19 Sep 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

NFC East Draft Evaluations: Player breakdowns, analysis and grades for each selection

I’d like to preface this by saying I like every team here, I have 0 bias (if you choose to believe that) and I hope every player pans out and every team succeeds. That being said, I am basing these evaluations on my personal takes on these players, the teams needs and whether there were better options available. Feel free to let me know your thoughts and ask me any questions about any player, or find me on Twitter @CML2812. Thanks

COWBOYS – A+

1.17 – CEEDEE LAMB, WR, OKLAHOMA – A+

So, when this happened, I thought “okay, good pick, Lamb is WR1, but you’re passing on a CB and they’re flying off the board”, well turns out they got a CB later and this is one of the steals of the draft. WR is an increasingly valuable position and if you don’t have some quality players there your offense will struggle at some point. With a young developing QB in Dak who showed last year that he can step up and make the throws when given some weapons and the opportunity this pick makes a tonne of sense. Lamb was a top 5 player on my board and I was sure he would be gone so this is excellent value. Here’s what I had to say about Lamb “Dominant. That’s the word that best describes CeeDee Lamb. Physical in his routes, physical at the catch point, physical after the catch. His strength for his size is absurd and his potential is insane. His hands are fantastic and he hauls in pretty much everything; he’s elite in traffic bringing in pretty much every pass that’s contested or tough to grab, he catches things 90% of receivers don’t with ease and brushes defenders off with ease. He’s unbelievable after the catch, breaking 26 tackles this year and he forced many guys to just miss, his movements are so stout that defenders just falloff and can’t keep up with his precision in the open field, the way he changes direction is like he’s punching the air around him. He has plus athleticism with the ability to accelerate really well and good long speed too, his agility and footwork are definitely special as he can just stop on the spot. He has fantastic route running ability with excellent footwork to the point where he can run any route with precision but in particular the slant where he creates excellent separation with quick feet. An elite WR prospect who would be the best WR on nearly half the teams in the league the day he gets drafted and has the potential to keep getting better in the right scheme.”. I think Lamb will end up as the Cowboys WR2 above Gallup by the team week 1 rolls around and while either he or Cooper may have to take some snaps in the slot, the WR trio here is probably the league’s best in a division that struggles in coverage.

2.19 – TREVON DIGGS, CB, ALABAMA – B+

This pick initially really disappointed me, Diggs can pretty much only play press and is much more of a zone CB than a man CB, especially when the Cowboys passed on Kristian Fulton. However, the cowboys are changing their defensive scheme a little and are apparently running more zone than last year. If that’s the case this is a solid pick. Diggs was my CB10 and I had an early-3rd round grade on him due to a lack of scheme versatility, however he is fantastic in press coverage and can play zone and was my 2nd best outside CB available. This is what I said about him “Long press CB with great ball skills. Jams receivers at the line well and disrupts route quickly and often. Has quick feet and good speed but will get beaten quite often by high end speed and will struggle to keep up in man against any sort of crossing routes as he simply isn’t agile nor does he have any hip fluidity. Will be best suited in a press-happy scheme and it I do not advise he’s used in off-man coverages often.”. If Dallas plans to employ a press-zone heavy scheme and use Diggs the way Sherman has been used in his career then Diggs will have a solid future in Dallas, but if he’s played a lot in man coverage then he will likely struggle.

3.18 – NEVILLE GALLIMORE, IDL, OKLAHOMA – A+

Gallimore was my IDL4 and I had an early 2nd round grade on him, he’s an explosive player who developed quickly against the pass after dominating the run early in his career, I was shocked to see him fall here after players who were not as good went earlier in my opinion. This is what I said about him “Gallimore is a balanced IDL who is good vs the run and the pass. Has very strong arms to shed blocks and elite explosion and finesse to rush the passer. Doesn’t use power as much as you’d like to see but does use quickness and arm strength effectively. Can be a day 1 starter as an early down run-defender and rotational pass rusher and is likely to quickly develop into a good 3-down player who can crush the run and attack the pass.”. This was a big steal for me and a fantastic selection.

