NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – Round 4

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Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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: CB/S Dontae Johnson, North Carolina St (6’2, 200) – The Redskins need a lot of help in their secondary considering all of their starters earned negative grades from PFF last season. Johnson is a 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. Johnson can play either corner or safety with good range in coverage and strong run support. I’m not sure what his best position will be at the next level, but he could provide depth at both safety and corner for the Redskins and push for a starting spot by next season.

103.) Falcons: TE Arthur Lynch, Georgia (6’5, 258) –  It’s going to be 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: ILB Preston Brown, Louisville (6’1, 251) – The Browns signed Carlos Dansby to replace D’Qwell Jackson at one inside linebacker position but still need an upgrade over the other ILB, Craig Robertson, who shouldn’t be in anyone’s starting lineup. Brown is a physical ILB with good size and instincts. He’s a step slow, but his instincts allow him to play faster than he’s timed and he can really hit once he gets there.

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.