Updated: May 23
LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Well....wow....lemme first start off by saying what a weekend...what a month...
As a creative, journalistic entity, we've been dueling against complete writing staffs with unlimited resources and consistent access...and yet we are growing, we are building and we are thriving thanks to a variety of brilliant friends and curious new readers every day....
Watching this grow gradually has been beautiful, being able to become acquainted with so many of you all as we swallow one Alabama fan after another in our wake.
That camaraderie between LSU fans becomes unbreakable:
We may have different political beliefs, religious or economic backgrounds, can't stand each other's favorite NFL teams or turn disgusted in the face of one another's musical tastes, but once you're a Tiger, you're a Tiger for life...an adopted member of the large extended family....and it's this inclusive salvation which made events like this weekend's NFL Draft so incredible...all of us dialed in to the same bleeding, beating, Goodell-humiliating, Schefter bewildering, Kiper sweating pulsation.
And as much as we'd prepared for LSU to dominate the 2020 NFL Draft, as much as we released and tailored our pieces on these players to ensure they'd be drafted as highly as possible, we couldn't fathom the glory we'd all feel at this juncture.
In the final unofficial meeting of the pre-NFL 2019 LSU Tigers, the farewell had to be digitized...all of us pixelated power wafers to each other...and it was through this surreal lens we watched 14 Tigers drafted, Joe Burrow leading the charge as he became LSU's second #1 pick ever (JaMarcus Russell, 2007), all from the comfort of his parents' Nute Rockney living room.
JOE BURROW (#1 OVERALL; CINCINNATI)
It should've been a moment for Joe to pimpwalk his way up the Vegas steps, upstaging Goodell with a hard glare, a pronouncement of vindication and a graceful stride towards the Cincinatti sunset.
However, Bengals fans will be glad he was not only destined for black and orange, but that he was literally, physically stuck in Ohio.
For those who believe this is a disastrous landing spot for Joe Burrow I agree...only because I wished he'd dropped to #2 for my Skins to grab....other than that act of selfish QB-grab, the situation for Joe in Cincy is primed for success.
You wanna tell me the scenario for JaMarcus Russell in Oakland was easier than Cincy 2020?
Joe isn't just ready to start immediately, he has an organization who's very employment and future reputation hinges solely on the success of Joe's impending NFL development:
Everyone is all in, and the Tee Higgins pick proved this... now, Cincy better support Joe 100% like they promised; also, it's time for the Heisman to prove another set of fools wrong again and we are delighted to watch him shut up the doubting derelicts across the NFL.
The question shouldn't be "Is Burrow ready for the NFL?" the real question:
"Is the NFL ready for Joe Burrow?"
PROJECTIONS: 2,500+ YRDS, 200+ RUSHING, 23+ TDs, 3 TD rushing
K'LAVON CHAISSON (#20; JAX)
We knew Chaisson would be going in the 1st Round, the only question which remained was where?
He now joins a malicious front featuring Myles Jack and Josh Allen in Jacksonville, poised to be the playmaker in an already solid front which needed the Tigers' pass-rushing devastator to take them back to the AFC title game heights of only a few years prior.
K'Lavon deserved the recognition: without a doubt, he's the best pass-rusher in the Draft, as we said earlier (https://www.lsuodyssey.com/post/top-tigers-of-2019-2020-6)
PROJECTIONS: 13 sacks, 12 TFLs, 3 FF, 1 INT
JUSTIN JEFFERSON (#22; MINN)
Justin was snubbed by Philly, New Orleans, Oakland, Denver and Dallas only to fall to a far more promising locale.
In Minnesota, Justin will be suiting up next to an absolute monster on the outside in Adam Thielen, though had the Vikings been able to keep Stefon Diggs for another extension, this receiving attack would be one of the most formidable in the NFL.
Thanks to Diggs' Buffalo departure, there's a lot for Justin to contribute from the start: get ready to hear "...and Jefferson over the middle for the 1st down" time after time: prepare for him to make Cousins look good.
PROJECTIONS: 1,000+Yds, 9+ TDs
PATRICK QUEEN (#28; BAL)
This was the Queen of all snubs during the 1st Round...
We all waited for New Orleans to grab him but no...he was left up there for Baltimore to seize, adding to their already glorious linebacking history and grabbing a high octane destroyer with hell bent for leather speed is something the Ravens' young squad couldn't pass up.
PROJECTIONS: 77 tackles, 22 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 INT, 3 FF, 1 FR
CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE (#32; KC)
The steal of the 1st Round and everyone knew it....
