KoG wants to see a 'no trades' mock so what KoG wants, KoG gets.
Right now we have a few immediate needs. Imo those spots are SAM linebacker and CB. Yes, LG is also a need, but we literally have three guys battling for that spot already. SAM backer is the biggest need on the roster as we don't even have a corpse there right now. With that in mind, let's get to the mock.
Round 1 pick #16 - LB/DE K'Lavon Chaisson
A lot of the linebackers in this draft class can do one or two things well, but Chaisson can do three. He can rush the passer, he can play the pass (it's a passing league afterall) and he can play the run. When I'm looking up and down the draft class, there is not another linebacker in this class that will bring what he brings to the table outside of Isaiah Simmons. Also, this guy's leadership abilities are off the charts. Grady got his buddy in Fowler, now Debo gets his.
First Step Explosiveness - Folks. This dude has rocket shoes, a jet pack or something else strapped on him. Explosiveness is top shelf and on reps where he's pressing for the edge he'll command length and clean feet to challenge him. He's sudden in space, too. Upfield drive step out of his 2 or 3 pt. stance gains a ton of ground.
Hand Technique/Length - His hand fits setting the edge against the run are excellent. Shows ability to lock out and get a firm stab on the numbers. He's coming along nicely in his ability to play with finesse as well. There's plenty of room to grow but the arrow points up for execution — got better here throughout the season.
Pass Rush Counters - Long arm, speed to power, double sweep and rip and dip are where he's most effective off the edge. Needs to develop another counter pre-contact and would love to see some more versatility to work inside. He has successfully flashed inside spin and came on strong with it throughout 2019 season to icepick and seal OTs.
Flexibility - Surreal body control, both in space and around the edge. Surface reduction/lower body tilt can get **** near parallel to ground. He's very loose through the hips and lower half to plant/drive with quickness or open against momentum. Still working on getting inside foot to catch at steep angles on outside.
Run Defending - His awareness is really strong and he pairs it with good gap discipline. Doesn't give up the edge with leverage. Sense to filter through traffic and use his hands to work through bodies to find the football are strong. Good balance to play off of contact and challenge as a tackler. He's super technical challenging pullers or turnout blocks.
Competitive Toughness - This. Motor. Runs. HOT. Love his competitive spirit and effort to work back into plays on the back side. Peels back into the pocket if the QB flushes and has found second effort production. He's stout with angles — not a true boomer in in-line alignments but he's also got some room to grow on his frame too, which is a scary thought.
Tackling - Explosive closing burst and a violent finisher. He'll hunt the football too when he's afforded the opportunity. Shows good length and good consistency as a wrap up tackler. Will make some plays he has no business making with his tackle radius and range thanks to short area agility.
Lateral Mobility - He's got to be a little cleaner when he's put in a bind on the edge, he can be a little ambitious to work upfield in space before flipping to open to the boundary. His inside stunts are elite and offer plenty of fluidity, contact balance and burst to crash through A-gaps. His mirror skills or range to drive inside are A+.
Stand Up Ability - How many guys of this stature do you know that successfully play jam in the slot or man up on TEs in the red zone? He's one of them. Pretty rare athlete with the versatility he brings to the table based on formations and personnel. Explosive burst out of a two-point stance as a rusher off the edge.
Football IQ - Despite less than 30 games played, he's impressive with how much was put on his plate in 2019. He's coming along with his hand counters and rush consistency to set up OTs for successful first challenges at contact. Run defending IQ is through the roof and he's a natural/comfortable mover when flexed out of the POA.
Best Trait - Explosiveness
Worst Trait - Production
Best Film - Alabama (2019)
Worst Film - Utah State (2019)
Red Flags - 2018 ACL tear
Player Summary - K'Lavon Chaisson is a dynamic threat off the edge — he possesses elite versatility, explosiveness and a prototypical build to play a hybrid EDGE. Chaisson is still developing as a pass rusher but his effectiveness in speed rushes and inside stunts will afford him a pathway to early disruption. Chaisson is a high end run defender with length and heavy hands — a true natural in that regard. The sky is the limit. Chaisson, with more rush versatility, can be a cornerstone defender.
