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Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT With Trades & Player Comparisons- 3/16/15

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




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

**  Is for a player with reported injury concerns



1.TAMPA BAY-#JAMEIS WINSTON-QB-FLA ST-NFL COMP-BEN ROETHLISBERGER-PITTThe bucs went back to Josh McCown as their starter late in the season. That is a clear sign they don't see Mike Glennon as their QB of the future. With Winston being a Florida guy, I could see there being plenty of pressure to take him, as long as he he has no more off the field incidents leading up to the draft.  Lovie Smith is a players' coach who probably thinks he can reach and motivate Jameis. The bucs wisely hired Dirk Koetter to groom the QB they choose. The choice is kind of genius because it really tells us nothing about which QB they currently prefer, and allows them to take their time in evaluating both before they make their choice. Koetter just tutored a classic pocket passer in Matt Ryan, but he also put plenty of shotgun & spread plays in that offense. So you know he can tutor either. Also,lets not forget that 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.  Besides the fact that 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, .if Jameis was clean off the field he would be the runaway overall # 1 pick. He's as tough as nails , a proven winner, has a high football IQ, already makes pro style reads quickly, and has all the tools. Most importantly he makes great NFL throws with the rush bearing down on him. That's about as reliable an indicator of future success as you can get in a on the field evaluation, and you don't find much of it in Mariota's tape.. With Koetter under contract they will probably succeed either way, and if the defense doesn't improve and they fire Smith ,they have a potential head coach in waiting in house. 





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



***TRADE*** The REDSKINS trade their first round pick (#5) AND 4th round pick in this draft  and their 2nd round pick in the 2016 draft for the JAGUARS first round pick(#3) in this draft***



3.WASHINGTON-(jacksonville)-MARCUS MARIOTA-QB-OREGON-NFL COMP-RYAN TANNEHILL-MIA-It's obvious to everyone that Jay Gruden doesn't want RG3 as his QB, despite his protest to the contrary. While Mariota is also a spread QB, he is more advanced than Griffin was coming out of college, and has a very coach-able personality.  Mariota is a solid leader, hard worker,doesn't throw interceptions,and is a great athlete with all the tools to succeed in the NFL. Although Gruden does have plenty of shotgun plays in his offense, hopefully he will add more spread plays , and read option elements to it to make Marcus more comfortable & successful as a rookie. Obviously Griffin will be traded after this deal, and it might even be to a team who has coach who try to wok with him.





4.OAKLAND-KEVIN WHITE-WR-NFL COMP-ANDRE JOHNSON-HOU-The Raiders might have ruined what could have been a franchise altering trade by beating San Francisco. Any chance of auctioning off the #1 overall pick to the highest bidder and quickly restocking the franchise is probably gone, unless of course one of the top 3 players falls here, but right now I doubt that happens . At least they still ended up with a high enough pick to get a premium player. With New QB Derek Carr exceeding expectations a play-maker on offense to help him out will be appreciated. Last year Carr was throwing to James Jones and group of journeymen and unproven young guys, He needs a # 1 receiver. After lighting up the combine I believe White has separated himself from Cooper and Parker as the top receiver in this draft. He's big, strong, fast, has great hands, can run after the catch, and even when he's covered he's still probably open if you throw it high enough. 





5.JAGUARS-**RANDY GREGORY-DE/OLB-NEBRASKA-NFL COMP-JASON TAYLOR-retired- Signing Jermey Parnell to play right tackle means they are probably committing to Luke Joeckel to play left tackle for another year.  However, the jags can still get a high level talent at a position of need. In the Jags defense Gregory would play the Leo linebacker position that Chris Clemmons and Bruce Irvin filled in Seattle. 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. Right now he is a better fit in a 3-4 as a rush backer IMO, but the LEO position will take advantage of both his pass rush ability and his fluidity to drop into coverage.. Once that frame is filled out with another 20 to 30 pounds of muscle, he can be even better, and play as a full time 4-3 end if needed. His medicals at the combine are more crucial with him than anyone with a chance to go in the top 10. With his history of multiple injuries , Dion Jordan-like build, and lean frame  I wouldn't take him in the top 10, but I think he actually goes top 5. My fears about his size were confirmed when he showed up at only 235 pounds at the combine. Despite all the red flags Gregory still has the highest upside of all the edge rushers in this draft, and he is tailor made for the LEO , where his lack of weight isn't the hindrance it would be if he spent all his time on the edge.





