Monday Morning Draft – Week 4

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:

Jacksonville Jaguars:
Cincinnati dropped the Jaguars to 0-4 after they were leading and in control for a lot of the game. New head coach Urban Meyer has received a rude welcome to the NFL, and clearly Jacksonville is a young team with a lot of holes on the roster. The team has been mismanaged for years, and that was given further illustration when the Jaguars only got a third-round pick for C.J. Henderson, who was the 9th-overall pick just a year ago. That is a terrible return on a top investment for the franchise.

The Jaguars should get better throughout the season, but they could be a top candidate for the No. 1 pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. If Jacksonville lands the top pick, it would make sense to trade down with a team that needs a quarterback and load up on picks to help the rebuilding process.

Detroit Lions:
The Jets, Giants and Colts all ggot their first wins of the season over the weekend, which only help the Lions in their draft positioning after they lost to the Bears. Baltimore needed an NFL-record 66-yard field goal on the final play of the game to get the win in Detroit. The 0-4 Lions are deep in rebuilding mode after previous general manager Bob Quinn and previous head coach Matt Patricia did a terrible job of drafting. It will take some time for Detroit to rebuild the roster new general manager Brad Holmes and new head coach Dan Campbell inherited. Hence, it could be a long year for the Lions, but Holmes is a phenomenal talent evaluator who will build a talented team.

If the Lions land the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, what they do with it will depend on how Jared Goff plays this season. If Goff plays well enough, they could maybe trade down for a big package of picks. If Goff struggles, they could replace him with the top quarterback. Detroit has two first-round picks in each of the next two drafts, so the franchise already has good resources thanks to the haul that Holmes landed for Matthew Stafford. If the Lions don’t take a quarterback, wide receiver and edge rusher could be their top considerations.

New York Jets:
The Jets got their first win of the season by dropping the Titans. New York is a young team that will improve as the season progresses. The Jets are in for some growing pains, but they should be a better team in the back half of the season. If the Jets were to land the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, they probably would look to trade down and load up on picks to help their rebuilding process.

New York Giants:
The Giants beat the Saints to improve to 1-3. It looks like it could be a long-year for the Giants. I’m not confident, however, they will be bad enough to land the No. 1 pick. If they were to land the No. 1 pick, it would mean that Daniel Jones probably has not panned out and they should look to replace him with a new quarterback.

Top General Manager Candidates:

  • Detroit Lions director of scouting development Mike Martin
  • Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown
  • Buffalo Bills director of college scouting Terrance Gray
  • Atlanta Falcons vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith
  • Buffalo Bills assistant college scouting director Lake Dawson
  • Tennessee Titans director of pro scouting Brian Gardner
  • San Francisco 49ers director of pro personnel Ran Carthon
  • Pittsburgh Steelers pro scouting coordinator Brandon Hunt
  • Miami Dolphins assistant general manager Marvin Allen
  • Washington director of pro scouting Eric Stokes
  • Seattle Seahawks executive Alonzo Highsmith

  • Top Head Coach Candidates:

  • Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson
  • Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
  • Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman
  • Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale
  • Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles
  • Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy
  • Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator George Godsey
  • Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph
  • Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley

  • 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.

    Dallas Cowboys: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
    The Cowboys were able to hold on to beat Carolina in a shootout. Sam Darnold ran for two scores, and Jalen Hurts had some runs on the Dallas defense last Monday night. Adding an interior run defender who also can put some inside pressure on the quarterback would be a good addition to the Dallas defense. The Cowboys probably won’t be picking high enough for Georgia’s Jordan Davis, but Winfrey could be a nice pick later in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

    Winfrey has recorded 11 tackles and 3.5 sacks in 2021. He has a ton of upside to continue to improve as he is a fast and athletic interior rusher. Winfrey (6-3, 298) came on strong for Oklahoma late in the 2020 season. The junior college product has a really good skill set and has shown versatility playing a variety of techniques for the Sooners in 2021. For the NFL, he would fit best as a three-technique pass rusher in a 4-3 defense, and that would make him a fit for Dallas.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
    The Chiefs won a shootout over the Eagles, but the Kansas City defense was torched by Jalen Hurts through the air and on the ground. The Philadelphia tight ends also hurt the Chiefs’ middle with 11 receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown. Earlier this year, Lamar Jackson pulled off a big comeback on Kansas City, so clearly next offseason the Chiefs need to add some talent upgrades to the middle of their defense to do a better job of handling tight ends and running quarterbacks.

