On The Clock NFL Mock Draft from Fanspeak.com

WR Kevin White Emerging

October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

One of the best parts of the NFL Draft Season is seeing prospects who were not on the public radar step up and begin to catch the eye of the public and rise up draft boards for teams doing evaluations. After such an incredible Wide Receiver class in 2014, the 2015 class has a lot to live up to and a new senior face is beginning to emerge as a potential first round pick, Kevin White of West Virginia. A transfer from a Lackawanna Community College in Scranton Pennsylvania, White immediately earned starts last season as a junior and has now become the go to weapon for the Mountaineer offense. Drawing comparisons from Larry Fitzgerald to DeAndre Hopkins, many are expecting Kevin White to follow up his amazing senior campaign with some star NFL performances. But how good is he as an NFL Draft prospect? Here is his scouting report breakdown:

Size:

White’s size will have NFL teams licking their chops. At 6’3 and around 210 pounds, White has the big body to box out opposing corners and work against bigger press corners. On top of the body size, White has huge hands and a big wingspan that creates an amazing range when the ball is thrown his way. As the NFL is looking to bigger corners, the WR position having someone to physically match up is becoming even more crucial and that is exactly what Kevin White brings to the table.

Athleticism/Speed:

Kevin White won’t wow anyone with his deep speed, he is likely a 4.55 type of player, but in combination with his size this makes for a dangerous athlete. There is a lot to like in terms of his athletic ability. He has a great vertical leap and utilizes a strong lower body to go up and snatch the ball from the air, especially during contested passes. His body control is phenomenal and can make some spectacular grabs. It also allows him to stay in bounds while catching the football and lay out for passes if need be. The ball doesn’t have to be perfectly thrown for him to make a play on the ball, which is an incredibly underrated trait at the next level.

Route Running:

This is probably the weakness for Kevin White at this point in his football career. He doesn’t run with the nimbleness and foot speed that is ideal for a WR, and many of his routes are run flatfooted which can slow down momentum when making cuts. There are some routes White runs well, namely streaks and curls, but he struggles to get separation on posts and ins, which could be a struggle in making the NFL adjustment. Despite the lack of precise footwork, White does run a decent route tree for the style of offense run at West Virginia. This should allow him to get up to speed quickly in the NFL and be implemented into a more complicated offense.

Catching:

White’s hands and catch radius has wowed NFL teams and his catching ability in general is a strength. He will drop the occasional pass, but the way he fights for contested passes and can make catches even with defenders hanging on him or trying to force the ball out. His catching technique, especially when open and not contested, is lacking however. He uses his body to secure passes plenty which can lead to drops or loss of acceleration when attempting to catch and run. This can create some difficulties in the pros when getting hit hard and defenders attempting to jar that ball incomplete. White often does better catching the tough passes than the easy passes.

After The Catch:

White is very tough to bring down by the typical corner or safety due to his size and strength. Though he doesn’t have great elusiveness, he has enough to power to punish someone for taking him head on. He does get caught from behind often on catches, and his lower body can get tangled in traffic. He will generally win going head on with corners and safeties, almost always falling forward upon contact and picking up extra yards. He isn’t afraid to stretch out for a first down or touchdown when needed.

Kevin White isn’t an elite WR prospect, but he is a very good one. His size and athletic ability give him a ton of professional upside and he should match up well against starting corners in the NFL. Many of the fundamentals in terms of footwork and catch technique still need work, but with coaching, he could become one of the best WRs in the NFL. He has had some games where he was shut down, namely the Oklahoma State game this year, but the potential is there. White is expected to be the top senior WR off the board in April and that will likely occur in the middle of the first round.

RB in the first round, is it worth it?

October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

One of the topics that will be debated to no end this season is the value of the RB position in the current NFL. From 1964 to 2012, every single NFL Draft had at least one RB selected in the first round. After almost 50 years of consistent value for the position, the narrative on RBs has been changing. In both the 2013 and 2014 NFL Drafts, no RB was selected in the first round. As throwing is in vogue and creating space with the passing game becomes the norm, many teams are moving away from the workhorse RB and more toward a committee of RBs or specialized role for those players.

Even the RBs who have been workhorses this season, like DeMarco Murray and LeVeon Bell, are extremely active in catching the football and pass blocking. Many fans are starting to question how much a team needs to invest in the RB position now. With breakout players in the last few seasons coming from late round and undrafted players like Alfred Morris, Andre Ellington, Zac Stacy, Isaiah Crowell, and others, the general mindset of finding RB gems late seems as lucrative as drafting a first round RB. Also, the last elite RB prospect in the draft was Trent Richardson, who has been a gigantic bust. All signs points to waiting on RB until at least the 2nd round if not later.

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Even with evidence on the contrary, the ingredients of the 2015 are ramping up to have the RB position be very valued. First, RB has become a hole for a number of NFL teams like the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings with recent off field events. Second, and most importantly, there is an elite talent at RB this year in Georgia’s Todd Gurley and some other intriguing RBs as well like Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon, Alabama’s TJ Yeldon, and Indiana’s Tevin Coleman. Todd Gurley, recently suspended due to payment for autographs, has a similar look to Trent Richardson coming out of Alabama. He has a huge body that can take punishment at 6’1 231 pounds but still has the speed and athletic ability to avoid tackles and have breakaway speed. He catches and blocks well, seemingly the full package. Will a team like the Minnesota Vikings or Baltimore Ravens be willing to take Gurley in the first round? Or will all teams wait like the last two years?

