Mock Draft

Better late than never…

1 – CLE – QB Baker Mayfield – Oklahoma
2 – NYG – RB Saquon Barkley – Penn State
3 – NYJ – QB Sam Darnold – USC
4 – CLE – DE Bradley Chubb – NC State
5 – DEN – QB Josh Allen – Wyoming
6 – IND – OG Quenton Nelson – Notre Dame
7 – TB – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick – Alabama
8 – CHI – LB Roquan Smith – Georgia
9 – SF – LB Tremaine Edmunds – Virginia Tech
10 – OAK – DT Vita Vea – Washington
11 – MIA – DB Derwin James – Florida State
12 – BUF – QB Josh Rosen – UCLA
13 – WAS – CB Denzel Ward – Ohio State
14 – GB – CB Josh Jackson – Iowa
15 – ARZ – QB Lamar Jackson – Louisville
16 – BAL – C Frank Ragnow – Arkansas
17 – LAC – OT Mike McGlinchey – Notre Dame
18 – SEA – OL Isaiah Wynn – Georgia
19 – DAL – WR D.J. Moore – Maryland
20 – DET – DE Marcus Davenport – UTSA
21 – CIN – OL James Daniels – Iowa
22 – BUF – CB Jaire Alexander – Louisville
23 – NE – OT Kolton Miller – UCLA
24 – CAR – WR Calvin Ridley – Alabama
25 – TEN – LB Harold Landry – Boston College
26 – ATL – DT Taven Bryan – Florida
27 – NO – TE Dallas Goedert – South Dakota State
28 – PIT – LB Rashaan Evans – Alabama
29 – JAX – DL Da’Ron Payne – Alabama
30 – MIN – OL Connor Williams – Texas
31 – NE – DB Justin Reid – Stanford
32 – PHI – OG Will Hernandez – UTEP

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More Draft Notes

DE Harold Landry had 25 career sacks and 10 FFs. He is an explosive edge rusher who can really bend and dip. He reminds me of the 14th pick from last year, Derek Barnett.

Landry is only 6-2, 252 and not everyone likes that size. Landry isn’t going to be an ideal run defender with that build. So what? The guy can get to the QB and that should be the focus. Did anyone watch the Super Bowl? You must have guys who can get to the QB.

Kemoko Turay is somewhat the opposite of Landry. Turay is 6-5, 253. He’s got the length teams love in a pass rusher. Turay is explosive and looks physically dominant at times.

Turay missed most of 2015 and 2016 with injuries. He only finished his career at Rutgers with 14.5 sacks. He never had a forced fumble.

Landry will be picked ahead of Turay, but it is funny to see Landry getting picked apart while Turay is getting built up. Turay opened a lot of eyes with how well he played at the Senior Bowl so he deserves a lot of praise.

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Some people love Texas OL Connor Williams. Injuries affected his play in 2017 and he didn’t look as good as he had in 2016. Plenty of teams will want Williams as an OT, but I think he has the potential to be an outstanding OG.

Williams is a powerful, tenacious run blocker. He can do that from T or G. His pass blocking is effective outside, but you can also see his limitations at times. I think he could be really good inside.

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One of the most interesting players in the 2018 draft is Jaylen Samuels from NC State. I could have referred to him as a TE, FB, RB or H-back. The Wolfpack used Samuels in a variety of roles and he excelled in all of them.

Down in Mobile, Samuels played RB. He looked natural and instinctive as a runner. I would love to see a team use him there. Samuels would probably love to be a hybrid TE, but he’s only 5-11, 223.

Samuels should really be thought of as a weapon more than a standard position. He is an outstanding receiver and solid runner. I hope he goes to a team with a creative offensive staff that can figure out ways to get him the ball. Samuels can become a valuable role player. He can also return KOs and play on STs. Good mid-round prospect.

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Alex Cappa was a dominant LT at Humboldt State. His game tape was crazy, with Cappa just throwing opponents around. It was fun to watch, but didn’t really tell you what to make of him as a pro prospect.

The Senior Bowl was a mixed bag for Cappa. He showed he could play with NFL caliber talent, but also showed his limitations as a pass blocker. He struggled with really quick edge rushers.

