Friday, May 16, 2014

2014 NFL Draft: Chicago Bears Hindsight Draft

Now that the 2014 NFL Draft has completely sunk in, the doubt starts to creep in.  The Chicago Bears are a team that is not in the rebuilding stage and may have had too many holes to compete for a championship.  So what should the draft strategy for a team like that be?  For me I would think I need as many impact guys as possible that can step in sooner rather than later.  The defense was one of the worst defenses in history, while the offense was close to the top of the league.  The Bears had huge holes at S, LB, and DT coming into the draft.  They left the draft needing a S, a DT, and 2 LBs.  So did the Bears get better?  After digesting it all I cannot say I am too excited about the draft as I was when it happened.  If we did not get Will Sutton in the 3rd round it is arguable that we came away with only 1 starter out of 8 picks.  Here is my take on the draft:

#1) Kyle Fuller CB- Yes a lot of people wanted a S here.  I really like this pick and can't fault the Bears for making the move.  Fuller is an impact player day 1 and will carry the team once Tillman's contract is up after this year.  People say we still didn't NEED a corner here.  Why not?  If Tillman goes down, which is very likely, who do we have to step in?  Nobody.  After Tillman is done who do we have to step in? Nobody.  Fuller can step in right away and for a lot less pay than a FA CB.  Did you see the money spent on CB's this year?  The top guys were borderline cap busters.  So the need for a CB was a little more desperate than people think.

#2) Ego Ferguson DT- I'm sorry who?  I was completely confused when the pick was made.  After looking at the trade and looking back at tape.....Im still completely confused.  I'm hearing they wanted a run stuffer in the middle and Ego fit the bill.  Are run stuffers that valuable?  After watching the Bears give up ridiculous amounts of yards to RBs last year the knee jerk reaction would be YES!!!  But looking at the Ego pick it was just the wrong time and wrong player.  From watching Ego's play he doesn't seem special and could have been had later on in draft.  I'm not claiming to be the best evaluator of talent but I can't see the talent in Ego.  Now if Emery can squeeze oil out of a rock then more power to him.

#3) Will Sutton DT- I am a Sutton fan and I love the pick.  I would not have been upset even if they took him in 2nd round.  A back to back DT pick makes me uneasy though.  As bad as the OL was the prior year the Bears waited 3 picks before they took another guy for the OL.  Makes me wonder if there was some kind of worry by the front office that the Ego pick was risky and needed to be insured.  Now this is purely speculation but it was a thought I had.  Sutton is a great value here but still comes with some risk.  Sutton had a down year and all hopes are based how dominant his 2012 tape was and praying he retains that form.

#4) Ka'Deem Carey RB-  Good pick but how does this help the Bears win now?  I know Forte is a FA after next year and you have to think ahead.  However, in two years will the championship window be closed by then?  The way the Bears are structured, it may very well be.  If that's the case then why use a pick that has some value on a back up RB?  Why not get a player that will contribute in more ways than 8-12 touches per game?  You can also argue that we have no answer if Forte gets hurt.  While this is true you cannot draft based on the what ifs.  Once you start doing that you will have great depth in certain areas with gaping holes in others.  Like the player hate the timing.

#4). Brock Vereen S- The tape that was available on Vereen showed a player that is dependable but not a difference maker.  Not only is he an average player at best, the Bears had to trade up to get him.  The only people that get traded up for are players that are 1st round talent and are slipping or difference makers that may just be out of your reach.  I know drafting a S fills a need in theory but will Vereen even beat out Mindy or Jennings?  I really can't say one way or another but I'm leaning toward him not replacing either.

#6) David Fales QB- This is another pick that falls into the Ka'Deem Carey category.  Jay Cutler's contract is only guaranteed for three years and they will be looking for a replacement.  My issue is why are you looking for a replacement when you should be looking for immediate help? Again I know its the 6th round but if you look hard enough you can find somebody you like.  Same as Carey, I like value but hate the timing.

#6) Pat O'Donnell P- After the bitter taste wore off that my favorite team just drafted a punter I looked at it objectively.  I can see this pick be done because O'Donnell will more than likely start day 1, while other players available would probably not start.  The immediate impact wins out and you draft the punter.

#7) Charles Leno OG- I don't know much about him but I understand the pick.  The Bears still have two weak links on the offensive line at LG and OC.  If they can groom this guy to take over for one its a success.  Seems to me that OL that get picked late have a better chance of finding a way to get onto a team and have success.

GRADES:
Impact: C- (Contingent on Sutton becoming a day 1 starter.  If not grade will slip to D or worse.)
Value: B (Bears did a good job of getting solid players at a value throughout the draft.)

CHICAGO BEARS HINDSIGHT DRAFT

Rd. 1 (14): Kyle Fuller CB: I would not have changed this pick.  I think it was needed and the player is an impact player.

Rd. 2 (51): Will Sutton CB: Have I mentioned that I love Will Sutton?  I would have had no issue with the Bears taking Sutton here.  You can call it a reach but you have to get the 2nd best rushing DT in the draft before anyone else does.

Rd. 3(82): Keith McGill CB: With the top safeties gone early the Bears turn to McGill.  McGill is no stranger to FS so why not convert a CB that has technical flaws into the 2nd best cover S in the draft? In contrast to Vereen, McGill would almost be a must to start over the current safeties for the Bears.

Rd. 4(117): Telvin Smith LB: Smith has some character and size questions for sure.  Despite the questions, by drafting Smith you get a guy that can play 2 LB positions.  Smith is a tackling machine and we all know the Bears NEED someone to tackle once in a while.  I think the Bears are still trying to tackle McCoy and Brown right now.

Rd. 5(156): Jordan Tripp LB: Again the Bears have to go after a guy who is all motor and tackling.  Tripp made a statement at the Senior Bowl showing he belongs and can compete on a higher level.  I love Tripp's tenacity and the ground he covers.  He is a real sideline to sideline type player.

Rd. 6(183) Daniel McCullers DT:  Did someone say the Bears need a plugger in the middle? Well here is 6'7" 350lbs worth of middle plugging and it didn't cost a 2nd rd pick.  In essence he is a bigger Ego Ferguson but I would rather get it at the 6th rd rather than 2nd.

