2021 NFL Prospect Talk...Because It's Never Too Early

EL Jeffe

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This is shaping up to be a very strong 1st round of NFL QB prospects. Trevor Lawrence is the best QB prospect I've seen in my lifetime (at 46, Stanford Elway predates me). So by default he's Tier 1 for me, but Tier 2 still has a couple of real Top 10 type of prospects who would be Tier 1 players in most drafts: Justin Fields and Trey Lance. I'm also throwing Zach Wilson in Tier 2 because I think he's exactly what the modern NFL is looking for and this year's version of the QB nobody (that I know of) had going in the 1st round before the CFB season kicked off and then becomes a helium riser each week (e.g., Baker, Murray, Burrow, et al.). And while I see no way Wilson ends up going 1-1 like those other three (not with Trevor Lawrence around), I'm definitely in on Wilson as a genuine prospect. Kyle Trask is probably Tier 3 for me as a guy who maybe sneaks into the 1st round.

At this early(ish) juncture, I think the Patriots will be in the market for a long-term QB answer. Cam has been inconsistent; and while it's probably a no-brainer to tag him next year at a reasonable $25m figure (I'm not seeing a better option at the moment and they can definitely absorb the cap hit), he doesn't look like the carry-you-on-his-back franchise QB that I was hoping for. Really, outside the Seattle game his passing has been underwhelming at best. If the Patriots are picking in the top 15, you'd have to think QB is very much in play.

Eric Edholm from Yahoo is a good NFL draft follow and he put out a quality article on the 2021 prospects today. I'm definitely curious what the SOSH draft minds think of this class.

I'm looking forward to seeing Fields this year. Physically, he's got all the tools and his production at a premium program was also great. But as Edholm and Jeremiah pointed out, sometimes he could be a little slow to process his reads. With a Year 2 leap, he could easily solidify himself as a franchise QB prospect. He's physically tough, he's talented, and he played in some huge games. I just need to see some more snap-to-snap consistency out of him. Edholm's article has a Cam Newton comp, Jeremiah gives his a Dak Prescott comp. Either way, he looks like a likely top 5 pick and probably QB2.

Lance's lack of starts seems like a major New England red flag, but his upside is undeniable. If you are franchising Newton, you could easily sit Lance for a year of seasoning. His redshirt freshman year was just ridiculous and he looked like the total package; Daniel Jeremiah's scouting report (which is linked above) raves about the kid; he gets the Andrew Luck comp which is obviously no joke. While it's hard for me to imagine BB taking a 1-year QB (essentially) in the first round, Lance's ceiling is just so freaking high. He's probably QB3 at this point.

Wilson is a whole lot of fun to watch. I saw his game against Houston last weekend and was blown away; he really is like a college version of Mahomes. He throws from different arm slots, with an easy and natural release. His arm isn't Mahomes-level special, but it's strong and he can throw out routes on a rope. He moves really well in the pocket and is an exceptional thrower on the move. As a runner, he's in the mold of Burrow and Rodgers where he's scrambling to throw but can easily take off and run for chunks. The negatives? He's generally feasting on overmatched teams. I wish he were a little bigger, but NFL Draft Scout has him at 6'2 3/8, 210# which is fine. They generally do a good job of getting underclassmen measurements from Pro Days, so I'll trust that he's in that size range until official numbers come out. He'll also try to force some throws that would get picked off against higher level of competition, but he's a very confident QB with a lot of It Factor. I have him as QB4, but I could see him rising.

I have some definite thoughts on WRs too that I'll add at some point.
 

jmanny24

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This is great El Jeffe thanks for starting this. What is the word on Jamie Newman? Is he going to the draft or going back to UGA after opting out?
 

SMU_Sox

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Great topic. QB is by far the hardest eval because of the unknowns. I also saw that Houston game last weekend and came away thinking Wilson had some Mahomes like traits that are blossoming. That 18 yard TD to Milne was gorgeous. Wilson gunned it into a tiny box with perfect placement. He's an aggressive but calculated risk taker (As is Mahomes). I think part of what made Mahomes so much fun was he could solve virtually any problem on the field. He has the mental processing and vision as well as every trait/tool in the box to solve anything the defense throws at him. I've seen maybe 4-5 games of his but until I take a deep dive I am just going by recent memory and clips of him when Matt Bushman was taking snaps in 2020. He does look a little light and I don't think he has the kind of elite arm or touch Mahomes showcases on a daily basis but against Houston you could have fooled me.

I have some real issues with one year starters. I know I need to research this but anecdotally I believe one-year starters are more likely to bust than more mature starters taken in the first round although, let's face it, most QBs taken do not work out. Even a college QB who starts for 3-4+ years has unknowns. Look at Herbert last year. He had plenty of questions about his touch, how he handles pressure, and if he got too conservative too often. But at least you saw some growth and development. There are plenty of QBs who take a step back after a successful first year too like Winston at FSU. It's somewhat of an obvious proposition: not as much sample size = more risk. Right now all I can say is that Lance looks like the real deal but I haven't done enough of a deep dive.

Receiver wise it's another good year. At least 15 guys I think I will have a 6.99+ grade on - so starter level. The guy I loved going into the year was Seth Williams. He's big and physical as an X. He is definitely a day 2 prospect and unless he tests poorly should stay there. I like him because I think he can get enough separation at the top of his stems as well as box out corners on him.

Reggie Roberson Jr. out of SMU is a must-see and someone who I think will have a successful NFL career and go much later than he should. Roberson can play all 3 positions. He has great hands and body control. He is a phenomenal ball tracker. Great route runner. You can use him on ST too. His after-catch ability is impressive too. He is probably a 70th-80th percentile athlete, doesn't have great long speed, but the SMU people I have talked to told me he would have a low to mid 4.5's 40 time, a sub 7 3-cone, and a sub 4.2 short shuttle. He has had a couple of big injuries but none that would suggest he is completely injury prone. Even without top end 40 speed he can still attack a defense vertically with his route running, stride variation, and ability to be in the right spot at the right time with his ball tracking skills.

The guys at the top are spectacular. Chase, Waddle, D. Smith, Moore, and Bateman. I think at least 3-4 or even all five could see their names called day 1.
 

SMU_Sox

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This is great El Jeffe thanks for starting this. What is the word on Jamie Newman? Is he going to the draft or going back to UGA after opting out?
Word is he wasn't even going to win the starting job there and took the coward's way out instead of trying to win it back. I think Tony Pauline mentioned that on his pod. That or Dane Bruglar. Some big-wig with knowledge of the situation. Edit: the rumor mill has it that he is going to go to the senior bowl and the draft after opting out.
 
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EL Jeffe

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Things continue to evolve here...an ugly loss and an ugly Cam performance. It's getting harder and harder to see a case for franchising him. $25m is a very reasonable number for a starting QB, but Cam isn't looking like a starting QB these days. Sigh. As an aside, the preseason main board back-and-forth I had with Super Nomario about how the Patriots passing offense would be fine...yeah, mea culpa on that one. This passing offense is hot garbage. I did not see that one coming.

