Posts Tagged ‘Blaine Gabbert’

North Carolina WR Dwight Jones-

Jones has a solid blend of height, weight, and speed for a #1 WR in the NFL but his inconsistent hands are a huge disappointment and liability.

Dwight Jones started off this game hot and made an instant impact by coming down with a very nice catch for the first score of the game. On this play Jones demonstrated his natural receiving skills by going up over the defender and out positioning him for the football. This catch showed that Jones has pretty good concentration skills, although he did somewhat mis-time his jump. Jones has proved that he can be a reliable red-zone threat, but I would not consider him to be elite in this area of the field by any means. The big issue I have and many others do as well is Jones inability to catch the ball with his hands. Far too often Jones lets the ball get into his body, resulting in drops and even turnovers at times. In this game for instance his quarterback Bryce Renner fired a pass down the left sideline to squeeze it in between the cornerback underneath and safety closing in from over top. The ball got to Jones in perfect stride, however Dwight was unable to secure the pass and bobbled it some, leading to an interception after the ball was dis-lodged from his body. Here I would have liked to see Jones secure the catch with his hands instead of letting it get to his body, giving the safety that extra split second to dis-lodge the pass. Jones needs to show much more confidence in his hands if he is ever to be relied upon as a #1 wide receiver at the next level. Overall I have come away unimpressed by Dwight Jones this season despite his solid statistics. I just don’t see the type of player who can be considered your go-to-guy when you need a reception or big play. I like his combination of speed and size but he is lacking in one, if not the most important areas of wide receiver play in consistently making the catch with his hands and not his body. Jones should not be considered a potential 1st round pick and is much closer to the 3rd round than the former in my opinion.

North Carolina G Jonathon Cooper-

Jonathon Cooper has very good movement skills for a big man and all the tools necessary to become a starting guard at the next level. He should come back to school his Senior year and continue to refine his game in hopes of becoming one of the top overall prospect at his position for the 2013 NFL Draft.

Jonathon Cooper was a player who caught my eye in the game I watched between North Carolina and Virgina Tech. Only a Junior it would be wise for Cooper to by-pass the NFL this season and come back for his Senior season in my opinion. I say this because if he can continue to play at the level he has been playing this season next year, he should find himself towards the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft as one of the premier interior line prospects available. The 2012 NFL Draft will be top heavy with very talented OG prospects such as David DeCastro, Cordy Glenn, Keleche Osemele, and Kevin Zeitler that would likely push Cooper out of the initial two rounds and maybe even Day 2 altogether. The thing I love about Cooper is his superior movement skills for a man his size at 6-3 310 lbs. He is very agile and light on his feet and his quick release off the line of scrimmage gives him initial leverage and advantage in gaining positioning on his opponent. Due to Cooper’s athleticism he is capable of getting to the 2nd level almost effortlessly, making him a natural pulling guard capable of getting out in front on screens and other plays designed to the outside. At times Cooper can however be a little indecisive and could show more awareness when asked to get out in front and block for the ball carrier. On one designed screen in this game Cooper was hesitant and didn’t keep his eyes up field, allowing a defender to take down the ball carrier. With that said Cooper displays very good awareness in pass protection when working with team-mates and executing combination blocks. Cooper shows the awareness necessary to pick up stunting or twisting defensive tackles or delayed blitzes from linebackers. His athleticism and nimble feet allow him to re-direct and re-set quickly enough to pick up these oncoming defenders who threaten his zone. Another area I think Cooper could stand to work on is learning how to stick his foot in the ground and anchor. At times he was easily pushed back but held his own for the most part. Cooper has areas of his game to work on but the future will be bright for him if he can continue to develop his technique and work on his strength. Should Cooper declare he may fall behind other highly notable players at his position, but he will present one of the better values in the draft due to his upside as he continues to develop.

North Carolina DE Quinton Coples-

Coples may never become a feared pass rusher in the NFL but he has more than enough skills and ability to find a way to impact the game on a weekly basis.

