2015 NFL Draft Grades: Full Day 3 Report Card
Only the Rolling Stones can really express the awesomeness of the third day of the draft:
Well when you're sitting back
In your rose-pink Cadillac
Watching the draft on Kentucky Derby Day.
I'll be in my basement room
With the scouting film on "zoom."
Grading every pick till they take us both away.
Take me down, Little Susie, to Chicago for Day 3 of the NFL draft! If you are reading this, it means you are a true draft junkie, and you cannot wait for an all-day fix of late-round draft coverage. Horse race? Prize fight? Gorgeous weather? Forget it: There are four rounds of draft to sift through.
This slideshow will be updated regularly all Saturday long. The analysis will be shorter—I don't know who some of these guys even are—but the action will be intense. And there are plenty of questions left unanswered. Will the Browns ever draft a receiver? Does Brett Hundley have cooties? When will Bill Belichick start selecting from the curling league?
Keep checking back to find out. And when it's over, don't forget to put roses on my grave.
NFL Draft Tracker
The Bleacher Report draft tracker widget is like having 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. Check back often, leave your comments and get in the conversation!
Fourth Round Coverage
How do you like this outdoor draft? It's like the Winter Classic, except it is spring, there is no actual sport happening, and no one is on television saying things like "Gee, the only time anyone watches hockey is during the Winter Classic."
It does make covering the third day of the draft a little less like cowering in a cave and admiring the precious. We are all basking in virtual television sunshine! It stinks, though, that horse racing responded by moving the Kentucky Derby indoors.
100. Tennessee Titans: Angelo Blackson, Defensive Tackle, Auburn. Blackson is a size-speed marvel and three-year starter. He has several blocked kicks on his resume. This is the Titans' first defensive selection of the draft, and it's a good one. Blackson will start as a rotation player with Sammie Hill but has the tools to become a starter. Grade: B+
101. New England Patriots: Trey Flowers, Edge-Rusher, Arkansas. Well, I have a few of these Edge-o-Matics left from the early rounds, so here goes:
The Bleacher Report Edge-o-Matic report for: Trey Flowers
Athleticism: Freakish, Super-freakish, or Face-meltingly Ultra-freakish? Not that freaky at all.
Big Enough to Play “Traditional” Defensive End? Yes. Flowers hovers around 265 pounds and could bulk up a bit.
Does More Than Run Around the Left Tackle? As a pass-rusher, no. But Flowers stacks and sheds in run defense and is effective as the “sacrifice” guy on a blitz or stunt.
Thinks “Coverage” Has Something to Do with His Cell Phone Plan? Flowers rarely dropped into coverage.
Intensity Level? Grrrrrrrr. Flowers is an effort guy.
How Many Sacks Does SackSEER See? The metrics grade Flowers as just another guy as a pass-rusher. Again, he’s more of an all-purpose hustle guy.
Goofus, Gallant, Galette or Gholston? Flowers is a better version of Brandon Graham. He may be a wave or situational defender in the NFL because he lacks elite size or talent, but he can generate some sacks while helping out in a dozen little ways.
The Patriots have good luck with players like Flowers, which is why they took a similar player in the third round: Geneo Grissom. Grade: B-
102. Carolina Panthers: Daryl Williams, tackle, Oklahoma. The Panthers endured one four-game stretch where the offensive line allowed 19 sacks and—this is remarkable—61 hurries. High sack totals are often the quarterback’s fault, and Cam Newton can sometimes float away to Planet Scramblevick and get caught running in circles, but poor Cam was under siege from the Packers game through the Eagles game. Tackles Byron Bell and David Foucault (who was later replaced) spent so much time on the ground that I thought they were Civil War reenactors at a mock Pickett’s Charge. Cam survived, but Cam also survived the kind of truck accident that usually ends in a helicopter ride; just because Cam survives something doesn’t mean everything’s OK.
I like the Panthers moving up for Williams here. Oklahoma linemen have impressive NFL track records, and despite a weak Senior Bowl, I think Williams can be a Phil Loadholt type. Grade: A-
103. New York Jets: Bryce Petty, Quarterback, Baylor. I arrived at Senior Bowl week wanting to believe in Bryce Petty. Other writers felt the same way, particularly Philly writers; this was back when Chip Kelly was just a coach, not an ancient Mesopotamian creator-destroyer diety. Maybe Petty was the tough, smart, semi-mobile, uptempo shotgun quarterback who could help Kelly rebound from Marcus Mariota.
Petty is indeed tough, smart and semi-mobile in the way hitch trailers are semi-mobile. But he spent Senior Bowl week looking wildly inconsistent and, far worse, downright rickety. Petty has spinal injuries and concussions in his medical file, and the injuries showed when he moved laterally or changed direction quickly.
While the Jets surely did their medical homework, there’s a chance that they just acquired a soon-to-be-24-year-old with the vertebrae of a 34-year-old. Also, Petty has never called a play in the huddle.
From a value standpoint, Petty makes sense in the fourth round. I worry that Petty will provide just enough Geno Smith competition to cause confusion, then either get hurt or hit a high ceiling. Grade: C
104. James Sample, Safety, Louisville. I like Louisville safety Gerod Holliman more than Sample, but I stink at evaluating safeties, so ignore me. The Jaguars intercepted just six passes last season (tied for the lowest total in the NFL). Opposing quarterbacks posted an efficiency rating of 99.1, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL, despite a pass rush that generated 45 sacks. Sample will be groomed to pair with Johnathan Cyprien in a secondary than needs upgrades. Grade: B
105. Washington Redskins: Jamison Crowder, Wide Receiver, Duke. Crowder is a Wes Welker type who had three straight 1,000 yard seasons for the Blue Devils and proved he belonged with a fine Senior Bowl week. He’s tough, dedicated, knows his craft and can return punts if called upon. Two inches taller and he would have been a second-round pick. I love him as a screens-and-slots guy for a team that needs some players who can make short catches more productive. Grade: A-
106. Chicago Bears: Jeremy Langford, Running Back, Michigan State. Langford switched from running back to cornerback as a Spartans freshman and spent two seasons as a special teams demon and multi-purpose “athlete.” He moved back and became the starting running back in 2013 and rushed for 40 touchdowns in two seasons, but his rushing cutups show the typical B1G tailback who runs hard and fast but doesn’t blow you away with his vision or open-field creativity.
Langford looks much better when you see him work out of the slot, run a variety of routes and read blitzes as a pass protector. He’s also alert and effective without the ball in his hands: when blocking for a scramble or end-around, for example. Mix blocking, special teams chops, receiving skills and tenacity together with plenty of speed, and you know what you get? The greatest prospect cliché of them all:
JEREMY LANGFORD IS A FOOTBALL PLAYER.
That means he should stick around for years, even if he never becomes a superstar. He could be Matt Forte's heir apparent, but he fits now as a change-up who does everything well enough that Adam Gase won't have to change the offense when Forte catches a breather. Grade: B+
107. Atlanta Falcons: Justin Hardy, Wide Receiver, East Carolina. Hooray! A run on skill position players! It's what makes the fourth round so much fun. Hardy caught 235 passes in two seasons of happy screen-and-slot time with Shane Carden. He's small and not as quick or crafty as Jamison Crowder, but he is tough and will catch in a crowd. He will replace Harry Douglas' production underneath. Grade: B-
108. Tennessee Titans: Jalston Fowler, Fullback, Alabama. Fowler is a tough blocker with good hands who can run a little; he's by far the best fullback in this class. The Titans used two-back sets 131 times, according to the Football Outsiders database: only about 13 percent of their plays, but there is still a role to be played. Defensive tackle Karl Klug played fullback in some goal-line formations. If Klug plays fullback this year, it will probably be in front of Fowler in Ultra Heavy Jumbo.
I cannot shake the impression that Ken Whisenhunt has some significant playbook overhauls brewing. Grade: B
109. Indianapolis Colts: Clayton Geathers, Safety, Central Florida. Geathers is a tall, quick athletic project. He will compete for a role beside Mike Adams, but he will probably be a situational dime defender early in his career. Grade: C+
110. Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Clemmings, Tackle, Pittsburgh. About time!
Clemmings played defensive end for three seasons at Pitt. He moved to offensive tackle because he was afraid the Rams were going to draft him. Kidding!
Clemmings made the transition smoothly and has the tools to be a top pass protector. The technique is still not there, and Clemmings spent Senior Bowl practices moving around the line and learning the hard way what a steady stream of all-conference defenders—let alone NFL players—can do to a guy trying to get by on size and arm length.
