NFL Draft 2020: Round 4-7 Grades for Every Pick
As always, Day 3 of the NFL draft wasn't short on intriguing prospects. Among the players selected were:
- Quarterback prospects like battle-tested Jake Fromm, rifle-armed Jacob Eason and small-program gunslinger James Morgan;
- Offensive weapons like shifty, sure-handed K.J. Hill, jump-ball champion Collin Johnson, versatile running backs like Joshua Kelley and Eno Benjamin and mismatch-nightmare tight ends like Harrison Bryant and Colby Parkinson;
- Small-school standouts like Appalachian State linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither and Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden;
And many more players who can help NFL teams, both right away and down the road.
These are Bleacher Report's pick-by-pick grades for Rounds 4 through 7 of the NFL draft.
Round 4 Pick-by-Pick Grades
107. Cincinnati Bengals: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
Strengths: Quickness, hand/arm usage, productivity
Weaknesses: Size, level-of-competition concerns
Meet the small-program version of Isaiah Simmons. Davis-Gaither is a lean, long-armed defender listed as a linebacker who was used everywhere from edge-rusher to nickel safety. He really pops out on film: great speed and quickness, high effort in pursuit, nifty rip moves to disengage from blockers both when rushing the passer and in run support.
The trick is how to project an undersized all-purpose player like Davis-Gaither from the Sun Belt Conference to the NFL. He probably isn't a Derwin James type hiding in the rough, but he looks like he can develop into a solid all-purpose space linebacker at the NFL level. He was one of the best players on the board here at the start of the fourth round, and he will join Logan Wilson (drafted on Friday) to form a hustling, tone-setting tandem in the middle of the field for the Bengals.
108. Washington Redskins: Saahdiq Charles, Offensive Tackle, LSU
Strengths: Quickness, finish
Weaknesses: Raw power
Charles was suspended for six games last year for a violation of team rules, but there don’t appear to be any major concerns about his character. He’s a smooth athlete and alert pass protector with a nasty streak on the field. His technique is inconsistent, and he may carry a little bad weight, two factors that negate Charles’ power when drive blocking.
Charles could grow into an NFL starter if he responds to coaching and improves his conditioning habits a little. This selection comes moments after the report that Washington finally traded All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams for pennies on the dollar after a year of drama. Charles plays the same position as Williams. But he’s not a replacement by any stretch of the imagination.
109. Las Vegas Raiders: John Simpson, G, Clemson
Strengths: Size, physicality, finish
Weaknesses: Initial quickness
Simpson has the prototypical frame for a Pro Bowl-caliber NFL guard. He weighs 321 pounds, but most of it appears to be in his thighs and glutes. He's as powerful on tape as his measurements suggest, but he's also smoothly athletic, capable of peeling off blocks, working the second level and pulling and picking up blitzers.
Simpson's biggest problem is his quickness at the snap. Speedy 3-tech tackles sometimes knife past him before he is ready to react. But pure mass and power, solid athleticism, a mean streak on the field and a good reputation off of it should keep Simpson in the NFL for a long time. Simpson will eventually replace Richie Incognito on the Raiders line, making the team younger, cheaper and a little less unpredictable, while still a little nasty when it matters.
110. New York Giants: Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
Strengths: Speed, experience, tackling
Weaknesses: Quickness in transition
Holmes has the size-speed traits of an NFL starter, became a starter for the Bruins as a true freshman and has a handful of pick-six highlights on his sizzle reel. The major knock on his game is, unfortunately, a major knock: Better receivers can burn him in the first two or three steps off the line of scrimmage in press coverage, and he can be a split-second late to react in zone coverage, leaving him to make cleanup tackles instead of breaking up plays.
Holmes is physical and doesn't make fundamental errors, so he could stick as a nickel and dime defender. There's a chance he could be something more if his footwork and reaction speed get coached up. Speed was a major problem for the pokey Giants secondary last year. Holmes and Xavier McKinney (drafted Friday) have their upside, but they may not have been the best solutions for that problem.
111. Miami Dolphins: Solomon Kindley, G, Georgia
Strengths: Massiveness, experience
Weaknesses: Balance, technique
Kindley is as big as an atoll, and he was a perfect fit in Georgia's offense: a forklift of a drive-blocker with nimble feet to hold his own in interior pass protection. However, he's a head-ducker and a lunger. College guards can get away with those technical flaws, but they'll get off-balance and thrown to the turf by Fletcher Cox types in the NFL.
Kindley can be an effective starter if he corrects these flaws, but some huge linemen lunge because they either lack the quickness to engage defenders on the move or the conditioning to maintain their technique for long stretches. He may fall into that category.
That’s three offensive linemen in four rounds for the Dolphins, all of them huge, high-effort-and-character guys. They know what they like.
112. Los Angeles Chargers: Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA
Strengths: Size-speed package, downhill style
Weaknesses: Elusiveness, receiving production
Kelley had an outstanding Senior Bowl, where he demonstrated both his quickness and potential as a receiver after catching only 11 passes in his final season. He also had a fine combine, with a 4.49-second 40 and solid workout results. He's a midsize power back who hits the hole quickly and has a nasty finish, but he is not particularly elusive or creative, and he may not have the vision to regularly find and exploit cutback lanes.
Effort and developing receiving skills should make Kelley a useful committee back. Put him behind the right line in the right circumstances and he could be a 1,000-yard rusher. Look for Kelley to do about 95 percent of what Melvin Gordon III did in the Chargers’ running back committee, but at a fraction of the cost.
113. Carolina Panthers: Troy Pride, CB, Notre Dame
Pride is 5'11", long-armed, well-built and ran a 4.4 second 40 at the combine. But he allowed four touchdowns last year and 61 receptions over the last two seasons, according to the Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook, which are very high totals for an NFL prospect and athlete of his caliber.
Pride is too passive on contested catches and doesn't offer much value in run support, making him look more like a fast guy who happens to play defense than a defender. His size-speed combination is enticing, but he's a boom-or-bust selection. If there’s one area at which the Panthers can afford to gamble a bit, it’s in the secondary. Grade: B
114. Arizona Cardinals: Leki Fotu, DT, Utah
Strengths: Agility, hustle, hands
Weaknesses: Lack of elite traits
Fotu's family is originally from Tonga. He was born in Oakland, and he gravitated toward rugby in his youth. He has what could be described as a "rugby skill set," including a great stutter step and lateral agility for a huge man and a high-pursuit motor in the open field. Fotu also uses an effective punch-and-pull technique to beat blockers and has some impressive defensive line soft skills, including a knack for protecting his legs from cut blocks and an eye for locating the football on misdirection plays.
Fotu doesn't have a Pro Bowl skill like an explosive first step or elite power in his portfolio, and he could redistribute his weight a smidge. But he has what it takes to develop into a capable all-purpose tackle with the athleticism to play end in some situations and fronts. Not a bad pick by any means, but the Cardinals have plenty of beef up front, and they should be focusing on adding more talent to the back end of their defense.
115. Cleveland Browns: Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
Strengths: Athleticism, production
Bryant, last year's Mackey Award winner as the nation's top tight end, is a converted high school offensive tackle who played a typical hybrid role for the Owls. He often lined up split wide or in the slot to create mismatches.
He has fine body control, moves well in the open field and can track and haul in over-the-shoulder catches, but his receiving chops are inconsistent, particularly on contested catches. Sports Info Solutions credited him with eight dropped passes last year. He'll thud the defender right in front of him in the running game, so his blocking is good enough to get by.
Bryant is the sort of college tight end who excites you when he's running the open field against mid-major competition, but the NFL is full of similar players. He'll fight for a roster spot and role as an H-back type.
Kevin Stefanski used two-tight end sets frequently in Minnesota and probably has similar plans for the Browns. Also, David Njoku is often injured and (at least during the chaos of past regimes) sometimes disgruntled, so Bryant provides a Plan B.
116. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ben Bartch, Guard-Tackle, St. Johns
Strengths: NFL traits, athleticism and demeanor
Weaknesses: Technique, level of competition
Bartch is famous for talking about—and demonstrating how to prepare—the smoothie he drank to gain quality weight in preparation for the jump from DIII St. John’s College to the NFL. The recipe: seven scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, instant grits, peanut butter, bananas and Gatorade.
Gross. Why not just eat the eggs, cottage cheese, grits and bananas as a meal (with the peanut butter on some crackers on the side) with a Gatorade to drink? That doesn’t sound half bad. And don’t claim it’s because that would take too long to eat: He could chow down on the bananas and cottage cheese while scrambling the eggs. It might actually save time.
Offensive linemen are weird, folks.
Anyway, the Senior Bowl was an invaluable experience for Bartch because he was able to hold his own in pit drills against power-conference defensive linemen. His college tape consists of some opponents purposely avoiding Bartch by overloading the other side of the line. Watching an offensive tackle drop, set and look around for someone to block is no fun, and it also doesn’t teach us much about him.
Bartch remains exceedingly raw as a blocker, but he has a starter’s upside. Buccaneers guard Ali Marpet made a similar impression at the Senior Bowl a few seasons ago. Bartch may take a similar career path. Offensive line is one of the few areas of strength on the Jaguars roster. Bartch can help keep it that way for years.
117. Minnesota Vikings: D.J. Wonnum, Defensive End, South Carolina
Strengths: Lateral quickness
Wonnum is a lean, high-cut 6'5” defender who generates most of his pass rush by working inside his blocker, stunting to inside gaps or just outclassing weaker offensive tackles. He lacks exceptional first-step quickness or pass-rush creativity, and better blockers can push him around. The Vikings can get the most of Wonnum by tailoring a role for him as a situational edge-rusher, or the team can see what happens if he adds 20 pounds of muscle from the glutes down. Wonnum was a captain for a lot of his Gamecocks career and gets high marks for intangibles, so he should be worth stashing on the bench and developing. As with just about every Vikings pick in this draft, it’s impossible to grade Wonnum without pointing out that he is replacing a key starter who was a cap casualty: Everson Griffen, who recorded 74.5 sacks in 10 seasons for the Vikings. Wonnum won’t be in Griffen’s class anytime soon.
118. Denver Broncos: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Mizzou
Strengths: Size, timed speed, tough-catch ability
Weaknesses: Quickness, blocking consistency
Okwuegbunam was a big winner at the combine, where he ran a stunning 4.49-second 40 at 258 pounds. However, he doesn't look nearly that fast on tape.
A lack of lateral quickness, both off the line and when changing direction, negates Okwuegbunam's straight-line speed. While he's as good of a blocker as your typical college tight end nowadays, typical college tight ends are not very good blockers.
Combine results, traits and a knack for highlight-reel receptions make Okwuegbunam an intriguing developmental tight end with upside, but there's also a chance that the Broncos just drafted a better track and weight-room athlete than football player. Fortunately for them, they already have Noah Fant and a suddenly stacked skill-position corps, so they can afford to experiment a little.
119. Atlanta Falcons: Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno State
Strengths: Burst, gap shooting
Weaknesses: Size, lateral quickness
Walker is a JUCO transfer who started his Bulldogs career as an undersized edge-rusher but played more middle linebacker (with plenty of forays to the edge) last year. He's most impressive when shooting gaps and blowing up plays from the middle linebacker position. On the edge, he uses arm extension to fend off blockers effectively.
Unfortunately, Walker lacks the size and agility to be an NFL edge-rusher and the instincts and range to be effective as an inside linebacker. He could succeed in a specialized role, but it's more likely that he will start his career on the practice squad. He fits the speedy profile the Falcons love in their defenders, but there’s a reason the Falcons always seem to need immediate help on defense.
120. New York Jets: Lamical Perine, RB, Florida
Strengths: Pretty good in most areas
Weaknesses: Exceptional in none of them
Adam Gase has made no secret of broadcasting his dissatisfaction with Le’Veon Bell, whom he worked like a rented stump grinder (311 touches, many of them doomed plunges into the line or screens into the teeth of the defense) to prove his point. Bell’s primary backups were Bilal Powell, the only guy who knows all the organization’s internet passwords, and Ty Montgomery, who was pretty darn good in 2016. Trenton Cannon is also around to play Tarik Cohen on the scout team. So running back is a need.
Perine gained 181 total yards, scored three touchdowns and was named the MVP of the Orange Bowl against Virginia. Unfortunately, most of his career production was far more ordinary. He's a determined runner with an NFL-caliber size-speed-power package, some receiving ability and enough burst and creativity to do some open-field damage, but he's a little tight-hipped and lacks any one superlative trait. Perine gets high marks for effort and has a determined running style, so he should compete hard for a roster spot and can play a role if he earns one. Still, the Jets have too many other needs to be spending middle-round picks filling out their running back committee/appeasing their cantankerous head coach.
