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2014 NFL Draft Blog Pick 17-32

May 9, 2014

That completes my 1st Round coverage. Make sure to come back for 2nd-3rd round coverage tomorrow.

Team: Vikings

Pick: 32nd (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Teddy Bridgewater Louisville 6’2 1/8 214 Jr.

Overall: Bridgewater had a terrible Pro Day. I watched the entire thing on film and it was pretty poor as he had 7 incompletions and numerous throws that caused his wideouts to jump or dive for balls in a setting where many QBs don’t let the ball ever touch the ground. So what? The greatest Pro Day ever for a QB was Sam Bradford and in 4 seasons he’s finished in the bottom half (bottom 16) in QB Rating 3 times and has yet to finish in the Top 10. If you are drafting Teddy you aren’t doing it due to his arm talent as Manziel and Carr are far ahead of him in that regard with Garoppolo, Bortles and even Mettenberger also being arguably better. If you are drafting Teddy it’s because he’s the toughest, clutchest QB that’s come out of college in quite awhile. Put his Pro Day film on first and then put on the Florida game in 2012 or the Miami game in 2013. Those are where he shined brightest so it’s no surprise that those were two of the three biggest games of his career. He was 4-0 against SEC teams in his career, 2-1 in bowl games and in his “big loss” against UCF that ultimately decided the AAC Champion he “only” completed 76.3% of his passes and had 2 TD and 0 INTs. Bridgewater lacks great arm strength, size or athleticism but he is a leader and will win a lot of games for an NFL franchise. When the competition level goes up, Bridgewater is at his best. In the Florida game I saw an offensive line that was overmatched yet Teddy threw strikes all day long and got right back up every time they punched him in the mouth. In this case that isn’t even a euphemism as he was obliterated by Jonathan Bostic on the 1st passing play of the game and the hit was so hard that he will have a scar under his chin from that play for the rest of his life. Sammy Watkins took a hit 1/10th as hard against LSU and called it a day. Bridgewater didn’t even miss a play and went 20 of 31 for 266 yards with 2 touchdowns the rest of the way and answered the bell every time Florida seemed to be making a comeback. Teddy also is elite at reading defenses, staying poised in the pocket and making plays on the fly. He’s night and day better at that than Carr and he has far better accuracy and experience at threading the needle than Bortles. Overall I’m still a huge fan of Bridgewater as he will give you his heart and soul and will be one of the most beloved quarterbacks to play for in the NFL. He lacks elite upside but I expect him to be a QB that is in the top half of the NFL. Due to that he ends with a Top 10 grade as my #2 QB as I will still stick with my guns on him despite everyone else leaving him due to one bad Pro Day 5/5/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
8 42 11 18

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: I think this is the third best pick in the 1st round behind only Aaron Donald at 13 and Manziel at 22. Bridgewater was my #2 QB and my #8 Overall Player so to get him at #32 is a steal. I don’t think anyone would have been too harsh if the Vikings chose Bridgewater at #8 with their original pick so getting him here just reinforces how great a value they got. He lacks great athleticism or arm strength but he has elite intangibles, he really understands how to attack a defense and with Adrian Peterson behind him he could be in the perfect scenario for a rookie QB. I expect him to beat out Ponder and to start from Day 1. Great pick!

Team: Broncos

Pick: 31st (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Bradley Roby Ohio State 5’11 ¼ 194 Jr.

Overall: Roby is a guy that has all the talent in the world but still doesn’t have a clue. On the field I dislike him as one minute he’s a tough guy who plays hard against the run and battles a WR at the LOS and the next minute he’s noticeably not playing hard and hurting his team. He has poor instincts and doesn’t seem to really understand any of the nuances of the game. He was eaten alive by a WR in Abrederis that I have an early 3rd round grade on so he will face far more talented players than him. Off the field I dislike him as he’s a very selfish person. From his suspension to his questionable decision to sit out his final game to his twitter proclamation before the 2013 season began that this would be his final year in college to his twitter rants against his fanbase. It all adds up to a selfish, immature person that thinks they are a superior player than they really are. It’s hard for me to grade a guy like Roby as he has starter caliber tools and I suspect he will eventually become one yet I don’t think he’ll be a good starter and there’s a legit possibility that he becomes a locker room cancer. If I was running a team, Roby would be off my board completely as he isn’t worth the trouble. Since I’m just running a website and want a grade on every player then he ends with a late 3rd round as my #10 CB as he has a high ceiling but comes with so many red flags that I wouldn’t consider drafting him 5/6/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
106 28 28 34