Cappa has a chance to play OT in the NFL, but I would love to see him slide inside to OG. He is a very physical player and playing inside would let him focus on that and not explosive edge rushers. Interior rushers are no cake walk, but you at least have them in a confined area and Cappa seems more comfortable with that situation.

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Want a LB who is definitely flying under the radar? Andre Smith from UNC missed most of his Senior season with a torn meniscus in his left knee. Despite that, he still came out early for the draft.

Smith is 6-0, 237. He is a good run defender and shows potential in coverage. He’s smart and just shows a good feel for the game. I think Smith can be a starting MLB in the NFL. He had a full workout at his Pro Day so the knee seems to be in good shape. Obviously the medical grade from teams will be critical for him.

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Need a 2-way TE? It feels like Dalton Schultz from Stanford is flying under the radar. He’s not huge at just 6-5, 244, but you can add weight to that frame. Schultz had a good workout at the Combine, showing the kind of athleticism you want from someone his size.

Schultz only caught 55 passes in three years for the Cardinal, but that had more to do with their passing game than his potential. He is a solid blocker, as you would expect, and has room to grow as a receiver. Could be a solid 5th round pick.

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Misc Draft Notes

There is talk that Kolton Miller could be the first OT off the board this week. I do not get that. At all. I have Miller rated as a 3rd round prospect. He’s huge. He had a great showing at the Combine. But his game tape is less than great. His pass blocking needs work. If a good OL coach can clean up Miller’s footwork, there is the potential for him to become a top flight LT. Miller is a very good run blocker. His size makes him tough for pass rushers to get around. The problem is that his footwork is sloppy. He gives up more inside pressure than you want, but also isn’t great at moving back and steering rushers wide of the QB. I have Mike McGlinchey as my top OT. Miller will go well before the 3rd round, but that’s my grade on him.

One mid-round OT I like is Brandon Parker from North Carolina A&T. He has a big frame at 6-8, 305. Parker has 35-inch arms, ideal for a LT. When you watch Parker on pass plays, he looks natural in pass protection (something Miller doesn’t). Parker needs to get bigger and stronger for the NFL, but I see the potential for a starting LT. He played well at the Senior Bowl, in both practices and the game.

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One of my favorite players in the draft is WR James Washington. He was dominant at Oklahoma State, averaging 20 yards per catch and hauling in 39 TDs. Washington has an odd build at 5-11, 213. He reminds me a bit of Anquan Boldin, which is just about the highest compliment I can give to a receiver. Washington played in a completely different offense so his game is different than Boldin’s, but I love the way Washington can run after the catch and the toughness he shows. He also brings a lot of value to the table because of his ability on deep balls.

Too often people think all a good deep receiver needs is speed. Not even close. They need the ability to track the ball in the air while running at full speed. They need the ability for the feet and eyes to sync up so that they can concentrate on the ball as it comes down. If a receiver has to think about slowing down, he’s less likely to catch the ball. Washington makes it all look so easy. Teams love chunk plays so WRs who can catch the ball down the field have extra value.

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One player I struggle with is DE Tyquan Lewis. There are times when the Ohio State pass rusher looks really good. He has a good combination of size and athleticism. He can be really tough when he slides into DT in Nickel and Dime situations. Very good interior rusher. The problem is that he’s not consistently disruptive off the edge. I was disappointed in his performances during the week at the Senior Bowl. He was just blocked too often, in drills that are made for DL to showcase their skills. Lewis has talent and potential. I’m just not sure he’s good enough to last in the NFL.

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Avonte Maddox is convinced that he’s the biggest, fastest, most talented player in history. And that’s great. He’s 5-9, 180, but plays bigger than that. He isn’t afraid of anyone. Put on the Pitt-Penn State game and you’ll see Maddox cover TE Mike Gesicki at times. Gesicki is 8-feet tall with a 60-inch vertical leap, but Maddox doesn’t give two flips about that. All he knows is that he’s going to cover Gesicki. Maddox is made for the slot and guys with his attitude can thrive in that position. Maddox is more than attitude. He is a gifted athlete and has good instincts. The question is whether he sneaks into the 3rd round or lasts to the 4th.

