Scouting Report: Jamal Adams

NOTE: Please remember to drop your slant in the comments section by clicking the “Leave a comment” button above and to the right of this article. Also, feel free and encouraged to like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter, links below the article.

 

Jamal Adams, S, LSU

6’0 214 lbs

Adams

Tape Viewed: 2015 vs. Alabama, 2016 vs. Auburn, 2016 vs. Texas A&M, 2016 vs. Alabama

 

OVERVIEW

Already an outstanding player early in his LSU career, Adams added a new dimension of polish and urgency to his game in his final collegiate season.  Very few plays on tape show Adams even remotely struggling.

While he’s an outstanding in-the-box safety who clearly likes to be close to the ball and set the tone, some of his most impressive plays on tape showcase his insane range playing from the deep middle. One knock I have is that he doesn’t appear to have much experience playing that “last-line-of-defense” role. I do, however, think he projects really well into that role.

He also has an ideally sturdy build which goes well with his rangy, physical style of play. When you think of the term enforcer on a football field, you need look no further.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 14 out of 15

Adams looks like he has a deep intelligence and understanding of the keys to read nearly any offense. There are few times where he appears to be out of position.

 

Speed: 5 out of 5

His 4.56 40 time notwithstanding, Adams’ speed on the field pops on tape constantly. He covers ground so quickly that he often reacts on screens before the receivers do.

 

Pursuit: 8 out of 10

This is a tough one to grade because Adams has the ability to close space so effectively on horizontal plays, but when plays move vertically, he struggles a bit and gives up ground. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s often enough to be notable.

 

Man: 3 out of 5

On a 5-yard out against Texas A&M, Adams runs the route better than the receiver, coming from the middle of the field. This shows his potential and ability to read the hips of receivers. His reaction time is outstanding, but his hips aren’t as fluid as they need to be.

 

Zone: 8 out of 10

The knock I have on Adams here is his ability in deep zone. There are times where he allows receivers to get behind him which is a concern for the next level where better QBs will torch him if he doesn’t clean it up. He does, however, have brilliant plays all over the rest of the field in zone.

 

Tackle: 9 out of 10

Adams uses a player’s momentum and leverage against them by wrapping up their legs and allowing them to take themselves down. This is consistently effective. When a player is already engaged, Adams also knows to go for the ball.

 

Ball Skills: 3 out of 5

In 2015, he had 4 interceptions, but this was an anomaly. While Adams has all of the attributes to be a ball-hawk and didn’t drop any opportunities that I saw, he needs to find a way to be in position to pick the ball off more, or at least rack up more PBU’s.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 8 out of 10

He improved a lot in this regard from early in his career to 2016, where he not only increased his total tackles, but TFL’s to career best. However, as Adams tends to be flying around near the line of scrimmage, he sometimes forgets to sink his hips which causes him to fly off the players he intends to tackle.

 

Play Recognition: 15 out of 15

Adams is pretty unbelievable in this regard. He’s almost always the first to recognize a play-fake. This is showcased in the 2015 game against Alabama on a fake end around bootleg where Adams was the only one that stayed with QB Jake Coker. He turned what was undoubtedly a 15 yard gain into a TFL.

 

Willingness: 5 out of 5

Adams appears to be happiest and most eager on the field mixing it up at the LOS, flying in, even through interior lanes, to be involved in run defense.

 

GENERAL

 

Reliability: 10 out of 10

Adams has the character, squeaky clean injury history, stout frame, leadership qualities and empty rap sheet that makes him among the safest picks in this draft.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 88 out of 100

 

Pro Comparison: Reshad Jones, S, Miami Dolphins

Adams 1

Jones

While Jones is a more accomplished ball-hawk, both players share the same leadership ability, knack for the tone-setting play and outstanding run defense. Jones and Adams share a stout frame which allows them to deliver serious force as tacklers, and serious range to make plays all over the field and rally the defense on any given play.

https://www.facebook.com/sportsslants

Scouting Report: Jalen “Teez” Tabor

NOTE: Please remember to drop your slant in the comments section by clicking the button above and to the right of this article. Also, feel free and encouraged to like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter, links below the article.

By: Shae Dougall

Jalen Tabor, CB, Florida

6’0”, 199lbs

Tabor

Tape Viewed:

Florida vs Alabama (2016)

Florida vs LSU (2016)

Florida vs Florida State (2016)

OVERVIEW

Teez Tabor can do a little bit of everything. He’s a very experienced, successful cornerback from Florida whose claim to fame is a rock-solid, consistent, high-quality presence in a very good group of DBs. Despite having fairly slow straight-line speed, he has that undefinable “quickness” quality that scouts love to talk about. Tabor was made to play more off-coverage, as he’s more of a finesse guy who would probably get beaten consistently downfield if he was forced to press big, fast receivers all the time.