Anyway. Fields made his debut and looked (mostly) terrific. Still took a couple of sacks where he should have gotten rid of the ball, but he was accurate, in command, and looked like the real deal.

I only watched the first couple of drives of the BYU game, but Zach Wilson is still a top 10 QB prospect for me. Does everything I want from a QB. He's going to put up Burrow numbers this year, but against a very different level of competition. He's must-see TV. I don't know if there will be bowl games this year but I really want to see him against a high-end P5 defense.

I'm getting there on Mac Jones joining Trask as a Tier 3 QB and a candidate as a late 1-mid 2. He's clearly much more than a game manager and has that offense playing at the same level as Tua did. He doesn't seem to have the arm to really drive the ball with velocity, but he's very accurate, processes quickly, and throws a really pretty deep ball. If he comes out, I really hope he goes to the Senior Bowl as a RS Junior so we can see how he looks outside Alabama.

SMU: Seth Williams looked sensational on Saturday. I also like his teammate Schwartz; he's really improved as a receiver there over the past few years. He's fast, he's quick, good vision - still learning how to run routes but I like the toolset. On the other side, Elijah Moore had a quiet day but I like him as an NFL slot. I'm sure he's a Day 3 guy, but he's just a good football player.

Curious about Justyn Ross; seems like there's some optimism he'll be cleared to play football. He looked like a future 1st rounder, so with the year off and the medical situation, it's hard to guess where he goes (if he comes out and passes the physicals). I was a big Tee Higgins fan (and he's having a very nice rookie year) but Ross is probably the better athlete. Ross probably projects as a similar player/role.

Sage Surratt is another guy I'm curious on; the Covid opt-out isn't going to do him any favors but he's a big, smooth athlete and highly productive last year. He may get lost in the shuffle in a deep class since he didn't play this year, but I like him. I'm not 100% sold he'll be a separator in the NFL, but I was a fan of his last year.

Kadarius Toney is another favorite of mine. Seems like a 49er type of YAC monster. He can beat you vertically or horizontally and always seems to be on the verge of a big play. I'm not sure he's a precision route runner just yet, but he's sure as heck fun to watch.

Adding Tutu Atwell here because he's also a strong favorite of mine. He strikes me as underrated by Draft Twitter. Yeah, he's 5'9 1/8, 165# but he's Henry Ruggs fast. He's also extremely productive. He can score from anywhere at any time, and the defense has to respect his deep speed.
 
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EL Jeffe

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Dane Brugler from the Athletic with a new article out today indicating my guy Zach Wilson is getting 1st round love from scouts and is in the conversation for QB2. I felt like I was out on a limb declaring him a Top 10 pick, but Brugler made me feel better about that take. Wilson is 100% legit.
 

EL Jeffe

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With the Patriots effectively out of the playoff hunt and the CFB season well underway, I've taken a deeper look at the QBs. If I were to put them in tiers. I would have them as:

1.1: Trevor Lawrence. Still the best QB prospect I've seen. Patriots have no shot at him unless they were to give up the farm, and even then, it's a pipe dream.
1.2: Zach Wilson. I was very early on the Zach Wilson Hype Train and he's done nothing to deter me. The rest of the world probably has Fields as QB2, but I think Wilson is a little quicker in his reads and throws. I don't *think* Wilson goes this high, but this is where I'd take him. I think he's a better prospect than Baker Mayfield was coming out of Oklahoma. I really wish BYU hadn't turned down the Washington game this weekend; would have loved to have seen him against that defense. He was great against a good Boise St team, but I'd still like to see him against some P5 defenders.
1.3: Justin Fields. The Indiana game wasn't great, but he's still an elite prospect. His physical skills are special, he just needs to speed some things up. I'd expect him to be well out of NE's range.
1.5-15: Trey Lance. Really hard prospect to evaluate due to his small sample of starts. I think his physical skills may even be better than Fields; similar size, speed and elusiveness, but I think Lance has a stronger arm. I went back and watched every throw against Central Arkansas; it was an uneven performance, but the circumstances were pretty unique (and he still made his share of Wow plays). I don't think NE would be interested, although I think Lance may be available in the range NE will be picking. I personally would pull the trigger because I think Lance has 1-1 type upside, even if he's a project. It's hard to imagine him starting next season, but Mahomes essentially took a redshirt year and that worked out pretty, pretty good for KC.
1.15-25: Mac Jones. I have a feeling NE will REALLY like Mac Jones; he's very smart (4.0 GPA), and is pretty quick in his reads and decisions. His arm talent is fine, but not elite. He throws a beautiful deep ball and his ball placement is generally good. He doesn't always drive his out routes with the zip you'd like to see, but he's got a quick enough release and enough arm to make the throws. He's got above average feet and moves well within the pocket. He can keep plays alive and throw on the move, but he's never going to be a running threat and he's a shade under 6'1. Back half of Rd1 feels right to me for Jones, but I'd love to see him at the Senior Bowl should he declare and accept the invite (he's Senior Bowl eligible). I'd like to see the arm strength in the drills just to be sure. Reading, processing and getting the ball out on time and accurately are still the most important QB traits, and Jones does them all well (albeit against SEC defenses and not NFL defenses).

In terms of developmental guys, I'm not a Trask fan. I know the numbers are eye-popping, but I just can't get there with him. He's got a slow release and for a jumbo-sized QB, not the arm strength you'd expect. He doesn't really drive the ball, and he's been fortunate to not throw more picks. He's not athletic, and I just see teams tee'ing off on him with pressure.

Here's a sentence I never expected to type: I really like Feleipe Franks. He's a developmental guy for sure, but the play is finally starting to catch up to the tools. He's big (6'5 5/8, 226#) and mobile, with a strong arm. His accuracy has jumped up about 10pts this season from where he was at Florida, and he's shown a lot of toughness and character. I also like he was voted a team captain at Arkansas after transferring. There's definitely enough there to want to work with, even if he's a long-shot to ever develop into a starter. But a Day 3 guy with his traits? Why not?
 
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Captaincoop

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@SMU_Sox , any thoughts on Kyle Trask from Florida? He isn't sexy like the dual threat guys that have been drafted recently, but he looks like he can go through reads quickly and he has a hose.
 

heavyde050

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With the Patriots effectively out of the playoff hunt and the CFB season well underway, I've taken a deeper look at the QBs. If I were to put them in tiers. I would have them as:

