Thor Nystrom Mock Draft: Day 2

Thor Nystrom
Rotoworld

On Monday, I put out a mock draft covering Day 1. If you're looking for that, you can check it out here. Today we'll be rolling through Round 2 and Round 3. Look for my complete team-by-team breakdown on Thursday. Buckle up and away we go!

Round 2

33. Bengals – Wisconsin EDGE Zack Baun

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Signed by the Badgers as a three-star dual-threat quarterback, Baun missed the entire 2017 season with a foot injury before contributing regularly on defense for the first time in 2018. Last fall, he went ballistic, posting 12.5 sacks and 19.5 TFL. He added 12 hits, 28 hurries, and posted an elite 91.0 PFF pass-rushing grade. In addition, he showed out well against both the run and in coverage in college. A superb but slight athlete off the edge at 6’3/236, Baun wins with speed and athleticism. The biggest question is whether he can stay on the EDGE at this size. More realistically, his NFL team, if it’s smart, will likely move him around a bit.

 

34. Colts - LSU WR Justin Jefferson

The NFL and some of my friends in the media might think this slot is a little light for Jefferson. I actually think it’s a bit rich. Consider this me splitting the middle early in the process. Jefferson is coming off an incredible 2019 (111-1,540-18). What concerns me is that he never stood out as an outside receiver, but blew up last fall when Joe Brady rode into town and converted Jefferson into a big slot (6’2/192). Of Jefferson’s 949 snaps last year, 870 came in the slot. He’s not going to be able to bully NFL slot corners in the same way he did SEC slots, and Jefferson had a harder time separating on the outside.

 

35. Lions – Mississippi State CB Cam Dantzler

A long, explosive, suffocating corner from the SEC who figures to rise during the process. Dantzler (6’2/185) is skinny, but he’s an aggressive, fight-you-for-it type made for press coverage. He’d be a target of mine if I needed a corner early in Round 2. I wouldn’t wait much longer. Dantzler has enough high-level tape against top-notch competition that he shouldn’t drop outside the top-40, lack of hype right now notwithstanding.

36. Giants – Alabama EDGE Terrell Lewis

Having addressed its offensive line with Tristan Wirfs on Day 1, the Giants will be on the hunt for an edge rusher early in Round 2. Lewis, at this point in his development, is a one-trick pony -- an athletic, 6’5/252 edge rusher with an eagle’s wingspan who gets after the quarterback off the edge. Lewis has a medical rap sheet behind him -- the two years prior to last were wiped out with an arm and ACL injuries, respectively -- and he’s a work-in-progress in other phases of the game, but this kid piled up 35 hurries in 259 pass-rushing attempts last fall in his return to action. 

 

37. Chargers – Michigan iOL Cesar Ruiz

I showed a draft of this mock to one of my buddies in the draft media over the weekend and he implored me to find a spot in Round 1 for Ruiz, telling me that, of the scouts he spoke to, there was almost a “universal consensus” of love for Ruiz’s game. Noted. Ruiz wins with athleticism, leverage and attitude. Last year, he didn’t allow a sack, and he gave up only two hits. He won’t be a fit for every team because of a lack of power; the blight on his game is average run blocking.

 

38. Panthers – Georgia QB Jake Fromm

This assumes, of course, that Carolina trades Cam Newton. If they do, I think OC Joe Brady would prefer Fromm to Jacob Eason (the Panthers likely won’t be in a position to take Joe Burrow, Tua or Justin Herbert at 1.7, and Jordan Love probably isn’t dropping to 2.38). Brady’s offense doesn’t require that its quarterback have all-world tools -- only that he make the intelligent decision on every single play. Brady’s play-calling will facilitate the rest. That’s the one thing I’m confident Fromm can do. He doesn’t have a big arm, he isn’t fleet of foot -- but he’s a full field-reader who’ll hang in there surveying his options, even under heavy duress. Fromm is decisive and he gets the ball out quick. I’m not saying he could be Brady’s Burrow in Carolina. But at 2.38, he fits the profile better than anybody else available… by far.

