1.12 Jachai Polite DE Florida
6’2’’ 240 lbs
2018 stats: 11 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 4 passes defensed, 19.5 TFL, 27 solo tackles (45 total)
Insanely quick burst described as “biblical” and even more impressive is the secondary speed he builds through the corner. Mostly utilized as a speed rusher by Florida but has a flashy inside spin move, able to reduce surface area to avoid contact, and Polite can effectively work back inside with a swim move. Does not have the most power or strength but his speed and effort are tremendous. Initial step off the line will need to be re-worked. Wins more with finesse but knows how to strip the football. Fits a 3-4 OLB position more than a 4-3 DE but could play with his hand in the dirt after putting on more mass. Has not been asked to play much coverage and will need to be coached up in that regard. Plays with nasty physicality when playing the run—Polite has outstanding range and recovery speed off the boundary.
1.30 TJ Hockenson TE Iowa
6’5’’ 250 lbs
2018 stats: 49 receptions for 760 yds and 6 TDs
A do-it-all TE prospect, Hockenson is well-versed as an in-line blocker, extremely comfortable and practiced in pass-protection and it has become one of the areas he has excelled in. A YAC monster, a catch point winner, Hockenson can provide that X-factor at TE that AR12 has never even had at his disposal. Higher second gear than expected—he has blown passed defenders and he is ridiculously difficult to take down. Insane foot urgency and finishing skills, Hockenson is a tenacious blocker able to take on OLBs and DEs and bury them.
2.12 Chauncey Gardner-Johnson FS/SS Florida
6’0’’ 207 lbs
2018 stats: 3 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 TDs, 2 passes defensed, 37 solo tackles (71 total)
Can cover a lot of ground as Gardner-Johnson did not play much deep cover one for Florida. He showed inconsistent angles to the ball but still managed to deliver powerful blows at the catch point when not making a play on the ball. Played a lot of man-coverage in the slot in 2018—did not show a lot of deep zone ball skills but did break for some impressive plays on the ball. Showed much needed improvement in his tackling abilities this year. Decent run protector when he plays close to the line of scrimmage, shows zero hesitation to come downhill as a tackler and plays through blocks well, also. Can be late to recognize route patterns when playing off-man. Might test in the 4.4-4.5 range, adding another speedy safety to the room.
3.11 Erik McCoy OG/C Texas A&M
6’4’’ 315 lbs
Described as a hard-worker who is very coach-able, McCoy spent the 2018 season as the captain for A&M playing well consistently against the elite competition of the SEC. With his powerful, squat frame, McCoy has excellent core strength but has been walked back at times by speed/power. A&M’s zone schemes worked well for McCoy and should translate well into LaFleur’s outside zone scheme also. No “type” of rusher had much success against him—rarely beaten but longer-leveraged defenders have shown the ability to reach his chest plate. Good recovery after initial wrench off-balance. Explosive off the line with good footwork but head-up technique has caused him to struggle at times. Hand placement and strike timing could definitely use improvement. Ability to get out into space in the screen game is outstanding and has strong ability to make blocks while on the move. McCoy hasn’t missed a game since his redshirt season and his tape against Clemson and Alabama are highlights—showing he can rise to the occasion when playing against some of the best defenses in the NCAA.
4.12 Benny Snell Jr RB Kentucky
5’11’’ 223 lbs
2018 stats: 289 rush attempts for 1449 yds and 16 TDs, 17 receptions for 105 yds
Traditional, one cut runner—Snell is a decisive back who, more often than not, makes good decisions with the ball in his hands. Highly effective in pass pro—does well to square up rushers and absorb contact. Value on passing downs is his pass protection as he has shown good hands but does not have the high-end speed to leave linebackers in his tracks. Doesn’t make overly dynamic cuts but has good body control when changing direction. A hammer between the tackles, Snell works hard to gain the yards after contact. Snell has the makings of a rotational back that can act as a battering ram – a thunder to Aaron Jones’s lightning.
