There was an error in this gadget

Friday, March 4, 2016

2016 2 ROUND NFL MOCK DRAFT-3/4/16- With Trades & Player Comparisons-

The scouting combine is now done, and we are on to the pro days . Massive tape study continues, especially on the early entries & guys who didn't play in any of the ALL - STAR games.  It seems year after year that the NFL keeps hoping that they will slow down the influx of early entries, but their plan isn't working. A record 107 underclassmen entered the 2016 draft, and I think it's likely that close to a quarter of them will go UN-drafted. However most of the top 10, probably more than 70% of the first round draftees , and at least 40 plus players out of the top 100 will also be players who could have stayed in school for at least one more year. Keep in mind that some of these guys will get hurt, get in trouble off the field, and impress and/or disappoint at the combine , at on campus Pro Days, or during visits with teams.  The prospects have former or current NFL player comparisons below their name , so you can get an idea of who it is your team might be getting. If you don't know the player then just run a search. However, I will change them later if someone else comes to mind that I think is a better comp.  Right now I see a draft deep on the defensive side off the ball.  Interior D-line is the deepest overall position with over 10 players with at least a second round grade.So if you need a 4-3 DT,  a 3-4 end or nose tackle this is your lucky draft. Edge rusher, corner back , safety, and off the ball linebackers all have at least one potential top 10 pick. All of those positions also have at least 5 players with a chance to go in the first 2 rounds.  On offense the O-line is the strongest position group, especially at tackle in the first round, but there is depth at center throughout the draft. There is no clear cut elite franchise QB at the top of of this draft right now, even though I think it likely that 3 QB's go in the first round, and it's possible that as many 8 could go in the top 100, and at least a dozen should be drafted overall. Of the 2 QB's I currently have with a 1rst round grade neither of them are as highly graded as Winston & Mariota last year. Although the rest of this years draft is better in blue chip talents at the top compared to last season .The Patriots have officially been docked their number one pick from the 'Deflategate" witch hunt. Feel free to leave a comment. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it intelligently and respectfully. If you can't, or resort to personal attacks, I just won't post it. So here it is. Enjoy.


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


** Is for a player with reported injury concerns.




1.TENNESSEE - 
LAREMY TUNSIL - OT - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TRENT WILLIAMS - REDSKINS
For a young team that has already got some of the major building blocks of their rebuild in hand the best player available is usually the best strategy. Bosa has the highest floor with a pretty good upside,and in a draft where their is no clear cut number one pick he might be the best choice for them. However everything I hear or read from those in the know has so far led me to believe they are going to take Tunsil  "IF" they can't trade back. This could be draft smoke screening, because I thought Taylor Lewan was at least in the top half of LT's in the NFL last year, and that's pretty good for a 2nd year player. In fact Lewan (#12)has outplayed (#2 ) Greg Robinson, and (#6) Jake Matthews who were drafted ahead of him in 2014 so far. However, I get it.  You want to protect your new franchise QB. Flipping Lewan over to the right side and drafting Tunsil would give them young bookend high level tackles to help the franchise grow into a contender, and the pass rush was the strongest part of the titans defense last year. Tunsil had a odd start to the season. Originally coming off a broken leg , and then held out by the NCAA for receiving extra benefits before the season even started put his draft stock in jeopardy. The punishment finally ended and he started playing again on October 24th against Texas A&M. Not only did Tunsil play, he played really well against a likely 2017 top 10 pick in Myles Garrett, and continued to play well the rest of the year. He showed he is still the same elite talent I saw on tape before the injury too, and his ability to recover in the passing game on those few plays where he is beaten off the snap is extremely rare. Tunsil is a special athlete for an offensive tackle, and if wanted to he could probably drop 25 pounds and be a pro bowl TE.Although he needs to add muscle to be more of a force in the run game he does flash a finishers attitude at times. If he avoids any character mishaps, or another injury while preparing for the draft, I believe he will be the first OT taken. 



2.CLEVELAND 
CARSON WENTZ - N. DAKOTA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CARSON PALMER - CARDINALS
Johnny Football has left the building! The collective heartfelt sighs of relief among Browns can be felt worldwide, and Cleveland will now likely be selecting their 3rd first round QB in 5 years.   I have had them taking Goff for awhile , but if the rumors about him being smaller than listed & also having really small hands are true I think they go with Carson's upside. If not for an injury that cost him half the year Wentz might have been the consensus #1 QB, but we will never know now.  After leading N. Dakota St. to a NCAA division 1 championship ,he was having an even better season this year when he broke the wrist on his throwing hand. While FCS guys are harder to project ,he did play in a pro style offense , and has good tools. He returned from injury for the bowl game ,and led his team to another FCS championship. While he didn't do anything spectacular at the Senior Bowl he was clearly the best QB there, and he has already demonstrated he can be a weapon on designed QB runs as well. He also had the guts to show up and compete unlike some others. I am not as high on Wentz as some, and think he needs to sit at least a year, but I do believe he will become a good starter in time. Hue Jackson probably gets at least 2 years to show progress , and if Wentz can start games & play well late in his second season, then Jackson's job should be secure for awhile. They Browns have McCown to man the ship while the kid learns, so they might as well take the guy with netter upside now.There is no fan base and city more deserving & QB needy than Cleveland right now.



3.SAN DIEGO - 
JALEN RAMSEY - CB/S - FLORIDA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHARLES WOODSON - RAIDERS
Brandon flowers looked like he hit the wall last season, Patrick Robinson is a free agent, and perennial stud safety Eric Weddle is also a free agent. Who do you call when you need a corner and a safety? No, not the freaking ghostbusters. You call Jalen Ramsey's name on draft day.  Jalen is both the best corner back , free safety, and strong safety in this draft. That alone is quite a feet. He has even played some LB in the same way Arizona uses Deion Buchanon, and the Patriots use Patrick Chung.  Personally I would play him at safety over corner. Ramsey can fill either need while teaming with Jason Verrett to give their secondary some long term pieces.  





4.DALLAS - JOEY BOSA - DE - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JUSTIN TUCK - RAIDERS
No I will not give them a QB this high if your wondering. Not only does a healthy Romo make them an instant contender, but Jerry Jones isn't going to use a top 5 pick on a guy who is likely to sit at least a year, and possibly 3. Jerry is in his 70's , and desperately wants to win a Jimmy Johnson-less title he can claim all for his own. Most don't count their last one in 1996 for Jerry, because Jimmy built the overwhelming majority that roster. Although , I do think Dallas drafts a QB in the first 3 rounds to groom for the future, be a competent backup to Romo now & give them a better chance to avoid a complete collapse again if Romo's hurt for a stretch next year. However, Dallas desperately needs playmakers on defense. With Randy Gregory being suspended for flunking another drug test, the unlikely possibility of bringing back the distracting Greg Hardy after a disappointing under productive season, and the 33 year old next season Jeremy Mincey being a free agent coming off surgery , DE is surprisingly a huge need for Dallas. Rarely do you see a 4-3 strong side end who is a great pass rusher, but Bosa is. He also has a great frame with long arms and the overall height and length to be a 5 technique. Shocks blockers with his hands off the snap and stays in control of them until he wants to shed them. He is already very disruptive against the run or pass despite being a focus of offensive game plans . Bosa also has the highest floor of any player in this draft. Not only would Bosa falling here be a steal he would give them a lot more options rushing the passer. Bosa can play either side as a 4-3 end, but he is better fit on the strong side simply because he is stouter at the POA against the run than DeMarcus Lawrence. Both can also move inside to get Gregory back on the field at the same time if he has finally learned his lesson.  



