Pre Snap Reads 2015 NFL Mock Draft

With three days to go until the NFL draft, the excitement is building for fans. For writers, the same is true, but with one added caveat. Because the buildup to the draft takes so long, essentially everything that could be covered has been covered. Everyone is out of ideas so everyone is pumping out mock drafts.

Pre Snap Reads is better than that, I have plenty of new ideas…joining in the fun and producing a Mock draft of its own.

 

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Marcus Mariota, QB.

Both Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota should be good starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Winston’s turnover problems, throwing motion and accuracy drop him behind Mariota for final rankings. The main knocks on Mariota stem from the system he played in during his time at Oregon.

While Mariota’s system impacted his evaluation, it wasn’t the primary reason for his success. Mariota’s ability to set and reset within the pocket and while working in the flat is very impressive. His quick release and impressive underneath velocity should allow him to alleviate the pressure on his pass protection while also being an effective underneath passer.

Mariota is a very intelligent quarterback who read through progressions in college and took care of the football without being too cautious. He has two main concerns: the first is his ball security, as he fumbled too often, while the second is his ball placement. Neither flaw should prove to be fatal.

 

2. Tennessee Titans — Jameis Winston, QB.

The draft will be a lot more interesting if the Titans trade this pick. However, any team with a need at the quarterback position shouldn’t pass on a player with the upside to rank in the top 12. Winston clearly qualifies for that scenario on the field, even if his off-field issues will be a concern.

He was a significantly better prospect after the 2013 season than he was the 2014 season, but even in 2014 Winston’s intelligence was evident. He is able to break down coverages and diagnose blitzes with great speed. He will throw with anticipation and has decent arm strength to push the ball into tight windows.

The concern with Winston is the consistency of his accuracy. His mechanics can be wild and sometimes elongated, which on its own is concerning for playing in tighter pockets in the NFL. He needs to show off better control of the football to better control the velocity, trajectory and placement of his passes to every level of the defense.

 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars — Vic Beasley, DE.

Beasley is the best pass rusher in the draft. He explodes off the edge as fast as anyone else, which allows him to immediately gain positioning and leverage on the offensive tackles attempting to contain him in space. He shows off decent strength as a pass rusher, but will likely need to grow in this area on the next level.

Although his struggles against the run can be overstated at times, there will be a concern about where he can play during his rookie season. Beasley may have to play SLB for the Jaguars initially before succeeding Chris Clemons as the team’s primary LEO.

 

4. Chicago Bears — Dante Fowler, OLB.
Trade Details: Bears trade 2015 first, 2015 third and 2016 third to the Raiders for this pick.

A fluid and explosive edge defender who would immediately start for the Bears in their revamped defense. While the Bears may desperately need a nose tackle upfront, there isn’t one worthy of a top 10 pick in this draft and they may be able to get a viable starter atop the second round.

The Bears should be in search of foundation pieces that they can carry over into what appears to be the beginning of an inevitably rebuild next off-season. Fowler fits that bill but he should also upgrade their defense in the immediate future as Jared Allen can’t be relied upon as a full-time starter and impactful pass rusher.

For the Raiders, trading down makes sense because they have so many areas to address on their roster over the next two years. The draft is their primary way of addressing those needs because the last two off-seasons have proven that free agents simply don’t want to play for the Raiders.

 

5. Washington — Kevin Johnson, CB.

Washington stole Bashaud Breeland in last year’s draft, giving them one potentially high quality starter on the roster entering the draft. Adding Johnson to Breeland could give their defense a cornerback combination that they haven’t had in years. Johnson has outstanding feet and enough awareness/discipline in coverage to immediately start.

He needs to improve playing the ball in the air, but Johnson has very quick, precise feet and natural coverage ability with the overall athleticism and fluidity for his quality to translate against NFL-caliber athletes. Washington has many other needs to address, but the presences of Chris Culliver, David Amerson and DeAngelo Hall shouldn’t make them discount the cornerback position.

 

6. New York Jets — Todd Gurley, RB.

In an ideal world, the Jets would watch Marcus Mariota fall to second in the draft so they could trade up for him. At least, in an ideal world that is realistic. Instead of adding the Oregon quarterback, the Jets should focus on aiding the player currently sitting atop their quarterback depth chart by adding the best player in the draft.

