Immediate 2021 Draft Reactions

1. Jacksonville Jaguars- Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson:

We all saw this pick coming. Lawrence will come in as an immediate impact player at, probably, the most important position for any football team. He’s a true leader, generational throwing talent, and a gifted athlete. This is the first step towards rebuilding one of the worst performing franchises in the past decade.

Grade: A

2. NY Jets- Zach Wilson, QB BYU:

This pick was also a given. A very talented thrower with an extremely high ceiling. If the Jets can protect him and continue to fill their roster with talent, he could turn into the best overall QB in this draft.

Grade: A-

3. San Francisco 49ers- Trey Lance, QB NDSU

Lance is a guy who could have been in debate for the 1st overall pick if he played more than 1 game this season. He brings an elite level of athleticism and arm talent to the 49ers, but will need time to shake off the rust and adjust to the speed of the NFL game. On a contending roster, he could be very successful sooner than you’d think.

Grade: A+

4. Atlanta Falcons- Kyle Pitts, TE Florida

Pitts is the most unique TE prospect in the last 20 years or so. He’s a massive target who runs routes like a WR, catches everything, and is useful in blocking situations too. In Atlanta, he joins a very talented passing offense with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and Justin Gage all catching passes from former MVP Matt Ryan. He may just be the best overall player in this draft.

Grade: A

5. Cincinnati Bengals- Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU

Chase is by far the best WR in this draft class. He runs clean routes, catches everything, plays physically, and creates separation with finesse and creativity. He’ll definitely help Joe Burrow and the Cincy offense out, but the question is whether or not the Bengals can keep their young QB upright.

Grade: B

6. Miami Dolphins- Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama

Waddle has undeniable, lightning speed and great hands. He can be an immediate special teams returner and offensive weapon, and definitely has potential to help Miami try to improve the play of Tua. Was this a better pick for Miami over Penei Sewell or Devonta Smith? Time will tell I guess.

Grade: B

7. Detroit Lions- Penei Sewell, OT Oregon

Detroit is getting themselves an anchor on the offensive line, with the giant, physical Sewell. He’ll come in and have an immediate presence on a rebuilding Detroit offensive line. He’s a guy you can rely on in pass protection and run behind reliably in the run game. An elite talent at tackle for a blue collar HC in Dan Campbell is such a fun fit.

Grade: A+

8. Carolina Panthers- Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina

Horn is a versatile athlete who can play man to man coverage with anyone on the football field. He’s a physical, speedy, long armed ball hawk who will likely shadow every Carolina opponent’s best WR threat. Day one, the Panthers get a dominant DB who does it all.

Grade: A+

9. Denver Broncos- Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama

Surtain is a very physical, patient corner who needs some work feeling out and reading WRs, but he will be a solid DB right away with the right situation. In Denver, he comes into a defensively oriented HC and loads of talent to help him succeed right away. If he can over come his tendency to be overly handsy with receivers, he could be a very good corner for a long time.

Grade: A

10. Philadelphia Eagles (via Dallas)- Devonta Smith, WR Alabama

Philly traded all around the 1st round and ultimately traded from 6th to 12th and then back up here to 10 to select the speedy playmaker from Bama. He’s a very intelligent, crafty pass catcher that Philly hasn’t really had since DeSean Jackson in his prime. Although they had more immediate holes defensively, this pick still gives the Eagles an intriguing weapon to pair with Jalen Reagor, Zach Ertz, and Dallas Goedert.

Grade: B+

11. Chicago Bears (via NYG)- Justin Fields, QB Justin Fields

Fields is an athletic, strong armed, mentally tough leader that gives the Bears to potentially revitalize the team that has looked like a legitimate contender at times. Fields has some consistency and translation concerns, and many Ohio State QBs struggle to adapt to the NFL game. Personally, I see him as a more athletic Dwayne Haskins… Could Fields be the outlier?

Grade: C+

12. Dallas Cowboys- Micah Parsons, LB Penn State

A very interesting pick here. Parsons is a huge, athletic edge defender/LB that is very raw. He needs time to develop into a more instinctive and comfortable player in terms of reading plays and not getting caught with fakes. Parsons does excel as a stand up blitzer and will be effective in that respect. He gets an opportunity to play with two other talented, young LBs in Jaylen Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.

Grade: B-

13. LA Chargers- Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern

Slater is an extremely gifted athlete with quick feet and sound fundamentals. He excels as a pass protector and has a high ceiling as a run blocker. He’ll be an immediate starter for the Chargers and will be a great piece to protect franchise QB Justin Herbert.

Grade: A+

14. NY Jets (via Minnesota)- Alijah Vera-Tucker, G/T, USC

Vera-Tucker is a very versatile lineman who can play either OT or G. He’s a very physical run blocker and is a solid pass blocker. He comes into a very underwhelming Jets offensive line and will serve as a primary protector of Zach Wilson along with 2020 first round pick Mekhi Becton.

Grade: A+

15. New England Patriots- Mac Jones, QB Alabama

Mac is a very smart QB. He doesn’t have the greatest arm and isn’t the greatest athlete. I don’t see him as a first round talent, but he will look to be the QB of the future of New England. With Cam Newton under contract for this season, we’ll unlikely see Jones play to start the season, but if Newton under performs we could see the start of a new era.

Grade: C+

16. Arizona Cardinals- Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa

Collins is a massive, all around LB who will be the anchor of Arizona’s front seven. He can blitz, play zone coverage, and has elite speed for a 260 pound player to make sideline to sideline tackles against the run.

Grade: A

17. LV Raiders- Alex Leatherwood, OT Alabama

This is a reach in my opinion. Leatherwood is a very solid OT prospect who will be a good pass protector and be a replacement for Trent Brown. He most likely would have fallen to a later round and there were better prospects on the board to me, but we’ll see what Gruden does with this interesting selection.

Grade: D+

18. Miami Dolphins- Jaelan Phillips, Edge Miami

Phillips is an extremely gifted and very natural pass rusher. He’s a a very long, twitchy athlete that has upside to turn into an all around, dominant edge defender. Miami hasn’t had a consistent presence off the edge in a long time and he could help make this already solid Dolphins defense even better.

Grade: A-

19. Washington Football Team- Jamin Davis, LB Kentucky

Davis wasn’t projected to be a 1st rounder, but his incredible pro day really helped his stock. He’s a very quick, physical run defender who can blitz very well. He will be a bit of a project player, but still has a chance to develop and help out a very talented WFT defense.

Grade: C+

20. NY Giants- Kadarius Toney, WR Florida

Toney was an extremely underrated WR talent who runs great routes, has excellent hands and is a big time RAC threat. He gives the Giants a utility weapon to pair with FA signing Kenny Golladay and the explosive Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley.

Grade: A

21. Indianapolis Colts- Kwity Paye, Edge Michigan

Paye has an incredible skill set and speed for his size and position. He may be the best edge run defender in this class and will be impactful in a young, play making defense the Colts have built. He needs work as a pass rusher, but has the athletic traits and ability to develop into an all around star.

Grade: A

22. Tennessee Titans- Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech

Farley is a very athletic, instinctive corner who has had some injury concerns, which allowed him to fall this far in the 1st round. He hasn’t played corner for a long time, as he was originally a WR in High School, but has shown elite talent at the position during his VT career. Tennessee desperately needed a corner to rebuild their secondary and they got a steal this deep in the first round.

Grade: B+

23. Minnesota Vikings, Christian Darrisaw, OT Virginia Tech

Darrisaw is a big, strong and physical tackle who will immediately be impactful for a struggling Viking offensive line. He’ll help dominate in the run game to help open up running lanes for Dalvin Cook and protect Kirk Cousins. The Vikings moved back and still filled a position of need with a very talented player.

Grade: A+

24. Pittsburgh Steelers- Najee Harris, RB Alabama

Harris is a giant, physical gifted athlete who will punish defenders in the NFL. The Steelers get an all around player who has great power and vision, a great pass blocker, and can even catch balls out of the backfield. A 3 down back who will be very impactful right away.

Grade: A

25. Jacksonville Jaguars- Travis Etienne, RB Clemson

Etienne is a very fast, shifty RB who runs with both balance and power. He needs to improve as a pass blocker and receiver out the backfield. It’s hard to overlook the fact that Jacksonville didn’t need a RB after a huge rookie season from James Robinson. The Jags could have used an offensive lineman or some defensive help, but we’ll see how this pans out.

