2019 Picks #65-70
NFL Draft Scout
#65 Cardinals - Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
OUTLOOK: Broad shouldered, country-strong frame with good overall weight distribution including a thick lower half. Good initial quickness for a big man and times the snap well. Accelerates smoothly upfield for a defender of his size, showing good coordination in his upper and lower body to slap away the hands of would-be blockers, while dipping under to cross their face and win the edge or countering back inside. Lateral agility and balance to shuffle to string plays out wide, showing above average strength and length to lockout and keep contain. Possesses the size and strength to handle two-gap responsibilities when he keeps his pads low. Reads the eyes of the quarterback and attempts to disrupt passing lanes, breaking up a DB-like 14 passes over his career, including a career-high seven in 2018 along with two blocked kicks. A blue collar player who gives you everything he has on every snap. Good length (34 1/2" arms) and strength for the drag-down tackle. While athletic for his size, Allen lacks the quick-twitch to be a consistent outside pass rush threat against NFL tackles. This includes when he lines up as a stand-up rusher, showing less initial burst out of the two-point than he has with his hand in the dirt. Stiff in his midsection, needing to throttle down to re-direct his charge and needing a wide arc to scrape the corner. He lacks the athletic ceiling of others but Allen is the type of "safe" player clubs love to find in the second round but perhaps lack the special traits to warrant a top 32 pick, despite his undeniable production.
#66 Steelers - Diontae Johnson, WR, Toledo
OUTLOOK: A fluid pass catcher, Johnson is a truly explosive athlete, as evidenced by his ability to impact a game as a receiver, kick returner and punt returner. A widely underrated player, Johnson flashes smarts, instincts, along with toughness and possesses the potential to emerge as the best wide receiver in this draft class.
#67 49ers - Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
OUTLOOK: One of the more recognizable names in college football after previously starring as a running back at Tennessee. Informed that his best chance at success in the NFL might be as a pass-catcher, Hurd initially made the switch to tight end before settling on receiver for Baylor, where he emerged as a legitimate playmaker. He has always intrigued with his combination of size, soft hands and body control, but his long levered build and natural tackle breaking ability are ideal for possession receiver. He runs his routes hard but has a bit of a sluggish release and has a tendency to give away some of his routes with predictable cuts. It’s almost as if he is advertising his move. Despite his size and physicality, he is not a strong blocker and does not do a good job of striking moving targets or lining up defenders for contact. While Hurd deserves credit for his decision to change positions to extend his playing career but his durability and injury history are red flags. Hurd has quick acceleration, he is a difficult one on one cover because of his size but he’s also a versatile weapon as a runner out of the backfield thanks to his experience at Tennessee. An enigma wrapped up in a riddle, Hurd is dripping with upside but a team might have to wait a year or two before it comes to fruition.
#68 Jets - Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
OUTLOOK: Coaches saw Polite's potential immediately, plugging in the then-270 pounder in as a three-technique defensive tackle, on occasion, as a true freshman. He was a changed man in 2018, however, showing greater discipline in taking care of his body. He reportedly eliminated sweets from his diet (including his favorites, Swedish Fish) and dropped 25 pounds, showing the dedication off the field to accomplish the goal he uses as a Twitter handle -- @RetireMoms. Starting all 13 games as a stand-up edge rusher, Polite exploded for 45 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. Polite led the nation with six forced fumbles in 2018. An energizer bunny off the edge and in pursuit. While shorter than ideal, Polite possesses a compact, powerful frame, making him tougher to move at the point of attack than he appears. A twitched-up edge rusher who times the snap beautifully, Polite is often so fast off the ball that tackles are left scrambling to recover and playing on their heels, leaving them off-balance and unable to handle his counters and even bull rushes. At 245 pounds, Polite shows easy movement skills, operating in forward, reverse and laterally. Wasn't often used in coverage but shows the change of direction and awareness to handle these duties, peeling off to cover backs and working angles to keep himself squarely between the quarterback and intended receiver. He's elusive in tight quarters, showing quickness, balance and spatial awareness to "get skinny" through gaps. His short, choppy steps keep him balanced through contact and help him accelerate smoothly, topping out with above average straight-line speed, overall, for edge rushers and an uncommon late burst. Terrific timing and hand-eye coordination to slap at the ball as he's being blocked. Physical, wrap-up tackler who never backs down from competition. Truly appears to have turned the corner as a leader, earning rave reviews for his commitment to maximizing his potential. Starred as an edge rusher for Florida but is significantly undersized to maintain this role at the next level. Stronger than he looks but is still too often overwhelmed at the point of attack when blockers latch on. Makes a lot of his plays on backside pursuit, including downfield. Missed the final four games of the 2017 season with a shoulder injury. Opted to declare after just one productive season, leaving some to wonder if he will maintain his intensity after landing a lucrative NFL contract. Polite's suddenness and competitiveness suggest that his knack for creating big plays will continue in the NFL, warranting a top 50 selection.
#69 Jaguars - Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State
OUTLOOK: Mr. Wonderful steps off the bus looking like Paul Orndorff with his body-beautiful frame; ideal physique with all the tools to be a serviceable tight end at the next level. Albeit, a bit raw, Oliver is going to need some coaching up and development. He appears to have good strength but just needs to learn how to use it more effectively. Oliver projects as a factor in the passing game at he next level. Possesses great size and a well-built frame, to go along with a-plus athleticism. In addition to tight end, he can be used as an h-back to stay in and block or be utilized as a pull blocker in the run game. Demonstrates dependable hands and the ability to make contested catches. He has also lined up as a slot receiver on occasion. He finished the season as the most targeted (99) tight end in the country, hauling in 56 receptions for 709 yards, with nearly half of his yardage coming after the catch. Footwork will need refinement, especially in pass blocking, where he tends to crisscross his feet, when he should be kick-sliding to stay in front of the defender. Can tend to whiff entirely on blocks; doesn’t seek out his blocking assignment, rather he lets him wait to come to him. Still a raw player overall, especially in the blocking department, which makes him a bit of a developmental project.
#70 Rams - Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
OUTLOOK: While perhaps lacking an elite package of size and breakaway speed, Henderson possesses excellent vision, subtle shifts and has an effective stiff-arm to weave his way through defenses. Henderson's career average of 8.2 yards per carry tied Houston's Chuck Weatherspoon for the highest in NCAA history since 1956. He declared early and skipped the Birmingham Bowl in order to prepare for the draft. Henderson could potentially thrive in a zone blocking scheme that would take advantage of his one cut and up running style.