Dominant Big Man

Notre Dame RG Quenton Nelson is the top interior lineman in the draft. Guards aren’t always fun to watch, but Nelson sure as heck is. He doesn’t just block guys, he dominates them.

He is a special player and will go earlier than most OGs do.


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Final Mock Draft for 2017

by Tommy Lawlor

Here is your final mock draft for 2017.

1 CLE – DE Myles Garrett – Texas A&M
2 SF –  S Jamal Adams – LSU
3 CHI –  DL Solomon Thomas – Stanford
4 JAX –  RB Leonard Fournette – LSU
5 TEN –  CB Marshon Lattimore – Ohio State
6 NYJ –  S Malik Hooker – Ohio State
7 LAC –  RB Christian McCaffrey – Stanford
8 CAR –  TE O.J. Howard – Alabama
9 CIN –  DL Jonathan Allen – Alabama
10 BUF –  WR Mike Williams – Clemson
11 NO –  LB Hasson Reddick – Temple
12 CLE –  QB Mitch Trubisky – North Carolina
13 ARZ –  QB Pat Mahomes – Texas Tech
14 PHI –  DE Derek Barnett – Tennessee
15 IND –  DE Charles Harris – Missouri
16 BAL –  OL Forrest Lamp – Western Kentucky\
17 WAS –  LB Jarrad Davis – Florida
18 TEN –  WR Corey Davis – Western Michigan
19. TB –  RB Dalvin Cook – Florida State
20 DEN –  OT Garett Bolles – Utah
21 DET –  DE Jordan Willis – Kansas State
22 MIA –  DE Taco Charlton – Michigan
23 NYG –  OT Ryan Ramczyk – Wisconsin
24 OAK –  CB Chidobe Awuzie – Colorado
25 HOU –  QB Deshaun Watson – Clemson
26 SEA –  CB Kevin King – Washington
27 KC –  OT Cam Robinson – Alabama
28 DAL –  CB Adoree Jackson – USC
29 GB –  LB T.J. Watt – Wisconsin
30 PIT –  LB Tyus Bowser – Houston
31 ATL –  DE Takk McKinley – UCLA
32 NO –  TE David Njoku – Miami


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Top 100 for 2017

Fresh off the presses and with Gareon Conley off the list. I hope things get cleared up before the draft, but that seems unlikely. So here goes.