6.JETS- DANTE FOWLER-DE-FLORIDA-NFL COMP-ANTHONY SPENCER-DALL-In a 2 day span the jets brought back Revis & Cromartie. Not to mention young safety Marcus Gilchrist. It's now safe to say that they won't be reaching for a DB here. 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. Fowler is one of the safest players in this draft. His motor , size, and versatility make him a fit for any scheme. I think Todd Bowles is the kind of coach to get the most out of his players , regardless of scheme and that Fowler could be a star in New York. 






7.CHICAGO-AMARI COOPER-WR-ALA-NFL COMP-RODDIE WHITE-ATL-

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.However, since he is bringing in a 3-4 , and signed Pernell Mcfee on a big money deal to man that spot, the bears can turn to other needs with their first round pick. Trading mercurial 34 year old Brandon left a hole in the bears receiving core. Cooper is very different receiver than Alshon Jeffery and that's a good thing. While Amari can separate ,make some spectacular catches,  and track it over shoulder with best of them,  he has his flaws.Namely that he drops too many easy passes , but at;least its usually on early downs, instead of when it matters most.He also isn't someone you can just throw it up for and expect him too come down with it, but few corners can stay with him deep anyway. All 3 questions I had about him physically were answered when he measured & weighed in at 6 foot one & 211 pounds at the combine, and ran a 4.42 forty. He may go as high as #4 to the raiders, but I doubt he falls any farther than #11. 



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


  



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





10.RAMS-LA'EL COLLINS-T/G-LSU-NFL COMP-TRENT WILLIAMS-WASH-Swapping Bradford for Foles gives the rams a better chance of having a healthy QB this season, especially with Foles no longer being exposed to the occasional read option play, and a lot less spread formations which lack extra pass protectors. Now they have to protect their new QB by investing in their O-line again. With Jake Long coming off another injury and being cut ,right tackle Joe Barksdale a free agent , and 2014 #2 overall pick Greg Robinson not playing well at left tackle last year , the Rams could possibly need 2 new offensive tackles. While its way to early to give up on Robinson as a tackle and kick him inside, a player who has a lot positional flexibility would really help. Collins can play either tackle or guard spot allowing the rams to mix and match what they need. With Collins and Roger Saffold both being so flexible they could lose both tackles and still field a solid starting 5 up front, while taking the pressure off Robinson to immediately be the franchise left tackle his talent leads us to believe he is.



11.MINNESOTA-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 was paid like a #1. The vikings cut him ,but also traded for Mike Wallace. While Wallace is a big play threat, he lacks the route running skills & sure handedness of a number one receiver. 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, and acquire a potential # 1 receiver. If Scherff or Collins falls here either 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-DANNY SHELTON-DT-WASH-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE-Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has been as bad as Al Davis, Daniel Snyder Woody Johnson, and Jerry Jones at their worst combined. He hired good football people to run the team, and when they told him to draft Teddy Bridgewater instead of Johnny Manzel he fired them and ate their contracts. Then he put yes men in place and drafted Manziel. At least one of those yes men was supposedly interfering in the play calling, and preceded to lead the team down the drain. What Haslam needs to do is realize he's NOT a football guy , hire good people to run the team, and stay out of their way.The signing of Josh McCown, and his willingness to help mentor Manziel into taking his job probably means they are sticking with Manziel as their QB of the future , at least for one more year. The last of the 3 receivers worth a first round pick is gone in this scenario, as they can't risk taking the troubled Dorial Green-Beckham ,after the Josh Gordon fiasco. However, the browns can fill another big need. Neither 2015 free agent Ahytab Rubin or Phil Taylor held it down inside for the Browns last 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 this off season.Shelton continued to impress at the Senior bowl after a dominating season, and he is a one man run stopping force in the middle. His quickness and ability to cover ground along the line of scrimmage for such a massive man is rare, although he needs more pass rush moves in the long term. Despite people calling him a top 10 pick I would hesitate to 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.





