Monday Morning Draft – Week 10

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:

Cincinnati Bengals:
The 0-8 Bengals were blown out by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. However, Cincinnati maintains its position to land the No. 1-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. 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. They 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 had a bye this week, and they are in rebuilding mode and fell to 1-8 last week with a loss at Buffalo. Washington already fired head coach Jay Gruden, but the organization has had some good drafts to form a core for the future with Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Dwayne Haskins, Montez Sweat and Terry McLaurin. Thus, it would be a mistake for the Redskins to fire their roster-building brain trust of Bruce Allen, Doug Williams and Kyle Smith. If Washington lands the No. 1-overall pick, the team could trade down for a huge bounty of picks to build around Haskins.

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.

Green Bay Packers: Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon
After an ugly game against the Chargers, the Packers were fortunate to pull out a close win over the Panthers, and the Packers benefited from some terrible officiating that really helped them on the scoreboard. Green Bay’s offense ran the ball well with Aaron Jones, but Aaron Rodgers consistently used his feet to bail out some weak blocking from his offensive line. In the 2020 NFL Draft, it would make sense for the Packers to improve their protection for Rodgers.

Lemieux has been a solid starter at left guard for Oregon over the past few seasons, and on a line of future NFL competitors, some scouts like Lemieux the most. The 6-foot-4, 317-pounder has been a good left guard for Oregon over his career, having made 38 straight starts entering his senior year. He has been one of the top guards in the nation and Pac-12 during that time. In pass protection and run blocking, Lemieux is a well-balanced blocker who is productive in both phases. He could be a plug-and-play starter in the NFL.

Chicago Bears: Solomon Kindley, G, Georgia
The Bears were fortunate that Matthew Stafford was held out with injury, as that let them cruise over Jeff Driskel to end their losing streak. In the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Bears could use more talent on their disappointing offensive line. Chicago has an undersized and finesse line, so a blocker like Kindley would give the front size, power and nastiness at the point of attack. If Kindley gets to one of their second-round picks, he could be a steal for the Bears.

Kindley is having an excellent 2019 season and has a lot of buzz in the scouting community. Team sources rave about Kindley (6-4, 335), and he could end up being a special guard prospect. Kindley is a big blocker with a thick build, but area scouts are raving about the way Kindley can move and feel his movement skills alone could him a starter in the NFL. On top of Kindley being an easy mover in a big body, he has nastiness to him and really gets after defensive players. Kindley helped pave the way for D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield as Georgia’s starting left guard in 2018. He broke into the starting lineup as a redshirt freshman in 2017 and blocked well to help Georgia reach the National Championship. Kindley has talent around him and behind him to be a riser throughout the draft process.

Tennessee Titans: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
The Titans won’t be picking high enough to land Tua Tagovailoa and probably Justin Herbert, but they could land Georgia’s Jake Fromm to be their new starting quarterback. Fromm is a good game manager who could function well in the type of good fundamental football that Mike Vrabel wants Tennessee to play.

In 2019, Fromm has completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,858 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. He made some clutch throws to lead Georgia to a tough win over Notre Dame. As a freshman, Fromm (6-2, 220) was pressed into the starting lineup, but he led Georgia all the way to the National Championship. Fromm was an excellent game-manager, making some clutch throws while protecting the football to allow his potent rushing attack and superb defense to control games. In 2017, Fromm completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,615 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Fromm does not have a powerful arm and is not a running threat, but he has great intangibles and a personal makeup that teams will fall in love with. He knows where to go with the ball and has field vision to work off his primary read. Fromm does not have the skill set of a top-of-the-draft quarterback, but he I think he stands a good shot of going in the back half of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Atlanta Falcons: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
The Falcons pulled off one of the most surprising upsets of the 2019 season with a road win at New Orleans. Matt Ryan returned to the lineup and was able to carry the Atlanta offense, while Grady Jarrett put together a phenomenal game to lead the Atlanta defense. For the Falcons to rebound into being a playoff contender next season, they could use more balance on offense with an improved rushing attack. Early in the second round, Atlanta could come away with a new starter at running back as Devonta Freeman is declining and the organization will probably move on from him in the offseason.

