Page 1

DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 31, 2017

By

LEONARDFOURNETTE DeSHONEKIZER

MYLES GARRETT

$7.99 US / $8.99 CANADA

• THREE PROSPECTS TO CHOOSE FROM • POSITION ANALYSIS, 2016 RECAPS • THE TIDE IS HIGH IN ROUND ONE


DISPLAY UNTIL MAY 31, 2017

By

LEONARDFOURNETTE DeSHONEKIZER

MYLES GARRETT

$7.99 US / $8.99 CANADA

• THREE PROSPECTS TO CHOOSE FROM • POSITION ANALYSIS, 2016 RECAPS • THE TIDE IS HIGH IN ROUND ONE


ADMINISTRATION General Manager/Editor Hub Arkush

EDITORIAL STAFF Associate editors Kevin Fishbain Arthur Arkush Contributing Editors Dan McCaleb Jake Bartelson

Contributing Writer Greg Gabriel

Art director Bob Peters

Production manager R. Scott Helmchen

ADVERTISING SALES Executive director/Sales Laura Shaw Photography courtesy of SportPics Pro Football Weekly 7717 S. Ill. Route 31 Crystal Lake, Ill. 60014 General inquiries: 815-459-4122 Published by Shaw Media President John Rung

About the author

Greg Gabriel has been Pro Football Weekly’s Scouting/Draft expert since 2015. Prior to that, he spent 32 years as an NFL Scout and Director of College Scouting. 1981-1982 Quadra Scouting Combine 1982-1984 Buffalo Bills 1984-1985 National Scouting 1985-2001 New York Giants, Area Scout 2001-2010 Chicago Bears, Director of College Scouting 2012-2013 Philadelphia Eagles, Player Personnel Gabriel’s past colleagues include Bill Parcells, George Young, Ernie Accorsi, Dan Reeves, Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin, to name a few. Gabriel is currently a partner and NFL analyst at NFPOST.com.

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UP FRONT

DeShone Kizer

The first-round quarterbacks ...................... PFW’s exclusive mock draft ........................... Draft rankings by position .......................

4 8

10

SCOUTING REPORTS QUARTERBACKS.................12 UP CLOSE WITH NATHAN PETERMAN.......... 16 JuJu Smith-Schuster

RUNNING BACKS................18 WIDE RECEIVERS...............26 TIGHT ENDS........................36 OFFENSIVE TACKLES........40 OFFENSIVE GUARDS.........48 UP CLOSE WITH INDIANA’S DAN FEENEY.... 50

CENTERS..............................54 DEFENSIVE TACKLES........58 EDGE RUSHERS..................64 LINEBACKERS...................... 72 CORNERBACKS..................78 SAFETIES.............................86 SPOTLIGHT ON THE SAFETIES .....................92

SPECIALISTS.......................94 TEAM ANALYSIS

Myles Garrett

CLEVELAND.............96 SAN FRANCISCO....... 97 CHICAGO..................98 JACKSONVILLE.......99 L.A. RAMS.............. 100 N.Y. JETS................. 101 L.A. CHARGERS...... 102 CAROLINA..............103 CINCINNATI.......... 104 BUFFALO................ 105 NEW ORLEANS.... 106 PHILADELPHIA......107 ARIZONA................ 108 INDIANAPOLIS..... 109 MINNESOTA.......... 110 BALTIMORE............ 111

WASHINGTON.......112 TENNESSEE.............113 TAMPA BAY........... 114 DENVER................... 115 DETROIT.................. 116 MIAMI.......................117 N.Y. GIANTS........... 118 OAKLAND................ 119 HOUSTON.............. 120 SEATTLE...................121 KANSAS CITY........ 122 DALLAS.................... 123 GREEN BAY............124 PITTSBURGH......... 125 ATLANTA.................126 NEW ENGLAND.... 127

ALPHABETICAL PLAYER INDEX.......... 128

Scouting reports by Greg Gabriel. Team analysis pages by the PFW editorial staff. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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T By

Kizer, Trubisky & Watson are the top QB prospects in 2017

ARTHUR ARKUSH

here are two types of teams in today’s NFL: those equipped to pass, and those that aren’t. The former group has established franchise quarterbacks, enabling them to bypass tantalizing first-round prospects who aren’t the best talents, the top current options at professional sports’ hardest position to fill. The less fortunate segment operates with their backs against the wall, a competitive void clouding judgment and threatening to banish decision-makers and coaches if it remains. This is the NFL rat race, where franchise quarterbacks, in ominously short supply, make the football world go round.

•••

The data, like Tom Brady ascending from 199th overall pick to his record fifth Lombardi trophy following the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, is both telling and tormenting for the clubs without one: of the 56 first-round quarterbacks drafted from 1990-2012, 43 haven’t reached a Super Bowl, and 35 have losing records. Even though Brady’s brilliance set the table for the NFL’s greatest dynasty, history proves he and Joe Montana are ultimate outliers. Most franchise passers are born as NFL premium picks. Of the 46 quarterbacks selected in the top five since the NFL merger, 27 have earned Pro Bowl recognition. The busts, from JaMarcus Russell to Ryan Leaf to Heath Shuler to Jeff George, help form cautionary tales of overvaluing physical traits while overlooking intangibles, but many of their peers’ busts will reside in Canton.

•••

The 2011 draft was historically robust with blue-chip defenders and, we now know, rife with QB flameouts. The Titans began the domino effect,

4 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

choosing Jake Locker at No. 8 overall, one pick ahead of perennial All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith. The Jaguars moved up six spots to pluck Blaine Gabbert at No. 10, one slot before three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. The Vikings tabbed Christian Ponder 12th when picks 14 through 16 were Robert Quinn, Mike Pouncey and Ryan Kerrigan. Locker retired at age 27 due to health concerns following 23 starts with fleeting flashes, and the general manager responsible for his selection, Ruston Webster, was fired. Gabbert and Ponder have failed in

multiple stops, with former Jaguars GM Gene Smith jettisoned out of the league entirely and Vikings GM Rick Spielman’s QB post unsettled in Minnesota six years later. “That’s what happens around the league when you risk a high pick on a quarterback – you’re gambling your career,” PFW talent evaluator Greg Gabriel, formerly the Bears’ Director of College Scouting, says, admitting his stance has recently changed. “But at the same time, if you don’t take the gamble – and this is where I’m sorry to change – you’re going to get fired anyway. It’s like you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.” Is the 2016 QB crop, one PFW pegged as


(L. to R.) Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky and DeShon Kizer are the consensus top three QBs in the 2017 NFL Draft. How high they get selected remains an ongoing debate among analysts.

average last spring, destined for a similar fate? It’s irresponsibly premature to write off Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, whom the Rams and Eagles aggressively maneuvered to the top of the draft to acquire first and second overall, respectively. Wentz showed major promise, albeit earlier than late. But Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa and first-team All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott, selected with the next two picks, are already among the NFL’s best at their positions. “Were Carson Wentz and Jared Goff the best two players in last year’s draft?” Gabriel asks, rhetorically. “Hell no. They were the best two quarterbacks and went to the teams that had to have quarterbacks.” Of course, a team’s duty to locate a franchise QB doesn’t stop once the pick is in. Wentz, and especially Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, were better positioned for early success than Goff. “Any team that’s going to draft a quarterback, you better be sure you’ve got the right people to help develop him,” says Gabriel, citing longtime NFL quarterbacks-turned-experienced coaches in Dallas and Philadelphia – a luxury that evaded Goff on a staff whose lack of qualifications are evident by its offseason upheaval.

•••

The four quarterbacks playing in the 2016 conference championship weekend combined for a record seven Super Bowl rings: Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers – all first-rounders – and Brady. Five of the top six clubs drafting in April have significant quarterback questions, an illustration of the league’s QB shortage but a uniquely high total, potentially creating an even more unpredictable situation in a reactionary league come April. One NFL scouting director without a need at quarterback, speaking on the condition of anonymity, sums up the dilemma, ironically. “It’s like with anything, when you’re

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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in a pressure situation to win, you’re going to make some decisions that you don’t make when you have a clear head,” he says, essentially admitting a flaw teams have when it comes to making decisions about overdrafting quarterbacks. The Browns and Bears entered this offseason with similar quarterback quandaries despite different routes there. Cleveland’s infamous quarterback carousel has spun 27 times since 1999, the most in the league, including four in the first round and three additional top-100 picks. “I came here to coach that position and get it better, and I plan on doing that,’’ Browns second-year coach Hue Jackson said, with the remarkable leverage of five picks in the top 64, including No. 1 overall. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ll put a quarterback on this football team that can win. That’s my job. We’re going to do it collectively as a group. But hopefully, we’re going to lean on my expertise and what I need at that position to win. “… A guy needs to be able to process football and [have] arm talent,” explained Jackson. “I think that’s really important, especially in our division … If you can’t stand in there in snow and the elements and throw the football, then it’s tough. And if you can’t process information, because the defenses are so good … it’s hard to play. So those things are non-negotiable for me.” Jackson said finding the right kind of leader is a “feel” thing stemming from experience, an inherent grey area Bears coach John Fox, whose staff lacks a QB guru like Jackson, admits makes the task particularly difficult. “I think that’s what makes everybody’s job in evaluating quarterbacks tough, because it’s a pretty invaluable skill set, looking to that guy – whether it’s at the end of a game, or fourth-quarter drive, and some of the things they do to prepare for the competition,” Fox said. Fox and Bears GM Ryan Pace, entering their third draft yet to have picked a quarterback, could finally be unshackled from Jay Cutler’s cost-prohibitive contract they inherited. But Chicago might not have time to develop a quarterback after winning a combined nine games through two years of the Pace-Fox regime. “You want to look for a player who

Jimmy Garoppolo

has lifted his program,” Pace, who hails from the Saints personnel department that traded for Drew Brees, explained of leading his first-ever QB search. “… Quarterbacks we’ve been around, Drew Brees for example, when he was at Purdue, he lifted the program. That’s definitely a factor added into about 30 other things you factor into that position.” Cleveland and Chicago, plus the Jets, selecting sixth overall following their contract standoff with Ryan Fitzpatrick last offseason, all face vast pressure coming off disastrous seasons in which high-level jobs were spared despite sparse QB optimism. The 49ers and Jaguars brass weren’t as lucky; those clubs have more time to get it right but likely a strong desire to lead new searches.