There have been plenty of busts, but an elite RB can be a game changer for offenses. The 2007 draft brought Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch who have dictated their team’s offense for years. Lynch was a major factor in helping Seattle win a Super Bowl. As defenses continue to focus on sacrificing size for speed, there could be a push back to getting physical runners who can break tackles. There have been plenty of first round busts at the position from Cedric Benson to Chris Wells to Jahvid Best sometimes for talent but many times injury has been the factor due to the brutal beating of the position. That could lend to the theory of passing on the elite talent to ultimately draft later round runners and keep them fresh.
Ultimately, it appears to be safer and better if a team saves drafting RBs for later rounds and doesn’t make a huge investment with the injury and bust rate, but it won’t stop teams from trying for the upside. Todd Gurley will likely go in the top half of the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft and could prove a mistake if his straight legged running style leads to injury. The RB position certainly isn’t dead, but it’s value will continue to decrease and has already affected team’s approaches to the NFL Draft.

User Submitted Mock Drafts: 10/17

October 17, 2014 in OTC: User Mock Drafts

Here are three of my favorite Mock Drafts of the Week:

Mock 1, Lenny, New York Giants :

 

13: R1P13
DE SHAWN OAKMAN
BAYLOR

45: R2P13
OT CAMERON ERVING
FLORIDA STATE

77: R3P13
DT ARIK ARMSTEAD
OREGON

109: R4P13
WR KASEN WILLIAMS
WASHINGTON

141: R5P13
OLB XZAVIER DICKSON
ALABAMA

173: R6P13
ILB STEPHONE ANTHONY
CLEMSON

205: R7P13
S BRISON WILLIAMS
SOUTH CAROLINA

224: R7P32
WR TITUS DAVIS
CENTRAL MICHIGAN

 

Mock 2: Caleb, Cleveland Browns:

 

9: R1P9
DE RANDY GREGORY
NEBRASKA

15: R1P15
WR AMARI COOPER
ALABAMA

47: R2P15
S ISAIAH JOHNSON
KANSAS

79: R3P15
RB AMEER ABDULLAH
NEBRASKA

105: R4P9
WR STEFON DIGGS
MARYLAND

111: R4P15
G ARIE KOUANDJIO
ALABAMA

143: R5P15
DT CHUCKY HUNTER
TCU

175: R6P15
CB DESHAZOR EVERETT
TEXAS A&M

184: R6P24
C DALLAS LEWALLEN
WISCONSIN

207: R7P15
QB CHUCKIE KEETON
UTAH STATE

 

Mock 3: Patrick, Pittsburgh Steelers

 

10: R1P10
CB IFO EKPRE-OLOMU
OREGON

42: R2P10
OT SPENCER DRANGO
BAYLOR

74: R3P10
TE NICK O'LEARY
FLORIDA STATE

106: R4P10
CB QUANDRE DIGGS
TEXAS

138: R5P10
WR MATT MILLER
BOISE STATE

170: R6P10
RB JONATHAN WILLIAMS
ARKANSAS

202: R7P10
OLB MATT ROBINSON
MARYLAND

NFL Draft Recap: Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh

October 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh

The ACC is not shy at having Thursday night primetime national games and Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh was no different. The press box was filled at the start of gametime including 17 NFL Teams (Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans,) with 26 total NFL personnel. Three of those teams sent their General Managers in Pittsburgh’s Kevin Colbert, Minnesota’s Rick Spielman, and Buffalo’s Doug Whaley. The best players in the game may have actually been true sophomores with Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller (brother of first round rookie Kyle Fuller,) and Pitt offensive weapons WR Tyler Boyd and RB James Conner. That being said, there were plenty of seniors with potential to be drafted or at least get picked up on an NFL team, especially on the Virginia Tech defense.

Pitt Offensive Tackle TJ Clemmings (68)

Clemmings Gets off the snap well, but plays very high in stance. He doesn’t have the movement skills to handle speed rushers, but his long arms and frame are excellent with tons of potential. Clemmings started his Pitt career at Defensive Line and has shown great progress in his career. In this game, Pitt didn’t run offense toward him early, but as the game progressed they went back to the experience right side. Sealed a nice block for a James Conner TD in the 4th quarter and was wrecking in the run game throughout the game. A potential top 100 pick who could go even higher due to his upside.

Pitt Right Guard Matt Rotheram (74)

Rotheram is aggressive at the point of attack and uses his size to his advantage. Big man with power, but lacks the finesse in pass protection. Led the way on a James Conner TD run by crashing inside and sealing it for a big hole. Not going to pull much, but there is a lot of upside at 335 pounds and it could entice a team to sign him as an undrafted free agent.

Pitt Defensive End David Durham (44)

Good hand usage and good leverage. Keeps working and got a big sack in the first quarter. Undersized, but he has good leg strength and a solid swim move. Not going to scare anyone with his size (6’2 240,) but finds ways to get pressure and disrupt QB timing. Might not have the pro upside to be drafted, but could catch on with a team.

Pitt Free Safety Ray Vinopal (9)

Played back in Cover 2 a lot and played the deep zone if he read pass. Got eaten up by blocks when attacking the run, but solid in coverage. Went downhill after WR screen plays and runs where help defense was needed. Shows good burst and closing speed. He showed some good 1 on 1 coverage ability. This was one of Vinopal’s best games of his career as he forced Virginia Tech to respect him. Made a crushing downhill blow to essentially force a fumble in the flat. An ideal special teams player, Vinopal just doesn’t have the speed, arm length, and body to be drafted.

Virginia Tech Defensive End Dadi Nicolas, Junior (90)

Pitt ran offense away from him early, but he was showcasing closing speed and effort on run plays to the other side. Got pressure on the QB and usually used his speed and athleticism to get around Senior RT TJ Clemmings. Pitt was paying special attention to him, often double teaming but he couldn’t beat it. Read a WR screen and hustled to make the tackle. When Pitt ran to his side, he crushed Qb Chad Voytik. Showed power and speed as a potential professional DE. Top 100 player.