    Smith has 32 tackles, one sack and two passes broken up so far in 2021. With Micah Parsons sitting out the 2020 season, Smith flashed for Penn State, showing speed and athleticism. Like Parsons, Smith is a big linebacker who has raw speed. In the shortened eight-game 2020 season, Smith collected 37 tackles, two sacks, an interception and pass broken up. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder could be even better in 2021 from his experience as a sophomore.

    Indianapolis Colts: Drake London, WR, USC
    The Colts got their first win of the season by manhandling Miami. Indianapolis could use more receiving weapons for Carson Wentz and a more steady No. 2 receiver to go with Michael Pittman Jr. Going back to USC on the second day of the 2022 NFL Draft could provide a good value for the Colts and allow them to use their first-round pick on help for the defense or a young left tackle to protect Wentz.

    To open 2021, London has 39 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder is a physical receiver with size and strength. He does a very good job of winning 50-50 passes and is a tough receiver after the catch. London was in a crowded depth chart in 2019 and 2020, but he still showed some intriguing ability. In 2020, he had 33 receptions for 502 yards and three touchdowns over six games. As a freshman, he had 39 catches for 567 yards and five touchdowns. London could be a nice No. 2 receiver to go with former teammate Michael Pittman Jr., and reuniting those Trojan wideouts would give Carson Wentz twin towers to attack defenses.

    New York Jets: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia
    The Jets got their first win of the season despite giving up 15 points in the fourth quarter, but a missed field goal in overtime prevented gave the Jets the win rather than forcing a tie. Derrick Henry ran well on the New York defense, and the teams could use more edge-rush talent to go with Carl Lawson next year. Walker would make for a good first-round pick who could help the Jets in both phases.

    Scouts are buzzing about Walker, and he is shooting up boards for the 2022 NFL Draft. The junior is off to an impressive start in 2021, including a big performance against Clemson in the season opener. Thus far, he has 11 tackles and a sack. Team sources say Walker is big, athletic and speedy. The 6-foot-5, 275-pounder has the size to set the edge and is quick off the ball. They feel he is a well-rounded defender with a lot of upside. Walker could be a superb addition to go with Quinnen Williams and Lawson.

    New York Giants: Jermaine Johnson II, DE, Florida State
    The Giants were able to get an overtime win over the Saints thanks to their offense stepping up. Daniel Jones threw for over 400 yards, and Saquon Barkley looked like the rookie-year version that took the league by storm. New York did not record a sack though and could use more edge-rush talent to go with Azeez Ojulari.

    In 2021, Johnson has 31 tackles, 5.5 sacks and a pass batted. He has made big plays in run defense and the pass rush for Florida State. With a high motor, Johnson has been all over the field for the Seminoles. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder has good size and speed off the edge. With his strong play as a senior, Johnson is a rising prospect who is putting himself in early-round consideration.

    Washington Redskins: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
    The Redskins pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback win thanks to some late heroics by Taylor Heinicke, J.D. McKissic and Terry McLaurin. So far this season,the Washington defense has struggled and disappointed. One of the big reasons for that is a struggling secondary, and Cordarrelle Patterson’s three-touchdown game only gave further proof of that.

    Elam has eight tackles, three passes broken up and an interception in 2021. Taking on Alabama, Elam was phenomenal, blanketing and shutting down future NFL receivers. He also played well in 2020, recording 39 tackles, two interceptions and 11 passes broken up. The 6-foot-1, 187-pounder was fantastic as a freshman, flashing serious ball skills even though he had a part-time role. Elam has good height and length with enough quickness to become a potential starter. He could be a plug-and-play cornerback upgrade for Washington.

    Cincinnati Bengals: Rasheed Walker, OT, Penn State
    The Bengals pulled off a comeback win over the Jaguars on Thursday Night Football after struggling for a lot of the first half. Cincinnati’s offense had isssues before storming back and getting more consistent at the point of attack would help the team’s scoring unit. The Bengals passed on Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft and still need more offensive line upgrades. Adding an offensive tackle like Walker could help them at a few spots if they move Jonah Williams and if Jackson Carman emerges. That could lead to a good run line for Joe Mixon and one that is reliable at protecting Joe Burrow.

    Walker had a mixed outing against Wisconsin in the 2021 season opener, but he played better against Auburn. The 6-foot-6, 320-pounder is a large offensive tackle with further potential to improve as he gains experience. He could end up being a tough run blocker and reliable pass protector. Walker has a good skill set with size, speed and athleticism. He needs to eliminate, however, his tendency to bend at the waist and lunge after defenders. That leads to him having issues in pass protection at times, but Walker has all the physical talent to be a starting left tackle in the NFL. In the mid to late portion of the first round, Walker could be a quality value pick for the Bengals.

