2015 NFL Draft Grades: Round 2 and 3 Report Cards

Mike Tanier@@miketanierNFL National Lead WriterMay 1, 2015

2015 NFL Draft Grades: Round 2 and 3 Report Cards

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    Andrew Nelles/Associated Press

    Randy Gregory could be a 12-sack-per-season demon if he gets his act together. He was on the board at the start of the second round of the 2015 NFL draft.

    Tevin Coleman has 1,200-yard potential and can score on any routine handoff. Ameer Abdullah could be the next Brian Westbrook or better. They were on the board at the start of the second round of the NFL draft.

    Landon Collins is an explosive hitter and smart field general at safety. Maxx Williams was the best tight end in the nation last year. Mario Edwards has NFL bloodlines and exceptional versatility. Jaelen Strong would have been a first-round receiver in any draft but the last two. Dorial Green-Beckham has all the talent a young man could possibly squander. All remained on the board after the first round of the 2015 draft.

    Quarterbacks? Yeah, there were quarterbacks, too.

    These are the draft grades for the second and third rounds. The first round was shockingly non-shocking: few trades, no Mariota Madness. With all of the big names on the board, the second and third rounds turned out  to be fascinating in their own right.

NFL Draft Tracker Widget

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    The Bleacher Report draft tracker widget is like having an instantaneously updated news crawl along the bottom of your consciousness. There are other ways to follow the draft, but why bother?

    The rest of this slideshow features analysis, stats, jokes and grades. It will update within minutes after each pick (though things get a little hairy as the night rolls on). Check back often, leave your comments, and get in the conversation!

33. New York Giants: Landon Collins, Safety, Alabama

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Strengths: In-the-box capabilities, instincts, athleticism

    Weaknesses: Deep coverage

    Antrel Rolle, Stevie Brown and Quintin Demps are gone. The Giants' safety depth chart currently consists of Cooper Taylor and Nat Berhe. That’s it—two guys, two positions. That’s not a depth chart; it’s a duet. The way Giants players get injured, they would be down to zero safeties by the seventh minute of minicamp if they didn’t do something. Experience is also an issue. Taylor and Berhe combined for 32 snaps last season, all of them by Berhe.

    Collins is a typical product of Nick Saban’s College of Defensive Knowledge. He can play strong or free safety but will be a natural as an in-the-box strong safety. He is an excellent outside run defender, situational blitzer, underneath coverage defender and misdirection sniffer-outer.

    After a few years under Saban’s wing, when an NFL coordinator asks him to draw up a play, Collins hands back the marker and says, “how about you draw up a play and I will decide if you did it right?” OK, he’s not that good, but Alabama safeties are quick studies, give-or-take Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the season opener last year. (And Clinton-Dix rebounded quickly.)

    Collins has Pro Bowl upside. The Giants have a desperate need. Trading up for a first-round talent at the top of the second round is a prudent move. It’s a solid pick. It’s also probably not the last Giants' pick at safety.

    Grade: A-

34. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Donovan Smith, Tackle, Penn State

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Strengths: Massive size, second-level and pull-trap blocking

    Weaknesses: Quickness, high-end athleticism

    Bucs tackles Demar Dotson and Anthony Collins finished first and tied for sixth in the NFL in penalties last season, respectively; Dotson committed 15, Collins 10. Twelve of the penalties were holds, so that weird problem the Bucs had getting the snap off for much of the season was only a small part of the problem. At least Dotson was effective; Collins allowed a bunch of hits and was released for salary-cap reasons.

    If there’s one line in a tackle’s scouting report that drives me completely cuckoo bananas, it’s the phrase “may have to move to right tackle or guard in the pros.” If some evaluators had their way, there would be six left tackles in the entire NFL. Their prototype is a 6'7", 325-pound man with the athleticism of LeBron James and the intensity of General Patton, plus 47 ¼-inch arms.

    Many college left tackles are going to be NFL left tackles who are not asked to pass protect on an island while the quarterback takes seven-step drops 54 times per game. They will fall short of Walter Jones, just as most starting running backs will fall short of Walter Payton, but they will do many things to help their teams win.

    That said, Donovan Smith may have to play right tackle or guard in the pros. He’s huge, strong and active and crafty when blocking for a screen or getting out to the second level. But he is heavy footed, and speedy pass-rushers can knife past him.

    Maybe Dotson will move to the left side for Smith. At any rate, the Bucs should commit fewer penalties, and they will have fewer questions about who replaces Jameis Winston.

    Grade: B

35. Oakland Raiders: Mario Edwards Jr., Defensive End, Florida State

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    STEVEN CANNON/Associated Press

    Because most “edge-rushers” (defensive end-outside linebacker tweeners, hybrids, "Leos," whatever) are just variations on a theme, we will use the all-new Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic to tell you everything you need to know about the top sack specialists in this year’s draft. SackSEER is a Football Outsiders metric designed to determine a prospect’s short-term pass-rush potential based on workout results and college statistics.

    The Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic report for: Mario Edwards

    Athleticism: Freakish, Super-freakish or Face-meltingly Ultra-freakish? Super-freakish. Edwards is a 280-pounder with the movement skills of a 240-pounder.

    Big Enough to Play “Traditional” Defensive End? Oh yeah.

    Does More Than Run Around the Left Tackle? Edwards is more likely to line up inside and put a quick move on a guard than try to run around the tackle.

    Thinks “Coverage” Has Something to Do with His Cell Phone Plan? Edwards is a power player. He won’t be in coverage often.

    Intensity Level? Hot and cold.

    How Many Sacks does SackSEER See? SackSEER didn’t see Edwards because he is more of an old-fashioned defensive end than an “edge-rusher.”

    Goofus, Gallant, Galette or Gholston? A potential Galette. Edwards is not really an edge-rusher. He’s a guy you slide around the formation on passing downs, then line up at defensive end (or give a break to) on rushing downs. It’s all about the scheme for Edwards, who will be just another guy if he slams into the left tackle 60 times per game.

    The Raiders had the worst pass rush in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders. The Bengals generated more sacks (and the Falcons tied the Raiders), but accounting for opponents and situations, the Raiders should have recorded more than 22 sacks.

    Justin Tuck and Khalil Mack were not the problem; they combined for 27 quarterback knockdowns, with Mack disrupting many plays and Tuck making sure everyone in the huddle knew what the heck was going on. Everybody else was the problem on a talent-destitute defense.

    Look for Jack Del Rio to slide Edwards around creatively and for the Raiders to notch more than 22 sacks in 2015.

    Grade: B+

36. Jacksonville Jaguars: T.J. Yeldon, Running Back, Alabama

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Strengths: Size, quickness, cutback ability, receiving chops

    Weaknesses: Upright runner, Alabama Running Back Syndrome

    The 2011 Jaguars were terrible in a bumbling, irrelevant way. That was the final season of Jack Del Rio, when the team suddenly dumped David Garrard before the season opener but still had a few players you could recognize as starters on a once-good team. They were the Jaguars of “no one goes to Jaguars games” lore.

    The 2012 Jaguars were terrible in a sad, infuriating way. That was the season Gene Smith went bonkers and started drafting punters and overpaying Cowboys backups like they were Michael Irvin clones. That was the point when Maurice Jones-Drew started aging fast, it became clear Blaine Gabbert wasn’t going to happen and you realized that it was getting difficult to name three or four players on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The 2013 Jaguars were terrible in a hilarious way. Dave Caldwell took over for Harris and blasted the roster with a fire extinguisher while the team lost by scores like 28-2 and 37-3.

    The 2014 Jaguars were terrible in a unique, fascinating and mysterious way. Caldwell had cleaned up the biggest messes. Owner Shahid Khan turned the stadium into a showplace and restored the franchise’s dignity. The roster was full of great college players who showed promise. Gus Bradley had the buy-in of a defense that looked decent on paper.

    And yet, 34-17, 41-10 and 44-17 losses to start the season. Late in the season, however, there were signs of actual optimism, and the offseason has been lively so far.

    Dante Fowler gives the team one new blue chip. Julius Thomas is another. Blake Bortles could be a third, and there are budding playmakers all over the offense. Sen’Derrick Marks has developed into a good defensive tackle; players rarely develop at all in Jacksonville. Is this it? Is the corner being turned?

    If so, this isn't the pick that turns it.

    Mark Ingram begat Trent Richardson, who begat Eddie Lacy, who begat Yeldon, who began begetting Derrick Henry last season. Only Lacy has become a star (though Ingram has bloomed late), and while Yeldon looked like he might be the best of the bunch, Henry usurped much of his role awfully quickly.

    Yeldon is more of a slashing/receiving committee back than his Tide forebears. Even if he follows in the footsteps of Richardson and Ingram, taking a long time to adjust to rushing lines narrower than Alabama boulevards, he can still use his hands and slashing ability to be productive. As a fourth-round pick, he may have been an exceptional value.

    As a second-round pick for a team with many needs in a draft bubbling with running backs, however, Yeldon is a reach.

    Grade: D

37. New York Jets: Devin Smith, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    Strengths: Speed, big-play capability, special teams value/blocking

    Weaknesses: Route running, body-catcher

    Smith is an excellent lost-in-the-shuffle prospect at wide receiver. He lacks the size of the Kevin White-level prospects, was a designated deep threat who didn’t produce gaudy catch totals and has a common, easy-to-forget name (as opposed to Nelson Agholor).

    I have seen knocks on his toughness and ability to work the middle, but Smith throws his body around as a blocker and covered kicks on special teams, so that may be a molehill. Smith has DeSean Jackson traits, right down to his temperament, so some old-school scouts might get mad about the fact that he doesn’t spit nails and overlook the 28.2 yards per catch.

    Pencil Smith in as the deep threat, with Brandon Marshall handing possession duties, Eric Decker on the boundary and Jeremy Kerley still around to do slot stuff. That's an unrecognizably good receiving corps when compared to what the Jets had two seasons ago.

    Who is going to throw them the football?

    Don't spoil the moment. But the Jets do get docked a half-grade because Jaelen Strong is still on the board, and he is a better all-around prospect.

