2019 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft Preview -- THEIR Top Three DE Prospects
Looking ahead to the 2019 NFL Draft/Dynasty Rookie Draft, etc., prospects. We’re going position by position (except OL) and looking at the top 3-5 expert consensus prospects (not my top 5). I’m doing an abbreviated study of a couple game tapes and review the performance numbers through 2017 and giving my initial impressions on these prospects.
Scouting with just eyes is dangerous. I’d like to have my computer scouting models helping me, but we cannot use that tool until the pre-draft measurables, etc., are recorded. I’m a pretty decent talent evaluator of just tape after all the years, but not without flaw.
So, with that – here’s my first impressions of spending a little time with each prospect. I’m going to rank them from worst-to-best of the group and assign a school letter scouting grade as well.
Defensive Ends (DE)
DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (Early Prospect Grade: C-)
When I watched these three DE prospects all in the same day, it was clear, and not even close, that Ferrell did NOT belong with the other two…not in my book. I know there’s a problem with a player when I’m watching tape and my mind starts to wander and then I start looking at other players, etc., in the same game I’m supposed to be concentrating on this prospect.
I watched Ferrell in the CFB playoffs get held up by Alabama all game. Then I went to his NC State tape where he had five TFLs in the game…and if he did have 5.0 of them – some of them must have happened when I wasn’t looking. Maybe it was just favorable stat scoring by a homer statistician.
Ferrell has the look (6’4”/250+) of an NFL edge rusher, but he looked awfully slow off the edge…I mean, for ‘top guy’ status. He looked like a 4.75-4.80+ runner off the edge with nice reach but not a lot of pop.
When I watched him in games against Alabama and NC State, two things unrelated to my task grabbed me:
1) Dorian O’Daniel, Clemson linebacker (Now a KC Chief), is terrific.
2) Jaylen Samuels, NC State RB-WR-TE is a PLAYA YO! Don’t leave dynasty drafts without him!!
DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State (Early Prospect Grade: A-)
In my book Nick is a better pass rushing prospect than his brother Joey. I wasn’t a fan of Joey Bosa coming out of Ohio State, and I still think he’s a bit overrated. I’m a little biased against DEs who just put their heads down and try to sack the QB all game…and get to them once or twice, but then give up huge plays right by their position because they don’t play the run or chase anything after the play.
Nick has a lot of Joey in him, but I see Nick as way more effective in college than Joey was at a similar time. More pop/speed from Nick, I think. So, if Joey’s agility got him to NFL pass rush greatness…then Nick should go there too and then some.
DE Joe Jackson, Miami, Florida (Early Prospect Grade: A)
Why Jackson over Bosa? Both are legit NFL prospects, but the moment I put on the Jackson tape I was like ‘whoa’. 6’4”/275, cut, sleek, very fast/has burst, but can go side-to-side well. He makes it look so effortless it looks like he’s not even trying. So fluid and so athletic.
Where I give Jackson the edge over Bosa is – Bosa is head down, try to get the passer and then give up and watch when he doesn’t get there. Jackson plays it all. He chases down plays from behind after his pass rush. I see him drop into coverage. I see him stay home on run plays and wipe them out.
For me, based on this quick preview study, Jackson has more tools and plays a greater all-around game than Bosa.