Category: Uncategorized

Team Needs: AFC West

Denver Broncos:

It looks like the Broncos will get to see what 2019 second-rounder Drew Lock can do at quarterback next year. Fortunately, he has a pretty good supporting cast, with Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay at running back and a solid receiver to throw to in Courtland Sutton. Beyond that, bringing in a recever to compete with Tim Patrick and DaeSean Hamilton may be nice, and while they used a first-round pick on Noah Fant last year, he wasn’t impressive as a rookie. The line might be mostly set: they have invested heavily at tackle with Garrett Bolles and Ja’Wuan James, although the latter missed almost all of last season, and they spent a 2019 second-round pick on Dalton Risner. Graham Glasgow is a solid enough center, and Ronald Leary isn’t a great run blocker but did a good job of protecting the quarterback last year.

The Broncos have a lot of big bodies on their defensive line, although they may stand to lose Shelby Harris, Derek Wolfe, and Adam Gotsis, who are all free agents. Even if those players leave, they’ll have two very good run-stuffers in Mike Purcell and Jurrell Casey, although another five-technique may be needed. Bradley Chubb was limited by injury in 2019 but he returns opposite Von Miller at outside linebacker, and Alexander Johnson played well on the inside, too. They may or may not want to look for another inside linebacker; both Todd Davis and Josey Jewell were at least adequate last year. Denver acquired A.J. Bouye via trade, but after losing Chris Harris and Bradley Roby it’s still a major position of need, especially because Bouye struggled in 2019. Fortunately, they’re set at safety with Justin Simmons and Kareem Jackson forming one of the best duos in the league.

Top Needs: WR, DL, CB

Expiring Contracts: RB Phillip Lindsay (RFA), OT Garrett Bolles, OG Ronald Leary, LB Alexander Johnson, LB Todd Davis

Kansas City Chiefs:

Assuming the Chiefs are able to sign an extension with Pat Mahomes, they’ll have one of the best quarterbacks in the league under long-term control. The team’s running backs are just adequate, with Damien Williams being the best of the bunch. Tyreek Hill is dangerous both on and off the field, and Mecole Hardman is a pretty good slot receiver, too. It’s unclear whether Sammy Watkins will be back though, as the Chiefs want him to reduce his contract. Travis Kelce is one of the top tight ends in the league. Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz form a good tackle duo, although the inside of the line is pretty weak, at least in the run game, with Andrew Wylie and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif at guard and Austin Reiter at center.

Frank Clark wasn’t quite what they were hoping for last year, but Kansas City does have one true stud on the line in Chris Jones. Alongside those pieces, they’re hoping Terrell Suggs still has something left in the tank, or that either Breeland Speaks or Khalen Saunders breaks out; Speaks missed the whole season after landing on injured reserve. The team’s linebackers – Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson – are very weak, and run-stuffer Reggie Ragland is still a free agent, so that’s a position of major need. Bashaud Breeland struggled last year and is a free agent at cornerback, while the starter opposite him, Charvarius Ward, also left something to be desired. However, they do have two solid safeties on roster in Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill.

Top Needs: WR, OG/C, NT, LB, CB

Expiring Contracts: QB Patrick Mahomes, RB Damien Williams, WR Sammy Watkins, OC Austin Reiter, DE Terrell Suggs, LB Damien Wilson, CB Charvarius Ward

Las Vegas Raiders:

Having brought in Marcus Mariota to push Derek Carr, it seems like those will be the Raiders’ two quarterbacks in 2020. Josh Jacobs was fantastic as a rookie running back, although the team has a somewhat risky depth chart at wide receiver. Hunter Renfrow looked good in the slot, but Tyrell Williams may not be a true #1 receiver and the competitors for the other starting job, Nelson Agholor and Zay Jones, both struggled last year. They have quite a few tight ends on roster, including Darren Waller, so that position looks settled. The team built a good offensive line around Carr. Kolton Miller and Trent Brown is capable tackle combination, and Rodney Hudson is a high-end center. They also have a solid guard in Richie Incognito, although Gabe Jackson is closer to serviceable on the right side.

The interior of the Raiders’ defensive line is okay; Johnathan Hankins can stuff the run, Maurice Hurst can rush the passer, and P.J. Hal is adequate at both. They also signed Maliek Collins away from Dallas. None of the team’s young defensive ends have really broken out, but they’re banking on Clelin Ferrell on one side of the line, and it’s possible they’d be satisfied with letting Max Crosby and Arden Key battle it out opposite him; in any event, adding more youth may not be the way to go. The Raiders have Cory Littleton at middle linebacker, but are weak at the linebacker spot beyond him, with guys like Nick Kwiatkowski and Nicholas Morrow in the starting mix. The starting cornerbacks, Eli Apple and Trayvon Mullen, both played poorly last year, although Apple is a recent signing and Mullen was a 2019 second-round pick. Jeff Heath is a decent safety, and despite the fact that Johnathan Abram missed almost the entire season last year, he’ll be given every opportunity to start at one safety spot.

Top Needs: WR, DL, OLB, CB

Expiring Contracts: WR Zay Jones, DT Johnathan Hankins

Los Angeles Chargers:

After losing Philip Rivers, the Chargers are a favorite to draft one of the top three quarterbacks in the class, although it’s possible Tyrod Taylor begins the year as the starter or they sign someone like Cam Newton. Austin Ekeler turned out to be a solid running back, and starting receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are good when healthy. The same goes for tight end Hunter Henry, who was franchise tagged. Bryan Bulaga was signed and Trai Turner was acquired via trade to bolster the offensive line, although both moves are risky, Bulaga for health reasons and Turner because of his struggles last year. Center Mike Pouncey is also coming off of a poor (and injury-limited) year, while Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp are starting to look like busts at guard. Right tackle Sam Tevi would ideally be replaced as well.

The Chargers did well to land nose tackle Linval Joseph, who should fit in well next to Joey Bosa and/or Melvin Ingram, two dangerous edge rushers. Unfortunately, both 2019 first-rounder Jerry Tillery and 2018 third-rounder Justin Jones played poorly at the defensive tackle spot. Linebacker is something of a question mark – Denzel Perryman struggled through an injury-plagued season in 2019, Nick Vigil was a disappointment as a full time starter, and while Kyzir White and Drue Tranquill looked pretty good, neither reached 400 snaps overall. The team should be pretty confident in its starting cornerback trio of Casey Hayward, Chris Harris, and Desmond King, and getting Derwin James back at safety will help a lot, although they lack a desirable starting option next to him, Rayshawn Jenkins probably being the best bet to start at safety so far.

