NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – Rounds 4-7

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

191.) Bears: RB Isaiah Crowell, Alabama St (5’11, 224) – Crowell might be the most talented running back in this year’s draft class. He was the SEC freshman of the year at Georgia in 2011 (850 yards, 5 touchdowns) before transferring to Alabama St and averaging just under 7 yards per carry over two seasons. So why is he available in the 6th round? Crowell was forced to leave Georgia after a felony gun charge (dropped), a failed drug test (marijuana), and also has a checkered medical history with no serious injuries but a few missed games. If having a gun in your car and smoking weed were deal-breakers, then most NFL teams wouldn’t be able to fill a 53-man roster. As Matt Forte’s back-up, Crowell would have a limited workload which negates the durability questions. Crowell has good size, vision, elite elusiveness, soft hands out of the backfield and the speed to break one once he reaches the second level. He wasn’t asked to block much at the college level so that is something the Bears will have to vet before drafting Crowell. There will be a few solid running backs available when the Bears make this pick, but only one with feature-back talent and that’s Crowell. Watch the tape below of every carry from Crowell’s 2nd college game against a South Carolina defense with 6 future NFL players including first rounders Jadeveon Clowney, Melvin Ingram, and Stephon Gillmore and let me know if you disagree.

192.) Steelers: S Jonathon Dowling, Western Kentucky (6’3, 190) – A better athlete then you would normally find at WKU, Dowling started out at Florida before being dismissed for “authority issues”. Dowling has great size for a safety, good ball skills, and a knack for forcing turnovers (9 INTs, 8 forced fumbles in 2 seasons). He has an issue with missing tackles due to his penchant for head-hunting, but is a legit enforcer in the middle. Dowling has the talent of a 2nd or 3rd rounder with the only concern being his willingness to accept coaching, stemming from his incident with Florida coaches over 3 years ago. Worth a the gamble this late in the draft.

193.) Cowboys: G Trai Turner, LSU (6’3, 310) – A raw guard prospect who should have stayed in school for one more season, but has an intriguing skill-set that will get him drafted at some point. Turner probably locked up a spot in the draft with the best 40-time of all the guards (4.93) at the combine. He was a road-grading run blocker at LSU, but his pass protection needs a lot of work. Turner is a bit of an unknown, but has potential and may go a round or two higher than this.

194.) Ravens: WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley St  (6’3, 219) – I was down on Janis after he whiffed on his chance at the Senior Bowl and I didn’t have him in my last mock draft. He was one of the only healthy receivers on the North squad during the game and he failed to make an impact at all (2 catches for 7 yards). I’ve heard he was a great athlete, but didn’t see any sign of it in the practices or the Senior Bowl game. Janis showed it at the combine. At his size, a 4.42 40-time is excellent. His unofficial 10-yard split of 1.47 was the best of any receiver not named Dri Archer and translates to an elite burst on short routes. The rest of Janis’ workouts were outstanding as well; Janis finished 3rd in the bench press, 3rd in the 3-cone drill, 5th in the 20-yard shuttle, and in the top 7 in vertical leap and broad jump. The Ravens get a good developmental receiver to eventually take over for Steve Smith. 

195.) Jets: CB Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma (6’0, 186) – Rex Ryan was pissed about missing out on the big corners in free agnecy, but finds a good one late in the draft. Colvin is a 2nd round talent who has dropped due to an ACL tear during Senior Bowl week. Colvin is doubtful to be ready in time for the 2014 season, but assuming full recovery, he has #1 corner potential. Colvin has the speed, athleticism, and aggressive nature of a shut-down CB and this pick could pay off handsomely for the Jets in 2015.

196.) Cardinals: MLB Max Bullough, Michigan St (6’3, 249) – It’s been a tumultuous last few months for Bullough; He was suspended for MSU’s bowl game for undisclosed reasons and then showed up to Senior Bowl practices noticeably overweight. His draft stock was plummeting, but he stopped the slide at the combine with a better than expected 4.78 40-time and one of the best bench sets from the linebackers (30 reps). Bullough’s game tape is excellent, he was the leader of one of the best defenses in the country and is a force vs the run. He shows good timing and burst through holes to stuff plays at the LOS and is a heavy hitter with better than expected range sideline to sideline. He struggles in coverage and is probably just a 2-down LB, but he can be a quality run-stuffer as a 3-4 ILB in the Cards defense right away and will help mitigate the loss of Karlos Dansby.

