We like to speculate which prospects will succeed on the next level and which will not. On the first night of the NFL draft on Thursday, hundreds of prospects will hear their names called however, many of those prospects will not make rosters and will not live up to the hype or comparisons scouts once gave them.
We will now be looking at my big board and look at who we think their overall game resembles and how they might look at the next level of competition.
#1 Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
Chase Young is considered by many to be the best overall prospect in the draft and one of the best pass rushers seen in recent years. Chase young is a junior is coming out of Ohio State which was considered by many as the best defense in college this past season.
Chase put his name on the map after recording 10.5 sacks in only his sophomore season. Chase stepped it up a notch this season recording 16.5 sacks as well as 21 tackles for loss in only 12 games due to a suspension during the season.
Chase Young is one of the most physically impressive specimens in the draft standing at 6’5, 265 pounds. He is also extremely quick and agile for such a big body. Chase is extremely fast off the line and uses advanced power and finesse moves to make his way into the backfield. Chase is also a very high IQ defensive lineman. He makes the right choice when deciphering whether to commit to a rush or stay back. As i said, Chase possesses arguably the best physical attributes of any Edge lineman we’ve seen since someone like Jadeveon Clowney who stood at 6’6, and 274 pounds. According to some scouts from “The Draft Network” Clowney is versatile enough to play as an OLB in a 3-4 defense, or instead play his traditional role as a defensive end in a 4-3 system.
Although Chase is seen as a big end at 6’4, 265 pounds, it’s said by most Draft scouts that it wouldn’t hurt if he added some more size and strength.
Pro Comparison: Joey Bosa
Both players have extremely close measurables as they both stand at 6’5 as Bosa weighs in at only 5 pounds heavier. Both extremely quick and agile for their frame, also both extremely quick off the line. Both have that willingness to keep fighting and fighting to get in the backfield as well.
#2 Joe Burrow, Quarterback, LSU
This year’s Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow put up arguably the best season of any college quarterback ever. Joe tallied a whopping 60 touchdown passes, 5,671 passing yards, and only 6 interceptions. Joe solidified himself as undoubtedly the best quarterback in the NCAA and quite possibly the best of all-time.
Joe is labeled as a mobile pocket passer. Someone who can evade pass rush and always get difficult throws off. This season Joe completed 76% of his passes and was labeled as clearly the most accurate quarterback in college. Joe will look to have a bright future in the league but fans are unsure if he can fulfill his full potential as he is almost a lock to go first overall to the Bengals.
Joe has some elite instincts and is thought of as one of the smartest players in the draft. Not too long ago, Quarterback wonderlic scores were released from this year’s draft class and Joe scored an impressive 34 which was good for 2nd behind only Georgia’s Jake Fromm. Joe has good enough athleticism in which he is able to evade pass rush and get off throws. Just by looking at his completion percentage, Joe is no stranger to threading the needle.
Joe Burrow is a phenomenal quarterback, but with every prospect, there are cons. Joe Burrow is a 5th year senior who spent three seasons at Ohio State as a backup to quarterbacks such as JT Barrett and Dwayne Haskins. For one, Joe’s age is a concern to some as he is already 23 years old turning 24 in December. Another thing is definetly Joe’s one year as a legit starter in college. Joe started 2 years at LSU as a 4th and 5th year senior but didn’t show this first round status let alone first overall pick status until this season.
Pro Comparison: Tony Romo
Two quarterbacks with some sneaky, underrated athleticism. Both with not the strongest arm, but they can manage to get it done and make the right throws. Both extremely high IQ when reading defenses and recognizing schemes. Both very accurate quarterbacks who know how to make throws in tight windows.
#3 Isaiah Simmons, OLB/S, Clemson
Isaiah Simmons is one of the most intriguing prospects in this years class and is labeled as a “Swiss Army Knife”. Simmons finished his senior season with 104 total tackles along with 8 sacks. Simmons is without a doubt the most unique prospect in this year’s draft which made it very hard to give him a pro comparison.
Isaiah Simmons showed out at this year’s NFL draft combine measuring in at 6’4, 239 pounds to go along with a lightning fast 4.39 40 yard dash time. Simmons is undoubtedly one of the most versatile players in this years class as he lined up at 5 different positions, Defensive line, outside linebacker, slot cornerback, wide cornerback, and safety according to pro football focus. Isaiah is a matchup nightmare and can pretty much do anything on a defense. If lined up at safety or corner, Simmons has the necessary ball skills and speed to compete whether that’s in a zone or man defense. Even at only 240, Simmons can hold his own and make up for lack of size with speed when lined up on the defensive line. Simmons can cover all bases on defense and checks off all boxes on scouts boards. Simmons might just be Taysom Hill on defense when he gets to the league.
Simmons covers all bases on defense in terms of positions other than the middle linebacker spot which is kind of a minus. Simmons does not strive in coverage when at the middle linebacker position. Although fast and far big enough, he’s just not fit to be someone at the MLB spot. He strives as a pass rusher and someone with eyes on the ball, not necessarily someone who’s amazing in coverage.
