Voices

Coronavirus and Sports: Becoming Numb

I was going to write about Inter Miami, I really was. Maybe it would have been an upbeat preview about the “MLS Is Back” schedule reveal (Breakfast with Inter Miami vs. Chicago Fire at 9 a.m. on July 14, can you dig it?) or a more serious, ominous look at the league and its protocols as we are only 2 weeks away from the start of the first tournament in the United States after the pandemic.

But then I thought “AFTER the pandemic? We are barely during the pandemic, much less past it” and I discovered I’m sort of…detached? Nah, that’s not the word. I still follow the American sports landscape and want sports to be back. Shocked? That’s not it either, nothing that has happened the past three months has surprised me even a little, and that’s saying something. Numb? Yes, that’s it. I’m numb to the developments in the sports world nowadays, and I’m pretty sure other fans, writers and even players feel similarly.

I’m numb because I saw the news about 16 NBA players (the equivalent of an entire team’s roster, plus one) testing positive for COVID-19 and my reaction isn’t “Oh my, what if they backtrack and the season is cancelled?” It’s more like “I’m fine with whatever happens, I’m just waiting to see everyone freak out when a true superstar tests positive and [insert team here] has to play an entire series without him.”

I’m numb because “43 Division I teams have been eliminated in the last 12 weeks, and more than 130 programs have been cut across all NCAA levels”, and those kids weren’t earning millions of dollars, even as some of their coaches were and certainly their athletic departments are.

LOOKING FOR A SOLUTION

New Zealand is past the pandemic with tens of thousands gathering with joy to watch a rugby match most of them probably don’t remember the final score of. Europe is crowning champions as its cases are mostly going down (hello, Sweden, we see you) and fans celebrate the end of droughts in Liverpool and Naples as the ball keeps rolling with no apparent setbacks week after week.

Liverpool fans celebrate outside Anfield.

Even South America has soccer, but that’s because they don’t really give a shit in Brazil and they are bent on living like there is literally no tomorrow and they had the most new daily cases in the world on Thursday, June 25. Seems healthy.

Meanwhile, the United States of America is looking at itself in the mirror and wonders how it all went so wrong, so quickly after three months of sacrifices that were supposed to pave the way for sports to come back swiftly and smoothly.

We are Rachel and the Coronavirus is Ross asking: “OVER you? When were you UNDER me?” while we beat ourselves up wondering what went wrong and the President compares a deadly virus to the sniffles.

I’m numb because baseball is about to be back for a lightning round of games that promise to be exciting. Why am I not excited? I should be, with every game being three times as important and the potential of a repeat of that frantic 2011 finish of the regular season that gave every baseball fan a collective heart attack.

My heart rate is nowhere near skyrocketing, though. Some experts don’t even think the season will be able to finish.

I should be pumped to witness the start of the Tua era in Miami, but then I see that the Hall of Fame game between the Cowboys and the Steelers was cancelled and I’m bracing for what August and September might bring.

I’m even numb to the added crowd noise and the “virtual fans” we see at European soccer games. It’s background noise.

Maybe you read this and thought I spent 700 words being dramatic, and that’s ok. Maybe you will feel numb or jaded until 2021, and that’s ok too. Maybe this is just temporary, and everything feels a little alien after 100+ days of uncertainty and I will be all pumped up again in a couple of weeks when sports feel “real” again.

I will be waiting for that moment to come.

Now, Josh Rosen needs to earn it

DAVIE – So it begins. The Josh Rosen era? At this point it’s the onset of the audition.

Coach Brian Flores prefers to view it as a competition.

Though few outsiders believe Rosen won’t be behind center when the Dolphins open the 2019 season, it is in the best interest of the franchise that the second-year quarterback acquired from the Arizona Cardinals must show he merits the job.

That is as it should be. If Rosen really has the makings of a franchise quarterback, it should be no sweat to earn the starting job.

If not, it will become apparent to the coaching staff through the course of offseason work, training camp and the exhibition season.

Flores made that point recently and the process began this week with the first week of offseason organized team activities for veterans and rookies.

Tuesday was the first full session open to the media and the largest turnout in years for OTAs – it’s offseason practice! – assembled to get a glimpse of Rosen in action.

For the record, when they began running plays in 7-on-7 drills, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick was lined up with the starting receiving corps of Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker, Jakeem Grant and Mike Gesicki.

There certainly was a message in that, for Rosen as well as for the media to pass along to the fan base.

Remember, it’s a competition – even if it’s really a charade (wink, wink).

Notably, Fitzpatrick was the sharper quarterback through the course of the session.

When it was Rosen’s turn, he fired a strike over the middle on his first pass. His second was picked off by Sam Eguavoen, a former CFL linebackers and returned to the end zone.

Rosen also fumbled a couple of snaps at the beginning of practice.

None of which, of course, is of any consequence. As Flores said, “We’re not making cuts today.”

It’s May, and much of this rebuilding team is still putting names to faces and learning the way to their respective lockers.

“You kind of underestimate from the outside looking in all the logistical issues from having to have to move and uproot your place,” Rosen said after the workout. “I’m walking into the receivers room thinking it’s the bathroom. But when you step on the field you’ve just got let all that go and just play football.”

Rosen’s twitter account featured a photo from Monday’s session of its smiling namesake under center and the message, “Great to be back on the field and just play football.”

 

Rosen’s predecessor, Ryan Tannehill, waited until the beginning of his final season in Miami to try to project some personality via social media, but the effort kind of fizzled out – like his tenure.

It was refreshing that the absence of No. 17 in the quarterback corps isn’t due to injury. (Wide receiver Brice Butler now wears Tannehill’s old number).

It was more than time to try something different and it begins with competition (really, it is) between a 37-year-old journeyman and a top-10 draft pick who has already been discarded by the team that traded up to select him and acquired by the Dolphins for a No. 2 draft pick.

The intrigue of a rebuilding season will be in where that leads under the direction of a rookie head coach and staff, many of them with connections to the Patriots’ extended run of success.

“We’re looking for guys who can consistently move the ball down the field,” Flores said of the quarterback competition.

Flores has said that he welcomes players wanting to know the why of things, which has been portrayed as a criticism of Rosen in Arizona.

“I appreciate it. Our meeting room has been really productive, really good,” Rosen said, noting that he’s already picked up valuable guidance from quarterback coaches Jim Caldwell and Jerry Schuplinski. “It’s always about progress. I just want to keep taking steps forward and I think they’re helping me do that.”

During Tuesday’s 90-minute session, with players in shorts, Rosen showed some zip and the ability to connect with receivers in coverage.

He lobbed a deep ball on the mark that should have gone for a touchdown but it slipped through the hands of Parker. Some things don’t change.

“Obviously, he’s a talented player – big arm. But like everyone else he’s got a long way to go – [on] fundamentals, technique, playbook,” Flores said of Rosen, who did display some pocket presence in dancing away from a rusher and completing a short pass.

This week is about formulating early impressions. Drawing firm conclusions is still months away.

As Flores noted, this stage of the offseason program is still voluntary. Veteran safety Reshad Jones elected not to attend as he did during the first offseason minicamp last month.

But for most of the 91 players on the roster, the audition is underway.

“Everybody is getting evaluated in this building every day. Period,” Flores said. “That’s just what it is.”

When it comes to the quarterback sweepstakes, that’s a good thing, no matter who ends up winning it (wink, wink).

One way or another the Dolphins will find out if he is the player to lead them into the future or whether they’ll need to dip back into the talent pool and find someone else next year.

Craig Davis has covered South Florida sports and teams, including the Dolphins, for four decades. Follow him on Twitter @CraigDavisRuns

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News

NFLPA announces suspension of multiple-player workouts

Following news that two Tampa Bay Buccaneers players tested positive for COVID-19, the NFLPA put out a statement on Saturday,  stating no players should be practicing together in private workouts.

In a statement by Dr. Thom Mayor, it is noted that the league is working on the best “mitigation procedures at team facilities for both training camps and the upcoming season.”

Suspension of Multi-Player Workouts

The sports world and some of its most prominent figures have been hit by COVID-19 in the past couple of days. In addition to the Buccaneers, the Philadelphia Phillies had eight positive tests among players and personnel. All MLB spring training camps have been temporarily closed as a result of these tests.

In the hockey world, the Tampa Bay Lightning also had three players and staffers tested positive for coronavirus. Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews also tested positive.

One has to wonder how many more positive tests we will see in the coming days. As workouts resume, we are seeing  more positive tests across all leagues and all sports.

College football is not exempt from this either. 28 Clemson student athletes and staff have tested positive for COVID 19 as well.

It will be interesting to see what each league does as a result of these positive tests. It’s looking more and more like these positive tests will be a recurring theme throughout the next couple of weeks. Now, the question is, what sports will return ,if any? This is certainly an a different set of circumstances than anything we have ever experienced before.

As far as the NFL is concerned, it will be interesting to see what the league does procedurally and in terms of workouts. Football by nature is a game where there is close contact with individuals and multiple players touching a football.

If the NFL wants to have a season in 2020, they will certainly have to think outside the box.

How to Play Daily Fantasy Football

While the 2020 NFL season is still  at risk and everyone is waiting for further announcements, the NFL DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) will pave the way for bettors to gamble for the upcoming NFL games online. The NFL DFS is a creative way of playing the NFL games online while earning through the betting games you can wager on. 

In some trusted sportsbooks, there are options to play fantasy football, and most of these are for rookies or beginners. Below is the step by step process on how you can play and gamble for a daily fantasy football. 

Create A Roster And Scoring Settings 

The first step you have to do before playing the NFL DFS is to create a team and scoring board. Do know that each bookie sets a salary range that you can use for the team you build. It is also the basis of how much you can wager. In creating a DFS team, the rules are the same, which consists of  1 Quarterback, 2 Running Back, 3 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Flex, and 1 Defensive End.

These nine players must divide the given salary depending on the value at stake for their assigned position. As for the scoring, you can refer to the real NFL rules and scoring guidelines as it follows the same process per position. 

Do know that the defense and offense players have different scoring methods, and you must know this before playing. Familiarize yourself with the difference in every position and what would be the varying score methods for each.

Know The DFS Basics 

Although the DFS rules work the same as the real NFL games, you still need to know the basics since you are playing this game virtually. So, before you create a roster and scoring board, here are the DFS basics you must first comprehend. 

Player’s Latest Updates 

The players competing in DFS are the same as the NFL. You need to ensure that you get updated with the player’s latest information, especially if they get injured, which can affect your picking and betting games.

