Tag Archives: Jerry Tillery

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.

***

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 Tackles: Final Position Rankings

2019 NFL Draft:  Top Ranked DTs

Defensive Tackle is another very deep class, from top to bottom. There’s some amazing talent in the first seven – all first and second round picks. Then there’s a handful of third and fourth round talent, but after that, a lot of names will start flying off the board.

Quinnen Williams has reportedly signed with Young Money APAA Sport, a sports agency headed by rap artist, Lil Wayne.  Photo: UA Athletics

1. Quinnen Williams, Alabama, 6-3/303

One of the most dominant players in college football last year, is certainly in the mix for first player taken overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. Showed an excellent display of size, power, slipperiness, and speed to project as an immediate impact player at the next level.

2. Ed Oliver, Houston, 6-2/287

At one point, Ed Oliver was on everybody’s list of top five players in this draft. Then questions began to surface about his playing weight and would he be big enough to hold up at the next level. Good coaches find places for good players to succeed. Oliver has all the tool, just needs to find the right fit.

3. Dexter Lawrence, Clemson, 6-4/342

Somebody was saying that run-stuffing DT’s are a thing of the past … until the Super Bowl they said that anyway. Controlling the clock and wearing down a defense can win games. Stopping the run and getting off the field also wins games. Plenty of room for a high quality player like Lawrence in today’s game.

4. Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State, 6-4/300

Like Lawrence, Simmons excels at stuffing the run and being a disruptive presence. Players with Simmons physical assets won’t stay on the board long. He might not go in the top 15, maybe not in the first round – now that he has the ACL issue. But some team will snatch him up and consider him an investment in the future.

5. Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame, 6-6/296

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.

6. Christian Wilkins, Clemson, 6-3/315

Winner of the 2018 “Academic Heisman” (aka William Campbell Award). Can play up and down the line. Some think he’s a 3-4 defensive end, other a three-technique in a 4-3. Either way, plenty of teams will be eager to draft him.

7. Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State, 6-3/281

Jones is explosive off the snap and the agility to make plays at or near the line of scrimmage. He’s not just one who pushes the linemen back and cause a disruption in the play, Jones likes to get to the quarterback.

8. Zach Allen, Boston College, 6-4/281

Allen is listed as a DE in most places, however, he’s a bit of a one-trick bull-rushing pony and that doesn’t translate well at the next level. Let the NFL bulk him up a bit and put him at DT where his strength can be used to its maximize his potential — disrupting the backfield and holding up the line of scrimmage.

9. Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M, 6-3/288

Keke is one of those players who stood out over Senior Bowl week. He gets his power from his lower body and likes to pin his ears back and go forward. He’s another guy who can play up and down the line. Good coaching will add more tools to his belt as he goes along.

10. Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois, 6-0/324

Saunders was another Senior Bowl storyline. His short stature allowed him to constantly win the low-pad-level game and his strong lower body allowed him to get plenty of push. Might be best in line rotation.

OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  1. Trystan Hill, Central Florida, 6-3/308
  2. Daniel Wise, Kansas, 6-3/281
  3. Armon Watts, Arkansas, 6-5/300
  4. Renell Wren, Arizona State, 6-5/318
  5. Gerald Willis, Miami, 6-2/302
  6. Isaiah Buggs, Alabama, 6-3/306
  7. Chris Slayton, Syracuse, 6-4/307
  8. Greg Gaines, Washington, 6-1/312
  9. Bryan Cowart, Maryland, 6-3/298
  10. Dylan Mack, Texas A&M, 6-1/320
  11. Derrick Brown, Auburn, 6-3/319
  12. Kevin Givens, Penn State, 6-1/285
  13. Cortez Broughton, Cincinnati, 6-2/293
  14. Kenny Bigelow, Virginia, 6-3/307
  15. Michael Dogbe, Temple, 6-3/286
  16. Ray Smith, Boston College, 6-1/302
  17. Olive Sagapolu, Wisconsin, 6-1/324
  18. Immanuel Turner, La. Tech, 6-3/286
  19. Albert Huggins, Clemson, 6-3/305
  20. Ed Alexander, LSU, 6-3/339
  21. Terry Beckner, Jr., Missouri, 6-4/296
  22. Marquise Copeland, Cincinnati, 6-2/281
  23. Dontavious Russell, Auburn, 6-2/319
  24. Isaiah Mack, UT-Chattanoogo, 6-3/305
  25. Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia, 6-4/280
  26. Anthony Rush, UAB, 6-5/340
  27. P.J. Johnson, Arizona, 6-5/315
  28. Jay-Tee Tiuli, Eastern Washington, 6-4/320
  29. Alec Heldreth, Clarion, 6-4/283
  30. Deyon Sizer, Colorado State-Pueblo, 6-2/279

