2019 Best NFL Draft Rankings (1)

Michael Lipscomb

The Cardinals brought in players that fit their scheme and fill needs, while also selecting their Quarterback of the future. A well-rounded draft leaves the Cardinals as the FIRST ranked team in our draft rankings!

1. Arizona Cardinals

Their Picks!
Round 1: (No. 1 overall) Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma.
Round 2: (No. 33) Byron Murphy, CB, Washington; (No. 62) Andy Isabella, WR, Massachusetts.
Round 3: (No. 65) Zach Allen, DE, Boston College.
Round 4: (No. 103) Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State.
Round 5: (No. 139) Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama.
Round 6: (No. 174) Keesean Johnson, WR, Fresno State (No. 179) Lamont Gaillard, C, Georgia.
Round 7: (No. 248) Joshua Miles, OT, Morgan State;  (No. 249) Michael Dogbe, DT, Temple; (No. 254) Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA.

When people look back at the Cardinals’ draft in the next 5-10 years, they will most likely judge its success on the production of one player. With the 1st overall pick in the 2019 draft, the Arizona Cardinals selected Quarterback Kyler Murray. I know some of you have read, and or heard, enough about Murray already, so I’ve indicated where we discuss the remaining draft picks with an * below.

In terms of talent and skill, Murray has what you’re looking for in a star Quarterback prospect. His ability as both a runner and passer is superb. At Oklahoma University, Murray was a star, in every aspect of the word. In 2018, Murray threw for 4361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and completed 69% of his passes. Out of 377 passing attempts by the QB, only 7 were intercepted by opposing defenses. Murray also ran for another 1001 yards and 12 touchdowns. His fantastic season earned him the highest individual award in college football. Murray was the recipient of the 2018-19 Heisman trophy award.

Despite the flurry of awards and accolades, selecting Murray first overall was not seen as an obvious choice. Many believed Defensive Tackle Quinnen Williams, or Defensive End Joey Bosa, were the best players in college football. On top of that, the Cardinals selected Quarterback Josh Rosen with the 10th selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Taking Quarterbacks in the first round of consecutive drafts is a poor use of resources, but the Cardinals ended up getting value for Rosen in a trade. Josh Rosen was traded to the Miami Dolphins for a 2nd (pick 62) and a 5th round pick in the 2020 draft.

Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (AP Photo/Matt York)

All of this movement is “high-risk” by the Cardinals, but it’s one that could pay off in a big way. Newly hired Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury is viewed as an Offensive-minded coach. He will have the Cardinals running a high-octane passing offense. If you want to know what that offense looks like, turn on some Patrick Mahomes’ college film. The offense will be “bombs away” out in the desert. Kingsbury has to believe that Murray has the arm talent to make this offense work in the NFL.

The Head Coach-Quarterback relationship is the most important relationship in football. Kingsbury has to put Kyler Murray in good situations on the football field, while developing his strengths and hiding his weaknesses. All of Murray’s early success will depend on this interaction. Due to a lack of talent on the offensive line, I think Murray will struggle at first. If the Cardinals can develop the team around him, they will have one of the best offenses in the entire league.

Remaining Picks*

Ultimately, I think selecting Kyler Murray was a good selection. The pressure is on Kingsbury to develop him. The subsequent selections are what give the Cardinals the highest ranking draft. With the first selection in the 2nd round of the draft (pick 33), the Cardinals selected Cornerback Byron Murphy from the University of Washington. I absolutely love this pick for the Cardinals. Murphy is one of my favorite players in this entire draft. Murphy was one of the most well-rounded corners during the 2018 season. He excelled in both man and zone coverages for Washington. Murphy has fantastic technique, and showed great hip flexibility while in coverage. While not super athletic, Murphy has incredible ball skills and anticipation. The all-american was also physical in run support, and consistently worked to fight off of blocks. I believe Murphy will end up being an elite corner in the NFL. Pairing him with veteran Cornerback Patrick Peterson, should form a formidable corner tandem in the NFC West.

Washington Cornerback Byron Murphay (Rebekah Welch/ The Seattle Times

As I mentioned earlier, the Kliff Kingsbury offense needs speed. The Cardinals made great use of the Josh Rosen trade by selecting WR Andy Isabella with the 62nd pick in the NFL Draft. Isabella is a smaller receiver at 5’9, but this dude can FLY. Isabella clocked a 4.31 40 yard dash at the NFL combine. Look for him to make noise early in Kingsbury’s offense. Arizona brought in another one of my favorite prospects in the the 4th round of this draft. With the 103rd pick in the NFL Draft, the Cardinals drafted WR Hakeem Butler from Iowa State. I had Butler graded as a late-2nd round player. Getting him in the 4th round is outstanding value for Arizona. Butler is a 6’6 receiver who is a monster in jump ball situations. Butler isn’t the cleanest route runner, but he attacks the ball with his hands when it’s in the air, and is an incredible athlete. Butler is a strong runner after the catch, and has the athleticism to produce at a high level in the NFL. He will fit right into this Air Raid offense, running a 4.48 40 at the combine.

