Putting together my picks in some sort of order. Bear with me.
QB Jacob Eason, Washington (6-6, 231, 4.89, 9.5 hands, Round 2-3): Long motion that needs to be shortened but excellent arm strength with some zip. Comes from a pro system so he’s operated under center and with playaction. Has some throws that he just flat misses. Can get tunnel vision on one receiver. Does not react well to pressure. That has to be his biggest knock and keeps him from being a top prospect. There are also questions about what kind of leader he can be. 59.8 career passer, with 64.2 his final season in Washington after transferring from Georgia. You will watch stretches and think he’s a first-round starter. Then there’s a stretch of play that makes you shake your head. OG John Simpson, Clemson (6-4, 321, 5.24, Round 2-3): Elite at working angles in the run game. Not the most powerful guy and is a little slow off the ball. Bigger type guard but not as great a mover as you would like to see. Needs to get more consistent as a pass blocker. NT Leki Fotu, Utah (6-5.5, 330, 5.17, 2-3): Made to be a 3-4 nose tackle. Huge player. Arms are long, hands are massive. Will not be moved. Look like a taller Vince Wilfork but not as light on his feet. Team captain. WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty (6-4, 223, 4.60, Round 3-4): Big, rangy boundary receiver with good hands and competes well on 50-50 balls. Needs a lot of development on route running and finer points of the game but physicality is intriguing. Caught 79 passes for 1,396 yards as a senior and had 33 career touchdowns.
B Jake Fromm, Georgia (6-2, 219, 5.01, 9 hands, Round 2-4): A three-year starter who won a lot of game in the best conference, often with elite talent around him. Biggest drawback is he lacks any plus athletic traits, including arm and height. But he’s a natural for the position, is a field general, and can make all the throws. Plays very smart and is a leader. The most pro-ready outside of Tagovailoa. Could compete to start with the right team. Would fit naturally with the Patriots. was tempted to rank him fourth on the list. Doesn’t have a high ceiling, but should play in the league for years. Small hands could eliminate him from the Patriots. LB Akeem Davis-Gaither, App State (6-1.5, 224, n/a, 3-4): Father is the WR coach at Army and he’s of similar high character. Played in space as a coverage linebacker. Great athlete who likely would have run well because of foot surgery. Plays smart, flies to the ball. Could be special on special teams. QB James Morgan, FIU (6-4, 229, 4.89, 9.75 hand, Round 3-5): Bowling Green transfer. Well-trained with a rocket arm. Has a lot of plus traits. Doesn’t have much touch underneath. Robotic and will force plays. Not a natural in the pocket. You have to wonder how he’ll be under pressure against the pros. Doesn’t move smoothly and intelligence breaks down under pressure. Still, there’s a lot there that’s intriguing as a developmental prospect that might not need more than a year. TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (6-5 1/2, 258, 4.49, Round 3-4): Looks the part with a pro-ready body with long arms and with the look of an athlete who could dominate. But is limited on the field, sometimes due an apparent lack of effort. An adequate blocker who at his best in the red zone on jump balls. Often was the isolated receiver in goal to go and would exploit matchups. Caught 23 touchdowns in three years. Has the biggest upside of anyone in this group if it clicks for him. Had a much better season with Drew Lock as QB.
Edge Bradlee Anae, Utah (6-3.5, 257, 4.91, 3-4): Limited athlete who gets swallowed up against good competition (Oregon, USC). Lack of speed and quickness is exposed against read option — Justin Herbert made Anae look like he was in quicksand. Okwara has way more upside.
OG Ben Bredeson, Michigan (6-4.5, 315, n/a, 3-4): Team captain may not have high-ceiling athletic skills and is a little stiff, but the kid knows how to play and is pro-ready. Very nasty and sustains his blocks. Flies to the second level. Started 46 games. Short arms (31 1/8) will kill him with a lot of teams. Would like to see if he can play center. Edge Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina (6-4, 275, 4.91, 4-5): Made a lot of money at the Senior Bowl, where he showed great get-off speed and pass rush moves after playing inside for the Tarheels. Teams wonder if the UNC coaches put him there for a reason, that he’s limited on the outside with shorter arms. Probably a solid sub rusher to start.
LB Justin Strnad, Wake Forest (6-3.5, 238, 4.74, 4-5): Missed second half of senior season after at torn right bicep. Team captain. Looks like Nate Ebner on the field but knows how to play defense. Moves well and can cover. Has good instincts but lacks the physicality for a lot of teams at linebacker. Could star on special teams while developing.
