Schupak’s Draft Prospects Top 51, 3.0
Two players dropped out of my top 51 prospects list, quarterback Sam Howell and cornerback Deion Kendrick. Listening to Chris Simms, I drank some of his Kool Aid with his wide receiver rankings, though I don’t think the two Buckeyes (Wilson & Olave) are as overrated as he thinks. I moved Travon Walker up based on his Combine showing but I just don’t see the production. To me he is more Vernon Gholston than Willie McGinest. Gun to my head, I’d chose Jermaine Johnson over him.
Alabama wideout Jameson Williams has made a huge leap. Look for the Falcons to pick him or Garrett Wilson at 8. It was unfortunate that David Ojabo ruptured his achilles. A name to keep an eye on is cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. who gets very little love. He has a chance to become a special player.
The Jets Twitter mob is going full force 24/7. What’s the saying? Buy on the rumor? Well the Jets trade rumors are flying all over the place. With the Jets having the number 4 and 10 pick, they are in a great position. These picks become more valuable the closer we get to draft day. JD would be foolish to make a trade now. I would love to nab receivers Jameson Williams in the first round and Alec Pierce in the second round. But I keep getting the impression that Joe Douglas wants to trade for a receiver and may not want to draft one. My Jets Rewind co-hosts Ralph Sharaga and Ray Clifford don’t like the two big guys: Drake London and Treylon Burkes. Something about London being an undersized tight end who lumbers out on his routes. And Burkes seems to have a real good “go” route but not a lot more. I watched him against Alabama. He was great but Ralph and Ray have been right way more times than being wrong.
Jets fans have their favorites and then move on to other prospects. First it was Tyler Linderbaum then it was George Karlaftis. The flavor of the month today seems to be Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, the very gifted cornerback from Cincinnati. He would be a great pick. Watching Robert Saleh, unlike Rex Ryan, who never met a defensive back he didn’t like, Saleh relies on a pass rush rather than shut down corners. He feels if his defense gets pressure and gets the quarterback uncomfortable, he can get by with just average or above average cornerbacks.
Bottom line today and this will change a million times between now and April 28th, is that it is smelling like an edge at 4 and a receiver at 10. But we'll see!
Risers: Christian Watson, Alec Pierce, Jameson Williams, Andrew Booth Jr.,Travon Walker, Jermaine Johnson ll
Fallers: Sam Howell, Derion Kendrick, David Ojabo
1. Aiden Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan 6’6” 265 lbs. Plays big, plays fast and plays smart. Shows leadership on the field and loves directing people to the correct spot. It's close but I see Hutch as the best of this year’s prospects!
2. Ikem Ekwonu, OT/G NC St. 6’4” 320 lbs. Listed as tackle but can move inside at guard. Violent finisher! If he refines pass blocking skills, he has a chance to be a Quenton Nelson. Very high ceiling!
3. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon, Edge 6’5” 258 lbs. May sink lower but he’s a gamer. Too many top of the draft comparisons to Garrett or Bosa. He’s not them, but is real good and can get better. Despite late negativity, teams would be dumb passing on him.
4. Evan Neal, OT, Alabama, 6’7”, 350 lbs. Moves incredibly well! Very competitive and plays tough. Might be the most NFL ready player in the draft. Can run block and pass block equally well.
5. Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama, 6’2” 189 lbs.. Even if he cannot start the season, he has a great chance to be special. In ’21 had 79 rec.,1,572 yards and 15 TDs. His 19.9 yards per reception is Paul Warfield like.
6. Charles Cross, OT, Mississippi State, 6’5” 310 lbs. Cross has had a lot of pass-blocking reps with Mike Leach’s offense. He allowed 44 pressures on 574 pass-blocking snaps in 2020 and 16 on 719 pass-blocking snaps this year.
7. Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Cincinnati, 6’2” 188 lbs. Just an incredible cover DB. He has not let up a TD in centuries! In ’21, he allowed only 131 yards on 14 receptions.
8. Kyle Hamilton, S, LSU, 6’4”, 220 lbs. Very smart with off the chart instincts. Can react and anticipate well. Hybrid with linebacker DNA. Physically he possesses the future of the NFL, a long tall safety to offset the present tight end craze in the league. Don’t be fooled by slow 40 pro-day time, he is a player.
9. Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah, 6’3” 235 lbs. May be the best all-around linebacker in this draft. This past year he had 110 tackles, 22 TFL, 8 sacks and 4 interceptions.
10. Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State 6’1” 189 lbs. Excellent route runner who has a great burst. Straight ahead speed is said to be better than speedster teammate Garrett Wilson. Might turn out to be the safest and best WR choice. Underrated with contested catches. Olave catches everything!
11. Jermaine Johnson II, Edge, Florida State, 6’4”, 260 lbs. No one has ascended faster in the post season. Showed his pass rushing skills at the Senior Bowl. Great speed with excellent first step and loves to track down runners.
12. Garrett Wilson, WR, Ohio State, 6’0”. 188 lbs. Extremely gifted receiver who combines smart route running with great speed. Has great YAC ability. Has potential to be special with big play ability.
