I posted Day one’s play on Twitter. I’m already seeing a trend here:

Side Handicap Risked To Win Result
South Korea 0.5 16.44% 77.94% -16.44%
China 0.5 20.26% 61.56% 0.00%
South Africa 0.5 28.43% 133.45% 0.00%
Nigeria 0.5 28.53% 76.21% 0.00%

Nate’s looking to grab some huge wins on the underdogs. However, I’ve looked ahead and on day three he’ll be riding with a couple of favorites. For now, let’s see if someone can pull off an upset (or a draw).

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(Sorry for all the Twitter spam. WordPress is being a bit weird and I’m not sure why)

2019 NFL Draft Grades

(Update: Links to the positional grades and comments)

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Edge Rushers

Linebackers

Cornerbacks

Safeties

 

 

I was working on doing adjustments for positional value and ultimately failed to find a framework I was happy with. I know that if we were accounting for positional value, my top five would be Haskins, Murray, Bosa, Williams, Allen.

My theory was that I wanted to solve for which players would sign for most money if they were all entering the league as free agents. I ran into two problems:

  1. The market for quarterbacks is complicated. Quality quarterbacks generally aren’t available in free agency or for trade. That makes the draft the best (and only) option for landing a franchise QB.
  2. The delta in value between elite players and average players varies by position. It’s particularly extreme for edge pass-rushers. I can’t just apply a blanket positional adjustment.

Three of my top five players are non-edge front-seven defenders. How much should I dock them for their role? I don’t know and any answer I provided would be “making shit up.”

I’ll begin writeups next week. For those interested in checking out previous years for reference:

Rich@richjmadrid

How accurate has this been in the past?

Seth Burn@SethBurn

Fair question: The last five years are online:

2014: https://sethburn.wordpress.com/2014/04/17/defensive-rankings/ 
2015: https://sethburn.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/2015-nfl-draft-grades/ 
2016: https://sethburn.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/2016-nfl-draft-ratings/ 
2017: https://sethburn.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/full-set-of-nfl-draft-links/ 
2018: https://sethburn.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/full-set-of-2018-draft-links/ 

Full set of 2018 Draft Links

The Quarterbacks. The Running Backs. The Receivers. The Offensive Linemen. The Defensive Tackles. The Defensive Ends. The Linebackers. The Defensive Backs. And finally, you can find my top 300 belo…

sethburn.wordpress.com

See Seth Burn’s other Tweets

FYI, my favorite thing about these ratings are the fact that my top three cornerbacks are bunched 14-16. After that there is a huge drop off to the fourth, at #40th overall.

 

