Dylan Moses: The Prodigal Son

The 2016 Parade Magazine National High School Player of the Year had high expectations coming into Tuscaloosa. His high school highlight reel has amassed millions of views and he was offered a scholarship by LSU and Alabama in the eighth grade. That’s quite the legacy to live up too. However, as a sophomore in 2018, he was named a Butkus Award (nation’s best linebacker) finalist and seemed primed to break out as an All-American in 2019. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL just days before the season. In an unexpected twist, Moses announced he was returning for his senior season and becomes the leader on what should be a very good Alabama defense. He was likely to be a late first-rounder in 2020 but hopes to push his stock into the top half of the 2021 first round while also trying to lead the Crimson Tide to a National Championship.

Positives

Tackling Machine

It’s such a simple part of the game, but all good defenses are ones that don’t miss tackles. Moses is a very physical player when meeting a running back in the hole and rarely gives up any ground. Even though he isn’t the biggest linebacker, he will stick his nose in there and not give an inch. He is also known to the lay the wood and come up with a huge hit. Those kinds of plays and that attitude can totally change the landscape and momentum of a game. He makes it known that when you try to go up against him one on one, you will lose and you will wake up with a few extra aches and pains in the morning.

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Athleticism

When he reads the play correctly, he can explode like an elite linebacker. He almost moves like a running back at times. He’s very quick and can also cut on a dime. Now there is some concern about him keeping his speed after his knee injury, but by all reports, he has recovered exceptionally well. In a league where mobile quarterbacks are succeeding more than ever, a linebacker like Moses is a perfect chess piece to counteract that. Use him as a “spy” on defense and he’ll be able to run down almost any player. He would be best utilized as a weak side 4-3 linebacker where he won’t be tangled up with big blockers in front of him and instead have the necessary space to roam and move fluidly.

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Versatile Player

In the Crimson Tide hybrid 3-4 defense, Moses lines up everywhere. He starts at middle linebacker, but plays a lot on the weak side, where he projects best at the pro level. He’ll even line up on the edge and will rush the quarterback from time to time. He is very comfortable and successful blitzing from any spot. There are also moments where he is lined up over a slot receiver (usually a tight end) and will do a good enough job of holding down that position. He might not be elite in pass coverage at this point, but has the tools needed to get to that level.

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Negatives

Slow to disengage from blocks

Moses might play strong when going against ball carriers but looks overmatched at moments against linemen or tight ends. He can get rag-dolled from time to time and be totally taken out of the play. He needs to do a better job of maintaining a lower pad level and using his quickness to break free of blockers. This is the main reason why I think he will be best suited on the weak side as he will not have to deal with blockers as often if he lined up in the middle. Hopefully, he used this rehab process to try and gain some more functional strength so that he will be able to play more physical against bigger opponents.

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Putting it all together

For as athletically gifted as Moses is, he has some moments where I’m thinking “what in the hell is he doing?”. Whether it’s a misread or he’s just pushed around, he’s more athlete than football player right now. Of course, when we last saw him play it was during the 2018-2019 season where he was a sophomore, so it’s possible that he has gotten stronger and increased his football IQ. This isn’t a huge issue in my eyes, but some teams won’t like him if he doesn’t show signs of progression.

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Conclusion

Moses is going to be a starter in the NFL. I have little doubt about that, but will he reach his potential of being an elite linebacker? I’m optimistic but would love to see him put it all together before getting to the league. He should be a first-rounder based on traits alone (assuming he is back to full health), but how high will be dependent on correcting his flaws.

Check other break downs here:

Trevor Lawrence

Justin Fields

Ja’Marr Chase

Trey Lance

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Best/Worst Case Scenario for Draft Prospects

Where a prospect is drafted can make or break a career. Some talented players fall victim to poor scheme fit that derails their career before it even gets started. Here are a few best/worst case scenario for some top prospects:

Joe Burrow, QB LSU

Best: Miami Dolphins

Rumor has it that the Dolphins view Burrow as their top quarterback and trying to find a way to move up and get the LSU product. Burrow would have the chance to learn from a veteran quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick and would be with a rebuilding team that will allow him to be patient in his development. With several high picks this year and next year’s draft, Burrow could be surrounded by a lot of young talent on both sides of the ball. Also, Brian Flores seems to be a promising head coach in a division with no clear-cut favorite anymore. 

