Monday Morning Draft – Week 1

Monday Morning Draft is back! This is a column that delves into the past weekend’s action from an NFL Draft perspective. As the season goes on, the draft picture and slotting will become more clear, but every Sunday will provide a few hints for next April.

By Charlie Campbell.
Send Charlie an e-mail here: [email protected]
Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell for updates.

Race for the No. 1 Pick:

Miami Dolphins:
Miami was blown out in epic fashion by the Ravens, falling 59-10. The Dolphins went into rebuilding mode after firing Adam Gase to start 2019. Miami accelerated that effort with a bunch of trades, including ripping off the Texans for three premium draft picks for Laremy Tunsil. With the roster lacking a lot of long-term pieces, the Dolphins will be able to draft a lot of the best players available over the next few years. Miami is the favorite to land the No. 1-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and could decide to rebuild around Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Arizona Cardinals:
The Cardinals tied with the Lions after the Lions blew what should have been a win. Arizona is in trouble this year because some bad drafts by general manager Steve Keim have forced the team into rebuilding mode. If the Cardinals land the No. 1 pick for the second straight season, they could trade it for a package of picks to build around Kyler Murray, but the Cardinals will need a new general manager to make the picks or Keim could end up wasting them on prospects similar to Deone Bucannon or Robert Nkemdiche.

Cincinnati Bengals:
Cincinnati played really well on the road, but came up short against Seattle. The Bengals have a new regime in place and could look to upgrade over Andy Dalton if they land the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Bengals still have some good talents on their offense and their defensive line, so they may not land the No. 1-overall pick over Miami or another surprise team that collapses this season. The Bengals’ offensive line, however, has needed talent and the team already lost 2018 first-round pick Jonah Williams to a season-ending injury. Cincinnati has other weaknesses on the roster, so it could be a long year.

Let’s Play Matchmaker:

This section will look at some of the top talent in college football and match those prospects up with teams that have a dire need at the position.

Los Angeles Rams: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Thanks to some D.J. Moore ball-security issues that spotted Los Angeles 10 points, the Rams were able to get a three-point road win at Carolina. Christian McCaffrey ripped up the Rams’ defense in the middle of the field with 200 combined yards to go with two touchdowns. Los Angeles had to trade Alec Ogletree to make some other acquisitions, but the team has not adequately replaced Ogletree.

Dye (6-4, 224) has been a good defender for the Ducks over the past three seasons. His best season came as a junior in 2018, when he totaled 115 tackles with eight tackles for a loss, two sacks, one interception and eight passes defended. Dye has shown progress in pass coverage over his time at Oregon, and as a freshman, he had 91 tackles with 13 for a loss, 6.5 sacks, and an interception. He had 107 tackles in 2017. To start his senior year, he has 19 tackles over two games. Dye could be one of the top linebacker prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Buffalo Bills: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Bills notched a hard-fought win over the Jets even though Josh Allen and the Buffalo offense had some struggles. John Brown (7-123-1) had a good game, leading the Bills’ receivers, but no other wideout had over 40 yards receiving. In the 2020 NFL Draft, Buffalo could target more receivers to help Allen move the ball.

Lamb didn’t get the attention of teammate Hollywood Brown in 2018, but Lamb was very good for the Sooners. On the year, Lamb hauled in 65 receptions for 1,158 yards with 11 touchdowns. Team sources say that Lamb has the body and physique of a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. They say he has great hands, runs good routes, and is a polished receiver. Lamb makes some ridiculous catches that are reminiscent of DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. Lamb’s body control, concentration, and ability to adjust are tremendous, and they put him in position to make a lot of difficult receptions. After the catch, Lamb is dangerous with the ball in his hands, showing elusiveness and physicality as a runner. While he has good size, Lamb does not have mismatch speed, according to team evaluators, and they’ve said he could be a 4.55 guy in the 40-yard dash. Lamb is not overly fast, but he uses polished footwork and some suddenness to create separation. His route-running generates separation and makes up for the lack of elite speed. In 2019, Lamb has eight receptions for 190 yards with two touchdowns.