    Grade: B

38. Washington Redskins: Preston Smith, Linebacker, Mississippi State

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    Strengths: Strength, versatility, athleticism

    Weaknesses: Pass-rushing moves

    Smith is more of a power pass-rusher than the traditional edge player. He is the likely replacement for Brian Orakpo, but he is similar to Trent Murphy, his likely competitor for playing time. Both players can stop the run effectively, but neither is a natural pass-rusher who does all the flashy stuff.

    The Redskins are clearly looking for a type of defender at this position. There are better pure athletes on the board (Randy Gregory, for example), but Smith’s ability to move around the formation and set the edge makes him valuable.

    Grade: B

39. Chicago Bears: Eddie Goldman, Defensive Tackle, Florida State

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, quickness, hands and moves

    Weaknesses: No one elite characteristic

    Goldman would have been the top defensive tackle on many draft boards, but this is a deep class. He’s huge, he has quick feet and he can use hand-fighting and leverage techniques to shed blocks or steer blockers.

    He played end for the Seminoles in 2013 and is pretty bright about sniffing out screens or misdirection. Some critics say he takes downs off, but some critics say “he takes downs off” about every defender more than 300 pounds.

    I could quote some fancy stats to illustrate how bad the Bears defense was last year, but it is probably not necessary if you even watched 15 minutes of Chicago football.

    The Bears drafted a pair of tackles I really liked last season in Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton, but neither delivered as a rookie, in part because the Bears were taking turns quitting on each other. Ferguson, Sutton and Goldman could be a fine tackle rotation in years to come if the sophomores develop and everyone works hard to get their dignity and self-esteem back.

    Grade: A

40. Tennessee Titans: Dorial Green-Beckham, Wide Receiver, Missouri

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    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Tools, tools, tools

    Weaknesses: Character, character, character

    Let’s talk Freakonomics for a moment.

    Imagine an X-Y plane like the one you used all the time in high school math. The a-axis is athletic talent; a fat slob like me is at minus-100, someone just good enough to compete at the FBS level in football is zero and Jim Brown at age 25 was 100. The Y-plane is character. Charles Manson was minus-100, your basic citizen who gets some speeding tickets and wrote a barbecue grill off his taxes is a zero and St. Francis of Assisi was 100.

    If you plotted every NFL prospect ever on this graph, you would probably discover a trend line (or trend curve) that represents the talent-character continuum. At the top left would be all the try-hard guys who willed their way into the NFL despite athletic limitations. At the bottom right, but still above the curve, are the scoundrels whose pure skills kept them on the field. Everyone above the line made it as an NFL player; everyone below washed out.

    It wouldn’t be a perfect line, but it would almost certainly be mathematically relevant.

    For fun, you can stack players of the past and future onto the graph on your own. Warrick Dunn and Steve Young are in the top right corner. The people in the bottom left flushed out of football long before you ever heard of them. Most prospects in a typical draft class hang somewhere not far above that (0,0) origin point in what your teacher called Quadrant I: pretty talented athletes, decent humans.

    And then you get someone like DGB. His talent pushes him far to the right on our graph: He’s a size-speed marvel, even by the standards of today’s awesome receiver prospects. But is his character at or below the y-axis? If below, how far below? These are not answerable questions.

    The character threshold has changed in the last 20 years, and it has probably also changed substantially in the last 15 months. DGB would have easily landed well above our Talent-Character curve years ago, when men like Lawrence Phillips entered the NFL amid only middling controversy.

    That said, the curve is still a curve, and extraordinary talent will lead to extraordinary accommodations, in football and every other human endeavor.

    The Titans are counting on a mature, well-behaved DGB. Let's face it: They are short on impact players, so they need to take more risks on the y-axis to get what they need on the x-axis. Unless he has lived in a cave for over a year, DGB himself knows what will and won’t be tolerated by the NFL. That Talent-Character curve won’t let you slide to an easy rest anymore if you make the wrong kind of mistake.

    Grade: A, with the potential to be a D. Give the Titans credit. All of a sudden, we are all curious to see them take the field.

41. Carolina Panthers: Devin Funchess, Wide Receiver, Michigan

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size-speed package as a receiver, athleticism and pass catching as a tight end

    Weaknesses: Speed as a receiver, physicality as a tight end, intensity anywhere

    Panthers quarterbacks threw 148 passes to Kelvin Benjamin last season, 123 to tight end Greg Olsen and 78 to Jerricho Cotchery. No one else was targeted more than 40 times.

    Now, Benjamin is a fine prospect, Olsen is a great multipurpose target, and Cotchery has more lives than the kid who uses cheat codes. But c’mon: Those numbers should have been about 110, 100 and maybe 50. Benjamin dropped 11 passes and mis-ran at least as many routes, and Cotchery stopped trying to go more than 10 yards downfield by late November. The Panthers had an expansion-team receiving corps.

    Funchess fills a need, but is he the best pick at this position, especially after the Panthers traded up?

    Every once in a while, a major college program craters, taking the potential of many of its top stars with it. Arkansas in 2012-13 was a good example; in a parallel universe, Bobby Petrino isn’t merely into coaching for the babes and bikes, and Tyler Wilson, Cobi Hamilton and Knile Davis are all NFL starters.

    Michigan in 2014 is another example. In some other reality, Brady Hoke didn’t stumble around like a drunk in the woods for several years, 2014 wasn’t just a Jim Harbaugh vigil and Funchess developed into Braylon Edwards.

    Funchess is not Edwards, and it is not clear what he is after last season. The Panthers appear to see him as a wide receiver, not a tight end, and they appear to like their receivers big, toolsy and raw.

    Funchess is a reach, and he's a risk. But there is also a chance Funchess has potential that was left in the locker room last year and that Newton, Benjamin and Funchess combine for 25 passing touchdowns in two years, so it is hard to totally slag this selection.

    Grade: C+

42. Atlanta Falcons: Jalen Collins, Cornerback, LSU

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, speed, leaping ability

    Weaknesses: Experience, strength, only became a starter in his last season

    Collins belongs in the same general bin as Marcus Peters and P.J. Williams: cornerbacks with size, speed and toughness but lots of off-the-field clutter, if not baggage.

    Collins reportedly flunked a few drug tests at LSU, according to ESPN.com, and he was only a starter for half of a season. On my board, that put Collins behind Peters, who was just an ornery cuss with lots of experience, and Williams, who appears to be the only Florida State player who doesn’t get extra breaks from the local police but was considered an on-field leader.

    But when you are 6'1", have sub-4.5 speed, can flip your hips with a snap and know how to tackle, teams are going to overlook both flaws and past transgressions.

    The Falcons secondary last season consisted of Desmond Trufant and a bunch of guys running into each other and missing tackles. Williams would have been the ready-to-play pick, but Collins has more upside, and of course he is tall and therefore must be compared to Richard Sherman because the Falcons are now baby Seahawks.

    Stretched comparisons aside, Collins is a good fit for a defense in rebuilding mode. This pick also has Scott Pioli/Thomas Dimitroff's fingerprints on it: Both execs learned to cherry-pick players who slid down the board during their Patriots days.

    Grade: B+

43. Houston Texans: Benardrick McKinney, Linebacker, Mississippi State

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, between-the-tackles capability, intelligence and instincts

    Weaknesses: Range, coverage ability

    McKinney is what we used to call a two-down linebacker back when 94 percent of defenses were 4-3 schemes and everyone acted surprised when offenses didn’t hand off on every first and second down. The two-down linebacker worked between the tackles, shooting gaps and stacking against blockers. He left the field when a pass was likely. Then, by about 2000, passes became likely on every snap, and two-down linebackers almost became extinct.

    Thanks to the 3-4 revival and the proliferation of 2-3-6 packages, players like McKinney are useful again. He can be a gap shooter on early downs, then serve as a situational pass-rusher on later downs. Some experts question his instincts, but McKinney always looks like he knows what he is doing when I watch him. Sometimes, his lateral quickness isn’t good enough for him to make the plays he needs to make in space.

    I have seen Aaron Curry comparisons, but I don’t believe them. I see Scott Fujitaa defender who needs the right scheme but can be an NFL regular for a decade.

    I love this pick for the Texans, who know how to put inside linebackers in good positions. McKinney is going to stuff the run, and don't be surprised if he records a half-dozen clean-up sacks.

    Grade: A

44. New Orleans Saints: Hau’oli Kikaha, Edge-Rusher, Washington

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    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    Because most “edge-rushers” (defensive end-outside linebacker tweeners, hybrids, "Leos," whatever) are just variations on a theme, we will use the all-new Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic to tell you everything you need to know about the top sack specialists in this year’s draft. SackSEER is a Football Outsiders metric designed to determine a prospect’s short-term pass-rush potential based on workout results and college statistics.

    The Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic report for: Hau’oli Kikaha

    Athleticism: Freakish, Super-freakish or Face-meltingly Ultra-Freakish? Not very freakish. The workout numbers were meh.

    Big Enough to Play “Traditional” Defensive End? He could probably do it. But Kikaha is a true stand-up 3-4 outside linebacker.

    Does More Than Run Around the Left Tackle? You don’t record 19 sacks just by running the overpass loop to the quarterback. Kikaha works back inside very well, can dip under his blocker and knows what he is doing against the run.

    Thinks “Coverage” Has Something to Do with His Cell Phone Plan? Kikaha will be better in coverage than most of this year’s edge-rushers.

    Intensity Level? High.

    How Many Sacks Does SackSEER See? Not many. Any metric that factors workout numbers into the equation will not be very impressed with Kikaha. Also, SackSEER is all about sacks, not being a multifaceted outside linebacker.

    Goofus, Gallant, Galette or Gholston? Gallant. Kikaha will be quick, intense and useful, even if he doesn’t match his collegiate sack production.

    Two conflicting numbers define Kikaha: 19 sacks in 2014 and a 4.9-second 40-yard dash at the University of Washington pro day, per NFL.com. Both numbers are misleading. Kikaha is a true 3-4 outside linebacker who will be a solid complementary pass-rusher.