•••

Talk to five different NFL evaluators and get five different answers regarding Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo, as of press time the potential crown jewel of the NFL trade market. His polarizing status, and the top three QBs being underclassmen penciled in as top-15 picks in early February but with their own question marks, makes this offseason’s QB riddle all the more vexing. Several teams PFW spoke with think Garoppolo, the 62nd overall pick in 2014, is both more prepared to pilot a team in Week One of the 2017 season than April’s projects, and also a better overall prospect. Others are leery of falling prey to

6 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

the “Patriot Way” trap, where Bill Belichick maximizes his players before they historically falter upon exiting his winning culture. Then there’s Garoppolo’s condensed résumé – six scintillating quarters amid Brady’s suspension to begin 2016 prior to a shoulder injury opening the door for fifth-round rookie Jacoby Brissett, whom some clubs feel is more talented. Will teams be more comfortable attempting to deal for Garoppolo and his 94 career attempts, or perhaps brittle but proven vet Tony Romo, than drafting Kizer, “a victim of circumstances beyond his own control” at Notre Dame, according to Gabriel? “I’m of the belief that Kizer is going to be a better pro than he was a collegian this year,” Gabriel says. “He still has three years of eligibility left and there’s development still. But the raw traits are great. He made a lot of pre-snap reads, changed plays – that puts him ahead of the curve getting ready for the NFL.” Like Kizer, Trubisky has “great” physical tools, but how long is it going to take to coax dependable production from a one-year starter with 572 career attempts coming from a “scary” half-field spread offense? “There used to be an old saying [among] evaluators or coaches, you wanted the quarterbacks to be at least a two-year starter, preferably a threeyear starter, throw a minimum of 900 attempts before you think the guy is ready to play,” Gabriel says. Neither Kizer nor Trubisky stood as tall on as big a stage – twice – as Watson, the reigning national champion. He may lack their prototypical size, and his final season started rough after he entered as the consensus top QB prospect, but his final flourish versus Alabama can’t be discounted, either. “The important thing is that he won when he had to, and how many guys have gotten their team to the national championship game two years in a row, wins this one? I think that says a lot about him as a player. I think he’s got the intangibles that you want,” Gabriel says. The teams solely wanting a talent like Watson, Trubisky or Kizer in their QB room for the long-term are in business. It’s the clubs that need their help immediately whose livelihoods are at stake.


PFW

T

2017

his is Pro Football Weekly Mock Draft 1.0, our first attempt at trying to project the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. It should be noted that this Mock Draft was done prior to the NFL Combine, and our editors took into account team needs as well as player grades. Stay tuned to ProFootballWeekly.com for Mock Drafts leading up to our final version on April 26, the day before the NFL Draft. We will also have an updated Mock Draft in our exclusive, must-have Draft Preview Magazine Update available April 1 as well as in our Pro Football Weekly newspaper inserts, available across the country on April 23.

* — DENOTES THAT THE PLAYER IS AN UNDERCLASSMAN

CLEVELAND BROWNS

MYLES GARRETT* | EDGE | TEXAS A&M

u Near unaminous consent, even the Browns can’t miss this one.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

DeSHONE KIZER* | QB | NOTRE DAME

u Flip a coin between him and Trubisky but Kizer might be ready sooner.

CHICAGO BEARS

JONATHAN ALLEN | DT | ALABAMA

u Allen would join Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks to form quite the D-line.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

JAMAL ADAMS* | S | LSU

u Jaguars fill biggest need with the best player on the board.

TENNESSEE TITANS

MARSHON LATTIMORE* | CB | OHIO STATE u They find No. 1 of present and future as secondary overhaul begins.

NEW YORK JETS

MARLON HUMPHREY* | CB | ALABAMA u Time to revamp the corner position after a rough year for Revis.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

MALIK HOOKER* | S | OHIO STATE

u Tempted by Peppers, Bolts go with Hooker’s athletic gifts.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

LEONARD FOURNETTE* | RB | LSU

u Good luck finding a more physically gifted backfield in the NFL.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

REUBEN FOSTER* | LB | ALABAMA

u Run defense took a step back. Foster can be instant improvement.

BUFFALO BILLS

MIKE WILLIAMS* | WR | CLEMSON

u Bills are stunned best wideout is still on the board, fill huge need.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

DEREK BARNETT* | EDGE | TENNESSEE

u No. 32 pass ‘D,’ 27th in sacks; hello, Barnett’s huge rush production.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

DESHAUN WATSON* | QB | CLEMSON

u Ideal scenario for Hue to snag potential long-term QB answer at 12.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

COREY DAVIS | WR | WESTERN MICHIGAN u One more year of Fitz, Michael Floyd is gone, Cards fill big need.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

RYAN RAMCZYK* | OT | WISCONSIN

u Chris Ballard debuts with safe, sound pick to protect the franchise.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER* | WR | USC

u Does any team need a playmaking WR more than the Eagles?

BALTIMORE RAVENS

QUINCY WILSON* | CB | FLORIDA MYLES GARRETT

8 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

u Wizard of OZ can’t pass this over-sized corner who can run.


By Pro

Football Weekly staff

WASHINGTON

SOLOMON THOMAS* | EDGE | STANFORD u A prototypical McCloughan pick to help strengthen soft interior ‘D.’

TENNESSEE TITANS

JABRILL PEPPERS* | S | MICHIGAN

u Titans double-up on secondary help to revamp the back end.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

MALIK McDOWELL* | DT | MICHIGAN STATE u After just missing on Peppers, Bucs go best athlete/player available.

DENVER BRONCOS

CAM ROBINSON* | OT | ALABAMA

MITCH TRUBISKY

u They need immediate help – can Robinson be consistent enough?

DETROIT LIONS

DALVIN COOK* | RB | FLORIDA STATE

u Perfect bellcow for Detroit’s offense to help out Matthew Stafford.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

TACO CHARLTON* | EDGE | MICHIGAN

u Taco one of fastest risers on the board and Dolphins need pass rush.

NEW YORK GIANTS

O.J. HOWARD | TE | ALABAMA

u Howard, OBJ and Shepard, oh my. If Eli’s declining, they’ll help lift him.

OAKLAND RAIDERS

TEEZ TABOR* | CB | FLORIDA

JAMAL ADAMS

u Time to use the draft to fix the pass ‘D’, and it starts with Tabor.

HOUSTON TEXANS

DAVID NJOKU* | TE | MIAMI (FLA.)

u Sadly for Texans, it’s a down year for OTs, but great for athletic TEs.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

FORREST LAMP | OG | WESTERN KENTUCKY u Classic Seattle O-line pick – except Lamp even has O-line pedigree.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

MITCH TRUBISKY* | QB | UNC

u Great value pick and would be heir-apparent to Alex Smith

DALLAS COWBOYS

TAKKARIST McKINLEY | EDGE | UCLA

JABRILL PEPPERS

u Cowboys desperately need pass rush and McKinley best ER left.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

ZACH CUNNINGHAM* | LB | VANDERBILT

u Ted Thompson finally makes earnest investment to reshape ILB corps.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

TIM WILLIAMS* | EDGE | ALABAMA

u Brings his pass-rushing prowess to a defense that needs it.

ATLANTA FALCONS

OBI MELIFONWU | S | CONNECTICUT

u Call them Seattle East as Neal, Melifonwu mirror Thomas, Chancellor.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY* | RB | STANFORD u Belichick can’t help himself with versatile game-breaker sitting there.

O.J. HOWARD PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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NOTE: Players are listed according to PFW’s rankings at the position they project best to in the pros. The draft projection reflects where the player likely will come off the board during the 2017 draft.

QUARTERBACKS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 DeShone Kizer

Notre Dame

PROJ

1

2 Deshaun Watson

Clemson

1

3 Mitch Trubisky

North Carolina

1

4 Patrick Mahomes Texas Tech

1-2

5 Nathan Peterman Pittsburgh

2-3

6 Chad Kelly

4

Mississippi

7 Joshua Dobbs

Tennessee

4

8 David Webb

California

4-5

9 Brad Kaaya

Miami (Fla.)

5

10 Jerod Evans

Virginia Tech

5

11 C.J. Beathard

Iowa

5

12 Sefo Liufau

Colorado

5-6

NR Seth Russell

Baylor

NR

NR Antonio Pipkin

Tiffin

NR

NR Alek Torgersen

Penn

NR

RUNNING RK PLAYER

BACKS

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 Leonard Fournette LSU

1

2 Dalvin Cook

1

Florida State

3 Christian McCaffrey Stanford

1

4 Wayne Gallman

2

Clemson

5 Samaje Perine

Oklahoma

2

6 D’Onta Foreman

Texas

2

7 Marlon Mack

South Florida

2-3

8 James Conner

Pittsburgh

3

9 Joe Mixon

Oklahoma

10 Jeremy McNichols Boise State

4-5 3-4

11 Jamaal Williams

BYU

4

12 Sam Rogers

Virginia Tech

4-5

NR De’Veon Smith

Michigan

NR

9 Jonnu Smith

Fla. International

4-5

NR Jordan Johnson

Buffalo

NR

10 Eric Saubert

Drake

5

WIDE

RECEIVERS

RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 Juju Smith-Schuster USC 1 2 Mike Williams Clemson 1 3 Corey Davis Western Michigan 1 4 John Ross Washington 1-2 5 Curtis Samuel Ohio State 1-2 6 Cooper Kupp Eastern Washington 2 7 Chad Hansen California 2 8 Noah Brown Ohio State 2 9 Josh Reynolds Texas A&M 2-3 10 Amara Darboh Michigan 2-3 11 Taywan Taylor Western Kentucky 2-3 12 Dede Westbrook Oklahoma 3 13 KD Cannon Baylor 3 14 Isaiah Ford Virginia Tech 3 Penn State 3 15 Chris Godwin 16 Jalen Robinette Air Force 3 17 ArDarius Stewart Alabama 4 18 Artavis Scott Clemson 4 19 Zay Jones East Carolina 4 20 Malachi Dupre LSU 4-5 21 Trent Taylor Louisiana Tech 4-5 22 Ryan Switzer North Carolina 4-5 23 Jamari Staples Louisville 4-5 24 Kenny Golladay Northern Illinois 5 25 Jordan Westerkamp Nebraska 5 26 Fred Ross Mississippi State 5 27 Amba Etta-Tawo Syracuse 5 28 Rodney Adams South Florida 5-6 29 Travin Dural LSU 6 30 Stacy Coley Miami (Fla.) 7 NR Carlos Henderson Louisiana Tech NR NR Jehu Chesson Michigan NR NR Darreus Rogers USC NR NR Speedy Noil Texas A&M NR NR Ricky Seals-Jones Texas A&M NR NR Austin Carr Northwestern NR

13 Kareem Hunt

Toledo

4-5

14 Joe Williams

Utah

5

15 Alvin Kamara

Tennessee

5

16 Corey Clement

Wisconsin

5

17 Matthew Dayes

N.C. State

5-6

18 Brian Hill

Wyoming

5-6

19 Donnel Pumphrey

San Diego State

6

20 Elijah Hood

North Carolina

6-7

21 Elijah McGuire

Louisiana-Lafayette 6-7

22 Justin Davis

USC

7

23 Tarean Folston

Notre Dame

7-FA

4 Jake Butt

Michigan

2-3

24 Joseph Yearby

Miami (Fla.)

