Mock Draft 2.0 (Draft Night Eve)

  1. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

6’4 215 lbs.

Jared Goff, Dylan Wynn

California quarterback Jared Goff (16) scrambles out of the pocket from Oregon State defensive end Dylan Wynn (45) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

 

The Rams traded a lion’s share to go up and grab their quarterback of the future. There are a couple of reasons I think it has to be Goff: One, he’s considered by many to be closer to a sure thing than Wentz. Two, the Eagles trade makes me believe they know which quarterback will be available and all indications are they covet Wentz. Either Howie Roseman royally whiffed, or Wentz makes it past pick 1 and Goff lands in L.A.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/a-prospect-a-day-quarterbacks-jared-goff-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz, QB, ND State

6’5 232 lbs.

Wentz 2.jpg

New head coach Doug Pederson evidently wants Bradford and Chase Daniel only for the short term while he grooms his prize prospect, Carson Wentz. I personally can’t blame Pederson or the Eagles for coveting Wentz, my number one QB. His tape really pops and he shows all the potential to be a special franchise player. Still, it was a lot to give up and Wentz has a lot of pressure to live up to the deal that landed him.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/a-prospect-a-day-quarterbacks-carson-wentz-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

6’6 287 lbs.

Buckner 1.jpg

Even with Tunsil now available, I maintain that the Chargers are sold on Buckner. He has a tantalizing blend of size, speed and football IQ but must continue to develop his game to live up to a top five draft status.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-deforest-buckner-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

6’1 202 lbs.

Ramsey.jpg

Word from Cowboys camp is Ramsey is their number one player overall so finding him at the 4 spot with a competent GM like Stephen Jones calling the shots, this is a no-brainer. They can mix and match Byron Jones and Jalen Ramsey as they please.

 

 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

6’6 276 lbs.

Bosa.jpg

Jags GM David Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley will be bowling people over to get this pick in. Joey Bosa will be an immediate infusion of talent paired with former first-rounder Dante Fowler Jr. They must address the secondary this off-season as well, but Bosa is too talented.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-joey-bosa-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

5’11 192 lbs.

Hargreaves.jpg

Jimmy Smith is a slightly undersized corner who’s had success with the Ravens, so Newsome knows to target talent and traits over size. Of course the Ravens offense will continue to scare exactly no one until they get serious about bolstering that side of the ball.

 

 

  1. San Francisco 49ers: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

6’1 245 lbs.

Jack.jpg

Word is Jack won’t slide past the Niners and it makes a lot of sense. Chip Kelly would be licking his lips at the thought of implementing the ultra-athletic Jack into his system, perhaps on offense as well as defense.

 

 

  1. Cleveland Browns: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss.

6’5 305 lbs.

Tunsil.jpg

It’s time to think about life after Joe Thomas and Tunsil is the best player remaining on the board. Hue Jackson will want to protect his new project in RG3. Tunsil is ready to start now and Cleveland should be able to find a place for him. They tried to trade out of the pick, but couldn’t work a deal.

 

 

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

6’3 270 lbs.

Shaq Lawson

Shaq Lawson

As predicted, Lawson has become a highly coveted prospect as teams fall in love with his 2015 tape and high character. He’s certainly a motivated young man, but he’s not quite up to a top ten talent level.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-shaq-lawson-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. TRADE Miami Dolphins (Via New York Giants): Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

6’0 225 lbs.

Elliott

Ohio State plays Indiana at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, November 22, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.

I’ve been seeing the Dolphins love for Elliott throughout the draft process. The inept Stephen Ross has been sitting on his hands rather than bothering to replace Lamar Miller. On the upside, Elliott and Jay Ajayi should be a potent duo, on the downside, Elliott is a running back, a majorly devalued position. The Dolphins would be better served to find a replacement for the departed Olivier Vernon.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/a-prospect-a-day-running-backs-ezekiel-elliott-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Chicago Bears: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

6’5 304 lbs.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame

Sep 19, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (78) prepares to block Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets linebacker Tyler Marcordes (35) at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 19, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (78) prepares to block Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets linebacker Tyler Marcordes (35) at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

It’s an open secret that the Bears got snaked here: they coveted Ezekiel Elliott. Still, they need to find a true replacement for Jermon Bushrod for current “franchise” quarterback Jay Cutler.

 

 

  1. TRADE Indiannapolis Colts (Via New Orleans Saints): Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

6’6 325 lbs.

Conklin

The Colts clearly fear here that the Giants want to invest further in their offensive line and jump ahead of them, the Titans and the Lions to snag Jack Conklin, who is a highly accomplished and polished pass protector. Protecting Andrew Luck must be priority number one for Grigson and company unless they want more comedy routines in week 17 (Ryan Lindley and Josh Freeman split starting duties, it’s like the beginning of a “walks into a bar” joke)

 

 

  1. TRADE New York Giants (Via Miami Dolphins): Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

6’4 231 lbs.

Floyd

The Giants have apparently been coveting Floyd for a while now and it is understandable, albeit foolish. Floyd is just the kind of guy that gets over-drafted on athleticism. Get ready for the outrageous JPP-size expectations that come with playing in the Big Apple. In fact, JPP may have inspired the interest since his fireworks incident left him a few fingers short of a full hand.

 

 

  1. Oakland Raiders: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

5’11 195 lbs.

Alexander

The outrageous idea that Alexander will slide in the first round, or out of it completely will be dispelled tomorrow night. Alexander is a true shut-down corner in the making and the Raiders could use that to pair with Sean Smith. Their secondary is the true weakness of this budding defense.

 

 

  1. Tennessee Titans: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

6’7 320 lbs.

Decker

Decker actually fits really well as the bookend opposite Taylor Lewan. Decker is big-bodied, highly atheletic and has immense strength at the point of attack. He lacks the polish of the higher prospects but is a really nice find for the Titans who gained quite a bit of value trading out of the number one pick.

 

 

  1. Detroit Lions: Kevin Dodd, DE Clemson

6’5 277 lbs.

Capital One Orange Bowl - Clemson v Oklahoma

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – DECEMBER 31: Samaje Perine #32 of the Oklahoma Sooners carries the ball as Kevin Dodd #98 of the Clemson Tigers attempts to tackle him in the first quarter during the 2015 Capital One Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on December 31, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Dodd makes a ton of sense opposite Ziggy Ansah as the Lions attempt to maintain their defense at the top of the draft. The strategy makes some sense, especially if they’ve lost faith in Stafford’s ability to lead them deep into the playoffs.

 

 

  1. Atlanta Falcons: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

6’1 259 lbs.

Ragland

The Falcons have been wanting for elite linebacker talent since Sean Weatherspoon began having severe injury issues. Ragland should help solidify a shaky core that includes the aforementioned and still injury prone Weatherspoon.

 

 

  1. TRADE New York Jets (Via New Orleans Saints): Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

6’7 245 lbs.

Lynch 1

The Jets, despite their posturing with Ryan Fitzpatrick, are not sold on their future at quarterback with Geno Smith. Lynch represents an upgrade, if only because he’s an unknown commodity, the Jets felt they needed to jump the Bills who looked poised to snag Lynch after his fall.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/a-prospect-a-day-quarterbacks-paxton-lynch-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Buffalo Bills: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

6’1 304 lbs.

Louisville Football v Memphis

Sheldon Rankins (98), Fumble

Sheldon Rankins (98), Fumble

Rumblings that Dareus is looking to leave point to Rex Ryan’s continual inability to control a 53-man roster. Instead of booting him like they should, the Bills decision makers allow him to commit nepotism while also replacing a proven talent with a relatively unknown rookie. Poor Bills, they’ll never make the playoffs. On the bright side, Rankins shows a lot of potential. He might even be on the level of the greats (like Dareus) one day.

 

 

  1. TRADE New Orleans Saints (Via New York Jets): Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

6’4 275 lbs.

Ogbah 2.jpg

Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) attempts to move around Central Arkansas Kyle Stouffer (76) during an NCAA college football game between Central Arkansas and Oklahoma St in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The more I break it down, the more this makes sense. Payton and Loomis must know that the entire defense struggles because of their lack of push up front. Ogbah will fit right into the locker room as a hard-worker with relentless motor. Knowing Pay/Loo though, I should be expecting something off-the-wall like safety or tackle here.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-emmanuel-ogbah/

 

 

  1. Washington Redskins: Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State

6’6 310 lbs.

Jones

Jones has been pegged to sneak into the first round due to his pass-rush ability. I buy it and GM Scot McCloughan has shown his desire to build from the trenches. I expect a defensive lineman here and Jones makes the most sense.

 

 

  1. Houston Texans: Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame

6’0 186 lbs.

Fuller

Fuller the first receiver off the board? It could happen. The Texans apparently covet the speedy wide-out who is being given much more favorable reviews as teams recognize his strong route running ability.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/a-prospect-a-day-wide-receivers-will-fuller-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

6’2 210 lbs.

Treadwell

The Vikings need another receiver with the word being that Mike Wallace wants out. Big surprise. And Cordarelle Patterson still isn’t progressing. Big surprise? That leaves Stefon Diggs and Charles Johnson. I’m not quite inspired with that corps. Of course, Treadwell is not the best receiver in this class, but landing with an accurate passer like Bridgewater should help considering his inability to separate from even college corners.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/a-prospect-a-day-wide-receivers-laquon-treadwell-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

6’3 210 lbs.

Thomas

I’ve been hearing rumblings that Thomas is the top receiver on the Bengals board and the pick here should be a receiver after they were gutted in free agency. At the very least, they must find a replacement at WR2 for Marvin Jones.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/a-prospect-a-day-wide-receivers-michael-thomas-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

6’1 200 lbs.