The final pick I would like to highlight, was Arizona’s 5th round selection. Alabama Safety Deionte Thompson was selected with the 139th pick of the NFL Draft. Prior to the 2018 collegiate season, Thompson was regarded as a lock to be a 1st or 2nd round pick in the draft. After struggling this past season, the Safeties’ draft stock took a huge dip. Thompson is as athletic as they come in the secondary, but his inconsistent play is a major cause for concern. Thompson also has a bad habit of trying to deliver big hits instead of trying to wrap up. He will get embarrassed at the next level if he cannot determine when to try and crush a ball carrier, and when to make the safe tackle. With all of  that said, this is the type of boom-or-bust prospect you want to select in the 5th round. The Cardinals will have to find a good role for the young safety to thrive in.

Iowa State Wide Receiver Hakeem Butler (Photo: Brian Powers/The Register)

The Cardinals addressed needs at several different positions while also bringing in potential stars. Drafting the players is only the first part of the equation. The Cardinals have not done a good job of developing their talent over the last couple of seasons. If Kingsbury wants to keep his job, he will need to make player development one of his top priorities. Getting players for your scheme is a great place to start as a new head coach, but Kingsbury has a lot of work ahead of him. Despite this strong draft, we are probably still looking at a long-term build for the Arizona Cardinals.


2019 Best NFL Draft Rankings (3,2)

The Titans are ranked second after adding 6 potential starters to their roster. The Bills picked up some explosive talent to land at third.

Michael Lipscomb

The Titans are ranked second after adding 6 potential starters to their roster. The Bills picked up some explosive talent to land at third.

3. Buffalo Bills

Their Picks!
Round 1: (9) Ed Oliver, DT, Houston.
Round 2: (38) Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma.
Round 3: (74) Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic; (96) Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi.
Round 5: (147) Vosean Joseph, LB, Florida.
Round 6: (181) Jaquan Johnson, S, Miami.
Round 7: (225) Darryl Johnson, edge, North Carolina A&T; (228) Tommy Sweeney, TE, Boston College.

Big-time players make big-time plays, and big-time plays, win games. The Buffalo Bills did a great job of picking up some big-time players in this year’s NFL Draft. The Bills kicked things off by selecting Houston Defensive Tackle, Ed Oliver, with the 9th pick of the draft. We covered Ed Oliver in a Quick Profile here! Oliver was a top 5 talent but the Bills were able to snatch him up with pick number 9. This draft pick is tremendous value for a team that is lacking star power. The pressure will be up on the Bills’ coaching staff to put Oliver in situations that will unlock that star potential. The team’s next draft pick was used to bolster the offensive line. In the 2nd round (pick 38), the Bills selected Offensive Lineman Cody Ford. Ford is a versatile lineman who spent time at both Guard and Tackle in college. Ford was a big-time player for Oklahoma, playing in 29 total games for the Sooners over the course of three seasons. This past college football season, many considered the Oklahoma front five to be the best offensive line in football. Getting Ford in the 2nd round was an absolute steal for Buffalo.

Oklahoma OT, Cody Ford (Roy K. Miller, Getty)

Buffalo used their 3rd round pick on a very interesting prospect. Florida Atlantic Running back Devin Singletary was selected with the 74th pick in the draft. Standing at 5’7 and weighing around 200 lbs, Singletary is a mighty mouse on the football field. His small stature caused him to slide to the 3rd round, but Singletary had the production of an elite college player. David Singletary ran for 4,684 yards and 67 touchdowns (!) during his three seasons at FAU. That kind of production is truly incredible. He is a shifty and explosive runner, that does a good job of making defenders miss in space. This small runner has some power behind him as well. Singletary should end up being the perfect replacement for current Bills’ Running Back Lesean McCoy.

The remaining picks for Buffalo were solid to say the least. The Bills were able to add two key players who should be superstars on special teams right away. Vosean Joseph from Florida was selected in the 5th round. Joseph is a hard-nosed Linebacker, who was a big time hitter in college. Jaquan Johnson was selected in the 6th round by Buffalo. The Safety out of Miami was a leader for that unit, and is a player with a lot of upside. Both picks are exciting, late round players to add to a roster. Look out Bills Mafia, things are looking up for your franchise!

2. Tennessee Titans

Their Picks!
Round 1: (19) DI Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
Round 2: (51) WR AJ Brown, Ole Miss
Round 3: (82) G Nate Davis, Charlotte
Round 4: (116) S Amani Hooker, Iowa
Round 5: (168) Edge D’Andre Walker, Georgia
Round 6: (188) LB David Long Jr., West Virginia

The Tennessee Titans hosted the 2019 NFL Draft. Their fans were great, and brought major energy to the event. When this group of players hits the field, the fans will have even more to cheer about. The Titans absolutely crushed this draft. They got things started by selecting Defensive Tackle Jeffery Simmons from Mississippi State. Simmons was a highly touted prospect after dominating the interior of the Bulldogs’ defensive line. After tearing his ACL while training for the NFL Draft, the stud defensive lineman slide on draft day. Simmons was selected with the 19th pick in the draft, but is regarded as a Top 10 talent in this draft class. Simmons will likely end up missing the entire 2019-2020 NFL season. Drafting a redshirt player isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but if Simmons can make a full recovery, he will be an elite player for the Titans.