13.SAINTS-BALTIMORE-SHANE RAY-OLB/DE-MIZZ- NFL COMP-ELVIS DUMERVIL-BALT-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.Ray didn't get as much spotlight as the steady Kony Ealy or media creation Michael Sam in 2013. He did however make a lot of plays as an edge rusher. Now that he has had a chance to shine in the spotlight he 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 long term is as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 rush backer, but he needs to bulk up some to play the former. What I do know for sure is that he has a great first step, violent hands, and that he can rush the passer.Ray had an injury that prevented him from working out at the combine, although I expect him to kill it at his pro day. That injury is the only reason he falls this far in this scenario. Personally I think he is the best edge rusher in the draft, and this would be a steal if it came to fruition. 





14.MIAMI-**TRAE WAYNES-CB-MICH ST-NFL COMP-CHRIS GAMBLE-retired-With the Dolphins already having trouble stopping the run , Randy Starks turning 32 & becoming a free agent after this season, the news that they will be pursuing Ndamukong Suh made a ton of sense. They already cut Brian Hartline and Cortland Finnegan to clear cap space, and traded Mike Wallace and his hefty contract.They landed Suh , and that makes corner their biggest need where they can get a player worth this pick. Waynes played press corner at a high level in a good conference.He does need to get stronger ,play with a little more discipline, and learn to either grab less, or at least do it less blatantly. I am sure Gus and his coaches can teach Trae how to properly cheat. Trae has a high floor, and that's why I compared him to the underrated Chris Gamble, but he could be even greater in time. Waynes lit up the combine, and that will probably clinch his spot as the first corner taken. Middle linebacker is also a big need but there isn't a player worth this pick here, and I could see them getting a great fit in Perryman in the 2nd. If any of the top 3 receivers falls this far I would take him, but I doubt  any make it past #12 at the latest.




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 & contemplating retirement, 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. He's one of those players that the more of his tape I watched , the more I liked him.




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




17.CHARGERS-BUD DUPREE-DE/OLB-KY-NFL COMP-JUSTIN HOUSTON-KC-With Dwight Freeney being cut and Jarret Johnson retiring, an infusion of edge rushing talent is needed in San Diego. 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 less coverage responsibilities , and learn to play with more violence, I  believe he can be an elite player early in his career. After a great combine I expect more people to join me in ranking him higher, and I wouldn't be surprised if he was long gone before this, but luckily for the Chargers that's just how the draft fell in this scenario. 




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 was 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 expected them to address the need in free agency , and they already added Jeremy Maclin. Although, I am sure they will draft a receiver at some point. However safety Eric Berry has been diagnosed with cancer . Collins could fill that void and bring a intimidating presence to the secondary. If Dorial Green-Beckham interviews well the Chiefs are one of the few teams that might take a chance on him high in the draft. 



19.CLEVELAND-( buffalo)-KEVIN JOHNSON-CB-W.FOREST-NFL COMP-TRAMON WILLIAMS-GB-  Last season when the Browns drafted a corner they went with the highest upside in Justin Gilbert, and he hasn't worked out yet. With the loss of free agent Buster Skrine they would be wise to go with a corner with a higher floor this time. Johnson is a tall, lean, fluid,  polished corner who plays much bigger than his frame would lead you to believe.  I was very disappointed when he skipped the senior bowl, and felt justified in dropping him for awhile, but after his showing at the combine he needs to moved back up. He plays the game with a chip on his shoulder, and his lean frame is misleading based on the physical way he plays the game He showed up bigger at the combine and still looked fluid in drills.One of the safer corners in this draft because he has a high floor ,and can play in any scheme.