 

Tabor is going to be a bit of a risk-taker in the NFL if his college tape is any indication. This will result in some picks, but will also result in some big plays going the other way. A team with a good group of safeties that play over the top would likely be the ideal fit for Tabor, because some of the craftier QBs will be able to take advantage of his gambling. Tabor is also not the biggest guy in the world, and much like Tre’Davious White, I’m concerned that his lack of size will result in him not only getting boxed out of quick routes, but also getting beat over the top. His vertical jump from the combine was only 31 inches, and he did struggle with deep speed at times in college.

 

COVERAGE

 

Play Recognition: 10 out of 10

The reason Tabor was so successful in college was due in large part to his ability to read the quarterback’s eyes and adjust to the receiver quickly. Since Tabor is not a once-in-a-lifetime type of athlete (not even close, really), he has clearly honed his play recognition skills to make up for these deficiencies. His read and react capability is off the charts, making a few plays where he actually left his assignment to follow a play that he knew was developing elsewhere on the field. This can also be viewed as a negative I suppose, but he seems to be instinctive and smart enough to understand when to take risks.

 

Speed: 3 out of 5

Tabor disappointed at the combine with a slow 4.6 40 time. Per NFL.com, there are also “whispers” that Tabor “fears deep speed”, which is evidenced by the amount of off coverage he played at Florida. I’m not that plugged in, unfortunately, but I did see several situations on tape where Tabor was pressing the receiver and backed off more than 8 yards before the play started. He has quick recovery time when the ball is in the air, but his penchant for getting beat over the top is concerning.

 

Mirroring: 10 out of 10

Even when pressing, Tabor’s mirroring ability is excellent. He sticks to receivers coming out of cuts like glue, consistently providing tight man-to-man coverage.

 

Pursuit: 4 out of 5

While Tabor isn’t going to catch up to any plays that are over his head, he has a very solid ability to chase down plays that develop on the other side of the field. More than once on tape (especially against LSU), I saw opposing quarterbacks scramble out of a collapsing pocket only to be chased down by Tabor once the line of scrimmage had been crossed.

 

Man: 12 out of 15

Tabor will be a good man coverage corner, as he is consistently able to read the play and mirror his receiver on shorter and intermediate routes. His deep coverage ability is a concern, though, especially with the precision deep passing of NFL quarterbacks. I’d also like to see Tabor get more physical at the line of scrimmage, but I don’t believe that his lack of physicality is unfixable or even necessarily undesirable. His desire to be physical at the line is probably affected by his knowledge of his own limitations on deep routes.

 

Zone: 14 out of 15

Tabor may be the best zone corner in this draft with his uncanny instincts and penchant for reading the quarterback’s eyes. Would be an ideal fit for a team that runs a lot of zone coverage. I expect some infrequent gambling-related breakdowns in zone coverage on trick plays and misdirection passing plays. Luckily, Tabor mostly knows when to hold ‘em, and when to fold ‘em.

 

Press: 3 out of 5

I don’t foresee an NFL future in which Tabor is playing much bump-and-run coverage. Tabor can press effectively on occasion, but Florida didn’t ask him to do much of it because it’s clearly not a strength of his.

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

He’s not the best tackling cornerback out there, but he’s not the worst. Once the receiver is well-covered, he’s certainly not getting any yards after the catch. Open field tackles are more of a weakness though; Tabor was occasionally out of position to tackle on deep routes where the receiver wasn’t his responsibility but he was in the area.

 

Ball Skills: 5 out of 5

Tabor has great hands and the ability to affect the ball in the air. He’s also great at punching the ball out of the receiver’s outstretched hands, which I saw on more than one occasion. He finished his Florida career with 9 interceptions, an impressive number.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 3 out of 5

This is a difficult category to speak to because I rarely saw Tabor stick his nose into a pile of guys and bring the runner down. I’m pretty sure he can do it because he can bring down receivers pretty consistently, but without seeing him take on the toughest college backs (even when Florida played LSU, I don’t recall seeing Tabor vs. Fournette on any occasion), I think it’s hard to be 100% certain.

 

Play Recognition: 4 out of 5

I caught Tabor out of position on a trick run play against LSU, but that was a special circumstance. I can assume that he usually realizes when the run is developing, similarly to how he always seems to know where the pass is going to go.

 

Willingness: 2 out of 5

He is not an eager participant in run support, but he will get involved if it looks like the play is getting serious or if he is the last line of defense. Usually he gets swallowed up by a block and lets somebody else do the dirty work.

 

GENERAL

 

Injury: 8 out of 10

This template is a bit flawed in the sense that I’m allowed to talk about a prospect’s injury history but not his suspension history. Tabor was suspended in college a couple of times, and it’s always difficult to say how that will translate to the NFL. It’s definitely a concern. Even though injury isn’t an issue with Tabor, I would say that it’s reasonable to see him miss some time for other, less wholesome reasons.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 81.5 out of 100

Pro Comparison: Asante Samuel

Tabor 1

Samuel

Okay, this is too easy. I don’t even have to write a lot. What other NFL player in the past 15 years gambled more and tackled less than Asante Samuel? He was also a good guesser, resulting in a lot of interceptions. I maintain that Samuel could have extended his career into his mid-40s if he had just switched to a situational free safety that had a contract requirement that he wasn’t allowed to tackle anybody.

https://www.facebook.com/sportsslants

Scouting Report: Tre’Davious White

NOTE: Please remember to drop your slant in the comments section by clicking the button above and to the right of this article. Also, feel free and encouraged to like us on Facebook and follow on Twitter, links below the article.

