Guys who could rise come draft day into the range of our pick

Someone mentioned in one of the threads how Walker and Sauce were much later picks at this point of the process than they would wind up being by draft day (@Lyonfan1 maybe?), and since the odds of us sitting at #4 or later have increased dramatically, I thought it might be pertinent to look at some of the guys who could really benefit from the process and be in the wheelhouse of our pick.

  1. Tyree Wilson, EDGE, Texas Tech - He’s already pretty high but he could go even higher, he could be this year’s Travon Walker. That kind of size and maybe even longer and with far better production. The only question is what kind of athlete he is, and we’ll get those answers through the process.

  2. Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State - Like Wilson he’s already pretty high but if he runs like a 4.3 and jumps out of the building he could have a Sauce-esque rise. The questions about him now are around his athleticism, just like they were with Sauce.

  3. Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State - Built more in the mold of the EDGE/OLB hybrids like Will Anderson, Verse is long, powerful, smart and has great movement skills. He’s explosive out of his stance and packs a ton of power for his size. His bend only looks to be about average, but if he crushes his 3-cone he could skyrocket. Had a huge step-up in competition this year and thrived from the very first game.

  4. Will Levis, QB, Kentucky - This is our best/only chance at trading down IMO, if someone falls in love with Levis. Unlike Stroud he’s got the physical traits and makeup NFL teams want, he had a good year in the SEC in 2021, and it won’t be hard for FOs to make excuses for him for 2022.

  5. Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma - He’s a body beautiful guy for an OT, thick lower half but long and crazy athletic for an OT with quick feet and smooth hips. And not even close to maxing his frame out. He needs to improve his strength at the POA but as he still looks like he’s filling out, someone will take a chance on him.

  6. Andre Carter, EDGE, Army - There’s so much about him that’s unknown, he’s the type of guy that if he starts to answer questions he’ll skyrocket. Starting at the Senior Bowl (provided he goes) he’s got a chance to really do some damage. He’s got a textbook NFL NFL frame for an edge (6’7, 270, 6-10 inch wingspan) and will allegedly test really well in the change of direction drills, which is one of the reasons he’s #13 on Feldman’s freaks list.

There are other guys who will rise throughout the process (Andre Iosivas, Micah Abraham, etc…), but not many who can rise all the way into the range of our first pick. These guys can.


Meh. This is why I don’t think QB is such a bad idea.

Really not that excited about the positions available.

We’ve had a hard time lately of positional need lining up with talent in our first round slot. This goes back to Okudah and Hock.


So which non first round projected DTs do you see potentially rising up draft boards?

I think quite a few could rise but I doubt they make it all the way to that first pick. Maybe up to #15 though.

Calijah Kancey is small but if he dominates like Donald did through the process he could rise. He’s on Feldman’s freaks list and really it’s only his size holding him back.

Mazi Smith of course should test really well too, I think he’s going much higher than most of the simulators have him now.

Keion White is another intriguing guy who should test really well (again, a staple on the freaks list). He transitioned from a 265 pound edge to a 290 pound iDL over the past couple of seasons so he still has a lot to learn, but his traits will wow.

Keeanu Benton is one of my favorite guys. He’s always had the gifts but just started to put it all together this year. I think he’d be a really good fit next to Alim too. He’s a very athletic NT at 6’3, 320. He has a chance to really show out at the Senior Bowl.

Zach Picchens won’t blow up his testing but he certainly blew up the SEC over the last half of the season. He might have been the best defender in the entire league. If he tests better than expected he could really rise. He had a really strong finish to the year.

YaYa Diaby is another sort of tweeter edge/iDL (6’5, 280), but was once timed at 20.8 mph which is faster than Jameson just ran on his TD. He’s explosive and long-limbed though personally I don’t love his athleticism in a short area. Sort of like a poor man’s Bresee. But he is gonna test really well for the most part and probably have a really high RAS.

Brandon Dorlus is long and a great athlete at 6’3, 285 but definitely another tweener, and he brings very little physicality to the position. He feels like an edge in a iDL’s body but his testing and size will cause him to go higher than we think.

Gervon Dexter will test really well but I doubt it affects his draft stock that much. We already know he’s gonna test well, it’s his tape that will keep him down.


I saw a Jim Nagy interview on PFF like two weeks ago and Keion White was the guy he picked out as most likely to blow up at the Senior Bowl and zoom up draft boards. But I think he meant more like early day 2.

The real “plus” for anyone we draft for the DL is the guys they get to stand next to. I like Benton too.

It was me….

  • Bijan Robinson

  • Trenton Simpson

  • K Ringo

  • C Gonzalez

  • C Kancey

  • M Smith

  • E Forbes

  • Voorhees

  • C Beebe

When we say our pick are we talking rams pick or lions pick. Bc there are guys on that list in all for at 15 but not 4-5. Levis NO WAY. I do like Wilson a lot but he would have to jump up and I’ve mentioned porter a lot and Robinson

I think Saiki Ika DT from Baylor rises till late 1st early 2nd round pick 6’4 357

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Calijah Kancey - Yeah I really like this kid. He’s got a good get off, agile, but he also has some power.