* * *  2017 TOP 100  * * *

by Tommy Lawlor

– Final –
1. Myles Garrett – Texas A&M – DE
2. Jonathan Allen – Alabama – DT
3. Jamal Adams – LSU – SS
4. Solomon Thomas – Stanford – DL
5. Marshawn Lattimore – Ohio State – CB
6. O.J. Howard – Alabama- TE
7. Malik Hooker – Ohio State – FS
8. Corey Davis – Western Michigan – WR
9. Derek Barnett – Tennessee – DE
10. Leonard Fournette – LSU – RB
11. Christian McCaffrey – Stanford – RB
12. Mike Williams – Clemson – WR
13. Hasson Reddick – Temple – LB
14. Forrest Lamp – Western Kentucky – OL
15. Kevin King – Washington – CB
16. Charles Harris – Missouri – DE
17. Tre’Davious White – LSU – CB
18. Takk McKinley – UCLA – LB
19. Ryan Ramczyk – Wisconsin – OT
20. David Njoku – Miami – TE
21. Garrett Bolles – Utah – OT
22. T.J. Watt – Wisconsin – LB
23. Cam Robinson – Alabama – OT
24. John Ross – Washiington – WR
25. Jordan Willis – Kansas State – DE
26. Jarrad Davis – Florida – LB
27. Dan Feeney – Indiana – OL
28. Malik McDowell – Michigan State – DL
29. Tyus Bowser – Houston – LB
30.  Adoree Jackson – USC – CB
31. Chris Wormley – Michigan – DL
32. Dalvin Cook – Florida State – RB
33. Taco Charlton – Michigan – DE
34. Chris Godwin – Penn State – WR
35. Budda Baker – Washington – SS
36. Mitch Trubisky – UNC – QB
37. Dion Dawkins – Temple  – OL
38. Evan Engram – Ole Miss – TE
39. Juju Smith-Schuster – WR
40. Carl Lawson – Auburn – DE
41. Obi Melifonwu – UConn – DB
42. Zach Cunningham – Vanderbilt – LB
43. Taywan Taylor – Louisiana-Lafayette – WR
44. Jabril Peppers – Michigan – SS
45. DeShaun Watson – Clemson – QB
46. Reuben Foster – Alabama – LB
47. Marlon Humphrey – Alabama – CB
48. Curtis Samuel – Ohio State – WR
49. Montravius Adams – Auburn – DT
50. Chidobe Awuzie – Colorado – CB
51. Alvin Kamara – Tennessee – RB
52. Quincy Wilson – Florida – CB
53. Cordrea Tankersley – Clemson – CB
54. Zay Jones – East Carolina – WR
55. Kareem Hunt – Toledo – RB
56. DeMarcus Walker – Florida State – DE
57. Dorian Johnson – Pitt – OG
58. Pat Elflein – Ohio State – OL
59. Joe Mixon – Oklahoma – RB
60. Sidney Jones – Washington – CB
61. Adam Shaheen – Ashland – TE
62. Raekwon McMillan – Ohio State – LB
63. Deshone Kizer – Notre Dame – QB
64. Tim Williams – Alabama – LB
65. Marcus Williams – Utah – FS
66. Fabian Moreau – UCLA – CB
67. Ryan Anderson – Alabama – LB
68. Patrick Mahomes – Texas Tech – QB
69. Marlon Mack – South Florida – RB
70. Daeshon Hall – Texas A&M – DE
71. Duke Riley – LSU – LB
72. Tanoh Kpassagnon – BYU – DE
73. Gerald Everett – Southern Alabama – TE
74. Derek Rivers – Youngstown State – DE
75. Tarell Basham – Ohio – DE
76. Josh Jones – NC State – SS
77. George Kittle – Iowa – TE
78. Cooper Kupp – Eastern Washington – WR
79. Antonio Garcia – Troy – OT
80. Taylor Moton – Western Michigan – OL
81. Dalvin Tomlinson – Alabama – DT
82. Ethan Pocic – LSU – OC
83. Teez Tabor – Florida – CB
84. Jaleel Johnson – Iowa – DT
85. Cam Sutton – Tennessee – CB
86. Jordan Leggett – Clemson – TE
87. Damontae Kazee – San Diego State – CB
88. Josh Reynolds – Texas A&M – WR
89. Justin Evans – Texas A&M – FS
90. Carlos Watkins – Clemson – DT
91. Dede Westbrook – Oklahoma – WR
92. Danny Isidora – Miami – OG
93. Larry Ogunjobi – Charlotte – DT
94. Chad Hansen – California – WR
95. Isaac Asiata – Utah – OG
96. Anthony Walker – Northwestern – LB
97. Will Holden – Vanderbilt – OT
98. Harvey Langi – BYU – LB
99. Davis Webb – California – QB
100. Chad Wheeler – USC – OT


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2017 Mock Draft 1.0

Draft week is finally here. And so is my first mock draft.

