Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Bears’

Post All-Star/Pre-Combine Mock Draft:

Posted: February 7, 2012 in 2012 NFL Mock Draft
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The official draft order is nearly all but set, and with just over two weeks until the start of the 2012 NFL Combine I have come out with my 2nd mock draft of the season. These projections are based on specific team needs and the value each player presents to the prospective team I have matched them up with. I would love to hear any input or feedback you have about your favorite teams pick as I am constantly searching for ideas on who should go where. Hope you enjoy the content!

1- Indianapolis Colts: QB Andrew Luck

The more we hear about Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts decision to pick up his contract or not, the more I feel like they will choose to let him walk and take the best quarterback prospect to come out since Peyton in Stanford’s Andrew Luck.

2- St. Louis Rams: OT Matt Kalil

The Rams could choose to trade down here but I think it would be wise of them to invest in a franchise left tackle like Kalil. Sam Bradford was abused last season and although they need to add pass catchers, protecting their investment is much more important…not to mention this is a deep draft class for wide receivers and franchise left tackles are much harder to find than #1 wide receivers. Bradford has been sacked over 2.5 times per game in his 26 career starts with the Rams.

*3- Washington Redskins: QB Robert Griffin III

*Projected Trade w/Vikings

Normally I don’t like to include trades within my mock drafts but the Vikings lost out on Kalil and could stand to add draft picks, while teams like the Redskins will be looking to trade up to get in front of the Browns for the opportunity to select dynamic play-maker Robert Griffin III. The Redskins have seen what a player like Michael Vick can bring to the table in the NFC East and will jump at the opportunity to add one of the most exciting players in this draft.

4- Cleveland Browns: RB Trent Richardson

The Browns lose out on RG3 but find a dynamic player themselves in Richardson, who can get the running game going and help out Colt McCoy and the struggling offense. Peyton Hillis has fallen out of favor in Cleveland and Montario Hardesty has shown and done little with the opportunities he has been given to this point. The Browns aren’t quite ready to give up on Colt McCoy before they provide him with some play makers on offense, and adding Richardson’s services will surely help open up the passing game.

5- Tampa Bay Bucanneers: CB Morris Clairborne

In a division against teams like the Saints, Falcons, and Panthers who all have dynamic offenses and key players at the skill positions, the Buccaneers would prove wise to invest in secondary players who can limit these dynamic offenses. Clairborne is a potential shut-down corner who has great length and ball skills. Clairborne can come in and immediately start for a secondary that is becoming somewhat devoid of talent.

*6- Minnesota Vikings: OT Riley Reiff

*Projected trade w/Redskins

The Vikings missed out on Kalil but are able to move back and secure some picks for their future, while nabbing the 2nd best offensive tackle prospect in this draft. Reiff is a mid-western guy who excelled at wrestling at his high school in South Dakota. Reiff can immediately come in and start at right tackle for the Vikings, with the potential to move to the left side as he gains more experience. Justin Blackmon is an enticing option for the Vikings but protecting Christian Ponder is far more important to his development, as they will be able to secure a good wide receiver with later picks and potentially move back up into the first with the picks they would receive from the Redskins if they so choose.

7- Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Quinton Coples

Another tough decision for the Jaguars as Justin Blackmon is still available. However, the Jags choose to go in a different direction as Coples presents the most value. I think Blackmon will fall some after a disappointing showing in the 40 yard dash at the Combine so Coples is the choice here.

*8- Carolina Panthers: DT/DE Michael Brockers

*Picks 8 & 9 determined by coin flip

The offense got a big boost with the addition of Cam Newton and resurgence of Steve Smith at the wide receiver position so management chooses to address the defense this season. Brockers is a tall and big defensive lineman who can play in multiple schemes. He is a bit raw as a pass rusher and needs to develop more consistency, but Brocker’s upside is undeniable. Brockers has Richard Seymour type upside and with experience and coaching could become one of the better run stoppers in the league for a team who struggled to stop the run all season.

*9- Miami Dolphins: DE/OLB Melvin Ingram

*Picks 8 & 9 determined by coin flip

The Dolphins lack a quality pass rusher outside of Cameron Wake so they decide to choose one of the most dynamic and versatile defensive players in this entire draft. Ingram has explosive burst and is an incredible athlete for his size, who has the added capability to line up all over the defensive line and attack the oppositions quarterback from multiple angles. Ingram is an intriguing pawn piece for any defensive coordinator, especially those who are creative.

10- Buffalo Bills: OLB Courtney Upshaw

Perhaps the premier outside linebacker in this draft, Upshaw plays the run and pass very well and shows great understatement of leverage and how to disengage. He is incredibly effective a turning speed into power and although the Bills could use some help on the offensive side of the ball, Upshaw is just too good to pass up at this point.