A foot injury sent Clemmings spiraling down the boards; he looked like a late first-round pick before the medical exams. Assuming he can play for any extended period of time, the Vikings get a developmental player with upside in the Terron Armstead mold. He will start his career as a four-position sub. I love the upside here. Grade: A
111. New England Patriots: Tre' Jackson, Guard, Florida State. A run thumper with weight issues, Jackson had a so-so senior season, but he worked with former Saints lineman LeCharles Bentley at his lineman performance center and should have the conditioning and technique issues hammered down. Jackson was solid at Senior Bowl week and seems to know what he needs to improve. The raw power is there, and his quickness should improve if he keeps the weight down and the motor high. One look around the defensive lines of the AFC East confirms that the Patriots need to stockpile offensive linemen. Grade: B
112. Washington Redskins: Arie Kouandjio, Guard, Alabama. The second of a matched set of Kouandjio brothers now playing line in the NFL. Both are big, hardworking and athletically meh. The Redskins have now spent four picks on offense, and all are infrastructure picks: linemen (including Brandon Scherff), change-up rushers, slot receivers. They may be looking for an environment that is better for quarterback growth. Have they thought of sending the owner on a long vacay and giving the head coach some public relations training? Grade: C. I am a Kouandjio denier.
113. Detroit Lions: Gabe Wright, Defensive Tackle, Auburn. We’ve reached the point in the draft where it makes sense to draft defensive tackles who are too small for the nose but not athletic enough for the 3-tech or outside, as long as they are high-effort guys who can give 40 games off the bench or spot starts. Wright is that kind of player. The Lions won't be outstanding at defensive tackle this season, but there will not be a post-Suh crisis. Grade: B
114. Miami Dolphins: Jamil Douglas, Guard, Arizona State. Big, quick-footed guard who may not be the Son of Anarchy some teams covet at the position. The Dolphins went that route, thank you very much. Guard remained a crisis spot last year. The Dolphins need the bodies. Grade: C+
115. Cleveland Browns, Ibraheim Campbell, Safety, Northwestern. High energy, passionate, tough guy with just enough tools. Whatever. The Browns did not draft a wide receiver, so everybody drink a shot. They don't get a passing grade until they take a receiver or tight end. Grade: F
116. Arizona Cardinals: Rodney Gunter, Defensive Tackle, Delaware State. Gunter is a big guy with a Calais Campbell frame. That's all I know. That, and the Cardinals are really old on the defensive line. Grade: C-
117. San Francisco 49ers: Blake Bell, Tight End, Oklahoma. Moved over from quarterback during 2014 spring practices. Athletic but raw, with a concussion history. This tight end class does weird things to personnel evaluators. I like A.J. Derby more, even among converted quarterback tight ends, not to mention the small-program guys who actually played tight end for several years like MyCole Pruitt. But it's a rough class overall, so to each his own. Grade: C-
118. Kansas City Chiefs: Ramik Wilson, linebacker, Georgia. The Chiefs allowed 4.7 yards per carry last season, the third-highest rate in the NFL, and most of that production came straight down their throats. Opponents ran straight up the middle 221 times, the highest figure in the NFL according to NFLGSIS, and they averaged 4.63 yards per carry.
Some of the interior run issues are scheme oriented: The Chiefs use more one- or two-man lines than any team in the NFL, daring opponents to do anything but run a dive. Nose tackle Dontari Poe is a fine player, as is inside linebacker Derrick Johnson. But the depth chart is thin behind them and beside them. Wilson is not the ideal between-the-tackles thudder against the run, but he is big and smart, and he will do as a fourth-rounder. Grade: B+
119. St. Louis Rams: Andrew Donnal, Tackle, Iowa: Tough guy with Iowa training. Donnal thuds the run and can provide competition. Please see any of the other draft picks the Rams made this year to determine why these are good things. Grade: B
120. Cincinnati Bengals: Josh Shaw, Cornerback, USC. Remember the kid who said that he hurt his ankle rescuing his nephew from drowning but, well, that isn't exactly what happened? Shaw is that kid. He's a big, situational safety/cornerback type. The Bengals have reportedly retained a special handler to deal with Shaw: a cricket with an umbrella and a rich baritone. Grade: C-. Shaw has limited upside.
121. Pittsburgh Steelers: Doran Grant, Cornerback, Ohio State. Grant is Just Another Guy, an athletic fellow who understands his assignment and adequately fills it. He started for two seasons for Ohio State and can probably fill a reserve role in the NFL, but he’s a nickel-corner type who can be out-quicked by better slot receivers and outmuscled by outside receivers.
That said, I like this pick in tandem with Senquez Golden, who is more of a teeny-tiny athletic square peg. The Steelers need bunches of cornerbacks, and they might as well diversify the skill sets. Grade: B+
122. Baltimore Ravens: Za'Darius Smith, Defensive End, Kentucky. Smith inherits Pernell McPhee's role as the 270-pound all-purpose defender who sometimes rushes right up the gut between Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. It's great work if you can get it. Grade: B-
123. Clevaland Browns: Vince Mayle, Wide Receiver, Washington State. Cleveland, your long nightmare is over! The Browns finally selected a receiver! They must have loved Mayle's tackling!
Mayle played running back and linebacker in high school, moved to shooting guard at JUCO, was talked about as an edge-rusher for a while when he transferred to Washington State, and finally settled in as the big guy who catches a zillion screen passes in Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. Mayle is a step slow off the line and only started to learn the finer points of route running last year, but he breaks tackles and covers kicks like a former linebacker.
Mayle will never be a star, but he could be a Kassim Osgood who plays special teams for a decade, or perhaps a Jermaine Kearse who delivers rugged screen blocks and earns a few touches with his grit. The Browns needed more of a true playmaker, but hey, let's not quibble. Grade: A
124. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, Linebacker, LSU. A pure Lovie Smith Cover 2 Will player: small and fast, with a coverage mentality. Alexander has an injury history and overpursues like a madman, so he will have to be reined in. Lovie does not have to compete with many teams for this kind of player anymore. Such is the nature of strategic ebb and flow in the NFL. Grade: B
125. Baltimore Ravens: Buck Allen, Running Back, USC. Allen rushed for 1,489 yards last season and added 41 receptions; it’s a testament to how insanely good this year’s running back class is that so many backs were taken ahead of him. Allen’s calling cards are his value as a receiver and pass-blocker in addition to his no-nonsense rushing style. He’s not quite Matt Forte, but he could have a rookie season like Doug Martin had. The Martin comparison has a downside: Allen runs upright and takes a lot of hits, and like Martin, he could lose a lot of value if injuries sap a half-step of quickness or a little bit of power. Grade: B-
126. San Francisco 49ers: Mike Davis, Running Back, South Carolina. Davis is a compact, ordinary-use every-down running back who looked like he would be much more in 2013. There were questions about his conditioning all last season (when he gained nearly 200 fewer yards from scrimmage than in 2013) and into Davis’ pro day, and Davis does not have an elite size-speed-tools profile. He is a great finisher who will drag tacklers an extra six feet, but he also stutter-steps too often before hitting the hole. He catches the ball well and was used as a wide receiver at times, but he caught just 13 passes in 2014 after catching 34 the previous year. Davis is certainly worth a selection because he does several things well, but the lightbulb may have to flicker if he hopes to be more than a third running back. The 49ers have a need at running back and an affection for South Carolina running backs. Let's hope that (and Davis) have better luck this time. Grade: B-
127. Dallas Cowboys: Damien Wilson, Linebacker, Minnesota. Wilson was a combine standout, as was Byron Jones. The Cowboys are clearly in the market for measurables. Rolando McClain and Jasper Brinkley are listed as the Cowboys starters at middle linebacker, so reaching for a player who is not a reclamation project makes fourth-round sense. Grade: B
128. Oakland Raiders: Jon Feliciano, Guard, Miami. Solid prospect; roster overhaul pick. Feliciano has a good chance to overtake Austin Howard, one of the many veterans the Raiders signed last year when they were eager to prove they could really sign veterans. Grade: B+
129. Green Bay Packers: Jake Ryan, Linebacker, Michigan. An A.J. Hawk surrogate if ever there was one. Ryan recorded 112 tackles and made his share of big plays last season. He's a high-energy rah-rah guy. He will duplicate about 75 percent of Hawk's production, but it will take a dozen guys just like him to duplicate Hawk's earning potential. Grade: A
130. Seattle Seahawks: Terry Poole, Guard, San Diego State. The Seahawks interior offensive line may have been the worst starting unit on any Super Bowl team ever for the past two seasons. And that was with Max Unger at center, not a character from A Tale of Two Cities. Lemuel Jeanpierre now leads the revolution at center, with C.J. Davis replacing James Carpenter at left guard and J.R. Sweezy replacing Carpenter as the guard who inexplicably keeps his starting job. Throw Poole into the mix, but we are in grab-a-guard territory, not the point in the draft where you find impact starters.
