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Round 4-7 Live Blog

With Day 3 picks there are going to be a lot of no names, a lot of flier types and the picks are going to come fast and furious. As such I will only be highlighting the really good, interesting and really bad picks so I’ll skip around a bit. With the draft beginning, below is the Top 50 players available as of the beginning of the 4th round.

  1. Connor Cook QB Michigan St.
  2. Andrew Billings DT Baylor
  3. Jalen Mills S LSU
  4. Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas
  5. Tyler Johnstone OG Oregon
  6. DJ White CB Georgia Tech
  7. Eric Murray CB Minnesota
  8. John Theus OT Georgia
  9. Zack Sanchez CB Oklahoma
  10. Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa
  11. Pharoh Cooper WR South Carolina
  12. Tyler Higbee TE Western Kentucky
  13. Scooby Wright LB Arizona
  14. Eric Striker LB Oklahoma
  15. Spencer Drango OG Baylor
  16. Kevin Hogan QB Stanford
  17. Jonathan Jones CB Auburn
  18. Jonathan Williams RB Arkansas
  19. Jerald Hawkins OT LSU
  20. CJ Prosise RB Notre Dame
  21. Kentrell Brothers LB Missouri
  22. Kenneth Dixon RB Louisiana Tech
  23. Jerell Adams TE South Carolina
  24. Joe Haig OT North Dakota St.
  25. Roger Lewis WR Bowling Green
  26. Jack Allen C Michigan St.
  27. Vadal Alexander OG LSU
  28. Malcolm Mitchell WR Georgia
  29. Connor McGovern OG Missouri
  30. Jordan Howard RB Indiana
  31. Miles Killibrew S Southern Utah
  32. Jordan Payton WR UCLA
  33. Maurice Canady S Virginia
  34. Devontae Booker RB Utah
  35. Matt Judon PR Akron
  36. Fahn Cooper OT Ole Miss
  37. Sebastian Tretola OG Arkansas
  38. Sheldon Day DT Notre Dame
  39. Alex Collins RB Arkansas
  40. Cardale Jones QB Ohio St.
  41. Tyler Matakevich LB Temple
  42. Joe Schobert LB Wisconsin
  43. Kolby Listenbee WR TCU
  44. Tyler Ervin RB San Jose St.
  45. Cole Toner OG Harvard
  46. Jeremy Cash S Duke
  47. Bryce Williams TE East Carolina
  48. Joshua Perry LB Ohio St.
  49. Brandon Allen QB Arkansas
  50. Jake Brendel C UCLA

99. Browns: Joe Schobert-He was #42 available so it is solid value. Most see him as a 3-4 OLB but I think he’s too small for that position so I’d move him inside to 3-4 ILB for the Browns. Who knows what they do with him or if he even makes an impact but at #99 it’s a solid pick and continues the excellent draft the Browns are having.

100. Raiders: Connor Cook-Despite this being only the 2nd pick in Day 3 it could end up staying as the best pick in all of Rounds 4-7. What a great pick. I had a 1st round grade on him and even if you disagree it’s hard to argue he shouldn’t have been taken in the first 3 rounds. He’ll be a great backup and if he excels in the preseason he could become trade bait in the future.

Cowboys on the Clock: Andrew Billings, Andrew Billings, Andrew Billings! Please! Also Jalen Mills as a CB/S could be great for that secondary, which so far looks earlier similar to the bad secondary of the past four seasons.

101. Cowboys: Charles Tapper-I do not like this pick. He was the #61 available player on my board and I had a 7th round grade on him as I just didn’t see the production or the agility that made me think he’d ever be anything in the pros. In fact the only reason I had a draftable grade on him was because he had a very good Combine. Word is they will use him up and down the line and maybe put him at DT in passing downs. That worked well for Jack Crawford who was a bust as a DE for the Raiders so maybe he works out, just not at the position I thought he’d play. Below is his draft profile:

Charles Tapper Oklahoma 6’2 ⅝ 271 Sr. He has extremely long arms (‘34 ⅜) for his size and his ‘11 ½ hands are some of the largest I’ve ever graded. His 4.59 40 is elite for a true DE. His sack total of 15.5 the past three seasons is not impressive but he consistently helped in other areas with 37-50 tackles each of those years. He plays tentatively and isn’t a true playmaker. His size/speed ratio is elite but it doesn’t show up on film as he’s very tightly built, isn’t aggressive as a rusher and isn’t instinctive against the run. I did not like his film and came away thinking he would be a bust. He shows his elite speed on one play though where he races +40 yards down the field to catch an Alabama WR. It’s pretty impressive and he has a good motor but at best Tapper will be a backup at the next level and would be a little surprised if he isn’t just a flat out bust. Early 7th Round as my #13 PR 4/25/16.

103. Jaguars: Sheldon Day-I like this pick here. He was #37 available and looks like a good #3 rotational DT with a chance to develop down the line as a starter. That’s solid value in the 4th round and you have to love his motor, his work ethic and his leadership as he was a multiple selection as a captain, one of only two dozen or so players in Notre Dame’s history to earn that honor. He’s a locker room glue guy and has solid athleticism. Good pick.

106. Chiefs: Eric Murray-Great pick, #6 available, as I see him as having starter caliber talent and in Day 3 you draft elite traits and look less at red flags. Murray isn’t a fast corner but he’s arguably the biggest hitter and strongest tackler in this entire CB class so he has some elite traits that are worth taking a look at in the 4th round. Great pick.

110. Rams: Tyler Higbee-This is a great pick as it is very good value (#10 available), a perfect fit (quick name the starting TE for the Rams, exactly) and I went back and change my initial grade on Higbee because I watched a little more tape of him and delved more into his arrest charge to become more comfortable with him. Hot sports opinion: Higbee has a higher upside than Hunter Henry as this kid is big, fast and agile. He could become a Pro Bowl tight end but at worst he should be a good #2 TE and that alone is worth a 4th round pick. Great pick.

111. Lions: Miles Killibrew-He is a good pick, #28 available, as he is a big time hitter and should be an immediate impact player as a special teamer and can be a nickel linebacker while he develops his coverage skills.

112. Patriots: Malcolm Mitchell-This is a great pick as it is good value, #25 available, and a perfect fit. The reason?  Mitchell plays slot receiver and the Patriots are the only team in the league that often has two slot receivers on the field at the same time. Also Mitchell played both sides of the ball and the Patriots are the only team in the league that has their wide receivers sometimes play a little cornerback. All just conjecture at this point but if he can stick on that roster I think the Patriots will use him to the best of his ability.

116. Colts: Hassan Ridgeway-Well now 3 of the 4 undervalued, athletic DTs on my board are gone. Ridgeway was the #3 available player so he’s a steal at this point as I saw 1st round athleticism in this kid. He’s raw though and has some off the field issues so he fell but you can argue that Ridgeway has more talent than quite a few DTs that were taken long ago so in the 4th round he’s worth a roll of the dice.

117. Rams: Pharoh Cooper-I love this pick. He was the #8 available and just looks like an interesting combination of size, speed and agility. He reminds me a bit of Stevie Johnson of the Bills/Chargers as he isn’t a usual route runner and does things a bit differently than most wideouts but he consistently makes plays. Getting Cooper with Tyler Higbee in the 4th round is two potential starters IN THE 4TH ROUND?! That’s impressive. I think this also shows the Rams are losing interest in Brian Quick, Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin and these other flier types at wideout they compiled the past few years (Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens, etc.). This franchise has not found quality wideouts in the draft or free agency so I like them sort of pushing the reset button.

119. Texans: Tyler Ervin-He is an interesting pick, #35 available, as he has the Dri Archer type of game with elite speed where he can be a kick returner, punt returner, 3rd down back and possibly as a slot receiver. I think Ervin has potential to be an impact player if used correctly. He couldn’t hold up physically if given too big of a workload but I also think it’d be a mistake if he was used solely on special teams.

122. Bengals: Andrew Billings-This is probably going to be the 2nd best pick on Day 3 (behind only Connor Cook). Billings had a late 1st round grade on my board (#1 available) so he’s great value but it’s also a great fit as the Bengals have a deep DL and use a rotation system which will allow him to immediately get his feet wet and could allow them to not re-sign a player in future years ahead of him so that he can get some playing time.

134. Ravens: Kenneth Dixon-He is a good pick, #14 available, and reminds me of Tashard Choice as he has great vision, good toughness and is just a smooth runner. He’s a perfect #2 runner as he can give you 5-7 carries a game when the starter is healthy and then can take over and give you a 20-25 carry game when the starter is hurt. A lot of change of pace guys can’t become “the guy” for even short stretches so it’s a nice benefit to have.

Cowboys on the clock. Here is my current Top 10.

  1. Jalen Mills S LSU
  2. Tyler Johnstone OG Oregon
  3. DJ White CB Georgia Tech
  4. John Theus OT Georgia
  5. Zack Sanchez CB Oklahoma
  6. Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa
  7. Scooby Wright LB Arizona
  8. Eric Striker LB Oklahoma
  9. Spencer Drango OG Baylor
  10. Kevin Hogan QB Stanford

135. Cowboys: Dak Prescott-I don’t like this pick but he’s the Senior Bowl MVP, was a winner in the SEC and a dark horse Heisman candidate for the past two years. I just think his accuracy, arm strength and ability to thread the needle are very questionable. Also he’s not as athletic as he gets credit for as a guy I liked a lot more, Kevin Hogan, is bigger and faster. That would have been my pick as a developmental QB but who knows, maybe Dak works out. He did have his group of supporters for sure, I was not one of them. Profile below:

Dak Prescott Mississippi State 6’2 ¼ 226 Sr. Dak is a unique prospect as at 6’2 ¼ 226 with a 4.79 40 he has a thickness to him to go along with some speed and quickness which made him a legit dual threat in college. Unfortunately 4.79 isn’t terrible fast in the NFL and when you watch him against a team like LSU his mediocre athleticism is apparent. He was a darkhorse Heisman candidate the past two seasons as the offense was basically built around him and he produced with 56 TDs to 16 INTs (3.5 to 1). Unfortunately I don’t see his game translating well to the NFL as he isn’t quick twitch fast, his 226 lbs isn’t Cam Newton like so he won’t be a regular short yardage rusher in the NFL, his accuracy is mediocre and even his arm strength has me less than impressed. I’ve seen him in the Top 5 of some QB Rankings by analysts but I don’t see why as to me he’s a backup at best but likely a bust at the next level. 7th Round as my #11 QB 4/6/16.

139. Bills: Cardale Jones-I didn’t love Jones but with the last pick in the 4th round it makes sense. He reminds me of Logan Thomas, who was a bust by the way, as he has a huge frame, a huge arm and a lot of potential as just an overall athlete. He isn’t very accurate or experienced but one interesting nugget is that he never lost a game as a starter in his career. That’s pretty crazy. As a developmental QB prospect he makes sense as his ceiling is very high. He likely will be a bust but it’s worth a roll of the dice here, especially because the Bills run a system that allows their QBs to run which will help him.

141. Panthers: Zack Sanchez-This is the 3rd CB taken by the Panthers. The previous two were not even on my board but the 3rd was a steal (#5 available) and I really like it. He has elite ball skills (+15 INTs) and really knows how to jump routes. Since the Panthers play a lot of zone and let their corners take chances he is a perfect fit for their system. Great pick!

144. Broncos: Connor McGovern-I like this pick, #18 available, as he has great versatility as a player and looks to have some upside to him. It isn’t a steal or anything but in the 5th round it makes a lot of sense for a team that needs surprisingly a lot of help, despite winning a championship last year, due to their expensive star players that forced them to say goodbey to a lot of talent via free agency.

145. 49ers: John Theus-I love this pick, #4 available, as he has elite experience (4 year starter at both tackle spots in the best conference in the nation) and has the size to be a capable starting right tackle. He lacks elite strength as a road grader and isn’t athletic enough to be a LT but should be able to have a solid career as a role playing starter.

146. Ravens: Matt Judon-A lot of interesting picks recently. Judon was my #21 available and was one of the most interesting prospects in this entire draft as his film looked great and he had a good Combine. The issue is his level of competition at Akron is just terrible and it’s really hard to get a good read on these small school prospects. That being said he’s a perfect roll of the dice type which is what you are looking for in the mid to late rounds as all the sure fire starters are already gone so you have to go for the high upside/high bust potential guys or settle for career backups.

150. Bears: Jordan Howard-He is a good pick, #17 available, as he has some great attributes (vision, strength and aggressiveness) which should make him a short yardage, goal line specialist at worst and the thunder to Jeremy Langford’s lightning at best.

154. Browns: Jordan Payton-Another very good pick for the Browns, #17 available, as he looks like a solid #2 or #3 WR as he isn’t a great athlete but is a smooth route runner, has good hands and solid size/speed ratio.

155. Colts: Joe Haeg-Back to back good picks, #13 available. Haeg comes from North Dakota State where he was the blindside protector for Carson Wentz the past two years. He isn’t a great athlete and isn’t that strong but he has a ceiling as an average RT and he could develop into that role in a few years. A good pick at this point in the draft and again shows the Colts commitment to get better protection for Andrew Luck.

156. Bills: Jonathan Williams-I love picks like this where a team overlooks an injury and goes back to the previous year’s tape. He didn’t play in 2015 but in 2014 he looked good and I think it is a steal at this point (#10 available). His smooth running style intrigues me and I had him as my #3 RB in this draft. No one else had him that high but I find it interesting that Devontae Booker, the most common prospect as the #3 RB, is still on the board. The reality is that this was a 2 RB draft and then the board got muddled. I love Williams, others liked Booker, others liked Dixon and some had Prosise as their #3. Time will tell but Williams in the 5th round is a steal in my eyes.

160. Vikings: Kentrell Brothers-I like this pick a lot (#10 available) as it’s good value and Brothers is a big hitter that excels in run support but who needs to be surrounded by athletes as he isn’t a great one himself. Anthony Barr fits pretty well profile wise in that regard and makes the Brothers pick look even better.

