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September 11, 2022 vs Pittsburgh Steelers

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2022 NFL Draft


HoosierCat
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The really nice thing is the areas of the team we could use some continued young talent infusion in the draft (G, DT, CB, RT) --those are the positions that you are in the sweet spot to target players picking where we will in the late 20s/30s...

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The NFL has issued a warning to teams that they could lose a draft pick and face significant fines if club representatives conduct themselves unprofessionally in interviews with draft prospects. 

In a memo obtained by the AP that was sent to clubs on Wednesday, the league said a team would forfeit a draft pick between the first and fourth round and be fined a minimum of $150,000 if it’s determined a club representative displayed conduct that is “disrespectful, inappropriate, or unprofessional” during an interview. Fines and/or suspensions of individual club employees also could be imposed, according to the memo.

“We aim for dignity, respect and professionalism,” league executive Troy Vincent told the AP. “It’s that simple.”

The league also plans to eliminate the Wonderlic test for prospective players, and it is revising some of its scouting combine drills to better simulate game-related movement. Wide receivers and tight ends will run crossing routes instead of wheel routes, and running backs will run option routes instead of corner and post-corner routes.

https://apnews.com/article/nfl-sports-e786d7cb0c9903cd7936c1a2118b2f7b

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Matt Miller's just released current top 150:

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With just one game left in the college football season, NFL clubs are starting to assemble scouting staffs together to discuss the 2022 draft class. At The Draft Scout, we’re also working on our lists before the all-star game schedule and pre-draft process kickoff.

The first part of our process is to get a solid list of which players are returning to school and which are declaring for the NFL draft. The league gives players until January 17 to make a decision—and then a three-day window to reverse that decision.

This year is more complicated than any before with the NCAA saying the 2020 season didn’t count towards a player’s eligibility. For example, a player like Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has played four seasons at Michigan but his 2020 season didn’t count towards his four years—so he actually could return and play another year.

Hutchinson likely won’t “declare” for the draft on social media, we just know he’s in because he’s signed with an agent. Keeping track of who is in and who is out is the biggest obstacle of this season, and we’re doing our best to stay on top of it.

Step two is prioritizing which players to watch. Here’s a look into my process. In December and January, I prioritize players by:

1. A top 50 player on my preseason watchlist

2. A rising junior (David Ojabo is an example of this)

3. Players who accept a Senior Bowl invite

4. Players who accept a Shrine Game invite

From there, it’s a process of logging a lot of iPad hours and taking as many handwritten notes as possible in a 3-5 game viewing per player.

That scouting leads to this list, but with the caveat that the most scouting for me actually takes place from January to the end of April.

So, let’s get into it. Here’s a look at my current Top 150 players.

1. EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan

Hutchinson’s senior season has pushed him over Kayvon Thibodeaux on my rankings. His football IQ, length, power and ability to close ranks with speed as a pass-rusher makes him a special prospect.

2. EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon

Let’s not forget about Thibodeaux; a player who has been touted as a future No. 1 overall pick since his true freshman season. His athleticism could ultimately push him over Hutchinson for both media and teams.

3. SAF Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame

An elite safety with the size (6’3”, 220 lbs) to impact the game from the middle of the field, in the box, or even as an edge-defender (not rusher). Safeties aren’t drafted in the top five, but Hamilton might be the exception.

4. OT Evan Neal, Alabama

A massive (6’7”, 360 lbs) left tackle prospect who is an elite mover for his size. He’s among the best athletes along the offensive line in this draft class, which could put him in play for the No. 1 overall pick.

5. CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU

Stingley didn’t play much in 2021 due to injury and his 2020 tape wasn’t great, but going back to his 2019 freshman season and looking at his athleticism you’ll see a player with an incredibly high ceiling. The question is—how much stock do you put into his last two seasons?

6. OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State

An athletic left tackle prospect coming from a system that made him prove himself in pass protection. Cross has to get stronger, but he’s working with famed offensive line coach Duke Manyweather in his pre-draft process and will head into his rookie season with a more refined toolset.