By: Shae Dougall

Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU

5’11”, 192 lbs

White

Tape Viewed:

LSU vs Florida (2016)

LSU vs Wisconsin (2016)

LSU vs Texas A&M (2016)

OVERVIEW

White is the kind of player who will likely fall in the draft due to poor size, measurables (a 4.47 40yd dash, only 32 inch vertical), and unremarkable if not unimpressive film. Tre’Davious White is a good outside cover corner, but when LSU used him in the slot, his lack of size and tendency to shy away from physicality displayed on tape could be a red flag (if I was a GM of a team that required tough cornerbacks, that is). I’ve seen White slotted as high as the early 2nd round, and I don’t know if that’s really realistic in a draft class of other strong cornerback prospects that do what White does just as well as him. Maybe the SEC bias will kick in?

COVERAGE

Play Recognition: 9 out of 10

I have no issue with White’s play recognition. It doesn’t take him very long at all to get into the proper position for covering longer routes.

 

Speed: 4 out of 5

He’s got pretty average speed for a corner, especially when it comes to making up time when beat on a quick slant or dig out of the slot. (Can you already tell I wouldn’t want White playing in the slot?) White does have the requisite (and undefinable) “quickness” that is required to be an NFL corner, however.

 

Mirroring: 8 out of 10

Of the tape I watched, his mirroring of outside routes was excellent because of his quick footwork, but he occasionally struggled with opening his hips during sharp receiver cuts while playing in the slot. His technique can also get a little sloppy when forced to get physical, whether in the slot or outside, although his instincts and impeccable footwork may make up for this a little bit.

 

Pursuit: 4 out of 5

Doesn’t seem to possess elite catch-up speed on hard cuts. Does seem to have the ability to make up lost ground on deeper routes, although I’m unsure about whether that will translate to the next level where the quarterbacks are much more accurate.

 

Man: 13.5 out of 15

White can play man very effectively against a large percentage of college receivers, guys who either don’t have the speed, footwork, agility, hands, or route running ability to make it in the NFL. The problems, as I believe I’ve mentioned in just about every blurb now, bubble to the surface when he’s asked to play in the slot, or cover quick routes. He’s too finesse for that position right now. Maybe he could cover Victor Cruz, but if Antonio Brown moves into the slot, look out. That ‘Killer B’ is going to have one heck of a fantasy day.

That’s just one negative in an otherwise solid 3 years of starting experience playing mostly man coverage, though. White’s specific strengths on the outside (and the slot, for what it’s worth) include covering post routes and crosses, and other types of intermediate routes that don’t allow the receiver to effectively box White out of the play. In fact, I would feel very comfortable allowing White to play slot if the other team made some type of promise that they were only going to call flag routes.

 

Zone: 11 out of 15

Similar to his man coverage ability, White can cover these receivers fairly well, and I think that his zone skills will continue to develop nicely if the drafting team’s coaching staff affords a deeper off-coverage zone scheme. White will likely excel if used in those types of situations, but he’s definitely in a little bit of a box if the physical nature of his game never develops.

 

Press: 2 out of 5

Of all the tape I watched on Tre’Davious White, I don’t recall ever seeing him put his hands on the receivers he was covering, even when he was in press coverage. This is something that will certainly delegate him to “project” status with a lot of NFL teams, and perhaps even “undraftable” status for others. He does have a quick first step however, and even if he refuses to touch the receivers, he can at least keep up with their explosiveness…unless he takes a stiff arm in the chin.

 

Tackle: 3.5 out of 5

Despite the lack of physicality that I’ve lamented a billion times on this writeup, White can tackle a little bit. He’s not anything more than average in this category, but tackling is a lower priority for cornerbacks than just about any other defensive position, so it would be unfair for me to punish him too much for this.

 

Ball Skills: 3 out of 5

I don’t see White as having an incredible career where he averages 5 interceptions a year, because his hands simply aren’t very good. He can play the ball decently to collect some “passes defensed” stats, but I can also see the NFL’s current crop of behemoth receivers going over the top of him to snatch touchdowns on hitch and fade routes.

 

RUN SUPPORT

 

Tackle: 3 out of 5

White can probably tackle running backs if he wants to, but he’s not often asked to run blitz or get too involved. And why should he be? How is a 190 pound, sub-six-foot corner going to bring down Fat Eddie or Shady McCoy on his own? Is the message getting across yet? I AM NOT COMFORTABLE WITH TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE’S LEVEL OF PHYSICALITY.

