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:

Houston Texans:
The Raiders beat the Broncos, leaving Houston as the only winless team in the NFL. The Texans fell to 0-3-1 with their loss to the Chargers. Unless Davis Mills turns things around, Houston will need a true franchise quarterback to replace Deshaun Watson. It would make sense for the Texans to target Alabama’s Bryce Young or Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Top General Manager Candidates:

  • Detroit Lions director of scouting development Mike Martin
  • Atlanta Falcons vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith
  • Indianapolis Colts chief personnel executive Morocco Brown
  • Buffalo Bills director of player personnel Terrance Gray
  • Tennessee Titans director of pro scouting Brian Gardner
  • San Francisco 49ers director of pro personnel Ran Carthon
  • Philadelphia Eagles director of scouting Brandon Hunt
  • Miami Dolphins assistant general manager Marvin Allen
  • Washington Commanders director of pro scouting Eric Stokes
  • Miami Hurricanes general manager Alonzo Highsmith

  • Top Head Coach Candidates:

  • Las Vegas Rams offensive assistant Greg Olson
  • Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
  • Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn
  • Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich
  • Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy
  • Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph
  • Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley
  • Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator 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.

    Seattle Seahawks: Antonio Johnson, CB/S, Texas A&M
    The Seahawks won a shootout in Detroit (48-45), helped by the Lions’ defense being completely inept. Seattle’s defense, however, was barely any better, letting Detroit put up 45 points despite playing without its best wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and running back D’Andre Swift. The Seahawks had no answer for tight end T.J. Hockenson, who he caught eight receptions for 179 yards and two touchdowns. Seattle is a far way from a suffocating secondary and needs some difference makers on the back end.

    Johnson has 46 tackles, a sack and one pass broken up thus far this year. The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder is a massive slot corner who broke out for the Aggies in 2021. The sophomore recorded 79 tackles, an interception and five passes defended that season.

    Johnson possesses phenomenal length and size to match up against NFL receivers while also having fabulous instincts and tackling ability for a safety. Johnson has also lined up as a slot corner, a safety, and a dime linebacker. He is an outstanding defensive back who is a Swiss Army knife to solve coverage problems for his defense. Johnson could make a lot of sense for one of Seattle’s first-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he would be a man-coverage solution to cover tight ends like Hockenson.

    Atlanta Falcons: Jaren Hall, QB, BYU
    The Falcons notched a close win over the Browns despite Marcus Mariota really struggling. He was only 7-of-19 for 139 yards and an interception even though Atlanta has a potentially dominant pair of receiving weapons in Drake London and Kyle Pitts. Now, the Falcons have to get a quarterback capable of getting them the ball. Atlanta could end up picking too low to land Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud in the 2023 NFL Draft, so the organization has to find a playmaker in the second-tier group of quarterbacks.

    In 2022, Hall has completed 70 percent of his passes for 1,438 yards, 12 touchdowns and an interception. He also caught a touchdown pass against Baylor. Hall replaced Zach Wilson as the BYU starter in 2021 and had a quality debut, completing 64 percent of his passes for 2,583 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also added some good yardage on the ground with three rushing touchdowns.

    Hall is not a big signal-caller, but he is a dangerous running quarterback with the mobility to buy time and burn defenses on the ground. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder also has a good arm capable of driving the ball downfield or throwing bullets into tight windows. He could be a sleeper who ends up being a steal from the 2023 NFL Draft.

    New York Giants: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU
    The Giants are a surprising 3-1 after dropping the Bears in New York. Saquon Barkley (31-146) ran well, and Daniel Jones scored two rushing touchdowns, but New York’s receiving production was terrible. Not a single Giants receiver had even four catches or 25 yards through the air. Jones only threw for 71 yards. Kenny Golladay looks like a bust free agent signing, and the organization needs a legit No. 1 receiver.

    Johnston flashed in 2021 catching 33 passes for 612 yards and six touchdowns. Sources from around the league are high on his skill set. One area scout told “He’s 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and can win on all three levels. He puts up 20 yards per catch, runs great routes, is super smart, an alpha, and the hardest worker on the team.”

    While Johnston still has more to prove with pro evaluators, they are high on him across the board and he could end up being the top receiver prospect in the 2023 NFL Draft. Johnston could make sense for New York’s first-round pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, if he gets there.