162. Chiefs: Kevin Hogan-One of the better picks on Day 3 (#8 available) as I saw Hogan and Cody Kessler as the two best “developmental” types as mid to late rounders (didn’t see Connor Cook lasting into the middle rounds). Hogan has elite height and speed for the position, is accurate and seems to understand how to attack a defense. His issue simply is that his arm strength is terrible. Of course his weight is pretty low too and I see him as a guy that will gain 10-15 lbs over the next 2-3 years and you will see his arm strength noticeably improve. If it does not he will be a career backup but if he can add some strength to his arm he could become a surprise starter in a few years. This is a great pick and it isn’t surprising as Andy Reid seems to always be taking quarterbacks that surprisingly fall. A few years ago it was Tyler Bray out of Tennessee and he’s looked good in the preseason. A few years before that it was Chase Daniels who secured a nice deal as a backup who will compete for the starting job in Philadelphia. Hogan is the next in this line.

168. Browns: Spencer Drango-Another GREAT pick by the Browns. He was the #7 available player on my board who played at LT but who will play OG in the pros. I love guards that played LT in college as it shows they have good feet and good athleticism. I’m frankly surprised Drango dropped this far as this isn’t a great guard class and he seemed to be one of the better ones in it. I definitely liked him more than Westerman who was taken earlier this round. The Browns probably a round ago wrapped up the award for best draft in 2016 so this is just icing on the cake.

170. Cardinals: Cole Toner-I like this pick, #18 available. Some have him as an OT, I have him as an OG. He had a bad Senior Bowl week but it was a huge step up in competition vs. Harvard so I give him a bit of a pass. Keep in mind Chad Ochocinco, Andy Dalton, Josh Norman, etc. are good players that struggled at the Senior Bowl. In the late 5th round he’s a good OG/OT tweener that you give a good OL coach and tell him to find a spot for him. Solid pick.

171. Seahawks: Alex Collins-I like this pick, #16 available, as he’s good value and the Seahawks have a good young runner in Thomas Rawls but he only has 147 career carries and was injured pretty quickly when the team turned to him as the workhorse back. He needs help and the Seahawks added Prosise in the 3rd and Collins in the 5th. Prosise has a higher upside but Collins is probably the more complete player now so don’t be surprised if Collins is #2 in 2016 while Prosise continues to learn the RB position, former wide receiver at Notre Dame.

174. 49ers: Fahn Cooper-Good pick. He was my #14 available and looked very solid at LT and RT the past two years with Ole Miss. In the pros he’s solely a RT prospect and that is a good fit as the 49ers have an All-Pro in Joe Staley at LT while their RT position is in flux with the current issues involving Anthony Davis. At worst he provides good depth but there is a starting spot available to him if he is quick to develop.

178. Chiefs: DJ White-This is a great pick, #3 available, and the Chiefs are starting to have a really good draft. Getting DJ White and Eric Murray on Day 3, two guys who had 2nd round grades on my board, is outstanding value. Both are stronger, physical guys which is their preferred profile at CB. White also was a team leader and was incredibly productive last year. I suspect White or Murray is a starting CB in 2018. Considering that player will be making less than $800k a year, that is a great ROI.

179. Chargers: Drew Kaser-I didn’t grade the special teams players so he wasn’t on my board but Aguayo was the best kicker to come out of college in years and Kaser was the best punter to come out of college in years. Aguayo in the 2nd made sense, Kaser in the 6th is a steal. Keep in mind the Jaguars took the best punter in the draft a few years ago in the 3rd round, famously ahead of Russell Wilson, so usually when you have that once every few years type punter, like Kaser is, he is taken earlier than the 6th round. This is a sneaky good pick.

184. Giants: Jerell Adams-This is a great pick, #7 available, as he was my #4 TE and he is at least the 8th TE taken. On upside he has a higher ceiling than Austin Hooper and his surprisingly athleticism and quickness for his size reminds me of a poor man’s Martellus Bennett. The Giants have had a bad draft this year but Adams is a great pick.

Cowboys on the clock: At this point in the draft you aren’t really going completely off your board but are starting to look at your board and saying, who is a guy that for sure will be drafted in the next 60 picks if we don’t take him as now you are maybe skipping over guys that could be available as undrafted free agents. I would love to see Scooby Wright or Eric Striker taken here as both are good fits as WLBs in Marinelli’s scheme. Wright has an injury concern though and very easily could go undrafted. Johnstone is another that I love but isn’t favored by a lot of people and could easily go undrafted as well. Mills is still undrafted for unknown reasons as he dominated at the Senior Bowl and had a late 1st/early 2nd round grade on my board. I guess off the field issues but who knows.

  1. Jalen Mills S LSU
  2. Tyler Johnstone OG Oregon
  3. Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa
  4. Scooby Wright LB Arizona
  5. Eric Striker LB Oklahoma
  6. Jonathan Jones CB Auburn
  7. Roger Lewis WR Bowling Green
  8. Jack Allen C Michigan St.
  9. Vadal Alexander OG LSU
  10. Maurice Canady S Virginia
  11. Devontae Booker RB Utah
  12. Sebastian Tretola OG Arkansas
  13. Tyler Matakevich LB Temple
  14. Kolby Listenbee WR TCU
  15. Jeremy Cash S Duke

189. Cowboys: Anthony Brown-He ran a 4.35 40 and seems like a good athlete that lacks toughness. I did not scout him and he was not on my board but I only have one other CB, Jonathan Jones from Auburn, with any real talent left on my board so I’m not worried about them taking him instead of someone else on my board. Clearly they decided they needed to address the CB position in this draft. I agree but just disagree about them starting the process in the 6th round. To me most good starting cornerbacks in the NFL are taken in rounds 1-3. Yes you can argue all positions are kind of like that but QB, LT, Pass Rusher and CB is more so as you see a lot of mid to late round (or undrafted) guys starting at OG, C, LB and S. You don’t see a lot at CB. Maybe Brown surprises but to me they had their shots at Jalen Ramsey, Kendall Fuller and others yet went other directions. I think that is a mistake as again the Cowboys will have Scandrick, Carr, Claiborne, Church and Wilcox in their top 6 DBs which will be the 4th straight year they’ve had that combo. I just can’t logically process why they see that combination fail every year and never address it. (Yes they added Bryon Jones last year in the 1st round but those 5 DBs still have stayed in their spots for the past 3 years, 4 years if you remove Wilcox. The logic still holds up as Jones only is 1 member of a 4-5 member secondary. You need more than 1 body to improve a unit dramatically.)

192. Bills: Kolby Listenbee-He wasn’t my favorite player but he’s #14 available and surprisingly dropped so some will argue he’s a steal at this point. I don’t necessarily agree as he’s a one trick pony, pure speed, but at this point in the draft you’re searching for elite traits and he has one. He easily could be a bust but he also wouldn’t shock me as a #3 WR for the next 8-10 years. Solid pick.

193. Titans: Sebastian Tretola-He’s a physical mauler type that I liked but didn’t love, #12 available. Everyone who scouts him knows his strengths and weaknesses so guys like him are more scheme fits than good/bad players. With the Titans he’s a great scheme fit as he will play opposite Chance Warmack who is another mauler type with questionable athleticism. This is a good value pick in the 6th round as in the right scheme he has starter potential.

201. Jaguars: Brandon Allen-I love Brandon’s tape and think he’s a great fit here, #15 available. He reminds me of Case Keenum with his size, surprisingly strong arm and really good mobility. That being said Keenum is more a great backup than anything else and Allen projects as that too due to his small size, 6’1 215. Watch the 2015 tape though and you will see the best QB in the SEC and a guy that really can thread the needle and make plays when everything breaks down. Don’t be surprised if he excels in the preseason in 2016 or 2017 and there are trade rumors about him as he won’t be supplanting Blake Bortles.

209. Ravens: Maurice Canady-I like this pick, #10 available, but some will say it’s an absolute steal as I had the distinct impression that I had him graded lower on my board than the consensus. The reason is I think he’s a safety not a cornerback and downgraded him as a result. It will be interesting to see where the Ravens take him but again it looks like Newsome made a good value pick in the latter rounds, surprise surprise.

211. 49ers: Kelvin Taylor-Some will love this pick due to his bloodlines but I don’t as he has no burst, his yards per carry were under 5.0 each of his three seasons which is terrible, and I think he wouldn’t have even been a high level recruit out of High School except for his dad so now he’s a late round pick because of his dad? The fact is Florida probably was happy to see him leave early for the NFL as they probably felt like they needed to play him due to his dad’s connections but he just wasn’t that good in college and won’t be good in the NFL. He’s not his dad. Move on.

Cowboys on the clock, here are my Top 10 Available:

  1. Jalen Mills S LSU
  2. Tyler Johnstone OG Oregon
  3. Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa
  4. Scooby Wright LB Arizona
  5. Eric Striker LB Oklahoma
  6. Jonathan Jones CB Auburn
  7. Roger Lewis WR Bowling Green
  8. Jack Allen C Michigan St.
  9. Vadal Alexander OG LSU
  10. Devontae Booker RB Utah

212. Cowboys: Kavon Frazier-Another guy I didn’t have on my board. I will go back and scout these Cowboys selections that I didn’t draft so I can get a feel for them. Per Bucky Brooks, one of my favorite media analysts, Frazier is gaining weight (played at 215 and is currently 225) so the idea is that the Cowboys want him as a WLB in their 403 and not as a SS. That makes sense as 4-3 WLB is an easy to fill but also a very valuable position for their defense and currently I see no talent behind Sean Lee. They are well off at SLB but surprisingly WLB is a need, at least depth wise, so this makes sense.

216. Cowboys: Darius Jackson-RB Eastern Michigan. Not on my board. I’ll scout him and post a profile later.

217. Cowboys: Rico Gathers-TE Baylor. Now I don’t have him on my board BUT I know this kid. He’s a high profile guy in the media as he’s a former power forward who is switch sports a la Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez. Now those latter two had at least one season of football so Gathers is raw as can be BUT their depth chart at TE is pretty set already with Witten, Escobar and Hanna so they can afford to “redshirt” him if you will. He is a pick for 2017 not 2016 just like their 2nd rounder Jaylon Smith.

233. Eagles: Jalen Mills-This is one of the best picks in the entire draft. He’s #1 available on my board and has been for quite awhile as I saw him as a late 1st/early 2nd round grade. Now there are some off the field issues with him and I don’t sit down with guys at the Combine to interview them  so I have to assume this has contributed to his fall down the board as on talent alone he is a very good FS prospect. He had a great Senior Bowl week, played cornerback actually, showing great cover skills and you have to wonder what the media and I don’t know which caused him to fall this far. If he gets that cleaned up he should be a steal at this point and at worst is a great roll of the dice in the 7th round.

234. Raiders: Vadal Alexander-He’s great value, #8 available, and a great fit as the Raiders are the most heavy OL in the league with Keleche Osemele at OT, Menelik Watson, Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson, Austin Howard, etc. To add a guy like Alexander shows they know their profile and they are drafting accordingly. I love that. This is one of the better picks on Day 3.

246. Steelers: Tyler Matakevich-He’s #9 available and is a physical guy that goes all out. He has a never ending motor and fits well in a Steeler’s uniform. At worst he’s a core special teamer and at best he’s

250. Browns: Scooby Wright-Okay okay okay. I’m trying not to get too excited about this pick but dude his 2014 season was one of THE GREATEST SEASONS EVER!!!! I’m just saying this kid can’t do what he did in 2014 and then never be heard from again. I LOVE this pick. Also considering the Browns wrapped up the best draft this year in the 4th round, it is no surprise that they added him in the 7th round! Maybe the best pick in Day 3, I thought Connor Cook would be that pick but Scooby in the 7th? Really? I just don’t get how guys this productive fall so far.

Round 2-3 Live Blog

Below are the Top 50 players currently available.

  1. Myles Jack LB UCLA                                Top 10
  2. Noah Spence PR Eastern Kentucky    Top 15
  3. Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson
  4. Emmanuel Ogbah PR Oklahoma St.
  5. Kendall Fuller CB Virginia Tech
  6. Connor Cook QB Michigan St.              Top 20
  7. Shon Coleman OT Auburn
  8. Reggie Ragland LB Alabama
  9. Derrick Henry RB Alabama
  10. Andrew Billings DT Baylor
  11. Hunter Henry TE Arkansas
  12. Jalen Mills S LSU
  13. Jonathan Bullard DT Florida                  Early 2nd Round
  14. Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas
  15. Tyler Johnstone OG Oregon
  16. Adolphus Washington DT Ohio St.
  17. Jason Spriggs OT Indiana
  18. DJ White CB Georgia Tech
  19. Michael Thomas WR Ohio St.                 Mid 2nd Round
  20. Tyler Boyd WR Pittsburgh
  21. Carl Nassib PR Penn St.
  22. Cody Whitehair OG Kansas St.
  23. Cody Kessler QB USC
  24. Eric Murray CB Minnesota
  25. Cyrus Jones CB Alabama                          Late 2nd Round
  26. Braxton Miller WR Ohio St.
  27. John Theus OT Georgia
  28. Zack Sanchez CB Oklahoma
  29. Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa
  30. Von Bell CB Ohio St.
  31. Su’a Cravens LB USC
  32. Pharoh Cooper WR South Carolina       Early 3rd Round
  33. Tyler Higbee TE Western Kentucky
  34. Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame
  35. A’Shawn Robinson DT Alabama
  36. Bronson Kaufusi PR BYU
  37. Scooby Wright LB Arizona
  38. Eric Striker LB Oklahoma
  39. Spencer Drango OG Baylor
  40. Kevin Hogan QB Stanford
  41. Xavien Howard CB Baylor
  42. Max Tuerk C USC
  43. Jonathan Jones CB Auburn                       Mid 3rd Round
  44. Christian Hackenberg QB Penn St.
  45. Maliek Collins DT Nebraska
  46. Sterling Shepard WR Oklahoma
  47. Kamalai Correa Boise St.
  48. Nick Martin C Notre Dame
  49. Jonathan Williams RB Arkansas
  50. Jerald Hawkins OT LSU

With the 2nd Round about to begin rumors are flying around that the Dallas Cowboys are trying to trade up. That is pretty odd considering they are only 2 spots away from the Browns pick. They moved up two years ago in the 2nd round for DeMarcus Lawrence when they viewed him as the last pass rusher available that would be an impact player. They clearly are in the same line of thinking, though I disagree as I have two pass rushers (Noah Spence and Emmanuel Ogbah) with 1st round grades staring them in the face right now. Also I would love to see them get a guy like Mackensie Alexander who has a Pro Bowl ceiling and absolutely dominated 1st round pick Will Fuller last year. To me the Cowboys have too many needs to trade up a few spots for a pass rushers, especially with the amount of talent on the board, but that appears to be what they are trying to do. Ogbah supposedly is the star of their eye and it they can swing the trade it’d be expensive and somewhat wasteful, but still a very good big as Ogbah has a similar build, back story (African decent) and talent level as Ziggy Ansah of the Detroit Lions.