1 – CLE – DE Myles Garrett – Texas A&M
2 – SF – DL Solomon Thomas – Stanford
3 – CHI – S Jamal Adams – LSU
4 – JAX – RB Leonard Fournette – LSU
5 – TEN – CB Marshawn Lattimore – Ohio State
6 – NYJ – S Malik Hooker – Ohio State
7 – LAC – CB Gareon Conley – Ohio State
8 – CAR – RB Christian McCaffrey – Stanford
9 – CIN – DL Jonathan Allen – Alabama
10 – BUF – WR Mike Williams – Clemson
11 – NO – DE Derek Barnett – Tennessee
12 – CLE – QB Mitch Trubisky – North Carolina
13 – ARI – QB Pat Mahomes – Texas Tech
14 – PHI – WR Corey Davis – Western Michigan
15 – IND – DE Charles Harris – Missouri
16 – BAL – OL Forrest Lamp – Western Kentucky
17 – WAS – LB Hasson Reddick – Temple
18 – TEN – TE O.J. Howard – Alabama
19 – TB – OT Ryan Ramczyk – Wisconsin
20 – DEN – OT Garrett Bolles – Utah
21 – DET – DE Jordan Willis – Kansas State
22 – MIA – DE Taco Charlton – Michigan
23 – NYG – OT Cam Robinson – Alabama
24 – OAK – CB Tre’Davious White – LSU
25 – HOU – QB Deshaun Watson – Clemson
26 – SEA – CB Kevin King – Washington
27 – KC – LB Jarrad Davis – Florida
28 – DAL – CB Adoree Jackson – USC
29 – GB – LB T.J. Watt – Wisconsin
30 – PIT – LB Takk McKinley – UCLA
31 – ATL – OL Dan Feeney – Indiana
32 – NO – TE David Njoku – Miami

Quick thoughts

As always, you don’t realize how hard mock drafts are until you do one. Ugh.

I have no idea where the QBs will go. Could go anywhere. Really hard to read this group and these teams.

The Chargers would love a Safety, but they were both gone so I had them add a talented, versatile CB. Gives them depth and versatility on the back end.

Will O.J. Howard really fall that far? Could go as early as 5 or 6, but might just slide to the late teens.

Kevin King lasted longer than I wanted, but feels like some teams are going to be desperate for DE or OT help.


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NFL Execs on Who to Watch in Indy

From Daniel Jeremiah.

Executive 1: Ashland TE Adam Shaheen
“He’s clearly the third-best tight end in this year’s class and I think you’ll start to hear first-round buzz about him by the time his workout is finished. It’s hard to find tight ends with his combination of size, speed and toughness. He’s a unique talent.”

Executive 2: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes
“He will check every box in Indy. Tech was terrible (in 2016) and he didn’t get much attention, but everyone will be talking about him after the combine.”

Executive 3: Stanford DL Solomon Thomas
“I’m tempted to say Tak McKinley, but I’ll go with Solomon Thomas. He’s going to have an Aaron Donald-type workout. He’s a freak show.”

Executive 4: Stanford DL Solomon Thomas
“Solomon Thomas is going to put on a show. He’s incredibly explosive and he’ll destroy the change-of-direction drills. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ran (the 40-yard dash) in the 4.6s and jumped in the high 30s (inches).”

Executive 5: Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham
“We’re split on Cunningham in the draft room but we all agree he’s going to test really well. He can really run and he’s going to impress teams in the interview room as well.”

Shaheen is 6-6, 277 and athletic. I’m not sure about 1st round, but he is a good player.

I hate Mahomes. Can’t stand watching him play.

Thomas is special.

Cunningham is darn good.


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Mel Kiper on the Draft

No matter what you think of him, Mel Kiper is one of the reasons the NFL Draft is as big as it is. Before the NFL Network and the internet, some of us back in the 1980’s got draft info from Kiper’s previews in the Sporting News or on quick ESPN segments.

MMQB interviewed Mel and it’s worth reading if you’re a draftnik.

