Prospects we should probably be talking about a little more

Dane Brugler’s The Beast is great because he gets so much info that we just don’t have access to and he shares a lot of it. So when you’re going through and reading it, it’s easy to come across something where you say to yourself “holy shit, Brad’s gonna love that.”

So I read through the whole damn thing for guys like that, then I went and did a rewatch on the guys who stood out, many of whom I really needed to reevaluate based on a factoid from the Beast. (For the record, I half thought about keeping these to myself so I could win the Den draft contest, but I’m a magnanimous denizen at heart).

So here’s what I came up with.

Mekhi Wingo, iDL, LSU

LSU has this tradition where they give the number 18 to players who, well, here’s how their coach describes it: “The No. 18 is the player who brings all those traits of someone who leads in an extraordinary manner,” Kelly said last offseason. “The attention to detail, great focus, represents the program in a positive way in the classroom, in the community and on the field."

This year, the number 18 was worn by Mekhi Wingo, who was also voted captain in only his second year with the program. For his work in 2022, he was given the Iron Tiger award for hardest worker.

And here’s the part of the Beast that made me sit up and take notice. Last year, he got hurt with about 5 games left to play and had surgery on his lower body somewhere. According to Dane, he “re-habbed his ass off” so he could play in their meaningless bowl game. Why? “I’m a captain of this team and I felt like I owed it to these guys.”

So there’s that box ticked, what does he bring to the table as a player? Well the first thing you notice is he’s small. Now most of the experts seem to think he played around 300-305 but lost weight to test, as is the style, but holding up against the run will always be an issue.

That said, of all the small DTs in this class, I think he’s probably the strongest. He packs incredible power in his hands and body. Here he is lined up outside against Arkansas (he lined up outside quite a bit on run downs):

The second thing you notice about him is how he tested. This guy is a super athlete, even amongst the smalls. His get-off can be astounding, and he’s got a lot of lateral juice too. Watch how quickly he beats the OL in this one:

Another angle (so quick he leaves the teleprompter circle behind):

I’d also add, for all that you don’t want him holding up against a double-team in the run game, if he’s singled he’s got the strength and the awareness to make a play. Over and over you see him toss an OL to one side or the other to make the play on the back. Overall he’s a plus against the run imo, you just want to keep him from getting ganged up on.

And finally, he’s only 20 years old (turns 21 five days from now). Prepare your mocks accordingly.

Brandon Coleman, OT/OG, TCU

Everyone’s been calling Coleman an OG throughout the process, but Dane has him listed as an OT. And who can blame him, look at that length! Look at that hand size! There’s no reason Coleman can’t be an OT, as well as being able to play inside at guard (he played both at TCU).

Dane also has him as his 66th overall player on his board, and given how many teams focus heavily on RAS, can you blame him? I wouldn’t be shocked if he was gone by our 2nd rounder.

Now Coleman hasn’t been a complete afterthought on here. His athleticism (especially at the 2nd level) has always stood out on tape, and he checked the team captain box this past season. His work ethic has been lauded plenty by the TCU staff, and he’s reported to be an excellent teammate. He was always gonna check the football character box.

What we didn’t know, at least not until Dane released the Beast, was he played through ankle and knee injuries this year. Dane calls his 2022 tape a better snapshot of his talent, and the 2022 natty against Georgia his best game overall. I’d already watched the NCG, but it was the only one I watched from last season, so I went back and took a look.

Turns out Dane was right. A lot of the issues we see on tape in 2023 weren’t nearly as prevalent last year. He didn’t move quite as well and most noticeably, his anchor wasn’t as strong (as Dane says on the 2022 it wasn’t really an issue at all). Coleman has an extensive basketball background and it has always shown in his feet, but his 2023 film is the clunkiest.

If there’s one team that will reward him for playing through injuries, it’s us. Everyone’s had their eyes opened by his measurements and testing, and even though the draft community might be late to realize it’s the 2022 tape we need to be watching, team evaluators have surely known it for awhile. He’s gonna go much higher than we think.

Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington

Another guy who’s not a complete unknown on here, but I think his level of Lion-ness has been gravely underrated. We always knew he was one of the best blockers at WR from his tape, but then you get to see the quotes about him in the Beast and you can practically see Brad’s love-o-meter rising.

“Washington coaching staff speaks highly of his work ethic and daily approach, in both practices and games (head coach Kalen DeBoer: ‘J.P. is one of the toughest and strongest kids we have on the football team.’)”

Polk’s blocking, ball tracking and instincts have been widely lauded, but I think his body control is underrated. You can see that much on just his highlights, he adjusts very naturally to less-than-perfect passes. Like a lot of college receivers he needs to work on his route running, and he’s never gonna be a big YAC guy without a clear runway (he’s more smooth than elusive), but I think he has a much higher ceiling than he’s being credited with.

Like my comp for him, Jordy Nelson. Nelson’s a shade larger but they ran virtually the exact same times, and neither guy tested as very agile or explosive (which showed on tape). They win with instincts, ball tracking, and an underrated gear. I actually think Polk has much better body control as well. We’re gonna like him.

