We all know of Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert. Those three are almost solidified to go in the Top 10. Then you have Jordan Love, Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason, and Jalen Hurts. However, Anthony Gordon deserves some recognition because he could be a diamond in the rough.
Anthony Gordon, Washington State
Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review
2019 stats: 493/689, 5579 yards, 48 TDs, 16 INT
Projected round: 5th-6th
Washington State is known around the college football world for their aggresive, Air-Raid attack on offense. The Cougars throw the ball more than 75% of their offensive snaps. With that, Gordon is going to be the third straight QB Mike Leach is sending to the NFL (Luke Falk & Gardner Minshew). Between the three, Gordon has put up more impressive stats in his one starting season. However, Washington State ended the 2019 season at 6-7, which is disappointing when compared to the 2018, Minshew led, 11-2 Cougars.
We’ll look at the things I like first. Lots of Gordon’s passes are bubble/screens, swings, snags, or slants. However, he has the ability to take the top off a defense with his deep ball:
Another thing that I like is Gordon’s playmaking mentality. He is comfortable outside of the pocket, while also having the mobility to pick up first downs if needed:
I specifically wanted to go through a drive that Gordon showed excellence. #11 Oregon (6-1) were hosting Anthony Gordon and Washington State. On the road, Gordon was given the ball on his own 10 yard line, 3 minutes to go, down 6 points. Here are the key plays from that phenomenal, 90 yard drive to put them ahead.
2nd and 5 from own 15, 2:45 left-
1st and 10 from own 40, 2:14 left-
4th and 3 from Oregon 5, 1:03 left-
There must be something about Gordon’s game that drops his stock down to a Day 2-3 pick. One reason is the interceptions. He shows some carelessness with the ball, throwing in extremely tight windows that can be crucial:
Anthony Gordon is an exciting QB that will be a developmental project for an NFL head coach. He is thrown into the “Air-Raid” system QB category, but he shows some real gunslinger traits about him that will catch a GM’s eye. I would not be surprised to see him be lumped in with Eason and Fromm as a potential 3rd or 4th round pick come draft day. I also would not be surprised to see him drop to the late 6th round, in which I think a team will be getting a steal. Granted, Gordon will need to be coached up on many things before he is ready to take quality snaps in the NFL. His footwork is inconsistent, he seems to get tunnel vision on a receiver which allows the defender to make a play, and he makes pretty reckless decisions. With that said, Gordon is a baller. He is not afraid to step up in the pocket and make a big throw. He has the ability to also escape the pocket, shown above. One of my favorite things about him is not getting down about an interception. Gordon will continue slinging the ball until the clock hits 0:00.
The NFL Draft is nearly a month away. With most of the big-name free agents off the market, we now have a better idea of where players will fall. Obviously, it’s almost easier to hit the lottery than getting a perfect mock. Also, adding in a couple trades to make things a little spicier. There is a table at the bottom of the mock that translates each selection to each team for easier view. Enjoy!
MIA sends 1.05, 1.26, 5.126 to DET for 1.03
CLE sends 1.1, 3.74 to CAR for 1.07
MIN sends 1.22, 2.58, 7.249 to TB for 1.14
1. CIN- Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Transitioning from Andy Dalton to Joe Burrow will not only rejuvenate AJ Green and John Ross, but the entire Bengal’s team. Pairing Burrow with young head coach Zac Taylor will be something to keep an eye on heading into the 2020 season. With 2019 first round pick Jonah Williams returning, Cincy’s offense is something to keep an eye on.
2. WSH- Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
With Washington trading for Kyle Allen, it is almost fact that they will not be taking a QB at #2. The only other thing that can happen is the Chargers or Dolphins can trade up above Detroit to take Tua, but that seems less likely than Washington taking Chase here. An elite pass rusher to put across of 2019 first round pick Montez Sweat will give an immediate boost to Washington’s front.
3. MIA (via DET) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
A bidding war between Miami and LA can and will be won by Miami due to their amount of draft capital. I do believe that it is in which ever team that drafts Tua to sit on him for a year, be 100% sure that he is healthy, and come into the 2021 season prepared. Both LA and MIA are capable of this, with Miami sitting on Fitzpatrick/Rosen and LA with Tyrod Taylor. In this case, I see Fitzpatrick starting most of the season, and seeing Rosen appear later in the year to see exactly what he is worth for Miami to ship him off to gain picks in the following year’s drafts. Tua has superstar traits, it just comes down to providing him weapons and protection.