The NFL draft, back when I started my business in 1978, and in 1983 with ESPN, it was totally different. When I started with ESPN, we were only covering the first round and into the second round. We would get to maybe the middle part of the second round and then sign off. It went from that, to eventually covering every round and then from a two-day draft to a three-day draft, and then from being on Tuesday morning to being on a weekend. I can tell you, as somebody who was in this from the beginning, when people were asking me, Why are you putting out draft reports, why are you wasting time doing something that nobody cares about? To see it get to this point, and know that you really proved all of those doubters and skeptics wrong, it is a source of great personal satisfaction for me. A lot of people asked me, Why are you wasting your time? Get a real job. Nobody cares about the NFL draft, nobody cares about your opinions. So when you see it now, I am glad to see that everybody has an opinion, there are bloggers out there and websites out there for the draft all over the place. I am glad to see the millions and millions of people watching and to see the interest all year. We start talking draft in August and we go all the way up until May. It is really a 10-months-a-year thing, where you are talking the draft on a regular basis, it is pretty amazing. I thought it could be, and it’s the one thing I have been right about. I thought back when I started that there has to be a way to get information to the fans. They couldn’t see these players, they weren’t televising many games then on a Saturday and your team is drafting these players and you don’t know who the heck they are! So my job was to provide that information and let everybody know who these players were. I really thought there was a market for this when I started this, so I was correct in that regard, because I had a heck of a business for a lot of years and that led to me being at ESPN. The business when I started it in 1978 was something that proved everybody wrong, that you could build a business by doing this and certainly the draft on ESPN could be a huge success.

I don’t follow Mel much anymore, but I do appreciate everything he’s done for the draft. And I hear he’s a great person off camera.


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Interesting WR

Chad Hansen from Cal is not a name that everyone is paying attention to. I watched several games of his and was really impressed with his speed and skill. Check out these clips and you’ll see his potential.

The downside with Hansen is that he can struggle with physical DBs. Hansen has good size, but plays like a finesse WR. He wants to use his speed. That’s great in the spread in college, but in the NFL there are times when you must be able to cleanly beat a jam and then run a route in heavy traffic.

Hansen is a gifted prospect and won’t last long in the draft, but he does have some issues to work on if he wants to be a complete receiver.


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Run Through Contact

Boy this is fun to watch.

You don’t want to do that too much. RBs take a beating as it is. Still, you have to love a RB that wants to be the hammer rather than the nail. Why take punishment when you can give some out?


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Elway the Anomaly

The 49ers rocked the pro football world by naming John Lynch their GM. Some people let loose with jokes about their seeming addiction to dysfunctional decisions. Others compared this move to Matt Millen. A few brought up the point of John Elway and the success he’s had running the Broncos.

Elway is nothng like Millen. Or Lynch. Elway is the anomaly.

John Elway played his whole career in Denver and was worshiped out there, during and after his career. Elway uses that popularity to become successful in the business world. He owned five car dealerships and sold them for more than $80M. He has owned successful steakhouses.

Elway owned Denver’s arena league team from 2002-2008. He obviously had some experience as a football executive before ever getting to the NFL. The fact the football was a much lower level wasn’t important. He learned how to hire and fire. He learned how to make business decisions with players. He learned the business of football.

Too many people think being a good GM means knowing the game of football. That’s not the case at all. You have to be able to manage people. You have a lot of people working under you and their success is critical to the team’s success. Obviously knowing football is critical, but the world’s greatest personnel guru will fail if he can’t run a team. Pro football is a business.

Lynch is smart. He is hard working. He knows football. What he doesn’t know is how to run a business, or a football organization. He might be one of those guys who picks things up incredibly quickly, but that is a big risk.

The other factor in this is pressure.

Lynch is not qualified for this job. He might be able to make it work, but his resume pales in comparison to that of just about any other realistic candidate. That means any and every move will be heavily scrutinized.

Can Lynch work under that kind of spotlight? Will it affect him?

I have nothing against Lynch and hope he does well because he seems like a genuinely good guy, but he is nothing like John Elway.

I do think he can be compared to Matt Millen.

  • Outstanding players
  • Multiple teams
  • Super Bowl winners
  • Team leaders
  • Grinders
  • Highly respected
  • Successful NFL analysts

Millen tried to run the Lions like a gritty LB. He wasn’t able to shake the player’s mentality. A GM has to see things very differently. I’m sure Lynch can do that and will learn from Millen’s mistakes. I don’t think there is much question that Lynch is the smarter of the two.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. The Niners need a lot of talent. Lynch has a major challenge in front of him.

Good luck, John.


