2019 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Prospects

Here are draft wide receiver prospects that have made at least a 30% receiving yards team market share for one season in their college career. They are ranked based on an evaluation of their overall performance. Based on data from nfldraftscout.com there were on average 33 wide receivers chosen each year in the NFL draft over the last five years.

  1. N’Keal Harry
    Among active career leaders Harry is fourth in receptions per game (5.76), sixth in receiving yards per game (78.1) and ninth in receiving yards (2,889). “Glue hands”, hands catcher, makes contested catches and effective in yards after the catch.
  2. A.J. Brown
    Brown is number three among active FBS career leaders in receiving yards per game (82.9) and fourth in career receiving yards (2,984). His 3.92 long receiving plays (10+ yards) per game and 40% per target were among the tops in the league. Brown had a 79.8% catch rate in 2017 and a 72% rate in 2018.
  3. Andy Isabella
    Tie for the most receiving plays of 40+, 50+ and 60+ yards and most 2018 receptions (102) in FBS among draft prospects. One of only three active FBS players to have 10+ receiving touchdowns in two seasons. Had the highest catch percentage (67.6%) among the top ten most targeted receivers. In 2018 became one of only three receivers since 2000 to have 300+ receiving yards on 10 or less receptions in a game. Isabella participated in all combine events and scored above wide receiver threshold targets in all. He was one of three wide receivers to do so. Target yards added measures a receiver’s yards pr target minus the team’s passing yards per attempt. Isabella had the fourth best in the draft class at 5.85 target yards added.
  4. John Ursua
    Most receiving touchdowns; had at least one TD in 10 of his 13 games and multiple touchdowns in five games. Ursua had 3.77 receptions of 10+ yards per game which was eighth among players with a minimum 29 receptions of 10+ yards. Among the top ten receivers with the most targets per game, Ursua had the fourth best catch rate (58.6%). In 2017 among draft eligible receivers Ursua had the fourth highest yards per route run (3.49) and his drop rate (4.1%) was in the top 20%.
  5. Antoine Wesley
    The 6’4″ Wesley had a 38.5″ vertical at the combine and caught 17 of 33 contested catches. He was second in the FBS in receiving yards per game (117.5) and first in 30+ yard receiving plays. Wesley was seventh in target yards added with 4.54. Wesley was sixth in this group of receivers in percent of receptions that went for 25+ yards (20%).
  6. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside
    Fifth among active FBS career leaders for career receiving touchdowns (28). His 14 touchdowns in 2018 was tie for third in the FBS. A red-zone threat Arcega-Whiteside had 9 red zone receptions out of 13 go for touchdowns. He had 45% of his targets go for 10+ yard receptions which was one of the tops in this group. Forty nine percent of his receptions were for 15+ yards which was third best in this group of receivers.
  7. KeeSean Johnson
    One of only four active players to have two seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards and 70+ receptions. Number one in active FBS leaders in career receptions (275) and number two in FBS career receiving yards (3,463). First in FBS in receptions of 20+ yards in 2018. Second in this group of receivers in 3rd down reception percentage that made first down (89%).
  8. Anthony Johnson
    Highest career receiving yards per game in FBS (94.7 yards). One of only two active FBS players to average 16+ yards per reception and 50+ receptions for two seasons. One of only three active FBS players to have 10+ receiving touchdowns in two seasons. One of only nine draft prospects to have 1000+ receiving yards in two seasons.
  9. Hakeem Butler
    In the group Butler had the highest percent of his receptions go for 15+ yards (55%) and 25+ yards (33%). He has the highest career yards per catch in the FBS (19.5 yards). Forty One percent of his targets went for receptions of 10+ yards. Hakeem Butler had a 5.12 target yards added which was sixth best in the draft class.
  10. Dillon Mitchell
    Dillon was one of only eight draft propects that had 1000+ receiving yards and 10+ receiving touchdowns in 2018. In this group of 32 receivers Mitchell was fifth in % of 3rd down receptions that made first down (85%) and had the highest number of 3rd down conversions among the top five. He was top ten in the group in percent of plays for red zone touchdowns, % for 15+ yards and % for total first downs.
  11. Papi White
    Papi is ranked 12th among active FBS leaders in career yards per catch (16.3). He is sixth among this group of 32 receivers in percent of 2018 plays that were 15+ yards and percent of first downs and seventh on percent of plays for 25+ yards.
  12. Stanley Morgan Jr.
    In this group Morgan had the fifth highest percentage of plays go for 25+ yards (21%). He ranks 11th in the FBS for career receiving yards (2,747 yards). Morgan participated in all combine events and scored above wide receiver threshold targets in all. He was one of three wide receivers to do so.
  13. Diontae Johnson
    Fourth in FBS active career leaders for combined kickoff/punt returns for touchdowns (4). Seventh in active career all purpose yards (4,494) and ninth in active career yards per catch (16.6 yards).
  14. Preston Williams
    Every one of his nine red zone receptions was a touchdown. The only other in the group with 100% touchdowns only had two receptions. Williams also was third in receiving touchdowns in the nation.
  15. Travis Fulgham
    One of only four draft prospects that had 1000+ yards receiving and averaged 17+ yards per reception in 2018. In this group he had the highest percent of receptions go for a first down (76%).
  16. Greg Dortch
    Had the 4th highest conversion % (87%) on the 4th most 3rd down receptions (23) in this group. None had a higher % with more 3rd down receptions. First in FBS career receptions per game among active players (7.1 receptions).
  17. Trevon Brown
    One of nine active players to have two 1,000+ receiving yard seasons. Fifth in FBS career receiving yards (2,952) among active players. Brown is tenth on this list in percent of receptions of 25+ yards (18.9%) and eighth in percent for first down (66%). He averaged four receptions of 10+ yards per game which was sixth best for receivers with 29+ receptions of 10+ yards. In 2017 his 2.71 yards per route run was in the top 20% of draft eligible players that year.
  18. Lil’Jordon Humphrey
    Humphrey had the most 3rd down receptions (31) on this list and the sixth best conversion rate on those (80.7%). He had the fifth highest percentage (43%) of receptions for 15+ yards on this list with no one having a higher percentage with more receptions.
  19. Scott Miller
    Fifth in FBS career receptions among active players (215). Miller is seventh in this list in percent of receptions that made first down (67.6%) and no one with a higher percentage had more receptions. In 2017 Miller was in the top third of draft eligible receivers in catch rate (68.5%) in the slot and had only a 7.4% slot receiver drop rate. Among the top 100 players for 10+ yards receiving plays Miller is 17th in 10+ yard receiving plays per game (3.73).
  20. Olamide Zaccheaus
    Only active FBS player to have two seasons of 80+ receptions. Olamide had a 71.5% catch rate in 2018. Olamide is one of 20 players since 2000 to have a career 2000+ receiving yards and 450+ rushing yards. He is one of only two active players to accomplish this.
  21. Tyre Brady
    Sixth in FBS career receptions per game among active players (5.54 receptions). In 2017 Brady’s 2.58 yards per route run was in the top 20% of draft eligible wide receivers that year. Brady has achieved over a 30% team market share receiving yards each of the last two years. Brady is one of only nine draft prospects that over the last two seasons had 1900+ receiving yards and 17+ receiving touchdowns.
  22. Cody Thompson
    Second among active FBS career leaders in yards per catch (18.3) and third in career receiving touchdowns (30) and career receiving yards (3,312). Third on this list for percent of receptions for first down (72.9%), eighth for percent for 15+ yards (39.6%) and third for percent of red zone receptions for touchdowns (80%). Thompson had outstanding combine numbers in the three cone (6.87) and the 20 yard shuttle (4.03) which was tie for first among wide receivers.
  23. Damion Willis
    On this list Willis was third in percent of receptions that went 25+ yards (25%). In 2017 he had a 0% drop rate and a 45.5% catch rate on 20+ yard passes. The 6’3″ 204 lb receiver ran a 4.48 forty at his pro day and had a 7.00 three cone drill.
  24. Alex Wesley
    Second player in program history with two 1,000 yards receiving seasons. In 2018 Wesley had six 100 yard receiving games.Wesley has averaged 18.4 yards per catch over the last two seasons. At the 2018 NCAA Track and Field championships, Wesley finished 14th in the country in the 400 meter with a time of 45.91s.
  25. Malcolm Williams
    Williams had over 30% receiving yards team market share for each of the last two years. In 2017 he had a catch rate of 56.3% on passes of 20+ yards which was 12th among draft eligible players that year.
  26. Penny Hart
    One of only four active players to have two seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards and 70+ receptions. Sixth in FBS career receiving yards (2,950) and the second highest junior.
  27. Terren Encalade
    In 2017 Encalade’s 2.70 yards per route run was in the top 20% of the draft eligible receivers that year. For the last three years Encalade is a three year starter and did not miss a game over that timeframe. Encalade caught a pass in 35 of his last 37 games over that three year period. In 2018 he converted 10 of his 11 third down receptions.
  28. Jamarius Way
    Big receiver, strong work ethic, all-effort type, solid strong hands catcher. Finished the year with a game of 6-141-3 touchdowns.
  29. Keelan Doss
    Among active career leaders Doss has the most career receptions in NCAA (321) and highest career receptions per game (7.3) in the FBS/FCS. He is a two-time FCS consensus All-American. Strong ball skills, good at contested catches, good blocker.
  30. Steven Sims
    Sixth in FBS career receptions among active players (214). Sims hit 30% receiving yards team market share both his sophomore and junior years and was over 42% team market share of receiving touchdowns both years. Sims is fast and got open often when covered 1-on-1.
  31. Jovon Durante
    Durante had 513 yards after the catch in 2018. He ran a 4.55 forty and a 7.0 three cone drill at the combine.
  32. Greg Campbell Jr.
    Finished his UTSA career with a career best 11 receptions and 186 yards which made the UTSA single game record for receiving yards and receptions.

The Best Defensive Positions Draft Prospects Per Statistic

Following the post on the Offensive Skills positions today I look at the top defensive players by position per statistics. These top players were chosen from a group that met a minimum threshold for high production. The high production did not have to be in this last season as all college years were considered.  The data is included at the end of the post.

Edge Rusher

The best players presented for edge rusher and defensive tackles are the top in the specified statistic among players that met a market share minimum of 6% solo tackles, 15% tackles for loss and 25% sacks.

Solo Tackle Market Share – Josh Allen had an 11.5% solo tackle market share with his 56 solo tackles. For an edge rusher that also had a 44.7% sack market share the solo tackle market share is fantastic.  The top five edge rushers in the NFL averaged only a 7% solo tackle market share in their last year of college.

Tackle for Loss Market Share – Oshane Ximines had a 27.7% tackle for loss market share. He averaged 1.54 TFL per game which was 11th in the FBS and sixth among defensive linemen.

Sacks Market Share – Oshane Ximines had a 52.3% sacks market share. He average 1 sack per game which was fifth in the FBS. He is second among active FBS players in career sacks with 33.

Defensive Tackle

Solo Tackle Market Share – Ed Oliver had an 8.4% solo tackle market share. Oliver has the second most career solo tackles among active defensive linemen with 123.

Tackle for Loss Market Share – Cortez Broughton had a 22.3% TFL market share. His 18.5 TFLs was fourth among defensive linemen draft prospects.

Sacks Market Share –Daniel Wise had a 25% sacks market share with five sacks. All five of Wise’s sacks were solo, which tied for tenth among all NCAA defensive tackles.

Linebacker

The top linebackers are chosen from a group that met a minimum criteria of 11.5% solo tackle market share. Edge Rushers such as Josh Allen are not included.

Solo Tackle Market Share – Joe Dineen had a 19.3% solo tackle market share. He led the nation with 109 solo tackles. Among active players he leads all divisions of NCAA football with 281 career solo tackles.