Vegas Odds

This factor is an essential one that you must learn when playing DFS football. These are odds set before the game will start. You can refer to the moneyline bets, points spread, and prop bets that a usual NFL game is holding as DFS does the same thing. Although you have the sole decision to decide what to bet, if you get updated with Vegas DFS odds daily, you might end up winning the whole game.  

Schedule

You also need to check each team’s schedule along with their opponents. This fact will help you in preparing for the right roster of matches and DFS betting effectively. Thus, knowing the schedule increases your winning chances.

Understand That DFS Overtakes Real NFL Games 

In real NFL games, match-ups are essential because it is how you decide your bets. If a bookie identifies the favorites over the dog, then you can start researching which entry you can successfully wager. In fact, real NFL games are harder to contemplate compared to DFS. 

Daily Fantasy football betting does not rely upon the match-up but the player’s stats. It means that if the player like the wide receiver generates a strong start, the team who got this player can win most likely the fantasy game. 

Get Updated With The Weekly Player Value 

As stated above, the player’s value is a crucial factor you must take note of before playing DFS. Each player, whether performing an offense or defense task, has a different value depending on their current statistics. Also, the prize associated with DFS depends on the amount set by the oddsmaker. 

Here are the current NFL players who dominated DFS football along with their fantasy points that you can consider in betting. 

  • Patrick Mahomes (QB) – 23.55 fantasy points 
  • Lamar Jackson (QB) – 22.75 fantasy points
  • Russell Wilson (QB) – 19.89 fantasy points 
  • Dak Prescott (QB) – 19.46 fantasy points
  • Deshaun Watson (QB) – 18.88 fantasy points 

Takeaway 

Daily fantasy football is an excellent way of earning a considerable amount of money if you mix obvious reasoning and thinking outside the box. Also, if you are new to the world of NFL, keep up with the latest news regarding this event, especially with the rules of the game. Therefore, if you want to leverage a new alternative way of fast earning, playing daily fantasy football is the right answer. Make sure to mind the process outlined above to get you guided in playing this betting game.

Running game should be better for Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins were historically bad when it came to running the football during the 2019 NFL season. The Dolphins were last in the NFL in rushing with just 1,156 yards gained on the ground.

Six NFL players – Derrick Henry of the Tennessee Titans, Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns, Christian McCaffrey of the Carolina Panthers, Ezekiel Elliot of the Dallas Cowboys, Chris Carson of the Seattle Seahawks and Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens – gained more yards running the football last season than the entire Dolphins team.

Here’s a great trivia question to stump NFL fans – name the two quarterbacks to lead their team in rushing during the 2019 campaign. Jackson, who set a new NFL single-season rushing mark for QBs, was one of them. But if you got Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick as the other answer, you win a cookie.

In his 15th NFL season, Fitzpatrick, 37, rambled for 243 yards.

That total was enough to lead the Dolphins, and that stat is truly embarrassing. Miami needs to run the football significantly better this season in order for people in Florida to bet on the Dolphins as a legitimate AFC East playoff threat.

Beefing Up the Backfield

The Dolphins signed RB Jordan Howard as a free agent. Photo by: YouTube.com screenshot.

During the offseason, the Dolphins set out to address their needs in the backfield. Matt Breida was acquired in a trade with the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers. Jordan Howard, who’s had stints with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Bears, was signed as a free agent.

Among NFL running backs from 2016-18, only Elliott and Todd Gurley churned up more yards on the ground than Howard, 25, who gained 3,370 yards over that span. A shoulder injury limited him to 525 yards last season. Howard has also suited up for playoff teams each of the past two seasons.

Breida averaged 5.1 yards per carry for the NFC West champion 49ers last season. He rambled for 623 yards on 123 carries and scored one touchdown. Equipped with explosive speed, he broke 18 runs of 10 yards or more. On average, that means he made a big play 14.6 percent of the times when he ran the football.

A Net Gain

Historically, when the Dolphins run the football well, things tend to go well for them. Miami’s most recent playoff appearance came in 2016. That season, Jay Ajayi rambled for 1,222 yards on the ground. Miami was ninth in the NFL in rushing that season with 1,824 yards gained.

A half-dozen of Miami’s 23 postseason squads have featured a 1,000-yard rusher. The legendary unbeaten Super Bowl champion 1972 Dolphins featured a pair of grand runners. Larry Csonka ran for 1,117 yards, while Mercury Morris contributed an even 1,000.

There were 17 Dolphins playoff clubs that included a running back with 800 or more yards on the ground. Of those that didn’t, several teams – especially the Miami clubs of the early-to-mid-1980s – were prominently led in the ground game by a backfield by committee formula.

Miami’s 1984 Super Bowl team that lost to the 49ers included Woody Bennett (606 yards), Tony Nathan (558) and Joe Carter (495) in the backfield behind rookie quarterback Dan Marino. The following season, four runners went over 250 yards on the ground, led by Nathan’s 667 yards.

Running Still Matters

The NFL might no longer be the run-dominated league that it was in the early 1970s when Miami ruled as kings of the hill. Sharing the workload between Csonka, Morris and Jim Kiick, those Dolphins teams could continually punish and simply wear out a defense.

Certainly, today’s NFL is first and foremost a passing league but to suggest running the football has become an afterthought would be pure folly. Five of the top six NFL teams in rushing yardage during the 2019 season were all postseason participants. Two of the top three – San Francisco and Tennessee – played in their respective conference championship games. Baltimore, which led the NFL with 3,296 yards on the ground, also posted an NFL-best 14-2 regular-season record.

The Dolphins will need to run the ball to succeed this season, whether it’s with the veteran Fitzpatrick or 2020 first-round draft pick Tua Tagovailoa at the helm of the offense. Sending the rookie Tagovailoa on the field to figure out and adjust to NFL defenses without a capable running game at his disposal would be suicide for the kid.

Finishing 2-2 to close out a 5-11 campaign last season, Miami actually averaged 100.75 yards per game on the ground. It was a big increase over the Dolphins’ season average of 72.25 yards per game.

That’s where Breida and Howard could really make a difference in Miami. Last season, Breida was a dangerous weapon in San Francisco’s three-back system that saw him, Raheem Mostert (722 yards) and Tevin Coleman (544) all run for over 500 yards. They were the first team to suit up three 500-yard rushers in the same season since the 1978 New England Patriots.

Working in combination with two-time 1,000-yard rusher Howard, they could provide a dynamic duo in the backfield for Miami.

 

The 5 Best Dolphins of All-Time? Here’s one list.

Over the years the Miami Dolphins have seen some incredible talents walk through their doors, even if not as many the past decade or so. The latest of those is Tua Tagovailoa, who is just one of several that could have bright NFL futures ahead, but instead of speculating over what lays ahead we’re going to look back at some of the stars from yesteryear.

Here is a list of five of the best to have donned the Dolphins jersey.

 

Number 5. Zach Thomas 

Even allowing for the fact that Thomas was a round five pick, his arrival in Miami was underwhelming to say the least. He had a decent college career at Texas Tech but question marks remained over his size and attitude.

By the time he retired after a 13-year NFL career, those questions had been well and truly answered. Seven Pro-Bowls, five first team All-Pro honours and he was twice named Linebacker of the year.

All bar one of his professional years were spent with the Dolphins – the other being at the end of his career in Dallas – and he called it a day having landed 1,700 tackles. Doubters, what doubters?

And he should be in the Hall of Fame.

 

Number 4. Dwight Stephenson

Stephenson was snapped up in round two of the 1980 draft after he’d been part of the Crimson Tide side that had just won back to back National Championships. He wasn’t the headline maker of the Dolphins but he was a big player and was a vital cog as they made two Super Bowls in three years during the mid-eighties.

Of course, Stevenson might be held in even higher regard had he not been forced to call time on his career after just seven years. Then again, five Pro-Bowls and five All-Pro awards in consecutive seasons along side winning the NFL Man of the Year award and being named in the 100th anniversary side isn’t a shabby legacy.

 

Number 3. Larry Little

For a brief moment it looked like Little had missed his chance to compete at the top when he went undrafted. The San Diego Chargers offered him a chance though and two years later he was jetting into Miami. Little wasn’t keen on the move but he quickly had an impact on the Dolphins. Fast forward five years and he had made three Super Bowls – winning two – and had been honoured with five All-Pro and four Pro-Bowls. From there on out Little was a Dolphin through and through before retiring in 1980.

 

Number 2. Larry Csonka

Csonka was a machine that would not be stopped. He was the Dolphins round one pick in 1968 but a couple of serious blows to his head early on in his pro career left things in the balance. He overcame the odds to return to the field. Thank goodness he did. Four seasons followed with Csonka an ever present in the team.

Of those four years, the final three ended in Super Bowl appearances with the Dolphins triumphant in 1973 and 74. Csonka was named Bowl MVP for his contribution in the latter. He moved on after that but couldn’t stay away and returned in 1979 for one last season, which saw him awarded the comeback award after recording a career high of 12 rushing touchdowns. Who says ‘never go back’?

 

Number 1. Dan Marino

Then there was one – Dan Marino. Who else? We’ve touched on the team that dominated in the early to mid-seventies and it’s fair to say that if Marino played then, he would not have looked out of place.

For 17 years he loyally served the Dolphins as he carried them to 10 play-off appearances but, sadly, just one Super Bowl, which ended in defeat. If anyone deserved the glory of a Super Bowl win then it was Marino too. However, just like a horse who underachieves in the Kentucky Derby odds, Marino never quite made it as far as he deserved.

Over his career he threw more than 61,000 yards with his second season seeing him throw 48 touchdowns and 5,084 yards – records that stood for 20 and 27 years respectively. We could list all his honours but, quite frankly, that would be exhausting instead we leave you with the thought that this is just a snapshot of what Marino achieved – nine Pro-Bowls, five years of leading the league on passing yards, another three where he led on passing touchdowns, a league MVP award and a place in the Hall of Fame.

There you have it, five legendary Dolphins. Over to you, class of 2020, just some small shoes to fill.

 

Tua’s Here! Get Your New Shirts!

It started with one.

The classic Tua 2020 concept, with the #Tankovailoa hashtag, to honor the Miami Dolphins’ apparent backwards pursuit of the elite University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

(Is that how you spell it?)

That’s been the biggest seller on our site, by far.

The trendsetter.

And you can still get it HERE, same price as always. 

Even comes in a tank….

But now we know you need more.

It’s a party in South Florida, so why not play off a favorite drinking establishment, the one with the slushy drinks that make you feel a little loopy.

So we have two shirts based on that bar, which is based on the New Orleans tradition.

You get the first HERE, in ORANGE:

Need something a little more elaborate and, shall we say, risque?

To make a request of the new Dolphins quarterback….

The Show Me Your TD’s shirt can be found HERE:

And we added another, loosely based a slogan you may have heard somewhere.