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Roby had a late 1st round grade by most scouts but I was never a fan. Whether it’s his poor ball skills, horrific game against Wisconsin, questionable work ethic or selfish attitude I always disliked the guy. I think he’s trouble and is a locker room cancer. This is the second straight year that the Broncos took a high upside roll of the dice type that I wasn’t too fond of. Last year’s pick Sylvester Williams was almost invisible and I’ll be curious to see if they strike out two years in a row. It’s also a bad idea to have Roby “mentored” by Aquib Talib. I put mentored in quotations as Talib is the last guy you want to have around impressionable rookies like Roby. Overall I hate this pick as he has a lot of talent but never lived up to it and now is rewarded with millions of dollars. That’ll teach that punk a lesson!

Team: 49ers

Pick: 30th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Jimmie Ward

Overall: No bio.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
53 54 43 44

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Some might not understand this pick as no one had a 1st round grade on him but I get it and that’s despite me grading him out as the 53rd best player in this draft. There were 4 safeties in this draft that had starter level talent and 3 of them had been chosen already. The 49ers have a ton of picks in this draft with very few needs (WR, C, CB and S) so they could afford to reach for a need. I had Ward as the #4 safety in this draft but most had him as the #3 and a few as the #2. It’s clearly a reach but the 49ers have the depth and number of picks that they can afford this so I’m fine with it. Also Ward as a ballhawking centerfield type will fit perfectly with Eric Reid’s big hits at SS. The 49ers have two young safeties locked up for the next 4 years.

Team: Patriots

Pick: 29th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Dominique Easley Florida #2 6’2 288 Jr.

Overall: Easley is a long, lean player with great quickness. He has intrigued me for years as at one time I thought he was sure to be a future Top 15 pick yet his college career ends on a down note after he tore his ACL early in the 2013 season. It affected Florida tremendously as he was their defensive leader as well as their best player and their issues late in the season can be partially attributed to his absence. I love his talent and think that his pro career could be much better than his college one but it also gives me pause that, 4 years after he came out of HS as the #1 DT in the nation, we are still talking about his potential. He basically redshirted in 2010 but in his 3 final seasons he never was more than a flash player who looked like he could become dominant someday. Those types scare me as Easley as the athleticism to become a one gap disrupter but he’s a tweener and it wouldn’t shock me if he ended up as a situational pass rusher. Teams will have their work cut out for them in deciphering a draft grade from Easley as he’s extremely talented and athletic but never was great statistically and has now torn the ACL in both of his knees. Good luck. 2nd round as my #3 DT who is a boom/bust type due to his tweener body and two ACL injuries 4/27/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
48 64 NR 65

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: This seems like a reach to even me. I had the highest grade of any of the 4 analysts yet it doesn’t make sense to take a guy late in the 1st round who has had two ACL injuries and lacked elite production when healthy. Easley at one time had a Top 15 grade on my board but that was years ago and he just never developed. The talent is there but he’s a roll of the dice type and you don’t choose those types in the 1st round.

Team: Panthers

Pick: 28th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Kelvin Benjamin Florida State 6’5 240 Soph

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

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
26 26 27 41

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: This is an interesting pick as the Panthers need help now at WR and Benjamin is one of the most raw wideouts in this draft class. I still gave him a 1st round grade due to his rare size/speed ratio but he’s similar to the Georgia Tech wideouts (Calvin Johnson, DeMaryius Thomas and Stephen Hill) as they were so raw and some became Pro Bowlers and one became a huge draft bust. I expect Benjamin to be one of those two options as he doesn’t seem like the type that will settle in as a good #2 receiver. He’ll either be a monster with his size and speed or he’ll be too slow in and out of his breaks to get open and be a bust. Time will tell but to me the Panthers blew a chance at greatness as Marqise Lee was on the board and he’s ready to contribute on Day 1.

