NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Rounds 4-7

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156.) Bears: WR Dri Archer, Kent St (5’8, 173) – Bears replace Devin Hester with the fastest player in college football last year (4.26 40-time!). Archer is the best return man in the draft, but he is more than just a track star; Archer is a well-rounded football player who had 24 rushing touchdowns, 12 receiving touchdowns, and 4 kick return touchdowns in his career at Kent St. He is more Darren Sproles than Devin Hester and would give Marc Trestman a dangerous weapon on offense that he could use on reverses, draws, screens and whatever other craziness he can come up with. Archer is very small at 173 pounds, but he’s not fragile and very strong (20 reps of 225 pounds). He would be a weapon in the return game right away and can eventually contribute on offense. Check out his highlights here, it’s worth it. If you don’t have time for the long version at least check out his runs at 2:39, 4:00, & 4:58. One more highlight reel, just for fun:

157.) Steelers: T Michael Schofield, Michigan (6’4, 303) – Schofield stood out in Senior Bowl practices as a guy who can hold his own at either tackle or guard. He didn’t look dominant at either, but versatility like that has plenty of value. If you can fill two back-up spots with one guy that opens up another roster spot for more depth or a developmental player. The Steelers definitely need some O-line depth and Schofield should develop into at least a competent swing tackle if not a starting RT.

158.) Cowboys: CB Nevin Lawson, Utah St (5’9, 190) – Scrappy corner who has had a good off-season. Lawson was the best corner at the Shrine Bowl which earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl where he practiced well all week and then topped it off with a 4.46 40 at the combine. Despite his small size, Lawson is tough against the run and good in coverage as a slot corner. On talent alone he’d be a mid-rounder pick, but his lack of size could drop him a round or two.

159.) Jaguars: WR Mike Davis, Texas (6’0, 197) – Davis was hindered by inconsistent QB play at Texas, but showed off good hands and crisp route-running at the Senior Bowl while being coached by Jags HC Gus Bradley. Davis is more quick than fast, but could be a solid possession receiver for the Jags.

160.) Cardinals: WR Robert Herron, Wyoming (5’9, 193) – Quick, sure-handed slot receiver who can go take a big hit over the middle and hold on to the ball. Herron is undersized, but there is a place for his skill-set in the NFL. The Cardinals need a replacement for slot receiver Andre Roberts and Herron could be a good one.

161.) Packers: QB Brett Smith, Wyoming (6’3, 206) – After struggling to find a competent back-up when Aaron Rodgers went down last year, I think the Pack will use a mid-round pick on a developmental QB this year. Smith was a surprise snub from the combine and has more talent then most of the guys brought in to throw during the combine drills. Smith has good poise in the pocket and shows a similar ability to sense pressure as Aaron Rodgers. He doesn’t have anywhere near the arm or accuracy that Rodgers has, but he is more mobile and can escape pressure and throw on the run. He was a three-year starter at Wyoming and two-year captain so he shows good leadership potential and could eventually develop into a borderline starter / quality backup QB.

162.) Eagles: CB Ricardo Allen, Purdue (5’9, 187) – Cocky, aggressive corner with good ball skills. Due to his lack of size, he struggles with big receivers but is a strong defender against 6 foot and under receivers. Ideal skill-set for a nickel back and he has the swagger and short memory necessary for a successful corner in the league. Allen ran a slower than expected 4.61 40 at the combine, but had an excellent pro day posting a 4.46 40-time and a 37″ vertical leap and putting himself back in the day 3 mix.

163.) Chiefs: RB Lache Seastrunk, Baylor  (5’9, 201) – Seastrunk can fly, but bounces too many runs outside and might not be sturdy enough for a big workload. The Chiefs need a back-up for Jamaal Charles since Knile Davis could be out for a while due to his late season knee injury. Seastrunk is a good receiver out of the backfield and has a similar skill-set to Charles & Davis.

164.) Bengals: DT George Uko, USC (6’3, 275) – Would have been a much higher pick if he had stayed in school another year, but the Bengals get an explosive DT prospect who can rotate with Geno Atkins to keep him fresh for the long haul. The more I watch Uko, the more I like him. He has a ton of potential.

165.) Chargers: SS Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (6’0, 205) – Besides FS Eric Weddle, the Chargers secondary was pretty bad last year. Dixon’s stock has dropped due to a poor Senior Bowl performance and mediocre combine, but is a good value pick in the 5th 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 at strong safety. In the short-term he should excel on special teams.

