2020 NFL Draft Prospects
Zack Baun, OLB
Career Snapshot: Two-year starter who earned Second Team All-America honors as a senior and finished second in the conference with 19.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, behind only Ohio State’s Chase Young. Added 76 tackles and forced two fumbles during the 2019 season. Made 63 tackles (7.5 for loss) with 2.5 sacks as a junior. Missed the 2017 campaign after he suffered a foot injury before the season.
Positives: Undersized linebacker who flashes athleticism. Agile and breaks down well. Easily changes direction and immediately alters his angle of attack. Fluidly moves to any direction of the field and displays speed off the edge and in pursuit. Fires to the action, plays physical football and gives effort. Gets depth on pass drops and displays good movement skills.
Negatives: Knocked back by blocks or taken from the action altogether. Out of position last year as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the Badgers’ system. Looked terrible during coverage drills at Senior Bowl practices. Needs a lot of work on his game.
Analysis: At first glance, Baun projects as a weakside linebacker and should be effective in space. While he flashed athleticism throughout his career, his results during Senior Bowl practices dictate otherwise. Baun possesses the underlying size and speed to play at the next level, but he must really develop a complete game.
Tyler Biadasz, C
Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-America honors as a junior in 2019. Earned First Team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore. Named Third Team All-Big Ten as a redshirt freshman in 2017. Started every game during his Wisconsin career.
Positives: Explosive center who has displayed consistent development and stands out in pass protection and in motion. Bends his knees, plays with terrific pad level, and fires off the snap. Quick out to the second level, nicely redirects to linebackers and plays with balance. Takes linebackers from the action and shows the ability to get to the third level and take out defensive backs. Displays outstanding vision and instincts and works through the whistle. Stays square, plays with tremendous fundamentals and turns defenders from the action. Patient, effectively quarterbacks the offensive line, and works well with linemates.
Negatives: Not a dominant drive blocker. Struggles to handle wide-bodied defensive tackles.
Analysis: Biadasz was productive and durable for Wisconsin as he was one of the best centers in college football the past three seasons. He offers scheme versatility at the next level and should be effective in a zone-blocking system, with expected improvement as he physically matures and adds strength to his frame.
Quintez Cephus, WR
Career Snapshot: One-year starter who was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten and led Wisconsin with several career highs, including 59 receptions, 901 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches, as a junior in 2019. Started eight games and caught 30 passes for 501 yards and six TDs as a sophomore in 2017 before a leg injury forced him to miss the final five games of the season. Missed the 2018 campaign due to a suspension that stemmed from allegations of felony sexual assault, charges of which he was later acquitted.
Positives: Game-changing receiver who flashes big-play ability. Quickly releases off the line of scrimmage, fires into breaks and displays himself as a sensational athlete. Effective when he comes back to the ball, tracks the pass in the air, and nicely adjusts to the errant throw. Fights with his hands to separate from defenders, gets vertical and exposes himself to the big hit in order to come away with the reception. Goes over the middle of the field and takes a pounding but holds onto the ball. Terrific vertical receiver who immediately gets to top speed and makes the over-the-shoulder reception in the deep field. Displays both soft and strong hands and uses his frame as an advantage to box out opponents. Extends to snatch the ball away from his frame most of the time.
Negatives: Must polish all his receiver skills, as he’s very rough around the edges. Not smooth out of breaks and often floats as he leaves routes. Occasionally peeks at the defense before he catches the ball, which leads to drops. Ran horrendously slow at the Combine.
Analysis: After he missed the 2018 season, Cephus roared back and was one of the more dominant receivers in the Big Ten last year. He flashes the ability to control games and break them wide open, and he’s a terrific red-zone threat with a high yards-per-catch average. Cephus comes with tremendous upside, but he needs to polish his game and keep his focus on the field.
Chris Orr, ILB
Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors and made 78 tackles (14 for loss) with 11.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and five pass breakups as a senior in 2019. Started eight games as a sophomore and made 36 tackles (three for loss) with two sacks. Started six games as a true freshman in 2015 and made 46 tackles. Redshirted in 2016 after he tore his ACL on the first play of the season.
Positives: Hard-working inside linebacker who shows great instincts, quickly reads and diagnoses plays and fires up the field to fill gaps in run defense. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself, and works hard.
Negatives: Lacks speed in pursuit and cannot catch ball carriers from the back side. Displays marginal quickness and struggles in coverage. Undersized and gets easily outpositioned by blocks.
Analysis: Orr is a tough, instinctive linebacker who gets the most from his ability, but he lacks athleticism and upside.
Jonathan Taylor, RB
Career Snapshot: Three-year starter who earned First Team All-America honors in each of his final two seasons at Wisconsin. Rushed for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns and caught 26 passes for 252 yards and five TDs as a junior in 2019. Rushed for 2,194 yards and 16 scores as a sophomore. Fell just short of 2,000 rushing yards as a true freshman with 1,977 yards and 13 TDs on 299 carries. Became the first player in FBS history to rush for 6,000 yards over a three-year span.
Positives: Super-productive college ball carrier who is best as a downhill and between-the-numbers runner. Patient, waits for blocks to develop, and finds the running lanes. Runs with authority through the hole, has a tremendous burst of speed, and easily beats defenders into the open field. Strong, breaks the initial tackle and carries defenders for yards at a clip. Works runs to get as much yardage as possible from each carry and falls forward when tackled. Displays outstanding vision and football instincts. Terrific pass-catcher out of the backfield who adjusts to the errant throw and makes the reception away from his frame.
Negatives: Does not have quick change-of-direction skills. Can’t improvise or create yardage. Loses momentum when he alters the angle of runs and cannot make defenders miss.
Analysis: Taylor is a tremendous downhill ball carrier who grinds it out on the inside. He comes with a lethal combination of speed and power, but he’s a scheme-limited ball carrier who isn’t skilled enough for every offense. Best as an inside power runner, Taylor will be very productive at the next level in the proper scheme.
A.J. Taylor, WR
Career Snapshot: Rotational receiver who caught 23 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns as a senior in 2019 before a right leg injury sidelined him for the final two games. Set career highs with 32 receptions and 521 receiving yards, caught three touchdowns and made four starts as a junior. Made 31 catches for 475 yards and a career-best five TDs and started four games as a sophomore in 2017.
Positives: Physically gifted receiver who fluidly releases off the line of scrimmage, stays low out of breaks and extends his hands to snatch the ball away from his frame. Nicely makes the reception on crossing patterns and possesses solid size and speed. Follows the quarterback across the field to make himself an available target.
Negatives: Disappointed in 2019. Not a smooth receiver. Displays poor footwork into breaks. Rarely used as part of the passing offense at Wisconsin.
Analysis: Taylor was graded as a priority free agent after a solid junior campaign, but he failed to live up to expectations. Taylor never improved upon a terrific sophomore campaign, has been marginally productive and has an uphill battle at the next level.
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Page 12: Wisconsin Badgers
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