Continuing on my “favorite players” series, we’re diving into my top picks from day two of this year’s draft.
1.) OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State
The FCS’ top offensive lineman, Radunz got invited to this year’s Reese’s Senior Bowl despite opting out of his school’s 2020 season taking place this spring. However, his 31-consecutive starts at the blindside for the Bison over his last two seasons, including a First-Team FCS All-American honor in 2019, certainly helped his case in getting invited to the all-star showcase.
While in Mobile, Radunz was dominant and showed he can more than hang with the best competition from the Power 5. As of late, there’s actually been quite a bit of talk regarding Radunz chances of sneaking into the bottom of the first round for a tackle-needy team who neither wants to trade up or wait until their pick in the middle of day two. If this does not end up being the case, and the Chargers pass on OT in the first, I really like Radunz as a plug-it and forget-it player at left tackle.
2.) OLB Joe Tryon, Washington
Tryon opted-out of the 2020 season, as well, and seemingly put on a ton of muscle mass in the meantime. I mean, this guy looks like the picture-perfect edge rusher in a Brandon Staley defense and I’d be over the moon if the Chargers were able to make that happen.
At a very solid 6’5 and 260 pounds, Tryon offers great combination of length (34-inch arms) and speed (4.64 40). In fact, he was able to put up some of his best film against potential OT1 in this draft, Penei Sewell. In the run game, Tryon has shown the anchor to hunker down and stall tackles in their place. As a pass-rusher, he’s got the natural athleticism to beat most blockers without need to string numerous moves together, but that’s also where he ]’ll need to develop as he enters the NFL. He’s a repetitive and smarter, more veteran tackles in the league will catch on to his pass-rush plan a lot quicker than those in the Pac-12.
Joe Tryon spent his year without football doing one thing ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/44Q4lU1Jei— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 9, 2021
3.) DL Milton Williams, Louisiana Tech
Williams is likely the one name on this list that may not ring an immediate bell. He was a late-riser this draft season, first with his play on him before his athletic testing forced NFL front offices to take note of his incredible physical abilities.
The first thing that jumped out to me on Williams’ film was his insane get-off. He’s got the explosiveness to send over-aggressive offensive lineman into next week if they get caught lunging at the snap.
At 6’3 and 284 pounds, Williams is an undersized interior defender but that hasn’t mattered all that much due to his natural abilities. At the next level, a defensive coordinator will have to figure out the best place to maximize his potential, but I’m going to go on record and say he’ll fit best as a penetrating three-technique in a four-man front or a five/4i in an odd front.
His versatility along the interior is what really intrigues me. If Staley does utilize from 3-4 looks, a guy like Williams could play either of the three inside positions depending on the package and potential matchups.
All Milton Williams (#97) does is wreck people. The power to blow the lineman back and then the athleticism to change direction and make the play himself is wowza. pic.twitter.com/a4yWskNF40— Bobby Football (@Rob__Paul) April 2, 2021
4.) Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
Just like Patrick Surtain II and Jaycee Horn on Monday’s post, Samuel Jr. makes this list as a top-tier man corner with his own NFL legacy. He’s a bit on the smaller side (5’10, 180 lbs.) compared to the aforementioned Surtain and Horn, but he’ll fight and claw his way to victory over opposing pass-catchers like his life depended on it.
Samuel offers satisfactory long speed (4.42 40) but showed just average explosiveness in his vertical (35 inches) and broad (10’4”). Luckily, he seems to be a better football player than just an athlete.
Like most corners who are known for their aggression and play strength, Samuel can get knocked occasionally for being too grabby, especially when he isn’t quick enough to get his head around to locate the ball in the air. Despite that, coaches will love his demeanor. Defenses need tone-setters and that’s exactly what I think Samuel can be.
Stays square & patient during the release. Chest to chest. Compete at the catch point!! Asante Samuel Jr is a dude imo!pic.twitter.com/JUbO1W28J9— Damian Parson (@DP_NFL) April 26, 2021
5.) OT Stone Forsythe, Florida
Forsythe was guy who got onto my radar fairly late in this draft cycle. When I started seeing clips of him coming across my Twitter feed, I actually thought people were getting a sneak peek at one of the top tackles for next year’s class. At 6’8 and 307 pounds, Forsythe certainly looks the part of a top draft prospect. As a pass protector, he’s absolute hell to get around. It also doesn’t help that he’s actually quite powerful for his size with heavy hands that can freeze just about any edge rusher he gets them on.
The biggest knock that I’ve been able to find on Forsythe is that as good as he is as a pass protector, the same cannot be said for him as a run blocker. At a true 6’8, it’s understandable that he would struggle with his height when it comes to dropping your center of gravity enough to optimize leverage and torque. It’s an unfortunate double-edged sword for players whop play on either side of the line of scrimmage.
Still, for a pass-heavy team like the Chiefs or Saints, a player like Forsythe is certainly worth the price with a late day-three pick.