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2011 NFL DRAFT Blog: Round 7

April 28, 2012

Refresh never!

—The Packers and Jets made great selections at #243 and #244 with QB BJ Coleman and WR Jordan White. They both are small school guys (Tennessee-Chatttanooga and Western Michigan respectively) but have very impressive tape and I expect them to not only make their rosters as 7th rounders but be around for a long time.

—The Packers made one of their classic late round steals in Andrew Datko OT Florida State at #241 as he was a late 1st/early 2nd going into this year and had shoulder surgery in the offseason. He began the year playing yet the shoulder surgery clearly didn’t “take” and they had to bench him and re-do the surgery this fall. This is a classic medical team evaluation as he’s a 2nd round talent in my opinion if healthy and I ranked him as a 4th rounder simply because the risk/reward pays off at that point if he regains his health. In the 7th he’s an absolute steal for a team that currently doesn’t have a starting LT after cutting Chad Clifton. Datko could be out of the league in two years due to his problematic shoulder but if he regains his health look for him to be a huge steal as a 7th rounder. Smart roll of the dice here by the Packers.

—The 49ers just made a great pick at #237 in DE Cam Johnson as he had an extremely similar grade to Courtney Upshaw who was taken at #35 by the Baltimore Ravens. Upshaw has a higher motor and is stronger and productive yet Cam is quicker, faster, and outplayed Upshaw at the Senior Bowl so I saw a similar grade in both players. Grade pick by the 49ers who have had some questionable picks this year.

—Drake Dunsmore is a TE taken at #233 who I rated higher than James Hanna who the Cowboys took at #186. It will be interesting to see but Dunsmore is a very athletic player in his own right and his athleticism showed off on his game fill far more than Hanna’s did who looks to me like workout warrior bust type. Dunsmore is a good pick for the Bucs.

—Bryce Brown was #425 on my board and was taken at #229 by the Eagles so why do I like the pick? Coming out of High School he was neck and neck with a highly talented RB named Trent Richardson and won the award as the #1 RB from both Scouts and ESPN. I get how he struggled at Tennessee and transferred then sat out 2010 and  finally struggled at Kansas State in 2011 and left early for the NFL but at the end of the day the 7th round is about taking guys you think you can’t sign as undrafted free agents and I guarantee you the list of NFL teams wanting a chance to sign him as a practice squad player went a mile deep. Again the Eagles understand what the draft is about as Brown was a guy I didn’t like but immediately added the caveat I would like to see him as a camp invite to check out his physical skills. Every other team had that same evaluation but the Eagles were smart enough to use a late round pick to be the first to check out those skills. Intriguing pick by the Eagles. CRAP!

—The Chargers at #226 made a great pick with C David Molk from Michigan. Yes he’s undersized, has short arms, and isn’t that great laterally but he was the best center in college football in 2011 (Rimington Award Winner) and was much higher on my board than Ben Jones (162 vs. 216). Ben Jones was taken 99 and Molk was taken 226 so I think this is an absolute steal this late. He has limitations but to me was a similar player to Jones who probably got bumped up b/c of his +50 starts and the fact that he played in the SEC.

—The Patriots just made another great pick trading into the 7th round and taking CB Alfonzo Dennard at #224. I love this pick as yes he punched a cop in the face just 7 days ago (never thought I would start out an argument for a player with that sentence) but he’s a 2nd to 3rd round talent who shouldn’t be available in the 7th round. He might do jail time and he has a temper (also thrown out of their bowl game for getting into a fight with WR Alshon Jeffrey-why am I arguing against myself?) but I still think that he has a lot of talent. 2 years from now he’s either a quality starter for them or out of the league and I like that risk/reward for him in the 7th round.