    Dallas Cowboys: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa
    The Cowboys cruised over the Commanders, with the Dallas defense harassing Carson Wentz into two interceptions and holding Washington to only 10 points. However in the first half, Washington was having success on the ground, running for over 100 yards. Leighton Vander Esch is hitting free agency after this season, but Dallas could look for a younger, cheaper, upgrade from the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Team sources like Campbell and think he will go in the first three rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft. They call him a taller version of Chad Muma. The 6-foot-5, 243-pound Campbell has good size, strength, and enough athleticism to be a three-down starter. In 2022, he has 49 tackles with one pass batted. In 2021, Campbell amassed 140 tackles, a sack, forced fumble, two interceptions and five passes defended. He could be a very good second-round pick for Dallas during the 2023 NFL Draft. With Damone Clark coming back in 2023, that would equate to the Cowboys adding two early-round talents at linebacker.

    Los Angeles Chargers: Gervon Dexter Sr., DT, Florida
    The Chargers got a much-needed win, taking down the Texans with a good game from Austin Ekeler. However, the Los Angeles defense really struggled to defend Houston rookie Dameon Pierce, who ripped off 131 yards and a touchdown over only 14 carries. Run defense has been a problem for the Chargers over the past few seasons, and they could use a run stuffer in the middle of their defense.

    Dexter has 13 tackles, .5 sacks, one pass batted, and an interception so far this season. The 6-foot-6, 308-pounder flashed in 2020 with 19 tackles and an interception before breaking out in 2021 with 50 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a pass batted. While Dexter is strong and powerful as a run defender, he has the speed and athleticism to become a more potent pass rusher. If he can produce more rush and sacks in 2022, he could be a fast riser for the 2023 NFL Draft. Dexter would make a lot of sense for the Chargers in the early rounds.

    Minnesota Vikings: Zay Flowers, WR, Boston College
    The Vikings won a close game in London over the Saints, but Minnesota caught them at a good time because Alvin Kamara and Jameis Winston were out with injuries. Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson did not produce much in Week 3 against Detroit, and that was the case against New Orleans until he came alive late. Adam Thielen is contributing, but he is aging and the Vikings could use a No. 2 receiver to take advantage of defenses sending double teams at Jefferson or stacking the box to defend Dalvin Cook.

    In 2022, Flowers has 34 receptions for 481 yards and five touchdowns. He totaled 44 catches for 746 yards and five touchdowns in 2021 while playing most of the year without his starting quarterback. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder was impressive in 2020, breaking out for the Eagles. He flashed some in 2019, but was significantly improved as a sophomore.

    Flowers does not have much size, but he possesses game-breaking speed and is a threat to produce a big play on any reception. In the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, Flowers could be a nice pick for the Vikings.

    Cincinnati Bengals: Jaylon Jones, CB, Texas A&M
    After starting the season 0-2, the Bengals quickly got back to .500, notching two wins in four days over the Jets and Dolphins. Cincinnati struggled to defend Tyreek Hill (10-160), and those problems could have been worse if Tua Tagovailoa had not gotten hurt. The Bengals have some decent cornerbacks, but if they added a true No. 1 shutdown corner, that would improve their defense tremendously. In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, taking a corner like Jones would make a lot of sense for the Bengals.

    Jones has really flashed for the Aggies over his career, including the 2021 season, when he recorded 35 tackles, two interceptions and six passes defended. Pro sources think Jones has a lot of potential as a cover corner for the NFL. He has really impressive movement skills, including speed and athleticism. Along with a good skill set, Jones displays solid instincts and is a willing tackler. However, Jones has some raw elements to his game, such as grabbing and holding at times and giving up balls he shouldn’t occasionally. In his first game of 2022 against Miami, Jones was superb with nine tackles and a pass broken up. He then played well against Arkansas. Jones could be a nice fit for the Bengals if he gets to their first-round pick during the 2023 NFL Draft.

    Team Draft Report:

    In this section, we take a deeper look at specific teams and where they stand in regards to the 2023 NFL Draft.