121. Detroit Lions: Logan Stenberg, G, Kentucky
Strengths: Power, finish
Weaknesses: Lateral quickness, body type
Stenberg was a three-year starter for the Wildcats at left guard. He's a mauler who will put his defender on his butt at the whistle (or perhaps after). Difficult reach blocks are too much for him, and he's high-cut for a guard (staying low to gain leverage doesn't look very natural for him), but Stenberg is the sort of player a team like the Lions sticks at guard and forgets about for a few years. The Lions also drafted Jonah Jackson on Friday. They are committed to building from the middle of the field out. That’s contrary to modern NFL thinking, but at least it’s a better plan than “reunite the 2016 Patriots, but without Tom Brady.”
122. Indianapolis Colts: Jacob Eason, Quarterback, Washington
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: This year’s version of Mike Glennon.
If you are dazzled by tall quarterbacks with cannon arms who look like sharpshooters when the pocket is clean and the receivers are open, then Jacob Eason is the quarterback prospect for you. If you are like the rest of us and remain skeptical until you see how the quarterback handles pressure, moves in the pocket or reads the defense under duress, then Eason is the type of prospect you love to hate. His fastball has sizzle, his touch passes are accurate, and the highlight reels are gorgeous, but the mistakes start to snowball once Eason gets rattled, and it’s hard to tell if some of his completions into tight coverage are signs of a daring gunslinger mentality or that he just misread the coverage.
Eason will get a long look and should be impressive in the second halves of preseason games. There’s a chance he could develop into a better decision-maker under pressure. But quarterbacks with Eason’s profile seldom do.
For now, Eason gives the Colts a much-needed developmental option behind Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett. He joins a fabulous quarterback room with an outstanding coaching staff. It’s up to Eason to make the most of the opportunity.
123. Dallas Cowboys: Reggie Robinson II, CB, Tulsa
Strengths: Length, speed, special teams capability
Robinson is a toolsy cornerback prospect with 4.44-second speed and Extend-o-Arms that he uses to high-point passes, rip the ball away from receivers and block field goals (he blocked four in his career for the Golden Hurricane).
Robinson's overall coverage technique and vision are rudimentary, and he lacks ideal transition quickness. But he has the skill set of a matchup cornerback against taller receivers and should be able to contribute on special teams for obvious reasons. The Cowboys already drafted Trevon Diggs at cornerback to fill their immediate need, so Robinson is a fine developmental project to round out the depth chart.
124. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anthony McFarland, RB, Maryland
Strengths: Speed, one-cut quickness
McFarland rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2018, but he was slowed by a high ankle sprain and ceded playing time to Javon Leake last season. When McFarland jump-cuts to find a crease or turns the corner on a sweep, he's gone. But that's the sum total of his game: He is not powerful or consistent when running between the tackles, lacks a rugged finish and offers little more than a screen option in the passing game.
A 4.44-second 40 helped his stock. And no, he isn't Booger McFarland's son, so don't call him "Little Booger" or anything.
The Steelers running backs last year: solid-but-unspectacular James Conner, who was hurt for much of the year; Wildcat all-purpose guy Jaylen Samuels, who is like a boring version of Taysom Hill; Benny Snell, whose grandpa’s cousin helped win Super Bowl III; Trey Edmunds, who showed up to visit his brother Terrell Edmunds (the Steelers safety) and was handed a jersey; and someone named Kerrith Whyte, who wasn’t good enough to stick with the Bears offense. So the Steelers needed reinforcements. It’s just curious that they chose a running back who arrives with injury worries.
125. New York Jets: James Morgan, Quarterback, Florida International
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Paxton Lynch cosplaying Aaron Rodgers.
Morgan is a well-built passer with a 100 mph fastball on underneath throws and a "yolo" attitude when throwing deep. If you enjoy highlights in which a wide-open receiver waits in the end zone for the ball to descend from orbit, Morgan is your draft crush. If you realize passes like that turn into easy interceptions at the NFL level, Morgan may look like another big guy with a live arm.
The lower tier of quarterback prospects is rather weak this year, so Morgan would make sense here for a team that needs a developmental prospect. The Jets, of course, need just about everything else except a developmental prospect, so Morgan is just a quarterback controversy waiting to happen at the first Adam Gase mood swing. Seriously, the Jets are drafting like they are more interested in signalling dissatisfaction with their highest-profile players than improving the team. But hey, why should the Packers and Eagles have all the fun?
126. Houston Texans: Charlie Heck, Offensive Tackle, North Carolina
Strengths: Length and wingspan
Heck’s father is Andy Heck, who started at tackle for the Seahawks, Bears and Washington over a 12-year NFL career and is now the Chiefs' offensive line coach. Charlie Heck is 6’8” with adequate athleticism. You can probably finish this scouting report based on the information given: knows the game, struggles with leverage, and so on. The Texans don’t have a very good track record with developmental linemen like Heck. Luckily, they just paid Laremy Tunsil a zillion dollars, so they don’t have as many immediate needs on the offensive line as usual.
127. Philadelphia Eagles: K'Von Wallace, S, Clemson
Strengths: Anticipation, big-play ability
Weaknesses: Quickness, range
Wallace often lined up as a box safety, slot corner or "force" defender on a defense loaded with versatile players. He was an effective blitzer, and he had a habit of arriving at the same time as the ball on passing plays thanks to great recognition and anticipation skills. He flicked the dive stick a few times as a tackler (all college safeties do) but was sound overall.
Wallace isn't exceptionally quick or fast, but he didn't have to be for a Tigers defense that took care of a lot of its business before he arrived. He may not have the range or coverage skills to be a top NFL starter, but he should stick as a nickel-dime defender. He’s no replacement for Malcolm Jenkins (no fourth-round pick could be), but he can fill a Jenkins-like role on the Eagles defense.
128. Buffalo Bills: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
Strengths: Vertical game, blocking
Weaknesses: Route running
Davis is a pure boundary deep threat. The Knights lined him up outside the numbers for snap after snap and asked him to run deep, run a comeback, catch a screen, or just step off the line and get in his defender's way. His deep skills are excellent—he has a third gear to get past defenders, tracks the ball well and has a habit of drawing pass interference penalties from smoldering defenders—but everything else needs work.
It's hard to project Davis' role in most NFL offenses. He may not have the pure speed to be a lift-the-lid deep threat, and he lacks experience running a full route tree or working the middle of the field. Ultimately, his blocking could keep him on the roster (as a special teamer) and on the field (as a slot weapon who can help out the running back when not stretching the seam). Davis could have a Courtland Sutton-like impact if he proves that he can do more than run fast in a straight line.
And of course, it’s easy to guess what the Bills have in store for him: chasing down Josh Allen pumpkin chucks up the sideline.
129. New York Jets: Cameron Clark, G/T, Charlotte
Strengths: Size, finish
Weaknesses: Lateral quickness
Clark played left tackle for the Charlotte 49ers, and he had a strong showing when they played Clemson, frequently knocking championship-caliber defenders to the turf with his nasty finish. He doesn't move well enough to play left tackle in the NFL, but he's quick enough to get by at guard or possibly right tackle.
Clark has a high effort-character reputation, which should help him stick as a developmental starter or multiposition reserve. Not a bad choice for a team that always needs reinforcements and competition on the offensive line. (See? We don’t always rip the Jets!)
130. Minnesota Vikings: James Lynch, DL, Baylor
Strengths: Anchor, inside pass-rushing move
Weaknesses: Consistency of technique
Lynch recorded 4.5 sacks in 2018 as a wave defender who lined up everywhere from nose tackle to end. He settled in as a more traditional 5-technique defensive end last year and upped his sack total to 13.5. There are quite a few "everyone meet at the quarterback" half-sacks in that total, but Lynch was also able to beat blockers with a sudden inside move, and his hand usage went from lunging chest-first at blockers as if he were in a straitjacket in 2018 to better (if not refined) use of club and rip moves.
Lynch is powerfully built and has the athleticism/effort profile of a capable NFL starter, but don't expect many 13.5-sack seasons. He’ll probably serve as a wave defender and 3-tech for the Vikings, eating up blockers and knifing into the gap to cause some chaos every now and then.
131. Arizona Cardinals: Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU
Strengths: Athleticism, motor, intangibles
Weaknesses: Power, leverage
Lawrence played tight end in high school. So, why did he switch to the other side of the ball?
"I was always in to block, so they had a little tight end pop-pass for me," he explained at the combine. "I was wide-open in the back of the end zone. I hear the student section cheering behind me. I dropped the ball, and then the whole crowd just went, 'Ugh.' That was something I was like, 'Yeah, I'm a defensive lineman.'"
Like many of the defensive tackles in this class, Lawrence is surprisingly quick-footed and agile. His hands (when engaging blockers, not catching pop-passes) are active albeit inconsistent, and he locates the ball well and makes his share of hustle plays. He was also a team captain and academic standout. Lawrence is a little high-cut, lets blockers into his body too often and is sometimes more active than effective, but he's the kind of lineman that coaches want in the room and in the rotation. Having already drafted Utah’s Leki Fotu, the Cardinals are loading up with athletic, versatile defensive linemen. It remains an odd choice for a team with so many needs elsewhere on the roster. But at least they are selecting some fine players.
132. Minnesota Vikings: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Strengths: Box play, zone coverage
Weaknesses: Tackling consistency, injury concerns
Dye played the final four games of last season with a partially torn meniscus, and he also dealt with a thumb injury last season. The injury might have robbed him of some of his power when taking on blockers.
Dye is fearless when he's attacking interior gaps, but he sometimes gets manhandled or washed out. According to Sports Info Solutions, he surrendered 27 broken tackles in the last two seasons. He generally tackles with good form, but he could use a little more thump.
Dye is good enough in coverage and has just enough juice as a pass-rusher to be a useful three-down linebacker. But he lacks elite traits, and this is the wrong offseason to be headed to an NFL camp on a bum knee. This will likely be a redshirt year for him.
133. Seattle Seahawks: Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford
Strengths: Height, hands
Parkinson is a 6'7" slot receiver who also played some tight end for the Cardinal. He caught seven touchdown passes in 2018 and 48 passes for 589 yards (but only one touchdown) in 2019. He has soft hands, a vast catch radius and runs well, but you can probably fill the rest of the scouting report out yourself: poor leverage when blocking, lots of jump balls and mismatch production against shorter defenders, and so forth.
Parkinson is built like a lanky, jump-shooting small forward, and players with his body type and playing style rarely develop into the type of mismatch nightmare in the NFL that they appeared to be in college. But we're at the point of the draft where it makes sense to draft a productive guy with some unique traits, and the Seahawks love a) Jimmy Graham types; and b) guys who cannot block at all (including Jimmy Graham).
134. Atlanta Falcons: Jaylinn Hawkins, S, California
Strengths: Ball-hawking, experience
Weaknesses: Pure speed and range
Hawkins is best known for his three-interception game against TCU in the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl. Heck, he might be the best player in Cheez-It Bowl history, although Anthony Gordon threw three touchdowns in last year's Cheez-It Bowl. OK, they aren't a sponsor, so I'll stop writing Cheez-It.
Hawkins is a converted wide receiver who is always around the ball. He doesn't have the speed or athleticism of an ideal starting safety, but players like Hawkins have a way of sticking on rosters and making an impact.
135. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Dotson, G, Louisiana
Strengths: Size-quickness combination
Three of the starters on the Steelers offensive line were over 30 last season. A fourth, guard David DeCastro, turned 30 in January. And the Steelers haven’t used a first- or second-round pick on an offensive lineman since they drafted DeCastro in 2012. Continuity has served the Steelers well, but the line has gotten creaky, and it’s time for some reinforcements.
Dotson was part of a fine Ragin' Cajuns line that also featured Robert Hunt (drafted in the second round by the Dolphins). Dotson is a nuttin'-fancy, get-it-done lineman with NFL tools but a habit of ducking his head and lunging when drive-blocking or trying to connect on the second level.
Those are the types of flaws that can be coached out of a high-effort athlete, so Dotson is worth a bench stash.
136. Los Angeles Rams: Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Strengths: Size, agility, catch radius
Hopkins is the son of Brad Hopkins, a longtime left tackle for the Oilers and Titans during the Jeff Fisher-Steve McNair-Eddie George years. He grew up around the game, as did Michigan lineman Jon Runyan Jr., the son of the Titans right tackle. In fact, Runyan once straight-up bit Hopkins on the face! The younger Runyan, that is, when they were both tots. Runyan Sr. was a bit of a wild man on the field, and he may have bitten someone like Michael Strahan on the face, but there is no record of it.
Hopkins is a tall, well-built athlete who snaps off his routes squarely and can shake and back off the line to get open. Once he catches the ball, he knifes upfield suddenly, making him a dangerous yards-after-the-catch threat. But his greatest asset is his ability to high-point the ball, track deep passes in the air and make difficult catches away from his body. Hopkins is as smooth and fluid when going up for the ball as an elite wide receiver.
