Monday Morning Draft – Week 5

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 had a bye this week. The Dolphins played the Chargers close for awhile, but as expected, Miami fell to 0-4 on the season. Miami was blown out in epic fashion 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 0-4 Bengals lost at home in a close game with Arizona. 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.

Washington Redskins:
The Redskins lost at home, but played New England close before the Patriots pulled away. Washington is 0-5, but played the Cowboys and Eagles tough in the opening weeks. If the Redskins were to land the top pick or a high first-rounder in the 2020 NFL Draft, they would probably look to trade down as they have their quarterback of the future in 2019 first-rounder Dwayne Haskins.

New York Jets:
The Eagles cruised over Jets, pushing them to 0-4 on the season. With Sam Darnold ailing and other mishaps, New York has been 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 with a lot of new players on the roster.

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.

Baltimore Ravens: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Ravens got a tough road overtime win over the the rival Steelers and were able to overcome three interceptions from Lamar Jackson. Baltimore added a dynamic young speed receiver for Jackson in Hollywood Brown, but the team could use another possessional receiver to help Jackson consistently move the chains. Lamb would be a great scheme fit, and it would be fun to see him reunited with Brown in Baltimore.

Lamb didn’t get the attention of teammate Hollywood Brown, but Lamb was very good for the Sooners in 2018. On the year, he 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 the lack of elite speed. In 2019, Lamb has 18 receptions for 439 yards and seven touchdowns.

Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The Cardinals won their first game of the year as the dual-threat Kyler Murray combined for 346 yards on the ground and air to help them edge out the lowly Bengals on the road. Arizona needs more receiving weapons for Murray as David Johnson (3-65) and Larry Fitzgerald (3-65) were his leading receivers. Landing a true No. 1 wide receiver like Jeudy would make a lot of sense for Arizona in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-1, 192-pound Jeudy is a polished receiver who has quickness, size, and excellent technique. He is a superb route-runner who generates separation and is very tough for defenders to cover. Jeudy has run-after-the-catch skills with the ability to produce big plays for his offense. In 2019, Jeudy has 38 receptions for 488 yards and six touchdowns. In 2018, he totaled 68 receptions for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns. Jeudy would be a perfect No. 1 receiver for Kyler Murray.

New Orleans Saints: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Marshon Lattimore shut out Mike Evans, not allowing a single catch or yard to the Bucs star receiver. However, Chris Godwin hurt the Saints with seven catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns. New Orleans could use its pick late in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to find a running mate to go across from Lattimore.

Fulton (6-0, 192) has 13 tackles with five passes defensed so far in 2019. He had a mixed game against Texas with some nice plays, but he also gave up a touchdown and was flagged for pass interference. Fulton does a good job of running with receivers and preventing separation, but he needs to improve his discipline and also could stand to do a better job of defending the ball on 50-50 plays. That tape looked more like something out of a second-day pick rather than a true first-rounder. Fulton had 17 tackles with one forced fumble, one interception and seven passes broken up in 2018.

Buffalo Bills: Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
The Bills edged Tennessee for a tough road win, and once again Josh Allen made enough plays to support Buffalo’s tenacious defense. At 4-1, the Bills are one their way to be in the postseason race this year, and Buffalo stands a good shot at being a wild card. To get over the hump and challenge in the postseason, the Bills could use more weapons for Josh Allen at receiver, and a mismatch wideout with a large catch radius like Gandy-Golden would be a great addition to their offense.

This season, Gandy-Golden has 34 receptions for 728 yards and five scores. He is a very impressive natural hands catcher with excellent size who is dangerous after the catch and has enough quickness to get downfield. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder is a size mismatch and has some physicality to him. He is calm with defenders closing in on him and does a superb job of playing the ball. As a sophomore, Gandy-Golden had 71 receptions for 1,037 yards with 10 touchdowns. He played better than the numbers illustrate.

