With The 10th Pick, In the 2008 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots Select Jerod Mayo ILB

Updated May 11th

Picks 11-20 Reviewed

Google
 

Click Here For My Main Page

with links to my Pats Draft Blog and Player Ratings.

  For more Info on Pats, check out my: Patriots Draft Blog and Player Ratings.

$ with player in red- signifies I got this pick.

11.

Bills

 

Grade: B

Best Pick:

Leodis McKelvin DE

Needed a QB.

 

Worst Pick:

Chris Ellis DE 

5th DE on Depth Chart.

 

 

F.A. Signings:

Marcus Stroud DT

Kawika Mitchell LB

Spencer Johnson DT

Key F.A.  Loses:

Peerless Price WR 

Michael Gaines TE

Kiwaukee Thomas CB

The Team: Tough Draft to grade. I really like their first two picks, and then not so much. However, the Bills have a reputation of taking smaller unknown guys who really work out later, like Jason Peters, who is the best player in the NFL you have never heard of, and Terrence McGee. McGee made the team as a KR/Special Team Guy, and developed into a solid underrated CB. In fact, he has developed into a Number One CB, and ironically, you really don't want him playing Special Team anymore. However, they would need a lot of luck to get a lot of production from this Draft. They hit every need I saw, which shows I really had this teams needs perfect:-) However, is Kennard Cox a DB or just a Special Teams guy. Is Alvin Bowen the answer at OLB or a Special Team Guy. They really needed a back up/Tandem Back to help Marchawn Lynch, and I just don't see Xavier Omon being the answer. If everything works out: Cox is a Special Teams Maven, Bowen uses his good speed and coverage abilities and becomes a solid Nickel and Dime LB, and Omon becomes the short-yardage back that takes some heavy hits off of Lynch's legs. 

Leodis McKelvin- CB/PR Troy, 5-10.5, 190- This pick really pissed me off. I had McKelvin going here and DRC to the Cards the week of the Draft. I let the WR rumor, which I mocked the week before the Draft, change this pick on Thursday to Devin Thomas. I am a big McKelvin fan. I thought he was one of three player who could come right in and start for the Pats, and I think he will do that for the Bills as well. His ability to cover a WR without touching him is astonishing. Plus, he is excellent against the run, and understands how to play and shed blockers. He is extremely smart on the field, and reads what the Offense is trying to do and then attacks with amazing precision. 

The thing I like about McKelvin is that he backpedals like a panther waiting to bounce. I have never seen a more intimidating Backpedal. In fact, I have never seen an intimidating backpedal until the Senior Bowl Practices, where McKelvin was the best Defensive player on the field in practice, and yes, I watched Sed Ellis power-rush his way into the top five. I just don’t think I have ever been so impressed with a player at the Senior Bowl before. He is the best Corner I have ever seen at positioning himself between the snap and the throw. He has that unique ability to see the WR, and watch the QB. And, when the QB winds up too throw to his side, he attacks the ball like a panther bouncing on a dead duck. Unfortunately, he has hands like paws, like a panther. His complete inability to catch the ball will cause him some trouble. 

He actually caught the ball well at the Combine. The more I watch McKelvin, the more I think he will be a top ten pick  in the new NFL, where touching a WR is a worse crime then Video Taping;-) He dominates the man he is covering, without ever really touching him. It is amazing to see. His backpedal is so perfect, and he always keeps himself in position to make a play on the ball, but rarely puts his hand on the man he is covering. Being a physical Corner in college is not necessarily a positive in the NFL. Being a Corner who can consistently and completely cover a WR without any contact is worth his weight in salary cap gold.  

Terrific man to man cover skills. Has great feet and hips. Can break on the ball quicker then anyone in this years Draft. Makes plays on EVERY ball in his area, Amazing. Seemed to be the only guy who could cover Andre Caldwell at the Senior Bowl. Plays Off-Man better then any Corner I've every seen at the Senior Bowl. But, has horrible hands. Looks like Ronnie "Stone hands" Lippet. Couldn't catch a cold in a blizzard. But, he just makes plays on every ball thrown his way. During Senior Bowl practice he must have gotten his hands on ten straight passes thrown his way, and of course didn't catch one. Has the talent to led the league in Passes Defensed, and not have a single Interception, Amazing. He should also do well at the Combine, where Corners tend to go in direct relation to their Forty times. 

*James Hardy- WR Indiana, 6-5 3/8, 217, 4.54, 37"- Interesting prospect who will give the Bills the big target they have been lacking. He will really hurt teams that shift coverage to far over to Lee Evan's side. This was another great pick. Targeting Hardy in the Second Round allowed them to take the Best Player Available at their other main need position in the First Round.

Hardy is a converted basketball player playing Wide Receiver. When the ball is up high above his head, there is no better WR in the Draft at grabbing the lofted pass out of the sky. Despite great size, he lacks physicality, and despite great size struggles against big defenders and physical play. Had his best games against the worst teams and struggled against great teams. Still, he is phenomenally agile player for a guy of his height. Not a burner, but because of height, long arms, and vertical leap he can jump over any DB, and pull the ball down. Unstoppable when thrown the Fade and Alley-Oops in the Redzone. Did not play on the best team, and his QB stunk, but he still caught 79 passes for 1,125 Yards, and 16 TDs. A player who is a bit of an enigma, he can look so good  and unstoppable one drive, and then disappear for the next three drives. But he is the best Redzone threat in the Draft. Nobody, maybe in the history of the NFL runs an end zone alley-op like Hardy. His basketball skills really jump off the screen when he runs the Short Comer Fade. He still struggles with physical play sometimes, being a converted basketball player, and can be jammed effectively by big Corners, but he scored an amazing 36 TDs in three seasons. 

Terrific blend of size, vertical leap, and has long arms. unstoppable in the Redzone. Caught an amazing 36 TD passes in three seasons at Indiana. Has terrific hands and cab snatch the ball out of the air in traffic, which is good because he lacks separation speed and skills.

Chris Ellis- DE Virginia Tech, 6-4, 263, 4.7- I am not the biggest Ellis fan. He suffers from inconsistency and shoulder woes. However, he is smart, and he will not need to start on this team. He will have to work hard behind the scenes and learn form Kelsey and Schobel. We know he can rush the Passer and he has had good production. His problem is that he not only has the two starters in front of him, he also has the two back ups: Ryan Denney and Ryan Neil, in front of him. Do the Bills carry 5 D-Ends next season?

Reggie Corner- CB Akron 5-9, 175, 4.5- Lack of size and pure speed will hurt. Suspended for academic reasons. However, he has all the other physical qualities you look for in a CB. He has the quick feet and swivel hips to play the slot. Reminds me of Terrence McGee. He will need to be Special Teams Guy to make the team.   

Table from NFL.com:

Leodis McKelvin CB 5'11" 190 Troy
Pick Analysis: McKelvin is the first cornerback off the board. He is not afraid to hit opposing receivers, but there are questions about his ability to pick the ball off. Also is a threat in the return game, he took back seven kicks for touchdowns at Troy. His best traits are quick feet and good closing ability.
James Hardy WR 6'6" 220 Indiana
Pick Analysis: With all the receivers falling out of the first round, the Bills gambled and won by waiting until the second round to address the position. In the end they have their cake and get to eat it too, as they nab a real red zone threat in the 6-foot-6 Hardy. He finished his career by hauling in 191 passes for 2,740 yards and 36 touchdowns.
Chris Ellis DE 6'4" 260 Virginia Tech
Pick Analysis: Ellis is an inconsistent player, who looked great at times. He lacks discipline and had untimely penalties in college, but he has ability and good size. He had 22 sacks and 36 tackles for loss in college and is fast enough to play on special teams.
Reggie Corner CB 5'10" 180 Akron
Pick Analysis: Corner is a small guy who ran pretty well at his pro day. The concern is his size because it hinders his ability to cover big receivers in a jump-ball situation. This might be slightly high for a player with his frame and measurables.
Derek Fine TE 6'3" 245 Kansas
Pick Analysis: Fine is going to sit down against zones and catch 8-9 yard passes. He can also play solid special teams. Fine could be a solid depth player at a position of need in Buffalo, but will need to improve his blocking to be more than a backup.
Alvin Bowen OLB 6'1" 223 Iowa State
Pick Analysis: Bowen is an outside linebacker with decent size and very good speed. He can drop into coverage and can play every down.
Xavier Omon RB 5'11" 226 Northwest Missouri State
Pick Analysis: Omon is a very productive player. He's got size and speed and has had an unbelievable statistical output in college. He's a good pick by the Bills.
Demetrius Bell OT 6'5" 303 Northwestern State (LA)
Pick Analysis: Bell was a two-year player in football, but a starting center on Northwestern State's basketball team that made it into the NCAA tournament in the past. Bell is very athletic and has good size. He lacks polish though and needs to be developed. He's probably a practice squad player at this point but has potential.
Steve Johnson WR 6'2" 210 Kentucky
Pick Analysis: Johnson is a solid player with decent speed and size. He only played two years at Kentucky after transferring from a junior college in California. He projects as a special teams player and will add depth at receiver.
Kennard Cox CB 6'0" 195 Pittsburgh
Pick Analysis: Cox is a safety that some scouts think might project as a corner. He has decent size and might develop into the nickleback that so many teams are searching for in the current NFL

12.

Broncos

 

Grade: A

Best Pick:

Ryan Clady

Desperate for a LT.