*11- Kansas City Chiefs: OG David DeCastro

*Picks 11 & 12 determined by coin flip

Just falling out of the top 10, DeCastro is one of the best interior lineman to come out in quite some time. The running game is very important to the Chiefs offensive philosophy and although a Tackle like DeCastro’s team-mate Jonathon Martin could make some sense here; DeCastro is the better player of the two and presents the most value.

*12- Seattle Seahawks: QB Ryan Tannehill

*Picks 11 & 12 determined by coin flip

Pete Carrol has been tap dancing around selecting a franchise quarterback and it’s time he finally pulls the trigger and finds his franchise signal caller. Tannehill has a lot of tools to work with and a ton of upside as a passer, however he does need time and would be best served to sit an learn for a season before taking the reigns. Tannehill only has 19 career starts after playing Wide Receiver for the Aggies his first two seasons at Texas A&M.

13- Arizona Cardinals: OT Jonathon Martin

Although I am not sold on Martin becoming a left tackle in the NFL there is no doubting his run blocking abilities and should be an instant fit/upgrade over incumbent starter Levi Brown.

14- Dallas Cowboys: CB Janoris Jenkins

An almost forgotten man, Jenkins shined during Senior Bowl week and is heading in the right direction. The Cowboys need to address the secondary and upgrade the talent on the back-end. Jenkins has fluid hips and displays sound footwork and balance. If Jenkins can clear his name and get people to forgive and forget his past that lead him to being dismissed from the Florida football team he could wind up in the top 20 selections.

15- Philadelphia Eagles: LB Luke Kuechly

One of the biggest weaknesses of the Eagles defense this season was the play of the linebackers as they were consistently washed out and became liabilities against the run. It’s clear that Casey Matthews isn’t the answer at liddle Linebacker and adding a player with Kuechly’s instincts and recognition skills would be a step in the right direction for a team that struggled to find their defensive identity all season.

16- New York Jets: WR Justin Blackmon

Blackmon’s free fall finally stops with the Jets as he presents great value at this point for a team in need of some pass catchers. Plaxico Burress is unlikely to resign and Holmes criticism of quarterback Mark Sanchez has put him in the doghouse as  locker room disruption. Blackmon is not overly fast or athletic and will disappoint in the 40 yard dash at the Combine at Indy. Nevertheless, Blackmon can become a reliable red-zone target for a team that struggled in the red-zone last season.

17- Cincinnati Bengals (From Raiders): CB Dre Kirkpatrick

A recent drug related arrest in which charges were dropped still has Kirkpatrick’s maturity and character in question. However, teams like the Bengals have generally looked past these off the field issues. Kirkpatrick is long, athletic, and physical and fills a big need for the Bengals after losing Jonathon Joseph to free agency last season and Leon Hall this season to an achilles injury.

18- San Diego Chargers: DE/OLB Whitney Mercilus

The Chargers are in desperate need of a pass rush and former first round pick Larry English has not worked out and has disappointed to this point in his career. Mercilus put up huge numbers this season after accumulating 16 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, and 22.5 tackles for a loss. Mercilus will likely be asked to switch positions and play 3-4 outside linebacker so it will be imperative that he can make the switch, so be sure to pay close attention to this during the upcoming Combine.

19- Chicago Bears: WR Michael Floyd

The Bears have put off drafting a top talent wide receiver prospect for Jay Cutler for far too long, so now is the time to add a big playmaker. Floyd has great size and can become the big play threat the Bears have been lacking on offense at the position for quite some time. Martz is out and Mike Tice has taken over the reigns and will surely pounce at the opportunity to add a player of Floyd’s caliber.

20- Tennessee Titans: DT Devon Still

The Titans have long been looking for Albert Hayneworth’s replacement, even after rookies Karl Klug and Jurrell Casey have demonstrated some success and ability in their first seasons. Still is a massive man with loads of upside due to his impressive size and strength. Still has powerfully violent hands, can stack and shed, and knows how to knife into the opponent’s backfield. He needs to develop more consistency but has too much upside to pass up.

21- Cincinnati Bengals: RB Doug Martin

Doug Martin enjoyed a very successful trip to the Senior Bowl and has opened up some eyes in the scouting community. Martin is built low to the ground and exhibits a powerful enough lower body to fight through contact and break arm tackles. He is also an effective receiver out of the backfield who would add another wrinkle/dimension to the Bengals suddenly potent offense with the likes of Dalton and Green.

22- Cleveland Browns (From Falcons): WR Kendall Wright

The Browns continue to add playmakers around Colt McCoy with the addition of Wright. Wright has incredible speed and athleticism and is capable of stretching the defense vertically to hit the home run. His ability to make plays all over the field is incredibly enticing and he should shine during his Combine performances. The run on wide receivers is beginning so it wouldn’t be shocking to see a rush on them at this point in the draft, with teams looking to move up to secure their rights.

