Discount Mike Mayock NFL prospect rankings: Offense

Posted: February 22, 2020 in Football, New entries, NFL

Wide receiver

1. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

2. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

3. Henry Ruggs, Alabama

4. K.J. Hill, The Ohio State

5. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

Honorable Mention(s): Jalen Reagor, Michael Pittman, Tee Higgins

I like Lamb a little more than Jeudy because he played on the outside more and dominated. Jeudy thrived primarily as a slot receiver. Both are elite prospects, I just prefer Lamb slightly. K.J. Hill performed well at the Senior Bowl and got involved in the offense even with Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon hogging targets in 2018. Aiyuk is a YAC specialist who outperformed N’Keal Harry, former ASU standout/first round pick. YAC is becoming more of a focal point as teams seem to be focusing on it with the success of players like Deebo Samuel and Alvin Kamara in quick pass offenses. I’m concerned that Laviska Shenault’s not a great fit for a conventional downfield passing attack, though he looks like he could fit in a creative offense like under Kyle Shanahan or Denver with Pat Shurmur. This is a super interesting wide receiver class with guys like Van Jefferson and Antonio Gandy-Golden who could be late round gems on the right team. I definitely feel this is the “wide receiver” draft.

Tight end

1. Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic

2. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame

3. Devin Asiasi, UCLA

4. Adam Trautman, Dayton

5. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt

Honorable mention(s): Hunter Bryant, Albert Okwuegbunam

The 2020 class doesn’t feel like the strongest tight end class. I am higher on Asiasi than most because of his blocking potential. Adam Trautman and Harrison Bryant both performed well at the Senior Bowl, according to PFF. I felt Bryant’s volume of work at FAU with respected offensive mind Lane Kiffin and his Senior Bowl performance made him the “safest” prospect here. Lance Zierlein described Pinkney as an improved blocker in 2019 and as a player not afraid of contact in the middle of the field. Cole Kmet had one monster performance against a very good Georgia defense.

Running back

1. Zack Moss, Utah

2. D’Andre Swift, Georgia

3. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

4. J.K. Dobbins, The Ohio State

5. A.J. Dillon, Boston College

Honorable mention(s):  Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Javon Leake, Antonio Gibson

I feel D’Andre Swift had a better line in front of him blocking, why I chose to rank Moss at 1 overall here. Taylor has continued to be very consistent for Wisconsin since his freshman year. Dobbins ran for over 2,000 yards in 2019 at an impressive 6.7 yards per carry. A.J. Dillon is 6 ft 0, and plays at 250 lbs. Watching his game tape, he plays physical and can really get going, though he’s not likely to be the best back at lateral quickness. Travis Etienne would be number one here for me but he returned to school for 2020.

Offensive tackle

1. Jedrick Wills, Alabama

2. Andrew Thomas, Georgia

3. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

4. Josh Jones, Houston

5. Trey Adams, Washington

Honorable Mention(s): Matt Peart, Calvin Throckmorton

I chose to leave Mekhi Becton (Future FreezingColdTakes) off the list. Even gigantic O-line standouts like Orlando Brown Jr. and Leonard Davis weren’t 370 lbs. I hope I’m wrong about him, he seems like a good kid. Wills played at right tackle for Bama but earned praise for keeping rushers away from Tua this season. Thomas has been a pivotal part of pass protecting for Fromm and paving the way for Swift, two NFL draftees in 2020. PFF talked about Wirfs and his impressive strength even amongst his peers, Iowa is becoming a NFL talent factory more and more each season. Trey Adams didn’t have a glamorous 2019, but he’s been a longtime left tackle for Jake Browning and in ’19, Jacob Eason. Adams has tons of starting experience against quality competition and can still gain some weight at 6’8″.

Guard/Center

1. Netane Muti, Fresno State

2. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin

3. Damien Lewis, LSU

4. Logan Stenberg, Kentucky

5. Jonah Jackson, The Ohio State

Honorable Mention(s): Lloyd Cushenberry, Ben Bartch, Darryl Williams

Netane Muti looked a little out of place at Fresno State, more than holding his own against defenses like USC. Muti is a top 15 overall player for me in this draft, he plays with excellent leverage and looks crazy strong. Biadasz has been a steady holdover for Wisconsin and a key cog in their rushing attack, Biadasz has demonstrated top pass pro skills as well. Lewis plays well as a run blocker and needs improvement as a pass protector. Lewis helped LSU earn the prestigious Joe Moore award as the top OL in the country. Stenberg is a reliable if unsexy blocker who doesn’t get glamorous finishes, but run blocks well and keeps his QB upright and away from his assignment. Jonah Jackson stood out at the Senior Bowl and has tons of experience being a grad transfer from Rutgers to Ohio State.

Quarterback

1. Joe Burrow, LSU

2. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

3. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

4. Jake Fromm, Georgia

5. Justin Herbert, Oregon

Honorable mention(s): Jordan Love, Mason Fine, Josh Love, Khalil Tate

I will die on the “Jalen Hurts is an underrated QB prospect” hill if I have to. Wins the starting job at Alabama of all places, has GREAT stats at ‘Bama and gets benched for Tua Tagovailoa, one of the greatest college passers of all time. He even transferred to Oklahoma (the school where the last two first overall picks went to) and put on a BONKERS good season. He has always been super accurate, he avoids turnovers, he’s an elite scrambler, Hurts even has great deep ball arm strength. Joe Burrow and Tua are easily the two best QB prospects in this class, but Hurts has done just about everything a man could do to help himself. Jake Fromm beat out Jacob Eason and Justin Fields as the starter at Georgia, which no one wants to mention when talking about him as a “game manager.” I am obviously not high on Justin Herbert, but Gil Brandt really likes him, which honestly is why I put him on this list at all.

All quarterbacks are system quarterbacks

The older I get and the more football I watch, the more the Daniel Jones pick by Dave Gettleman makes sense to me. I definitely still think its a bad pick, but we’re seeing quarterbacks play so differently depending on their scheme. Absolutely no one predicted Lamar Jackson would have the year he had. And he didn’t have that year because he just became a WAY better quarterback. Greg Roman ran more plays that Jackson could handle, and the offense took off. 2019 was maybe the best offense Baltimore’s ever had.

Ryan Tannehill was a castoff from a bad Miami team. He was traded to Tennessee to be the backup for Marcus Mariota, or the next QB they draft if their started in ’20 was not on the roster. After Mariota got benched, Tannehill stepped in and played worlds better than he or Mariota ever had. What Tannehill can do as a quarterback meshes well with A.J. Brown, Corey Davis and that offense. Tannehill didn’t improve overnight, he fell into a system that badly needs what he does well.

Daniel Jones is not a great quarterback at all. But if his front office can find out what he does well, and Jones is a healthy, smart, coachable guy, that might make Jones more of an appealing prospect than a QB who may already self-identify as a big shot in the eyes of a general manager. I would still say Haskins is the better pick over Jones, but dealing with “small” things that can take an emotional toll like contract holdouts, off-field issues could occupy a lot of space in a GM’s mind. An “aww shucks” guy like Jones may give the impression that he wont carry those risks as much as a super high confidence QB like most prospects are. Again, the pick still seems wrong to me, but LESS wrong than before.

Song of the day is “See it so clear” by Keane (Acoustic).

 

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