We don’t want to exclude the female fans of the Dolphins, or the network.

But, for one shirt? Sure.

You can get that one HERE:

You can find a variety of Miami Heat, Florida Panthers and Five Reasons Sports Network shirts and other apparel here on our site.

Continue to look for new designs from Adam Smoot on this MERCHANDISE page.

Also ask how to become a brand ambassador.

2020 NFL Draft Live Coverage: Day 2

The 2020 NFL Draft started just how we wanted it, right? Tua is finally a Miami Dolphin!

Tonight, you get to share Day 2 of the NFL Draft with US again:

Five Reasons Sports Network NFL Draft Live Coverage Day 2:

 

Rewatch our NFL Draft Day 1 Coverage here: 

 

Our new TUA shirt! Get it here!

 

Catch up with our stories:

The official Three Yards Per Carry video draft guide (Alfredo Arteaga, Simon Clancy)

The final Three Yards Per Carry/Extra Yard mock draft (Alfredo Arteaga)

Tua, no matter what (Josh Houtz) 

Pressure point: is Tua the plan? (Craig Davis)

Hey Dolphins, be the Heat (Ethan Skolnick)

The most important Dolphins draft ever (Ramon Lo)

The South Florida draft prospects (Larry Blustein)

The Miami Hurricanes draftees (Paul Austria)

 

Thanks to our sponsors:

Andre Law (AndreLaw.com)

Keystone Chiropractic (Office here)

Luis Peters, State Farm (LuisPeters.com)

Greenlight Tek (GreenlightTek.com)

Lloyd Heilbrunn law (Palm Beach firm)

Greenview Construction (MACAINC.net)

Seltzer Mayberg law firm (North Miami firm)

 

 

Check our live coverage here:

THE EXTRA YARD: 2020 NFL DRAFT COMPLETE DRAFT GUIDE

Welcome to the Five Reasons Sports 2020 NFL Draft Guide.

Here are top 5 lists compiled by Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga), and a counter list by Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) for each position, for the 2020 NFL Draft. By offering you rankings of prospects 1 thru 5 for each position, we hope you will better understand this most important draft. Enjoy!

 

Miami Dolphins Picks:
Round1· Pick 5(5)
Round1· Pick 18(18)PIT > MIA
Round1· Pick 26(26)HOU > MIA
Round2· Pick 7(39)
Round2· Pick 24(56)NO > MIA
Round3· Pick 6(70)
Round4· Pick 35(141)Compensatory
Round5· Pick 7(153)
Round5· Pick 9(154)JAX > PIT > MIS
Round5· Pick 28(173)BAL > LA > MIN
Round6· Pick 6(185)
Round7· Pick 13(227)IND > MIA
Round7· Pick 32(246)KC > MIA
Round7· Pick 37(251)Compensatory

 

 

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACKS

1. TUA TAGOVAILOA – Alabama – 6’-0” 217 lbs.

What can be said about Tua that we haven’t already said? He is the real deal, with uncanny anticipation, confidence to throw the tight windows, and the accuracy to make those throws not much of a risk. Tagovailoa is also not hopeless with his feet. He can run when needed, and runs smartly. The best deep ball thrower in the draft, is also the best intermediate thrower, while also being the best ball manipulator/handler. The only knock is the injury concern, which is very real.

2. JOE BURROW – LSU- 6’-4” 221 lbs.

Simply put, Joe Burrow had the best season for a Quarterback in College Football History. That alone would have moved his draft status from where it was (Day 3 pick) to the top of the draft. But there is more. I was not a big fan of his, due to the “one hit wonder” nature of hsi production, and what I consider sub par arm strength. What Burrow lacks in power,he makes up with impeccable mechanics. Good anticipation, above average athleticism, Football IQ, ideal size, make Burrow as complete a prospect as we have seen in a long while.

3. JORDAN LOVE – Utah State – 6’-4” 224 lbs.

Love has every throw in the book. There is simply not a place on a football field, and an arm angle that Jordan Love can’t get too. Good size, with a knack for escaping with his feet and making yards on the run, check all the “natural ability” boxes for Love. So it begs the question, if he is a good, why was he so bad in 2019? You can call these excuses, but they are very much legitimate. 7 new starters on offense, lost most of his skill guys, and some turnover in coaches. Go back to his 2018 season, and things look a bit different. There is Huge upside for Love, with the downside being that his decision making is somewhat poor. Of my top 5, he is the least likely to start in year 1.

4. JUSTIN HERBERT- Oregon- 6’-6” 236 lbs.

He can throw it through a brick wall. Best arm of all these prospects. Herbert has been supplanted over the term of the last 18 months, first by Tua Tagovailoa and then Joe Burrow for “top prospect” status, mainly due to Herbert not progressing as a prospect. He has had chances to shine in nationally televised “showdown” games and come up short (Auburn, 2019), but he did finish strong in the Rose Bowl with 3 rushing TD’s (he threw for 138 yards however). What Herbert lacks in consistency, he makes up for in potential. There is simply not many 6′-6″ 235lb. rocket armed prospects, with his mix of arm talent, and athleticsm. He is not so much a “project” as he is a “projection”. Herbert can be anything.

5. JACOB EASON – Washington- 6’-6” 231 lbs.

Very strong arm, with good size, and uncanny ability for throwing accurate in cut routes. I believe Eason would have been better served and probably solidified a 1st round status, had he returned to Washington for his senior season. Has a bit of a gun slinger mentality, but he does not play with confidence when facing a rush. Tends to drop his eyes when guys dive at his feet, and is pretty poor in escaping the pocket. Eason is begging for experience, and coaching. Those things you can teach, but you cannot teach his size and his pure natural ability. Eason does do one thing very well however that can help him play early in his career. He recognizes coverages well, and attacks accordingly. Sometimes vertically. He is the type that can play early with limited responsibility. To be much more, you would have to call him a project.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
2. Joe Burrow – LSU
3. Jordan Love – Utah State
4. Justin Herbert – Oregon
5. Jacob Eason – Washington

 

RUNNING BACKS

1. J.K. DOBBINS- Ohio State-5’-10” 209 lbs.

Dobbins didn’t run at the combine, but did meet with Dolphins RB’s coach Eric Studesville for close to two hours. J.K. Dobbins is the best one cut RB in this draft for a team that has Chan Gailey, so it’s hard to find a better fit than Dobbins for the system they are running. Dobbins has a strong, squat build that powers through grab tackles. His one cut ability allows for further acceleration in the hole, and makes every carry that gets past the first level an opportunity for a house call. His transition from catch to carry is not as clean as you would like, and he is more of a positional pass blocker than a punishing one.

2. JONATHAN TAYLOR- Wisconsin-5’-10” 226 lbs.

Jonathan Taylor has the size, speed, production combination that usually lands a RB in the first round. His 4.39 forty yard dash time at the combine was an eye popping one in the sense of how smooth he was moving at 226 lbs. Taylor is a patient runner, but also has considerable one cut ability. In the passing game, he has displayed a care for and attention to route running which is nice to see. A bit more of a punisher than his colleagues as a pass protector. The fear with Taylor is that he was over-used at Wisconsin, and that the tread on the tire is a bit thin. Had 18 fumbles in 3 seasons at Wisconsin with 15 of them lost. That is a problem.

3. D’ANDRE SWIFT- Georgia-5’-8” 212 lbs.

The latest in very successful Georgia backs. Swift is quick to get to top speed and is rather intelligent as a runner, pass protector. Not too many wasted motions, when setting up blocks. One of the better perimeter runners in this draft. Best adept at zone running, but is not hopeless in one cut lead schemes. The smoothest of the top 5 as a pass catcher, as he transitions easily from the catch to ball security. Has been accused of being a bit too cavalier with how he totes the ball, and transitioning from left to right carry. Tends to drop his head in pass pro, but has been effective in the past.

4. CAM AKERS- FSU- 5’-10” 217 lbs.

Cam has consistently shown top end speed when loose, and very good balance when receiving contact. Akers playing on bad FSU teams and remaining productive has to be taken into consideration. Very good body build consistent with those successful in the NFL. Good definition and full lower body build which NFL scouts like in high draft pick RB’s. Hard to project as a pass catcher and protector due to his team’s failings, but the film suggests that he recognizes nano blitzes, and has a good sense for plugging the A gap. Can be a bit of a dancer and not very decisive when presented with options. Very much a zone runner, and has shown little as far as pressing the hole, cinching blocks for his guys and then taking open run lanes. Poor supporting cast makes him hard to project.

5. CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE- LSU-5’-7” 207 lbs.

A bowling ball. Main criticism is that he seeks contact instead of avoiding it. Plays with a mean streak rarely seen in guys his size. Yes, he sometimes seeks contact, but his jump cut is as good as any in this draft. He does make people miss. Smart in option route running and a killer in pass pro. You are not gonna get many home runs with him, but you will get steady work. Film shows a propensity to seek daylight to the perimeter after breaking tackles. It’s an instinct that has been rather consistent. Would rather he be more vision conscience, than instinct based.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. D’Andre Swift – Georgia
2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire – LSU
3. Jonathan Taylor – Wisconsin
4. J.K. Dobbins – Ohio State
5. Cam Akers – Florida State

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. CEEDEE LAMB- Oklahoma- 6’-2” 198 lbs.

Plays bigger than his size, which is actually ideal. Speed checked out at the combine with a 4.5 flat. Good at the contested catch, and is probably the best YAC guy in this great WR class. Very quick out of breaks, and is physical with his hands, creating natural space on his routes. CeeDee is the most complete WR in this class.

2. JERRY JEUDY- Alabama- 6’-1” 193 lbs.

Very lite feet, make Jeudy the best route runner in this class. Jeudy is also quick to transition from catch to run, and is an excellent runner in the open field. Been slippery at times breaking tackles, and his quickness in the intermediate passing game, allow space for him to get his stride going toward the goal line. His slow, developed stride gets on you quick, which makes him a sneaky good deep route runner.

3. JUSTIN JEFFERSON- LSU- 6’-1” 202 lbs.

The star of the 2020 NFL Combine, Jefferson plays much bigger than his size, and plays much longer than he is. Great catch radius, and also elevates above man coverage to own his space. Will be a good slot and red zone threat due to his large catch radius. An easy mover, that always absorbed hits better than most. Smart vs. zone, clean with his hands, although he is not the best YAC guy. Fastest mover up the board in this draft class.

