192-of-304) for 2,533 yards.  He threw 12 touchdowns and rushed for three scores.  Robison was named C-USA Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10 after he set a school record with 471 passing yards and tossed three TDs in a win over Air Force. 

Photo: Herald-Dispatch

Green placed fourth in C-USA with an average of 248.7 passing yards per game.  He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all nine games he has played (eight starts), totaling 15.  Green has five games with multiple TD tosses, with a season-high three in a win over Eastern Kentucky.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: JAMES MORGAN, QB, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

Photo: Florida International University

Morgan, a junior graduate transfer from Bowling Green, started every game under center for the Panthers. He threw for a school-record 26 touchdowns and 2,764 yards, which ranks second in a FIU single season.  He lead C-USA in passer efficiency rating (157.6) and passing yards per attempt (8.4).  Morgan had a season-best 341-yard passing yards and set a school-record with four touchdown passes against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in late September. 

COACH OF THE YEAR: RICK STOCKSTILL, MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE

Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

After leading his team to an East Division title and a school-record fourth consecutive bowl appearance, Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill has been named Conference USA Coach of the Year, as voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches. Stockstill has led MT to an 8-5 record this season and bowl against Appalachian State. The Blue Raiders also played in and hosted the C-USA Championship game for the first time.  Middle Tennessee was picked by conference media members in the preseason to finish third in the East Division, but it defied those odds by finishing with a 7-1 league record and its first division title.

2018 Ted Hendricks Award

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S TOP DEFENSIVE END

On-field performance, leadership abilities and contributions to school and community are some of the criteria used to determine the award winner. The candidates may represent any class (freshman through senior) as well as any recognized four-year NCAA member school (Division I through Division III).

The Ted Hendricks Award is named in honor of University of Miami three-time Collegiate All-American and NFL Hall of Famer Ted Hendricks.

Who Votes?

Leading college coaches, former players and coaches, media members and pro football personnel professionals vote in the selection process.

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THIS YEARS WINNER…

Clelin Ferrell, Defensive End, Clemson Tigers

With his selection by the AP, Ferrell also became Clemson’s first two-time, first-team AP All-American since Terry Kinard (1981-82).
Image: Clemson Athletics

Ferrell was a consensus first-team All-American, earning selections by AP, Sporting News and Walter Camp. He was also named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year; first-team All-ACC; and unanimous first-team AP All-ACC selection and earned AP ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

The junior passing rusher from Richmond, Va., entered bowl season credited with 45 tackles, including 17 for loss; 10.5 sacks; three pass breakups; two forced fumbles; and a fumble recovered for a touchdown.

Ferrell started all 13 games and played 578 snaps in the regular season. In week two against Texas A&M, he recorded two sacks and one tackle for loss, earning ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors and collecting a team defensive player of the week award. In week four, he scored the first touchdown of his career, recovering a fumble in the end zone at Georgia Tech.

In his three-year career, he has 47.5 tackles for loss, eighth most in Tiger history, and 26 sacks, fifth most in school history.

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The 2018 Ted Hendricks Award finalists included:

  • Josh Allen – Jack Kentucky, senior
  • Clemson – DE Clelin Farrell, junior
  • Louisiana Tech – DE Jaylon Ferguson, senior
  • Northern Illinois – DE Sutton Smith, junior

 

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

FBS 2018 A.P. All-American teams

FIRST TEAM

2018 Heisman Winner and AP first team All-American Kyler Murray.
Photo: Tulsa World.

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Kyler Murray, junior, Oklahoma
Running backs — Jonathan Taylor, sophomore, Wisconsin; Darrell Henderson, junior, Memphis
Tackles — Jonah Williams, junior, Alabama; Mitch Hyatt, senior, Clemson
Guards — Beau Benzschawel, senior, Wisconsin; Bunchy Stallings, senior, Kentucky
Center — Garrett Bradbury, senior, North Carolina State
Tight end — Jace Sternberger, junior, Texas A&M
Wide receivers — Jerry Jeudy, sophomore, Alabama; Marquise Brown, junior, Oklahoma
All-purpose player — Rondale Moore, freshman, Purdue
Kicker — Andre Szmyt, freshman, Syracuse

DEFENSE

Ends — Clelin Ferrell, junior, Clemson; Sutton Smith, junior, Northern Illinois
Tackles — Quinnen Williams, junior, Alabama; Christian Wilkins, senior, Clemson
Linebackers — Josh Allen, senior, Kentucky; Devin White, junior, LSU; Ben Burr-Kirven, senior, Washington
Cornerbacks — Deandre Baker, senior, Georgia; Julian Love, junior, Notre Dame
Safeties — Grant Delpit, sophomore, LSU; Deionte Thompson, junior, Alabama
Punter — Braden Mann, junior, Texas A&M

SECOND TEAM

Maxwell and Walter Camp POY winner Tua Tagovailoa.
Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Tua Tagovailoa, sophomore, Alabama
Running backs — Travis Etienne, sophomore, Clemson; Trayveon Williams, junior, Texas A&M
Tackles — Dalton Risner, senior, Kansas State; Andrew Thomas, sophomore, Georgia
Guards — Dru Samia, senior, Oklahoma; Michael Dieter, senior, Wisconsin
Center — Ross Piersbacher, senior, Alabama
Tight end — T.J, Hockenson, sophomore, Iowa
Wide receivers — Tylan Wallace, sophomore, Oklahoma State; Andy Isabella, senior, Massachusetts
All-purpose player — Greg Dortch, sophomore, Wake Forest
Kicker — Cole Tracy, senior, LSU

DEFENSE

Ends — Montez Sweat, senior, Mississippi State; Jachai Polite, junior, Florida
Tackles — Jerry Tillery, senior, Notre Dame; Gerald Willis III, senior, Miami
Linebackers — Devin Bush, junior, Michigan; David Long Jr., junior, West Virginia; Joe Dineen, senior, Kansas
Cornerbacks — Greedy Williams, sophomore, LSU; Byron Murphy, sophomore, Washington
Safeties — Taylor Rapp, junior, Washington; Amani Hooker, junior, Iowa
Punter — Mitch Wishnowsky, senior, Utah

THIRD TEAM

Haskins was awarded the 2018 Chicago Tribune Silver FootballThe award is presented to the Big Ten’s best football player each year, and is voted on by the coaches. 
Photo: Cleveland.com

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks — Dwayne Haskins, sophomore, Ohio State
Running backs — Benny Snell, junior, Kentucky; Eno Benjamin, sophomore, Arizona State
Tackles — Andre Dillard, senior, Washington State; Cody Ford, junior, Oklahoma
Guards — Terronne Prescod, senior, North Carolina State; Chris Lindstrom, senior, Boston College
Center — Michael Jordan, junior, Ohio State
Tight end — Noah Fant, junior, Iowa
Wide Receivers — A.J. Brown, junior, Mississippi; David Sills V, senior, West Virginia
All-purpose player — J.J. Taylor, sophomore, Arizona
Kicker — Matt Gay, senior, Utah

DEFENSE

Ends — Chase Winovich, senior, Michigan; Jaylon Ferguson, senior, Louisiana Tech
Tackles — Jeffery Simmons, junior, Mississippi State; Ed Oliver, junior, Houston
Linebackers — Paddy Fisher, sophomore, Northwestern; David Woodward, sophomore, Utah State; Te’Von Coney, senior, Notre Dame
Cornerbacks — Hamp Cheevers, junior, Boston College; Lavert Hill, junior, Michigan
Safeties — Andre Cisco, freshman, Syracuse; Johnathan Abram, senior, Mississippi State
Punter — Jason Smith, sophomore, Cincinnati

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