Rd. 6(191) Michael Campanaro WR: Campanaro is a tough and sure handed slot WR with good speed. Without Earl Bennett the Bears are inexperienced at the slot position.  Campanaro can challenge Wilson day 1 for that job.

Draft Grade:
Impact: A (Almost everyone drafted here can step in Day 1 and contribute.)
Value: C- (To get the guys that fit a need and make an impact the Bears had to reach a few times.)












2014 NFL DRAFT: Best of the Rest-UFAs





Whenever you talk undrafted free-agents the first thing that comes to mind is Kurt Warner.  Is there a Kurt Warner out there this year?  I have no clue.  However, there were some solid talent left off the draft board for some reason.  Here is my best of the rest class:

Arizona Cardinals
Jonathan Brown, OLB | Illinois: Very good pick since Brown can play inside or out.  At the Senior Bowl, Brown flashed on a few plays and competed hard.  Not a very athletic guy but a productive, smart, and determined player that might be able to step in down the line.

Atlanta Falcons
Jeff Matthews, QB | Cornell: Big/agile QB, showed surprisingly live arm at combine, very raw but has some tools to work with.
Jacob Pedersen, TE | Wisconsin: Good sized TE with nice hands.  He does not have the speed to create the mismatches you want but runs good routes and gets open.  Coming out of the Wisconsin system Pedersen is no stranger to blocking and does a solid job of it.  With Atlanta's lack of talent at the TE spot Pedersen has a chance to contribute right away.

Baltimore Ravens
James Hurst, OT | UNC:  Ravens lost Oher in free agency and didn't address the OT position in the draft.  If Hurst can recover well from his broken leg he has a shot at beating Ricky Wagner out for RT. Hurst does well at sitting in the chair but needs to use his hands better.  He isn't the picture of athleticism but is agile and has decent enough feet to man the right side.

Buffalo Bills
Kenny Ladler, S | Vandy: Gotta love a guy who was voted to SEC 1st team by the coaches.  Good sized frame for a S and he is not afraid to put a hit on a guy.  He also has good hands for a safety and will aggressively play ball in air.  With 5 INTs and 5 FFs he is a player that looks to be a game changer.  He will have to make his impact on special teams and hope Searcy isn't up to par for Buffalo.

Carolina Panthers
None of note.

Chicago Bears
Christian Jones, OLB | FSU: According to multiple experts, Jones should have been drafted early in the draft.  Due to a reported failed drug test at the combine a top LB talent may have fell into the Bears' lap.  Bears failed to address the LB position during the draft but may have their man after the draft.  FSU played Jones at DE this past year, so it will be interesting to see if the Bears try another Shea McClellin experiment.  Hopefully they leave him at LB where he had the most impact.

Cincinnati Bengals
James Davidson, OLB/DE | Texas El-Paso:  I don't know where they will play this kid but I hope he works out.  He is probably more suited for a 3-4 rush OLB but with his determination I'm sure he will do whatever is asked of him.  When you watch tape on Davidson the only thing that comes to mind is "wild dog."  He is constantly fighting to get after the ball carrier.  He also showed some pretty impressive and smooth pass rush moves.  Cincinnati can be sure that they are getting all effort all the time from Davidson.

Cleveland Browns
Isaiah Crowell, RB | Alabama St:  If Crowell fulfills his potential that he had at Georgia he might have a surprising ascent up the RB ranks in Cleveland.  He has the fragile Ben Tate and small school standout Terrance West ahead of him.  If he keeps his head on straight he might have a shot at proving himself sooner rather than later.

Dallas Cowboys
Chris Whaley, DT | Texas:  The Cowboys might have a real sneaky addition here.  A very raw but athletic player.  He has only played DT for 2 years but has shown flashes of what he can be.  He already can use hands well and can swim move up field but definitely needs to get stronger.  Learning under Rod Marinelli is a perfect fit for a guy like Whaley.  Once he is fully healed from the knee injury that ended his season Whaley can be disruptive as a 3 technique.

Denver Broncos
Bryn Renner, QB | UNC:  Renner caught my eye while watching tape on Eric Ebron.  He is inconsistent with his throws at times but at the same time he shows a beautiful touch.  He needs to work on delivery mechanics and his accuracy but he is a good sized pocket passer.  If he can win the 3rd QB spot he has a chance to learn and be developed into a NFL QB.

Detroit Lions
None of note

Green Bay Packers
Adrian Hubbard, LB/DE | Alabama:  This was a very interesting pick up for the Packers.  Hubbard played OLB for Bama but it was obvious that he was more effective rushing rather than dropping back.  At 6'6", 250+lbs, and with 34" arms he is a very intriguing physical specimen.  With Nick Perry unable to stay healthy they might be able groom Hubbard to step in for him.

Houston Texans
None of note

Indianapolis Colts
Zack Kerr, DT | Delaware:  Kerr definitely has the size and strength to play DT for the Colts.  What makes him a good UFA pick up is how well he moves for a big guy.  Kerr showed his movement skills during positional drills at the combine.  He could be one of those small school diamonds in the rough.

Jacksonville Jaguars
Rashaad Reynolds, CB | Oregon State:  This guy brings a lot to a team.  Didn't see anything as far as character issues so Im not too sure why he wasn't drafted somewhere.  He was already a special teamer for OSU so we know he will do what it takes to try and make a team.  As a CB Reynolds is tough, physical, and athletic.  He has some technique issues when it comes to his change of direction but coaches will love how he helps on run defense and plays physical.

Kansas City Chiefs
Daniel Sorensen, S | BYU: I really love this guy's motor.  When you watch BYU tape on Kyle Van Noy and keep getting distracted by this S flashing in on plays it makes you take notice.  Sorensen has good speed and covers ground well. At the combine Sorensen showed very nice hands and confidence in himself.

Miami Dolphins
Anthony Johnson, DT | LSU:  In my opinion Johnson outplayed his fellow DT, Ego Ferguson, and Ferguson was drafted in 2nd rd by the Bears.  Go figure.  Johnson was a guy whose workouts didn't show up on tape.  At the combine Johnson looked explosive, powerful, and quick on his feet.  When you watched the tape it seemed like he never put it all together to be a dominant player.  Miami might not be the best place to be coached up but he has the tools, hopefully a sense of determination will follow soon.