4. TEE HIGGINS- Clemson- 6’-4” 216 lbs.

A former “Mr. Football”, top 20 recruit, who came into Clemson with much hype, has faded over the past 2 seasons, as others in the class have surpassed him. Long, angular, with a massive catch radius, make Higgins a TD threat in the red zone, which will be something in his favor when teams weigh him versus better prospects. The fear on Higgins is that he was never asked to do much more than abuse lessor players in the ACC with a very simple route tree. Has shown a lack of physicality when faced with press, which is a concern for the NFL.

5. LAVISKA SHENAULT JR.- Colorado- 6’-1” 227 lbs.

The highest ceiling for any prospect in this WR draft class. Big and strong, and plays like it. Strong with YAC, as he has favorable comparisons to Dez Bryant. Also plays faster than he timed at the combine (4.58), where he complained of a muscle core injury, that later required surgery. He has struggled to stay healthy. Shenault’s wide running base creates space for him on in cuts, and make him an easy and friendly target for QB’s. The risk / reward ratio is obviously there. It’s his availability versus his obvious gifts.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Jerry Jeudy – Alabama
2. Laviska Shenault – Colorado
3. CeeDee Lamb Oklahoma
4. Justin Jefferson – LSU
5. Henry Ruggs – Alabama

 

TIGHT ENDS

1. COLE KMET- Notre Dame- 6’-6” 262 lbs.

Big rangy target, that squares well to his QB. Pretty clean hands as well, and he transitions to securing the ball just as well. Is a load to bring down, as he runs through half hearted tackles. Kmet is not much of a blocker, although he is very quick out of his 3 point stance, and even faster on his stand up release. This is not a very good Tight end class, so it makes sense for a guy that could be at the top of it, to be such an incomplete player. Best suited for Y-Tight end work. Needs drilling on his blocking.

2. BRYCEN HOPKINS- Purdue- 6’-4” 245 lbs.

A quick twitch player at Tight End, will garner some attention, as Hopkins is rather fluid in his movement. He is not stiff as most of this class is. Good high pointing the ball, and could be the best red zone target of the class, due to his versatility, and route running. It was really hard to find positive blocking video on Hopkins. Lacks technique and tends to do a lot of grabbing. Best route runner of the group, and the most polished pass catcher as well.

3. ADAM TRAUTMAN- Dayton- 6’-5” 255 lbs.

Probably the most complete prospect of the class. Trautman did not test well, and ran painfully slow for such a good looking athlete (4.8). Trautman is tough to project due to clear downgrade in competition. Highly productive with 70 catches for 916 yards (13.1 YPC) and 14 TD’s, Trautman has showed he can handle the activity and attention throughout his college career, and his professionalism has impressed scouts. His potential, and projection alone makes him likely to be the first Tight end off the board.

4. HUNTER BRYANT- Washington- 6’-2” 248 lbs.

The latest in the long list of combine disappointments, Bryant was expected to run fast, because he plays fast. Bryant is the most unlikely of these Tight end prospects in that he is actually a good/decent blocker. Good driving from a 3 point stance, and even better blocking in space. It’s that ability that will get him to stick for many years in the NFL as a special teams performer. Not the most elusive in this class, and not very powerful in YAC. Bryant is rather smooth in transitioning in and out of breaks, and has a polished look as a pass receiver. In this weak Tight end class, Bryant is as good as any. His size concerns, and inability to get open versus physical coverage is also a big concern. His underrated blocking saves him overall, but Bryant needs a weight room.

5. COLBY PARKINSON- Stanford- 6’-7” 252 lbs.

A big target with rather clean hands. Looks and plays athletically, although he tested poorly at the combine. For his obvious imposing size, Colby is a mediocre in-line blocker, and has a hard time keeping contact with his blocks on the edge. An accomplished route runner, which si to say that a large man with skill is going to get open versus smaller, equally athletic college players. Will he be overwhelmed by NFL type athleticism from his opponents? That is the concern. His size, and pedigree will get him drafted higher than he probably deserves to be in any other draft year. The upside is still there, though.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Adam Trautman – Dayton
2. Cole Kmet – Notre Dame
3. Thaddeus Moss – LSU
4. Brycen Hopkins – Purdue
5. Albert Okwuegbunam – Missouri

 


OFFENSIVE TACKLES

1. ANDREW THOMAS- Georgia- 6’-5” 315 lbs.

When you talk about “clean” prospects, I think a 5 star recruit, 2-time 1st Team SEC, 3-time All American, qualifies. Thomas, as early as 18 months ago was a near consensus top 5 pick, and I don’t think much has changed. Thomas is a monster in the run game, as he moves easily out to landmarks and assignments in the run game. When he gets there, he finds guys to hit. (an important quality in an NFL tackle) Very strong hands, and a consistent base in Pass pro, make Andrew Thomas a complete prospect.

2. TRISTAN WIRFS- Iowa- 6’-5” 320 lbs.

Wirfs has the ideal build, and frame for right tackle in the NFL. He not only tested off the charts at the combine, but is a legendary weight room fixture at Iowa. Nimble feet, with a smooth slide, and noticeable lateral quickness. Has the “power” look but plays like an athlete. Well versed in hand placement, and has no issues whatsoever in re-setting his feet and adjusting to rushers in space. In the run game, he sometimes builds up too much steam and overruns blocks at the 2nd level. It’s an adrenaline issue, not a skill-set one.

3. MEKHI BECTON- Louisville- 6’-7” 364 lbs.

A mammoth human being adept at playing both tackle spots. Played both adequately, but settled as a LT at Louisville. Some of his film in the run game has an abusive look to it. To say that Becton manhandles foes is an understatement. With very quick choppy steps that get him upon his prey, his hands latch on to control defenders, and he really finishes them. In the passing game, he does not lumber. He is as nimble as you can get for big man, and he rarely lets his hands leave his frame. On the downside, there is always fear that a large man will succumb to poor discipline. Becton has also had some bad moments versus elaborate stunts/blitzes.

4. JEDRICK WILLS- Alabama- 6’-4” 312 lbs.

The best pass protector of any tackle prospect in this draft. (He is a Right Tackle). His kick slide is natural and not exaggerated. His hand placement is perfect, and I never saw him (2019 film) over extend his arm outside his frame. His great technique will mean few penalties in the NFL. Wills is so good in pass pro, that it is conceivable that somebody will draft him with the intention of trying him on the left side. If he has some “cons”, it’s that he is all schooling/skill, and that can sometimes overwhelm his poorly coached/weaker opponents. Wills has good foot speed, but he does tend to drop his head a bit when reaching toward the second level. A clean prospect.

5. JOSH JONES- Houston- 6’-5” 319 lbs.

Played in 9 games in 2019 due to a knee injury. Jones has consistently gotten better, each and every year at Houston. Plays with a certain smoothness, and athleticism, which classifies him as a dancer/athlete at tackle, but make no mistake, Josh Jones is not some finesse tackle taken advantage of on the edge. He will finish a block on you, and he does seek contact int eh run game, and usually finds it due to his proportioned, long, rangy build. On the downside, Jones does need a bit coaching, as there are many examples of rushers getting to his chest. Footwork, could be better as he sometimes keeps his feet moving to move guys, instead of anchoring and stoning them. This is a coaching project, but one that can pay HUGE dividends in the future.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Jedrick Wills – Alabama
2. Tristan Wirfs – Iowa
3. Mekhi Becton – Louisville
4. Andrew Thomas – Georgia
5. Josh Jones – Houston

 

OFFENSIVE GUARDS

1. DAMIEN LEWIS- LSU- 6’-2” 327 lbs

This is a people mover. The consummate mauler at Right Guard, but without the excessive useless size. He is perfectly squat and proportionate, and is at his perfect weight right now. Keeps his feet moving and improves his blocks by digging lower on his drive. If Lewis has a flaw, it’s that Defensive coordinators sometimes throw elaborate stunts, and load blitzes and you can see him processing and at times can be confused by the fancy twist in pass pro. But Lewis in a combo block, for a lead? Money. His down blocks are clean well. He is so good in the run game, that you can overlook some of his deficiencies in pass pro.

2. NETANE MUTI- Fresno St.- 6’-3” 315 lbs.

Achilles, and Lisfranc injuries marred his college career (played 19 games in 4 years), but the promise is still there. Heavy handed, and strong. (44 reps of 225 at the combine) His build is cookie cutter NFL, and his freakish upper body strength serves him well in pass pro, as his punch is a bit disarming for 3 techs that try to get their hand son him. If it were not for his injury history, Muti is one of those interior linemen that come around every 5 years or so, that are consensus top 10 picks.

3. JOHN SIMPSON- Clemson- 6’-4” 321 lbs.

Broad, big build, with real muscle mass, and little wasted weight. Can run out to the second level, and uses his hands effectively to steer blocks. Not a waist bender, as he plays in control. Good lateral quickness to pick up rushers, and has a solid anchor to engage. Has occasionally been slow out of his stance, and very deliberate in setting up, has made him susceptible to creative interior rushers.

4. JONAH JACKSON- Ohio State- 6’-4” 306 lbs.

After 4 years at Rutgers, Jackson transferred to Ohio State, and quickly earned the left guard spot. Jackson is versatile in that he has played all three interior line spots. Highly intelligent, and quick to recognize blitzes, and moves to engage them. Is a much better pass protector than run blocker. Nimble feet, and a good lateral slide with perfect hand placement. Not a good body type. In the run game, he does not displace as much as he walls, and obstructs. Not noticeable on down blocks, and has had issues getting to the second level and squaring up blocks.

5. SHANE LEMIEUX- Oregon- 6’-4” 310 lbs.

Going into 2019, Lemieux was widely considered by many as the top guard prospect in the nation. With an ideal broad chested build, Lemieux has noticeable upper body strength, when manipulating Defensive Tackles. At the second level, there are many instances on film of Lemieux delivering jarring hits to LB’s and DB’s. There is a mean streak here. In pass pro, he is good with his hands, and resets his feet to deliver power from instinct. On the “con” side, Lemieux does show a propensity for being slow to stunts, and is sometimes not quick to disengage to get to reach blocks. He also has been hit with the “short arm” knock that haunts guard prospects.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Netane Muti – Utah
2. Jonah Jackson – Ohio State
3. Damien Lewis – LSU
4. Robert Hunt – Louisiana
5. John Simpson – Clemson

 

CENTERS

1. MATT HENNESSEY- Temple- 6’-4” 307 lbs.

Athletic, muscular build, with ideal size/weight to anchor. Hennessey gets out and runs well when pulling, and is quick to get to blocks in the screen game. Mobile, but stout and well schooled in his technique, Hennessey is rarely overwhelmed by an athletic rusher. He can move to contact, and his feet take him were he needs to be. Has a “strength” knock that he erases with technique. That can be a detriment at the next level. Tends to grab a bit on reach blocks.