    Kikaha and Stephone Anthony upgrade and change the tone of the Saints linebacker corps. I like the picks in tandem. They make the Saints defense younger, more aggressive and (as soon as the rookie lumps fade) less mistake-prone.

    Grade: B+

45. Minnesota Vikings: Eric Kendricks, Linebacker, UCLA

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Strengths: Instincts, ball location, experience

    Weaknesses: Size, high-end athleticism

    Kendricks’ brother, Mychal, currently holds the most secure position that exists on the Eagles roster (trade bait). His father, Melvin, was a UCLA running back who played one year for the Toronto Argonauts and another for the Portland Storm, which I think was an Ultimate Frisbee team. (No, no, the Storm were in the amazingly insolvent World Football League of the early 1970s.)

    Kendricks is a lot like his brother: a high-effort, scheme dependent inside linebacker who will hustle around and handle his assignments without making headlines.

    The Vikings need a replacement for Jasper Brinkley in the middle and an eventual (not-too-eventual) replacement for Chad Greenway. Kendricks could wind up in some combination of those roles. Another safe, sound pick for a team that keeps adding rock-solid building blocks.

    Grade: B+

46. San Francisco 49ers: Jaquiski Tartt, Safety, Samford

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, range, tackling and run support

    Weaknesses: Level of competition, man coverage, technique

    Tartt impressed at the Senior Bowl. He hits hard, sheds blocks and flies around in zone coverage.

    Tartt majored in geography at Samford. Now I can hear you snickering. Geography major? Is that where they give the football players a map and tell them to find their way back to the athletic dorms? But geography is a big deal at Samford, where they have a popular geographic information sciences program. Did you think the GPS in your minivan programmed itself? Nope. It was programmed by individuals like Tartt.

    Samford geography also has an active Facebook page and Twitter feed where you can learn about websites like Geoawesomeness.com, a blog that tells you how to find the Loch Ness Monster on Google street view, and other things I could not possibly make up.

    Geeky, you say? We’re reading about second-round NFL draft picks, here. I don’t think we have room to talk.

    There is no sense in harping on the 49ers' needs. The 49ers have oodles of needs, so getting a safety with upside makes as much sense as getting anything else. Also: I love the new black uniforms. The fact that they completely mismatch the helmets and make players look like floating heads when the lights are dim makes me love them even more.

    Grade: B

47. Philadelphia Eagles: Eric Rowe, Cornerback/Safety, Utah

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size and height, tackling

    Weaknesses: Safety-cornerback tweener, bad hands

    The Eagles allowed 72 passing plays of 20 or more yards last year and 18 pass plays of 40 or more yards, both the highest totals in the NFL. Or as DeSean Jackson would say, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah. You can’t catch me.” (Secret gang code? Better investigate.)

    Rowe started at safety until his senior season, where he moved to cornerback. Often, these 6'1", 205-pound tweeners either become soft free safeties or lanky cornerbacks who get assigned to cover Brandon Marshall and end up in the bottom left corner of his highlight montage.

    Rowe should be better. He plays cornerback with a safety’s physicality, excelling as the force defender on running plays or when corner-blitzing. He will drop some interceptions, and he will need deep support against faster receivers (he timed at 4.45 in the combine 40 but does not look that fast on film), but he does enough things well to make him a useful matchup defender.

    The Eagles almost certainly see Rowe as a safety. They prefer safeties with cornerback skill sets. There may be an adjustment, but Rowe will be able to eliminate some mismatches and take away some opponents' big plays.

    Grade: B

48. San Diego Chargers: Denzel Perryman, Linebacker, Miami

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Strengths: Tough, smart, productive, reasonably quick sonofa…

    Weaknesses: Short, step slow in coverage.

    Perryman is (trumpet fanfare please) A FOOTBALL PLAYER. He had back-to-back 100-plus tackle seasons in the ACC, made lots of plays in the backfield and has a reputation as an ornery, dedicated cuss who could restore Mike Ditka’s faith in America. Unfortunately, he’s short, with so-so lateral quickness or turn-and-run capability.

    The Chargers need an upgrade over Donald Butler next to Manti Te'o. Perryman will give them a matching pair of old-school thumpers in the middle. After allowing 4.5 yards per rush last season, the run defense needs a boost. But so does a pass rush that had 26 sacks. The Chargers need playmakers as much as they need "football players." Maybe more.

    Grade: C

49. Kansas City Chiefs: Mitch Morse, Center-Guard, Missouri

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    David Richard/Associated Press

    Strengths: Toughness, intelligence, versatility

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, upside

    I have been following Andy Reid's roster management tendencies for years. Reid loves smart, un-athletic centers. An Andy Reid center is a heady quasi-quarterback who gets the protection scheme just right and then waddles out to help with a double-team. Hank Fraley was the ultimate Andy Reid center. He looked like the guy on the slow-pitch softball team who got winded rounding first, but he could play.

    Reid usually finds these guys in the sixth or seventh round.

    Morse can play all over the interior line. He gets high marks for toughness. And yeah, he has more athleticism than the guy who drives the butter truck. But right now, there are tons of better interior linemen on the board, including lots of smart, tough-guy centers.

    Morse will probably compete with Eric Kush for Rodney Hudson's old job at center. Kush was a smart, athletically limited sixth-round pick in 2013. If the Chiefs wanted to challenge him, they should have selected a different type of player, not the same type of player at a higher pay scale.

    Grade: C-

50. Buffalo Bills: Ronald Darby, Cornerback, Florida State

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    Doug Benc/Associated Press

    Strengths: Pure speed and athleticism, potential

    Weaknesses: Technique, run support

    P.J. Williams was the technician of the Florida State cornerbacks; Darby was the burner who could use his speed to compensate for mistakes. Williams handled the trickier assignments; Darby worked the “field” side of the formation and kept the lid on the deep passes. Darby improved as an all-around defender in 2014 and ran circles around everyone at the combine; Williams ran a slower 40 at the combine and played through injuries in 2014.

    Both have some hard-to-quantify character concerns, because Florida State. Neither had the kind of character concerns that would scare away Rex Ryan.

    Darby is off the board and Williams isn't. It's a sign of just how important tools are at cornerback. The Bills are clearly focused on getting faster on both sides of the ball, and Ryan is not about to let himself get thin at cornerback after the injury plague that overcame the Jets secondary last year.

    Darby will start as a matchup guy and nickel corner. For a team trying to beat the Patriots, Dolphins and Jets teams with radically rebuilt receiving corps, matchups and nickel defense will be critical.

    Grade: B

51. Cleveland Browns: Nate Orchard, Outside Linebacker, Utah

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Strengths: Production, experience, pass-rush chops.

    Weaknesses: Run support, pass coverage

    Orchard recorded 18.5 sacks last season, which is awesome. The Browns selected a one-dimensional pass-rusher in the first round in 2013 named Barkevious Mingo, and Mingo has been slow to develop, so perhaps selecting another one-dimensional pass-rusher to push him and replace Jabaal Sheard will move things along a bit.







    That...that just had to come out.

    Grade: D

52. Miami Dolphins: Jordan Phillips, Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma

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    Brett Deering/Getty Images

    Strengths: Size, power, initial quickness, lateral quickness.

    Weaknesses: Injury history, motor.

    Phillips missed most of 2013 with a back injury; you have to worry about recurring back injuries when scouting 330-pounders. He also has a “downs off” reputation, though, that can often be an Old Scout’s Tale. (Man, he was going through the motions in the fourth quarter on that 93 degree afternoon when he played 80 snaps.)

    Phillips is another athletic 300-plus pounder with great quickness and a good understanding of what he is doing in a draft full of them. He knows how to shed blocks, where to go when the offense sets up a screen and so on. Danny Shelton has a better on-field motor, and Eddie Goldman is more consistent, but Phillips has tools that match or equal either of them.

    Think of him as Ndamukong Suh's next Nick Fairley. And give the Dolphins credit for remembering that those 300-pounders will have to rotate in Miami.

    Grade: B+

53. Cincinnati Bengals: Jake Fisher, Tackle, Oregon

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    Strengths: Athleticism, technique, effort

    Weaknesses: Bulk strength, consistency, penalties

    Fisher is a converted high school tight end, and he has both a tight end’s feet (great!) and a tight end’s frame (uh oh). Fisher is a lean 300-pounder who could use about 15 pounds of muscle. He also needs to cut down on his holding penalties. Fisher has active hands, which is a great thing when fending off pass-rushers but becomes a problem when he’s caught actively clutching.

    Fisher is a good technician for a college tackle, though. He mirrors his defender’s moves, uses quick footwork to position himself as a run-blocker and takes true steps and attacks the proper shoulder when moving laterally on zone-stretch plays.

    Take away the penalties and add a bit of power, and Fisher might be as good a prospect as Jake Matthews, the Falcons’ sixth overall pick last year. Matthews had a rough rookie year, and the same may be in store for Fisher. He could lead the league in penalties if forced into the lineup too soon. That won't happen with the Bengals, who are out to draft every tackle in the draft. Fisher's upside potential is very high.

    The Bengals now have plenty of depth at tackle. They may only allow 15 sacks this season. They also may only record 15 sacks. Bengals football is turning into big-play entropy.

    Grade: C

54. Detroit Lions: Ameer Abdullah, Running Back, Nebraska

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Strengths: Quickness, versatility, character

    Weaknesses: Pass protection

    I was skeptical about the Lions' ability to maintain their 2014 success in the wake of Ndamukong Suh's departure. I am less skeptical now. The Lions made their interior line over Thursday by adding Manny Ramirez and Laken Tomlinson in one trade-down selection. Abdullah now gives them a vital role player at running back. All three newcomers (well, Ramirez is returning) are smart, high-character guys, which is a plus.

    Anyway, Abdullah is the Reverse Reggie Bush: He does everything Bush did, only correctly. His game only has one flaw. It’s hard to understate just how bad Abdullah looked during pass-blocking drills during Senior Bowl week. You would have thought someone strapped skates to him and suddenly told him to goaltend. A middle schooler trying to get Blake Sims’ autograph put a swim move on him. It was ugly.

