Sunday, October 24, 2021

Three weeks into training camp, the 2019 NFL Draft could look a lot different. Here’s why.

Three weeks into training camp, it’s too early to tell if Alabama’s Autry Denson can make an NFL roster, but he looked the part on Saturday. The former Tide safety has had the most to work with so far, when running with the first-team defense. He ended the day in the backfield at times, and he actually showed off a really good spin move, an incredible athletic trait that’s becoming increasingly rare in NFL-caliber quarterbacks.

Texas Tech passer Alan Bowman is on track to win the fifth quarterback competition in the preseason, and he gave a solid showing on Saturday, one that’s looking much more impressive now that Patrick Mahomes has looked, well, Patrick Mahomes-esque. Bowman should bring a clean — no tats, just like Mahomes — and mature mentality to the competition.

Here’s how he graded:

Spencer Ware — Overall, he had a good day, which isn’t saying much considering he had 40 carries against two safety blitzes, two of which impacted his timing with receivers, and missed a critical running-back-only goal-line carry. But Ware just isn’t a flashy back. He’s a load. Right now, Ware’s No. 3 running back.

Trevor Lawrence — All eyes were on this kid when he debuted. He looked incredibly sharp in the preseason opener against the Titans, but Saturday, he was spotty at best. On one play, he lost wide receiver Keke Coutee, his gunner, in the end zone and then watched him make a 1-yard catch against former Bear linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis. Then he found Crumby on a beautiful hitch-and-go. Then he found Jakeem Grant on a pass right behind this safety blitz. Then he looked good enough to get NFL ink.

But he didn’t look good enough on a crucial third-down pass to Crumby right underneath and him. He nearly overthrew him all the way to the sideline, and then he should have used this opportunity to avoid taking a hit. But he was just trying to be too perfect, and that will cost him eventually. This game revealed that.

Trevor Lawrence — This was his one day where he flashed like a fourth-rounder, and I’ll take that right now. But he’s going to find out he’s not invincible.

2017 Redskins rookie class

Now, how does last year’s rookie class stack up?

Trevor Knight — This guy is a nice story. He was known for being from a small college (Central Arkansas) and having small arms (like Robert Griffin III). But he will very likely earn some playing time, especially on the depth chart.

Steve Ishmael — His stock is soaring after he looked really good against the Seahawks.

Wide receiver Noah Brown — A top-100 prospect before the draft, he was working behind Fabian Moreau, for some reason. I’d say he’s really finished out the preseason, but the Rams are sitting on a pretty large stash of wideouts in pick No. 6.

Jaire Alexander — No matter how impressive Alexander was against the Vikings, this rookie class isn’t going to match the accomplishments of last year’s class.

De’Vante Bausby — He’s not going to sneak up on anyone.

Brad Kaaya — He was originally supposed to be a sixth-round pick before the Bills took him in the seventh round. He doesn’t look like he belongs here, and may be too raw for the No. 5 QB battle.

Damien Williams — Someone who could end up replacing Tyrod Taylor or throwing a couple pass to Mark Walton against the Ravens on Thursday night.

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