Grade: B-

26. Cleveland Browns- Greg Newsome, CB Northwestern

Newsome is a super athletic, long, man coverage corner. He’s very physical, attacks in the run game, and will be a great playmaker in a very loaded Browns defense. Newsome will be a day one starter alongside Denzel Ward, potentially giving this defense two lock down DBs to stop opposing air attacks.

Grade: A+

27. Baltimore Ravens- Rashod Bateman, WR Minnesota

A very smooth route runner, creates separation with a combination of speed and physicality and can burn defenders after the catch. His issue is making tougher catches, especially over the middle. He seems to feel LBs over top of him and would take his eyes off the ball trying to avoid hits. He’s an interesting talent, but needs to work on consistency. He gets a great opportunity to be a #1 option in a very WR needy Baltimore team.

Grade: B+

28. New Orleans Saints- Payton Turner, DE/DT Houston

Turner is a very big, strong and surprisingly fast defensive lineman. This pick really feels like a reach with better edge rushers and interior defensive linemen on the board, but this is another situation we have to watch play out. I’m not a fan of the pick.

Grade: D+

29. Green Bay Packers- Eric Stokes, CB Georgia

Stokes is a superb athlete with great instincts as a corner. He has great leaping ability and finishes coverage plays nicely. Green Bay, even despite Aaron Rogers’ statement on his disinterest in playing in Green Bay for the future, decided to a draft defensive piece rather than some offensive weapons. This may come back to hurt the Packers’ chances of keeping Rogers in town.

Grade: B-

30. Buffalo Bills- Gregory Rousseau, Edge Miami

Rousseau, right away, is a pure pass rusher. The Miami star in 2019 took opted out of the 2020 season, but showed enough to be a first round selection. He’s a long, skinny but strong athlete who will come in and help a very talented Buffalo defense pressure the Quarterback. Rousseau does need to add weight and become better in the run game.

Grade: C+

31. Baltimore Ravens- Jayson Oweh, Edge Penn State

Oweh is a very raw, athletic talent who will look to develop into an all around, balanced edge defender. He has super long arms, insane speed, and explosive athleticism off the edge. The guy has such undeniable potential and will have a chance to develop in a notoriously great defensive organization.

Grade: A

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Joe Tryon, LB Washington

Tryon is a speedy, tall potential edge rush who will be a useful pass rush tool to use on a stacked defensive Tampa squad. It’s a bit of a reach to me, but he has much more upside than other guys I said were bad picks earlier on.

Grade: B

Blockbuster Draft Night Trades: 3 Things to Expect for Tonight’s 2021 NFL Draft

Tonight, the 3 day NFL draft frenzy begins with one of the most intriguing 1st rounds in a long time.

There are loads on talented players at each position and several teams itching to get their guy. Although the draft is usually unpredictable, here are a few things you can expect to happen during tonight’s chaotic first round.

Multiple Teams WILL Trade Up

The first 3 picks are almost certainly going to be Quarterbacks, which will leave 2 highly touted passing prospects will fall to the 4th pick, which is held by the Atlanta Falcons who already have Matt Ryan.

There is a chance that Atlanta looks to take a QB for their future, but I say that’s unlikely.

Several teams will look to come up and draft either Trey Lance, Mac Jones, or Justin Fields (depends on who the Niners take at 3). Organizations like New England, Denver, Chicago, Washington, and maybe even Philadelphia have all been rumored to be in the market for a QB. My guess is that with so much talent on the board at the QB position will spark trade talk between the above teams and others like Miami, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Carolina, and Dallas– who hold top 10 picks but don’t need a QB.

In my 2021 mock draft, I have the Patriots and Denver coming up to get a QB, but others certainly will be looking into it.

Assuming this does go down, that leaves room for other top prospects like Kyle Pitts, Penei Sewell, Ja’Marr Chase, Devonta Smith, Micah Parson, Jeremiah Owusu-Koromorah, Jaycee Horn and others to fall out of the top 5 or even top 10– so some later round teams looking for a bargain may also look to make a trade to get a high end talent.

Trades make the draft that much more fun, so let’s hope I’m right.

Expect Some Star Vets to be Moved

Over the course of the entire off-season, there have been numerous rumors about star players being traded, and tonight may just be the night we see some of those deals go down.

There have been reports that Atlanta has shopped WR Julio Jones, Philly TE Zach Ertz wants out, and the 49ers are looking to get rid of QB Jimmy Garoppolo. I bet we see at least one of these guys moved tonight or at some point over the course of the draft weekend.

Locked In Position Picks


I really think that a large sum of tonight’s drafting teams will go a certain direction when it’s their turn on the clock. Here are the teams that I think are locked in on a specific position with their first selection:

QB: Jaguars, Jets, 49ers, Broncos,

WR/TE: Dolphins, Lions, Saints,

O-Line: Bengals, Giants, Chargers, Jets

D-Line/Edge: Bills, Colts

DB: Cowboys, Titans, Cardinals

2021 Mock NFL Draft: Blockbuster Trades & QB Frenzy

This 2021 draft class is surely special and loaded with intriguing players all throughout. Here, I have my first 32 picks with some very possible and very exciting trade scenarios as teams look to secure their favorite prospects in the first round.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
    The Jaguars begin the second season of their full on rebuild following a promising 2018 season where they appeared in the AFC championship game.

    Drafting Lawrence with the 1st overall pick gives them a very solid foundation for their offense, which already features young talent with RB James Robinson and WRs D.J Chark and Laviska Shenault. The Clemson QB has been highly sought after throughout his entire collegiate career.

    He possesses a strong and talented arm with pinpoint accuracy on the field, plus he’s a very consistent QB who rarely makes mistakes. Of all the QBs on the board, Trevor has the best resume, best statistics, and the most clean tape. Although Minshew Mania was a fun stint, it’s time for Jacksonville to start fresh with a more talented field general and a new coaching staff.
  2. New York Jets: Zach Wilson, QB BYU
    The Jets decided to move on from Sam Darnold this offseason with a deal that sent him to the Carolina Panthers, and find Zach Wilson as his replacement with the 2nd overall pick this draft.

    Wilson is a very intriguing prospect who exceled this past season at BYU. He has the most arm talent in this draft and I think has one of the higher ceilings in this class. His mobility and ability to make every single type of throw on the field makes him extremely valuable.

    The Jets still need desperately need offensive line talent to keep Wilson upright. If they can protect him, he could develop into a Patrick Mahomes type of player. However, the Jets are far from a solid roster and need a lot of help all across their roster before they can expect to win more games.

    I don’t think trading a young, franchise worthy QB just to replace him with that same hole filled roster was the best move, but what’s done is done. Wilson has a ton of upside and checks all the boxes of a modern day NFL QB.
  3. San Francisco 49ers: Trey Lance, QB North Dakota State
    The 49ers traded a ton of assets to move up to the 3rd spot of the draft, and I think the 49ers management really loves a dual threat guy like Trey Lance.

    Lance is the best athlete of all the QBs in this class. His has a very powerful arm, excels throwing on the run, and is a legitimate threat running the football. He would completely evolve an already dynamic Kyle Shanahan offense, especially with the heavy run focus they showcased during their Super Bowl run just 2 years ago.

    Plus, the biggest knock on Lance as a prospect is “lack his competition” and him needing time to develop into a professional QB. Luckily for the Niners, they have the opportunity to let Jimmy G. start for another year or two while they let Lance knock off the rust from the lost 2020 season and adapt to the NFL level.

    With a roster that looks to contend for a championship right now, drafting a high ceiling guy like Lance give them a shot to be good for another decade if he pans out.
  4. Denver Broncos (via trade w/Atlanta): Justin Fields, QB Ohio State
    In a very John Elway type move, Denver moves on from their (seemingly) busted QB draft pick and goes after a much more solid prospect in Justin Fields.

    As a QB, Fields is a big, athletic prospect with a huge arm. He had a Heisman worthy season in 2019 and was very solid this past season as well– carrying Ohio State to the NCG with banged up ribs.

    Denver is desperate for a starting QB who can lead their offense. They have a very solid defense and possess a very talented group of weapons offensively with WRs Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, TE Noah Fant, and RB Melvin Gordon. The right QB could push them to be very competitive in the AFC.

    Is Fields the right guy though? Ohio State has a history of producing tempting QB prospects only for them to struggle picking up the NFL game. We’ll see how things play out. A trade up for a QB feels right for Denver, but I have questions about Fields’ consistency, decision making, and translation– making the act of giving up assets a big gamble.