Quinton Coples is a player who was projected by some to be a Top 5 overall type player entering this season. However, after a somewhat disappointing Senior season in which he drew extra attention and protection to his side of the field, Coples struggled to make much of an impact as he saw double and even triple teams on a weekly basis. Coples came on late this season and while he didn’t replicate or exceed the numbers he put up last year, he was still pretty effective given the circumstances he was facing. Many are projecting Coples to be a better fit in a 3-4 system, but he also has some value as a 4-3 DE in my opinion.  Coples does a good job using his hands to disengage from his opponent and force pressure on the quarterback or finding his way to the ball carrier. Coples shows natural strength and his impressive frame allows him to easily control his man at the point of attack before making his way to the ball carrier. Coples doesn’t show elite awareness as a read and react defensive end but he seems to understand containment and gap responsibility/discipline. North Carolina’s defense was gashed in this game but most of that came up the middle where the interior line was consistently moving defenders off the football and opening up huge holes to run through. While Coples isn’t necessarily to blame for this, he also made his share of mistakes that led to extra yardage as Missouri continually handed it to the North Carolina defense which is jam-packed with what some consider future NFL starters. Questions have arisen about Coples motor as it seems to run a little hot and cold at times, but for the most part I was generally pleased with the amount of effort he gave in pursuing to the football. Coples showed a lot of hustle in chasing down ball-carriers and seemed to be one of the only players on the UNC defense who was consistently giving their best effort.  Coples doesn’t possess elite quickness and speed to turn the corner but his combination of length, power, and athleticism make him a menace for opposing tackles responsible for containing him. Many times Coples is just one step away from getting to the quarterback but is just a second or step to late. In this game Coples was at the forefront of a forced turnover in which he disrupted the quarterbacks throwing motion leading to a mis-throw and one interception. I really appreciate how Coples always seems to pin-point the quarterbacks high shoulder and football when coming around the edge. The know with all to understand how to force fumbles and mental alertness to go after the football is an encouraging sign and something I think he will be very good at the next level. Coples may never be a 10 plus sack a season type player but he finds ways to make an impact and is a very solid player overall, who seems to  have a knack for forcing turnovers. While he may not have lived up to the Top 5 billing he was garnished with at the beginning of the season this is still a very solid player who shouldn’t fall out of the Top 15 picks overall in the 2012 NFL Draft.

North Carolina LB Zach Brown-

Zach Brown's inconsistencies in tackling and below average read and react skills make him a risky player to be drafted in the 1st round despite his athleticism.

North Carolina linebacker Zach Brown is one of the most physically gifted and athletic players eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft. He has shown elite burst and closing speed to get after the quarterback and many times he looks more like a secondary player than linebacker when asked to drop back into coverage. However, this was a very poor showing by Brown in this game as he accounted for multiple missed tackles and never truly wrapped up, which was something that had concerned me in his previous game I scouted. Brown was able to lay a big hit early in this game on a pass out in the flats on an unexpecting running back, but even on this play he simply dropped his head and threw his shoulder into the player rather than wrapping up. Brown was also able to make an acrobatic/athletic interception on a pass intended for a wide receiver 20 yards down the field. This speaks to the type of range Brown has as a player as he is able to cover a vast amount of ground. His interception showcased the impressive coverage, concentration, and ball skill ability he has as a player, which should entice many teams. However, this does not tell the whole story with Brown. Early on in the game he was caught out of position on a mis-direction play that subsequently went for six as Brown tried to recover but was too late in his recognition. On another play he was in pretty good position working the left sidelines in a zone coverage before he allowed Missouri Tight End Michael Egnew to sneak and sit down along the sideline behind him and secure the catch. On this play Brown got a little flat-footed and off-balance when the ball was in the air and seemed a little lost in coverage, allowing Egnew to make the play behind him. The biggest thing that concerns me about Brown is his lack of an impact in the run game. His instincts are only average at best and due to his slight size he tends to get caught up in the wash on many occasions. In fact it has been very rare to see Brown make many plays from behind the line of scrimmage as many of his tackles happen down the field. His lack of size has always been concerning but when you pair this with questionable instincts, recognition, and awareness you have a player that may in fact be a tad over-rated. Look, there is no doubting Zach Brown’s potential but the fact is he has many holes in his game and red-flags that do not make him a complete player. I would not feel comfortable drafting a player like Zach Brown in the 1st round and his stock will take a dip due to his performance in this game, where many of his weaknesses were polarized on a national stage.

North Carolina LB Kevin Reddick-

Kevin Reddick offers good size and tackling ability but has failed to make many impact plays and stand out for me much this season.

I’ll be the first to admit I haven’t  given Reddick the type of attention when scouting games that I should. However, I do feel like I have somewhat of a read on him as a player after watching some games he has played in this season. Todd McShay is a huge Reddick supporter and I can see why he would be. Reddick possesses good size for an NFL linebacker at 6-3 240 lbs. Reddick’s overall range and athleticism has been questioned by some but while he may not have elite quickness I do believe he has enough to make an impact and be effective at the next level. Reddick seems to have better overall instincts than team-mate Zach Brown and most definitely is the more reliable tackler of the two. Reddick also offers pretty good coverage skills as he is rarely caught out of position. I will agree that Reddick probably is a bit under-rated in comparison to his team-mate and fellow linebacker Zach Brown, but it should also be known that Brown may be one of the more over-rated players in this entire draft. Reddick failed to fill many holes and blow up plays before they happened in this game and is as much to blame for the struggles the UNC defense had in defending the run in this game as his fellow team-mates, including Zach Brown. Reddick failed to fill holes and make plays for a defense that struggled all night and never really made any impact plays the entire season, judging by his lack of a statistical output in the sack or interception/turnover categories. I still need to do more film work on Reddick but I would have to say the fact that he hasn’t really jumped off the film once to me when scouting other players on the UNC defense this season is a bit concerning for a player that many consider a Top 50 player.