Also a few other interesting nuggets:

  • The Cowboys apparently were offered the Ravens 3rd rounder to move down from 4 to 6 so the Ravens could get Jalen Ramsey. I’m shocked that they didn’t take that trade as Ramsey, arguably the best player in the entire draft, falling to them at #4, created an opportunity and made their #4 more valuable than it should have been. What did they do with it? Nothing. The Jaguars took TJ Yeldon last year, the 49ers at #7 took Carlos Hyde two years ago and other teams lower down the rank didn’t have a huge need at RB. Only the Dolphins at #13 seemed to really be interested in moving up for Ezekiel Elliott so unless they were sure the Jaguars would want to drop from 5 to 13 I think the Cowboys just wasted an opportunity to net a free 3rd rounder.
  • Also apparently the Cowboys actively sought to trade up for Paxton Lynch. I wasn’t a huge fan of Lynch so I’m glad that failed but more importantly is the fact that the Cowboys, if successful, would have ended the 2016 NFL Draft with a shiny new RB and QB and then a borderline starter on defense with their 4th round pick. Who could possibly think that strategy made sense considering the needs of the Dallas Cowboys? It also seems very counter productive as Elliott wasn’t the best player on the board but, it can be argued that he would make the biggest initial impact so taking Elliott was an “all in for the last 2-3 years of the Romo era.” To follow up that “all in” pick with Paxton Lynch, which was the exact opposite, seems to show me that the Cowboys still don’t have a comprehensive strategy that they are following and are just kind of making things up as they go along. Not a good sign.

32. Browns: Emmanuel Ogbah-Well it’s a good pick, #4 overall on my board, and now makes sense as to why the Cowboys were trying so hard to trade up. They probably were told by the Browns that he was the pick and the Cowboys then tried to overpay to convince them to trade down.

33. Titans: Kevin Dodd-This is a good pick by most people but I had him as my #50 available player as he was a one year wonder (no production at all the first 2 seasons at Clemson, I me NO production) and looked like he lacked the agility or burst to be special. We shall see if he exceeds expectations and becomes a dominant pass rusher or if he’s the next Clemson bust.

34. Cowboys: Jaylon Smith-I like the pick but don’t love it (#33 available) as the moneyball way to do this would be to trade down consistently until Smith or Jack was off the board and then you trade up for the other one. Smith and Jack were similar grades on my board (pre-injury), I liked Jack a bit more due to his strength, but either one could have fallen to the late 2nd/early 3rd round. Why be the first team to take one when there are two. Just trade back, gain value and then move up whenever the first one is gone. Of course Smith was the #1 Overall player on a number of boards this season so if he is healthy he is very good value here. I just worry more with Smith than Jack as Smith had nerve damage and his knee injury was pretty gruesome.

35. Chargers: Hunter Henry-#10 available on my board, this is where I expected Henry to go, though not the team I expected him to go to. Henry isn’t a great athlete and doesn’t project as a star tight end but he’ll be a solid starter, think Dennis Pitta, who runs good routes and has great hands which make him a red zone threat on jump balls. Good pick.

36. Jaguars: Myles Jack-Well he didn’t last long so there goes my moneyball strategy. I like the Jaylon Smith pick but love the Myles Jack pick as he was better pre-injury in my opinion, had a less severe knee injury, had his injury longer ago and Jack is a better fit for the Jaguars than Smith is for the Cowboys scheme wise. Jack was a serious contender for being picked at #5 so for them to get Ramsey and Jack in successive rounds makes the Jaguars the early leaders for best draft.

37. Chiefs: Chris Jones-This is a huge man that I thought fit best in a 3-4 scheme so he fits well but I had him as an early 4th rounder and with athletic guys like Billings, Bullard and Ridgeway still available at DT I think most would agree that this was a reach. Bad value but it could still work out as Jones fits well in their scheme and Dontarri Poe is a free agent next year.

38. Dolphins: Xavien Howard-He was the #37 available so ti is a slight reach, especially with Mackensie Alexander still available, but he has good speed and has great ball skills so he has potential. I just question his speed and think he might be a zone guy solely.

39. Bucs: Noah Spence-He was the #1 available on my board and is neck and neck with Myles Jack as the best picks in the 2nd round. Spence had an amazing Senior Bowl and was arguably the better player in 2013 when he and Bosa teamed up as edge rushers.I really was hoping he or Alexander would be the Cowboys pick at #34. Final thought: If Spence had gone #11 to the Bucs I don’t think anyone would have been shocked. Instead he went #39 to the same team. Great pick!

40. Giants: Sterling Shepard-Wow this is early. I heard people were into him but early 2nd round seems like a reach to me. I had a mid 3rd round grade on him (#40) as to me he looks like a career slot guy, though he has just enough size to possibly be outside. He’s a fun guy to watch but guys his size are a dime a dozen and without top end speed I question how much more valuable he will be than Jamison Crowder (3rd rounder last year) or Cole Beasley (undrafted).

41. Bills: Reggie Ragland-I compared this guy to David Harris so it makes sense that Harris’ long time coach and biggest supporter Rex Ryan, took him here. This is a safe pick, is a great fit and is really good value in the early to mid 2nd round as he could have gone in the 20’s.

42. Ravens: Kamalei Correa-He was the #40 player available so another slight reach BUT this kid is interesting as he isn’t great as a rusher but has great agility and is very physical so he could be a very good ILB in a 3-4. I’ll be curious where the Ravens play him as the more he is asked to rush the passer the less valuable he is in my opinion.

43. Titans: Austin Johnson-I like Johnson but dislike this pick as he is hard to argue as the best DT available with so many more athletic options still available. I would love to see Johnson’s career vs. Billings, Bullard or Ridgeway 3-5 years from now. Johnson looks like a mediocre starter or good #3 DT aka rotation DT. That isn’t great value in the mid 2nd round.

44. Raiders: Jihad Ward-Well that old man Willie Brown is awesome. I hope I’m that fun to be around when I’m 80. Ward was loved on some boards so this isn’t a reach to most but I had him as the #77 available as I saw a raw project type that doesn’t look like he can contribute anytime soon. Again though many saw Ward as a 2nd rounder so it makes some sense in that way.

45. Titans: Derrick Henry-I love this pick value wise (#5 overall player on my board) but they just traded for DeMarco Murray? Just a curious decision but again it’s great value and with the Titans having SO many picks due to the trade down from #1 to #15 they maybe just said let’s take the best player available and with so many picks we will get all of our needs filled anyway. What a luxury.

46. Lions: A’Shawn Robinson-I was expecting to hate the pick when the Alabama DTs went but I think this pick is solid. It is a little early on my board but not too much for a great run stopper. He “fell” because he doesn’t do anything other than stop the run but it’s not hard to argue he’s the best run stopper in the draft and they added him at #46. Solid pick and great fit for a franchise that seemed to really miss Suh last year.

47. Saints: Michael Thomas-This is a great pick (#13 available) as he has size, strength and really good hands. He isn’t the fastest guy on the field but they already have a guy with elite speed, Brandin Cooks, and Thomas could be a perfect compliment to him long term. Good fit, great value.

48. Packers: Jason Spriggs-One of the better picks in the 2nd round (#12 overall) as it’s good value, I had him rated higher than the Texas A&M tackle with the last pick in the 2st round, and a great fit. Brian Bulaga has been injured non-stop the past two years and they have really struggled to handle edge rushers when he’s been out. He immediately becomes their swing tackle and might even start over Bulaga at right tackle as a rookie.

49. Seahawks: Jarran Reed-Some will say this is one of the steals of the draft as I heard chatter that he could go as high as #13. I will not be one of those saying this as I viewed Eli Apple and Jarran Reed as the two most overrated prospects in this draft and had a mid 6th round grade on Reed. He is a solid run defender, not even an elite one like his teammate A’Shawn Robinson, and does nothing else. I do not like this pick but of course Seattle has such a great defense that he can do nothing but stop the run and will be okay so it shouldn’t be too bad for them as he likely will play a lot as a rotation DT. Billings though in that defense would be scary.

50. Texans: Nick Martin-With Ben Jones and Brandon Brooks both leaving in free agency they needed an interior OL and Martin was decent value here (#35 available).  He has great bloodlines and should eventually be able to start for them at OG or C.

51. Jets: Christian Hackenberg-On one hand I like it as the Jets have two low level talents at QB in Geno Smith and Bryce Petty, neither of whom look like good short term or long term options at QB and Hackenberg at one time had a 1st round grade on my board. On the other hand Hackenberg has major accuracy issues and is a bit of a drama queen. I don’t know if he’s a great fit for the New York media or for big personalities like Brandon Marshall demanding the ball from him. I also don’t like Hackenberg over Cook as I think that will come back to haunt them.

52. Falcons: Deion Jones-#48 available

53. Redskins: Su’a Cravens-Another good pick by the Redskins (#23 available) as it is solid value and Cravens is just a tough football player that makes plays. He isn’t a stud athlete and has some tweener status to his game but put him somewhere, scheme around his weaknesses, and watch him make plays for you. Damn the Redskins are doing well.

54. Vikings: Mackensie Alexander-Here’s a hot sports opinion for you, Alexander will beat out Trae Waynes long term at CB. I love Alexander and think this is arguably the best pick in the draft (#1 available). He has some Darrelle Revis to his game and could really surprise people with how quickly he becomes a top flight starter.

55. Bengals: Tyler Boyd-This is 3 very good picks in a row. I like Boyd value wise (#11 available) and fit as he reminds me a bit of Marvin Jones with his multifaceted skill set as he’s a good route runner, has good size, has good speed and has good ball skills but isn’t elite in any one category. He’s a perfect #2 WR long term and everyone knows the #1 WR spot won’t be open in Cincinnati for a long time. Great value and great fit.

56. Bears: Cody Whitehair-4 straight good picks as Whitehair has good value here (#12 available) and was the #1 OG on most boards that I saw. A little surprised he went nearly 30 picks AFTER the 1st OG was taken so this is good value and fits well on a Bears team that has a mediocre OL despite having a perennial Pro Bowler in Kyle Long.

57. Colts: TJ Green-He wasn’t rated this high for me (#41 available) but many would argue this is a steal. He had an amazing Combine and just wowed everyone with his size/speed. I personally was confused by his tape as he is so fast but is not agile at all so I don’t see him being a good FS and thought his best fit was bulking him up to become a SS. The Colts are going the opposite way and moving him down to CB where he will be a press corner. I guess we both agree he isn’t a fit at FS but then chose very different paths in fixing that problem. It will be interesting to see how it works out.

58. Steelers: Sean Davis-And it was pick #58 where we had our first player not on my board. Not saying it’s a bad pick, as I didn’t go too deep research wise, but getting someone in the 2nd round not on my board isn’t a good sign. 4th round isn’t a red flag but 2nd round? Not great.

59. Bucs: Roberto Aguayo-Well interesting two straight picks not on my board but I didn’t grade kickers or punters this year so Aguayo isn’t the same as the Davis pick. In fact I know Aguayo as he’s been the best kicker in the country for the past 3 years straight! Just off the top of my head I know he didn’t miss a kick one year in his career. He has great accuracy and great leg strength so it makes sense for him to go this early. Also he gets to reunite with QB Jameis Winston which is a fun story if nothing else.

With the Cowboys 7 picks away here is my Top 15 available

  1. Kendall Fuller CB Virginia Tech
  2. Connor Cook QB Michigan St.         Top 20
  3. Shon Coleman OT Auburn
  4. Andrew Billings DT Baylor
  5. Jalen Mills S LSU
  6. Jonathan Bullard DT Florida            Early 2nd Round
  7. Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas
  8. Tyler Johnstone OG Oregon
  9. Adolphus Washington DT Ohio St.
  10. DJ White CB Georgia Tech
  11. Carl Nassib PR Penn St.
  12. Cody Kessler QB USC
  13. Eric Murray CB Minnesota
  14. Cyrus Jones CB Alabama                     Late 2nd Round
  15. Braxton Miller WR Ohio St.

60. Patriots: Cyrus Jones-Well he’s off my Top 15 for the Cowboys showing he was a good value pick (#14). I actually love the fit as he has good toughness and is very versatile which all screams New England. He likely will be a solid nickel CB and be in competition with Julian Edelman (who they don’t want returning punts anyway) as the team’s main punt returner. This is a good pick.

61. Saints: Von Bell-#18 available so he’s good value and I like him here. Initially he had 1st round chatter which I thought was ridiculous but as a late 2nd rounder he’s perfect here as he projects as a solid starter and getting solid, and cheap, starters in the 2nd and 3rd round is what the draft is all about.

62. Panthers: James Bradberry-Another guy not on my board. He played at Samford as a CB.

63. Broncos: Adam Gotsis-He isn’t great value here on my board (#81 available) but he intrigued me as this Australian born player is raw but has a great frame and is incredibly agile for his size. There was some very good tape with this kid but he’s coming off a knee injury and won’t contribute as a rookie, likely, so I downgraded him. Long term projects coming off knee injuries usually don’t go this high but he does have a lot of potential.

64. Titans: Kevin Byard-Another guy not on my board. He went to school at Middle Tennessee and is a SS.

Cowboys pre-pick discussion: Well all the elite defenders are gone except Kendall Fuller, my favorite-though I’m not surprised he’s still available here. Does that mean the Cowboys start adding depth by getting one of the very talented defensive tackles like Billings, Bullard, Ridgeway or Washington? Do they take Connor Cook since they clearly are in the QB market after trying to trade up for Lynch? I think DT is the pick.