  5. Cincinnati Bengals: Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
    There’s no way Cincy doesn’t grab this elite offensive prospect to protect their young franchise QB. Burrow has proven he can succeed at the NFL level, but needs better offensive line play to stay healthy. The Bengals could use more weapons, but the WR class is deep and they need to get someone to ensure they have Joe Burrow for a long time.

    Sewell is extremely sound fundamentally and has this unteachable motor to his game. He uses his athleticism to block LBs/DBs in the open field, to control the edge, and to the dominate the run game. This dude is an absolute freak and Cincy would be crazy to pass up on the opportunity to grab an NFL ready, elite guy to protect their QB’s blindside.
  6. Miami Dolphins: Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
    Chase is the perfect complimentary piece alongside DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki in the Miami offense. Adding a 3rd weapon to the arsenal should allow first round 2020 selection Tua Tagovailoa to produce and feel comfortable throwing the ball.

    Chase is a dominant, physical receiver who runs very crisp routes and has sound hands. he attacks the ball at the highest point, makes tight window catches and has RAC ability. He should serve as a pure possession receiver and allow the more speedy targets in the Miami WR group to find more open real estate. Chase is a profound prospect, and is especially good for an already solid 10 win team.
  7. Detroit Lions: Kyle Pitts, TE/WR Florida
    New Lions Head Coach and former NFL tight end, Dan Campbell, can’t resist Pitts with the 7th overall selection. Detroit is a rebuilding team who lost some key receiving talent to free agency. Pitts is an extremely versatile guy who would pair well with star TE T.J Hockenson.

    With his versatility, Pitts can play all over an offense. He runs tight routes, has the best hands in the draft, run/pass blocks well, and creates separation at an elite level. Detroit would likely use Pitts primarily as an outside receiver while they begin to replace the talent they lost. Having two athletic, dominant TE builds to head your offense is never a bad thing.
  8. New England Patriots (via trade w/Carolina): Mac Jones, QB Alabama
    In an already unorthodox offseason for New England, they continue to blow minds for a trade up for their QB of the future in Mac Jones.

    At Alabama, Jones was very good. He had a ton of elite receiving talent at the college level, but made very smart throws and put his team in winning position every week. Nothing from his tape flashes to me, as he doesn’t have nearly the same athleticism or arm talent as the 4 QBs taken ahead of him, but New England has a history of turning these sorts of prospects into professional winners at the NFL level.

    Cam Newton still has some years left in him as a starter in the NFL, but his role as QB1 gives Jones time to work, develop, and adapt to the NFL game.

    I don’t love him as a 1st round talent, especially not in a trade up scenario, but the Patriots have been daring and relentless all offseason to reboot and prepare to win this season. Jones potentially gives them an outlet to be good again for a long time…if the gamble pays off.

  9. Atlanta Falcons (via trade w/Denver): Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma State
    Atlanta has addressed several needs through free agency (RB, DB, and WR depth), so they trade back with Denver to accumulate future picks and then sure up their offensive tackle spot.

    Matt Ryan has proved that he can still produce at a high level in the NFL (over 4,000 pas yards last season). Adding a solid OT never hurts your QB play, and in fact it helps a ton.

    Jenkins brings aggressiveness and all around toughness to the OT position. He could play LT, but will likely be more helpful on the right side as a dominate run blocker with Jake Fisher already on roster. Atlanta gets an instant starter that can help their older roster compete now, but he’s also young enough to be their OT for the future.

  10. Dallas Cowboys: Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
    Two years ago, this defense looked to be on the up with a secondary full of talent, a dominant edge rusher in Demarcus Lawrence, and two young star LBs in Jaylen Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. However, they’ve basically lost their entire secondary to free agency and it’s hurt their defensive capabilities on the back end, so taking an alpha DB like Horn instantly upgrades their secondary.

    The South Carolina super star is a legitimate CB1 who can lockdown anyone’s best receiver. Obviously we haven’t seen him play at an NFL level yet, but his game tape is something special to watch. A natural, instinctive corner, with a keen eye for the football who plays with an aggressive chip on his shoulder. He’s long, smart and athletic enough to shadow guys in the NFL and should be a very productive pro. Horn is an instant upgrade to an inconsistent Dallas defense.

  11. New York Giants: Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
    In the Game Winning Podcast group mock, Kyle Pitts magically fell this far, but we all know this isn’t going to happen. Realistically, the Giants have put together a very solid roster full of young talent. Their absolute biggest need lies within the offensive line.

    With Slater, the Giants will get a natural, strong, fundamentally sound OT who rarely makes mistakes. Since he doesn’t have long arms or massive size, he really relies on good technique and smart reads at the line to succeed. Slater is one of the more interesting prospects due to his talent, but some teams will pass on him due to his size. The Giants, however, feel confident in his technique and tape to help them protect Daniel Jones in a year where they want to push their young QB to be more consistent and explosive as a playmaker.

  12. Baltimore Ravens (via trade w/Philadelphia): Devonta Smith, WR Alabama
    The Ravens are DESPERATE for WR help outside of Hollywood Brown. They missed out on several free agents and eventually settled on the injury prone Sammy Watkins. If they really want to help Lamar Jackson get back to MVP form, they need to surround him with weapons offensively, so they move both their late round picks to acquire the 12th overall pick and TE Zach Ertz.

    With the 12th pick, they’re able to get the falling Devonta Smith for a good price. Some people have Smith going within the top 10, but with the QB frenzy and teams not really needing a WR the speedster falls here for the Ravens to trade up for.

    Devonta is a playmaker with elite NFL speed and hands that will be a very serviceable slot guy in the NFL. He needs to refine his route running, but his natural knack for creating separation and finding open space will allow him to be successful– especially with Hollywood Brown gaining a ton of attention with his explosive play ability. Opposing defenses will have lots of trouble matching up with all the speed on this new look offense.

    Trading up multiple 1sts to get another speed based WR is tricky, but in this deal they also get TE Zach Ertz from Philly which helps if Ertz can move past his very lackluster 2020 campaign.
  13. LA Chargers: Deonte Brown, G Alabama
    Justin Herbert was special in his rookie season, but the Chargers blatantly needed help on the offensive front. LA went out and signed All-Pro center Corey Linsley and veteran G/T Matt Feiler, which helps solidify three spots (those two plus OT Bryan Bulaga).

    Brown is an elite pass protection guard who has been highly overlooked by the media leading up to the draft. The All-SEC team guard hasn’t allowed a single sack during his college career and has been at a school notorious for successful NFL offensive prospects in Alabama since 2016.

    Brown is also a productive, aggressive run blocker who is eager to lay people out at the second level. His massive size hinders his movement a bit, but he definitely has the power to be a balanced, elite NFL guard who will protect Justin Herbert for years to come.

  14. Minnesota Vikings: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
    The Vikings have built a brand new defense that mixes good young talent with experienced veterans, but with LB Anthony Barr in a contract year they need someone to fill that starting MLB role for the future.

    The beauty of drafting JOK is that he’s a nasty, aggressive playmaker with sideline to sideline speed. He can cover an type of receiver man to man, sit and read in a zone, and blitzes efficiently. This dude does everything. Not only will he be Coach Zimmer’s long term LB, but he can also be a day one starter that you can play all over the field and have him disrupt the game.

    JOK has the build and athleticism to be an elite defensive talent for anyone who takes him. The Vikings are lucky enough for him to fall, fill a need in their reloaded defense, and provide them a star for the future.

  15. Carolina Panthers (via trade w/New England): Christian Darrisaw, OT VT
    The Panthers went out and got their QB of the future at a discount price in Sam Darnold, and acquired more assets from New England in this mock trade to move back and comfortably draft an OT to solidify their offensive line.

    Darrisaw is a bit more raw than other line prospects in this class, but he has the right build, footwork, and controlled aggression to be a successful Tackle in the NFL. He does make mistakes and gets beat off the edge, but his long arms and strength allow him to combat those issues. NFL coaching will be tremendously help to his game and he hopefully grows out of the laziness I saw on tape when it came to finding work and playing hard from whistle to whistle. Carolina Coach Matt Rhule has shown that he can develop young talent, so Darrisaw is worth the mid-round selection for the future of their young offensive group.

  16. Arizona Cardinals: Caleb Farley, CB VT
    Arizona had one of the most flashy free agency periods in the league, but they need some help in the secondary after losing long time start, Patrick Peterson.

    Farley is a super long, athletic, man to man coverage corner who can play all over the field. His ability to finish plays in coverage and eliminate receivers on a game to game basis instantly makes the Cardinal secondary a lot better.

