PICK SIX MOCK MIX: The top of the NFL Draft order is starting to shape up, as the bottom six teams all appear destined for poor seasons. Here is a midseason pick-six NFL mock draft if the season ended today:
New York Giants (1-7):QB Justin Herbert, Oregon -- This organization just can't afford to pass up a franchise quarterback two years in a row.
Oakland Raiders (1-7):DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State -- With three first-round picks in tow, coach Jon Gruden gets his new defensive cornerstone in Bosa.
San Francisco 49ers (2-7):DT Ed Oliver, Houston -- Not a bad consolation prize for picking third; sliding Oliver between Solomon Thomas and DeForest Buckner seems like a winning formula.
Arizona Cardinals (2-6):CB Andraez "Greedy" Williams, LSU -- Whether Arizona decides to keep Patrick Peterson remains to be seen, but Williams can be a great complement or replacement.
Buffalo Bills (2-6):DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama -- With soon to be 36-year old Kyle Williams entering free agency after the season, Williams seems like the quintessential replacement.
Cleveland Browns (2-5-1):OT Jonah Williams, Alabama -- The Browns need to protect their biggest asset, quarterback Baker Mayfield, and Williams fits the bill.
UMASS WR ANDY IS-A-BELLA: The name preludes his play, as UMass senior WR Andy Isabella (5-10, 195, 4.38, #23) has played beautifully this season for the Minutemen. His latest performance was his greatest performance, as Isabella racked up 303 receiving yards and two touchdowns on nine grabs in an epic triple-overtime thriller, to help put the Minutemen on top 62-59 with a win over Liberty.
A converted running back and a track standout, Isabella is a burner capable of taking it the distance on any given play. He owns highly impressive personal bests of 10.51 seconds for 100 meters and 21.27 for 200 meters.
The Ohio native was a short, scrawny kid coming out of high school and only had offers from UMass and Air Force, but Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple is thankful to have him, as he lauds Isabella's versatility, smarts and dedication to the film room.
In 10 games this season, Isabella has 77 receptions for 1,394 yards and 11 TD receptions. He'll have an opportunity to solidify his draft stock down the stretch with his final two games against BYU and Georgia. His need for speed projects him to be a lethal slot weapon at the next level and potential Day 3 selection.
CONEY THE CONQUERER: They came, the saw, they conquered. That has been the mantra for undefeated Notre Dame (9-0) this year, thanks in part due to the man in the middle of the defense. Senior ILB Te'von Coney (6-0, 240, 4.67, #4) continued his stalwart play against Northwestern on Saturday; if that sounds repetitive, it is.
Blessed with tremendous speed and athleticism, Coney is an instinct 'backer with cat-like read-and-react instincts. The Wildcats found out all too well, as he was flying around the field like a man with his hair on fire, collecting 10 tackles (six solo) and a pair of sacks. The Florida native also possesses long arms, which has allowed him to be active at the line of scrimmage batting down balls.
Coney, a two-year starter, was primarily used on special teams as a freshman, and he suffered a shoulder injury in the Fiesta Bowl that year, which sidelined him for spring ball the following season. He would be arrested for possession of marijuana right before the start of his sophomore campaign. However, Coney would go on to reinvent himself entering his junior season with refined strength and flexibility, demonstrating the ability to bend around the edge or dip underneath and earning Team MVP honors.
Coney, who continues to work on improving his pass-coverage ability, has lined up at three different linebacker positions during his collegiate career -- MIKE, WILL and BUCK. With his versatile skill-set, he could be an interchangeable piece in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He projects as a top 100 selection and will probably hear his name called toward the early part of Day 2.
FUTURE WATCH: If you were to poll the prominent key decision-makers in the NFL, most would likely concur that Alabama super sophomore QB Tua Tagovailoa (6-1, 219, 4.58, #13) is the best pro prospect in the land, regardless of draft class.
Ever since being inserted into the national championship game in January, Tagovailoa has been near flawless, guiding the Crimson Tide to an undefeated mark while showing all the attributes of a future franchise NFL quarterback.
The native from Hawaii was cool as a cucumber once again in the biggest matchup of the season, as he led 'Bama into Baton Rouge and made easy work of the No. 3-ranked team in the country, trouncing LSU 29-0. Tagovailoa was his usual self, spraying the ball all over the field and showcasing the ability to not just make all the throws but "special" ones.
The way the left-handed signal-caller slings the rock so smoothly and effortlessly, along with his scrambling ability, makes one think you're watching Steve Young. Tagovailoa finished this contest with 344 passing yards, two touchdown passes and an additional 44-yard touchdown run, just another ho-hum day at the office.
We did see one rare feat in this game, as Tagovailoa threw his first interception of the season (he has 27 touchdown passes on the year). Overall, his pocket awareness and ability to dissect defenses, along with his high character, make him a once-in-a-decade kind of prospect. Barring a catastrophic injury, Tagovailoa will be the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
SMALL SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT: The development of South Dakota State senior CB Jordan Brown (6-0, 195, 4.48, #13) is what football and scouting is all about.
A basketball and track star growing up, Brown discovered football as a freshman in high school, where he played wide receiver and was an explosive return man. He would learn a new position and make the conversion to cornerback during his freshman year of college, which seemed like a natural fit, according to his coaches, due to his fluid hips and athleticism.
The move has paid huge dividends for the Jackrabbits, as Brown has emerged into one of the top senior cornerback prospects in the nation, playing the lockdown role against the opposing team's top receivers.
Brown was up to his usual tricks Saturday, collecting another interception (eight for his career) in a 59-7 blowout victory over Missouri State. He demonstrates excellent closing speed, along with great timing and anticipation. Brown has also been a contributor, helping out against the run, as evidenced by his 138 career tackles and four forced fumbles.
The Arizona native grew up in Omaha and moved around a bit as a youngster. He redshirted his freshman year because he was so raw, then went on to become a four-year starter. He was voted team captain and will go down as the most decorated SDSU player in school history. Remember the name, as Brown projects as a mid-round selection come April, with a chance to move up into the Day 2 range with a strong showing during the draft season.
ETC.: Temple sophomore QB Anthony Russo (6-4, 230, 4.75, #15) flashed a strong arm, good pocket presence and the ability to scramble in a shootout loss to UCF, throwing for 444 yards and four touchdowns; he's worth monitoring as a potential future prospect. ... Pittsburgh senior RB Darrin Hall (5-11, 200, 4.63, #22) rumbled for 229 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries, guiding the Panthers to win over Virginia. ... Texas junior WR Lil'Jordan Humphrey (6-4, 225, 4.52, #84) continues to make big plays for the Longhorns, collecting 143 receiving yards and one touchdown on nine grabs in their loss to West Virginia. ... Alabama redshirt sophomore DT Quinnen Williams (6-3, 285, 4.98, #92) continues to state his case as being the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft with a dominant performance against LSU, registering 10 tackles, including 3.5 loss and 2.5 sacks. ... Florida junior CB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (5-11, 207, 4.52, #23), a projected early-round prospect, showed off his versatility with seven tackles, including two for a loss and one sack in the Gators' loss against Missouri.
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