NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – Round 6

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

191.) Bears: RB Isaiah Crowell, Alabama St (5’11, 224) – Crowell might be the most talented running back in this year’s draft class. He was the SEC freshman of the year at Georgia in 2011 (850 yards, 5 touchdowns) before transferring to Alabama St and averaging just under 7 yards per carry over two seasons. So why is he available in the 6th round? Crowell was forced to leave Georgia after a felony gun charge (dropped), a failed drug test (marijuana), and also has a checkered medical history with no serious injuries but a few missed games. If having a gun in your car and smoking weed were deal-breakers, then most NFL teams wouldn’t be able to fill a 53-man roster. As Matt Forte’s back-up, Crowell would have a limited workload which negates the durability questions. Crowell has good size, vision, elite elusiveness, soft hands out of the backfield and the speed to break one once he reaches the second level. He wasn’t asked to block much at the college level so that is something the Bears will have to vet before drafting Crowell. There will be a few solid running backs available when the Bears make this pick, but only one with feature-back talent and that’s Crowell. Watch the tape below of every carry from Crowell’s 2nd college game against a South Carolina defense with 6 future NFL players including first rounders Jadeveon Clowney, Melvin Ingram, and Stephon Gillmore and let me know if you disagree.

192.) Steelers: S Jonathon Dowling, Western Kentucky (6’3, 190) – A better athlete then you would normally find at WKU, Dowling started out at Florida before being dismissed for “authority issues”. Dowling has great size for a safety, good ball skills, and a knack for forcing turnovers (9 INTs, 8 forced fumbles in 2 seasons). He has an issue with missing tackles due to his penchant for head-hunting, but is a legit enforcer in the middle. Dowling has the talent of a 2nd or 3rd rounder with the only concern being his willingness to accept coaching, stemming from his incident with Florida coaches over 3 years ago. Worth a the gamble this late in the draft.

193.) Cowboys: Spencer Long, Nebraska (6’5, 320) – Would have gone higher if not for an ACL injury late last season. Long, a former walk-on, is a two-time academic All-American who has been a solid run-blocker for the Huskers since he earned a starting spot in 2012. His pass blocking needs work, but it’s not hopeless.

194.) Ravens: WR Shaq Evans, UCLA (6’1, 213) – The Ravens need depth at receiver and Evans has the potential to be a solid possession receiver in the NFL. Evans has shown he can make the spectacular catch while at times he drops the easy ones due to concentration lapses. He has good size and is strong and tough enough to make it at the next level, but doesn’t have a ton of upside.

195.) Jets: CB Aaron Colvin, Oklahoma (6’0, 186) – Rex Ryan was pissed about missing out on the big corners in free agnecy, but finds a good one late in the draft. Colvin is a 2nd round talent who has dropped due to an ACL tear during Senior Bowl week. Colvin is doubtful to be ready in time for the 2014 season, but assuming full recovery, he has #1 corner potential. Colvin has the speed, athleticism, and aggressive nature of a shut-down CB and this pick could pay off handsomely for the Jets in 2015.

196.) Cardinals: CB Andre Hal, Vanderbilt (5’10, 188) – The Cards signed Antonio Cromartie in the off-season to man the #2 CB spot, but they still need some depth. Hal is an All-SEC corner who played well against the top receivers in the conference. He is smooth in coverage, but gets beat deep too often and is a non-factor against the run. Should be a solid 3rd-4th corner off the bat with the potential to develop into a solid #2.

197.) Packers: S Vinnie Sunseri, Alabama (6’0, 210) – Borderline athleticism for an NFL player, but Sunseri makes up for it with great instincts. Sunseri is a sure tackler who is very aggressive against the run and is basically a coach on the field. I think he has enough intangibles to make up for his lack of athleticism and be an effective safety in the league. Sunseri and the Packers 1st round pick, Calvin Pryor, should team up at safety to upgrade a position that was a weak spot for the Packers last season.

198.) Patriots: DE/OLB Cassius Marsh, UCLA (6’4, 268) – Three year starter at UCLA who was versatile enough to play DE, DT, & OLB for the Bruins. Marsh is a max-effort player with a very quick first step and good speed and athleticism. Marsh should be able to contribute right away as a 3rd down pass rusher at OLB and with a little more strength could develop into a 3-down DE in the Pats 3-4. Marsh had one of the best 3-cone times at the combine and the Patriots value that drill more than most teams. 4 of the 6 defensive linemen with the top 3-cone times the last three years are on the Patriots roster.

199.) Bengals: OT Cameron Fleming, Stanford (6’6, 318) – Powerful run blocker who struggles in pass protection.  Similar profile to Jordan Mills who the Bears drafted in the 5th round last year, except Fleming has longer arms and better overall size, but is missing Mills’ mean streak. Fleming projects as an interesting right tackle prospect who will probably take a year or two of development before he is ready for the starting lineup. The Bengals need a replacement for swing tackle Anthony Collins and Fleming could eventually fill that role.

200.) Chiefs: S Brock Vereen, Minnesota (5’11, 199) – The Chiefs starters at safety are solid, but they could use some depth. Vereen’s impressive performance at the combine earned him a spot in the draft. Vereen had the 2nd fastest 40-time (4.47) and the most bench reps (25) of all the safeties. He has good coverage skills but could be a liability against the run at the next level. It won’t be from lack of effort though, Vereen is a hard-nosed, max-effort player whose best bet to see the field on defense might be at free safety. Wherever he ends up, Vereen should excel on special teams. 

201.) Chargers: DT Ryan Carrethers, Arkansas St (6’1, 337) – Didn’t dominate as much as he should have in the Sun-Belt conference, but has the size and strength to be an NFL nose tackle. Carrethers is a good athlete for a man his size. He was tough against the run in college and showed some pass rush ability but not consistently. Good developmental prospect.

202.) Saints: S Jemea Thomas, Georgia Tech (5’10, 190) – Despite his small stature, Thomas is aggressive and a good hitter. He has good speed and plenty of range in coverage, the reason he is still available at this point has more to do with concerns about his size and durability than his talent.

203.) Colts: DT Jay Bromley, Syracuse (6’3, 307) – The Colts are thin at DT and they could use someone who can generate pressure up the middle. Bromley is a quick, disruptive DT who had 9 sacks his senior year. After watching tape on Bromley, I think he is underrated as a late round pick. He needs to get stronger, but has an explosive first step and the versatility to play the 3 or 5 technique which will increase his value.