NFL Mock Draft 2.0 – All 7 Rounds

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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.

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.

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72.) Vikings: DE Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (6’3. 247) – Jeffcoat fits the mold of recent Vikings DEs Jared Allen & Brian Robinson. He’s a little light, but has good quickness off the edge and displayed good pass rush moves in college. Jeffcoat struggles at time to shed blockers and will struggle against the run until he gets stronger. He is the son of former NFL player Jim Jeffcoat who had 103 career sacks and two super bowl rings with the Cowboys. Jeffcoat can slide right into their defensive end rotation and take over Emerson’s role as third down pass rusher.

73.) Bills: S Ed Reynolds, Stanford (6’1, 207) – The Bills dysfunctional relationship with free safety Jairus Byrd is over and they need a replacement. Reynolds isn’t the natural athlete that Byrd was, but he’s no slouch and smart in coverage with natural instincts, good ball skills and solid range. Reynolds showed a knack for making big plays, returning 3 of his 6 picks for TDs in 2012.

74.) Giants: OLB Christian Jones, Florida St (6’3, 240): Great athlete with good size and speed. Jones has been moving up draft boards quickly and this may be too low of a spot for him. Either way, the Giants need OLBs and they get a good one here in Jones.

75.) Rams: WR Martavus Bryant, Clemson (6’4, 211): The Rams get a legit deep threat to go with their eclectic collection of underneath receivers. Bryant was inconsistent in college, but has great size and deep speed. The 4.42 40 Bryant ran at the combine is pretty ridiculous for a guy that is 6’4 and probably locked up a draft spot no later than this one. Bryant made enough spectacular catches in college to get excited about his potential, but he also dropped plenty of easy ones and needs to get stronger to beat press coverage at the NFL level. It won’t happen right away, but Bryant could be special in a couple of years.

76.) Lions: DE Kareem Martin, North Carolina (6’6, 272): He’s better against the run than the rushing the passer, but did flash some ability last year with 11 sacks after only 8 combined the two previous years. Martin doesn’t have natural pass rush moves, but he has prototypical size and uses a strong punch to keep blockers off him and diagnose plays. Martin was a team captain and his leadership skills get mentioned in every scouting report I’ve seen. With all the thugs on the Lions defensive, they could use a solid citizen who could bring a stabilizing presence to their overly emotional defensive line. North Carolina has churned out some quality DEs in the past (Robert Quinn, Julius Peppers, Quinton Coples) so maybe the Lions will get lucky with Martin in the 3rd.

77.) 49ers: C Travis Swanson, Arkansas (6’5, 312) – Center is the only weak spot on an otherwise solid Niners offensive line. Swanson was the #1 rated center on most boards coming into draft season and has been dropping lately despite pretty solid performances at both the Senior Bowl and combine. He’s a little tall for the center position, but his game tape is solid while playing against the best CFB has to offer in the SEC.

78.) Cowboys: ILB Shane Skov, Stanford (6’2, 245) – One of my favorite players in the draft, Skov will be a quality replacement for Sean Lee who is moving to WLB. Skov will give the Cowboys a solid tackler and blitzer up the middle as well as some toughness and leadership which just wasn’t there last season after Lee got hurt.

79.) Ravens: T/G Brandon Thomas, Clemson (6’3, 317) – Similar to Zach Martin in that he has ideal guard size but has proven he can play tackle in a pinch. The Ravens need a replacement for Oher at right tackle. If 2nd round pick “Tiny” Richardson can handle it then Thomas can move to guard where he has all-pro potential. If not, Thomas would provide good insurance if Richardson needs a year or two of seasoning before moving into the starting lineup.

80.) Jets: T Seantrel Henderson, Miami (6’7, 331) – The Jets lost RT Austin Howard in free agency and Henderson has all the tools to be a beast at tackle. Of course he couldn’t do it consistently in college which is why a guy with his size and agility is still around at this point in the draft. Henderson has a ton of potential, but off-field issues and on field focus problems have kept him from reaching it so far. If he ever matures and focuses on football the sky is the limit and he’s worth a gamble in the 3rd round.

81.) Dolphins: RB Tre Mason, Auburn (5’8, 207) – The Lamar Miller / Daniel Thomas combo was a bust for the Dolphins last year and with their rebuilt line they need to find a running back who can move the chains and break one occasionally. Mason is that guy and could have a breakout rookie year if the Dolphins new o-line can gel quickly.