65. Browns: Carl Nassib-I LOVE this pick. #11 available on my board as this kid is a one year wonder but he has elite size, strength and production-at least last year. He probably won’t be a big time pass rusher but his profile as a high motor type guy fits well in their scheme as a 3-4 DE.

66. Chargers: Max Tuerk-#24 available he fits well here as I had an early 3rd round grade on him and think he has the potential to become a Pro Bowler. He is a veteran with 4 years as a starter as he played all over the line. He also is a great athlete and is long armed, two requisites for the center position in my book. He was injured last year so this could look like a steal in a year or two if he pans out.

67. Cowboys: Maliek Collins-Well I picked the position but not the player, despite throwing up my top 4 DTs as options. Collins though isn’t a huge reach here (#25 available) as I had a mid 3rd round grade on him and considered him to be a guy with a high ceiling though with a lot of bust potential. Also I like his fit in Rod Marinelli’s scheme as they like their defensive tackles to shoot gaps and attack which works well for his skill set. Below is his profile:

Maliek Collins Nebraska 6’1 ⅞ 311 Jr. He had a great 40 (5.03) and really good quickness drills (4.52 shuttle, 7.53 3 cone). He only had 1 season with more than 30 tackles but did have 8 sacks in his 3 year career with his Sophomore year (45 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 10.5 TFL) being better than his Junior year. He’s a one gap penetrating type DT and has good arm length for that type (‘33 ⅛). He has a noticeable burst when attacking a QB and his highlight reel is pretty impressive. He clearly missed Randy Gregory in 2015 though and can be easily shut down if double teamed. He has a few plays where he just beats his man immediately off the snap but most of his sacks, pressures and TFL come from a bull rush where it takes him a decent amount of time to disengage from his blocker. Championship wrestler in high school going 48-0 his senior season. He isn’t that strong and needs to gather himself to take down a QB. His short area quickness and burst are elite as was his 2014 film making me wonder what happened in 2015 as his production was very mediocre. He probably played himself from a late 1st/early 2nd to a mid 3rd round grade because of it. Collins is a tough grade as there are flashes of Pro Bowl talent but he’s too inconsistent as a pass rusher production wise and as a run defender he is mediocre at best due to his average strength. Mid 3rd round as my #10 DT who has a high ceiling but is scheme specific (one gap only) and has a lot of bust potential in him 4/23/16.

68. 49ers: Will Redmond-#57 available

69. Jaguars: Yannick Ngakoue-#76 available who I had a mid 6th round grade on. Yannick is one of the bigger reaches in this draft and somewhat taints what, to this point, had been the best draft for any team. That being said, they could draft Miley Cyrus and I’d still have to credit them for taking two of the five highest rated players on my board.

70. Ravens: Bronson Kaufusi-He is a good value here, #19 available, and really intrigued me as this guy is just massive. There were times on film where his 6’6 290 frame chasing around smaller school guys just looked unfair. He will be a perfect fit as a 3-4 DE. Very good pick.

71. Giants: Darian Thompson-He was #53 available on my board as he didn’t seem to be athletic or agile enough to be a good safety unless he was put in the right scheme. That being said he had a lot of interceptions in his career so guys like this usually are either playmakers or busts. They don’t usually fall in between. Thankfully I see him being the latter so it looks like another poor pick by the G-Men.

72. Bears: Jonathan Bullard-Great pick (#6 available) and it is surprising how many really good DTs are still on the board at this point in the draft. Initially I had the late 2nd/early 3rd round as the place of best value at DT but now that spot appears to be shifting down to the entire 3rd round and probably early 4th. Bullard is one of the most athletic DL in the draft on a size/speed ratio. Some have him actually as a DE but I think his best fit is as a 1 gap DT where his elite quickness and burst can cause havoc. Great pick!

73. Dolphins: Kenyan Drake-He was the 69th available to me and isn’t a great value here. That being said Drake flashed high level potential quite a lot at Alabama so I guess they are saying he was caught in a numbers game and is more talented than his production showed. I disagree and stated as such in my profile of him, “Some people might still think of Drake as a late bloomer with starter potential but they are mistaken as he’s shown his true colors, he’s a tease and can’t be counted on for consistent production. Late 5th round as my #10 RB who is a good late round addition to a backfield due to his elite athleticism 4/28/16.” Drake will continue to tease but he won’t be consistent enough to warrant being taken in the 3rd round.

74. Chiefs: KeiVare Russell-He isn’t on my board but I actually like him and lost track of him during his career due to his injuries. At one time I had a 2nd round grade on him and him being taken in the 3rd round seems very logical to me. He is another medical concern guy and could be a steal if he ever gets back to 100%.

75. Raiders: Shilique Calhoun-He was the #37 available and isn’t a bad pick here. I always saw him as vastly overrated but that is because I heard a lot of 2nd round chatter on him. He isn’t a good pass rusher and I hate guys like him who have no burst but hey in the mid to late 3rd round it isn’t terrible at all as he can be just a #3 DE like he should be.

76. Browns: Shon Coleman-Another GREAT pick! He was the #3 available guy on my board who I had a 1st round grade on as he has the athleticism to be a starting LT. He’s raw and will likely be a RT as a rookie but I expect him to start in place of Joe Thomas at some point in the future. I’m noticing a trend of loving the Browns draft whether it is the trade downs or the actual picks, Corey Coleman was a solid pick but I preferred Treadwell or Doctson. I’m telling you, if Jimmy Haslam lets these guys work, the Browns will be a very talented team in 2018 with a core group of young players that can compete for years to come.

77. Panthers: Daryl Worley-CB out of West Virginia. He was not on my board.

78. Patriots: Joe Thuney-LB out of North Carolina State. He was not on my board.

79. Eagles: Isaac Seumalo-Three straight guys not on my board. Sigh. This wasn’t happening a few years ago.

80. Bills: Adolphus Washington-Well this is a great pick (#7 available) and is another of the 4 value DTs to go with Billings and Ridgeway still available. Add him with Shaq Lawson and the Bills have added some very good DL.

One side note though is the “Rex Ryan phenomenon.” Rex Ryan is not a smart, analytical guy. If you sign Ryan as your coach you are signing him for his personality as he’s funny, enthusiastic and has a great energy level to him. He’s been very successful in his career but he’s never won a championship and somehow he’s allowed to always blame the offense for this stain on his resume. Go back to the Jets draft the 6 years he was coach and you will see that he almost entirely took defense. Yes he took Mark Sanchez in the Top 5 in his first year but then he took Kyle Wilson (CB), Muhammad Wilkerson (DT), Quinton Coples (DE), Dee Milliner (CB), Sheldon Richardson (DT) and Calvin Pryor (SS) in the 1st round. That is 6 straight 1st rounders on defense and I’m not even mentioning the numerous second round and third rounders he took as well as the high premium he placed in free agency on defense. Now the Bills take defense three straight rounds and I see the same thing happening again. He will soon be bitching about the GM taking an offensive player, just like he did when they chose WR Stephen Hill (yes a bust but in that draft they chose a defensive player in the 1st, 3rd and 4th round and he STILL bitched about taking an offensive player in the 2nd?), and you will watch as the offense gets worse and worse with the Bills. Then he will be fired and, guess what? He will say “look at my defensive rankings. I was fired because we had a bad offense. Not my fault.” I’m surprised he gets such a free pass considering his career coaching record is 54-58. Back to the draft.

81. Falcons: Austin Hooper-He was the #26 available player so while I think the kid has a low ceiling and is kind of boring, I do think it’s a solid pick. That being said the Falcons keep trying to draft mid round guys like Hooper and Toilolo at the position despite the obvious fact that Ryan loves throwing to tight ends and he hasn’t been really dominant since Tony Gonzalez retired. I would look to move up for a stud TE in the next 1-2 years if I were GM of that team.

82. Colts: Le’Raven Clark-Another solid pick by the Colts as they obviously are making it a priority to protect Andrew Luck better after he had his first injury plagued season. Clark (#33 available) was a late 3rd round grade on my board so it fits and I see some potential for him to become a quality starting RT. The kid is long and has surprisingly quick feet for his body frame.

83. Jets: Jordan Jenkins-#35 available

84. Redskins: Kendall Fuller-Well I mentioned earlier how much I liked the Redskins draft and it only is compounded from here as Fuller was my #1 overall player available and was a 1st round grade on my board. I wasn’t surprised he dropped to the 3rd round due to the chatter about his injury but come on, the kid balled out in 2013 and 2014 and then tried to gut it out in 2015 and some people mentioned his poor tape last year? He was playing on an injury that would sideline 99% of players. Why not mention it as a positive as to how tough he is and how much he loves the game? He’s small and is quicker than fast but he fits perfectly as a slot corner and, guess what, he loves football and makes plays which is something that seems to be the MO of all of Scott McCloughlan’s picks have in common. Doctson, Cravens and now Fuller. That is three guys that live, breathe and sleep football. And that’s on top of the Josh Norman signing. Not good Cowboys fans, not good.

85. Texans: Braxton Miller-He was the #9 available on my board so he’s good value and he’s a good fit. I didn’t like the Will Fuller draft pick in the 1st round and think Miller has the potential to be the #2 receiver opposite DeAndre Hopkins, outperforming Fuller. It’s early though and Miller is raw so both could struggle as rookies. Miller’s upside is high due to his elite quickness and agility for his muscular frame. He is a unique physical specimen that I think will become a very good wideout once he “figures it out.” Great pick.

86. Dolphins: Leonte Caroo-#36 available

87. Bengals: Nick Vigil-LB Utah State. He did not make my board.

88. Packers: Kyler Fackrell-He was my #43 available but I bet some view this as a steal as a lot of people like Fackrell. He is a long framed linebacker that is a good at everything, great at nothing so I don’t know if the Packers will use him at ILB or OLB in their 3-4.

89. Steelers: Javon Hargrave-He was the #25 available and is a good pick here. He’s a small school DT from South Carolina State who moves too well for a guy his size. He fits perfectly as a 3-4 DE and I like this pick a lot. Good value, great fit.

90. Seahawks: CJ Prosise-Some might be surprised how few RBs have been taken to this point but I am not as I saw this as a 2 RB draft with just a bunch of specialists (Drake, Tyler Ervin) and backups (Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon). Prosise and Jonathan Williams in my opinion are the only two guys with starter potential so it makes sense he was taken here.

91. Patriots: Jacoby Brissett-I didn’t like him at Florida and didn’t bother scouting him at North Carolina State so he isn’t on my board despite me knowing a bit about him. I don’t like it by the way. If you couldn’t tell.

92. Cardinals: Brandon Williams-Another guy I know that wasn’t on my board. He’s a former RB from Texas A&M that moved to CB his last year in college as he had much higher upside. Obviously the coaches were right as there aren’t many 6’0 210 cornerbacks with 4.5 speed. He’s a talented project that could work out as he played surprisingly well as a 1st year corner.

93. Browns: Cody Kessler-Let me know if you’ve heard this before? I love this Cleveland Browns pick! Cody was #7 available and while I disagree with Kessler over Cook I really like Cody. He is smart, accurate and is arguably the best QB in this draft at reading a defense. He reminds me a bit of Chase Daniels and could be that high end backup, low end starter with an outside chance of being a mid level starter. Every time I watched Kessler I said, “Is he really not a potential 1st rounder?” Then I’d see his measurables or watch more film and calm myself. I highly suspect that Kessler will be a #1 or #2 QB 5 years from now. I highly suspect Brissett won’t be in the league and Hackenberg might not be either. Very interesting pick here.

94. Seahawks: Nick Vannett-He’s the #56 available. He projects as a career #2 or #3 TE who will be more of a blocker than a receiver. He does have good hands though and some think he is underrated as an athlete and potential receiving threat. I do not and is why I put him farther down the draft than late 3rd round.

95. Lions: Graham Glasgow-He’s the #57 available and was right next to Nick Vannett on my board which is odd as they were taken 1-2 on the “real” board. Glasgow didn’t look that great on film and I see this as a reach. To me he will be a bust.

96. Patriots: Vincent Valentine-I scouted Nebraska and didn’t notice this guy when scouting Maliek Collins, 3rd rounder from the Cowboys. I see this kid being another 2nd-3rd round bust which has become a Bill Belichick specialty and which he isn’t skewered for because he is so good as a coach and gets so many late round/free agent steals.

97. Seahawks: Rees Odhiambo-OG from Boise State that wasn’t on my board. The Seahawks really went after the lines in this draft, taking a RT, DT and OG. Unfortunately I thought the RT was a slight reach, the DT was a huge reach (though is a steal on some boards) and the OG is a complete unknown. As usual I disagree with the Seahawks draft and, considering they’ve been one of the worst drafting teams in the league since 2013, I will side with my analysis until the picks actually put on the pads and start playing.

98. Broncos: Justin Simmons-FS from Boston College. Not on my board and I didn’t scout him but I was intrigued by his highlight reel they showed as he does look like an NFL caliber athlete with potential as a centerfield type.

2016 NFL Draft Live Blog (1st Round)

Alright here we go. Make sure to refresh regularly.

The top of the draft will be quite boring as the first two picks are already known yet they still will likely take their entire alotted time before handing in the pick. While we wait I wanted to mention a few more items.

-The board is done and I was surprised how weak this RB class is. It easily could be viewed 3 years from now as 2 starters (Elliott and Henry) and then a bunch of backups and busts. What is interesting about that is certain teams (Dolphins, Cowboys, Browns) have been rumored to be seeking a RB in this draft. If you want one that you know can play as a rookie you likely need to move up to get one of these two guys so don’t be surprised if Elliott goes in the Top 5 and if Henry is taken in the late 1st round.

-Every year there are rumors that so and so is sliding. Well this year Myles Jack, Paxton Lynch, Robert Nkemdiche and Mackensie Alexander are all rumored to be sliding while Jack Conklin, Ryan Kelly, DeForest Buckner and Ronnie Stanley are all racing up draft boards. We will find out soon enough what is rumor and what is truth.