Pro Comparison: Patrick Willis
It was extremely hard to make this comparison because of how special a player like Simmons is, but this is the closest it gets. A faster, bigger linebacker who is versatile and doesn’t hesitate to drop a shoulder. Both linebackers also strive when in pass rush or blitz.
#4 Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Jeff Okudah shot up draft boards this season and it’s looking like he may be a lock for the third overall pick in this year’s draft to the Detroit Lions. Jeff is a junior coming out of Ohio State which was considered by many as the best defense in college football this season. Okudah recorded 34 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 9 pass deflections this past season.
Okudah possesses great size and strength for the cornerback position measuring at 6’0, 205 pounds. Okudah also possesses ideal speed to keep up with faster receivers as he ran a 4.48 at this year’s scouting combine. He is a superb athlete with the size, strength, and athleticism to be a star at the next level as he recorded a 41 inch vertical, and 135 inches on the broad jump. For a cornerback, Okudah has all the physical tools to succeed at the next level.
Okudah has some problems with ball tracking and overall ball skills. He has the length and overall size to cover bigger receivers however, occasionally his fundamentals get the best of him. Despite some of his impressive measurable’s, he did not look great at the combine according to scouts when performing positional drills.
Pro Comparison: Jalen Ramsey
Both corners have big frames which allows them to create mismatches when lined up against small speedy receivers while still keeping up. Both have 4.4 speed which allows them to keep up against even the fastest receivers in the league. Measurable’s match up pretty evenly with Ramsey standing each at 6’1 and nearly the same weight. Not to mention, their combine stats look virtually identical as they both have 41 plus inch verticals, very similar in the bench press; Jalen (14), Jeff (11), as they also each had 135″ broad jumps.
#5 Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Jedrick Wills out of Alabama is considered by many as the top offensive line prospect in this year’s draft. Wills held it down for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa this past season and headlined what many people see as the best offensive line in college football.
Wills measured in at an impressive 6’4, 312 pounds at the scouting combine and put up even more impressive numbers while he was there. Wills ran a 5.05 40 yard dash, scored a broad jump of 113″ and recorded an unreal vertical jump of 34.5″. Wills is all you could ask for in a reliable right tackle. Wills strives when in pass block as many scouts refer to him as “Fundamentally sound” when it comes to overall footwork and placement. Wills has the strength and fundamentals to be a franchise cornerstone for a team like the Giants, Dolphins, or Cardinals who are in desperate need of an elite offensive lineman.
Wills tends to get lazy whether that’s in run block or pass block. According to “The Draft Network”, he occasionally rely’s on his strength and gives it too much respect at times to where he “Sacrifices technique”.
Pro Comparison: David Bakhtiari
Both very quick when breaking out of stance and back peddling. Both great athletes, fast enough to match up against quick edge rushers. Great strength for shorter tackles.
#6 Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
It is still highly debated to this day who the best receiving prospect in the draft is, Jeudy, or Lamb? Personally, i think Lamb possesses the most star potential of any receiver in the draft. Lamb recorded amazing numbers in his junior season this past year with 1,327 receiving yards including 21.4 yards per catch and 15 touchdowns.
Lamb is an extremely dynamic receiver and someone who can really make plays. Lamb isn’t someone who is going to blow you away with speed or burn you over the top, but he’s quick enough to where it allows his route running to do the work. While were on the subject, he’s a fantastic route runner with overall great foot work. Lamb has ideal size for a star receiver standing at 6’2, nearly 200 pounds. Now the best part about Lamb, his hands. Lamb has fantastic hands and can always be relied on to make a crucial catch in addition to his great catch radius. He’s a versatile receiver that will take what is given by the corner and likely pick him apart with stellar route running and overall athletic ability.
Lamb is by no means the fastest receiver on the planet running a 4.5 at this year’s scouting combine. Although he can easily beat receivers and get great yardage from his route running and slight quickness, he doesn’t pose as a deep threat or someone who can beat a corner over the top. Lamb had a great combine in terms of receiving drills but did not “wow” scouts in measurable drills such as the broad jump (124), Vertical jump (34.5), and 40-Yard dash (4.5).
Pro Comparison: Deandre Hopkins
Two receivers who don’t ideally pose as a deep threat’s but instead rely on elite route running skills as well as their great hands. Hopkins ran only a 4.57 at his scouting combine which was something scouts really worried about entering the NFL. Both receivers don’t have burner speed, but definitely make up for it in other aspects, and not to mention their frame is very alike both standing a good bit over 6’0 over 200 pounds.
#7 Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jeudy is regarded by many as the best receiver prospect in this year’s draft, and at the start of the college season looked to be a top 3 pick in the draft. Although his stock has now dropped, he still has the skills to be a big name in the NFL. This past season at Alabama, Jeudy recorded 1,163 yards and 10 receiving touchdowns.
Jeudy is looked at by many scouts as the unanimous #1 route runner in the class. Jeudy much like Lamb is not the fastest receiver in the draft, however unlike Lamb, he can pose as a deep threat and can occasionally beat defensive backs over the top. Jeudy has great footwork, great enough to where he can beat larger defensive backs off a jam. Jeudy also possesses ideal size for an NFL receiver standing at 6’1.