Apple

Too long the Steelers have ignored upgrading this position. It’s time and they know it. Their secondary was a big reason they lost a lot of games last season. Apple is a rising prospect with ideal size who has big-game experience. You’ll be hearing that a lot during the rest of this mock draft.

 

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State

6’2 228 lbs.

Lee

The Seahawks have built such an impressive roster by snagging impressive athletes that fit in their scheme. Darron Lee is a potential fit as a Jack linebacker to replace Bruce Irvin, who’s leaving in free agency. In addition to impressive measurables, he’s ready for prime-time due to his big-game experience.

 

 

  1. Green Bay Packers: Noah Spence, LB, Eastern Kentucky

6’2 254 lbs.

Spence

The Packers have been trying to generate a pass rush with over-the-hill vet Julius Peppers. It was fun (and funny) while it lasted. But unless they want to continue to waste Rodgers’ prime years, they’d better get serious about building a defense from the ground up.

 

 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

6’3 195 lbs.

Doctson

Goodness knows the Chiefs offense is an unfinished puzzle. The best receiver in the draft could go a long way to helping Alex Smith and company ramp up their level of play, especially in the playoffs where the offense has consistently let them down.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/02/25/a-prospect-a-day-wide-receivers-josh-doctson-scouting-report/

 

 

  1. Arizona Cardinals: Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama

6’4 311 lbs.

Ryan Kelly

Many teams love the Alabama product and it’s not hard to see why. He might be one of the most polished and accomplished players in the draft. The Cardinals desperately need to keep Palmer healthy and upright and taking a safe prospect like Kelly makes sense for a team like the Cardinals on the brink of Super Bowl contention.

 

 

  1. Carolina Panthers: William Jackson III, CB, Houston

6’0 189 lbs.

Jackson.jpg

Booting Josh Norman can only mean one thing: He’s a jackass. Moving past that, the Panthers must replace his production and ability in the secondary to continue to cover for the inept safety duo of Kurt Coleman and Roman Harper.

 

 

  1. Denver Broncos: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

6’3 325 lbs.

Butler

With the departure of Malik Jackson to contend with, the Broncos must bolster the part of their team that’s working: the defense. Proven to have adequate eye-sight and cognitive abilities, Elway recognizes his team was special due to defense and continues to refuel with an impressive talent from a small school who has been shooting up boards.

Free Agency Tracker 2016

Wow. Free Agency started off with a ridiculous bang didn’t it? I’m not sure about you guys but I could hardly keep up. Either way, I’m gonna sift through and grade the moves I can get a clear number on.

LATEST BUZZ:

Former Saints safety Rafael Bush visiting Lions, looking to replace Quddus

Russel Okung visiting Lions and Giants

Falcons are the favorite to land LB Jerrell Freeman

3/11/16

Broncos looking at 2 QBs: Mike Glennon and Colin Kaepernick, word is it will take a third round pick to acquire Glennon, who the Bucs brass loves.

Hearing 4 teams in the mix for C.J. Anderson: Patriots, Bears, 49ers, Dolphins

3/10/16

Nick Fairley and J.R. Sweezy reportedly on Saints radar

Saints looking to Coby Fleener now, looking for number 1 tight end

Steelers front-runners to sign Ladarius Green, Saints were in the mix

Falcons reportedly front-runners on WR Mohamed Sanu, offer is for $7 million per season.

Ravens clearing cap space interested in Mike Wallace, tight end

Transition tag removed from Olivier Vernon because Dolphins would not be able to match front-loaded contract Jags were prepared to offer Vernon.

3/9/16

 

NEW HOMES:

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Travis Lewis, LB: no contract details

Grade: TBD

Lewis

 

 

Emmanuel Lamur, LB: no contract details

Grade: TBD

Lamur

 

 

Michael Griffin, S: 1 year, $2.5 million, $750k guaranteed

Grade: B

Griffin

Griffin is over the hill. No doubt about that. He is, however, still all right.

He’s being paid a little bit over veteran minimum with hardly any guaranteed money at all, so the signing makes sense for depth purposes.

Griffin cannot start any longer.

 

 

Alex Boone, G: 4 years, $26.8 million, $10 million guaranteed

Grade: A-

Boone

This is probably the best offensive lineman signing of the season so far.

Boone is an excellent mauler run-blocker that should bust open plenty of holes for Adrian Peterson through the life of his contract.

To get a top-flight free agent guard at a little over 6 mil per year is an excellent signing. It’s a bit under market value.

 

 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Brad Nortman, P: 4 years, $8.8 million

Grade: C

Nortman

Nortman is a fine punter, and the Jaguars needed one since Bryan Anger is a free agent.

I don’t much understand paying more than the veteran minimum for Nortman though. He’s nothing special.

And locking him up on a 4 year deal? It’s just kind of strange.

 

 

Tashaun Gipson, S: 5 years, $35.5 million

Grade: B

Gipson

I really like Gipson but it has to concern the Jags whether or not last year was an anomaly.

He had a brilliant 2014 and he’s still young and likely entering his prime, so there’s upside, but it remains to be seen whether he can be the lynchpin to hold together a poor secondary, which is what the Jags have right now.

At 7 mil per year, the Jags are betting a fair amount that he is.

 

 

Malik Jackson, DL: 6 years, $85.5 million, $31.5 million guaranteed

Grade: C

Jackson

Malik Jackson was the best available player on the market at the time. That doesn’t mean he is worth the nearly $13 million per year the Jags are handing him.

He will not live up to this contract, for many reasons. The biggest thing to consider is the talent around him on the defensive line: there is none. Dante Fowler Jr. is an unknown commodity and Jared Odrick is an average starter. There’s not much else to get excited about.

Jackson is a good player, but he will not change that defense without some help.

 

 

Chris Ivory, RB: 5 years, $32.5 million, $10-15 million guaranteed

Grade: D

Ivory

Running backs are not worth almost $7 million per season. They are not.

Consider also that Ivory is expected to be in a timeshare with T.J. Yeldon and you see why this deal feels a bit egregious.

I can at least admit I understand it. When healthy, Ivory was one of the most dominant backs in the NFL last season and Gus Bradley, David Caldwell and company have one year left to show the results of their master plan.

With $90 million to spend in free agency, they have the flexibility to buy the pieces they need and they clearly feel Ivory could be a missing piece on their offense.

I don’t necessarily agree, as I think they should probably be looking more toward their offensive and defensive lines (even after the Malik Jackson signing), but to each his own.

 

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Gino Gradkowski, C: no contract details

Grade: TBD

Gradkowski

 

 

NEW YORK JETS

Khiry Robinson, RB: 1 year, $1.175 million

Grade: A+

Robinson

In a market for running backs that’s seen mediocre players like C.J. Anderson getting paid $4 million, it blows my mind to see a contract like this.

I’ve seen quite a bit of Robinson, and he has a punishing running style, reminds me of  a poor man’s Chris Ivory. That fits since he’s helping replace Ivory for the Jets, and for significantly less.

This is a coup for the Jets who have refueled their running back corps very well.

 

 

Matt Forte, RB: 3 years, $12 million, $8 million

Grade: A

Forte

What’s kind of tough to grade about this is the running back market is clearly different this season than it was last offseason.

Last offseason, premium running back numbers (Mark Ingram, C.J. Spiller) received $4 million a year. Those two guys in this market would probably get 5-6 mil.

My main point here is Forte is still an excellent all-around back who should still be a viable starter through the life of his deal and the Jets are getting him for less than the current going rate.

So it’s a win.

 

 

TENNESSEE TITANS

Rishard Matthews, WR: 3 years, $15 million

Grade: B-

Matthews

As expected, Rishard Matthews was going to be the best value of the “top-flight” free agent options.

The Titans did a nice job buying fairly low on a guy who graded out very well last year and showed some play-making ability out of the slot.

It’s still a little too much since Matthews really hasn’t shown the ability to consistently produce yet. Still, I think he’s the best receiver deal so far.

 

 

Ben Jones, C: four years, $17.5 million, $7.5 million guaranteed

Grade: B-

B Jones

N0t much to see here.

Ben Jones is 27, and he probably won’t get too much better. He’s an average starter getting paid slightly more than he should on the open market.

The Titans did address a need here and it opens up more draft possibilities for them, which is why I’m giving this higher than a C.

 

 

NEW YORK GIANTS

Keenan Robinson, LB: 1 year, $3 million

Grade: C-

Robinson

Robinson was an ok rotational linebacker for the Redskins but I don’t see much upside here. He probably shouldn’t have earned much more than the vet. minimum.

Still, there’s no risk here. It’s just another case of the Giants overpaying. They’ve been pretty incompetent this off-season.

 

 

Olivier Vernon, DE: 5 years, $85 million, $52.5 million guaranteed

Grade: Baalke’s Starting Quarterback Decisions Grade

Vernon

Holy Crap. This is one of the most egregious over-payments to a defensive player I’ve ever seen.

The Giants must think they’re a couple of players away from a Super Bowl. They aren’t. This is going to cripple them. Vernon is not the best pass rusher in the league. He may not be in the top ten.

And yet, the Giants are paying him the largest deal in history for a defensive end. He’s getting paid almost as much per year as Osweiller. That is outrageous.

 

 

Damon Harrison, DT: 5 years, $46.25 million, $24 million guaranteed

Grade: B

Harrison

Harrison is one of the last great nose tackles left in the NFL. He’s a brilliant run-stuffer that can get after the passer from time-to-time.

