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Monday, March 2, 2015

2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT With Trades & Player Comparisons- 3/2/15

With the NFL combine now over teams are fully bearing down and doing there due diligence on the prospects. Team needs after free agency,  pro days, the combine medicals rechecks, and other variables will see players' stock rise and fall in the long months until the actual draft takes place. After the bowl games a lot of players who would have been top 50 picks decided to go back to school, and  this draft doesn't look anywhere near as good as the 2014 draft was at the top, but there is decent of depth in rounds 2 and 3. NFL Player comparisons have been added .So next to each player is the NFL player we feel they will most resemble in their prime if they are a hit.The comparison is for on the field play only and the higher the are ranked the more likely we think they will reach that comparison. If you don't know who the player is I am comparing them to feel free to run a search, and I may change the comp if I think of someone better later.This is a mock draft of who I think teams will take. Not who I think they should.




# Is for a player with with reported character or maturity concerns

**  Is for a player with reported injury concerns



1.TAMPA BAY-#JAMEIS WINSTON-QB-FLA ST-NFL COMP-BEN ROETHLISBERGER-PITTThe bucs went back to Josh McCown as their starter late in the season. That is a clear sign they don't see Mike Glennon as their QB of the future. With Winston being a Florida guy, I could see there being plenty of pressure to take him, as long as he he has no more off the field incidents leading up to the draft.  Lovie Smith is a players' coach who probably thinks he can reach and motivate Jameis. The bucs wisely hired Dirk Koetter to groom the QB they choose. The choice is kind of genius because it really tells us nothing about which QB they currently prefer, and allows them to take their time in evaluating both before they make their choice. Koetter just tutored a classic pocket passer in Mattt Ryan. So you know he can tutor Winston. However, Mariota's current head coach Mark Helrich has coached under Koetter multiple times. So it's stands to reason he could also help develop Marcus and design a spread pro-set hybrid offense to help Marcus succeed early. While I would take the safer Mariota, instead of gambling the #1 overall pick on Winstons character & maturity, I understand why they would take Jameis.   I think the pressure to take a homegrown winner like Winston could influence ownership into taking the troubled but talented Jameis, over the less polished passer in Mariota. Also,  if Jameis was clean off the field he would be the runaway overall # 1 pick. He's as tough as nails , a proven winner, and has all the tools. Most importantly he makes great NFL throws with the rush bearing down on him. That's about as reliable an indicator of future success as you can get in a on the field evaluation, and you don't find much of it in Mariota's tape..  With Koetter under contract they will probably succeed either way, and if the defense doesn't improve and they fire Smith ,they have a potential head coach in waiting in house. 





2.TENNESEE-LEONARD WILLIAMS-DT/DE-USC-NFL COMP-KEVIN WILLIAMS-SEA-Despite his obvious talent, Zach Mettenburger's knee & back woes, and some off the field troubles made him free fall to the 6th round. They gave Zach a shot to see if he is the future, but he got hurt before he could really make a case to be their long term answer at QB. They may still  auction off this pick , but for the sake of this mock they will be staying with Zach and taking the safest player in this draft. Williams is an elite talent, with great tools, and a good motor.. Williams is a prototype 3-4 end and he can kick inside when they go to nickle,and can generate a pass rush from anywhere. Pairing him with Jurrell Casey could give them a pair to rival Wilkerson & Richardson of the jets. 



***TRADE*** CLEVELAND trades their first round pick (#12)in this draft  and the first round pick in this draft they got from BUFFALO (#19) and their 4th round pick in this draft. for the JAGUARS first round pick(#3) in this draft***



3.CLEVELAND-(jacksonville)-MARCUS MARIOTA-QB-OREGON-NFL COMP-RYAN TANNEHILL-MIA-Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has been as bad as Al Davis, Daniel Snyder Woody Johnson, and Jerry Jones at their worst combined. He hired good football people to run the team, and when they told him to draft Teddy Bridgewater instead of Johhny Manzel he fired them and ate their contracts. Then he put yes men in place and ,drafted Manziel. At least one of those yes men was supposedly interfering in play calling, and preceded to lead the team down the drain. What they need after the Johnny Football Rehab disaster is to try to flip him to Philly or anyone else that will give them a 3rd or 4th rounder. Then don't even think about Josh Gordon for a year, and go get a new team leader that can be counted on. Mariota is as clean as Bridgeweater was off the field, a dedicated worker, and just a way better all around prospect than Manziel as a QB. With probable incoming QB Kevin O'connell coach already working with Mario in the pre-draft process, this is a match made in heaven. All Haslam needs to do after that is realize he's NOT a football guy , hire good people to run the team, and stay out of their way.


4.OAKLAND-KEVIN WHITE-WR-NFL COMP-ANDRE JOHNSON-HOU-The Raiders might have ruined what could have been a franchise altering trade by beating San Francisco. Any chance of auctioning off the #1 overall pick to the highest bidder and quickly restocking the franchise is gone . At least they still ended up with a high enough pick to get a premium player. With New QB Derek Carr exceeding expectations a play-maker on offense to help him out will be appreciated. Last year Carr was throwing to James Jones and group of journeymen and unproven young guys, He needs a # 1 receiver. After lighting up the combine I believe White has separated himself from Cooper and Parker as the top receiver in this draft. He's big, strong, fast, has great hands, can run after the catch, sand even when he's covered he's open if you throw it high enough. 





5.WASHINGTON-DANTE FOWLER-DE-FLORIDA-NFL COMP-ANTHONY SPENCER-DALL-If Brian Orapko could stay healthy all year, the Skins would probably have payed him, but he got knocked out for the year again. .  If RG3 returns to form this offense could be dangerous, and they appear to be bringing him back for 2015, but I'll believe in this defense only after I see them produce. Their secondary is the main question right now, but nothing makes a secondary better quickly than a good pass rush, and there is no secondary player worth this high of a pick. The offensive line could also use a boost. Fowler plays with a great motor and Ryan Kerrigan would benefit from him being on the other side. A trade back or a O-lineman are also likely possibilities.Fowler is one of the safest players in this draft. His motor , size, athleticism,and versatility make him a fit for any scheme.




6.NYJ-SHANE RAY-OLB/DE-MIZZ- NFL COMP-ELVIS DUMERVIL-BALT-The Jets might want a QB, but Geno Smith did show some progress. However, even if they want a new QB, Mariota and Winston are the only two QB's that should end up top 5 picks. There number one need is corner, but there also aren't any corners worth this high a pick. Both Calvin Pace and Jason Babin will be 35 next season and the jets need a young OLB to pair with Quinton Coples in their 3-4. Ray didn't get as much spotlight as the steady Kony Ealy or media creation Michael Sam last season. He did however make a lot of plays as an edge rusher. Now he has a chance to shine in the spotlight, has been a far better player than either, and he has a relentless motor. He is fast off the ball, closes really well, although I'm still unsure if his best position in the pro's is as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 rush backer. What I do know for sure is that he has a great first step, violent hands, and that he can rush the passer. I think Todd Bowles is the kind of coach to get the most out of his players , regardless of scheme ,and that he will know how to use Ray to maximize his effectiveness.







7.CHICAGO-**RANDY GREGORY-DE/OLB-NEBRASKA-NFL COMP-SIMEON RICE-New head coach Jon Fox was hired to fix the defense and improving the pass rush is usually how he starts. With Jared Allen turning 33 next season , and Lamarr Houston  a better fit inside in my opinion, ,a young  edge rusher to pair with Willie Young could really help.Gregory has an ideal frame with long arms, and he is agile enough to rush off the edge in a 3-4 or 4-3, but right now he is a better fit in a 3-4. Once that frame is filled out with another 20 to 30 pounds of muscle, he can be even better, and play in a 4-3 now. His medicals at the combine are more crucial with him than anyone with a chance to go in the top 10. With his history of multiple injuries , Dion Jordan-like build, and lean frame,  I wouldn't take him in the top 10. My fears about his size were confirmed when he showed up at only 235 pounds at the combine. Despite all the red flags Gregory still has the highest upside of all the edge rushers in this draft.With John Fox bringing in a 3-4 Gregory is a strong possibility here.