Minnesota Vikings
Antonio Richardson, OT | Tennessee:   Another guys whose fall is kind of head scratching.  In some Bleacher Report mock drafts, Richardson was going as high as the top half of 2nd round.  He was my 5th best OT and still like him over guys like Moses or Mewhort.  Being that the Vikings had to start J'Marcus Webb last year when Loadholt was hurt, Richardson will provide some dependable depth at OT.


New England Patriots
Justin Jones, TE | Eastern Carolina:  This could be a Bill Belichick pet project.  Jones is a 6'8" TE with good hands and a 37" vertical.  I don't know about you, but the thought of Brady throwing to a guy that is that big and can jump that high is a red zone nightmare to me.  Jones will not run away from anybody on the field but Belichick is a master at getting guys open.  Are WR picks still illegal in the NFL?

New Orleans Saints
Brandon Coleman, WR | Rutgers:  So if Drew Brees gets into trouble in the red zone he has his choice to throw to 6'7" Jimmy Graham, 6'4" Marques Coleman, or now 6'6" Brandon Coleman?  Doesn't seem fair.  Besides the red zone threat, Coleman has good speed (4.5) and strong hands.  If he works on his route running and strength he could be a handful.

New York Giants
None of note

New York Jets
Kerry Hyder, DT | Texas Tech:  He is a DT with good size and footwork.  Needs to get stronger all around.  He is a durable player with 38 straight starts and he led the Red Raiders in tackles for loss in 2013.

Oakland Raiders
Mike Davis, WR | Texas:  Oakland has a nice stable of WRs so it might be hard for Davis to breakthrough.  Davis was the obvious go to guy at Texas in the red zone and when going deep.  The other teams knew this too and Davis was still able to score 8 TDs, which led his team.

Philadelphia Eagles
None of note

Pittsburgh Stelers WR
Josh Mauro, DE | Stanford:  May have ended up in the perfect spot.  Mauro will never be confused for a pure pass rusher but he can be a good run defender as a 3-4 DE.  He also brings good football awareness and the hustle coaches love.  On a strange coincidental side note, some experts have compared him to Brett Keisel.

San Diego Chargers
Chris Davis, CB | Auburn:  Davis does a good job with being consistent with his technique.  The main problem with Davis is that he never uses his hands to cover WRs.  If he can develop some physicality to his game he can be developed into a good #3 CB.

San Francisco 49ers
Shayne Skov, LB | Stanford:  So running right around 5.0 in the 40  as a LB will never help your draft stock.  However, Skov seems to have a good football IQ, a great motor, and toughness that will help him stick on a NFL team.  Skov is a smart player that will give the 49ers 120% effort at all times.


Seattle Seahawks
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE | Texas:  So how does a DE that led the Big 12 in sacks and had over 80 tackles as a DE not get drafted?  By the way that wasn't a typo.  Jeffcoat had over 80 tackles in 2013 as a DE!!  I don't know if teams were scared off by his "tweener" tag but Seattle is happy they did.  A team rich in pass rushers just got richer.

St. Louis Rams
Marcus Roberson, CB | Florida:  The Rams overlooked character issues last year and were rewarded with a very nice player at CB.  Can they go 2 for 2?  Injury and character concerns made Roberson drop so let see what the Rams coaching staff can get out of him.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matt Patchan, OT | Boston College:  Patchan was one of my favorite players at the Senior Bowl.  You gotta love a guy that shows up to an all star game with a helmet that was just beat to hell.  As soon as he got a chance to play you could see why his helmet had huge chunks of paint chipped off.  He plays physical and has a mean streak to him.  Tampa is a team with a lack of depth at the OT position and Patchan has a real chance to move up the ranks.

Tennessee Titans
James Gayle, DE | Virginia Tech:  Big and athletic player.  He isn't going to wow you with his numbers but he gives a solid effort when he is out there.  Will probably play LDE due to his lack of pass rush moves.  Good project for Titans to take on.

Washington Redskins
Cody Hoffman, WR | BYU:  Hoffman had a great career at BYU but had a down 2013 season.  Combine that with disappointments at the combine and Senior Bowl and you have an UFA.  Hoffman has the hands and route running ability to succeed at the next level.  However, he has below average speed and durability concerns. I like Hoffman and should find a way to make the Skins' roster.


Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 NFL Draft: Rd 1 Reactions Good/Bad/Ugly

THE GOOD

#5) Oakland Raiders: Khalil Mack | OLB, Buffalo
After the pick was made I realized that this player fit the environment perfectly.  Mack is perfect for the face of the BLACK HOLE NATION.  He is big, fast, strong, and is a scary human being.  When you see Mack running around a field it definitely strikes fear into your heart.  He will move right in and start over Sio Moore or they might try and convert him to DE and put him across from Justin Tuck.  Either way they have a serious difference maker to build around on defense.

#13) St. Louis Rams: Aaron Donald | DT, Pittsburgh
Donald was a top 3 player in my opinion and to get his at 13 is ridiculous.  I don't know what offensive line can withstand the onslaught of Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Michael Brockers, and now Aaron Donald.  That will send a shiver down any team's spine.  Not to mention they will have Ogletree and Laurinaitis blitzing at times.  Hats off St. Louis.

#14) Chicago Bears: Kyle Fuller | CB, Viginia Tech
There are a lot of people in Chicago angry about this pick and I don't know why.  Watching tape this kid reminded me of Charles Tillman.  He is the most physical and best run stopping CB in the draft.  Didn't the Bears have a historically bad run defense last year?  Yes they did!  Run defense is not only based on the guys in the middle but the unit as a whole and Fuller instantly makes a difference in the run game.  To top it off this guy can cover just about any WR.  With a year learning under Tillman he can be a top corner for years to come.  Who knows, this kid might be so good it will force Tillman back to the safety spot so he can play day 1. 

#16) Dallas Cowboys: Zack Martin | OT, Notre Dame
Hate to say it but Jerry Jones made an excellent pick here.  Dallas has bookends with a solid guy in middle with Frederick.  Dallas fans wanted Manziel but this pick is way better.  Martin steps in as a sure starter and could play LT if anything happens to Smith.