WR Trishton Jackson, Syracuse (6-1, 196, 4.50, Round 5-6): My sleeper pick. Despite playing on a bad team, caught 66 passes for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior after transferring from Michigan State. Polished underrated receiver who played on the right side and was very competitive. Body needs to be built up, but is a really good pass catcher and knows how to play and set up cornerbacks.
OG Shane Lemieux, Oregon (6-4, 310, 5.11, 3-4): Holy crap, if you want a brawler and a tough guy on your line, this is your man. He’s legit mean during plays. Little bit stiff and is a power blocker. But looks like a Day 1 starter. Think Richie Incognito without the baggage. Team captain. TE Harrison Bryant, FAU (6-5, 243, 4.73, Round 3-4): Plays very similar to Trautman but doesn’t play as big. Also, did not test well with 7.41 in the three-cone and just a 9-2 broad jump. Only TE to finish with over 1,000 yards receiving. Much nastier as blocker than as a receiver. Will likely be limited on the offensive end. Projects as an H-back and the type who could fill as a FB.
QB Nate Stanley, Iowa (6-3.5, 235, 4.81, 10 hands, Round 4-6): My pick right now for sleeper in the draft. If this was 10 years ago and pocket passers were en vogue, he’d be higher on the list. Big, country strong player with great arm. Reminds some of Ben Roethlisberger. Has never completed 60 percent of his passes, and that’s the big issue, but has revamped his mechanics. There’s a lot there to work with as a sleeper. Very intriguing. Won a lot of games at Iowa and was a three-year captain.
QB Anthony Gordon, Washington State (6-2.5, 205, 9.75 hand, Round 4-6): Completed 71.8 percent of passes in his final season but much of it was because of Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. Quick release and a good athlete, but he doesn’t project as anything more than a backup/competitor. Nothing outstanding and some stretches of really poor play.
RB Joshua Kelley, UCLA (5-10 1/2, 212, 4.49, Round 4-5): Doesn’t have good playing speed but he’s a good, solid all-around back. Appears to be a great teammate and a leader. Type of player who will contribute on special teams, which enhances his value. A straight-ahead, one-cut runner.
QB Jake Luton, Oregon State, 4-5: Big arm, low turnovers. Could be a Patriots fit.
NT Jackson Pittman, Navy (6-3, 308, n/a, Round 6-7): Under-the-radar type who is trying to make the transition to center as well for some teams. Tough to stop in the middle of the field. Will shoot the legs out of blockers. Strong and tough-minded. A leader.
TE Thaddeus Moss, LSU (6-2, 250, n/a, Round 5-7): Went to five different high schools and was originally an NC State player. Very limited speed and playmaking ability, and doesn’t offer much blocking. Most of his catches were from uncovered patterns. Needs a lot of development, on and off the field.
CB Madre Harper, Southern Illinois (6-2, 196, 4.42, 5-6): Sleeper pick due to his elite size and agility (tremendous 6.88 in three-cone drill). A bit like former Patriots pick Ras-I Dowling athletically. Dismissed from Oklahoma State in 2017.
S Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame;
RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia (5-8, 212, 4.48, Round 1-2): Very similar to former teammate Sony Michel, but Swift appears to be slightly better in virtually ever area. Has a little more explosiveness, a better ability to make people miss, is a better receiver and, most importantly, has better natural instincts for the position. But not a no-doubt prospect. Needs room to work. Inconsistent. He is built well, and better than JK Dobbins.
Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State (6-5, 266, n/a, Round 1): Basically the same type of player and prospect as Chandler Jones. Long arms, long legs who will fill out a little bit more. High ceiling, plays very hard. More of a pass rusher than edge setter but can do both. Good game against Ohio State. 19 career sacks. Only two forced fumbles.
Edge A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (6-5, 275, 5.04, Round 1): Is a plug-and-play type at strong-side end in the Patriots scheme on Day 1. Knows how to play on his feet with really good hands. Not a dominating pass rusher but good enough and anticipates plays well. Questions about his motor and work ethic. Had a subpar combine workout and high body fat percentage, which further enhanced that opinion among scouts. Only a one-year starter, and the player he was behind last year was a UDFA. 26.5 career sacks with 9 forced fumbles and 8 passes defensed.
RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (5-9 1/2, 209, n/a, Round 1-2): Dynamic playmaker, good receiver but won’t block very much — and doesn’t pick up the blitz well at all. Not as thickly built as Swift so durability will be a concern. Better as an inside runner than outside. Used to having the defense’s attention and still makes plays. But it gets tough to judge these players who come from teams with vast talent around them. More of a level playing field in the pros.
C Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (6-3.5, 314, n/a, Round 3-4): Solid player, more of a mauler than anything. Better run blocker. Struggles at times getting in front of his pads on pass protection. Reaches a lot. Limited athlete.GIANTS S Xavier McKinney, Alabama (6-0.5, 201, 4.63, Round 1-2): There’s a lot of disagreement in the scouting community over the third-year junior. Some think he’s the best Crimson Tide safety under Nick Saban, others think he can’t run and will be exposed in the NFL. This is what we know: he’s a solid, well-rounded safety who can play deep and in the box. He’s a better cover guy than people think. Is he smart enough to run a complicated scheme like New England? That’s for debate. Didn’t make many big plays.
OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State (6-6, 311, 4.93, 1-2): Has the look of a 10-year starter right now. Great balance and technique in pass protection. Lacks power in the running game. Doesn’t have much of a ceiling but what’s there right now is pretty good. Bryan Bulaga type from the Packers.
CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama (6-1.5, 205, n/a, 1-2): Press-man corner who may lack elite speed but just knows how to play the position. Brother of WR Stefon Diggs. Doesn’t tackle well. Some teams question his work ethic.
OT Josh Jones, Houston (6-5, 319, 5.27, Round 1-2): The basketball-type left tackle. Very athletic. Things look easy in pass protection but technique needs work after a rough coaching situation at Houston. Not the most dominant of run blockers. Great mirror. Dancing bear.
WR Van Jefferson, Florida (6-1.5, 200, n/a, Round 2-3): Son of former Patriots and NFL receiver Shawn Jefferson (an NFL receivers coach) is the most polished route runner to ever come out of college. A bit limited as an athlete, he makes up for it with his mental game. Plays like Deion Branch and would be a similar fast starter with the Patriots. Will play for 10 years as just a good, solid NFL receiver. 12.3 per catch and 16 touchdowns.
DT Marlon Davidson, Auburn (6-3.5, 300, 5.04, 1-2): Unbelievable intangibles — leadership and smarts with this player. Little undersized to be a no-doubt first pick, but he has very good quickness and projects at least initially as a very good sub rusher. Great compete. Would be best in a 4-3 scheme. Team captain. C Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU (6-3, 312, 5.27, Round 1-2): Might be the most athletic center in the class and gets to the second level in about .5 seconds if he’s uncovered. Absurdly long arms. Team captain as a junior. High-character guy. Also showed well against Alabama and at Senior Bowl.
DT Ross Blacklock, TCU (6-3, 290, 4.90, 1-2): Prefers to penetrate gaps with quick first step and some nifty handwork but is capable of weight 310-plus and holding up to double teams at the point of attack. Really nice stance with head up and strikes quickly. Has a lot of upside depending on where his weight is.
NT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State (6-3.5, 320, 5.17, 2-3) : Only a two-down player but should be able to start right now. Powerful and talented. Had 33 reps on the bench press. Tough to move.
S Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois (6-3, 221, 4.45, 2-3): Well-built player flies all over the field and will hit anything that crosses his face. Has rare range for a strong safety but he can play both spots in the pros. Needs to play more disciplined but has a very high ceiling. Athletic freak for the position.
CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah (6-0, 193, 4.50, 2): Matches up well against big receivers and has very good coverage skills. Has had shoulder injuries but is still a willing tackler.
WR Denzel Mims, Baylor (6-3, 207, 4.38, Round 1-2) : Tested out of the roof at the combine with a 6.66 three-cone drill, which is amazing for a big-bodied receiver. A poor man’s Julio Jones in that he can do a little bit of everything and dominate on the outside. Inconsistent catching is his knock. Had 19.0 average and 32 touchdowns.
CB Kristian Fulton, LSU (6-0, 197, 4.47, 2-3) : Competitive corner with upside. Good cover player but a lot of penalties and big plays allowed. TE Adam Trautman, Dayton (6-5, 255, 4.80, Round 2-3): Best all-around TE in the group because he has athletic upside. His three-cone of 6.78 is off the charts for the position. Gets in and out of routes quickly and brings a suddenness in the pass game. Willing blocker and his powerful at times, but needs a lot of refinement as you can see in the Senior Bowl footage below. A way better athlete than Cole Kmet. Tough to cover one-on-one. Did not look out of place at the Senior Bowl against much better competition.
