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2014 Specialist Rankings

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1.
Trey Millard Oklahoma 6’2 3/8 247 Sr.

Stats: Big 12

Year Yards Avg TD Rec Yards TD
2013 97 5.7 1 11 78 1
2012 198 6.0 0 30 337 4
2011 169 7.0 2 13 127 1
2010 74 3.1 3 16 135 1

Combine: He didn’t work out due to an injury.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6023 247                

Strengths: 2nd team Big 12 in ’10. 1st Team Big 12 in 2011-2013. He’s been considered one of the best fullback prospects in the nation for the past 3 seasons. He’s a swiss army knife as a FB, RB and receiver out of the backfield. His ypc the past 3 seasons has been very good which is rare for a FB as they usually are only used in short yardage situations. He’s very shifty in the open field and gets YAC vs. linebackers and safeties. He has a patented move where he leaps a defender and he’s done it so many times successfully that it’s become commonplace, despite it being a legit highlight play. He has great hands as they are consistent but he also can make the spectacular catch. He at times has looked like the team’s best player.

Weaknesses: He tore his ACL late in the 2013 season and is still recovering. He is a good blocker but isn’t a “move” blocker like Copeland who creates holes on his own. He does everything well but nothing great and if a team just wants him to be used in one role he won’t seem all that special.

Overall: Trey has been my #1 FB the past 3 seasons and he was the rare FB that I thought might leave school early when the decision was made by him in 2012 to come back. He’s the perfect example of the “new” fullback as he is multi-dimensional as a runner, blocker and receiver. He has great hands and is a legit athlete so he can make people miss in the open field or hurdle them if they get too set up for a big collision. He also is a solid blocker and at 247 lbs he can lay the wood on people. Millard is the best fullback I’ve graded in years and it will be interesting to see how high he goes considering fullback is the least valued position in the NFL with some teams no longer even having one on their roster. 3rd round as my #1 FB who can do anything a team asks him to do 4/20/14.

2. JC Copeland LSU 5’11 1/8 271 Jr.

Comparison: Vonta Leach

Combine: Surprisingly good in weaving cone drill. Good hands in post corner drill. Double caught one and was slow in mini gauntlet drill.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
5111 271 32 10 4.95 23 28.5 903 4.58 7.68

Strengths: He is right next to Matt Bernstein as the greatest blocking fullback I’ve ever graded. At 271 lbs he is huge and head on there was no one in college football stronger than him at the POA. He missed 2 games in 2013 due to a concussion and, with the physical style of play he brings to the table, concussions could pile up on him in a hurry. He was the MVP of the NFLPA game and really made an impression with some outrageous blocks on linebackers. At his best he’s a true weapon and could be a big help for a run oriented team like the Seahawks.

Weaknesses: He’s massive at 271 lbs but he’s also fat at that weight and last season he at times played even heavier with reports varying from 280-300 lbs. He can’t be that weight in the NFL as he’s only a 4.95 40 guy at 271 lbs which is right on the edge of being too slow to get to the hole. He has been called for unnecessary roughness penalties throughout his career and is a bit of a loose cannon. At one point in 2012 he was called for a  penalty in 4 straight games with 3 of them being unnecessary roughness varieties. That is unacceptable for a role player like him and he will quickly find himself cut if he continues on that path. He likely is too slow to play special teams which is a normal role of the FB on most teams.

Overall: Copeland is an interesting case study as he’s a traditional fullback heading to a league that rarely uses traditional fullbacks. Vonta Leach for the past 5 seasons has been the best blocking fullback in the NFL yet when the Ravens cut him in the 2013 offseason there were only 2 teams even interested in him. Some teams, the Cowboys being one, didn’t even have a fullback on their roster last season while others prefer a back that can function in a variety of ways. Copeland is not that back as he is mediocre as a short yardage runner, is too slow to be worth anything as a receiver and is also too slow to be even on special teams punt and kick coverage units. What you get with Copeland is a wrecking ball in the backfield who will lay down some of the biggest hits you’ve ever seen. On a team like the Seahawks that run the ball regularly and like their players to show a little attitude, Copeland could become a local legend. On a team like the Broncos that wants every player to have some value in the passing game, Copeland could quickly find himself cut. I think JC is an incredible player but he’s also one of the most specialized players in this draft and it could hurt him on draft day. Late 3rd round as my #2 FB who is a traditional fullback that is VERY scheme specific 4/20/14.

3. Gator Hoskins 6’1 1/8 244 Sr. An H-back, FB type with elite production. In 2012 he tied with Joseph Fauria for the national lead for TEs with 10 TDs along with 35 catches for 374 yards. In 2013 he was even better with 50 catches for 821 yards and again a nation leading 15 TDs. He led all TEs with 15 TDs in 2013 with the next highest, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, with only 8! It’s strange how a player can lead the nation in TD catches back to back years yet there is literally no buzz at all about him as a prospect. He wasn’t invited to the Combine either so it’s looking like he goes undrafted but he could be a huge sleeper 3/2/14. Senior Bowl: Gator Hoskins-Day 3: He has a noticeable lack of height and looks like a RB/FB not a TE. Easily got open vs. Marcus Smith. He reminds me of Charles Clay as a body type and style. He put up some great stats and has good quickness to go along with great bulk so I think he makes sense as a late round pick for a team like the 49ers that uses an H-back a lot. 6th round as my #3 FB 4/20/14.

 

Free Agents:

Jay Prosch Auburn 6’0 256 Sr. #20 on Bruce Feldman’s freak athlete list for 2013 due to 5.9% body fat and a work ethic that Ryan Russell his strength coach considers unparalleled. Senior Bowl: Day 2: Beat easily by Jeremiah Attaouchu in pass pro drill. Beat eventually by Lamin Barrow in pass pro drill. Slight win vs. Kyle Van Noy in pass pro drill, beat Christian Jones on out-bad blocker/good receiver as a FB. An elite athlete who didn’t impress me in games or at the Senior Bowl. Free Agent 4/20/14.

Ryan Hewitt Stanford #85 6’4 1/8 246 Sr. Has long hair out back of helmet. In the 2012 USC game he had a 1 yd run on 3rd and 1-pushed hard for it but was bad call as he was short, had dump off in flat for 12 yds. Combine: I literally laughed when I saw his 40 it was so bad compared to everyone else. It was 4.87 but looked even slower than that. He has a great frame to be an H-back or F-back. Free Agent 4/20/14.

James Wilder Florida State 6’2 5/8 232 Jr. He had a terrible 40 (4.86) and it showed on film as he is achingly slow. He did have good explosion and quickness drills though which also show on film as he’s a big, explosive back with terrible speed. He makes a great cut but then lacks the burst to finish the run off. He will have to make it as a FB with that 40 time and likely goes undrafted now. Tight in bag cut drill-one of the worst as he’s just too tall. Bad on out and up drill. P: Has a shockingly ripped body for +230 lbs that he carries, is a physical pounder who loves contact. N: As of 2013 opener he has an 8 month old daughter (not married), has had some brushes with the law. Wilder was arrested in April 2014 for a bench warrant related to driving with a suspended license. It is the 4th time he’s been arrested in the past 18 months. Undraftable as his lack of explosion and uncertainty over what position he will even play make his criminal record not worth dealing with 4/20/14.

 

Kicker

1. Nate Freese Boston College 5’11 192 Sr. He is THE best kicker in the country on kicks inside of 50 yds and it’s not even close. His one issue is that he doesn’t have a strong leg and his coaching staff knew it as in 4 years he only attempted 4 kicks +50 (3-4 though). On kickers I have three evaluation metrics and he passes two out of three. He has at least two seasons with high 80’s or better FG% (3 seasons with 88% or better and is an astounding 36-38 in last 2 years!), he has a steady stroke and the ball doesn’t move too much either way when kicking (kickers that curve the ball into the uprights are notoriously streaky) but he doesn’t have a strong let that can make him a threat from +50 consistently. If he can prove in workouts that he has that leg then he could go as high as the 4th round but I don’t think he does so he’s a late round guy who is money from 0-49 but dicey from there on out. 6th round as my #1 K as he is one of the most accurate kickers I’ve ever graded but one without a big leg 12/10/13.

2. Zach Hocker Arkansas 6’0 184 Sr. He’s had an up and down career as he’s never had a season with a % higher than 86.7 (Sr. year) and in 2011-2012 was a very mediocre 32-45 (71.1%). He does have the long leg though (3-4 from +50 in 2013, 5-7 in his career) and absolutely drills some kicks so at worst he’s a camp leg. Due to his inconsistencies he doesn’t get a draftable grade but there is legit potential as he reminds me a lot of Dan Bailey of the Cowboys. Free Agent 12/10/13. In the East-West Shrine game he destroyed every kick with each ball going higher than the goal post and driven 30 yards past the target (he hit a 56 yarder that would have been good from 63!). As impressive as you can get with those kicks. His leg strength is the best of any kicker in this draft AND he’s coming off the best season of his career so he has a legit chance to become an NFL kicker. I still can’t give him a draftable grade though due to his previous 3 years as consistency is the most important attribute for a kicker and he just doesn’t have it yet. Free Agent 4/20/14.

3.Anthony Fera Texas Sr. He was the Penn State kicker in 2011 and transferred to Texas in 2012 by way of the Sandusky scandal loophole. He did it to be closer to his mother who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosisIn 2013 he was a Lou Groza award finalist due to his elite season (20-22 for a 90.9% mark). His biggest red flag is his form, which I’m not a fan of, and the fact that he essentially only kicked for two seasons in college. In 2012 he was only 2-4 due to missing the first four games with a groin injury and the final three with a hip injury. As a freshman in 2010 he didn’t play. It’s rare to see a college kicker with that few career attempts (53) considered an NFL prospect but Fera is a favorite among quite a few scouts. He has handled punting duties as well with his 40.1 ypa average being very solid. In the 2014 College All-Star festivities he was by far the worst kicker of the group but he did show a big leg. I’m not a huge fan of him due to his technique but in his two full seasons at work he had a good season (2011 at 82.4%) and a great season (3013 at 90.9%). I’m also a fan of guys that can, in a pinch, be an adequate punter so he gains brownie points with me there. Free Agent as my #3 kicker since he has far less upside than Hocker 4/20/14.

4. Jeff Budzien Northwestern 5’1 165 Sr. An extremely small kicker that lacks a big leg. He only has attempted 1 field goal of +50 yards (0-1) but inside the 50 he’s elite as he was 23-25 in 2013 (92%) and 19-20 in 2012 (95%). That two year stretch going 42-45 (93.3%) is rare to see and makes him worth a look. His lack of a big leg will likely keep him from ever being an NFL starter, unless a team has a punter that specializes in long field goal attempts which a few teams due, but his accuracy and consistency is elite and someone might be willing to use him in a platoon situation. Camp invite 4/20/14.

5. Cairo Santos Tulane 1st team C-USA in 2012 and 2013. He won the Lou Groza award in 2012 as the best kicker in the nation. It was hard to beat him as he was 21-21 that season. In the 2013 UL-Lafayette game he was hitting FGs in practice from 63 yds away but he missed a 48 yarder to tie. He did hit 2 game winners in 2013 so he’s usually clutch. In 4 seasons as a kicker he had one perfect season (2012), one good season (2010 when he went 13-16 for 81.3%) and two bad seasons (2013 and 2011 when he hit 69.6% and 61.1% respectively). To me he is living off his elite 2012 season and I worry about his consistency. It’s obvious in his technique too as his kicks aren’t hard and true but curve and don’t stay straight. Someone will take a chance on him as a camp leg but I wouldn’t. Camp invite 4/20/14.

6. Chris Boswell Rice Sr. He has an NFL leg but lacks the accuracy to ever been an NFL kicker. In 4 seasons he had two bad seasons (2013-66.7%, 2010-64.7%) and two good average seasons (2012-79.3%, 2011-81.0%). I want my kicking prospects to have two seasons of high 80’s completion percentage or better and he had 0 seasons. Undraftable on my board yet some have him as the 2nd or 3rd best kicker in this draft for some reason 4/20/14.

 

Punter

1. Pat O’Donnell Miami 6’5 220 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year Punt Avg Long
2013 47.1 71
2012 41.8 65
2011 43.8 76
2010 41.9 61

Overall: He was 2nd in the nation in yards per punt (47.13). He’s a bit streaky as a punter as his ypp fluctuated between 41.8-47.1 during his career but they all were +41 ypp so he was never a bad punter, just not always a great one. He has a very strong leg (multiple punts +70 yards) and seems to be improving each season. 7th round as my #1 punter 4/20/14.

2. Tom Hornsey Memphis 6’4 221 Sr.

Stats:

Year Punt Avg Long
2013 45.2 79
2012 43.4 63
2011 42.0 66
2010 42.7 63

Overall: Winner of the Ray Guy Award in 2013. He averaged 45.2 yards per punt in 2013 (7th in the nation), including 29 punts that were downed inside the 20 yard line. He had 4 straight seasons of +42 ypp showing the consistency you want in a punter (22nd in the nation in ypp in 2012). 7th round as my #2 punter 4/20/14.

3. Ben Skaer New Mexico 6’0 195 Sr. He was 5th in the nation in yards per punt in 2013 (45.79) and 19th in 2012 (43.85). Unfortunately he isn’t one of my favorites as he’s short (6’0 is very short for a punter with most being 6’4 or taller), he’s light (it’s rare to see a punter under 200 lbs) and he had two poor seasons to begin his career (2011-40.5 ypp, 2012-39.7 ypp). Camp invite as my #3 punter who is improving dramatically each year and could be a diamond in the rough 4/20/14.

4. Kirby Vander Kamp Iowa State 6’4 202 Sr. He has been on my radar for years now but never seemed to get much recognition (0 times as a Ray Guy Award winner or finalist and 0 times as even a 1st Team Big 12 punter). He was Freshman All-American in 2010 but that was really the only award he ever received during his career. He had 4 seasons of work and due to Iowa State struggling as a team during much of his tenure he was used frequently. All 4 seasons he had a +41 ypp (yards per punt) average with his best being his freshman season in 2010 (45.2). He once had a 74 yard punt (2010) but doesn’t have an extremely strong leg. He’s a consistent punter with good technique but without a high ceiling due to his mediocre leg strength. Camp invite 4/20/14.

2014 Wide Receiver Rankings

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Wide Receiver

Prototype in the NFL: Calvin Johnson

Best In Class

Best Pure Speed: Dri Archer                             Best Body Control: Marqise Lee

Best Run Blocker: Jarvis Landry                      Best Jump Baller: Mike Evans

Best Hands: Jordan Matthews                           Best Route Runner: Marqise Lee

Best Strength: Mike Evans                               Best Open Field Runner: Sammy Watkins

 

1. Sammy Watkins Clemson 6’0 ¾ 211 Jr.

Comparison: A faster Percy Harvin

Stats: ACC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

101

1464

14.5

12

2012

57

708

12.4

3

2011

82

1219

14.9

12

Combine: He had a good but not great Combine as his 40 (4.43) was exactly as I expected. His explosion drills were below average and his quickness drills were surprisingly poor (his 4.34 shuttle was 5th worst among 48 WRs). He did measure 6’0 ¾ 211 proving that he’s a legit outside receiver so that was probably his biggest positive on the day. He still will only be 20 years old when a team drafts him this May. Good in over the shoulder catch drill. He dropped one but still impressed in gauntlet drill as his hands looked soft.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6006

211

32

9.63

4.43

16

34

1006

4.34

6.95

Strength: Elite blue chip prospect out of HS. #39 on ESPN 150 for 2011. He had two TDs vs. defending champ Auburn and was the talk of college football after only his first 3 games as a freshman. Broke 3 records (catches, yards, TDs) for freshman in the Auburn game. Very good hands as he snatches the ball out of the air in perfect form, he’s very versatile as he’s been used as a punt returner, kick returner, slot receiver, outside receiver, runner on a fly sweep, and just as a standard tail back-he reminds me of Percy Harvin due to this feature. Listed as the #2 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. In the 2013 Georgia game he had an elite 77 yd TD catching a short pass and bouncing off a tackle in space to run the majority of the way. Against an SEC D he had a big game (6 127 1 TD). He has great toughness and strength as he’s part WR/part RB in the open field. He has strong, soft hands and can make the acrobatic catch. He had two elite seasons of productivity and played well, for the most part, against top competition. His final game, the bowl game vs. Ohio State, was arguably his best game ever and it seemed like he rose to the occasion.

Weaknesses: His 2012 season is what worries me. He had a troublesome offseason after his amazing 2011 season and was suspended for the first two games due to an arrest on drug charges. Then for the rest of the year he played in a funk as he only had +100 yards receiving in 2 of the 10 games he played in, missed one game due to a stomach virus, had a pesky ankle injury for part of the year and left the LSU game after only one series due to a big hit. He came off as a mentally and physically soft WR that didn’t want to get his hands dirty. He seems to feast on poor defenses and doesn’t dominate good ones very often. Many point to his great games vs. Georgia and Ohio State in 2013 but Georgia lost everyone to the NFL and wasn’t good on defense and Ohio State didn’t have Bradley Roby (their best CB) and inexplicably didn’t double team him all game long. No one talks about his terrible games vs. LSU in 2012 (0 catches), Florida State in 2012 (6 catches for 24 yards), and South Carolina in 2012 (4 catches for 37 yards) or his mediocre games vs. Florida State in 2013 (8 catches for 68 yards), West Virginia in 2011 (5 catches for 66 yards in a 70-33 ass kicking), or South Carolina in 2011 (4 catches for 39 yards). He only missed 2 games in his career due to injury but he always seemed to be nicked up. He’s been a bit immature at Clemson with questionable practice habits, being late to meetings and being suspended by his team.

Overall: Sammy is a game breaking wide receiver with good deep speed, good quickness and great strength for his size. He’s at his best in the open field as he’s too fast for linebackers and safeties and too strong for most cornerbacks. He has soft hands that allow him to pluck the ball on the run and he can juke defenders with the best of them. When Sammy is at his best he is arguably the best player in college football. Unfortunately he isn’t always at his best and I think he currently is a little overvalued by scouts who are just remembering his last game, which happened to be his best game. Sammy is a bit of a diva and doesn’t always try his hardest. In the LSU game in 2012 he took a big hit at the beginning of the game and didn’t return. It was not a concussion type of hit and was later blamed on an ankle being twisted but to me it looked like he got his nose bloodied and wanted to go home to mama. Against the best defenses he rarely was dominant and at times he was almost invisible. That is very disconcerting as for three straight years he had a great college QB getting him the ball, one of the most creative offensive coordinators drawing up plays for him and plenty of talent around him (Andre Ellington and DeAndre Hopkins for 2 years, Tajh Boyd and Martavis Bryant for 3 years). At his best Sammy is an electrifying talent who has the quickness to run great routes, the speed to beat a defense deep and the elusiveness to turn small catches into big gainers. At his worst he’s a me first player that doesn’t produce against the best talent and is a bit soft. I can guarantee you that Sammy will be a good receiver and put up good stats but I cannot guarantee you that he will be an elite receiver and be productive against the elite corners. That concerns me since everyone thinks he’s clearly the best offensive player in this draft class. In the end he barely stays as a Top 5 talent as his ceiling is high enough to overcome the red flags (2012 season, drug arrest, soft play, mediocre work ethic, immaturity issues, poor production vs. elite defenses). Top 5 as my #1 WR but whom I still consider to be overrated by the scouting community 4/16/14.

2. Marqise Lee USC 5’11 ¾ 192 Jr.

Comparison:

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

57

791

13.9

4

2012

118

1721

14.6

14

2011

73

1143

15.7

11

Combine: He was caught from behind vs. Fresno State and it caused some scouts to worry about his speed. He long jumped 25 ½. He had probably the most disappointing Combine among the WRs as he not only measured in under 6’0 (5’11 ¾) and 200 (192) but also came in surprisingly slow (4.52 40). He made up for it a bit with very good vertical, broad and shuttle marks but the damage was done as he looks to have the frame of more of a slot receiver than an outside receiver (huge drop in value if he has to play in the slot) and he didn’t look to be the blazer I thought I saw on film. He passed the eye test with actually a very quick looking 40. Mayock said the same thing, “I thought it’d be faster.” Very good in gauntlet drill, one of the top 5. Elite diving catch on deep in drill. Great jumping catch and got two feet down on quick out drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5116

192

31.75

9.5

4.52

 

38

1007

4.01

 

Strength: 1st Team Pac-12 in 2011 and 2012. 4th in Heisman vote in 2012. He’s one of the fastest players in the nation and looks to have high 4.3 speed. He also has solid size at 6’0 200 and is a legit outside receiver which is rare for someone with his speed. What really sets him apart though is his quickness, body control, and flexibility as most guys with his speed are somewhat tight (my theory is b/c they all ran track and those guys are always tightly strung). He is extremely elusive in the open field and will be a huge threat after the catch due to this. In 2012 he was the best WR in the nation. He has perhaps the loosest hips and ankles of any WR I’ve ever graded as he’s a veritable gumby out there. Due to his looseness he has an agility and quickness in the open field that is rare and makes him difficult to tackle. USC was an NFL style offense and he ran the entire route tree so I expect him to be productive as a rookie.

Weaknesses: He missed 4 games in 2013 with a knee injury and has seemed to be nicked up throughout his career. He isn’t a tough receiver and often quits on routes if jammed hard at the LOS. He’s a borderline diva and has had his share of negative press and semi-tantrums when not getting the ball. In 2013 he wasn’t as productive as he was in 2012 and even when you take out the 4 games he missed he still had lower per game production than in 2012. He comes from a difficult upbringing as his mother lost custody of him due to being deaf (he’s proficient in sign language as a result). He went to numerous foster homes and has a brother convicted of attempted murder.

Overall: Lee has been one of the best receivers in the country the past 3 years and if he falls on draft day due to a poor 40 and a solid but still disappointed final season in college then someone will end up getting a steal. In 2011 Sammy Watkins was the superior prospect in my mind, in 2012 Lee was by far the best and in 2013 they ended the season neck and neck. The fact that Watkins is considered a Top 3 pick now and Lee is considered a late 1st rounder doesn’t make sense to me as they are very close in value. Lee doesn’t have great long speed but he plays faster than he timed as he looks like a high 4.3/low 4.4 type guy on film. What makes Lee special though is his elite quickness and agility as I’ve never seen a more fluid athlete run routes. He runs good routes and has experience in an NFL style offense so he should be one of the top producing rookies in 2014. Yes Watkins is thicker, more versatile and coming off a much better season but talent wise Lee and Watkins are very close in grade. I continue to remind myself of this and therefore I have a much higher grade on Lee than most of the NFL does right now. We shall see who is right in the end. Top 10 as my #2 WR and a guy who is close to Sammy Watkins in pure talent 3/23/14.

3. Mike Evans Texas A&M 6’4 ¾ 231 Soph

Comparison: Vincent Jackson

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2015

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

69

1394

20.2

12

2012

82

1105

13.5

5

Combine: He wowed me with his ’35 1/8 arms. That length bested all but 4 of the 50 OL at the Combine this year! His arm length is actually historic in that it’s the longest arms of any WR at the past 5 Combines and might be the longest arms of any WR ever, I just don’t have the time to seek out Combine results any farther back than 2010. He also had a very good 40 (4.51) for his size (6’4 ¾ 231) an above average vertical (’37) and far better numbers in the quickness drills (shuttle and 3 cone) than his big bodied competitors like Kelvin Benjamin and Brandon Coleman. Good in toe tap drill. He looked great in gauntlet drill with maybe the best hands of anyone in his group. Great extended hands catch on slant drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6046

231

35.13

9.63

4.51

12

37

 

4.26

7.08

Strength: He will still be 20 years old when he reports to training camp as a rookie (his birthday is in August)! 1st team SEC in 2013. He has had some huge games (7 279 1 TD vs. Alabama in 2013) against top level opponents, no one talks about it but he’s got one of the best pairs of hands I’ve ever graded as he snatches the ball out of the air every time and his hands are huge. Reminds me a bit of Michael Floyd from Notre Dame/Arizona. Didn’t play football until his senior year in HS. In the 2012 Louisiana Tech game he had a 75 yd catch and run on post for TD. In the 2012 Alabama game he didn’t have great stats but had numerous catches in traffic as he used his great frame and powered his way for YAC-3x getting tough 1st downs. His height, strength, arm length and elite hands make him the 3rd best jump baller I’ve ever graded ahead of Dez Bryant and only behind Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald.

Weaknesses: He’s sometimes too emotional and has a tendency to get his head out of the game (ex: 2013 bowl game vs. Duke he had 2 PF in 1st quarter and didn’t seem to calm down till the 2nd half). He noticeably was less involved and less productive in the 2nd half of the season (he averaged 146.3 yards per game in the first 7 games but only 61.7 yards per game for the final 6). He had a love/hate relationship with Johnny and it sometimes seemed that both were weary of the other getting too much credit. I think the kid is going to be a bit of a headache for an NFL team and he’ll have his diva moments. He won’t be able to consistently get open in the NFL and he will need a QB who is good at the back shoulder throws and/or willing to throw up the jump ball and trust Evans to come down with it. He clearly loves the game of basketball more than football and only chose football due to a higher level of expected success.

Overall: Mike Evans on talent alone has a Top 10 grade. Unfortunately he doesn’t end with a Top 10 grade due to his temperament issues I noticed in 2013, especially late in the year as his numbers went down and the losses went up. He had his share of sideline temper tantrums and noticeably grew upset when the ball wasn’t consistently coming to him. Considering he ended 2012 as one of the 10 most prolific wideouts in the nation it makes me worry even more as he actually did get quite a few targets and there was little reason for him to complain. Evans is a baby though in a lot of ways as he’s only 20 years old, despite redshirting in 2011, and has only been playing football for 4 years. The potential is there for immense growth in the future for Mike as both a football player and a person. Yet at this point it hasn’t happened and I can’t give Evans a Top 10 grade because of his rawness. He lacks quickness to get great separation against cornerbacks and could struggle in the NFL if taken by a team with a QB that cannot throw the back shoulder pass to him or is unwilling to throw the occasional jump ball. If he’s taken by a team like the Chargers with Philip Rivers then he could become an All-Pro but if he’s taken by a team with a QB like Tony Romo, who angers me at his reticence at throwing the jump ball to Dez Bryant, then he could be just an average WR. Evans size, strength, arm length and elite hands make him one of the best jump ball wideouts I’ve ever graded. He could be an Alshon Jeffery type Pro Bowler who gets +10 TDs ever year. Or he could be a bigger wideout that struggles to get open at the next level and we could be talking about him as a bit of a diva who misses having the best QB in college football throwing to him. Evans comes with his share of risks yet he also has the potential to be great. I suspect he will become a Pro Bowler in time but it will be a bumpy road and his risks cause him to miss out on being a Top 10 grade. Top 15 as my #3 WR who could end up as the best WR in the draft but will be a headache at times for his team and won’t work well with every QB 3/16/14.