7-FA

5 Gerald Everett

South Alabama

2-3

NR Khalid Abdullah

James Madison

NR

6 Bucky Hodges

Virginia Tech

3

NR Marcus Cox

Appalachian State NR

7 Jordan Leggett

Clemson

4

8 Jeremy Sprinkle

Arkansas

4

NR Freddie Stevenson Florida State

NR

TIGHT ENDS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 O.J. Howard

Alabama

1

2 David Njoku

Miami (Fla.)

1-2

3 Evan Engram

Mississippi

2

10 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

PROJ

11 Michael Roberts

Toledo

6

NR Blake Jarwin

Oklahoma State

NR

NR Colin Jeter

LSU

NR

NR Cole Hikutini

Louisville

NR

OFFENSIVE RK PLAYER

TACKLES

1 Cam Robinson 2 Antonio Garcia 3 Ryan Ramczyk 4 Garett Bolles 5 Dion Dawkins 6 Taylor Moton 7 Avery Gennesy 8 Chad Wheeler 9 Roderick Johnson 10 Erik Magnuson 11 Julie’n Davenport 12 Adam Bisnowaty 13 Jylan Ware 14 Dan Skipper 15 William Holden 16 David Sharpe 17 Conor McDermott 18 Zach Banner 19 Storm Norton 20 Victor Salako 21 Jon Heck 22 Justin Senior 23 Steven Moore NR Levon Myers NR Sam Tevi NR Jerry Ugokwe NR Daniel Brunskill

SCHOOL

PROJ

Alabama Troy Wisconsin Utah Temple Western Michigan Texas A&M USC Florida State Michigan Bucknell Pittsburgh Alabama State Arkansas Vanderbilt Florida UCLA USC Toledo Oklahoma State North Carolina Mississippi State California Northern Illinois Utah William and Mary San Diego State

OFFENSIVE GUARDS

1 1 1 1-2 2 2 2 2 2-3 2-3 3-4 4 4 4 4-5 4-5 4-5 5 5 5-6 6 7 7 NR NR NR NR

RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 Dan Feeney 2 Forrest Lamp 3 Dorian Johnson 4 Pat Elflein 5 Damien Mama 6 Nico Siragusa 7 Isaac Asiata 8 Danny Isidora 9 Jessamen Dunker 10 Jordan Morgan 11 Kyle Kalis 12 Sean Harlow NR Evan Goodman

Indiana Western Kentucky Pittsburgh Ohio State USC San Diego State Utah Miami (Fla.) Tennessee State Kutztown Michigan Oregon State Arizona State

PROJ

1 2 2 2 3 3-4 4 4 4-5 5 5-6 6 NR


By

GREG GABRIEL NR Greg Pyke NR Adam Pankey

CENTERS

Georgia West Virginia

RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 Tyler Orlosky 2 Ethan Pocic 3 Jon Toth 4 Kyle Fuller 5 Chase Roullier 6 Lucas Crowley 7 Tobijah Hughley 8 Jay Guillermo NR Joe Scelfo NR Gavin Andrew

West Virginia LSU Kentucky Baylor Wyoming North Carolina Louisville Clemson North Carolina St. Oregon State

DEFENSIVE TACKLES RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 Jonathan Allen 2 Malik McDowell 3 Jaleel Johnson 4 Chris Wormley 5 Carlos Watkins 6 Caleb Brantley 7 Charles Walker 8 Elijah Qualls 9 Dalvin Tomlinson 10 Larry Ogunjobi 11 Ryan Glasgow 12 Montravius Adams 13 Vincent Taylor 14 Isaac Rochell 15 Stevie Tu’ikolovatu 16 Nazair Jones 17 Eddie Vanderdoes 18 Davon Godchaux 19 Jarron Jones 20 Tanzel Smart NR Josh Augusta NR Josh Topou NR Chuncky Clements NR Christian Brown NR Matt Godin

Alabama Michigan State Iowa Michigan Clemson Florida Oklahoma Washington Alabama Charlotte Michigan Auburn Oklahoma State Notre Dame USC North Carolina UCLA LSU Notre Dame Tulave Missouri Colorado Illinois West Virginia Michigan

LINEBACKERS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

Alabama Ohio State Vanderbilt Florida Louisville Temple Northwestern LSU

1 Reuben Foster 2 Raekwon McMillan 3 Zach Cunningham 4 Jarrad Davis 5 Devonte Fields 6 Haason Reddick 7 Anthony Walker Jr. 8 Duke Riley

NR NR PROJ

4 4-5 5 5 6 7 7 7 NR NR PROJ

1 1-2 1-2 1-2 2 2 2-3 3 3 3-4 4 4 4-5 4-5 4-5 5 6 6 6 6-7 NR NR NR NR NR

PROJ

1 1 1-2 2 3 3 3-4 4

9 Kendell Beckwith 10 Alex Anzalone 11 Vince Biegel 12 Ben Gedeon 13 Carroll Phillips Jr. 14 James Onwualu 15 Ben Boulware 16 Riley Bullough 17 Steven Taylor 18 Harvey Langi NR Hardy Nickerson Jr. NR Josh Carraway NR Tyus Bowser NR Marquel Lee NR Connor Harris NR Jayon Brown

LSU Florida Wisconsin Michigan Illinois Notre Dame Clemson Michigan State Houston BYU Illinois TCU Houston Wake Forest Lindenwood UCLA

EDGE RUSHERS

4 4-5 4-5 4-5 4-5 5-6 5-6 6 7 7 NR NR NR NR NR NR

RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 Myles Garrett 2 Derek Barnett 3 Tim Williams 4 Taco Charlton 5 Takkarist McKinley 6 Solomon Thomas 7 T.J. Watt 8 Charles Harris 9 Ryan Anderson 10 DeMarcus Walker 11 Carl Lawson 12 Dawuane Smoot 13 Daeshon Hall 14 Tarell Basham 15 Jordan Willis 16 Trey Hendrickson 17 Tanoh Kpassagnon 18 Derek Rivers 19 Ejuan Price 20 Avery Moss 21 Deatrich Wise Jr. 22 Bryan Cox Jr. 23 Collin Bevins 24 Jamal Marcus NR Lewis Neal NR Karter Schult NR Jeremiah Ledbetter NR Keionta Davis

Texas A&M Tennessee Alabama Michigan UCLA Stanford Wisconsin Missouri Alabama Florida State Auburn Illinois Texas A&M Ohio Kansas State Florida Atlantic Villanova Youngstown State Pittsburgh Youngstown State Arkansas Florida NW Missouri St. Akron LSU Northern Iowa Arkansas Tenn.-Chattanooga

CORNERBACKS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 1 1 1 2 1 1-2 1-2 2 2 2 2-3 3 3 3-4 3-4 4 4 4-5 4-5 5 6 6 7 NR NR NR NR

PROJ

4 Quincy Wilson

Florida

1

5 Gareon Conley

Ohio State

1

6 Sidney Jones

Washington

1

7 Adoreé Jackson

USC

2

8 Rasul Douglas

West Virginia

2

9 Desmond King

Iowa

2

10 Cordrea Tankersley Clemson

2

11 Jourdan Lewis

Michigan

2-3

12 Chidobe Awuzie

Colorado

2-3

13 Tre’Davious White LSU

2-3

14 Fabian Moreau

UCLA

3

15 Kevin King

Washington

3

16 Damontae Kazee

San Diego State

4

17 Channing Stribling Michigan

4

18 Corn Elder

Miami

4-5

19 Marquez White

Florida State

5-6

20 Cole Luke

Notre Dame

6

21 Greg Mabin

Iowa

7

22 Ashton Lampkin

Oklahoma State

7

NR Ezra Robinson

Tennessee State

NR

NR Boise Ross

Buffalo

NR

NR Brad Watson

Wake Forest

NR

SAFETIES RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 Malik Hooker

Ohio State

1

2 Jabrill Peppers

Michigan

1

3 Jamal Adams

LSU

1

4 Marcus Williams

Utah

2

5 Budda Baker

Washington

2-3

6 Justin Evans

Texas A&M

3

7 Rayshawn Jenkins Miami (Fla.)

3-4

8 Marcus Maye

3-4

Florida

9 Obi Melifonwu

Connecticut

3-4

10 John Johnson

Boston College

4

11 Montae Nicholson Michigan State

4-5

12 Eddie Jackson

4-5

Alabama

13 Josh Harvey-Clemons Louisville

5

14 Lorenzo Jerome

5

St. Francis (Pa.)

15 Xavier Woods

Louisiana Tech

7

NR Nate Gerry

Nebraska

NR

NR Fish Smithson

Kansas

NR

NR Jamal Carter

Miami (Fla.)

NR

NR Delano Hill

Michigan

NR

NR Tedric Thompson

Colorado

NR

KICKERS/PUNTERS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 Zane Gonzalez

Arizona State

PROJ

7-FA

1 Marshon Lattimore Ohio State

1

2 Toby Baker

Arkansas

FA

2 Marlon Humphrey Alabama

1

3 Jake Elliott

Memphis

FA

3 Teez Tabor

1

4 Austin Rehkow

Idaho

FA

Florida

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 11


T POSITION GRADE

his is a tough year for any club looking for a franchise quarterback prospect at the top of the draft. It might be the weakest group of prospects since 2013, when EJ Manuel was the only first-rounder at 16, Geno Smith was alone in the second round at 39, Mike Glennon was next in the third round at 73, and Matt Barkley was the first fourthround QB at 98. Prior to that, you can go all the way back to 2007, when JaMarcus Russell went No 1, Brady Quinn was 22nd, Kevin Kolb 36th and John Beck out of BYU went 40th. DeShone Kizer, Deshaun Watson and Mitch Tru-

B

bisky are the top three this year. In any other draft, it’s possible none would go in the first round. The most recent time that happened was 1996, when Tony Banks was the first signal-caller tabbed at 42 in the second round. It won’t happen this year either, as some club(s) will reach for one of the top three. We won’t be shocked if all three go in the top 32 because of the premium some teams put on drafting at the position DeSHONE KIZER and the desperation other clubs are feeling to find a quarterback right now. Although traffic could be slow in the first round, look for a lot of activity in Rounds 2-4, as the depth of this group is better than the top end talent.