23- Detroit Lions: OG/OT Cordy Glenn

The Lions have avoided adding offensive lineman and now is the time to invest with a great young player at quarterback and expiring and aging players at key positions on the offensive front (Backus, Raiola). Glenn is a mammoth human being with an incredible wingspan and natural feet and balance. He proved well at the Senior Bowl and looks to be able to play multiple positions along the offensive line which will only add to his value.

24- Pittsburgh Steelers: OT Mike Adams

Mike Adams was probably the biggest beneficiary of the Senior Bowl and is now beginning his ascension up NFL Draft Boards. The Steelers have a great need along the offensive front to help protect their ailing quarterback Ben Roethlesberger and Mike Adams can come in and contribute his rookie season.

25- Denver Broncos: DT Fletcher Cox

The Broncos struck gold with pass rush specialist Von Miller last season but now must get bigger up front and provide more of an inside pass rush. Cox can do this thanks to his superior motor and hustle on every play. He’s a versatile defensive lineman who can line up along a couple positions on the defensive line and would greatly help out a team in need of an inside presence. The Broncos could also consider Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy.

26- Houston Texans: S Mark Barron

The Texans defense flourished under first year defensive coordinator Wade Phillips but can stand to get better yet. Adding a player like Barron would give the secondary another playmaker capable of helping out against both the run and pass. Barron has recently been linked to a double sports hernia that could keep him out into July/August, which could greatly affect his draft stock moving forward.

27- New England Patriots (From New Orleans): WR Alshon Jeffrey

The New England Patriots were exposed in the Super Bowl for a couple different reasons, but a lack of a big time playmaker in the receiving game certainly did not help. Jeffrey is a big bodied receiver who excelled during his Sophomore season at South Carolina but failed to make the same impact this season. Adding a player with Jeffrey’s skill set would add another dimension to this highly explosive offense and give them another reliable red-zone option outside of Rob Gronkowski. Bill Bellicheck loves boom or bust type players and the risk here is relatively low while the rewards could be infinite.

28- Green Bay Packers: OLB/DE Nick Perry

The Packers have nearly everything they need outside of a big time Running Back on offense, but could use another pass rusher to take some of the pressure and attention off of Clay Matthews. Perry played 4-3 defensive end at USC but looks to have the agility and athleticism to make the move to 3-4 Outside Linebacker in the NFL. Perry is extremely quick off the snap and shows natural burst as a pass rusher off the edge. Perry needs work playing against the run but he is more than capable of giving the Packers another pass rush specialist outside of the “Claymaker”.

29- Baltimore Ravens: LB Vontaze Burfict

Everyone is aware of Burfict’s on field antics that have gotten him in trouble and lead to his attitude and character becoming in question. Burfict needs structure and support by a veteran based group of players that can lead him down the right road so to speak. A player of Ray Lewis’s caliber can do this for the young and somewhat immature Burfict, as there is little doubting his physical abilities to become a special player…he just needs leadership and guidance which the Ravens organization can definitely offer.

30- San Francisco 49er’s: WR Mohamed Sanu

One of the biggest surprises this season was the performance of the 49er’s under first year head coach Jim Harbaugh, who came up one win shy of playing in the Super Bowl. Adding a player like Sanu to help out the 49er’s inept passing game is a must this off-season, whether it be through the draft or free agency. Sanu brings a physical precense to the position and is a very reliable target with sure hands. His toughness and downfield blocking ability is something Harbabugh will appreciate as it fits the mold the 49er’s are trying to establish.

31- New England Patriots: DE/DT Jared Crick

The Patriots have struggled to find a replacement on the defensive line who can make the sort of impact Richard Seymour had during his time in New England. Crick would have went higher but a season ending injury has set him back some, making him available for the Patriots here. Crick is a big bodied player who has the versatility to play inside or out and fit multiple schemes. Crick appears to be the type of player Bellichick tends to fall in love with as he has loads of upside if he can overcome his past injury issues.

32- New York Giants: TE Dwayne Allen

The defending Super Bowl champions have other needs such as ILB, CB, and OT but Tight End becomes an even greater need after critical knee injuries to both Jake Ballard and Tony Beckum in the Super Bowl. Allen is considered the most complete Tight End because of his ability to line up on as an in-line blocker, while also showing the versatility and athleticism to stretch the seam and become a reliable down field target. The Giants could also consider LB Dont’a Hightower with their first pick.

-Hope you enjoyed this post-



Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill-

Tannehill's draft stock is soaring and will continue to climb once NFL evaluators see the type of potential and upside he has as a starting QB.