    A 2020 back injury is concerning to some teams, but Arizona still feels good about the potential of Farley as a CB1 as a pro.

  17. Las Vegas Raiders: Jevon Holland, DB Oregon
    The Raiders are in need of long term safety help to sure up their secondary. With the front seven already filled with young talent, an all-around ball hawking DB like Holland would be a crucial addition to a young team that feels to be on the rise.

    Holland plays safety, but is long, fast and athletic enough to come up and cover TE’s and slot receivers man to man. He reminds me a lot of a Minkah Fitzpatrick or a Tyrann Mathieau type of DB. High motor, good ball skills, and physical play all over the field is extremely valuable in the secondary, and Gruden gets the safety of his dreams here.

  18. Miami Dolphins: Micah Parsons, LB/Edge Penn State
    Earlier, I mocked Miami taking Ja’Marr Chase to add a dominant receiving force to their offense. Now, with the 18th pick the Dolphins need to address their LB depth needs after losing Kyle Van Noy.

    Parsons adds prospective speed and athleticism at the LB position. For the defensive minded HC Brian Flores, Parsons would be an interesting all around weapon to send on blitzes and track down the ball all over the field while Jerome Baker and Benardrick McKinney hold down the inside. He would be an instant plug for edge LB help and bring some explosive pass rush and run game help. At 18, this is a super solid selection that helps a 10 win team get better on day one of the draft.

  19. Washington Football Team: Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
    The WFT has one of the best front sevens in football, but they could really use an anchor in the middle of the second level.

    Collins is a mountain of an athlete, standing at 6ft 4 and nearly 260 pounds, but is extremely quick and athletic for his size. He is a pure run stuffing LB with potential to develop into a solid middle zone guy in coverage. He’s shown excellent football instincts and the ability to play physical, smart football player, and can even blitz efficiently. Washington somehow finds a way to improve their already talented defense and continues to look for ways to improve their offense in the later rounds.

  20. Chicago Bears: Kyle Trask, QB Florida
    Trask is a very interesting QB prospect who I think could sneak into the first round here to be taken by a team that desperately needs talent at QB. Bears fans really thought they would end up with either Carson Wentz or Russell Wilson, but that fell apart quickly and they settled for Andy Dalton.

    Taking a leap of faith here on Trask isn’t as bad of a move as people may think. Trask has prospective size, arm strength, and has shown flashes of NFL ready play– especially in Florida’s impressive run at the SEC title this season.

    The Bears do have weapons on offense with Allen Robinson, Cole Kmet, David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, so adding a young, raw QB in the late first round to learn from Andy Dalton is a good move. Trask is more of a project, especially as a 1st round selection, but there are worse things the Bears could do here.
  21. Indianapolis Colts: Kwity Paye, Edge Michigan
    After losing veteran starters on the defensive front in Justin Houston (still a FA) and Denico Autry, I think the Colts lean more towards filling a spot on the defensive line before they address offensive tackle.

    Paye offers immediate help defending the run, which helps if they decide to move on from Justin Houston. He has a strong, dominant punch and attack technique to get rid of blockers and control his gap against the run. He is by far the best edge defender against the run, but needs a lot of work developing his pass rush game. He would be an excellent young talent to develop along side unproven young guys like Tyquan Lewis and Kemoko Turay.
  22. Tennessee Titans: Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
    This offseason, the Titans cleaned house in their secondary and desperately need a young DB to help them bring together this brand new set of DBs.

    Surtain is certainly talented as man or zone corner, but his over aggressive hands play and inability to track receivers with his instincts concerns me. I feel like he might start off his career with a lot of PI/illegal contact penalties. However, he can be coached out of those habits, and could turn into a productive pro corner for the Titans.
  23. New York Jets: Alijah Vera-Tucker, G/T USC
    After drafting their next project, franchise QB, the Jets 100% need help on the offensive line to protect their #2 overall pick in Zach Wilson. Outside of Mekhi Becton, this Jets offensive line is putrid. Adding a very experienced, versatile lineman like Vera-Tucker will be an immediate help, as he can go play RT or either left or right guard.
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers: Azeez Ojulari, Edge Georgia
    After losing Bud Dupree in free agency, the Steelers will look to fill in that gap in their pass rush with the very raw, yet talented Ojulari. Right now, he’s an elite athlete with a great build for a 3-4 OLB pass rusher, but he does need development to become consistent– especially in the run game. This is a bit of a project pick, but the upside is undeniable. Pittsburgh’s reputation for developing defensive prospects is also very encouraging if they go this route.
  25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Marvin Wilson Jr., DT Florida State
    Although the Jaguars signed quite a few guys on defense in free agency, I think the talent and dominance of a big DT like Wilson is irresistible at 25. He’s shwon flashes of pure dominance in the run game, and has a super high motor for a 304 pound lineman which helps him in pass rush downs.

    Wilson has the potential to be an every down force in the NFL with the right coaching and help around him, and could even start in Jacksonville week one with their rebuilding defense.
  26. Cleveland Browns: Jaelen Phillips, Edge Miami
    The Browns are an extremely well rounded roster that can afford to take a guy like Phillips who is a top talent but needs a lot of work to become an every down DE.

    Phillips is a really good pass rusher right out of college. He’s shown that he has an arsenal of moves and can reliably beat tackles off the line to rush the QB. He does struggle a bit in the run game, but the Browns have enough talent and depth already on roster (Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon, and Jadeveon Clowney) to develop a raw talent like Phillips and allow him to play in passing situations.
  27. Philadelphia Eagles (via trade w/Baltimore): Nick Bolton, LB Missouri
    In a blockbuster draft night trade, Philly sent Zach Ertz and their 12th overall selection to Baltimore for the 27th/31st overall selections (and probably some future picks). Not only do they rid themselves of a guy who didn’t want to play for the Eagles anymore, but they get tremendous value in picks to start reshaping their roster that is desperate for young talent.

    The first step is to address their #1 need which is undoubtedly LB, and Bolton is a very solid solution. He is very smart, instinctive and physical in the run game. He can also serve as an adequate blitzer and zone coverage backer– immeidately helping out a team that was forced to start Nathan Gerry as their LB1 inside…yikes.
  28. New Orleans Saints: Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
    After the retirement of legendary Saints QB Drew Brees, Jameis Winston looks to be the starting QB week one. So, the Saints want to make him as comfortable as possible and add another weapon for the offense on top of Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.

    Waddle brings an elite level of speed that this offense seems to lack in the receiving area. He has very solid hands and can catch the ball in traffic as well, but needs a lot of work running routes. However, Sean Payton would 100% put an elite athlete like Jaylen Waddle to good use and find ways to set him up for NFL success.
  29. Green Bay Packers: Elijah Moore, WR Ole Miss
    FINALLY, the Packers spend an early round pick to help out Aaron Rogers compete for another trip to the Super Bowl. Outside of Aaron Jones and Davante Adams, this team could really use another weapon, and Elijah Moore is a perfect compliment to what GB has already.
  30. Buffalo Bills: Christian Barmore, DT Alabama
    One of the few places Buffalo could improve on is their defensive line. Adding a guy like Barmore would immediately add an interior rush/run defense threat to pair with Ed Oliver. What a scary duo that would be
  31. Philadelphia Eagles (via trade w/Baltimore): Kadarius Toney, WR Florida
    With their second selection in this round, the Eagles want to go out and help out their project QB in Jalen hurts with a second option at receiver outside of Jalen Reagor.

    Toney is an explosive player with fine tuned route running. He has special RAC ability and is something this Philly offense hasn’t had since DeSean Jackson in his prime.
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Terrance Marshall Jr., WR LSU
    The defending SB champs were able to retain a majority of their championship roster, but with the loss of Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin on a franchise tag, going out to get another receiever seems like the right move.

    Marshall is a talented athlete that runs great routes, creates seperation, but needs to get better at finishing/making catches cleanly. He has issues dropping or bobbling NFL level catches. However, his frame, athleticism, and RAC ability makes him a legitimate late 1st round target, especially for the Bucs who are making a very fine luxury depth pick here.

50 Best NFL Prospects: 2021 Big Board

Here’s my Top 50 list 2021 NFL prospects for April 29th’s draft. I like to order each prospect based on their NFL readiness, talent level, positional value, and potential.

