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Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT With Trades & Player Comparisons- 1/26/15

The NCAA ALL-STAR games are almost full now , so you know people are thinking about the 2015 draft. Regular season performances, post-season performances, the salary cap, free agency, players leaving school early, players deciding to stay in school, injuries etc, can and will change the draft. Team needs and players' stock will rise and fall in the long months until the actual draft takes place. After the bowl games a lot of players will rapidly declare their draft intentions, but as of now this draft doesn't look anywhere near as good as the 2014 draft was. NFL Player comparisons have been added .So next to each player is the NFL player we feel they will most resemble in their prime if they are a hit. I am watching a ton of tape right now, and soon I will be putting up my top 100.The comp is for on the field play only ,and the higher they are ranked the more likely we think they will reach that comparison.  




# Is for a player with with reported character or maturity concerns

**  Is for a player with reported injury concerns



1.TAMPA BAY-#-JAMEIS WINSTON-QB-FLORIDA ST-NFL COMP-STEVE McNAIR-retired- The bucs went back to Josh McCown as their starter late in the season. That is a clear sign they don't see Mike Glennon as their QB of the future. With Winston being a Florida guy, I could see there being plenty of pressure to take him, as long as he he has no more off the field incidents leading up to the draft.  Lovie Smith is a players' coach who probably thinks he can reach and motivate Jameis. The bucs wisely hired Dirk Koetter to groom the QB they choose. The choice is kind of genius because it really tells us nothing about which QB they currently prefer, and allows them to take their time in evaluating both before they make their choice. Koetter just tutored a classic pocket passer in Mattt Ryan. So you know he can tutor Winston. However, Mariota's current head coach Mark Helrich has coached under Koetter multiple times. So it's stands to reason he could also help develop Marcus and design a spread pro-set hybrid offense to help Marcus succeed early. While I would take the safer Mariota, instead of gambling the #1 overall pick on Winstons character & maturity, I understand why they would take Jameis.   I think the pressure to take a homegrown winner like Winston could influence ownership into taking the troubled but talented Jameis, over the less polished passer in Mariota. Also,  if Jameis was clean off the field he would be the runaway overall # 1 pick. He's as tough as nails , a proven winner, and has all the tools. Most importantly he makes great NFL throws with the rush bearing down on him. That's about as reliable an indicator of future success as you can get. in a on the field evaluation, and you don't find much of it in Mariota's tape..  With Koetter under contract they will probably succeed either way, and if the defense doesn't improve and they fire Smith ,they have a potential head coach in waiting in house. 





2.TENNESEE-MARCUS MARIOTA-QB-OREGON-NFL COMP-RYAN TANNEHILL-MIA-Despite his obvious talent, Zach Mettenburger's knee & back woes, and some off the field troubles made him free fall to the 6th round. They gave Zach a shot to see if he is the future, but he got hurt before he could really make a case to be their long term answer at QB. They may still give him the chance and auction off this pick , but for the sake of this mock they will be moving on from Zach.  In this case they get Mariota. He is a great athlete for the position, and I would love to see what he could do behind this O-line. He is not just all tools like Locker. His skills have increased every year, and he is now a good passer as well.  Even if given the choice, Ken Whisenhunt is more likely to take a safe off-the-field guy like Mariota/Hundley than maybe a better but troubled Jameis Winston if he was available when they picked. This team has almost everything, and are probably just good QB play from quickly becoming a contender . Mariota is the safest QB in this class right now, and he also has a high upside, but any team that takes him needs to adjust their offense to him if they want him to have success early  A lot of shotgun and spread concepts are large parts of many offenses in the NFL these days, but some coaches refuse to adjust their systems to help a young QB out. .  Whisenhunt should hire a QB guru to tutor him .Even though he gets a lot of credit for Rothlisberger,  I personally doubt that Ken had much to do with Big Ben's development. If he did then he should have developed at least one( Kevin Kolb, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Matt Leinert, Max Hall) of the young QB's he had in Ariziona. He might be wise to hire Marc Trestman if he gets Mariota, as Trestman has had success wedding a spread system to a west coast offense. If he doesn't Washington might hire him to bring along RG3. either way Marcus will need a QB guru who can combine a spread and pro style offense. 



***TRADE*** ATLANTA trades their first round pick in this draft (#8) and their first round pick in 2016 for the JAGUARS first round pick(#3) in this draft***




3.ATLANTA-(jaguars)-LEONARD WILLIAMS-DT/DE-USC-NFL COMP-MUHAMMAD WILKERSON-NYJ-With Jameis Winston's down season and off the field problems dropping his grade Wilkerson is the highest graded player in this draft ,and the kind of special player teams could trade up for. Thomas Dimitroff has traded up for a special(Julio Jones) before, and he was also considering trading up for Jadaveon ( dodged a bullet there!)Clowney last year. I am no longwr sure if he or Scott Pioli have the final say on this type of move. Owner Arthur Blank might be the new shot caller on franchise future gambles. Right now it's a good fit for both teams, so I will leave it this way, but don't be surprised if other teams fall in love with Williams and try to trade up for him. As of this writing Mike Nolan is still the Falcons defensive coordinator, despite only generating a next to last in the league 22 sacks as a defense. Their are plenty of reasons for this low total . Injuries and lack of pass rushing talent being chief among them. Another is that Nolan does his best work running a 3-4 . Williams is a prototype 3-4 end and he can kick inside when they go to nickle,and can generate a pass rush from anywhere. Nolan would help mold Williams into a pro, and help the defense generate pressure as a whole through creative blitzes and schemes if they go to an odd front. If they had hired Rex Ryan  Williams could have been even better. Nolan is solid coach who has worked with a lot of different coaches from a lot of different coaching trees, but he could still learn a lot from Rex on how to create defensive pressure. This trade allows them to have a chance to win the division in 2015 , and only gives up a future pick that could be a low first rounder if they succeed. 



4.OAKLAND-SHANE RAY-OLB/DE-MIZZ- NFL COMP-CLAY MATTHEWS-GB- The Raiders might have ruined what could have been a franchise altering trade by beating San Francisco. Any chance of auctioning off the pick to the highest bidder and quickly restocking the franchise is gone . At least hey still ended up with a high enough pick to get a premium player. No matter who the coach is next season a player that can help the pass rush whether they run a 3-4 or 4-3 will be needed. A better rush from the edge will also help any corners on the roster.Ray didn't get as much spotlight as the steady Kony Ealy or media creation Michael Sam last season. He did however make a lot of plays as an edge rusher. Now he has a chance to shine in the spotlight, has been a far better player than either, and he has a relentless motor. He is fast off the ball, closes really well, although I'm still unsure if his best position in the pro's is as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 rush backer.




5.WASHINGTON-
DANTE FOWLER-DE-FLORIDA-NFL COMP-ANTHONY SPENCER-DALL -If Brian Orapko could stay healthy all year, the 'Skins would probably have payed him, but he is out for the year again. .  If RG3 returns to form this offense could be dangerous, and they appear to be bringing him back for 2015, but I'll believe in this defense only after I see them produce. Their secondary is the main question right now, but nothing makes a secondary better quickly than a good pass rush, and there is no secondary player worth this high of a pick. The offensive line could also use a boost. Fowler is a versatile edge rusher with a great motor who was moved around to help reduce offenses constantly game planning to stop him. A trade back or a O-lineman are also likely possibilities.