The Seahawks have gotten away with an interior line that acts like a freeway HOV lane because their running back breaks four tackles before he leaves the huddle and their quarterback does his best work running sideways 18 yards behind the line of scrimmage. But the Sweezy-Jeanpierre-Whoever combination definitely needs some competition. I'm not sure a long, lean, mid-major tackle is really enough competition. Grade: C-
131. New England Patriots: Shaq Mason, Center, Georgia Tech. Mason played guard at Georgia Tech, where the run-pass ratio is literally four-to-one (56.4 rushes per game, 14.5 pass attempts. So I rounded. Sue me). He is also just 6'1", though he has the arm length of a taller man. It takes a lot of projection to see a fireplug-sized flexbone guard excelling as a pass protector in the NFL. But Mason is quick off the line, wins leverage battles and plays with an ornery streak. He looked good in Senior Bowl practices once he acclimated himself and has the football IQ to play center if the Patriots project him there. The Patriots like their interior linemen to be able to slide around, and they are certainly making sure there is competition at all three positions. Grade: B+
132. San Francisco 49ers: DeAndre Smelter, Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech. Smelter caught 35 passes for 715 yards last season. Adjusting statistically for Georgia Tech's flexbone offense, and that production comes out to 7,500 catches for halfway the distance between Earth and Venus. Yellow Jackets receivers always come with a risk—they run one route, and only when you least expected it—but a guy with Smelter's size-speed profile and a few actual receptions is worth a mid-round look. Grade: B
133. Denver Broncos: Max Garcia, Center, Florida. Garcia is a classic “bad body” center who may not have the quickness-power profile to succeed in the NFL. That said, he slid from tackle to guard to center during his Gators career to cover for teammate injuries, played through his own injuries, has line-call experience and is just athletic enough to get by if the guards keep an eye on him against Haloti Ngata types. Garcia is one of about seven centers with similar profiles in this draft class; he comes at the right price here. The Broncos have a need. Their current listed starting center is Gino Gradkowski. Gradkowski is Polish for "pesky backup." Grade: B+
134. Seattle Seahawks: Mark Glowinski, Guard, West Virginia. At least the Seahawks are now saturation drafting to improve their interior line. Glowinski, like Terry Poole, is long and a little lean by guard standards. No worries: It's not like the quarterback will have trouble seeing over anyone. Grade: C+
135. Cincinnati Bengals: Marcus Hardison, Defensive End, Arizona State. Hardison is an unfinished prospect with lots of potential. He was a high school quarterback who played two years at JUCO, spent a year on the Arizona State bench, then erupted with 10 sacks and three forced fumbles last season. He has played all over the defensive line and is still learning nuances. I like him as a depth player on a team that registered just 20 sacks last season. Grade: B+
136. Baltimore Ravens: Tray Walker, Cornerback, Texas Southern. Walker is a tall, lean defender with good instincts and ball skills for the mid-major level. Ozzie Newsome is not panicking after last year's cornerback catastrophe: Veterans are getting healthy, Jimmy Smith re-signed, and backups grew into their roles. Walker is a developmental pipeline type. Grade: C+
Fifth Round Coverage
Hey folks! As players grow more obscure and expectations get lower, the old high school grading system gets a little silly. Who can really differentiate a B- from a C+ when a 12-win team drafts a third-string linebacker?
So let's switch to the kindergarten scale: Outstanding, Satisfactory or Needs Improvement. There will probably be a lot of "Satisfactory" grades. The late rounds are all about finding satisfactory guys.
137. Atlanta Falcons: Grady Jarrett, Defensive Tackle, Clemson. At 6'4" and 320 pounds, Jarrett would have been a first-round pick. At 6'1" and three bills, he’s an undersized nose tackle who isn’t quick and athletic enough to be a regular 3-tech or defensive end in a 3-4. As a wave and rotation lineman, Jarrett’s hustle and ability to disengage from blockers will make him valuable. Pro Football Now compared him to Mike Daniels, the situational 3-4 disruptor for the Packers. That’s a fair comp.
Among their many, many defensive sins, the Falcons ranked 30th in the NFL in short-yardage defense and 30th in the NFL at stuffing rushers for no gain or a loss, according to Football Outsiders. Newcomer Paul Soliai is a meaty run stuffer, sophomore Ra’Shede Hageman has the potential to dominate, and Jonathan Babineaux is effective, Still, the Falcons lost enough trench battles in the last two years that it made sense to overcompensate at defensive tackle. Satisfactory.
138. Tennessee Titans: David Cobb, Running Back, Minnesota. Cobb was draftnik nation’s ultimate 2015 Senior Bowl man crush. He runs hard between the tackles, catches short passes smoothly, blocks well, sounds bright and confident, and looks like he was sculpted out of a thick hunk of marble. Cobb compares himself to Eddie George, and the resemblance is obvious: Like George, Cobb will hammer away at the line, do lots of dirty work and average about 3.9 yards per carry because he rarely rips off a 30-yarder to pad his averages. Twenty years ago, he would have been a rock star. Now, he gives the Titans solid depth. Outstanding.
139. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rashad Greene, Wide Receiver, Florida State. Greene holds the Florida State all-time reception (270) and yardage (3,830) records. He was a team captain. Greene caught 34 of his 99 passes last year, including four touchdowns, when the Seminoles were losing by 1-7 points, making him an important part of many of the team’s signature comebacks. He saved Jameis Winston’s bacon many times by being the receiver who mysteriously flashed open late in a play.
Keep all of this in mind when someone explains to you that Winston’s 2014 performance dropped because he did not have enough weapons.
The Jaguars are now teeming with young receiver talent: Greene, Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns. They could have the most dynamic receiving corps in the NFL if the Jaguars catch one or two of those breaks the Jaguars never catch. Outstanding.
140. Oakland Raiders: Ben Heeney, Linebacker, Kansas. Undersized linebacker with experience and strong combine numbers. The Raiders are so talent broke that they can grab potential immediate starters in the fifth round. Heeney could replace Miles Burris, the meatball surgeon of middle linebackers. Satisfactory.
141. Washington Redskins: Martrell Spaight, Linebacker, Arkansas: A speedy, small outside linebacker who has a pass-rusher's temperament and skills, if not the production. The Redskins may be looking to mix and match across from (and in relief of) Ryan Kerrigan. Spaight, Preston Smith and Trent Murphy can all hustle, but they give opponents a variety of size-athleticism looks. Satisfactory.
142. Chicago Bears: Adrian Amos, Safety, Penn State. Big, athletic safety who takes bad angles and lunges when trying to tackle. OH NO IT IS ALL HAPPENING AGAIN. Satisfactory because Amos won't be thrust into the lineup.
143. Minnesota Vikings: MyCole Pruitt, Tight End, Southern Illinois. MyCole: The social networking site for folks who haven’t bought the sustainable-energy hype! Burn some fossil fuels in your portable generator, load up the Internet and share thoughts, pics and GIFs with like-minded non-sheeple on MyCole!
No, MyCole Pruitt is best known for burning a 4.58-second 40 at the combine. His game tape is pretty solid, even after you let the small-school helium out. He can make tough catches away from his body and in traffic, and he lined up everywhere from fullback to split end. His technique is raw at just about every skill, but this tight end class is weak, and Pruitt has Delanie Walker upside. Outstanding.
144. New York Giants: Mykkele Thompson, Safety, Texas. We have reached the point in the draft where there is a run on players who spell "Michael" in the strangest possible way. In fairness, they didn't name themselves. Thompson joins Landon Collins in the Giants complete safety rebuild. Thompson is experienced and durable. Hooray for durability! Satisfactory.
145. Miami Dolphins: Bobby McCain, Cornerback, Memphis. The Dolphins now have three McCains on defense: Bobby, nickel corner Brice and linebacker Chris. No relation. Pencil it in: The Dolphins will lose a game when Joe Philbin yells "McCain, get on the field" before an opponent's 4th-and-4 punt, they all run out at once, and the penalty results in an opponent's touchdown. Philbin will not have a timeout to spend to correct the problem, because it is midway through the third quarter. Satisfactory.