Tackle for Loss Market Share – E.J. Ejiya has a 26.3% TFL market share. His 25 TFLs and 1.92 TFL per game were tops among linebackers. his 40.5 career TFLs is fifth among active linebackers.

Sacks Market Share – A.J. Hotchkins has a 35% sacks market share. Hotchkins was fifth among linebacker draft prospects in sacks per game with 0.58.

Interceptions Market Share – Tre Watson has a 27.8% interception market share. His five interceptions was second among all linebackers.

Passes Defended Market Share – Bryton Barr has a 12.5% passes defended market share. Barr is finishing his seventh and final year of collegiate eligibility. He had missed the majority of 2013 and all of 2014 and 2015 due to injury. Barr He has made Phil Steele’s All-Independent First Team each of the last two seasons.

Cornerback

Defensive Backs were chosen from a group that met a minimum market share criteria of 6% solo tackles, 25% interceptions and 15% passes defended.

Solo Tackle Market Share – Nate Brooks has a 10.2% solo tackle market share. A physical player that hits hard. Nate also had a third of team interceptions (6) and a fifth of the passes defended (10).

Interception Market Share – Ryan Pulley has a 60% interception market share with his three interceptions. Pulley made the Pro Football Focus Week 8 Team of the Week  and was ranked highest among all cornerbacks that week. The quarterback had a 0.0 passer rating when Pulley was targeted.

Pass defended Market Share – Julian Love has a 38.5% passes broken up market share from his 2017 season. His 20 passes broken up was second in the nation that year.

Safety

Solo Tackle Market Share – Nasir Adderley has a 12.1% solo tackle market share and 48 solo tackles his senior year. Adderley is a four year starter and has excelled at tackling his entire collegiate career. As a freshman he started all 11 games and led all defensive backs and ranked third on the team with 51 tackles (37 solo). The next year he ranked third on the team in tackles with 49 and ranked first among defensive backs. His junior year ranked second on the team in total tackles with 78 and had the most solo tackles on the team (42).

Interception Market Share – Lukas Denis has a 38.9% interception market share on seven interceptions in his 2017 season. It was tie for second in the FBS.

Passes Defended Market Share – Juan Thornhill had a 31.6% passes broken up market share with 12 from his 2017 season. Look for Thornhill to do well in the combine vertical and broad jumps. At a practice session last year at Virginia he had a 40½-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot broad jump.

The data and groups can be downloaded here – prospects by production.

The Best Skills Positions Draft Prospects Per Statistic

Today we look at which draft prospects were the best per statistic among the offensive skill positions.

Receivers

Receiving TDsJohn Ursua (Hawaii) had 16 receiving touchdowns in 2018, the most in the FBS. At 5’10 inches and 175 lbs you would not think of him as  a red zone target. But on 18 red zone receptions he had 10 touchdowns and six first downs. Not only a touchdown maker but Ursua also is 3rd in 50+ yard pass plays (6) and sixth in 10+ yard pass plays (49).

Receiving Average Yards – Hakeem Butler (Iowa State) has 22 yards per reception which is third in the nation. With that average you know he has to excel in long passing plays. Butler was tie for second in the FBS for receptions of 20+ and 30+ yards. He was tie for third in receptions of 40+ and 50+ yards.

Market Share receiving yards – Andy Isabella (UMass) has a 47.5% team market share of receiving yards. He actually excelled also in receptions market share (38.8%) and touchdown market share (48.2%). Those are amazing percentages.  In this article JJ Zachariason sampled 26 stud NFL receivers’ final college year market share numbers. The NFL stud sample averaged 36% receiving yards, 31.8% receptions and 43.1% touchdowns.

Tight Ends

Receiving Touchdowns – Donald Parham (Stetson) had 13 receiving touchdowns. That topped the best FBS tight end by three touchdowns. Parham had a 46% team market share of receiving touchdowns. Parham is 6’8″ and 240 lbs, a former basketball player and has a 36 inch vertical jump.

Receiving Average Yards – Jace Sternberger (Texas A&M) averaged 17.3 yards per reception. That was second best among FBS tight ends. He had the most 20+ yard receiving plays (21) among tight ends and it was 11th most among all receivers.

Market Share receiving yards – Donald Parham (Stetson) had 41.2% team market share of receiving yards. The next high production tight end was 7.4% less.

Running Backs

Touchdowns from Scrimmage – Devin Singletary (FAU) had 33 touchdowns in 2017 for a 45% market share and the most touchdowns from scrimmage by eight. His 22 touchdowns in 2018 was third most. In 2017, 35% of his 75 red zone rushing attempts scored a touchdown. For 2018 that percentage only dipped to 32% on 57 attempts.

Rushing Average – Darrell Henderson (Memphis) averaged 8.92 yards per carry in 2018 (2nd best) and 8.88 in 2017 (2nd best among backs). Over the last two seasons he played in 25 games, started 23, and has averaged less than 4.69 yards per carry in only two games. He was also second among backs in average yards from scrimmage.

Market share yards from scrimmage – Alex Barnes (Kansas State) had a 37.4% team market share of yards from scrimmage. Barnes is a big strong athletic bruiser of a back. He is 6’1″ and 225 lbs. Coming out of high school he bench pressed 225 lbs for 31 reps. That would have been tops among backs at the 2018 combine. He also ran 4.40 to 4.48 forty yard dash and had a 37 inch vertical jump. Barnes averaged 129 yards per game from scrimmage which was tenth in the nation.  He converted 71% of his 24 rushing attempts of 3rd down and 1-6 yards to go.

Quarterbacks

3rd Down % – Kyler Murray -50% of his 3rd down attempts made 1st down.

Big Play % – Kyler Murray – 27.9% of his plays result in a big play.

Passing Yards per Attempt – Kyler Murray  averaged 11.6 yards per attempt.

Passer Rating – Kyler Murray has a 199.4 passer rating.

Rushing average – Kyler Murray averaged 7.15 yards per rushing attempt.

Passing Tds Dwayne Haskins averaged 3.57 passing TDs  per game

TD to Int Ratio – Dwayne Haskins has a 6.25 touchdown to interception ratio.

Rushing yards David Pindell averaged 94.9 rushing yards per game.

Red Zone TD % Trace McSorley – 39.1% of his red zone attempts were a TD.

Completion % Gardner Minshew completed 70.7% of his passing attempts.

Passing Yards – Gardner Minshew averaged 367 passing yards per game.

Rushing TDs Eric Dungey averaged 1.15 rushing TDs per game.

A nice draft value chart for the 2019 NFL Draft

Here is a nice draft value chart by Renee Bugner.

The Patriots really know how to work in the system to maximize their draft value. They have a league high six selections on day 1 and 2.

For a playoff team the Colts did well also. On top of that they got two All Pro players in last year’s draft with Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard.

The Cowboys are pretty low on the value chart. However the first round pick they gave up for Amari Cooper appears to have been worth it. In just nine games with the Cowboys he had his career best yards per game, receptions per game and his longest reception of 90 yards. His six touchdowns was just one short of his career best full season at Oakland.

The Bears are the lowest having given up picks for linebacker Khalil Mack and to move up and select receiver Anthony Miller in the 2018 draft. On the Mack trade the Bears got a All Pro linebacker in his first year on the team and gave up roughly two first round picks spread over 2019 and 2020.  Their 2019 pick is number 24th and their 2020 is likely to be towards the bottom round one.

To select Anthony Miller with the 51st pick the Bears gave up a 2018 fourth round pick and a 2019 second round pick. Miller’s seven receiving touchdowns was the second most by a rookie receiver in 2018 and tied for thirteenth among all wide receivers.

The Saints have the second least draft capital. They also traded much away to move up and select Marcus Davenport (2019 1st round), get Teddy Bridgewater (2019 3rd round) and Eli Apple (2019 4th round).  The Saints were possibly one play away from making the Super Bowl. The Saints trades to move up and select Davenport are questionable. However Davenport has played well in the limited amount of play he had which was 40% of the defensive snap counts. For a fourth round pick Apple has also played well. They almost made the Super Bowl so I won’t question their personnel decisions. A side note, for an interesting read on some of the criteria the Saints used to select Davenport see this article.

Going by the Chase Stuart value chart the Raiders have a dominating amount of draft capital. However looking at what they gave up to get there I question the choices they made. They gave up two top five draft picks that have performed and have netted draft picks that are in the bottom of the first round and possibly the same next year. But if they choose wisely only time will tell.

 

 

Pre-Combine Prospects that excel in Athleticism and Production

Here are prospects that excelled in production that also have demonstrated good athleticism. Look for some of these to excel in the combine. Also included are combine snubs or those players that excelled in both athleticism and production that were not invited to the combine.

Receivers

Wide Receiver Andy Isabella has great speed. In his 2015 high school senior year Andy ran an official 6.8 second 60 meter dash which was second fastest in the nation that season. He has said at the senior Bowl that in his training at The Applied Science and Performance Institute in Tamp he has run a 4.26 hand timed 40-yard dash. The combine record is 4.22-second 40-yard dash set by John Ross in 2017. Isabella also shows great burst and acceleration. That combined with good route running skills make Isabella uncoverable.

Wide Receiver Hakeem Butler at 6’6 and 225 lbs is big, strong and tough to bring down. He has a large catch radius and is great at making contested catches. Though not considered fast he can build up to a good speed. He averaged 22 yards per reception which was third in the FBS. He had 60 receptions and was tops in average yards for receivers with over 35 receptions. Butler was tie for second in the FBS for receptions of 20+ and 30+ yards. He was tie for third in receptions of 40+ and 50+ yards. Hakeem Butler made Feldman’s 2018 Freaks List.  He is reported to have accomplished a 37-inch vertical jump,  a 11-1 broad jump, a 340-pound bench and a 450-pound squat.

Wide Receiver Cody Thompson made Bruce Feldman’s 2017 annual “Freaks List”. Cody has a 38-inch vertical jump and the ability to do 22 bench press reps of 225 pounds. In 2018 73% of his receptions were for a first down and eight out of his ten red zone receptions were a touchdown. He has strong reliable hands and shows toughness.

At 6’3″ and 225 lbs. former basketball player now wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside boxes out defenders and high points the ball to do well hauling in contested catches. He ranked third in receiving touchdowns with 14 and he got nine of those as a red-zone target. He is one of only five players to get 9+ touchdowns on red zone attempts.

Combine snub: Wide Receiver Preston Williams was on the Colorado State track and field team. He made the 2017 All Mountain West team for the triple jump and was the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Men’s Field Athlete of the Week (2/21/17). Preston Williams and Andy Isabella have the best 2018 market share totals for combined receiving categories of receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

Quarterback

Kyler Murray claimed to have run a 4.38 forty during team winter workouts in 2017. If Murray can reproduce that at the combine it would be the second fastest quarterback topped only by Reggie McNeal”s 4.35 in 2006. In 2018 Murray rushed for 71.5 yards per game, average 7.2 yards per rush and had 12 rushing touchdowns. The average of 7.2 was tops among quarterbacks.

Combine snub: At 6’6″ and 232 lbs Taylor Cornelius would be one of the bigger quarterbacks in the NFL.  He is ninth in passing plays of 30+ yards, fourth for 20+ passing yards and third for 10+ passing yards. In addition to his deep ball, Pro Football Focus had Cornelius as the best slant route quarterback in 2018. He had an 84% completion percentage on the slant averaging a depth of target of 8.1 yards past the line of scrimmage and 11 yards per attempt.  Roughly 19% of his 122 rushing plays in 2018 went for 10+ yards. His big frame goes with a strong arm and the ability to gain yards running.

Tight End

Tight End Noah Fant has reportedly had a 42.1″ vertical jump during offseason testing. You have to go back to 2011 to get a higher vertical jump by a tight end when Virgil Green had 42.5″. Fant was number six on Bruce Feldman’s 2018 annual “Freaks List” for players who have head-turning physical ability.