#25) San Diego Chargers: Jason Verrett | CB, TCU
This was my best rated CB in the draft.  Verrett is a field general and will make his presence known on the 1st day of practice.  Despite being a small CB he will be a dominant player in the NFL.

#31) Minnesota Vikings: Teddy Bridgewater | QB, Louisville
There is not going to be a better value pick than this one.  While Bortles will be riding the bench and Manziel will be running for his life, Bridgewater will be leading scoring drives up and down the field for the Vikings.  The only thing I don't like about this pick is that the Bears will have to deal with him twice a year for a long time.

THE BAD

#3) Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles | QB, UCF
I just don't understand the logic.  The GM of the Jaguars said we are fine with Bortles sitting a year to learn.  What?  This team is talent deficient in many areas.  So why take a player that does not have the talent to step in day 1 and make a difference.  If you don't have the confidence in a player to start day 1 on your team that means he is NOT a top 5 pick.  You have guys sitting there like Mack, Donald, Watkins and Matthews there for the picking and you pick a QB project? I didn't see the talent on tape from Bortles so I wouldn't have taken him anywhere in first round.  I guess time will tell but it makes no sense right now for this team.

#10) Detroit Lions: Eric Ebron | TE, UNC
They lose their top DB, Delmas, in free agency and they draft a TE?  They decided not to pick up Fairley's 5yr option and things are not wonderful with Suh, so Donald would have been a perfect pick. (Don't get me wrong I am glad they didn't pick him)  At the very least they could have baited NYG or NYJ into a trade to move back and pick either Ebron or a safety and gathered more picks.

#19) Miami Dolphins:  Jawuan James | OT, Tenn
Now this isn't because I don't like the player, I just feel they really reached for him.  James is a solid pick and can be a good LT or OG, I feel he is more of a OG.  It makes it look real bad when the Cardinals trade with N.O right behind them and gather an extra pick when they could have done the same and still got James.

#31) Denver Broncos: Bradley Roby | CB, OSU
Last I checked Peyton Manning is still running away from the Seahawks front 4.  Denver has a huge hole to fill in the middle of their line and they whiff on this one.  Denver is trying to patch it up by moving Franklin out of position and hope that Will Montgomery can beat out Ramirez at OC.  Why not draft a natural LG in Su'a-Filo or a real good OC in Weston Richburg, who is a local guy?  Roby showed a ton of mental mistakes and laziness on tape.  Its a matter of taking the best OG or OC in the draft or the, in my opinion, 6/7th best CB.  If you look at my post on the defensive ranking I actually have Roby as the biggest bust out of the CB group.

THE UGLY

#22) Cleveland Browns: Johnny Manziel | QB, TA&M
Welp, there is always next decade Cleveland fans.  Manziel was not even in the top 5 QBs for me.  There was just play after play of missed reads, forced throws, and bad decisions on tape to understand why anyone likes this guy.  It is sad to say but I actually think Tim Tebow will end up having a better and longer career than "Johnny Football."  I hope the rest of the draft is flawless for Cleveland because they are going to need it.

#28) Carolina Panthers: Kelvin Benjamin | WR, FSU
The horror show that is the Panthers' offseason continues.  Cody Latimer is head and shoulders above Benjamin when it comes to talent and is only about 2 inches shorter.  It seems like the height is all the Panthers' GM was looking at anyway.  Panthers had a chance to have a big talented WR core with taking Latimer here and someone like Brandon Coleman or Devin Street in the 4th round.  Benjamin was not viewed as a wideout that can handle the #1 role but with SOME WORK can be a #2.  Now Panthers have to hope a wideout with drop ball, route running, weight issues, and only one season of production can be their #1 go to guy.  But other than that he is fine.  Keep this in mind:  Benjamin only caught 5 passes vs Auburn with a small CB in Chris Davis defending him.  What is going to happen when NFL CBs get their hands on him?












Thursday, May 8, 2014

NFL PROSPECT RANKINGS-DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END

1) Jadeveon Clowney-South Carolina

His ceiling is so high it is hard to see with the human eye.  But should you be talking about "ceiling" or "potential" with someone who is penciled in at #1? I would say no.  Clowney is a rare TALENT but is not a guy who u look at and say he will make an impact day 1 in NFL.  He definitely has some eye popping athleticism but has a good number of flaws as well. STRENGTHS: He uses his agility to jump inside of OTs and rush the passer.  He can chase down plays with great speed. He hustles on almost every play.  WEAKNESSES: I don't see that physical play that's going to be needed at next level.  He has not shown he can use his hands nor bend and come flat when pass rushing because he has been so accustomed to using his quickness to beat his man.  Clowney gets too caught up with rushing inside and leaves outside open for run plays.  Tends to struggle when ran straight at.  When rushing he exposes chest completely when doing swim move and leaves his feet at times almost like a basketball player doing a jump stop.  Struggles when forced to change direction ( there were a lot of plays where he was 1st on scene but couldn't adjust body to make tackle). Final Analysis: As he stands now he will not make an impact in NFL.  If he has the mental toughness and is coachable at next level he will be a force in NFL in 2 years.

2) Trent Murphy-Stanford

Murphy is the most pro ready DE in draft right now.  Only reason Clowney is rated ahead is because of his undeniable athleticism.  Murphy is far from 1 dimensional and showed a variety of pass rush moves in college.  He is neither a speed nor power rusher but is effective because he knows when and how to use each technique.  After seeing him have a hard time with Zack Martin, he will definitely need to get stronger at next level.  But that will come with a NFL strength and conditioning program.  Murphy has no problem defending the run.  His play recognition in high.  Agility and coverage is good for a DE but not for OLB.  Has a very high motor.  Final Analysis:  Will be a starting RDE or rush OLB in NFL for many years.  May never reach pro bowl status but will be a solid starter.  Murphy spent a good amount of time with his hand in the dirt so will surely be comfortable doing it at next level.  If he is drafted as an OLB in 4-3 he will struggle and end up a disappointment.  I call him a poor man's JJ Watt.