6.NYJ-VICTOR BEASLEY-OLB/DE-CLEMSON-NFL-COMP-VON MILLER-DENV-The Jets might want a QB, but Geno Smith did show some progress. However, even if they want a new QB, Mariota and Winston are the only two QB's that should end up top 5 picks. There number one need is corner, but there also aren't any corners worth this high a pick. Both Calvin Pace and Jason Babin will be 35 next season and the jets need a young OLB to pair with Quinton Coples in their 3-4. Beasley has been a highly productive pass rusher two years running ,and he has the agility to also drop into coverage when needed. While his best position is as 3-4 rush backer , he needs to add some weight to play as a 4-3 DE in all but obvious passing situations





7.CHICAGO-**RANDY GREGORY-DE/OLB-NEBRASKA-SIMEON RICE-retired-New head coach Jon Fox was hired to fix the defense and improving the pass rush is usually how he starts. With Jared Allen turning 33 next season , and Lamarr Houston is a better fit inside in my opinion, a young  edge rusher to pair with Willie Young could really help.
 Gregory has an ideal frame with long arms, and he is agile enough to rush off the edge in a 3-4 or 4-3. Once that frame is filled out with another 20 to 30 pounds of muscle, he can be even better, and if hre shows up at 260 plus at the combine he probably goes top 5..



8.JACKSONVILLE-(Atlanta)-BRANDON SCHERFF-IOWA-NFL COMP-JOE STALEY-SF-This trade allows the Jags to get  better value for their pick and fill a need. The plan was to start the underwhelming Chad Henne behind a bad O-line for at least half the season, this year looked like a lost cause right out of the gate. However, after 3 weeks of bad offense the Jags decided to throw Blake Bortles into the fire, ready or not. While Blake is a big tough guy with mobility, he is still behind a bad O-line. 2013 number 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel hasn't quite lived up to his draft status yet, but there is still plenty of time for that.  Early on Scherff was slowed by an injury he came back from too quickly, but the attitude he plays with could help this entire team step forward. The top 3 pre-season OT's have all had their miscues this season, but Scherff is the only one with a legit reason to explain it. Plus, he has improved as he has gotten healthier. I expect whichever OT is the consensus #1 after the senior bowl will go here, but Scherff is the safest of them all, and he has the best technique.  At the very least he will be a long term starter somewhere in front of Blake. A mauler like him has the kind of attitude that can infect an entire O-line.

  


9.NYG-
BUD DUPREE-DE/OLB-KY-NFL COMP-JUSTIN HOUSTON-KC-John Pierre -Paul played well this year, but he is no longer the explosive athlete he once was, and he never will be again after back surgery. He still plays with power and a good motor, but as a free agent I think he will be seeking more money than the giants want to pay him. Even if they do pay him they need someone to replace Mathias Kiwanuka.Dupree surprised me when I looked at his tape. Very few guys with his frame can cover as much ground as he does, and with some refinement on his pass rush & stack shed techniques he can be an elite player. If he is allowed to just rush the passer with no coverage responsibilities he can be an elite player early. 





10.RAMS-KEVIN WHITE-WR-W.VIRGINIA-NFL COMP-ALSHON JEFFERY-CHI-Unless Winston free falls this far it now looks like the Rams will be starting another year with the talented, but often seriously injured Sam Bradford as their QB again. The rams have spent plenty of high picks on receivers, and even signed the super talented but troubled Kenny Brtitt, but despite all that they still lack a number one receiver.White is a big possession receiver with a high floor. White has strong hands, can win jump balls, and rubs good routes. He gives Bradford a reliable receiver that he can throw to when he really needs a first down.  





11.MINNESOTA-DEVANTE PARKER-WR-LVILLE-NFL COMP-DEZ BRYANT-DALL- If Teddy Bridgewater had begun the season as the starting QB , and Adrian Peterson hadn't been put on paid leave, the Vikings had a chance to compete for a playoff spot. Cordarelle Patterson is a great athlete and weapon, but polished #1 receiver he is not, and probably never will be . Greg Jennings has fallen off a tick and is now more of a polished # 2 receiver, but he is currently paid like a #1. The Vikings could give Teddy a familiar down field threat in his college go to guy in Parker. This is a receiver Teddy can just depend on to come down with the ball even when he's covered, save a pile of money on Jennings, and acquire a potential # 1 receiver. If Scherff falls here he could be the pick, and then they could try the disappointing Matt Kalil inside at left guard, possibly improving 2 positions at once.  



12.CLEVELAND-AMARI COOPER-WR-ALA-NFL COMP-REGGIE WAYNE-INDY-It apperas that once again Josh Gordon has shown that football isn't his first priority.His now suspended for the 2015 season. Personally, I think they should draft 2 receivers in the first 3 rounds just to be safe. Miles Austin is a hamstring pull away from the sideline ,and Andrew Hawkins is an undersized slot guy. Maybe they will play Justin Gilbert on offense this season,  Cooper is a polished receiver who always seems to be open,has great timing ,plays bigger than he is, and he can make things happen after the catch.




13.SAINTS-LA'EL COLLINS-T/G-LSU-NFL COMP-CARL NICKS-retired-,Jahri Evans is no longer worth his high salary, and has been giving up pressure right in his QB's face. If he doesn't take a pay-cut he could be gone and a new guard to protect Drew Brees could be their top priority in the Bayou..While I firmly believe Collins can play tackle many see him as a guard, and I agree he would be a stud there too. keeping the pocket clean up the middle is they key to 6 foot Drew Brees being able to throw the ball well. Collins is a local talent and this angry mauler would also improve the run game.It all makes too much sense to pass on. 



 


14.MIAMI-
CAMERON ERVING-C/T-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MAX UNGER-SEA-Despite throwing money and draft picks at the problem for a couple of years the only Dolphins offensive lineman to play well last year was Brandon Albert. Even the normally good Mike Pouncey didn't play up to his usual standards after returning from injury, but that may also be partially due to him playing guard instead of center. Given Pouncey's role in the bullying scandal , impending free agency in 2016 & stated wish to play with his twin brother again,  , added to Samson Satele's less than stellar play replacing Pouncey at center, a long term replacement might be in order. Erving looked like a possible first rounder as a left tackle coming into this season, but his play had slipped some , and he needs to be taught from scratch how to set up on the left side if he is gong to stay there. . However, he has been great since a move to center, and I believe he can play all five O-line positions with the proper coaching . That makes him worth his weight in gold.




15.SAN FRANCISCO-
MALCOLM BROWN-DT-TEX-NFL COMP-SHARIFF FLOYD-MINN-With Ray McDonald being cut after a domestic violence accusation, Justin Smith turning 36 next season, and Tank Carradine & Tony Jerod-Eddie not developing as quickly as needed the niners need a new 5 technique. Brown has the skills to play all over their front and help improve both the run and pass defense. 





