2020 NFL Draft: Renowned recruits who need a “redshirt” year, highlighted by a choice of Dolphins Round 1

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In today’s NFL, if recruits don’t produce instantly, they can be quickly identified as players who will never succeed at the professional level.

But not all of them have to be stars immediately to finally thrive on Sunday. Some, honestly, just need a redshirt season.

Below are the players selected in the first or second round of the 2020 NFL Draft who need the most time to develop before being placed in the NFL spotlight.

Warning: For this article, the term “redshirt” is not exactly intended to have the same definition as it does in college – a player sitting a whole season. For some of these players who could be the case. For others, “redshirt” is simply meant to imply that they should have a very limited role in the field during the first year, as they hone their skills and / or add strength in a weight room. the NFL.

Austin Jackson, OT, Dolphins

Need Redshirt: Important
Redshirt probability: Minimal

In theory, Jackson’s selection of Miami in Round 1 was a good idea because the Dolphins are in a few years and Jackson too. At 6 feet 5 inches and 322 pounds with arms over 34 inches and an explosive combine on his resume, the 21-year-old striker does not seem to be in the game. He will be the first to get off the bus.

But from a technical point of view, this is a work in progress. Despite his natural girth and length, Jackson is constantly blinking late, allowing defenders to enter his chest and back up into the quarterback. And, often, when it strikes the oncoming defender’s chest plate, it does so by standing up over its feet, unbalancing it.

Jackson will immediately be a racing blocker / mobile screen. But the Dolphins care much more about how Jackson protects Tua Tagovailoa than anything else. And while there are times when it will explode out of position and slide step by step with an outdoor speed race, the young USC product just doesn’t have the anchor power or the sophisticated technique to counteract Advanced pass runners on a regular basis in the NFL as a freshman.

As a top 20 selection, and with no viable replacement on the list, it is very unlikely that Jackson will be given the time he needs to get stronger and refine his fundamentals before moving on to NFL action. in regular season.

Cesar Ruiz, OL, Saints

Need Redshirt: Moderate
Redshirt probability: Moderate

This choice was, discreet, the strangest selection of the first round of 2020. Seriously. The Saints used a second-round pick over center Erik McCoy last year, and he was great as a rookie. At Ruiz’s penciled in New Orleans – right guard – the Saints got a regular season from veteran Larry Warford in 2019. And, by the way, Ruiz has played strictly in central Michigan for the past two seasons.

Ruiz’s skills are therefore not to blame for his moderate need for a season of red shirts. This is because he will play a new position in the NFL. For the guard spot, Ruiz is a phenomenal athlete ready to switch to the second level for ground play. But at 6-3 and 307 pounds, he could bear gaining weight to cope with the powerful interior rushers of the NFL. Sometimes at university he played a little high and protected himself from the pass.

Despite all of this, there is a chance that Ruiz won’t even play immediately, unless the Saints cut / swap Warford before the season starts. So he could some redshirt time. All in all, an agile and powerful blocker placed in a strange situation among the pros.

Jordan Love, QB, Packers

Need Redshirt: Important
Redshirt probability: Important

Love really has all the tools of a new age franchise quarterback. He can flick it 40 yards from the field with ease, is able to tear the ball through narrow windows without perfect footwork, and there is a lot of athleticism to be created with his legs.

However, it needs to get a much better read and respond to various covers. Even in 2018, when he made 64% of his passes with 32 touchdowns and only six selections, some of his impressive production came through easy and high percentage shots and yards after capture.

Without these playmakers in the state of Utah in 2019, Love was asked to do more as a passer, and the number of interceptions has increased. He was not often helped by his receivers, and his line was more tight, but there is no doubt that he repeatedly forced football into precarious situations. Sometimes it paid off. Many times this was not the case. And its accuracy is not a major concern. It’s simply an inability, right now, to read the leverage of the hedge defenders or to notice the linebackers and sitting corners below the throws he is trying to laser at mid level. There is no way he can play 2020 – except injury – but 2021 is not out of the question.

What’s good for love is that Aaron Rodgers looks stylistically like him. But it doesn’t seem like Rodgers is a legitimate mentor.

Kenneth Murray, LB, Chargers and Jordyn Brooks, LB, Seahawks

Need Redshirt: Moderate
Redshirt probability: Minimal

I am grouping these two linebackers at the bottom of this list because of their comparable styles and the fact that they will be fascinating case studies for the position today in the NFL.

They are both big, long, ultra-athletic and hyper-aggressive tackles that made a plethora of splash games behind the line of scrimmage in 2019. The sideline to sideline range is not not a problem. Neither hesitation. These are ball-like linebackers who play without waste and are incredible downhill.

But the problem? They are unfathomably gross in the cover. And I mean, raw with their bottomless skills and experience in the area or running with tight ends along the seam. They just didn’t do any of these things at all and barely had a production of balls on the cover in college. Murray had no interceptions in Oklahoma and has defended six assists in three years. Brooks has picked a pass and has had a pass break in the past two seasons. And it is quite strange, because they come from the Big 12 conference, open to everyone and passionate about passing.

Currently, we know how valuable the linebackers are, as the NFL leans more toward the cervix each year. However, it is fascinating that the defensive coordinators of Murray and Brooks decided to use their extraordinary athletic gifts for spy and QB blitz roles instead of asking them to lower the coverage.

And the Big 12 has had a major impact on the NFL lately. Perhaps adapting some of the Big 12’s defensive principles is the next logical step for NFL defenses? If so, Murray and Brooks could very well usher in the new era of what a star linebacker among the pros will look like. But in the “normal” linebacker roles as rookie assistants, they often seem completely different.



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