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Post Combine Top 32 Big Board: Final Take

Discussion in 'The Bill Nunn Draft Room' started by AskQuestionsLater, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

    Apr 21, 2016
    Hello fellow members of TheSteelersFans! AskQuestionsLater here, bringing you my final update on my Big Board. I will not go too in depth here as there is not much time to lose and plenty to analyze and discuss. :) For those of you who are new to this series of mine, links for both the Pre Combine and Post Combine will be below!

    Pre Combine

    Post Combine (Take One)

    Now, with our introductions out of the way, time to finish off this Big Board in 2019 for good! Before that though, and quickly, my own disclaimer;

    These written statements by the author do not reflect nor are shared opinions of members of TheSteelersFans Message Board, Staff Members and/or Site Administrator.

    As stated in the title, this will conclude the 2019 Draft Class Top 32 Big Board from yours truly. Let us not waste any more time though and begin!

    Top 32 Big Board (Final Update):

    1.) Ed Oliver: Defensive Tackle from the University of Houston. (Unchanged)

    2.) Quinnen Williams: Defensive Tackle from the University of Alabama. (Unchanged)

    3.) Brian Burns: Defensive End from Florida State University. (Unchanged)

    4.) Nick Bosa: Defensive End from Ohio State University. (Unchanged)

    5.) Montez Sweat: Defensive End from Mississippi State University. (Unchanged)

    6.) Jawaan Taylor: Offensive Tackle from the University of Florida. (Unchanged)

    7.) Christian Wilkins: Defensive Tackle from the University of Clemson. (Unchanged)

    8.) Byron Murphy: Cornerback from the University of Washington. (Unchanged)

    9.) Josh Allen: Linebacker from the University of Kentucky. (Unchanged)

    10.) Greedy Williams: Cornerback from Louisiana State University. (+15. Previous rank: 25)

    11.) Devin White: Linebacker from Louisiana State University (-1. Previous rank: 10)

    12.) Cody Ford: Offensive Tackle from the Univeristy of Oklahoma. (-1. Previous rank: 11)

    13.) Nasir Adderley: Safety from the University of Delaware. (Unchanged)

    14.) D.K. Metcalf: Wide Receiver from the University of Mississipi. (Unchanged)

    15.) Clelin Ferrell: Defensive End from the University of Clemson. (Unchanged)

    16.) Chauncey Gardner Johnson: Defensive Back from the University of Florida. (Unchanged)

    17.) T.J. Hockenson: Tight End from the University of Iowa. (Unchanged)

    *** Board's Biggest Riser ***

    18.) A.J. Brown: Wide Receiver from the University of Mississippi (+47. Previous rank: 65)

    19.) Dalton Risner: Offensive Tackle from Kansas State University. (Unchanged)

    20.) Devin Bush Jr: Linebacker from the University of Michigan. (Unchanged)

    21.) Jonah Williams: Offensive Tackle from the University of Alabama. (-9. Previous rank: 12)

    22.) RaShan Gary: Defensive End from the University of Michigan. (Unchanged)

    23.) Hakeem Butler: Wide Receiver from Iowa State University. (+11. Previous rank: 34)

    24.) Darnell Savage Jr.: Safety from the University of Maryland. (+16. Previous rank: 40)

    25.) Andre Dillard: Offensive Tackle from Washington State University. (-4. Previous rank: 21)

    26.) DeAndre Baker: Cornerback from the University of Georgia. (Unchanged)

    27.) Dwayne Haskins: Quarterback from Ohio State University. (Unchanged)

    28.) N'Keal Harry: Wide Receiver from Arizona State University. (-5. Previous rank: 23)

    29.) Kyler Murray: Quarterback from the Univeristy of Oklahoma. (Unchanged)

    *** Board's Biggest Faller ***

    30.) Noah Fant: Tight End from the University of Iowa. (-12. Previous rank: 18)

    31.) Greg Little: Offensive Tackle from the Univeristy of Mississippi. (Unchanged)

    32.) Justin Layne: Cornerback from Michigan State University. (+18. Previous rank: 50)

    Post Analysis:

    Given that this is the final one, there were going to be some notable increases and omissions. Granted, much of the list did remain unchanged to my surprise unlike in previous years; last year being my best example as I had changes weekly leading up to the draft; Quenton Nelson being the only one unchanged at number one. Of course though, all of these changes, omissions or even unchanges will be explained below. Let us get started shall we?!