3) Dee Ford-Auburn

His initial get off at line is amazing.  There were times where he was in backfield so fast that it had to be an offside call but more times than not it was just a great play.  Does not have any pass rush moves but will use strength when he can run past the OT.  He is a small DE put pack power in that frame.  At senior bowl he struggled when on left side matched up against Zach Martin but was almost unstoppable when at RDE.  He needs to learn how to turn corner and flatten out because at times it seems like he is just trying to outrun OT and ends up way behind QB.  Capable of holding edge against the run and is solid playing the run.  Does not look like he can drop back into coverage.  Motor is good.  Final analysis: Will be a LDE until he develops a better pass rush.  Definitely not a pure OLB but can fit as a rush first OLB.

4) DeMarcus Lawrence-Boise State

You have to love the relentlessness and high motor of this kid.  He doesn't have many weapons in the pass rush arsenal.....yet.   He has shown the athleticism to do the finesse moves and the upper body strength for power moves.  He does need to get stronger in the bottom half to drive through these OL.  Ealy looks to be the better bender between the two but I had to go with Lawrence based on pure potential.  I can't see Ealy becoming a dominant pass rusher but I can definitely see Lawrence become a handful with some coaching at the next level.  Thoughts of someone who shares his name come to mind when you watch him, DeMarcus Ware.  Now hold your tongue.  I am not saying out the gate this kid has the same skill set.  He will need a few years of good coaching but with his motor and strength he can get there.  I think he can play as rushing OLB but he is very comfortable with his hand in the dirt.  When he adds some strength in the NFL I can see him as a RDE.

5) Kony Ealy-Missouri

I was really looking for any reason to have Kareem Martin here but in the end had to keep Ealy in the top 5.  In addition there is not really that many good pass rushers in this draft.  I really think Ealy is a product of his environment but he did show some flashes of a future NFL pass rusher.  Ealy's only move is the outside duck under and rip vs OT.  He will have to develop some physicality and variety in his rush because NFL OTs will easily figure this out.  This was already evident in college when OTs figured it out they would just ride him in his duck under right into the ground, i.e 2nd half vs Oklahoma State. Now Ealy does have an above average motor and has shown he can bend and flatten out.  Also, he has faced high level competition in the SEC.  He has the building blocks that a good coach can mold into a decent LDE.

SLEEPER: Kareem Martin DE-UNC. Martin's tape doesn't scream athleticism by any means.   I fell in love with his sheer determination to get to QB no matter who or how many are blocking him.  He uses his legs a lot to generate rush power when he needs to use those 35" arms and 11" hands to maul OTs.  He also needs to put some strength into that lower half, ended up on ground too much.
Biggest Bust: Jadeveon Clowney, Kony Ealy


DEFENSIVE TACKLE

1) Aaron Donald-Pitt

There isn't much to say about him.  I don't see how mock drafts have him going as late as #16.  But if that happens I will hit the roof if my Bears can get him.  This is a top 5 talent no doubt.  On tape and at Senior Bowl he dominated.  Day 1 starter and pro bowl DT.

2) Louis Nix III-ND

I was not a Nix fan until I watched a bunch of tape.  Every tape was essentially the same.  Big guy that can move and has a real good motor.  If he isn't the image 3-4 teams want for a NT then I don't know what is.  He faced a ton of double teams but I was a little disappointed that he didn't try and figure a way out of them sometimes.  Its almost like he accepted the double team.  He needs to get coached on using those hands to complement that big body and strength.

3) Will Sutton-ASU

He flashed at the combine and made me go to the tape.  He is a strong up field DT.  I really like his hand usage to set up his swim and rip.  He will get tired and go half speed but with a good conditioning program he can overcome that.  I put him ahead of Jernigan because of his aggressiveness.  He always wants it but body tells him no.  He had a good match up with Su'a -Filo and for the most part he got the better of it.

4) Timmy Jernigan-FSU


Jernigan has some of the tools to be successful.  The tool that he may be missing, and the most important one, is heart.  I just don't get the feeling that he wants to be great.  In the most important game of his career, National Championship, he was nowhere to be found in the last 7 minutes of the game.  He went out because due to what looked to be fatigue.  Came back in for two plays then was complaining of what looked like a cramp in his calf and was done for the game.  He left his team to give up a possible losing score to Auburn.  If it wasn't for Winston and Benjamin to carry the team to a victory he would not be able to call himself a champion.  The lack of effort showed up time and again in his tape.  But the skills also showed up on tape.  I couldn't overlook them.  I hope he lands in a place where they push him hard and get him in condition.

5) Caraun Reid-Princeton

From a lazy guy to a non stop motor guy.  Reid plays hard every play and is disruptive.  He has the groundwork to be a real good penetrating DT now he just needs the proper coaching to make him great.  He played against lesser competition but he stepped up to the task at the Senior Bowl and had a real nice game.  Somebody will get a steal in the middle rounds. I was real close to putting DaQuan Jones here but in the end Reid was in the backfield more.

Sleeper: Justin Ellis-LaTech; Kerry Hyder-Texas Tech
Biggest Bust: Timmy Jernigan, RaShede Hageman


OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

1) Khalil Mack-Buffalo

This guy is the real deal.  Tape shows that he was just way stronger and determined than everyone else on the field.  It isn't easy to throw OGs around like rag dolls but he did it multiple times.  If there was any criticism its that he needs to get better at his play recognition.  I wouldn't be surprised if Texans end up with him over Clowney.

2) Ryan Shazier-OSU

I took him over Barr because he just has more linebacker instincts right now.  Shazier is athletic as heck but needs to get stronger to take on and shed these OL.  He fits a lot of schemes which is very attractive to teams.

3) Anthony Barr-UCLA

Barr is a blank canvas and ready to be put to use.  I couldn't put him higher because he is running around with no real direction or instincts.  However, once he finds them he is going to be scary.  His athleticism is obvious as is his motor.

4) Kyle Van Noy-BYU

This is probably one of my favorite players.  He can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3 system easily.  He isn't as athletic as the guys above but he is a competitor.  If he can get a little better in coverage he will be a staple in any defense for years.