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Miami has been a factory for good RBs over the years. Mark Walton was on track to be the next star, but hurt his ankle and missed most of the year. I feel like Walton is being overlooked. He’s not huge at 5-10, 202. He’s not special athletically. Walton is a skilled runner, who can also catch and block. I’m not sure if he can be a starting RB in the NFL, but he could at least be a good #2 runner. I don’t see him as just a 3rd down back. I see a physical runner who can play on all three downs.

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I loved Maurice Hurst coming into the season. I always enjoy 1-gap DTs who can penetrate and blow plays up. Hurst did a lot of that in his career so it is easy to love him. However, the more I watched his tape, the less I loved him. It is one thing to casually watch a game. It is another to study a player. Hurst times the snap really well and can explode off the ball. If he doesn’t win with that initial burst, he struggles to get off blocks. That won’t cut it in the NFL. He’s got to use his hands to shed blocks more effectively. Hurst is 292 pounds, but isn’t special athletically. Aaron Donald was a freak at the Combine. Hurst is quick, but that’s the only way he’s special. There has been some recent talk of him sliding out of the 1st round. I still have him rated in the 1st, but it won’t shock me if he does slide a bit.

I recently re-watched the Shrine Game and I had forgotten how much fun Foley Fatukasi was in that game. It feels like he’s flying under the radar. Fatukasi is 6-4, 318. He uses his hands really well, shedding blocks and making plays. He finished his college career with 14 sacks, a good number for a big DT. Fatukasi should appeal to all 32 teams. He can be a 1-gap or 2-gap DT. He could play NT. I think he could also be a 5-tech DE. Real good player for UConn. I have him rated as a 4th rounder.

***

Roquan Smith is a terrific LB. He should be an early pick. Look at what Deion Jones has done for the Falcons since being drafted in 2016. He helped them get to the Super Bowl as a rookie and then back to the playoffs last year. Smith isn’t an athletic freak. He’s not going to pile up sacks. He is just a guy that will control the middle of the field and lead your team in tackles. There is real value in that, even in today’s pass happy NFL. Smith feels like one of the safest picks in the whole draft.

Wisconsin’s Jack Cichy missed all of 2017 after tearing his ACL in August. He missed part of 2017 due to a torn pectoral muscle. I love his game tape, but durability is a concern. Cichy is 6-2, 238. He has good instincts, which is critical for me with LBs. Cichy can attack upfield and make plays. He shows some potential in coverage. I think he can be a starting ILB or MLB in the NFL. He might be able to start at SAM. Good player, when he’s healthy.

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One of my favorite players in the draft is M.J. Stewart, the DB from North Carolina. He stood out whenever I watched UNC play during the season. He then was arguably the top CB at the Senior Bowl. Stewart is a complete player. He can cover, hit, tackle…you name it. He can return punts. Solid combination of size and athleticism. There is one big issue…speed. He can cover guys for 0-15 yards, but about that point receivers are able to separate.

I think Stewart could be excellent in the slot or even as a Safety. He is smart, tough and makes plays. You just don’t want him on WRs 30 yards down the field. I have Stewart rated as a 3rd rounder, but he could slide past that.

***

2018 Positional Rankings are here.

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2018 Prospect Rankings

QB

1 – Sam Darnold
2 – Baker Mayfield
3 – Josh Rosen
4 – Lamar Jackson
5 – Josh Allen
6 – Mason Rudolph
7 – Kyle Lauletta
8 – Mike White
9 – Luke Falk
10 – Chase Litton

RB

1 – Saquon Barkley
2 – Derrius Guice
3 – Sony Michel
4 – Ronald Jones
5 – Nick Chubb
6 – Kerryon Johnson
7 – Nyheim Hines
8 – Rashaad Penny
9 – Royce Freeman
10 – Mark Walton
11 – Jaylen Samuels
12 – Kalen Ballage
13 – Bo Scarborough
14 – John Kelly
15 – Ito Smith