5.JACKSONVILLE  - 
MILES JACK - ** - LB - UCLA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - PATRICK WILLIS - retired 
Left tackle is their biggest need in my opinion, but I see them going defense, because they had no problem scoring points this year. Paul Posluszny is a solid veteran player and the Jags defense is better when he is in the game, especially against the run. However he is injury prone, will be 32 next season, and the jags aren't financially tied to him. In addition Gus Bradley comes from Seattle where the versatile and athletic Bobby Wagner allowed his defense to do a lot of things Gus can't without a similar player. I am convinced that Jack can definitely be an elite playmaker as a 4-3 OLB, or in the middle of a cover 2 or 3 defense like the one Bradley runs.Once he showed up the combine at the rumored 245 pounds & had long arms  , he should be a top 10 lock . At that size 3-4 teams will think he can play inside too. How often do you see a linebacker covering the slot , AND doing it well? I even think he would have been a first round pick as a running back if he been devoted to only playing offense in college, because he is that great of a football player. He should be fine by the combine, and with the meniscus not generally being considered a long term problem, I think he still goes in the top 5.If both were completely healthy I still liked him a little more than Jaylon Smith, but Smith's recent serious knee injury makes any debate of who will be the first off the ball linebacker drafted moot. If Jalen Ramsey falls here he could easily be the pick as well. 



6.RAVENS - 
 RONNIE STANLEY -OT - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DUANE BROWN - TEXANS
Joe Flacco's cap number will be north of 28 million this year. With him now coming off a major injury I can see why some might want the Ravens to take a new QB here. Especially because they aren't likely to pick this high again anytime soon, but I will tell you while I doubt it. First, Flacco's  cap number is so high because he had so much leverage coming directly off a Superbowl victory. The ravens were 3-7 with Joe at QB this year before he got hurt. Second, Flacco had also just had one of the great statistical postseasons in NFL history when he got over paid. This year before his injury Joe had 14 TD's, 12 picks, was 25th in QB rating, and 28th in total QBR. 4th- Flacco is coming off a major knee injury, and that not only depresses his value for next season, but also long term. You may look at Flacco and see a big plodding guy , but he isn't. Sure he hasn't been the athlete that Newton or Luck are as a big QB's, but he has always been underrated with his sneaky athleticism in my book. That is probably unlikely coming off this injury at his age. So with the Ravens likely to return from a rash of injuries, reload in the draft, and get Flacco at a much more reasonable price this time around, I doubt they go QB in the first round. With Eugene Monroe being injured again, and his knee being a long term issue anyway, the Ravens are probably looking for a long term left tackle prospect. James Hurst has been really bad replacing Monroe, both last season & this year. In fact it was his inability to hold his ground that caused Joe to tear his ACL & MCL. This pick added to a healthy Flacco, 3rd place schedule, and another great Ozzie Newsome draft can make them a contender right away. Stanley would have been a first round pick in the 2015 draft, would be a big durable upgrade at left tackle in pass pro, and would also be an asset in the run game in their zone blocking scheme.



7.
SAN FRANCISCO - JARED GOFF - QB - CALIFORNIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KURT WARNER - retired
Colin Kaepernick's Jeckle and Hyde imitation continued this season, and he was benched for almost the entire second half of the season., and while I think he got too much of the blame, his contract allows them to move on from him after this year without a big penalty. Since they brought in Chip Kelly I now think they will keep him , because he should probably excel in Chip's offense. However, there are reports he wants out, so who knows? If that is the case I could actually see them trading up to get a QB. Tennessee is open to it, but will they take less than trade chart value to get it done? The Chargers , Dallas, and Ravens are also trade options, but I am now less certain about far they are going to be willing to move back. In this case Goff falls into their laps. His previous spread offense credentials, ability to quickly get rid of the ball, throw with anticipation, feet & toughness in the pocket, and local boy credentials make him a great fit in frisco. Goff has improved in all areas this season,has a good enough arm to make all the throws, and even adjusted well after a spate of interception heavy games around mid-season. Even though he isn't an elite QB prospect right now, he is still pretty good. He finished really strong in his bowl game, has good touch & accuracy, has the guts to keep his eyes down field & still make a good throw when the rush is bearing down on him, and makes his reads quicker than any other QB in this draft. Goff is the only guy I could see starting from day one as a rookie in this draft, especially in this offense, and that is another reason why I think he gores here.





8.MIAMI 
VERNON HARGREAVES the 3rd - CB - FLORIDA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TERENCE NEWMAN - VIKINGS
Corner back Brent Grimes has had a long a long distinguished career, but his play slipped some this year, he will be 33 next season, his salary is close to 8 million next year, and his wife publicly blasted their QB. In addition Jamar Taylor has never developed the way you would expect a 2nd round pick to do. Unless the Dolphins suddenly about face and dump Tannehill I don't expect Grimes to be back.  I had previously never seen a sophomore be the best corner in all of college football, but Vernon was in 2014. He got beat more in 2015, but is hasn't affected his confidence. He isn't as tall as you would like , but he challenges receivers like a much bigger man. Once he measured in at 5'10" and half" and over 200 pounds at the combine a top 15 selection is assured, and the top 10 is now very possible. He isn't just a cover guy either, as he also brings it in run support. At the very least he is a long term above average starter , who can also return punts, but polished guys like him usually go to a lot of Pro - Bowls throughout their careers.



9.TAMPA BAY - 
SHAQ LAWSON - DE - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - WILL SMITH - retired
I would go left tackle, but there is now a good chance that multiple veteran free agent OT's will be on the market to fill that void, and allow them to fill another big need with this pick. 
Lawson had a great season against the run & pass in 2015. He is also big & strong enough to move inside on obvious passing downs. After the game he played against likely top 10 pick Ronnie Stanley everyone was already taking notice, and his steady high level production continued throughout the season. Lawson was even productive in the national championship game limping around on one leg . Shaq is a guy with a high floor , great motor, and guys with all these attributes generally don't last long on draft day  . While he predominantly played on the weak side at Clemson, I believe he has the strength to hold up fine on the strong side if they want to play him there. 