The second Clyde's name was called, many began picturing Pat Mahomes dumping it off to the magician and watching him blow a defense to pieces for 70 yards.
Get used to the image, he's beyond perfect for the Chiefs' powerhouse offensive scheme: had KC passed on Clyde, I doubt they would've been able to sleep right now.
Instead, they've excited their delirious fanbase with a sure-thing:
Clyde will be an electric church of escapability, breaking tackles left, right and center, all while becoming a highleet reel fiend.
Listen to his mother tell us all about Clyde's story:
788 yds rushing,
950+ yds rec. & 13 overall TDs
GRANT DELPIT (#44; CLEVELAND)
One of the most disrespected players in college football and this year's NFL Draft, Delpit was expected to be a bona fide 1st rounder in the 2019 Draft, however he stayed and fulfilled his LSU dreams, becoming a Thorpe Award winner and National Champion.
Although remaining patient played out well for him...Cleveland is a young team needing organization on a defensive unit craving a leader...and despite his age, Grant is that leader.
As long as he's used correctly, in a hybrid role allowing him to read the play and follow his natural instincts at the line or in coverage, he could take the NFL by storm.
Even in the worst case scenario, Grant will still be dealing the pain and making big plays.
75+ Tackles, 13+ TFL, 3 INT, 4 FF, 2 FR
KRISTIAN FULTON (#61; TENNESSEE)
Much like Delpit's neglect, Fulton was forced to sit by and witness six cornerbacks chosen before him....an agonizing, ludicrous probability nobody prepared for.
Fulton's tape should've impressed NFL GMs with his constant fight, NFL-ready hand / eye response with the ball in the air (or in the receivers' hands, jarring the ball loose after being beaten on routes); he was always stuck with #1 wideouts, coordinators game-planning away from Derek Stingley and there he was, Fulton responding to the level of shutdown corner himself.
If it's his past which cost him a 1st Round pick, then NFL GMs have a lot to learn about human beings...we're not all as perfect as you GMs I guess, but the best of us respond and rally to adversity.
Fulton will erupt in Tennesssee...mark my words....the most tested cornerback (5 INTs) in the draft should surely be the best, too...right?
4 INTs, 48 Tackles, 2 FR,
11 PASSES DEFENDED
DAMIEN LEWIS (#69 SEATTLE)
What a perfect pick by Pete Carroll, layering his recently collapsing Russell Wilson wall with LSU talent (Pete also grabbing Stephen Sullivan later in the draft).
Now, Seattle's O-line looks sophisticated with Bama guys Fluker and Warmack now flanked by LSU studs Pocic and Lewis in the trenches at Guard.
PROJECTIONS: Will see 50% snaps
LLOYD CUSHENBERRY (#83 DENVER)
Owner/GM John Elway leaned back in the power stance, flexing with his arms behind his head, posing for the NFL Network and ESPN cameras....why was he so happy with himself?
Because he was able to pick a variety of players and fill holes on his roster while stealing Lloyd Cushenberry, the best center in the draft, at #83.....a crazy luxury.
PROJECTIONS: Will be starting over Patrick Morris after this off-season.
JACOB PHILLIPS (#97 CLEVELAND)
Phillips will be playing alongside teammate Grant Delpit (and LSU luminary Odell Beckham Jr), the pairing now without a doubt solidifying the core of the Browns young defense.
As far as pure tackling run stuffers, there isn't a better pick in the draft.
Amassing the most tackles of anyone on the 2019 LSU defense (100+), Jacob is a brutish physicality predator.
PROJECTIONS: 96 Tackles, 4 FF, 16 TFL
SHAADIQ CHARLES (#108 D.C)
Finally the Skins offloaded a star left tackle who hasn't wanted to be in D.C for years (Trent Williams) and replaced him with one of the ultra-talented, under the radar LSU linemen.
We better treat him with a hell of a lot more tact, professionalism and humanity than we did for Trent.
PROJECTIONS: Starter who will weather storms and stabilize.
RASHARD LAWRENCE (#131 ARIZONA)
Rashard Lawrence will become Arizona's bigger, stronger and more aggressive Karlos Dansby....a vicious power-diesel capable of strip-sacks who also deflects critical passes (Alabama, Georgia) and can either rush the edge or clog the interior with equal gusto.
PROJECTIONS: 9 TFL, 11 SACKS, 51 TACKLES
BLAKE FERGUSON (#185 MIAMI)
Miami aka NFL Alabama wondered what to do when the 6th round came...then, Tua remembered "oh yeah, Alabama needed a long snapper last year".
