Washington Running Back Chris Polk enters the top 20 of this weeks mock draft after his monster game against Arizona. Find out where Polk lands in round 1 of my 3 round mock draft.
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1. Indianapolis Colts 0-8 Andrew Luck Quarterback Stanford Junior Redshirt The Colts got dismantled by the Tennessee Titans Sunday now falling to 0-8 on the year. A few years ago this Colts team had Jim Caldwell in his first year as a head coach with a 14-0 record with 2 games to go. Two seasons later the Colts are 0-8 now sports blogs across the country have Colts fans ranting about how the Colts need to move on without Jim Caldwell.
Through 2 months of the seasons there are only 2 winless teams with the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins as the only winless teams.
There were 2 once in a generation quarterback prospects prior to Andrew Luck. Those signal callers were John Elway and Peyton Manning.
The Colts traded Elway hoping for a King’s Ransom in return because Elway did not want to play for the Colts. That didn’t work out and the Baltimore Colts ended up relocating to Indianapolis. This may have influenced the original Cleveland Browns to relocate becoming the Baltimore Ravens.
Peyton Manning went #1 overall 15 years later in 1998. Manning has been the face of the Colts franchise ever since.
The Colts will draft Luck #1 overall if they get the top pick. There are 2 questions if the Colts take Luck #1 overall. Not questions about Luck, but rather questions about whether the Colts keep him.
A) Will the Colts keep Luck as a successor to Manning?
B) Will the Colts trade Luck like they did with another Stanford quarterback 30 years ago when the Indianapolis Colts were the Baltimore Colts?
Colts fans ask yourself those questions. Reflect on those thoughts and then generate your conclusion on what the Colts will do if they get the chance to draft Luck with the top pick.
Rumor has it that Colts owner Jim Isray has hinted that he likes Luck and would consider taking him with the top pick. Their are teams who send smokescreens and teams who reveal their draft plans to the general public.
The Colts wanted a left tackle in 2011 and revealed their draft plan to the public so I am opted to believe that the Colts are going to take Luck if they get the top pick in 2012.
The Colts want to have a quarterback in place for when Manning leaves. Luck could sit behind Manning for a year or 2 if Manning fully recovers. The other scenario could possibilities include Manning retiring or leaving on his own terms via trade.
2. Miami Dolphins 0-7 Matt Barkley Quarterback USC Junior After Andrew Luck the best quarterback with the most experience in a pro style offense is USC’s Matt Barkley.
The Miami Dolphins will take Matt Barkley or Robert Griffin III over Landry Jones if they pick second because Barkley has the most experience in an NFL pro style offense and Griffin III has the ability to be utilized as a dual threat quarterback.
Landry Jones has yet to play in a limelight metropolitan climate. Jones played high school ball in New Mexico. He played in a Fiesta Bowl game against an overrated Connecticut team. In a game where Jones was battle tested against an NFL potential Florida State defense he threw 1 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Jones responded in the clutch against the Seminoles when the game was tied at 13.
Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Landry Jones all have proven themselves in the 4th quarter. Matt Barkley is the only quarterback who has yet to rally a team in the 4th quarter. Will this play into Miami’s decision to draft a quarterback?
At the end of the day I believe Barkley and Griffin are both ranked higher on Miami’s draft board then Landry Jones. What will be interesting to see is if I turn out to be right or wrong. You never know what direction a new regime goes in. That’s why its so difficult to predict what new regimes do with their picks.
One basic rule about new regimes is that new regimes often search for a quarterback with a first round pick. New regimes almost always take a quarterback with a 1st round pick if one is available and the team does not have a franchise quarterback.
If Miami does pick second behind Indianapolis and opt for Landry Jones who many have as the top quarterback prospect after Andrew Luck, I will be inserting 1998 NFL Draft jokes where I compare Luck to Manning and Landry Jones to Ryan Leaf because I am one of those critics who is very skeptical on Jones ability to develop in the NFL.
When Jones executes a 5 step drop he always fires a deep pass. When Jones executes a 7 step drop he is pressured and runs out of the pocket before throwing it away.
People try to pick up on weaknesses that quarterbacks do hoping to game plan against that quarterback. Watching Jones chuck it deep after a 5 step drop in the pocket is something I picked up on.
I need to see more short and medium passes when Jones drops back to do his 5 step drops. Plus quarterbacks who play in spread offenses have higher bust ratios than quarterbacks who play in pro style offenses. Luck and Barkley have played in pro style offenses. Jones hasn’t which is somewhat of a disadvantage at this point.
Boomer Sooner fans can critique my doubts on Jones all they want, but I have watched 5 hours of Landry Jones game tape and 5 games on Jones before writing a scouting report on him.
Barkley’s completion percentage trumps Jones completion percentage. Barkley has a 68.2 completion percentage compared to Jones 66.3 completion percentage which gives Barkley the edge for now.
A lot of people are beginning to believe that Landry Jones is the consensus #2 quarterback after Luck. Some believe Jones could potentially rival and surpass Luck. There was a prospect like that in 1998 who rivaled Peyton Manning for the top pick at one point despite Manning being the consensus #1 pick named Ryan Leaf and that is who Jones reminds me of. I have seen everything I need to see from Jones and I am not changing my opinion of him. I may change his draft stock depending on how he performs, but I still believe Jones is a bust at the end of the day.
The critic in me advises Miami to draft Barkley. The fan in me would kind of like to see Jones get selected here so my Patriots can watch the Dolphins suffer at quarterback for another decade.
3. St. Louis Rams 1-6 Matt Kalil Left Tackle USC Junior Redshirt St. Louis took 19 sacks in his first 4 games. Roger Saffold only surrendered 1 sack all year as a rookie. Saffold is n a sophomore slump at left tackle. Jason Smith has been a waste of a top 5 pick for the St. Louis Rams and he needs to be replaced.
Bradford’s protection has been so horrific this season. I literally wonder if right tackle Jason Smith has been inviting the rest of the Rams offensive line to underground eating competitions so the offensive line is out of shape in terms of conditioning.
Sam Bradford would have so much more time in the pocket if the St. Louis Rams made Matt Kalil Bradford’s blue chip blindside. This would allow Saffold to move to right tackle allowing Jason Smith to move inside to left guard assuming the Rams decide not to release Smith buying out his contract.
Worst case scenario Kalil fails to start on the offensive line allowing him to serve for depth. I doubt Kalil would sit out though because teams throw their top 5 draft picks into the fire right away.
