Welcome to Scouting The Nation, an exclusive report from the NFL Draft Bible scouting department that brings you the latest NFL Draft buzz. Be sure to check back every Monday for our insider updates and scouting notebook!
The football season has hit the halfway mark and we’ve got plenty of risers, sliders and surprises shaking up the big board. In this edition, we examine some potential developmental quarterback prospects, make note of some bust out offensive performances, shine the spotlight on some unsung offensive lineman and highlight some key defensive players on the NFL radar. Plus, a look at our NFL Midseason All-Rookie Team!
PUT IT IN THE BOOKS
Notre Dame quarterback IAN BOOK [6002/212] orchestrated one of the best performances in school history, guiding the Fighting Irish to a monumental double overtime win over No.1 ranked Clemson. The senior team captain extended plays, converted in the clutch and led his team from behind, completing 22-of-39 passes for 310 yards and one touchdown. A noted team leader, Notre Dame coaches rave about Book’s football IQ, leadership and intangibles. This was clearly the signature moment of his five-year career in South Bend and should help sway NFL scouts that he can be a viable backup option in the pros.
NOTHING BUT THE DOEGE IN ME
A steady, consistent signal-caller beginning to gain some momentum is West Virginia senior JARRET DOEGE [6021/205], who tallied his fourth consecutive 300-yard game, in a narrow loss to Texas. The transfer from Bowling Green has proven to be a smart decision-maker who shows excellent pocket poise and moxie. In 30 career games, Doege now has nearly 7,000 passing yards, completing 64% of his passes with a 57:21 touchdown-to-interception ratio. For NFL teams in search of a traditional pocket-passer type, the Lubbock, Texas native could be viewed as a developmental quarterback at the next level.
DOAKS DELIVERS FOR BEARCATS
Cincinnati Bearcats senior running back GERRID DOAKS [5112/230] totaled over 200 all-purpose yards, including a career-high 184 rushing yards. The bruising runner who prides himself on playing a hard-nosed, physical brand of football, Doaks can pound it between the tackles and has also shown to be a capable pass-catcher out of the backfield. The Indianapolis native had endured various ailments in each of the past three seasons but with a strong senior campaign, Doaks continues to garner the attention of NFL scouts and could warrant a good, hard look on Sundays.
STANFORD SHOOTING STAR ON THE RADAR
Stanford redshirt sophomore wide receiver SIMI FEHOKO [6035/227] is a name to watch as he could be a breakout candidate thanks to his size, speed and ability to gain significant yards after catch. He had three catches for 88 yards versus Oregon, which continues his blazing path from a year ago in which he averaged 23.6 yards per catch (second in the nation). Fehoko hails from a football family, as his father, uncle and no less than six other cousins have played college football. Known to be a very bright, mature player, Fehoko is already married, has been on a two-year LDS mission prior to his arrival on campus and has consistently been on the Pac-12 All-Academic Honor Roll. He was a two-sport standout in high school and that type of athleticism at his size will create a freakish NFL Combine as he has been known to run in low 4.4’s or better in the forty.
POWELL POWERS HIS WAY TO BIG DAY
Clemson senior wide out CORNELL POWELL [5116/210] is a fifth-year prospect who has come from deep on the depth chart to start producing eye-opening numbers in recent weeks, including his six catch, 161 yard performance against Notre Dame, which featured an impressive 53-yard touchdown. He now has produced nearly as much in the past two games, 276 yards, as he had throughout his career to date, 282 yards. What stands out is that he has taken tough coaching, a long-winding road and is now creating a path towards a pro career. Powell has shown toughness, the willingness to block and appears to run in the 4.5-range or better at six foot. With his attitude and competitiveness, you could certainly see him earn him a shot on special teams as a priority free agent, while he develops as a receiver.
GRIMES TIME TO SHINE
The athletic traits of TREVON GRIMES [6036/218] were on full display during the Gators romp over Georgia, as the senior hauled in a pair of key catches, including a highlight-reel touchdown grab. A former five-star recruit who hails from high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas, Grimes transferred from Ohio State after the 2017 season and found himself stuck behind one of the most talented wide receivers corps in college football over the past few seasons. His size and athleticism offers an appealing upside at the next level, while he has also has shown vast improvement in his route running this season. After missing some time earlier this year while contemplating an opt out, Grimes now has a chance to solidify his draft stock and possibly hear his name called on Day Three of the 2021 NFL Draft.
CAVALIER COULD BE GREAT CATCH AT NEXT LEVEL
Virginia senior TE TONY POLJAN [6065/267] made the decision to jump into the transfer portal when the MAC initially shut down, so he made his way from Central Michigan to the ACC. In a short period of time, he has proven to be a steady safety valve and middle of the field option for the Cavaliers. Poljan has four touchdowns and 24 total catches thus far, after averaging 15 yards per catch as a junior on 35 receptions. A converted prep quarterback, he potentially stands to be a very sought after tight end prospect, thanks to his ideal size and fact that he could exceed expectations in a lot of areas at the NFL Combine. Poljan was able to gain over 3,000 yards on the ground in high school, while scoring over 1,000 points on the hardwood as a basketball player. Those close to him say he will run and vertical among the leaders at his position.