A presence like his is desperately needed on a Giants defense that was devoid of talent in 2015 and he should come in and produce up to expectation. The concern is obviously how much talent he had around him in New York, but I expect his skills to translate.

A little over $9 million per year is overpaying, but not egregiously. This was just a small amount over the expected going rate of a top free agent like Harrison.

 

 

Janoris Jenkins, CB:5 years, $62.5 million, $29 million guaranteed

Grade: C+

Jenkins

I love Janoris Jenkins’ potential. I do not love paying him premium starter money just because it’s a thin market.

Inevitably, some team was going to overpay for his services so I can’t knock the Giants too hard. They desperately need help everywhere on the defense, but the departure of Amukamara made corner a big concern.

Jenkins should come in and provide solid starter snaps, but I feel like this might end up very similar to the Maxwell deal last year. Hint: Maxwell is no longer on the team that overpaid for his services.

 

 

DALLAS COWBOYS

Cedric Thornton, DT: 4 years, $18 million

Grade: B

Thornton

Here’s what I like about this: the Cowboys are addressing their needs so they can take the BPA at 4 overall.

Here’s what concerns me: Thornton hasn’t really ever produced at a high volume and he’s 29. Paying over $4 million a year is a little much, but it makes sense considering he’d easily become the most talented d-tackle on the roster.

It’s not close. It’s also smart to take him away from a division rival.

 

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS

C.J. Anderson, RB: 4 years, $18 million

Grade: D-

Anderson

This is an offer sheet so the Broncos will have an opportunity to match, they should not.

Anderson is bad at the beginning of the season. He gets decent when everyone else is hurt because he’s sturdy. There are better runners four rounds deep in this draft so I have no idea why the Dolphins would pay for him.

For that matter, Jay Ajayi, who they drafted last year, has a far superior skill-set overall. This deal sucks. But at least they’re not paying him Martin money. I hate Anderson. He sucks.

 

 

Sam Young, OT: 1 year, veteran minimum

Grade: B-

Young

Sam Young is barely rosterable, so this is barely better than average. That’s it. Good night.

 

 

Isa Abdul-Quddus, S: 3 years, $12.75 million

Grade: C

Quddus

Quddus is an adequate backup at safety who should not be relied upon to start. He might be a possibility as a nickel safety.

At a little over 4 mil a year, it’s a little steep for a guy that probably won’t offer meaningful starter snaps.

Still, he’s fairly young and likely in the midst of his prime, so I like the length of the contract.

 

 

Mario Williams: 2 years, $16 million

Grade: C-

Williams

I still think Williams has a lot to offer as a player, my concern is pairing him up with a bad influence like Suh, who could bring out the worst in him.

From what I understand, Williams’ main beef was being played out of position by Coach Rex Ryan, and it’s a reasonable frustration when it’s clear where a player best fits. That’s essentially Ryan screwing with Williams’ value by not putting him in the best position to succeed and produce at a high volume.

The Dolphins will likely slide Williams in as a replacement to Olivier Vernon and the production should not see much of a dip.

$8 million per year is a little steep for an older player like Williams, but he likely has a few good years left and it’s a short contract, so it’s not like they’ve shackled themselves for years to a player that could majorly regress.

This could go bad, but I find it a somewhat reasonably calculated risk.

 

 

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Dwight Lowery, S: 3 years, $7.2 million

Grade: B

Lowery

He was in the middle of the pack of available free agents according to Pro Football Focus on 11oo graded snaps.

He’s 30 so he figures to regress by the end of this contract, still if they don’t expect him to start, this deal should be fine for depth purposes.

Ideally, he won’t see the field often, so over $3 million per year might be a bit much.

 

 

Brandon Mebane, DT: 3 years, $13.5 million, $5.5 million

Grade: B+

Mebane

I love this signing. Evaluators say he still has the ability to wreck a game plan and his play on the field backs that up.

He’s good against the run and has pass rush ability, and since he’s already out of his prime, his regression shouldn’t be too stark until he’s done.

Basically, he should play at a fairly above-average level for the life of this contract and the Chargers are paying him average starter money.

 

 

Travis Benjamin, WR: 4 years, $24 million, $13 million guaranteed

Grade: D

Benjamin

I like the idea of getting Rivers more weapons, and with Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson already in the fold, San Diego is building itself a nice little corps.

Benjamin should be able to step into the slot and provide meaningful snaps fairly quickly.

Unfortunately, the Chargers paid him WR2 money, 6 mil per year is just too much for a guy that should not be seeing the field on every offensive snap. If they expect to make a jump, fine. I just don’t see it.

 

 

ATLANTA FALCONS

Mohamed Sanu, WR: 5 years, $32.5 million, $14 million

Grade: Baalke fires Jim Harbaugh Grade

Sanu

I saw the buzz that the Falcons were going to throw 7 mil a year at Sanu. I honestly still can’t believe it happened.

This is an egregious overpayment for a player that would generously be worth $4 million a year. Don’t get me wrong, Sanu has a solid skill set and some versatility (he can run and throw as well).

But he hasn’t proven that he can consistently be a threat. Especially not to the point of getting paid fringe-starter money. Reminds me of the idiot that fired Jim Harbaugh.

 

 

Derrick Shelby, DE: 4 years, $21 million

Grade: A

Shelby

Shelby graded out as the fifth best edge player in a talent-rich free agent pool in 871 graded snaps last season according to Pro Football Focus.

He’s also 27 and will not be expected to save the defense since the Falcons already invested in Vic Beasley a year ago. This is a brilliant signing with a ton of upside for a solid rate.

Teams tend to pay for the pass rush, but in this case, the Falcons got a steal.

 

 

Matt Schaub, QB: no contract details

Grade: TBD

Schaub

 

 

Alex Mack, C: 5 years, $45 million, $28.5 million

Grade: B-

Mack

Mack is just reaching the end of his prime, and will not get any better.

In fact, with inferior talent around him on the Falcons line as opposed to a talent-rich Browns line, he might get worse.

The other side of that coin, though: he’ll make everyone else’s job on the line easier. That’s an exciting prospect for the Falcons, as they have not had a premiere lineman since Matt Ryan arrived.

It’s just a bit too much to pay, $9 million a year, for a guy that has clearly left his prime, so I’m not in love with the signing. It’s all right.

 

 

OAKLAND RAIDERS

Sean Smith, CB: 4 years, $40 million, $20 million guaranteed

Grade: C+

Smith

It’s becoming clear that Raiders brass recognizes their needs, which is encouraging.

They’re also finding some really solid options to fill their holes. The main issue I have is paying a corner $10 million a year. It reminds me of a few years ago when the Cowboys did the same thing with an ascending Brandon Carr.

That move helped get them into a cap mess they’re still working out of and Carr in no way lived up to the contract. I’m not saying that will happen, but it’s tough for a corner to earn $10 million a year, especially one without a penchant for turnovers like Smith.

 

 

Bruce Irvin, OLB: 4 years, $37 million, 12.5 million guaranteed

Grade: C+

Irvin

Irvin is not a game-changing linebacker, and although this was a position of need, the Raiders overpaid here.

There is very little chance Irvin lives up to over $9 million per year. The saving grace on this one is the low guarantee number which would allow the Raiders to essentially opt out after the 2016 season since the guarantee is completely front loaded.

That’s a good plan by Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. Still, as it stands, this is too much for a marginal starter.

 

 

Kelechi Osemele, OL: 5 years, $58.5.million, 25.4 million guaranteed

Grade: C-

Osemele

This is another case of the Raiders overpaying, big-time.

The key here is that the buzz says the Raiders see Osemele’s value at tackle. That is not where his value lies, as he is just an above-average left tackle.

He is a dominant guard, however, and it’s possible Raiders brass will recognize that and play him accordingly.

Unfortunately, paying $11 million a year to a fringe starter at tackle or a dominant guard, regardless, is too much money. Like the player, but the numbers don’t work for me.

 

 

CHICAGO BEARS

Bobby Massie, OT: 3 years, $18 million

Grade: Baalke Thinks Torrey Smith is a WR1 Grade

Massie

Massie has been fairly dreadful for most of his time as a pro, he’s been mostly below average, even on the right side of the line, which is where tackles who can’t pass block go.

The problem is Massie doesn’t offer much in the run block either. He certainly doesn’t have starter qualities. Still, he has some utility as a swing tackle.

I have some qualms with paying $6  million per year to a swing tackle. That’s the kind of idiotic move a guy who thinks Torrey Smith can be a WR1 would make… oh yeah.

 

 

Danny Trevathan, LB: 4 years, $28 million

Grade: A+

Trevathan

For a player with a complete skill set like Trevathan (he can cover, run-stuff and rush the passer on occasion) I would have expected somewhere in the realm of $10 million a year.

This deal is absolutely fantastic for the Bears as Trevathan is just entering his prime and has gotten better every year he’s been in the league.

Reuniting with coach John Fox just sweetens the deal. Top marks to the Bears for this move.

 

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Mitchell Schwartz, OT: 5 years, $33 million, $15 million guaranteed

Grade: B

Schwartz

Schwartz was one of the top right tackles in the NFL last year.

This was, however, one year removed from being a complete liability on the Browns offensive line. There’s always the question of a player playing for a contract.

But there is the possibility, especially considering he’s still young, that he’s turned a corner and about to enter his prime. If that’s the case, less than $7 million per year is a very solid price to pay. Still, there’s a bit of risk here so I don’t love it.