 

Play Recognition: 4 out of 5

I noticed a couple of plays watching film where White didn’t appear to be all too concerned with the running play, although he was usually able to get around a block or two and eventually end up near the ball by the end of the play.

 

Willingness: 2.5 out of 5

The question I have to answer to write this blurb is simple: Does the defensive back seem to be willing to get involved in tackling the runner? My answer is even simpler: Not particularly.

 

GENERAL

 

Injury: 9 out of 10

Rarely missed time due to injury in college, but one would speculate that his rather slight frame could possibly result in some unforeseen time off. It’s unfair to dock White too much based on expectation, though, so I won’t.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 76.5/100

 

Pro Comparison: Ellis Hobbs, CB, Philadelphia Eagles/New England Patriots

White 1

Hobbs

This makes me sad as a former Eagles fan (read: current Eagles fan). Ellis Hobbs was a too-small corner who was often forced into the slot. He could cover some receivers more than competently, but he was often steamrolled by huge receivers, including a 2010 performance against the Titans where he was abused by none other than Kenny Britt (also known as my least favorite player of all time). A couple weeks later, he got a horrible back injury and was never heard from again, but I hope that doesn’t happen to White, who seems like a nice guy off the field and apparently has great leadership qualities. That being said, both White and Hobbs are very small. It was a problem in 2010, and it’s a problem in 2017.

https://www.facebook.com/sportsslants

Saints 7-Round Mock Draft

NFL-Draft-Logo

Saints logo
12: R1P12: SHELDON RANKINS, DT, LOUISVILLE
6’1 299 lbs.
Louisville Football v Memphis
FIT: Last year, the Saints tried running a 4-3 base defense with Kevin Williams and John Jenkins at starter. While there were times Williams played well, watching Jenkins play was often about as pleasant as I imagine a brain aneurysm to be. The main problem at this position, there is not enough talent. Rankins might be the best in an absolutely loaded class, having turned many senior tackles into human turnstiles at Senior Bowl practices.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1998998/sheldon-rankins
47: R2P16: SHILIQUE CALHOUN, DE, MICHIGAN STATE
6’4 251 lbs.
NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Stanford vs Michigan State

Jan 1, 2014; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan State Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun (89) tackles Stanford Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney (25) during the second half at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

FIT: Akiem Hicks was so inept for the Saints defense, he was ousted by what could perhaps have been the worst starting 4-3 end in the league: Bobby Richardson. That may be a little harsh, but nobody’s claiming Richardson’s a starter. The Saints must find an answer opposite Cam Jordan and they may not have the cap space to find a starter in free agency. This class is solid at this position at the top, with zero depth.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1868388/shilique-calhoun
78: R3P15: DEION JONES, OLB, LSU
6’1 222 lbs.
Jones
FIT: Watching the Saints attempt to cover a tight end will either make you do a spit-take or cause indigestion, depending on your allegiance. Point being, they can cover a tight end like an umbrella with a hole in it can cover a person in the rain. This was especially prominent in the Tennessee game when the Saints allowed Craig Stevens and Anthony Fasano to combine for 5 catches, 58 yards and a game-winning touchdown in overtime. Jones possesses sideline-to-sideline coverage ability and would inject athleticism and speed into a defense that’s seemingly allergic to the concept.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1984265/deion-jones
113: R4P14: STERLING SHEPARD, WR, OKLAHOMA
5’10 194 lbs.
 Shepard
FIT: Marques Colston is out, and supposedly, Brandon Coleman is the answer. While the big, tall and athletic Coleman looked good in spot duty last year, the Saints need to think about injecting more talent into the receiving corps. I begged the Saints to grab Tyler Lockett last year, now with Shepard falling due to his size and a perceived weakness overall at the position, the Saints would be wise to grab the smooth, polished OU product if he’s available.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1996786/sterling-shepard
152: R5P13: REES ODHIAMBO, G, BOISE STATE
6’4 314 lbs.
 Odiambho
FIT: The Saints just cut ties with long-time starter Jahri Evans, and after jettisoning Ben Grubbs last season, there is very little talent at the position in the building. Depending on what they do in free agency, Sean Payton still counts this as one of the team’s biggest needs. Odhiambo is a talented prospect from outside the Power 5 who could be a steal in the fifth, might remind some fans of a certain Bloomsburg prospect.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1825221/rees-odhiambo
235: R7P16: ANTWAUN WOODS, DT, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
6’0 318 lbs.
Christian Powell, Antwaun Woods, Hayes Pullard

Colorado tailback Christian Powell, center, is tackled for a loss by Southern California linebacker Hayes Pullard, left, and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (99) in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Boulder, Colo., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) ** Usable by LA and DC Only **

FIT: Remember what I said about the Saints situation at defensive tackle? It’s that bad. With the draft so deep at defensive tackle, it makes sense to grab one at this late stage as well, and Woods has a workable frame to go with a high-motor and excellent work ethic. He’ll fit right in with the locker room Payton wants to build and might even find some playing time in a rotational role.
                                     http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/players/1851134/antwaun-woods

A Prospect A Day: Running Backs, Alex Collins Scouting Report

Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas

5’11 215 lbs

Collins

 

Collins has quicker feet than most running backs ever will. His change of direction ability is automatic and his stop-and-start movement jumps off tape.

