Another edition of the NFL Draft is complete as the Shield took its show on the road to Nashville this year in another successful outdoor venue. Prepare yourselves for the 2020 Draft coming to Las Vegas, Nevada next year!
Like most years, it was an up and down weekend for Notre Dame. Salary information is projected by spotrac.com for rookies. Let’s recap where the former amateur athletes will begin their professional careers.
Jerry Tillery, DT
Los Angeles Chargers
1st Round, 28th Pick, 28th Overall
6th Defensive Tackle Drafted
$6,302,905 Signing Bonus
Tillery couldn’t have walked into a much better situation that what he’ll find with the Chargers. Not only will he be flanked by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the edge, Los Angeles let interior linemen Darius Philon and Corey Liuget walk in free agency this off-season.
The only significant money the Chargers have locked up at tackle is with the aging Brandon Mebane (34 years old, 2 years left on his contract) so Tillery will have every opportunity to play a ton as a rookie.
L.A. did spend their final pick in the 7th round on another tackle in Cincinnati’s Cortez Broughton to add some depth to the position. At worst, it looks like Tillery will be beginning his career on the two-deep with a shot at starting in 2019.
Miles Boykin, WR
3rd Round, 30th Pick, 93rd Overall
13th Receiver Drafted
$793,704 Signing Bonus
Boykin should be pleased with this landing spot. Assuming Lamar Jackson can improve as a passer, the running threat from this offense could provide Boykin with plenty of one-on-one matchups. The Ravens let Michael Crabtree and John Brown walk in free agency this off-season after they combined for 96 receptions and 8 touchdowns last year, too. Even with Baltimore taking speedy Oklahoma receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown with the 25th overall pick opportunities should abound for Boykin.
Julian Love, CB
New York Giants
4th Round, 6th Pick, 108th Overall
12th Corner Drafted
$767,918 Signing Bonus
Should he have stayed? In terms of money let’s say Love should’ve gone at pick No. 60 overall. In comparison, his signing bonus was cut in half at this draft slot and his contract about $1.5 million lighter in total. If you think you’re good enough to play in the NFL for 10 years that $2.2 million difference might not mean too much in the grand scheme.
On the field, the Giants have a couple years left on a hefty deal for Janoris Jenkins but punted on 2016 former 1st-round pick Eli Apple dealing him to New Orleans last October. New York gave 29-year old journeyman B.W. Webb 13 starts last year after signing him to a 1-year deal. Webb signed with Cincinnati in March so there may be opportunity for Love as a rookie.
However, the Giants took Deandre Baker 30th overall as the first corner in the Draft and then scooped up Corey Ballentine* from Washburne University 62 picks after Love. There will be plenty of competition at corner for everyone.
*Ballentine was injured in an off-campus shooting on early Sunday morning which also claimed the life of teammate Dwane Simmons. It’s expected Ballentine will make a recovery within a few weeks.
Drue Tranquill, LB
Los Angeles Chargers
4th Round, 28th Pick, 130th Overall
10th Linebacker Drafted
$656,298 Signing Bonus
Tranquill was the only linebacker picked by the Chargers as he joins teammate Jerry Tillery in Los Angeles for 2019. However, the Bolts have almost $24 million tied up at linebacker for 2019 which could mean largely special teams for the former Irish captain and maybe a much tougher roster spot fight than people think.
Dexter Williams, RB
Green Bay Packers
6th Round, 22nd Pick, 194th Overall
17th Running Back Drafted
$166,964 Signing Bonus
Even with a different body-type, Williams’ one-cut running style often reminded me of Ryan Grant so it’s only fitting the former heads to Green Bay 8 years after Grant left town.
The Packers had 2017 4th round pick Jamaal Williams and 2017 5th round pick Aaron Jones combine for 254 carries last year. While they feel a little entrenched for the immediate future, Green Bay only has $3 million tied up in those two backs over the next 2 seasons. The more pressing concern for Williams is that he’s the 6th running back on the Packers roster at the moment so a move to the practice squad would seem likely early in his career.
Alize Mack, TE
New Orleans Saints
7th Round, 17th Pick, 231st Overall
15th Tight End Drafted
$93,634 Signing Bonus
The Saints leading tight end Ben Watson retired after 2018, however, they did sign free agent Jared Cook to a 2-year deal worth $15 million. The veteran Josh Hill is also in the mix but a couple years down the road there may be real opportunity for Alize Mack to play for the Saints.
Undrafted Free Agent Signings
Alex Bars, OG – Chicago Bears
Tevon Coney, LB – Oakland Raiders
Sam Mustipher, C – Chicago Bears
Tyler Newsome, P – Los Angeles Chargers
Nick Coleman has been invited to a rookie camp try-out with the Raiders.
It’s pretty crazy that Coney made the upcoming Notre Dame Pyramid Hall of Fame as one of the school’s best 185 players of all-time and wasn’t drafted. He joins Ron Powlus, Darius Walker, Rhema McKnight, and Josh Adams with that distinction among modern players.
2020 Draft Prediction
Julian Okwara, DE – 1st Round, 19th Overall
Troy Pride, CB – 3rd Round, 88th Overall
Chase Claypool, WR – 4th Round, 117th Overall
Khalid Kareem, DE – 4th Round, 126th Overall
Alohi Gilman, S – 5th Round, 146th Overall
Ian Book, QB – 6th Round, 186th Overall
Jalen Elliott, S – 7th Round, 223rd Overall
This kind of has the feel of the 2019 Draft for the Irish, doesn’t it? The top defensive lineman goes real early then there’s a bit of a wait for the other prospects to come off the board. I’m assuming Pride will test extremely well which will ultimately get him picked higher than Julian Love. So it goes.
If he stays a lot healthier this year I could see Kareem going a round and a half higher than this projection. Still, unless he’s super productive he plays a position that is hard to grade in the NFL’s testing process and isn’t as flashy as a pure pass-rusher.
You can talk me into Gilman going much higher but I’m thinking about his size as a potential knock. I’m curious about Elliott, though. It seems like he’ll continue to be in Gilman’s shadow in 2019 and I’m not sure if he’ll be noticed as much as we’d like. He’s potentially a higher-ceiling player in the NFL than his teammate Gilman.
Some may want to put Daelin Hayes on this projected list and I’m picking him as someone who will be in the mix but ultimately get passed over.