Monday, February 2, 2015

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

The NCAA ALL-STAR games are over now, so you know people are thinking about the 2015 draft.  Team needs after free agency,  pro days, the scouting combine(espeilly the medicals) 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 scholl, and  this draft doesn't look anywhere near as good as the 2014 draft was at the top, but there is once again a lot of depth in rounds 2 an 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.  I am watching a ton of tape right now, and soon I will be putting up my top 100.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.  

# 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-FLORIDA ST-NFL COMP-STEVE McNAIR-retired- The 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-MARCUS MARIOTA-QB-OREGON-NFL COMP-RYAN TANNEHILL-MIA-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 give him the chance and auction off this pick , but for the sake of this mock they will be moving on from Zach.  In this case they get Mariota. He is a great athlete for the position, and I would love to see what he could do behind this O-line. He is not just all tools like Locker. His skills have increased every year, and he is now a good passer as well.  Even if given the choice, Ken Whisenhunt is more likely to take a safe off-the-field guy like Mariota/Hundley than maybe a better but troubled Jameis Winston if he was available when they picked. This team has almost everything, and are probably just good QB play from quickly becoming a contender . Mariota is the safest QB in this class right now, and he also has a high upside, but any team that takes him needs to adjust their offense to him if they want him to have success early  A lot of shotgun and spread concepts are large parts of many offenses in the NFL these days, but some coaches refuse to adjust their systems to help a young QB out. .  Whisenhunt should hire a QB guru to tutor him .Even though he gets a lot of credit for Rothlisberger,  I personally doubt that Ken had much to do with Big Ben's development. If he did then he should have developed at least one( Kevin Kolb, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Matt Leinert, Max Hall) of the young QB's he had in Ariziona. He might be wise to hire Marc Trestman if he gets Mariota, as Trestman has had success wedding a spread system to a west coast offense. If he doesn't Washington might hire him to bring along RG3. either way Marcus will need a QB guru who can combine a spread and pro style offense. 

***TRADE*** ATLANTA trades their first round pick in this draft (#8) and their first round pick in 2016 for the JAGUARS first round pick(#3) in this draft***

KEVIN WILLIAMS-SEA-With Jameis Winston's down season and off the field problems dropping his grade Wilkerson is the highest graded player in this draft ,and the kind of special player teams could trade up for. Thomas Dimitroff has traded up for a special(Julio Jones) before, and he was also considering trading up for Jadaveon ( dodged a bullet there!)Clowney last year. I am no longwr sure if he or Scott Pioli have the final say on this type of move. Owner Arthur Blank might be the new shot caller on franchise future gambles. Right now it's a good fit for both teams, so I will leave it this way, but don't be surprised if other teams fall in love with Williams and try to trade up for him. As of this writing Mike Nolan is still the Falcons defensive coordinator, despite only generating a next to last in the league 22 sacks as a defense. Their are plenty of reasons for this low total . Injuries and lack of pass rushing talent being chief among them. Another is that Nolan does his best work running a 3-4 . 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. Nolan would help mold Williams into a pro, and help the defense generate pressure as a whole through creative blitzes and schemes if they go to an odd front. If they had hired Rex Ryan  Williams could have been even better. Nolan is solid coach who has worked with a lot of different coaches from a lot of different coaching trees, but he could still learn a lot from Rex on how to create defensive pressure. This trade allows them to have a chance to win the division in 2015 , and only gives up a future pick that could be a low first rounder if they succeed. 

4.OAKLAND-DANTE FOWLER-DE-FLORIDA-NFL COMP-ANTHONY SPENCER-DALL- The Raiders might have ruined what could have been a franchise altering trade by beating San Francisco. Any chance of auctioning off the 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. No matter who the coach is next season a player that can help the pass rush whether they run a 3-4 or 4-3 will be needed. A better rush from the edge will also help any corners on the roster. Fowler is one of the safest players in this draft. His motor and versatility to make him a fit for any scheme. Pairing him with Khalil Mack will only make both players better. 