4. NYG – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Giants will have the first choice at the top offensive line prospects. Wirfs provides versatility, with his ability to play guard and tackle. Scouts believe he will be best playing at guard, but I would like to see him at RT. With a generational running back heading into year 3 in Saquon Barkley, and a young QB in Daniel Jones, investing in a solid piece in Wirfs will be beneficial for all of the weapons the Giants have on offense.
5. DET (via MIA) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
This pick comes down to Simmons or Okudah and the Lions are going with Simmons. With the Lions signing Trufant, that allows them to invest in a playmaker. Trading Slay hurts the secondary, but I believe that Oruwariye is going to take a big step in becoming the Lions CB2. Jarad Davis is not capable of being a starter for the Lions any longer, and with the release of Devon Kennard, the LB group in Detroit needs a boost. Simmons provides versatility that is needed with the amount of times Patricia drops his linebackers into coverage.
6. LAC – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Justin Herbert could be playing for the Arizona Cardinals right now, however, with him staying in school, it hurt his draft stock. I was wrong about Josh Allen coming out of college because I was worried about his accuracy. Similarly, I worry about Herbert’s accuracy. Scouting reports suggest that he is “deadly accurate” and I don’t see it. However, Herbert has the arm and the physical traits that you want in a QB. Putting him in LA to sit behind Tyrod will allow him to learn the offense, and eventually take over for the Chargers.
7. CLE – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Giants selecting Wirfs puts pressure on Cleveland to move up and grab the next tackle. Cleveland had great signings in free agency, now getting an anchor at LT will provide the much needed protection for Baker Mayfield. All of the hype last season for the Cleveland offense disappointed fans, however, look for a positive bounce back year as the Browns get a full year with Kareem Hunt, as well with the pairing of Austin Hooper and David Njoku.
8. ARZ – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Over the past few months, we have watched Wills fly up draft boards. Wills is a polished blocker, being a two year starter at Alabama. At 6’5, 320lbs, Wills is capable of being one of the top tackles in the league for years to come. With the Cardinals robbing Houston of DeAndre Hopkins, giving Kyler Murray protection is a must and Wills here seems to be a no brainer.
9. JAX – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Derrick Brown is a name that will be known by many next season. He is one of the most complete DT coming into the draft that I have witnessed in recent memory. Brown has incredible strength that allows him to fight off blocks. His run stuffing ability appears to be elite. With Jacksonville sending off Campbell, a boost to their defensive line is needed. Getting Brown here at 9 is fantastic value.
10. CAR – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
With Carolina signing Bridgewater, they eliminate themselves with moving up to take Tua or Herbert. In this case, they are able to pick up an extra pick by moving down and still getting an absolute beast. Kinlaw has been relatively flying under the radar, which shocks me because of his talent. Kinlaw provides a pass rushing ability that is superior to that of Derrick Brown’s. That said, I would not be surprised to see Jacksonville grab Kinlaw and Brown to fall here to Carolina.
11. NYJ- Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
12. LV – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
13. SF (via IND) – Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Okudah dropping all the way to 13 seems insane. Remember Greedy Williams being a solidified top 10 pick early last year? Okudah is definitely a better prospect and, in my opinion, a better player, so he will not drop far. Pairing Okudah with Sherman, while also reuniting with Nick Bosa, seems unfair. This SF defense only gets better.
After an incredibly disappointing 2019 season, the Lions find themselves drafting 3rd overall in this years draft. With there being three “elite” prospects in Burrow, Young, and Tagovailoa, the Lions could possibly be sitting on a gold-mine with teams looking to move up for Tua. Teams that are being expected to purse the Lions’ pick are the Dolpins, Chargers, Panthers, and Raiders. In this mock, the Lions will be accepting a trade with the Dolphins.
TRADE: DET sends 1.03 to MIA for MIA 1.05, 1.26 (via HOU), and 3.07
1.05 (via MIA) – Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
Jeffrey Okudah has the skill-set either take over duties at CB1 for the Lions if Slay is moved, or form one of the most dangerous trios in football with Slay/Okudah/Coleman. Okudah has been compared to Marshon Lattimore, both OSU alumni, and if the Lions can grab someone of Lattimore’s caliber, that is well worth a top-5 pick. With the Lions playing the most man coverage in the NFL, getting the best man-to-man corner is a no-brainer. Okudah showcases his ability to mirror routes with his insane statistics, coming from PFF. He has only allowed six 15+ yard completions over 400 snaps. While on the boundary, Okudah has only allowed first downs on 20% of his 93 targets since 2018.
