Monday Morning Draft – Week 13

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:

Detroit Lions:
The Lions mangaged a final-play touchdown to beat Minnesota for their first win of the season. Every other NFL team has more than one win, so despite with the victory, so Detroit still holding onto the No. 1 pick. While the Lions are 1-10-1, they have had some bad breaks and lost to some crazy long field goals – Baltimore, Minnesota.

The 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 and the Lions are playing really hard for Campbell. This year is going to be painful, but the Lions have the staff to build a winner.

Holmes and Campbell will have a tough decision to make regarding taking Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett to replace Jared Goff, or look to the 2023 NFL Draft to land Goff’s replacement. Clearly, Goff is not Detroit’s long-term starter. If the Lions don’t take a quarterback, edge rusher could be the top consideration, with Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux or Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson being the top candidates.

Houston Texans:
The Colts dropped the Texans, and Houston could easily lose out. The Texans notched their second win of the season last week by shockingly upsetting the Titans. That win left the Lions a comfortable lead for the No. 1 pick. Clearly, the Texans are one of the worst teams in the NFL and they are paying the price for Bill O’Brien ruining one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. With Deshaun Watson on his way out of town, finding the long-term franchise quarterback is the priority for Houston.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Jaguars have two wins and an outside chance of landing the No. 1 overall-pick. If Jacksonville were to land the top spot, it would make sense to trade down and add a bounty of picks to help build around Trevor Lawrence.

Top General Manager Candidates:

  • Detroit Lions director of scouting development Mike Martin
  • Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown
  • Buffalo Bills assistant director of player personnel 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
  • Buffalo Bills general manager Joe Schoen

  • 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
  • Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Gus Bradley
  • Las Vegas Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia
  • USC 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.

    Detroit Lions: Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh
    The Lions got their first win of the season, but Jared Goff committed some blunders that almost gave the game away. Goff is better suited to be a backup in the NFL, and he is not the long-term answer for Detroit as a replacement for Matthew Stafford. In the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Lions could grab an upgrade with Pickett.

    Pickett has been on fire in 2021, ripping up opponents on a weekly basis and helping his draft grade while leading the Panthers to their first-ever ACC conference championship. He is an accurate rhythm passer in the short to intermediate part of the field and also locates his passes extremely well deep down the field. While Pickett is not a runner like a Lamar Jackson, he is a willing and tough runner who can scramble to buy time and pick up yards on the ground. The 6-foot-3, 219-pounder has quality size for the NFL.

    Pickett has completed 68 percent of his passes in 2021 for 4,066 yards, 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He has four rushing touchdowns as well. After seeing some action in 2017, Pickett was the Panthers’ starter from 2018-2020, so he will enter the NFL with a lot of starting experience. He is known to have great character and is a worker. Pickett could be a Derek Carr- or Joe Burrow-type quarterback in the NFL.

    Seattle Seahawks: Zachary Carter, DE, Florida
    The Seahawks got their fourth win of the season thanks to a surprising victory at home over the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions, and Seattle did enough offensively to compensate for George Kittle having a massive game. Without a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Seattle is paying a big price for Jamal Adams. The Seahawks could use their high second-round pick on some pass-rush help becaise their edge rushers need more young talent.

    Team sources think Carter is a heavy edge defender who can bump inside to rush the quarterback in the sub package. They say that while Carter doesn’t like to grind blocks and got tossed around some as a run defender versus Alabama, they like his athleticism and speed for a defender who is around 6-foot-3, 285 pounds. They feel Carter is similar to Boogie Basham, who was a second-round pick by the Bills last year. Carter could get late first-round contention even though scouts feel he is more of a second-round talent. Carter could make sense for Seattle in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

    Los Angeles Chargers: Tariq Castro-Fields, CB, Penn State
    The Chargers jumped out to a big lead, but Joe Burrow almost brought Cincinnati back. Los Angeles struggled to cover the variety of the Bengals weapons with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Ja’Marr Chase combining for almost 280 yards through the air. Adding more cornerback talent would make sense for the Chargers this offseason.

    Castro-Fields has played well in coverage thus far in 2021, recording 32 tackles and seven passes defended. He had a couple of rough plays against Auburn from eye-discipline issues, and he bites hard on double moves, but these issues are correctable. Castro-Fields’ best season came in 2019 when he had 52 tackles with two interceptions and eight passes broken up. He only played in three games in 2020 before going out for the season with an injury.

