It’s the final instalment in Dan Cameron’s mock draft, here he picks from 21 -31 (apparently the Patriots lost a draft pick). If you have enjoyed the column or disagree tweet @LazerusFletcher on with the picks:
NEEDS: C / DL / WR
PICK: OG CODY WHITEHAIR – KANSAS STATE
CB Josh Norman just landed a $50 million deal off the back of Carolina calling his bluff. Its got some Redskins players asking when that sort of money is going to be paid to them. QB Kirk ‘you like that’ Cousins has been franchise tagged and Junior Gallette fills a void at linebacker.
In GM Scott McLoughlins first draft with the Skins they took Iowa Tackle Brandon Scherff, he spent a lot of the season kick inside and I would imagine they would like to put him back outside opposite to Trent Williams. Cody Whitehair is a versatile option. He has played RT, LG and LT and could eventually be made to play Centre should it be required.
WILDCARD: DT Andrew Billings – Baylor
NEEDS: DE / WR
PICK: WR COREY COLEMAN – BAYLOR
Rick Smith and Bill O’Brien are all in. Chips on Brock Osweiler. Fair enough. I like Brock, it was a difficult situation last year but I think it was the right decision for him as a player to break away from the Broncos and not have to continually answer how he would live life after the Hall of Fame Peyton Manning riding off after a Super Bowl Win (I cannot wait for that America’s Game BTW).
Houston are in a weak division. Even if in a hypothetical conversation you put Blake Bortles and Andrew Luck in the top 10 of current Qbs the teams around them are not playing well (Jacksonville are particularly underperforming). This season is one where they not only make the Playoffs but need to make it comfortably.
The defence should take care of itself. Its time for Osweiler to lead them and add a few offensive weapons to make them a team to fear twice a year. Lamar Miller has been brought in from Miami to replace Arian Foster (may his career rest in peace) and O’Brien has links to NE where they consistently make the playoffs with a makeshift no-name offensive line.
Corey Coleman has notoriously only ran 4 routes sine he got to Waco. Hitch, Slant, Post and Go. That being said he is one of the most explosive athletes in space there has been for some time. Bill O’Brien will see a Wes Welker, but not an undrafted cut by the Chargers in training camp Wes Welker, a first round slot vertical threat Wes Welker. His change of direction and ability to create seperation from the line of scrimmage will make him a Nickel match up night mare in the slot while still being able to work down the field due to his speed. It will allow O’Brien to make Osweilers and his and Rick Smiths jobs a lot safer.
NB: Ive just gone from pick 7-22 with no ‘Skill’ player going. Its one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.
WILDCARD: WR – Laqaun Treadwell – Ole Miss (they go for the complete opposite type)
NEEDS: WR / OT / OG
PICK: WR LAQUAN TREADWELL – OLE MISS
Yaaaaaassssssss! Its a run on Receivers!!!!!
Lets not get carried away.
The Vikings were a FG away from getting to a Divisional tie in last years playoffs. The internet went mad with the usual videos of fans experiencing heartbreak. So lets not think they are that bad a team. The Line is solid not spectacular and the defence has no glaring need that cant be addressed in the later rounds.
Cordelle Patterson has disappointed since being taken in the 1st two years ago and while he has had explosive moments, its been more on special teams that his value has been seen and Stefan Diggs has overtaken him as Teddy Bridgewater’s preferred target.
Treadwell does not have the jets that Patterson has but his ability to compete for the football and use his body to create seperation is the reason a guy who ran 4.6(ish – and I’m being generous) is still being considered in the first round. He can deal with adveristy too. In 2014 he suffered a gruesome broken ankle (youtube it if you dare) and still came back to become one of the best WR in the college ranks last year.
He reminds me of Michael Crabtree in that he may not run the 40 you want but can be the possession receiver you need him to be.
NEEDS: WR / DT / ILB
PICK: DT ANDREW BILLINGS – BAYLOR
Like the Viking the Bengals were so close to a playoff victory last year. Absent one of the most calamitous collapses in recent memory the Steelers don’t advance to that division game. Oh well.
They signed Brandon Lafell in FA and will take 1 or 2 Wrs this draft but with Coleman and Treadwell away at this juncture they look at Defensive Tackle to partner Geno Atkins inside and add to the Rush threat of Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson.
Billings projects as a 4-3 1tech Tackle purely because of his lack of height, he’s not built to 2-gap schemes and as a result only teams running the former will looking at him. Productive in sacks and tackle for loss at the college level Billings has only just turned 21last month and the ability of him to handle the Pro game at a position that doesnt generally treat younger players well will be a concern (Amobi Okoye anyone?). That said he wont need to play every snap immediately and with the right coaching that Marvin Lewins and his defensive staff can provide will hopefully make him top Billing…..
WILDCARD: WR Will Fuller – Notre Dame
NEEDS: CB / S / OG
PICK: DT SHELDON RANKINS – LOUISVILLE
The Steelers take and OLB right? Dupree, Shazier, Timmons, Jones. It seems that’s just who the Steelers take in the first round.