4. Kelvin Benjamin Florida State 6’5 240 Soph

Comparison: A combination of Demaryius Thomas and David Boston

Stats: ACC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2015

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

54

1011

18.7

15

2012

30

495

16.5

4

Combine: Sometimes guys are listed at absurd measurements by their school and they underwhelm at the Combine when their actual measurements are revealed (Alshon Jeffrey). Benjamin was not one of those as he checked in at a legit 6’5 240 with ’34 7/8 arms (2nd longest behind only Mike Evans historically long arms). He ran an underwhelming 40 (4.61) as well as had a poor vertical (’32 ½-8th worst among 48 WRs) but with his size he doesn’t have to run that well. To put it in comparison, Eric Ebron checked in at 6’4 3/8 250 and ran a 4.60. They called him a freak but Benjamin 10 lbs lighter runs 0.01 slower and people are disappointed. His 40 was fine and his size/speed ratio is still elite. He was slow and double caught ball in toe tap drill. Good in gauntlet drill with no drops but double caught one, weaved a bit and wasn’t elite at it. Solid on post corner route drill. Not very quick in and out of breaks but again pretty good for his size.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6050

240

34.88

10.25

4.61

13

32.5

911

4.39

7.33

Strength: In the 2013 Florida game he struggled to get any separation vs. Louchez Purifoy on short and intermediate routes yet still ended with +100 yds and 2 TDs in the 1st half due to his elite long speed (ran past Purifoy for an easy TD-he blatantly pushed off though) and size (broke at least 4 tackles on long run after the catch). The only person I’ve ever graded with a better size/speed ratio at the WR position than Benjamin is Calvin Johnson. 1st rounder for sure and possibly 1st Overall if he can develop the finer points in his game 12/20/13. He can make the spectacular catch. He’s tough and doesn’t go down on initial contact like most wide outs. He should be one of the best in the NFL at yards after the catch.

Weaknesses: He has poor quickness as seen on film when he runs routes and as timed on his shuttle and 3 cone which were both very poor for a WR. Sometimes I wonder if his best fit is to bulk him up and move him to TE. His weight at 240 as a person this young will be something to watch as most adults at weight from age 22 onward and if he adds anymore I don’t see him being able to play WR any longer. Despite being only a Sophomore he just turned 23 in February so he’s an older prospect. He at times struggled to get open in college, will his lack of quickness and poor route running make him an easy cover for any CB with good size?

Overall: Kelvin is the ultimate risk/reward WR as the case can be made that he’s the most talented WR in this draft but the case can also be made that he won’t have any impact as a rookie and is similar to other raw wideouts like Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech who to this point have been busts. I understand the reservations of others but I can’t avoid giving this kid a 1st round grade as he is just so big, so strong and so fast that it’s almost historic. When I wrote on 12/20/2013 that he could possibly be the 1st Overall Pick I did so when I heard rumors that he runs a 4.4 40. That proved to be incorrect as he ran a 4.61 40 yet even that is a very good time considering his abnormal size. He reminds me of a combination of Demaryius Thomas and David Boston in just huge wideouts with surprising speed. The David Boston comparison should worry the team that drafts him though as Boston eventually got too big to play WR and his career was cut short early despite his insanely huge biceps and physical freakiness. The same thing could happen to Benjamin or a position change could be in order as he’s only 10 lbs less than Eric Ebron, has longer arms and runs a comparable 40 time. Whether he stays at WR his entire career or not I see the potential for him to be a Pro Bowl wideout and think he’s worth the risk in the 1st round. Late 1st rounder with elite size/speed that has huge bust potential but also Pro Bowl potential as my #4 WR 3/16/14.

5. Allen Robinson Penn State 6’2 5/8 220 Jr.

Comparison: A slower Dez Bryant

Stats: Big Ten

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

97

1432

14.8

6

2012

77

1018

13.2

11

2011

3

29

9.7

0

Combine: He measured in big (6’2 5/8 220) and had elite numbers in the explosion drills and quickness drills (for his size). Compare his shuttle of 4.00 and his 3 cone of 7.00 to the other big receivers like Mike Evans (4.26/7.08), Kelvin Benjamin (4.39/7.33), Brandon Coleman (4.51/7.33) or Donte Moncrief (4.30/7.02) and you realize how elite his quickness drills were for his size. His 40 looked slow on tape too. Very good adjustment in over the shoulder catch drill. He dropped one and overall looked below average in gauntlet drill. He turned the wrong way both times in the gauntlet drill and dropped a ball both times.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6025

220

32

9.5

4.60

 

39

1007

4.00

7.00

Strength: 1st Team Big Ten in 2012 and 2013. Has big, soft hands that catch everything around him, reminds me a little of Dez Bryant with his nonchalance as a route runner but also due to his athleticism and run after the catch ability for a man his size, he has elite vision with PR possibly being in his future (he took a 0 route 65 yds for a TD vs. Ohio St. backups in the 4th Q of their blowout loss as he cut it all the way back to one side and then cut it all the way back again-probably ran 130 yds total). He has elite lateral quickness for a player of his size and is adept on 0 routes and bubble screens due to his ability to juke or stiff arm a defender. He will be one of the better yards after catch receivers in the NFL. Coaches say he’s very intelligent.

Weaknesses: Suspended the 1st half of 2013 opener due to unknown reasons, isn’t a great route runner, regularly seemed winded in 2013 opener so possibly isn’t in condition, has poor body language when ball not coming to him. He has elite quickness so it’s not as obvious initially but he has poor straight line speed. It was seen on his 4.60 40 which made me go back to the tape and I realized that he quite often was caught from behind. Just a 2 star recruit out of HS. He has the makings of a diva and it’s disturbing when you see signs so early in a career.

Overall: In my opinion Robinson is the most underrated WR in this draft. He has the size, strength, collegiate production and overall athleticism you want from a WR prospect in today’s NFL. Slot receivers are a dime a dozen but the bigger wideouts are who are truly valuable. Robinson is in that mold as a guy that can win jump balls and perfect the back shoulder route with a QB. He lacks the pure speed you want in a wideout and it’s evident on film as well as in his 40 (4.60) yet that is his only knock on him as a football player. I don’t have a problem with that as his elite quickness for his size allows him to get open and make people miss after the catch once he does get the ball. My bigger issue is with his diva attitude as he has poor body language when the ball isn’t coming his way. Things won’t be perfect all the time with him in your locker room but that is the only thing that concerns me about Allen. With this WR class being the best I’ve ever graded someone surely will slip and my bet is that it’s Allen. Penn State wasn’t a good program the past two years when he was at his best and his 40 time was very poor so I have a feeling that he drops to the early 3rd round and becomes a steal. On my board he ends up as one of the better wideouts in this draft as an early 2nd rounder as my #5 WR and a bit of a sleeper 3/23/14.

6. Odell Beckham LSU 5’11 ¼ 198 Jr.

Comparison:

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

59

1152

19.5

8

2012

43

713

16.6

2

2011

41

475

11.6

2

Combine: His shuttle (3.94-4th best among 48 WRs), 3 cone (6.69-5th best), and vertical (’38 ½-8th best) were all elite with his 40 (4.43) and broad (10’2) being very good. He is probably the most tattooed guy in the draft. Best in over the shoulder grab drill. Amazing hands, no drops, and probably the best in group in gauntlet drill. Very impressive in 12 yd out drill. Very quick on post corner route drill.    

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5112

198

32.75

10

4.43

7

38.5

1002

3.94

6.69

Strength: 2nd team SEC in 2013. He has good quickness, speed and overall athleticism. If he was two inches taller and 10 lbs heavier he’d be a Top 10 draft pick. He has great hands and is able to pluck the ball with the best of them. He is deadly in the open field both as a receiver and as a returner. He can be a team’s punt returner or kick returner. He has the quickness and speed of a slot receiver yet at 5’11 ¼ 198 lbs he’s clearly big enough to play on the outside if a team wanted him too. He has elite body control and can make the acrobatic catch. He was a productive receiver for three straight years in the SEC and played in quite a few big games during his career.

Weaknesses: He has the size to be outside but his best role is probably as a slot receiver. He had an elite set of skill position players around him (Zach Mettenberger, Jeremy Hill, Jarvis Landry) and often seemed like a complement to them instead of the star player. He has a ton of tattoos, colored his hair at times at LSU and seems to have a bit too much attitude. He never got arrested in college but I smell trouble with him. He ran a 4.43 but he’s more of a quicker than fast type and he rarely blew the top off defenses. He is well built for his size but he’s still pretty short and he won’t be a red zone threat. He has great hands but drops the easy one occasionally due to a lack of concentration.

Overall: Beckham has hovered in the late 1st/early 2nd round grade all season for me as he’s an extremely talented player who has good speed (elite 40 time but not quite as fast on the field as his time would indicate), great quickness, catches the ball beautifully, enough size to stay on the outside and the versatility to play the slot or help in the return game. Some team could easily fall in love with his all around package of skills and take him in the Top 20 but I have my concerns as he was on a very talented team and always seemed like the secondary option for his team. The past two years I had Jarvis Landry ahead of him yet after his horrific Combine it’s Beckham who is the #1 Tiger on my draft board. That’s strange to me as I just don’t see Beckham ever being a #1 receiver and I think his best position is as a slot receiver, which is one of the least valuable positions in all of football. For a team with a very good offense Beckham could be a great complement in various ways and take that offense to the next level. For a bad team seeking a leader and a star player Beckham would be miscast and could be set up to fail. Due to these negatives he drops out of the 1st round as complementary players shouldn’t be given 1st round grades. Early 2nd round as my #6 WR who has a lot of talent but will never be a great player, more of a #2 WR type 4/18/14.

7. Jarvis Landry LSU 5’11 ½ 205 Jr.

Comparison: A poor man’s Dwayne Bowe

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

77

1193

15.5

10

2012

56

573

10.2

5

2011

4

43

10.8

0

Combine: I knew Landry would struggle at the Combine but I’m even surprised how bad he looked. He measured much shorter (5’11 ½), smaller (205 lbs) and slower (4.77 40-worst among the 48 WRs) than I expected. His explosion drills gave him no respite as his vertical (28 ½-2nd worst) and broad (9’2-2nd worst as well) were both horrible. The Combine to me is overrated except for the WR and DB positions so this showing unfortunately might drop him out of the 1st round on my board. He didn’t run a 2nd 40 due to a calf injury.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5114

205

31.25

10.25

4.77

12

28.5

902

 

 

Strength: 1st Team SEC in 2013. He’s a professional. Jon Gruden in the 2013 bowl game talked about his mindset being like a pro and I agree as everything I’ve heard about his practice habits as well as his on the field production speaks to that professionalism. He probably has the best hands in the draft as they are big (10 ¼), he can make the spectacular catch and, most importantly, he’s consistent. Stories abound about this kid being on the jugg machine late into the night and it makes me think he’ll be a coach’s best friend.

Weaknesses: Even though he made plays in 2012 he’s a bit of a one year wonder with only 60 receptions in his first two years combined and with him leaving a year early. He was atrocious at the Combine with the worst numbers in a number of categories. His lack of speed shows up on film as he rarely separates and has to make far too many difficult catches in traffic for his numbers. He never had to get double teamed due to the presence of Odell Beckham across from him for 3 straight years.

Overall: I love Landry and I knew, going into the Combine, that he was going to have some poor times but I was absolutely blown away by how bad he looked at the event. He not only came in shorter and lighter than I expected but he also had the slowest 40, worst vertical and worst broad jump of the 48 WRs. That is just not acceptable and, while his tape is very good, it paints a picture of Landry being overrated. I see him as a big and strong possession receiver with elite hands and an elite work ethic. Unfortunately at 5’11 205 he isn’t big or strong so I don’t see this kid dominating. Don’t get me wrong, this kid will be a starting WR in the NFL and will make a coach happy with his elite work ethic and solid playmaking skills but he looks like a career #2 WR and not even a great one at that. The Combine cost this kid millions but this is exhibit A for what it’s around for as he just doesn’t have the overall talent to be deserving of a 1st round pick and that became abundantly clear to everyone that Saturday in February. Mid 2nd round who has 1st round tape but Free Agent level athleticism who is my #7 WR 3/23/14.

8. Robert Herron Wyoming 5’9 1/8 193 Sr.

Comparison:

Senior Bowl: Day 1: He destroyed Ahmad Dixon on two quick cuts and then had a nice extended hands catch on ball over his head for TD. Beat Dontae Johnson on pure speed deep. Day 2: Easily got slant vs. Dez Southward. Day 3: Good burst, great route running skills and good hands. This kid wowed me with how complete of a player he was and was the best WR in the group. Late 2nd/early 3rd round 4/1/14. Day 3: Great body control on back shoulder route for near TD.

Stats:

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

72

937

13.0

9

2012

31

657

21.2

8

2011

43

379

8.8

3

2010

6

57

9.5

0

Combine: He came in small (5’9 1/8 193) but had a good 40 (4.48) and very good explosion drills. His quickness drills were mixed and averaged out to okay.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5091

193

30.5

9.75

4.48

18

35.5

1005

4.27

6.84

Strength: He’s shown versatility in his career as in 2012 he was their deep threat (21.2 yards per reception average) and in 2013 he was more of their possession receiver (more than twice as many catches but his average dropped to 13.0 ypr). He wowed me at the Senior Bowl as he had too much speed for people but also showed elite body control and good routes. He was the best WR on the North squad, besting even Jared Abbrederis who is one of my favorite players in this draft, as no DB on the squad could handle him. He didn’t begin playing football until his freshman year in High School. Coupled with his 4 years at Wyoming and there’s an argument to be made that he could make an exponential improvement once he’s given NFL coaching. He’s a mentally tough kid due to his upbringing and has an edge to him. He had good games against NFL caliber talent as in 2013 he had 4 91 1 TD vs. Nebraska with two NFL prospects at CB and in 2012 he had 5 173 2 TD vs. Texas with Kenny Vacarro at S and two NFL prospects at CB-that game included a great 82 yard catch and run when he broke two tackles and streaked down the sidelines. It showed off his NFL caliber speed as no one could catch him. He has very good short area quickness, enough speed to threaten a defense deep, enough size to possibly stay on the outside (not just be a career slot receiver) and an edge to him that makes me not worry about him struggling against press coverage.

Weaknesses: He had a rough childhood as he was homeless for two months as a 14 year old, sleeping in cars and different hotels each night due to his family’s economic struggles. His dad was incarcerated when he was 4 and never was part of his life. He eventually moved in with Heron’s dad’s first cousin after his mother agreed to release custody of him due to her own troubles. Players from these backgrounds are worrisome as sometimes “issues” come back to them once they get their first NFL paycheck. He never had a 1,000 yard season at Wyoming and only had 2 seasons of even solid productivity. He’s coming from a much lower level of competition and it could cause him to take awhile before he makes an impact in the NFL.

Overall: Robert Herron was a guy I knew a little about going into the Senior Bowl but a guy whom I underrated dramatically considering how good he looked in practice. He was basically unguardable in one on one drills and showed elite quickness and route running ability. Going into the even I expected Jared Abbrederis to shine the brightest yet Herron was clearly the superior player as he was quicker, faster and had a better overall game than Jared. At 5’9 193 he might lack the size to be an outside receiver but it’s close as his speed (4.48), thickness and route running ability all make the case that he could stay outside. I say try him there first and then move him inside to the slot as I know he’ll at least be a good slot receiver but if he can stay outside he’d become much more valuable for an NFL team. Robert is one of the fastest rising players in this draft and I’ve become a huge fan as he is the complete wideout with quickness, speed, hands and a toughness about him that is rare. I doubt most scouts have him this high on the board but to me he’s a late 2nd rounder as my #8 WR and one of my favorite prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft 4/13/14.

9. Dri Archer Kent State 5’7 3/8 173 Sr.

Comparison: TY Hilton

Stats:

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

25

327

13.1

4

2012

39

561

14.4

4

2011

16

75

4.7

1

2010

19

231

12.2

3

Combine: It wasn’t fair as he’s a receiver not a RB but he had a shockingly fast 40 (4.26) which was the second fastest in Combine history at any position, behind only Chris Johnson’s 4.24. He has some great hair with dreads. Very good in weaving cone drill. Fluid in passing drills making me think again that he is a WR not a RB.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5073

173

31

8.88

4.26

20

38

1002

4.06

6.86

Strength: He has the versatility to be a RB or a WR as in 2012 he had 39 561 4 TD as a receiver and 1,429 9.0 ypc and 16 TDs as a runner! As a runner he had a 7.8 ypc in 2013 and a 9.0 ypc in 2012 with both being elite. He’s a big play waiting to happen and his highlight reel is on par with Sammy Watkins and Johnny Manziel as the best in this draft. He has elite speed with a 4.26 40 which was one of the fastest 40s all time at the Combine. He will be an elite kick returner (3 KR TDs in 2012 alone). He’s extremely well liked on the team. His down season in 2012 is largely due to an ankle injury he suffered on the season’s first offensive series.

Weaknesses: At 173 lbs he’s extremely small. He missed most of 2011 due to academics. Will an NFL playbook be a challenge for him? He had a down year in 2013. He probably lacks the size to be a regular RB but also lacks the experience as a WR.

Overall: Dri is one of the most exciting players in this draft. His 4.26 speed is legit as it can be seen on any highlight reel of his since the defenders are rarely in the picture by the time he reaches the end zone. The question is whether he becomes TY Hilton/DeSean Jackson or if he becomes Taiwan Jones, another uber fast running back who never quite panned out a few years back for the Raiders. I personally think he fits better as a slot receiver than a running back but wherever a team plays Archer they will need to find ways to get him in space. In a creative system like the Eagles have he could be a Pro Bowler yet in an unimaginative system he could be quickly relegated to special teams duties. I believe in him as his speed is borderline historic, his quickness is good, his productivity in 2012 was elite (I’m buying that his 2013 season was marred by an ankle injury) and his versatility is a huge bonus. If he’s used correctly he could be a Reggie Bush type freak of nature and a true weapon for a team. Most have him far lower than this but in my eyes he’s that rare playmaker who could be special so I have him as a late 2nd rounder as my #9 WR 4/13/14.

10. Cody Latimer Indiana 6’2 215 Jr.

Comparison: Hakeem Nicks

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

72

1096

15.2

9

2012

51

805

15.8

6

2011

12

141

11.8

2

Combine: He only did the bench press (23) due to an injury but was 1st among 48 WRs in that borderline irrelevant category.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6020

215

32.63

9.63

 

23

 

 

 

 

Strength: 2nd Team Big Ten in 2013. He had two productive seasons despite marginal talent all around him. He only did the bench press at the Combine yet impressed scouts at his pro day with a ’39 vertical and a 4.44 40 and a 4.38 40. That corresponds to 4.54 and 4.48 official 40 times which is very impressive for a guy his size. He’s a big kid that battles CBs for the ball and has had some acrobatic catches in his career.

Weaknesses: He missed the Combine due to foot surgery and teams will need to verify on their own if he’ll be fully recovered by training camp. Scouts vary on whether he has the speed to beat a defense deep. His pro day went a long way towards answering that question but the tape still shows that he doesn’t have great speed.

Overall: Due to playing on one of the worst teams in a conference that had a down year there are very few people who know about Cody. That will change soon as Latimer has the size/speed ratio that make teams salivate and he will likely be one of the first “who’s that” names in this year’s draft. He’s a player that if he was coming out of a bigger school might get some 1st round buzz but due to his small school ties, his foot injury and the depth of this year’s class he could fall on draft day. He won’t be a star but he looks like a future #2 WR as a guy that has the size to be a physical mismatch in the red zone (scored a TD vs. Darqueeze Dennard in their 2013 matchup) but also enough speed to gain separation on routes between the 20’s. Late 2nd round as my #10 WR who could be a steal if he drops on draft day 3/30/14.

11. Jared Abbrederis Wisconsin 6’1 195 Sr.

Comparison:

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Beat Pierre Desir on zig zag route. Day 3: Beat Marqueston Huff late in route,

Shaq Evans- Day 1: Good beat of Dez Southward making a nice adjustment at the end for the catch too. Day 2: Couldn’t get open vs. Isaiah Lewis, beat Nevin Lawson on deep route but ball underthrown. Day 3: Couldn’t get open vs. Stanley Jean-Baptiste.

Stats: Big 10

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

78

1081

13.9

7

2012

49

837

17.1

5

2011

55

933

17.0

8

2010

20

289

14.5

3

Combine: He again showed that he’s a legit athlete with a solid 40 (4.50), shuttle (4.08) and 3 cone (6.80). One red flag is his 4 reps on the bench (worst among 48 WRs) which is surprising as he has a reputation as a gym rat. Dropped 1 but otherwise looked good in gauntlet drill. Good on post corner route drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6010

195

31.38

9.63

4.50

4

30.5

909

4.08

6.80

Strength: High School GPA of 4.18. 1st team Big 10 in 2012. Very underrated athleticism due to his skin color: He was a 2x state champion and record holder in the 110m hurdles. He has elite hands as he catches them consistently AND can bring down the spectacular. He’s an incredibly hard worker (former walk on) who at one time was a horrible ball catcher and through practice became an elite one. He started 3 years and played 4 years at a big school in a Top 4 Conference. He’s a great route runner. He has good hands but does drop the occasional one. He has PR skills. He had a HUGE game vs. Bradley Roby of Ohio State in 2013 (10 207 1TD). He had a big game in 2011 and 2012 vs. Nebraska when each time he faced NFL caliber CBs (Alfonzo Dennard in 2011, Stanley Jean-Baptiste in 2012). 1st Team Big 10 in 2013.

Weaknesses: Former walk on. He had only 4 reps on the bench (worst among 48 WRs). He isn’t physical and will definitely need to gain weight to get off bump and run coverage. He isn’t a slow guy but also isn’t a burner. He will be a possession receiver in the NFL with enough speed to get open on medium and occasional deep routes.

Overall: If Jared was black he’d be a 2nd rounder. Unfortunately he’s white so he continues to get treated as if he’s unathletic or will struggle to get open at the next level. It’s rather silly but that’s how the media still judges talent and it doesn’t matter that he was a state hurdles champ in high school or he ran a solid 40 time at the Combine as he will continue to be treated as an inferior athlete. Jared is a legit starting caliber WR with the size and speed to stay on the outside in the NFL. He has good hands, runs good routes, has been productive against NFL caliber talent and has put up good numbers despite being in an extreme run biased offense. I love Jared’s worth ethic, his professionalism, his toughness and his route running ability. He should start early in his career and I have no doubt that he has the athleticism to make plays at the next level. Due to his skin color he could drop on draft day though it’s now less likely to happen due to his amazing game vs. Ohio State in 2013 where he destroyed Bradley Roby. Early 3rd round as my #11 WR

12. Davante Adams Fresno State 6’0 7/8 212 Soph

Stats:

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2015

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

131

1718

13.1

24

2012

102

1312

12.9

14

Combine: He was a mixed bag as his 40 wasn’t good (4.56), his vertical (’39 ½) was elite, his 3 cone (6.82) was elite but his shuttle (4.30) was bad. Overall he looks like a quicker than fast guy with good size (6’0 7/8 212). Spectacular hands but weaved all over the line in gauntlet drill-no drops. Solid on post corner route drill.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6007

212

32.63

9

4.56

14

39.5

1003

4.30

6.82

Strength: He was the most prolific WR in the nation as he was 1st in catches, 2nd in receiving yards and 1st in receiving TDs in 2013. Sometimes numbers are overlooked in the college game, and in many cases rightfully so, yet his numbers are truly astounding: three +200 yard games, four games with 3 or more TDs, two games with 4 TDs, at least 5 catches in every game. He is a beast in the red zone with his 24 TDs being the second most by a WR in the past 7 years! Derek Carr had a 71.1 % completion percentage throwing to him and was only at 57.4% when throwing to everyone else. He has elite body control and elite hands making him a good fit to be a possession receiver at the next level.

Weaknesses: He never looked very fast on film and it showed at the Combine when he ran a 4.56 40. He played in a very gimmicky offense with Mike Mayock saying he saw Fresno State throw more bubble screens against San Jose State than in any other game he’d ever scouted. Add to that the fact he had one of the better QBs throwing him the ball (Derek Carr) and it makes you wonder just how good he really will be in the NFL. He had statistically his third worst game of the year against USC who happened to be the best defense he faced all year. His schedule was laughably bad as New Mexico’s 3-9 record on the season taking a lot of the excitement out of his 9 catches for 246 yards and 4 TDs performance. He only played two seasons of college football and only played in 4 games for his career where I think he faced NFL caliber talent (Boise State in 2012 and 2013, Oregon in 2012 and USC in 2013).

Overall: Davante Adams might be the most difficult prospect in this entire draft to give a good evaluation on. His film is almost worthless as he rarely faced NFL talent, played in one of the more gimmicky offenses in college and was force fed the ball. He looked like a superstar at times but his competition was quite often outgunned and outschemed so quite a few players could have been made to look like that. As an athlete he fits the bill of a possession receiver as he’s thick (212 at basically 6’1 is well built), he has great hands, great body control and his vertical jump of 39 ½ was one of the best at the Combine. I question his burst though as well as his overall toughness as he seemed to be too finesse at times, especially for his size. A team like the Broncos that values productivity could conceivably have an early 2nd round grade on him but I think he will struggle adapting to an NFL offense and will have a bumpy first few years in the league. Early 3rd round as my #12 WR 4/18/14.

13. Brandin Cooks Oregon State 5’9 ¾ 189 Jr.

Comparison: Victor Cruz

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

128

1730

13.5

16

2012

67

1151

17.2

5

2011

31

391

12.6

3

Combine: He wowed at the Combine with an elite 40 (4.33-best among the 48 WRs), shuttle (3.81-best) and 3 cone (6.76-7th best). He continues to confuse me as I don’t see elite deep speed on film (more of a quicker than fast guy) but with these times I might be wrong and will need to go back to the film. At 5’9 ¾ 189 he’s pretty small though and is this year’s version of Tavon Austin with all of nuanced arguments of how high you should take a slot receiver accompanying him. Good in toe tap drill. He dropped one but had a great extended hands catch and sped through gauntlet drill looking very explosive. Quick on post corner route drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5096

189

30.75

9.63

4.33

16

36

1000

3.81

6.76

Strength:  He’s incredibly productive (1st in yds, 1st in +20 yd receptions, 2nd in TDs and 2nd in receptions). In the 2013 Boise St. game he had a +15 yd end around on the 1st play showing his elite speed (he says he runs a 4.37 40), he might be the quickest receiver in the nation with his start and stop ability and change of direction being elite, he showed his intelligence by batting a ball behind him OOB on an onside kick to retain possession. He has elite timed speed (4.33 was 1st among 48 WRs). He has great after the catch skills. In the 2012 Utah game he came into game averaging 71 yds after the catch per game!He has good hands and can make the tough catch.