WR

1 – Calvin Ridley
2 – Christian Kirk
3- D.J. Moore
4 – Anthony Miller
5 – James Washington
6 – Courtland Sutton
7 – Dante Pettis
8 – D.J. Chark
9 – DaeSean Hamilton
10 – Equanimeous St. Brown
11 – Michael Gallup
12 – Deon Cain
13 – Daurice Fountain
14 – J’Mon Moore
15 – Tre’Quan Smith

TE

1 – Hayden Hurst
2 – Dallas Goedert
3 – Mike Gesicki
4 – Ian Thomas
5 – Mark Andrews
6 – Durham Smythe
7 – Chris Herndon
8 – Dalton Schultz
9 – Tyler Conklin
10 – Troy Fumagalli

OT

1 – Mike McGlinchey
2 – Tyrell Crosby
3 – Martinas Rankin
4 – Connor Williams
5 – Brian O’Neill
6 – Orlando Brown
7 – Kolton Miller
8 – Jamarco Jones
9 – Brandon Parker
10 – Jamil Demby

OG

1 – Quenton Nelson
2 – Isaiah Wynn
3 – Will Hernandez
4 – Austin Corbett
5 – Colby Gossett
6 – Braden Smith
7 – Alex Cappa
8 – Cole Madison
9 – Wyatt Teller
10 – Tony Adams

OC

1 – James Daniels
2 – Frank Ragnow
3 – Billy Price
4 – Mason Cole
5 – Will Clapp

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DE

1 – Bradley Chubb
2 – Marcus Davenport
3 – Harold Landry
4 – Uchenna Nwosu
5 – Sam Hubbard
6 – Josh Sweat
7 – Kemoko Turay
8 – Rasheem Green
9 – Arden Key
10 – DaShawn Hand
11 – Duke Ejiofor
12 – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
13 – Chad Thomas
14 – Jalyn Holmes
15 – Hercules Mata’afa

DT

1 – Vita Vea
2 – DaRon Payne
3 – Taven Bryan
4 – Maurice Hurst
5 – Harrison Phillips
6 – B.J. Hill
7 – Nathan Shepherd
8 – Derrck Nnadi
9 – Tim Settle
10 – PJ Hall
11 – Poona Ford
12 – Trenton Thompson
13 – Deadrin Senat
14 – Foley Fatukasi
15 – R.J. McIntosh

LB

1 – Tremaine Edmunds
2 – Leighton Vander Esch
3 – Lorenzo Carter
4 – Darius Leonard
5 – Fred Warner
6 – Malik Jefferson
7 – Shaquem Griffin
8 – Oren Burks
9 – Marquis Haynes
10 – Jerome Baker

IB

1 – Roquan Smith
2 – Rashaan Evans
3 – Josey Jewell
4 – Jack Cichy
5 – Andre Smith
6 – Mike McCray
7 – Skai Moore
8 – Micah Kiser
9 – Tegray Scales
10 – Genard Avery

S

1 – Minkah Fitzpatrick
2 – Derwin James
3 – Justin Reid
4 – Ronnie Harrison
5 – Jessie Bates
6 – Tarvarius Moore
7 – Dane Cruikshank
8 – Siran Neal
9 – Marcus Allen
10 – Terrell Edmunds

CB

1 – Denzel Ward
2 – Josh Jackson
3 – Mike Hughes
4 – Isaiah Oliver
5 – Jaire Alexander
6 – Donte Jackson
7 – Carlton Davis
8 – M.J. Stewart
9 – Duke Dawson
10 – Anthony Averett
11 – Rashaan Gaulden
12 – Avonte Maddox
13 – Isaac Yiadom
14 – Quenton Meeks
15 – Davontae Harris

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Senior Bowl – Day 2 – South

WR James Washington had another standout performance. He got off to a slow start, but then made play after play. He is physical and can deal with aggressive CBs. He has terrific hands and hauled in a long TD. Washington has the speed to go deep, but is also comfortable working the middle of the field. He’s got an odd build at 5-11, 210, but I’ve been very impressed with him so far.

