2020 NFL Draft Prospects For the Giants

Now that the Giants season is over and they have a new head coach it is time to start looking forward to the NFL draft. Today I look at position needs for the Giants and interesting prospects that could fill those needs.

1. An off-ball three down linebacker.

a. Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (Day 1)

⇒ Has a 12.3% of team market solo tackles
⇒ 2019 ACC Defensive Player of Year and Dick Butkus Award
⇒ Excels in pass coverage and has 3 interceptions and 6 passes defended in 2019.
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma (Day 1)

⇒ Has a 12.4% team market share solo tackles
⇒ Fast with great sideline to sideline pursuit
⇒ Three down LB. Can play the pass or run.
⇒ One of only five players since 2000 to have two seasons of 65+ solo tackles, 4+ sacks and 12+ tackles for loss. The other four include Pro Bowl players Steeler Ryan Shazier and Buccaneer Lavonte David.

c. Troy Dye, Oregon (Day 2)

⇒Had a 12.0% team market share of solo tackles in 2017 and 11.5% in 2018.
⇒ Athletic 3-down back that can get into the backfied
⇒ Seventh among active career leaders in total tackles for loss with 44 and 160 yards lost.

d. Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech (Day 2)

⇒ Has a 12.3% team market share of solo tackles
⇒ Nine weeks thru the season Brooks allowed only 81 yards in coverage on 199 plays he dropped back.
⇒ One of only 15 players since 2000 to have 60+ solo tackles and 20+ tackles for loss in a season.

e. Evan Weaver, California (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Number 1 in the nation in solo and total tackles.
⇒ Has a 19.6% team market share of solo tackles.
⇒ Good instincts, quick processing, always around the ball, great run coverage and high motor.
⇒ One of 10 finalists for the 2019 Senior Class Award given to FBS student-athletes who excel both on and off the field.
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

f. Logan Wilson, Wyoming (Day 3)

⇒ Has a 12.1% team market share of solo tackles.
⇒ PFF 2019 All-American 1st Team, the only defensive player in the country to field elite grades against the run, in coverage and when blitzing the passer.
⇒First linebacker to have 60+ solo tackles, 4+ interceptions and 7+ passes defended in a season since Danny Trevathan did in 2011.

g. Ben Holt, Purdue (Day 3/UDFA)

⇒ a 12.6% team market share of solo tackles.
⇒ Number 2 in the Big Ten in Solo and Total Tackles.
⇒ In 2018 at W. Kentucky Holt was targeted 37 times as the primary coverage defender, gave up only 0.77 yards per cover snap and didn’t allow a touchdown.

2. An offensive tackle.

a. Andrew Thomas, Georgia (Top 10)

⇒ Started all 15 games as a true freshman in 2017;
⇒ Aggressive play, powerful brute strength.
⇒ Excels in run blocking
⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team
⇒ Allowed all of 35 pressures in three years as a starter (PFF)
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (Top 10)

⇒ Number 1 on Bruce Feldman’s 2019 college football Freaks List.
⇒ Matt Miller’s Best Day 1 Starter among offensive tackles
⇒ Only allowed multiple pressures in two games this season, and he only allowed one total pressure over his last six games. (per Pro Football Focus)
⇒ 2019 Big-Ten First Team and Big Ten Rimington–Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year

c. Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama (Day 1)

⇒ Allowed 11 pressures all season but only 1 in his last 5 games (PFF)
⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team.
⇒ Excellent in the run game.
⇒  Mauler Road-Grader.

d. Mekhi Becton, Louisville (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All-ACC First Team.
⇒ Powerful huge lineman (6’7″, 369 lbs) that displays great power and strength at the point of attack.  Yet quick in pass sets.
⇒ Had second-most big-time blocks of any OT in the FBS (PFF).

e. Trey Adams, Washington (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All PAC-12 First Team
⇒ Mentioned as a potential draft prospect three years in a row for the Giants (2017, 2018, and 2019) and here’s one for the 49ers in 2018.
⇒ Tough, relentless and plays to whistle. Road-Grader. Very good in pass protection. Can play against all types of pass rushes.
⇒ History of injuries.

f. Alex Taylor, South Carolina State (Day 3)

⇒ Huge at 6’9″ and 305 lbs, a former basketball player with great length
⇒ Dominated small school competition
⇒ Good movement skills, good leverage, dominant run blocker

3. A Free Safety.

a. Grant Delpit, LSU (Day 1)

⇒  In 2018 Delpit was a Consensus All American and had team market share totals of 11.1% solo tackles, 29.4% interceptions and 13.8% passes  defended. All indicative of a potential Pro-Bowl player.
⇒ Can play any backfield position. Instincts, ball skills and tackling are top of the class.
⇒ 2019 Jim Thorpe Award winner, awarded to the top defensive back in college football.

