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Round 2-3 Live Blog

May 9, 2014

100: 49ers: Brandon Thomas-A good end to the 2nd day as the player everyone feels the most sad about, Brandon Thomas tore his ACL in pre-draft workouts, gets taken. This is back to back years that the 49ers draft a player in the 3rd round as a “stash” player since Thomas has no chance to make an impact as a rookie, much like Marcus Lattimore in 2013. Solid pick.

99. Ravens: Crockett Gilmore-He was a mid 6th on my board so another reach at TE but another guy who I didn’t catch on tape nearly as much since he came out of Colorado State. He was my #12 TE so my question is why they think Gilmore is better than my #6 Arthur Lynch, #7 Jake Murphy, #8 Colt Lyerla, #9 Trey Burton or #10 AC Leonard. Two of those five had major off the field issues but Lynch and Murphy were quite intriguing so I’m a little confused by the Packers and Ravens skipping my #6-10 for my #11 and #18 tight ends.

98. Packers: Richard Rodgers-I saw him in 2 games and scouted his Combine so it was a weak effort on my part but I just didn’t see anything great. We shall see if he pans out but he had a free agent grade (#300) on my board so this is a huge reach to me.

97.  Steelers: Dri Archer-I loved their 2nd round pick in Stephon Tuitt and I love this pick almost as much. Dri Archer in 2012 was neck and neck with Tavon Austin as the most dynamic player in the country. Tavon went in the Top 10 and Archer came back for his senior season which was injury plagued. To get a player with his athleticism (4.26 40 at the Combine! 2nd fastest time in the past 5 drafts!) and his versatility in the late 3rd round is impressive. Him on one side and Antonio Brown on the other? That’s scary.

96. Vikings: Jerick McKinnon-I had an early 5th round grade on the Combine superstar as I just couldn’t figure out what position I’d play him at. Chris Spielman last year drafted Cordarrelle Patterson and this year takes McKinnon who arguably is an even better athlete. His vertical, broad and 40 were all elite but the question is where do you play this option QB? I didn’t know so I moved him down, hopefully the Vikings have a plan.

95. Broncos: Michael Schofield-Schofield was a late round guy to me until the Senior Bowl where he surprised as he was very good. I don’t think his upside is that high but he reminds me of a Mitchell Schwartz type who has been the starting RT for a few years with the Browns. A slight reach as I had him in the 4th and lacking the upside but it makes sense and is an okay pick. I’m surprised they didn’t roll the dice with James Hurst (injury) or Seantrel Henderson (attitude/consistency). Also Cameron Fleming made a lot of sense here. Now that I look at my OTs left on the board I don’t like this pick nearly as much. Boo Joe Casey, you should boo this pick!

94. Browns: Terrance West-Other than where Seastrunk ends up I think Towson is the pick for sleeper fantasy RB as a rookie. Ben Tate is injury prone and West isn’t well known so it adds up to a volatile mix where he could sit and be worthless or could be thrust into the starting lineup and be a shocker late in the season. I love West’s size, physicality and quickness. He’s 225 lbs and looks like a traditional bell cow. Those aren’t around anymore in the NFL but I really think he could give Tate a run for his money as a starter.

93. Jaguars: Brandon Linder-One pick too late as Linder is an OG with an early 4th round grade so not a bad pick at all but to miss out on Turner who had a late 2nd grade and Pro Bowl potential makes it feel like the Jaguars settled. Also why not David Yankey? Yes he had a terrible Combine but he shut down a lot of good DL during his time at Stanford and should be a good player at worst. Linder isn’t a bad pick until you see who was taken just ahead of him and who was still on the board at his position.

92. Panthers: Trai Turner-I love this pick as he was the #6 player available and #57 Overall taken at #92. I’ve said this countless times in the pre-draft process, including a few days ago in my “25 things I think I think about the 2014 NFL Draft,” that I expect Turner to make the Pro Bowl in his career. Getting an OG that occasionally makes the Pro Bowl in the late 3rd round is great.

91. Cardinals: John Brown-I like him as a slot receiver with great speed and as a kick returner and punt returner but this is the 3rd round not the late 4th/early 5th and to me this looks like another pick by the Cardinals that could look great or could be a bust. I love Bucannon and Niklas and am intrigued by Martin and Brown but this is going to be a great draft or a terrible draft and there’s no in between. Bucannon and Niklas were two guys I had as steals that they took earlier than I expect, negating their “steal” moniker. I said it before but I’ll say it again that I just don’t get Kareem Martin. The Cardinals had a 10 win season last year. Few people know that and they did it because they’ve had very solid drafts the past few years with guys like Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu complementing veterans like Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett and Karlos Dansby. I’m not panning their draft but I expected better from them. It’s just a little risky/confusing.

90. Colts: Donte Moncrief-A solid pick as I had a mid 4th grade on him but not the home run some might make it out to be. He had one of the 3 best Combines of any wideout but then you pop in the film and he’s a plodding possession receiver. At his size and with his toughness and bloodlines I could see him being solid in that role but it again shows you that the Combine numbers can be very deceptive at times. Per the Combine he, not Marqise Lee, was the explosive athlete and 5 minutes on Youtube proves that wrong real quick.

89. Chargers: Chris Watt-He was my #243 player and went #88. Also he plays guard, the second least valuable position in all of football. I’ll let you read my mind on this one.

