It seems like the 2020 NFL Draft just happened, but we move fast here at The Draft Network.
Currently going through summer evaluations for the 2021 NFL Draft class, our scouting team of Kyle Crabbs, Joe Marino, Jordan Reid, and Drae Harris are meeting up every day to discuss prospects, traits, and concepts. New to TDN is a daily scouting roundtable where we go through and identify the most important points of conversation from that day’s meeting.
This week, we continued our NFL roster conversations and delved into the bottom-end of the league, detailing some “rebuilding” organizations and where their depth charts currently stand.
*These roster evaluations looked at every position besides the QB spot, which was already discussed in prior meetings*
New York Jets
After recently shipping off All-Pro safety Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks, it’s no surprise that our staff considered the Jets to have one of the worst rosters in the league. Of course, this isn’t to say they won’t be successful in the future, especially with the amount of draft picks at their disposal. It just means that the 2020 season likely won’t be overly pretty.
“I’m not sure that Steve McLendon isn’t the best player on the Jets. I mean you can make a case for (Le’Veon) Bell, but there’s just not a whole lot on that roster, especially after C.J. Mosley opted out and they traded (Jamal) Adams,” Marino stated in his evaluation of the depth chart. “There's no star power and there’s just middling, replacement-level players everywhere. I don't know if they have a single different-maker on that football team. Quinnen (Williams) can be that, but he still has to prove it at the NFL level.”
New York Giants
Assembled similarly, the Jets and Giants share more than just a stadium location. After all, both lack premium defensive players, particularly in the front seven, and each has plenty to improve upon from a defensive standpoint. The main difference between both, however, is on the offensive side of the ball.
“It’s funny because I feel very similarly about the Jets and Giants, but the Giants actually have playmakers on offense so that’s why I don’t consider them to be nearly as bad,” Crabbs explained. “Defensively both team’s constructions are very similar, though. I just don’t know where the pass-rush heat is going to come from for either of them.”
There were two teams our staff generally considered to be in the very bottom tier of rosters: the Jets and Lions. Despite being armed with an elite quarterback (something that was purposefully eliminated from these conversations), Detroit’s lack of defensive talent is extremely disappointing, especially with a defensive-minded head coach who has allocated many of the team’s assets to that side of the ball.
“Defensively, they just don’t have a whole lot,” Reid stated in his evaluation of the depth chart. “Offensively, I think they’re good at wide receiver and Stafford is a stud, but that defense is just awful. If I was a betting man, I'd bet on (Matt) Patricia being one of the first coaches gone (in 2020). He’s a lame duck.”
A team generally thought of as a bottom-feeder, especially given their league-worst Super Bowl odds, Jacksonville has a pleasantly surprising roster. Featuring the likes of Josh Allen, Myles Jack, and the recently acquired Joe Schobert, the team offers plenty of exciting playmakers, something that Reid made sure to point out during today's meeting.
“Their roster doesn’t have a bunch of depth, but their starter talent is good,” Reid explained. “The problem with the Jaguars is the team is very top-heavy, but that’s also partly why I don’t think they have one of the worst rosters in the league. It’s just unfortunate they don’t have much depth.”
Washington Football Team
Even with a dominant front four that has the potential to mask many on-field issues, Washington’s roster is one of many major issues for the organization entering 2020. In his evaluation of the depth chart, Crabbs detailed why they may struggle this season and explained why he’d (ever-so-slightly) choose New York’s roster over Washington’s.
“It gets tough deciding between Washington and the Giants because I think New York’s interior guys can match up well with Washington’s interior guys,” Crabbs stated. “Washington definitely has better outside edge guys, but then you get to the offensive side of the ball and Washington has Terry McLaurin and nothing else, whereas New York has way more options with their O-line and their skill positions. Washington has that one elite unit, but the Giants check more boxes across the entire board.”
Another team thought of as a rebuilding squad, Carolina might be in for a tumultuous 2020 season. The roster is better than some give it credit for, however, and Marino detailed why the Panthers’ surprising amount of star-power could elevate them out of the league’s basement.
“I think Carolina’s interior OL is bad, but they do have a good group of tackles and some star players in (Christian) McCaffrey, Kawann Short, Shaq Thompson, and Tre Boston,” Marino stated. “Yes, everything else is a concern, but they have some legitimate building blocks that keep them from the very bottom (of the league).”