***

DT Andrew Brown had a good day. He lists at 6-4, 294 and I wondered if some teams might view him as a 4-3 DE. He looked a bit stiff for that. He can be a 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DT. Brown was attacking up the field today and was regularly disruptive. He’s quick off the ball and knows how to shoot gaps. He won’t fit every scheme, but he could make a 1-gap team pretty happy.

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The South QBs are not impressive. Virginia’s Kurt Benkert had some good throws, but was frustratingly inconsistent. He made a terrific throw on a deep ball for a long TD. On the next rep, he again went deep and to the same area. That pass was out of bounds. Benkert doesn’t have a strong arm. He needs to have his feet set to get something behind the ball.

***

M.J. Stewart looks like the best CB in Mobile from what I’ve seen. He is smart and instinctive. He can lock up receivers on short and intermediate routes. He knows how to really stick with them. His big issue is deep speed. Both days a WR was able to get a step on Stewart and he just couldn’t make up the ground.

Stewart did get some work as a PR. He looked good catching the ball and it was a cold (COLD!), windy day.

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Missouri WR J’Mon Moore struggled on Tuesday, but bounced back on Wednesday. He caught the ball well and showed pretty good speed.

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CB Siran Neal is physical. Too physical. He grabs, holds and pushes WRs on just about every single play. He did have one good PBU on a Red Zone drill. Neal needs a lot of work or he will be a penalty machine in the NFL.

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OT Alex Cappa had a good showing. I watched some of him in individual drills and team periods.

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OT Brandon Parker, another small school guy, also was solid.

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LB Shaquem Griffin did get the best of Parker on one rep. Griffin is 6-0, 223 and Parker is 6-7, 303. Griffin used an explosive burst and then stayed low. Parker had no chance to get a piece of him. Griffin is a talented pass rusher, but with his size he must be able to play off the ball. He hasn’t stood out to me in that area so far, but I haven’t been focused on him.

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QB Kyle Lauleta had a couple of TD throws in a Red Zone session. He hit Tre’Quan Smith for one and then Marcell Ateman for the other. Lauleta made some good throws in the individual drills, but hasn’t really stood out.

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DL Da’Shawn Hand got the best of Taylor Hearn and Austin Corbett in individual drills. He got pressure up the middle a couple of times.

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WR D.J. Chark has had some good moments. He went upfield on one route and then cut hard to the inside and crossed the field. He easily pulled away from the CB. Chark also had an impressive catch. The wind did give him some problems when trying to field punts.

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LB Darius Leonard has been impressive. He broke up a pass today and also made a nice play in the Red Zone. He can run, hit and looks solid in coverage. That’s what you want in a 4-3 LB these days.

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OG Colby Gossett has good size at 6-5, 304. He anchors well. There are times when he can play too high. I don’t have a good feel for his footwork yet. He had multiple good blocks today, including beating Hand on one rep.

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WR Byron Pringle can really snatch the ball. Love WRs that are hands-catchers.

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Senior Bowl – Day 2 – North

Josh Allen was the headliner again today, but this time for very different reasons. He struggled on Tuesday, but took a big step forward today. Allen wasn’t perfect to be sure, but he played well.

Allen and receiver Daesean Hamilton connected over and over. There were short, intermediate and even deeper throws. The passes were tight spirals thrown with good velocity. More important than anything, they were accurate. Allen looked like an NFL QB today.

Allen made the throw of the day. He “dropped it in the bucket”, as the saying goes. for a long TD to Allen Lazard. That showed touch and accuracy.

When practice shifted from individual and group periods to 11-on-11, things got rocky. Allen was back to being erratic. He threw a wobbly INT. Luckily, Allen bounced back from that and had some good throws in the 11-on-11 period. He made one terrific throw on the move. The pass was incomplete, but was 20 or more yards downfield and right against the sideline. Allen gave his guy a chance to make a play.

I still wouldn’t touch him #1 overall, but Allen showed a lot of improvement today and that was very encouraging.

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Hamilton had a strong day. He regularly got open and caught the ball very well. He has excellent body control and is a natural hands catcher.