Chase Claypool, Notre Dame (6-4, 238, 4.42, Round 2-3): A receiver for the Irish and a lot of NFL teams, but we’re projecting Claypool as a TE. He does not play to the timed speed and is more of a gatherer of speed. Projects as a Travis Kelce-type at the TE position. Blocking was fine for a WR, but will need to be upgraded for the TE position in an offense like New England’s. Caught 66 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 TDs as a senior. Long arms, big hands. Breaks a lot of tackles. Would be an average WR, but could be special as a TE.
S Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne (6-1, 217, 4.49, 2-3): Plays bigger than his size with long arms and big hands. A smooth athlete with good instincts and ball skills. Big jump up in competition but fared well when he faced SEC teams.
DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama (6-6, 311, 5.13, 2-3): Ideal size and strength for 3-4 DE. Looks the part but doesn’t play like more than a big run stuffer. Ideal for the Patriots. Might have beaten the Titans if he was on the field. As a sophomore, he dominated and then sort of slid. RAIDERS WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina (6-2.5, 212, n/a, Round 1-2): Big, physical boundary receiver who plays similar to Anquan Boldin. Has had a lot of injury issues. Catches slants and is good on back-shoulder throws. Probably not as good as N’Keal Harry but a similar player. Average 13.0 yards and had 22 touchdowns.
WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado (6-1, 227, 4.58, Round 2): Looks like the second coming of Donte Stallworth without the top-end speed. Can be used in a variety of ways on reverses and as a wildcat QB. Questions about his durability and mental toughness but is well-built and body is pro-ready. Averaged 13.0 yards per catch and had 10 touchdowns.
WR Michael Pittman, USC (6-4, 223, 4.52, Round 2-3): For a big receiver, posted an outstanding three-cone time of 6.96. A tough son of a gun who was a team captain. Very similar to Bryan Edwards and Tee Higgins but can play inside and is not afraid to go over the middle. Father, Michael Sr., was a mentally tough and productive running back in the league. Son has same mentality. DT Jordan Elliott, Missouri (6-4, 302, 5.01, 2-3): Looks a bit like Lawrence Guy on the field but doesn’t play close to his intelligence level. Just a decent player and really no more than that. Space clogger.
LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin (6-2.5, 238, 4.65, 2-3): Played outside linebacker in the Badgers’ 3-4 scheme but projects as an off-the-ball linebacker in the NFL. Usually played in space to the field side at Wisconsin. Showed good movement and shifty hips. A lot of positional versatility in the front seven. Can start at ILB or DE. Could be a subrusher. Might be a possible replacement for Dont’a Hightower down the line. That kind of player and versatility.
DT Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma (6-2, 305, 4.82, 2) : Flashes as a one-gap player and gets to show off his speed when asked to go sideline to sideline. Will stand up to double teams but has issues getting off blocks. Good power but needs to show more instincts after the snap. Team captain.
S Antoine Winfield, Minnesota (5-9, 203, 4.44, 2-3) : Son of the former Pro Bowl cornerback, Winfield is among the smartest players to come out of college on the field but his size is a big issue for some teams. Can play in the slot at the star position. Tough like his father. You want to knock him for his size but he’s just a darn good player.
OG Robert Hunt, Louisiana (6-5, 323, n/a, Round 1-2): Previously started at LG but moved to RT this past season. Has the look of a 10-year pro right now with some tightening up in his technique (he can get out of balance and yanked around). Plays mean and will get after people. Really nice feet and improved balance appears to be a Brian Waters-type player.
S Grant Delpit, LSU (6-2.5, 213, n/a, 2-3): Was thought to be the best safety coming into draft season, but his lack of tackling prowess came under the microscope by teams. No question he has the athletic ability to start at either safety spot and could erase tight ends, but is he mentally tough enough?
WR Tee Higgins, Clemson (6-3.5, 216, 4.58, Round 2): Big catch radius and great hands. Looks like A.J. Green but not nearly as explosive. Speed is a concern and whether he can consistently get off press man coverage in the pros. 18.1 yards per catch, 27 touchdowns.
TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame (6-6, 262, 4.70, Round 1-2): Pro-ready Y TE and a really big guy who looks the part, but he doesn’t excel in any area. Solid pass catcher with good hands, and an able and willing blocker. Just not dynamic catching the ball. Has potential as a blocker but is far from refined. Best asset is he’s tough to tackle. Here’s the thing: Kmet basically tested the same as current Patriots TE1 Matt LaCosse (6-6, 257, 4.71). So would the Patriots consider him an upgrade? His ceiling is as a Kyle Rudolph-type, but it’s not a guarantee he gets there.
RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (5-10 1/2, 222, 4.39, Round 2-3): Really good one-cut runner who would be best in a zone scheme. Speed is startling at times and he has good instincts for the position. Doesn’t seem like he loves contact or inside running, but give him a gap and he’ll explode through it. Rushed for 6,174 yards, averaging 6.7 yards per carry, and 50 TDs in three seasons with nearly 1,000 touches. Workload always an issue with Badger backs. Ball security is a huge issue.
S Ashtyn Davis, Cal (6-1, 202, n/a, 3-4): Former walkon and track start, Davis looks like the total package with range and toughness. Should be a special teams star right off the bat and his smarts will get him on the field for defense and keep him there. Should be able to cover in the slot as well.
C Matt Hennessey, Temple (6-4, 307, 5.18, Round 2-3) : Good, solid player in all areas but on film he’s a limited athlete, similar to Ted Karras. But he tested off the charts for the position. Something is amiss. Late to diagnose late pressure. Not much of a mauler. More finesse.
Edge Darrell Taylor, Tennessee (6-3.5, 267, n/a, 3-4): Has among the highest upside of the second-tier players in this draft. Played last season with a stress fracture in his leg that needed surgery after the senior bowl. Some off-field issues. Built like Tarzan and plays like it sometimes. Strong as hell. Explosive. Can play up and down the line. Had 21 sacks his last two seasons. Medicals and off-field concerns will drop him but very high ceiling.
Edge Jabari Zuniga, Florida (6-3.5, 264, 4.64, 3-4): Professional body that looks the part of a 4-3 end who can kick inside to tackle on passing downs. Weight has fluctuated. Might be better in the 275-pound range and playing inside. Has some burst off the line and shows real strength taking on blockers. An intriguing talent who needs to fall in the right scheme and coaches. Edge Julian Okwara, Notre Dame (6-4, 252, n/a, 3-4): Looks the part and has good enough traits but just doesn’t have many instincts. Just speed rushes around the edge, no counter moves. Gets off blocks in the run game but not forcefully. Upside, but not enough to grab him early. Needs a lot of work. Did nothing against Georgia’s line. S Terrell Burgess, Utah (6-0, 202, 4.4, 3-4): Moved to DB from WR just two years ago but has shown all the traits to be a starting safety with cover ability in time. Short arms will knock him. Looks like a slot player right off the bat.
LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming (6-2, 241, 4.63, 2-3): First three-year captain in school history. Doesn’t do anything at a special level but might be the most productive player in this class off the bat due to his smarts and compete level. Natural instincts for the game from reading keys in the run game to diagnosing pass routes down the field. Avoids blockers. Will get rocked a few times but finds a way. Good all-around player. LB Malik Harrison, Ohio State (6-2.5, 247, 4.66, 2-3): Had a tremendous combine and his three-cone of 6.83 was out of this world. Weakside LB for the Buckeyes. Looks like more of a thumper but actually has the athletic ability to play all four downs. Doesn’t play to his workout level. Not great instincts. Tough player.
S Julian Blackmon, Utah (6-0, 187, n/a, 4-5): Had knee surgery in December so he could slide to the mid rounds and be a bargain. Has the ability to play both corner and safety. Great tackler. Had nine INTs and 29 passes defended. Not a great athlete but smart. RB Darrynton Evans, App State (5-10 1/2, 203, 4.41, Round 3-5): The only thing holding him back is his size. A dynamic underrated playmaker who is my sleeper pick at the position. Will also be an asset in kick returns. Could have an instant impact similar to Phillip Lindsay of the Broncos.
LB Willie Gay, Mississippi State (6-1, 243, 3-4) : Pro-ready body. Stiff player. Only started six games and missed eight games last year due to suspension. Great three-cone time of 7.08. Doesn’t look like he runs very much on their defense despite being the Mike linebacker. Reminds of Brandon Spikes.
RB Cam Akers, Florida State (5-10 1/2, 217, 4.47, Round 3-5): Looks the part and has playmaking ability, but a lack of natural instincts for the position holds him back. Just doesn’t wow in any area but productive with over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.
Edge Terrell Lewis, Alabama (6-5, 262, n/a, Round 3-4): Looks straight out of central casting with his body and terrific get-off speed, but then … it just stops. No converting speed to power, no counter moves, no terrific effort. Had two major injuries and started just four games. If someone can unlock the keys to his potential, he has top 10 talent. LB Jacob Phillips, LSU (6-3, 229, 4.66, 4-5): Good all-around player. A little stiff and plays high at times, but is physical and will take on all kinds of blockers before getting off and making a play. Should make a quick transition and while the ceiling isn’t high, he’ll hit quicker. Good straight-line speed.