8.ATLANTA-VICTOR BEASLEY-OLB/DE-CLEMSON-NFL-COMP-VON MILLER-DENV-Atlanta just had a rebuilding year, and any hope of it being a quick turnaround probably ended when both Sean Weatherspoon and Sam Baker went down for the year. Despite it being the second largest need on their team, the Falcons waited until the 4th round to draft an edge rusher. Adding Jake Matthews and Jon Asamoah to their O-line is an improvement, despite the loss of Baker, but a replacement OT for him and his cap number is also a possibility. Beasley has been a highly productive pass rusher two years running ,and he has the agility to also drop into coverage when needed .He can also play the SLB when they go to nickle ala Von Miller. After showing up bigger, stronger, and lighting up he combine I expect he goes in the top 10. 


  


9.NYG-
BRANDON SCHERFF-OT-IOWA-NFL COMP-MARSHALL YANDA-BALT-While LT William Beatty returned to form in 2014 second year right tackle , Justin Pugh was up and down again, and some feel he would be a better fit inside. at guard Add that last years second round pick Weston Richburg also played out of position at guard , instead of center , and you can see a way to improve 3 positions with one draft pick. . With Scherff at right tackle , added with the other 2 position moves I mentioned , the giants O-line could go from a weakness to a strength in one off season. Early on Scherff was slowed by an injury he came back from too quickly, but the attitude he plays with could help this entire team step forward. The top 3 pre-season OT's have all had their miscues this season, but Scherff is the only one with a legit reason to explain it. Plus, he  improved as he has got healthier.healthier. Scherff is the safest of them all, and he has the best technique. While I don't like him as a left tackle, I love him as a right tackle or guard. At the very least he will be a long term starter somewhere in front of Blake. A mauler like him has the kind of attitude that can infect an entire O-line.





10.RAMS-LA'EL COLLINS-T/G-LSU-NFL COMP-TRENT WILLIAMS-WASH-Unless Winston or Mariota inexplicably free falls this far it now looks like the Rams will be starting another year with the talented, but often seriously injured Sam Bradford as their QB again. To have any chance of him making it through a season the O-line has to improve. With Jake Long coming off another injury and having a high salary ,right tackle Joe Barksdale a free agent , and 2014 #2 overall pick Greg Robinson not playing well at left tackle last year , the Rams could possibly need 2 new offensive tackles. While its way to early to give up on Robinson as a tackle and kick him inside, a player who has a lot positional flexibility would really help. Collins can play either tackle or guard spot allowing the rams to mix and match what they need. With Collins and Roger Saffold both being so flexible they could lose both tackles and still field a solid starting 5 up front, while taking the pressure off Robinson to immediately be the franchise left tackle his talent leads us to believe he is. 




11.MINNESOTA- AMARI COOPER-WR-ALA-NFL COMP-RODDIE WHITE-ATL-If Teddy Bridgewater had begun the season as the starting QB , and Adrian Peterson hadn't been put on paid leave, the Vikings had a chance to compete for a playoff spot. Cordarelle Patterson is a great athlete and weapon, but polished #1 receiver he is not, and probably never will be . Greg Jennings has fallen off a tick , and is now more of a polished # 2 receiver, but he is currently paid like a #1. The Vikings could give Teddy a familiar down field threat in his high school team mate & go to guy in Cooper. This is the potential # 1 receiver Teddy needs, and they can, save a pile of money on Jennings. While Amari can separate ,make some spectacular catches,  and track it over shoulder with best of them,  he has his flaws.Namely that he drops too many passes and isn't someone you can just throw it up for and expect him too come down with it. All 3 questions I had about him physically were answered when he measured & weighed in at 6 foot one & 211 pounds at the combine, and ran a 4.42 forty. He may go as high as #4 to the raiders, but I doubt he falls any farther than here. If Scherff, Peat, or Collins falls here any of them could be the pick, and then they could try the disappointing Matt Kalil inside at left guard, possibly improving 2 positions at once.  




12.JACKSONVILLE-(cleveland)-.ANDRUS PEAT-OT-STANFORD-NFL COMP-RYAN CLADY DENV-This trade allows the Jags to get  better value for their pick and fill a need. The plan was to start the underwhelming Chad Henne behind a bad O-line for at least half the season, this year looked like a lost cause right out of the gate. However, after 3 weeks of bad offense the Jags decided to throw Blake Bortles into the fire, ready or not. While Blake is a big tough guy with mobility, he is still behind a bad O-line. 2013 number 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel hasn't quite lived up to his draft status as a top flight left tackle yet, but there is still plenty of time for him to at least become a productive starter somewhere on the line.Peat has a big lean upper body and a thick lower body, but does he have left tackle feet and athleticism? I still can't tell, but he has earned the shot to try it. He's also an aggressive run blocker and plays to whistle with enough force and leverage that he could play guard as well.. The only question is whether they play him at right or left tackle as a rookie. After last season I would move Joeckel to the right side and give Peat a shot on the blindside.Even with Peat's occasional technique inconsistencies ,and struggles with speed, I have trouble believing he wouldn't be a definite upgrade on the blindside as a pass blocker over Joeckel. I am certain he would be an upgrade as a run blocker. . 




13.SAINTS-BALTIMORE-BUD DUPREE-DE/OLB-KY-NFL COMP-JUSTIN HOUSTON-KC-retired-The saints pass rush has let them down this year. They want to run at least a hybrid 3-4 and to do that they need someone on the edge besides Junior Galette who can get to the QB. This makes Cam Jordan more valuable as well, because he is a much better player inside or as 3-4 end. Dupree surprised me when I looked at his tape. Very few guys with his frame can cover as much ground as he does, and with some refinement in his pass rush & stack shed techniques , he can be an elite player. If he is allowed to just rush the passer with no coverage responsibilities I believe he can be that elite player early.After a great combine I expect more people to join me in ranking him higher.




 


14.MIAMI-DANNY SHELTON-DT-WASH-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE-With the Dolphins already having trouble stopping the run , Randy Starks turning 32 & becoming a free agent after this season, this pick makes a ton of sense. The massive Shelton continued to impress at the Senior bowl after a dominating season, and he is a one man run stopping force in the middle. His quickness and ability to cover ground along the line of scrimmage for such a massive man is rare, although he needs more pass rush moves in the long term. Despite people calling him a top 10 pick I wouldn't take anyone with his extra body fat that high without a weight clause. He was happy to have made it down to a jiggly 343 at the Senior bowl , and while he still played great , carrying all that unnecessary extra weight is likely to catch up with him eventually.




15.SAN FRANCISCO-DEVANTE PARKER-WR-LVILLE-NFL COMP-DEZ BRYANT-DALL-With Michael Crabtree being injury prone, a free agent, and probably wanting to escape Richard Sherman twice a year he is probably going elsewhere this off season. Throw in Anquan Boldins age, Stevie Johnson's injury problems, and Bruce Ellington's inexperience and size and the niners need a new #1 wide receiver. This is a receiver Kaeperneck can just depend on to come down with the ball even when he's covered. He's big, fast, fierce, has great hands, and can beat NFL corners, If you doubt him just watch him wreck Florida states vaunted secondary all by himself. 