4. Arizona Cardinals 1-6 Jonathan Martin Left Tackle Stanford Junior Redshirt The Cardinals have to get a left tackle for Kevin Kolb. Jonathan Martin is the best player available left tackle so he has to be the pick. Adding Martin would be the first step to making the Cardinals offensive line better in pass protection.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-6 Quinton Coples Right End North Carolina Senior The Jaguars will have to choose to draft around Gabbert or draft a can’t miss prospect.
The Detroit Lions were in this situation a few years ago when people said they should take left tackle Russell Okung over Ndamukong Suh.
Quinton Coples is very versatile and he reminds me a lot of Julius Peppers. At the same time there will be a strong temptation for the Jacksonville Jaguars to acquire Oklahoma State Justin Blackmon because he won the Biletnikoff Award in 2010 as the nations best receiver. Blackmon has played like a top 5 pick in 2011.
A pass rusher with the talent that Julius Peppers displays does not come along every day so you have to take Coples here. Plus there will be other receivers at the top of round 2.
6. Carolina Panthers 2-6 Justin Blackmon Wide Receiver Oklahoma State Junior Redshirt Justin Blackmon is a slot receiver with the ability to develop into a secondary receiver. Blackmon’s limited physical tools could keep him from becoming an elite flanker. Then again, he is bigger than Steve Smith and Smith has had a tremendous impact with Carolina.
I still think that Locker and Ponder will have better careers than Newton. Newton did play better than Tebow this week. I still prefer Tebow even after his lackluster game against the Lions because Tebow has no supporting cast. Carolina has Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, and Shockey.
I’d be lying though if I said Newton’s recent play the last 2 weeks wasn’t making me rethink my decision to a certain degree. Newton has yet to face a battle tested secondary so I’m not as impressed as most media members are.
Carolina has Steve Smith and Justin Blackmon in place for next season. If Smith gets released then Blackmon comes in right away as a rookie hoping to be the long term answer as a flanker wide receiver.
7. Minnesota Vikings 2-6 Riley Reiff Left Tackle Iowa Junior Redshirt Riley Reiff will likely be the pick here assuming the Vikings decide to draft a left tackle.
8. Denver Broncos 2-5 Landry Jones Quarterback Oklahoma Junior Redshirt It seems apparent that Elway wants to draft a pocket passer if Tebow plays like he did against Detroit. Jones is a pocket passer.
The good news is that Jones had 505 passing yards against #8 ranked Kansas State. The bad news is that he really displays predictable play calling and he has a tendency to chuck it deep downfield.
If asked which 2012 underclassmen quarterback had the best chance of becoming a big time bust I’d lean toward Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones. I say this due to quarterbacks and their ability to play in the spread. Quarterbacks who play in the spread do not have a remote chance to translate to the pros unless they have excellent mental attributes (Sam Bradford) or elite physical tools coming out of college (Cam Newton).
I think I would take Jones over Barkley or Griffin III. Jones has not played up to his level against Florida State a legit defense and he failed to defeat a Texas Tech team that Oklahoma should have defeated. The double digit interceptions are another potential concern with Landry Jones. Jones threw 14 picks as a freshman redshirt, 12 as a sophomore redshirt, and has 9 picks through 8 games this season. Your lying to yourself if you do not believe that’s a slight remote concern to worry about moving forward.
The one team where I could see Jones proving me wrong is Seattle. You got Russell Okung and James Carpenter ready to take the next step at offensive tackle. The Seahawks have the playmakers at running back, receiver, and tight end to spread the field, plus they call the most shotgun plays among any of the teams picking a quarterback. Also Seattle calls more spread plays among the teams needing a quarterback plus they have the best supporting cast.
Denver lacks the supporting cast for Jones to succeed long term. Washington and Cleveland both run a limited amount of shotgun plays and are potential landing spots for Jones to bust.
9. Seattle Seahawks 2-5 Robert Griffin III Quarterback Baylor Junior Redshirt Even though I loved what I saw out of Baylor’s quarterback he had a really sloppy game against Oklahoma State last week. I still see him being more successful than Landry Jones in the NFL because there is more to like about him. He has the arm, zip, accuracy, football IQ, and dual threat ability that you look for in a franchise quarterback. I like Robetrt Griffin III better as a quarterback than I liked Michael Vick coming out of Virginia Tech.
Griffin drops to this spot though because Jones performed well last week while Griffin struggled last week.
I ultimately see Robert Griffin III returning and becoming the #1 overall pick in 2013. Until RGIII makes a decision I have him in this 2012 mock draft.
10. Washington Redskins 3-4 Vontaze Burfict 3-4 Middle Linebacker Arizona State Junior I see potentially 3 different players competing for this pick if the Nations Capital fails to elect a long term franchise quarterback for their football team in 2012.
Alabama’s Trent Richardson, Arizona State middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and Boston College middle linebacker Luke Kuechly could all realistically end up being selected with this pick assuming that Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, and Robert Griffin III all go off the board in the top 9 or assuming that no quarterbacks are left to be selected.
Shanahan prefers to take running backs in the late rounds. While Kuechly is beginning to rival Burfict to be the top 3-4 middle linebacker displaying more consistency I still believe that Burfict has a higher ceiling to work with so he gets the slight edge over Kuechly for now.
11. Cleveland Browns 3-4 Trent Richardson Running Back Alabama Junior The 2012 NFL Draft is deeper at wide receiver than it is at running back. Plus the Browns usually take the best available player or trade down.
The Browns rushing is ranked near the bottom of the league. Peyton Hills may pull a LeBron James and Montario Hardesty is not the answer. The Browns cannot pass on Trent Richardson if he slides this far.
12. Dallas Cowboys 3-4 Dre Kirkpatrick Cornerback Alabama Junior The Cowboys cannot pass on Dre Kirkpatrick or Morris Claiborne if either player falls to their lap at #12 overall. The Cowboys defense played well against New England. Both of these corners are too good to pass on because they have top 5 talent in addition to being ranked 6th and 7th overall on my draft board respectively.
13. Philadelphia Eagles 3-4 Luke Kuechly Middle Linebacker Boston College Junior The Eagles use this pick on a middle linebacker that has recorded 100 tackles or more each of the last 3 seasons.
Kuechly had 20 tackles 12 solo and 8 assisted against the Florida State Seminoles. Kuechly will be one of the players on my weekly Stock Up Stock Down list this week. I moved Kuechly up to a top 10 talent last week. This week I may have to move him up to a top 5 talent who gets selected in the top 10.
Kuechly will be my top middle linebacker in next weeks mock. How far does Vontaze Burfict fall due to this?