Combine snub: Tight end Donald Parham of Stetson was 14th in voting for the 2018 FCS Walter Payton Award and made the 2018 Walter Camp FCS All America Team. Parham has staggering market share numbers that would be great for a wide receiver and are unheard of for a tight end. In 2018 he had 85 receptions (36%), 1,319 yards (41%) and 13 touchdowns (46%). Parham has a 36″ vertical jump which would have been tied for third among tight ends at last year’s combine. That jump combined with a 6’8″ height and being a former basketball player makes for a nice red zone target.

Running Back

Jalin Moore made Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List” each of the last two years and was number 11 in 2018. He was ninth on Chase Goodbread’s “18 for ’18: College football’s most freakish athletes”. Moore’s numbers in the forty (4.37s) and the broad jump (11’1″) would top last year’s combine leaders at running back. His vertical jump (38.5 in) would be tied for fourth. Moore is the only active FBS back to have rushed for 230+ yards in four or more career games. His measurements in lifting are the bench press (390), squat (650 pounds), clean (350 pounds).

Alex Barnes is a big strong bruiser of a back at 6’1″ and 225 lbs. However he can also pick up yardage. In 2018 he was fifth among draft eligible backs in rushing plays of 20+ yards. In yards from scrimmage in 2018 he had only one game that he averaged under 4.0 yards per play. Coming out of high school at 6’0″ and 218 lbs Barnes had the following athletic testing stats and their place compared to the 2018 combine running backs.  Barnes had a 4.40 to 4.48 forty yard dash (2nd – 5th), 31 reps  bench press of 225 lbs (1st) and had a 37 inch vertical jump (6th).

Combine snub: Here are A.J. Ouelette ‘s athletic tests from last year and how they would compare to last year’s combine running backs – 4.46s forty (3rd), 30 reps bench press (1st), 37 in. vertical jump (5th) and 4.06 shuttle (1st).  Ouelette last two seasons were consecutive 1,000+ yards rushing. In 2018 he averaged 6.5 yards from scrimmage and 6.1 yards rushing with 14 touchdowns.

Fullback

Combine Snub: George Aston has 30 reps of 225 lbs on the bench press. That would have been tops among running backs and tight ends at last year’s combine. At the high school level Aston was capable of bench pressing 440 pounds and squatting 700 pounds. To put that in perspective in the spring of 2018 DT Ed Oliver was reported to be capable of  a 650 squat and a 405 bench press. Aston had ten touchdowns in 2016 on just 44 touches. Aston was a highly instrumental figure for a Panthers’ rushing attack that averaged 227.9 yards per game. Plays special teams and in 2016 blocked a punt and had ten tackles on coverage units.

Offensive Line

Yodney Cajuste was 2018 All Big-12 First Team. He was  listed on Bruce Feldman’s 2018 “Freaks List”.  Feldman had this to say:

“The former high school basketball player from South Florida bench presses 495 and dead lifts 735. Cajuste’s 1.65 10-yard split would have bested Kolton Miller’s 1.67 that was the top time by any offensive lineman at the NFL Scouting Combine this year and would have beaten any time in the previous three years in Indy. Cajuste also broad jumps 9-2.”

Kaleb McGary was voted Winner of the 2018 Morris Trophy as the top PAC-12 offensive lineman (as voted by opposing teams defensive linemen) . McGary is 6’7″ and 324 lbs. He is big and athletic. He has been known to push defensive linemen back nearly 10 yards on run plays.

Andre Dillard – “The kid’s a freak.” – Washington State head coach Mike Leach. Dillard is considered an exceptional athlete and expected to test well at the combine. A three year starter and was named to 2018 Pac-12 All Conference First Team.

Chris Lindstrom was 2018 ACC All Conference first Team. He has played every game of his college career and made 49 straight starts. “That dude is a mauler.” – Joe Marino (Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network)

Defensive Line

DT Ed Oliver made #1 on Chase Goodbread’s NFL.com’s “18 for ’18: College football’s most freakish athletes” and #2 on Bruce Feldman’s 2018 college football Freaks List. Oliver can broad jump 10-1, vertical jump 36 in., squat 650 lbs, bench press 405 and power clean 385. His broad jump and vertical would have been tops among Defensive Tackles at the 2018 combine.

LB/DE Sutton Smith is a former RB that runs a 4.5 forty or less. He has bulked up and has squatted close to 500 lbs and has done 29 reps at 225 lbs on the bench. He has been third and fourth in sacks per game the last two seasons. He has led in tackles for loss per game in 2017 and was fourth in 2018.

Combine Snub: LB/DE Malik Reed was one of Bruce Feldman “freaks” for the 2018 season.  Malik was able to power-clean 357 pounds and dead-lift 672 pounds. Malik has an outstanding work ethic. He is usually first in and last to go for practices. His sophomore year he started all 12 games, was named the team’s outstanding defensive player and earned the team’s defensive full speed effort award. His junior year he started all 12 games and was given Nevada’s Hustle Award for his efforts on defense.

Linebackers

Devin White has run an unofficial 4.49 forty in high school and had a 37.9 inch vertical. At The Opening a testing event for top high school athletes White also was one of the strongest participants at the event, throwing the power ball 44 feet. Only three players threw it further. “I think he’s one of the more unique athletes that we’ve seen over the first five years of The Opening,” said Brian Stumpf, vice president of football events for Student Sports, which puts on The Opening and the Elite 11. “You don’t often find that combination of build and athletic ability,…”

Combine snub: Cole Holcomb made Bruce Feldman’s 2017 “freaks” list.

“Holcomb power cleans 395, hang cleans 395 and squats 585. On a Tar Heels team that had 11 players drafted or signed by the NFL this past spring, Holcomb led UNC in “Pound for Pound Power Index” (Total Weight/Body Weight).

In 2018 Holcomb had forty more tackles than anyone else on the team.

Defensive Backs

Cornerback Julian Love has decent speed and is stronger than he appears. A good showing at the combine with his ball skills, cover skills and production will increase his draft stock. He should come in a sub 4.5 in the forty as he did post a 4.46 at an early Pro Day.  If he can also do 15 reps on the bench press that would be great.

Safety Juan Thornhill is another DB expected to be in the 4.5-4.55 forty range.  At a practice session last year at Virginia Thornhill had 20 reps at 225 bench press which came on the heels of a 40½-inch vertical leap and an 11-foot broad jump. Repeating these at the combine with his production should solidify Thornton as a day two draft selection.

Combine Snub: Cornerback Nate Brooks had six interceptions in 2018 good for third in the nation. Brooks was one of fourteen semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award.  He is expected to run a sub 4.5 forty yard dash.

Here is the production data with a column signifying yes if they were invited to the combine.

prospects by production

 

NY Giants 2019 Mock Draft Runs

If you are not already aware of the site fanspeak.com, it is a cool site for NFL draft enthusiasts. For free you can run mock drafts for your team picking against other teams. I recently ran mock drafts for the Giants using each of the various 14 big board sources. I actually ran 15 drafts as I repeated one. Here are my results by round showing the player picked, the round, the number of times chosen and a gross percent to give an indication of amount chosen to compare to other players in that round.  The rounds were an average so that is why there is a round three even though the Giants do not have a pick in round three. The Giants pick at number six in the draft. Their major team needs are quarterback, offensive line, edge rusher and linebacker. This is followed by secondary, interior defensive line and wide receiver.

 

Round One, Pick 6

Best player available coincides with Giant team needs for an edge rusher or a tackle. If both were gone then Ed Oliver was too good to pass up on.

As reported by PFF Jonah Williams did not allow a single sack during the regular season and gave up only 9 pressures. He was a 2018 unanimous All American.

Josh Allen did not miss a game in his four year career. He swept the 2018 national defensive player of the year awards (Lott, Bronko Nagurski, Chuck Bednarik). That was accomplished only one other time since the inception of the Lott Impact Trophy in 2003.

Ed Oliver made All-AAC First Team for three consecutive years, the only 2018 AAC player to do so.

 

Round Two, Pick 37

Kyler Murray had the most 20+ yards passing plays in the FBS. For quarterbacks with 226+ passing attempts he had the second highest percentage of 20+ yard plays to attempts with 19.1%.

Jaylon Ferguson ranked first in sacks, sack yards and sacks per game. He was second in tackles for loss (TFL), TFL yards and TFLs per game. Ferguson was the 2018 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and made All C-USA First Team each of the last three seasons.

 

Round Three, No Pick

The Giants do not have a round three pick but these averaged out to round three.

Will Grier was second in passing yards per game, third in passer rating and fourth in passing yards per attempt. For quarterbacks with 12+ passing touchdowns Grier was second in touchdowns per game. Grier had the fourth most passing plays of 30+ yards, For  quarterbacks with 226+ passing attempts Grier had the fifth highest percentage of 30+ passing yard plays and third best among draft prospects.

Over the last two seasons Juan Thornhill has made the All-ACC team at safety (2018 First Team) and at cornerback (2017 Third Team). Thornhill came close to hitting market share thresholds of 6% solo tackle, 25% interception and 15% passes defended for each of the last three years. In 2016 and 2017 he made it but in 2018 missed only for passes defended with 11%.

 

Round Four, Picks 108, 132, 137

The Giants have three picks in round four.

Linebacker T.J Edwards made the 2017 AP All America Team. A four year starter he played in 53 games with 52 starts at inside linebacker. He is one of only eight players over the last ten years that had a career 10+ interceptions, 15+ passes defended ad 200+ solo tackles. He was the only one who played in 2018 that met that criteria.

Guard Ben Powers made the 2018 All Big-12 First Team and was a 2018 Consensus All American. He was one vote short of the five needed to be a unanimous All American. Powers did not give up a sack in 2018 and had allowed only one sack in 2016. He has been a three year starter at Oklahoma. Powers was one of five offensive linemen named as semi-finalists for the 2018 Outland Trophy.

Offensive Lineman Max Scharping has allowed one sack over the last three seasons. He accomplished that with 53 consecutive starts over the last four years. Scharping has made the All MAC First team each of the last three seasons. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons Pro Football Focus ranked him first in pass-blocking efficiency. That is a measure of pressures allowed versus snaps in pass protection. A 100 is a perfect clean slate in pass protection. Scharping had a 98.9 in 2016 and a 99.2 in 2017.

In 2018 Quarterback Brett Rypien made 49% of his passing third down attempts. That was second best among 25 top draft eligible quarterbacks and second only to Kyler Murray. His 14 passing plays of 40+ yards was tie for tenth in the FBS. Among draft eligible quarterbacks with 226+ passing attempts Rypien was eighth in percentage of attempts that went for 40+ yards. Pro Football Focus rated Rypien as the Mountain West best passer under pressure with a passer rating of 97.2.

 

Round Five, Picks 143, 144, 174

The Giants have three picks in round five.

Wide Receiver Preston Williams and Andy Isabella were the only two draft eligible receivers that had 2018 market share numbers above 31.3% reception market share, 35.9% receiving yardage market share and 42.3% touchdown market share. Williams is third in the nation in receptions (96) and receiving touchdowns (14). He is fourth in the nation in receiving yards (1,345). Williams is 2018 All-Mountain West First-Team. Half of his twelve games were 100+ receiving yard games. He was on the Colorado State track and field team. Williams made the 2017 All Mountain West team for the triple jump and was the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Men’s Field Athlete of the Week (2/21/17).

After a redshirt freshman season Safety Mike Edwards never missed a game in his four years playing at Kentucky. He played in 51 games and had 44 consecutive starts. Over the last four seasons only linebacker TJ Edwards and Safety Mike Edwards had a career 150+ solo tackles, 10+ interceptions and 15+ passes defended.

Linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven was one of four finalists for the 2018 Lott Impact Trophy. He was 2018 Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year. Ben Burr-Kirven is number one in the nation in total tackles (165) and eighth in forced fumbles (4). His 85 solo tackles was fifth in the nation. Here is a query from sports-reference of college players that have had a minimum 90 solo tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 passes defended in a single season.

For running backs with 1,000+ yards Darrell Henderson had the second best average rushing yards (8.9) in 2017 and the best in 2018 (8.9). In 2018 he had the most rushing plays of 20+, 30+, 40+, 50+ and 60+ yards. He averaged 9.5 yards from scrimmage which was tie for second best among running backs.  Henderson had the second most touchdowns from scrimmage with 25 and second most rushing touchdowns with 22.

Quarterback Ryan Finley made 48.6% of his third down conversion attempts. Of the top 25 draft eligible quarterbacks examined that was second best topped only by Kyler Murray.  Finley excels in the intermediate passing game and had the fifth most passing plays in the FBS for 10+ and 20+ yards.

Guard Beau Benzschawel was All Big-10 First Team each of the last two seasons and was a 2018 Consensus All-American. He has made 49 consecutive starts. He is regarded as a people mover and a mauler in the run game playing with power. Benzschawel was part of a unit that led the Big Ten in rushing and ranked No. 6 nationally. He shared Wisconsin 2018 Offensive Player of the Year Award with fellow lineman Michael Deiter.

Offensive Lineman Martez Ivey made the All-Sec Second Team for each of the last three seasons. In the run game Ivey is said to be a mauler. Florida ranked in the top 15% in the nation in yards per rush attempt (5.3 yards) and the top 17% in rushing yards per game (215 yards).

 

Round Six, Pick 182

The Giants have one pick in round six.

Cornerback Montre Hartage made the  2018 All Big-Ten First Team (media) and Third Team (coaches). He is a three year starter at cornerback. Hartage is number nine in  passes defended among FBS active career leaders with 39 and tenth for interceptions with ten. For the combined 2016 and 2017 seasons quarterbacks had the third lowest passer rating (61.0) when targeting Hartage among secondary players as per Pro Football Focus. 

Linebacker Khalil Hodge was 2016 All-MAC Second Team and 2018 All-MAC First Team. Hodge was second in the nation in 2017 for total tackles. For the 2017 season Pro Football Focus had Khalil Hodge as the second best cover linebacker with a quarterback rating of 39.4 when quarterbacks targeted Hodge.

 

Round Seven, Picks 234, 247

The Giants have two picks in round seven.

Fullback Alec Ingold is a team captain and received the 2018 team Offensive Impact Player of the Year Award. In 2018 he had 26 rushing attempts, averaged 5.5 yds/attempt and had 6 rushing touchdowns. That amounts to a score every 4.3 times he touched the ball. He had another receiving touchdown and averaged 18.6 yards for his five receptions. He is a willing and capable blocker. Ingold helped block for running back Jonathan Taylor who was the only back to have over 2,000 yards rushing in 2018.

Cortez Broughton was 2016 All AAC Second Team and 2018 All AAC First Team. Broughton was selected to Pro Football Focus 2018 All AAC First Team , and per PFF – “Broughton turned a solid 2017 season into a massive 2018 campaign as he led AAC interior defensive linemen with 34 total QB pressures.” Broughton had 18 tackles for loss in 2018 which was the second most among defensive tackles.

 

Alliance of American Football

I watched three of the new televised Alliance of American Football games this past weekend on their kickoff. I liked the games and will definitely continue to follow. Here are some notes on the games.

  1. The game moves quickly. The commercial breaks are short. The play clock is only 35 seconds and from the end of the play. Whereas the NFL is 40 seconds.
  2. The view and commentary of the replay person gives a nice insight into replay decisions.
  3. The players are not bad. The stat they threw out was that 81% of players have been on an NFL contract.
  4. Maybe it was just this week but I noticed a lot less flags than in an NFL game.
  5. No kickoffs. Play commences at the 25 yard line. They do have punts.  I did not miss the kickoffs. I thought of how many kickoffs have penalties on them such as either holding or block in the back. These often negate any appreciable return.
  6. No extra point. The teams have to go for 2 point conversion. I like that a lot better. The extra points are almost a given. The two point adds a level of uncertainty.
  7. Lots of people miked up.  Sometimes nice insight especially when the coach is involved.  They have to work out audio problems as sometimes the mike up will interfere with commentary. Also you could not hear the official on calling the penalties.
  8. Nice to see women involved in football at the professional level. There are four women officials in the AAF. There are three women coaches in the AAF. Jen Welter is defensive specialist for the Atlanta Legends, Lori “Lo” Locust is Assistant Football Coach on Birmingham Iron and Jennifer King is assistant wide receiver coach on the Arizona Hotshots. The AAF founders are committed to pushing the boundaries when it comes to diversity within the sport. Hines Ward, who’s the head of football development for the league, was impressed with King’s knowledge of the game. “She knows her stuff, especially playing the wide receiver position.”
     
The quarterback play was pretty decent. The three I had seen that impressed me were:

QB John Wolford, Arizona Hotshots – Offensive Player of the week as he threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns. Wolford had an outstanding high school quarterback career. Unfortunately his college career did not go as well. He went undrafted and was signed by the Jets. The Jets cut him at the start of the season.

QB Logan Woodside, San Antonio Commanders – Had an good college quarterback career. In his last college year of 2017 he was third among active career leaders in passing efficiency (165.52), Completion Percentage (65.5%) and Passing Yards per Attempt (9.17).  However his smaller size and average arm kept teams away. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Bengals. He was waived at the start of the season, picked up by the Titans practice squad and released within a month.

QB Luis Perez, Birmingham Iron  – Perez was a walk-on at a community college with no quarterback experience. He said he wanted to be their quarterback. He started as the 9th quarterback on the depth chart. In two years he went on to a conference title. He transferred to Texas A&M Commerce where he went 24-3 as a starting quarterback.  In two years at Texas A&M he threw for 8,325 yards, 78 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a 68% completion percentage.

Wolford & Woodside Stats

 

 

 

 

Also on Offense

WR Rashad Ross, Arizona Hotshots – Ross had five receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively

CB Jamar Summers, Birmingham Iron – He was all over the field hustling to make plays. He allowed only one catch for a loss of two yards and had one interception.

In general for the games I watched the offensive lines looked like they needed more practice. Even though the defense is only allowed to rush five players they still were able to pressure these quarterbacks a lot. Rushing more than five results in a 15 yard penalty.

It was entertaining football and it goes thru April. What more can you ask for! It will be interesting to see what players may be offered positions in the NFL. The word is that NFL teams will be scouting this league.

 

2019 NFL Draft All Production First Team

My take on a First Team of 2019 draft prospects based on their production. To qualify prospects had to reach certain team market share percentages for their position. Team market share is the prospects statistic such as receiving yards divided by the total team statistic like receiving yards. The thresholds used are at the end of the article as well as a spreadsheet of prospects that qualified. Generally the 2018 data was used. However for players that did not qualify based on 2018 data I tried to see if a prior year’s data would qualify them. Out of the players that qualified then other factors may have been considered to make the first team. It was not always the player with the highest market share.

Offense

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma, 5’10”, 195 lbs

Even at 5’10 and 195 lbs this guy can just play! Compared with the top quarterbacks in this draft class Murray is above average in every statistic that I looked at. He was the only one for which that was true. His 69% completion percentage was sixth in the NCAA. His 11.6 passing yards per attempt was number one in the NCAA. His 42 passing touchdowns was number three. His 199.2 passing efficiency rating was number two. He had an incredible TD to Interception ratio of 6.0. He rushed for an average 71.5 yards per game with a 7.15 yard average and 12 rushing touchdowns. His rushing average was 15th in the nation and the top quarterback. He made 50% of his 3rd down attempts which was tops among the 25 quarterbacks I looked at. Twenty eight percent of his attempts went for a big play. That also was tops among the quarterbacks examined with the next quarterback at twenty one percent.

The big knock on Murray is his size. However he plays with big players in college. The average size of his offensive line entering 2018 was 6’4″ and 314lbs. The average offensive lineman in the NFL in 2015 was 6’5″ and 312 pounds. The average college football player size for Defensive line is 6’3” and 270 lbs. In 2013 NFL Defensive Ends averaged 283 pounds and 6′ 4″. Defensive tackles averaged 6’3″ and 310 pounds. So Murray has played with comparably big players and he played the whole year not missing any game due to injury. Murray at 5’10 and 195 lbs is not far off from Russell Wilson‘s combine measurements of 5’11” and 204 lbs.

After being backup to Baker Mayfield in 2017 the following was a nice way to open the 2018 season as the starting quarterback showing off the arm strength with a nice anticipatory throw hitting the receiver in stride. Murray had an 82% completion ratio and a 301 passer rating in the opener.

Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis, 5’9″, 200lbs

“This man is an absolute monster,” tweeted Memphis legend DeAngelo Williams. For backs with 1,000+ yards Henderson had the second best average rushing yards (8.9) in 2017 and the best in 2018 (8.9). In 2018 he had the most rushing plays of 20+, 30+, 40+, 50+ and 60+ yards. He averaged 9.5 yards from scrimmage which was tie for second best among running backs. Henderson had the second most touchdowns from scrimmage with 25 and second most rushing touchdowns with 22. His 30% team market share on yards from scrimmage made him one of only five draft eligible backs to have 30% or better in 2018. As reported by Pro Football Focus Henderson had the most yards after contact (1,321) and averaged 6.17 yards after contact. No running back who carried the ball at least 61 times had a better average Yards after contact/attempt.

Here against Connecticut Henderson shows his elusiveness and speed. Going into the 2018 season Pro Football Focus had Henderson rated as the most elusive draft eligible back leading the next back by 16.5 points. In this game against UConn Henderson ran for 174 yards, a 12.4 average and three touchdowns.

Three missed tackles and turned on the burners.

Alec Ingold, FB, Wisconsin, 6’2″, 242 lbs

Alec Ingold is a team captain and received the 2018 team Offensive Impact Player of the Year Award. In 2018 he had 26 rushing attempts, averaged 5.5 yds/attempt and had 6 rushing touchdowns. That amounts to a score every 4.3 times he touched the ball. He had another receiving touchdown and averaged 18.6 yards for his five receptions. He had seven 3rd down rushing attempts of 1-6 yards to go and he made six of them. His one 4th down attempt he got 5 yards and the 1st down. Wisconsin has always valued their fullbacks and their versatility. This is what head coach Paul Chryst said about Ingold – “He is an effective short-yard runner, catches the ball well out of the backfield and could serve as an H-back if needed.” Ingold helped block for running back Jonathan Taylor who was the only back to have over 2,000 yards rushing in 2018. Ingold was selected for Wisconsin’s 2018 Big Ten Football Sportsmanship Award Honoree. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook called Ingold a “competitor.” “I love having him in the backfield because you know in those situations when we need something, we know he can do it—whether it’s a big block or if he gets the ball in his hands.”

Andy Isabella, WR, UMass, 5’10”, 190 lbs

Andy Isabella had the highest FBS receiver team market share in 2018 with 47.5%. The next closest receiver was 6% less. He was tie for the fourth most touchdowns among wide receivers with 13 receiving and one rushing. He was tie for the most receiving plays of 40+, 50+ and 60+ yards. Isabella is real fast. In his 2015 high school senior year Andy ran an official 6.8 second 60 meter dash which was second fastest in the nation that season. His speed combined with his work ethic, drive and passion have paid off in a hard to cover route runner. “He was one of the five hardest workers I’ve ever coached,” said former UMass head coach Mark Whipple, who’s been around as a head coach or assistant since 1980. At the Reese Senior Bowl Isabella was named the North’s Most Outstanding Player with a game-high seven receptions for 74 yards and a score. Here he is during a practice drill.

Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State, 6’6″, 225 lbs

Butler had the second highest 2018 receiver yards market share with 42%. He averaged 22 yards per reception which was third in the FBS. He had 60 receptions and was tops in average yards for receivers with over 35 receptions. Butler was tie for second in the FBS for receptions of 20+ and 30+ yards. He was tie for third in receptions of 40+ and 50+ yards. Butler is a big physical receiver with a large catch radius. He excels in contested catches and yards after the catch. “I think Hakeem, bar none, is one of the most athletically talented guys I’ve ever had the opportunity to coach at the wide receiver position,” – Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell.

Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M, 6’4″, 250 lbs

Sternberger had the most receiving touchdowns among FBS tight ends and was second in receiving yards. Good hands catcher and physical after the catch breaking tackles to get extra yards. Jace will haul in contested catches and plays with a physical toughness. A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said Sternberger has the work ethic of a true old school football player. “Once you get a hold of him, I mean he’s so fun to coach in practice and like I said he should have played in 1955…, He doesn’t have a slowdown button and he loves the game.” -Fisher.

Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama, 6’5″, 301 lbs

Williams was All-SEC First Team the last two seasons and a 2018 Unanimous All-American. Williams was one of seven finalists for the 2018 Lombardi Award. The Lombardi award goes to the best college football player, regardless of position, based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency. He was Pro Football Focus top graded tackle. As reported by Pro Football Focus Williams did not give up a sack in 2018 and only allowed 10 pressures on 410 attempts.

Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State, 6’5″, 300lbs

Risner was All Big-12 First Team each of the last three seasons and was a four year starter at Kansas State. At the Senior Bowl he stonewalled Montez Sweat and Jaylon Ferguson. Both are considered to be top talent edge rushers. As reported by Pro Football Focus on 373 pass blocking snaps Risner has given up zero sacks and only four pressures. Per PFF, Risner allowed only 28 pressures on 1,489 pass-blocking snaps in his college career.

Max Scharping, OL, Northern Illinois, 6’6″, 320 lbs

Scharping was All MAC First Team each of the last three seasons. Scharping has had 53 consecutive starts over the last four years. He has allowed one sack over the last three seasons. Pro Football Focus takes the amount of snaps a player spent in pass protection against the amount of pressures he allows to create a pass-blocking efficiency figure with a maximum value of 100.0 for a perfect, clean slate of pass protection. Max Scharping ranked third in pass-blocking efficiency in 2015 (97.1), first in PBE in 2016 (98.9) and first again in 2017 (99.2). He is consistent, reliable, versatile and successful. Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com listed Scharping as one of a group of top performers at the Jan. 22 Senior Bowl practice

Beau Benzschawel, OL, Wisconsin, 6’6, 315 lbs

Beau was All Big-10 First Team each of the last two seasons and was a 2018 Consensus All-American. He has made 49 consecutive starts. He is regarded as a people mover and a mauler in the run game playing with power. Benzschawel was part of a unit that led the Big Ten in rushing and ranked No. 6 nationally. He shared Wisconsin 2018 Offensive Player of the Year Award with fellow lineman Michael Deiter.

John Keenoy, OC, Western Michigan, 6’2″, 282 lbs

Keenoy was 2018 All Mac Second Team, 2017 All Mac First Team and 2016 All Mac Second Team. He has been a three year starter at western Michigan. Going into the 2018 season Pro Football Focus had Keenoy as tied for the second best pass-blocking center from 2017. He allowed just two pressures on 329 pass-protection snaps in 2017 and only seven over 2016 and 2017. Keenoy had not allowed a sack in 2016 and 2017.

Defense

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston, 6’3″, 292 lbs

Oliver was All AAC First Team in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He was 2017 AAC Defensive Player of the Year and a Consensus All American in 2017 and 2018. He makes this all-production team based on his 2017 statistics. This is due to the fact that his 2018 numbers would not have qualified for solo tackles and sacks. However he did miss four games in 2018 due to injury. As reported by Pro Football Focus, Oliver was top five in run defense grade each of the last three seasons. Oliver is praised for a strong work ethic and a relentless motor.

Cortez Broughton, DT, Cincinnati, 6’2″, 290 lbs

Cortez was 2016 All AAC Second Team and 2018 All AAC First Team. Broughton was selected to Pro Football Focus 2018 All AAC First Team , and per PFF – “Broughton turned a solid 2017 season into a massive 2018 campaign as he led AAC interior defensive linemen with 34 total QB pressures.” Broughton had 18 tackles for loss in 2018 which was the second most among defensive tackles. Cortez had a 7.2% team market share of solo tackles which is a good number for a defensive tackle. He is the new style of DT a smaller, fast DT with great burst off the ball. Broughton achieved praise for his week at the East West Shrine Game. Real GM’s Jeff Risdon: “Watching East DL doing footwork and bag drills. Cincinnati DT Cortez Broughton is thriving, great feet for a big guy.” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah also listed Broughton as a standout player to watch.

Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky, 6’5″, 260 lbs

Allen had high market share numbers for the defensive line position. He had the highest solo tackle market share among defensive linemen meeting the production threshold with 56 solo tackles for an 11.5% market share. For sacks his market share of 44.7% with 17 sacks was second best. He was one of only three draft eligible defensive linemen that was above average in all categories (sacks, solo tackles, TFLs) among the production group meeting the threshold. For his accomplishments he took home the hardware in 2018 winning the Bronko Nagurski Award, the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Ronnie Lott Trophy and was selected as an unanimous Consensus All American and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Allen has come a long way from a picked on 130 lb high school freshman receiver to a top ten draft pick.

Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, Louisiana Tech, 6’5″, 262 lbs

Ferguson was also one of three draft eligible defensive linemen that was above average in market share in all three categories (sacks, TFLs and solo tackles). His 26 tackles for loss was good for a 26% market share and second best among the productive defensive linemen. Ferguson was the 2018 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year. After making 2015 All-USA Conference Honorable Mention his freshman year, Jaylon made C-USA First Team each of the next three seasons. Ferguson has a great work ethic. “It was all about the work, Study more film. Critique myself harder than anybody else. Work harder than everybody. Push everybody around me because the strength of the wolf is the pack. We are only as strong as our weakest link.” – Ferguson. He uses his hands well to shed blocks as shown in the clip below.

via GIPHY

Devin White, LB, LSU, 6’1″, 240 lbs

White was a 2017 and 2018 All Sec Conference First Team. He was a 2018 Consensus All American and one vote short of an unanimous All American. White won the 2018 Dick Butkus Award. As reported by nfl.com, White is a voracious student of the game always looking to improve. He has great range and speed playing sideline to sideline to go with hard hitting.

Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington, 6’0″, 221 lbs

Ben was 2017 All Pac-12 Second Team and 2018 All Pac-12 First Team as well as 2018 Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year. His 94 solo tackles was second in the nation and earned second among the productive linebackers team market share with a 18%. Here is a query from sports-reference of college players that have had a minimum 90 solo tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 passes defended in a single season. Ben had similar stats to two current Pro Bowl linebackers.

Linebackers since 2000 with similar stats
Linebackers since 2000 with similar stats

T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin, 6’1″, 242 lbs

TJ Edwards leads all active linebackers in career interceptions with ten and is ninth among all active players. Edwards was 2017 All Big-10 First Team and 2018 Second Team. Among the top linebackers in 2018 by solo tackles, Edwards was one of only three that ranked above average in four or more of five market share categories – solo tackles (15.2%), TFL (18.5%), sacks (16.7%) and interceptions (21.4%). In high school Edwards only played three games on defense. After a redshirt freshman season at Wisconsin, he became a starting linebacker and has started the last four years. He has strong work ethic and watches hours of film.

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington, 5’11”, 182 lbs

Byron Murphy was on the 2018 All Pac-12 First Team. He was the only cornerback in the group of market share high production DBs that ranked above average in market share for both interceptions and passes defended. murphy has a high football IQ and reads/anticipates plays well. He has ball hawking skills. In high school he was an All-American high school receiver and also a finalist for an award for the top defensive back in high school football. He displays meanness and physicality in playing the run. Fellow teammate linebacker Keishawn Bierria said his work ethic is insane.

Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame, 5’11”, 193 lbs

Over his three years at Notre Dame Julian has 44 passes defended which is tie for second for career passes defended among active players. All others in the top five were all seniors with Julian being the only junior. He makes the all productive list based n his 2017 season due to having only one interception in 2018. His 2017 twenty passes defended was good for a 38.5% team market share which was tops in the all productive group by 7%. Love was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award. He is a three year starter after earning the starting role for the final eight games as a true freshman. Love is recognized for his football IQ, and cover/ball skills.

Juan Thornhill, SAF, Virginia, 6’0″, 210 lbs

Thornhill was 2017 All-ACC Third Team and 2018 All-ACC First Team. A three year starter at Virginia. Juan has played both cornerback and safety and made All-ACC at both positions. Among active FBS players Juan is tie for the most interceptions with 13. In the group of productive safeties Juan has the second best solo tackle market share (10.7%) and the top pass defended market share (31.6%). Juan made the list based on his 2017 performance as his 2018 passes defended market share was not high enough. According to Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall, Juan plays with emotion and passion. Juan made SportsCenter as a high school basketball player due to his dunking prowess.

Nasir Adderley, SAF, Delaware, 6’0″, 200 lbs

Adderley played both cornerback and safety at Delaware. For his 2016 season at cornerback Adderley earned third team All-CAA honors. The next season he was first-team All-CAA. Adderly was a second-team AP FCS All-American and first-team all-conference player in 2018. In 2018 he was the CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week for returning a kickoff for a touchdown in October. He is reported to have a great work ethic and plays with intensity.

Special Teams

Cole Tracy, K, LSU, 5’11”, 188 lbs

Cole Tracy made the 2018 All-SEC First Team. He was 11th in the nation in Field Goal Percentage (87.9%) and had the second most attempts. He was one of three finalists for the 2018 Lou Groza National Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. He was perfect on 42 point after attempts. Tracy was a graduate transfer to LSU from Division II Assumption College. For his college career Tracy is second among active players across all divisions for career points scored with 502. Cole is known for making clutch kicks like his 42 yarder on the final play to beat Auburn 22-21. He is said to be calm and has been called “Ice” Cole.

Jack Fox, P, Rice, 6’2″, 224 lbs

Jack Fox was 2016 All C-USA Honorable Mention, 2017 C-USA Second Team and 2018 All C-USA First Team. He was the 2018 Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year. He led C-USA in punting for the second consecutive year, finishing with a career-best 45.5 average. Fox’s average was second best in the nation among punters with at least 60 punts in the regular season and ranked 8th nationally among all punters. He topped the FBS with 3,636 punting yards in the regular season, which also set a school record. Fox had 26 punts of 50 yards or longer and he placed 31 punts inside the 20-yard line, both top figures in the conference. He had at least one 50+ punt in 12 of 13 games this season and is third in the nation with 13 punts inside the 10-yard line. Fox was one of 10 semifinalists for the 2018 Ray Guy Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate punter.

Dan Godsil, LS, Indiana, 6’4″, 230 lbs

Dan Godsil made Phil Steele’s Preseason All-American First Team. Dan has started 50 games and has been the team’s long snapper in every game since he arrived at Indiana. Dan is fast, accurate,, big and athletic. All traits that you like to see in a long snapper. Here he long snaps a ball into a trash can. He said it took about five tries.

The Data

Attached is the data for all players that met the following market share production thresholds.

RB 25% yards from scrimmage
WR 30% receiving yards
TE 15% receiving yards
DL 6% solo tackles, 15% TFL, 25% sacks (20% DTs)
LB 11.5% solo tackle
DB 6% solo tackle, 25% interception, 15% passes defended

The thresholds for market share were based on work done at draftcobern.