16.HOUSTON-ARIK ARMSTEAD-DE-OREGON-NFL COMP-CALAIS CAMPBELL-AZ-With the news that Jadaveon Clowney has had micro-fracture knee surgery coming out recently the Texans are still in need of another rusher to take advantage of the near constant double & triple teams that the incomparable JJ Watt draws. "IF" Clowney is ever the same explosive talent he once was. It will be at least a year until he could even possibly be a every-down player, and probably two until he is all the way back. A five technique that could beat one on one blocking could really shake things up, and help Watt be even better, as insane as that sounds.  Armstead has elite measurables and tools ,but he needs to be set free from a 2 gap scheme where his main job is occupying blocks. DC Romeo Crennel does a fair amount of 2 gapping , but he also allows more attacking than the Oregon scheme . Also, if you have a  kid this talented exposing him to Watt's mentoring &work ethic can only make him better. In addition , trying to find open passing lanes between the long arms of Watt and Armstead would be a massivechore for any opposing QB's




17.CHARGERS-CAMERON ERVING-C/T-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MAX UNGER-SEA-
The loss of veteran center Nick Hardwick is patently obvious to anyone who watched the Chargers play. Hardwick has officially announced his retirement now . So someone who can play the pivot and help out protecting Phillip Rivers should be their number one priority.  Erving looked like a possible first rounder as a left tackle coming into this season, but his play had slipped some , and he needs to be taught from scratch how to set up on the left side if he is gong to stay there. However, he has been great since a move to center, and I believe he can play all five O-line positions with the proper coaching . That makes him worth his weight in gold. Right now though they need a center and he is already the best one in this draft, and he has the potential to get a lot better. 




18.KANSAS CITY-LANDON COLLINS-S-ALA-NFL COMP-RODNEY HARRISON-retired -The chiefs did not have a single touchdown thrown to a wide receiver this year.Their ultra conservative check-down passing game limits their chances of being a contender. Dwayne Bowe is the # 1 receiver on this team and his best skill is his blocking. In this case the only 3 receivers worth this high a pick are gone. I expect them to address the need in free agency and later in this draft in this scenario. However safety Eric Berry has been diagnosed with cancer and Ron Parker is also a free agent. Collins could fill that void and bring a intimidating presence to the secondary. If Dorial Green-Beckham interviews well the Chiefs are one of the few teams that might take a chance on him high in the draft. 



19.JACKSONVILLE-(cleveland, buffalo)-**TRAE WAYNES-CB-MICH ST-NFL COMP-CHRIS GAMBLE-retired-Soon to be 30 year old journeyman corner Alan Ball was the Jags best corner before his injury last year. With head coach Gus Bradley's Seattle background he wants tall physical press corners. Waynes played press corner at a high level in a good conference.He does need to get stronger ,play with a little more discipline, and learn to either grab less, or at least do it less blatantly. I am sure Gus and his coaches can teach Trae how to properly cheat. Trae has a high floor, and that's how I did his comp, but he could be great in time. Waynes lit up the combine, and that will probably clinch his spot as the first corner taken.


 



20.EAGLES-**BYRON JONES-CB/S-UCONN- NFL COMP-XAVIER RHODES-MINN-Chip Kelly likes versatile tall guys with long arms on defense, and that describes Collins.   Neither Bradley Fletcher or Cary Williams has become the # 1 corner that matches up with an opposing teams top receiver , and can be expected to man him up with success.  Jones could be that guy. I had been thinking that the large ,but inconsistent Jalen Collins would be the pick here. However ,after the combine it's perfectly clear who the freakiest athlete really is. Jones is the perfect physical specimen for a corner with the makeup speed to match his large frame, the flexibility to also play safety if needed, and the ability to leap out of the building. While either player is a bit of a reach here, it is a scheme fit, and Jones has the highest upside of all the corners in the draft. Plus it would be nice to have a DB who can actually jump higher than Dez Bryant,  and run with Odell Beckham JR.



21.BENGALS-ERIC KENDRICKS-LB-UCLA-NFL COMP-MYCHAL KENDRICKS-PHIL-When Vontaze Burfict was healthy he played both the middle and outside LB spots. When he went outside free-agent-to-be Rey Maualuga was inside, and he lacks the athleticism to do anything but clog running lanes between the tackles. What the Bengals need is a quick twitch athletic weak-side linebacker who can play sideline to sideline , and be an asset in pass coverage. Kendricks was a ILB in college, but his best fit may be on the weak-side in the NFL.He could also provide leadership for a team that has regularly brought in a lot of players with character questions. 






22.PITTSBURGH-KEVIN JOHNSON-CB-W.FOREST-NFL COMP-TRAMON WILLIAMS-GB-Since Plaxico Burress left after his rookie season, Ben Roethlesberger has wanted another big wide receiver. With Martavis Bryant finally filing that spot the Steelers can concentrate on their defense. Long tome stalwart corner Ike Taylor will be a free agent again after this year, and while he hasn't played great he has been  a lot better than Cortez Allen.The problem is they just gave Allen a new free agent contract last year, and they can't afford to cut him. So they need a cheap infusion of high level corner talent. Johnson is a tall, lean, fluid,  corner who plays much bigger than his frame would lead you to believe.  I was very disappointed when he skipped the senior bowl, and felt justified in  dropping him for awhile, but after his showing at the combine he needs to moved back up. He plays the game with a chip on his shoulder. 




23.DETROIT-MALCOLM BROWN-DT-TEX-NFL COMP-SHARIFF FLOYD-MINN-Nick Fairley has shown at times that he is a pro bowl caliber talent, but he has lacks the consistent work ethic for the Lions to trust him with a big contract. They already declined his 2015 option and since they need to pay Suh very soon they probably couldn't afford him anyway. However, Suh want so much much money that I now doubt they can afford him.  If Suh gets the 15 plus million a year contract he wants the Lions will have 3 (Suh, Megatron, Stafford) players that average over 15 million a year on their cap. That has already made it very hard to miantain a winning ream under the cap. In that case they could resign the much cheaper Fairley at the 3 technique ,and draft someone who can play the one tech.  is force inside and might even be quick enough to play the both sides ,and give the Lions flexibility to upgrade whatever side they prefer in other areas. Brown has the skills to play all either DT in  their front and help improve both the run and pass defense. He's one of those players that the more of his tape I watched , the more i liked him


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24.ARIZONA-ELI HAROLD-OLB/DE-VA-NFL COMP-JOHN ABRAHAM-retired-.  The probable retirement of John Abraham after another concussion has only exacerbated their need at OLB. Harold is an excellent athlete and much stronger than his somewhat lean looking frame would lead you to believe. Sets the edge well and has a strong bull rush. He has active hands but lacks a diverse polished pass rushing repertoire. Great motor against the run or pass. Has experience both as stand-up rush backer, 4-3 DE, and even moves inside on some obvious passing downs. Has a better get off with his hand on the ground, and with his inside moves he regularly shoots gaps & occasionally even splits double teams. Is rarely double teamed as a pass rusher thanks to Max Valles on the other side, and I would like to see  how he reacts to more double teams. He would be a definite upgrade outside in the desert. 




25.CAROLINA-**ERECK FLOWERS-OT-MIA-NFL COMP-DONALD PENN-OAK-Jordan Gross retiring seems to have caught the Panthers by surprise, and they didn't do much to remedy it in the draft. Their plan to move Byron Bell to the left side smacks of desperation to me. Their other option is converted former TE /DT Nate Chandler. He is a great athlete , but they are counting on him to make a Jason Peters-like jump up this year.  Maybe they are right and both are undiscovered studs, but that seems like two huge gambles to base the health of your franchise QB. Even a physical specimen like Newton can only take so many hits and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets hurt this season. He is already coming off a rebuilt ankle this off-season. He also recently suffered a fractured rib in the pre-season. At least they made a concerted effort to get him a better(or at least  more reliable and supportive) receiving core, but at this point a healthy Steve Smith was still better than anyone they had.In 2013 , You can bet your ass that Newton would be happy to know anyone else was on his blind side. Flowers is Definitely a better run blocker and he struggles with speed rushers. If he latches on in the run or passing game it's pretty much over for the defender. A better fit at RT or on the inside right now..Plays with an edge and tries to be a finisher blocking through the whistle. Large frame with long arms, but soft body . Showed up at the combine in better shape than he was during the season and did 37 reps on the bench press. Hopefully he will be quicker, stronger, and have better balance now that he is in better shape. It's now possible to convince more teams he can be a NFL left tackle... 



