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Old 01-30-2014, 01:15 PM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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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 02-07-2014, 02:03 AM   #61
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DE/OLB Kasim Edebali, Boston College -- Kasim is a project that almost nobody is talking about, with a lot of the right elements to work with. While he does not seem to be a great athlete, he does play incredibly hard, with a chip on his shoulder. He doesn't seem to have anything beyond good size, either (6'2", 248 lbs), but he has consistently racked up good sack numbers with a limited number of moves. The question comes down to: how much do you trust your passrushing coaching staff? If you trust them, you look at a decent athlete with an undeniable motor and a very select number of moves in Edebali, and hope that imprinting more diverse moves into his repertoire will make a difference. For now, he's a guy who'll have to make his name on special teams.
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:16 AM   #62
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FB/TE Jake Murphy, Utah -- I think that if Murphy finds a place in the NFL, it's going to be as a fullback. Or at least as a one of those H-backs who plays both fullback and tight end. Honestly, however, Murphy is below-average by NFL standards in the passing game. He only had two games his senior year where he had more than 2 receptions (he was injured for a month, however). As a blocker, he is very effective. He does a great job particularly of leveraging his body to seal off blocks. And while he lacks the size to be a pure blocking tight end (6'2", 252 lbs), he does fit an athletic fullback's profile. His father was a professional baseball player, which is something to remember, since NFL teams love bloodlines.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:12 PM   #63
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TE C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa -- I'm actually pretty high on Fiedorowicz, I don't think there's much he can't do. First thing's first, however: Fiedorowicz is a huge presence at tight end (6'5", 260 lbs). He uses every ounce of that frame to block extremely well in line, out on bubble screens, downfield... he drives linebackers back routinely, and can hold his own with most DEs. In addition to that, he looks pretty fluid running downfield in his routes. He's not a world-beating route-runner, however, but he has outstanding hands. He reminds me a lot of Heath Miller -- a big TE who can block extremely well with awesome receiving hands. He lacks some of Miller's quickness and will need some time to work through his route-running. He has a good chance of going on the 2nd day.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:10 PM   #64
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CB Shaquille Richardson, Arizona -- Here is the litmus test for the entire 2014 NFL Draft. Richardson is just lousy on tape -- he gets beat deep even when he gives himself a 10 yard cushion. He takes lousy angles and misses tackles. He gets blocked out of plays by WRs of all sizes. His play is undisciplined. The one reason anybody thinks much of anything of Richardson: he is 6'0", 195 lbs, but plays like he's 6'4" -- it's seemingly impossible to throw over him. So if NFL teams are truly buying into Seahawk mode, and truly single-mindedly going to draft the tallest, biggest corners, Richardson will get selected. If not, Richardson may go UDFA.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:18 PM   #65
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OLB Prince Shembo, Notre Dame -- Shembo's a really rangey linebacker who can cover the turf you want him to cover. He's pretty fast and athletic, and while the Fighting Irish never really asked him to cover a whole lot, his athleticism suggests to me that he could do very well in coverage. He can set the edge relatively well, and does a great job getting to the sideline before the RB does. Even though the Irish played him as a down lineman and as a passrusher, that doesn't seem like it'll be his strength at the next level. He struggles to shed blocks, and his passrushing leaves something to be desired. He's a great defender in space, though, and to me that projects purely as a 4-3 OLB.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:19 PM   #66
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Yo Direck, thoughts on Aaron Lynch?
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:29 PM   #67
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CB Chris Davis, Jr., Auburn -- Davis is a hilariously fun athlete to watch; he was returned the missed field goal against Alabama for 109 yards to win the game for Auburn. He's a dynamic kick and punt returner, but of course that's only part of his contribution for your team. He's projected to "only" run a 4.5, but he looks more like a 4.3 talent to me on the field, capable of aggressively jumping routes or running deep with receivers. I like Davis a ton, but unless he blows the doors off the Combine, he's a zone-only CB. Auburn almost never put him in press-man.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:45 PM   #68
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Yo Direck, thoughts on Aaron Lynch?
I would avoid. I'd bring him in for a 7th, maybe. Maybe. I'd bring him in as a UDFA. But it's pretty clear he's regressed significantly over the past couple of seasons.

I don't know pretend to know why, but I'm sure teams will figure it out. The rumor is that he's just got a horrendous, selfish attitude.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:22 PM   #69
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I would avoid. I'd bring him in for a 7th, maybe. Maybe. I'd bring him in as a UDFA. But it's pretty clear he's regressed significantly over the past couple of seasons.

