John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
233.) Jets: FB JC Copeland, LSU (5’11, 285) – Massive FB who dominated the NFLPA Bowl as a blocker and short yardage back (2 TDs). Copeland needs to lose a little weight and get quicker to the hole, but his big personality and devastating run blocking will make him a Rex Ryan favorite right away. Copeland lost 14 pounds between the NFLPA bowl and the combine, so he is off to a good start. He could eventually develop into an Ironhead Heyward type ball carrier.
234.) Dolphins: DT Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma St (6’2, 300) – The Dolphins brought back Randy Starks and added Earl Mitchell in the off-season, but they could use some depth at the position. Barnett had a productive senior season and was a surprise combine snub. Barnett wears down quickly so he would be best suited as part of a rotation but can provide a good power / speed combo inside for limited stretches.
235.) Raiders: G Ryan Groy. Wisconsin (6’5, 325) – The Raiders grab some interior O-line depth here with Groy. He’s a massive guard with good power, but limited mobility. Groy could eventually become a road-grading run blocker, but will probably always be a liability in pass pro.
236.) Packers: OLB Tyler Starr, South Dakota (6’4, 249) – Athletic small school prospect who had 27 sacks over the course of his career and is an interesting pass rush prospect. He will give Clay Matthews and AJ Hawk competition for the girliest hair style on the Packers.
237.) Eagles: DE Josh Mauro, Stanford (6’6, 276) – Not the most explosive DE in the draft, but has good size and strength to hold up against the run and the Eagles need some youth on the D-line. Mauro is high-effort player and at worst will provide reliable depth.
238.) Chiefs: WR Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma (5’9, 165) – One of the quickest receivers in the draft who plays tougher than his 165 pounds. Saunders would give the Chiefs a dangerous slot receiver and return man to replace McCluster who left in free agency (Titans).
239.) Bengals: RB Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky (5’10, 225) – There are fullbacks in the league faster than BJGE so it’s about time the Bengals start looking for a replacement. They could do a lot worse than Andrews who has led the NCAA in all-purpose yards two seasons in a row. He’s had some issues holding on to the ball and his 4.81 40-time (combine) is the reason he’s still available at this point in the draft. He cut about a second off his time at his pro day (4.72). On film he is a hammer and would be a good complement to the speedy Gio Bernard.
240.) Chargers: WR Damien Copeland, Louisville (5’11, 184) – Elite short-area quickness, Copeland had the best 3-cone time at the combine (6.53) by a full tenth of a second and had the 2nd best 20-yard shuttle & 60-yard shuttle times behind only Brandon Cooks. He has good hands and the ideal skill-set for a slot receiver, but is very thin so durability is a concern.
241.) 49ers: DE Jeffrey Pagan, Alabama (6’3, 310) – Raw DE who should have stayed in school for one more season. Pagan has good strength and size, but wasn’t very productive in his one year as a starter (2 sacks) and will need plenty of coaching and technique refinement before he can contribute in the NFL. The Niners can afford to stash him for a year or two and work on his technique. Pagan has a lot of upside.
242.) 49ers: OLB Michael Sam, Missouri (6’1, 260) – Roger Goodell narrowly avoids a PR nightmare with Sam finally getting drafted. The Niners have more picks than any other team in the draft and won’t be impacted too much if one of their four 7th round picks doesn’t pan out. I’m not saying that it won’t, Sam put up great numbers at Missouri and was the SEC co-defensive payer of the year, so he has talent. His draft stock has taken a big hit in the off-season due to his combine workouts and the position drills at the Senior Bowl. Sam had the 2nd lowest bench reps, 4th lowest vertical leap, a bottom ten cone drill time and finished in the bottom half of the other workouts. His poor workouts combined with his struggles at the Senior Bowl in the linebacker drills doesn’t bode well for his chances to succeed at the NFL level. Off the field, San Francisco has a thriving gay community and it would be a good PR move for the Niners to draft him, but he’s going to have an uphill battle to make an impact on the field.
243.) 49ers: NT Zach Kerr, Delaware (6’1, 326) – Athletic for his size with a good burst off the line. Kerr plays a little too soft for the NT position, but he has talent and is a good developmental DT prospect.
244.) Patriots: QB Brett Smith, Wyoming (6’3, 206) – Ryan Mallet is going into his last year under contract, so the Pats will need a new backup in 2015 unless they re-sign Mallet (doubtful). Smith was a surprise snub from the combine and has more talent than most of the guys brought in to throw during the combine drills. Smith has good poise in the pocket and shows the ability to sense pressure. He has good speed (4.6) and can throw on the run. Smith was a three-year starter at Wyoming and two-year captain so he shows good leadership potential and could eventually develop into a borderline starter / quality backup QB.
