The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Much player movement has occured since publishing my post-combine mock draft, but none that impact my initial thoughts coming out of the combine – and I feel so good about my film and scouting work, that when I tried to fault my list, I found that I couldn’t – so there are really no changes at all…
…and this is barring teams sliding up and down the board, jockeying for position to grab a talent deemed prudent to their team’s success – and that’s where Mock Drafts get fruity.
Normally, when constructing a mock draft, there are certain variables that feed into the process – and one of them is the draft order.
That’s important, right? As are the needs of the different teams, consideration of the propensity of a coach or a GM to follow certain patterns or to draft players with particular skill sets. etc., etc…
…but that’s in a normal draft year. As it stands right now, the teams with the top three picks in the draft have indicated that they are either looking – or willing – to trade down, and the capricious nature of this intelligence gives the mocker pause, because at this point no one can state with certainty that the Kansas City Chiefs will be the one using the #1 overall pick.
But then again, maybe they will – because any team that wants to move up into the #1 spot in this draft is going to be a team desperate for a player that they know with certainty that they are not going to be able to get if they don’t…but how many teams are out there that have the ammo and the nads to move up to #1 to select?
San Francisco, St. Louis and Minnesota are the teams that have the firepower to move up the board, though the manic Dolphins are the only team that has come right out and suggested that they intend to make a move up from their #12 spot in order to draft a stud left tackle to replace Jake Long.
Naturally Kansas City has all of the leverage and can set their price, which is pretty much a guarantee of someone’s 1st and a second in 2013, or another 1st in 2014, or both…but if they really don’t want the responsibility of selecting #1, they must be careful not to price themselves out of the market.
Jacksonville and Oakland both hold a certain amount of leverage as well, due to having the #2 and #3 selections overall, and those positions may appeal more to a potential suitor, particularly the Raiders at three, and if Dee Milliner is still on the board, a team like the Rams or Niners or – yes – even the bottomless money pit in Miami – has the ammo to go get him.
In fact, any team in the top seven or eight could hear from teams further down the line as the draft plays out and opportunities present themselves…
…and by the same token, any team in the bottom four or five picks of the 1st round could be getting calls from quarterback hungry teams that want to move back into the round, leap-frogging other teams to get the signal caller that they covet.
All of this being said, the Mock draft that I published in early March I feel is solid, and am not changing the order at all, just adding a few updates…so all of that film watching and scout studies isn’t in vain, and I’ll stick with my gut instinct:
1. Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&M
Brandon Albert was franchised so that the Chiefs could slide him over to Right Tackle when they selected Joeckel with the 1st overall selection in the 2013 draft, problem is, Albert has stated that he is unwilling to do so. There have been speculative reports that the Chiefs told him to stay away from OTA’s and that he is definitely on the trading block, though his nearly $10 million franchise tag number is a hurdle for many teams. That situation bears watching, but the Chiefs did well to bring in a franchise quarterback and a competent backup, plus to retain most of their existing talent, so it makes sense to just fill their most pressing need and get on with the business of competing.
Joeckel is impressive more for his poise and maturity than technique, which is excellent. Doesn’t get flustered and plays with patience, keeping his wits about him and doing what is needed to keep the defender away from the quarterback. Can handle speed or bull rushers with equal success, laterally quick and Prototypical sized and mobile and blocks effectively in the power game and at the second level.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
The Jags desperately need a quarterback – and despite reports to the contrary, perhaps the down year for the quarterback class translates into the best possible scenario for a Jaguars’ team that needs help virtually everywhere. It is a given that the Jags will have their choice of 2nd tier signal callers at the top of round two, so they plug another huge hole by taking the explosive Jordan #2 overall.
Has the body and endurance of a basketball player and will need to add muscle mass but has a rare combination of size, skill and motor. Violent hitter and has the athleticism to drop into coverage, even covering the slot at times. A former tight end, has huge hands that he uses well to combat offensive linemen. A bit of a hot head, but plays within himself most of the time.
3. Oakland Raiders – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
If there is a team that has more holes to fill than Jacksonville, it’s the Raiders. Despite the need for more talent around free agent pick up Matt Flynn at quarterback, it is clear that the Raiders are in need of a complete overhaul. Problem is, they have no cap space to fill in any more big-time free agents and will have to build their team through draft and development, a novel idea that will pay dividends for Oakland down the road, but the immediate future looks rough. One thing is for sure: They simply can not miss with this pick.
