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Thread: 2020 Draft Talk

  1. #221
    I can definitely see someone missing a pick if they don’t adjust.
    Last edited by Bengals1181; 04-06-2020 at 06:45 PM.

  2. #222
    The Dane Brugler draft bible is out at The Athletic (which you all should be able to access) - enjoy:

    https://theathletic.com/1727831/2020...020-the-beast/

  3. #223
    Quote Originally Posted by membengal View Post
    The Dane Brugler draft bible is out at The Athletic (which you all should be able to access) - enjoy:

    https://theathletic.com/1727831/2020...020-the-beast/
    Thanks. One more compelling reason to subscribe to The Athletic.

    He does a great job with this. Very thorough... even lists high schools that the prospects attended.

  4. #224
    • I’m told the Bengals have maxed out their time with Burrow over the last few weeks, as they work to build a relationship with him. What does that mean? Well, each team is allowed to do three one-hour calls with each prospect per week. So every week, Cincinnati has done, yes, three one-hour calls with Burrow. If you listened to my podcast with Burrow’s trainer, Jordan Palmer, a few weeks back, you heard him say that the training for Burrow has been focused on getting him ready to play in Week 1. The amount of meetings he’s had with the team that’ll likely draft him can’t hurt in that regard either.

    Mmqb

  5. #225
    Quote Originally Posted by whodeyjc View Post
    • I’m told the Bengals have maxed out their time with Burrow over the last few weeks, as they work to build a relationship with him. What does that mean? Well, each team is allowed to do three one-hour calls with each prospect per week. So every week, Cincinnati has done, yes, three one-hour calls with Burrow. If you listened to my podcast with Burrow’s trainer, Jordan Palmer, a few weeks back, you heard him say that the training for Burrow has been focused on getting him ready to play in Week 1. The amount of meetings he’s had with the team that’ll likely draft him can’t hurt in that regard either.

    Mmqb
    No doubt that's true, but I'm guessing they've had a number of calls with other prospects, too. Maybe not at QB - but keep in mind that wouldn't be required of Herbert... who they coached at the Sr. Bowl, and had a lot of exposure to. Even though I firmly believe it'll be Front Row Joe, they might not have needed as much with Herbert, if he were the choice.

    That said, I think the silver lining with the quarantine re: Burrow is that he hasn't had to throw as much - so less wear and tear on the arm as we approach the season. 'Course, the counterpoint is, he's rusty - and without minicamps, weight room training, and daily in-person exposure to coaches, he won't have as much time with his receivers and the rest of the offense - especially as the expected rookie starter. Every team is in the same boat, but few have a rookie coming in that is expected to start from day one.

  6. #226
    Lance Zierlein

    I will let you know if I find a RB coach or even a team that doesn't like Memphis RB Antonio Gibson. Only one team I've spoken with sees him as a WR - all others see him as a RB. One coach likened him to a lesser version of Joe Mixon

  7. #227
    Zach kruse


    Scout on Ezra Cleveland: “He reminds me of some of the guys Green Bay has had over the years. Bulaga, Bakhtiari, guys that kind of are just functional and get the job done. They’re not spectacular, just steady."

  8. #228
    Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
    Lance Zierlein

    I will let you know if I find a RB coach or even a team that doesn't like Memphis RB Antonio Gibson. Only one team I've spoken with sees him as a WR - all others see him as a RB. One coach likened him to a lesser version of Joe Mixon
    He'd be a great get.

  9. #229
    Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
    Zach kruse


    Scout on Ezra Cleveland: “He reminds me of some of the guys Green Bay has had over the years. Bulaga, Bakhtiari, guys that kind of are just functional and get the job done. They’re not spectacular, just steady."
    This quote comes from Bob McGinn's article in the Athletic. He's been a long-time NFL writer who focused on the Packers, but he was one of the draft weenie writers for a long time, too. There is a series of articles this year where he profiles top players at each position, and he sprinkles in quotes from scouts and other NFL personnel folks. It's interesting reading. I'll find them and post them in this thread.

  10. #230
    McGinn’s NFL Draft Series: Scouts on top offensive linemen

    Jason Licht, the general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sliced well beyond the Pollyannish last week in a briefing with reporters. “Across the league, it’s 50-50 whether any first-round pick is going to be a player or not three years down the road,” he said. “It’s 50-50 from the first pick down to the 32nd pick.”

