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SummerOfGeorge
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Brookhaven, GA
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The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential

quote:

Over the past month, The Athletic has spoken to two dozen NFL coaches and scouts to get a sense of who and what is catching their eyes.



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Are you on the Mac Jones bandwagon?


quote:

QB Coach 1: I am driving the bandwagon. I noticed something last year after Tua Tagovailoa got hurt and Mac went in and they stopped running RPOs and started calling dropback stuff, I was like, ‘Oh, they trust him.’ But he’s more than just that. I think he is the best thrower of the football by a lot. Zach Wilson is freaky; but he’s not hitting people in stride on time. Mac is processing. He’s accurate. He’s layering it. He has pinpoint accuracy and throws with anticipation. Those people who say all he did was throw to guys who were wide open and threw from a clean pocket, turn on the A&M, Georgia or the Michigan and Auburn games from last year where he got the shite beat out of him. He’s getting hit and he’s getting moved.

People say he’s not athletic, but what are we talking about? Just because he looks bad without a T-shirt doesn’t mean he’s a bad athlete because he has baby fat. I love him. He was substantially better in the interviews than all of the other quarterbacks.

QB Coach 2: In my mind, if I had to win right now, this year, he’s the most advanced quarterback of any of them. I think Trevor’s the best. I’m cosigning on him, but his system adjustment will be much bigger than Mac. Jones is gonna walk in Day One and just have to flip terminology because he’s gonna know pro football. He’s been coached by Sark (Steve Sarkisian). He understands run checks, understands moving protections — not that these others don’t, but he’s on a different level.

The question is, are Mac Jones’ physical tools worthy of being a top-5 pick or even first-round? I don’t know that his physical abilities warrant that, but if you tell me that I have to win now, I think his physicals are good enough. How many guys in the history of football in 12 games against top college competition threw for 4,500 yards, throw 41 touchdowns and only four picks and completed 77 percent in a pro system? Some guys at pro days don’t do 77 percent on air.




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Why shouldn’t we be shocked if a sixth QB — Stanford’s Davis Mills, Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond, Florida’s Kyle Trask — is picked in the first round?


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QB Coach 1 on Kyle Trask: He’s big and he throws it well, but I don’t think he’s quick enough. He’s really slow-footed and doesn’t really anticipate.

QB Coach 2 on Kellen Mond: If you give him time to develop, I think he can play. I like him. I was impressed with his interview. On film he’s kinda robotic. He needs to be more of an athlete. Jimbo (Fisher) just coached him to death, and he was just trying to be perfect. In warm-ups, he was worried about his mechanics right before the game.

The biggest thing for me is that he started a ton of games; his completion percentage went up; his interceptions went way down; sacks went way down and that was all with his top four receivers being out. That was impressive, and he did it in the hardest division, in the hardest conference.

I like his athleticism. He stands — and delivers — in the pocket maybe as good as anyone in this draft, but he’ll also stand in there and throw into coverage. He has good athleticism in the run game. Now there’s time where they’re covered and there’s escape lanes and you’re like, “Use your tools now!” and he doesn’t.

WR Coach No. 3: You can tell the effect Jimbo had on him in a good way. He’s an intriguing guy. He’s very mature and is way more athletic than you think he is, and he’s a natural leader.




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Is Kyle Pitts the biggest no-brainer in the draft?


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QB Coach No. 1: Pitts is a unicorn. It’s rare to get a guy that freaky that size that didn’t flip to defensive end. It’s easier to rush the quarterback than play tight end. He’s (Raiders tight end) Darren Waller but a little more natural. He’s got great hand-eye coordination; great length. He didn’t have a drop last year. Only four of his catches didn’t go for a touchdown or first down. What I really love is he didn’t have to play last year and he still would be a top-10 pick, and that they’re down 20 vs Bama, and he’s playing his arse off, trying to get them back into it, and he does. That stuff spoke a lot.

QB Coach No. 2: Aw, man, he is special. He has good character; he’s a tough kid. Everything he did at pro day, it was like, ‘Good God!’ That guy changes the game for your offense with how people have to play you. …This guy is more athletic and faster than (Travis) Kelce. This guy comes into the league and he’s gonna be way better than anybody else.

WR Coach No. 3: He’s ridiculous, man. Holy crap. To be that big and that fast and that skilled — wow.




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Ja’Marr Chase is best in a top-heavy receiver class and would’ve gone first among WRs last year if he declared, too, per sources.


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QB Coach 1: I think it’s not close among these receivers. Chase is way better than the rest of them, and it’s a good class. He’s like a much faster Anquan Boldin.

WR Coach No. 1: He plays much bigger than he is. I don’t know if it’s a knock, but I’m not sure his ball skills are elite, but he has so many other elite traits.

