Welcome back to another edition of Dishing on the Draft. We have more ins and outs for the 2020 season, some injury news with draft implications, our first NFL head coach firing, and more.
THIS WEEK’S DRAFT NEWS
The biggest news of the week came out of Houston. The Texans fired head coach and de facto GM Bill O’Brien after an 0-4 start. Romeo Crennel will take over as interim coach. After an offseason full of questionable decisions, none more so than the trading of Deandre Hopkins, the horrible start was something BOB simply could not overcome.
The next general manager and head coach will have their hands full. Thanks to the above-mentioned backward transactions, the Texans will not have a first or second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Both of those potential high selections reside with Miami. Good luck next guy.
On the injury front, Indiana safety Marcelino Ball suffered a torn ACL in practice and will miss the Hoosiers 2020 season. It is expected that he will return to Bloomington for the 2021 season. However, that decision has not been made.
The 2021 Senior Bowl has its first invite. North Dakota State OT Dillon Radunz. Radunz was presented the invitation after the Bison win over Central Arkansas on Saturday. It is expected that he will accept the invite. I believe Radunz has a chance to be a first-round selection. I currently have a higher film grade on him than his much more ballyhooed teammate, QB Trey Lance.
Speaking of Lance, he officially entered the 2021 NFL Draft on Tuesday. Lance had an up and down “showcase” game against Central Arkansas. He clearly has all of the tools to be an NFL QB. The question becomes how long will it take that tree to bear fruit?
Oregon’s secondary giveth to the 2021 NFL Draft and then they taketh away. Senior safety Brady Breeze announced he was opting out of the 2020 season. The Ducks were set to lose all four of their secondary starters after Thomas Graham, Jevon Holland, and Deommodore Lenoir had previously announced their opt-out intentions. However, the day after Breeze made his intentions known, Lenoir had a change of heart and opted back in.
Lenoir isn’t the only Pac-12 corner to re-enter the 2020 season. Cal’s Camryn Bynum made the call today to come back into the fold. Bynum is one of the best corners I have watched to this point.
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW
Wilson has taken the nation by storm with his accuracy and ability to make plays off-script. The 6-3 210-pound passer has dominated in the three BYU games I watched. Against La Tech, Wilson accounted for 367 yards of total offense and five scores. All of this while completing 92% of his throws.
Junior WR Gunner Romney (6-3 195) is a speedy and shifty pass catcher. Romney explodes in the open field. He finished with a 7-101-1 TD line against the Bulldogs.
These two, along with Dax Milne (Jr WR 6-1 190), redshirt sophomore tailback Tyler Allgeier, Katoa, and a mostly underclassman offensive line could all return in 2021. BYU is one of the most fun teams I have watched this year. FYI: All of those players doesn’t even include what should have been one of the top TE prospects, Matt Bushman.
Arkansas State-@-Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina is the surprise team of the Sun Belt so far in 2020. The Chanticleers are 3-0 behind a redshirt freshman QB and a stud edge rusher. Senior Tarron Jackson notched two sacks against Arkansas State. Those two sacks don’t begin to describe the amount of disruption that Jackson can administer.
I continue to like what I see from Arkansas State LB Justin Rice. The Fresno State transfer finished with six stops (3 solos) and a sack. Rice is likely a late-round prospect but he can make a team.
Baylor QB Charlie Brewer has a decent arm but struggles with his placement. Against West Virginia, Brewer finished 23/38 for 229 yards three TDs, and two picks.
Baylor edge rusher William Bradley-King looks like what a football player should look like. He plays pretty well too. He finished the WVU game with six tackles, 2 TFL, one sack, and a forced fumble.
Arizona transfer Tony Fields II has acclimated himself well to the Mountaineers defense. Fields is very active and he diagnoses and closes fast. He had 10 tackles and a sack against Baylor.
Darius Stills is an active big man on the interior. Stills sacked Brewer 2.5 times on Saturday.
Florida senior QB Kyle Trask has made a huge improvement in several areas, notably in his pocket mobility. Trask is seeing the defense better and making throws he simply was not making in 2019. Against South Carolina, he completed 21 of 29 passes for 268 yards and four TDs. Trask’s one interception was a great play by Israel Mukuamu. He now has ten TD passes through two games.
Senior WR Kadarius Toney isn’t a traditional #1 wide receiver but it appears the super athlete has taken the mantle. Toney took a short pass and turned it into a 57-yard score (albeit helped by some shoddy Carolina tackling), finishing with a 6-86- 1 TD line.
Kyle Pitts continued his unreal start to the 2020 season. Pitts is staking a claim to be TE1. After two more TDs this week, Pitts now has six in two games. He is a matchup nightmare. South Carolina seemingly either covered him with their top two corners, Jaycee Horn and Mukuamu, all game. Mukuamu had a really bad rep trying to cover Pitts on his goal-line TD.
After not playing last week, Florida senior edge rusher Jeremiah Moon returned this week. Moon finished with two hurries and five tackles in limited snaps.
SMU senior WR Reggie Roberson was having one of the best games I have ever seen from a wide receiver prospect. Roberson had five catches for 243 yards (48.6 yards per catch!) and two scores. Unfortunately, during one of his long catch and runs, Roberson suffered a non-contact injury. He was carted off of the field. As of the time I am writing this, an update has not been provided about the extent of the injury.
SMU QB Shane Buechele lit up the Memphis defense for 474 yards and three scores. Buechele could be a nice developmental prospect.
Jaylen Waddle has decided to further his case to, at worst, be WR2 in this draft class. Against the Aggies, Waddle finished with a 5/142/1 TD line. This includes this ridiculous acceleration:
The acceleration off that right foot after the quick stab inside… one false step on Waddle and he’ll score from 90 out. pic.twitter.com/u4rhfTiN6Z
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) October 3, 2020
Kellen Mond is just an average QB to me. He has nice athleticism and a good arm but he just seems to be missing something before I think he can start games in the NFL.
Duke TE Noah Gray is a solid mid-round tight end prospect. I would like to see him block more. Against the Hokies, Gray finished with six grabs for 51 yards and a score.
Virginia Tech LB Rayshard Ashby is only 5-10 but that doesn’t stop him from making plays. Ashby finished with nine stops (six solos) and a sack.
Auburn edge rusher Big Kat Bryant was blanked on the night. Bryant has been dealing with injuries in the first two weeks of the season.
This was my first “official” watch of Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence in a scouting capacity. Of course, he did not disappoint. Lawrence possesses everything you want in a franchise QB. Size, arm, ability to make plays both in and outside of the pocket. Barring something unforeseen, Lawrence will be the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Clemson senior RB Travis Etienne had a late first-round grade from me last year. He may finish higher this year. Against Virginia, Etienne had 19 offensive touches for 187 yards and two scores.
Virginia TE Tony Poljan, a Central Michigan transfer, has all the makings of a great #2 TE prospect. He has great size and hands. Poljan just isn’t going to be the same type of athlete as the top end TE prospects.
WHAT’S ON TAP
Tulane-@-Houston-6:30 PM-ESPN (Thursday)
Louisville-@-Georgia Tech-6:00 PM-ESPN (Friday)
Oklahoma -vs.-Texas-11:00 AM-FOX
South Carolina-@-Vanderbilt-11:00 AM-SECN
Texas Tech-@-Iowa State-2:30 PM-ABC
Middle Tennessee-@-FIU-3:00 PM-ESPNU
Florida State-@-Notre Dame-6:30 PM-NBC
Miami (FL)-@-Clemson-6:30 PM-ABC
Mississippi State-@-Kentucky-6:30 PM-SECN