2. TYLER BIADASZ- Wisconsin- 6’-4” 314 lbs.

The highest decorated center in this class, as he won the Remington award for the nations top center, and was also a multi-time all American, as well as Outland Trophy finalist. The catalyst for Jonathan Taylor’s highly productive career, Biadasz can be seen on film, erasing tackles on double teams, and cinching second level blocks to allow for broad cut back lanes. Where he doesn’t shine is in space, where he tends to lumber a bit, which seems to be a feature for Wisconsin interior linemen. His intelligence, and team captain status, gives you all the intangibles you usually seek with a center, but be forewarned, Biadasz is a guy that does look out of place with athletic types on the offensive line. He won’t beat you up, but he will outthink you.

3. CESAR RUIZ- Michigan- 6’-3” 307 lbs.

For a center prospect, Ruiz sure does have fun tape to watch. There is a rep versus Michigan State, where they send a LB into the A gap, and he punches the backer to his left, engages the 3 tech to his right, gets back to wiping out the A gap blitzer, and then gets one final jolt in on the 3 tech as the pass gets away. Exhausting. Ruiz is a squat, athletic type who is very quick from snap to set. He lacks power, and is not the type to finish blocks. He has had the knock of “finesse lineman” and does not have the ideal build for a NFL center.

4. LLOYD CUSHENBERRY III- LSU- 6’-3” 312 lbs.

Team captain on a line that has my top rated guard. Cushenberry has long arms, and has a rangy build that helps him reach blocks that most centers can’t get too. Now, being able to reach blocks due to his length is not the same as being mobile. He is not. You will not see him out leading a run as a pulling center. Where he has shown problems in the past, is when rushers come across his face. Not particularly quick, and not particularly adept at setting his feet to receive oncoming rushers, Cushenberry is susceptible to guys getting on his shoulder and toward the quarterback.

5. JAKE HANSON- Oregon- 6’-4” 304 lbs.

A top recruit out of Eureka, California, the highly touted Hanson landed in Oregon, and immediately took over at center in 2016. While not making all-american, Hanson was honorable mention Pac 12 for every year of his career. All of the guys that finished ahead of him are in the NFL (Scott Quessenberry-5th rd.(LAC), Coleman Shelton-UDFA (LAR). Very good feet to sustain blocks, but does tend to stick on combo blocks. Coach’ favorite, and made captain on an offensive line that features a future 1st rounder ( Penei Sewell-LT) and possible early Day 2 pick (Shane Lemieux-LG). The upside is there, while the measurables and ideal physicality is not.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Cesar Ruiz – Michigan
2. Matt Hennessey – Temple
3. Lloyd Cushenberry – LSU
4. Tyler Biadasz – Wisconsin
5. Darryl Williams – Mississippi State

 

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

1. DERRICK BROWN- Auburn- 6’-5” 326 lbs.

Big and powerful, yet very nimble and quick on his feet. Brown is capable of playing in many systems, all along the defensive line, being asked to do any number of things. The strength, and ability to lock his arms on a blocker in 3 tech, and steer him clear. Brown has plenty of film showing him stepping past attempted combo blocks, and causing havoc by getting on a guards’ outside shoulder. Derrick Brown figures to play a long time in the NFL as a top performer, versatile enough to play in both 4-3 and 3-4 dominant style schemes. A complete prospect.

2. JAVON KINLAW- South Carolina- 6’-5” 324 lbs.

Heavy handed with a slim, athletic build, Kinlaw draws comparisons to other heavy handed athletic types such as Ndamukong Suh, and Gerald Mccoy. While his build, and individual tape checks out for ambitious comparisons, Kinlaw has never been the consistent type, landing him all along the 1st round on many mock drafts. His knocks include playing a bit too high, and lacking a plan on his pass rush. Kinlaw is desperate for some routine, coaching and a plan for his play. Gets the raw label, but this is a prospect worth working with.

3. JUSTIN MADUBUIKE- Texas A&M- 6’-3” 293 lbs.

A five star recruit out of Texas, that built a consistent and successful college career. A Twitchy DT well suited for 3 tech pass rusher with a bevy of interior rush moves. He can be seen on film diving past, stepping through and spinning off blocks on a consistent basis. Madubuike can be a ready made pass rush threat in the NFL, but could land himself a specialist role early on due to his less than ideal size, and length.

4. ROSS BLACKLOCK- TCU- 6’-3” 290 lbs.

Good pass rush chops, and shows up on film using his hands effectively. Extremely good lateral quickness, and can be a menace finding gaps. There is also film of Blacklock being buried under doubles and getting stuck below blocks due to his low pad level. Tries to be more of an obstacle, than a disrupter defending the run. Could find a future as a 3-4 end, as he plays much better in space engaged one on one with blockers. His feet are good enough to use positional strength to set the edge. His 3 tech film is not as strong. Missed 2018 with an Achilles injury.

5. MARLON DAVIDSON- Auburn- 6’-3” 303 lbs.

We know about his teammate, so Davidson tends to be lost in the wash as Derrick Brown flashes all over the place, but if you take a little longer look, he is noticeable. Has played all along the defensive line, and offers a diverse skill set that can land him in any system. Figures to project favorably as a 3 tech in a 4-3 scheme due to his vast repertoire of pass rush moves/counters. More of a positional edge setter when asked to do so, and doesn’t often display his power. His worst film was versus Alabama on at least two occasions. Was blocked mostly one on one.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Derrick Brown – Auburn
2. Javon Kinlaw – South Carolina
3. Ross Blacklock – TCU
4. Justin Madubuike – Texas A+M
5. Davon Hamilton – Ohio State

 

DEFENSIVE END (3-4)

1. A.J. EPENESA- Iowa- 6’-6” 275 lbs.

The consummate strong side end in a 4-3 or can play in odd fronts on either side. Is a skilled rusher on the edge, with a bevy of moves, and heavy hands. What he lacks in quickness, he makes up with a good first step that gets on top of blockers and into their chest. Good tape shows him setting the edge consistently, but also has him getting delayed and re-routed by combos. Does not play with the speed that is desirable for an NFL end, and does not have that “twitchy” feel.

2. YETUR GROSS-MATOS- Penn St.- 6’-5” 266 lbs.

Long and lean, his athleticism pops consistently on tape. Has good film standing up as a wide rusher, and can be seen chasing the play down the line of scrimmage, without catching the wash. 4 star recruit that was highly productive in his college career, posting good sack totals his last two years. Locks his arms well on tackles, and then disengages to restart his rush. What he has as pass rush chops, he gave back against the run as he does not play with much power and strength on the edge. Can be seen sticking to blockers and riding himself out of plays.

3. KHALID KAREEM-Notre Dame- 6’-4” 270 lbs.

A coach’s son (his father coached High School football), Kareem was a top 100 recruit. An efficient edge defender as he punches, and locks with real power. One of the best edge setters in this draft, that plays with little wasted motion. Heavy handed, with a twitchy body demeanor, gives Kareem a good athletic look as a NFL End. Is not seen on film chasing the play from the backside, and does have some lateral limitations. Not as productive as you would like given the opportunities. Does not have a deep bag of tricks when rushing the passer from out wide. As of now, can be accused of being a bit one dimensional as a run stopper.

4. RAEKWON DAVIS- Alabama- 6’-6” 311 lbs.

Perfect size, weight, length to play in a two gap scheme, Davis is a bull on the edge. There is a real man versus boys feel to some of his tape, as he plays with considerable violence, and remarkably heavy hands. Has the versatility to find himself playing as a 3 tech in some schemes, and his power could land him there consistently on 3rd down as an interior rush specialist. Sudden and powerful movements, with little evidence that he can play with speed/finesse when necessary. Not a stat stuffer, and lacks productivity for his hype. Lacks a plan to get to the passer, and is extremely raw rushing in space, which is to say that he does not possess the skill set.

5. JORDAN ELLIOTT- Missouri- 6’-4” 302 lbs.

Another top 100 recruit, that took till his Junior season to blossom as a consistent performer. Before then, you had transfers, accusations of immaturity, and a general lack of direction for his college career. Plays with great leverage, and is a skilled hand fighter, as he plays with great game speed. Can be seen free lancing a bit and trying to be creative when completing your fit is what is required. His lack of production, and his late bloomer knock are completely legitimate. The flashes you see on film, suggest a very good is in there somewhere. Will take the right coaching to get the most out of Elliott.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Yetur Gross Matos – Penn State
2. AJ Epenesa – Iowa
3. Marlon Davidson – Auburn
4. Raekwon Davis – Alabama
5. Jordan Elliott – Missouri

 

EDGE/OLB

1. CHASE YOUNG- Ohio State- 6′-5″ 265 lbs.

Was not much of a factor versus Clemson in the playoffs, tends to keep his feet moving while setting the edge, and does not have a big pass rush repertoire. Having said that, this is a former top 10 recruit that has earned his “best prospect in the draft” status from many analysts. A long, powerful build, with a lightning fast jump from his stance on the edge. Highly productive, and projects to play large snap totals as an essential defender for any defense. A complete playmaker, that has a knack for seeking out the football to create turnovers.

2. K’LAVON CHAISSON- LSU- 6′-3″ 254 lbs.

Wore #18 at LSU which makes you a big deal since it’s given to their highest character leader. Quick hands with a lightning quick first step, with a bevy of spin moves and counters make him a pass rush threat from day 1. Has had a busy injury history with the low light being his ACL injury in 2018. Good changing directions, but has issues projecting his power. Can be seen sliding and being walled off against the run as there is scarce film of him setting the edge. Accusation of being one dimensional is legitimate.

3. ZACK BAUN- Wisconsin- 6′-2″ 238 lbs.

Was recruited as a dual threat quarterback. You read that right. An explosive edge rusher, with a twitchy athletic frame. Relentless in his pursuit for the passer, with some ideas other than running past tackles. A good thinker as a pass rusher. Fluid and flexible enough to play 3 down as a OLB, and cover Tight Ends and running backs. A good athlete that posted strong, yet not impressive combine numbers. Some expected Baun to post a faster time than his 4.65. His lack of size will be a turnoff for some that see him more as a pass rush specialist than a 3 down backer. Can get a bit lost in the deep zones and does not look natural in space while in pass coverage, which suggests a future close to the line of scrimmage.

4. JOSH UCHE- Michigan- 6′-1″ 245lbs.

Finally became a starter as a senior, but it was not for lack of production after a good junior season. Plays with good strength and noticeable speed, as his pad level is always ideal. Seems plenty raw as a pass rusher and does not possess a verifiable skill set for getting after the quarterback, despite his production. He is more of a projection, that has him in between positions, but seems likely to take to a wide rusher role as a specialist. Can be anything as he projects with a very high ceiling, but he does have stark limitations as far as where you will line him up. In space and in coverage is not where he wants to be.