88. Bengals: Will Clarke-I had him as a late 4th rounder (#158) as he looks like a 4-3 SDE without good pass rush skills. He’ll be a good run stopper and get you 4-8 sacks a year but who wants that kind of production at such a premium position? Also I see him being far too similar to Margus Hunt yet without the elite upside Hunt’s athleticism provides. To me this is a waste of a pick as it’s a reach and it’s redundant.

87. Chiefs: Phillip Gaines-He was the #2 Overall Player left on my board behind only Lache Seastrunk who I knew was going to get drafted later than I had him. Gaines I suspected as well but I saw a few boards that had him as a late 2nd so I didn’t know for sure. I do know though that Gaines is one of the most underrated players in this draft as he has elite size, elite speed (4.38 40 which was 0.01 second off the fastest 40 for a CB), good arm length and great technique. His film is elite as he shadowed wideouts with the best of them and was a shutdown corner. He played at a smaller conference (C-USA) so he wasn’t well known but to me he’s one of the 5 best picks in this draft.

86. Eagles: Josh Huff-I like it. I had a late 3rd on him and he goes to a scheme he already knows from Oregon so he should have a smooth transition. The Eagles went big at WR with Riley Cooper already in the fold and then Jordan Matthews in the 2nd but my grade on Huff vs. Matthews wasn’t that different (Early 3rd vs. Late 3rd) and I see Huff being a good #3 WR for his career. Solid value and great fit make this a good pick.

85. Packers: Khyri Thornton-I liked Thornton, or so I thought until he was taken here, as I had a 5th round grade on the small school kid. He has elite ability and dominated the Combine so I’m sure the Packers are going off that but to me he was more flash than substance and his stats were the death blow. He played in a smaller conference yet didn’t dominate statistically. Huge red flag.

84. Cardinals: Kareem Martin-He was #65 on my board and went #84 as he makes sense as a 4-3 SDE or a 3-4 DE. In both schemes he will be a run stopper first and he excels at that with his elite arm length and great frame. At times I wondered if I had him underrated as he flashed Chandler Jones type skill yet at other times I thought I had him overrated as he lacks the elite athleticism to be a great pass rusher and he’s too soft and lacks the motor or physicality to be a great 3-4 DE. He’s one of the harder guys in this draft to get a read on but at this spot I’m very intrigued by the pick.

83. Texans: Louis Nix III-Some will say he’s a steal and he fits the scheme great as he will be a perfect 3-4 NT but I had him as the #79 player on my board and he just went #83. It’s a good pick, solid value and a perfect scheme fit but I would calm down on the “steal of the 3rd round” talk that some will characterize it as. Mayock had him as the #1 DT on his board going into the draft process but that’s because he’s obsessed with Notre Dame players and in January-March doesn’t have a good grasp of most players. He usually gets it right in the end but Nix “fall” is another example of why you don’t listen to Mayock until April as he’ll just confuse you. A good pick in round 3. Can’t we just leave it at that?

82. Bears: Will Sutton-It’s rare for me to dislike a player as much as I do Sutton considering he was a 1st rounder on my board a year ago. He ends with a 4th round grade and if I was a real GM he, along with Trent Murphy, Bradley Roby and a few others I expect to be busts, would be off my board entirely. He has extremely short arms, lacks quickness after his weight gain and was shut down by any good OG in this draft (Sua-Fila and Yankey in 2013). Defenders of his will say he’s a two time Pac-12 DPOY but he didn’t deserve it in 2013 as he wasn’t even the best DL on his own team (Carl Bradford was). Great scheme fit though in a one gap system like the Bears. If he can’t resurrect his career here he won’t do it anywhere else.

81. Raiders: Gabe Jackson-Another great pick by the Raiders. I had a late 2nd grade on him and thought he had Pro Bowl potential so to get him in the late 3rd is a steal. Also last year I said that Chance Warmack and Gabe Jackson were similar in grade on my board. Warmack went Top 10 last year and Jackson goes late 3rd round BUT I STILL THINK THEY ARE CLOSE IN TALENT. Watch their careers and remember I said that as to me Jackson is a perfect example of why you don’t draft OGs in the 1st round (Oh shit the Cowboys drafted an OG in the first round, where’s the delete key.) Guards can be found in the 3rd-5th round range every year so why reach for them early. Martin is elite so I still understand the logic but Jackson will be a good starter for 8-10 years and Trai Turner will be as well. Jackson and Turner both have a chance to make the Pro Bowl in their careers and it looks like Jackson will be a late 3 and Turner a 4th rounder so that’s rare to get Pro Bowl talent that late in the draft. This draft is deep!!!

80. Jets: Dexter McDougle-I had him as a camp invite so his grade is basically #404 (#300 for a free agent, #404 for a camp invite, #462 for undraftable). He had an injury this year but I just didn’t see anything from his 2012 tape that made me think he was more than a career #4 CB. Worst pick in the draft to this point? (Update: Kiper loves this kid so maybe the injury threw me off but he wasn’t invited to the Combine and had an injury marred senior year so are we sure he wouldn’t be available in the 5th round?)

79. Ravens: Terrance Brooks-Another big name from a big school by Ozzie Newsome but I actually like this pick. He was my #5 safety ahead of Lamarcus Joyner and #61 Overall as he has elite athleticism for a safety and he has the quickness and backpedal to actually play cornerback if he needed to. A safety with corner characteristics, sounds like a great nickel DB to me. Very good pick.

78. Redskins: Spencer Long-Damn it! I only went 77 picks before I had a guy taken that I didn’t have on my Top 500? That’s bullshit! I actually know who this guy is and no I don’t like the pick.