10.NY GIANTS - 
JACK CONKLIN - OT - MICHIGAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JAKE LONG - FA 
When William Beatty went down last year I was afraid that the Giants would move first rounder Ereck Flowers to the blind side, and they did. It went badly, and I now wonder if they might have damaged his confidence to the point that he might not even be a right tackle this year. You hope when a young guy is thrown into the fire that he will at least get better as the season goes along, but it looked to me like he got worse. He injured his ankle multiple times, and I am sure that didn't help his play, but he may be a better fit inside long term. Now that they cut Beatty a new left tackle should be a priority, because whether he ends up at RT or inside at guard it's safe to say Flowers isn't a left tackle right now. The Giants offense is so much better when they run the ball and throw off play action. That makes a throwback mauler like Conklin a good fitConklin is a former walk on , self made man who earned a starting job as a red shirt freshman. He has a big frame, long arms, a relentless motor,, and proved at the combine he is a better athlete than a lot of teams think. He is a 3 year starter in a power 5 conference who has improved every year, and still did a very good job this year while playing hurt. He has the angry play through the whistle style that coaches love, and does it with fewer penalties than I expected. He would allow them to play Flowers elsewhere and improve 2 positions.



11.CHICAGO - DEFOREST BUCKNER -DE - OREGON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CALAIS CAMPBELL - CARDINALS
With Jay Cutler playing better than expected ,and Jon Fox having an aversion to playing rookies at key positions, I am now thinking they go a different direction in the draft. Although, a year without former OC Adam Gase things could change next year .The bears have plenty of needs though ,and Fox prefers to build on the defensive side of the ball .Jarvis Jenkins is a solid all around player, but he has never been the same explosive player he was in college after tearing his ACL as a rookie. He seems to be getting worse every year, and last year didn't even hold up against the run. With the Bears switch to a base 3-4 defense ,and lacking the long term 5 technique DE prospects needed to take it to next level, Buckner's selection would be ideal.Buckner is a guy I couldn't help noticing on tape when I was watching 49ers 2015 first round pick Arik Armstead. He has similar gigantic dimensions, but was a much more productive player than Armstead on film. He had even better season this time around, won match ups against big time players this year, and must be accounted for on every play. He deserves to go higher than this in my opinion, but I am sure Chicago would laugh all the way to the bank if he was here this late. 



12.SAINTS - 
SHELDON RANKINS - DT/DE - LOUISVILLE
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JURRELL CASEY - TITANS
The Saints don't have an every down interior pass rusher that is a difference maker. In a year full of high level interior D-Line talents Rankins has the best & most complete tape. Down in , down out, run or pass, and playing a variety of positions in multiple fronts this guy consistently made plays . He also did it 2 years in a row, and topped a really good 2014 with a great 2015. However, his build makes him look stockier than he actually is, and I doubted his listed ( 6"2" 305 lbs.)measureables. In fact I thought he would come in closer to 6 feet than 6'1' and 290 pounds than 300. Happily, I was wrong. Rankins came in at a fit 6"1"  5/8 inches tall and 304 pounds at the senior bowl weigh ins. Then he was even better at the senior bowl than I thought he would be, amd also had a good combine.He is one of my elite players in this draft, and the number one interior D-Lineman if you run a 4-3 defense . He will also probably be a steal for someone , because some teams really drop players on their boards when they don't have their ideal size.




13.PHILADELPHIA - TAYLOR DECKER - OT - OHIO ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JARED VELDHEER - CARDINALS
Chip Kelly got fired, and while I still believe he will be a great NFL coach in the right situation, they need to move forward rebuilding their O-LINE. Either way they are set up to run a zone system , and will value Decker more than most teams because he played in a very similar scheme in college. Cutting Pro bowl left guard Evan Mathis was a huge mistake for the Eagles. To rectify the problem the eagles need someone agile enough to play in their system, and strong enough to anchor the pocket in the passing game.That being said it would currently be a bit of a reach to take any of the OT's left on the board here, but like I said Decker is tailor made for their scheme, and could start out at guard. I expect  that many offensive line coaches will believe they could make him more consistent, and especially teach him to get off the ball quicker. If he does that alone more consistently he could be great. He can also slide over one spot to left tackle if soon to be 34 year old Jason Peters goes down again, and might be the long term answer there . That makes this an even better fit.





14.OAKLAND - EZEKIEL ELLIOT - RB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LE'VEON BELL - STEELERS
Despite elite tools Latavius Murray is inconsistent , is a free agent after the 2016 season, and 2015 was the first time he played in every game.  AD is the current gold standard for NFL RB's. No Elliot doesn't have the explosive burst or elite long speed of Adrian Peterson, but he does have good burst and long speed. Like AD he breaks a lot of tackles, finishes his runs, and has great balance . Also, Zeke does have better vision & runs with a lower pad level than AD. Then you get to the things Elliot does well that Peterson is bad at. Elliot is a good receiver with huge hands, great pass blocker , and rarely fumbles. I have the same grade I did for both Peterson & Gurley when I evaluated them before the draft. Based on grade alone Elliot is the best player in this draft, but the devaluation of his position , larger injury risk to running backs compared to other positions, and shorter than average effective career span for most RB's make it unlikely he is that high on any ones board.Elliot is the only for sure first round back in this draft, has been extremely productive for 2 straight years, and can play in any system. I expect him to run in the mid 4.5's , but he could be that rare RB that goes in the top 10 if he runs better at the combine.




15.RAMS
LAQUAN TREADWELL - WR - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ALLEN ROBINSON - JAGUARS
Ozzie Newsome is a guy who knows good tape trumps the underwear Olympics, and can fill a need with a good football player here, just like he did when they stole Terrell Suggs in 2003 . Treadwell is my number one receiver in this draft , and was the only one who might have gone in in the top 10 until he announced he wasn't running at the combine. I didn't think he was a burner, and expected a mid to high 4.5 forty tops, but this makes me wonder if he's even slower.That  makes the top 10 highly unlikely now. I still see him as the first receiver off the board though. He shook off the rust in the second half of this season ,and showed he was the same physical player he was before a serious leg injury. A big bodied guy who can go up and win jump balls would be appreciated by any QB, and that's Treadwell down to his toes. Has long arms, strong hands, and is skilled at beating press coverage. He is also an angry runner after the catch, and a good blocker as well.



16.DETROIT - 
COREY COLEMAN - ** - WR - BAYLOR
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - STEVE SMITH - BALTIMORE
Calvin Johnson's probable retirement leaves the Lion without a true #1 receiver. Golden Tate is a solid # 2 , but he does his best work put pf the slot anyway. Coleman gets open, can catch,  and he can stretch the field. If he was 6 "2" he would be a top 5 pick , but even at 5"11" he has been unstoppable this year.He's fierce and reminds me of a young Steve Smith , and once he learns a full route tree he could be an elite weapon for Stafford. 