16.HOUSTON-
**JORDAN PHILLIPS-DT-OKLA-NFL COMP-ALBERT HAYNESWORTH-retired-With the news that Jadaveon Clowney has had micro-fracture knee surgery coming out recently the Texans are still in need of another rusher to take advantage of the near constant double & triple teams that the incomparable JJ Watt draws. "IF" Clowney is ever the same explosive talent he once was. It will be at least a year until he could even possibly be a every-down player, and probably two until he is all the way back. A five technique that could beat one on one blocking could really shake things up. Phillips was a surprise entry into the draft. but this young giant is ridiculously athletic for a 6 foot 5 three hundred and thirty pound man . In addition , trying to find open passing lanes between the long arms of Watt and Phillips woulds be a chore for any opposing QB's.If Jordan's back checks out fine (missed 2013 season with a back injury)medically he could go in the top 10. Also, if you have a raw kid this talented exposing him to Watt's mentoring &work ethic can only make him better. 





17.CHARGERS-DANNY SHELTON-DT-WASH-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE-The chargers prefer to run a 3-4 defense but have lacked a true 3 down nose tackle since Antonio Garay went downhill . The massive Shelton continued to impress at the Senior bowl after a dominating season. His quickness and ability to cover ground for such a massive man is rare, although he needs more pass rush moves in the long term. Despite people calling him a top 10 pick I wouldn't take anyone with his extra body fat that high without a weight clause. He was happy to have made it down to a jiggly 343 at the Senior bowl , and while he still played great , carrying all that unnecessary extra weight is likely to catch up with him eventually. 



18.KANSAS CITY-LANDON COLLINS-S-ALA-NFL COMP-HARRISON SMITH-MINN-The chiefs did not have a single touchdown thrown to a wide receiver this year.Their ultra conservative check-down passing game limits their chances of being a contender. Dwayne Bowe is the # 1 receiver on this team and his best skill is his blocking. In this case the only 3 receivers worth this high a pick are gone. I expect them to address the need in free agency and later in this draft in this scenario. However safety Eric Berry has been diagnosed with cancer and Ron Parker is also a free agent. Collins could fill that void and bring a intimidating presence to the secondary. 



19.
CLEVELAND-(buffalo)-#-ARIK ARMSTEAD-DE-OREGON-NFL COMP-CALAIS CAMPBELL-AZNeither 2015 free agent Ahytab Rubin or Phil Taylor have held it down inside for the Browns this year . With Taylor spending his rare uninjured (knee)time at end , and his 2015 salary close to 5 and half million dollars in 2015 it's a safe bet that the browns wil be looking for D-line help after the season. Armstead is a tall, long armed, physical specimen with a prototypical frame for a 5 technique. He could easily put on 20 pounds without affecting his skills much, and bulking up would allow him to also kick inside as a DT in nickel.Word has been  going around this week that the talented junior Is ready to make the leap to the NFL. A elite pass rush from a 5 technique is rare, but he has the tools to be one of the few to pull it off. . 



20.EAGLES-**-TRAE WAYNES-CB-MICH ST-NFL COMP-DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE-NYG-Chip Kelly likes versatile tall guys with long arms on defense, and that describes Waynes.   Neither Bradley Fletcher or Cary Williams has become the # 1 corner that matches up with an opposing teams top receiver , and can be expected to man him up with success. Waynes plays corner at a high level in a good conference, but he needs to get stronger and play with a little more discipline.



21.BENGALS-
SHAQ THOMPSON-OLB/RB-WASHINGTON-NFL COMP-THOMAS DAVIS-CAR- When Lavonte Burfict was healthy he played both the middle and outside LB spots. When he went outside free-agent-to-be Rey Maualuga was inside, and he lacks the athleticism to do anything but clog running lanes between the tackles. What the Bengals need is a quick twitch athletic weak-side linebacker who can play sideline to sideline , and be an asset in pass coverage. That ls Thompson down to his toes. The former safety can still cover ground like one , and I expect he will show up at the combine at around 230 pound after packing on some muscle at one of the pre-draft camps, and alleviate some fears about his size being a hindrance in the NFL. Drafting him improves all 3 LB spots in all phases of th game, but especially in coverage. With Burfict in the middle, Vincent Rey on the strongside, and Shaq at the WLB the Bengals line-backing core could be elite. In addition Thompson can be a core special teamer early in his career, and a stud fill in at RB if you need him. 





22.PITTSBURGH-KEVIN JOHNSON-CB-W. FOREST-NFL COMP-TRAMON WILLIAMS-GB-Since Plaxico Burress left after his rookie season, Ben Roethlesberger has wanted another big wide receiver. With Martavis Bryant finally filing that spot the Steelers can concentrate on their defense. Long tome stalwart corner Ike Taylor will be a free agent again after this year, and while he hasn't played great he has been  a lot better than Cortez Allen.  The problem is they just gave Allen a new free agent contract last year, and they can't afford to cut him. So they need a cheap infusion of high level corner talent.  Johnson could be that guy. He is the safest of all the taller corners right now, and plays more physical than his lean frame would suggest.




23.DETROIT-EDDIE GOLDMAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MARCEL DAREUS -BUFF--Nick Fairley has shown at times that he is a pro bowl caliber talent, but he has lacks the consistent work ethic for the Lions to trust him with a big contract. They already declined his 2015 option and since they need to pay Suh very soon they probably couldn't afford him anyway. However, Suh want so much much money that I now doubt they can afford him.  If Suh gets the 15 plus million a year contract he wants the Lions will have 3 (Suh, Megatron, Stafford) players that average over 15 million a year on their cap. That has already made it very hard to miantain a winning ream under the cap. In that case they could resign the much cheaper Fairley at the 3 technique ,and draft someone who can play the one tech. Goldman is force inside and might even be quick enough to play the both sides ,and give the Lions flexibility to upgrade whatever side they prefer in other areas.




24.ARIZONA-ELI HAROLD-OLB/DE-VA-NFL COMP-JOHN ABRAHAM-retired-.  The probable retirement of John Abraham after another concussion has only exacerbated their need at OLB. Harold is an excellent athlete and much stronger than his somewhat lean looking frame would lead you to believe. Sets the edge well and has a strong bull rush. He has active hands but lacks a diverse polished pass rushing repertoire. Great motor against the run or pass. Has experience both as stand-up rush backer, 4-3 DE, and even moves inside on some obvious passing downs. Has a better get off with his hand on the ground, and with his inside moves he regularly shoots gaps & occasionally even splits double teams. Is rarely double teamed as a pass rusher thanks to Max Valles on the other side, and I would like to see  how he reacts to more double teams. He would be a definite upgrade outside in the desert. 




25.CAROLINA-.ANDRUS PEAT-OT-STANFORD-NFL COMP-ANTHONY COSTANZO-INDY-Jordan Gross retiring seems to have caught the Panthers by surprise, and they didn't do much to remedy it in the draft. Their plan to move Byron Bell to the left side smacks of desperation to me. Their other option is converted former TE /DT Nate Chandler. He is a great athlete , but they are counting on him to make a Jason Peters-like jump up this year.  Maybe they are right and both are undiscovered studs, but that seems like two huge gambles to base the health of your franchise QB. Even a physical specimen like Newton can only take so many hits and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets hurt this season. He is already coming off a rebuilt ankle this off-season. He also recently suffered a fractured rib in the pre-season. At least they made a concerted effort to get him a better(or at least  more reliable and supportive) receiving core, but at this point a healthy Steve Smith is still better than anyone they now have.In 2013 , You can bet your ass that Newton would be happy to know Peat was on his blind side.Peat is a good athlete for an OT, but his stock fell a little this season , as he lacked aggression and a consistent hand punch in pass protection. I am confident a NFL O-Line coach will be able to get this Stanford grad to fix this.He is plenty aggressive in the run game , so you know he has the right mentality in him, and he could easily be gone by this pick based on his upside alone.  




