With the combine now over we are down to the pro day portion of the pre-draft process. Some players chose not to work out fully (or not all) at the combine . Others are still healing from injuries ,and have a more legitimate reason to have skipped it . Some guys will wisely do both , and see if they can better their previous numbers . Pro days are doubly important for the guys who didn't go at the combine .The players with medical questions are the ones most likely to have large jumps or falls in their rankings before draft day . So keep an eye & ear out for news of their health . Franchise tags and veteran cuts have started , so a lot of needs are about to start changing .A record number of underclassmen (98) has made this draft special . Unlike last season the 2014 draft has the potential to be great . With 3 QB's that are likely top eight picks,and 4 more that can go anywhere from the 1rst to the 3rd round , it is deep at the games most important position . With 3 possible top 10 OT's, and as many as 14 possible O-lineman off the board in the first 2 rounds , it is deep in offensive lineman . With 3 possible top ten pass rushers, and another 8 D-lineman with a first round grade , it's deep in D-lineman/edge rushers . There are at least 5 corner-backs & 2 safeties we have with a first round grade ,and possibly 12 more guys that will go in the first 3 rounds . This the deepest wide receiver class I have ever seen ! We have 8-10 guys with first round grades , and a total of 16 receivers that are in the first 3 rounds . As a whole we have over 10 players that probably would have been more worthy of the # 1 pick than any player from the 2013 draft .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 comp is for on the field play only ,and the higher they are ranked the more likely we think they will reach that comparison. This is not a ranking of top picks though. This is how we see the draft going whether we agree with the picks or not. After all the medicals & background checks are done by teams I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with around 40 players with a 1rst round grade in this draft . Last year we only had 19 players rated as 1rst round picks . We are on the eve of free agency and a lot of team needs are going to change soon . So enjoy this mock , because it could very different in a week .
* Is for a player with possible injury issues now or in his past.
#Is for a player with possible character or maturity issues now or in his past.
1.HOUSTON-JACKSONVILLE-BLAKE BORTLES-QB-UCF-NFL COMP-STEVE McNAIR- retired-yep... they lost twice to the jags...okay? Matt Schaub's guaranteed portion of his contract is about done. The Texans didn't win this season, and although they were kind enough to let him start the final game after he had already lost his job, his time as a Texan should be up . Anyway, it helps them a ton so their fans should be happy as Teddy Bridgewater officially declared for the draft on new years day. They are now getting the clear cut #1 QB in the draft . Or are they? New coach Bill O'brien likes tall pocket passers , and Bortles college coach George O'leary is a mentor of O'briens . Bortles has the highest upside and best frame of any QB in this draft , but he is nowhere near the polished QB Bridgewater is right now. So while I would take Teddy, I am not a QB guru who thinks he can help Blake reach his potential .
***TRADE*** FALCONS trade their 1rst (#8) round pick in this draft and their #1 pick in 2015 for the RAMS #2 overall pick this year ***TRADE***
2.FALCONS-(rams,wash)-#*JADEVEON CLOWNEY-DE/OLB-S.CAROLINA-NFL COMP-MARIO WILLIAMS-BUFF-The Falcons lack of a pass rush was obvious to anyone who watched them this year. Their young corners played very well when you consider how long they had to cover too often . GM Thomas Dimitroff showed when he went after Julius Jones that he is wiling to sacrifice picks to go up and get a special player . Well Jadeveon Clowney is special , and unless the Texans take him number one overall I am betting the Falcons at least make an offer to move up and get him . In this case the Rams didn't get a better offer and the Falcons got their man .
3.JAGUARS-TEDDY BRIDGEWATER-QB-NFL COMP-LVILLE-AARON RODGERS-GB-I no longer have any faith in Blaine Gabbert to be a NFL starter. If they had brought in Tebow they would have at least won more games and sold tickets. I figured they screwed the pooch when they beat the Texans twice, and missed out on the clear cut best QB in this draft in Teddy Bridgewater . However, the Texans actually passed on him in this scenario and will be probably be punishing them for (12-15 years , or however long he plays for them) his entire career in their division . Bridgewater has the high football IQ , accuracy , strong arm, quick eyes, pocket presence, poise, and foot speed that every team wants in a franchise QB . If this happens I expect this will go down as the best pick in the Jags history up until now . To be clear I see Teddy as a clear cut franchise QB that ANY team should be falling all over themselves to pick. Teddys decision not to throw at the combine doesn't bother me because the only questions about him were how big he is, and he measured in a little bigger than I expected .
4.BROWNS-#*JOHNNY MANZIEL-QB-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-FRAN TARKENTON-retired- I re-watched all of this year game film on my top 7 QB's in the last 2 weeks. My new major conclusions are that I wouldn't take Manziel with a top 10 pick unless I was willing to tailor my offense to him, and that I wouldn't take Derek Carr until at least the 3rd round . So I wouldn't take him at #4 unless that was the plan, but that doesn't mean the Browns and their fans agree with me . I really didn't think they would take any QB besides Bridgewater or Bortles if they fell to #4 . Since it isn't likely that either falls this far they would have to trade up to get either . Since so many Browns fans don't seem to want to do that let's explore what happens if they just wait until the 4th pick , and what their options would be .The browns leaking to multiple outlets they want Manziel screamed that they were hoping to get someone to trade up with , or ahead of them for him . I was thinking maybe they would trade up for Bridgewater/Bortles , sign or trade for(Ryan Mallet?) a QB , or draft a QB with their second first rounder . Anything but taking Manziel at# 4. If the rams trade out of #2 its because a team is trading up for Clowney or a QB .That means Clowney, Bridgewater, and Bortles are all gone . If the rams stay put at #2 they still could take Clowney and kick Chris Long inside. Their D-line would be better than Detroit's if they did . However, I would guess there is only about a 20% chance of that happening . With a bad O-line & lacking a true #1 receiver they can actually get good value and fill a need at # 2 .Having the choice of serious franchise tackles at the top of the draft in Matthews/Robinson & Sammy Watkins at receiver , I expect they would take one of these three if they stayed out . Clowney and a QB could also go. So that means that theirs a tiny chance Blake falls to #4 . However, the chances of that are probably less than Clowney himself falling to #4 . So lets go with the obvious -Clowney, Bridgewater, and Bortles are really all gone .That leaves Manziel if you want one of the big 3 QB's , and the old regime obviously didn't want him . Then they fired their head coach, QB coach, and GM .Maybe the new regime wants Manziel , or the owner wanted a regime who did . When they signed Kyle Shanahan as their new offensive coordinator I doubted it though . That should rule out Manziel for me, but I can see why the new regime might think it would work . Shanahan has his merits .You can say he was instrumental in the development of Matt Schaub into a pro-bowl QB . You could also say that he was instrumental in RG3 having the best season a rookie QB had ever had, until he hurt his knee the first time . Now you might think that since Shanahan has already mentored a mobile , strong armed, charismatic, high profile , Heisman trophy winning QB , with a gift for creatively ad-libbing , into the greatest rookie season in history is exactly why they should take Manziel . Seems like sound logic , but here is why I disagree . Kyle Shanahan' has a micromanaging & controlling personality. RG3 was considered a genial guy that could get along with anybody. Heck , some say he wants to even be a politician . Shanahan and Griffin then engaged in a season long tug of war that was continuously leaked to the media by someone on both sides . It's hard to believe a guy with Manziels reported anti-authority streak gets along with Kyle for long . Manziels ( even greater than RG3's ) creative streak would be stifled , and I doubt it would end happily . Who knows ? Maybe Kyle learned from his mistakes in Washington , and not having his dad around will cause him to loosen the chains, but I doubt it .I am going to act like they are giving it a shot though . Personally if I wanted Manziel , and wanted to run the same offense Shanahan does, I would have just hired Gray Kubiak instead .