For quarterbacks and offensive line I used:

QB – positive sum std deviation on situational stats (3rd down conversion %, red zone TDs % and Big Play %)
OL and ST – All Conference Teams made

All players listed in the spreadsheet meet the criteria and there are many good players listed. For the quarterbacks I have the one QB sheet of ones that met my criteria but also included a sheet on all the quarterbacks for which I looked at situational data.

Here is the data prospects by production.

2019 Draft Prospects Part II – NFLPA Game Players

This is Part 2 of the series looking at 2019 Draft Prospects. Part One 2019 Draft Prospects Part I – Shrine Game Players highlighted Shrine Game players that meet a specified college productivity minimum. The minimum criteria explained in that post is shown here in the following table. (MS stands for team Market Share).

Position Metrics
Quarterback 3rd Down Conversion %,
Red Zone TD %,
Big Play %
(Sum Std Dev above avg)
Running Back Yards from Scrimmage MS (25%)
Receivers Receiving Yards MS (WR 30%, TE 15%)
Offensive Line All Conference Selection
Defensive Line Solo Tackle MS (6%),
TFL MS (15%),
Sack MS (25%)
Linebackers Solo Tackle MS (11%)
Defensive Backs Solo Tackle MS (6%),
Int MS (25%),
PD MS (15%)
Kickers All Conference Selection

This part will highlight the NFLPA players that meet the criteria.

NFLPA Game

Quarterback

Jake Browning – Washington – QB

Jake Browning was the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and made the 2016 All Pac-12 First Team. In addition he was 2017 and 2018 All Pac-12 Honorable Mention. He checks all seven of Bill Parcells’ rules for drafting a quarterback.

Washington ranks 108th of the 130 FBS teams in Passing Play Percentage (39.8%). So it is understandable that Jake Browning ranks second to last in the group of 25 quarterbacks examined in passing attempts with 334. However Browning ranks second in the group in Big Play Percentage with 20.7% of his attempts going for a big play. On passing attempts alone that percentage goes up to 23.65%. In the group Browning has the ninth most passing big plays. Browning also excelled in making 3rd downs where he comes in 4th in the group making 43.5% of his third down attempts. He is fourth in rushing 3rd down attempts making 50% on the seventh most rush attempts (34). In passing in the red zone he was tie at eighth for touchdown percentage getting a touchdown on 29.3% of attempts.

Browning was in the top five in the Pac-12 in passer rating each of the last three seasons. He was first in 2016 and 2017. Browning was in the top three in the Pac-12 in passing yards per attempt each of the last three seasons. Jake has a 75% career win percentage at Washington and has started 52 games over four years. He has more victories than any other player in Pac-12 Conference history. Browning holds the Washington passing touchdowns records for career, single season and single game. Jake Browning has a career passer rating of 151.9. That is seventh best among college quarterbacks over the last five years that passed for over 10,000 yards.

In Washington’s win over Oregon State in 2018 Browning had a 73.9% completion percentage, threw for 242 yards, three touchdowns and had a passer rating of 205. Here he throws a beautiful fade on 2nd and goal.

via Gfycat

Running Back

Nico Evans – Wyoming – RB

Nico Evans was 2018 All-Mountain West First Team. His 1,391 yards from scrimmage in 2018 was 34% of his team market share. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry (ypc) on the year and averaged less than 4.9 ypc in only one of his 10 games. He had eight rushing touchdowns and one receiving. Evans had at least one rushing touchdown in 70% of his games. He had 53 missed tackles on his carries in 2018. Here he shows his one cut in his touchdown run in week 10 in which he rushed for 187 yards and averaged 5.67 yards. In the NFLPA Bowl Game Evans had two rushes for 17 yards.

Lexington Thomas – UNLV – RB

Thomas was a 2017 All-Mountain West First Team and a 2018 All-Mountain West Second Team. Lexington hit the 25% threshold market share for each of his last two seasons with a 29% followed by 26%. He gives his all on the field to break a big play. He was tied for fifth in the nation in 2018 of rushing plays of 60+ yards with three. In 2017 he was sixth on plays of 50+ yards with six. Thomas is UNLV’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 40.

Wes Hills – Slippery Rock – RB

Wes Hills was named MVP at NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.  Hills played in 2018 for Division II school Slippery Rock. Before that he played two years at Division I Delaware. He was named to the 2018 AP Division II All America Team. In 2018 at Slippery Rock Hills rushed for 1,714 yards at an average of 7.0 yards per carry. Hills had 1,907 yards from scrimmage in 2018 which was 29.7% team market share. He was called up to the Reese Senior Bowl based on his performance in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Hills has been a team captain two years at Delaware and also his year at Slippery Rock. Here are highlights of  Hills as he runs for 217 yards and 3 touchdowns on 17 carries versus Gannon on 11/3/18.

Wide Receiver

Trevon Brown – ECU – WR

Brown was 2017 All American Conference Second Team and 2018 All Conference First Team. Brown has a strong work ethic as he strives for greatness and has never missed a day of practice his senior year.  Trevon Brown had nine touchdowns in 2018 which accounted for 29% of the team offensive touchdowns and 50% of the team passing touchdowns. His 14 receptions of 25+ yards accounted for 47% of the team’s 25+ yard  receptions.

Steven Sims Jr. – Kansas – WR

Steve Sims was 2016 and 2017 All Big-12 Conference Honorable Mention. Sims has made the Kansas record books for career receptions (214 – 3rd), career receiving yards (2,582 – 2nd) and career receiving touchdowns (19 – 2nd). In 2018 he had a career high 10 receptions against Oklahoma State. In that game he also gained 21 yards on an end around and had one touchdown. “He’ll make you miss. He’ll score. He has strong hands, he catches, he makes the tough catches in traffic. And he’s fearless and he’s explosive. And he can make you miss.” – Kansas Offensive Coordinator Doug Meacham. Sims had a good practice at the NFLPA Bowl which included a big Day 1 performance of several deep ball catches which commanded the respect of defenders.

Steven Sims Game 4 2017 – 6 receptions, 96 yds, 1 TD.

Tight End

David Lucero – UTEP – TE

A 2018 Conference USA Honorable Mention. Lucero caught 15% of his team’s passing yards. Of his 20 receptions in 2018 thirty percent were for 15+ yards and fifty percent were for first down. His long reception went for 88 yards. Lucero is reported to have had a good week at the NFLPA Bowl and had three receptions for 25 yards in the game.

Keenen Brown – Texas State – TE

Keenan Brown was 2018 All-Sun Belt First Team. He had 577 receiving yards for an amazing 26% team market share. That is quite high for a tight end as the threshold for long term starter tight end is 15%. Keenan Brown made the Pro Football Focus All American First Team. Brown will rin over you – per Pro Football Focus -“No tight end had the success Brown did after the catch this year as he more than doubled the next closest tight end with 24 missed tackles.”

Offensive Tackle

Calvin Anderson – Texas – OT

A three year All Conference Honorable Mention. Started all 36 games he has played in his college career mostly at left tackle. Before becoming a graduate transfer to Texas, at Rice he is credited with 26 knockdowns and five pancake blocks. Can solve a rubics cube behind his back.

Joe Lowery – Ohio – OT

Selected by Pro Football Focus as their MAC player of the year and All American Second Team. He was their third highest graded offensive tackle in the nation. Lowery led the nation’s tackles in PFF run-blocking grade and in pass protection he allowed just nine total QB pressures on 334 snaps. He was conference 2017 All MAC Second Team and 2018 All MAC First team.

Justice Powers – UAB – OT

Justice Powers is a 2018 All C-USA First Team selection.  Powers started every game at right tackle for his two years at UAB. He blocked for a UAB offense that had at least 200 yards rushing in nine games and that set the school record for rushing touchdowns with 32.

Edge

Anree Saint-Amour – Georgia Tech – DE

One of Anree’s strengths is his strength. He has squat 500 lbs and bench pressed 435 lbs. His strength-and-conditioning coach John Sisk -“I’ve never seen him fail at (lifting) any weight he’s done, like, ever”. He won ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week in week nine. He had nine tackles, three quarterback hurries and a game clinching interception. Anree met the minimum criteria for defensive end and far exceeded the tackle for loss criteria with 12 on the year for a 22% team market share.

Linebacker

A.J. Hotchkins – UTEP – LB

AJ Hotchkins made the 2018 All C-USA Second Team. In 2018 not only did Hotchkins meet the linebacker market share criteria with 12%, he also met the defensive line criteria. He excelled in sacks getting seven for the year at a team market share of 35%. Hotchkins led Conference USA in total tackles with 126. Head coach Dana Dimel: “It helps the way he shows up and practices like he does, In the film room, on the practice field every day, it’s important to him. It shows our younger players what it means.” Hotchkins: “The biggest thing is effort, It’s coming out to practice every day, putting in the effort every day. I’m not a really big vocal guy; I lead by example. It’s about competing every snap; make sure you’re focused on every snap.” Hotchkins had double digit tackles in seven of his twelve games.

Jordan Kunaszyk – California – LB

Kunaszyk was 2018 All Pac-12 First Team. Kunaszyk was one of eight national semifinalists for the Lott Impact Trophy.  He had a whopping 92 solo tackles which was third in the nation and good for an amazing 16.6% solo tackle team market share. Compared to last year’s linebackers that matches up with Leighton Vander Esch (16.2%) and Roquan Smith (16.3%). Kunaszyk was also second in the nation in forced fumbles with 5 and his 143 total tackles was fifth in the nation. Kunaszyk is a film room junkie that loves football and his team. He lives and breathes football doing all that he can to be the best and help his team win. “He’s built to play the position, in a lot of ways — physically, mentally, He’s a physical guy, he loves contact, he’s into the game. I think everything, the preparation part, meetings, he’s always up watching extra tape. The way he prepares his body, he’s a football player, through and through.” – head coach Justin Wilcox.


Peyton Pelluer – Washington State – LB

Pelluer was a 2015, 2016 and 2018 All Pac-12 Honorable Mention. Pelluer received a sixth year of eligibility in 2017 after breaking his foot in his redshirt senior season. He came back to a career year and was nominated to the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the year award. Pelluer has played in a WSU record 54 games, 47 as a starter. Pelluer was named 2018 Alamo Bowl Defensive MVP after making game-high 11 tackles with 1.5 for loss including one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in a win over Iowa State. “He loves football, he’s dedicated and he’s a big film guy” – WSU head coach Mike Leach.

E.J. Ejiya – North Texas – LB

Ejiya was a 2017 All C-USA Honorable Mention and a 2018 All C-USA First Team. Not only did Ejiya meet the Linebacker market share threshold with 12.9% but he also met the defensive line thresholds with 26% sack market share and a whopping 26% tackle for loss market share on 25.5 TFLs. His 26 tackles for loss was third in the nation. In week three he made the PFF Team of the Week for his game against Arkansas where he “produced as a pass-rusher (5 total QB pressures), as a run-defender (3 run stops) and in coverage (1 reception, 3 yards allowed).” Recognized by teammate  linebacker Brandon Garner – “E.J. can definitely make it in the NFL, He has the size and speed and gives great effort on every play. That kind of effort is something not everyone gives.”

Malik Reed – Nevada – LB/DE

Reed was 2016 All Mountain West Second Team and All MWC First Team in 2017 and 2018. He is a 2018 Senior Class Award candidate. He makes the cut here for his 2016 sophomore season as an edge rusher. That year he had five sacks for a whopping 38.5% team market share. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic listed Nevada LB Malik Reed among his “freaks” for the 2018 season. Malik was able to power-clean 357 pounds and deadlift 672 pounds. Malik has an outstanding work ethic. He is usually first in and last to go for practices.  His sophomore year he started all 12 games, was named the team’s outstanding defensive player and earned the team’s defensive full speed effort award. His junior year he started all 12 games and was given Nevada’s Hustle Award for his efforts on defense. His senior year he received the Captains Award and was co-Team MVP (Golden Helmet Award).