26.**-BALTIMORE-#MARCUS PETERS-CB-WASH-NFL COMP-DESMOND TRUFANT-ATL-Lardarius Webb has declined for two straight seasons ,will be 30 years-old in 2015, and his salary goes up to a cap busting twelve million dollars as well. On tape Peters was clearly the best corner in this years draft technique-wise, but being kicked off the team on Washington opens up a whole new line of questioning. .Baltimore has the kind of veteran leadership and organizational structure to draft a player with his character questions, and provide wit the kind of support he needs to have  good chance of success as a pro.





27.DALLAS-TJ CLEMMINGS-OT-PITT-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-They SHOULD draft a safety that can tackle and cover, but they have continually ignored the position at the top of the draft. At least Jason Garret has persuaded the Jones gfamily to invest in the O-line, and Dallas has the best offensive line in the league right now, but free agency could start to tear apart what they have so recently built. Even with thirty year old right tackle Doug free in the mix the average age of the line is 25.4 years. Free is a free agent after this year , and last time he was given a big contract extension his play went downhill. Maybe that wouldn't happen this time, but unless Free is willing to give a large hometown discount they can't afford him. A 30 year old above average right tackle could get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 5 year 30 to 40 million dollar deal , with half that guaranteed. Last time they paid Free well his play fell off, and he has been hurt twice this season. Free only returned to form after he was moved to the right side and he took a pay cut . Throw in that Dallas has a bad cap situation and Dez Bryant is due a big deal. Also remember that players who play a significant role like Rolando McClain, Anthony Spencer, Justin Durant, Sterling Moore, and Cole Beasley are as free agents as well.  Add that backup swing tackle Jermey Parnell is also a free agent, and that Parnell's pas blocking has been subpar so far. While maybe he isn't a guy proven enough to turn over the job to on a line this good, he has played well enough in fill in duty that someone will pay him at least low level starter money next year. That makes right tackle the number two priority for Dallas. .Dallas and Baltimore have begun a new type of zone blocking revolution ,by running the scheme with bigger lineman. Clemmings is an elite athlete for an OT, and while the former defensive end has played on the right side, he has the tools to play the blindside if needed. After his technique flaws were exposed at the senior bowl it is actually possible that Clemmings falls this far. At the least TJ  would be aN upgrade over Free at RT over the long haul.

 

28.DENVER-MAXX WILLIAMS-TE-MINN-NFL COMP-HEATH MILLER-PITT-After getting quickly knocked out of the playoffs John Elway decided a change need to be made at head coach and brought in Gary Kubiak. His main jobs are to convince Peyton Manning to return & to keep him healthy. A previously undisclosed leg injury explains Peyton's poor play in the final quarter of the season, but the fragile soon to be 39 year old is probably going to need a new tight end this year, as Julius Thomas is likely too expensive for the cash strapped Broncos to keep. On the bright side Williams  is more than just a good receiving TE.  Unlike Thomas Williams has the blocking skills of a true inline Y tight end, and this ability to help protect Manning actually makes Max an upgrade at the position.



29.COLTS-MELVIN GORDON-RB-WISCONSIN-NFL COMP-JAMAL CHARLES-KC-Trent Richardson has looked better lately, but he has been nowhere near the guy they thought they were getting when they traded for him. His 3.2 million salary is also a hindrance. but unfortunately it is fuly guaranteed. At this point they might take a 7th round pick for him.,if they can get it,  but even if they keep him they need a more reliable running back.     Gordon is a home run hitter who has shown he can maintain his ridiculous YPC this season, even when he is finally the bell cow back. Has shown he can catch the ball some this year, and a player with his big play ability should be a big asset as a receiver, but he still needs work in pass pro and as a receiver. He's a actually a powerfully built guy, and has run with more power inside this year, but he still leaves some inside yards on the field. Once he learns to consistently take what he can get inside and runs through more people he can be even better. Guys with his consistent big play ability are rare. The injuries to Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman have also helped him be the likely first back off he board. If he can convince teams that he can pass block I say he's a first round lock, devalued position and all.



30.GREEN BAY-DANIELLE HUNTER-DE-LSU-NFL COMP-JASON TAYLOR-retired-Clay Matthews is still great and Julius Peppers is still an amazing athlete, but he is also going to 35 soon. The pack needs an edge rusher to help keep teams from focusing too much on Matthews. The lanky Hunter is fluid and quick enough to drop into coverage as a 3-4 OLB.and bolster their pass rush. He also has a large enough frame to add a little weight so he can play DE when they go to an even front.




31.SEATTLE-MIKE BENNET-DT-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-JONATHAN BABINEAUX-ATL-The sea-hawks were showing a lot of the signs of a team that misses the playoffs a year after winning the Superbowl.From Players leaving in free agency , cut because of the cap , others getting huge contracts, divorces, commercials, holdouts, a hard schedule in the toughest division in football where every other team got better, fame and it's trappings, etc.... but they still have a very talented roster with some great leaders, So while  I didn't pick them to win it all , I definitely still saw them as a contender. After  their confusing draft was added in to the mix, I wouldn't even pick  them to repeat as champs in the NFC west, except San Francisco's corners were suspect. and Aldon Smith & Navarro Bowman were likely to miss the first half of the season.  Without home-field advantage in the playoffs I thought the Superbowl was out, but they puled together and won the division & got home-field advantage again. So while I now think they deserve to be the Superbowl favorite again, I still think last years team was better. Heck, in 3 years their 4th,5th and ,6th round draft picks may be stars in typical Seahawks fashion,  but they need more depth now. They over-drafted injury prone Justin Britt this year ,but did little else to help the O-line. Next year they are probably going to lose some key players. because you can't pay everybody . Even though they got both Cliff Avril and KJ Wright to resign at a discount, chances are Russell Wilsons contract is going to heavily restrict there future signings, A real QB contract should keep them from also paying ,Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, and Byron Maxwell. At the very least they will lose 2 out of those 3. Shockingly the main reason for the Seattle defense falling off this year is less of a pass rush.  Since the hawks have had more trouble getting an inside rush I expect they go with an inside player if there is one of equal value .Bennet is a inside penetrator that wreak havoc in opposing backfields. He could also be the replacement for the more expensive and injured Brandon Mebane. 




32.PATRIOTS-
PRESTON SMITH-DT/DE-DET-MISS-NFL COMO-JASON HATCHER-WASH-Belichick loves versatility and Valles is the kind of athlete that can do a lot of different things. Despite spending high draft picks on pass rushers in recent years the patriots still aren't getting a great pass rush. Smith played all over the D-line this season, and plays with more power than his lanky frame would suggest. He was even productive when they moved hum over the center the same way UCLA used Datone Jones a senior. Right now he looks best as a 4-3 base who can slide to the 3 technique on obvious passing downs, but with another 15-20 pounds of muscle he could probably be an excellent 5 technique in a 3-4.

Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 NFL MOCK DRAFT With Trades & Player Comparisons- 1/23/15

The NCAA ALL-STAR games are almost full now , so you know people are thinking about the 2015 draft. Regular season performances, post-season performances, the salary cap, free agency, players leaving school early, players deciding to stay in school, injuries etc, can and will change the draft. Team needs and players' stock will rise and fall in the long months until the actual draft takes place. After the bowl games a lot of players will rapidly declare their draft intentions, but as of now this draft doesn't look anywhere near as good as the 2014 draft was. NFL Player comparisons have been added .So next to each player is the NFL player we feel they will most resemble in their prime if they are a hit. I am watching a ton of tape right now, and soon I will be putting up my top 100.The comp is for on the field play only ,and the higher they are ranked the more likely we think they will reach that comparison.  




# Is for a player with with reported character or maturity concerns

**  Is for a player with reported injury concerns



1.TAMPA BAY-#-JAMEIS WINSTON-QB-FLORIDA ST-NFL COMP-STEVE McNAIR-retired- The bucs went back to Josh McCown as their starter late in the season. That is a clear sign they don't see Mike Glennon as their QB of the future. With Winston being a Florida guy, I could see there being plenty of pressure to take him, as long as he he has no more off the field incidents leading up to the draft.  Lovie Smith is a players' coach who probably thinks he can reach and motivate Jameis. The bucs wisely hired Dirk Koetter to groom the QB they choose. The choice is kind of genius because it really tells us nothing about which QB they currently prefer, and allows them to take their time in evaluating both before they make their choice. Koetter just tutored a classic pocket passer in Mattt Ryan. So you know he can tutor Winston. However, Mariota's current head coach Mark Helrich has coached under Koetter multiple times. So it's stands to reason he could also help develop Marcus and design a spread pro-set hybrid offense to help Marcus succeed early. While I would take the safer Mariota, instead of gambling the #1 overall pick on Winstons character & maturity, I understand why they would take Jameis.   I think the pressure to take a homegrown winner like Winston could influence ownership into taking the troubled but talented Jameis, over the less polished passer in Mariota. Also,  if Jameis was clean off the field he would be the runaway overall # 1 pick. He's as tough as nails , a proven winner, and has all the tools. Most importantly he makes great NFL throws with the rush bearing down on him. That's about as reliable an indicator of future success as you can get. in a on the field evaluation, and you don't find much of it in Mariota's tape..  With Koetter under contract they will probably succeed either way, and if the defense doesn't improve and they fire Smith ,they have a potential head coach in waiting in house. 





2.TENNESEE-MARCUS MARIOTA-QB-OREGON-NFL COMP-RYAN TANNEHILL-MIA-Despite his obvious talent, Zach Mettenburger's knee & back woes, and some off the field troubles made him free fall to the 6th round. They gave Zach a shot to see if he is the future, but he got hurt before he could really make a case to be their long term answer at QB. They may still give him the chance and auction off this pick , but for the sake of this mock they will be moving on from Zach.  In this case they get Mariota. He is a great athlete for the position, and I would love to see what he could do behind this O-line. He is not just all tools like Locker. His skills have increased every year, and he is now a good passer as well.  Even if given the choice, Ken Whisenhunt is more likely to take a safe off-the-field guy like Mariota/Hundley than maybe a better but troubled Jameis Winston if he was available when they picked. This team has almost everything, and are probably just good QB play from quickly becoming a contender . Mariota is the safest QB in this class right now, and he also has a high upside, but any team that takes him needs to adjust their offense to him if they want him to have success early  A lot of shotgun and spread concepts are large parts of many offenses in the NFL these days, but some coaches refuse to adjust their systems to help a young QB out. .  Whisenhunt should hire a QB guru to tutor him .Even though he gets a lot of credit for Rothlisberger,  I personally doubt that Ken had much to do with Big Ben's development. If he did then he should have developed at least one( Kevin Kolb, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Matt Leinert, Max Hall) of the young QB's he had in Ariziona. He might be wise to hire Marc Trestman if he gets Mariota, as Trestman has had success wedding a spread system to a west coast offense. If he doesn't Washington might hire him to bring along RG3. either way Marcus will need a QB guru who can combine a spread and pro style offense. 



***TRADE*** ATLANTA trades their first round pick in this draft (#8) and their first round pick in 2016 for the JAGUARS first round pick(#3) in this draft***




3.ATLANTA-(jaguars)-LEONARD WILLIAMS-DT/DE-USC-NFL COMP-MUHAMMAD WILKERSON-NYJ-With Jameis Winston's down season and off the field problems dropping his grade Wilkerson is the highest graded player in this draft ,and the kind of special player teams could trade up for. Thomas Dimitroff has traded up for a special(Julio Jones) before, and he was also considering trading up for Jadaveon ( dodged a bullet there!)Clowney last year. I am no longwr sure if he or Scott Pioli have the final say on this type of move. Owner Arthur Blank might be the new shot caller on franchise future gambles. Right now it's a good fit for both teams, so I will leave it this way, but don't be surprised if other teams fall in love with Williams and try to trade up for him. As of this writing Mike Nolan is still the Falcons defensive coordinator, despite only generating a next to last in the league 22 sacks as a defense. Their are plenty of reasons for this low total . Injuries and lack of pass rushing talent being chief among them. Another is that Nolan does his best work running a 3-4 . Williams is a prototype 3-4 end and he can kick inside when they go to nickle,and can generate a pass rush from anywhere. Nolan would help mold Williams into a pro, and help the defense generate pressure as a whole through creative blitzes and schemes if they go to an odd front. If they had hired Rex Ryan  Williams could have been even better. Nolan is solid coach who has worked with a lot of different coaches from a lot of different coaching trees, but he could still learn a lot from Rex on how to create defensive pressure. This trade allows them to have a chance to win the division in 2015 , and only gives up a future pick that could be a low first rounder if they succeed. 



4.OAKLAND-SHANE RAY-OLB/DE-MIZZ- NFL COMP-CLAY MATTHEWS-GB- The Raiders might have ruined what could have been a franchise altering trade by beating San Francisco. Any chance of auctioning off the pick to the highest bidder and quickly restocking the franchise is gone . At least hey still ended up with a high enough pick to get a premium player. No matter who the coach is next season a player that can help the pass rush whether they run a 3-4 or 4-3 will be needed. A better rush from the edge will also help any corners on the roster.Ray didn't get as much spotlight as the steady Kony Ealy or media creation Michael Sam last season. He did however make a lot of plays as an edge rusher. Now he has a chance to shine in the spotlight, has been a far better player than either, and he has a relentless motor. He is fast off the ball, closes really well, although I'm still unsure if his best position in the pro's is as a 4-3 end or a 3-4 rush backer.




5.WASHINGTON-
DANTE FOWLER-DE-FLORIDA-NFL COMP-ANTHONY SPENCER-DALL -If Brian Orapko could stay healthy all year, the 'Skins would probably have payed him, but he is out for the year again. .  If RG3 returns to form this offense could be dangerous, and they appear to be bringing him back for 2015, but I'll believe in this defense only after I see them produce. Their secondary is the main question right now, but nothing makes a secondary better quickly than a good pass rush, and there is no secondary player worth this high of a pick. The offensive line could also use a boost. Fowler is a versatile edge rusher with a great motor who was moved around to help reduce offenses constantly game planning to stop him. A trade back or a O-lineman are also likely possibilities.