146. Minnesota Vikings: Stefon Diggs, Wide Receiver, Maryland. Diggs lost half of 2013 to a broken leg and dealt with a lacerated kidney last season. The injuries kept his numbers down, and Diggs’ intensity has also been questioned. Throw in ordinary size-speed measurables, and there are reasons he slipped into the fifth round. What Diggs offers is elite quickness, after-catch creativity and very good hands. He had an excellent pro day, which proved that he was fully healthy and showed that he has been focused and motivated in the offseason. I like Diggs and Pruitt in rapid succession: The Vikings have a variety of unusual playmakers to draw from as they craft their depth charts. Satisfactory.
147. Green Bay Packers: Brett Hundley, Quarterback, UCLA. Let's give Hundley the full second-rounder treatment, just because:
Strengths: Size-speed-arm, experience.
Weaknesses: Got sacked while you were reading this.
Hundley was a great prospect for fans of “well, actually” counterarguments. He got sacked 38 times in just 392 attempts last season! Well, actually, UCLA uses a lot of five-man protection, so sacks are inevitable. He tucked and ran at the first sign of trouble. Well, actually, his prescribed second read on many plays was to scramble. He threw behind or over the heads of receivers! Well, actually, he didn’t have a great receiving corps, and his low interception total (14 in his last two seasons) shows he was placing the ball where either his receiver or nobody could catch it. “Well, actually” arguments are great until you’ve endured your 10th sack of the game (watch the Utah tape) and ran out of rationalizations after the ninth.
That said, I love him here. The Packers need a quarterback who can come off the bench and threaten an offense with his size-speed-arm in a spot start. Hundley needs a detail-oriented set of coaches who can reset his pocket clock. And everyone will be happier if Hundley spends an entire year learning from the bench. After two years in the Packers system, and assuming there are no Aaron Rodgers disasters, Hundley will be appealing trade bait for a second-rounder. Outstanding.
148. New Orleans Saints: Davis Tull, Edge-Rusher, Tennessee-Chattanooga. Tull was a super-fast, high-energy defender headed for a mid-major scholarship before severely injuring his leg as a senior. Recruiters literally hung up the phone on him when they heard the details of the injury, because college athletics are all about academics and achievement, not ugly Glengarry Glen Ross tactics, and don’t you forget it. Tull became a three-time Southern Conference Defender of the Year at the high FCS level, and his workout numbers gave him a pretty good SackSEER score from Football Outsiders. Tull is probably a year away from contributing, but he’s a toolsy hustle guy worth working with. Satisfactory.
149. Miami Dolphins: Jay Ajayi, Running Back, Boise State. Ajayi is a love-him-or-hate-him prospect; I like him but in a friend zone kind of way. His upside is LeSean McCoy 2013: lots of big plays, great receiving value and judicious use of the “bounce to the outside” technique when the lanes between the tackles are slightly clogged. The downside is LeSean McCoy 2014: still some big plays, but everything gets bounced outside, resulting in long periods of low productivity.
Ajayi fumbled seven times last season, including a big one late in the Fiesta Bowl. He took a 397-touch pounding, and there is scuttlebutt about a knee injury that is either nonexistent or he got hit by a freight train and broke both his legs. So wear and weariness are concerns. That said, Ajayi can catch and run routes, and he is smart and willing as a pass protector. He could contribute as a passing-down bowling ball while his rushing instincts develop. He's a fine value here. Outstanding.
150. Miami Dolphins: Cedric Thompson, Safety, Minnesota. Size-speed guy with up-and-down tape. When you are picking 90 times in the fifth round like the Dolphins are, it's not a bad thing to throw some athletes in the cart and continue shopping. Satisfactory.
151. Indianapolis Colts: David Parry, Defensive Tackle, Stanford. The Colts are grabbing Stanford linemen like they need players to simultaneously stuff the run and design a nuclear submarine. Parry has a pretty good athletic profile and the usual high character. Satisfactory.
152. New York Jets: Jarvis Harrison, Guard, Texas A&M. Harrison got benched for two games because of conditioning issues. He is listed at 330 pounds but would probably be a Pro Bowler at 315 and looked like he was playing at 350. But Harrison can move like he has an anti-gravity belt, mirrors pass-rushers well and picks up blitzes and adjusts well when he is at the top of his game. So the Jets either got one of the best interior linemen in the nation or a guy who buries his career in Krispy Kremes. Who said picking a guard in the fifth round was risk free? Satisfactory.
153. San Diego Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, Edge-Rusher, North Dakota State. During his senior season, Emanuel recorded 19.5 sacks for the Bison. The usual FCS (and particularly North Dakota State) caveats apply: The Bison tear through competition like the Hulk smashing robot minions (um, spoiler?), so Emanuel notched some sacks that won’t be available against NFL competition. He’s also a pure defensive end who hovers around 255 pounds, but the Chargers will need him to play outside linebacker (albeit an outside linebacker who rushes a huge percentage of the time). Emanuel is definitely worth a look in a draft full of hustling FCS pass-rushers. Satisfactory.
154. New Orleans Saints: Tyeler Davidson, Defensive Tackle, Fresno State. The Saints have drafted six defensive players, one quarterback of the please-oh-please-be distant future and a tackle. Think Rob Ryan has run out of benefits of the doubt? Davidson is a big, mighty, meaty slab of a dude who can get off blocks but isn't going to chase down anything faster than a guy pushing a wheelbarrow uphill. Satisfactory.
155. Buffalo Bills: Karlos Williams, Running Back, Florida State.
Williams moved from safety to running back in 2013 and had an excellent season. He looked like a special player: 230 pounds of marble that could catch the ball pretty well and push the Beast Mode button once he was through the hole.
Then 2014 happened. Williams became the subject of a Title IX domestic violence investigation. He suffered a concussion and battled some minor injuries. He became heavy-footed as a rusher, and freshman Dalvin Cook gobbled up his carries. Williams became mostly a goal-line specialist, with 39 of his 150 carries and all 12 of his rushing touchdowns coming from the red zone. He came back to play well against Oregon in the Rose Bowl after Cook got a case of the freshman fumbles, then shined in Combine workouts.
What to make of all of this? Well, even before the Title IX investigation, there were questions about Williams’ motor and motivation. His defensive background gives him special teams value, and he has the skills of a Toby Gerhart type of thumping change-up runner, but players who stick in that role tend to win Good Citizenship awards.
Rex Ryan is not afraid of taking a character risk in the name of adding talent. This is not news. Williams could be a useful change-up back to Shady McCoy if he handles all of the ifs. Satisfactory.
156. Miami Dolphins: Tony Lippett, Wide Receiver, Michigan State. Us: Mooo-oommm, the Dolphins are selecting a player again.
MOM: Dolphins! Quit hogging the fifth round and give someone else a turn!
DOLPHINS: C'mon, mom, just one more wide receiver.
MOM: No. You have been pigging out on wide receivers since the Kenny Stills trade.
US: Eww, gross, they already put their mouths all over Tony Lippett.
MOM: Okay, Dolphins, you can keep Lippett. But then you have to take the rest of the round off.
DOLPHINS. (Sigh). Yes, mom. Satisfactory.
157. Cincinnati Bengals: C.J. Uzomah, Tight End, Auburn. A tight end with 11 catches last season who doesn't even block all that well? When you already selected Tyler Kroft? C'mon, Bengals: Guys like this are available in street free agency. Needs improvement.
158. Arizona Cardinals: Shaquille Riddick, Defensive End, West Virginia. Very long and lean. The Mountaineers have a habit of using guys like Riddick as standard linemen, and they get shoved all over the place. The Cardinals love height and length on defense, so Riddick is their type. A developmental pick. Satisfactory.
159. Arizona Cardinals: J.J. Nelson, Wide Receiver, UAB. Weighs 156 pounds. Seriously. My 12-year-old is gaining on him. Also runs a 4.2-ish 40. If my 12-year-old did that, I wouldn't be sitting here grading the fifth round much longer, I can tell you that. (Though, in fairness, Larry Fitzgerald's dad is probably interviewing MyCole Pruitt as I type this. Ted Ginn Jr. handled returns for the Cardinals last year, but he is back in Carolina now. Nelson has dibs on the kicks and punts. Satisfactory.
160. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jesse James, Tight End, Penn State.
Prepare for trouble!
Make it double!
To protect the Steelers from devastation!
To unite all peoples of this nation!
To denounce the evils of truth and love!
To extend Todd Haley's reach to the stars above!
I was going to do a wild west or Outlaw Garage joke, but that would have been really stupid.
James is not 21 years old yet, so he has the potential to get bigger, stronger and smarter in camp. He already has the “smart” part down: he’s good at finding holes in zones, working for a scrambling quarterback and catching poorly thrown emergency dump-offs. If the rest of his game develops, the Steelers got a sleeper. Satisfactory.