    When applied to the tackle position, regarded as one of the best in this draft, it means two of the four players expected to be selected in the first 15 to 20 picks figure to be disappointments, if not busts, by 2023. That grim analysis apparently is why GMs get paid the big bucks.

    At least almost everyone is in the same pressurized boat when it comes to tackles. “There’s no team that feels good about its two tackles,” an AFC personnel man said. “Maybe one or two teams in the league. Everyone needs to get better. “Where are you going to get them? You’re not going to get a tackle in the third round or the fourth round. If you want a guy, you’ve got to get a guy.”

    Since time immemorial, the winners will be the two teams that pick the two tackles who can play and the losers will be the two teams that pick the two tackles who can’t, at least according to Licht’s viewpoint that is widely shared in the league. The prospects/suspects presumably at the head of the class, in alphabetical order, are Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Alabama’s Jedrick Wills and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs. (Wirfs is ranked below in our Guard category).

    “It has talent, but it has questions,” the AFC exec said of the tackle group. “Andrew Thomas had a couple average games late in the season but early played really well. Wirfs is physically gifted, but it doesn’t always translate. With Becton, consistency is the question. Wills, I think he could play left tackle, but that’s going to take some time.” An AFC personnel director rated Wills No. 1 because he sees him as a complete player. As for the others, he said, “Wirfs has unbelievable athleticism but needs to finish a little better. “If Becton is motivated enough he can be the best of the group. But he’s going to have to find the work ethic, drive and the coachability that NFL teams will demand. “Thomas is athletically very gifted. He’s probably got to work on his anchor and his strength a little bit.”

    Then there was this from another executive who underscored the crapshoot the draft is at every position. “I think the tackle class is really overrated,” he said. “There’s not a great one, not a Joe Thomas, in the group. All these guys have their warts.”

    Part of the problem is the top four tackles all spent just three seasons in college. Offensive line was the last position to see large numbers of underclassmen declaring for the draft. A general feeling persisted for years that offensive linemen needed as much physical maturation as possible before going pro.

    In 2020, 10 of the top 11 vote-getters in the same poll asking scouts to rank their top offensive linemen regardless of position were underclassmen. The only senior, Houston’s Josh Jones, finished eighth in the voting. “If you’re decent now it’s three years and you’re coming out,” one scout said. “Some guys redshirt and come out in two. Not a lot of them stay in college anymore.” It’s almost reached the point where if a top player plays out his collegiate eligibility something must be wrong with him. “They’ve been thrust up there as the unquestioned top four because they’re juniors,” said a personnel man. “The media just kind of does that with juniors. They just assume these guys are great prospects because they’re coming out early, and they’re not.”

    My poll of 17 personnel people over the last two weeks showed four juniors packed together at the top with almost no separation. Scouts were asked to rank their top six offensive linemen, with a first-place vote worth 6 points, a second worth 5 and so on. Thomas led with 78 points and seven firsts but tight on his heels were Becton (75, five), Wills (71, two) and Wirfs (71, three).

    “There’s no consensus with these guys,” an NFC personnel director said. “We have different orders between scouts, coaches. It’s kind of your flavor. You probably will get six tackles (in the first round) but there’s only four you feel good about. Then it falls off.” There have been only two instances in my polling over the last 12 years in which the vote for the best offensive linemen had so little clarity at the top.

    There was a precipitous drop off to fifth place in this year’s poll. That was Cesar Ruiz, who totaled 16 points. Others receiving votes were Austin Jackson (12), Isaiah Wilson (10), Josh Jones (five), Ezra Cleveland (four), Lloyd Cushenberry (four), Matt Hennessy (four), Hakeem Adeniji (three), Matt Peart (two) and Robert Hunt and Shane LeMieux, each one.

    Meanwhile, at center, some teams like the group while others don’t. There seemed to be close to unanimity when it came to guard, where one team emerged from meetings with merely three draftable players. “The bar is so low for centers and guards in the NFL,” said one executive. “People are just so desperate for bodies.

    “There’s a premium on the D-line. So, if you have any degree of size of ability at all, they put you on defense. So you’re always getting the seconds for those interior spots (on the offensive line). “The way the game is played in college, you’re in a two-point stance. It’s all hurry-up, no-huddle. If you can just engage your opponent, it’s a win. The line play is so bad. They want to run 99 plays and wear the defense down. If they can get three guys to stay upright in the middle, that’s good enough.”
    Another evaluator drily observed, “They all get drafted if they’re offensive linemen.”

