Monday Musings: February 13

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Tony Pauline offers his opinion on the best linebacker no one is talking about and the most underrated lineman at Texas A&M in the most recent edition of Monday Musings.

Several people have graded safety Jamal Adams of LSU as a top-10 selection, often times pegging him to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fourth selection.

I don’t see it.

Adams is an explosive athlete, but he’s not as complete as Malik Hooker and definitely does not have comparable ball skills to the Ohio State sophomore. I also feel he does not have the same upside as Jabrill Peppers, who may be scheme-specific but will instantaneously impact games as a return specialist as a rookie.

Two players from LSU who are woefully underrated are cornerback Tre'Davious White and receiver Malachi Dupre.

Had White entered last April’s draft he would’ve been a first-round pick, but his game leveled off and even regressed at some points last season. Regardless, he still shows the ability to shut down receivers when opponents throw his way and plays tough, aggressive football.

He measured a shade under 6-feet at the Senior Bowl, but I feel he’s a steal outside of the top-45 selections.

Dupre also watched his game take a step back last year after a terrific sophomore campaign. During the Citrus Bowl the junior was back to his dominant self though, recording seven receptions for 139 yards against Louisville. He’s a big-play receiver with size as well as growth potential. Anything past the 65th pick and Dupre is a bargain as far as I’m concerned.

What amazed me on film was the speed Leonard Fournette plays with. The junior running back not only runs over people but runs away from them with regularity.

From Rotoworld last week, it was reported Mississippi receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow was not invited to the combine.

Watching Stringfellow last week, I felt he caught the ball well but shows little to no quickness or speed in his game and cannot separate.

One name kept popping into my mind as I watched him: De'Runnya Wilson.

As far as former Mississippi State receivers go, Fred Ross will be a steal on the draft’s final day.

He’s not really big and not super fast but runs great routes, separates from defenders and catches everything in sight. Ross will produce as a rookie lining up as a fourth receiver.

Donavin Newsom of Missouri is one of the more underrated linebackers in the draft.

He has size deficiencies (6-feet-1, 235 pounds) but plays fast, makes plays in every direction of the field and is constantly around the action. We presently grade him as a sixth-round prospect.

It’ll be interesting to see how Derek Barnett of Tennessee tests at the combine.

On film he looks very athletic and I would expect good numbers. Barnett grades out well as a pass rusher, backside pursuit defender and a defensive end who competently drops into space on zone blitzes. I do have concerns how he’ll hold up against the run on Sundays.

Note to Cleveland Browns fans: if your team passes on Myles Garrett, find a new team.

Garrett is the complete package and a lot more than just an edge rusher. He splits double-team blocks, shows a terrific inside move and is adept at stopping the run as well as terrorizing quarterbacks.

The fact he played injured at times last season and participated in the Aggies’ bowl game speaks volumes.

The conversation solely includes Avery Gennesy when talking about Texas A&M offensive line prospects, which is a shame. I feel Jermaine Eluemunor offers a good degree of next-level potential, albeit at guard and not tackle.

Eluemunor is big and strong and does a terrific job in pass protection for a wide-bodied blocker.

On film, Vanderbilt tackle William Holden looks like mush.

Notice I said looks like mush and not plays like mush, as he’s a terrific pass protector who gets the most from his size and skill.

I could definitely see Holden breaking in with the starting unit on Sundays after spending a year or two in an NFL weight training program.