161. Oakland Raiders: Neiron Ball, Linebacker, Florida. The Raiders head coach was an outstanding linebacker. The Raiders defensive coordinator was an outstanding linebacker. Based on the last two selections, Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton were unimpressed by much of the non-Khalil Mack linebacker play they saw in film study. Of course, you don't have to be Del Rio or Norton to be unimpressed by the Raiders linebackers of 2014. Satisfactory.
162. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kenny Bell, Wide Receiver, Nebraska. Bell is a boundary receiver and a return specialist. The Buccaneers got nothing from the return game last year. They have plugged enough holes by now to do something about it. Satisfactory.
163. Dallas Cowboys: Ryan Russell, Defensive End, Purdue. Well-built, toolsy four-year starter who does not make many plays. Looks ordinary and may not have a competitive streak, according to the scuttlebutt. Russell can room with Randy Gregory; the Cowboys can motivate two underacheivers with one cattle prod. Satisfactory.
164. Denver Broncos: Lorenzo Doss, Cornerback, Tulane. Another converted high school wide receiver in a draft where few of the cornerbacks actually played much cornerback, Doss has the classic “slot-nickel” skill set. He catches the ball well, jumps routes and is quick to anticipate patterns underneath, but he will lose size-speed mismatches and get caught peeking if he plays outside. The upside, alertness and nickel-readiness make him a great value here. Outstanding.
165. San Francisco 49ers: Bradley Pinion, Punter, Clemson. This draft was going so well for the 49ers. Then they had to break the punter seal. Andy Lee is under contract until 2018. His cap numbers get a little lofty, but with everyone retiring like inner-city teachers during a buyout, the Niners don't have to cut costs at punter. Pinion's arrival may mean that Lee is thinking about moving to the Andes and raising alpacas, the one thing no one has yet opted to do instead of playing for the 49ers. Needs Improvement.
166. New England Patriots: Joe Cardona, Long Snapper, Navy. The NFL set Cardona aside for Bill Belichick at the start of the draft. C'mon, Bill: Who but you was really going to take a Navy long snapper? If he was a Navy long snapper who married a Rutgers lacrosse player, Rex Ryan would have traded up and taken him out of spite. Needs Improvement.
167. New Orleans Saints: Damian Swann, Cornerback, Georgia. Another stockpile cornerback to join Brandon Browner, P.J. Williams and the incumbents. The Saints should have done this last year. Satisfactory.
168. Detroit Lions: Michael Burton, Fullback, Rutgers. The Lions use fullbacks often: 251 two-back sets last season, according to the Football Outsiders database. Burton is a pure fullback, with just one carry last season for Rutgers, so his role will be obvious. Satisfactory.
169. Carolina Panthers: David Mayo, Linebacker, Texas State. Undersized "Will" linebacker type. Thomas Davis was phenomenal last year but is now 32, so the Panthers are starting to stockpile potential replacements. Satisfactory.
170. Seattle Seahawks: Tye Smith, Cornerback, Towson. The Seahawks have lost a tremendous amount of cornerback depth. Guys like Tharold Simon and Jeremy Lane are now listed high on the depth chart. Smith was an experienced starter at the FCS level and has decent tools. I know I sound like I am slagging all over the Seahawks draft, but they seem to address every problem one round too late with some hinky, off-the-radar selection. Satisfactory.
171. Baltimore Ravens: Nick Boyle, Tight End, Delaware. Boyle averaged just 9.7 yards per catch for his career at the FCS level, so you know the Ravens aren’t getting a seam-stretcher. He looked like a physical blocker and tackle-breaker at Delaware but was just another guy at the Senior Bowl. Boyle is the kind of small-school guy you fall in love with if you are going out of your way to find small-school guys to fall in love with. Satisfactory.
172. Kansas City Chiefs: D.J. Alexander, Linebacker, Oregon State. See next comment.
173. Kansas City Chiefs: James O'Shaughnessy, Tight End, Illinois State. The Chiefs are veering well off my radar in search of unusual players at non-need positions. It's the end of the fifth round, of course, so the time has come to dabble in punters and long snappers. But there is still secondary and wide receiver talent lurking out there. Needs Improvement.
174. Carolina Panthers: Cameron Artis-Payne, Running Back. Auburn. Auburn’s running game can fool you. It’s like watching Chip Kelly coach the 1982 Redskins: lots of hurry-up and spread-option concepts, but the blocking schemes are full of counters and traps. A good running back can look great in the system, and Artis-Payne was a good running back. He’s probably not a great one, but he is a tough competitor who knows how to set up blocks and be productive on a per-carry basis.
This was a good round to make a value pick at running back for a team that is starting to look dangerously thin there. Having two Auburn guys named Cam in the backfield is just gravy. Satisfactory.
175. Houston Texans: Keith Mumphery, Wide Receiver, Michigan State. Tough cookie type. Found a way to average 19 yards per catch despite so-so speed and does all the little things. The Chiefs could have used him when they were taking James O'Shaughnessy. Will play special teams as a rookie and could become a lifer. Satisfactory.
176. Baltimore Ravens: Robert Myers, guard, Tennessee State. A big, strong guy who showed he was not ready at the Senior Bowl. Has the tools to stick on the practice squad. Compensatory picks, Ozzie Newsome, preschooler, ball pit. Satisfactory.
Sixth Round Coverage
177. Tennessee Titans: Deiontrez Mount, Linebacker, Louisville. Brian Orakpo insurance and a guy who can play as a run defender in some packages. Satisfactory.
178. New England Patriots: Matthew Wells, Linebacker, Mississippi State: Small, speedy outside linebacker who could almost play safety. Has great special teams characteristics; could develop into a coverage linebacker or similar Belichick contraption. Satisfactory.
179. Oakland Raiders: Max Valles, Linebacker, Virginia: A big, athletic prospect for Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton to tinker with and see if he can become Jack Del Rio or Ken Norton. LINEBACKERS. WE DEMAND MORE LINEBACKERS. Satisfactory.
180. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Bennett, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State. Based solely on the ability to win in the first second after the ball is snapped, Bennett may be the best defensive tackle in this draft, better than Danny Shelton or Malcom Brown. He consistently beats linemen off the snap, penetrates and disrupts. After that first second, everything is hustle. Bennett is short and undersized for the interior line, and he doesn’t have many tricks up his sleeve. If he out-positioned his blocker, he can shed and make sacks. If not, he’s blocked, and he can wear down after 60 snaps or so.
A rotation tackle who plays 40-50 snaps and causes all kinds of commotion is still a valuable NFL player. Particularly in the sixth round. Satisfactory.
181. Washington Redskins: Kyshoen Jarrett, Safety, Virginia Tech. See next comment.
182. Redskins: Tevin Mitchel, Cornerback, Arkansas. The Redskins intercepted just seven passes last season. They allowed opposing quarterbacks to post a 108.3 efficiency rating, the highest figure in the NFL. They ignored the secondary until late because they brought in free-agent reinforcements, but this is an impressive one-two punch. Jarrett is a hustle guy and big hitter with a knack for the football. Mitchell is tall, experienced and toolsy. Jarrett could quickly push Dashon Goldson. Mitchel is more of a pipeline guy, and it is encouraging to see the Redskins start to create a pipeline. Outstanding.
183. Chicago Bears: Tayo Fabuluje, Guard, Texas Christian. Insanely massive 350-pounder. Like Marcus Cannon but not as athletic. A bring-him-in-and-see guy if he can trim a little weight without losing power. Satisfactory.
184. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kaelin Clay, Wide Receiver, Utah. A slot guy with return chops. There will clearly be open competition for the return duties between Clay and Kenny Bell. Robert Herron is also on the roster, so the Bucs have some blurry slot types to choose from. Satisfactory.
185. Minnesota Vikings: Tyrus Thompson, Tackle, Oklahoma. Phil Loadholt, the reboot. Satsfactory.
186. New York Giants: Geremy Davis, Wide Receiver, UConn. Adequate size-speed player; averaged just 11.8 yards per catch last season after looking like a rock star in 2013. A depth-and-competition guy. Satisfactory.
187. Washington Redskins: Evan Spencer, Wide Receiver, Ohio State. Spencer's brother is a Redskins scout. (His father was, and is, Tim Spencer). I would cry nepotism, but players have made the Redskins for far more ridiculous reasons in the last 15 years than "scouted by brother," and this was Spencer's time to get drafted. He's another Niles Paul: a big, high-effort receiver who is almost a skinny tight end. Satisfactory.
188. Buffalo Bills: Tony Steward, linebacker, Clemson. The Bills need linebacker depth. Steward will compete on a depth chart full of young Preston Brown and Randell Johnson types. Satisfactory.