    1 to 10:

    Honestly speaking.... not too much to say here I am afraid. Barring any extreme circumstances, I really do not foreshadow any future changes here. Much of what I stated already regarding the initial Top 10 can be found in the "Post Combine" link above. There is only one major change here. I will concede the aspect of the "Modern NFL Cornerback" though in Andreaz "Greedy" Williams. I personally detest the effort any defensive back who is unwilling to aid his fellow teammate on the field. That being said though, this is not entirely their fault. Due to the continual rule changes on what is a tackle, I can imagine that some corners really do not know how or where they should tackle in the pro's. Now, is Greedy among them?! Not to me. That being said though, his ceiling and playmaking abilities are difficult to ignore. It is likely that it will come down to him and Byron Murphy for the number one corner taken for me.

    11 to 20:

    After months of deliberation, I have finally decided to kick Devin White out of the Top 10. What's even more surprising?! White got usurped by his own teammate; one that gives less effort overall the same. I still believe that Devin White can become the best overall linebacker from this class, he has some SERIOUS ways to go before he can tap into his latent power. Unlike Tremaine Edmunds, who had showcased pass coverage that was ready for the NFL, Devin White does not possess the current abilities to showcase this talent; something critical in order to be a Top 10 pick as a linebacker. Granted, he has elite ability in terms of blitzing and maintaining the point of attack but that is it. To be a Top 10 player on my board, the player has to go beyond of what their position is and Devin White has not showed that.

    Cody Ford's movement has been a direct result of White's movement. Beyond Jawaan Taylor, no other lineman possess the combination of athleticism and technique like Ford does. Greg Little is the most physically gifted with the highest ceiling, Jonah Williams is the most refined and Dalton Risner is the most versatile but none of the three have combinations of both. Now, onto A.J. Brown. I will be honest..... not since Sammy Watkins have I had so much issues figuring a player out. I do see JuJu Smith Schuster to his game but not at the level at which JuJu was coming into of the league. Let me explain this a bit better below:

    - A.J. Brown is a physical receiver but JuJu was a VIOLENT receiver coming out. Despite his playful and light hearted demeanor, keep in mind that JuJu was a Safety in High School before turning into the Wide Receiver we now depend on. This, combined with his improvement at USC, would forge him into a household name for the Steelers.

    - A.J. Brown will contest catches. JuJu just did not contest them in college, he ATTACKED them. Every catch I have saw JuJu contest at USC not only were NFL worthy qualities but rare ones at that. He was not just simply out dueling his opposition but also aggressively charging at the placement of the ball in the air.

    Now, I could continue but the majority of you understand where I am getting at as to why he was so difficult; these two reason being the bane of my analysis of him. There are so many similarities to JuJu yet there is too many inconsistencies with the comparisons the same.

    "If he was such a difficult player to project, why is he now so highly rated?!"

    That answer is simple; unlike JuJu coming out, I do not have as much issues with what scheme he is in like I did with JuJu. In addition, the whole "inability to seperate" is nonsense to me as he was able to consistently make plays. The biggest reason though is that, among Ole Miss' "nasty Wide outs" or "nWo", A.J. Brown, like JuJu before him, has the best ceiling of any player in the draft. Add his scheme flexibility and A.J. Brown can start right away for any team. Yes, he is not quite as physically gifted as JuJu was nor as violent overall but Brown can still become a number one option and provide results from day one.