5.OAKLAND-RAIDERS-SAMMY WATKINS-WR-CLEMSON-NFL COMP-PIERRE GARCON-WASH-Thanks to years of Al Davis mismanaging the team the raiders have the least talented roster in the NFL . New GM Reggie McKenzie finally got a chance to start rebuilding the roster in the last draft , and even after a draft where young fresh bodies were provided we expect it's at least one more year until they are in playoff contention . With the top 3 QB's in this draft gone the Raiders should definitely skip a QB this high and take the best player available . Michael Vick or another veteran can help this team now , just in case the young guy I have them taking in the 2nd isn't ready to start right away .The raiders lack any WR who profiles as a #1 receiver , although Terrell Pryor could develop into one if they converted him. Watkins fits the bill in every phase of the game ,and he is absolutely the #1 weapon in this draft .He's strong, tough, fast ,makes plays inside, outside , on screens, end arounds, reverses, can go up and get the ball, run over someone in his way, run past the defense, and also helps out in the return game. The raiders finally have the cap room to make some positive off season moves . Resigning DE Lamar Houston and Tackle Jared Veldheer should be their first priorities. After that they now have the cap room to fill holes with veterans and be competitive. Dennis Allen deserves at least one shot with a legitimate NFL roster .Also, I don't buy these new man crush on Derek Carr rumors either . If they were true why would they spread it around ? Even Al Davis wasn't that incompetent .
6.RAMS-JAKE MATTHEWS-OT-TEX A&M-NFL COMP-DUANE BROWN-HOU-. If they can't make the playoffs with all the (even in the NFC west) draft picks they have had in the last 3 years by 2015 Jeff Fisher will get fired .Roger Saffold will probably sign for more money with a team that's willing to pay him more to play tackle. If Jake Long isn't fully healed from his torn ACL by next season Matthews can fill that void . He has the ability to play every O-line position and then slide over full time when Long is done. After the 2015 season they can cut Long with very little dead money anyway, and right tackle Joe Barksdale is a free agent after this season as well .This son of a Hall of Famer was better than any of the tackles in last years draft in our opinion, and they went 1rst, 2nd and 4th in the overall. He would be an upgrade at every spot on the O-line considering the uncertainty of Longs health .Since Jeff Fisher coached Jakes Hall of fame dad I am betting that will be the deciding factor in him wisely picking the more polished Jake ,over the higher upside Greg Robinson . One more thing . I believe in Sam Bradford. I believe if they can get him a good line and # 1 receiver to go with what he has now he can be a great QB.
7.TAMPA BAY-KHALIL MACK-OLB-BUFFALO-NFL COMP-BRIAN ORAPKO-WASH-Tampa Bay internally imploded this season . Their talented roster and once promising season went down the drain . Josh Freeman seems to have lost it and was let go. Rookie 3rd rounder Mike Glennon got a shot to start and actually played OK . Glennon has a strong arm , but he is also thin and immobile . Right now he may be better than Freeman but that's not saying a lot since Josh seems to have lost it . He played a lot better than Freeman though. As of now we are betting that Glennon gets at least one shot at a full season as the QB. The best player available is Mack. Since the bucs have gotten nothing but subpar to horrible play from their DE's this season a bulked up Mack would also fill a big need. Khalil is an elite athlete who has the strength, frame, and agility to play in either 4-3 or 3-4. Mack also has the athleticism to play a similar role to the one Von Miller does in Denver. He has the size and speed to play the strong-side in a 4-3 and move down as a DE in obvious passing downs. He also has the ability to play the weak-side, but their best player(Lavonte David) has that position locked down .When a guy from a smaller school is the best player on the field against a powerhouse like Ohio St. everyone takes notice. When he keeps it up all year and then lights it up in the combine he deserves to be picked this high , or even higher .
***TRADE*** RAMS TRADE their first(#13) and second (#44) and 7th round picks this year to the Vikings for their first(#8) and 3rd(#72) round picks this year***
8.RAMS-(minn)-GREG ROBINSON-OT-AUBURN-NFL COMP-ORLANDO PACE-retired-This way they can actually put Robinson and Matthews inside for a season if Long and Barksdale are healthy, although I have no reason to believe Barksdale won't be .Since Sam Bradford was knocked out for the season again last year ,it's about time protecting him became their top priority. These 2 picks would turn a bad line into a strong one this year , and give them a foundation for a great line long term . Robinson is a mauler that will help keep Sam upright and greatly improve their push in the run game. Robinson has had a great year ,but in a really run heavy offense ,and until recently he wasn't someone I saw as a threat to enter this years draft. After the rumors of him coming out this year started circulating I started doing my due diligence on him, but I only had 3 games of his still left on my Tivo plus the upcoming National championship game. The first game film of his that I broke down forced me to give him the nick name of "pancake". That's how brutal a finisher he can be when run blocking, especially when he is collapsing down from the side or going up field. He has played pretty well when I have seen him pass block ,but at less than 20 pass snaps a game I am not as confident about him starting out well in the NFL on the blind side . After the national championship game I still feel the same ,although I am sure that NFL O-line coaches are lining up to man crush on a player that plays with his physicality , athleticism , and mean streak . Robinson is a elite athlete for his size that can help anchor this O-line for a long time if he can fulfill his potential, but he is not all there yet . At the very least he will probably be a dominant run blocker at whatever position they put him at if he is blocking down , up field, or on the move. Keep this in mind though -he was straight up overpowered heads up in-line blocking against Florida states Mario Edwards in the National championship game on multiple occasions . Against stronger DE's he may struggle to get a push heads up if he doesn't stay low. It wouldn't shock me if Robinson was gone much earlier, but you never know how the draft is going to fall .
9.BUFFALO-TAYLOR LEWAN-OT-MICHIGAN-NFL COMP-JAKE LONG-RAMS- Right tackle Erik Pears is serviceable as a pass blocker but in this run first offense you need a push he just doesn't give. Lewan would be an upgrade in both areas and protecting EJ Manuel and opening holes for CJ Spiller/Fred Jackson should be this franchises main concern. They also might want to trade back and acquire more picks , because they really need help at guard and TE . Taylor has a nasty temperament , and a tall athletic build that can probably pack on another 20 pounds of muscle .