 

Worst Pick:

Eddie Royal 

Needed a RB.

 

CB, WR

F.A. Signings:

Keary Colbert WR

Boss Bailey LB

Niko Koutouvides LB

Marlon McCree S

Marquand Manuel S

Key F.A.  Loses:

Javon Walker WR

The Team: I am giving the Broncos an A. One, because they fooled me with their ridiculous misinformation about wanting a RB, here (how did I fall for that?;-). Second, they have no Left Tackle on their roster, and got the best pure LT Prospect in the Draft. Third, they did pretty good in the middle rounds. All their middle round picks have medical issues from last season, which makes this draft a huge Boom or Bust risk. However, all the players check out as clean, and if all those risks work out, it could pay off big. Plus, getting Josh Barrett and Peyton Hillis in the Seventh Round could be steals. Hillis is more of a pumped up RB then FB, but he has a lot of intriguing Third-Down skills.  

*Ryan Clady- OT Boise ST, 6-6, 320- Another pick that pissed me off. I was 100% certain they would take a Left Tackle here, and then I let another rumor, that made no sense, sway me from what I knew to be true. I believe Clady is the most natural Pass Blocker in this Draft, and thus the best pure LT prospect in the Draft. Jake Long looks like he would have an easier time at RT, and Brandon Albert is still more of a Left Guard prospect to me. 

He has risen into the top Eight, given this draft an Elite Eight. His has the best combination of feet, long arms, and quickness in this years Draft. He is seen as the only legit Left Tackle Prospect in the Draft. He has left scouts drooling since he displayed his amazing athleticism for a man the size of a bear, and it looks like he may have danced is way into the top five. The Panthers and Broncos are already trying to trade up to get him, however, I no longer think the Chiefs can pass on him at five. He was so dominate at Boise State, that some teams stopped lining up Passrusher in front of him during obvious passing downs, I don't think there is a bigger complement you can pay to a Left Tackle. 

Clady physically is as good as it gets, but he hasn't put it all together. He needs some add strength, coaching, and technique work, and he could be as good as any linemen in this years draft. Has long arms and quick feet, just needs to consistently put the two together. Physically he is huge and towered over D-Ends in his conference. He has excellent feet, and there is little doubt he can play LT in NFL.

Eddie Royal- WR/KR/PR Virginia Tech, 5-11 192, 4.38, 37.5" 10' 6", 3.91 S.S.- Dynamic returner. He garnered 455 Yards on 31 Punt Returns, 316 Yards on 14 Kick Returns, and well, 116 Yards on 8 Carries (Yes I know that is not S.T.). Reminds me of a pumped-up David Patton. 

Royal is a quick hiccup and then he is gone. He can run away from anyone. Great speed. Small but quick. Can be knocked off route by physical Corners, but is you miss the bump him he is gone. He is still more promise then production. As a Senior, despite all his physical gifts, he garnered only 33 Catches for 496 Yards and 6 TDS, 2 of the TDs were from Punt Returns. At the Senior Bowl practices he earned a starting position, but disappeared in the games, like when he was at VT. That has worried me ever since. However, he is a dynamic Special Teams Guy, who will have time to develop into a legit receiver. Which despite all his eye-popping measurables, he is not a Legit receiver yet.

Kory Lichtensteiger- OG Bowling Green, 6-2, 300- Vicious, mean, and tough SOB. He is so dirty he even pisses off his teammates. Has serious shoulder issues. If it was anybody else but Denver you would have to question this pick. But he does have good balance, smarts, and never stops pushing, holding, and annoying until the whistle blows. 

Jack Williams- CB Kent ST, 5-9, 200, 4.4- Another in a long line of smaller schools CBs, who have the athleticism to play in the NFL. Looks like a legit NFL Corner. Shoulder problems are lurking in the background however.

Ryan Torain- RB Arizona ST 6' 225, 4.7- A very good college power RB, who has questionable speed. Another medical question mark who could fit their system perfectly. Tore up his foot last season, and missed half the season after having surgery. However, as a Junior he rushed 223 times for 1,229 Yards, and 7 TDs. He also caught 18 Passes for 205 Yards.  

Josh Barrett- S Arizona ST, 6-1.5 224, 4.36- Had the best Triangle Numbers of any Safety in this Draft. However, he often looked like he had no idea what he was doing on the field. However, he will have time to learn behind one of the best who ever played. 

A true athletic freak. Has the size to be a dominate Strong Safety, and the pure speed to be a great center field Free Safety. 

Table from NFL.com:

Ryan Clady OT 6'6" 316 Boise State
Pick Analysis: Clady is an athletic lineman, who fits into Denver's zone-blocking scheme. He'll need some time to develop and may start his career off at right tackle. He started 32 games over the past three years, including 26 at left tackle. He has great feet and long arms.
Eddie Royal WR 5'10" 184 Virginia Tech
Pick Analysis: Royal has been compared to Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith. The Broncos need a return man and he can fit the bill. He's incredibly strong for his size and can get behind the defense.
Kory Lichtensteiger OG 6'3" 310 Bowling Green
Pick Analysis: Lichtensteiger has great technique, but short arms. The four-year starter at Bowling Green understands leverage and position. He's very intelligent and plays with a lot of intensity. The Broncos like to a pick a position and attack it in the draft. The offensive line seems to be a point of emphasis this year.
Jack Williams CB 5'9" 186 Kent State
Pick Analysis: This guy can fly - he has great speed. He ran a 4.32 at his Pro Day and also had very impressive numbers in the cone drill and vertical jump. He's got good size for a corner. Given his athleticism, he could be underrated as a prospect and is a great value at this point in the draft.
Ryan Torain RB 6'1" 222 Arizona State
Pick Analysis: Torain started the season really well, but was derailed by a foot injury midway through the year. He's a junior college transfer that likes to run between the tackles. Given Denver's traditional success taking RBs in the middle rounds, the Arizona State product has potential to develop.
Carlton Powell DT 6'3" 300 Virginia Tech
Pick Analysis: Carlton Powell is a little undersized but was productive at Virginia Tech. This far along in the draft, you're not going to get ideal physical specimens, so the fact he started three years for a strong program makes him a good value.
Spencer Larsen OLB 6'2" 243 Arizona
Pick Analysis: Toughness is Larsen's forte. He's an inside linebacker and is not overly big or fast, but he's a good run-stuffer. He can't play in pass coverage but can come in during early downs. He is older at 25.
Josh Barrett S 6'2" 223 Arizona State
Pick Analysis: Barrett had a great junior campaign and potentially could've been a third-round pick, but he got benched as a senior. He has all the measurables and exceptional speed, 4.36 in the 40. Barrett matured a lot after sitting and demonstrated poise when he came back. His lack of playing time, though, clearly hurt his draft stock.
Peyton Hillis FB 6'1" 240 Arkansas
Pick Analysis: Hillis is one of the best fullbacks in the draft. Some had him rated higher than Owen Schmitt who was taken earlier. He was one of the main players responsible for opening up holes for first-rounders Felix Jones and Darren McFadden and will have a chance to contribute right away in the NFL as a blocking fullback.

13.

19.

Panthers

 

 

Grade: B

Best Pick:

Dan Connor LB

3rd Round?

 

Worst Pick:

Jeff Otah 

Traded next year #1.

 

QB, FS. DL

Key F.A. Signings:

Muhsin Muhammad WR

D.J. Hackett WR 

G Keydrick Vincent

Landon Johnson LB

Tyler Brayton DE

Key F.A.  Loses:

Chris Jenkins DT

Keary Colbert WR

DeShaun Foster RB 

Ricardo Colclough CB

David Carr QB

The Team: This is the most difficult Draft to grade. Both Stuart and Otah were good picks, and both their3 rd Round picks were steals. However, giving up next years Number One Pick, when you don't have a stable QB situation, can be a complete disaster. Just ask San Fran. I want to give them an F, but the grade keeps going up, because their first four picks were so good. But they didn't grab a QB, so maybe a C. But they did get the best power RB in the Draft and three O-Linemen, so maybe Delhomme won't be Humpty Dumpty next season, so maybe a B. 

Jonathon Stuart- RB/KR Oregon, 6-1 235, 4.44, 28 Reps, 36.5"- I questioned this pick initially, as they had such a need at LT and QB, and because DeAngelo Williams averaged 5 YPC last season. However, Williams is really more lightning then thunder, and Stuart certainly is Thunder. He can be a great NFL RB. Plus, they have to run the ball ultra-effectively in order to protect Delhomme who was just put back together again, and having Williams and Stuart team up in the Running game could keep Delhomme together all season. 

Foot surgery could cause Stuart to freefall, especially when you consider the amazing depth at RB in the this years draft. However, the other way to look at it is that he ran a 4.44  and had a 36.5" Vert at 235 pounds, with a stress fracture in his foot. If he fully recovers, how good can he be? However, the history of stress fractures is not a 100% recovery. He was one of the top Kick Returners in the country for the past two seasons. He is an accomplished receiver out of the backfield. Set an Oregon record for All-Purpose Yards last season with 2,481 Yards.  

Stuart is a physical freak. He showed up at the Combine at 235 pounds of solid muscle. He runs with great power, amazing balance, and stamina. He showed he can run away from defenders when necessary in his Bowl Game. Split time his first two seasons at Oregon so his bruising running style hasn't worn him out yet. Rushed for 280 times 1,722 yards (a Oregon record), had 14 100 yard+ games, and an impressive 6.2 YPC. He also rushed for 11 TDs, and caught 22 Passes for 145 Yards and 2 more TDs.