Top Needs: QB, OL, LB, DB

Expiring Contracts: QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Keenan Allen, WR Mike Williams, OT Sam Tevi, OG Dan Feeney, OG Forrest Lamp, OC Mike Pouncey, DE Joey Bosa, DE Melvin Ingram, LB Denzel Perryman, CB Desmond King, DB Rayshawn Jenkins

Team Needs: AFC South

Houston Texans:

The Texans have a franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson, and despite trading star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, are fairly well-stocked at skill positions, tight end aside. David Johnson and Duke Johnson form the team’s running-back duo, and they likely feel comfortable with their top three receivers, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, and Randall Cobb. Houston has spent third-round picks on tight ends in both 2018 and 2019, but neither of those players – Jordan Akins and Kahale Warring – have showed much, and may be stuck behind Darren Fells at the position. After investing heavily at tackle to acquire Laremy Tunsil and draft Tytus Howard, those will likely be their bookends next year, with Nick Martin manning the pivot. Guard is a need,

as Max Scharping and Zach Fulton struggle in the run game.

Aside from future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt, the Texans have a weak defensive line and could stand to add both a nose tackle and a five-technique end, as currently they are set to rotate players like Angelo Blackson and Eddie Vanderdoes. Houston is pretty set at three of four linebacker spots but could use a “Jack” outside linebacker opposite Whitney Mercilus. 2019 second-rounder Lonnie Johnson was a disaster at cornerback last year, but the team has plenty of other young talent there.A strong safety who could play next to Justin Reid would be good as well; the current starter is Tashuan Gipson, who might be better-suited as a backup at this point.

Top Needs: TE, OG, DL, OLB, SS

Expiring Contracts: QB Deshaun Watson, WR Kenny Stills, WR Will Fuller, OT Laremy Tunsil, LB Zach Cunningham, CB Gareon Conley, CB Vernon Hargreaves

Indianapolis Colts:

If the Colts keep Jacoby Brissett, they could groom him to take over for Philip Rivers next year; if not, they’ll probably want to line up a developmental candidate at the position. Marlon Mack is a solid starter at running back, and it’s likely the team feels like it has two pieces at receiver in T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell, although the latter played poorly as a rookie second-round pick. Zach Pascal played well there last year, but they may still want to look for an upgrade. Zach Doyle is a solid starter at tight end. The Colts have one of the league’s best offensive lines, with only right guard Mark Glowinski being a candidate to be replaced through the draft or otherwise.

The Colts just traded a first-round pick to acquire DeForest Buckner for their three-technique spot, and they have a good if aging right end in Justin Houston. Beyond that, the Colts have invested three second-round picks in 2018 and 2019 on defensive linemen, although none are proven and they may also consider bringing in competition for Grover Stewart at nose tackle, although he’s a serviceable run defender. Outside linebacker is a major strength with Darius Leonard and Bobby Okereke, although Anthony Walker is a liability against the run at the middle linebacker spot. The team’s major returning corners are Rock Ya-Sin, who had an uneven rookie year in coverage, and Kenny Moore, who was pretty good. Given what they’ve invested in Ya-Sin, as well as their signing of Xavier Rhodes, it’s possible they don’t view cornerback as an immediate need. Malik Hooker hasn’t been quite what they wanted so far, but he can probably be written into the free safety spot with pen, while Khari Wills’ starting job at strong safety is more questionable.

Top Needs: RG, NT, MLB, SS

Expiring Contracts: QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Marlon Mack, WR T.Y. Hilton, WR Zach Pascal, OC Ryan Kelly, DE Justin Houston, NT Grover Stewart, LB Anthony Walker, DB Malik Hooker

Jacksonville Jaguars:

The Nick Foles experiment failed, but fortunately Gardner Minshew played pretty well last year and could prove a serviceable starter at quarterback. It’d be surprising if the Jaguars made any major changes at running back (Leonard Fournette), tight end (Tyler Eifert), or wide receiver (D.J. Chark, Marqise Lee, Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook). Jacksonville’s invested pretty heavily on the offensive line, but really only center Brandon Linder has been playing well; you could also consider left guard Andrew Norwell, a prize free-agent acquisition, and right tackle Jawaan Taylor, the team’s second-round pick last year, as likely starters, although left tackle Cam Robinson and right guard A.J. Cann may face competition, the latter potentially from Will Richardson, who struggled mightily over his 436 snaps last year.

The Jaguars rotated heavily at defensive tackle last year and will probably do so again. Taven Bryan and Al Woods (the latter in Seattle) played well in 2019  and Rodney Gunter was decent as well, so while strengthening the rotation would be nice, it’s more preferable than necessary. They have two good defensive ends in Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue, although Myles Jack and the linebackers really struggled last year. Jacksonville dramatically overpaid Joe Schobert to play middle linebacker, so they are certain to start him in the middle. Signing Darqueze Dennard to a one-year deal to start opposite D.J. Hayden would have them a pretty solid cornerback duo, but his deal fell through and they also lack a slot option. Jarod Wilson was a solid coverage safety last year, but Ronnie Harrison struggled at strong safety.

Top Needs: QB, OL, OLB, CB, DB

Expiring Contracts: RB Leonard Fournette, WR Chris Conley, WR Dede Westbrook, OT Cam Robinson, CB D.J. Hayden

Tennessee Titans:

The Titans have settled on Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback of the future, and also have one of the best running backs in the league in Derrick Henry. There are three solid receivers on roster in A.J. Brown, Corey Davis, and Adam Humphries, and Jonnu Smith played well at tight end last year. The offensive line took a big hit when Jack Conklin left, but they look good from left tackle to center, and even at right tackle, where Dennis Kelly will step into Conklin’s role. Right guard is the major need, where 2019 third-rounder Nate Davis really struggled over about 900 snaps last year.