17.ATLANTA - 
REGGIE RAGLAND - ILB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ROLANDO McCLAIN - COWBOYS
Roddy White has had a long and distinguished career. In fact he is a borderline future HOFer in my book. However , father time is undefeated and has caught up to Roddy now, and he was cut. I would take Josh Doctson if here in this scenario, but I think he goes late1/early 2. For now they can get value here with Ragland, and fill a need. Paul Worrilow was a liability in the middle for the Falcons. Reggie is a violent thumper inside ,that excels at taking on blocks and filling against the run . Ragland also has skills as a blitzer, and can occasionally even occasionally put his hand on the ground & rush off the edge. While he still needs work in coverage, he is passable right now in that area, and has enough athletic ability & a high enough football IQ to develop into a positive factor in this area. 



18.INDIANAPOLIS - 
ANDREW BILLINGS - NT - BAYLOR
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON- ANTHONY"BOOGER"McFARLAND - retired
The Colts rush defense was leaking up the middle last year. Billy Wynn is better as a backup interior D-Lineman on any team, but he is especially miscast as 3-4 nose tackle. Billings is massively strong,  can take on the double team , penetrate, and already has good quickness off the ball as a pass rusher. He has the second highest upside of all the DT's , and the ability to play any interior position in a odd or even front. If he takes well to NFL coaching and reaches his potential he could be elite.





19.BUFFALO - 
NOAH SPENCE - OLB/DE - #  -  E. KENTUCKY
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JUSTIN HOUSTON - KC
Mario Williams was misused by the Bills last year, and his hefty salary combined with public condemnation of said use , caused him to be cut. Spence us a high profile redemption story. His talent is undeniable, but his dismissal from Ohio St. ,after failing multiple drug tests put even a first round selection in doubt until recently. Not only did he pass lot of tests this year, but he requested to be tested as often as possible, and had a good season. Then he was the best edge rusher at the Senior Bowl, and coaches at both Ohio St. and eastern Kentucky went to bat for him.I still think he would be better in a 3-4 ,as he struggles to hold his ground at the point of attack & shed in the run game, but he has a big enough frame to add a little more muscle and keep his burst & quickness. I wouldn't take him this high, because of the past problems , average combine for his size, and his inconsistent motor on tape. However ,this is not a good year for edge rushers , and beggars can't be choosers. 


***TRADE*** The COWBOYS trade their  2nd (#34) and 3rd  (#67)  round picks to the JETS for their 1rst (#20) rounder***TRADE***



20.DALLAS- (jets)- PAXTON LYNCH - QB - MEMPHIS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - a more athletic JOE FLACCO - RAVENS
When you have a 36 year old QB that has broken his collarbone twice in one season, and still may have surgery on it again. you NEED to draft a QB. Even if Dallas signs a better veteran backup they still need someone they can develop for the future. Lynch has all the talent in the world , but he needs to learn a lot before he has a chance to be a NFL starter. After he led Memphis to an upset of Ole Miss we all got excited about Lynch. A guy with his elite size, above average NFL arm strength, and athleticism for a QB is rare. He definitely has franchise QB tools. but his performance late in the season was disappointing, especially in his bowl game. When you have a month to prepare for an opponent you should put up your best game. Instead he looked like he was just trying not to lose, and that tentative approach in a game that was tied at half time cost them the game. The whole incident just raises too many questions for me . Will he prepare hard enough? Does he fold under pressure? No one expected them to beat Ole Miss, so the pressure was lower. When the spotlight was on him, and a great game against Auburn would have given him a good chance to be the first QB off the board he didn't come through.  While I didn't give him a first round grade,  I still think he gets drafted there. Lynch still has work to do, but a chance to sit behind Romo for a couple of years would give him a good chance to develop into a possible franchise QB.  




21. WASHINGTON - 
DARRON LEE - OLB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - THOMAS DAVIS - PANTHERS
The Redskins don't have an inside linebacker that can cover a lot ground against the run or pass. Lee can be the Will in their 3-4 , and also play the weak side when they are in a 4-3, and do a lot of damage in nickle & dime. Lee is a fluid, athletic, playmaking former DB that would give their defense a lot more range and versatility. 




22.HOUSTON - VERNON BUTLER - DT - LA. TECH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MUHAMMAD WILKERSON - JETS
Jared Crick had a down 2015 and is a free agent. They need an interior D-lineman to take some of the pressure of JJ Watt, and it would help if it was someone versatile enough to move around their front like Watt does. They also need someone who can get penetrate into the backfield against the run or pass, and win the one on ones that Watt provides. It would not only free up JJ to avoid more double and triple teams it would confuse the offense . Butler primarily was a 5 technique at a small school, but his tape was great, and he had a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. It's extremely rare for such a big man to move so well, and he has the quickness to play the 5 technique, and the size and power to play the nose in this defense. He could even take some of the pressure off Wilfork inside. Butlers tape just kept getting better, and after a good Senior Bowl week I have him with a first round grade, but small school guys tend to fall farther than they should.


23.MINNESOTA - 
JOSH DOCTSON - ** - WR - TCU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - AJ GREEN - BENGALS
The Vikings lack a true # 1 receiver. Specifically Bridgewater needs a guy he can go to in clutch situations. Doctson will need to widen his route tree in the NFL, but he is clutch . He also has large sticky hands, great body control, a wide catch radius, and the leaping ability to win jump balls when it matters most. If not for a late season wrist injury I think he would already have been in the first round conversation a lot more before the combine, but after it I say he goes in the latter 3rd of the first round.




24.CINCINNATI - 
JAYLON SMITH - ** - LB - N. DAME
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DERRICK JHONSON - CHIEFS
The Bengals are a franchise that love to draft highly talented players who fall due to character issues, or injury, and many of them have worked out. They also have on of the leagues most talented and deep rosters. This allows them to draft a year ahead in many cases. If not for a major knee injury in his bowl game Smith would be at least a top 10 pick, and probably top 5 in my opinion. He has sideline to sideline ability, top level athleticism, good size, and is a great blitzer. If Smith is back my mid-season this is a great pick. Even if he misses the whole year, but returns to form in year 2 it's still a good one. With Vontaze Burfict's questionable behavior causing him to be suspended, he could be on a very short leash, and Smith could step right in to that void. The best case scenario is that Vontaze gets his act together , slides inside, and Smith takes his old spot improving 2 positions at once. 




25.PITTSBURGH 
ELI APPLE - CB - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - AQIB TALIB - BRONCOS
The Steelers defense is in a transition phase. They drafted 2 smaller corners in 2015, but need another with more size going forward, and they especially need to replace Antwon Blake. In that case I have Fuller as the highest ranked corner left. .As a 3rd year sophomore Apple wasn't someone I expected to enter this draft, but I have been playing catch up with some of his tape this week. He's big, fast, athletic, and aggressive in coverage.He still needs to be coached up, especially on quickly recognizing route combinations, his penchant for penalties, and work on his tackling. However, he has a high upside and his best football should be ahead of him.


