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McLean With It

Rice QB Eric McLean, taken by the Giants, becomes the 10th #1 overall pick, and is the first from a non-P5 school.

Rocket Men!

Toledo players were the final two picks of the draft, giving them Mr. Irrelevant (SS Isiah Poole) and allowing them to become the school with the most total players taken in the 2023 draft.

Trades. Trades Everywhere

10 of the top 12 picks in the draft were traded, the most notable of which involved the Colts moving up to #3 from #18 where they eventually took Georgia CB/FS Dominique Dawkins.

3rd Round Kicker? I Barely Know Her!

South Dakota State K Harrison Hacker (#69 to the Cardinals) and Cincinnati K TJ Bendbrook (#77 to the Houston Texans) both went in the 3rd round, extending the NFLHC trend of highly selected kickers.
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[2019] Episode 4: Linebackers

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We have a few months to analyze, to dissect, debate, to potentially disagree, there might be disagreements here… welcome to Los Angeles, from SageBow, Pumph, and myself, paperllamasunited, this is Path to the Draft. Today we’re going to be talking about one of the weaker classes of this 2020 draft, the linebackers.


Lets just flat out say it, this class of linebackers is far weaker than the 2019 class. Last year’s classes had some phenomenal stars with Christian Haywood and Tom Reis leading the charge, but also guys like Cameron Jones, William Thomas, Robert Lacy, and Sergio Miller being very productive in their rookie seasons. Looking forward to this 2020 class, we just do not see the same amount of talent.


Carrying the banner of the 2020 class of linebackers is All-SEC Inside Linebacker C.J. Thomas. Thomas currently leads the SEC and the nation in tackles this season with 65, and has also recorded 2 turnovers. Thomas is clearly a first round talent, but it is possible that he is the only first round talent out of the 2020 seniors. Kansas’s All-BigXII linebacker James Carson (36 tackles) has been good but not dominant, while North Carolina Tar Heel Michael Avery (20 tackles) has been non-existent for most of their games.


For the outside linebackers, TCU’s All-BigXII linebacker Daquan Darcey is the best. One of the most hyped players ever in college football, Darcey (36 tackles, 2.0 sacks) has seen his stock drop over the last year, from being one of the great defensive talents to a guy struggling to live up to the attention. Darcey will still be a first round talent, but a number of GMs and Scouts are rumored to have already taken Darcey’s name off their first round scouting lists.


In the background there are the a number of potential juniors that could enter the league looking to make big money, especially with how weak this class is. Nevada’s Dick Butkus award winning linebacker Akeel Morris (38 tackles, 2 INT, 1 sack) is almost a lock to enter the pros after a dominating collegiate career that has nearly single-handedly lifted the Wolf Pack from an afterthought to playoff contenders. Another name that is on the rise is Tennessee’s Nathaniel Jeffries. Jeffries (22 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 TD) has been productive for a very good Vols team, and with money looming around the corner there is a strong possibility he leaves school early.


With a dearth of talent at outside linebacker, I would not be surprised at all to see franchises looking to take one of the talented defensive end prospects from that deep pool we already discussed, and stand him up on the outside of a 3-4 scheme.  But when you look at this crop of linebackers alone, I only see Darcey as a first round pick.  He’ll go earlier than he probably should, only because of supply and demand, but let’s not get down on this kid.  He is still one heck of a football player.


Panel Picks

OLB Ahmed London 6-2 239 R West Virginia [Coverage] 77

Llamas: At face value, London might be a decent 2nd round pick, especially given the lack of depth in this class, and with relatively overrated Daquan Darcey as the headlining OLB, those chances of shooting up draft boards looked even better. However, when we get in-depth,  it seems that London simply disappears at times. He’s posted 28 tackles, a sack, and a pick thus far into the 2019 campaign, but he failed to post to the sheet against Missouri and Kansas State, two games he should’ve easily dominated. In games he’s been on the stat sheet, he’s at least consistently getting 5-6 tackles, which isn’t terrible, especially for a coverage LB. I think he, like most of this class, needs a year behind someone to learn and grow, and any early selection will leave pro teams disappointed.


ILB Akeel Morris 6-5 234 Jr Silver Stage (Silver Springs, NV) 5.0 of 5.0 [Mike]

Sage: I can’t say enough about Akeel Morris. Its widely known how big of a fan of Morris I am. Heck, I was the guy that brought him to Nevada! Akeel is almost guaranteed to go pro at the end of this season, and if he declares he’s a lock for a top 5 selection. What he’s been able to do is the absolute stuff of legends. Ever since announcing himself to the nation with his 1 sack, 1 FF, 1 FR, 1 Safety, 1 INT, 10 tackle performance against Hawaii his freshman year, El Santo Loco is widely known one of the best defensive players in college football. Akeel draws comparisons to all the best linebackers in the league. He’s cerebral like Andre Brooks, hard hitting like Tunch Richardson, and as tireless as Cameron Jonah.


ILB Brick Madden 6-3 239 R Oregon [Mike] 78

Pumph: This is one kid that I can’t wait to see what he does at the combine.  He’s a player that plays above his natural talent, and is the leading tackler on one of the most talented defenses in the country.  Perhaps he gets so many tackles because Christian Onkonkwo eats up blockers, freeing Brick up to make plays, but Madden is a sure tackler with good instincts.  Just to show up in the box scores with some of the other defenders on the Ducks’ roster is an accomplishment in itself.  I think this kid could be a steal in the mid-to-late second round.