***

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 3

Senior Writer Nat L. Faybian and Editor Douglas Love try their hand at alternating picks in this three round Version 4.0 Mock. This time Nat will pick first.

Round 3

Nat: Ok, we have sixty-four picks in the books. Let’s add the Compensatory Picks at the end of round three.

1. Arizona Cardinals: Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic (Nat L. Faybian)

Devin Singletary scored 67 touchdowns in his career.
Photo: fausports.com

I think the Cardinals have more pressing needs, like on the offensive line. But, Singletary is too good to pass up here. The guy was an absolutely touchdown machine in college. He’s got that short-area shiftiness that helps him score all of those touchdowns. And to top it off, he ran for almost 2,000 yards last year. A good running game can help take some of the pressure off the quarterback.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (via Oak): Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame (Douglas Love)

Tillery would move to end in a 3-4. He can push the pocket. He shows good burst off the line. Uses his length to his advantage; uses his hands to shed blocks. Had 7 sacks last year, so he can get after the quarterback.

3. San Francisco 49ers: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia (NLF)

Riley Ridley is the younger brother Atlanta Falcons’ WR Calvin Ridley. Riley is considered the best route runner in the 2019 NFL Draft class. He sells his routes and gets in-and-out of his cuts smoothly.

4. New York Jets: Yodney Cajuste, OG, West Virginia (DL)

He’s a big guy that can get momentum in the run game. Has a great burst off the ball, and he might go higher than this because of that. Strong upper body, benched 225 lbs. thirty-two times at the Combine. Has long arms with a strong punch.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joe Jackson, DE, Miami (NLF)

Jackson has been largely, and wrongly, overlooked in this deep D-line class. Here’s a guy that had 22.5 sacks and 35.5 tackles-for-loss at Miami. He also had five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Don’t overlook Joe Jackson.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jamel Dean, CB, Auburn (DL)

Dean has had several knee surgeries over his career, but looked plenty healthy at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Photo: Michael Niziolek|Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Bruce Ariens said he wanted to add speed to the defense. Dean has the 4.3 speed, and the Buccaneers needs to be able to run with divisional opponents like Julio Jones (Atl), Alvin Kamara (NO), and Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel (Car). Dean is a former teammate of Bucs starting CB Carlton Davis.

** New York Giants ** Selection forfeited during the 2018 Supplemental Draft.

7. Denver Broncos: Garrett Bradbury, OC, NC State (NLF)

Bradbury was the 2018 Rimington Trophy award winner, recognized as the best center in college football. Bradbury will fit best in a zone blocking scheme where his light feet and short-area quickness can be best utilized.

8. Cincinnati Bengals: David Long, CB, Michigan (DL)

Long is best in press. He gets his hands on the receiver, turns his hips, and runs. He is quick in transition. He trusts his eyes and plays the ball well. Shows excellent closing speed.

9. New England (via Det): Kahale Warring, TE, San Diego State (NLF)

Warring didn’t play football until his senior year of high school.
Photo: USDS Athletics

The Patriots take Kahale Warring from San Diego State. They need to replace Gronk, and Warring has similar size and speed. He’s raw, but the Patriots take players like Warring and turn them into household names.