26.SEATTLE - 
JASON SPRIGGS - OT - INDIANA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - D'BRICKASHAW FERGUSON - JETS
Russell Oking is currently their best offensive lineman, but he is a free agent , not worth big franchise let tackle money,and they can't pay everybody in the salary cap era.First off let me say the Seahawks should pick nothing but O-lineman in the first 3 rounds, but I doubt they will. I think they trade back unless a tackle they think is athletic enough to play in a zone scheme, and is worth this pick is available when they are up. Spriggs is a 4 year starter that has improved every season. I have a second round grade on him after I finished all his tape, but he had already grown on me a lot this season. If he adds some more muscle & learns to play lower he can be great in time, and if the gargantuan Phil Loadholt can learn to bend his knees so can Spriggs.  Like Ferguson his forte is pass protection right now, and his ability to mirror is excellent. He doesn't get a lot of push in the run game , but in the Seattle zone scheme he could make more of a difference than he could for some other teams.He will rise up draft boards after a good senior bowl. He even played with more leverage & knee bend then he showed on his previous game tape in mobile. He is still more vulnerable to inside moves in pass pro than he should be , but it was less of a problem in a ALL STAR games practices than it was on game film. The fact that he has recognized his flaws and is working on them should endear him to NFL teams. If he continues to do well at the combine ,in interviews, and in workouts he should come off the board in the late first round.



27.GREEN BAY - 
A'SHAWN ROBINSON - DT/DE - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MARCELL DAREUS - BILLS
Nose tackle BJ Raji is no longer a force inside and is a free agent this off season. DE Letroy Guion is also a free agent , and while he may be back on a cheaper deal, he was suspended to start the season for a off the field incident. Robinson tape hasn't been as good as I hoped it would be, and he especially needs to get better as a pass rusher & at consistently playing low, but he still has first round talent. He is very strong and consistently shoves O-lineman into the backfield on run plays.He can hold the point of attack against the double team & penetrate when he's on, but he also needs to be more consistent shedding blockers. He can play all the interior positions in any front .
  



28.KANSAS CITY - 
JARRAN REED - - DT/DE - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON- TY WARREN - retired
The only thing former #1 overall pick Eric Fisher has shown for certain is that he doesn't play well as a left tackle. Donald Stephenson is a good athlete , but watching him get mollywopped against Green Bay convinced me he is not the long term answer for the Chiefs on the blindside either. I now think they would have to reach too far to take a tackle here, and won't over draft one in this case, but if Spriggs falls here they could take him . 31 year old Mike Devito is a key player along the defensive line, and he does a lot of the dirty work inside for the Chiefs, but there bevy of veteran free agents mean that some guys will need to be replaced to fit under the cap. Reed is a beast against the run, and he has enough athletic ability to improve as a pass rusher. He can play the nose and the 5 technique in their 3-4 as well.




29.ARIZONA - 
KAMALEI CORREA - OLB/DE - BOSE ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MELVIN INGRAM - CHARGERS
The Cards need help on the front of their 3-4 defense, especially an edge rusher .I thought Correa should have stayed for his senior year after his numbers were down compared to 2014, because he had a good chance to be a top 20 pick next year. Either way his burst off the snap and motor will get him on the field early. Once he is coached up he could be a force on the outside long term. 


30.CAROLINA - 
GERMAIN IFEDI - T/G - TEXAS A&M
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ANTHONY DAVIS - 49ers
Out of all the teams that pursued La'el Collins the Panthers were the one that NEEDED him the most, but he signed with Dallas so they still need a left tackle. While Michael Oher has surprisingly looked pretty good at LT in pass protection , he has been horrible as a run blocker. RT Mike Remmers played alright throughout the year, but he was terrible in the Super Bowl ,and is a free agent. Ifedi is the next Texas A&M offensive tackle with a good chance to go high in the draft, has really long arms , and he has the nasty streak you want in the NFL. He has already played tackle & guard,  has been especially good in the run game, and that's a big plus in this offense. German can play RT now, as he's definitely more comfortable on that side, and maybe develop into their long term LT.


31.DENVER - 
CODY WHITEHAIR - G/T - KANSAS ST.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOSH SITTON - PACKERS
After the loss of Ryan Clady to his second major injury in 3 years I understand why some people will want a left tackle here. If one pops up that I think might be available this late,fits their scheme, and is a good value,  that will be the pick. Keep in mind that Clady was the ONLY Bronco lineman I felt good about in this scheme before they lucked into Evan Mathis. No matter who the QB is next season I expect them to be running Kubiak's zone scheme, and while Cody needs to get stronger , he could start as a rookie in this type of offense. Whitehair is a college left tackle who would be playing left guard for the Broncos. With Cody's experience at both tackle and guard he can just slide to the left one spot if Clady goes down again , and fill in for at least the short term. 




32.CLEVELAND - VONN BELL - S - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DEVIN McCOURTY - PATRIOTS
It looks like FS Tashaun Gibson won't be back next year, and that leaves a hole in the Browns secondary. Bell is another of Ohio states early entries ,and his ability to man up in nickel would be much appreciated in Cleveland. He has already showed how well he can play in the box against the run or pass , but he could polish his tackling .While he didn't play deep as often ,I believe he has the athletic ability to be an interchangeable safety, play some single high, and give them the ability to blitz more.




33.TENNESSEE - DERRICK HENRY - RB - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHRISTIAN OKOYE - retired
The Titans have 4 RB's and don't seem inclined to commit to any of them, so to me that means they don't have a #1 back. Taking a back like Henry to lead their power running game would help take the load off of Mariota, and also help their defense stay off the field.The Heisman winner is big, fast, explosive, powerful, and proved he can be the focal point of an offense last year. His ability to run over , through, and away from defenses in the second half of games after they are worn down is awesome. However, after a year with around 400 touches it's probably good that they have all those backs to share some of the load in the first half of games




34.JETS-(dallas)- LEONARD FLOYD - LB - GEORGIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CONNOR BARWIN - EAGLES
Calvin Pace is past his prime and will be 36 next year. Plus former first round bust Quinton Coples was cut late in the season. right now 2015 3rd rounder Lorenzo Mauldin is their only threat as 3-4 rush backer. Floyd is a great athlete that can bend the arc on the way to the passer, but he needs a wider array of moves right now. He also needs to add muscle,  spent far too much time playing the middle like Clay Matthews last year, and it was a waste of his rushing ability in my opinion.  His overall tape wasn't as impressive as I thought it would be either.He is too light to be an every down player right now in my opinion, and I think he is just a situational pass rusher as a rookie. That's why I don't have him as high as many others. I think he will do well at the combine, but unless he shows up weighing at least 245 pounds he could drop out of the first round.



35.SAN DIEGO - RYAN KELLY - C - ALABAMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOHN SULLIVAN - VIKINGS
The Chargers have had the worst center play over a 2 year period that I have ever seen in the last couple of years. In 2014 alone they started 5 different players at the pivot. In 2015 Trevor Robinson was the primary guy, and he was not good. Kelly is the best center in this draft for a team that runs the Chargers scheme. All people who love the draft were very disappointed when he backed out of the Senior Bowl, but I am over it now enough to admit that he is still probably going to be the first center off the board. Combining Kelly with their new left tackle might even be enough to get Rivers to sign a long term deal. 