Team: Cardinals

Pick: 27th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Deone Bucannon

Overall: No bio.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
25 43 NR 55

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: It’s 3 straight picks now where the scouting community had a 2nd-3rd round grade on a kid but he went in the 1st. Each time it matched my grade as Deone Bucannon had a late 1st (25th Overall) grade on my board and he went 27th. I never quite understood why no one cared more for this kid as he had great size, elite production (most productive safety in this draft class by far) and he was a heat seeking missile on film. If the Cowboys want a safety there is only one left, Jimmie Ward, before there is a significant drop off in talent.

Team: Eagles

Pick: 26th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Marcus Smith Louisville 6’3 3/8 251 Sr.

Overall: Smith is my pick for the most underrated pass rusher in this draft. He has everything you want in a prospect with good height (6’3 3/8), very good length (’34 arms), very good speed (4.68), very good explosion (’35 vertical, 10’1 broad) and elite production (14.5 sacks in 2013). He isn’t extremely strong and is a somewhat finesse rusher but I feel that both of those are minimal red flags on him as a prospect. When I compare him to “the next tier” of pass rushers I think Smith is by far the best as he’s longer, more athletic and/or more productive than Lawrence, Crichton or Kealy. I’m unsure exactly why Smith hasn’t risen up draft boards but to me he’s almost a mid 1st rounder and looks like one of the steals of the draft as I’ve heard no buzz about him as a 1st round possibility. Top 20 as my #5 PR 5/4/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
18 53 45 83

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: This is another player that I differed with the scouting community on as I thought Smith had great production, good size, elite length and impressive athleticism. He impressed me on tape far more than Scott Crichton or Kony Ealy did and those guys wouldn’t be considered reaches here yet Smith is per everyone but me. I think the Eagles got themselves an underrated talent though I’ll admit I had a mid 1st grade on him but assumed he’d go in the 2nd where I’d rate him as a steal. He actually was one of four defensive ends (Stephon Tuitt, DeMarcus Lawrence and Aaron Lynch) that I thought would be great picks in the 2nd round for the Cowboys. One down but 3 still available.

Team: Chargers

Pick: 25th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Jason Verrett TCU 5’9 ½ 189 Sr.

Overall: Verett has been one of my favorite players to scout in this draft. His combination of strength, quickness and toughness make him a fun watch on any game you pick as he’s a very consistent player. He played in the pass happy Big 12 and held his own against the Baylors and Oklahoma States of the world while playing Michigan State and LSU as well. It allowed him to get a 30 PBUs and 8 INTs in a two year span, with both numbers being elite. I worry a bit about Verrett’s lack of height (5’9 ½) and weight (189 lbs) but he’s been undersized his whole career and has a knack for using his elite quickness to maneuver around bigger bodies to knock the ball away. I think his success will continue but I project him as more of a versatile #2 CB that could excel against slot receivers or outside receivers vs. the elite #1 shutdown cornerback that Justin Gilbert has a chance to be. In a bit of a surprise I ended with Verrett as my #2 CB ahead of Dennard as he’s quicker, faster and has longer arms. Dennard has superior technique, strength and height but I see him as a more polished player with a lower upside. Verrett’s quickness will allow him to play in the slot which is arguably the hardest job of any CB on the team. Due to this superior athleticism and higher upside I have him as a late 1st rounder and slightly ahead of Dennard as my #2 CB 5/6/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
19 29 36 40

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: With so many guys going recently that I liked less than the scouting community (CJ Mosley, Kyle Fuller and Brandin Cooks going early) it’s about time one of my favorites came around as it was starting to seem like I didn’t have positive grades on anyone in this draft. Verett is my kind of player as he had great collegiate production, is tough as nails and has legit athleticism. It surprised me how low he was ranked by some as he was faster, more explosive, more flexible and had longer arms than Darqueze Dennard yet I was the only one who had him ahead of Dennard. I like both players but Verrett’s elite athleticism will allow him to be more of a playmaker than Dennard. This is a great combination of value and need as the Chargers have been rotating their cornerbacks non-stop the past few years with Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason, former 1st round picks, both gone. Verrett should lock down one of those spots for a long time.