1-1: Trevor Lawrence. Still the best QB prospect I've seen. Patriots have no shot at him unless they were to give up the farm, and even then, it's a pipe dream.
1-2: Zach Wilson. I was very early on the Zach Wilson Hype Train and he's done nothing to deter me. The rest of the world probably has Fields as QB2, but I think Wilson is a little quicker in his reads and throws. I don't *think* Wilson goes this high, but this is where I'd take him. I think he's a better prospect than Baker Mayfield was coming out of Oklahoma. I really wish BYU hadn't turned down the Washington game this weekend; would have loved to have seen him against that defense. He was great against a good Boise St team, but I'd still like to see him against some P5 defenders.
1-3: Justin Fields. The Indiana game wasn't great, but he's still an elite prospect. His physical skills are special, he just needs to speed some things up. I'd expect him to be well out of NE's range.
1-5-15: Trey Lance. Really hard prospect to evaluate due to his small sample of starts. I think his physical skills may even be better than Fields; similar size, speed and elusiveness, but I think Lance has a stronger arm. I went back and watched every throw against Central Arkansas; it was an uneven performance, but the circumstances were pretty unique (and he still made his share of Wow plays). I don't think NE would be interested, although I think Lance may be available in the range NE will be picking. I personally would pull the trigger because I think Lance has 1-1 type upside, even if he's a project. It's hard to imagine him starting next season, but Mahomes essentially took a redshirt year and that worked out pretty, pretty good for KC.
1-15-25: Mac Jones. I have a feeling NE will REALLY like Mac Jones; he's very smart (4.0 GPA), and is pretty quick in his reads and decisions. His arm talent is fine, but not elite. He throws a beautiful deep ball and his ball placement is generally good. He doesn't always drive his out routes with the zip you'd like to see, but he's got a quick enough release and enough arm to make the throws. He's got above average feet and moves well within the pocket. He can keep plays alive and throw on the move, but he's never going to be a running threat and he's a shade under 6'1. Back half of Rd1 feels right to me for Jones, but I'd love to see him at the Senior Bowl should he declare and accept the invite (he's Senior Bowl eligible). I'd like to see the arm strength in the drills just to be sure. Reading, processing and getting the ball out on time and accurately are still the most important QB traits, and Jones does them all well (albeit against SEC defenses and not NFL defenses).

In terms of developmental guys, I'm not a Trask fan. I know the numbers are eye-popping, but I just can't get there with him. He's got a slow release and for a jumbo-sized QB, not the arm strength you'd expect. He doesn't really drive the ball, and he's been fortunate to not throw more picks. He's not athletic, and I just see teams tee'ing off on him with pressure.

Here's a sentence I never expected to type: I really like Feleipe Franks. He's a developmental guy for sure, but the play is finally starting to catch up to the tools. He's big (6'5 5/8, 226#) and mobile, with a strong arm. His accuracy has jumped up about 10pts this season from where he was at Florida, and he's shown a lot of toughness and character. I also like he was voted a team captain at Arkansas after transferring. There's definitely enough there to want to work with, even if he's a long-shot to ever develop into a starter. But a Day 3 guy with his traits? Why not?
I really hope the Pats stay with a pick in the 8-12 range - do you think they would have a shot at Wilson? I think some teams would pick both Fields and Lance over Wilson (based on mock drafts). Is that realistic?
 

EL Jeffe

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The Jets and Jaguars are almost definitely picking 1 & 2, which will be Lawrence and most likely Fields (even if I happen to prefer Wilson, but I'll be in the minority there). After that Washington seems like the next worst team most likely to draft a QB, but there's always the trade-up scenarios where some team will give up the farm to get their QB. Wilson *should be* a top 5 pick in this (or any) draft. If the draft dominos fall right, it's possible he could go in the 5-10 range. NE has a very challenging schedule left (outside the Jets game), but they lose pretty much any strength of schedule tiebreaker. So I guess that's a longwinded way of saying I don't expect NE to be in range for Wilson, but it can't be ruled out.
 
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SMU_Sox

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@SMU_Sox , any thoughts on Kyle Trask from Florida? He isn't sexy like the dual threat guys that have been drafted recently, but he looks like he can go through reads quickly and he has a hose.
I am with @EL Jeffe on his opinions minus I’m probably higher on Fields. I would gamble on Trey Lance but I’m genuinely gunshy with one year starters and Lance’s style of play scares me.

Right now I see the order as: TLaw, Fields, WILSON!!!!!, Lance.

Trask is a battleship and I like my QBs to have good to great mobility and/or be dual-threats. Trask reminds me of Haskins or Big Ben but without the cannon arm. I don’t think he is a good fit for the Patriots and what they want to do. He’s a relic to me.

Keep an eye on Desmond Ridder. I really like him a lot. He reminds me of Lamar minus he’s not as fast. His arm is very similar including some issue with throws outside of the numbers.
 

SMU_Sox

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Instead of editing my last post I’ll just go one deeper.

Right now I’m going through the running backs.

If NE wanted to ditch Sony a year early and wanted to replace him with a power guy who can spell Harris between the tackles and who is great in pass pro they could check out Master Teague III (his pass pro is fantastic) or Zamir White.

Also, while they have a ton of needs I wouldn’t hate Desmond Ridder in the 2nd round especially if they trade back. If Hurts went in the 2nd last year Ridder should go in the 2nd this year. He’s a much better prospect than Hurts too.
 

BaseballJones

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What about Mac Jones? So far this year: 155-201 (77.1%), 2,426 yds, 12.1 y/a, 18 td, 3 int

And that against strictly SEC competition, including these against top 25 opponents:

vs #3 Georgia: 24-32 (75.0%), 417 yds, 4 td, 1 int
vs #13 Texas A&M: 20-27 (74.1%), 435 yds, 4 td, 1 int

His *worst* game so far this season was probably in their game against Kentucky on 11/21: 16-24 (66.7%), 230 yds, 2 td, 1 int. But in that game....Alabama won 63-3.

I don't really see him mentioned on the list of potential future high-level NFL draftees at QB, but the guy, playing in the premier conference in America, on the premier team in America, is just destroying the competition. Seems like a guy that would likely be available to NE between 10-15.


"For a quarterback with just nine starts thus far in his career, he is showing traits that would make you think he’s a four-year starter. Jones has consistently shown the ability to move defenders with his eyes and is really quick to diagnose holes in coverage. He scans the field well and has shown patience to run through his second, third, and even fourth reads if nothing is there.

Jones is definitely more of the finesse type but he pairs that with a gunslinger-style release that I absolutely love. While he doesn’t have the elite arm strength to match that powerful delivery, he makes up for it with incredible anticipation and timing.

There are plenty of examples of Jones throwing his receivers open, as he has a knack for getting rid of the ball before players reach the top of their routes and leading them into open space.

For all of the positives that Jones brings to the table as a 2021 NFL Draft prospect, there are a few things I would like to see him improve upon in the second half of the season if he is going to solidify himself as that QB4.

While I like that he isn’t afraid to take his shots downfield, he won’t have the same matchup advantages in the NFL that he currently has at Alabama. DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and John Metchie are simply superior to most defensive backs in the country, so Jones knows he has the luxury of chucking it up and they will likely come down with it.

Jones also doesn’t possess the pocket mobility that has become essential at the next level, which could be the biggest obstacle for him to potentially sneak into the first-round conversation."


And last year he stepped in for Tua and did great: 97-141 (68.8%), 1,503 yds, 10.7 y/a, 14 td, 3 int

Thoughts?
 

SMU_Sox

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@BaseballJones If I have a Patriots lens on things I think they are going with a mobile guy and that means no Mac Jones or Kyle Trask.