Mississippi State University Defensive Tackle, Jeffrey Simmons

The remaining 5 draft picks for the Titans were all home-runs. The Titans added value with each pick, and didn’t reach to fill needs. Patience is a virtue, and GM Jon Robinson showed it on draft weekend. The Titans 2nd round pick was used to select Ole Miss’ Wide Receiver, AJ Brown. Brown is your prototype NFL slot receiver, and should be a day 1 starter on this team. The Titans desperately need to make a decision regarding the future of QB Marcus Mariota. Mariota has one more season to prove he can be a franchise quarterback. Getting him weapons for this offense was crucial for this front office. The Titans used pick 82 in the 3rd round to select Offensive Guard, Nate Davis, out of Charlotte. Davis is an athletic interior lineman, and he should compete for a starting job immediately.

The final three picks of this team’s draft were just as impressive as the first three. With pick 116, the Titans selected Iowa Safety Amani Hooker. Grabbing Hooker in the 4th round is an excellent value pick for Tennessee. Hooker was a highly graded safety, and was thought of as a 2nd or 3rd round pick. This defensive back is outstanding in zone coverage, and could be a big time player in that Mike Vrabel defense. The Titans 5th round pick was used on EDGE defender D’Andre Walker. Walker isn’t the most polished player yet, but served as an impact player for the Georgia Bulldogs. The last pick of the Titans draft may end up being their most valuable. David Long Jr. out of West Virginia University was drafted with the 188th pick in the draft. Long Jr. was a force in the 3-3-5 Stack defense at WVU. He plays downhill, and knows how to find the football. If he can clean up some technique issues and develop in pass coverage, the Titans could be looking at a starting inside linebacker. The 2019 NFL Draft was an all-around, fantastic event, for the hosting team.

2019 Best NFL Draft Rankings (5, 4)

Michael Lipscomb

Oakland and New England coming in at 4 and 5

The 2019 NFL Draft was exactly the show we wanted as fans. The excitement was felt throughout the energized crowd in Nashville, TN. The fans on social media had plenty to say too! Now that the dust has settled following the draft, it’s time to take a look at which teams did the best job of acquiring talent. Here is my opinion on the five highest ranked teams from the 2019 draft. Rankings were given out based on a broad, but simple, criteria. Scheme fit, team need, player upside, and overall talent were the primary factors I used to make this list.

This Top 5 list is going to be broken down into three different articles. I will start here with teams ranked 4th and 5th. Look out for the next piece covering my 2nd and 3rd rated drafts which is coming soon! I will be highlighting my favorite picks from each of these teams drafts. Tune in to my takes! Feel free to leave a comment below!

5. New England Patriots

The Evil Empire continues to build their team the right way. The Patriots kicked off their 2019 draft by picking up Arizona State Wide Receiver N’Keal Harry with the 32rd pick. Harry is a perfect fit for the Patriots scheme. He provides Tom Brady with a new red zone “jump ball” target, with Gronk officially retiring this offseason. Harry also excels with gaining yards after the catch, so look for the Pats screen game to get a boost as well. Harry is a versatile weapon who can play on the outside or in the slot.

Arizona State Wide Receiver N’Keal Harry (Mark J. Reblias – USA TODAY Sports)

JoeJuan Williams was selected in the 2nd round by the Pats. Williams should compete for a starting Safety position with New England, after playing Cornerback at Vanderbilt. They added the well-rounded Alabama running back, Damien Harris, in the third round. Harris was the most consistent runner out of that Alabama backfield over the last couple of years. EDGE defender Chase Winovich was selected with their next third round pick. He was very productive at Michigan and should fit well in their scene. The Patriots had three different picks in the third round. They used their last pick of this round to bring in help up front by selecting Offensive Tackle Yodny Cajuste, out of West Virginia University. Cajuste is a project at Tackle, but could develop into a starter in the NFL.

The Patriots were able to pick up talented players on both sides of the ball. I liked how they were able to get great value with their three different third round picks. As you usually see with New England, they draft players to fit very specific roles on their team. I am also a fan of Auburn QB, Jarrett Stidham, to develop while backing up the legend, Tom Brady. Look for their first round pick, N’Keal Harry, to have an instant impact on their offense.

4. Oakland Raiders

This draft was very important to the Oakland Raiders. Since hiring head coach Jon Gruden to a 10-year contract, the Raiders have traded stars Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack in exchange for multiple draft picks. Gruden obviously has his eyes on the future, and this draft was set to establish their franchise for the next couple of seasons.

Clemson Defensive End Clelin Ferrell (Gwinn Davis/Special to The Post and Courier)

General Manager Mike Mayock started off by picking their ideal, scheme-fit, Defensive End. With the 4th overall pick, the Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell from Clemson. We highlighted Ferrell in a Quick Profile here! Although this pick may be deemed a “reach”, the Raiders got the player they wanted, who fits their defense. Make no mistake about it, Ferrell will be a force. With the 24th overall pick in the draft, the Raiders selected Bama Running Back Josh Jacobs. Jacobs is a hyper explosive athlete and a perfect fit for the Raiders offense. He won’t be asked to do everything out of Oakland’s backfield, as they use a “Running Back by Committee” approach at that position.