The Titans look pretty set at two of the three positions on their defensive line; they basically kept Jones on the field and rotated between Simmons and Austin Johnson last year. With Johnson gone, they’ll need Simmons to step into a major role, although they did make him a first-round pick, presumably for that reason. Jurrell Casey was the team’s anchor on the line, but they inexplicably traded him, so they’ll need a third lineman. It’s hard to know what the Titans have at linebacker, but because of their investments there they may opt not to make major changes; they spent first- and second-round picks in 2018 on Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry, respectively, and brought in Vic Beasley in free agency, but none of those guys played very well last year. Surprisingly, Jayon Brown may have been their best linebacker, and he returns on the inside. Although Adoree’ Jackson looks like a stud at cornerback, Malcolm Butler struggled and Logan Ryan is still a free agent, so another cornerback would be worth looking into. Kevin Byard is one of the best safeties in the league, and while Kenny Vaccaro and Amani Hooker didn’t play well last year, they may want to give those guys another chance.

Top Needs: RG, DL, CB

Expiring Contracts: WR Corey Davis, TE Jonnu Smith, DL DaQuan Jones, LB Jayon Brown, CB Adoree’ Jackson

Team Needs: AFC North

Baltimore Ravens:

Baltimore had one of the most explosive offenses in the league last year, so there are relatively few needs on that side of the ball for them in 2020. They have a franchise quarterback in Lamar Jackson and quality starters at running back (Mark Ingram), wide receiver (Marquise Brown), and tight end (Mark Andrews). However, the rest of their supporting cast at receiver leaves a lot to be desired; Willie Snead faded into the background last year, and Seth Robins and Miles Boykin are replacement-level. They’re set at the tackle positions, but their interior linemen – Patrick Mekari, Matt Skura, and Bradley Bozeman – are just adequate and could be upgraded.

The Ravens have a very good defensie line in place even though the signing of Michael Brockers was derailed, as they were able to sign Derek Wolfe to a cheap deal and are considering bringing in Mike Daniels as well. Matt Judon is a good primary pass-rusher off the edge, and Tyus Bowser has flashed as well, although 2019 third-rounder Jaylon Ferguson was a disappointment in the outside linebacker rotation. Inside linebacker is a major need, with none of their returning guys having played as much as 300 snaps last year. The team is deep at cornerback and has a pair of good coverage safeties in Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark, although they could consider bringing in a box enforcer type given that Tony Jefferson didn’t work out.

Top Needs: WR, OG, LB, DB

Expiring Contracts: WR Willie Snead, OT Ronnie Stanley, LB Tyus Bowser, CB Brandon Carr, CB Marlon Humphrey, DB Chuck Clark

Cincinnati Bengals:

Although the Bengals are claiming they’re not opposed to keeping Andy Dalton on roster in 2020, it’s hard to imagine him being on the team; the Bengals will in all likelihood draft Joe Burrow first overall to become their franchise quarterback. Things didn’t go well for the team last year, but they still have a lot of talent at the skill positions. Joe Mixon is a nice starting running back, and the receiver duo of A.J. Green, finally set to return, and Tyler Boyd is good as well. They could stand to upgrade over the likes of Auden Tate and John Ross opposite those two, but that’s not guaranteed to be a priority. Having lost Tyler Eifert, they now need a new starting tight end. 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams missed his entire rookie season with an injury, but will man the blindside. The rest of the line is interesting: no one played well last year, with the possible exception of center Trey Hopkins, but they have invested pretty heavily in guard with Billy Price (first round, 2018) and Michael Jordan (fourth round, 2019). Bobby Hart is a dirty starter at best at right tackle.

Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader should form one of the best interior line duos in the league next year, and they have a couple of guys behind them as well. Carlos Dunlap is still playing at a high level at the end position, although Carl Lawson fell off and Sam Hubbard isn’t a great pass-rusher yet either; they’ll probably give those guys another year at the least. Josh Bynes looked like a good linebacker last year over 428 snaps, but they need more off-ball options alongside him; 2019 third-rounder Jermaine Pratt struggled. The Bengals have invested so much in the cornerback position, with four first-rounders and one second-rounder on roster, but only Darqueze Dennard played well last year, and he’s a free agent; having signed Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander this offseason, they’re likely banking on one or both rebounding and solidifying the position. They’ve signed Vonn Bell at safety but could use a starter opposite him, as both Jessie Bates and Shawn Williams played poorly; maybe someone like Dre Kirkpatrick could slide to safety.

Top Needs: QB, TE, OL, LB, DB

Expiring Contracts: QB Andy Dalton, RB Joe Mixon, WR John Ross, DE Carl Lawson, CB William Jackson, DB Shawn Williams

Cleveland Browns:

Baker Mayfield’s leash is getting shorter but the Browns will give him another shot next year. The Browns are set at running back with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, and although Odell Beckham’s first season in Cleveland was disappointing he and Jarvis Landry are one of the highest-upside receiver duos in the league, albeit without a great third option. The Browns signed Austin Hooper to a massive deal to play tight end, so they’re set there. Although 2019 blindside protector Greg Robinson hasn’t re-signed yet and may be facing league discipline, they landed Jack Conklin to play right tackle, and have two other solid linemen in Joel Bitonio and J.C. Tretter, reliable pass-protectors, although another guard would be nice.

The duo of Sheldon Richardson and Andrew Billings is at least adequate on the interior of the defensive line, and the Myles Garrett/Olivier Vernon combination at defensive end is excellent. The linebackers on the team leave a lot to be desired, with none of the players currently on roster having played well last year; that’s probably their biggest need as a team. Greedy Williams didn’t play well as a rookie, but he joins a solid duo in Kevin Johnson and Denzel Ward, so it’s unlikely they’ll invest much more at cornerback, and they have a couple of adequate safeties in Andrew Sendejo and Karl Joseph, even if Damarious Randall ends up signing somewhere else.

Top Needs: OT OG, LB, DB

Expiring Contracts: DE Myles Garrett, DE Olivier Vernon

Pittsburgh Steelers:

With Ben Roethlisberger returning, the Steelers should be set at quarterback this year, but neither Mason Rudolph nor Devlin Hodges looked like a future starting option in 2019. They have a good if injury-prone running back in James Conner, and a #1 receiver in JuJu Smith-Schuster, although his production fell off without Ben throwing him the ball. James Washington and Diontae Johnson showed enough last year to make another receiver more of a luxury than a pressing need. They’ll be counting on Eric Ebron to man the tight end position, and after signing Stefen Wisniewski, they look pretty solid along the offensive line too, although center Maurkice Pouncey really struggled in 2019.