14. Cincinnati Bengals from Oakland Raiders 4-3 Morris Claiborne Cornerback LSU Junior The Bengals get a cornerback to pair up with Leon Hall. Claiborne can play the boundary cornerback role next to Leon Hall allowing Nate Clements slide inside to nickel.
15. Tennessee Titans 4-3 Alshon Jeffery Wide Receiver South Carolina Junior The Titans will add Jeffery to their roster if he slides this far. Pairing Jeffery up with Kenny Britt may provide wonders for Jake Locker down the road in Tennessee.
16. New York Jets 4-3 Michael Floyd Wide Receiver Notre Dame Senior This pick will be a bit of a reach because the Jets will not be able to address a key need if picking this early. I get the feeling that the Jets will either reach for Michael Floyd here.
Floyd can start out as a secondary receiver. He may even develop into a flanker that becomes Mark Sanchez’s favorite receiving target.
17. San Diego Chargers 4-3 Courtney Upshaw 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Alabama Senior The Chargers need a 3-4 right outside linebacker to play next to Shaun Phillips.
18. Cleveland Browns from Atlanta Falcons 4-3 Monte Teo Right Outside Linebacker Notre Dame Junior Monte Teo has experience playing right outside linebacker at the weak side in addition to experience in the 3-4 playing a middle linebacker type of role. Cleveland needs a right outside linebacker for a 4-3 scheme. Teo fits the bill and he would be a great addition to the Browns.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-3 Stephon Gilmore Cornerback South Carolina Junior Stephon Gilmore is one of the best coverage cornerbacks in this draft. He plays man coverage against Alshon Jeffery as a field cornerback every day in practice. Tampa Bay is targeting a cornerback and Gilmore is the best player available.
20. Cincinnati Bengals 5-2 Chris Polk Running Back Washington Junior Redshirt I have Washington running back Chris Polk graded out as my 13th best overall player on my draft board because of the consistency he has displayed for the Huskies all year. Trent Richardson is only 5 spots ahead of Polk at #8 overall on my initial draft board.
If he stands out at the combine, I could see him rivaling Richardson as the top running back similar to the way Ryan Matthews rivaled CJ Spiller in 2010. I really like Polk as a running back prospect and its about time Polk gets some top 20 recognition. Cincinnati needs a back so Polk would be a good fit here.
Polk has been more consistent than Alabama’s Trent Richardson with less NFL talent on the offensive line than Richardson. Polk is 6 foot 222 pounds. Some of his teammates claim have seen Polk run a 4.3 40 time in the 40 yard dash. Polk has had back to back seasons of 1,100 rushing yards as a freshman and sophomore redshirt. Polk took a lot of pressure off of Jake Locker at Washington when running the football at Washington. Polk was practically the only blue chip supporting player that Jake Locker had to work with during his tenure at Washington.
So far Polk has 1,016 rushing yards as a junior redshirt. Polk has better size, speed, 40 time, more rushing yards, and a weaker supporting cast than Alabama’s Trent Richardson.
I do not believe Trent Richardson is overrated by any stretch of the imagination. Richardson is one of the most complete backs to come out in recent memory. Its just Washington’s Chris Polk has been so consistent and underrated that he deserves some consideration to rival Trent Richardson as the top running back in 2012.
I still like Richardson better than Polk because he has encountered much tougher SEC defenses compared to Polk. Polk did have a big game against a Stanford run defense that was ranked 2nd in the nation out of 120 teams heading into their contest against Washington.
Polk is a playmaker when running and catching. Polk can run to the inside or the outside with his elusive cutback ability or he can catch passes in or out of the backfield when being utilized as a wide receiver.
Stanford’s run defense was ranked 2nd prior to facing Chris Polk. Now they dropped to 6th.
Polk is hands down the top NFL prospect playing on Washington right now. Alameda Ta’amu looked like a 3rd round prospect based on what I saw against Stanford and Polk only continues to prove himself at Washington as he continues to work his way up draft boards.
21. Chicago Bears 4-3 Cordy Glenn Right Guard Georgia Senior The Chicago Bears take the best available player here. Cordy Glenn is 6 foot 5 348 pounds. Glenn plays left tackle at Georgia.
His lack of footwork could force Glenn inside at guard Cordy Glenn can play left guard or right guard. Glenn has started at both left guard and right guard before moving to left tackle this season in 2011. Glenn has the run blocking and the frame to be a right tackle even though he has no experience at right tackle.
Glenn could play anywhere on tackle or guard. This makes him versatile even though his best NFL fit is at guard.
Glenn will not have to worry about right tackle because the Bears 2011 first round pick Gabe Carimi currently plays that role.
The Bears spent too much money on Chris Williams as a first round pick hoping he would be their answer at left tackle. Williams flopped at left tackle and has moved inside to guard.
Williams has performed better at left guard this year. I believe he stays at left guard until his contract runs out. Cordy Glenn on the other hand could play next to Williams at right guard solidifying the offensive line.
If the Bears decide not to resign Williams when his contract runs out then Glenn could get his chance at left guard. If Glenn plays well enough at left guard he may get a shot at offensive tackle once his footwork develops.
Maybe the Bears move Glenn to right tackle when first round pick Gabe Carimi develops enough to be Chicago’s left tackle. If both Carimi and Glenn pan out at offensive tackle then the offensive tackle woes are solved for the long term in Chicago.
22. Kansas City Chiefs 4-3 Robert Lester Free Safety Alabama Junior Redshirt The Chiefs could afford to add a free safety next to Eric Berry. A secondary featuring Brandon Flowers, Eric Berry, Robert Lester, and Brandon Carr would be difficult to throw on.
23. Houston Texans 5-3 Brandon Jenkins 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Florida State Junior The Texans add a pass rusher for depth who can play next to Mario Williams. Then they will use Brooks Reid and Connor Barwin for depth at 3-4 outside linebacker.
24. New England Patriots from New Orleans Saints 5-3 Andre Branch Right End Clemson Senior Redshirt The Patriots need a 4-3 right end for their defensive scheme. Andre Branch is the best defensive end available. Branch weighs 6 foot 5 272 pounds. He can lose weight and weigh in at 260 pounds moving to outside linebacker in 3-4.
Branch has 8.5 sacks for Clemson in 2011. Andre Branch is a 4-3 right end and a 3-4 right outside linebacker who can anchor your defense as a sack artist or a run stuffer. Branch has the versatility and sack artist ability that Bill Belicheck looks for.
25. Baltimore Ravens 5-2 Michael Brewster Center Ohio State Senior The Ravens use this draft pick to add a center behind Matt Birk that they can groom for the future.