    New England Patriots:
    With a 1-3 start to the season, the Patriots have dug themselves a big hole in the AFC. The Bills and Dolphins are the best two teams in the division, and with the strength of the AFC West and the AFC North, it will be a very tough race for the three wild-card spots. For years, Tom Brady and free agent acquisitions covered up that Bill Belichick has not drafted well for the Patriots over the past decade. New England is now feeling the poor drafts, because the roster lacks elite talent on both sides of the ball. Owner Robert Kraft acknowledged that the drafting has not been good and must improve. That is an understatement, as it will take adding elite talent for the Patriots to compete with teams like the Bills, Dolphins, Chiefs and Bengals.

    New England has a lot of needs, so the team could go with the best player available in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. One position that would be a welcome addition would be cornerback after losing J.C. Jackson and Stephon Gilmore. With Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and the potential of Garrett Wilson, having a No. 1 corner is a necessity for the Patriots. In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, they could consider good options like Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. or Texas A&M’s Jaylon Jones. Either would be a great pick as a long-term No. 1 corner, but Jones might be a better scheme fit for what the Patriots like to do. Other corners New England could consider in the early rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft include Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes, Alabama’s Eli Ricks, Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon and Utah’s Clark Phillips.

    The Patriots could use a feature receiver of their own. DeVante Parker, Nelson Agholor and Jakobi Meyers are all solid, but not true-No. 1 mismatch nightmares. In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, New England could target players like Ohio State’s Jaxon Smith-Njigba or TCU’s Quentin Johnston. Both of them are mismatches. Other early-round receivers the organization could consider include USC’s Jordan Addison, Tennessee’s Cedric Tillman and Maryland’s Dontay Demus.

    Defensively, the Patriots could use some youth on the interior of their defensive line and at linebacker. If they have a high first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, Georgia’s Jalen Carter would be a great addition for then. At linebacker, there may not be a prospect worthy of New England’s first-round pick. On Day 2, however, the organization could consider linebackers like Iowa’s Jack Campbell or Oregon’s Noah Sewell in the second round.

    The Patriots need to start adding elite talent to their roster in order to compete with the top teams in the AFC. The 2022 season could easily yield New England a pick in the top half of the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, and it will be critical for the tean to hit on that pick to add a difference maker to build around.

    Miami Dolphins:
    Miami had a strong start to the season, going 3-1 in the month of September, including scoring huge wins over their top division rivals, the Bills and Patriots. The Dolphins offense is a threat to score on any play thanks to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, while the defense has young talent to keep them competitive for years to come. A few more pieces could put Miami over the top and make the team a true Super Bowl contender in the AFC.

    In my latest mock 2023 NFL Draft, I have the Dolphins taking Texas running back Bijan Robinson in the first round, and he would be a great pick for them. Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert are backup quality backs who would make excellent depth pieces behind a lead dog like Robinson. Robinson is star with superb size, speed, power, athleticism and elusiveness. He also is a dangerous receiver. Adding Robinson would bring an Ezekiel Elliott- or Leonard Fournette-caliber back to the Miami offense. Alongside Hill and Waddle, Robinson would make things very difficult for defenses because they could not double those receivers and have eight defenders in the box to defend Robinson. Taking Robinson would be a great first-round pick for Miami.

    Aside from Robinson, other good backs to consider on second day of the 2023 NFL Draft could include Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs, Georgia’s Kenny McIntosh, UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet and Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn. Improving the rushing offense would make the Miami offense truly deadly.

    Cornerback is another position that has to be a top consideration because Byron Jones and Xavien Howard are an expensive duo, while 2020 first-rounder Noah Igbinoghene has been a disappointment. In the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Dolphins could consider good options like Penn State’s Joey Porter Jr. amd Texas A&M’s Jaylon Jones. Either would be a great pick as a long-term No. 1 corner. Other corners the organization could consider in the early rounds include Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes, Alabama’s Eli Ricks, Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon and Utah’s Clark Phillips.

    Additional positions Miami could consider in the early rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft would be for depth and competition along the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker. However, the franchise does not have screaming needs at the those positions.

    The Dolphins appear on the right track and are off to a strong start in 2022. If Tua Tagovailoa continues to develop and improve. Miami could finally return to being a legit Super Bowl contender like it was with Dan Marino. One more good draft could make that a reality in Miami.

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