4.17 – REGGIE ROBINSON, CB, TULSA – D-

I wasn’t a huge fan of this pick as I had some CBs on my board who were much higher, Robinson was my CB27 in the class and I had a 7th round grade on him, I said this “Robinson is a great athlete at CB, but has very little technical ability to his game. Far too often he gets grabby which will result in PIs in the NFL. He misses tackles in zone and doesn’t read routes quickly. A day 3 project”. He was taken on day 3 but I believe that there were potential quality slot starters available worth taking.

4.40 – TYLER BIADASZ, OC, WISCONSIN – A+

A healthy Tyler Biadasz is a steal here for me. I still think he is the 2nd best C in the draft when healthy and was my IOL6 (IOL5 when healthy). I wrote this “Biadasz is a high floor Center with great technique and speed as a run blocker, his lack of elite power may limit his ceiling unless he adds some more play strength though. He is very intelligent at seeing stunts and will be a solid pass blocker though his lack of special pass blocking speed or power does mean the better players on the interior will beat him. Should be a solid.”. I was surprised that he fell this far as he is a very talented player without his injuries and even with them, I would still take him late on day 2. This was a steal and I fully believe he can start on this OL which just added another good player to the offense.

5.34 – BRADLEE ANAE, EDGE, UTAH – A+

This was another steal to me. Anae was my EDGE9 and I would have taken him much higher than this. He’s a versatile player and is very similar to Baun and Uche who both went much higher in the draft. I said this about Anae “Bendy and aggressive EDGE with a balanced enough skillset to play either EDGE or LB. He has very long arms and he wins with his technique, which often benefits from his explosive burst. Attacks the run well but this can lead to him leaving his gap exposed and missing tackles. Drops into coverage quickly and reads plays well, should be an effective standing up pass-rusher”. This is the ideal player for a 3-4 scheme which I have heard the Cowboys may be switching too, if not I believe Anae can be a competent Linebacker on early downs and an EDGE in Nickel sets who can rush the QB or drop into coverage.

7.17 – BEN DINUCCI, QB, JAMES MADISON – D-

I did not have a grade on Dinucci and I saw 27 QBs play, I did however give it a D- because Anthony Gordon and Tyler Huntley were top 10 QBs for me and I think they were well worth a selection here.

The Cowboys entered this draft with holes at; CB, EDGE, IDL, IOL and smaller needs at WR, TE and S depth. They managed to fill most of the needs but they didn’t just fill needs they also drafted quality players at those positions. In Lamb the cowboys got an Elite WR prospect who can be a great 3rd option for this time and they prevented their division rivals the Eagles from drafting him. Dallas also picked up a solid CB in Diggs who may start as a rookie and can develop well, along with Robinson in round 4 as a high-upside player, the CB room wasn’t just a problem because Byron left but also because Dallas has multiple CBs as FAs after the 2020 season is over. A potential day 1 starter on early downs in Gallimore is a nice high-floor and high-upside selection who fell a long way to them which can aid a now much deeper IDL core. They added a likely start at Center in the late 4th and were able to get him by trading up with the Eagles who let an absolute steal fall to Dallas in one of the worst moves in the draft. They also drafted a versatile player in Anae who adds both EDGE and LB depth to the roster. My only real missing selections in this class would be that they were unable to draft any TEs or Safeties, however when you pick up 5 of my top 90 players in the class you should be happy.

EAGLES – A

1.21 – JALEN REAGOR, WR, TCU – B+

This grade would be an A of some sort had they not passed on Justin Jefferson to draft him. I loved Reagor’s tape and he can be the deep threat and after the catch threat that this offense desperately missed last year after DeSean Jackson got hurt, oh and he can learn from DeSean Jackson who is one of the best deep threats ever. I had this to say about Reagor who was my WR6 “A special prospect, Reagor has so much raw talent and potential. His speed is a weapon waiting to be used, at any moment he can beat a Defense with ridiculous acceleration and agility. Has an excellent ability to go up and get the ball and bring it in through traffic despite his smallish size. He’s fantastic setting off from the LOS with exceptional release and burst and he consistently beats defenders down the side-lines. His footwork in the open field is a plus and he shimmies his way away from defenders with his feet, creating separation with ease on turns and at the LOS. He’s excellent after the catch, and on sweeps, his speed dominates and his RAC is special thanks to his agility and an amazing ability to make defenders miss. But he has had some drop issues in his career where he’s not been able to catch some simple passes that you’d expect him to, this can be partly due to inaccurate QB play though. His route running will need tuning as he only ran a handful of routes and didn’t run them with much precision. And he’s so raw that he still makes “rookie mistakes” where he fumbles the ball due to not paying attention to where other players are around him, he will need some coaching. Easily a 1st or 2nd round talent that can be effective on screens, sweeps and deep routes straight away and he can be eased into other areas of the game.”. This is a very good selection for Philly and I think Reagor can be a really good player in this offense.