The team’s defensive front is loaded, with Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, and Tyson Alualu on the defensive line and first-round picks T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree rushing off the edge. Vince Williams is a good off-ball linebacker, and although Devin Bush was more of a replacement-level player as a rookie, they’re obviously expecting him to develop into a starter there. It might be worth bringing in a boundary cornerback; Joe Haden is still playing well and Steven Nelson is one of the top slot cornerbacks in the league, but Cameron Sutton played just 268 snaps last year and Mike Hilton is more adequate than he is a high-end starter. Minkah Fitzpatrick was a great trade acquistion at safety, but next to him, Terrell Edmunds is looking like the major reach most people thought he was when the Steelers chose him in the first round back in 2018.

Top Needs: QB, OC, CB, DB

Expiring Contracts: RB James Conner, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, OT Alejandro Villaneuva, DL Cameron Heyward, DL Tyson Alualu, LB T.J. Watt, CB Cameron Sutton

Team Needs: AFC East

Buffalo Bills:

It would come as a surprise if the Bills wanted to invest any major resources in their offensive skill positions, beyond what they spent acquiring Stefon Diggs this offseason; the major core of Josh Allen, Devin Singletary, Diggs, John Brown, and Cole Beasley looks solid, and while they didn’t get great play from 2019 third-rounder Dawson Knox at tight end, he’s probably considered the future starter at the position. They’re probably unlikely to take action at the tackle spots or center after investing second-round picks in tackles Dion Dawkins (2017) and Cody Ford (2019) and signing Mitch Morse to man the pivot and Darryl Williams to compete at right tackle, although Ford’s struggles could potentially cause the team to consider sliding him inside. The guards are a bigger problem, with both Quinton Spain and John Feliciano struggling last year.

Buffalo heavily invested on their defensive line, drafting Ed Oliver on the first round last year and also signing Star Lotulelei and Vernon Butler. They also have solid starters at defensive end in Jerry Hughes and Trent Murphy. The team’s linebackers struggled last year, with 2018 first-rounder Tremaine Edmunds not living up to expectations so far and Matt Milano and A.J. Klein falling off as well. Opposite Tre’Davious White, the team signed Josh Norman in an attempt to resurrect his career, and also have overachiever Levi Wallace in the mix, who played better in 2018 but was still adequate last year. They may want to introduce a younger, more talented player to groom for a potential starting role down the line. The team has three solid safeties in Micah Hyde, Jordan Poyer, and Jaquan Johnson.

Top Needs: OG, LB, CB

Expiring Contracts: OT Dion Dawkins, OG Jon Feliciano, DE Trent Murphy, LB Matt Milano, CB Tre’Davious White, DB Jordan Poyer

Miami Dolphins:

Ryan Fitzpatrick played pretty well last year, but behind him Josh Rosen looks more like a bust than a serious potential franchise quarterback at this point. The Dolphins have signed Jordan Howard to serve as their starting running back, and DeVante Parker is starting to look like a legitimate option at receiver as well. Undrafted free agent Preston Williams flashed opposite him last year, but it’s possible the Dolphins may want to look at some receivers, as Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns are closer to replacement-level. Miami invested a second-round pick in tight end Mike Gesicki in 2018, but he’s been a liability as a blocker and just adequate in the passing game. The Dolphins brought in Ereck Flowers to play guard and Ted Karras to play center this offseason, but their returning linemen aren’t impressive, those being left tackle Julie’n Davenport, right guard Michael Deiter (a 2019 third-round pick), and right tackle Jesse Davis.

Upgrading the defense was a big focus this offseason. The Dolphins have a pretty solid duo of interior defenders with Christian Wilkins and John Jenkins, and also signed Shaq Lawson to rush the passer off the edge, who will play opposite Emmanuel Ogbah; both of those players looked serviceable in rotational roles last year, and Charles Harris could be in the mix as well. Brian Flores brought over Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts to join Vince Biegel and Raekwon McMillan. In summary, beyond Van Noy, the edge players and linebackers are closer to a collection of serviceable players than studs, but both position groupings are pretty deep. Byron Jones was the team’s biggest free-agent acquisition; he will start at cornerback opposite Xavien Howard, who really struggled last year and who they might want to line up a replacement for. The Dolphins have four different safeties who played at least 300 snaps last year, none of them particularly good.

Top Needs: QB, OL, CB, DB

Expiring Contracts: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, WR Albert Wilson, OT Julie’n Davenport, DE Charles Harris, LB Raekwon McMillan

New England Patriots:

Losing Tom Brady makes quarterback the team’s biggest need; currently, 2019 fourth-rounder and journeyman Brian Hoyer would be competing for the job. Sony Michel had a down year running the ball in 2019 but the Patriots are pretty deep at running back, and although the team’s receivers played poorly last year, the exception being Julian Edelman, they have invested heavily in N’Keal Harry and Mohamed Sanu, who were both dealing with injuries in 2019. New England basically has nothing at tight end, although they can at least take solace in knowing that with Joe Thuney returning under the franchise tag and David Andrews likely to get back onto the field at center, their offensive line looks very solid. If Thuney leaves after the season, they could potentially slide left tackle Isaiah Wynn inside, or draft another guard.

The Patriots lost some pieces from their excellent 2019 defense, but the unit still looks good overall. Lawrence Guy is a end/tackle hybrid who excels against the run, and while they lack a top pass-rusher opposite him, some of their rotational players have flashed, namely Deatrich Wise, Chase Winovich, and John Simon. Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley are back at linebacker, although Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy are not, so they may want to get another jack-of-all-trades type, possibly a conversion from an edge rusher like those two were; the first crack at that role will be Shilique Calhoun, who the team just re-signed. The secondary is deep, as the McCourty brothers were both re-signed and Duron Harmon was replaced by signing Adrian Phillips. The Patriots have arguably the league’s best cornerback in Stephon Gilmore, as well as one of its top slot corners in Jonathan Jones. Patrick Chung is a good if aging strong safety, while JC Jackson and Joejuan Williams are candidates to eventually replace Jason McCourty.

Top Needs: QB, TE, DT, DE, LB

Expiring Contracts: RB James White, WR Mohamed Sanu, OC David Andrews, DL Lawrence Guy, LB Dont’a Hightower, CB Jason McCourty

New York Jets:

The Jets have Sam Darnold at quarterback, and are stuck with Le’Veon Bell at running back, although they may want to start lining up a replacement for 2021 given his struggles last year. Wide receiver may be a need after losing Robbie Anderson; they replaced him with Breshad Perriman, and have a solid slot receiver in Jamison Crowder, although Quincy Enunwa missed almost the entire 2019 season. They could stand to upgrade over Ryan Griffin at tight end, and need a lot of help on the offensive line as well. Left tackle Kelvin Beachum hasn’t been re-signed, and beyond center Connor McGovern, none of the other players in the mix for starting jobs – George Fant, Chuma Edoga, Greg Van Roten, Alex Lewis, and Brian Winters – were impressive last year, although Van Roten has just been signed and Edoga was a 2019 third-round pick.