26. New England Patriots 5-2 Brandon Thompson Defensive Tackle Clemson Senior Thompson can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme in the 5 technique. The Patriots opt to draft 2 Clemson defensive lineman with their 2 first round picks.
27. Detroit Lions 6-2 Melvin Ingram Right End South Carolina Senior Redshirt The Lions could add a 4-3 right end for the future. Kyle Vaden Bosch is aging and the Lions will need a 4-3 right end who can pass rush aiding Suh and Fairley. Developing a young pass rush to remain as competitive as possible will be the Lions top priority. By adding Ingram as as successor to Vaden Bosch who turns 33 in less than 2 weeks, the Lions will have their defensive line in place for the next decade.
28. New York Giants 5-2 Zach Brown Right Outside Linebacker North Carolina Senior The Giants need a 4-3 right outside linebacker. Zach Brown is the top 4-3 right outside linebacker available at this point.
29. Buffalo Bills 5-2 Donta Hightower 3-4 Middle Linebacker Alabama Junior Redshirt The Bills could use a 2nd 3-4 middle linebacker. Hightower is the best 3-4 middle linebacker available.
30. San Francisco 49ers 6-1 Alfonzo Dennard Cornerback Nebraska Senior The 49ers could use a cornerback to boost their defense. Dennard is a steal at this point.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-2 David DeCastro Right Guard Stanford Junior Redshirt DeCastro would make an elite starter at right guard in the mold of Chris Snee. DeCastro is exactly what Pittsburgh needs at right guard next to Maurkice Pouncey.
While right guard may be the least important position on the offensive line the Steelers have no right guards who can slide into Kemoatu’s spot at left guard assuming Chris Kemoatu gets injured. DeCastro is clearly an upgrade over what Pittsburgh currently has at right guard. Pittsburgh will think he’s good enough to move to left guard if Kemoatu gets injured because they spent a first round pick on him.
DeCastro was a center in high school and probably would be an upgrade over Dan LeGursky at center in the even that Maurkice Pouncey missed a game due to injuries.
When the Steelers didn’t have Starks early in 2011 their offensive line got exploited with players getting injured each week. Kemoatu and Pouncey were playing injured to start the year. Neither Jonathan Scott or Marcus Gilbert is equipped for left tackle so bringing in Max Starks stabilized the offensive line for the short term really helped this team.
Before Starks returned to Pittsburgh, you had an injured right tackle at best playing left tackle, a injured right tackle playing even though they were severely injured, you had a right guard playing left guard and, a backup right guard starting at right guard while star blue chip center Maurkice Pouncey was playing injured receiving double teams.
That kind of stability on an offensive line is a recipe for how to get your quarterback injured. Ben nearly got injured after the Texans game and the Steelers brought Max Starks back the following week.
The Steelers seem to encounter offensive line woes due to injuries each year so adding one more player to the interior who would be a starting upgrade over what they have would only help moving forward.
Glenn has more versatility at left guard and right guard along with the size. Michael Brewster has played center every year at Ohio State. After Glenn and Brewster, DeCastro is the best guard available. Pittsburgh is getting a slam dunk steal if DeCastro falls this far.
DeCastro is one of the most complete guards in this draft. The only knock on him is that your getting a right guard only. Teams who need a left guard who take this guy hoping he’s going to be their answer at left guard are going to be sorry.
32. Green Bay Packers 7-0 Chase Minnifield Cornerback Virginia Senior Redshirt Green Bay adds Frank Minnifield’s son Chase Minnifield as a developmental corner. Minnfield can start at nickel and become a boundary corner when Charles Woodson retires.
For those who don’t know Frank Minnifeld was like the Darrell Revis of the 80′s. He was a coverage corner who made 4 pro bowl appearances. You could say Frank Minnifield was “primetime” before Deion Sanders.
33. Indianapolis Colts 0-8 Barrett Jones Right Guard Alabama Junior Barrett Jones is the current left tackle for Alabama. He started at right guard last season before moving to left tackle in 2011.
Jones could probably make the adjustment to left guard since he has right guard and left tackle experience. Undrafted Western Michigan left guard Joe Reitz has played well at left guard despite the Colts massive injuries on the offensive line with both their first 2 2011 draft selections injured.
Anthony Costanzo the left tackle of the future and Ben Ijalana a right tackle who can move inside to guard worst case scenario will both be fully recovered in 2012 making an impact.
Joe Reitz has done well at left guard, but I could see Barrett Jones beating out Reitz for the left guard spot even though Reitz has been the Colts best lineman outside of Jeff Saturday. Reitz is injured and will not suit up Sunday.
Ryan Diem regressed significantly as he went from an quality pass blocking right tackle to a mediocre right guard. Diem has been so bad that the Colts he got benched after the first 2 games. Mike Pollack has been playing right guard and Pollack could move to left guard this week causing Diem to start again.
Pollack will not be a guard forever though since he was drafted in 2008 to be the heir apparent to Jeff Saturday at center. Adding Barrett Jones at right guard would make the Colts offensive line much more effective moving forward because he could provide the versatility and depth that the Colts offensive line needs if they opt to build around Andrew Luck moving forward.
The Colts could use an offensive lineman to build around Andrew Luck. Teams have a tendency to draft offensive players to build around their quarterback with a 2nd round pick.
34. Miami Dolphins 0-7 DJ Fluker Right Tackle Alabama Sophomore Redshirt DJ Fluker has been the starting right tackle at Alabama the last two seasons. Fluker would make a nice bookend to Jake Long if he comes out and declares as a sophomore redshirt.
If Fluker opts to return to Alabama like most expect him to, look for a tight end like Tyler Eifert or Dwayne Allen to be the selection here.
35. St. Louis Rams 1-6 Ronnell Lewis Left Outside Linebacker Junior The Rams need a strong side linebacker on the left side who can solidify the Rams linebacking core. The Rams have the weak side and mike linebacker. The Rams just need the left outside linebacker to solidify their linebacking core.
36. Philadelphia Eagles from Arizona Cardinals 1-6 Travis Lewis Right Outside Linebacker Oklahoma Senior Redshirt The Eagles add a right outside linebacker who can play the weak side. The Eagles take the best available player here.
37. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-6 Ryan Broyles Wide Receiver Oklahoma Senior Redshirt The Jaguars need to add a receiving target for Blaine Gabbert to throw to.
38. Carolina Panthers 2-6 Tyler Eifert Tight End Notre Dame Junior I realize that Carolina has Shockey and Greg Olsen. I feel like both could be doing more though. Newton is mainly throwing to Steve Smith this year. Plus the Panthers would have another receiving target to build around Cam Newton. The Panthers would have luxury of waiting to develop Eifert or inserting him into the lineup right away if he stands out as a rookie in training camp.