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Baker Mayfield had a solid showing, but wasn’t at Allen’s level. Mayfield was consistent, doing well in drills, in the 7-on-7 period and in 11-on-11. He was good on throws to WRs, TEs and RBs.

Mayfield measured in at just over 6-feet tall. That was critical for him. Teams are scared of QBs under 6-feet, no matter the resume. Mayfield hit that benchmark and it will help his draft status.

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DT Nathan Shepherd had a good showing on Tuesday. He was playing well again on Wednesday, but broke his hand. NFL teams saw enough to know he’s not just a small school star. Shepherd is a legit NFL prospect.

I thought Shepherd held up well against double-teams on Wednesday. He’s got athleticism, strength and he’s willing to do the dirty work.

***

If you want a prototypical slot receiver, Braxton Berrios is your guy. He measured in at 5-9, 177. He is quick and shifty. There was one play today where he just faked a CB out of his shoes to create separation and get open. Berrios doesn’t have the speed or size to play outside, but he can be a valuable role player for NFL teams.

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Army OT Brett Toth had a strong showing. He absolutely stoned a couple of DEs trying to beat him in 1-on-1 drills. There was another rep where Toth shoved Jalyn Holmes to the ground. Toth did get off-balance on one play and the DE put him on the ground. Toth spent the vast majority of his college career as a run blocker. He’s shown the ability to pass protect and run block so far in Mobile.

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Tyrell Crosby was the Pac-12 OL of the Year in 2017. He had some good moments on Wednesday, especially when going against Jalyn Holmes. There was one play where Crosby put Holmes on the ground. Crosby has very good size at 6-5, 319.

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ILB Nick DeLuca had some good moments. He picked off a pass from Tanner Lee. I have no idea how Lee didn’t see him. DeLuca also made a good tackle of a RB in 11-on-11 period.

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DT Justin Jones had a good day. He drove Cole Madison backward on one rep. Jones got penetration on another play. He caught my eye several times. Always good when a DT does that.

NC State teammate B.J. Hill also had a good day. He got the best of Mason Cole on one rep and later did the same to Sean Welsh. Hill showed up in 1-on-1  and team drills. He is a powerful DT, but also has a good motor and will hustle in pursuit of the ball.

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RB Kalen Ballage had some nice plays. He caught a downfield pass, getting the best of Obo Okoronkwo. Ballage had a good run in an 11-on-11 session. He has an impressive combination of size and speed.

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Trayvon Henderson is the DB who picked off Josh Allen. It was a bad throw more than anything, but you like DBs who catch the ball when it comes their way.

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Kemoko Turay played DE at Rutgers. He is listed at LB for the Senior Bowl. He got a chance to show his pass rush skills in the 1-on-1’s and didn’t disappoint. Turay was quick off the ball and used a good shoulder dip to get by multiple blockers. At 6-4, 252, Turay could be a 3-4 OLB or a 4-3 DE.

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CB Duke Dawson played in the slot and outside. He was ill on Tuesday and didn’t practice, but covered well today.

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I continue to be impressed with Jaylen Samuels as an inside runner. He is patient and has good vision. When the hole is there, he will attack it and get upfield.

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LB Fred Warner showed his athleticism on a run play in 11-on-11’s. The offense tried to run outside and Warner flew over to get the TFL. He is a good athlete.

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Senior Bowl – Day 1 – North

The QBs are the headliners so let’s start there. Josh Allen had exactly the day you might have guessed. He threw the ball better than anyone else in Mobile. He just didn’t always get the ball to the right spot.

There is no denying the fact that Allen is a gifted passer. He can drive the ball all over the field and make spectacular throws.

While there were some impressive throws, there were too many that were off target. WRs dropped a few throws, likely due to the velocity of the passes. There was one play where Michael Gallup ran an out. He turned to look for the ball and it was already right there. He got his hands up and made the catch, as much wanting to protect his face as anything. He had no clue that ball would be there that quickly. Gallup did have a good showing.

Timing can be an issue for everyone on the first day so we’ll see what Allen does the rest of the week. I don’t think he changed any minds today. If you came to Mobile loving his arm and ability to make spectacular throws, you saw enough. If you came with concerns about his accuracy and erratic throws, you saw too much.

