I’ve picked these guys based on how I value them compared to where they’re listed in mocks on the internet. It also shows how I think the pro bowl and All-NFL teams should be picked – have a base of positions as I’ve chosen, and then have a “flex” player which accounts for different schemes, like an extra cornerback, or an extra running back.
QB: Taylor Cornelius, Oklahoma State
Incredible arm, big body, awesome awareness, good footwork to that improves ability to make multiple reads. If you could build a QB in a lab, he’d be the result. The fact that dudes like Dane Brugler, who have scouted far more comprehensively than I, leaves him off his top 25 list for quarterbacks is astounding. He was top 10 in passing yards in college football last season. I just cannot comprehend why people are missing on him.
RB: LJ Scott
Big body who can take hits between the tackles, which happens rarely as he is still very shifty. Can be flexed out wide as a receiver he’s that good with routes and his hands. He is honestly like the second coming of LeVeon Bell considering he is from Michigan State and has great patience behind blocks, but has the burst and strength to break through into the second level. I’ve seen zero hype about this guy.
WR: Johnnie Dixon
There’s a reason why Dwayne Haskins had such ridiculous passing stats in college. He was passing to one of the best receiving corps in years. Dixon is the cream of the crop that included Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin – he’s ridiculously fast and agile, can make tough catches and has great YAC ability.
WR: Jakobi Myers
He’s my WR2 behind Hakeem Butler and tied with Deebo Samuel in this draft as he can catch everything and is extremely proficient route runner. I’ve seen some hype about him on Twitter so he wasn’t my first option as being underrated player, but still, most boards I see him on have him in the later rounds, and I think he should be a first round lock. His NC State teammate Kelvin Harmon has gotten more attention (and he is a good player in his own right, which contributes to Ryan Finley’s good numbers also), but Myers is the man.
TE: Caleb Wilson
Led tight ends in receiving yards by a near mile last season as a junior. For a big time program. Supremely athletic so he can not only be a downfield threat, he can also run block you. He has some shiftiness to create separation and can catch. TJ Hockenson is seen as the top right end, and he is good, but Wilson is better in all facets IMO.
Flex: Bryce Love
A dude who can be played as a slot receiver due to elite shiftiness and speed, and can catch. But it’s his ability to read blocks and make defenders miss, and his toughness, that make him a three down back a la Ezekiel Elliot in the league. He played five years at Stanford so his hype has wained somewhat, but he’s still a freak talent.
Left Tackle: Tytus Howard
Very nimble for a big dude with long arms and strength to stop bull rush. Know how to play in terms of keeping hands out in case a stunt comes from the interior to the outside. This draft is stacked with good tackles and Howard should be picked in the late first or early second round.
Left guard: Garrett Brumfield
Huge dude who can really move, can pull and be a lead blocker and seal off guys in run game. Can also get to next level, and can demolish defenders on weak side blocks. Sturdy in pass protection.
Center: Justin Falcinelli
Just incredibly solid at the centre position. Very sturdy in pass protection, can move around a bit to deal with movement on defensive line, and can reach block well too. Clemson won the championship not just with their defensive ability.
Right guard: Nate Davis
Played tackle in college so you know he can pass protect, but he’s a beast in the run game too. Plays hard and disciplined, and wants to destroy you. Should be an early first round pick.
Right tackle: Isaiah Prince
Prototypical tackle with speed, size, agility and wingspan. Mocked in the late rounds but he’s a franchise tackle.
Safety: Juan Thornhill
His explosiveness jumps out on tape and, while I rarely take combine performance into consideration (unless a no-name dude dominates it and makes me want to take a look at them), Thornhill had one of the best combine performances ever. Check this out:
That is some generational athleticism. And while his measurables aren’t elite he makes up for it with his burst and play smarts. He can be a chess piece too as he can play at corner and even on the edge at times. For such a great athlete and former basketball star he gets his hands dirty too. My top rated safety.
Safety: Terrill Hanks
Pegged as a linebacker, I see him as a Harrison Smith-type free safety where he can threaten in the pass rush but also get into deep coverage responsibilities. He is such a fluid athlete for his size that I think he can play at interior linebacker and even edge defender where he mostly played in college, but it’d be a shame to not have him in coverage a lot. He has pterodactyl arms so getting a pass by him can be difficult when he’s staying with a receiver, which he can do as he is so agile. He’s not afraid to do the dirty work by making tough tackles either.
Cornerback: Joejuan Williams
Extremely tall and long and can man up with most receivers, with good athleticism and footwork to keep up with guys as they break. Vanderbilt ain’t a huge program but he deserves some first round attention, he’s my CB2.
Cornerback: Derrick Baitty
Extremely fast twitch dude who can play in zone as well as man. Good wingspan and downfield speed. Played on that Kentucky defense and outplayed more highly touted guys like Lonnie Johnson Jr. Deserves some late first round attention for cornerback-needy teams.
Linebacker: Khalil Hodge
Had a poor pro day and didn’t get invited to combine. But he’s extremely instinctive, and plays fast as hell on tape. Will punish blockers to make run stops, and can sink hips in coverage and move laterally well. A small-school stud. Can be a potential pro-bowler from day one.
Linebacker: Cole Holcomb
I see him best as an edge defender where his pass rush abilities can be on full display, but he’s mostly played at inside linebacker at North Carolina so he’s awesome there too. It was only after his pro day, where he proved he’s a ridiculous athlete, that he came on my radar.
Defensive end: Nate Harvey
Had awesome stats in college and you can see why. He’s athletic enough to surprise blockers with his get off and speed, and despite being underweight for the defensive end position, he can push blockers back and use his hands to brush them aside.
Defensive end: Cece Jefferson
Extremely active hands and good pad level against blockers to stand them up and make tackles. More of a bull rush guy than a speed end but can still move his feet some. That Florida d-line was nasty – having Jachai Polite on one end and Jefferson on the other was scary.
Defensive tackle: Greg Gaines
Incredibly strong guy who can not only bend the pocket with his push but can use his hands to defeat you also. Mocked as a late round pick but I’d pick him in the second round.
Defensive tackle: Terry Beckner Jr
Powerful hand usage to split blockers and can use spin move to get into teeth of blocking scheme. Plays hard. Haven’t really seen him mocked anywhere but I’d take him in the second round also.
Flex defender: Dakota Allen ILB
Phenomenal run defender who can blow interior linemen off the ball to make tackles. Can cover somewhat with some agility. Can play sideline to sideline despite a lack of insane speed as he can diagnose plays quickly.