2020 NFL Draft steals - Offense

Yesterday, we covered day 3 defensive players who will be steals in the 2020 NFL Draft and now we turn our attention to the offensive side of the ball. Every year there’s a player or 2 at all these positions, even quarterback, that see significant playing time. Last year alone guys like Gardner Minshew, Darius Slayton, Hunter Renfrow and David Edwards were among players drafted on day 3 that saw significant playing time their rookie seasons. Here are 10 players that seem to be consensus day 3 picks who could have a bigger impact than those grades suggest.

1: Anthony Gordon, QB – Washington State

Wazzu has been a quarterback factory over the past few years pumping out Luke Falk, Gardner Minshew and now Anthony Gordon as day 3 draft picks. Gordon has a profile similar to his fellow Cougs alums as a highly productive gunslinger, who spreads the ball around, and throws it 40+ times a game. His greatest trait is his lightning quick release and smooth repeatable delivery which both help him have some of the best accuracy in the class. That accuracy (71.6 completion percentage) is somewhat a result of playing in the Air Raid, but also comes from Gordon throwing a catchable ball with touch and consistently hitting players in stride. He struggles with arm strength and velocity, which will hurt him throwing the deep ball in the NFL. Time in an NFL strength program will help him fill out his frame and naturally add more behind his throws. With his ability to spread the ball and make quick decisions he will stick on an NFL roster and could be developed into a starter if he improves his strength and cleans up his footwork.

2: DeeJay Dallas, RB – Miami (FL)

DeeJay Dallas was the heart and soul of the Miami offense in 2019. Dallas is a high-character player who ran hard behind one of the nation’s worst offensive lines, leading the team in rushing while lining up at running back, wide receiver and wildcat quarterback. His athletic profile doesn’t show an explosive player, but Dallas has nice burst on tape and some deceptive speed, accelerating through contact and into the open field. He’s built densely and his contact balance is probably his best trait allowing him to consistently break arm tackles and fall forward. Running back is still a relatively new position to him so instincts and vision are areas where he will be knocked by scouts. However, Dallas is a 3-down back and is a weapon in the screen game where he has reliable hands and does well getting yards after the catch. Dallas is inconsistent in pass protection, but some of that is due to his offensive line just completely collapsing around him. He will benefit from being in a running back rotation with a more explosive player where he can play the yin to the yang like Jamaal Williams has done for Aaron Jones in Green Bay.

3: JaMycal Hasty, RB – Baylor

This guy can go. JaMycal Hasty is going to be one of those guys that’s “quicker than fast,” but his initial burst is some of the best in this group of running backs. He’s only 5-foot-8, yet densely built weighing in at 205 pounds at the combine. Hasty is at his best as a one-cut runner putting his foot in the ground and hitting the accelerator to get to top speed. He won’t be a pile pusher, but instead will use his agility and vision to slip past tacklers and find positive yards when bottled up. Yet sometimes he can get himself in trouble when he makes too many cuts or tries to dance rather than just picking up what he can. In the passing game, Hasty shows reliable hands and route running, which combined with his elusiveness will make him an asset on third downs. He stands in there on pass protection and should win coaches trust in that department getting him on field early in his career. A timeshare in the backfield is almost a sure thing for Hasty, but teams with a third down back need should take a shot on him day 3.

4: James Proche, WR – SMU

SMU’s resurgence over the last couple years coincided with the emergence of James Proche at wide receiver. Proche isn’t the biggest guy, and he’s not the fastest but don’t get fooled he is going to produce in the NFL. Why? Proche has elite body control, hands and ball tracking skills that few in this class possess. He is a beast at the catch point and the 50/50 ball tends to end up in his hands more often than not. While not a true separator, he creates a large catch radius with his body control and will be excellent on back shoulder throws. He will need to work with a wide receiver’s coach on polishing up his footwork and route running. With better route running and an expanded tree, Proche could vault himself into a consistent starter down the road. Like all rookie receivers, Proche will need some time to develop chemistry with his new quarterback, but his ball skills and hands will show early.

