Marvin Wilson: Marvelous Marvin

Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson surprised many people by announcing his intent to return for his senior season in 2020 for the Seminoles. He was projected as a late first-round pick but felt like he had something to prove and enjoyed the responsibility as a leader on a Florida State team that was in the middle of a coaching transition. Unfortunately, he and his team struggled and he is now out for the season with a hand injury. However, I think he’s a top defensive tackle in a relatively weak positional group for this year’s draft.

Positives

Ability to control the middle

Wilson is a big man in the middle of the defensive line and he does a great job of occupying blocks and pushing the pocket. Not every defensive tackle is a pass rush wizard like Aaron Donald. Their job is to take up two blockers to create mismatches for linebackers and edge players. While Wilson does make a decent amount of plays in the run game, he makes a bigger impact in my opinion forcing runners to bounce outside or run right into the brick wall he has formed.

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Good athlete for size

Despite being listed at 6-5, 305 pounds, Wilson has the agility and body control of someone much smaller. He never gives up on a play and you can expect to see some impressive effort from Wilson down the field. With mobile quarterbacks almost becoming the norm, you need your linemen to be able to keep up with the pace of the offense. With Wilson, you don’t have to worry about this.

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Size and Power

Offensive linemen must be sore after trying to block Wilson for four quarters because he is powerful. What he might lack in refinement and technique, he makes up for in strength. When he gets his pad level low enough, he can toss 300+ pound men like a sack of potatoes. Especially in his sophomore and junior season, he just bullied opponents and willed his way past them. In addition, he knows how to use his larger frame, as evidenced with blocking two kicks this season. If you can’t get the penetration, good linemen get their hands up and try to swat the ball away.

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Negatives

Injury history

Wilson’s 2019 season ended due to a hand injury, which required surgery and he now is out for the 2020 season with a leg injury. Neither injury seems to be career-altering in any way, but back to back season-ending injuries is never good. His pre-draft medicals will be very important.

Play got worse the past few years

He was dominant in 2018, very good in 2019, and just okay in 2020. Will the real Marvin Wilson please stand up? If he’s healthy, I’m very high on him, but we just don’t know if he is at this point.

No counter pass rush moves

I’m a huge fan of his swim and pull move, but way too often he gets stood up too easily. Most defensive linemen in college don’t have a wide variety of pass rush moves, so this isn’t a huge issue. However, as the league is now so pass-happy, to be a three-down player you have to be able to rush the passer in some capacity with consistency. Players who project as a two-down players don’t get drafted highly. I think Wilson is a three-down guy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if some teams didn’t.

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Conclusion

Like I said earlier, Wilson is one of the top interior defensive linemen in this class. He can play in either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense, which is something teams will appreciate. While I doubt he’ll ever have impressive sack totals, I can see him being an impact three-down player. His health will determine how far he goes, but I see no reason for him not being a very solid player for the next decade.

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Camryn Bynum: West Coast Finest

Not often do you see four-year starters anymore in college, but Cal’s Camryn Bynum is one of them. Due to the COVID postponement of the PAC 12 season, Bynum announced he would opt-out and prepare for the draft. However, due to the return of the fall season, Bynum reversed course and decided that he wants to make one last run at a Pac 12 crown. While the season has been a bumpy start for the Golden Bears, we know who Bynum is as a player. He may not be the flashiest name in the 2021 defensive back class, but he’s as steady as you can get and has a ton of game experience. While some may want guys with the athleticism, give me a guy like Bynum who knows the position inside and out.

Positives

Sticky in coverage

Bynum does a great job of staying right in the hip pocket of receivers. Part of the reason he is so good at staying so close in coverage is that he’s an aggressive corner, which enables him to stay on top of his opponent. He has good size (6-0, 200 pounds) which allows him to go toe-to-toe with bigger receivers. While he didn’t play much in the slot, I think he would be just fine there.

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Bynum is located on the top, aligned at right corner back
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Bynum is located on the top, aligned at right corner back
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Bynum is located on the top, aligned at left corner back

Sound tackler

I personally hold corners who are good tacklers in high regard. Many consider the position to be “soft” and not involved in the run game. However, if you have someone who can defend the outside run well and will stick their nose into some contact, that’s a huge boost to your defense. Bynum reads screens very well, rarely letting a receiver block him.