Missouri TE Michael Egnew-

Egnew's combination of size, speed, and athleticism will entice team's looking for a player who can create the type of mis-match current NFL Tight Ends Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski present for NFL defenses everywhere.

Micahael Egnew is a player I have highlighted as being one of the more under-rated players at his position in this draft. Egnew offers great size and pretty impressive athleticism for a player of his stature. As I highlighted last time I spoke about Egnew here; Egnew is a player whose production has dropped off some this season, mostly as a result of losing star quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Egnew has always displayed strong hands and the unique ability to make the tough catch in traffic. His strong hands and physical demeanor after the catch are two of the things that most excite me about a player like Michael Egnew. Missouri likes to use Egnew lined up in the slot and off the line of scrimmage and he is very rarely asked to come down inside and become an in-line blocker. This is the biggest question mark with Egnew as he is definitely far from refined in this particular category and will need to work on his hand usage, strength, and technique to become a player who can make a positive contribution on running plays. However, Egnew is playing in the perfect era for his nearly perfect combination of size and physical skill-set as the Tight End position has changed from a more blocking based position to a position that values the ability to create mismatches and make a bigger impact in the passing game. Egnew looks to have just enough speed to stretch the defense vertically and find holes down the middle of the field (seams). It will be fun to watch what type of impact Egnew will have and how quickly teams pounce on a player that represents this type of value after seeing what players like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Jermichael Finley have done for their respective offenses.

Thanks again for reading my post, I hope you enjoyed and come back for more!

– Brandon

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Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill-

Ryan Tannehill has everything you look for in a potential franchise QB but is overshadowed by the other QB's in his conference. This is a player who should be a 1st round pick on upside alone, as he has all the tools to succeed... he just needs time and coaching.

Every time I get a chance to watch and break down Ryan Tannehill I always seem to come away impressed and feeling that he has a tremendous amount of upside as a pro prospect. It is unbelievable to me that Tannehill is only in his 18th game as a starter at quarterback and has already accomplished and grown so much. Tannehill shows great zip and natural arm talent as a passer who is capable of making all the throws. Tannehill could stand to improve on some of his mechanics, most importantly his 3/4 to sidearm type throwing motion that results in passes batted down at the line of scrimmage due to his low release point. Ryan Tannehill stands a very stout 6-4 225 lbs. as he is a former/converted wide receiver for the Texas A&M Aggies. He won the position half way through last season after taking over for then quarterback Jerrod Johnson and leading his teams to six straight wins and a school record 65% completion rate. Tannehill is obviously still developing and he needs to improve on some aspects of his game, most notably his decision-making as he has had issues with throwing the ball into coverage when faced with pressure. Watching Tannehill play this season it is easy to see the leaps and bounds he has made at his position showing much more poise in the pocket and overall pocket presence. Tannehill throws a very clean and tight spiral and is effective throwing on the run and making plays with his feet outside the pocket once the plays break down. Ryan shows the type of athleticism that made him a very fine wide receiver on occasion when asked to scramble, and I think he would be wise to utilize this aspect of his game more at times. Tannehill is most comfortable making throws towards the sidelines and shows the necessary accuracy, ball placement, and arm strength to drive the ball into tight windows. I still need to see Tannehill display more touch and air on his throws as his long ball comes out a little flat, however I believe he is still developing this part of his game. Despite playing in what is considered a spread offense at Texas A&M Tannehill still makes a lot of NFL caliber throws that rely on timing and anticipation. One thing I have a lot of respect for in Ryan’s game is his ability to get the ball out quickly and on time, hitting his receivers before they even break out of their routes. This shows me that Ryan is both an intelligent and skilled passer who understands route timing and how to hit your receivers in stride. I would like to see Tannehill take some ompf of some of his shorter passes as he sometimes guns the ball to his receiver when he does not need to. Tannehill has special arm talent but could stand to take some speed off his throws that require much less arm strength and more touch. Tannehill shows good overall footwork and pocket presence as he routinely climbs and sits in the pocket before making his throw. Being a former wide receiver also helps out Ryan as he understands routes and timing better than most QB’s at the collegiate level due to his experience at the position, giving him a better understanding on how a wide receiver and quarterback must work together and be on the same page at all times. Ryan will make pre-snap reads and adjustments going through his progressions nicely and shows the natural ability to use his eyes and shoulders to keep defenders honest and open up routes developing on the back side.  There is much to like about Ryan Tannehill and although he has some work to do in areas the sky is really the limit for this kid. With more time to learn the quarterback position and gain starting experience in college I have very little doubt Tannehill wouldn’t have become one of the top overall quarterback prospects in this draft.  Whoever drafts Tannehill will be getting a very talented and gifted young man with all sorts of upside. Tannehill is the type of player who may need to sit some time and learn behind a veteran before taking the reigns and is just the type of player you can feel safe about drafting as your quarterback of the future. Make sure you tune in to watch Tannehill play in his final collegiate game against Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on Saturday, December 31st.

Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray-

RB Cyrus Gray has some wiggle and wrinkles to his game that make him effective at times. However his lack of size, speed, and overall running ability could limit his upside once he reaches the next level.

Cyrus Gray stands 5-10 200 lbs. and is a bit on the smallish side to become an every down NFL player to begin with. There is no doubting his contributions to the Texas A&M team as he is a very reliable and gifted receiver out of the backfield. Gray shows very good hands and naturally plucks the ball away from his frame with ease. Once he reels in the catch Gray does a nice job setting up his defender thanks to his ability to shake n bake/wiggle a little bit and make the first man miss. Gray is able to pull this off because of his very good lateral agility, balance, and cutback ability. Cyrus does not however possess very good burst or top-end speed as he was caught from behind on more than one occasion. It is this inability to out run defenders and break away that makes Cyrus Gray an average type back with very little upside. In fact Gray may not even be the best back on his team as running mate Christine Michael showed much more polish in the run game and was utilized on more occasions than the aforementioned Gray. Cyrus Gray also will at times bounce things outside and believe too much in his speed and lateral cut-back ability to make something happen out of nothing. On one occasion in this game Cyrus kept bouncing outside and trying to get the edge when it was obvious he should have gotten up field and taken what the defense was giving him. Plays like this make me belive Gray will have a tough time making much of an impact and seeing the field in the NFL. I just didn’t see much upside and can’t see him becoming much more than 3rd down type back, thanks largely in part from his skills as a receiver out of the backfield more than his ability as a natural runner.

Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller-

Jeff Fuller has had a very disappointing Senior season and will have a lot to prove to NFL Scouts if he is going to get his name back up into the upper echelon of wide receiver prospects.

Jeff Fuller has struggled mightily in his Senior season to make the same sort of impact he made as a Junior when he hauled in 12 TD passes. Standing 6-4 220 lbs. Fuller has the type of body size and length you look for in a potential #1 target, but he does not seem to be playing with very much aggressiveness or overall strength this season. It is evident when watching Fuller that something has changed this season as he does not seem to be the same type of player who was getting attention as a first round pick just one year ago. Fuller has struggled with injuries this season, but just how much those injuries are limiting him is somewhat of an unknown and will need to be answered leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft and Combine. One thing that has always caught my eye when watching Fuller is his effort as a blocker down field. Fuller executed a perfect crack block in this game, taking the proper angle and breaking down nicely before sealing off his defender from the play. This execution and effort in the run game is encouraging and something all scouts like to see from big men on the outside. Fuller however doesn’t seem to be selling his routes too well, making it easy for defensive backs to read and diagnose his movements before making a play on the ball. He needs to show much more suddenness in and out of his breaks as well as the ability to get his head, hands, and eyes around in a much more efficient manner. In past games I have watched Fuller has been a little slow to do these things successfully, which has resulted in dropped passes and throws that seem to get there before he is ready for them. Fuller did make a few good catches in this game and showed the natural ability to find the hole in the zone and sit down for his quarterback. I like that he always tries to make the catch with his hands but would like to see him focus on catching the ball and getting up field rather than jumping before making the catch on most balls thrown his way. This wasted movement results in an easier target for the defender to make a tackle as well as a wasted opportunity to make some important yards after catch. Fuller may also not have the strongest frame or hands, even though his body would suggest otherwise as he struggles to haul in passes in traffic. I need to see Fuller shield the defender from the ball like I know he is capable of if he is going to move up on my draft board. Right now it is hard to tell just what is effecting Fuller so much this season as his drop-off has been plain to see and his talent is now in question amongst NFL Scouts. Fuller will have to work hard in the draft season to regain back some of the notoriety he was receiving after a very succesful Junior campaign.

