Under-the-Radar Prospects II 2019

By John Laub
John Laub




     Under-the-Radar Prospects II
                 2019 NFL Draft


QB Tyree Jackson, Buffalo
A developmental prospect, who would benefit by watching on the sidelines for a couple of campaigns as a professional. In 2018, MAC Offensive Player of the Year: 3,131 passing yards and 28 touchdowns and in 2017, Academic All-MAC. Four-year starter in high school. At 6-foot-7 and 249 pounds, a strong-armed signal caller with big hands. Overhead delivery and generates great velocity. Zips ball into tight windows. Completes throws outside the hash marks and very good deep thrower. Moves safeties with eyes. Locates receivers on the run. Slides well in the pocket and avoids pass rushers. Muscle to shrug off pass rushers. Good mobility. Poor mechanics and drop back lacks consistency. Long windup and inaccurate passer. Not an accurate thrower. Does not always diagnose the defense well. Slow through progressions. Clearly, would have profited by remaining in college for one more season.
Key Career Stats
Games: 32
Passing Efficiency: 129.3
Completion Percentage: 55.8
Yards per Attempt: 7.3
TD:INT Ratio: 49-24
Draft Grade: Fifth round

RB Mike Weber, Ohio State
Incredible senior year of high school: 2,268 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. A Top 100 recruit coming out of Cass Tech in Detroit. Originally committed to Michigan but chose Ohio State. Redshirted first year on campus. In 2016, rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored nine times: Named Big Ten Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, Freshman All-American and All-Big Ten Conference Second Team. Suffered a nagging hamstring injury in 2017, started slowly and shared time with J.K. Dobbins. Last year, scampered for 954 yards and totaled six touchdowns. Declared for Draft early. At 5-foot-10 and 211 pounds, a downhill runner with great vision. Short and compact build with a quick burst. Very good agility and can scamper through traffic. Remains upright through contact and breaks arm tackles. Natural low center of gravity. Good pass catcher and tricky route runner. Good pass blocker. Perfect for a committee role in NFL and rumors circulating that the Bears are interested.
Key Career Stats
Yards per Carry: 5.9
Receptions: 54
Breakaway Ability
40-yard Dash: 4.47
3-Cone Drill: n/a
20-yard Shuttle: n/a
Draft Grade: Fourth round


RB Ryquell Armstead, Temple
Tantalizing Temple tailback. Played in all 23 games as a freshman and sophomore. In 2016, totaled 919 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. Suffered turf toe injury in 2017. In 2018, named Maxwell and Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week versus Houston: Established career highs with 30 attempts for 210 yards and 6 touchdowns. In 2018, rushed for 1,098 yards on 210 carries and scored 13 touchdowns. Only 11th player in Owls history to post a 1,000-yard campaign. Finished fourth all-time at Temple with 2,812 rushing yards. At 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, a tough and fearless competitor with good vision. Rapid feet, great initial quickness and patience in the hole. Powerful and decisive inside battering ram who keeps feet churning through contact. Downhill runner with size and strength. Runs with low pad level. Reliable pass blocker but must improve technique. Non-factor in the passing game. Might be asked to transition to fullback in NFL.
Key Career Stats
Yards per Carry: 4.9
Receptions: 29
Breakaway Ability
40-yard Dash: 4.45
3-Cone Drill: 7.02
20-yard Shuttle: 4.29
Draft Grade: Fifth round

RB Devine Ozigbo, Nebraska
Robust Cornhusker impresses scouting community after breakout senior season. In 2018, All-Big 10 Third Team, Tom Novak Award (despite all odds, best exemplifies courage and determination) and Football Lifter of the Year. Led Nebraska in rushing past two seasons: In 2017, accumulated 493 yards and last year, totaled 1,082 yards. Career performance against Illinois: Named Big Ten Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors, rushed for 162 yards on only 11 carries, averaged 14.7 yards per carry and scored a career-high three touchdowns. At 5-foot-11 and 222 pounds, a powerful freight train who welcomes and absorbs contact. A one-speed ball carrier with a big frame and thick hips. Passionate player and lowers pad level into tacklers. Good vision with patience. Underrated pass catcher and squares up defenders in pass protection. One-year wonder at Nebraska. Lacks elite long speed and burst. Neither twitchy nor quick at the line of scrimmage. A nice prospect who may become a starter in the right system but likely a part-time contributor as a professional.
Key Career Stats
Yards per Carry: 5.2
Receptions: 49
Breakaway Ability
40-yard Dash: 4.55 (Pro Day)
3-Cone Drill: n/a
20-yard Shuttle: n/a
Draft Grade: Fifth round