Gurley is a phenomenal talent who is only going to fall this far because of injury and perceived position value. He offers the same upside and impact as a Marshawn Lynch or Adrian Peterson, while his skill set suggests that he could actually be a combination of each’s strengths.

Chris Ivory may be a good player and Stevan Ridley has a lot of talent, but Gurley could push the offense to another level.

 

7. St. Louis Rams — Brandon Scherff, G.
Trade Details: Rams trade 2015 1st, 2016 2nd and 2015 5th to the Raiders for this pick.

With Greg Robinson and Rodgers Saffold on the roster, the Rams have two quality starters on their offensive line. That’s the problem though. They only have those two. They desperately need an impact player to add to those two before bringing back one of Jake Long or Joe Barksdale.

They could sit still and wait for La’el Collins, Andrus Peat or Cameron Erving to fall to them, but instead a coaching staff and front office that should be under a lot of pressure to make the playoffs this year will aggressively move up for the player who can make the greatest impact on the team’s running game. A running game that figures to be the offense’s identity this year.

Scherff would add versatility and power to the Rams offensive line. With Robinson, Saffold and Tre Mason already featured, the offense would be set up to pummel their opposition over the coming years. By giving away their 2016 second round pick instead of their 2015 second round pick, the Rams’ current staff isn’t hurting its ability to improve its roster immediately with this trade either.

From the Raiders’ point of view, they continue to add invaluable draft choices for the coming two seasons without passing on great prospects or without dropping too far in the draft.

 

8. Minnesota Vikings — Andrus Peat, OT.
Trade Details: Vikings trade 2015 first and 2015 fourth to the Falcons for this pick.

A discounted trade comes with the Falcons having no obvious options to select with the eighth overall pick. Randy Gregory was still on the board, but his off-field issues have raised enough concern that taking him in the top 10 seems unnecessary. For the Vikings, the fourth round pick is worth jumping ahead of the New York Giants to assure themselves of Peat.

One more game will be one too many for the Vikings to leave Teddy Bridgewater exposed behind Matt Kalil. Kalil’s career quickly careened off course last year. He may be able to rebound, but instead of asking him to do that on the left side he could move across to compete with Phil Loadholt for the right tackle spot. If he wins that spot, the Vikings will have the problem of having too many options on the offensive line compared to having too few last year.

Protecting Bridgewater during his early development should be the team’s primary focus this off-season. Zimmer’s ability to get the most out of lesser defensive talent offers them increased flexibility also.

 

9. New York Giants — Kevin White, WR.

The Giants can’t fix all of their defensive problems in one draft. They also won’t find a defensive prospect who can have as great an impact on their team as White. White offers the offense another receiver on the outside who can consistently win contested situations while also being dangerous with the ball in his hands. He and Odell Beckham will improve the offense to the point that it will alleviate the pressure on the defense.

 

10. Oakland Raiders — Arik Armstead, DL.

Despite having traded down multiple times, the Raiders still manage to land a player with huge upside. Although the defensive front seven in Oakland may be where the roster has most of its talent(Khalil Mack, Dan Williams, Sio Moore), adding to it makes a lot of sense in this spot.

Armstead is a freakish athlete with a mammoth frame. His strength can overwhelm opponents, yet his feet are quick enough and precise enough to also make blockers whiff with his movement in tight areas. Armstead has the body control and fluidity to work an impressive spin move despite being 6’7″ and 290+ lbs.

With Armstead and Mack lining up alongside or across from each other over the coming years, the Raiders could have two players will dominate both against the run and the pass.

 

11. Atlanta Falcons — Randy Gregory, DE.

Gregory’s off-field concerns only serve to help the Falcons during the draft. Without a viable trade at eighth overall, he would have been the pick. Instead, the Falcons picked up a fourth rounder and get a player who Dan Quinn will hope to develop into his long-term LEO.

 

12. Cleveland Browns — Amari Cooper, WR.

It’s obvious that the Browns still need to add weapons to their offense despite their moves in free agency this off-season. Dwayne Bowe is still a viable starter, but Brian Hartline should be a fourth or fifth option at most. Cooper just happens to be an ideal complement to Bowe as the more explosive option who can create separation through route running and with his straight line speed.

Cooper may not be an A.J. Green or even a Sammy Watkins caliber of prospect, but he does offer the Browns a player who can immediately start and be a long-term foundation piece of their passing game.