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South Practice – Day 3

It is always important to judge players on the whole week of practice. WR Josh Reynolds is a great example of that. He struggled early on Tuesday. He got better as the practice went along. Reynolds was outstanding the rest of the week.

The thing that really stood out for me was Reynolds ability to extend his arms and catch the ball away from his body. With a 6-3 frame and 31 1/2-inch arms, that’s a big catch radius. He didn’t make one or two extended grabs, he made them on all 3 days of practice. And he made it look natural.

Reynolds made a terrific over-the-shoulder catch on a downfield throw. That took good focus, hands and body control. It was interesting to see him make a grab like that after plucking the ball with his hands for most of the day. Reynolds is a versatile, talented pass catcher.


RB Matt Dayes caught my eye on Thursday. He is a shade under 5-9 and uses that size to his advantage. Dayes stays low and hides behind his blockers until he has a hole and then he uses a good burst to get upfield. He had a couple of good runs like this in the final practice. He made a nice cut and burst upfield for a long gain in the 11-on-11 period.

Dayes averaged more than 5 yards per carry for his career. His patience, vision and burst give him the ability to break off good gains on a regular basis. Dayes isn’t a household name, but he has NFL ability.


I can’t go a day without saying something about DE Tanoh Kpassagnon. He lined up at LDE and beat the RT for a “sack”. He later lined up at RDE. Kpassagnon used his length and burst to get to the LT in a hurry, but he was blocked at that point. Kpassagnon must learn to convert speed to power. He also will need to get stronger.

If he works on that, Kpassagnon will really be tough on OTs. He can’t run to them, he’s got to run through them. With his size, speed and his power, he can really become a force off the edge.


Davis Webb is the best of the South QBs. He has a good motion and a solid arm. He has excellent size at 6-5, 229.

Josh Dobbs is the mystery man. There are some plays where he is really impressive. Then there are other moments when is borderline awful. Dobbs has solid size at 6-3, 216. He has a good arm and is athletic. Dobbs has the physical traits to be an NFL QB, but he is highly inconsistent and is a developmental prospect.

Antonio Pipkin looked raw. He showed talent, but was a notch behind the other QBs. I was hoping to see more out of him.

It will be interesting to see if the game brings the best out of any of these QBs.


RB Jamaal Williams was expected to weigh in at 220-225 pounds. Instead he showed up at only 211. I was disappointed by him being smaller, but he did appear to be faster. He showed good speed on some runs that got him to the outside in Thursday’s practice.

It will be interesting to see how much he weighs at the Combine. I hope he doesn’t drop more weight, in the pursuit of a good 40-time. One of Williams’ big selling points is that he’s got some size and is a physical runner.


I thought CB Demontae Kazee was up and down on Wednesday. He was better on Thursday. He covered more tightly and did a better job of breaking on the ball. Kazee had 17 career picks, but we didn’t get to see his ball skills in action in Mobile.

CB Cam Sutton had a solid week. One thing that really stood out to me is how competitive he was. He wanted to make a play on every rep. Even if the receiver caught the ball, he was going to get a hand on it to try and knock it loose.


WR Taywan Taylor had another strong showing. He did have one drop, but countered that by catching pass after pass. He has good hands and really plucks the ball cleanly most of the time.


OL Will Holden was added to the South team due to some injuries. He was playing OG on Thursday and looked good. He won multiple battles in the 1-on-1 drills with DL. Maybe he was fresh. Or maybe he’s just good. Holden impressed me at the Shrine Game. He is 6074, 312 and has 33-inch arms.



Chad Williams ran right by a CB and hauled in a long TD. There is no question about his deep speed.

Evan Engram lists as a TE, but he looks like a WR when he runs down the field and just casually snares passes. A creative offensive coach is going to love him.

DT Eddie Vanderdoes had a TFL on a run play and also looked good in the 1-on-1 drills. He is a powerful man.

ILB Duke Riley showed good speed when he flew out wide to tackle a RB on an outside run play.


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