Worst: Cincinnati Bengals

Yes, the most likely scenario for Burrow is absolutely the worst-case scenario for him. It makes for a good story that the Ohio native is returning home to try and lead a struggling franchise to the top. But, in reality, that’s where the positivity ends. The Bengals might be the NFL’s least talented team, especially on the offensive line, and historically are unwilling to spend money in free agency. Add in the fact that you’re playing in the AFC North which is stacked now and the first few seasons will be tough for Burrow and the Bengals. 

Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama

Best: Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are a franchise in need of an identity (and fans) and need a quarterback after longtime face of the franchise Phillip Rivers joined the Colts. Also, the Chargers have one of the more talented rosters in the league and aren’t too far off from being a playoff team. Tua would have plenty of targets and a strong running game to help him and the AFC West lacks an elite defense. A team trying to establish itself in a big market and a new stadium needs a player of Tua’s caliber and Tua would fit best with a team as talented as the Chargers. 

Worst: Cincinnati Bengals

I swear, I’m not picking on the Bengals on purpose. They’re just a poorly run franchise and would destroy a quarterback’s chance to thrive. Most of the reasons I listed why it’s a bad fit for Burrow applies for Tua as well, but another reason would be Tua’s lack of arm strength. Playing in a cold weathered city like Cincinnati and with the lack of supporting cast around him, Tua would struggle with the Bengals.

AJ Epenesa, DL Iowa

Best: Seattle Seahawks

Once a top-ten pick, Epenesa just hopes to go in the first round now and the best way to show his value is by playing in a defense that will allow him to line up at multiple spots across the line. The Seahawks run a hybrid 4-3 scheme that would ideally line up Epenesa as a big end in a base formation and then inside on passing downs, almost how Michael Bennett lined up for them during the legion of boom era. Also, being drafted at the end of the first round might help Epenesa as the more talent that surrounds him, the less double teams he’ll face.

Worst: New York Giants

While the Giants won’t draft him at four, there’s a good chance that they’ll target an edge rusher at the top of the second. While Epenesa would immediately be one of the best defensive linemen for the team, he’s not what they need. They need a speed edge rusher crashing in off the edge, which is not what Epenesa is best at. He will line up on the edge, he will do his best pass rushing off of stunts and playing inside. Giants already have Leonard Williams who they just franchise tagged that already does that for them. 

Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado

Best: Chicago Bears

As the weeks go by, the more it looks like Shenault is going to drop out of the first round. However, this might just work out best for him as the best fit is the Bears who own the 43rd and 50th pick and need a receiver. Whoever is the quarterback for them this year needs a target besides Alson Jeffrey and a versatile one like Shenault can go a long way. He’ll line up best in the slot but if you utilize him like how the 49ers do with Deebo Samuel, you might see some similar results. A creative play-caller like Matt Nagy can make a player like Shenault a star. 

Worst: Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins need another receiver, no doubt about that but they would do best with a speed threat that can attack you on short routes and also take the top off of the defense. Shenault is not a deep threat, he’s used best when the ball is in his hands early on slants and screens. There’s just not a fit there in my eyes as Dolphins should target a player like KJ Hamler in the second, a speed demon who can open things up for Devante Parker. 

Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

Best: Los Angeles Chargers

Many of the reasons that the Chargers are a great fit for Tua make it also a great fit for Herbert. Good roster, good coaching, and the chance to be a star in a big market. However, there’s another reason why Herbert would fit best with the Dolphins and that’s Tyrod Taylor. While no one will ever mistake Taylor as a franchise quarterback, he’s a solid option to start for a season. Because of this, Herbert does not need to be rushed into the starting lineup and can spend time developing the mental aspect of the game while having a veteran ahead of him teaching him the ropes. 

Worst: Miami Dolphins

While they are a team on the rise, they are more inclined to draft a quarterback and have them play early. Herbert needs at least a season to sit and learn and Dolphins would be pressured to play him early. They do have Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen, but both of those guys are so streaky and are always a quarter away from being benched. The Dolphins also have a poor offensive line which means that whoever is behind center will have to diagnose the defense much quicker and at this point, Herbert needs to refine the mental aspect of his game. 

Jordan Love, QB Utah State

Best: Green Bay Packers 

This might seem like an unlikely landing spot for Love, but listening to Colin Cowherd’s show the past few weeks, he brings up a lot of strong points as to why the Packers might draft a quarterback early. Rodgers isn’t getting any younger and showed some regression for the first time this past season. He has also has missed multiple games in his career to injury and a smart organization like the Packers always think ahead. Sit Love for two seasons, at which Rodgers will be 38, then give him the keys to the franchise. LaFleur is a young, bright offensive mind who can tutor Love and turn him into a star. 

