5 Most Intriguing Defensive 2015 NFL Draft Prospects From MWC

5 Most Intriguing Defensive Draft Prospects From MWC

Mountain West NFL Draft
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The Mountain West Conference has more NFL talent than any other mid-major conference in college football. That talent will be selected throughout the draft with the potential for one or two prospects to sneak into the first round. Here are five prospects to watch on the defensive side of the ball.

5. Bernard Blake (CB-Colorado State)

Bernard Blake Colorado State
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5. Bernard Blake (CB-Colorado State)

Bernard Blake Colorado State
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Bernard Blake has started a total of 14 games in three seasons with the Rams. In those three years, he has one interception, but the statistic that is impressive is his 13 passes defended. Blake has the size and quickness to play both man and zone coverages. He's been plagued by injuries in college and needs to stay healthy to earn a selection in the draft. If he does, Blake could be worth as high as a fifth-round pick.

4. Travis Raciti (DT-San Jose State)

Travis Raciti San Jose State
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4. Travis Raciti (DT-San Jose State)

Travis Raciti San Jose State
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Spartans will switch to a 4-3 defense under new coordinator Greg Robinson. Travis Raciti has played end, his probable position at the next level, but will primarily line up at tackle again in 2014. His versatility and knowledge of multiple defensive schemes should impress the NFL, as will his ability to shed blocks. The problem is Raciti may be too small to play DT and not quick enough to excel at DE. Should be picked early on Day 3.

3. Tyeler Davison (DT-Fresno State)

Tyeler Davison Fresno State
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3. Tyeler Davison (DT-Fresno State)

Tyeler Davison Fresno State
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Davison has played in 39 games, including 26 starts for Fresno State. He'll once again start at nose guard for the Bulldogs. Davison has 100 tackles and six sacks in three seasons. When he's not able to penetrate the backfield, Davison does an excellent job at getting his hands up. This had led to three defended passes and two blocked extra points. Performing well against teams like USC and Nebraska could bump Davison up from the third round.

2. Kyler Fackrell (OLB-Utah State)

Kyler Fackrell Utah State
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2. Kyler Fackrell (OLB-Utah State)

Kyler Fackrell Utah State
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Kyler Fackrell is favored to be the first Mountain West player selected in the 2015 draft. He's only a junior, so Fackrell may wait until 2016. When he does declare, he's an ideal OLB for a 3-4 defense. Fackrell excels in run defense and made 13 tackles for a loss in 2013. He's also a capable pass defender and returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown against Hawaii. Another strong season may catapult Fackrell into the first round.

1. Derron Smith (FS-Fresno State)

Derron Smith Fresno State
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1. Derron Smith (FS-Fresno State)

Derron Smith Fresno State
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Smith is the active FBS leader in career interceptions with 14. He has excellent instincts and ability to read quarterbacks. His aggressiveness shows up in run defense as well, however, he gets into trouble on occasion as faster players sometimes outrun his aggressive routes to the ball. For a position moving toward bigger players, Smith lacks the size NFL teams desire in a first-round safety. He likely ends up as a second-round selection.


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