Cornerback

Nate Brooks – North Texas – CB

Nate Brooks was 2016 All C-USA Honorable Mention and 2018 All C-USA Second Team. His 2018 stats were well over the defensive back thresholds for market share in all categories. He had 48 solo tackles (10%), six interceptions (33%) and 10 passes defended (20%). Nate was one of fourteen semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award. He is a four year starter at North Texas.  Nate was a Pro Football Focus 2018 Second Team All Conference USA.  Nate is in a seven player tie for third place in the nation for interceptions in 2018 with six interceptions.  Twice during North Texas career was named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week including a two interception, six tackle and one pass breakup game in 2018.  Defensively North Texas is in the top 17% of teams nationwide for opponent pass completion and opponent passer rating. Brooks had an interception in the NFLPA game.

Kemon Hall – North Texas – CB

Hall made Conference USA 2018 first Team, as well as Pro Football Focus All-Conference USA Team of the Year First Team. Hall is tie for first nationally for interceptions returned for a touchdown with two in 2018. He is in a six way tie for tenth in the nation with five interceptions in 2018.

Kicker/Punter

Justin Yoon – Notre Dame – K

Justin Yoon was on Phil Steele’s 2016 All Independent Conference First Team,  2017 Second Team and 2018 First Team.  In 2017 Yoon was perfect on 55 extra point attempts. In 2015 he was sixth in the nation on field goal percentage with 88.2%. Yoon has a strong work ethic. He had never seen a football game until he was a teenager. He credits his transition from football novice to a Notre Dame kicker to his practice.  “I’ve kicked, I don’t know, 10,000 balls,” – Yoon.

Tyler Newsome – Notre Dame – P

Newsome was on Phil Steele’s All Independent 2016 Second Team and 2018 First team. He has been first in the Independent Conference in punting yards per punt each of his  four year Notre Dame career. His career average on punts is 44 yards. His 2018 average of 44.6 yards was 15th in the nation. Newsome is a  team captain. He is recognized by coaches and teammates over the four years as having a tremendous work ethic.

 

2019 Draft Prospects Part I – Shrine Game Players

The 2019 College All Star games of the East West Shrine Game, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the Reese Senior Bowl, have all concluded. Articles have been published on players that helped their draft stock. However the games themselves are not the best platform for evaluating talent. It is said that many NFL scouts do not even stay for the game and rather get their evaluations from the practices.  Playing in part of one game with teammates you just met that week is not ideal conditions for evaluation. But just getting selected for these games is a big positive.  The selected players have been evaluated to be the best of the draft eligible class based on at least a season of college play. As the games themselves unfold talented players can be overlooked and worse discounted due to average or below average game performance in one game.

This is the first of a series of blogs to look at draft prospects based on selection for a All Star Game and college productivity. Starting with the Shrine Game, I will go thru the roster and select players that had at least one productive college season as determined by team market share productivity for their position. Only those game participants that meet a minimum productivity standard in one college season are listed and described.  For offensive linemen selection for an All Conference Team for at least one season was the criteria. For quarterbacks I used situational metrics for their 2018 season. All metric minimum standard is shown in the table. (MS stands for team Market Share).

Position Metrics
Quarterback 3rd Down Conversion %,
Red Zone TD %,
Big Play %
(Sum Std Dev above avg)
Running Back Yards from Scrimmage MS (25%)
Receivers Receiving Yards MS (WR 30%, TE 15%)
Offensive Line All Conference Selection
Defensive Line Solo Tackle MS (6%),
TFL MS (15%),
Sack MS (25%)
Linebackers Solo Tackle MS (11%)
Defensive Backs Solo Tackle MS (6%),
Int MS (25%),
PD MS (15%)
Kickers All Conference Selection

East West Shrine Game

Here are the players that were invited to the East West Shrine Game that met the minimum standard shown in the table.

Quarterback

Taylor Cornelius – Oklahoma State – QB

One of two quarterbacks chosen for the 2018 All Big-12 team Honorable Mention. Cornelius was third in the nation in passing plays of 10+ yards and fourth in 20+ passing plays. Twenty percent of his plays went for big plays. Among 22 quarterbacks looked at Cornelius was fourth in his percentage of big plays. Cornelius is a big quarterback at 6’6″ and 232 lbs he would be among the biggest quarterbacks in the NFL. He had a monster game against Kansas this season in which he had a 75% completion percent, 312 passing yards, four touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 262. Here is Cornelius dropping a dime to receiver Tyron.

Brett Rypien – Boise State – QB

Brett Rypien is the 2018 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year. He has been clutch on third down. Among 22 top draft prospects at quarterback examined Rypien was third in third down conversions converting 48.4% of third down attempts. Rypien was second in passing 3rd down conversions (49%) . He was topped only by Kyler Murray but Rypien had 40 more 3rd down pass attempts than Murray. Rypien was fifth in rushing third down conversions (46% on 37 attempts). However only Jake Browning  was better with a comparable amount of attempts. Brett Rypien meets all of Bill Parcells’ seven rules for drafting a quarterback.  He has a 77% win percentage with 48 career starts and is a 4 year starter. Brett has passed for a career 13, 578 yards which is 13th most in FBS history since 2000. Rypien had four games in 2018 in which he had a passer rating of over 200. Against Colorado State  he had a completion percentage of 84.6%, passed for 308 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Here is a clip from that game of dropping a dime into double coverage.

Marcus McMaryion – CSU Fresno – QB

McMaryion was a Mountain West Honorable Mention for 2017 and 2018. He also passes all seven of Bill Parcells’ rules for drafting a quarterback. Marcus is seventh in the nation in Pass Completion Percentage (68.6%) and Total Yards (3,923). His Pass Completion percentage is tops in the Mountain West Conference. At ten games thru the 2018 season Pro Football Focus had Marcus leading the nation’s quarterbacks in red zone passer rating (124.4).  Of the top 22 draft eligible quarterbacks looked at, McMaryion had the second best red zone rushing touchdown conversion percentage (42% on 19 attempts). None of the 22 quarterbacks had more attempts with a better percentage. In his last two seasons at Fresno state McMaryion was 21-4 as a starter. In 2018 he passed for over 200 yards in 12 of his fourteen games. He was one of 11 quarterback semifinalists for the 2018 Maxwell Award given to the best all-around player in college football. Here is a nice pass from Fresno State’s win over Wyoming. In that game McMaryion completed 68.8% of his passes for 287 yards, two passing touchdowns, zero interceptions and he ran for another two touchdowns.

via GIPHY

Running Back

Ty Johnson – Maryland – RB

In 2016 Johnson had 1,210 yards from scrimmage which was 25% of his team’s total yards. His 1,004 rushing yards that season averaged 9.13 yards per attempt which was second in the nation. Johnson’s career 7.6 yards per attempt was third in the FBS active career leaders in 2018.  A 2017 media All Big Ten Honorable Mention. An electric player with good character and a strong work ethic. He’s big and and tough at 212 pounds and nearly six-foot.

Wide Receiver

KeeSean Johnson – CSU Fresno – WR

KeeSean Johnson was a 2016 Mountain West Conference Honorable Mention, a 2017 Second Team and a 2018 Second Team. He made the Pro Football Focus 2018 All Mountain West First Team and they had this to say about him: Johnson caught 63.6% of his deep passes (20-plus yards) to go with 14 missed tackles forced and a passer rating when targeted of 132.9. Johnson had a 36% receiving team market share in 2018. According to draftcobern.com, 95% of NFL 5-Time Pro Bowl players reached this level of market share production since 1969. he has been

Cody Thompson – Toledo – WR

Thompson made 2016 All-MAC First Team and again 2018 All-MAC First Team. Known for a strong work ethic Thompson made the 2017 Sports Illustrated Freaks List of the top 40 workout warriors in college football. In 2018 73% of his receptions were for a first down and eight out of his ten red zone receptions were a touchdown. He has strong reliable hands and shows toughness.

Tight End

CJ Conrad – Kentucky – TE

Conrad’s 318 receiving yards in 2108 was 15% of the team’s passing yards which is a threshold for productive tight ends. He is highly rated blocker and helped block for running back Benny Snell who has had three 1,000+ yard seasons. As reported by Pro Football Focus, Conrad had 12.0 yards after the catch per reception in 2017. That was the highest among draft eligible tight ends with a minimum 12 receptions.

Offensive Center

Alec Eberle – Florida State – OC

A 2018 Senior Class Award candidate. Eberle has persevered through major injuries while starting 44 consecutive games at center. He has started every game since his first start in the last six games as a redshirt freshman in 2015. He was a 2016 All ACC Team Honorable Mention and a 2018 All ACC Second Team.

Lamont Gaillard – Georgia – OC

2018 All-SEC Coaches First Team. Started 29 consecutive games at center since moved to center to start the 21017 season. Georgia was graded as the best offensive line in the nation six weeks into the 2018 season by Pro Football Focus. They graded the unit as the number one run blocking grade. ESPN analyst Cole Cubelic had Gaillard as the top returning center in the SEC entering the 2018 season.  “He plays his ass off, consistently finishes, never leaves his teammates out to dry and for me he is a joy to watch.” – Cole Cubelic.

John Keenoy – Western Michigan – OC

John Keenoy was 2016 All-MAC Second Team, 2017 All-MAC First Team and 2018 All-MAC Second Team. Keenoy has started every game played (50 of 51 possible games) at center. In 2017 was lone junior voted by teammates for “Captain’s Award”.  Keenoy did not give up a sack in his sophomore and junior seasons. According to Pro Football Focus he allowed just two pressures on 329 snaps in pass protection in 2017.  He is also A strong run blocker, a “People mover”. Western Michigan has been in the top 27% of teams in the nation for rushing yards per game each of the last three seasons.

Offensive Guard

Tyler Jones – NC State – OG

2018 All-ACC First Team. Played 98% of the team’s offensive snaps in 2016 and 2017 and 93% in 2018. In 2017 he allowed just 14 pressures which wsa tied for fewest among returning ACC tackles.  In 2017, NC State finished tied for No. 1 in the country at 0.2 QB pressure percentage, per PFF_College. Ryan Finley was hit just 24 times on 529 dropbacks.

Bunchy Stallings – Kentucky – OG

2018 All-Sec Coaches First Team. Stallings was selected to the ESPN 2018 mid-season All-America team. “He has been a road-grader for the Wildcats. ” Stallings was named 1st Team All American by The Athletic and only allowed 1.5 sacks. Stallings is said to be a mauler in the run game and helped contribute to running back Benny Snell breaking 1,000 yards rushing each of the last three seasons.

Lanard Bonner – Arkansas State – OG

Bonner was All Sun-Belt Conference 2017 and 2018 First Team. Praised by offensive line coach Allen Rudolph not only for his talent but also for how he has “worked his butt off” in the weight room, film study and drill work.  Bonner plays with a little bit of nastiness and competes through the whistle. Lanard Bonner, 6’5” and 310 pounds, is said to  have extreme athletic ability with a mauler mentality.

Oshea Dugas – Louisiana Tech – OG

Oshea Dugas was 2016 C-USA All Conference Second Team,  2017 Second Team and 2018 First Team. he was also 2015 Conference USA All-Freshman Team. In high school Dugas won a state championship in wrestling.

Offensive Tackle

Martez Ivey – Florida – OT

Ivey made the All-Sec Second Team for each of the last three seasons. The Gators as a whole allowed just 18 sacks which ranked third in the conference.  At 1.5 sacks allowed per game Florida ranked in the top 20% in the nation. In the run game Ivey is said to be a mauler. Florida ranked in the top 15% in the nation in yards per rush attempt (5.3 yards) and the top 17% in rushing yards per game (215 yards). Martez Ivey was named the permanent Team Captain of the 2018 Gators. He is praised for his work ethic and leadership.