Edge Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (6-3, 248, 4.70, 5-6): Popped with a really good game against Clemson. Team captain with 14 sacks. Has the physical tools to make the leap. Good initial quickness. Lacks strength to press the play. Has a lot of upside. Worked out well.
RB A.J. Dillon, Boston College (6-0 1/2, 247, 4.53, Round 2-3): An old-school, throwback franchise back who is unselfish and a workhorse. Doesn’t look flashy or overly fast, but he’s just productive and falls forward time and time again. Not nearly the upside or size of Derrick Henry, but he’s that kind of player. Hard to really project on the next level. Will need a good team and line around him because he doesn’t just invent plays.
RB Zack Moss, Utah (5-9 1/2, 223, 4.65, Round 2-4): Stubbly built tailback who runs with short, choppy steps and doesn’t have much long speed. Solid ability out of the backfield in the passing game — will adjust on passes for a big guy — but isn’t dynamic and runs with high pad level. As a result, has had injury issues. Will be a solid pro but doesn’t have a high ceiling. Breaks a lot of tackles. PFF has him as its No. 1 back, which puzzles me.
TE Devin Asiasi, UCLA (6-3, 257, 4.73, Round 4-5): Michigan transfer is a solid, all-around player who like many others doesn’t have that high of a ceiling. Appears to play very smart and can adjust quickly on the field. A gamer who knows how to play. Unimpressive body type. Shows a lot of lean on routes, which isn’t great. Questions about his maturity and he had a three-game suspension for violating team rules in 2018.
OG Damien Lewis, LSU (6-2, 327, 5.24, 3-4): Powerful little player who really loves finishing a play. Would be a great prospect if teams knew he could play center but there are concerns on whether he can handle the checks there. Size is a concern but you won’t see many more get after run blocking like he does. Like a shorter, less athletic Shaq Mason.
QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma (6-1, 222, 4.59, 9.75 hands, Round 4-5): Best asset is as a runner with the ball in hands. Has great playmaking ability there. Is very challenged as a passer. Arm strength is fine but he plays small and is often late with passes. Best fit would be as a reserve who is used for multiple positions.
OG Jonah Jackson, Ohio State (6-3 1/2, 306, 5.23, 3-4): Rutgers transfer doesn’t look the part, but he improved when he received better coaching. Good football player, smart and tough. Should play quickly but ceiling is limited.
RB Antonio Gibson, Memphis (6-0 1/2, 228, 4.39, Round 4-6): One of the most versatile playmakers you’ll see out of college, especially with just one year in college after not qualifying and going the junior college route. Lined up all over the field from receiver to tailback, and can return kicks. Soft hands and bounces off tacklers. A very intriguing player who is a sleeper if he lands with the right team. Would make an interesting Patriot. S Tanner Muse, Clemson.
PLAYERS SELECTED ON DAY 1
QB Joe Burrow, LSU (6-3 1/2, 221, 9-inch hands, Round 1): The real deal because of his accuracy and intangibles. Doesn’t have elite athletic skills but he’s good enough at everything. The son of coach, Burrow has a quiet swagger that translates to teammates. Mental game is off the charts. Senses pressure and moves well enough in the pocket. Can make all the throws though arm strength won’t wow anyone. Completed 68.8 percent of passes in career, and 76.3 percent as a senior. Threw 60 TDs against six INTs in his final season. Has rare feel for the position and comparisons to Tom Brady are legitimate. He’s that kind of player and he’ll change the culture in the locker room the day he walks in.
Edge Chase Young, Ohio State (6-5, 264, n/a, Round 1): The most talented player regardless of position in this draft. Has basically no body fat. Powerful, rock-built player. Explosive through contact but not an elite bender or speed rusher. More along the lines of Nick Bosa, who was better. Had 30.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in career. Not as talented as Jadeveon Clowney, but is a little bit of a better competitor. Sky is the limit if he has the inner drive.
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (6-0, 217, 10-inch hands, Round 1-2): Completely comfortable in the spotlight and as the face of a franchise. Has innate instincts for the position and as a passer. Very twitchy and knows how to manipulate coverage with his eyes and body movements. Very good accuracy with 69.3 percent completions in his career and 71.4 in his final season. However, he has serious durability issues with a variety of injuries during his career. Part of that came from him never giving up on a play and taking some big shots to deliver the ball. Height is a concern as he has a lot of batted passes. Biggest issue going to the next level has to do with his arm strength and his inability to drive the ball without a completely clean pocket. Ball dies if he has to reset his feet. Has to gather himself for deep passes. That being said, he’s a money player who is at his best on big downs and in big games.
