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Old 01-30-2014, 12:15 PM  
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Three really good mid-rounders, and three I hate.

Just because. Midrounders are anything from low-3rds to 5th round.

I LIKE:

OT/G Joel Bitonio, Nevada -- At this point, he's looking more like a guard, since he played there all of the Senior Bowl. However, Bitonio played extremely well at the Senior Bowl, ending up one of my Top 10 players from that week. Bitonio (6'4", 307 lbs) is a very, very athletic tackle who could crawl into the 2nd round if that athleticism translates to a sub-5.0 40 time, which I honestly think it will. He looks like a great zone blocker at guard, but I honestly think he can play tackle -- he played Anthony Barr to a standstill. Blocked for the NCAA's 2nd most rush yards, and held excellent protection at left tackle for the Wolf Pack.

DE/DT Dominique Easley, Florida -- I absolutely adore Easley. Extremely high effort, high-athleticism guy who absolutely never quits. He can push back against bigger OLs, and penetrate, penetrate, penetrate. The big question is -- where do you put him. He played everywhere in Florida's 4-3, but 280 lbs is pretty light for defensive tackle in the NFL, even at undertackle. He's a little on the short side (6'2") but powerful enough for DE in the 4-3, but he played primarily at DT for the Gators, so he's a project there. As for the 3-4... I hate him on the edge in a two-point stance. His first step is far too valuable to take him out of the three-point. So he'd have to play DE in our system, making him purely a passrush specialist. I don't know if that'd be worth the 3rd we'd have to spend to get him, but I really want him on our roster. He's 1st round talent, coming off a terrible ACL tear.

TE Xavier Grimble, USC -- I think Grimble is going to pleasantly surprise everybody. His numbers in college were hampered by the great talent he played with and the injuries he suffered, but here's what we do know: Grimble is a fast, athletic, big (6'5", 255) tight end with good hands. His performance at the Combine could endear him to a lot of people, if he holds his own in blocking drills and looks sharp getting in and out of the cuts in his routes.

I DON'T LIKE:

S Ahmad Dixon, Baylor -- Bernard Pollard 2.0. If you want big hits, he's an option. But even with those big hits, Dixon (6'0", 205) isn't that great in the run game, and he's disasterous in the passing game. He doesn't break down for tackles at all, and will throw his shoulder instead of wrapping up. His coverage will be passable on backs out of the flat, but he will struggle keeping up with NFL caliber TEs and god help him against WRs. More of a strong safety. No discipline. Had an assault charge on him over the offseason.

ILB/OLB Lamin Borrow, LSU -- Can somebody tell me why anybody thinks anything of this guy? He's consistently rated as a mid-rounder but aside from his rangey speed, I don't see why. He's not good in coverage. He can't shed blocks. He doesn't make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He's fast but not especially so. He's not especially big (6'2", 232). He's just a guy. He's not a difference maker, wasn't in college, and won't be in the NFL. Blah.

OLB Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State -- A great athlete with a good motor, but undersized. He has some experience standing up, but he really struggled against the scant NFL talent he went up against. The best player he played all year was Bitonio, and he avoided him most of the game. The few meetings these players had was soundly won by Bitonio. He's just too undersized to play in a three-point stance in a 4-3, so he'd have to occupy some Von Miller role as an OLB in that setup, but he has almost no experience in coverage. I think Lawrence will be a valuable special teamer, nothing more.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:13 PM   #16
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NT Justin Ellis, Louisiana Tech -- One of my favorite midrounders, Ellis is easily the 2nd best NT in this draft. Sitting at a squatty 6'1", 350 lbs, Ellis looks every single pound of that on tape. He looks like Vance Wilfork against La Tech's lesser competition: constant push in the passing game and absolute domination between the tackles. He looked outstanding at the East/West game, as well. So at this point, for teams in need of a NT, he should shoot up from the mid-round prospect he's regarded as now to a 2nd day prospect. He has definite starter potential, and if the Chiefs were serious about either giving Poe a blow, or moving him to DE, Ellis is definitely worth a look if he lasts to the 4th round.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
That's exactly what I thought, since the Tarheels got torched in the air all year. When I was casually watching Boston and the secondary in real time, he honestly looked like Kendrick Lewis 2.0 to me.