Tannehill is a player I have been touting and been high on for a while now. He just seems to be progressing and getting better with each passing game and he has a good amount of upside. In this game Tannehill seemed to be very much in control and the game seems to be slowing down for him some. For the most part Tannehill has improved his decision-making although he at times will trust/believe in his arm almost to a fault, thinking he can make any throw. This shows that me that while Tannehill is improving he also doesn’t quite understand his limitations as a passer just quite yet, but this should come with more time and experience under center. I really like the velocity, anticipation, timing, and accuracy Tannehill possesses as he is capable of making throws from both inside and outside the pocket. He shows nice ability and looks comfortable in rolling out to his left or right and throwing a deliverable ball down the field, especially towards the sidelines. In the pocket Tannehill is beginning to look more and more comfortable in the pocket, especially using his footwork and shoulder dip moves to evade the rush and create more throwing room. One question I have had with Tannehill this season is his ability to deliver a nice deep ball with proper arc and touch. Before this game his deep ball lacked touch and seemed to come out a little flat. In this game Tannehill showed natural touch and was mostly accurate in delivering the long ball where his receiver had an opportunity to make a play. Another thing I am beginning to see from Tannehill is the ability to make pre-snap reads and adjustments. This shows me that his understanding of the game and coverages are beginning to show as well as the fact that he is putting in the extra time to get a leg up on his competition. As I have said before Tannehill is a prime candidate to have sit for a year or so before throwing him into the wolves so to speak. Ryan Tannehill is an excellent player to groom and develop for your future, I just hope the team that takes him understands this and gives him the proper time to develop his game and not ruin his confidence.

Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller-

Fuller's draft stock has taken one of the bigger hits out of anybody this season. He needs to be more physical and display the type of ability he showed during his Junior campaign.

Fuller is a player that has disappointed all season and failed to live up to the expectations that were put upon him for this season. In this game Fuller made some big catches, including a TD that was big for his team. Fuller’s long frame allowed him to come down with a couple big time catches in key situations for the Aggies offense. I can see Fuller becoming  a pretty reliable red-zone threat as I appreciate his ability to extend his long body/arms and go up for the football. I have always appreciated Fuller’s long nicely developed frame, however he needs to become much more physical if he is ever going to make an impact in the NFL. Far too many times in this game Fuller would receive a quick screen and instantly make his way towards the sidelines, avoiding contact. I fear that corners who can match his length and get physical with him at the line of scrimmage will be able to re-route and throw him off his intended path. Fuller isn’t the type of a player that scares you deep so it could be very simple for team’s to take him out completely by challenging him with man to man coverage as he has also struggled to make catches in traffic this season. I don’t know if injuries have been the reason for Fuller’s decline in production or not, but he surely needs to do something drastic to get back to where he was at the end of the 2010 season. Currently I would rank Fuller outside of my Top 100 players, but with a good off-season he could work his way back up some people’s draft board. Jeff Fuller is a player that reminds me of Chicago Bears WR Roy Williams.

Texas A&M LB Sean Porter-

Porter will have a tough decision on whether he wants to return for another season at College Station, however he already possesses the skills to be a high draft choice due to his great pass rushing potential.

Porter got off to a hot start in this game and showed why he is one of the premier pass rushing players in the entire country. In the first few possessions Porter’s great burst and athleticism was on full display, showing the ability to dip his shoulder and work around the corner in tight quarters by lowering his center of gravity around the edge. Unfortunately for Porter he likely would have recorded up to 2 or 3 sacks if not for the fact that he was held on multiple occasions. The sad part was that the refs seemed to miss these blatant holding calls time and time again as he was more or less tackled to be prevented from getting to the quarterback. The refs missed these calls today, but scouts will surely take note of these plays and understand that he can impact the game by creating pressure, making sacks, and drawing holding calls due to his impressive pass rush skills. One thing that really excited me in this game was seeing Porter show the added ability of turning speed into power. On one play Porter set up his man and threatened the edge before timing his bull rush just as the offensive lineman was opening his hips to turn and run with Porter up the field. This timing allowed Porter to knock his man off-balance and create some push as a bull rusher, collapsing the pocket. There is no doubting that Porter could stand to get stronger and develop more power to his game but it is exciting to see him scratching the surface of another dangerous pass rush arsenal that would take him one step closer to being an elite pass rusher. Porter is also very reliable in coverage and seems very natural settling into his zone. He shows good instincts and looks comfortable/fluid in space in picking up players entering his zone or area. He made a great stick/form tackle by reading the quarterbacks eyes and jumping a wide receiver working a drag route underneath his coverage. On another play later in the game he stayed in his zone despite that the play was moving away from his side of the field. Staying true to his assignment he was rewarded when the quarterback turned back to his side of the field and threw it completely across his body where Porter made a play on the ball and almost came up with the pick. This awareness and discipline is very admirable in a young linebacker and makes you confident in his ability to stay on the field at all times and feel confident about it. I’m not sure if Porter will choose to declare this season but he has surely caught the attention of NFL personnel people everywhere and should be a highly valued player once he decides to come out.