New England Patriots: Trey Adams, OT, Washington
The Redskins were able to play the Patriots close in the first half as the Washington defensive line made life difficult for Tom Brady. The Patriots have had a lot of injuries on their offensive line while also losing some veterans in free agency in recent years. They could use more young talent up front to protect Tom Brady, and Adams would be a great talent for offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia to work with. Late in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Adams could make a lot of sense for the Patriots if he gets there.

Adams could be an option for New England as his injury history could cause him to slide even though he has the skill set of a franchise left tackle. 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, strong, and plays with good technique. He could be a good fit in the Patriots’ offense and has plug-and-play starting potential.

Carolina Panthers: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Gardner Minshew threw for 374 yards, with D.J. Chark totaling 164 yards on eight receptions, as that duo kept Jacksonville in the game despite Christian McCaffrey and the Carolina offense running all over the Jacksonville defense. The Panthers were playing without their top cornerback, Donte Jackson, who was injured, but they need more corner talent to go with Jackson and James Bradberry. Bradberry is also entering free agency, so if he leaves corner will be a massive need for Carolina.

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 because he functions really well in press-man or off-man coverage.

Seattle Seahawks: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
The Seahawks’ secondary has been ripped trough the air all season. They were abused by the lowly Bengals and Andy Dalton in Week 1, with Dalton setting personal records against them. Then, they almost lost to Pittsburgh backup quarterback Mason Rudolph, and last Thursday night, a missed field goal bailed out the secondary after blowing a late fourth-quarter lead to the Rams. Seattle’s Legion of Boom secondary is over, and the replacements are not even close to being of the same caliber. Adding more talent to the secondary is a necessity for Seattle.

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 14 tackles with an interception, four passes broken up and a fumble recovery this year. He could be a good fit for Seattle on Day 2 during the 2020 NFL Draft.

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.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Jaguars have had a very interesting season that has led to a lot of question marks going forward for the franchise. Is Nick Foles the starting quarterback when he returns to the field? Or does the franchise go with rookie Gardner Minshew as the quarterback of the future? How does the franchise replace Jalen Ramsey if the disgruntled cornerback is able to force his way out of Jacksonville? Is Leonard Fournette a long-term piece or will his clashes with the coaches and front office lead to him leaving the team as well? The Jaguars are going to be a fascinating team to watch over the rest of 2019 and into the 2020 offseason.

As long as Doug Marrone is the head coach, Jacksonville is going to have some problems with players clashing with leadership. Marrone is known to be one of the biggest jerks in the NFL, and Jaguars sources have told me that he actively undermined Gus Bradley to get the head coaching job from underneath him. In his first year with the team, Marrone neglected doing his job as offensive line coach and the team had to turn to assistant Luke Butkus to do the job Marrone should have been doing. In the next season, Butkus had left for Illinois, Jacksonville was losing, and Bradley was fired with Marrone replacing him. Some other league sources who worked with Marrone in Buffalo have told me that the Bills locker room hated him. Tom Coughlin also can be tough to deal with, so one can expect more issues like the Jaguars have had with Ramsey and Fournette unless they avoid taking talented players who have an edge to their personality.

In my latest mock 2020 NFL Draft, I have the Jaguars taking Stanford’s Paulson Adebo to be the replacement for Ramsey. Other first-round candidates to consider include Alabama’s Trevon Diggs, Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah and Florida’s C.J. Henderson. All four of them are big, fast and athletic with the ability to run the route and prevent separation. The Jaguars will have a huge hole in their defense without Ramsey, and that will require them landing a potential No. 1 cornerback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft if they can’t find one in free agency.

Offensively, if Fournette gets traded away, some early-round running back prospects would have to be considered with the likes of Georgia’s D’Andre Swift, Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, Florida State’s Cam Akers, Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins. Everyone from that group has starting ability and could be three-down player who leads a potent rushing attack.