 

13. New Orleans Saints — Leonard Williams, DL.

The Saints would likely prefer to land a nose tackle or edge rusher at this point of the draft, but Leonard Williams’ overall quality will force them to make this move. The USC defender is somewhat of a polarizing player because of his lack of explosiveness when rushing the quarterback, but there’s no doubting the quality that permeates through the rest of his skill set.

 

14. Philadelphia Eagles — Marcus Peters, CB.
Trade Details: Eagles trade 2015 1st and 2015 2nd to Dolphins for this pick.

Chip Kelly has been really aggressive in attempting to improve his roster this year and it would make sense for that to continue in the draft. By adding Peters, the Eagles would be giving themselves a second viable boundary cornerbacks, leaving Brandon Boykin and Walter Thurmond to compete for slot roles.

Peters and Maxwell would free each other up from being the true “Number one cornerback” on the roster and allow each player to stick to a side.

 

15. San Francisco 49ers — Eric Kendricks, LB.

It may be boring and obvious, but the 49ers clearly need to add another inside linebacker this off-season after the unexpected retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland. Kendricks doesn’t offer the same talent level as Willis, but he is talented enough to keep the 49ers’ duo at inside linebacker a major strength if NaVorro Bowman returns to full health.

The 49ers have a number of areas that need to be improved, but inside linebacker appears to be the most glaring of them. Kendricks appears to be comfortably the top option at that spot in this draft.

 

16. Cincinnati Bengals — Cameron Erving, C.
Trade Details: Bengals trade 2015 first and 2015 second to Texans for this pick.

The Texans would have taken either of Peters or Kendricks with this pick, but with both players going off the board it made sense to trade down. From the Bengals’ point of view, they have one major need that they can address early in this draft. That need is at center.

Russell Bodine was very unimpressive as a starter last year, so Erving would immediately start over him and solidify the unit as a whole. This aggressiveness from the Bengals is possible because they were able to bring back Michael Johnson in free agency to address their other most pressing need at defensive end.

 

17. San Diego Chargers — La’el Collins, T/G.

With Phillip Rivers staying in San Diego, the Charger’s primary focus in this draft should be helping him as much as possible. The addition of Orlando Franklin offers the roster some flexibility upfront. Franklin can play guard or tackle, while D.J. Fluker is set to move inside from right tackle to one of the guard spots.

Adding Collins would give the Chargers a third player who could play inside or outside. It would make most sense for Franklin to play left guard, with Fluker at right guard and Collins at right tackle. However, they could adjust the lineups before the season begins to figure out the best combination.

 

18. Kansas City Chiefs — Nelson Agholor, WR.

The Chiefs desperately need to improve their passing game. Although most analysts will tell you they need to improve their receiver position to do that, the reality is that they need to improve the quarterback position much more than they do the receiver spot. Despite that, they really don’t have the options to improve at quarterback in this draft so it’s still best to address the wide receiver spot.

In Nelson Agholor, they have a player who is somewhat similar to Jeremy Maclin in the sense that he can work underneath and intermediate routes with ease while offering creativity as a ball carrier. Agholor may not necessarily be better than Devin Smith or Devante Parker, but he is a better fit than those two in Andy Reid’s offense as it is currently compromised.

 

19. Cleveland Browns — Danny Shelton, NT.

This is a straight forward choice. Shelton may be somewhat of a need pick who isn’t as good as his reputation suggests, but sometimes need picks can be intelligent picks. The Browns need to improve their run defense and a big nose tackle upfront will go a long way to doing that.

 

20. Miami Dolphins — Jake Fisher, G.

Jake Fisher is a tackle. He probably should play tackle in the NFL. He would only fit as a tackle with a lot of teams. However, in the Miami Dolphins’ scheme, Fisher’s skill set should fit to make him a very valuable left guard. His impressive hands and feet will allow him to work well in space as a blindside protector for Tannehill as well as on zone blocking runs.

Fisher would also act as insurance for Branden Albert as he returns from injury.

 

21. Houston Texans — Devante Parker, WR.

The Texans are a bit of a mess of a roster because they still don’t appear to have a quarterback they can count on. Ryan Mallett is their best option who is currently on the roster, so surrounding him with as many weapons as possible makes sense at this point. Parker won’t be under pressure to play immediately though, as Cecil Shorts and Nate Washington were signed as veterans in free agency.