6.NYJ-VICTOR BEASLEY-OLB/DE-CLEMSON-NFL-COMP-VON MILLER-DENV-The Jets might want a QB, but Geno Smith did show some progress. However, even if they want a new QB, Mariota and Winston are the only two QB's that should end up top 5 picks. There number one need is corner, but there also aren't any corners worth this high a pick. Both Calvin Pace and Jason Babin will be 35 next season and the jets need a young OLB to pair with Quinton Coples in their 3-4. Beasley has been a highly productive pass rusher two years running ,and he has the agility to also drop into coverage when needed. While his best position is as 3-4 rush backer , he needs to add some weight to play as a 4-3 DE in all but obvious passing situations





7.CHICAGO-**RANDY GREGORY-DE/OLB-NEBRASKA-SIMEON RICE-retired-New head coach Jon Fox was hired to fix the defense and improving the pass rush is usually how he starts. With Jared Allen turning 33 next season , and Lamarr Houston is a better fit inside in my opinion, a young  edge rusher to pair with Willie Young could really help.
 Gregory has an ideal frame with long arms, and he is agile enough to rush off the edge in a 3-4 or 4-3. Once that frame is filled out with another 20 to 30 pounds of muscle, he can be even better.



8.JACKSONVILLE-(Atlanta)-BRANDON SCHERFF-IOWA-NFL COMP-JOE STALEY-SF-This trade allows the Jags to get  better value for their pick and fill a need. The plan was to start the underwhelming Chad Henne behind a bad O-line for at least half the season, this year looked like a lost cause right out of the gate. However, after 3 weeks of bad offense the Jags decided to throw Blake Bortles into the fire, ready or not. While Blake is a big tough guy with mobility, he is still behind a bad O-line. 2013 number 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel hasn't quite lived up to his draft status yet, but there is still plenty of time for that.  Early on Scherff was slowed by an injury he came back from too quickly, but the attitude he plays with could help this entire team step forward. The top 3 pre-season OT's have all had their miscues this season, but Scherff is the only one with a legit reason to explain it. Plus, he has improved as he has gotten healthier. I expect whichever OT is the consensus #1 after the senior bowl will go here, but Scherff is the safest of them all, and he has the best technique.  At the very least he will be a long term starter somewhere in front of Blake. A mauler like him has the kind of attitude that can infect an entire O-line.

  


9.NYG-
BUD DUPREE-DE/OLB-KY-NFL COMP-JUSTIN HOUSTON-KC-John Pierre -Paul played well this year, but he is no longer thee explosive athlete he once was, and he never will be again after back surgery. He still plays with power and a good motor, but as a free agent I think he will be seeking more money than the giants want to pay him. Even if they do pay him they need someone to replace Mathias Kiwanuka.Dupree surprised me when I looked at his tape. Very few guys with his frame can cover as much ground as he does, and with some refinement on his pass rush & stack shed techniques he can be an elite player.





10.RAMS-KEVIN WHITE-WR-W.VIRGINIA-NFL COMP-ALSHON JEFFERY-CHI-Unless Winston free falls this far it now looks like the Rams will be starting another year with the talented, but often seriously injured Sam Bradford as their QB again. The rams have spent plenty of high picks on receivers, and even signed the super talented but troubled Kenny Brtitt, but despite all that they still lack a number one receiver.White is a big possession receiver with a high floor. White has strong hands, can win jump balls, and rubs good routes. He gives Bradford a reliable receiver that he can throw to when he really needs a first down.  



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11.MINNESOTA-TJ CLEMMINGS-OT-PITT-NFL COMP-JASON PETERS-PHIL-The most important thing to do when developing a young franchise QB is to support him. The vikings O-line declined across the board this year and Bridgewater still played pretty well. To reach his ceiling he will need  better blocking up front. . Sure , part of that is due to the lack of Adrian Peterson. However, left tackle Matt Kalil has looked especially bad. After his rookie year I thought Kalil might be a future perennial Pro Bowler but he has declined for 2 straight years , ,and I no longer think he can handle the outside. Maybe the Vikes could try him inside at left guard, possibly improving 2 positions at once. Clemmings is an elite athlete for an OT, and while the former defensive end has played on the right side, he has the tools to play the blindside if needed.  



 


12.CLEVELAND-AMARI COOPER-WR-ALA-NFL COMP-REGGIE WAYNE-INDY-Even if Josh Gordon comes back his actions have shown that smoking weed is more important to him than football. I actually would have picked them to win 9 games this year if Josh hadn't decided to fail ANOTHER drug test. Even after his most recent failed test he got pulled over in a car that had a passenger carrying weed and that reportedly smelled like weed.  Anything he gives the team would just be a bonus. Personally, I think they should draft 2 receivers in the first 3 rounds just to be safe. Miles Austin is a hamstring pull away from the sideline ,and Andrew Hawkins is an undersized slot guy. Maybe they will play Justin Gilbert on offense this season. Cooper is a polished receiver who always seems to be open,has great timing ,plays bigger than he is, and he can make things happen after the catch.




13.SAINTS-LA'EL COLLINS-T/G-LSU-NFL COMP-CARL NICKS-retired-,Jahri Evans is no longer worth his high salary, and has been giving up pressure right in his QB's face. If he doesn't take a pay-cut he could be gone and a new guard to protect Drew Brees could be their top priority in the Bayou..While I firmly believe Collins can play tackle many see him as a guard, and I agree he would be a stud there too. keeping the pocket clean up the middle is they key to 6 foot Drew Brees being able to throw the ball well. Collins is a local talent and this angry mauler would also improve the run game.It all makes too much sense to pass on. 



 


14.MIAMI-DEVANTE PARKER-WR-LVILLE-NFL COMP-DEZ BRYANT-DALL-Mike Wallace is not worth his 12 million plus annual salary, but the Dolphins have the cap room to pay him this season if they want too. What they need is a number one receiver who can stretch the field and ( unlike Wallace) be relied on to catch the ball in the clutch. Jarvis Landry has great hands but lacks the speed to stretch the field much, and Brian Hartline will never be a #1 receiver. Parker is a guy who's open even when he;s covered. He will win jump balls and just plain out muscle DB's down the field.




15.SAN FRANCISCO-
MALCOLM BROWN-DT-TEX-NFL COMP-SHARIFF FLOYD-MINN-With Ray McDonald being cut after a domestic violence accusation, Justin Smith turning 36 next season, and Tank Carradine & Tony Jerod-Eddie not developing as quickly as needed the niners need a new 5 technique. Brown has the skills to play all over their front and help improve both the run and pass defense. 





16.HOUSTON-
**JORDAN PHILLIPS-DT-OKLA-NFL COMP-ALBERT HAYNESWORTH-retired-With the news that Jadaveon Clowney has had micro-fracture knee surgery coming out recently the Texans are still in need of another rusher to take advantage of the near constant double & triple teams that the incomparable JJ Watt draws. "IF" Clowney is ever the same explosive talent he once was. It will be at least a year until he could even possibly be a every-down player, and probably two until he is all the way back. A five technique that could beat one on one blocking could really shake things up. Phillips was a surprise entry into the draft. but this young giant is ridiculously athletic for a 6 foot 5 three hundred and thirty pound man . In addition , trying to find open passing lanes between the long arms of Watt and Phillips woulds be a chore for any opposing QB's.If Jordan's back checks out fine (missed 2013 season with a back injury)medically he could go in the top 10. Also, if you have a raw kid this talented exposing him to Watt's mentoring &work ethic can only make him better. 





