December 12, 2014 in Uncategorized
22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Danny Shelton DT/Washington
The Steelers offense has shown the potential to be one of the best in the league with a top QB, RB, and WR. Though the have had some mediocre games, when the offense is on it can compete with any team in the league. Defensively, the have been a mess. The secondary is super thin and signing CB Cortez Allen to extension looks like a mistake. The pass rush has been lacking as well, and that has contributed to the struggles. The run defense has been better but they still don’t have a nose tackle to take up two blocks and allow some versatility. Danny Shelton would finally give the Steelers their firs legitimate nose tackle since Casey Hampton and help both in the run game and to free up the pass rush. Shelton is pushing 340 pounds but uses his hands well and has the agility to really be disruptive. He can play high and will never be a great pass rusher, but he can two-gap well and is a perfect fit for Dick Lebeau’s 3-4.
23. San Diego Chargers – Jaelen Strong WR/Arizona State
The Chargers always seem like a defense hard to peg, but offensive weapons seems high on the priority list for the draft. After having a very successful class in 2013, there is light at the end of the tunnel in San Diego to compete for a Super Bowl. Though the have made viable WRs out of veterans like Eddie Royal and Malcolm Floyd, Keenan Allen had dry stretches where he was shut down while the focus of defenses. Adding a weapon like Jaelen Strong may be too similar to Allen, but Strong does bring more of a leaping threat that can be a real asset in the red zone. Strong has strong hands and is one of the more physical WRs in this class. It fits what the Chargers offensive philosophy has been and he would be an excellent #2 to keep defenses honest.
24. Cincinnati Bengals – Beandrick McKinney LB/Mississippi State
Mississippi State’s defense kept them in the college playoff picture for most of the season led by MLB Beandrick McKinney. McKinney has good size with height to drop back in coverage and cover TEs. He also is a good form tackler who reads holes well in the run game. He may not be the most athletic sideline to sideline player, but it is obvious he can compete with good talents. The Bengals LBs are thin, and losing Vontaze Burfict to injury this year while Rey Maualuga has been less than effective. Adding a MLB would allow them to move Maualuga outside, get better at two positions, and improve a run defense that has been very poor as of late.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Kendricks LB/UCLA
It is obvious the Eagles offense has the system and firepower to put up a ton of points, but the defense needs to catch up and compete for Philadelphia to compete for a Super Bowl. There are plenty of spots the Eagles can upgrade, but the Left Inside Linebacker spot has been a major hole after losing Demeco Ryans to a torn Achilles. Both Ryans and RILB Mychal Kendricks are free agents after the 2015 season and both will likely not be back, so drafting a replacement for now and the future seems prudent. One of the best in the class is actually Mychal Kendricks brother Eric who has been a standout for UCLA. Eric Kendricks is a stout run stuffer who plays downhill and profiles similar to Mychal at the NFL level. Eric isn’t great in pass coverage but suffices with his tenacity and football IQ. Playing next to his brother could create a great middle tandem for the Eagles to improve their overall defense.
26. Indianapolis Colts – Gerald Holliman S/Louisville
The Colts are a very solid team with an improved defense and an offense that centers around QB Andrew Luck. After wasting a first round pick last year trading for Trent Richardson, the Colts run game still needs a shot in the arm and the offensive line has issues, but finding another playmaker on defense can go a long way. LaRon Landry has essentially been benched after suspension and Sergio Brown is playing well, but more of a special teams player (and a free agent after this year). With Vontae Davis having success, adding someone else in the secondary to play the QBs eyes and make big plays could go a long way. Gerald Holliman tied the single season interception record this year, with a chance to break it in Louisville’s Bowl Game. He is primarily a one deep safety who has great success at creating turnovers and putting himself in position for the big play. Though he isn’t super fast or athletic, he turns and runs well and does get up to top speed quickly by exploding through his hips. He could be a game changer for the Colts.
27. Detroit Lions – Kevin Johnson CB/Wake Forest
The Lions defense played the first half of the season as the best in the NFL shutting down both the run and the pass. As the season has worn on, the old problems with the Detroit secondary continue to pop up more and more. #2 CB Rashean Mathis will be 35 by the start of next season and with Cassius Vaughn entrenched as a nickel corner, there is a desperate need for another starter. Kevin Johnson isn’t a household name, but he has all the talent to be a first round CB. Johnson was near shut down for a Wake Forest team that didn’t have many pieces around him. Johnson is tall, lanky, with great speed and athleticism to boot. Despite being listed at only 175 pounds, he is a firm tackler with very good body control. He was often put on an island against top WRs and excelled. Johnson is a name to remember in the coming months.