Round #2 pick 47 - CB Jaylon Johnson
Letting go of Trufant was an absolute necessity. Our CB's have been mismatched for a few years now. Oliver and even going back to Alford are both very good press corners. Tru is not. He is a zone coverage CB at heart...mainly because he doesn't need to be physical to be successful at it. It's time we brought in another PHYSICAL corner to grow with Oliver. This pick will allow us to run heavy press coverage on the outside while also playing to both of our CB's strengths instead of just one.
Vertical Matching: Has the athleticism to match up with anybody. Possesses excellent speed to stay on top of WR’s route downfield. Needs to improve his technique in avoiding getting stacked.
Mirror & Close: Reactionary quickness is elite. Footwork is well coordinated with his eyes. Seamlessly stays on hip pocket of WR in and out of route breaks. Hip fluidity is easily recognizable.
Ball Skills: Has a playmaker’s mindset. Comfortable playing w/back to the ball. Easily tracks over shoulder and is a consistent finisher at the catch point. Needs to get stronger to avoid box outs by bigger WRs.
Route Recognition: Quick eyes and mental trigger in off man coverage. Plays with no hesitation in his click and close. Guesses often to try and make a play; makes him susceptible to double moves.
Length/Physicality: Just average arm length, and it works to his detriment at the point of attack. Competitive toughness is unquestioned. Not afraid to get in the face of WRs. Plays a physical brand of football at LOS.
LOS Discipline: Good patience and timing with his punch and mirror in press man. Trusts his feet to recover and would rather mirror than grab. Stays on balance in the wide receiver’s release with a good, solid base.
Zone Coverage: Opportunistic eyes and often watches backfield action instead of getting in right position. Has the range to close windows instantly, baiting QBs in Cover 2 to break on the flat for an INT or PBU.
Run Support: Fights hard to get off blocks and reach the point of attack. Fearlessly closes on the ball looking to bring the wood. Needs to change speeds better as a tackler, but the toughness and drive is there.
Versatility: Played mostly outside in college, but he has the foot quickness and eye discipline at the LOS to play inside with the two-way go. Has the physicality and tackling reliability to be a primary run defender as well.
Durability: Missed only one career game (2018), but has had two offseason shoulder surgeries that need to be monitored in the pre-draft process and Combine rechecks. Undergoing third shoulder surgery after Combine.
NFL Comparison: Vontae Davis
Best Trait: Mirror & Match
Worst Trait: Getting Boxed Out
Overview: Sudden athlete with high ceiling as a lockdown CB. Sticky on the hip pocket and doesn’t lack confidence or aggressiveness. Average size/length hurts his ability to contest every catch point but he is scheme flexible & best in press man on the boundary.
Round 3 pick 78 - SS/LB Kyle Dugger
Let's face reality. Keanu Neal may never be the same. If he can come back this year and bring the pain? Great. We cannot rely on that though. He's a free agent after this year as well so we need to get ahead of our safety situation before we're stuck without a solution for the 3rd year in a row. Enter Kyle Dugger. We all know TD loves to throw in that one small school guy every draft. Well this year, Dugger is that guy. He's an incredible athlete who is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. He might not be a 3 down starter in year one, but he doesn't need to be. He can also slot in @ WILL LB.
Coverage Spacing - Explosive burst, speed and a pretty notable wingspan on the back end to be an influence in zone coverage. That said, he can be guilty of taking the cheese when routes flash across his face and will need some incubation time here to further hone his feel for when to break and open versus layered route combinations.
Acceleration - One of the best pure athletes in the 2020 NFL Draft. Pretty incredible amount of juice for such a rocked up player and his ability to illustrate it at the 2020 Reese's Senior Bowl solidified any questions there may have been about testing speed and explosion versus functional juice on the gridiron. Dynamic athlete.
Tackling - He can be a touch late in the open field to gear down and come to balance, let some big hits slip through his fingers by dropping his head or stopping his feet late. When he catches you flush, you're done. Period. He's got a big wingspan too so with a bit more discipline this is a big time finisher on the second and third level.
Zone Coverage Skills - There's plenty to work with here. That said, he's not super anticipatory at this point and will need coaches patient enough to work with him and help develop his sense of the chess versus checkers component of football to maximize his impact as a zone coverage player. He's ideal in a hook/curl and rat role in the middle of the field.