 

39. Dolphins - Georgia RB D’Andre Swift

If no running backs get taken in Round 1, I think the reason will be in part because the class is stacked. Each team that passes will think to itself, “Why would we take Swift or Jonathan Taylor Tailback or JK Simmons Dobbins here when we could just wait until Day 2 and get a stud?”

The Dolphins, if they’re smart, are going to realize this when they make their third first-round pick. Because they might be able to wait on D’Andre Swift and pop him at 2.39. In the first round of my mock, Miami came away with Tua and Austin Jackson. Now they add the class’ best runner. Talk about rejiggering your offense on the fly!

 

40. Cardinals – TCU OT Lucas Niang

The Cardinals, which went defense in Round 1, must now address their offensive line. Niang is very long at 6’7/328, very seasoned (nearly 2,000 snaps in the Big 12), and very, very good in pass protection despite playing with signal-callers who didn’t have much of an idea of what they were doing. As an added bonus, he rarely gets called for penalties.

 

41. Browns – iDL Justin Madubuike

A pet-favorite of mine, Madubuike is an undersized, twitched-up three-tech with boxer’s hands and a ransack mindset. He was more dominant against the run in college than he had any business being at his size (6’3/300), and he figures to continue improving as a pass-rusher in the pros when he’s installed full-time at his god-given position of three-tech. Underrated.

 

42. Jaguars – LSU LB Patrick Queen

Queen’s one of those guys with a wide band of draft outcomes. He’s small (6’1/227), inexperienced (only 255 snaps prior to last season), and he’s mediocre against the run and as a pass rusher. So you’re probably wondering… “Then why the heck have I seen him mocked in Round 1?” Because he’s crazy athletic and he’s really, really good in coverage (82.0 PFF grade; 186 receiving yards on 34 targets for 5.4 YPT). Queen’s one trick is very valuable, and he has the athleticism to figure everything else out. But the risk profile is high due to inexperience, the incomplete game, and the light frame.

 

43. Bears - Washington QB Jacob Eason

It feels like the Bears have to do something at quarterback -- for contingency purposes, if nothing else. Bringing in a guy like Eason, a boom-or-bust prospect, feels like the perfect sort of compromise. Eason isn’t ready to play early in 2020, so Mitch Trubisky gets his final make-good campaign. If Trubisky turns things around, great. Then if you found something in Eason, you’ve got a big-time trade chip. If Trubisky doesn’t, you bench him in late October and get Eason in there. And heck, if Trubisky is the bust we think he is, and if Eason is the second-coming of Christian Hackenberg (I’m not high on him), we’ve always got a shot at Trevor Lawrence next April if the wheels truly fall off.

 

44. Colts - Penn State EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos

An ascending talent who posted 17.5 sacks and 35 TFL over the past two years, Gross-Matos’ game has room to grow even more as he adds additional pass-rushing moves. His college game was built on power and length. YGM took a big leap as a rusher last fall, going from a 67.7 PFF pass-rushing grade to 81.8. It’s a given that he’ll provide his team above-average run defense off the edge.

 

45. Buccaneers - Clemson CB A.J. Terrell

Terrell got lit up in the national title game. Let’s move past that, because the rest of his career was pretty dang impressive. A long press-man corner with good straight-line athleticism, Terrell disrupts the catch point and takes you down if he loses. Clemson DC Brent Venables also had great fun sending Terrell from the boundary on the blitz. Terrell’s upside is capped by stiffness that may prevent him from becoming a true CB1 lockdown-type.

        

46. Broncos – Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene

A boom-or-bust prospect, Igbinoghene is a converted receiver with a thicc build (5’11/200) who is stupidly athletic -- his mother won a Bronze medal for the 4x100 Nigeria relay team in the 1992 Olympics and his father was a dominant track athlete at Mississippi State. On the plus side, Igbinoghene is a longtime special teams standout, lowering the risk profile. On the other end of it, he just started playing corner in 2018, and he allowed 12.3 YPR and 51.5-percent completions on 68 targets last fall with a middling 70.2 PFF coverage grade. He should have returned to school to keep working. But the talent level is such, and the draft slot was likely to be high enough, that it was hard to blame him for jumping.