28. Seattle Seahawks – Eddie Goldman DT/Florida State
The Seahawks have picked up their play late and have a chance at repeating as Super Bowl Champions. They have managed their cap and roster well to not have many holes, but they do have aging DTs. Tony McDaniel will be 30 by the Super Bowl and Kevin Williams is near the end, turning 35 before next season. 2013 3rd round pick Jordan Hill is an heir apparent, but putting more into stopping the run can go a long way. Florida State DT Eddie Goldman could go even higher than this as his junior season has been flat out dominant. The 314 pounder is versatile and can play 1-tech, 3-tech, or even 5-tech. He has shown the ability to split double teams and disrupt the passer, or just eat up a couple of blocks. He hasn’t been incredibly consistent, but the role and potential has flashed a ton this season. The Seahawks could use a versatile player like Goldman.
29. Arizona Cardinals – Eli Harold LB/Virginia
Harold is still a bit of a national unknown, but he has had a very successful year at Virginia. He has 7 sacks this season and is a versatile disruptor off the edge. Harold has lined up at both DE and LB, making him an ideal fit as a 3-4 pass rusher. He has the size to stand up against RBs and bigger offensive tackles as well. The Cardinals have been very solid against the run, but their pass defense has suffered due to the lack of pass rushing LBs. The team seems to prefer bigger pass rushers, which Eli Harold would fit, who can play both the run and the pass. This is an ideal fit that could realistically happen in April.
30. New England Patriots – Devin Funchess WR/Michigan
The Patriots have continued to have success despite missing some recent draft picks on the offensive side (Aaron Dobson,) and struggles of players like Nate Solder. After investing a bit on the defensive side, it is time for the Patriots to add offensive weapons, specifically a possession player to compliment Rob Gronkowski. Devin Funchess fits the bill as a TE/WR hybrid who has had some issues catching the ball, but his size, strength, and body control are all unmatched. He could play the slot, outside, or even in line at times and the Patriots offensive system should be an excellent fit to utilize his talents and bring him along with the fundamentals. As the Patriots make a last ditch effort to win a Super Bowl as Tom Brady’s career wanes, getting a big physical weapon could help that happen.
31. Green Bay Packers – Shane Ray LB/Missouri
Shane Ray seems a bit overrated as most mocks have him in the top ten. He has had an excellent season, but his triangle numbers and size could result in a fall. Missouri has become a bit of a defensive front 7 factory, and tweeners like Shane Ray are plentiful for their system. Ray’s 12.5 sacks this season leads the Missouri Tigers and put him in the national spotlight. Ray is a undersized for a defensive end, but hasn’t had the LB experience for a team to feel confident in him making the transition. The Packers could reap the benefits and get a steal if Ray would fall to them. Moving Clay Matthews inside seems to have had success and could end up permanent, which makes adding more pass rush a priority. Putting Ray with Mike Neal and Nick Perry could allow him to come on slowly and learn the position while transitioning, but still give the Packers a big time talent to get after the passer and hopefully help their defense improve against the pass.
32. Denver Broncos – Cameron Erving C/Florida State
Denver is in win now mode with Peyton Manning, and continuing to bolster the offensive line should be a major priority, especially after improving the defense through free agency. Florida State’s Cameron Erving was a legit Top 50 option at LT had he come out last year, but has made a successful transition to center in the past few weeks. This type of versatile option could fit the Broncos who have some aging linemen. Center Will Montgomery will turn 32 just after the Super Bowl as will RG Manny Ramirez. Erving could be moved inside to guard if needed. Erving has big upside and his versatility should put him in the first round.
49. Buffalo Bills – Tevin Coleman RB/Indiana
With CJ Spiller likely gone due to free agency, Fred Jackson turning 34 in February, and Bryce Brown not able to crack the lineup, RB is a concern for a team that should be a running team. Melvin Gordon will likely be gone at this point, and a big physical runner like Tevin Coleman could step in right away as a starter. Coleman as the only offensive weapon for the Hoosiers this season, and the focus of opposing defenses, but he still was extremely productive. Coleman ran for over 2,000 yards and even had 25 receptions during the season. Coleman would finally give the Bills a stud back to pair with Sammy Watkins for when they finally find a QB.