Kingsley Eguakun, iOL, Florida

When I read this sentence in the Beast: “created a reputation for himself as an accountable leader and is decribed as the ‘hardest worker’ on the team and the ‘field general’ of the offensive line” - I knew had to go back to take another look. It screams we’re gonna fall in love.

Like Coleman he tried to battle through injuries this year, so it’s not his best tape. You have to go back to his 2022 and 2021 stuff, so that’s what I did. Mostly I saw what I already knew: smart kid who’s a great athlete with violent hands, but on the small side.

He’s never gonna bust an assignment and he’s great on the second-level, but he’s unlikely to move the guy across from him either very far either. He’ll fight like a cornered animal if he’s ever being pushed back though, so you don’t actually see him give up a ton of sacks/pressures (though he will resort to holding rather than get his QB hit), even if he is moving backwards more than you’d like.

Logan Lee, Edge/DT, Iowa

Named a captain this year on a team full of nothing but captains and who, according to the Beast, was so focused and mature Iowa coaches worried he wasn’t fully enjoying the college experience. I don’t think our coaches will care much about that lol.

@CuriousHusker thinks we already have an affinity for Iowa players, and we were definitely able to get a long look at Lee last year while scouting Campbell (and Merriweather, I like to think). At the very least he’ll check all the football character boxes.

The main issue with Lee - and Dane touches on this - is he’s a bit of a tweener. Not strong or sturdy enough to stay inside; not athletic enough to stay outside (when you put his numbers in as an edge as opposed to DT, his RAS plummets to 6.17… and that’s with 10s for his size). But he’s a hard working coach’s dream with excellent technique, and for how late he’s gonna go it’s hard to believe we wouldn’t be interested.

Fabian Lovett, iDL, Florida State

The first thing you notice about Lovett is that arm length. Sheesh, that’s borderline unnatural for a man his size. And it shows on tape too. He almost always gets his hand on the OL first.

He’s not gonna light up the stat sheet but does all the little things so other guys (Verse, Fiske) can thrive. He loves to take on blocks and crash into OL on stunts, and really seems to take as much joy from teammates making plays as if he made them himself, which is probably why they voted him captain. Old af (turns 25 during season), but we’re gonna like him. And while that testing seems a little on the meh side, remember he’s basically a NT, which actually makes it pretty good.

I don’t know that we’ll draft a guy like Lovett after adding Bromart last year and Reader this offseason, but if we do I suspect it will be late, which is around the range Lovett will probably go.

Isaiah Adams, iOL, Illinois

Checked the captain box this past season, but what caught my eye in the Beast was his coach Bielema “endearingly describing him as a ‘jerk’ on game days.” You see that in his tape, but sometimes guys are faux tough like Trevor Penning and Stenburg. Not so with Adams. He really doesn’t like the guy across from him.

I personally prefer my iOL to be a little more athletic, but Sorsdal wasn’t and Brad drafted him anyway. He clearly doesn’t care what I think. And Adams actually looks more athletic than he tested on tape, plenty of opportunities to see him pulling and reaching the second-level in Illinois’ zone-based scheme. He’s definitely got the size and strength to hang in the league.

Daijahn Anthony, S, Mississippi

What a crazy story this guy has. Walked on at Shepherd in 2018, then had to walk on again at Liberty in 2021, where he only started 4 games in 2 years (partly due to injury). Enters the transfer portal again and follows a coach to Ole Miss, where he would start 10 games, and lead the team in forced fumbles, INTs and passes defended.

Anthony’s reputation as a great kid and hard worker is easy to find, just do a simple google search (original reason for transferring to Liberty was to take care of his dying grandmother). But it’s also clear from watching the tape just how much his teammates gravitate toward him. He’s that alpha in the back who’s always encouraging his teammates.

About that tape… I have to say it made me sit up and take notice (I will be adding him to my crush list shortly after posting this). It’s not often you see a heat-seeking missile who’s also an instinctive playmaker. Anthony is clearly one of those sadists who just loves to hit guys (and despite that, not a ton of missed tackles), and he’s also one of the better see-ball, get-ball guys in the class.

Now he’s not the fastest guy in the world and might be stuck in that nickel/box safety type role that Branch plays. But with his snap-to-snap competitiveness is as good as anyone in the class, and his CB background (where he played at both Shepherd and Liberty) really shows up in coverage. I think we’re really gonna love him.

— There are other late-round guys Dane opened my eyes to that I want to talk about as well, but this post is long enough lol. I’ll make a different one for them.


I award you the longest post in den history award.

Congratulations Win GIF by Audible


I thank thee. I knew it was meaty, I was using the Beast as the reference! There’s no room for brevity. I also almost @'d you in the Adams section because he’s Canadian.


Good information and should probably tag this thread for the draft days as it, from what you wrote, sounds like one or more could easily be in Detroit.


Great post… thanks for taking the time!

It’s so encouraging that our F.O. now values the traits that these players possess.


No problem. The Beast is one of the few windows we outsiders get into the character/intangibles of a lot of these guys, so I thought it would be prudent to pay attention.


During the Den mock draft it was a 50/50 split between Dadrion Taylor Demerson and Wingo for Jacksonville’s 3rd round pick and I ended up choosing Demerson. If I could get a do over I probably would have chosen Wingo.