2.21 – JALEN HURTS, QB, OKLAHOMA – B-

I’ll be honest, this amused me initially and I thought it was a bad pick. But then the more I considered it the more this pick made sense. Wentz gets hurt a lot and having a quality backup is always a good thing (as the Eagles have already proved to us), Hurts is more than athletic enough to be the Taysom Hill for this offense, and if he truly is a franchise QB then you prevent another team from getting a good QB. I’m not saying it’s a great pick, but it is completely understandable and I applaud the merits. I said this about Hurts “Hurts is a very smart player who typically takes care of the ball, he’s fairly accurate with a decent arm, has a good release and is incredibly mobile with elite escapability. He’s a serious threat in the run game, especially in read options, and could probably convert to running back. But he’s far from being close to a starter, his arm isn’t special, his pocket presence isn’t always great, his accuracy can be quite inconsistent especially downfield, he doesn’t make a lot of big plays and is probably a better runner than thrower. At this point he’s like a mini version of Lamar but not as good of a runner and he has a smaller arm, he should probably be used as a gadget player or convert to another position.”. Does that not sound like a Taysom Hill / high-level backup?

3.39 – DAVION TAYLOR, LB, COLORADO – C+

Taylor was my LB15, I like his upside as an athlete though he didn’t perform very well in college. I wrote this about him “Plays with speed and aggressiveness. Has elite athleticism and can cover at a competent level, if he develops, he could become a starter. Has weak play strength, doesn’t tackle, and doesn’t shed blocks. Will probably never defend the run effectively. Best used on 3rd downs and obvious passing situations”. This is a solid high-upside pick, but my LB4 was available in Troy Dye and he is much more ready to play now. A nice pick but a risky one.

4.21 – K’VON WALLACE, S/NCB, CLEMSON – A+

This is one of the steals of the draft easily. I couldn’t believe Wallace dropped this far; I was even more frustrated when my own team didn’t draft him. I had a 2nd round grade on Wallace and he was a top 50 player on my board. He’s the ideal SS/NCB and I said this about him “Wallace is a smart, quick and instinctive safety who was asked to play int the box too much despite being much better suited to the slot. He is a good athlete who reads routes really well, plays excellent tight man, and zone, coverage and has solid ball skills. He has nice range but likely will not do much as a single high center fielder.”. On a team with needs in the secondary I would not be shocked to see Wallace as a day 1 starter.

4.39 – JACK DRISCOLL, OT, AUBURN – B

Driscoll is a solid OT, my OT12 and a good developmental player who can be a nice swing OT as a rookie. I said this about Driscoll “Driscoll is a technically sound pass blocker. He bursts out of his stance and has really good kick-slides. His play strength is often poor and he gets overpowered far too often, doesn’t have the power or speed in the run game to be very special but has the technique to be competent.”. This is a quality selection for Philly as he can be the 3rd OT on this roster and spot start in case of injuries.

5.23 – JOHN HIGHTOWER, WR, BOISE STATE – C+

I am not a huge Hightower fan; however, this team needs WR depth and any selections here are beneficial. Hightower is my WR32 and I said this about him “Hightower has elite deep speed and solid hands, though his release and agility are both poor. Not a good route runner nor is he particularly great after the catch but he can make a roster as someone who separates well and can be a deep threat.”. This is the kind of player Philly likes, he is a little redundant with Reagor being drafted and I had a few WRs higher but he is a solid option.