17.CHARGERS-CAMERON ERVING-C/T-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MAX UNGER-SEA-
The loss of veteran center Nick Hardwick is patently obvious to anyone watching the Chargers play. Hardwick might not be done yet but someone who can play the pivot in case he goes down again, but still help out protecting Phillip Rivers should be their number one priority.  Erving looked like a possible first rounder as a left tackle coming into this season, but his play had slipped some , and he needs to be taught from scratch how to set up on the left side if he is gong to stay there. . However, he has been great since a move to center, and I believe he can play all five O-line positions with the proper coaching . That makes him worth his weight in gold. They could put Erving at guard or tackle until Hardwick's time with the team is done , and then move him over to center. 




18.KANSAS CITY-LANDON COLLINS-S-ALA-NFL COMP-HARRISON SMITH-MINN-The chiefs did not have a single touchdown thrown to a wide receiver this year.Their ultra conservative check-down passing game limits their chances of being a contender. Dwayne Bowe is the # 1 receiver on this team and his best skill is his blocking. In this case the only 3 receivers worth this high a pick are gone. I expect them to address the need in free agency and later in this draft in this scenario. However safety Eric Berry has been diagnosed with cancer and Ron Parker is also a free agent. Collins could fill that void and bring a intimidating presence to the secondary. 



19.CLEVELAND-(buffalo)-
.#DANNY SHELTON-DT-WASH-NFL COMP-VINCE WILFORK-NE--Neither 2015 free agent Ahytab Rubin or Phil Taylor have held it down inside for the Browns this year . With Taylor spending his rare uninjured (knee)time at end , and his 2015 salary close to 5 and half million dollars in 2015 it's a safe bet that the browns wil be looking for D-line help after the season. Shelton is a young, big , strong, quick inside player that can pressure the QB , penetrate into the backfield,and hold the point of attack against double teams. 



20.EAGLES-**-TRAE WAYNES-CB-MICH ST-NFL COMP-DOMINIQUE RODGERS-CROMARTIE-NYG-Chip Kelly likes versatile tall guys with long arms on defense, and that describes Waynes.   Neither Bradley Fletcher or Cary Williams has become the # 1 corner that matches up with an opposing teams top receiver , and can be expected to man him up with success. Waynes plays corner at a high level in a good conference, but he needs to get stronger and play with a little more discipline.



21.BENGALS-
SHAQ THOMPSON-OLB/RB-WASHINGTON-NFL COMP-THOMAS DAVIS-CAR- When Lavonte Burfict was healthy he played both the middle and outside LB spots. When he went outside free-agent-to-be Rey Maualuga was inside, and he lacks the athleticism to do anything but clog running lanes between the tackles. What the Bengals need is a quick twitch athletic weak-side linebacker who can play sideline to sideline , and be an asset in pass coverage. That ls Thompson down to his toes. The former safety can still cover ground like one , and I expect he will show up at the combine at around 230 pound after packing on some muscle at one of the pre-draft camps, and alleviate some fears about his size being a hindrance in the NFL. Drafting him improves all 3 LB spots in all phases of th game, but especially in coverage. With Burfict in the middle, Vincent Rey on the strongside, and Shaq at the WLB the Bengals line-backing core could be elite. In addition Thompson can be a core special teamer early in his career, and a stud fill in at RB if you need him. 





22.PITTSBURGH-KEVIN JOHNSON-CB-W. FOREST-NFL COMP-TRAMON WILLIAMS-GB-Since Plaxico Burress left after his rookie season, Ben Roethlesberger has wanted another big wide receiver. With Martavis Bryant finally filing that spot the Steelers can concentrate on their defense. Long tome stalwart corner Ike Taylor will be a free agent again after this year, and while he hasn't played great he has been  a lot better than Cortez Allen.  The problem is they just gave Allen a new free agent contract last year, and they can't afford to cut him. So they need a cheap infusion of high level corner talent.  Johnson could be that guy. He is the safest of all the taller corners right now, and plays more physical than his lean frame would suggest.



23.DETROIT-EDDIE GOLDMAN-DT-FLA.ST-NFL COMP-MARCEL DAREUS -BUFF--Nick Fairley has shown at times that he is a pro bowl caliber talent, but he has lacks the consistent work ethic for the Lions to trust him with a big contract. They already declined his 2015 option and since they need to pay Suh very soon they probably couldn't afford him anyway. However, Suh want so much much money that I now doubt they can afford him.  If Suh gets the 15 plus million a year contract he wants the Lions will have 3 (Suh, Megatron, Stafford) players that average over 15 million a year on their cap. That has already made it very hard to miantain a winning ream under the cap. In that case they could resign the much cheaper Fairley at the 3 technique ,and draft someone who can play the one tech. Goldman is force inside and might even be quick enough to play the both sides ,and give the Lions flexibility to upgrade whatever side they prefer in other areas.




24.ARIZONA-ELI HAROLD-OLB/DE-VA-NFL COMP-JOHN ABRAHAM-retired-.  The probable retirement of John Abraham after another concussion has only exacerbated their need at OLB. Harold is an excellent athlete and much stronger than his somewhat lean looking frame would lead you to believe. Sets the edge well and has a strong bull rush. He has active hands but lacks a diverse polished pass rushing repertoire. Great motor against the run or pass. Has experience both as stand-up rush backer, 4-3 DE, and even moves inside on some obvious passing downs. Has a better get off with his hand on the ground, and with his inside moves he regularly shoots gaps & occasionally even splits double teams. Is rarely double teamed as a pass rusher thanks to Max Valles on the other side, and I would like to see  how he reacts to more double teams. He would be a definite upgrade outside in the desert. 




25.CAROLINA-.ANDRUS PEAT-OT-STANFORD-NFL COMP-ANTHONY COSTANZO-INDY-Jordan Gross retiring seems to have caught the Panthers by surprise, and they didn't do much to remedy it in the draft. Their plan to move Byron Bell to the left side smacks of desperation to me. Their other option is converted former TE /DT Nate Chandler. He is a great athlete , but they are counting on him to make a Jason Peters-like jump up this year.  Maybe they are right and both are undiscovered studs, but that seems like two huge gambles to base the health of your franchise QB. Even a physical specimen like Newton can only take so many hits and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets hurt this season. He is already coming off a rebuilt ankle this off-season. He also recently suffered a fractured rib in the pre-season. At least they made a concerted effort to get him a better(or at least  more reliable and supportive) receiving core, but at this point a healthy Steve Smith is still better than anyone they now have.In 2013 , You can bet your ass that Newton would be happy to know Peat was on his blind side.Peat is a good athlete for an OT, but his stock fell a little this season , as he lacked aggression and a consistent hand punch in pass protection. I am confident a NFL O-Line coach will be able to get this Stanford grad to fix this.He is plenty aggressive in the run game , so you know he has the right mentality in him, and he could easily be gone by this pick based on his upside alone.  




26.**-BALTIMORE-#MARCUS PETERS-CB-WASH-NFL COMP-DESMOND TRUFANT-ATL-Lardarius Webb has declined for two straight seasons ,will be 30 years-old in 2015, and his salary goes up to a cap busting twelve million dollars as well. On tape Peters was clearly the best corner in this years draft technique-wise, but being kicked off the team on Washington opens up a whole new line of questioning. .Baltimore has the kind of veteran leadership and organizational structure to draft a player with his character questions, and provide wit the kind of support he needs to have  good chance of success as a pro.