 

47. Falcons – Notre Dame TE Cole Kmet

Kmet is among a small group who have a shot to emerge as TE1 in a poor tight end class. He’s a long inline prospect who’s willing to throw his weight around as a blocker, but run blocking lags well behind receiving in his game at this juncture. Kmet is a natural receiver who can create space on his own and gets extra from his maker every play with those long arms and legs. Once he plucks the ball, he’s very difficult to wrestle down. Kmet could be a Combine standout -- he reportedly once recorded a 38-inch vertical.

 

48. Jets – Utah EDGE Bradlee Anae

A decorated collegiate edge rusher, Anae could have jumped to the pros last year but stuck around for his senior year. The son of a former BYU star and USFL player, Bradlee is a bit boxy (6’3/265) and stiff, but he consistently won in the Pac-12 with a combination of strength, violence, temperament and hand usage. If he’s a pitcher, he makes heavy use of the bull rush and the changeup, his bull counter. He also has inside spin counter that’s pretty devastating when Pac-12 tackles started setting their anchors early, sitting dead-red for Anae’s heat.

 

49. Steelers – Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor

If it’s possible for a running back who averaged over 2,000 rushing yards per season in college to be under-appreciated, Taylor is. He was not only ludicrously productive from the moment he stepped off the plane after signing out of high school from New Jersey, but Taylor is also an incredible athlete. This isn’t talked about enough. He was Bruce Feldman’s No. 5 freak last year. Taylor has been clocked in the 4.3s with a 605-pound squat and 305-pound power clean. Taylor gets knocked for three things that exist in reality: Fumbles, passing-game contributions and usage. He coughed the ball up 16 times over the past three years. On the receiving side, he caught 26 balls last year (5 TD) after recording only 16 receptions total over his first two years. It’s fair to note that Wisconsin fed him the ball like crazy on first and second down and then basically rested him on third down early in his career. I wouldn’t totally throw the book in on him as a receiver yet. Taylor had 986 touches from scrimmage over his three years, heavy usage for sure. I’d just note here that I draft running backs for their first contract and never consider their hypothetical second, because I categorically wouldn’t give out expensive second RB contracts -- not part of my thinking when evaluating. I like Taylor more than some others do.

 

50. Bears – Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Trautman made money at the Senior Bowl. His hands are extremely reliable. He showed in Alabama that he can create space against NFL-caliber athletes; that’s exactly what evaluators needed to see. He’s now firmly in the hunt for TE1. Even if he doesn’t win that competition, Trautman has locked himself into Day 2 assuming he doesn’t fall on his face in the athletic testing portion of our show. The 6-foot-5, 253-pound former basketball player is going to be a dangerous jump-ball target in the red zone.

 

51. Cowboys – Auburn iDL Marlon Davidson

Davidson might be a better player in the NFL than he was at Auburn. The Tigers, because they had ludicrous defensive line talent, and boasted a stud I like to call Derrick Brown, played Davidson mostly on the EDGE. But the 6’3/297 Davidson projects best to three-tech, where his quickness and moves should reliably lead to interior penetration.

 

52. Rams – Wisconsin iOL Tyler Biadasz

Biadasz curiously had something of a down year in 2019, with his overall PFF grade regressing from 86.7 to 82.9 and his pass-blocking grade troublingly dropping from 78.2 to 70.5. It’s possible that offseason hip surgery was still hindering him into the campaign. Either way, Biadasz has been one of the nation’s best interior linemen for the last three years, his dominance coinciding exactly with teammate RB Jonathan Taylor’s. Biadasz was a Freshman All-American in 2017, First-Team All-Big 10 in 2018, and a First-Team All-American in 2019 (a belated honor he deserved in 2018). A safe pick with limited upside.

