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Serby Says welcomes you to the Trevor Lawrence NFL draft, and with the expertise of Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline and the Draft Network’s Jordan Reid, brings you a list of 10 prospects NFL teams will be salivating over in the months to come.
As of now, Jets GM Joe Douglas will pick second — say it ain’t Joe, Jets fans — and Giants GM Dave Gettleman will select 10th.
In no definitive order — except for Lawrence at the top — here we go:
Jets fans are urged to cover their eyes.
“He could be better than Andrew Luck,” Pauline said. “I didn’t think that going into the season, but he just elevates the play around him and he continually exceeds expectations, which is why I think he will probably be rated slightly higher than Andrew Luck was when Luck entered the draft.”
“I compared him to John Elway, Peyton Manning and then Andrew Luck,” Reid said.
How does Lawrence compare as a producer with Joe Burrow, last year’s first-overall pick?
“Burrow was a real good quarterback prospect. … Trevor Lawrence is a franchise-type of game-changer,” Pauline said.
Fields is battling to be the second QB taken.
“He really struggles getting off that first read from time to time,” Reid said. “He gets stuck on that first guy and he waits for him to come open as opposed to progressing through to the next guy, and what happens is he holds the ball too long and he ends up taking big losses for a sack. But outside of that he has the arm strength that you’re looking for, he has the leadership qualities that you love to see, and then of course his mobility, I think that’s a big asset to his game as well.”
“Great athlete, competitive guy, big arm, patient passer, a quarterback who can run, but runs only when necessary — he’s not a running athlete who plays the quarterback position,” Pauline said. “Probably could have sat out this year, but really pushed the envelope to play this year. … He doesn’t process things as quickly as you would like; makes some questionable decisions at times, but he’s got a great amount of upside and he’s got some terrific physical skills.”
What if he was in the 2020 QB class?
“Let’s put it this way: Prior to the last two games [Northwestern, Indiana], I would have said he would be taken before Tua [Tagovailoa],” Pauline said. “I would say that he would be in the mix with Tua and Justin Herbert for that second, third, fourth quarterback selected.”
Wilson is battling Fields to be the second QB taken.
“Good arm, doesn’t have a Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields arm, but his arm is good enough to make all the throws,” Pauline said. “Accurate, good pass placement, good speed, good timing on all of his passes. … The foot speed to make plays in or out of the pocket or pick up yards with his legs. … What’s going on between his ears is right up there with Trevor Lawrence. He’s a student of the game. I was told months ago that when Zach Wilson interviews in the pre-draft process, people are gonna be blown away by this guy. The only thing is he’s a shorter (6-foot-2) quarterback.”
Reid rated him a fifth-round prospect entering the season following shoulder surgery and a broken thumb. Now he gives Wilson the slight edge over Fields.
“He has those loose movements as far as his arm strength and just how the ball comes off his hand very violently,” Reid said. “The competition that he’s faced is something that is gonna be a huge question mark about him, but not for me.”
Where would Wilson and Fields rank in the 2020 QB class?
“I think they probably be behind Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, but they probably would be right in the mix of where Justin Herbert was as a prospect for me,” Reid said.
“I think he’s phenomenal as far as just how well his body is constructed, how much power he plays with, and then his combination of athleticism and awareness,” Reid said.
Is he strictly a left tackle?
“Really he can play all five positions in my opinion, I think he has the athleticism and the smarts to do so,” Reid said.
“He’s a terrific pass protector, fundamentally sound, good footwork off the edge, you can get him out on the second level, you can pull him across the line of scrimmage and get him to block,” Pauline said. “He should be able to start from Day 1.”
Could he play RT? (Psst, Jets fans, wouldn’t you like a bookend for Mekhi Becton? … Wrong time for this, you’re still in mourning over Trevor Lawrence).
“In a Philadelphia Eagles-type of system, what they did with Lane Johnson, he has that ability,” Pauline said. “He’s not your classic punch-you-in-the-face, block-with-a-nasty-attitude, bury-you-in-the-ground run-blocking right tackle.”
Where would he rank in last year’s OT class?