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High IQ/ Experience

Bynum has started 38 career games for the Golden Bears. At a position where often players need a lot of coaching up, Bynum is a relatively mature prospect. He’s a guy who has played a lot of snaps and his in-game IQ is incredible. What he lacks in athleticism, he makes up for in being in the right place at the right time. Sometimes NFL teams will find peace in knowing who they have in a prospect rather than projecting as to what they can possibly be

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Bynum is located on the top, aligned at right corner back

Negatives

Will get beat deep

Since he plays aggressively in anticipation of shutting down the short and intermediate routes, he can get beat deep. Especially on double moves, he will be two or three steps behind the receiver and either has to make a miraculous effort or allows a big play to happen. His lack of long speed hurts him on this and if this is a problem that has not been fixed in three years as a college starter, I’m afraid it won’t be fixed in the NFL.

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Average athlete

Cornerbacks are typically one of the more athletic players on the field. Guarding another, usually excellent, athlete with them knowing the route and you having to guess or anticipate where they will go is one of the toughest things to do in any sport. Doing all of that as an average athlete is very tough. Of course, there have been success stories with average athletes like Richard Sherman, but Sherman has about three inches on Bynum. This isn’t a death sentence, but it pushes him down the board.

Conclusion

Even if he decided not to play this season, we know the player Bynum is. He’s solid in coverage and tough as nails as a tackler but lacks the desired athleticism you want in a cornerback. I think he’s a late second-round pick, but a guy that you can play right away. Many rookie corners don’t see much playing time as the quickness of NFL receivers takes a bit to get used to. Bynum is a smart player and plays the position well, so has a higher floor than the normal guy.

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Kenneth Gainwell: The Swiss Army Knife

It’s quite the compliment when your coach calls you the best running back and best receiver on the team, as that’s exactly what Kenneth Gainwell was to the Memphis Tigers until he decided to opt-out of the 2020 season. While he hasn’t technically declared for the draft, it is expected that he will as his playstyle fits perfectly to what many offenses want, speed and versatility. He had over 2,000 rushing and passing yards as a redshirt freshman and was the featured guy in an offense that had current Washington Football Team running back, Antonio Gibson. The Memphis offense is designed to score points at a very high rate, but even with that, there were moments that Gainwell just made extraordinary plays.

Positives

Speed and vision

Anytime Gainwell touches the ball, he could take it to the end zone. He has elite level speed and when he hits the open field, not many can track him down. However, it is the way that he is able to create space for himself that makes him special. He has exceptional vision and sees open lanes in any direction. Memphis ran a lot of stretch plays for him, which perfectly utilized his skill set by going laterally before making one cut and heading upfield. What makes me so optimistic for his future as a running back is this skill that will be with him long after his speed starts to decline.

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Weapon in the passing game

This is where he might make his biggest impact in the NFL. He is an excellent route runner for a running back and is a mismatch against linebackers when he lines up in the backfield. However, he has a lot of Alvin Kamara in his game in the sense where he can line up split out wide or operate from the slot. When most teams see a running back split outside or in the slot, they’ll put a linebacker or safety on them. With a dynamic threat like Gainwell, you can’t do that or he’ll burn you. To make himself an even stronger asset, he is solid in picking up blitzes and displays the effort needed to keep his quarterback clean.

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Offensive versatility

Whether he was lined up in the backfield, in the slot, out wide, or at quarterback, Gainwell was a playmaker. He’s not going to be the conventional bell-cow back, but he is an offensive weapon. If you can find a way to get him between 10-15 touches a game, in a variety of ways, you’ll be able to maximize his value. I think seeing the way that the Bears use Tarik Cohen or how the Saints use Kamara is how we’ll see Gainwell used. He can’t be used in a boring or standard offense, but needs to be used as a chess piece in a high-powered offensive attack.

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Negatives

Not a traditional running back

If you’re looking for a guy to carry the ball 20+ times a game and used in 22 personnel in a power run offense, Gainwell isn’t what you want. He might be an acquired taste that has to fit a certain offensive identity, but that’s just how it works in the NFL. How a player fits in a system is important for every player, but with unique players like Gainwell it’s everything.

Running inside

Gainwell might not be too effective in short-yardage situations or running in between tackles. It’s just not really his strong suit and his body type (5-11, 195 pounds) doesn’t suggest he can take a lot of punishment. Can he be effective at times running up the gut? Yes, but it’s not something you can overly rely on.