Virginia Tech Safety Kyshoen Jarrett (34)

Kyshoen Jarrett had an up and down game, but he is an intriguing prospect with a lot of upside. He got caught flat footed on Tyler Boyd TD and was out of position. Seems indecisive, wasting movement as he reads the QB juking back and forth in coverage, but did well reading and reacting to the screen game. He has pro athletic ability and can transition out of his back pedal very quickly. Jarrett seemed to shadow Tyler Boyd a bit presnap as the game progressed. Late in the first half, he tried to attack James Conner and got run over. There is some downside with Jarrett in the run game, but he is a intriguing playmaker in the Virginia Tech secondary.

Virginia Tech Safety Detrick Bonner (8)

Played in the box a lot in the game. Can whiff going low at times, puts his head down, but reads offensive blocking well and plays downhill. He is a solid athlete that plays with closing speed and good size. Maybe not great at anything, but good at everything and has some high potential.

Virginia Tech Left Guard David Wang (76)

David’s brother Ed was a Virginia Tech graduate and 5th round NFL Draft pick Little more finesse, but handled spin move of Darryl Render well and kept his hips lined up. Not super athletic and a bit dumpy with his movements, and got abused a few times in pass protection, namely on a Darryl Render sack in the 3rd quarter. He has a limited ceiling, but could end up a solid reserve with development.

Virginia Tech Center Caleb Farris (79)

Farris was very solid in the run game and moves his feet well. He may have some starting potential in a zone blocking scheme. Got to the second level pretty well but never dominated a defensive player, even LBs when he got his hands on them. Doesn’t have the anchor, but has the technique down. Reserve at the next level.

Virginia Tech Left Tackle Laurence Gibson

Gibson is a bit undersized having just bulked up to 297 pounds, but he is explosive and a ver good athlete. Often in this game he was used in space or moving to the second level. He doesn't have the best anchor in the run game and can make mental lapses, but his intriguing athletic profile with a huge wingspan and nimble feet make him an upside player at the NFL player.

Tyler Boyd had another impressive game where he burned top sophomore CB Kendall Fuller for a 53 yard TD catch in the first quarter and even threw a pass back to QB Chad Voytik for 29 yards. Fuller had his moments with some nice tackles on screens and Virginia Tech put him on an island against Boyd with success plenty. James Conner continues to run well at a hulking 250 pounds and forcing multiple defenders to take him down. Look for all three for the 2016 Draft!

Prospect Comparison: Dante Fowler Jr vs. Shawn Oakman

October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

If the right underclassmen declare, 2015 could be an extremely strong draft in the pass rushing category. There will be all shapes, sizes, and fits available to NFL teams from the lightning quick 235 pounds tweeners to the hulking 280 pound maulers who can penetrate. Two of the top underclassmen that fit the latter variety are Florida’s Dante Fowler and Baylor’s Shawn Oakman. Both are physical freaks whose tools & potential will appeal to NFL teams.

Size:

Both players are absolutely humongous and have the size and arm length to be successful base ends. Fowler is listed at 6’3 and 261 pounds with a huge wingspan that he often uses to avoid engaging with blockers. His size is an advantage and also allows for some versatility since he could play OLB in some 3-4 pass rushing schemes. Shawn Oakman’s size is apparent when you first set eyes on the Baylor defense. He is listed at 6’9 280 pounds with hulking muscles and a wingspan that will entice NFL teams. Oakman has versatility of his own with the ability to play Left End, Right End, 3-tech, 5-tech, or even a 1 or 0-tech if needed. Despite Fowler’s versatility, the size of Oakman gets the nod.

Advantage: Shawn Oakman

Athletic Ability:

For their size, both players flash excellent athletic ability. Dante Fowler gets off the snap extremely quick with a good first step and a wide range. He keeps his hips open which allows for flexibility and makes it difficult to get your hands on him. Bigger than any RB, he is on a similar athletic playing field as them and able to chase RBs down and make tackles. Shawn Oakman has great athletic upside for his size and shows how low he can get at his height with great bend. He isn’t overly lumbering trying to stop the outside run and has excellent closing speed when rushing the quarterback. He can be tight hipped and can limit that athletic upside with how he locks himself. Oakman’s size advantage doesn’t make up for the athletic ability Dante Fowler brings to the table.

Advantage: Dante Fowler

Pass Rush:

Dante Fowler’s first step is one of the best in the country and with his body size, it makes it very difficult to engage him in a block. He can keep offensive tackles at bay with his long arms and rush that way. He has 2.5 sacks for the year but has gotten plenty of pressure this season. Fowler struggles at shedding blocks and when engaged he gets engulfed and taken out of the play on a regular basis. Against good competition like Alabama, he struggled to even make an impact due to this. Oakman has stepped into his first consistent starting role this year and flourished. He has 5 sacks this year and utilizes both a bull rush and dip to get to the quarterback, even collapsing the pocket through strength if he can’t shed the block. A lot of his opponents have not been able to physically match up with him. He also has 3 additional tackles for loss, one in ever game except one. His biggest struggles have also been against his best competition, namely TCU. Oakman was caught playing pretty tight and struggling against the athleticism of the Horned Frogs offensive line, but he still found moments of pressure. All in all, Oakman has been the better and more productive pass rusher this season and also looks like he has the most upside.

