NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Rounds 4-7

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Round 4

101.) Texans: RB Bishop Sankey, Washington (5’9, 209) – You could make the argument that Sankey is the best running back in the draft and I would be hard-pressed to disagree. There are about five backs who could make that claim, so it really comes down to what specific traits a team is looking for. Sankey is definitely the most well-rounded back in the draft and he is a steal this late. The Texans lost Ben Tate in free agency and Arian Foster is always banged up, so the Texans need a guy who can handle every down duties if needed. Sankey is that guy. He ran faster than expected at the combine (4.49), has good strength (26 reps), is a smooth receiver out of the backfield, and is decent in pass pro. Sankey isn’t going to break a ton of long runs, but he’s solid in all aspects of the game and should be an above average NFL starter as soon as he’s given a chance.

102.) Redskins: DE Will Clarke, West Virginia (6’6, 271) – Has prototypical size, speed and strength, but just doesn’t do it for me on tape. He plays hard and could be a solid depth guy who will get some sacks with his athleticism, but I don’t see any pass rush moves or instincts to make him anything more than just a guy.

103.) Falcons: TE Arthur Lynch, Georgia (6’5, 258) –  It’s going to be next to impossible to replace Tony Gonzalez, but the Falcons have to start somewhere and local product Lynch is a solid option. He’s a polished blocker which will improve the Falcons anemic run game and Lynch showed better than expected athleticism at the Senior Bowl. He’s probably not much more than an underneath, safety-valve type receiver but those guys have value and he could be one of the better ones.

104.) Buccaneers: TE CJ Fiedorowicz, Iowa (6’5, 265) – Similar to Lynch above in that he’s never going to be a Jimmy Graham type tight-end, but he is a solid blocker, has reliable hands, and showed surprising short-area quickness at the combine. Fiedorowicz had the best 3-cone and 20-yard shuttle times of any tight end. In my opinion both Fiedorowicz and Lynch have Heath Miller ceilings, but Andrew Quarless floors which is a pretty good value in the 4th round.

105.) Jaguars: OT Matt Patchan, Boston College (6’6, 302) – Has the talent to be a 2nd round pick, but his medical history will drop him a few rounds lower than that. Patchan was hurt more often than he played in college, but it was mostly freak injuries like getting shot in a drive-by and getting hit by a car. It seems unlikely Patchan would get shot again, so the Jags could have a steal here in the 4th round because Patchan has NFL tackle skills. His combine numbers were excellent (4.97 40, 33.5 vertical) for a 300 pounder and the fact that he finally played a full season without injury in 2013 could sway teams to take Patchan a round or two earlier.

106.) Browns: OLB Trevor Reilly, Utah (6’5, 245) – Tough, versatile football player who might not have a defined position in the NFL but will be solid wherever he ends up. He’s old for a rookie (Mormon) but is a classic “sum is greater” type guy. Worst case, he will be a solid special teams contributor, but could surprise as a 3-4 OLB. 

107.) Raiders: RB Jeremy Hill, LSU (6’1, 233) – 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 Hill ends up on the Raiders as McFadden’s back-up he could be a fantasy monster once DMC suffers his annual injury. If the Bears are going to use a mid-round pick on a RB this year, I hope it’s Hill.

108.) Vikings: RB Devonta Freeman, Florida St (5’8, 206) – Freeman runs low to the ground with good power. He is exceptionally shifty and a smooth receiver out of the backfield (28 catches for 278 yards). Freeman was part of a running back committee at FSU, so his numbers don’t tell the whole story and his legs are fresher than most draft prospects. Toby Gerhart is gone in free agency to the Jags, so the Vikings need a backup for AP and Freeman could give them a much more explosive one than they’ve had the past few years in Gerhart.

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109.) Bills: QB Aaron Murray, Georgia (6’1, 207) –  I’m sure it stings Bills management to draft a QB this high after using a first round pick on E.J. Manuel last season, but Manuel has already had two knee injuries so the Bills need to be proactive about finding a backup who could take over if needed. Last year’s backups, Jeff Tuel & Thad Lewis, were awful and Murray is a much better option than either. He’s shorter than ideal for a QB, but showed excellent accuracy in college, good poise, and all the intangibles you look for in a QB. Based on his height, Drew Bress is the obvious ceiling and I think he’ll get closer to it than most people expect. Selfishly I hope he lasts a little longer and ends up in a Bears uniform.