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Conclusion

Fit is everything for a player. But if we were to rank the importance of the right fight for players in the 2021 draft class, Gainwell would be at the top. If he’s in an offense that is vanilla that won’t use him creatively, he won’t live up to his potential. I think he’s a guy you find ways to get the ball too and let him tear up opposing defenses. Think of all the teams that have very creative offenses (49ers, Rams, Chiefs, etc) and that’s exactly where you want Gainwell to go. Jet sweeps, screens, end arounds will work for him, but him on the goal line asked to get two yards up the middle might not. Put him in the right spot, and he could just be the first or second most productive running back in this group.

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Stock up for 2021 Draft Prospects

Stock Up

Kyle Trask

I start this list with who I believe has helped himself the most so far, and it’s Florida QB Kyle Trask. This season he’s completing 71% of his passes, with a TD/INT ratio of 14/1 and dominating SEC defenses. He’s gone from being an under the radar prospect to becoming QB4 in this class and making a strong push to be a first-round selection. He doesn’t have the strongest of arms, but he’s accurate and more cerebral in his approach this season. He’ll go through his progressions and deliver the ball quickly before the defense can get to him. I think he has to be one of the Heisman favorite (behind Trevor Lawrence and Mac Jones at the moment) but the 11/7 game against Georgia, a phenomenal defense, will be his defining game of the season as a prospect.

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Kyle Pitts

While Kyle Trask has been amazing, his life is made easier by the other Kyle, Kyle Pitts. Pitts is listed as a tight end, but acts more of a receiver and uses his 6-6 240 pound frame to his advantage. He has seven touchdowns in three games and leads the Gators in receiving yards. Now he isn’t much of a blocker and won’t be for every team because of that, but any team that wants to use him as a mismatch as a pass catcher will make him a star. At this point, he’s a mid to late first-rounder in my eyes, but his combine performance (particularly his 40 and 3 cone) will determine how high he goes.

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Shane Buechele

Buechele might play in an Air Raid system and be slightly undersized, but he might be one of the best deep-ball throwers in all of college. While he’s not a dangerous runner, he is mobile in the pocket and can make plays when things around him breakdown. I don’t think that he is a future starter in the NFL, but I think he’s worthy of a mid-round selection and has the chance to be a high-end back-up for a decade. Before the season, I saw him more as a practice squad caliber player who was questionable to be selected. Now, unless something unforeseen happens, he’s not only getting drafted but might carve out a nice role for himself.

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Patrick Jones II

All the hype coming into the season for the Pittsburgh Panthers was defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman, who ultimately decided to opt-out before the season began. Despite the loss of Twyman, the Panthers defensive line is outstanding and is lead by edge rusher Patrick Jones II. Jones II has seven sacks in six games so far, which is best in the country. He has a great motor and uses his pad level to get underneath tackles to push tackles into the lap of the quarterback. This season he also has done a better job of diversifying his pass rush moves and does an excellent job with counter moves if his go-to bull rush move doesn’t work. I think he’s a high second-round pick at this point, and if he continues to impress, he could get into the first-round in a weak edge rusher class.

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Asante Samuel Jr.

It has been a TERRIBLE season for the Florida State Seminoles (props to them for beating UNC though), but there has been one bright spot and that is junior cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. It wasn’t too long ago that his father, Asante Samuel Sr., was leading the NFL in interceptions and winning Superbowls with the New England Patriots, and it looks like his son will be next in line to make an impact of Sunday’s. Samuel Jr. already has three interceptions and two forced fumbles in four games and despite being part of a lackluster defense, he shuts down whoever he is guarding. One of the questions I had coming into the season was his ball-hawking abilities but that has been answered and then some. He might not become a lockdown corner in the NFL but has the makings of being a long-term starter, which makes him worthy of an early second-round selection.

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Zach Wilson

The man people are calling “The Mormon Manziel” has come a long way from just a season ago, where he struggled as a starter on a mediocre team. Now, he’s completing 78% of his passes and has a TD/INT ratio of 12/1 to go along with 6 rushing touchdowns. He had shoulder surgery after the 2019 season and now is throwing the ball with a lot more zip, especially on throws outside the hashes. He has all the physical tools needed to be a successful pro, but his lack of competition this year will raise questions. Also, as a true junior, he still has a year of eligibility. Meaning, would he rather be QB5 in this year and probably a second-round pick, or continue to develop and gun for QB1 in the 2022 draft? Will be interesting to see how that pans out. Either way, what a rise from this preseason where he wasn’t being discussed as a prospect at all.