Chiseled athlete and a run-stuffing presence in the middle. Flashes a terrific initial burst off the snap and acceleration to get past hand blocks, and has incredible hands which he loves to use fighting off linemen and swimming to the ball. He is raw, but has the potential to be a dominant tackle.
4. Philadelphia Eagles – Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
The Eagles are in the midst of transition, and were there any sure-fire franchise quarterbacks in this draft class, the new regime might have been interested in moving away from the Michael Vick era – and they still may be, as they could have a second tier quarterback fall to them toward the top of the 2nd round, but the team has dictated it’s own direction by running from their starting corners. They signed former Raven Cary Williams, but drafting Milliner is a no-brainer.
A ballhawk, is excellent when the ball is in the air, turns head well and locates the ball, then has the ability to get body in position to make the play, at his best in tight quarters attacking the receiver off the line and delivers heft in his tackles.
5. Detroit Lions – Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
The retirement of long time left tackle Jeff Backus dictates the direction the team must move. They have other holes to fill, particularly along the defensive line and at the outside backer positions, where they may ultimately focus, but prudence dictates that you protect your franchise signal caller first.
Has the nasty streak to rival his athletic prowess, mirrors defenders and breaks down to take their angles away, strong in the running game and very smooth in pass protection and could handle both left or right tackle spots in the NFL.
6. Cleveland Browns – Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
The common perception is that the Browns needed a rush linebacker – and they did, but signing Paul Kruger in free agency allows the Browns to solidify one of the better offensive lines in football. There is still a chance that they draft a defensive end for their new 3-4 defense, but the feeling with the new regime is to finish building a unit at a time, then move on.
Should be a contestant on Dancing with the Stars with his light feet, but there would be a real fear among his dance partners that they’d get pancaked. Eliminates folks in the running game and has a devastating initial punch to counter bull rushers. Not a better interior lineman in the draft – not by a long shot.
The Cardinals don’t have as many holes as perceived, but the ones they do have are gaping. The new regime has indicated that they are going to defer on selecting a quarterback in the first round, instead bringing in Carson Palmer from Oakland. They have actually done a commendable job of bringing in short-term stopgaps in many positions, which should make them competitive if they can get anything out of Palmer. This is a work in progress, and they could still pick up a quarterback in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.
A nice combination of smooth lateral movement and a nasty disposition that will serve him well in the NFC West against some of the top defenses in the NFL. Long arms and sturdy legs and a strong upper body to hold pass rushers at bay. Started college career as a Tight End and has only played tackle for two years, so his upside is tremendous.
8. Buffalo Bills – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
With the Bills picking up Kevin Kolb, the immediate need for a signal caller has been quelled somewhat, though it is almost certain that the Bills will draft a quarterback anyway, as Ryan Nassib seems to be a target with his ex-college coach now on the Bills sidelines.. But that will be in the second round. They need a #2 receiver, but Patterson has the speed and talent to relegate incumbent Stevie Johnson into that role.
Patterson has a solidly-built frame with good height and length. He is a fluid athlete with good initial burst and strength to release to the inside and gain separation in single coverage. Patterson knows how to create with excellent vision, controlled footwork and speed, showing excellent change of direction and a strong plant foot to make elusive, sharp cuts – making defenders miss with quickness to weave through defenses. A tough, confident ball carrier and runs with the belief that no one can tackle him, powering through arm tackles and allowing defenders to slide off of him.
9. New York Jets – Barkevious Mingo, OLB, Louisiana State
The Jets have supplanted the Raiders as the worst run franchise in football, which is not a good thing when they have so many holes to fill. The safe thing to do is to draft the best player available, because it matters not who they draft, anyone they bring in is going to be a big help.
As noted by several scouts, looks more the part of a small forward in Basketball, but is an exceptional pass rushing talent with plenty of room to grow. Is explosive off of the snap, has exceptional closing speed and aware enough to know when he can’t get to the quarterback and get his hands up. May be asked to attempt the outside linebacker position, but is expected to be a great pass rusher regardless of title.