Texas A&M LB Sean Porter-

Sean Porter is a player that knows how to get after the QB and is very comparable to fellow draft prospect Zach Brown of the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Sean Porter is a player that has jumped off film this season and really caught the eye of NFL talent evaluators every where. His 8.5 sacks on the season rank 1st on an Aggies defense that knows how to get after the quarterback, ranking 2nd nationally in team sacks for the season with 43 (behind only Cincinnati). Sean Porter is an excellent edge blitzer who uses his sheer speed, burst, acceleration, and quickness to get around the corner and chase down the ball-carrier. Porter’s closing speed is very good as he shows the willingness to pursue plays from behind and make plays all over the field. Porter also displays a very nice spin/twist move that allows him to pressure the quarterback from all angles. He is extremely disciplined and has a natural feel for which angles to take to get after the player with the ball. Porter could use some work tackling as he tends to dive and take out players at their knees rather than wrap up, but overall he has been effective in taking down the ball carrier this season. I came away very impressed with the level of discipline Porter showed in maintaining his gap integrity while always keeping outside contain and forcing the play back up into the traffic. This was extremely evident on a big 4th down stop where Porter and team-mate Jonathon Williams worked together to close the gap and utilize a high-low take down to keep the ball carrier from reaching the first down. In the run game Porter shows good fight and slipperiness in not allowing opponents to get a hold of him and take him out of the play. He works hard to find his way around blocks and does a good job using his hands to disengage and fight his way into the play. The Aggies like to use Porter lined up over the slot receiver and drop him down to blitz whenever they feel like he has a chance to make a play. Overall Porter appears to be a pretty fluid athlete in space who can change directions and cover players in their routes. The fact that the A&M coaches trust him with this responsibility says a lot, although I would like to see more film before I can make a true assessment of his skill in this area. Porter comes off as very smart, aware, and instinctual defender on film and it is somewhat surprising to not see him mentioned with or compared to similar player, linebacker, and athlete Zach Brown of North Carolina who some see as a first round pick. To me both of these players possess similar skill-sets and have practically the same body size, it will just depend on whether Porter decides to forgo his Senior season and make himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft.

Missouri TE Michael Egnew-

Michael Egnew is an intriguing prospect that has many tools working in his favor. He will need to get bigger and stronger to become a better overall player, but his receiving skills and ability to stretch the field and make the tough catch in traffic is unique.

Michael Egnew has had a huge drop off in production much like Jeff Fuller from this year to last. This could largely be attributed to his loss of Blaine Gabbert or a change in offensive philosophy, but there is no doubting Egnew is a special kind of player. At 6-6 245 lbs. Egnew undoubtedly possesses a very good frame with the ability to add some extra weight without sacrificing much speed to make him a better in line blocker and better overall prospect at the next level. In fact the area of Egnew’s game that is holding him back the most is his blocking ability. The Tigers like to use Egnew off the line, lined up in the slot or out wide where his true skill set can be best utilized. Egnew is a terrific hands catcher who shows the natural ability to make tough catches in traffic and come down with the football consistently with players all around or even drapped all over him. It is his physicality and demeanor after the catch which excites me as well as he immediately gets up field and isn’t scared to lower his shoulder for a few extra yards. Egnew also has above average speed to vertically stretch the field and find the seam routes that make him a large target for his quarterback downfield. His 90 catches last season were a career high, but his numbers have dipped to what initially may seem like a pedestrian 47 catches so far this season. However, his yards per catch average is nearly 2 yards more this season showcasing his ability to stretch the field some and make plays in the vertical passing game. As I said earlier Egnew seems to struggle when blocking. His inability to control and stay in front of his man is concerning and he seems to be somewhat lost when converting from receiver to blocker or just trying to find a player to block down field. Egnew got away with a block in the back in this game as he was unable to control his man at the point of attack and thus made a drastic effort to recover, which could have resulted in a costly penalty if it had been called. Egnew will need to become stronger and add some weight, while working on his blocking technique if he is ever going to become a complete tight end. Michael Egnew has tons of upside as a player but is not quite there yet since he was never asked to line up on the line of scrimmage and block for the Tigers that much in his career. Egnew will need a team that can be patient with him and develop him into the type of player he is capable of becoming. His receiving skills are very good and he should be able to make an impact in the passing game almost immediately for whichever team chooses to draft him.