NOTE: Scouting reports were written by Greg Gabriel. An ‘e’ after a player’s height, weight or 40-yard dash time denotes that it is an estimate

1 KIZER DeSHONE

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.70 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2014 (Did not play) 2015 13/11 211 335 63.0 2,884 8.6 21 10 2016 12/12 212 361 58.7 2,925 8.1 26 9 TOT 25/23 423 696 60.9 5,809 8.4 47 19 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2WATSON DESHAUN

CLEMSON

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.62e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2014 8/5 93 137 68.0 1,466 10.7 14 2 2015 15/15 333 491 68.0 4,109 8.4 35 13 2016 15/15 388 579 67.0 4,593 7.9 41 17 TOT 38/35 814 1,207 67.6 10,168 9.0 90 32 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

STRONG POINTS • Prototypical size with good to very good athletic ability, speed and quick feet. Very strong arm. Played in an NFL-style passing game. Was able to change plays and protections at the line of scrimmage. Accurate with good ball placement short and deep. Quick delivery. Good ability to read the field and go through a progression. Can extend plays and make plays with his feet. Good runner. WEAK POINTS • Playing with an inexperienced receiver corps in 2016, his production slipped from 2015. Made some poor decisions and forced some throws in 2016. THE WAY WE SEE IT • As talented a QB as there is in this class. Looked like a top-three pick in 2015 playing with an experienced receiver group and a strong offensive line. His play slipped in 2016 with a less experienced supporting cast. Play-calling did not help him either as we didn’t see some throws that we saw often in 2015. Has all the tools with a very strong arm and can make any NFL throw. Has great size and is athletic to extend plays or run. Has to settle down and work on his fundamentals. Has the smarts and leadership skills needed. With the right coaching and supporting cast, he can become a very good NFL quarterback. STRONG POINTS • Very productive. Extremely athletic with quick feet, speed and body control. Has a strong arm and is accurate with good ball placement. Can find the open man and gets the ball out of his hand quickly. Very good at throwing the ball on the run. Has an excellent feel for pass rushers, can extend and make plays with his feet. Capable of making all the throws an NFL QB has to make. Very competitive, a winner and a good leader. WEAK POINTS • Plays in a rather simple spread offense with mostly half-field reads. Started the 2016 season slowly but came on strong after the first month. Lacks the size NFL evaluators want at the position. Listed at 6-3, 215 pounds but more likely 6-1½, 207. Will force some throws and make some poor reads. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Going into the season, Watson was everyone’s No. 1 QB, but he had a slow start and slipped in the ratings. Is very capable of becoming a quality NFL starter but will need time to learn and understand the NFL game because of the system he played in college. Would be best if he could sit for most of his rookie year. Has some special traits and could turn out to be a bigger Russell Wilson type. If he gets with the right team, watch out because this kid is talented.

12 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


QUARTERBACKS

3TRUBISKY MITCH

NORTH CAROLINA

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 225 e | 40: 4.68 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2014 10/0 2015 9/0 2016 13/13 TOT 32/13

42 40 304 386

78 53.8 47 85.1 447 68.0 572 67.5

459 5.9 4 4 555 11.8 6 0 3,748 8.4 30 6 4,762 8.7 40 10

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

4MAHOMES PATRICK

TEXAS TECH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 5.00e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2014 7/4 105 2015 13/13 364 2016 12/12 388 TOT 32/29 857

185 573 591 1,349

56.8 1,547 63.5 4,653 65.7 5,052 63.5 11,252

8.4 8.1 8.5 8.3

16 36 41 93

4 15 10 29

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

5PETERMAN NATHAN

PITTSBURGH

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS (* - at Tennesse) YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP%

YDS YPA TD INT

2013* 4/1 10 23 43.5 45 2014* 7/1 10 20 50.0 49 2015 13/11 193 314 61.5 2,287 2016 13/12 185 306 60.5 2,855 TOT 37/25 398 663 60.0 5,236

2.0 0 2 2.5 0 0 7.3 20 8 9.3 27 7 8.7 47 17

6KELLY CHAD

MISSISSIPPI

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 e | WT: 218 e | 40: 4.75 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

STRONG POINTS • Very productive, excellent arm talent. Has thrown for over 11,000 yards and 93 touchdowns in 2½ seasons. Has a quick release. Can make NFL throws. Good accuracy and ball placement. His dad played MLB so he should “get it.” Has a good feel for pass rushers. Can see the field. Flashes going through a minimal progression (Texas Tech offense). Flashed the ability to extend plays. WEAK POINTS • Looks too heavy, has to get in better shape. Plays in a simple spread offense. Not the most mobile guy and he lacks the speed to create on the run, but he is able to extend some. Has many throws where he doesn’t set his feet and is all arm. Needs work on his mechanics. Will force some throws because he trusts his arm too much. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Interesting talent. Has some outstanding traits, but is still raw. Put up great numbers in the Texas Tech offense but that isn’t the NFL. Needs to lose about 10 pounds and get in better shape. Will need time and coaching but could be a very good NFL QB. Has to work on his footwork and overall throwing mechanics, but the tools are there. Get the right coaching around this guy and he could turn out to be special. While he may go in the first round, I see him more as a second because he needs so much development. Interviews will be important. STRONG POINTS • Runs an NFL-type system that allows him to audible and change protections. Can read defenses, go through a progression and make good decisions. Has a very quick release. Shows good accuracy with good ball placement. Has adequate arm strength. Displays good athletic ability and can avoid pass rushers and make plays with his feet. Shows he can look off one target and come back to another. Strong leader on the field.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-21/2 | WT: 225 | 40: 4.75 e

B

STRONG POINTS • Ideal size for an NFL quarterback. Has real good athletic ability with speed, quick feet and change of direction. Very strong arm. Can make all the NFL-type throws. Shows good accuracy and ball placement. Has a good feel for pass rushers, can avoid and extend plays with his feet. Has a quick overhand delivery and throws a tight ball. Generally a good decision-maker. WEAK POINTS • Only a one-year starter. Plays in a very simple, half-field spread offense. Struggled some in his final games, losing three of last four. Will force some throws. Doesn’t play from under center. THE WAY WE SEE IT • 2016 was his first year as a full-time starter. He has ideal size with excellent athleticism. Shows a quick delivery, throws with accuracy and has good ball placement. Can make all the required NFL throws and has a very strong arm as well as throwing a tight ball. Overall, Trubisky has tremendous upside, but is inexperienced. He’s going to need time and coaching and is more of a developmental pick. His raw talent is as good as any QB in this class, but his lack of experience makes him a high-risk, high-reward selection. Interviews and workouts will be very important.

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2014 ( Transferred from Clemson) 2015 13/13 298 458 65.0 4,042 8.8 31 13 2016 9/9 205 328 62.5 2,758 8.4 19 8 TOT 22/22 503 786 63.8 6,800 8.6 50 21 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have ideal size at 6-2 1/2 . Doesn’t consistently throw a tight ball. A high percentage of his throws are in the short-to-medium range, so I am unsure of his actual arm strength. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very interesting prospect. Graduate transfer from Tennessee after three years where he started only a few games. Two-year starter at Pitt, where he put up good numbers. Peterman is smart, makes good decisions and is a strong leader on the field. He has as quick a delivery as any quarterback in the draft. He is accurate and is able to place the ball in the right spots. If his arm were a little stronger, he would be considered one of the better QBs in this draft. STRONG POINTS • Cocky and believes he can get the job done. Very good arm strength. Makes some outstanding throws. Is athletic and can extend and make plays with his feet. Accurate with good ball placement. Can make all necessary NFL throws. Quick delivery and quick decision-maker. Can drive the ball when he has to. WEAK POINTS • Suffered a serious knee injury (ACL, lateral meniscus) late in the season that could prevent him from being ready for training camp. Has some off-field issues, hot-headed and will make some poor decisions off the football field. Not as tall as some teams would like. Needs work on his mechanics (doesn’t always set his feet before he throws). Played in a simple, half-field spread offense. Double transfer. THE WAY WE SEE IT • One of the more interesting guys in this draft. Nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and has similar traits. His injury and medical will affect where and when he gets drafted. Could miss all or part of rookie season. Off-field issues are a problem but he is not a bad kid, just immature. Has very good talent and has the skill set to be a good NFL QB. Has to settle down and mature. Won’t go as high as his talent level because of injury and off-field issues, but he could make some team very happy. There is a lot to like about him when you do enough work. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 13


QUARTERBACKS

7DOBBS JOSHUA

TENNESSEE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-31/4 | WT: 216 | 40: 4.55 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

STRONG POINTS • Good height, outstanding athlete with speed. Very quick-footed. Very strong arm. Shows he can make all the required throws. With his speed and athleticism, he can avoid pass rushers, extend plays and make plays with his feet. Makes some big-time throws. Throws well on the run. WEAK POINTS • Will stare receivers down and make some poor decisions. Will make some poor throws, thinking he can make the throw with his arm strength. Has stretches when his accuracy is off and he gets erratic.

2013 5/4 72 121 59.5 695 5.7 2 6 2014 6/5 112 177 63.3 1,206 6.8 9 6 2015 13/13 205 344 59.6 2,291 6.7 15 5 2016 13/13 225 357 63.0 2,946 8.3 27 12 TOT 37/35 614 999 61.5 7,138 6.9 53 29

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Dobbs has been starting since midway through his sophomore year. He has height and a great arm to go along with excellent athleticism. His arm strength is very good. His problem is he can have stretches when he gets very erratic. Flashes top accuracy and ball placement, then he will throw the ball all over the place. Development will depend a great deal on the right coach who can improve his focus. With his athleticism, he can avoid pass rushers, extend plays and make plays with his feet. Overall, he has the talent but will need time and coaching. Could be a starter by Year Three if he settles down.

8WEBB

STRONG POINTS • Very good size. Smart and aware, generally a good decision-maker. Can find the open man and has a fairly quick release. Poised and shows good leadership ability on the field.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

DAVIS

CALIFORNIA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 | WT: 229 | 40: 5.00 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2013* 10/6 226 361 62.6 2,718 7.5 20 9 2014* 8/8 211 345 61.2 2,539 7.4 24 13 2015* 5/0 22 41 53.7 300 7.3 2 0 2016 12/12 382 620 61.6 4,295 6.9 37 12 TOT 35/26 841 1,367 61.5 9,852 7.2 83 34 * — AT TEXAS TECH

9KAAYA BRAD

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 5.00 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2014 13/13 221 378 58.5 3,198 8.5 26 12 2015 12/12 238 389 61.2 3,238 8.3 16 5 2016 13/13 261 421 62.0 3,532 8.4 27 7 TOT 38/38 720 1,188 60.6 9,968 8.4 69 24 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

10 EVANS JEROD

VIRGINIA TECH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 e | WT: 240 e | 40: 4.67 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2014 (Trinity Valley Community College ) 2015 (Trinity Valley Community College ) 2016 14/14 268 422 63.5 3,552 8.4 29 8 TOT 14/14 268 422 63.5 3,552 8.4 29 8 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