He’s a grown man with the ball in his hands. He runs some out routes so smooth. He matches his lower body with his upper body, and that takes a long time. He’s really able to drop his hips. I love DeVonta Smith, but he’s 31 pounds lighter than Chase.

WR Coach No. 2: Ja’Marr is super competitive and is so much stronger, so much more physical than the other top guys in this group. His pro day sealed it for me. I didn’t think he would run as fast as he did, but he was so smooth. He maximized that time off; a lot of these guys that opted out didn’t. But he’s definitely not a finished product. He doesn’t do a great job getting off press. He was playing X a lot. In this league, he ain’t gonna be able to muscle all these guys around like he did a lot of guys in the SEC.


SummerOfGeorge
Alabama Fan
Brookhaven, GA
Member since Jul 2013
82511 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

DeVonta Smith is 170 pounds: Do you see Marvin Harrison? How does Jaylen Waddle hold up with the top of the receiving corps?


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WR Coach No. 1: DeVonta has unbelievable hand-eye coordination and body control with elite ball skills. It’s so natural. He’s instinctual as shite. He feels it and he knows where the spots are. He’s gonna be a good player and be solid and will play every position. He studies; he loves it. I am concerned about him only being 170 pounds, though. It’s the world we live in, man. Big guys beat up little guys. He’s tough as shite. He will bite your face off. He’s gonna try. He won’t back down, but is he gonna win the battle?

Waddle is a game-changer. He’s way rawer than DeVonta. He’s absolutely explosive and elite with the ball in his hands.

WR Coach No. 4: DeVonta’s faster than you think and he’s quicker than you think and he can really catch. With smaller guys you worry about how they’ll adjust to guys getting pushed off their spot and can they make a tough grab. If they do, then it lightens your concern about their size. He’s learned a lot of concepts because they’ve taught him a lot. He’s the best route runner in the draft. Sark had those guys running pro stuff.

Waddle has similar burst to Tyreek Hill. He has that same type of explosion and movement.

WR Coach No. 3: I love Smith, but he is so skinny — if you can get past the skinny, he’s a legit No. 1 receiver. This kid … whatever he wants to do, he does. They had him jump in at cornerback and they said he knew the defense as good as anybody on the team.

I think Waddle is a faster version of Peter Warrick. He is so dynamic with the ball in his hands and is such a dangerous returner. I think he could be Devin Hester as a return guy. But he’s a better receiver than Hester. He was awesome in his interview. He really has an infectious personality.

WR Coach No. 2: Waddle is different now. He’s like Tyreek Hill in a lot of ways. He’s so fast — he’s different fast. Henry Ruggs is really fast, but he was more of a straight-line guy. I think (Waddle) could play really any spot; he can play X, Z, slot, in the backfield.”


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Who rates, and who doesn’t, among the remaining wideouts


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LSU’S TERRACE MARSHALL

WR Coach No. 2: You see him on film split guys at Mizzou and at Mississippi. State. He was also a lot thicker than I thought he’d be at pro day. He can bend; catch low balls and stay in stride. He made those young quarterbacks look a little better last year.


FLORIDA’S KADARIUS TONEY

WR Coach No. 1: They tell you his ball skills are phenomenal. I don’t know what to believe on that one. Are they good enough? Yes. I don’t know if he’s an every-down player. I worry about his whole focus. He will be on “SportsCenter” and the whole deal, and then it’ll be, “Where did he go?”

WR Coach No. 3: I liked his personality. He’s got a little Marshawn Lynch quality where he knows who he is and he’s not gonna fake it. He’s talented but really is a one-year guy.


OLE MISS’ ELIJAH MOORE

WR Coach No. 1: I liked him. He can do a lot of stuff. Is a good kid, tough. They really had no route tree there and were just going as fast as they can. He was impressive in interviews; really candid. Was mature.


AUBURN’S SETH WILLIAMS

WR Coach No. 3: There’s no doubt he’s talented, but there’s something missing there.

WR Coach No. 5: He probably should be a first-round talent, but he’s so inconsistent. Has bad body language. When it’s going good, he’s making plays all over the place, but when it’s going bad, he won’t block; he gets just really casual. He will make some great catches but will drop some easy ones. And he played in an offense where it was just gos, hitches and slants, and that’s it.

WR Coach No. 2: That system doesn’t help him. When he played (South Carolina) JayCee Horn gave it to him, but I kinda like him. His change of direction tests weren’t good, and that shows up on film and that makes some people leery, but with the contested balls he’s a lot like Mike Williams, and he is good after the catch.


TENNESSEE’S JOSH PALMER

WR Coach No. 1: He’s a big receiver who is starting to figure out how to use his body. He has pretty good awareness. He can feel where the DB is on him. He has the right makeup. He stayed in there and played through what was a pretty toxic situation and with really shaky quarterback play.