1.26 (via MIA) – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Julie Toles, TCU Athletics
Blacklock is a 6’4, 305lb monster. He is able to use his strength to power through gaps and get after opposing QB’s. The Lions struggles to apply pressure on passers last season was evident. With the departures of Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison and possibly A’Shawn Robinson, the Lions will need to fill a massive hole on the defensive line. Using the draft capital gained from trading out of the 3rd overall pick allows the Lions to get a high end talent.
2.35 – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
With the third pick for the Lions, we are going to bolster the defense again with a pass rushing specialist. Julian Okwara is has the speed and bend to get around the edge and produce sacks. Experts suggest that he would be best used in a 3-4 front with flexibility, which would be a perfect fit for the Lions. I would like to get an instant starter this early in the second round, but plugging in an edge rusher day one is not that common. Rotating Okwara into the game on passing downs would allow him to shine best in 2020, while he develops into a true three down defender improving his run defense.
3.67 – Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s
AJ Shulte/Pro Football Network
D-III athlete in the third round? Bartch is more than capable playing at the next level. He was able to elevate his draft stock with his outstanding performance at the Senior Bowl, which Matt Patricia witnessed first-hand. Although he was on the South team, it was evident that Bartch held his own against some of the premier pass-rushers entering this year’s draft. Bartch is not going to be a plug and play OT off the rip, but he can develop into a solid tackle for the Lions if Decker/Crosby do not take a positive step in 2020.
3.70 – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY Sports)
The first of my two receivers the Lions taking is an excellent talent, who if were in year’s prior drafts, would likely be a late first/early second prospect. Denzel Mims can be a QB’s best friend with his ability to catch nearly every ball you throw his way. An aging Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola leaves question marks on the future of the receiving group for Matt Stafford, but giving him Mims will provide a future WR2 who can fill Jones’ role.
4.99 – Shane Lemieux, IOL, Oregon
Andrew Doughty, Oregon Athletics
Since the departure of TJ Lang, the Lions offensive line has not been up to par with where it needs to be to make a step at being a serious contender. Lemieux is at the worst, a depth piece. He can contribute best in a power run scheme, which is great for Kerryon and Bo. Just as there are question marks at RT, there are also concerns with both of the guard spots. Shane has great power and shows it off on film. He has a place in the NFL as a future starter.
5.131 – David Woodward, LB, Utah State
Wade Denniston, USU Athletic Media Relations
This has potential to be an awesome pick or a wasted pick with Woodward’s injury history. He suffered a vertebrae fracture and several concussions in college, which will raise concerns for NFL GM’s. However, his upside is worth the risk. If taken, the Lions can sit on Woodward, allow his body to full heal for another year, and then plug him into the MIKE spot after they get rid of the disappointment that is Jarad Davis. Scouts recommend providing him with a solid interior line that will prevent blockers reaching him, which I do not believe will be a problem given that the Lions should grab some DT’s in free agency, along with drafting Blacklock.
5.154 – Antoine Brooks, S, Maryland
Trading Quandre Diggs mid-2019 season showed serious concerns over who is going to take his place, but also showed how much the front office believes in Tracy Walker and Will Harris. Adding depth here in the fifth round with Brooks gives the Lions a safety that has incredible tackling ability with the added trait of being able to be a solid nickel defender.
6.162 – Anthony Gordon, QB, Washington State
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
One can dream that Gordon falls this far. The thing about Gordon is that he will be lumped in as a system QB, similar to how Minshew was last season. Last year, I mocked Minshew to the Lions. I enjoyed Minshew’s personality and game. What I see in Gordon is a guy that can exploit defenses WHEN he is on fire. Being a one year starter, he still needs time to acclimate himself to the speed of the game, especially moving from the PAC-12 to the NFL. However, I believe he will be able to come in and be a better back-up to Stafford than those who have been the last few years.
In the 2017 NFL season the Cleveland Browns tied the Lions record of going 0-16. Even though they drafted Myles Garrett first overall before the start of that season. With Hue Jackson gone and Freddie Kitchens in charge the Browns are set up to have an absolutely dominate season. Not saying they will go 16-0 but this team on paper is terrifying.