Weaknesses: He times faster than he plays. He looks on film like a 4.4 guy not a 4.3 guy and I don’t expect him to be a deep threat at the next level. He is small at 5’9 189 and will possibly be relegated to the slot for his career. His numbers are inflated as the offense was centered around him and he had one of the best QBs in the nation throwing him the ball.

Overall: Cooks is one of the fastest rising players in the draft right now due to his elite 40 time and elite production in his final season. Unfortunately the tape brings him back to reality a bit as he isn’t the game breaking DeSean Jackson clone you might expect from his 40. He’s more of a quicker than fast type that would fit best as a slot receiver yet immediately loses value if put in that role full time. He reminds me a bit of Victor Cruz in body and style yet doesn’t seem quite as athletic. The majority of scouts have him as a late 1st/early 2nd but I consider him inferior to that ranking as his stats were inflated due to his team force feeding him the ball and I rarely saw him beat a defense deep (his 13.5 ypr isn’t impressive at all). I’m not wowed by him and think he’ll be only an above average slot receiver so he drops on my board. Early 3rd round as my #13 WR who I think is very overrated by most scouts 3/30/14.

14. Jordan Matthews Vanderbilt 6’3 1/8 212 Sr.

Comparison: Rashaun Woods

Senior Bowl: Day 1: He struggled to get open vs. man coverage. Day 2: Good adjustment on poorly thrown ball, easy route vs. Keith McGill getting out and then making YAC, no separation or noticeable burst vs. Jaylen Watkins for PBU, beat Lavelle Westbrook on very quick move at LOS for easy win, no separation and again no real burst on double move vs. Chris Davis for PBU.

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

112

1477

13.2

7

2012

94

1323

14.1

8

2011

41

778

19.0

5

2010

15

181

12.1

4

Combine: Cousin of Jerry Rice. He had a great Combine as he measured big (6’3 1/8 212) with huge hands (10 3/8), good speed (4.46) and solid numbers in the explosion and quickness drills. Solid in over the shoulder catch drill. Good in gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6031

212

33.25

10.38

4.46

21

35.5

1000

4.18

6.95

Strength: Great hands, has a rare work ethic with the coaches saying he’s one of the all time hardest workers they’ve ever had, very good size at 6’3 206, understands positioning. He has underrated speed (55 yd TD on 0 route vs. Ole Miss in 2013). Is a humble guy that his teammates absolutely love. All Time SEC career receptions and yardage leader. He’s clutch and is a leader (threw up after getting a concussion in the 2013 Ole Miss game, season opener, yet stayed in for a huge catch on 4th down). He has the best hands of any WR in the nation as he not only makes the acrobatic catch but is also so consistent and doesn’t drop the easy one. He has 3 SEC records (career receptions, career receiving yards and 100 yd games).  Weaknesses: Isn’t a burner, isn’t incredibly quick, doesn’t have great strength, looks like a future #2 or #3 type with no chance to develop into a #1. Barely recruited out of HS (got the last scholarship for his class at Vandy). He had a great Combine size/speed wise yet it doesn’t translate to the field and he struggled vs. man coverage at the Senior Bowl.

Overall: Matthews is a 1st rounder on quite a few boards yet I have my doubts on him. His Combine was great as he came in tall (6’3 1/8), big (212 lbs) and fast (4.46 40). His on field production was exemplary as he ended his career as the SEC All-Time receptions, yards and 100 yard games leader. Yet when he went to the Senior Bowl he showed a lack of burst that really worried me. The last time I saw a 1st round wideout come in with such a mediocre burst was Rashaun Woods and the similarities are scary. Both ran a sub 4.5 (Woods ran a 4.47) and both were extremely productive (Woods was a 2x All-American and ended his career as the 3rd most prolific wideout in NCAA History) with the case being made for both that they will be great #2 WRs and possibly even solid #1s. That didn’t work out for Woods as he was one of the biggest busts in NFL History and I see too many similarities to give Matthews a similar early round grade. Most have him as a 1st rounder but I see a mediocre possession receiver at best and one whom is getting a little too much love for being Jerry Rice’s cousin and the SEC leader in a few categories. 3rd round as my #14 WR who I think is very overrated and lacks the athleticism to be anything more than an average starter 4/13/14.

15. Cody Hoffman BYU #2 6’3 7/8 223 Sr.

Comparison:

Senior Bowl: Day 2: He fell down on slant route, good route for hitch vs. unknown CB-lacks good quickness but it’s okay for his size.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

57

894

15.7

5

2012

100

1248

12.5

11

2011

61

943

15.5

10

2010

42

527

12.5

7

Combine: Even for his size (6’3 7/8 223) he ran a poor 40 (4.65). What’s even worse is that his overall athleticism now has to be questioned considering his atrocious vertical (27 ½-worst of the 48 WRs) and broad jump (9’0-worst) and average quickness drills (shuttle, 3 cone).

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6037

223

33.25

9.75

4.65

13

27.5

900

4.20

6.89

Strengths: He’s the consummate pro, staying for his senior year despite BYU looking to be mediocre in 2013, and never complaining about the poor QB play during his career. He’s been incredibly productive as he’s the career leader in pretty much every receiving category at BYU. He has elite body control and very dependable hands. He has the ability to make the circus catch which, with his 6’3 frame, could make him a dangerous red zone threat in the NFL. Listed as the #83 player on my Top 100 Board going into the 2012 season. Listed as the #88 player on my Top 100 Board in the middle of the 2012 season.

Weaknesses: He is quick and has a solid burst for his size but he’s clearly a possession receiver at the next level. He has a slight chance of developing into a legit #1 type but the base scenario is of him becoming an 800 yd per season #2 receiver.

Overall: Cody has been an impact player for BYU the past four seasons and I’ve really enjoyed watching him play. He’s still a bit of an unknown despite his tenured status due to playing on the West Coast and never having a truly dominant season. He’s a possession receiver with great hands, good routes and the ability to make the circus catch. I had him as a late 2nd rounder due to his very good production and consistency despite the mediocre QB play around him yet I no longer can give him that grade after his very poor Combine. He drops to the mid 3rd round as my #15 WR despite elite game film due to questions about his speed, quickness and overall athleticism 4/13/14.

16. Martavis Bryant Clemson 6’3 ¾ 211 Jr.

Comparison: Ashley Lelie

Stats: ACC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

42

828

19.7

7

2012

10

305

30.5

4

2011

9

221

24.6

2

Combine: He had a poor 3 cone (7.18) but other than that he was elite in almost every category. His 40 (4.42), 10 yd split (1.53), vertical (’39) and broad (10’4) were all near the top among the 48 WRs at the Combine. He looks like an Avatar. Dropped ball in toe tap drill. Very good in over the shoulder grab drill. Good in gauntlet drill. Good on post corner route drill.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6036

211

32.63

9.5

4.42

16

39

1004

4.15

7.18

Strength: His yards per catch average has been elite throughout his career. His career average is 22.2! He has 1st round measurables. He has the ability to make the spectacular catch. Countless times he got wide open deep as teams underrated his speed due to his size. With his size and jumping ability (’39 vertical) he could become a devastating red zone threat. He’s made plays against top cornerbacks like Xavier Rhodes in 2011.

Weaknesses: While he is a big play waiting to happen you also can look at it negatively and see that he only makes big plays and in 2011 and 2012 COMBINED only had 19 receptions! He lacks the route running, consistency or frame of mind to be a weekly contributor and I don’t see him as ever developing into a #1 WR. He’s always had elite talent around him (DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Andre Ellington, Tajh Boyd) and I think he will struggle if too much is expected of him. He missed the bowl game in 2012 due to academic issues and had his playing time reduced after he made a throat cutting gesture vs. Wake Forest in 2013. He only was Honorable Mention ACC in 2013 and it was rather surprising that he left school early. He sometimes drops the easy pass. Against the best two defenses he faced in 2013 (Georgia and South Carolina) he had a combined 1 catch for 18 yards.

Overall: Bryant is another player that left school a year too early and puts scouts in a bit of a predicament. Do you take him early on potential and hope you didn’t overdraft him and he becomes a bust or do you watch someone else take him early and kick yourself if he develops into a star. Everyone agrees that Bryant has 1st round measurables as at 6’3 ¾ 211 with 4.42 speed he actually has better size/speed than his more heralded teammate Sammy Watkins. The issue is if Bryant will ever fully utilize that skill set and become Batman or if he will always play Robin like he did in his 3 seasons at Clemson. I personally think he will always be a tease as he doesn’t seem to be the smartest tool in the shed and struggles with the finer points of the game. If a team takes him early and expects him to develop into a #1 WR they will be disappointed but if they take him in the middle rounds and accept he’ll just be a supremely gifted #2 or #3 WR then it will work out. Good cornerbacks can shut him down due to his poor route running, lack of quickness and poor football IQ but with his size/speed ratio a creative team will sprinkle him into their game plan in small doses and he could be an effective deep threat. 3rd round as my #16 WR who has star potential but will likely never be better than a solid #2 3/17/14.

17. Chandler Jones San Jose State 5’8 ½ 183 Sr.

Stats:

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

79

1356

17.2

15

2012

54

691

12.8

11

2011

61

566

9.3

2

2010

54

474

8.8

1

Combine: Not invited

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5084

183

 

 

4.34

13

33.5

909

4.37

6.78

Strength: School record 15 receiving TDs in 2013. He was very quick and showed great route running at the East-West Shrine game practices. He was one of the two or three best wideouts at the game, clearly the most polished. He has elite quickness and burst which allows him to separate against most corners. He also has great hands and good body control which allow him to make the acrobatic catch.

Weaknesses: He played in a very pass happy offense with David Fales, an NFL prospect as well, throwing him the ball. His stats are very inflated (his final collegiate game was won 62-52) which is troublesome as his stats were only great for one season. He’s tiny at 5’8 ½ 183 and will be a career slot receiver.

Overall: Slot receivers are a dime a dozen but Jones is one of the fastest and most polished in this draft class. He lacks the size to ever be an outside receiver and isn’t the all around playmaker of a Dri Archer or even of an Isaiah Burse but he’s an elite route runner, he has 4.3 speed and he has great hands. He will be a QB’s best friend from Day 1 and will be a productive player for a team. Yes slot receivers aren’t very valuable but Jones is an upper echelon type and deserves more respect than he’s currently getting (Combine snub). I honestly don’t see much different in talent between him and Brandin Cooks. 3rd round as my #17 WR 4/16/14.

18. Mike Davis Texas 6’0 197 Sr.

Comparison:

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Good double move vs. Chris Davis getting easy TD, very quick at LOS vs. Lavelle Westbrooks for easy win on slant-set it up perfectly and surprised by how quick he was,     late 3rd round

Solomon Patton- Day 2: Good post with CB playing off due to his elite speed. Day 3: He couldn’t get open vs. Walt Aikens on hitch-borderline PI though, no separation for PBU vs. Chris Davis on slant on 7×7-he’s incredibly small and lacks the quickness and suddenness of a Jaulen Saunders to compensate. Free Agent 4/13/14.

Stats: Big 12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

51

727

14.3

8

2012

57

939

16.5

7

2011

45

609

13.5

1

2010

47

478

10.2

2

Combine: He measured in at 6’0 197 but only did the bench press (10 reps) due to a foot injury which kept him out of the other drills.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6000

197

32.75

10

 

10

 

 

 

 

Strength: Set a freshman receptions record in ’10 (47 478 2 TD). He has very good speed and enough size to stay outside. The offense wasn’t nearly as good when he was out of the lineup and he, along with Johnathan Gray, were the team’s best weapons. He put up solid numbers despite never having a great QB throwing him the ball. He had a good Senior Bowl and consistently separated vs. man coverage due to his excellent speed.

Weaknesses: He was always their #1 wide receiver by default yet he struggled at times when facing a defense’s scrutiny. He had a very shady moment in 2013 when he dove at a defender’s knee when the play was nowhere near him. It got national exposure as it was such a cheap shot. He had injury issues throughout his career and might struggle to stay healthy in the NFL. He isn’t the toughest player out there and he, like many players the past few years at UT, didn’t always seem to be 100% into the game. He never had a 1,000 yard season and never was that dominant wideout that teams are scared of. He isn’t a consistent contributor and his stats fluctuated dramatically from game to game.

Overall: At one time Mike looked like a potential 1st round pick. He had good speed, enough size to stay on the outside and was a regular playmaker for a top program. Unfortunately he never built on that early success and his career ends on a down note, much like the program he’s leaving. Mike looks like a future solid #3 WR in the pros as he has enough speed to threaten a defense deep and doesn’t seem consistent enough to ever be a true #2 WR. He has the talent to be one and possibly we will look back at Davis as a steal who never was recognized for being underutilized due to the poor QB play at UT during his time there. I doubt it though as there were too many times I questioned his toughness, intelligence and heart. I suspect he’ll be a solid #3 WR for a few teams and have a mediocre 5-7 year NFL career. Late 3rd round as my #18 WR 4/13/14.

19. Matt Hazel Coastal Carolina 6’1 198 Sr.

Stats: Big South

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

70

990

14.1

9

2012

61

799

13.1

8

2011

32

488

15.3

6

2010

20

276

13.8

5

Combine: Goes by Matt but his name is Charles. He was slightly above average in most drills with his explosion drills (vertical and broad jump) being his best and the quickness drills (shuttle and 3 cone) being his worst. The best thing that happened for him was that he measured in at 6’1 198 and ran a 4.50 40 as it shows he has the size and speed to stay on the outside. It made him a lot of money. Good in toe tap drill. Good in gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6010

198

31.38

9.13

4.50

15

36.5

910

4.20

7.08

Strength: 39 game starter. At the East-West Shrine practices he stood out due to his overall game as he had deep speed, ran good routes and consistently caught the ball all week. He made plays against the top cornerbacks in this game. In the East-West Shrine game he beat Carrington Byndom on a backshoulder route for a PI and then 1 play later beat him across his face for a 1 yd slant TD. 3rd round 2/27/14. He has the speed (4.50) and size (6’1 198) to stay outside with that fact making him a lot of money.

Weaknesses: He’s coming from the Big South Conference which makes the ACC look like a huge step up in competition let alone the SEC let alone the NFL. WR is the 2nd hardest position for a rookie to make an impact in and his step up in competition means he likely will be worthless as a rookie. He has good speed for his size but isn’t an elite athlete, just a very good one.

Overall: Hazel made a lot of money the past few months as he dominated the East-West Shrine game and then measured in a legit 6’1 200 and ran a 4.50 40 showing he will be able to stay on the outside in the NFL. Once thought of as a late round type guy he could go as high as the early 3rd round as he looks to be a complete player that should develop into a solid #2 for an NFL team. That team will likely have to wait a little bit though as it’s unlikely he’ll be able to immediately handle the huge upgrade in talent he’ll be facing but by year 2 or year 3 he should be making plays. He’s a guy that does nothing great but everything well and should be a long time starter as a #2 or #3 WR. Late 3rd round as my #19 WR 3/16/14.

20. Isaiah Burse Fresno State 5’10 3/8 188 Sr.

Stats: MWC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

99

1026

10.4

6

2012

57

851

14.9

6

2011

40

436

10.9

1

2010

13

190

14.6

2

Combine: He helped himself by coming in taller (5’10 3/8) and bigger (188) than I anticipated. He still though is likely a career slot receiver and his elite quickness (3.94 3 cone-5th best among 48 WRs) will help him in that capacity. His absurdly small hands (8 3/8-smallest of any WR) are a red flag but he showed good hands on tape so I’m okay with them. Dropped ball in toe tap drill. He had a double catch and weaved everywhere but showed solid enough hands in gauntlet drill. Solid on post corner route drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5103

188

30.25

8.38

4.58

16

31

907

3.94

6.74

Strength: He played 4 years and started 3 years at Fresno State. In 2010 I wrote, “True freshman who caught my eye in the ’10 Humanitarian Bowl on a KR showing his speed and elusiveness. Averaged 15 ypc as a WR on reverses and such who is someone to look out for in future years.” He’s been good for a long time. He never missed a game in his career. His mother was in and out of jail and he had a very tough upbringing. In the 2013 NFLPA game he was the most active player on either team: 0 route for 4 yds, caused a PI on a +40 yd 9 route, got wide open on +25 yd post corner yet dropped it, 6 yd shallow cross, elite 33 yd catch as he highpointed it in stride with defender nearby-great ball skills, 24 yd PR-good vision finding an alley and racing down the sideline. He put on a show and should never have been shunned by the bigger events as he was one of the two or three best players at this game. He has elite quickness and is tough to handle in the open field. He will make a great punt returner. He’s just big enough to possibly be able to play on the outside as well as in the slot.

Weaknesses: At 5’10 3/8 188 he likely is a career slot receiver, though his size puts him right on the edge of being able to play outside. He lacks deep speed as seen both on film and with his poor 40 (4.58). He played with Derek Carr in a pass happy offense so his numbers are probably a bit inflated. He came from a tough environment and, while he appears to have risen above it, there is always a chance that his first payday will cause trouble for him by those from his past.

Overall: Burse is one of my favorite offensive players in this draft and is easily one of the most underrated. He’s been a playmaker for Fresno State for the past 4 years as I noticed him in their 2010 bowl game when he was a true freshman. He lacks the size to probably play outside and the speed to be a deep threat but he has great hands, is extremely quick and is a guy who could be a legit playmaker for an NFL team. Slot receivers are never valued on draft day but he could be more than just your average slot receiver as he’s dynamic in the open field and will give a team a boost as a punt returner and kick returner. He’s also a good kid who overcame a lot in his life through hard work and sacrifice so I expect him to be the consummate pro and I wish good things for him. Late 3rd round as my #20 WR who is an underrated playmaker that will surprise some people by how productive of an NFL player he will be 3/16/14.

21. Paul Richardson Colorado 6’0 3/8 175 Jr.

Comparison:

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

83

1343

16.2

10

2012

39

555

14.2

5

2011

34

514

15.1

6

Combine: Ran a 10.6 100 meter in HS. It showed as he had a very good 40 (4.40) to go along with a very good vertical (’38) and broad (10’4). I hated his 40 though as he is an extreme long strider. He was their vertical threat at Colorado. Solid in over the shoulder catch drill. Very good in gauntlet drill and ran the drill fast which I liked.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6003

175

32.63

8.88

4.40

 

38

1004

 

7.09

Strength: He has elite speed (4.40) and it shows on film as he a +30 yard reception in 8 of his 12 games this year (+50 yarder in 5 of the 12 games). He has good height for a “speed guy” as usually they are under 5’10 and he’s a legit 6’0 ½. He put up elite stats despite playing on a very bad team.

Weaknesses: He’s a long strider in the worst way and I question whether he’ll ever be a good route runner. He ran mainly vertical routes at Colorado and they were almost always down so I suspect that some of his big plays came against backup defenders. He’s rail thin and will likely have no impact until he adds more weight. The added weight could hurt his overall speed which is his best attribute.

Overall: Paul is a tough player to grade as he was one of the best deep threats in the entire nation and showed at the Combine that he has legit NFL athleticism with a 4.40 40 and a ’38 vertical. Unfortunately he also showed his long stride and his rail thin frame which both are huge red flags for me. I see the potential for him to gain weight and become a very good #2 receiver but I also see the possibility of him being pushed around by the stronger NFL CBs and being a bust. He’s definitely a wild card as Colorado made him very one dimensional and he will be entering the NFL as a raw, weak kid. Also he’s leaving school early to join the best WR class of any draft I’ve ever graded so I suspect he’s going to drop on draft day. The potential is there for borderline greatness but there are too many risks for me to want him too early. Late 3rd round as my #21 WR who is a deep threat with the frame to become an all around great WR but with major bust potential 3/30/14.

22. Josh Huff Oregon 5’11 ½ 206 Sr.

Senior Bowl: On Day 1 he was the most impressive WR with a ton of extended hands catches. Beat Dez Southward on double move for easy TD. Day 2: Beat Marqueston Huff on slant but dropped ball, maybe route of the day as he was held the entire time by Nevin Lawson but still made a tough catch on an out. Day 3: Beat Marqueston Huff for great diving TD-top 5 route of the week, nice body control beating Isaiah Lewis for TD on back shoulder route. Shockingly Huff was the best WR overall as he had great quickness but also better body control, routes and toughness than I expected.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

62

1140

18.4

12

2012

32

493

15.4

7

2011

31

430

13.9

2

2010

19

303

15.9

3

Combine: He had a confusing Combine as he measured in taller (5’11 ¼) and thicker (206 lbs) than I expected but he also came in slower (4.51 40). I think he bulked up to prove he’s a legit outside receiver and lost some speed in the process. He’ll be a tough one to grade due to this transformation.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5112

206

31.25

9.38

4.51

14

35.5

908

 

 

Strength: 2nd team Pac-12 in 2013. In the 2013 Virginia game he blocked a punt showing his special teams value, he also has been a punt and kick returner. He showed deep speed on film and I think when his body adjusts to his new weight it will return. He had a very impressive season in 2013 considering Oregon is a run first team that sits it’s starters in the 2nd half for many of their blowouts. He had a great Senior Bowl showing quickness but also toughness and good hands to win contested balls in traffic.

Weaknesses: He’s a converted RB and still seems to lack the polish as a great route runner. His stats surprised me as he’s been making plays for the past 3 years but 2013 was the only year where he actually was a consistent playmaker. He showed very good speed on tape but when he bulked up for the Combine it went away as his 4.51 40 is hardly game breaking. He has below average hands as I’ve seen him drop quite a few passes in his career. That is more of a concentration issue as he can make the spectacular catch.

Overall: Huff is that rare player that was in the spotlight for 4 seasons at a major program yet you still are unsure about him. On film he looked like a 190 lb deep threat that would play the slot but might have just enough size and speed to be outside occasionally. I think his agent convinced him to bulk up to show NFL teams he was a legit outside receiver and it backfired as he came into the Combine slow and big. Nonetheless Huff flies on film and I suspect he’ll eventually regain his speed, 190 or 206 lbs being the real question. Yet it’s also concerning that he only could put together one prolific season considering Oregon was a Top 5 scoring team every year he was there. Is he a system player that will be a bust or is he a diamond in the rough who only was able to show off his skills in his final season because previously he was playing with QBs that couldn’t throw the ball straight. I honestly don’t know as Huff is one of the tougher players to grade in this draft. I liked him at Oregon but I can’t give him any higher than a late 3rd round grade due to the red flags of the Combine, his one season of productivity and the system tag. Late 3rd round as my #22 WR 4/13/14.

23. Tevin Reese Baylor 5’10 ½ 163 Sr.

Comparison: A poor man’s DeSean Jackson

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

38

867

22.8

8

2012

53

957

18.1

9

2011

51

877

17.2

7

2010

45

401

8.9

0

Combine: He was elite in some areas (1st among the 48 WRs in both the vertical and the broad jump) yet his 4.46 40 was only good and I was expecting great. He needed it to be great considering his size (5’10 ½ 163) is so bad. Very good in over the shoulder catch drill and again had that gliding look to his stride. Nicknamed sweet feet. He didn’t drop any but it was one of the worst in gauntlet drill due to the awkwardness of his catches.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5104

163

31.63

8.63

4.46

 

41

1100

4.18

6.63

Strength: 1st team Big 12 in 2013. On film he looks like one of the fastest players in the nation. He plays much faster than he times as he is a legit 4.3 guy on film. He’s absolutely dynamic in the open field and can take it the distance at any time. In his first 7 games in 2013 he had at least one catch for 39 yards or more in every game!

Weaknesses: 163 lbs. That is the one fact he will never escape. The kid looked small on film but when he weighed in under 170 lbs I was even shocked. I honestly don’t know how he’ll survive a 16 game season if he’s getting regular reps at that weight. He missed 5 games due to a dislocated right wrist in 2013. He never had a 1,000 yard season and was always Robin to someone else’s Batman. He has very small hands (8.63 hands were 2nd smallest of any of the 48 WRs at the Combine) and he had his share of fumbles and drops.

Overall: Reese is one of those guys that can run a 4.9 and I’ll still be arguing that their one of the fastest players in the nation. Film don’t lie and on film Reese flew past defenders. When Baylor began the season scoring 69 or more points in 4 straight games it was Reese as a deep threat that made everything work so well. The kid runs like the wind but unfortunately he’s also light as a feather and that’s where it gets interesting as it’s hard to put a value on a guy who will likely never be a full time starter. He looked small in college and now with the step up in competition there’s no way he will be able to survive as a full time starter at receiver. The best a team can hope for is to get him as a full time punt returner and kickoff returner and a part time receiver who can provide a team a deep threat presence. Due to these limitations he drops to the early 4th round as my #23 WR as he’s an electricifying player who will be an immediate deep threat but he lacks the size to be anything more than a special packages sub player 3/30/14.

24. Ryan Grant Tulane 6’0 3/8 199 Sr. 

Stats:

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

77

1039

13.5

9

2012

76

1149

15.1

6

2011

1

27

27.0

1

2010

33

515

15.6

4

2009

9

39

4.3

1

Combine: He measured basically 6’0 200 (6’0 3/8 199) which means he has the size to stay outside in the NFL but he ran a 4.64 40 which puts into question if he has the speed to get separation on the outside. He only had 8 reps on the bench (4th worst among 48 WRs) but was above average in the other drills. Good in toe tap drill. Dropped 3 in gauntlet drill, more than anyone else.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6003

199

31

9.63

4.64

8

35.5

911

4.11

6.68

Strength: He played well at the Senior Bowl showing good route running skills as well as solid size and speed. Has been on the Biletnikoff watch list in 2012 and 2013. Invited to the Senior Bowl. He has been his team’s main weapon the past two seasons and he still put up great stats. He has good hands and has made some spectacular catches (in his final game he had a one handed catch on a short out and an incredible catch on a 50 yd bomb vs. two defenders).

Weaknesses: He’s an older prospect due to missing all but one game in 2011 due to an injury. He had a terrible 40 (4.64) which is an even bigger deal as he’s coming from a small school where he rarely faced NFL talent.

