NFL Mock Draft 3.0 – Round 7

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Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

224.) Bills: OLB Denicos Allen, Michigan St (5’11, 220) –  If Allen were a few inches taller and 10-15 pounds heavier he’d be a day 2 pick. He’s a heck of a football player. Allen is very fast for an LB (4.5ish), has great instincts, and is a sure tackler despite his small frame. He’s also a violent blitzer and good in coverage. Allen is never going to get any taller, but he’s about the same size as former Broncos LB Wesley Woodyard (6’0, 230) who has been an excellent weak side linebacker. Allen would make an ideal back-up for Kiko Alonzo at WLB in the Bills new 4-3 scheme and will be a demon on special teams.

225.) Giants: S Avery Patterson, Oregon (5’9, 190): Last years starting free safety, Will Hill, failed another drug test in the off-season and is likely done with the team. The Giants also lost SS Ryan Mundy to the Bears in free agency, so they badly need some depth at the position. Patterson is an undersized converted cornerback who has only played free safety for two seasons. Despite his small frame, Patterson is a force in run support. He’s a sound tackler and a impact hitter. Where he struggles is with his angles to the ball carrier. Any Bears fan who watched Major Wright is familiar with how big of a flaw that can be. Patterson occasionally has angle issues in coverage as well, but had enough speed to recover at the college level. It will be a more glaring issue at the next level against NFL speed. Patterson is better in man coverage than zone so he may move back to corner in the pros. Either way, he should be able to contribute in sub packages right away and with improved technique and added strength could force his way in to the starting lineup in a year or two. 

226.) Rams: DE Zach Moore, Concordia (6’5, 269) – Small school prospect with great physical tools, but raw technique. Moore has an intriguing combination of size, agility and strength but would be making a big jump up in competition from DII Concordia University. Moore had 33 sacks in 33 games in his college career and flashed natural pass rush ability while being a solid run stopper. Moore needs a lot of technique work and needs to get stronger, but has more upside than most of the D-lineman taken on day 3 of the draft. The Rams upgraded their DT depth with the signing of Alex Carrington and now they get some depth at DE.

227.) Lions: K Chris Boswell, Rice (6’2, 185) – David Akers was a disaster for the Lions last year. He had the 3rd lowest accuracy on field goal attempts despite the fact that the Lions play indoors and he was perfect on his 50 yard+ kicks (3-3). Akers also lost kick-off duties to punter Sam Martin. It’s time for a change and the Lions grab the #1 kicker in the draft in Boswell. Boswell has a big leg, he made 13 field goals of over 50 yards and three of those were over 55 yards.

228.) Titans: CB Ricardo Allen, Purdue (5’9, 187) – The Titans lost their best corner, Verner, in free agency so they need to add some depth. Allen is a cocky, aggressive corner with good ball skills. Due to his lack of size, he struggles with big receivers but is a strong defender against 6 foot and under receivers. Ideal skill-set for a nickel back and he has the swagger and short memory necessary for a successful corner in the league. Allen ran a slower than expected 4.61 40 at the combine, but had an excellent pro day posting a 4.46 40-time and a 37″ vertical leap and putting himself back in the day 3 mix.

229.) Cowboys: WR Matt Hazel, Coastal Carolina (6’1, 198) – The Cowboys finally gave up on Miles Austin and need some depth behind Dez Bryant & Terrance Williams. Hazel is a smooth route-runner with good size and soft hands. He needs to get stronger, but eventually should be a reliable possession guy.

230.) Steelers: RB Storm Johnson, UCF 6’0, 209) – Good size, agility, toughness, vision, hands… Underrated back whose main flaw is that he’s a little slow (4.6). He also needs work as a pass blocker, but Johnson could be a very productive NFL back if he ends up in the right scheme. Johnson gives the Steelers a backup for Bell with more upside (and better durability) then Isaac Redmond.

231.) Cowboys: RB Tyler Gaffney, Stanford (5’11, 220) – His 4.49 40-time might have been the surprise of the combine. Gaffney was a tough runner at Stanford, but I never thought he had breakaway speed while watching him. I went back and watched the tape and still don’t see it. His 40-time could move him up to the 4th-5th rounds, but I think this is about the right spot for Gaffney. He is a tough inside runner and could take over short yardage duties from DeMarco Murray to keep him healthy. 

232.) Colts: OLB Devon Kennard, USC (6’3, 249) – USC team captain in 2013 who led the team with 8 sacks. Kinnard could develop into a solid pass rusher at OLB in the Colts scheme.