The defensive line has plenty of run stuffers, and while they’re lacking a primary pass-rusher, the Jets also have a couple of decent stand-up edge defenders in Tarell Basham and Jordan Jenkins, along with Jordan Willis, who flashed in limited snaps. Both of the Jets’ big acquisitions at linebacker last offseason, CJ Mosley and Avery Williamson, got hurt, but they’ll almost certainly go into the season confident that the two can rebound, making the high selection of an off-ball linebacker unlikely. Brian Poole was surprisingly good at cornerback last year and the team has a couple of potential slot guys in Maurice Canady and Blessuan Austin, but Pierre Desir played poorly on the boundary, so a #1 defender at the position is a big need. New York is set at safety with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye.

Top Needs: RB, WR, TE, OL, DE, CB

Expiring Contracts: OG Brian Winters, DL Steve McLendon, DE Tarell Basham, LB Avery Williamson, DB Jamal Adams, DB Marcus Maye

NFC Front Office and Coaching Overview

NFC East:

Dallas Cowboys: Owner Jerry Jones also runs the organization as its general manager. The team overhauled its coaching staff this past season, bringing in former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy to replace Jason Garrett, although they retained Kellen Moore as their offensive coordinator after his successful first season with the team last year. McCarthy brought in Mike Nolan to coordinate the defense; he spent the past three years as linebacker coach of the Saints but has coordinated for several teams, most recently the Falcons from 2012-2014. He also spent a few years as head coach of the 49ers back in the mid-to-late 2000s.

New York Giants: This will be David Gettleman’s third season as New York Giants general manager, after spending the 2013-2017 seasons in the same role with the Panthers. Pat Shurmur has been fired as head coach, and the team decided to replace him with Patriots special-teams/wide receivers coach Joe Judge. New coordinators are also in place: after being fired as Cowboys head coach, Jason Garrett will run the offense, and Miami defensive coordinator Patrick Graham will assume the same role with the Giants; he originally rose through the ranks of the Patriots organization, coaching the defensive line and linebackers, and has held those positions on other teams as well.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are an organization with a lot of continuity; Howie Roseman was general manager from 2010-2014 and after spending 2015-2018 as VP of football operations, he’s added the general manager title again, beginning in 2019. From 2016 on following the firing of Chip Kelly, he held general manager responsibilities but not the title. Doug Pederson has spent four years as head coach and also calls the plays offensively, while this will be Jim Schwartz’s fourth year running the defense.

Washington Redskins: The Redskins have hired former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera for the same role with their team; he was in Carolina from 2011-2019. Strangely enough, Washington will not hire a general manager until after the draft, so Rivera may have the final say on draft day. He brought Scott Turner along from Carolina to call the offense; Turner was technically Carolina’s quarterbacks coach these past two years, but took over interim coordinator responsibilities after Rivera was fired. This will be Jack Del Rio’s first year coordinating the defense in Washington, but he has plenty of experience, most recently having been Jacksonville’s head coach from 2003-2011, Denver’s defensive coordinator for 2012-2014, and Oakland’s head coach from 2015-2017.

NFC North:

Chicago Bears: Back in 2015, the Bears hired Saints director of player personnel Ryan Pace to be their general manager, and he’s reprising that role this season. Chicago also decided to keep head coach Matt Nagy, who coordinated the Chiefs’ offensive from 2016-2017 before joining the Bears. Bill Lazor has been a long-time quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in the league, calling the Dolphins’ offense from 2014-2015 and the Bengals’ from 2017-2018. The defense will bring back Chuck Pagano for a second year as coordinator, after he spent the seasons from 2012-2017 coaching the Colts.

Detroit Lions: Former Patriots director of pro scouting Bob Quinn has been Detroit’s general manager from 2016 on. Two years ago, he brought in Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to be the team’s head coach. The coordinator positions have been overhauled more recently. This will be the second season Darrell Bevell is offensive coordinator, who coordinated the Vikings offense from 2006-2010 and the Seahawks offense from 2011-2017. Cory Undlin coached Eagles defensive backs from 2015-2019 and will enter his first season as Lions defensive coordinator.

Green Bay Packers: Green Bay promoted director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst to general manager in 2018; he’s spent his whole career with the Packers. Last year, Matt LaFleur replaced Mike McCarthy as head coach, after spending 2017 as Rams offensive coordinator and 2018 as Titans offensive coordinator. Former Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett enters his second year in the same role with Green Bay, although defensive coordinator Mike Pettine actually precedes LaFleur by one year; the Rex Ryan discipline coordinated the Jets defense from 2009-2012, the Bills’ defense in 2013, and then spent two seasons as Cleveland’s head coach from 2014-2015.

Minnesota Vikings: Rick Spielman has been general manager of the Vikings since 2012, after spending the 2006-2011 seasons as vice president of player personnel. Mike Zimmer was brought in back in 2014 to serve as head coach, after spending the 2008-2013 seasons as defensive coordinator of the Bengals. Gary Kubiak spent the 2019 season as assistant head coach and is now the team’s offensive coordinator as well. The Vikings technically have two defensive coordinators, having added the titles to those held by Andre Patterson and Adam Zimmer, Mike’s son, as positional coaches on the defensive line and linebackers, respectively.

NFC South:

Atlanta Falcons: After spending the 2003-2007 seasons as director of college scouting with the Patriots, the Falcons hired Thomas Dimitroff as general manager, so he’s one of the longest-tenured GMs in the league. Dan Quinn earned the Falcons head coach job based on his work as Seahawks defensive coordinator in 2013 and 2014. In 2019, Dirk Koetter began his second stint as Falcons offensive coordinator after holding the same role from 2012-2014. In between, he spent a year as Bucs offensive coordinator in 2015, and the following three years as their head coach. Another former Buccaneers head coach, Raheem Morris, is entering his first season as defensive coordinator after working as Atlanta’s assistant head coach from 2015-2019.