Overall: Grant is a player that lost a lot of money at the Combine due to his horrible showing but is still a talented kid who could become a very solid pro. I think he plays faster than his 40 timing and at 6’0 200 he’s solidly built so I think he can survive on the outside or the inside. I don’t see him ever being better than an average #2 WR but there’s value in that and I expect him to become that or at worst a good #3 wideout. Early 4th round as my #24 WR who is going to drop on draft day due to his poor Combine and he could become a steal 4/16/14.

25. L’damian Washington Missouri 6’3 7/8 195 Sr. 

Comparison: Marlon Brown

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

50

893

17.9

10

2012

25

443

17.7

2

2011

20

364

18.2

3

2010

5

35

7.0

0

Combine: He came in tall (6’3 7/8) and thin (195) like he looked on film. His 40 (4.46) made him a lot of money but I have concerns about his quickness and explosion drills as they all were in the below average to flat out bad category. He looked rail thin and could add 20 lbs easily throughout his career. He caught everything but was slower than everyone in gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6037

195

33.38

9

4.46

8

32

907

4.35

7.19

Strength: He had turf toe the last month of the year which hurt his numbers but they still were impressive. In the 2013 bowl game vs. Oklahoma State he showed good body control on a few tightly guarded curls and then had an amazing catch vs. Justin Gilbert for a back shoulder 18 yarder. He was very productive against one of the two best CBs in the nation. He has elite height and is surprisingly fast for a guy of that height. His yards per reception are elite at +17 in his final 3 seasons.

Weaknesses: He lacks quickness in and out of his breaks. He rarely gains separation from a defender on short routes and will need a QB that is adept at throwing the back shoulder route. For a guy his size he has underrated speed and was their deep threat the past two seasons. I question if he can continue in that role in the NFL. He has a mediocre vertical which hurts his potential as a red zone specialist. There aren’t many WRs in the NFL that are as tall and skinny as he is. He lacks strength (only 8 reps) and will need to add weight to be successful.

Overall: For the past two seasons all anyone wanted to talk about when discussing Missouri wideouts was the #1 WR out of HS Dorial Green-Beckham. Yet each time I watched one of their games I was more intrigued by the smaller, slower guy next to him who was far more productive. Washington was that guy and he continues to interest me as I just don’t see his height/speed combination too often. He definitely has his warts (not quick, not a great route runner, a deep threat or back shoulder route guy and little else) but I think that he was pretty productive for the QB play he had and there is NFL talent in there. I see him as a #3 WR early in his career and then, if he can gain some weight and improve his route running, a #2 WR with size to be a red zone threat and speed to beat a team deep. As of now there is no buzz on him so there’s a chance he goes undrafted but I see talent and, as usual, I won’t follow the crowd on this one. Early 4th round as my #25 WR 3/30/14.

26. Jalen Saunders Oklahoma 5’8 7/8 165 Sr.

Comparison:

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Poor double move route vs. Lavelle Westbrooks for PBU-he does show elite quickness though and is noticeable on the field compared to the other WRs, he won on a good double move for easy TD.

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

61

729

12.0

8

2012

62

829

13.4

3

2011

50

1065

21.3

12

2010

30

462

15.4

3

Combine: He had a very good 40 (4.44) to go with an elite 10 yd split (1.50) but was average in the explosion drills (vertical and 3 cone). Surprisingly he didn’t do the quickness drills which I expected him to be great at. Very good in over the shoulder catch drill. He dropped one but I really liked his gauntlet drill as the ball snapped into his hands each time and didn’t move at all.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5087

165

30

8.88

4.44

 

34

1002

 

 

Strength: He has special teams value with 3 punt return TDs in his career. For a player his size he has elite toughness and will battle defenders in every aspect-run blocking, battling through contact in routes, etc. He had three very productive seasons with his 2011 season being spectacular on a yards per reception basis. He looked good at the Senior Bowl practices showing rare quickness. He excelled against Alabama in his final game with 2 TDs proving again that his style still works when the competition level goes up. Mike Mayock thinks he could be a Pro Bowl gunner a la Taiwan Jones due to his speed, quickness and toughness. He has very good hands.

Weaknesses: He’s 165 pounds. That is pretty tough to overlook and I just don’t know how he’ll survive a full season at that size. Is he just a punt returner and special teams ace? He played in a spread offense that probably accentuated his stats a bit.

Overall: It’s hard not to root for a guy like Saunders as the smallest guy on the field isn’t supposed to be the toughest. At Oklahoma I watched as he made countless catches over the middle, made plays in the return game and battled opponents until they quit. He’s a fun guy to watch and a great player to have on your team but what value do you put on a player so small that he very possibly is only a special teamer? It’s hard to tell as each team will judge him differently. I think he has shown enough durability to warrant keeping him at slot receiver full time along with his punt return and possibly gunner duties on special teams. If he gets hurt consistently then you reduce his role, and his subsequent value, but until then I say you let the tough little guy stay out there until the NFL proves too tough for him. His quickness is elite, his long speed is very good, his hands are great and his collegiate production the past three years is comparable to almost anyone in this draft. If he can stay healthy he could become a steal, but that’s a big if. Early 4th round as my #26 WR 4/13/14.

27. Josh Stewart Oklahoma State 5’9 7/8 178 Jr. 

Comparison:

Stats: Big 12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

60

703

11.7

3

2012

101

1210

12.0

7

2011

19

291

15.3

2

Combine: He had a 17.5 yard punt return average in his career! This kid was already setting himself up as a sleeper and with a Combine like this he very well could end up being the steal of this draft as his numbers were atrocious. He came in short (5’9 7/8) like I expected but a little smaller (178) than anticipated. His biggest issue though was his 40 (4.69) which was 3rd worst among the 48 WRs and he didn’t even impress in the quickness drills (shuttle and 3 cone) like I expected. It was nothing short of a disaster as he is neck and neck with Jarvis Landry for the worst Combine of the WR group.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5097

178

30

9.38

4.69

11

35

909

4.33

7.10

Strength: He has good speed, very good quickness, and great vision to turn a small pass into a long catch and run. He’s a big play waiting to happen: 73 yd TD on WR screen vs. West Virginia in 2013, 95 yd punt return TD vs. TCU  in 2013. 2nd Team Big 12 in 2013. He had a great final game against a very good SEC defense in the Cotton Bowl vs. Missouri. He’s electric in the open field and just knows how to make things happen.

Weaknesses: From a pure athlete standpoint he’s undraftable as he’s short (5’9 7/8), small (178 lbs), slow (4.69) and, surprisingly enough, not even quick per the Combine (4.33 in the shuttle was 6th worst among the 48 WRs). A person drafting him will be going off film not off measurables as the measurables present the case that he’s not an NFL caliber player.

Overall: Josh has been one of my favorite collegiate players the past two years. He’s a big play waiting to happen as whether he’s catching a punt, a bubble screen or a post route there is a chance it ends in the end zone. He’s a dynamic player that fits the college game perfectly with it’s prevalence of bubble screens and short routes. His reliance on this aspect of an offense means he doesn’t fit every scheme or every team but with the right fit I think Josh could be a dynamic playmaker in the NFL. He’ll be a career slot receiver and punt returner so his value is limited as he has no chance to make it on the outside yet his dynamic college career makes me think he will make the transition successfully. I will be curious to see how high he is drafted as his Combine was one of the 5 worst at any position and teams that use Combine criteria to weed out potential busts will likely have him off their draft board. It’s weird to think that one of the 10 best wideouts the past two seasons in college football would go undrafted but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. I go 70/30 film/Combine so I still have a high grade on him but at this point I probably am in the minority. An elite collegiate playmaker who had a horrible Combine, he ends with a 4th round grade as my #27 WR 3/23/14.

28. Donte Moncrief Ole Miss 6’2 3/8 221 Jr.

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

59

938

15.9

6

2012

66

979

14.8

10

2011

31

454

14.6

4

Combine: He maybe had the best Combine of any WR as he had size (6’2 3/8 221) to go along with  very good speed (4.40) and elite explosiveness (39 ½ vertical-3rd among 48 WRs and 11’0 broad-1st). Good in over the shoulder catch drill. He dropped one in gauntlet drill. He never missed a game for his career.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6023

221

32.38

9.13

4.40

13

39.5

1100

4.30

7.02

Strength: 3rd team SEC in 2013. #13 on Bruce Feldman’s freak athlete list for 2013 due to a 4.44 4, ’39 vert, and 11’1 broad as a 6’3 230 lb WR. His Combine pretty much met all of those marks, he even bested the 40 time by 0.04, and he showed an amazing size/speed ratio. He has great body control and dependable hands. He’s been a leader for them in 2013 as he was often in the shadows with the heralded freshman class getting all of the attention but it was obvious he was the leader on offense for them. He’s an extremely tough and physical player. He played 3 seasons in the SEC and was productive against quite a few NFL caliber defensive backs.

Weaknesses: He never had a 1,000 yard season and overall he was more of a complementary player during his career. He had a great Combine but he doesn’t show it on film at all and it confuses me. At 6’2 ½ 220 guy running a 4.4 40 and jumping ’40 sounds like a Top 10 pick to me but on film he rarely impressed me. Laquan Treadwell, his teammate, outclassed him athletically so much that it makes the idea of him as an elite athlete rather silly. He body catches everything and that worries me….a lot.

Overall:Moncrief had one of the more confusing Combines as he put up 1st round measurables yet his film was that of a lunch pail carrying, run blocking, tough as nails type possession receiver. Julio Jones in 2011 ran a 4.34 40, 38 ½ vertical and 11’3 broad at 6’2 ¾ 220 which is eerily similar to Moncrief’s 4.40 40, 39 ½ vertical and 11’0 broad at 6’2 3/8 221. Unfortunately that is where the similarities end as Jones showed a second gear on film that made his 40 seem legit. Moncrief looks like a future possession receiver that lacks the ability to pluck the ball away from his body and is a player that never had a great statistical season. I like Moncrief but I see him as a #3 WR in the NFL and I suspect some team will overdraft him due to his amazing yet mystifying Combine. 4th round as my #28 WR 4/18/14.

29. Jeremy Gallon Michigan #21 5’7 185 Sr.  

Stats: Big 10

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

89

1373

15.4

9

2012

49

829

16.9

4

2011

31

453

14.6

3

2010

4

49

12.3

1

Combine: I expected Gallon to come in small but he surprised me with just how small he was. At 5’7 185 he’s quite short but his 29 ½ arms are T-Rex like (shortest of the 48 WRs by a lot, no one else was under ’30 and only 9 others were under ’31). He did have a good 40 (4.49) and his 10 yd split (1.52) was 8th best. Very good in gauntlet drill, top 5 in the group.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5070

185

29.5

9.38

4.49

15

 

 

 

 

Strength: He started 3 years at a big school in a Top 4 Conference. 1st team Big 10 in 2013. He ended his career with 39 consecutive games with a catch besting Braylon Edward’s old record. In the East-West Shrine game he made a few plays showing off his good quickness, hands and body control (made a nice leaping catch over the middle). I continue to think there is a place for him at the next level. Early 4th round 2/27/14. His YPC are very good at +14 in his final 3 seasons. His production was hurt by having Denard Robinson as his QB for 3 seasons and the switch contributed to his huge increase in production in 2013. He has elite body control and very good hands. He is more physical and aggressive going after the football than the average slot receiver and reminds me at times of Steve Smith. He had a better 40 than I anticipated but I don’t see a 4.4 guy on film.

Weaknesses: At 5’7 185 he lacks the size to play on the outside and will be a career slot receiver. He’s quicker than fast and could struggle separating from defenders at the next level. He had mediocre stats until his senior season. He had the shortest arms of any of the 48 WRs at the Combine.

Overall: Gallon is an easy player to evaluate. He’s a quicker than fast player who lacks the speed or size to be anything other than a slot receiver. Due to his lack of versatility and the abundance of slot receivers in every draft and in free agency his value is diminished. Yet one thing going in his favor is the fact that he is a little stronger and more dynamic when the ball is in the air than the average slot receiver. He can win a jump ball and could be a solid weapon in the red zone. He has tremendous body control and is adept at highpointing a ball. He won’t be anything special in the NFL but I expect him to be a 7-10 year starter as a slot receiver and he’ll quickly earn a QB’s trust as a sure handed, dependable wideout. Late 4th round as my #29 WR 3/16/14.

30. John Brown Pittsburgh State 5’10 179 Sr.

Comparison: Jacoby Ford

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

61

1198

19.6

14

2012

63

973

973

8

2011

61

1216

19.9

12

2010

0

0

0

0

Combine: A small guy (5’10 179) that can fly (4.34 40). He was above average in the explosion and quickness drills but made his money with his 40 and 10 yd split (1.50-2nd best among 48 WRs). He looked good in toe tap drill. Very good in gauntlet drill. He opened my eyes with his speed, quickness and hands. Great on post corner route drill.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5100

179

30.5

8.5

4.34

 

36.5

911

4.12

6.91

Strength: He has elite speed (4.34 40) and his 10 yd split (1.50) was one of the fastest I’ve ever seen. He has return game skills as well with 3 PR TDs and 1 KR TD in his career. He was the 2013 MIAA Special Teamer of the Year. He set Pittsburgh State records in career catches (185), receiving yards (3,380) and TDs (32). His three seasons were very similar in production and that consistency is a big positive when seeing if he can translate to the next level.

Weaknesses: At 5’10 179 he’s an extremely thin player and will be a slot receiver his entire career. He is so small that he might actually only be a special teamer. His 8 ½ hands were the 2nd smallest of the 48 WRs at the Combine. Small hands often lead to an increase in dropped passes. He played in an extremely small conference and the rise in level of competition could be too much for him.

Overall: I feel that every team should have a speed demon on their bench that they can use in special packages. Brown is that type of player as at 5’10 179 he’s extremely small and probably won’t be able to hold up to the pounding in a 16 game schedule but in small doses he could be effective. His biggest value likely will be on special teams where he was elite in college and has the speed and quickness to translate well to the NFL. If a team sees him only as a special teamer they will lower his rank of him but I think he should be a capable slot returner who can bring a deep threat element to a team. Early 5th round as my #30 WR 3/23/14.

31. Tony Washington Appalachian St. 5’9 7/8 195 Sr.

Combine: Not invited

Pro Day:

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5097

195

 

 

4.50

21

38.5

1005

4.45

6.98

Strength: 1st Team All-Southern Conference in 2013. He has great hands and is a very tough receiver. He has experience as a kick and punt returner. He has great body control and can win the jump ball. He has a great attitude and is very team first (he let his straight starts streak end as a junior to let a senior on senior day get his lone start). He dominated the 2013 NFLPA event and looked like one of the best prospects there, regardless of position.      

Weaknesses: He’s big enough to stay outside but is hardly a tall or large receiver. At under 5’10 he’s short and won’t be a red zone threat. He lacks the quickness to be a good slot receiver so if he is too small to stay outside his career likely will be over.

Overall: Washington is a small school kid that really impressed me at the NFLPA All-Star even this spring. He’s basically 5’10 200 and is rock solid with good hands and great toughness. He looks like a possession receiver on the outside and has the personality to fit that role as he’s incredibly tough and physical. I like him as a #3 or #4 WR but doubt he’ll ever be anything more than that. Those locker room filler types need to have a great attitude and work ethic and Tony fits the bill in that way too. Early 5th round as my #31 WR 4/16/14.

32. Shaq Evans UCLA 6’1 ¼ 213 Sr.

Stats: Pac-12

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

47

709

15.1

9

2012

60

877

14.6

3

2011

19

309

16.3

2

2010

7

61

8.7

0

Combine: He had an average Combine basically across the board. His explosion drills (vertical and broad) were very good and his shuttle was pretty bad but his 40, 10 yd split, bench and 3 cone were all average. In the end the Combine showed that he’s an average overall athlete. Good in toe tap drill. Good in gauntlet drill but dropped one. He is built similarly to a RB.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6012

213

32

9.38

4.53

13

35.5

1002

4.21

7.07

Strength: 2nd team Pac 12 in 2012. He has the size to stay on the outside and is a physical WR with a solid burst to go along with it. He has just enough speed to threaten a defense deep and should be able to run the entire route tree. In the 2013 Virginia Tech game (bowl game) he impressed with me with a good combination of size and quickness (good deep speed too beating Kendall Fuller for a 60 yd TD on a 9 route). He has a chiseled frame and has the quick twitch to him so I think he’ll make it as a #3 WR. He’s their punt returner.

Weaknesses: In the 2012 Baylor game he threw a punch at defender who hit him after he was down, somehow it was missed by the officials. He lacks great short area quickness so as a punt returner he’d be used only due to his good hands as he wouldn’t be impactful via return yardage. He has enough speed to threaten a defense but is by no means a burner. He had trouble separating in college and likely will never be more than a #3 WR. He never had a dominant season in college statistically.

Overall: Shaq is the type of WR who will get overlooked on draft day as he’s solid at everything but neither bad nor great at anything. In college he was a #2 WR that was unfairly thrust into the role of #1 WR due to the team’s needs. In the NFL I don’t even see him being a #2 WR as he lacks the quickness to run great routes, the speed to get easy separation or the elite size/strength to be a dominant possession receiver. He isn’t similar to him in style but his role will be similar to Jason Avant’s with the Eagles for the past half decade as a #3 or #4 WR who will get you 400-600 yards receiving a year. Evans won’t have a flashy career but he does have value as he has solid size, speed and overall athleticism and should be able to carve out a niche in the NFL. Early 5th round as my #32 WR 3/23/14.

33. Brandon Coleman Rutgers 6’6 225 Sr.  

Comparison: James Hardy

Stats: Big East

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

34

538

15.8

4

2012

43

718

16.7

10

2011

17

552

32.5

6

2010

0

0

0

0

Combine: He wowed with his frame at 6’6 225 with ’34 arms. For a guy that big his 40 (4.56) was pretty good. He was hurt though by atrocious numbers in the quickness drills as his shuttle (4.51) and 3 cone (7.33) were both the worst out of any of the 48 WRs. Double catch in toe tap drill. Double catch in over the shoulder grab drill. Double caught one and didn’t look to have good hands in gauntlet drill. Mayock said he dropped more balls than anyone else in the country. Poor on post corner route drill showing very poor quickness.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6060

225

34

9.25

4.63

21

32.5

 

4.51

7.33

Strength: Catches with his hands, elite height (6’6), extremely productive, huge catching radius, is an active and willing blocker. He’s a tough player that battles smaller CBs for YAC. 2nd Team Big East in 2012.

Weaknesses: Isn’t a smooth route runner, has underrated deep speed but as a long strider it takes awhile for him to get up to it, is a really quiet guy whose nickname is Grandpa because he’s so easy going and laid back-I consider this a negative, seems to sub out after nearly every deep route so he possibly isn’t conditioned well.

Overall: Coleman was a 2nd-3rd round talent going into the 2013 season yet struggled with injuries and was overall less effective as a player in his final season. He’s a big, strong WR with an elite catching radius (his ’34 arms are rare) yet he’s a lumbering athlete without quickness or long speed. He has the potential to develop his game and become a legit #2 WR in the possession receiver mold but just as easily could be relegated to a red zone threat or be a draft bust due to his difficulty in getting open. He’s coming off a tough season and his tape wasn’t good but he still gets a middle round grade from me due to his earlier film when he was an effective player. 5th round as a reclamation project who could be a steal or just as easily be a bust as my #33 WR 3/16/14.

34. Jeff Janis Saginaw Valley State 6’2 7/8 219 Sr. 

Combine: His size/speed ratio is elite as he’s 6/2 7/8 219 and ran a 4.42 40. Add in his bench (20), vertical (37 ½), broad (10’3) and quickness drills which all were above average and you have yourself one of the most underrated Combines in the WR group. He has a ripped upper body. Only the 2nd Saginaw Valley player to ever be invited to the Combine. His 10 yd was elite on film and on stopwatch (1.47!) Good in gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6027

219

32.5

9

4.42

20

37.5

1003

3.98

6.64

Strength: He had the best size/speed ratio of any WR at the Combine. His measurables are that of a Top 15 player. He had elite stats in 2013 (92 1,468 14 TD) as he was 1st or 2nd in the conference in all 3 categories. He is very ripped and his impressive size should help in his transition from such a lower level of competition.

Weaknesses: His 4.42 40 and 1.47 10 yd split are both elite times, incredible considering his size, yet he doesn’t show that level of explosion on film. At the Senior Bowl he struggled to get separation in practices and in the game it was the same as he had only 2 catches for 8 yards. The jump in competition level will be dramatic and I’d be shocked if he was productive at all as a rookie.

Overall: Janis is an interesting prospect as his Combine was that of a 1st round talent. Unfortunately his game film and Senior Bowl practices and game weren’t up to that level as his track speed doesn’t seem to translate to the field. Others might fall in love with him due to his potential as his size/speed ratio is one of the 2-3 best in this draft class yet I see a small school prospect that struggled when the competition level went up at the Senior Bowl and suspect he will be a bust. 5th round as my #34 WR who is a Combine freak that I don’t believe in but others might 4/13/14.

35. Bruce Ellington South Carolina 5’9 3/8 197 Jr. 

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2014

 

 

 

 

2013

49

775

15.8

8

2012

40

600

15.0

7

2011

17

211

12.4

1

Combine: He had a good 40 (4.45) and broad (’10) and then wowed with an elite vertical (’39 ½-3rd best among 48 WRs), shuttle (3.95) and 3 cone (6.69-5th best). It makes sense as a former PG for him to have elite quickness and hops which is what the Combine showed. He was very good in gauntlet drill with no drops though his hands did look small. Good on post corner route drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5093

197

31

9.63

4.45

15

39.5

1000

3.95

6.69

Strength: An extremely quick slot receiver type with elite quickness and leaping ability. Cousin of RB Andre Ellington of Clemson. Plays basketball for South Carolina as well and decided to give football a try in 2011. His lack of seasoning means the ceiling is likely higher for him. He has great thickness and strength for a guy his size and has a small chance at staying on the outside and not being a full time slot receiver. He has KR skills and was very good in that capacity. He played in the best conference in the nation. Scholar athlete profile gave him a +3.0 GPA. Also is called the best player on the basketball team.

Weaknesses: He’s built more like a RB than a WR. Those types usually don’t do as well as the long, lithe types. He never had a dominant season and I question why he left school early. He doesn’t run great routes and lacks the height to likely be more than a slot receiver. His lack of height also makes his elite vertical close to worthless. It shows he’s explosive but a 5’9 receiver will never be a dominant jump ball or fade route target.

Overall: Bruce should have stayed in school as he only played 3 seasons and only saw the field consistently for the final 2. His talent is obvious as he has good straight line speed, elite short area quickness and an elite vertical jump but I don’t know where to play him. He has the size to actually make sense as a RB and he could be a 3 down back/slot receiver ala Reggie Bush. Other teams might see a guy tipping the scales at 197 lbs and say he has the size to play on the outside. Those teams will value him more than I do as I just see a slot receiver with average hands and a lack of experience, albeit with intriguing upside. He’s a talented player but one that could easily get overlooked on draft day as he has some red flags to him. 5th round as my #35 WR 3/23/14.

36. Kevin Norwood Alabama 6’2 198 Sr.

Senior Bowl: Day 2: Barely got open but caught ball in traffic for hitch vs. Chris Davis, no separation vs. Chris Davis on 9 route but elite jumping catch over him for play of the day. Day 3: No separation vs. Chris Davis on 9 route and overthrown,

Stats: SEC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

38

568

14.9

7

2012

29

461

15.9

4

2011

11

190

17.3

0

2010

3

56

18.7

1

Combine: Dropped ball in over the shoulder catch drill. He dropped one in gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6020

198

32.13

10

4.48

8

33

1001

4.32

6.68

Strength: He has a very good size/speed ratio. He has the size to be a legit outside receiver. He has played 4 seasons in the SEC and has good toughness. He has made some spectacular catches in his career and is adept at the jump ball. He was coached by Nick Saban.

Weaknesses: His career highs of 38 catches, 568 yards and 7 TDs are all very mediocre. He never was consistent as one play he’d make a spectacular leaping catch over someone and then he’d end with 2 catches for the entire game. He doesn’t seem to know how to run routes or set defenders up to get open as most of his catches are either the long ball or spectacular catches in traffic.

Overall: Kevin has the size, speed and overall athleticism to be an NFL starting wide receiver. I doubt it ever will happen though as for two three straight years he’s flashed potential yet never was able to put it all together for a full season. I see him being a team’s #4 or #5 starter who they try to develop into a #2 and eventually give up on after his rookie contract ends. The talent is there but after watching him closely at the Senior Bowl I’ve made the decision that he’s more of a tease than a talent and he won’t amount to much in his career. 5th round as my #36 WR who has the size/speed ratio to succeed but likely won’t 4/13/14.

37. Devin Street Pittsburgh 6’2 7/8 198 Sr.

Stats: ACC

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

51

854

16.7

7

2012

73

975

13.4

5

2011

53

754

14.2

2

2010

25

318

12.7

2

Combine: He came in tall (6’2 7/8) and thin (198) just like he looked on film. His 40 was below average (4.55) and his vertical (’37) and broad (10’4) were above average yet what stood out the most to me was his very solid quickness drills. His shuttle (4.010 and 3 cone (6.89) were both good overall and great for a guy of his stature. Solid in over the shoulder catch drill. He dropped one in gauntlet drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6027

198

33.38

9.25

4.55

 

37

1004

4.01

6.89

Strength: Career receptions leader at Pitt (beating Larry Fitzgerald). 2nd Team Big East in 2012 and 2013. He showed surprising athleticism at the Combine with a great vertical and broad as well as very good quickness drills for a guy his height.

Weaknesses: He missed the 2013 bowl game vs. Bowling Green due to injury. He’s a long strider and doesn’t consistently get separation vs. defenders. Despite being the career leader in many categories he never had a 1,000 yard season or a 10 TD season.

Overall: Devin is a solid WR with very good height but is a player that does nothing incredibly well and I wonder if he’ll ever amount to much. He’s a long strider, a big red flag in my eyes, never was that productive and isn’t all that tough. He does have an NFL frame though and occasionally had some wow moments so I’m split with him. He has the potential to become a solid #2 receiver down the road or he could never be heard from again. My expectation is on the latter but he still gets a late 5th round grade due to his great Combine he had and the flashes I saw at times on film from him. Late 5th round as my #37 WR 4/16/14.

38. TJ Jones Notre Dame 5’11 5/8 188 Sr.

Comparison:

Stats: Independent

Year

Rec

Yards

Avg

TD

2013

70

1108

15.8

9

2012

50

649

13.0

4

2011

38

366

9.6

3

2010

23

306

13.3

3

Combine: He looked like a slot receiver and measured in that way (5’11 5/8 188). He had a better 40 than I expected (4.48) yet a much worse shuttle (4.27-7th worst among 48 WRs). Overall he looked like a slightly above average athlete who will play a position of little value (slot receiver).Very good in over the shoulder catch drill. Very good in gauntlet drill.  