166.) Colts: CB Andre Hal, Vanderbilt (5’10, 188) – All-SEC corner who played well against the top receivers in the conference. Hal is smooth in coverage, but gets beat deep too often and is a non-factor against the run. Should be a solid 3rd-4th corner off the bat with the potential to develop into a solid #2. 

167.) Saints: T/C Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt (6’5, 297) – Too small to play LT like he did at Vandy, but has great feet and an innate understanding of blocking angles. Johnson could make a good guard or center and has the talent to eventually crack the starting lineup somewhere. The Saints need a replacement inside for Brian de la Puente and depth on their interior line.

168.) Panthers: OLB Jordan Tripp, Montana (6’3, 234) – Fluid athlete who surprised at the Senior Bowl with good pass rush and coverage skills to go with the solid run stopping skills he showed at Montana. Tripp ran well at the combine with a 4.67 40 and showed great short-area quickness as the only linebacker with a sub-4 second 20-yard shuttle. The Panthers need depth at LB and Tripp could back-up either OLB spot and contribute on special teams as well.

169.) Eagles: WR Josh Huff, Oregon (5’11, 205) – Classic slot receiver. Undersized, but has excellent speed and agility. Huff has also shown both the ball skills to be an effective deep receiver and the toughness to make catches over the middle. Besides his lack of size, the main knock on Huff is a lack of concentration; Huff dropped plenty of catchable balls and was called for too many dumb penalties. Those are correctable issues and his production as a senior in a running offense (62, 1140, 12) was impressive. Huff can also contribute on special teams as a kick/punt returner and a gunner in coverage. Drafting Huff would give the Eagles some depth if they decide to move WR DeSean Jackson as rumored.

170.) 49ers: RB/DB Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern (5’9, 209) – Might have had the most impressive overall workout at the combine. McKinnon ran the 2nd best 40-time (4.41), put up the most bench reps (32), had the 2nd best vertical leap (40.5), the 2nd best broad jump (132″), the 3rd best 3-cone time (6.83), and the 4th best 20-yard shuttle (4.12) of the running backs. Wow. There is talk of McKinnon showing promise as a defensive back and some team is going to fall in love with his athleticism and draft McKinnon in the mid-to-late rounds. The 49ers lost both of their starting defensive backs in free agency, so they could use some depth at the position and have extra draft picks to take some risks.

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171.) Broncos: RB Tyler Gaffney, Stanford (5’11, 220) – His 4.49 40-time might have been the surprise of the combine. Gaffney was a tough runner at Stanford, but I never thought he had breakaway speed while watching him. I went back and watched the tape and still don’t see it. His 40-time could move him up to the 3rd or 4th rounds, but I think this is about the right spot for Gaffney. If the Broncos don’t re-sign Knowshon Moreno, they will need some depth behind Montee Ball and Gaffney is a good fit for their one-cut scheme and is also an adequate enough pass blocker to play right away. 

172.) Seahawks: TE Marcel Jenson, Fresno St (6’6, 259) – Big target with long arms and good hands. Jenson wasn’t utilized much in Fresno St’s offense, but he has the potential to become a weapon in the passing game. He’s a decent blocker but needs to get stronger to have an impact against NFL defensive ends and linebackers. Good developmental prospect.

Compensatory Picks

173.) Steelers: DT Justin Ellis, Lousiana Tech (6’1, 334) – Flashed some pass rushing skill at the Shrine game and again at the Senior Bowl, but hasn’t done it consistently enough to be a sure thing. Ellis has plenty of talent though and is moving up most draft boards. He could provide depth at NT initially and eventually move into the starting role as his technique improves.

174.) Giants: WR Kevin Norwood, Alabama (6’2, 198) – A late riser this off-season, Norwood was a long shot to get drafted after not being utilized much during his senior year at Alabama (38, 568, 7). Norwood’s route running skills stood out during the Senior Bowl practices and then again in the position drill portion of the combine. After losing Hakeem Nicks to free agency, the Giants need receiver depth and Norwood has a shot to come in and contribute right away.

175.) Ravens: CB Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern (5’11, 186) – Aggressive corner with good strength who got burned repeatedly at the Senior Bowl and then ran the 2nd slowest 40 in the defensive back group (4.63) at the combine. Westbrooks has a chance but he’s going to need a lot of coaching on his technique.

176.) Packers: DE Taylor Hart, Oregon (6’6, 281) – Solid, max-effort player with good size and strength but limited athleticism. Hart was a good run-stopper in college who flashed occasional pass rush ability (11.5 sacks last 2 seasons). Hart should provide depth at the DE position for the Packers and could eventually develop into a solid starter at the 5-technique.