7. WR Drake London, USC

It’s important to remember just how dominant Drake London was before fracturing his ankle in the team’s eighth game. At 6’5” and 210 pounds he’s a big wideout with ball skills and an unstoppable presence on 50/50 balls.

8. DT DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M

Play him inside (3-tech) or outside (5-tech). At 6’4” and 290 pounds, Leal is ideal for a 4-3 inside position and has shown the athleticism to be a major force on all three downs.

9. CB Ahmad Gardner, Cincinnati

A smooth-moving cover man at 6’2” with elite feet. Gardner is the top cornerback for multiple teams I’ve spoken to at this point of the process. He has top 10 talent with few weaknesses.

10. EDGE David Ojabo, Michigan

Ojabo is raw, long, toolsy pass-rusher who blew up in 2021 opposite Aidan Hutchinson. He’s speedy and ideal for a stand-up or outside pass-rusher role. His pre-draft process could push him higher on draft boards.

11. OC Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa

Good luck finding a more athletic center prospect. Linderbaum is a certified freak athlete and it shows up in his movements in space. The former high school wrestling star is a plug-and-play starter.

12. OT Ikem Ekwonu, NC State

If you want a powerful blocker, Ekwonu is your man. Teams are torn on his future NFL position due to his height (6’4”) but he’s a huge impact, especially in the run game. It’s not impossible to think that he could surpass Charles Cross and find his way into the top five picks.

13. LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Dean fits the mold of the modern off-ball linebacker at 6’0” and 225 pounds. What he lacks in length he makes up for in quickness and football IQ. His processing speed is his most impressive trait—even more so than his top-tier athleticism.

14. WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State

A tough wide receiver at 6’0” and 193 pounds, Wilson has sticky hands and is a sure route-runner. He doesn’t profile as a classic WR1 due to his lack of size or top-end speed, but he’s the type of receiver that will win with routes and hands.

15. WR Jameson Williams, Alabama

Teams that are eyeballing speed and chunk plays could identify Jameson Williams as their top wideout in this class. He might not be the scheme-fit for every team but his big play ability is electric.

16. OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa

A big, powerful offensive tackle who doesn’t pop off the tape with as much athleticism of the top prospects at the position, but Penning’s technique and strength are NFL-ready on the left side.

17. EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia

A player we used to call a ‘tweener, Walker can line up on the edge of the defensive line or kick inside as a nickel interior rusher. He’s an impressive all-around athlete with very good strength and length at 6’5”, 275 pounds.

18. EDGE George Karlaftis, Purdue

Karlaftis quieted down towards the end of the season, but he was red hot in September. He has the size (6’4”, 275 lbs) and strength needed to play as a traditional 6-technique defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.

19. LB Devin Lloyd, Utah

A long, athletic, active linebacker (6’3”, 235 lbs) who has been very, very good the last two seasons. There are some scouts who think Lloyd played it safe this year, but he was Utah’s best overall player and the best defender in the Pac-12.

20. WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State

Dotson doesn’t have the best size, but he’s a downfield threat that wins with burst and acceleration throughout his route tree. He’s a sure-handed weapon down the field and someone who can consistently win over the top.

21. WR Chris Olave, Ohio State

A lean wideout (6’1”, 170 lbs) but one who has consistently won with his hands and route-running. Olave is seen by some to have topped out his potential, but he arrives to the NFL with great football IQ and a diverse route tree.

22. WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas

Big (6’3”, 230 lbs) and explosive with the ball in his hands, Burks is a weapon after the catch. If your favorite offense runs slants and breaking routes, Burks’ ability to turn the short catch into a big play is phenomenal.

23. QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

A super-senior with small hands (8 1/4”) but the most impressive draft-eligible quarterback from the ‘22 class. Pickett needs a good showing at the Senior Bowl—where weather and rain are often an issue—to answer questions about hand size.

24. CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson

A stocky cornerback prospect who dominates at the line of scrimmage with press man skills. He’s quick enough to recover and stay in-phase, too. Booth is tailor-made for zone coverage and should be a priority for those teams in the back half of Round 1.

25. QB Matthew Corral, Ole Miss

The most improved quarterback from the 2022 class and a viable dual-threat, Corral tore apart SEC competition this year. He can still push too far with his arm strength and try to make throws that aren’t there, but his decision-making and athleticism took a huge jump in ‘21. If he can ace interviews, he could be the first quarterback drafted.

26. CB Roger McCreary, Auburn

27. EDGE Drake Jackson, USC

28. CB Derion Kendrick, Georgia

29. QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

30. QB Malik Willis, Liberty

31. EDGE Cameron Thomas, San Diego State

32. LB Henry To'o To'o, Alabama

33. TE Trey McBride, Colorado State

34. QB Carson Strong, Nevada

35. DT Jordan Davis, Georgia

36. DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia

37. OT Nicholas Petit-Frere, Ohio State

38. CB Martin Emerson, Mississippi State

39. LB Christian Harris, Alabama

40. WR John Metchie III, Alabama

41. EDGE Logan Hall, Houston

42. OT Darian Kinnard, Kentucky

43. OG Zion Johnson, Boston College

44. QB Sam Howell, North Carolina

45. OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan

46. CB Trent McDuffie, Washington

47. LB Brandon Smith, Penn State

48. RB Breece Hall, Iowa State

49. OG Kenyon Green, Texas A&M

50. CB Kyler Gordon, Washington

51. CB Kaiir Elam, Florida

52. RB Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M

53. SAF Jordan Battle, Alabama

54. RB Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State

55. TE Jalen Wydermyer, Texas A&M

56. SAF Jaquan Brisker, Penn State

57. SAF Daxton Hill, Michigan

58. SAF Lewis Cine, Georgia

59. EDGE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State

60. EDGE Jermaine Johnson, Florida State

61. CB Coby Bryant, Cincinnati

62. EDGE Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame

63. EDGE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina

64. DT Phidarian Mathis, Alabama

65. OT Daniel Faalele, Minnesota

66. WR David Bell, Purdue

67. SAF Jalen Pitre, Baylor

68. OT Max Mitchell, Louisiana

69. CB Josh Jobe, Alabama

70. RB James Cook, Georgia

71. QB Bailey Zappe, Western Kentucky

72. TE Jahleel Billingsley, Alabama

73. LB Damone Clark, LSU

74. CB Riley Moss, Iowa

75. CB Marcus Jones, Houston

76. EDGE Amare Barno, Virginia Tech

77. RB Kyren Williams, Notre Dame

78. EDGE Will McDonald, Iowa State

79. LB Chad Muma, Wyoming

80. EDGE Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati

81. OG Jamaree Salyer, Georgia

82. TE Cade Otton, Washington

83. WR George Pickens, Georgia

84. OT Abraham Lucas, Washington State

85. LB Channing Tindall, Georgia

86. LB Quay Walker, Georgia

87. RB Ainias Smith, Texas A&M

88. WR Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama

89. EDGE Boye Mafe, Minnesota

90. DT John Ridgeway, Arkansas

91. WR Khalil Shakir, Boise State

92. DT Haskell Garrett, Ohio State

93. EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State

94. CB Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State

95. OG Justin Shaffer, Georgia

96. DT Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma

97. EDGE Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma

98. SAF JoJo Domann, Nebraska

99. TE Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State

100. OC Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame

101. OT Sean Rhyan, UCLA

102. OG Thayer Munford, Ohio State

103. WR Justyn Ross, Clemson

104. EDGE Sam Williams, Ole Miss

105. SAF Verone McKinley III, Oregon

106. SAF Jalen Catalon, Arkansas

107. RB Zach Charbonnet, UCLA

108. LB Jack Campbell, Iowa

109. TE Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina

110. OG Dylan Parham, Memphis

111. WR Alec Pierce, Cincinnati

112. OT Zion Nelson, Miami (FL)

113. OC Dohnovan West, Arizona State