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

5115

188

30.63

10

4.48

 

33

911

4.27

6.82

Strength: Lost his father to a brain aneurysm in early 2011 and fought back to be a productive part of the team after that. Team MVP in 2013. He played at a big program against good competition and was in an NFL style offense the past two years. He runs good routes and is very quick in and out of his break.

Weaknesses: He’s been an immature person and player for most of his career. He improved dramatically in 2013 but he still drops too many passes and is just an inconsistent player overall. He lacks sure hands as a receiver and as a punt returner. He ran a sub 4.5 40 but he lacks the pure speed to be anything other than a slot receiver. He was consistently shut down by NFL caliber cornerbacks and wilted whenever a defense focused it’s attention onto him.

Overall: He’s a quicker than fast guy with good routes and body control but he’s always been inconsistent and lacks the size to play outside. A career slot receiver with the occasional drops. He has a low ceiling and the difference between him and the slot receiver you could get as an undrafted free agent is minimal. Late 5th round as my #38 WR 3/30/14.

 

 

Late Round Types

Sentavius Jones Valdosta State 6’3 200 At the East-West Shrine game practices he was one of the best receivers all week and clearly the best non-slot receiver with his size and strength. Early 6th round as my #39 WR 4/16/14.

Corey Brown Ohio State #10 5’11 3/8 178 Sr. In the 2011 Michigan game he had a 54 yd TD on post that was left wide open on  a missed assignment (12:45 1st), beat D again on post but ball overthrown, nice 15 yd out that he jump caught as he was falling out of bounds. 2nd Team Big 10 in 2013. He had a stress fracture in his leg late in the season hurting his production. In the 2013 Michigan St. game (Big 10 championship) he showed great body control catching a back shoulder pass for a +20 yd TD on a seam route. Combine: He was average to below average in every number which is even worse at 5’11 3/8 178. He looks like a career slot receiver and an unathletic one at that. His 10 yd split (1.50) was elite which shows he’s a quicker than fast guy but his shuttle and 3 cone were below average which confuses me. Bad in over the shoulder grab drill. Slow but looked solid in gauntlet drill with no drops. He is a dime a dozen type slot receiver as he lacks great speed (4.51), great production (63 771 10 TD in 2013) or great hands. He could make it as an average slot receiver but his ceiling is low and there is significant bust potential. 6th round as my #40 WR who I’m not very high on 3/16/14.

Bernard Reedy Toledo 5’9 175 Sr. At the East-West Shrine game he looked small but quick and has some special teams skills with 1 KR and 3 PR TDs in his career. He barreled into a CB on a 0 route for a solid gain-made it out of nothing, dropped 9 route on underthrown ball-hit him in hands, elite TD having no space vs. Nevin Lawson but coming down with the ball anyway on an acrobatic catch. 6th round as my # 41 WR 4/16/14.

Michael Campanaro Wake Forest 5’9 3/8 192 Sr. Combine: He surprised me with good speed (4.46) and is thickly built (192 lbs with 20 reps on bench) but lacks the height (5’9 3/8) so still probably just a slot receiver. Good hands with no drops in gauntlet drill. Bad on post corner route drill. He missed 4 games in 2013 due to injury yet still had a solid season (67 803 6 TD). He’s a late round/free agent type with a lack of height but not a lack of size as at 192 lbs he’s built pretty thickly. He has been a good player on a bad team for awhile and could surprise some people if teamed with a good QB in the NFL. A career slot receiver that could stick around but will never be more than average. Late 6th round as my #42 WR 3/16/14.

Damian Copeland Louisville 5’11 184 Sr. He had one of the best Combines of any WR and definitely the least talked about. His 40 (4.50) was average but his vertical (’40-2nd best among 48 WRs) was elite as was his shuttle (3.90) and 3 cone (6.53-best). He has two full sleeves. He dropped one and double caught two others in gauntlet drill. I watched a lot of Louisville games and he rarely stood out. He only had 780 yards and 5 TDs in 2013 despite playing in all 13 games and having one of the best QBs in college throwing him the ball. He has good speed though, has shown the ability to stretch the field and looked like an elite athlete at the Combine so he’s worth a late round pick. 7th round as my #43 WR 4/16/14.

Quincy Enunwa Nebraska #18 6’2 225 Sr. In the 2013 UCLA game he had a nice leap over a defender into the end zone at the end of a slant pass. He’s a big, physical receiver who has a knack for finding the end zone. Combine: He has a ripped upper body. He looks like a RB not a WR. He had 19 reps (7th best among 48 WRs). His 4.45 40 was elite for a 225 lb guy. Very impressive. He had a very good 2013 season (51 753 12 TDs) with each category being more than his career numbers combined. These one year wonder types always worry me but in his case I think it’s him improving as his best game was his last (4 129 2 TD vs. Georgia). I’m intrigued by his RB build and his physicality. 7th round as my #44 WR 3/16/14.

 

Free Agents

Eric Ward Texas Tech #18 6’1 200 Jr. In the 2012 Kansas St. game he had 12 yd curl vs. CB Nigel Malone showing good physicality, ball went right through hands on jump catch over middle-alligator hands. In the 2012 Texas game he had hitch vs. CB Duke Thomas then made quick move up sideline to juke him for YAC-ended play with big hit on S lowering his shoulder, great body control highpointing ball vs. CB Carrington Bydon for +15 yds in middle of field, 20 yd catch and run over middle, 13 yds on slant vs. zone-great at working middle of field, looks a little like 50 cent, strong catch in traffic for 8 yds, 13 yd cross-ball behind him, caught 3 yd fade but knocked out of hands by Bydon. 3rd team Big 12 in 2012. In the 2012 Minnesota game he held on despite a double hit-one low and one high which garnered PF, good YAC on WR screen breaking a tackle and spinning away from another, great release off bump and run cov to get slant for catch and run 35 yd TD. He was extremely productive but he lacks the burst to consistently get separation. His ceiling is as a Jason Avant type #3 WR but I don’t think he has the body control or route running skills Avant had coming out of Michigan State. Free Agent 4/16/14.

Kenny Bell Nebraska #80 Sr. In the 2013 UCLA game he impressed me again with a few nice YAC plays in space against CBs to get two separate 1st downs. He’s one of the most well liked players in the Nebraska program both by the fans and his teammates. I’ve been impressed by him every time I saw him play and I really think he could be an NFL starter as he was hurt tremendously by playing with Taylor Martinez AND in a run oriented offense. Free Agent 4/16/14.

Kenny Shaw Florida St. #81 Sr. Ranked #92 in ESPN 2010 HS Class. In the 2011 Clemson game he had a nice 9 yd quick slant TD vs. CB Coty Sensabaugh (7:23 4th), huge drop as he was open on +20 yd late in game down by 5 pts (2:20 4th). He always had good stats but never wowed me. I’m unsure on him but think he’s more of a late round/free agent type, especially in this deep of a class. Free Agent 4/16/14.

Chris Conley Georgia Sr. Considered a leader and an elite character guy. In the 2013 Tennessee game he had a spectacular one handed TD catch on a fade. In the 2013 Nebraska game (bowl game) he was gimpy throughout but still made a nice +25 yd catch, despite a big hit, down the field near the end of the game. He isn’t the most talented but I’d love him as a #4 or #5 WR as he’d be a great locker room guy and always would be ready. Free Agent 4/16/14.

Bennie Fowler Michigan State 6’1 1/8 217 Sr. Combine: Very nice extended hands catch in toe tap drill. Good in gauntlet drill. Below average on post corner route drill. At the Senior Bowl practices he never impressed me in his route running, ability to separate or penchant for making the tough catch. In the Senior Bowl game he had 2 catches for 18 yards and was again invisible. I noticed him on tape a few times but each time it was just a flash here or there and I never saw the consistency I wanted. His 2013 stats (36 622 6 TD) were underwhelming and is another strike against him. He had a good Combine but in the end he’s only a free agent grade due to the numerous mediocre performances he put in this year, including the offseason circuit events like the Senior Bowl. Free Agent 4/13/14.

DeAnte Spencer McNeese St. Sr. In the 2013 NFLPA game he had a 0 route that he took +10 yds for a TD diving at the pylon after squeaking past a guy on the sidelines-great body control and awareness of where the end zone was. He later had another 0 route where he made a CB miss and got 10 yds-very shifty. Free Agent 4/16/14.

Kenny Bell Alabama # Sr. Looked very good in Bama spring game showing good height and speed to get open a number of times in the 2nd half. In the 2011 Florida game he dropped a tough awkward catch turning around for it in end zone but one he had to make as he was wide open (10:00 1st). In the 2012 Michigan game he had back to back catches (8 yd curl, 19 yd post) vs. Courtney Avery then CB JT Floyd, open in back of end zone but overthrown-would be 12 yd TD. I never noticed him in the 2012 Arkansas blowout. In the 2012 Missouri game he had a 44 yd post on flea flicker-clearly their fastest WR. In the 2012 Tennessee game he had 27 yd shallow cross getting LB AJ Johnson in cov and exploiting him badly, easy 39 yd catch and run on busted cov-did fend off safety for final 5 yds. In the 2012 Mississippi St. game he had 57 yd TD on post with ball in stride to him-had 3 yds on CB Johnathan Banks. In the 2012 Texas A&M game he had a +50 yd 9 route in middle of field up seam wide open vs. S. In the 2012 Iowa game he was very quiet in this game as there was a huge wind and they ran mainly. He broke his leg in the Auburn game ending his 2012 season. He flashed at times on film but looks like a career #4 if that. Free Agent 4/16/14.

Albert Wilson Georgia State 5’9 3/8 202 Sr. He had a very good senior year (71 1,177 8 TDs). Built like a RB. Good in over the shoulder catch drill. Solid in gauntlet drill. He had a good 40 (4.43) and a solid set of explosion drills. He wasn’t good in the quickness drills. A player whom I never saw but one that didn’t look like a WR at the Combine and looks like a fringe prospect at best. Free Agent 3/23/14.

Domonique Sullivan Southern Miss #18 6’4 208 Jr. A tall, thin WR who is definitely a long strider. Has an NFL look to him and when he bulks up beware as he could be a great possession receiver who has a surprisingly good burst. In the 2011 Houston game (CUSA Championship) he caught a post and broke CBs tackle to go the final 50 yds of 69 yd TD showing good speed, albeit a long strider, as no one was gaining on him (4:25 2nd), 12 yd slant on 3rd and 10 to keep chains moving. In the 2011 Nevada game he had a very nice catch on 8 yd slant getting hit hard and bent over backwards a bit by safety yet still holding on, no separation on 9 route vs. CB Khalid Whooten, good job shielding Whooten from ball for 5 yd slant vs. tight coverage, dropped wide open 12 yd curl, dropped open quick slant, half dropped half broken up on quick slant vs. tight coverage, no separation on 10 yd curl with CB going for pbu and missing giving him room to run getting 40 yds showing his very good speed for a guy his size (7:01 4th). He has elite height and a solid burst for the size but he is a long strider with poor quickness so I question whether he can get open vs. NFL talent. Free Agent as he intrigues me and is worth a look 4/16/14.

Austin Franklin New Mexico State 5’10 5/8 189 Jr. Combine: He ran a bad 40 (4.56) for a guy his size. Dropped 2 in gauntlet drill. He missed 4 games in 2013 due to academic ineligibility yet still had a solid season (52 670 7 TDs). His best season was in 2012 (74 1,245 9 TDs). He lacks size and his New Mexico coach pointed out his inability to return punts so there is a good chance he’s undrafted. His Dad says he’s a better baseball player than football player (former shortstop). A kid with some potential but his lack of size, speed and experience make him a free agent at best 3/16/14.

Allen Hurns Miami #1 Sr. In the 2011 Maryland game had a good extended hands catch on 36 yd catch that nearly was a TD (10:55 2nd). 2nd team ACC in 2013. In the 2013 Florida St. game he had a step on CB for 33 yd TD. At the East-West Shrine game practices he struggled at times as he has the speed to gain separation but isn’t physical and has mediocre hands. In the East-West Shrine game he beat Shaquille Richardson badly on a double move for a would be 20 yd TD but safety played it perfectly for INT. He was atrocious in the quickness drills with a 4.50 shuttle (2nd worst among 48 WRs) and a 7.23 3 cone (3rd worst). He was below average in the 40 (4.55), vertical (’31) and broad (10’0). Overall it showed off what he is, a borderline prospect. Free Agent 3/23/14.

Corey Washington Newberry Sr. 6’3 200 Sr. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he made a few plays but impressed the most just by his size/speed combination. He is a raw guy who didn’t run great routes and dropped some balls but is an interesting project. Free Agent as he’s raw but has a ton of potential and could put it all together in a season or two 4/16/14.

Geraldo Boldewijn Boise St. #17 6’4 215 Sr. Is an extremely tall wide out who caught my eye immediately. In the 2013 Fresno St. game he had a +50 yd catch and run as well as a nice hands catch extending his big frame. He’s a long strider that reminds me of Dan Buckner which is a bad thing. Free Agent 9/21/13.

Keenan Holman SMU #81 6’1 185 Sr. He showed good size and solid quickness. He has an NFL frame and intrigued me a lot until I saw that he was a senior and I’d never noticed him before. Free Agent 9/4/13.

Walter Powell Murray State 5’11 3/8 189 Sr. At his size (5’11 3/8 189) his 40 (4.63), shuttle (4.23) and vertical (31 ½) are all atrocious numbers. He was good in the broad and the 3 cone but not great and it needed to be great to make up for those 3 terrible numbers. He had 4 return TDs. Free Agent 3/23/14.

Willie Snead Ball State 5’11 195 Sr. Son of a HS coach. He was a bit undersized for an outside receiver (5’11 195), not quick enough to be a slot receiver (4.39 shuttle, 7.19 3 cone) and slow for either spot with a 4.62 40. An overall very poor Combine. His 40 looked slow on film too. Very good in gauntlet drill. I never noticed him in the one game I scouted of Ball State and have little interest in him after his atrocious Combine numbers. Camp invite 3/23/14.

Christopher Boyd Villanova 6’4 206 Sr. Missed the entire 2013 season due to a probation situation. He was slow but showed good hands in gauntlet drill. His 40 was atrocious though (4.73-worst of all 48 WRs) and even at 6’4 I don’t know if I want a WR that slow. Especially considering he’s rather thin at only 206 lbs. Camp invite 3/16/14.

Marcus Lucas Missouri 6’4 218 Sr. He’s absolutely ripped in the upper body. He looks and moves more like a TE than a WR. Solid in gauntlet drill. He never impressed me on film and always seemed like more of a TE than a WR. Camp invite 3/23/14.

JD Faslev BYU #12 5’8 175 Sr.. Only 1 dropped pass in 2011. In the 2011 Tulsa game he had two quick passes for +30 yds total, elite PR catch over his head showing great hands and tracking ability then shot back upfield for a +20 yd return-has elite quickness (14:40 2nd). In the 2012 Washington State game he dropped 0 route, good quickness on 10 yd bubble screen, good separation on cross that he turned upfield for another 10 yds, OC calls him his favorite player on the team, great hands with QB rolling and surprising him with dart as defender right next to him.  Free Agent 3/19/12. He actually came back and played in 2013 but had poor production (34 313 3 TD). I could see him competing for a slot receiver/punt returner role in an NFL camp but I doubt he would end up winning it. Camp invite 3/23/14.

Ryan Langford Illinois #12 6’1 175 Sr. One of the fastest players on the team but very raw still. In the 2011 Wisconsin game he showed elite speed on end around with S tackling him hard for 3 yd gain that would have been 20 if he had missed, dropped easy WR screen showing poor hands. Camp invite 4/16/14.

Alex Amidon Boston College Sr. Career receiving yards leader. He’s productive and has good body control and hands but he is ridiculously slow and I don’t see how him being able to get open against NFL athletes. Undraftable 1/21/14.

Bobby Swigert Boston College #86 6’1 180 Sr. Had a great freshman year in ’10 (39 504 4 TD) especially considering they had a very bad offense due to poor QB play. Also was their PR in ’10. Showed a nice burst and good routes in the ’10 Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Nevada. He had a great beginning to his career yet his 2010 season was his best statistically. In 2012 he missed 5 games and he didn’t play in 2013. Undraftable due to injuries 4/16/14.

Taylor Martinez Nebraska 6’1 205 Sr. Had an oustanding year in ’10 (1578 58% 9/6) as a dual QB (942 12 TD 6.4 ypc). His small build means he will have to transition to WR for the pros but, considering there were 6 games in which he had a run of 26 yards or longer (3 with 67 or longer), it appears that he has the speed and size to make that switch possible. Had a bit of an immaturity issue when he temporarily quit the team after Pelini ripped into him during the A&M loss when he texted his father after his injury. Has questionable motivation as the Nebraska coaches called him out as not being prepared in a loss late in the season. In the 2011 Wisconsin game he continued to have a terrible throwing motion, poor accuracy, and a lack of understanding of reading defenses showing me again that he will have to be a WR or RB at the next level not a QB. In the 2011 Ohio St. game he showed poor instincts to avoid rusher in the pocket taking a few sacks, couldn’t make DB Travis Howard miss in space getting hit hard (0:45 2nd)-starting to wonder if he will be that dynamic of a WR, again showed no ability to make people miss getting leveled by defender who he saw coming from a mile away (10:18 4th). Undraftable at QB or WR but to me he makes more sense at WR 4/16/14.

2014 Offensive Guard Rankings

Image

Offensive Guard

Prototype in the NFL: Marshal Yanda

Best In Class

Best Feet: Trai Turner                                        Best Jab: Brandon Thomas

Best Run Blocker: Gabe Jackson                    Best 2nd level Blocker: Zach Martin

Best Pass Blocker: Zach Martin                      Best Mean Streak: Brandon Linder

Best Pancake Blocker: Gabe Jackson           Best Technician: Zach Martin

1. Zach Martin Notre Dame 6’4 308 Sr.

Comparison: A shorter Luke Joeckel

Combine: The Combine to me proved what I’d been saying all along: he’s an OG not an OT. He measured in sub 6’5 (6’4 308) and measured in well below ’34 arms (32 7/8). He had a below average bench (23) a good broad (8’10) and average quickness drills (4.59 shuttle and 7.65 3 cone). He has elite game film but the Combine performance was that of a mid to late round guy.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6040

308

32.88

9.5

 

23

 

810

4.59

7.65

Strengths: Elite experience (52 career starts). He’s a very smart player that plays angles well and understands the play’s concept. You can see that on how different he blocks depending on whether it’s an inside/outside run or a pass. He can make good players completely invisible (Ex: Trent Murphy led the nation in sacks in 2013 but was invisible vs. Martin, Darius Hamilton of Rutgers made plays when not matched up with Martin but was invisible when facing him in 2013). He is one of the smoothest OL I’ve ever graded. I’ve yet to find a bad tape of him which shows me that he is consistent, he’s been good for a long time and he has underrated athleticism.

Weaknesses: He isn’t an elite athlete, though he does have good lateral quickness ala Luke Joeckel. He lacks elite arm length or height. Most teams prefer a 6’6 guy with ’34 arms yet he’s more of a 6’4 guy with ’32 arms. I’m not 100% sure he’ll even be an OT when all is said and done. He pancakes people and has good strength but he isn’t your typical drive blocker and more erases guys than drives them 10 yards down the field.

Overall: I don’t know if he has the length or athleticism to be a LT but I do know that whether it’s at LT, RT, or OG he WILL be an elite OL in the NFL and a Pro Bowler. That was what I said about him late in the 2013 season. The Combine showed me that he will have to be an OG not an OT as he’s barely 6’4 (6040), he has sub ’33 arms (32.88), his quickness numbers were mediocre and he didn’t run the 40 which makes me assume it wasn’t going to be good. Martin is the guard version of Luke Joeckel as he’s smooth and effortless in all of his games. He’s rather boring to watch as he just shuts down the player in front of him and erases him on every play. He isn’t a powerful guy and isn’t an elite athlete but he ALWAYS gets the job done. I think he might be able to play LT and he likely could play RT but both would be as an average to above average starter. If a GM drafts him and immediately puts him at OG he will become a Pro Bowl guard. I guarantee it. He’s inferior to Jonathan Cooper, my top rated guard in 2013, but superior to David DeCastro, my top rated guard in 2012, and is one of the better guards I’ve ever evaluated. Top 20 as my #1 OG in the 2014 NFL Draft 3/1/14.

  1. Xavier Su’a-filo UCLA 6’4 1/8 307 Jr.

Combine: He impressed me in a lot of ways. First he measured 6’4 1/8 307 which was perfect size for an OG. Second he dominated a few drills with an impressive 40 (5.04), a dominant shuttle (4.44-3rd best among 50 OL) and a good 3 cone. Finally he showed well in all of the drills and his 40 was one of the smoother ones by any OL. His cone drill was one of the best. Quick but a bit out of control in hip drill. Good in mirror drill.

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40

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6041

307

33.38

9.38

5.04

25

25

806

4.44

7.60

Strengths: 1st Team Pac-12 in 2013. Eagle Scout in HS. He has split time between LG and LT due to injuries in 2013. He clearly is an OG at the next level but it’s impressed me seeing his versatility as he has the quickness to be a LT in college at least. He’s an aggressive player, far more aggressive than the other three top guards (Martin, Yankey, Jackson). He has the versatility to start at OG and move to OT in a pinch if there are injuries on game day.

Weaknesses: He is an older prospect as he went on a 2 year mission trip. He is experienced but doesn’t have +40 starts on his resume.

Overall: In the 2013 Virginia Tech game (bowl game) he played LT due to injuries, false start, he was dominant throughout and showed great aggression to go with an elite frame. He possibly could make a good RT but he for sure will be a top level OG and I think he’s rounding into a 1st round OG 1/24/14. Since I wrote that I’ve become even more impressed by Xavier as he was by far the best OG at the Combine and, even more so than Zach Martin, he seems to be the most likely candidate to be able to play both OG and OT in the NFL due to his length (33.38 arms). Late in the 2013 season I had Su’a-Filo as the #3 or #4 OG prospect behind Martin, Yankey and sometimes even Jackson yet the more I watch him the more I think he has Pro Bowl potential. He has a big frame, great strength, is aggressive, physical and abnormally quick. His quickness drills at the Combine cemented his ascension in my eyes as he really has no holes in his game (reason why the Weakness section for him is so short). It took me awhile to realize it but Xavier is an elite player and would be the #1 OG in most years. Late 1st round as my #2 OG 3/1/14.

3. David Yankey Stanford 6’5 5/8 315 Sr.

Comparison: David DeCastro

Combine: He was slow in cone drill. Below average in mirror drill. He had ’34 arms and a solid vertical (28 ½) and broad (8’7) but that was it as this Combine cost Yankey a lot of money. It started with a horrific 40 (5.48-3rd worst among 50 OL) and continued with the bench (22-5th worst), the shuttle (4.86-4th worst) and the 3 cone (7.81-17th worst). There should no longer be any talk of Yankey as a potential 1st rounder.

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34

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22

28.5

807

4.86

7.81

Strengths: He played LT in 2012 and LG in 2013 with both ending in All-American honors. Some think he can play RT but most have him at OG. 1st Team Pac-12 in 2012 and 2013. 1st Team All-American in 2012 and 2013. 39 career starts. In the 2013 Arizona St. game he shut down DT Will Sutton and once again looked like a top guard prospect with an extremely efficient day. He’s very consistent and is mature and smart in how he plays the game.

Weaknesses: He had a terrible Combine with an atrocious 40, poor quickness drills (shuttle/3 cone) and a poor showing on the bench press (22 reps). Some of these issues can be seen on film as he is smooth but isn’t explosive, powerful or extremely quick. He had elite film but he also had NFL prospects around him (his LT, C, RG and RT all are NFL caliber) and it surely helped him. Stanford has been pumping OL prospects out pretty consistently the past 5 years yet none of them have become dominant. It’s not a huge deal, yet, but is something to keep in mind.

Overall: Yankey at one time was considered a late 1st round pick yet after his horrible Combine, and due to the elite depth at the OG position, I just don’t see that happening anymore. Nonetheless he still is an impressive prospect due to his resume, consistency and game film. Barrett Jones did it last year so it’s taken some of the charm off it but he’s the only other person to be an All-American in different positions in back to back years like Yankey was in 2012-2013. He started at LT in 2012 and was very impressive there and then moved inside to LG in 2013, to make way for future 1st rounder Andrus Peat, and was even more dominant at that spot. Yankey battled in practice against NFL caliber front seven players like Trent Murphy, Ben Gardner, Shayne Skov and others so he’s battle tested. He also faced 2x Pac-12 DPOY Will Sutton on numerous occasions and regularly got the better of the matchup. Yankey could struggle with the dominant athletes in the NFL as his foot quickness and overall athleticism leave much to be desired yet in the end I expect him to be an above average starter. He no longer looks like a future Pro Bowler but as a good starting OG for the next 10 years he should make some team very happy. 2nd Round as my #3 OG 3/1/14.

4. Gabe Jackson Mississippi State 6’3 ¼ 336 Sr.

Comparison: Chance Warmack

Combine: I knew he’d have a bad 40 but I didn’t think it’d be this bad (5.51). The sole respite is that his 1.78 10 yd was okay. He did 30 reps, had surprising explosiveness with a ’29 vertical and 9’0 broad-both above average yet was atrocious in the 3 cone (8.25-2nd worst out of 50 OL). It was a mixed bag but he was athletic enough for me to not be concerned since his MO is as a mauling OG. Slow in cone drills. Poor in hip drill.

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336

33.75

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5.51

30

29

900

4.78

8.25

Strengths: 52 consecutive starts at LG. Son of a HS coach. 1st Team SEC in 2012. 1st team SEC in 2013. He is one of the 2-3 strongest players in this draft as I’ve yet to see a DL hold the POA against him. He will be a dominant run blocker and could really open holes for a run game. He has elite thickness for an OG and will be great at anchoring vs. big 3-4 NT types. He dominated SEC DL for two straight seasons. He is almost exactly the same in style and grade as Chance Warmack was in 2013 with Warmack going in the Top 10 of that draft.

Weaknesses: He isn’t laterally quick. He will not be able to pull in the NFL as his 40 (5.51) is just too slow to get on a LB. He will struggle at times against quicker DTs. He isn’t scheme diverse as he has to go to a man on man scheme and needs to go to a run oriented team.