My conviction on that has wavered a bit, however, after very closely watching him. The Tarheels kept him in single-deep a lot, and he seems to have done his job relatively effectively.

Like I said, my grade on him's incomplete at this time. I'll be giving him more attention.
He was being pimped on several team programs as a defensive AA candidate. I guess they do this at most schools, but the Heels have been so bad at pass defense for so long, it's embarrassing they'd even put him out there. He is a great athlete, and came in very highly touted. If not mistaken I believe he was moved to safety from corner. Hey, maybe it's just bad coaching (Vic Koening was supposed to be a jeenius right?). But what do I know...I thought Sims was going to be a beast in KC.

Martin is definitely one to keep an eye on!
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:30 PM   #18
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QB David Fales, San Jose State -- In an incredibly weak QB year like this one, there are worse ideas than spending a pick on somebody like Fales. Fales is a quick-passing fit for West Coast Offenses, displaying a tough mental makeup and clean, fast throwing motion. He is one of the few QBs in this draft that's regularly fitting the balls into tight windows for multiple years. He's a short 6'1" with small hands, but he's a tough 220 lbs that makes smart decisions. There's no reason he can't have a Chase Daniel-esque career as a guy who develops into a reliable, unflappable backup QB. In a normal-depth year at QB, I'd think about spending a 6th on him.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
QB David Fales, San Jose State -- In an incredibly weak QB year like this one, there are worse ideas than spending a pick on somebody like Fales. Fales is a quick-passing fit for West Coast Offenses, displaying a tough mental makeup and clean, fast throwing motion. He is one of the few QBs in this draft that's regularly fitting the balls into tight windows for multiple years. He's a short 6'1" with small hands, but he's a tough 220 lbs that makes smart decisions. There's no reason he can't have a Chase Daniel-esque career as a guy who develops into a reliable, unflappable backup QB. In a normal-depth year at QB, I'd think about spending a 6th on him.
I drafted him in another thread.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:47 PM   #20
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DT Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State -- Barnett is one of those players I can't help but root for. He's a solid 6'3", 300 lbs, and very strong, but he's maxed out -- he's where he's going to be for his whole NFL career. More critically, however, he's not particularly fast. He seems like a 5.0 guy in the 40. The thing that stands out about Barnett, though, is his nonstop motor. He does one job, and he does it extremely well: he fights to stop the run. And he doesn't stop fighting until the whistle blows. He can stand up double-teams and shoot gaps extremely well. But that's it -- he can't rush the passer, and he can't really run anybody down, either. But if you're a 4-3 team looking for a late-round (or UDFA) gamble on a guy who'll work his ass off to shut down the run, Barnett's worth looking at.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
I drafted him in another thread.
I like him. I'd stuff him away as my 3rd QB for a year or two, then see what I've got for second-string material. He's supposed to be super smart and coachable.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:14 PM   #22
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WR Robert Herron, Wyoming -- Herron has it all, with one very important exception. He's extremely fast (he's going to flirt with running in the 4.2s at the Combine), he's got fantastic hands, he is a really sharp route runner and he's versatile. You can send him on go routes, run him in the slot, give him drag routes a la Percy Harvin, or run end arounds a la Corradelle Patterson. He can run the whole route tree, he's just the whole package. Here's the problem: he's 5'8". Now, he's a good, stout 195 lbs. But he's pretty damn small -- so the question becomes, how much of a problem is that for you? The answer to that question is the answer to where you'd put him on your big board.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:39 PM   #23
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CB Bashaud Breeland, Clemson -- Breeland sure picked the right year to come out. In a year after the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, and the entire copycat league is now out for big corners, Breeland will no doubt be a hot commodity in the midrounds. Breeland may sneak into the 2nd day, considering all the notches he has on his belt as a prospect: a 6'2" corner, super athletic, just finishing a prolific year in both interceptions and passes defensed. There's little doubt the Chiefs, with their preference for tall corners and pure, coachable athletes, have this guy in their crosshairs.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:59 PM   #24