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Honorable Mentioned: Mac Jones (Alabama), Jaycee Horn (South Carolina), Eric Stokes (Georgia), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (Notre Dame)

Stock Down

Trey Lance

Trey Lance was put in a really tough spot with his only game in 2020. He would have had to play incredibly well to keep his stock where it’s at or, if he struggled, he would raise more questions than he had before. After a 15/30 2 TD 1 INT game, he surely gave the skeptics plenty of concerns moving forward. He looked rusty and not as smooth as last year and since he has no other game to show the scouts anything, he pushed his stock slightly down. Yes, he’s still going to be a top 10, probably top 5, pick but now I think the race for QB2 is Justin Field’s to lose. It was a tough situation for Lance, but hindsight is 20/20 and it says that he should have not played in NDSU’s only game this season.

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If you liked this post make sure to subscribe below and let us know what you think. If you feel like donating and want access to some early blog releases and exclusive breakdown content or to help us keep things running, you can visit our Patreon page here. Make sure to follow us on Instagram @weekly_spiral and twitter @weeklyspiral for updates when we post and release our podcasts. You can find the Weekly Spiral podcast on Spotify or anywhere you listen.

Wyatt Davis: The Buckeye Bully

If you want someone who will bring it every single play, look no further than Ohio State guard Wyatt Davis. Davis was one of the players who declared for the 2021 NFL draft after the Big Ten originally announced there would be no fall football, but now that the conference is back in, so is Davis. Davis is the anchor on a good Ohio State offensive line and despite playing guard, will be a first-round selection barring any unforeseen circumstance. When you see Justin Fields make plays for the Buckeyes, just know it starts up front with guys like Davis.

*For the GIFS, Davis is #52 and lines up at right guard*

Positives

Mauler

Davis has that mean streak that you want in your offensive linemen. He’ll bring the fight to the defense every time and makes life difficult for anyone who tries to get past him. When they run behind him, he’s usually moving his man out of the way and helping gain positive yards. His functional play strength is elite for a player at any level and he’s able to use that strength to set the tone on the offensive line, whether it be in the run or pass game.

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Ability to get to the next level

What helps make him such a scheme-versatile player is his mobility. Davis is relatively quick for a guy his size and does a great job of getting to the second level. He demonstrates this both as the pulling guard or moving vertically up the field, clearing massive lanes that any running back can run through. While I think he would be best in a power run scheme, he displays the footwork and athleticism needed to run zone.

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Pass Protection

In a pass-first league, keeping your quarterback clean is the first step towards an offense’s success. An offensive lineman can be a dominant run blocker, but chances are they won’t be a long-term starter if they are unable to hold their own in pass sets. However, a stud like Davis is downright dominant as a pass blocker and translates very well to becoming successful in the NFL because of it. Of course, there are times where he might get pushed back a bit on a bull rush, but that happens to every offensive lineman who has ever played the game. Davis does a great job of extending his arms (without holding) and keeping his body in front of defenders.

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Negatives

Balance

Now I don’t expect a 6-4, 315-pound man to be a ballerina, but I saw Davis fall down more than I would like for a player of his skill. He can develop better balance and body control the older he gets. Is this a major problem? Not really, but it is something I’m going to pay attention too.

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Positional value

Offensive guards normally aren’t high draft picks. Of course, Quentin Nelson went top five a few years ago, but for the most part, the position isn’t treated as a premium. I figure Davis to go in the top half of the first round, which means expectations will be very high. There’s little doubt that he’ll succeed, but he may not get the luxury of a slow start like most rookies.

Conclusion

Davis is honestly as good as you’ll get for a guard prospect. Sure, he may not be the best in all of football within two years like Nelson was, but it’s not crazy to expect multiple Pro Bowl selections for him. Since there’s nothing he can’t do, he makes himself very valuable to any team. I would like to see him in an offense that wants to run the ball because he can be a machine at times, clearing out enough space that an 18 wheeler could run through. If your favorite team drafts Davis this spring, don’t be disappointed you drafted a guard. Be excited you drafted an incredible talent.

