NFL Mock Draft – Round 4

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Gregory Payan/Associated Pres

113. Bears: DT Caruan Reid, Princeton (6’2, 301) – This would be the highest a player from Princeton has ever been drafted and Reid would be the Bears first Ivy leaguer since Gary “Hitman” Fencik.  Reid is extremely quick for a 300 pounder with already polished pass rush moves and the strength to hold the point against the run. The ivy-league competition was weak, but Reid put up 168 tackles, 41 TFLs, 20.5 sacks, and 7 blocked kicks (!) in his three years as a starter and was Princeton’s first two-time All-American. The lack of competition is a legit concern, but when you consider that he put up those numbers against double and sometimes triple teams, it’s pretty impressive. Reid also took a big step towards erasing those concerns at the Senior Bowl; Against future NFL players, Reid dominated 1-1 drills and made an impact in the game with two sacks on consecutive plays, beating two different guards (Cyril Richardson, Brandon Linder) with two different pass rush moves. Reid also impressed at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, weighing 301 with no visible fat on his frame. He might be maxed out weight-wise, but he is already big enough to play DT in the Bears scheme and has the quickness, strength, and closing speed to be a force against both the run and pass. He is probably pretty smart too (Princeton!). Reid would be a steal this late in the draft.

114. Steelers: DE Josh Mauro, Stanford (6’6, 276) – Not the most explosive DE in the draft, but has good size and strength to hold up against the run and the Steelers need some younger legs at the position. Mauro is high-effort player and at worst will provide reliable depth.

115. Cowboys: S Ahmad Dixon, Baylor, (6’0, 205) – The Cowboys safeties caught a lot of flak for the teams 32nd ranked defense but in reality there were a lot worse safety combos in the NFL than Barry Church & Orlando Scandrick. I’m sure Bears fans can think of one. Either way, there is little to no depth behind those two and Dixon is a great value in the 4th round. He’s a sure tackler and has the speed and instincts to eventually be solid in coverage. Dixon likes to hit and with a little refinement of both his tackling and coverage techniques, he could be a solid NFL starter. In the short-term he should excel on special teams.

116. Cardinals: RB Jeremy Hill, LSU (6’1, 235) – Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is literally the only man on earth who thinks Rashad Mendenhall should be getting 20 carries a game. I get that he hoped for a thunder & lighting combo, but what he got was more like snaps & lightning. Drafting Hill would give the Cards a legit thunder back. Hill was used in a platoon in his two years at LSU, so he has very little mileage on his legs. He was dominant in his limited carries averaging 6.9 ypc, which is ridiculous for a between the tackles back. Hill also scored 28 TDs in two seasons and excels in short yardage situations. Hill seemed to get better as last season wore on and he might just be scratching the surface of his potential. If the Bears are going to draft a RB this year, I hope it’s Hill.

117. Packers: S Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt, (6’0, 200) – Instinctive coverage safety and leader in the secondary. Ladler showed a knack for big plays his senior year with 5 INTs and 5 forced fumbles.  The Packers safeties were a major weak spot last season and Ladler should make an immediate impact.

118. Eagles: OLB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama (6’6, 255); Another tweener who looked too stiff and awkward in coverage at the Senior Bowl to be anything but a 3-4 OLB or 3rd down DE. On the plus side, Hubbard is very strong with long arms and good block shedding ability. He’s not very explosive but has good speed once he gets moving. Hubbard has his share of flaws, but he’s far from a finished product at 21 years old and could develop into a solid 3-4 OLB in time.

119. Bengals: T Joel Bitonio, Nevada (6’4, 307) – He’s too short for tackle, has t-rex arms, isn’t fast enough to pull, has a beer gut, he’s not strong enough… On paper Bitonio doesn’t sound like much of a prospect but when I watch him play, I see a well-rounded blocker who understands angles and plays with max effort all the time. Maybe I just caught the good days on tape, but he shut down UCLA’s Anthony Barr for no sacks in their match up earlier this year. The lack of height and arm length issues could ultimately land Bitonio at guard, but wherever he ends up he’s going to be pretty good.

120. Chiefs: CB Bashaud Breeland, Clemson (6’0, 185) – Might of had a shot at the first round if he had stayed at Clemson for another year of seasoning. Breeland has good size and speed, but only started for one season and is a bit raw. He did show pro-level athleticism and was a play-maker for Clemson (4 INTs, 10 pass breakups, 3rd team all-ACC). I don’t think he’s ready for anything more than special teams as a rookie, but the talent is there to be developed and this pick could pay off handsomely for the Chiefs in 2-3 years.