13. George Karlaftis, Edge, Purdue, 6’4”, 275 lbs. Has incredible athleticism. An incredible pass rusher who must play the run better. His first step may be the best in the draft. Ran 4.71 at Purdue’s pro day under horrid conditions.
14. Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia, 6’3” 307 lbs. My first interior defensive lineman off the board. He is an athletic freak who gets mislabeled as the beneficiary of an elite Georgia defense. Plays run well and and is excellent getting pressures on passing plays. Has ability to split double teams. Just turned 24, same age as Quinnen Williams.
15. Malik Willis, QB, Liberty, 6’1” 215 lbs. In what has been called a weak QB class, Willis is rising fast. Incredible athlete with an arm to make every throw. As we get closer to draft day, he will move up the charts.
16. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia, 5’11” 229 lbs. Makes up for his size with incredible sideline to sideline speed. Intelligent player who is like another coach on the field. If he had Devin Lloyd’s size, he too, would be a top 10 pick.
17. Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa, 6’3” 290 lbs. Too many people are overlooking his intelligence and love for football. A potential 10 year starter and pro bowler. I ranked him right where he should be picked!
18. Derek Stingley, CB, LSU, 6’1”, 195lbs. If he can get back to his freshman form, he is dynamic. Excellent size combined with speed. Great ballhawk who must overcome injury stigma.
19. Kenyon Green, G, Texas A & M, 6’4”, 325 lbs. Great versatility! Can play tackle and guard on both sides. His best position seems to be at left guard. Great movement for his size.
20. Andrew Booth Jr., CB, Clemson, 6’0”, 200 lbs. Teams looking for run stoppers at the corner will love Booth. He has limited starter experience but shows great agility ands great hands.
21. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh, 6’3”, 217 lbs. My QB2. He is one of those big one year risers. Does everything well but not elite and plays like he knows he’s a winner A little note that Carolina Panther owner David Tepper went to Pitt.
22. Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia, 6’6” 340 lbs. Unfairly described as a one trick pony who cannot be moved. His athleticism is underrated. Reminds me a lot of former Patriots Vince Wilfork, but better. His Combine numbers was off the charts!
23. Kyler Gordon, CB, Washington, 6’0” , 200 lbs. A freak athlete that combines athleticism with fluidity who can cover on the outside and in the slot. If he polishes certain techniques, there is no limit to his upside success.
24. Boye Mafe, Edge, Minnesota, 6’3 1/2” 255 lbs. A Late climber who is something of an athletic freak! So explosive you’d think he knows the snap count He would be a perfect compliment to an Edge1. Mafe will get better and can become great in year two or three.
25. Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington, 5’11” 195 lbs. Plays a lot bigger than his height. Fast closer and great run stopper. He won’t intercept a lot of passes but you’ll see his number flash across your TV screen all game.
26. Drake London, WR, USC, 6’5” 210 lbs. Began at USC playing basketball which shows on the field. His best known attribute is the contested catch. He had 19 of them despite an injury shortened ’21. Before his broken ankle, he had 88 catches for 1,084 yards.
27. Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas, 6’3” 225 lbs. People who doubt his speed should watch his Alabama tape. Great hands (that are huge) and knows how to use his body.
28. Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn, 5’11”, 189 lbs. Very good in man coverage who gives up little or no separation. Physically he doesn’t fit the bill but this overlooked recruit plays with a big chip, and makes the opposition pay and pay darely.
29. Jalen Pitre, S/DB Baylor, 6’0”, 197 lbs. Some have him as a safety. Some cornerback. I love versatility and he can play both and play them well. Pitre plays larger than his frame and his play strength is better than expected. He is fearless and won’t back down an inch from 300 lbs. pulling guards. He is a personal favorite of mine!
30. Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa, 6’7”, 330 lbs. Stood out at Senior Bowl in one on one drills. As nasty a demeanor as the 7th grade bully I knew and always avoided. I’m not sure he will get away with the way he plays. He can be a penalty machine.
31. Daxton Hill, S, Michigan, 6’0”, 192 lbs. Another versatile safety who can play high and low and even cornerback. Played a lot of slot in college but it is his combination of speed, instinct and anticipation that can make him special.
32. David Ojabo, Edge, Michigan, 6’5” 250 lbs.Injury at pro day drops to the end of the 1st round. Went from zero sacks to double digits the last 2 years. Possible boom or bust with a very high ceiling. Will start as a third down player and should ease in his second year to be a three down player.
Hit like every at bat counts!
33. Travon Walker, Edge, Georgia, 6’5”, 275 lbs. This guy is oozing with talent. He can play inside and outside and can drop into coverage. Another work in progress, this physical specimen has all the intangibles. But I’m nervous with his production numbers.
34. Jahan Dotson, WR, Penn State, 5’11”, 184 lbs. Somewhat undersized but catches everything. Plays much taller than his listed 5’11” height. His catch radius is one of the best I’ve seen. Great route runner with a quick burst!