Worst: Las Vegas Raiders

Gruden loooooooooooves a quarterback like Love. Athletically he can do it all and is the closest thing to Mahomes in this class. That being said, he needs time to develop and a creative offensive scheme. Gruden likes to run the ball and use that to take deep shots on play-action which should help a strong-armed quarterback like Love, right? People said the same thing about Jamarcus Russell and we know how that turned out. Early in his career, Love will need schemes that rely on getting receivers open with space to run. I don’t think the Raiders will do that for him. With Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota both on the team with uncertainty, I could see Gruden rushing a new face at quarterback to play to usher in a new era of football in Las Vegas. 

Henry Ruggs, WR Alabama

Best: Denver Broncos

The Broncos have a good running game, good possession receiving targets and a promising young quarterback with a strong arm. The missing piece? A speedy deep threat. There’s no better speed demon in the draft that Ruggs, who I project with being a DeSean Jackson type player. Also, Drew Lock has a strong arm and in a division that lacks top cornerbacks for the most part, he can let it rip and target a guy like Ruggs down the field for a splash play. Broncos also need offensive line help, but if Ruggs is on the board there’s no way they can pass on him. 

Worst: New York Jets

Adam Gase’s offense is more predicated on intermediate routes, which is not Ruggs’ strength. He’ll work best on go routes and quick screens that will use his speed best. Also, while I’m a huge fan of Sam Darnold’s game, at this point he doesn’t throw the best deep ball. The Jets would be best to target CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy at 11 as both of those receivers are tailored for this offense. 

Justin Jefferson, WR LSU

Best: New Orleans Saints

While the Saints signed Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, they still need to desperately find another pass-catching target to take advantage of their current super bowl window. Jefferson, who went to school not too far away from the Superdome, has good size and quickness that can allow him to attack on slants and dig routes while also being able to attack down the field on deep routes. Another key aspect of his game are his strong hands, something that is imperative in an offense that has no problem spreading things out. Since he is shooting up draft boards, I’m not sure he will last long enough for the Saints to sit back and wait so they might need to be aggressive to get a player who compares favorably to their current star receiver, Michael Thomas. 

Worst: Denver Broncos

I fully expect there to be a run on receivers with all three of the top receivers (Jeudy, Lamb, and Ruggs) to be gone by 13, which leaves the Broncos at 15 in a tough situation. They really need a receiver but could probably get a pretty good one in the second round. However, if they stay put, they could target a player like Jefferson. This wouldn’t be wise as he’s mainly a possession receiver, something that they already have with Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant. Not so much that Jefferson won’t be a successful pro, but rather this would limit his potential surrounded by players with the same skillset. 

JK Dobbins, RB Ohio State

Best: Miami Dolphins

While there is much dispute over who’s the top running back in this class, I think Dobbins will be the most productive early and possibly have the best career. The Dolphins current depth chart has Jordan Howard at the top, who at this point is considered a below-average starter, and then not much behind that. They could use a game-changer like Dobbins who has exceptional vision and at any point can break out a big play. Also, the Dolphins new offensive coordinator in Chan Gailey, one of the innovators of the spread offense in the NFL. Dobbins comes from a spread scheme in college and was at his best running out of the shotgun in a 5-6 man box where all he has to do is make one guy miss. Whoever is taking the snaps for the Dolphins next year will welcome a rusher of Dobbins talent. 

Worst: Washington Redskins

Redskins are a mess and are a team that has several experienced running backs yet none that you can count on. With new coach Ron Rivera who historically likes to run the ball, you can bet that they will target a running back early but Dobbins isn’t the fit for them. They’ll want to run a more physical and traditional offense which makes a player like Jonathan Taylor a better option. Also, Dobbins in college seemed to be a rhythm runner which means the more touches he got, the more productive he became. With a crowded running back room, Dobbins might be a guy next year limited to ten touches a game only. 

Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma

Best: Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs need to draft defense, that much is tough to dispute. Their defensive line seems to be in great shape, but have massive holes at linebacker and cornerback. While they can’t go wrong with either, drafting Kenneth Murray would make the most sense. Murray is an aggressive sideline to sideline linebacker and would be able to track down ball carriers in a division that has some promising running backs. Murray fits best in a 4-3 scheme, which is something the Chiefs run and can help in the passing game guarding tight ends which would allow Tyrann Mathieu to help more in the slot. 