WEAK POINTS • Has quick feet but he is an average athlete. Lacks a “live” arm and cannot drive the ball. Not the type to extend or make plays with his feet. Inconsistent accuracy, especially downfield. Never played from under center. Lost his starting job at Texas Tech causing him to transfer. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Graduate transfer to Cal after playing three years at Texas Tech, two in which he was a starter. Has size with quick feet, but just an average athlete and he lacks a live arm. His accuracy is average and he has never completed more than 62 percent of his throws in high percentage offenses. While he is a good decision-maker and has a quick release, he can’t drive the ball and doesn’t throw a consistently tight ball. His intangibles are good but he lacks the physical traits to be an NFL starter. See him as a backup only who could develop in the right situation. STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Good height. Adequate arm strength. Has streaks when he completes everything. Has a fairly quick release. Can go through a progression and find the open man. Flashes poise and confidence. WEAK POINTS • Lean frame, needs to get stronger. Average athlete, average feet. Cannot extend plays with his feet and gets sacked too often. Doesn’t throw a consistently tight ball and can have problems with wind. Streak thrower, but when he is off he is way off. Inconsistent accuracy and ball placement. Inconsistent with decision-making and can throw into coverage. THE WAY WE SEE IT • After the 2015 season, he looked like he could become a very good NFL prospect, but his play leveled off instead of improving. Played in a new offense this year and that might have hindered his development. Does not seem like a quick processor and is a streaky passer. Can get hot and make every throw but has periods when his accuracy and ball placement are awful. He is not very mobile and lacks a good feel for pass rushers. Gets sacked a lot and is not able to extend plays with his feet. He should have stayed in school. There are times when he looks like a top prospect and other times when he looks like an UDFA. Hit-ormiss prospect who needs time and coaching. STRONG POINTS • Great size to go along with very good athletic ability and speed for a man his size. Has an extremely strong arm. Shows he can throw with touch or drive the ball. Has good accuracy and ball placement. Very good ability to avoid pass rushers and make plays with his feet. WEAK POINTS • A junior college transfer who has only played one year of major college football. Does not go through a full progression and often throws to his first read. Almost never see him go to a third option. The Virginia Tech offense is a fairly simple spread offense. Doesn’t call audibles. THE WAY WE SEE IT • While Evans is physically talented, I don’t know why he came out. He has very limited experience at the major college level and that experience is in an easyread spread offense. While Evans has the physical tools to play, he is a long ways away from being ready to play in the NFL. Will need a lot of time to learn the nuances of an NFL offense and go through a full-field progression. His physical traits may get him drafted higher than he deserves. Hit or miss guy. Interviews at Combine and private workouts will be very important.

14 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


QUARTERBACKS

11BEATHARD C.J.

IOWA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-25/8 | WT: 219 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS

STRONG POINTS • Plays under center in an NFL offense, where he has to go through a full progression. Has a good arm and a quick overhand release. Good arm strength, can easily throw the ball 55 yards. Shows he can make all the throws needed to play in the NFL. Good enough athlete to extend plays at times. For the most part, he finds the open receiver and makes good decisions. WEAK POINTS • A bit shorter than desired. Takes a number of hits. Will force some throws and accuracy can be off at times. Just average completion percentage. Doesn’t consistently come up big when he needs to.

2013 5/0 9 27 33.3 179 6.6 1 2 2014 9/1 52 92 56.5 645 7.0 5 2 2015 14/14 223 362 61.6 2,809 7.8 17 5 2016 13/13 170 301 56.5 1,929 6.4 17 10 TOT 41/28 454 782 58.1 5,562 7.0 40 19

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a two-year starter at Iowa. Grandson of Bobby Beathard, one of the all-time great NFL evaluators. Played on an average team with an average supporting cast, which hurts him. Many NFL people feel he will be a better pro than a college player. Will need some time to develop but has the tools, leadership and passion to become an eventual starter in the NFL. Because of where he came from, he gets it and understands what it takes to be successful.

12LIUFAU

STRONG POINTS • Three-and-a-half-year starter. Adequate arm strength. Shows adequate accuracy and ball placement. Adequate runner. Good athlete. When he makes the decision to throw the ball, it is out of his hand quickly.

YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

SEFO

COLORADO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-33/8 | WT: 240 | 40: 4.82 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP ATT CMP% YDS YPA TD INT

2013 8/7 149 251 59.4 1,779 7.1 12 8 2014 12/11 325 498 65.3 3,200 6.4 28 15 2015 11/11 214 345 61.9 2,418 7.0 9 6 2016 11/10 182 290 62.8 2,171 7.5 11 6 TOT 41/39 817 1,286 62.8 9,746 6.9 60 35

WEAK POINTS • Plays in a mostly two-read, half-field offense. Doesn’t have a consistently good feel for pass rushers. Touchdown pass production is really down (11 this year). Accuracy drops off with deeper throws. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Liufau is a very good college player with some limitations for the next level. Needs to get stronger and try to improve his arm strength, but he does have nice size to withstand NFL hits and good athleticism to be able to do what NFL coaches will ask him to do. He will need time to adjust to an NFL offense after playing in a half-field read offense in college. Has some important intangibles (intelligence, instincts, leadership) to help his development. Might not become more than a solid backup in the NFL but he looks the part and will get every chance to reach his full potential.

BEST OF THE REST SETH RUSSELL BAYLOR

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-23/4 e | WT: 220 e | 40-YARD: 4.80 e Russell has talent but has been inconsistent. He flashes the ability to make NFL-type throws but lacks consistent ball placement and accuracy. He has a quick release but lacks the arm strength to really drive the ball. Going to need a lot of time to adjust to NFL offenses and may never be better than an adequate No. 2 in the league.

ANTONIO PIPKIN TIFFIN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 7/8 | WT: 225 | 40-YARD: 4.85 e Productive player at a real low level of competition. Has bulk but is short and good arm strength but not a good feel. A real project who will need maybe two years on the practice squad just to challenge for a roster spot.

ALEK TORGERSEN PENN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-13/4 | WT: 215 | 40-YARD: 4.83 e Has size and dominated the Ivy League. Had a good week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game. Has a good arm and throws a tight ball. Needs to adapt to an NFL style offense. He could get drafted because of his smarts and arm but it will take a while to adjust.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING: “There is no consensus as •

to who is number 1, 2 or 3. You could ask five clubs and get five different answers.” “(DeShone Kizer) can start for many teams right away. Not many have his traits.” “If you look at just this year, I can see why some would be down on (Kizer), but with QBs, you have to look at every game they started. Kizer was outstanding in 2015.” “People keep trying to compare (Deshaun Watson) to RGIII, it’s not close. Watson played in a more sophisticated offense and got to the Championship game twice.” “(Trubisky) has a lot of talent, but being a one-year starter is scary. Not many have succeeded with only one year starting experience.”

• •

MITCH TRUBISKY

“He doesn’t have the hype some others do, but the kid I like the most in this group at the next level is (Nathan) Peterman from Pitt.” “ I thought (Brad Kaaya) would come on and be special this year. Instead he regressed. I really lowered my grade.” “I don’t know why (Jerod Evans) came out. He clearly isn’t ready for the NFL.”

• •

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 15


WITH

Nathan Peterman

FROM QUICK HOOKS TO A QUICK RISE Senior Bowl success has Nathan Peterman climbing QB draft boards

N By

ARTHUR ARKUSH

athan Peterman has certainly learned how to make a first impression. Increasingly projected following his excellent Senior Bowl as potentially this year’s Day Two QB steal, the former Pittsburgh passer, interestingly, overcame a disastrous initial introduction to the college football world – a pair of them, really – to get to where he is today. “I knew that it was kind of God letting me know that it was time to move on,” said Peterman of his decision to transfer from Tennessee to Pitt with two years of eligibility. Peterman made just two starts for the Volunteers over two seasons, each after replacing injured starter Justin Worley. Both resulted in quick hooks in favor of Joshua Dobbs – a two-interception outing in a 31-17 loss in Septempter 2013 in Gainesville lasting just 11 attempts; and just two series the following October versus Alabama. Fast-forward 26 months. After he transferred, again linking up with John Chaney, the Vols coordinator who helped recruit him, and following his usurping of incumbent Panthers starter Chad Voytik, Peterman started his final 24 games and clawed away at many school records. Now it’s Peterman, not Dobbs, who was the Senior Bowl QB prospect piquing the most interest from NFL clubs following a strong week in Mobile. “When he comes in as a quarterback with an NFL team, I think people are going to be very happy with the way he carries himself, as well,” said Matt Canada, Peterman’s offensive coordinator in 2016.

•••

Canada easily recalls his first impression of Peterman. Like Peterman one year earlier, Canada was the new man on campus, having spent the previous three seasons in the same post at North Carolina State. “I think Nate’s accuracy is something I’ve talked about

16 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

since the day I met him,” Canada said. “Something that people will continue to see him do, putting the balls into windows they need to be put into. “The first time we started throwing, I really was impressed with his arm strength. He does have the right size and everything, but his arm, his ability to make throws across the field were really, really big time.” This is coming from a coach who worked with rifle-armed Jacoby Brissett, the Patriots’ third-round pick in 2016, the year prior. Indeed, Peterman, in addition to clearly being the most polished of his Senior Bowl peers in terms of lower-body mechanics and accuracy, zipped a throw to the left sideline from the right hash mark into a micro window during one team drill that epitomized “NFL throw.” And here’s the thing: Peterman’s arm strength – which, given his stature and hand size, should only improve assuming he benefits from strong NFL coaching – his accuracy and functional mobility, while all pluses, also aren’t the traits that have NFL teams most excited.

•••

“The baseline thing I think you have to do is lead the team and make the guys around you better,” Peterman said of what he feels is his most endearing quality. “Learning from mistakes, trying to mature, focusing on the right things and also kind of figuring out who you can push, what guys you might have to put your arm around their shoulder and just learning how to play chess rather than checkers knowing that every guy is different.” If that sounds like a remarkably sharp and mature 22-yearold, well, your ears are trained similarly to NFL brass. And NFL evaluators didn’t have to scour far to learn that Peterman, already married and seeking his MBA, backs up that talk through his actions. “That is what Nate is. When you look at Nate and really study his history, he’s had to learn multiple offenses and work with different coordinators, which isn’t always the best situation,” Canada said. “But he handled it extremely well, obviously made the decision to switch schools, earned


NATHAN PETERMAN the respect of his team, won the job a year ago, before I was there, within a few games, which is always a challenge.” The reunion at Pitt of Peterman and Chaney propelled Chaney to the coordinator post at Georgia last season. Canada’s and Peterman’s resoundingly successful 2016, wherein Pitt went 8-5 while averaging 40.9 points per game — No. 10 in the nation and the most points per game ever in Panthers history — also helped guide Canada to the SEC, where he’ll coordinate LSU’s offense next season. Think Peterman is coachable? Clearly, his past two mentor-mentee marriages have been mutually beneficial. Interestingly, the comparison PFW Draft Guide and former college scouting director Greg Gabriel has for Peterman is Kirk Cousins, another former Senior Bowl star whose success in his first two years as a full-time starter in Washington launched coordinator Sean McVay to the Rams’ head coaching job. McVay is the youngest head coach in NFL history, just 30 at the time of his hiring in January.