An offense consisting of playmakers like Steve Smith, Justin Blackmon, Tyler Eifert, Jeremy Shockey, and Greg Olsen as your playmaker receivers can make someone with David Garrard potential at best like Cam Newton look like a Super Bowl caliber quarterback.
If Newton gets Blackmon and Eifert along with Steve Smith, Greg Olsen, and Jeremy Shockey all returning then I could see this team challenging Atlanta and Tampa Bay for first place in the NFC South next season. I never pick Super Bowl hosts to make the playoffs and next years Super Bowl is in New Orleans.
Derek Anderson and Jimmy Clausen do not have the right mental mindset to start for this team. Some media outlets close to Carolina believe that star receiver Steve Smith and blue chip left tackle Jordan Gross played worse on purpose in 2010 because they hated Clausen’s attitude. While you want to criticize those media outlets its hard to go against their word because Smith and Gross have both played better with Cam Newton at quarterback in 2011.
39. Minnesota Vikings 2-6 Mohammed Sanu Wide Receiver Rutgers Junior 70 receptions for 731 receiving yards and 7 receiving touchdowns. Sanu would be a great receiver to pair next to Percy Harvin.
40. Denver Broncos 2-5 Montee Ball RunningBack Wisconsin Junior The Broncos need a new back. Montee Ball has 36 rushing touchdowns over the last 2 years. Running backs get pushed up draft boards each year. Ball is making his case to be pushed up 2012 draft boards.
41. Seattle Seahawks 2-5 Lamar Miller Running Back Miami FL Sophomore Redshirt The Seahawks could add a running back for depth. Lamar Miller can catch out of the backfield and he provides good value here.
42. Washington Redskins 3-4 Peter Konz Center Wisconsin Junior Redshirt I have no quarterbacks in the top 50 of my overall draft board. If Washington passes on a quarterback in round 2 then they go with Wisconsin center Peter Konz.
43. Cleveland Browns 3-4 Kevin Zeitler Right Guard Wisconsin Senior The Browns may want to get Trent Richardson a run blocker at right guard for depth along with a starter at right tackle. Since their is no run blocker at right tackle worth taking at this point the Browns decide to add the right guard for depth.
44. Dallas Cowboys 3-4 Nico Johnson 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Alabama Junior The Dallas Cowboys could use a 2nd pass rusher next to Ware. Nico Johnson can play on the outside or the inside in the 3-4.
45. Philadelphia Eagles 3-4 Nigel Bradham Left Outside Linebacker Florida State Senior Bradham can play a WILL, MIKE, or SAM role in a 4-3 scheme. Bradham may be a project player, but he displays incredible versatility. The Eagles run defense has been so bad prior to Sunday against the Cowboys that you could not really blame them for spending all 3 picks in the first two rounds on Bradham.
46. New England Patriots from Oakland Raiders 4-3 Mark Barron Strong Safety Alabama Senior The Patriots have to add a safety to boost their secondary at some point in this draft.
47. Tennessee Titans 4-3 Dontari Poe Defensive Tackle Memphis Junior The 6 foot 5 350 pound nose tackle can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme. Poe struggled against Central Florida which dropped him to a 2nd round prospect. Poe is a slam dunk steal if he falls this far. You could not really blame the Titans for adding him to bolster their defensive line.
48. New York Jets 4-3 Chase Thomas 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker Stanford Junior Redshirt Chase Thomas can be an effective pass rusher and a run stuffer. Thomas seems like the ideal pass rushing outside linebacker for Rex Ryan’s 3-4 defensive scheme.
49. San Diego Chargers 4-3 Jerry Franklin 3-4 Middle Linebacker Arkansas Senior Redshirt The Chargers add another 3-4 middle linebacker for depth with this selection.
50. Atlanta Falcons 4-3 TJ McDonald Free Safety USC Junior TJ McDonald can play strong safety or free safety. He could provide some depth at safety for Atlanta.
McDonald is the final player on my top 50 draft board so I get the feeling that Atlanta may select him here.
51. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-3 Nate Potter Left Guard Boise State Senior Redshirt The Buccaneers could use a left guard to boost their defense. Nate Potter is the best left guard available so Tampa Bay takes him here.
52. Cincinnati Bengals 5-2 Ray Ray Armstrong Strong Safety Miami FL Junior McDonald is the best player available at this point. The Bengals add the best player for depth. Ray Ray Armstrong may not have the most potential among the remaining prospects. He provides the most consistency though.
53. Chicago Bears 4-3 Dwayne Allen Tight End Clemson Junior Redshirt Dwayne Allen is a really underrated tight end. He is a steal if he slides this far to the Chicago Bears. Bears General manager Jerry Angelo seems like the type of GM who would draft a tight end before a wide receiver.
54. Kansas City Chiefs 4-3 Ricky Wagner Left Tackle Wisconsin Junior Redshirt Wagner needs to be a backup at offensive tackle for a few years. Kansas City could be an ideal scenario for Ricky Wagner because he would not be rushed into the lineup and would get enough time to develop.
55. Houston Texans 5-3 Eddie Whitley Free Safety Virginia Tech Senior The Texans draft by need by taking the best player available.
56. New Orleans Saints 5-3 Mike Adams Right Tackle Ohio State Senior Mike Adams can play left tackle or right tackle. Adams would make a better fit at right tackle. Adams is a steal if the Saints are lucky enough to nab him at #55 overall. Maybe its just me, but the really good teams always land the really good players in the draft. Then we wonder why?
57. Baltimore Ravens 5-2 Ryan Tannehill Quarterback Texas A&M Senior Redshirt There are no 3-4 middle linebackers available to succeed Ray Lewis or free safeties with second round talent available. That makes you wonder what direction the Ravens go here.
Joe Flacco has thrown an interception in 4 consecutive games. There are some draft experts who believe Tannehill should go ahead of Robert Griffin III even though I strongly disagree with that notion.
With Flacco’s cold streak, they should openly consider the option of adding Tannehill as insurance in case they do not want to resign Flacco when his deal is up in 2013.
Even if Flacco turns things around the Ravens could deal Tannehill for a Kings Ransom like the Eagles did with Kevin Kolb assuming that Tannehill develops properly.
The 6 foot 1 215 pound Tyrod Taylor could contribute as a 3rd stringer or a backup while being used in wildcat situations. I cannot see Taylor posing a threat to Flacco’s job though. The Ravens only have 2 quarterbacks on their depth chart and most teams have 3. Some teams have a backup that can come in and start as a game manager if injuries occur like Green Bay, Tampa Bay, New England, Chicago, Detroit, and Pittsburgh.