5) Telvin Smith-FSU

I know Smith is really undersized for the position but I can't help myself.  When you watch a FSU game Smith is everywhere.  When you turned on the Senior Bowl Smith was everywhere.  He is a little shaky in coverage and tends to over pursue at times.  He also needs to get stronger.  He will be a tackling machine at the next level.

Sleeper: Jordan Tripp-Montana, Kevin Pierre Louis-Boston College
Biggest Bust: Jeremiah Attaochu-Georgia Tech


INSIDE LINEBACKERS

1) C.J. Mosely-Bama

Mosely is a run stopping machine.  He sheds blocks well and keeps head up to follow play.  Not super athletic but technically sound and agile.  He doesn't go hard on blitzes and needs to improve in coverage.  Wont be a "sexy" pick but will be a solid starter for teams.  His medical problems are scary but there isn't much else at ILB.

2) Chris Borland-Wisc

This guy is a non-stop energizer bunny.  Good at everything but not great at anything.  He isn't optimal size and his arms are real short.  That being said I don't see this guy being denied success in the NFL.

Note: Other ILBs are a big drop off in talent so not going to list them.


CORNERBACKS

1)  Jason Verrett-TCU

Despite his size he was the most dominant overall CB on tape.  He is aggressive, instinctual, confident, and a leader.  No doubt his size will be a hindrance but there are multiple smaller CBs in league that are at the top of the league.  He does it all and never hesitates.  Verrett trusts his instincts and almost always is one step ahead.  If you put on the TCU vs LSU game the battle between him and Beckham Jr is a thing of beauty.  I think he came out the victor in that battle.

2) Philip Gaines-Rice

This is another guy that I never heard until I watched the combine.  He did all the drills better than Gilbert and Dennard.  I watched a few game tapes of Rice and I was stunned to see him shut down his side of the field.  He is the definition of a shut down corner but needs better ball skills.  With his size you would expect him to be stronger.  He will come up and play the run but isn't real physical.  He also is a little lazy with his jam at the line.  Both of these can be fixed in pros.  You cannot teach his technique and footwork.  Nobody in this draft can flip hips like him.  My jaw drop moment was when he covered slot WR on a cross route and recognized QB throwing the vertical behind him to outside.  He fast turned and ran to the spot, he got there before the WR and his teammate got there for the INT.  Great player.

3) Kyle Fuller-VTU

Fuller is the most physical corner in this draft.  He loves to hit and mix it up.  So much it is to a fault.  He is always getting up slow from a play or comes out for a few.  He needs to harness this if his career is to be a long one.  He can run with any WR on a slant, out, in, cross, or post.  The one thing that keeps popping up is that he gets beat on verticals time after time.  He has good speed so this must be a technique issue that hopefully can be fixed.  This kid hits like a SS but has footwork, ball skills, and awareness of a CB.

4) Justin Gilbert-OkStU

Gilbert is a physical specimen at corner.  His back pedal is a thing of beauty.  Very physical at line of scrimmage.  He has very sloppy footwork but overcomes that cause of his speed and agility.  That might not be the case in NFL.  He tends to stare into backfield at QB and gets lost in coverage because of it.  He gets beat a lot on plays going to middle of field and comebacks but can turn and run on verticals with no problem.  He needs to be more physical on run defense.

5) Darqueze Dennard-MSU

Despite the awards Dennard has I was not impressed by his play.  He has sloppy footwork and there is a ton of contact with WR downfield.  He has a huge problem turning back to ball while running with WR.  He does use his body well to shield the WR from the ball.  He can plant and drive very nicely.  His play recognition is very good.

Sleepers: EJ Gaines-Mizzou, Chris Davis-Auburn, Bennett Jackson-ND
Biggest Busts:  Bradley Roby-OSU


SAFETY

1)  Jimmie Ward-NIU

This kid does it all.  He comes down and covers slot in man.  He comes down and bangs in run coverage.  He runs with the big TEs.  His height will be a problem in NFL but that didn't stop Earl Thomas.

2A) Calvin Pryor-Louisville

If you want somebody to intimidate the other side this is your man.  Pryor is a scary man coming down from the secondary to hit somebody.  Sometimes his aggressiveness makes him overrun plays.  He needs to get some more range in coverage.

2B) Hasean Clinton Dix-Bama

This is the polar opposite of Pryor.  He is better in coverage but not that big hitter.  He can cover more ground and is better in coverage.  He is not the guy that will come down and blow up a RB.  He is more the guy to hold the RB up and wait for help.  Just a matter of flavor.

4) Daniel Sorensen-BYU

This guy has the best ball skills of any safety in draft.  This was completely obvious at combine when he was catching passes with ease.  This guy covers a lot of ground.  He needs to get better at his awareness because he can lose guys behind him.  He isn't a thumper but is a solid tackler.  He needs to keep his head up on open field tackles because he loses his target.  He was a gunner on special teams and has solid 4.5 speed.

5)  Deone Bucannon-WSU

He is a poor man's Pryor really.  He has more range but doesn't tackle as well as Pryor at all.  He missed a ton of tackles because he can't control his breakdown and takes bad angles.

Sleeper: Craig Loston-LSU
Biggest Bust:  Lamarcus Joyner-FSU







NFL PROSPECT RANKINGS-Offense

QUARTERBACKS

1) Teddy Bridgewater-Louisville

You have to put aside the pro day to make a decision on Bridgewater.  Yes I did see the inaccurate throws and yes I did see some wobbly throws.  But what does that really tell you?  To me it is an anomaly.  What do you do with anomalies? You throw them out and look at the consistent data.  When  you look at game tape on Bridgewater he is a starting NFL quarterback day one.  His short to intermediate passing game is near flawless, his read progression and decision-making is top notch.  The most impressive part of Bridgewater's game is his field generalship.  Much like a boxer commands a boxing ring Bridgewater commands the field.  No matter what the defense throws at him; Bridgewater is always calm, he's always collected, and he always knows what his next move is.  Bridgework does have some room for improvement with his deep throw accuracy and arm strength.  I firmly believe that Bridgewater's ceiling is higher than anyone else in this draft and possibly next year's as well.  After some 1st year growing pains Bridgewater will become a pro bowl QB for years to come.