He is quick, agile, has adequate burst for longer plays and brilliant vision to set up his blockers. He benefited from running behind an exceptional Arkansas offensive line headlined by top-NFL-prospect Guard Sebastian Tretola.

Still, when it came to contact, Collins seeks it out and hits with a ton of power and aggression. When he really gets going, he lowers his shoulders and plows through contact with the best of them. This is especially impressive considering his relatively low weight.

He’ll probably have to bulk up a bit for the NFL but it’s all well-distributed.

Speed: 3 out of 5

Collins can get around the edge or downhill quickly and with speed, but he can get chased down by linebackers or slower safeties from schools with more talent. He had his most special games against lesser competition for the most part.

Power: 5 out of 5

He’s a guy that seems to love getting hit and delivering it right back. While he has nifty feet, once he chooses his direction, he’s like a runaway freight train.

Field Vision: 15 out of 15

Collins’ field vision was consistently a defining characteristic on his successful gains, he would weave in and out of several lanes using the entire field at his disposal like few others can. He has traits of both a north-south and lateral runner and can do both effectively, often in the same run.

Balance: 9 out of 10

Has some absolutely insane moments in this regard, a few times against Tennessee he was forced parallel to the ground with all of his weight forward and still managed five extra yards and a first down. Shows this same impressive ability when stopping and starting as his momentum doesn’t carry him forward and he’s able to get going immediately rather than lumbering.

Break Tackle: 8 out of 10

Collins shows impressive ability in this area of his game, he can carry several tacklers several yards if they don’t hit him with good form. He’s stronger with good pad level and as a result, when he’s deep in the secondary, he’s easier to bring down since he runs a little too high.

Moves: 5 out of 5

Everything is utilized in Collins’ game, and with the expertise of a wily vet. His feet are so quick that his spin is almost as quick as his juke and he uses the hurdle against opponents’ tendencies to try to chop his legs in the open field since he’s such a tough runner to bring down.

Run blocking: 3 out of 5

He wasn’t asked to do this much at Arkansas but if his pass blocking skills are any indication, he should at least be adequate.

RECEIVING

Route running: 3 out of 5

Collins runs the screen well, but that’s about it. Still, most NFL teams probably won’t ask much more of him, and even if they do, he has the traits to develop well in this aspect (quick feet)

Hands: 6 out of 10

He had 13 catches in his senior season, so there’s just not enough data to make a solid determination. I have it somewhat low because I saw a drop on the only pass that went his way in the tape I watched, though it was well-covered.

Run after catch: 2 out of 5

His 13 catches in his senior season went for only 95 yards, that’s an average of 7.3 yards per catch which was the highest of his college career by almost two yards. He has the traits to be explosive but it just didn’t show up while he was at Arkansas.

Blocking: 3 out of 5

He didn’t run very many routes, but when he did, he was active and effective in attempting to give his receivers running lanes.

PASS PROTECTION

Technique: 5 out of 5

Collins uses his compact frame to be very stout at the point of attack and rebounds most rushers with ease. He shows good recognition skills and rarely gets out leveraged.

Effectiveness: 5 out of 5

There were no issues with his pass protection on tape.

Potential: 10 out of 10

He shows the ability to use his slight lack of size to his advantage and should continue to be stout on the next level.

TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 82/100

NFL Comparison: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Steelers

DeAngelo WilliamsCollins 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Runs with a great mix of brute strength and nifty movement skills. Possesses the necessary burst to pull away from defenders in the open field and balance to stretch gains far beyond expectation. Williams is a more accomplished pass catcher, but everything that makes him effective in that role, Collins seems to possess.

Mock Draft 3.0

Mock Draft 3.0

This post also appears in NFL Draft

  1. Bucs: Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

This one is written in stone at this point, people will yawn when this one’s announced at the podium.

ACC Championship - Duke v Florida State

  1. Titans: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

After much ado, the Titans cave and take a quarterback that could add a big spark to their franchise.

marcus-mariota-7

  1. TRADE Falcons: Dante Fowler Jr., OLB, Florida (Jaguars receive Falcons 1st, 2nd, 4th 2016 3rd)

Falcons jump up to grab the best overall outside backer in the draft to add some much-needed juice to their pass rush. How bad do they need it? The Falcons often couldn’t get to the passer before I would finish running a forty on a given play.