•••

It’s difficult to avoid discussing the positive influence the Senior Bowl had on Peterman, particularly on the heels of Dak Prescott’s transcendent rookie campaign preceded by Senior Bowl success, not unlike that of Cousins, Russell Wilson and Derek Carr, among others. That Peterman and Prescott share an agent, and Prescott offered him some advice entering Senior Bowl week, was almost too perfect a narrative for the assembled reporters chatting with him on Media night. “To have fun, be yourself, you can’t fake it but it’s football, it’s meant to be fun,” Peterman recalled of Prescott’s advice. But it wasn’t as if Peterman arrived in Mobile as an

unknown, as FCS star Carson Wentz, relatively speaking, one year earlier. Peterman, after all, handed the national champion Clemson Tigers and their star-laden defense its only defeat, a five-touchdown, zero-interception assault, just one week after Pitt was blown out by Miami. Peterman led another upset of a top-10 club, Penn State, with surgical efficiency. Those types of performances certainly helped land him on the NFL radar in 2016. “There were a lot of scouts who told me, ‘the quarterback at Pitt is really interesting,’” said Senior Bowl director and former Browns GM Phil Savage, adding Peterman was an “automatic invite” to the all-star game. Perhaps some media members, then, were surprised by Peterman’s success, just not Savage or Canada. “He’s a winner, by that I mean not a selfish guy,” Canada said. “[If] we’re going to run it 80 times and win, he’s going to be happy, and then the game when you have to throw it 40-something times, the Clemson game, had five touchdown passes in a game, you got to be able to do that, too, on those days and not blink on either day and I think when you look at Nate, that’s who Nate is.” If there’s one common denominator for all the previous Senior Bowl success stories selected after Day One, it’s pristine intangibles, an ability to overcome adversity by compartmentalizing, and that’s what Peterman does, too. “The best thing for me is just to put blinders on and work,” Peterman said of tuning out the growing buzz as he continues his draft preparation. “I have no control over [rankings]; a lot of the things I’ve put on film already this season and all I can do is go out there and try and be the best player I can every day.” PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 17


U POSITION GRADE

nlike the signal-callers, the running back position is loaded this year with plenty of talent at the top and tremendous depth through the middle and late rounds. As recently as 2013 and 2014, there were no backs taken in the first round, but this is probably the best group since 2008, when Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall and Chris Johnson all came off the board in the first round and Matt Forte at 44 and Ray Rice at 55 led off the second round. Jamaal Charles was actually the 10th back taken, at 73 that year. This group may not be that good,

A

LEONARD FOURNETTE

18 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

but Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook look like potential franchise backs and Christian McCaffrey and D’Onta Foreman have a good shot at being late first-round picks as well. The idea that NFL teams don’t value the position like they used to is absurd, but clubs have learned they can sometimes find the best talent in the middle and later rounds, i.e. Jordan Howard to the Bears in the fifth round last year, and that does cause top running back prospects to last longer in the draft than players with similar grades at other positions might. There are potential gems stacked throughout our top 20 this year. This could be a season when the next Howard, DeMarco Murray or Lamar Miller emerges.


RUNNING

1 FOURNETTE LEONARD

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size, strength and power. Plays in a pro-style offense. Big time home-run hitter. If he gets a seam, he’s gone. Can outrun the pursuit. Very good power, can move the pile and consistently get yards after contact. Has a physical running style and can punish tacklers. Effective as a pass blocker, will face up. Good receiver out of the backfield. Great speed and burst to turn the corner. Ran for 3,830 yards in only 32 games. Very good kickoff returner.

LSU

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.43 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.1

RD 1

WEAK POINTS • Missed games this year because of injury. Has had some fumbles. Good but not great cutback runner. Can make the first man miss but lacks great elusiveness.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 13/6 187 1,034 5.5 10 2015 12/12 300 1,953 6.5 22 2016 7/6 129 843 6.5 8 TOT 32/24 616 3,830 6.2 40

7 19 15 41

127 0 253 1 146 0 526 1

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2COOK DALVIN

FLORIDA STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 3/4 e | WT: 204 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 13/3 170 1,052 5.9 8 22 203 0 2015 12/12 229 1,691 7.4 19 24 244 1 2016 13/13 288 1,765 6.1 19 33 488 1 TOT 38/28 687 4,464 6.5 46 79 935 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

3McCAFFREY CHRISTIAN

STANFORD

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 202 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 13/0 42 300 7.1 2015 14/14 337 2,019 6.0 2016 11/11 253 1,603 6.3 TOT 38/25 632 3,922 6.5

0 17 251 2 8 45 645 5 13 37 310 3 21 99 1,206 10

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

4GALLMAN WAYNE

CLEMSON

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

BACKS

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 ( Redshirted) 2014 13/9 161 769 4.8 4 24 108 1 2015 14/13 283 1,527 5.4 13 21 213 1 2016 15/15 232 1,133 4.9 17 20 152 0 TOT 42/37 676 3,429 5.1 34 65 473 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • As a freshman and a sophomore, he looked like the next Adrian Peterson and probably a top-three pick. Had a more “normal” year in 2016 because of injuries. Opponents have to find a way to stop him. He is big, powerful and productive and can dominate a game once he gets going. Few have his natural traits. Will need to become a better cutback runner but the vision and instincts are there for him to become that. Could very well become the first back taken. Not as good as Ezekiel Elliott but not far behind. STRONG POINTS • Exceptional overall athlete, with speed, change of direction, balance and foot quickness. Very productive with 4,464 yards and 46 rushing TDs in three seasons. Also has 79 receptions. Plays with good strength. Very quick to the hole with excellent vision and decision-making skills. Runs low, is explosive on contact and gets yards after contact. Home-run hitter. Reliable receiver and route runner. Willing pass and run blocker. Very nifty and elusive. Excellent stop and go, can make people miss on all levels. WEAK POINTS • Size; does he have the frame to hold up in the NFL for multiple seasons? Needs work on pass-block technique. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has made an impact since his freshman year. Has great speed, athleticism and run instincts. Capable of taking it to the house on any given play. Lack of size is a concern. Has been durable in college but will he hold up over a period of time in the NFL? Should be an instant contributor as a rookie and can be used in a variety of ways. Similar in size, speed and style to C.J. Spiller when he came out of Clemson. Will be drafted high and be productive, but longevity is a concern. This kid is talented. STRONG POINTS • Excellent multi-purpose back. Has played running back, wide receiver and returns kicks. Very productive. Has excellent overall athletic traits with speed, strength, change of direction, burst and balance. Runs low with good vision/instincts. Productive inside and out. Quick-footed with elusiveness both in tight and in space. Very creative. Good blocker. Good receiver who runs good routes and has soft hands. Can come in and be a team’s No. 1 returner. Played in an NFL-style system at Stanford. WEAK POINTS • Has marginal size and that might limit the amount of touches he gets each game. Missed some time with injuries in 2016. THE WAY WE SEE IT • McCaffrey is a third-year junior who is entering the draft. Outstanding all-purpose back who can play a variety of positions. Ran for almost 4,000 yards and had 99 receptions in his three years at Stanford. His only real negative is he lacks ideal NFL running back size and that might limit his number of touches per game. Can be a big-play guy with his skill set and versatility, and that will benefit any NFL offense. Will be best utilized in a rotation but he can still be a difference-maker. STRONG POINTS • Very productive the past two seasons with 2,736 yards and 28 touchdowns. Quick starter with excellent vision/instincts. Good jump-cutter and quickfooted. Finds the open seam and cutback lanes. Has a burst to daylight. Good with stop and go. Runs with power and consistently gets yardage after contact. Can make people miss in tight or in the open field. Equally good inside or outside. Reliable pass receiver and a willing pass blocker. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get a little bigger and stronger (closer to 220). Needs work on pass-block technique. Needs work on pass routes. THE WAY WE SEE IT • I like this player’s running style. It’s similar to Matt Forte’s style in that he has a quick jump inside. These types of runners generally make good NFL running backs. While he is a reliable receiver, he will need work on his pass routes and pass blocking. I like his toughness and competitive attitude. Makes plays when they are needed. I see him as a rotational back as a rookie and a starter by Year Two. Has very good upside. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 19


RUNNING

5PERINE SAMAJE

STRONG POINTS • Big, thick and athletic. Has good play speed and outstanding balance. Quick to the hole with very good vision/instincts and a good decision-maker. Runs with exceptional power and consistently gets yards after contact. Can move the pile. Breaks some long runs and is very difficult to tackle in the open field.

OKLAHOMA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.57 e

WEAK POINTS • Not really an outside threat, not used much in the passing game. Needs work on his pass protection technique, pass routes.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 13/8 263 1,713 6.5 21 2015 13/13 226 1,349 6.0 16 2016 10/9 196 1,060 5.4 12 TOT 36/30 685 4,122 6.0 49

15 15 10 40

108 107 106 321

0 1 1 2

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

6FOREMAN D’ONTA

TEXAS

WEAK POINTS • Not a consistent breakaway threat. Will need work on pass-block technique. Not used much as a receiver, might not have real good hands.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

THE WAY WE SEE IT • True junior entering the draft. Has run for more than 4,100 yards in three seasons. Short but thick and a very powerful inside runner. Quick to the hole with good vision and instincts. Makes good decisions. Is patient, sets up his blocks and finds the opening. Mostly an inside, between-the-tackles type who can move the pile. Consistently gets yards after contact. Was the man in 2014 and 2015 but split time with Joe Mixon in 2016. Not a big part of the passing game. As good as he is, he won’t be the bellcow in the NFL until he learns how to pass protect and run better routes. Still, he will be an important contributor. STRONG POINTS • Great size to go along with good strength and power. A good athlete with good speed and a burst. Can change direction and has excellent balance. Very good vision, can pick and slide as well as create. Good cutback skills. Consistently gets yards after contact. Very punishing runner. Willing pass blocker.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 1/2 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.57 e

A

BACKS

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 7/0 15 73 4.9 0 1 7 0 0 2015 10/0 95 681 7.2 5 5 64 2016 11/10 323 2,028 6.3 15 7 75 0 TOT 28/10 433 2,782 6.4 20 13 146 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A bigger, faster version of Bears running back Jordan Howard, Foreman is big and powerful and an excellent inside runner. Instinctive runner who can create, pick and slide and make his own hole. Consistently gets yards after contact. Has the burst to turn the corner and will get some long runs. Was not a big part of the Texas passing game and will need work on his receiving skills. Willing pass blocker who needs technique work. Should come in and play right away as a rookie. The type of runner who has a lot of success in the NFL.