Everything I have seen and they have been linked to early on draft wise since 2018 suggests they want to go with bully-ball. I think bully-ball is a viable strategy but you need good receivers for it to work. Right now they are seeing 8-9+ guys in the box and teams aren't scared of their outside threats. Another component to making bully-ball work better is a mobile-QB or even better a true dual-threat guy. Mac Jones and Kyle Trask are day 2 or early day 3 prospects. QBs tend to be bifurcated - you either are in the first round or you are in the back of the 3rd or early 4th with a tail of fringier guys later in day 3. Both Jones and Trask have tools to get you excited about but neither one shows you they are mobile enough to be desired or highly coveted in today's NFL.

When I say mobile QB think Jimmy G as a low-end benchmark. Herbert was in this mold although I thought he was potentially a dual-threat type in the right system.
Dual-threat is more like a Watson, Lamar, Allen. Cam is also a dual-threat.
 

SMU_Sox

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Another thing to consider is that Jones is playing with an incredible group of WRs. Trask is also playing with a stacked crew.
Bama: Waddle and Smith should be round 1 or early round 2 guys. Metchie will be a round 1 or 2 guy but he's not eligible this year. Florida: Pitts is for sure a round 1 TE, Toney is a top 75 player to me but I haven't done a formal study of him yet, and Grimes is on the radar as a day 3 or priority FA guy.
 

EL Jeffe

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@BaseballJones If I have a Patriots lens on things I think they are going with a mobile guy and that means no Mac Jones or Kyle Trask.

Everything I have seen and they have been linked to early on draft wise since 2018 suggests they want to go with bully-ball. I think bully-ball is a viable strategy but you need good receivers for it to work. Right now they are seeing 8-9+ guys in the box and teams aren't scared of their outside threats. Another component to making bully-ball work better is a mobile-QB or even better a true dual-threat guy. Mac Jones and Kyle Trask are day 2 or early day 3 prospects. QBs tend to be bifurcated - you either are in the first round or you are in the back of the 3rd or early 4th with a tail of fringier guys later in day 3. Both Jones and Trask have tools to get you excited about but neither one shows you they are mobile enough to be desired or highly coveted in today's NFL.

When I say mobile QB think Jimmy G as a low-end benchmark. Herbert was in this mold although I thought he was potentially a dual-threat type in the right system.
Dual-threat is more like a Watson, Lamar, Allen. Cam is also a dual-threat.
I definitely like Jones more than you do. I think his feet and pocket movement are both good; he made an absolutely elite throw against Kentucky on Saturday where he extended the play, drifted left and then threw an absolute DART on a tight window throw to D. Smith in the end zone for 6. It was a thing of beauty. Jones isn't a running threat, which deflates his value somewhat, but I think he can lead an NFL passing attack.

I can't hold Alabama's receivers against Jones either. It's a lesser group than Tua had to work with and the passing attack hasn't missed a beat. He's also not just throwing up jump balls to 6'4 types and having them go up and get it; he's relying on ball placement and throwing guys open/leading them to YAC opportunities. I'd say Trask at Florida does a lot more of that (jump ball throws) to jumbo targets.
 

SMU_Sox

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I definitely like Jones more than you do. I think his feet and pocket movement are both good; he made an absolutely elite throw against Kentucky on Saturday where he extended the play, drifted left and then threw an absolute DART on a tight window throw to D. Smith in the end zone for 6. It was a thing of beauty. Jones isn't a running threat, which deflates his value somewhat, but I think he can lead an NFL passing attack.

I can't hold Alabama's receivers against Jones either. It's a lesser group than Tua had to work with and the passing attack hasn't missed a beat. He's also not just throwing up jump balls to 6'4 types and having them go up and get it; he's relying on ball placement and throwing guys open/leading them to YAC opportunities. I'd say Trask at Florida does a lot more of that (jump ball throws) to jumbo targets.
Those are just my early impressions on watching him via broadcast film. I have a link to all-22 if you’re interested but it’s through Patreon. I definitely haven’t done a deep dive yet and reserve to change my mind on both of them.
 

SMU_Sox

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So far I've gone over 15 running backs: Najee Harris - Bama, Travis Etienne - Clemson, Master Teague III - Ohio State, Zamir White - Georgia, Javonte Williams - UNC, Michael Carter - UNC, Kenneth Gainwell - Memphis, Javian Hawkins - Louisville, Chuba Hubbard - Oklahoma State, Keaontay Ingram - Texas, Kylin Hill - Mississippi State, Trey Sermon - Ohio State/Oklahoma, and C.J. Verdell - Oregon. Mohamed Ibrahim - Minnesota and Max Borghi - Washington State are partials because I only had two videos of each.

If they want to replace Burkhead and White I would look at two guys: Kenneth Gainwell and my favorite watch (not highest grade but favorite film), Michael Carter.

Michael Carter is a perfect compliment to Harris. Carter is a versatile runner who excels running outside zone. He has all the athleticism you'd want and plenty of burst and speed. He's also a crafty and elusive runner who can string moves together and navigate through traffic with great vision. He is a home-run threat who is excellent in space and routinely takes checkdowns for 10-20 yards. He's also great in pass pro! Ideally, I think, the Pats would limit Harris to 15 carries a game or so and they like to rotate backs. Harris is great between the tackles and is good in outside zone too but Carter is elite there. Carter doesn't have good power and at ~200 pounds shouldn't take more than 40-50% of RB snaps per game given his size. Carter has excellent vision and routinely hits cutbacks.

Gainwell has some reps in the slot and is shifty. He is also athletic with great burst and elite top-end speed. Gainwell's vision isn't as good Carter's. Gainwell's best runs come on gap/power concepts when he can hit the hole and explode into space.

I linked to my reports which are gdocs and will load better on a desktop :) or in desktop view.
 
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BaseballJones

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Those are just my early impressions on watching him via broadcast film. I have a link to all-22 if you’re interested but it’s through Patreon. I definitely haven’t done a deep dive yet and reserve to change my mind on both of them.
I don't know. I'm watching him shred Auburn (at the moment, 9-12, 174 yds, 3 td, 0 int). I see him making quick decisions, and throwing darts all over. I also see him (on TD #3) throw a beautiful touch pass to his right. He throws accurately long, medium, and short. He also has done a great job moving in the pocket to avoid pressure.

I don't see anything not to like here. Maybe he isn't Kyler Murray with his feet, but the guy is GOOD at playing QB. If the Pats can grab a stud DT in round one and get Jones in round two...holy cow sign me up.
 
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EL Jeffe

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Mac Jones certainly had himself a nice Iron Bowl, but it wasn't a great game to evaluate him as a prospect. He didn't have to make many tight-window throws or any real dimes, but that said, he did show all the positives he's been displaying all year. Gary Danielson hit on the themes I'd brought up earlier; Jones in really smart, he processes plays very quickly, and his feet in the pocket are really good. With NE's win yesterday, they're probably out of range for the Top 4 QBs, but still in range for Jones. I'm a fan, but he won't be for everyone. I see him in the Goff/Cousins mold where he's not going to carry a team, and some weeks he'll get overwhelmed by a rush. He's not as big as those two, but you can win with him in a Shanahan offense.