6.17 – SHAUN BRADLEY, LB, TEMPLE – C+

Bradley was my LB27 in this draft, I like the idea of adding some depth at LB which was much needed but am not a huge fan of the pick. It’s a nice dart throw at an athletic player and that is what day 3 is all about so I cannot criticize it too much. My report reads “Bradley is an elite athlete for the LB position. He occasionally plays well both against the run and in coverage but is wholly inconsistent. His size and speed make him an intriguing project but I would be surprised if he’ more than a quality special teamer.” Still though, a good player on special teams with a cheap 4 year deal isn’t a bad thing.

6.21 – QUEZ WATKINS, WR, SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI – B+

I liked Watkins tape! He was my WR19 and I really think he can be the 2nd best rookie WR on the roster due to his solid floor, and I think he can develop with Wentz into a quality high-ceiling starter. I said this about him “Speedy WR who can be a good deep threat. Made some impressive catches in traffic despite his size. Can become a starter, or at least a role player as a good deep threat with his speed.”. I like this pick, he’s similar to Reagor and more speed on offense is always a good move.

6.31 – PRINCE TEGA WANOGHO, OT, AUBURN – A+

The NFC East killed this draft. Philly snags another steal in what is almost the 7th round at this point. Prince was my OT10 and a top 100 player on my board, I think he has a high-floor as a swing man (another one yes) and has legitimate starter potential on the interior. I said this about him “His raw power and strength is very good and translates well to his game as he lands hard punches, but he’s simply not very quick or athletic and struggles with speed, definitely a player who should think about moving to Guard. He doesn’t block in space well because of this and is beaten by fast rushers too easily. His hands are pretty effective and he actually has good balance, however his footwork is a mess and his kick-slides are poor. I’d recommend he moves to OG.”. This is a great choice because I think he can actually play at OG for them when injuries inevitably happen and he can step outside as an OT if necessary.

7.19 – CASEY TOOHILL, LB, STANFORD – C

Another shot on an athletic LB. Nothing to be excited about, Toohill was not graded by me, however I did have some draftable players at this position available.

The Eagles entered this draft with a massive hole with their WR depth and other needs at; CB, S, LB and a smaller need with some OL depth. They managed to fill almost every need. They addressed their need at WR with some good deep threats with speed. They got a good backup QB who has high character and can be used as a gadget player. They also were able to get Marquise Goodwin during the draft via trade. They picked some quality OL depth late which adds to an already elite OL room. A starting slot CB in the 4th round and some athletes with high-upside at the LB spot. The eagles got good players all of whom have high upside and the only thing they didn’t address was Safety depth. I expect them to do that with UDFAs. A great draft all in all despite what some people will say.

GIANTS – B+

1.04 – ANDREW THOMAS, OT, GEORGIA – A+

I considered giving this an A, but I gave it an A+ because the Giants didn’t overthink the pick and they just took the best OT in the class. Thomas was my OT1 as he was the most refined run blocker and pass protector in the class and a true LT, while LT isn’t more valuable than RT analytically, for someone like Daniel Jones who fumbled a lot because he struggles seeing blindside pressure. Thomas can come in and be the most effective day 1 OT and start on the left whilst Nate Solder can kick out to Right Tackle. I wrote this about Thomas “Thomas is a home run prospect. A monstrously powerful player who crushes defenders with ease. An elite run blocker who flies up to the 2nd level and quickly engages with defenders along with blowing them off the ball at the line of scrimmage. His power run blocking and blocking on the move are fantastic as he shows his high football IQ by quickly finding defenders to block and consistently pancakes them. His power shows through in his pass blocking too as bull rushes are nothing to him. His speed when run blocking is elite as he quickly gets upfield, however while he is quick for a T on pass sets, he does get beat by fast-bendy edge rushers at times who go around him or produce inside counter moves. He has elite balance and hands, which show off as he has a solid frame which means he is rarely moved around and he effectively hand-fights with rushers to keep them at bay. Mobility is definitely a plus as his burst off the line on run plays and screens is fantastic, something any offensive coordinator will like. His footwork is good but can use improvement, sometimes he gets tangled up in his own feet and this allows him to be moved backwards by pass rushers.”. I think this was the best possible pick and Thomas is the 6th player on my board.