Fowler2

  1. Raiders: Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Kevin White may be the guy here but it’s looking more and more like the Raiders will be content with the pro-ready ultra-safe Alabama product. Unless Al Davis’ ghost shows up, then it’s White all the way.

amari-cooper

  1. TRADE Browns: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia (Redskins Receive Browns 1st, 2nd, 4th, 2016 2nd)

There have been talks heating up recently about the Browns jumping up and the Skins moving down. The Browns need a wide receiver like Floyd Mayweather needs a muzzle.

white

  1. TRADE Saints: Leonard Williams, DE/DT, USC (Jets receive Saints 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2016 2nd, Saints receive Jets 4th)

Jets see more value in an extra second rounder here and the Saints jump up to grab a defensive difference maker. Williams will immediately provide some intrigue to a defensive line as stale as day-old popcorn.

leonard williams

  1. Bears: Danny Shelton, NT, Washington

Bears and Shelton are practically married in my mocks. It’s a match made in heaven too, I hope for nothing but their happily ever after.

shelton

  1. Jaguars: Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

Jags want Gurley but they also want him at the right price, believe it or not David Caldwell nails this transaction and gets the guy he wanted most anyway, the extra second rounder will help with the pass rush need.

Tennessee v Georgia

  1. Giants: Brandon Scherff, OT/OG, Iowa

Could see pass rusher here but you’ve got to think the Giants see their rivals in Dallas building the league’s best o-line. It’s a copycat league, always has been.

scherff

  1. Rams: Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

Rams grab the starting corner Janoris Jenkins wishes he could be. Waynes and Jenkins will be an absolute nightmare for the soft NFC West receivers.

waynes

  1. Vikings: DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Parker and Bridgewater reunited, it even feels good for me and I could care less about the Vikings. Should help both parties, young quarterbacks thrive with familiarity, helps lessen the learning curve.

DeVante-Parker

  1. Redskins: Bud Dupree, OLB, Kentucky

Skins have to replace Orakpo. Even with Orakpo they had to blitz every play to barely eke out a Monday Night Football victory over the Cowboys. That’s not a recipe for success and Dupree has the potential to blossom into an even better player than Orakpo.

bud dupree

  1. Jets: Breshad Perriman, WR, Maryland

Jets grab a receiver to help their new starter, it makes a ton of sense for a team that had an abysmal offense last season and already has plenty of building blocks on defense. Perriman has the size and speed to develop into a dynamic target for Hundley/Petty/Grayson/Mannion… or whoever.

perriman

  1. Dolphins: La’el Collins, OT/OG, LSU

Collins’ recent questioning in a murder case is non-malicious, he’s not a suspect. The fact remains that Collins is one of the best offensive lineman in the draft and the Dolphins o-line has more leaks than icloud.

collins

  1. 49ers: Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon

Another one that just seems written in stone at this point. I guess the 49ers have to replace Justin Smith, seems like Baalke to ignore every other pressing need (ILB, CB, OL, WR1, TE).

arik

  1. Texans: Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

Texans just locked up Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph is a mainstay but corner seems like the hot pick here despite needs elsewhere. No receiver really fits the range with the injury to Strong.

kevin johnson

  1. Chargers: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

I’m finally buying the Chargers taking a running back, Melvin Gordon would be an excellent fit for them, Oliver could catch the passes and Gordon can just focus on doing what he does best, wrecking opposing defenses in the open field.

Melvin Gordon

  1. Chiefs: Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

Chiefs grab a receiver capable of catching a touchdown pass with another receiver they got in free agency also capable of doing that. Set for years at the position if Green-Beckham can keep his head on straight.

green-beckham

  1. Browns: Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami

GM Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine grab their second of two huge needs and protect whoever’s trying to throw to Kevin White in what’s sure to be another laughably mediocre Browns offense.

ereck

  1. Eagles: Landon Collins, S, Alabama

Eagles brass has said they don’t see Collins as a first rounder, I’m calling their bluff, which may be to play mind games with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Collins fills a need effectively, recent reports suggest some see him as even more versatile than expected.

landon collins

  1. Bengals: Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Gregory needs to be in a no-nonsense locker room where he will be humbled and grow up a little. Bengals need pass rush help. Perfect fit.

Gregory

  1. Steelers: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson

Polamalu retired, Ike Taylor retired, Jason Worilds retired. One of these answers will be answered here in the first round.

vic beasley

  1. Lions: Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Peat has top-5 potential with feet on par with Jake Matthews last year. He’s got to get tougher at the point of attack, just like the Lions have to get Matt Stafford five extra seconds to heave to Calvin Johnson, Eric Ebron and Golden Tate every play.