 

53. Eagles – Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk

N’Keal Harry left Arizona State, and they shockingly didn’t have much of a drop-off at WR1. Aiyuk, a former JUCO All-American who was previously ASU’s punt returner, blew up in 2019 with a 65-1192-8 line. He’s a fascinating prospect who requires some projection, as he’s early on the developmental curve. Here’s the toolbox: Aiyuk is short but well-built (a hair under 6’0 and around 200 lbs), but he has an NBA-like 81-inch wingspan to give him a deceiving catch radius bigger than taller receivers. Aiyuk is also extremely athletic. Per PFF, he led this WR class in yards after the catch between 2017-2019 with 9.9 (minimum 500 snaps). The next closest was Henry Ruggs with 9.0.

 

54. Bills – Ohio State CB Damon Arnette

Arnette’s evaluation will heavily be tied to testing. The NFL likes him -- he’s a smart and decorated corner who’s played in some big spots for a marquee program over the past four years. He has solid size (6’0/195) and has shown he can play inside and outside. If he tests well, he’ll shoot up boards, and probably go higher than I have him slotted here. If he doesn’t, he’s going to drop lower. I’m splitting the middle a little with my projection.

 

55. Falcons – Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins

Devonta Freeman is signed through 2023, but he looked shot last season. With a bloated contract, and with the Falcons holding three Day 2 picks in a draft loaded with RBs, opportunity may come calling in Round 2. If Dobbins or Taylor fall to 2.55, pick up the phone. Dobbins is seen by some as RB1. I have more concerns with his game. He’s a skilled player who should have utterly dominated with the surrounding talent he played with at Ohio State. He ran lazy in 2018. Last year was a big improvement, a step in the right direction. But he didn’t show me more in college than Swift and Taylor did. And it’s fair to say that Dobbins was playing in the most ideal situation of the three last year, playing next to Justin Fields in a spread, up-tempo system.

 

56. Dolphins – Virginia CB Bryce Hall

I think I’m higher on Bryce Hall than the NFL will end up being. And to be fair, a part of that may be Hall’s fault. He probably should have declared for the draft last year. Hall was an absolute eraser in 2018, leading the country with 23 incompletions forced, per PFF. Hall would have been in contention to be one of the first corners off the board in last April’s draft, but he elected to return. His season ended after six games with ankle surgery. A 6’1/200 corner with smarts and ball skills, Hall’s best fit would be as a pick-pocket in a zone scheme. 

 

57. Texans – LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

One of the most dynamic multi-faceted offensive weapons in the nation last year, Edwards-Helaire was a chupacabra presence for linebackers and safeties in Joe Brady’s RPO-heavy system. Whether as a decoy, whether motioning out wide, whether taking a swing pass out of the backfield, whether lining up in the slot for a peekaboo red zone TD when the defense lost track of him, Edwards-Helaire was the guy who had opponents ripping their hair out when they had the temerity to focus too much attention on the Joe Burrow-Ja’Marr Chase-Justin Jefferson-Terrace Marshall-Thaddeus Moss foursome. Edwards-Helaire averaged 6.6 YPC on his 1,414 rushing yards, but it’s his 55-453-1 receiving line that should really have NFL fans perking up (and the fact that most of it was piled up late, when LSU’s offense really blew up).

 

58. Vikings – Oklahoma iDL Neville Gallimore

A Bruce Feldman top-5 Freak Lister, Gallimore can bench 500 pounds, squat 800 pounds and run in the mid-4.7s. In the Big 12, athleticism and effort were enough for Gallimore to be a big difference maker (82.2 PFF grade in 2018, 87.8 in 2019). In the NFL, he’s going to need to work on his approach to become a Pro Bowler three-tech DT -- he pops up at the snap and tries to win with his legs, forgetting his hands, too often. There’s a lot to work with here, but the risk profile needs to be acknowledged. 

 

59. Seahawks – Penn State WR KJ Hamler

Hamler (5’9/176) is an undersized slot WR/punt returner whose game remains raw. But you can’t fake athletic explosion, and he has it in spades. My biggest concern is that Hamler dropped 12 balls on 92 targets last year; his 60.9-percent reception percentage was quite poor. Three targets that went his way were intercepted. Hamler also had four drops in 2018. Those were his only two collegiate seasons; he redshirted in 2017. Hamler is a body-catcher. I feel like we’re going to have some Andy Isabella-esque arguments about him this spring, with the athletic testing truthers swapped out for the analytics guys. Either way, Hamler’s athletic testing basically guarantees he won’t fall out of Day 2. God only gives so many human beings that gift. And KJ got it. Gosh dang can he move. 