Worst: Detroit Lions

The Lions need help on defense and Matt Patricia is a defensive coach so this would make sense in the early second round. However, I don’t think Patricia will be patient as he’s on the hot seat and will want a more refined player. Murray is a player who plays very aggressively, which means he’s prone to mistakes and missing tackles. The Lions have a few veteran linebackers (Jarrad Davis, Jamie Collins, and Reggie Ragland) which means Murray might not see the field too much. A player like him will do best playing early and learning every game on how to improve. Won’t be a bust here, just will be limited by scheme and coaching.

Durgin’s Weekly Spiral Big Board 1.0, 21-30

Woahhhhhhhh, we’re (over) halfway there! Part 3 of our first big board is here. Lots of these guys will be draft higher than where I might have them. So much talent, but several guys who might have one glaring deficiency. On the flip side, there’s a few prospects here where maybe I’m higher on than most!

Part 1- https://weeklyspiral.com/2020/02/21/weekly-spiral-big-board-1-0-1-10/(opens in a new tab)

Part 2- https://weeklyspiral.com/2020/02/23/durgins-weekly-spiral-big-board-1-0-11-20/(opens in a new tab)

21. Mekhi Becton, Louisville, OT

Calling this man large would be an understatement. He is a massive individual. Measured at 6-7, 370 lbs, Becton would come in and immediately be a physical presence on any offensive line. Moves incredibly well for a player of his stature which makes him scheme versatile, only boosting his stock. Played LT in his college career and dominated in the run game, showing a nasty streak with finishing off plays. Won’t get bull rushed in pass protection but did at times get beat on counter moves and stunts. This could be a correctable mistake with coaching and developing a better feel for the game, but still something of concern. The main issue with Becton will be keeping his weight at a playable level and staying in proper shape. 

Pro Comp- Trent Brown

22. Henry Ruggs, Alabama, WR

If the NFL draft was the animal kingdom, Ruggs would without a doubt be a cheetah. Some reports say he is a legit 4.2 40 runner and can take the top off the defense in a hurry. Has strong hands and didn’t have many drops in his career which proves that he’s not just a speed guy which bodes well for his long-term success. In a system with a quarterback with a strong arm, he would flourish and be a game-changer. He did play alongside elite talents like Jerry Jeudy, so I never saw him as the top guy on the offense and in result never cracked 800 yards in a season. Also, we saw way too much catching with his body which makes me question his aggressiveness as a receiver in traffic. 

Pro Comp- Brandin Cooks

23. D’Andre Swift, Georgia, RB

Vision? Check. Size? Check. Great Feet? Check x100. Swift has been a constant threat out of the backfield in his three years in Athens, including his freshman year where he shared a backfield with current NFL running backs Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. The first thing you notice about Swift is his ability to break tackles with jukes and spin moves, which is an attribute to his elusiveness, vision, and speed. Also, he displays good hands out of the backfield and was the third-down back during his entirety as a Bulldog. Will probably never become a power back, but with the way he maneuvers in space and hits the hole, I don’t envision any limitations in his career. Played through a few injuries this past season which may have contributed to him fumbling more than the previous two seasons combined, but still something to pay attention too. 

Pro Comp- LeSean McCoy

24. Laviska Shenault, Colorado, WR

For the better half of the past two seasons, Sheanault has been the heartbeat of the Colorado offense. He was used as a swiss army knife, lining up at outside receiver, slot receiver, running back and even quarterback at times. This was more so a result of the lack of talent around him, but there is no doubt Shenault was the main focus of the opposing teams defense every week. He has great size and athleticism which he uses to his advantage especially well in the slot. Displays great hands and will be productive after the catch with his ability to break tackles. Did have a dip in production this past season which was a result of being doubled team essentially every play. Doesn’t show the route running ability of other prospects in this class and also seems to check out mentally during large portions of the game if he isn’t getting the ball. With the right coaching and quarterback that will be able to get him the ball quickly, he could flourish and has one of the highest ceilings in the draft, but has a low floor too. 