  1. Kyle Pitts, TE/WR Florida
  2. Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson
  3. Penei Sewell, OT Oregon
  4. Ja’Marr Chase, WR LSU
  5. Jaycee Horn, CB South Carolina
  6. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB Notre Dame
  7. Zach Wilson, QB BYU
  8. Teven Jenkins, OT Oklahoma State
  9. Kwity Paye, Edge Michigan
  10. Jaelan Phillips, Edge Miami
  11. Christian Barmore, DT Alabama
  12. Trey Lance, QB NDSU
  13. Devonta Smith, WR Alabama
  14. Justin Fields, QB OSU
  15. Deonte Brown, G Alabama
  16. Caleb Farley, CB Virginia Tech
  17. Jevon Holland, DB Oregon
  18. Christian Darrisaw, OT Virginia Tech
  19. Ronnie Perkins, Edge Oklahoma
  20. Greg Newsome II, CB Northwestern
  21. Nick Bolton, LB Missouri
  22. Rashawn Slater, OT Northwestern
  23. Micah Parsons, LB/Edge Penn State
  24. Patrick Surtain II, CB Alabama
  25. Marvin Wilson, DT Florida State
  26. Kadarius Toney, WR Florida
  27. Jaylen Waddle, WR Alabama
  28. Richie Grant, S UCF
  29. Carlos Basham, Edge Wake Forest
  30. Jayson Oweh, Edge Penn State
  31. Azeez Ojulari, Edge Georgia
  32. Najee Harris, RB Alabama
  33. Javonte Williams, RB UNC
  34. Alijah Vera-Tucker, G/T USC
  35. Rondale Moore, WR Purdue
  36. Travis Etienne, RB Clemson
  37. Zaven Collins, LB Tulsa
  38. Terrance Marshall JR, LSU
  39. Greg Rousseau, Edge Miami
  40. Joseph Ossai, Edge Texas
  41. Mac Jones, QB Alabama
  42. Asante Samuel Jr., CB Florida State
  43. Pat Freuermuth, TE Penn State
  44. Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
  45. Trevon Moehrig, S TCU
  46. Kyle Trask, QB Florida
  47. Wyatt Davis, G Ohio State
  48. Sam Cosmi, OT Texas
  49. Quincy Roche, Edge/LB Miami
  50. Dillon Radunz, OT NDSU

What about this list do you like or dislike? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!

Deshaun Watson Loses Nike Endorsement Deal

This morning, Nike decided to suspend relations with Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson amidst accusations made towards him– involving numerous sexual assault charges.

So far, Watson is facing 22 allegations of sexual assault from his former female massage therapists. Many of them have come forward anonymously, but Ashley Solis and Lauren Baxley have come forward and identified themselves in attempt to encourages more of those involved to do the same.

Although the incidents are all allegations yet to be proven true, the amount of women involved (18 who claim Watson was professional and 22 who said he acted inappropriately) is alarming and the details provided in each case have been disturbing to read. Now, with outside parties like Nike feeling the need to suspend their endorsement deal, it’s starting to feel like their is a legitimate case towards Watson.

One would hope that such an influential figure in sports wouldn’t behave in the manner that Watson has allegedly behaved, but things appear to look worse each day.

For more details on specific cases, you can look here.

Ranking the Top 5 QBs in the 2021 NFL Draft

In the NFL draft, quarterback prospects are always under the spotlight and are seen as the most valuable position in football. This year is certainly no exception with guys like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Zach Wilson in the mix.

Fans love it when their team has a high draft pick and can grab themselves a QB early on to build around. So, with a draft loaded with throwing talent and several teams looking for someone to fill their starting QB spot, lets take a look at and rank the five guys who will likely get taken in the first round:

Bryce’s Prospect Grading System HERE

Credit: Derick E. Hingle – USA TODAY Sports

(1) Trevor Lawrence, QB Clemson

Athleticism: 2.25/3

I think Trevor is an above average athlete for a 6ft 6 QB. He moves outside the pocket well, has the ability to run and make plays, and has a gifted arm– throwing the ball with power and precision.

In comparison to some NFL QBs and other prospects in this draft, I consider him a great athlete, but not elite. He has a strong arm and is fairly mobile, but doesn’t quite have the speed or downhill footwork that some others do.

Film: 3/3

Watching Lawrence’s game tape is a GM’s dream if he needs a QB. He consistently makes big plays at the right time, rarely makes ANY mistakes, and has minimal games where his performance is significantly worse than other games.

With a near perfect record throughout his career at Clemson (34-2) and his consistency as a big time performer (NCG Win, 3x ACC Champion, and playoff appearances all three seasons at Clemson), Lawrence gets a perfect score for the film category section easily.

Talent: 2.85/3

To be an NFL QB you need to be consistent, intelligent, and fundamentally sound– Lawrence possesses all of that already and can only get better with NFL coaching.

As a passer, he is poised and comfortable making decisions in the pocket, and also can sometimes extend the play with his feet. He has excellent power, touch, and accuracy throwing at any level of the field. Trevor makes good reads, throws confidently, and rarely makes mistakes (only 17 interceptions over 3 seasons and 1,138 pass attempts).

A flaw in his game would involve his accuracy on the run and his ability to slide. As a top QB prospect who will likely start immediately, he needs to learn to slide and protect his body, while also being more consistent throwing on the move.

Competition: 0.8/1

Lawrence played in the ACC, which is tough football but not as competitive as the Big10 or SEC. However, his ability to win OOC matchups, make the playoffs three years in a row, and win a national title largely makes up for that.

Overall: 89/100

Trevor is my highest graded QB (next highest grades at a 79), and should be the first QB taken in the draft. I think he has an extremely high ceiling and can produce efficiently at the next level right away. He has extremely coachable flaws and should be a great NFL QB.

Prospect Comparison: Andrew Luck


(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

(2) Zach Wilson, QB BYU

Athleticism: 1.8/3

As a QB he has excellent arm talent (can make any throw he wants) and can move around well enough to escape pressure, but his footwork needs some work and it impacts his ability to make throws to the sideline.

Some scouts may question his throwing mechanics, but I think the modern NFL QB can do things their own way and get away with it (see: Patrick Mahomes). He will need some coaching to help with his mechanically related misfires, but overall I don’t mind his style.

Zach doesn’t possess exciting agility or speed, which brings his grade down due to the athleticism of other QB prospects in this draft, but his arm talent and abilities as a passer keep him in the average-great range.

Film: 2.65/3

Zach is one of the more talented throwers to enter the draft in a while. He hasn’t had as decorated of a career as Trevor Lawrence, but he put BYU on a national stage this season with his incredible throwing talents.

Wilson has the best touch pass and deep ball in this draft in my opinion, and I think with some coaching help, he can make every single type of throw on the football field.

As much as I love the potential of this kid, he did have some games where he made more mistakes than you’d like to see and he has some flaws he needs to work on. For example, he would often get lazy with his play action fakes. As an evaluator, you want to see a prospect (especially a QB) do all the little things right.

Talent: 2.35/3

Zach is a very intelligent, decisive passer who gobs with potential, but I think he is still a bit raw and needs some work under a good set of coaches to be elite in the NFL.

He does possess the ability to extend plays, make throws on the run, and slide when necessary, which helps his score a bit. Plus, he is calm and very patent in the pocket– always keeping his eyes downfield to make a play. He rarely settles.

Competition: 0.55/1

Playing at a small school in the FBS Independent Conference hurts his competition score. However, his performance against a few ranked schools this season (see stats/opponents here) and a Boca Raton Bowl Game win keeps him in the average competition level.

Overall: 73.5/100

In terms of my prospect grading system, Wilson ranks 3rd among QBs. However, I’m ranking each prospect based on who I would personally draft.

With the right coaching and support, Wilson could be very special in the NFL. He may not play right away, but when he does he could be the next great QB in football.

Patrick Mahomes is the new “standard” for QBs and GMs will always look for prospects like him to experiment with. Zach Wilson is the closest thing we’ve seen so far.

Prospect Comparison: Patrick Mahomes


Sam Hodde/Associated Press

(3) Trey Lance, QB NDSU

Athleticism: 2.8/3

In terms of QBs, Lance is by far the most gifted athlete in this class. On film, he looks like he could play RB in the NFL, and his strong arm and accuracy at all levels makes his athletic ability jump out even more.

Trey Lance is a true dual threat QB/athlete who could probably do anything on the football field, even at the NFL level. Speed, size, arm strength/talent all check out. This kid possesses elite athletic ability.

Film: 2.55/3

Now, if we based Trey’s film grade on this year alone, he would have a much lower grade. NDSU only played one game this season against Central Arkansas, but Lance performed poorly through the air (15/30 for 149 yards and 2 TDs, 1 int). He did run the ball well, but as a 2021 draft 1st-round prospect, you’d expect more.