Rank Name SCHOOL Position Grade
1 Quinnen Williams* Alabama DT 96.43
2 Nick Bosa* Ohio State DE 94.21
3 Josh Allen Kentucky OLB 91.32
4 Ed Oliver* Houston DT 89.10
5 Devin White* LSU ILB 88.09
6 T.J. Hockenson* Iowa TE 86.22
7 Clelin Ferrell* Clemson DE 86.11
8 Jeffery Simmons* Mississippi State DT 85.39
9 Jonah Williams* Alabama OT 85.35
10 Christian Wilkins Clemson DT 85.11
11 Rashan Gary* Michigan DE 85.01
12 Montez Sweat Mississippi State DE 84.73
13 D.K. Metcalf* Ole Miss WR 84.51
14 Andraez Greedy Williams* LSU CB 83.88
15 Byron Murphy* Washington CB 83.49
16 Deandre Baker Georgia CB 83.06
17 Noah Fant* Iowa TE 82.64
18 Brian Burns* Florida State OLB 82.60
19 Dwayne Haskins* Ohio State QB 82.41
20 Jawaan Taylor* Florida OT 82.21
21 Devin Bush* Michigan ILB 81.72
22 Josh Jacobs* Alabama RB 81.28
23 Kyler Murray* Oklahoma QB 81.08
24 Marquise Brown* Oklahoma WR 81.03
25 Cody Ford* Oklahoma OT 80.82
26 N’Keal Harry* Arizona State WR 80.49
27 Dexter Lawrence* Clemson DT 80.38
28 Garrett Bradbury NC State C 79.93
29 Chris Lindstrom Boston College G 79.92
30 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson* Florida S 79.03
31 Irv Smith Jr.* Alabama TE 78.81
32 A.J. Brown* Ole Miss WR 78.70
33 Nasir Adderley Delaware S 78.16
34 Dalton Risner Kansas State OT 77.89
35 Jerry Tillery Notre Dame DT 77.81
36 Andre Dillard Washington State OT 77.72
37 Erik McCoy* Texas A&M C 77.67
38 Deionte Thompson* Alabama S 77.22
39 Taylor Rapp* Washington S 77.09
40 Trayvon Mullen* Clemson CB 74.99
41 Deebo Samuel South Carolina WR 74.97
42 Parris Campbell Ohio State WR 74.90
43 Drew Lock Missouri QB 74.85
44 Jachai Polite* Florida DE 74.77
45 Amani Oruwariye Penn State CB 74.64
46 Mack Wilson* Alabama ILB 74.56
47 Rock Ya-Sin Temple CB 74.55
48 Johnathan Abram Mississippi State S 73.77
49 Dre’Mont Jones* Ohio State DT 73.44
50 Kelvin Harmon* NC State WR 73.24
51 Julian Love* Notre Dame CB 73.01
52 Daniel Jones* Duke QB 72.38
53 Amani Hooker* Iowa S 72.04
54 Michael Deiter Wisconsin G 71.94
55 JJ Arcega-Whiteside Stanford WR 71.56
56 Zach Allen Boston College DT 71.48
57 Elgton Jenkins Mississippi State C 70.83
58 Chase Winovich Michigan DE 70.81
59 Darnell Savage Jr. Maryland CB 70.04
60 Damien Harris Alabama RB 69.71
61 Jaylon Ferguson Louisiana Tech DE 69.68
62 Hakeem Butler* Iowa State WR 69.58
63 Yodny Cajuste West Virginia OT 68.82
64 Gerald Willis III Miami DT 68.74
65 Riley Ridley* Georgia WR 68.59
66 Greg Little* Ole Miss OT 68.38
67 Kaleb McGary Washington OT 68.20
68 Darrell Henderson* Memphis RB 68.16
69 Vosean Joseph* Florida OLB 67.53
70 Juan Thornhill Virginia S 67.47
71 D’Andre Walker Georgia OLB 66.76
72 David Edwards* Wisconsin OT 66.73
73 Bobby Evans* Oklahoma OT 66.43
74 Nate Davis Charlotte G 65.40
75 Trayveon Williams* Texas A&M RB 65.04
76 Joe Jackson* Miami DE 64.94
77 Andy Isabella UMass WR 64.78
78 Dru Samia Oklahoma G 64.62
79 Charles Omenihu Texas DT 64.52
80 Lonnie Johnson Jr. Kentucky CB 64.48
81 Connor McGovern* Penn State G 64.20
82 Jace Sternberger* Texas A&M TE 64.16
83 Oshane Ximines Old Dominion DE 64.07
84 Justin Layne* Michigan State CB 64.02
85 Emanuel Hall Missouri WR 63.91
86 David Montgomery* Iowa State RB 63.84
87 Kendall Sheffield* Ohio State CB 63.82
88 Tytus Howard Alabama State OT 63.70
89 Jarrett Stidham* Auburn QB 63.64
90 L.J. Collier TCU DT 63.38
91 Germaine Pratt NC State OLB 63.09
92 Michael Jordan* Ohio State G 62.87
93 Jaquan Johnson Miami S 62.71
94 Will Grier West Virginia QB 62.71
95 Miles Sanders* Penn State RB 62.49
96 Max Scharping Northern Illinois OT 62.09
97 Drue Tranquill Notre Dame ILB 61.56
98 Beau Benzschawel Wisconsin G 61.45
99 Saivion Smith* Alabama CB 61.41
100 Ben Banogu TCU OLB 61.33
101 Devin Singletary* Florida Atlantic RB 61.15
102 Marvell Tell III USC S 61.07
103 David Long Jr.* West Virginia OLB 60.57
104 Josh Oliver San Jose State TE 60.57
105 Anthony Nelson* Iowa DE 60.51
106 Kaden Smith* Stanford TE 60.35
107 Ben Powers Oklahoma G 60.27
108 Te’Von Coney Notre Dame ILB 60.17
109 Chase Hansen Utah OLB 59.60
110 Isaiah Buggs Alabama DT 59.60
111 Terrill Hanks New Mexico State ILB 59.44
112 Joejuan Williams* Vanderbilt CB 59.42
113 Rodney Anderson* Oklahoma RB 59.14
114 Kris Boyd Texas CB 59.01
115 Terry McLaurin Ohio State WR 58.83
116 Justice Hill* Oklahoma State RB 58.53
117 Dontavius Russell Auburn DT 58.52
118 Ross Pierschbacher Alabama C 58.50
119 Mecole Hardman* Georgia WR 57.83
120 Caleb Wilson* UCLA TE 57.61
121 Ryan Finley NC State QB 57.50
122 Isaac Nauta* Georgia TE 57.43
123 Tre Lamar* Clemson ILB 57.25
124 David Sills V West Virginia WR 57.16
125 Austin Bryant Clemson DE 57.07
126 Jamel Dean* Auburn CB 56.95
127 Terry Beckner Jr. Missouri DT 56.75
128 David Long* Michigan CB 56.73
129 Benny Snell Jr.* Kentucky RB 56.66
130 Justin Hollins Oregon OLB 56.63
131 Lil’Jordan Humphrey* Texas WR 56.61
132 Jalen Jelks Oregon DE 56.39
133 Mike Edwards Kentucky S 56.35
134 Drew Sample Washington TE 56.27
135 Sheldrick Redwine Miami S 56.20
136 Isaiah Johnson Houston CB 55.94
137 Khalen Saunders Western Illinois DT 55.85
138 Miles Boykin Notre Dame WR 55.70
139 Tyree Jackson* Buffalo QB 55.58
140 Renell Wren Arizona State DT 55.21
141 Dawson Knox* Ole Miss TE 54.79
142 Tommy Sweeney Boston College TE 54.77
143 Bobby Okereke Stanford OLB 54.77
144 Cameron Smith USC ILB 54.41
145 Antoine Wesley* Texas Tech WR 54.39
146 Sean Bunting* Central Michigan CB 54.27
147 Mitch Hyatt Clemson OT 54.09
148 Michael Jackson Miami CB 53.82
149 Alize Mack Notre Dame TE 53.71
150 Anthony Johnson Buffalo WR 53.68
151 Christian Miller Alabama OLB 53.49
152 Kingsley Keke Texas A&M DT/DE 53.38
153 Hamp Cheevers* Boston College CB 52.72
154 Lamont Gaillard Georgia C 52.50
155 Hunter Renfrow Clemson WR 52.10
156 Demarcus Christmas Florida State DT 51.97
157 Dennis Daley South Carolina OT 51.97
158 Clayton Thorson Northwestern QB 51.95
159 Chuma Edoga USC OT/OG 51.80