I went and looked at every Ian Book throw (and run) vs. Clemson, BC, and UNC. Book is a really interesting evaluation; I can't tell if NE will really like him or really hate him. The strengths are easy to find and some will translate to the NFL. He's a gamer, he's a tough SOB, he's athletic and elusive, plays in an NFL-style offense with lots of 12 personnel, and can make plays when things break down. On the downside, he's really quick to leave the pocket, he's small (6' 1/4", 202#), and there's too much backyard football to his game. If you're Mahomes, backyard football is fine (and Mahomes tends to lean on that style when the situation calls for it, vs. Book who sort of forces the issue). He'll be an interesting watch at the Senior Bowl to see how he does in the drills. There's lots of good tape on Book where he executes plays well, reads the defense ,and makes NFL-type throws accurately and on time; he's just too inconsistent with his decisions. It works for him at ND, but it's hard to see that carrying over to the NFL. I do think he'll go somewhere on Day 3 and can maybe carve out a Chase Daniel type career.

I still need to dive into Jamie Newman at some point. I have a feeling his opt-out is really going to be held against him by NE, but just based on casual viewing, he looked like a Day 2 pick with real upside.

SMU: have you taken a look at the WRs yet? I'm really curious to see how you grade Austin Watkins and Nico Collins. Watkins isn't as gifted as his brother, but he's got a really nice combination of size, speed, and route running. I think Collins can be what they hoped N'Keal would turn into; Collins is noticeably faster and you see separation against P5 corners. He wasn't overly productive (37/729/7TDs) but Michigan spreads the ball around. Opting out didn't do him any favors, but he's scheduled to participate in the Senior Bowl (as is Watkins). I really like both of those guys.
 

heavyde050

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Mac Jones certainly had himself a nice Iron Bowl, but it wasn't a great game to evaluate him as a prospect. He didn't have to make many tight-window throws or any real dimes, but that said, he did show all the positives he's been displaying all year. Gary Danielson hit on the themes I'd brought up earlier; Jones in really smart, he processes plays very quickly, and his feet in the pocket are really good. With NE's win yesterday, they're probably out of range for the Top 4 QBs, but still in range for Jones. I'm a fan, but he won't be for everyone. I see him in the Goff/Cousins mold where he's not going to carry a team, and some weeks he'll get overwhelmed by a rush. He's not as big as those two, but you can win with him in a Shanahan offense.

I went and looked at every Ian Book throw (and run) vs. Clemson, BC, and UNC. Book is a really interesting evaluation; I can't tell if NE will really like him or really hate him. The strengths are easy to find and some will translate to the NFL. He's a gamer, he's a tough SOB, he's athletic and elusive, plays in an NFL-style offense with lots of 12 personnel, and can make plays when things break down. On the downside, he's really quick to leave the pocket, he's small (6' 1/4", 202#), and there's too much backyard football to his game. If you're Mahomes, backyard football is fine (and Mahomes tends to lean on that style when the situation calls for it, vs. Book who sort of forces the issue). He'll be an interesting watch at the Senior Bowl to see how he does in the drills. There's lots of good tape on Book where he executes plays well, reads the defense ,and makes NFL-type throws accurately and on time; he's just too inconsistent with his decisions. It works for him at ND, but it's hard to see that carrying over to the NFL. I do think he'll go somewhere on Day 3 and can maybe carve out a Chase Daniel type career.

I still need to dive into Jamie Newman at some point. I have a feeling his opt-out is really going to be held against him by NE, but just based on casual viewing, he looked like a Day 2 pick with real upside.

SMU: have you taken a look at the WRs yet? I'm really curious to see how you grade Austin Watkins and Nico Collins. Watkins isn't as gifted as his brother, but he's got a really nice combination of size, speed, and route running. I think Collins can be what they hoped N'Keal would turn into; Collins is noticeably faster and you see separation against P5 corners. He wasn't overly productive (37/729/7TDs) but Michigan spreads the ball around. Opting out didn't do him any favors, but he's scheduled to participate in the Senior Bowl (as is Watkins). I really like both of those guys.
Do you think the Pats will like any of the top QBs enough to move up and draft them? I mean I get that Lawrence is probably out, but do you think this could be the year the Pats give up their first round this year and possibly next to move up (like the Chiefs did for Mahomes)? If so, is Wilson the one to do it for?
 

BaseballJones

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What if NE spent two draft picks selecting Jones and Book (say, rounds 2 and 3, if possible)? Give themselves two shots to land one stud, and then trade off the other one after a couple of years? Would be highly unconventional, but they will not win another Lombardi until they get a high-level QB. This would give them two bites at that apple.
 

Cotillion

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Jun 11, 2019
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What if NE spent two draft picks selecting Jones and Book (say, rounds 2 and 3, if possible)? Give themselves two shots to land one stud, and then trade off the other one after a couple of years? Would be highly unconventional, but they will not win another Lombardi until they get a high-level QB. This would give them two bites at that apple.
I mean Washington Football team did it, didn't they? RG III and Kirk Cousins.
 

EL Jeffe

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Do you think the Pats will like any of the top QBs enough to move up and draft them? I mean I get that Lawrence is probably out, but do you think this could be the year the Pats give up their first round this year and possibly next to move up (like the Chiefs did for Mahomes)? If so, is Wilson the one to do it for?
It would be an expensive proposition to go from mid-first round into the 5-8 range. You'd be looking at this year's 1st rounder and the 2022 first rounder, or this year's 1st and this and next year's 2nd rounders, or maybe your first three picks this year. Would I do one of those deals for Wilson? Probably. FIelds? Maybe. I'll need to see him finish up the year strong (but Covid is wreaking havoc with the Big 10 right now so who knows how many games are left). I probably wouldn't do it for Lance.

Dane Brugler of The Atlantic (great draft follow) just put out a mock yesterday where Wilson went 2, Fields went 6 and Lance went 8. I'm no longer on an island here with Wilson as QB2. They aren't going from mid-1st all the way up to #2. (He had NE taking Kyle Pitts #15, Mac Jones went laster in the 1st).
 

EL Jeffe

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What if NE spent two draft picks selecting Jones and Book (say, rounds 2 and 3, if possible)? Give themselves two shots to land one stud, and then trade off the other one after a couple of years? Would be highly unconventional, but they will not win another Lombardi until they get a high-level QB. This would give them two bites at that apple.
I'd be shocked if Mac Jones is there in the mid-2nd. If he were, by all means I'd jump on that. I mean, I'd seriously consider him in the mid-first anyhow. Doubling up isn't a bad strategy if you're throwing mid-round darts, but I wouldn't be crazy about the idea of taking two on. Day 2. You either feel good enough about the player to invest a top 100 pick on him or you don't, So for example, I could see doubling up with Ian Book and Jamie Newman in the late 4th and hoping one of them develops.

Also, the 3rd rounder is the Brady comp pick and I'd put it as a 99.99% certainty that the pick gets traded (probably multiple times) so there's never a This is They Guy They Got for Tom Brady scenario. Think the Jimmy G. trade where it ended up becoming a whole slew of players.
 

