Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 16 Overall – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson – The Falcons had a massive need for corner in the draft, and Terrell was easily the best available to them when their pick came around. There are definitely some out there who are not fans of Terrell, but I am not one of them. He is quick, fast, has length, but struggles with open field tackles. The Falcons need a number one corner, and I am not sure he will quite riste to that level, but he can be a very good number two.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 2, Pick 47 – Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn – I don’t dislike Marlon Davidson, I just can’t get a good sense on what he will be. He is 6’3” and just over 300 lbs., but isn’t really a defensive tackle, but he isn’t really an edge rusher either. A guy I felt was a first round type talent, AJ Epenesa, was still available here who could play a similar role, just at a higher level.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 7, Pick 228 Overall – Sterling Hofrichter, P, Syracuse – Yes, a punter! In 2019 the Falcons were third from the bottom in net punting average, and Hofrichter is a guy who provides good hangtime leading to limited returns. He can easily boot the ball out of the endzone, or have it hang if you want to try and pin the opponent deep. He made a 52-yard field goal in college, so he can fill in as a kicker in a pinch.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt – Pinkney was my sleeper TE in the draft, much less UDFA. He has good size and is not afraid to block to go with good hands in the passing game. His big downfall is his lack of speed, something that will limit the big plays, but he is quick enough to get open in tight spaces. With Austin Hooper gone and Hayden Hurst brought in, I see Pinkney as the number two TE this season for the Falcons.
Favorite Pick: Round 2 Pick 38 Overall & Round 2, Pick 64 Overall – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State & Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois – I liked Gross-Matos as a first round selection, so early second is a steal. He is a true edge rusher with length, size, motor, and excellent hands when engaged. Chinn has the upside of the best safety in the draft despite coming from a small school. He ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine, can cover a receiver one on one, and will come downhill and lay the lumber on a running back, basically he does it all.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 7 Overall – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn – I actually really like the fit, but Isaiah Simmons was still on the board and is probably the third best player in the draft. At 6’5” and 326 lbs., Brown takes up plenty of space in the middle and can stuff the run game. He was not a great pass rusher at Auburn even though many scouts feel he will become a solid rusher, that is enough to put mild doubt on the selection for me.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 4, Pick 113 Overall – Troy Pride, CB, Notre Dame – He won’t lose many receivers deep as he has plenty of speed, and he will come down with the ball if is gets near his hands. Pride has good instincts and reads the ball well. His footwork in and out of a receiver’s breaks and biting on the double move are concerns that caused him to slip to day three rather than being a second day selection.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Giovanni Ricci, TE, Western Michigan – After going all defense in the draft, the Panthers are relying heavily on UDFA to bring competition on the offensive side of the ball, and I am not a big fan of it. Ricci was a high school QB turned college WR before finally moving in to TE two seasons ago. He is still light and can get moved around when blocking, but his history as a true receiver makes him a weapon in the passing game.
New Orleans Saints
Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 74 Overall – Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin – I would not have had an issue with a team selecting him at the end of round one, and I had him as the first man off the board on day two in my mock draft. A diluted sample at the combine raised some eyebrows and caused him to fall right into the Saints laps. He will likely be in a battle with Alex Anzalone for the starting job to open the season, but by season two he should have a strong hold on the position.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 24 Overall – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan – This isn’t a bad selection for a team that is a true Super Bowl contender. The Saints rave about Taysom Hill as a future franchise QB, but they had Teddy Bridgewater as the starter when Drew Brees went down a season ago and brought in Jameis Winston this season. To me this screams uncertainty that Hill is a true QB should something happen to Brees again this year, so going with a center to protect the middle is a good move. Only issue with it is the fact they likely could have gotten him later had they traded back.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 3, Pick 105 Overall – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton – Ok, he was actually a day two selection, but the Saints only had one selection on day three, a QB who has no spot on the roster after the Saints signed Jameis Winston. Dayton could have a top five pick in the NBA draft, and they get a second day selection in the NFL draft. Trautman is a quality blocking TE with plenty of size to hold up in the run game and go get contested balls. He is not a fast receiver, so he won’t be a guy who stretches the field but should be a dangerous red zone target.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Malcolm Roach, DL, Texas – I am calling Roach a D-lineman rather than a tackle or end because he can really play any position along the line. He is probably best from the outside shoulder of the guards in, and he will never be a disruptive force, but he has enough talent, leadership abilities, and makeup to stick and do the job. He is the kind of guy who nobody ever notices but his coaches and teammates, and that should be enough to keep him around a while.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Favorite Pick: Round 1, Pick 13 Overall – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa – Have I mentioned in any of my draft reports I thought Wirfs was the top tackle in the draft? The Bucs line has been pitiful for years, and Tom Brady is not exactly a mobile QB. Wirfs will step in day one and be the best player on the o-line, and they get him at pick 13, an absolute steal in my book.
Least Favorite Pick: Round 3, Pick 76 Overall – Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt – I actually think Vaughn will be a solid player for the Bucs, but I had Zach Moss much higher on my board than Vaughn. Ronald Jones is still the lead back in Tampa, and Vaughn is a between the tackles runner, not the outside receiver that has always been successful with Brady. I just don’t like the fit currently for the team.
Day Three Sleeper: Round 5, Pick 161 Overall – Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota – Too many drops in college, and that is the quickest way to lose the trust of Brady, but he is an excellent route runner, so he will always be where Brady wants him to be. The top end speed is not great, but the vision once he has the ball and ability to break tackles helps him overcome the lack of speed. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and the plethora of TEs is an embarrassment of riches for Tampa, but they did not really have a quality third receiver option, not they do.
Undrafted Free Agent to Watch: Reid Sinnett, QB, Sand Diego – Do I really like Sinnett? No. Is he in as good a spot as there can be for a young QB that lacks high level experience? No! Sinnett is a big body, smart QB who only started one season at a FCS school. His arm strength is nothing special, but he has plenty of touch. He needs to fight to make the practice squad, but could really develop in the Tampa QB room.