    Castro-Fields (6-0, 197) has good size and the speed to run well in pre-draft workouts, so he could be a riser during the process leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft. There could be some health and durability questions, but he has an excellent skill set to be an early-rounder. Castro-Fields is big, fast, capable of running the route to prevent separation, and has some ball skills. Late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, Castro-Fields would be a good value for the Chargers.

    Indianapolis Colts: Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State
    The Colts cruised over the Texans, with Jonathan Taylor running all over the Texans defense. Michael Pittman had a solid performance for Indianapolis, but none of his teammates had four receptions or 40 yards receiving. T.Y. Hilton is aging, declining and prone to injury, Indianapolis could use a young speed receiver to pair with Pittman and take advantage of safeties stacking the box to stop Taylor. Landing Dotson in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft would be a fabulous value for the Colts.

    Dotson provided some huge plays to lead Penn State to the road upset over Wisconsin to open 2021, but it would have been a prolific game if Dotson had a competent quarterback to work with. He was wide open for would-be touchdowns of over 80 yards, 70 yards and 60 yards, but terrible passes by Sean Clifford blew those opportunities. Dotson’s stat line of five receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown does not tell the story of how phenomenal he was. He made string of acrobatic leaping grabs to help beat Auburn as well. In 2021, Dotson has 91 receptions for 1,182 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    Team sources say they compare Dotson to Elijah Moore as a late first-round or second-round talent. “I see Jahan similar to Elijah Moore,” said an AFC director of college scouting. “He’s not quite as short-area explosive or as long-speed fast as Jaylen Waddle, but Jahan is a good player.” Dotson would be a great addition to the Indianapolis offense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Jobe, CB, Alabama
    The Bucs topped the Falcons by 13, with Tom Brady throwing four touchdown passes. Tampa Bay’s issues at cornerback, however, were readily apparent, with Russell Gage totaling 130 yards on 11 catches. Even if Carlton Davis signs an extension, the Buccaneers need more cornerback talent for their defense.

    Thus far in 2021, Jobe has notched 38 tackles, four passes broken up and two interceptions. He has played well for Alabama, but really struggled with Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, who burned him multiple times for huge plays and touchdowns. Jobe has collected 55 tackles, two sacks, 11 passes defended and two forced fumbles in 2020. Like Patrick Surtain II, Jobe was a rare freshman defensive back to see the field under Nick Saban and recorded 22 tackles, two passes broken up and an interception, but he looked like he was just scratching the surface of his potential. Jobe (6-1, 189) is a big corner who can run and is athletic. Scouts say Jobe has everything you want physically, but they don’t like his inconsistency in coverage. Those issues could be coached up by Todd Bowles and his staff to develop Jobe turn into a solid starter.

    Arizona Cardinals: Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida
    The Cardinals cruised over the Bears, with Andy Dalton setting them up for easy points through four interceptions. Most of those picks came on tipped passes, and Arizona had some issues containing Jakeem Grant. In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Cardinals could consider a corner to pair with Byron Murphy.

    In 2021, Elam has 27 tackles, three passes broken up and an interception. He 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 quickness. He could stand to fill out his frame, but considering he is only a true junior, he has the time to do it. With his skill set and upside, he could be a very good pro. Elam could be a quality pick for Arizona late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

    Dallas Cowboys: Perrion Winfrey, DT, Oklahoma
    The Cowboys got a much-needed win over the Saints on Thursday Night Football. Taysom Hill threw some costly interceptions to help Dallas, but he also ran for over 100 yards. The Cowboys need some young talent for the inside of their defensive line and could use a tackle with pass-rushing ability.

    Winfrey has recorded 23 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2021 yet retains a ton of upside to break out. Winfrey (6-3, 298) came on strong for Oklahoma late in the 2020 season. The junior college product has a really good skill set with the ability to get upfield. In 2020, he totaled 16 tackles, a half sack and three passes batted.

    Here is what an area scout texted me about Winfrey during the Oklahoma-Nebraska game, “Winfrey is a pure three-technique. He’ll get better usage of his skill set in the NFL. They play him as a 0 or 4i primarily in their scheme. He’s better when they let him tee off and 1-gap. His production gets hit taking so many base reps. They’re doing what they need to in order to win. It’s our job as scouts to project him properly.” Winfrey could be a great fit as a Grady Jarrett-type defender for Dan Quinn in Dallas.

    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.

    Chicago Bears:
    While Justin Fields has dealt with injury and some growing pains on the field, he has shown some serious potential to finally be the quarterback the Bears have been searching for. The team is limping to close out the season and needs a lot of upgrades on the roster. This offseason, Chicago should bring in more proven talent evaluators and a new coaching staff.