Other players that caught my eye in this game include. Texas A&M LB Davontre Moore, who I see as becoming a good defensive end prospect once he reaches eligibility and gains more starting experience. LB Jonathon Stewart who was all over the field making plays, showing good instincts and awareness. And K Randy Bullock who went on to win the award for best college kicker, showing good leg strength, poise, and accuracy to make a big kick in a pressure filled situation. Missouri players who caught my eye include LB Andrew Wilson, DE Jacquies Smith, and a pair of Sophomore CB’s in Randy Ponder and E.J. Gaines he seemingly made plays in the secondary all day.

Thanks again for reading my post, hope you enjoy!

-Brandon

Initial 2012 NFL Mock Draft

Posted: December 8, 2011 in 2012 NFL Mock Draft
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*Team Rankings are as of Week 14 NFL Standings*

1- Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck is the best quarterback to come out since Peyton Manning. The Colts would be foolish not to draft Luck and move from one franchise quarterback to the next without having to deal with the ups and downs many franchises endure. Just look what it did for the Green Bay Packers who moved on from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers and went on to win the Superbowl last year. Point is you don’t pass up on a player like Luck who comes around once in a decade, unless you receive a ransom of picks in exchange.

2- Minnesota Vikings: OT Matt Kalil

The Vikings desperately need to invest in a tackle to protect their future franchise quarterback Christian Ponder who already has somewhat of  a slight build. This is especially apparent when you play in the same division as players like Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews who can wreak havoc on your quarterback and send him to the IR at a moments notice.

3- St. Louis Rams: WR Justin Blackmon

Bringing in Brandon Lloyd was a great move by the Rams organization and they would be wise to make it a priority to resign him this off-season. With that said, Lloyd makes a much better #2 WR and the Rams and especially Bradford could use a big play threat with the ability to become a star. Enter Justin Blackmon who would be the best wide receiver to suit up in Rams uniform since the days of Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce.

4- Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Morris Clairborne

Jacksonville could really use some offensive firepower to help out their young quarterback Blaine Gabbert. However, with no solid wide receiver options available this high in the draft, a cornerback like Morris Clairborne would be a wise investment and a wise move in taking the best player available.

5- Washington Redskins: QB Matt Barkley

The Redskins need to find a franchise quarterback after doing essentially nothing in last year’s draft to fix the broken position. Both John Beck and Rex Grossman have proved to be good fill-in starters from time to time, but nothing special. Barkley would give them a player to build around and possibly take them to the next level as an offense and as a team.

6- Philadelphia Eagles: LB Luke Kuechley

The Philadelphia Eagles may have some elite names on their defense, but so far those elite names have done little defensively to make an impact on the struggling Eagles team. Linebacker is a position that has plagued this franchise the entire season and is in definite need of an upgrade. Kuechley would come in and immediately start and contribute for a team struggling to find its defensive identity.

7- Carolina Panthers: WR Michael Floyd

The Panthers would be wise to invest in another receiving threat for their top rookie gun Cam Newton. Michael Floyd has had some off the field concerns, however he seems to have moved past them and grown into a much more mature human being. There is no doubting Floyd’s ability, although some have questioned his route running ability and lack of true speed. Another receiver to pair with the electric Steve Smith would give them both a speedy exciting playmaker receiver and true red-zone threat in Michael Floyd.

8- Miami Dolphins: QB Robert Griffin III

Chad Henne just hasn’t turned into the quarterback prospect the Dolphins were hoping they were getting when they drafted him. Now would be a good time to invest in another quarterback in Miami and hope for the better as Robert Griffin possesses a unique skill-set that could make him a true game-breaker at the next level. Griffin has some work to do and should not start immediately, however his talent and upside as a passer is undeniable.

9- Cleveland Browns: RB Trent Richardson

The Browns would be getting great value in nabbing Trent Richardson at this point in the draft. Although running back importance has declined some in the NFL there is something to be said for a player of Richardson’s ability to become an every down back in the NFL. The Browns played exceptionally well when they had a true running back last year in Peyton Hillis and have struggled since he has been banged up. Montario Hardesty also cannot stay healthy and has looked lack luster when given his opportunities up this point. The Browns need to surround their young QB Colt McCoy with solid options, and one of the best ways to help him is by giving him a legitimate running game, which they would be getting with Richardson.

10- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Dre Kirkpatrick

Let’s face it, CB Ronde Barber isn’t getting any younger and their other starting CB Aquib Talib may not be on the team much longer due to some off field incidents/arrests. The Bucaneers have done a solid job addressing their defensive line, however they must now look for a potential replacement for their aging and longtime CB Ronde Barber. Dre Kirkpatrick has plenty of skill, talent, and size to match up with some very good receiver’s who call the NFC South home.

