In this article, Maccus Dinsmore, Izzy Sy and Shekhar Shah give their favorite prospects ahead of tonight’s NFL Draft:
Maccus’ pick: Trey Lance
Trey Lance possesses a skill set very similar to Josh Allen coming into the draft. Lance has a strong arm and the athleticism that will allow for him to evade sacks and extend plays quite well at the next level. There are some concerns about his ball placement and his level of competition, but he has one of the highest upsides in the draft.
Izzy’s pick: Justin Fields
Fields did nothing but win his two seasons at Ohio State, and he also put up great numbers. He had 78 total touchdowns to only 9 interceptions, and was very accurate throwing the football with a 67% completion percentage. He has tremendous dual threat ability, his deep ball is phenomenal, he has the arm strength, and accuracy, and he has improved from locking onto his first read. The guy gets criticized, yet people fail to look at all of his quality traits that make him the second best quarterback in this class.
Shek’s pick: Trey Lance
Lance is my favorite prospect in this year’s draft due to his insane versatility. Dynamic football player, who is smart with the football and displays great raw skills. Lance will likely be a top 10 pick who has to sit a year to refine some aspects of his game, but Lance can very well be the best of this year’s top 5 QB bunch.
Maccus’ pick: Jake Funk
Jake Funk is the Cam Akers of this draft class; he has all of the production despite poor run blocking. Funk has the ideal patience and vision to succeed in a zone scheme while also possessing solid speed, power, and leg drive that will aid him in breaking tackles at the next level. While he probably won’t be a true number one RB in the NFL, he definitely has the potential to be a key feature back in a running by committee approach.
Izzy’s pick: Trey Sermon
Keeping with the Ohio State theme, Trey Sermon is my favorite running back prospect in this draft. He has a great combination of top line speed, and amazing power. He rushed for 524 yards in two of Ohio State’s biggest games this season. He also has amazing patience for a running back, and is always running hard north and south. Sermon will be a force in this league for years to come.
Shek’s pick: Javonte Williams
Javonte is a bowling ball player who knocks down opposing defenders like pins. Great vision, balance and speed. Williams is a decent pass catcher to tag along as well, and I have him being the 2nd best RB in this year’s class.
Maccus’ pick: Jaelon Darden
Darden will be limited to the slot at the next level but that will not limit his production. Darden is the most elusive receiver in the class, and he uses that ability to get wide open with ease. He offers a ton of value to a team that utilizes a ton of vertical routes and screens as Darden will evade tacklers and create a ton of yards after the catch as a pro.
Izzy’s pick: Ja’Marr Chase
No brainer here. Chase is the best wide receiver in this draft by a mile, and probably the best prospect at the position in the last few seasons. He does it all. He can win those contested catch situations, he can wow you with his speed, he has great hands, great separation off the line, and great route running ability. He is everything you look for in a receiver. Chase will be an elite receiver, and can contribute from day 1 onwards.
Shek’s pick: Dazz Newsome
Newsome is a criminally underrated slot receiver out of UNC who was a part of an elite offense. Newsome has great speed, acceleration, with decent route running and good hands. Newsome can contribute in the return game and line up as a RB at times.
Maccus’ pick: Tony Poljan
Tony is a prototypical in-line tight end who is a solid blocker and has consistent hands. As a former QB, he is a highly intelligent tight end that does an incredible job of diagnosing the holes in zone coverage. He doesn’t have a ton of speed which may limit him at the next level, but he should add a decent amount of RAC as he constantly lowers his shoulder when pushing for extra yards.
Izzy’s pick: Kyle Pitts
Usually, during draft season, the tight end position is never really talked about. Not this year with Kyle Pitts. Pitts possesses the rare ability to be able to line up at the line of scrimmage, or split him out wide against safeties, and corners. He is a matchup NIGHTMARE. He is physical, explosive, has great athletic ability, great hands, and will destroy you in one on one situations. While he is not the best blocker, he can get better at that given time. He will be the next tight end to dominate the league.
Shek’s pick: Kyle Pitts
Pitts is the best tight end prospect to come out of college in a very long time. Unicorn player, who is guaranteed to be a mismatch the moment he steps foot on the turf. Pitts is a surefire top 5 pick in the draft.
Maccus’ pick: James Hudson
James Hudson has a great profile for an offensive tackle, but he is still a very raw player as he is still learning the position due to a transition from the defensive side of the ball. What Hudson does really well is run blocking. He does a great job of helping his fellow lineman secure a double team before moving to the second level, establishing leverage, controlling blocks, and getting under defender’s pads all of which will allow for him to be a top tier run blocking tackle in the NFL.
Izzy’s pick: Alex Leatherwood
One of the most dominant lineman in college football, Leatherwood was the most underrated player on an Alabama squad that had firepower all over the offense. Leatherwood has amazing agility for a lineman, as he fires quickly off of the snap, and into the chest of pass rushers. He also keeps his feet moving at all times, and has good footwork when he is working off of the edge. While he does have to improve his overall strength, Leatherwood can be a starting tackle on day 1.