DT Derrick Brown, Auburn (6-4.5, 326 pounds, 5.16 40-yard dash, Round 1): Absurdly strong and quick. Alabama and Nick Saban either double-teamed him or went away from him on every snap, which should tell you a lot. Good first step, great push and leverage. Plays hard all the time, which makes him different than previous top DTs (Ndamukong Suh, etc). Small (9-inch) hands only drawback. Team captain.
CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State (6-1, 205, 4.47, Round 1): Big corner but with great feet. Clearly the best cornerback in this draft due to his ball and tackling ability. Was a testing freak.
WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (6-1, 193, 4.45, Round 1): Best all-round receiver in the draft. Reminds of Antonio Brown with his fluidity, body control, precise route running and escapability. Average 17.2 yards and scored 26 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide. Makes everything look easy. Very competitive.
WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (6-1.5, 196, 4.50, Round 1): Outstanding catch radius and vision to run through a defense. DeAndre Hopkins is the NFL comp with better YAC. Best hands in the draft. Reason he’s not No. 1 in this group is because of weak competition in Big 12, and that he might not be dominant all on his own, similar to Hopkins.
OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia (6-5, 315, 5.22, 1): Day 1 starter. Looks the part, good enough feet. Smart, great intangibles. Very low bust rate. Looks like a natural franchise left tackle. At worst, he’s an all-pro right tackle. Lacks a little bit with finish and aggression but excellent prospect.
LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (6-4, 238, 4.39, Round 1): A complete athletic freak. In the hands of the right defensive mind, say a Bill Belichick, he could be a Hall of Fame player. If he’s not handled correctly, his talents could go to waste. Doesn’t have a definitive position. Has played everything from slot corner and safety to inside linebacker and edge rusher. Not the most physical player at a collision position, but the upside is so immense it’s tough to pass on him.
DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (6-5, 324, n/a, 1): Longer and has more athletic upside than Brown. Still learning the game. Had a rough childhood but has pushed through. Similar to Chris Jones of the Chiefs and has that potential if it all clicks for him. Certainly won’t hurt you right now, the only question is if he fully realizes his talent. Team captain.
QB Justin Herbert, Oregon (6-6, 236, 4.68, 10-inch hands, Round 1-2): Despite his height, Herbert is very athletic and a smooth athlete at that. Did a lot of RPO at Oregon and tucked the ball more than you would think. Shows nice touch at times on a variety of passes. Biggest concern and the question that needs to be answered by NFL teams has to do with his processing — it’s slow. There’s very little anticipation in his play. There are times when he gets tunnel vision and doesn’t see wide-open players. Reminds of Josh Allen and Ryan Tannehill in this way — a better athlete and passer than a quarterback. There are questions on intangibles. Not outgoing and doesn’t show much fire outwardly. Completed 66.8 percent of passes as a senior, and 64 percent for career, but a lot of passes were short on various screens. Came up short in some big games.
CB C.J. Henderson, Florida (6-0.5, 204, 4.37, 1): Explosive athlete with elite ball skills but his tackling has turned some teams off.
OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville (6-7.5, 364, 5.10, Round 1): Has the biggest upside of any player. Just a huge person to the point he has trouble getting into a three-point stance. Raw but all the pieces are there. He’s just tough to get around. Kicked Clemson’s butt all over the field. Reminiscent of Bryant McKinnie or Trent Brown.
OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama (6-4, 312, 5.05, Round 1-2): Played right tackle to protect Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side. Not as high on him as most. Best attribute is a nasty attitude that he loves to display as a drive blocker. Not an elite athlete for the position. May just be a RT or guard.
OG Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (6-5, 320, 4.87, Round 1): Played tackle for the Hawkeyes but most potential is at guard where he could be an All-Pro talent. Some teams will see a starting right tackle with some LT potential. Dominating run blocker. Great athlete. Did not last long as a LT at Iowa in spurts.
Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU (6-3, 254, n/a, Round 1): Rare speed off the edge and has very good ability to drop into space into pass coverage — which was asked to do at LSU. Can even carry speed backs down the field. Had 9.5 sacks last season, the only real year of production. Tight in the hips and not much bend around the edge. Had a tough time against the better tackles, like Jedrick Wills if Alabama. Good at what he does, but does he have natural instincts? Little small for Patriots but not if they’re adapting.
WR Justin Jefferson, LSU (6-1, 202, 4.43, Round 1-2): Could be a big slot receiver for some teams — LSU played him inside. Former coaches rave about his ability, coachability and competitiveness. Very polished receiver and is very pro-ready. Probably not a No. 1. Averaged 14.6 yards and posted 24 touchdowns. Good on contested catches.