Philadelphia Eagles: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
The Eagles had their hands full with Redskins rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin and allowed Case Keenum to throw for 380 yards. Ronald Darby is entering free agency after this season, so even if the secondary plays better in the weeks to come, Philadelphia could use more young talent at corner.

Team sources have said that Dantzler was a player who jumped out at them in 2018 despite them not watching him closely as he was yet to be eligible for the NFL draft. The sophomore totaled 43 tackles with nine passes broken up and two interceptions in 2018. Dantzler (6-2, 195) has good size, and the questions will be how well he runs and if he is fluid enough to maintain coverage and prevent separation. Thus far in 2019, Dantzler has eight tackles, an interception, a pass broken up, and a fumble recovery.

Kansas City Chiefs: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Chiefs were able to win a shootout in Jacksonville, but Kansas City struggled to defend Jaguars receivers like D.J. Chark (4-146-1) and Chris Conley (6-97-1), who gave the defense problems in coverage. The Chiefs remade their defensive line but could use more help in the secondary. Taking a cornerback late in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft would make sense for Kansas City.

Henderson has a few passes broken up, but is dealing with a foot injury. He has been very good in coverage, although he has shown weak tackling ability. In 2018, Henderson totaled 38 tackles with two sacks, seven passes broken up, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He was really impressive as a freshman, demonstrating excellent coverage and ball skills. Henderson totaled four interceptions with four passes broken up and 22 tackles that season. Henderson has excellent size to go along with speed and cover skills. He possesses a ton of upside as a cover corner, but he needs to improve his tackling and run defense as a junior.

Tennessee Titans: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
The Titans surprisingly blew out the Browns, getting excellent games from Derrick Henry, Delanie Walker and A.J. Brown. Tennessee’s offensive line had some issues with Myles Garrett and other Browns defenders in the early going before taking control of the game. Taylor Lewan will return after his suspension, but Jack Conklin is in a contract year and could be better off being moved to right guard. Having a steady offensive line could really benefit Henry and Marcus Mariota.

Little was impressive as a freshman starter at left tackle for Stanford. The 6-foot-7, 304-pounder did an effective job in run blocking and helped Bryce Love to a huge season. Little was solid as a sophomore, protecting K.J. Costello and opening holes in the ground game. was has good length, strength, and recoverability. With some nastiness and physicality, he is a plus run blocker for a left tackle and will punish pass-rushers as well.

Dallas Cowboys: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
Dak Prescott dominated the Giants, and the Cowboys’ offense did a good job of defending Saquon Barkley by keeping him on the sideline. Barkley did well against the Dallas defense when given the opportunity, and he is going to be a problem for a long time in these divisional battles. It wouldn’t hurt the Cowboys to get a run-defending monster in the middle of their line.

Davis projects to the NFL as a nose tackle in a 3-4 or 4-3, or he could also play five-technique end in a 3-4 defense. His lateral anchor is rare and truly phenomenal. Teams just can’t move him at all in the ground game. Davis’ lower- and upper-body strength gives him a rare ability to handle bump blocks and double teams without yielding up any movement in the ground game. Davis totaled 55 tackles with 5.5 for a loss and 1.5 sacks in 2018. He totaled 69 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks and an interception for his breakout sophomore campaign. After two games as a senior, Davis has 12 tackles.

Green Bay Packers: Trey Adams, OT, Washington
The Packers were able to pull out a low-scoring win over the Bears thanks to a great defensive effort. Aaron Rodgers’ one touchdown drive was the difference, but for the Packers to have any hopes of getting another Lombardi Trophy during Rodgers’ career, they have to keep him healthy and on the field. Adding more talent to their offensive line seemed like a priority for the 2019 NFL Draft, but the Packers added more talent to their revamped defense. Perhaps the offensive line will get an infusion of talent from the 2020 NFL Draft class.

Green Bay probably won’t be picking high enough in the 2020 NFL Draft to land Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and maybe not Stanford’s Walker Little. Washington’s Trey Adams could be an option for the Packers because his injury history could cause him to slide. There is no doubt among many evaluators that Adams has special first-round potential, so he could be a steal if he stays healthy once entering the NFL. Adams is big, athletic and strong, plus plays with good technique. He could be a good fit in the Packers’ offense, and they could start him out at guard or right tackle to improve the blocking for their franchise quarterback.

