Another day of the NFL Draft is in the book. Again, it was defense heavy. However, while Thursday was the night of the front seven, these two rounds were dominated by defensive backs. Only six linebackers were selected and only seven defensive linemen were picked compared to sixteen defensive backs chosen.
Let’s run down the picks and their possible impact:
No. 33 Byron Murphy, CB ARI
Murphy is a natural cover man with great physicality. He also has very good hands. Murphy should see plenty of traffic on the other side of Patrick Peterson with fellow Washington alum Budda Baker manning the slot. Murphy is a nice pick in a CB-required league.
No. 34 Rock Ya-Sin, CB IND
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Ya-Sin’s stock rose during Senior Bowl week when he went toe-to-toe with South Carolina wideout Deebo Samuel (who, coincidentally, was selected just two picks later). He’s a ball hawk and was a high school wrestling champ, which earns him bonus points in my book. Ya-Sin should step in and be the Colts’ CB1 right away. His sticky hands make him a worthy investment in CB-required leagues.
No. 39. Sean Bunting, CB TB
He has prototypical size and ran in the 4.4s at the combine. The Bucs have invested heavily in the secondary in recent years, yet are still struggling to cover people. He’ll probably get a lot of traffic, but I don’t see him as a high-end performer.
No. 40. Trayvon Mullen, CB OAK
I consider this pick a reach, as he was my 9th rated corner going into the draft. Mullen is a below average tackler and college teams were not afraid to throw his direction. Despite ESPN’s glowing review of him when picked, I would avoid him in your rookie draft.
No. 41. Jahlani Tavai, LB DET
Tall and rangy, he does a good job of setting the edge. I see Tavai as a depth piece behind Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, Devon Kennard, and Jalen Reeves-Maybin. The WLB position has been a bit of a revolving door for a few seasons in Detroit now, so he may get a shot.
No. 42 JoeJuan Williams, CB NE
Tall and long, Williams plays with good position and body control. He was my CB1 coming into the draft and I think this is a really good spot for him. I would still take him as the first corner off the board.
No. 46 Greedy Williams, CB CLE
The Browns defense is legit y’all. After snagging the best corner in last year’s draft, Cleveland comes back and gets the best pure cover man in 2019. Much is made of his lack of tackling desire, but Williams is solid everywhere else. If you are in a CB-required league, he should be on your radar.
No. 47 Marquise Blair, S SEA
A rangy free safety, Blair has a chance to play early for the Seahawks. Free safeties generally don’t score well, so I’d be hesitant to pull the trigger. Still, the opportunity should be there if you are looking for a late-round flyer.
No. 49 Ben Banogu, EDGE IND
A combine star and pass rush specialist, he might be someone you need to wait a season on. He’ll be behind Justin Houston this year, but that just means he has a good mentor. He might be someone I would stash on a taxi squad, but I probably wouldn’t trade up to get him.
No. 54 Lonnie Johnson, CB HOU
Another tall corner, he has traits but lacks consistency. He may flourish in the NFL, but I would skip him in a rookie draft.
No. 58 Trysten Hill, DT DAL
A run-stuffing specialist with good explosiveness off the line, Hill needed to play with more consistency. He’s going to a Cowboys defense headed up by Rod Marinelli, who is a DL guru. I’m willing to gamble on Hill if I’m in a DT-required league, even if I have to stash him on the taxi squad for a year.
No. 60 Nasir Adderley, S LAC
Adderley has a very high football IQ and has excellent play recognition to go with very good ball skills. Normally, I think versatility is a good thing, but in Adderley’s case, it may dim both his value and that of last year’s first-round pick, Derwin James. I could see LA’s coaching staff switching the two players’ roles on every play. Even if they define roles, Adderley will man the free safety spot, capping his value.
No. 61 Taylor Rapp, S LAR
Both of Tinsletown’s teams got themselves a new safety Friday night. Rapp will knock you out and is a good fit for Wade Phillips’ defense. I really like Rapp and would select him as the second safety off the board.
No. 63 Juan Thornhill, S KC
He can both cover and play in the box but he is better going downhill. Thornhill has good hands but needs to wrap up better. He could play a similar role to Tyrann Mathieu, but that didn’t work out so bad for Budda Baker in Arizona. I take Thornhill somewhere around the fourth round and feel good about it.