10. Buffalo Bills: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State (DL)

Arizona State threw him a lot of short passes, allowing Harry to use his athleticism to gain yards. He can also help in the return game. He’ll make the circus catch, and then drop a pass when he’s running wide open. That’s why he’s available in round three.

11. Green Bay Packers: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State (NLF)

Montgomery has excellent balance and generally gets past the first tackler. While he has a nice burst, he’s not really a homerun threat. He’s reliable; he’ll get you positive yardage; and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. If some other team falls in love with him, he could go in the second round.

12. Washington Redskins: Dru Samia, OG, Oklahoma (DL)

Washington was unlucky enough to lose two quarterbacks last year. They need help on the offensive line. Samia is a passionate, fiery, kind of player that Washington could use as a tone setter for the OL. And maybe they run the ball more next year – especially if they draft a new QB in round one.

13. Carolina Panthers: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State (NLF)

Michigan State’s Justin Layne has good change of direction and is a sure tackler.
Photo: Michigan State University Athletics

Carolina played the run well last year, but was only so-so against the pass, middle-of-the-pack. Layne plays the run well, so he’ll fit right in. He has shown light feet, smooth hips, and good change of direction. Would play best on the perimeter, close to the line of scrimmage.

14. Miami Dolphins: Te’Von Coney, ILB, Notre Dame (DL)

Coney is a sound tackler that likes to play downhill. Strong enough to shed linemen. His strength would be his ability to read and diagnose; and his ability to communicate to his teammates.

15. Atlanta Falcons: Isaac Nauta, TE, Georgia (NLF)

Nauta is a player on the rise. He was overshadowed by all that talent in Athens, and there just weren’t enough balls to go around. He’s a good inline blocker. He can catch. A former five-star recruit. Has plenty of game experience, he played in over forty games for Georgia. I think he’s a good fit in Atlanta.

16. Cleveland Brown: Dennis Daley, OT, South Carolina (DL)

Cleveland needs to improve on the offensive side of the ball. They were 21st in rushing and 24th in passing. They need line help, so Daley makes good sense here. He can play tackle or guard. He transferred to So. Carolina from Georgia Military College, so he’s disciplined and takes coaching well. A nice combination of size and athleticism.

17. Minnesota Vikings: Elgton Jenkins, OC, Mississippi State (NLF)

Jenkins’ versatility immediately comes to mind. He’s played tackle, guard, and center in Sharkville. He’s allowed only one sack in his last two years. He has a good football IQ and is a leader on the offensive line.

18. Tennessee Titans: Vosean Joseph, OLB, Florida (DL)

Joseph is a downhill player that flies to the ball. Has played in a variety of defensive schemes. Doesn’t let go once he gets his hands on the ball carrier. Can be used as a blitzer.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers: Christian Miller, LB, Alabama (NLF)

Athletic, fires off the ball, and can push the pocket. At 244 lbs., Miller is big enough and strong enough to hold the edge as a 3-4 linebacker. Still raw, but has plenty of potential.

20. Seattle Seahawks: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia (DL)

Again, the top safeties in this class could go in any order off the board, depending on “fit” and who falls in love with a particular skill set. Thornhill posted great numbers at the Combine. His tape shows fluid movement, plenty of speed, and good ball skills. More of a free safety type.

21. Baltimore Ravens: Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple (NLF)

Armstead is quietly rising up draftboards.
Photo: Temple University Athletics

Here’s a guy who has been quietly sneaking up draft boards. He has speed, quickness, and power. Runs hard and isn’t afraid to lower his shoulder. Can catch the ball out of the backfield. Best when running North-South.

22. Houston Texans: Oli Udoh, OT, Elon (DL)

Udoh had a good week at the Senior Bowl, proving the next level will not be too much for him. He’s got a massive wingspan. He’s 6′ 5″ and somewhere around 350 lbs., but looks well-built, not sloppy, not heavy. Might need some time to develop, but has a high ceiling.