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S Kenny Ladler, Vanderbilt -- Even though Ladler put up a ton of great stats this past year -- creating 10 turnovers single-handedly -- he's more of a jack-of-all-trades free safety. The Commodores didn't ask him to do a ton of coverage, just to roam and play centerfield. One thing he's absolutely excellent at is tackling. If you're sick of watching Quentin Demps and Kendrick Lewis take poor angles and whiff on tackles, than this is your antidote. Ladler is an impressive tackler because he rarely goes for the big hit: he breaks down and wraps the offensive player up. That said, I think he's good value in the mid- or low-rounds for a team in need of safety depth. He doesn't seem to have much starter upside, however. He just doesn't flash to me.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:42 AM   #25
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QB Brett Smith, Wyoming -- If you took all of the worst stereotypes of what we Chiefs fans thought of Alex Smith before he was traded here, and subtracted what size Alex Smith actually has, then you end up with Brett Smith (no relation). Like Alex, Brett can be effective in very limited offenses where all the pieces are in place for him. Brett does possess some ability to improvise, and his athleticism is off the charts (expect him to run a 4.5). His throwing motion is very efficient and fast, but anything past 20 yards is anybody's guess. I like that he goes through his reads easily, but his decisions are usually safe ones on route trees that Chiefs fans would remember from the first 9 weeks of Alex Smith's 2013 season. It's possible he develops, but I don't know how -- he has his throwing motion down, he can go through reads, etc. He's just very physically limited. Some people are very high on this guy, but I'll be surprised if he gets drafted.
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:55 AM   #26
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QB A.J. McCarron, Alabama -- It's actually pretty baffling that the country's best recruiting program couldn't do better at quarterback than A.J. McCarron, easily one of the most underwhelming QBs projected to actually be selected in the draft. McCarron is Matt Cassel 2.0. His arm is weak, his accuracy is shaky, and he has no experience having to navigate a pocket on a regular basis. McCarron just misses people; anything past 15 yards is a total mystery if the ball will be where it needs to be. Reportedly, he's a great presence in the locker room, and that's... great. Maybe some team takes him in the 7th round this year so he can provide backrubs for the starters.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:09 AM   #27
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DE Josh Mauro, Stanford -- By no means a world beater, Josh Mauro is nonetheless somebody who does his job solidly. At 6'5", 280 lbs, he looks mostly like a great fit as a 3-4 end. His passrushing moves leave a lot to be desired -- even in a defense where most attention gets sucked over to Trent Murphy, Mauro isn't putting up big numbers. Part of that is because the Cardinals lined Mauro up along the interior (even including 0 tech nose tackle), so he does come with a lot of versatility. But his ability to land QBs is slight, but he'll reliably shut down the run effectively. I don't know if Mauro gets drafted, but if he slips through to UDFA, I'd definitely work to bring him on my squad and see what I've got.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:44 AM   #28
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I would not mind Herron in the 3rd, he has gamechanging speed.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:03 AM   #29
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I'd love for Easley to be there in the 3rd. When healthy, he's as good as Donald
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:10 AM   #30
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RB Charles Sims, West Virginia -- Sims has been called the best all around back in this draft class. I think it makes a lot of sense to say: he runs very well between the tackles, has some jukes out in space, has extraordinary balance to help him stay on his feet after contact, and receives out of the backfield very well. He's got a good body for bellcow status: 6'0", 215 lbs. But he doesn't quite have the speed -- I expect him to clock in at 4.6 at the Combine, give or take. That doesn't mean he can't be a great complimentary back that runs tough for 10-15 snaps a game. I'd definitely look at him hard as a mid-rounder, maybe a 5th.
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