Adding Owamagbe Odignizuwa was very tempting at this point of the draft, but the Texans have invested a lot in their front seven and not enough in their offense as of late.

 

22. Pittsburgh Steelers — Landon Collins, S.

Troy Polamalu has retired. Mike Mitchell was a disastrous free agent addition last year. Shamarko Thomas doesn’t appear to be anything more than a nickel option. Will Allen can’t be relied on to start. The Steelers desperately need a safety as much as they need a cornerback or two…or three.

Collins’ stock has only fallen since the college football season ended and it’s true that he’s not an elite talent, but he does still project to be a very good player in the NFL. This league is desperate for quality safeties and the Steelers are amongst the most needy of teams.

The cornerback talent available in the second round should still be good enough to get a potential starter.

 

23. Detroit Lions — Malcom Brown, DT.

This may seem like too obvious a move for a team that just lost Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh, but Brown is far from a need selection. He has exceptional talent as a potential penetrating defensive tackle with the upside to become a well-rounded overall player. He wouldn’t be forced into the starting lineup with the Lions but could crack it quickly as a rookie.

 

24. Arizona Cardinals — Owamagbe Odignizuwa, DE.

An offensive lineman would be the obvious selection for the Cardinals at this spot, but the quality available has dropped off by this point in the draft. Odignizuwa is an exceptional talent who has medical concerns and isn’t an ideal fit in every defense. Despite those issues, he can still be used in different ways within the Cardinals defense.

Odiginizuwa has very violent and strong hands with enough overall power to line up inside or outside as a pass rusher. He will likely never be able to bend the edge but he shouldn’t need to in order to be an effective player.

 

25. Green Bay Packers — Jalen Collins, CB.
Trade Details: The Packers trade their 2015 first and 2015 third to the Panthers for this pick.

When you have Aaron Rodgers on your roster, there are rarely many holes that you need to fill on the offensive side of the ball. That is even more true when your free agency period is spent retaining key pieces from that offense. The Packers need to address cornerback and inside linebacker in this draft if they are to maximise their potential in 2015.

Trading up at this point appears prudent with a number of viable options available and teams ahead of them with similar needs. Collins is considered to be a raw player, but his physical talent is such that he should be able to feature for the Packers immediately next year without having a negative impact on their play.

Collins would be the third cornerback into the rotation, but not the slot guy. He would allow the Packers to move Casey Hayward inside in nickel sets while he takes the departed Tramon Williams’ spot outside in base.

 

26. Baltimore Ravens — Devin Smith, WR.

The Ravens have a clear blueprint for what to do with Devin Smith. He has a similar skill set to that of Torrey Smith, a player who just left in free agency. While the Ravens will be happy to land him, they’ll need to feature him much more than they did Torrey last season. Devin’s ability to play the ball in the air so well and his sheer speed should help though.

 

27. Dallas Cowboys — P.J. Williams, CB.

Williams was going to fall down this board before his recent charge for DUI was rescinded. Instead, the talented FSU player is going to fit right in with the Cowboys, allowing them to move on from Brandon Carr as a starter outside. Williams offers the Cowboys a different kind of cornerback to Orlando Scandrick, who should continue to start across from Williams.

 

28. New Orleans Saints — Alvin Dupree, OLB.
Trade Details: Saints trade 2015 1st and 2015 3rd to the Broncos for this pick.

Dupree is expected to go in the top 10 of the draft, but that is too much of a reach for me. His tape is very unimpressive, but his workout numbers were insane. The Saints are taking somewhat of a risk by trading up for a player who may not be good in the short-term while they attempt to build for the short-term. However, there aren’t a huge number of edge players with his potential impact available at this stage of the draft.

 

29. Indianapolis Colts — Jordan Phillips, NT.

The lasting images of the Colts’ 2014 season will undoubtedly come from both games against the New England Patriots. They showed next to no resilience against the run in both games as the Patriots simply decided to run right through the middle of their defense. The overall quality of their defensive unit is lacking so the Colts could address it in different ways.

Phillips is comfortably the best available talent at a position of need, so it makes sense that he would come off the board at this point. He has the ability to handle double teams and could still provide some pressure as a pass rusher.