189. Cleveland Browns: Charles Gaines, Cornerback, Louisville. Gaines switched from receiver to cornerback as a junior and projects as a small slot corner in the NFL. He locates and catches the ball very well but isn’t the kind of feisty badger you want a 5'10" cornerback to be. Gaines was an effective return man and kick gunner, which will keep him on the active roster as a rookie. A tremendous pick in this slot. Outstanding.
190. San Francisco 49ers: Ian Silberman, Guard, Boston College. Brandon Thomas is the likely successor to Mike Iupati, but the 49ers need competition, or at least a swing lineman with more upside than Joe Looney. Silberman is competitive and just athletic enough to slide around the line if needed. Satisfactory.
191. Philadelphia Eagles: JaCorey Shepherd, Cornerback, Kansas. Another converted wide receiver; this draft is full of them. A high-upside prospect. The Eagles are assembling a cornerback stockpile. Satisfactory.
192. San Diego Chargers: Darius Philon, Defensive Tackle, Arkansas. Philon will be a 21-year-old rookie. That can be a big deal when projecting a 300-pounder with lateral quickness and some success (4.5 sacks) in the SEC. Philon can still gain bulk strength to go with his athleticism. A good guy to grab in the sixth round. Outstanding.
193. Minnesota Vikings: B.J. Dubose, Defensive End, Louisville. A square peg: long, lean at 285, and reasonably quick. Mike Zimmer will rotate him at end and see what develops. Satisfactory.
194. Buffalo Bills: Nick O'Leary, Tight End, Florida State. O’Leary was Jameis Winston’s wingman/problem-solver/enabler last year. He caught 48 passes, many of them after an opponent took a lead on the Seminoles and Winston gave the sloppy interceptions a break in favor of check-down passes. O’Leary was also a decent pass protector but got into trouble when asked to do more than wash an edge-rusher wide of the quarterback; O’Leary spent a lot of time getting thrown to the turf when run blocking. He looked much more like a camp-invitation type than a draft pick. Needs Improvement.
195. Cleveland Browns: Malcolm Johnson, Tight End, Mississippi State. The Browns pick another tight end at 198. Let's reconvene there.
196. Philadelphia Eagles: Randall Evans, Cornerback, Kansas State. Another size and speed prospect at cornerback; the Eagles are committed to fixing their secondary. Remember when Kelly did crazy stuff? That was soooo two weeks ago. Now he just drafts athletic cornerbacks. Satisfactory.
197. Cincinnati Bengals: Derron Smith, Safety, Fresno State. Smith is a converted high school quarterback who looked like a potential first-round pick in 2012 and 2013, when he intercepted 13 passes. His play dropped off in 2014, in part because he was trying to make a big play on every play. Smith falls below the height benchmark for many NFL teams at safety; he will be in trouble if asked to roll down and handle tight ends in man coverage. He’s also a blow-up tackler who doesn’t always wrap up, which can be a bad thing for an undersized safety. Smith could be a superstar who doesn’t fit the mold, but he’s more likely to be a Shamarko Thomas type: undersized tough guy and frequent injury case. In the sixth round, any boom is worth seeking out. Outstanding.
198. Cleveland Browns: Randall Telfer, Tight End, USC. Telfer is a pure blocker with just 21 catches last season and zero big-play capability. Malcolm Johnson, taken a few picks ago, is more of an H-back: smaller, but with 28 catches last season and enough quickness to do more than catch a drag and get dragged down. These guys would be competing for the third tight end position on most rosters. In Cleveland, one could end up starting, with the other playing a regular role. All things considered in a weak tight end class, the Browns could have gone out two rounds earlier and gotten a pair of guys only about 5 percent better. Satisfactory.
199. Pittsburgh Steelers: Leterrius Walton, Defensive Tackle, Central Michigan. An old-fashioned massive mound of man meat for the 3-4, just the way the Steelers like 'em. Satisfactory.
200. Detroit Lions: Quandre Diggs, Cornerback, Texas. Diggs is Quentin Jammer’s much younger brother. Jammer was a feisty, durable cornerback who rarely missed a start in 11 seasons. Diggs is also competitive, scrappy and experienced, with 49 starts for the Longhorns. There’s a major difference between the brothers, however: Jammer was three inches taller. At roughly 6'0", he could be effective despite ordinary long speed and quickness. Diggs is short, has short arms and tests poorly in workouts for lateral quickness.
Diggs should stick as a nickel or dime defender because he is fiery and smart, but he’s more likely to become a special teams captain than a long-term starter. He's a good value at this slot and with a coaching staff that excels at developing cornerbacks. Outstanding.
201. St. Louis Rams: Bud Sasser, Wide Receiver, Missouri: Big, productive major-program guy with 77 receptions last season. Worth a look at this point. If Les Snead does not get at least one Mizzou guy per draft class, he whips his hair back and forth, his hair back and forth in protest. Satisfactory.
202. New England Patriots: A.J. Derby, Tight End, Arkansas. Derby was a quarterback at Coffeyville Community College in 2012. He completed just 46.4 percent of his passes for the Coffeyville Ravens, making him the Geno Smith of the Kansas Jayhawks community college conference.
The Razorbacks saw something they liked in Derby and gave him an emergency start at quarterback in 2013; he went 14-of-26 for 137 yards and a touchdown against Rutgers, which is remarkable for a guy who looked bad against Hutchinson Community College a year earlier. Derby moved to tight end last year and caught 22 passes as the Hogs finally began rebuilding their dignity. Derby is now 24 and has almost no usefulness as a blocker, but his ability to “fail upward” is so fascinating that you almost have to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Belichick will probably make him an edge-rusher. Satisfactory.
203. Denver Broncos: Darius Kilgo, Defensive Tackle, Maryland. A late effort to get a Pot Roast Knighton replacement. Kilgo looks the part but is pretty much a slab. The Broncos should have grabbed a defensive tackle earlier. Needs Improvement.
204. Baltimore Ravens: Darren Waller, Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech. Two Georgia Tech receivers in one draft? No thanks. Waller is a big guy who runs deep in a straight line. His blocking is just OK. He's a sixth-round Stephen Hill. There are actually still better long-range prospects on the board as deep threats. Needs Improvement.
205. Indianapolis Colts: Josh Robinson, Running Back, Mississippi State. Robinson is a classic low center-of-gravity, between-the-tackles squirter who can look great for stretches. He's strictly a screen-pass receiver, which makes him an odd change-up back. Robinson will look great plowing through backups in preseason games and will stick as the third runner, but watch Boom Herron take the backup job with his outlet receiving skills. Satisfactory.
206. Green Bay Packers: Aaron Ripkowski, Fullback, Oklahoma. Could this be the end of John Kuhn? Packers fans can even chant "Let 'er Rip" instead of "Kuuuuuuuuuuhn" at the goal line. Satisfactory.
207. Indianapolis Colts: Amario Herrera, Linebacker, Georgia. Experienced starter and defensive signal-caller. Not very strong or quick. We've reached the point of the draft where if you are a major college starter, your name might be called. Satisfactory.
208. Tennessee Titans: Andy Gallik, Center, Boston College. Boston College has not produced a top interior line prospect since Chris Snee in 2004. The program just isn’t what it used to be, but old-timers might see Gallick (or Ian Silberman, drafted by the 49ers early in the round) as a hard-working bad-body type, and imagine a cross between Snee, Damien Woody, Pete Kendall and the Widell brothers. But Gallick is not really in that class (nor was Silberman). He’s a brains-and-effort type who is just quick enough to get by in the NFL but lacks the raw power to handle many nose tackles one-on-one. He’s either a three-position sub or a starter on a team with two superheroes at guard. The Colts are just grabbing passionate semi-talents to grind on the depth chart at this point. Not that there is anything wrong with that at the end of the sixth round. Satisfactory.
209. Seattle Seahawks: Obum Gwacham, Defensive End, Oregon State. Wide receiver turned defensive end. High-upside player. The Seahawks have a pretty good track record with this kind of athlete. Outstanding.
210. Green Bay Packers: Christian Ringo, Defensive End, Louisiana-Lafayette. Small, undersized defensive end. I have nothing. Probably a Ted Thompson dumpster dive in search of another Mike Daniels. Satisfactory.
211. Houston Texans: Reshard Cliett, Linebacker, South Florida: Cliett recorded six sacks last season but was not very productive before that. A depth/special teams selection. Satisfactory.
212. Pittsburgh Steelers: Anthony Chickillo, Defensive End, Miami. A former 5-star recruit who never quite found a position on the field. Chickillo is small by Steelers line standards; they may see him as a Levon Kirkland-like "heavy" inside player. High motor. Satisfactory.
