Monday Morning Draft – Week 3

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:
The Dolphins played the Cowboys close for awhile, but as expected, they fell to 0-3 on the season. Miami was blown out in epic fashion in the first two weeks of the season by the Patriots and Ravens. 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.

Cincinnati Bengals:
The Bengals fell to 0-3 with a 21-17 loss to Buffalo. In Week 1, 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 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams to a season-ending injury. Cincinnati has other weaknesses on the roster, so it could be a long year.

Denver Broncos:
The Broncos fell to 0-3 with a loss at Green Bay. Denver was screwed in Week 2 by the NFL’s terrible officiating as a horrible penalty on Bradley Chubb gave Chicago the yardage for a last-second field goal to get a road win. The Broncos probably won’t land the No. 1 pick give the talent on their team, but if they are picking high in the first round, quarterback will definitely be a consideration with Joe Flacco being just a stop-gap signal-caller and Drew Lock only being a second-round pick who did not impress in the preseason.

Washington Redskins:
Washington plays Chicago tonight. The Redskins are 0-2, but they have played the Cowboys and Eagles tough in the opening weeks. If Washington were to land the top pick or a high first-rounder, the team would probably look to trade down due to having its quarterback of the future in 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins.

New York Jets:
The Jets fell to 0-3 on the season as the Patriots cruised over them. With Sam Darnold ailing and other mishaps, New York was decimated by injuries to key players. The Jets could get healthy and be a second half of the year team as they are still a young squad that has a lot of new players on the roster.

Pittsburgh Steelers:
The Steelers fell to 0-3 with a tough road loss to San Francisco. The 49ers did everything they could to give the game away with three fumbles and two interceptions, but Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh offense were unable to produce points despite those fortunate breaks. The Steelers traded away their first-round pick of the 2020 NFL Draftto the Miami Dolphins, and that would be a disaster for the franchise if the Steelers end up picking at the top of the draft because they would lose out on potentially landing a true successor to Ben Roethlisberger.

Arizona Cardinals:
Arizona lost to Baltimore, but played some tough football. In Week 1, 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.

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.

Carolina Panthers: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Panthers’ offensive dominated the Cardinals’ weak defense, with Carolina backup quarterback Josh Allen destroying Arizona with five touchdown passes. After some early struggles, Carolina’s defense rallied to sack Kyler Murray eight times and for Donte Jackson to collect two interceptions. Jackson is turning into an excellent pro, and James Bradberry is serviceable, but the Panthers could use another corner to improve their secondary.

In 2019, Okudah has 13 tackles with three passes broken up and interception. He saw some brief action as a freshman, recording 17 tackles and a breakup before playing more as a sophomore. In 2018, he totaled 32 tackles with eight breakups. Okudah has a skill set with upside to develop. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is big, athletic agile and can run. He is superb at blanketing receivers and preventing separation. Okudah has all the physical skill set NFL teams hope to find in a No. 1 cornerback.

Buffalo Bills: Terrell Lewis, OLB, Alabama
The Bills let the Bengals got back into the game thanks to a turnover, but Josh Allen made enough plays in crunch time and the Buffalo defense slammed the door to get them to 3-0. To help the Bills close out games for years to come, they could use another edge rusher to go across from Jerry Hughes and have to be ready for Hughes to age.

Lewis has six tackles and a sack this season. Lewis was playing well in the 2017 season opener before sustaining an injury that cost him most of the season. He totaled just 16 tackles with a sack on the year, but scouts who watched 2018 spring football were raving about him. Sources believe Lewis has a ton of potential. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL in the summer of 2018, so he missed the 2018 season. The 6-foot-5, 247-pounder is big and quick, plus possesses surprising change-of-direction skills. Lewis has a great build and is dripping with upside.

New Orleans Saints: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Saints pulled off a shocking upset of the Seahawks with New Orleans’ defense and special teams helping to support backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. New Orleans did have some issues in coverage with Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf, and that continued a trend that has been going on all season. In Week 1, the Texans’ receivers ran all over New Orleans, and in Week 2, Cooper Kupp torched the Saints through the air. Adding a corner to go with Marson Lattimore is necessity for New Orleans.