Oakland used the 27th pick on Safety Johnathan Abram from Mississippi State. Abram is the type of Safety fans and coaches want on their teams. He is versatile and reliable in coverage, and has a knack for making big plays. Abram is big time hitter and should bring attitude to that young Raiders secondary. Another player to watch is their second round pick, Trayvon Mullen. Mullen was a big time Corner for that Clemson secondary and should transition well into the league. The Raiders used the rest of their draft picks to bring in more pass rushers and players in the secondary, while also scooping up a Tight End for the offense. An overall great start for the tandem of Gruden and Mayock as they attempt to bring back the pride of the silver and black!

Stay tuned for our remaining three rankings!

2019 1st Round Draft Results

Author: Joaunte Knight
The 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books. Here is a recap of all the first round picks and some reactions to those picks.

Joaunte Knight

1. Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray

QB, University of Oklahoma
5’10”, 207lbs
IG: @kyler1murray
Twitter: @TheKylerMurray

Kyler Murray was already the predicted 1st overall pick. Although it was a pick that everyone believed to be locked in, the Cardinals took their time. One of the concerns for Kyler Murray was his size as he is only 5′ 10″ 207lbs. (Most Quarterbacks that are selected as the first pick stand over 6 feet tall.) Murray’s selection made history as back-to-back first overall picks were Quarterbacks from the same school. Baker Mayfield preceded Murray in the 2018 NFL Draft being drafted to the Cleveland Browns.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Nick Bosa

DE, Ohio State University
6’4″, 266 lbs
IG: @nbsmallerbear
Twitter: @nbsmallerbear

3. New York Jets

Quinnen Williams

DT, University of Alabama
6’3″, 303lbs
IG: @thequinnenwilliams
Twitter: @QuinnenWilliams

4. Oakland Raiders

Clelin Ferrell

DE, Clemson University
6’4″, 264 lbs
Instagram: @missiledreaming
Twitter: @Cle_Missile

Considered the first major surprise of the draft, Ferrell was projected to be a mid-to-late pick in the first round. Concerns surrounding Ferrell are his lack of elite speed and the disappointment of Clemson pass rushers in the past.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Devin White

Inside Linebacker, LSU
6’0″, 237 lbs
Instagram: @devinwhite_40

6. New York Giants

Daniel Jones

QB, Duke University
6’5″, 221 lbs
Instagram: @danieljones3
Twitter: @Daniel_Jones10

All that can be said is……Giants fans are not happy. With that said, review our notable tweets below.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Allen

DE, Kentucky
6’5″, 262 lbs
Instagram: @joshallen41
Twitter: @JoshAllen41_

8. Detroit Lions

TJ Hockenson

TE, Iowa
6’5″, 251 lbs
Instagram: @theehock8
Twitter: @TheeHOCK8

9. Buffalo Bills

Ed Oliver

DT, University of Houston
6’2″ 287 lbs
Instagram: @edoliver_11
Twitter: @edoliver_11

10. Pittsburgh Steelers

Devin Bush

ILB, Michigan
5’11”, 234 lb
Instagram: @dbush_10
Twitter: @_Dbush11
*via trade with Denver Broncos

11. Cincinnati Bengals

Jonah Williams

OT, Alabama
6’5″, 302 lbs
Instagram: @jonahgwilliams
Twitter: @JonahGWilliams

12. Green Bay Packers

Rashan Gary

DE, Michigan
6’4″, 277 lbs
Instagram: @rashanagary
Twitter: @RashanAGary

13. Miami Dolphins

Christian Wilkins

DT, Clemson
6’3″, 315 lbs
Instagram: @cwilkins42
Twitter: @cwilkins42

The same energy this player exerts off the field is the energy to be expected when he is on the field.

14. Atlanta Falcons

Chris Lindstrom

OG, Boston
6’4″, 308 lbs
Instagram: @big_fish68
Twitter: @Big_Fish75

This was not a popular pick for the Atlanta fan base.

15. Washington Redskins

Dwayne Haskins

QB, Ohio State
6’3″, 231 lbs
Instagram: @dh_simba7
Twitter: @dh_simba7

Haskins was passed up as the Giants’ 6th overall pick for Duke Quarterback, Daniel Jones. As a Washington Redskin, he will have two opportunities to make them regret their decision.

16. Carolina Panthers

Brian Burns

DE, Florida State
6’5″, 249 lbs
Instagram: @brianburns99
Twitter: @Fire_Burns99

17. New York Giants

Dexter Lawrence

DT, Clemson
6’5″, 342 lbs
Instagram: @dexterlawrence18
Twitter: @llawrence2139
*via Cleveland Browns

The Giant’s pick make it the first time in history that three Clemson players are selected in the first round. However, the disappointment surrounding this pick on behalf of the Giants’ fan base comes from Lawrence being the first drafted player from the OBJ trade. The Giants picked up Jabril Peppers and they still have a third round pick to follow.