Jacksonville also has missed Telvin Smith this season, which has left the linebacking corps weak. Christian McCaffrey just destroyed the Jaguars’ defense with 237 combined yards and three touchdowns. The Panther ran for 285 yards on Jacksonville yesterday, as Carolina dominated the Jaguars at the point of attack. If the Jaguars have extra picks from a trade of Ramsey and/or Fournette, they could target Oregon’s Troy Dye, Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray, Alabama’s Anfernee Jennings, Texas Tech’s Jordyn Brooks or Alabama’s Dylan Moses – if Moses decides to enter the 2020 NFL Draft coming off a season-ending injury.

Even though Gardner Minshew has been a pleasant surprise for the franchise, the Jaguars have a lot of question marks going forward. It will be interesting to see if the personalities and egos cause dysfunction to ruin the makings of a talented team.

Los Angeles Rams:
Prior to the start of training camp, I met with a team source who recently had worked with the Rams and is close with head coach Sean McVay. That source said they had some significant concerns for McVay on how the Rams were stacking up for 2019. The source listed off some problem areas, including Todd Gurley’s knee issues, the cornerback play, losing offensive linemen in free agency, Jared Goff’s ability to play under pressure and carry the load, and dealing with the Super Bowl hangover. Those issues have all made themselves apparent in the early going of 2019, but the Rams have enough talent to keep them firmly in the playoff race throughout the year. To get back to the Super Bowl and win a Lombardi, there are a few issues that the team needs to address in the offseason.

The Rams’ offense hasn’t been the same since Todd Gurley’s knee started acting up on him, and that isn’t surprising as no team could lose the productivity of one of the best players in the NFL without a drop-off. Los Angeles drafted Darrell Henderson in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but it doesn’t speak well of Henderson that the Rams have used veteran Malcolm Brown instead of him. If Los Angeles believes that Henderson is just a backup quality player, the organization would have to consider taking a running back early in the 2020 NFL Draft. Georgia’s D’Andre Swift is a gifted back who could be a big-time play-maker as a pro and great fit in McVay’s offense. The Rams could be picking too low to land Swift, but the 2020 NFL Draft has other good backs who could be a fit for them late in the first round or in the second round. That group includes Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, Florida State’s Cam Akers and Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins. Any of those players would be a nice addition to the Rams’ offense and help them to reestablish a dangerous rushing attack.

Rams general manager Les Snead blew the second-overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by taking left tackle Greg Robinson instead of linebacker Khalil Mack. Robinson was a bust, and Mack is on his way to a Hall of Fame career. That decision is still hurting Los Angeles, which needs long-term answers at both positions. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth is ancient and declining, so the Rams will have to consider tackles like Stanford’s Walker Little, Washington’s Trey Adams or Auburn’s Prince Tega Wangho in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles also has to consider an edge rusher in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft because Clay Matthews is not a long-term starter and Dante Fowler has not been consistent enough in his career. Having Mack to go with Aaron Donald could have been legendary. In my latest mock 2020 NFL Draft, I have the Rams taking Florida edge rusher Jon Greenard. Other edge rushers the team could consider include Alabama’s Terrell Lewis and Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes.

The other huge need on the roster is cornerback. Marcus Peters has been disappointing and inconsistent since the Rams traded for him. Peters also is an impending free agent who may not be worth re-signing. Aqib Talib is aging and can’t run like he used to. Given how much Los Angeles likes to play man-to-man coverage, the team must get more cornerback talent. The Rams probably won’t be picking high enough for Stanford’s Paulson Adebo, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs or Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah. But they might have a shot at Florida’s C.J. Henderson. He would be a great fit for their scheme as he is big and fast and has man-cover skills. Other corners Los Angeles could consider in the early rounds include Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, LSU’s Kristian Fulton, Virginia’s Bryce Hall and Clemson’s A.J. Terrell.

The Rams have a lot of talent, but they have some huge needs that they have to address in order to get back to the Super Bowl. Snead has to have more first-round home runs like Gurley or Aaron Donald for that to happen and avoid the early-round busts he’s had in Greg Robinson, Tavon Austin, Isaiah Pead and Brian Quick.

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