WR Coach No. 3: He’s just a good player. You see him run a lot of the routes you’d see him run on Sunday, but he wasn’t really a dynamic workout guy. I think coaches probably like him more than personnel guys probably do. He’s beating press coverage and he does little things in his routes well that you notice; strong hands; high-points the ball. There’s a lot of stuff that you don’t have to teach because he already does it.

WR Coach No. 2: He gave it to (Alabama’s Patrick) Surtain. I think he’s gonna be a better pro than he was in college. He played in a program that was really hurting at quarterback. He doesn’t wow you with anything, but he’s just really good at everything.


SummerOfGeorge
Alabama Fan
Brookhaven, GA
Member since Jul 2013
82511 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

There has been a lot of talk about the defensive side of the ball for this draft and how it doesn’t measure up to the prospects on offense. Are those concerns warranted?


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GEORGIA EDGE RUSHER AZEEZ OJULARI

Defensive Coach No. 3: He’s gonna be a good player. He’s long, rangy, athletic, but kinda raw. He’s a good all-around player; but not a freak pass rusher or special athlete in coverage. To me, he’s a pro-style 3-4 outside linebacker.

Scout No. 2: He’s got some moves and he’s been well-coached. I think he’s a little stiff. He doesn’t have the upside of Phillips.



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ALABAMA DEFENSIVE TACKLE CHRISTIAN BARMORE

Scout No. 1: He’s a little stiff. He’s not another Quinnen Williams, but he can be disruptive and he has some upside. He will get over-drafted because it’s such a bad year for interior linemen.



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MIZZOU LINEBACKER NICK BOLTON

Defensive Coach No. 2: Special kid. Loved him in the interview. He reminds me of Danny Trevathan or Eric Kendricks. He’s a good solid player with a good nose for the ball and excellent football intangibles. He’s an alpha dog. He’ll get everybody lined up. There’s two or three linebackers in this draft that I think have off-the-charts football character: Bolton, (Ohio State’s) Pete Warner and (Georgia’s) Monty Rice.

Warner doesn’t have great thump, but he’s as safe a pick as you can get. He’s good at everything, not great at anything. He will have a long career. He has an unbelievable football IQ.



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LSU LINEBACKER JABRIL COX

Defensive Coach No. 2: He has elite coverage ability, he’s dynamic, he’s just not very physical. I think he’s a specialty player. Before he got to LSU, he was so much better than everyone when he was at NDSU. He might just be a third-down player where all you’re gonna do is cover tight ends and backs, and he’ll be great at that.

Defensive Coach No. 3: When you watch the Texas A&M film and he’s locked on a guy, he embarrassed that guy. It looked like there was a cornerback covering him; that’s how good that guy was. It’s hard for me to say he can be an every-down and can hold up against the run, though.


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KENTUCKY LINEBACKER JAMIN DAVIS

Scout No. 2: He’s a big-time freak with lots of length and explosiveness. How many other linebackers at 6-4 could stick with Kyle Pitts? Davis can because it’s on film. Both parents are military and you love how he stuck to (Kentucky’s) plan to develop and go from being such a project to a player.

Defensive Coach No. 2: His film is really good. This kid is a freak. I do wonder a little about his personality and how he’ll handle all of the communication to run a defense. You’re looking for alphas in that position.



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ALABAMA LINEBACKER DYLAN MOSES

Scout No. 1: He’s off the board for us medically. You worry that he’s pretty tapped out physically. I think he put so much pressure on himself because he was crowned so early. He got hurt (early in his career at Alabama) and he doesn’t play as fast or as physical. It’s kinda sad. He’s a good young man and he’s got some good traits.



quote:

ALABAMA DEFENSIVE BACK PATRICK SURTAIN

Scout No. 1: I love his intangibles. He’s wired as good as any DB. He’s a good technician. He has better ball skills than Marlon Humphrey but isn’t as good in press or as good a tackler.



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Scout No. 1 on Alabama RB Najee Harris: He is a true three-down back. He has elite bend and elite hands. No running backs are great in protection, but he’s solid. He’s a smart kid but he overanalyzes things. He will train three times a day if you let him; he just needs to settle down.


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WR Coach No. 3 on LSU’s Racey McMath: He could play eight to 10 years in the NFL on special teams. He’s that tough and good at it. He’s also a good enough wide receiver where if you needed to use him, you could. He actually has really good hands, but he’s just a little stiff, so winning against good corners is hard for him.
This post was edited on 4/21 at 7:49 am


paperwasp
Alabama Fan
4.5x HRV tRant Poster of the Week
Member since Sep 2014
6477 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

Mac Jones: people say all he did was throw to guys who were wide open and threw from a clean pocket

QB Coach 1 reads tRant?