5.WASHINGTON- SHANE RAY-OLB/DE-MIZZ- NFL COMP-CLAY MATTHEWS-GB-If Brian Orapko could stay healthy all year, the 'Skins would probably have payed him, but he is 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. with a great motor who was moved around to help reduce offenses constantly game planning to stop him. A trade back or a O-lineman are also likely possibilities.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

-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. 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. Once that frame is filled out with another 20 to 30 pounds of muscle, he can be even better, and if he shows up at 260 plus at the combine he probably goes top 5

-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. 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 he can be that elite player early

8.JACKSONVILLE-(Atlanta)-BRANDON SCHERFF-IOWA-NFL COMP-JOE STALEY-SF-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 yet, but there is still plenty of time for that.  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 has improved as he has gotten healthier. I expect whichever OT is the consensus #1 after the senior bowl will go here, but Scherff is the safest of them all, and he has the best technique.  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.


9.NYG-LA'EL COLLINS-T/G-LSU-NFL COMP-TRENT WILLIAMS-WASH-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. Collins is a guy who just finds a way to make his block despite inconsistent technique, just like Trent Williams did when he came out of Oklahoma. His ability to recover when off balance is particularly impressive, and he is a mauler in the run game. While some teams prefer him as a guard, and I think he would be a stud there as well, his performance at the senior bowl should have quieted any doubters about his ability to play outside. With La'el 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. 

10.RAMS-KEVIN WHITE-WR-W.VIRGINIA-NFL COMP-ALSHON JEFFERY-CHI-Unless Winston 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. The rams have spent plenty of high picks on receivers, and even signed the super talented but troubled Kenny Brtitt, but despite all that they still lack a number one receiver.White is a big possession receiver with a high floor. White has strong hands, can win jump balls, and runs good routes. He gives Bradford a reliable receiver that he can throw to when he really needs a first down.  

11.MINNESOTA-DEVANTE PARKER-WR-LVILLE-NFL COMP-DEZ BRYANT-DALL- 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 college go to guy in Parker. This is a receiver Teddy can just depend on to come down with the ball even when he's covered, save a pile of money on Jennings, and acquire a potential # 1 receiver. If Scherff falls here he could be the pick, and then they could try the disappointing Matt Kalil inside at left guard, possibly improving 2 positions at once.  

12.CLEVELAND-AMARI COOPER-WR-ALA-NFL COMP-REGGIE WAYNE-INDY-It appears that once again Josh Gordon has shown that football isn't his first priority.His now suspended for the 2015 season. Personally, I think they should draft 2 receivers in the first 3 rounds just to be safe. Miles Austin is a hamstring pull away from the sideline ,and Andrew Hawkins is an undersized slot guy. Maybe they will play Justin Gilbert on offense this season,  Cooper is a polished receiver who always seems to be open,has great timing ,plays bigger than he is, and he can make things happen after the catch.

13.SAINTS-**-BALTIMORE-VICTOR BEASLEY-OLB/DE-CLEMSON-NFL-COMP-VON MILLER-DENV-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. 
Beasley has been a highly productive pass rusher two years running ,and he has the agility to also drop into coverage when needed. While his best position is as 3-4 rush backer , he needs to add some weight to play as a 4-3 DE in all but obvious passing situations Also, Jahri Evans is no longer worth his high salary, and has been giving up pressure right down the middle. If he doesn't take a pay-cut he could be gone and a new guard to protect Drew Brees could be their top priority in the Bayou. However, they can get a power guard to replace him in the second , and maybe even the 3rd round. 


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 one man run stopiing force in the middle. His quickness and ability to cover ground 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-MALCOLM BROWN-DT-TEX-NFL COMP-SHARIFF FLOYD-MINN-With Ray McDonald being cut after a domestic violence accusation, Justin Smith turning 36 next season, and Tank Carradine & Tony Jerod-Eddie not developing as quickly as needed the niners need a new 5 technique. Brown has the skills to play all over their front and help improve both the run and pass defense. 

16.HOUSTON-**JORDAN PHILLIPS-DT-OKLA-NFL COMP-ALBERT HAYNESWORTH-retired-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. Phillips was a surprise entry into the draft. but this young giant is ridiculously athletic for a 6 foot 5 three hundred and thirty pound man . In addition , trying to find open passing lanes between the long arms of Watt and Phillips woulds be a chore for any opposing QB's.If Jordan's back checks out fine (missed 2013 season with a back injury)medically he could go in the top 10. Also, if you have a raw kid this talented exposing him to Watt's mentoring &work ethic can only make him better. 

