Saints 7-Round Mock Draft

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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

Eagles Seven-Round Mock Draft

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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: Quarterbacks, Connor Cook Scouting Report

Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

6’4 218 lbs

Big Ten Championship - Ohio State v Michigan State

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 07: Quarterback Connor Cook #18 of the Michigan State Spartans looks to pass against the defense of the Ohio State Buckeyes during the Big Ten Conference Championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

OVERVIEW

Really improved his game and helped his draft stock in the 2015 season. He has a lot of what teams look for at the position: live arm, deep ball accuracy, solid mechanics, excellent pocket presence and footwork, and functional athleticism.

However, Cook suffers with decision making, especially when his first read is covered. He has a bad tendency to predetermine throws and go through with them even when they’re covered.

This is on perfect display against Alabama in the CFB semifinals when corner Cyrus Jones intercepts his pass intended for receiver Aaron Burbidge. Cook also struggles with consistent ball placement and too often forces his receivers to adjust to his throws.

He’s not a phenomenal athlete and doesn’t have a natural feel in the run game, but he can scramble when there are large enough lanes. He led his team to a lot of success in his time as a starter at Michigan State but he must improve in certain areas if he’s going to be viable as a starter on the next level.

Right now, the Alabama game is a good example of all of his weaknesses coming to a head. He doesn’t look ready to start in the NFL.

PASSING

Accuracy: 3 out of 5

Tends to throw high or wide, indicating he’s manufacturing arm strength. This further evidenced whenever he drives a ball right into the turf. He makes some brilliantly placed throws but doesn’t do it with any consistency.

Power: 3 out of 5

While he has a gorgeous deep ball, he allows shorter passes to wobble and doesn’t make the big-time velocity throws you see from Lynch or Wentz in this draft class.

On the run: 4 out of 5

A natural thrower on the run, there’s very little difference than when he’s throwing from a clean pocket from a ball placement standpoint.

Consistency: 3 out of 5

Cook can turn it on, and he can make some bone-headed mistakes, but he’s almost always a high percentage passer that prefers to take what defenses give him.

Field vision: 3 out of 5

Has shown ability to work through progressions but forgets that ability in pressure situations, when he does, it’s more mechanical and less fluid.

Athleticism: 4 out of 5

Not a natural runner, but a natural athlete, he can move quickly and has very good balance and body control.

Pocket awareness: 5 out of 5

Though there are a couple of poor plays on tape, he does an excellent job of climbing the pocket and moving around to avoid pressure. His feet are quick and his mechanics are sound.

Poise: 2 out of 5

Probably my biggest issue with Cook is his tendency to get tight with his mechanics and decision making at times. It’s not always late in the game either. But you can really tell when he feels the pressure to make a play.

Clutch: 4 out of 5

Despite his lack of poise at times, he’s a strong finisher in the tape I reviewed. He has plenty of late game heroics in his winning career at Michigan State and is able to engineer a game-winning drive when called upon.

Size: 5 out of 5

Cook has the height you want, and passes the eye test. A small amount of muscle could be added to his legs but he’s fairly prototypical.

TOTAL PLAYER RATING: 36/50

NFL Comparison: Shaun Hill, QB, Vikings

NFL: Preseason-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings

Wyoming v Michigan State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hill and Cook share clean mechanics, size, functional athleticism and strong deep accuracy. Hill is a slightly better decision maker and Cook has a slightly better deep ball but the two are very similar as prospects.