    Abdullah’s lack of pass-protection experience would be a problem if he were not one of the brightest, most dedicated players in this year’s draft at any position. It’s not like he doesn’t know what to work on or what it takes to improve. Abdullah is also a two-time Nebraska weightlifting champion, so it’s not a matter of strength. Abdullah just didn’t block that much for the Cornhuskers, because it is hard to block when you always have the ball.

    I spoke to Abdullah in mid-April, and while he said that he is honored by Warrick Dunn comparisons (on and off the field), he thinks that being compared to a player like Dunn sets up an unreal expectation for a rookie just entering the NFL. Fair enough, Ameer. You are not Dunn or Reverse Reggie. You are Brian Westbrook.

    Grade: A

55. Baltimore Ravens: Maxx Williams, Tight End, Minnesota

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Strengths: Pass catching, open-field quickness, versatility

    Weaknesses: Blocking, top-end athleticism

    Williams is the most field-ready tight end in this draft class, but he is basically just weak-tea Greg Olsen. He lined up all over the formation for Minnesota and caught 13 touchdown passes in two seasons, some of them after nifty double-moves in the seam or tiptoe leaps in the back of the end zone. Squint, and you can imagine a “move” tight end with big-play capability.

    Then you notice how he bends at the neck and shoulders whenever he blocks at the line of scrimmage, whiffs when he tries to block in the open field and does little to help his quarterback when working underneath. Williams is a half-step too slow to be a burner up the seam and not rugged or technical enough as a blocker for the crafty H-back role.

    None of this means Williams cannot play a role in the NFL, mind you; he just fits a lot better as a multipurpose second tight end than as a Julius Thomas-Jimmy Graham-Jermichael Finley surrogate. New offensive coordinator Marc Trestman prefers a middle-of-the-field gobbler to a seam stretcher (think Martellus Bennett), so Williams is a snug fit and a decent value in the middle of Round 2.

    But Williams does have something special going for him: those two X’s in his name. Change his last name to Powerz, and he could be his own Arena Football franchise.

    Grade: B. The Ravens are doing a fine job treading water at the skill positions. I am not certain they are upgrading.

56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Senquez Golson, Cornerback, Ole Miss

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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Athleticism, ball skills, off- and zone-coverage skills

    Weaknesses: President of the Itty Bitty Gritty Committee

    The Steelers have not selected a defensive back in the first round since they took Troy Polamalu in 2003. They have not selected a defensive back in the first two rounds since 2005. Now, they have finally admitted they needed an upgrade in the secondary and decided to take the smallest defender (5'9") they could possibly find without combing the local Pop Warner fields.

    All scouting reports about 176-pound cornerbacks must start by mentioning how tough they are. Golson is indeed tough. He played in the SEC at 176 pounds; if he wasn’t tough, they would have scraped him off the grass two years ago.

    But Golson is really tiny. When he corner blitzes, it looks like a mosquito is chasing the quarterback. Receivers can get open using citronella candles. But seriously, folks, Golson is at or below the bare minimum height and weight for most NFL teams to select him. The Steelers are either among the exceptions or made an exception.

    Golson is great in off coverage: He diagnoses the pass patterns, tracks the ball well and can vacuum up errant passes or squirt past the receiver to break up a play. The Steelers run a lot of Cover 3, so he fits. On the line or in run support, he’s a liability, despite his tenacity.

    There are better, safer and more versatile cornerbacks on the board. But I am so excited the Steelers did not just draft another edge-rusher that I don't want to be too hard on them. And yes, Golson can play.

    Grade: C+

57. St. Louis Rams: Rob Havenstein, Tackle, Wisconsin

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    Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Size, run blocking

    Weaknesses: Pass protection, high-end athleticism

    The Rams offensive line currently consists of Greg Robinson, Rodger Saffold and three guys named Brandon Washington. I don't know much about the players listed as the Rams' starting center, right guard and right tackle except that they cannot be much worse than the guys who played those positions last year.

    Someone needs to block for Todd Gurley, and Havenstein is your basic Wisconsin road grader. He's 6'7", he's tough and he will get movement in the run game or seal off the edge. Havenstein gets high when blocking sometimes and will let pass-rushers get under or around him. But the Rams did not draft Gurley so they would worry about pass protection. The Rams are all about power football, and Havenstein and Robinson are a pair of power tackles.

    Now to find a guard and a center.

    Grade: B-

58. Arizona Cardinals: Markus Golden, Edge-Rusher, Missouri

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    David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Speed, motor, production

    Weaknesses: Fluidity, size

    The Cardinals are short on pass-rush talent. Alex Okafor recorded eight sacks last year, but most of the rest of the Cardinals' sack production came from Calais Campbell and other linemen or interior players. Golden is the kind of player the Cardinals clearly like: fast and relentless, even if his game lacks a lot of subtlety.

    The fact that Golden left the board before Randy Gregory shows just how much teams value motor over measurables when it comes to the edge rush. That said, Golden is straight-linish and one-dimensional. I think he was over-drafted.

    Grade: C

59. Denver Broncos: Ty Sambrailo, Tackle, Colorado State

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Strengths: Intensity/physicality, quickness, blocking on the move

    Weaknesses: Consistency, power, technique

    Sambrailo is a hustling, nasty, fairly athletic lineman who is hard to draw a bead on. Sometimes, his motions are fluid and quick. Other times, like when backpedalling for a deep drop by Garrett Grayson, he looks like the guy who has to walk backward carrying a couch down a flight of stairs. He can get downfield on a screen or misdirection play and clobber linebackers, or he can race out to the second level, run past a defender instead of getting into blocking position and arrive just in time to watch the ball-carrier get tackled.

    Give an offensive line coach an intense, hard-working 300-pounder who can move, and he’ll be happy. Gary Kubiak will love Sambrailo's ability to block laterally and in space, but he has a lot of refining to do before Sambrailo becomes anything more more than a swing tackle.

    Grade: B

60. Dallas Cowboys: Randy Gregory, Edge-Rusher, Nebraska

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    Nati Harnik/Associated Press

    Because most “edge-rushers” (defensive end-outside linebacker tweeners, hybrids, "Leos," whatever) are just variations on a theme, we will use the all-new Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic to tell you everything you need to know about the top sack specialists in this year’s draft. SackSEER is a Football Outsiders metric designed to determine a prospect’s short-term pass-rush potential based on workout results and college statistics.

    The Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic report for: Randy Gregory

    Athleticism: Freakish, Super-freakish, or Face-meltingly Ultra-freakish? Super-freakish. If you judge edge-rushers by initial burst, turning torque and arm length (the Holy Trinity of edge-rushing raw tools), Gregory is the best in this draft.

    Big Enough to Play “Traditional” Defensive End? No. Gregory has struggled to stay around 230 pounds at private workouts.

    Does More Than Run Around the Left Tackle? Not much. But man, can he run around left tackle.

    Thinks “Coverage” Has Something to Do with His Cell Phone Plan? Gregory doesn’t cover tight ends down the seam much, but he bats down a lot of passes and can disrupt screens.

    Intensity Level? Duuuuuuuuude.

    How Many Sacks does SackSEER See? Quite a few.

    Goofus, Gallant, Galette or Gholston? Goofus. Gregory has Robert Mathis measurables, but his work habits were questioned long before the public knew about his failed marijuana test.

    I know I am supposed to make some joke about the Cowboys grabbing problem children or how Gregory is not really cut out for their flavor of 4-3 defense. But it is the end of the second round, and this is a guy with 12-sack upside. The risk is not all that great, and the rewards are not all that remote.

    The Cowboys need to gamble a little bit to get over the top before Tony Romo retires and/or their salary cap collapses the global economy.

    Grade: B+

61. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ali Marpet, Center, Hobart

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Strengths: Strength, toughness, athleticism

    Weaknesses: D-III guy, needs polish.

    You probably have never heard of Ali Marpet, the mystery man who starred for the Statesmen at tiny Hobart College in New York…

    Wait, you have totally heard of Marpet, the Official Small School Wonder of the 2015 draft. He’s been on NFL Network about as often as Rich Eisen for the last month.

    He’s like the one indie band you keep up with so you can name-drop them when talking to a pretty girl with a tongue ring. “I’m not just a 44-year old fat guy whose last album purchase was A Decade of Steely Dan on iTunes. I’m totally into Neutral Milk Hotel. I saw them at the Hobart College Spring Fling!”

    The trick is to show up at the Senior Bowl with a helmet that has a picture of a bunny, unicorn, Henry Clay or some other weird thing that looks nothing like a Seminole arrow (a big, derpy looking H will do in a pinch).

    That gets the attention of the draft media.

    Then, beat some SEC defender in one-on-one drills. Whammo! One minute, you are playing interior line in front of 300 parents, professors and girlfriends against Rennselear. The next minute, you are trending on Twitter.

    And then if you kick butt at the combine, fuggetaboutit, you’re Coldplay.

    Marpet earned the accolades—he’ll be a heck of a pro—but there are other small-school wonders and guards in this year’s draft class. Buccaneers fans, get ready for a solid player, and brace for the arrival of the world’s least likely rock star.

    Marpet will either compete with Evan Dietrich-Smith, replace Patrick Omameh or be groomed to replace Logan Mankins. Or maybe all three: There is nothing this kid can't do!

    Grade: B+

62. Green Bay Packers: Quinten Rollins, Cornerback, Miami (Ohio)

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    John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Athleticism, tackling.

    Weaknesses: Experience, technique.

    This draft class is full of inexperienced cornerbacks with intriguing upside.

    Jalen Collins was only a one-year starter at LSU. Charles Gaines moved over from wide receiver to cornerback for Louisville as a junior. Nick Marshall decided he didn’t want to be associated with this year’s quarterback class, ripped off his bright yellow no-hit jersey at the Senior Bowl and became an instant cornerback prospect.


    Rollins was a physical shooting guard with limited range for four years at Miami of Ohio before realizing that NBA shooting guards are expected to shoot accurately. He switched to football and demonstrated immediate quickness, instincts and the tackling technique of someone who has been doing it for years.