197.) Packers: S Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama (6’0, 210) – Borderline athleticism for an NFL player, but Sunseri makes up for it with great instincts. Sunseri is a sure tackler who is very aggressive against the run and is basically a coach on the field. I think he has enough intangibles to make up for his lack of athleticism and be an effective safety in the league. Sunseri and 1st round pick, Calvin Pryor, should team up at safety to upgrade a position that was a weak spot for the Packers last season.

198.) Patriots: DE/OLB Cassius Marsh, UCLA (6’4, 268) – Three year starter at UCLA who was versatile enough to play DE, DT, & OLB for the Bruins. Marsh is a max-effort player with a very quick first step and good speed and athleticism. Marsh should be able to contribute right away as a 3rd down pass rusher at OLB and with a little more strength could develop into a 3-down DE in the Pats 3-4. Marsh had one of the best 3-cone times at the combine and the Patriots value that drill more than most teams. 4 of the 6 defensive linemen with the top 3-cone times the last three years are on the Patriots roster.

199.) Bengals: OT Cameron Fleming, Stanford (6’6, 318) – Powerful run blocker who struggles in pass protection.  Similar profile to Jordan Mills who the Bears drafted in the 5th round last year, except Fleming has longer arms and better overall size, but is missing Mills’ mean streak. Fleming projects as an interesting right tackle prospect who will probably take a year or two of development before he is ready for the starting lineup. The Bengals need a replacement for swing tackle Anthony Collins and Fleming could eventually fill that role.

200.) Chiefs: G Spencer Long, Nebraska (6’5, 320) – Would have gone higher if not for an ACL injury late last season. Long, a former walk-on, is a two-time academic All-American who has been a solid run-blocker for the Huskers since he earned a starting spot in 2012. His pass blocking needs work, but it’s not hopeless.

201.) Chargers: DT Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas St (6’1, 337) – Didn’t dominate as much as he should have in the Sun-Belt conference, but has the size and strength to be an NFL nose tackle. Carrethers is a good athlete for a man his size. He was tough against the run in college and showed some pass rush ability but not consistently. Good developmental prospect.

202.) Saints: S Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech (5’10, 190) – Despite his small stature, Thomas is aggressive and a good hitter. He has good speed and plenty of range in coverage, the reason he is still available at this point has more to do with concerns about his size and durability than his talent.

203.) Colts: C Tyler Larson, Utah St (6’4, 317) – Smart, durable center who moves very well for a 317 pounder. Three time 1st-team all-WAC. Lack of top competition in the WAC is a concern, but Larson had a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl and the 2nd most bench reps at the combine (36). The Colts signed free agent center, Phil Costa, but Larson can provide good depth and take over if Costa is a bust.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

204.) Panthers: QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson (6’1, 222) – Salvaged his draft stock with a solid pro day. The Panthers have been looking for a mobile back-up for Cam Newton the last two years and Tajh could fill that role. His accuracy has been bad in workouts, but he’s always got it done on the field so could end up being a steal in the 6th round. I never understood Boyd’s “fat kid” nickname until I saw him in shorts at the combine. He’s pudgy and just doesn’t look like a football player, but when the pads are on and the Tigers needed a TD, Boyd came through more often then not and I could see him becoming a very good back-up QB in the league.

205.) 49ers: ILB ILB Jeremiah George, Iowa St (5’11, 234) – Lacks ideal height, but has good strength (28 reps) and led the Big-12 in tackles last season (133). George played up to his competition with his best two games coming against Baylor (18 tackles) and Oklahoma St (12 tackles). George showed great range during the NFLPA game making plays on screen passes and outside runs. He also showed good hand play shedding two blocks to make tackles near the line of scrimmage. George is good insurance in case ILB Navarro Bowman isn’t recovered from his ACL injury in time for the 2014 season.