77. 49ers: Chris Borland-I really like Borland but he can’t be a fit in a 3-4 scheme. What the hell is this? I almost feel bad for him as he was going to struggle at times in the right scheme and this is the worst scheme. 3rd down cover linebacker?

76. Lions: Travis Swanson-At one time Swanson was a late 1st on my board. He was mediocre at the Senior Bowl and Combine as well as he came from the same OL coach that produced busts like Gabe Carimi and Peter Konz (was he just coached up like they were?) so I cooled on him. He’s still a good player though and if he can gain strength and become more physical he could be the best center in this draft. Another very good interior OL pick in the 3rd round as last year they took Larry Warford and they’ll team with former first rounder Riley Reiff to make a solid OL.

75. Rams: Tre Mason-Most will say this was a steal in the 3rd but I’m not one of them, Seastrunk (likely in the 4th at this point) will be my steal, as I had him #135. I just don’t see the speed, elusiveness or strength in Mason compared to the other backs. There were 4 QBs in this draft and they got a lot of buzz but to me there were 4 very good RBs too (Hyde, Seastrunk, Hill, Sankey) and then a big dropoff in talent before you got to the next full time starting RB. I liked Terrance West and Ka’Deem Carey more than Mason. We shall see as almost everyone disagreed with me on Mason’s value.

74: Giants: Jason Bromley-First off when did he start going by Jay? I had him Jason the whole time. Now we get to the point in the draft where me saying I had him as the #102 player on my board but it’s a solid value at #74 becomes a little confusing but true. There are a ton of positions and a ton of schemes so if I was running a 4-3 I’d have a lot of different opinions on players compared to a 3-4 scout. This is a solid value for a Northeasterner (Syracuse) who has good burst and was extremely productive (off the top of my head I think he had 9.5 sacks in 2013). Good pick.

73. Bills: Preston Brown-He’s a huge linebacker that fits a 3-4 better than a 4-3 but I like him as a player. 3rd round seems a bit rich to me though as he was more of a 4th-5th round type.

72. Vikings: Scott Crichton-I liked him, some loved him so it’s a little surprising to see him drop this far. He was my #48 player though so at #72 I do love him. He reminds me of a poor man’s Anthony Spencer who will excel against the run but will be a 6-10 sack type guy for you. That’s not what I want in a DE prospect but he has an elite motor and is very strong so he fits a 4-3 scheme very well. Interestingly enough he will be very similar in style to Brian Robison who has made a nice niche career in that same type of role. Robison is a bit more of a pass rusher but neither are more than above average starter types at a position of great value. Good pick.

71. Browns: Christian Kirksey-I had him as the #270 player in this draft and they took him at 71 so the Browns and I have a slightly different opinion of him. He had very good production during his time there but I just don’t see how you take a marginal starter at best in the 3rd round. Bad pick. He was my #28 LB in this draft and my #4 Kevin Pierre-Louis and #5 Lamin Barrow are still on the board. Barrow is a huge, strong type and Pierre-Louis is a small, athletic type so pick a style and make the selection. Kirksey is not it!

70. 49ers: Marcus Martin-I had him as the #43 Overall Player on my board so it’s great value AND it fills a need. I had CB, WR, S and C as the team’s top 4 needs and they’ve addressed 2 of the 4. I still am confused by the Hyde pick but with a 2nd and a 3rd rounder they got a guy with an early 2nd round grade (Hyde) and a guy with a mid 2nd round grade (Martin). Not bad at all and I think it might be time to take the mantle of “most consistent drafter” away from the Ravens to the 49ers as I feel like I rave about them each and every year.

69. Bucs: Charles Sims-An underrated talent who has 3 down skills as he has enough size to be a 2 down back and is the most accomplished pass catcher in the draft. I think it’s a bit rich though for my #142 player as he projected more as a versatile #2 RB not a stud #1. He was my #10 RB in this draft and only 3 had been drafted by the time he was selected. Very strange.

68. Falcons: Dez Southward-I didn’t rank or scout safeties outside the Top 5 so read an opinion on him somewhere else. He was a mid 4th rounder though by nfldraftscout.com so it seems like a reach.

67. Dolphins: Billy Turner-He was a free agent so go with #300 Overall but this is the first player drafted that I’ll admit I don’t know a lot about. I saw him at an All-Star event and in the IAA Championship game vs. Towson yet that is it. Some scouts loved this guy but the success rate for small school OGs is very low (think Vlad Ducasse and Brandon Brooks for the Jets and Texans respectively). Not a fan of this pick.

This just in. Aaron Murray has a hotter girlfriend than AJ McCarron!

66. Redskins: Morgan Moses-After numerous reaches we finally come back to reality, too bad it’s with the Redskins (who had an underrated offseason stealing the best offensive weapon in 2013 from division rival Eagles and stealing the best defensive player in 2013 from divison rival Cowboys) as Moses projects as an above average RT who will be an elite run blocker. I had him #46 on my board AND he fills a need (the Redskins are trying to get bigger OL after the Mike Shanahan zone blocking era) so this is a good, borderline great, pick.

65. Texans: CJ Fiedorowicz-He’s a complete TE in that he can block and be a pass threat. I had him as my #5 TE and he went there but I had him also as a late 3rd rounder and he went as the 1st pick in the 3rd so it’s a big reach (#100 player at #65). I just don’t see the athleticism and think he’ll be more of a run blocking #3 TE. Not a huge fan of this pick.