    21 to 32:

    Now approaches the major changes and omissions. To begin, let us start with those omissions. Kelvin Harmon, Johnathan Abram and Josh Jacobs all got the boot in one feel swoop. Kelvin and Josh Jacobs can thank the likes of Hakeem Butler for that as Butler, while a bit more boom or bust than others are willing to admit, is by far the best redzone target in the draft; position being irrelevant. As for Johnathan Abram, his omission was primarily due to two aspects.

    1. Production. As a First Round pick, you are supposed to improve year in, year out. In that time, Mississippi State became a formidable pass defense; this past season's secondary not allowing a touchdown 40 yards or greater. That being said, why only two interceptions?! For a player lauded with his position flexibility, he should have a higher total. He is an outstanding Strong Safety but I would not use him much of anywhere else in the same vein like I would Taylor Rapp; another player who just missed the cut.
    2. Instincts. Among the safeties in the class, Abram is best suited, again, around the line of scrimmage. He can further fine tune his instincts there but I do not see much for him beyond that. For that matter, Amani Hooker, a Top 75 player of mine, has showcased more instinctive capabilities while being more versatile to boot. Add his ceiling and it would not surprise me that he ends up a mid Day Two selection.

    Given the major changes though, let us start with the biggest one; Noah Fant. While I do believe he is by far the best receiving Tight End in the draft, in comparison to other receiving Tight Ends of year's past, he does not measure up very well. For one, if a Tight End's main forte is receiving, among the aspects a coach does not want to deal with would be drops. However, Fant's drops are not just drops due to good coverage or even a case of a lack of concentration. My biggest concern regarding Fant is how wildy inconsistent on how he drops the ball. It truly is a "Box of Chocolates" with him and honestly, after observing this on tape more thoroughly, that is most definitely not worthy of a Top 20 grade of mine. As I have been on record many times regarding my Top 20; players better be great at many things or transcendent at one thing. His teammate in T.J. Hockenson, within the past decade, is in a tier of his own in my opinion. Noah Fant is great as a receiving Tight End but he is not that destructive force that Tight Ends like Travis Kelce or even Jimmy Graham have been.

    Replacing the likes of John Abram is Darnell Savage Jr. Sure, Seinor defensive bakcs generally do not get drafted in the First Round, much less safeties, but Savage, like Adderley, is an exception to the rule. Now granted, Abram and Savage like to hit but the way Abram careens towards the ball carrier is reminiscent of Jamal Adams. He is simply a monstrous striker. That being said though, Savage Jr. is not too far behind. While, unlike Abram, he does miss more than one would like, his strikes are just as violent and just as nasty. The biggest reason I now believe Savage Jr. does deserve his place within the First Round discussion is his versatility, agility, ball skills, instincts and blistering speed. His combine speed sure does match his tape speed. Sure, Zedrick Woods has the fastest timed speed but it does not pop the way Savage Jr.'s does. Due to his speed, and explosiveness, unlike Abram, I do not worry nearly as much with Savage as a multi role chess piece the way I do Abram. Add his abilities to potentially turn turnovers into points and some can begin to understand why Savage Jr. has been rocketing up some draft boards. He is still mainly a Day two option but I will not be surprised if he hears his name on draft night.

    Finally, in comes Justin Layne. For those who believe this is the second iteration of Brian Allen, you would be both correct and incorrect. Yes, he is a former converted Wide Receiver and yes, he has much to learn. However, unlike Brian Allen, he has picked up the position much quicker and it clearly shows on tape. He is league's better in essentially his second season as a defensive back than his first. That being said though, while he does have the room to grow, his best coverage early on will be press man. He can also go off man but press is by far his best form of coverage. I do also see some ascending zone coverages as well but I would not experiment with those until Year two of his NFL career. That being said though, for me, he is a top 32 option due to the fact that many Receiver to Corner converts usually do not do well overall. Justin Layne is an exception and he is quite athletic to boot.