11- Arizona Cardinals: OT Jonathon Martin

Current RT Brandon Keith has had his fair share of struggles this season and has proved to be nothing, if even an average NFL tackle. Jonathon Martin possesses very good skills as both a pass protector and run blocker as he excels at getting to the 2nd level and opening up holes in the running game. I belive Martin is much better suited for the right side in the NFL and would do an exceptional job as a rookie as he continues to get better.

12- Seattle Seahawks: DE Quinton Coples

The Seahawks would love to grab their QB of the future with their pick here, however not many options other than Landry Jones are available to them. Quinton Coples would give them a solid defensive end with the ability to get after the QB and make plays in the backfield. Coples has great upside and could become yet another good defensive lineman to come out of North Carolina and contribute to an NFL team.

13- Buffalo Bills: OG David DeCastro

The Buffalo Bills already have one of the leagues most potent rushing attacks and adding a player like David DeCastro would only do more wonders for them as a running team. DeCastro excels in the run game and is one of the best guard prospects to come out in quite some time. Not only does DeCastro fill a need for the Bills, but he also presents a very good skill-set to open up even more holes for the both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

14- San Diego Chargers: DE/LB Courtney Upshaw

The Chargers seem to have struck out with former first round pick and pass rushing specialist Larry English. Upshaw can fill this void and fits in very good with the what the Chargers look to get out of their linebackers. Courtney Upshaw is an exceptional talent who flashes the ability to use both his speed and strength effectively to set the edge.

15- Kansas City Chiefs: OT Riley Reiff

Kansas City is another team who could look to fix their QB problem as current starter Matt Cassell does not seem to be the franchise QB everyone was beginning to think he could be. However, Riley Reiff presents very good value for the Chiefs in this position and fills a definite need. The Chiefs have done a nice job assembling their line and replacing Barry Richardson with a player like Riley Reiff would be another move in the right direction for this franchise.

16- New York Giants: LB Vontaze Burfict

Injuries and inexperience at the linebacker position have costed the Giants against both the run and pass this season. Adding a player like Vontaze Burfict who is a notoriously hard hitter and relentless defender could be the spark this team needs to put their defense over the edge. The Giants also have a very veteran heavy locker room that could groom and nurture Burfict to play both with passion, but also within himself and rules of the game. To me the New York Giants would be an excellent spot to land for a player like Burfict whose mental-makeup has been highly questioned by scouts and the like.

17- Dallas Cowboys: S Mark Barron

The Cowboys could really use an upgrade in their secondary, especially at the position of safety where Mark Barron could become an integral member of this unit. Barron is a heavy-hitter who can come up in the box and help out against the run as well as lay the big hit from time to time. Barron is still developing in coverage but seems to have all the necessary tools to become a good starter at the next level, replacing Gerald Sensabaugh.

18- Tennessee Titans: DT Brandon Thompson

The Tennessee Titans found some great role players with the potential to become starters down the road in DT’s Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug. However, another player like Thompson to add to the rotation would do wonders for this team as they would be able to keep players fresh and rotating in and out consistently throughout the game. Brandon Thompson gets up field quickly and can penetrate the opponent’s backfield in a hurry, making him a desirable commodity in today’s NFL and for a team still looking to replace the hole left by Albert Haynesworth. They may also consider adding a weapon at receiver or a cornerback to replace soon to be free agents Cortland Finnegan and Michael Griffin.

19- Cleveland Browns: WR Kendall Wright

The Browns continue to look for playmakers to help out QB Colt McCoy. After grabbing Trent Richardson with their first pick they now turn their attention to a wide receiver with the ability to stretch the field and get vertical. Wright possesses great straight line speed and his quickness makes him a nightmare to defend one on one.

20- New York Jets: DE/LB Melvin Ingram

Rex Ryan loves athletic players, especially ones he can mold and play around with in to get the most out of their ability much like he has done with recently acquired and former first round pick Aaron Maybin formerly off the Buffalo Bills. Ingram is still developing but his athleticism makes him one of the most intriguing players in this draft due to his upside. Ingram should test well at the combine and catch the attention of a defensive guru like Rex Ryan who can get the most out of his potential.

21- Cincinatti Bengals: CB Alfonzo Dennard

The “Fonz” is an extremely good cornerback with the type of skills to become a very good starter at the next level. Although Dennard doesn’t necessarily stand out in one particular area his overall skills and feel for the game are highly attractive. The fact that the Bengals may lose CB Leon Hall this upcoming free agency also makes the cornerback position a serious area of need for this team.