36.BALTIMORE - ROBERT NKEMDICHE - -  DT/DE - OLE MISS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - NICK FAIRLEY - RAMS
Newsome likes to fill holes a year early, Chris Canty option wan't picked up, and Brandon Williams are free agents next year. Nkemdiche is a top 10 talent. He can be as good as he wants to be, but I am now tempering my expectations after finishing his tape, and think he will fall a lot farther than his talent warrants on draft day. He has the size and strength to hold up against the double team as a 3-4 end, and the explosion & quickness to rush the passer as 4-3 three technique. He was the # 1 overall prospect out of high school a few years back for a reason, but a late season bone headed high profile off the field incident involving weed could send his stock tumbling. He compounded it at the combine by throwing a teammate under the bus, and blaming the media for his problems .His production has never quite lived up to his ability, and while some of it is due to double teams, some of it looks like it's due to a lack full time effort to me . Baltimore has a strong veteran locker room, and the infrastructure to help thid kid reach his potential. 




37.SAN FRANCISCO - MICHAEL THOMAS - WR - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KEENAN ALLEN - CHARGERS
Their aren't enough weapons in the 49er's arsenal to give their young QB a good chance to succeed . Despite signing Torrey Smith to a big free agent deal,  Anquan Boldin is still their best receiver. Thomas is a big receiver with a wide catch radius, and strong run after the catch abilities.Although Thomas is more athletic , he has a lot of the same qualities and physical play style that Boldin does . Anquan can mentor him before he rides off into the Hall Of Fame sunset.




38.JACKSONVILLE - DARION THOMPSON - D - BOISE ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - RESHAD JONES - DOLPHINS
The Jaguars had 3 safeties play significant snaps last season, none of them are above average , and the 2 of them that missed a lot of tackles are free agents in 2017.  Thompson was impressive on tape, especially against the run, but he positively answered a lot of questions about his coverage abilities at the Senior Bowl. 





39.TAMPA BAY - MACKENSIE ALEXANDER - CB - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JOSH NORMAN - PANTHERS
Sterling Moore &  Mike Jenkins are both free agents this off season, and Alterraun Verner had a down season last year.  As a 3rd year sophomore Alexander wasn't a guy I thought would enter the draft, but after watching him blanket Sterling Shepard when he lined up outside in the Oklahoma game I understand why he did. Once I started going through some of his tape it became clear that his feet & hips are awesome. He also has confidence and knows how to get into a receivers head. He may never pick off a lot of balls, but it's hard to tell because QB's avoided throwing into his coverage. If his hamstring injury isn't serious, and he test & measures well at his pro day he's a definite 1rst rounder. 




40.NEW YORK GIANTS - KEVIN DODD - DE - CLEMSON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DERRICK SHELBY - DOLPHINS
The pass rush was the real key to the Giants 2 Superbowl victories under Tom Coughlin, and despite DC Steve Spagnouolo's return I doubt it's a good one this season. JPP already looked on the decline due to his back injury, but blowing up his hand in a boneheaded fireworks gone wrong incident only makes things worse. They already rescinded his long term contract offer, and considering how badly he has handled the aftermath of this situation,  I would be shocked if they brought him back next season. He finally passed a physical and is playing again, but even if they do bring him back I think he would he might be a better fit on the strong side now. So far they have kept playing him on the right though. Dodd's ability to play either DE position would be welcomed. He's a one year wonder who played his best ball down the stretch, especially in both playoff games. That worries me when a guy enters the draft with so little starting experience, but he's smart, athletic, and has a great frame.

41.CHICAGO - HUNTER HENRY - TE - ARKANSAS
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - ZACH ERTZ - EAGLES
Alshon Jeffery is a free agent after the season, and while he will probably be brought back next year the Bears may not want to pay him what he wants on a long term deal. Chicago's receiving core was decimated by injuries this year, and Jeffrey has missed significant time in 2 of his 4 seasons. Even if 2015 #1 pick Kevin White returns healthy for 2016 ,and is the guy they thought he was when they drafted him, another receiver is needed. . Cutler was reduced to throwing to Marc Mariani, Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, and Cameron Meredith in the final game of the season. He needs help. It also looks like Martellus Bennett won't be brought back. While Zach Miller actually played well at TE last year, he will 2 this season, and yje journeyman has never had any sustained success in the NFL. Henry is the best receiving TE in this draft right now, with good body control and great hands. While he needs to get stronger & polish his technique as a blocker , he at least has the frame to get stronger, and gives good effort at it on every play.  



42.MIAMI - SHON COLEMAN - ** - OT - AUBURN
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KYLE TURLEY - retired
After a bad 2014 LG Dallas Thomas was even worse in 2015. In addition to that LT Branden Albert has misses multiple games  for 4 straight years. So while a left guard is absolutely needed, one that could at least passably fill in on the blindside would be even better.Coleman is big, strong, athletic, and can bury people when he's on. If you watch him vs Texas A&M you see him as a first rounder, but if you watch him vs Alabama he looks more like a 3rd rounder with potential. Personally I split the difference and give him a 2nd round grade. I believe many teams will think they can they can refine his technique and improve his awareness, because he really just lacks experience. The reason for that lack is that his career was delayed out of high school due to leukemia, but there is very little chance that disease reoccurs once puberty has ended. I was thinking he might go in the first round, but he skipped the Senior Bowl, and revealed at the combine he had surgery to repair his MCL after the season . So it's good that he had a legit reason to skip the game, but it's bad that he can't workout at the combine, although doctors say he could be ready to workout before the draft. He could play left guard as a rookie , and would at least give them a solid fall back option for Albert if he gets hurt again ,or they decide to not keep him after next season.


43.RAMS -(philadelphia)- KENNY CLARK - DT - UCLA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - STAR LOTULELEI - PANTHERS
Clark was primarily a nose tackle at UCLA, but he was consistently good against the run, and significantly improved as pass rusher this year. He can play all the interior d-line spots in the Ravens defense. 



44.OAKLAND - WILLIAM JACKSON THE 3rd - CB - HOUSTON
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DELVIN BREAUX - SAINTS
After being cut by the Redskins(2013 3 2nd rounder)  David Amerson was pocked up by the Raiders , and last year he looked like he was finally starting to fulfill his potential. The 2013 first rounder DJ Hayden has not , and no else in their secondary has stood out ,except for the retiring Charles Woodson. Jackson is a tall , lean corner with explosive speed. I liked him on film, but I was pissed when he sat out the Senior Bowl, although it was later revealed that it was due to injury. He looked healed up & bigger at the combine, and that great performance could even see him sneak into the late first round.