 

60. Ravens – Ohio State LB Malik Harrison

Harrison’s game took a leap last fall, putting him in range to potentially get popped as early as Round 2. A former elite athlete recruit, Harrison originally intended to play receiver in Columbus. His build (6’3/246) had other ideas. Harrison graded out as one of the nation’s best linebackers in run defense last year (87.1), and he took a big step forward in PFF’s coverage grades (68.1 to 77.1), really good to see, as that’s one of the biggest problematic areas of his eval. He’s going to add value on special teams.

 

61. Titans –  Notre Dame EDGE Julian Okwara

The brother of Giants DE Romeo Okwara, Julian gets overlooked a bit because of his thin build and because he broke his left leg against Duke at the end of the season. But boy is he an athlete, top-10 on Bruce Feldman’s last Freak’s list, with 21 mph tracked speed. Okwara is a flash player: He had 24 career TFL at Notre Dame, and 47 career solo tackles. Between his slight build (6’5/241), current medical situation and top-heavy statistical profile, he could drop a little. But I think Okwara has more sleeper appeal than he’s being given credit for.

 

62. Packers – USC WR Michael Pittman Jr.

The good news: Pittman (6’4/220) is one of the class’ top possession receivers, and he comes from NFL bloodlines. The bad: His evaluation leads with ball skills/catch radius, with separation being the biggest question in translation. Receiver prospects like this, in the modern NFL, have a much higher burden of proof than they used to. 

 

63. Chiefs – FSU RB Cam Akers 

Akers broke Dalvin Cook's program freshman rushing record with 1,015 yards in 2017. Heading into 2018, he was the belle of the ball of evaluators everywhere. Willie Taggart and his exotic blocking schemes were headed to Tallahassee. Akers was about to go ballistic for two more seasons, and then head to the NFL, perhaps as a first-round pick. But the bottom fell out for FSU football under Taggart. The offensive line, in particular, was an abomination. I want you to remember that when you read Akers’ scouting reports this spring. Yes -- he turned into way too much of an indecisive dancer the past two years. But he was running behind a high school offensive line. Can he kick the bad habits in the pros? If he can, his NFL franchise is going to find a potential steal. Because Akers can catch, he’s a really good pass blocker, and he’s a natural runner with God-given talent, a former five-star recruit with quick feet, good vision, plus athleticism and finishing power.

 

64. Seahawks – Kentucky EDGE Logan Stenberg

Of the interior offensive line class, Stenberg is going to draw a wide range of opinions. I’m a fan. He’s a big kid (6’6/322) who played early (four-year starter) and showed steady improvement throughout his time on campus. Particularly in pass-pro. Stenberg is a heavy-handed grinder who stays on assignment and endears himself to teammates. The area of concern is that he was called for 14 penalties last fall. But keep in mind: Kentucky completely rejiggered its offense in a way that was basically unheard of in modern big-boy ball midyear, installing slot WR Lynn Bowden at quarterback and playing sandlot ball. Some -- not all -- of Stenberg’s foibles were contextual, with Bowden scrambling around like you do when you play Madden. That’s not going to happen in future games Stenberg plays in.

Round 3

65. Bengals – Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland

Cleveland had a lot of early NFL Draft hype prior to last season, but his stock took a bit of a hit last fall with a down campaign. His ship is going to rise again in a few weeks in Indianapolis, where Cleveland is expected to test very well. An athlete, absolutely not a mauler, Cleveland will be a target of zone-blocking teams (only).

 

66. Redskins – UConn OT Matt Peart

For the folks who chart, Peart will be one of the OL class’ darlings. He posted a 90.0 PFF grade last year on a DOA UConn team.