After the 2017 season the Browns had a 1st, 4th, and 35th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. These picks were Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, and Nick Chubb. Baker was a heisman trophy winner out of Oklahoma and had a lot of speculation on him throughout his first season, but the answer seems pretty clear. Baker is the franchise quarterback. The man is a complete stud. Their next pick was Denzel Ward, a lockdown corner out of Ohio State. Cornerbacks are usually not drafted that high but Denzel was well worth the pick. The Browns needed to slow down opponents passing yards and that is exactly what he did. Then it comes down to giving Baker an absolute dog in the backfield. Cleveland then went on to draft Georgia’s running back Nick Chubb. He came into the league with minimal touches due to having to share the ball with two other backs.
Knowing that Baker had a great chance of becoming their guy the Brown traded for Jarvis Landry in the 2018 offseason. Giving Baker a proven reliable receiver they could test the water. With these additions the Browns turned a 0-16 team into a 7-8-1 team. The thing is the Browns continue to do everything right. So in the 2019 offseason Cleveland traded for Odell Beckham Jr, arguably the best wide receiver in the league. Also former LSU teammate of Jarvis Landry. The Browns didn’t slow down there, they went out and got a dominate running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt was released from the Kansas City Chiefs last season after “beating the brakes off of a broad”-Pav. Every fan wanted this man on their team but no organization wanted to take the heat from picking him up. The Browns took the risk and got him for dirty cheap. He will not play until week 9 but Kareem being behind Chubb late season will be deadly. After the signing of Hunt came the 2019 NFL draft. Cleveland drafted cornerback Greedy Williams out of LSU with the 46th pick. Greedy was a major steal. He was originally projected to be a top 20 draft pick but slipped all the way down due to his “lack of tackling”. If Greedy plays to his full potential him and Denzel could be the most dominate corner duo in the league. With these new assets the Browns are going to be close to impossible to stop. On February 2nd the Cleveland Browns will be crowned Super Bowl Champions.
I said the same thing honestly. I’ve been playing close attention to Day 1 and 2 players, but Tavai has not been one to be on my scouting list. I was ready, I was excited, I was going to be happy to hear Greedy Williams’ name said when our pick was announced. I was ready for Mack Wilson. I was ready for AJ Brown/DK Metcalf/Parris Campbell. Instead, Bob Quinn decided to go with Jahlani Tavai. I’ve done my research and am ready to give you some insight on who our 2nd round pick is.
Jahlani Tavai is a LB/EDGE from Hawaii where he played all four years, in 47 games. He recorded 390 total tackles in his career, with 41 of those being for a loss, and recording 16.5 sacks. He’s had a few All-Conference awards, and was 10th in the FBS in tackles in 2017 with 124. He’s obviously able to make tackles, but I have some concerns with him. First of all, he was arrested last June for assault at a night club. Secondly, he had a shoulder injury last year which kept him out for a some games. I watched his film from this year against Wyoming and San Jose State. I’m guessing 2018 was not his best season, so I went back to 2016 and watched him against Middle Tennessee. I’m not saying he is a bad player but I think taking him 43 is a bit of a reach. Here are my takeaways on Tavai.
Tavai has a nice frame at just under 6’3 and a solid 250lbs. He gets to his top speed quickly, but his top speed is not quick. Tavai is under the “quick but not fast” category. He’s one of those players that plays with a swagger, you’ll know what I mean when you see him. What I find interesting is his ability to rush the passer effectively and also his ability to drop back in coverage. What makes me scratch my head is that we need help covering backs and tight ends at linebacker, which Tavai is a zone cover linebacker. Regardless, the kid can tackle, no doubt about it. However, I see some serious redflags while watching him. He lines up as an edge occasionally, and he does well at mixing moves at the point of attack. What I find concerning is how stiff he is coming off the line. Another thing, which also impacts his inside linebacker play, is his lack of ability to get off blocks. Too many times I see him engage a blocker and is slow to get off the block to make a tackle. I’m worried about whether he will be able to chase a running back to the sideline and up the field. Lastly, he gets caught up at the line of scrimmage and can lose the ball carrier, which is really frustrating to watch.
What I can offer you is that New England was also interested in the kid, so he is wanted around the league. I don’t know about him being taken 43rd overall, because I think he’s going to be a project player. Patricia will hopefully groom him and that will allow him to be a solid inside linebacker for years to come. I’m not a big fan of this pick, so I’m praying the Lions made the right decision. Also praying we can grab David Long in the next round.