23. Chicago Bears: Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M (NLF)

The Bears are finally on the clock. They sent RB Jordan Howard packing because his style didn’t fit what HC Matt Nagy wants to do offensively. They have been interesting in pass catching running backs – and Trayveon Williams is the best in the class. Other RB on Chicago’s radar include Ryquell Armstead, and Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams.

24. Detroit Lions (via Phi): Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston (DL)

This is a good value pick. The Lions can use some help in the defensive backfield. Johnson had a good week at the Senior Bowl and showed he can stay with most any receiver. Uses his long arms to his advantage.

25. Indianapolis Colts: Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls (NLF)

Pipkins was a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award. Pipkins received rave reviews when he participated in the 94th annual East-West Shrine Game. Then was one of just five D II players invited to the Scouting Combine, where he turned plenty of heads.

26. Dallas Cowboys: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M (DL)

Sternberger was a Consensus All-American in 2018.
Photo: Rey Romo|TexAgs

Just because Jason Witten has returned to the team, doesn’t mean the Cowboys aren’t in need of a tight end. Sternberger has been rising on draft boards – a lot of teams have had him in for private workouts. He spent his first few college seasons blocking in Kansas before he transferred to A&M where he displayed his route running and pass catching abilities.

27. Los Angeles Chargers: Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi (NFL)

Mississippi had D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and DeMarkus Lodge at wide receiver. There wasn’t much of a chance for Knox to show off his hands. He’ll be a better pro than collegiate player.

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Amani Oruawriye, CB, Penn State (DL)

Oruwariye has excellent length which he uses to his advantage against taller receivers. He’s a big bodied receiver with strong hand, good ball tracking skills and smooth change of direction. Could go higher than this.

29. New York Jets (via NO): Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson (NLF)

Bryant is a good pass-rusher with natural bend. His two sacks and six total tackles were one of the main sparks of a defensive effort that only allowed three points to a Notre Dame team that had averaged over 33 per game.

30. Los Angeles Rams: Nate Davis, OG, Charlotte (DL)

Athletic, hard-working, and keeps improving each season. Davis has a lot of teams looking his way. He had a good week at the Senior Bowl, followed up with a successful Combine workout.

31. New York Giants (via NE, via Cle): Zach Allen, DL, Boston College (NLF)

Allen’s strength is stopping the run. He could play left end or inside, depending on the down and situation. Showed at the Senior Bowl, he has limited tools, but can bullrush with the best of them. Has upside.

32. Washington Redskins: Tyler Roemer, OT, San Diego State (DL)

The Redskins took Dru Samia earlier in an attempt to add some nastiness to the offensive line. Roemer is tall with long arms. He is good at sealing off the edge. Plays with a run-first attitude and will take it to the opponent. Some off-field issues could cause some concern.

33. New England Patriots: Lamont Gaillard, OC, Georgia (NLF)

An All-SEC performer in 2018, Gaillard can play anywhere on the line. He had a very good week at the East-West Shine game. With only one year of experience in the middle, he has plenty of room to grow.

34. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Will Grier, QB, West Virginia (DL)

Jacksonville signed Nick Foles to a four-year deal during the offseason. Still, they are going to need someone behind him. Grier landing in a place where there’s no pressure to start right away will give him time to learn the nuances of running an pro-style offense.

35. Los Angeles Rams: Kerrith Whyte, RB, Florida Atlantic (NLF)

The Greatest Show on (Astro)Turf, was built on speed. Kerrith Whyte ran a 4.36 at his Pro Day. By comparison, Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill ran the fastest time for a running back at the Combine with a 4.4 forty. Whyte’s ability in the return game only adds to his value.

