There will be no more live NFL football games until September. I’m sorry. But at least all 32 franchises are officially welcomed to Draft Szn!
I hope that this column has become a staple for you each week, but just in case you are new, 6-Pack Thursday is my weekly brain dump on six football-related things that involve the NFL, College Football or NFL Draft.
The “Let’s Talk Prospects” series is working. You like reading it and I like writing it so the train keeps rolling with six more players I recently evaluated to discuss them in less of a scouting report style format.
Let’s crack this thing open.
**You can click on the name of each prospect to read my full formal film evaluation on them**
Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College
When I published my scouting report on Lindstrom earlier this week, it was met with a lot of replies and quote tweets about how much they wanted their team to draft Lindstrom. Fans and teams are realizing the importance of quality interior offensive line play and a player of Lindstrom’s skill set is valuable.
It’s easy to call an offensive lineman a “clean” evaluation but it’s truly the case with Lindstrom. He’s a 4-year starter that has experience at both guard and tackle while illustrating good mobility, body control, play strength, technique and football IQ. What’s not to like?
BC has featured dominant rushing attacks in recent years and Lindstrom is a big reason why. Not only does he thrive in drive blocking situations, but he excels on the move to connect with defenders in space. His experience at tackle lends itself favorably to pass blocking on the interior and he’s just so solid in every area. I can see Lindstrom coming off the board in the pick No. 20-50 range and providing his team an immediate starter who anchors a spot for long time.
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Williams is an interesting evaluation. For a long time, you couldn’t find a mock draft without Williams among the top-10 selections and he appeared to be the consensus top corner in the class entering the season. While many still perceive him as CB1 and believe he’s a high first-round pick, there are some red flags on tape that make me uncomfortable with him that high.
Let’s start with the good stuff, though. He is a long, fluid and athletic corner with excellent ball skills. Those traits alone make him extremely appealing. But the stuff I can’t get out of my mind when watching his tape isn’t him smoothly turning with a receiver and carrying them down the field stride-for-stride and making a play on the ball, it’s the erratic moments of effort and questionable competitive toughness.
While Williams isn’t the most natural at anticipating routes breaks, he also doesn’t finish reps. There are times he simply stops covering which leads to late separation and easy completions when the quarterback is able to extend the play. More concerning, however, are the business decisions he makes as a tackler. He’s a passive and reluctant tackler that you will rarely see square up the ball carrier, wrap up and bring his feet through contact. He nips at ankles and sometimes doesn’t give any effort to make a tackle while serving as a spectator. And playing off contact to beat a block and make a play? Nah.. not what he wants to do.
Williams’ physical upside is unquestioned. But his competitive toughness and finishing plays? Yea, I’ve got concerns.
Devin White, LB, LSU
I posted a new Mock Draft on Monday and to the surprise of many, White was not only NOT the Bengals pick at No. 11 but he fell all the way to the Raiders at No. 24. Fans of teams all the way from the Bucs at No. 5, the Falcons at No. 14 and the Browns at No. 17 let me know how much they wish White was their team’s pick.
There is a lot to like about White. He is built like a tank and has incredible range. His ability to get outside the tackles and make stops is eye-popping. He truly features sideline to sideline range.
But when I studied his tape, his film is littered with slow and incorrect reads that results in him being completely out of position. He’s easily manipulated by play fakes and doesn’t consistently trust his keys. To make matters worse, he struggles to get off blocks and is often stuck in traffic which is exacerbated by his below average processing skills.
In terms of mobility, White may parallel with 2018 top-10 linebacker Roquan Smith but he’s way behind on the mental side of the game and playing through contact. We saw a physically gifted linebacker that had some processing concerns in Tremaine Edmunds slide to No. 16 last year and I think the concerns are far greater with White.
White has all the ability in the world to become a star in the NFL but I am not so quick to overlook the warts revealed on his game tape.
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Is he a guard or a tackle? Is he OT1 or a third round pick? The discussions around Williams have been wild. Let’s make this simple: he is a really good player that profiles as a high-quality starter in the NFL.
A three-year starter with experience at both left and right tackle, Williams is polished in many areas. He is a smooth operator with balanced footwork, good mobility and excellent play strength. Being battle tested against the best pass rushers in college football and a strong baseline of traits make him an appealing prospect.
With that said, Williams lack of ideal length does lead to him getting outreached and pass rushers are able to get into his frame. Williams does well to win with first contact and mitigate that concern but he does give up his chest on occasion. Perhaps this makes him a guard at the NFL level but I am not dismissing that he can’t be an outstanding tackle.
Here’s the bottom line: Williams projects as a high impact blocker in the run game, on the move and in pass protection. If your team needs offensive line help, draft Williams in the first round and you’re well on your way to fortifying things up front.
TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
This crop of tight ends is outstanding, but the one at the top is special. Every NFL team wants to have a quality tight end but very few of them are actual difference makers. Hockenson has the upside to become a game changer.
What’s unique about Hockenson is that he offers all the qualities of a classic, throwback tight end combined with the traits needed to excel as a modern day flex weapon. A team can line Hockenson up in-line and ask him to block and win as a receiver, and Hockenson offers top traits. He can be used in the slot and asked to stretch the field and Hockenson has the ability to be dynamic. He’s a three-level receiving option that can line up anywhere in the formation while also providing dominant blocking ability.
I believe Hockenson can be a star in the NFL along the lines of what Kansas City has in Travis Kelce and the 49ers feature in George Kittle.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, NC State
Meyers originally caught my eye in 2017 after he torched both Florida State (5 rec, 112 yards, TD) and Clemson (9 rec, 105 yards, TD) to the tune of a combined 14 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns. He then went onto set the NC State single-season record for receptions in 2018 with 92, breaking Tory Holt’s previous record.
Meyers transitioned from quarterback to wide receiver the week prior to the 2016 season opener and while I’m unfamiliar with his talent as a quarterback, I will say that Meyers’ strengths and weaknesses for a player switching from quarterback aren’t what you’d expect them to be. I would expect a plus athlete switching over from QB to WR with modest body control and inconsistent hands. Instead, Meyers is an ordinary athlete but features excellent ball skills and body control in contested situations.
Meyers functioned primarily from the slot in college, taking advantage of clean releases to work into his route stem. At the Senior Bowl, Meyers was tasked with clearing press coverage and it became clear more technical work was needed for him to get out of the contact window with consistency. With that said, it does limit his role at the next level until he develops.
Meyers can serve as a “big slot” and has some upside in terms of uncovering quickly and winning at the catch point, but his evolution as a receiver is still a work in progress.