SMU_Sox

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@EL Jeffe no WRs yet. Going to get through 10-15 more RBs including Jaret Patterson who just went for 36 attempts and 409 yards rushing this weekend.

QB sadly is the last position I get to. It’s the hardest to evaluate.

WR wise I have seen Collins and he reminds me of Harry. Good call.

My order is RB —> WR —> TE —> OL —> IDL —> Edge/OLB —> ILB —> S —> CB —> QB

Although the way it’s going I think I might have to get to QB pretty quickly... you all check out Cin’s Desmond Ridder? I love what I see.

If any of you want to do a Zoom where I load up some all-22 that could be fun. Actually if anyone wants to do a SOSH zoom with all-22 and a prospect breakdown that be great. That could be fun...

By the way if you want to know how to get all-22 on these guys drop me a PM. It’s through Patreon.
 

SMU_Sox

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I have all 22 of

Mac Jones: vs Georgia and Mizzou 2020
Kyle Trask: all 2019: Kentucky, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia,
Ridder: 8 games but all in 2019. Have some 2018 too.
Ian Book (not a fan of his in limited views): vs Virginia and New Mexico 2019

Re: IDLs: I have not taken an in-depth look but there are not blue-chippers this year. No stud DTs. There are a handful of day 2 guys but even there you're looking at thin depth. IDL, edge, LB, really all of front 7 is weak this year. RB is weak too.

My initial impressions and this is from following a lot of draft guys is that WR, TE, QB, OL, and CB are all strong this year but IDL, Edge, LB, RB-top-end, and S are weak/weaker. You could argue that none of the top-end WRs are blue-chippers too but there are so many guys who are mid-firsts or late-first early seconds that I don't see it as a weak class. Like last year I would be wanting our guys to double-dip at the position.

Pitts is an incredible receiver. I just want to know/need-to-know more about his blocking. If BB wants to continue trying to execute bully-ball or at least a strong rushing game which will force defenses to account for it does Pitts fit into that? And if your system wouldn't want Pitts is that a little too stringent?
 

EL Jeffe

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For the DL, there are three guys in particular who I like but they're somewhat of IDL/Edge tweeners: Aidan Hutchinson (6'4 5/8, 269#), Dayo Odeyingbo (6'5 1/8, 276#), and Adetokunbo Ogundeji (6'4 3/8, 268#). I thought Hutchinson was dominant vs. Minnesota in Michigan's opener (Paye got most of the accolades that game but I thought Hutchinson was more disruptive on a down-to-down basis), but then he got hurt the following week vs. Michigan St. Hutchinson has pretty good functional strength and the motor runs hot. He's somewhere in the back half of the 1st round for me. Odeyingbo has some ridiculous length and flashes explosiveness. Vanderbilt moves him across their front and he's been particularly disruptive as a NT on passing downs. Adam Butler came from the same program and Odeyingbo would probably have a similar role in the league. I like him in the 2nd round; he hasn't quite gotten the Draft Twitter love, but it's starting to trickle out and it will only increase once people see him in the Senior Bowl. Ogundeji from ND is another versatile guy who moves well for his size but also has the toughness and length to stack and shed in the running game. I like him better than Khalid Kareem (who I also liked coming out of ND last year); I think Ogundeji is the better athlete with the higher ceiling. I'd expect him to go by the end of Day 2.

At CB, Kary Vincent Jr. from LSU is my guy. He has the measurable and play style that NE really likes; 5'9 6/8, 189# and he'll run in the low 4.3s. Basically the same size as JC Jackson and Malcolm Butler, and he has the explosive reactive quickness that NE looks for. He also has good ball skills (4 int last season) and is a physical and willing tackler. He was a 2020 opt-out but is scheduled to be at the Senior Bowl. He's a late 2nd-mid 3rd rounder for me. Some teams won't touch DBs under 5'10, so he won't be for everybody, but he seems to check a lot of NE boxes.
 

EL Jeffe

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My order is RB —> WR —> TE —> OL —> IDL —> Edge/OLB —> ILB —> S —> CB —> QB

Although the way it’s going I think I might have to get to QB pretty quickly... you all check out Cin’s Desmond Ridder? I love what I see.
I haven't looked at Ridder yet beyond just a quick glance of him during live action. He definitely struck me as athletic with a live arm. Frame looked a little thin but I haven't looked at enough throws to get any sort of opinion one way or another. Does it sound like he'll be declaring?

I looked at a few 2019 Jamie Newman games this week and he's certainly interesting. At 6'2 6/8, 230# he looks the part. Strong, thick build with a good base. Plenty of arm strength with a solid release. Out routes almost looked effortless. Lots of NFL-type of tight window throws and there were plenty of bucket drops on his resume. Overall accuracy was inconsistent and sometimes he seemed to want to force the ball downfield when check-downs were the smarter play. He was a real part of Wake's running game and is adept at designed runs and scrambles. Speed is just okay (high 4.7s?) but he's shifty and will push piles and run through arm tackles with his size and strength. In a. vacuum, I'd say he'd have entered 2020 as a potential 1st rounder with more development. He opted out though and that's a major QB red flag. Was it because he didn't want to compete with JT Daniels? It's really hard to draft a QB with a premium pick with that sort of cloud hanging around him. That said, there's clearly talent there. The Senior Bowl will be big for him, as much of a character test and interviewing as anything else. I'm sure he'll be rusty on the field, but the arm talent will show up enough to get people excited.

SMU: the zoom tape idea sounds cool!
 

SMU_Sox

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How about some Mac Jones 2020 vs Georgia?

Any objections? Anyone want to see a different prospect?

Best zoom time for me is on the weekend. This Saturday at 2:00 central would work for me. Let’s discuss a time. Anyone have a better time on Saturday? My day is wide open at the moment. I have a pork shoulder I’d like to smoke but that’s it.
 

SMU_Sox

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Doing Jaret Patterson out of Buffalo. He'd be a nice 3rd down-back and/or potential upgrade to JJ Taylor. Really good zone runner - wonderful vision. Smooth technician in outside zone. He is smaller than Rex but he shows potential as a receiver from the slot like Rex. He is so shifty, great cuts, can string moves together, super elusive. He is excellent manipulating linebackers and would-be tacklers with his feet. His timing and anticipation of creases and holes at the first and then second levels is uncanny - he has such a good feel for it. Chuba Hubbard has that same 6th sense. It's 11:40pm and there is nothing better to me than kicking back and watching a zone runner work his craft/magic. Really impressive footwork. He doesn't have good power and he's a lighter guy. His long-speed is probably the same as JJ Taylors. He has better vision than Taylor and is more elusive. Natural hands as a receiver and his RAC is good but not great - elusiveness, vision, short area quickness and contact balance can only get you so far when you run probably 4.6. and you are getting checkdowns so you have 3-4 people to beat to get a chunk gain. Still he can even manipulate defenders by changing his pace, head fakes, foot/leg feigns. He's enjoyable and a fun watch for a guy I would consider a day 3 pick.