I don't know pretend to know why, but I'm sure teams will figure it out. The rumor is that he's just got a horrendous, selfish attitude.
He was great with the Irish his Freshman year. Sat out a year because of NCAA transferring regulations and then played last season before declaring. He looked like a guy who took a year off and needed to stay for another year. Wouldn't trust the coaches to get his potential out of him?
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #70
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Maybe... NFL teams will find out.

Some people just don't have the makeup for team sports.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:20 PM   #71
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CB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood -- Soon to be the 2nd Haitian in the NFL, Desir comes with the usual small school rap sheet: played against vastly inferior, Division II competition, but boasts impressive measurable. The measurables in question: 6'1", 200 lbs, looks like he could get bigger, great athleticism, 4.4 speed. But whatever nerves you have about a Division II corner, let it be soothed by the following information: Desir was thrown at 14 times this year. That's it, 14 times. 4 of those times, he intercepted the pass. 8 of those times, he defensed the pass. Considering he held his own at the Shrine game, and looked really good at the Senior Bowl, this is a guy who, assuming his Combine goes well, is an intriguing 2nd day pick. No question.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:32 PM   #72
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TE/FB? Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin -- I fear that Pederson is going to be unfairly cast as an H-back, since (a.) he played that role in Wisconsin's run-heavy offense, and (b.) he looks the part at 6'3", 242 lbs. But I think the best part of his game are the routes he runs when he lines up either out wide or inline with the OL. He is a really underrated athlete -- he can get downfield in a hurry and has great hands. He's a good route-runner, and I think he might have 4.5 speed -- though obviously the Combine will confirm that. I think a pass-heavy offense should bring him on as a receiving TE, like a poor man's Jimmy Graham. The biggest hole in his game, sadly, is his blocking, which makes sense considering his smaller size. Perhaps some coaching will tune up his technique. Midround pick.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:34 AM   #73
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WR T.J. Jones, Notre Dame -- There are fewer midrounders more entertaining to watch than T.J. Jones. An extremely fast route-running guru for the Fighting Irish with "meh" size (5'11", 190), Jones has been a four-year starter and senior-year captain. I can't help but think most draft sites are underrating this dude -- NFLDraftScout, for instance, says he's a 6th round talent and probably runs a 4.5. Well, I can say from watching the tape that he almost certainly runs in the 4.3 range, and his great hands and polished route-running ability should slip him into 3rd round consideration. At this point, I want to see how he performs at the Combine, but I'd definitely sweat passing on my him with my 4th rounder, but I think you'd be justified spending a low 3rd on him if you were so inclined. Jones' speed, route-running, and extreme versatility (bubble screens, slot routes, working on the outside, go routes) should definitely earn Dorsey's attention.
Jones does not have blazing speed, he is not a 4.3 guy, not even close. He lacks breakway speed or burst (even he has some nice short area quickness). If he was a 4.3 guy he would be clearly a top 15 selection. He will never burn a DB ala Donnie Avery. But yes, he is a fantastic and underrated receiver.
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Old 02-10-2014, 04:40 AM   #74
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OLB Prince Shembo, Notre Dame -- Shembo's a really rangey linebacker who can cover the turf you want him to cover. He's pretty fast and athletic, and while the Fighting Irish never really asked him to cover a whole lot, his athleticism suggests to me that he could do very well in coverage. He can set the edge relatively well, and does a great job getting to the sideline before the RB does. Even though the Irish played him as a down lineman and as a passrusher, that doesn't seem like it'll be his strength at the next level. He struggles to shed blocks, and his passrushing leaves something to be desired. He's a great defender in space, though, and to me that projects purely as a 4-3 OLB.
I really do not want to disagree with you because you do a heck of a job but Prince is a liability in space, he is stiff and is more a north-south type of player. He played in space a lot when he was a soph and he was a mess. He is an undersized tweener, third day selection at best.
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Old 02-10-2014, 05:54 AM   #75
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Jones does not have blazing speed, he is not a 4.3 guy, not even close. He lacks breakway speed or burst (even he has some nice short area quickness). If he was a 4.3 guy he would be clearly a top 15 selection. He will never burn a DB ala Donnie Avery. But yes, he is a fantastic and underrated receiver.
The Combine will prove one of us correct.

He's projected at a 4.5, I think, but I do love how fast he looks in his routes.

I'm a big fan. I think he'll be a really good slot receiver if he receives good coaching.
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