  1. Rams: Jared Goff-The Rams took the local kid from Cal who has a great arm, quick release and can really thread the needle. I’m a little surprised how few people initially loved Goff like I did (#3 Overall). More people slowly came around on him, often happens in this herd mentality league, but to me it wasn’t a hard evaluation. He’s a very talented player that just immediately pops out on film for me. Yes he has a thin build and small hands but Goff has a Jay Cutler type game, minus the lack of intangibles, and should be the starter in LA from Day 1. Also let’s keep in mind that Gurley had a thousand yard season despite missing 3 games and not being 100% so this offense will be run oriented and will allow the offensive coordinator to pick his spots in when Goff will be asked to throw the ball. That will be a luxury few rookie QBs have so it’s a good situation for Goff and a good pick by the Rams.
  2. Eagles: Carson Wentz-On one hand you have guys like Mayock who rate him as the best QB in the draft, Mayock even rates him as the best overall player in the draft. On the other hand he only started for 1 1/2 years, he didn’t play division 1 football and he didn’t have good accuracy on medium and deep throws. Wentz is a Blake Bortles type kid as you love the frame and athleticism and hope he has enough accuracy to be a good passer. We shall see how it all works out but if it is an abject failure then it couldn’t have happened to a better team. For the Eagles to trade so much to trade for a QB who then busts would be a huge benefit for the Cowboys and others in the NFC East.
  3. Chargers: Joey Bosa-And now the draft officially begins. With the Chargers taking Bosa they decided to skip the #1 OT to come out of college in years in Laremy Tunsil and the #1 DB to come out of college in years in Jalen Ramsey. It also sets up the Cowboys perfectly with Ramsey and Elliott all available at #4. I’m not a huge fan of Bosa this early but hey the kid has a great motor, elite hand fighting and is very good against the run. I made the argument that Bosa in the Top 5 is a solid double instead of going for a homerun but risking a strikeout. I still like that analogy because Bosa will be a 10 year starter at a valuable position but I’m exhaling right now knowing that Bosa won’t be a Cowboy.
  4. Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott (Pre-Pick) With the Cowboys on the clock at #4, four of my top 5 players are still available, which is odd, so the Cowboys have to be smiling. Tunsil, Ramsey and Elliott are my top 3 players available and it likely comes down to Ramsey vs. Elliott. Do you choose a Pro Bowl caliber RB and supercharge that running game or do you take a Pro Bowl caliber DB to join Byron Jones as another versatile CB/S combo player? I’d take Ramsey and not look back. (Pick) Elliott is the pick and while I’m a little disappointed in Ramsey not going here I do love the fit and think he becomes the favorite for rookie of the year. Also I had him as the #4 player on my board so it is hard to say he was a reach when he was taken at #4. Now with Tunsil and Ramsey still on the board you CAN make that “reach” argument but hey Elliott is a fun, sexy pick that will be very productive.
  5. Jaguars: Jalen Ramsey-Wow for the Jaguars you have to love that Ramsey fell to them. I don’t think anyone saw this occurring 3 weeks ago. With Dante Fowler coming back from injury and Malik Jackson signed this offseason, the Jaguars D could take another step and help their burgeoning offense now and then. This team looks playoff caliber.
  6. Ravens: Ronnie Stanley-Well I thought Ozzie Newsome would try and move up for Tunsil so for him to fall in Newsome’s lap is pretty ridiculous. Even more ridiculous is Ronnie Stanley being taken over Tunsil. I know Stanley has longer arms and is more squeaky clean but I think this will be something they regret for years to come. Tunsil is such a special player and just effortlessly handles edge rushers.
  7. 49ers: DeForest Buckner-He fits their scheme perfectly but I had Buckner as the #21 player on my board as I just don’t see Buckner being a double digit sack guy and that is what they need. Their defense hasn’t been elite ever since Aldon Smith got into trouble off the field and ruined his career. They need that stud rusher as otherwise their mediocre secondary gets exposed. Buckner isn’t that stud rusher so I’m not a huge fan of this pick.
  8. Browns: Trade with the Tennessee Titans: Jack Conklin-What? I must be missing a failed drug test or something on Tunsil as I don’t understand how he’s not at least the 2nd OT taken. I like Conklin as a mid to late 1st rounder but he isn’t an elite talent and looks more like a very good RT than a potential All-Pro LT like Tunsil. This is the worst pick in the draft so far. I also am so confused at the move up. Were the Giants targeting him at #10?
  9. Bucs: Trade with Bears: Leonard Floyd-Wow this is the 4th trade in the Top 10 this year. How amazing is that! Floyd was the #27 player still available on my board so obviously I see this as a reach. He reminds me of Dion Jordan as this versatile linebacker without much pass rush production who everyone assumes will just “get it.” Well Jordan and Barkevious Mingo never got it and their lack of production in college in hindsight made them obvious busts. We shall see if Floyd can tap his immense potential or not.
  10. Giants: Eli Apple-(Pre Pick) Please do not take Laremy Tunsil. Ereck Flowers is a better fit as a RT than a LT so if Tunsil is taken they would have arguably the best duo of tackles in the league. (Pick) I love this pick because it is TERRIBLE and the Giants just blew a Top 10 pick! Apple was the #62 available player on my board and not even a top 5 CB so for him to go ahead of Hargreaves as the #1 CB is shocking. YES!!!
  11. Bucs: Vernon Hargreaves-Good pick. Hargreaves one pick after Apple will be a fun comparison and should embarrass the Giants for years. I’m confused why the Giants weren’t interested in him as his film is SO much better than Apple’s. Oh well, Giants loss. That being said this draft is already getting weird and lots of talent is falling. What team is brave and takes Tunsil or Jack. If the roll of the dice works you have an All-Pro.
  12. Saints: Sheldon Rankins (Pre-Pick) The more I think about it the more I think the Saints have to trade Drew Brees. He has dominated like normal the past two years and the Saints aren’t even in playoff contention due to their atrocious defense. If they trade Brees they’d get a decent haul and immediately would be one of the 3 worst teams in the league which is what they need to be for a year or two so they can upgrade their overall team talent. Hindsight being 20/20 but would the Rams have given a similar haul for Brees that they gave to move up for Goff? Their D is great and their running game is very good so I could see them make that trade so they go into the new LA market as an immediate playoff team and a contender for the title. Also would Brees take a paycut if he was trade to the Broncos? Brees has made +$140 mil in his career and might consider, having just seen Peyton pick up a ring late in his career despite an atrocious year statistically. Just a few thoughts. (Pick) I like Rankins but this is a bit high in my opinion. The Saints are terrible all over their defense so why not trade back and use the depth at DT in this draft to add a valuable pick in the 3rd round and still get a 1st round caliber DT 10 picks later. Rankins will be a good starter from Day 1 and the Saints will still be a terrible defense. Nothing changes short term with this pick.
  13. Dolphins: Laremy Tunsil-This is the best pick in the draft. I know teams are scared about the pot video but come on lots of players smoke weed in the NFL and the fact that he hasn’t failed any drug tests at Ole Miss or at the Combine show me that he smokes weed but he doesn’t have to do it all the time, Randy Gregory being the opposite case. Also this could motivate Tunsil. The two trades were expected to cost him millions and now this video has cost him even more. Tunsil has been a blue chip player since high school and is effortless in pass protection. Imagine what happens when he becomes even more motivated to dominate. I think the Dolphins just made Ryan Tannehill a better QB and Jay Ajai a better RB.
  14. Raiders: Karl Joseph-Wow. That is interesting. I love Joseph but had him as a prime target for the Cowboys at the top of the 2nd round. As a mid 1st guy he’s a bit of a reach. That being said the kid has great character, his teammates love him, he’s one of the biggest hitters in the draft and he has good agility in coverage. He is a complete safety and each year I’m surprised at how quickly the safeties go. It is probably time I stop being surprised as “surprise” 1st rounders like Deone Bucanon, Damarious Randall, etc. just shows me that there aren’t enough good safeties to fill rosters. Also the Raiders are taking the right guys now. Mack, Carr, Joseph, Cooper. These are football lifers who you don’t have to motivate. The Raiders have been such a disfunctional locker room for so long that I like their strategy of placing a big emphasis on work ethic and character. A bit of a reach but Joseph won’t be a bust, he just probably would have been there at #20 if they had traded down.
  15. Browns: Corey Coleman-He was the #3 WR on my board so to go #1 at the position is surprising. That being said he has a little Odell Beckham to him as he’s explosive and quick. He has the highest upside of the three wide receivers but also is the rawest, shortest and has the highest bust potential. It’s a roll of the dice but it makes some sense. If I were the Browns I would have taken Doctson or Treadwell, probably Doctson due to Treadwell having his own red flags.
  16. Lions: Taylor Decker-Remove injury red flag Myles Jack from my board and Decker was the #1 player available so I love this pick both in value and in fit. He’s more of a RT than a LT but reminds me of Taylor Lewan in that he has just enough athleticism to be able to handle LT if necessary. With Reiff already there he gets to go to his better fit at RT where he should be a ten year pro. One of the 3-4 best picks in the draft at this point.
  17. Falcons: Keanu Neal-Eli Apple is the worst pick in the 1st round and Neal is probably the 2nd. I had him as the 85th best available player and a 4th round grade but am not surprised by this “reach” as I will be saying the same thing when the Alabama defensive tackles go as well. I just didn’t like Neal’s film and thought he was nothing but a big hitter. In today’s NFL you need cover guys on your back end and he can’t cover anyone. Kam Chancellor can’t either and that is their new head coach (former Seattle DC) but Seattle’s D is run by Thomas, Sherman, Bennett, Wagner and then Chancellor in that order. Since Atlanta doesn’t have Pro Bowl caliber guys at those other spots adding a guy like Neal won’t work as well. This to me is a huge bust.
  18. Colts: Ryan Kelly-I like Kelly but had him in the 2nd round not the 1st. That being said no one graded out better in 2015 (0 sacks last year) and analytics is becoming a big deal on OL prospects, a reason I think Conklin moved up so much late in the process. Also Kelly is the only immediate starter in this center class and it is hard to fault a GM for trying to protect a franchise QB so this pick makes a lot of sense.
  19. Bills: Shaq Lawson-I like this pick, #6 available, as he has a high upside and could have gone in the 7-12 range with me having no problem with the pick. Some had Lawson higher than Bosa due to his better athleticism but obviously most did not agree with that sentiment. I didn’t either as Lawson was a 1 year starter and has some bust potential, as do all Clemson DL. That being said it’s a good pick, good value and good fit.
  20. Jets: Darron Lee-Well I knew someone would roll the dice on this kid’s greatness. I don’t love him as he’s a soft linebacker and I hate those types but he isn’t a reach here and some see him as a future star linebacker. Also the fit makes sense as coach Bowles loves to blitz his linebackers and safeties (think Bucannon, Mathieu, Dansby for the Cardinals under Bowles) and Lee’s best attribute is his speed. He ran a 4.4 40, faster than most running backs and wide receivers and will excel as a blitzer. I don’t love Lee but if I was to take him I’d want Bowles as his coach.
  21. Redskins: Trade to the Texans: Will Fuller -Will Fuller over Doctson? I question this. I know the Texans wanted speed to complement DeAndre Hopkins but watch the Clemson game where Mackensie Alexander shut him down and I question how a team would take Fuller ahead of Alexander. It isn’t a reach though here as he was the #12 guy on my board and this 1st round has had much worse reaches than this so I don’t even classify it as such, just a little surprising with Alexander still available despite thoroughly embarrassing him.
  22. Redskins: Josh Doctson– (Pre-Pick) The Cowboys just added a Pro Bowl caliber RB to the best OL in the league and the Giants and Eagles made what I consider questionable moves, right Joe? Let’s see if the Redskins make it 0-3 and screw up their pick. (Pick) I love this pick which SUCKS! Doctson was very very close to being my #1 WR as he has a lot of DeAndre Hopkins to his game with his great leaping ability and ability to highpoint the ball. He will be a very good fantasy WR as he will have some 10 TD seasons. He was the #4 player available on my board. Good value, great fit as he’s the big WR with DeSean Jackson being the smaller, speed guy.
  23. Vikings: Laquon Treadwell-He was the #3 player available so this is great value at #23 as at one time he looked like a future Top 5 or Top 10 pick. He isn’t fast so he fell a bit but his hands, strength and size are really top notch and he could really dominate smaller cornerbacks. He’s a poor man’s Dez Bryant so I like this pick, definitely more than Texans taking Fuller. This ends the run on receivers, the cornerback run probably comes next.
  24. Bengals: William Jackson III-Well the CB run has just begun, like I predicted. I really like Jackson as he’s tall and has great ball skills. If he was a little quicker and faster I would have made the Marcus Peters comparison but he just worries me a bit due to his lack of quick twitch. The Bengals love taking cornerbacks in the 1st round (Dennard, Kirkpatrick, Johnathan Joseph, etc.). It’s a smart trend as you can never have enough cornerbacks in this pass happy league so I agree with their strategy.
  25. Steelers: Artie Burns-I kind of want to go back and scout Burns as I had a late 3rd/early 4th grade on him so I didn’t have him this high but a lot of others did so maybe I missed something on him. He is tall and has the profile of a good press corner but to me he’s Mike Rumph as he’s very tight and I just didn’t love his tape. We shall see how Burns works out but at the very least you have to wonder why Mackensie is dropping since he had the highest upside of any CB in this draft in my opinion and is still on the board with 4 CBs taken.
  26. Broncos: Paxton Lynch-Well I made the comparison to Brock Osweiler so I’m surprised I didn’t ever make the connection, mainly because I saw the Broncos taking a QB more in the middle rounds. I think it makes some sense but of course I’m a Connor Cook guy so this isn’t my cup of tea. Lynch is raw with a strong arm, great build and has accuracy. I just didn’t see him reading defenses or threading the needle so I don’t see him starting as a rookie. It makes some sense though as Sanchez obviously isn’t the long term solution nor is Colin Kaepernick, Brian Hoyer or Ryan Fitzpatrick in my opinion.
  27. Packers: Kenny Clark-Wow this isn’t a horrible pick, a reach yes but not as bad as Apple, Neal or Burns per my board, but wow I’m surprised as Clark is a blue collar boring guy so to take him at #27 reminds me of Ziggy Hood in the late 1st round by the Steelers. Clark is a rotational, solid starter type. I don’t agree with this valuation by Ted Thompson.
  28. Chiefs: Joshua Garnett-Wow maybe this is the worst pick of the 1st Round and they moved up for him? He was the 82nd best player available and had a 4th round grade so there are so many reasons why I hate this maneuver. I didn’t see one draft site saying Garnett was the #1 OG in the class. I didn’t hear any 1st round chatter about him. I don’t see hm being a guy that wouldn’t have been there early in the 2nd round. This just doesn’t make sense. The 49ers have been a great drafting team the past few years but Buckner and Garnett on my board is 0-2 with Garnett being almost a negative 1 it’s so bad.
  29. Cardinals: Robert Nkemdiche-I love this pick, #5 available on my board, as it’s great value and he fits well in that locker room. I could see a Peterson and/or Mathieu mentoring him and giving him a talk about this being a huge opportunity for him and to make the most of it. I also think it is the time in the draft where you start rolling the dice on the high risk/high reward guys like Nkemdiche, Myles Jack and maybe even Jaylon Smith if the knee checks out long term and you’re only worried about losing him for 2016 and not beyond.
  30. Panthers: Vernon Butler-He was #27 available with a late 2nd round grade on my board so it’s a reach to me but the DT class was differently ranked on everyone’s board so it isn’t that big of a surprise. What is more of a surprise is that they went DT instead of DE or CB as DT and LB are the two biggest strengths of their team. It makes me wonder if they are already admitting that Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei BOTH won’t be re-signed. Maybe they looked at how difficult life has been for the Jets with Muhammad Wilkerson’s contract negotiations and are going to sign one, trade the other or just lose the other for a 3rd round compensatory pick and plug in Butler as if nothing bad even happened. It’s an interesting long view look at running a franchise but considering they just let their best DB go for nothing it shows again that the Panthers won’t be held hostage by a player no matter how talented they are.
  31. Seahawks: Germain Ifedi-I love the fit as the Seahawks have a terrible OL. I also think this could work out as Ifedi has a lot of talent and at one time had a 1st round grade on many boards but he dropped to an early 3rd round grade as he never developed from his earlier years and it seems like a bit of a reach. I don’t mind reaches as much when they fit a need so well and this one definitely does so it’s a solid pick for a franchise that really could use some good drafting as there past 3 drafts have been pretty atrocious.