2.04 – XAVIER MCKINNEY, S, ALABAMA – A-

This was a really good pick. McKinney was my S3 and my number 1 Strong Safety. He offers really nice positional versatility here is he can play in the slot, in the box or with another Safety on a 2-deep play. The only reason this isn’t an “A” is because Jabrill Peppers is on the roster already as a solid SS and FS was an actual need and both Winfield Jr and Delpit were higher up on my board and are true Free Safeties. However, McKinney is an excellent player and should fit in well with the kind of Patriots-style Defense that Joe Judge is likely to run. I said this about McKinney “McKinney is an tough, physical safety with a playmaking mentality. He can play in the slot, in the box, or deep as long as another quicker safety is deep also. He reads routes very well and jumps them often to break up passes. He flies to the football in run pursuit. He has a tendency to miss tackles at times due to taking poor angles. He is an above average athlete but he is not special and he can be beaten by quick player. A day one starter, who will be much more effective in the box than deep”. This is a quality pick and McKinney is a high-floor player with a pretty high-ceiling also.

3.35 – MATT PEART, OT, CONNECTICUT – B+

Peart is a nice player, he was my OT11 as he is not ready to start but he is one of the best developmental OTs in the draft. I think with the selection of Thomas and with Solder already on the roster this will allow Peart to sit and learn and he can start potentially in his 2nd season. I wrote this about Peart “Peart is a smooth footed pass protector with ideal length. He has quick feet, long arms, and lands his hands inside making him a solid pass blocker. He lacks the play strength to ever develop into an elite player but I see no reason he cannot be a competent starter.”. This is the kind of low-risk high-upside pick that is ideal for the Giants after drafting Thomas.

4.04 – DARNAY HOLMES, CB, UCLA – C-

I’ll be honest, I am not a fan oh Holmes tape. I like him as a guy and he’s a hard worker but his tape did not impress me, he was my CB15. I think he can rotate in as a slot player potentially, however; the Giants have Love and now McKinney who can do that also. I would have liked to have seen some WR depth here. I wrote this about Holmes “He doesn’t have elite speed, but often makes up for it with effort. His man coverage is good, but he is not physical enough to win and gets beaten at the catch point too much. Lacks route recognition in zone. His skillset is best for the slot, where he has potential to develop into a competent if not special NCB.”. A solid depth coverage player which is never a bad pick, but I had higher grades on NCBs and outside CBs on the board.

5.04 – SHANE LEMIEUX, OG, OREGON – C-

Lemieux is a solid player who can pass protect well enough and is a good depth player, he was my IOL13. I said this about him “Technically smart OG with below average athleticism. Has a high floor with his pass blocking but a low ceiling. Poor run blocker who lacks technical skill and any sort of desirable power or speed.”. A guy who adds some nice depth but I don’t anticipate him being a contributor.

6.04 – CAM BROWN, EDGE, PENN STATE – B

I like Cam Brown! He was my EDGE18 and I had a 5th round grade on him. The EDGE room in New York was relatively weak and some depth pieces were needed. I wrote this about Brown “Brown is your classic traits EDGE with long arms. His quickness and length allow him to play nice contain to the outside and rush the passer a little, though he does not have many moves to his game.”. A nice project worth taking a shot on with a late day 3 pick.

7.04 – CARTER COUGHLIN, EDGE, MINNESOTA – B+

Ironically, Coughlin was my EDGE17. I liked his tape also and think he fits in well with the scheme that will be run here, I said this about him “Coughlin is a good athlete who was a productive edge in college. He has a lot of bend, finesse and get off to his pass rushing but like many players in the class he is not a true EDGE and should not expect to rush every down. He lacks the strength to be a quality pass rusher or run defender. He can drop effectively into coverage and is a mini version of Zack Baun.”. A mini Baun is a good choice for this scheme in the 7th round.

7.24 – TJ BRUNSON, LB, SOUTH CAROLINA – C

I did not have tape on Brunson, some depth at LB was needed though.

7.33 – CHRIS WILLIAMSON, CB, MINNESOTA – C

I did not have tape on Williamson, but CB is a valuable position and good athletes are worth taking late in the draft.