Hubbard (6-1, 207) has taken college football by storm, and he entered the final month of the regular season as the nation’s leading rusher. Hubbard has averaged 6.8 yards per carry for 1,604 yards with 18 touchdowns. He also has nine catches for 40 yards. As a redshirt freshman, he averaged six yards per carry for 740 yards with seven touchdowns and 22 receptions for 229 yards and two scores.

Hubbard lacks elite power and is a bit of a straight-line runner, but he has good vision and feel. Hubbard is a hard-charging back who has instincts and good contact balance. While Hubbard is a former track competitor, he is not a blazer. Hubbard has starting potential for the NFL and can make some plays in the passing game. In speaking with some scouts, they feel that Hubbard could go in the second round.

Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Cleveland got a tough home win over Buffalo, showing that the Browns have the potential to be a second-half-of-the-season team. The biggest weakness for the Browns this year has been the offensive line, and in the offseason, they need to find better protection for Baker Mayfield. Between Georgia’s Andrew Thomas or USC’s Austin Jackson, Cleveland might be able to land a franchise left tackle who is a true replacement for Joe Thomas.

The 6-foot-5, 320-pound Thomas looks like a franchise left tackle for the NFL. He has an excellent skill set with quickness, athleticism and length. With his feet and agility, Thomas is very good at defending the edge from speed rushers while also having more strength to be a good blocker in the ground game. Thomas looks like a very safe pick to turn into a good pro starter, and the Browns would be very fortunate if they could land him in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, DE, Alabama
After knocking off the Patriots on Sunday Night Football last week, the Ravens blew out the Bengals to improve to 7-2 on the season. Baltimore’s defense shut down rookie Ryan Finley in his first start, and the Ravens’ defense has been rounding into form after losing some established veterans last offseason. One place Baltimore could consider adding to the defense is more young pass rush, as the team could use a partner for Matt Judon and a true replacement for Terrell Suggs.

Lewis has 27 tackles, six sacks and two passes batted thus far this year. He has been a dynamic edge rusher, showing speed, power, length, and some moves. 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 edge defender, formerly known as Terrell Hall, developed behind the scenes for Alabama in 2016, but he could be poised for a breakout year now that he is healthy. Scouts have told me that the 6-foot-5, 247-pounder is big and quick, plus possesses surprising change-of-direction skills. They said that Lewis has a great build and is dripping with upside.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Bucs added a long-term building block for their defense with LSU linebacker Devin White last April, and it would be exciting if they could reunite him with his college teammate Delpit. All season, pass defense has been a problem for Tampa Bay, but the team has a lot of young cornerbacks on the roster. Safety could stand to be upgraded, as the Justin Evans has been on injured reserve for three straight seasons. Delpit could be a good value for the Buccaneers in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 208-pound Delpit has excellent instincts to go along with a good combination of size and speed. He covers a lot of ground in pass coverage in the middle of the field and is a tough run defender. Delpit has the skill set to play some man coverage on tight ends, strong safety in the box, and can play some free safety in the deep part of the field. He has special ability for the NFL. In 2019, Delpit has 45 tackles with an interception and four passes broken up. He was a very productive player for LSU in 2018 with 74 tackles, 9.5 tackle for a loss, five sacks, nine passes batted and five interceptions.

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.

New York Jets:
Entering the season, there were high hopes the Jets were going to finally turn the corner and become a playoff contender in the AFC. However, the Jets hasve proven they weren’t quite ready for prime time, as they still have a roster with a lot of needs and the new coaching staff has failed to develop young franchise quarterback Sam Darnold. Given the play of the Jets this season, it would not be surprising if Adam Gase is one and done as their head coach.

The Jets have put Darnold in a difficult situation to grow because they have a weak offensive line and a lack of play-makers at wide receiver. Those issues limit how effective Le’Veon Bell can be as well, and the Jets must improve their blocking for Darnold with more potent weapons for him to work with. Obviously, free agency could change how they approach the 2020 NFL Draft, but right now, the Jets have a few routes they could go in the draft with taking a receiver followed by blockers or vice versa.

In my latest mock 2020 NFL Draft, I have the Jets taking Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who would be an excellent addition as a true No. 1 wideout for Darnold. Jeudy has quality size, speed, athleticism and hands and is a superb rout-runner. Taking Jeudy as a top-five pick would be quality value for the Jets. After taking Jeudy, they could look to land an offensive line upgrade in the second round among prospects like Houston tackle Josh Jones, Auburn tackle Prince Tega Wanogho, Georgia guard Solomon Kindley, Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz or Oregon guard Shane Lemieux. Pairing one of those linemen with Jeudy would be a nice upgrade to the New York offense.