Then again, it should be considered that this season was a little more than unordinary with COVID-19 restrictions. He played for a small FCS school who didn’t have the ability to find OOC games to play in, and instead the team opted to play in the spring (right before the draft, so Lance opted out).

If you go back and watch his 2019-2020 film, things are much more impressive. He has an occasional poor performance, but there wasn’t one that I watched that was horrific. He showed off his athletic ability on rollouts, deep throws, and RPO/Read Option plays all season long and put impressive numbers, including ZERO interceptions in nearly 300 pass attempts (see the rest here).

Talent: 2.3/3

Lance gobs with talent and potential. He is a gifted runner, has NFL-level deep throw abilities, and is excellent. Not only is he talented, but he visibly puts out 100% effort every play. he runs out fakes on read option plays, has a great play action fake, etc.

The problem lies in his abilities as a pocket passer. Lance has a tendency to either sit in the pocket way too long and eat a sack, or he looks to run way too fast without giving time for the pass play to develop. He needs big time work with coaches in terms of pocket awareness/comfort. You can’t just scramble and panic in the NFL, you need poise and patience.

I would also want Lance to work on sliding and to not take so many hits. He’s a gifted runner and should absolutely utilize that aspect of his game, but if he wants to last in the NFL, hits need to be at a minimal.

Competition: 0.45/1

One of his biggest knocks as a prospect is the fact that he plays in a low-tier conference (FCS) and doesn’t play bigger schools/highly touted NFL prospects. While finding players in small schools can work out (Carson Wentz came from NDSU and has shown h can perform in the NFL), it’s still something to keep in mind.

However, despite the level of competition, he was able to win the FCS Championship game over James Madison and Lance starred all throughout the playoff run.

Overall: 81/100

Lance’s 2019 season was electric and near perfect on film. There are flaws however, and his sole performance in this pandemic riddled 2020-21 season leaves GMS/scouts with question marks… including me.

If Trey was able to replicate or even top his performance in 2019 this year (with more games obviously), then he would most likely be my #2 ranked prospect, but with, essentially, a year gap in between his last full season and the draft, he has to fall a bit.

Prospect Comparison: Robert Griffin III


Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

(4) Justin Fields, QB Ohio State

Athleticism: 2.4/3

Fields is an excellent athlete. He can run, extend plays, and make deep throws down the field accurately. He has prospective NFL size, weight, and has next level speed to fit the mold as what used to be called “prototypical” (now I think it’s more of the “standard”).

Although he isn’t as dazzling of an athlete as (say) Trey Lance, Fields has all the tools to make it to the NFL and perform at a high level.

Film: 2.0/3

Ohio State runs a very QB friendly offense. It’s simple, effective and gets the job done. Fields excelled and flashed to many scouts with his big arm, big run plays and so on– but if you really break things down and watch really him play, I think it’s extremely apparent that he doesn’t possess the ability to read a defense or improvise when the 1st/2nd option on a throw isn’t there.

With that being said, it’s tough to trust him as an evaluator. We’ve see many QBs produce stats and win games, but then go on to flop in an NFL style offense because they can’t adjust or read defenses (Dwayne Haskins, JaMarcus Russell).

At the same time, there are flashes of excellence. The flashy moves and big play ability cannot be overlooked, and I want to give credit where it’s due but the football IQ part is something that is going to be a huge leap for him coming into the pros.

Talent: 2.2/3

There is no doubt that Justin Fields possesses NFL potential. He’s shown he can make big plays, extend plays with his legs, make accurate throws down the field, and play through big games with toughness and grit.

Fundamentally, his throwing mechanics have shown to hurt his accuracy however, and his release puts balls high and off target. He also needs work with his feet (back drop is flat footed sometimes) and his presence in the pocket (appears tense and jittery). At the same time, improving his throwing motion, speed, and feet will help him add zip to his throws, as he often floats passes too often. In the NFL a lot of those will be INTs.

As a runner, Fields excels. I think the best aspect of his game is that he can make big plays running the rock and he can throw on the run at a very high level.

Competition: 0.7/1

Fields played in the Big 10, which is debatably one of the toughest conferences in football. Ohio State had a limited schedule with COVID, but Fields was able to lead wins over Penn State, #11 Indiana, #14 Northwestern, and then #2 Clemson in the College Football Playoffs. Fields made it to the National Championship game where he fell short to top ranked Alabama, which is a top class football team with a ton of NFL prospects on roster.

Overall: 73/100

Fields has very, very raw talent and has proven he can win games against top tier competition. However, he grades as my #4 ranked QB due to his inability to make next level decisions and his awkward mechanics as a thrower. He could prove me wrong and succeed in the NFL, but as of right now, I think there are 3 QBs that are much more ready for the NFL and have higher ceilings overall.

Prospect Comparison: Cam Newton


(Photo by Andrew Ferguson/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)

(5) Mac Jones, QB Alabama

Athleticism: 1.5/3

Jones is a very average athlete. He isn’t a great runner, but has shown ability to escape pressure and make some decent passes on the run. He also has pretty average arm strength (though the accuracy isn’t quite there on deep throws).

Especially in comparison to the other QBs in this draft, there is definitely no “wow” factor in terms of Mac’s athleticism.

Film: 2.45/3

Jones actually has pretty decent tape. He has shown the ability to be an efficient, intelligent passer for top ranked Bama. He can make throws on the run, throw it deep, and has good short range accuracy. However, he isn’t as talented with his arm in comparison to other prospects in this draft.

His fine play and minimal mistakes helps his draft case a lot.

Talent: 1.85/3

In the other four QB prospects that I went through, there was obvious or flashes of excellence in their game. I never saw that or felt that with Mac Jones.

Mac is limited athletically, and although he makes good decisions, it needs to be understood that he had world class athletes all around him at Alabama. Yes he will in the NFL as well, but the competition and speed of the game is much different than college ball.

I think he has all the tools to be in the NFL, but is he worthy of a 1st round pick?

Competition: 1/1

Personally, I think the SEC is the toughest football conference in the nation and Bama swept through it. They went undefeated while beating #5 Texas A&M, #9 Georgia, defending champs LSU, #7 Florida, #4 Notre Dame, and #3 Ohio State.

At the very least, Mac had the hardest overall schedule and still won a national title. That can’t be ignored.

Overall: 68/100

To me, Mac Jones will be a back up QB for most teams, a starter of some. He can probably win you some games with his precise decision making, but does he push you to be a playoff or Super Bowl contender? I think not.

Jones is a decent QB with enough talent to play in the NFL, but he is nowhere near the same level of the other 4 guys on my list. Don’t buy the hype on social media or form his Pro-Day.

Prospect Comparison: A. J. McCarron


NFL Prospect Grading Guide

In this guide, I’m going to walk you through each category and mechanic that I take into account when evaluating the talent level of a college athlete looking to take the jump to the NFL.

The final prospect grade formula goes like this:

Overall Grade = (athleticism+film+talent+competition) x 10

Athleticism, Film Evaluation, the Level of Raw Talent, and the Competition Level at their program are all essential aspects to consider when looking at each player. Each category can tell you something different and may even change your mind on where to rank XYZ Prospect.

Next, I want to take a look at each individual category and explain my thinking in regards to each one.

Athleticism Grade:

0-1= Not NFL level 1-2= Average 2-2.5= Great Athlete 2.5-3= Elite

  • Speed
  • Hands/Usage
  • Footwork
  • Intangibles
  • Strength

Athleticism is one of the easier ones to look at with the naked eye and evaluate. I like to use a mix of college film and the athlete’s pro day/combine scores to help determine these scores. Usually you can use NFL scouting events to see the basic size, speed, strength, and agility– but watching film can allow you to see their footwork, position related mechanics (release point for QBs, or tackling technique for a LB), or how they use their hands (catching, hand placement on a block, pass rush, etc.).

It’s important to keep in mind the position that the prospect plays when making this grade. A potential Pro-Bowl offensive lineman is not going to be the same type of athlete as a wide receiver, but they both can be elite athletes in their own respect. A wide receiver may run a 4.30 40 yard dash, but a good O-line prospect might hit 30 reps on the bench and test highly in the agility/footwork drills. You need to know what makes an athlete in their respective position great to do this correctly.

Film Grade: (Max Grade:3 ) 

0-1= Consistently bad 1-2= Bad, but some good 2-2.5= Consistently good 2.5-3= Near perfect

  • Big Play Ability
  • Pros vs Cons
  • Mistakes
  • Impact at their position

To me, the film analysis is the most telling part of a player’s translation to the next level. You can’t just watch highlights, you need to see how a player performs from down to down in varying situations. As an evaluator, you want to see their best and worst plays in order to see what they do well consistently and what needs work.