64. Seahawks: Justin Britt-Okay so how long do the Seahawks get a pass on their terrible selections? I know they can play the Russell Wilson trump card on any argument but last year they had some terrible picks and now they take Paul Richardson two rounds early, though intrigued by his height/speed ratio, and now Justin Britt whom I had a 7th round grade on. I actually felt like I overrated the kid as he had so many injury issues at Missouri I was just assuming he would go undrafted. Or I mean in the 2nd round to the defending Super Bowl Champions. Either or right? It’s just a strange pick. Biggest reach of the draft, here’s my bio of him and you tell me what I’m missing?

Justin Britt Missouri #68 6’5 7/8 325 Sr. First time starter in due to injury in the 2011 Arizona St. game he was beat numerous times by DE Junior Onyeali. Did not look very quick so at best will be an OG. Had a very good cut block vs. LB Vontaze Burfict on QB design run (12:12 3rd), blatant hold when beat to outside vs. DE Greg Smith that somehow wasn’t called (3:16 3rd), bull rushed effectively by Onyeali for pressure but QB already sacked, false start, chop block (5:35 4th), does not look NFL caliber as of this performance but he is young an inexperienced so maybe down the road 10/17/11. Combine: Tore ACL in 2012. Started all 14 games in 2013. High School wrestler. Very impressive 40 (5.19) especially his 10 yd split (1.75) for a guy his size (6’5 7/8 325). A little tight in hip drill. Britt is a big, experienced player who spent the past 3 years as a starter in a Top 4 Conference (Big 12 in 2011, SEC in 2012-2013). He had an ACL injury that robbed him of most of his 2012 season but bounced back well in 2013 and looks like a potential swing tackle at the next level. I think he has an outside shot to develop into a starting RT but the base scenario for him is to be a swing tackle and have a 3-5 year career, mainly as a backup. There is value in that and adding in the potential that he develops into an average starting RT is what gives him a late round grade. The odds though are that he won’t be drafted but will be in camp as an undrafted free agent. 7th round as my #16 OT 3/9/14.

63. Dolphins: Jarvis Landry-I like this pick. Landry has atrocious athleticism at a position that places a premium on it but I think he’ll find his niche. He isn’t a #1 WR but he’s a great run blocker, he has elite hands (best hands in the draft), he has maybe the best work ethic of any player, regardless of position, and I just think that in 3-5 years we look back and say “Jarvis Landry at #63=Good, solid pick.”

62. Patriots: Jimmy Garappolo-I had him as my #5 QB and the #35 Overall Player so I like it but I really think the Darrelle Revis signing is an all in type move for one last shot at a championship so in that regard I don’t like it. He was the #2 player left on my board so again it’s hard to disagree but why not the #3 Phillip Gaines or the #6 Marcus Martin who both could be productive additions to a championship caliber team. I do really like Jimmy though and think he’s a future starter.

So Marqise Lee 1st and now Allen Robinson. Something tells me that Justin Blackmon won’t be on their roster in 2015.

61. Jaguars: Allen Robinson-All draft process I tinkered with the idea of him being a late 1st on my board. Due to a questionable attitude and a poor 40 he stayed as an early 2nd rounder but to me this guy has Day 1 starter written all over him. I really really like this kid. I actually thought he’d go in the 3rd and would be the steal of the draft so him at #61 isn’t as bad of a fall as I assumed it would be. He has very good size, elite quickness for his size and is devastating after the catch. He could put on a Keenan Allen type show as a rookie, oh wait Chad Henne is his QB. I take it all back. Seriously though, it’s a great pick.

60.Panthers: Kony Ealy-Well I felt that ranking Ealy at #63 was pretty harsh (Mayock had him #45, Jeremiah #32 and Brandt #20) yet apparently the NFL agreed. I compared him to Derrick Morgan out of GA Tech as a guy with a big frame, good not great production and no burst at all. I didn’t see it on tape and then he ran a 4.9 something 40 at the Combine. I want my pass rushers fast, strong and explosive. He’s arguably 1 out of 3 with those traits and some would say 0-3.

59. Colts: Jack Mewhort-Okay this is getting a little ridiculous right now. I had a late 6th round grade and a mid 5th round grade on the last two picks in the 2nd round! Mewhort is the reach of this draft and passes even Richburg as at least a lot of people had 3rd round grades on him. Mewhort has poor athleticism, wasn’t good at the Senior Bowl and projects as a great locker room guy who could be a #4 OT immediately and maybe a #3 someday. What am I missing here? Worst pick in the draft.

58. Saints: Stanley Jean-Baptiste-Per my board this is the 2nd worst pick in the draft as he was #175 on my board. Everyone wants a big corner and he is that at 6’2 and change but he didn’t have great tape in 2013, is very raw (was a WR his first two seasons at Nebraska) and just doesn’t look to have the quickness to stay at corner. I will be interested to watch him as maybe Rob Ryan schematically uses him well but as just a pure player I didn’t like him (5th round grade).

57. 49ers: Well the RB run is off and um…running? Hyde is my #1 back in this draft and was widely regarded as the #1 back so it’s a bit of a surprise that he was the #3 guy. I guess that is why the 49ers took him as he is great value (#27 on my board) yet they already have Frank Gore (1-2 seasons left), Marcus Lattimer (a talent that should be healthy) and two underrated players in Kendall Hunter and never seen but often heard on twitter LaMichael James. James has to be traded now but even with that trade I just don’t see the need for Hyde. I would have gone CB with a Phillip Gaines pick here.