As for his blocking, well, he also does that like an elite wide receiver. The apple fell a little far from the tree in this regard, although Hopkins said at the combine that he was working with his father to get better in this area.
Hopkins reminds me a little of Mike Gesicki, the former Penn State tight end who began to flash his potential last year once the Dolphins began improving. In a weak tight end class, he may be the best bet to develop quickly into a 50-60-catch weapon. This was a strong pick for a Rams team that needs to keep upgrading and diversifying Jared Goff’s weapons arsenal.
137. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josiah Scott, CB, Michigan State
Strengths: Speed, contested-ball skills
Scott's nickname is "The Gnat," which pretty much says it all. He specializes in undercutting routes to intercept passes and fiercely attacking 50-50 balls. A 4.42-second 40 at the combine verified that he has the speed to stick with receivers deep.
Scott is only 5'9" and 185 pounds and has a spotty injury history, so his mighty-mite approach could have consequences at the NFL level. The measurements suggest a slot corner, but Scott's eagerness to scrap with bigger receivers may make him a better fit as an outside cornerback, assuming he can stay healthy.
138. Kansas City Chiefs: L'Jarius Sneed, S, Louisiana Tech
Strengths: Athleticism, ball skills
Weaknesses: Coverage and diagnostics
Sneed intercepted six passes in his final two seasons for Louisiana Tech and improved his draft stock with a 4.37-second 40 at the combine. He's a long, lean, rangy center fielder who wraps and delivers a little pop when tackling. But Sneed is a grabber in man coverage and is more likely to arrive in time to make the tackle than to break up the play when covering underneath zones.
This is a tools-and-traits selection. Sneed could develop into a starting free safety, but it may take a long climb up the depth chart. Overall, the Chiefs are doing a fine job in this draft selecting high-upside players who could grow into eventual replacements for starters when their future salary-cap ledger consists of Patrick Mahomes and 52 guys earning minimum wage.
139. Las Vegas Raiders: Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
Strengths: Ball skills, aggressiveness, special teams value
Weaknesses: Size-speed package
Draft Crush Alert! Robertson is always around the ball, and his career is peppered with lots of big plays: 14 career interceptions (three pick-sixes), two blocked kicks, an onside kick return for a touchdown and many, many plays where he explodes after the ball-carrier like a hungry shrike trying to impale a chipmunk.
How much of the 5'8", lean-framed Robertson's game will ramp up to the NFL level is uncertain, but his game tape reminds me of 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward when he came out of college. Robertson will likely start out as a special teams missile, but he has the tools to be a weapon as a matchup slot corner. The Raiders may need him to take on a larger role sooner than later.
140. Jacksonville Jaguars: Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami
Strengths: Experience, consistency
Weaknesses: High-end tools
Quarterman registered 356 total tackles as a four-year starter for the Hurricanes. What you see is what you get: a sturdy defender and sure tackler who handles the interior gaps well and doesn't make mistakes in underneath zones. He also meets the NFL minimums in size, speed and athleticism.
Quarterman is a low-upside player who could stick because coaches love dependable linebackers who work hard and avoid mistakes. The Jaguars are doing a solid job in this round of creating competition on their defensive depth chart.
141. Houston Texans: John Reid, CB, Penn State
Strengths: Anticipation, experience
Reid was a three-year starter for the Nittany Lions, with an injury redshirt year (knee) in 2017. He looks great sliding around in zone coverage and does a fine job getting a jump on the ball. He has adequate size, speed, quickness and muscle when shedding blockers, but too many "adequates" can land a defender on the practice squad.
The Texans ranked last in the NFL at defending passes over the middle and 29th in defending deep passes, according to Football Outsiders. That was more of a cornerback problem than a safety problem (Justin Reid and Tashaun Gipson are solid players), as the Texans juggled cornerbacks throughout the season.
Reid's vision, and versatility could help the Texans improve in this area. At the very least, he will provide quality depth.
142. Washington Redskins: Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
Strengths: Size, vertical game
Weaknesses: Speed, route running
Gandy-Golden was this year's designated small-school receiver for everyone to fall in love with at the Senior Bowl. Most of these mid-January crushes are simply because being there for a small-program receiver's debut makes us feel special—I watched Andy Isabella practice for a solid week and YOU DIDN'T—and because weird small-program helmets are easy to spot when a receiver does something impressive in a one-on-one drill. But Gandy-Golden was different: He routinely muscled through major-program cornerbacks' attempts to jam him and hauled in everything in sight on deep sideline routes. And yes, I'm pretty certain I thought "this time, it's different" about Zay Jones, too.
Gandy-Golden ran a 4.6-second 40 at the combine, his routes are rudimentary, and he had a reputation as a pass-dropper early in his career. It's hard to project a small-school receiver into a DK Metcalf role as a size-speed sideline weapon if he lacks speed.
Gandy-Golden is an excellent value in this round. Coupled with Antonio Gibson (drafted Friday), he gives Dwayne Haskins some interesting weapons to work with next season.
143. Baltimore Ravens: Ben Bredeson, G/C, Michigan
Strengths: Lateral quickness, technique, awareness
Bredeson was a three-year starter at left guard for the Wolverines, but he played some center during Senior Bowl week and stated at the combine that some teams spoke to him about moving to center. He's an alert interior blocker who picks up stunts and blitzes quickly, and he's a fundamentally sound blocker who was often called upon to handle difficult assignments, like reach-blocking a defensive end or "Molly blocking" (pulling out to take on an edge-rusher). He's a solid drive-blocker when coming off the ball low, but he'll lunge and end up on the ground a little too often, and he can be bull-rushed back into the quarterback at times.
Bredeson may benefit from the move to center, when he can use his diagnostic skills to make line adjustments and will be protected by double-teams from Aaron Donald types.
There is no replacing retired guard Marshal Yanda with a middle-round pick, but Bredeson will be one of the players vying to step into Yanda’s shoes. The Ravens continue to quietly crush the middle rounds of this draft, like they have done in so many others.
144. Seattle Seahawks: DeeJay Dallas, RB, Miami
Didn't someone named D.J. Dallas once open for Kid Rock? If so, he shouldn't be confused with this DeeJay Dallas, whose nickname among teammates is "Fat Boy," which also sounds like an opener for Kid Rock. Dallas is not even Jerome Bettis chunky, let alone fat, but he's powerfully built and can be a load to bring down whether in the open field or when barreling between the tackles (occasionally as a Wildcat quarterback).
Dallas had fumble problems early in his college career, and his hands on screens and short passes are misadventures. His pass protection is similarly erratic: rugged and physical at times, but he looks lost and indecisive other times. There's enough film of Dallas running wild, blocking on the perimeter on screens and doing Wildcat stuff to be intrigued about his potential as some all-purpose threat. It's more likely that he's an NFL fringe player, though one who could leap up from a practice squad and produce a mammoth game or two. It wouldn’t be a Seahawks draft without a running back with both high upside and bust potential.
145. Philadelphia Eagles: Jack Driscoll, Guard-Tackle, Auburn
Strengths: Power, consistency
Driscoll was a four-year starter at guard and right tackle for the Tigers. He’s a thickly built, low-center-of-gravity type with good drive-blocking power and plenty of “good enough” traits: reliable pass protection sets, adequate mobility when zone blocking, plenty of hustle on second-level blocks and screens. Driscoll will max out as a serviceable right tackle or guard, but he has a solid chance of maxing out. It appears that the chaotic portion of the Eagles draft ended Friday; they are now going about their usual business of drafting a bunch of linemen and defensive backs. Don’t worry: They’ve given the sports talk stations plenty of material already.
146. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
Strengths: Experience, intangibles
Weaknesses: Balance, injury concerns
Perhaps we spoke too soon about the Eagles being done with controversial moves: They just traded back, allowing the Cowboys to select a center to replace retired Travis Frederick. That won’t go over well on Philly radio.
Biadasz had offseason shoulder surgery to clean up what he called a "lingering issue" at the combine. He also had some sort of cleanup surgery on his hip in 2019.
Biadasz is the type of player who would have benefited from a pro day and team visits, but so it goes. He can fall back on four years of Big Ten starting experience, during which he had complex assignment/communication responsibilities, and on lots of film that shows him as aggressive and competitive, albeit a little too likely to lunge and lean too far forward when blocking. But if he’s healthy, he has the potential to become someone who could fill Frederick’s shoes.
Round 5 Pick-by-Pick Grades
147. Cincinnati Bengals: Khalid Kareem, EDGE, Notre Dame
Strengths: Run defense, effort, drawing, painting, ceramics
Weaknesses: Pass-rush potential
Kareem is an art enthusiast; he minored in art at Notre Dame (he was a management major; wise choice if football doesn't work out) and worked in the mediums listed above. Here's a local television feature in which you can see some of Kareem's work (subjects include Randy Moss and—why not?—George Jetson). Kareem lists Keith Haring and Timmy Sneaks as his influences. Fine artists, but they combined for zero sacks in their NFL careers. Though I think Haring recorded a hurry on Mike Glennon once.
Anyway, Kareem is a high-effort run defender whose pass-rush potential comes strictly from hustle sacks. He projects as a backup end who leaves the field or moves inside on passing downs. The Bengals may not know art, but they know what they like. Grade: B
148. Seattle Seahawks: Alton Robinson, DE, Syracuse
Strengths: Lateral quickness, burst
Robinson is a well-built defender who has great closing burst when he gets to the ball-carrier. He doesn't have a great arsenal of moves, but he can win with quickness and has an inside move that catches blockers off guard. He holds his own against blockers on running plays. Robinson lost a scholarship offer from Texas A&M because of an arrest stemming from an altercation with his girlfriend in high school; there was reportedly another incident involving the same young woman. Assuming his character checks out (he did not get into any trouble in college), Robinson projects as a backup/rotational defensive end. He and second-round pick Darrell Taylor, plus returnee Bruce Irvin, will give Pete Carroll edge-rushing options he sorely lacked last season.
149. Indianapolis Colts: Danny Pinter, OG, Ball State
Strengths: Quickness, athleticism
Weaknesses: Power, technique
Pinter played tight end early in his Ball State career, but he bulked up and moved to tackle in 2018. He's fast and fluid for a lineman, with decent physicality and a serviceable drop-and-set in pass protection. But he takes a blow instead of delivering it too often, allowing defenders to rock him back.
Pinter weighed 306 pounds at the combine, but that might have been show weight. A year on the practice squad would do him a world of good. Until then, his ideal position may be as the sixth offensive lineman in short-yardage packages.
150. New York Giants: Shane Lemieux, OG, Oregon
Strengths: Experience, reliability, lateral movement
Weaknesses: Initial quickness, power
Lemieux started 52 consecutive games at left guard for the Ducks. What you see is what you get with him: a sturdy, assignment-sound zone-blocker who handles combo blocks well and has enough athleticism and technique to hold his own against Pac-12-caliber interior pass-rushers. However, if a 3-tech gets the drop on Lemieux off the snap, it's all over, and he isn't built to handle Fletcher Cox types one-on-one.
The Giants will take Lemieux's durability and effort and learn to live with his limitations. He's the sort of player you pencil in at left guard and not worry about for six years. And no one can accuse the Giants of ignoring the offensive line after making three selections there in the first five rounds of the draft.
151. Los Angeles Chargers: Joe Reed, WR, Virginia
Strengths: Slot skills, return capability
Weaknesses: Speed, route running
Reed is a well-built receiver who returned five kickoffs for touchdowns in his Cavaliers career. Coaches began motioning him all over the formation on offense to get him the ball in space in 2019, and he responded with a career-high 77 catches for 679 yards and seven touchdowns.
Reed runs like a halfback with the ball in his hands and has a knack for sneaking into soft spots in zones, but he lacks speed and suddenness, and he runs lots of rounded routes that will never beat man coverage in the NFL. He would have been more valuable in the days when kickoff returns were not a rarity.
The Chargers are thin at receiver behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, so Reed has a chance to be more than a return man in his rookie season. Still, there are better receiver prospects on the board right now.
152. Carolina Panthers: Kenny Robinson, Safety, XFL
Strengths: Ball skills, hustle
Weaknesses: Man coverage
Robinson recorded seven interceptions in two seasons as a regular for the Mountaineers, with two pick-sixes, before starring in the XFL. He’s a ball hawk who loves to hit, but he’s a little lean and lacks the speed to be a matchup defender in man coverage. Robinson has the instincts and hustle to stick as a seventh defensive back and special teamer. His big-play ability suggests some untapped upside.
