NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – Round 4
117.) Bears: S/CB Antone Exum, Virginia Tech (6’0, 213) – The Bears kept Chris Conte and signed M.D. Jennings but free safety is still a question mark. Bears GM Phil Emery said on Thursday that the Bears would look for players at other positions that could be moved to safety. I think the guy he had in mind was CB Antone Exum. He was a top 50 prospect before subsequent injuries to his ACL and ankle kept him on the sidelines for most of his senior year. Exum is a versatile defensive back; He played slot corner as a freshman, free safety as a sophomore, and was an outside corner as a junior. His junior year he had 5 interceptions, 16 pass breakups, 2 forced fumbles, and was considered a better NFL prospect then CB Kyle Fuller who I have as a late first round pick. Exum is built like a safety and that might be the position that would have the most value for the Bears right now, but Exum has the athleticism to be a corner in the Bears zone scheme as well. Wherever he ends up, Exum can be a big-hitter in run support and an aggressive coverage guy with the size to match up with the divisions taller receivers. His recent injury problems are an obvious risk and he is rumored to have some “coachability” issues, but Exum has day 2 talent and would be a steal on day 3.
118.) Steelers: DE Brent Urban, Virginia Tech (6’7, 295) – Long armed end with good strength and decent quickness off the edge. His best position in the pros will be as a 3-4 DE and he would give the Steelers some young legs at the position and at worst a solid back-up.
119.) Cowboys: S Tre Boston, North Carolina (6’0, 204) – Safety is one of the Cowboys many defensive weak spots going into the 2014 season, but at least they have a decent strong safety in Barry Church. Free safety is a glaring hole right now and Boston would have a chance to contribute right away. Boston has great ball skills (9 INTs last two seasons) and improved every year at NC. If he continues to develop, Boston has the potential to be a starting NFL free safety.
120.) Cardinals: RB Terrance West, Towson (5’9, 225) – The Cardinals already signed Jonathon Dwyer to take over Rashad Mendenhall’s primary ball-carrier duties, but there is a reason Dwyer could never hold the job in Pittsburgh and that there was little interest in free agency expect from his former coach in Pittsburgh, Bruce Arians. Dwyer is great in short yardage but that’s about it. The Cardinals still need a guy who can not only handle 20+ carries a game, but keep defenses honest to open up the aerial game that Arians prefers. West is a relative unknown coming from Towson University, but was a stud coming out of high school and only ended up at Towson due to academic and off-field issues. He’s a powerful back with good vision and the burst to get to the second level. His 4.54 40-time proves he has the ability to break the occasional long one and I think he’s a dark-horse for rookie of the year if he winds up in the right situation (like AZ).
121.) Packers: DT Daniel McCullers, Tennessee (6’7, 352) – The Packers were easy to run against last year and they need some new blood on their D-line. As expected with his size, McCullers is a good run-stuffer who is tough to move off the LOS. He doesn’t offer much in terms of pass rush and has little lateral movement ability, but you can’t teach size and McCullers will improve a team’s run defense just by stepping on the field.
122.) Eagles: OLB Carl Bradford, Arizona St (6’1, 250) – The Eagles need some young pass rushers and that is Bradford’s specialty. He’s undersized, but has natural pass rush moves and plays the game with an edge that will fit right in on the Eagles aggressive front seven.
123.) Bengals: WR Jared Abbrederis (6’1, 195) – The Bengals lost their slot receiver Andrew Hawkins to the Browns in free agency and there isn’t much depth behind A.J. Green & Marvin Jones. Abbrederis could make the claim that he is the best route-runner in this draft and only Jordan Matthews would have a legitimate complaint. He could be a reliable number #3 WR with great hands and the aforementioned route running ability. He is quicker than he looks, will lay out for the tough catch, and just knows how to get open. Abbrederis is a clear upgrade over the Bengals current #4 receiver Dane Sanzenbacher.
124.) Chiefs: DE Will Clarke, West Virginia (6’6, 271) – The Chiefs could use some depth on thier defensive line and Clarke is a good value pick here. He has prototypical size, speed and strength, but just doesn’t do it for me on tape. He plays hard and could be a solid depth guy who will get some sacks with his athleticism, but I don’t see any pass rush moves or instincts to make him anything more than just a guy.
125.) Chargers: G Jon Halapio, Florida (6’3, 323) – He’s one of the strongest guard prospects in the draft, but doesn’t move very well. He’s great in a phone booth but struggles when asked to move much laterally. Halapio also has a lengthy injury history which could scare some teams off. If healthy, a big if, Halapio is one of the better run blocking guards in the draft; He moves DTs off the LOS with ease and shows enough bend and agility to be effective in pass pro. Could be a steal this late if he can stay on the field.
126.) Saints: T James Hurst, North Carolina (6’5, 296) – Hurst is recovering from a gruesome broken leg he suffered in the Belk Bowl and may not be at full strength in 2014. With the emergence of 3rd round pick Terron Armstead late last year and the re-signing of RT Zach Strief, the Saints don’t need Hurst to play right away, so they could give him plenty of time to heal and eventually have a swing tackle with upside to back up either tackle position.
127.) Browns: OLB Trevor Reilly, Utah (6’5, 245) – The Browns could use some depth behind Mingo and Kruger off the edge. Reilly is tough, versatile football player who might not have a defined position in the NFL but will be solid wherever he ends up. He’s old for a rookie (Mormon) but is a classic “sum is greater” type guy. Worst case, he will be a solid special teams contributor, but could surprise as a 3-4 OLB.