Texas A&M Linebacker Damontre Moore-

Moore is a player that shows good hustle and ability to continually work the edge on his way to the QB. Only a Sophomore, Moore is a player to keep an eye on in the coming years.

Damontre Moore is the other quality linebacker on the Aggies defense and is only a Sophomore. Standing 6-4 245 lbs. Moore has good size and really started to come on during the later part of the season, collecting 6 of his 8.5 sacks in the final four games of the season. Moore is a player who doesn’t possess spectacular speed around the edge but continually works his man around the corner to collect hustle sacks and plays. I’m not sure if he will make a better defensive end in a 4-3 quite yet or if his natural fit is at outside linebacker in a 3-4 but he is definitely a player to keep an eye on in the coming years. I really appreciate the body lean and angles he takes around the corner as well as his consistent motor to bend the edge and get after the quarterback. Moore also works down the line of scrimmage very smoothly and shows good pursuit to the football. Moore needs to do a better job keeping contain and trusting his eyes as he fell for many zone option read plays in this football game. These read and react skills will hopefully develop some in time and I am excited to watch him next season as he continues to develop a more consistent overall game.

Wisconsin QB Russel Wilson-

If Russel Wilson was merely 3-4 inches taller we would be talking about a potential first round draft pick. Wilson has many of the attributes you look for in a starting NFL quarterback and can make plays outside the pocket with his legs and arm, making him very dangerous and potent weapon.

I’ll start by saying this…I’m a big Russel Wilson fan and think he will succeed in the NFL despite his lack of quality size (5-10) and is good enough to eventually become a starting quarterback. We all know Wilson’s biggest knock is his small stature and many are concerned about his ability to see over his offensive line and find passing lanes at the next level. To this I say… make it work, fit your system around his individual strengths, skills and deficiencies! This means executing 7-10 step drops like they have for him at Wisconsin and letting him work predominately out of the shotgun like many teams in the NFL already do. This gives him the ability to see the entire field and effectively go through his reads and progressions. His height is a concern but there are ways to diminish this negative aspect of his game and it starts by building your offensive system around him. But it doesn’t stop there…another thing you must do if you’re going to draft Wilson to be your “Quarterback of the future” is allow him to roll out to his left or right and make/extend plays with his legs. Wilson is terrific at throwing with accuracy on the run and can make many NFL caliber throws outside the pocket.

Another thing I like about  Wilson is that he throws a very clean spiral and can get the ball out with a simple flick of his wrist very quickly. Wilson is also a very good decision maker who protects the ball and his TD/INT ratio has always ranked very highly. His arm strength really is under-rated and above average as he is able to make throws to all levels of the field. I would like to see Wilson step up into the pocket more often and really show the ability to drive the football into tight windows on stick throws, but overall he has enough arm strength to get the job done. I also have come to appreciate the football IQ Wilson has demonstrated during his time at Wisconsin and this was evidenced by a play in which he checked out from a designed running play and made a quick slant pass due to the defensive alignment that Oregon was showing. This shows a deep understanding of coverages and that he is confident in his decisions and leadership ability to go ahead and make that call. Another thing I appreciate is how well Wilson sells his play action passes. He uses his head and shoulders well to sell the fake and also does this when settling into the pocket before making a throw. One of the more special throws Wilson made in this game came on a play in the 3rd quarter when he was able to sit tall in the pocket and make an anticipatory throw to his wide receiver Nick Toon in the front right corner of the end zone. What made this throw special was the pocket poise Wilson showed as well as his ability to hold the safeties to one side of the field with his head and eyes and come back to Toon, throwing the ball to a spot before he even broke to the front right pylon of the end zone. Seeing this makes it plain to see that not only does Wilson trust his eyes and reads but he also goes through his progressions very efficiently. Russel Wilson is simply put a competitor who will do whatever it takes to win as he could be seen throwing blocks downfield for Montee Ball at one point early in this game.