153. San Francisco 49ers: Colton McKivitz, OT, West Virginia
Strengths: Experience, short-area athleticism
Weaknesses: Power, high-end traits
McKivitz was a four-year starter for the Mountaineers who played both tackle positions. He’s effective in his phone booth, capable of cut blocking and handling short sets in pass protection. The further he is forced to move, the less effective he becomes (he’s slow and stiff when leading the convoy on screens and sweeps), and tougher defenders can jolt him backward. McKivitz will max out as a multi-position sub. The 49ers, of course, reportedly traded for Trent Williams to replace retiring tackle Joe Staley just a few hours ago. Drafting McKivitz may only earn a C grade. But adding Williams (for a mere pair of middle-round picks scattered across two years) earns an A grade.
154. Miami Dolphins: Jason Strowbridge, DE, North Carolina
Strengths: Initial quickness, punch, effort
Weaknesses: Size as a tackle, athleticism as an end
Strowbridge played on a three-man front for the Tar Heels, usually as a 5-tech (between the tackle and tight end). He's best suited for that role in the NFL, where he can use tough hands and a rugged attitude to disrupt blocking schemes. But top NFL 5-techs hover in the 290-pound range, and Strowbridge weighed just 275 pounds (and appeared to have bulked up to achieve that) at the combine. He worked out well at the combine and had a strong showing at Senior Bowl week, so the Dolphins may see him as a gritty, no-nonsense rotational defender. Not a bad selection, but the Dolphins could stand to balance out their “gritty guy” selections with a few more high-upside picks.
155. Chicago Bears: Trevis Gipson, OLB, Tulsa
Strengths: Upside, tenacity
Weaknesses: Block shedding, consistency
Most scouting reports on Gipson will mention that his brother is a professional basketball player in Finland. And those scouting reports are WRONG. Thomas Gipson played for Kouvat in the Finnish league for several seasons, but in January he signed with Merkezefendi Belediyesi Denizli Basket in the Turkish basketball league and then signed with an Argentinian team in February. Thomas, a standout at Kansas State, also played in Mexico, France, Panama and the Ukraine.
Anyway, Trevis Gipson is a toolsy flash player with an uptempo style and the ability to surprise blockers with a nasty jolt, a head dip and some emerging rip moves. He's still raw, however, and he has no plan when blockers latch on to him except to enjoy the ride. Gipson is scrappy and feisty, hustles on the back sides of plays and has some special teams value (he broke up a fake field goal against Oklahoma State), so he can play a role while he develops. It’s easy to be skeptical when Ryan Pace starts reaching for project-type players. But he just found a pretty good one.
156. Washington Redskins: Keith Ismael, C, San Diego State
Strengths: Lateral quickness, tenacity
Weaknesses: Raw power
Ismael was a three-year starter for the Aztecs. He slid between right guard to center early in his college career depending on injuries, but he exclusively played center in 2019.
He's a standard-issue zone-blocking interior lineman: quick-footed, effective when moving laterally, and alert and willing to deliver an extra thud at the whistle. Pencil him in as a potential multiposition backup.
157. Jacksonville Jaguars: Daniel Thomas, Safety, Auburn
Strengths: Range, tackling
Weaknesses: Man coverage, big-play ability
Thomas is a not-fancy defender who is at his best in run support and playing close to the line of scrimmage, but he can also be useful at free safety because of his range and fundamentally sound open-field tackling. He lacks the athleticism to match up in man coverage against quality slot receivers, which limits his value.
Thomas will never be a star, but a hard-nosed style and sure tackling could allow him to stick for years as an extra safety and special teamer. The Jaguars are loading up with similar players here on Day 3, which is fine, but it would be better if they were a playoff contender, not a rebuilding team.
158. New York Jets: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Strengths: Size, vision
Hall missed much of last season with a broken ankle but has since received a clean bill of health, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Still, there were enough medical concerns to allow him to slip into the fifth round. He was a two-year starter before the injury, and he has the awareness to excel in zone coverage to go with a well-built 6'1" frame for press coverage and matchups with taller receivers. However, he's long-levered and lacks the lateral agility to stick with niftier receivers.
Hall is your standard-issue big cornerback, and he has the tools to become an NFL starter. He’s worth the risk for the Jets at this point.
159. New England Patriots: Justin Rohrwasser, Kicker, Marshall
Rohrwasser was 33-of-42 in two seasons as the Thundering Herd’s kicker. Bleacher Report prepared scouting reports on a dozen specialists before the draft. Rohrwasser wasn’t one of them. You do you, Bill Belichick (and Nike the dog). The Patriots need a kicker to replace Stephen Gostkowski, of course. They also need to replace Tom Brady, but you don’t see them spending a fifth-round pick on it or anything.
160. Cleveland Browns: Nick Harris, C, Washington
Strengths: Athleticism, quickness, taste in music
Some of my colleagues noticed at the combine that Harris has a Jimi Hendrix tattoo on his leg. (William A. Boykins of the Cowboys team website captured the Hendrix tattoo in all of its glory in this photo feature.) And we aren't the only ones who noticed: Harris said that Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians pointed out the tattoo during his interview.
"He was curious because Jimi Hendrix died like 50 years ago," Harris said of Arians. "He said, 'What do you know about that?'"
Arians then surprised Harris by leaping onto a table, lighting a Fender Stratocaster on fire and asking, "What do you think of that?" [Not really.]
Harris draws some Jason Kelce comparisons: He's quick, alert, handles line calls well and hustles downfield on screens. (Also, Kelce plays guitar.) Harris lacks elite size and pure power, but he has the potential to develop into a quality center in a system that emphasizes zone blocking.
Grade: B+, but curved to A+ because of his musical tastes.
161. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Strengths: Route running, toughness
Weaknesses: Speed and quickness
TOMPA BAY BRADYFICATION PROJECT, PHASE IV: More weapons to bring about the Bradytopia! Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are awesome, of course. But Breshad Perriman now plays for the Jets, leaving unknowns like Spencer Schnell and Justin Watson behind Godwin and Evans. Where is Brady’s little slot guy? And his other little slot guy? And the ultra-talented receiver he decides to never throw to because he ran a route incorrectly in minicamp? And the third little slot guy who’s a converted quarterback or was cut by the Bills? There are a lot of holes to fill in the wide receiver depth chart.
There are two types of receiver prospects draft analysts should never fall in love with, however alluring they may be: 1) The one-dimensional Big 12 speedster who ran only vertical routes and never faced a jam in his college career; and 2) The productive-but-sluggish Big Ten/SEC route technician. Johnson falls into the latter category.
He caught 164 passes for 2,487 yards and 25 touchdowns in his final two seasons for the Golden Gophers, and he's a super-competitive player who does all the little things well to get open. But NFL cornerbacks are much better than Big Ten cornerbacks. They'll sit on all of his shorter routes because they know he won't shake them with deep speed, so it will take all of his muscle and guile to get open once or twice per game.
Toughness and a high-character rep could turn Johnson into a fourth wide receiver and special teamer. That may be all the Buccaneers need for their offense to achieve critical mass.
162. Washington Redskins: Khaleke Hudson, OLB, Michigan
Strengths: Quickness, tackling, special teams ability
Weaknesses: Block-shedding, man coverage
Hudson blocked five punts in his college career, and he said at the combine that teams spoke to him a lot about special teams in interviews.
"That's going to be the first goal of mine, to get on an NFL team by having a big impact on special teams," he said. "I take special teams very seriously."
So, pencil Hudson in for the punt and field-goal units. But he can do much more.
Hudson was a hybrid safety-linebacker for the Wolverines, but he lacks the pure speed and technique to cover tight ends or slot receivers at the NFL level. Still, he's alert, takes good angles in run support, can sift through traffic to get to the ball-carrier and tackles cleanly.
Hudson should be able to handle any linebacker position as an adequate starter or top backup. That, plus the special teams chops, could keep him in the NFL for a decade. The Skins are quietly putting together a very solid draft class.
163. Chicago Bears: Kindle Vildor, CB, Georgia Southern
Weaknesses: Man-coverage technique
Vildor is a well-built cornerback who excels at jumping and undercutting routes. Several of his nine career interceptions came from sitting in off coverage and anticipating the throw. He ran a 4.44-second 40 at the combine, so he has long speed to go with adequate quickness.
Vildor is a mid-major work in progress who won't be able to gamble and guess in the NFL quite like he did for the Eagles. But he has tools, production and confidence, and those things make him a fine fifth-round pick.
164. Miami Dolphins: Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Strengths: Athleticism, productivity
Weaknesses: Leverage, moves
Sometimes, I watch edge-rushers like Weaver when they face Florida State to see what they look like at their best, and also just to enjoy the chaos. The Seminoles line has been brutal for the last few years, so every game is like a 2016 Seahawks blooper reel. Weaver recorded 1.5 sacks against the Seminoles last season, at least three hurries (it depends on what you consider a “hurry”) and one or two plays where he beat his blocker and arrived just in time to high-five a teammate over the prone body of quarterback James Blackman.
Weaver also had huge games against Portland State (four sacks) and UNLV (three sacks). His strength and agility allow him to feast against lower-level competition and scuffling major programs. Against better blockers, his lack of a pass-rush plan, reliable punch and arsenal of moves turn Weaver into just another defender.
He has outstanding leaping ability, which is often a sign of untapped pass-rushing potential (as well as a trait that leads to some batted passes), and he has a high-effort/intangibles reputation. He won't have any 13.5-sack seasons in the NFL, but he'll earn a rotational role on the Dolphins defensive line, and he finally gives them a much-needed upgrade on the edge.
165. Jacksonville Jaguars: Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
Johnson is pretty quick-footed off the line for a 6'6" dude, but he doesn't get deep separation against top cornerbacks. He is at his best when squaring off routes at the top of his stem. He's quick, unpredictable and gets a natural advantage from his size and wingspan, he does Spider-Man stuff with his body, and he is a useful blocker on screens to other receivers.
Johnson projects as a role player, but he can be very effective in bunch formations, where he can be used as a blocker and mismatch threat. He will join DJ Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. in a diverse receiving corps that may not rank among the league’s best but will at least give Gardner Minshew II plenty to work with.
166. Detroit Lions: Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin
Strengths: Size, contested-catch ability
Cephus had a monstrous game against Oregon in the Rose Bowl. He shoved a defender out of the way to make a diving catch along the deep sideline (the defender shoved first and was flagged for pass interference), caught a touchdown pass in a crowd over the middle of the field and impersonated Mark Bavaro when turning upfield after a catch on a shallow cross, dragging defenders behind him. He also went 7-122-0 against Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.
The rest of Cephus' career was not nearly as impressive. He caught only 93 career passes, and he was suspended for the 2018 season due to sexual assault charges (he was eventually acquitted).
Cephus is built like a small tight end but lacks deep speed and quickness, and while he has some varied releases, he is not a true technician as a route-runner. There are a lot of yellow flags in Cephus' portfolio, but the Lions appear to be focused on what he did well in the big games at the end of his career. He could be productive as the third option behind Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr.
167. Buffalo Bills: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Brock Osweiler. Sorry, but it’s Brock Osweiler.
You’ve probably seen Fromm play more than any other prospect in this year’s class. He was a three-year starter for a program that’s on national television every Saturday afternoon. You’ve seen him throw enough touchdowns to the likes of Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Georgie Pickens against the best defenses in the nation over the years that you might think, “Hey, that Jake Fromm is probably a Kirk Cousins-type pocket passer who can be a midline NFL starter.”
Fromm, unfortunately, is not that type of prospect.
Fromm is tall, experienced and has an NFL-caliber arm, but he’s the stereotypical quarterback prospect whose scouting report begins “tall, experienced, with an NFL-caliber arm.” He’s barely mobile, deliberate in his delivery and mechanically inconsistent. Downfield passes outside the numbers sail high and wide on him, and his ball placement is spotty, two big problems for someone hoping to become a Matthew Stafford-like pocket sniper.
Fromm is like a career Triple-A baseball pitcher, good enough to eat some midsummer innings in the big leagues for a team that can live with a 4.95 ERA over a few starts. He’ll probably stick to benches for years because of his big-program pedigree and the fact that he looks like a quarterback.
Matt Barkley and Davis Webb are Josh Allen’s current backups. Fromm could easily slip past them on the depth chart. But if Allen implodes, he’s about as much of a fallback plan as either of them would be.
168. Philadelphia Eagles: John Hightower, WR, Boise State
Strengths: Height, speed
Hightower averaged 17.6 yards per reception over two seasons on the Smurf Turf, and he returned a kickoff for a touchdown last season. So he’s a lean, long-armed certified burner, but everything else about his game, from his hands to his route running to his ability to compete for catches in traffic, runs hot and cold. Older Eagles fans may remember Todd Pinkston. The Eagles just drafted another Todd Pinkston instead of grabbing one of the more reliable receivers available early in this round. Sorry Philly, but when it rains, it pours.
169. Minnesota Vikings: Harrison Hand, CB, Temple
Strengths: Size, vision
Weaknesses: Quickness and agility
Hand was a South Jersey native who started his college career at Baylor but later transferred back to Temple (the reverse Matt Rhule route). He's long-limbed, reasonably fast, competitive and effective when anticipating plays in front of him.