10. Tennessee Titans – Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina
The Titans are in big need of some help in their defensive secondary, but this draft class is deep in safeties and corners and what they need can be had in the second or even third rounds, so they should follow the Cleveland Browns in taking the safe option, a road grading guard for running back Chris Johnson to follow – particularly since the team lost Steve Hutchinson to retirement.
Can play all three interior line positions with equal grace and agility. Has a history of being an outstanding wrestler and understands leverage well, which is key to interior blocking. Is short and can be pushed around a bit, but fits very well in a scheme where tandem blocking is the norm.
11. San Diego Chargers – D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Where to start? The Chargers are a mess, and the only real talent they had on offense have defected – and where football begins at the line of scrimmage, the pick should be there. Phillip Rivers needs help. He has nothing to work with and no protection and their running game is a joke. The defense is in nearly as dire straits but with the draft class being deep with defensive players, the Chargers need to grab offense first, and Fluker is a fast riser up many boards.
The Chargers would have to decide where to use Fluker, whether at Right Tackle or Guard, but either way he is perfect for a power running game, and is a capable pass blocker though his forte is being an enormous road grader. A big, powerful man that could help protect Rivers. This is a bit early for Fluker to be chosen, but all of the smart teams in front of San Diego have snatched up the potential elite linemen.
12. Miami Dolphins – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
With all of the money the Dolphins have spent during their aimless free agency spending spree, they took a big hit when they couldn’t resign tackle Jake Long and haven’t found a replacement for corner Sean Smith. All of the elite offensive linemen are gone by this point, so the best the Dolphins can hope for is that they can find a trade partner at or near the top of the draft to get Lane Johnson, their stated preferred choice – but trading up is a stretch, even for the manic Dolphins, so Miami will probably turn to the top of the cornerback class.
Very aggressive – sometimes too aggressive – in man coverage, but not aggressive enough in run support. Is powerfully built and attacks the ball in the air. Knows when to look back for the ball and is considered a ball hawk. needs more discipline and needs to keep his hands off the receivers with the ball in the air, but is the best corner on the board.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
The Bucs traded Aqib Talib to the Patriots at the deadline last season and their other corner, Eric Wright, may be released due to his Talib-esque troubles – That leaves precious little wiggle room in the draft since they couldn’t land a top corner in free agency, so they should target a top corner in the draft.
Bloodlines are NFL quality, but Desmond is his own man…equally effective in either man or zone coverages and loves him a little contact, particularly in run defense. Times his leaps well and fights for the ball and shows competitiveness. The Bucs have other holes to fill, but won’t be able to resist this athlete in their secondary.
14. Carolina Panthers – Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
The Panthers are not that far away from competing in the NFC South on offense, but the defense needs an overhaul particularly at defensive tackle and corner. The top two options at corner are gone but the defensive tackle class hasn’t even been scratched.
Fast and explosive burst off the snap. Possesses the rare lateral agility to slip through gaps and ruin plays before they even have a chance to begin. Strong anchor and powerful hands allow him to literally toss offensive linemen aside, despite size can also be considered as a five-technique defensive end. Was not allowed to participate at the combine due to a just-discovered heart condition for which he will be seeing a specialist this week, but if given a clean bill of health, this is the pick.
15. New Orleans Saints – Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Saints really need help along the offensive line, but that’s not going to happen in the first round as most of the elite talent has been cherry picked, so their focus has to be on defense, particularly getting to the opposing quarterback and improving the coverage aspect of the safety corps.
Prototypical Free Safety size with the pop of a strong safety, brings the wood in run support and has outstanding coverage skills, particularly in the slot where he has shown the strength to jam routes and take the receiver out of the play, and is more a nickle back in that sense, but given his run support makes him an excellent free safety prospect.
16. St Louis Rams – Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
The Rams have two first round picks and, combined with the work they’ve done in free agency, they could come out of this offseason looking pretty good. They lost Danny Amendola to the Patriots and released their starting strong safety, so they will probably address both with first round picks.
Austin has home run hitter written all over him, whether in the slot or lined up wide or even out of the backfield. Lightning quick and hard to locate in a scrum, he is the perfect replacement for Amendola.
Explosive talent with cartoonish athleticism, his change of direction skill seem to defy physics, leaving would be tacklers grasping as haplessly at a vapor trail as Wile E. Coyote. reaches full speed a split second after his plant and cut and has a special “Roadrunner” gear to blow past defenders like they were standing still.