7.41 – TAE CROWDER, LB, GEORGIA – C

I also did not have tape on Crowder either but another shot at a front 7 player was necessary.

The Giants entered this draft with needs at; OL, EDGE, and S. The Giants filled these needs comfortably. They got an immediate starter at OT and my OT1, along with one of the best developmental OTs in the draft and a depth player for the interior. They drafted 1 elite S prospect who can start right away and a potential developmental slot CB also. In the later rounds they picked up 2 nice scheme-fit versatile EDGE players who can play coverage and rush the passer in the way that the Patriots style scheme that Joe Judge will run. A really good draft for the Giants overall which improved the state of the roster a lot and has the potential to help Daniel Jones on offense and aid Joe Judge’s scheme on Defense.

WASHINGTON – B

1.02 – CHASE YOUNG, EDGE, OHIO STATE – A

A rather obviously great pick. The only reason it doesn’t get an A+ is because I reserve that for really smart/special picks and this one was obvious; I did have Isaiah Simmons as the #2 player on my board and Young at #3 because Simmons is a coverage player, however Young isn’t just more pro-ready, he’s probably already a top 10-15 player at his position. Young is an elite game-changing pass rusher and while EDGE was not a need for Washington it’s never a bad choice to take an elite player there. I wrote this about Young “Elite freak of a pass rusher who was borderline unstoppable in college. Elite traits across the board at; length, explosiveness, power, and hands. Does not have a refined pass rushing skillset just yet but will surely gain this very early in his career, will need to learn different counters and moves if he wishes to reach his elite upside as a top 10 NFL player. Only real criticism is his bend is good not elite, that feels like nit-picking honestly. Has a high floor due to elite physical traits and moves he has developed already. Likely at worst will be an elite run defender on the edge and a #2 pass rusher like a Clowney type, but has boundless potential.

3.02 – ANTONIO GIBSON, HB/WR, MEMPHIS – C+

Okay so I loved Antonio Gibson’s film. He was one of my absolute favorite players in the class to watch and I wish I’d had more film to see, Gibson was my HB6 (1 spot ahead of Cam Akers who was my HB7) because he is my ideal running back; a WR that is playing HB. My issue then with the pick is that a weapon like him should have gone to a creative offensive mind like say Andy Reid, and that Washington has more than just a few holes in this roster. They needed CB, FS, OL, TE, WR but took someone who, while he can play WR, is generally considered to be a HB and that wasn’t a luxury this team should have been taking here with quality player like Josh Jones, Ashtyn Davis or Lucas Niang available. That being said, Gibson is a quality player with high-upside and this is what I wrote “He played a mixture of HB and WR and was arguably better at WR but chose to declare as an HB. He’s very fast for his size and also very agile, but he’s strong too. He can juke and stop on a dime to get past defenders or he can power through them and break tackles. He runs excellent routes and has great hands so he can play out wide comfortably. He can run block well too as he’s a big dude. His top-level speed and elusiveness make him a great kick returner and he can have an immediate impact in this way. But he’s played so little football and there’s so little tape that it’s hard to be really high on him, especially as he lined up more as a WR than an HB. He’s not a pass blocker and it’s very unsure if he can run between the tackles properly as he did it just a few times for Memphis”. An intriguing prospect for sure.

4.02 – SAAHDIQ CHARLES, OT, LSU – D+

I am not a huge Charles fan, he was my OT17 and I had a 6th to a 7th round grade on him. I’m always for drafting project, high-upside OL later in the draft but Charles may have to start now that Trent Williams is gone and Josh Jones or Lucas Niang in round 3 would have been quality mid round OT choices and then a HB should have been taken here. I said this about Charles “Charles is a great athlete with poor technique and weak play strength, he shows a lack of power to hold blocks on run plays and can get overwhelmed by power rushers far more than he should for his size. He doesn’t have horrible technique but he needs to learn to punch with higher accuracy, trust his balance and not lean as much or he will get moved around in the NFL. He has the physical ability to be much better than he is and could develop. I see him with the upside of a swing-man OT.”. Not a horrible pick but I did have higher grades on available OTs.