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Sage Surratt: The Renaissance Man

In high school, Sage Surratt became his school’s all-time leading scorer in basketball, an all-state selection in football and basketball, and was the valedictorian of his class. Talk about someone who can do it all. He originally committed to Harvard to play football but decided to go to Wake Forest, figuring it would help his chances of making the NFL. His brother, Chazz Surratt, plays linebacker at UNC and both brothers figure to be top-100 picks in the 2021 draft. Wake Forest might not be known as a football powerhouse, but Surratt put up over 1500 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns in two years before deciding to opt-out of the 2020 season. A true competitor and craftsman at his position, Surratt puts himself near the top of a deep wide receiver group for the 2021 draft.

Positives

Using his size to his advantage

At 6-3, 215 pounds, Surratt is built like a basketball guard rather than a wide receiver. However, he uses his tall and lanky frame to his advantage. At his size, he can box out defensive backs and uses his long arms to get the ball. One of the more successful routes he ran was a back-shoulder throw where the defender is unable to get their arm across his body. His frame makes him an excellent possession player and he will be a favorite of his quarterbacks due to his large target area. His large frame also makes him extra valuable in the red zone, as he can be a jump ball guy who’ll highpoint the ball. Also, don’t let his slender frame fool you, he is an aggressive player. He can break a tackle and won’t back down from a physical corner if they’re in the way of him getting the ball.

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Hands

In the games I watched, I didn’t see Surratt drop any passes. It’s even more impressive since his quarterback last year, Jamie Newman, isn’t necessarily the most accurate of passers. He does a good job of catching with his hands rather than allowing the ball to get into his body. Like I mentioned earlier, he’s exceptional at high-pointing the ball and using every inch of his frame to his advantage.

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Ability to get open deep

Despite not having elite speed, Surratt can get open down the field with the best of them. He’s a good route-runner and turns 50/50 balls into 80/20 balls due to his size and body control. After running slants or comeback routes the entire game, he’ll go for the double move and leave his defender in the dust. In the NFL where offenses are focusing more on the vertical passing game, a receiver like Surratt becomes even more valuable due to his skillset and big play ability.

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Negatives

Speed/Quickness

While he may be a good athlete, Surratt is not a very fast wide receiver. In fact, he’s pretty slow. Despite this, he’s had a lot of success in college but he’s also playing in the ACC and in a spread offense. Will his lack of speed hurt him in the pros? I don’t know. I think speed is not a necessity, but it sure does help.

Beating press coverage

It’s not that Surratt isn’t physical, it’s just that he has trouble beating press coverage consistently when clearly he has the tools to be much better. It could come from a lack of functional strength, which isn’t a huge problem since he’s still young. He needs to spend these net few months building his “man body” and working on technique. I’m not overly worried about this due to his size and aggressiveness.

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Conclusion

As Surratt gets stronger, I think he’s going to be a very good player in the NFL. He may never be a true WR1, but I think he’s going to carve out a nice role for himself as a deep threat and reliable receiver on the outside. He’s scheme-versatile and he should be an immediate producer — possibly even a starter right away. Right now, I think he’s looking like a second round pick, but with a great combine I think he has the chance to solidify himself as a first round selection.

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Jamie Newman: The Great Mystery

After announcing that he was transferring to Georgia from Wake Forest, Jamie Newman became a name to look out for in the 2021 draft as someone to possibly sneak into the first round. However, due to concerns over COVID-19 and tough competition from fellow transfer J.T. Daniels, Newman decided to opt-out and prepare for the draft. Newman is currently QB4 or 5 in this class but could have seen his stock elevated with more tape against elite defenses. He has all the physicals tools to become a starter in the league, but still needs a lot of work. Despite this, there’s still a good chance he will be a Day 2 pick as long as he can impress teams in workouts and meetings.

Positives

Arm Strength

One thing that really impressed me about Newman’s game was his strong arm. He’s not afraid to push the ball down the field and lets it rip with the best of them. On deep balls, he gets enough loft on his throws that allows the receiver to run under it. Then, on out routes and other passes outside of the numbers, he displays good velocity that enables the ball to get there before the defender can get a hand on it. Despite his game having a lot of questions, his ability to make long throws and stretch the defense out isn’t one of them. Pro Football Focus had Newman has the highest-rated deep-ball passer in college football in 2019, so the advanced analytics support the film.

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Pocket Presence

One skill that sets apart good from great quarterbacks is how they can throw in the pocket. Newman is one tough cookie and even if he feels the blitz closing in around him, he’ll hang in the pocket and deliver the throw. He completed 48% of his passes when under pressure, which may seem low but was well above the NCAA average. Due to his sturdy build, he can absorb hits better than a smaller quarterback. Because of this, he will hang in the pocket for as long as he needs to and find the open receiver.