Hand is one of the many, many cornerbacks in this draft class who meet the basic requirements to be a sixth or seventh cornerback. The Vikings and other teams will sort these guys out whenever they can get them into a camp situation. Hand will join what is turning into a very crowded cornerback depth chart in Minnesota.
170. Baltimore Ravens: Broderick Washington Jr., DT, Texas Tech
Strengths: Effort, two-gapping skills
Weaknesses: Pass rushing
Washington was a defensive end in the Red Raiders' 3-3-5, where he was often asked to occupy blockers so the linebackers behind him could make plays. He offers almost no pass-rushing value, but he's capable of occupying double-teams and using leverage and arm extension to control the point of attack. He's also a two-time team captain with an outstanding effort-character reputation.
Washington will probably max out as a rotational lineman for the Ravens, but every team wants a few guys like him around to keep the front seven glued together, and the Ravens like having about a truckload of them.
171. Houston Texans: Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island
Strengths: Speed and quickness
Weaknesses: Contested catches, level of competition
Coulter was impressive in a nine-catch, 152-yard performance against Virginia Tech in mid-October. He routinely got the better of major-program defenders with a quick release off the line and the speed to eat up cushions, adding a little elusiveness after the catch on crossing routes.
Based on that game, Coulter is a potential NFL starter, but he isn't the first small-program speedster to have a big game against power-conference competition. He's lean, unrefined as a route-runner and a little passive on contested catches.
Coulter is an intriguing prospect who could scuffle around on practice squads but could also end up developing into a second or third receiver and deep threat. This is the time of the draft to select toolsy receivers who could pan out. Coulter would have been a better choice for the Eagles than John Hightower. He’s a decent choice here.
172. Detroit Lions: Jason Huntley, RB, New Mexico State
Strengths: Quickness, receiving skills
Weaknesses: Size. fumbles
Huntley is a fun-to-watch jitterbug with good hands and open-field moves. But he's a slightly built runner who fumbled five times last season and can get steamrolled in pass protection. Speed and agility will get him a look, but backs who can't block or hold on to the ball face an uphill NFL battle. The Lions already drafted D’Andre Swift and have some fine (if injury-prone) backs already on the roster. Just when I start to like elements of their draft class and long-range plan, they do something to remind me that they still think that it’s 1977 and champions are built out of running backs and guards.
173. Chicago Bears: Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane
Strengths: Speed and quickness
Weaknesses: Size, hands
Mooney is a twiggy 5'10", 176-pounder who ran a 4.38-second 40 at the combine. He looks like a high school freshman playing varsity, but taller cornerbacks swing and miss when trying to press him, and he averaged 16.7 yards per catch during his Green Wave career thanks to both bombs and screen-and-go type runs. However, Mooney not only drops a lot of passes but double-clutches nearly everything he does catch, and NFL cornerbacks aren't as easy to elude at the line of scrimmage as American Conference defenders.
Mooney needs about 14 pounds of good weight and 100 hours on the JUGS machine before he can help the Bears as a slot jitterbug. He’s their latest attempt to acquire a Tyreek Hill type. Don’t set your expectations too high.
174. Tennessee Titans: Larrell Murchison, DT, NC State
Strengths: Hands, pass-rushing moves
Weaknesses: Quickness, high-end athleticism
Murchison played defensive end in a three-man Wolfpack front but projects as a 3-tech tackle in the NFL. He uses his hands well, has some nifty spin moves and goes all-out. However, he's a little slow-footed and may be just nimble enough to beat weaker collegiate blockers but not NFL linemen.
Murchison has the motor, experience and production to earn a spot in an NFL rotation. There's a chance that his pass-rushing arsenal makes him something more.
175. Green Bay Packers: Kamal Martin, LB, Minnesota
Strengths: Experience, tackling
The Packers allowed opponents to rush for an average of 120.1 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry last season, and the 49ers hammered out 285 rushing yards to maul them in the NFC title game. Linebacker Christian Kirksey was added in free agency, but the Packers run defense needs more help than one injury-prone defender can provide. Martin was a three-year starter for the Golden Gophers who is a reliable thumper between the tackles who can handle basic underneath zone assignments in pass coverage. He’s not a quick-footed playmaker, but the Packers have generally had success making starters out of defenders like Martin.
176. Minnesota Vikings: K.J. Osborn, WR, Miami (FL)
Strengths: Return skills, contested catch skills
Weaknesses: Lack of top size-speed traits
Osborn was a dependable punt returner for both Miami and (before a transfer) Buffalo. He was also a productive tough-guy possession receiver with 146 career receptions across the two programs. He can make tough catches in traffic and work the middle of the field, making him useful as both a return man and a fourth or fifth receiver. He could stick on the roster for those reasons, but he’s also the kind of player that could have been hanging around as a free agent after the draft.
177. Kansas City Chiefs: Mike Danna, EDGE, Michigan
Danna played just one season for Michigan, notching just three sacks. Before that, he played at Central Michigan. He has a reputation as a size-strength-athleticism project. This is the sort of flyer a team should take in the seventh round, not now.
178. Denver Broncos: Justin Strnad, LB, Wake Forest
Strengths: Open-field range, special teams value
Weaknesses: Taking on blockers
Strnad is a lean, long-armed defender who runs well in the open field and closes quickly on ball-carriers. He has a knack for picking up sacks and interceptions, usually with a well-timed blitz or by being in the right place to haul in an off-target throw.
Strnad lacks the size and power to take on blocks or thump between the tackles, and his overall coverage skills are ordinary. He was a special teams standout for the Deacons, and that will help him stick with the Broncos while he vies for a role on the defense. Yet another solid pick for John Elway and the Broncos!
179. Dallas Cowboys: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
Strengths: Quickness, hands, motor
Anae, Utah's all-time sack leader, was born and raised in Hawaii, where his pastimes included cliff jumping and shark petting.
Yes, shark petting. As Anae explained at the combine, “small” reef sharks—like, three feet long—were common companions when he went swimming as a lad. “They're harmless,” he assured, and we'll take his word for it.
Tiger sharks are another matter. “I try not to be in the water with one. They get hungry, and they can't always tell a turtle from a human." You know what, we'll hang out by the pool.
Anae had a strong Senior Bowl week and may have been the best player on the field in the game itself. He followed that up with a solid combine. He's a first-step winner with a violent punch as an edge-rusher, and a lean, hustling run defender who makes plays in pursuit but can get blown up at the point of attack.
Anae is just one of several players the Chiefs should have selected instead of reaching for Michael Danna a few picks ago. He’s much more NFL-ready and game-tested.
Round 6 Pick-by-Pick Grades
180. Cincinnati Bengals: Hakeem Adeniji, OT, Kansas
Strengths: Quickness and athleticism
Jonah Williams: Last year’s first-round pick, who missed all of the 2019 season with a shoulder injury.
Michael Jordan: Last year’s fourth-round pick, not the subject of the 10-part documentary.
Trey Hopkins: A solid center.
Xavier Su’a-Filo: A former top prospect turned knockaround journeyman who spent the last two seasons as a Cowboys backup.
Bobby Hart: Perhaps the worst regular starter in the NFL. Sorry if that sounds mean, but Hart has been an ineffective right tackle for two terrible teams (Bengals and Giants) for several seasons.
So Joe Burrow needs some more protection, even if it comes a little late in the draft.
Adeniji was a three-year starter for the Jayhawks, mostly at left tackle. He passes the eyeball test, with NFL size and quickness and the ability to mirror pass-rush moves. But his game is full of technical holes. Adeniji wasn’t flagged for many holds, but he has a grabby blocking style. He lets his body get too narrow when zone blocking. He lunges in the open field. These are all correctable flaws, but they will probably land Adeniji on the bench for a year. He has starter traits but could max out as a swing tackle.
181. Denver Broncos: Netane Muti, OG, Fresno State
Strengths: Leverage, quickness, finish
Weaknesses: Foot injuries, foot injuries, foot injuries
Muti missed most of last season with a Lisfranc injury. He missed most of 2018 with an Achilles injury, and he redshirted in 2016 for the same reason. That leaves 2017 and bits and pieces of the last two seasons, in which Muti looked like Richie Incognito without the luggage carrier full of baggage. He's quick, nasty, and athletic enough to handle pass-rushers or deliver a pop when pulling.
Unfortunately, it's hard to overlook Muti's injury history, especially since those types of injuries are exacerbated by being 315 pounds and trying to run, cut and plant for a living. We'll be thrilled if he enjoys a 10-year career as an NFL starter, but his feet may have other plans.
182. New England Patriots: Michael Onwenu, OG, Michigan
Onwenu was a three-year starter for the Wolverines. He's 6'3" and 344 pounds. When he's in a three-point stance, the number 50 on his jersey is visible from orbit. You can guess the rest of his scouting report from the information given.
183. New York Giants: Cam Brown, LB, Penn State
Strengths: Length, effort/pursuit
Weaknesses: Quickness, lack of elite traits
Brown is a lanky 6'5" defender with decent range. He hustles, hits hard and plays assignment-sound football. However, he gets caught flat-footed in coverage and lacks any one signature trait: elite quickness, block-shedding, pass-rushing ability, etc.
Brown is the type of rock-solid power-conference defender who projects to a backup role at best in the NFL. His long frame could help him stick as a matchup defender or on the kick-blocking units.
184. Carolina Panthers: Bravvion Roy, DT, Baylor
We waited until the sixth round for Matt Rhule to select a Baylor guy. That’s admirable restraint for a college coach making a jump to the pros. Roy is a massive 335-pounder with short-area quickness and three years of starting experience, but he’ll be little more than a two-down run-stuffer at the NFL level. There are better interior defenders on the board at this point.
Grade: Needs Improvement
185. Miami Dolphins: Blake Ferguson, LS, LSU
Ferguson's older brother, Reid, preceded him as the Tigers' long snapper and now snaps for the Bills. Ferguson is a reliable snapper and special teams captain. He's a little lean by NFL standards, but the Dolphins won't mind protecting him if he brings the velocity and accuracy. The Dolphins really aren’t at the point in their rebuild where they can spend draft resources on long snappers, even though they did add a lot of pieces over the last three days at other positions.
Grade: Needs improvement
186. Los Angeles Chargers: Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame
Strengths: Physicality, effort
Weaknesses: Tackling consistency, angles
Gilman is an aggressive all-purpose safety who was most impressive when delivering big, open-field hits or blowing up blockers in the hole on running plays. He's also assignment-sound in zone defense.
He takes too many bad angles or picks the wrong hole too often to be a reliable box safety at the NFL level, and he lacks the range to be an ideal free safety. He's given high marks for intangibles, so he could stick as a special teamer and extra defensive back. The Chargers have a lot of multifaceted roles in their secondary, so Gilman may be a better fit for them than he would be for many teams.
187. Cleveland Browns: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
Peoples-Jones got lost in the shuffle as Michigan changed offenses, then got lost in the crowd among this mega-talented receiving class. A groin injury slowed him at the start of this season, and he got upstaged by Nico Collins and Ronnie Bell in the (somewhat) opened-up and new Wolverines system.
Peoples-Jones is well-built, runs some crafty routes, has OK speed and can track the ball and make difficult catches. An impressive combine improved his draft stock. Based on his highlights, Peoples-Jones looks like a potential NFL starter. That could still happen, but he dropped to the sixth round because he just didn't produce enough highlights. Peoples-Jones has higher upside and a better chance of success than many of the developmental receivers drafted ahead of him over the last 25 picks or so.
188. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Bass, PK, Georgia Southern
Strengths: Short accuracy, quick delivery
Weaknesses: Long accuracy
Bass went 54-of-68 over three-and-a-half seasons as Georgia Southern's regular placekicker, and he had a solid showing at the Senior Bowl as well. He's good at angling in shorter kicks from any spot within the hash marks, and he has the leg to drive kickoffs, but his accuracy wanes from beyond 45 yards out. Bass' compact, quick delivery likely appeals to Bills special teams coaches. He could push Stephen Hauschka, and there is nothing wrong with taking a kicker this late in the draft.
189. Buffalo Bills: Jake Luton, QB, Oregon State
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Luke Falk
The Jaguars quarterback depth chart consists of Gardner Minshew II, who has 12 career starts and finished 22nd in Football Outsiders DYAR last year (fans need periodic reminders that he’s not Dan Marino in cutoffs), and Joshua Dobbs, a brainy-but-erratic scrambler with 12 career pass attempts. There’s no grizzled veteran, no real Plan B if Minshew just turns out to have been a groovy hallucination.