4.36 – ANTONIO GANDY GOLDEN, WR, LIBERTY – B+

This is a nice selection, AGG was my WR30 and a solid choice this late in the draft, I had a 5th round grade on him. The WR depth here in Washington was thinning and extra pieces are always warranted with a young developing QB. I wrote this about AGG “Physical freak who dominated in college. Has elite body control on contested catches. you Showed nice ability after the catch too despite his size, moves like a TE that’s lined up at WR. Can be a true deep threat in the way that Mike Evans gets used in Tampa. Played well at the senior bowl too.”. This is a nice addition to the offense who adds a different element to the receiving game.

5.11 – KEITH ISMAEL, OC, SAN DIEGO – B-

Ismael was my IOL14, I think this was a really solid option here on day 3 because I don’t love the IOL depth currently on the roster and Washington often has injuries and a replacement-level player was necessary. I wrote this about Ismael “Ismael is a competent center who showed some good run blocking in college. He is not a bad athlete but doesn’t explode out of his stance nor does he get up to the second level quickly and he also had average strength. Definitely a roster worthy player, probably better suited at OG, but not one you typically want to start.”. A nice high floor player to add potential depth to the IOL here.

5.17 – KHALEKE HUDSON, LB, MICHIGAN – B+

A pretty nice pick at this point in the draft, I had a 5th on Hudson and he was my 13th LB on my board. The LB room here isn’t bad but wasn’t super athletic and with the consistent injuries it lacked some depth. I wrote this about Hudson “Fast player with a high motor. Elite quickness in coverage, covers well in man vertically. Doesn’t read routes at a high level yet, will need to learn. Does not have the physicality to stuff the run often. Had an okay year in 2019 but did not produce as well as he should have, has good cover skills and the ability to develop if he works hard”. This is exactly the kind of player that Ron Rivera wants to be the “Keuchly” for his Defense (though he obviously is not Keuchly), as he is competent already and a great athlete who can develop as a project.

7.02 – KAMREN CURL, S, ARKANSAS – C-

Curl was my S19 and I had a 7th round grade on him, I do not think he is special but he may contribute. I wrote “Well balanced player with solid ball skills. Best came as a deep S on 2-deep plays. Has an eye for the ball. Does not have the athleticism to be a starter but can contribute as a 4th S as he is smart. Likely a good special teamer who makes plays.”. This is not a high-upside pick but if you can get a quality special teamer in the 7th then that has some value.

7.15 – JAMES SMITH-WILLIAMS, EDGE, NC STATE – C+

Williams was my EDGE28 and will be a good rotational piece on this front 7 as someone who can defend the run. I wrote this about him “Smith-Williams is a powerful EDGE who lacked consistency to his game. He has strong arms but needs to use them more to push back OTs. He lacks explosion, nor does he have any developed counter moves or even basic moves to his game. He has the ability to develop into a solid EDGE3, with the possibility of playing on 1st and 2nd down, though he simply does not rush the passer effectively”. This is a good player to have on the team for cheap but not one who I expect to become a special player.

Washington entered this draft with needs at; OT, WR, TE, CB, FS. Washington did a solid job of getting some players at these positions including getting an elite player at a position of less need with their 1st round pick, however they did not quite allocate their picks to maximize their draft. For example they went HB in round 2 with a player that I like but not one that I can envision being effective here when instead they could have had Zack Moss who can be a quality HB1 who takes on 15-20 carries as a game as a tackle-breaking contact-balance HB instead. Then in round 3 they drafted Charles who was my OT17 when my OT7 Ben Bartch was on the board. These are not poor picks they are simply inefficient uses of draft capital. However, they made 3 great straight selections at WR, OC and LB, all players who have the potential to contribute and I fully expect Gandy Golden and Hudson to be the WR2 and LB2, respectively, on this team. They also picked up some nice depth on Defense with Curl and Williams who may have the opportunity contribute. These later selections along with Chase Young do make this a good draft but I feel they missed the opportunity to have a truly great draft. All in all a good class for a team that is rebuilding and has a foundational defensive player along with some nice potential role players with upside.

CONNOR LEE

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