Draft Notes

* Logan Thomas is a polarizing player. Some people love his size and raw skills. There is no questioning that he’s got a strong arm or that he can be a very good runner. He makes his share of “wow” plays. Many people see him as a player to take in the 3rd or 4th round and coach up. They seem to look at him as EJ Manuel Jr.

I’ll pass. Thomas really got my attention as a Sophomore, but he’s failed to make any progress since then. He actually looks worse to me. I’ve heard a ton of excuses. He didn’t have good receivers to work with. He didn’t get great coaching. I don’t dispute that these factors did hurt him.

My problem is that I question if the guy will improve in the NFL. We’ve seen a ton of guys who had terrific physical skills get to the NFL and not pan out. You need more than a strong arm and good mobility. I don’t question Thomas brain or character. I just don’t see a guy who looks like an NFL QB to me. I would absolutely have interest in him as a TE or some other position. There’s no doubt that he does have an NFL body.

I hope he’s not over-drafted because that will put extra pressure on the young man and make it that much more difficult for him to succeed.

* Clemson had some good NFL talent on display in their bowl game. WR Sammy Watkins is an elite player. He’s one of the best college receivers I have ever seen. He is special because he is such a complete receiver. Watkins has the speed to go deep and make plays down the field. He is strong and physical enough to take short catches and get RAC yards. He’ll run through tacklers when he’s got to. He also can be elusive, as you saw with one dynamic move in the game. Watkins should absolutely be a Top 10 pick.

WR Martavis Bryant also looked good. He made one incredible TD catch on a fade pass. That showed body control, hands and great concentration. Bryant is 6-5, 200 and plays to that size.

DE Vic Beasley projects to OLB in the NFL. He’s just 6-2, 235. Some 3-4 teams won’t like a guy that small. He could have to be a SAM for a 4-3 team and then situational pass rusher, similar to Von Miller. Beasley was terrific in the bowl game. He got regular pressure throughout the game. He was a disruptive force.

Beasley is very quick off the ball. He is a natural pass rusher. He’ll mix in some inside moves, which is crucial for a speed rusher. Beasley also will use power at times. I’m curious to see how Beasley measures in at the Combine. 3-4 teams will be thrilled if he’s 6-3, 250 or anywhere close.

Size-wise, Beasley is similar to former Penn State star Aaron Maybin. But Beasley is a more complete rusher. Maybin flew off the edge and went wide/deep, play after play. That one trick worked in college, but not the NFL. Beasley is much better prepared.

* Need a good ILB? This is the year for you. The headliners are going to be Ryan Shazier from Ohio State and CJ Moseley from Alabama. There are plenty of other players to choose from. You just need to decide if you want a run stuffer, an athlete or an instinctive, overachiever type. Really impressive group of prospects.

* One player that has always jumped out to me is Oregon DB Avery Patterson. He’s 5-10, 189. Has experience at both CB and Safety. Patterson is very productive. He was third on Oregon in tackles (80). He also had 6 TFLs, 3 INTs and 6 PBUs. Patterson shows up on tape. He is a solid tackler. Very active in pursuit. Goes hard after the ball.

Patterson lacks ideal size or athletic ability, but NFL teams could have interest. He might fit in as a Tampa 2 CB. He could be a backup S for teams that aren’t focused on size. Patterson sure looks like a guy who would go all out on STs. Mid to late round type, but a fun player to watch.

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