NFL Draft Talk Volume LVII
As the NFL draft draws closer and closer here are some questions that are circulating that pertain to prospects and their draft stock as well as their potential and projected impacts at the next level. Who are some potential starter and key contributors that will come off the board in the middle rounds (3-5)? The first two rounds of the draft consist of bubble first rounders and top talent that may have slid down the draft because of injury, depth at their position or a run on prospects at another position early on in the opening round. However, every there are prospects that come off the board in the middle rounds of the draft that outperform their original draft position and offer great value at this point of the draft. Here is a list of players that will likely come off the board in the middle rounds that fit that mold: Quarterbacks: • Ryan Finley, N.C. State: He is considered one of the most pro-ready prospects by top draft analyst Todd McShay of ESPN and Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network. • Clayton Thorson, Northwestern • Jarrett Stidham, Auburn: He’s a promising young passer with many of the key intangibles that could coaches look for and underrated mobility. • Tyree Jackson, Buffalo: An interesting developmental prospect that doesn’t get the credit he deserves for his passing prowess because of his stellar athletic traits. • Easton Stick, North Dakota State Running Backs: • Devin Singletary, Florida Atlantic: He is one of the shiftiest running backs who uses great vision and quick feet to find cut-back lanes and make people miss. • Tony Pollard, Memphis • Dexter Williams, Notre Dame • Ryan Anderson, Oklahoma: He’s an elite talent who’s one of the most complete backs in this class when healthy but a litany of injuries in college has hurt his stock. • Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M: He was the most productive running back in the nations top conference in the SEC and is a multidimensional threat. • Bryce Love, Stanford: He would have been a first-round pick in last year’ class if he would’ve declared after a sensational junior season but a torn ACL late last year will cause him to drop to the middle rounds • Johnathan Williams, Washington State: He led all running backs in the FBS in catches with 83 and is viewed as the top catching prospect at the position in this class. Wide Receivers: • KeeSean Johnson, Fresno State: He’s not being talked about like some of the top prospects at the position, but he could end up making the biggest immediate impact. • Stanley Morgan Jr., Nebraska • Travis Fulgham, Old Dominion • Emanuel Hall, Missouri: He averaged over 100 yards per game last season and over 20 yards per catch making him one of the best deep threats in this year’s class. • Dillon Mitchell, Oregon • Jalen Hurd, Baylor: He’s a converted running back who only played receiver for one year in college but had a great season and could great at the next level with some refinement. • Miles Boykin, Notre Dame Offensive Tackles: • Chuma Edoga, USC: He’s a bit undersized than typical tackle prospects but since his playing weight is right around 300 pounds, he’s able to be light on his feet and able get into his pass sets quicker than most. • Trey Pipkins, Sioux Falls • Bobby Evans, Oklahoma • Dennis Daley, South Carolina: He refuses to get bullied by bull rushes because his great base allows him to counter with his combination of length and technique. • Max Scharping, Northern Illinois • Tyler Roemer, San Diego State Center/Guards: • Nate Davis, UNC Charlotte: He is a road grader in the run game who is able to get square and sustain blocks to open up holes and hold up well in his pass sets. • Drew Forbes, Southeast Missouri State • Dru Samia, Oklahoma • Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama: He has the ideal physical measurables to play the position and moves well in space on pulls in the run game and uses proper blocking techniques as well. • Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas • Beau Benzschawel, Wisconson • Trevon Tate, Memphis: He’s another guy whose undersized in terms of his weight but he that could be solved after some time in an NFL weight without costing him his ability to move well on pulls to the second level. Tight Ends: • Dawson Knox, Ole Miss: He didn’t put up gaudy receiving states in college but is a great in-line blocker and has the potential to contribute as a pass catcher. • Foster Moreau, LSU • Isaac Nauta, Georgia: He is an athletic mismatch across the middle who is too big for defensive backs to contend for 50/50 balls and too fast for linebackers to keep up with. • Caleb Wilson, UCLA • Drew Sample, Washington Defensive Linemen: • Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M: He has the position versatility and athleticism to line up at any position along the defensive line in a 4-3 defense including off the edge. • Anthony Nelson, Iowa • Isaiah Buggs, Alabama: Aaron Donald and Grady Jarrett have changed the negative narrative associated with undersized interior D-linemen and Buggs will follow in their footsteps. • Renell Weren, Arizona State Edge Rushers: • Austin Bryant, Clemson: His teammates and coaches applaud him for being a grinder that does everything required of an edge defender who possesses a unique blend of speed and power. • De’Andre Walker, Georgia: He has tremendous athletic ability and shows off his high football IQ by going for the strip, not just a sack and not getting fooled on option plays. • Johnathan Ledbetter, Georgia • Justin Hollins, Oregon • Tre Crawford, UAB • Chuck Harris, Buffalo: He’s a bully off the edge who uses a great get off to get a jump on offensive tackles and also has the strength and power to bulldoze them with a bull rush. • Jamal Davis, Akron Linebackers: • Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii: He was an absolute tackling machine in college who put up back-to-back 120 plus tackle seasons from 2016-2017 and was a team captain all four years. • Blake Cashman, Central Michigan: He rarely ever came off the field for the Chippewas and practically lives in the backfield with the way he shoots through gaps. • Drue Tranquil, Notre Dame • Vosean Joseph, Florida: He’s an excellent open-field tackler who possesses great lateral quickness that shows itself with the way he flies from sideline-to-sideline. • Cody Barton, Utah • Te’Von Coney, Notre Dame • Bobby Okereke, Stanford: He’s an instinctive middle linebacker who plays the ball aggressively when it's in the air and closes in on ball carriers with great speed. Cornerbacks: • Isaiah Johnson, Houston: The former wide receiver turned defensive back made an excellent corner for the Cougars with his size and length at 6-2 and just over 200 pounds. • Amani Oruwariye, Penn State • Jimmy Moreland, James Madison: He’s one of the best ball hawks in this class as his nearly 20 interceptions over the past four years would lead scout and General Managers to believe. • Jamel Dean, Auburn • Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State • David Long, Michigan: Even though he lined up on the outside for the Wolverines’ in college because of his stature he’s regarded as the top slot corner in this year’s DB class. Safeties: • Ugo Amadi, Oregon: He’s one of the most versatile defensive backs in this draft who spent time at both corner and safety in college. He has great ball skills and can contribute as a returner as well. • Khari Willis, Michigan State: He’s one of the better box safeties in this year’s class who plays his best within 15 to 20 yards of the line of scrimmage.