b. Xavier McKinney, Alabama (Day 1)

⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team and had team market share totals of 12.6% solo tackles, 17.6% interceptions and 10.0% passes  defended.
⇒ tough aggressive tackler, dynamic range with fast closing speed, versatile player can play all backfield positions.
⇒ 2019 ESPN All-America Team, McKinney had 3 interceptions,  5 passes defended, 4 forced fumbles, 3 sacks, 59 solo tackles and 95 total tackles. The forced fumbles was fourth in the nation.

c. Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 Big Ten Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year and All Big-Ten First Team.
⇒ Had team market share totals of 12.9% solo tackles, 50.0% interceptions and 2.0% passes  defended.
⇒ A playmaker usually going for the pick and his punt return experience helps him take it to the house. Seven interceptions in 2019 and one for a touchdown,
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

d. Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All ACC Second Team and had team market share totals of 11.1% solo tackles, 25.0% interceptions and 5.9% passes  defended.
⇒ Versatile having played safety and linebacker; FSU 2019 Defensive MVP
⇒ ACC Player of the Week for recording 22 tackles in a game. Had at least 17 tackles in two games in 2019.

e. Douglas Coleman III, Texas Tech (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All Big-12 First Team
⇒ One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ In 2019 Coleman had 50 solo tackles (9.3%), 8 interceptions (57%) and 2 passes defended (6.7%).
⇒ A former high school receiver who in his senior year had had 62 receptions, 1,482 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, while averaging 23.9 yards per catch and 98.8 yards receiving per game.

f. Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh (Day 3)

⇒ Team market share totals of 12.0% solo tackles, 11.1% interceptions and 14.5% passes  defended.
⇒ 2018 All ACC Honorable Mention
⇒ Versatile, good range, aggressive in coverage and run support

g. B.J. Edmonds, Arkansas State (Day 3/UDFA)

⇒ Had team market share totals of 9.1% solo tackles, 16.7% interceptions and 21.7% passes  defended.
⇒ 2019 All Sun Belt Second Team and 2017 All Sun Belt Honorable Mention.
⇒ Number 1 in the Sun Belt Conference for punt return yards per return (10.8)

4. A Center

a. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (Day 1)

⇒ 2017 All Big-Ten Third Team,  2018  and 2019 All Big-Ten First Team
⇒ Excels in run blocking; Wisconsin was top ten in the nation in yards per rush attempt the last two seasons.
⇒ Biadasz has allowed just two total pressures in 2019 and is the only center with elite grades in both the run game and the passing game. (PFF)
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Nick Harris, Washington (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 All-America Second Team (Sports Illustrated), 2018 and 2019 All-Pac-12 First Team
⇒ Gave up just five quarterback pressures on the season on 361 snaps in pass protection (PFF All Pac-12 First Team)
⇒ Great work ethic. Good in pass and run blocking. Excels at blocking in space.

c. Jake Hanson, Oregon (Day 2)

⇒ Excellent in pass protection
⇒ Can read defenses and alter blocking assignment calls
⇒ Four year All Pac-12 Conference Honorable Mention
⇒ Going into the 2019 season, Hanson had allowed 12 total pressures but not allowed a single sack in 3 years as starting center.

d. Darryl Williams, Mississippi State (Day 2)

⇒ Lot of dog in him late in plays and chases down opponents for pancakes and finishes (thedraftnetwork.com)
⇒ As of mid-October 2019, Williams had started 31 of the prior 32 games and only surrendered one sack over that span. Williams had made 303 snaps thus far in 2019 and only allowed three quarterback pressures.
⇒ Williams made PFF SEC team of the week in week 10 this season. He was the highest-graded run-blocking lineman for the Bulldogs and helped pave the way for the team’s over 450 yards on the ground, Williams did not allow a single quarterback pressure on his 22 pass-blocking snaps.
⇒ Twice named SEC Offensive Lineman of the week in 2019.

e. Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU (Day 3)

⇒ 2019 All-SEC First Team
⇒ LSU won the 2019 Joe Moore Award that goes to the Most Outstanding Line in College Football.
⇒ First offensive lineman to be awarded the No. 18 jersey which is given to the player that best represents what its means to be an LSU football player – on and off the field.