 

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Ladarius Green, TE: 5 years, $20 million

Grade: A

Green

Green is an ascending player who never really got a chance to show off his insane skill-set.

He’s a scary height-weight-speed combination that should thrive as a starter for the Steelers who needed it after the retirement of Heath Miller.

My one worry is that he hasn’t had that breakout season yet, but other teams paid more for less potential.

 

 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

J.R. Sweezy, G: 5 years, $32.5 million

Grade: B

Sweezy

Sweezy is a solid road-grader, so it makes sense that they follow up the Doug Martin signing with some help for the offensive line.

However, Sweezy is not a great pass-protector and will be asked to do that with Jameis Winston behind center.

He’s getting paid a little less than the other guards that have signed today, which makes sense because he’s a little worse than the rest of them.

 

 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Ron Brooks, CB: 3 years, $8.7 million

Grade: B

R Brooks

This is a tough one to grade since Brooks didn’t get meaningful snaps last year.

He is, however, familiar with Schwartz and I’m a big fan of good coaches bringing in their guys since there’s almost certainly a proper scheme fit.

The Eagles needed to find better depth at corner, which they have. Now they need a true number 1.

 

 

Nigel Bradham, LB: 2 years, unknown amount

Grade: TBD

Bradham

 

 

Brandon Brooks, OG: 5 years, $40 million

Grade: C+

B Brooks

Brooks is a solid guard and only 27 so on the surface, this seems like a solid deal.

This move was, however, clearly dictated by need in a thin market and so the Eagles were forced to grossly overpay for his services.

That much, I do not love. It is good that the Eagles recognize their needs and are continuing to allow themselves more draft flexibility with so many picks.

They are in line to develop a talented roster in the next couple of years.

 

 

Chase Daniel, QB: 3 years, $21 million, $12 million

Grade: B-

Daniel

Daniel is an excellent option at backup for the Doug Pederson-led Eagles.

He represents a major upgrade over Mark Sanchez, who struggles with consistent accuracy and poise. Daniel has all of those in spades and can immediately step in and run the offense effectively.

However, the Eagles overpaid just a bit for his services. 7 mil per year is certainly a premium for a guy that doesn’t have extensive starting experience. Word is he’ll have a chance to compete for the starting job and will likely see time anyway since Bradford is so injury-prone.

 

 

Rodney McLeod, S: 5 years, $37 million, $17 million guaranteed

Grade: B+

McLeod

I actually really like this move. The need at safety was pretty large next to Malcolm Jenkins. McLeod is a legitimate starter, grading out as Pro Football Focus’ third best available safety in 1180 snaps last season.

He’s 26 years old, so he should just be entering his prime. This is actually a lot like the Malcolm Jenkins signing from a couple years ago. The Eagles are getting a player that may ascend, and is very unlikely to regress.

The money is a bit too much for him though, I see his value more in the $6 million per year range, but the Eagles did a nice job not getting pushed around by the market. They got their guy and now they have more draft flexibility.

 

 

Leodis McKelvin: 2 years, $6 million

Grade: B

McKelvin

McKelvin may not be an above-average starter anymore, but he can be what Byron Maxwell was for the Eagles in 2015. He’s also coming at a hugely discounted rate.

The main reason for this is that he’s getting up there in age and has some injury concerns, but this is a good move for the Eagles, buying low on a guy who probably has a few good years left.

This should in no way preclude them from drafting a corner, however.

 

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Coby Fleener, TE: 5 years, $36 million

Grade: B

Fleener

This is reportedly a back-loaded contract, which I’m not a fan of.

However, the Saints are clearly attempting to still make a run with the couple of years Brees has left, so the deal makes sense.

Fleener is a smart guy, and should pick up the complicated Saints offense quickly. The Saints just turned Ben Watson into a highly productive tight end at 35 so I expect Fleener should be able to produce similar numbers and for a longer amount of time.

A little over 7 mil is a lot. But it’s likely the going rate for top tight ends in a starved market. Fleener is almost certain to live up to the contract due to the way Brees and Payton use tight ends.

 

 

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Thad Lewis, QB: 1 year, unknown amount

Grade: TBD

Lewis

 

 

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Tyvon Branch, S: 2 years, $10 million, $5 million

Grade: A

Branch

I loved Tyvon Branch’s level of play for the Chiefs when he was on the field last season.

He’s a fringe starter that was stuck behind some really solid safeties in Kansas City. He should add some juice to the Cardinals safety corps.

The Cardinals defense loves its play-makers.

 

 

HOUSTON TEXANS

Jeff Allen: 4 years, $28 million

Grade: B+

Allen

Allen is a slight upgrade over the departed Brooks and is getting one million a year less.

He’s 27 years old so he could potentially grow as a player, either way he’s just entering his prime and is well-rounded as a pass and run-blocker.

I still think 7 mil per year is a little bit too much for an above-average starting guard. But it’s very close to correct market value.

 

 

Tony Bergstrom, C: no contract details

Grade: TBD

Bergstrom

 

 

Lamar Miller, RB: 4 years, 26 million, $14 million guaranteed.

Grade: C

Miller

The Texans clearly needed to find an answer as they’re moving on from Arian Foster.

Miller represents a downgrade, however, and at a little over $5 million per season, he’s getting paid more than a very comparable running back in New Orlean’s Mark Ingram.

This is another case of overpaying in a thin market, and these teams are going to regret these deals.

 

 

Brock Osweiler, QB: 4 years, $72 million

Grade: OH BOY Chef Boyar-Baalke Grade

Osweiler

Osweiler was only a viable starter because he was such a scheme fit for the Broncos.

He will not be better than Brian Hoyer and if the Texans expect him to be their quarterback of the future, they’re delusional.

This deal is warm, like some good Chef Boyardee, because it does my heart good to see dumb teams overpaying mediocre quarterbacks. $18 million a year? Really? He’s a backup. Oh man, this one is funny.

 

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Ramon Humber, LB: 1 year, unknown amount

Grade: B-

Humber

I have nearly no doubt this is a veteran minimum deal.

Humber is ok depth at linebacker and a very good special teamer. He just should never be asked to take signifcant snaps.

The Patriots have a solid history of acquiring Saints castoffs like Rob Ninkovich, Donte Stallworth and Akiem Hicks to name a few, so I expect them to maximize Humber’s skill set.

 

 

DETROIT LIONS

Johnson Bademosi, CB: 2 years, $4.5 million

Grade: C-

Bademosi

This is a tough one since literally everywhere I look, I see Bademosi referred to as a “special teams ace”.

While that is a seriously undervalued talent in the NFL today, I think teams can find contributors on special teams for the veteran minimum.

Bademosi was pretty bad as a corner for the Browns so he likely won’t help the Lions’ secondary too much. I like the idea here, I just don’t think he’s worth the contract.

 

 

Stefan Charles, DT: no contract details

Grade: TBD

Charles

 

 

Tavon Wilson, CB/S: no contract details

Grade: TBD

Wilson

 

 

Marvin Jones, WR: 5 years, $40 million, 17 million guaranteed

Grade: B-

Ma Jones

 

Don’t get me wrong, this is too much for Jones. He’s an excellent WR2 getting paid like a borderline WR1 which I am not a fan of.

He cannot, and should not be expected, to headline a wide receiving corps, and will not replace the production Calvin Johnson provided, even in Johnson’s later years.

However, he was easily the best available receiver with the most potential, he’s 26 and just had his best season as a pro, and probably will get a bit better before he peaks.

If the Lions draft a receiver high, they could potentially have one of the best young corps in the league, immediately. They just have to understand Jones is not a number 1 guy.

 

 

DENVER BRONCOS

Donald Stephenson, OT: 3 years, $14 million, $10 million guaranteed

Grade: D-

Stephenson

Word was if the Broncos lost Jackson, they’d be in the market for a serious O-lineman.

Stephenson is an upgrade over Michael Schofield, who started at right tackle, and provides a solid backup option if Clady can’t go or if Sambrailo isn’t ready.

The Broncos overpaid by quite a bit on this contract. A little under $5 million for a guy that still has potential, but was dreadful last year is a concerning signing for a team that had hardly any cap flexibility.

 

 

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Ben Watson: 2 years, $8 million

Grade: C-

Watson

The Ravens are paying for Watson’s 2015 production in a Payton scheme with Brees throwing him the football.

Baltimore represents a downgrade in both scheme and quarterback play. Pair that with the natural regression the 35-year-old Watson is sure to have and you can start to see why I’m not crazy about this move.

However, Watson is still a good blocker and should provide some solid depth behind Crockett Gilmore and Maxx Williams.

He’s also a wonderful presence both on and off the field as a leader and humanitarian. It’s always smart to add a guy like that to a young locker room. They’re just paying too much of a premium for it for my taste.

 

 

 

STAYING PUT:

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Antonio Gates, TE: 2 years, $12 million

Grade: B-

The only other really old tight end besides Watson to have an excellent season, Gates is proving to be an ageless wonder.

But you have to wonder (see what I did there?) what the Chargers were thinking letting Ladarius Green go, who was paid less to go play for the Steelers.

Of course that contract baffles me regardless, so maybe I should just stop thinking about it before I get an aneurysm.

 

 

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Ifeanyi Momah, TE: 1 year, minimum exclusive rights tender

Grade: B

There’s really not much to say here. Momah is 6’7 and over 250 lbs, so he could potentially grow into something.

He’s a former Eagles receiver that bulked up to play the position and looked good a couple years ago at the veteran combine.

Certainly worth rostering and there’s no risk. I like it.