Henderson has a few passes broken up this season, but is dealing with a foot injury. He has been very good in coverage with a rare combination of size and speed, but 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 athleticism and natural cover skills to run the route and prevent separation. He possesses a ton of upside as a cover corner as he functions really well in press-man or off-man coverage.

Minnesota Vikings: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Vikings cruised over the Raiders, but Minnesota’s defense was ripped up by Oakland tight end Darren Waller, who hauled in 13 receptions for 134 yards. The Vikings could use a safety upgrade to go with Harrison Smith and help them defend the middle of the field.

McKinney is a versatile safety who can a do a lot of things for a defense. In pass defense, he has the flexibility to play zone in the middle of the field or rotate downfield as a free safety. This season, McKinney has shown man-coverage ability as well. He is a tough run defender who is fast and physical. With his aggressive demeanor, McKinney can fit as the eighth man in the box. McKinney has 28 tackles with an interception and forced fumble in 2019. He would be a great fit for Mike Zimmer.

New England Patriots: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
The Patriots have had a lot of injuries on their offensive line while also losing some veterans in free agency in recent years. New England could use more young talent up front to protect Tom Brady, and Wanogho would be a great talent for offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia to work with. Late in the first round or in the second round, Wanogho could make a lot of sense for the Patriots.

Wanogho has looked very good at times for Auburn and still has some other plays that illustrate that he is raw and needs development, but there is no doubt that Wanogho has a great skill set with a lot of upside if he plays up to his potential. The 6-foot-7, 301-pounder has excellent size with quickness and athleticism. He has a ton of upside and could become a really good starter if he works hard and develops.

Detroit Lions: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
The Lions have really struggled at linebacker over the past few seasons, and that was seen again in their win at Philadelphia as Miles Sanders hurt them through the air. Detroit could use an upgrade at linebacker to go with Jarrad Davis and Devon Kennard.

In 2019, Dye has 25 tackles with a sack and pass broken up. The 6-foot-4, 224-pounder has been a good defender for the Ducks since his debut as a freshman. 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. Dye could be one of the top linebacker prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Jalen Ramsey asked the Jaguars to trade him, and it appears the ace cornerback is on his way out of Jacksonville. If Ramsey is dealt as expected, that will leave a big hole in the Jacksonville defense. A.J. Bouye is best as a No. 2 corner, and nickel corner has been an issue for Jacksonville since Aaron Colvin left in free agency. Trading Ramsey would give the Jaguars multiple 2020 first-round picks, and finding a replacement for Ramsey would be a top priority.

Adebo (6-1, 190) is a big corner who has cover skills and a tremendous ability to play the ball. He also has good instincts and technique. Adebo looks like a future No. 1 corner in the NFL who has shut-down potential. In 2019, Adebo has 17 tackles with an interception and four passes broken up. He recorded 64 tackles with 20 passes broken up and four interceptions in 2018.

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.

Indianapolis Colts:
The Colts were a disaster under former general manager Ryan Grigson, and Grigson’s failures to acquire a competent offensive line or draft well led to Indianapolis wasting the career of Andrew Luck. The pounding Luck incurred caused him to retire early, but fortunately for the Colts, they now have a superb front office led by general manager Chris Ballard and director of college scouting Morocco Brown. Their excellent drafts have built up a core group of talented young players on both sides of the ball. If Jacoby Brissett can continue to develop and improve, Indianapolis has the roster to compete with any team in the AFC.

Offensively, the Colts signed Devin Funchess in free agency, but he was only signed for one season and they could consider a long-term weapon for Brissett. T.Y. Hilton is aging, and as a smaller-bodied player, he could break down faster. Aside from Hilton, Indianapolis could use more young talent at receiver to go with talented rookie Parris Campbell. In my latest mock 2020 NFL Draft, I have the Colts taking TCU wide receiver Jaelen Reagor. He is a speed demon who could produce some huge plays across from Hilton and eventually replace him as their deep-threat receiver. They also could consider some bigger receivers like Colorado’s Laviska Shenault, Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb or Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden, depending on where they are drafting.