Pro Comp- Deebo Samuel

25. Bryce Hall, Virginia, CB

One of my favorite prospects in the draft, Bryce Hall definitely isn’t for everyone but in the right scheme could become an absolute stud. Could have declared for the draft last season, Hall decided to return for his senior year but was hampered by an ankle injury and only played in six games. Was a four-year contributor for the Cavaliers and was hailed as one of the best recruits in program history. He made an impact off the field as well, receiving academic honors and taking a leadership position in several campus and community roles. Great size and plays very physical which would help him in a zone scheme, something he is comfortable in. While not fast, very quick in short areas which showed up in coverage and also in stopping the run. Had seven forced turnovers in his career (all of which in his first three years) and had an incredible 21 passes defended as a junior. Wasn’t asked to play much man coverage and whenever he did, the results varied. At times, he would look very strong and at other times didn’t have the speed required to keep up with receivers. Would be perfect in a traditional Seattle-style defense. 

Pro Comp- Richard Sherman

26. Kristian Fulton, LSU, CB

A solid man corner, Fulton was a key starter on the 2019 national championship LSU team that featured one of the best secondaries in the nation. Has the size (6-0, 200 lbs) that NFL teams desire in a shutdown corner and on tape was very impressive in man coverage, rarely losing in that coverage. Will make his money in press coverage. Was suspended for the 2017 season for tampering with a drug test which raises maturity questions. Only two interceptions in his career and doesn’t look smooth or as comfortable in zone coverage, something that many teams prefer to run. Played on a strong defense, particularly in the secondary with Delpit and freshman superstar Derek Stingley, Jr., so never was the one guarding the opposing team’s star player. Gets beat over the top too much for a guy of his size and athletic ability. Some teams will value him more than others, but in the right system will be a starter right away. 

Pro Comp- Marcus Peters

27. Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma, LB

Despite being apart of a historically bad defense the past two seasons, Murray figures to project as a tackling machine at the next level. A true sideline to sideline MLB that uses his speed to track down ball carriers at the drop of a hat. It looks like he is shot out of a cannon once he sees his lane to attack. Serviceable, but not great, in coverage but definitely talented enough in that aspect to be on the field at all times. Sometimes plays too aggressive and quick and will overrun a play or misdiagnose it. Because of this, he will allow big chunk plays on play-action and RPO’s. Personally, I think he would play best in a base 3-4 that would allow an extra linebacker to be in position to clean up a play but because of his aggressiveness, I expect to see a lot of impact plays from Murray in the near future. 

Pro Comp- Corey Littleton

28. Tee Higgins, Clemson, WR

With the ideal size and athleticism, Higgins has a good chance, if used properly, to be a very productive receiver in the NFL. He developed a good connection with Trevor Lawrence and became the top target for a very good offense the past two seasons. He is excellent at using his size to his advantage and making the contested catch in traffic. Also, excelled as a deep threat which is evident by his 19 yards per reception this past season. Does a good job of attacking the ball in the air and not waiting for it to come to him. Not explosive after the catch but was able to pick up yards nonetheless. Ran VERY limited routes in college. Essentially only ran deep go routes or comeback routes. Was not as productive when told to do anything else. However, even if he doesn’t develop as a route runner, I think he will become a strong #2 receiver and thrives in the right system with a strong-armed quarterback. 

Pro Comp- Mike Williams

29. Curtis Weaver, Boise State, EDGE

It would be very tough to find a player more productive on the defensive side of the ball the past three seasons that Curtis Weaver. Racked up 34 sacks and 47 tfl’s for the Broncos and was the 2019 MWC defensive player of the year. Very refined pass rusher and had to be due to the fact he’s not a great athlete. Has a high football IQ as it’s displayed in diagnosing run and pass plays and jumping snap counts. Played with both his hand in the ground and standing up which makes him valuable as a 4-3 defensive end or a 3-4 linebacker. Due to his current skill set, I feel as a player he may have already reached his potential. Regardless, he’s going to be a consistent producer and may never be a pro bowler, but will have a role for many years. 

Pro Comp- Justin Houston

30. KJ Hamler, Penn State, WR

Welcome to the electric factory boys and girls. Anytime the ball touches Hamler’s hands, there’s a threat that it will go all the way for a score. A small yet dynamic receiver works very well from the slot, he gets open with quickness off the snap and exceptional route running then after the catch he turns into a human videogame. Really tough to keep up with and tough to tackle. Not afraid to take a hit and operate over the middle. Excelled as a punt returner and kick returner during his two years at Penn State as well. Only 5-9, 170 pounds and almost all of his production came from the slot which may limit his upside but would do best in an offense that runs a lot of RPO’s and uses their playmakers in creative ways. It’s pretty simple actually, get him the ball and good things will happen.