Advantage: Shawn Oakman

Against the run:

Oakman’s size would seem to make him the ideal run defender as he can stand up to any run defender. He does have trouble getting out in space and unless he gets penetration and can disrupt in the backfield. He does play physical and can usually take RBs down on his own. Fowler has more versatility and closing speed and is a terror at getting to the sideline and containing the run. He will be an excellent run defender in the NFL and seems to read and react well to the run vs. the pass. His size and athleticism helps, and he can usually track and follow RBs if they try to get outside. Fowler doesn’t collapse against inside runs much, but when he does he usually contributes to the tackle.

Advantage: Dante Fowler

Both of these players are potential Top 15 picks with a good combine, but I seem to lean to the physical and pass rush upside to the raw Shawn Oakman in a lot of ways. Both could contribute if they are placed in the right defense and have the athletic prowess to become stud NFL defenders.

User Mock Drafts: October 10th

October 10, 2014 in OTC: User Mock Drafts

Here are 3 of my favorite User Mock Drafts of the week:

Mock 1- Pierre, New York Giants:

 

16: R1P16

DE SHAWN OAKMAN
BAYLOR

48: R2P16

OT ERECK FLOWERS
MIAMI

80: R3P16

CB CHARLES GAINES
LOUISVILLE

112: R4P16

OLB ISHAQ WILLIAMS
NOTRE DAME

144: R5P16

ILB STEPHONE ANTHONY
CLEMSON

176: R6P16

S DANIEL FITZPATRICK
TENNESSEE STATE

208: R7P16

TE BRAXTON DEAVER
DUKE

224: R7P32

ILB KELBY BROWN
DUKE

 

Mock 2: Drew, Dallas Cowboys:

 

1: R1P21

DE MARIO EDWARDS JR.
FLORIDA STATE

53: R2P21
DE SHELDON DAY
NOTRE DAME

85: R3P21

CB DORAN GRANT
OHIO STATE

117: R4P21

QB SEAN MANNION
OREGON STATE

149: R5P21

OLB XZAVIER DICKSON
ALABAMA

216: R7P24

WR DEVIN SMITH
OHIO STATE

222: R7P30

S NICK PERRY
ALABAMA

 

Mock 3, Jessica, Tennessee Titans

 

4: R1P4

DT LEONARD WILLIAMS
USC

36: R2P4

QB BRETT HUNDLEY
UCLA

68: R3P4

CB RONALD DARBY
FLORIDA STATE

100: R4P4

WR DEVANTE PARKER
LOUISVILLE

132: R5P4

DE DEVONTE FIELDS
TCU

164: R6P4

S JERMAINE WHITEHEAD
AUBURN

196: R7P4

RB MALCOLM BROWN
TEXAS

NFL Draft Preview: TCU vs. Baylor

October 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

TCU at Baylor

Two undefeated teams emerge from the Big 12 in the game of the week which includes plenty of prospects to know for the upcoming NFL Draft!

QB:

Bryce Petty, Baylor

Bryce Petty will continue to be a divisive prospect as one of the better senior QB prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft. After suffering cracked bones in his spine, it appears Petty’s season could be in jeopardy but he can back with a solid game against Texas last week. Baylor’s system can shield many flaws from QBs, but Petty appears to be one of the QBs who benefit from the system. He does read defenses well and gets the ball out quickly, two attributes that could make him a viable NFL quarterback, but the physical tools are limited. He doesn’t throw a tight spiral, leading to erratic ball placement on many of his throws. He won’t attempt to fit the ball into tight spaces and if he does, it usually goes poorly. Accuracy would appear to be a positive, but he doesn’t lead his WRs particularly well. Petty has enough tools to be a back-up in the NFL and maybe find his way into some spot starts a la Austin Davis, but he is not the potential top 100 pick many thought.

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WR:

Antwan Goodley, Baylor

Goodley has an intriguing build being under 6’0 but at 220 pounds. He has bulk to be a slot WR and take shots over the middle while he has shown big play ability down the field. He isn’t the most refined route runner and can get jammed at the line, but he has the physical talents to provide a #3 or #4 option for a pro team. If Goodley can blow up toward the end of the season and have a big offseason, he could emerge as a top 100 option.

Levi Norwood, Baylor

Norwood is a fluid all around WR who can provide a versatile bench option for an NFL team. He’s been one of the primary punt returners for Baylor and that might end up as his best NFL role. He has been sitting out with a wrist injury for most of the season and will have a chance to redeem his draft stock this week. He has solid hands but lacks separation ability at the college level which doesn’t bode well for the pros. A late round special teamer.

OL:

Spencer Drango, Junior, Baylor

Drango is a potential first round pick with some big time physical talents. At 6’6, 310 pounds, Drango moves like a 290 pounds tackle but plays with the power of his size. He has a ton of experience, but has yet to show the consistency to feel confident about him as a franchise left tackle. Drango does have a very good kick slide and flashes stud potential, but will have stretches of play where he gives up easy pressure. He doesn’t show a killer instinct and does do poorly against pure speed rushers. If Drango improves, he could end up a similar player to the Patriots Nate Solder, which may lead a team to draft him in the first round.

DL:

Chucky Hunter, DT, TCU

Hunter is a solid middle plug who could play NT or 3-technique depending on the scheme. He provides a solid run stuffer who stands up well against run blocking and has enough range to bring down a RB up the gut. Hunter won’t wow with big athleticism or a great first step, but he is technically sound with solid leverage and strength that could find him in a rotational role in the NFL. A midround pick could net a team a solid defensive line contributor and though he has lacked penetration this year, he should have potential to disrupt Baylor’s offense this week.

