Who’s Got What It Takes? – Brandon Olsen
Trying to project if a college prospect will be successful in the NFL can be a near-impossible task. It may seem impossible but I’ll be attempting just that today. I’ll begin in the first round and go through the seventh round. There are many prospects capable of contributing but I think these are the most likely candidates.
The obvious choice would be to pick either Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams. I’m also not comfortable tying my name to any of these first round QBs as sure-fire successes. To make this a little more challenging though, I decided to pick someone who’s seemingly dropped in a lot of people’s rankings but I’d still be willing to bet that he’s going to be a success at the next level.
Noah Fant was my favorite prospect in August and that hasn’t changed 7 months later. Fant is going to be more productive in the NFL because of gameplanning. At Iowa, passing wasn’t a primary part of the gameplan and it showed. Both Fant and TJ Hockenson are top tight ends in the class but didn’t have the production to match. Fant was a red zone monster but that’s about it that shows up statistically.
2nd Round – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, DB, Florida
One of the two defenders on this list, Chauncey Gardner -Johnson out of Florida is a personal favorite of mine. I think that CGJ is the perfect type of player to fit in as a nickel defender in today’s NFL. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson improved as both a cover man and a run defender this past season and it’s clear.
3rd Round – Trayveon Williams, RB, Texas A&M
In NFL offenses, it’s very rare now to see a team that has just a feature back and backups, they usually have multiple backs that play depending on the situation. Trayveon Williams looks perfect to play as a third-down back in modern offenses. On top of just his receiving ability, Williams is also a sound and willing pass blocker.
4th Round – Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
Christian Miller has the makeup to be a quality NFL edge defender but has some health issues. Miller is capable of playing from a two-point stance or with his hand in the dirt and he’s got a relentless motor. Add that to the fact that he’s got actual pass-rushing talent and he’ll be able to contribute to pretty much any NFL team, regardless of scheme.
5th Round – Preston Williams, WR, Colorado State
This one was one of the easier choices to make through this whole process. Preston Williams has a very low draft stock right now because of his off-field issues that involve him assaulting his ex-girlfriend and violating a restraining order. The talent is undoubtedly there and the NFL has proven time and time again that they don’t care about your off-field baggage if you can perform.
One of the lesser-known prospects in this year’s draft class, Diontae Johnson is quick, explosive, and versatile. Playing larger than his 5’10” frame would suggest, Johnson has no problem going up and fighting for the ball. The biggest question mark with Johnson is his reliability actually catching the ball but that will improve with NFL coaching. A source at Toledo told me that Johnson “went through a lot of growth so I think there really isn’t a limit for him” and with NFL coaching, we could see that ring true.
7th Round – Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
Three straight wide receivers isn’t exactly the most exciting way to go about this but Emanuel Hall is my final pick. After testing well, Hall possibly brought himself to the sixth round but I still think he ends up in the seventh. Hall was a great option for Drew Lock at Missouri and often times made plays that made Lock look better. When surrounded by NFL talent he’ll be able to succeed.