114. OT Braxton Jones, Southern Utah

115. DT Zachary Carter, Florida

116. EDGE Josh Paschal, Kentucky

117. RB Jerome Ford, Cincinnati

118. DT Tyler Davis, Clemson

119. EDGE Jordan Strachan, South Carolina

120. CB Akayleb Evans, Missouri

121. SAF Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska

122. TE James Mitchell, Virginia Tech

123. WR Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

124. DT Travis Jones, Connecticut

125. CB Storm Duck, North Carolina

126. OT Kellen Diesch, Arizona State

127. OT Nick Zakelj, Fordham

128. SAF Bryan Cook, Cincinnati

129. CB Tariq Woolen, UTSA

130. LB Jesse Luketa, Penn State

131. RB Abram Smith, Baylor

132. CB Jack Jones, Arizona State

133. LB Terrel Bernard, Baylor

134. LB Mike Rose, Iowa State

135. TE Charlie Kolar, Iowa State

136. WR Joseph Ngata, Clemson

137. CB Jaylen Watson, Washington State

138. TE Cole Turner, Nevada

139. WR Jalen Virgil, Appalachian State

140. WR Jayden Reed, Michigan State

141. SAF Tre Sterling, Oklahoma State

142. TE Josh Whyle, Cincinnati

143. RB Brian Robinson Jr., Alabama

144. RB Hassan Haskins, Michigan

145. RB Zamir White, Georgia

146. RB Dameon Pierce, Florida

147. SAF Tycen Anderson, Toledo

148. EDGE Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati

149. OT Andrew Stueber, Michigan

150. SAF Leon O'Neal Jr., Texas A&M

 

 

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my top 5 needs, not necessarily in this order:

   passblocking OT, passblocking OC, passblocking OG, coverage LB, speed man/press CB

I'd like at least one (optimally 2) of the OLs to come from FA.  Experienced high quality guy(s) to protect Burrow immediately.

OL becomes a much bigger need if SpainGang and/or The Great Barrier Reiff choose to go elsewhere

Ill admit that if a top notch pass rushing DL drops to us, and is clearly the BPA at that point, I'd be fine with that pick as well.  interior or exterior, either can be and should be improved

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wanted to mention that the Eagles drafted two of the players we talked about quite a bit for the Bengals in 2021

Looked them up, found a report from last week.  Solid performances from both.

G Landon Dickerson

Stats: 12 games, 2 sacks, 7 hits, 16 hurries, 25 pressures allowed (According to PFF)
In his rookie season, Dickerson has been thrown in the fire and is holding up well after a slow start. Dickerson did not have a training camp because he was recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered late in his senior season at Alabama.
Dickerson has caught up to speed and has solidified himself as the left guard of the future. Dickerson has used his 333-pound frame to get inside the pads of defensive linemen and drive them back in the run game. Dickerson is still working on his pass protection but is coming along. His footwork and hand placement look a lot better than when he first started the season. Dickerson playing next to Mailata has made the Eagles offensive line one of the best in the league.
Grade: B

 

DL Milton Williams

Stats: 21 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 3 QB hits
Williams is a steady contributor to the defensive line rotation, which is interesting, especially with Williams being a third-round selection. Williams has seen most of his time at defensive tackle but has been used at defensive end on occasion in a 3- 4 look used at times by Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.
William sack total is not among the team leaders, but his ability to plug in holes in the run game has gotten better over this course of the season. Williams is still developing as a pass rusher and will continue to learn from Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave to improve in this aspect of his game.
Grade: B
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But here's the guy I really really wanted in 2021 r2, and by comparison, we whiffed here

https://www.si.com/nfl/chiefs/gm-report/kc-chiefs-c-creed-humphrey-handled-his-pro-bowl-snubbing-like-a-true-professional

also Meinerz, remember him?