5. A Wide Receiver

a. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (Day 1)

⇒Third in the nation in yards per reception (21.4)
⇒ A 32% receiving yards team market share
⇒ Good hands, tough to tackle, great ball tracking & adjustment

b. Tyler Johnson, Minnesota (Day 2)

⇒ Seventh in the nation in receiving yards and touchdowns
⇒ Over 40% receiving team market share each of last two years
⇒ tough, strong, physical; good in crowds & contested catches

c. Devin Duvernay, Texas (Day 2)

⇒ #2 in receptions in the nation
⇒ A 37% team market share of receiving yards
⇒ can make strong catches through traffic up and over defenders

d. Omar Bayless, Arkansas State (Day 3)

⇒ #1 Receiving Yards and #3 Receiving touchdowns in nation
⇒ A 40% team market share of receiving yards
⇒ red zone threat and can create yards after the catch

e. Gabriel Davis, UCF (Day 3)

⇒ In 12 games had 98+ yards in 7  and 2+ TDs in 5
⇒ A 30% receiving yards team market share
⇒ good route runner and adjusts to the ball

6. A Cornerback

a.Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State (Day 1)

⇒Was allowing a 37.6 passer rating when targeted heading into the final game of the season per PFF.
⇒ One of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Luq Barcoo, SDSU (Day 3)

⇒ 2019 All Mountain West First Team
⇒  One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ In 2019 had a league high 9 interceptions (50%) and 16 passes defended (27%) to go with 43 solo tackles (9.9%).
⇒ Excels at the catch point with experience at wide receiver and solid hands. Always seems to be in the proper position. Aggressive player and was third on the team in total tackles.

c. Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa (Day 3)

⇒ 2019 All AAC First Team
⇒ Fifth in Passes defended with 17 (31%), 17th in Interceptions with 4 (60%) to go with 26 solo tackles (6%); (showing team market share %s).
⇒ Tied for ninth among active career leaders in passes broken up (34).

d. Isaiah Rodgers, U Mass (Day 3)

⇒One of two players in the last 6 years to have career totals of 125+ solo tackles, 11+ interceptions and 34+ passes defended.
⇒ 2019 Phil Steele’s All Independent Second team and 2017 Phil Steele’s all-Independent First team
⇒ In 2019 had 29 solo tackles (6%), 4 interceptions (36%) and 9 passes broken up (45%).
⇒ PFF 2019 All American First Team for Kick Returner. The only returner to eclipse 1,000 yards. and still finish near the top in kick return average among qualified returners.

e. Amik Robertson,  Louisiana Tech (Day 3)

⇒ 2017 All C-USA Second Team, 2018 and 2019 All C-USA First Team
⇒ The only player since 2017 to have career 130+ solo tackles, 10+ interceptions and 30+ passes defended.
⇒ One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football.
⇒ Can cover tight without drawing penalty. Led his team in solo tackles 2 of his 3 years.

f. Elijah Riley, Army (Day 3)

⇒ 2018 and 2019 Phil Steele’s All Independent First Team
⇒ Proven himself against elite wide receiver prospects for the past two seasons, while dominating against lesser teams. (thedraftnetwork.com)
⇒ In 2018 Riley had a 45.4% completion percent allowed and only 0.62 yards per cover snap. (PFF)
⇒ In 2019 had 55 solo tackles (12%), 3 interceptions (43%) and 6 passes defended (27%) showing team market share percents.
⇒ One of 14 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award which is awarded to the best defensive back in college football

7. An Edge Rusher

a. Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State (Top 5)

⇒ #1 in country in sacks and forced fumbles/game
⇒Team market share for solo tackles, TFLs & sacks in All-Pro range
⇒ 2019 Unanimous All-American

b. Curtis Weaver, Boise State (Day 1-2)

⇒ Mountain West First team every year – 2017, 2018, 2019; The 2019 MWC Defensive Player of Year
⇒ Led team in Sacks and Tackles for Loss all 3 years. Had Pro-Bowl level team market share percents in sacks and TFLs in every year with the exception of 2018 which was only 0.7% off.
⇒ Great burst off the snap, violent hands, tough and a high football IQ.

c. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (Day 1-2)

⇒ 2018 All Big Ten Second Team and 2019 First Team.
⇒ Had Pro-Bowl indicative team market share in 2018 and 2019 in sacks (30%, 36%) and tackles for loss. (23%, 21%).
⇒ Strong hands with great usage, vast number of rush moves, hot motor and great timing.

d. Bradlee Anae, Utah (Day 2)

⇒ 2019 consensus All-American; 2018 and 2019 All Pac-12 First Team; winner of 2019 Morris Trophy recognizing the Pac-12 best defensive lineman as voted by Pac-12 starting offensive linemen.
⇒ Athletic, strong, competitive, great hand technique and with astrong blue-collar work ethic.
⇒ As of the end of November only Chase Young and Josh Uche had higher PFF pass-rushing grades than Anae’s 90.5 for this season.

e. Zack Baun, Wisconsin (Day 2)

⇒2019 Consensus All American; 2019 All Big Ten First Team.
⇒ One of seven draft eligible players to have 19+ tackles for loss and 12+ sacks in 2019. Below we see the players sorted by solo tackles with Baun having the most. His team market share percents were 11% solo tackle, 21% tackles for loss and 25% interceptions.
⇒ Versatile player. Great pass rush moves, quick first step off snap, sure tackler, can also drop back in coverage. PFF gave him a 90 grade in coverage in 2019.