Defensively, Indianapolis has a strong roster without a lot of needs. A team can never have enough pass-rushers, and Justin Houston is on the wrong side of 30. The Colts won’t be picking high enough to land Ohio State’s Chase Young, but later in the first round, there could be some very good edge rushers to consider like Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos, Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa, Notre Dame’s Khalid Kareem, Alabama’s Terrell Lewis or Auburn’s Nick Coe. Some second-day options would include Florida’s Jabari Zuniga or Jon Greenard.

Similar to pass-rushers, a team can always use multiple talented cornerbacks, so taking a coverage asset to go with Rock Ya-Sin would be worth considering. This is a strong cornerback draft, so the Colts could land a good value. If they are picking in the back half of the first round, Utah’s Jaylon Jackson, Florida’s C.J. Henderson or Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler could be options. If Indianapolis has a top-20 first-round pick, Stanford’s Paulson Adebo, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah could be options.

The Colts’ strong roster moves have given them the luxury of also considering the best player available, regardless of position, and that will make the roster even more talented with better depth. If Jacoby Brissett is able to develop, the Colts could end up being the team that controls the AFC South for many years to come as Bill O’Brien is destroying Houston, Tennessee is in quarterback purgatory, and Jacksonville is inconsistent under Doug Marrone. With one more draft from Ballard and Brown, Indianapolis could continue to make progress toward being one of the best teams in the AFC.

Tennessee Titans:
The Titans were embarrassed on Thursday night football by the Jaguars ripping off nine sacks and completely dominating the Tennessee offensive line. Marcus Mariota was rattled and struggled to move the ball on Jacksonville. The remaining 13 games are critical for Mariota and the Titans, as he is in the final year of his contract, so they could move on from him after this season. Even if Mariota survives, the Titans have a lot of areas to upgrade for 2020 but quarterback looms as a massive decision for the franchise.

Tennessee probably won’t be picking high enough to land Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert, so the organization would have to consider trading up in order to land one of them. If the Titans miss out on those two signal-callers, they could consider Georgia’s Jake Fromm in the first round. Fromm is a good manager with great intangibles, but he lacks a first-round skill set and does not have a strong arm. Other options they could consider include Colorado’s Steven Montez, Stanford’s K.J. Costello or Texas A&M’s Kellen Mond. Tennessee could be forced into these second-day options due to likely not picking high enough to land Tagovailoa or Herbert.

After quarterback, the offensive line is the next area that has the biggest issues to address. Yes, the Titans were without suspended left tackle Taylor Lewan on Thursday night, but the line has been a problem and they were destroyed by the Jaguars. Titans general manager Jon Robinson made a terrible decision in 2016 passing on Laremy Tunsil for Jack Conklin. If Robinson had taken Tunsil instead of Conklin, the Titans would have the best tackle tandem in the NFL. Conklin has received good media coverage in his career, but he has been very overrated and that was given clear proof when the Titans declined to pick up his fifth-year option. Conklin could leave in free agency, but even if he’s re-signed, he should be moved inside to right guard. Conklin should have been a guard his entire pro career thus far. The Titans need to upgrade right tackle, and they could consider first-round options like Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, Stanford’s Walker Little or Texas’ Sam Cosmi. On Day 2, some options could include Auburn’s Prince Tega Wanogho or Missouri’s Yasir Durant.

In my latest mock 2020 NFL Draft, I have the Titans taking Penn State edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos because he was the best value at a position they could use help. Cameron Wake won’t play forever, and Tennessee could use a lead-dog edge rusher across from Harold Landry. Other options who could be in play include Alabama’s Terrell Lewis, Notre Dame’s Khalid Kareem or Notre Dame’s Julian Okwara. If the Titans are picking high in the top 10, they also could think of Ohio State’s Chase Young.

This is a huge draft for Robinson as it will be his fifth in Tennessee and the franchise seems to be stagnating in mediocrity. Tennessee may have to consider replacing Robinson, Mariota and multiple offensive linemen to get pointed in the right direction.

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