 

67. Lions – Michigan EDGE Josh Uche

The Lions, in need of edge help, shop local with Uche, who piled up 25 hurries, 13 hurries and eight sacks in 206 pass-rushing attempts last year. That was good for an elite 91.4 PFF pass-rushing grade. Uche will drop a little because of size limitations (6’1/241), a foot fracture and torn meniscus in his past, and a game that is overly-reliant on athleticism over technical know-how.

 

68. Jets – Clemson iOL John Simpson

A 6’5/330 enforcer on Clemson’s mini-dynasty, Simpson isn’t a great athlete, but if he gets his hands on you, goodnight Irene.

 

69. Panthers – Baylor iDL James Lynch

REUNION!!! The Panthers badly need interior help, as they’re about to lose a few starters into free agency. In this exercise, they eschewed that need to address offensive line (Jedrick Wills) and quarterback (Jake Fromm) in case we’re living in a Cam Newton contingency reality. In that case, Lynch falling here is not only an enormous coup, it’s an awesome story, as he’d get to follow his college coach to Charlotte.

 

70. Dolphins – LSU iOL Lloyd Cushenberry

Cushenberry comes equipped with a cruise ship anchor, but he struggled on islands with quickness when LSU went empty. With that caveat acknowledged and accounted for, Cushenberry should start for a long time on the interior in the pros.

 

71. Chargers – TCU CB Jeff Gladney 

Gladney is another Feldman Freak Lister. He boasts ridiculous speed (reported 4.34 forty), and showed ball-hawking tendencies as well as havoc-causing tendencies when sent as a blitzer. What concerns me a little is that Gladney was better in 2018 than he was 2019. His PFF grade dropped from 90.6 to 71.7, he drew more than twice as many penalties (three to seven) and he allowed three TD (one the year before) despite getting targeted 14 times less. Interesting prospect who requires more study for me personally.

 

72. Cardinals – Alabama EDGE Anfernee Jennings

Jennings has shown to be a standout against the run and on the attack off the edge as the blitzer. He struggles in coverage, perhaps because of athletic limitations, and that’s going to drop him down the board a bit.

 

73. Jaguars – Washington TE Hunter Bryant

Bryant is a wide receiver with wonky dimensions (6’2/240) -- Delanie Walker dimensions. If you want a move-TE in this class, he might top your list. It’s a different list than the one Kmet and Trautman are on.

 

74. Browns – Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger

A small-school sensation, Dugger (6’1/220) is the full package on paper. The athletic profile is going to check out. How early will a franchise roll the dice on Dugger’s physical tools? It certainly helps the kid’s cause that he’ll be able to contribute on special teams if he can’t start right away. 

 

75. Colts – FAU TE Harrison Bryant

I think Bryant is the most underrated tight end in the class. He destroyed folks in Conference USA the past few years, including a 65-1004-7 receiving line last year. For three consecutive years, PFF graded Bryant over 90.0 for receiving. Bryant doesn’t look like a blocker in street clothes (6’5/240), but he’s actually been a strong wall-off guy for several years running. I think his game will translate.

 

76. Buccaneers – California S Cal S Ashtyn Davis

A size/speed prospect -- Davis double-dipped on the Cal track and field team -- who you ought to keep your eye on as a potential Combine riser, Davis remains raw. But boy is he an incredible story as a former walk-on who became one of Cal’s best players. Now, Davis is almost assured of going on Day 2. Dangerous kick returner, and potential CB convert at the next level. 

 

77. Broncos – Missouri iDL Jordan Elliott

Elliott is a PFF darling who led all interior linemen in the country in that outlet’s grading last year (including Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw). Elliott came out of nowhere last year after having played in only 484 snaps prior to 2019.

 

78. Falcons – Utah S Terrell Burgess

Burgess is a heady, versatile player who can play either corner or safety and has extensive special teams experience. Consider him like a utility player in baseball. The downside is that he probably doesn’t have the athleticism to become a star at any one spot.

 

79. Jets – LSU OT Saahdiq Charles

An undersized tackle with good athleticism, Charles will head inside at the next level if his lack of length ultimately cuts him down to size on the edge in the pros.