Some question of whether his vision and elusiveness will play against NFL competition. Reminds me of a more athletic Devin Singletary. Pass pro is a WIP.

Edit: Final report on Jaret Patterson
 
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OldeBeanTowne

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After a deep analysis of today's Syracuse vs Notre Dame game (i.e. watching it on and off), Chris Elmore shoots to the top of my list of potential future Patriots.


Active in all three phases. Mauler at FB. Catches passes at TE and out of the backfield. Played Guard. Played DT. Personal punt protector. I'm just not sure how high I want to go on when Belichick grabs him.

Sounds like an unselfish leader too.
Nickname: "Rhino"

 

BaseballJones

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I dunno guys...every time I see Mac Jones I see a guy who is just a great quarterback. I can't see why he wouldn't be successful at the next level. Lots of great NFL QBs haven't been the Lamar Jackson type.
 

RedOctober3829

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I dunno guys...every time I see Mac Jones I see a guy who is just a great quarterback. I can't see why he wouldn't be successful at the next level. Lots of great NFL QBs haven't been the Lamar Jackson type.
It’s almost too tough to evaluate Jones when he’s surrounded by the most talented players every week. He never gets touched and he’s throwing to the likes of Waddle/Smith/Metchie.
 

BaseballJones

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It’s almost too tough to evaluate Jones when he’s surrounded by the most talented players every week. He never gets touched and he’s throwing to the likes of Waddle/Smith/Metchie.
I get it. But he plays in the best conference, and it's not like Tebow. Jones often throws guys open, puts the ball on a dime, and makes all the throws. Plus Tebow had bad passing form and Mac Jones has basically textbook mechanics.
 

BaseballJones

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Like that last throw deep to Metchie (did I spell that right?) on 3rd down and long early in the 3rd quarter. Two guys draped all over the receiver, and Jones put it the only place that he could put it where it could be caught but not intercepted. The receiver dropped it but it was absolutely perfect.
 

SMU_Sox

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If they want to replace Burkhead and White I would look at two guys: Kenneth Gainwell and my favorite watch (not highest grade but favorite film), Michael Carter.

Michael Carter is a perfect compliment to Harris. Carter is a versatile runner who excels running outside zone. He has all the athleticism you'd want and plenty of burst and speed. He's also a crafty and elusive runner who can string moves together and navigate through traffic with great vision. He is a home-run threat who is excellent in space and routinely takes checkdowns for 10-20 yards. He's also great in pass pro! Ideally, I think, the Pats would limit Harris to 15 carries a game or so and they like to rotate backs. Harris is great between the tackles and is good in outside zone too but Carter is elite there. Carter doesn't have good power and at ~200 pounds shouldn't take more than 40-50% of RB snaps per game given his size. Carter has excellent vision and routinely hits cutbacks.
Just going to bump this but for good reason. Damien Harris and Michael Carter are the perfect 1-2 punch. Thunder and Lightning. If anyone saw Carter today he went off for (game isn't over yet) 24 carries for 308 yards, 12.8 yards per carry, with 2 TDs. He did the same thing last year. He is your White/Burkhead replacement if they want to spend more capital there.

Oh just for context he did this against Miami. #10 in the nation before today and were 8-1 going into today's game.

At one point the announcer remarked how passively the LBs and DBs were playing against him. Announcer made it sound like it was because they had tuned out. I don't think that is the case. I think they were basically trying to 2-gap in space because Carter is such a joystick they didn't want to commit to a hole because he'd just cut to the open hole and be gone by the time they reacted. He's that quick. It was just a clinic today. 10/10
 

EL Jeffe

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Dane Brugler (The Athletic) has released his top 10 at each position (and 20 at WR). Pay site, so I'll just include one snippet that I found particularly interesting. His QB rankings:

1. Trevor Lawrence
2. Zach Wilson
3. Justin Fields
4. Trey Lance
5. Mac Jones
6. Kyle Trask
7. JT Daniels
8. Desmond Ridder
9. Davis Mills
10. Kenny Pickett

JT Daniels is a guy I'm really interested in. Blue chip, 5* recruit who started at USC as a freshman and looked OK. Then got hurt as a sophomore and transferred to Georgia, where he missed the first few weeks but has come back to start the last three games and has looked really, really good. He's got solid size (6'2 6/8. 210#) with a good arm and shows + accuracy. Plays in a pro style system and looks in full command of the offense. Like Mac Jones, he's not a scrambler but has good feet in the pocket and can keep plays alive. Throws well on the move. It's just three games, but he looks like a real prospect. He wasn't on my radar as an early entry prospect this year, but he may very well declare. He'd be ahead of Trask for me, and probably tied with Jones. Strikes me as having the higher ceiling, but Jones has the better track record and durability. Definitely someone I'd think about in the back half of the first round.

I know SMU is a big RIdder fan; I still haven't gotten around to him yet. Mills is another interesting guy for me; #1 rated QB in his HS class and plays in Stanford's pro style offense. Fully looks the part at 6'3 1/8, 225#. I've watched very little of Mills, beyond a play here and there. Plenty of arm talent, okay feet (also not a scrambler), drives the ball well and flashes good accuracy. The stat line is underwhelming (11 TD/5 INT in 8 games last year, 4 TD/0 INT in 4 games this year). Seems like a traits-based projection. Not sure if he'll declare; looks like he has two years left if he wants them. Could be a riser with another season and more production, but the traits and pedigree sound like a potential NE fit if he were to declare.

No Jamie Newman in Brugler's top 10. I do wonder how much the opt-out is going to hurt him. It's a really tough look from a leadership perspective for a QB (particularly in contrast to guys like Lawrence and Fields who really lobbied to play CFB this year). Based on traits and talent, I'd take Newman over Pickett all day long. (Pickett is okay, but Newman is clearly a tier ahead of him in talent). I'd also take Book over Pickett, but I know Book isn't going to be for everyone. I recently came across a Jeff Garcia comp for Book, and man did that feel right.
 

BaseballJones

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Latest cbssports.com's mock draft has the Pats taking an Alabama WR in the first round. But it's Waddle, not Smith, even though they rank Smith ahead of Waddle.

What do you guys think of that? Who's better for the Pats between the two? I know Smith is a little smaller, but man he's absolutely incredible.
 

SMU_Sox

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Reminds me a lot of Henry Ruggs vs Jerry Jeudy last year.

The issue I have with Smith is he isn't just a little smaller, he is 175 pounds and 6'0" or 6'01". You're talking less than the 5th percentile of weight for WRs. At first glance he is the most deceptive route runner in the class. He has good to great top-end speed. Smith can beat press but I wonder how he will fare against better press corners considering his size. Regardless he has a shot to play all 3 positions, and have a role inside or outside. This year he has had a chance to shine as a punt returner.

Waddle has elite speed. His route running improved this year and he was given more early opportunities to run more routes and not just the schemed touch variety. Like Ruggs and all faster wide receivers it's hard for him to go from 100 mph to a crisp horizontal break. Waddle has plenty of experience as a kick and punt returner. Waddle is amazing in space. He is a home run threat with his RAC ability. I like him inside too. He isn't huge but at 5'10" 182 he is better built than Smith.