***TRADE*** 49ers TRADE their 1rst round pick(#30) and KC's 2nd round pick (#56) Tennessee's 3rd round pick(#77) and their own 7th round pick to the LIONS for their first round pick(#10) this year ***
10.SAN FRANCISCO-(lions)-JUSTIN GILBERT-CB-OKLA.ST-NFL COMP-PATRICK PETERSEN-AZ-The 49ers have one of the leagues most talented rosters and way too many picks. Since their isn't going to be many openings on this roster trading some of the picks to move around, get what they want most out of this draft , and maybe get some picks for next seasons draft to boot makes sense. While Carlos Rogers is still a decent corner he will be 33 next season, overpaid for his current production, and the 49ers can save about 5 million off their cap if they cut him. Gilberts improvements this year is staggering .Gilbert is a big,fast,fluid, play-maker . He makes some circus catches and drops some easy ones , but if he can consistently catch the ball he could lead the league in interceptions . Throw his kick returning ability in the mix and Frisco has a new # 1 corner
11.TITANS-ANTHONY BARR-DE/OLB-UCLA-NFL COMP-DeMARCUS WARE-DALL-I believe Barr has the athletic ability to play a Von Miller role in a 4-3 if needed or even on the weakside . Moving down to the line of scrimmage to rush the passer on obvious passing downs would be his main contribution , but he has the speed to play SLB and drop into coverage . I wouldn't be surprised if someone who realizes that if they just turn him lose going forward all game that he could wreck an offense trades up higher for him . He is still a top 10 pick in my mind and after he wrecks the combine I think his stock will rebound . However his best use is as a 3-4 OLB rushing the passer. New coach Ken Whisenhunt prefers to run a 3-4 . The only young guy currently on this roster who profiles well there is Akeem Ayers ,and he was the SLB in their 4-3 last season . Barr is a steal this late and the titans should run to the podium for him .
12.GIANTS-#MIKE EVANS-WR-TEXAS A&M-NFL COMP-VINCENT JACKSON-TB-Hakeem Nicks seems to have checked out this season. Usually guys playing for a contract blow up, but he has looked tentative. Considering what they are already paying Victor Cruz to man the slot it stands to reason that they would need a new #1 outside receiver. Evans can give Eli the bigger, stronger, explosive , outside threat that can win jump balls & dominate in the red zone. Eli is going to keep just throwing it up down-field when the rush comes . If you don't give him better weapons he's going to keep getting worse. The huge Evans can give Eli an outside threat that will be where he supposed to be, and that can be relied upon to make the catch .
13.MINN-(stl)-CJ MOSLEY-ILB-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-DERRICK JOHNSON-KC-I want to start by saying if for any reason Bridgewater or Bortles falls to #8 they should run to the podium and take either of them . With all 3 being gone in this scenario they trade down, gather more picks ,and improve their LB core . Erin Henderson had a bad year last season , especially in coverage . Henderson made the decision to move on from him even easier after a couple of run ins with the law in January . Even once reliable Chad Greenway had a bad season . Mosley is a fast sideline to sideline MLB that can QB a defense for a long time, and be one of the leagues better coverage LB'S from day one . He is basically just a playmaker on any down in any situation . With defensive guru Mike Zimmer now the head coach I am betting he will want this unit to live up to his standards right away . That's hard to do without a great player at every level of the defense and the Vikings have no one even close at LB right now .
14.CHICAGO-TIMMY JERNIGAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-JURRELL CASEY-TENN-Henry Melton was playing this year under the franchise tag before an ACL tear, and who knows if he will be brought back next year . Even if he is resigned they are still running the Tampa 2 ,and front four pass rush is crucial to that defense. Another pass rushing DT next to Melton is a huge need even if they do keep him . Jernigan is strong enough to play the one technique next to Melton . He also is quick and athletic enough to blossom into an elite 3 technique . If his knee(injury was from 2012) checks out for the long term he could go even higher.
15.STEELERS-DARQUEZE DENNARD-CB-MICH-ST-NFL COMP-JOE HADEN-CLEV- Ike Taylor has had a great career for Pittsburgh but his once great speed is fading . Add that he had a horrible year , that this defense desperately needs to get younger, that the cash strapped Steelers can save 7 million by cutting him , and I doubt he will be back next season. Dennard would give them a new strong ,young, healthy, physical corner to cover the AJ Greens & Josh Gordons of the division .Dennard is almost too physical as a corner, but his tough guy attitude will help him to play bigger than he is in the black and blue division .
16.DALLAS-AARON DONALD-DT-PITT-NFL COMP-LA'ROI GLOVER-(retired)-With the injury prone and bitter Jay Ratliff finally cut & free agent to be ( who says he will go wherever the most money is) Jason Hatcher over thirty , and Dallas sticking with the Tampa 2 defense , DT is a huge need. Pressure from the front 4 is essential in this defense and Dallas has a horrible cap situation .It's on the D-Line where the cowboys have had an unprecedented rash of injuries so it should be somewhere on the D-line that they use multiple picks in this draft. A replacement for coming off a franchise tag (and an almost completely lost season )Anthony Spencer might also be a possibility . It is even possible future HOFer Demarcus Ware (7.4 million cap savings)could be cut in a salary cap move. He is still very good ,but after back-to-back injury riddled down seasons can they afford to pay him a 12 million plus base salary , or push that money farther into the future ? Even though they had a historically bad defense under Monte Kiffin the boys still didn't fire him, but they did finally demote him . New D coordinator Rod Marinelli worked closely with him this year anyway . Still Dallas is keeping this scheme around to see if they can make it work with a healthy D-line. I really expected Aaron Donald's size limitations to make him available at the top of the second round. However, after he dominated the Senior Bowl & the combine he probably should get his just due and go higher.I have him rated in the top 15, and ahead of Jernigan, but I doubt many will agree with me right now . Dallas has many needs and a tight cap situation. Trading back is probably the smartest thing they can do , but I think Donald kicked so much ass at the combine that they might need to stay put to get him . They might even trade ahead of Chicago to get him now .Size matters some ,but guys who can rush the passer at any size are more important than anything but QB's in the NFL today .
17.RAVENS-ZACK MARTIN-T/G-N.DAME-NFL COMP-JORDAN GROSS-CAR-The Raven line is in flux right now . Marshall Yanda is probably the only blocker that can be counted on to return and start in Baltimore next season, since they didn't franchise tag Eugene Monroe . Martins positional flexibility would give them a better chance at getting their best 5 lineman on the field at the same time. Zach pulled off a amazing feat this bowl season ; he actually won the MVP award of a bowl game ! That's right! An O-lineman was acknowledged as the main man of the new era pinstripe bowl ! Being a former O-lineman and coach of O-lineman myself, I must admit Zach is now my favorite player in the draft. I saw him as more of a second rounder who might be a better fit at guard and his short arms make it harder to stay at tackle . However, after being MVP of the bowl game I say let him play tackle and see if he can hang with quicker guys outside. He also kicked ass and took names at the senior bowl . So tackle it is.