4.16 Malik Gant FS/SS Marshall
6’2’’ 200 lbs
2018 stats: 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 8 passes defensed, 45 solo tackles (50 total)
Fast and physical safety, Gant was not expected to declare for the draft but after watching his tape, some are beginning to understand why he is making the jump. At his best against the run and as a tackler in space, Gant has decent range for a safety but is not the ideal center fielder. Gant will go for the big hit over competing for the ball every time. His two interceptions are due to his strong zone-coverage skills. May be a bit limited in man coverage against shifty, speedy receivers but held his own against TE’s and taller receivers like NC State’s Jakobi Meyers. Moving at top-speed, Gant’s change of direction is not all that fluid but he is agile enough to make stops in space. Outstanding run defender able to sort through trash to find the football. Rarely out of position, he does well to keep the ball in front of him when playing deep single-high. A diligent worker on and off the field, Gant has outstanding size and length for a safety—not an elite athlete but was rarely beaten by athleticism on tape.
5.12 Terrill Hanks OLB/SS New Mexico St.
6’3’’ 235 lbs
2017 stats: 7 sacks 3 forced fumbles 2 interceptions 6 passes defensed 50 solo tackles (108 total)
Hanks moved from safety to linebacker his senior year and although he does have limitations due to his inexperience his coverage abilities shine in that transition. Plays with a sense of urgency but shows shortcomings taking on blocks and processing. Athletic enough to follow RBs and TEs around the field reading the backfield and disrupting throwing lanes. Inconsistent tackler – frequently over/under pursues. Most of his success beating blocks is due to athletic prowess, not sound technique or overt power. Relentlessly pursues the football – flying downhill in a blitz or taking on a gap. Tape is inconsistent and littered with misreads – likely due to his inexperience. Hanks has no issues covering ground and can work sideline to sideline. Range, size and cover skills could make Hanks an asset on passing downs and special teams
6.12 Justin Layne CB Michigan St.
6’3’’ 185 lbs
2018 stats: .5 sack, 1 Int, 5 passes defensed, 44 solo tackles (72 total)
Aggressive at the line of scrimmage in press-man, Layne does well to win routes early with his hand technique and with leverage. Capable of being disruptive, Layne does not allow receivers to cross his path without them then knowing he will be in pursuit. Never shy to step up to defend the run or cover his competition. He can get a little confused when in zone coverage as he lacks great zone awareness and feel for coverage spacing. However, this is sort of to his benefit as our own Josh Jackson seems to excel in zone coverage and we are more in need of another cover corner when/if Kevin King is injured. Layne is a converted receiver and has no trouble playing the ball and disrupting the catch point. Projects as an outside corner in a cover/man scheme but has the ideal physical profile for a zone corner—he just needs to improve the mental part of his game.
6.21 Greg Dortch WR Wake Forest
5’9’’ 170 lbs
2018 stats: 89 receptions for 1078 yds and 8 TDs
Punt returns (2018) – 20 for 276 yds and 2 TDs (13.8 yd avg)
Kick Returns (2018) – 23 for 376 yds (16 yd avg)
A human highlight reel – Dortch may not be the biggest or most imposing receiver and he plays his best game when facing off-man coverage. Struggles to process zone-reads on slant routes but has a good feel for when to curl off his route in zone coverage. Produced a lot of change in direction routes but he is at his best in a horizontal speed cut as he can be lethal when running a deep route. Badly struggles with contact but when he can avoid defensive backs his shiftiness and route breaks can be explosive. Dortch doesn’t generally try to avoid contact but rarely uses his hands to get out of jams. Quicker and shiftier than he is fast, there is question about his top end speed. Flexible hips and suddenness when he wants to move laterally. Undersized and could definitely use more mass. Soft hands and has shown no problems extending to snag the ball out of the air. Dortch is an elusive ball carrier, which is highlighted in his ability as a punt returner. Will definitely need to improve his blocking if he is going to play in the slot but as long as durability is not an issue at the next level, Dortch could be a formidable replacement for Cobb.
7.12 Ben Powers OG Oklahoma
6’4’’ 313 lbs
A “get the job done” kind of guy, Powers would offer excellent depth to a shaky interior o-line position. A well-seasoned started for Oklahoma he is often overshadowed by his fellow Sooner O-lineman Cody Ford and Dru Samia. Does well when defenders get into close quarters and shows good balance and a sturdy presence on first contact. Good discipline with his hands and shows enough strength to absorb blows and regain his balance as well. Does not lose his cool—and his ability to play sound football usually wins out against some of his more physical limitations. He is a bit top heavy, has some hip tightness but shows a solid base in pass protection. Not a mauler but relentless nonetheless, Powers has proven himself as a decent pass protector for deep drop back or the quick pass game and he is better suited for blocking in a gap-heavy run scheme.