A couple of issues I do have with Wilson involve his throwing mechanics as he tends to hold the ball a little low and not as close or high up on his chest as I would like or prefer. This will only take a little tweaking, but could speed up his already good throwing motion. Another correctable issue comes when the pocket around him begins to break down. Wilson has a tendency to escape the pocket before he necessarily has to and I would like to see him not leave the pocket so prematurely and instead step up into it and give himself more room to make the throw. I believe this has been an issue for Wilson due to his lack of height, as the closer his own offensive lineman and the opposing teams defensive lineman come to his face the more his lack of ideal height becomes an issue as his passing windows become smaller and smaller and his is unable to see the entire field. One way in which Wilson has afforded himself the ability to see over the offensive line and make good throws despite his lack of ideal height is ability to contort his body and throw from multiple platforms. Part of this is due to his above average arm strength, but most of it is just his natural ability as he has found ways to be successful despite his lack of height having dealt with this issue his entire life/career. Look I’m not saying Russel Wilson is the next Drew Brees or anything but he surely is the type of player who can be effective and become a starter at the next level. I have heard nothing but good things about Wilson’s intangibles in regards to his work ethic and film study as he is said to have a very good head on his shoulders as well. The fact that he learned the Wisconsin offense in about a month and was thus named the starter and co-captain of the team says a lot about his leadership and ability to pick up on concepts quickly. I have no doubt that Wilson would be a 1st or 2nd round pick if we were simply talking about his physical ability, however his height is the one thing that will make him drop some as well as his possibly smaller hands. For now I have Wilson rated in the early 3rd round and I am higher on him than most scouts out there. Just because I am from Wisconsin does not make me biased, I feel I know talent when I see it and Russel Wilson definitely has some, he just needs one person to see that and adapt their offense around him as I stated before.

Wisconsin RB Montee Ball:

Montee Ball has incredible lateral agility, cut-back ability, vision and receiving skills out of the backfield that will get him drafted early and make him a valuable commodity come draft day.

Montee Ball enjoyed one of the better seasons we have seen from a collegiate running back position since Barry Sanders. Ball is a decent sized back at 5-11 210 lbs. and has been said to have lost up to 20 lbs this past off-season to make himself into a more dynamic runner. Ball has incredible vision and lateral agility that allow him to meander through traffic and find ways to consistently pick up positive yardage. Montee is also a very decisive runner who uses his one cut running style to take what the defense is giving him and is not afraid to lower his head to finish his runs and pick up extra yardage. Although Ball is not a very physical back he is also no pushover either. Ball shows the ability to run through arm tackles and consistently makes the first man miss due to his impressive footwork. Ball’s top end speed will be somewhat of an issue at the next level as he is not a burner by any means and he is much more effective running between the tackles rather than bouncing the run outside and beating you with his sheer speed. Much has been made of the TD numbers Ball has been able to put up this season (39), however those numbers are somewhat extrapolated from the incredible guard-center duo he had blocking for him in Peter Konz and Kevin Zeitler. Both of these big men will be high NFL Draft picks whenever they decide to come out, which I will get into a bit later in this post. One of my favorite things about watching Ball run is both his lateral agility and cutback ability but also his incredible spin move that constantly leaves defenders in his wake. Ball’s spin move has been extremely effective for him during his career and has allowed him to finish his runs and pick up those much-needed extra few yards. Perhaps the other most impressive trait about Ball is his feel and vision for cut back lanes. His combination of skill sets as a runner make him a better fit for a zone blocking scheme, however I think he can thrive in a power one as well. The other thing that will get Ball drafted on the first day of the 2012 NFL Draft should he come out is his ability as a receiver out of the backfield. Ball has extremely reliable hands and he has proved to be a savvy route runner who knows how to get open and find ways to make an impact in the passing game. On a big third down early in this game Ball was releasing out into the flats on a simple arrow route when the play began to break down and Russel Wilson scrambled to his right to buy himself more time. Being initially covered by a linebacker Ball broke off his route and worked his way back towards the middle of the field away from coverage and created a passing lane and outlet for his quarterback to get him the ball. This play went for a large gain and showcased the football IQ and overall awareness Ball possesses as a receiver. Later in the game the Badgers used Ball split out wide one on one with a cornerback. Ball ran a quick slant route, beating his man for inside position and picking up the first down. Instances like these make me believe Ball can be on the field for all three downs and contribute both in the run and passing game, which will make him a valuable commodity for many teams out there in need of another back to fill their two back system. Ball does need to improve somewhat in his pass protection as his technique and awareness for picking up defenders needs some refinement but is a correctable issue. Overall I think Ball is a solid 2nd round pick and guy you can feel comfortable about drafting and contributing early on in his career. He has his limitations, however he also offers an exciting blend of skills that will give him the ability to contribute early and score TD’s inside the red zone and near the goal line for whichever team drafts him.

Wisconsin C Peter Konz-

In my assumption Peter Konz is NFL ready right now and is the best Center prospect to come out of the Big Ten since All-Pro C Nick Mangold.