5. TERRELL LEWIS- Alabama- 6′-5″ 262 lbs.

Has had a one injury or another since his arrival at Alabama, with his worst being a torn ACL in the summer of 2018. Long, rangy and athletic, it’s not hard to see why scouts will be intrigued and want to learn more. When they pop in the tape, they will see a fast twitchy edge rusher that gets on top of tackles and into their chests with the quickest of first steps. While very aware as a football player, he needs to play with stronger hands and have better space awareness. Is considered a poor tackler. His build also suggests that weight room time is in his near future as he can fill out.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Chase Young – Ohio State
2. K’Lavon Chaisson – LSU
3. Josh Uche – Michigan
4. Zack Baun – Wisconsin
5. Darrell Taylor – Tennessee

 

LINEBACKERS

1. ISAIAH SIMMONS- Clemson- 6′-4″ 238 lbs.

Star from the combine, jumping 39 inches and running a solid 4.39. Simmons has played Linebacker, Safety, Slot Corner, been a wide rusher in base, and done just about everything on defense. Simmons has displayed the range to play single high in college, and shown the chops to stay with Tight Ends and Running backs in man coverage. Has the physicality to overwhelm the uninitiated slot wide receiver, and the speed to recover if beaten across his face. A willing tackler if not a thumper, Simmons is a true hybrid that you fit a scheme around.

2. PATRICK QUEEN- LSU- 6′-0″ 229 lbs.

Queen continues a hot streak of LSU LB’s in the pros with Devin White being the latest. Queen is a playmaker in every sense of the word, with impressive tracking skills as he bounces to fill his fits all along the line of scrimmage. Queen also had a knack of showing up real big in the biggest games, including a standout effort vs. Clemson in the title game. A good athlete, with quick feet capable of staying with Running backs in pass coverage. The knock if there is one, is that Patrick Queen plays in a system that caters to his skill set and he would have to fit in, rather than be fitted for a system in the NFL.

3. KENNETH MURRAY- Oklahoma- 6′-3″ 241 lbs.

Long and lean playmaker that draws comparisons to Darius Leonard. Murray was highly decorated throughout his playing career, with good high school pedigree carrying him as a 4 star recruit out of Texas. All American nods and first team Big 12’s followed. An easy mover, that shows up constantly around the ball. A good decision maker, and smart to recognize the action. The most instinctual of all the Line backers in this class. His weaknesses come with tackling in space, and some free lancing that is evident on film, especially in the bigger games.

4. MALIK HARRISON- Ohio State- 6′-3″ 247 lbs.

A top 50 recruit that played Quarterback in High School. The latest in what si a popular body type in this year’s class, Harrison has a sleek, athletic, lean build. Good in pursuit, and has shown an ability to rush the passer as a disguised blitzer. Poor in coverage, and lacks the coordination to play man to man with a running back in space. Will need help at the next level in play recognition, and understanding fits. Can sometimes have a raw look to him, although he has filled out the stat sheet at times. A real thumper, that pops all over the place on film.

5. JORDAN BROOKS- Texas Tech- 6′-0″ 240 lbs.

All conference, all 4 years of his career, with some All Big 12 honors, Brooks has piled on he accolades throughout his stint at Texas Tech. Twitchy, and quick to diagnose plays, Jordan Brooks is the most ready made starter of the class as a pure inside backer. Good instincts to fill gaps, and chases the play effectively. Clear weakness in space, in zone coverage, and picking up pass catchers. It’s just not what he is good at. Brooks is a run defender in every sense of the word, with a knack for playmaking in the backfield. One dimensional, but could be a very good fit in some systems.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Isaiah Simmons – Clemson
2. Patrick Queen – LSU
3. Kenneth Murray – Oklahoma
4. Markus Bailey – Purdue
5. Willie Gay – Mississippi State

 

CORNERBACKS

1. JEFFREY OKUDAH- Ohio State- 6′-1″ 205 lbs.

Another 5 star recruit that found himself onto the Ohio State Buckeyes, All American, All Big 10 teams and the First round of the NFL Draft. The headliner of the best cornerback class since 2017 (Marlon Humphrey, Marshon Lattimore, Adoree’ Jackson, Tre’Davious White), Okudah is a clean top 5 prospect. Smooth stride gives nothing away deep, and has the size, length to stifle the short passing game. Not the best tackler on the edge against outside runs, and does tend to stick to blocks, but is a willing tackler.

2. KRISTIAN FULTON- LSU- 6′-0″ 197 lbs.

One of the top 30 prospects in the country in 2016. Was suspended for 2 years by the NCAA for using somebody else’s urine sample for a PED test. He admitted to smoking Marijuana and trying to tamper with the test. His suspension was then cut to one season, and Fulton returned for the 2018 season. A very good press-man corner with strong hands in the jam. In zone, Fulton breaks on passes and looks to make plays on the ball. Been accused of not being a willing tackler, but it rarely shows up on tape. Had success versus all world Alabama WR corp.

3. CJ HENDERSON- Florida- 6′-1″ 204 lbs.

Spurned the Hurricanes to join the Gators at the last minute, which made him very unpopular in his home town of Miami, Florida. Since then, he has made every ALL-SEC team, including a first team nod in 2019. No wasted motions, and strong combine numbers make Henderson a special athlete. A physical tackler, that always looks to strip ball carriers. Explosive closing on the ball in zone, CJ Henderson is a playmaker, more than a zone specialist. Good in man, but has had flags with his back to the QB. What he can ad is a bit of scheme awareness, and route recognition to complete his game.

4. TREVON DIGGS- Alabama- 6′-1″ 205 lbs.

Brother of Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs. Yet another Alabama Defensive back with a possible 1st round future. Tall, lanky, but with an athletic stride has had him draw comparisons to Aqib Talib (Lance Zierlein-NFL.com). Physically strong, with apparent, elite foot speed, although there is no recent 40 yard dash time on record (did not run at combine). Makes a lot of plays underneath, and has a noticeable first step toward the ball in zone. Can be a bit “grabby” on intermediate and deep routes, so the “flag machine” label has reared it’s head. Had some good moments versus top SEC competition, but some bad ones versus LSU.

5. TROY PRIDE JR. – Notre Dame- 6′-0″ 193 lbs.

Elite size, speed profile that NFL GM’s love. There is really good tape of Pride Jr. exploding to close on routes in zone, but there is also some bad tape of him in man, especially on deep routes. Lack of technique can be the issue as he seems to lose contact on deep routes as his stride shortens noticeably. We know it’s not his speed, so some schooling is necessary for Troy Pride to reach his potential at the next level. Not a noticeable tackler, but effective in run support with positioning. He has a good instinct for sniffing out the run game. Challenging WR’s vertically is not his game.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Jeffrey Okudah – Ohio State
2. CJ Henderson – Florida
3. Jeff Gladney – TCU
4. Noah Igbinoghene – Auburn
5. Kristian Fulton – LSU

 

SAFETIES

1. ANTOINE WINFIELD JR- Minnesota- 5′-9″ 203 lbs.

We have seen this type before. The smallish deep safety (Bob Sanders?) where his frame and length don’t seem to matter since he gets to every spot on the field in a hurry. He plays noticeably fast, and had very good combine numbers. AP All American and a 1st team ALL Big 10 nod, with eye popping counting stats in 2019, yet he is not talked about at the top of this safety class. He is being punished for his size. Oh, did I mention that Winfield’s father is former pro bowl corner Antoine Winfield of the Vikings? If he has a real knock, it’s that his size prevents him from overwhelming ball carriers with his tackling and he tends to arm tackle a bit.

2. XAVIER MCKINNEY- Alabama- 6′-0″ 201 lbs.

Yet another Alabama defensive back with first round pedigree. McKinney is a high football IQ, thinking man’s football player, with elite size, and game speed. His 4.63 forty time at the combine was a surprise to many, as he was expected to run in the 4.5’s. McKinney is that “swiss army knife” that teas covet with the versatility to play single high, man up in the slot with a Tight End or slot WR, or play in the box and erase underneath routes from RB’s. A good tackler in space, but not a powerful one versus the run on outside zone runs. Tends to QB watch and lose track of his zone responsibility as he can be seen drifting past his assigned landmarks.

3. GRANT DELPIT- LSU- 6′-3″ 213 lbs.

“Safety U” produces another one. Delpit is a real alpha versus the run game, and will thump you when you come across his zone. Delpit also possesses the noticeable range that NFL GM’s want in their deep safety. Can look a bit stiff matched up in man coverage, and doesn’t always look the part as a fluid athlete. He is not so much smooth, as he is twitchy and explosive in his movement. While being a monster in run support, he spent most of 2019 missing too many tackles. There is some evidence of him taking unnecessary “ kill shots” when a secure tackle will suffice. Not many more Safeties in this class are as fun to watch.

4. ASHTYN DAVIS- California- 6′-1″ 202 lbs.

A track star, turned football walk on. Worked his way from special teams, while winning the team’s Special Teams MVP in back to back years, Davis found himself becoming an all conference safety by his senior year. If you want a single high type that can cover a lot of ground, there is nobody better in this draft class. While having a short career in football, Davis seems to have an instinct for the passing game, and is rarely out of position. Has a real alpha attitude in run support, and does not have the look of a guy that is relatively new to football. His rare physical gifts, high character and “rawness” make him a Coach’ dream.

5. J.R. REED- Georgia- 6′-1″ 202 lbs.

Son of former Viking Jake Reed. Good size and speed profile, to go with a highly productive 2019, where he was an All American, All-SEC and a Jim Thorpe finalist. Not the “rangy type”, but Reed is always on the spot. High Football IQ, and a physical demeanor make him a playmaker vs. the run game. You would like to see him be a bit more fluid in his movement, as he sometimes looks slow to change direction. J.R. Reed has some limitations in man coverage when it comes to locking in one on one, but his special awareness is as good as any safety in this class, as Reed is a highly instinctual player. Belongs in the second tier, but he should be as good as gone when round 4 starts up.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Grant Delpit – LSU
2. Antoine Winfield Jr – Minnesota
3. Xavier McKinney – Alabama
4. Jeremy Chinn – Southern Illinois
5. Ashtyn Davis – Cal

 

Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) and Simon Clancy (SiClancy) are two-thirds of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.

THE EXTRA YARD: 2020 NFL DRAFT Top 5 CB/Safeties

Welcome to the Five Reasons Sports 2020 NFL Draft Guide.

We will be bringing you a top 5 list compiled by Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga), and a counter list by Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) for each position, for the 2020 NFL Draft. By offering you rankings of prospects 1 thru 5 for each position, we hope you will better understand this most important draft. Enjoy!