160 T.J. Edwards Wisconsin ILB 51.77
161 Jalen Hurd Baylor WR 51.64
162 Bryce Love Stanford RB 51.61
163 Jonathan Ledbetter Georgia DE/DT 51.58
164 Elijah Holyfield* Georgia RB 51.57
165 Maxx Crosby* Eastern Michigan DE 51.05
166 Trysten Hill* UCF DT 50.83
167 Mike Weber* Ohio State RB 50.69
168 Gary Jennings Jr. West Virginia WR 50.55
169 Ryan Connelly Wisconsin ILB 50.54
170 Sutton Smith* Northern Illinois OLB 50.41
171 Jordan Brailford* Oklahoma State DE 50.40
172 Byron Cowart* Maryland DT 50.37
173 Myles Gaskin Washington RB 50.31
174 Carl Granderson Wyoming DE 50.18
175 Kahale Warring* San Diego State TE 50.10
176 Isaiah Prince Ohio State OT 50.04
177 Will Harris Boston College S 49.89
178 Keesean Johnson Fresno State WR 49.88
179 Greg Dortch* Wake Forest WR 49.71
180 Darius Slayton* Auburn WR 49.47
181 Jakobi Meyers* NC State WR 49.45
182 Marquise Blair Utah S 49.35
183 Gardner Minshew Washington State QB 49.25
184 Terry Godwin Georgia WR 49.02
185 Corey Ballentine Washburn CB 48.98
186 Jamal Peters Mississippi State CB 48.98
187 Karan Higdon Michigan RB 48.76
188 Preston Williams* Colorado State WR 48.70
189 Penny Hart* Georgia State WR 48.63
190 Lukas Denis Boston College S 48.19
191 Daylon Mack Texas A&M DT 48.15
192 Foster Moreau LSU TE 48.11
193 Dax Raymond* Utah State TE 47.90
194 Dre Greenlaw Arkansas OLB 47.78
195 Javon Patterson Ole Miss C/G 47.66
196 Olisaemeka Udoh Elon OT/G 47.61
197 Greg Gaines Washington DT 47.58
198 Devine Ozigbo Nebraska RB 47.43
199 Brett Rypien Boise State QB 47.43
200 Shareef Miller* Penn State DE 47.41
201 Khari Willis Michigan State S 47.31
202 Mike Bell* Fresno State S 47.23
203 Nate Herbig* Stanford OG 46.96
204 Ryquell Armstead Temple RB 46.62
205 Iman Marshall USC CB 46.48
206 Alexander Mattison* Boise State RB 46.28
207 Sione Takitaki BYU OLB 46.12
208 Jordan Miller Washington CB 45.99
209 Stanley Morgan Jr. Nebraska WR 45.86
210 Diontae Johnson* Toledo WR 45.66
211 Derwin Gray Maryland OT/G 45.57
212 DaMarkus Lodge Ole Miss WR 45.47
213 Jahlani Tavai Hawai’i ILB 45.24
214 Joe Giles-Harris* Duke OLB 44.21
215 Jordan Brown South Dakota State CB 43.98
216 John Cominsky Charleston (WV) DT/DE 43.84
217 Tony Pollard* Memphis RB 43.81
218 Phil Haynes Wake Forest OG 43.77
219 Daniel Wise Kansas DT 43.56
220 Blessuan Austin Rutgers CB 43.52
221 Ugo Amadi Oregon S/CB 43.45
222 Mark Fields Clemson CB 43.43
223 Alex Wesley Northern Colorado WR 43.40
224 Felton Davis III Michigan State WR 43.33
225 Jalin Moore Appalachian State RB 43.31
226 B.J. Autry Jacksonville State OG 43.24
227 Dexter Williams Notre Dame RB 43.21
228 Martez Ivey Florida OG/OT 43.11
229 Anthony Ratliff-Williams* North Carolina WR 42.80
230 Paul Adams Missouri OT 42.69
231 Emeke Egbule Houston OLB 42.69
232 Kevin Givens* Penn State DT 42.53
233 Andrew Van Ginkel Wisconsin OLB 42.18
234 Khalil Hodge Buffalo ILB 42.04
235 Dakota Allen Texas Tech ILB 42.01
236 Montre Hartage Northwestern CB 41.74
237 Porter Gustin USC OLB 41.67
238 Ben Burr-Kirven Washington ILB 41.52
239 Jimmy Moreland James Madison CB 41.31
240 Tyre Brady Marshall WR 41.17
241 Alex Bars Notre Dame OG 40.96
242 Hjalte Froholdt Arkansas OG 40.87
243 Nyqwan Murray Florida State WR 40.83
244 Wyatt Ray Boston College DE 40.58
245 Cody Thompson Toledo WR 40.42
246 Terez Hall Missouri OLB 40.06
247 Blace Brown Troy CB 40.06
248 James Williams* Washington State RB 40.04
249 Jervontius Bunchy Stallings Kentucky OG 39.92
250 Tyler Jones NC State OG/T 39.89
251 LJ Scott Michigan State RB 39.87
252 Mitch Wishnowsky Utah P 39.49
253 Otaro Alaka Texas A&M LB 39.32
254 Easton Stick North Dakota State QB 39.31
255 Josiah Tauaefa* UTSA ILB 39.28
256 Chris Slayton Syracuse DT 39.25
257 D’Cota Dixon Wisconsin S 39.17
258 Rashad Fenton South Carolina CB 39.08
259 Kendall Joseph Clemson ILB 39.06
260 Fred Johnson Florida OG 38.97
261 Cece Jefferson Florida OLB/DE 38.92
262 Alex Barnes* Kansas State RB 38.84
263 Ryan Bates* Penn State OT 38.68
264 Nick Brossette LSU RB 38.62
265 Qadree Ollison Pittsburgh RB 38.62
266 Zach Gentry Michigan TE 38.58
267 Dillon Mitchell* Oregon WR 38.52
268 Trevon Wesco West Virginia TE 38.25
269 Darius West Kentucky S 38.20
270 Evan Worthington Colorado S 38.17
271 Jackson Barton Utah OT 37.88
272 Deshaun Davis Auburn ILB 37.75
273 Calvin Anderson Texas OT 37.69
274 Tyrel Dodson Texas A&M LB 37.67
275 Landis Durham Texas A&M OLB 37.58
276 Trace McSorley Penn State QB 37.25
277 Jordan Scarlett* Florida RB 37.23
278 Matt Gay Utah K 37.21
279 Saquan Hampton Rutgers S 37.02
280 Chidi Okeke* Tennessee State OT 36.97
281 Keelan Doss UC Davis WR 36.82
282 Andrew Wingard Wyoming S 36.80
283 Blake Cashman Minnesota LB 36.56
284 Jazz Ferguson* Northwestern State WR 36.49
285 Yosuah Nijman Virginia Tech OT 36.47
286 Jordan Ta’amu Ole Miss QB 36.44
287 Donnell Greene Minnesota OT 36.32
288 Travis Homer* Miami RB 36.28
289 Jake Bailey Stanford P 36.19
290 Albert Huggins Clemson DT 36.04
291 Alec Eberle Florida State C 36.02
292 Jaylen Smith Louisville WR 35.93
293 Jonathan Crawford Indiana S 35.92
294 Andre James* UCLA OT 35.86
295 Derrek Thomas Baylor CB 35.85
296 Johnnie Dixon Ohio State WR 35.84
297 Terronne Prescod NC State OG 35.78
298 Tyler Roemer* San Diego State OT 35.53
299 Armon Watts Arkansas DT 35.44
300 Ryan Anderson Wake Forest C 35.27
1 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson* Florida S 79.03
2 Nasir Adderley Delaware S 78.16
3 Deionte Thompson* Alabama S 77.22
4 Taylor Rapp* Washington S 77.09
5 Johnathan Abram Mississippi State S 73.77
6 Amani Hooker* Iowa S 72.04
7 Juan Thornhill Virginia S 67.47
8 Jaquan Johnson Miami S 62.71
9 Marvell Tell III USC S 61.07
10 Mike Edwards Kentucky S 56.35
11 Sheldrick Redwine Miami S 56.20
12 Will Harris Boston College S 49.89
13 Marquise Blair Utah S 49.35
14 Lukas Denis Boston College S 48.19
15 Khari Willis Michigan State S 47.31
16 Mike Bell* Fresno State S 47.23