213. Green Bay Packers: Kennard Backman, Tight End, UAB. The three survivors of the Packers post-playoff tight end purge had 105 combined career receptions: 85 for Andrew Quarless, 20 for Richard Rodgers and zero for Justin Perillo. Quarless is reliable for simple tasks. Rodgers is toolsy but blocks like he’s carrying a box of crystal. Perillo went to college in Maine. Depth and competition were sorely needed. Backman is big and productive and had 39 catches last season. Satisfactory.
214. Seattle Seahawks: Kristian Sokoli, Defensive Tackle, Buffalo. All-purpose athlete. Played nose tackle at Buffalo but is probably a king-sized end. Has great measurables. The Seahawks are grabbing tape-measure defenders late in the draft and earning lots of "they know what they are doing" benefit of the doubt on the grades. Satisfactory.
215. St. Louis Rams: Cody Wichmann, Guard, Fresno State. Pretty much every lineman whose predraft scouting report said "run-blocker only: can push guys around but isn't suited to pass protection" is now on the Rams roster. Satisfactory.
216. Houston Texans: Christian Covington, Defensive Tackle, Rice. Quick-and-tough penetrator who slid because of a knee injury. The Texans will make him an end and J.J. Watt's stunt double. Satisfactory.
217. Kansas City Chiefs: Rakeem Nunez-Roches, Defensive Tackle, Southern Miss. Nunez-Roches is a film lover’s prospect, as opposed to a combine lover’s prospect. He’s compact for a 300-pounder, and he lacks overwhelming power or quickness. But on film he gets low against his blocker and penetrates, or attacks the proper shoulder on a zone-stretch block and disrupts, or gets his hands up when the quarterback is about to throw, or some other “detail” play that shows he can really help as part of a three-tackle rotation. Check out the Alabama cut-up and you will see a guy who can help your team, even if he rarely gets a sack and won’t obliterate a double-team.
The Chiefs need a rotation backup for Dontari Poe, and I needed a Chiefs pick that I really liked. We each got what we wanted. Outstanding.
Seventh Round Coverage
218. Oakland Raiders: Anthony Morris, Tackle, Tennessee State. An undersized developmental lineman. The Raiders have acquired enough depth to let them purchase a few green bananas. Satisfactory.
219. Cleveland Browns: Hayes Pullard, Linebacker, USC. Pullard runs fast, tries hard and gets his teammates lined up and eager to play. He also misses tackles, gets wired and pushed around by blockers, and has not recorded a sack in two years (even linebackers who play in space usually end up with a sack or two per season). He’s a hard player to project: high effort and low physicality is an odd combination at linebacker. On the low end, he will stick as a special teamer and backup linebacker coaches trust to try hard and mind his assignments. Satisfactory.
220. Jacksonville Jaguars: Neal Sterling, Wide Receiver, Monmouth. Sterling is a 6'4", 234-pound specimen with 202 career receptions at a small program. The best thing about selecting players from Monmouth is knowing that you totally cheesed off Bill Belichick by beating him to them. Satisfactory.
221. Oakland Raiders: Andre Debose, Wide Receiver, Florida. The Raiders' return man last year was seventh-round pick Travis Carrie, who was nothing special. This seventh-round pick could be better: Debose has exceptional speed and handled return duties for the Gators. Satisfactory.
222. Washington Redskins: Austin Reiter, Center, South Florida. Redskins center Kory Lichtensteiger is 30 years old. He is playing well, but there is no true backup on the roster. Satisfactory.
223. New York Jets: Deon Simon, Defensive Tackle, Northwestern State. 24-year-old mammoth with knee injury concerns. Weightlifting monster at the combine. The Jets aren't exactly needy on the defensive line and probably should have looked elsewhere. Needs Improvement.
224. St. Louis Rams: Bryce Hager, Linebacker, Baylor. Hager's father, Britt Hager, was a Texas All-America linebacker who played for Buddy Ryan's Eagles. Jeff Fisher was a young assistant coach on those teams. If Les Snead gets his Missouri guy, Fisher has to get someone with a Buddy Ball connection. Them's the rules. Hager can compete on special teams. Satisfactory.
225. Atlanta Falcons: Jake Rodgers, Tackle, Eastern Washington. The Falcons are shockingly thin on the offensive line, with guys like Ryan Schraeder (who played well in relief last year) and Harland Gunn penciled in as starters. Rodgers is a giant who will compete as a multi-position sub. Satisfactory.
226. New York Giants: Bobby Hart, Guard, Florida State. Full confession: I did not personally evaluate the Florida State guards and tackles. My scouting reports on them are based on the work of Matt Miller and some other trusted colleagues. It was just … well, I scouted Jameis Winston, then Rashad Greene, then Cam Erving at center (so I got to see Bell, Josue Matias and Tre’ Jackson in my peripheral vision), then Karlos Williams and Nick O’Leary. I saw the Seminoles offense so many times that I was having nightmares of Jameis throwing footballs directly at free safeties. You know how Mike Mayock said he thought Jameis might have thrown 30 or 40 interceptions? That’s a symptom of watching too much Florida State tape. You look at your wife, and you see Jameis throwing an interception.
Anyway, Hart played right tackle but will move to guard in the pros. He is slow-footed but more of an effort guy than Jackson or the undrafted Matias. The Giants prefer effort guys, and they need line depth. Could be a quiet steal, but what do I know? I didn't really watch him. Satisfactory.
227. St. Louis Rams: Martin Ifedi, Defensive End, Memphis. Had 11.5 sacks in 2013. Had some injuries and tailed off last season. The Rams needed a high-energy sack-producing defensive lineman to round out their ninth string. Needs Improvement.
228. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Shepherd, Tackle, Alabama. The Vikings sure have been dragging their feet on the Matt Kalil fifth-year option. And they sure have been stockpiling tackles at the end of this draft. And Kalil sure did struggle last season, with 12 sacks allowed. You don't draft Austin Shepherd and Tyrus Thompson and say "screw this, who needs Matt Kalil." But all the extra beef sure can provide a little insurance. Satisfactory.
229. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ben Koyack, Tight End, Notre Dame. You know it’s bad when even Notre Dame has run out of tight end prospects. Koyack looks the part and can catch the ball but runs some of the roundest routes I have ever seen: He looks like someone trying to park a conversion van for the first time at the top of his stem. Koyack gives good blocking effort but is inconsistent and will whiff in pass protection. I don't hate him as a seventh-rounder, but I have to mix the grades up a little, so Needs Improvement.
230. New Orleans Saints: Marcus Murphy, Running Back, Missouri. Small, quick all-purpose back with enough size and power to not shatter if he runs between the tackles. Good return man. Gosh, I wish I could have somehow copyrighted the Darren Sproles comparison; I would be rich by the third day of minicamp. Satisfactory.
231. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joey Iosefa, Fullback, Hawaii. Iosefa ran for over 2,000 yards in college, caught the ball well, and even attempted a few passes, so "fullback" may not be the proper label. He's more of an all-purpose power player. Gosh, I wish I could have somehow copyrighted the Mike Alstott comparison. Satisfactory.
232. Kansas City Chiefs: Da'Ron Brown, Wide Receiver, Northern Illinois. Productive receiver with a thick frame. Caught 68 passes last season and got the ball on a lot of designed runs as coaches wanted to feature him. Could be Ty Montgomery at a lower price. Outstanding.
234. Buffalo Bills: Dezmin Lewis, Wide Receiver, Central Arkansas. Every five minutes or so during the Senior Bowl, Lewis would tightrope the sideline, outjump a cornerback and make a spectacular catch. This was January, and Odell Beckham’s heroics were fresh on our minds, so it was easy to get carried away with ODB fantasies. Lewis was the Beckham of the Southland Conference, which isn’t quite the same thing as being the Beckham of the SEC, though it ain’t chopped liver, either (the Southland is an FCS power conference).
Here’s the catch that made Lewis quasi-famous before he became a Senior Bowl legend. He does this sort of thing a lot. The rest of Lewis’ game needs work, but he could grow into a heck of a boundary receiver and end-zone fade threat. Outstanding.
235. Houston Texans: Kenny Hilliard, Running Back, LSU. Hilliard falls somewhere between new teammate Alfred Blue and Jacob Hester on the spectrum of big, beefy straight-ahead LSU runners. Will battle Blue for a role. Satisfactory.
236. Dallas Cowboys: Mark Nzeocha, Linebacker, Wyoming. Small hustle-and-effort defender. The Cowboys aren't deep or overwhelmingly talented at Will linebacker, so Nzeocha could hustle his way into Rod Marinelli's heart. Satisfactory.