    RANKING THE OFFENSIVE LINEMEN

    “I thought he was the most natural and productive of all these guys,” one scout said of Georgia’s Andrew Thomas. (Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports)

    TACKLES

    1. ANDREW THOMAS, Georgia (6-5, 315, 5.17, 1): Thomas started at RT as a true freshman and at LT the past two seasons. “I thought he was the most natural and productive of all these guys,” one scout said. “He rarely gets beat. Has long arms (36 1/8 inches), and he plays with ‘em. Redirects well.” Thomas is a three-sport athlete from Lithonia, Ga. “Never have an issue with him,” another scout said. “This kid will pick up the system immediately. Cannot say enough good stuff about him. He’s a legit starter right away.” Scored 28 on the 12-minute, 50-question Wonderlic intelligence test. “Would like to see a more aggressive finish,” a third scout said. “Doesn’t move defenders with power. Considering his athleticism, he’s on the ground a little more than I expected. Will need to get stronger in his drive blocks. I have questions about his skill set.” Some scouts say his feet are more than adequate for a LT. Others disagree. “Struggles against speed,” a fourth scout said. “Some of the pass-pro deficiencies make you want to think he’s more of a right tackle. What keeps you in the boat with Andrew is that everyone at Georgia really says high things about his football makeup and character. It’s an intangible-based position. At minimum, you’ll have a really good, solid starter because he’ll do all the right things.”

    2. MEKHI BECTON, Louisville (6-7 ½, 357, 5.11, 1): Started at RT as a true freshman and at LT the past two seasons. “He has the highest ceiling,” said one scout. “You shouldn’t have the initial lateral quickness at that size that this guy has. There’s some rawness there (but) he could be a perennial Pro Bowl type.” That personnel man tabbed Becton as the No. 1 lineman in the draft. So did this scout, who said, “You know what? You can’t get around him. He’s athletic enough to block DBs in space. He can bend his lower body. He has strong hands. One concern I had was he was knock-kneed. You can’t say he’s Trent Williams. He’s like Orlando Brown (6-8, 340, 5.68) of the Ravens.” Another scout compared him to former Viking LT Bryant McKinnie (6-8, 343, 5.38), the seventh pick in 2002. “But he’s tougher than McKinnie,” the scout said. “He doesn’t play hard all the time…but he takes care of business. He’s been as high as 388, as low as 350. Will fatigue a little bit. Trustworthy. A teddy bear. He’s a pretty squared-away guy.” He matured significantly as a player and learned to play through injury in 2019. “He’s not one of those overweight, lazy guys,” a third scout said. “He can move and he competes. He’s what everybody’s looking for.” He posted a Wonderlic score of 15, and his arms were 35 5/8, hands were 10 ¾. “Know why I have him fifth (on his vote)?” said a fourth scout. “Because he loves to cook and eat more than he loves frigging football…He can be a freak now. You could hit on him. You know what he is? He’s Trent Brown (6-8 ½, 353, 5.26).” Becton is from Highland Springs, Va.

    3. JEDRICK WILLS, Alabama (6-4, 312, 5.06, 1): Wills, from Lexington, Ky., improved as much if not more than any player in the draft last season, according to one scout. “He’s got feet, he’s got flexibility and he competes really hard,” said another scout. “Really good with his drive block. Square pass protection. Runs and pulls with ease. Really light on his feet. Pretty good in space. His height is OK.” The third-year junior played RT only, protecting Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side. “I think he does have left-tackle feet but I don’t think he’s a left tackle,” said a third scout. “You may try to kick him to left but people don’t know how hard that is, especially when you haven’t done it.” Two-year starter. “I like Wills as a right tackle or guard because he’s tough and plays hard, but he’s not a left tackle,” another scout said. “He needed extra time there.” Scored 9 on his first attempt at the Wonderlic, which teams traditionally have regarded as the most telling score, but he scored 23 on his second try. “We interviewed him twice,” said one scout. “He wouldn’t scare you off. I would say it (the Wonderlic) is not (a big concern).” He produced the best vertical jump (34 ½) of the tackles. “I don’t get the whole excitement with him, and I’ve watched a ton of tape,” another scout said. “I don’t think he plays very athletically. He’s not a finisher. He doesn’t redirect very well. Not a strong, tough guy. He worked out well. I just don’t see the movement, finish, talent of a first-round guy.”