26.BALTIMORE-MELVIN GORDON-RB-WISCONSIN-NFL COMP-JAMAL CHARLES-KC-After the whole Ray Rice debacle the Ravens planned to with a backfield committee of 3rd year man Bernard Pierce, rookie Lorenzo Talioferro, and well rounded journeyman Justin Forsett. Forsett showed that he has been chronically underestimated and tore it up getting the lion share of the carries in the second half of the season. With Justin now a free agent a new lead back could be in store for the Ravens. Gordon is a home run hitter who showed he can maintain a ridiculous YPC this season , as long as you keep giving him the rock. With the injuries to Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman he is the odds on favorite to be the 1rst RB drafted out of the 3 RB's I have a first round grade on.





27.DALLAS-SHAQ THOMPSON-OLB/SS/RB-WASHINGTON-NFL COMP-THOMAS DAVIS-CAR-They SHOULD draft a safety that can tackle and cover, but they have continually ignored the position at the top of the draft. At least Jason Garret has persuaded the Jones family to invest in the O-line, and Dallas has the best offensive line in the league right now, but free agency could start to tear apart what they have so recently built. Even with thirty year old right tackle Doug free in the mix in the 2014 the average age of the line was 25.4 years. Free is a free agent after this year , and last time he was given a big contract extension his play went downhill. Maybe that wouldn't happen this time, but unless Free is willing to give a large hometown discount they can't afford him. A 31 year old above average right tackle could get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 3 to 4 year 15 to 20 million dollar deal , with half that guaranteed. Last time they paid Free well his play fell off, and he has been hurt twice this season. Also, Free only returned to form after he was moved to the right side and he took a pay cut . Throw in that Dallas has a bad cap situation and Dez Bryant is due a big deal. Also remember that players who play a significant role like Rolando McClain, Anthony Spencer, Justin Durant, Sterling Moore, and even Cole Beasley are all free agents as well.  Now add that backup swing tackle Jermey Parnell is also a free agent, and that Parnell's pass blocking has been subpar so far. While maybe he isn't a guy proven enough to turn over the job to on a line this good, he has played well enough in fill in duty that someone will pay him at least low level starter money next year. That makes right tackle the number two priority for Dallas.However, in this scenario the boys not only finally draft a safety, but also help their linebacking core. Thompson can play strong safety on running downs, and be a linebacker on passing downs. If Sean Lee is healthy that would give Dallas 2 linebackers that excel in coverage while they are in their nickle defense.

 


28.DENVER-MAXX WILLIAMS-TE-MINN-NFL COMP-HEATH MILLER-PITT-After getting quickly knocked out of the playoffs John Elway decided a change need to be made at head coach and brought in Gary Kubiak. His main jobs are to convince Peyton Manning to return & to keep him healthy. With both Demaryius Thomas & Julius Thomas being free agents , and only being able to put the franchise tag on one of them, Demaryius is probably the choice to tag  A previously undisclosed leg injury explains Peyton's poor play in the final quarter of the season, but the fragile soon to be 39 year old is probably going to need a new tight end this year,and Williams is the clear cut # TE in this draft . On the bright side Williams  is more than just a good receiving TE.  Unlike Thomas, Williams has more of the blocking skills of a true inline Y tight end. This ability to help protect Manning & improve the running game actually makes Max an upgrade at the position. 

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29.COLTS-BERNARDRICK McKINNEY-ILB-MISS.ST-NFL COMP-DONT'A HIGHTOWER-NE-Watching Legarette Blount run through tackles had to leave a big a big impression on the Colts entire organization.  While current inside LB's D'qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman lack the take on skills that are needed inside ,Mckinney is a thumper.  He can take on a guard in the hole , stack him up, shed his block, and knock the RB backwards. That kind of physical play can change the whole attitude of a defense..  He has also improved in coverage, especially in zone, and in a 3-4 he could have less coverage responsibilities.. While I wouldn't take him quite this high I expect someone will based on his measurables, upside, and combine.



30.GREEN BAY-**EDDIE GOLDMAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MARCEL DAREUS-BUFF-I am not a big beliver in the long term health of perennially out of shape BJ Raji returning to form. I also think Letroy Guion would be a better fit as a backup nose tackle.  Goldman has the power to take on double teams and the quickness and athletic ability to rush the passer and even play the 5 technique. Drafting him would give them more options up front to get the most out inside guys in odd or even fronts.



31.SEATTLE-#DORIAL GREEN-BECKHAM-WR-OKLA-NFL COMP-RANDY MOSS-retired-The sea-hawks were showing a lot of the signs of a team that misses the playoffs a year after winning the Superbowl.From Players leaving in free agency , cut because of the cap , others getting huge contracts, divorces, commercials, holdouts, a hard schedule in the toughest division in football where every other team got better, fame and it's trappings, etc.... but they still have a very talented roster with some great leaders, So while  I didn't pick them to win it all , I definitely still saw them as a contender. After  their confusing draft was added in to the mix, I wouldn't even pick  them to repeat as champs in the NFC west, except San Francisco's corners were suspect. and Aldon Smith & Navarro Bowman were likely to miss the first half of the season.  Without home-field advantage in the playoffs I thought the Superbowl was out, but they puled together and won the division & got home-field advantage again. So while they made the Superbowl again, I still think last years team was better. Heck, in 3 years their 4th,5th and ,6th round draft picks may be stars in typical Seahawks fashion,  but they need more depth now. They over-drafted injury prone Justin Britt this year ,but did little else to help the O-line. Next year they are probably going to lose some key players. because you can't pay everybody . Even though they got both Cliff Avril and KJ Wright to resign at a discount, chances are Russell Wilsons contract is going to heavily restrict there future signings, A real QB contract should keep them from also paying ,Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, and Byron Maxwell. At the very least they will lose 2 out of those 3. Shockingly the main reason for the Seattle defense falling off earlier this year is less of a pass rush, but they have spent too many resources on their defense, and its now time to give Russell Wilson some more help.Entering the 2014 off season the Seahawks let their best receiver (Golden Tate) leave in free agency. Then they traded malcontent Percy Harvin to the Jets. 2nd round pick Paul Richardson tore his ACL in the playoffs. Doug Baldwin is a #3 receiver at best , Jermaine Kearse a #2 and Superbowl standout Chris Matthews caught his first passes in the big game.They need a #1 receiver. and the huge & athletic Green-Beckham is always open if you just throw it up high enough.  Richard Sherman likes to call his team the island of misfit toys. Saying nobody else  appreciates or wants them, which is definitely no longer true. Despite their youth and brashness this team is stacked with leaders, and they support each other. That's what the ultra-talented Dorial needs: leadership & support. This organization could help him, develop his awesome talents, and Pete Carrol is a players coach known for getting the most out of players from troubled backgrounds. 



32.PATRIOTS-PATRIOTS-TJ CLEMMINGS-OT-PITT-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-
The most likely outcome for the patriots is a trade down, but if they are stuck my guess is they will go for either a wide receiver, O-lineman , or edge rusher. Unless they take Dorial Green-Beckham and all his baggage here I don't see them taking a receiver. Clemmings is an elite athlete for an OT, and while the former defensive end has played on the right side, he has the tools to play the blindside if needed. After his technique flaws and inexperience were exposed at the senior bowl it is actually possible that Clemmings falls this far. In this scenario the Patriots put him at guard for a year or two while they refine his technique. However, I firmly believe that as long as he is left on the right side early in his career TJ can be a starter soon as a tackle. At the least TJ  would be an upgrade over LG Dan Connoly, and he has the power to move the line of scrimmage inside. 