18. Minnesota Vikings

Garrett Bradbury

C, NC State
6’3″, 306 lbs
Instagram: @garrett_bradbury
Twitter: @Gbradbury_11

19. Tennessee Titans

Jeffery Simmons

DT, Mississippi State
6’4″, 305 lbs
Instagram: @jsimmons_94
Twitter: @GrindSimmons94

This big moment for Simmons may be overshadowed by the video ESPN felt was important to share. Very little was said about the pick or how he fits in with the Titans organization. We’ll note that the 19th overall pick had 157 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and six passes defensed in three seasons.

20. Denver Broncos

Noah Fant

TE, Iowa
6’4″, 249 lbs
Instagram: @nrfant
Twitter: @nrfant
*via trade with Pittsburgh Steelers

Fant’s selection makes history as he and teammate, TJ Hockenson make it the first time two Tight Ends from the same school are drafted in the first round.

21. Green Bay Packers

Darnell Savage Jr.

S, Maryland
5’11”, 198 lbs
Instagram: @darnellsavage_
Twitter: @darnellsavage_
*via trade with Seattle Seahawks

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Andre Dillard

OT, Washington State
6’5″, 315 lbs
Instagram: @andredillard_
Twitter: @AndreDillard_
*via trade with Baltimore Ravens

The Eagles traded up to swipe Dillard right before Houston Texans. Dillard is the first ever Washington State Lineman to come off the board in the first round.

23. Houston Texans

Tytus Howard

OT, Alabama State
6’5″, 322 lbs
Instagram: @tytushoward58
Twitter: @levelstothis_2

24. Oakland Raiders

Josh Jacobs

RB, Alabama
5’10”, 220 lbs
Instagram: @iam_joshjacobs
Twitter: @iAM_JoshJacobs
*via Chicago Bears

25. Baltimore Ravens

Marquise Brown

WR, Oklahoma
5’9″, 166 lbs
Instaram: @primetime_jet
Twitter: @Primetime_jet
*via trade with Philadelphia Eagles

Cousin of Antonio Brown. We’ll see how he does this season.

26. Washington Redskins

Montez Sweat

LB, Mississippi State
6’6″, 260 lbs
Instagram: @_tez9
Twitter: @_sweat9
*via trade with Indianapolis Colts

There were several mentions of why the prospect’s stock fell, all of which surrounding his health as he was diagnosed with a heart issue called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy . However, prior to the draft, it began to spread that Sweat was misdiagnosed. There is some excitement within the Redskins fan base as this pick follows their 15th overall pick, QB Dwayne Haskins. Both Redskins’ picks fell lower than expected, but both plan to show everyone how they messed up.

27. Oakland Raiders

Johnathan Abram

S, Mississippi State
5’11”, 205 lbs
IG: @thejabram
Twitter: @JohnathanAbram1
*via Chicago Bears

28. Los Angeles Chargers

Jerry Tillery

DT, Notre Dame
6’7″, 295 lbs
Instagram: @jerrytillery
Twitter: @JerryTillery

29. Seattle Seahawks

L.J. Collier

6’2″, 283 lbs
Instagram: @ljcollier_4
Twitter: @ljcollier91
*via Kansas City

30. New York Giants

Deandre Baker

CB, Georgia
5’11”, 193 lbs
Instagram: @drebaker1
Twitter: @DreBaker1_
*via Seattle Seahawks

31. Atlanta Falcons

Kaleb McGary

OT, Washington
6’7″, 317 lbs
Instagram: @kalebmcgary
Twitter: @KalebMcgary
*via Los Angeles Ram

32. New England Patriots

N’Keal Harry

WR, Arizona State
6’2″, 228 lbs
Instagram: @nkealharry
Twitter: @NkealHarry15

Notable Tweets

Quick Profile: Andreaz “Greedy” Williams

Michael Lipscomb

Greedy Williams – LSU, Cornerback

6’3, 183 lbs
Classification: Redshirt Sophomore (Junior)
High School: Calvary Baptist Academy, Shreveport, LA

2018 Stats – 33 tackles (23 solo) 2 interceptions, 9 Passes deflected
2017 Stats – 38 tackles (26 solo) 6 interceptions, 11 Passes deflected

Give him a follow!
Twitter: @G_Will29          Instagram: @a_will2

If you were to ask any defensive coordinator, they would tell you there is nothing like having an elite Cornerback on a defense. Having that one player that can matchup against an elite Wide Receiver, is an incredibly valuable asset in the NFL. LSU has a history of crafting defensive backs that perform well in the league. Patrick Peterson, Tre’Devious White, and Morris Claiborne are a few examples of LSU Cornerbacks that have made an impact on Sundays. Greedy Williams is next in line to be another great NFL Corner. Standing at 6’3” and 183 lbs, Williams has the size to matchup with the biggest of receivers on the outside. Williams has the athleticism to pair with his size, running a 4.37 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine. His speed and quickness should allow him to compete in the slot against smaller receivers too. Williams uses his length and quickness to excel in both man and zone coverages. Williams also showed a knack as a a ball hawk, registering 8 interceptions in his final two seasons as an LSU Tiger. The one area of concern with Williams is a major one. He showed little to no physicality in run support. Bad tackling is a red flag for any defensive prospect. That aspect of his game will cause him to slide on draft day. Williams has the coverage ability of a Top 10 draft pick, but an incomplete game will cause front office personnel to hesitate on Draft Day. Who will land the highest ranked Cornerback in this draft?