    He also has the competitiveness of a four-year starter at another sport and the ability to bounce back from mistakes that comes from a career .241 three-point percentage.

    Rollins’ long speed is suspect, and it takes more than athleticism and tenacity to cover NFL receivers. But Rollins has a broad skill-and-attribute set and a high ceiling.

    Some picks make more sense in tandem than when viewed individually. Neither Rollins nor first-round pick Damarious Randall is all that exciting, but taken together, they represent an important reshaping of the Packers secondary.

    Grade: B+

63. Seahawks: Frank Clark, Defensive End, Michigan

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    Strengths: Athleticism, strength

    Weaknesses: Character

    A man with no children sits down to dinner and selects the choicest chicken breast and the biggest scoop of dumplings. Over the weekend, he gorges on leftovers to his heart’s content.

    A man with two sons might as well live in the time of a locust plague. The boys feast on everything but the gizzard before he can even sit down to dinner. The only thing left in the fridge on Saturday afternoon is the wife’s gluten-free couscous.

    Pete Carroll is a man with two sons, one in Atlanta and one in Jacksonville. They each selected twice before he and John Schneider could even set the table, and they have been cleaning the cupboards of Seahawks-style defenders since Gus Bradley first lured Chris Clemons and Red Bryant from Seattle. There just aren't enough Seahawks-style defenders to go around for three hungry Seahawks-style teams.

    So the Seahawks reached for Clark, a big defensive end who was kicked off the Michigan program for various incidents. We can assume the Seahawks are comfortable with Clark, and Carroll can handle difficult dudes.

    The question is just what Clark brings to the table.

    In the short term, he will back up Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril, replacing Bennett when the cap situation warrants it. Clark does not appear to have Bennett's tools, but he fits the size profile (6'4", 271 lbs), and Bennett did not look like much more than a rotation player when he entered the NFL.

    So maybe the Seahawks got just who they wanted. But there is also a chance they have been forced to nibble on the bones.

    Grade: C

64. New England Patriots: Jordan Richards, Safety, Stanford

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Strengths: Instincts, character

    Weaknesses: Height, speed and athleticism

    The watch-word at safety over the last two days has been that speed and man-coverage ability are tantamount.

    The Eagles drafted Eric Rowe as a safety-cornerback hybrid because of coverage ability. Damarious Randall rocketed up the draft board and into Packers headquarters as a first-rounder because of speed and coverage ability. Landon Collins, who may be half a step too slow to chase the better tight ends up the seam but is great at just about everything else, slid into the top of the second round.

    And now here is Richards, a short (5'11"), spunky try-hard who is best suited for in-the-box run support and underneath coverage, getting drafted by the Patriots in the second round. It's almost as if someone found an inefficiency in the market.

    This may be a reach, but Bill Belichick may once again have snookered the entire NFL. I will hedge my bets with the grade.

    Grade: C+

65. Indianapolis Colts: D'Joun Smith, Cornerback, Florida Atlantic

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Strengths: Toughness, quickness, versatility, return skills

    Weaknesses: Size, level of competition

    Smith is the stereotypical tough-n-tiny mid-major cornerback. He intercepted seven passes in 2013, so all the mid-major quarterbacks avoided him like he had cooties. Smith resorted to pass interference several times when Marshall challenged him deep, but his turn-and-run quickness and coverage awareness are NFL-caliber.

    Smith is a good kickoff returner and spent time on the punt coverage team; special teams versatility will help him stick as a nickel or dime defender.

    The Colts will ease Smith in as a dime defender and may use him on returns to replace Josh Cribbs, who was released Friday, per NFL.com. Heaven knows Indianapolis could stand to get a little younger. He can develop into a starter.

    Grade: B-

66. Tennessee Titans: Jeremiah Poutasi, Guard, Utah

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    Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Massive size, decent athleticism

    Weaknesses: Toughness, technique

    The Titans have some of the worst dollar-value players in the NFL. Guard Andy Levitre, for example, has a cap number of $8.6 million but is coming off a poor season and is a guard, for heaven’s sake.

    Safety Michael Griffin costs $8.1 million and missed 17 tackles, according to Pro Football Focus, while providing just two interceptions and three passes defensed. It’s almost as if the Titans did not have any great players, so they decided to pay their average players as if they were great players. Which, about two years ago, is kind of what they did.

    Poutasi is a likely replacement for Levitre by 2016. He's huge, but he is a two-point stance lineman from Utah who will be projected as a power player in Tennessee. He isn't exactly Chance Warmack when it comes to finishing blocks, either.

    This is an odd pick, but it does solve a long-term financial problem for a team that has a wide variety of unusual problems (no current team president, for example).

    Grade: C

67. Jacksonville Jaguars: A.J. Cann, Guard, South Carolina

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    David Stephenson/Associated Press

    Strengths: Quickness, positioning, second-level blocking

    Weaknesses: Consistency, alertness

    Cann is fun to watch, if there really is such a thing as a fun-to-watch guard. He can pull and trap, hustle downfield on screens and does a fine job of getting position on a defender to root him out of a hole. Cann needs to keep working to the whistle—he gets lost and starts jogging on scrambles—and can look less impressive at the ends of games than at the starts. But the talent and understanding of the position are there.

    The Jaguars have two pretty good guards in Zane Beadles and Brandon Linder and just added Stefan Wisniewski to sure up the center position. Cann is not a need pick but a pretty good value here. We have finally reached the point in human history that the Jaguars do not have to make absolute need picks in the third round.

    Grade: B

68. Oakland Raiders: Clive Walford, Tight End, Miami

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Strengths: Wall-off blocking, short-route savvy, coachability

    Weaknesses: Deep receiving, power blocking, general tools

    The worst tight end draft classes of the last 25 years:

    1994: Perhaps the worst tight end draft ever. No tight end was selected in the first round. Second-rounder Lonnie Johnson had a short career with the Bills. After Johnson, sixth-rounder Andrew Jordan probably had the most distinguished career as a spot starter for the Vikings.

    1998: Journeyman Stephen Alexander, who had some productive years with the Redskins and Broncos, was the cream of the crop. The Saints' second-round pick, Cam Cleeland, was struck in the eye with a sock full of quarters during a rookie hazing and never got his career back on track. Imagine that happening in a modern NFL camp with modern media coverage. At least Walford, Maxx Williams and others know they won’t have to endure much more than a chorus of college fight songs.

    1992: Famous for back-to-back New York flops: The Giants selected Derek Brown 14th overall and were rewarded with 43 receptions; this is what usually happens after Bill Parcells leaves, folks. The Jets selected Johnny Mitchell 15th overall: Mitchell was a size-speed marvel who never developed after a few promising seasons. Sixth-round pick Mark Chmura was a Packers folk hero before being accused of…gosh, the NFL really was a different place before social networking.

    2015: That’s my call as of now, unless guys like Walford and Williams surprise me or someone like MyCole Pruitt eats a Shannon Sharpe power-up.

    2000: Bubba Franks, Anthony Becht and Erron Kinney were the best of the bunch. Franks made three Pro Bowls because he blocked well, and Brett Favre kept him busy in the red zone, but this was an extraordinarily ordinary class.

    Walford has the prototypical 30-snap-per-game, backup-tight end/H-back skill set. He can pin an edge-rusher to the sideline as a pass protector or on an off-tackle run, can chip a defender then leak into a route, will do more than fall down after the catch and earned high marks at the Senior Bowl as a firm-handshake guy who hustles.

    The Raiders get pretty good value here. Mychal Rivera caught 58 passes for 59 yards last year (okay, 534), but there was no one behind him, and Walford's versatility makes him useful as a role player on an offense that needs a little of everything.

    Grade: B+

69. Seattle Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, Wide Receiver, Kansas State

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    Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

    Strengths: Quickness, short route running, intangibles

    Weaknesses: Size, catch-in-crowd capability

    Lockett's father, Kevin Lockett, was a Kansas State star in the 1990s who had a string of semi-ordinary years for the Chiefs and other teams. Tyler Lockett is niftier and enters an NFL with more roles for jitterbug slot receivers. He also grew up around the game, which makes him crafty when working the middle.

    Lockett had some trouble with footstep drops. If he can overcome that problem and make catches in traffic, he can provide some of the screen-and-go and slot capability the Seahawks have missed since Percy Harvin left the reservation. Lockett was not my favorite receiver on the board, but the intelligence and intangibles are probably what got him drafted ahead of some better athletes or bigger specimens.

    Grade: C+

70. Houston Texans: Jaelen Strong, Wide Receiver, Arizona State

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, tools, hands, release off the line

    Weaknesses: Route-running precision

    I have my Pro Football Now 2015 draft guide open on my lap as I write this; Pro Football Now used to be Pro Football Weekly before the Internet forced us all to go from thinking about complicated matters for a few days to publishing them now Now NOW NOW NOWWWWW! (Real-time draft grades, for instance).

    Anyway, the Jaelen Strong entry begins “Another big, strong and physical wide receiver…” Ho-hum. Another 6'2" guy who runs like a track star, can make acrobatic catches on Hail Marys or back-of-the-end-zone catches and even knows what the heck he is doing when he releases off the line or needs to adjust a route. Yawn. If you don’t like this one, there’s always a bunch of small-school guys who will be hanging around the fourth round looking for work.

    We’ve gotten spoiled. I miss the days when measurables like Strong’s made your eyes bug out and when Pro Football Weekly publications were obsessed with how many children a prospect had or the genuineness of his smile. No wait, I don’t miss that second part.

    So yes, Strong is another awesome receiver prospect like the many we have seen enter the NFL in the past two seasons. Soon, receivers will have to be 6'4" and run 4.28-second 40-yard dashes to stand out, but for now Strong is still impressive enough.

    I love this pick for the Texans, who needed a receiver to pair with DeAndre Hopkins. Strong will not only emerge as a starter quickly but develop into perhaps the third- or fourth-best receiver in this class.