Luton put up some impressive numbers as a fifth-year senior for the Beavers: 28 touchdowns, three interceptions, a 149.8 rating. He’s tall, has a live arm, and you know a quarterback prospect is in trouble when that is how his scouting report begins. Luton has a methodical, baseball-like delivery that will lead to sacks at the NFL level, and he has a surprising number of passes batted down. He has limited mobility and wonky mechanics. Luton is the embodiment of a “looks the part” quarterback prospect. He also may be one injury or crash back to reality from being the Jaguars’ best option at quarterback.
190. San Francisco 49ers: Charlie Woerner, TE, Georgia
Woerner is an H-back type with good measurements and athleticism but just 34 career receptions. The 49ers have multiple roles in their offense for players like Woerner, but this is a pretty extreme reach for a role player with minimal value as a playmaker.
191. New York Jets: Braden Mann, Punter, Texas A&M
Weaknesses: Hang time
Here's Mann blasting a pair of punts over the return man's head against Clemson. Monster kicks like that are common, but he also hits a lot of low line drives, resulting in returnable kicks. Mann made a number of tackles in coverage, which is both a sign that he's a tough athlete (although he's small by punter standards) and that return men reached him a little too often. The talent is there, but Mann may not be the sort of punter who succeeds in the NFL, where consistency and hang time are critical. The Jets don’t have an experienced punter on the roster right now (Lac Edwards is a free agent), so of course they had to draft one, because they are so stacked they can afford to do stuff like this.
192. Green Bay Packers: Jon Runyan, OT, Michigan
Strengths: Student of the game
Weaknesses: Power-athleticism package
Runyan is the son of the former notoriously ornery Titans and Eagles right tackle turned New Jersey politician turned NFL executive turned Uber driver of the same name. He also answers routine questions as if he is Bill Callahan giving a seminar about offensive line play to small-college coaches. When reporters asked him about blocking Chase Young, he gave an answer so detailed and informative that I had to edit it significantly to get it down to a tight 500 words or so.
So Runyan knows his stuff, and he's a technician on the field with lots of tricks up his sleeve. He's just limited athletically, and he lacks his father's hulking size and strength.
Runyan will move inside to guard and be a capable starter. He'll then retire and probably coach the offensive line for 40 years.
193. Indianapolis Colts: Robert Windsor, DT, Penn State
Strengths: Lateral quickness, motor
Weaknesses: Power, Block-shedding
Windsor displays occasional first-step explosion, the quickness to cross his blocker's face and the hustle to pursue plays from behind and record some cleanup sacks. However, he isn't a massive dude, and once a blocker latches on, he can be steered around.
Windsor projects as a rotational 3-tech who can play end in some fronts and has the agility to be extra useful on stunts and twists. A fine pick at this point in the draft.
194. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Khalil Davis, DT, Nebraska
Strengths: SIze-athleticism combination
Weaknesses: Balance, hand usage
Khalil and Carlos Davis were Nebraska's twin terrors on the defensive line. Khalil is the younger of the twins (by a few minutes), the better prospect and a combine hero who ran a 4.75-second 40 at 308 pounds. He's very agile and flexible for a huge man, capable of making sudden inside moves to beat his blocker. The Cornhuskers often used him at defensive end, which was an odd fit for a stubby, wide-bodied defender.
Davis brings athletic upside and positional flexibility to the Bucs line. He isn't a natural nose tackle, 3-tech or end, but he offers a little something at every position, which will keep him on the roster. He’ll be a handful rotating with the likes of Ndamukong Suh and Vita Vea.
195. New England Patriots: Justin Herron, OT, Wake Forest
Strengths: Athleticism, experience
Weaknesses: Size and strength
Herron played left tackle for the Demon Deacons but projects as a guard in the NFL. You know the drill: athletic enough for the outside at the college level, a little lean for the inside. The Patriots have a fine track record developing linemen like Herron. Michael Onwenu, drafted earlier in this round, is likely to have a more immediate impact.
196. Philadelphia Eagles: Shaun Bradley, ILB, Temple
Strengths: Experience, athletic upside
Weaknesses: Lateral quickness
When you hear the name Shaun Bradley, you probably think immediately of the co-star of Space Jam. The Monstars came to Earth to steal talent from the NBA's best players, and they robbed 7'6" Shawn Bradley of...being tall? Being tall was Shawn Bradley's only talent! Yet he was still clearly tall in the movie; it isn't like they used Lord of the Rings hobbit technology to make him look like Muggsy Bogues or anything. Come to think of it, the Monstars only stole the talent from players who shared the same agent as Michael Jordan, David Falk, who happened to be the movie's executive producer. Hmm, perhaps Space Jam was a glorified act of self-promotion/sneaker commercial, not a delightful childhood masterpiece on par with Toy Story...nah.
Anyway, this Bradley is a South Jersey native who posted impressive combine numbers and was a three-year starter for the Owls. The tape shows a hustling defender with good instincts who struggles to change direction in the open field and goes around too many blocks instead of through them. If Bradley proves that he can move as well in pads as he did in shorts at the combine, he'll stick as a backup linebacker.
And yes, Philly fans remember Shawn Bradley very differently than movie buffs remember him. The Eagles are just trolling at this point, Philly fans. Go easy on the local kid and aim your complaints at Howie Roseman.
197. Detroit Lions: John Penisini, DT, Utah
Strengths: Size, power
Weaknesses: Pass-rushing value
Penisini lined up between Leki Fotu and Bradlee Anae on the Utes line, which means he rarely saw a double-team. He generated a few wins against blockers with sheer mass and heavy hands, and he'll hustle to make a play on a scrambling quarterback or a ball-carrier trying to get cute.
Penisini is big enough to be an NFL nose tackle, but it's hard to tell how he will handle double-teams in the pros. He probably maxes out as a situational backup. The Lions are dedicated to winning the battle between the guards and losing everything else.
Grade: Needs Improvement
198. Pittsburgh Steelers: Antoine Brooks, Jr., Safety, Maryland
Strengths: Physicality, effort, play recognition
Weaknesses: Pure speed, man-coverage capability
Brooks is another positionless defender: He's built and plays like a "Will" linebacker but can slide everywhere from free safety to slot cornerback. Some of these guys turn out to be Derwin James or (probably) Isaiah Simmons, but many more will prove to be a step too slow to handle slot-coverage duties, robbing them of their versatility and essentially turning them into small linebackers.
Brooks is on the cusp between versatile matchup defender and special teamer/multiposition backup. He's a smart, high-effort type, but so are many of the players similar to him. At this point of the draft, he’s a fine selection.
199. Los Angeles Rams: Jordan Fuller, Safety, Ohio State
Strengths: Deep zone coverage
Weaknesses: Productivity, run support
Fuller's mother is Cindy Mizelle, a backup singer who has worked with everyone from Whitney Houston to Bruce Springsteen. Hmmm, we can now either watch Ohio State film for the umpteenth time to see Fuller drop into a zone and stand there while Chase Young slaughters the quarterback a few times, then write a bland free safety scouting report, or we can do a deep dive into Mizelle's discography.
OMG, Mizelle is also credited on albums by Chaka Khan, The Rolling Stones, Mariah Carey, The Fat Boys, Eddie Murphy, Roberta Flack (not "Killing Me Softly," sadly, but what can you do?), Steely Dan and many others. She also performed with the Dave Matthews Band, but hey, a paycheck's a paycheck.
Fuller has the range, instincts and Ohio State pedigree to compete for a roster spot. Anyway: Luther Vandross, Lenny Kravitz, the Beat Street soundtrack.
200. Philadelphia Eagles: Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Mississippi
Strengths: Speed, vertical game
Weaknesses: Physicality, technique
Watkins caught 64 passes for 1,178 yards and six touchdowns last season, and he went HAM against Tulane in the Armed Forces Bowl with nine catches for 154 yards and one touchdown. That included a few deep sideline grabs and a 44-yard touchdown in which he caught a pass on a shallow crossing route and just ran away from everyone. He then blazed a 4.35-second 40 at the combine.
Raw speed and the ability to track and adjust to over-the-shoulder passes are Watkins' only NFL calling cards, but those are the ones a mid-major wide receiver wants. He's spindly, one-dimensional and unlikely to be more than a situational deep threat. The Eagles are committed to drafting the same type of receiver over and over again in this draft. When they aren’t drafting quarterbacks and all-time 76ers draft busts, that is. But at least one of these skinny speedsters is likely to pan out.
201. Baltimore Ravens: James Proche, WR, SMU
Strengths: Production, toughness
Weaknesses: Lack of elite traits
Proche caught 111 passes for 1,225 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Mustangs last year and had 93 catches for 1,199 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018. He was the slot receiver in a spread offense, so he spent a lot of time either catching screens or standing on the line of scrimmage after the snap and waiting for a screen.
Despite lots of catches which were just glorified handoffs, Proche did his best work on intermediate routes. He's good at finding soft spots in coverage and is willing to catch the ball in a crowd and take a shot in the middle of the field. Proche was fun to watch and has a reputation as a top competitor, but it's hard to project a 24-year old mid-major receiver with spread-inflated numbers and an ordinary size-speed-quickness portfolio to be much more than a fourth or fifth option at the NFL level. He’s a fine fit for the Ravens offense and yet another example of how they take nearly every other organization to school in the middle and later rounds of the draft.
202. Arizona Cardinals: Evan Weaver, ILB, California
Weaver is an impressive tackler. He delivers a thud, wraps well and can club the ball loose. He sometimes does Revenant-level stuff to ball-carriers in the open field.
Weaver is powerfully built, plays the run, shoots gaps well and recognizes plays quickly, but he's the type of coverage linebacker who makes a fine tackle after surrendering a completion instead of preventing the completion. He's the sort of linebacker that high school coaches reminisce about, but he will max out as an early-down linebacker. Still, he fills a void for the Cardinals, who need a reliable, thudding tackler at linebacker, and he is a fine value at this point in the draft.
203. Minnesota Vikings: Blake Brandel, OT, Oregon State
Brandel was a four-year starter for the Beavers. He’s 6’7” and lean, giving him the wrong body type for a switch to guard, but he lacks the top athleticism and raw power to play tackle. He’s worth stashing on the bench to see if he can add 25 pounds of good weight and learn to stay low.
204. New England Patriots: Cassh Maluia, LB, Wyoming
It’s the “Patriots draft an obscure guy” portion of the draft. Maluia was overshadowed by Logan Wilson for Wyoming, but he’s a three-year starter with an impressive size-speed package, if so-so production (just 61 total tackles last year). This is your standard “Belichick Knows Best” selection; check your Twitter feed to see how that is working out today. One thing is certain: Maluia would be much cooler if he spelled his first name with dollar $ign$.
205. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Metellus, Safety, Michigan
Strengths: Play recognition, tackling
Weaknesses: Speed and agility
Metellus was an all-purpose safety for the Wolverines, but he fits best as a box/free safety at the NFL level. He lacks pure speed and range in the open field, but he makes up for it by diagnosing and reacting quickly at the snap and by being assignment-sound in run defense and underneath coverage.
Metellus does the little things well enough to stick as a special teamer and perhaps see some snaps as a nickel-dime linebacker. He's a low-upside selection, but a potentially useful one for a Vikings team that has added lots of talent and depth to its secondary this weekend.
206. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tyler Davis, TE, Georgia Tech
Davis caught just 17 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown in his lone season as a starter for the Yellow Jackets, but he received predraft interest from multiple teams. The Jaguars likely see him as a block-first H-back type. He’s a reach in a draft where there are more polished receivers and blockers still on the board at tight end.
Grade: Needs Improvement
207. Buffalo Bills: Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
Strengths: Size, ball tracking, hands
Hodgins caught 86 passes for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. He's 6'4" and well-built, vacuums up everything thrown at him on short routes against soft coverage, and is capable of making contested over-the-shoulder catches. But Hodgins ran a 4.61-second 40 at the combine, and his lack of speed is evident on film. Pac-12 defenders ran stride-for-stride with him on deep routes, forcing the quarterback to aim for tiny windows or check down.
Receivers like Hodgins have a habit of falling off the back of the depth chart once it's clear that they are too slow to shake NFL coverage. The Bills already added Gabriel Davis (and Stefon Diggs, of course), so they can experiment a little bit with a big possession receiver.
208. Green Bay Packers: Jake Hanson, C, Oregon
Strengths: Experience, short-area agility/quickness
Weaknesses: Snap consistency
There's one in every draft class: the center who cannot snap very well, which is a rather important prerequisite for being a center. Hanson had a tendency to launch orbital satellites to Justin Herbert at the start of games last year and was all over the place in 2018. He might have misfired only once per game (if that), but every bad snap is a potential disaster.