My Take
Greedy Williams is the best Cover Corner in this year’s draft. He was tasked with plenty of responsibility, playing as the #1 Corner on that LSU defense. Williams was tasked with playing both the left, and right, Cornerback spots during his time at LSU. Williams was also asked to lineup in the slot on certain plays. Coaches will ask their trusted defensive players to move around in the secondary in order to create better matchups for their defense. You may see some corners struggle with this responsibility, but not Williams. His versatility is a big reason I think teams should be eager to draft him. In terms of pure coverage ability, you will not find many prospects better than Williams. His instincts, patience, and play recognition skills are elite. He is always in position, and you would be lucky to catch him getting beat on a double move. In press coverage, Williams is technically sounds and uses his athletic ability to disrupt routes. When playing man to man coverage, Williams does a good job of getting his hands on the offensive player without drawing a penalty. His long arms, combined with his technique, allow him to contest almost any pass that is thrown his way. In zone coverage, he is disciplined with his assignments and does not take unnecessary risks often. Williams keeps his eyes on the Quarterback in zone, and it allows him to break on the football and make plays once the pass is in the air. The tackling issues are relevant. Not every Cornerback needs to be a “thumper”, but there are plays where he avoids contact altogether. Williams also needs to be more physical with blockers when engaging them. All defensive players have to play with a certain level of physicality, or teams will run the ball right at them. Williams has got to improve in run support if he wants to be an elite Cornerback in the NFL. I don’t think the lack of physicality comes from fear, as Williams did not back down when playing against Ole Miss in 2018. Williams went right at D.K. Metcalf all game, holding Metcalf to just 3 catches, 37 receiving yards, and 0 touchdowns. Greedy Williams plays with the confidence and swagger of a lockdown corner. His coverage ability outweighs his problems in run support, and I believe he will develop into a star Cornerback at the pro level. I believe Greedy Williams will get selected with one of the the mid to late draft picks in the first round of the NFL draft.

Here’s a Highlight Reel!

Quick Profile: Clelin Ferrell

Michael Lipscomb

Clelin Ferrell – Clemson University, Defensive End

6’4” 264 lbs
Classification: Redshirt Junior (Senior)
High School: Benedictine College Preparatory, Richmond, Virginia

2018 Stats – 55 tackles (29 solo) 11.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 2 passes deflected
2017 Stats – 66 tackles (33 solo), 9.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 passes deflected

Give him a follow!
Twitter: @Cle_Missile                Instagram: missiledreaming

A key part of rushing the passer is getting off the line of scrimmage quickly. When a defensive lineman can get off the line quickly, it puts a lot of pressure on opposing blockers. Pressure on blockers means pressure on the Quarterback, which is usually trouble for an offense. Clelin Ferrell has the best “first step” in this entire draft. The 804 product was a machine rushing the passer on Clemson’s National Championship defense, racking up 11.5 sacks in his 2018 season. Ferrell pairs his tremendous ‘get off’ ability with strength, leverage, and athleticism to cause havoc for offenses. His game tape shows off plenty of versatility as a rusher. He has a complete array of moves that include the swim, rip, and chop to name a few. Ferrell can be a little stiff at times, and some coaches may want him to show more flexibility and bend when coming off the edge. Ferrell also doesn’t have a lot of pass coverage experience on his game tape, which may cause teams running a 3-4 defensive scheme to hesitate on drafting him high. Outside of those concerns, Ferrell is as well-rounded of a defensive end that you could ask for. He is strong against the run and plays with a high motor. The Clemson Tiger is an absolute lock to be a first round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

My Take:

Ferrell has all of the tools to be a very productive pass rusher at the next level. His first step is scary. Like, really scary. Even while playing next to other elite players like Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence along that Clemson defensive line, Ferrell was the first man off the line of scrimmage damn near every play. That kind of natural feel and timing does not come around often. If the poor offensive lineman gets back in his stance fast enough, Ferrell still has a full arsenal of pass rush moves to unleash. With more coaching and development, he could be a pass rushing technician at the next level. The only thing keeping Ferrell from being selected as one of the top 2 or 3 EDGE rushers is his athleticism. Ferrell is a good, but not great athlete, in comparison to other defensive ends that will get drafted ahead of him. His closing speed when rushing the Quarterback could be better. He is also limited in his ability to drop back into coverage. The pass coverage aspect of his game “could” improve with the right coaching at the next level, but I think it’s safe to say he should be a 4-3 defensive end for the majority of his career. When engaging blockers in the running game, Ferrell uses his long arms and strength to maintain control at the point of attack. He is also a very good tackler from his defensive end position. His motor is incredible as well. He plays with a sharp intensity and focus. I noted multiple plays where he did an outstanding job of chasing down ball carriers from the backside. Sometimes running 15 to 20 yards down the field to try and make a play. That kind of effort can be the difference in winning and losing football games. If you want to be a winning franchise, Clelin Ferrell is your guy. I predict Clelin Ferrell could get drafted anywhere from pick 8 to the Detroit Lions, to pick 16 to the Carolina Panthers.