    Grade: A+

71. Chicago Bears: Hroniss Grasu, Center, Oregon

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    Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

    Strengths: Leadership, line calls, quickness

    Weaknesses: Size, strength

    Grasu’s parents emigrated from Romania to Los Angeles and opened Greco’s New York Pizza on Hollywood Boulevard in 1982. No one knows New York pizza like a Romanian in California who chose a restaurant name that means “Greek.”

    Grasu’s mother was a professional handball player and his father was a horseback-riding movie stuntman. The young Chip Kelly traveled to Romania and introduced the Grasus to each other, knowing that their handball-stunt-pizza genetic material would eventually create the perfect Oregon center. Kelly then sowed just enough dissent to eventually spur the overthrow of Ceausescu and returned to the states.

    The last few sentences of the previous paragraph probably did not happen. But Grasu did become a four-year starter for the Ducks. He’s speedy and smart, but blocking at Oregon can almost look like setting basketball picks, and it’s not clear if he will ever be a gritty block-sustainer.

    The Bears now have both Grasu and Kyle Long on their offensive line—two Kelly Oregon players. This may be the most elaborate long-con ever, designed to get rid of Jay Cutler. Chip, we will send you our whole offensive line and Cutler for Connor Barwin, Fletcher Cox and a package of picks. It's the next best thing to having Marcus!

    Nah. The Bears just need linemen.

    Grade: B

72. St. Louis Rams: Jamon Brown, Tackle, Louisville

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, power, orneriness

    Weaknesses: Weight issues, lateral quickness

    When the Rams draft extra offensive tackles, we're all like: "Go Rams, Go!"

    When the Bengals draft extra offensive tackles, we're all like: "Stop, Bengals, Stop!"

    The Rams need warm bodies on the line. Jamon Brown is a warm body, a wide body and a mean body. In case the last few draft selections have not spelled it out for you, they plan to slam the ball down everyone's throats with a pile-driver.

    Zac Stacy asked for a trade after the Todd Gurley selection, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, but Stacy may want to stick around: He could get 20 carries per game in relief of Gurley, who will get 30.

    Brown may be a better player than Rob Havenstein, the second-round pick. But again, the Rams have plenty of holes to fill.

    Go, Rams, go. 

    Grade: B+

73. Atlanta Falcons: Tevin Coleman, Running Back, Indiana

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    Sam Riche/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, breakaway speed, perseverance

    Weaknesses: Shiftiness, upright running style

    Coleman ran a 4.39-second 40 at his personal pro day two weeks ago, per NFL.com. Phew. We needed some evidence that Coleman was fast. Running away from the entire Ohio State defense while playing with a broken bone in his foot? Nope, that’s not evidence of speed. An arbitrary track-and-field drill in controlled conditions? Now that’s incontrovertible evidence.

    I profiled Coleman and his broken-footed journey through the heart of the B1G (for a team with a third-string freshman quarterback and few other weapons) a few weeks ago. It’s great to see the young man healthy after surgery and setting stopwatches on fire.

    Coleman can run a little upright at times, making him easy to tackle for his size. His cutback vision is good but not exceptional, and some have invoked the dreaded Darren McFadden comparison for Coleman. But Coleman is better at finding holes and cutback lanes than McFadden. I see a player more like the young Steven Jackson, with more breakaway speed but without the high-end receiving chops.

    I wrote the Coleman-Jackson comparison before the draft. It now sounds prescient, but keep in mind that the Falcons never had a chance to use the young Jackson. Now they will. It will be fun.

    Grade: A

74. New York Giants: Owamagbe Odighizuwa, Defensive End, UCLA

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Strengths: Tools, instincts

    Weaknesses: Injuries, experience

    Odighizuwa missed all of 2013 after surgery on both his hips. Hip surgery doesn’t fall under the umbrella of normal things that happen to young athletes, so his injury tendency must be monitored.

    Odighizuwa has the frame of an edge-rusher but the game of a 280-pound defensive end. He plays with power, anchors and sheds against the run, and he sniffs out screens well. His pass-rush technique is rudimentary, but he gets hustle sacks.

    It’s an odd skill set, but Odighizuwa is an odd athlete who grew up playing soccer in Nigeria (he was born in Ohio, left for Africa as a small child with his family, then returned) and was a track sprinter in high school. He must have been the biggest sprinter at every meet.

    Some see Odighizuwa beefing up as a “wave” lineman. He’s hard to project—no football until eighth grade, limited starting experience until 2014, a lost season because of injury. The bottom line is that the Giants got a useful player assuming that he stays healthy. THE GIANTS MUST NEVER ASSUME THAT ANYONE WITH AN INJURY HISTORY WILL STAY HEALTHY. ABORT. ABORT.

    Grade: C

75. New Orleans Saints: Garrett Grayson, Quarterback, Colorado State

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Strengths: Short passing, defense reading

    Weaknesses: Footwork, lack of top-level attributes

    Grayson was fun to watch in college, and there is a lot to like about him. He distributes short passes well, checks down to second and third targets and has enough of an arm to drive the ball up the hash marks. He runs fairly well.

    Grayson had some eye-popping games last season (five touchdowns and only three incomplete passes against Wyoming), but the Mountain West is now a glorified FCS conference with some mid-majors grafted to the top, and Grayson had some afternoons when all he had to do was fling the ball into Rashard Higgins’ orbit and wait for the touchdown to happen.

    The Las Vegas Bowl against Utah provided a clearer glimpse of Grayson’s limitations. Grayson threw some crisp passes and caught a trick-play touchdown pass, but better pressure and tighter throwing windows made him indecisive and sloppy with the ball.

    Granted, Utah made several of this year’s top prospects look silly (Brett Hundley got sacked 10 times), and the whole Rams offense looked rusty/gassed/overwhelmed in the bowl game. It still showed that Grayson faces a sharp level-up when he enters an NFL camp.

    Grayson will not be needed immediately, of course. He will learn the craft from Sean Payton and Drew Brees, and Payton has a way with quarterbacks who appear to be a little limited athletically.

    The Saints are preparing for the post-Brees reality; having so many extra picks allows them to both add players for one last playoff push and get real about what will happen in two or three years. It's their job to be ready. But I am not emotionally ready. And I am not even a Saints fan. The end is nigh. But hopefully not that nigh.

    Grade: B

76. Kansas City Chiefs: Chris Conley, Wide Receiver, Georgia

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, hands, possession-receiver traits

    Weaknesses: Speed and quickness

    You probably know Chiefs wide receivers failed to catch a touchdown pass last season. It’s a factoid that makes Chiefs fans touchy.

    Yeah, well, so what if the receivers don’t catch any touchdowns? Who cares if a major position group is incapable of performing one of its primary tasks? Maybe the defensive line can register zero sacks, or the secondary can intercept zero passes? Does it REALLY have any effect on wins and losses? Huh? Huh?

    Perhaps you did not know the Chiefs had only three passing plays longer than 40 yards. All of them came in Week 14 or later, and one was a four-yard toss that Knile Davis turned into a 70-yard dash. Yes, Chiefs fans, this is a major problem, and no, it is not completely solved by adding Jeremy Maclin. So dipping into this year's receiver talent pool was a prudent idea, even if the Chiefs made a slightly odd selection.

    Conley wrote, directed and starred in a Star Wars fan fiction film called Retribution. He plays Darth Somebody or Another…the characters all have ridiculous, hard-to-keep-track-of names, just like modern Star Wars movies! The film has about 20 minutes of tight plot, just like modern Star Wars movies! But will J.J. Abrams’ new sequels contain loving establishing shots of the backside of an enormous Bulldog statue? Probably not.

    Conley may not have the separation ability to become an NFL starter, but he could become a Jason Avant type who uses craftiness to get open against zone coverage and gobbles up passes in traffic. Andy Reid loves Jason Avant types. Heck, I think he is still harboring Jason Avant.

    Also, my 12-year-old could completely whip Conley's butt in a double light-saber battle.

    Grade: B

77. Cleveland Browns: Duke Johnson, Running Back, Miami

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Strengths: Speed/quickness, receiving skills, vision and cutback ability

    Weaknesses: Size and strength

    To paraphrase every scouting report ever, Johnson is not a burly 225-pounder who can stick his nose between the tackles and move the pile 20 times per game.

    Oh no! Johnson is in big trouble if the real world becomes one of those X-Men movies where everyone travels back in time to the Nixon Administration.

    Back then, every running back looked like Larry Csonka and wore huge belt buckles, and NFL offenses consisted of running between the tackles 20 times per game! Also, Jennifer Lawrence walked around wearing nothing but blue body paint and go-go boots, which was freakin’ phenomenal, but what good would that do for poor Duke Johnson?

    Luckily, Johnson lives in the year 2015, when teams pass more than 60 percent of the time and most running backs operate in committees (as Csonka did, but that’s another conversation). Johnson actually can get things done between the tackles now and then, but his receiving skills and open-field slipperiness are what will make him a special pro.

    OK, Browns, you are making progress. You found a running back who can catch. Now, repeat these syllables: ree-ceee-ver. Ree-cee-ver. Try it on your own.

    Grade: B+

78. New Orleans Saints: P.J. Williams, Cornerback, Florida State

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    Strengths: Technique, physicality, football IQ

    Weaknesses: Raw speed, gets in trouble when driving

    Williams was involved in an auto accident in November (he briefly left the scene) and pleaded not guilty to a DUI after an April traffic stop. Hit-and-run charges were dropped after the November incident, and all charges were dropped in April’s incident due to lack of evidence. Williams’ lawyer told TMZ that he was acting as the designated driver during April’s incident, though he did in fact have “a drink or two” many hours before he took the wheel.

    Is “a drink or two” a legal designation? Which was it: one drink or two? If I go out and have one drink, I say I had one drink. If I had two, I say I had two. “A drink or two” means “I wasn’t counting,” which is probably not the message a lawyer should send when he knows he will be quoted on TMZ, because everything that happens at Florida State now goes directly to TMZ.

