NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Rounds 2 & 3

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Round 3

65.) Texans: DT Domanique Easley, Florida (6’2, 288) –  A first round talent who slips to the 3rd based on concerns over two ACL injuries in college, the second coming late last year. This could be a steal for the Texans if Easley recovers well. He has elite quickness and explosion off the ball. Easley is undersized but strong enough to shed blocks and hold up vs the run. His comment that he would rather watch cartoons than a football game might hurt his stock a little, but he is too talented to drop much farther than this. 

66.) Redskins: S Terrance Brooks Florida St (5’11, 198) – One of many Seminole defensive players worthy of a selection in this year’s draft, Brooks is fast and a big hitter despite being a bit undersized. He has a tendency to go for the big hit a little too often which leads to some missed tackles, but he usually finds a way to take down his target. Brooks has great range in coverage and can cover slot receivers when needed. His height isn’t ideal but his excellent vertical leap adds an inch or two. One knock on Brooks is his hands. He only had 4 interceptions in two years despite putting himself in position for at least double that many picks. Brooks only played safety for two seasons, so he is still learning the position and could get considerably better with experience which would make Brooks a steal this late for a team that desperately needs help at safety.

67.) Raiders: DT Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina (6’4, 297) – The more I watch tape on South Carolina, the more that Quarles stands out. Two months ago he was projected in the 4th round, but now I wouldn’t be surprised if he moves up as high as early in the 2nd. The Raiders defensive line was pillaged in free agency and they did a decent job replacing the DEs with Tuck and Woodley, but they are awfully thin in the middle. Quarles is a well-rounded prospect who holds the point well against the run and shows enough quickness to generate an interior pass rush (9.5 sacks last year). DTs that are good against the run and can get to the QB are rare and Quarles won’t go any later than this.

68.) Falcons: DE Demarcus Lawrence, Boise St (6’3, 251) – With the Falcons switching to a 3-4 alignment, they need guys who can generate pressure off the edge. They got one of the best ones available with Mack in the 1st round, but Lawrence is a nice complement on the other side. He’s a bit of a tweener, but has a good strength / speed combo and a variety of pass rushing moves. Lawrence could contribute right away as a situational pass rusher and eventually be a 3-down OLB.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

69.) Jets: QB AJ McCarron, Alabama (6’3, 220) – The Jets brought in Michael Vick to be their QB in 2014 making it clear that Geno Smith isn’t the future, so the Jets need to start succession planning. McCarron doesn’t have flashy skills, but is a proven winner with only 4 losses in his college career. His arm strength looked just mediocre at the combine, but that isn’t what he relies on to succeed. McCarron is a solid decision maker, with adequate mobility, good size, and throws an accurate catchable ball. To me he profiles as a back-up, game manager type but some team will fall in love with his intangibles and draft him a few rounds too early.

70.) Jaguars: C Marcus Martin, USC (6’3, 220) – Martin declared early after only one year of starting and could probably use another year of seasoning. Regardless of his inexperience, Martin has more potential than any center in the draft. He plays with a mean streak and a low center of gravity that allows him to excel in run blocking and anchor well in pass protection. With Jags legend Brad Meester retiring, they need a replacement and Martin has potential to be very good in a year or two. You know a franchise sucks when a decent center is a one of their best players ever.

71.) Browns: G Gabe Jackson, Mississippi St (6’3, 336) – A massive interior lineman who is a mauler in the run game and has surprising agility for a man his size. Jackson needs some refinement in pass protection, but all the tools are there for him to be a pro bowl guard as long as he isn’t required to move much laterally.