Ball Skills - Feasted on DII competition and was routinely around the football. His range allowed him to cut off throws consistently. Played a role on offense as a running back so he's no stranger to handling or catching the football — as evidenced by his natural hands when he's around the ball.
Competitive Toughness - Blue collar attitude with glowing reviews for his football character and work ethic. He'll be an asset in a locker room and on the field, he's a "try hard" with elite physical gifts — a pretty rare combination. Plays with a chip on his shoulder and looks to physically impose his will on opposing players.
Flexibility - He's pretty dynamic. Body control is impressive to watch and you see him hinge with suddenness, reach the back foot out to plant and drive and he's gone in a hurry — ample power and explosion through his frame at all angles.
Feet/COD - He's quick in short spaces and he's dynamic with his route adjustments on the fly — all without conceding any bit of his range. He's "quicker than a hiccup" in transition and its fun to watch him and teammates click and close simultaneously to see just how much spring he's got when he sees a play.
Man Coverage Skills - Developmental upside is here but he should be considered pretty raw given his level of competition. He's got the length, the upper body power, the foot quickness and hip mobility to be effective but we're effectively starting at the ground level and will need to work him along patiently.
Versatility - He could play strong safety with time. He could play in the nickel vs. tight ends with time. He's a superb athlete and ball of clay that could be catered to any number of different roles. But upon league entry, play him on the kick teams and ask him on defense to simply hunt down the football. Pure rally defender to start but sky is the limit.
Best Trait - Athleticism
Worst Trait - Polish
Best Film - St. Augustine's (2019)
Worst Film - Tusculum (2018)
Red Flags - None
Player Summary - The debate with Kyle Dugger lies with where he's best implemented. A bit of a tweener, Dugger is at his best in instances where he's tasked with rallying to the football. There's a terrific skill set to work with, mold and develop at the next level but Dugger is an elite athlete who entering the league would benefit from a "find the football" role. Likely puts him on the field as a WILL to start but his dynamic athleticism and stature project best as a developmental SS and special teams ace.
Round 4 pick 119 - TE Thaddeus Moss
TD got his small school guy in the last round, now he gets his other fetish out of the way in bloodlines. We all know who Moss' dad is, but who is Moss? Thaddeus Moss is a physically dominating TE who loves to punish people in the blocking game. He isn't overly athletic like Hurst, but he does have Tony G like body control. He is excellent at boxing defenders out much like TG was. He is the perfect compliment to Hurst and is a major upgrade to Luke Stocker. Imagine 2 TE sets with these guys? So many run/pass options.
Route Tree - He's not the most dynamic athlete and his slow-played route breaks won't snap off a lot of separation. Runs a nice little stick route to quickly sit down. He does well to get out of the blocks but hard angles and deeper patterns will be a challenge for him unless he becomes more savvy to bump and extend for room.
Hands - Has flashed some really nice skills to catch away from his frame. Appreciate his catch radius — he's a big body and has plenty of reach to help bail out his quarterback. Transition to tuck the ball away immediately after the catch has been a bit messy and he's had ball popped out with contact a few times in 2019.
Versatility - In-line role will enable him to make an impact despite his need for growth as a route runner for a big guy. There's not a lot of RAC threat here and his biggest vertical plays seemed to come at the expense of coverage busts. He's not diverse in that he's consistently going to win vs. zone and he's going to beat you up at the LOS.
Contested Catch Ability - His ability to box out, win space and catch with his hands are phenomenal. Some of his receptions have come with defenders draped over his frame and he's successfully tucked the ball. Has potential to really bully LBs and safeties at the top of his stems or when he's sitting down to square himself to the ball.
RAC Ability - Not a lot of wiggle, nor does he have a lot of inspiring burst when he's in the open field. Needs a significant runway to get up to top speed and the end result is defenders effectively stay on his hip. Doesn't showcase sudden stop ability either — which will prevent him from gearing down to snap off his path.
Power at POA - Absolute bruiser who beats up the opposition up front. Heavy hands, long arms and a dense frame with strong core have yielded terrific results collapsing down vs. defensive ends. He's found success folding across the set as a lead blocker on interior runs, delivering booming hits to the MIKE when pressing through POA.