18.NYJ-ERIC EBRON-TE-N.CAR-NFL COMP-DWAYNE ALLEN-INDY- If you want Geno Smith to succeed it stands to reason that he will need better receivers. While young Stephen Hill is immensely talented, he is still very raw . The only dependable receiver the Jets currently have is the injury prone, soon to be 30, high priced ,one more failed drug test away from a long suspension Santonio Holmes. Ebron can give Geno a big target that's hard to miss. Ebron would also give them an elite athlete that would be a mismatch for opposing defenses ,and a young TE who shown the willingness to block in those rare snaps when he will be lined up as an inline blocker. Sky's the limit for this kid if he wants it .
19.MIAMI-*STEPHON TUITT-DE/DT-N.DAME-NFL COMP-RICHARD SEYMOUR-(fa)-With DT's Paul Soliai and Randy Starks both free agents this off-season , being over 30 next season ,and likelihood that the Dolphins wont pay both big money again , another defensive tackle will be needed . Starks is younger and a more complete player so he's the most likely one to come back. Recently I was discussing last years draft ,and the players in this one that I would have taken number one off their previous tape if they had entered the draft last season . One of those guys who went back to school was Tuitt , and while he was worth the # 1 pick in that weak draft he might still be worth a top 10 pick in this one if he can return to form . Off last years tape he was elite, and he played much better than Nix & Teo against Alabama in the national championship. This year he was coming off a sports hernia surgery and started slow because of it . While his season this year wasn't up to par with his 2012, he still made more plays this year than the similarly skilled Ra'shede Hagemen .Hagemen wasn't healing all year ,so that should be even more evidence of Tuitts talent . The versatile Tuitt can excel as 3-4 end or 4-3 DT .He wasn't fully healthy at the combine , and the fracture he had there means he may never get to work out for teams before the draft . If so he could go anywhere from 15 to 33.
20.ARIZONA-*DEE FORD-OLB/DE-AUBURN-NFL COMP-CLAY MATTHEWS-GB-With there being no Offensive Tackle worth this pick , an edge rusher or TE should be the guy here . Ford is a versatile player who can rush off the edge , and he also has the athleticism to drop into coverage if needed .This a deep TE class so I will go edge rusher in the first round .Dee Ford is the best candidate left in this scenario . it .I was surprised when Ford showed up at the senior bowl and measured in at 6"2" and 243 lbs. Despite being a playmaker on film I thought he was closer to 6"1" and 225 pounds. , and that he would only be a situational pass rusher in the NFL until he bulked up. If he just bulked up recently it certainly didn't hamper him any . He dominated the senior bowl practices and game . We are betting 3-4 teams that miss out on Anthony Barr or Khalil Mack will be giving him a good long look. Some 4-3 teams may even be thinking he can play a Von Miller role. Now that he has finally worked out for scouts I believe he is clearly ahead of Kony Ealy, and unless his back ends up getting flagged by a team he will be the 3rd rush backer off the board .
21.PACKERS-*LOUIS NIX-NT-N.DAME-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE-Rumors are going around that BJ Raji has made it clear he not only doesn't want to play nose tackle , but that he doesn't even want to play inside in a 2 gap scheme . That means he is no longer a fit in Green Bay. Lucky for them there is a better nose tackle available to them in this draft . Nix is that rare player who is big and strong enough to play 3-4 nose and still get a pass rush. The way Raji played last year this is a big upgrade .
22.EAGLES-HA'HA CLINTON DIX-S-ALABAMA-NFL COMP-HARRISON SMITH-S-MINN-No safety on the Eagles roster played worth a damm last year. Even once promising Nate Allen has never returned to form after the injury that sidelined him late in his rookie year. Chip Kelly likes to show a lot of looks and blitzes, but he can't do it without someone that he can depend on as the last line of defense .If I were the eagles I would try to bring in a new starting safety's and a tall corner . Dix is the better all around run defender, tackler, and he probably won't have the same amount of penalties Pryor does . Plus Chip Kelly likes length and Dix is taller with longer arms .
23.CHIEFS-*MARQUISE LEE-WR-USC-NFL COMP-TORRY HOLT-(retired)-The best thing about Dwayne Bowe is his blocking. His hands are suspect ,he is getting slower by the year, and he got arrested with weed last season. Although, as a #2 in a run first offense he is a good fit . Donnie Avery is injury prone and his best roll would be as a #3 in the slot. Add that Andy Reid has shown a willingness to draft WR's high and this is a good fit . Lee was the clear #1 WR going into this season. Due to Layne Kiffin's bad play calling, iffy QB play, and injuries Lee had a down year . He played (along with everyone else at USC) a lot better after Kiffin''s departure . After a few silly drops early on he had his best games at the best times . Lee can be the #1 WR this offense needs and also help out in the return game.
24.BENGALS-KYLE FULLER-CB-VA,TECH-NFL COMP-JASON McCOURTY-TENN-Between Leon Halls injury, Terrence Newman's age(36 next season) , and Dre Kirkpatrick's failure to develop , Pac man Jones is the only reliable corner they have next year. When a guy with his track record is the guy you "can "count on that's scary. Out of all the corners in this draft no one can play off coverage as well as Fuller . Although he plays the run like a safety , I would really like to see more film of him getting physical at the line of scrimmage in press coverage . Anyone who watches his tape just ends up rooting for him, and after the combine he is squarely in the first round mix. It's even possible that he could be the second corner drafted now that he has showed unexpected speed.Fuller is a smart tough guy corner that battles every snap in the run and passing games .
25.CHARGERS-*BRADLEY ROBY-CB-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-LEON HALL-CINC-I believe the Chargers top 4 corners are the worst set in the league. Roby would give the Chargers the chance to have one corner play decent man to man against Denver. Roby is quite possibly the fastest player in the draft and he plays the run angry . He is a fluid athlete who lacks technique & needs NFL coaching . He missed his bowl game with a knee injury , but if he is healed up by the combine he could go a lot higher
26.BROWNS-(indy)-#CARLOS HYDE-RB-OHIO.ST-NFL COMP-DUECE McCALLISTER-retired-The browns trade of Trent Richardson signaled a surrender to me and many ohers last season. While Richardson struggled to pick up the offense I still think he will be a top tier back in the league this year . Hyde is a younger, healthier, replacement, with less mileage on his tires, and a similar skill set now that Richardson has put on another 10 pounds of muscle since joining the league . Their is still a chance the Browns use this pick or or others to move up and take a different QB . However I am starting to get the feel that was the strategy the previous front office had instead .