Team: Bengals

Pick: 24th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Darqueeze Dennard Michigan State 5’10 7/8 199 Sr.

Overall: Dennard is a guy that you can’t help but fall in love with when you scout him. He’s tough, physical and ultra competitive as he always wants to battle against the team’s #1 WR. He shadowed the best regularly in 2013 and won pretty much every time as no one was able to consistently get away from his strong press coverage. Unfortunately he looks like he’s going to be a better college corner than a pro corner as he lacks the arm length or size to be a dominant press corner and he lacks the hips, quickness or speed to be anything but a press corner. He’s a one dimensional type player, I don’t think he’d be good in off schemes, that has a low ceiling as a #2 CB. Dennard actually has a lot of holes in his game but cornerbacks are a valued position and I have no doubt that he’ll be able to start for an NFL team from day 1. He’ll never be a dominant, shut down cornerback like he was in college but he’ll be a 10 year starter as the #2 CB. In the end I had to drop him from #1 to #3 in my CB rankings as Gilbert and Verrett are quicker, faster and have longer arms. Late 1st round as my #3 CB who is a little overrated but understandeably so as he’s so damn fun to scout 5/5/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
22 19 21 32

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Dennard is one of the better picks in the 1st. I wasn’t in love with him throughout the process like Mayock was but in the end even Mayock dropped his grade back to reality as Dennard projects as a #2 CB not a #1. That being said every NFL team could use a starter quality young cornerback like Dennard and I expect him to be good from Day 1.

Team: Chiefs

Pick: 23rd (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Dee Ford Auburn #95 6’2 1/8 252 Sr.

Overall: I like Ford I really do but every year there are a few guys that vault up multiple rounds during the draft process due to All-Star events or Combine workouts and sometimes I just don’t buy it. This year’s example is Dee Ford who had a 3rd round grade from me at the end of last year and now is being talked about as a mid to late 1st rounder. Mayock has him as his #3 pass rusher and his rankings have been set. NFLdraftscout.com has him as their #29 overall player (late 1st) and with the supply/demand element relating to pass rushers the #29 overall player could easily go in the top 20 picks. I think it’d be a mistake though as Ford looks like a future pass rush specialist or 3-4 OLB and doesn’t appear to have elite upside at either position. His burst in uncanny and if used in the right matchups he could pay dividends for a franchise but I just can’t wrap my brain around spending a 1st rounder on a guy that won’t be on the field on 1st and 2nd downs. Ford is going to be a good pass rush specialist but won’t be on the field enough to get double digit sacks consistently and will be a non-factor in every other facet of the game. Early 2nd round as my #7 PR 5/4/14.

Rankings: 

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
36 37 33 38

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Ford projects as a situational pass rusher who will be the Bruce Irvin on their defense. They clearly are copying the Seahawks style of never having enough pass rushers but I think this is a luxury pick for a team that doesn’t have that luxury. They have one of the worst receiving corps in the NFL, I don’t believe in their QB long term and I think their secondary could use some help at CB. With those needs in mind I think Marqise Lee, Jason Verrett/Darqueze Dennard or Teddy Bridgewater would have provided them with much more value and would have filled a need.

Team: Browns

Pick: 22nd (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Johnny Manziel Texas A&M 5’11 ¾ 207 Soph