 

 

Drew Stanton, QB: 2 years, $6.5 million

Grade: B+

Stanton was a decent option running Arians’ offense when he needed to in the 2014 season.

He’s not, by any means, anything special but he’s just about at the right price at 3.25 mil per year here.

This is a solid re-signing and allows the Cardinals to allocate their resources elsewhere.

 

NEW YORK JETS

Zach Sudfeld, TE: no contract details

Grade: TBD

 

 

Bilal Powell, RB: 3 years, $11.25 million, $6 million

Grade: B

Powell is an excellent receiving back who can also provide some between the tackle runs.

Basically, he’s a poor man’s Darren Sproles. He doesn’t have near the skill-set Sproles has, and so paying him almost $4 million per year seems a little silly to me.

Maybe I’m being unfair since the Jets have been Gods of the running back market so far. This one is solid, not great.

 

 

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Nick Perry, OLB: 1 year, $5 million

Grade: C

This signing is puzzling. Of course, Ted Thompson is staying in-house during free agency.

I just have to wonder why they’re paying so much for potential here with Perry, he’s never really played up to his billing.

Not sure why the Packers expect things to be different this season.

 

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Mike Harris, OT: 1 year, $9 million

Harris was the Vikings best lineman last year, far more competent than fat Phil Loadholt or cement feet Matt Kalil.

I imagine they’re banking on Clemmings developing and just need a fill-in. That in mind, this is a solid deal with no risk.

 

 

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Colt McCoy, QB: 3 years, $9 million

Grade: B+

McCoy is an adequate backup quarterback who can provide solid snaps off the bench.

If he has to start, the Redskins are in trouble, but for just $3 million a year, they’re doing pretty well, as long as they invest that money they’re saving wisely elsewhere.

 

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

William Gay, CB: 3 years, $7.5 million

Grade: A

Gay was far and away the best and most consistent of the Steelers corners.

He was a stabilizing force on a defense in flux. He’s well worth just about 2 and a half mil a year. This is definitely a hometown discount.

He may not be a legitimate corner one, but the Steelers needed to keep him.

 

 

ATLANTA FALCONS

Bryce Harris, OT: no contract details

Grade: TBD

 

 

Adrian Clayborn, DE: 2 years, $9 million

Grade: C-

I don’t like it. Clayborn is the definition of boring.

He’s average, and sometimes below average and is not even close to a viable starter. He is not worth much more than the veteran minimum.

There was buzz that a few teams were interested and I never understood it. I could only imagine the laughable contracts the other teams might have offered him.

 

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Jermaine Kearse, WR: 3 years, $13.5 million

Grade: B-

I’m surprised the Seahawks weren’t able to sign him for less, but Kearse has come up big in big moments.

He’s also a willing blocker who runs good routes and has good hands. He’s clearly the type of player they want in the room.

You’d just prefer it at less than $4 million per year.

 

 

Jeremy Lane, CB: 4 years, $23 million, $11 million

Grade: D

This is too much money, especially for a guy that hasn’t really proven anything. He’s an all right fill-in option at Nickel getting paid like a fringe starter.

I didn’t like the Rubin resigning, I don’t like this one.

 

Athyba Rubin, DT: 3 years, $12 million

Grade: C-

Rubin was all right for the Seahawks last year and probably isn’t ever going to reach his potential.

Paying him $4 million a year represents a little bit of arrogance from the Seahawks as they believe their scheme can work with inferior players since they’re essentially replacing Mebane with Rubin.

I don’t think that’s going to work out too well.

 

 

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Frank Zombo, OLB: 3 year, $3.6 million

Grade: B

Zombo is decent depth in the edge rotation for the Chiefs who clearly wanted to keep the entire gang together.

Can’t say I blame them since I think the Chiefs are developing into one of the greatest young defenses in the league.

While Zombo didn’t play particularly well last year, he likely won’t regress too much since he’s only 29 and playing limited snaps.

 

 

Tamba Hali, DE: 3 years, $22 million, $12 million

Grade: B

This isn’t quite the hometown discount the Chiefs had been getting, but it’s still pretty good for a guy that hasn’t really slowed down yet.

Hali still offers very impactful starter snaps and he’ll be part of a highly talented rotation in Kansas City, that considered, a little over 7 mil per year is a fair bargain for his skill set.

Still, the main concern is his age, he could regress at any moment.

 

 

Jaye Howard, DE: 2 years, $12 million

Grade: A

This is a deal I can get behind. Howard was probably one of the best young defensive ends on the market.

He has pass-rush ability and is stout against the run. He is just entering his prime, and should only get better.

I question the Chiefs for not giving him a longer-term deal since his value will most likely rise over the life of this relatively short contract.

 

 

Derrick Johnson, LB: 3 years, $21 million

Grade: A-

Talk about a hometown discount. Johnson is the heart and soul of that defense and played brilliantly last season.

He should have a couple elite years left, and at 7 mil per year, the Chiefs aren’t breaking the bank. Compare this to the Irvin contract and you start to see why it’s such great value.

Should be interesting to see what Trevathan gets since he’s the other elite linebacker on the market.

 

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Luke McCown, QB: 2 year, $3 million

Grade: A+

I like this one a lot. McCown played well in place of an injured Brees against an excellent Panthers defense early in the season.

He shows a very good understanding of Payton’s complicated system and often identified the right target and threw it accurately.

At $1.5 million a year, the Saints are getting their ideal backup. Sounds good to me.

 

 

Kai Forbath: 1 year, unknown amount

Grade: B

This literally can’t be for more than the vet. minimum. If it is, I’ll be stunned.

As it stands, Forbath was decent for the Saints last year in relief of the disastrous Zack Hocker. The kicking competition in camp should be interesting.

If Scobee’s back to full health, Forbath has no shot, but there’s no risk, so I like it.

 

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Marcedes Lewis: 3 years, $12 million

Grade: C-

I would hate paying Lewis $4 million a year if another team was doing it.

Since he’s staying home though, I only mostly dislike it. There were better options on the market, but the Jags bought high last year on Julius Thomas and don’t want to blow all their money in one place.

Lewis is apparently good in the locker room and the community too, which never hurts a player’s value.

 

 

CHICAGO BEARS

Tracy Porter, CB: 3 years, $16.5 million

Grade: C+

This is an understandable deal considering Porter actually became a viable starter last year. At times, he was the best player in the Bears secondary.

There’s some concern though that this was an anomaly, but staying in the same defense is the best thing that could have happened for Porter.

A little over 5 mil per year might seem steep, but consider that a player who played at a similar level last year in Janoris Jenkins is getting paid significantly more, and this isn’t all that bad at all.

 

 

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Tim Barnes, C: 2 years, $5.5 million

Grade: D

It’s laughable that this guy got more than the veteran minimum.

He’s 28 so he should be in the midst of his prime, but he just came off a terrible season and has never been much more than an ok backup.

This is kind of a baffling move.

 

 

Brian Quick, WR: 1 year, $3.75 million, $1.5 million guaranteed

Grade: A

A one year deal on a receiver with a solid height-weight-speed combo sounds like a slam dunk to me.

Not much more to say here. No risk, potentially high reward if Quick ever puts it together.

 

 

William Hayes, DE: 3 years, $23 million

Grade: B-

Hayes may become a viable starter, the Rams are betting on it.

You’d have to hope that a team resigning their player would get a deal under the market value. Unfortunately, this is well-over.

Over 7 mil a year for a guy they aren’t totally sure can handle a full starting load is a lot to risk, and Hayes likely won’t play up to the contract.

 

 

Mark Barron, OLB: 5 years, $45 million

Grade: Even Baalke Would Balk at This Grade

Barron was an ok starter at linebacker for the Rams after being an awful safety throughout his career.

He didn’t suddenly gain the coverage abilities he had lacked throughout his career and is little more than a hard-hitter with solid instincts. In no way at all is he worth 8 mil per year.

Maybe 3 mil per year. This is unreal.

 

 

DETROIT LIONS

Tahir Whitehead, OLB: 2 years, $8 million

Grade: A+

Wow. Talk about a hometown discount. Whitehead has a skill-set that is incredibly coveted in the modern NFL (he can actually cover tight ends).

He’s also a solid tackler and a young, ascending player. I loved the Trevathan deal. I think this might be better.

 

 

Haloti Ngata, DT: 2 years, $12 million, $6 million guaranteed

Grade: B-

The Lions cupboard is bare at defensive tackle after the roster was gutted a couple years ago so keeping Ngata makes sense.

It’s surprising that they had to pay him this much to stay though, his market must have been hot.

Six mil per year to an aging vet who is regressing is a little much, though the Lions did not totally fail since it’s a short contract.

 

 

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Doug Martin, RB: 5 years, $35.75 million, $15 million guaranteed

Grade: Baalke Hires Jim Tomsula Grade

Shoutout to Walter Football for the inspiration.

As you all know by now, Baalke sucks. I have to wonder if he had to possess Jason Licht’s body to make this deal.

Doug Martin has has two good seasons: his rookie season and last season. You have to wonder why that is.

Regardless of that, no running back ever is worth $7 million. Besides that, the Bucs could have simply drafted Ezekiel Elliott at 9 to replace Martin. Elliott might even be a better back. This is a pathetic move.

 

 

CINCINNATI BENGALS:

Vincent Rey, LB: 3 years, $11.5 million

Grade: D+

Rey is a decent rotational linebacker for the Bengals who had a down year.

He’s 28, so he probably won’t be getting much better but last year may have been an anomaly. Rey has some solid seasons under his belt and is sticking in the same defense.