So they went and stole Blake Ferguson, the latest in a long line of an LSU institution in snapping.
PROJECTIONS: Carefully sabotages Miami's special teams, jk! He's going to be solid.
STEPHEN SULLIVAN (#251 SEATTLE)
Watch Sullivan destroy NWState for 5 catches and a touchdown in the 1st half alone (in lieu of a banged up Ja'Marr Chase), including a filthified sideline catch which defied physics.
Sullivan will become even better under Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson's Grade A arm. Within the unstoppable, G.O.A.T LSU receiving corps, Sullivan may have faded in the background due to Chase, Jefferson, Marshall and Thaddeus's 55 combined TDs, but he was never forgotten, erupting anytime he took the field.
If you don't believe me, just look at the quality of cornerbacks he's having to geaux up against, every day, in press man coverage...not only that, the receivers he had to compete against for starting jobs (Jefferson, Chase, Marshall, McMath, Kirklin, Dillon, Palmer etc).
PROJECTIONS: 38 Catches, 490 yards, 6 TDs
BREIDEN FEHOKO (LA CHARGERS)
An absolute steal for Anthony Lynn's young defense.
With Derwin James and Chris Harris on the back end, Fehoko's knack for administering pain and causing havoc in the backfield will be boosted by D-line cohorts Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
Anthony Lynn has himself quite the defensive lineup; but while many teams missed out on a player with fantastic production while competing for a starting spot against 5 star recruits, Breiden did more than hold his own:
Fehoko would've been a starter for LSU had he been given a real chance.
When Fehoko was on the field, the defensive line (which only had 38 sacks on the year) averaged more TFL, sacks, interceptions and forced fumbles.
If you haven't heard of him yet, he'll be sacking your QB or clogging your interior soon enough.
14 TFL, 38 TACKLES, 2 FF, 7 SACKS
THADDEUS MOSS (WASHINGTON 'SKINS)
Learning under former record-breaking / consummate professional / long-time veteran tight end Vernon Davis is an opportunity the dysfunctional organization would've been foolish to pass on. Though Davis has retired, he still consults on occasion with the organization.
Instead, they waited until after the draft to snag Moss, and the LSU tight end now allows Washington a chance to expand their limited offensive pallete; hopefully this move will constitute Moss's rise as a singular NFL talent:
A Gronkowski / Randy hybrid...I'm just happy he's on my team.....he's a matchup nightmare any reputable offense should've drafted (Aaron Rodgers with this guy? Remember that GB offense with JerMichael Finley??? Drew Brees? Tom Brady? Rivers in Indy?).
I don't care if you already have a tight end....this guy is more than that: he catches and runs routes like a receiver and blocks with the viciousness of a defensive end...
PROJECTIONS: 8 TDs, 728 yards receiving
MICHAEL DIVINITY JR (TAMPA BAY)
#45 geauxing to Tampa, lining up alongside Devin White and suiting up along a star-studded team with the eyes of the world upon them after Brady's capture?
This is gonna be fun.
PROJECTIONS: 75 Tackles, 8.5 TFL, 4 FF, 8 Sacks
BADARA TRAORE (CHICAGO BEARS)
Traore is another one of James Cregg's specimen along that elegantly blood-covered offensive trench. Cregg has prepared these men for greatness at the next level, and Traore's versatility is no exception.
PROJECTION: Instant contributor, could be a Pro Bowl talent.
DERRICK DILLON (NEW YORK GIANTS)
Arriving in the Big Apple, Derrick Dillon could be the diamond in the rough...a great receiver just waiting for an opportunity to explode...and my my my, the door has opened in New York...a place aching for another receiver to come in and take OBJ's highlight reel delirium....Dillon's gotchu.
PROJECTIONS: 855+ yards receiving, 8+ TDs...he's gonna be good
ADRIAN MCGEE (NEW ORLEANS SAINTS)
THE SAINTS DRAFTED A TIGER???? WHAAAA????
And he's an offensive lineman... (all Saints fans angrily sigh).
PROJECTION: In a tough competitive O-line room at guard, McGee will have opportunities but will see his time on the field minimized greatly.
LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2020 Uninterrupted Writings INC LLC
Shoutout to all our Tigers, drafted, undrafted, or just committing: you've built something special and it's only getting better, thank you for letting us join in on the ride.
Also, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Tonge' Helaire, Shannon Helaire, Clyde Edwards Sr, Breiden & Linda Fehoko and families, you deserved this! I'm so happy for you!
Lots of feelz, eh Tiger fans?