TIGER STYLE WEAPON COULD WARRANT LOOK FROM NFL
Memphis senior TE-H-Back SEAN DYKES [6020/230] is having a career-year so far and saved his best for when they needed it most, totaling seven catches, for 147 receiving yards and two scores in a 34-33 win over South Florida. Dykes lacks ideal pure tight end size but he’s athletic, knows how to get open versus zone coverage and has averaged over 15 yards per catch during his Tigers’ career. There is potential for him to be a versatile player in the right system. While he has yet to run the ball at Memphis, it would not be hard to fathom a creative offensive coordinator move him around at the next level and slot him in at tight end, h-back, slot, or even fullback. His uncle, Hart Lee Dykes, was drafted by the New England Patriots but his lack of size will make him more of a priority free agent come April.
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BYU LINEMAN IN CONTENTION FOR OUTLAND TROPHY
BYU junior offensive tackle BRADY CHRISTENSEN [6052/295] is gaining a lot of positive attention thanks to the play of his quarterback, ZACH WILSON [6021/205] and the production of their offensive unit. Christensen has shown sound technique, grading out among the best in the nation on a weekly basis and he continues to grow as a run blocker, as well. His length and footwork makes him one of the top three tackle prospects in his class. He’ll need to continue getting stronger at the point of attack, there are times his pad level gets too high and he can be a little susceptible to inside moves. However, it would not be surprising to see him voted as a finalist for the Outland Trophy based on his level of play to date. There are legitimately four or five other juniors who could compete to earn first-round type grades but he is certainly one of them.
THE AGGIES GREEN MACHINE
Texas A&M senior offensive tackle CARSON GREEN [6052/320] is an underrated reason why the Aggies are in the thick of the College Football Playoff race. He’s more of a blue-collar type that has a wide body, uses his thick frame to help give them one of the best ground games and has also yet to give up a sack this season. Green remains an average all-around athlete, so his best pro position will be to remain at right tackle, as he lacks ideal bulk to play inside at guard. He can tend to be more of a leaner and get over-extended at times but shows strong hands, along with average footwork; he by no means will over-power defenders. Green can be a smart, patient blocker and does not get down on himself after poor plays. You could see some draft appeal for his talent at some point on Day Three of the draft by teams who implement a zone blocking scheme. We have seen plenty of good journeymen type linemen with similar tools.
SCARLET KNIGHTS DEFENSE SPROUTS NFL PROSPECTS
Rutgers senior OLB OLAKUNLE FATUKASI is creating a name for himself early this season as a change in coaching staff, culture and philosophy on the defensive side of the ball, has really aided in his development into a potential late-round prospect. Fatukasi led the team with 13 tackles and two tackles for loss against Ohio State; he now has double digit tackles in all three contests this season. Fatukasi is playing a deliberate and motivated style, running down plays from behind and providing great energy for the Scarlet Knights. He has shown excellent versatility lining up at middle linebacker but played WILL earlier in his career. His improvement has rubbed off on fellow senior outside linebacker TYSHON FOGG [6002/240] and junior cornerback AVERY YOUNG [6002/193], who could be the team’s most improved player. While Fatukasi lacks ideal size, if he can produce at his current pace 12.3 tackles per game and run in 4.70 or better, there’s a very good chance that he can challenge to become an effective role player and join his brother, Foley, in the NFL.
FIELDS OF DREAMS
Arizona State had their hands full against USC on Saturday but senior safety EVAN FIELDS [5116/195] demonstrated why he is such a valuable cog, accumulating 17 tackles, forcing two fumbles and collecting a big pass breakup during the season-opener loss. With the Sun Devils switching from a 3-3-5 to a base 4-3 scheme, Fields adapted well in his new role, showing the ability to play in space and cover lots of ground. He has drawn praise from head coach Herm Edwards for his ability to play in the box and his effectiveness as a blitzer. The Oklahoma City native was second on the team with 84 tackles a year ago and is an ascending draft prospect, who should be viewed as a versatile sub package player at the next level.
NFL 2020 MIDESEASON ALL-ROOKIE TEAM
With the NFL regular season officially at the halfway mark, here’s a look at the NFL Draft Bible Midseason All-Rookie Team, as voted on by our scouting department.
QB Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
WR Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
WR Chase Claypool, Pittsburgh Steelers
WR CeeDee Lamb, Dallas Cowboys
TE Harrison Bryant, Cleveland Browns
OT Tristan Wirfs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
OG Jonah Jackson, Detroit Lions
C Tyler Biadasz, Dallas Cowboys
OG Michael Onwenu, New England Patriots
OT Mekhi Becton, New York Jets
DE Chase Young, Washington Redskins
DT Javon Kinlaw, San Francisco 49ers
DT Derrick Brown, Carolina Panthers
DE DJ Wonnum, Minnesota Vikings
LB Logan Wilson, Cincinnati Bengals
LB Patrick Queen, Baltimore Ravens
LB Kenneth Murray, Arizona Cardinals
CB Jaylon Johnson, Chicago Bears
CB Kristian Fulton, Tennessee Titans
S Antoine Winfield, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
S Jeremy Chinn, Carolina Panthers
KR Isaiah Rodgers, Indianapolis Colts
PR Marquez Calloway, New Orleans Saints
PK Rodrigo Blankenship, Indianapolis Colts
P Tommy Townsend, Kansas City Chiefs
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