Hanson is an athletic blocker who moves well (especially on the second level), and Ducks coaches trusted him as a starter for four years. He may fit best as an interior sub in the NFL, at least until coaches are sure that they can cut down on his wild pitches. Can’t wait to see what happens when he uncorks a wild one to Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers may just rage-quit the NFL. Hmmm, maybe that’s the point …
Grade: Needs Improvement
209. Green Bay Packers: Simon Stepaniak, OT, Indiana
Strengths: Weight room strength
Weaknesses: Play strength
Stepaniak bench-pressed 37 reps at the combine, and he looks the part of a road-grading guard. But better defensive linemen (Ohio State's linemen, for example) were able to jolt him and rock him back toward the quarterback.
Stepaniak's leverage, balance and punch are all inconsistent, negating his potential play strength, but he's relatively quick and is an ornery finisher. The Packers could polish up his fundamentals and turn him into a capable guard by tapping some of his weight room potential. The Packers are clearly trying to bolster their interior line late in the draft.
210. Philadelphia Eagles: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Strengths: Athleticism, effort
Weaknesses: Power, timing
Wanogho’s family emigrated from Nigeria. As a youth, he was more interested in basketball than football. “Believe it or not, I thought I was going to be the next LeBron James,” Wanogho said at the combine. “I told people that every time I was playing.”
Eventually, he fell in love with football. "Just being able to destroy someone, dominate, like just all day, all night," he explained.
Wanogho’s game could use a little more domination and destruction. He’s athletic, alert and quick-footed, especially when setting to pass protect on a quicker throw. But Wanogho isn’t as powerful as a player of his size should be, probably because of inconsistent balance and hand placement. He’s not much of a drive blocker, and bull-rushers can sometimes rock him backward. He’s also late getting out of his stance at times; it appears to be more of a timing/concentration issue than a lack of initial quickness.
Wahangho came to the sport late and moved over from the defensive line as a freshman, so his fundamentals may still be developing. He’s a high-upside pick who could develop into a starting left tackle in a year or two. He’ll never be the next LeBron, but Wangogho has enough upside to grow into the next Tyron Smith. He fell to this round due to some medical concerns. At least the Eagles still know how to gobble up quality line prospects late in the draft.
211. Indianapolis Colts: Isaiah Rodgers, Safety, UMass
Rodgers was a four-year regular for the Minutemen. He recorded 11 career interceptions and three pick-six touchdowns in his career. He’s a lean, 170-pound slot-corner type with ball skills. Players like Rodgers are notoriously hard to project from the mid-majors to the NFL, but it’s time to start grabbing guys with tools to see what they can do.
212. Indianapolis Colts: Dezmon Patmon, WR, Washington State
Patmon is a 6’4” 225-pounder who ran a 4.48-second combine 40 and caught eight touchdown passes for the Cougars last season. His tape is unspectacular, but as mentioned in the last pick, this is the time in the draft to select a big, fast guy and see what you can make of him. That said, there is STILL plenty of more reliable receiver talent on the board.
Grade: Needs Improvement
213. Indianapolis Colts: Jordan Glasgow, ILB, Michigan
An undersized linebacker, step-slow safety and high-energy special teamer who recorded five sacks last season when blitzing. Folks, I think the draft is stuck on “Colts select developmental square peg prospects.” Will someone please turn it off and then back on? Thanks.
214. Seattle Seahawks: Freddie Swain, WR, Florida
Strengths: Speed, upside
Swain caught only 68 career passes for the Gators but posted some impressive combine results. He was the slot "tunnel screen" guy in their offense, as well as an effective punt returner, and he's a quick, determined runner after the catch. His route running is rudimentary. This is a tools-based selection.
Round 7 Pick-by-Pick Grades
215. Cincinnati Bengals: Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue
Strengths: Size, productivity
Weaknesses: Quickness, range, injury concerns
Bailey suffered a right ACL tear early last season and a left ACL tear as a true freshman in 2015. In between, he racked up an impressive 14.5 sacks and six interceptions. He's effective when lurking in underneath zones and reading the quarterback's eyes, but the high big-play total is misleading, as it includes a few unblocked (or blocked only by a tiny running back) sacks and interceptions where he was in the right place at the right time on an errant throw.
When healthy, Bailey projects more as a two-down "Mike" linebacker than an all-purpose defender. He has enough thump and play-recognition skills to be effective between the tackles, but he'll get exposed if he's forced to play in open space. The Bengals have done an excellent job retooling their linebacker corps in this draft.
216. Washington Redskins: Kamren Curl, Safety, Arkansas
Strengths: Experience, effort
Weaknesses: Lacks any superior traits
Curl was one of the Razorbacks defenders who was suspended for flirting and taking pictures with Mississippi State cheerleaders before a game. On the one hand, the incident gives off a Peyton Place-like hypocritical vibe: How dare you young men sully the moral turpitude of an institution which once employed Bobby Petrino! On the other hand: C'mon guys, keep your head in the game.
Curl has an overall reputation as a high-character player, and he looks like a fast, alert, hustling defender on tape. He's a standard-issue SEC defensive back who will fight for a role in camp.
217. San Francisco 49ers: Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee
Strengths: Size, YAC capability, run blocking
Jennings may be best known for getting dismissed from the Tennessee program for posting a cussword-laden rant against Butch Jones' staff on Instagram, although he was later reinstated. While publically ripping coaches is a pretty significant red flag for a prospect (after all, coaches are the ones deciding whether to draft him), try watching 10 minutes of tape of the Butch Jones-era Vols. You'll be cussing on Instagram, too.
Anyway, Jennings plays like a tight end, with the ability to catch the ball in traffic, break tackles after the catch and take care of business as a run-blocker. But he weighs just 215 pounds, and he lacks the speed or quickness to get open at the NFL level.
Jennings' upside is Niles Paul, the former Washington receiver who bulked up to the 240-pound range to play a package role in bunch formations. There aren't many opportunities like that in most NFL offenses. But Kyle Shanahan (who coached Paul in Washington) loves players like this.
218. New York Giants: Carter Coughlin, EDGE, Minnesota
Coughlin's grandfather is named “Tom,” but he is not Tom Coughlin. He's Tom Moe, who starred on the Minnesota football teams that went to the Rose Bowl in 1961 and 1962 and the NCAA baseball champs in 1960. Moe later became the University of Minnesota's athletic director. There’s a non-zero chance that Dave Gettleman is very mixed up on these points and is calling his former boss to congratulate him.
Coughlin is a high-effort linebacker who hustled his way to 22.5 sacks in four seasons as a regular for the Golden Gophers. Coughlin is just useful enough in coverage and as a run defender to possibly develop into a “Sam” linebacker and occasional edge-rusher.
219. Baltimore Ravens: Geno Stone, Safety, Iowa
Strengths: Effort, awareness
Weaknesses: Size, speed
Stone was a two-year starter for the Hawkeyes. He recorded four interceptions in 2018 and netted three tackles for loss last year. He’s always around the ball thanks to great play recognition and hustle, but he’s an ordinary-at-best size-speed prospect. He may stick on special teams.
220. Los Angeles Chargers: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Hill is neither a burner nor the ideal shifty type you want in the slot, but he does meet minimum industry standards in these areas. He was impossible to cover in Senior Bowl practices; he really snaps off shorter routes, knows where to throttle down in zones and keeps working when his quarterback is on the move. Hill has just enough burst and shiftiness to make the first man miss in the open field, is an adequate blocker and has a reputation as a hard worker and willing special teamer.
Hill looked like a rising star with Dwayne Haskins at quarterback, but he tailed off a bit with Justin Fields running the Buckeyes offense last season. Hill's Senior Bowl performance opened (or reopened) some eyes, and he followed it up with a strong combine. I had a second-round grade on him. This may be the steal of the draft.
221. Carolina Panthers: Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, CB, FIU
Thomas-Oliver started his Golden Panthers career as a wide receiver, then switched to cornerback, where he started the last two seasons. He’s obviously a work-in-progress defender, but a 4.48-second combine, with solid jumping results, demonstrated that he has athleticism worth developing. Thomas-Oliver will probably be a practice squad stash.
222. Arizona Cardinals: Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State
Strengths: Vision, cutback ability, effort
Weaknesses: Ball security, lack of elite traits
Benjamin is a no-nonsense, one-cut runner who can find cutback lanes, has a few moves and finished every run hard. He had trouble with fumbles and dropped passes, issues which could render everything else moot, but he stressed at the combine and Senior Bowl that he was focused on correcting the problem in the offseason.
Benjamin is a high-character guy and gives a great interview, and there's a lot on film to suggest he could be a solid second or third running back if he learns to hold on to the ball. Benjamin is going to look really good as a change-up runner for Kenyan Drake.
223. Jacksonville Jaguars: Chris Claybrooks, CB, Memphis
Claybrooks is a lean, tiny defender with great ball skills and return capability and a reputation as a high-effort tackler and special teamer. He’s worth a look at this point in the draft based on pure speed and effort.
224. Tennessee Titans: Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Somewhere between C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens
McDonald threw for 8,010 yards and 69 touchdowns in his final two seasons for the Rainbow Warriors. He’s a well-built, fairly mobile touch passer with a reputation as a sound decision-
maker. A quirky-jerky-Philip-Rivers-on-peyote release often compromises both his timing and accuracy, and it could turn completions into open space at the mid-major level into NFL disasters. He could fit in the Titans offense, where seven-step drops and deep throws are the name of the game (and a quick trigger isn’t all that necessary). But he’s a very long-range project.
225. Minnesota Vikings: Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
Strengths: Leverage, Run defense
Weaknesses: Variety of pass-rush moves
Willekes' father is a doctor, and Willekes told reporters at the combine that dad would “stitch him up” on the couch after minor childhood mishaps. Or not-so-minor childhood mishaps.
“When I was 10, I was jumping on the bed and fell back and split my head open, so he sewed up the back of my head—still got the scar back here,” Willekes said. “The fat was hanging out of my finger one time after a game, so he cut that off, sewed it up. And then I was scraping metal when a pipe split me all the way from here to here [his thumb to his palm], he sewed that up. You see the scar here? My brother actually threw a log, and it hit my forehead. There's a scar on my chin, I got stitches from snowboarding.”
And dad, like, numbed Willekes before the meatball surgery, right? “No, he just did it.” Ouch. I guess in a home where metal scraping and fraternal log-chucking are everyday pastimes, a little surgery without anesthesia is just something to do before dinnertime.
Anyway, Willekes was a stand up edge-rusher early in his Spartans career but began lining up in a three-point stance over the last two seasons. The move suits him: He's at his best when firing off the line low and winning with leverage and positioning, not trying to string together a bunch of moves. He sets the point of attack well and can make tackles down the line in pursuit.
Willekes will start his career as a rotation end but could be a starter if he bulks up to 270-275 pounds of useful mass (he weighed 264 pounds at the combine). Oh, and the Vikings can count on his ability to play through pain. Even if some left tackle throws a log at him or something. This is a great value pick late in the draft.
226. Chicago Bears: Arlington Hambright: OT, Colorado
Hambright climbed from the JUCO ranks to Oklahoma State and then transferred to Colorado. He’s your typical college tackle who will have to move inside to guard, but with limited experience and a significant 2018 injury on his resume. He has traits, but there are more polished, safer prospects all over the draft board.
Grade: Needs improvement
227. Chicago Bears: Lachavious Simmons, OG, Tennessee State
Undersized, off-the-radar interior line prospect. The Bears have entered the self-outsmartment phase of the draft. At least they waited until now instead of doing it on Thursday night like they often do.
Grade: Needs improvement
228. Atlanta Falcons: Sterling Hofrichter, Punter, Syracuse
Strengths: Experience, hang time
Hofrichter punted for four years for the Orange. He delivers high-hang-time kicks that can be hard to haul in, and he can handle kickoffs in a pinch. Hofrichter's delivery includes a little hop step which will have to be corrected in the NFL to shave a few hundredths of a second off his kick time. He doesn't deliver many 65-yard blasts, but he could stick as a Colquitt-style punter in the NFL.
229. Washington Redskins: James Smith-Williams, EDGE, NC State
Smith-Williams played just 29 career games for the Wolfpack, first because he was stuck behind the great Bradley Chubb defensive lines a few seasons ago, and then because of a series of season-ending injuries. Smith-Williams was on his way to an outstanding combine when he cut his elbow on the apparatus during his high jump. He finished his workouts, but the incident didn't exactly make it easy to forget his injury history. Smith-Williams is an academic standout with an interest in robotics and an A-plus character reputation. He has the tools for the NFL, but his body just doesn't want to cooperate. The Redskins may have just drafted a standout for their injured reserve, but you know how it is in the seventh round: draft the high-effort guy with potential.
230. New England Patriots: Dustin Woodard, C, Memphis
Woodard is the third interior offensive lineman the Patriots have selected in the sixth and seventh rounds. He’s one of their “off the grid” selections. There are better options available on the draft board. At least they aren’t drafting any more problematic kickers.
Grade: Needs Improvement
231. Dallas Cowboys: Ben DiNucci, QB, James Madison
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Shaun Hill.
