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Five hidden gems in the 2019 NFL Draft

Brad Mayes of Lehigh is one of five players we believe will be a Gem in the 2019 NFL Draft. There are so many players who are being overlooked right now, here are five players you better remember come April.

NFL Draft Diamonds

2019 NFL Draft Hidden Gems by Matt Anzio                                                                                                                                                  All Offensive – Volume One

QB :  Brad Mayes, Lehigh 

Height:     6’2        

Weight : 220lbs

Projected Round – 6-7                    

Best Games :  526 yds & 6 TD’s vs Yale, 10/1/17 406 yds & 4 TD’s vs Villanova, 9/2/17 & 333 yds 3 TD’s vs Stoney Brook 11/25/17

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Flying under the radar is an understatement.

Honestly, these guys wonder why they miss every year on a talent like this or think the level of competition isn’t sufficient enough to give a second thought at the QB position. Trying to evaluate the 7th round to undrafted free agents is just a bit more challenging than projected top 20-50 guys they talk about on repeat.  Mayes shows me more than some big school guys that have mid-round grades. As far as release, arm strength, getting his feet set & Accuracy. Combined with the ability to go thru his progressions while keeping his body square smoothly with urgency when needed but knows when he has time in the pocket. Has a good feel for pressure & doesn’t need to necessarily see the pass rushers closing in but senses their presence.  Has a reliable clock in his head ball comes out instantly with good zip & accuracy.  

In The Pass Game :

Completes over 50 percent of passes on 3rd down a huge reason for the success of guys like Pelletier who average over 14 ypc & Casey (Junior Year) the home run hitter over 20 ypc. Has a high football IQ steps into his throws has a strong long ball with accuracy. Can scramble if needed not his strongest asset but quick enough feet to get out of danger or take a quick 2-3 yd first down.  Really excels on quick slants RB screens & quickly accurately working his way down the field with minimal mistakes.

Able to check the ball down on quick outs or bubbles without putting his players in harm’s way for the most part. Intelligent under pressure limiting mistakes not trying to make a bad situation worse. Able to recognize & draw flags from the DB’s in tight windows.   Ball placement is a thing of beauty how no one is talking about this young man is a shame. The scouts that do like him like him alot many from the East or at least Northern part of the country. Terrific at spreading the ball around quickly would fit a West Coast style O like  a glove. In 2018 Mayes had 3,886 yds & 31 TD’s, 12 INT’s & 4 fumbles still had a 328.8 ypg avg which is impressive. Had a 53.8 % passer rating as a Senior this past season.

WR – Sidney Davis, Troy

  • Height 5’ 11                        
  • Weight: 215 lbs
  • Hand: 9 ½  
  • Projected Forty: 4.50
  • Projected Reps 225 – 19
  • Best games vs Buff 62 yds a TD, 9/22/18 4 catch 62 yds 1 carry for 20 & a TD vs Buff 12/22/18 & 10 catch 90 yds & a 2 pt conversion vs Georgia Southern 11/10/18  

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Sidney is built more like a Half Back mainly because he’s a converted halfback. Compact muscular body type but possesses the skill set to make tough catches in the slot. Can go right across the face of a defense making tight grabs & doesn’t go down without a fight. Secures the ball high & tight securing all 3 points of the ball. First tackler rarely takes Davis down disrupts his weight well with a powerful lean at the end of runs.  Can be used on screen plays has enough speed needed to work out the backfield to get a quick first down or break off a chunk play. Also has thrown the ball quite a few times on trick wildcat plays with good success. Being a former RB & understanding the game from that point of view. Could be instrumental in Davis’s development in the slot recognizing pass coverages  as a former back he uses that after the catch is where he can do some damage. Patience with slick hips muscular frame with a thick lower half make Davis hard to take down. Generally thick from head to toe chiseled out of stone what he lacks in athletic gifts he makes up for with his fortitude toughness & strength. Strong reliable hands & route running ability. Knows how to find a way open keeps working even at the end of the route.

Having to play slot behind 2 NFL caliber wideout for the Trojans can be hard to garner any attention but Davis has shown the willingness to do whatever his team needs him to do.  Exactly what he will need to do in the big Leagues. Basically whatever is needed of him can come in handy being used in several roles whether in practice or a game.  Finished 3rd on the team in catches had a huge day vs Lockhaven with 195 yds 2 TD’s shows the potential he has if given the opportunity.

    RB/KR/ Slot –  Emanuel Jones

  • Concordia
  • Height: 6’           
  • Weight: 216 lbs
  • Hand: 9 ½
  • Projected Forty –   4.44               
  • Projected Reps at 225lbs – 18
  • Projected Vert – 40”
  • Bowl invites – National & Tropical Bowl ( MVP)
  • Best Games : 80 yds on 10 carries & a TD vs Northern State  10/16/18
  • 80 yds & a TD vs Cent Oklahoma 10/8/18 & 70 yds 1 TD vs Emporia St 9/31/ 18

Report

2019 Tropical Bowl MVP Versatile, quick burst elusiveness with Oak tree trunks for legs can make it difficult to take down. Keeps a good base can explode off the line thru the gaps with incredible 4.4 speed he can break away for big play. Strong jab step  from the whistle body control in & out of breaks. Looks smooth anticipated blocks with patience instincts needed to be a pro running back. Finishes the run by leaning shifting his weight forward getting those last couple yards needed.