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Quick Profile: Ed Oliver

Michael Lipscomb

Ed Oliver – University of Houston, Defensive Tackle

6’2″ 287 lbs
Classification: Junior
High School: Westfield High School, Houston, TX

2018 Stats – 54 tackles (29 solo), 14.5 tackles for a loss, 3 sacks, 2 passes deflected, 1 forced fumble [8 games played]
2017 Stats – 73 tackles (47 solo), 16.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 3 passes deflected, 1 fumble recovery, 2 fumbles forced
2016 Stats – 65 tackles (46 solo), 22 tackles for a loss, 5.0 sacks, 6 passes deflected, 2 forced fumbles

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Twitter: @edoliver_11 Instagram: @edoliver_11

Coming out of high school, Ed Oliver was the #1 recruit in the nation. He had any offer you could imagine, but decided to stay at home and play for the University of Houston. Oliver became the first 5-star football recruit to ever commit to Houston, and dominated from Day 1 as apart of their program. After recording 65 tackles (22 for a loss) and 5 sacks as a freshman, Oliver put the college football world on notice. The athletic Defensive Lineman followed up his great freshman year with a dominant sophomore season, winning the Outland Award. Oliver is the first sophomore to ever win the prestige award, which is given to the best interior defensive lineman during that season. Oliver’s junior year showed flashes of explosion as well, but a recurring knee injury kept him in and out of the lineup. Even with the injures, Ed Oliver may be the most athletic Defensive Tackle you will ever see play. Oliver combines his athletic ability with plenty of strength, causing havoc on any given play. Oliver ran a 4.73 40 yard dash at his pro-day. That’s a lot of speed for a man weighing 287 pounds. Although Oliver is a giant compared to us everyday people, there are concerns that he doesn’t have the necessary size to anchor a defensive line. Most defenses need their interior lineman to hold gaps and stuff the run. Oliver is at his best when he is getting up the field and disrupting the backfield. Despite the questionable size and injury concerns, Oliver is still a highly valued prospect, and a lock to be a top 20 pick in the NFL draft. Drafting him may end up being the best (or worst) decision of a general manager’s career. Which team will end up taking that chance?

My Take:

Ed Oliver is the second biggest “boom or bust” prospect in this draft class (Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray being the first). When he’s healthy, Oliver is a menace for opposing offensive lineman. When he jumps the snap count well, it’s usually bad news for the offense. Oliver is truly a freak of nature in terms of his athleticism. His Pro Day workout numbers were comparable to above average Defensive Backs! He uses his quick feet and balance to jump into gaps when playing against the run. Oliver is also incredibly violent at the point of attack. His explosive first step combined with his strength is a nightmare for whoever he is lined up against. He attacks offensive lineman with multiple moves, but often goes to his swim and rip moves to get past blockers. I’ve seen a lot of scouts mention his shorter arms (31 ¾”). Drafting a Defensive Tackle that has short arms and is also somewhat underweight (287 lbs), can be a big risk.  I noted multiple plays where he was driven back off of the line of scrimmage with down blocks or double teams. If Oliver can continue to put on weight and strength, I think he can overcome these issues. As a pass rusher, Oliver relies heavily on his athletic ability. His speed and quickness often overwhelm interior blockers. His speed-to-power rush is one of the best in this draft class. There are plays on tape where he pushes double teams (!) back into the Quarterback and collapses the pocket. Interior pressure is a QB’s biggest fear, and Oliver provides that. Oliver’s 4.7 speed flashes on the field as well. If he recognizes a screen on the perimeter, he turns and runs to help on the tackle like a Linebacker. His effort and motor are tremendous, and there were a few plays that I saw him chasing ball carriers 30+ yards down the field. His injury-riddled 2018 season is worth discussing. There were several games where he spent quarters, and sometimes halves, on the sideline due to injury. Along with him only playing in 8 games in 2018. Knee injuries tend to be red flags for draft prospects. Recurring injuries like the one Oliver had tend to scare me as well. Despite the mentioned worries, this guy is a beast, make no mistake about it. If he can overcome these issues, we could be looking at a Top 5 Defensive Tackle in the NFL. I believe Oliver will gets selected somewhere in the pick 9, to pick 15 range. There have been some recent rumblings that he may get selected in the Top 5 of this year’s draft. We’ll see how it all plays out on April 25th.