Andrus Peat

  1. Cardinals: Shane Ray, OLB, Missouri

Cardinals dream scenario here. They are a team unafraid of off-field issues as Arians is a confident disciplinarian. Ray has the sort of motor they covet and they need to get younger in the linebacking corps.

shane ray

  1. Panthers: TJ Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh

Panthers don’t manage to overthink themselves and finally give Cam Newton the athletic, strong bookend he needs.

clemmings

  1. Ravens: Malcom Brown, DE/DT, Texas

Ravens need a Ngata replacement, Brown is a top-15 talent that only tumbled based on need. They sprint to the podium for this one.

rbb texas vs iowa 03

  1. Cowboys: Shaq Thompson, OLB/S, Washington

Cowboys need insurance at linebacker and safety. Church might not be up to par as a starting safety and Sean Lee will go out for the season sometime between the first coin toss and the first snap. Thompson is the kind of athlete that will glue Rod Marinelli’s defense.

shaq

  1. Broncos: Cameron Erving, G/C, Florida State

Orlando Franklin flew the coop, Manning needs a clean pocket, especially as his arm strength dwindles.

erving

  1. Colts: Damarious Randall, S, Arizona State

The Colts safety situation is underrated in how poor it is. Randall is considered the best cover safety in the draft and one of the best ball hawks. Slight interest for a dull as dirt defense.

randall

  1. Packers: Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami

Packers covet inside linebackers that can excel in the run-game at the point of attack, Perryman eats running backs for breakfast.

denzel-perryman-louisville1

  1. Saints: Eric Kendricks, ILB, UCLA

Curtis Lofton is gone, Ellerbe and Hawthorne are starting. Red alert. Saints grab a rangy linebacker with athleticism, motor and excellent character.

Kendricks

  1. Patriots: Jalen Strong, WR, Arizona State

Patriots grab a steal here, Strong would be the best receiver in seven of the last ten NFL drafts.

ASU+jaelen+strong3

Mock Draft 1.0 (Picks 27-32)

Wednesday April 1, 2015

The complete first round is now available on NFL Draft

And now the final installment: NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Picks 27-32

No April Fools jokes in here, seriously.

27 Cowboys Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

The Cowboys have more immediate needs, but they’re going to be in a world of hurt if they don’t start infusing young talent in the corner position. Not to mention, this is the kind of prospect Jerry Jones falls in love with. Carr has lost a step and is too inconsistent. He’s still a serviceable starter but I don’t think he will be for much longer. Scandrick is a stalwart and should stick around for quite some time since he’s just coming into his prime. I think the Cowboys have to start planning for the possibility that Mo Claiborne never lives up to his draft stock.

Collins is all upside, but he sure has a lot of it. He’s quite awful against savvy receivers but is a stand-out athlete in run support and can run stride-for-stride on deep balls. In the right situation, he could thrive and I think the Cowboys might be just the place for him. They have athletes at linebacker who could help if Collins loses inside release. If he’s forced to play early in his career, he will have to be schemed around. In a year or two, he has all the tools to become a pro bowler and the Cowboys have been a team known to gamble on upside.

LSU vs. Ole Miss 11/17/12

And then they said we’re gonna take you in the first round

Height: 6’1

Weight: 203 lbs.

2014 Stats: 38 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 9 passes broken up, interception

Projection: Above average starter

Floor: Out of the league within a few years

Ceiling: Pro Bowler

NFL Comparison: Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore Ravens- raw prospect coming out of college, prototypical size and all the speed and athleticism to challenge deep balls and develop, lacks the technique to be a true game changer at the position but all the potential to grow into it.

28 Broncos Denzel Perryman, LB, Miami

The Broncos have to consider some help for Von Miller. DeMarcus Ware is a nice piece but he’s better saved for third down where he can wreak havoc off the edge and cover backs out of the backfield. They need a run stopper to set the edge of their 4-3 defense and Denzel Perryman may just provide exactly what this team needs.

Perryman hits like a much larger man. He’s consistent, strong at the point of attack and very savvy against run blockers. At times he looks solid in pass coverage, but more often than not he looks unsure what to do out there. Coaching should improve that facet since the necessary athleticism is not lacking. He has strong instincts and a nose for the ball. He’ll immediately contribute as a two-down linebacker and has the potential to develop into a three-down guy down the line. His height hurts his stock a bit but he’s a strong pick at 28 for the Broncos.

Perryman

Trust me I’m Ray Lewis

Height: 5’11

Weight: 236 lbs.

2014 Stats: 110 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, 2 sacks, interception

Projection: Strong starter

Floor: journeyman

Ceiling: Strong starter

NFL Comparison: London Fletcher, LB, Washington Redskins- Though stout, packs a huge punch. Tough-as-nails linebacker with a mentality that he’s the strongest man on the field, a sure tackler, he’s a force in the run and strong against the pass at times.

29 Colts Cameron Erving, C, Florida State

With three different starters at center last year, addressing that position in the draft becomes a no-brainer. Despite Andrew Luck being an athlete, he’s a pocket-passer first and a clean pocket will make his game rise just that much more. Maybe he’ll stop throwing so many picks early in games. Nah, he’s just a performer, he likes to make the second half interesting. The Colts were active in free agency, but center is one spot they did not address.

Cameron Erving is as versatile as it gets for an offensive lineman. He was playing at an All-American level at left tackle a couple years ago and slid to center, where he continued to play at an All-American level. With so few snaps at center, he’s got nowhere to go but up and he’ll be helped by Luck’s athleticism and quick release early on. I expect he and Luck could become best friends for a decade. Erving doesn’t have a lot of weak spots in his game and he appears to be a natural inside. He pass blocks like a left tackle and is a punishing run blocker. He can blow holes the size of Manhattan open for running backs. His inexperience and his position are the only things hurting his stock but look for him to have Travis Frederick-level impact early in his career in Indianapolis.