Regardless though, paying nearly $4 million a year is a little ridiculous for “just a guy” as he is. So I can’t say I’m a fan of this. No hometown discounts in Cincinnati it seems.

 

 

Adam Jones, CB: 3 years, $20 million

Grade: D

Jones will undoubtedly regress before this contract is up. He’s been up and down his entire career.

I can’t fathom why the Bengals could give him over $6 million per season. The numbers are awful.

I understand keeping a tough, competitive veteran who could show the young guys the ropes, but that sort of role could be filled for 2-3 mil a year. This is pretty egregious.

 

 

Eric Winston, OT: 1 year, $1.09 million

Grade: A

Winston is a rock-solid swing tackle who likely won’t be counted on by the Bengals to provide starter snaps.

In an absolutely absurd market where backups are getting paid near starter money, this is an excellent signing.

 

 

George Iloka, S: 5 years, $30 million

Grade: A

An ascending player, Iloka will likely only get better as the contract goes along.

I’m always a fan of paying your good young players since there’s no questions about scheme or locker room fit.

Besides that, this is right about where the market value should be for an above-average starting safety, and in fact could be considered a minor steal.

Overall, one of the most complete rosters in the NFL stays strong here.

 

 

DALLAS COWBOYS

Josh Thomas, CB: no contract details

Grade: TBD

 

 

Rolando McClain: 1 year, $5 million

Grade: A

I’m tempted to give this a higher grade, but my main issue is the Cowboys are once again gambling that only they value McClain.

That seems insane to me, as he’s developed into a premiere run-stuffing linebacker, with enough range and instincts to hold up in coverage. His skill-set should be majorly coveted.

His off-field issues don’t seem to affect his on-field effort or character and his injury concerns are only minor.

The Cowboys need to lock him up long-term, soon, while he’s still cheap.

 

 

NEW YORK GIANTS

Jason Pierre-Paul: 1 year, $10.5 million

Grade: B+

I’m not as big a fan of JPP as most, and the fireworks incident has me majorly concerned with his long-term viability.

But I love a one-year contract, and I’m sure it’s incentivized out the yin-yang. Pierre-Paul is a solid run defender with pass rush ability, and so is a plug-and-play 4-3 end who flashes dominance.

However, I think 10.5 million is just a bit too much to pay for a guy who may never be the same. I felt a similar way about the Hardy contract last year. It’s not perfect just because it’s one year.

 

 

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Joe Webb, QB: 2 years, unknown amount

Grade: TBD

 

 

Charles Johnson: 1 year, $5 million

Grade: A+

This is the premiere move of the off-season so far and it will be hard to beat.

Johnson is still an above-average starting 4-3 end and came on strong, showing flashes of his 2013 form during the 2015 playoffs.

The Panthers get a player that could return to form for a major cut rate. Incredible. As if that defense wasn’t good enough already.

 

 

BUFFALO BILLS

Richie Incognito, G: 3 years, $15.75 million

Grade: B-

As you might be able to tell, I don’t like paying old guys.

Incognito is 33 so it kind of baffles me that the Bills think he’ll play out this contract a $5 mil/year playing level.

He was however, according to Pro Football Focus, the best available pure guard based on 1097 snaps last season.

He should continue a high level of play next year, so if the guaranteed number is low and front loaded, I could potentially like this contract a lot more.

Eagles Seven-Round Mock Draft

NFL-Draft-Logo
Philadelphia_Eagles_logo_primary.svg
13: R1P13: JACK CONKLIN, OT, MICHIGAN STATE
6’6 308 lbs.
Conklin
FIT: Peters is either going to collapse all of his weight on his bad knee or fade into dust at some point within the next couple of seasons, both of which are likely to happen while he’s sitting on a bench avoiding injury. Conklin is insurance in case Lane Johnson never completes the switch to the blind side. Conklin should be able to start right away on either side.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/2001906/jack-conklin
77: R3P14: RYAN KELLY, C/G, ALABAMA
6’4 311 lbs.
Ryan Kelly
FIT: Finding Kelly here in the third is enough reason to snap him up for a team that has an o-line with more leaks than a $400 per month apartment’s piping system. Jason Kelce is the undisputed starter, but Kelly could immediately challenge for a guard spot currently occupied by borderline starters.
NOTE: Kelly’s possibility to fall this far may be due to teams valuing Nick Martin of Notre Dame more. Teams may also question his pass protection since he played in a run-heavy Alabama offense.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1893142/ryan-kelly
79: R3P16: KARL JOSEPH, S, WEST VIRGINIA
5’11 205 lbs.
Joseph
FIT: Malcolm Jenkins is one of the safeties, the other is a big question mark. Walter Thurmond might not be the answer: watching him try to help cover an over-the-hill Calvin Johnson on Thanksgiving was good for some cheap laughs. He’s a UFA anyway. Joseph is a do-everything safety with play-making ability (5 interceptions in 4 games last year).
NOTE: His potential to fall this far is due to his medical, he suffered a season-ending knee injury and was unable to participate in the combine. He may also be knocked for a lack of size.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1983624/karl-joseph
114: R4P15: CHARONE PEAKE, WR, CLEMSON
6’2 209 lbs.
Charone Peake, Justin Hughes

Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake leaps for a pass over South Carolina State’s Justin Hughes during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Aug. 31, 2013 at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, S.C.(AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)

FIT: Nelson Agholor and Jordan Matthews look to be the top two receivers going forward, but if the drop circus Eagles fans witnessed last year is any indication, this unit is in need of a serious influx of talent. Consider also that Riley Cooper was released and Seyi Ajirotutu is expected to make a significant contribution and this is clearly a disaster zone on the roster.
NOTE: His availability is likely due to his small hands and medical question marks.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1850735/charone-peake
153: R5P14: TAJAE SHARPE, WR, MASSACHUSETTS
6’2 194 lbs.
Sharpe
FIT: Did I mention in the last blurb that Josh Huff is supposed to compete for playing time? Yikes. He’s practice-squad fodder, if at all rosterable. Sharpe should come in immediately and compete for that fourth receiver spot, possibly even third depending on Peake’s medical situation.
164: R5P25: NILE LAWRENCE-STAMPLE, DT, FLORIDA STATE
6’1 320 lbs.
Lawrence-Stample
FIT: This pick is largely contingent on the expectation that the Eagles transition to an attacking 4-3 under new coordinator Jim Schwartz. Before Rex Ryan ruined every Bill’s fans lives by miscasting every Buffalo defensive player, Schwartz used the immense pool of talent to create one of the best pass-rushing units in the league. While he has capable potential starters in Bennie Logan and Cedric Thornton at defensive tackle, there isn’t much depth behind them. Lawrence-Stample projects as a rotational tackle with the ability to swallow double teams and free up the Eagles’ many penetrators.
                                   http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1860756/nile-lawrence-stample
191: R6P13: TRAVIS FEENEY, OLB, WASHINGTON
6’4 230 lbs.
NCAA FOOTBALL, California at Washington

102613 – SEATTLE, WA – Washington’s Travis Feeney gets to Cal quarterback Jared Goff, dropping him after a 6-yard broken pass play in the first quarter. (UWFOOTBALL27)

FIT: Again assuming a Schwartz-led 4-3, the starters at linebacker are: WLB: Mychal Kendricks (solid), MLB: Kiko Alonso (fantastic), SLB: Jordan Hicks/Connor Barwin (depending on whether they use the Sam in coverage or as more of an enforcer. That considered, the cupboard is largely bare as far as backups go, Feeney has the speed and coverage skills to play Will or fill in at Mike and would be a fun chess piece for a creative coordinator like Schwartz.
NOTE: Feeney is being under-appreciated due to his unusual size, however his combine numbers could open the eyes of some teams. If he falls this far, he’d be a major steal.
                                   http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1884443/travis-feeney
231: R7P12: JONATHAN WILLIAMS, RB, ARKANSAS
5’11 220 lbs.
J. Williams
FIT: At least one of the starting trio: DeMarco Murray, Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles likely won’t suit up for the Eagles this season. My money is on Murray, since he probably gets off to tape of the Cowboys o-line and is begging Jerry and company to buy him back. Can’t blame him either, as I also get off to tape of the Cowboys o-line. Just magnificent. That aside, Williams is a highly talented back out of Arkansas and the forgotten man in the Alex Collins backfield timeshare. He’s got all the traits teams desire and an injury bad enough to drop him into the seventh round, but not so bad that it could be career threatening. Perfect recipe for a team who can afford to wait for him to heal and develop.
                                   http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1999948/jonathan-williams
249: R7P30: WR KEYARRIS GARRETT, WR, TULSA
6’3 220 lbs.
Garrett
FIT: And behind Ajirotutu and Huff on the depth chart? Jonathan Krause, Freddie Martino, Xavier Rush and Seantavious Jones, that sounds more like a badminton starting lineup. A triple-dip at receiver doesn’t seem so gratuitous now does it? Besides that, Garrett is a massive player with traits to develop into an impressive talent. He could be the steal of the draft, found at this late stage.
NOTE: Garrett’s only chance of falling this far is if teams are scared by his lack of polish, there are far more accomplished receivers with more refined traits to be had ahead of him, so it is possible.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1877398/keyarris-garrett

A Prospect A Day: Wide Receivers, Josh Doctson Scouting Report

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU

6’3 195 lbs.

Doctson

Watching his tape is an absolute pleasure. During this season, you’ll hear a lot of teams talking about finding guys that check off all the boxes and Doctson is absolutely one of those guys.