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82.) Bears: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (6’3, 218) – He’s 6’3, ran a 4.46 40 at his pro day and has a 41.5″ vertical leap. Measurements like those don’t come along very often at the corner position. It’s not like he is just a workout warrior either, Jean-Baptiste had 6 interceptions and 21 pass breakups in just 17 starts and was 2nd team all Big-Ten last season. Jean-Baptiste’s technique is raw, he has only played corner for two years after switching from wide receiver before his sophomore season at Nebraska. I was impressed with SJB’s instincts breaking on the ball at the Senior Bowl and he has excellent ball skills from his days as a wide out. He’s inconsistent against the run but has shown sings of being a big hitter (0:28, 0:51 & 1:52 on highlights below). After a year of coaching and learning from Charles Tillman, Jean-Baptiste could be ready to move into the starting lineup in 2015. SJB is a great fit for the Bears zone scheme and could end up being a lock-down corner who can match-up with the NFC North’s tall receivers.

83.) Browns: CB Jaylen Watkins, Florida (5’11, 194) – The Browns could use an upgrade over Buster Skrine across from Joe Haden. Watkins played both corner and safety at Florida, showing good versatility and a team first attitude. He stood out at the Senior Bowl as one of the most polished corners there and had the best speed (4.41) / power (22 reps) combo of all the corners at the combine. Watkins has the potential to be a solid outside cover guy and didn’t miss many tackles in college. I could see the Bears going with Watkins over SJB if they are looking for an immediate impact over long-term ceiling.

84.) Cardinals: T Billy Turner, North Dakota St (6’5, 315) – Turner dominated for 4 years at ND St, but that is a long ways from the NFL. Even the Senior Bowl was a huge step up in competition for Turner, but he more than held his own. He had a little trouble with speed rushers, but was never overpowered. Turner’s best chance to play early is at RT or even guard, but Turner has enough potential to eventually become a starting LT. He would give the Cardinals something they haven’t had in a long time, depth at tackle.

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85.) Packers: TE Troy Niklas, Notre Dame (6’6, 270): With Finley all but gone and the athletically limited Andrew Quarles as their starting TE, the Packers should be looking for an upgrade in the draft. Niklas has only played the position for two years at the college level, but has shown flashes of massive potential. He’s already a great blocker, has shown soft hands, and can move pretty well for a big man. Niklas might need a year to two to learn the nuances of the position at the pro level but he could help right away in the run game and eventually be a weapon in the middle of the field for Rodgers.

86.) Eagles: OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech (6’3, 252) – Showed plenty of potential as a pass rusher at the Senior Bowl and enough athleticism to eventually play the 3-4 OLB position. Short-term, Attaochu can provde value as a situational pass rusher and eventually become a 3-down OLB. He has a very quick first step and the natural ability to get to the QB. Attaochu hasn’t been able to run the 40 yet due to an injury, but as long as he’s in the 4.6-4.7 range, he won’t make it past the 3rd round. The Eagles could use some fresh legs at OLB and Attaochu could be special in a year or two.

87.) Chiefs: G Cyril Richardson, Baylor (6’5, 329) – Was exposed a bit at the Senior Bowl as a phone booth blocker only. He really struggled when asked to move laterally, but has the strength, size, and athleticism to eventually become a force inside. The Chiefs are hurting at guard after losing both Schwartz and Asamoah in free agency.

88.) Bengals: OLB Telvin Smith, Florida St (6’3, 218) – If he were 20 pounds heavier he might be a first round pick. Smith was one of the most impressive LBs I’ve watched in this class. He has elite speed and excellent instincts. In the Senior Bowl, Smith snuffed out 3 screen plays by himself. At FSU he was constantly around the ball and didn’t miss many tackles. Smith is solid in coverage and a violent blitzer. Teams are going to be wary of drafting a 218 pound linebacker and some will look to move him to safety. Wherever he ends up, Smith is a heck of a football player and will be an asset on special teams.

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

89.) Chargers: WR Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss (6’2, 221) – Moncrief has great size and uses it well to shield defenders. He has great hands, runs good routes, and even run blocks a bit. The only question mark was his straight-line speed, but he answered that and then some at the combine with a 4.40 40-time. This might be way too low for Moncrief, but the receiver class is stacked and it’s going to come down to team’s preferences. This would be a steal for the Chargers and give them two strong athletic wide outs with Moncrief and Keenan Allen.

90.) Colts: G John Urschel, Penn St (6’3, 313) – Lacks ideal athleticism, but is ridiculously smart and plays with nearly flawless technique. He was a team captain in college and is the type of smart, scrappy player that will be around for a long time in the league if he wants to. Worst case, he’ll give Andrew Luck someone to hang out with off the field.