 

30. Carolina Panthers — T.J. Clemmings, T.

The Panthers can pretend that Jonathan Martin, Michael Oher or Nate Chandler can be their long-term option at left tackle, but that seems unlikely. Newton can’t afford to continue to take a beating behind a frail offensive line so they must invest in their future. Clemmings is a great athlete who needs coaching to better use his hands and feet. He may not start immediately, but the Panthers may need him to learn on the job.

 

31. Denver Broncos — D.J. Humphries, T.

When the Broncos decided to bring back Peyton Manning, they must have assured him that they would invest in the offensive line. That didn’t happen during free agency, so now they are seemingly going to be forced to make those moves in the draft. An offensive tackle to replace Chris Clark at right tackle is needed, but so is a left guard to play ahead of Jon Halapio and/or Shelley Smith.

D.J. Humphries has the athleticism to play in Gary Kubiak’s zone heavy running attack while he should be talented enough to immediately be effective as a right tackle for Peyton Manning.

 

32. New England Patriots — Quentin Rollins, CB/S.

Replacing Darrelle Revis in this draft won’t be possible, but adding a viable starter at the cornerback position will be. Rollins is a raw player because he played basketball for four years at Miami(Ohio) before playing one year with the football team. He could be an ideal fit as a strong safety working underneath Devin McCourty if one or two of the other additions the Patriots have made at cornerback work out.

 

33. Tennessee Titans — Michael Bennett, DE.

Having already added Brian Orakpo to the outside linebacker spot in free agency, the Titans need to bring in a defensive end to play inside of him. Bennett is a penetrator with a very impressive burst and quick hands that will cause major problems for the many guards in the NFL who struggle in any kinds of space. He and Jurrell Casey inside would really stress the interior offensive line as they also try to account for the nose tackle.

 

34. Jacksonville Jaguars — Damarious Randall, FS.
Trade Details: Jaguars trade 2015 second and 2015 fifth to Buccaneers for this pick.

The Jaguars missed out on Devin McCourty in free agency this year so they still need a free safety to fill the Earl Thomas role in Gus Bradley’s defense. Randall was inconsistent in college, but he has the range to fill that role. He needs to be a more consistent tackler and make better decisions, but there were enough flashes of his talent to buy into him at this spot in a draft that lacks safety options.

 

35. Oakland Raiders — Breshad Perriman, WR.

Dorial Green-Beckham might be a better receiver option for the Raiders, but Perriman offers huge upside without the character concerns. His hands are a major concern and the main reason that he fell out of the first round.

 

36. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Ereck Flowers, G.

The Buccaneers desperately need better offensive tackles to protect their new franchise quarterback, but the players simply aren’t available. Instead, a player who is talked about as a tackle and someone who did play tackle in college is selected to be the team’s starting right guard. Flowers may not be the best player available at this point, but the Buccaneers can’t afford to neglect an offensive line that is in major need of help.

 

37. New York Jets — Shane Ray, DE.

Ray’s workout numbers and health are probably going to cause him to fall in the draft, but this is about where I would consider him regardless of those things. He is simply too rigid as a pass rusher to go ahead of some of the other players available. Selecting him for the Jets would be selecting him with the idea that Todd Bowles can get the most out of his burst and power.

 

38. Washington — Melvin Gordon, RB.

With the quarterback uncertainty in Washington, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Jay Gruden actually attempts to bring in another big play running back to complement Alfred Morris. I don’t actually rank Gordon as the second best back in this class, but his explosiveness and big play potential in a complementary role makes him a better fit here over Ameer Abdullah or Duke Johnson.

 

39. Chicago Bears — Eddie Goldman, NT.

A one-dimensional player who needs to be more consistent even while doing what he does well, but for the Bears there are very few potential 3-4 nose tackles available for them this year. Goldman should at least allow them to use their other defensive linemen in the ways they are supposed to be used instead of forcing someone into a role they are uncomfortable with.

 

40. New York Giants — Maxx Williams, TE.

The difference between safeties available in the second round of this draft and those available in the third or fourth rounds won’t be massive. Therefore, the Giants still shouldn’t rush to address a major position of need. Instead, they can land the most talented tight end in the draft. With Kevin White already selected, Williams could prove to be one matchup nightmare too many for the defenses tasked with stopping Eli Manning’s offense next year.