    Final Notes:

    I am going to be completely honest about this 2019 Big Board; this year definitely was much more simplistic to analyze to compose than last season overall. Much of this though is due to the immense talent gap that the pass rushers and interior defensive lineman have over every other position. Last year's Big Board for me was maddness until the very end! Of the top 20, it was split between the Linebackers, Pass Rushers, Cornerbacks, Interior Offensive Lineman, Safeties and Quarterbacks. Beyond Quenton Nelson, everyone else LITERALLY switched positions every time I did them in my notes; SaQuon Barkely, Derwin James, RoQuan Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Frank Ragnow and even Bradley Chubb to name a few.

    This season, with the links given, look at some of the changes. Not too many change overall. If anything, the 2019 Class did much of the work for me in the end. Rather, Ed Oliver, Quinnen Williams, Brian Burns, and Nick Bosa made great contributions towards how quicklu the Big Board positioned itself. Post combine?! Even more so.

    Overall though, for the 2019 class, definitely a lot more questions and concerns than last season. Realistically speaking, among the final crop of the 2019 Top 32, beyond the likes of Hockenson, Q. Williams, Ed Oliver, Christian Wilkins, Brian Burns, Nasir Adderly, Dalton Risner and Byron Murphy, everyone else on the board, top 10 or otherwise has simply too many unknowns at this point. Some examples?!

    -Montez Sweat will still be a great pass rusher but his best role to me is still a 4-3 end. Use him in a 3-4 at one's own discretion should he be dropping in coverage.

    -Josh Allen is versatile for certain but Brian Burns kind of defeats his major calling card; his ceiling being inferior.

    - Greedy Williams REALLY should be a Top 5 player but he is far too darn consistently inconsistent with effort.

    - Jawaan Taylor is not the next Ereck Flowers but he is sure not even close of being a Ronnie Stanley either.

    -D.K. Metcalf is arguably the best overall receiver.... with a MASSIVE issue. He is route limited. Therefore, he is likely scheme limited. Any team that lives and dies by the vertical passing attack will love him. Otherwise, 2nd biggest or bust player in the draft. Speaking of which..

    - Which RaShan Gary will I receive every Sunday?! The one who plays like arguably the best player in the draft or the one who plays like a 7th rookie starting Day one?!

    The point has been made clear. This drafr however has not. That is a good segway by the way.

    Closing Statements:

    Who knows what Pittsburgh will do! Granted, even with the information regarding how Tomlin and Colbert are there for Pro Days and the works like it, it is impossible to gauge whom Pittsburgh is keying in on draft day. In years past though, we did have a much better understanding sans last season of course. This season?! No idea!!! Worst thing is that, while Pittsburgh does have the ammo to trade up, who are they trading up for?! Both Devin's are not worth it. D.K.?! Ok but why though. Greedy maybe?!?! It is too difficult to say. Even if they stay put, there is no telling on who will be available. In the end, like always, we will just have to wait and see. As stated before though, sans last season, unlike before though, too many unknowns. Add the fact that Ben is not playing forever and the Steelers REALLY need that Day one player at pick 20. Otherwise, that will not bode well for any of us.

    That will do it for my Big Boards for the 2019 Draft Class everyone! Thank you for joining me in my inaugural season of doing these for the site! I have learned a lot from your suggestions and feedback and will learn these lessons well! :) This year was a success and I cannot wait for the next!

    Now fellow brothers and sisters, before I go I would like to send a special thank you to TheSteelersFans Site Administratior's way; @TerribleTowelFlying. Had it not been for your wonderful idea to implement a auto save feature into the site forums comments/threads section, there is no telling on if I would have continued these overall. On multiple occasions I was worried that the entirety of my thread posts were gone, only to find that the same content that was previously typed was saved; saving me from re-typing and regulating my blood pressure! Thank you once again for that aforementioned feature; this website no less! Keep up the good work!

    Once again, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed! "High Noon In Nashville" is 10 days from today. Until next season for AQL's Top 32 Big Board, I will see you next time! :)

    Go Steelers! :herewego:
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    • Like Like x 1
  2. turtle


    Jan 14, 2015
    Nice work AQL! :clapping:

    Not much to argue. I would have put C Garrett Bradbury in there somewhere, but I always tend to rate OL/DL higher.

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