45.LA RAMS - EMMANUEL OGBAH - DE - OKLAHOMA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DeMARCUS LAWRENCE - COWBOYS
Chris Long was overpaid , injured a lot the last 2 years, and now he has been cut. William Hayes has been great in his place, but he will be a 31 year old free agent this off season. 
Ogbah has the long arms, burst, size , strength, and violent play style off the edge NFL teams crave. He also has the strength to kick inside on obvious passing downs, even if they resign Hayes and has played both end spots regularly.He is still really raw and mostly gets by on talent right now, and you could see that ability on display when he blew up the combine. If he can become more consistent & develop a more varied pass rush arsenal Ogbah could be a Pro - bowler once he gets coached up.


46.DETROIT - CHARLES TAPPER - DE - OKLAHOMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TRENT COLE - COLTS
The versatile Jason Jones is a free agent, so is veteran Daryl Tapp, and Devon Still will be one next year. With the Lions cap situation they don't have a lot of room to keep Jones, ,unless Megatron retires or adjust his contract. Tapper is a rocked up physical specimen who I expected big things from after a great sophomore year, but not only didn't he keep progressing from there, he went up and down through the next 2 years.He was just a overall inconsistent player on tape, because he doesn't regularly stay low, and that's very odd because he isn't a taller end. Lacks a varied pass rush arsenal, and he doesn't counter once blocked as a rusher, but flashes the ability of a high end speed to power rusher.  He was very stout against the run when he stayed low, and so I saw him as more of undersized 3-4 end/4-3 three technique who would have to bulk up to stay their in the NFL. Then he blew it up at the combine. He looked stronger & more explosive than I anticipated , and measured in with really long arms for his height. Now not only is he a NFL 4-3 base end, you have to wonder if he could even be a weak side 4-3 end if he takes well to coaching. Now instead of late 3rd/early 4th round pick I rate him squarely in the early 3rd round , and believe he will be drafted in the second. Still, to be clear on this , while he was a productive player for 3 years his tape doesn't match that combine workout. Will he be over drafted ? Off his tape, probably. However, if he commits himself to his craft , and uses the tools he showed at the combine to play with technique, he could end up a Pro - Bowler.



47.NEW ORLEANS - JALEN MILLS - CB/S - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BRADLEY ROBY - BRONCOS
Brandon Browner was down right terrible this year. Usually you know you are going to get a lot of penalties with him, but also some physical quality play that frustrates receivers. Not this year, and if ever a guy was a candidate to be cut and eat his dead money on your cap ,it's him. That's really saying something considering the terrible cap situation in New Orleans. Mills has the size any NFL team would like at corner  , but primarily played safety at LSU. That's actually why I think he falls this far because he looked great at corner at the Senior Bowl, but his tape at safety isn't worth this high of a pick. The fact that he played his college ball at LSU only makes this choice more likely. 



48.INDIANAPOLIS - JOSHUA GARNETT - G/C - STANFORD
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DAVID DECASTRO - STEELERS
Since protecting Andrew Luck should be their first priority I am hoping they will take the best interior O-lineman available. Jack Mewhort is the only dependable one, they have moved him around the line in his first 2 years , and he has played well wherever he was at. They could just take the best O-lineman available , play him where he is the most comfortable, and put Mewhort at the spot of biggest weakness . If they just take a worthy offensive lineman of any kind I am sure Luck would be happy. After they wasted their first rounder on a poor mans TY Hilton this year,and then signed Hilton to a long term deal anyway, who knows what they are thinking. I wish they had fired GM Ryan Grigson, as I feel he has mismanaged this roster for the most part. At least they wisely kept Pagano . Garnett played in virtually the same offense at Stanford , and could be a plug & play day one starter at LG, but he also has the smarts to try a move to center if they want him there.


49.BUFFALO - KARL JOSEPH - ** - SS - W. VIRGINIA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - TJ WARD - BRONCOS
Bacarri Rambo is a serviceable player at safety but he is a free agent, and Rex Ryan loves big hitters.Joseph is an undersized safety but he hits like a linebacker, and has long arms for a guy around 5"10". If not for a injury suffered during the season I think he would have had a chance to push himself into the late first round at the Senior Bowl, but going here to a coach that would appreciate his physical style could be work out better for him in the long term.


50.ATLANTA - BRAXTON MILLER  - ** - WR - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - a bigger PERCY HARVIN - BILLS
With the retirement of Tony Gonzalez and the decline of Roddy White Matt Ryan has lost 2 HOF receiving targets in the last couple of years. He can't always go to Julio or check down to Freeman ,because the passing game has become too predictable to fool defenses . Miller is a former QB who was the Big 10 player of the year at the position. He surprised me with his hands and catch radius this year on tape. He also had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Miller can not only develop into a good receiver in a couple of years, but out of the gate he can run end arounds , jet sweeps, throw the ball off them, return kicks & punts, and give you a zone read package in the bargain. He is still very raw as a receiver, but could start out as a part time power slot this year , and learn from Julio how to be a real pro.


51.NY JETS - KENDALL FULLER - ** - CB - VIRGINIA TECH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CEDRICK GRIFFIN - FA
Antonio Cromartie was cut this week, and even he is brought back later for less money, he will be 32 next season. Plus Revis will be 31, and Todd Bowles needs a lot of corners because he likes to blitz so much. Fuller will join his brothers as NFL cornerbacks, and has the talent to be the best of the bunch. Although he is coming off an injury I still see his size, previous tape, and polish getting him drafted in the first 2 rounds.




52.HOUSTON - CHRISTIAN HACKENBURG - QB - PENN ST
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - KYLE ORTON - retired
I have been thinking for awhile that I would mock Christian Hackenburg to the Texans in the second round for awhile, but I have went back and forth on it, and wasn't even sure he would make it here.  On the other hand Hackenburg's tape just kept getting worse the more I watched it, his hands measured only 9 inches, he was lighter than expected, and his accuracy is really bad. You can make a case that what they put around him was pretty bad, and that Franklin's system didn't suit him , but he still under performed in my opinion. Jared Goff had a similar supporting cast and lit it up. In fact Hacks stock has fallen so far in my eyes that I wouldn't touch him until the 4th round, but I think he goes a lot earlier. I think this is the earliest he might go despite his size & tools, because Bill O'brien has already shown he can get the most out of him, but still feel he is just a mid tier starter at best if he is a hit. 



53.WASHINGTON - SUA CRAVENS - LB/SS - USC
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DANNY TREVATHAN - BRONCOS
6th round rookie Kyshoen Jarrett was the skins best safety this year, and he is best suited to play FS. Dashon Goldosn has been a disappointment since they traded for him, and they can save 7.5 million by cutting him without a dead money hit. Washington also lacks a LB who is good in coverage. Cravens can play SS and play LB for them, but I think his best fit is at LB.