I think for us both of those guys would be in play (DTD is a 2X captain as well). But I felt like we’ve talked about him a bit more than some of the others, though maybe that’s skewed by how much @CuriousHusker has loved him throughout the process. Both of them are 100% guys we’re gonna like.

That said, DTD is more than 3 years older than Wingo.

Just when I was beginning to be certain about my choices…

but seriously, thanks for a more to chew on.

1 Like

This is partially your fault, you know. You kept reminding me that we really needed to wait until Dane came out with the Beast before we firmed up our opinions, and as I was reading it I was thinking to myself “@Sofatso was right.”


I just wanted to weigh in on a couple of the players you covered. First, Brandon Coleman, I have always considered him to be a player we should be concentrating on. I don’t have him ranked anywhere near where Dane has him but I liked him for our 2nd pick in the 3rd, which is now not an option. I simply think there will be better OL options with our first 3 picks and know he won’t be there for our 5th. If we move down out of our first round pick there may be an opportunity not available at this point.

Logan Lee, pound for pound as tough as they come, street fighter who plays under control. If we could pick him up in the 6th I’m in. Silent but deadly, PFF gave him a grade of 78.4 for 2023. Great depth piece and a guy who loves the game. It’s the “tweener” thing that coaches will need to shake out.


Yeah I’m leaning heavily towards Lee being one of our picks in the 6th in that mock draft contest. He’s just too much of a coach’s dream, everything we look for in a guy re: football character, toughness, smarts. And you know we’ve watched a ton of him.

I do wonder what he’d look like if we got him to shed 15-20 pounds. He’ll never be a bendy edge or anything, but he could easily become a hand savant like Latu. I think that’s a much better option than having him add weight to move inside, I just don’t think he’ll ever have the base for it. But for an edge guy he’s got more than enough strength.

Dane is still the high man I’ve seen on Coleman so it’s possible he makes it to 73, and I’d be fine with him there. Last week I would have said 75% chance he makes it, now I think it’s much less than fifty. All the h/w/s, RAS teams are gonna love him, and if you focus more on his 2022 tape the evaluation grade goes up too. Knowing he played hurt this year changes things imo, and of course the league has known about that for a long time.

One thing I’ll say about these guys, and it’s something they share with a ton of guys in this class, is they’re both geezers. Lee turns 24 this summer and Coleman turns 24 in October. And they’re actually kinda on the younger side of the older guy box. A ton of guys are turning 25 this year, some 26, and I’ve even seen a few 27 year olds. It’s bonkers.

I think Brandon Coleman is a perfect fit. Seems like a Lion character wise, has versatility and I think he’s my next favorite LG for after McCormick (outside of the 1st round(ish) guys.

1 Like

How high do you think he’ll go, given Dane’s info?

I always thought he’d go near the end of round three or the very early part of round 4. But I was presuming that he was a Guard with tackle flexibility rather than a guy you’d want as a full time OT. If a team views him as an OT that could move him up but given how loaded OT is it’s hard to see him climbing into Rd. 2.

I wonder how much of a discount he’ll get for some of his lesser tape this year, given the injuries he was playing through. That’s why I could see him rising into the 2nd. That along with his testing and apparent capacity to stay outside. Those are huge for his stock.

Yes you’ve been adamant on this guy a few times. When you speak of Iowa guys, I listen.

Also, Polk is a WR we should be looking at that tier.


Lovett I like but he seems redundant with what we gave up to get BroMart last year

That ole miss safety I’m gonna have to read up on, sounds interesting his story

@Thats2 @CasanovaJack1

Regarding Lee Iowa DT

6’5 285 highly intangibles guy, tweener

It’s possibly he could be a late round pick to replace Comisnky next year as a DE early downs DT on 3rd downs

I also can’t help to think…would a transition to OT be possible for him? He puts on 20lbs…we develop him like Nelson fellow Iowa Hawkeye


1 Like

His arms are too short for that I think. Only 32 1/4. That’s guard length all the way, and he’d have the same problems there as he does inside on defense… just not enough of a base to hold up.

I wondered above about him dropping 15-20 pounds and becoming a permanent edge. That’s where Dane has him listed, probably because even gaining weight wouldn’t give him enough junk in his trunk to hold up inside. He’s just never gonna win at the point of attack.

But I definitely think given his work ethic and technique work that he could become a technician like Latu or Hendrickson with his hands. Those guys don’t have a lot of base either but it doesn’t matter as much at edge. You’d like for Lee to be longer there too, but it’s not nearly as much of an issue as it would be at OT (Latu’s arms are only a 1/4 inch longer).

He’s VERY interesting, ballhawk + assassin. And someone no one’s heard of since he literally came out of nowhere his one year in the SEC. If Dane didn’t have his contacts, I suspect he would have remained unknown until draft day like James Houston and Sorsdal, one of those “huh?” draft picks.

1 Like

Anthony highlights. He’s definitely more of a nickel/box type safety in the Branch/CJGJ mold, but man he’s got some high level plays on tape. @Davicus he really strikes me as the type of guy you tend to like.