    4. AUSTIN JACKSON, USC (6-5, 322, 5.08, 1-2): Jackson is a third-year junior with two seasons as the starter at LT. “As far as the way he looks – the frame, the long arms, the bubble, the bend – you’re, like, ‘OK, this guy’s going to be really good,’” said one scout. “But he’s a hands-outside guy, which is kind of hard to fix. With his hands going outside and bending at the waist, he had a terrible outing against (A.J.) Epenesa in the bowl game. He’s the boom-or-bust of this group. He’s either going to hit big and be a starter for a long time, or he’ll bust out and people will say, ‘He wasn’t any different than I thought.’ Very, very inconsistent.’” In July, he became a bone marrow donor for his sister Autumn. “He basically saved her life,” another scout said. “They corkscrewed into his hip, twice on the left and once on the right, to get the marrow out. When he recovered his hip flexibility was not what it used to be. He lost like 25 pounds. If you look at the early tape you go, ‘What the hell? This guy is thinking about coming out?’ He was getting beat on the edges because he couldn’t move laterally. It wasn’t until the seventh or eighth game where he was starting to feel normal. His best football is ahead of him. Awesome kid.” He posted a 25 on the Wonderlic and his broad jump of 9-7 led tackles. “He makes run and pass look easy,” another scout said. “Guy doesn’t work up a sweat. Has the feet to play left tackle. Needs a little work.” Added another executive: “One thing to think about, he missed all last offseason and now he’s going to miss this whole offseason. So the idea he’s got to get stronger … well, when? Next year?” Jackson is from Phoenix. His grandfather, Mel, started at RG for Green Bay in 1977-’78.

    5. ISAIAH WILSON, Georgia (6-6 ½, 350, 5.37, 1-2): Wilson is a third-year sophomore with 24 starts at RT. “He’s just gigantic,” said one scout. “Size is his best friend. He is so big. Not top-flight foot movement but good enough for being that big. He’s strong and he’s tough. I doubt that (first round). That would shock me.” He played opposite Thomas, giving the Bulldogs possibly the nation’s heaviest line. “Like him,” another scout said. “He’s massive. He moves good. He’s got great length. I think he’s a starting right tackle and will play for a while.” Arms were 35 ½, hands were 10 ¼. “He is one tough, nasty guy,” said a third scout. “I guess you could play him on the left side and get by with him.” He posted a 28 on the Wonderlic. “He wasn’t ready to come out,” said a fourth scout. “He needed another year. He’s really susceptible to a good bull rush. For being such a big human being there’s some functional lightness to that guy. He looks like a big mountain of a man but he doesn’t play real heavy. You can take him down the middle.” Wilson is from Brooklyn, N.Y. Added a fifth scout: “He is big but he’s so bad technique. He ducks his head, he bends at the waist. But that (guy) is big. He could be a star or bust.”


    “He’ll be a solid pass protector. I think he’s steady. He’ll be close to the first (round),” one scout said of Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)
    6. EZRA CLEVELAND, Boise State (6-6, 311, 4.97, 1-2): Cleveland is a three-year starter at LT. “He’s a really good athlete,” said one scout. “He’ll be a solid pass protector. I think he’s steady. He tested out really well. He’ll be close to the first (round). Tackles go.” Lightly recruited out of Spanaway, Wash. “He reminds me of some of the guys Green Bay has had over the years,” said a second scout. “(Bryan) Bulaga, (David) Bakhtiari, guys that kind of are just functional and get the job done. They’re not spectacular, just steady … if Cleveland didn’t have to interview people would really like him. But his interview was so low energy and just kind of flat line that it kind of just scared people. He’s so Steady Eddie. It’s not that he’s a bad guy at all. Cleveland … he’s Boise, he’s a junior, he’s got to get stronger. But he is athletic.” He played most of 2019 with turf toe injury. Led tackles in five categories: the 40, Wonderlic (30), bench press (30), short shuttle (4.46) and 3-cone (7.26). Arms were just 33 3/8, hands were a tiny 9. “Everybody’s high on him,” said another scout. “Why am I not that high on him? There’s a degree of tightness in his hips. Has balance issues. I question his lower-body strength. Not going to beat point-of-attack defenders. Finesse guy that uses his size. Size defenders knock him around. I question his lateral adjust. But guys like him.”