Safeties have seen their perceived value drop relative to cornerbacks. I’m not certain we’ll see a safety come off the board day one.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson: Tremendously frustrating tape. He has the talent and athleticism to make far more plays than he does. His reaction time is a problem. Additionally, when teams schemed specifically to attack him, he was a soft target.

He has too much upside to stay on the board long into day two, but your coaching staff better have plan for how to use him and how to teach him to handle whatever role you envision him playing. On paper he has the range to play free safety, with the size to cover tight ends. We’ll see how that works out.

Nasir Adderley: He looked fast on film, but it was vs. CAA competition so it’s tricky to gauge. When he was given a shot against the best at the Senior, he dominated. He’s played both cornerback and safety. I’m not sure if he’ll be a free safety, a nickel cornerback, or even a potential #1CB in the pros. Adderly might not have the raw athleticism of Gardner-Johnson, but he makes up for it in play speed. He’s going to gain a ton from proper coaching. I’d take Adderley early in round two, and maybe even at the tail end of the first round.

Deionte Thompson: I can’t get the Oklahoma and Clemson games out of my mind. Thompson only started for one season. He was playing quite well, but in the biggest games things went south. You’d figure a four-star recruit with three seasons of training at Alabama would be no worse than a day two pick, but I’m not so sure. He’s a quality athlete who attacks the ball aggressively. Did he just have a couple of bad days? I guess he’d be a speculative round three pick for me.