Just as impressive downfield as he is as a possession receiver over the middle, Doctson has the ability to chameleon into any role and be a meaningful contributor immediately at the next level. He can climb the ladder, plays the ball at its highest point beautifully, runs crafty routes and can out-physical just about any defensive back.

As if that weren’t enough, he’s also one of the best blockers I’ve ever evaluated. He sprung four touchdowns with his blocks on the tape I saw. He’s constantly hustling back to the play to contribute and clearly has a team-first mentality.

The only slight knock I have on him is he needs to gain more yards after the catch consistently. He doesn’t quite have the world class speed or freakish size either. But he will be a brilliant pro, no doubt. And the team that drafts him will have found a WR2 for the ages.

Hands: 18 out of 20

Doctson rarely drops a ball, and when he does, it’s usually while he’s several feet in the air or contorting his body in some way. He must work on being a more consistent hands-catcher as he lets some reach into his body.

Route Running: 16 out of 20

He doesn’t have the razor-sharp cuts of the great route runners, but makes up for it with a strong understanding of how to play his assignments like a fiddle. Still, better cutting would make creating separation easier.

Blocking: 15 out of 15

Simply spectacular in this regard. Doctson’s technique, effort and all-around effectiveness as a blocker make him stand out constantly on film.

Athleticism: 14 out of 15

He might have the best vertical in the class, he generates a ton of force from his legs. He’ll probably also run a solid 40, shows above-average acceleration and burst to go with average NFL speed.

Run after catch: 11 out of 15

The one part of his game he really needs to improve as a pro, Doctson is too content to fall forward for a couple of extra yards rather than maintain balance and fight for more.

Size: 7 out of 10

He’s clearly not fully grown into his frame, could use more weight in the midsection as he is extremely tapered.

Body Control: 5 out of 5

Shows ridiculous ability to contort himself, leap for high balls and maintain composure through contact.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 86 out of 100

NFL Comparison: Michael Floyd, WR, Arizona Cardinals

FloydDoctson 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Possessing similar frames, both dominate at the point of the catch, using savvy route-running and impressive athleticism to high-point the ball on deep throws. Both also possess the toughness and willingness to run a full route tree, including routes over the middle. As a bonus, both are standout blockers as well.

Mock Draft 1.0

1. Tennessee Titans: Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss

6’5 305 lbs.

Tunsil

Titans GM Jon Robinson said specifically that protecting his quarterback would be a priority this off-season. It would certainly help Mariota’s development if he wasn’t spending half his time on a professional field running for his life and the other half tasting turf.

2. Cleveland Browns: Carson Wentz, QB, ND State

6’5 232 lbs.

Wentz

New head coach Hue Jackson is taking a QB here, and it makes a lot of sense to bet on Wentz who has every trait teams could want in a franchise quarterback. Of course, the Browns better do something about that defense. Wentz is too much of a gamer not to turn into a pick machine if he feels the pressure to carry a game by himself.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/28/a-prospect-a-day-quarterbacks-carson-wentz-scouting-report/

3. San Diego Chargers: DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon

6’6 287 lbs.

Buckner 1

Oregon Ducks defensive lineman DeForest Buckner (44) celebrates after bringing down a back behind the line. The No. 18 Oregon Ducks face the Oregon State Beavers in the Civil War at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. on Nov. 27, 2015. (Cole Elsasser/Emerald)

Despite the Chargers having two superior prospects available in Ramsey and Bosa, they reach a bit for Buckner. GM Tom Telesco has proven unreliable in assembling a talented roster as of yet.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-deforest-buckner-scouting-report/

4. Dallas Cowboys: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

6’1 202 lbs.

Ramsey

Nov 28, 2015; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles defensive back Jalen Ramsey (8) against the Florida Gators during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Word from Cowboys camp is Ramsey is their number one player overall so finding him at the 4 spot with a competent GM like Stephen Jones calling the shots, this is a no-brainer. They can mix and match Byron Jones and Jalen Ramsey as they please.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State

6’6 276 lbs.

Bosa

Jags GM David Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley will be bowling people over to get this pick in. Joey Bosa will be an immediate infusion of talent paired with former first-rounder Dante Fowler Jr. They must address the secondary this off-season as well, but Bosa is too talented.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-joey-bosa-scouting-report/

6. Baltimore Ravens: Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida

5’11 192 lbs.

New Mexico State v Florida

GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 05: Vernon Hargreaves III #1 of the Florida Gators carries the ball for six yards acting as a receiver during the second quarter of the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 5, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)

Jimmy Smith is a slightly undersized corner who’s had success with the Ravens, so Newsome knows to target talent and traits over size. Of course the Ravens offense will continue to scare exactly no one until they get serious about bolstering that side of the ball.

7. San Francisco 49ers: Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame

6’5 304 lbs.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Notre Dame

Sep 19, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (78) prepares to block Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets linebacker Tyler Marcordes (35) at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: RVR Photos-USA TODAY Sports

Far be it from me to indicate GM Trent Baalke could make a good decision. Chip likes his tackles and Ronnie Stanley has all of the tools to thrive in his scheme.

8. Miami Dolphins: Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson

5’11 195 lbs.

Alexander

Brent Grimes is done. This is his replacement. The Dolphins are probably convinced that Suh is a long-term answer so they pass up the much more safe (and smart) option of A’Shawn Robinson here.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson

6’3 270 lbs.

Shaq Lawson

Lawson is expected to shoot up the boards after an excellent combine workout. Perhaps the hype will be enough to tempt a silly franchise like Tampa Bay into taking him in the top ten.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-shaq-lawson-scouting-report/

10. New York Giants: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

6’1 245 lbs.

Myles Jack

UCLA linebacker Myles Jack in action against BYU during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. UCLA won 24-23. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

It’s time. They’ve tried to get by with Jasper Brinkley, Jon Beason and Uani Unga, to absolutely disastrous results. Unless the decision-makers are clinically insane, they address the position here with a prospect that’s drawing comparisons to Thomas Davis.

11. Chicago Bears: A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama

6’4 312 lbs.

Robinson

Last year, I had the Bears married to Danny Shelton, and they ignored their need. They still haven’t addressed the void left by Henry Melton. Robinson is a classic space-eater with surprising athleticism. He has all the traits to be dominant. Perhaps with their flashy receivers already in the fold, the Bears will turn to addressing their actual needs this off-season.

12. New Orleans Saints: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State

6’4 275 lbs.

Emmanuel Ogbah, Kyle Stouffer

Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) attempts to move around Central Arkansas Kyle Stouffer (76) during an NCAA college football game between Central Arkansas and Oklahoma St in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

 

 

The more I break it down, the more this makes sense. Payton and Loomis must know that the entire defense struggles because of their lack of push up front. Ogbah will fit right into the locker room as a hard-worker with relentless motor. Knowing Pay/Loo though, I should be expecting something off-the-wall like safety or tackle here.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/a-prospect-a-day-4-3-defensive-ends-emmanuel-ogbah/

13. Philadelphia Eagles: Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State

6’7 320 lbs.

Decker

Some team will fall in love with the potential of this big-bodied athletic prospect. He’s played on the big stage against some excellent pass rushers and held his own. It remains to be seen whether Coach Pederson is competent enough to put him in position to succeed though.

14. Oakland Raiders: Reggie Ragland, LB, Alabama

6’1 259 lbs.

Ragland

Reggie McKenzie, against all odds, has nailed his last couple of drafts as Raiders GM. He’ll recognize, eventually, that Curtis Lofton often is looking toward the sideline for instructions while in coverage. Ragland has the athleticism and instincts to grow into another in a long line of talented Alabama linebackers of the Saban era.

15. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Goff, QB, Cal

6’4 215 lbs.

Jared Goff, Dylan Wynn

California quarterback Jared Goff (16) scrambles out of the pocket from Oregon State defensive end Dylan Wynn (45) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Berkeley, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The Rams are ecstatic to see Goff here and snag him without a second thought. But perhaps that second thought should have been that they already signed Kirk Cousins in free agency (I jest).

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/a-prospect-a-day-quarterbacks-jared-goff-scouting-report/

16. Detroit Lions: Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State

6’6 325 lbs.

Conklin

The Lions need to invest in whoever is behind center or that offense will never reach its potential. While we’re on the subject. Man, that Lions offense is going to suck.

17. Atlanta Falcons: Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

6’4 231 lbs.

Floyd

Dan Quinn has proven to be obsessed with his side of the ball as a head coach. Plus, the Falcons still don’t have a pass rush. Leonard Floyd is another swing at bat for GM Dimitroff and company. Pairing him with Beasley could make for a potent combination in a few years.

18. Indiannapolis Colts: Jason Spriggs, OT, Indianna

6’5 301 lbs.

Spriggs

This is a case where the Colts would probably like to trade back, but in my inspired trade-free mock draft, they stay put and grab the next best offensive lineman available. Protecting Andrew Luck must be priority number one for Grigson and company unless they want more comedy routines in week 17 (Ryan Lindley and Josh Freeman split starting duties, it’s like the beginning of a “walks into a bar” joke)

19. Buffalo Bills: Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville

6’1 304 lbs.

Louisville Football v Memphis

Sheldon Rankins (98), Fumble

Rumblings that Dareus is looking to leave point to Rex Ryan’s continual inability to control a 53-man roster. Instead of booting him like they should, the Bills decision makers allow him to commit nepotism while also replacing a proven talent with a relatively unknown rookie. Poor Bills, they’ll never make the playoffs. On the bright side, Rankins shows a lot of potential. He might even be on the level of the greats (like Dareus) one day.

20. New York Jets: Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State

6’3 301 lbs.