Power back who moves the pile like John Stevens way back when. Has better speed then his size and power would suggest. Had foot surgery, so his is in a state of flux. Some teams see the surgery as a negative and some a positive.

*Jeff Otah- OLT Pittsburgh, 6-6, 340, 5.2- Tough pick. I Like this player. It's just that when your QB situation is a mess you can end up with a top five pick mighty quick. However, Otah is a player who should solidify this line. The Panthers were desperate for an O-Tackle to pair with Gross. I like Gross better on the Right, but he will be Carolina's start LT next season, which is not a bad thing. Wharton will move inside to Guard, and Otah will start at Right Tackle. With Ryan Kalil and Justin Hartwig, that is not a bad line. Now here is the caveat, Otah had better be able to be a legit RT quick, and the line had better come together quick, because if the brittle Delhomme has a great fall, they could be giving a top ten pick to Philly. And to make things worse both Brain Brohm and Chad Henne were on the Board when the 2nd Round Pick (number 43) they gave to Philly in the trade was on the Clock. They may have given up Brian Brohm and a top five pick in next years Draft for Otah.  

The thing that separates Otah from Clady and Williams is that he is already a dominate Run Blocker. He explodes off the ball, and can drive back D-Lineman with great power and balance.  He has great feet, and can dance with any bear. Dominated verse LSU. Despite HUGE size can play low and gains leverage. He has the feet, size, and athleticism to play Left tackle in the NFL. When he is on, he destroys D-Linemen. His biggest negative is experience. He didn't play football until his senior season in high school. He then played two seasons at LT for Valley Forge Military Academy. He then went to Pittsburgh where he started every game for the past two seasons.

I like this guy. He is brute-force Left Tackle. A player like that doesn't come along very often. An O-Tackle with the size, strength, and cruelty to be a street-mauler, and the athleticism, feet, and long arms to be a Left Tackle. However, he is does struggle a little with inconsistency in effort and footwork but I believe as he matures so will his game.   

Charles Godfrey- CB/S Iowa, 5-11 7/8, 205, 4.35, 37.5"- WOW! getting Godfrey and Connor in the 3rd Round is absolutely amazing!

Godfrey is a very interesting prospect. He does have some negatives. He doesn't always look instinctual in coverage. While he has the speed to run with any WR in coverage, he doesn't play the deep throw well. Looks a little stiff sometimes when he has to twist his hips, or stop and break on the ball. However, he has only play Corner for two years, so he is still developing his instincts as CB. He still looks more comfortable when he is moving forward, and he is excellent in run support. He can really lay out the ball carrier with vicious momentum changing hits. He was recruited to Iowa as a Safety, and played Safety his first two seasons at Iowa. He looked like he was going to develop into an excellent FS, Iowa fans are still talking about his hard hitting style. He moved to Corner to help the team. He reminds me of Meriweather, in that he might be a bit of a Corner Safety tweener. Looks like a Safety. He is big, well built, and hits like a Safety. However, he is an amazing athlete. He was truly one of the hardest working players in college, and received multiple coaches award for his hustle and outstanding play on Special Teams and defense. He is a very smart player who can handle playing any position in the Secondary both physically and mentally. While he sometimes looks stiff in coverage, he sometimes looks so smooth that you wonder if you were seeing a different player's hips in your memory. Again, he is an amazing athlete who sometimes looks like he can do anything he wants on the field. The more I watch him the more I like him. He is the type of player you want on your team. Coaches and teammates love him. He loves football, and football is extremely important to him. As a Sophomore he had 35 Tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 FF, playing part-time Safety and full-time Special Teams. He came into his Junior Year as the Starting CB and still played Special Teams full-time. He had 83 Tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INTs, 5 PBU, 1 FF and 1 FR. He started again as a Senior garnering 65 Tackles, 5 INTs, 9 PBU. He improved in coverage each season, and became more of a Corner then a Safety by the end of last season. The thing that will get him Drafted is that his floor is higher then anybody else who will be drafted in the Second Round. He has a solid chance to develop into an excellent hard-hitting Corner. If he struggles he can move to Safety where he is all but assured to succeed. At Safety, he can really use his physical, aggressive, and hard-hitting nature to its' fullest potential. I also have to admit he stills looks more natural moving forward. If for some reason he cannot handle duties at Safety (something I can't see as possible, but in the Draft stranger things have happened) he is already a Special Teams maven. So if for some unseen reason everything goes to hell, he is minimally a player who can become the core of your Special Teams. In 2004 he won the "Next Man In Award" for his exceptional play on special teams. In 2005 he won the "Reggie Roby" for Special Teams Player of the Year. In 2006, he won the "Hustle Award", for his hustle play on Special Teams. In 2007 he won the "Coaches Appreciation Award" for his intelligent play on defense. He was also was awarded honorable mention all-America by Pro Football Weekly. He was named- "Second team all-Big Ten by league coaches and honorable mention by media." 

Dan Connor- LB Penn ST, 6-2.5, 233, 4.6- Wow, what more can I say.

Connors has great instincts, toughness, and production. If he can play in a system with big DT in front of him he could be a tackling machine. I have become a big Dan Connor fan. He is a guided missile on the field. He is faster and more physical then Paul Posluszny. He has fantastic instincts and intelligence. He is a terrific tackler, and a fantastic athlete. What sets him apart is his ability to read what the offense is doing, and break on the ball with amazing speed and accuracy. I recorded his Bowl Game, and focused in on him through the whole game. What impressed me most was a few plays. The first was a swing pass off to his left, he was lined up in the middle, read the play, swiveled his hips and exploded in a straight line to the right sideline and some how got in on the tackle, amazing speed, just a great display of great football instincts. The other, was three times in the first half, he was lined up in the middle, in his extra low stance, and right before the snap he stood up. You could see him staring into the backfield. He took a single step forward to get a better look, then turned and ran to his left like a guided missile, BEFORE the snap. Obviously, he saw something on tape, like when the RB is in his stance, and is suppose to run behind the Right Tackle, he moves his left foot forward to get a better plant, or something alone those lines, because all three times he took off before the snap and split the Right Guard and the Right Tackle and met the RB just as he tried to run through that hole, just a great display of great football intelligence. He acts with impressive decisiveness. I love the way he plants and turns and gets to full speed in one or two steps. He has great feet and hips and turns and runs like a safety, and unfortunately that is my main concern, he looks like a safety on the field. Also, while his backpedal is effective, he moves backwards in coverage with great speed, it is spastic and ugly. Instead of switching feet in a quick backpedal, he spastically hops backwards with both feet hopping up-and-down at the same time, and looks like a Mexican jumping bean. The funny part is that he gets back into position with amazing speed and quickness, and is really exceptional in coverage, it just looks horrible awkward. But (okay here's the big but), he just looks SOOOO Small on the field. I would be shock if he is over 6-1 225 pounds. I did notice when he is in his two point stance he gets very low, lower then any other player on the field. So maybe he just plays with exceptional knee bend and with an extraordinarily low base. I have already said, if he is 0ver 6-2 and over 230 pounds the Pats should take him. 

Nick Hayden- DT/NT Wisconsin, 6-4 295- My super sleeper pick at Nose Tackle. He is a strong run-stuffer.

He doesn't have a lot of moves. Relies mostly on his long arms and lower body strength. Best position might be as a 3-4 D-End. Has a good first step, and can burst through the hole and crush the Ball Carrier. Doesn't have great speed, outside of 10 yards. Won't catch anyone from behind, beyond 10 yards. However, within those 5 to 10 yards he can be dominate, when he stays low. He was often doubled teamed when teams tried to run between the Tackles, and was the player opposing coach seemed to Gameplan for the most.. 

Table from NFL.com:

Jonathan Stewart RB 5'11" 235 Oregon
Pick Analysis: Stewart will pair with DeAngelo Williams in Carolina's backfield. He's recovering from toe surgery, but the Panthers felt comfortable enough about the injury to take him with the 13th pick. Stewart started 25 contests with 516 carries for 2,891 yards and 27 touchdowns. He's got great quickness and strength.
Jeff Otah OT 6'6" 340 Pittsburgh
Pick Analysis: The Panthers move up to select Otah, who started 24 games the last two years at Pittsburgh. The idea is to have Otah open up holes for Carolina's earlier first-round pick, Jonathan Stewart. Otah's strength and toughness were major selling points for Carolina.
Charles Godfrey CB 6'0" 207 Iowa
Pick Analysis: The Panthers get good value with Godfrey in the third round. He's a little thick in the upper body which makes it harder to have the quick reaction necessary at corner, but he could fit well as a cover-two corner or safety in the NFL. He's an excellent tackler, but can get beaten in pass coverage.
Dan Connor OLB 6'3" 233 Penn State
Pick Analysis: Connor has been compared to Dan Morgan and is a great value at this spot in the draft. He needs to work on his pass coverage and at his size could struggle to play on all the downs and distances. He had over 400 tackles in college, can call the defense and play strong-side or middle linebacker. One of the smartest players in the draft and had excellent production in college.
Gary Barnidge TE 6'6" 243 Louisville
Pick Analysis: Barnidge had excellent college production - 108 receptions, 17 TDs and almost 14 yards per catch. He gets in and out of breaks well and has the ability to change direction. He caught passes from Brian Brohm at Louisville and it's a little surprising he fell this far.
Nick Hayden DT 6'4" 291 Wisconsin
Pick Analysis: The Panthers came into the draft wanting to address their defensive line. They didn't do it until taking Hayden in the sixth round. Hayden comes with experience, having started for four years at Wisconsin. His greatest strength is his strength; he had 34 reps on the bench at the combine. Known as a run stuffer, he will need to improve on his consistency and technique.
Hilee Taylor OLB 6'3" 242 North Carolina
Pick Analysis: A defensive end who projects to an outside linebacker in the pros. A three-year starter at North Carolina who will likely start out on special teams.
Geoff Schwartz OL 6'6" 332 Oregon
Pick Analysis:S chwartz probably projects as more of a guard than a tackle. He has good strength but lacks speed and quickness. For a Panthers line thin on depth, he will be provided ample opportunity for growth.
Mackenzy Bernadeau OG 6'4" 298 Bentley
Pick Analysis: Bernadeau worked out at Boston College's Pro Day and got a great deal of exposure there. He had a decent workout and projects to be a guard. He might be valuable on kickoff and punt return coverage.