 

41. St. Louis Rams — Ty Sambrailo, T.

Although the Rams will presumably do everything they can to re-sign Barksdale, they can’t just presume that they will be able to. Therefore, addressing the offensive line again in the second round shouldn’t be out of the question. Sambrailo is seen as a pass blocker who will limit the running game, but with the Rams’ other options on the offensive line that shouldn’t be a problem.

 

42. New Orleans Saints — Stephone Anthony, LB.
Trade Details: Saints trade 2015 second and 2015 fifth to Falcons for this pick.

Although they acquired Dannell Ellerbe this off-season, the Saints still clearly have a need at inside linebacker. Stephone Anthony appears to be the second best inside linebacker available this year. He offers the intensity and athleticism to consistently make plays and be around the ball, although he needs to develop better discipline and technique to become a high quality starter.

 

43. Cleveland Browns — Clive Walford, TE.

Jordan Cameron’s departure to the Miami Dolphins left a hole in the Browns’ depth chart that can’t solely be filled by Rob Housler. Housler is talented, but he has never strung consistent performances together throughout his career. Walford isn’t too dissimilar as a player because he is an athletic receiving option who can work the middle of the field or threaten the defense deep.

 

44. Atlanta Falcons — Devin Funchess, TE.

Funchess has entered the Jimmy Graham area of ambiguity. He played wide receiver last year at Michigan and most rankings will project him as a wide receiver. He should be used similarly to Jimmy Graham in New Orleans. Graham lines up everywhere and his primary value is his ability to attack the defense deep. Funchess isn’t as overwhelmingly big as Graham, he is more of a fluid athlete, but he has the explosiveness and enough size to work vertically. Kyle Shanahan should be able to get the most out of his skill set in his offense.

 

45. Minnesota Vikings — Trae Waynes, CB.

Waynes is a very flawed cornerback with a lot of physical talent. The Vikings could take him in the first round in real life, but here they get him in the second and hope that Mike Zimmer can develop his technique and consistency. Zimmer’s track record suggests he probably can.

 

46. San Francisco 49ers — Ronald Darby, CB.

Darby doesn’t appear to excel at anything. He is just a well-rounded cornerback who lacks athleticism or size to be a high quality starter in the NFL. The 49ers haven’t typically asked a huge amount of their cornerbacks in recent times so Darby’s skill set should be enough for him to potentially compete as a starter out West.

 

47. Miami Dolphins — Benardick McKinney, SLB.

The Dolphins have revamped their front seven and their defensive line now appears to be one of the best in the NFL, even better than it was last year. They still lack proven talent at the linebacker spots however so competition at those spots is still important to unearth. McKinney could easily be the team’s starting strongside linebacker in Week 1 of the regular season. He may not play every down, but the downs he does play could prove to be very important.

 

48. San Diego Chargers — Ameer Abdullah, RB.

By letting Ryan Mathews leave, the Chargers almost assured that they would select a running back in the draft. Abdullah is the best fit with the Chargers other backs as he could seamlessly fit into a primary ball-carrier role. His explosiveness and versatility will make him a valuable piece of the offense as a whole.

 

49. Kansas City Chiefs — Dorial Green-Beckham, WR.

A second receiver in successive rounds may seem like overkill, but the value here for the Chiefs is too good to pass up on. Green-Beckham has the type of ability when the ball is in the air that he doesn’t require a perfect throw in terms of timing or accuracy. Alex Smith would simply need to be more aggressive letting the ball loose down the field. Green-Beckham’s character concerns obviously make this a risky move, but at this point of the draft it’s worth it.

 

50. Buffalo Bills — A.J. Cann, G.

The Bills would likely run to the podium in this situation. They desperately need guard help and Cann should be capable of starting in Week 1. He should fit well in the power running game that Greg Roman is expected to install in Buffalo.

 

51. Houston Texans — Shaq Thompson, LB.

Thompson is a risk here because he’s not an ideal fit in the defense and his performances in college didn’t match up to the level of talent that he can flash. The Texans’ big bodies upfront should be able to keep blockers off of him on a regular basis, allowing Thompson to use his athleticism in space to break on the football in the passing game.

 

52. Miami Dolphins — Duke Johnson, RB.

Johnson isn’t an ideal complement to Lamar Miller in terms of size, but both players perfectly fit the offense that the Dolphins run. If Jay Ajayi didn’t have medical concerns and very inconsistent vision, he’d probably be the pick at this point. That’s not to say Johnson isn’t very talented, because he will consistently take the yards that are given to him while also offering explosiveness and versatility in space.

