2020 NFL Draft Prospects
Brady Aiello, G
Positives: Underrated blocker with the ability to back up at several spots on the offensive line. Explosive at the point, fires off the snap into blocks and plays with a nasty attitude. Works to finish off opponents and stays with assignments. Patient, stays square and keeps the opponent in front of him. Fires his hands into defenders and works them throughout the action. Works well with linemates.
Negatives: Really doesn’t sink his butt or bend his knees at the line of scrimmage. Average strength for his size. Ineffective in motion.
Analysis: Aiello is a serviceable lineman with potential at guard or right tackle, and he’s a developmental prospect who should be stashed on a practice squad this fall.
Jake Breeland, TE
Positives: Terrific pass-catching tight end whose game was on the rise before his season-ending injury last year. Plays tough, heads-up football, comes back to the ball and works to make himself an available target. Uses his frame to shield away defenders, gets vertical and contorts to the errant throw. Displays focus and concentration and looks the pass into his hands. Takes a pounding and holds onto the throw. Adjusts to the errant pass, extends his hands and snatches the ball out of the air. Bends his knees, blocks with leverage and gives effort. Sells pass routes and works hard in all aspects.
Negatives: Doesn’t play to his estimated speed. Has a bit of a thin build. Not a dominant blocker.
Analysis: Breeland was graded as a street free agent entering the season, but he really took off in the first half of 2019 before his injury. He’s a solid pass catcher who holds his own as a blocker and should compete to be a third tight end at the next level.
Troy Dye, ILB
Positives: Explosive, hard-charging linebacker who gives great effort. Instinctive, displays a tremendous head for the ball and sells out to make plays. Does not bite on ball fakes, fires up the field and attacks opponents. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself and flows well laterally. Drives his shoulders through ball carriers and forces turnovers.
Negatives: Gets caught up in the trash. Easily blocked from the action. Minimally effective in coverage and best up the field. Does not play to his 40 time.
Analysis: Dye is a hard-nosed linebacker who plays all out on every snap and chases around the field to make plays. He’s likely better on the inside of a 3-4 alignment, and Dye must improve his play in coverage to be a three-down linebacker at the next level.
Jake Hanson, C
Positives: Hard-working center who gets the most from his ability. Explosive at the point, blocks with terrific pad level and keeps his feet moving. Fires into blocks and stays square. Seals defenders from the action and turns them from the line to open up running lanes. Nasty and looks to hit as many opponents as possible on a single play. Effective with the shotgun snap.
Negatives: Average athlete who is minimally effective in motion. Struggles to finish blocks and has a tendency to fall off opponents.
Analysis: Hanson is a smart, intense center with decent size and growth potential. He lacks great upside, but his understanding of the game could help him find a spot at the next level.
Justin Herbert, QB
Positives: Physically gifted quarterback with the tools necessary to develop into a productive starter in the NFL. Patient in the pocket, sells ball fakes and looks away from covered targets. Goes through progressions, senses the rush and only leaves the pocket as a last resort. Athletic and gets outside the pocket to elude the rush and buy time for wideouts. Possesses a big arm and easily gets the ball downfield. Spreads the ball around, distributes passes to all his targets and stays away from mental mistakes.
Quickly locates the open wideout and flashes the ability to beautifully place throws into receivers’ hands. Throws a catchable pass and does not make receivers work hard to come away with the reception. Displays an awareness of what’s happening on the field. Accurate downfield. Loses nothing on the move and gets rid of the ball with a flick of his wrist. Effectively sets up screen throws. Sturdy, tough to bring down in the pocket and shows a lot of toughness as a ball carrier.
Negatives: Very streaky and inconsistent in all areas. Does not find defenders in the back seven and forces the ball to covered targets on occasion. Never showed the ability to carry the offense. Struggled to come through in big spots for Oregon. Looked great during Senior Bowl practices and combine workouts but often came up short during the important moments of college games.