14.

Bears

Grade: C+

Best Pick:

Chris Williams LT

Need to help crappy QBs.

 

Worst Pick:

Matt Forte- 

Passed Brohm.

 

QB, QB

F.A. Signings:

WR Marty Booker 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Bernard Berrian WR

WR Muhsin Muhammad

Brain Grease QB

The Team: Another tough team to Grade. They addressed all their needs, except getting a Starting QB and a third QB, as Orton might still be a Number one or Number Two QB. They had an excellent draft, by pure player ratings they had an A+ Draft. But, no QB?!? They really needed to release their Franchise from QB prison in this Draft. They passed on Flacco in the First. Okay, not a crime, but he did end up going only four picks later to Baltimore. Passing on Brian Brohm at pick 44?!? That is clearly a felony for not doing what is best for the Franchise in the long run, as all GMs must do. A GM and Head Coach would only do that when they are in fear for their jobs, and know they need to win now. However, Matt Forte, the player took at 44, was my Super Sleeper at RB, and I predicted the Bear would take him. So maybe the real crime is the Third Round, when they passed on O'Connell and Booty TWICE, in the Third Round?!? However, I had Earl Bennett as a Second Round pick, and Harrison is a First Round Talent with a Seventh Round brain. In the end, they really should be prosecuted for passing on Booty in the Forth Round, there are no alibi's for that alleged decision. Although, Steltz is a player I liked, and I thought he was undervalued because he only started one Season at Safety. So you can see my frustration, they should get an F for not getting a QB, but they made good picks from top to bottom. Getting Monk (my Super Sleeper at WR) and Barton (my Super Sleeper at OT) in the Seventh Round is an absolute steal.     

$ *Chris Williams- OT Vanderbilt, 6-6, 320- I got this pick on my final Draft. Williams is the type of player that is going to help this team for a long time. 

  Finesse blocker who looks NFL ready as a pass blocker. He needs to add strength in the legs to improve run blocking. Has feet and athleticism to play Left Tackle in the NFL. Smooth as my frozen driveway moving backwards;-( Has the smoothest Kick-Step in the Draft. Looks like he is an NFL ready pass protector, which I hate to say about any rookie. Maybe best pure pass blocker in the draft. The more I watch him the more I like him. Has great feet and short arms. The most natural pass protector in the Draft. He has the smoothest Kick-Step of any Prospect in this Draft. Maybe the most ready to step in at Left Tackle in the Draft.  

$ Matt Forte- RB Tulane, 6-1 1/4, 221, 4.5- Another of the Bears picks that I nailed, yes! Although I had them taking him in the Third Round at Pick 90, I still got this pick in my book. I compared him to Kevin Faulk, and maybe I should clarify. I was really comparing his feet. Faulk has great pitter-patter machinegun feet, and so does Forte. Only Forte can also run like a Power Back. I think Forte will be a very good starting RB in the NFL.

Forte is a player I really like. He has terrific size and machine gun feet. He pitter-patters to the line, and dances and stutters behind his blockers until a hole opens up, or makes the defender miss with his quick feet. He reminds of Kevin Faulk, only he is bigger and stronger. he runs with that same quick feet and quick cuts. but he also runs with good power. He is very tough and does not back down even when his O-Line is being overwhelmed. He can take a beating and jump up and hit the line again. He had a spectacular Senior season. He rushed 304 times for 2,127 Yards and 23 TDs, also caught 32 passes for 282 Yards. Needs to work on his pass blocking, but I still like him more as a big Third Down back. He is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, and had 105 career receptions. 

His is a very productive runner who is also excellent out of the backfield.  

*Earl Bennett- WR Vanderbilt, 6-1, 205, 4.48, 4.22 20-YS- Another player I really like, and felt he was underrated. He is the SEC's All Time leader In Receptions. 

Not a flashing guy, but a solid guy who just gets it done. Played on a bad team with a crappy QB. Is not great or outstanding in any aspect, but does everything well. Won't stand out at Combine, but just produce on the field. The more I watch him the more I like him. All-time leader in Receptions for the SEC. In 2005, his Freshman year with Jay Cutler as his QB, he started 7 games and had 79 Receptions for 876 Yards and 9 TDs. In 2006, with a crappy QB, he had 82 Receptions for 1,146 yards and 6 TDs. Last season, he had 75 Receptions for 830 Yards and 5 TDs. He has good hands, good speed, good acceleration, knows how to use head and shoulder fakes to create separation. Was the most productive Receiver over the past three seasons in the best Conference. 

Best blend of every WR skill in the Draft. Doesn't nothing great but everything well. Is one of those Second Round receivers who goes under the radar and then plays for 12-15 years in the league. Reminds me of Amani Toomer. Great production, is the SEC's all time leader in Receptions with 236.

Marcus Harrison- DT Arkansas, 6-2 3/4, 312, 5.2, 29", 9' LJ, 4.54 S.S- They needed to get DT who can stop the Run, and protect Brain Urlacher. Harrison is a First Round talent physically, and an Undrafted Free Agent mentally. Getting him in the Third is excellent value. 

Has good speed and quickness for a man of his size. Has off field issues that should drop him into the Third Round. Needs to play lower. Still gives up leverage to easily. He has huge thighs and a bubble butt, and can really anchor when he gets low. When he sinks in low, he can dominate with strength and power. He had a great senior season and really looked like an early prospect. He had 76 Tackles, 6.5 TFL, and 1.5 Sacks, he also batted down 10 passes. A buyer beware player, who has had two knee injuries and a drug arrest in the past 2 years.

Craig Steltz- 6-1 3/8, 210, 4.6, 10 Reps, 35"4.19 S.S.- A player who will definitely make the team, because he is a Special Team maven. Has a chance to be a good Safety, because he can play Special Teams so well, he has two or three to develop into a legit starter on defense and still contribute. 

Better athlete then he looks on the field. Has good size, speed and quickness, and has played in a lot of big games. Didn't start until last season where he played very well, had 101 Tackles, 7 PBU, and 6 INTs which he returned for an astonishing 153 Yards. Having over 25 YPR for Interceptions is amazing.. Has vast experience on Special Teams. 

Smooth, try-hard Safety who came up big when his team needed himLooks like an interesting pick in the Forth Round.

Zachery Bowman- CB Nebraska 6' 197, 4.4- Extremely interesting pick. Was once thought to a First Round Prospect, but then tore up his knee in 2006. Then tore up his knee again in 2007, before the season started. Came back and started 4 games last season, and played very well, garnering 29 Tackles, 1 INT, and 6 PBU. Thee were rumors the Pats were interested in him as well. The Pats scouted him extensively, and Belichick even mentioned him by name in his April 28th Press Conference. 

Kellen Davis- TE Michigan ST, 6-6, 260, 4.6- Looks like Tarzan plays like Jane. 

Kirk Barton- OG/ORT Ohio ST, 6-4, 310- Great pick, my Super Sleeper at OT. A super strong super hard worker, who will do anything to play football. Has everything you want in an O-Tackle, except feet. He might have to move inside to Guard. I think he can Right Tackle, and if not, he is the type of player a coach won't cut because he will do what it takes to make it.

Marcus Monk- WR Arkansas, 6-4¼, 215, 4.41, 36" 10'2"- Great pick, my Super Sleeper at WR, and another guy who was on track to be a First Round pick before he tore up his knee. He started 25 games his Sophomore and Junior years, and garnered 85 Receptions for 1,338 Yards and 18 TDs. He Average over 19 YPR his Junior year. Then disaster. Tore the posterior horn of his lateral meniscus in August of 2007. The tear was misdiagnosed at first, and later surgery discovered and repaired the mistake. Still, he came back to start 5 games and garnered 16 Receptions for 144 yards and 3 TDs. When I  watched him play a couple years ago he look like  a spectacular athlete. 

Big tall explosive athlete, who I think can really develop on the next level. 