Final Thoughts: I think the Jaguars (Ramsey), Rams (Goff), Cowboys (Elliott), Redskins (Doctson) and Dolphins (Tunsil) all made very good selections that should make their teams noticeably better in 2016. I think the Colts (Ryan Kelly), Cardinals (Nkemdiche), Bills (Lawson) and Vikings (Treadwell) all made selections that are good fits for what they are trying to accomplish and likely will work out well for those franchises, though on a lower expectation level than that first group of teams I mentioned. Finally I think that the 49ers (Buckner, Garrett), Giants (Apple), , Bears (Floyd), Falcons (Neal) and Steelers (Burns) all made very questionable moves that could be disastrous. I think we will look back at this draft and wonder why Myles Jack, Noah Spence, Mackensie Alexander and Emmanuel Ogbah weren’t 1st rounders. These four guys have high grades on my board and were in the 1st round mix. The other guy with a high grade on my board that is still available is Kendall Fuller but I was already prepared to have him still available long after he should be as most don’t value him like I do. The Cowboys are on the clock 2 selections from now so most likely all or all but one of those four guys will be available and three of them (Spence/Ogbah at DE, Alexander at CB) fill a need. The Cowboys draft was good with Elliott at #4 and it could become great if they grab one of those guys at #34. My final thought: Tyron Smith is 25 years old, Travis Frederick is 25, La’el Collins is 22 and Zack Martin is 25. Elliott is a baby at 20 years old and will be just entering his prime when this OL is in the middle of theirs. I preferred Dallas took Jalen Ramsey as I viewed him as a better pure talent but Dallas just paired one of the better RB prospects to come out of college in awhile with the best offensive line in the NFL AND we should expect them to play together for the next 5-7 years. Tony Romo is 36 years old and is injury prone. There are worse things than hitching your wagon to the league’s best rushing attack so that you can more comfortably maneuver around the eventual decline of your franchise QB. John Elway won his only Super Bowls late in his career when he relied on a dominant running game. Maybe Tony Romo will get to ride off in the sunset too as a Super Bowl winner who played second fiddle to an All-Pro running back that dominated the competition.

Mike Mayock I want your job! 2015 Recap

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Todd Gurley vs. Melvin Gordon: Gurley was Offensive Rookie of the Year with 1,106 yds and 10 TD on 4.8 ypc. Gordon averaged 3.5 ypc and people aren’t completely sure he will end 2016 as the team’s starting RB. Result: Huge win for Jon (+1.0)

Marcus Peters vs. Trae Waynes: Peters was Defensive Rookie of the Year, a Pro Bowler and rated as the #5 CB in all of football by profootballreference.com. His 8 INTs immediately put him on the radar as a ballhawk and he became feared by the end of the season due to his playmaking ability. Waynes was beat out by Terance Newman for the starting job and was the #3 CB all year. Result: Huge win for Jon (+1.0)

Jameis Winston vs. Marcus Mariota: Jameis was 2nd in voting for Offensive Rookie of the Year. He passed for 4,042 yards (2,818 yds for Mariota). Mariota had a slightly better QB Rating than Jameis but the Bucs were much better offensively than the Titans were and were in playoff contention to the end of the season. Result: Small win for Jon (+0.5)

Nelson Agholar vs. Breshad Perriman: Agholar struggled as the #3 WR (under 300 yards receiving) while Perriman never even played a down due to injury. Result: Push

Xavier Cooper vs. Eddie Goldman: Cooper and Goldman were backups with 19 and 22 tackles on the season, respectively. Both are expected to push for more playing time in their 2nd year but were stuck behind veterans. Result: Push

Donovan Smith vs. DJ Humprhies: Smith started all 16 games at LT while Humphries never played a snap as a rookie. Result: Huge win for Jon (+1.0)

Landon Collins vs. Damarius Randall: Landon had 112 tackles and 1 INT while Randall played less but was solid with 58 tackles and 3 INT. Result: Small win for Jon (+0.5)

Tyler Lockett vs. Phillip Dorsett: Lockett had 51 664 and 6 TDs and was a Pro Bowler and 1st Team All-Pro. Dorsett barely played. Result: Huge win for Jon (+1.0)

Andrus Peat vs. Erick Flowers: Peat played in 12 games, started 8, while Flowers started 15 games. Result: Small win for Mayock (+0.5)

Vic Beasley vs. Bud Dupree: Beasley had 26 tackles and 4 sacks while Dupree also somehow had 26 tackles and 4 sacks? Seriously? Result: Push (obviously)

This is the most one sided draft recap we’ve had yet with Team Anderson winning 5.0 to 0.5 over Team Mayock. Also I have to crow a little here as when will I ever again be able to say I picked both the offensive and defensive rookies of the year, as well as the offensive rookie of the year runner up, in the same recap? Gurley over Gordon, Peters over Waynes and Lockett over Dorsett are slam dunk wins for me that should continue for years to come. If there ever was an article I could point someone to as to why they should read my blog it is this one.

I nailed this draft during my live blog:

1. Bucs: Jameis Winston QB-I love the pick and I get how people can hate him, I dislike him myself, but I really consider Jameis to be a franchise QB and those come around once every 2-3 years. The Bucs are immediately in contention in the NFC South, where the Panthers won the division last year with a losing record, as he has Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins who was having an okay rookie season before it was cut short by injury. Don’t be surprised if they got 8-8 or 9-7 next season and are in playoff contention immediately.

10. Rams: Todd Gurley-I love it. You have other needs but the #1 guy on my board at this point was Danny Shelton and they are already stocked too deep at the position. The #3 guy on my board was Todd Gurley and with Tre Mason, Zack Stacy and Bennie Cunningham already on board they can give him plenty of time to let him get 100% healthy. If I were them I would PUP list him and then use him as a hammer in the 2nd half of the season since he’ll be fresh and motivated.

18. Chiefs: Marcus Peters-Damn it! I was really hoping that Peters getting kicked off of the team last year would be enough to have him drop to the Cowboys at #27. I love this kid and have him as the #1 CB in the draft and almost a Top 10 pick even with his baggage. He’s big, physical, quick and has elite ball skills. I see him as a potential Pro Bowl player. Great pick.

24. Cardinals: DJ Humphries-The second pick in the 1st round that didn’t make my Top 50, he was #63 as a mid 2nd rounder and I liked him as a capable starting OT, likely RT, in this league but wow in the first round? That is a pretty tough pick for me to swallow. I might actually make the case the Dupree pick is better than Humphries as at least I had heard some people give Dupree 1st round chatter. I never heard Humphries as a 1st rounder before.

69. Seahawks: Tyler Lockett-Hey remember that time long ago when I criticized the Seahawks? Uh neither do I let’s just not talk about it okay? The Lockett pick is one of the 3 best today. I love it as I had a higher grade on him than I did on Phillip Dorsett and really considered him in the late 1st round. He and Russell Wilson will be a scary duo. I’m serious when I say that this kid could be a Pro Bowler. He’s that under the radar. He was my #5 available.

And nailed this draft during my lead up to it with the Anderson-Mayock comparisons:

Todd Gurley-Melvin Gordon: I had to do a double take when I first looked at Mayock’s board as he talked up Gurley the entire draft process. In the end though he put Gordon not just as the #1 RB but as the clear cut #1 RB with Gordon #10 Overall on his board and Gurley only #19. I had Gurley as my #1 RB and #9 Overall with Gordon #11 Overall. Even with the injury concerns Gurley stayed at #1 as he has Hall of Fame potential and could be the best running back of this generation. That upside is worth a roll of the dice but Gordon should also have a very good career and could be superior in his first season as he is he is fully healthy and has the better quarterback to team up with. In the end though, talent wins out and I expect Gurley to have a much better career as long as he stays healthy, with that asterisk being the only reason their two grades were so close on my board.

Donovan Smith-DJ Humphries: Smith was the sleeper in this tackle group as I had a Top 20 grade on him (#17) and thought he was capable of being that rare road grading LT. Humphries to me was just another guy as he had an early 3rd round grade (#64) as he didn’t seem that athletic or strong on film. Mayock disagreed as he had Humphries (#25) ahead of Smith (#40) and apparently didn’t see anything wrong with DJ as a first rounder. I considered it to be one of the biggest reaches of the 1st round. This is another one that should be fun as both are projected as their team’s starting LT in 2015 and rookie left tackles usually sink or swim rather quickly in the NFL. (I read an article just today going back and doing a redraft of the 1st round. In their opinion Humphries was the worst pick in the round. Not a hard argument to make since he didn’t even participate in a snap last year.)

Marcus Peters-Trae Waynes: Every year there are a few top level guys that Mayock and I disagree on and this appears to be one of them as Peters is my #1 CB but only #3 on Mayock’s board and Waynes is his #1 CB but only #3 on my board. I absolutely love Peters size, strength and ball skills and only think Waynes was a late 1st round talent that catapulted into the top of the draft due to an overrated 40 time (4.31). Both have experience in a press cover system, a rarity for prospects in college, so both should be expected to start early in their careers which should make this a fun comparison. By the way the consensus is with Mayock on this one as Peters was rarely the #1 CB on various media scouts’ boards and often was #3, #4 or even #5 behind a Jalen Collins or Byron Jones.

Tyler Lockett-Phillip Dorsett: Mayock had Dorsett (#34) well ahead of Lockett (#70) and it played out that way on draft day but I saw Lockett as one of the best wideouts in this draft (#32) as he actually was ahead of Breshad Perriman as my #5 WR. Dorsett has a lot of speed in a similarly small frame to Lockett’s yet seems to lack the strength and polished all around game that Tyler has. Dorsett settled in as a late 2nd round talent for me (#60) and I basically have Mayock’s grades flipped between the two. Once again this is Mayock and the consensus against me as I didn’t see anyone with as high a grade on Lockett as I did. Lockett got serious 1st round consideration from me as he reminded me a lot of Antonio Brown with his quickness, hands, and speed.

Top 150 Players for the 2016 NFL Draft

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The draft board is offically finalized. Also as a side note a lot of people have asked why say there are only 3 players in my Top 5. Well that isn’t Top 5 players in this specific draft but Top 5 grade which means I’d be comfortable taking that player with a Top 5 pick in ANY draft. Every year guys go in the Top 10 or 1st Round that aren’t really valued as such players as teams reach or a draft just runs out of 1st rounder caliber players before 1st round picks are completed so I rate players by their value not where they are selected. It also allows me to more easily compare draft classes as some years there are more than five players with Top 5 grades, other years there are less. This year there are 3 Top 5 grades, 7 Top 10 grades and 33 1st Round grades which is about average.