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

7MACK MARLON

SOUTH FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-115/8 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 12/12 202 1,041 5.2 9 2015 12/12 210 1,381 6.6 8 2016 12/12 174 1,187 6.8 15 TOT 36/36 586 3,609 6.2 32

21 160 0 16 111 1 28 227 0 65 498 1

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

8CONNER JAMES

PITTSBURGH

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-11/2 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.58 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 12/0 146 799 5.5 8 3 33 0 2014 13/13 298 1,765 5.9 26 5 70 0 2015 1/1 8 77 9.6 2 1 7 0 2016 12/12 216 1,092 5.1 16 21 302 4 TOT 38/26 668 3,733 5.6 52 30 412 4 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

STRONG POINTS • Very quick and fast with excellent vision and decision-making ability. Able to make the big play. Runs with power and can get yards after contact. Reliable receiver with good hands. Shows patience until he finds a seam. WEAK POINTS • Marginal size and needs to add strength and bulk to his upper body. Needs a lot of work with pass protection technique and positioning. While he has good hands, he needs to improve his route-running ability. Not physically ready to be a fulltime player at the NFL level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Mack is a true junior entering the draft. He had an outstanding career at South Florida, rushing for more than 3,600 yards in three seasons. While he lacks great size, he has excellent quickness and speed to go along with very good vision and decision-making skills. Has a way of finding an open seam. He is a true big-play threat at the college level. Has the skill set to turn a short gain into a large one. He has good hands and is a reliable receiver. At the next level, he is going to have to get bigger and stronger, especially in the upper body, to hold up. Until that happens, I see him as a rotational player. Like most college backs, he will also need work on his pass-blocking skills. STRONG POINTS • Good initial quickness. Strong and powerful inside runner who consistently gets yards after contact. Very good vision/instincts, makes good decisions and can find cutback lanes. Has a burst to get outside. Quick-footed and can make the first man miss. Runs low and attacks tacklers. Tough to bring down. Good hands and a good receiver out of the backfield. Reliable blocker. Productive. WEAK POINTS • Injured knee in 2015 opener and missed the rest of the season, then was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Doesn’t have great top-end speed. THE WAY WE SEE IT • An inspirational player with the way he came back from a serious knee injury and then cancer. James is a punishing inside runner with great size, strength and power. He is more quick than fast but he’s fast enough. In a way, he reminds me of the Chiefs’ Spencer Ware with his run style. The type of back who becomes a productive pro. Can be an every-down player and move the chains. His medical will have a lot to do with where he gets drafted, but he is easily a second- to third-round talent. Will be a great pick if he gets a thumbs up from the doctors.

20 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


RUNNING

9MIXON JOE

STRONG POINTS • Great size. Plays with strength and power. Very good vision, makes good decisions and can find the open seams. Has good initial quickness and is quick to the hole. Has some pick and slide. Runs low and is able to get yards after contact with consistency. A reliable receiver with good hands and a good route runner. Willing pass blocker.

OKLAHOMA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-0 1/2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.57e

WEAK POINTS • Missed 2014 because of disciplinary reasons. Has some serious offfield issues. Speed is good, not great.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 (Did not play) 2015 13/4 113 753 6.7 7 28 356 4 2016 12/5 187 1,274 6.8 10 37 538 5 TOT 25/9 300 2,027 6.8 17 65 894 9 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

10McNICHOLS JEREMY

BOISE STATE

WEAK POINTS • Size (height). Will need some work on pass-protection technique. Not a real home-run threat. Plays in a conference (Mountain West) that does not have strong defenses.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 9/0 17 159 2015 12/12 240 1,337 2016 13/13 314 1,709 TOT 34/25 571 3,205

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Mixon has the talent to eventually become an NFL starter or at worst play in a rotation. That said, he has some serious off-field issues that might stop teams from drafting him. The issue happened when he was a freshman at Oklahoma but it still happened and teams will take notice, particularly because it involves severe violence against a woman even though there have been no issues since and Mixon has apologized and taken full responsibility. Grade is based on talent, not character issues. His talent says third-to-fourth round. STRONG POINTS • Very strong for his size. Has good speed but is even quicker. Very productive. Lacks size, but shows better than adequate pass-blocking skills. Quick to hole. Creative runner with patience and a good decision-maker. Runs low and gets yards after contact. Reliable receiver with good hands.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-9 1/8 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 4.55 e

B

BACKS

9.4 1 15 155 1 5.6 20 51 460 6 5.4 23 37 474 4 5.6 44 103 1,089 11

THE WAY WE SEE IT • McNichols doesn’t have the size you look for but he plays bigger. He is tough and competitive and has good strength and power. He can hit the hole quickly and find a seam. He has creativity and a burst. Shows very good ability as a receiver. As a pass blocker he lacks some technique but he is tough, will face up and can anchor. Overall, he looks to be a good rotational back at the next level. Might not be a bellcow, but can be productive with 15 touches a game.

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

11WILLIAMS JAMAAL

BYU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-01/2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.52e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2012 13/8 166 775 4.7 12 2013 12/12 217 1,233 5.7 7 2014 7/5 109 518 4.8 4 2016 10/9 234 1,375 5.9 12 TOT 42/34 726 3,901 5.4 35

27 18 8 7 60

315 1 125 0 47 0 80 0 567 1

12ROGERS SAM

STRONG POINTS • Tough and aggressive. Reliable as an inside runner, blocker and short-range receiver. Can face up and anchor in pass protection. Shows power as a runner and consistently gets yards after initial contact. Has good hands and does a good job getting open on short-range passes.

VIRGINIA TECH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 1/4 | WT: 231 | 40: 4.70 e

WEAK POINTS • Short with short arms, which can hurt him in pass protection against long-armed defenders. Just adequate speed.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

2013 13/2 5 2014 13/6 32 2015 13/5 61 2016 14/12 67 TOT 53/25 165

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

9 1.8 140 4.4 260 4.3 283 4.2 692 4.2

STRONG POINTS • Good size. Productive when healthy (3,900 career yards). Good play speed. Plays in a pro-style offense. Quick to the hole with good vision/instincts. Can pick and slide, jump cut and find a seam. Runs low and consistently gets yardage after contact. Don’t see him knocked backward. Gets a number of mid- to long-range runs. Good hands. WEAK POINTS • Missed three games this year because of an ankle injury. Missed time in 2014 with a knee injury. Missed all of 2015 because of a rules violation. Not used much in the passing game. Needs work on pass protection (positioning, anchor, hand use). Not a real breakaway threat. THE WAY WE SEE IT • An impressive back when he is healthy. Quick to the hole and a tough inside runner who gets yards after contact and can move the pile. Has good vision, is patient and a good decision maker. Once he sees an opening, he has a good burst to daylight. Has good hands but is not used in the passing game that often, and needs work on pass protection. Not a complete back yet, but has the traits to become a good NFL running back. Really like this guy. Won’t get drafted as high as talent says.

0 12 78 0 0 20 230 1 2 16 193 2 2 24 301 4 4 72 802 7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fullbacks aren’t in high demand as draft choices but Rogers is the best fullback in the country. He can block, run inside and is reliable as a receiver. Can be a three-down player in some offensive schemes and minimally could be invauable in 3rd and medium situations and short yardage and goal line. He will also be a very effective special teams player because of his aggressive, competitive nature. Late pick because of his position, but he will start in the league. Grade is higher than where he will get drafted. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 21


RUNNING

13HUNT KAREEM

STRONG POINTS • Very productive at the MAC level. Very good size with good strength and power. Runs low and gets yards after initial contact. Has good hands. Willing pass blocker.

TOLEDO

WEAK POINTS • Played against a lower level of competition. Lacks breakaway speed. Isn’t real creative. Needs work on pass-block technique. Most pass routes are of the check-down variety. In Toledo scheme, many runs are lateral to line then cut up. Average initial quickness.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/2 | WT: 208 | 40: 4.63 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG

TD REC YDS TD

2013 12/3 137 866 6.3 6 12 68 0 2014 10/10 205 1,631 8.0 16 9 39 0 2015 9/7 178 973 5.5 12 11 45 0 2016 13/13 262 1,475 5.6 10 41 403 1 TOT 44/33 782 4,945 6.3 44 73 555 1

14WILLIAMS JOE

UTAH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 210 e | 40: 4.50 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

BACKS

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 ( Junior College) 2014 ( Junior College) 2015 10/2 104 477 4.6 3 11 84 0 2016 9/9 210 1,407 6.7 10 9 107 0 TOT 19/11 314 1,884 6.0 13 20 191 0

15KAMARA

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hunt was very productive at the MAC level but that isn’t the NFL. He has size, strength and power but he is not real creative. He runs low and can get yards after contact. Not a breakaway type. Has good hands but will need to work on pass routes as well as pass-blocking technique. Is the toughest kind of player to evaluate because level of competition makes it hard to gauge how much his want-to can overcome lack of great speed and make-you-miss. See him as a backup type with a chance to grow into a rotational player, but I don’t see a guy who can be an NFL starter. STRONG POINTS • Adequate RB size. Very good initial quickness and vision. Real good decision-maker. Powerful runner for his size, breaks tackles and gets yards after contact. Big-play guy. Excellent effort. Good hands. Durable. Ran for more than 1,400 yards in only eight games. WEAK POINTS • “Retired” from football after Game Two, then came back after missing four games. Has fumbled some. Not used much as a receiver. Pass protection. Has played at three different schools. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Double transfer, started out at UConn, then transferred to a JC after one year. After a season at the JC, he transferred to Utah. Backup in 2015 then played sparingly at the start of 2016. “Retired” because he wasn’t playing. Came back after missing four games and took off. Ran for 1,332 yards and 10 TDs in the final seven games. He is strong, quick and fast to go along with good power and vision. Where he gets drafted is a question mark. Interviews will be huge as teams will need to know if he is committed to the game. Probably will get selected later than his talent level, but has the talent to be a starter in the league.

ALVIN

STRONG POINTS • Good speed and is a good athlete. Very good hands. Runs good routes. Has fairly good vision. Can break the long run. Returns punts.

TENNESSEE

WEAK POINTS • Size; listed as 5-10, 215, looks more like a 200-pound guy and plays like he is 190. Not powerful or explosive. Does little as a blocker. Not a full-time player. Average as an inside runner. Played at three different schools while in college.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.49 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 (At Hutchinson Community College) 2015 13/1 107 698 6.5 7 34 291 3 2016 11/7 103 596 5.8 9 40 392 4 TOT 24/8 210 1,294 6.2 16 74 683 7 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

16CLEMENT COREY

STRONG POINTS • Has a thick, strong frame and is a competitive runner. Has good initial quickness to go along with very good vision and instincts. Runs low and with balance and is a good inside runner. Has power and consistently gets yards after contact; can get what is needed in short yardage. Has quick feet and can make cuts in the hole to find a seam. Good hands and can get open on short routes. Willing pass blocker.