“Probably would have been the first tackle drafted,” Pauline said. “Somebody said to me in the league back in June, Penei Sewell can sit around for the next month and do nothing but eat cheese doodles and he’s gonna be a top-five pick.”
“I liked [Jedrick] Wills and [Tristan] Wirfs better than him, honestly, so he probably would have been my third guy, ahead of Thomas and Becton,” Reid said.
“A player that just had that ‘my ball’ mentality that you love to see, he’s just so gifted with going up and just physically dominating guys at the catch point,” Reid said. “He can run any route in the route tree. Very strong hands.”
“He is a dynamic, big-play receiver who also makes the ordinary, underneath reception, he’s a good downfield blocker, doesn’t have the great size, he’s probably gonna measure under 6 feet tall,” Pauline said.
Where would Chase, who opted out this season, rank in last year’s WR class?
“He would have been the first receiver selected last year,” Pauline said.
“He is much more consistent than either Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs,” Pauline said. “He doesn’t have the speed of Henry Ruggs, but he’s fast enough. He doesn’t have the same quickness or creativity of say Jerry Jeudy, but he’s very good running after the catch. He is much more complete than those two Alabama receivers from a year ago.”
Whereas Chase is a 5-11, 205-pounder, Smith is slightly under 6-1, 175.
“He’s a guy that plays faster than he runs. … He’s probably gonna run maybe in the mid-4.4s, but he plays in the 4.3s,” Pauline said. “Jeudy last year was not a guy who was good in confined quarters, Jeudy needed space. … DeVonta Smith will go up in a crowd and come down with the ball.”
He reminds Reid of Marvin Harrison.
“Very slender frame, very skinny — if he eats a cheeseburger every day for the rest of his life he probably won’t gain another pound,” Reid said. “But he plays much bigger than what his body frame does indicate. … He’s fantastic with releases off of the line of scrimmage. … How he’s able to dominate at the catch point, and it’s not just going up and getting the ball, he makes the easy catches look routine, and then whenever he’s in a crowd, he can just come down with the ball.”
He opted out of the season, but still will be a top pick.
“He brings so much versatility,” Reid said. “He came to Penn State as a defensive end. One thing he does need to work on is just seeing and diagnosing plays clean, and that’s just because he’s so raw. He can get a little bit lost as far as when offenses do a really good job of disguising those plays, his mind can wander a little bit just because he’s so athletic, he can go the wrong direction at times.”
Reid likes him as an inside linebacker or defensive end .
“Incredible athlete, a guy who runs like a defensive back, physical, aggressive, really attacks ball-handlers, great not only in a straight line but laterally, covers an amazing amount of space in pursuits. … My concern about him is his instincts are not polished,” Pauline said.
“Plays the tight end position like he’s a receiver (6-6, 246),” Pauline said. Best TE prospect since who? “Vernon Davis,” Pauline said.
“I think he’s a big wide receiver in a sense, but he can block,” Reid said.
Son of three-time Pro Bowl corner Patrick Surtain.
“He’s a phenomenal athlete (6-2, 202), he’s physical, he is nasty, good ball skills, needs to refine his technique at times,” Pauline said. “Struggles making plays with his back to the ball at times, will occasionally fall asleep.”
“A super-long corner,” Reid said. “He has kinda like a safety body. The best part about his game is just how aggressive he is at the line of scrimmage, but it is in a controlled manner. Ultra-competitor at the catch point as well.”
Also opted out. Best pass rusher in the draft.
Reid compares him to Seahawks DE Carlos Dunlap.
“Coming out of high school, he was a wide receiver and a safety,” Reid said, “and then he ended up switching to defensive end his final year in high school. He’s really raw.”
“He’s a bit one-dimensional,” Pauline said. “He’s a real good pass rusher, but he’s a tall, skinny guy (6-4 ¹/₂ , 255) who needs to get the first step off the snap. He reminds me a bit of Dee Ford. A couple of people have compared his style to Dion Jordan’s.”
Pauline is also high on Purdue WR Rondale Moore, Tulsa LB Zaven Collins and Ohio State G Wyatt Davis. Reid is high on Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle and Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley.
But, really, it’s Trevor Lawrence and everybody else.
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