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With less than two to go before the draft, it’s time for my 2nd to last mock draft. With free agency pretty much wrapped up, team needs are fairly static at this point so there may not be much difference between my last two barring any significant trades, off-field arrests or news of more failed drug tests from the combine.
As for our Bears, they have been active both early in free agency and on the second-tier market. They added depth at a number of thin positions, giving them more flexibility in the draft and allowing them to use the “best player available” strategy whihc may not have been an option with some many glaring holes on the defensive side of the ball.
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2015 NFL Mock Draft 4.0- Round 7
218.) Tampa Bay Bucs – RB Terrell Watson, Azusa Pacific
Former starter Doug Martin (The Hamster Wheel?) hasn’t been productive in two seasons and is in a make or break season with the Bucs. They have a couple of mediocre backups but no one teams have to worry about. Watson is a big, bruising RB with better speed (4.55) than expected from a man his size (6’1 | 236).
219.) New England Patriots – WR Stephon Diggs, Maryland
Has the talent to go a few rounds higher, but a disappointing 2014, injury concerns, and a lackluster combine allow the Patriots to pick up an explosive slot receiver / return man with day 2 upside in the 7th round. I’d be surprisedif he falls this far, but everything I’ve been hearing about Diggs lately is negative.
220.) Jacksonville Jags – WR Antwan Goodley, Baylor
Built like a running back and runs like one after the catch. Goodley’s lack of typical NFL build will drop him a bit in the draft but he’s a unique talent that could be a weapon in the slot on a Jags team that is getting interesting.
221.) Oakland Raiders – Wt Austin Hill, Arizona
Was a beast (1,364 | 11 TDs) with an early round projection as a sophomore before a preseason knee injury sidelined Hill for his junior year. He wasn’t as explosive or productive as a senior with just 635 yards and 4 TDs, but his sophomore year tape is electric. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team rolled the dice with Hill 2-3 rounds earlier.
222.) Washington Redskins – S Anthony Jefferson, UCLA
One of my least favorite players in the draft, who missed multiple tackles in both post-season all-star games he was involved in, but has good size (6’1 | 198) and decent speed (4.63), so someone will draft him. The Redskins may have worst talent at safety than the Bears and need all the help they can get.
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223.) New York Jets – OLB Brock Hekking, Nevada
Productive pass rusher with a non-stop motor and an innate ability to shed blockers. Hekking doesn’t have NFL size or athleticism but finds a way to get to the QB and new Jets Todd Bowles will find a way to utilize him effectively.
224.) New York Jets – SS Jordan Richards, Stanford
The Jets have little to no talent at strong safety and a polished prospect like Richards could earn some playing time as a rookie. His football instincts are sound, he’s a solid tackler, and has a knack for being around the ball which helps negate a lack of NFL size or athleticism.
225.) Atlanta Falcons – OT Rob Crisp, NC St
The Falcons need help all over their O-line and has NFL skills when healthy. Crisp has had trouble staying healthy but flashes NFL talent occasionally and has the size and arm length teams look for on the outside.
226.) New York Giants – C Jake Smith, Louisville
The Giants get a steal here with Miller dropping to the 7th. He’s not an elite athlete by any means, but understands the position well, knows how to maximize leverage and angles, and can read defenses well. He’s a 4th-5th round talent at worst, but will drop due to his lack of measurables.
227.) St. Louis Rams – OLB James Vaughters, Stanford
One of the better OLB prospects in the draft at shedding blocks. Vaughters has good instincts and sheds blocks well, but lacks both the speed and burst to be an impactful NFL OLB.
228.) Minnesota Vikings – MLB A.J Johnson Tennessee
Vikes HC Mike Zimmer had no problem taking a chance on players with off-field red flags while with the Bengals and I don’t think he will pass on Johnson who would be a 3rd-4th round pick if not for his current off-field problems. He’s a beast inside as a run stopper and is athletic enough to cover TEs if need be. If Johnson gets out of his off-field charges (doubtful), he’s a steal this late.