Every week, I open up the mailbag for anyone to send me their questions on the current college football season, the NFL, or the 2020 NFL Draft. This week, the CFB Week 15 mailbag includes questions on TCU’s Jalen Reagor, Auburn’s Price Tega Wanogho, the impact the conference title games could have on a couple of big-name quarterback prospects (Justin Herbert & Jake Fromm), and much more. But we begin with some news on big-name prospects who I’m told are leaning towards entering the 2020 NFL Draft.
Do you have a question you want to send to me? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll be sure to include it in an upcoming mailbag column.
The Tony Pauline Mailbag
Tony, are there any big-name underclassmen you’ve heard about recently that will enter the draft? Names you haven’t already mentioned in the past.
I was told you can expect Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons, Alabama OT Alex Leatherwood, and Ohio State DB Shaun Wade to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
Simmons is a top-15 talent on my board. Leatherwood is a bottom-half of round one guy. I presently grade Wade as a third-round prospect, though I could see him moving into the second round.
In early November, you reported that TCU WR Jalen Reagor would enter the NFL Draft. On Monday, he announced his intention to do just that. Now that his name is in the mix, where do you see him going in the NFL Draft compared to someone like Henry Ruggs or other similar size/speed guys?
First, let me say I am not as high on Ruggs as others and I would grade him lower than prospects like Jalen Reagor, K.J. Hamler, and CeeDee Lamb. Ruggs is a great sprinter but not a great receiver and a beneficiary of the talent around him.
Presently I have Reagor graded as a second-day pick, likely somewhere in the middle of round two. That will change either way depending on how he works out – forty, shuttles, three-cone, and route running at the combine.
I like Reagor and think he will be effective on the flanks, in the slot, or as a return specialist in the NFL. As more underclassmen receivers enter the draft – and I expect K.J. Hamler and CeeDee Lamb will enter the draft as well as Jerry Jeudy – Reagor will get pushed down the board a bit.
With the conference championship games set to take place this weekend, are there any NFL Draft prospects who could really hurt or improve their stock, or will scouts be careful not to move much based on one game?
There are a ton of players who could improve or hurt their draft stock based on their performances during the conference title games as part of the total equation. We’ll have coverage of all the games and players this weekend right here on PFN.
For the purposes of answering your question, I’m going to focus on two quarterbacks – Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Georgia’s Jake Fromm.
Herbert needs a good performance after a poor game against Arizona State and an uninspiring senior season. The Utah defense is loaded with next-level talent from the line through the secondary and has a number of day two and middle round prospects that will challenge Herbert.
Similarly, Fromm has not had a good season in my opinion – something I’ve mentioned several times during our CFB game day blog. He was also a week 13 slider. I’ve moved him out of the second day of the draft and now grade him as a fourth-round prospect.
It’s going to be a whole new world for Fromm against the LSU defense. Their secondary includes three first-round picks and a second-day selection. They will want to make a statement that they are the best team in the nation. The ingredients add up to a potential statement game for Fromm or a possible disaster.
Regarding offensive linemen – given the number of injuries and players leaning towards returning to school – is Auburn’s Prince Tega Wanogho in line to make a run into the first round, possibly the first half of round one?
I have the Prince as a fringe first-round pick right now. He is participating in the Senior Bowl, which is good to see. The Senior Bowl is a kingmaker at the quarterback position but defensive linemen, cornerbacks, and especially offensive tackles can really improve their draft grade with a good week in Mobile. Or they could go in the other direction with a bad week.
For better or worse, D’brickashaw Ferguson, Andre Dillard, Tytus Howard, Joel Bitonio, Austin Corbett and a host of others watched their draft stock take off because of their performance during Senior Bowl practice, especially at tackle during the one-on-one drills.
The Prince will fit in this category – if he kicks butt during the week, I could see him sliding into the late part of round one. If he’s getting beaten every day he will drop.
Western Michigan center Luke Juriga was invited to the 2020 Shrine Bowl. You said on Twitter that you had graded him with a PFA grade over the summer. Has Juriga done anything to change your grade on him as we near the end of the regular season?
Juriga is a tough, slug it out center with great playing intelligence. I don’t think he’s done anything especially different or better in 2019 to change my grade on him – rather, he’s been a consistent center at WMU for three seasons.
The issue are size/speed and athleticism. He’s not the biggest or swiftest center, he’s not overly nimble, and I’m told his arm length during junior timing day was under 31-inches. The last one will be a killer, though he will be measured again at the Shrine Game.
I don’t think Juriga gets drafted, but the way he plays the game he doesn’t have to get drafted. I could see an offensive line coach falling in love with him during summer camp and keeping him on a roster for depth.
Plus, Juriga was graded by league scouts as a street free agent coming into the season. The fact he’s playing in the Shrine Game shows how undervalued he is.
Tony, we know the Miami Dolphins have been interested in Jordan Love dating back to last season. However, we’ve also heard that Colts GM Chris Ballard is quite interested as well. What do you make of this? Is it legit or just for show in hopes to get a different quarterback?
I have no firsthand knowledge about Ballard’s interest in Love, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Love is a step up from Jacoby Brissett, whom I like, so Ballard could be looking at the Utah State junior as the answer.
Tony Pauline is Pro Football Network’s NFL Draft Analyst and Insider. Follow him on Twitter @TonyPauline. Follow PFN on Twitter @PFN365. Also, be sure to join us on Saturday for the PFN College Football Game Day Blog, as Tony and the rest of PFN’s NFL Draft team give the latest analysis and inside scoops on the day’s games.