Shek’s pick: Larnel Coleman
Coleman is a unique prospect out of UMass, who displays positional versatility. He has great functional athleticism and has solid technique. He needs to refine some aspects of his game, involving reaching and leaning forward, causing him to lose balance.
Maccus’ pick: Milton Williams
Milton has elite athleticism for the defensive tackle position despite his shorter arms and lower weight. He is a rather solid penetrator on the line when he is utilized in that way but when he isn’t, he tends to get blown up by run blockers. He packs a ton of power into his hands, and he uses his leg drive to get into linemen’s chest and deliver an incredible blow with his hands but he needs to work on then getting off of blocks.
Shek’s pick: Daviyon Nixon
In an overall weaker DT draft class, Nixon is among the few guys that really stand out. Great functional athleticism, with good rush moves overall. Nixon stops the run game well and can disrupt the passing game.
Maccus’ pick: Jayson Oweh
Oweh is the best athlete at the edge position in the draft. He is explosive, has great bend, and has long arms but is raw very raw and needs quite a bit of refinement. Oweh projects as a 3-4 OLB and should be an instant impact pass rusher despite the raw technique due to the athleticism and wider technique that 3-4 OLBs play in.
Izzy’s pick: Kwity Paye
Paye is my EDGE1, and he is a joy to watch. He was one of the leaders on that defensive front. The explosion that he displays off the snap, reminds me of a younger Von Miller. He also has supreme athleticism, and actually does a very good job at splitting the double team, and still causing chaos. The only worry about him is how he will do against the run, but other than that Paye is easily my favorite edge prospect in this draft.
Shek’s pick: Dayo Odeyingbo
Odeyingbo is a big-time player who was under the radar throughout the draft process. Odeyingbo displays all of the tools and has great athletic ability. The Achilles injury did set back his stock, however, Odeyingbo can be a great steal.
Maccus’ pick: Jamin Davis
Jamin Davis is one of the very best athletes at the linebacker position in the draft. He is an elite run defender already and I am confident in his coverage ability at the next level. I have some concerns about him playing immediately as he needs to work on his discipline in the play action game as he has the tendency to overplay the run and pull himself out of the play.
Izzy’s pick: Jamin Davis
Jamin Davis played one year at Kentucky but boy he has made a strong case to be the best LB in this class. Davis is great against the run and has a high athletic ceiling and can be a three down linebacker as he goes sideline to sideline every time the ball is snapped. He attacks the opponent and he also sells out on blitzes. If a team can get their hands on Davis, they have a day 1 3 down backer.
Shek’s pick: Ronnie Perkins
Perkins is a stud pass rusher out of Oklahoma. He is a nasty speed rusher, who displays a great use of hands. He could use some more discipline in the run game, however Perkins has a bright future with positional versatility at the next level.
Maccus’ pick: Nahshon Wright
In a very diverse cornerback class, Nahshon might just be the most overlooked and interesting prospect of all. He may be the most explosive and aggressive corner in the class, and he certainly has the most interesting athletic profile; 6’4 with a 4.46 40. He is currently a very lean player and needs to add some weight and muscle to his frame before he is ready to play in the next level, but he looks to be a great day 3 selection for a cover 3 team. (Seattle, Dallas, Las Vegas)
Izzy’s pick: Patrick Surtain II
The most complete prospect at the corner position in this year’s draft. Surtain is one of those rare corners that can do it all. He can cover at an elite level in man or zone coverage, he can tackle very well, and he never gets beat down the field. Surtain is a very physical corner, and will not be afraid to mix it up at the LOS. He also does a great job of flipping his hips in coverage, something that only a few corners in every draft class are able to do. While he does not have amazing speed, he has enough to get by at the next level, and all of his other traits are elite. Surtain is the clear CB1, and will be a lockdown corner in the league.
Shek’s pick: Caleb Farley
Farley is one of the best CB’s I have seen on tape. He can be left alone on an island and still handle the receivers. Considering he wasn’t even a corner at the start of his career at Virginia Tech, Farley’s upside is through the roof, even with injury concerns.
Maccus’ pick: Devine Deablo
Devine Deablo is a pure box safety who has incredible size, athleticism, and zone instincts. While box safeties are not hard to come by in the NFL but Diablo has the profile to be an elite one. He could become a tight end eliminator at the next level with his incredible traits and he will fly around and make plays against the run.
Izzy’s pick: Jevon Holland
Holland is a playmaker, something that is sought after when looking for a good safety. He is a great ball hawk, and has great ball skills. He is also great in coverage, as he does a good job of following receivers over the middle of the field, and defending the pass with ease. He is a well rounded guy as he is a good tackler, and has great athleticism. He is by no means a box safety, but he is not only a ball hawk either. Holland is one of the better secondary players in this class, and will look to see if his playmaking ways will be great in the league.
Shek’s pick: Divine Deablo
Apart from having a spectacular name, Deablo is the closest prospect to being a Kam Chancellor 2.0. Deablo is a spectacular run stopper and can play well in the box or as a weak-side linebacker.