2). Tom Savage-Pittsburgh

Now after the love rest I just had for Bridgewater, what I say next will be confusing.  I think Tom Savage is the most pro ready quick quarterback right now.  I admit that I didn't not look at any tape nor did I know who Savage was until the sleeper tag was applied by the experts.  But while watching tape on him I caught myself yelling out loud, "HOLY $#!* did he just make that throw?"  Keep in mind he had some solid competition in the ACC. Here is what I see in Savage:

Mechanics-distributes weight from back foot to front almost every throw, solid base while dropping back, ball is in same position on drop back every time, elbow comes up to same position everytime, release is fast, no unnecessary bouncing or movement in pocket

Arm-plenty strong enough to throw with power while on run or on retreat from pass rush, ball jumps off his hand, throws deep effortlessly, short to med throws are on a line but don't lose accuracy, strong enough to throw to WR that has very little to no separation and complete it, will force throws sometimes because he thinks his arm will get it there before defender

Accuracy- throws on point to a SPOT on field not to a person, puts ball only where his guy can get it, deep throws are almost perfect, already has back shoulder throw in his arsenal, drops ball perfectly against zone coverages and at times between 3 defenders

Vision/Progression- surveys the field well, does not stare down WRs, needs to do a better job of progressing all the way through reads...at time will leave RB open in flat while taking a negative play, throws to WR before he is open because he can read defense set up and trusts his read

Under pressure- he is fearless in face of rush (sometimes to a fault), he can feel pressure and will move around in pocket, will stand in there and make proper throw despite knowing he is going to get crushed, not super athletic but strong and elusive enough to shed tacklers n strong enough arm to get ball out, on scrambles he has ability to get body squared up and deliver a solid ball

Savage can step in day one and do everything a team needs.  The drawback to Savage is that he is pretty much at his ceiling, albeit a very nice ceiling.  If he goes to one of the teams with an aging QB like Denver or New England in 1st round he will keep those teams running like new.

3) Blake Bortles-UCF

I am not high on Bortles.  He has the ability to be a decent QB but he is a project a few years in the making.  STRENGTHS: Has very good arm strength. Surprisingly athletic and tough nosed runner.  Does a good job of keeping plays alive.  Has shown capability of making difficult throws downfield.
When his mechanics are good the ball comes out on a line and with power.

WEAKNESSES:  His mechanics are shaky with body control and ball placement.  Body tends to fall away from throw rather than assisting drive ball downfield and he holds football all over the place. He also tends to throw the tips of his toes rather than have a solid footing to make a proper strong throw. His release slow in ball doesn't jump off his hand.  He struggles throwing short to intermediate balls with power because when he does ball tends to sail high on him.  On tape he tends to stare down  receivers and there's lots of bad decisions that show up.  Tends to get rattled under pressure.  Some people say that when he has a clean pocket he can make all the throws but if you look at the South
Carolina game this past year he had really good protection was wildly inaccurate.

4) Aaron Murray-UGA

Really like the idea of this guy as a project.  He makes all the throws over the middle and likes the back shoulder.  He is ahead of most of his peers on his progressions but needs to get better at defense recognition.  Doesn't have the arm strength you want in NFL.  With work he can be an efficient NFL QB.

5) Zach Mettenberger-LSU

He has been blessed with a cannon arm. He has almost perfected the back shoulder throw.  Problem is that on tape he almost threw all back shoulder, jump balls, or comeback routes.  Really would like to see a better variety of throws.  Not an athlete by any means but big and strong enough to shed some defenders.  His release is like molasses but ball explodes off his hands.  Lots of question marks with back issue and failed drug test at combine.  Risky play but best of the rest available.
PLEASE NOTE: Johnny Manziel is not on this list because he is NOT GOOD.

SLEEPER: Tajh Boyd and Bryn Renner
Bigest Bust: Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr


RUNNING BACKS

1) Tre Mason-Auburn

I love this kid.  His vision at line of scrimmage and in open field is great.  He is small but deceptively strong and he has shown he can run it up in between the tackles all day.  When he gets outside he is a home run threat with 4.4 speed and it showed.  He uses a ridiculous outside jump cut that takes him from between OC and OG to almost outside of tackle and breaks plays open.  His hands were not used often but they looked good when he caught and he was a KR so that helps.  He needs to get better at pass protection.  He shows the willingness to mix it up but he isn't always effective.  He does have a ton of wear on the tires but he is worth it.

2)  Charles Sims-WVU

This guy will be the surprise of the draft!  He will be drafted in 3-5rds but will be a starter right now for a lot of teams.  He is a Matt Forte type runner but with more heart (I am a Bears fan and have been frustrated with Forte's weak running style).  He has the best set of hands amongst all RBs.  He started college career with the high powered Houston offense and racked up over 200 receptions over his college career.  He was on a team with a weak OL and QB but defenses couldn't stop him, even when they knew the ball was going to him.  He runs inside all day with no problem because he is a big back but still has the 4.4 speed to bust it outside.  He can start day 1 and be a 3 down back with a little improvement in pass protection.

3) Lache Seastrunk-Baylor

I put Seastrunk here because he has great vision to find the open hole at the line of scrimmage.  This kid is dangerous in open field and takes great running angles to set up his blocks down field.  I have seen him listed as a "scat back" but he has shown the strength and power to run it up inside with the big boys.  His hands are the great unknown because Baylor didn't throw to RBs much.  Did show the ability to pass block.

4/5) Carlos Hyde/Jeremy Hill

These guy are almost a mirror image of each other.  It really a matter of taste.  I really like Hyde's vision at line of scrimmage and his power inside.  He really hits hole quickly while Hill tends to putty-pat his feet too often.  Hill looks to be the better pass catcher and better big play threat.  Hill is also way more advanced in the pas blocking than Hyde.  I lean more toward Hyde because he is always going forward and hits those holes.

SLEEPER: Storm Johnson-UCF
Biggest Bust: Andre Williams-Boston College

WIDE RECEIVERS

1) Sammy Watkins-Clemson

There is really nothing to say about Sammy.  He is the man and will be a stud!