20.EAGLES-TJ CLEMMINGS-OT-PITT-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-

-At first I thought the Bradford trade only makes sense if they are planning on trading him away and going after another QB. Bradford is a talented QB with plus accuracy, and a above average ability to read a defense. However,  in no way can I see a player this injury prone surviving , let alone thriving in this offense. Not only does he lack the athleticism for the read option, but he also is too fragile to expect to survive the big hits spread QB's tend to take. Bradford played in a spread in college , and played very well, but he also got hurt multiple times. I had thought Kelly was going after a QB that could run his complete offense, but Bradford isn't a running QB. They did pay Mark Sanchez handsomely to be his backup, so at least Chip is covering his butt in case Bradford goes down again, and he even got a conditional pick that gets higher if Bradford is hurt. So while I believe the eagles gave up too much for the wrong QB , and suspect there might be more to come (Mariota?)QB wise, we will just have to wait and see. Until then we will focus on other needs we know they have.  Neither Bradley Fletcher or Cary Williams became the # 1 corner that matches up with an opposing teams top receiver , and can be expected to man him up with success. As a whole I think Byron Maxwell is about an even swap for Williams in free agency , but Maxwell is better in press coverage. They even brought in Walter Thurmond at a discount price,  who is one of Kelly's Oregon guys, so I now think they go another direction in the draft.  Longtime right guard Todd Hereman's was recently let go, and a replacement is needed. Clemmings is a muscular, fit ,long armed, agile athlete for an offensive tackle. Usually you find a player with his tools on the left side, but TJ is a converted DE who moved to right tackle 2 seasons ago, and he is still learning ,so a transition to the left side could take awhile. He fits Kelly's profile athletically ,and can play guard now until he learns more technique. Also, Clemmings might be able to transition to left tackle when Jason Peters is done. Or he could just go back to right tackle, while Lane Johnson mans the blind side.



21.BENGALS-ANDRUS PEAT-OT-STANFORD-NFL COMP-ANTHONY COSTANZO-INDYThe Bengals need an edge rusher ,but their isn't one available worth this pick, and at least they brought Michael Johnson back after his disappointing year in Tampa Bay. Right tackle Andre Smith is inconsistent, out of shape, overpaid, and injury prone. Just getting in good shape could probably fix the other 3 problems , but he has already been paid well twice already , and he has never seemed like the self motivating type to me. 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. There are games where he was great on the outside, and 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. Either way I would feel more comfortable with him at guard,  or right tackle as a rookie. Peat could be an upgrade here at right tackle, and if his technique improves he could be the long term replacement for Andrew Whitworth on the blind side, after the perennial stalwart finally slows down.





22.PITTSBURGH-**BYRON JONES-CB/S-UCONN- NFL COMP-XAVIER RHODES-MINN-

-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. Jones is the perfect physical specimen for a corner , with the makeup speed to match his large frame, the flexibility to also play safety if needed, and the ability to leap out of the building. While is a bit of here reach here, it is a scheme fit, and Jones has the highest upside of all the corners in the draft. With the Steelers also letting go of Polamalu that flexibility could come in handy. 



23.DETROIT- CARL DAVIS-DT-IOWA-NFL COMP-MUHAMMAD WILKERSON-NYJ--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 declined his 2015 option and he surprisingly signed with the rams.Since they needed to pay Suh they probably couldn't afford him anyway. However, Suh is now a dolphin and while there is little chance of finding a player as good in the draft, adding a proven leader like Haloti Ngata is still a good move. While Ngata is past his prime , he is still a force inside who can help with the rumored move to a 3-4 defense. Drafting someone who can play all the interior down lineman spots in both defenses like Carl Davis makes a lot of sense as well. Davis is strong as a bull and has the length teams covet. He also showed off surprising quickness at both the senior bowl and combine. 




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. However, he was 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 still be a definite upgrade outside in the desert . 




