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 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
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
1) Sammy Watkins-Clemson
There is really nothing to say about Sammy. He is the man and will be a stud!
2) Odell Beckham Hr.-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
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
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
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)