Shawn Oakman, DE, Junior, Baylor

Oakman is one of the most physically intimidating players in the whole country. Listed at 6’9 280 pounds, he has a gigantic wingspan and utilizes it to his advantage. As a first year starter, expectations were high for Oakman and he has lived up to expectations already notching 5 sacks so far this season and 2 additional tackles for loss. He is extremely strong, both in his upper and lower body and keeps offensive linemen at bay with his arm length. The athleticism from someone of his height and size is astounding, and he can play multiple positions along the defensive line both inside and outside, allowing for versatility in most defensive schemes. The upside is tremendous, but his starting experience is limited. Another big game for Oakman against TCU could prop him into the top half of the first round.

LB:

Bryce Hager, Baylor

Hager has been the go to leader for the Baylor defense for two years, playing middle linebacker and calling defensive changes and shifts for the team. He doesn’t have tremendous upside as his lateral mobility is limited, but Hager is a good form tackler and plays downhill. His coverage skills are inconsistent, but definitely not a strength. He is a likely late round pick with good back-up and special teams upside.

DB:

Sam Carter, SS, TCU

Carter is one of better pure in the box strong safeties in college football, but he doesn’t provide the athletic ability to have huge NFL potential. He has provided some solid special teams play along with his starting safety play, so a late round special teams pick is not out of the realm of possibility.

Kevin White, CB, TCU

White is an ideal nickel corner with good quickness and athleticism but his size (under 5’10 at 174 pounds,) will likely stop him from being more in the NFL. He has loose hips with great turn and run ability. He doesn’t make a ton of big plays, but every game White turns in a solid performance. Late round pick with nickel starting upside.

2015 NFL Mock Draft: October Edition

October 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

I developed my first mock draft of the season using Fanspeak’s On The Clock Premium simulator. It is worth the $2.50 investment to use for the year as you can take control of any team, trade down, and see how the draft could play out. I went through and tried it for each team and had a blast while seeing some tiered values already emerging. For my mock, I used the current NFL Standings. This mock is done to project scenarios and what NFL teams MAY do. Potential free agency was not taken into account. It definitely turned out interesting!

1. Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Williams DL/USC

Williams is a physical monster and though a step down from Jadeveon Clowney, he is close. Jacksonville is rolling with Blake Bortles, so this is a prime pick to trade down from if they in fact get the #1 overall pick. Increased pass rush would go a long way in retooling the Jaguars defense.

2. Oakland Raiders – Cedric Ogbuehi OT/Texs A&M

The new regime will have to make a choice about Derek Carr and the QB future. Take Marcus Mariota or go with Carr? The Raiders stupidly let Jared Veldheer go and will need to keep whatever QB they plug in upright. Ogbuehi has the most upside, even if he lacks polish.

Check out On the Clock NFL Mock Draft Simulator for Free!

 
3. Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota QB/Oregon

Zach Mettenberger is a decent player, but if Ken Whisenhunt wants to turn this team around, he needs to hand pick a potential elite QB. Mariota would fit the system well and should gel with the young weapons the Titans have on the offense. The Titans aren’t as far off as many think, but the QB play has been downright awful.

4. New York Jets – Jameis Winston QB/Florida State

Even with some of the off field issues, Jameis Winston should go high. If the Jets have major front office and coaching turnover, Geno Smith’s days could be numbered. Winston has a long release, but the upside in undeniable as the Jets try to finally get out of mediocrity.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Brandon Scherff OT/Iowa

Tampa Bay is pretty abysmal, and it starts in the trenches. Scherff is an OT/OG hybrid and he could start on the right side for an eventual more to LT. The flexibility he brings would definitely help Tampa if they continue to try with Mike Glennon.

6. St. Louis Rams – Landon Collins S/Alabama

With no QB worth taking, and the recent picks on WRs/emergence of Brian Quick, the Rams could go right back to defense some more. Landon Collins isn’t a national name yet, but he is a phenomenal player and may be one of the best safety prospects in years. He can play strong or free safety and has incredible closing speed and ball skills, allowing the Rams defense to utilize turnovers to their advantage.

7. Washington Redskins – La’el Collins OT/LSU

The Redskins have plenty of problems but no huge glaring holes. Trent Williams continues to have health problems, and Tyler Polumbus isn’t much better. La’el Collins should be a workout warrior to send him high in the draft. 7 is a little high for his value, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

8. Minnesota Vikings – Todd Gurley RB/Georgia

The fate of Adrian Peterson remains to be seen, but it is obvious the Vikings offensive plan was centered around having a top RB. Matt Asiata has been okay, but having an elite player at the position could reinvigorate this offense and help in Teddy Bridgewater’s development. Todd Gurley is that guy and a great fit for Norv Turner’s offense with his running style and catching ability.

9. Atlanta Falcons – Dante Fowler DE/Florida

The Falcons have not been able to find that front 7 pressure for years so a player like Dante Fowler who has the size and physical attributes to turn into a terror off the edge is required. He isn’t the best at shedding blocks, but he makes up for it with speed and strength. Fowler could stand up at LB or put his hand in the dirt, making him perfect for a hybrid system.

10. Chicago Bears – Randy Gregory DE/Nebraska

Gregory has been extraordinarily productive and should be one of the first pass rushers off the board. The Bears signed Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen, and Willie Young who all have been solid but there can never be enough pass rushers for a struggling defense. With the value at LB weak in this draft for the Bears system, more of a DE rotation could help the Bears defense get back to a dominant form.

11. Kansas City Chiefs – Ifo Ekpre-Olomu CB/Oregon

Ekpre-Olomu has had a rough season thus far and he is far from guaranteed in the top CB spot for the 2015 NFL Draft. He will likely come in under 5’9 and he gave up some key plays in the Washington State and Arizona games. That being said, success of smaller more technical corners like Jason Verrett should help Ekpre-Olomu go a tad higher. The Chiefs secondary has ben rough and upgrading at the #2 and #3 CB spot should help upgrade the defense.