Peter Konz is a player I am extremely high on as I have considered him to be the best center prospect to come out of the Big Ten since Nick Mangold. This is high praise considering how good of a career Mangold has had up to this point in his career for the New York Jets. Konz has been rumored to be considering returning for his Senior season, however I feel he is NFL ready right now and his draft stock will be as high as it will ever be based on his film from this season. Center’s don’t go that high in the draft in the first place but I feel like Konz has solidified himself as a 1st round pick and would simply be risking injury to improve his already high prestige/regard in the minds of NFL scout and General Managers. Peter Konz is a player that is an absolute mauler in the run game who consistently knocks his defender off the football and finishes his blocks. He does this by playing with great leverage and overall technique as his initial pop off the line of scrimmage is something I can definitely appreciate. His leg drive and ability to open up rushing lanes/holes off his backside is extremely polished and he seems to take extra pride near the goal line or on short yardage situations where it all comes down to the battle in the trenches. In pass protection Konz plays balanced and displays natural knee bend while also getting good arm extension to wall off his defender once engaged. Konz’s technique allows him to absorb bull rushers and stymie his defender with solid overall hand placement and leverage. Konz also packs an above average to good punch move that can jolt his defender and knock them off-balance from time to time. The other thing I love about Konz is how well he communicates gap assignments and works with his fellow offensive lineman. Konz does a great job making sure everyone is on the same page and knows their assignments. Both Konz and Zeitler work extremely well together and probably better than any other guard-center duo in the entire country, as they both understand gap assignments, spacing, and splits extremely well. To me it is an easy decision on whether Peter Konz should declare for the NFL Draft or not, but ultimately it is his decision and not mine as there are factors to consider that I am most likely not aware about. Should he declare Konz is a near lock to go in the 1st round and will surely be the first player drafted at his respective position.

Wisconsin G Kevin Zeitler-

Kevin Zeitler is an extremely effective run blocker whose best fit appears to be in a power based running scheme. This ability in the run game will entice team's looking for an inside big man to open up holes and improve their ground game.

Kevin Zeitler is the type of guy who can immediately come in and improve your teams running game. Zeitler brings a lunch pail type attitude to run blocking and plays extremely inspired in or around the goal line, where he seems to take pride in making the big block to spring the ball carrier for a touchdown. His push in the run game is one of the reasons why Montee Ball was able to enjoy so much success in punching it in for six this season an astounding 33 times. Zeitler’s best fit appears to be in a power run blocking scheme where he can make the most out of his ability and consistently open up holes in the running game. Wisconsin offensive lineman are extremely well coached and is one of the reasons why we see such a pedigree in the NFL of Badgers offensive lineman. Zeitler is next in this line of this tradition as his overall skill set appears to be better than former Badger guard and 2011 NFL Draft pick John Moffitt. One knock on John coming out was that he lacked the athleticism/lateral movement necessary to play the position in the NFL. Zeitler doesn’t have this problem as he can get to the 2nd level very smoothly/efficiently and seal off linebackers on a consistent basis. The Badgers also love to pull their big men and get Zeitler out in front of the pack. Here Zeitler shows an uncanny awareness for picking up oncoming defenders and neutralizing them at the point of attack. In pass protection Zeitler plays with natural knee bend and a solid base, his hand to hand combat skills and hand placement are two things he does very well when battling with defenders one on one. It is Zeitler’s hand placement that allows him to consistently get his big paws underneath and around his opponents shoulder pads and control/drive them off the football. Zeitler will be a good-great run blocking option once he gets to the NFL and his pass blocking skills are above average. Kevin Zeitler should find himself drafted, should he come out within the initial 2-3 rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Wisconsin WR Nick Toon-

Nick Toon has NFL size and ties and is a team player who seems to do all the little things right. His limited explosion/burst is a limiting factor but he should find a way to contribute at next level.