27.DALLAS-MAX VALLES-OLB/DE-VA-NFL COMP-DeMARCUS WARE-DENV-They SHOULD draft a safety that can tackle and cover, but they have continually ignored the position at the top of the draft. Even after watching JJ Wilcox and Barry Church take bad angles,miss tackles, and get repeatedly burned in Green Bay I doubt they use their first round pick on a safety. Of course there may not be a safety worthy of the 27th pick available when they are on the clock anyway.At least Jason Garret has persuaded the Jones family to invest in the O-line, and Dallas has the best offensive line in the league right now, I never thought I would say this but  Jones and the cowboys made a lot of great moves in 2014, and Jerry should be in the running for executive of the year. Unfortuanately free agency could start to tear apart what they have so recently built. Even with thirty year old right tackle Doug free in the mix the average age of the line is 25.4 years. Free is a free agent after this year , and last time he was given a big contract extension his play went downhill. Maybe that wouldn't happen this time, but unless Free is willing to give a large hometown discount they might want to move on, although injuries & off season surgery might make him more affordable now. A 30 year old above average right tackle could get somewhere in the neighborhood of a 4-5 year 20 to 30 million dollar deal , with half that guaranteed. Last time they paid Free well his play fell off, and he was hurt twice this year and missed both playoff games. Free only returned to form after he was moved to the right side and he took a pay cut . Throw in that Dallas has a bad cap situation and Dez Bryant is due a big deal. Also remember that players who play a significant role like Rolando McClain, Anthony Spencer, Justin Durant, Sterling Moore, and Cole Beasley are as free agents as well.  Also remember that backup swing tackle Jermey Parnell is also a free agent, and that Parnell's pas blocking has been subpar so far. While maybe he isn't a guy proven enough to turn over the job to on a line this good, he has played well enough in fill in duty that someone will pay him at least low level starter money next year. That makes right tackle the number two priority for Dallas. However, until free agency plays out I am going to give Dallas a edge rusher because they had only 28 sacks last season, and have a lot of questions there. George Selvie and Anthony Spencer are free agents this off season. The 32 year old Spencer finally started to look something like his old self late in the season. So he may be back if he doesn't ask for a lot of money, but even if he returns that just means they still need at least one more edge guy to go with 31 year old Jeremy Mincey and young DeMarcus Lawrence. Enter Valles. Despite playing across from another stud in Eli Harold, Valles is almost always the first defender off the ball and into the backfield. He is stronger than his lanky frame would suggest, and this surprise entry could climb much higher up draft boards if he shows up with some added muscle and blows up the combine. He also needs more pass rush moves. While he can run the arc outside, that's his move on 90% of pass rush plays.  This guy stood out on tape when I was trying to watch Harold. Despite his youth( hasn't turned 20 yet) and rawness he is already very productive and shows an awareness beyond his years at times. If he works hard enough and comes up clean in the character area I wouldn't be surprised to see him go in the latter half of the first round when all is said and done. This guy could be a game changer with Rod Marinelli's tutelage. 

 

28.DENVER-PAUL DAWSON-LB-TCU-NFL COMP-DARYL WASHINGTON-AZ-The only real weakness on the broncos roster is their line-backing core, and injuries have made it even worse.  Dawson has the tool set to play all 3 positions in the broncos 4-3 ,or play the inside if Gary Kubiak switches to a 3-4. The main reason I have him going in the first round then he can cover. In today's pass happy NFL that makes him invaluable.



29.COLTS-MELVIN GORDON-RB-WISCONSIN-NFL COMP-JAMAL CHARLES-KC-Trent Richardson has looked better lately, but he has been nowhere near the guy they thought they were getting when they traded for him. His 3.2 million salary is also a hindrance. but unfortunately it is fuly guaranteed. At this point they might take a 7th round pick for him.,if they can get it,  but even if they keep him they need a more reliable running back.     Gordon is a home run hitter who has shown he can maintain his ridiculous YPC this season, even when he is finally the bell cow back. Has shown he can catch the ball some this year, and a player with his big play ability should be a big asset as a receiver, but he still needs work in pass pro and as a receiver. He's a actually a powerfully built guy, and has run with more power inside this year, but he still leaves some inside yards on the field. Once he learns to consistently take what he can get inside and runs through more people he can be even better. Guys with his consistent big play ability are rare. The injuries to Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman have also helped him be the likely first back off he board. If he can convince teams that he can pass block I say he's a first round lock, devalued position and all.



30.GREEN BAY-DANIELLE HUNTER-DE-LSU-NFL COMP-JASON TAYLOR-retired-Clay Matthews is still great and Julius Peppers is still an amazing athlete, but he is also going to 35 soon. The pack needs an edge rusher to help keep teams from focusing too much on Matthews. The lanky Hunter is fluid and quick enough to drop into coverage as a 3-4 OLB.and bolster their pass rush. He also has a large enough frame to add a little weight so he can play DE when they go to an even front.




31.SEATTLE-MIKE BENNET-DT-OHIO ST-NFL COMP-JONATHAN BABINEAUX-ATL-The sea-hawks were showing a lot of the signs of a team that misses the playoffs a year after winning the Superbowl.From Players leaving in free agency , cut because of the cap , others getting huge contracts, divorces, commercials, holdouts, a hard schedule in the toughest division in football where every other team got better, fame and it's trappings, etc.... but they still have a very talented roster with some great leaders, So while  I didn't pick them to win it all , I definitely still saw them as a contender. After  their confusing draft was added in to the mix, I wouldn't even pick  them to repeat as champs in the NFC west, except San Francisco's corners were suspect. and Aldon Smith & Navarro Bowman were likely to miss the first half of the season.  Without home-field advantage in the playoffs I thought the Superbowl was out, but they puled together and won the division & got home-field advantage again. So while I now think they deserve to be the Superbowl favorite again, I still think last years team was better. Heck, in 3 years their 4th,5th and ,6th round draft picks may be stars in typical Seahawks fashion,  but they need more depth now. They over-drafted injury prone Justin Britt this year ,but did little else to help the O-line. Next year they are probably going to lose some key players. because you can't pay everybody . Even though they got both Cliff Avril and KJ Wright to resign at a discount, chances are Russell Wilsons contract is going to heavily restrict there future signings, A real QB contract should keep them from also paying ,Bobby Wagner, Malcolm Smith, and Byron Maxwell. At the very least they will lose 2 out of those 3. Shockingly the main reason for the Seattle defense falling off this year is less of a pass rush.  Since the hawks have had more trouble getting an inside rush I expect they go with an inside player if there is one of equal value .Bennet is a inside penetrator that wreak havoc in opposing backfields. He could also be the replacement for the more expensive and injured Brandon Mebane. 




32.PATRIOTS-
PRESTON SMITH-DT/DE-DET-MISS-NFL COMO-JASON HATCHER-WASH-Belichick loves versatility and Valles is the kind of athlete that can do a lot of different things. Despite spending high draft picks on pass rushers in recent years the patriots still aren't getting a great pass rush. Smith played all over the D-line this season, and plays with more power than his lanky frame would suggest. He was even productive when they moved hum over the center the same way UCLA used Datone Jones a senior. Right now he looks best as a 4-3 base who can slide to the 3 technique on obvious passing downs, but with another 15-20 pounds of muscle he could probably be an excellent 5 technique in a 3-4.

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