 

Miami Dolphins Picks:
Round1· Pick 5(5)
Round1· Pick 18(18)PIT > MIA
Round1· Pick 26(26)HOU > MIA
Round2· Pick 7(39)
Round2· Pick 24(56)NO > MIA
Round3· Pick 6(70)
Round4· Pick 35(141)Compensatory
Round5· Pick 7(153)
Round5· Pick 9(154)JAX > PIT > MIS
Round5· Pick 28(173)BAL > LA > MIN
Round6· Pick 6(185)
Round7· Pick 13(227)IND > MIA
Round7· Pick 32(246)KC > MIA
Round7· Pick 37(251)Compensatory

 

CORNERBACKS

1. JEFFREY OKUDAH- Ohio State- 6′-1″ 205 lbs.

Another 5 star recruit that found himself onto the Ohio State Buckeyes, All American, All Big 10 teams and the First round of the NFL Draft. The headliner of the best cornerback class since 2017 (Marlon Humphrey, Marshon Lattimore, Adoree’ Jackson, Tre’Davious White), Okudah is a clean top 5 prospect. Smooth stride gives nothing away deep, and has the size, length to stifle the short passing game. Not the best tackler on the edge against outside runs, and does tend to stick to blocks, but is a willing tackler.

2. KRISTIAN FULTON- LSU- 6′-0″ 197 lbs.

One of the top 30 prospects in the country in 2016. Was suspended for 2 years by the NCAA for using somebody else’s urine sample for a PED test. He admitted to smoking Marijuana and trying to tamper with the test. His suspension was then cut to one season, and Fulton returned for the 2018 season. A very good press-man corner with strong hands in the jam. In zone, Fulton breaks on passes and looks to make plays on the ball. Been accused of not being a willing tackler, but it rarely shows up on tape. Had success versus all world Alabama WR corp.

3. CJ HENDERSON- Florida- 6′-1″ 204 lbs.

Spurned the Hurricanes to join the Gators at the last minute, which made him very unpopular in his home town of Miami, Florida. Since then, he has made every ALL-SEC team, including a first team nod in 2019. No wasted motions, and strong combine numbers make Henderson a special athlete. A physical tackler, that always looks to strip ball carriers. Explosive closing on the ball in zone, CJ Henderson is a playmaker, more than a zone specialist. Good in man, but has had flags with his back to the QB. What he can ad is a bit of scheme awareness, and route recognition to complete his game.

 

4. TREVON DIGGS- Alabama- 6′-1″ 205 lbs.

Brother of Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs. Yet another Alabama Defensive back with a possible 1st round future. Tall, lanky, but with an athletic stride has had him draw comparisons to Aqib Talib (Lance Zierlein-NFL.com). Physically strong, with apparent, elite foot speed, although there is no recent 40 yard dash time on record (did not run at combine). Makes a lot of plays underneath, and has a noticeable first step toward the ball in zone. Can be a bit “grabby” on intermediate and deep routes, so the “flag machine” label has reared it’s head. Had some good moments versus top SEC competition, but some bad ones versus LSU.

 

5. TROY PRIDE JR. – Notre Dame- 6′-0″ 193 lbs.

Elite size, speed profile that NFL GM’s love. There is really good tape of Pride Jr. exploding to close on routes in zone, but there is also some bad tape of him in man, especially on deep routes. Lack of technique can be the issue as he seems to lose contact on deep routes as his stride shortens noticeably. We know it’s not his speed, so some schooling is necessary for Troy Pride to reach his potential at the next level. Not a noticeable tackler, but effective in run support with positioning. He has a good instinct for sniffing out the run game. Challenging WR’s vertically is not his game.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Jeffrey Okudah – Ohio State
2. CJ Henderson – Florida
3. Jeff Gladney – TCU
4. Noah Igbinoghene – Auburn
5. Kristian Fulton – LSU

 

SAFETIES

1. ANTOINE WINFIELD JR- Minnesota- 5′-9″ 203 lbs.

We have seen this type before. The smallish deep safety (Bob Sanders?) where his frame and length don’t seem to matter since he gets to every spot on the field in a hurry. He plays noticeably fast, and had very good combine numbers. AP All American and a 1st team ALL Big 10 nod, with eye popping counting stats in 2019, yet he is not talked about at the top of this safety class. He is being punished for his size. Oh, did I mention that Winfield’s father is former pro bowl corner Antoine Winfield of the Vikings? If he has a real knock, it’s that his size prevents him from overwhelming ball carriers with his tackling and he tends to arm tackle a bit.

2. XAVIER MCKINNEY- Alabama- 6′-0″ 201 lbs.

Yet another Alabama defensive back with first round pedigree. McKinney is a high football IQ, thinking man’s football player, with elite size, and game speed. His 4.63 forty time at the combine was a surprise to many, as he was expected to run in the 4.5’s. McKinney is that “swiss army knife” that teas covet with the versatility to play single high, man up in the slot with a Tight End or slot WR, or play in the box and erase underneath routes from RB’s. A good tackler in space, but not a powerful one versus the run on outside zone runs. Tends to QB watch and lose track of his zone responsibility as he can be seen drifting past his assigned landmarks.

 

3. GRANT DELPIT- LSU- 6′-3″ 213 lbs.

“Safety U” produces another one. Delpit is a real alpha versus the run game, and will thump you when you come across his zone. Delpit also possesses the noticeable range that NFL GM’s want in their deep safety. Can look a bit stiff matched up in man coverage, and doesn’t always look the part as a fluid athlete. He is not so much smooth, as he is twitchy and explosive in his movement. While being a monster in run support, he spent most of 2019 missing too many tackles. There is some evidence of him taking unnecessary “ kill shots” when a secure tackle will suffice. Not many more Safeties in this class are as fun to watch.

 

4. ASHTYN DAVIS- California- 6′-1″ 202 lbs.

A track star, turned football walk on. Worked his way from special teams, while winning the team’s Special Teams MVP in back to back years, Davis found himself becoming an all conference safety by his senior year. If you want a single high type that can cover a lot of ground, there is nobody better in this draft class. While having a short career in football, Davis seems to have an instinct for the passing game, and is rarely out of position. Has a real alpha attitude in run support, and does not have the look of a guy that is relatively new to football. His rare physical gifts, high character and “rawness” make him a Coach’ dream.

 

5. J.R. REED- Georgia- 6′-1″ 202 lbs.

Son of former Viking Jake Reed. Good size and speed profile, to go with a highly productive 2019, where he was an All American, All-SEC and a Jim Thorpe finalist. Not the “rangy type”, but Reed is always on the spot. High Football IQ, and a physical demeanor make him a playmaker vs. the run game. You would like to see him be a bit more fluid in his movement, as he sometimes looks slow to change direction. J.R. Reed has some limitations in man coverage when it comes to locking in one on one, but his special awareness is as good as any safety in this class, as Reed is a highly instinctual player. Belongs in the second tier, but he should be as good as gone when round 4 starts up.

 

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Grant Delpit – LSU
2. Antoine Winfield Jr – Minnesota
3. Xavier McKinney – Alabama
4. Jeremy Chinn – Southern Illinois
5. Ashtyn Davis – Cal

 

Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) and Simon Clancy (SiClancy) are two-thirds of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.

THE EXTRA YARD: 2020 NFL DRAFT Top 5 LB’s

Welcome to the Five Reasons Sports 2020 NFL Draft Guide.

We will be bringing you a top 5 list compiled by Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga), and a counter list by Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) for each position, for the 2020 NFL Draft. By offering you rankings of prospects 1 thru 5 for each position, we hope you will better understand this most important draft. Enjoy!

 

Miami Dolphins Picks:
Round1· Pick 5(5)
Round1· Pick 18(18)PIT > MIA
Round1· Pick 26(26)HOU > MIA
Round2· Pick 7(39)
Round2· Pick 24(56)NO > MIA
Round3· Pick 6(70)
Round4· Pick 35(141)Compensatory
Round5· Pick 7(153)
Round5· Pick 9(154)JAX > PIT > MIS
Round5· Pick 28(173)BAL > LA > MIN
Round6· Pick 6(185)
Round7· Pick 13(227)IND > MIA
Round7· Pick 32(246)KC > MIA
Round7· Pick 37(251)Compensatory

LINEBACKERS

1. ISAIAH SIMMONS- Clemson- 6′-4″ 238 lbs.

Star from the combine, jumping 39 inches and running a solid 4.39. Simmons has played Linebacker, Safety, Slot Corner, been a wide rusher in base, and done just about everything on defense. Simmons has displayed the range to play single high in college, and shown the chops to stay with Tight Ends and Running backs in man coverage. Has the physicality to overwhelm the uninitiated slot wide receiver, and the speed to recover if beaten across his face. A willing tackler if not a thumper, Simmons is a true hybrid that you fit a scheme around.

2. PATRICK QUEEN- LSU- 6′-0″ 229 lbs.

Queen continues a hot streak of LSU LB’s in the pros with Devin White being the latest. Queen is a playmaker in every sense of the word, with impressive tracking skills as he bounces to fill his fits all along the line of scrimmage. Queen also had a knack of showing up real big in the biggest games, including a standout effort vs. Clemson in the title game. A good athlete, with quick feet capable of staying with Running backs in pass coverage. The knock if there is one, is that Patrick Queen plays in a system that caters to his skill set and he would have to fit in, rather than be fitted for a system in the NFL.

3. KENNETH MURRAY- Oklahoma- 6′-3″ 241 lbs.

Long and lean playmaker that draws comparisons to Darius Leonard. Murray was highly decorated throughout his playing career, with good high school pedigree carrying him as a 4 star recruit out of Texas. All American nods and first team Big 12’s followed. An easy mover, that shows up constantly around the ball. A good decision maker, and smart to recognize the action. The most instinctual of all the Line backers in this class. His weaknesses come with tackling in space, and some free lancing that is evident on film, especially in the bigger games.

4. MALIK HARRISON- Ohio State- 6′-3″ 247 lbs.

A top 50 recruit that played Quarterback in High School. The latest in what si a popular body type in this year’s class, Harrison has a sleek, athletic, lean build. Good in pursuit, and has shown an ability to rush the passer as a disguised blitzer. Poor in coverage, and lacks the coordination to play man to man with a running back in space. Will need help at the next level in play recognition, and understanding fits. Can sometimes have a raw look to him, although he has filled out the stat sheet at times. A real thumper, that pops all over the place on film.