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma (6-2.5, 241, 4.52, 1-2): Could be a player who will be hurt by the lack of pro workouts because the Sooners’ scheme didn’t really have him do a whole bunch. Murray was mostly limited to reading the back, blitzing a bit and dropping into zone coverage. Can he cover RBs and TEs in space? There’s some film that indicates that, but it becomes a projection. Not an overly physical player or tackler, but he plays similar to Jamie Collins. Not quite the natural athlete — Murray is more stiff in the hips — as Collins, but fairly close. Great character. Team captain.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State (5-11.5, 205, 4.50, Round 1-2): Has long arms so he plays bigger. More explosive and fluid than former teammate N’Keal Harry. Good punt and kick returner. As a senior, average 17.0 yards and scored 11 touchdowns on a team with a bad offensive line.
WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama (5-11, 188, 4.27, Round 1-2): Unreal speed and playmaking ability. He’s like Brandin Cooks with more shake. Same worries as Cooks, in that he doesn’t play to his timed speed and isn’t a No. 1 receiver. Impressive 42-inch vertical jump. 17.5 average and 24 touchdowns. Not the natural playmaker that Tyreek Hill is but has that potential, which will tantalize some teams.
C Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (6-2.5, 307, 5.11, Round 1-2): Very efficient, professional player who is not yet 21. Huge 11-inch hands. Resets his feet and hands quickly. Works double teams and to the second level very well. Smart player who sees pressure early and doesn’t panic. Played very well against Alabama in the bowl game. Does everything the Patriots like to do. Still has room to get much better.
QB Jordan Love, Utah State (6-3 1/2, 224, 4.74, 10.5 hands, Round 2-3): Arguably has the best athletic skills of anyone in this class. Long, stringy frame but a strong athlete. Arm is off the charts and effortless. Not a natural for the position. The game does not come easily to him and you could see him thinking through everything in 2019 as the personnel around him was different and some unusual circumstances with the coaching staff. Threw 20 TDs against 17 INTs in ’19 as opposed to 32-6 in ’18. His sophomore film is much better. Makes some terrible decisions and throws. Very much a project who should sit — he should have stayed in school for another year and joined Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields at top of next draft.
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (5-7, 207, 4.60, Round 2-3): If there was ever a Patriots running back prospect, he would be it. Reminds a lot of Kevin Faulk, his position coach at LSU, but is a much better prospect. Plays much faster than timed speed and has terrific quickness. Some would say he’s a poor man’s Barry Sanders with jitterbug moves between the tackles, even the spin move. Dynamic as a receiver. A money playmaker who was QB Joe Burrow’s favorite teammate. A natural replacement for James White who returns kicks.
LB Patrick Queen, LSU (6-0 1/8, 229, 4.50, 1-2): Size is an obvious issue but he plays a bit bigger because he’s well-built. Is more of a box safety than a three-down linebacker. Has a place in today’s game, but you’ll need a specific role for him if you’re to take him in the first round. Reads the play quickly and often meets the runner in the hole. Not great at taking on blocks and shedding. Didn’t start until there was a suspension. Just 20 years old.
OT Austin Jackson, USC (6-5, 322, 5.07, Round 1-2): Was a bone marrow donor for his sister before final season and it affected his play as he showed very tight hips. Has a lot of upside. Very good athlete whose best play is ahead of him. Will need some refinement and might be best as a RT in Year 1 and then making the transition. Not over rough and tumble. Held his own early against Iowa’s AJ Epenesa and then got dominated. Didn’t get very good coaching.
CB Jeff Gladney, TCU (5-10, 191, 4.48, 2): Undersized but plays bigger and tougher than his size. Long arms. Productive with 30 pass breakups the past two seasons. Quick feet.
CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson (6-1, 195, 4.42, 2-3): Got exposed in the LSU game but is one of the fastest corners and is rangy. Good all-around athlete.
OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia (6-6.5, 350, 5.37, Round 2): Enormous player who loves to punish on down blocks ala Trent Brown. Not the greatest feet right now but will develop in time. Hands are an issue and will need to be coached up. May just be a right tackle.
LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech (6-0, 240, 4.54, 2-3): Punishing tackler with terrific speed. Looks like he’s shot out of a cannon on blitzes. Tracks the ball down from behind. Some concern on whether he can cover. Team captain. Doesn’t seem to read plays overly quickly. More of a read and react downhill backer. Similar to Elandon Roberts in size. Faster than Roberts.