12. New Orleans Saints – Shilique Calhoun LB/Michigan State

Calhoun has come up big in big games for Michigan State, and the New Orleans Saints are still lacking consistent pass rush from their outside linebackers. Calhoun could be a player to make the conversion to a 3-4 OLB and has been dropped into coverage some at MSU already. His versatility and tenacious hand usage could finally give the Saints the blindside pass rusher they have lacked.

13. Cleveland Browns – Amari Cooper WR/Alabama

We all know the Browns need WRs, even if Josh Gordon comes back clean off of the field. Amari Cooper might be a tad overrated at this point, but he falls to the Browns first pick, it could be an absolute steal for them. Cooper has solid size and great route running ability. He has improved every year in college and has been downright dominant this season. The potential to give Johnny Manziel enough weapons for the future to have success is crucial.

14. Miami Dolphins – Benardrick McKinney LB/Miss. State

Even with the emergence of Jelani Jenkins, the Dolphins need more help at LB. Beanardrick McKinney is an underrated LB who can play inside or outside at the professional level. He is a good cleanup tackler with some good pass rushing skills too. Look for him to be the first true LB off the board in April.

15. Houston Texans – PJ Williams CB/Florida State

With no real QB value here and the Texans potentially invested in one of their young QBs, the Texans could look at their CB depth as a major need. Kareem Jackson and Jonathan Joseph have been solid, but there is little behind them and little being developed as a future starter. PJ Williams is often overlooked on the Seminole defense, but he provides an immediate nickel option with good size and potential for the future.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers – Trae Waynes CB/Michigan State

Waynes will be a divisive prospect, similar to last year’s Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard. Waynes is a little less stout, but taller than Dennard and has been great covering team’s #1 WRs this season. With Ike Taylor’s injury, the Steelers are left very thin at CB and it continues to be a glaring hole.

17. New York Giants – Jalen Collins CB/LSU

The Giants have Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on a big deal and Prince Amukamara has turned it around, but the depth at CB is horrid. Taking the upside player like Jalen Collins gives them depth and some development time with him. At 6’2 198 pounds, Collins could even play some safety. He has been beat plenty this year but could be an offseason combine gem.

18. Cleveland Browns (f/ BUF) – Ty Montgomery WR/Stanford

Why not double up at WR? Ty Montgomery is a sneaky pick to be the 2nd WR off the board. He is fast, electric, and productive even without Stanford using him in the correct way. He has had some costly drops recently, but the physical tools and big games are there. He would be a big bodied slot option and pave the way for the Browns to have one of the best young WR groups in the NFL.

19. Detroit Lions – Ellis McCarthy DT/UCLA

With Ndamukong Suh likely to move on, the Lions could move around their DTs to optimize success. Perhaps Caruan Reid is the heir apparent, but if not, a huge DT like Ellis McCarthy with some athletic ability fits the bill. Not only does he eat up space, but he is great at collapsing the pocket and would keep the Lions front 7 dominant.

20. San Francisco 49ers – Vic Beasley LB/Clemson

Beasley is a tough fit for the NFL with his lack of size and ability vs. the run, but he is a great pass rusher. SF usually opts for bigger OLBs but could try to add a smaller pass rusher to the mix to create mismatches. Beasley has been insanely productive and could go in the top ten of the draft if all works out right and a team falls in love with that athletic ability.

21. Baltimore Ravens – Sammie Coates WR/Auburn

Torrey Smith has lacked productivity and even with Steve Smith’s emergence, WR is still a glaring hole for the Ravens. Sammie Coates has his good days and his bad days, but those good days are great as a potential #1 NFL WR. He has big mitts and is still developing, but the Ravens would be a good place for him to learn from some veterans.

22. Carolina Panthers – Andrus Peat OT/Stanford

Peat isn’t all he is cracked up to be, as he can have some bad stretches against pass rushers, but his huge size and athletic ability should endear him to someone in the first round. The Panthers are still patching together an offensive line so developing someone like Peat is needed.

23. Green Bay Packers – Spencer Drango OL/Baylor

Drango is even more of an upside offensive lineman who has a ton of experience. He moves well in a phone booth with pretty long arms to boot. The Packers continue to be plagued by injuries an inconsistency on the offensive line and Drango would provide a versatile OT/OG option for them in the future.

24. Indianapolis Colts – Mario Edwards DE/Florida State

Edwards isn’t quite living up to the hype and his best position may be as a 5-technique in a 3-4 defense. The Colts don’t have huge holes, but with Arthur Jones hitting 29 and Corey Redding at age 34, getting a future DE with pass rush ability would be tremendous for them. Edwards has all the physical upside in the world, he just needs to bring the consistency.

25. New England Patriots – AJ Cann OG/South Carolina

The Patriots trade away Logan Mankins and they could replace him with a player similar to a young Logan Mankins in AJ Cann. Cann has good girth and plays a high Football IQ game. One of the more dominating guards in the country, Cann has a good chance to hear his name called on Day 1.

26. Arizona Cardinals – Shane Ray LB/Missouri

Missouri seems to keep finding ways to churn out pass rushers year after year and Shane Ray is next in line. He has the hip flexibility to stand up n a 3-4 defense and the Cardinals desperately need some help getting after the passer. Ray is 2nd in the country in sacks with 7 with an excellent first step and great dip and duck ability. He would be an ideal fit as a late first rounder for the Cardinals.