***TRADE*** The VIKINGS trade their 2nd(#40) 5th and 7th round picks and the 3rd(#96) they have from the SEAHAWKS to the SAINTS for their 1rst (#27) rounder ***TRADE***
27.MINNESOTA-(no)-JIMMY GAROPPOLO-QB-E.ILL-NFL COMP-KURT WARNER-retired--Christian Ponders injury history and fragile psyche worries me. He missed significant time this year, the Vikes had a bad record, and he didn't play that well anyway . Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman both got a shot this season too and neither did anything to win the long term job . The Vikes need a QB badly and I like Garoppolo more and more every day. The Vikes have a strong O-Line and running game .Plus you know Zimmer will make their defense better. Those are things that give a young developing QB a good chance at success . Throw in QB Guru Norv Turner and Jimmy's development can be sped up by a lot
28.CAROLINA-MORGAN MOSES-OT-VA-NFL COMP-PHIL LOADHOLT-MINN- I not only doubt current right tackle Byron Bells long term potential on the outside, but underrated long term left tackle (and possible future HOFer) Jordan Gross just up & retired . Offensive tackle is now absolutely their number one need . Moses has played both left & right tackle in college . As an athlete it looks more like a long term right tackle , even though his feet looked more comfortable on the left side this season . He's the best offensive tackle left in this draft in this scenario. They should also pursue another OT in free agency if their smart.
29.PATRIOTS-#RA'SHEDE HAGEMAN-DT-MINN-NFL COMP-JOHN HENDERSON-retired-It goes without saying that an elite TE to pair with perennially injured Rob Gronkowski would be their first choice. The only TE in this draft with a(Eric Ebron) 1rst round grade worth this high a pick who doesn't have major off-the field questions is gone this scenario. Sorry Pats fans . Jace Amaro's red flags probably put him off limits to you . Amaro really shouldn't be available this late in the draft, but if he is I know they will want to take him. But can they? The only reason he could fall this far is because he was accused of a major off the field incident in his past. He's was accused of being a thief not a gang banger but can they take a tight end with character concerns so soon after Hernandez? They could take Troy Niklas as a wildcard pick, but I would trade back a little if I were going to take him . Hagemen is the kind of ideal physical specimen of a 3-4 end that Bill Belichick can mold into something great . Even Hagemens hot and cold motor is unlikely to stop Bill, as he has usually been successful when getting the most out of talented underachievers .
30.LIONS-(49ers)-CALVIN PRYOR-S-LVILLE-NFL COMP-KENNY PHILLIPS-NYG-With the Lions being a bit tight on their salary cap Louis Delmas became a luxury they couldn't afford. Now that they have saved 5 million off the cap by getting rid of him a new safety is a distinct possibility in the draft . Pryor has the range of a deep center field safety , and he is also capable of being a inn-the-box physical intimidator, that offensive skill players should come to fear in the near future. He could be in line for some fines and penalties until he adjust to the NFL's rules .
31.DENVER-SCOTT CRICHTON-DE-ORE.ST-NFL COMP-RYAN KERRIGAN-WASH-The 2 best pass rushers in Denver last season were Elvis Dumervill and Von Miller. Between Dumervill's agent making a mistake that cost him his spot in Denver , Von Miller's drug suspension , and now Millers tore up knee they have very little they can count on for a pass rush . Will Miller be the same guy without the chemical help and coming off a major knee injury? Don't know , but even if he is they need someone else that can rush the passer off the edge. Their lack of a pass rush was obvious in the Superbowl. Their defensive stat line not only read no sacks , they didn't even have a hit on the QB .Crichton plays with the strength to hold down the strong side , and has the relentless motor of a NFL pass rusher .
32.SEATTLE-JACE AMARO-TE-TEXAS TECH -NFL COMP-JEREMY SHOCKEY-retired-With the often injured and overpaid Sidney Rice , the unappreciated & underpaid Golden Tate likely leaving this off season the Seahawks need a receiver. Then throw in the underused Zach Miller and (about 5 million in salary cap savings if they cut him) you realize that maybe a tight end is more important . Jace can give Russell Wilson a new big possession receiver that can win jump balls, move the chains, and give the team a big play threat over the middle . Amaro has shown the aggressiveness & ability to block when needed . He is a big physical guy that I believe will also excel blocking as an inline Y tight end if given the chance to do so .At the very least he was a record breaking receiver in college, and I prefer him to Eric Ebron on the field His off the field past is the only reason he falls this far .
33.HOUSTON-KONY EALY-DE/OLB-MIZZOU-NFL COMP-OSI UMENYIORA-ATL-2011 2nd rounder Brooks Reed and 2012 1rst rounder Whitney Mercilus have failed to live up to expectations so far . The Texans are still going to run a 3-4 under new D-Coordinator Romeo Crennel , but they aren't his guys . Often a new coaching staff means a fresh start , but even if this a new day I think Reed needs to at least be replaced , and this is the last year of his contract . Ealy is a versatile player who can rush off the edge , move inside on obvious passing downs, and he also has the athleticism to drop into coverage if needed .
34.WASHINGTON-ODELL BECKHAM JR-WR-LSU-NFL COMP-DERRICK MASON-retired-New head coach Jay Gruden loves to have a lot of weapons on offense . Drafting wide receivers was a priority during his time in Cincinnati and we have no reason to think it will be any different in Washington . The resigning of Deangelo Hall , and the lack of any CB worth this high a pick in this scenario , make this pick a much better value as well . Beckham is a versatile guy that seems to play bigger than he is, and he make plays no matter the situation . He is a speedy team first guy that contributes as a receiver , blocker, and returning kicks & punts .
35.CLEVELAND-(indy)-*MARCUS MARTIN-C/G-USC-NFL COMP-MIKE POUNCEY-MIA-The browns have gotten poor play from both right guards this year. If they can resign Alex Mack, upgrade at a guard spot, and Mitchell Schwartz can keep getting better ,the Browns would have one of the leagues elite O-lines. Martin played center this year, but he was previously a guard . He can start at guard , but if they can't resign Alex Mack , Martin can move inside .Martin was a surprising late entry into the draft. .He will be one of the first interior lineman off the board .
36.OAKLAND-AJ McCARRON-QB-ALA-NFL COMP-MATT RYAN-ATL-We all know the Raiders need a QB, but at the combine Raiders owner said that Head Coach Dennis Allen and GM Reggie Mckenzie know this is a make or break year .Translation-If we don't do a LOT better your both fired . that means you need a QB that is ready to play now. Other than Bridgewater , AJ McCarron is the most pro style ready QB in this draft . Also ,the raiders need a QB of the future if they want to convince the fan base that they are serious about competing long term as well. McCarrons last bowl game being the rare exception, AJ is known for playing his best in the biggest games in the SEC, and for not turning the ball over.AJ was a winner at College football's most recognizable program ,who has always been overlooked despite his success, has a huge chip on his shoulder, a high football IQ, just enough arm strength, and a supermodel girlfriend. No pressure, but that kinda sounds like Tom Brady's bio . Except AJ was more successful in college and got the girl even earlier . Now if he would only stop listening to his agents about things like skipping the senior bowl . Thank GOD his competitive streak kicked in ,and he threw(and threw well) at the combine . NFL coaches infatuation with stronger arms is why we have him being the 4th QB being drafted and going in the 2nd round here .I have him rated as a low first round pick in my personal rankings .