22- Chicago Bears: C Peter Konz

Last draft the Chicago Bears wisely invested their first pick on an offensive tackle from Wisconsin named Gabe Carimi. Carimi was off to a very good start before an injury to his right knee landed him on the IR as many prominent Bears have suffered injuries this season. Carimi has a very positive future with this team and it would be of no surprise for them to add another player like Konz whose ability as a center is rare and second to none in this draft. Konz and Carimi were team-mates at Wisconsin and would prove to be very good additions to a line in charge of protecting QB Jay Cutler and opening up holes for stud RB Matt Forte. Not to mention the ability for Konz to fill the void left by former stand out Center Olin Kreutz.

23- Cincinatti Bengals: RB Lamar Miller

Lamar Miller is one of the few RB’s in this draft who has the ability to become a first round pick. Although not elite Miller displays very good vision, speed, and footwork to become an effect back at the next level. Teaming with the aging Cedric Benson would give the Bengals a good 1-2 punch from the RB position and take some pressure off QB Andy Dalton.

24- Denver Broncos: RB David Wilson

The Broncos choose to jump at the opportunity to add another dimension to their running game with the addition of David Wilson. Seeing that the Broncos seem to be committing to the “All I do is Win” approach set forth by Tim Tebow by adding in what looks to be a spread option type offense makes Wilson a reasonable play in this situation. His speed and ability to get out on edge of the defense would add another element to what is already an extremly rare and exciting offense to watch.

25- Detroit Lions: OG/OT Cordy Glenn

The Lions have ignored their offensive line for far too long and are need of a serious upgrade at many spots if they are going to take the next step. Glenn offers great size and inside run blocking ability, as well as the potential to fill in at RT if need be. His versatility and ability to create holes in the run game make him a sound choice to become the Lions first round pick this year.

26- Houston Texans: DT Dontari Poe

The Houston Texans have already proven to be one of the better overall defenses in the entire NFL. Poe is a small school player from Memphis with a tremendous amount of upside, but also comes with some risk due to his level of competition. If Poe can become an effective NT in the Texans scheme this defense will add yet another playmaker in what is already a very sound defense.

27- New England Patriots: WR Alshon Jeffrey

One thing you have to respect about Bill Bellichick is his propensity to take calculated risks on a yearly basis. Sometimes it works out and sometimes it does not, but he and owner Robert Kraft always seem to put their team in a situation to succeed. Alshon Jeffrey is the type of player who has all the ability in the world to become a special WR and playing in an offense with future hall of famer Tom Brady slinging you the ball could become one of the more exciting QB-WR combinations to watch in the NFL. Not to mention that New England could really use a big red zone threat at WR, although they already have a reasonable threat in TE Rob Gronkowski who is an absolute beast.

28- New England Patriots: DE/DT Jared Crick

Jared Crick is a highly active player who always hustles to the football and gets by more on his sheer will power and strength than his actual skill. Crick would make for a perfect fit in the Patriots defense and give them a player to groom after losing All-Pro player Richard Seymour a couple seasons ago.

29- Baltimore Ravens LB/DE Ronnell Lewis

Ronnell Lewis possesses more than just the same initials to fill the vacancy that will soon be left by future hall of famer Ray Lewis. Drafting Lewis now would give Ray the ability to groom and mold Ronnell into the type of player that can become a leader, role model, and team spokesman for the Ravens both on and off the football field. Ronnell flashes impressive closing speed and overall instincts and surely has the ability to become one of the better prospects to come out of this draft.

30- Pittsburgh Steelers OT Mike Adams

Protecting the QB and not giving up sacks has proven to be very difficult for the Steelers since they brought in Ben Roethlesberger to play the position. Roethlesberger has been sacked 34 times already this season and is well on pace to be the most sacked QB in NFL history. The Steelers would be wise to invest in some offensive lineman who can give Ben some time back there, even though he has a tendency to escape the pocket prematurely and account for sacks that lie mostly on his shoulders. Adams is one of the better right tackles prospects in this draft and is a player who works hard to sustain his blocks, making him a good fit along the Steelers offensive line.

31- San Francisco 49er’s- CB Chase Minnifield

The 49er’s defense is already among the leagues most elite, however adding a CB opposite Carlos Rogers would make this team even more stout against both the run and pass. Surely the offense could use some more playmakers, but Minnifield presents what could be very good value in a player that has been under-rated and overshadowed by some of the bigger names in this draft at the CB position.

32- Green Bay Packers- DE/OLB Andre Branch

The Green Bay Packers are set on offense and their defense isn’t far behind, allowing them to take some risks with a pick this low in the first round. Branch is a player that has come on as of late and is starting to climb his way up NFL Draft Boards. His ability to play upright or with his hand in the dirt makes him a valuable pass rusher and somebody the Packers can mold into being an effective player in Don Capers aggressive 3-4 scheme.