With watching film, you can look for their ability to make plays as an individual, see what mistakes they make most often, and how they impact their teams success from their position (how many sacks does a OT prevent/give up, does a RB make tough runs on 3rd/4th and short situations, etc.). This will help you understand the pros vs cons to this prospect and whether or not the good outweighs the bad– aka can they be fixed or perform in the NFL at a high level?

Talent (Max Grade: 3)

0-1= Bad 1-2= Average 2-2.5= Good 2.5-3= NFL Ready

  • Raw skills
  • Instincts
  • Football IQ
  • Technique
  • Season Stats/Production

Talent is a very broad term to think about as an evaluator, but really what I think of as ‘talent’ is good of a football player are they? Do they understand/have perfected the fundamentals of their position? Are they a leader of the team? Do they react well under pressure? How well do they understand the game?

As an outsider, I have no way of interviewing each athlete and determining their football IQ or their ability as a leader, but if you watch the right games/situations you can make an educated decision on a lot. Especially Bowl Games, Conference Championships, or the playoffs.

Competition (Max Grade: 1)

0-0.25= Weak conf/Poor perf, 0.25-0.5= Avg Comp/Perf, 0.5-0.75= Good comp, Bowl App. 0.75-1.0= Best comp, Playoff/Bowl App 

  • Conference¬†
  • School
  • Playoff appearance?
  • Bowl Appearance?
  • Division I,II,III?

Now, this part of the scale is ranked last on my list and has the lowest impact value, but I think it’s still important to think about when grading a prospect. If a player plays DII ball, plays in a weaker conference, or wins a championship/bowl game– it is very much worth noting. Sometimes the level of competition and their level of success is indicative of how a prospect will perform at the next level.

Immediate Reaction to the Blockbuster Miami-San Francisco Trade

Minutes ago, Adam Schefter reported that the Miami Dolphins are trading the 3rd overall pick to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 12th overall pick, a 2021 3rd round pick, and 1st rounders in both 2022/23.

Tweet via @AdamSchefter

Right off the bat, I’m worried that the Niners gave up WAY too much.

This move, to me, is a huge gamble on one of the 3 QBs likely to be available at 3rd overall (Trey Lance, Zach Wilson, or Justin Fields).

All three of these guys have talent, but I see them as big time risks that require a bit of development. I don’t think anyone other than Trevor Lawrence is “NFL ready” enough to take a team over the top as contenders immediately.

On top of this, the 49ers are said to have intentions on KEEPING Jimmy Garoppolo… So they want to keep a QB on roster that they have under contract for nearly 140 million dollars AND trade 4 valuable, early round picks for another QB?

On the other hand, Miami has now flipped the picks they received from Houston into 4 first round selections plus an extra third rounder. They will likely let 2nd year QB/2020 1st round selection Tua Tagovailoa develop and compete with freshly signed vet Jacoby Brissett, while also giving themselves valuable early round selections to continue their accelerated rebuild.

The 49ers take a leap of faith on a rookie QB, while Miami continues to stock up on assets to build a team that just missed out on the playoffs after a 10 win season in 2020.

UPDATE:

Dolphins have taken that 12th overall pick, the 3rd rounder and a future 2022 first and traded that to Philadelphia for the 6th overall pick and Philly’s 3rd this year.

Patriots FA Spending Almost Totals Kraft’s Purchase of the Team: Free Agent Update 3/24/21

After another 12 days of free agency madness, here are some of the most notable NFL Free Agency signings:

3/14:

Packers are able to retain star RB Aaron Jones to help Aaron Rogers and the offense out with a strong running game (4 years 48 million).

49ers keep their utility FB Kyle Jusczcyk (5 years 27 million).


3/15:

Journeyman QB Ryan Fitzpatrick signs with the Washington Football Team to fill their starting pass thrower void as a short term answer (1 year 10 million).

Vikings look to beef up their front seven with the addition of DT Dalvin Tomlinson (2 years 20 million).

Saints are giving QB Jameis Winston a shot at filling in Drew Brees’ shoes as their starter (1 year 12 million).

Titans sign EDGE rusher Bud Dupree to try and beef up one of the poorer pass rushing defense in the league (5 year 82.5 million).

Patriots shock the football world with a total roster makeover by signing the following players all in one day (they make more moves throughout the week to reach a total of $162.5 million…which is just under 10 million shy of what owner Robert Kraft spent to buy the team in 94′):

  • TE Jonnu Smith (4 year 50 million)
  • DB Jalen Mills (4 year 24 million)
  • OLB/EDGE Matthew Judon (4 year 56 million)
  • WR Nelson Agholor (2 year 26 million)
  • WR Kendrick Bourne (3 year 22.5 million)
  • DL Henry Anderson (2 year 7 million)

Ravens sign G Kevin Zeitler to help protect Lamar Jackson (3 year 22.5 million).

Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers are able to resign star EDGE player Shaq Barrett (4 years 72 million) and TE Rob Gronkowski (1 year 10 million).

G Joe Thuney signs with Kansas City to help their quest to fix their offensive line issues (5 years 80 million).

The Chargers are able to poach All-Pro Center Corey Linsley from Green Bay to help protect Justin Herbert (5 years 62.5 million).

The Jets are able to add rising star WR Corey Davis to help out Sam Darnold or whoever they decide to draft at QB (3 year 37.5 million).


3/16:

Jaguars bring in former Seahawks DB Shaquill Griffin to pair with 2020 1st round pick CJ Henderson in the secondary (3 year 45 million).

New York Giants finally pull the trigger and re-sign star DL Leonard Williams to anchor their front seven (3 year 63 million), while also adding former Washington standout and Bengals 1st round selection, WR John Ross (1 year 2.5 million).

Another move for Washington as they bolster up their already good defense by adding DB William Jackson III (3 year 42 million).

2020 1st round selection QB Tua Tagovailoa now has some competition in Miami as they sign former Colts starter Jacoby Brissett (1 year 7.5 million).

Jaguars bring in WR Marvin Jones to presumably serve as the lead veteran player to help the guy they draft first overall at QB (2 year 14.5 million).

Patriots with another HUGE offensive signing by bringing in TE Hunter Henry (3 year 37.5 million).


3/17:

LB Kyle Van Noy returns to the Patriots after 1 year with Miami (3 years 13.2 million).

WR Emmanuel Sanders lands in Buffalo to replace John Brown (1 year 6 million).

Vikings land star DB Patrick Peterson to help step up and recharge this Vikings defense (1 year 10 million).

WR Curtis Samuel pairs up with Terry McLaurin to add to their offensive arsenal in Washington (3 year 34.5 million).

After testing the open market, OT Trent Williams signs a historic contract to stay in San Fran (6 year 138 million).

Former Cincy star, WR A.J Green, signs a deal to pair up with DeAndre Hopkins and Kyler Murray in Arizona (1 year 8.5 million) while also trading for C Rodney Hudson.

After suffering a season ending achilles injury in a contract year, RB Marlon Mack decides to stick it out on a prove it type deal with the Colts (1 year 2 million).

Kansas City’s status as a contender with a need for O-Line play has convinced G Kyle Long to come out of retirement to protect Mahomes (1 year 5 million).

Carolina continues to build up a core of young defensive talent, this time bringing in OLB/EDGE player Haason Reddick (1 year 8 million).


3/18:

C Alex Mack reunites with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco (3 year 15 million).

Bears release CB Kyle Fuller in a surprising move, and he ends up signing with Denver shortly after (1 year 9.5 million).

Raiders add RB depth to pair with Josh Jacobs by adding Kenyan Drake (2 year 11 million).

Miami adds some more speed to it’s WR group with Will Fuller (1 year 10 million).


3/19:

Broncos resign star DB Justin Simmons, who has been on the field for Denver for the last 3,200 snaps (4 year 61 million).

WR Juju Smith-Schuster tested the waters for a bit, but decided to stay with Pittsburgh for the season ( 1 year 8 million).

Patriots make another move to add LB depth with Raekwon McMillan (1 year 1 million).

After being cut by the Titans, CB Adoree Jackson signs with the Giants in effort to help out their young defense (3 year 39 million).

Philadelphia, with a ton of holes to fill, brings in one of the highest graded safeties in the league with DB Anthony Harris (1 year 5 million).