27. San Diego Chargers – Jaelen Strong WR/Arizona State

The Chargers have been relying on Eddie Royal as their WR2 and Keenan Allen is getting blanketed game after game. Adding some receiving talent could continue this offensive cog running and make them downright dominant. Jaelen Strong has good hands with some deep speed to boot. He would fit the offense well and his high point ability is great. Workout numbers may not flash, but the Chargers front office has been focused on drafting football players over workout warrior and Strong fits the bill.

28. Philadelphia Eagles – Cameron Erving OL/Florida State

Cameron Erving has had plenty of struggles early this season, but he has shown dominance before and has versatility to play OT or OG. The Eagles have had a rash of injuries on the offensive line and even with a healthy Jason Peters and Lane Johnson, they could use some interior line help with someone to groom to take over for Jason Peters in the future. Erving has the power to play guard and the athletic ability to play tackle, he just needs to put it all together.

29. Cincinnati Bengals – Kurtis Drummond S/Michigan State

Drummond could be next in line of senior safeties to sneak into the first round. The Bengals have committed to improving the secondary and as Reggie Nelson slows down, the Bengals will want to have a replacement ready. Drummond is great in the center field and has big time playmaking ability. He also has the size to match up on TEs, something the Bengals definitely are in need of.

30. Dallas Cowboys – Michael Bennett DT/Ohio State

Dallas’ defense has exceeded expectations and though the secondary could still use a big upgrade, the value just isn’t great in the late first round. If Ken Bishop doesn’t develop, the Cowboys could still use a penetrating 3-technique. Michael Bennett is on the smaller side, but he is an excellent penetrator with great intangibles to boot. He could provide pass rush up the middle and fit one of the most important positions of this defense.

31. Seattle Seahawks – Devin Funchess WR/TE/Michigan

Michigan’s woes could hurt Devin Funchess’ stock, but he is dominant at finding open holes in the zone. Seattle has a solid blocking TE in Luke Wilson while Zach Miller is encountering more injuries. Funchess could provide a flex TE option to pair with the rest of the Seahawks WRs and continue giving Russell Wilson more to work with.

32. Denver Broncos – Shawn Oakman DE/Baylor

Oakman is a mammoth standing at 6’9 280 pounds while playing a pass rushing DE spot. He will be versatile for a 3-4 or 4-3 defense and with some creative usage could be a dominating pass rusher. The Broncos have used more of a base end at LE, and Oakman could develop into one of those.

50. Buffalo Bills – Connor Cook QB/Michigan State

If the Bills are out on EJ Manuel, they might as well try to replace him earlier rather than later. Cook has NFL size and NFL zip with great intangibles off of the field. With Michigan State QB success as of late in the NFL, Cook’s pedigree could work to his advantage. He is very different than Manuel and Orton and would take some development when under pressure, but with the Bills O-line improving, Cook with time to throw could be deadly at the pro level.

User Mock Drafts: 10/3

October 3, 2014 in OTC: User Mock Drafts

Here is a look at three of my favorite Mock Drafts of the week!

Mock 1: Kyle, Dallas Cowboys

 

18: R1P18
DE MARIO EDWARDS JR. FLORIDA STATE

50: R2P18
DT MICHAEL BENNETT OHIO STATE

82: R3P18
CB DORAN GRANT OHIO STATE

114: R4P18
WR DEVANTE PARKER LOUISVILLE

146: R5P18
DT TYELER DAVISON FRESNO STATE

216: R7P24
OT JAMON BROWN LOUISVILLE

220: R7P28
OLB MICHAEL ORAKPO TEXAS STATE

 

Mock 2: Brian, St. Louis Rams

 

6: R1P6
QB MARCUS MARIOTA OREGON

38: R2P6
CB TRAE WAYNES MICHIGAN STATE

70: R3P6
G JOSUE MATIAS FLORIDA STATE

102: R4P6
WR STEFON DIGGS MARYLAND

134: R5P6
S SAM CARTER TCU

166: R6P6
OT AUSTIN SHEPHERD ALABAMA

209: R7P17
OLB C.J. JOHNSON OLE MISS

 

Mock 3: Paul, Oakland Raiders

 

1: R1P1
RB TODD GURLEY GEORGIA

33: R2P1
OLB SHAQ THOMPSON WASHINGTON

65: R3P1
WR RASHAD GREENE FLORIDA STATE

97: R4P1
ILB A.J. TARPLEY STANFORD

129: R5P1
FB JALSTON FOWLER ALABAMA

161: R6P1
TE JAKE MCGEE FLORIDA

193: R7P1
CB LADARIUS GUNTER MIAMI

 

Feel free to post your mock drafts below!

 

NFL Draft Preview: Nebraska vs. Michigan State

October 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

This Big Ten showdown could determine the winner of the conference and has plenty of big time NFL prospects on both sides of the ball, especially the skill positions.

Quarterback:

Connor Cook, Junior, Michigan State

Cook is a super intriguing quarterback prospect in a year with a very uncertain second tier of QBs. Cook is listed at 6’4 220 pounds and it is apparent how he towers over his skill position players while on the field. He is not asked to win games by himself at Michigan State (he only thrown more than 13 passes in one of MSU’s four games this year,) but possesses some big physical talents. He has solid zip on the ball and a good NFL arm. He does have trouble with his ball placement and accuracy down the field, but makes up for this with his presnap adjustments and play action prowess. Cook could be an underrated QB if he declares and develop into an NFL starter. He is key if the Spartans want a win against Nebraska.

Check out On the Clock NFL Mock Draft Simulator for Free!