 

80. Raiders – Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks

A four-year Hoover vacuum of a tackle machine in Lubbock, we know that Brooks is going to be a really good run defender in the pros. He took a big step as a pass-rusher last fall, and that was nice to see. His limitations in coverage concern.

 

81. Raiders – LSU G Damien Lewis

Lewis is 6’3/332 sledgehammer who only sees nails. The upside is capped, but he should be a starter for several years.

 

82. Cowboys – Vanderbilt TE Jared Pinkney

What a bizarre season. Pinckney entered 2019 as a candidate to be TE1 after posting a 50-774-7 line 2018. That year, he looked like a potential complete NFL inline tight end. Last year, he looked lost, posting a 20-233-2 line and getting pushed around as a blocker. Vandy’s offense as a whole struggled, so tape watchers -- and NFL franchises -- will have to decide which film they trust more.

 

83. Broncos – Auburn OT Prince Tega Wanogho

Tega Wanogho is a high-variance boom-or-bust prospect. He picked the sport up late and wasn’t a plus for Auburn last year. But athletes of this caliber at this size and position are rare, which gives him a good shot of going on Day 2.

 

84. Rams – Oregon LB Troy Dye

Dye is the Rodney Dangerfield of the LB class, getting no respect despite earning all-conference citation all four years on campus. He’s rangy but skinny at 6’4/224, and some question his run-defense chops. That area of his game dropped off last year, but he posted PFF grades over 81.0 in both 2017-2018 in that metric. What people should probably be talking about more is that he was one of the nation’s more consistent cover linebackers over the past four years, and he’s also good on the attack when sent on the blitz.

 

85. Eagles – Utah RB Zack Moss

I feel tentatively good about Cam Akers as a sleeper if he finds the right situation. I feel good about Zack Moss as a sleeper period, end of story. If Zack Moss had played at an SEC or Big Ten program, you would know all about him by now. One PFF stat for you: Moss forced 87 missed tackles last year. That’s the third-highest per-attempt single-season broken attempt average of any running back they ever charted. I say this every spring: The most valuable trait of running backs is one that the NFL Combine cannot chart. How difficult is it to get you onto the ground?

 

86. Bills – Michigan iOL Ben Bredeson

Bredeson is a four-year starter whose game is built on power, not athleticism. Should be a reliable if limited starter.

 

87. Patriots – Purdue TE Brycen Hopkins

Ask Purdue fans: Hopkins is a fun but infuriating player. More than one-third of his catches the past two years went for more than 15 yards, but he’s a drop machine, with 22 on 205 career targets. He also goes down exceedingly easy for a tight end. 

 

88. Saints – Baylor WR Denzel Mims

If it was me making the decisions instead of projecting, Mims goes a bit higher. Big (6’3/205), athletic, and an acrobatic with the ball in the air, Mims has legitimate potential. But he’s struggled with concentration (19 drops over the last three years) and his routes are still a work in progress, giving him a higher risk profile.

 

89. Vikings – St. John’s OT Ben Bartch

The Vikings need offensive line help again, even after using premium picks on Brian O’Neill and Garrett Bradbury in recent drafts. The Vikings could kick O’Neill to LT, where he’ll spend the next several years, and groom Bartch as a right tackle. That would give Minnesota the makings of one of the league’s youngest, most-athletic lines, nirvana for zone guru Gary Kubiak. Bartch, a local small-school product, showed enough at the Senior Bowl to draw a Day 2 call. 

 

90. Browns – Appalachian State LB Akeem Davis-Gaither

Undersized (6’2/215) but super productive (Sun Belt DPoY last year), Davis-Gaither is an explosive athlete who anticipates where the ball is going to be before it gets there and then zooms to his destination quicker than those around him. Also offers special teams value.

 

91. Raiders – Alabama iDL Raekwon Davis

No, Raekwon! One of those cautionary tales we’ll talk about in future years, Davis should have declared for the draft last year. Instead, he returned, and he may end up dropping 50-60 slots because of it.

 

92. Ravens – Tennessee EDGE Darrell Taylor

Getting after the quarterback is king in the NFL, and that’s why Taylor may have punched a ticket into Day 2 with his breakthrough 2019 season. The conventional stats didn’t show it all the way, but Taylor piled up 30 hurries en route to a 86.9 PFF pass-rushing grades. He’s a handful off the edge.