Table from NFL.com:

Chris Williams OT 6'6" 315 Vanderbilt
Pick Analysis: Well suited to play left tackle, Williams should provide an upgrade to a unit that struggled in 2007. He allowed just two quarterback sacks over a span of 1,558 offensive snaps at Vanderbilt. He has good feet and balance for pass protection.
Matt Forte RB 6'2" 222 Tulane
Pick Analysis: The Bears get a player to compete with Cedric Benson for carries. Forte was the focal point of the opposing defense every week and still put up numbers. He's a high-character guy and will have a chance to upgrade the running game in Chicago.
Earl Bennett WR 6'0" 209 Vanderbilt
Pick Analysis: Continuing to address the offense, the Bears find a receiver for the future in Bennett. He put had great production at Vanderbilt, but did struggle at times against high-rated cornerbacks. He was the first receiver in SEC history to have 75-plus catches three straight years and is suited to play the slot, where he did most of his damage in college.
Marcus Harrison DT 6'3" 310 Arkansas
Pick Analysis: Harrison is a first-round talent, but injury and off-the-field issues pushed him down the draft board. The Bears needed a defensive tackle who can take on blockers. With his size, Harrison has the ability to attack double-teams and penetrate.
Craig Steltz S 6'1" 210 LSU
Pick Analysis: Stelz is a tough guy who is a sure tackler and comes up in run support. He made 20 starts at LSU and has a lot of experience at a top college program. Stelz was unable to workout at the combine due to injury, but performed well at his pro day. He's a high-character guy. Some may say Stelz is reminiscent of the old Chicago Bears safeties like Gary Fencik.
Zackary Bowman CB 6'1" 197 Nebraska
Pick Analysis: Injury issues hampered Bowman's draft stock. He transferred to Nebraska and played well for a defense that really struggled. His value would have been higher without the health concerns. His level of competition in junior college was not great, but he proved himself against elite opponents in the Big 12.
Kellen Davis TE 6'7" 262 Michigan State
Pick Analysis: Davis played both tight end and defensive end last year at Michigan State. He is a talented pass rusher and has the size to make plays offensively as well. Ran a 4.59 in the 40, impressive given his size, and had four sacks in limited time on defense. There is some thought that his best spot could be at defensive end, but as Mike Vrabel has shown, it never hurts to have tight end skills as a pass rusher.
Ervin Baldwin DE 6'2" 258 Michigan State
Pick Analysis: Baldwin played defensive end in college, but may project to linebacker in the NFL because of his size. However, the Bears do like small defensive ends and he could be a situational pass rusher in Chicago.
Chester Adams OG 6'4" 331 Georgia
Pick Analysis: The Bears took Adams looking for help on the interior of the offensive line. Adams has bulk and could make the roster based on the lack of depth Chicago has at guard.
Joey LaRocque OLB 6'2" 226 Oregon State
Pick Analysis: LaRocque, a two-year starter, is better as an inside linebacker. He played outside, but he projects more inside because of his limited speed.
Kirk Barton OT 6'5" 310 Ohio State
Pick Analysis: Barton has long arms and has some skills to go along with a mean streak that fits a player at the offensive tackle position. He's not overly athletic and lacks elite speed or strength.
Marcus Monk WR 6'4" 222 Arkansas
Pick Analysis: The Bears get a receiver with size in Monk. He is a talented goal-line player with ball skills. His production was hindered by the quarterback issues at Arkansas, but he can fit a role if given the opportunity

16.

Cardinals

Grade: B

Best Pick:

DRC

A CB could round out D.

 

Worst Pick:

Calais Cambell

Boom or Bust player.

OLB, S, LB, OL

F.A. Trades:

TE Jerame Tuman

Key F.A.  Loses:

Bryant Johnson WR

Oliver Ross ORT

Chris Coopr DL

Calvin Pace OLB

Darryl Blackstock LB

The Team: The Cardinals have a lot of needs. This pick will tell a lot about the Defense next season. I really felt their number one need on Defense was a top CB. DRC is certainly that. He is an exciting pure athlete, with excellent hands, ball skills, and instincts. In a couple of years there are going to be a lot of team who regret passing on him. They didn't have a lot of picks, but they used most of them on Defense, which I like.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie- CB Tennessee ST, 6'1.5, 186, 4.28(U)- Excellent pick. I thought he was a top player in this Draft. I only dropped him out of my top ten because it became obvious he wasn't going to be in the top ten. Has been working out with Deion Sanders since the Combine.    

The more I watch him the more I like him. Was not a great cover guy his first few seasons. Then last summer he trained with Darrel Green, the Hall Of Fame CB who played for the Redskins for years. DRC completely credits Green with completely changing his style of play. He learned Pro footwork, and how to turn his hips efficiently from backpedal to sprint from Green, and says learned how to cover from him. If you don't see that as a positive then you never saw Green play. Most importantly, he has continued his hard work and thirst to improve, and has continued to develop. If you saw him at the Senior Bowl and Combine, then I don't see how you can see him as other then a Top Ten pick in this years Draft.  

Cromartie is such an interesting prospect. I think he has a chance to be a star in the NFL. He is the best pure athlete at CB. He literally looked like his cousin on the field, and I can’t see any reason he can’t develop into just as good a player. People forget that when Cromartie came out of Florida State he too was more promise then production. He played mostly Nickel Corner at FSU, and he was injured his last season there and barely played. DRC, has played more, and better, in college then his All-Pro Cousin. Plus, he is the tallest of the three top CBs at 6-1.5, has very long arms, and can jump through the roof. He pulled down two leaping INTs that no other CBs in this Draft could have touched, one in practice and one in the game at the Senior Bowl. They were as great a defensive play as I have seen this year; except of course his cousin’s INT against Manning, when he leaped up above the Luxury Boxes and pulled down the ball with one hand. If a team believes, like I do, that he has the equal talent to his cousin, he is worth the 7th Pick in this years Draft. Especially when you consider that he was a track guy in college, and should be able to run faster then McKelvin, and some think he may pull down a legit 4.3 Forty. Shit, I think I just convinced myself that we should take at Seven;-)

Similar to his Cousin, he has everything physically, but lacks experience. Plays the ball in the air like a WR. Is very tall with long arms and can leap like cougar snatching a pheasant out of the air. Cannot be thrown over. Can cover large receiver. Is bone thin and looks brittle, but should he was tough and can tackle with the best of them at the Senior Bowl. Has enough quickness and the superior closing speed to make up for a lot of mistakes. Made a fortune at the Senior Bowl. He will be a First Round pick. The only question left is his forty time at the Combine, and speed is not an issue with him. Showed he more than belonged at a higher level of competition at the Senior Bowl

Calais Campbell- DE/DT Miami, 6-7 3/4, 290, 5.01- I thought Cambell was overrated, as a First Round pick. Getting him at 50 was a nice pick. I also thought he might be better served moving to D-Tackle, were he did play as an interior passrusher sometimes. Detroit drafted 2 other D-Ends, so maybe they see him as a D-Tackle as well. I think moving him inside would a great move for this defense. His best position could be as a 3-Technque DT. But, most importantly, I think he can an nice interior passrusher as a rookie, and that will allow Darnell Docket to stay outside on passing downs were he belongs.  

Overrated player as a First Round Pick, who is not the athlete many project him to be. The more I watch him the more I like him though. I think he could be an exceptional DT in a one-gap scheme or a Left End in a two-gap scheme. Reminds me more of John Henderson then Jason Taylor. Still, he had a lot of production at Miami, and looks like he has room for improvement. When you look at his production over the past two seasons, it is far more impressive then what he did last season: 134 tackles, 33 TFL, and 16.5 Sacks. There is talent and production here, I just think he has misrepresented as a player by Draftnics. However, he has freak size and descent, not otherworldly athleticism, make him an interesting prospect. I don't think he has the speed to play DE in the NFL, and I'm not sure he has the stoutness to DT, he did just 16 reps at the Combine. I do think he could be an interesting interior passrusher, and a disruptive Under-Tackle may be his best position.

Overrated athlete. People where actually projecting him as a LB? A buyer beware player who is more promise then production. Has terrific height and long arms. Has good strength and quickness, but his lack of speed will hurt him in the NFL. I think he may be better off inside at DT, or as a 5-tachnique DE.

Early Doucet- 6', 203, 4.59, 34.5"- Picking up Doucet in the Third Round was a steal, especially for this team. Doucet played his best football in college in the slot. He will be their Slot receiver next season, and for the foreseeable future.

Strong blocker. LSU ran plays where they put him in motion to Crack-back-block the Middle Linebacker. Has good size. Can leap and snatch the ball with his hands. Big play player who comes through when needed most. 

Fast and quick. In a spread offense he could be a nightmare.

Kenny Iwebena- DE Iowa, 6-4, 275, 4.9- Another underrated player that I like. He possesses unnatural strength for a player his size. I thought he could be a 3-4 D-End, if he can learn to work harder. Might be able to bulk up and play D-Tackle, if he can learn to work harder. 