Overall: Johnny Manziel had arguably the greatest two year run of any college football player ever. He made plays with his arm and his legs against bad talent and good. He began his career as a redshirt freshman fighting for a starting job and ended it two years later as the first freshman to ever win the Heisman and a two time 1st Team SEC selection. He is this generation’s most exciting player and because of that I think he gets too much grief for his unorthodox style of play and his cocky attitude. Johnny Football was the #1 sports story in 2012 so it’s not surprising that he became overexposed and got a little blowback. I don’t want people to focus on that though as his celebrity status has overshadowed the real story: his phenomenal play. As a freshman he was predominantly a runner (his 1,410 yards in 2012 is almost twice his 759 yards in 2013) and he didn’t throw that often early in the season yet improved as the season went on (he had under 200 yards passing 3 of his first 5 games yet had 253 yards or more in each of his final 8 games). I think a lot of people who criticize him are doing so while thinking of the 2012 Johnny Manziel who was more similar than the 2013 version to the street baller caricature that the media likes to portray. Johnny has improved by leaps and bounds the past two seasons and I even noticed an improvement at his Pro Day as his arm strength appeared to be improved. In 2013 his mechanics and footwork had noticeably improved and he was no longer leaving the pocket at the first sign of trouble. ESPN broke it down and showed that he had a 73.5% completion rate inside the pocket which was the highest among the QBs in this draft. They also showed that he had fewer passes batted down at the LOS than 6’5 Blake Bortles and makes sense as Manziel has a quick release and avoids staring down his receivers. It’s sometimes frustrating to hear criticism of Johnny’s game as it is obvious the critics don’t really have a good understanding of him. Comments like “poor arm strength,” “bad accuracy,” or “not as good in 2013 as in 2012” show that they just aren’t paying attention as Johnny has good arm strength, elite accuracy and had a much better 2013 than 2012. It’s become clique to criticize Johnny and some of it was deserved but in 2 years he’s gone from a superb athlete without much polish to a very good passer that can beat you inside or outside the pocket. If A&M had a better defense in 2013 the Aggies would have gone 12-1 in 2013 (I don’t think they would have beat LSU even with a better defense) and Johnny would have been only the second two time Heisman Trophy Winner. Unfortunately they did not and Manziel had a controversial offseason leading up to the season so he is now in the media’s crosshairs. I think that anyone who thinks Manziel will be a bust is going to look very foolish as I expect him to immediately be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL and to win Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2014. His talent to extend plays and juke defenders in the open field has overshadowed the strides he’s made as a passer but soon the public’s perception of Johnny will catch up with reality. He ends as a Top 5 talent who not only is the #1 QB in this draft but the #1 Overall Player as well. I expect him to be the OROY and to eventually become one of the 5-8 best QBs in the NFL in a style all his own 5/8/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
1 10 12 1

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Well Aaron Donald was the best pick in the 1st round…..until now. Getting the #1 player on my board at #22 AND him being a perfect fit for that cold weather team and that downtrodden franchise makes this a perfect scenario for everyone. With him being a late 1st instead of a Top 5 pick he can sit on the bench for a year OR he can beat Hoyer out and play. It will allow the coaches to play the best man and could allow them to be tough on Manziel which, to be honest, he might need as he’s transitioning from the spread to a more conventional offense. Just the idea that Manziel will have one of the 3 best WRs in the game in Josh Gordon (only Calvin Johnson and AJ Green are better in my eyes) and one of the up and coming tight ends in Jordan Cameron makes me think this will work out well. I expect offensive line and running back help the next few rounds as the Browns are going to try and get a good foundation around him that he can grow with. Carlos Hyde in Round 2?

Team: Packers

Pick: 21st (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Haha Clinton-Dix

Overall: No bio

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
49 16 16 19

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Another pick, another player that I don’t agree with the scouting community on. Which by the way is annoying as why does every scout have the exact same grades on these guys yet when I watch film my grades vary so widely? Is it maybe because these guys aren’t doing their research but are largely just copying? Where is Todd McShay when I need him. What closet do they hide him in for the 1st Round?

Team: Saints

Pick: 20th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Brandin Cooks Oregon State 5’9 ¾ 189 Jr.

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

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
71 21 22 12

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Another player that obviously I’m not in agreement with the rest of the scouting community about. To me Cooks had an elite 40 but never looked like that rare DeSean Jackson type vertical threat. He always was a fast slot receiver with good hands and great quickness. I like him but think this idea of him as a future superstar is overblown. He’ll be a good #3 WR as a rookie and eventually transition into a solid #2. He’s not 1st round material in my eyes but I have to admit that putting him in the Saints offense could make me look stupid for going against the grain with him. Brees makes every WR look great so him having good numbers wouldn’t necessarily even mean he was anything special, Ex: Robert Meachem being a bust in San Diego, Joe Morgan coming off the streets in 2012 to be their #3 WR, Lance Moore in 2014 being a bust for whomever he signed, etc.