Tyree St. Louis – Miami – OT

Started 34 consecutive games since his sophomore start in 2016. Tyree earned 2018 All-ACC Honorable Mention. He has played both right and left tackle. “Whether in run or pass sets, the senior plays with impeccable power. He showcases this trait with finishing ability and devastating blocks in both facets of the game. ” – reported by cover1.net.

Jackson Barton – Utah – OT

Jackson Barton was 2018 All Pac-12 Conference First Team. Barton has impressive size at 6’7″ and 303 lbs. He is a two year starter at left tackle. Barton is said to have above-average feet and athletic ability, is smart, understands the game and plays with passion.

Ryan Pope – SDSU – OT

Ryan Pope was 2018 All Mountain West Conference Second Team. Ryan is known as a mauler who plays with a bit of a mean streak. In 2017 San Diego State was the ninth best team in the nation in yards per rush attempt and eleventh in rushing yards per game. Ryan played all 13 games that year and started eleven. He has good size at 6’7″ and 315 lbs, and has played both tackle positions.

Defensive Tackle

Daniel Wise – Kansas – DT/DE

Wise made All Big-12 conference 2016 Honorable Mention, 2017 First Team and 2018 First Team. He is a four year starter. Referred to as “unblockable” throughout the week of Shrine practices, Wise was unstoppable most of the game . “Cannot put into words how valuable Daniel is to our program — an outstanding leader with a tremendous work ethic and an infectious personality!!”  –  Kansas coach David Beaty.

Michael Dogbe – Temple – DT

Michael Dogbe was 2018 All AAC First Team. Eight weeks thru the 2018 season Pro Football Focus had Quinnen Williams and Michael Dogbe as the only two interior defensive linemen to rank in the top five in terms of most pressures and most defensive stops. Dogbe is a weight room warrior. Since his high school freshman year when he weighed only 160 lbs and was pushed around. After freshman year he hit the weight room and never stopped. He earned a single-digit at Temple, a testament to his work ethic, especially in the weight room. Dogbe bench pressed over 500 pounds and squats over 600 pounds. Michael Dogbe impressed scouts at the Shrine Game. During practices, one area scout praised Dogbe’s motor and ability to beat big blockers with a bull rush. Dogbe had a monster game against Maryland this year where he had 5 solo tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.

Cortez Broughton – Cincinnati – DT

Broughton was 2016 All AAC Second Team and 2018 All AAC First Team. As reported by Pro Football Focus Broughton led AAC interior defensive linemen with 34 total QB pressures. Broughton achieved praise for his week at the East West Shrine Game. Real GM’s Jeff Risdon: “Watching East DL doing footwork and bag drills. Cincinnati DT Cortez Broughton is thriving, great feet for a big guy.” NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah also listed Broughton as a standout player to watch. In 2018 Broughton had a tackle for a loss in 9 of his 13 games averaging 1.8 TFLs in those games.

Edge

Jordan Brailford – Oklahoma State – DE

Jordan Brailford was 2017 All-Big 12 Second Team and 2018 All-Big 12 First Team. Oklahoma State was 22nd (top 17%) in sacks per game and Brailford was a large part of that with 26% team market share of sacks. Brailford was impressive at the Shrine game. In the game’s first quarter he used his spin move to breeze past the left tackle and sack Brett Rypien shown here.

Brailford finished the game with three tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, three QB hits and a fumble recovery.

Linebacker

Cody Barton – Utah – LB

Winner of the 2019 East West Shrine Game Pat Tillman Award presented to a player who best exemplifies character, intelligence, sportsmanship and service celebrating a “student-athlete’s achievements and conduct on and off the football field.” “Cody’s leadership, work ethic, intelligence, and sacrifice are what we hope every player aspires to demonstrate while at the University of Utah.” – Morgan Scalley (the inaugural winner in 2005).  Barton is a 2018 All Pac-12 Honorable Mention. He recorded 5 or more solo tackles in nine of his fourteen 2018 games. Solak (draft analyst from The Draft Network) had this to say about Barton – “tough as nails”, “Great man coverage player regularly tasked with third down/red zone coverage of backs and tight ends.” and “Aggressive, attacking style will attract blue-collar coaches.“. Per Pro Football Focus, In his over 1,600 career snaps, Barton has 78 stops and only 10 missed tackles.

Joe Dineen – Kansas – LB

Dineen is one of just three players in Kansas’ 128 years of football to be voted a team captain for three seasons. He was a 2017 All Big-12 Second Team selection and a 2018 All Big-12 First Team selection. He was one of eight semi-finalists for the 2018 Lott Impact Trophy. Dineen was number one in the nation in solo tackles with 109. The second place player had 17 less solo tackles. Dineen’s solo tackle market share was 19.3 percent. To put that percentage in perspective the top solo tacklers in 2017 and their market share percentages were Frank Ginda (14.8%), Leighton Vander Esch (16.2%), Joe Dineen (15.3%), Christian Sam (15,2%) and Roquan Smith (16.3%). When selected to the 2018 Pro Football Focus Mid-Season BIG-12 Team this is what they had to say – “Long since a run-stopping machine, Dineen is poised to record at least 40 defensive stops for the third time in four seasons. Rounding out his game this season, He’s allowed just 44 yards after the catch on 181 snaps in coverage and a career-best 80.4 passer rating on throws into his coverage.

Chris Peace – Virginia – LB/DE

Chris Peace was 2017 All ACC Honorable Mention and 2018 All ACC Third Team. A 2018 team captain, Chris has started every game for the last three seasons. Chris is known as a leader with a strong work ethic. A visiting NFL player personnel said he had never seen in his entire career someone that practiced as hard as Chris Peace. In 2017 Chris’s statistics with % market share were 32 solo tackles (7%),  10.5 tackles for loss (15%) and 7.5 sacks (27%).  The combination of these market share percents indicate borderline Pro-Bowl potential.

Khalil Hodge – Buffalo – LB

Khalil Hodge was 2016 All-MAC Second Team and 2018 All-MAC First Team. Hodge was second in the nation in 2017 for total tackles. Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson was amazed at Khalil’s work ethic. Khalil would go catch balls with Jackson preparing for Jackson’s redshirt season. Hodge would run routes and work on his hands at linebacker. It must have paid off. For the 2017 season Pro Football Focus had Khalil Hodge as the second best cover linebacker with a quarterback rating of 39.4 when quarterbacks targeted Hodge. Hodge was named a team captain in 2017 his second season on the team.

Sione Takitaki – BYU – LB

Sione was on Phil Steele’s 2017 All-Independent Second Team and  Steele’s 2018 All-Independent First Team. Sione had 19 total tackles in the 2018 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  That was one shy of a bowl record set in 1998. It was good to get Sione selected to the SI All-Bowl Team.  Sione also had a sack and a TFL in that bowl game. He plays high energy and never gives up.

Tre Watson – Maryland – LB

Tre Watson was 2018 Second Team All-Big Ten (coaches) and First Team (media). He had 13.6%  team market share of solo tackles with 69 solo tackles. He also performed well in coverage with five interceptions (27.8% team market  share).  This is what Maryland coach had to say about the graduate transfer – “I know this, he’s worked extremely hard since he’s been here,” Durkin said. “He’s been a pleasure to coach. He’s been tremendous. He’s been all positives. He’s helped our team. He’s been a good leader for others, so we’re happy to have him.” Watson is known for hard hitting and has had three ejections for targeting.

Ulysees Gilbert III – Akron – LB

Gilbert was 2016 All-MAC First Team,  2017 All-MAC First Team and 2018 All-MAC Second Team. Ulysees is a three year starter at linebacker and has tied the school record for most games played in his collegiate career (51). Ulysees plays fast to the ball and is a sound tackler. He was named Akron Defensive MVP for both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. A 2018 team captain, Gilbert was one of three that earned the coaches Captains Award. In 2016 Gilbert had 12.4% of the team solo tackles, 17.4% of the tackles for loss and 26.7% of the team sacks. Those figures are shared by high quality and successful NFL players over the last 20+ seasons. Here is a clip of Gilbert playing coverage in the Shrine Game.

Cole Holcomb – North Carolina – LB

Cole Holcomb was 2018 All-ACC Second Team. Holcomb was a three year starter at linebacker.  He made the Sports Illustrated 2017 Freaks List: The top 40 workout warriors in college football.  The UNC invited walk-on has always had a great work ethic and desire to play Division I football. Holcomb had 59 solo tackles in 2018 for 12.7% team market share. In the East West Shrine Game Holcomb had two straight pass breakups to force a West punt in third quarter.

Cornerback

Donnie Lewis – Tulane – CB

Donnie Lewis leads FBS active career leaders in passes defended with 49. He was a 2018 AAC All Conference Second Team and a 2017 AAC Honorable Mention.  In 2018 his 15 passes defended was eighth in the nation. He is said to be a tough corner that stays in his man’s pocket. He is a hard-working, athletic, smart player that enjoys practice.

Jordan Wyatt – SMU – CB

Wyatt is a 2018 Senior Class Award candidate. He was a four year starter at SMU and made the 2017 All AAC Honorable Mention. Wyatt has a great work ethic according to head coach Sonny Dykes. He was team captain in 2017. “For him one of the things that stands out is the turning plays he makes. A lot of forced fumbles, where he has a knack for the ball. He’s a ball magnet,” –  CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Corey Chavous. Wyatt had five defensive touchdowns in his career which is an SMU career record. He is the sixth player in FBS history to have return a fumble and interception for touchdowns in the same game.

Montre Hartage – Northwestern – CB

Hartage made the  2018 All Big-Ten First Team (media) and Third Team (coaches). He is a three year starter at cornerback. Hartage is number nine in  passes defended among FBS active career leaders with 39 and tenth for interceptions with ten. For the combined 2016 and 2017 seasons quarterbacks had the third lowest passer rating (61.0) when targeting Hartage among secondary players as per Pro Football Focus.

Safety

Saquan Hampton – Rutgers – SAF

Hampton was 2018 All Big-Ten Honorable Mention. His 2018 season stats and associated team market share were 44 solo tackles (10.4%), three interceptions (33.3%) and 13 passes defended (24.5%).  Those are outstanding market share numbers for the Rutgers team captain. Hampton is a hitter  that also has strong coverage skills. He has a strong work ethic and brings that every day to each snap at practice.

Lukas Denis – Boston College – SAF

Lukas Denis was 2017 All ACC Second Team. In 2017 Lukas had 46 solo tackles (9.6%), seven interceptions (38.9%) and ten passes defended (18.9%). All very good market share numbers. Described as an electric ball-hawk that does what is asked to help his team win. Lukas was selected to the 2017 Walter Camp All-American Second Team.

Punter/Kicker

Jack Fox – Rice – P

Jack Fox was 2016 All C-USA Honorable Mention, 2017 C-USA Second Team and 2018 All C-USA First Team. He was the 2018 Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year. He led C-USA in punting for the second consecutive year, finishing with a career-best 45.5 average. Fox’s average was second best in the nation among punters with at least 60 punts in the regular season and ranked 8th nationally among all punters. He topped the FBS with 3,636 punting yards in the regular season, which also set a school record. Fox had 26 punts of 50 yards or longer and he placed 31 punts inside the 20-yard line, both top figures in the conference. He had at least one 50+ punt in 12 of 13 games this season and is third in the nation with 13 punts inside the 10-yard line. Fox was one of 10 semifinalists for the 2018 Ray Guy Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top collegiate punter.

John Baron – SDSU – K

Baron was 2016 All Mountain West Conference First Team and 2018 Second Team. He was 100% on extra point attempts for the last two seasons. Has a cannon of a leg, An accurate and clutch kicker. Among all-time SDSU kickers, ranked first in 50-yard field goals (6), second in field goal percentage (.833) and field goals (50). Was named the MW Special Teams Player of the Week five times last season.

The next part of the series will examine the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl invites.