Table from NFL.com:

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB 6'2" 182 Tennessee State
Pick Analysis: The Cardinals traded up to take Rodgers-Cromartie and help offset the move of Antrel Rolle to safety. Rodgers-Cromartie has great measurables, including running a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine. Arrived at Tennessee State in 2004 and started every game (44) in the four years he was there. Despite playing against lesser competition, his speed and quickness will help him at the next level.
Calais Campbell DE 6'8" 282 Miami
Pick Analysis: A year ago Campbell would've been drafted a lot higher. He struggled a bit as he put on weight to play in a new defense and it just didn't work out for him. If you looked at what he did in 2006, though, he was very impressive. He posted 10.5 sacks and had seven consecutive games with at least one sack.
Early Doucet WR 6'0" 212 LSU
Pick Analysis:T he Cardinals add another talented wideout to the their receiving corps - a guy who can be the slot receiver that the Cardinals need. Doucet was a highly productive college player and a good route runner at a major program, with 160 receptions.
Kenny Iwebema DE 6'4" 274 Iowa
Pick Analysis: Iwebema was solid at Iowa the past three years. He made 30 starts in college and had 14 sacks. He sheds blockers well and has good athletic ability. The only question is his motor. He sometimes seems to let up on plays.
Tim Hightower RB 6'0" 226 Richmond
Pick Analysis: This is a very good running back. He is an imitation of Marion Barber - a strong 225 pound runner with similar numbers. He is a hybrid player and can play either fullback or running back and excels in special teams.
Chris Harrington DE 6'5" 264 Texas A&M
Pick Analysis: Harrington is an undersized defensive end who can run fast. The hope is that he can be a good pass rusher, but he is more of a situational player at this point.
Brandon Keith OT 6'5" 343 Northern Iowa
Pick Analysis: A very large guy. Decent speed and quickness. He's extremely strong and will have a chane to develop as an offensive lineman for the Arizona Cardinals and renowned offensive line coach Russ Grimm.

17.

Lions

 

Grade: B-

Best Pick:

Kevin Smith RB

Production meets need.

 

Worst Pick:

Jordan Dizon LB 

Needed a QB.

QB, OL, DB

F.A. Signings:

Dwight Smith WR 

Michael Gaines TE 

Kalvin Pearson S

Dwight Smith S

Leigh Bodden CB

Brain Kelly CB

Chuck Darby DT 

Key F.A.  Loses:

J.T. O'Sullivan QB

Damien Woody OL

RB Kevin Jones

T.J. Duckett RB

Boss Bailey LB

Fernando Bryant CB

The Team: Another team that is very tough to grade. Gosder Cherilus was a great pick. However, they were desperate at RB, and really need a young QB. I don't like the Jordan Dizon pick in the Second Round, especially with Brian Brohm on the Board. Terrible! However they struck it rich in the Third Round. The depth of this Draft was really  in the Third Round. Their could end up being 25-30 starters from the Third Round alone from this Draft. 

Gosder Cherilus- OT BC, 6-6 3/8, 314- May have been a little early, but the Lions played four guys at Right Tackle last season, all of whom stunk. Except for Damien Woody, who played well until he got injured then left the team in Free Agency. They really were desperate for a Right Tackle, especially when you consider they have no RB and an aging QB. Fans in Detroit will be pleasantly surprised by Cherilus, who is so smart, mature, and physical that he will start next season at RT, and play better then anybody they had there last season. Plus, he actually has more experience playing RT then LT. He started 37 games at RT as a Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior, and never missed a start until week two last season.    

Mature, smart, and studious prospect who will succeed in the film room as well as on the field. Super hard worker and leader who will do all the big things and little things to succeed, including helping teammates. Has a Pro Bowl type blend of size, strength, long arms, and meanness. Reminds me off Flozell Adams, in that he looks and plays like a Right Tackle, but might have the long arms and feet to develop into a Left Tackle. I think he is as NFL ready as any Tackle in this draft to step in at Right Tackle. He is already a terrific run blocker, and made less mistakes in pass protection last season as the season wore on. Played Right Tackle early in his career and Left Tackle last season.

Gigantic, mean, and strong. Not a natural Left Tackle, but can swing over to help team when needed. Could be All-Pro Right Tackle in a few years. 

Jordan Dizon- LB Colorado, 5-11 7/8, 229, 4.73- Amazingly productive player, who really impressed me during the Senior Bowl practices. Born to hit. However, he is small, slow, and a reach in the Second Round, especially with Brain Brohm still on the board. Still, I don't think it is wise to question Matt Millen when it comes to undervalued Linebackers.

What can you say about a guy who averaged over 13 Tackles per game to led the NCAA. They kept trying to move him to Safety because he couldn't hold his weight, played Senior Season between 210 and 215 pounds. But, he just kept making tackle after tackle. He is a guided missile on the field. He is ultra-aggressive, and loves contact like chocolate cake. Exceptional awareness, and can read what the offense is doing better then any player in this Draft. He garnered an astonishing 160 Tackles, 7 TFL, and 4 Sacks last season. Also garnered 137 Tackles, 7 TFL, and 4 Sacks as a Junior. Big 12 Defensive player of the year. The kind of player you read about and think he can't play in the NFL, but when you watch him you come away impressed. The more you watch him the more you like him. He just doesn't miss a Tackle, ever. Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. 1st Team All-American. A player who keeps getting underestimated, and just keeps making tackles.       

*Kevin Smith- 6-1, 217, 4.5, 23 reps, 29" 9', 4", 7.34 3-C.D.- Everybody is always like the "the film, the film, why does the Combine and workouts matter?" Well, this is a film guy. Similar to Dizon, in that their best numbers are their amazing production in college. Rushed for 2,567 Yards on 450 Carries and had 29 TDs, also caught 24 passes for 242 Yards and 1 TD. Amazing. He is the front runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year, because Detroit is so desperate for a RBs, as I profiled in my March Mock Draft, "First they take away Carries from Tatum Bell for Kevin Jones. Then Bell complains that he is not getting enough carries, so they bench him and he demands a trade (he doesn't play again). Then they fire Martz, a pass happy O-Coordinator. Then they promote the O-Line coach to O-Coordinator (even though it seemed their O-Line was their biggest problem last season?), a conservative Run oriented coach. Then they lose D..J. Duckett, and announce they are planning to run the ball much more next season. Then they release Kevin Jones, leaving them with only disgruntled RB Tatum Bell." Smith is going to get a lot of carries next season, so Lions fan better hope he is as good as his "film" says he is.

A far better player and athlete then given credit. He was amazingly productive. Running for nearly 3,000 yards is simply outstanding.. Plays with heart, toughness and quickness. Looked like a pumped up Sprinter at the Combine. Tight skinned, with big muscular thighs, that looked like they were made for running.    

Andre Fluellen- DT Florida ST, 6-2, 295, 5.1- This was a player I liked. He was plagued by injuries in his career, but when I watched him he always played well. He was my Super Sleeper at DT.

Ultra-quick off the snap. Looks like a natural 3-Technique D-Tackle. He can really motor when he wants to. Has an excellent physical Rip-Move. Extends arms well to keep blockers off his body. Great quickness, and can really blast off the line of scrimmage. Super tough. He played through a lot of injuries including broken bones. Played his whole college career at less then 280, but has added weight and showed up at the Combine at over 290.    

Cliff Avril- DE Purdue, 6-2 3/4, 251, 4.5 (U), 36.5" 13 Reps, 4.31 S.S.- Tough pick to judge. I had him going to the Pats so you know I liked him. However, I saw him more as an OLB, then a D-End. In Detroit's Tampa Two system he will play a Dwight Freeney type D-End. I don't really like him in that role. His greatest asset is athletic abilities. Plays better when he is running around and using his exceptional physical skills. Plus, he is still more promise then production. However, if he can put it all together, he has the smart and athleticism to be as good as Freeney, but he has not done it yet.  

Still more promise then production. Has a great burst off the line and can harass QBs, but doesn't seal the deal. Has long arms that he uses well. However, for one of the most athletic OLB/DE passrushers he has a series lack of production: 2004 5 Sacks 3 TFL, 2005 0 Sacks 2.5 TFL, 2006 84 Tackles 6 Sacks 15 TFL, 2007 41 Tackles 6.5 Sacks 15 TFL.

Amazing athlete with great speed. A Combine wonder. bounced between Outside Linebacker and D-End, showing good smarts and instincts. 

Table from NFL.com: 

Gosder Cherilus OT 6'7" 315 Boston College
Pick Analysis: The Lions take Cherilus, as they look to build up their offensive line on the right side. Cherilus projects to be able to start right away and give Detroit some consistency on the right side, having started 53 consecutive games for Boston College.
Jordon Dizon OLB 6'0" 229 Colorado
Pick Analysis: Dizon averaged over 13 tackles a game at Colorado, but his lack of size and speed has many questioning how effective he will be at the pro level. With names such as Dan Connor and Xavier Adibi still on the board, the Lions likely took Dizon according to a pressing need on the outside.
Kevin Smith RB 6'1" 217 Central Florida
Pick Analysis: Smith was highly productive at Central Florida. He's a big kid who fits the inside zone running scheme that the Lions are implementing this year. His football grade is probably a high second-round pick but he fell somewhat due to off-field issues and a poor game against Mississippi State to end the year.
Andre Fluellen DT 6'2" 296 Florida State
Pick Analysis: Fluellen is a big, athletic defensive lineman who fits the Lions' 4-3 system as a lane-clogging, run-stuffer. He has good quickness and a high motor.
Cliff Avril OLB 6'3" 252 Purdue
Pick Analysis: The Lions traded up to take Avril. There's a good chance he'll play linebacker in Detroit. He had 48 plays behind the line of scrimmage in 45 starts and ran a very impressive 4.5 at the combine. The recent history of Purdue defensive ends (Anthony Spencer and Shaun Phillips) succeeding at the next level bodes well for Avril's chances.
Kenneth Moore WR 5'11" 195 Wake Forest
Pick Analysis: Moore had a huge senior year with 98 catches for 1,011 yards. He is versatile and despite his qualities as a receiver, you can also put him in the backfield as his 500 rushing yards his junior year demonstrate. He also has abilities as a return man.
Jerome Felton FB 6'0" 246 Furman
Pick Analysis: Jerome Felton is a big back who can do more than just block. He had 63 rushing touchdowns at Furman. Felton needs to make better use of his body when fighting off tackles. He's a smart player, who graduated high school in just three years.
Landon Cohen DE 6'3" 278 Ohio
Pick Analysis: Cohen is small for a defensive tackle but dominated his conference. He's not real fast, but has talent as a run-stopper.
Caleb Campbell S 6'2" 229 Army
Pick Analysis: Campbell has size and is a very smart player. He has strong safety skills and can come up in the box and make plays. His coverage skills are under appreciated. A new rule allowing military academy grads to go straight to the NFL and delay their service may have helped him get drafted. He is the poster child for Army football.

