NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – Round 4

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128.) Panthers: WR Devin Street, Pittsburgh (6’3, 198) – Coming into draft week Jerricho Cothery and Jason Avant were atop the Panthers depth chart at wide receiver. That would be embarrassing for an expansion team. The Panthers picked up Brandon Cooks in round 1 and now add the much taller Street. He has good size, good hands, is a smooth route-runner and tough enough to absorb contact over the middle and make the catch. Street is a classic possession receiver and maybe more after running a surprising 4.48 at his pro day. Street had a productive career at Pitt (202 receptions) and is one of my favorite under the radar receivers in this year’s draft. 

129.) 49ers: LB Christian Kirksey, Iowa (6’2, 233) – The Niners have so many picks this draft, that at this point they can just take the best player on the board and that’s Kirksey. He’s a well-rounded linebacker who showed better than expected pass rush and coverage skills at the Senior Bowl. He could move inside as insurance if Navarro Bowman isn’t healed next season but would be better off as Ahmad Brooks eventually replacement.

130.) Patriots:  OLB/DE James Gayle, West Virginia (6’4, 259) – Max-effort pass rusher with a good first step and more power than you would expect for his size. Gayle has some natural pass rush ability but hasn’t shown as much against the run. Gayle had one of the top 3-cone times among the edge rushers which is a trait the Patriots value more than most teams.

131.) Broncos: DT Ego Ferguson, LSU (6’3, 315) – Ferguson is a great athlete and has tons of potential, but wasn’t as dominant as expected in college. He didn’t start until his junior year and while he excelled at stopping the run, Ferguson only had 1 sack in three years at LSU. He has good quickness and sheds blockers well, so it’s possible the pass rush will develop eventually. Good developmental prospect to bolster the Broncos interior defensive line.

132. ) Seahawks: DT Caruan Reid, Princeton (6’2, 302) – Reid is extremely quick for a 300 pounder with polished pass rush moves and the strength to hold the point against the run. The ivy-league competition was weak, but Reid put up 168 tackles, 41 TFLs, 20.5 sacks, and 7 blocked kicks (!) in his three years as a starter and was Princeton’s first two-time All-American. The lack of competition is a legit concern, but when you consider that he put up those numbers against double and sometimes triple teams, it’s pretty impressive. Reid also took a big step towards erasing those concerns at the Senior Bowl; Against future NFL players, Reid dominated 1-1 drills and made an impact in the game with two sacks on consecutive plays, beating two different guards (Cyril Richardson, Brandon Linder) with two different pass rush moves. Reid also impressed at the Senior Bowl weigh-in, weighing 301 with no visible fat on his frame. Reid has the quickness, strength, and closing speed to be a force against both the run and pass. He is probably pretty smart too (Princeton!). Reid would be a steal this late in the draft. The rich get richer.

Compensatory Picks

133.) Lions: OLB Adrian Hubbard, Alabama (6’6, 257) – Measured as the tallest and heaviest linebacker at the combine but still ran the 7th fastest 40-time (4.69) and had the 4th best vertical leap. Pretty impressive numbers for a guy his size and it also helped his draft stock considerably. Hubbard was considered primarily a 3-4 OLB pre-combine, but his surprising 40-time gives him more versatility and opens up the option of playing strong-side backer in a 4-3. The Lions got solid play out of the their middle (Tulluch) and weak side (Levy) linebackers,  but nothing from their strong side (Palmer/McIntosh) in 2013.

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134.) Ravens: WR Brandon Coleman, Rutgers (6’6, 225) – Impressed at the combine with a better than expected 4.56 40-time and caught the ball well in the drills. He isn’t as physical as he should be, but Coleman is so much taller than DBs that he’s going to win his share of jump balls in the NFL. Coleman looked like a 1st rounder after his sophomore year (43, 718, 10) but had a disappointing junior season (34, 538, 4). He was hindered by a run first offense, so it’s hard to tell what Coleman could do in an NFL passing attack. There are plenty of question marks here, but 6’6 receivers with good hands and 4.5 speed don’t grow on trees. With deep threat Torrey Smith and diminutive Steve Smith as their primary receivers, a towering possession receiver like Coleman is a great fit. 

135.) Texans: G Chris Watt, Notre Dame (6’3, 310) – Powerful run blocker who struggles in pass protection. Watt has good size and strength, but his footwork needs work and he has too many mental lapses that result in penalties. If his footwork and mental game can be fixed with coaching, then Watt’s dominant run blocking will be an asset on the Texans starting O-line.

136.) Lions: DT Anthony Johnson, LSU (6’2, 308) – Starting DT Nick Fairley is a free agent after this year and might be looking for more cash than the Lions can afford, so they need a contingency plan in case they can’t afford to keep Fairley. I was disappointed with Johnson’s lack of athleticism at the combine. He finished near the bottom of the D-lineman group in most drills and just didn’t look like he cared all that much out there. On tape, he looks like an intriguing mix of power and quickness, and somebody might reach for him before this point of the draft despite his poor combine performance and mediocre production in college (3 sacks).

137.) Jets: G Trai Turner, LSU (6’3, 310) – The Jets starting RG Willie Colon is on his last leg so the Jets need to start succession planning. Turner is a raw guard prospect who should have stayed in school for one more season, but has an intriguing skill-set. Turner probably locked up a spot in the mid-rounds 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 a lot of potential and is a good fit in the Jets power blocking scheme.

138.) Ravens: RB Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona (5’10, 207) – His draft free-fall stops at the end of the 4th round. Carey had a chance to improve his draft stock at his pro day but was unable to run much faster than his 4.7 40-time at the combine. Carey was timed at 4.66 on his pro day which is still pretty slow for a back without great size. Carey still seems much faster to me on tape (4.5-4.6 range) and he did lead the nation in rushing last year (1,929 yards) so maybe he is one of those guys who runs better when someone is chasing him. Or maybe he was a just a product of Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense? Current RB Ray Rice has the worst season of his career in 2013 and with his pending legal troubles, the Ravens need some insurance at RB.

139.) Falcons: RB Charles Sims, West Virginia (6’0, 214) – Atlanta gets good value with Sims this late in the draft. Viewed as a 3rd down back coming into the Senior Bowl, Sims changed some minds with power running, smooth hands out of the backfield, and good enough pass protection. Sims drew comparisons to Matt Forte, Shane Vereen, and DeMarco Murray from various analysts. High praise. Sims could supplant the disappointing Stephen Jackson as the starter as soon as this season.

140.) Patriots: CB EJ Gaines, Missouri (5’10, 190) – The Pats are in good shape at corner, but you can never have enough good cover guys. Gaines is a speedy coverage guy with good anticipation and ball skills. Unfortunately Gaines doesn’t have very good hands, with only 7 interceptions in three years as a starter. He tackles well though and is an all-around solid player.  Gaines doesn’t have ideal height but plays bigger then 5’10 and usually did well against taller receivers; He shut down Texas A&M’s 6’6 WR Mike Evans (4 catches, 8 yards) in their match-up last November.

Twitter: @MikeFlannery_