The James pick makes the Cowboys pick interesting as they surely had Zach Martin rated ahead of Ja’Wuan James so it makes the Cowboys pick seem a little better….right? I’m kidding, the Martin pick was good it’s just so unnerving that Johnny was on the board. Take that aspect away and I’m actually pretty happy with the pick. I am, why don’t you believe me? Okay just give me a few months but by training camp I’ll be raving about it…..until Johnny’s first highlight reel play.

Team: Dolphins

Pick: 19th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Ja’Wuan James Tennessee 6’6 311 Sr.

Overall: When 4 of your 5 starters are NFL prospects it’s easy to overlook one of them and I feel that on Tennessee’s OL Ja’Wuan is the most underappreciated. At 6’6 with ’35 arms he has the prototypical frame for an NFL OT and at the Combine he put up very solid numbers and looked quite flexible and mobile in some of the drills. I’m of the opinion that his best position in the NFL is actually LT not RT where he played at for 4 seasons in the SEC. The reason is that he has the arm length, height and foot speed to play LT but lacks the strength and aggressive nature of a RT. No matter where he lines up though I expect him to be a steal for some NFL team as his draft stock is not high at all right now and there’s an outside chance he goes undrafted. Considering where I have him rated at, that would mean there is a huge discrepancy between my grade and the NFL’s. A finesse OT with RT experience but who fits better as a LT. A huge sleeper who is an early 2nd rounder as my #6 OT 3/9/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
38 60 50 39

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: I had the highest grade of any of the 4 analysts on James and I even thought I might have underrated him as the kid has legit LT talent but at #19? That’s shocking to me and is right up there with Shazier and Mosley for 3 of the past 5 picks being for guys I have a 2nd round grade on. Of the three though I’d say James has the highest upside as his length, flexibility and athleticism scream LT. This is clearly a reach for need as they are trying to transform their OL and probably decided to take the best OL at #18 no matter who was on the board. Franchises are ruined by these “reach for need” picks.

Team: Jets

Pick: 18th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: Calvin Pryor

Overall: No bio

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
21 22 15 21

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: Pryor fits so well for Rex Ryan. It’s solid value as I had a late 1st grade on him but the safety position isn’t deep so anyone needing help at the position knew they had to maybe reach and take it early. He’s a head hunter but in today’s game with the concussions and the fines I wonder how that will transfer. He’s instinctive, tough and has solid ball skills though so I think he’ll be fine but it’s something to think about.

Team: Ravens

Pick: 17th (1st round)

Jon’s Profile: CJ Mosley Alabama 6’2 234 Sr.

Overall: Mosley is a solid player with the size and strength to be good at the POA, the speed to cover players 1×1 in space and the instincts to be effective in a zone scheme. He is another of the overrated Alabama players as many scouts have him as a Top 10 talent. I can’t even comprehend what they see in him that makes them think he’s deserving of that high a grade. Few linebackers are deserving of that and Mosley is far from those types (Patrick Willis and Luke Kuechly are the two highest graded linebackers on my board in the past 7 years). Mosley isn’t an elite tackler, is good in space and coverage but isn’t a ballhawk by any means and is more of a good at everything, great at nothing type of player. Again I like Mosley but to me he grades out as prospect that will be an above average linebacker with great scheme versatility (he could probably play all 3 spots in a 4-3 or ILB in a 3-4) and enough athleticism to stay on the field for all three downs. There is value in that type of player but he doesn’t look like a future star and isn’t even a 1st rounder on my board, let alone a Top 10 talent. 2nd round as my #2 LB who is one of the more overrated players in this draft 5/3/14.

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
51 11 8 23

Jon’s Thoughts on the pick: As you can see by the rankings I have a very different opinion of Mosley compared to most people. We shall see who is right in the end as I’ve been down on most Alabama defenders coming out as they lack elite athleticism and upside and, to this point, I’ve been pretty spot on. Mark Barron has been a solid safety but everyone else from Dee Milliner to Courtney Upshaw to Terrance Cody to Javier Arenas to Rolando McClain….has underperformed their draft grade. Mosley looks like a solid linebacker that has the versatility to play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 but to me he’ll be an above average starter, You don’t take that type of guy in the 1st round let alone at #17 IN A DEEP DRAFT!!!!

 

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