The offseason has not been kind to the Steelers, mostly because they were not kind to their bottom line in the recent past, and are now paying the price by losing good players because of their cap limitations – and they need some big-time help on that once proud defense, the most glaring need is a sturdy rush linebacker, which Jones may be the best of a good crop.
Rare athlete with prototypical talent and a non-stop motor, explosive and coordinated, incredibly strong and violent hands to both shed blockers and rip ball few from quarterbacks and running backs – one of those guys that you just have to watch play to appreciate. Words really do not do him justice
18. Dallas Cowboys – Matt Elam, SS, Florida
There are lots of needs to begin with, but the Cowboys created more by dumping Gerald Sensabaugh, so with no safeties of any tangible worth on the roster, the position becomes an area of great need. There is every possibility that Dallas elects to draft an offensive lineman, which is always the safest thing to do in the 1st round, but on this mock the best ones are gone – besides, they need a center and the best one available, Barrett Jones, could be had in the 2nd round.
Has demonstrated the ability to walk up into the box and be a force near the line of scrimmage while also dropping back into coverage as a single-high safety when coaches called for it, showing versatility – drops down to cover slot receivers – brings his hips as a hitter, showing the closing speed and raw power to generate explosiveness. High-effort player who seems to love the game. Quality special teams performer.
19. New York Giants – Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
The Giants ran out of magic on their defensive line last season, and it was an ugly thing to have to witness. Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck just were not completely there. There are issues at offensive tackle and at rush linebacker as well, but Werner falling into the teens due to teams in front of them having more pressing needs would be unexpected and a godsend to the Giants’ defensive line.
Outstanding strength, is a difference maker for a team that tries to reestablish the pocket in the opponent’s backfield. Can play it whichever way you want, he can finesse you with speed and bend or bull rush you with an inside out move. Perhaps the most instinctive pass rusher in the draft.
20. Chicago Bears – Kevin Minter, ILB, Louisiana State
The Bears have always been about linebackers, and they had to know that all of the elite college offensive linemen would be gone by the time they selected, so a linebacker it is – especially since their inside core is essentially gone. A strong willed individual is needed to be the vocal leader of the defense, and Minter grades out highly on leadership ability.
He’s a instinctive inside defender, very intelligent and his leadership value is through the roof and works best in a front seven that allows him to roam inside in space. Gives up his body but isn’t the biggest hitter. His value is in chasing down the play and moving laterally along the line of scrimmage which makes him perfect for Chicago’s scheme. Is efficient in pass coverage and a good blitzer as well.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Florida International
The Bengals are the next big scary thing in the AFC North. A playoff team with few weaknesses and an absurd amount of cap dollars as yet unused, if they are smart they can build a team to dominate for the next decade and beyond. They need a speedy running back and some linebacker depth, but the main concern is the safety positions that are in transition – and they can lock that down with Cyprien.
Aggressive and active – goes full speed every time…is a rare tackler that delivers the big hit, but stays in control enough to also wrap up, in other words he doesn’t let anything bounce off and get by him. Very good ball skills and seems to like mixing it up in the box…good looking prospect.
22. St. Louis Rams – Eric Reid, S, Louisiana State
The Rams come into this draft just a few pieces shy of the competitive puzzle and loaded with draft picks to help the cause – including two first rounders. With the 16th pick we have them selecting WR Tavon Austin to more than replace Danny Amendola, and now a starting calibre safety. Their need is actually for a strong safety, but Reid is a bit of a tweener. Cyprien would have been the pick here if still available, but he’s not on this mock.
Incredible fit in the Rams’ secondary with LaRon Landry type intangibles and may be the most violent hitter in the draft. If he plays under control and within the system he could fill a huge need for St. Louis…just needs to play a bit more under control as he sometimes goes for the knockout, and has nasty intentions with every hit.
23. Minnesota Vikings – Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
The best thing Minnesota could have done for themselves was to trade Percy Harvin. Not only do they get rid of a talented headache and his cap eating contract, but they also obtain another first round draft choice from the Seahawks in the deal. They most definitely have the ammunition to move up and down the board as they please, but 23 and 25 aren’t bad spots at all. They need a defensive Tackle, a middle linebacker and perhaps a corner and another reciever, but they’ve done well enough in free agency to focus on their top needs in the draft.