Baltimore adds a backup who could develop into a starter with Tannehill and then moves Tyrod Taylor down to a 3rd stringer.
I am not saying this move would work out, but Tannehill is practically highway robbery at this point assuming he slides this far. Even Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome realizes the value that Tannehill could provide if he slides this far.
If there was a category on Jeopardy called Current NFL GM’s who understand the importance Draft Value, the 5 correct answers to the category would be what is Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers, what is Kevin Colbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers, what is Jerry Reese of the New York Giants, what is Ozzie Newsome of the Baltimore Ravens, and what is Scott Pioli of the Kansas City Chiefs.
With no 3-4 middle linebackers to succeed Ray Lewis or a free safety with 2nd round talent I think the best option to consider would be Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
If Flacco turns things around then Tannehill could move back to wide receiver the other position he played before playing quarterback at Texas A&M.
58. New England Patriots 5-2 Desmond Trufant Cornerback Washington Junior Desmond Trufant is the brother of Marcus Trufant. Belicheck has drafted a cornerback in the first two rounds every year since 2008.
59. Detroit Lions 6-2 Devon Still Defensive Tackle Penn State Senior Redshirt The Lions do not need a defensive tackle. They have Suh and Fairley. Fairley has dropped to 291 pounds. If he keeps losing weight he could move to defensive end in a 4-3. My original instincts were that Fairley would bust. I loved what I saw at the NFL Combine from Fairley so I gave him a chance. Fairley is 6 foot 4 291 compared to Devon Still who is 6 foot 5 310 pounds.
The Lions have a tendency to take the best player available even if their draft picks upset their fan base.
Even if you hate this pick Lions fans, you have to realize that Devon Still is one of the best players available. Still is on the brink of becoming a 1st round talent. He is a steal here. Still’s value is simply too strong to ignore.
60. New York Giants 5-2 Tydreke Powell Defensive Tackle North Carolina Senior The Giants could use another defensive tackle for depth. Powell is the best defensive tackle available.
61. Buffalo Bills 5-2 Nick Toon Wide Receiver Wisconsin Senior Redshirt Nick Toon has the talent to play in the NFL on Sundays. I thought he was a huge sleeper for a while. Toon will find a way to sneak into the first 2 rounds. Toon could even make a run at the first round.
62. San Francisco 49ers 6-1 Devin Taylor 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker South Carolina Junior Redshirt The 49ers have the luxury of taking the best available player. I will give the 49ers a pass rusher for depth.
63. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-2 Marvin McNutt Wide Receiver Iowa Senior Redshirt Marvin Pittsburgh has a flanker with Mike Wallace and a slot receiver who could potentially be a secondary receiver down the road with Antonio Brown. I am not a believer in Emmanuel Sanders. I still believe Marvin McNutt is an upgrade over Brown.
Hines Ward will not be around much longer. You really could not blame Pittsburgh for pursuing a wide receiver with the ability that Marvin McNutt displays if he is the only 2nd round player left with the potential to be a long term starter in Pittsburgh.
Marvin McNutt is 6 foot 4 215 pounds. McNutt had 8 receiving touchdowns in 2009 and 2010. McNutt has 9 receiving touchdowns so far in 2011. McNutt could be a red zone receiving target like Ward has been taking some pressure off of Heath Miller.
Teams will double team Heath in the red zone when Hines retires. Pittsburgh struggled in the red zone against New England last week. I’m not completely convinced that Wallace, Brown, or Sanders is a red zone target.
Wallace is more of a flanker receiver who can run short, medium, and deep routes. He doesn’t seem like a red zone receiver.
Pittsburgh will need to add a secondary receiver with the size and red zone ability to take away some of the pressure Wallace and Miller receive in the red zone.
Marvin McNutt has worn black on gold on Saturday’s at Iowa. If he falls to Pittsburgh then he would not need to adjust to much he would be wearing black and gold on Sunday’s in the NFL.
64. Green Bay Packers Donte Paige Moss 3-4 Right Outside Linebacker North Carolina Junior The Packers could use a pass rusher to use next to Clay Matthews.
65. Indianapolis Colts 0-8 Jerel Worthy Defensive Tackle Michigan State Junior Redshirt Worthy entered the preseason worthy of warranting a top 10 selection. Worthy got pancake blocked by Wisconsin right guard Kevin Zeitler which resulted in an injury plus Worthy struggled against Nebraska. Worthy is a 2nd round talent who deserves to fall to the 3rd round if he declares.
I’m uncertain about Worthy’s draft status at this point. I could see him leaning either way here even though he may be more inclined to return to Michigan State for his senior redshirt year.
66. Miami Dolphins 0-7 Vinny Curry 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Marshall Senior The Dolphins need a 2nd round talent to pair with Cameron Wake. Vinny Curry is emerging as a sack artist for Marshall. I felt like Curry wasn’t as good without former Herd outside linebacker Mario Harvey.
Curry’s production is speaking for itself. Curry had 12 sacks in 2010 because he was playing across from Mario Harvey and he’s had 10.5 sacks without Harvey in 2011. I still want to see more out of Curry. I need to see him perform well at the senior bowl and combine before I am sold on him.
Curry is a 6 foot 5 242 pound pass rusher playing in a 3-4 scheme. This means that he is a 3-4 only player which is why I am slightly down on him.
67. St. Louis Rams 1-6 Michael Egnew Tight End Missouri Senior The hometown tight end prospect could be an effective #2 tight end on the Rams roster. The Rams have their #1 tight end for the future with Lance Kendricks. Most NFL teams have 2 tight ends on their roster so I could see the Rams adding Michael Egnew considering the fact that Michael Hoomanawanui a 2010 draft pick is mainly a blocking tight end.
68. Arizona Cardinals 1-6 Elvis Fisher Right Tackle Missouri Senior Redshirt Lots of media outlets are blaming the Cardinals poor start on Kolb when the pass blocking is the main reason for the Cardinals failures in 2011.
Arizona’s offensive line is so bad that they need to double dip their first two draft choices on offensive tackles. Since the Cardinal’s don’t have a 2nd round pick taking back to back offensive tackles technically wouldn’t be double dipping here.
69. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-6 Janoris Jenkins Cornerback Northern Alabama Senior Janoris Jenkins is a top 10 talent. He had off the field issues at Florida and got ejected for punching a player at a Northern Alabama game. Jenkins might still have first round consideration if it wasn’t for his ejection that led to Northern Alabama’s first loss on the year.