Friday, February 27, 2015

2015 NFL POST COMBINE MOCK DRAFT With Trades & Player Comparisons- 2/27/15

With the NFL combine now over teams are fully bearing down and doing there due dillion the prospects. Team needs after free agency,  pro days, the combine medicals rechecks, and other variables will see players' stock rise and fall in the long months until the actual draft takes place. After the bowl games a lot of players who would have been top 50 picks decided to go back to school, and  this draft doesn't look anywhere near as good as the 2014 draft was at the top, but there is decent of depth in rounds 2 and 3. NFL Player comparisons have been added .So next to each player is the NFL player we feel they will most resemble in their prime if they are a hit.The comparison is for on the field play only and the higher the are ranked the more likely we think they will reach that comparison. If you don't know who the player is I am comparing them to feel free to run a search, and I may change the comp if I think of someone better later.This is a mock draft of who I think teams will take. Not who I think they should.




# Is for a player with with reported character or maturity concerns

**  Is for a player with reported injury concerns



1.TAMPA BAY-#JAMEIS WINSTON-QB-FLA ST-NFL COMP-BEN ROETHLISBERGER-PITTThe bucs went back to Josh McCown as their starter late in the season. That is a clear sign they don't see Mike Glennon as their QB of the future. With Winston being a Florida guy, I could see there being plenty of pressure to take him, as long as he he has no more off the field incidents leading up to the draft.  Lovie Smith is a players' coach who probably thinks he can reach and motivate Jameis. The bucs wisely hired Dirk Koetter to groom the QB they choose. The choice is kind of genius because it really tells us nothing about which QB they currently prefer, and allows them to take their time in evaluating both before they make their choice. Koetter just tutored a classic pocket passer in Mattt Ryan. So you know he can tutor Winston. However, Mariota's current head coach Mark Helrich has coached under Koetter multiple times. So it's stands to reason he could also help develop Marcus and design a spread pro-set hybrid offense to help Marcus succeed early. While I would take the safer Mariota, instead of gambling the #1 overall pick on Winstons character & maturity, I understand why they would take Jameis.   I think the pressure to take a homegrown winner like Winston could influence ownership into taking the troubled but talented Jameis, over the less polished passer in Mariota. Also,  if Jameis was clean off the field he would be the runaway overall # 1 pick. He's as tough as nails , a proven winner, and has all the tools. Most importantly he makes great NFL throws with the rush bearing down on him. That's about as reliable an indicator of future success as you can get in a on the field evaluation, and you don't find much of it in Mariota's tape..  With Koetter under contract they will probably succeed either way, and if the defense doesn't improve and they fire Smith ,they have a potential head coach in waiting in house. 





2.TENNESEE-LEONARD WILLIAMS-DT/DE-USC-NFL COMP-KEVIN WILLIAMS-SEA-Despite his obvious talent, Zach Mettenburger's knee & back woes, and some off the field troubles made him free fall to the 6th round. They gave Zach a shot to see if he is the future, but he got hurt before he could really make a case to be their long term answer at QB. They may still  auction off this pick , but for the sake of this mock they will be staying with Zach and taking the safest player in this draft. Williams is an elite talent, with great tools, and a good motor.. Williams is a prototype 3-4 end and he can kick inside when they go to nickle,and can generate a pass rush from anywhere. Pairing him with Jurrell Casey could give them a pair to rival Wilkerson & Richardson of the jets. 



***TRADE*** CLEVELAND trades their first round pick (#12)in this draft  and the first round pick in this draft they got from BUFFALO (#19) and their 4th round pick in this draft. for the JAGUARS first round pick(#3) in this draft***



3.CLEVELAND-(jacksonville)-MARCUS MARIOTA-QB-OREGON-NFL COMP-RYAN TANNEHILL-MIA-Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has been as bad as Al Davis, Daniel Snyder Woody Johnson, and Jerry Jones at their worst combined. He hired good football people to run the team, and when they told him to draft Teddy Bridgewater instead of Johhny Manzel he fired them and ate their contracts. Then he put yes men in place and ,drafted Manziel. At least one of those yes men was supposedly interfering in play calling, and preceded to lead the team down the drain. What they need after the Johnny Football Rehab disaster is to try to flip him to Philly or anyone else that will give them a 3rd or 4th rounder. Then don't even think about Josh Gordon for a year, and go get a new team leader that can be counted on. Mariota is as clean as Bridgeweater was off the field, a dedicated worker, and just a way better all around prospect than Manziel as a QB. With probable incoming QB Kevin O'connell coach already working with Mario in the pre-draft process, this is a match made in heaven. All Haslam needs to do after that is realize he's NOT a football guy , hire good people to run the team, and stay out of their way.



4.OAKLAND-KEVIN WHITE-WR-NFL COMP-ANDRE JOHNSON-HOU-The Raiders might have ruined what could have been a franchise altering trade by beating San Francisco. Any chance of auctioning off the #1 overall pick to the highest bidder and quickly restocking the franchise is gone . At least they still ended up with a high enough pick to get a premium player. With New QB Derek Carr exceeding expectations a play-maker on offense to help him out will be appreciated. Last year Carr was throwing to James Jones and group of journeymen and unproven young guys, He needs a # 1 receiver. After lighting up the combine I believe White has separated himself from Cooper and Parker as the top receiver in this draft. He's big, strong, fast, has great hands, can run after the catch, sand even when he's covered he's open if you throw it high enough. 





5.WASHINGTON-
DANTE FOWLER-DE-FLORIDA-NFL COMP-ANTHONY SPENCER-DALL-If Brian Orapko could stay healthy all year, the Skins would probably have payed him, but he got knocked out for the year again. .  If RG3 returns to form this offense could be dangerous, and they appear to be bringing him back for 2015, but I'll believe in this defense only after I see them produce. Their secondary is the main question right now, but nothing makes a secondary better quickly than a good pass rush, and there is no secondary player worth this high of a pick. The offensive line could also use a boost. Fowler plays with a great motor and Ryan Kerrigan would benefit from him being on the other side. A trade back or a O-lineman are also likely possibilities.Fowler is one of the safest players in this draft. His motor , size, athleticism,and versatility make him a fit for any scheme.



6.NYJ-SHANE RAY-OLB/DE-MIZZ- NFL COMP-ELVIS DUMERVIL-BALT-The Jets might want a QB, but Geno Smith did show some progress. However, even if they want a new QB, Mariota and Winston are the only two QB's that should end up top 5 picks. There number one need is corner, but there also aren't any corners worth this high a pick. Both Calvin Pace and Jason Babin will be 35 next season and the jets need a young OLB to pair with Quinton Coples in their 3-4. Ray didn't get as much spotlight as the steady Kony Ealy or media creation Michael Sam last season. He did however make a lot of plays as an edge rusher. Now he has a chance to shine in the spotlight, has been a far better player than either, and he has a relentless motor. He is fast off the ball, closes really well, although I'm still unsure if his best position in the pro's is as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 rush backer. What I do know for sure is that he has a great first step, violent hands, and that he can rush the passer. I think Todd Bowles is the kind of coach to get the most out of his players , regardless of scheme ,and that he will know how to use Ray to maximize his effectiveness.









7.CHICAGO-
**RANDY GREGORY-DE/OLB-NEBRASKA-NFL COMP-SIMEON RICE-New head coach Jon Fox was hired to fix the defense and improving the pass rush is usually how he starts. With Jared Allen turning 33 next season , and Lamarr Houston  a better fit inside in my opinion, ,a young  edge rusher to pair with Willie Young could really help.Gregory has an ideal frame with long arms, and he is agile enough to rush off the edge in a 3-4 or 4-3, but right now he is a better fit in a 3-4. Once that frame is filled out with another 20 to 30 pounds of muscle, he can be even better, and play in a 4-3 now. His medicals at the combine are more crucial with him than anyone with a chance to go in the top 10. With his history of multiple injuries , Dion Jordan-like build, and lean frame,  I wouldn't take him in the top 10. My fears about his size were confirmed when he showed up at only 235 pounds at the combine. Despite all the red flags Gregory still has the highest upside of all the edge rushers in this draft.With John Fox bringing in a 3-4 Gregory is a strong possibility here.



