Day Three Dream Team: Offense
By Simon Carroll
You build a team through the draft, or so the old adage tells us. And those that buy into this mantra will be the first to tell you that unearthing value in the mid to late rounds is the way to win championships. From Tom Brady to Richard Sherman, Jahri Evans to Adalius Thomas – day three of the draft is littered throughout history with star players who have helped their teams to Super Bowls.
With that in mind, I’ve attempted to build a ‘dream team’ of prospects who are likely to come off the board in tonight’s rounds 4-7. This exercise will be split into two sections, with this first article focusing on offense:
QB: Peyton Ramsey, Northwestern
Garnering some recent interest from NFL teams as a late round selection, Ramsey represents one of the few potential upside quarterbacks in a postion group that is anything but deep outside of the five 1st rounders. Intelligent and mobile, Ramsey has a knack for evading pressure, manipulating the pocket and knowing when to get out of there and move the chains with his feet. A team leader at both Indiana and Northwestern – he might come off the board late on Saturday, but don’t be surprised if he sticks around in the league for some time.
RB: Chris Evans, Michigan
Talk about projections – thanks to a team suspension and COVID, Chris Evans has carried the football just sixteen times in the last two seasons. But turn on the early tape when he was a backup in 2017 & 2018 and the former Wolverine offers some intrigue; the ideal size with impressive agility and excellent contact balance has Evans as a sleeper on many a dratnik’s big board. Banking on him at this stage is a huge gamble, but he enters the league with plenty of tread still left on his tyres and could work his way quickly up a depth chart.
WR1: Simi Fehoko, Stanford
One of my favourite late round prospects in this draft class, Fehoko has all the traits you look for in a WR1 but just hasn’t put it all together yet. The prototypical size and length to be a factor on the outside, Fehoko has blazing speed with the ball in his hands, as his 23.6 yards per reception as a Sophomore suggests. The former Cardinal needs to work on his route running to improve the separation he gets coming out of his breaks if he is to truly maximise his potential.
WR2: Austin Watkins, UAB
The cousin of Sammy Watkins, all Austin does is catch the football. Ultra aggressive at the catch, point he physically imposes himself on cornerbacks and rips the ball out of the air with an unsettling authority. Watkins has a non-stop motor and plays the game like his life depends on it. The ideal posession receiver and an excellent foil to the speedy Fehoko, Watkins just nees to polish he finer nuances of his game to take the next step.
WR3: Isaiah McKoy, Kent State
Isaiah McKoy is the reason why you take pro days with a pinch of salt; a 4.58 second 40-yard dash comes nowhere close to doing his play speed justice. Tall and lean with an aggressive burst off the snap, McKoy is a production mahcine across the middle of the field and looks to fill the ‘big slot’ role that is in vogue right now in the NFL. He is a playmaker who has the ability to flip the field with the ball in his hands, and despite playing for a smaller school showed up in the big contests – turn on the Auburn tape to see what this kid can do.
TE: John Bates, Boise State
In an admittedly weak tight end class, particularly in the later rounds, there is one ray of light. John Bates has very little pass catching evidence on tape to go off due to being used predominantly as a blocking TE at Boise State. But Bates has sneaky athleticism that he just hasn’t had the opportunity to use – the former track star shows good burst off the snap, some unexpected finesse in his routes, and a physicality at the catch point bordering on brutal. Add to that his blocing prowess and you’ve got yourself a future starter at the position.
LT: Kayode Awosika, Buffalo
Built like a building and an unheralded reason for the success of Jaret Patterson, Kayode Awosika is a dominant force as a run blocker. The power in his first strike allows him to get on top early in a play, and his bullish demeanour means he maintains control from thereon out. A little stiff-hipped in pass protection, Awosika might find the early transition to the NFL level a daunting one, but with a bit of development I think he can thrive – particularly in a predominantly zone blocking scheme.
LG: Bryce Hargrove, Pittsburgh
An absolute mauler on the interior, Bryce Hargrove is an underrated prospect who flashes the necessary traits to make a living in the NFL. Aggressive off the snap and hunting down contact, Hargrove uses an excellent base to first absorb then reverse momentum at the point of engagement. He plays alert and is quick on his feet to intercept inside moves from edge rushers, and is adept in both run blocking and pass protection. A little ill-disciplined at times and rough around the edges, i’m surprised he didn’t take advantage of the extra year of eligibility, but there’s no denying the upside Hargrove possesses.
C: Drake Jackson, Kentucky
Slightly undersized but extremely fluid, Jackson makes up for the weight differential with an aggression and dedication seldom matched by his opponent. As part of a gritty Kentucky offensive line, Jackson was the leader; he’s always active and looking for work, is quick into his stance and extremly efficient in pass protection despite his short arms. His anchor is questionable and it shows up a little more in the run game, but if he finds his way into a zone heavy scheme he defintiely has the portfolio to carve out a healthy professional career. Jackson just gets the job done.
RG: Jack Anderson, Texas Tech
You might have figured out by now that I have a penchant for aggressive interior linemen, and Jack Anderson fits the bill. The former Red Raider lives for contact, revelling in the physical battle and actively seeking work at every opportunity. With sneaky athleticism and short area agility Anderson can move, but when beaten ina rep he is unafraid to get dirty and do whatever it takes to deny his opponent entry into the backfield. He can get carried away sometimes and I expect he’ll see more than his fair share of penalties at the next level, but out of all of the prospects that make this day three dream team, Anderson may be the one most likely to make the biggest impact in the NFL.
RT: Tommy Doyle, Miami (OH)
AT 6’8″ and 326lbs, Tommy Doyle is a formidable sight. His length and power allow him to dominate contact, and he routinely moves edge rushers to somewhere thy just do not want to be. The athleticism isn’t elite as you would expect for a man his size, but it isn’t prohibitive to his game either – he can pull and seal block downfield in the run game, showing he can move. A smart and prepared lineman, Doyle has starting potential as a right tackle at the next level.
PREVIOUSLY THE FOUNDER OF NFL DRAFT UK, SIMON HAS BEEN COVERING COLLEGE FOOTBALL AND THE NFL DRAFT SINCE 2009. BASED IN MANCHESTER, SIMON IS ALSO CO-CREATOR & WEEKLY GUEST OF THE COLLAPSING POCKET PODCAST.