There are 3 small school corners worth selecting in round 3. The best corner is Janoris Jenkins of Northern Alabama. Then you got Trumaine Johnson a cornerback who has great size along with the ability to move to free safety.
70. Chicago Bears from Carolina Panthers 2-6 Trumaine Johnson Cornerback Montana Senior Johnson is 6 foot 2 210 pounds. He can play cornerback or free safety. I realize that Johnson got tasered by the cops recently for an off the field issue.
Despite this off the field stuff, its hard to find a cornerback and a free safety with Trumaine Johnson’s size and versatility. The Bears have 2 areas of the secondary they need to upgrade at cornerback and free safety.
The Bears secondary is so depleted that they had to move star strong safety Chris Conte to free safety just to save Major Wright from embarassing himself at free safety. Wright never played strong safety at Florida as he was mainly a free safety. The fact that Chicago moved from his natural college position to strong safety may be a sign that they are looking for other solutions to the secondary this offseason.
Tim Jennings is not a guy with the potential to develop into a field cornerback. Charles Tillman is a suitable boundary corner playing a #2 cornerback role. Zachary Bowman can be an ideal nickel corner with DJ Moore playing dime coming in on nickel situations.
Johnson can come in as a rookie hoping to win the #1 corner job with his 6 foot 2 210 pound frame. If Johnson fails to deliver at cornerback then he could move inside to free safety prompting the Chicago Bears to consider adding a cornerback in the 2013 NFL Draft assuming General Manager Jerry Angelo is still employed by then.
71. Minnesota Vikings 2-6 Sean Spence Right Outside Linebacker Miami FL Senior The Vikings need a weak side linebacker. Sean Spence has what it takes to be that missing piece on the Vikings 4-3 linebacking core playing a WILL role at the right outside linebacker spot.
72. Denver Broncos 2-5 Dwight Jones Wide Receiver North Carolina Senior Denver paid DeMaryius Thomas too much money to be the Broncos flanker. Dwight Jones can play next to Thomas and be the #1 receiving target for Tebow or Denver’s new quarterback in 2012.
73. Seattle Seahawks 2-5 Ryan Steed Cornerback Furman Senior The Seahawks usually get a small school player for their secondary. Furman cornerback Ryan Steed seems like the kind of player that Seattle would draft.
74. Washington Redskins 3-4 Brock Osweiler Quarterback Arizona State Junior The 6 foot 9 240 pound quarterback has thrown 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Osweiler will be a top 100 pick due to his size. I could see Osweiler starting as a rookie some point down the road the way Colt McCoy started as a rookie.
Osweiler will likely return for his senior year. If Osweiler declares he could go to Washington, Cleveland, Dallas, or Buffalo as a developmental quarterback.
75. Cleveland Browns 3-4 Nick Foles Quarterback Arizona Senior Redshirt Nick Foles is a 6 foot 5 240 pound quarterback for the University of Arizona. Foles has pro bowl potential despite being a major project.
Foles has the elite physical tools that Colt McCoy lacked coming out of Texas. Foles has a cannon arm, toughness from durability despite missing some games with injuries by playing well after recovering from an injury, and the 6 foot 5 240 pound size that you look for in a quarterback.
Foles can scramble displaying excellent footwork for a quarterback and he is great at pump faking defenders. Foles has good character he can make the 1 step, 3 step, or 5 step drops while executing the progressions on these throws.
While Foles does have some positive qualities about him, he also comes with some baggage though. This baggage is a heavy amount and may cause some GM’s to avoid looking at Foles as a prospect alltogether.
Foles gets rattled under pressure. This can force him to make bad decisions. He lacks the football IQ to pick apart coverages at this point. Foles needs to improve his awareness correcting his field vision.
Foles has really inconsistent accuracy and sloppy mechanics which make some believe he is a 5th round prospect. Foles has also struggled with play action passes and throwing on the run.
Foles has elite physical tools and pro bowl potential as a starter. You have to put him in the right scheme and develop him properly for Foles to have a shot. Foles has so much upside, but at the same time he has so much flaws in his mental game that you have to work on.
Colt McCoy lacks the arm that Foles displays, but McCoy shows tremendous accuracy at times when his offensive line buys him time in pass protection. On other plays McCoy just flat out struggles and Browns fans wonder if he will be a long term starter moving forward.
Putting Nick Foles in this situation would be a good move because he would not be rushed into the lineup. Cleveland’s new regime wanted to draft a quarterback last year in 2011, but Mike Holmgren wanted to give Colt McCoy a hall pass because of his rookie breakout games against New England and New Orleans.
McCoy has not done enough to warrant a hall pass in 2011 so they have to bring in a developmental quarterback who can challenge McCoy for his job.
76. Dallas Cowboys 3-4 Levy Adcock Left Guard Oklahoma State Senior Redshirt The Cowboys need interior offensive lineman. Levy Adcock is best used on the interior offensive line. Dallas has 2 starting offensive tackles in left tackle Doug Free and right tackle Tyron Smith. Defenses are rushing up the middle forcing the offensive tackles to take double teams so Romo has more time.
Dallas adds an interior lineman who can move inside to left guard with Levi Adcock.
77. Philadelphia Eagles 3-4 Bobbie Massie Right Tackle Ole Miss Junior Massie is the typical Andy Reid right tackle for Reid’s blocking scheme with his 6 foot 6 320 pound frame. The Eagles draft Massie hoping to groom him as Michael Vick’s blindside in Philadelphia.
78. Tennessee Titans 4-3 Whitney Mercilus Right End Illinois Junior Redshirt Mercilus was a run stuffing defensive end used for depth heading into the year. Now he leads the nation with 11.5 sacks. Mercilus has the size of a 3-4 pass rusher so there is a lot of versatility yet a lot of questions when it comes to Whitney Mericlus. The Titans will take a chance on him hoping to land a defensive end to pair with Derrick Morgan.
79. New York Jets 4-3 Matt Reynolds Right Tackle BYU Senior Redshirt The Jets need a right tackle to pair next to Debrickishaw Ferguson. Matt Reynolds solidifies a need at right tackle.
80. San Diego Chargers 4-3 Andre Ellington Running Back Clemson Junior I probably will move Andre Ellington down after this week due to his injuries. For now, I have him graded out as a 3rd round prospect. Jordan Todman got released from the team.
Ryan Matthews has durability issues and I am not sold on Mike Tolbert as a #1 back. The Chargers need to bring in a running back for depth with Jordan Toddman getting cut from the team.