Nick Toon is a player with NFL size 6-2 220 lbs. and NFL blood lines as his dad Al Toon was an All-Pro Wide Receiver for the New York Jets after being drafted 10th overall in the 1985 NFL Draft. His son Nick is also a very good receiver who has been given high praise by scouts leading up to his Senior season. The 2012 NFL Draft is extremely deep at the wide receiver position which will knock Toon down some, however he is a solid prospect in his own right. One of Nick Toon’s better qualities as a receiver is his great body positioning. Toon does a great job of using his big body to shield defenders from the football and seems to be most comfortable working underneath coverages on short to intermediate routes such as drags, slants and deep ins/outs. Toon is a big target who is also a very smart and reliable receiver. In this game Toon was working across the middle on a critical 3rd down late in the game when he noticed coverage and attention to his route being brought towards the middle of the field. Immediately Toon changed directions and worked his way back towards the sidelines away from coverage to save his quarterback and give him a throwing lane/option. After securing the catch Toon lunged and used his long frame to stretch for the first down and keep the drive/game alive for the Badgers. This play showed incredible awareness of the situation and is a telling sign that Toon simply gets the game of football thanks in part to his NFL pedigree. Another aspect of Nick Toon’s game that I love to see is his effort as a downfield blocker, decoy or pick player. Toon doesn’t give minimal effort when he knows he is not getting the football or when the play is not coming to his side of the field and he’s working a backside route. He understands teamwork and selling his routes to open up opportunities and plays for his team-mates whether it be by blocking downfield or keeping defenders occupied with his routes. The reason Nick Toon will fall some is because of his lack of speed/burst/explosion. Toon doesn’t display the ability to get into and out of his routes very quickly, which will limit his ability to create separation at the next level. I would like to see him lower his body weight more effectively before breaking or stemming off his routes. I also noticed in this game that Toon has a bad habit of taking a mis-step on his initial push of the line of scrimmage. This is something that can be fixed relatively easily but needs to be addressed as it limits his already limited a ability to explode off the line of scrimmage and get into his routes/eat up cushions.  As I said before Nick Toon seems to have reliable hands and is a possession type receiver at the next level. However, sometimes Nick has a bad habit of trapping the ball against his body at times instead of securing the catch with his hands. Although I have not seen him drop one of these yet, it is a sign he doesn’t completely trust his hands. Overall it’s hard not to like Nick Toon as a prospect because of his NFL pedigree and commitment as a team player by doing all the small things right. However, I’m not sold on his speed or ability to separate in the NFL which is my biggest cause for concern for him and aspect of his game that makes him slip a little. There are definitely holes to his game but Toon is a guy I would feel safe taking in the 3rd round.

Oregon RB LaMicael James-

LaMichael James is slight of build but his open field running skills, suddenness, and shiftiness as a runner make him a dangerous arsenal in a two back system who can bring the flash and awe to a team's running game.

LaMichael James is a player that nearly everyone is aware of due to the impressive stats and runs he has put together during his illustrious career at Oregon. James is a player with a slight build at 5-9 190 lbs. but has under-rated leg drive/power and is more effective between the tackles than he is given credit for. Surely his stats have been a little extrapolated by the system he has played in at Oregon for the past three seasons, but he is also a very skilled player who can bring the speed and dazzle to a two back system in the NFL. James is a player that is very comparable to Jahvid Best but has a little better inside running ability and is less prone to injuries, although James also dealt with an injury of his own this season. However, Best’s top-end/long speed seems to be a bit better than James overall and his size is just a bit bigger. Best went on to become a 1st round draft pick for the Detroit Lions in the 2010 NFL Draft and would definitely be warranting that spot if not for a multitude of concussions he has suffered both in college and in the NFL. Like Best, LaMichael James is a very slippery runner who bounces outside efficiently and has very good foot speed and quickness. James is also extremely agile and quick in space and seems to work very well in confined areas where his short-area quickness is best utilized. On top of this James also shows the ability to accelerate and decelerate very efficiently/quickly making him tough to contain in the open field. LaMichael James also shows very sudden cut-back ability who can change directions/gears in a blink of an eye. As a runner James is also very patient and follows his blocks well, showing the same feel for cut-back lanes and vision that Montee Ball also possesses. In the open field James is a very creative runner who eludes defenders and knows how to avoid big hits, which will allow him to stay healthy in his career for the most part. Another thing you have to appreciate about LaMichael James is that he doesn’t try to do too much and picks up what he can get while always seeming to fall forward working north and south rather than east and west. James isn’t much of a threat at the goal-line despite his high rushing TD numbers in college, although he is capable of punching it in from time to time. Seeing that the Adrian Peterson just went down to a serious knee injury and that the Vikings were rumored to be interested in Jahvid Best before it would make sense for them to add a player like LaMichael James to their arsenal. Other teams that would seem to make sense are: Bears, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Rams, Bengals, Browns, and Broncos. Wherever James ultimately winds up he should find relative success in a two back system where he can bring the flash and awe. James has already declared and made himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft, which I believe to be a wise decision on his part as he will have trouble increasing his draft stock any higher due to his limited size. In what is becoming a deeper/top-heavy 2012 running Back Draft Class James might slip a little but he will have to be considered somewhere in the bottom half of the 2nd round in my opinion. James will have to prove he can be an effective receiver out of the backfield, but he has enjoyed some success of already doing this while at Oregon. The bigger question will be how he holds up in pass protection, which will be something to keep a close eye on at the NFL Combine and his Pro-day.

Wish I had the time to write about everyone who caught my attention but here is a list of the other players who caught my eye in this game FB Bradie Ewing, LB Chris Borland, LB Mike Taylor, LB Michael Clay, WR DeAnthony Thomas, LB Kiko Alonzo, WR Lavasier Tuinei. Hope you enjoyed the reading!


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.