The draft is finally here and D and I are going to break it down for you . We’re going to go over needs, and then give you players all over the draft at each position of need .
Andrew Thomas – Georgia – 6’5 315 (36 1/8″ arms) – Top 10 D, Mike
Thomas is probably the most complete LT prospect in this draft. He has the size, the footwork and he also has lamp posts for arms at over 36 inches. He needs to add strength but I do caution not to go crazy over only putting up 21 reps at the combine, longer arms make it much more difficult to bench press. Thomas has played both tackle spots, he started at RT immediately as a Freshman and then in his Sophomore year he switched to LT and has been there since.
Isaiah Wilson – Georgia – 6’5 350 (35 1/2″ arms) – RD 1- 2 – D
Wilson projects better to be a RT in the NFL. He’s a power player with a huge frame but only has 2 years of college experience. Born in Brooklyn NY (shout out!), Wilson definitely needs work on his footwork but shows traits of good technique and footwork at times. Wilson is a strong run blocker and his protection improved as the year went on which leads one to believe he will continue to improve with additional work. If you like Becton because of his size, Wilson is potentially a better player who is also a man among boys.
Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama – 6’0 217 – #5 – D, Mike
OK, I’m just going to put this out there. Give Tua a clean bill of health and this guy is the #1 pick in the draft. All the love for Joe Burrow is somewhat warranted but Tua is probably the best QB in this draft. He improved every year he played, unlike the one year wonder Joe Burrow. I know Burrow had a record breaking season but it was just one great season. Nothing the kid did before 2019 made you think this kid even belonged in discussions of the best QB’s. He played 13 games and threw 16 TD’s and 5 INT’s in his Junior year. Yeah, you can say it all came together and he progressively got better but I don’t buy it. Tua was consistently a top QB and if not for the injuries there wouldn’t be a question. I’m not saying the injuries don’t scare me, they do because I don’t have access to medical records and doctors to analyze them but the Miami Dolphins do, and if at #5 or earlier Tua’s name is called for us, you’ll know that they were comfortable in what they saw and were told by those doctors.
K’Lavon Chaisson – LSU – 6’3 254 – #18 – D, Mike
I know this will probably come as a surprise but I think even with the free agency acquisitions of Shaq Lawson, Kyle Van Noy and Emmanuel Ogbah, I think we’re still down a true pass rush threat. I think Chaisson has the size and speed and good character we’ll be looking for. First of all, the kid has very little experience in football, he never played HS football. He’s also only 20 years old, and he has plenty of time to learn. In his only full season of play in the SEC he managed 6.5 sacks and 13.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. I think this kid could end up being a top pass rusher with time and effort. He wore the #18 jersey at LSU which is given only to high character leaders. We may have to be patient for him turn into a star, it may be a couple of years, but he can give us some much needed juice in the pass rush early on and I’ll take it.
Jonathan Greenard – Florida – 6’3 263 – RD 2 – D
Greenard is one of D’s guys. He likes his motor and especially his work ethic. Greenard works hard at his craft and his effort never fluctuates. He played his first 3 years at Louisville before transferring his Senior season to Florida. He enjoyed his best and most productive season at Florida registering double digit sacks (10) for the first time and adding 16 TFL as well as 3 FF’s and 1 INT. Not a very fast or quick he’s an intelligent defender. He did suffer a serious wrist injury which has hampered him since so doctors have to get a check on that.
Jabari Zuniga – Florida – 6’3 264 – RD 4 – D
Zuniga is a big, strong pass rushing prospect. While Greenard put up the big sack numbers in 2019, when Greenard wasn’t there in 2018, Zuniga put up 6.5 sacks for the Gators. Injuries plagued his Senior season but still managed to register 3 sacks in just 3 starts, 5 games played. Zuniga battled a high ankle sprain all season and that’s what kept him from having a monster Senior campaign. Zuniga is powerful enough to move to the interior D-line in special pass rush packages. Once again, we’re talking position flexibility.
D’Andre Swift – Georgia – 5’8 212 – #18-26 – Mike
Swift is a compact, durable back much in the mold of Frank Gore. He’s a dual threat back, he can run and catch equally as well. He’d be the perfect complement to Jordan Howard who for the most part is just a straight ahead power back. Swift can get the yards on the ground or through the air which is a much needed element for our team. Swift doesn’t have an insane amount of mileage on his legs either with 440 total carries over 3 seasons. Let’s face it, you have to have at least 2 RB’s who can start in the NFL and getting Swift takes care of that.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire – LSU – 5’7 207 – RD 2 – D
Edwards-Helaire is hands down D’s favorite RB in this draft class. What D likes most about Edwards-Helaire is the fire he plays with and the chip he has on his shoulder, and it’s relentless. While D feels Swift might have more talent, he likes his ability to shed tacklers with Barry Sanders like moves, “ankle-breakers” if you will. D thinks he’s a strong downhill one-cut runner but can take it to the outside where his agility and elusiveness really come into play.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn – Vanderbilt – 5’10 214 – RD 3 – D
Ke’Shawn Vaughn is D’s choice in the later rounds if we somehow don’t address the position earlier. He’s got a fair amount of carries under his belt with 572, playing his first 2 years at Illinois and then transferring to Vanderbilt for 2 more seasons. Vaughn really flourished at Vandy with 2 consecutive 1000 yard seasons and in his Senior season he also added 28 receptions and an additional 270 yards receiving. Vaughn is a traditional downhill runner that doesn’t offer much in the way of juke or elusiveness, he just runs over people and would be a good late round value.