RB Elijah Holyfield, Georgia
Son of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. In high school, four-star prospect and All-State First Team in Georgia. Team captain in 2018. Played behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, and shared backfield with D’Andre Swift last season. In 2018, surpassed the 1,000-yard threshold, averaged 6.4 ypc. and scored seven touchdowns. Enters NFL with only 215 carries on resume and only seven catches. At 5-foot-10 and 217 pounds, a powerful and fluid ball carrier with stupendous vision and very good patience. Strings together impressive moves with lateral cuts. Runs with resolve. Good center of gravity and keeps legs churning. Stupendous footwork and agility. At contact point, exerts strength to power through tacklers. Very good vision and finds daylight in congestion. Employs spins, stiff-arms and jumps cuts to escape defenders. Gets skinny in the hole. Effective in pass protection: Assaults blitzers with a square base and active hands. Remains on feet after contact. Two misdemeanor drugs charges for less than one ounce of marijuana: Some teams might take him off draft board. Never earned 20 carries in any game on campus. Needs to press line of scrimmage to make defenders commit before bouncing run outside.  Dragged down from behind too often. Must improve pass protection skills. Combine results disappointed observers and draft stock plummeted.
Key Career Stats
Yards per Carry: 6.2
Receptions: 7
Breakaway Ability
40-yard Dash: 4.78
3-Cone Drill: n/a
20-yard Shuttle: n/a
Draft Grade: Sixth round/UDA


WR Stanley Morgan, Jr., Nebraska
Cornhuskers’ game breaker harvesting praise among Draft experts. In high school, two-time all-state pick in Louisiana out of New Orleans and top 30 receiving prospect nationally. Played in 47 games at Nebraska. As a junior and senior, All-Big Ten Second Team. In 2018, established a school-record with 1,004 receiving yards. Over past two seasons, posted 131 catches for 1,990 yards and 17 touchdowns. At 6-foot-0 and 202 pounds, fluid body control on a solid frame with well-distributed strength. Comprehensive route runner with exceptional spatial awareness. Uses body to gain positioning against defensive backs. A glider who stacks defensive backs on vertical routes. Tracks ball well and adjusts in flight. Full route tree on resume. Played in two different systems over past two campaigns and employed in many different alignments. Good hands but occasionally drops passes. After the catch, operational mixture of determination, patience, vision, burst and physicality. Good blocker in run game. Returned kicks as a freshman on campus. Do not be surprised if a team falls in love with Morgan, and he is taken early on day three of the Draft.
Key Career Stats
Receptions: 189
Yards per Reception: 14.5
Team Target Share: 29% (2018)
Breakaway Ability
40-yard Dash: 4.53
3-Cone Drill: 6.78
20-yard Shuttle: 4.13
Draft Grade: Fourth round

WR Riley Ridley, Georgia
Brother of Falcons’ Calvin Ridley. Consensus 4-star recruit in high school. In 2018, posted team-best 43 catches for 570 yards and recorded 9 touchdowns: An incredible 21% TD:REC rate. Played in a run-first offense during campus tenure, totaling only 1,015 receiving yards and scoring 13 touchdowns. True junior leaving school early. Prototypical size at 6-foot-1 and 199 pounds, possesses excellent tools and desirable athleticism. An explosive and knowledgeable route runner. Smooth and lengthy athlete with a strong fame. Effortless body control. Very good acceleration and vertical speed. Nuanced and precise route runner. Beats press coverage. Impressive quickness: Stops on a dime and accelerates out of vertical cuts. Plants foot and sinks hips in unison to break open quickly. A natural catcher with strong hands and easily plucks pass from the air. Effortlessly transitions into a runner after securing pass. Long strider who has good deep speed. Latches onto ball in tough contested situations. Very good sideline catcher. Difficult to bring down in space. Gives maximum effort as a run blocker. Not a speed merchant. Lack of opportunity and production. Sporadically loses focus and drops passes. Single-game highs during career: 6 catches, 89 yards and only four games over 70 receiving yards. A prospect conundrum: good skill set but lack of production and athletic ability. Likely will receive very different grades by Draftniks, scouts and organizations.
Key Career Stats
Receptions: 69
Yards per Reception: 14.7 
Team Target Share: 18% (2018)
Breakaway Ability
40-yard Dash: 4.59
3-cone Drill: 7.22
20-yard Shuttle: 4.28
Draft Grade: Sixth round 

TE Dawson Knox, Mississippi
A rising prospect after limited production on campus: Rebels loaded at receiver and Knox did not garner many targets. Named a freak by NFL.com before the 2018 season and to the Mackey Award watch list. High school quarterback. At 6-foot-4 and 254 pounds, NFL size and athletic ability. Good route runner who catches ball away from frame with big mitts. Tough, aggressive and competitive player. Effortless mover and tremendous body control. Threatens middle of the defense down the seam. Runs well after the catch and can make a defender whiff. Powerful blocker with nimble feet and punches at point of attack in run game. Occasionally, double clutches pass and fights ball. Only 39 career catches for 605 yards and failed to reach the end zone. Plenty of talent and professional potential.
Key Career Stats
Receptions: 39
Yards per Reception: 15.5
Team Target Share: n/a
Breakaway Ability
40-yard Dash: n/a
3-cone Drill: 7.12
20-yard Shuttle: 4.27
Draft Potential: Fourth round