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NFL Draft

TDN Scouting Roundtable: A Sleeper QB, Potential Next Big Ohio State DB

  • The Draft Network
  • July 10, 2020
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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.

On Friday, we talked about Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders and Ohio State CB Tyreke Johnson.

Spencer Sanders, QB, Oklahoma State

Right now, it seems like the main discussions in this QB class revolve around Trevor Lawrence, Trey Lance, and Justin Fields. Although Sanders isn’t necessarily on the same level as those signal-callers, Reid certainly thinks he needs to be talked about in that next tier of passers.

“He’s a really exciting player,” Reid stated in his evaluation of the 6-foot-1, 198-pound redshirt sophomore. “I liked him a lot. He has that quick release you're looking for, he can throw from various platforms and different arm angles. He’s that true air-raid QB.”

A multi-sport athlete during his high school career (football and track), Sanders has been getting hype for a while and he seemingly delivered on every single bit of it as a redshirt freshman in 2019. Earning second-team all-conference honors in his first year starting, the passer racked up more than 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns in less than 10 full games. He still has plenty of refinement needed, but the makings of something are there.

“When he’s sitting in the pocket he still has trouble with anticipating quick-game patterns, specifically over the middle (portions of the field),” Reid noted when discussing some of Sanders’ negative qualities. “He also has periods where he leaves the ball hanging too high in the air and he gives defenders time to catch up.”

Despite some of the cons, Reid was still adamant in his support of the Cowboy, however, stating just as much during the meeting.

“I gave him an early Day 3 grade and liked him a lot,” Reid stated. “I don’t want to say he’s a Heisman candidate, but he’s going to light it up in that offense. I was looking for a sleeper QB and I think this might be the guy, especially if he replicates what he did as a redshirt freshman.”

Tyreke Johnson, CB, Ohio State

Like Sanders, Johnson is another redshirt sophomore who has yet to see much playing time. In fact, after being stuck behind two top-20 picks (Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette) and also Shaun Wade a season ago, the most reps he saw in a single game during 2019 was 15.

This limited playing time made it hard for Crabbs to evaluate Johnson and what he brings to the table, but he tried to paint us a clear picture of the DB regardless of the tape (or lack thereof).

“There’s a lot of people that are really big fans of this guy,” Crabbs stated in the discussion. “He’s a 5-star recruit and has a ton of length. I gave him an early Day 3 grade, but the only reason being is that there are almost no reps on him. He barely saw the field because he was stuck behind two top-20 picks and also Shaun Wade. You can understand why there’s so much hype on him, but with such a small sample size I didn’t feel comfortable giving him a super high grade.”

A corner, free safety, returner, punter, wide receiver, and running back during his high school career down in Florida, Johnson seems to be a potential first-rounder due to his raw physical gifts, especially after playing essentially every position known to man during his teenage years. The biggest problem right now, however, is just that there aren’t enough snaps yet on his resume to back up that bold of a claim this early on.

“His tape is currently light, but he looks to be the next big thing in the Buckeyes’ secondary," Crabbs stated.

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