Whitehair

In his first season as coach of the Jets, Todd Bowles impressed with a simplistic west-coast passing game to go along with a power running attack and a suffocating defense. I love me some old-school football and Whitehair projects as a road-grading guard for Ivory (or Powell… Stacy… Ridley… umm) that also has the quickness to hold up in pass-protection.

21. Washington Redskins: Robert Nkemdiche, DE/DT, Ole Miss

6’4 296 lbs.

Nkemdiche

Second-year GM Scot McCloughan established a formula for building from the trenches. Last year, he shored up the O-line with Brandon Scherff. This year, he should follow suit on the defensive side with a blue-chip talent like Nkemdiche. Here’s hoping this basket case doesn’t end up doing the worm during a Monday Night Football game. Looking at you, Haynesworth.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/robert-nkemdiche-dt-scouting-report/

22. Houston Texans: Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis

6’7 245 lbs.

Lynch 1

The Texans stay put and take a talented prospect here in Lynch. He’s not ready to start right away, but he can’t be much worse than Hoyer was in that playoff game… right DeAndre Hopkins?

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/27/a-prospect-a-day-quarterbacks-paxton-lynch-scouting-report/

23. Minnesota Vikings: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss

6’2 210 lbs.

Treadwell

The Vikings need another receiver with the word being that Mike Wallace wants out. Big surprise. And Cordarelle Patterson still isn’t progressing. Big surprise? That leaves Stefon Diggs and Charles Johnson. I’m not quite inspired with that corps. Of course, Treadwell is not the best receiver in this class, but landing with an accurate passer like Bridgewater should help considering his inability to separate from even college corners.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/02/14/a-prospect-a-day-wide-receivers-laquon-treadwell-scouting-report/

24. Cincinnati Bengals: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor

6’2 310 lbs.

Billings

The Bengals are constantly refueling their defense, it’s one of the reasons they have one of the most complete rosters in the NFL. Billings is 20 years old and figures to blow up the combine. Snagging him here is a steal. On an unrelated note: Does anyone else have an annual pity party for the Bengals during Wild Card Weekend?

25. Pittsburgh Steelers: Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State

6’1 200 lbs.

Apple

Too long the Steelers have ignored upgrading this position. It’s time and they know it. Their secondary was a big reason they lost a lot of games last season. Apple is a rising prospect with ideal size who has big-game experience. You’ll be hearing that a lot during the rest of this mock draft.

26. Seattle Seahawks: Darron Lee, OLB, Ohio State

6’2 228 lbs.

Lee

The Seahawks have built such an impressive roster by snagging impressive athletes that fit in their scheme. Darron Lee is a potential fit as a Jack linebacker to replace Bruce Irvin, who’s leaving in free agency. In addition to impressive measurables, he’s ready for prime-time due to his big-game experience.

27. Green Bay Packers: Noah Spence, LB, Eastern Kentucky

6’2 254 lbs.

Spence

The Packers have been trying to generate a pass rush with over-the-hill vet Julius Peppers. It was fun (and funny) while it lasted. But unless they want to continue to waste Rodgers’ prime years, they’d better get serious about building a defense from the ground up.

28. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame

6’3 229 lbs.

Notre Dame v Arizona State

TEMPE, AZ – NOVEMBER 08: Quarterback Taylor Kelly #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils rushes the football against linebacker Jaylon Smith #9 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 8, 2014 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Fighting Irish 55-31. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

A perfect replacement for the departing great Derrick Johnson, once Smith is ready to go, he’ll headline a fearsome defensive unit that should only get better in the coming years. Andy Reid and John Dorsey are building a potential powerhouse.

29. Arizona Cardinals: Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas

6’5 253 lbs.

Henry

Jermaine Gresham was, inexplicably, unused in Arians’ offense. However, a play-maker like Henry should allow Carson Palmer to be that much more potent. He can also add some juice to the emerging running game.

30. Carolina Panthers: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

6’0 225 lbs.

Elliott

Ohio State plays Indiana at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, November 22, 2014 in Columbus, Ohio.

Do the Panthers ever recognize or draft for their needs? Not since they double-dipped for Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in the first and second rounds respectively. Still, you can’t argue with Gettleman’s strategy here. Elliott is a game changer at running back. Him and Cam Newton in the same backfield would give defensive coordinators absolute fits. Also big-game experience blah blah blah.

https://sportsslants.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/a-prospect-a-day-running-backs-ezekiel-elliott-scouting-report/

31. Denver Broncos: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech

6’3 325 lbs.

Butler

Elway wants to hold onto Malik Jackson, but it seems like Jackson might chase the money. Proven to have adequate eye-sight and cognitive abilities, Elway recognizes his team was special due to defense and continues to refuel with an impressive talent from a small school who has been shooting up boards.

 

A Prospect A Day: Wide Receivers, Corey Coleman Scouting Report

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

5’10 190 lbs.

Coleman

Baylor receiver Corey Coleman (1) brings in the catch amongst a West Virginia defender during the first quarter of a NCAA college football game on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 at McLane Stadium in Waco, TX. Baylor won 62-38.

OVERVIEW

Coleman is a diminutive, explosive playmaker with solid route running and at-times spectacular hands.

His blocking and outside receiving ability are both limited by his size, however he is still winning to go up for jump balls and inside on both runs and crossing routes.

He’s also a strong runner out of the backfield, lining up as a running back, rushing off tackle and counters; true running back plays.

His greatest asset, however, is his deep-ball tracking ability. He can run right by defenders and under deep throws with little apparent effort.

He must learn how to use his athleticism more on tight coverage and be able to use the elusiveness he showed against West Virginia to realize his full potential.

Receiver Breakdown:

Hands: 18 out of 20

He’s a gifted hands catcher who rarely has focus drops and often comes up with effortless catches downfield. His main problem is when he has to reach for balls outside his catch radius.

Route Running: 16 out of 20

Most of his routes are crisp, but he doesn’t run a full route tree due to the Baylor offense limiting his opportunities.

Blocking: 11 out of 15

His size limits his effectiveness, he also lacks consistent effort when the play is away from him, even walking and stopping entirely while a play is still going.

Athleticism: 13 out of 15

His speed and agility are off the charts. His jumping ability looks solid, not spectacular.

Run after catch: 15 out of 15

He can take short passes to the house and almost always finds positive yards after the catch. His play against West Virginia in this regard was transcendent

Size: 3 out of 10

Not only is he small and short, it limits his effectiveness noticeably. It clearly keeps him from being in the conversation for best prospect in this draft.

Body Control: 5 out of 5

His ability to dip in and out of cuts and maintain balance is eye-opening, to say the least.

Total Prospect Rating: 81/100

NFL Comparison: Golden Tate, WR, Lions

TateColeman 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the hands, route running and quickness to dominate from the slot, Coleman compares favorably to Tate who has made a living in the NFL burning defenses both deep and after the catch on underneath routes. Both have also proven to be effective runners out of the backfield, though Coleman is probably already more gifted in this aspect.

A Prospect A Day: Wide Receivers, Michael Thomas Scouting Report

Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State

6’3 210 lbs

Thomas

OVERVIEW

Thomas is the classic example of wasted potential. He’s a true NFL receiver with dominant traits who has the ability to run a full route tree and the savvy and athleticism to dominate against both man and zone.

However, he was criminally underused in the Ohio State offense by quarterbacks incapable of putting him in favorable positions consistently. It’s very clear that defenses respected his immense ability as he constantly drew flags and double coverage.

Still, there are a couple of knocks on Thomas’ game: he has uneven hands, especially on contested balls and he doesn’t seem to have the demeanor or swagger of a number one receiver.

He’s also an extremely skilled blocker.

RECEIVER BREAKDOWN

Hands: 14 out of 20

Thomas shows the ability to catch nearly any ball when he’s coming back to it. When running away from the ball, he shows much more inconsistency. While he’s willing to fight through contact. He doesn’t use his superior frame and athleticism nearly well enough to go up and snag contested balls.

Route Running: 17 out of 20

His route running isn’t quite razor-sharp, but it’s adequate to create separation and he shows the ability to read zones and sit in the soft spots to make a QB-friendly target.

Blocking: 14 out of 15

Thomas consistently shines in blocking situations, springing runners for big gains several times per game. He shows incredible latching ability and awareness to disengage at the right time. He’s, however, not quite aggressive enough if the play is shifting away from him.

Athleticism: 14 out of 15

I fully expect Thomas to be among the leaders at the position at the combine. He clearly has excellent long-speed and agility. Though he doesn’t use it often, he also has excellent jumping ability. The main problem is he doesn’t often use these traits to dominate competition like one would expect.

Run after catch: 14 out of 15

Look no further than a hitch Thomas took to the house against Rutgers. He slid between two defenders and delivered a punishing stiff-arm to spring free for the touchdown. On that play, he showed all the major traits: speed, power and vision, which will allow him to dominate on the next level with the ball in his hands.

Size: 9 out of 10

He’s big and tall, ideal for his position, though he could stand to add a bit more weight in his legs, he looks a little bit lanky at times.

Body Control: 3 out of 5

Though he shows strong ability to break tackles with proper pad level through contact, he’s not able to contort his body in ways that allow him to win on downfield throws.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 85 out of 100

NFL Comparison: Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

JulioThomas 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He may be one of the best receivers in the league, but Thomas has nearly an identical frame with the same combination of athleticism, strength, savvy and crisp route-running that has made Jones such a matchup nightmare. Thomas must improve his hands and ability to win the contested catch, but could have a Jones-like impact.