    Anyway, Williams must get smarter when he’s behind the wheel, but Florida State coaches have praised him for his leadership and maturity on and off the field. He’s technically sound and understands coverage assignments. Lack of sprinter’s speed caused Williams to drop so far, but vehicular foolishness also played a role.

    Williams can be a great No. 2 cornerback and a capable No. 1 if he gets deep support. The Ryan brothers split the Florida State cornerbacks (the faster Ronald Darby is with Rex in Buffalo), and the Saints got an immediate impact defender who, at this point in the draft, carries little risk.

    Grade: A

79. San Francisco 49ers: Eli Harold, Edge-Rusher, Virginia

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    Doug McSchooler/Associated Press

    Because most “edge-rushers” (defensive end-outside linebacker tweeners, hybrids, "Leos," whatever) are just variations on a theme, we will use the all-new Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic to tell you everything you need to know about the top sack specialists in this year’s draft. SackSEER is a Football Outsiders metric designed to determine a prospect’s short-term pass-rush potential based on workout results and college statistics.

    The Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic report for: Eli Harold

    Athleticism: Freakish, Super-freakish, or Face-meltingly Ultra-freakish? Super-freakish. Harold had remarkable combine shuttle times for a man his size.

    Big Enough to Play “Traditional” Defensive End? Maybe. I have heard some experts say that he cannot add bulk to his 6"3' frame. I think he will find room for another 15 useful pounds.

    Does More Than Run Around the Left Tackle? Sometimes he just runs into the left tackle. Harold has some hand-fighting techniques but is otherwise pretty rudimentary. He’s also not great at maintaining leverage.

    Thinks “Coverage” Has Something to Do with His Cell Phone Plan? Harold lacks coverage experience.

    Intensity Level? Good. Harold hustles.

    How Many Sacks does SackSEER See? SackSEER likes Harold more than Dante Fowler because of his workout numbers. That’s why SackSEER is a tool, not the omniscient guide to all of our scouting decisions.

    Goofus, Gallant, Galette or Gholston? Harold looks a lot like the toolsy specimen who never becomes a sack monster but plays hard and fast enough to keep a job: the Melvin Ingram type.

    The 49ers have added a toolsy player on each defensive level in this draft. After a difficult offseason of losses, it was probably the best they could do. With three fourth-round picks on Saturday, the 49ers have the chance to go a long way toward taking the sting out of a discontented winter.

    Grade: B

80. Detroit Lions: Alex Carter, Cornerback, Stanford

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    Strengths: Size, tackling, experience

    Weaknesses: Lateral quickness

    Carter is the son of Tom Carter, who had some excellent seasons at cornerback for the Redskins and Bears.

    Carter hails from Ashburn, Virginia. I was shocked to discover people actually live in Ashburn, Virginia; having driven around the region many times, I assumed Ashburn was just a name given to the Redskins' practice facility, some corporate parks and strip malls and a few access roads to the airport.

    But Google Earth confirms there are lovely homes there, and Wikipedia says that Ashburn has a population of 43,511, not counting the thousands stuck in traffic or the dozens Dan Snyder signed and forgot about.

    Carter is a low-risk selection who will hustle, tackle soundly and not kill you with big gambles or silly mistakes. He probably maxes out as a matchup starter against taller receivers—jitterbugs and deep threats will give him fits in the NFL.

    The Lions need depth at cornerback, and Teryl Austin excels at developing players like Carter. Look for Rashean Mathis to take Carter under his wing.

    Grade: A-

81. Buffalo Bills: John Miller, Guard, Louisville

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Strengths: Toughness, experience, run blocking

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, leverage and technique

    The Bills have been working hard to upgrade the guard positions, where Erik Pears was a mess last season and rookie Cyril Richardson was ineffective in spot duty. The Bills signed Richie Incognito, about whom you can draw your own opinions regarding appropriate workplace behavior and basic human decency. Incognito was fading even before he became an after-school special.

    Miller is a true tough guy in that he finishes blocks and hammers defenders off the field instead of sending dirty text messages off the field.

    Miller and Richardson could be the starters in September. Incognito could be on the unemployment line. I'm all choked up.

    Grade: B+

82. New York Jets: Lorenzo Mauldin, Linebacker, Louisville

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    Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Quickness, athleticism, effort and character

    Weaknesses: Technique, high-end tools

    Mauldin is a high-effort grinder who overcame a tough childhood to become an ultra-motivated player with just enough size and quickness to be useful. He's a poor man's Quinton Coples on the field, with the same high-energy game and the same stiffness when moving in the open field or trying to put the moves on a pass protector.

    The Jets are loading up in their front seven. That's nothing new. They are also preparing to go into 2015 with lots of defense and an unsatisfactory quarterback situation. That's also nothing new. At least the Jets are loading up to become better versions of themselves.

    Grade: B-

83. San Diego Chargers: Craig Mager, Cornerback, Texas State

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    Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Speed, experience, physicality

    Weaknesses: Instincts, fundamentals

    Mager blazed to a 4.44-second 40 at the combine and drew rave reviews from the folks who watched Shrine Game practices. The knock on Mager is that he is a slow reactor in coverage. At smaller programs, you can wait for the quarterback to cock and throw before breaking on a route, but in the NFL you have to anticipate and twitch.

    The Chargers know what they are getting into development-wise. They are thin behind Brandon Flowers and sophomore Jason Verrett, and they may try to groom Mager quickly for a nickel role. His willingness to hit can be an asset in the slot.

    Grade: C+

84. Philadelphia Eagles: Jordan Hicks, Linebacker, Texas

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    Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Quickness, athleticism.

    Weaknesses: Injuries.

    Hicks is a good defender with a long injury history. The 2012 and 2013 seasons were basically a wash for him, but he was a productive in-space linebacker in 2014 and looked pretty good in the Senior Bowl.

    Once you have committed to Sam Bradford as your quarterback, the thought of losing two full seasons to injuries no longer seems all that frightening.

    Grade: C+

85. Cincinnati Bengals: Tyler Kroft, Tight End, Rutgers

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Strengths: Length, craftiness on routes, effort blocking

    Weaknesses: Speed, power, route refinement

    Kroft is the tight end you fall in love with once you lower your standards. He is crafty on shake routes, wheel routes and other subtle tight end double-moves; it wasn’t unusual to see him flash wide open so the Rutgers quarterback could miss him by a mile.

    Kroft isn’t much of an in-line blocker, but he hustles around when his quarterback is scrambling or after a screen pass. So forget your Rob Gronkowski ambitions, settle down with a second-third tight end who hustles and has some sneak-attack value, and make peace with the 2015 tight end draft class!

    The Bengals want to run a two-tight end offense but were without Tyler Eifert for most of last season and often ran Jermaine Gresham onto the field when he should have been in an MRI machine somewhere. Eifert and Kroft can be a solid one-two punch, with Eifert doing most of the real punching.

    Grade: B

86. Arizona Cardinals: David Johnson, Running Back, Northern Iowa

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, long speed, receiving ability

    Weaknesses: Upright style, level of competition

    Johnson stood out at the Senior Bowl, and he had a big game as a receiver (five catches, 203 yards, one long touchdown) against Iowa last year before settling down to a series of 100-yard games against good FCS competition.

    Johnson has an odd skill set for a running back: He is tall, has gather-up speed and looks more effective running seamers and other intermediate pass routes than leaking into the flats. As a rusher, he slashes and caroms off tacklers, but he may not have the vision or power to exploit tiny NFL holes.

    I think of the FCS Missouri Valley Conference as almost the equivalent of the FBS mid-majors, so Johnson’s 1,553 rushing yards and 536 receiving yards shouldn’t be laughed off as small-school silly stats. Johnson could be just as productive as an all-purpose back as a handful of rushers who have already been drafted.

    In Andre Ellington and David Johnson, the Cardinals will have both a June bug and a big back with big-play capability and receiving chops. It will be the backbone of a fine committee, built on the cheap.

    Grade: A-

87. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sammie Coates, Wide Receiver, Auburn

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    Strengths: Athleticism, speed, release, leaping ability, after-the-catch capability

    Weaknesses: Polish, drops

    Coates just needed a little more of something to be a top prospect. It could be another inch of height or a little tightening of his routes. Better catch consistency would be nice. Coates makes some highlight-reel catches, then either suffers a concentration drop or lets another highlight sail through his hands. He was one attribute, any attribute, away from being a first-round pick.

    But Coates is more than just an inconsistent home run threat. He has several different releases off the line, so he will be able to create immediate separation from defenders. He works back to his quarterback well during scrambles or late in the play and can find soft spots when he comes back for the ball. Coates can grow into a productive player if he doesn’t lose everyone’s confidence with a bunch of training-camp drops.

    The Steelers are patient with young receivers who drop passes; they coached Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant when both arrived with undeveloped catching skills. With Wheaton and Bryant on the rise and Antonio Brown still Ben Roethlisberger's bestie, Coates will be a No. 4 receiver for a while. I think the Steelers are just grabbing receivers they know would be starters for the Browns.

    Grade: B+

88. Minnesota Vikings: Danielle Hunter, Defensive End, LSU

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    Strengths: Length, competitiveness, athleticism

    Weaknesses: Production, lean frame

    Hunter was a combine phenom who recorded just 4.5 sacks in two seasons as a starter for LSU. He's the kind of high-upside player worth a look late in the third round; draft him in the middle of the first based on drill results and you may end up with buyer's remorse.

    The Vikings drafted Scott Crichton in the third round last season; Crichton barely played, but the Vikings have not given up on him. Crichton and Hunter can duke it out for the right to rotate with Brian Robison, who is beginning to fade.

    If both pan out, Mike Zimmer and George Edwards will have some interesting blitz packages to deploy.

    Grade: B

89. St. Louis Rams: Sean Mannion, Quarterback, Oregon State

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    Strengths: Height, arm, experience

    Weaknesses: Accuracy, mobility, accuracy, accuracy, small hands, accuracy

    Mannion was a four-year starter for the Beavers, so there’s a pretty extensive scouting book on him. He’s big, strong-armed, dedicated and has the accuracy of one of those Nerf crossbows with which my kids shoot the neighbor’s dog.