91.) Saints: C Russell Bodine, North Carolina (6’3, 310) – The Saints needs a replacement for Brian De La Puente and Bodine could be that guy or slide over to guard if need be, Bodine showed excellent strength at the combine with 42 reps of 225 and looked smooth in the position drills. This might be a little high for Bodine, but he fills a need for the Saints and has plenty of upside.

92.) Panthers: CB Victor Hampton, South Carolina (5’9, 197) – His 4.7 40 at the combine might drop him farther than this, but his game is very similar to Captain Munnerlyn’s who the Panthers just lost in free agency. Hampton is under-sized but very strong for a DB and plays with an aggressive style that will be a good fit in Carolina. He won’t get away with muscling receivers like he did at the college level, but he’s athletic enough to adapt. Hampton will need some time and coaching before he can contribute at the NFL level, but he will have value in the right scheme.

93.) Patriots: S Dion Bailey, USC (6’0, 201) – Bailey switched between OLB and safety in college and played well at both. He is a sure tackler with great instincts and enough speed to be adequate in coverage.  Bailey showed good hands in college with 11 career interceptions. He’s the type of versatile defender that Belichick likes and will be a standout on special teams until he finds a role on defense.

94.) 49ers: S Craig Loston, LSU (5’11, 217) – Great athlete and big hitter, who is a little raw technique wise but has a ton of potential. Loston will be a force against the run from day 1 and would be a great fit next to free safety Eric Reid.

95.) Broncos: MLB Yawin Samllwood, Connecticut (6’2, 246) – The Broncos have a hole at middle linebacker after losing Wesley Woodyard to free agency. Smallwood disappointed at the combine, but claims he was hurt so that might have been the reason for his slow times (5.01 40-time). Smallwood certainly looks faster than that on tape. He showed good range, sound tackling technique and the knack for making big plays when needed. Granted, he didn’t play against the best competition at UConn, but his production was still impressive (118 tackles, 9.5 TFLs, 4 sacks in 2013).

96.) Vikings: G Dakota Dozier, Furman (6’4, 313) – The Vikings got a (-5.4) grade out of their starting left guard, Charlie Johnson, which was the only weak spot on an otherwise impressive offensive line. With a little seasoning, Dozier could take over that spot. He is an impressive athlete for his size and surprisingly light on his feet. Dozier dominated as a left tackle at Furman, but the obvious lack of competition is a concern as is no experience at the guard position. Dozier will need some coaching but his size and elite athleticism gives him more potential than almost any guard in the draft.

Compensatory Picks

97.) Steelers OLB/DE Chris Smith, Louisville (6’1, 266) – Smith helped his stock at the Senior Bowl showing great quickness off the edge, the power to bull rush, and a surprising mix of pass rush moves. His combine performance was solid as well with a 4.71 40-time and a 37″ vertical. Smith is a tweener; He lacks ideal height for a 4-3 DE and ideal mobility for a 3-4 OLB. He does have unusually long arms which help negate his less than ideal size and elite acceleration which makes up for his slower than ideal change of direction ability. Smith is a good football player with a knack for getting to the QB and I think the Steelers will use him as a situational pass rusher while he learns the OLB position.

98.) Packers: C Westin Richburg, Colorado (6’3, 298) – The Packers get a replacement for C Evan Dietrich-Smith who was lost in free agency (Bucs). Richburg helped his stock with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl and was one of the only O-lineman there who had any success against Aaron Donald. Richburg didn’t miss a game in college, showed good intelligence making the line calls the last two seasons for CSU, and performed well against an upgrade in competition at the Senior Bowl.

99.) Ravens: S/CB Dontae Johnson, North Carolina St (6’2, 200) – Tall, versatile defensive back who played safety, corner, and even linebacker in college. Johnson has the size that teams are looking for right now, and helped his cause with a better than expected 4.45 40-time at the combine. With the Ravens planning on moving Matt Elam to strong safety, Johnson will give them a free safety with good range in coverage who is also strong against the run.

100.) 49ers: DT Will Sutton, Arizona St (6’0, 303) – It’s hard to know what teams think of Sutton. He looked like a first rounder as a junior (13 sacks) then gained a bunch of weight and became a run-stopper as a senior (Pac 12 co-defensive player of the year). He’s had success in both roles, but with his weight fluctuations I think teams will be wary of using a high pick on Sutton. If he can get near 290 pounds consistently, he could be a dynamic 3-technique tackle or 5-technique end. If he’s at 315+ he’s probably not going to be in the league long. It’s a risky pick but if any team can afford to take chances it’s the Niners with 13 total draft picks.