Cesar Ruiz – Michigan – 6’3 307 – #26 or 39 – D, Mike
Cesar Ruiz would almost certainly be a day 1 starter for us in 2020. He’s played both center and guard and while we have Ted Karras on a 1YR contract, it’s a good bet that Ruiz is our center sooner than later. If Karras proves to be better early on, Ruiz can play for us at G, or at the very least provide very strong competition to either Deiter or the newly acquired Ereck Flowers. I want competition all the way down the line and Ruiz will push a few players who will try to stave him off. This makes everyone better, and lord knows we need everyone better on that OL.
Kyle Dugger – Lenoir-Rhyne – 6’1 217 – #39 or 56 – Mike
I’m expecting the Dolphins to wait to get a safety until at least RD2 and possibly later. I think Kyle Dugger fits the type of player we’ll be looking for. Like Eric Rowe, he’s a very explosive athlete who runs well, jumps well and has the size to play at the LOS as well as play in coverage. Dugger is also a good return man, so that’s additional value that he brings to the table. I’m figuring McKinney and Delpit are possible first rounders and like I mentioned, I think we’ll be using those picks elsewhere, so I like Dugger for us. We do currently have Eric Rowe, Adrian Colbert, Clay Fejedelem and Steven Parker so we’re not desperate for a S, so that’s another reason why I don’t see us going 1st RD. Dugger is a good find in late RD 2 or RD 3.
Jeremy Chinn – Southern Illinois – 6’3 221 – RD 3 – D
Chinn is D’s guy, although I honestly went back and forth between the two of them so for the most part we’re in agreement. Just to clarify, we’re not looking to take both of these players, it’s just an either/or situation. Chinn is a big safety prospect and just as fast and explosive as Dugger. I think Chinn may go earlier than Dugger so we may have a couple of more shots at Dugger, but time will tell. His size and demeanor will allow him to play near the LOS and he can cover well too. Both of these prospects have just average instincts and rely somewhat on their physical prowess. They both need to pay attention in film sessions and learn their trades to be more impactful on the NFL level.
J.R. Reed – Georgia – 6’1 202 – RD 5 – D
Reed is almost the antithesis of the 2 other safeties listed, Chinn and Dugger. He’s not as big or as athletic but he comes complete with the instincts and football IQ. His father was WR Jake Reed and he’s also the nephew of defensive back Dale Carter so the bloodlines are strong in this one. Reed was a 3 year starter at Georgia missing his Freshman campaign with an injury out of High School. He covers bigger slot receivers and tight ends equally as well. He does however lack the explosiveness and acceleration to cover deep or smaller quicker receivers. For us he would be a mid to late round option if we decide to go in other directions earlier in the draft.
Marlon Davidson – Auburn – 6’3 303 – RD 3 – D
Davidson is a DT/DE hybrid prospect. He’s played both DT and DE. He had a very strong Senior season playing mostly DE and registered 6.5 sacks. Very strong at setting the edge in the run game and has the versatility to easily move inside. 4 year starter who improved incrementally each season. D thinks Davidson could be a better version of Godchaux
Nick Coe – Auburn – 6’5 280 – RD 4 – D
Coe is a DE/DT (3-4) prospect who was a state wrestling champion at 285 pounds. In 2018 Coe achieved 7 sacks, mostly from the “buck” position. I think Coe can easily handle more weight to move to the inside but now looks more like a 5 tech player. D feels that Coe could be a much better player with more playing time and the right coaching.
In addition to the players above, D has this to say . . .
As for OL, I’ll just save time by saying I want as many of the UGA OL as I can get. Thomas, who was mentioned by Mike, Isaiah Wilson, who has great technique and pretty good feet as well, Solomon Kindley, who is a plug and play on the left or right side, even Ben Cleveland who was not a primary starter for the Dawgs, is a quality backup with potential to start one day. If we walk away with 2 of that OL, we are going to be a lot better at those positions.
A few positions I don’t really feel we need to add more to this year, but I might pick up a later draft pick is CB, LB, TE and WR. As I said before I could see us adding WR in day 1 or 2, but only if we hit a value pickup. I don’t think we push to get a specific guy. Still its good to add talent when you can so here are some day 3 guys I like at those positions:
Shyheim Carter, Alabama, CB. He’s a good slot corner, and has some time at Safety as well, he might be our next McCain and probably fits the defense we are trying to run.
Devin Duvernay, Texas, WR. He would give us a RB in the slot kind of receiver, and he’s built kind of like a bowling ball back, I think he would give us a nice dynamic for our offense and he could handle some of the return duties to take some punishment off of Grant.
Many thanks to D for all his help and research and mostly superior first hand knowledge of all of these players. I can’t give D enough credit here. After each player listed you will see either D, Mike or both. This just indicates that those are our picks and many of them were solely researched or in there because of D and those would obviously be D’s picks. The way we tried to assemble this article was D let me handle the early stuff because of better familiarity for me and he dug deep into the picks after the 1st and 2nd RD.