DiNucci threw for 3,441 yards and 29 touchdowns last year, completing 70.9 percent of his passes while leading the Dukes to the FCS championship game. He’s a well-built touch passer with a little bit of mobility, throws the ball well and delivers quick, accurate strikes on RPOs. Many of his skills won’t ramp up from the FCS level to the NFL: He was a read-option threat for the Dukes but lacks the speed for that role in the pros, and he has to push the ball to get serious velocity on his throws. Shaun Hill is DiNucci’s absolute upside. Hey, 11 NFL seasons and some productive stretches as a game-managing starter are nothing to sneeze at. DiNucci could quickly climb the depth chart and become Dak Prescott’s primary backup.
232. Pittsburgh Steelers: Carlos Davis, DT, Nebraska
Strengths: Size, athletic potential
Weaknesses: Quickness, pass rushing
Like his twin brother Khalil (drafted earlier by the Bucs), Davis crushed the combine with a 4.82-second 40-yard dash, 27 bench-press reps and a fine 4.52-second shuttle result at 313 pounds. Davis is bigger than his brother but is not in the same class as a prospect; he's more a early-down space-eater, although he will defeat some blockers with a quick punch and heavy hands.
Experience, sheer size and athletic upside make Davis worth a long look at this stage in the draft.
233. Philadelphia Eagles: Casey Toohill, EDGE, Stanford
Strengths: Length, arm usage
Toohill is a lean, long-armed late-bloomer who generated eight sacks as a starter for the Cardinal last season after four years as a redshirt or backup. He uses his arms to fend off blockers and facilitate a spin move, he's an effective run defender in pursuit and he looks confident while dropping into flat coverage. But he's no thumper, can get pushed around by blockers who get into his body and lacks high-end athleticism. Toohill would be an interesting toolsy project if he were leaving college as a junior. As a fifth-year senior, he may have maxed out at the Pac-12 level. The Eagles needed edge-rushing help earlier in this draft—Brandon Graham, a holdover from the Michael Vick era, was their top exterior pass-rusher last year—but at this point it feels like piling on to grade them too harshly.
234. Los Angeles Rams: Clay Johnston, LB, Baylor
Strengths: Effort, athleticism
Johnston is the son of Kent Johnston, the former strength-and-conditioning coach for the Packers, Seahawks, Browns and the University of Alabama. He has the classic coach's son skill set: high motor, workout-warrior athleticism, pretty good play recognition. But a knee injury limited him to six games last year, he suffered knee and foot injuries in past seasons, and he had a serious ATV accident in high school.
It's hard to project Johnston as much more than a hustling special teamer.
235. Detroit Lions: Jashon Cornell, DT, Ohio State
Strengths: Motor, quickness
Weaknesses: Size, power
Cornell racked up four sacks last year for the Buckeyes, his only season as a starter. He’s a fairly quick penetrator who caused some trouble when opponents focused their attention on his more famous teammates, but he’s undersized for an interior defender. Cornell could be an adequate wave defender for the Lions.
236. Green Bay Packers: Vernon Scott, Safety, TCU
Scott was a two-year regular for the Horned Frogs. His claims to fame were a 98-yard interception return touchdown against Oklahoma and a forced fumble to seal a win against Texas Tech last year. He’s a reach.
Grade: Needs Improvement
237. Kansas City Chiefs: Bopete Keyes, CB, Tulane
Strengths: Size and length
Keyes is your standard-issue tall cornerback with extendo arms. He is well-built, but he’s not much of a playmaker, and a lack of both quickness and tackling intensity could limit his ability to contribute on special teams. A look-and-see selection.
Grade: Needs Improvement
238. New York Giants: TJ Brunson, ILB, South Carolina
Strengths: Run defense
Weaknesses: Pass coverage
Brunson was a three-year starter for the Gamecocks. He’s a prolific tackler and solid run defender who can shoot the gaps and generate some big plays as a blitzer, but he’s a liability in coverage. At the very least, he can be a hustling special teamer, and he could also contribute as a situational pass-rusher.
239. Buffalo Bills: Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh
Strengths: Physicality, effort
Weaknesses: Speed, change-of-direction quickness
Jackson was a four-year contributor and a three-year starter for the Panthers. He's long-armed, fundamentally sound and has good vision when diagnosing pass routes. He hustles to the whistle on every play and will rip away from receivers trying to block him so he can get involved in tackles.
Jackson's biggest issue is that he loses speed in transition. Receivers running comebacks or stop routes in front of him can net some easy completions, and he sometimes grabs jersey if he thinks he's about to get beaten. Lack of pure speed may be the issue (he ran a 4.57-second 40 at the combine), as he takes a very deep break when bailing in off coverage, leaving plenty of open space for his receiver to operate.
Jackson may develop into a Cover-3 type cornerback, but there's a chance that his lack of speed and quickness will doom him to a fringe role. At this point in the draft, his upside is worth a long look.
240. New Orleans Saints: Tommy Stevens, QB, Mississippi State
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Sheesh, maybe Nic Shimonek?
Stevens backed up Trace McSorley for three years, then transferred to Mississippi State and shared the job with Garrett Shrader. He’s tall, runs fairly well and looked good in some late-season starts. Sean Payton works in mysterious ways, folks. That’s all we’ll say about this pick. Besides the grade.
Grade: Needs improvement
241. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chapelle Russell, OLB, Temple
Strengths: Effort, tackling
Weaknesses: Size, injury concerns
Russell tore his right ACL in back-to-back seasons in 2016 and 2017, but he worked his way back to become a capable starter and well-respected locker-room leader for the Owls. He's a lanky, long-armed defender who pursues plays well, sifts through traffic and tackles with a pop. If he were two steps faster, Russell might fit as a nickel safety-linebacker hybrid, but he lacks the play speed for slot-coverage duties, and he may not have the bulk to be effective as a point-of-attack run defender. He'll try to stick as a hustling multiposition backup linebacker.
242. Green Bay Packers: Jonathan Garvin, DE, Miami
Strengths: Raw tools
“Spider” Garvin is 6'4”, weighed 263 pounds at the combine, has 34-inch arms and looks like the star of a new superhero franchise when he leaves the locker room. The tape's pretty good too: He can use the arms to fend off blockers, has some quickness turning the corner and makes some tackles in pursuit. But he's a one-note pass-rusher with no Plan B, and he's not a thumper at the point of attack. In short, he's an eyeball-test athlete. The Packers will see what they can make of him. This is a fine pick for late in the seventh round.
243. Tennessee Titans: Chris Jackson, CB, Marshall
Jackson was a four-year regular for the Thundering Herd. He had seven career interceptions, including a pick-six. Experience and a smattering of big plays are all he has to offer as a prospect.
Grade: Needs Improvement
244. Minnesota Vikings: Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa
Bleacher Report’s Pinpoint-Accurate Quarterback Comparison: Trevor Siemian.
If you judge quarterbacks by how well they line up under center, take five- and seven-step drops in a clean pocket and locate receivers on intermediate routes, then Stanley is your draft sleeper. Also, if you still judge quarterbacks that way, you are probably John Elway. Stanley looks pretty good operating within structure, but he has a methodical delivery, no escapability and scattershot accuracy beyond the 20-yard range. He’ll work hard in the film room and look good in seven-on-seven drills, allowing him to stick as a third quarterback. If the Vikings were looking for a backup who reminded them a little of a scout-team version of Kirk Cousins, they just found him.
245. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Raymond Calais, RB, Louisiana
Calais was a committee back who rotated with Elijah Mitchell and Trey Ragas for the Ragin' Cajuns. He blazed a 4.42-second 40 at 188 pounds at the combine, demonstrating his potential value as a burner while proving that he was just barely big enough for the cool roller coasters. Calais was an effective slasher at the mid-major level, but he has little experience as a receiver. The fact that his touches were limited at the Sun Belt level doesn't bode well for his chances of turning into anything more than a third running back and return man at the NFL level. In Tampa, he could stick as the 14th option in the Tom Brady offense.
246. Miami Dolphins: Malcolm Perry, WR, Navy
Perry rushed for 4,359 career yards as the flexbone quarterback in the Mids offense. It would be fun to think that Navy quarterback-to-receiver-or-running-back transitions pay dividends at the NFL level, but they rarely amount to much. At least Brian Flores flexed his Mini Belichick muscles by drafting a Navy guy.
Grade: Needs Improvement
247. New York Giants: Chris Williamson, CB, Minnesota
Williamson is a safety-cornerback tweener: well-built and willing to tackle, but neither fast nor quick enough in coverage to be an outside cornerback. He’ll max out as a sixth or seventh defensive back. There are better athletes left on the board, and the Giants really needed to be thinking about adding speed and quickness to their depth chart in the secondary at this point in the draft.
Grade: Needs Improvement
248. Los Angeles Rams: Sam Sloman, PK, Miami (OH)
Weaknesses: Leg strength
Sloman had an excellent senior year for the Redhawks: 112 points, 26-of-30 on field goals, some 50-plus-yarders. However, he didn't look much like a pro prospect in previous seasons. Sloman may be a late developer, in which case, he's the sort of player who can be grabbed after the draft as a free agent. But the Rams lost Greg Zuerlein and need to get cheaper at positions like kicker, so here we are.
Grade: Needs Improvement
249. Minnesota Vikings: Brian Cole II, S, Mississippi St.
Cole is a toolsy converted receiver and Michigan transfer who played all over the defense last year but was best as an attacking box safety. If you squint, Cole looks like off-off brand Isaiah Simmons.
250. Los Angeles Rams: Tremayne Anchrum, OG, Clemson
Strengths: Punch, footwork
Anchrum played right tackle for the Tigers but projects as a guard in the NFL. He lacks the quickness and elite size-strength combination to be more than a stopgap at tackle, but in tight quarters at guard, his quick set out of his stance and jarring initial punch will keep pass-rushers at bay.
Anchrum is nasty when pulling in the run game and can strike linebackers at the second level. He lunges now and then and has some other habits to clean up, but so do most college linemen. He's a safe, low-risk selection, and a great value at this point.
251. Miami Dolphins: Stephen Sullivan, TE, LSU
Strengths: Size-speed traits
Sullivan caught only 12 passes for the national champions last season and just 46 catches in his entire LSU career. He started his career as a 6'5" wide receiver but bulked up in his senior year to play more of a hybrid tight end role. You can probably guess what happened next: He lost the necessary quickness and fluidity to play wide receiver but wasn't a reliable enough blocker to play a major role at tight end.
Sullivan had an outstanding combine, and there's always a place in an NFL camp for a 248-pounder from a major program who can run. He's more likely to max out as Scout Team George Kittle than as Actual George Kittle, but he’s a better long-range prospect than several of the tight ends drafted before him in the last two rounds.
252. Denver Broncos: Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Florida
Cleveland is a size-speed-tools project who caught just 25 passes as a senior and 79 in his Gators career. He looks the part and put up some competitive combine numbers, but there are at least a dozen receivers on the draft board with similar traits who also caught lots of passes.
Grade: Needs Improvement
253. Minnesota Vikings: Kyle Hinton, OG, Washburn
Hinton was a three-year starter who earned a variety of all-conference and All-American honors at the Division II level. He reportedly crushed his pro day in the Before Times. I don't have a scouting report for him otherwise, but his workout numbers and measurables alone suggest he's worth stashing on a practice squad.
254. Denver Broncos: Derrek Tuszka, OLB, North Dakota St.
Strengths: Physicality, leverage
Tuszka majored in Crop and Weed Science at North Dakota State, which sounds like a fine major for an emerging growth market in several states but is actually not as cool as the name suggests. Or maybe it's cooler: Tuszka flies crop dusters and helicopters in his free time, and he spoke with me a little at the combine (after I was finished pestering him with “weed science” dad jokes) about his favorite planes and his post-football dreams of flying around Alaska.
On the field, Tuszka careens off the line of scrimmage, hits with a thud, can knife inside his blocker to get to the ball-carrier on running plays and flattens out quickly when pass rushing from the outside. On the downside, he's easy to wire up when blocked and doesn't have a wide battery of pass-rush moves. Athleticism, aggression and hustle made him the Missouri Valley Conference Defender of the Year, and impressive combine results suggest that Tuszka is more than just an FCS phenom. He could grow into an NFL starter if he becomes a better technician. And he is going to love flying around Colorado.
255. New York Giants: Tae Crowder, LB, Georgia
Mr. Irrelevant is a converted running back who started for two years for the Bulldogs. He has a reputation as a run-stuffer between the tackles and a heady, high-effort defender who lacks range in pursuit and coverage, And if he doesn’t sound like someone Dave Gettleman would draft at the end of the seventh round, then no one does.
That’s the end of this year’s draft coverage, folks. Now let’s all stay home and crush that darn curve so that we will be able to see these guys in action as soon as possible!