Taylor Rapp: There are rumors his stock is falling into third-round territory. He ran a 4.77-40 at his pro day, but I’m going to cut him some slack. He was still recovering from an injured hamstring. His film was excellent. I’m confident Rapp will succeed in the NFL and I see him as a second-round value.

Johnathan Abram: He’s too small to be a weakside linebacker, but that’s the natural fit for his skill-set. He’ll be a box-safety and nickel linebacker. I admire his aggressiveness and short-coverage skills. I wouldn’t want to trust his range in deep coverage. Late day two pick for me.

Amani Hooker: Similar to Abram. Which one you like more depends on what you value. Abram is more athletic. Hooker has better play recognition skills and fantastic hands.. Hooker doesn’t have the range you want from a safety. If your defense doesn’t need him to fly around the field, he’ll do good work for you. He might fall in the draft if teams are skeptical about his athleticism. If that happens, someone is going to get a nice value pickup.

Juan Thornhill: I love Thornhill. He attacked the ball in the air as well as anyone in college football. He’s a plus athlete and unafraid of getting physical. I expect he’ll sneak into the top 50, but if he doesn’t, he’s another nice value pickup.

Jaquan Johnson: I regret watching film on him. He’s day three material.

Marvell Tell: Let me put this delicately. USC fell apart last season. Tell wasn’t part of the solution. His tackling is laughably poor. He runs around the field quite swiftly, but doesn’t do much to help his team while doing so. I guess he’s a day three pick, but I can’t say I want him on my roster.

 

1 Andraez Greedy Williams* LSU CB 83.88
2 Byron Murphy* Washington CB 83.49
3 Deandre Baker Georgia CB 83.06
4 Trayvon Mullen* Clemson CB 74.99
5 Amani Oruwariye Penn State CB 74.64
6 Rock Ya-Sin Temple CB 74.55
7 Julian Love* Notre Dame CB 73.01
8 Darnell Savage Jr. Maryland CB 70.04
9 Lonnie Johnson Jr. Kentucky CB 64.48
10 Justin Layne* Michigan State CB 64.02
11 Kendall Sheffield* Ohio State CB 63.82
12 Saivion Smith* Alabama CB 61.41
13 Joejuan Williams* Vanderbilt CB 59.42
14 Kris Boyd Texas CB 59.01
15 Jamel Dean* Auburn CB 56.95
16 David Long* Michigan CB 56.73
17 Isaiah Johnson Houston CB 55.94
18 Sean Bunting* Central Michigan CB 54.27
19 Michael Jackson Miami CB 53.82
20 Hamp Cheevers* Boston College CB 52.72
21 Corey Ballentine Washburn CB 48.98
22 Jamal Peters Mississippi State CB 48.98

There is starting to be some talk that elite cornerbacks are more important than elite pass-rushers. The theory goes that if you take away the quarterback’s first option, you’ll generate coverage sacks. There’s obviously some truth to that reasoning, but it has some issues as well. Better quarterbacks are quite proficient at spreading the ball around. If a cornerback wins in coverage, a good quarterback can swiftly switch to plan B. If a defensive end beats his man, a good quarterback can end up on the ground.

There’s also the issue of cascade effects. A good pass-rusher can force offenses to gameplan around stopping him. A good cornerback can take a #1WR out of the game, and free up safeties to help cover the rest of the receivers. Both are good to have, but which is more valuable? On a play-by-play basis, it’s the pass-rusher. However, there’s more to take into account.

A good cornerback might play every down, A good pass-rusher will usually need to rest more often or see his productivity drop. Teams have shown they value #1CB’s quite a bit, but they still value elite pass-rushers more. Ultimately I think that’s correct. The better the opposing quarterback, the more important it is to pressure him and take the ball out of his hands. Revis Island was a great experience. I’m just not sure it’s the same as a visit to the Sack Exchange.

Oddly, I have the top three cornerbacks in a tight cluster. I don’t think that is the general consensus.

Greedy Williams: It’s very hard not to fall in love with his measurables. He’s 6-2, 185, with a 4.37-40. His film backed that up. You could argue he should add more muscle to his frame so that he could be more physical in coverage. I’m sure whoever drafts will bulk him up to his optimal playing weight.

His vision is questionable. He should have made plays on the ball than he did. He’s also prone to swipe at a receivers hands instead of at the ball, which can lead to some bad penalties if his timing is off. Williams has the highest ceiling of any cornerback in the draft, so it’s just a question of who wants to gamble on his potential the earliest.

Bryon Murphy: Seven interceptions in eighty-seven targets. That’s incredible. If he didn’t intercept it, there was a good shot he tipped it away. Excellent quickness and physicality. Height and speed are where there are concerns (5-11, 4.55-40). Those aren’t optimal numbers for a #1CB.

If he can’t start outside he’s capable of being a premier nickel cornerback. He has the skills to cover the slot and add quality support against the run. It will be very interesting to see who comes off the board first.

Deandre Baker: I don’t know whether to praise him for snagging five interceptions (while allowing zero touchdowns), or slag him for not having more. His hands weren’t great, which is a source of frustration for his coaches. He played faster than his 4.52-40 time would suggest.

