DRAFT TALK: Bryan’s top 5s!

DRAFT TALK: Bryan’s top 5s!
Reading Time: 4 minutes.

I’ve been fortunate enough to host the Ninety Nine Yards Draft Talk podcast the past month. It’s always great talking football and the boys really do know their stuff. I’m usually happy to be asking the questions as the host but have taken the opportunity on a few occasions to get my scout hat on and dig into some tape.

I’m nowhere near as experienced, or watch as much tape, as my fellow Draft Talk team members. But here’s my top 5 Quarterbacks, Corners and Safeties.

Quarterback

  1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

What’s not to like? Absolute no brainer number 1. Lawrence is clearly the best prospect in this draft and highly likely to be a star. Hopefully the Jags take good care of him.

  1. Zach Wilson, BYU

Wilson, Lance and Fields are all a step behind Lawrence but very close for me potential wise. Wilson pips the other two thanks mainly to his ability to make ridiculous throws. A bit of recency bias may have kicked in here as there’s some parallels to Patrick Mahomes.

Zach Wilson had 33 Touchdowns to only 3 Interceptions in 2020. Image from cbssports.com
  1. Justin Fields, Ohio State

Fields has a greater body of work than Wilson and Lance and is probably more NFL ready. Like his experience in big games, the NFL shouldn’t be a huge step up for him.

  1. Trey Lance, North Dakota State

He’s young, inexperienced, unexposed etc. but I dare anyone to watch Lance and not be impressed. Huge potential upside. Would have liked him to have another year of growth in college but can’t blame anyone for jumping at an early shot at the NFL. Ideally he sits and learns behind an experienced vet for a few years then shines (looking at you Atlanta).

  1. Mac Jones, Alabama

National champion with Alabama – true has a great team around him, also true that it’s not easy to get to and start in the Alabama team. “Old school” looking quarterback who’s best sat in the pocket making reads. Doesn’t wow me but can see why teams are high on him.

  1. *Kyle Trask, Florida

“Best of the rest”, plenty of experience at a pretty high level. Lead college football in touchdowns (43) and was second only to Jones for total yards. Far from perfect, needs to develop his pocket awareness but can do it all – just needs to do it better. An ideal back up for a team to develop in house for a few years.

*Aware this is a top 5 but having watched a bit of Trask and liked what I saw, thought it worth a little write up.

Cornerbacks

  1. Patrick Surtain, Alabama

Loved watching Surtain, he’s a natural. Makes the position look easy. Super smooth, should be a day one starter in the NFL and if he can stay healthy should have hell of a career.

  1. Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech

I’d probably nudge Farley down to 3 as since doing these ratings the news of his back injury has come out. It isn’t major but is a red flag and will undoubtedly put some teams off more than others. However; what an athlete. Occasionally obvious in his ‘19 tape that he’s only played corner for two years – another years worth of experience/improvement he could potentially be clipping at Trevor Lawrences’ heels as the best player in this draft. Would have loved to see him play in 2020.

  1. Jaycee Horn, S. Carolina

Loads to like about Horn, not as smooth as Surtain and not as purely athletic as Farley but only a whisker behind both. Easily a first round draft choice, will suit as CB1/2 in most teams.

South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn could be the second Cornerback off the board thanks to Farley’s injury. Image from usatoday.com
  1. Tyson Campbell, Georgia

A toss up which Georgie CB goes first as his fellow bulldog Eric Stokes nearly made this list too. Worked mainly in press, which won’t suit all teams, but has bags of ability. Should make a nice living in the NFL for some years to come.

  1. Greg Newsome II, Northwestern

If it wasn’t for Newsome’s injury history (he only played 17 games out of a possible 35 the past 3 years) he’d be my number 3. Has the skills to do it all. If he can stay on the field he’ll be hell of an addition to whoever gets him.

Safeties

1.Trevon Moehrig, TCU

For me by far the best Safety in this class. Best as a free safety in a cover 1-3 defence. Has the range and tackling skills to be a pretty safe bet on the backend between the numbers.

2. Richie Grant, UCF

4 year starter showed great improvement over those years. Similar to Moehrig best as a deep free safety. Should be a day 1 starter.

3. Ar’Darious Washington, TCU

The second Horned Frog Safety on my list.  Like him in the slot or as a “free role” strong safety – seems to love sniffing out the ball and not afraid to tackle.The main knock on Washington is his size, 5’8. It rarely shows on his tape but can’t help but think it may cause him some issues in the NFL.

4. Paris Ford

Tested really poorly (4.9 40, ouch) but liked what I saw on tape. Aggressive, good tackler with decent eye for the ball (3 INTs in 7 games in 2020). Not sure he starts straight away but with a bit of improvement has potential to be a good starting safety.

5. Andre Cisco, Syracuse

Inconsistent. Boom/Bust. Those were the notes I underlined numerous times when watching Cisco. 13 interceptions in 24 games is amazing – however the flip side of this is he can often go for the ball, miss that and his man giving up big plays. Excited for whoever picks him as no doubt if he can clean his game up a little he can be a game changer.

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