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Athleticism

While he may never be mistaken for a world-class sprinter, at 6’4 230 pounds, he offers versatility as a ball carrier. Wake Forrest runs a lot RPO and zone-read where Newman is asked to run the ball several times a game. He typically won’t run unless there’s a lot of green grass in front of him, but in the red zone, he was used effectively as a short-yardage grinder. He’ll lower his shoulder and run guys over on his way to a score. This is a vital part of his game and the possibilities open up as the field gets shorter.

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Negatives

Accuracy

Ball placement is so important for every quarterback, but it’s the biggest concern in Newman’s game right now. Simply put, he struggles to make the throws that someone of his skill level should be making no problem. It may be a case where his arm is too strong and he has trouble controlling it. This is a very troubling trait and he needs to spend a lot of time correcting this before he can see meaningful NFL snaps. Since he’s so talented and seems to feel comfortable in the position, there is hope that this can develop and improve. But, as it stands, it’s going to be the main reason he won’t be hearing his name in the first round.

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Decision Making

Eleven interceptions may not seem like an eye-popping number, there were too many times where he blatantly made the wrong throw. He has a tendency to stare down a receiver too long and not pull the trigger quick enough, which allows the defenders to get in place to make a play on the ball. Part of this could be coaching directing him where to look. As a first-year full-time starter, mistakes will happen. It would have been good for him to get more snaps so he could improve upon this, but he’ll just need to spend more time in the film room these next few months doing mental reps.

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Unique Offense

Wake Forrest’s offense is… unique. It’s almost all shotgun based and utilizes 3-4 receivers on every play. Then, they’ll run a lot of zone read and RPO, but it’s really slow-developing and this style wouldn’t carry over to the NFL where the game is much quicker. Newman will have to practice more traditional formations and plays in order to help his development.

Conclusion

Like almost any prospect, Newman has had his shares of ups and downs. His talent is very intriguing, which is why I currently have him in the lead for the QB4 spot. It’s unlikely that he gets any higher than that, but to his benefit, quarterbacks almost always rise come draft day so he should still get a relatively good draft slot. Whoever picks him must be patient with his development and allow him to sit a few seasons before putting him in starting contention.

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Jaylen Twyman: Pitt Pride

Jaylen Twyman wears #97 to honor former Pittsburgh Panther and current Los Angeles Rams superstar Aaron Donald. When you look at them, they actually look very similar on the field. Both undersized but stout defensive tackles that became All-Americans. Twyman is an exceptional pass rusher who totaled 10.5 sacks as a sophomore before opting out of the season to prepare for the 2021 draft. While he could have used another season of film, it was smart to not take any risk of injury and instead work out for the next few months in preparation for the combine and team workouts.

Positives

Pass Rush

This is where Twyman will make his money. His 10.5 sacks in 2019 was amongst the nation’s leaders for interior linemen. Oftentimes he was downright unblockable. His go-to move is a devastating swim move and an effective push and pull technique that allows him to get in the chest of the offensive linemen then quickly disengage by using his quickness. He rushes almost exclusively from the inside and didn’t see many snaps lining up over the offensive tackle (4 or 5 technique). He is good at stunts as well, but Pitt didn’t utilize stunts in their defensive scheme as much as they should have. Forcing pressure in the middle can rattle a quarterback and force them into making bad decisions, something that we see the best interior rushers do well. Twyman will regularly get pressures and even if they don’t result in sacks, they’ll change the outcome of the game.

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Athleticism

If you’re an undersized defensive lineman, chances are you have above-average quickness. Twyman, however, has doesn’t havejust above-average quickness, he has elite quickness that he uses to beat much bigger opponents. He explodes off the snap and has good wiggle for a 290-pound guy, which makes him tough for an offensive lineman to keep in front of. In addition to being quick, he can quickly diagnose plays and rarely will make the wrong read. Teams in the NFL run a lot of play-action and RPO’s, so being mentally strong is almost as important as being physically strong.

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High Motor

There’s one thing you can’t teach, and that is heart. Twyman has plenty of that and you see it every snap he’s on the field. He will give 100% on every play and hustle to the ball, never giving up on his teammates. This kind of behavior is infectious and will make him a role model on whatever team selects him.