35. Demarvin Leal, DT, Texas A & M, 6’4” 290 lbs. Versatility is unique. Can play inside as a tackle or outside as an end. Negative is he is too much of a “tweener.” He has been dropping.
36. Arnold Ebiketie, Edge, Penn. State, 6’2”, 250 lbs. This Temple transfer had 18 TFLs and 9 1/2 sacks in his only year with the Nittany Lions. He has a non-stop motor but must improve playing the run.
37. George Pickens, Georgia, WR, 6’3”, 200 lbs. If Jameson Williams is a top 20 pick, Pickens cannot be far behind him. Both suffered ACL injuries. Pickens has an ideal frame to be an impact receiver. Some of his diving catches are unreal. A great route runner who has excellent burst, the doctors will probably be the determining factor as to where he will be drafted. Some team may get a steal in the second round.
38. Matt Coral, QB, Ole Miss, 6’0”, 200 lbs. Can make most of the throws. Has a great knack of extending plays but can hold the ball too long and pays for it. Missing Senior Bowl may have hurt his ranking.
39. Quay Walker, LB, Georgia, 6’4”, 240 lbs. Probably underrated because of the talent that he was surrounded with at Georgia. He can do everything linebackers need to do including pass coverage. His combination of speed and strength is as good as anyone in this class.
40. Chad Muma, Wyoming, LB, 6’2 1/2” 241 lbs. Muma has an uncanny knack for reading quarterbacks and anticipates well. He was one of the most productive defenders in ’21, generating 68 total defensive stops, three picks and 21 pressures for Wyoming. Great burst and straight ahead speed. Some Wyoming coaches have whispered that Muma is better than former LB teammate Logan Wilson.
41. Bernhard Raimann, T, Cent. Michigan, 6’6”, 304 lbs. This foreign exchange student from Austria played tight end first, then moved to tackle. Tremendous run blocker who is a work in progress who must get better in pass blocking. His rookie year will show a ton of improvement from game 1 to game 17
42. Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati, 6’ 3 1/8”, 211 lbs. This receiver is physical and fast. He can surprisingly make a good share of contested catches. He is fearless over the middle. His numbers are modest but over three years, he has averaged over 17 yards per reception. He can play and play well. And he blocks!
43. Isaiah Spiller, RB, Texas A & M, 6’1”, 220 lbs. First running back off the board. Great runner between the tackles and shows outside burst with excellent vision. Very explosive! NFL teams will love his blocking picking up the blitz and downfield. The most NFL ready back in the draft.
44. Breece Hall, RB, Iowa State, 6’1”, 215 lbs. Spiller and Hall are 1 and 1a for running backs. Hall does a great job creating space. Like Spiller, Hall’s vision is excellent! He is a decent blocker and he improved a lot catching the ball this past season. Very patient runner who is excellent finding the right hole. Reminds me of Emmett Smith.
45. Jacquan Brisker, S, Penn State, 6’1” 204 lbs. One of the most improved players during the ’21 season. He has great ability to change directions and move laterally. Loves to disrupt passing plays. Loves to blowup running plays. Must be able to read plays a little quicker but he is an all around prospect, I wouldn’t be surprised if he turns into the best safety in a deep safety class.
46. Christian Harris, LB, Alabama, 6’2” 232 lbs. He has played the position for only two years. He was great against Georgia. He can be a big blitz linebacker in the NFL. His speed going through the gap is one of the best.
47. Drake Jackson, Edge, USC, 6’4” 250 lbs. Very explosive on his first step. Jackson has a high football IQ. Drops back into coverage well. Better suited for the 3-4 and may start as only a 3rd down player. But his best football is ahead of him.
48. Zion Johnson, Boston College, G/C, 6’2 3/4” 314 lbs. This Davidson transfer was very highly ranked in ’22. He was one of the stars of Senior Bowl week staying late to get reps at center. I consider him a perfect size to play guard. He allowed only six pressures this past season.
49. Louis Cine, Georgia, S, 6’1”, 200 lbs. The last safety to make my list in a deep class at that position. No other safety hits harder than Cine. Ask Kyle Pitts. Shows versatility and leadership. You can see him directing other teammates where to be before the snap. Must be disciplined in the NFL with his hits.
50. Christian Watson, North Dakota State, WR, 6’4 1/8” 208 lbs.Great ability to get off the line of scrimmage. Fast with a great change of direction and he gets separation. His route running was exceptional at Senior Bowl week. Biggest knock is the competition he played against.
51. David Bell, Purdue, WR, 6’2”, 205 lbs. In this deep wide receiver class, David Bell is the one player that is hardly mentioned. Watching his tape, he does everything very well but is not the best at any one skill. With that said, there is nothing he can’t do. I won’t be surprised if he excels more than some others in this talented bunch of wide receivers.
NFL Important Dates
April 4: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2021 regular season may begin offseason workout programs. April 18: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs April 20: Deadline to bring draft-eligible players to their facilities for a physical examination. April 22: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets. April 27: Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to restricted free agents. April 27: Deadline to time, test, and interview draft-eligible players. April 28-30: 2022 NFL Draft | Las Vegas
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