No. 65 Zach Allen, DE ARI
A power rusher with a big motor, he’ll have to play along the line because he lacks the quickness and flexibility to stand up and cover. He may give you some production in the run game which warrants him being picked in your rookie draft, but I wouldn’t spend a high selection on him.
No. 68 Jachai Polite, OLB NYJ
On the field, Polite is a quarterback hunter. It’s his off-the-field issues, including a perceived lack of effort, that pushed him into the third round. He’ll have to do some damage control when the New York media gets ahold of him. Polite, the football player, is someone I would want on my team. However, with the linebacker tag, I would need him to fall into the fourth round before I would pull the trigger.
No. 71 Dre’Mont Jones, DT DEN
Jones has perhaps the best first step among defensive tackles in this year’s class. He is fast, but not powerful, which a lot of teams covet from their defensive tackles. The fact he’s a speed guy actually is advantageous – Jones spends a lot of time in the backfield and that leads to TFLs and sacks. He’s someone I would target in DT-required leagues.
No. 72 Germaine Pratt, LB CIN
I thought he struggled much of the time in the tape that I saw, lacking strength and range. He can tackle if he’s clean, but struggles to get that way. I would personally avoid Pratt, but the Bengals have a bunch of “meh” at the linebacker spot, so there’s a puncher’s chance he could land.
No. 77 Chase Winovich, DE NE
I don’t know how the Patriots do it – they just trade back and back and back, then land a really good player who falls into their lap and fit their scheme perfectly. I would look to draft Winovich somewhere around the end of the third round. If he’s still on the board in the middle of the fourth, snap him up.
No. 79 David Long, CB LAR
Long plays with really good feel and body control. However, even in a CB-required league, he will probably be a better NFL player than IDP prospect.
No. 80 Sione Takitaki, LB CLE
He’s great in the run game, but he has no idea what he’s doing in pass defense. I don’t see him as anything more than a late-round flier and would draft him as such.
No. 81 Will Harris, S DET
He excels at playing in the box, flattening quarterbacks and led BC in tackles. Harris is a bit of a sneaky selection and if you can land him in the fourth round, I would feel very good about that.
No. 83 Justin Layne, CB PIT
Layne ran a 4.5 second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-2. He is a converted receiver with decent hands. Unless you play in a deep CB-required league, you can pass on Layne.
No. 84, Khalen Saunders, DT KC
He’s much more than a big body. By now, everyone has seen him backflipping at the Senior Bowl. I love the guy but I think he’s still a bit raw. I’m fine with drafting him in DT-required leagues, but I wouldn’t be afraid to stash him on the taxi squad.
No 85 Jaylon Ferguson, DE BAL
I thought he needed to hustle more on the tape I reviewed, but he’s a good hands fighter and gets off blocks well. He also broke Terrell Suggs’ sack record and that shouldn’t be ignored. Ferguson was hyped by a lot of “big media” leading up to the draft, so If you’re in a deeper league, he might be worth a shot.
No. 88 Cody Barton, LB SEA
A smart player with plenty of collegiate production. Barton is good in short bursts, but his 40 time left something to be desired. The Seahawks do well with linebackers, but I just don’t see it with this pick.
No. 89 Bobby Okereke, LB IND
Okereke is quick and flows to the football well. In fact, he’s a favorite of our own Tom Kislingbury. He should fit in nicely with last year’s find of Darius Leonard. This is another player who I’m will to roll the dice on during the later rounds and stash on my taxi squad.
No. 94 Jamel Dean, CB TB
Dean has had thee major knee injuries that have robbed him of his top-end speed. . He is a hard pass for me.
No. 95 Oshane Ximines, DE NYG
Ximines is the first Old Dominion player to be drafted. Ever. He has long arms and knocks down a lot of footballs. This may be the best pick value by New York in the first two days. He’s someone I would be pleased to find waiting for me in the fourth round, but would be thrilled if he’s there afterwards.
No. 98 Quincy Williams, LB/S JAX
Williams is a small school player and that’s about all anyone outside of Jacksonville seems to know. Even the NFL site didn’t have info on him when he was drafted. I would have a hard time picking him, especially after most experts said he would probably end up as a special teams player.
No. 99 Mike Edwards, S TB
Edwards had over 100 tackles in his final two seasons at Kentucky and is decent as a slot corner. He’s another late-round flier but since he’s a productive tackler, I’m more willing to take a chance on him.
We’ll cover the notables taken tomorrow as well, so stay tuned.