 

93. Titans – Louisiana iOL Robert Hunt

A big (6’5/325) ball of clay with good athleticism and position versatility, Hunt needs technical work but provides exciting upside.

 

94. Packers – Georgia OT Isaiah Wilson

An enormous tackle, Wilson (6’7"/340) only has two years' experience and needs time to improve his footwork and technique. If he gets that, he could start for a long time as a mauling right tackle.

 

95. Broncos – Minnesota S Antoine Winfield Jr.

One of my favorite non-elite prospects in the draft, Winfield is smart as hell and was born without fear. He literally won games for the Gophers by outthinking his opponents (see: end of game against Fresno State, 2018). Winfield is small, and he probably isn’t going to test the best, but my gosh is he a good player. Almost assuredly will outperform his draft slot.

 

96. Chiefs – Wyoming LB Logan Wilson

Quietly one of the nation’s best linebackers, Wilson posted an elite 91.0 PFF grade last year. He was a four-year starter who noticeably improved every year. What’s particularly encouraging is that Wilson excels as both a pass rusher and in coverage.

 

97(c). Eagles – Notre Dame EDGE Khalid Kareem

Athletic limitations will prevent Kareem from becoming a star, but his brawn/brain game combined with his long frame and arms (6’4/265) are going allow him to set an orderly edge and muck up opposing running plans. Kareem was a disruptive edge rusher with 56 hurries over the past two seasons; will his play type catch up to him at the next level, or will he figure it out enough to provide at least passable pressure from his post? The difference will inform whether he’s a longtime starter or a replacement-level backup type -- those are the margins he’s working with.

 

98(c). Patriots – Charlotte EDGE Alex Highsmith

Highsmith (6’4/242), a small-school stud, posted a 91.4 PFF pass-rushing grade last fall. He’s a little light, and is obviously going to be making a big jump up in competition, but there isn’t a phase of his game where he struggled mightily on the same stage.

 

99(c). Ravens – Oregon iOL Calvin Throckmorton

Throckmorton was one of the nation’s best pass-blocking tackles over the past three seasons, but he's almost assuredly heading inside at the next level. Has swing tackle versatility -- he started at four different offensive line positions in Eugene -- but athletic limitations make guard his best spot at the next level.

 

100(c). Patriots – Tennessee WR Jauan Jennings

Jennings wasn’t draftable prior to last season. But in 2019, he unveiled a 'Street Fighter' style of wide receiver play that may allow him to crack Day 2, with 30 broken tackles on 59 catches and a knock-you-on-your-butt brand of run blocking on the perimeter. He’s athletically limited, but boy does he bring it.

 

101(c). Giants – Fresno State iOL Netane Muti

Muti is going to unite #FilmGrinders and analytic folks on #DraftTwitter and become this year’s consensus sleeper prospect at iOL. He suffered through a litany of injuries at FSU, but was dominant on a per-snap basis while on the field, and his blocking highlight reel is ridiculous -- Incredible Hulk throwing around Thor-like.

 

102(c). Texans – Florida EDGE Jonathan Greenard

Greenard may have done enough at the Senior Bowl to sneak into Day 2. He’s coming off a really good senior season, and he contributes against the run and can get after the QB. What we saw in 2019, we never saw at Louisville. Is Greenard a one-year wonder? Is the wrist injury he suffered in 2018 a thing of the past? Was some of his production last year schemed? Interesting prospect.

 

103(c). Seahawks – Washington OT Trey Adams

Adams was considered a first-round lock a few years ago, but injuries wrecked that. Now, he’s a post-hype guy that some franchise needs to role the dice on, as early as late-Day 2 and as late as mid-Day 3. The local Seattle Seahawks make sense on a late Round 3 flier.

 

104(c). Steelers – Temple iOL Matt Hennessy

A Remington finalist in 2019, Hennessy is a steady grinder who would help Pittsburgh address an underachieving, aging offensive interior.

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