 
Running Back:

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

Abdullah has raced onto the national scene this year and is pushing for a Heisman campaign on the undefeated Corn Huskers. He has been insanely productive, running for over 200 yards in three games this year as well as scoring a touchdown in every single game he has played in. Abdullah has a lethal combination of quickness and power allowing him to push a pile at the college level as well as make defenders miss in open space. He is also a decent pass catching option and has returned kicks throughout his four years at Nebraska. He is a touch undersize at 5’9 195 pounds and isn’t a speed demon, likely around the 4.50 mark for his 40 time, but he does get up to speed very quickly and that acceleration can prove valuable in the NFL. Abdullah has captured the national attention, and if Michigan State can’t stop him, being showcased in this big game could help his draft stock. He may not be drafted up to his press clippings, but is a definite top 100 pick. The question will be if he is a 3 down between the tackles back or merely a diverse weapon in a committee at the pro level.

Jeremy Langford, Michigan State

Langford is almost a polar opposite to Ameer Abdullah. He has a bigger build (6’1 208 pounds,) and was expected to be more of a workhorse RB this year for the Spartans. With the emergence of the smaller senior RB Nick Hill, there has been more of a split in carries, hurting some of what Jeremy Langford an impressive prospect. Last season, he had 292 carries and averaged almost 5 yards a carry while also catching 28 balls. He is Le’Veon Bell lite as a prospect (not the current version of Bell,) with slow acceleration and speed, but does avoid tacklers and catches passes to make a big impact. Langford is the type of RB prospect who won’t be for every team, and may be a fringe top 100 pick, but if a team wants a committee back between the tackles with some versatility, Langford could be their choice. Expect a heavy workload against Nebraska.

Wide Receiver:

Kenny Bell, Nebraska

Bell, affectionately nicknamed “Afro Thunder” is Mr. Reliable for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, especially on 3rd downs. At 6’1 185 pounds, Bell has a slight frame but good hands and route running ability to be relied upon in big game spots. With Nebraska’s offense centered around the run, Bell doesn’t get a ton of opportunities to showcase his abilities. He won’t burn you deep, he won’t break a ton of tackles after the catch, but the reliability makes Bell an ideal late round candidate in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Tony Lippett, Michigan State

Lippett, the go to WR for the Spartans, is a jack of all trades that is drawing solid NFL Draft grades. A QB in high school, Lippett’s 6’3 height makes him an ideal red zone target while his speed paves way for big play action passes down the field. He is on the thin side, and it shows, but he has taken some big shots and punishment and kept going. With a good rest of season and combine, Lippett could be a top 100 pick with a good combination of productivity, metrics, and big play ability that will endear him to NFL teams. A big Lippett touchdown could help lift the Spartans over the Cornhuskers.

Defensive End:

Shilique Calhoun, Junior, Michigan State

Calhoun came into the season with one of the top defensive line grades in the country, but has struggled to get pressure so far this year. Last season, Calhoun had 7.5 sacks, 14.0 tackle for loss, as well as 3 TDs (2 fumble returns and 1 interception return). This season, Calhoun has 2 sacks, 1 against Jacksonville State and 1 against Wyoming, while struggling when the Spartans played Oregon earlier this season. Calhoun has super long arms to match his 6’5 256 pound frame and has shown excellent abilities to shed blocks and get into the back field. Offensive lines have adjusted to him and when double teamed with TE or back help, he doesn’t seem to be able to use the same pass rush moves to get by. He is a prototypical 4-3 Left End and has a shot for the first round with his production and athletic ability, but needs to show dominance as a junior to meet those expectations.

Randy Gregory, Junior, Nebraska

Gregory is another potential 1st round DE who is off to a fast start this season. Gregory was a JUCO transfer who had a dominant sophomore season for the Cornhuskers with 9.5 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss. He has reeled off 4.5 sacks in the last two games against Miami (FL) and Illinois. His fast first step is his calling card. When Gregory gets off the snap, he can duck around the tackle and be in the big field almost immediately. He has a variety of pass rush moves, making him extremely difficult to block. Add in scheme versatility at the next level as a 4-3 LE or 3-4 OLB, and Gregory will be mighty appealing to NFL teams. He may not have the run stuffing skills or coverage skills, but as long as he keeps getting to the QB, NFL teams won’t care. Gregory terrorized MSU last season and should get at least a sack again this year.

Marcus Rush, Michigan State

Rush has been passed over due to Calhoun’s dominance, but he is a pretty good DE in his own right. A bit on the small side at 6’2 245 pounds, Rush could be an ideal candidate as a reserve 3-4 OLB at the next level. He already has 2.5 sacks through 4 games and uses leverage to get past offensive linemen. His big game was against Oregon, getting into the back field to stop the run often as well. Rush isn’t a super athlete, doesn’t have great size nor does he seal the edge extremely well, but he does everything pretty good. A midround pick to look out for in April.

Linebacker:

Taiwan Jones, Michigan State

Jones has been rock solid in the middle of the Spartan defense and is an intriguing mid-late round pick in the NFL Draft. Jones is stout at 6’3 252 pounds and is a solid thumper in the middle with some pass coverage skills to boot. He doesn’t give much in the way of pass rush or if asked to go against super athletic players in coverage, but he should be a solid reserve and special teamer at the next level.

Defensive Back:

Kurtis Drummond, FS, Michigan State

Drummond will compete to be one of the top senior safeties taken in the 2015 NFL Draft. Drummond has big range and size at 6’1 202 pounds and can play the center field position in the NFL. He is a big time playmaker, already with 2 INTs this season, and has very good coverage ability. He isn’t great in the box, but is very capable of playing the run. Drummond could follow in the trend of senior safeties being taken last in the first round unexpectedly.