8.ATLANTA-
VICTOR BEASLEY-OLB/DE-CLEMSON-NFL-COMP-VON MILLER-DENV-Atlanta just had a rebuilding year, and any hope of it being a quick turnaround probably ended when both Sean Weatherspoon and Sam Baker went down for the year. Despite it being the second largest need on their team, the Falcons waited until the 4th round to draft an edge rusher. Adding Jake Matthews and Jon Asamoah to their O-line is an improvement, despite the loss of Baker, but a replacement OT for him and his cap number is also a possibility. Beasley has been a highly productive pass rusher two years running ,and he has the agility to also drop into coverage when needed .He can also play the SLB when they go to nickle as a poor mans Von Miller. After showing up bigger, stronger, and lighting up he combine I expect he goes in the top 10. 

  


9.NYG-BRANDON SCHERFF-IOWA-NFL COMP-JOE STALEY-SF-While LT William Beatty returned to form in 2014 second year right tackle , Justin Pugh was up and down again, and some feel he would be a better fit inside. at guard Add that last years second round pick Weston Richburg also played out of position at guard , instead of center , and you can see a way to improve 3 positions with one draft pick. . With Scherff at right tackle , added with the other 2 position moves I mentioned , the giants O-line could go from a weakness to a strength in one off season. Early on Scherff was slowed by an injury he came back from too quickly, but the attitude he plays with could help this entire team step forward. The top 3 pre-season OT's have all had their miscues this season, but Scherff is the only one with a legit reason to explain it. Plus, he  improved as he has got healthier.healthier. Scherff is the safest of them all, and he has the best technique. While I don't like him as a left tackle, I love him as a right tackle or guard. At the very least he will be a long term starter somewhere in front of Blake. A mauler like him has the kind of attitude that can infect an entire O-line.






10.RAMS-
LA'EL COLLINS-T/G-LSU-NFL COMP-TRENT WILLIAMS-WASH-Unless Winston or Mariota inexplicably free falls this far it now looks like the Rams will be starting another year with the talented, but often seriously injured Sam Bradford as their QB again. To have any chance of him making it through a season the O-line has to improve. With Jake Long coming off another injury and having a high salary ,right tackle Joe Barksdale a free agent , and 2014 #2 overall pick Greg Robinson not playing well at left tackle last year , the Rams could possibly need 2 new offensive tackles. While its way to early to give up on Robinson as a tackle and kick him inside, a player who has a lot positional flexibility would really help. Collins can play either tackle or guard spot allowing the rams to mix and match what they need. With Collins and Roger Saffold both being so flexible they could lose both tackles and still field a solid starting 5 up front, while taking the pressure off Robinson to immediately be the franchise left tackle his talent leads us to believe he is. 



11.MINNESOTA-
 AMARI COOPER-WR-ALA-NFL COMP-RODDIE WHITE-ATL-If Teddy Bridgewater had begun the season as the starting QB , and Adrian Peterson hadn't been put on paid leave, the Vikings had a chance to compete for a playoff spot. Cordarelle Patterson is a great athlete and weapon, but polished #1 receiver he is not, and probably never will be . Greg Jennings has fallen off a tick , and is now more of a polished # 2 receiver, but he is currently paid like a #1. The Vikings could give Teddy a familiar down field threat in his high school team mate & go to guy in Cooper. This is the potential # 1 receiver Teddy needs, and they can, save a pile of money on Jennings. While Amari can separate ,make some spectacular catches,  and track it over shoulder with best of them,  he has his flaws.Namely that he drops too many passes and isn't someone you can just throw it up for and expect him too come down with it. All 3 questions I had about him physically were answered when he measured & weighed in at 6 foot one & 211 pounds at the combine, and ran a 4.42 forty. He may go as high as #4 to the raiders, but I doubt he falls any farther than here. If Scherff, Peat, or Collins falls here any of them could be the pick, and then they could try the disappointing Matt Kalil inside at left guard, possibly improving 2 positions at once.  



12.JACKSONVILLE-(cleveland)-.ANDRUS PEAT-OT-STANFORD-NFL COMP-RYAN CLADY DENV-This trade allows the Jags to get  better value for their pick and fill a need. The plan was to start the underwhelming Chad Henne behind a bad O-line for at least half the season, this year looked like a lost cause right out of the gate. However, after 3 weeks of bad offense the Jags decided to throw Blake Bortles into the fire, ready or not. While Blake is a big tough guy with mobility, he is still behind a bad O-line. 2013 number 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel hasn't quite lived up to his draft status as a top flight left tackle yet, but there is still plenty of time for him to at least become a productive starter somewhere on the line.Peat has a big lean upper body and a thick lower body, but does he have left tackle feet and athleticism? I still can't tell, but he has earned the shot to try it. He's also an aggressive run blocker and plays to whistle with enough force and leverage that he could play guard as well.. The only question is whether they play him at right or left tackle as a rookie. After last season I would move Joeckel to the right side and give Peat a shot on the blindside.Even with Peat's occasional technique inconsistencies ,and struggles with speed, I have trouble believing he wouldn't be a definite upgrade on the blindside as a pass blocker over Joeckel. I am certain he would be an upgrade as a run blocker. . 




13.SAINTS
-BALTIMORE-BUD DUPREE-DE/OLB-KY-NFL COMP-JUSTIN HOUSTON-KC-retired-The saints pass rush has let them down this year. They want to run at least a hybrid 3-4 and to do that they need someone on the edge besides Junior Galette who can get to the QB. This makes Cam Jordan more valuable as well, because he is a much better player inside or as 3-4 end. Dupree surprised me when I looked at his tape. Very few guys with his frame can cover as much ground as he does, and with some refinement in his pass rush & stack shed techniques , he can be an elite player. If he is allowed to just rush the passer with no coverage responsibilities I believe he can be that elite player early.After a great combine I expect more people to join me in ranking him higher.



 


14.MIAMI-DANNY SHELTON-DT-WASH-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE-With the Dolphins already having trouble stopping the run , Randy Starks turning 32 & becoming a free agent after this season, this pick makes a ton of sense. The massive Shelton continued to impress at the Senior bowl after a dominating season, and he is a one man run stopping force in the middle. His quickness and ability to cover ground along the line of scrimmage for such a massive man is rare, although he needs more pass rush moves in the long term. Despite people calling him a top 10 pick I wouldn't take anyone with his extra body fat that high without a weight clause. He was happy to have made it down to a jiggly 343 at the Senior bowl , and while he still played great , carrying all that unnecessary extra weight is likely to catch up with him eventually.




15.SAN FRANCISCO-DEVANTE PARKER-WR-LVILLE-NFL COMP-DEZ BRYANT-DALL-With Michael Crabtree being injury prone, a free agent, and probably wanting to escape Richard Sherman twice a year he is probably going elsewhere this off season. Throw in Anquan Boldins age, Stevie Johnson's injury problems, and Bruce Ellington's inexperience and size and the niners need a new #1 wide receiver. This is a receiver Kaeperneck can just depend on to come down with the ball even when he's covered. He's big, fast, fierce, has great hands, and can beat NFL corners, If you doubt him just watch him wreck Florida states vaunted secondary all by himself. 