Carolina Panthers: Marty Hurney bookended Dave Gettleman’s tenure as general manager, having held the role before him (2002-2012) and then reprising the role in 2017. The Panthers have a totally new coaching staff this year. They hired Baylor head coach Matt Rhule to lead the team, and he has brought in LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady to serve as his offensive coordinator. Phil Snow coordinated Rhule’s defenses at Temple and Baylor, and he will hold the same title with the Panthers.

New Orleans Saints: In a somewhat bizarre career arc, Mickey Loomis has served as Saints general manager since 2002, while also serving as VP of basketball operations with the New Orleans Pelicans from 2012-2019. Sean Payton has been head coach of the Saints since 2006, and he’s retained Pete Carmichael as offensive coordinator since 2009. After working as Broncos defensive coordinator in 2011 and Raiders head coach from 2012-2014, Dennis Allen came to New Orleans and has been calling the defense there ever since.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: In 2014, the Buccaneers hired former Patriots and Cardinals director of player personnel Jason Licht as general manager. Last year was Bruce Arians’ first year as head coach after serving in the same capacity with Arizona from 2013-2017. Byron Leftwich will enter his second season as the Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator, although the power balance between Arians, Leftwich, and Tom Brady on that side of the ball is unknown. Arians brought his first defensive coordinator in Arizona, Todd Bowles, along with him to Tampa Bay last year; Bowles also spent 2015-2018 as head coach of the Jets.

NFC West:

Arizona Cardinals: Longtime director/vice president Steve Keim became the Cardinals’ general manager back in 2013 and has held the role ever since. The team brought in former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury last year to become their head coach; he will also call the plays for the team again this year. Vance Joseph was Miami’s defensive coordinator in 2016, then spent two years as head coach of the Broncos before coming to Arizona and taking over defensive coordinator responsibilities.

Los Angeles Rams: The Rams have had Les Snead as their general manager since 2012. Sean McVay was named head coach back in 2017 after spending the preceding three years as Redskins offensive coordinator. This will be Kevin O’Connell’s first year as offensive coordinator in Los Angeles, although he served in that same capacity for the Redskins last year. Defensive coordinator Brandon Staley also called the defense at John Carroll and James Madison, but at the pro level he’s only been a linebackers coach for the Bears (2017-2018) and Broncos (2019), so this will be his first stint as coordinator at the pro level.

San Francisco 49ers: In 2017, the 49ers named John Lynch as their general manager; that same year, he installed former Texans, Redskins, Browns, and Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as head coach; Shanahan also calls the plays on offense. Robert Saleh has been 49ers defensive coordinator since 2017 as well, after working as a defensive assistant in Houston, Seattle, and Jacksonville.

Seattle Seahawks: John Schneider has been the team’s executive vice president and general manager since 2010, having been poached from the Packers. That same year, USC legend Pete Carroll was named head coach; he also holds the title of VP of football operations. This will be Brian Schottenheimer’s third season as offensive coordinator; he coordinated the Jets’ offense from 2006-2011, the Rams’ offense from 2012-2014, and the Georgia Bulldogs offense in 2015. Carroll brought along Ken Norton Jr. to coach Seattle’s linebackers from 2010-2014; he left to coordinate the Raiders’ defense from 2015-2017, and returned to Seattle in 2018 to call their defense.

AFC Front Office and Coaching Overview

AFC East:

Buffalo Bills: The Bills didn’t make any major changes to their coaching staff or front office. Their general manager is still Brandon Beane, who joined in 2017 after spending the period from 1998-2016 with the Panthers, his last role being assistant general manager (2015-2016). They’re bringing back Sean McDermott as head coach, Brian Daboll as offensive coordinator, and Leslie Frazier as defensive coordinator. McDermott has been in place for three seasons (since 2017), while Daboll and Frazier joined in 2018. McDermott came from the Panthers, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2011-2016, and was with the Eagles for eleven years prior to that, finishing his time there as defensive coordinator (2009-2010).

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins have had the same general manager, Chris Grier, since 2016; previously, he was director of college scouting there from 2007-2015. As far as coaching goes, former Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores returns for his second season as head coach. The team is making a change at offensive coordinator this year, with Chan Gailey, who held the same role with the Jets from 2015-2016, and they will bring back defensive coordinator Josh Boyer, who came with Flores from New England, where he served as  cornerbacks coach.

New England Patriots: Bill Belichick returns for his twenty-first season as both head coach and general manager, while Josh McDaniels will be entering his ninth consecutive year as offensive coordinator, not including the four years he spent in that role from 2005-2008. Co-defensive coordinators are Steve Belichick and Jerod Mayo, although the younger Belichick will be the one calling the plays.

New York Jets: General manager for the Jets is Joe Douglas, who joined the team in 2019 after spending the period from 2016-2019 as Vice President of Player Personnel with the Eagles; he also worked with the Bears in 2015, and as a scout with the Ravens from 2000-2014. Their coaching staff is the same as last year: Adam Gase returns as head coach and also calls the plays offensively, while Gregg Williams returns as defensive coordinator. Gase was previously head coach of the Dolphins from 2016-2018 after coordinating the offenses of the Broncos (2013-2014) and Bears (2015), while Williams most recently coordinated the defenses of the Rams (2014-2016) and Browns (2017-2018).

AFC North:

Baltimore Ravens: Eric DeCosta has spent his entire front-office career with the Ravens, beginning in 1996. He waited patiently behind Ozzie Newsome, and in 2019 took over as the team’s general manager. The coaching staff returns all of the major figures: John Harbaugh is back for his thirteenth season as head coach, Greg Roman reprises his role as offensive coordinator, and Don Martingale will be entering his third year at defensive coordinator after coaching the linebackers from 2012-2017.

Cincinnati Bengals: Since 1991, Mike Brown has been both owner and general manager of the Bengals, after spending the period from 1968, the team’s founding, to 1990 as assistant general manager while his father owned the team. Despite finishing with the league’s worst record last year, the Bengals decided to retain the coaching staff they installed last year: Zac Taylor, previously Rams quarterbacks coach, is head coach and calls the plays offensively, while Lou Anarumo coordinates the defense. He has a background as a defensive backs coach dating back to 1990, when he coached at the college level.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns are one of four teams to make major front-office changes. Previous general manager John Dorsey is out after three seasons, and he has been replaced by Andrew Berry, who served as Browns VP of player personnel from 2016-2018 before spending 2019 as VP of operations with the Eagles. The coaching staff is all-new as well. Kevin Stefanski last served as Vikings offensive coordinator but is now head coach, and former Bengals quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt is listed as the offensive coordinator, although it’s not clear who will actually call plays. 49ers passing game coordinator Joe Woods has been hired as defensive coordinator.

Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers have kept the same general manager since 2010, Kevin Colbert, who was previously director of football operations there from 2000 onward. Everything is the same on the coaching staff as well: Mike Tomlin enters his fourteenth year as head coach, while offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner has been in place for two years. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler has spent the past four years in that role.

AFC South:

Houston Texans: The Texans adopted a committee approach to the general manager position last year, but now they have officially named head coach Bill O’Brien as the general manager as well. O’Brien also calls the plays offensively; this will be his second straight season doing so. On the defensive side of the ball, Anthony Weaver has been promoted from defensive line coach, replacing Romeo Crennel, who’s staying with the team in his assistant head coach capacity, a title he’s held since 2017.

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts hired Chris Ballard to be their general manager in 2017 after he spent the seasons from 2013-2016 in different director roles with the Chiefs. This will be the third season for head coach Frank Reich, as well as offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Reich coordinated the Chargers’ offense from 2014-2015, then did the same for the Eagles from 2016-2017. He worked with Sirianni in San Diego previously, while Eberflus was brought in from Dallas, where he coached linebackers from 2011-2017.

Jacksonville Jaguars: After spending the seasons from 2008-2012 in director-level roles with the Falcons, Dave Caldwell as named Jacksonville’s general manager in 2013, although for the past three seasons Tom Coughlin had been executive VP of football operations; he’s been fired, so Caldwell will take over. Head coach Doug Marrone returns for a fourth year, while the team has brought in a new offensive coordinator, Jay Gruden, after his tenure as Redskins head coach ended. Todd Wash has been coordinating the defense for four years already, so he’s actually been in place longer than Marrone.

Tennessee Titans: Jon Robinson was director of college scouting with the Patriots from 2009-2013 and then director of player personnel in Tampa Bay from 2013-2015 before taking over as Titans GM in 2016. This will be the third season at head coach for Mike Vrabel, while Arthur Smith enters his second year as offensive coordinator after working in various roles with Tennessee since the 2011 season. No defensive coordinator has been named thus far, and it’s possible Vrabel will call the defense himself. The team’s past defensive coordinator, Dean Pees, retired after two years in that role.

AFC West:

Denver Broncos: The front office in Denver has been run by John Elway since 2011, when he was named general manager and executive VP of football operations. Vic Fangio will return for his second season as head coach; although the team has a new offensive coordinator, former Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, they will return Ed Donatell at defensive coordinator. Fangio previously coordinated the defenses of the 49ers (2011-2014) and Bears (2015-2018), while Shurmur coordinated for the Eagles and Vikings from 2013-2017 after an unsuccessful tenure as Browns head coach (2011-2012). Donatell worked with Fangio in both San Francisco and Chicago as defensive backs coach.

Kansas City Chiefs: In 2017, the Chiefs promoted Brett Veach from co-director of player personnel to general manager, head coach Andy Reid having signed off on him. Despite receiving some interest as a head-coaching candidate earlier this offseason, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy will return for his third year with the team, while Steve Spagnuolo reprises his role as defensive coordinator; this will be his second year in that capacity, although he has been coordinating defenses for quite some time, most notably winning a ring with the Giants in 2008.

Las Vegas Raiders: Despite not having any front-office experience, television analyst and former player Mike Mayock was named general manager in 2019. The coaching staff had been installed a year before that, with Jon Gruden running the show as head coach and having significant input into personnel decisions as well. Offensive coordinator is Greg Olson, and defensive coordinator is Paul Guenther. Olson has worked pretty much everywhere, having served as offensive coordinator for five other teams, most recently the Raiders (2013-2014) and Jaguars (2015-2016), while Guenther was a long-time Bengals assistant who worked his way up to the defensive coordinator role there and served in that capacity from 2014-2017.

Los Angeles Chargers: Tom Telesco is one of the longest-tenured general managers in football, having replaced A.J. Smith back in 2013. This will be head coach Anthony Lynn’s fourth season in that capacity, while quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen has been promoted to offensive coordinator. Gus Bradley will be entering his third year as defensive coordinator. Steichen replaces outgoing offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, who was fired in mid-season after originally being hired back in 2016.

DB Geno Stone, Iowa*

5’10” – 207 lbs. – 4.62

Was a reserve and special teams player as a freshman, then started eight of thirteen games as a sophomore, all at strong safety; during that season he totaled 39 tackles, three breakups, and four interceptions. Reprised that role as a junior, starting thirteen games there in 2019 before declaring for the draft; final line was 70 tackles, four breakups, and an interception. Has a pretty squatty build for a pro safety, with below-average height and length but with adequate bulk.

Played strong safety, but in Iowa’s defense last season that meant a lot of two-deep looks, with some snaps taken shaded over slot receivers, sometimes a little bit closer to the line of scrimmage, other times well off. Demonstrates good balance and clean, quick footwork, whether when backpedaling or shuffling; looks fast working backward and can execute spot drops into higher zones. Shows a good feel for patterns and route combinations; doesn’t get caught out of position often, taking the high receiver on high-low concepts and sticking with receivers when pattern-matching. Wasn’t always in position to break up passes and doesn’t have excellent length to make plays when targeted, but can close quickly to deliver hits in order to dislodge the ball or limit yards after the catch. May struggle with bigger receivers and tight ends because of his lack of size, and may not be able to cover quicker slot receivers or work in single-high zones because of his relatively average athleticism. Shows good ball skills when in position but lacks the length/leaping ability to climb the ladder. Would like to see him be more consistent about keeping the play in front of him.

Physical player who likes to come up and defend the run. Diagnoses quickly and takes solid angles to the ball. Able to get low and use his quickness to slip past blockers, but is also willing to take them on if necessary; attacks blockers with some aggression, although because of his below-average length, he can sometimes get engulfed. Closes quickly when he finds a path to the ballcarrier and is a thudding hitter who can help set the tone defensively, although he can sometimes lapse into hitting instead of wrapping. Didn’t see him come down and work in the box often during the games reviewed but that’s a role which would suit his skillset and temperament.