  1. Laremy Tunsil OT Ole Miss               Top 5
  2. Jalen Ramsey CB Florida St.
  3. Jared Goff QB Cal
  4. Ezekiel Elliott RB Ohio St.                 Top 10
  5. Myles Jack LB UCLA
  6. Joey Bosa PR Ohio St.
  7. Ronnie Stanley OT Notre Dame
  8. Taylor Decker OT Ohio St.                   Top 15
  9. Carson Wentz QB North Dakota St.
  10. Noah Spence PR Eastern Kentucky
  11. Laquon Treadwell WR Ole Miss
  12. Josh Doctson WR TCU
  13. Vernon Hargreaves CB Florida
  14. Mackensie Alexander CB Clemson
  15. Shaq Lawson PR Clemson
  16. Emmanuel Ogbah PR Oklahoma St.
  17. Robert Nkemdiche DT Ole Miss
  18. Kendall Fuller CB Virginia Tech
  19. Connor Cook QB Michigan St.              Top 20
  20. Corey Coleman WR Baylor
  21. DeForest Buckner PR Oregon
  22. Shon Coleman OT Auburn
  23. William Jackson III CB Houston           Late 1st Round
  24. Jack Conklin OT Michigan St.
  25. Reggie Ragland LB Alabama
  26. Will Fuller WR Notre Dame
  27. Derrick Henry RB Alabama
  28. Darron Lee LB Ohio St.
  29. Andrew Billings DT Baylor
  30. Sheldon Rankins DT Louisville
  31. Hunter Henry TE Arkansas
  32. Jalen Mills S LSU
  33. Karl Joseph S West Virginia
  34. Jonathan Bullard DT Florida                   Early 2nd Round
  35. Leonard Floyd PR Georgia
  36. Hassan Ridgeway DT Texas
  37. Tyler Johnstone OG Oregon
  38. Paxton Lynch QB Memphis
  39. Adolphus Washington DT Ohio St.
  40. Jason Spriggs OT Indiana
  41. Ryan Kelly C Alabama
  42. DJ White CB Georgia Tech
  43. Michael Thomas WR Ohio St.                  Mid 2nd Round
  44. Tyler Boyd WR Pittsburgh
  45. Carl Nassib PR Penn St.
  46. Cody Whitehair OG Kansas St.
  47. Cody Kessler QB USC
  48. Eric Murray CB Minnesota
  49. Cyrus Jones CB Alabama                           Late 2nd Round
  50. Braxton Miller WR Ohio St.
  51. Vernon Butler DT Louisiana Tech
  52. John Theus OT Georgia
  53. Zack Sanchez CB Oklahoma
  54. Keyarris Garrett WR Tulsa
  55. Kenny Clark DT UCLA
  56. Von Bell CB Ohio St.
  57. Su’a Cravens LB USC
  58. Pharoh Cooper WR South Carolina          Early 3rd Round
  59. Tyler Higbee TE Western Kentucky
  60. Germain Ifedi OT Texas A&M
  61. Jaylon Smith LB Notre Dame
  62. A’Shawn Robinson DT Alabama
  63. Bronson Kaufusi PR BYU
  64. Scooby Wright LB Arizona
  65. Eric Striker LB Oklahoma
  66. Spencer Drango OG Baylor
  67. Kevin Hogan QB Stanford
  68. Xavien Howard CB Baylor
  69. Max Tuerk C USC
  70. Jonathan Jones CB Auburn                            Mid 3rd Round
  71. Eli Apple CB Ohio St.
  72. Christian Hackenberg QB Penn St.
  73. Maliek Collins DT Nebraska
  74. Sterling Shepard WR Oklahoma
  75. Kamalai Correa Boise St.
  76. Nick Martin C Notre Dame
  77. Jonathan Williams RB Arkansas
  78. Jerald Hawkins OT LSU
  79. Kevin Dodd DE Clemson
  80. CJ Prosise RB Notre Dame
  81. Kentrell Brothers LB Missouri
  82. Kenneth Dixon RB Louisiana Tech
  83. Austin Hooper TE Stanford
  84. Jerell Adams TE South Carolina
  85. Javon Hargrave DT South Carolina St.
  86. Joe Haig OT North Dakota St.
  87. Roger Lewis WR Bowling Green
  88. Jack Allen C Michigan St.                                 Late 3rd Round
  89. TJ Green S Clemson
  90. Vadal Alexander OG LSU
  91. Malcolm Mitchell WR Georgia
  92. Le’Raven Clark OT Texas Tech
  93. Deion Jones LB LSU
  94. Shilique Calhoun PR Michigan St.
  95. Connor McGovern OG Missouri
  96. Jordan Howard RB Indiana
  97. Jordan Jenkins LB Georgia
  98. Miles Killibrew S Southern Utah
  99. Jordan Payton WR UCLA
  100. Maurice Canady S Virginia                                Early 4th Round
  101. Chris Jones DT Mississippi St.
  102. Keanu Neal S Florida
  103. Leonte Caroo WR Rutgers
  104. Devontae Booker RB Utah
  105. Matt Judon PR Akron
  106. Fahn Cooper OT Ole Miss
  107. Artie Burns CB Miami                                        Mid 4th Round
  108. Sebastian Tretola OG Arkansas
  109. Joshua Garnett OG Stanford
  110. Austin Johnson DT Penn St.
  111. Sheldon Day DT Notre Dame
  112. Alex Collins RB Arkansas
  113. Cardale Jones QB Ohio St.
  114. Darian Thompson S Boise St.
  115. Kyler Fackrell LB Utah St.
  116. Tyler Matakevich LB Temple
  117. Will Redmond CB Mississippi St.                    Late 4th Round
  118. Joe Schobert LB Wisconsin
  119. Kolby Listenbee WR TCU
  120. Jihad Ward DT Illinois
  121. Tyler Ervin RB San Jose St.
  122. Cole Toner OG Harvard
  123. Jeremy Cash S Duke                                             Early 5th Round
  124. Bryce Williams TE East Carolina
  125. Joshua Perry LB Ohio St.
  126. Brandon Allen QB Arkansas                              Mid 5th Round
  127. Jake Brendel C UCLA
  128. Jatavis Brown LB Akron
  129. Landon Turner OG North Carolina
  130. Kyle Murphy OT Stanford
  131. Aaron Burbridge WR Michigan St.
  132. Jayron Kearse S Clemson                                    Late 5th Round
  133. Nick Vannett TE Ohio St.
  134. Kenyon Drake RB Alabama
  135. Charone Peake WR Clemson
  136. Graham Glasgow OG Michigan                         Early 6th Round
  137. Vernon Adams QB Oregon                                  Mid 6th Round
  138. Yannick Ngakoue PR Maryland
  139. Adam Gotsis DT Georgia Tech
  140. Jarran Reed DT Alabama
  141. BJ Goodson LB Clemson
  142. Rashard Higgins WR Colorado St.
  143. Blake Martinez LB Stanford
  144. Christian Westerman OG Arizona St.
  145. Kelvin Taylor RB Florida
  146. Charles Tapper PR Oklahoma                            Early 7th Round
  147. Dak Prescott QB Mississippi St.                        Mid 7th Round
  148. Kenny Lawler WR California
  149. Daniel Lasco RB California
  150. Shawn Oakman PR Baylor                                   Free Agent
  151. Evan Boehm C Missouri
  152. Jason Fanaika PR Utah
  153. Paul Perkins RB UCLA

2016 RB Rankings

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  1. Ezekiel Elliott Ohio State 5’11 ¾ 225 Jr. He ran a 4.47 40 which is elite for a RB of his size. His ‘10 ¼ hands are huge, tied for the biggest amongst all running backs at the Combine, and is good to see as big hands usually means few fumbles. He had 1,821 yds rushing in 2015 which would be in the running for tops in the country most years. Last year it was only good for 5th but at 6.3 ypc he did it very efficiently. I also love how consistent he is as he had 1,878 yds in 2014 on 6.88 ypc. Considering how different his 2014 and 2015 offenses were, it is a testament to his pure talent that he could excel in any situation. Teams in 2015 knew Ohio State struggled throwing the ball, they stacked the box and Elliott still exploded on them. Michigan State and Hawaii (38-0 win so not necessarily a valid game to complain about) were the only teams that held him to under 4.3 ypc. As a runner he’s a complete back as he’s a good pass blocker, pass catcher out of the backfield, he can lower his shoulder to get tough yards and then he can break a long one to the end zone. His 2015 Indiana game is impressive as he broke numerous long runs and each one wasn’t just a wide open hole he raced through but a cut here, a broken tackle there and then he was in the open field and couldn’t be caught. His lateral quickness and vision are rare for a back with his strength and quickness. He can juke guys and leap over guys but he doesn’t get too fancy with his footwork and usually is one cut and go. NFL teams will like that N/S style he has. Purely on talent his ceiling isn’t as high as Todd Gurley’s was last year, who I openly stated had Hall of Fame potential, but Elliott is one of the most talented backs to come out of college in quite awhile and he’s very safe too. He doesn’t lack the burst that resulted in Trent Richardson being a bust, he isn’t injury prone like Gurley and he dodges people and avoids punishment unlike next year’s Top 5 pick Leonard Fournette. Elliott projects as a future Pro Bowl running back who will excel as a runner and receiver. He’s the rare prospect that can both be called one of the flashiest players in a draft and also one of the safest as a prospect. Top 10 as my #1 RB 4/27/16.
  2. Derrick Henry Alabama 6’2 ⅝ 247 Jr. 2015 Heisman Trophy Winner with 2,219 yds rushing on 5.62 ypc with 28 TDs. His Combine was freakish as his size is so big the best comparison wasn’t between him and other running backs but between him and pass rusher Von Miller. Henry at 247 lbs ran a 4.54 40, ‘37 vertical and 10’10 broad with Miller at 246 lbs running a 4.53 40, ‘37 vertical and 10’6 broad. Miller is one of the best athletes in the league and Henry basically matched his Combine (Miller’s quickness drills were far superior to Henry’s). On film Henry is just a behemoth of a man. It takes him a bit of time to get going and he doesn’t have great lateral quickness but he has legit 4.5 speed as he made countless breakaways against NFL caliber defenders. He also is more slippery with his long legs than you would think and can often step out of tackles. His best attribute though, obviously, is his frame and size which allows him to be a true workhorse back. He had 395 carries last year and it didn’t seem to faze him as in his final 4 games he carried the ball 46, 44, 20 and 36 times. Only against Michigan State (the 20 carry game) did he have less than 150 yards rushing and those were some of the biggest games of the year and his career. Negative wise he wasn’t the most efficient runner with his 5.62 ypc being well below Eddie Lacy’s 6.48-7.25 ypc in his three seasons and much more similar to Trent Richardson’s 5.20-6.25 ypc for his three seasons. He only had 91 receiving yards last year and doesn’t project to ever be a three down back. Not surprisingly he reminds me of another former Alabama back, Eddie Lacy, in that they are one dimensional yet they are so good at that one thing, running in between the tackles, that they are still in the 1st round conversation. Due to his size he is a very good pass protector. Henry is a scary prospect to evaluate as he is an elite athlete with rare size that could become an All-Pro at the next level. Yet the NFL is becoming more and more a passing league, he has no ability as a receiver, he won’t get force fed the ball 30x a game at the next level, his efficiency as a runner isn’t great and the past three highly touted Alabama backs have not been terribly successful. Overall I think Henry is a superior athlete and talent than the other Alabama backs and he ran behind an offensive line that was very average outside the center and left tackle spot. Watching the tape Henry made a lot of those yards on his own as he regularly gained yards after contact and really surprised defenses week in and week out with how fast he was in the open field. His one dimensional nature makes him an unnatural fit in many offenses but he could be an All-Pro in the right one if featured. Late 1st round as my #2 RB 4/28/16.
  3. Jonathan Williams Arkansas 5’11 220 Sr. In 2014 when he and Collins were both healthy he looked like the more NFL caliber back. Williams missed all of 2015 with a foot injury. He is still recovering and didn’t work out at the Combine. Of the two I always like Williams more than Collins as he’s stronger, smoother and has more of a look of a lead back. He isn’t a great athlete, likely would have had a 4.6 40, but he is a bigger back that breaks a lot of tackles so he’s able to act like he’s coming right at you, the defender lowers himself for impact and then he makes a small cut to get by. It’s a unique move and is really effective. I see potential for him to be a low level starter but at worst he should be a quality #2 RB and could be a good pairing with a smaller, more explosive back. Mid 3rd round as my #3 RB 4/28/16.
  4. CJ Prosise Notre Dame 6’0 ½ 220 Jr. Redshirted one year. He ran a 4.48 40 which is very good at his size and his ‘35 ½ vertical and 10’1 broad were all above average. He had 1,029 yds rushing on 6.55 ypc with 308 yds receiving in 2015. It was his only season with significant playing time at RB as he was a WR his first two seasons at Notre Dame. He’s a size/speed guy as he is very raw with limited vision and without great cutting ability. He could be successful in the NFL though as a one cut and go type runner as he has a noticeable burst to him and makes some runs that wow you. His ypc was very good and his 1,029 yds rushing is impressive when you realize he got almost all of that in the first 7 games of the year. What isn’t impressive is why he got almost all of those yards in that time frame as he was basically worthless the last 6 games due to injuries from a concussion to a shoulder injury. Prosise is clearly still learning the RB position and is noticeably raw. His size/speed ratio is borderline elite though and he projects as a backup RB early in his career with the potential to be a high end starter down the road as he gets more comfortable in the position. Unfortunately his odds of becoming that high end starter are low as he just doesn’t have very good vision, lacks any real power behind his pads despite his 220 listed weight and has a Roy Helu type game which is more tease than substance. That being said size/speed can’t be taught and he has one of the better ratios in this weak RB draft class so he could go early. Mid 3rd round as my #4 RB 4/27/16.
  5. Kenneth Dixon Louisiana Tech 5’10 ⅛ 215 Sr. He ran a 4.58 40 which isn’t surprising as he isn’t a speed back on film either. The rest of his Combine impressed me though with a ‘37 ½ vertical and 6.97 3 cone. He had a great freshman year with 1,194 yds rushing on 5.97 ypc yet plateaued from there with his next three seasons getting him 917-1,299 yds on 5.13-6.07 ypc. He never took that next step which I thought he would but in hindsight it’s probably because he was never a great talent to begin with. He looks the part of an NFL running back with perfect height/weight. He has good vision and a smooth running style to him that makes him look faster than he is. He lacks a great burst but he is quick and is adept at cutting suddenly which gives him a little shiftiness. Watching his film vs. Prosise or Booker is a breath of fresh air as he has less talent than them but he’s just a much better runner and knows what he’s doing. He has good thickness to him and plays with good pad level but he isn’t a bulldozer and is only average at yards after contact. He reminds me of Tashard Choice and will likely have a similar career as he’s an experienced runner that has solid athleticism, good vision and can make people miss with his cutting ability. He lacks the size or athleticism to be a quality starter but he can provide good insurance to a team as a #2 back and could handle a bell cow like workload for a few weeks if the starter went down with an injury. Mid 3rd round as my #5 RB 4/27/16.
  6. Jordan Howard Indiana 5’11 ⅞ 230 Jr. He didn’t run at the Combine but had a ‘34 vertical and 10’2 broad both of which were above average. He transferred from UAB where he 881 and 1,587 yd seasons to Indiana in 2015 (1,213 yds rushing on 6.19 ypc with only 106 receiving yds). Howard is a thick back that runs downhill. He has decent speed, likely runs a high 4.5/low 4.6, but isn’t a complete back by any stretch as he has terrible lateral quickness and isn’t experienced as a receiver. As an inside runner though he’s one of the best in this draft as he doesn’t go down on arm tackles and really lays the wood on people. Also just as you think he’s purely a power back he shows just enough speed and vision to beat you in other ways. Power is his calling card though and he projects as a thunder to someone’s lightning in a running back by committee type situation. He will excel on short yardage and goal lines runs and then can be sprinkled in 5-10x more a game to give a running game some power while resting the more athletic, flashier back. Howard’s strengths and limitations are abundantly clear. In the right system and with the right running back pairing he could be effective. Late 3rd round as my #6 RB 4/27/16.
  7. Devontae Booker Utah 5’11 219 Sr. Redshirted one year. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He didn’t run at the Combine due to a late season knee injury. In 2015 he had 1,261 yd rushing on 4.71 ypc with 318 yds as a receiver. It wasn’t as good as his 2014 season (1,512 yds rushing on 5.18 ypc with 311 as a receiver) with neither ypc being all that good, especially in the Pac-12 where defenses aren’t considered as stout as in the SEC or even possibly Big Ten. Booker shows good speed on film, likely running a high 4.4, low 4.5 which is very solid for his frame. At 219 lbs he’s a thicker back but on film he has a long gait which isn’t terribly common for a running back. He’s a lefty and throws a good spiral on trick plays. He has good speed and runs aggressively, has a bit of recklessness to his running style, but his long legs, thinner frame and mediocre pad level don’t impress me. He’s a slippery back and cuts well but he gets few yards after contact which is again strange for his 219 weight. Going back I reviewed his listed weight at Utah and it was only 203 in 2014 and 213 in 2015 so the 219 weight could easily be different from his playing weight. On film he reminds me a bit of Isaiah Pead, the former 2nd round bust for the Rams. There are a lot of mediocre runs on film with Booker. Some of it has to do with an offense that wasn’t dynamic but part of it is that he doesn’t have great speed, doesn’t have good vision and has no power to his game. His running style is awkward and he seems almost like a wide receiver playing running back at times. Some view him as a very good prospect and the #3 RB in this draft, I do not. Early 4th round as my #7 RB who looks like a change of pace back at the next level due to his herky jerky running style and poor pad level which likely will make him injury prone 4/27/16.
  8. Alex Collins Arkansas 5’10 217 Jr. He’s the more explosive of the Arkansas backs. He ran a 4.59 40 which isn’t as good as I expected. His explosion drills were below average. He was the change of pace back to Jonathan Williams until 2015 when Williams was hurt and it gave him unlimited touches. He responded with the same efficiency (5.39-5.82 ypc all three seasons) but upped his rushing total from 1026-1100 to 1,577. He is quick footed and has a little juke to him. He doesn’t have good strength and isn’t an elite athlete, quicker than fast, so he looks like a #2 RB in the NFL which makes sense as that basically was his role in college. I also am not thrilled with his ypc as he had a very solid OL in front of him. Mid 4th round as my #8 RB 4/28/16.
  9. Tyler Ervin San Jose State 5’9 ⅞ 192 Sr. Redshirted one year. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a blazing 40 (4.41) and showed elite athleticism with his vertical (‘39) and broad jump (10’10). Barely played his first three years (1 redshirt) and then had 888 yds and 1,601 yds rushing. His ypc of 5.45 his last year was mediocre. He’s extremely thin and is more like a WR than a RB. He has true gamebreaking speed and just blows by people in the open field. He should be a good kick returner. He played a weak schedule but his speed looked elite against teams like Auburn too. He is similar to a Dri Archer type as he can be a little bit RB, a little bit slot receiver. His speed is elite and if used correctly he could be an impact player but these types of guys have such a high bust rate and Ervin seems injury prone to me as his frame and lack of strength is even more obvious than other guys in this mold. Late 4th round as my #9 RB who is a Dri Archer type scat back with elite speed 4/28/16.
  10. Kenyan Drake Alabama 6’0 ⅝ 210 Sr. He ran a 4.45 40 which is very good but I was expecting a little better. His ‘34 ½ vertical and 10’3 broad were very good too. You could immediately tell when Drake came onto the field as his athleticism was impressive. After his 2013 season where he had few touches but averaged 7.54 ypc and 11.25 ypr I expected big things yet he missed almost the entire season in 2014 due to injury and didn’t seem to be 100% in 2015. That being said he looks the part of a change of pace back as he’s an elite athlete with a lack of strength, lack of vision and who is injury prone. There are a lot of guys like that on NFL rosters as #3 RBs who get 3-5 touches a game and sometimes make an impact. Drake will be that guy and should be drafted according to his low visibility role. Some people might still think of Drake as a late bloomer with starter potential but they are mistaken as he’s shown his true colors, he’s a tease and can’t be counted on for consistent production. Late 5th round as my #10 RB who is a good late round addition to a backfield due to his elite athleticism 4/28/16.
  11. Kelvin Taylor Florida 5’10 ¼ 207 Jr. Son of Fred Taylor. He was a big time recruit coming out of HS. He ran a 4.60 40 (below average) and was below average in his explosion drills as well. In all three of his seasons he averaged less than 5.0 ypc which is atrocious for college. He has great quickness and is an elite cutter but he just doesn’t have much of a burst and looks like a 4.6 guy with great cutting ability. I think his vision and cutting ability will get him a backup roster spot on some team but he just lacks the athleticism to ever be more than that. Mid 6th round as my #11 RB 4/28/16.
  12. Daniel Lasco California 6’0 ¼ 209 Sr. Redshirted one year. 5 years out of HS so he’s an older prospect. He ran a 4.46 40 with a rare ‘41 ½ vertical and 11’3 broad! IN 3 of his 4 seasons he had under 400 yards rushing with 2014 (1,115 on 5.31 ypc) being his big season. In 2015 he had a hip injury that kept him under wraps even when he was able to make it on the field. Late round flier type that likely won’t be drafted despite his elite measurables. Mid 7th round as my #12 RB 4/28/16.
  13. Paul Perkins UCLA 5’10 ⅜ 208 Jr. Redshirted one year. He ran a 4.54 40 and was mediocre in the explosion drills as well. He had back to back seasons with +1,300 yds yet his ypc declined from 6.27 in 2014 to 5.67 in 2015. He also had an elite OL to run behind throughout his career. He has no burst for a guy of his small stature. He has good vision and is surprisingly tough for his size but he doesn’t look like an NFL runner to me. Free Agent as my #13 4/28/16.