Jeudy has minor drop problems as he tends to drop the occasional ball. Scouts also say it wouldn’t hurt if he added some size (weight) to his “Slim frame”.
Pro Comparison: Davante Adams
Both extremely skilled route runners who don’t need to rely on speed or hands to shake defenders. Both great at creating separation from their release to their breaks. Both fast enough to occasionally pose as a deep threat but not fast enough to be considered “Burners”. Both also have a great catch radius and great hands.
#8 Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa looked like the sure fire first overall pick at the start of this year’s past college football season hpowever, due to a hip injury, Tua’s stock has shot down heavily. Tua was projected as the first overall pick over names such as Joe Burrow and even Chase Young. Last season in Tua’s sophomore season, he recorded 43 touchdowns and 3,966 yards leading Alabama to a national championship berth. This season was cut short as he only played 9 games (6 less than previous season) however still recorded impressive numbers of 33 touchdowns, over 70% completion, with only 3 interceptions.
Tua may still be regarded as the most accurate quarterback in the class although joe Burrow just came off a season where he threw 76%. Tagovailoa has now thrown back to back 69% plus seasons (Sophomore & Junior). Tagovailoa has an ideal NFL arm, is an above average thrower in terms of distance. Although entering the number one ranked team in college football as a freshman, Tua has always been labaled as a winning football player and is someone who has the means to win football games. Tua is someone who is also seen by many scouts as a great decision maker, as he’s someone who has only thrown 11 interceptions in his three season college football career.
Tua lacks ideal size at the quarterback spot standing at only 6’0 hence why you may often see Drew Brees or Russell Wilson comparisons. Tua is not extremely mobile as a quarterback, and while he may still possess some quickness, he’s not someone who can easily evade pass rushers and get throws off. A huge red flag is obviously his hip injury he suffered a little after mid-season. His ability to stay healthy in the league is brought up by many scouts as he might drop on many draft boards. Wonderlic scores for all draft prospects were released last week and let’s just say Tua’s was not the greatest as he scored a 13/50 on the test.
Pro Comparison: Mark Brunell
The clear comparison is that these are both left handed quarterbacks however, they also have many other similarities. Both stand at a small stature for the quarterback spot, Brunell (6’1), Tagovailoa (6’0). Both are somewhat elusive (not elusive enough to be considered quick) but players that can move out of the pocket to make throws, although scouts aren’t sure if Tua can do that after hip surgery.
#9 Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Derrick Brown is by far the highest graded interior defensive lineman among draft scouts and might just sneak into the Top 7 in the draft. Brown recorded 54 total tackles, 11.5 for loss, as well as 4 total sacks. Brown is without a doubt the best interior defensive lineman in this draft and would be without a doubt the best defensive lineman in the draft period if it wasn’t for Chase Young.
Derrick Brown has great size coming in at 6’5, nearly 320 pounds. He possesses great strength and his ability to overpower guards and force his way into the backfield is unprecedented. Brown is also an excellent tackler who never allows opponents to get out of his grasp once he grabs hold. Brown has great power moves and is someone who is constantly putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
Derrick has great size but at times get’s lazy and gives up on fighting his way into the backfield to make a play or get the sack. Scouts are also very concerned about his finesse moves and ability to get to the backfield without relying strictly on his power.
Pro Comparison: Ndamukong Suh
Both very dominant forces with huge size and unbelievable physical strength. They both stand at over 6’4 well over the 300 pound mark. Both great tacklers who can cram gaps and make it difficult for opposing running backs.
#10 Grant Delpit, S, LSU
This might be a shocker as the safety out of Louisiana is slated to be selected in the 18-30 range of this year’s draft but i view Delpit as someone who can be a game changer on defense. Delpit was top 10 for most draft scouts prior to the start of the college football season some scouts going as far as saying he could land in the top five. He has unreal skill as this past season he recorded stats of 65 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, and 7 pass deflections. Delpit’s stock has gone down day by day and is rumored to potentially drop the the second round. Delpit will be someone that has steal of the draft potential if he ends up dropping out of the first round.
Delpit is an extremely versatile safety who can do a variety of things on a defense as he displayed this past season. Delpit is great with play recognition. he’s great at recognizing screen plays and when and when not to blitz. Delpit also possesses the necessary ball skills in order to be strong in coverage. Delpit plays a crucial part in the run stop with his extremely quick reaction speed and overall quickness. Delpit is great when in coverage and showed this when dropping down into coverage and sliding into the slot cornerback spot. Not to mention, Delpit isn’t too bad at dropping shoulders either
As for many receiver and defensive back prospects, scouts say it wouldn’t hurt for Delpit to add some size and it would actually be recommended as he stands at 6’3 weighing in at only slightly over 200 pounds. Although his aggressiveness is a plus, he sometimes gets a little over eager and gives up big plays. Scouts also don’t love his tackling and would love for him to improve that aspect of his game.
Player Comparison: Minkah Fitzpatrick
Both have great ball skills and know how to anticipate plays exceptionally well. Both taller lankier safeties who are fast and can easily slide into corner spots and take on man to man coverage.