    7. JOSH JONES, Houston (6-5, 319, 5.28, 2): Spent five years with the Cougars, starting at LT from 2016-’19. “He almost left Houston as a grad transfer,” one scout said. “He was fed up with all the coaching changes and no continuity or stability. He stayed one more year and it paid off for him. He’s a basketball-background guy. This was his real year of production and got on the radar of people. He’s athletic. Sort of technique-flawed. It’ll take him a little time to get it all buttoned up. He’s a serviceable, functional NFL tackle. You can get by with him, I think.” He posted a Wonderlic score of 14 and his arms were 33 7/8, hands were 10 1/8. “Understands how to use his hands in pass pro,” said a second scout. “Struggles to move guys at the point of attack. Inconsistent.” Didn’t start playing football until his sophomore year of high school in Richmond, Texas. “He’s not a kid you want to sign off on completely,” a third scout said. “He definitely showed flashes of talent. He’s a little bit inconsistent. Pass pro’s his thing. His run blocking is a little iffy.”

    8. MATT PEART, Connecticut (6-6 ½, 318, 5.10, 2-3): He should be a starter in his second season, according to one scout. “He really surprised me,” said one scout. “I haven’t watched them (Connecticut) in years. They may be the worst program in the country. But he has great feet. He’s a natural left tackle. No punch as a run blocker. Better tenacity than strength. Heck of a pass blocker.” Born in Jamaica, Peart emigrated to the U.S. in 2002. “There’s good and bad with him,” a second scout said. “Probably the longest guy (36 5/8 arms) in the draft. He’s got a big basketball player’s build. But he doesn’t have any strength. He’s not a throwaway. If somebody gets him in a good strength program … He’s got interests outside of football, which isn’t typical for an offensive lineman. He’s not a bad kid; you just want to make sure he’s committed. He has developmental starter ability.” He started at RT in 2016-’17 and at LT in 2018-’19. “Name me an offensive lineman for UConn in the last 25 years,” said a third scout. “Just name one.” Peart posted a Wonderlic of 20.

    9. PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO, Auburn (6-5, 305, no 40, 2-3): Their calling card is the ability to negate the up-field rush, according to one scout, but struggles mightily against counter moves inside. “He’ll be a second-round pick,” another scout said. “He’s close to the first. He’s real quick. He’s got short arms (33 ½), which is concerning. Good agility, good movement, good effort.”He came to the U.S. from Nigeria in August 2014 to play basketball in Montgomery, Ala. “He doesn’t know that much about football,” said another scout. “He’s going to (need) some reps. He’s not ready to play right now. He’s not going to be an instant asset to you, but he will become a starter. I’d take a chance on him in the second round.” Teams expressed concern about an injury history that includes a tibia-fibula fracture in 2015 and arthroscopic knee surgery in January. Spent five years at Auburn, starting 32 games at LT. “Doesn’t play with urgency,” said another scout. “Constantly late out of his stance. Has issues at the second level. He’s got a little work to do.”

    10. LUCAS NIANG, TCU (6-6, 315, no 40, 4): Niang made 27 starts at RT over the past three seasons. “He’s a big, talented guy, but he’s inconsistent,” one scout said. “You would like a guy as big as him to be a little more dominant. I don’t want to go so far as to say he’s not tough, but he’s not as tough as he should be for as big as he is. That plays into who the kid is. He comes from money. He doesn’t have to have football. Some of these guys are living for it. I don’t know if that’s the case with him. He does have starter talent.” Regarded as a distinct medical concern for several teams because of a labrum tear in his hip that required surgery in October. “He’s a strong, very physical right tackle,” another scout said. “He’s an adequate pass blocker but doesn’t have the feet to play left tackle. He’s the type of guy that plays.” From New Canaan, Conn, he’s lived in Switzerland and is fluent in French.

    OTHERS, in order: Saahdiq Charles, LSU; Jack Driscoll, Auburn; Yasir Durant, Missouri; Charlie Heck, North Carolina; Alex Taylor, South Carolina State; Colton McKivitz, West Virginia; Trey Adams, Washington; Tyre Phillips, Mississippi State; Terence Steele, Texas Tech; Blake Brandel, Oregon State; Anthony McKinney, TCU; Drew Richmond, USC.

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