***

Baker Mayfield had a good day. Not great, mind you, but good. He threw the ball well and had some good connections in 11-on-11’s.

One of the things that impressed me is that he gave guys a chance to make plays. You don’t want a QB to always check the ball down. You also don’t want someone forcing the ball into coverage.

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Tanner Lee and Luke Falk were the other QBs. Falk didn’t catch my eye at all. Lee actually had some good throws, but struggled with his accuracy at times.

***

Daesean Hamilton had some really impressive catches and showed the ability to get open. He could be a really good slot receiver in the NFL, similar in size and athleticism to Nelson Agholor.

Hamilton did have some drops. He did that at Penn State and dropped a potential TD last week in the Shrine Game. He catches the ball naturally, but sometimes just puts the ball on the ground.

***

Pitt OT Brian O’Neill had a good day. He measured in at 6064, 298. That is a terrific frame and the former TE has the length and athleticism you want in a LT. He reminds me of a more talented version of Ebon Britton.

O’Neill played both RT and LT. He was solid in the 1-on-1 drills and also the team period. He’s off to a strong start.

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S Kyzir White had a good day. The West Virginia star picked off a pass in the team period and broke up a throw to a TE in a 1-on-1 drill. White is 6-2, 215 and we know he can hit. Showing off these cover skills will help his standing with NFL teams.

***

WR Allen Lazard struggled. He measured in at 6-4, 222. That’s a huge WR. Some teams are going to love that size. He was up and down in the movement drills. He is a bit upright due to that size.

Lazard’s big issue was drops. He really struggled to catch the ball. Hopefully he works through that and is better the next two days.

***

A couple of DTs played well. Harrison Phillips was able to win in the 1-on-1 drills using quickness and strength. One note with him…Phillips wears braces on both legs. He had a knee injury that cost him most of the 2015 season.

Nathan Shepherd, the small school star from Fort Hays State, had a good showing. He measured in at 6-4, 310, which is excellent size (height and bulk). He won multiple battles in the 1-on-1 drills.

***

I was impressed by a couple of RBs. Kalen Ballage, 6-2, 222, ran well both inside and outside. He got the ball in an 11-on-11 rep and bounced the run out wide. Impressive to see that ability and speed from a big back.

Jaylen Samuel, not so tiny at 6-0, 223, ran well, mostly on inside plays. He was patient and ran behind his pads.

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DE Jalyn Holmes was up and down. Every time I watched him in the 1-on-1 drills, he got blocked. In the team period, he used a hard inside move to get into the backfield and blow up a run. He is big and athletic.

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B.J. Hill measured in at 6-3, 321. He was a highly productive DT for NC State and you could see that ability. There was one rep where he just drove his blocker straight back in the pocket. Teams covet DTs with that kind of size and power.

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Senior Bowl – Day 1 – South

OT Alex Cappa had some buzz coming into the Senior Bowl. He was dominant at his level and just abused the players he went up against. It was interesting to see him go up against good competition. Cappa had a good showing in the 1-on-1 drills. He looked comfortable as a pass protector and moved well.

I thought Cappa struggled a bit in the 11-on-11’s. I saw him beaten by LB Shaquem Griffin and DE Kylie Fitts. The problem on both plays appeared to be Cappa not using his hands well.

There is no doubt that Cappa is a legit NFL prospect and has a bright future.

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I liked what I saw from OG Colby Gossett and OT Joe Noteboom. Noteboom especially caught my eye. He looked athletic in the movement drills and then blocked well in the 1-on-1’s.

***

Auburn MLB Tre’ Williams had the hit of the day. He blew up a RB in the hole. If you watch Williams tape from the season, that’s what you see. He’s a thumper who is at his best on inside runs. Unfortunately, I thought Williams looked a bit stiff in coverage today. I love his physicality, but don’t see him as a 3-down LB.

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I did like Darius Leonard, the LB from South Carolina State. He measured in at 6-2, 229. Leonard played the run well in 9-on-7 drills and also looked comfortable in coverage.