237. Philadelphia Eagles: Brian Mihalik, Defensive End, Boston College. Stands 6'9" with a lean frame, making him a leverage nightmare. Chip Kelly either has a spreedsheet full of arm length and knee radius data that tells him Mihalik is a star, or he is planning to take over the 76ers. Or, he plans to have Mihalik block other teams' extra points while Tim Tebow scores two-point conversions, giving the Eagles a 33 percent boost when they trade touchdowns. Or maybe it's the seventh round, so 6'9" guy, why not? Satisfactory.
238. Cincinnati Bengals: Mario Alford, Wide Receiver, West Virginia. Tiny burner with return skills who is not as nifty as other West Virginia big-play guys like Tavon Austin. The Bengals had a wide receiver catastrophe at the end of last season, so grabbing a talented body was a good idea. Alford may also find a lot of space to work with when teams focus on A.J. Green deep. Or vice versa. Satisfactory.
239. Pittsburgh Steelers: Gerod Holliman, Safety, Louisville. Meet Gerod Holliman, Jameis Winston’s second-favorite receiver! Kidding! Holliman led the nation with 14 interceptions, two of them against Winston. Holliman was so grateful for the second one that he fumbled it right back to Winston, setting up some late-game heroics and offseason-defining narrative.
Holliman is fast, fluid in the open field and good at recognizing when a quarterback is about to do something stupid; he excels at following a quarterback’s eyes when he locks in. But Holliman was only a one-year starter, and his tackling technique consists of bumping into the ball-carrier and hoping he falls down. Holliman could be a Jairus Byrd-caliber cherry picker, but he could also have just caught Winston and some other quarterbacks on particularly generous afternoons.
As a seventh-rounder, Holliman is a great value. And let's celebrate the Steelers' commitment to adding multiple bodies in the secondary. It has been too long in coming! Outstanding.
240. Detroit Lions: Corey Robinson, Tackle, South Carolina. Technically raw college left tackle with ideal size. The Lions don't have a pressing need, so they can try to develop him. Satisfactory.
241. Cleveland Browns: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Cornerback, Oregon. Ekpre-Olomu’s name is pronounced ee-fo eck-pray olo-moo. That doesn’t really help, does it? Luckily, there’s a YouTube video on how to pronounce his name. I love the video, because it reminds me of a 1970’s episode of The Electric Company after everyone in the cast dropped too much LSD. (In other words, slightly more LSD than usual.)
Ekpre-Olomu may be hard to pronounce and spell, but the only three letters you have to worry about right now are ACL, pronounce ay-see-el. Ekpre-Olomu tore his in December, and while he said he was ahead of schedule at the combine, he won’t be an on-field participant in minicamp and is likely to miss all of training camp. In other words, the Browns have picked a defender for 2016.
What Ekpre-Olomu will eventually bring to the field is an ideal nickel corner’s skill set: toughness and strength for his size, a feel for zone coverage, and the ability to break on the ball and exploit a quarterback’s mistake. He would have been a Day 2 pick if he had not gotten hurt, so this is a heck of a value selection. Outstanding.
242. Oakland Raiders: Dexter McDonald, Cornerback, Kansas. 6'1", 200-pound corner with major-program experience and a 4.42-second 40 time, per NFL.com. It's the late seventh round. I'm satisfied. Satisfactory.
243. Dallas Cowboys: Laurence Gibson, Tackle, Virginia Tech. Anyone notice that the Cowboys did not draft a running back? Hmmmm... Gibson is an eyeball test guy. The Cowboys have bulked up their offensive line depth chart. Satisfactory.
244. San Francisco 49ers: Trenton Brown, Guard, Florida. This dude stands 6'8" and weighs 355. With a name like "Trenton," he must be getting fat off my tax dollars. All the size-speed freaks are leaving the board at this point. It's either that or draft what's left at quarterback, think all the general managers, shuddering. Satisfactory.
245. Tennessee Titans: Tre McBride, Wide Receiver, William & Mary. Here are some highlights of McBride’s performance against West Virginia in 2013 to help you see what all the fuss is about. McBride is a little like Dezmin Lewis of Central Arkansas: He’s big, fast and can outjump defenders for hard-to-catch passes. Lewis is the better prospect, but McBride’s workout numbers earned him a second look. I like what the Titans have done with their skill positions. They suddenly look ... skilled. Outstanding.
246. Dallas Cowboys: Geoff Swaim, Tight End, Texas. My favorite "sleeper" tight end in this class was Rory Anderson. He just got snapped up by the 49ers as I am mopping up these comments. (I mean, providing you with high-level insights about Geoff What's His Name!). The Cowboys should have nabbed Anderson. At this point in the grading, it's time to be petty. Needs Improvement.
247. New England Patriots: Darryl Roberts, Cornerback, Marshall. Superior athlete, blew up his workouts, looks lousy on film. Will spend two seasons on the practice squad then win the Super Bowl with a goal-line interception. Outstanding.
248. Seattle Seahawks: Ryan Murphy, Safety, Oregon State. Big, fast defensive back. Seahawks seventh-rounder. Will have his own brand of cereal in two years. Satisfactory.
249. Atlanta Falcons: Akeem King, Safety, San Jose State. The Patriots grabbed a defensive back with crazy workout numbers. The Seahawks grabbed a defensive back with crazy workout numbers. The Falcons, who are baby-brother Patriots and Seahawks, grab their own defensive back with crazy workout numbers. The Falcons will need to use theirs first. Satisfactory.
250. Denver Broncos: Trevor Siemian, Quarterback, Northwestern. Siemian got buzzy about two weeks before the draft. His numbers are amazingly awful—seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions in his final season?—and there is nothing particularly toolsy about him. The interviews must have been grand slams. The free-agent market is full of interesting take-a-flyer quarterbacks like Blake Sims, Taylor Heinicke, Chris Bonner, Anthony Boone and Connor Halliday. Let's go with "John Elway and Gary Kubiak know more about quarterbacks than I do" and move on. Satisfactory.
251. Denver Broncos: Taurean Nixon, Defensive Back, Tulane. Smallish cornerback. Will have a hard time making the roster. Needs Improvement.
252. Denver Broncos: Josh Furman, Safety, Oklahoma State. Are you done yet, Broncos? The Broncos are really deep all over the secondary. These are guys to stash on the practice squad to cover injury emergencies. Satisfactory.
253. New England Patriots: Xzavier Dickson, Linebacker, Alabama. And here come the Patriots to grab another interesting system guy. Dickson is a 260-pounder who recorded nine sacks last season. He's just a so-so athlete, but he can rip and disengage from blockers and attack straight ahead. The Patriots have grabbed a bunch of these guys in the draft, and Dickson could emerge as the best rush linebacker of the bunch, though my money is on Trey Flowers. And yes, after 253 picks, with blurry eyes and a throbbing head, I really resent the fact that this guy is named Xzavier. But that will pass. Outstanding.
254. San Francisco 49ers: Rory Anderson, Tight End, South Carolina. Anderson is an intriguing sleeper in a weak tight end class. He’s seen by some as a tight end-receiver ‘tweener, but he lined up as a conventional tight end frequently for the Gamecocks and is one of the more willing blockers in this class. He can pin edge defenders to the sideline, cut block and sometimes even create a little movement. Anderson also has enough speed to stretch the seam and catches the ball well. He would rank higher if not for a litany of hamstring and arm injuries, or if Steve Spurrier featured his tight ends more in the receiving game (or kept them on the field more often). Outstanding.
255. Indianapolis Colts: Denzell Goode, Tackle, Mars Hill. Mars Hill is not where Jim Irsay goes to meditate or the title of a Gorillaz album. It's a bible college in North Carolina. Their football team (the Lions) went 4-6 last season against opponents like Tusculum. I have never seen a second of Mars Hill University game tape. Denzell Goode is large. That is certain. Satisfactory.
256. Arizona Cardinals: Gerald Christian, Tight End, Louisville. Mister Irrelevant will probably be far more relevant than many of the guys taken ahead of him. Christian has good hands and can generate YAC. He's not a bad blocker. He's a natural H-back who is roughly as good as many of the tight ends who were taken in the middle rounds. Bruce Arians likes to use- two and three-tight end sets; there is a role in his offense for an H-back who hangs off the end of a three-TE formation and sneaks upfield on a wheel route. Christian can play that role. Outstanding.
Thanks for tuning in, folks. I will be back on Bleacher Report on ... Monday? With 32-team power rankings? Sigh. See you soon.