It was Baker, not Murphy or Williams that won the Thorpe Award for the best defensive back last season. I’d still take both of them ahead of Baker. Like Murphy, there are questions of whether or not he has the size and speed to play outside. Unlike Murphy, I’m not sold he’s a natural fit at nickel. I think Baker might be a nice fit in a zone scheme where his ballhawk skills would be at a premium. He’d be my third cornerback off the board.

Trayvon Mullen: Grade: Incomplete. Reason: Teams never threw at him. He has the size and speed you are looking for in a #1CB. I could see him as the second cornerback off the board. I could see him fall to day two. I have no idea what to make of him. From what I could tell he was very good, but not as good as the players I have listed above him.

Amani Oruwariye: Like Mullen, he has the size and speed you want outside. Unlike Mullen, he got his ass kicked on film. He wasn’t very good at accelerating after cuts and breaks. I liked his physicality and his length. Pretty good hands too. He’s a solid matchup against physical wide receivers. You’d have to trust his jam in press coverage against the nimbler receivers. I don’t think I’d take Amani until the third-round.

Rock Ya-Sin: When everyone hopes you fall to them in round two, you ain’t falling to them in round two. His film was fantastic. Even when he made a mistake, it was because he was trying to be aggressive and make a play. Mentally he was always in the game. He will improve a lot with NFL coaching correcting flaws in his technique. I have Ya-Sin below the top three, but ahead of Amani. I have no idea what to do with Mullen.

Julian Love: Another guy with great film but poor measurables. 5-11, 4.54-40 isn’t what scouts are dreaming of. He made more than his fair share of plays for Notre Dame. The concerns about his physicality are legitimate. He wasn’t a great tackler for a guy so good at moving to the ball. I’d still be fine with using a second round pick on him. He played fast and smart. Let the coaches bulk him up and teach him how to bring guys down.

Darnell Savage: He’s not a true cornerback or safety, but when you run a 4.36-40, teams will find a job for you. He has solid cover skills, good hands, and breakaway speed. He was effective at working through traffic to bring down ballcarriers. I’m not sure what role he’ll end up playing, but I figure he’s worth a second round pick regardless.

Lonnie Johnson: I don’t want to be discriminatory, but when your religion forbids you from making a play on the ball, I don’t want to draft you to play cornerback for me. He looks the part (6-2, 213) with a decent 4.52-40. It just didn’t show up on film. I want no part of Johnson.

Justin Layne: Ability to get his hands on the ball: A+. Ability to catch the ball if he gets his hands on it: D-. I see there was a reason why Michigan State’s coaching staff moved him from receiver to cornerback. He has excellent reaction speed and vision. Not particularly interested in providing assistance against the run. He’s a quality defender and should come off the board day two.

My algorithms liked Kendall Sheffield and Saivion Smith, but look for both to be available day three. Joejuan Williams, David Long, Sean Bunting, and Jamel Dean will all come off the board first. I think my numbers underrated Williams. Not sure about the rest.

 

1 Devin White* LSU ILB 88.09
2 Devin Bush* Michigan ILB 81.72
3 Mack Wilson* Alabama ILB 74.56
4 Drue Tranquill Notre Dame ILB 61.56
5 Te’Von Coney Notre Dame ILB 60.17
6 Terrill Hanks New Mexico State ILB 59.44
7 Tre Lamar* Clemson ILB 57.25
8 Cameron Smith USC ILB 54.41
9 T.J. Edwards Wisconsin ILB 51.77
10 Ryan Connelly Wisconsin ILB 50.54

This is a short list.

Devin White: Absurdly productive at LSU. Backed it up at the combine. He’s an elite prospect with room for improvement. He’s a converted running back and he’s still learning the position. When he knows his job, he’s fantastic. When he has to diagnose his role, he’s 50-50 to make the correct decision. He’ll improve with experience and proper coaching. His strength and speed are exceptional. The only real issue he’ll face is positional value as he doesn’t rush the quarterback or shut down wide receivers. If you need an inside linebacker, grab him very early.

Devin Bush: I watch the film and I see an oversized safety. He’s going to be a weakside linebacker (Will) in the NFL. He has excellent range and agility, as well as above-average vision. What he lacks is size and power. Frankly, he seems well adapted to the modern NFL. He’s a clear step down from White, but well above anyone else available this draft at the position. He should come off the board mid-to-late round one.

Mack Wilson: Maybe it’s because he was surrounded by so much elite talent, but Wilson looked like “just a guy” to me. He did his job, but rarely impressed. I guess his hands might be exceptional, but it’s hard to read too much into a sample size of six interceptions. I guess not everyone can be a star, and defenses need eleven guys out there who do can their jobs. Wilson can do his job, so he’s a middle of day two pick for me.

Drue Tranquill: I’m not really sure why I am giving Tranquill a writeup. He doesn’t have the size, strength, or athleticism to move the needle. Day three pick. His teammate Te’Von Coney is a better prospect. I’m embarrassed for wasting your time.