5. JORDAN BROOKS- Texas Tech- 6′-0″ 240 lbs.

All conference, all 4 years of his career, with some All Big 12 honors, Brooks has piled on he accolades throughout his stint at Texas Tech. Twitchy, and quick to diagnose plays, Jordan Brooks is the most ready made starter of the class as a pure inside backer. Good instincts to fill gaps, and chases the play effectively. Clear weakness in space, in zone coverage, and picking up pass catchers. It’s just not what he is good at. Brooks is a run defender in every sense of the word, with a knack for playmaking in the backfield. One dimensional, but could be a very good fit in some systems.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Isaiah Simmons – Clemson
2. Patrick Queen – LSU
3. Kenneth Murray – Oklahoma
4. Markus Bailey – Purdue
5. Willie Gay – Mississippi State

Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) and Simon Clancy (SiClancy) are two-thirds of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.

THE EXTRA YARD: 2020 NFL DRAFT Top 5 DT/DE/EDGE

Welcome to the Five Reasons Sports 2020 NFL Draft Guide.

We will be bringing you a top 5 list compiled by Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga), and a counter list by Simon Clancy (@SiClancy) for each position, for the 2020 NFL Draft. By offering you rankings of prospects 1 thru 5 for each position, we hope you will better understand this most important draft. Enjoy!

 

Miami Dolphins Picks:
Round1· Pick 5(5)
Round1· Pick 18(18)PIT > MIA
Round1· Pick 26(26)HOU > MIA
Round2· Pick 7(39)
Round2· Pick 24(56)NO > MIA
Round3· Pick 6(70)
Round4· Pick 35(141)Compensatory
Round5· Pick 7(153)
Round5· Pick 9(154)JAX > PIT > MIS
Round5· Pick 28(173)BAL > LA > MIN
Round6· Pick 6(185)
Round7· Pick 13(227)IND > MIA
Round7· Pick 32(246)KC > MIA
Round7· Pick 37(251)Compensatory

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

1. DERRICK BROWN- Auburn- 6’-5” 326 lbs.

Big and powerful, yet very nimble and quick on his feet. Brown is capable of playing in many systems, all along the defensive line, being asked to do any number of things. The strength, and ability to lock his arms on a blocker in 3 tech, and steer him clear. Brown has plenty of film showing him stepping past attempted combo blocks, and causing havoc by getting on a guards’ outside shoulder. Derrick Brown figures to play a long time in the NFL as a top performer, versatile enough to play in both 4-3 and 3-4 dominant style schemes. A complete prospect.

2. JAVON KINLAW- South Carolina- 6’-5” 324 lbs.

Heavy handed with a slim, athletic build, Kinlaw draws comparisons to other heavy handed athletic types such as Ndamukong Suh, and Gerald Mccoy. While his build, and individual tape checks out for ambitious comparisons, Kinlaw has never been the consistent type, landing him all along the 1st round on many mock drafts. His knocks include playing a bit too high, and lacking a plan on his pass rush. Kinlaw is desperate for some routine, coaching and a plan for his play. Gets the raw label, but this is a prospect worth working with.

3. JUSTIN MADUBUIKE- Texas A&M- 6’-3” 293 lbs.

A five star recruit out of Texas, that built a consistent and successful college career. A Twitchy DT well suited for 3 tech pass rusher with a bevy of interior rush moves. He can be seen on film diving past, stepping through and spinning off blocks on a consistent basis. Madubuike can be a ready made pass rush threat in the NFL, but could land himself a specialist role early on due to his less than ideal size, and length.

4. ROSS BLACKLOCK- TCU- 6’-3” 290 lbs.

Good pass rush chops, and shows up on film using his hands effectively. Extremely good lateral quickness, and can be a menace finding gaps. There is also film of Blacklock being buried under doubles and getting stuck below blocks due to his low pad level. Tries to be more of an obstacle, than a disrupter defending the run. Could find a future as a 3-4 end, as he plays much better in space engaged one on one with blockers. His feet are good enough to use positional strength to set the edge. His 3 tech film is not as strong. Missed 2018 with an Achilles injury.

5. MARLON DAVIDSON- Auburn- 6’-3” 303 lbs.

We know about his teammate, so Davidson tends to be lost in the wash as Derrick Brown flashes all over the place, but if you take a little longer look, he is noticeable. Has played all along the defensive line, and offers a diverse skill set that can land him in any system. Figures to project favorably as a 3 tech in a 4-3 scheme due to his vast repertoire of pass rush moves/counters. More of a positional edge setter when asked to do so, and doesn’t often display his power. His worst film was versus Alabama on at least two occasions. Was blocked mostly one on one.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Derrick Brown – Auburn
2. Javon Kinlaw – South Carolina
3. Ross Blacklock – TCU
4. Justin Madubuike – Texas A+M
5. Davon Hamilton – Ohio State

 

DEFENSIVE END (3-4)

1. A.J. EPENESA- Iowa- 6’-6” 275 lbs.

The consummate strong side end in a 4-3 or can play in odd fronts on either side. Is a skilled rusher on the edge, with a bevy of moves, and heavy hands. What he lacks in quickness, he makes up with a good first step that gets on top of blockers and into their chest. Good tape shows him setting the edge consistently, but also has him getting delayed and re-routed by combos. Does not play with the speed that is desirable for an NFL end, and does not have that “twitchy” feel.

2. YETUR GROSS-MATOS- Penn St.- 6’-5” 266 lbs.

Long and lean, his athleticism pops consistently on tape. Has good film standing up as a wide rusher, and can be seen chasing the play down the line of scrimmage, without catching the wash. 4 star recruit that was highly productive in his college career, posting good sack totals his last two years. Locks his arms well on tackles, and then disengages to restart his rush. What he has as pass rush chops, he gave back against the run as he does not play with much power and strength on the edge. Can be seen sticking to blockers and riding himself out of plays.

3. KHALID KAREEM-Notre Dame- 6’-4” 270 lbs.

A coach’s son (his father coached High School football), Kareem was a top 100 recruit. An efficient edge defender as he punches, and locks with real power. One of the best edge setters in this draft, that plays with little wasted motion. Heavy handed, with a twitchy body demeanor, gives Kareem a good athletic look as a NFL End. Is not seen on film chasing the play from the backside, and does have some lateral limitations. Not as productive as you would like given the opportunities. Does not have a deep bag of tricks when rushing the passer from out wide. As of now, can be accused of being a bit one dimensional as a run stopper.

4. RAEKWON DAVIS- Alabama- 6’-6” 311 lbs.

Perfect size, weight, length to play in a two gap scheme, Davis is a bull on the edge. There is a real man versus boys feel to some of his tape, as he plays with considerable violence, and remarkably heavy hands. Has the versatility to find himself playing as a 3 tech in some schemes, and his power could land him there consistently on 3rd down as an interior rush specialist. Sudden and powerful movements, with little evidence that he can play with speed/finesse when necessary. Not a stat stuffer, and lacks productivity for his hype. Lacks a plan to get to the passer, and is extremely raw rushing in space, which is to say that he does not possess the skill set.

5. JORDAN ELLIOTT- Missouri- 6’-4” 302 lbs.

Another top 100 recruit, that took till his Junior season to blossom as a consistent performer. Before then, you had transfers, accusations of immaturity, and a general lack of direction for his college career. Plays with great leverage, and is a skilled hand fighter, as he plays with great game speed. Can be seen free lancing a bit and trying to be creative when completing your fit is what is required. His lack of production, and his late bloomer knock are completely legitimate. The flashes you see on film, suggest a very good is in there somewhere. Will take the right coaching to get the most out of Elliott.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Yetur Gross Matos – Penn State
2. AJ Epenesa – Iowa
3. Marlon Davidson – Auburn
4. Raekwon Davis – Alabama
5. Jordan Elliott – Missouri

 

EDGE/OLB

1. CHASE YOUNG- Ohio State- 6′-5″ 265 lbs.

Was not much of a factor versus Clemson in the playoffs, tends to keep his feet moving while setting the edge, and does not have a big pass rush repertoire. Having said that, this is a former top 10 recruit that has earned his “best prospect in the draft” status from many analysts. A long, powerful build, with a lightning fast jump from his stance on the edge. Highly productive, and projects to play large snap totals as an essential defender for any defense. A complete playmaker, that has a knack for seeking out the football to create turnovers.

2. K’LAVON CHAISSON- LSU- 6′-3″ 254 lbs.

Wore #18 at LSU which makes you a big deal since it’s given to their highest character leader. Quick hands with a lightning quick first step, with a bevy of spin moves and counters make him a pass rush threat from day 1. Has had a busy injury history with the low light being his ACL injury in 2018. Good changing directions, but has issues projecting his power. Can be seen sliding and being walled off against the run as there is scarce film of him setting the edge. Accusation of being one dimensional is legitimate.

3. ZACK BAUN- Wisconsin- 6′-2″ 238 lbs.

Was recruited as a dual threat quarterback. You read that right. An explosive edge rusher, with a twitchy athletic frame. Relentless in his pursuit for the passer, with some ideas other than running past tackles. A good thinker as a pass rusher. Fluid and flexible enough to play 3 down as a OLB, and cover Tight Ends and running backs. A good athlete that posted strong, yet not impressive combine numbers. Some expected Baun to post a faster time than his 4.65. His lack of size will be a turnoff for some that see him more as a pass rush specialist than a 3 down backer. Can get a bit lost in the deep zones and does not look natural in space while in pass coverage, which suggests a future close to the line of scrimmage.

4. JOSH UCHE- Michigan- 6′-1″ 245lbs.

Finally became a starter as a senior, but it was not for lack of production after a good junior season. Plays with good strength and noticeable speed, as his pad level is always ideal. Seems plenty raw as a pass rusher and does not possess a verifiable skill set for getting after the quarterback, despite his production. He is more of a projection, that has him in between positions, but seems likely to take to a wide rusher role as a specialist. Can be anything as he projects with a very high ceiling, but he does have stark limitations as far as where you will line him up. In space and in coverage is not where he wants to be.

5. TERRELL LEWIS- Alabama- 6′-5″ 262 lbs.

Has had a one injury or another since his arrival at Alabama, with his worst being a torn ACL in the summer of 2018. Long, rangy and athletic, it’s not hard to see why scouts will be intrigued and want to learn more. When they pop in the tape, they will see a fast twitchy edge rusher that gets on top of tackles and into their chests with the quickest of first steps. While very aware as a football player, he needs to play with stronger hands and have better space awareness. Is considered a poor tackler. His build also suggests that weight room time is in his near future as he can fill out.

SIMON CLANCY’S (@SiClancy) VIEW:

1. Chase Young – Ohio State
2. K’Lavon Chaisson – LSU
3. Josh Uche – Michigan
4. Zack Baun – Wisconsin
5. Darrell Taylor – Tennessee

Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) and Simon Clancy (SiClancy) are two-thirds of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.