Pro Comp- Randall Cobb

Part 4, 31-40 coming soon!

Durgin’s Weekly Spiral Big Board 1.0, 11-20

Back again with the most anticipated sequel since the Godfather, part II. Lots of talented here, with many having the highest ceiling, but maybe a lower floor. These boom or bust type prospects can make a GM a hero or a villain.

Part 1 in case you missed it: https://weeklyspiral.com/?p=436

11. Jedrick Willis, Alabama, OT

Willis anchored the right tackle spot the past two seasons on a star-studded Alabama team. He has the ideal size and strength to be a long term starter at either tackle spot for the next decade. While some may look at the fact he was a right tackle, not a left tackle as a concern, he was still protecting the blind side of left-handed quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. This makes me believe he could play at either tackle spot at a high level. He won’t test off the charts athletically but is exceptional with his hands fighting off edge rushers. Has a strong and powerful frame and doesn’t get pushed back on bullrushes. In an NFL where protecting the quarterback on offense and getting to the quarterback on defense is the goal of every team, having a stud like Willis on the bookend is a luxury to any team. 

Pro Comp- Trent Williams

12. Tristian Wirfs, Iowa, OT

Possibly the strongest player in the draft, Wirfs is a mauler and downright nasty offensive lineman. A three-year starter at right tackle, Wirfs is a very physical run and pass blocker and moves his body well for a man standing at 6-5, 320 lbs. On tape, you can see him easily move blockers off the edge with quick feet on speed moves and just overpower linemen when they attempt a bull rush. He did have a few lapses on stunts being a step slow but typically was able to slow down rushers by utilizing his long arms. Never played on the left side could be concerning to teams, but at just 21 years old he will have plenty of time to develop. Suspended the first game of 2018 after an offseason arrest will surely be addressed when meeting with teams. 

Pro Comp- Lane Johnson

13. Grant Delpit, LSU, S

The leader of the Tigers defense, Delpit etched his name in stone as a top prospect after becoming a two-time All-American and Thorpe award winner in 2019. Lines up at strong safety typically but plays all around the field and profiles to play at either safety spot in the NFL. Looks like a natural against the run being able to diagnose plays and read where the ball carrier is going to go. Not afraid to line up close to the line of scrimmage and or blitz off the edge. Displays good coverage skills in man or zone and does a good job of playing against opponents tight ends. Has the speed to keep up with most pass catchers but won’t get outmuscled of boxed out on 50/50 balls. Statistically had a better 2018 season with 5 interceptions and 9 tackles for losses, but was battling an ankle injury this past season that could explain the dip in production. Projects best in a system that allows him to not be stationary and line up in a multitude of positions to confuse defenses.

Pro Comp- Harrison Smith

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-EZc__jWqM

14. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina, DL

Quite possibly the best player you’ve never heard of, Kinlaw skyrocketing up draft boards this season the more film there was out there of him. Kinlaw grew up homeless and didn’t qualify academically out of high school that forced him to play junior college for a season, but joined the Gamecocks as a Sophomore and showed improvement every season. Lining up at a three-technique, which should be his position in the NFL, Kinlaw is close to unblockable on the interior as you can get on both pass and run plays. Has a very quick get off and quick feet that forced him to be constantly double-teamed by opponents. Teams often would bring the center over to chip block him but more often than not Kinlaw was able to apply pressure on the quarterback. He doesn’t have the motor desired in a top prospect but that could be a result of not being in the best of shape to play a high number of snaps or possibly mentally checking out sometimes. Needs some coaching to diversify his pass-rushing abilities, but even if that doesn’t happen he’ll be a three-down player immediately. He has just the size and quickness that you can’t teach. 

Pro Comp- Cam Heyward

15. Xavier McKinney, Alabama, S

While Alabama’s defense struggled this past year, McKinney was by far the star and glue of the unit. He lined up at both safeties spots, linebacker and slot corner, but he projects best at playing either safety spot as he as the coverage abilities to guard tight ends or play deep in centerfield if needed. Was a big play machine racking up sacks, forced fumbles and interceptions in both years as a starter. Has a nose for the football and you can find him wherever the ball is. He does a great job of reading the eyes of the quarterback and breaking hard to the ball. Didn’t seem to be the elite in the run game and often would over pursues on his angles, but that is something that can be coached. May never be an All-Pro but looks like an overall safe prospect who can start right away and also produce on special teams. 