2) Odell Beckham Jr.-LSU

Beckham looks like he has been running NFL routes his whole life.  He battles for balls at highest point and has the great hands to secure the catch.  His body control is amazing because LSU liked to work him outside a lot and he had to get those feet in.  My favorite thing about him is he does not take plays off and will wear out CBs.

3) Mike Evans-TA&M

Many people anointed him with the 2nd spot because he is 6-5.  I couldn't do that because I wasn't happy with his route running and hands.  He has good hands but not as good as Beckham.  He comes from a system that had a QB that couldn't read a route if they drew it out on cue cards for him so he is a little undisciplined in the route running.  With that being said he is still an athletic and physical specimen that will still be a problem for the NFL while he figures out how to be a WR.

4) Cody Latimer-IU

He is pro-ready.  He is big and fast and will be an impact player.

5) Marqise Lee-USC

I really was looking for a reason to put Robinson or Landry here instead of Lee but in end couldn't justify Robinson's bad hands and Landry's lack of speed.  Not a big fan to say the least.  He has the tools to be good.  He may be a little weak to deal with physicality of NFL.  My biggest issue is his on field attitude.  On tape there were multiple tiles where he blatantly showed up his QB for bad throws and there were times where the diva in him came out.  If he goes to a team without strong leadership like Carolina we won't be hearing much from him.

SLEEPER: Devin Street-Pitt; Tevin Reese-Baylor; Kevin Norwood-Bama; Michael Campanaro-WFU
Biggest Bust: Marqise Lee, Kelvin Benjamin


TIGHT ENDS

1) Eric Ebron-UNC

I am not on the Ebron bandwagon.  While he has the speed, size, and athleticism; whats on tape is troubling.  He is not a willing blocker.  He either has no idea how to block or just doesn't want to.  My money is that he doesn't want to.  His route running is very sloppy.  He also doesn't really run hard in his routes.  Its only after he catches the ball is when he runs hard because he has a chance to score.

2) Jace Amaro-Texas Tech

I was ready to write Amaro in as the surprise #1 TE here but after the combine I just couldn't do it.  Amaro showed awful hands at the combine.  Went back to tape and saw the shaky hands show up once in a while.  However, he is the most pass tested TE out there.  His toughness and willingness to take the big hits in middle of field really showed.  He runs good routes and runs hard.  Blocking is an area of concern but can be coached.  My money is on Amaro going to Patriots to fill that Hernandez role.

3) Troy Niklas-ND

He has really good hands and might be best blocking TE.  Not the fastest guy but he is effective and his height and agility make him a tough match-up.  He had a bad combine but had an injury issue and was only approved at 80% effort.  Not surprised if he ends up best TE.

4) Arthur Lynch-UGA

Better blocker than receiver but he is more than capable of making a difference in pass game.  He isn't the vertical threat like some other TEs but makes his money in red zone and clutch possession plays.

5) Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Slower than molasses but can catch a ball.  His hands are probably right up there with Ebron's.  My question is will he even get open to make a difference?

SLEEPER: Crockett Gillmore, A.C Leonard
Biggest Bust: Eric Ebron, Austin Seferian-Jenkins


OFFENSIVE TACKLE

1) Jake Matthews-TA&M

Ready to go NFL starter.  Pass protection is right on target.  Run blocking can use work but he will develop that power with coaching.

2) Zack Martin-ND

Surprised?  I took him over Lewan because his tape is cleaner.  Lewan always seems to be on verge of collapsing protection because his technique needs work.  Martin is smooth every single play.  He really caught my eye on tape when he shut down Trent Murphy and Dee Ford (senior bowl).  He can stand to get stronger in arms and legs but the blueprint is there for a pro-bowl LT.

3) Taylor Lewan-UM

Lewan is a big, strong, and agile LT.  He will start day 1.  I don't like his after the whistle antics.  I love guys with a mean streak but there is a fine line between dirty and mean streak.  In my opinion trying to yank a guy's helmet up from face mask while guy is lying on floor is just dirty.  I don't know why but I keep getting a Richie Incognito vibe from Lewan.

4) Greg Robinson-Auburn

I know I know.  How dumb am I to out this guy here.  I had no choice.  He has some real sloppy tape out there.  My main problem with him is that he gets caught leaning way too much and ends up on ground a lot.  This was also a glaring problem at combine when they did pull out blocking drills.  He had his head completely down, arms were extended fully, and body way over his knees.  If guy with the pad just moved to side Robinson would just fall on his face.  I can't rank him high if I think he needs to play RT before he gets to LT.  He can be a force down the line but he can just as well not have the coordination to play LT.  I go with the safer picks over Robinson "potential".

5)  Antonio "Tiny" Richardson-Tennessee

This is a huge man than can surprisingly move.  He is not a finished product and needs some work on conditioning.  I think this was first guy I saw that was not intimidated by Clowney and took it too him all day long.  So much so that in a key defensive stand in 4th quarter they moved Clowney away from him and sent him to LDE.

SLEEPER: Billy Turner-NDST; Matt Patchan-Boston College
Biggest Bust:  Morgan Moses-UVA


INTERIOR LINE

1) Weston Richberg OC-Colo St

This guy is a monster.  Solid in pass protection and a great run blocker.  Most OC will help the OGs chip and double team guys.  Richberg took on guys 1 on 1 all day and had no issues.  When he run blocks he is looking to blow guys up!  If someone gets in his way on a pull out he runs them over with ease.  Don't see why he can't play OG and he should be 1st interior lineman taken.

2) Xavier Su'a -Filo-UCLA

As much as I love Richberg in the run game, I like Su'a Filo even more.  He comes at guys like a bull and doesn't stop.  He will try to blow the first guy up with his arm strength so he can be free to unload on the second level against the smaller LBs and DBs.  The problem is in pass protection.  His technique is awful.  He almost stands straight up in the pass game.  His strength saves him from being exposed but in NFL that will be a problem.

3) Joel Bitonio-Nevada
He plays LT in college but I think he will have to play inside at next level.  He does not have the footwork nor the agility to stay outside but its just good enough to be inside.  His strength and hand usage will be a huge advantage inside.

Note:  Other OG and OCs are later round picks and not real factors in draft.

Sleeper: Michael Schofield-UM (I project him as an OG not OT)