3/20:

Standout Safety Keanu Neal signs with the Cowboys as they try to regroup their young, struggling defensive unit (1 year 5 million).

Giants are finally able to bring in another top tier offensive weapon to group with Saquon Barkley with WR Kenny Golladay (4 year 72 million).

After a solid season under a prove deal with the Colts, CB Xavier Rhodes stays in Indy (1 year 6.5 million).


3/21:

The Jets continue to find help along their front seven by bringing in DT Sheldon Rankins to pair with Quinnen Williams up front (2 year 17 million).

The Rams make a move to add some WR depth with speedster DeSean Jackson (1 year deal).

Biggest ‘Winners and Losers’ of the 2021 NFL Offseason So Far

As of March 17th, all NFL offseason trades and signings became official– but we all know that stuff was happening all over the NFL beforehand.

There’s been a ton of surprising moves that have made this offseason exciting and kept guys like Adam Schefter plenty busy on Twitter, but excitement doesn’t always add up to success. We’ve seen teams spend big in FA flop the following season.

With that being said, let’s take a look at the winners and losers of this offseason period so far:


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New England Patriots:

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock avoiding pro-football related news, then you probably know about the gigantic splash that the Patriots have made over the course of just a few days.

Getting some key-returning starters back and healthy for his defense wasn’t good enough. Belichick went out and signed stand out pass rusher Matthew Judon, an underrated interior defensive lineman in Davon Godchaux, and veteran DB Jalen mills. Not to mention they were able to claim LB Kyle Van Noy after he was released from Miami.

Yes, the team shelled out a good chunk of money, but all of these guys will most likely start on this defense and have a sizeable impact. Plus, I think that they were able to get impactful players at the correct value, without over-paying at all.

Offensively, the Patriots really struggled to score last season. Cam Newton came over as a free agency and showed some promise as a dual threat early in the season, but things slowed down as he lost some key pieces due to injury and COVID throughout the season (WR Julian Edelman, Sony Michel, Marcus Cannon, etc.). So, the team went out and made sure to sure up the offensive side of the ball too.

Right off the bat, New England traded for Raiders OT Trent Brown and went out and signed the former Titans TE Jonnu Smith. Then, signed WRs Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne, and another stud TE in Hunter Henry– all on top of keeping former MVP QB Cam Newton with the team. They also signed C Ted Karras.

Within just a few days, New England was able to solidify all 3 levels of their defense and provide Cam Newton some legitimate weapons to work with on offense.

A lot will say the Patriots spent too much money, but I really feel like these were big time moves to put them back on the playoff potential radar in the AFC.

The Patriots have definitely been winners so far.


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Tennessee Titans:

Personally, I think the Titans have a very narrow window in which they can win a Super Bowl. Offense is their strong point, but how much longer can Derrick Henry run for 2,000 yards and touch the ball 400 times a season? How much longer can 32 year old Ryan Tannehill sling the ball 50 yards downfield? Well the key for longevity in the NFL in terms of championship contention is to be perfect in the off-season (trades, FA signings, and the draft).

So far, the Titans have lost key weapons in Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis, and 2020 first round selection Isaiah Wilson, which is not a good start.

In attempt to rebuild their defense, the Titans were able to bring back LB Jayon Brown and sign veteran players in DB Janoris Jenkins and DT Denico Autry.

However, they also signed ex-Steeler edge rusher Bud Dupree to a huge 5-year, 85 million dollar deal, which I think is very over priced for a guy with his production rate. In six years with Pittsburgh, he has only had double digit sacks once and had more than 40 tackles (as a LB) twice. Last season his overall player grade ranks in the “middle of the pack” at 60.2 (ProFootballFocus). It’s also important to mention that Dupree has largely been successful due to his unique athletic ability, and coming off a torn ACL last season may be harmful to his production.

In terms of his inconsistency, his recent injury, and the downgrade in relation to the talent around him on defense– paying him high-end pass rush money could prove to be harmful for the Titans if it doesn’t work out.

The Titans still need to bolster their secondary after they cut Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler… Janoris Jenkins will not be enough to hold up that unit.

Based on the significant players they’ve lost on both sides of the ball, and the huge risk they took on Dupree, I have to grade this as a loss so far.


(AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

Washington Football Team:

At the start of this offseason, it was very plausible to say that Washington is ready to contend for a Super Bowl. They have one of the absolute best front sevens in the NFL, an elite weapon offensively in Terry McLaurin, and an extremely intelligent HC in Ron Rivera.

Don’t forget: This team gave the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers trouble in the first round of the playoffs… with Taylor Heinicke at QB.

So far, Washington found a way to improve their already dominant defense by adding William Jackson to the secondary to fill out an already solid unit featuring S Landon Collins and CB Kendall Fuller. Jackson was ranked in the top 20 by Pro Football Focus in terms of DB grades last season.

Offensively, WFT was able to sign playmaking WR Curtis Samuel and veteran RB Lamar Miller to pair with the likes of Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson– which ultimately expands the array of weapons they can use offensively.

Now, maybe the biggest signing they’ve made addresses the QB position. Despite bouncing around the NFL, Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven himself to be a VERY serviceable QB and can win games while being efficient. With a roster that is good enough to win now, and based on what we saw this team do with the combination of Alex Smith (coming off a severe, career threatening injury), Taylor Heinicke, Dwayne Haskins, and Kyle Allen– I think Fitzpatrick can have some success here as the starter.

So, with the upgrade in the secondary and the addition of several offensive weapons, plus the 19th pick in the 2021 draft– Washington was able to get better and solidify themselves as NFC East favorites. So far, they’re winners.


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Chicago Bears:

For the past few years, Chicago has had chances to be great. They have elite players all over their defense, and big time play makers in David Montgomery, Allen Robinson, and Tarik Cohen on offense. However, QB Mitchell Trubisky never really worked out and the team was never able to recover from their “double doink” playoff loss to Philly in 2019.

With an elite QB to help out a very average offense (with some play makers and a poor offensive line), this team could definitely re-open it’s window to win a championship. They’ve even been in talks for major QB trade prospects Carson Wentz and Russell Wilson, but were unable to secure a trade for either.

Instead, they settled for… Andy Dalton.

The team was able to retain a few key starters, but I think they actually downgraded from Mitch Trubisky in terms of what their offense needs in a QB to be successful. At the very least, Trubisky was mobile and could extend plays. Dalton is a pure pocket passer with limited ability to create and distribute by using his legs, which puts their offense at a severe disadvantage– especially when you see how bad their offensive line play has been.

A very conservative, lack luster off-season has to be seen as a loss for the Bears, as their SB hopes with the core of this roster dwindling fast.


Of all the teams so far, these are the 4 that stood out the most in terms of Winners and Losers.

Here are some of the other teams that have had good/bad off-season’s up to this point:

Winners:

Indianapolis— Resigned standout RB Marlon Mack to pair with Johnathan Taylor, traded for QB Carson Wentz to replace Phil Rivers.

Kansas City— Rebuilt their interior offensive line with OGs Joe Thuney and Kyle Long.

Miami— Added younger defensive depth in Benardrick McKinney/Justin Coleman. Brought in starting-caliber QB Jacoby Brissett, proven RB Malcolm Brown, and fixed major depth issues with the O-Line.

Buffalo— Added depth all over their roster- including WR Emmanuel Sanders and QB Mitch Trubisky.

LA Rams— Added Matt Stafford to potentially complete their offense and add some dynamic ability to the play calling for McVay. Also resigned pass rusher/LB Leonard Floyd.

Losers:

Philadelphia— With so many holes on this roster and the team being in so much cap trouble, they need to make some more moves to give themselves some flexibility moving forward with their rebuild. You can’t rely on Howie Roseman’s drafting ability to supplement talent on this roster… which would scare me as an Eagles fan. Although they haven’t done anything horrible, you can’t really call this off-season a success right?

Green Bay-– Last season the Packers lost to the eventual SB champion Buccaneers, but this off-season they lost some valuable pieces in RB Jamaal Williams, C Corey Linsley, and starting LB Christian Kirksey. In response, they haven’t done anything aside from retain Aaron Jones. If they want to extend their SB contention status, GB needs to fill these holes and add some more offensive talent around Adams, Jones, and Aaron Rogers if they want to make another deep run.

Seattle— While they have made a few decent trades/re-signings, Seattle is in trouble with discussion of Russell Wilson wanting to be traded. If they can’t figure out a way to protect their QB and provide him with an adequate enough roster to win, they will most likely have to trade him next off-season… Making your franchise QB upset is not a good way to start the new NFL year.