245.) 49ers: T Cornelius Lucas, Kansas St (6’8, 329) – Massive developmental prospect with surprising athleticism for his size. Lucas shows a knack for understanding blocking angles, but needs a lot of work on the rest of his technique. He is too much of a waist bender and will get roasted against good NFL DEs unless he can learn to bend at the knees. Combine doctors discovered a stress fracture in his foot so he wasn’t allowed to work out and is out another two months so may not have time for his pro day.
246.) Broncos: S Ty Zimmerman, Kansas St (6’1, 204) – Just average speed and strength, but great instincts. Zimmerman was KSU’s starting free safety for three seasons and totaled 13 INTs. Zimmerman excels in coverage with good ball skills and reliable hands, but is not the best tackler. I think he has good enough football instincts to become a starter, but worst case he could contribute in sub packages and on special teams.
247.) Seahawks: QB Conner Shaw, South Carolina (6’0, 206): I’m not a huge fan, but I’ve seen multiple sources say that the Seahawks coaches love this kid. He’s small for a QB and has a weak arm, but scouts rave about his intangibles, leadership skills, and intelligence. All I know is that when I watch the tape, it doesn’t look like Shaw has NFL skills to me. I’ve been wrong before, I thought Cade McNown showed flashes of greatness in college.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
248.) Cowboys: QB Bryn Renner, North Carolina (6’3, 228) – Accurate passer with good touch, timing, and poise in the pocket, but below average mobility. Renner’s arm strength is a question after a shoulder injury late in 2013. It was just adequate pre-injury, so if he lost any of it he’s in trouble. Romo isn’t going anywhere for a while, but I hear Kyle Orton might be so the Cowboys could use a 3rd QB.
249.) Rams: RB Damien Williams, Oklahoma (5’11, 222) – Former 2nd round pick Isaiah Pead has been a huge disappointment. Both of the Rams other RBs, Stacy & Cunningham, are power between the tackles runners, so an outside speed back would make sense. Williams had the best “Speed Score” at the combine and that should be enough to get Williams drafted since their has been some positive correlation between the Football Outsiders stat and NFL success. Williams doesn’t have the vision to be a between the tackles runner, but he is dangerous outside and has flashy moves in space. He’s also a good receiver out of the backfield and would be a nice complement to Zac Stacy.
250.) Rams: Travis Carrie. Ohio (6’0, 206): A big, physical corner who is strong against the run, has good ball skills, great hands, and surprising straight line speed (4.47). Carrie isn’t quick enough to be isolated in man coverage against quality NFL receivers, but he’s a great fit for zone coverage schemes.
251.) Cowboys: DT Eathyn Manumaleuna (6’2, 296) – Good strength and a solid run stopper inside. Cowboys need depth inside with DT Melton coming off an ACL injury and DT Jernigan a rookie that had stamina issues in college.
252.) Bengals: CB Brandon Dixon, NW Missouri St (5’11, 203) – Physical corner with good size / speed (4.41) ratio, but will need a year or two to develop coming out of DII. Dixon made enough of a positive impression at the combine to get drafted and the Bengals can afford to stash him for a year while they work on his technique.
253.) Falcons: S Alden Darby, Arizona St (5’10, 197) – Undersized, but versatile safety who could play either safety spot if needed. The Falcons cut last year’s starting free safety Thomas DeCoud, so they could use some depth at the position. Darby played strong safety in college, but played free safety at the Shrine game and had two interceptions. I saw quite a few of Darby’s games living a few blocks from ASU’s stadium and he was one of my favorite players on the defense. He always seemed to be in the right place and made a lot of big plays throughout the season. He’s small, but effective.
254.) Cowboys: TE Justin Jones, East Carolina (6’8, 275) – Jason Witten isn’t going to play forever. Eventually the Cowboys will need to develop a replacement. Jones is a massive tight end prospect who was ineligible to play last season due to academics but scored 12 TDs on just 58 catches in his college career. Jones is very athletic for his size and has soft hands. There is plenty of talent to work with, but his college coaches don’t speak very highly of him which is a pretty significant red flag. Either way, he’s worth a gamble this late in the draft.
255.) Falcons: ILB Avery Williamson, Kentucky (6’1, 246) – Smart, leader on defense who was very productive in college but might not have the athleticism to make it at MLB in the NFL. Worst case, Williamson could provide depth while contributing on special teams.
256.) Texans: WR Cody Hoffman, BYU (6’4, 223) – Might remind Texan fans of Kevin Walter due to his similar skill set. Hoffman has great size though isn’t strong enough to use it effectively yet. His best assets are his long arms and great hands, he can catch anything close. He’ll need to get stronger to beat press coverage, but once he does could have a nice career as an outside possession receiver and red zone weapon.
Thanks for making it through my mock draft 3.0. Thanks as well to NFL.com, Draftbreakdown, CBS Sports, Walter Football, Optimum Scouting, DraftExaminer, WiththeFirstPick and of course YouTube for scouting reports and video clips to fill the gaps on players that I didn’t have enough info on.