Competitive Toughness - Love what he brings from a physicality perspective. He's a true bully who will wear out defenders on the edge and can be a tone setter on the edge in the run game. Needs to find a little something extra on extended plays to find space more quickly to flow into and work to provide his QB with an outlet.
Flexibility - Appreciate his ability to keep his hips open for wide base. His ability to unload through the hips serves as a plus quality and his body control at the catch point is pretty notable. That said, he's high on his hips at the top of route stems and needs to focus on dropping COG down to boost change on direction.
Balance - Has gotten his feet tangled up against defenders trying to roll through his breaks down the field. He's very active with his feet at the POA to slide, drive and play with forward push in drive block situations. Much more effective in short spaces versus what he shows in the open field.
Football IQ - Super polished as a blocker, which will lend itself well to getting early snaps in the pros. He's not overly refined with creating space via either hard breaks, crisp footwork or physicality as a route runner and his productivity may be dependent on check downs early on at the pro level.
Best Trait - Power at POA
Worst Trait - RAC Ability
Best Film - Oklahoma (2019)
Worst Film - Texas (2019)
Red Flags - 2018 foot INJ
Player Summary - Thaddeus Moss projects as a traditional in-line tight end prospect who will have an opportunity to earn a starting role at the NFL level. The son of legendary receiver Randy Moss, Thaddeus is currently a more effective blocker and wins on the ground game and in pass pro thanks to a dense frame and powerful punches. Not the most explosive athlete, it is difficult to envision a dynamic role in the passing game — but Moss can win against underneath zones and help move the sticks.
Round 4 pick 143 - RB Anthony Mcfarland
The lightning to Gurley's thunder. This guy is a rocket who reminds me in a lot of ways of Antone Smith. He's a pretty one dimensional player as of now, but that one dimension is speed and we've all heard the phrase 'speed kills'. Let Gurley and Ollie pound on the defense all game long and then late in the game let this guy loose and just see if defenses can keep up.
PROS: Elite acceleration. If he is given space then an explosive play is coming. Footwork is rapid and he does well to angle himself to attack creases. Cuts, stop/start is sudden. Sees the field well and he generally makes good decisions with the football. Has a natural feel for cutback opportunities and he navigates through crowded spaces very well. Strings moves together effectively and remains in control though twitchy and dynamic jukes. Surprisingly good contact balance and he keeps his legs churning. Has built in leverage and a low center of gravity. Wasn’t overly productive in the passing game at Maryland but he has the traits needed to be an outstanding route runner and his hands seem fine. Love how he sets up tacklers, offering very little surface area and making it difficult for them to square him up. More than willing to explode into contact and get under opponents’ pads. Has a knack for spinning out of contact Urgent, competitive runner. Enters the league with only 269 collegiate touches.
CONS: Not as much of a “make something out of nothing guy” as expected given his physical traits. Creativity is often lacking for a space player. Won’t be a useful short-yardage back - frequently stood up when used in that capacity at Maryland. Has some diagnosing issues in pass protection, but the biggest concern is that his anchor is soft. Willing blocker but he just doesn’t get square and absorb rushers effectively. Why didn’t Maryland get him more involved as a receiver?
BEST TRAIT - Acceleration
WORST TRAIT - Pass Pro, Short Yardage
RED FLAGS - None
NFL COMP - Ahmad Bradshaw
McFarland is lightning in a bottle with his springy footwork, explosive acceleration and dynamic moves. A home run threat each and every time he touches the football, McFarland thrives in space, wide zone and cutback runs. While he presents a number of challenges to opposing defenses, McFarland does have limitations in pass protection and winning in short yardage situations. He should command touches early in his career, with the upside to thrive as a complementary RB2.
Round 7 pick 229 - I have not gotten this deep into scouting guys. It likely doesn't matter because it'll be hard for this guy to crack the roster anyway.
I can already hear what you're saying. You didn't draft a DT. Well, in reality you can't have everything you want. In a perfect world after this draft we go out and sign Linval Joseph to a 2-3 year deal to solidify our run defense. I'd also like to bring DE Adrian Clayborn and CB Bledi-Wreh Wilson back as well.