18.

Ravens

Grade: A

Best Pick:

Joe Flacco QB

Needed a QB.

 

Worst Pick:

Tom Zbikowski S

Attitude need work.

CB, DT, DE

Key F.A. Signings:

 

Key F.A.  Loses:

Mike Flynn OC 

Mike Anderson RB

Musa Smith RB

The Team: Ozzie Newsome really showed why he is one of the best in the business. Trading down and then up to get his man is always a good sign. Whether you like Flacco or not, you have commend Ozzie for targeting a player and then going and getting him. Plus, you really can't argue with any of their picks.

$ Joe Flacco- QB Delaware, 6-6.5 228- I got this pick. Be it with their Second Round pick, I said they were going to trade up to get this guy. I had him rated as my 21st player, and when you get a QB rated 21 at 18, that is not a reach. However, I think it is ridiculous to think he can start next season. He was a small school QB who played exclusively out of the shotgun, like Alex Smith. So he needs a LOT of technique and footwork coaching. Ravens really needed to reboot Franchise, and it starts here.   

Flacco looks like a cross between Drew Bledsoe and Alex Smith. I don't see how you can watch film of him and not see Bledsoe. His shoulders, his size, his arms, his throwing motion all hold the ghost of Bledsoe.  Has good feet, inside the pocket. Is not a great runner or athlete, but knows how to move around in the pocket. When he can step up, he can really deliver the ball with zip and accuracy. Unlike Bledsoe, he actually does a good job of throwing with touch, and can take a lot off his fastball when dumping the ball off to flat, screen, or short pass.  

Ray Rice- RB Rutgers, 5-8, 199, 4.47, 39.5", 10'1", 4.17 S.S. 6.96 3C.D.- He has everything you want in a RB, except height. He will make a great Tandem-Back with McGahee.

Terrific college RB who will have to prove his size isn't a detriment in the Pros. Ultra quick and ultra-productive. Looked very good at the Combine, and played his best game of the season during Rutgers's Bowl Game. Okay, in three seasons at in college he rushed 910 times for 4,926 Yards and 49 TDs. Plus he caught 37 passes for 334 yards and 1 TD. That is a lot of production. He runs with a low base and is good at hiding behind blockers and then bursting past defenders. Has terrific balance and rare quickness. Must show he can be a full time back, and not just a third Down Back.

Tavares Gooden- LB Miami, 6-1 233, 4.65, 22 Reps- Another great pick up of a player who I liked. Has the speed and athleticism to take over for Ray Lewis if he leaves next season.  

5TH year Senior. Excellent athlete in the Jon Beason/ Vilma mold, but doesn't always look natural moving backwards. Built like a Linebacker. Looks like he could had 10-20 pounds, so he can take on blocks better playing inside in a 3-4, and not lose much. Played all three Linebacker positions at Miami, but played Middle Linebacker his Senior year where he had his best season, getting 100 Tackles, 3 TFL, 1 INT, and 3 PBU. Looks super athletic on the field, but looked a little stiff in the hips at the Combine, something I was not expecting. Hustles and chases the ball all over the field. Looks smooth in coverage, but sometimes looks a little awkward in his backpedal and twisting into a sprint. Uses good form tackling, and can tackle through ball carriers with pride and prejudice. There has been talk last year and three years ago that Belichick liked Beason and Jonathan Vilma, well Gooden compares well to those two players. Doesn't have their football smarts and instincts yet, but he is getting there.   

Track guy playing football. Showed great improvement Senior year, where he finally looked like a football player and not a track guy playing football.. Played all three Linebacker positions in college. Moved inside as a Senior and had his best season with 100 Tackles, 3 TFL, 3 PBU, and 1 INT. Similar stats and style of Jon Beason. Speed LB who can cover and make tackles sideline to sideline. 

Tom Zbikowski- 5-11, 211, 4.5, 32.5", 9'1", 4.04 S.S.- A buyer beware player. You cannot question his toughness or conditioning, but he does have ego issues. However, if he gets his head screwed on straight, he can do a LOT of things to help your team.

A better Athlete then given credit for, but he needs to play off a little as he lacks elite instincts and doesn't seem to understand it. Doesn't take to coaching. Arrogances will hurt him in NFL. Super tough. Special Teams Maven. Can hit like a horse. Plays better the closer he is to the line of scrimmage. Great athlete, with good speed, and works harder then anybody on conditioning, but struggles in coverage. He will have to be a Strong Safety. Dispute size, speed, and conditioning you do not want him playing Center Field, you want him moving forward and hitting people. 

Built like a boxer, because he is one. Made a name for himself Sophomore year, and never played up to the level again. A buyer beware player.

Oniel Cousins- OL Clemson, 6-4.5, 310- This is a guy I really like. He is just short a little experience and technique. Played Right Guard and Right Tackle, but has the feet and long arms to play LT, in two or three years when he has developed. Could be steal of the Draft. Came to Clemson as a Defensive player, and still plays with defensive mentality. 

Tough guy who enjoys knocking defenders on their butt. Can be savage and dominating when he stays low. Has played Right Guard and Right Tackle, and had 8 Starts at Left Tackle in 2006. Has only played O-Line for 2 seasons, so he needs a lot of coaching and technique work. Plays with defensive mentality. Has the body, feet, and athleticism to play Left tackle. Will probably have to start out at Guard as he works on his game and absorbs Pro coaching.  

Developmental guy who has experience at R-Tackle and R-Guard. His value is his combination of strength, meanness, and athleticism.  

Marcus Smith- WR/Gunner/KR New Mexico 6-1.5 220, 4.54, 20 Reps, 29", 9'3"- Another player I like, and an excellent sleeper pick. The best aspect of Smith is that he is guaranteed to make the team, and how often can you say that about a 4th Round pick. The reason is that he is a Special Teams Maven. This gives him a huge advantage, because he will have 3 or 4 years to develop his skills, because he is so valuable and versatile on Special Teams that he does not need to produce as a WR for a a while. He can be the 4th or 5th WR and start on every Special Teams Unit.   

Fifth year senior who Redshirted freshman year, and ran track. The more you watch him the more you like him. Big receiver, who really looks the part. In a funny story, when he went to the Senior Bowl, his pads were lost in transit. So on the first day of practice, he played without his shoulder pads, and most observers never noticed. I was watching the practice and didn't even notice, because his shoulders are so built up and muscular, it almost looked like he was wearing shoulder pads. He has average speed, but great quickness. Really gets in and out of his cuts with great suddenness. Excellent in Yards After Catch, because he is a converted RB. Was one of the best players in college as a Senior where he garnered: 1,125 yards on  91 Receptions, and had 4 TDs; had 34 Yards on 10 rushes and 1 TD; and averaged 23.3 yards on 28 Kick Returns.    

Table from NFL.com:
Joe Flacco QB 6'7" 236 Delaware
Pick Analysis: The Ravens get their quarterback in Flacco, who should compete for a starting spot, with Steve McNair having retired. The Ravens traded down from the 8th spot to the 26th, only to move back up again to nab Flacco with the 18th selection. At 6-foot-6, Flacco's height and arm strength give him the potential to be the best quarterback in this draft down the road.
Ray Rice RB 5'8" 199 Rutgers
Pick Analysis: Rice is an undersized back, but he doesn't play like it with his vision at the line of scrimmage and willingness to take on tacklers. With some underrated speed (he ran a 4.47 at the combine) Rice could be a valuable change of pace back for the Ravens and Willis McGahee
Tavares Gooden OLB 6'1" 233 Miami
Pick Analysis: The Ravens take a guy that may take some time to develop as a linebacker in the NFL, but who will be a strong special teams player right away. Looking back in a few years, Gooden might be the best player taken on the second day. He has great athletic ability and gives the Ravens depth in a linebacker corps that is aging.
Tom Zbikowski FS 5'11" 210 Notre Dame
Pick Analysis: A hard-nosed safety who can hit and play strong in run support. Also a special teams return man who can be a valuable contributor in the kicking game, something new coach John Harbaugh will love in Baltimore. Not extremely quick, but has a good sense of the game.
Oniel Cousins OG 6'4" 308 Texas-El Paso
Pick Analysis: At this point in the third round, Cousins is a good value. He's a converted defensive tackle that has solid skills along the offensive line and is a decent depth player at the pro level.
Marcus Smith WR 6'2" 221 New Mexico
Pick Analysis: The Ravens get a young target for their first-round pick Joe Flacco. Smith is a good route-runner, but there are some questions about his ability to separate from defenders. He caught 153 balls for 2,073 yards at New Mexico.
David Hale OT 6'6" 308 Weber State
Pick Analysis: Hale put himself on the map with a solid performance at the East-West Shrine Game. He has the size to play at the next level, but lacks athleticism. Coming from lesser competition, it could take a few years for him to develop.
Haruki Nakamura FS 5'10" 190 Cincinnati
Pick Analysis: Not only is Nakamura a safety, he's a very good kick returner. He's small but has quickness and speed.
Justin Harper WR 6'4" 198 Virginia Tech
Pick Analysis: Harper has excellent size and speed, but he played only about half the snaps at Virginia Tech. He showed good hands at the combine.
Allen Patrick RB 6'1" 198 Oklahoma
Pick Analysis: Patrick replaced Adrian Peterson at Oklahoma. He's a steady player, capable of picking up yards on a consistent basis. Patrick's not an explosive player, but has polish and experience coming from an elite program.