Ellington is my top graded back available this point. I probably will move him down on my stock down list this week because he has had multiple injuries at Clemson and did not play in Clemson’s first loss of the season to Georgia Tech.
81. Atlanta Falcons 4-3 Bruce Irvin Right End West Virginia Senior The Falcons sit Bruce Irvin behind Jonathan Abraham and Ray Edwards until Abraham retires. This allows Irvin to slowly gel into his role before taking the NFL by storm one day.
Irvin is one of my sleepers for this draft. His stock has slipped though due to poor performance in 2010.
82. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-3 David Wilson Running Back Virginia Tech Junior The 5 foot 10 205 pound running back was a 3rd string back as a freshman as he only got 68 carries behind Darren Evans and Ryan Williams.
Wilson decided to split carries with Ryan Williams last year after Darren Evans got injured. Now that Ryan Williams is gone, David Wilson has emerged as the Hokies feature back.
David Wilson is now the new leader in NCAA FBS rushing yards. Wilson has 1,185 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns in 2011 on 187 carries.
Wilson could be a sleeper if he continues to play well. I like Wilson better than Darren Evans or Ryan Williams in terms of potential. Sitting behind both Virginia Tech backs for 2 years only helps Wilson in the developmental process.
Tampa Bay needs a #2 back behind Blount. David Wilson would be an ideal fit for the Buccaneers plus the Buccaneers have strong ties to Virginia Tech.
83. Cincinnati Bengals 5-2 Alameda Ta’amu Defensive Tackle Washington The Bengals add Ta’amu at defensive tackle knowing their getting premium value here with Ta’amu. Some people have Ta’amu listed as a first round prospect. I had him graded out as a 2nd round talent prior to the Stanford game. Now I have Ta’amu graded out as a 3rd round talent.
84. Chicago Bears 4-3 Audie Cole Left Outside Linebacker North Carolina State Senior Redshirt Cole has experience playing the strong side and the mike linebacker roles.
The Bears have a right outside linebacker with Lance Briggs. They have Brian Urlacher playing in the middle. The Bears could use a left outside linebacker though.
Audie Cole could start out as a SAM linebacker playing the strong side. When Urlacher retires Cole could become the next great Chicago Bears middle linebacker.
85. Kansas City Chiefs 4-3 Brandon Lindsey 3-4 Left Outside Linebacker Pittsburgh Senior Redshirt Justin Houston was supposed to replace Mike Vrabel starting across from Tamba Hali. He has 0 sacks in 7 starts so Kansas City may use a pick to bring in a player who could compete with Justin Houston for a starting job.
86. Houston Texans 5-3 Josh Chapman Nose Tackle Alabama Senior Redshirt The Texans may take a liking to Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman. The Texans usually pursue undersized nose tackles who play college ball in the southern region.
87. New Orleans Saints 5-3 Vince Browne Right End Northwestern Senior Redshirt New Orleans has starters in Will Smith and Cameron Jordan. They just decide to add someone for depth on the defensive line.
88. Baltimore Ravens 5-2 Jared Crick 3-4 Right End Nebraska Senior Redshirt The Ravens add a 3-4 end for depth behind Haloti Ngata and Cory Redding. Jared Crick provides good value here.
89. New England Patriots 5-2 Juron Criner Wide Receiver Arizona Juron Criner would provide good value for a receiver. Belicheck likes taking receivers in the middle rounds and Criner is my top receiver available at this point.
90. Detroit Lions 6-2 Trevor Olsen Left Tackle Northern Illinois Senior Redshirt Trevor Olsen could be a starting left tackle of the future. The Lions have a tendency to take offensive tackles in the middle rounds under the Jim Schwartz regime.
The other 2 best players available besides Olsen are quarterback Kirk Cousins and 3-4 end Baker Steinkuhler. Neither is a fit for Detroit.
91. New York Giants 5-2 Coby Fleener Tight End Stanford Senior Redshirt Fleener is beginning to emerge as a sleeper. Jerry Reese usually takes his tight ends in the 3rd round. I think the Giants would gamble on Fleener here.
92. Buffalo Bills 5-2 Cliff Harris Cornerback Oregon Junior The Bills will ignore Harris’s character knowing their strong depth at cornerback. Maybe Buffalo believes they can make a #1 field cornerback with Cliff Harris.
93. San Francisco 49ers 6-1 Kerry Murphy Nose Tackle Alabama Junior Redshirt The 49ers could use another nose tackle for depth. I think there is a chance they could add Kerry Murphy here.
94. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-2 Baker Steinkuhler 3-4 Left End Nebraska Junior Redshirt Aaron Smith will be gone after this year. Evander Hood has 10 tackles and a 0.5 sack in 8 games. This is coming from a first round pick who has been starting for a good while due to Smith’s injuries. Hood was a 4-3 defensive tackle at Missouri. I could see him succeeding in a 4-3 elsewhere, but I cannot see him succeeding in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh doesn’t have to give up on Hood if they still believe in him. They have to bring in some competition though so they can motivate Hood to breakout as a starter long term.
95. Green Bay Packers 7-0 Kirk Cousins Quarterback Michigan State Senior Redshirt Kirk Cousins is a project. He could start out as a backup or 3rd stringer if Matt Flynn returns and then develop into a starter. Green Bay would not start Cousins. They would simply trade him when the time arrives like the Eagles did with Kevin Kolb.
Green Bay has the #1 quarterback coach in the NFL Tom Clements. He made average quarterbacks like Kordell Stewart and Tommy Maddox look good. He made a good quarterback coming out of college in Aaron Rodgers great by developing him. The fact that Rodgers sat out 3 years behind Favre with Mike McCarthy supervising things as head coach may have even propelled him to elite status because Rodgers became better as he gained more experience.
After Tom Clements I would say Mike Shula the son of Don Shula is the best quarterback coach. He developed David Garrard in Jacksonville and has had an instant impact in Carolina working with Cam Newton developing him early in his rookie career. I think Shula is a huge reason for Newton’s early NFL success.
Clements screwed up as a offensive coordinator in Buffalo. Miami brought Mike Shula in as a head coaching candidate prior to his departure from Alabama a few years ago after Nick Saban left the team before eventually hiring Cam Cameron.
Miami should consider making Mike Shula Don’s son the offensive coordinator if they win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Matt Flynn went from a backup to a borderline starter under Tom Clements coaching. Someone will take a flyer on Flynn in free agency if Green Bay repeats.
People give Mike McCarthy all the credit for developing Rodgers, but quarterback Tom Clements is the main reason why Rodgers is the NFL’s best quarterback at this point.