Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
164.) Bengals: DT George Uko, USC (6’3, 275) – Would have been a much higher pick if he had stayed in school another year, but the Bengals get an explosive DT prospect who can rotate with Geno Atkins to keep him fresh for the long haul. The more I watch Uko, the more I like him. He has a ton of potential.
165.) Chargers: Dez Southward, Wisconsin (6’0, 211) – The Bolts need an upgrade at the other safety spot across from Eric Weddle. Southward is strong in run support but has poor instincts in coverage. 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’s a project that needs some work before he can play safety in the NFL, but the athletic potential is there and he has plenty of upside. Southward could be a pro bowl quality gunner on special teams right away.
166.) 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.
167.) Saints: T/C Wesley Johnson, Vanderbilt (6’5, 297) – Too small to play LT like he did at Vandy, but has great feet and an innate understanding of blocking angles. Johnson could make a good guard or center and has the talent to eventually crack the starting lineup somewhere. The Saints need a replacement inside for Brian de la Puente and depth on their interior line.
168.) Panthers: G/T Charles Leno, Boise St (6’4, 303) – The Panthers O-line is in shambles and they need to find 2 or 3 upgrades for 2014. Leno was a solid left tackle at Boise St, but Leno might be too small to play tackle in the NFL. He projects well as a guard, but has no experience playing the position so it may take Leno some time to get comfortable with the position switch. He has long arms, moves well, and has starter potential at guard.
169.) Eagles: WR Josh Huff, Oregon (5’11, 205) – The Eagles lost DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant this off-season, so they need some depth. Chip Kelly is familiar with Huff from his days at Oregon and they may take him a round or two earlier than this. Huff is a classic slot receiver. He is undersized, but has excellent speed and agility. Huff has also shown both the ball skills to be an effective deep receiver and the toughness to make catches over the middle. Besides his lack of size, the main knock on Huff is a lack of concentration; He dropped plenty of catchable balls and was called for too many dumb penalties. Those are correctable issues and his production as a senior in a running offense (62, 1140, 12) was impressive. Huff can also contribute on special teams as a kick/punt returner and a gunner in coverage.
170.) 49ers: RB/DB Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern (5’9, 209) – Might have had the most impressive overall workout at the combine. McKinnon ran the 2nd best 40-time (4.41), put up the most bench reps (32), had the 2nd best vertical leap (40.5), the 2nd best broad jump (132″), the 3rd best 3-cone time (6.83), and the 4th best 20-yard shuttle (4.12) of the running backs. Wow. There is talk of McKinnon showing promise as a defensive back and some team is going to fall in love with his athleticism and draft McKinnon in the mid-to-late rounds. The 49ers lost both of their starting defensive backs in free agency, so they could use some depth at the position and have extra draft picks to take some risks.
171.) Broncos: RB Devonta Freeman, Florida St (5’8, 206) – The Broncos let Knowshon Moreno leave in free agency and they could use some depth behind Montee Ball. Freeman runs low to the ground with good power. He is exceptionally shifty and a smooth receiver out of the backfield (28 catches for 278 yards). Freeman was part of a running back committee at FSU, so his numbers don’t tell the whole story and his legs are fresher than most draft prospects.
172.) Seahawks: TE Marcel Jenson, Fresno St (6’6, 259) – Big target with long arms and good hands. Jenson wasn’t utilized much in Fresno St’s offense, but he has the potential to become a weapon in the passing game. He’s a decent blocker but needs to get stronger to have an impact against NFL defensive ends and linebackers. Good developmental prospect.
173.) 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.
174.) Giants: WR Jeff Janis, Saginaw Valley St (6’3, 219) – After losing Hakeem Nicks to free agency, the Giants need receiver depth. I was down on Janis after his disappointing Senior Bowl, but he had an impressive combine performance. 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. He’s a good developmental prospect.
175.) Ravens: CB Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame (6’0, 195) – The Ravens have sold starters at corner but could use some young depth. Bennett has good size and ran well at the combine (4.51) but needs to improve his coverage technique. Best suited for a zone coverage scheme right now, but will excel on special teams while developing as a corner. Is an excellent tackler so could possibly be moved to safety if he can’t hack it at CB.
176.) Packers: DE Taylor Hart, Oregon (6’6, 281) – Solid, max-effort player with good size and strength but limited athleticism. Hart was a good run-stopper in college who flashed occasional pass rush ability (11.5 sacks last 2 seasons). Hart should provide depth at the DE position for the Packers and could eventually develop into a solid starter at the 5-technique.