16.HOUSTON-
ARIK ARMSTEAD-DE-OREGON-NFL COMP-CALAIS CAMPBELL-AZ-With the news that Jadaveon Clowney has had micro-fracture knee surgery coming out recently the Texans are still in need of another rusher to take advantage of the near constant double & triple teams that the incomparable JJ Watt draws. "IF" Clowney is ever the same explosive talent he once was. It will be at least a year until he could even possibly be a every-down player, and probably two until he is all the way back. A five technique that could beat one on one blocking could really shake things up, and help Watt be even better, as insane as that sounds.  Armstead has elite measurables and tools ,but he needs to be set free from a 2 gap scheme where his main job is occupying blocks. DC Romeo Crennel does a fair amount of 2 gapping , but he also allows more attacking than the Oregon scheme . Also, if you have a  kid this talented exposing him to Watt's mentoring &work ethic can only make him better. In addition , trying to find open passing lanes between the long arms of Watt and Armstead would be a massivechore for any opposing QB's




17.CHARGERS-CAMERON ERVING-C/T-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MAX UNGER-SEA-
The loss of veteran center Nick Hardwick is patently obvious to anyone who watched the Chargers play. Hardwick has officially announced his retirement now . So someone who can play the pivot and help out protecting Phillip Rivers should be their number one priority.  Erving looked like a possible first rounder as a left tackle coming into this season, but his play had slipped some , and he needs to be taught from scratch how to set up on the left side if he is gong to stay there. However, he has been great since a move to center, and I believe he can play all five O-line positions with the proper coaching . That makes him worth his weight in gold. Right now though they need a center and he is already the best one in this draft, and he has the potential to get a lot better. 




18.KANSAS CITY-LANDON COLLINS-S-ALA-NFL COMP-RODNEY HARRISON-retired -The chiefs did not have a single touchdown thrown to a wide receiver this year.Their ultra conservative check-down passing game limits their chances of being a contender. Dwayne Bowe is the # 1 receiver on this team and his best skill is his blocking. In this case the only 3 receivers worth this high a pick are gone. I expect them to address the need in free agency and later in this draft in this scenario. However safety Eric Berry has been diagnosed with cancer and Ron Parker is also a free agent. Collins could fill that void and bring a intimidating presence to the secondary. If Dorial Green-Beckham interviews well the Chiefs are one of the few teams that might take a chance on him high in the draft. 



19.JACKSONVILLE-(cleveland, buffalo)-
**TRAE WAYNES-CB-MICH ST-NFL COMP-CHRIS GAMBLE-retired-Soon to be 30 year old journeyman corner Alan Ball was the Jags best corner before his injury last year. With head coach Gus Bradley's Seattle background he wants tall physical press corners. Waynes played press corner at a high level in a good conference.He does need to get stronger ,play with a little more discipline, and learn to either grab less, or at least do it less blatantly. I am sure Gus and his coaches can teach Trae how to properly cheat. Trae has a high floor, and that's how I did his comp, but he could be great in time. Waynes lit up the combine, and that will probably clinch his spot as the first corner taken.

 



20.EAGLES-JALEN COLLINS-CB/S-LSU-NFL COMP-JIMMY SMITH-BALT-Chip Kelly likes versatile tall guys with long arms on defense, and that describes Collins.   Neither Bradley Fletcher or Cary Williams has become the # 1 corner that matches up with an opposing teams top receiver , and can be expected to man him up with success.  Collins could be that guy. He is the perfect physical specimen for a corner with the makeup speed to match his large frame, and the flexibility to also play safety of needed. 



21.BENGALS-SHAQ THOMPSON-OLB/RB-WASHINGTON-NFL COMP-THOMAS DAVIS-CAR- When Vontaze Burfict was healthy he played both the middle and outside LB spots. When he went outside free-agent-to-be Rey Maualuga was inside, and he lacks the athleticism to do anything but clog running lanes between the tackles. What the Bengals need is a quick twitch athletic weak-side linebacker who can play sideline to sideline , and be an asset in pass coverage. That ls Thompson down to his toes. The former safety can still cover ground like one , and I expect he will show up at the combine at around 230 pound after packing on some muscle at one of the pre-draft camps, and alleviate some fears about his size being a hindrance in the NFL. Drafting him improves all 3 LB spots in all phases of th game, but especially in coverage. With Burfict in the middle, Vincent Rey on the strongside, and Shaq at the WLB the Bengals line-backing core could be elite. In addition Thompson can be a core special teamer early in his career, and a stud fill in at RB if you need him. 






22.PITTSBURGH-
KEVIN JOHNSON-CB-W.FOREST-NFL COMP-TRAMON WILLIAMS-GB-Since Plaxico Burress left after his rookie season, Ben Roethlesberger has wanted another big wide receiver. With Martavis Bryant finally filing that spot the Steelers can concentrate on their defense. Long tome stalwart corner Ike Taylor will be a free agent again after this year, and while he hasn't played great he has been  a lot better than Cortez Allen.The problem is they just gave Allen a new free agent contract last year, and they can't afford to cut him. So they need a cheap infusion of high level corner talent. Johnson is a tall, lean, fluid,  corner who plays much bigger than his frame would lead you to believe.  I was very disappointed when he skipped the senior bowl, and felt justified in  dropping him for awhile, but after his showing at the combine he needs to moved back up. He plays the game with a chip on his shoulder. 



23.DETROIT-
MALCOLM BROWN-DT-TEX-NFL COMP-SHARIFF FLOYD-MINN-Nick Fairley has shown at times that he is a pro bowl caliber talent, but he has lacks the consistent work ethic for the Lions to trust him with a big contract. They already declined his 2015 option and since they need to pay Suh very soon they probably couldn't afford him anyway. However, Suh want so much much money that I now doubt they can afford him.  If Suh gets the 15 plus million a year contract he wants the Lions will have 3 (Suh, Megatron, Stafford) players that average over 15 million a year on their cap. That has already made it very hard to miantain a winning ream under the cap. In that case they could resign the much cheaper Fairley at the 3 technique ,and draft someone who can play the one tech.  is force inside and might even be quick enough to play the both sides ,and give the Lions flexibility to upgrade whatever side they prefer in other areas. Brown has the skills to play all either DT in  their front and help improve both the run and pass defense. He's one of those players that the more of his tape I watched , the more i liked him

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24.ARIZONA-ELI HAROLD-OLB/DE-VA-NFL COMP-JOHN ABRAHAM-retired-.  The probable retirement of John Abraham after another concussion has only exacerbated their need at OLB. Harold is an excellent athlete and much stronger than his somewhat lean looking frame would lead you to believe. Sets the edge well and has a strong bull rush. He has active hands but lacks a diverse polished pass rushing repertoire. Great motor against the run or pass. Has experience both as stand-up rush backer, 4-3 DE, and even moves inside on some obvious passing downs. Has a better get off with his hand on the ground, and with his inside moves he regularly shoots gaps & occasionally even splits double teams. Is rarely double teamed as a pass rusher thanks to Max Valles on the other side, and I would like to see  how he reacts to more double teams. He would be a definite upgrade outside in the desert. 




25.CAROLINA-**ERECK FLOWERS-OT-MIA-NFL COMP-DONALD PENN-OAK-Jordan Gross retiring seems to have caught the Panthers by surprise, and they didn't do much to remedy it in the draft. Their plan to move Byron Bell to the left side smacks of desperation to me. Their other option is converted former TE /DT Nate Chandler. He is a great athlete , but they are counting on him to make a Jason Peters-like jump up this year.  Maybe they are right and both are undiscovered studs, but that seems like two huge gambles to base the health of your franchise QB. Even a physical specimen like Newton can only take so many hits and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets hurt this season. He is already coming off a rebuilt ankle this off-season. He also recently suffered a fractured rib in the pre-season. At least they made a concerted effort to get him a better(or at least  more reliable and supportive) receiving core, but at this point a healthy Steve Smith was still better than anyone they had.In 2013 , You can bet your ass that Newton would be happy to know anyone else was on his blind side. Flowers is Definitely a better run blocker and he struggles with speed rushers. If he latches on in the run or passing game it's pretty much over for the defender. A better fit at RT or on the inside right now..Plays with an edge and tries to be a finisher blocking through the whistle. Large frame with long arms, but soft body . Showed up at the combine in better shape than he was during the season and did 37 reps on the bench press. Hopefully he will be quicker, stronger, and have better balance now that he is in better shape. It's now possible to convince more teams he can be a NFL left tackle... 