54.MINNESOTA - STERLING SHEPPARD - WR - OKLAHOMA
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DOUG BALDWIN - SEAHAWKS
The Vikes don't have one above average route runner at WR, and Sheppard is the best route runner in this draft. God knows that Bridgewater needs a reliable receiver , and Shep would excel in the slot to give him a quick outlet if his line keeps breaking down again. He also has great hands and is a very competitive blocker.


55.CINCINNATI - ARTIE BURNS - CB - MIAMI
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - DARIUS SLAY - LIONS
Veteran free agents Leon Hall and Pacman Jones are both in their 30's , and Dre Kirkpatrick has never lived up to his draft status. Burns is tall with long armed corner, who can press, and is a ball hawk. He's also smart reading QB's eyes and schemes in zone. Once he spends a year in a NFL weight room he could develop into a long term # 1 corner.


56.SEATTLE - ADOLPHUS WASHINGTON - # - DT - OHIO ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - GERALD McCOY - BUCCANEERS
Both Brandon Mebane and Ahtyba Rubin are free agents after the season, and the cap strapped Seahawk's need to save money somewhere.  I wasn't overly impressed with Washington's season compared to last years, but the way he took to Rod Marinelli's coaching at the Senior Bowl shows what kind of player he can be when he is used right & coached up. The Seahawk's try to primarily get a pass rush with just their front 4, and Washington's pass rush ability would probably give him the edge here over some other worthy interior D-Lineman. 


57.GREEN BAY - KYLER FACKRELL - OLB - UTAH ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - AARON LYNCH - 49ers
Clay Matthews is the kind of player that would be effective in many different roles. While the packers certainly miss him as an edge rusher they kept saying that they wanted to keep him inside as the QB of their defense .  They finally changed course now and say they want to move him back to the edge, but there is no clear cut ILB available in this scenario that is worth this pick. They should address that position in free agency or later in the draft .With Julius Peppers on the decline, turning 36 next season, and the chance to save over 7 million by cutting him they need an edge rusher. Add in that their other 2 primary rush backers(Nick Perry and Mike Neal ) are also free agents means addressing this need early in the draft is still a strong possibility, even if Clay is moved back outside. Fackrell has a great frame that could easily add 10 pounds of muscle without losing quickness or agility. He's a versatile jack of all trades that spends more time dropping into coverage than I expected before I broke down his tape, especially when you consider that he a pretty good pass rusher. He could currently be a 3-4 rush backer or 4-3 SAM on day one. With a little more more bulk I could even see him as a 4-3 weak side end, but he needs to play with more violence.  For all of these reasons I could see him being the pick, but especially because a Swiss army knife player like Fackrell can give a coordinator the ability to throw a lot of different looks at an offense.


58.PITTSBURGH - JEREMY CASH - ** - SS/LB - DUKE
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - PATRICK CHUNG - PATRIOTS
Strong safety Will Allen is a 34 year old free agent and the Steelers are in the midst of a youth movement on defense. Cash is a beast against the run , and that's what you need first and foremost in the AFC North. Jeremy is a great tackler and strong blitzer who fiercely attacks anyone in his way. He was used like a LB at Duke the way the Cards use Deion Buchanon ,and New England uses Patrick Chung. He is also better in zone coverage than I thought he would be, and with Mike Tomlin taking more of the reigns of the defense the Steelers run a lot more cover 2 than they did under Dick LeBeau. 20 years ago he would have been a top 10 pick, but in today's pass happy NFL he can still be a valuable player if used right. 


59.KANSAS CITY -  TYLER BOYD - WR - # - PITTSBURGH
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - JARVIS LANDRY without the blocking
Alex smith finally started throwing down the field more last year, and he even completed a fair amount of TD'S to WR's. Jeremy Maclin is their best WR, and while they use him out of the slot a fair amount of the time, they need him on the outside more. Boyd is a smooth crafty route runner that would be ideal in the slot for KC. He is also an explosive return man & gadget play guy



60.NEW ENGLAND - CHRISTIAN WESTERMAN - G - ARIZONA ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - BEN GRUBBS - CHIEFS
The Patriots had a lot of injuries along the O-line kast year, and it really hurt their play calling. Left guard was especially a problem, and they need a guy who is a good pass protector in this spread heavy offense. Westerman is one of the better interior pass protectors in this class. He has a active violent punch , huge hands that he uses to bludgeon defenders with in pass pro , and doesn't give up much ground in the pocket. 


61.ARIZONA - AUSTIN JOHNSON - DT - PENN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - LINVAL JOSEPH - VIKINGS
Other than one elite 5 technique (Calais Campbell )none of their down lineman can both hold the point of attack against the double team, and get a good pass rush.In a normal year Johnson would have a decent chance to be drafted in the first round, but in a draft this deep in interior D-Line talent, the more highly explosive athletes are likely to go ahead a hard working tough guy like Austin. Johnson is big, strong, has a good motor, plays low, is a hard worker, and has improved every year . He can play the nose or end and produce as a rookie. 


62.CAROLINA - RONALD BLAIR - DE/DT - APPALACHIAN ST.
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - CHARLES JOHNSON - PANTHERS
Jared Allen retired , and Charles Johnson is reportedly being asked to take a pay cut.
Blair was a guy who had arguably his best game of a great season against what was definitely his best opponent in Clemson.  After watching 4 games from 2015, and 2 from 2014 , and digging into his background this is what I've got. A versatile 5 year starter at a small school who was named the Sun Belt defensive player of the year in 2015. Granted a medical red shirt early in his first junior season after a serious thumb injury, and returned to getting better 3 years in a row. Moved all over the line in odd and even fronts, and strong enough to pull off semi - regular snaps inside. Can be a 4-3 strong side end, 4-3 three technique DT, a 3-4  end, and even lines up over the nose to out quick centers on probable passing downs. Good snap anticipation gets him into his man quickly. Stays low ,good hand placement and use. Sheds blocks well and finds the ball quickly. Nimble feet moving up and down the Line of scrimmage .Rarely ends up on the ground . Good consistent motor. Good closing burst and a strong finisher & tackler. Pulled out of the East/West shrine game with an injury, or he might have gone even higher. Late 2nd / early 3rd rounder for me, and after up & down testing at the combine he isn't likely to go any higher. I'm not saying he should be drafted before either, but he definitely outplayed Kevin Dodd in their game, and he even outplayed Shaw Lawson, although Shaq had a good game as well.


63.DENVER - DEION JONES - OLB - LSU
NFL PLAYER COMPARISON - MICHAEL BOLEY - retired
The Broncos already resigned Derek Wolfe, but Von Miller, Malik Jackson , and Danny Trevathan is also a free agent this off season. As valuable a player as Trevathan is, especially in coverage, he is easier to replace than the other 2. Despite being undersized Jones is fearless, and was all over the field on tape at LSU. He also was the most impressive weak side LB at the Senior Bowl, and while he needs to add some more muscle to stay inside long term in a NFL 3-4, he can at least be their nickle linebacker as a rookie.

No comments:

Post a Comment

There was an error in this gadget