We are now in the portion of the draft where these are good teams, need may not dictate the pick. Indeed some say it doeant matter where you are you take the best player available. Rankins is the Best player available for the Steelers at this point is the run stufffer from Louisville. Perhaps a bit on the shorter side than they would prefer he can be a disruptive force on the inside and with the Steelers liking to employee Zone Fire scheme with the platoon of first round talent behind him he can play in the knowledge of a little bit of protection.
Note: look for Sua Kravens to be taken by Pitt in the 2/3 rounds.
WILDCARD: S William Jackson III
PICK: RB DERRICK HENRY – ALABAMA
Fully expect the Hawks to move out of this spot. They havent made a first round selection in 3 years either by trading out or by going and getting Jimmy Graham from New Orleans. Mo Wilkerson is possibly up for grabs from the Jets and they have been mentioned in the conversation for the Paxton Lynch sweepstakes.
Henry in Seattle would be an interesting fit despite the buyer beware on Bama Rbs in recent years. Beast Mode is gone (or is he, no retirement papers filed and his agent is saying no comment in relation to when he will file….) or at least gone from Seattle and Henry is a player that must be respected with a full box of defender.
This pick is more due to the fact I think they move to the top of the second, not convinced anyone will spend a 1 on Henry.
WILDCARD: OT La’Raven Clark – Texas Tech
NEEDS: ILB / OLB / OT
PICK: DT CHRIS JONES – MISS STATE
Ted Thompson is really only accountable to himself but they have just never drafted well when it comes to offensive lineman. Corners, Safteys Line backers, recievers, all fine but not the big guys up front.
BJ Raji has gone, Clay Matthews wants to move back outside, they Packers can never draft a deent O line man. So why bother this time.
All roads lead to Chris Jones, ‘6, 6’ 310lbs he can be plugged in and help matthews be free to run to defenders if he stays inside.
WILDCARD: C Ryan Kelly – Alabama
NEEDS: OLB / QB / WR
PICK: WR WILL FULLER – NOTRE DAME
Fat man Reid has rebuilt his reputation taking the Chiefs to the playoffs. While we can never forget the fact they recently went the whole 2014 season without a WR catching a receiving TD. 21 games, 659 days.
They will have to take a receiver high, possibly even 2 in the top 2 rounds.
Fuller catches with his body a bit to much for teams liking and if anyone remembers the Notre Dame Clemson game on 2015 MacKensie Alexander had him in his back pocket for pretty much all of the game. Either that of the heavy rain.
A cursory look at the roster just confirms the thinking that they cannot escape this draft without taking a risk on a big time albeit inconsistent playmaker.
WILDCARD: WR Josh Doctson – TCU
NEEDS: S / OLB / CB
PICK: QB PAXTON LYNCH – MEMPHIS
If I don’t say so myself, this is one of my favourite picks.
2 time Coach of the Year Bruce Arians just started as the Pittsburgh Steelers Wrs coach when they drafted a big strong armed QB from a smaller school in the lower half of the first round. Arians went on to be Big Bens OC for 4 years and the Super Bowls in 2004, 2008 and losing appearance in 2010 followed before Arians departure in 2010.
All I read and see of Lynch makes me think he is Ben 2.0. His Pro day was during a very windy day day and the ball still moved through the air with ease. As Ron Jaworski used to say he can rotate the spheriod .
Carson Palmer has 1 good year left and when you are picking 29th your team is good enough to be able to take a flyer on a QB who can sit behind Palmer with no expectation and learn how to be an NFL QB which is undoubtedly the main challenge for Lynch going forward and being able to command a more complex NFL offence.
No riskit, no biscuit.
WILDCARD: Total flyer on OLB Jaylon Smith – Notre Dame (not expected to play 2016 due to knee injury.
NEEDS: OT / DE / CB
PICK: DE EMMANUEL OGBAH – OK. STATE
Josh Norman suddenly leaving puts this pick in a bit of jeopardy.
Ogbah in his 2 years as a starter racked up 24 sacks in the BIG 12 and Defensive Player of the year. That’s impressive even if scouts call him stiff and Laremy Tunsil stonewalled him during the Sugar Bowl.
He will fit the 4-3 scheme the Panthers run and is the best value available at this point.
WILDCARD: RB Derrick Henry – Alabama
NEEDS: QB / G / DE
PICK: TE HUNTER HENRY – ARKANSAS
The Broncos will start opening day with Mark Sanchez under centre. He’s been working out with the WRs in California and they are making all the right noises whether under orders or not that they are impressed.
Russell Okung (who represented himself and got a deal that is seems Peter Griffen negotiated) has come in allowing them to move 2nd round pick from last year to move inside to Guard and deal with that issue.
Malik Jackson moving on is part of the deal, a guy you took a flyer on in the 2012 draft, 5th round, that helps you get to the Super Bowl and then leaves for $90million. But there’s no 5 tech DT that warrants the pick.
Owen Daniels was released after the big win and Hunter Henry wont last much longer than this. While a good player the current premium on TEs is lower than Rbs. Comparisons to Jason Witten don’t come lightly and if the Broncos get that type of production from the first player of his position group to go it will be a steal.
WILDCARD: DE Vernon Butler – Florida