The kind of player that causes a play to stop in it’s tracks, and what he can’t get to, he redirects just by presence. A big bully that truly doesn’t like his opponent. So why isn’t he the first player taken? A knee issue for one…and has a habit of making poor decisions on the field, leading to penalties and being occasionally out of position. Is durable nonetheless, but conditioning is a bit worrisome as he tends to wear down. When he’s on his game, he demands double and triple teams.
24. Indianapolis Colts – Ezekial Ansah, OLB/DE, Brigham Young
The Colts are doing it right, and will be a force to be reckoned with in the AFC South next season, perhaps a prohibitive favorite. They have addressed every need that they had – more or less – in free agency and can concentrate on bringing in the best athlete for their scheme, and the Colts management would have a huge litter of kittens if this demon fell to them at 24. If he comes as good as advertised, he could make them forget all about Freeny…
Another in the line of annual “JPP” clones, possesses rare skill, size and agility and closes to the quarterback with unrivaled quickness. His hits have been described as “Shockwaves” and his initial burst to the quarterback isn’t the fastest but may be the most violent in the draft. If there is a knock on him it’s that he relies on speed and technique alone and needs to put on some muscle.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
The Vikings need a true middle linebacker, but there are just slim pickings in the draft. They could consider a corner or a receiver, but they should shy away from that notion just because the talent pool for those positions are plenty deep and a better value in the 2nd round for their needs…so going with the best inside linebacker left on the board seems likely.
Football smart and as loyal as they come, A good athlete who is instinctive and delivers a pop, is a decent open field tackler and is usually in the right place at the right time. Is an outstanding pass defender from the position, which is what he remained in college last season to accomplish. Remains to be seen if his man of integrity and team leader attributes translate to the pros, but he’s got big enough shoulders to carry the weight of filling some very heavy shoes.
26. Green Bay Packers – Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
The Packers will be well served to not panic over losing Greg Jennings to the Vikings and focus on what their real needs are. They still have Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones to throw to and while a speed guy would be nice, those three are proficient in this offense. They could use a Center and may be tempted to draft the top rated one here, but they are more desperate for an every down running back that is big enough and tough enough to handle the rough defenses in the NFC North and the even rougher weather.
Powerful back with the leg drive to push the pile and keeps his legs churning through contact, often resulting in broken tackles. Lacy reads his blocks nicely, showing enough lateral agility to avoid defenders as well as the burst to stick his foot in the ground and accelerate through gaps quickly. ..has the bulk/speed/athleticism combination to bring an added dimension to the offense. Has a variety of moves you wouldn’t expect from a powerful back, including a spin move, well timed leaps and a devastating stiff arm. Arrives at the tackler with violent intent to pick up extra yardage.
27. Houston Texans – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Houston has some problems. They have been dilly-dallying in the eyes of some and have been ignoring the fact that they need a legitimate threat opposite Andre Johnson and paid the price as they were exposed on offense in the playoffs with defenses focusing on Johnson and the running game. The defense lost linebacker Conner Barwin and Safety Glover Quin, and the team has stretched the cap space to make a big time signing in Ed Reed, but unless the Texans come through huge in the draft their very short reign of the AFC South may come to an end. The greater need is at receiver…
Doesn’t have great track speed, but has excellent football speed and the intangibles to be a great #2 receiver, perhaps a #1 in the right scheme. Is always aware of where he’s at on the field and has the smarts to improvise when loose in the secondary. His biggest asset is his precise route running ability and his uncanny ability to come down with the tough grab while making it look easy. A supurb compliment to Johnson, and will push him because Hopkins always wants the ball.
28. Denver Broncos – Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
The Broncos are an interesting team, meaning they don’t seem to have a direction. Their free agent signings were big names, but not necessarily the biggest of needs, which forces them into a mode where the draft means a lot more than it should. They will be potent on offense if they can keep the running game from breaking down – they were exposed on defense as the year grew on, but were good enough to beat up on a cupcake schedule and secure a top seed in the conference before meeting up with a hungry Ravens team.
Accomplished pass rusher with a variety of moves, impressive speed and closing burst in the pass rush, solid at setting the edge in the run game but could use more muscle mass to inside assignment – instinctive in pass coverage and tackles with a purpose – projects into a 3 down , multiple tool pass rusher that can drop into coverage with agility and awareness regardless of scheme.