Draft Thoughts Part 4

While studying up on players I ran into a bunch of draft nuggets I found interesting. Also below are random opinions of mine that might be interesting for readers to see the night before the draft.

  • Joey Bosa and Shaq Lawson are both juniors yet somehow Lawson is 25 months older than Bosa. That isn’t because Lawson is an older prospect but because Bosa will be 20 years old when he is drafted. Very few players are that young and it’s worth noting as it can be argued that his upside should be expanded due to his precociousness, 1st Team Big Ten as a 17-18 year old! Rarely is a 20 year old drafted, with one of the most successful ones that I can remember being Tyron Smith.
  • Everyone knows Derrick Henry led the nation in rushing last year on his way to the Heisman. Surprisingly he didn’t lead the nation in rushing yards per game, Leonard Fournette did, and by a comfortable margin (163 ypg vs. 148). I find it a little unfair that Henry with his 15 games in 2015 was able to sneak past Fournette for the rushing championship just because his team made the SEC Championship game and college football playoff.
  • I love Ezekiel Elliott but on raw talent I have to say that Todd Gurley is a superior player. Next year Leonard Fournette likely will have a higher ranking on my board than Elliott as his size/speed ratio is absolutely staggering. So while I love Elliott it is hard to defend spending a Top 5 pick on a guy that is arguably the third best RB in a three draft span, especially considering how rare it is for any running back to be taken in the Top 10, let alone Top 5, in this pass happy version of the NFL we are currently in.
  • That being said I continue to salivate thinking of Elliott behind the best offensive line in the league. If Ramsey is gone at #3 I’d prefer the Cowboys take Elliott over Bosa as there is potential there for greatness. A trade down for Elliott, Bosa or Jack would be my dream scenario.
  • Laremy Tunsil is the highest rated OT I’ve graded since Joe Thomas in 2007. He’s the #1 Overall Player on my board and on quite a few other people’s boards. I have to think that some team will surprise people and move up for Tunsil if/when he starts dropping as right now it would surprise me if he WASN’T available for the Jaguars at #5. Again guys, #1 player on most people’s boards.
  • The next highest “consensus” player on everyone’s board is Jalen Ramsey. I haven’t found a scout, analyst or website that didn’t have Tunsil and Ramsey in the top 5 on their board, with most having these two in the top 3. I say that because I’m of the opinion that you only trade up for guys that are universally loved. I love Goff, some do not. Some love Wentz, I do not. Quarterback is a tough position to fill but trade ups for players that aren’t consensus elite players is extremely dicey and will likely come back to haunt either the Rams or Eagles.
  • While the QB position is split, it is surprising to me how many positions have a universally or at least huge majority opinion on who the best player is. Joey Bosa as a pass rusher, Ezekiel Elliott at RB, Tunsil at OT, Ramsey at DB (the only argument is whether he is a safety or cornerback), Ryan Kelly at center, Myles Jack at linebacker, etc. I can’t remember the last time so many positions had an obvious #1 prospect.
  • Many people are saying how great this draft is. I’m not in agreement with that as I have only three players with Top 5 grades on my board (Tunsil, Ramsey, Goff) and only seven players with Top 10 grades on my board (Elliott, Bosa, Jack, Stanley). It isn’t a bad top of the draft but it isn’t great either. Two spots I do love in this draft though are mid to late 1st round at cornerback where Vernon Hargreaves will likely be off the board but players like Mackenzie Alexander, William Jackson and Kendall Fuller all could be available, especially with overrated Eli Apple going somewhere in the 1st and pushing some of these three possibly down even further. The other spot is in the late 2nd/early third round at defensive tackle. I can’t remember the last time I graded so many potential impact DTs and that’ s even with me hating A’Shawn Robinson and Jarrun Reid, who are 1st rounders on most other boards. Due to the extreme depth at DT some combination of Andrew Billings, Jonathan Bullard, Hassan Ridgeway and/or Adolphus Washington will be available in the late 2nd/early 3rd round. These guys all have good athleticism and can do more than just stop the run. I’ll be curious if the Cowboys seek out one of these guys with their 3rd round pick as DT isn’t necessarily a need with Crawford and Thornton but getting one of these guys in the 60’s would just be good business.
  • Some of my favorite players in this draft are: Laremy Tunsil, Jalen Ramsey, Ezekiel Elliott, Myles Jack, Taylor Decker, Kendall Fuller, William Jackson, Karl Joseph, Reggie Ragland, Tyler Boyd, Cody Kessler, Pharoh Cooper, Eric Striker, Scooby Wright and Jack Allen.
  • Some of my least favorite players in this draft are: Carson Wentz, DeForest Buckner, Paxton Lynch, Jason Spriggs, Von Bell, Jarrun Reid, Eli Apple, Keanu Neal, Austin Hooper and TJ Green.
  • I will be interested to see how these prospects turn out because they have Pro Bowl potential but could easily end up as busts: Carson Wentz, Robert Nkemdiche, Noah Spence, Corey Coleman, Shon Coleman, Leonard Floyd, Paxton Lynch, Carl Nassib, Braxton Miller, Keyarris Garrett, Christian Hackenberg, Tyler Higbee and Jaylon Smith.
  • Only two tight ends in the past five drafts have been selected in the 1st round. Hunter Henry is a “bubble” 1st rounder so a team with a huge hole at TE could grab him knowing there isn’t another obvious starter in this draft. Whether a 1st rounder or a 2nd rounder Hunter does not project to be a special player at the next level. Two lower rated guys at the position with high upside are Jerell Adams and Tyler Higbee. They could surprise people with how quickly they are off the board as they both are athletic enough to get separation from defenders, a characteristic few in this class possess.
  • With Charles Woodson and Peyton Manning retiring this offseason the ‘98 NFL Draft Class is officially in the books. It was a great draft class but I don’t think of it in terms of the quality of players it gave the game but instead remember it as the first draft I ever followed. Peyton Manning vs. Ryan Leaf got me to actually study player profiles, watch bowl games I never would have normally to study certain prospects and determine who was the best pick for my favorite franchise the Dallas Cowboys. That year I dipped my toe in the water and then went head first in 1999 when one of my favorite college players of all time, Ricky Williams, created such chaos by having the New Orleans Saints trade their entire draft for him! Suffice it to say that the Manning/Leaf dilemma in 1998 followed by the Ricky Williams trade in 1999 hooked this newbie on the draft for years to come. Over the years I’ve had a Top 30 list slowly but surely morph into a Top 500 list, only to reduce lately back down to a Top 100 or Top 150 list. I’ve always done it more for myself than anyone or anything else and am a little shocked at how long I’ve been doing it. I felt old the other day when D’Brickashaw Ferguson abruptly retired as he was the #1 OT I had ever graded until Joe Thomas stole that title from him in 2007 (I barely missed scouting Orlando Pace in 1997 and Jonathan Ogden in 1996). As a history major I think my favorite part of scouting is viewing and grading Ferguson vs. Thomas vs. Tunsil. Watching positions evolve, the game change and keeping tabs on the all time great prospects like Calvin Johnson at WR, Joe Thomas at LT, Eli Manning at QB (yes I viewed him as the best QB I’d ever graded when he came out of Ole Miss-I was wrong but two Super Bowls MVPs and four Pro Bowls isn’t too shabby), Julius Peppers at DE, Ndamakong Suh at DT, Shawn Andrews at OG, Ricky Williams at RB, Champ Bailey at CB, Eric Berry at S, etc. I’ve had my share of misses (I was extremely high on Trent Richardson, Peter Warrick, David Carr, Charles Rogers, Robert Gallery and numerous other busts) and my share of hits and look forward to another draft tomorrow night. 18 years later and I still get overly excited the night before the big event.
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