Standing in at 6-foot-1 and 312-pounds, Gaines isn’t going to wow anybody in the height category, and his combine results won’t win over the athletically inclined. But, Gaines does win in the “heart” category as he is a high-motor nose tackle that doesn’t mind doing the dirty work in the trenches.
Gaines plays 110% in both pass and rush snaps, and it shows in his advanced statistics. At Washington, the defender tallied 98 run-stuffs and had a run-stop rate of 9.8%, good for ninth in the class, per Pro Football Focus. His 10.0 career sacks and ability to create pressure through the interior are also a bonus for a prospect most view as a selfless run-defender.
However, Gaines falls to the seventh for a reason. As I said before, his measurements and combine scores aren’t too high, and his length (31-1/4-inch-arms) is doing his stock more harm than good. Because of that, don’t be surprised to see this high-motored fall to the seventh. If he does, the Cardinals would be wise to add a potential leader to the defensive line.
One of the more under-the-radar PAC-12 products heading into the draft, Kano Dillon, a USF graduate transfer to Oregon is starting to pop-up on NFL radars, and maybe it’s his 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame. Despite being a smaller name, Dillon gets my nod as the lone tight end drafted in this mock.
At his Oregon pro-day, Dillon did well as he posted a 4.65-second 40-yard-dash dash, 123-inch broad jump, 35.5-inch vertical, and 18 bench press reps. In his one Oregon season, Dillon tallied just eight receptions for 110 yards and two touchdowns, which helped him stay under-the-radar.
However, Dillon is an athletically gifted prospect and has shown highlight-worthy playmaking in the past at USF. At this point of the draft, the Arizona Cardinals will be looking for players to compete to make the active roster and practice squad, Dillon is a low-risk potentially high-reward option to do just that.
I now introduce you to this mock’s ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ Nate Herbig, a 6-foot-3, 335-pound offensive guard from the Stanford Cardinal. A stocky product for his size, Herbig found success for Stanford but maybe not even to get out of the seventh-round range. Here is how NFL Media scout Lance Zierlein described the guard, naming him as more of a UDFA guard.
"Thickly-built guard prospect with an NFL frame and good run blocking power, but an inability to impose his will as a block-finisher. He has the desire to finish, but that desire is often short-circuited by a lack of balance or an inability to secure blocks with his hands. While teams will be drawn to his mass, he’ll need to control his weight in order to play with better functional quickness. Herbig is a future starting guard, but his physical deficiencies could make him a more up-and-down performer than celebrated starter."
Despite his distinct knocks, Herbig was productive during his time in college. His 2018 run-block rate of 94.7% ranks the top in Pro Football Focus‘ 2019 offensive guard rankings, but again, he shouldn’t start immediately in the NFL. If he develops his game, nothing is stopping him of being a guard in the future for the Redbirds.
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