1 Nick Bosa* Ohio State DE 94.21
2 Josh Allen Kentucky OLB 91.32
3 Clelin Ferrell* Clemson DE 86.11
4 Rashan Gary* Michigan DE 85.01
5 Montez Sweat Mississippi State DE 84.73
6 Brian Burns* Florida State OLB 82.60
7 Jachai Polite* Florida DE 74.77
8 Chase Winovich Michigan DE 70.81
9 Jaylon Ferguson Louisiana Tech DE 69.68
10 Vosean Joseph* Florida OLB 67.53
11 D’Andre Walker Georgia OLB 66.76
12 Joe Jackson* Miami DE 64.94
13 Oshane Ximines Old Dominion DE 64.07
14 Germaine Pratt NC State OLB 63.09
15 Ben Banogu TCU OLB 61.33
16 David Long Jr.* West Virginia OLB 60.57
17 Anthony Nelson* Iowa DE 60.51
18 Chase Hansen Utah OLB 59.60
19 Austin Bryant Clemson DE 57.07
20 Justin Hollins Oregon OLB 56.63
21 Jalen Jelks Oregon DE 56.39
22 Bobby Okereke Stanford OLB 54.77
23 Christian Miller Alabama OLB 53.49
24 Maxx Crosby* Eastern Michigan DE 51.05
25 Sutton Smith* Northern Illinois OLB 50.41
26 Jordan Brailford* Oklahoma State DE 50.40
27 Carl Granderson Wyoming DE 50.18
28 Dre Greenlaw Arkansas OLB 47.78
29 Shareef Miller* Penn State DE 47.41

This is an unusually deep class of edge rushers, but given the level of need for them, expect them to come off the board early and often.

Nick Bosa: Massively productive in college. Don’t worry about muscles that caused him to miss most of his junior season. He’s 100% ready to start in the NFL. What concerns me is his combine. I like to see someone like him have one explosive result, be it quickness, agility, or raw power. Bosa was solid across the board, but nothing more. His brother was marginally better in college (although Nick was on pace to surpass him if he kept up his torrid early season production). His brother also had a more explosive combine.

The point here isn’t to slag Nick. I’m just making it clear that he might not be quite as good as Joey Bosa. I can’t really argue with him being the first non-QB off the board. I might be a tad concerned that his ceiling isn’t as high as we’d hope. He more than makes up for that with the highest floor imaginable. He’s demonstrated almost every skill you’d want a defensive end to have. He can attack the line of scrimmage, is effective vs. double-blocking, and can hold the point of attack against the run. I’m not sure about his zone-blitz coverage skills, but that’s not likely to be an important part of his job. Bosa is a solid AF selection. Just not as sexy of one as I had first anticipated.

Josh Allen: It’s not just that his stats were so good. It’s that they were so good despite the fact opposing teams were scheming hard to shut him down. You can see how hard Penn State worked to take him out of the game. Three sacks later…

Yes he still has a lot of work to do to improve his technique. His inside rush moves and his counter moves aren’t close to where they will be after a few years of NFL training. His upside is enormous. His outside rush is terrifying and it reminds me a bit of Lawrence Taylor, which is the highest praise I can give. Allen is a potential monster and I look forward to welcoming him to the New York Jets.

Clelin Ferrell: I love him for the first 3.5 seconds or so. He’s great off the snap with a solid pass-rush repertoire. Excellent power. He’s solid at chasing down the quarterback. However, if the play continues, he slows down. I’m not sure if it’s a mental thing where he’s less sure of what he should be doing. He’s not a great open-field tackler when he doesn’t already have a clear lane of pursuit. Additionally, his game stamina was a clear problem and something he’ll need to work on. I like Ferrell and see him as a solid early first-round pick. I don’t think he’s close to the two players listed above him.

I should note that his combine wasn’t great. That, plus the fact that offenses weren’t able to key on him at Clemson makes his draft profile curiously suspect. For the record, SACKSEER hates him.

Rashan Gary: It’s hard not to fall in love with the size and athleticism Gary can give you, but let me provide a few words of caution. His collegiate production wasn’t elite. He has a shoulder injury that will eventually need surgery. He doesn’t have great instincts, either in terms of winning battles at the line of scrimmage, or diagnosing plays and beating the offense to the spot. Frankly, his film was uninspiring. Pair that with a medical red flag and I want no part of Gary given he’s coming off the board in the first round. Pass.

Montez Sweat: Is there such a thing as a great finesse pass-rusher? I adored Sweat’s film. He didn’t blow me away with his power as much as his athleticism and his technique. He backed that up with a fantastic combine. He’s a SACKSEER favorite due to his high production and elite athleticism. I know I would strongly prefer to pick Sweat than Gary. I think I like Sweat more than Ferrell as well, although they bring different skills to the table. Sweat should be a highly productive pro at a position that teams desperately need. He’ll deservedly go off the board early.

Brian Burns: The biggest boom-bust prospect on the board. I see an unusually large likelihood that his shit won’t work in the pros. His speed and athleticism are elite AF, but there’s comically little power. Will he be able to dominate NFL tackles with pure speed? Or will it be curtains for Burns once they get their hands on him? Amazing athleticism. Elite production. SACKSEER favorite. I am skeptical though. He might be the best pass-rusher in the draft. Or he might get shut down. I’d take Burns ahead of Gary, but that’s about it. Maybe I’d miss out on a star. Maybe I’d miss out on a bust. This stuff is hard.