In the pass game, watched him taking some snaps at slot in Daytona. Jones shows soft hands, looks good running routes doesn’t lose very much momentum  on his cuts change of direction. Dangerous with the ball in his hands could be a YAC monster as a pass catcher.  Strong stout thick upper & lower half everything is well proportioned.

On kick return sometimes he looks like a Ferrari racing against riding lawn Mowers. Can navigate his way through kick coveerages effortlessly & vigorously. Once he finds the opening turns on the jets he is off to the races.  Long arms helps keep space between the defender knows how to use his hands to win any hand fighting in the pass game. With experience running routes in the slot playing running back & returning kicks he could be a surprise in April.   Being able to run, catch, block & There is no doubt that he made himself valuable by doing anything /everything asked of him on the ball field. When a GM is trying to put together the bottom of his roster. It helps to have a player like Jones that fills more than just a single need. If not the NFL the  can almost guarantee the others like AAF, CFL, XFL or Arena football will find a spot for Jones. Work ethic coachability with no off the field issues. He follows direction well has good gratitude seems like a quality player & character.

WR – Marquise Wimberly

  • School: Texas A&M-Commerce
  • Height:  6’ 1
  • Weight: 216 lbs
  • Hand: 11.5 “     
  • Wingspan: 78”  
  • Best Game: 11 catch 159 yds & 2 TD’s
  • 2018 – 60 catches, 862 yds , 8 TD’s  with over 900 yds from scrimmage
  • Best Game: 195 yards 2 TDS vs Lock Haven   9/29/18
  • First Team All Conference 2018    

Report

Physically gifted route technician that can make some spectacular grabs.

Agility flexibility can make DB’s tackle ghosts. Catches the ball with extension & has massive 11.5 Inch hands long arms to high point the ball  making athletic catches securing the ball. Has a second gear with the ball in his hands makes cuts change of direction while maintaining high velocity. Has the opportunity to make a game changing play every time the ball is in his hands.

Hesitate at times off the line most likely cause that just muscle memory from making moves patiently in the open field. Know it sounds strange but think Desean Jackson suffered from the same issue off the line. Most the time he is fine but once in awhile you wish he went 100 % out the gates every time. He has that type of speed explosive talents something he is aware of working on exploding off the whistle every play. Very well could be a number 1 or X wide out at a next level. Has the size breakaway speed for the outside with toughness to go across the middle if need be . He projectes to an outside type WR in my humble opinion but special teams is a great way to get his feet wet to earn a opportunity.  Understands how to play against both zone & man coverages inside or out. Knack for making guys miss snapping ankles making guys look ridiculous. Football IQ needed to feel out a corner for a weakness then exploit it. His ability to go up distort his body make acrobatic grabs his YAC ability or being able to juke defenders out their cleats is my favorite of his many quality football traits. Toe drag swag on the sideline good awareness where he is on the field very smooth natural athlete all around.

No joke First Team All Conference dynamic wide out that lead his team in every wide receiver related stat known to mankind. How no one on this Green Earth is talking about Wimberly  is hard to believe.I am glad to be able put some spotlight on the exciting prospect hopefully get some more eyes on potent incendiary pass catcher from Texas A&M Commerce.

TE/ WR Hybrid – Jacob Chobanian

  • School : Chapman     
  • Height: 6‘4        
  • Weight: 230 lbs
  • Projected Forty: 4.67
  • Projected Reps at 225 lbs: 35    

Lack of clear cut Tight end talent in this years draft class.

Played WR most his career switched to Tight End leading up to his senior year where he played the position out of size & necessity.  Inline pass catching TE  that will need to work on & improve his pass & run blocking to have success at a higher level. Has the size athletic talents sought after by coaches & scouts to be a catching TE that can help in run blocking special teams? Has good short area burst shuffle feet for a big man doesn’t waste much movement.  Really good extension going up getting the ball extending his body & arms out for a grab. Does slow down a little on breaks but can get moving after the initial transition. Something working drills fundamentals will be able to improve upon. Still, possesses wide receiver type traits but TE size why we call him a hybrid type player. One of the strongest sleeper hybrid TE’s if not TE’s in the class that is a weight room junkie. Intelligent player with an eagerness to learn very teachable hard working  young man that is a student of the game.

Can win off the line with swift burst or muscle his way to say light. Comes out the burst with momentum massive catch radius. Keeps working to get open on the tops of routes. Bet his playing weight would be ideal around 240 to 245 pounds. That is the ideal size teams are looking for to have enough power to handle big edge rushers getting after his QB. If he can add the body mass while showing not to lose a step. While still being able to run in the 4.65 to 4.63 range he could go from Chapman University star to a national pass catching TE sensation.   Has all the tools needed at his disposal with the willingness to learn whatever it takes.  Strong hands long arms can go up get the ball at the highest point. Although his production is not very high.His O was one of the worst in the Nation. You can see on his tape that he is open quite often. Catches everything that comes his way  even if not much is coming his way. Blocking will be key to his success he should be working on blocking drills improving his strength technique maintaining his speed on breaks. Worth a look if you need to find tight end depth or need a tweener can come in handy in camp.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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