37.ATLANTA-TROY NIKLAS-TE-N.DAME-NFL COMP-JASON WITTEN-DALL-HOFer Tony Gonzalez is definitely not coming back this season .Niklas is the most underrated TE in this draft. He is already the best blocking TE of all the top guys , but he was underused as a receiver at Notre Dame . He is big , fast, has good hands, and is tough over the middle .Add that there is no offensive tackle currently worth this pick left , and when Niklas stays in to block Matt Ryan will be a lot healthier .
38. TAMPA BAY-RYAN SHAZIER-OLB-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-THOMAS DAVIS-CAR-New coach Lovie Smith is back in Tampa Bay , but this time he is the big boss . To properly run the Tampa 2 defense he loves you need a really fast MLB that can cover the middle of the field 15 yards deep . Unless they want to move Lavonte David from the weak side, where he is already a pro bowler & weaken that position , Shazier is the guy for them . Both are better fits on the weak side, but when you are running straight back on so many pass plays ,speed & coverage ability trump take on skills in this defense .They could rival the 49ers for coverage LB's if they make this pick . Having the hall of fame duo of Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs at LB in Chicago was a big part of what made Lovie's defense work in the windy city .
39.SAINTS-BRANDIN COOKS-WR-ORE.ST-NFL COMP-PERCY HARVIN-SEA-The saints have salary cap problems and need to pay Jimmy Graham . To comply with both they have been dropping key long term veterans left and right . The trade back gives them young, healthy , cheap players to fill their many needs . While the 5 foot ten Cooks would be the little guy among the group , his electric change of direction out of the slot would mean a lot of big plays.The chances of stopping Cooks, Graham, Stills, and Colston is hard to even contemplate .Brandin could also open up their offense with reverses/end arounds ,and give them another player that the defense just can't catch .With Lance Moore, Pierre Thomas, and Darren Sproles among the possible cuts , play-makers are needed . Throw in the elite speed, quickness, separation, and change of direction Cooks possesses and it's a wonder he is still on the board . He has returned kicks & punts , and while he has the tools to be great at it, he isn't right now . If he were already a elite return guy, in addition to what he gives you as receiver , he would be a top 20 pick for sure .I believe he could eventually be Percy Harvin , without the regular injuries and attitude problems . At the very least I see him as a elite slot receiver that defensive coaches have to game plan for .
40.MINNESOTA-GABE JACKSON-G-MISS ST-NFL COMP-LARRY WARFORD-DET-Free agent Charlie Johnson has been a serviceable player at guard for the vikings , but he ihad a down year last season and a infusion of youth at giurd should help the vikings . Jackson was a long term starter in the SEC who improved every year .Jackson also has a strong anchor to keep a pocket clean and allow his young QB room to step up . This team wants to run the ball ,and moving people against their will is Gabe's specialty .
41.BUFFALO-*JIMMY WARD-S-N.ILL-NFL CPOMP-EARL THOMAS-SEA- The Bills chose not to place the franchise tag on Jairus Bird again, and since he is likely to be in demand, their chances of keeping him aren't great . The surprising Ward is a player that I liked more and more with each additional game that I watched . Now that Ward has had his pro day, and teams have been assured he will be ready for training camp after a minor procedure, I expect him to rise a little more up draft boards .
42.TENNESEE-KELVIN BENJAMIN-WR-FLA ST-NFL COMP-CALVIN JOHNSON-DET-From Plaxico Burress & Heath Miller in Pittsburgh , to Larry Fitzgwerald & Anquan Boldin in Arizona , to Floyd/Alexander/Gates in San Diego : Ken Whisenhunt likes big ,tall, physical, targets down the field . With Jake Locker as the QB guys he can just throw it up to down the field are needed . Last years second round pick Justin Hunter has the size but strong or physical aren't really his cup of tea . The humongous Benjamin s a mismatch anywhere on the field , but especially in the red zone .
43.GIANTS-Ja'WUAN JAMES-OT-TENN-NFL COMP-ERIC WINSTON-KC-The giants O-line was abysmal last season. Even former perennial all-pro Chris Snee played badly , although injury was a part of that , and he ended up missing most of the season .Still he will be 32 next season and is on the decline . LT William Beatty played well enough to get a new contract in 2012, but played like crap after he got it. 1rst round draft pick Justin Pugh played right tackle poorly for the 1rst half of the season but he did improve in the second half . His short arms make me think he would be a better fit inside anyway .With David Diehl finally put out to pasture and Kevin Boothe shuffled between LG and center they need at least 1 new O-lineman . As a 4 year starter at right tackle for the Vols there is no denying that James was a stalwart in the SEC . His strength is pass blocking right now, so Eli will be happy .A year or two in a NFL weight room should allow him to get more of the push in the run game you would expect from a right tackle long term anyway. Putting him at right tackle also allows the G-men to put Pugh at left guard and Boothe at center. Improving 3 positions at once seems like a good idea to me.
44. VIKINGS-(rams)-TRE MASON-RB-AUB-NFL COMP-MAURICE JONES-DREW-FA-With strong experienced backup Toby Gerhart likely leaving in free agency , and even the superhuman Adrian Peterson showing signs of wear the last 2 years, another possible feature back is needed in case the tires finally fall off the amazing AD bandwagon . Mason is a bruiser who plays a lot bigger than he is , and like Peterson he seems to get stronger as the the games goes on . Maybe they can work on improving their roles in the passing game together . Having Mason around could actually take some of the load of Peterson and prolong his career .
45.LIONS-DEVANTE ADAMS-WR-FRES.ST-NFL COMP-JAMES JONES-GB-Back before the Lions finally found their long term #1 WR in Calvin Johnson in the 2007 draft they had already taken three other guys in first round with very little success. From 2003 #2 overall Charles Rogers, 2004 #7 Overall Roy Williams , and 2005 #10 overall Mike Williams they got the equivalent of 2 good seasons and a whole lot of pissed off fans. Although in addition to being the one guy who gave them 2 good seasons Roy Williams at least brought them a haul of draft picks when Jerry Jones foolishly gave them way too much for his disappointing talents. Since Calvin came along they have struggled to find a #2 wide receiver. Whether its through free agency or the draft no one has measured up for a myriad of reasons. Johnson has routinely been double/ triple teamed by anyone with a brain because no other Lions receiver has been successful enough to make them back off him. New coach Jim Caldwell will see the same thing and this is the best way to remedy the situation . Adams is an explosive sure handed receiver that Stafford could count on long term, and with so many drops in Detroit a sure handed guy is needed. After a year or two in a NFL weight training program I could see him becoming a bigger, faster elite NFL # receiver . Hopefully Megatron's work ethic wears off on him and he realizes his potential .