25.CAROLINA-**DJ HUMPHRIES-OT-FLA-NFL COMP- WILLIAM BEATTY-NYG-Jordan Gross retiring last season caught the Panthers by surprise, and they didn't do much to remedy it in the 2014 draft. Their plan to move Byron Bell to the left side smacked of desperation to me, and he did not play well. Their other option was 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 down the road, but that seems like two huge gambles to base the health of your franchise QB on. Even a physical specimen like Newton can only take so many hits and I was surprised he survived the regular season without a major injury, although he did suffer 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. Humphries is a fluid athlete with left tackle feet, and after adding weight before the combine, as he reportedly played at only 285 last season & looked like it,  he is rising up draft boards. His injury history worries me enough that I wouldn't take him in the first round, but he is also one of only 2 OT prospects in this draft(La'el Collins is the other one) I believe can pass block on the blindside in the NFL as a rookie. Maybe the added weight will help him get some movement at the line in the run game as well, and being from the Charlotte area can't hurt. I Don't put much stock in the Michael Oher signing as a left tackle. Oher has had his spurts of good play at either tackle spot, but he has also had a lot of bad snaps on the outside. I have always thought that he would make a good guard, but don't trust him in pass pro as a tackle. Their is a reason that the Ravens didn't resign him, and a reason the Titans cut him after only one year .and ate all the dead money on their cap. You can bet your ass that Newton would be happy to know Hughes was on his blind side, instead of Oher or Byron Bell.

  


26.BALTIMORE-#MARCUS PETERS-CB-WASH-NFL COMP-DESMOND TRUFANT-ATL-Lardarius Webb has declined for two straight seasons ,will be 30 years-old in 2015, was injured last season, and his salary number goes up to a cap busting twelve million dollars as well. On tape Peters was 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 Marcus with the kind of support he needs to have a good chance of success as a pro.





27.DALLAS-SHAQ THOMPSON-OLB/SS/RB-WASHINGTON-NFL COMP-THOMAS DAVIS-CAR-They SHOULD draft a safety that can tackle and cover, but they have continually ignored the position at the top of the draft. At least Jason Garret has persuaded the Jones family to invest in the O-line, and Dallas has the best offensive line in the league right now. Resigning right tackle Doug Free solidifies the group for a while. Last time they paid Free well his play fell off, and he was hurt twice this season, so drafting a developmental swing tackle later should be a priority. However, although Free is probably only the 4th best player on this line his veteran leadership is important to the young group. Dallas has a bad cap situation and Dez Bryant is due a big deal. Also remember that players who played a significant role like Dwayne Harris, Justin Durant, and Bruce Carter have already left in free agency this off season. They also just recently overpaid to keep slot guy Cole Beasley , which makes no sense based on his lack of use, inability to return kicks, block, or do pretty much anything else besides play the slot. A corner might be the best value when they draft , or a upgrade for left guard  Ron Leary, whose problems in pass protection stood out on this line.  So keep that in mind if they again draft a tackle and kick him inside based on the best player available theory.However, in this scenario the boys not only finally draft a safety, but also help their line-backing core. Thompson can play strong safety on running downs, and be a linebacker on passing downs. If Sean Lee is healthy that would give Dallas 2 linebackers that excel in coverage while they are in their nickle defense. With Dallas already losing 2 linebackers his off season Thompson, or another guy who can play linebacker be( Eric Kendrick's maybe)would make the most sense. Don't forget that Dallas was poised to take linebacker Ryan Shazier instead of Zack Martin, but the Steelers took him right before they were up. I would think Dallas will wait until later to select a running back, due the great depth at the position in this draft, but Todd Gurley wouldn't surprise me here either.


28.DENVER-CAMERON ERVING-C/T-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MAX UNGER-SEA-After getting quickly knocked out of the playoffs John Elway decided a change needed to be made at head coach and brought in Gary Kubiak. His main jobs were to convince Peyton Manning to return & to keep him healthy. They got Peyton to come back and he even gave the broncos some cap relief. With both Demaryius Thomas & Julius Thomas being free agents , and only being able to put the franchise tag on one of them, Demaryius was the choice to tag  Julius left for the money in Jacksonville, but re-signing Virgil Green and bringing in Owen Daniels probably means the broncos won't be spending a high pick on a TE in this draft. 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 a new interior lineman after the Chargers signed Orlando Franklin out from under him. Erving is the best pure center in this draft. Cameron 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 was great since a move to center, and I believe he can play all five O-line positions with the proper coaching . That makes him worth his weight in gold. Right now though they need a center and he is already the best one in this draft with the potential to get a lot better.Drafting him to play center would also allow the broncos to move Manny Ranirez back to guard.