    Ryan Pace has had some hits, but generally, he’s had more misses. His evaluation to take Mitch Trubisky over Pat Mahomes or Deshaun Watson will go down in history, similar to Michael Jordan being passed on. The Bears should replace Pace with Indianapolis Colts director of college scouting Morocco Brown. Brown was part of the Bears’ scouting staff that built their last Super Bowl team in the mid-2000s. Brown is one of the best evaluators in the NFL, leading the Colts to a string of superb drafts. Bringing Brown back to Chicago to build the team around Fields would be a brilliant move for the Bears.

    Chicago has some holes on both sides of the ball and is without a first-round pick, so the franchise will need an evaluator like Brown to hit a second-round home run to get Fields some help. Brown has led the Colts to nail second-round picks on the likes of Darius Leonard, Braden Smith and Jonathan Taylor, so Chicago would be wise to have him making the decision on that pick. The Bears have to upgrade their offensive line and wide receivers to help Fields’ development.

    In my latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, I have the Bears taking USC wide receiver Drake London, who should make a lot of sense for Chicago. Even if Allen Robinson returns, the Bears could use a third receiver to go with him and Darnell Mooney. A big receiver like London would give Chicago a red-zone weapon and provide a size mismatch for Fields to throw the ball up to when plays break down. Other second-round receivers the team could consider include Boston College’s Zay Flowers, South Alabama’s Jalen Tolbert and Penn State’s Jahan Dotson, provided Dotson slides that far.

    The Bears also need to improve their offensive line talent for Fields. After taking a tackle in Teven Jenkins last year, they could add a bookend for him with Kentucky right tackle Darian Kinnard or Minnesota right tackle Daniel Faalele. Chicago also could consider some guard help. Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green could be a good fit, but he might go late in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. LSU guards Chasen Hines and Ed Ingram could be second-round candidates.

    The Bears have a talented young quarterback, and now they are in a situation where if they build up the roster around Fields, they could be the dominant team in the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers is on his way out of Green Bay, Minnesota is mediocre, and Detroit is a massive rebuilding project. Hiring Brown would be a great first step to building a winner around Fields.

    Washington Redskins:
    The Redskins are really one piece away from being able to challenge in the NFC, and that is the obvious need for a franchise quarterback. Taylor Heinicke looks like a good backup quarterback, but he does not look like a game changer who is capable of beating an elite quarterback like Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers in a playoff game. The Redskins drafted well under former team president Bruce Allen and top evaluator Kyle Smith to build up their roster, now finding an answer at the quarterback position is the big challenge that will determine how successful the franchise is under Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew and Marty Hurney.

    In my latest mock 2022 NFL Draft, I have the Redskins taking Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral, who would be a good fit in Scott Turner’s offense. Corral is a precision passer with accuracy and mobility. He can push the ball vertically and shows real toughness as a runner. The passing and field-vision limitations of Liberty quarterback Malik Willis mean he’s not a good fit for Turner, while Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett probably won’t make it to Washington’s first-round pick. Hence, Corral in the first round or Nevada’s Carson Strong in the second round might be the best options for Washington.

    If the Redskins fill their quarterback need in free agency with a veteran, they could target more talent at wide receiver. Terry McLaurin is a phenomenal pro and was a great pick by Kyle Smith, but free agent addition Curtis Samuel has struggled to stay on the field, and the roster could use more playmakers. In the middle portion of the first round of Washington could have potential No. 1 receivers available in Arkansas’ Treylon Burks, Alabama’s Jameson Williams and Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson. Any one of those three would be a great fit alongside McLaurin. If the Redskins were to trade down, speedster wideouts like Penn State’s Jahan Dotson or Ohio State’s Chris Olave could be top targets.

    Washington also could consider more offensive line talent with a tackle to pair with Sam Cosmi. In the middle portion of the first round, the Redskins could target the likes of N.C. State’s Ikem Ekonwu, Mississippi State’s Charles Cross and Ohio State’s Nick Petit-Frere.

    Defensively, Washington could use help at cornerback. The franchse, however, has already sunk a lot of draft resources into the defensive front seven, so it would make more sense to use the premium resource of a first-round pick to help the offense.

    This is a huge offseason for the Rivera regime with Washington. If he doesn’t get the quarterback decision right, he will probably be on the hot seat and replaced before too long. If Rivera gets the quarterback decision right, Washington could quickly grow into a legit Super Bowl contender given the young talent on the defense.

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