36. Carolina Panthers: Ben Banogu, LB, TCU (DL)

Banogu’s skill set may be best identified with Shaq Thompson – they aren’t the same player, but that’s how Banogu’s skill set would translate in Carolina. He could be a “jack” linebacker, doing a bit everything. In three years, he had 45 tackles-for-loss, 20 sacks, and forced seven fumbles.

37. New England Patriots: David Sills, WR, West Virginia (NLF)

Sills is a former quarterback with a natural feel for the game. He’s not the fastest, not the biggest, but succeeds on his football IQ. Sills had thirty-three touchdown catches in the last two years. Did not have a great week at the Senior Bowl. This might be a little bit of a reach, but he does strike me as a Belichick kind of guy.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Chase Winovich, DE/LB, Michigan (DL)

Tenacious, high-motor, high-effort kind of player. A downfield player, wouldn’t be of much help in coverage. Excellent backside pursuit player.

***

MORE: Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3


Draft talk  . . . draft picks, rounds, team needs, and prospects to watch, updated every other day . . . .

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


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

***

Cotton Bowl – Dec 29

#2 Clemson Tigers (13-0) vs #3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-0)

***

CLEMSON | ATLANTIC COASTAL CONFERENCE

Coach: Dabo Swinney

Clemson Players to watch:

***Freshman QB Trevor Lawrence (6-5/205)

Lawrence has been nothing less than spectacular in his freshman debut.
Photo: collegefootballnews.com

Lawrence has completed 212-326 passes for 2,606 yards with 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions. He earned first-team freshman All-American honors from multiple outlets and was a second-team All-ACC quarterback, collecting ACC Rookie of the Year honors as he led Clemson its fourth consecutive ACC title.

*Junior DE Clelin Ferrell (6-5/260)

Winner of the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award, Ferrell leads the 2018 team in tackles for loss (17) and sacks (10.5) along with totaling 45 tackles in 13 games. 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.

Senior LT Mitch Hyatt (6-5/305)

Hyatt is a big reason Clemson is averaging 259.8 rushing yards per game and 6.8 yards per carry. The Tigers have also allowed just 14 sacks in 13 games. In his four-year career, he has played 3,624 snaps, most by a Tiger in history.

***Sophomore RB Travis Etienne (5-10/210)

Etienne is among the nation’s leaders in rushing with 1,463 yards and 21 touchdowns on 176 carries along with 10 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown in 13 games. His 22 total touchdowns are a school record. He is averaging 112.5 rushing yards per game and 8.3 yards per carry.

***

NOTRE DAME | INDEPENDENT

Coach: Brian Kelly

Players to watch:

**Sophomore QB Ian Book (6-0/200)

Book took over the starting reigns in the fourth game of the season.
Photo: Chicago Tribune

Book helped the Irish rip off eight consecutive victories. Book finished the regular season completing 70.4% (197 of 280) of his passes with 19 TDs and 2,468 yards. He also rushed 78 times for 250 yards and four TDs. Book ranks sixth and eighth, respectively, in FBS completion percentage and pass efficiency. He became the first FBS signal caller to win his first five starts of a season with a completion percentage over 70% in each game since Russell Wilson at Wisconsin in 2011. 

*Junior WR Myles Boykin (6-1/227)

Boykin totaled 54 catches for 803 yards, both team highs. He had a stretch of six straight games with at least one TD reception, making him the first Irish receiver to accomplish that feat since Will Fuller.

Senior LB Te’Von Coney (6-1/236)

Coney capped his career by starting all 12 games while recording a team-best 107 tackles (59 solo), 9.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He became the first Irish player to post back-to-back 100-tackle seasons since since Jaylon Smith (2014, 2015). 

Senior DT Jerry Tillery (6-7/300)

Tillery started all 12 contests, recording a team-best eight sacks and three forced fumbles. He added 30 total tackles (10.5 for loss) and five QB hurries. Tillery leads all FBS interior defensive lineman in total QB hurries (31), sacks (8.0) and quarterback hits (44).

***

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic
No. 2 Clemson 30, No. 3 Notre Dame 3
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, Texas