    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.

    Atlanta Falcons:
    The Falcons are in a deep rebuild after coming close to winning a Super Bowl under former head coach Dan Quinn. Former general manager Thomas Dimitroff made some great moves to help build that team, but some bad drafts led to the decimation of the Atlanta roster. Fortunately for Falcons fans, the franchise hired a good staff to lead a rebuild, led by general manager Terry Fontenot, head coach Arthur Smith, and vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith. Those three all have great reputations around the NFL for being astute talent evaluators and team builders.

    The biggest decision for the Falcons will be the quarterback position, and they could easily not be picking high enough for Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral. There probably won’t be another quarterback worthy of going high in Round 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft. In the second round, Atlanta could consider players like Liberty’s Malik Willis, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder or Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett. The Falcons might be forced into waiting a year to find a true heir apparent to Ryan.

    If a quarterback is not available, landing a difference maker for the defense has to be the priority for Atlanta. In my latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, I have the Falcons taking Georgia edge rusher Adam Anderson, and he could be a dynamic quarterback hunter for them. Aside from Anderson, Atlanta could have good options with Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, Purdue’s George Karlaftis, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson, LSU’s Ali Gaye or Virginia Tech’s Amaré Barno. Fortunately for the Falcons, this is a good draft for edge-rushing talent.

    Cornerback is another big need for Atlanta roster. A.J. Terrell has played well this season, but the Falcons needs more cornerback talent across from him. If they don’t go with an edge rusher in the first round, they could consider a player like LSU’s Derek Stingley. Aside from Stingley, this is a strong cornerback draft, so they could consider other options like Penn State’s Tariq Castro-Fields, Washington’s Trent McDuffie, Alabama’s Josh Jobe or Virginia Tech’s Jermaine Waller.

    Later in the 2022 NFL Draft, it could make sense for Atlanta to address some other needs like offensive line talent, running back competition, and some secondary receivers. Wide receiver could be a big need if Calvin Ridley is not signed to an extension.

    The big question will be whether to go with Ryan again in 2022 or find his replacement. While it may take some time, Atlanta has smart leadership in place that will build a good roster for the Falcons.

    Jacksonville Jaguars:
    Years of terrible roster management and evaluations by former general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marone have dug a huge hole for the Jacksonville franchise. Trent Baalke was an epic failure as the 49ers’ general manager, and Urban Meyer has never been a NFL head coach. Hence, it remains to be seen whether the Jaguars have the right decision makers in place to lead the team to relevance. The Jaguars were fortunate to land franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but it remains to be seen if they can build up the roster well around Lawrence.

    There are a lot of holes on the Jacksonville roster heading into 2022. In my latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, I have the Jaguars taking LSU cornerback Derek Stingley because they need a No. 1 corner for their defense after trading away C.J. Henderson. Aside from Stingley, this is a strong cornerback draft, so Jacksonville could consider other options like Penn State’s Tariq Castro-Fields, Washington’s Trent McDuffie, Alabama’s Josh Jobe or Virginia Tech’s Jermaine Waller.

    The interior of the Jacksonville defensive line is a big need as well. Taven Bryan has been a bust, and the team needs an interior disruptor to go next to Josh Allen. In the first round, the Jaguars could consider Georgia’s Jordan Davis as a heavy nose tackle to stuff the run and collapse the pocket. If they were to move down or early in the second round, they could look at players like Oklahoma’s Perrion Winfrey or Texas A&M’s DeMarvin Leal, provided either slides that low.

    Wide receiver D.J. Chark is an impending free agent, and Marvin Jones is not a long-term wideout. In the first round, Jacksonville could consider reuniting Trevor Lawrence with Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross. Ross has good size and speed, but medical concerns could cause him to slide. Still, it would be intriguing to have Lawrence, Ross and Travis Etienne reunited in Jacksonville. Other wide receivers the Jaguars could consider include Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, Penn State’s Jahan Dotson and Ohio State’s Chris Olave. Dotson might be a good option early in the second round.

    Other positions that could come into play are linebacker and offensive tackle. Veteran left tackle Cam Robinson is entering free agency, and if Walker Little doesn’t impress them enough, the Jaguars could consider tackle help. Joe Schobert was traded away as well, and Jacksonville could use linebacker help for the middle of the defense.

    The Jaguars have a lot of needs entering the offseason, but fortunately they should have plenty of money to spend in free agency and a high first-round pick to get a top talent to fill a need. They lucked into Lawrence, and he looks like he will grow into being a good starter capable of leading the franchise to a championship. It now falls on Baalke and Meyer to make wise decisions on the rest of the roster.

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