The loss of veteran center Nick Hardwick is patently obvious to anyone watching the Chargers play. Hardwick might not be done yet but someone who can play the pivot in case he goes down again, but still 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. They could put Erving at guard or tackle until Hardwick's time with the team is done , and then move him over to ce

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. 

19.CLEVELAND-(buffalo)-CARL DAVIS-DT-IOWA-NFL COMP-MUHAMMAD WILKERSON-NYJ -Neither 2015 free agent Ahytab Rubin or Phil Taylor have held it down inside for the Browns this year . With Taylor spending his rare uninjured (knee)time at end , and his 2015 salary close to 5 and half million dollars in 2015 it's a safe bet that the browns will be looking for D-line help after the season. Davis is a tall, long armed, physical specimen with a prototypical frame for a 5 technique. He is also plenty strong enough to play the nose when needed.

20.EAGLES-**-TRAE WAYNES-CB-MICH ST-NFL COMP-DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE-NYG-Chip Kelly likes versatile tall guys with long arms on defense, and that describes Waynes.   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. Waynes plays corner at a high level in a good conference, but he needs to get stronger and play with a little more discipline.

21.BENGALS-SHAQ THOMPSON-OLB/RB-WASHINGTON-NFL COMP-THOMAS DAVIS-CAR- When Lavonte 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. 

JALEN COLLINS-CB/S-LSU-NFL COMP-JIMMY SMITH-BALT-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.  Collins could be that guy. He is the perfect physical specimen for a corner with the makeup speed to match his large frame.

23.DETROIT-EDDIE GOLDMAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MARCEL DAREUS -BUFF--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. Goldman 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.

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-.ANDRUS PEAT-OT-STANFORD-NFL COMP-ANTHONY COSTANZO-INDY-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 is still better than anyone they now have.In 2013 , You can bet your ass that Newton would be happy to know Peat was on his blind side.Peat is a good athlete for an OT, but his stock fell a little this season , as he lacked aggression and a consistent hand punch in pass protection. I am confident a NFL O-Line coach will be able to get this Stanford grad to fix his flaws.He is plenty aggressive in the run game , so you know he has the right mentality in him, and he could easily be gone by this pick based on his upside alone.  

#MARCUS PETERS-CB-WASH-NFL COMP-DESMOND TRUFANT-ATL-Lardarius Webb has declined for two straight seasons ,will be 30 years-old in 2015, and his salary goes up to a cap busting twelve million dollars as well. On tape Peters was clearly the best corner in this years draft technique-wise, but being kicked off the team on Washington opens up a whole new line of questioning. .Baltimore has the kind of veteran leadership and organizational structure to draft a player with his character questions, and provide wit the kind of support he needs to have  good chance of success as a pro.

27.DALLAS-TJ CLEMMINGS-OT-PITT-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-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 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. .Dallas and Baltimore have begun a new type of zone blocking revolution ,by running the scheme with bigger lineman that still have the athleticism to get to the second level. 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. Some teams may even put him at guard for a year 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 Free at RT over the long haul.. 


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. 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, as Julius Thomas is likely too expensive for the cash strapped Broncos to keep. 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.

29.COLTS-BERNARDRICK McKINNEY-ILB-MISS.ST-NFL COMP-ROLANDO McCLAIN-DAL- Watching Legarette Blount run through tackles had to leave a big a big impression on the Colts entire organization. While I am not as big a fan as some are of McKinney's early possible success as a 3 down linebacker, he can definitely hold up inside against the run while he learns the finer points of pass coverage. His height alone helps him to clog passing lanes in zone coverage.While current inside LB's D'qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman lack the take on skills that are needed  inside , McKinney 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. 

30.GREEN BAY-NATE ORCHARD-DE/OLB-UTAH-NFL COMP-JUNIOR GALETTE-NO-Clay Matthews is still great and Julius Peppers is still an amazing athlete, but he is also going to 35 soon. The pack needs an edge rusher to help keep teams from focusing too much on Matthews. Orchard  isn't flashy , but he is a productive player with a good motor that can bolster the packers pass rush. He also has a large enough frame to add a little weight so he can play DE when they go to an even front.