Pro Comp- Minkah Fitzpatrick

16. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State, RB

The ultra-competitive back out of OSU showed great promise in his first two years but broke out his junior campaign rushing for over 2000 yards when he was called upon to be the main guy. Dobbins is a solidly built back that allows him to run in between the tackles, yet has the quickness required to run stretch plays. Hits the hole harder than any back I’ve seen this past season and was a great fit in the Ohio State spread offense that allowed him to read the hole then attack it. Displayed good hands that will allow him to be a third-down contributor. No glaring weaknesses in his skillset, but would work best in a balanced offense that has a quarterback to take the pressure off of the run game. 

Pro Comp- Todd Gurley

17. K’Lauvon Chaisson, LSU, EDGE

This guy get off is absolutely insane. Like seriously, you couldn’t watch any of LSU’s final three games and not immediately notice #18 coming off the edge in a hurry. Unreal timing and explosiveness. Add in great size and good pass rush moves and it makes you question as to why Chaisson only had 6.5 sacks, 4.5 of those coming in a three-game stretch, this past season. Often he would hit the quarterback and force them to throw the ball early or scramble outside the pocket but other times he would use that speed rush and then not come back with a counter move. Still, with the athletic ability he has, he will hear his name early in the draft due to the untapped potential he possesses. Another plus quality he has is his leadership ability. Despite only playing one full season (tore his ACL as a true sophomore that made him miss the entire season), he was voted as a team captain before the 2019 season which speaks to how highly he is thought of. 

Pro Comp- Dee Ford

18. Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State, EDGE

A long, athletic rusher off the edge, Gross-Matos is the perfect fit for any team looking for a productive pass defensive end. He jumped into the starting lineup as a Sophomore and delivered two strong seasons for the Nittany Lions. He has an NFL ready body coming in at 6-5, 260 pounds and uses his body to his advantage. Jumps off the line with a quick get off and is able to use his long arms with rip and swim moves. His best trait however maybe his motor. He never gives up on a play and regardless of the down, gives maximum effort showing that he can be a three-down contributor. Would work best as a 4-3 end with the ability to play right over the tackle or in a wide 9 technique, but has the athleticism to be able to be effective as a 3-4 linebacker. It may take a year or two to become a legitimate starter, but with the right coaching, he will get there. Was one of the players named in a bullying/hazing lawsuit against the school, so teams will question his maturity and leadership abilities. 

Pro Comp- Robert Quinn

19. Trevon Diggs, Alabama, CB

The brother of Vikings WR Stefon Diggs, Trevon made a name for himself as a corner despite the fact he was recruited as a wide receiver coming out of high school. His body type resembles a receiver as he is long and lean without too much muscle on his frame. But because of his size, he is strong in press coverage and profiles as a strong boundary corner. Needs some work still against shiftier, smaller receivers but have to look at the big picture with Diggs. He has battled some injuries throughout his career, but stayed healthy his senior year which happened to also be his best season. For being a former receiver, his ball skills are elite for a corner which means he has the natural instincts to play the corner position. If he can get the right coaching, he has as high of a ceiling as any DB in the draft. 

Pro Comp- Josh Norman

20. Justin Herbert, Oregon, QB

The most polarizing prospect in the draft, Herbert returned for his senior year even though the consensus was that he would be a top 10 pick. While he still might go in that range, Herbert didn’t do much that changed my opinion of him as a prospect. Has the natural abilities that you’d want in a franchise quarterback: size, athleticism, arm strength. Despite this was never the most accurate of thrower and made quite a few questionable decisions with the ball every game. Also would have liked him to use his legs more as he is pretty mobile for a guy his size (6-6, 240), as he was fortunate enough to play behind the best offensive line in college in 2019. He needs to be in a quarterback-friendly system and paired with a coach that is willing to be patient with him. Ideally, he sits out his rookie year to study the game and develop his accuracy. There have been reports of lack of maturity and leadership which raises the questions if he can be the “guy”. Was the MVP of the Senior Bowl and helped his stock that week in Mobile. In my opinion, he is a classic boom or bust prospect; one that could easily be a Pro Bowler or out of the league in five years.

Pro Comp- Josh Allen