56. Broncos: Cody Latimer-I had him #60 Overall so a solid value and my pick for the highest rated player that no one had heard of. Latimer is a talent as all you have to do is watch his Michigan State film where he made plays against Darqueze Dennard for you to realize he has legit athleticism for his size. Interest pick also in that I see a lot of Eric Decker in him.

55. Bengals: Jeremy Hill-Giovanni Bernard owners in dynasty leagues just shit their pants! I love Jeremy Hill as he was my #1 RB all year long yet he projects as a 2 down back aka perfect complement to Bernard and he had some off the field issues so he dropped to #3. My #2 is my most controversial pick as I really think Seastrunk reminds me of McCoy coming out of Pittsburgh a few years back but I digress….Hill has Pro Bowl talent and has one of the highest upsides of any back in the draft. I get why Sankey went first as he’s the safest pick but Hill’s size and strength combined with his quick feet is rare.

54. Titans: Bishop Sankey-In my bio I wrote, “He’s probably the safest running back to take but he is by no means the best as he lacks the size and strength of Hyde/Hill or the elusiveness of Mason/Seastrunk. He’ll never be a franchise back but in today’s NFL I’m not sure you really need one so there’s an argument to be made for avoiding the higher risk backs and taking the safe guy in Sankey. As a mid round pick he’d be a borderline steal for a team as I’m sure he’ll be productive, durable and versatile. Early 3rd round as my #4 RB 5/3/14.” To me he makes sense as the #1 RB in this draft despite me having him #4 as he’s a guaranteed good starter. He won’t be great but he’ll be good and there’s no off the field issue with him (Hyde and Hill) or questions about scheme fit (Seastrunk, Hill) or if he’s a legit 3 down back (Hyde/Hill). Sankey will be a good starter for 4 years and then the Titans can say goodbye to him in free agency to let someone else overpay for him. Isn’t that what the NFL has become at the RB position? Good pick.

53. Packers: Davante Adams-I had him #69 Overall so it’s a bit of a reach to me but I get how others loved him and all that jazz. To me though I just say two words: Allen Robinson. He’s my #2 Overall Player left on my board and I know he will be there awhile but I’m going to mention him going forward for each WR as I think this kid will be a steal. Last year all Day 2 of the draft I waited for Keenan Allen to get selected and then he became OROY (yes Eddie Lacy was the official winner but that was a poor choice as a 1,000 yard rookie receiver is about 3x less likely than a 1,000 yard rookie rusher over the past 10 drafts-look it up it’s true as it’s 11x for a rusher and 3x for a receiver). Robinson isn’t quite the talent of Allen but he’s close. Whoever chooses him will have a steal-likely in the 3rd round though.

When will the running back run begin? It’s got to be soon right?

52. Cardinals-Troy Niklas-I love this pick. To me Niklas had a much higher upside than Jace Amaro and he’s another player that if he had come back to school he would have been in the 1st round discussion in 2015. He has an elite frame and solid athleticism but didn’t have eye popping stats (Tommy Rees being a crappy QB probably had a little to do with that) and was hurt this offseason so he couldn’t work out at the Combine. A risk/reward type roll of the dice but at this point it makes sense.

51. Bears: Ego Ferguson-I like this pick. If Ferguson came back next year he’d be a 1st rounder. I had him as an early 3rd so it’s not a steal but he’s a good fit schematically and a solid value. (Update: I write these bios and then push play on my TIVO and hear Kiper and McShay talk. Often times they say the same thing but in this case they both panned the pick as they had him in the 4th round. That surprises me as he’s a one year wonder type and should have stayed in school but he has a really high upside and played comparably to last year’s 2nd round pick Bennie Logan of the Eagles who had a very good rookie season).

50. Chargers: Jeremiah Attaochu-I’m surprised how high he was ranked by some guys as I had him #108 Overall. He does have an elite motor though and he fits perfectly into a 3-4 scheme.

NFL Fan Marissa Shamay-where have you been all my life!

49. Jets: Jace Amaro-I wasn’t a huge fan of Amaro’s but that was when he was a late 1st/early 2nd. I know it sounds like I’m splitting hairs but as a mid to late 2nd it makes sense. They got good production out of Dustin Keller for a few years in New York and he’ll be a similar player stylistically as he’s a “move TE” and will need to be used like a chess piece all over the field. He has good hands, elite production and is elite at finding soft spots in a zone but lacks the athleticism to consistently beat top notch talent. If I was game planning against him I’d take my #3 CB and put him on him all day long. Yes Amaro would win a few jump balls but if you watch his tape he’s exploiting a lot of medicore linebackers and zone coverages. Play him tight man and I think he shrivels up and dies. That being said in the later part of the 2nd he’s a solid value and the Jets add another skill player this offseason (Decker, Chris Johnson, etc.). Solid pick.

48. Ravens: Timmy Jernigan-Some will say this was a steal but I’m not one of those people as I had him #86 on my board and that’s BEFORE he tested positive for marijuana at the Combine (for those who say, “actually Jon it’s technically a diluted pee sample” I say “shut the fuck up”). He has the potential to be an above average starter at a position of value (DT) but I didn’t see the explosiveness in his film or at the Combine and his stats were mediocre. Baltimore is raved about (pun intended) yearly for their great drafts but last year it was Courtney Upshaw and this year it’s Timmy Jernigan. These guys lack the athleticism to be great and I think Ozzie Newsome focuses too much on taking big name, big school players. Neither are playmakers and are just role player type starters.