46.STEELERS-*CYRUS KOUANDJIO-OT-ALA-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL--Left Tackle Mike Adams was so bad that the Steelers actually traded for Levi Brown, and he was a bad LT for the cards. Even a giant like Big Ben has trouble throwing with people draped all over him. . Adding Cyrus to Pouncey , Decastro , and Bell would also go a long way towards bringing the power running game to Steel town .Kouanjou had a bad combine . First the medical checks revealed that he has a degenerative knee condition .Then he looked heavy footed and stiff compared to most of the other possible top OT's . So that probably means the first round is bye-bye. How many years can he play at a high level ? 3-5-7 ? Or will he be able to play 10 years but need to miss games periodically to rest his knee ? There is no way of knowing for sure because each individual is different . I like to be conservative so I will say 5 years . He is still a huge framed, long armed guy with decent feet .So I think he still goes mid second round to a team that hasn't flunked his physical , and sees a bargain .Right now if you put Cyrus in at left tackle it would still be an upgrade over what the Steelers currently have , although that's not saying much . I do think his best fit long term is on the right side though . If he can play at an above average level throughout his first contract he is still worth this pick .
47.DALLAS-JORDAN MATTHEWS-WR-VANDY-NFL COMP-JORDY NELSON-GB- Dez Bryant was routinely double teamed last season , and with Jason Witten being the only TE Dallas has that is a good blocker, he was kept in a lot of the time . With the perennially injured Miles Austin a very possible salary cap casualty, Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley not really scaring defenses yet, horrible blocking Gavin Escobar hardly seeing the field, and Dez having his own past injury/off the field concerns & current wishes for a new big contract -Dallas needs an alternate #1 receiver . The polished Matthews can give Romo a threat that can line up at the X , Z, or in the slot .He will also be where he is supposed to be when Romo looks for him , can be relied upon to make the catch , and even block .
48.RAVENS-XAVIER SU'A-FILO-G/T-UCLA-NFL COMP-MAX UNGER-SEA-The Raven line is in flux right now . Marshall Yanda is probably the only blocker that can be counted on to return and start in Baltimore next season, unless they franchise tag Eugene Monroe to keep him . .In 2013 Gino Gradkowski became the starter at center by default and played horrible. It had to look even worse to his teammates than it was , and that's saying something . After years of watching future HOFer Matt Birk previously man the pivot the comparison had to be even more striking. Xavier can play all 5 positions along the O-Line , but I believe center is his best position . If you are going to pay Flacco 20 million a year you better keep him clean . Adding Su'as versatility to Yanda's would go a long way toward getting the Ravens 5 best lineman on the field at the same time .
49.JETS-ALLEN ROBINSON-WR-PENN ST-NFL COMP-DEZ BRYANT- DALL - Santonio Holmes production could easily be replaced by the reliable Robinson . Geno Smith needs weapons . Robinson is big , fierce, and explosive . Adding him with Ebron not only helps their young QB out in the passing game, those 2 guys are the kind of blockers that spring running backs for long gains down the field .
50.MIAMI-CHRIS BORLAND-ILB-WISC-NFL COMP-STEPHEN TULLOCH-DET-The dolphins signed Daniel Ellerbee and Phillip Wheeler to free agent contracts lsast year and neither played well. They are both a better fit in the outside as Ellerbee lacks the strength and technique to stack and shed blockers . Borland is the kind of instinctual hard working gamer that will probably outplay his draft status. If he was just 2 inches taller Borland would be a easy 1rst round pick .
51.BEARS-KYLE VAN NOY-OLB-BYU-NFL COMP-KJ WRIGHT-SEA-I am convinced the intelligent and smooth Van Noy can play any linebacker spot in a odd or even front. After the retirement of Urlacher the Bears turned over the middle to rookie 2nd rounder Jon Bostic . The results weren't pretty. I am not saying to give up on him just yet ,but someone young that can play the middle if he falters again would be wise. 31 year old James Anderson was just plain bad last year . Future HOFer Lance Briggs is 34 and near the end of a great career. Van Noy would be an upgrade somewhere in the bear LB core
52.ARIZONA-#JACK MEWHORT-OT-NFL COMP-DAVID STEWART-TENN-While I expected the cardinals offense to be much improved with Carson Palmer ,he threw way too many picks this season. Even then Carson was much better than everyone else they have had since Kurt Warner retired , but he would have been better with more time to throw .The cards are a good team , but the NFC west is now the most talented division in football. The 49ers and Seahawks are likely legitimate perennial super bowl contenders . The young and talented rams would be a playoff contender in every other division in my opinion and they are only going to get better from this drafts 2 high first rounders. The cards finally gave up on former LT Levi Brown early in the year, and turned the blindside over to preseason waiver wire pickup Bradley Sowell. That hasn't gone very well either. While I am not convinced Mewhort is a NFL left tackle right now , and wouldn't take him in the first round , he's worth a shot about here . I do believe in his long term potential as a RT at the very least . He would still probably be a upgrade over anyone the cards have at LT right now .
53.GREEN BAY-AUSTIN SEFERIAN-JENKINS-TE-WASH-NFL COMP-MARTELLUS BENNET-CHI-The pack needs a new TE to replace Jermichael Finley. Finley is as talented as they come but his mental errors. inconsistent hands, injury history, and lack of will to help out blocking make him expendable . Jenkins has the talent of a top 10 pick, but his effort isn't always top notch from play to play , and he looked out of shape to me this year . He looked in much better shape at the combine , but a reported routine injury he should be healed from before the draft prevented him from working out. Their is a lot of tape inconsistent tape on him, so it really matters. A huge bodied TE of his talent level ,that is a sure handed receiver and physical blocker ,shouldn't last much longer than this .If he is in still in shape & the injury is healing fine when his medical re-check comes he could still go much higher .Still, if he can't workout at all before the draft after a year of being heavy, I could see him falling this far .
54.EAGLES-#LOUICHEIZ PURIFOY-CB-FLA-NFL COMP-CHARLES WOODSON-OAK-Chip Kelly likes long tall corners . Louicheiz is a tall speedy corner that is a lights out special teamer, can also play safety, and he can even play offense if you need him to .He had a less impressive combine than expected, or he wouldn't even be available this late .He certainly looks faster in the game than he did in the underwear Olympics . My guess is he does a lot better at his pro day and his stock rebounds some. If it doesn't I still think he will be a good free safety & special teams ace . Since the eagles need help at both positions he is an even better fit .