5: KJ Osborn, WR – Miami (FL)

Another Hurricane, KJ Osborn started his career at Buffalo, transferred to Miami and was named a team captain within a few months of being on campus. Osborn has experience playing both outside and in the slot at Miami and was also a punt returner giving him a nice shot at making a team for his special teams prowess alone. He is fearless over the middle of the field and a quarterback’s best friend with his ability to uncover as a hot receiver. He’s an adequate athlete and route runner, but what will really help him is an above average understanding of coverage, knowing when to sit down in zones and when to carry his route across the field. He gets hung up on press coverage and will certainly need to work on improving his releases, but Osborn has the tools to develop into a reliable receiver for his future team and quarterback. At worst teams will be getting a guy who can returning kicks and provide receiver depth.

6: Josiah Deguara, TE – Cincinnati

Cincinnati has a couple prospects that come into the draft every year and tight end Josiah Deguara is next in line. Deguara is going to be a day 3 pick because he lacks tight end size. While I agree he may not be the seam stretching power forward most want their tight end to be, he will have an impact in more of an H-back role. Deguara is a good run blocker who can seal the edge and climb to the second level. He is one of the better athletes in this year’s tight end class and moves with fluidity running routes. He’s not a guy with a huge catch radius, but Deguara has reliable hands and will catch everything that hits his mitts. Teams that like to use 2 and 3 tight end sets in lieu of playing a fullback will find Deguara appealing, using him in a similar way to how the Bears’ Trey Burton or Kyle Juszczyk of the 49ers are used.

7: Tyre Phillips, OT/IOL – Mississippi State

Call him Roadhouse because Tyre Phillips bounces grown men out of the club. Phillips’ tape is beautiful at the point of attack where he consistently moves bodies and clears running lanes for Mississippi State. He’s got a lot of power and strength throughout his frame and when down blocking and double teaming will blast open holes. He’s got the size and length to play out at tackle but lacks the necessary mobility to counter speed rushers he will see in the NFL. His best position will likely be at guard where he can use his reach and strong hands to shock opponents and disrupt their rush plan before it starts. Phillips has an exceptionally strong anchor and will not be beat in close quarters. Ultimately, Phillips modest athletic profile will most likely get him drafted early on day 3. However, I expect he will find himself in a camp battle for a starting position in 2020.

8: Logan Stenberg, IOL – Kentucky

Logan Stenberg has been rock for the Kentucky offensive line over the past few seasons starting 39 consecutive games in his career. He’s not built like a typical guard at 6-foot-6 and 317 pounds, but Stenberg has the strength and demeanor offensive line coaches look for. In short, he’s a bully and knows it. He’s got some of the strongest hands in the class and will absolutely finish guys at the point of attack in the run game. His anchor and pure strength serve him well in pass protection where he simply shuts down the bull rush keeping the integrity of the pocket in check. Typically, guys who are 6-foot-6 are not interior players, however his lack of length and mobility will keep Stenberg playing guard at the next level. He will need to add flexibility to handle quick twitch defenders and play with a more consistent pad level, but his raw strength and power will always be a great equalizer for him. Stenberg profiles as a development guard caliber guard who will find his best path to becoming a starter in a power run scheme.

9: Calvin Throckmorton, OT – Oregon

Oregon was widely considered to have one of the top offensive lines in college football last year and Calvin Throckmorton was a big reason why. Playing at right tackle, left tackle, center and right guard throughout his career gave the former Duck a chance to show his versatility and intelligence. Throckmorton is a strong player at the point of attack and does a nice job climbing to the second level. He doesn’t get rattled and plays with poise and balance when pass protecting. A move to the interior will help him mitigate the lack of length and movement skills that are apparent on tape. It’s unlikely Throckmorton will enter camp as a starter, but his versatility and intelligence will make him a plug and play backup at multiple positions and may allow the team that drafts him to save a roster spot.

10: Jon Runyan, OT – Michigan

NFL bloodlines seem to be more and more common in prospects these days and Jon Runyan is no exception. Runyan’s father played in the NFL as a right tackle and he hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps. A left tackle at Michigan, he profiles as a right tackle or guard at the NFL. He has adequate strength and athleticism and is fundamentally sound in his footwork. His best work comes as a pass protector where he’s patient and consistently stays engages through his pass set. He’s going to fall for being a tweener and really struggling with hand placement, but that can be coached and with it, will unlock some of his power potential. As a day 3 pick, Runyan will be a nice swing tackle option and with his intelligence will be plug and play at any spot along the offensive line.

Who do you like, who did we miss? Let me know on Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State University Athletic Communications