—Cowboys take ILB Caleb McSurdy from Montana at #222 in the 7th round. He’s an interesting guy as I actually saw him on film a few times during the IAA playoffs they show on ESPN. He has good instincts and is a tough, blue collar player yet I didn’t see the athleticism I wanted in a drafteable player and is far and away inferior to ILB Noah Keller from Ohio who I would have taken at this spot. Again an intriguing guy but a bit of a reach for the Boys…..same thing can be said of WR Danny Coale, PR Kyle Wilber, and others so none of them are busts but they all look to have been taken 1-3 rounds earlier and all are possibilities to not make the 53 man roster. Overall it’s a terrible draft except for the trade up for CB Morris Claiborne. Full draft bio for Caleb McSurdy:

Caleb McSurdy Montana #40 Sr. 2011 Big Sky Conference DPOY. Nicknamed dirty. In the 2011 Sam Houston St. game he looked like a smart, instinctive MLB type but had only average speed in this game making it likely he would look slow at the next level. Did have a batted ball that he intercepted and took 60 yds for the score (1:00 2nd). Camp invite 12/17/11. Combine: 1st team Big Sky in 2011. Misstepped at first but then got his stride and showed nice smoothness and lateral quickness in four bag drill. Good in backpedal, lateral, and catch drill. Very smooth in multi backpedalal drill. Good lean in two dummy drill. Terrible 2nd time in two dummy drill-ran drill wrong. Looked very good in the position drills but ran a 4.97 40 showing the lack of speed that worried me. Not only was he poor in his 40 but he was near the bottom in his vertical (30.5) and broad (9’0) as well. Free Agent 4/7/12.

—It’s always interesting to see how the draft process unfolds as I had Bobby Massie the OT out of Ole Miss and OT Nate Potter the OT out of Boise St. with extremely similar grades as Massie was #79 and Potter was #80 yet ironically Massie was taken at #112 and Potter at #221 TO THE SAME TEAM! Those are interesting battles as Potter in Round 7 could outplay Massie in Round 4 and on my board it wouldn’t surprise me at all as they are neck and neck in their rankings.

—The Vikings have had a pretty poor draft to this point but at #219 THEY TOTALLY REDEEMED THEMSELVES!!! Dumb and Dumber anyone? Anyways the Vikings took Trevor Guyton DE out of California at #219 and it’s a bit of a headscratcher due to the lack of system fit as he fits best as a 3-4 DE but I loved him in that role as I ranked him #113. Great value pick but doesn’t make sense schematically so it’s interesting.

—The Redskins are starting to have good drafts in the Dan Snyder era and it continues in Day 3 with the 213th selection of Richard Crawford the CB from SMU. He’s a local kid so maybe I saw him more than most scouts but he was 1st team C-USA (which by the way is getting a good name with his teammate Thompson, another CB Josh Robinson taken early, and 1st round Dontari Poe unable to crack 1st team C-USA in 2010 or 2011) and has the physical skills that make him look like a future starting cornerback. He’s tall, long, quick, and fast which are huge attributes when grading CBS. I love this pick in the 7th round by the Redskins! CRAP!

—Audie Cole at pick #210 for the Vikings is the type of player that even though he hasn’t played yet I still feel vindicated by the pick. All year draftniks had Cole as a top 50 or 100 pick yet he eventually gets taken 210 and I say that’s about fair as I had him rated #248 and thought he was a developmental guy at best. He was invited to the Combine, invited to the Senior Bowl, and everyone had a love fest on this guy but eventually they came back to my opinion which hasn’t changed in the past 6 months as I’ve said Undrafted Free Agent or 7th rounder throughout that time. #VINDICATION

—Justin Anderson is an OT out of Georgia that I’ve heard of but didn’t consider one of the 431 best players in this draft. I might be surprised but that’s to be expected out of Round 7 as this is the round where there is very little difference between a guy taken and a guy signed as an undrafted free agent so it’s more about having 3 guys available and saying which guys is most likely to have other teams after him as an undrafted free agent. I might like player A on my board but player B is more well known so let’s draft player B and try and sign Player A. To me the 7th round is a huge crapshoot due to this so expect some wild picks.

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