ILB Shia Reeder 6-0 236 R Toledo [Mike] 75

Sage: A guy very few people are talking about is Toledo Rockets’ Shia Reeder (29 tackles, 3.5 sacks). Reeder is one of the best pass-rushing inside linebackers we’ve seen in a while, and he’s been an animal for one of the best MAC teams. Reeder has the ability to play in either base defensive scheme, but with his ability on the blitz, I believe he can reach stardom as a MIKE linebacker in a 3-4 set up. Look for Reeder to go in day 2, but should he fall to day 3 some team is going to get a huge steal.

Llamas: Reeder is very under the radar, but he has been a solid staple for Toledo in 2019. He surprisingly redshirted during his true senior season last year, but the higher-ups at Toledo have kept the reasons for that under wraps. He managed 52 tackles in 2017 after transferring from Globe Institute in New York, where he played from 2015-16. Reeder will never be a superstar, but he should crack a starting lineup of a team with LB issues or depth issues, especially one running a 3-4.


The Class

ILB C.J. Thomas 6-4 240 R Georgia [Mike] 82

ILB James Carson 6-2 231 R Kansas [Will] 79

ILB Michael Avery 5-11 247 R North Carolina [Will] 79

ILB Brick Madden 6-3 239 R Oregon [Mike] 78

ILB Dillon Grant 5-11 249 R Alabama [Mike] 76

ILB Ernie Crawford 6-1 220 R Oklahoma [Will] 76

ILB Shia Reeder 6-0 236 R Toledo [Mike] 75

ILB Raheem Burkett 6-3 240 R Penn State [Will] 75

ILB Joshua Olson 5-11 245 R Air Force [Mike] 74

ILB Julien Daly 6-1 234 R Kansas State [Mike] 74

ILB Mark Hills 6-3 246 R Virginia [Will] 74

ILB Philip Sargent 6-2 240 R Nebraska [Will] 73

ILB Richard Pitts 6-3 237 R Georgia State [Mike] 73

ILB James Robertson 6-2 235 R Texas [Mike] 73

ILB Julius Conrad 6-4 240 R Northwestern State [Mike] 70

ILB Joseph Powell 6-4 226 R Iowa [Mike] 69

ILB Matt Thomas 6-3 247 R North Dakota [Mike] 69

ILB George Stevens 6-3 238 R TCU [Will] 68

ILB Frank McPherson 6-3 239 R Arizona State [Will] 68

ILB Michael Hutson 5-11 223 R Oregon [Mike] 68

ILB Roger Herndon 6-1 226 R Notre Dame [Will] 68

ILB Devin Aguilar 6-2 237 R Georgia Tech [Mike] 67

ILB Jonathan Hansen 6-1 231 R Houston [Will] 67

ILB Ronald Guerrero 6-2 223 v [Mike] 67

ILB Luke Barker 5-11 241 R Baylor [Will] 67

ILB Kevin Hanley 6-1 216 R Tulane [Will] 66

ILB Ray Anderson 6-1 248 R TCU [Mike] 66

ILB Clifton McLean 6-3 236 R Colorado State [Will] 65

ILB William Smith 6-4 244 R Texas [Will] 64

OLB Daquan Darcey 6-4 232 R TCU [Coverage] 80

OLB Richard Ryan 6-3 230 R Virginia Tech [Coverage] 78

OLB Angel Bailey 6-2 228 R Georgia [Coverage] 77

OLB Ahmed London 6-2 239 R West Virginia [Coverage] 77

OLB Jamir Sample 6-2 231 R Clemson [blitz] 76

OLB Kenji Sagatomo 6-1 234 R New Hampshire [blitz] 74

OLB Jamie Price 6-0 240 R Ohio State [blitz] 72

OLB Herman Randle 6-2 240 R Michigan [blitz] 72

OLB Jerry Thornton 6-2 229 R Texas Tech [Coverage] 72

OLB Ralph Watts 6-1 229 R Nebraska [blitz] 72

OLB T.J. Harriman 6-3 227 R Marist [Coverage] 71

OLB Shawn Richardson 6-0 238 R Vanderbilt [Coverage] 70

OLB Gregory Jenkins 6-4 232 R Temple [Coverage] 69

OLB Edward Harris 6-0 225 R Penn State [Coverage] 68

OLB Tyler Burden 5-11 228 R Houston [Coverage] 68

OLB Milan Porter 5-11 206 R Fresno State [blitz] 67

OLB Mark Stapleton 6-5 238 R Air Force [Coverage] 67

OLB Robert Hernandez 6-4 242 R LSU [blitz] 67

OLB John Cook 6-3 240 R Nebraska [blitz] 66

OLB Paul Suarez 6-3 224 R Air Force [Coverage] 66

OLB James Rogers 6-2 223 R Nebraska [blitz] 66

OLB Keith Figueroa 6-4 239 R Miami [blitz] 66

OLB Ronald Gleason 5-11 222 R Arizona [blitz] 65

OLB Stephen Carpenter 6-1 223 R Kentucky [blitz] 65


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Brick Madden is a badass name

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Brick Madden is a badass name


Hell yeah it is.

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Brick Madden is a badass name

He once killed a man with a trident.

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