watch the video in this article.  He's moving so much faster than I typically see a OL move.  Kinda looks like a big big fullback. 

https://heavy.com/sports/denver-broncos/unsung-broncos-rookie-expected-to-help-team-in-playoff-push/

 

 

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I mean, there's a lot I like about Carman, but comparing his performance against Creed's........yeah, Creed would have been the MUCH better pick

Plus Creed would have given Hopkins more time to heal up, and Hopkins could have then shifted from OC to ORG, a position where he is arguably a better performer

ah well.  woulda coulda shoulda.

all in all I'd still say this has been one of the better drafts in Bengals history, despite my unchanged belief that they didnt get the OLs they needed NOW.  The majority have contributed, with one superstar (some guy named Chase, tho that name applies more to the CBs behind him) and a star (MoneyMac)....and thats not even counting Ossai who looked like a starter at worst in the preseason.    If they had gotten Creed or Cosmi instead of Carman I think 2021 would inarguably be THE very best draft class in Bengals history

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bored again at tdn...

26. Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia

57. Jamaree Salyer, IOL, Georgia

90. Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

127. Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin

140. Leo Chenal, LB, Wisconsin

I like how this fell. Dean we've talked about. Salyer is another of those "short armed" tackles who projects to G but could play OT in a pinch. Jones is a good corner and great returner (9 TDs). Ferguson and Chenal are great value in the 4th imo.

fyi could have taken Petit-Frere or Penning at 26.

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The more I think about it - with Watt and Garrett in our division, and Reiff probably done (and only about average when he was in there) I think ORT has to be the priority in 2022 FA and the draft

Mostly FA, since New Guy needs protection N O W, and a draftee can take time to get up to speed, even a 1st rounder (like our pick 32, natch)

I completely 100% get that the pass rush comes in the interior with the Steelers, but I am more worried about keeping Burrow upright in over the 4 games with Baltimore and Cleveland versus the 2 with Pittsburgh

Optimally we address both

 

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This coming free agency period will tell a lot about the Bengals direction.  You don't need to look much further than our own free agents.

Reiff and Spain are both unrestricted and Johnson is a restricted free agent.
What they do there will give some clarity, but agree that the focus needs to be on the line.
I'm not a fan of the depth they have either, although some may disagree.

The #1 priority should be ensuring Burrow never, EVER, gets sacked 50+ times in a season again.

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I was selected to be the Bengals' GM in a 2-round mock on Matt Miller's site - happening over google spread sheets. I am up in 4 picks, here is how things have unfolded so far (the fan GMs could trade and many have):

Quote

1. Jags -- Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
2. Lions --- Kayvon Thibadeaux, DE, Oregon
3. Texans --- Aiden Hutchinson, DE, Michigan
4. Jets --- OT Ikem Ekwonu, T, NC State
5. Giants --- OT Charles Cross, T, Ole Miss
6. WFT (traded in) -- QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss
7. Giants (traded in) -- LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia
8. Falcons, CB - Derek Stingley
9. Texans (traded in) -- -CB Sauce Gardner, UC
10. Jets (traded in) --- DE George Karlatis, Purdue
11. Panthers (traded back) -- QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt
12. Vikings, S, Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
13. Browns, WR, Garrett Wilson, tOSU
14. Ravens, C, Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
15. Eagles, DE, David Ojabo, Michigan
16. Eagles, DL, Travon Walker, Georgia
17. Falcons, Edge, Drake Jackson, USC
18. Saints, WR, Drake London, USC
19. Jags (traded in), WR, Chris Olave, tOSU
20. Steelers, DL, Devonta Wyatt, Georgia
21. Saints (traded in), WR, Jameson Williams, Alabama
22. Dolphins (traded in),
23. Raiders
24. Cardinals
25. Bengals
26. Bills
27. Lions
28. Cowboys
29. Chiefs
30. Bucs
31. Titans
32. Packers

If you have thoughts as we get to my pick for the Bengals, shout them out...

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