110.) Rams: OLB Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA (6’4, 235) – Intense linebacker who was asked to tone it down by Senior Bowl coaches. Zumwalt had a good week of practice at the Senior Bowl, showing better than expected coverage ability, violent pass rush moves, and the aforementioned intensity. He also ran a respectable 4.76 40 at the combine and had a 3-cone time under 7 seconds. The Rams have solid LBs at two of the three positions and Zumwalt would have a shot to beat out the disappointing Jo-Lonn Dunbar at the SLB position. If not, his intensity would play well on special teams and endear him to hard-nosed coach Jeff Fisher.

111.) Lions: C Bryan Stork, Flordia St (6’4, 315) – The Lions get an eventual replacement for 35-year-old Dominic Raiola who they re-signed to a one year deal this off-season.  Stork is smart, with a quick burst off the line and great leadership skills. He needs to get stronger but with a year of strength training and learning from Raiola, Stork should be able to take over as the Lions starting center in 2015.

112.) Titans: S Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (5’11, 196) – Three year starter at safety before switching to CB his senior year. It’s unclear what his best pro position will be, but he has NFL speed and athleticism, so Huff will get a chance somewhere. He helped his stock at the combine with a 4.49 40-time and at the Senior Bowl showcasing sticky coverage ability and the wheels to turn and run with any receiver on either roster. Huff can hit and tackle a little too, racking up 127 total tackles as a senior at Wyoming. Interesting small school prospect who also returned kicks and could be a force on coverage teams right away.

113.) Giants: RB Andre Williams, Boston College (5’11, 230) – The Giants signed Rashad Jennings to be their starter, they still have David Wilson under contract, and also re-signed Peyton Hillis, so they appear to be set at running back. I don’t think any of those guys are the long-term answer for the Giants and Andre Williams has the talent to be a workhorse back for the future. He only started for one year at BC, but put up ridiculous numbers (2,177 yards). Williams carried the ball a whopping 355 times, but still averaged over 6 yards a carry and found the end zone 18 times. Williams had a shoulder injury late in the season and had a myriad of minor injuries during his college career which could concern some teams. Williams is a bruiser with great balance and a surprising 2nd gear (4.56 40-time). He has the potential to be a tough workhorse back in the NFL but needs to check out medically . Williams didn’t catch any passes last year, so he will have to show some receiving ability at his pro day as well. There are a lot of unknowns with Williams, but 2000+ yards is a serious accomplishment.

114.) Jaguars: DE/OLB Marcus Smith, Louisville (6’3, 251) – Smith is a good fit for Gus Bradley’s LEO position. Smith can get to the QB (14.5 sacks in 2013) and is a solid tackler against the run. He got by mostly on athleticism and his quick first step in college, I doubt that’s going to be enough in the pros and Smith will need to get stronger and develop some pass rush moves to be anything more than a 3rd down pass rush specialist.

115.) Jets: CB Terrance Mitchell, Oregon (5’11, 192) – Rex Ryan is pissed that the Jets missed out on all the top free agent corners, but at least they get a little depth in the 4th round.  Mitchell was a play-maker for the Ducks, but was inconsistent in coverage, dropped a lot of potential INTs, and doesn’t have great speed. He projects as a 3rd or 4th corner but with teams running more four receivers sets lately, defenses need as many decent corners as they can get.

116.) Dolphins: CB EJ Gaines, Missouri (5’10, 190) – Speedy coverage guy with good anticipation and ball skills. Unfortunately Gaines doesn’t have very good hands, with only 7 interceptions in three years as a starter. He tackles well though and is an all-around solid player.  Gaines doesn’t have ideal height but plays bigger then 5’10 and usually did well against taller receivers ; He shut down Texas A&M’s 6’6 WR Mike Evans (4 catches, 8 yards) in their match-up last November.