Overall: Last year I went on a rampage AGAINST drafted Chance Warmack in the 1st round and Gabe Jackson was one of my key arguments. In my opinion they had almost the exact same level of film in 2012 (both 1st Team SEC) yet Warmack was considered a Top 10 pick and Jackson was considered a mid 2nd rounder. It was due to the absurd Alabama bias that is prevalent throughout the scouting community and was proven when Warmack had a quiet, mediocre rookie season-hardly what your looking for from a Top 10 pick. One year later I’m seeing the same thing as Jackson had another great season in the SEC and then had Combine numbers eerily similar to Warmack’s numbers last year. To me they are the same player as they both are elite run blockers, with great thickness throughout their body, that will improve a run game and be an asset when battling the 3-4 NT types like Phil Taylor or Vince Wilfork. They both also will be a detriment in the passing game due to their lack of lateral quickness and will need to be protected against certain players-JJ Watt’s dominance vs. Warmack last year comes to mind. I like Jackson as he isn’t overrated like Warmack was and I think the team that drafts him will get a very good player that can start the next 10 years at OG for them. Mid 2nd round as my #4 OG 4/13/14.

5. Trai Turner LSU 6’2 5/8 306 Soph

Combine: He measured in sub 6’3 (6’2 5/8) and had only 9 ½ hands but otherwise impressed with ’34 arms, an elite 40 (4.93) an elite 10 yd split (1.72) and average bench (25) and vertical (27 ½). He’s an athlete who could have been an early 2nd rounder if he had gone back to school-big time sleeper. He tweaked a groin and didn’t do the position drills. Out of control and tight but also quick in hip drill.

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34

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27.5

 

 

 

Strengths: 3rd team SEC in 2013. He’s a precocious talent that I noticed in 2012 as a redshirt freshman. He’s a strong, powerful run blocker that as a 19 year old was big enough to handle SEC DL. In 2013 he improved and was the best OL for LSU. He had an elite 40 time (4.93-1st among OGs and 3rd among the 50 OL) to go along with elite arm length (’34). In 2012 when I scouted him I saw him as a future 1st round OG.         

Weaknesses: Only 20 career starts. He should not have left early as this is one of the deepest and best OG classes I’ve ever graded and I honestly can’t remember another guard leaving after their redshirt sophomore season. It screams of immaturity and a lack of willingness to put in the time. He improved in 2013 over his impressive 2012 season but he didn’t improve as much as I expected.

Overall: At no time in his 2 years did I see a 1st round caliber OG but I always assumed he would eventually become one due to his precocious freshman year in 2012. Due to this he puts scouts in a tough spot as teams will either draft him according to his game film (3rd-4th round) and possibly risk missing out on an elite OG or draft him according to his potential (late 1st) and possibly risk overdrafting him. It’s similar to the issue caused last year when teammate Bennie Logan (DT, drafted 2nd round) left early. He wasn’t ready for the NFL and didn’t have a great final season but everyone who saw him thought he’d eventually develop into a 1st round player so he was taken in the 2nd by the Eagles on mainly potential. It appears to be working out for the Eagles and I think it will work out for whomever chooses Turner too. He’s a strong, powerful in line blocker with elite arm length and movement skills. He lost weight for the Combine (310 lbs) which allowed him to run his elite 40 time (4.93) yet I expect him to play at more of a 320-330 lb range with still very good speed (5.05-5.10). He should have come back for his junior year and then declared but it is what it is and even with this recent example of his lack of maturity I still can’t give him anything worse than a late 2nd round grade as he looks like a future Pro Bowler to me. An elite player who will need some time to develop but who has Pro Bowl potential. Late 2nd round as my #5 OG 3/9/14.

6. Brandon Thomas Clemson 6’3 ¼ 317 Sr.

Senior Bowl: Day 3: Very good vs. Kareem Martin for no rush, good job keeping edge vs. Trent Murphy to guide him very wide around QB. He played both OG and OT and looked solid at OT, though the pass rushers at the event were hardly elite.

Combine: At 6’3 ¼ 317 he has guard size but with 34 ¾ arms and a 5.09 40 he has OT qualities as well. I continue to say he’s an OG though as his 10 yd split (1.78) was mediocre and his shuttle and 3 cone were flat out bad. Very bad in hip drill.

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317

34.75

10.5

5.09

35

29

802

4.83

8.13

Strengths: 1st team ACC in 2012. He has elite arm length for an OT let alone an OG. He has elite strength both on film and in the weight room (35 reps of 225 lbs).

Weaknesses: He has poor lateral quickness and can be exposed by athletic players. A good example of this is in the 2012 South Carolina game where he went against Jadeveon Clowney and gave up 4.5 sacks to him. His elite arm length will be largely neutralized at OG. He lacks lateral quickness and can’t bend very well at all which makes his movements very slow and robotic. He tore his ACL during pre-draft individual workouts and his stock could be in free fall as he likely will miss his entire rookie season.

Overall: Brandon Thomas is setting himself up to be the tragedy story of the 2014 NFL Draft. He had a good Senior Bowl and a great Combine with their being some legit buzz on him that he could be a mid to late 2nd round pick. Unfortunately all of that talk has stopped completely now that he’s torn his ACL in a pre-draft workout for a NFL team. It’s sad as it will likely cost the kid millions but there’s no reason to take a guy at his pre-injury draft slot now that he likely will miss his entire rookie season. That’s ¼ of his rookie contract down the drain AND means that in year two he’ll be recovering from an ACL injury and possibly not 100%. Pre-injury I liked Thomas as an OG not an OT and had an early 3rd round grade on him but post-injury he drops to a late 3rd round as my #6 OG 4/13/14.

7. Cyril Richardson Baylor 6’4 ¾ 329 Sr.

Comparison: Max Jean-Gilles

Senior Bowl: Day 1: He was dominated by Aaron Donald all day. Day 3: Beat by Ra’Shede Hageman on 7×7 drill, beat by DaQuan Jones badly off snap for quick loss, killed by Donald-fastest loss of the week, good anchoring vs. Will Clarke for no rush, beat by Shamar Stephen as he lunged and gave him the edge-not a great athlete,

Combine: He surprised me with 34 5/8 arms but otherwise measured out as the fat slob he looks like with a poor 40 (5.36), 10 yd split (1.82), vert (25 ½), broad (7’7-worst of 50 OL) and shuttle (4.83-7th worst). His 3 cone (7.70) and bench (25 reps) were average. Even as a phone booth guy he struggled. His 40 had a bad time but it actually looked solid. Poor in hip drill.

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6046

329

34.63

9.5

5.36

25

25.5

707

4.83

7.70

Strengths: 2x Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year. 1st Team All-American in 2013. He’s a big, physical guard who is best in a run oriented offense that lets him play “in a phone booth.” When his motor is revved up he can dominate defensive lineman and create huge holes in the running game.

Weaknesses: In 2012 I scouted him and considered him a borderline draftable player due to a lack of effort, poor quickness and a general lack of intelligence (I scouted 3 games of his in 2012 and all 3 games had him doing something stupid). In 2013 I scouted him and he was a completely different player with more aggressiveness and athleticism than the previous year. This inconsistency worries me as does the fact that you too often can see him coast through games. He is far too comfortable not blocking anyone on a given play if a defensive player doesn’t engage him. He is a poor athlete and his body is very sloppy. Due to these things he likely will have a shorter career and it’s unlikely that he will be in the NFL for more than 4-6 years, and that’s if he’s even successful to begin with.

Overall: Richardson is a player that will be drafted much higher than my ranking I give to him because I have serious issues with him that others seem content to ignore. Anyone who watches one game of his will immediately see his strengths (run blocking) and weaknesses (quickness, athleticism, pass blocking) but his lack of a motor and his subsequent inconsistent play makes me want no part of him. In the right system he could become a road grading run blocker and possibly even develop into a Pro Bowler. I doubt this best case scenario ever happens though because his work ethic is poor, his strength for a guy his size is poor (only 25 reps for a supposed power player?), his lateral quickness is poor and he played in a system that was very different from any NFL system he will be going to. To me the risks outweigh the reward until the late 3rd round though I suspect he’ll be gone long before that. Late 3rd round boom/bust type as my #7 OG 3/1/14.                

8. Brandon Linder Miami 6’5 5/8 311 Sr.

Comparison: Clint Boling

Combine: He continues to make the case he might be an OT not an OG with 34 ½ arms. He had a below average 40 (5.35) and 10 yd split (1.83) didn’t help. Average in hip drill.

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311

34.5

10.25

5.35

30

26.5

804

 

 

Strengths: Ranked #145 in ESPN 2010 HS Class. Starting RT in 2013. 2nd team ACC in 2013. Moves to RG when Seantrel Henderson comes in the game showing impressive versatility. In the 2013 Louisville game (bowl game) and the FSU game he impressed me as he went up against NFL caliber DL in both games and never lost a matchup. I also love his versatility as he has the length to stay at RT in the pros or could move inside to OG as he’s comfortable playing both. He’s very aggressive and has a mean streak that many NFL OL coaches love. He could easily become a team’s “enforcer” in the Kevin Gogan type role.

Weaknesses: He’s a mediocre athlete and, while he has the height and arm length for OT, he likely won’t be able to play OT in the NFL. Due to the constant switching between RG and RT he isn’t as experienced at either spot as a full time player would be. He’s sometimes too aggressive and has had dumb penalties called on him before. He doesn’t have great strength and isn’t really a road grader. He also isn’t a great athlete and sometimes it makes you wonder just what he’s good at. He’s more of a solid at everything good/great at nothing so he appears to be headed for a middling career as a mediocre starter.

Overall: Brandon Linder is a tough, aggressive player that has elite height and arm length which makes him potentially versatile as he could possibly play RT in a pinch for a team. His best fit though is at OG as he lacks the athleticism to stay on the outside and unfortunately he isn’t a great strength guy either so moving him inside doesn’t play to his strengths very well either. He reminds me of Clint Boling from the 2011 Draft as Boling also was a tweener type as he had an OT build but lacked an OT’s athleticism while also lacking elite strength for an OG. Boling has been a disappointment to this point and I’m starting to think Linder will be as well as he can play OG or OT for a team but won’t play either especially well. His best attribute probably is his edge he plays with as it’s loved by quite a few coaching staffs and an “enforcer” is very valuable for an NFL team to have on their OL. A prospect that I’ve had as high as a late 2nd but now drops to an early 4th round grade due to being a classic tweener. Early 4th round as my #8 OG 4/13/13.

9. Evan Finkenberg Arizona St. 6’4 295 Sr.

Combine: Not invited.

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Strengths: 1st team Pac-12 in 2013. He’s very versatile as he started at OG and OT. He played LT for the team in 2011-2013. Looks more like an OG than an NFL OT but the fact he took that coveted spot as a Soph means he has talent as 3 of the 5 OL were Seniors that year. His 1st team Pac-12 season came at LT which showed scouts he is athletic. He is incredibly tenacious as a blocker and loves to mix it up with defenders. He looks like he could play a team’s enforcer or goon if need be.

Weaknesses: He’s not the greatest athlete and likely won’t post better than mediocre numbers at the Combine. He wasn’t invited to the Combine and was only a late addition to the NFLPA All-Star game (the 3rd ranked All-Star event) so quite a few signs are pointing to him going undrafted. I think he’s bigger than 295 but if his listed weight is legit than he will have to gain weight as few guards in the NFL are sub 300 lbs.

Overall: Finkenberg at this point looks like a player that won’t be drafted. That’s surprising to me as he has good height, is strong, was 1st team Pac-12 this year and is one of the most tenacious offensive lineman in this draft. I love his mean streak and was impressed with how he always finished his blocks. Nonetheless he isn’t a great athlete and is slightly undersized so it’s not completely shocking. Hopefully a team brings him into camp so I can see if he becomes the diamond in the rough I think he is. If given a little time to add weight I think Evan could become a very solid starting OG. Due to his game film I won’t be backing down from my assertion that he’s a mid round guy and give him a 4th round grade as my #9 OG 3/1/14.

10. Trey Hopkins Texas 6’3 305 Sr.

Combine: Not invited.

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Strengths: Blue chip prospect in HS. Ranked #141 in ESPN 2010 HS Class. 2nd Team Big 12 in 2012 and 2013. He’s a versatile player with OG and OT experience. He’s a strong, physical player who is an asset in the run game. He could possibly be a backup RT in the pros.

Weaknesses: He doesn’t seem quick enough or long enough to stay at OT in the pros so I doubt his collegiate versatility will translate.

Overall:  In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he was the best OG at the game. He has great strength and can create a hole on his own which is incredibly valuable in the NFL. He doesn’t have great quickness so he likely will have to stay at OG but has enough length to be a serviceable backup RT if injuries occur. In the 2013 NFLPA game he had a few pancake blocks and he really caught my eye as a potential starting guard. Unlike a Chris Watt, Anthony Steen or Kevin Danser he actually has the ability to be a pile driver so he gets a higher grade than those more well known players. 4th round as my #10 OG 3/1/14.

11. Dakota Dozier Furman 6’3 5/8 313 Sr.

Combine: He was average to below average in almost every measurable which isn’t terrible as he’s a phone booth guard but it sure didn’t help. He was pretty flexible in cone drills, especially for his size-far superior to Fulton or Jackson. Good in hip drill.

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6035

313

33.88

9.88

5.42

23

24

805

4.89

8.14

Strengths: At the East-West Shrine game practices he played OG instead of OT and looked very solid. At the East-West Shrine game he dominated Garrison Smith and it appeared to get him angry but Dozier never bit on any of the cheap shots given to him by Smith. He showed good balance, good strength and a mental and physical toughness that impressed me.

Weaknesses: To say that the competition level from Furman to the NFL is a step up is a HUGE understatement. It’s almost 100% guaranteed that he won’t be a contributor as a rookie due to this step up in competition. His Combine drills were solid but his actually numbers were pretty poor as his 5.42 40 was 3rd worst among 50 OL, his ’24 vertical was 5th worst, his 4.89 shuttle was 4th worst and his 8.14 3 cone was 7th worst.

Overall: Dozier is a small school guard with the strength, body and makeup to make it in the NFL. He isn’t a great athlete and he is going to be overwhelmed initially by the step up in talent so I don’t have him nearly as high as some others do but I do like him and I think he’ll eventually develop into a solid starting OG. He’ll fit best in a run oriented scheme that accentuates his size and limits his biggest negative-his below average quickness. He will need to be protected at times by his C or OT but in the right scheme and with patience and coaching he could become a very capable player at the next level. A developmental type with a somewhat high ceiling who is a late 4th rounder as my #11 OG 3/9/14.

12. Kevin Danser Stanford #76 6’5 312 Sr.

Combine: Not invited.

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Strengths: 3rd Team Pac-12 in 2013. 28 career starts. He has good film in 2013 while playing in a Top 4 Conference. He’s a smart player that works well with his line mates and looks to help his teammates when not engaged by a defender. He had a number of pancake blocks in this style when he overwhelmed a defender that was already engaged late in the play. He’s a polished player and is a good technician who might be able to start early on in his career. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he looked good in one on one drills easily beating the lower level DL at this event. In the 2013 NFLPA game he had a hold and a false start so hardly a clean performance but he blocked his man throughout and looked like the 2nd best OG on the squad.        

Weaknesses: In the 2013 Arizona State game and the 2013 UCLA game he was noticeably inferior to David Yankey as Yankey dominated Will Sutton while Sutton made plays consistently on Danser. He played with an amazing supporting cast as all four of his fellow OL are legit NFL prospects. He’s actually the worst of the 5 OL and makes a scout wonder if his teammates helped cover his flaws. Stanford has been pumping OL prospects out pretty consistently the past 5 years yet none of them have become dominant. It’s not a huge deal, yet, but is something to keep in mind.

Overall: Danser is a scary prospect as in some films he looks just like David Yankey and it makes you wonder how Stanford could have such a dominant offensive line. In other games he’s exposed though and looks like the athletically challenged player he is. When he went to the NFLPA All-Star game he was shown to be a technically sound player with solid experience and great intelligence. Unfortunately he also looked weaker, slower and less athletic than other players with Danser appearing to be a highly polished, low upside type. As such he projects as a solid backup or replacement level starter that could possibly play right away but will have little upside for a team to further develop. 5th round as my #12 OG 3/1/14.

13. Donald Hawkins Texas 6’5 310 Sr.

Combine: Not invited.

Pro Day:

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20

 

 

 

 

Strengths: 2nd team Big 12 in 2013. He won the LT job in the spring of 2012 right from the get go showing a great ability acclimate from the JUCO ranks. He has a good overall thickness to him which I like in OL and love in OG prospects.

Weaknesses: He played two seasons in the JUCO ranks. He lacks the athleticism to play LT and probably even RT which is why I classify him as an OG. Unfortunately he never played there during his college career so it will be a transition. He struggled at the East-West Shrine game due to his lack of quickness, of course that was with him at LT which I already assumed he couldn’t play. He showed a horrible lack of strength with only 20 reps on the bench. That’s not an OL number let alone an OG number where athleticism is sometimes less important than pure brute strength.

Overall: Hawkins is a talented player that lacks the athleticism to stay outside but also lacks the experience or strength to play OG. I think he’s still worth a shot though because his film was very good the past two years and because OG is much less difficult to play than OT. He gets a mid/late round grade from me as a 5th rounder as my #13 OG but I doubt at this point he gets drafted and could be had as an undrafted free agent 4/13/14.

14. Jordan McCray UCF #63 6’2 7/8 322 Sr.

Pro Day:

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6027

322

 

 

5.53

33

27.5

804

4.93

7.57

Strengths: 1st team AAC in 2013. Team Captain. He has prototypical size (6’3 220) for an NFL guard and he put up great numbers on the bench (33 reps) and explosion drills (8’4 broad, 27 ½ vertical). He looks like the classic “phone booth” guard as he will road grade the player in front of him.

Weaknesses: Not invited to the Combine. He had a very bad 40 time (5.53) at his pro day with the equivalent being a 5.63 which would have placed him last among OL. His quickness drills were also very poor. He could struggle in space and will need to be in a man on man scheme as a zone scheme wouldn’t work well in his favor.

Overall: Identical twin to teammate Justin McCray. Ironically enough he isn’t similar to Justin as a prospect as he’s quicker and a much better OG. In the 2013 Baylor game (BCS bowl game) he impressed me as he consistently got his man blocked and showed good strength at the point of attack. He isn’t a great athlete and will struggle against quicker DTs but he looks like he could develop into an average starter in the NFL. Early 5th round 1/2/14.His Pro Day was weaker than I expected so he drops to the late 5th round but I still really like his game film and think that he could become a solid starter in a year or two. Late 5th round as my #14 OG 4/13/14.

15. Jonathan Halapio Florida 6’3 ½ 323 Sr.

Combine: He missed 2 games in 2013 and struggled through others, showing good toughness but having bad tape nonetheless. He had a terrible Combine with the 4th worst shuttle drill out of 50 OL prospects (4.83), 9th worst broad jump (8’4), the worst vertical (21 ½) and the worst 3 cone drill (8.26). He was average in the movement drill. He was smooth in cone drills. Good in hip drill. He was one of the best in mirror drill.

HGT

WGT

Arms

Hands

40

Reps

Vert

Broad

Shuttle

3 Cone

6034

323

33.63

10.25

5.34

 

21.5

804

4.83

8.26

Strengths: 43 career starts. Freshman All-American. He’s a tough player who fought through injuries to help his team despite them having a poor record. Had a torn pectoral muscle in August but only missed the first 2 games of the year. He’s a smart player and is very smooth in his movements. He has good size and strength with the team clearly missing him when he wasn’t around or wasn’t 100%.

Weaknesses: Redshirted in ’09 and admitted the game was too tough for him right out of HS. Played RT for the Gators in ’10 for the first few games, was benched, then started at RG and was a freshman All American showing that he clearly cannot play OT. His size suggests he will be an OG in the pros. Had compound fracture vs. LSU. He did miss a number of games in his career due to injury so a team will have to determine if he’s 100% and if he’s injury prone or if those were just fluke injuries. He isn’t athletic at all and had some atrocious numbers at the Combine including the worst vertical jump and worst 3 cone drill out of 50 OL. He’s a good at a lot great at nothing type of player as he won’t be great as a run blocker or pass protector but can hold his own in both categories.

Overall: Halapio’s an experienced SEC lineman who is battle tested and shouldn’t be wowed by the step up to NFL caliber competition. He isn’t particularly athletic or powerful though and projects as a low ceiling, average starter who is polished enough to possibly start early in their career. He has no Pro Bowl potential and has only a limited chance at becoming even a good starter but there’s a place for replacement level talent like him and at worst he should provide good depth. I’m hardly giving a ringing endorsement of the kid but he’s smart, he’s a leader and he’s experienced so he should carve a niche for himself on some roster. Late 5th round as my #15 OG 3/1/14.

 

Late round types:

Jordan Hansel Ball State #70 6’4 326 Sr. 1st team All Mac in 2013. Weak side OG in 2013, they flip sides depending on the play. In the 2013 Arkansas St. game he impressed me with his strength and frame but didn’t look good laterally. He easily handled Ryan Carrethers one on one and looks like a good late round flier type in a mauler role. 6th round 1/6/14.

Chris Watts Notre Dame 6’3 310 Sr. He skipped all but 2 drills and one of them he STILL bombed as he had a 5.50 40 which was 2nd worst among the 50 OL. He had a PCL tear in the final regular season game and missed the bowl game too. In the 2013 Rutgers game (bowl game) he was solid and had a nice pancake block on a pull play but he’s nothing more than an average starter at the next level and really was helped by playing next to Zack Martin. 5th round 12/28/13. He continues to look like a low ceiling, polished player at a position of low value. 6th round 3/9/14.

James Stone Tennessee 6’3 5/8 306 Sr. Started as a true freshman at center in ’10 and was very solid. Freshman All American in 2010. Ranked #100 in 2010 HS Class. Was an OT in HS but moved to C. In the 2011 Florida game he allowed a TFL by DT Dominique Easley on the first snap as he was too slow to get the down block on run play away from him (10:30 1st), beat badly by DT Jay Howard for TFL on 3rd and 1 not being quick enough or strong enough to block him when lined up at NT (6:15 1st), beat by Easley but helped by LG Alex Bullard to negate pass rush (7:02 2nd), 3 low snaps in the 2nd Q, 3 low snaps in 3rd Q including bobbled snap that ruined caused 14 yd loss (0:48 3rd), 2 low snaps in the 4th Q. He had a terrible game being outplayed by the two DTs Easley and Howard on blocks and tossing at least 10 low snaps in the game. In the 2011 Georgia game he snapped ball over QBs head for big loss (13:43 3rd). Moved away from C midway through the year due to his poor snaps. Shotgun snaps left handed and snaps from under center right handed. He has extremely long arms, had a good game vs. Oregon in 2013 getting a good push in the run game (though did have a hold against him). Combine: He had a very mixed Combine with a very good 40 (5.17) and good size (6’3 5/8 306 with 33 7/8 arms and 10 1/8 hands) yet had mediocre numbers in the vertical (27 ½), broad (8’9) and shuttle (4.63) and a terrible 3 cone (8.16-6th worst among 50 OL). Terrible in hip drill. At the East-West Shrine game practices he was the best OL as he beat the DL regularly in 1×1 matchups and looked polished. He is an OG though and not a C as Monday he had numerous bad snaps and it was a habit of his at Tennessee before they moved him. In the East-West Shrine game he was plowed back by Justin Ellis, pushed back by Max Bullough on 2nd level block, beat by Beau Allen on edge for sack and FF. He has elite experience and can be a backup C in a pinch but the reality is that he’s always underperformed my expectations and I think he will be overdrafted this April. Late rounder who will be overdrafted in the 3-5 round area for no valid reason. Late 6th round 2/27/14.

Ryan Groy Wisconsin #79 6’5 317 Sr. 2nd team Big 10 in 2012. Played LG in 2013 vs. Iowa. He didn’t look NFL like in his frame-awkward body. 1st Team Big 10 in 2013. LG in 2013. In the 2013 South Carolina game (bowl game) he showed great awareness of who to take and regularly showed great teamwork with his LT and C. He doesn’t look like an NFL player though as he’s slightly hunched back and lacks definition in his body. He pulled a few times and was agile but it didn’t appear good enough to be something an NFL team would accentuate. He did battle 1×1 vs. Kelcy Quarles and consistently got the job done but I don’t consider Quarles anything more than a mid round guy so it’s not incredibly impressive. He’s a tough guy to grade as he consistently gets the job done at this level but in the NFL I question whether he will be able to. 6th round 1/22/14. Combine: He had a good 40 (5.19) and 10 yd (1.75) yet once again looked very frumpy and un-NFL like. He has extremely thin legs and I worry he’ll be too top heavy. He struggled in pad drill and didn’t look strong at all. Average in hip drill. I continue to doubt that he will translate well to the next level. As such I’m keeping him as a late round flier type. 6th round 3/1/14.

Brian Clarke Bloomsburg #77 6’3 290 Sr. 1st Team Little All-American in 2013. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he’s undersized and occasionally was pushed back but showed good quickness and stayed in front of everyone in the 1 on 1 drills. In the 2013 NFLPA game he was beat off the snap for a sack by Khyri Thornton. 6th round 1/19/14.

Jared Wheeler Miami #73 Sr. In the 2013 NFLPA game he looked solid with a few pancake blocks and good combination of quickness and strength. Early 7th round 1/20/14.

Anthony Steen Alabama 6’3 314 Sr. In the 2011 Penn St. game he somehow completely whiffed on his DT in a short area right off the ball to allow a TFL (11:22 3rd).Starting RG in 2012. In the 2012 Tennessee game he had a good pull block sealing edge for outside run. In the 2012 Notre Dame (BCS Championship) game he showed poor recognition and lateral quickness to get to blitzing LB for TFL. He’s clearly the weak link on their OL and a late round guy at best but will be returning 1/7/13. Combine: He didn’t work out at the Combine but still had a bad day with 30 ½ arms (worst out of 50 OL). 2nd team SEC in 2013. He never impressed me on film but is experienced, well coached and he has solid strength. He looks inferior to both Chris Watt and Kevin Danser but is similar in style as none of the three are great athletes and all were considered to be the mediocre players on elite offensive lines yet each has just enough to warrant a look as a late round pick. 7th round as my # OG 3/9/14.

Karim Barton Morgan St. #74 6’3 315 Sr. 1st Team All-MEAC in 2013. In the 2013 NFLPA Practices he showed very good strength and had a thick lower body but was slow and didn’t finish his blocks. Clearly inferior to Trey Hopkins who he played with all week. 7th round 1/19/14.