 

53. Houston Texans — Mike Davis, RB.

Again, Ajayi could be an option here but his medical concerns and vision are issues. Tevin Coleman could also be a viable option, but the explosiveness and decisiveness of Mike Davis as a one cut runner appears to fit what Houston want to do. He could be an ideal replacement for Arian Foster over the long-term.

 

54. Detroit Lions — Cedric Ogbuehi, T/G.

Ogbuehi’s ACL injury is keeping him this low down the draft. While I’ve never been as high on him as those who saw him as a top 10 prospect at one point, I do think he can be a quality starting tackle in the NFL. The Lions will need to figure out if he or Reiff is better at left tackle or left guard once Ogbuehi is healthy. His rookie season may be a redshirt year though.

 

55. Arizona Cardinals — Jay Ajayi, RB.

Trey Flowers would be great value for the Cardinals at this point of the draft, but so is Ajayi because of who they selected in the first round and the current state of their running back depth chart. Ajayi’s power and size would be a good complement to Andre Ellington as the receiving option.

 

56. Pittsburgh Steelers — Byron Jones, CB.

Jones is a very linear, rigid cornerback with somewhat slow feet. To be successful, he needs to get his hands on the receiver at the line of scrimmage. Jones has a lot of athleticism even if it’s not necessarily the right athleticism for the position. The Steelers’ desperation in the secondary will let them look past his deficiencies. He could eventually be moved to free safety if the team moves on from Mike Mitchell.

 

57. Carolina Panthers — Rashad Greene, WR.

Greene is a really underrated receiver. He’s not exceptionally big or exceptionally fast in a straight line, but he is very quick in and out of his breaks while running precise routes. His ball skills negate much of his size questions as he comfortably adjusts to the football in the air. Greene would be reunited with his former teammate Kelvin Benjamin and he is an ideal complement to the rest of the Panthers’ receiving corps.

 

58. Baltimore Ravens — Tevin Coleman, RB.

Justin Forsett is obviously coming off of a huge year, but it’s unclear if he can continue that success away from Gary Kubiak. Forsett is a decent running back, but not so good that the position can be disregarded. Coleman does everything well…except break tackles. He was apparently playing through injury last year which may have effected how he approached contact. Too often he submitted to contact with no violence in his running style.

 

59. Denver Broncos — Jarvis Harrison, G.

Harrison is great value for the Broncos at this point. He has much more talent than Chris Clark as a left guard and should be a comfortable fit in Gary Kubiak’s offense. While starting two rookies on the offensive line is not ideal with Peyton Manning at quarterback, it’s better than starting inadequate talents.

 

60. Dallas Cowboys — Trey Flowers, DE.

Flowers probably should have gone higher than this, but finding his fit proved to be difficult. With Greg Hardy set to miss a large stretch of the regular season, Flowers would immediately provide value for the Cowboys as a defensive end who should be able to compete with NFL athletes from the beginning of his career.

 

61. Indianapolis Colts — Eric Rowe, FS.

Dwight Lowery’s presence should allow the Colts to be patient with Rowe’s development. He could be a cornerback or safety in the NFL, but his size appears to hinder him in man coverage as a cornerback so his best fit will be as a deep-lying player who can better show off his athleticism.

 

62. Green Bay Packers — Denzel Perryman, ILB.

Perryman has a burst but he’s not a natural coverage linebacker who can quickly change direction with receivers over the middle of the field. He may be limited to a two-down linebacker in the NFL if he can’t develop better awareness and agility in space to play coverage.

 

63. Seattle Seahawks — Hroniss Grasu, C.

The Seahawks obviously need a center, but Grasu is also good value in the Seahawks offensive because of his ability to block on the move. He probably won’t be able to replace Unger immediately, but Unger often hasn’t played to the All-Pro level that his reputation puts him on in recent times.

 

64. New England Patriots — Donovan Smith, G.

Some see Smith as a tackle, but he doesn’t appear to have that level of athleticism to be comfortable in space. If moved inside, his weaknesses could be better masked by how he is used. The Patriots currently have Jordan Devey as their starting left guard, so the position needs to be addressed.

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