    He has the size and talent that make him worth tinkering with, and he will probably look pretty good in the fourth quarters of preseason games, but it’s hard to project him past the second string after years of seeing him scatter passes in the general directions of Markus Wheaton, Brandin Cooks and Victor Bolden.

    The Rams obviously have a taste for tall, immobile quarterbacks. Nick Foles can still be a pretty good one. Mannion will take a lot of work.

    Grade: C-

90. Baltimore Ravens: Carl Davis, Defensive Tackle, Iowa

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    MATTHEW PUTNEY/Associated Press

    Strengths: Power, run defense, upside.

    Weaknesses: Consistency, production, downside.

    Start with Leo Williams’ best game tape. Now, splice in footage of a hibernating bear every other series. The result is Carl Davis’ game tape.

    Davis has Williams-like measurables and produces similar-looking highlights. But then you get long stretches of nothing. Granted, all defensive tackles produce occasional stretches of nothing, but Davis’ nothingness is frequent and extended. Nick Fairley is a similar player. You can get 30 snaps of terror and dominance or 60 snaps of milk toast, and you may have to keep a constant eye on the work habits.

    The Ravens have a good track record with slowly basting players like Davis until they are field-ready. The upside is worth the effort.

    Grade: B

91. Dallas Cowboys: Chaz Green, Tackle, Florida

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    Strengths: Size, experience

    Weaknesses: Injury history, quickness

    An offensive lineman—just what the Cowboys don't need at all!

    Actually, the depth behind their exceptional line is not very good. There is no backup center on the depth chart. The only backup guard is Mackenzy Bernadeau, a knockaround journeyman. There are a bunch of tackles, but none of them are prospects.

    Green will probably begin as a multiposition sub. He started for three seasons at Florida and can probably play either guard position or right tackle. His athletic upside is limited, but he could develop into a decent starter if he stays healthy.

    The Cowboys have more pressing needs elsewhere.

    Grade: C+

92. Denver Broncos: Jeff Heuerman, Tight End, Ohio State

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    Strengths: Looks the part, hands

    Weaknesses: Blocking, productivity, high-end athleticism

    If Maxx Williams is weak-tea Greg Olsen, then Heuerman is weak-tea Maxx Williams. Eventually, we will achieve tight end homeopathy: a tall, strapping young man with 17 catches as a senior and watered-down blocking chops. It has been nearly 20 years since Ohio State produced Rickey Dudley, and if the Buckeyes suddenly decided to become a tight end factory, the 2015 draft was not the place to start.

    Gary Kubiak likes two-TE sets; Peyton Manning is also fond of them. Owen Daniels and Virgil Green are the Broncos' two tight ends right now. Chances are, they will remain the two tight ends for all of 2015.

    Grade: C-

93. Indianapolis Colts: Henry Anderson, Defensive End, Stanford

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    Strengths: Run defense

    Weaknesses: Athleticism, upside

    Anderson registered 8.0 sacks in his senior season and can sometimes disengage from his blocker and get to the quarterback, but he does not project as a major sack producer in the NFL. Anderson will be part of a line rotation that lost Ricky Jean-Francois but added Kendall Langford. I see 20 to 25 snaps per game as a rookie but little sizzle.

    Grade: C+

94. Green Bay Packers: Ty Montgomery, Wide Receiver, Stanford

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    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Strengths: Size, character, intelligence, after-catch capability

    Weaknesses: Quickness-athleticism, lacks a true position

    There’s a bare minimum of quickness and fluidity needed to play wide receiver in the NFL, and Montgomery straddles it. You can be well-built, bright, motivated and have a serviceable 40-yard-dash time, but if you don’t have the hips and change-of-direction capability, you ain’t gonna be open enough.

    Stanford moved Montgomery from receiver to running back to Wildcat to get the ball in his hands, tossing him lots of screens when he was split wide. He’s a strong runner with the ball in his hands, but on routes he had a hard time separating from quality cornerbacks.

    Montgomery also returns kicks; he’s not wiggly, but he catches the ball and moves forward. He may have a Josh Cribbs career as a return man and special teams ace who also plays some fourth receiver, though, Cribbs was far more elusive in his prime. At worst, Montgomery will be able to hang around roster bottoms and practice squads as the guy teams stash away when they need a capable multirole injury replacement.

    The Packers probably see Montgomery as a special teamer and No. 4 receiver who can exploit some easy mismatches; with his bulk and willingness to throw his body around, Montgomery can almost be a surrogate quasi-tight end in some packages.

    Grade: B-

95. Washington Redskins: Matt Jones, Running Back, Florida

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    Strengths: Versatility, solid size-speed package

    Weaknesses: Productiivty, lack of signature qualities

    The third round is new general manager Scot McCloughan’s prime time. This is the round when the talented-yet-troubled (that phrase isn’t just for prospects, folks) general manager found a couple of guys named Frank Gore and Russell Wilson on previous stops.

    It was also a barren round for the Redskins during the darkest days of Dan Snyder’s madness, when mid-round draft picks were deemed worthless in the team’s quest for overpaid 30-somethings.

    The Redskins skipped the third round altogether from 2005 to 2007, despite making two fine picks (guard Derrick Dockery and tight end Chris Cooley) in 2003 and 2004. Recent third rounds have brought a few useful players like Jordan Reed. Could McCloughan magic strike with this selection?

    Probably not.

    Jones is a useful all-purpose back who has never rushed for more than 817 yards. His receiving skills are rudimentary, but Jones can pass protect and runs with some speed and power. He's basically a replacement for Roy Helu, though, Helu was a more polished receiver.

    Well. McCloughan did trade down. Maybe he's saving up for some fifth-round heroics!

    Grade: B

96. Cleveland Browns: Xavier Cooper, Defensive Tackle, Washington State

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Inside pass rush, effort

    Weaknesses: Leverage, hand use

    Cooper is a perfectly good rotation player as a 3-4 end. He's quick and hustles; he will disrupt some runs and garner a few sacks.

    The Browns are just trolling on offense at this point. Their goal is to inspire reverse-logic madness in their fans, who will now spend weeks fansplaining how the team is just fine with Dwayne Bowe, Brian Hartline and Gary Barnidge playing major roles in the passing game.

    The words win in the trenches will become a mantra that sustains Browns fans until the third time Josh McCown underthrows Taylor Gabriel.

    Winning in the trenches is a sound principle. Danny Shelton was a great selection. Cooper is a tough guy who can contribute.

    The Browns are going to get shut out a bunch of times if this keeps up.

    Grade: C-

97. New England Patriots: Geneo Grissom, Defensive End, Oklahoma

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    Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Size, experience as a multipurpose defender

    Weaknesses: Top athleticism, instincts

    Grissom played both defensive end and outside linebacker at Oklahoma. Unlike a lot of guys with his athletic profile, he has a fair amount of experience dropping into coverage and can make plays in pursuit.

    The Patriots have a history of turning guys like Grissom into contributors like Rob Ninkovich who stick around for years. Grissom is not a great prospect, but the Patriots have the advantage of a well-defined system and development plan. If Grissom develops, the Patriots will put him in positions to succeed.

    Grade: B

98. Kansas City Chiefs: Steven Nelson, Cornerback, Oregon State

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    Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Press coverage, run support, quickness

    Weaknesses: Height, top speed

    The Chiefs had five defensive backs or more on the field for 65 percent of their defensive plays last season. They had six or seven defensive backs on the field for a whopping 35 percent of defensive plays. They only used two defensive linemen on 42 percent of defensive plays, meaning their sixth defensive back is as much of a starter as their third defensive end.

    The Chiefs are essentially a 2-4-5 or 2-3-6 base defense, which means they need safeties and cornerbacks of all shapes and sizes. There was no reason for them to stop after selecting Marcus Peters.

    Nelson is the short-n-scrappy, shaped-and-sized cornerback. He is well-built for a small defender, so he can help in run support and as a blitzer. Bob Sutton likes having players like Nelson fire off the edge or float into zone coverage; Nelson has the intensity and quickness to play just that kind of role.

    Grade: A-

99. Cincinnati Bengals: Paul Dawson, Linebacker, Texas Christian

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    Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

    Strengths: Play speed, instincts in space, tackling technique

    Weaknesses: Football character questions, workout results

    By his own admission, Dawson was often late for meetings early in his college career. He also failed a drug test at TCU, but he explained in an op-ed for USA Today that it was for Adderall and that he now has a prescription. His combine workouts were dreadful—Danny Shelton has a higher vertical leap even though Shelton jiggles for eight minutes after he jumps—and there are all sorts of questions about Dawson’s football passion.

    A lack of football passion will kill you in the NFL unless you are an absolute super-specimen, and Dawson is not. He’s a weak-side, play-in-space linebacker, a defender who must grind film to learn opponents’ short-passing game and be ready to take on blockers 80 pounds heavier than him in pursuit of the football.

    If Dawson frequently skipped meetings and put a half-hearted effort into getting into combine shape, then he will wash out of the NFL unless he changes his ways.

    Then you put on the TCU tape, and Dawson looks like Lavonte David. Guys who don’t watch film don’t play like that. Dawson is not getting by on athleticism. He’s diagnosing plays, positioning himself properly and attacking at full speed. Dawson claimed that he watched extra tape all the time, but he often did it at night when no one was around. Yeah, I know.

    The drug test was for Adderall. I watched tape alone when coach went home. The dog ate my homework. I was holding that carton of menthols for a friend whose dad would totally kill him.

    Still, I can’t shake the sense that Dawson may have grown up and that he is now dogged by an old scouting report. As for the workout results, good football players sometimes measure poorly.

    Maybe it’s excuse-making. But tape doesn’t lie. And tape says Dawson can play.

    This is finally a Bengals pick to be excited about, and it makes a great capper to the third round. At this point in the draft, a player like Dawson is a low-risk, massive-upside gem. The Bengals finally did something bold! Maybe Dawson will be the difference-maker the team needs. One thing's for sure: It was better to draft Dawson than another tackle who at this point would have likely been cut in the preseason. 

    Grade: A+