20.

Buccaneers

*Aqib Talib-  

CB  Kansas 

6-1, 180, 4.4

 

Grade: D+

Best Pick:

Tyvon Branch WR

Needed a QB.

 

Worst Pick:

Sam Baker- 

Needed a LT.

 

LT, DB

F.A. Signings:

Jeff Faine OC 

Brain Grease QB

Warren Dunn RB

Ben Troupe TE

Antonio Bryant WR

Marques Douglas DE 

Eugene Wilson CB/S

MLB Teddy Lehman

OLB Matt McCoy

MLB Leon Joe

Key F.A.  Loses:

Kalvin Pearson S

Dwight Smith S

Brain Kelly CB

Chuck Darby DT 

The Team: They did a good job filling their needs, except for a LT? I also thought they needed another Defensive Back to help with the FA lasses. I'm not a big fan of Talib, but I do think he fits into this defense and can succeed here. They did well on the rest of their picks, except Josh Johnson? Why are you wasting a 5th Round pick on another QB?   

*Aqib Talib- CB  Kansas, 6-1, 180, 4.42- This was a good pick for Tampa. He is not a great prospect for every team, but he fits perfect into this system. He maybe the prototype CB for a Tampa Two defense. Plus, they had to have a CB who could step in and play. I'm not Talib's biggest supporter, because I don't think he covers man-to-man well. Plus, he does not play well when he has to turn his back to the Line of Scrimmage and run.  However, what he really excels at is sitting back in a zone, reading the QBs eyes, and breaking on the ball when it is in front of him. When he is facing the Line of Scrimmage, and can see the play develop in front of him, he is like a shark in the water and the football is blood. When he has to turn away from the action, and can't see it, he can be made to look foolish. 

I am not the biggest fan of Talib. And his value seems to be dissipating like pot smoke wafting out the window. I thought he looked awkward at the Combine and displayed questionable hips. As a top ten pick he is overrated. But, in the twenties or thirties he could be a good fit. He will take some time to develop, as he needs a LOT of work on his technique, footwork, and twisting his hips coming out of his backpedal. On the plus side, he has an excellent size and speed ratio, and he has excellent ball skills. He has the athleticism and instincts too stick to a receivers hips, sometimes. He likes to peek into the backfield, which helps him in zone, but hurts him in man coverage, as he loses sight of the WR and gets beat when he tries to read the QB to much, and by double moves, as we all saw Jordy Nelson do. He is very aware in a zone, and I think needs to be in a zone-based system. The more man he plays the more he gets exposed. Had good production at Kansas that can't ignored. As a true Freshman he started 9 games and had 54 Tackles, 2 INTs, and 8 PBU. In 2006 he had 42 Tackles, 6 INTS, and a nice 22 PBU. Last season, he had 66 Tackles, 18 PBU, 5 INTs, and returned those 5 INTs for an astonishing 195 yards, that's almost 40 yards a return on INTs, which really shows what a great athlete he is. Holds value as a Returner. 

Is actually faster then Mike Jenkins, but not as refined. Looks to me like he could develop into a great Tampa Two Corner. Struggles in transition sometimes, and needs refinement on his footwork. But if he puts it all together he could be best Corner in this years draft. He can really break on the ball, but sometimes his aggressiveness hurts him on the double move. 

Has awkward feet and hips. The more I watch him the less I like him. Not sure he is an elite Prospect. However, the athleticism is there, if can refine footwork, especially when it come to twisting out of the backpedal, he could be special. 

Dexter Jackson- 5-9¼, 179, 4.27, 30.5" 4.15 S.S., 11 Reps- I thought this was a little early, and I actually had Zuttah and Moore rated higher then Jackson. However, he has the kind of speed that scares defenses, and can you really ever reach for a guy with Sub-4.3 speed?   

Has the unique ability to separate from anybody. Uses terrific quickness and speed to gain separation. Struggled with his hands at the Combine, and I think that cost him a Round. His speed had allowed him to sprint his way into the Second Round, but his lack of size and the hands he showed at the Combine dropped him back into the Third Round. 

Pure speed and quickness on the field. Played against a lower level of competition, but played well against good competition. Made Michigan vaunted Secondary look foolish. He has too much quickness to jam, and if you don't bump him he is gone. Like trying to capture a water-bug. 

Jeremy Zuttah- OG, OC, OT Rutgers- 6-3 3/8, 308, 35 Reps, 4.99, 31"- Extremely unique and versatile player. Has to ability to play all 5 O-Line positions. However, his lack of size will cause him to play inside. A lot of teams thought his best position would be Center, though he had never played he position. Tested out as the most athletic O-Linemen in the Draft at the Combine. Has a reputation for being a jerk.

An O-Tackle in college who cannot play Tackle in the Pros. Most GMs now see his a Center, though he has no experience. Others see him as a guy who can transition flawlessly to guard. He didn't let up a Sack last season, and he tested as one of the top athletes at O-Line in the Draft.  

A tweener in the bad way. He is to small to play O-Tackle, and has little experience at O-Guard. 

Dre Moore- DT Maryland, 6-3, 288, 4.98- My most underrated player in the Draft. Though I have to admit I am prejudice, I always seemed to see him at his best. A hold-and-cold player who has the reputation for not giving 100%, 100% of the time. He can look like an All Pro in the making in one game (the one I saw), and can look like a lazy bum in others. A buyer beware player, who defines Boom or Bust. He played extremely well at the Senior Bowl, and looked liked he belonged on the field with Sed Ells and Trevor Law. He was impressive at the Combine. If can play as hard as he did against BC and at the Senior Bowl, Tampa has a steal right here. 

A power DT. Can not only hold the point, but can split the double team with power and prejudice. The more I watch him the more I like him. Was inconsistent in college, so his exceptional post-season has to be judged against his college tape. However, when he is playing low and mean, he looks like a top 5 pick. Has developed from a disappointment to a legitimate starter in 2006, where he had 47 Tackles, 3.5 Sacks, 1 FF, and 7.5 TFL. As a Senior he started every game and had 63 Tackles, 6 Sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT, and 8.5 TFL. He looked to me like the fourth best DT at the Senior Bowl, behind Ellis, Balmer, and Laws. 

Looks like he could be a power NT. Can not only hold the point, but can drive it back. Has the strength and leverage to split the double-team. Has a great initial burst. Can blast-off the line of scrimmage and cruise past O-Linemen making them look foolish. Has a great lower base. Extends arms with great strength to keep blockers off his body. Needs to learn a move or two, still relies too much on power, strength, and leverage. 

Geno Hayes- LB Florida ST- 6-1 226, 4.67, 31.5", 4.33 Short Shuttle.- My Super Sleeper at LB. When I saw him play, he made every big play for Florida State. He made tackles from sideline-to-sideline, in the run defense and the pass defense. However, he looks horribly small, and I question whether he played over 215 pounds as a Senior. He is still a little wild, on and off the field, but has the necessary skills to develop into a nice Tampa Two Will Linebacker.  

Table from NFL.com:

Aqib Talib CB 6'1" 202 Kansas
Pick Analysis: Looking to get younger in their secondary, and finally considering what life may be like without Ronde Barber, the Bucs goes with Talib. At 6-foot-1, Talib is a physical corner who will compete for a starting spot now that Brian Kelly has left for Detroit.
Dexter Jackson WR 5'10" 182 Appalachian State
Pick Analysis: Jackson is an excellent return man with tremendous speed, a 4.33 in the 40. He didn't catch a lot of passes at Appalachian State, but that's because they are not a passing offense. He has the ability to make big plays. He averaged 16.8-yards on 110 receptions.
Jeremy Zuttah OG 6'4" 303 Rutgers
Pick Analysis: Versatility is the key here as the Buccaneers add depth to their offensive line. Zuttah played tackle in college but he is a possibility at both guard and center in the pros.
Dre Moore DT 6'4" 305 Maryland
Pick Analysis: Moore is a guy who is comfortable in either the 3-4, or 4-3. He is strong and fast and is a very appealing value at this point in the draft. He also has a mean streak and can play tough in the trenches. His size and strength make him a force at the tackle position.
Josh Johnson QB 6'3" 198 San Diego
Pick Analysis: The Bucs have a lot of quarterbacks on their roster, but you pull the trigger anytime you have a chance to take one who can develop into a potential starter. He's not a great passer, but has excellent athleticism for a quarterback and is a good scrambler.
Geno Hayes ILB 6'1" 226 Florida State
Pick Analysis: The 6-1, 235 pound linebacker has great speed and quickness and is a reliable tackler. He can play inside or outside in the NFL and is a great hitter. He lacks some coverage skills.
Cory Boyd RB 6'1" 213 South Carolina
Pick Analysis: Boyd is a very good receiver coming out of the backfield. He has solid hands and is also effective on draws. He matured during his senior year and ran pretty well in his workouts. Boyd is shifty and changes directions well.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com