Negatives

High Pad Level

Despite being on the shorter side, Twyman has a lot of issues with his pad level. Keeping your pads low helps you get leverage, which on the defensive line is very important. At times, Twyman would stand straight up after the ball was snapped, which makes it very difficult to gain any penetration. Some guys are very successful despite playing high, but they’re either much taller (thus more arm length to use for separation) or stronger than Twyman is. This can be fixed through repetition and coaching, but it’s something that has to be changed soon.

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Strength In Run Game

I don’t doubt that he’s a strong person, but he gets pushed around way too easily in the run game. Rarely does he push the offensive lineman into the backfield and he is usually either stood up or driven backwards. At this point, he’s more of a pass rush specialist because he would be a liability as a run stuffer. The high pad level is part of this problem, but he needs to build more strength if he wants to be an all-around lineman as a pro.

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Pass Rush Counter Moves

While a few of his moves are excellent, his counter moves at this point left a lot to be desired. When his swim or push/pull moves are stopped, he doesn’t have anything to counter that with. These moves may work most of the time, but if you want to be a high-level pass rusher at the pro level then you need to add more tools in your toolbox. He’ll try a spin move on occasion, but didn’t have much success. I think gaining more strength would also help with this as it could give him a better bull rush.

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Conclusion

Right now Twyman can do what teams covet, which is getting to the quarterback. He’s going to be an impactful rusher from day one, which is going to be very appealing. He still has a lot of work to round his game out which makes guessing where he will be selected at a tough one. I’d expect he’ll range anywhere from the mid-teens to the second round and his combine performance will play a huge factor in this. He’s probably best off as a traditional defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense, but could possibly fit as a 3-4 end despite not having the desired length.

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Penei Sewell: Best Tackle Prospect in Years???

If there’s going to be a player not named Trevor Lawrence picked at number one overall, it’s probably going to be Oregon left tackle Penei Sewell. Sewell looks and acts the part of a franchise tackle, who seems likely to be able to step in right away to protect a quarterback’s blindside. A behemoth of a man, Sewell moves with grace and has that nasty streak you love to see in an offensive lineman. Some are calling Sewell one of the best tackle prospects ever. I don’t want to go that far just yet, but I will say he’s the best tackle prospect in the past five years. Get him protecting a young franchise quarterback and you have a strong pairing for your offense for a long, long time.

Positives

Strength

This young man is STRONG! He rarely gets pushed back and not many were able to successfully bull rush him. His upper-body strength is elite and you can tell how powerful he is when he stonewalls a defender. He packs a lot of pop in his hands and Oregon loved to run behind him where he can clear lanes by himself. Against Auburn, he did extremely well against Derrick Brown, a 2020 top-ten pick, who weighs over 300 pounds and did well against SEC opponents. Ultimately, being an offensive lineman comes down to moving your man from point A to point B. Being as strong as Sewell is, you know you’re going to get positive yards running behind him.

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Mobility

People who are 6-5, 330 pounds like Sewell should not move as quickly as he does. Oregon runs a very “college” offense, meaning there’s a lot of shotgun and a lot of screens. They rely on getting the ball into the hands of their quick playmakers, so the need for athletic linemen is crucial. Sewell was able to get to the second level frequently and when blocking a defensive back or linebacker it’s just unfair. There were also plays where he was used as a lead blocker by pulling. We normally see this used with guards, but with an athletic tackle like Sewell, this was the way to go.

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Pass Protection

The purpose of an offensive tackle, particularly one that plays on the left side, is to protect the quarterback. I didn’t see Sewell give up a single sack in the games I watched and he didn’t allow many pressures either. He does a great job of moving his feet and anchoring in to get his body in front of defensive linemen. He’s just so big that once he gets his arms and hands locked in on you, it’s a wrap. You’ll rarely see an offensive lineman in college be a high-level blocker against the bull rush and the speed guys, but Sewell is an all-around beast.

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IQ

From what I saw, Sewell is an intelligent blocker and seems to be a leader on the Oregon offensive line. He and his left guard (current Giant Shan Lemiuex) did an excellent job on stunts, perfectly passing along defenders to each other. He would also risk his body to block two guys on a play sometimes — ensuring that his quarterback would stay upright. Sewell knows that one false step or read and his quarterback is on the ground and it results in a negative play. A true master of his craft.