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150
BluegrassBelle
Kentucky Fan
RIP Hefty Lefty - 1981-2019
Member since Nov 2010
84657 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

KENTUCKY LINEBACKER JAMIN DAVIS Scout No. 2: He’s a big-time freak with lots of length and explosiveness. How many other linebackers at 6-4 could stick with Kyle Pitts? Davis can because it’s on film. Both parents are military and you love how he stuck to (Kentucky’s) plan to develop and go from being such a project to a player.

Defensive Coach No. 2: His film is really good. This kid is a freak. I do wonder a little about his personality and how he’ll handle all of the communication to run a defense. You’re looking for alphas in that position.


Jamin Davis is going to be a steal for whomever picks him up. IMO he’s going to be big time at the next level.


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70
AA7
Auburn Fan
Birmingham, AL
Member since Nov 2009
19785 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

AUBURN’S SETH WILLIAMS

quote:

And he played in an offense where it was just gos, hitches and slants, and that’s it.

quote:

That system doesn’t help him.

Is there a more abusive relationship than NFL coaches and Malzahn’s system?


nicholastiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2004
25818 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
I really think McMath from LSU will be a steal in the late rounds.
Special teams will let him stick on a roster and he got crowded out in 2019 behind the WR's on that team and got hurt last season midway through and missed rest of year.
Physical receiver who will be a good 3/4 option and cheap option for depth on a NFL roster.


Vidic
US Space Force Fan
Member since Jan 2010
6062 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
Thanks for posting I’m really curious to see how Devonta does in the league. There is obviously a lot of worry about his size.


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tide06
Alabama Fan
Member since Oct 2011
4765 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
Really interesting takes, especially on QB.

The Mac Jones stuff has been intriguing to watch play out. His numbers were off the charts, but he just never got the respect for some reason of a Burrow or Kyler Murray. Every QB prospect has questions, but I truly don’t understand the lack of respect he gets.

Pitts short of injury should be a hall of fame level player. Just completely unguardable.

Bold statement: the SEC had the most talented group of receivers in the history of college football in 2019.

Elijah Moore is a wild card to me. Dude was running wide open when I watched him, but it looked like he was just playing sandlot football. Does he have the ball skills and route tree discipline to play in the league? TBD



paperwasp
Alabama Fan
4.5x HRV tRant Poster of the Week
Member since Sep 2014
6477 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

QB Coach No. 1: Pitts is a unicorn.

QB Coach No. 2: Everything he did at pro day, it was like, ‘Good God!’ This guy comes into the league and he’s gonna be way better than anybody else.

WR Coach No. 3: He’s ridiculous, man. Holy crap. To be that big and that fast and that skilled — wow.

Pitts finna get paid.


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60
HempHead
Alabama Fan
Big Sky Country
Member since Mar 2011
53279 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

The question is, are Mac Jones’ physical tools worthy of being a top-5 pick or even first-round? I don’t know that his physical abilities warrant that, but if you tell me that I have to win now, I think his physicals are good enough. How many guys in the history of football in 12 games against top college competition threw for 4,500 yards, throw 41 touchdowns and only four picks and completed 77 percent in a pro system? Some guys at pro days don’t do 77 percent on air.


Next Tom Brady confirmed


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10
iglass
Alabama Fan
North Alabama
Member since Apr 2012
2336 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)


Informative thread. Thanks for posting the player evaluation info. Good stuff.


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CBandits82
Lurker since May 2008
Member since May 2012
44837 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
now this is how you make a thread


RT1941
Alabama Fan
Member since May 2007
25679 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

now this is how you make a thread


SOG >>> GOAT


SummerOfGeorge
Alabama Fan
Brookhaven, GA
Member since Jul 2013
82511 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
What can I say, I'm an elite copy paster


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70
Captain Crown
LSU Fan
Member since Jun 2011
33442 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
DeVonta or Ja'Marr doesn't matter both are going to be spectacular


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60
Jebadeb
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2017
2794 posts
 Online 

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
TLDR: SEC draft class stacked, other conferences fugged


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skrayper
Alabama Fan
Member since Nov 2012
22181 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

Bold statement: the SEC had the most talented group of receivers in the history of college football in 2019.


I mean, not THAT bold.

As freakish as 2020's class of WRs is, 2019 was better. That two year stretch, though, might be the - by far - most absurd stretch at a single position group from a conference in history.


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EarlyCuyler3
Alabama Fan
Appalachia
Member since Nov 2017
14038 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
quote:

Is there a more abusive relationship than NFL coaches and Malzahn’s system?


Sure. Sexton and the barns AD/President.


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BurgTiger
Missouri Fan
Member since Feb 2014
1936 posts

re: The Athletic - NFL Draft Confidential (SEC Players)
Whoever the coach is that referred to the WR as a “faster Anquan Boldin” is captain obvious. Boldin ran a 4.71 40. My grandma is a faster Anquan Boldin.


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