26.**-BALTIMORE-MELVIN GORDON-RB-WISCONSIN-NFL COMP-JAMAL CHARLES-KC-After the whole Ray Rice debacle the Ravens planned to with a backfield committee of 3rd year man Bernard Pierce, rookie Lorenzo Talioferro, and well rounded journeyman Justin Forsett. Forsett showed that he has been chronically underestimated and tore it up getting the lion share of the carries in the second half of the season. With Justin now a free agent a new lead back could be in store for the Ravens. Gordon is a home run hitter who showed he can maintain a ridiculous YPC this season , as long as you keep giving him the rock. With the injuries to Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman he is the odds on favorite to be the 1rst RB drafted out of the 3 RB's I have a first round grade on.





27.DALLAS-PRESTON SMITH-DT/DE-DET-MISS-NFL COMO-JASON HATCHER-WASH-They SHOULD draft a safety that can tackle and cover, but they have continually ignored the position at the top of the draft. At least Jason Garret has persuaded the Jones family to invest in the O-line, and Dallas has the best offensive line in the league right now, but free agency could start to tear apart what they have so recently built. Even with thirty year old right tackle Doug free in the mix in the 2014 the average age of the line was 25.4 years. Free is a free agent after this year , and last time he was given a big contract extension his play went downhill. Maybe that wouldn't happen this time, but unless Free is willing to give a large hometown discount they can't afford him. A 31 year old above average right tackle could get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 3 to 4 year 15 to 20 million dollar deal , with half that guaranteed. Last time they paid Free well his play fell off, and he has been hurt twice this season. Also, Free only returned to form after he was moved to the right side and he took a pay cut . Throw in that Dallas has a bad cap situation and Dez Bryant is due a big deal. Also remember that players who play a significant role like Rolando McClain, Anthony Spencer, Justin Durant, Sterling Moore, and Cole Beasley are all free agents as well.  Now add that backup swing tackle Jermey Parnell is also a free agent, and that Parnell's pass blocking has been subpar so far. While maybe he isn't a guy proven enough to turn over the job to on a line this good, he has played well enough in fill in duty that someone will pay him at least low level starter money next year. That makes right tackle the number two priority for Dallas.However, in this scenario a versatile edge rusher is taken. Smith is a productive player with a good motor. length, and size to play the strong-side.  He can bolster the cowboys pass rush and set the edge in the run game. He also has a large enough frame to move inside on obvious passing downs. 

 


28.DENVER-MAXX WILLIAMS-TE-MINN-NFL COMP-HEATH MILLER-PITT-After getting quickly knocked out of the playoffs John Elway decided a change need to be made at head coach and brought in Gary Kubiak. His main jobs are to convince Peyton Manning to return & to keep him healthy. With both Demaryius Thomas & Julius Thomas being free agents , and only being able to put the franchise tag on one of them, Demaryius is probably the choice to tag  A previously undisclosed leg injury explains Peyton's poor play in the final quarter of the season, but the fragile soon to be 39 year old is probably going to need a new tight end this year,and Williams is the clear cut # TE in this draft . On the bright side Williams  is more than just a good receiving TE.  Unlike Thomas, Williams has the blocking skills of a true inline Y tight end, and this ability to help protect Manning & improve the running game actually makes Max an upgrade at the position. 
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29.COLTS-
BERNARDRICK McKINNEY-ILB-MISS.ST-NFL COMP-DONT'A HIGHTOWER-NE-Watching Legarette Blount run through tackles had to leave a big a big impression on the Colts entire organization.  While current inside LB's D'qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman lack the take on skills that are needed inside ,Mckinney is a thumper.  He can take on a guard in the hole , stack him up, shed his block, and knock the RB backwards. That kind of physical play can change the whole attitude of a defense..  He has also improved in coverage, especially in zone, and in a 3-4 he could have less coverage responsibilities.. While I wouldn't take him quite this high I expect someone will based on his measurables, upside, and combine I expect him to go in the first round.



30.GREEN BAY-**EDDIE GOLDMAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MARCEL DAREUS-BUFF-I am not a big beliver in the long term health of perennially out of shape BJ Raji returning to form. I also think Letroy Guion would be a better fit as a backup nose tackle.  Goldman has the power to take on double teams and the quickness and athletic ability to rush the passer and even play the 5 technique. Drafting him would give them more options up front to get the most out inside guys in odd or even fronts.




31.SEATTLE-#DORIAL GREEN-BECKHAM-WR-OKLA-NFL COMP-RANDY MOSS-retired-The sea-hawks were showing a lot of the signs of a team that misses the playoffs a year after winning the Superbowl.From Players leaving in free agency , cut because of the cap , others getting huge contracts, divorces, commercials, holdouts, a hard schedule in the toughest division in football where every other team got better, fame and it's trappings, etc.... but they still have a very talented roster with some great leaders, So while  I didn't pick them to win it all , I definitely still saw them as a contender. After  their confusing draft was added in to the mix, I wouldn't even pick  them to repeat as champs in the NFC west, except San Francisco's corners were suspect. and Aldon Smith & Navarro Bowman were likely to miss the first half of the season.  Without home-field advantage in the playoffs I thought the Superbowl was out, but they puled together and won the division & got home-field advantage again. So while they made the Superbowl again, I still think last years team was better. Heck, in 3 years their 4th,5th and ,6th round draft picks may be stars in typical Seahawks fashion,  but they need more depth now. They over-drafted injury prone Justin Britt this year ,but did little else to help the O-line. Next year they are probably going to lose some key players. because you can't pay everybody . Even though they got both Cliff Avril and KJ Wright to resign at a discount, chances are Russell Wilsons contract is going to heavily restrict there future signings, A real QB contract should keep them from also paying ,Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, and Byron Maxwell. At the very least they will lose 2 out of those 3. Shockingly the main reason for the Seattle defense falling off earlier this year is less of a pass rush, but they have spent too many resources on their defense, and its now time to give Russell Wilson some more help.Entering the 2014 off season the Seahawks let their best receiver (Golden Tate) leave in free agency. Then they traded malcontent Percy Harvin to the Jets. 2nd round pick Paul Richardson tore his ACL in the playoffs. Doug Baldwin is a #3 receiver at best , Jermaine Kearse a #2 and Superbowl standout Chris Matthews caught his first passes in the big game.They need a #1 receiver. and the huge & athletic Green-Beckham is always open if you just throw it up high enough.  Richard Sherman likes to call his team the island of misfit toys. Saying nobody else  appreciates or wants them, which is definitely no longer true. Despite their youth and brashness this team is stacked with leaders, and they support each other. That's what the ultra-talented Dorial needs: leadership & support. This organization could help him, develop his awesome talents, and Pete Carrol is a players coach known for getting the most out of players from troubled backgrounds. 



32.PATRIOTS-PATRIOTS-TJ CLEMMINGS-OT-PITT-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-
The most likely outcome for the patriots is a trade down, but if they are stuck my guess is they will go for either a wide receiver, O-lineman , or edge rusher. Unless they take Dorial Green-Beckham and all his baggage here I don't see them taking a receiver. Clemmings is an elite athlete for an OT, and while the former defensive end has played on the right side, he has the tools to play the blindside if needed. After his technique flaws and inexperience were exposed at the senior bowl it is actually possible that Clemmings falls this far. In this scenario the Patriots put him at guard for a year or two while they refine his technique. However, I firmly believe that as long as he is left on the right side early in his career TJ can be a starter soon as a tackle. At the least TJ  would be an upgrade over LG Dan Connoly, and he has the power to move the line of scrimmage inside. 

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