They are different styles of receiver. Smith is more of a sure thing given his advanced route running and athleticism whereas Waddle has the potential to force defenses to specifically account for his speed.

Neither of these guys are Julio Jones or AJ Green alphas outside and at the catch point. If BB wants to invest in a high end receiver who also excels at blocking these are not the droids he is looking for. However I think both offer sorely needed athleticism and speed at the position as well as RAC. It depends which one you want more. I think Devonta Smith is the safer option even though his body size scares me.

I don't think BB goes WR early. If he picks early 15th, 16th, and doesn't trade up for a QB my guess is he takes a player to bolster the front 7 or an OT like Slater who can maul in the run game.
 

EL Jeffe

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I'm not particularly high on Waddle, and like Ruggs last year, I think he'll be over-drafted for the role he'll play in the NFL. It's just really hard for me to see Waddle being a high-volume receiver, and you can find complimentary players later in the draft. For example, I think Tutu Atwell will give you a lot of what Waddle does, but he's probably going to go a few rounds later. I'd say Waddle has looser hips than Ruggs, and is a little cleaner getting in and out of his breaks. Ruggs' speed was a little more explosive. Ruggs was also more physical and tougher (Ruggs was a gunner on ST, always a good sign). I try to do 3-4 games on a prospect to get a good feel for them. For Waddle, I've only done one so far (beyond the normal casual viewing, I've watched just about all the Alabama games in any given year). This year I've only gotten around to studying Waddle's Ole Miss game; I red-flagged that he wasn't remotely interested in run blocking. Very passive, disinterested and ineffective there. Just one game, so I'll need to see more to confirm that's a real issue but obviously WR run blocking is pretty important to a program like NE's. I don't see the fit or value on Waddle.

I like Smith a lot. The size is what it is; but generally guys are able to put on weight in the league (but not always; Mingo & Chris Slade come to mind). I missed on Maxx Crosby because he was a 5th year senior who was still rail-thin coming into the league, but the Raiders got good weight on him right away and he flourished. I figured if Crosby couldn't bulk up after 5 years in college, maybe he just doesn't have the frame to support added weight. So I'm not going to say Smith can't put some weight on. As SMU stated well, Smith runs a pretty complete route tree and his play speed is a lot better than his track speed. I do see Smith as a high-volume catcher in the NFL and worth the 1st round investment.

Jamar Chase from LSU entered the year as my #1 WR, and I'd still put him at the top. He'a s complete dude out there. LSU says he runs 4.4, and I'd still like to see that confirmed. He's not Julio fast, but he wins at all three levels, hie's strong and physical, and his routes were pretty advanced for a sophomore. A lot to like with Chase. Honestly, I pretty much consider Pitts a WR as opposed to a TE. I mean, he's a TE in the sense that Kelce and Waller are TEs. He's essentially a mismatch receiver with the size to get in the way of smaller players when needed. He'd be my #2 WR in this class. Really good feet and hips for a bigger guy and just toys with college DBs at the catch point. His speed is probably closer to Kelce than Waller, but that's still enough to get all sorts of chunk plays.
 

SMU_Sox

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Building on that - I agree with you that Pitts is a big WR, not a TE, but I might take him over Chase. I think Pitts is a mismatch weapon and while he can't block well for an inline guy he can block well for an f role or WR. He plays into bully-ball because he is your matchup exploiter but someone who can also line up out wide and beat press. Pitts is a monster and dominates anyone who tries to cover him...

Chase is the premiere physical fast X. I wouldn't argue against having him over Pitts. If selecting for the Pats they couldn't go wrong with either. These guys are in a league of their own IMO.

Pitts isn't redundant with Asiasi or Keene either and he fits into bully-ball - we just need to see athletic testing. I think he is going to be a top 10 pick but he is this years wildcard because he is not an inline TE.

I think Pitts could be the 2nd WR in 2 WR sets as well as serving as the 2nd TE. There is no reason why he can't be in on every offensive snap deployed as a mismatch weapon.

I think to some degree it depends on how BB views Pitts - does he see him as a WR/Mis-match guy? BB hasn't really taken one of those guys but if he would take Harry at 32 hard for me to imagine he wouldn't pick someone like him in Pitts earlier.
 

BaseballJones

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Oct 1, 2015
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I'd love for them to draft Pitts in the first round if possible, and then move on to Mac Jones in the second round. Yes, I'm sorry...I'm on the Mac Jones train, and the mock drafts don't seem to have him being selected in the first round, so that gives me hope he could be there in round 2.
 

JohnnyTheBone

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SoSH Member
May 28, 2007
20,129
Nobody Cares
I like Jones, too, but do you really think he'll last until the second round? I think if you want him, you have to pull the trigger in the 1st.
 

EL Jeffe

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SoSH Member
Aug 30, 2006
943
I got around to Desmond Ridder for three games (Tulsa, Houston, ECU). I'm not as high on him as SMU, but there's definitely some tools to work with. The physical profile is good; 6'2 6/8, 215# with speed, acceleration and elusiveness. He's a genuine threat on designed runs and scrambles; I'd put his athletic ability on par with Jalen Hurts. His arm strength looked average to me; the ECU game featured his best velocity of the three games. Accuracy and ball placement were average-fringe average. He's a 66% passer, but the system manufactures a good amount of easy throws. He hit a few tight windows, but missed more than I'd want to see (and also missed a gimme or two each of the three games). I'm sure there will be some Jalen Hurts comps, and with what Hurts has done the last two weeks, that will be in demand. But I think Ridder is a notch below Hurts in arm talent (and Hurts had + to ++ intangibles, as well). Ridder's accuracy gives me pause; I'd love to see him against Georgia's NFL DBs in the Peach Bowl (but I doubt most of them will play). I see him as a 3rd round developmental QB with a starting ceiling with improved touch (but accuracy tends to be what it is, unless you're Josh Allen and make genuine strides).

I thought Mac Jones was excellent vs. Florida the other night. For all the talk about great OL play, Florida got a good amount of pressure and Jones handled it very well. He showed a lot of toughness and poise under heat. He bought time in the pocket, threw off-platform, and delivered several strikes in tight windows. He looked like a high-end NFL QB. Yes, he has weapons but I'm looking at feet, release, ball placement, and quickness of decisions. Those are independent of the talent around him. I absolutely would take Jones at the #14-17 range NE will be picking. He's also really closing the gap with Fields and Lance for me.

I haven't been a Trask fan but he was impressive vs. Alabama. I still think he's got a slow release and doesn't drive the ball on a line enough (I heard it described as a "heavy" ball and I love that description), which will lead to picks at the next level, but the arm talent looked a lot better Saturday night. A lot less jump balls and a lot more ropes. He had a cleaner pocket than Jones, but he showed good poise. He kind of reminds of Jameis in some ways. I don't know if that's a compliment or a detractor. There will be sacks, interceptions, and wow throws though.