Erving

These d-linemen are so slow

Height: 6’5

Weight: 313 lbs.

Projection: Pro Bowler

Floor: Average Starter

Ceiling: All Pro

NFL Comparison: Jeremy Zuttah, C, Baltimore Ravens- Fast feet, naturally fluid athlete with more height than usual at center, solid frame but needs to develop more lower body strength to become a seriously punishing run defender. Solid starter in his role with loads of versatility.

30 Panthers Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

How bad to the Panthers need a talented tackle? Badder than Josh Gordon needs 24-hour supervision. Ok, exaggeration. But the Panthers have been absolutely lost at the position since Jordan Gross retired. They got their big Cam Newton target last year in Kelvin Benjamin, now they grab a guy who has experience playing with running quarterbacks in up-tempo offense.

A true athlete at the tackle position, Fisher even has a touchdown on his resume. He’s got great ability as a space blocker and will probably work best in a zone-blocking scheme since his range is so impressive. He’s powerful, but not overwhelmingly so and his hips look stiff at times when he has to swivel to catch speed rushers. He’s also susceptible to the bull rush which will be a problem if he’s asked to stand up and protect a pocket-passer consistently. Thankfully, none of that is going on for the Panthers which are a perfect fit for Fisher’s talents. He’ll play up to his potential with Carolina.

Jake Fisher

Wonder what it’s like to have only two uniforms

Height: 6’6

Weight: 308 lbs.

Projection: Strong starter

Floor: Backup/swing tackle

Ceiling: Strong starter

NFL Comparison: Riley Reiff, OT, Detroit Lions- Struggles with speed rushers, not ideally suited as a left tackle and may be better on the right side in a traditional offense, rarely attacks as a pass protector but possesses a mauling run-blocking skill set.

31 saints Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

The Saints haven’t had a true athlete at linebacker since Jonathan Vilma was in his prime. It’s time to change all that. Covering tight ends has been a problem for the Saints for years. As has covering the outside run game and quick-hitting short routes. Vaccarro has helped in that area but the Saints have to have a linebacker with that sort of ability.

This guy oozes Rob Ryan and fits perfectly with the many different fronts and base packages the Saints employ. He’s an incredible athlete with the ball in his hands; he has exceptional field vision and burst as a play-making defender. His abilities in coverage are only limited by his inexperience. He can develop into an elite pass-coverage linebacker. He’s not terribly strong at the point of attack but the Saints have plenty of big uglies at linebacker in Humber and Hawthorne to clean up the running game. Thompson gives this defense juice and spark and in this scheme, he fits the range perfectly.

shaq-thompson

I’m a linebacker don’t be fooled by the 7 on my chest

Height: 6’0

Weight: 228 lbs.

2014 Stats: Defense: 80 tackles, 3 fumble return touchdowns, interception for touchdown, 4 passes broken up. Offense: 456 rushing yards, 56 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns,

Projection: Above average starter

Floor: Journeyman

Ceiling: Pro Bowler

NFL Comparison: LaVonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Undersized for a linebacker, a sideline-to-sideline athlete with a nose for the ball, has game-changing ability and always-ascending play to reach a very high ceiling, also a knack for creating turnovers.

32 Patriots Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Bill Bellichick and Robert Kraft have proven time and time again that they’re the smartest guys in the room. Here’s another example. Obviously receiver is a consideration here but the draft is deeply talented in that area. It’s also deep at running back but the value here for Melvin Gordon is exceptional.

Gordon is a do-it-all back that allows the Patriots to save roster spots for different positions. He can play all three downs since he is a solid pass catcher and adequate pass blocker. He has elite vision and strong acceleration to go with mind-numbing consistency. Gordon shows up in every game, on every play, with absolute effort. In fact, his play style is also mind-numbing because he’s about as patient and savvy a runner as you’ll see. He doesn’t flash with big moves, he doesn’t bowl over defenders, he doesn’t streak up sidelines, he’s just patient and smart. Did I mention he had 408 yards and 4 touchdowns in one game against Nebraska, an average of 16.3 per carry? In three quarters? Ridiculous.

Gordon

You gotta have muscles on your eyeballs

Height: 6’1

Weight: 215 lbs.

2014 Stats: 2587 rush yards, 29 rush touchdowns, 153 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns

Projection: Strong Starter

Floor: Above average starter

Ceiling: Pro Bowler

NFL Comparison: Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo Bills- Can really do it all. Has enough speed to burst for big chunks, enough wiggle to get through small creases, the vision to find those creases before they develop and the elusiveness to make that last defender miss, excellent frame for an NFL back, Will make a long career as an all-around back and transition perfectly to a complimentary role when the time comes.