2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: 2nd Round
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39.) Chicago Bears – OLB Eli Harold, Virginia
I feel better about the Bears missing out on Kendricks because Harold is still available. I have a first round grade on Harold and if this wasn’t such a good year for edge rushers he would have been a much higher pick. Harold has an elite burst off the ball, a good lean around the edge and good closing speed. He has a thin frame, but a powerful initial punch, a non-stop motor, can change direction without losing speed, and isn’t a liability against the run. Harold is a top 20 talent and the Bears would be really lucky if he’s available this late.
40.) New York Giants – OLB Shaq Thompson, Washington
Like the Bears, the Giants used to be known for their bad-ass linebackers, but the last few years they have suffered from a lack of talent and athleticism. The Giants seemed to have found a late round gem in OLB Devon Kinnard in last year’s draft but they still need upgrades at the other two LB positions. Thompson is an elite athlete who is a bit raw but could develop into a dynamic run stopper who also excels in pass coverage. There is talk of moving Thompson to strong safety where he could help the Giants as well.
41.) St. Louis Rams – WR Sammie Coates, Auburn
The Rams have a bunch of short quick receivers, but now have a QB that can throw deep (Foles) and Coates gives them a receiver who can get deep in a hurry. He’s raw and struggles with the route tree, but his size / speed combo is elite and Coates gives the Rams a weapon that can take the top off defenses and open things up underneath for their smallish wide receivers and Tre Mason.
42.) Atlanta Falcons – CB PJ Williams, Florida St
The Falcons need a solid corner across from Marcus Trufant and Williams has the potential to be that guy. Williams was inconsistent in college but has the size, speed, and foot work to be a shut down corner in the NFL if he can keep his head on straight.
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43.) Cleveland Browns – TE Clive Walford, Miami
The Browns lost TE Jordan Cameron which leaves them with literally no receiving weapons at the tight end position. Walford has had some injury issues (knee), but when healthy he can block, run decent routes and catch anything thrown his way.
44.) New Orleans Saints – ILB Denzel Perryman, Miami
The Saints cut long time MLB Curtis Lofton due to declining performance over the last few seasons and a big cap number. Perryman is a similar player who can shut down the run between the hashes and can be an intimidating hitter inside.
45.) Minnesota Vikings – ILB Stephone Anthony, Clemson
The Vikings have some impressive young LBs in Anthony Barr and Gerald Hodges, but have a massive hole at middle linebacker. Anthony can be a sideline-to-sideline run stopper while still contributing in coverage. As a Bears fan, I hate this pick but HC Mike Zimmer is building a solid team on both sides of the ball.
46.) San Francisco 49ers – OG Laken Tomlinson, Duke
Former All-Pro guard Mike Iupati now plays for division rival Arizona, which leaves a hole at guard for the Niners. They need a replacement and Tomlinson has the power, skill, and smarts to step in on day 1 and hold his own.