31.SEATTLE-AJ CANN-G-S.CAROLINA-NFL COMP-BEN GRUBBS-BALT-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 I now think they deserve to be the Superbowl favorite 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. AJ is the best pure guard in this draft and I'm sure his physicality, durability,  and high football IQ will be welcome on the Seattle O-line.

DORIAL GREEN-BECKHAM-WR-OKLAHOMA-This guy is the closest thing to Randy Moss to come into the draft in a while. However, he also has a laundry list of off the field problems like Moss did when he came out of school. Belichick has shown a willingness to take chances on great talents when they fall down the draft board, just like oft-injured 1rst round pick Dominique Easley this year. With Brady desperately needing play makers on offense this pick would go along way toward winning a 5th Superbowl.


  1. Do you think it would be such a bad choice if the Bucs were to skip on Winston and go after Williams and target someone like Flowers, Strong, or even Hundley? Or do you think it is any bit likely that the Eagles trade up to number 1?

  2. In my opinion Yes. Without a QB they won't be going anywhere long term. Since they obviously won't be giving Mike Glennon another shot they have to get a QB if they want to be a contender. After their investigations & interviews are done they have a decision to make. If they think Winston will grow up and be accountable & responsible he is the obvious pick, as he is pro ready. If they don't trust him they need to take Mariota and put in a offense with spread & shotgun components if they want him to succeed early. I have no doubt a player with Mario's work ethic, character, intangibles, and tool kit will succeed in the long term as long as they bring in a offense friendly to him. Lovie Smith probably can't afford to take and develop a QB if he wants to keep his job. He needs to get a QB and make significant progress right now,especially in his division. Despite their crappy record as a whole last season they are the only division in football to have 3 bona fide proven (Ryan, Newton, Bress) franchise QB's. That puts the bucs way behind until they get one of their own. However, your eagles idea does make sense if Nick Foles is part of the trade and they believe he is a franchise QB. Maybe they take Foles and the Eagles first rounder for the pick. Since the Eagles would be admitting they don't believe in Foles long term ,and Foles is free agent after the upcoming season, I would ask for another 2nd or 3rd in the deal. I would also want Foles to sign at least a short term extension to make the deal palatable. Moving all the way back to #20 would probably allow you take any of those players, although Hundley would be unnecessary in that scenario. Flowers or another OT like Clemmings or Peat would probably fill the biggest need, and help support your new QB. I'm not saying this wouldn't work out but I would rather have the younger & cheaper QB if it were me.

  3. My thought was take the best player available and I was not specific. Flowers, Strong, or Hundley would be second rounder choices if they went after Williams. I do agree that Winston is a stud, a leader on the field, but he needs to become one off the field. I was just trying to get the defense like it used to with the Sapp and McFarland combo on the defensive line again.

    1. I get you now. My bad, That defense was special with Sapp, Brooks, Barber, Lynch, and maybe even Rice HOF worthy. While that would be great, and you do have some solid cornerstones in McCoy , David. & possibly Verner I firmly believe Lovie needs to win now. Or at the very least show good progress with a young QB. Since young QB's tend to give a head coach a legitimate excuse to plead patience, I think he goes that route. So take the QB in round 1. That means Hundley.s unnecessary in round 2. I doubt Flowers falls that far, but Strong would be a solid pick there. A DE or DT to help the defense would make plenty of sense too. Maybe a Carl Davis or Eddie Goldman could be the Booger to McCoy's Sapp,. I think it's possible one or both could fall there. D-lineman who aren't great pass rushers tend to fall in the draft sometimes. To be fair on this roster the best player available would be wise in round 2 on down. Inevitably some guys who shouldn't fall to the second day end up doing so, So the bucs can stand pat and get great value or auction off the pick. While this draft is weak in polished high level players at the top,and I would be surprised if I end up with even 25 players with a definite first round grade, there is solid depth in rounds 2 and 3. Thanks for the intelligent comments. Take care.

    2. Thanks for giving me insight for another opinion, but I do agree that Lovie has to win now or show improvement. I personally would love Winston, he wins and has a darn good arm. With Winston the Bucs will be in better position to win as long as they can protect him. Add Winston with the power forwards we have for receivers could be deadly. Thanks again for your opinion and thanks for the grades on players!