Jachai Polite: Whoa boy. I loved his aggressiveness on film. He was comfortable attacking the line of scrimmage. His pursuit is natural and instinctive. You could argue he would be better off with a little more mass and power. I was happy with his mix of speed and technique.

Unfortunately the story of Polite doesn’t end with his film. His combine was stunningly awful. He went from being a late first-round pick to “get this guy out of my office.” He also had some issues at Florida, so his stock may be in free-fall. Still, the film doesn’t lie. He can play football, so it’s a just a question of which team wants to hold their nose and snag a potentially elite DE.

Chase Winovich: Is it a bad sign that my feeling when watching Winovich was “Wow, the coaching staff is doing a great job of putting him in position to make plays”? He flew around the field and gave his all. He was more agile at the combine than he was on film. On film he played very aggressively, which makes changing direction a bit challenging. His combine numbers were quite good. I just never went “wow” when watching him. I guess I’d be fine snagging him late in the second round.

Jaylon Ferguson: He absolutely pantsed Conference USA offensive linemen. I have concerns about the level of difficulty, but I could not ask for better film. His pro day results will give teams cause for concern. Did he not prepare for the 3 cone drill? Better to pass on doing the drill than to drop an 8.08. My gut instinct is to trust the film and give him a mulligan on the pro day. Ferguson can play. I’d grab him around the middle of day two.

Vosean Joseph: It kills me to drop a hard pass on a player with such a nice ranking, but… Joseph doesn’t have it. His field vision is incredibly poor. It’s like he has no football instincts whatsoever. The athleticism is there, but the mental game isn’t. I know scouts and coaches feel like they can fix him and turn him into a diamond in the rough. I don’t see it.

D’Andre Walker: I get that a fair amount of his production was scheme-dependent. Ignore that for a second. Focus on just how beautiful his movement was attacking the line of scrimmage. He reminded me of Giannis attacking the rim. Defensive ends don’t run like that. They don’t take wide steps that give them freedom to run inside or outside. They pick a move and go with it. Not Walker. He can burst early or late. I’d be happy to grab him late in the second round.

Joe Jackson: Solid production at Miami. Good mix of size, strength, and athleticism. Excellent at getting into opposing backfields. I haven’t seen much buzz for Jackson so I’d try to snag him early day three.

Oshane Ximines: Small school standout. Didn’t back it up at the combine. That actually makes some sense given his film. His technique was elite, especially against Conference USA competition. Unfortunately, the NFL is more interested in athletic monsters who they can groom over refined players who are already near their peak. Ximines will be productive for whomever gives him a chance. Solid round three pick for me.

Germaine Pratt: Is he an athletic linebacker? Or a bulked up safety? He’s shown some nice pass-rush skills. He’s capable of covering tight ends. He doesn’t have much starting experience (at either position), so his learning curve is going to be a bit steeper than most. Late day two-early day three pick for me.

Ben Banogu: Inside rush specialist? Is that a thing? His production was great at TCU, but he’s going to have to diversify his game to succeed in the NFL. He’s a day three pick for me.

Earlier today I tweeted out Chiefs GM Brett Veach has been getting his ass kicked this offseason:

Let me take a few moments to elaborate. The Chiefs are switching from a base 3-4 to a base 4-3 defense this season. As such, it’s natural to make a few adjustments. However, that doesn’t mean you have to jettison your incumbent pass-rushers and spend a fortune replacing them. Let’s recap in three moves. First, the Chiefs released Justin Houston:

https://www.chiefs.com/news/chiefs-release-linebacker-justin-houston

He then signed with the Colts on a two-year $24M deal with $18.5M guaranteed:

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/indianapolis-colts/justin-houston-7789/

Then the Chiefs traded Dee Ford to the 49ers for a 2020 second-round pick:

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001022298/article/chiefs-trade-passrusher-dee-ford-to-49ers

Ford signed a five-year deal with the 49ers for $85.5M with $33.3M guaranteed:

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/dee-ford-14432/

This left the Chiefs somewhat light on pass-rushers. Did they attack the problem in free agency by going after premium free agent Trey Flowers? Nope, he signed in Detroit:

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/detroit-lions/trey-flowers-16827/

That’s five years, $90M, $40M guaranteed.

Did this mean the Chiefs wanted to get young and cheap, drafting pass-rushers from a loaded 2019 defensive class? Nope! They traded for Frank Clark:

To get him they gave up a 2019 first round pick and 2020 second round pick. They also swapped third round picks.

Now, let me note that Frank Clark is better than Trey Flowers, Dee Ford, or Justin Houston. The issue is that not only do you have to compensate Clark for that increased productivity (in advance), you also have to compensate the Seahawks. Let’s ignore Justin Houston for a second, and look at the three options:

  1. Trey Flowers + a first round pick + a second round pick
  2. Dee Ford + a first round pick
  3. Frank Clark

And again, the money would have differed as well. The internet offered some comments:

Pricing assets is quite tricky. How much would a team pay to have the 29th overall pick in the draft? How much would Clark and Dee Ford have signed for as free agents?

The argument Veach might make is that he’s trying to win now given the window with Mahomes under his rookie deal. That’s a good argument for breaking the bank in free agency. That’s not a good argument for lighting value on fire. In short:

Veach is going to absolutely destroy the Chiefs. All we have to do is sit back and watch.