29.COLTS-BERNARDRICK McKINNEY-ILB-MISS.ST-NFL COMP-DONT'A HIGHTOWER-NE-Watching Legarette Blount run through tackles had to leave a big a big impression on the Colts entire organization.  While current inside LB's D'qwell Jackson and Jerrell Freeman lack the take on skills that are needed inside ,Mckinney is a thumper.  He can take on a guard in the hole , stack him up, shed his block, and knock the RB backwards. That kind of physical play can change the whole attitude of a defense. He needs to improve in coverage, but I think he can hold up there with some coaching, especially in zone. As a 6 foot 4 linebacker with long arms could really obscure passing lanes. In a 3-4 he could have less coverage responsibilities, and you could just send him after the QB on passing downs, as I sometimes feel that playing as an edge rusher might be his best pro position. While I wouldn't take him quite this high I expect someone will based on his measurables, upside, and combine I expect him to go in the first round.



30.GREEN BAY-**EDDIE GOLDMAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MARCEL DAREUS-BUFF-The most important thing that Green Bay needs to do at all times is protect Aaron Rodgers. The Pack got injury prone free agent right tackle Bryan Bulaga to come back at a discounted price, ensuring continuity on along the O-line.right tackle. this allows them to address other needs. I am not a big believer in the long term health of perennially out of shape BJ Raji returning to form. I also think Letroy Guion would be a better fit as a backup nose tackle.  Goldman has the power to take on double teams and the quickness and athletic ability to rush the passer and even play the 5 technique. Drafting him would give them more options up front to get the most out inside guys in odd or even fronts. The only reason he isn't a surefire first rounder in this draft is that he didn't work out the combine, and there haven't been any public reports yet proclaiming him fully healed from an ankle injury,.Although he played pretty well with it in both post season games. 





31.SAINTS-(seattle)-MAXX WILLIAMS-TE-MINN-NFL COMP-HEATH MILLER-PITT-The deal to trade Jimmy Graham not only gave the saints some much needed cap relief, it also gave them an extra first round pick , and got them a pro bowl caliber center " if" he can stay healthy. Williams is the clear cut # 1 TE in this draft . On the bright side Williams is more than just a good receiving TE.  Unlike Graham Williams has the potential blocking skills of a true inline Y tight end, and this ability to help protect Brees & improve the running game actually makes Max an overall upgrade at the position. While he is never going to be the deep threat down the seam Graham was , he looks faster on film than he was at the combine. Personally I'd rather have Williams , the extra # 1 pick, and the cap savings.



32.PATRIOTS-RONALD DARBY-CB-FLA ST-NFL COMP-JOHNATHAN JOSEPH-HOU-
The most likely outcome for the patriots is a trade down, but if they are stuck my guess is they will go for either a  corner, wide receiver, O-lineman , or edge rusher. Unless they take Dorial Green-Beckham and all his baggage here I don't see them taking a receiver. The patriots first and foremost priority should always to be to protect Tom Brady, but they have failed in their duty for the most part this year, especially on the inside. Not one guard on their team has done a good job of keeping the pressure out of Brady's face. However, they a have a better chance of getting a good guard later in the draft than they do of getting a pure cover corner.With the loss of both Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner , corner becomes their number one need. Darby is an elite fluid athlete with the skill to be one of the leagues best cover corners early on, if he can learn to play with more discipline, and work on his tackling techniques. This former track star also has the makeup speed few corners have. The more polished PJ Williams , or the gifted but raw Jalen Collins could also fit here.

2 comments:

  1. Lol, the Browns WILL NOT PICK A CB in the first 3 rounds and they sure as hell won't pick a 3rd rounder with the 19th pick. Try again.

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    1. You know its sad enough that you hide behind anonymity and leave your negative comment, but at least make them intelligent. If you don't like my reasoning point out why, and give an explanation of what you would do. If you think newly signed 32 year old Tramon Williams is more than just a past his prime short term stop gap at corner say something like that. There are plenty of people who leave comments disagreeing with me. I don't mind, especially when they make intelligent arguments explaining their position, but to just leave a vague unsigned insulting jab without explanation is weak.

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