Looks like he made a good decision to declare for the draft, as his instincts/recognition skills and technique are already pretty polished. Won’t blow anyone away with his physical profile and athletic ability, which may limit his responsibilities in coverage, but coming back to school wasn’t going to address those questions. Looks to be in the mid-round mix.

CB Nevelle Clark, Central Florida

6’1” – 190 lbs.

Redshirted, then appeared in ten games the following season, finishing with fourteen tackles and two breakups. Was limited to seven games the following season, five of which were starts, and finished with 25 tackles, three breakups, and one interception. Stepped into the starting lineup the following year and posted 46 tackles, thirteen breakups, and two interceptions, then followed that up with 22 tackles, eleven breakups, and two interceptions as a senior. Tall, long-limbed cornerback who should meet any team’s size requirements.

Lined up on both sides of the defense, playing both press-man and off coverage with a physical, aggressive temperament. Does a good job of using his length to disrupt routes at the line of scrimmage; because he’s a little bit lanky, contact balance can sometimes be a little bit lacking, but he recovers quickly and likes to mix things up. Didn’t run at the Combine but looks like a good athlete on tape. Very flexible, with smooth movement skills and solid speed down the sidelines or when recovering. Able to match outside releases and pin receivers to the sideline while carrying them downfield, although he can be slow to get his head around. Balance can be inconsistent and looks like he’s playing a little bit out of control at times. Pattern recognition skills are still a work in progress. Does flash some technical flaws; will turn away from rather than into receivers who break away from him. However, had enough athleticism to compensate for that at the college level and provided tight coverage when targeted. Because of his flexibility and length, was able to bat away quite a few passes, although he can struggle to catch the ball.

Does an adequate job in run support. Looks pretty quick to recognize rushing attempts and is willing to come up and get involved. Isn’t the most physical cornerback when it comes to taking on blockers, but has impressive quickness to try and work around them; can be difficult for stalkers to line up, although at times it can lead to inefficiencies in his pursuit angles. Will often defer to teammates in the area, but when he needs to step in, flashes pop on contact as a hitter.

Checks all of the boxes in terms of his physical tools, athleticism, and temperament, offering a very intriguing combination of size, length, speed, flexibility, and physicality, although he still has some inefficiencies in his game to clean up. Will probably begin his career as a reserve but has the potential to eventually develop into a starter in a physical press-man scheme.

CB Josiah Scott, Michigan St.*

5’9” – 185 lbs. – 4.42

Has been starting since his true freshman season, which he finished with 30 tackles, nine breakups, and one interception. Sustained a preseason knee injury which cost him the first eight games of the following season, but managed to pick up thirteen tackles, seven breakups, and two interceptions over the last five games of the year. Finished his junior campaign with 52 tackles, six breakups, and three interceptions before declaring for the draft. On the small side for a pro cornerback, and how confident teams are in his ability to stay healthy may affect his draft stock; regardless, looks likely to be viewed as a candidate to slide inside at the next level.

Plays a lot of shuffle technique from off-coverage, but will come down and line up in some press looks at times as well. Has a conservative, responsible temperament which should appeal to “bend, don’t break” defenses. For a smaller cornerback, footwork when matching releases at the line of scrimmage can leave a little bit to be desired; looks somewhat flat at times. Lack of length also inhibits his ability to successfully disrupt releases at the line when he tries to get physical with opposing receivers. Ability to plant and drive from off-coverage is adequate, but tends to be more likely to limit yards after the catch than to put himself in position to make plays on the ball. Can be susceptible to timing-based throws, as his anticipation of routes and coverage through the route stem isn’t the tightest. However, does appear to have good speed to stick with receivers on posts, crossing routes, and down the sidelines, and tested well athletically at the Combine.

Pretty competitive as a run defender; understands the need to set up shop on the outside and funnel runners toward his help and does his best to get extension when taking on blockers. Many smaller cornerbacks struggle to disengage from blockers, but shows a good level of activity and demonstrates good balance and flexibility to slip past receivers and make tackles on the ballcarrier. Does like to come up and get physical with opposing ballcarriers, although he is more of a hitter/torpedo than a consistent form tackler, which is about par for the course for a smaller cornerback.

An undersized cornerback prospect who doesn’t provide the tightest coverage, but who has enough athleticism and who plays with the type of physical, competitive temperament that should allow him to compete for mid-round consideration from teams looking to add a cornerback to use on special teams while being groomed for eventual run in sub packages.

CB Javaris Davis, Auburn

5’8” – 183 lbs. – 4.39

Started five of thirteen games as a freshman and has been playing on the boundary and in the slot ever since, also returning some punts. Intercepted two passes in each of his four seasons at Auburn, with 37 tackles and seven breakups as a freshman, 29 tackles and six breakups as a sophomore, 41 tackles and eight breakups as a junior, and 43 tackles and six breakups as a senior. On the fringes of what’s acceptable size-wise at the cornerback position; will probably be viewed exclusively as a slot corner, which is what he was playing most of the time during the games reviewed.

Made a lot of drops into short zones from the slot but also did some work in man coverage. A very good athlete for the position, and who combines a conservative temperament in coverage with a physical temperament when dealing with opposing ballcarriers. Has quick feet in his backpedal or when making spot drops, and does a good job of keeping the play in front of him, the price he pays being giving up completions on underneath throws. Has been starting for four seasons, but anticipatory skills still look like a work in progress. However, does a nice job of closing quickly and delivering hits on receivers running slants, drags, etc. in order to limit yards after the catch. Has plenty of speed to provide tight coverage with opposing receivers running down the seams, or when closing on posts or flag routes from off-coverage. Makes smooth transitions when turning and running. On-ball production was adequate at the college level, but can be shielded from the ball and would like to see him be more aggressive.

As mentioned above, is willing to get physical in the run game or after the catch, but isn’t particular effective in those situations. Lack of ideal length works against him when it comes to taking on blockers and can struggle to disengage in time, despite being active with his hands and giving good effort to work around them and get to the ball. Has a strong closing burst and can generate some pop on contact, although he can be more of a hitter than a tackler and will bounce off of some attempts; actual radius is also a bit lacking, causing him to fall short on too many attempts.

A slot cornerback candidate with special-teams value who looks set to come off the board in the mid-rounds, he combines plus speed and athleticism with a conservative temperament, limiting big plays, but who can struggle to hold up in the run game and who can be a little bit slow to diagnose at times. Will probably begin his career on coverage units and potentially as a return specialist.