Analysis: Herbert has been highly rated by scouts the past two seasons and has top-10 ability. And while he possesses the physical skills to be a starter at the next level, Herbert’s inability to consistently play at a high level and come through during important moments is troubling. His reserved personality may not be a fit for every coach or in every city, but the person able to tap into Herbert and teach him to play to his utmost ability will have a very good NFL quarterback.
Juwan Johnson, TE
Positives: Large, relatively athletic college receiver who may be best as a move tight end at the next level. Comes back into the clearing to make himself an available target, extends his hands to make the reception away from his frame and quickly turns upfield after the catch. Uses his large frame to shield away opponents and wins out for the contested grab. Competes and physically beats out opponents for the catch. Shows power after the catch and is tough to bring down. Ran well during the combine and turned in solid 40, short shuttle and three-cone times.
Negatives: Displays limited quickness in and out of breaks and lacks balance out of his routes. Lumbering receiver who lacks a burst.
Analysis: Johnson was a solid receiver at Penn State and produced once he hit the field for Oregon last season. He offers soft and reliable hands, but his lack of quickness and inability to separate through routes combined with his lumbering style make me believe a move to tight end is in Johnson’s best interest.
Shane Lemieux, G
Positives: Tough, powerful blocker best in a small area. Fires off the snap and plays with a nasty attitude. Completely engulfs opponents and drives them off the ball. Keeps his feet moving, stays square and always looks to hit someone. Sets with a wide base, works to bend his knees and gets leverage on opponents. Jolts defenders with violent hand punch and easily tosses opponents aside. Consistently opens up running lanes and anchors in pass protection.
Negatives: Struggles to slide in space. Not light on his feet or effective on the second level. Overextends into blocks when on the move.
Analysis: Lemieux was a consistent force at offensive guard for Oregon and ran surprisingly well during the combine. He’s still better in confined quarters, but Lemieux could be a productive starter for a long time in the proper system at the next level.
Calvin Throckmorton, C
Positives: College tackle who can play a multitude of positions on the offensive line. Smart, displays good vision and works well with linemates. Patient in pass protection, stays square and knocks blockers back with strong hand punch. Quickly sets up off the snap, fires into blocks and displays great awareness. Keeps his feet moving, controls opponents once engaged at the point of attack and shows ability as a position blocker. Lined up at center on occasion last season and was effective with the shotgun snap.
Negatives: Does not seem confident in his base at times and gets pushed back into the pocket. Average athlete who tested poorly at the combine.
Analysis: Throckmorton was a terrific offensive lineman for Oregon who got the most from his ability. He lacks great upside and comes with limited athleticism, but his approach to the game, feel for blocking and ability to get the most from his tools will make him an inexpensive utility blocker who could eventually move into a starting role.
Dallas Warmack, G
Positives: Large, fundamentally sound lineman with big upside. Quickly sets up off the snap, blocks with leverage and effectively uses with his hands. Correctly places his hands into opponents and shows the strength to turn defenders from the action. Sets with a wide base, bends his knees and quickly gets out to the second level. Works to get a pad on defenders and knock them from the action.
Negatives: Must improve his strength. Gets handled at the point. Really doesn’t play like a 330-pound lineman.
Analysis: Warmack is a solid combination of size, mechanics and upside, and while he’s unlikely to be selected in the draft, I would expect to find Warmack on a practice squad this fall.
LaMar Winston, Jr., OLB
Positives: Explosive, violent linebacker who comes with terrific size and speed. Breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself and holds his ground against blocks. Forceful up the field, rarely off his feet and immediately changes direction. Remains disciplined with assignments, moves quickly in every direction and displays a great head for the ball. Fights to get off blocks and make plays on the ball carrier. Displays sideline-to-sideline speed and covers a lot of area on the field.
Negatives: Showed poor instincts and decision-making on the field last season. Really did not live up to expectations and lost his starting job.
Analysis: Winston is an explosive, sudden defender who displayed progress between his sophomore and junior campaigns before his game took a step back last season. He offers the size, speed and explosion to develop into a three-down defender and comes with a special-teams mentality.
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