Team Draft Report:

In this section, we take a deeper look at specific teams and where they stand in regards to the 2020 NFL Draft.

Washington Redskins:
Washington may not win a lot of games in 2019, but the franchise is headed in the right direction. The organization has had some phenomenal drafts under Bruce Allen and Doug Williams, so the smart move for the team would be to continue to let Allen and Williams build up talent on the roster. Landing quarterback Dwayne Haskins and edge rusher Montez Sweat in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft was masterful, and it will take some time for those young players to develop.

Offensively, the Redskins could use a few pieces to help Dwayne Haskins. If Trent Williams doesn’t come back in the fold, then a left tackle would be in play. Washington may not be picking high enough in the 2020 NFL Draft to land Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, but if the team lands in the top five, he would make sense. If Washington is picking lower in the first round, options to consider would include Stanford’s Walker Little and Washington’s Trey Adams.

In my latest mock 2020 NFL Draft, I have the Redskins taking Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, and wideout is the top need on their roster. Lamb would be a great fit in Jay Gruden’s offense as he is a big wide receiveer who runs routes well.

Aside from Lamb, the 2020 NFL Draft class looks like it will be very deep at receiver. There are other good first-round options such as Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, Colorado’s Laviska Shenault and TCU’s Jalen Reagor. The Redskins would probably have to be picking in the top five to have a shot at Jeudy, but he would be a dream come true for Haskins.

The Redskins don’t have a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft due to trading up for Sweat, but they have done a phenomenal job in the first round under Allen and Williams with picks like Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Haskins and Sweat. Hitting on a first-round pick next April plus Haskins’ development could have Washington in playoff contention in the very near future.

Chicago Bears:
NFL Hall of Fame coach and broadcaster John Madden used to say that the NFL was a better and more interesting league when the Bears were a true playoff and Super Bowl contender. Perhaps because I was born and spent a lot of my childhood and youth growing up in the Southside of Chicago, I agree with Madden. Even though the Bears lost to the rival Packers last Thursday night, Chicago is back to being a top contender in the NFC thanks to the return of a phenomenal defense bringing back the Monsters of the Midway.

While the Bears are back in the playoff hunt after winning the NFC North last year, they could be held back from advancing to the Super Bowl once against because quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been mediocre. Chicago general manager Ryan Pace deserves credit for building an elite defense, and he also deserves a lot of criticism for a massive failure at quarterback evaluation as he took Trubisky instead of league MVP Pat Mahomes or Texans young franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson. If you put Mahomes or Watson on the Bears, that might be a potential dynasty. As it stands, the Bears are stuck with hoping Trubisky improves over the next year or two as they see if Trubisky can develop into the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be.

In my latest mock 2019 NFL Draft, I have the Bears taking Texas A&M wide receiver Quartney Davis. They could use another receiver to go with Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller as Taylor Gabriel is better as a backup wideout. Perhaps Riley Ridley will make receiver not a need, but if Robinson proves to be their only consistent wideout, they should add more talent with pass catchers for Trubisky. There could be other good second-round receivers like Texas’ Collin Johnson, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, Florida State’s Tamorrion Terry, Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace or Mississippi State’s Stpehen Guidry.

Other offensive options for Chicago could be tight end. If Trey Burton and/or Adam Shaheen don’t produce well this season, adding a tight end for Trubisky would make sense. Missouri’s Albert Okwuegbunam would be a great fit, but he could easily end up being a first-round pick. A good second-round pick for Chicago could be Vanerbilt’s Jared Pinkney.

I also have the Bears adding a defensive lineman to go with Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks in South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw. Another defensive lineman would help Chicago to rotate on the inside and also provide depth incase of injury. The Bears also could consider a safety on defense given that HaHa Clinton-Dix is not signed long term. Georgia’s J.R. Reed could be a good fit to go next to Eddie Jackson.

The Bears’ defense should provide them with a Super Bowl window for perhaps the next five seasons or so, building around Trubisky to get over the top is the focus in the drafts to come, but Trubisky panning out will determine whether the Bears can win a Lombardi Trophy.

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