47. Redskins: Trent Murphy-So many people are going to like this pick but I’m not one of them. I had Murphy as my #129 Overall Player as I just think he’s going to be a bust. Yes he led the nation in sacks. Let’s get that out of the way as other than Jake Matthews bloodlines, Mike Evans being a basketball player only till his senior year in High School or Jordan Matthews being the career SEC leader in catches and receiving yardage the Murphy led the nation in sacks comment is the most overused. I don’t care. You need to have good college production but that doesn’t automatically translate. Murphy has no burst, average strength and isn’t that heavy at only around 250 lbs. He has good arm length and good agility so maybe he can be an average starting 3-4 OLB but I don’t like this pick.

46. Steelers: Stephon Tuitt-So in the end Tuitt didn’t QUITE make it to #47 where the Cowboys were going to pick. Obviously I think this is a steal as he was the #1 player left on my board, I had a mid 1st grade on him (14th Overall) AND I though that he could play a very good 3-4 DE. I still think one gap DT is his best position due to his rare explosiveness but 3-4 DE probably is his second best and he continues the trend, along with Ryan Shazier, of the Steelers getting younger and more athletic on defense.

45. Seahawks: Paul Richardson-I had him ranked #106 so I think this is a huge reach but I’m also intrigued as there are few players with his speed AND height that come out of the draft. He’s rail thin and will need to add weight but if he can gain 10 lbs before his rookie season and gain another 10 lbs over the next few years you could be looking at a Mike Wallace clone. He has elite speed and was pretty productive despite Colorado’s atrocious play the past few years. It’s such a reach that it’s hard to not knock it but I will admit that the player intrigued the hell out of me.

44. Bills: Cyrus Kouandjio-This is a very good pick. It makes 2 out of the past 3 drafts where they took a very talented OT in the 2nd round (Cordy Glenn in 2012). Both players have elite size and arm length yet questionable feet so I’ll be curious who plays LT. I think it will be Cyrus at RT in 2014 and then he’ll move to LT in 2015. A very good value at #44 as many had him as a late 1st type guy and he was a mid 1st grade on my board at one time.

43. Giants: Weston Richburg-Well this is value wise the worst pick in the draft in my eyes as I had him as the 179th best player in this draft. Of course I had a similar grade on Kyle Long who went in the late 1st and made the Pro Bowl so I’ll be the first to admit that I get them wrong sometimes. My argument though would be that no one, I mean NO ONE had him as the #1 C in this draft yet that’s where they took him. In the early 3rd my board would still say it’s a reach but no one else would have. In the mid 2nd I think even Richburg’s most diehard fans would say it’s a least a little rich for him.

42. Eagles: Jordan Matthews-I wasn’t a huge fan of Matthews but in the Eagles offense he could make me look wrong, see the Brandin Cooks write up in the 1st round due to being picked by the Saints. I just don’t see any explosion and just as I don’t worry about Marqise Lee’s 4.53 40 because on film he’s fast it also makes me not love Matthews because of his sub 4.5 40 as he didn’t look fast or explosive on film. He could be a bust and at best he’s a #2 WR so not a fan of this pick but hey it’s the Eagles so that’s GREAT!!!

41. Rams: LaMarcus Joyner-Not a fan as he has elite production and instincts but he’s tiny and he didn’t have enough athleticism for me to think he can overcome it. He could be a ballhawk but I suspect he’s just an average starter.

40. Lions: Kyle Van Noy-A year ago I would have loved this pick but Van Noy has slowly gone from a late 1st grade to a mid 3rd round as I just don’t see the upside. He has elite versatility but he’s a good at everything but great at nothing and, combined with how little value the linebacker position is overall, I just slowly lost interest in the kid. Not a fan at all of this pick as at #40 there was some very good talent available and they chose Kyle who was #78 on my board.

39. Jaguars: Marqise Lee-Well the Bucs pick was only the best pick in the 2nd round for about 1 minute as this pick is maybe the steal of the draft. No one agrees with me but I really think Lee has a chance to be the best WR in this draft class. The other two guys with the chance to be the best in the draft (Watkins and Evans) went in the Top 7 so for the Jags to get a guy with that upside at #39 is amazing.

38. Bucs: Austin Seferian-Jenkins-An absolute steal. First off I had Austin as my #1 TE and a much better overall prospect than Eric Ebron who went #10 Overall. Second, I had him ranked #11 Overall and he just went #38. Third, he now joins Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans in Tampa. I love how they watched the Bears Josh McCown throw amazing jump balls to Marshall, Jeffrey and Martellus Bennett and then recreated the same situation for him in Tampa. I think McCown is a big time fantasy sleeper and could put up big numbers the next few years with these three targets. Best pick of the 2nd round and there already have been some good ones.

37. Falcons: Ra’Shede Hageman-I like the pick. He’s a roll of the dice type as he could be one of the best DTs in the NFL or be a below average starter. Joining a veteran team like the Falcons probably is the best for him as he won’t be expected to be a savior of a franchise and if he doesn’t do much for a few games they still could win the game due to their elite offense. Also I like them taking OL and DL with their first two picks as they talked about getting bigger and stronger but some teams just talk about it and then go out and draft another skill player ahem Lions I’m talking to you.

36. Raiders: Derek Carr-I love this pick. I had Carr as my #3 QB and a mid 1st grade as I saw a lot of potential in him but also a few worrisome things. In the early 2nd round it’s a steal as he can sit a year or two behind Schaub and be given a chance to develop. Also this shows that the Raiders have changed as I hated their 1st round selection last year but liked a lot of the rest of their draft and I loved their 1st and now 2nd round picks this year. They are slowly building a very good football team. I just hope the owner gives a chance to continue on the job and doesn’t fire him for no reason like his dad did countless times.