55.BENGALS-*ZACH METTENBURGER-QB-LSU-NFL COMP-JOE FLACCO-BALT-The Bengals have one of the 3 most talented rosters from top to bottom in the league. They also have a top 5 O-line and a ton of talent at the skill positions. What they lack is a QB that can avoid turning the ball over too much , and come through in the clutch. I truly believe if any of the other QB's in the playoffs were the Bengals starter they would have been the AFC favorite to go the super bowl. They could also trade up for/sign a veteran QB to compete for the starting QB job , because Dalton does not make enough money to preclude them adding a more expensive QB . Mettenburger's knee injury would also give the Bengals solid spin control while still putting pressure on Andy Dalton . They could say that they are just protecting themselves for the future because Andy's a free agent after this season, and that Zach isn't even eligible to play to start the year because he is still recovering from his torn ACL . They can put him on the retrievable IR list and he can come off the list late in the season if Dalton falters again . Mettenburger is Daltons' opposite. A huge framed rocket armed pocket passer that is coming out of a pro style system .
56.DETROIT-(49ers,kc)-CJ FIEDOROWICZ-TE-IOWA-NFL COMP-MERCEDES LEWIS-JAX-Former first round TE Brandon Pettigrew has never lived up to his draft status, and is a free agent this year . Whether it's the knee injury he suffered early on , or something else , he hasn't looked like the same player he was in college . CJ is a more traditional inline TE like Pettigrew was supposed to be. His blocking alone would help their new running game and to keep Stafford healthy. His strong hands and receiving ability are also assets .
57.CHARGERS-JEREMIAH ATTACHOU-OLB/DE-GA.TECH-NFL COMP-JUSTIN HOUSTON - KC- Dwight Freeney is going to be 34 next season. the team can save about three and a half million in cap room cutting him ,he will be coming off a major quad injury, and the chargers pass rush desperately needs someone to pair with Melvin Ingram . Attaaochu has fallen way too far in this scenario . I wouldn't be surprised if someone who realizes that if they just turn him lose going forward all game that he could wreck an offense trades up higher for him . He is a top 50 pick in my mind .
58.SAINTS -KEITH McGILL-CB/S-UTAH-NFL COMP-RASHEAN MATHIS-DET-SEA-Jabari Greer is 32 , coming off a torn ACL, and the Saints to saved 4 million off the cap by cutting him this week . The large framed McGill is one of the next wave of big cover corners coming into this copycat league because of the success of Seattle .His All-star game success has probably moved him into the first 2 rounds. The scarcity of corners after the first 50 picks makes it much more likely the bigger ones will be over drafted . Even if he isn't a fit as a corner I think he would make a good safety .
59.COLTS-DAVID YANKEY-G/T-STAN-NFL COMP-MARSHALL YANDA-BALT-It's really good that Andrew Luck is a big strapping mobile QB . Otherwise I doubt he would have survived the season intact with the horrible way his guards and center played this year . You think Luck's great now ? Imagine him with time to throw without a couple of dudes about to smack him in the teeth , and a lot less bruises. The colts need to draft a guard and center with their first 2 picks (and maybe even sign another in free agency) to give him a chance to reach his vast potential .Yankey played his college ball with Luck at Stanford , and although he has played left tackle in the past , he is absolutely better inside at guard. I doubt the browns will franchise pro bowl center Alex Mack . If so the Colts should back the money truck up on his doorstep at midnight of free agency and make him the leagues highest paid center .If they can get Mack and Yankey in one off-season this O-line will go from a weakness to a strength .
60.PANTHERS-JARVIS LANDRY-WR-LSU-NFL COMP-JERICHO COTCHERY-PITT- Like the Houston Texans before them the panthers seem destined to wait far too long to draft a top receiver to pair with their aging # 1 guy. Steve Smith is past his prime & undersized, but he is still the best WR on this team . You would think they would want to do everything they can to help their young franchise QB succeed, but they sure are going about it in a weird way. . Landry is an old school tough guy receiver. He pulled up running his forty ,and didn't have the best combine, but I still like him. I am betting he does a lot better on his pro day , but even if he doesn't I still believe in him . Landry will do the dirty work inside & underneath, and allow other guys to make big plays down the field . Speed aside, Landry has the best hands & is the best blocker of everyone in this deep WR class . I just have trouble with seeing this good of a football player make it to the 3rd round .
61.SAN FRANCISCO-PAUL RICHARDSON-WR-COL-NFL COMP-NATE WASHINGTON-TENN-Right now the best option the 49ers receiving core has to run by the defense is (30 years old next year) TE Vernon Davis. Boldin and Crabtree are more big bodied move the chains guys . Mario Manningham is also a free agents this off-season . Richardson would not only be lightning out of the slot or outside , he could also open up their offense with reverses/end arounds, bubble screens etc... It would probably be nice to have a guy that can run right past the defense when they bite on play action .It would be hard for even the cannon-armed Kaeperneck to overthrow him.
62.PATRIOTS-*BASHAUD BREELAND-CB-CLEM-NFL COMP-JOHNATHAN JOSEPH-CB-HOU-The Patriots go through more high drafted DB's than anyone in the league. The steady Breeland is sure to rise up draft boards as the draft process continues . The more tape you watch on him the more you appreciate his well rounded game. He is not the biggest or fastest, but play-in-and-play-out he is assignment sound , and getting the job done. If you Combine Aquib Talib possibly pricing himself out of the patriots price range with Belichick's love of smart players, this is a logical choice .
63.BRONCOS-STANLEY JEAN-BAPTISTE-CB/S-NEB-NFL COMP-RICHARD SHERMAN-SEA-With future HOFer Champ Bailey on the verge of being 36, coming off an injury, played poorly this year, can save the Broncos about 10 million off their cap, and his only chance to stay is probably with a move to safety . I don't think he can keep up at corner anymore so the Broncos might need a new corner in the draft . Throw in that Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent this off-season and it actually might be their biggest need come draft day .Specifically a taller corner with long arms like Baptiste .
64.SEATTLE-CHRIS SMITH-DE-ARK-NFL COMP-TRENT COLE-PHIL-First and foremost Pete Carroll is a defensive coach who wants to attack. The hawks have deservedly become a destination for players seeking a ring now. They ended up getting both Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett on short term deals at a reasonable price last off season .Both had excellent years rushing the passer, but Bennett's deal was only for 1 year, as opposed to Avril's 2 year deal. The Seahawks have a lot of young cheap players right now due to excellent drafting, but they aren't very far away from free agency ,and are going to get a lot more expensive soon . Just to keep the core pro bowlers that are going to be free agents very soon like Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, and Earl Thomas is going to be very expensive in 2014-15-16. Bennett's great year is going to make him a lot of money in free agency that they can't match if they want to retain those core player long term , The man got his ring so it was well worth it! .Since I highly doubt he will take another 1 year deal (even for a hefty raise ) they are going to need a replacement . The versatile Smith has played all over the D-line as both a defensive end and A outside linebacker . I'm sure Pete Carroll will be able to find multiple uses for him .