Mazi Smith - He’s a lot quicker then a guy at 337 should be. Pretty sure Dan would call him twinkle toes. Reminds me a little of Dontari Poe.

Keion White - Yeah he’s definately intriguing. He’s powerful for a guy his size and he’s got a nice get off.

Keeanu Benton - One of the things that i love about him is that for a guy his size he plays with terrific leverage. He consistently gets low underneath the G’s pads.

Zach Picchens - One of the harder guys to gauge for me and I think some of it is scheme and the technique that he uses. A lot of read stuff and he wasn’t asked to pin his ears back all that much. However I could see a lot of traits though.

Yaya Diaby - Similar to Keon White.

Brandon Dorlus - Yeah just watching him I was immediately thinking project.

Gervon Dexter - WORST GET OFF EVER. However once he gets going you can see there are some good tools there. You would have to be confident that you could get Wash to fix his get off because it is slooooooowwww.

If we don’t get Carter it would be nice to add one of these guys in particular, Kancey, Smith, White, or Benton.

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There is no point in worrying about the first pick. Penei is just going to barge into the draft room and pick his brother Noah. Who’s going to stop him?

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Yeah and the guys over at PFF are already on him too. Their ranking is the one that made me do a double-take and go back and take another look at him. I knew he was on the freaks list but hadn’t realized he’d had such a good year.

I know that list was intended to be helpful, but does anybody else feel like that the choices are underwhelming?

I mean are we really going to select Joey Porter at 4? I like him, but at 4? I was really hoping to get a franchise defining player with that 4th slot.

One guy that I see rising is Nolan Smith. I see him a lot falling to the 2nd round and I think he is extremely talented. Not top 5, but he seems like a first rounder to me.

I agree that it feels a little underwhelming, but we would have said the same thing at this time last year if I’d brought up Sauce Gardner in the same fashion. You never know how these guys will turn out, but virtually every first round has great players in it. It’s up to Brad to find those guys, no matter where they’re being ranked right now.


There will be one or two guys that we think are good players and then they work out and it’s like, “oh, okay.” I’m confident we’ll be able to find a top 5-6 player we’ll be enthusiastic about. Process has to play out. And we still have a very real chance to pick 3rd. :pray: Denver :pray:

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The more I watch the more I think Jared Verse is the guy who’s gonna rise into that consensus #4 spot. He’s got the juice to go that high (I think, the testing will matter for sure), and it’s impressive that he thrived after such a huge step up in competition. Bodes well for his future. He’s still got some growing to do as far as processing what he sees, but I don’t think that should be a problem. He just needs more high-level reps.

I know the Stock Exchange guys like him, they both have him over Myles Murphy as the #2 edge, though I also think Connor might be biased as an Albany grad.

He’s not a perfect fit for us especially with Houston showing out, but if we’d be willing to take Will Anderson, I don’t know why we wouldn’t be willing to take Verse as well. Similar styles to their games.


I guess I’m just confused a little about what the plan is if they already have Hutch and Paschal with Houston as the fireballer of the bench.

You think they’ll move to a 3-4? Move Paschal to a secondary role?

Nobody has answers, so just curious as to your thoughts.

Yeah it’s not as much of a glove fit as you’d like it to be, but here’s the way I see it.

Houston, for everything he brings as a pass-rusher, has a loooooong way to go before he’s an every down player. That’s only to be expected, he’s really only been an edge player for a little over a year-and-a-half. But the fact is he may never develop beyond being a DPR (designated pass-rusher). And that’s fine, most teams have one and to find such a talented one in the 6th round is spectacular.

But I certainly wouldn’t let it stop me from drafting a similar guy if I graded him out as a better player. It’s the same theory behind taking Anderson. And both Anderson and Verse are better-versed (heh) in the other aspects of playing on the edge. They’re ready to go from day one.

I also think edge is more of a need than we believe it is. The best organizations are forward-looking and it’s really possible we’ll lose the Okwara Bros, Harris and Bryant over the next couple of years. Maybe as soon as next offseason. That would leave us with Hutch, Pascah and Houston, which is not only thin, but still very speculative. Plus Paschal waffles between the edge and the interior, so we’d only two full-time edge guys.

Would I prefer to go with a different spot at the top? For sure. Carter would be the ideal, but there’s a good chance he’s not available. And I’m not reaching for a lesser talent because he fills a need, especially at the very top of the draft. Draft elite talent and figure it out, that’s how I’d do it.


Okay, so you are basically on the same page with me really. I get not wanting to pass on pure talent.

I guess it just bugs me to think we wasted a mid second rounder on a role player if it comes down to it. I think Paschal is holding up pretty well on the edge.

I think it might also come down to gauging whether you want to burn a 4OA on an EDGE guy when you look at what you might get with the next two picks. Its sort of why I brought up Nolan Smith.

I think this top pick is going to be interesting as to what direction they decide to go. I think there is a better than normal chance they try to trade out.

Speaking of forward-looking, they do need some speed to combat what seems to be their biggest weakness on defense - running QBs. I would think the Jalen Hurts, Justin Fields, possibly Jordan Loves are what we are facing in the playoffs in the coming years.