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Green Zone League Articles

2020 GZL Draft: Top Defensive Prospects
By Tyler Richardson
Special to gzl-football.com

DE Joey Bosa - Bosa will be a top pick in the NFL draft a few months from now, and it won't be any different here in the GZL. Bosa has solid speed (82) and good acceleration (84) to go with excellent strength (82) at the position. He's the type of player that is a great prospect coming out and can do it all right out of the gate, but can really be developed into a unique elite talent if the right development regimen. If a GM were simply to invest +3 SPD and +3 ACC into Bosa, you're looking at a 85 SPD, 82 STR, 87 ACC, which would make him one of the better defensive ends in the league. Either way, expect Bosa to hear his name called early come draft day.

CB Chikae Reeder - It seems every year now we get a 6'4" CB prospect, and Reeder is the chosen one in this draft class. Tall CBs have always been popular in these leagues, but it seems the GZL has seen a new trend develop with the 6'4" plus guys, even if the players don't possess elite athleticism. If I recall correctly Braylon Bender really set the tone for the league. Despite entering the draft in 2015 with just 88 SPD, 87 AGI, and 89 SPD, his 6'4" frame coupled with 73 STR and 66 CTH saw him picked with the 23rd pick of the draft. The Patriots put in the time to truly develop him, and he's now one of the top CBs in the league, notching 24 interceptions throughout 5 seasons in the league. Reeder comes out with athleticism that almost matches Benders present day attributes, which means he could be developed into one of the best CBs in the league after a few seasons. While he isn't quite as strong and doesn't have as good of hands, his added athleticism should surely make up for any shortcomings in those areas. Look for Reeder's name to be called in the first few picks of the draft, and don't be surprised if he's taken with the very first pick.

OLB Leonard Floyd - While some may bristle at using a top pick on Floyd given his below-average strength (69), he still has the raw athleticism (86 SPD, 85 AGI, 86 ACC) to be a monster both in coverage and rushing the passer. What really sets apart Floyd from some of the other faster linebackers in the league is his combination of size (230, 6'4") and hands that rival those of even some of the better cornerbacks in the league. Put him on the edge, put him in coverage, he will excel either way. And if a team decides to develop him to his full capabilities, look out. Floyd also is one of those players who can player either inside or outside, perhaps both if Nic gets his wish and formation subs are brought back. Floyd may not be taken in the top 5 or even top 10 picks, but whichever team decides to draft him will surely get their moneys worth.

Anders Betancourt - Anders Betancourt is probably the best "pure" cornerback in this class. I'm not trying to say he's a better prospect than Reeder, because I don't think he is, but when you think of your typical athletic, 6'0" shutdown corner, Betancourt is the kind of player you think about. He boasts solid athleticism across the board with 93 SPD, 93 AGI, and 94 AGI to go with his 219 lb, 6'0" frame, and also has great strength for a cornerback (70). Add his great instincts (69 AWR) and hands (69 CTH) and you have an all-around solid prospect who could contribute at the nickel spot from day one, even for a playoff team. Despite all these positives, there's nothing that stands out for Betancourt that makes him a real unique prospect. He simply does it all and does it all well, and there's certainly nothing wrong with that. I do expect Reeder to go before him, but I wouldn't expect Betancourt's name to be called too soon after that. This is a passing league and you need to be able to stop the pass to win.

OLB Myles Jack/Scooby Wright III - Here is another case where two players are so similar that I'm going to group them into the same writeup. Both prospects have above-average athleticism (85 SPD//85 AGI/85 ACC for Jack, 85 SPD/85 AGI/85 ACC for Wright) coupled with good but not great strength (74 for Jack, 75 for Wright). Both players stand 6'1". Scooby Wright III will probably be seen as the better prospect, as he weighs a hefty 246 lbs compared to Jack's 230, has the edge in football IQ (66 AWR versus 64), and is a more polished tackler (84 versus 80). Myles Jack does have better hands by a slight margin (60 versus 57). Wright III would be a better candidate to be moved to MLB if a team has a move there given his added weight advantage, although both might be a little short to be considered ideal there. Either way, look for these two players to come off the board around the same time, probably somewhere in the middle of the first round. They aren't elite prospects by any means, but with some work put in they can become very good linebackers in this league.
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