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LB Micah Kiser had a great career at Virginia. He has a thick build and I thought he moved okay in some drills. He didn’t look good in coverage.

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WR James Washington measured in at 5-11, 210, slightly different from his college program size of 6-1, 205. I thought Washington had an outstanding day. He caught the ball really well and looked like a polished receiver. He made a really impressive catch on a deep ball.

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I was also impressed by WR Byron Pringle. He was a big play receiver at Kansas State and continued that today by hauling in a deep ball. I also saw him catch several underneath throws. He wasn’t bothered by contact or tight coverage.

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None of the South QBs stood out. I probably liked Mike White the best. He looked natural and moved well. He was good on short throws. The problem is that he doesn’t have a strong arm and also struggled with downfield throws.

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WR Tre’quan Smith caught the ball well today. Both Marcell Ateman and J’Mon Moore struggled. Moore really seemed to be fighting the ball. Hopefully he’ll be better on Wednesday. We see a WR or two every year who struggles on the first day, but gets better.

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I was hoping DE Marcus Davenport would have a strong showing, but he failed to stand out when I watched him. He is explosive and has an outstanding dip move. When the coaches were working on some drills to get DL to use their hands, it appeared Davenport kept using the dip. He’s got to work on other moves.

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Texas DT Poona Ford has some heavy hands. He was killing the bags in the DL drills. Ford reminds me of former Eagles DT Mike Patterson. Both were undersized, strong as bulls and quick off the ball. Ford won’t be an early pick, but he’s a talented kid.

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TE Ian Thomas measured in at 6033, 256. That’s not ideal height for a TE. He is a talented pass catcher and looked good as a receiver on Tuesday.

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CB Danny Johnson had some good reps today. He’s only 5-9, 182, but showed the ability to mirror receivers. That size likely makes him a nickel in the NFL, but that’s become a key position.

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M.J. Stewart is a smart, veteran CB. He had a solid day and you could see his cover skills. One possible concern is deep speed. He had one receiver get by him and Stewart could not catch up.

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LB Shaquem Griffin was a dominant player for UCF the last two years. He’s awkward for the NFL because he rushed the passer a lot, but is only 6-0, 223. That’s more like a DB than a pass-rushing LB.

There is also the matter that he’s only got one hand. NFL teams want to see if he can play, but have to be concerned about that.

I thought Griffin had a solid day. He showed excellent quickness when he was rushing upfield. He took on blockers in 9-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills. I didn’t see him in coverage.

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Draft Update

With the Wild Card games in the books, we have an update on the draft order. From PFT:

1 Browns 0-16
2 Giants 3-13
3 Colts 4-12
4 Browns (from Texans) 4-12
5 Broncos 5-11
6 Jets 5-11
7 Buccaneers 5-11
8 Bears 5-11
9 or 10 49ers 6-10 (coin flip)
9 or 10 Raiders 6-10 (coin flip)
11 Dolphins 6-10
12 Bengals 7-9
13 Washington 7-9
14 Packers 7-9
15 Cardinals 8-8
16 Ravens 9-7
17 Chargers 9-7
18 Seahawks 9-7
19 Cowboys 9-7
20 Lions 9-7
21 Bills 9-7
22 Bills (from Chiefs) 9-7
23 Rams 11-5
24 Panthers 11-5

The Bills become an interesting team to watch. Could they trade those picks to move up 10 or so spots and go for a QB. The performance of Tyrod Taylor this weekend certainly can’t leave them feeling that he’s the answer.

*****

The Bills, and the rest of the league, will have one more QB to choose from.

Jackson is a dynamic talent. He did some amazing things in college.

That’s just insane production. Jackson is a dual threat QB and this would seem to be the perfect time for a player of his skill set to be entering the NFL. More and more, coaches are adapting ideas from college football.

I’m excited to see what Jackson does at the next level. I know some people have serious doubts about him, but I see a player with tremendous potential.

*****

If you need a talented returner, there is another target for you.

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Draft Order Update

What we know so far.

The Browns have a golden opportunity with those Top 4 picks. They could add some real firepower to a team that is desperate for it.

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