35. Browns: Joel Bitonio-Some people are obsessed with Joel. I’m not one of them as I had him as the #56 player on my board but he’s a tough, physical player that could be a great OG or a solid, though unconventional, LT. An okay pick but I think Browns fans will be wondering why they didn’t take Marqise Lee if the rumor of Josh Gordon’s suspension is true.

One more take on the Cowboys pick: It’s just interesting how 1 day after Jerry Jones grew up and all of that jazz by passing on Johnny he went right back to being impulsive by trading up for a player. I really really like Lawrence and he fits a HUGE need at DE and fits the scheme perfectly but this is the deepest draft in the past decade and you just lost a quality pick in the 3rd round. Lawrence likely would have been gone by #47 but it’s not 100% that it was going to happen as a lot of people were bigger fans of Crichton and Easly. I wasn’t among them but they were out there and there’s a, say 25% chance, that Lawrence would have made it to #47.

34. Cowboys: DeMarcus Lawrence-I like the pick. I actually love the pick if you take away the trade but I don’t think you can separate the two as the Cowboys are now probably done for the rest of the day and only added 1 starter. THAT BEING SAID Lawrence projects as a very good DE who excels as a pass rusher. He had elite production and he has insane hand size and quickness. As always I will be taking my highest rated player at the same position so I can compare “my draft” to Jerry’s draft. Last night it was the same pick as Zach Martin was my highest rated OG. For his pick my highest rated pass rusher was Stephon Tuitt not DeMarcus Lawrence (who was #2). Here is Lawrence’s profile:

DeMarcus Lawrence Boise State 6’2 7/8 251 Jr.

Stats:

Year Tackles Sack TFL QBH FF INT TD
2014
2013 72 10.5 20.5 1 3 0 0
2012 48 8.5 13.5 2 4 1 0
2011 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Rankings:

Jon’s 500 Mayock’s 100 Daniel Jeremiah’s 50 Gil Brand’ts 125
31 41 40 37

Combine: He surprised me with a 4.8 40 as I saw more speed on film. He had a good vertical and broad but was bad in the bench (20 reps) and average in the quickness drills. He definitely didn’t test out as an elite athlete. In the backpedal drill he looked tight but explosive. Very good in the 5 bags drills-somewhat tight but very quick feet. Explosive in double bag pass rush drill. Very explosive in LB drills.

HGT WGT Arms Hands 40 Reps Vert Broad Shuttle 3 Cone
6027 251 33.75 11 4.80 20 34.5 905 4.31 7.46

Strengths: His ’11 hands for a guy measuring under 6’3 made me do a triple take as I’ve never EVER seen anything comparable to that. His ’33 ¾ arms for that height are also impressive. He had two very good seasons statistically with at least 48 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 13.5 TFL and 3 FF in each of them. That consistency is rare for an underclassman. He has a great frame, good quickness and good strength with that combination allowing him to attack in numerous different ways. He has a noticeable burst and plays faster than his 4.80 40. He doesn’t always try hard but he’s a very tough nosed player and has no issues with contact. This is extremely important as he often will be an undersized guy in the NFL but teams shouldn’t be worried that he will play soft.

Weaknesses: He too often seems bored and doesn’t always give an all out effort. He was invisible in a number of games I scouted (Fresno State in 2013, bowl game in 2013 vs. Oregon State) but then had huge games to make his season stats not portray the whole story (5.5 sacks in 2 games in 2013, 4.5 sacks in 2 games in 2012). He missed the 2012 bowl game due to breaking team rules. He often settles for just going wide around an OT and with 4.8 speed that isn’t his best plan of attack. He has a narrow frame and I suspect that he will struggle against the run if put in a 4-3 scheme. If he’s moved to a 3-4 scheme he’ll be playing on his feet for the first time. I got the feeling that he wasn’t a well liked person at that program. He’s very raw and I don’t think he really understands the game yet.

Overall: Lawrence is a unique physical specimen as it’s rare to see a 6’3 guy with nearly ’34 arms and I’ve NEVER seen a 6’3 guy with ’11 hands. Those hands were bigger than any of the 50 OL at the Combine this year and there were dozens of guys who were 6’6 or taller. Combine that rare size and length with impressive quickness and strength and you have a unique player that rushes the passer different than most guys. He reminds me a little of Ezekial Ansah in that he doesn’t really have a plan of attack yet is so physically talented that he’s successful anyway. His statistical output the past two years (120 tackles, 19 sacks, 34 TFL and 7 FF) is elite but considering he did it against solid competition AND didn’t use great technique shows the kind of upside this kid has. He’s raw and, as such, he has a higher chance of being a bust than say a Scott Crichton, but his upside is so much higher that I’d be willing to roll the dice on greatness with him than play it safe with Scott. I compare the two because they end with very similar grades despite being very different in style and risk/reward outlooks. Early 2nd round as my #6 PR who has a very high ceiling due to his unique skill set but has some bust potential as well 4/28/14.

Trade: I was actually a bigger fan of moving back in the draft instead of moving up BUT if they do this move they better be getting value and fit so I say it’s either Stephon Tuitt (DT/DE) or DeMarcus Lawrence (DE).

33. Texans: Xavier Su’a-Filo-I love the pick. He was the #5 guy left on my board and I actually think he has a slightly higher upside than Zach Martin. Derek Carr made sense as did Marqise Lee or Austin Seferian-Jenkins but if you wanted to avoid skill position and work on your line play then this was the way to go. Very good pick.