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Negatives

Balance

Is this me nit-picking to find a negative? Yes. But, I did notice that way too often, Sewell ended up on the ground more often than I would like. It seems his lower body is a little behind in terms of strength in relation to his upper body. Sometimes, he would lunge and get off-balance, missing the block. Is this concerning? Not really. Offensive linemen aren’t ballerinas and can’t be expected to be so nimble.

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Conclusion

Sewell is as legit as they come. He’s the complete package at left tackle, a position of high value in football. He’s most likely a slam dunk top-five pick and I’m willing to go as far as saying he’s probably a top-three selection. The only player that will probably be ahead of him on most big boards is Lawrence, which is saying something. I think Cincinnati, Washington, or Carolina would be excellent fits for Sewell and would immediately allow him to start from day one.

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Rondale Moore: The Human Joystick

One of the breakout stars of the 2018 college football season was Rondale Moore, a small yet explosive receiver from Purdue. He took home various awards, including being a consensus All-American and the Big Ten Freshman of the year. Unfortunately, he suffered a relatively serious hamstring injury that cut his 2019 season down to just 4 games. As a result, the Boilermakers struggled mightily on offense and could not replace his production. Before the Big Ten decided to cancel the 2020 season, Moore elected to opt-out and prepare for the 2021 draft. While it may end up being the wise decision for him to rest his body and prevent any future injuries, there’s still a lot of question marks for his game. When he’s on the field, he’s like a cheat code and is incredibly exciting to watch. However, he’s small and missed a large part of a season so there are plenty of questions about his durability.

Positives

Dynamic Athlete

It’s obvious to see from his film that Moore is fast, but what sets him apart is how well he can control his body. What I mean by that is on one play he can juke you out of your shoes and the next can break a tackle from a guy who has forty pounds on him. When it comes to making cuts and being able to stop on a dime, he is one of the best I’ve ever seen do it at the college level. Seriously, there are times where I think I’m watching Reggie Bush in his USC days when I’m watching Moore. He’s truly an exceptional athlete who does stuff that most football players are not able to do.

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RAC Ability

Because of his athleticism, Moore is dynamite after the catch. Whenever the ball is in his hands, there’s a legitimate chance that he takes it to the end zone. He’s able to find open space with ease and has no problem using one of his many tricks to break away from defenders. Because he’s on the shorter side, he’s able to use his low center of gravity to run through defenders. A fearless runner, I was surprised to see amount of tackles he broke because he ran physical and unafraid. Of course, he will most likely be effective at the NFL level because of his speed and shiftiness but his ability to get past you in several ways is impressive.

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Slot Work

Some may think Moore being a slot only guy is a negative, but the way he operates from the position makes him so valuable. He runs great routes and is willing to work all three levels of the field. From the slot he will run a lot of jet sweeps that can open the play-action game. He’s probably too small to play as a boundary receiver, but with a creative play-caller who will use him in motion to get him out of press coverage, he could thrive in any system. There’s no route he can’t run and in particular, he’s a machine over the middle of the field on crosses and slants.

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Negatives

Lack of Size

Listed at 5-9, 180 pounds, Moore is very undersized. He may be able to add some muscle, which would go a long way to his longevity, but he has to make sure he doesn’t lose any speed. There are a few times you’ll see him take a big hit and in the NFL, the guys are only bigger and stronger. Like I said earlier as well, he won’t win often in press coverage because he’s just not strong enough nor has the length to battle off the line with bigger corners. This is why he’s not seen as a top 15 pick as it’s tough to draft a receiver early who might not be able to be physical enough to battle with 6-2 defensive backs.

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Injuries

He only played in four games in 2019 because of a hamstring injury. While you can’t totally predict if a player will get injured at the professional level (look at Frank Gore who went through two major surgeries in college and is still playing today), but the fact you missed over half a season with a hamstring injury isn’t a good sign. I hope he uses this time to prepare for the draft to get stronger and take care of his body because it would be a shame to not see this guy healthy on Sundays.

Conclusion

In what looks to be a very strong wide receiver class, Moore comes with some baggage but also does things that the others can’t do. He’s such a special and exciting player, that all it would take is one catch or carry for him to change the outcome of a game. Assuming he stays healthy, I think he can have a long career working out of the slot. The health part is huge though. Will he end up like Tavon Austin or end up like Tyreek Hill? I don’t have that answer, but I’m willing to bet he’s right in the middle of the two. I’d love to see him in a more spread system or with a creative play-caller who will utilize him on jet sweeps and screens.

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