Flippting the script, Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas or USC left tackle Austin Jackson would be good players to consider in the first round. Thomas could be a franchise left tackle who protects Darnold well for many years to come. Thomas could be a great top-five pick, as he will help the Jets to improve their blocking for Bell as well as keep Darnold healthy. The 2020 NFL Draft is strong at wide receiver, so the Jets could land a good wideout prospect early in the second round. LSU’s Justin Jefferson, Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden, Florida State’s Tamorrion Terry and TCU’s Jalen Reagor are candidates to go in the back half of the first round, but some of them might slip to Round 2. They could be excellent value picks early on the second day of the 2020 NFL Draft. Other second-round receivers to consider Central Florida’s Gabriel Davis, Clemson’s Tee Higgins and Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace. The Jets might get better value doing this second route with Thomas in Round 1 and a wide receiver in Round 2.

The Jets also have a lot of needs on defense, like a lineman to replace Leonard Williams, more edge-rushing talent, and more cover corners. However, New York has drafted heavily on the defense in recent years and must start helping Darnold due to the amount of resources invested him. The 2020 offseason has to be about helping Darnold by improving the team’s offensive line and wide receivers. If the Jets do that, becoming a playoff contender again could happen relatively quickly.

Oakland Raiders:
At 5-4, the Raiders are firmly in the AFC playoff race and a team on the rise. Clearly, the plan being instituted by head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock is working, as Oakland is one of the most improved teams in the NFL this season. The future is bright for the team’s fans, as not only are the Raiders getting better week-by-week, but they are loaded with draft picks to continue to build a talented young core for the future. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Raiders have two first-round picks and three third-round picks to add five players to their roster from the top-100 selections. Filling a few more needs could put Oakland over the top to being one of the top teams in the AFC.

In my latest mock 2020 NFL Draft, I have the Raiders continuing to build up their defense with their two first-round picks. It makes sense given that head coach Jon Gruden has a preference towards veterans on offense and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has played a lot of rookies on his defense. Oakland’s pick from the Chicago Bears entered Week 10 as 10th overall, but it is headed higher with how Chicago is playing. With that choice, I have the Raiders taking Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, who would be a tremendous addition. He would give them a big, physical, fast and disruptive presence in the middle of their line. With smaller defensive tackles like P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst, Oakland could use a larger gap shooter and dominating presence at the point of attack. Brown could give Guenther something akin to what he had in Cincinnati with Geno Atkins, or what Gruden had in his early years in Tampa Bay with Warren Sapp. Brown is that good.

Other than Brown, the Raiders’ top-10 pick could land them a shutdown corner like Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah or Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young. Either one would be a great fit in the Oakland defense. Adding some talent to linebacker would make sense as well, so Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray and Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons could be in play for the organization’s first-round pick. Both of them would be good scheme fits in Guenther’s 4-3 defense.

Adding more coverage talent could be needed, and the Raiders could consider cornerbacks with their second first-round selection. Players like Alabama’s Trevon Diggs or Stanford’s Paulson Adebo could be in play to form a young tandem with Trayvon Mullen.

Another need the Raiders could address with their second first-round pick is wide receiver. Following Antonio Brown’s flame out with Oakland, the team could use a No. 1 receiver for Gruden’s offense. Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy could be in play for the Raiders’ first selection, but they may not be picking high enough to get him because the Jets, Redskins, and Giants could all target Jeudy. Luckily for Oakland, the 2020 NFL Draft is strong at wide receiver, so later high-quality value could be found with prospects like Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, Colorado’s Laviska Shenault and Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden.

The Raiders have a number of options they could go in the first round, and their pick from the Bears has the potential to be a franchise-caliber player if the Raiders land someone like Derrick Brown, Jeff Okudah, Chase Young or Jerry Jeudy. Jon Gruden and his coordinators, Greg Olson and Paul Guenther, have done a phenomenal job of developing a young roster and are fielding a vastly improved team this season. One more strong draft could put the Raiders over the top and have them poised to be one of the top teams in the AFC.

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