Andrew Miller Virginia Tech #74 6’4 293 Sr. 3rd Team ACC in 2013. Starting RG in 2013. In the 2013 UCLA game (bowl game) he looked quick, agile and experienced. He is undersized and doesn’t get any push in the run game but he could develop into an average starter in a zone scheme. 7th round 1/23/14.

Mason Walters Texas Sr. #27 in ESPN 150 for ’09. Has a mean streak and is somewhat of an emotional leader for their OL. In the 2011 Baylor game he had a spectacular pass pro on DT going outside getting him on an island and just stoning him (14:10 2nd), very poor cut block with DT stepping right over him for 4 sec sack. In the 2012 Oklahoma game he wasn’t noticed as OU dominated but he was relatively solid. 3rd team Big 12 in 2013. P: Very experienced with 51 consecutive starts in his career. In the 2013 Oregon game (bowl game) he had a false start but otherwise was quiet. He was at best the #3 most talented OL on the team which is pretty bad considering the UT OL is hardly dominant this season. He looks like a late round mauler type who should get drafted due to his experience and his big game/big school background. 7th round 1/8/14.

Blake Treadwell Michigan St. #64 6’3 304 Sr. 2nd Team Big 10 in 2013. In the 2013 Ohio St. game (Big 10 championship) he was beat by Michael Bennett off the snap for a pressure, he was beat occasionally with quickness but he impressed me with his tenacity and hustle. He had a few pancake blocks but all were in space and he seemed adept at getting a hat on a hat in space. Overall he looked like a fringe draftable prospect. 7th round 1/26/14.

 

Free Agents

Zachery Fulton Tennessee Sr. Started as a true freshman at RG in ’10 and was very solid. In the 2012 North Carolina St. game he got start at RG, false start, not noticeably good or bad. 40 career starts. Combine: He had by far the worst shuttle (5.16) of anyone as it was .16 worse than anyone and .30 worse than all but 3 OL. He looked slow in the movement drill. He has a huge lower body though so he can anchor with the best of them. He looked very tight in cone drills. Tight but not terrible in hip drill. Good in mirror drill. Free Agent 3/1/14.

Austin Wentworth Fresno State Sr. Starting LT in 2013. Isn’t a LT and maybe isn’t even an OT as lacks lateral quickness. He is a big guy though and in the 2013 Boise St. game he held Demarcus Lawrence in check easily. He played OT as a senior but at the East-West Shrine game practices he played OG and was one of the few players that could handle DT Justin Ellis. Free Agent who has good film 4/13/14/

Matthew Patchan Boston College He played 5 years sparingly at Florida due to numerous injuries (pectoral, back, ACL, and various other leg injuries). He x-fer to BC when his OL coach left Florida for there and got a 6th year granted to him by the NCAA. He was injury free in 2013. He had a great 40 (4.97) and on one attempt at a historic 10 yd split (1.59)! He also had 33 ½ vertical which was 1st among the 50 OL. Elite Combine gets him a free agent grade but no higher due to his extreme medical dossier. Free Agent 4/13/14.

Josh Walker Middle Tennessee #77 6’5 320 Sr. 1st team C-USA in 2013. Starting LG in 2013. In the 2013 Navy game (bowl game) he impressed me with his size, quickness and strength. He was a man amongst boys against the cadets and pancaked players left and right. I hope he goes to an All-Star game because I want to see him against better competition. Free Agent who could have been higher on my board but I never got a chance to see him again 3/1/14.

Marcus Hall Ohio St. #79 Sr. In the 2013 Penn St. game he had a pancake block on DE Deion Barnes when he “cracked back.” He was ejected due to the punches he threw in the Michigan fight. As he was leaving he gave the double bird to the Michigan crowd so Urban Meyer didn’t start him in the Big 10 Championship game. He ended up not even playing in the game. Free Agent who at times impressed me but who has a lot of red flags character and maturity wise 3/1/14.

Billy Turner North Dakota St. Combine: He had a good 40 (5.16) and a solid 10 yd split (1.77). His quickness drills were below average but not terrible and at 6’4 7/8 315 with ’34 arms and ’10 hands he looks like the classic small school project. He was tight in cone drill. He is very raw but has some talent to work with. Free Agent 3/1/14.

John Urschel Penn State Sr. He struggled a lot at East-West Shrine game practices with false starts, poor hand placement and an inability to maintain blocks. Combine: He is an extremely intelligent kid who has been published in celestial math magazines due to his thesis paper. He had a bad 40 style wise with hands waving all around. He was a bit out of control in cone drill. Free Agent due to intelligence and experience 2/20/14.

Andrew Norwell Ohio State #78 6’6 319 Sr. 2nd Team Big 10 in 2013. LG in 2013. In the 2013 Michigan St. game (Big 10 championship) he made a poor decision on a blitz allowing a sack on 3rd down, he didn’t look strong or quick but did have a big frame at 6’6. Camp invite 1/26/14.

Parker Graham Oklahoma St. #71 6’7 315 Sr. 1st team Big 12 in 2013. Starting RT in 2013. Plays like an OG not an OT and will have to move inside in the pros. In the 2013 Oklahoma game he had a holding penalty and showed neither the strength nor the athleticism I was expecting considering how highly rated he is. Camp invite 12/14/13.

DeAnthony Sims Houston #79 6’3 320 Sr. 2nd team AAC in 2013. LT in 2013 but doesn’t look like an OT and will have to move inside. Camp invite 3/1/14.

Christopher Burnett Georgia 6’2 322 Sr. At the East-West Shrine game he looked like a mediocre college guard with good size and poor movement skills. Camp invite who has a VERY small chance at the next level 2/27/14.

Justin McCray UCF #64 6’3 310 Sr. 1st team AAC in 2013. Team Captain. Identical twin to teammate Jordan McCray. In the 2013 Baylor game (BCS bowl game) he struggled all game with his blocks. Despite being an identical twin to Jordan, being a team captain and also being listed at 6’3 310 he is nothing like Jordan. Justin lacks the quickness or bend of his brother and doesn’t look like a draftable prospect. Camp invite 1/2/14.

Steven Haunga Arkansas St. #60 6’2 313 Sr. 1st team Sun Belt in 2013. LG in 2013.  Looks Samoan with big hair like Domata Peko. In the 2013 Ball St. game he didn’t impress me. Barely a camp invite 1/6/14.

Top 150 Eligible Players for the 2014 NFL Draft

draft

Top 150 Updated 2/20/14 (PR is pass rusher not punt returner)

  1. Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville Jr.
  2. Jadeveon Clowney DE South Carolina #7 6’6 254 Jr.
  3. Johnny Manziel QB Texas A&M Soph
  4. Khalil Mack PR Buffalo
  5. Marqise Lee WR USC #9 6’1 195 Jr.
  6. Sammy Watkins WR Clemson #2 6’1 180 Jr.
  7. Taylor Lewan OT Michigan Sr.
  8. Anthony Barr PR UCLA #11 Sr.
  9. Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE Washington Jr.
  10. Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh #97 Sr.
  11. Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M Sr.
  12. Mike Evans WR Texas A&M Soph
  13. Allen Robinson WR Penn St. Jr.
  14. Eric Ebron TE North Carolina Jr.
  15. Jeremy Hill RB LSU Soph
  16. Carl Bradford PR Arizona St. Jr.
  17. Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech Jr.
  18. Stephon Tuitt DE Notre Dame Jr.
  19. Rashad Hageman DT Minnesota Sr.
  20. Kelvin Benjamin WR Florida State Jr.
  21. Darqueeze Dennard CB Michigan State Sr.
  22. Jarvis Landry WR LSU Jr.
  23. Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma St.
  24. Blake Bortles QB Central Florida Jr.
  25. Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama Sr.
  26. Derek Carr QB Fresno State Sr.
  27. Will Sutton DT Arizona St. Sr.
  28. Antonio Richardson OT Tennessee Sr.
  29. Odell Beckham WR LSU Jr.
  30. Greg Robinson OT Auburn Jr.
  31. Travis Swanson C Arkansas Sr.
  32. Carlos Hyde RB OhioState Sr.
  33. Louchez Purifoy CB Florida Jr.
  34. Zach Martin OG Notre Dame Sr.
  35. Xavier Su’a-Filo OG UCLA Jr.
  36. Haha Clinton-Dix S Alabama Jr.
  37. Anthony Johnson DT LSU Jr.
  38. Kyle Van Noy LB BYU Sr.
  39. Aaron Lynch PR South Florida #19 6’6 265 Jr.
  40. Dominique Easley DT Florida #2 6’2 285 Sr.
  41. Deon Buchanon SWashingtonState Sr.
  42. Jordan Matthews WR Vanderbilt Sr.
  43. De’Anthony Thomas RB Oregon Jr.
  44. David Yankey OG Stanford Sr.
  45. Louis Nix DT Notre Dame Jr.
  46. Jason Verett CB TCU #2 Sr.
  47. Marcus Roberson CB Florida Jr.
  48. CJ Mosley LB Alabama #32 Sr.
  49. Ka’Deem Carey RB Arizona Sr.
  50. Lache Seastruck RB Baylor Jr.
  51. Bryan Stork C Florida St. Sr.
  52. Scott Crichton PR Oregon State Sr.
  53. LaMarcus Joyner CB Florida St. Sr.
  54. Gabe Jackson OG Mississippi St. Sr.
  55. Dri Archer RB/WR Kent St. Sr.
  56. Cody Hoffman WR BYU Sr.
  57. Shayne Skov LB Stanford Sr.
  58. James Hurst OT North Carolina #68 6’6 310 Sr.
  59. Ego Ferguson Jr. DT LSU Jr.
  60. Ryan Shazier LB Ohio State Sr.
  61. Brandin Cooks WR OregonState Sr.
  62. Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech Sr.
  63. Aaron Colvin CB OU Sr.
  64. Arthur Lynch TE Georgia Sr.
  65. Cyril Richardson OG Baylor Sr.
  66. Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame Jr.
  67. Kony Ealy PR Missouri Sr.
  68. Davante Adams WR Fresno St. Soph
  69. Jeremiah Attaochu PR Georgia Tech #45 Sr.
  70. Martavis Bryant WR Clemson Jr.
  71. DeMarcus Lawrence PR Boise St. Sr.
  72. Craig Loston S LSU #6 Sr.
  73. Jared Abrederis WR Wisconsin Sr.
  74. Dion Bailey S USC Jr.
  75. Bradley Roby CB OhioState Sr.
  76. Jordan Zumwalt LB UCLA Sr.
  77. Trent Murphy PR Stanford Sr.
  78. Tim Jernigan DT Florida St. Jr.
  79. Kareem Martin PR North Carolina Jr.
  80. Marcus Smith PR Louisville Sr.
  81. Bishop Sankey RB Washington Jr.
  82. Zach Mettenberger QB LSU Sr.
  83. Evan Finkenberg OG ArizonaState Sr.
  84. Jackson Jeffcoat PR Texas Sr.
  85. Ryan Carrethers DT Arkansas St. Sr.
  86. Nikita Whitlock DT WakeForest Sr.
  87. Morgan Breslin PR USC Sr.
  88. Ahmad Dixon S Baylor Sr.
  89. Michael Sam DEMissouri Sr.
  90. Jeffrey Pagan DT Alabama Jr.
  91. Andre Hal CB Vanderbilt Sr.
  92. Jimmie Ward S Northern Illinois Sr.
  93. Andrew Jackson LB Western Kentucky Sr.
  94. Alfred Blue RB LSU Jr.
  95. Dee Ford PR Auburn Sr.
  96. Adrian Hubbard PR Alabama Jr.
  97. Shaun Lewis LB Oklahoma St. Sr.
  98. Chris Young LB Arizona St. Sr.
  99. Chris Borland LB Wisconsin Sr.
  100. Tre Boston S North Carolina Sr.
  101. Daniel McCuller DT Tennessee Sr.
  102. Seantrel Henderson OT Miami Sr.
  103. Phillip Gaines CB Rice Sr.
  104. Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB Nebraska Sr.
  105. Charles Leno Jr. OT Boise St. Sr.
  106. Ty Zimmermann S Kansas St. Sr.
  107. Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers Sr.
  108. Trey Millard FB OU Sr.
  109. Kenny Ladler S Vanderbilt Sr.
  110. Donte Moncrief WR Ole Miss Sr.
  111. Isaiah Burse WR Fresno State Sr.
  112. Aaron Murray QB Georgia Sr.
  113. Vinny Sunseri S Alabama Jr.
  114. Josh Huff WR Oregon Sr.
  115. K’Waun Williams CB Pittsburgh Sr.
  116. Cameron Irving OT Florida State Sr.
  117. Tevin Reese WR Baylor Sr.
  118. Justin Jackson LB Wake Forest Sr.
  119. Mike Davis WR Texas Sr.
  120. CJ Fiedorowicz TE Iowa Sr.
  121. Jalen Saunders WR Oklahoma Sr.
  122. Jeremy Gallon WR Michigan Sr.
  123. Christian Jones LB Florida St. Sr.
  124. Daquan Jones DT Penn State Sr.
  125. Will Clarke DE West Virginia Sr.
  126. Shaquille Richardson CB Arizona Sr.
  127. Carrington Byndom CB Texas Sr.
  128. Cameron Fleming OT Stanford Sr.
  129. Jonothan Harrison C Florida Sr.
  130. JC Copeland FB LSU Sr.
  131. Kerry Hyder DT Texas Tech Sr.
  132. James Wilder Jr. RB Florida S. Jr.
  133. Ben Gardner 3-4 DE Stanford Sr.
  134. Preston Brown LB Louisville Sr.
  135. Terrance West RB Towson Jr.
  136. Ryan Grant WR Tulane Sr.
  137. Victor Hampton CB South Carolina Sr.
  138. Telvin Smith LB Florida State Sr.
  139. Jason Bromley DT Syracuse Sr.
  140. EJ Gaines CB Missouri Sr.
  141. Taj Boyd QB Clemson Sr.
  142. George Uko DT USC Sr.
  143. Marion Grice RB Arizona St. Sr.
  144. Kelcy Quarles DT South Carolina Sr.
  145. Charles Sims RB West Virginia Sr.
  146. Chris Watt OG Notre Dame Sr.
  147. Antonio Andrews RB Western Kentucky Sr.
  148. Emmanuel McCray OT Ole Miss Sr.
  149. Devonta Freeman RB Florida State Jr.
  150. Byron Moore S Tennessee Sr.

A few thoughts:

Wide Receiver Class: Simply put this is the greatest wide receiver class I’ve ever graded. It has everything as you have star power at the top with Marquise Lee (still my #1 WR though EVERYONE else has him #2 or lower) and Sammy Watkins, you have great depth at the top with 4 other wideouts with obvious first round caliber talent (Mike Evans, Allen Robinson, Kelvin Benjamin and Jarvis Landry) and you have numerous other players that could in the end sneak their way into the first round (Odell Beckham, and Jordan Matthews). The 2010 Draft with Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, Aaron Hernandez, Jermaine Gresham, Dennis Pitta, Ed Dickson and Garrett Graham will forever be known as the Year of the Tight End. The 2011 Draft with JJ Watt, Robert Quinn, Aldon Smith, Von Miller, Justin Houston, Ryan Kerrigan, Cameron Jordan, Adrian Clayborn, Jabaal Sheard and Brooks Reed will forever be known as the Year of the Pass Rusher. The 2014 NFL Draft will go down as the Year of the Wide Receiver. It will be fun to watch and compare this class over time as every guy is a little different in style and quite a few of them could become dominant Pro Bowl caliber wideouts. My money is still on Lee due to his speed, elusiveness in the open field, experience in a pro style offense and underrated route running ability yet Watkins with his versatility, Evans with his size and strength or even Kelvin Benjamin with his elite size/speed measurables could end up as the best of this class. Time will tell.

Johnny Manziel: You can’t have a draft blog entry without at least mentioning Johnny so here goes: He’s holding steady as my #3 player on my board, higher on my board than nearly everyone in the media except Gil Brandt who has him #1, yet as the draft gets closer there appears to be a groundswell for him as the #1 Overall Pick. Now obviously the Texans own the pick but if I was told by someone from the future that Manziel went #1 in this Draft my guess would be that it wasn’t the Texans who drafted him. The Jaguars at #3, the Browns at #4 and the Raiders at #5 all have pressing needs both for a QB and for a face to their franchise. Months ago I said that it’d be cool to see Manziel end up with the Browns, due to the Dog Pound and their absurdly loyal fans, or the Raiders, due to his bad boy image and his charisma possibly being able to re-invigorate that once proud franchise. I still see both as dream scenarios and with 3 franchises possibly wanting him and there only being one of him I could see the trade market heat up quickly. The Texans then could bide their time, convince the world that they are quite ready to take him #1 Overall and then trade him for an RGIII type haul (the Redskins gave the Rams two 1st rounders and one 2nd rounder to move from #6 to #2 that year). Then after the trade down they could either “settle” for the real #1 QB in this draft in Teddy Bridgewater, they could take Jadeveon Clowney (if still available) to pair with JJ Watt, or they could trade down further and stockpile even more picks while addressing a key need like CB (with Darqueeze Dennard or Justin Gilbert) or S (with Ha-Ha Clinton Dix). As bad as Houston was last year I honestly think that they could go 11-5 next year without any key additions but if you add to that team an infusion of talent like the Rams added with the RGIII trade the Texans could be Seattle Seahawks type stacked by 2016 or sooner. It’s just a scenario to play around with for Texans fans as all you have to do is Google “Johnny Manziel to the” and you’ll see writers in almost every major city talking about how he would be a great fit for their franchise and the GM of the local team would be stupid to “miss this once in a lifetime chance.” That sound you hear Texans fans…..it’s your pick getting more valuable by the minute.

Combine Bets: The Combine began a few days ago but the real action, the 40 times and other key drills, begin this Saturday. I’ve never done this before but I thought I’d guess the 40 times of some of the more popular players and see how close I get. Here goes nothing:

Johnny Manziel: 4.52 (I’m actually more curious about his shuttle drill as that should be an All-Time Record for a QB with his uncanny start-stop skills.)

Sammy Watkins: 4.43 (A bit overrated pure speed wise)

Marquise Lee: 4.37 (He has more pure speed than Watkins, one of the reasons I like him slightly more.)

Mike Evans: 4.55 (Still impressive for a 6’5 230 lb wideout)

Jadeveon Clowney: 4.49 (He’s talking about breaking the 4.5 mark and I’m believing him.)

Austin Seferian-Jenkins: 4.83 (Everyone will make a huge deal of this but speed isn’t his game. He still will be the #1 TE on my board after his poor running due to his soft hands, rare size and the possibility he becomes a Rob Gronkowski red zone threat.)

Eric Ebron: 4.50 (After he runs his 40 Mike Mayock will say “that about cemented him as the #1 TE in this draft class” and I will flick him off, scream “fuck off” and then have my wife call down asking what happened. “Nothing honey just watching TV on a Sunday. Stay upstairs.”)

Justin Gilbert: 4.44 (He’s fast but doesn’t seem 4.3 fast so mid 4.4 seems about right.)

Darqueeze Dennard: 4.52 (Another 40 where people will be disappointed and honestly I can’t blame them as much for this as I can with the TEs as CBs need to be fast to survive. That being said Dennard is so much more physical, aggressive and experienced than Gilbert. Dennard won’t be a star CB but I can guarantee you he’ll be a very solid one for the next 10 years. There is 1st round value in that. The 40 won’t be his best moment though.)

Carl Bradford: 4.65 (The #4 pass rusher and Top 16 player on my board, who isn’t a Top 30 player on most boards and isn’t a Top 50 on some boards, will skyrocket into the media’s attention after his Combine performance. I’m betting it’s spectacular.)

De’Anthony Thomas: 4.31 (He’s my pick for the fastest 40 time at this year’s Combine as he’s not just fast but he gets up to top speed almost instantly. His first 10 yards might set an NFL record.)

Draft Predictions: With the 2014 NFL Draft about 3 months away, the Combine still not complete and few draft boards even close to set it makes little sense to make any predictions but I’m bored so why not.

The Patriots draft either Austin Seferian-Jenkins or Jace Amaro at #29. It makes perfect sense as Tom Brady lacks the arm strength to be a dominant downfield thrower so the best way to maximize his skill set (elite accuracy, quick release, elite diagnoser of defenses) is to finally replace Aaron Hernandez. There are three tight ends with 1st round grades but at #29 Eric Ebron will highly likely be gone so they will be focusing on Seferian-Jenkins and Amaro. Amaro is a clone of Hernandez as he can be moved all around the field like a chess piece and fits the H-Back role Hernandez was used in. Yet Austin is the superior talent and Gronkowski has been so injury prone the past two years that the team very well could be less interested in who complements Gronk and more interested in who most adequately replaces Gronk when, not if, he gets injured next. Seferian-Jenkins has the same soft hands and huge frame that have made Gronk so deadly in the red zone and I think Brady would love having him added to the team. Some might be worried that all three could be gone by #29 but history says that is unlikely. Only once in the past 10 drafts has more than 1 tight end been taken in the first round and only once in the previous 30 drafts have 3 tight ends been taken in the first round. The odds are high that a tight end will fall to them and I bet they snap one up without a second thought.

The Seahawks draft a wide receiver at #32. Their wide receiver corp is the one obvious weakness on their team and this is the rare year in which drafting with the last pick in the first round should still net them a quality wide out. With Percy Harvin on the smaller side I doubt they’d take a similar sized player like Odell Beckham so the most likely scenario will be the Seahawks taking Allen Robinson, Jarvis Landry, Kelvin Benjamin or Jordan Matthews. Look for the Seahawks to give Russell Wilson another weapon in the passing game.

There will be at least two trades of Top 5 picks. I earlier discussed the possible trade inside the Top 5 involving Johnny Manziel but I honestly think this year’s Top 5 will be very fluid due to the disparity between team needs and consensus top players. While some would say they aren’t the top 2 players in this year’s draft it’s easy to make the argument that Johnny Manziel and Jadeveon Clowney are the two MOST COVETED players in this year’s draft. Yet the top two teams, Texans and Rams, both have serviceable quarterbacks and an elite young pass rusher (JJ Watt and Robert Quinn) on their roster. Either team could take Manziel or Clowney but an argument can be made that neither player is the best fit for those franchises. I suspect Manziel will go #1 or #2 via trade and if Clowney falls at all I think a team like the Falcons (Thomas Dimitroff loves blockbuster draft trades) or the Bucs (Lovie Smith’s Cover 2 scheme is predicated on having a dominant pass rush) would swoop into the Top 5 to snag him. I’m expecting a wild first 30 minutes on draft night.

The Jaguars will draft a quarterback in the 1st round. Whether they trade up for their chosen one, sit tight and take one at #3, or maneuver their assets and take a stud player at #3 (Jadeveon Clowney?) and then move back into the late 1st round for a QB (Derek Carr?) there is no way the Jaguars end the 1st round of the 2014 NFL Draft without adding a rookie QB. If Clowney is off the board I think they’d play it vanilla and take their highest rated QB at #3 but Jadeveon is talented enough, and Gus Bradley is a former defensive coordinator, that they might be willing to gamble if he’s still available.

