NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Rounds 4-7

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Round 6

177.) Texans: LB Howard Jones, Shepard (6’2, 235) – Made some money at the combine by running the 3rd best 40-time (4.6), having the best vertical (40.5″), the 2nd best broad jump, and the 5th best 3-cone time of all the defensive linemen at the combine. Jones was a pass rushing terror at Shepard (DII), is the NCAA active leader in sacks (62.5) and he proved he has NFL athleticism at the combine. He’s too small to be a defensive end but is plenty fast and fluid enough to play OLB in a 3-4. He’s not going to be much of a coverage linebacker, but Jones should be able to get to the QB at the NFL level.

178.) Redskins: G Brandon Linder, Miami (6’6, 311) – Smart player with good size, but he’s limited athletically. The Redskins got sub-par play from their guards last year; They filled one position through free agency (Luavoa) and Linder is polished enough to compete at the other one as a rookie.

179.) Jaguars: RB James White, Wisconsin (5’9, 204) – Part of RB rotation at Wisconsin, so he should have plenty of mileage left. White had a big week at the Senior Bowl showing great receiving skills, a powerful stiff-arm, and good pass blocking. White’s combine workouts were just mediocre, but his tape is solid and he’s one of the most well-rounded running back prospects in the draft. White’s skill as a receiver out of the backfield is a good complement to new running back Toby Gerhart’s power inside running. If White slips a little farther, I think the Bears would give White serious consideration with their 2nd 6th round pick. Both Trestman and Emery have stated that pass protection and the ability to catch out of the backfield are two of the most important factors in a back-up running back and those are two of White’s strengths.

180.) Browns: S Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt (6’0, 207) – 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 Browns could use some competition for free safety Tashuan Gipson and Ladler should have a shot to contribute as a rookie. He’s a good football player, but his draft stock dropped due to his 4.7 40-time at the combine.

181.) Raiders: WR T.J. Jones, Notre Dame (6’0, 188) – The Raiders added some depth to their receiving core by signing James Jones in the off-season, but with no other consistent options they could use some more depth with upside at the position. Jones is a well-rounded receiver with excellent hands and good route-running ability. He had a good senior year despite shaky QB play and could blossom in a good offense (unfortunately he ended up on the Raiders).

182.) Falcons: Andrew Jackson, Western Kentucky (6’1, 254) – Another one of my favorite players in the draft (can you tell I like tough MLBs?), Jackson is a throw-back MLB who is a big–time hitter and play-maker. He’s a step slow, but makes up for it with great instincts and is a good fit in the middle of the Falcons new 3-4 scheme. He’s going to struggle in coverage so might only be a 2-down linebacker but he could be an elite run-stopper by the end of his rookie year.

183.) Bears: DE Larry Webster, Bloomberg (6’6, 252) – Any other year, a 6’6, 252 pound defensive end running a 4.58 40 at the combine would have been a big deal, but Webster was overshadowed by Jadeveon Clowney even though they are practically the same size and Clowney’s 40-time was only 5 hundredths of a second faster. Webster isn’t a household name, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of him. You don’t hear much about football players from tiny DII Bloomberg University. On top of that, Webster only played football for two years. He was a star basketball player for Bloomberg until his senior year when he decided to play football. Webster made an immediate impact with 26 sacks in two seasons. The lack of competition is a major strike against Webster, but he handled himself well at the Shrine game collecting a sack and more impressively pancaking an offensive tackle on a bull rush. I was impressed with his strength because Webster is built like a flag pole and will definitely need a year or two in an NFL strength program before he is ready to be a 3-down defensive end. Webster has ideal size for the position, an elite size/speed ratio, a quick first step, good closing speed, and natural pass rush instincts. He has the potential to develop into a double-digit sack guy off the edge which isn’t bad value in the 6th round. As a rookie he’s going to be a liability against the run, but I think he can contribute as a 3rd down pass rusher and wouldn’t be surprised at all if he ends up with 5-6 sacks in 2014. The Bears could actually kill two birds by drafting Webster as he also played tight end in red zone sets at Bloomberg and has drawn comparisons to Jordan Cameron and Julius Thomas from NFL scouts. One last note on Webster, his dad is Larry Webster Jr,  who played in the NFL for 11 seasons and won a Super Bowl ring with the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. There are no good Webster highlights reels on YouTube, but click here for a news story about Webster.

184.) Vikings: ILB Lamin Barrow, LSU (6’1, 230) – The Vikings current starter at MLB is Jasper Brinkley, so they could use some more talent at the position. Barrow is a great athlete who is still learning the linebacker position and is far from a finished product. Barrow needs work on his tackling and block shedding technique, but is an elite athlete with good speed who has starter potential down the road.

185.) Bills: DT Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma St (6’2, 300) – With the Bills moving to a 4-3 defensive scheme, they need some mobile DTs for the 3-technique position. Barnett had a productive senior season and was a surprise combine snub. Barnett wears down quickly so he would be best suited as part of a rotation but can provide a good power / speed combo inside for limited stretches.

186.) Titans:  T Justin Britt, Missouri (6’6, 315) – Good feet and athleticism. Britt doesn’t have quite the size or strength to play LT in the NFL, but could play RT or be an excellent guard prospect. The Titans need depth everywhere across the O-line.

187.) Giants: DE Ethan Westbrooks, W Texas A&M (6’3, 267) –  Dominant rusher at the DII level (46.5 TFLs, 26.5 sacks in two seasons) who had 2 sacks in the Shrine game against much better competition then he was used to. Westbrooks has a quick first step and a myriad of polished pass rush moves. His workouts at the combine were mediocre which will hurt his draft stock, but he is an intriguing prospect who could go much higher due to his impressive game tape.

188.) Rams: T/G Charles Leno, Boise St (6’4, 303) – Good depth pick for the Rams. Their line was a mess last year but they have done enough in free agency and the draft to have a real solid unit in 2014. Leno might be too small to play tackle in the NFL but would make a very solid guard if he has to move inside.

189.) Lions: SS Isaiah Lewis, Michigan St (5’10, 205) – The Lions just replaced Louis Delmas at strong safety with free agent signing James Ihedigbo, but could use some depth at the position. Lewis shares Delmas’ penchant for big hits, but the question is whether he can cover like the 2-time Pro Bowler Delmas. Lewis made a few nice plays in Senior Bowl practices but also got beat deep a couple of times putting a spotlight on his lack of top-end speed (4.60). Worst case, Lewis will be a big-hitter on special teams.

190.) Dolphins: TE Richard Rodgers, California (6’4, 257) – The Dolphins get a back-up for TE Charles Clay. Rodgers ran a disappointing 4.87 40 at the combine otherwise he would have gone a round or two higher. He looks faster than that on tape and has good enough hands and ball skills to be a weapon in the middle of the field. He’s not much of a blocker, so if he doesn’t develop into a receiver quickly, he won’t be in the league for long.