 

f. Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (Day 2)

⇒2018 and 2019 All C-USA First Team.
⇒ A walk-on at Charlotte, Highsmith has improved every year. As graded by PFF he went from a 60.9 pass-rushing grade in 2016 to 71.2 in 2017 to 75.6 in 2018 to 91.4 as of the end of November 2019.
⇒ In 2019 Highsmith as number two in the nation in tackles for loss with 22 (25% team market share) and number three in sacks with 15 (40% team market share). He also had the second most solo tackles on the team with a 9% team market share.  He has the fifth most solo tackles in the nation for players with double digit sacks.

8. A quarterback on day 3.

a. Sam Ehlinger, Texas (Jr)

⇒ One of 11 players since 2000 to have 25 passing TDs and 15 rushing TDs in a season.
⇒ One of 8 players sine 2000 to have 2 seasons of 25+ passing TDs, 3000+ passing yards, 450+ rushing yards and a 145 passer rating.
⇒ good accuracy/ball placement on short/intermediate routes; good arm strength but tends to underthrow deep routes.

b. Brady White, Memphis (Jr)

⇒ Fourth in Passing Yards. (4,014)
⇒ Fifth in Passing Yards per attempt (9.5)
⇒accurate, smart, poised

c. Anthony Gordon, Washington State (Sr)

⇒ Top passing yards per game in the nation
⇒ Second in passing touchdowns
⇒ good accuracy and zip, good anticipation in throws, pretty fearless

d. Shane Buechele, SMU (Jr)

⇒ Sixth in the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns
⇒ 9.6% of his pass attempts completed as 25+ yards. That is higher than the average of the top 7 ranked quarterbacks.¹
⇒ Can hit small windows, football smart, clutch, good at deep passing
⇒ ” Shane Buechele is the most engaged, he’s the most prepared, he’s the most positive coaching backup quarterback I’ve ever been around in my life and I’ve been around some really good ones, really, really good ones,” – Texan head coach Tom Herman

e. Nate Stanley, Iowa (Sr)

⇒Career percentage of 28% TDs in red zone per attempt. Compares favorably to 2019 averages for top 7 quarterbacks of 29.8%.
⇒ In 2019 he made 1st down on 37.8% of his 3rd and 10 attempts. The average for the top 6 quarterbacks was 34.1%.
⇒ smart, accurate short to mid-range, good arm strength, good leadership

¹ (Burrow, Tua, Herbert, Love, Eason, Fromm, Hurts)

9.  A Place Kicker Day 3 Or Sign As UDFA

a. Dominik Eberle,  Utah State

⇒ One of only two current kickers to be perfect on over 160 career extra points.

b. Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia

⇒Winner of the Lou Groza Award presented to the top college football placekicker in the nation.
⇒ Scored second most points among draft eligible kickers.

c. Jet Toner, Stanford

⇒  Toner’s 82.5% career field goal percentage is tie for best among draft eligible players.

d. Jonathan Song, TCU

⇒Song’s 95.8% field goal percentage on 24 attempts is the best among draft eligible kickers with over 13 attempts.

In Conclusion

The Reese Senior Bowl is less than two weeks away. Some of the players presented in this post have accepted invites. They are

Tulsa Reggie Robinson II DB AAC
Utah Bradlee Anae EDGE Pac-12
California Evan Weaver ILB Pac-12
Wyoming Logan Wilson LB MWC
Washington Nick Harris OC Pac-12
Wisconsin Zack Baun OLB Big Ten
Washington Trey Adams OT Pac-12
Georgia Rodrigo Blankenship PK SEC
Washington State Anthony Gordon QB Pac-12
Texas Devin Duvernay WR Big 12

Here is a spreadsheet of the prospects in this post – Draft Prospects.

The other interesting development will be the assembly of Joe Judge’s staff. Even though the head coach position is filled here is an older post that also looked at potential Coordinators for the Giants.

Enjoy the rest of the playoffs and the Giant  staffing developments!

The East West Shrine Game is this Saturday 01/18/20. Here are the players listed in this post that have accepted invitations

The East West Shrine Game 01/18/20 Saturday
San Diego State Luq Barco CB
Utah State Dominik Eberle PK
Pittsburgh Damar Hamlin DB
Charlotte Alex Highsmith DE
Army Elijah Riley DB
Mississippi State Darryl Williams OL

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