206.) Patriots: C Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma (6’4, 304) – Extremely smart, takes good blocking angles, elite short-area quickness, charismatic, natural leader… Everything is good about this kid except for his lack of functional strength (20 reps). Once he gets stronger I think he’s going to be a starting center in the NFL for a long time.

207.) Broncos: OLB Ronald Powell, Florida (6’3, 240) – Great athlete who was the #1 recruit coming out of high school ( Two ACL injuries derailed Powell’s college career, but he still moves very well for his size. Powell has good pass rush skills and if he passes team’s medical checks he could move up a few rounds. The Broncos could use some depth at OLB.

208.) Seahawks: DE Aaron Lynch, South Florida (6’5, 258) – Lynch is extremely talented, but might have the worst work ethic in the draft. His stock is plummeting due to attitude concerns and reports from his former teammates calling him selfish, lazy, immature, self-centered, and a handful of other negative adjectives. Lynch looked like a lock for the first round as a freshman at Notre Dame, but looked like a completely different player by his junior year at South Florida. He has lost about 20 sounds since his freshman year and some of his strength with it. Lynch showed glimmers of his old pass rush ability, but it was very inconsistent last season and most of the time he looked uninterested and apathetic. Lynch did turn it on the last few games of the season, but is that enough to convince a team that he’s serious about football? He still has a high ceiling but his odds of getting there are very slim. The Seahawks have a deep enough roster to roll the dice this late in the draft.

Compensatory Picks

209.) Jets:  OLB Prince Shembo, Notre Dame  (6’2, 254): Max effort linebacker with good strength, but very raw technique. Shembo had 17 QB hurries last season so there is some potential there. Some recent, fairly serious off-field allegations might scare most teams off, but Shembo has potential as a pass rusher so some team will probably give him a shot regardless.

210.) Jets:  S Dez Southward, Wisconsin (6’0, 211) – If the draft were just based on his coverage ability, Southward wouldn’t have a chance to hear his name called. He has poor instincts and his coverage technique needs plenty of work, but his physical attributes are off the charts. Southward wasn’t allowed to work out at the combine due to a surprise back injury, but he dominated his pro day. Southward ran a 4.31 40, had a 42-inch vertical leap, and looked very impressive in the position drills. He might never play safety in the NFL, but he could be a pro bowl gunner on special teams right away.

211.) Texans: TE Xavier Grimble, USC (6’4, 257) – Good physical tools, but disappointing production last year (25-271-2). The Texans appear ready to lose TE Owen Daniels in free agency and need a back-up for recently re-signed TE Garrett Graham. Grimble needs a year or two of development, but could eventually blossom into a dangerous receiving option.

212.) Bengals: WR John Brown, Pitt St (5’10, 179) – Little guy with blazing speed (4.34) who put up prolific stats during his career at Pitt St (185 catches, 3380 yards, 32 TDs) and can return punts. Brown is a bit of an unknown since he played against inferior competition in college, but his speed and agility in the receiver drills were one of the biggest surprises of the combine. The Bengals lost Andrew Hawkins to the Browns in free agency and Brown has a similar skill set.

213.) Jets: RB D’Anthony Thomas, Oregon (5’9, 174) –  The Jets have a couple of decent power backs in Ivory and Powell, but Thomas would give them a change of pace speed back and dangerous kick-returner. Thomas was very disappointing at the combine (4.50 40, 8 bench reps), but kept his draft hopes alive with a solid pro day (4.34).

214.) Rams: DT Shamar Stephen, Connecticut (6’5, 308) – Good size and very strong, Stephen was a solid run-stuffer in college and would give the Rams some insurance if Kendall Langford leaves in free agency next year.

215.) Steelers:  TE Jake Murphy, Utah (6’4, 254): Well rounded tight end who can block, run good routes, has soft hands, decent speed (4.79) and is tough to bring down after he catches the ball. He’s Hall of Famer Dale Murphy’s son, but he reminds me more of a poor man’s Heath Miller.