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Quick Profile: DK Metcalf

Michael Lipscomb

D.K. Metcalf – Ole Miss University, Wide Receiver

6’3″ 228 Pounds
Classification: Redshirt Sophomore (Junior)
High School: Oxford High School, Oxford, MS

2018 Stats – 26 catches 569 yards 5 touchdowns, 21.9 yards per catch
2017 Stats – 39 catches 646 yards 7 touchdowns, 16.6 yards per catch

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Twitter: @dkmetcalf14 Instagram: dk_metcalf14

D.K. Metcalf is THE big time Wide Receiver prospect in this draft class. Standing at about 6’3”, 230 lbs, Metcalf ran a blazing 4.33 40 yard dash at the NFL combine. That rare combination of size and speed does not come around often. This Receiver has the God-given ability to be a game breaker in the league. The major concerns with Metcalf are centered around his route running ability and injury history. Despite doing well in the 40 yard dash, broad jump and bench press, Metcalf struggled with low times in the short shuttle and 3-Cone drills at the Combine. The latter drills tend to reflect quickness and the ability to change direction sharply. Metcalf showed significant improvement on his short shuttle and 3-cone drill at his Pro-Day, but there are still plenty of question marks concerning his quickness. When you turn on the tape, the deep threat ability is unmatched. Metcalf averaged a superb 21.9 yards per catch in his 2018 season. This man was a walking highlight reel on the collegiate level. Metcalf is a very interesting prospect with as much upside as any player in this draft. The boom or bust risk can be a dream or a nightmare for respective GM’s. Who’s going to take the chance on this Ole Miss product?

My Take:

Metcalf has superstar written all over him. Players like him do not come around often. He stretches the field vertically, is strong enough to complete catches over the middle, and shows excellent ‘run after the catch’ ability on screen plays. He utilizes his size well and is not afraid of contact. Metcalf also showed great effort and technique as a blocker which matters in the NFL. If he can stay healthy and find a way to develop as a route runner, he will be a problem for any DB he lines up against. My biggest issue with Metcalf is the occasional mental lapse that I catch on film. He struggles with drops on routine (easier) catches, at times. There are also plays where he doesn’t keep his feet in-bounds to complete catches near the sideline. Metcalf’s route running is concerning as well. Wide Receivers as big and strong as Metcalf tend to have trouble sinking their hips to explode in and out of cuts. Hip flexibility is a crucial aspect of football, and especially important for receivers. The truly dominant Wide Receivers find a way to make it work, and Metcalf will have to be thorough in his commitment to becoming a proficient route runner at the next level. Another area that could improve for Metcalf is with his releases off the line of scrimmage. He has some releases that are fantastic while others are subpar. The injury concerns may be a bit overblown in my opinion. He suffered from two big injuries, opposed to multiple recurring injuries. Metcalf suffered a foot injury his freshman year that led to his redshirt after just two games. The star WR was healthy for all of the 2017 season and played in every game. His play was tremendous for his 7 games in 2018, until a neck strain cut his season short. From a coaching perspective, I would be drafting Metcalf as an offensive weapon and deep threat opposed to a true Number 1 receiver. If Metcalf clicks on the outside and can run the entire route tree? Great. If he can’t, you could still be looking at a big play target, deep down the field. I think he will find his stride at Wide Receiver, but teams looking for an opening day starter on the outside should be VERY careful. Metcalf could go anywhere from pick 7, to pick 25 in this year’s NFL Draft.

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Quick Profile: Devin White

Michael Lipscomb

Devin White – LSU, Linebacker

6’0” 237lbs
Classification: Junior
High School: Northwebster High School, Springhill, LA

2018 Stats – 123 tackles (62 solo) 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, 6 passes deflected
2017 Stats – 133 tackles (37 solo), 4.5 sacks, 1 interception, 3 passes deflected

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Twitter:  @DevinWhite_40               Instagram:@devinwhite_40

A common phrase that people love to use when discussing athletes  is “Speed Kills”. You may here this in reference to fast Wide Receivers who can beat the defense over the top, or a game breaking Running Back who can take it to the crib on any given play. LSU’s Devin White is the Inside Linebacker you need to save that phrase for. White clocked a 4.42 40 yard dash time at the NFL combine, which was good enough for 1st place amongst his position group. On tape, White uses that tremendous speed in both pass coverage and run support. He is a great open field tackler. White is comfortable blitzing from the inside or outside, and does a good job of creeping up and timing the snap count on his pass rush. Some concerns with White are in regards to his instincts and technique against interior running plays (such as dive, power, inside trap). These concerns won’t scare teams away from picking him in the Top 10 of this year’s NFL draft. Devin White has the chance to be an impact player and defensive anchor for many years to come.

My Take:

Devin White is an absolute stud. If you’ve watched an LSU game in this past year, I guarantee you’ve seen #40 around the ball A LOT. His effort and intensity are as good as any player in this class. White is regarded as a workout warrior and was a leader on that aggressive LSU defense. In run support, White is physical with blockers and uses his arms to engage them. I also believe Devin White is one of the best zone coverage linebackers in this draft. He is great in man to man coverage as well, and I would trust him against almost any running back out in space, 1 on 1. White is also an outstanding playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, forcing three fumbles during his 2018 campaign. The concerns about his instincts are legitimate. I noted several plays, in different games, where he over committed to a play fake or did not fill the correct gap. These issues can be fixed with a great defensive coordinator and a good linebackers coach at the next level. That hellacious speed and natural coverage ability cannot be taught. Whoever drafts Devin White could be looking at a defensive anchor for the next 8+ seasons. I believe the Tampa Bay Bucs will select White with the 5th overall pick in this year’s NFL draft.

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