Top 5 By Position for the 2014 NFL Draft

todd-mcshay-2014-quarterback-nfl-draft

With the NFL Draft season in it’s early phases I thought I’d get my initial Top 5 by position out there so readers can get a glimpse of how I rank players right now. Giving too much information this early in the process can sometimes make me look foolish down the road (like my picture does for Todd McShay who by draft time will probably have Manziel as a Top 10 guy but had him as a late 2nd rounder up until a month or two ago) as I haven’t completed my game film study on some of these guys, haven’t seen how they play in All-Star games (the Senior Bowl just began practice today) and I have no exact measurables on them as the Combine isn’t until late February but I do it anyway because I think my list will hold up the best. I apologize for the HORRIBLE format but it is a wordpress site so what do you expect. Below I gave my Top 5 players by position and then two other draft guys’ Top 5 list to compare (I had 5 columns but wordpress wouldn’t fit them in so unfortunately Daniel Jeremiah and Gil Brandt didn’t make the cut). As you will quickly see I’m the guy going out on a limb as most Top 5 lists have pretty much the same guy atop each position. McShay and Brooks both agree on the top QB, WR, TE, DE, OLB, CB and S while I only agree with them on the top QB and DE. Some of that is I do my own film study and make my own conclusions and some of that is it’s early in the pre-draft process and most people are just copying and pasting their lists with a tweak here or there. McShay has been notorious for that over the years as his Top 32 list would have every single player from Mel Kiper’s “Big Board” on it but in a slightly different order. Yet at least McShay has a list right now as Mike Mayock has, to this point at least, decided to not publish one. He likely will wait another month as he isn’t knowledgeable enough about the prospects, as is seen each year when he mispronounces names, gives bogus information or goes the generality route “he’s raw” “he’s blue collar” etc. To be fair to Mike he does work the Thursday night NFL game for the NFL network and does Notre Dame football for NBC so he’s a busy man but it always pisses me off when he struggles to give info on big name prospects in January at the Senior Bowl and then in February at the Combine I have to hear how he knows everything about everyone and is his usual condescending, know it all self. For a guy who basically crammed a season’s worth of study into 1 month he could be a little more humble. With my rant over though let’s get to the prospects:

QB Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Teddy Bridgewater Teddy Bridgewater Teddy Bridgewater
2 Johnny Manziel Blake Bortles Johnny Manziel
3 Blake Bortles Johnny Manziel Blake Bortles
4 Derek Carr Zach Mettenberger Derek Carr
5 Zach Mettenberger AJ McCarron Zach Mettenberger
RB Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Jeremy Hill Carlos Hyde Ka’Deem Carey
2 Carlos Hyde De’Anthony Thomas Jeremy Hill
3 De’Anthony Thomas Ka’Deem Carey Carlos Hyde
4 Ka’Deem Carey NL Tre Mason
5 Lache Seastrunk NL Bishop Sankey
WR Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Marquise Lee Sammy Watkins Sammy Watkins
2 Sammy Watkins Marquise Lee Odell Beckham Jr.
3 Mike Evans Mike Evans Marquise Lee
4 Allen Robinson Jordan Matthews Brandin Cooks
5 Kelvin Benjamin Kelvin Benjamin Mike Evans
TE Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Austin Seferian-Jenkins Eric Ebron Eric Ebron
2 Eric Ebron Austin Seferian-Jenkins Austin Seferian-Jenkins
3 Jace Amaro NL Jace Amaro
4 Arthur Lynch NL CJ Fiedorowicz
5 Troy Niklas NL Troy Niklas
OT Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Taylor Lewan Jake Matthews Greg Robinson
2 Jake Matthews Greg Robinson Jake Matthews
3 Cyrus Kouandjio Taylor Lewan Taylor Lewan
4 Antonio Richardson Cyrus Kouandjio Antonio Richardson
5 Greg Robinson Morgan Moses Cyrus Kouandjio
OG/C Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Travis Swanson Zach Martin Cyril Richardson
2 Zach Martin NL Travis Swanson
3 David Yankey NL Xavier Sua-Filo
4 Xavier Su’a-Filo NL Zach Martin
5 Gabe Jackson NL David Yankey
DT Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Aaron Donald Timmy Jernigan Louis Nix
2 Ra’Shede Hageman Louis Nix Timmy Jernigan
3 Will Sutton Ra’Shede Hageman Ra’Shede Hageman
4 Dominique Easley Aaron Donald Aaron Donald
5 Anthony Johnson NL Will Sutton
DE Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Jadeveon Clowney Jadeveon Clowney Jadeveon Clowney
2 Stephon Tuitt Stephon Tuitt Stephon Tuitt
3 Aaron Lynch Scott Crichton Trent Murphy
4 Scott Crichton Kony Ealy Kony Ealy
5 Kony Ealy NL Scott Crichton
OLB Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Khalil Mack Anthony Barr Anthony Barr
2 Anthony Barr Khalil Mack Ryan Shazier
3 Carl Bradford NL Khalil Mack
4 Kyle Van Noy NL Kyle Van Noy
5 DeMarcus Lawrence NL Adrian Hubbard
ILB Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 CJ Mosley CJ Mosley CJ Mosley
2 Shayne Skov Chris Borland Chris Borland
3 Shawn Jackson Shayne Skov Shayne Skov
4 Christian Jones Max Bullough Christian Jones
5 Chris Young Yawin Smallwood Yawin Smallwood
CB Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Darqueze Dennard Justin Gilbert Justin Gilbert
2 Justin Gilbert Darqueze Dennard Darqueze Dennard
3 Louchez Purifoy Marcus Roberson Jason Verrett
4 Jason Verrett Loucheiz Purifoy Bradley Roby
5 Marcus Roberson NL LaMarcus Joyner
S Jon Anderson Todd McShay Bucky Brooks
1 Haha Clinton-Dix Haha Clinton-Dix Haha Clinton-Dix
2 Deon Bucannon NL Calvin Pryor
3 LaMarcus Joyner NL Dion Bailey
4 Craig Loston NL Deon Bucannon
5 Dion Bailey NL Ahmad Dixon

I didn’t include Gil Brandt or Daniel Jeremiah’s list due to space but one interesting thing to note is that both actually had Johnny Football as their #1 QB ahead of Bridgewater. I agree that Johnny has the higher upside but to me Bridgewater is a franchise caliber QB (McShay doesn’t agree as he has him as his #12 prospect, I have him as my #1 prospect) and is a sure thing whereas Johnny is a bit of a gamble due to his size and playing style. Another interesting thing I got from making this Top 5 list was how much everyone disagrees with me about Timmy Jernigan. He is almost universally regarded as a Top 15 prospect and a Top 2 DT but in my rankings he’s a late 2nd/early 3rd rounder. I just saw too many games where he was invisible and I’d much prefer the more productive duo of Aaron Donald/Will Sutton or the more athletic trio of Hageman/Johnson/Easley over Jernigan. Jernigan is undersized, didn’t produce nearly as much as some of the others and has a lower upside than many in this DT class so it will be interesting to see if the “majority opinion” moves toward my opinion, if I change my mind (unlikely) or if Jernigan ends up as one of the most disagreed upon players of this draft. Another interesting discrepancy is how no one (not even the “invisible” lists of Brandt and Jeremiah) had any love for Carl Bradford. That surprises me as he is both productive and athletic so I don’t know how he isn’t considered a 1st rounder and a Top 5 OLB. I have him below only blue chips Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr, both of whom are likely Top 10 picks, but Bradford to me is far and away superior to any other OLB in this draft. Finally there is the Alabama situation. For some reason it seems to happen every year and I can already tell it’s going to be the case this year again but I just don’t grade Alabama’s defensive players as highly as the rest of the NFL does. So far I’ve been pretty right as guys like Rolando McClain, Donte Hightower, Courtney Upshaw, Dre Kirkpatrick, Javier Arenas, Terrence Cody, and Dee Milliner (one of the few Alabama guys I did agree with the hype about) have all underachieved relative to their draft status but that won’t keep me from getting a lot of surprised responses when they see how low I’m going to put CJ Mosley or Adrian Hubbard this year. CJ Mosley is currently the #8 player on Todd McShay’s board (I laugh at the idea of taking Mosley over Bridgewater who is #12 on his board right now) but Mosley doesn’t even get a 1st round grade from me. We both have him as the #1 ILB in this draft but that’s about all we agree on with him as to me he’s going to be an above average ILB in a 3-4 but will never make a Pro Bowl, will rarely make big plays in the run or passing game and is incredibly overhyped considering he wasn’t even a full time starter until late in the 2012 season. Saban has dominated the college landscape due to his incredible defensive schemes and it’s made many of his players look better than they really are. I suspect that once again the media will hype a lot of Alabama “talent” to the point where their 2nd round talents, like Mosley, will go in the 1st and their 4th round talents, like Hubbard, will go in the 2nd or 3rd. I warned of it before and I’ll warn of it again but it won’t change the fact that Saban has hypnotized the NFL and he can do no wrong in their eyes, track record of his previous players not working out in the NFL be damned.

I have so much to talk about this draft season but I’ll leave some for later as the draft process will be extra long this year due to the draft being moved from April to May. I like the change as it gives me more time to get my lists and rankings ready (a Top 500 list takes quite awhile to put together) but we will see if there are any drawbacks to the move. I know it might sound like I’m boasting when I go over my draft record but I try to remind people from time to time of my good calls so the random reader will see why it’s worth their time to read my blog. Blogs are a dime a dozen and there are countless media types out there that have more street cred than I do but at the end of the day I tend to get it right more often than the more celebrated guys like Mayock, McShay, or Kiper. In that vein I’d like to point out that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Seattle-San Francisco game last night as the two stars of that game were Navarro Bowman and Richard Sherman. Both were named 1st Team All Pro this year and both would be Cowboys if I was the general manager. For more information it’s better to just read this. For those uninterested in reading another article it’s simply showing the results of the previous 3 drafts that I’ve covered. Each year as the draft unfolds I give analysis and after each Cowboys pick I say who the highest rated player at their position was aka whom I would have picked with that selection. When the Cowboys chose Sean Lee, Navarro Bowman was my highest rated ILB. When the Cowboys chose Josh Thomas, Richard Sherman was my highest rated CB. Those are two pretty amazing picks but it doesn’t stop there as when the Cowboys this year chose Terrance Williams I wrote here (scroll down to pick #74 of the Cowboys) that the highest rated WR on my board was Keenan Allen. Yes that Keenan Allen, the one who is about to win Offensive Rookie of the Year. The Cowboys obviously are not going to someday make me general manager but the fantasy game shows that I know what I’m talking about and my blog is a must read come draft season. Which we, interestingly enough, have just entered. That’s all I have for now but come back periodically and check out my blog postings these next few months and let me guide you through the 2014 NFL Draft process. See you soon.

Jon’s 2013 NFL All Pro Team (Defense)

 

All Pro

DT

1st Team: Jurell Casey/Gerald McCoy-Most All-Pro teams had McCoy and Suh as their 1st teamers but I just didn’t see it as to me Jurell Casey put on a show and looked like the best DT in the league after Geno Atkins went on IR around mid season. Casey had more tackles (55) and sacks (10.5) than McCoy or Suh but was overlooked due to the Titans poor season and the fact that he was drafted in the 3rd round instead of the Top 5 like Suh and McCoy. It always amazes me how the media still holds on to draft labels years after and it obviously influenced them this year. Another thing to think about with Casey over Suh is that Suh had Nick Fairley and Ezekiel Ansah next to him on the defensive line, two outstanding young players in their own right, while Casey was working with a bunch of no names in Sammie Hill, Ropati Pitoitua, Karl Klug and Derrick Morgan. Morgan is an above average starter but the rest are just your run of the mill types which shows just how special Casey is since his elite production came with little help.

2nd Team: Jason Hatcher/Ndamakong Suh-Suh wasn’t nearly as productive as he’s been in the past but he’s without a doubt one of the 3-5 best DTs in the game and deserves praise. He didn’t have the elite year I’ve come to expect from him so I think his 1st team All Pro selection is rather silly but he’s still a top level defender and sneaks on my 2nd team due to Atkins injury. Hatcher doesn’t sneak on though as he just flat out bust through the front door with a league leading, for a DT, 11.0 sacks and was one of the lone bright spots on the Cowboys defense this season. Some will argue that no Cowboys defender deserves an All Pro selection after the atrocious season they had but football is a team game and Hatcher was by no means the reason for their woes. Anthony Spencer missed all 16 games, DeMarcus Ware missed 3 games and limped around noticeably in numerous others and Jay Ratliff never suited up for the Cowboys so Hatcher was often alone out there. The fact that by the end of the year he was the team’s best defender statistically and the clear leader on the field as well is a testament to his heart and work ethic as many a good man wouldn’t have been able to handle the stress he was put under. It’s too bad it’s also likely the last time we see him in a Cowboys uniform as his elite season should earn him a lucrative offer that the Cowboys won’t be able to match.

DE

1st Team: Robert Quinn/JJ Watt-In my opinion these are the two best defensive players in the NFL right now. The fact that they came out of the same draft, along with Von Miller and Aldon Smith too, is stunning and should eventually turn that draft into the greatest pass rush draft in NFL History. I don’t usually do this but I wanted to post my bio on Robert Quinn as a fun little look back on one prospect I absolutely got right. Some context is due as Robert Quinn was drafted 14th Overall by the St. Louis Rams and fell right around where most analysts had him at. Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and Mike Mayock all had him outside their Top 5 and most had them outside their Top 10 so it was a surprise to many when my rankings came out and Quinn was at #1. After a mediocre rookie season where he only had 5.0 sacks while Von Miller had 11.5 and Aldon Smith had 14.0 I questioned my judgment but Quinn steadily progressed and joined the others in the upper echelon of pass rushers. As the youngest of the three and coming off the best season of any of them I am confident that I chose the best pass rusher of the group and the one that will battle JJ Watt for years to come for DPOY. Here is my analysis of Robert Quinn written by me in April 2011, “Quinn to me is a future Pro Bowl pass rusher who has elite lean, hand fighting technique, balance, and motor as well as above average arm length, short area burst, long distance speed, and collegiate production. He reminds me a bit of John Abraham in how he rushes the passer and seems to me to be the best pass rusher in terms of polish and future upside. I truly believe that the team that gets Quinn will be extremely lucky as he is the best pass rusher to come out in years and clearly better than anything in the past two drafts (better than Orakpo, Maybin, Pierre-Paul, Morgan, etc.). Top 5 grade and in a very weak year at the upper echelon in the draft he is my #1 Overall player.”

2nd Team: Mario Williams/Greg Hardy-Two guys who kind of came out of nowhere this year as Williams had a down year (a bit overdramatized due to his huge contract) in 2012 and Hardy was still a young pup growing into his own last year. This season they were absolute beasts with 13 and 15 sacks, respectively, and at only 25 years of age Hardy might be thinking he can score a similar contract to the one Williams got from Buffalo. I have my doubts though as Hardy was surrounded by elite talent in his front seven and that help caused him to be my #4 DE and barely make the list. I actually almost went with Chandler Jones as he had far more tackles than Hardy and seemed to be more consistent week in and week out but Hardy finished strong with 8 sacks in his final 3 games which propelled Carolina to the #2 seed. Unfortunately it didn’t help them go on to victory last Sunday but the late season dominance was enough to convince me he was worth the 2nd team All Pro selection.

LB

1st Team: Navarro Bowman/Robert Mathis/Luke Kuechly-It’s always weird comparing ILBs with pass rush specialist OLBs like Mathis as they’re like apples and oranges but for this All Pro team they will all fall in as linebackers. Mathis was elite this season with 19.5 sacks and 8 forced fumbles (both led the NFL). I have a sneaking suspicion that he will win the DPOY award this season but I don’t think he deserves it. I went solely by the eyeball test in judging this but was pleasantly surprised to read that Profootballfocus agreed with me and didn’t even have Mathis as a finalist. The reason is simply because Robert Quinn and JJ Watt had such elite seasons and, while NFL writers hate to vote major awards to players on losing teams, I have no such qualms of giving an award to a deserving player. Mathis had a great season and forever removed any doubt that he was simply feeding off Dwight Freeney’s scraps but he only had 61 QB pressures in 2013 which was dwarfed by Robert Quinn’s 91. Mathis is an All-Pro but not a DPOY candidate in my opinion. In fact I’d say he wouldn’t even be my top candidate out of these three linebacker candidates as Bowman impressed me far more with his all around game. In 2013 he dominated as a tackler (145 tackles), rusher (5 sacks) and big play artist (4 FF and 2 INTs including his game sealing 89 yard TD against the Falcons to clinch a playoff spot). Kuechly was the least deserving of the three linebackers yet he had another great season and his late season surge, which included a 24 tackle performance against the Saints that Troy Aikman called the greatest linebacking performance he’d ever seen, got him in as the 3rd linebacker.

2nd Team: Kiko Alonso/Vontaze Burfict/Karlos Dansby-Alonso actually was in the lead ahead of Kuechly for most of the year yet fell back in the end as he stopped making as many big plays. He still ended the season with 4 INTs, 2 sacks, 1 FF and 2 fumble recoveries so he was around the action but most of those stats came in the first half. Nonetheless he’s my pick for defensive rookie of the year, ahead of Ezekial Ansah and Sheldon Richardson who both had great inaugural seasons, and should be a good one for years to come. Burfict led the league in tackles with 171 so he obviously deserves to be on this list but misses the 1st team as he’s a non-factor in coverage and the NFL is becoming more of a passing league by the day. Dansby on the other hand was an absolute terror on passing downs as he led all linebackers with 19 passes defensed (better than all but 5 defensive backs as well!) to go along with 4 INTs (2 of which he returned for TDs), 1 FF, 1 fumble recovery, 6.5 sacks and 122 tackles. If his tackle total had been a little higher (20th is hardly dominant for a linebacker-that’s their #1 job) he probably would have edged out Kuechly for the 3rd spot on the 1st team. All in all the linebacker group was stacked and cases can be made for Lavonte David, Daryl Smith and DeAndre Levy as well.

CB

1st Team: Richard Sherman/Joe Haden-Sherman was a lock as he led the NFL in interceptions with 8 and was often times dominant with his rare combination of size, instincts and ball skills. He was inconsistent this year but he shined brightest when they needed him so he was a 1st teamer all year in my mind. The other spot though was up for grabs all season and eventually I gave it to Haden as the kid dominated in some tough matchups. He shut down AJ Green (9 receptions for 59 yards TOTAL in 2 games!), Steve Johnson (2-19), Mike Wallace (1-15), Dwayne Bowe (1-7) and even Calvin Johnson (3-25). He was dominant throughout and is the most unheralded cornerback in football right now.

2nd Team: Aquib Talib/Patrick Peterson-Peterson is going to someday be great but right now he’s still too inconsistent to even be a real candidate for the 1st Team. He rounded out the 2nd team but was always my #4 CB. Talib on the other hand was neck and neck with Haden as he also dominated his one on one matchups and did it on a bigger stage. The reason he ended on the 2nd Team is because he looked bad on and off the field against Steve Smith in their matchup. He was burned repeatedly by Smith and then looked like a punk by trying to start a fight during the game. It was a performance that I couldn’t quite forget and it kept Haden ahead of him.

S

1st Team: Earl Thomas/Eric Weddle-Earl Thomas is far and away the best safety in football, period. Then the hunt was on for #2 and it was a tough one as Weddle was dominant against the run (115 tackles-2nd among safeties) but didn’t show up too much in the passing game. In years past he was more of a big play threat but teams didn’t seem to throw his way this year. Nonetheless he makes the 1st team as few other safeties made big plays, only 7 safeties this year had 4 or more INTs and a number of them like Antrel Rolle, Jim Leonhard, Quintin Demps, Aaron Williams and Ed Reed got them because they struggled in coverage so they were thrown at a lot-aka were picked on. Jairus Byrd didn’t make the list this year but, even in a season where he missed 5 games and was a bit performer in a number of others, he still got his share of interceptions (4 on the year-22 for his 5 year career). If I were a GM he’d be the #1 guy on my list this offseason if I was trying to upgrade a secondary as the guy is an absolute ballhawk. At only 27 years old he has another 4-6 more good seasons in him on the back end and someone should pay handsomely for his services.

2nd Team: Troy Polamalu/Kam Chancellor-I have been at the front of the “Polamalu is washed up” chorus line so let’s not confuse my selection of him to my 2nd team as simply “going with a common name.” Troy struggled the past few years and, while he isn’t back to his old self completely, he showed far more flashes this year than he has since at least 2010. He was 5th in the NFL with 5 forced fumbles, had 2 sacks and 2 INTs as well but the best statistic was that he played in all 16 games for only the 2nd time in the past 5 years. Chancellor didn’t really play like an All-Pro this year but with William Moore, Eric Berry, Jairus Byrd and Dashon Goldson all having down years somebody had to get it. Chancellor is essentially a linebacker out there and gives his team all of the benefits (huge hits, big tackle totals) and the negatives (mediocre coverage, forces his team to play him near the line of scrimmage most plays) of one. They re-signed him recently, a smart move by him, as he would be a different player if he wasn’t lining up next to Earl Thomas.

Awards:

MVP: Peyton Manning

OPOY: Peyton Manning

DPOY: Robert Quinn

Rookie OPOY: Keenan Allen

Rookie DPOY: Kiko Alonso

Jon’s 2013 NFL All Pro Team (Offense)

Image

With the Pro Bowl balloting being a ludicrous endeavor each year, that somehow potentially became even worse with Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice drafting teams this year, I try to avoid that hoopla and turn my attention instead to the All Pro teams. This year the Cowboys were represented by Tyron Smith (2nd team) and no one else which seems pretty deserving for an 8-8 team that set many franchise records for futility this season. Below I’m posting my All Pro team and give thoughts on each selection.

QB

1st Team: Peyton Manning-In a landslide due to his cumulative stats (5,477 yards 55 TDs) yet still not my pick to win or even make it to the Super Bowl as he continues to dominate weaker competition and struggle in the biggest games. Going into this season it was clear that his 2 biggest games of the year would be at Indy (homecoming) and at New England (Brady-Manning Part 50). He lost them both and once again looked like a different player against a top level team in a pressure situation. Last year I didn’t have Manning as a Top 3 MVP candidate but this year I think he deserves the award. Too bad it will be the only trophy he’ll be hoisting above his head anytime soon.

2nd Team: Tom Brady-Nick Foles led the NFL in QB Rating, Philip Rivers put up far superior numbers across the board in his new offense and Aaron Rodgers is still the best player in the NFL but Brady gets my vote this year as he dealt with so much adversity yet ended up with a 1st round bye and the division crown like he seems to get every year. I know some people hate Brady but just think about it for a second: His #1 TE (Rob Gronkowski) from last year missed more than half the season due to varying injuries. His #2 TE (Aaron Hernandez) from last year is in jail for murder. His #1 WR (Wes Welker) from last year joined his biggest competitor in the AFC and is only their #3 WR in that loaded offense. His #2 (Brandon Lloyd) WR is retired. His LT this year looks to be out for the season due to concussions. His RT this year is out for the season and missed about half of it due to a broken leg. His #1 WR this year (Danny Amendola) continued his injury plagued ways and missed 4 games with a number of other games being bit appearances. Finally his #1 RB (Stevan Ridley) was benched most of the year due to fumbling issues. Put this set of circumstances on any other QB and the team doesn’t make the playoffs yet with Brady it’s just another +10 win season. He is getting closer and closer to being, in my mind, the greatest QB of all time.

RB

1st Team: Jamaal Charles/LeSean McCoy-Most have LeSean McCoy as the star but Charles had a less innovative scheme, worse complentary players on the outside to draw defenses away from him and an inferior offensive line to McCoy yet put up comparable numbers. Peterson is still the most talented back in the NFL but Charles is probably second and in the right offense he could put up 2,000 yards. Shady McCoy was dominant to start the season and seemed to just cruise to the rushing title. He won it before he even played his 16th game Sunday night against the Cowboys showing how easy it was for him. His quickness and vision are perfect complements to Chip Kelly’s scheme and made them a scary team to face in the 2nd half of the season.

2nd Team: Adrian Peterson/Alfred Morris-Peterson, like I said, is the most talented back in the NFL and I do sometimes wonder what he’d be like with a good QB behind him. Those are the top 3 on pretty much everyone’s list and then it gets tough as some say Forte and others say Eddie Lacy. I’m taking Alfred Morris who had abysmal play at QB this year yet once again impressed with a 1,275 yard rushing season. That gives him almost 3,000 career rushing yards after only 2 seasons yet he seems to still be searching for respect from his peers. 

WR

1st Team: Josh Gordon/Calvin Johnson-Calvin Johnson will end his career as the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game. I’m saying that to show how huge this next comment is about Josh Gordon: Josh Gordon is currently the best wide receiver in the NFL. He only played in 14 games this year (2 game suspension to start the season) yet still led the NFL in receiving by an impressive 147 yard margin over the #2 receiver in Antonio Brown. Add in the fact that he did it with Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell throwing him passes and it makes you wonder why so many analysts were against him making the official All Pro Team. Prediction: The Browns draft a QB in the 2014 NFL Draft and he has a +1,800 receiving season next year. Yes Antonio Brown had his moments but Brown can’t catch TD passes with 3 guys covering him like Megatron can. Calvin is a diffferent animal at 6’5 235 with 4.35 speed and singlehandedly makes Matthew Stafford look like a decent NFL QB. Take him away and Stafford would have been dragged out of town years ago instead of being recently signed to a 3 year $53 million extension. 

2nd Team: AJ Green/Antonio Brown-Some had Brown on the 1st team but he was the #4 guy on my list and neck and neck with Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall for even that spot. I continue to dislike Brown’s lack of size and skills in the red zone but I must admit that in the 2nd half of the season Brown put that Steelers team on his back. Green is like Calvin Johnson in that he’s the only reason his QB hasn’t been run out of town. Dalton sucks on the road and sucks against top end talent. It surprised me that they lost to the Chargers last weekend as they were 8-0 at home this season but it didn’t surprise me to see Dalton wet the bed again in a key situation as that’s what he does. The TCU standout is very Matt Cassel like in that regard and I expect him to be a backup, like Cassel, 1-2 years from now.

TE

1st Team: Jimmy Graham-The obvious choice as he led all tight ends with 1,215 receiving yards and led the NFL with 16 TDs. What’s even more amazing is that he played most of the year with a gimpy ankle that noticeably affected his speed. It didn’t prevent him from dominating though due to his NFL best hands and huge frame. He’s a future Hall of Famer who should get a record breaking free agent deal this spring by the Saints. The only question is how can they afford it as they’re already over the 2014 salary cap. 

2nd Team: Jordan Cameron-Everyone had Vernon Davis as their #2 guy and, let’s be honest, the only reason we’re having this discussion is because Gronk missed so much time this year but Cameron impressed me more than Davis, Gonzalez, Witten or Julius Thomas this year. He was #2 in receiving yards for a TE and #3 in receptions for a TE (Tony Gonzalez was #2) despite having far inferior QB play compared to the other candidates for this award. I predict a massive year for him in 2014 and yes Mike Mentemeyer I was wrong on him.

OT

1st Team: Joe Thomas/Joe Staley-We might as well call this award the Joe Thomas award as I’ve considered him 1st Team All Pro since his 2nd year in the league and don’t see any end in sight with him. He isn’t a great run blocker and, at 29, he’s about to be leaving his prime but I still doubt anyone takes his crown as the best LT in the game until 2016 at the earliest. It was a bit of a down year for the LT position as Staley had an inferior year compared to 2013, Jason Peters wasn’t fully healthy from his torn Achilles and young pup Tyron Smith had too many penalties for my preference. Staley wins by default as almost a placeholder as he had a good season on a great line and no one came and snatched his award from him.

2nd Team: Andrew Whitworth/Tyron Smith-Whitworth had a good year both at LT and LG yet impressed me even more with how he handled the team moving him inside. Their LG got injured and they knew that their backup LT (Anthony Collins) was far superior to their backup LG so they asked if team captain Whitworth would move inside. He did it without a thought and showed what real leadership is. Smith is on my shit list due to the inordinate amount of penalties he commits, especially in the red zone where I suspect he leads the league, but as a pure athlete he might be the best in the NFL. He has grown exponentially in his 3 seasons in the NFL as profootballfocus ranked him as the #40 (out of 80) offensive tackle in the NFL in 2012 but in 2013 he moved up to #5 (out of 76). Considering he just turned 23 years old, the future is bright for the young man. It’s probably a year too early for Smith as he only had a good season, not a great one, but it definitely won’t be the last and if he can just tone down his penchant for penalties he could become the 2nd best LT in the game as early as next year.

OG

1st Team: Evan Mathis/Logan Mankins-Mathis is far and away the best OG in the NFL the past 3 years per profootballfocus and it shows when I watch him. Mankins is coming off an injury plagued season but seemed to look much better and gave the Patriots the usual strength and toughness they crave from him. He was a big reason LeGarrette Blount went from cast off with the Bucs to productive tailback with the Patriots and allowed Tom Brady to step up in the pocket away from pass rushers like he’s so adept at doing.

2nd Team: Louis Vasquez/Jahri Evans-Manning’s quick release makes most guards jobs a lot easier but Vasquez looked especially adept in the Denver offense. I don’t watch a ton of guard play, more than the casual fan mind you but it is rather tedious, so I will give my 4th spot to the consistent Evans who has been one of the better guards for quite some time now. Iupati shockingly went from 1st team to off the All Pro team due to a down year but I expect him back here soon as he’s the most talented guard in the NFL by far.

C

1st Team: Ryan Kalil-The former USC star was missed terribly last year and might have finally gotten the respect he deserved when he was hurt. This season he has been the consistent blocker in an offense that has flipped running backs weekly from DeAngelo Williams to Mike Tolbert to Jonathan Stewart and then back again. He also handled the massive number of injuries to the offensive guard spots next to him that caused the team to move a DT to OG for a few games. 

2nd Team: Alex Mack-The talented former 1st rounder is finally getting his due. John Sullivan and Nick Mangold had down years in 2013 so Mack gets the honor and it doesn’t hurt that it’s a contract year for him. With the Browns new regime owning 2 first round picks and plenty of cap space the fans will be looking for change on the team but I doubt any of that will be related to the center position as they have one of the best in the league and he seems quite content to stay as part of the dog pound.

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