29. New England Patriots – Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
Losing Wes Welker to free agency, cutting ties with Brandon Lloyd…sounds like the Patriots need a receiver or two, and they do. The receiver that best fits the Patriots scheme is climbing draft boards very quickly, so if New England wants Wheaton, they may have to stay put at 29 instead of trading down to get him as stated in my previous mock.
With only five picks in the draft, the Patriots have to make every one of them a value pick, and they can not miss on any of them. Which means taking the best available athlete within the scope of need in the first round, either that or trade down for perhaps an extra 2nd and a 4th round pick – but for purposes of this mock, we will abstain from any funky moves.
A player such as Da’Rick Rogers or Stedman Bailey should be available late second or early third round if the Patriots wanted to double dip on wide outs, and from the deft work they’ve done in free agency, they can afford that luxury.
Excellent straight-line speed that translates well to the field, Wheaton has gained momentum since the combine and is now considered a mid-second round talent, so selecting him in the bottom of the 1st round really isn’t that big of a stretch – and the only direction to go is up, as his sound technique and honest speed are becoming attractive to more and more coordinators.
Eats up the cushion quickly, so has an effective double-move as a result. Is used to running against press coverage as he practiced daily against physical press corners in college. Has a sudden burst out of his break and gains separation quickly – a natural and talented ball catcher and a very good deep ball receiver who not only tracks the ball well over his shoulder, but will also adjust his routes to run under a ball, timing his break to run directly under and attack the ball to give the corner no opportunity for the play…a threat to take the ball to the house anytime it’s in his hands.
30. Atlanta Falcons – Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
The Falcons are actually in a bit of a spot. They released aging and injured players and replaced them in free agency with…no one. They need a new set of defensive ends (though they have signed Osi Umenyiora away from the Giants), an every down linebacker and a corner – and at 30, there are plenty of options…Defensive end Tank Carradine is a young speedster who likes getting after the quarterback, but the potentially elite defensive tackle class dried up a few selections earlier – so it’s either reach ever so slightly for Carradine or take a projected 1st round cornerback in Johnthan Banks
length and tall frame for the position. Always seems to know where the ball is, quickly locating and aggressively goes after it. Good discipline to read routes and stay glued to receivers. Is a tremendous ballhawk and looks very fluid in coverage, very loose hips…always looking for the ball and an opportunity to take it away…will get himself in trouble with that attitude at times, but the positives far outweigh that negative.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
The 49ers are in the rare position of being the defending conference champions, having plenty of wiggle room in their cap and a virtual boat load of draft picks – perhaps too many to manage them all efficiently, so look for San Francisco to move around a little with trades to gain higher picks with a package of lower round picks or stocking up for next season.
There are needs for safeties, a defensive tackle and perhaps another receiver, but the biggest need to replace Delaney Walker – so why not replace him with a receiving upgrade in Tyler Eifert, who is also the best blocking tight end in the class.
Solid frame with fluid body control and ballskills. Tough in a crowd, showing strong hands to make contested catches and a physical demeanor to come down with the ball in tight spaces. Takes pride in his routes and makes a lot of catches with his feet off the ground, attacking the ball in the air. Fully a leader and is one of the rare, high effort/great talent types that can make a difference in both catching the ball and blocking in the run game.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia
Everyone looks at the Baltimore Ravens dramatic rise to the top of the NFL last season and initially saw a motivated group of diverse veterans stationed strategically around aging stalwarts and a quarterback who was about to enter free agency…
Joe Flacco was absolutely their number one priority to re-sign this offseason, but once they were through paying him they had blown their entire cap load and was forced to break out the scalpel and remove many pieces of the Super Bowl puzzle.
Now they have no cap room, very few of their core players remaining and the last pick in the 1st round of the draft…and every position that they need to fill has been picked over by every other team, with the exception of a pass rushing linebacker, so they’ll have to start with that.
Perhaps the most exciting linebacker prospect in the draft – but has some legitimate red flags as well. Makes plays all over the field, is quick around the edge and arrives at the quarterback and running back in a bad mood. He’s a former safety which speaks to his athleticism, and also tells a story of decent coverage skills. He’s not doing himself any favors, however, but getting nailed for DUI this past weekend. Add that to his suspension for violation of the school’s substance abuse policy and you wonder about his decision making abilities…
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