-Before we begin let’s get the Top 20 Best Available out of the way

Name Position Position Rank Grade Jon’s 500
Marqise Lee WR 2 Top 10 9
Austin Seferian-Jenkins TE 1 Top 15 11
Derek Carr QB 3 Top 15 13
Stephon Tuitt PR 3 Top 15 14
Xavier Su’a-Filo OG 2 Late 1st 24
Carlos Hyde RB 1 Early 2nd 27
Cyrus Kouandjio OT 4 Early 2nd 28
Allen Robinson WR 5 Early 2nd 29
DeMarcus Lawrence PR 6 Early 2nd 30
Lache Seastrunk RB 2 Early 2nd 33
Jimmy Garoppolo QB 5 Early 2nd 34
Phillip Gaines CB 4 Early 2nd 35
James Hurst OT 5 Early 2nd 37
Aaron Lynch PR 8 Early 2nd 39
Jace Amaro TE 3 Mid 2nd 40
Troy Niklas TE 4 Mid 2nd 41
Jeremy Hill RB 3 Mid 2nd 42
Marcus Martin C 1 Mid 2nd 43
Ra’Shede Hageman DT 2 Mid 2nd 44
Antonio Richardson OT 7 Mid 2nd 45
Morgan Moses OT 8 Mid 2nd 46

As you can see there are a lot of DL still available as of the Top 20 there are 3 pass rushers and 1 DT. I would assume those are the players Dallas will target with their mid 2nd round pick but I also could see them trade back if they aren’t in love with a player as there are 2 WR, 4 OT, 1 OG and 1 C in the Top 20 with none of those positions appearing to be a need for the Cowboys. If a team in the late 2nd Round (Patriots move up for Austin Seferian-Jenkins?) wants to move up I’d be very comfortable dropping down further. My dream pick for the Cowboys is Stephon Tuitt as I had a mid 1st grade on him and think that in a one gap system like we run that he could play DE or DT. That versatility would be huge in 2014 as right now the Cowboys have Henry Melton and three empty DL spots so it’d be nice to have a guy like Tuitt that would allow the coaching staff to play the best 4 players. I already know I’m going to get grief for this but I’d also be intrigued at doubling down on the Zach Martin pick by taking another OG at #47. Xavier Sua-Fila was only 7 spots lower than Zach Martin and has a legit 1st round grade. Adding him would really send a message that the Cowboys were committed to the run and were building an OL comparable to the 90’s Cowboys. In two rounds you could suddenly elevate the Cowboys from a good OL to a great one and you’d finally give this team an identity. Now I know some will think I’m insane but I believe in the theory that all great teams have an identity and with one “luxury pick” the Cowboys would finally have one. Odds are very strong though that they go defense so if you disagree with me it doesn’t matter as the Sua-Fila pick won’t be happening. It’s just something to think about.

 

-Welcome back. Are you ready for the best draft day of the year? I know the first round gets the most publicity and the third day is the longest but to me it’s all about day 2 of the NFL Draft when you look at why teams like the 49ers and Seahawks are so good and the Bills, Browns and Jaguars are so bad. Day 2 is the lifeblood of a team as this is two rounds where you should be able to come away with 2 starters and very possibly one will become a star. The Cowboys have been very mediocre on this day over the years yet even they have gotten Jason Witten, Sean Lee, DeMarco Murray and Terrance Williams in previous years. To me the Cowboys HAVE to hit on these next few picks. Their future depends on it.

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7 Comments
  1. sky permalink

    Don’t like trading up yet again. The best drafters, BAL, PIT, SFO, NE, SEA, rarely trade up and often trade down to compile picks and chances at success.

    But if they got the guy they really had to have, I can see how it’s permissible…maybe. Not only is the DL in need of help now, the DE spot will be in even more trouble next year after the 1-year deal on Hatcher expires.

    I would have held out on their regular spot and waited on any number of DE, DT guys to fall as it seems teams are already piece-mealing their picks now.

    • Agreed as Tuitt looks like he’ll fall to #47 and he had a higher grade on my board. Also you have to know the draft you’re in and this being such a deep draft makes you want to draft back not up. I hate the trade but I love the player they chose. Yes I’d have preferred Marqise Lee or Austin Seferian-Jenkins but the 2013 Draft took those positions away from us…..oh the Gavin Escobar pick just gets worse and worse. For a team needing a DE Lawrence made a lot of sense.

      • sky permalink

        Yea, Escobar…I’ll never let that one down. Perfect metaphor for the clusterf that is the organization.

        After 3 Rounds and on-paper, I think there will be a lot of head-scratching. Going into the draft it was obvious we needed defense, defense and some defense. As much as possible and in a seemingly deep draft, it was the perfect storm.

        How does one pick of of three potentially make our Defense that much better, when we need help everywhere? I understand and like Martin, as with Lawrence. But stepping back I have questions.

      • I agree somewhat but also remember that we got two Day 1 starters and both will improve this team. Looking at picks like Trent Murphy at #47 makes me at least happy that we made good picks. I would have traded down at #16 and #47 but who knows who Jerry would have chosen at those later spots. At least he made good picks.

  2. sky permalink

    Yea, reading more into it. They, and many, feel that Lawrence is a difference-maker at the pass rusher spot. Not many of those and certainly not into round 2. So I get it. I also may have been overrating some of the other DLs, Jernigan, Ealy, etc.

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