WISCONSIN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/4 | WT: 221 | 40: 4.62 e

WEAK POINTS • Lacks long speed. Not a breakaway runner. Needs work on passblock technique. Has had some games where he puts the ball on the ground.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 12/0 67 547 8.2 7 2014 14/1 147 949 6.5 9 2015 4/1 48 221 4.6 5 2016 13/13 314 1,375 4.4 15 TOT 43/15 576 3,092 5.4 36

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Started out at Alabama, redshirted there then transferred to Hutchinson CC in Kansas. After a year there, he transferred to Tennessee. College travels won’t necessarily hurt his evaluation but it does add one more batch of questions that certainly don’t help. Role player at Tennessee. Not a tough inside runner; on many plays he runs horizontal then cuts up. Average instincts as a runner. Is best as a punt returner and a receiver out of the backfield. Can also line up split out. Has route quickness and good hands and shows he can be an NFL return man. Late choice and has a chance to be a role player if he can prove he can be a capable return guy.

1 9 0 14 119 2 2 19 0 12 132 0 29 279 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A productive Big Ten power back. The type of player that NFL teams appreciate, and recent production of Badger backs cetainly won’t hurt his evaluation. Might not ever be a starter but will be very productive in a rotational role. Is best as a between-the-tackles type where he has quickness to the hole, power and vision. While he might not break many long runs, he will consistently get his three to five yards. Has good hands and can be a reliable short receiver. Needs work on his pass protection. Good special teams potential.

22 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


RUNNING

17DAYES MATTHEW

STRONG POINTS • Productive as a runner and a receiver. Good vision and cutback runner. Has a quick burst when he sees a lane. Runs low to the ground, has good balance and keeps legs driving on contact. Good hands. While he is not a power guy, he gets yardage after contact. Very competitive.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-85/8 | WT: 207 | 40: 4.57 e

WEAK POINTS • Size. He’s more quick than fast. Needs a lot of work with pass protection. Most of his routes are check-downs and swings.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 11/0 63 252 4.0 4 2014 13/3 104 573 5.5 8 2015 8/8 134 865 6.5 12 2016 13/12 249 1,166 4.7 10 TOT 45/23 550 2,856 5.2 34

10 32 24 32 98

173 1 321 5 172 0 271 0 937 6

18HILL BRIAN

WEAK POINTS • Listed as being 219 but plays like a 200-pound guy. Lacks power and gets limited yardage after contact. Not a good pass blocker. Average running back speed. Plays in Mountain West Conference. Not used often in the passing game.

WYOMING

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

THE WAY WE SEE IT • He will never be a starter, but he can become a quality backup who can play in a rotation or as a role player. His versatility in the run and pass games is a plus for him. He is quicker than fast but has strength and gets yards after contact. Has a strong overall game but like many college backs, he needs to improve his passprotection skills. His running style suggests that he might be able to return kickoffs, which would be huge in helping make him one of those guys who may not start but is too versatile and valuable not to find a spot for.

STRONG POINTS • Very productive with good vision and instincts. Quick to hole. Runs low. Has good pick and slide and some jump cut skills. Good hands.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 1/2 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.58 e

C

BACKS

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 12/4 145 796 5.5 7 2015 12/11 281 1,631 5.8 6 2016 14/14 349 1,860 5.3 22 TOT 38/29 775 4,287 5.5 35

13 204 20 132 8 67 41 403

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very productive player. Ran for over 1,800 yards in 2016 but did little against upper-echelon schools. He has good vision and is a good decisionmaker, but he doesn’t play with power and plays smaller than he measures. Don’t see much after-contact power. While he has great RB production, his receiving numbers are pedestrian. But how many guys can you find with 1,800-plus yard rushing seasons, even in the Mountain West? Needs work on pass protection. He’ll be one of those guys with a wide range of grades depending on the eye of the beholder. See him as a backup-only in the NFL unless he has some outstanding workouts.

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

19PUMPHREY DONNEL

STRONG POINTS • Quick, fast and elusive with outstanding vision and instincts. Great production to go along with very good durability. Good hands and a good route runner. If he gets a seam, he can break it. Willing blocker.

SAN DIEGO STATE

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have ideal size and he won’t get any bigger. Has no history of return work at San Diego State. While he is tough, his lack of size and strength limit his after-contact ability. He can get overpowered as a pass blocker.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-81/4 | WT: 169 | 40: 4.45 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 13/1 125 752 6.0 8 22 234 2 2014 13/13 276 1,867 6.8 20 23 160 0 2015 14/13 309 1,653 5.3 17 28 416 3 2016 14/14 349 2,133 6.1 17 27 231 0 TOT 54/41 1,059 6,405 6.0 62 100 1,041 5

20HOOD

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Impressive college player but his lack of size limits what he will be able to do at the next level. Players of his size with limited or no return ability are tough to project. He will have to be a situational back put in the right situations. Interested clubs will hope that he can return kicks, as he has very limited return work while in college. If he can add 10 pounds of muscle and show some special athletic traits at Combine and Pro Day, he can be a late-round guy who will have a chance if he gets drafted by the right team. His key will be landing with a club willing to devote a roster spot to a guy who may only give them a handful of special situational plays a game.

ELIJAH

STRONG POINTS • Size, strength and power. Quick to the hole. Gets yards after contact. Good decision-maker. True power guy. Good hands. Willing blocker.

NORTH CAROLINA

WEAK POINTS • Not very elusive, can’t make people miss in tight or in space. Lacks speed. Needs to improve pass blocking. Pass routes are usually check-down type. Average outside runner.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-113/4 e | WT: 225 e | 40: 4.62e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6-7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 9/0 67 259 3.9 4 2015 14/14 219 1,463 6.7 17 2016 11/11 145 858 5.9 8 TOT 34/25 431 2,580 6.0 29

2 13 25 40

-2 0 71 0 142 0 211 0

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hood is a third-year junior entering the draft. Another example of a young man who might have been better served by staying in school, but players come out for a variety of reasons that aren’t always connected to their likely draft status or even whether they will have long careers in the league. Don’t know why Hood chose to come out but he is a big, powerful inside runner who can get the tough yards. While he may never become a starter, he can contribute as a rotational player. There is always a place for between-the-tackles bangers. Hood has limitations in that he lacks speed and won’t be very effective outside, but he will do the dirty work. Will need to improve his pass blocking. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 23


RUNNING

21McGUIRE ELIJAH

STRONG POINTS • Very productive. Averaged more than 1,000 yards rushing per season in his four years in school. Good hands and very effective as a receiver. Not fast but quick. Has a thick frame that allows him to run with strength inside. Can find the cutback lanes.

LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-91/2 | WT: 212 | 40: 4.58 e

WEAK POINTS • More a reacting runner than instinctive. Fails to see some open areas at times. Not a great after-contact runner, and not the most elusive guy.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6-7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 13/3 103 863 2014 13/5 166 1,264 2015 12/12 209 1,047 2016 13/13 232 1,127 TOT 51/33 710 4,301

8.4 7.6 5.0 4.9 6.1

8 22 384 3 14 45 468 2 13 34 304 3 7 29 238 2 42 130 1,394 10

22DAVIS JUSTIN

USC

WEAK POINTS • Size; has a lean frame and minimal growth potential. Has never been the lead guy, always been a rotational back or role player. Average blocker. Can he withstand the rigors of more than a handful of touches a game?

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2013 7/0 53 361 6.8 6 2014 13/0 129 595 4.6 4 2015 13/8 169 902 5.3 7 2016 10/7 110 607 5.5 2 TOT 43/15 461 2,465 5.3 19

1 7 0 13 92 2 18 189 0 14 112 0 46 400 2

23FOLSTON TAREAN

NOTRE DAME

WEAK POINTS • Marginal size, lacks top-end speed. Has had a problem staying healthy. Not a big-play type. Mostly an inside runner despite his size.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.3 RD 7-FA

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

2013 12/2 88 2014 13/10 175 2015 1/1 3 2016 10/2 77 TOT 36/15 343

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

470 5.3 889 5.1 19 6.3 334 4.3 1,712 5.0

3 6 0 2 11

5 35 0 18 190 1 0 0 0 8 66 0 31 291 1

24YEARBY JOSEPH

WEAK POINTS • Size and he won’t get any bigger. Is tight in the hips and has a short stride. Not elusive. Pass blocking. Not a breakaway threat.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.3 RD 7-FA

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS ATT

YDS AVG TD REC YDS TD

2014 12/0 86 509 5.9 1 2015 13/13 205 1,002 4.9 6 2016 13/0 102 608 6.0 7 TOT 38/13 393 2,119 5.4 14

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Showed promise as a rotational back in 2014 when he ran for 889 yards and a 5.1-yard average per carry. Went into the 2015 season as the starter, then tore his ACL in the season opener. Used as a backup in 2016. ACLs can heal enough to play again a season later, but it can take longer to return to 100 percent. Folston has quickness, vision and is a tough inside runner. If he gets back to full strength, he might surprise once he gets into camp. As a sophomore, he looked like a potential mid-round pick, then he got hurt. A strong Pro Day might get him drafted late. STRONG POINTS • Very quick. Shows good cutback skills. Has strength and power and can get some yards after initial contact. Very good balance.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-9 e | WT: 198 e | 40: 4.58 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Was on his way to perhaps his best season when he suffered a severe ankle sprain. Missed three games and was never the same player the rest of the season. Needs to add some bulk and strength for the next level. That he was at USC will alleviate some of the concern about his never stepping out and becoming the lead guy who could demand the ball. Because of his speed, he has a chance to be a role-playing third back. Has to prove he can be effective on special teams if he wants that role. Has talent and speed and that always helps. STRONG POINTS • Quick to the hole, has very nimble feet. Good vision and a good decision-maker. Runs low and can get yards after contact. Fairly reliable as a pass blocker. Has good hands and is a reliable receiver. Best running between the tackles; with his quickness he has some elusiveness and quick-cutting ability.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-93/4 e | WT: 213e | 40: 4.67e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A smaller, quicker-than-fast running back. While he isn’t coming from a Power 5 school, Louisiana Lafayette is an excellent program that has produced a number of NFL players in recent years. McGuire is productive, although he leaves some yards on the table as his vision is average. He is very reliable as a receiver and the “James White effect” we saw in Super Bowl LI will help him and players like him. While I don’t see him as a starting NFL back, he can be a role-playing, situational back. Has to prove he can play on special teams.

STRONG POINTS • Speed! Patient runner who has an excellent burst once he finds an open lane. Quick-footed type who can stop and go. Can make a cut in the hole. Has the speed to take it the distance. Good hands, reliable receiver.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.48 e

C

BACKS

8 118 1 23 273 2 10 65 0 41 456 3

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Junior entering the draft and you really have to wonder why. If he is leaving Miami for academic reasons, it’s not a killer in the eyes of NFL teams, but it’s not exactly an asset either. Had a 1,000-yard season in 2015 but his production fell off in 2016 as other backs surpassed him in the Miami offense. Had he stayed in school and reclaimed his starting role or at least forced coaches to get him the ball more, it clearly would have helped his status in the eyes of NFL evaluators. If he’s leaving over fear he couldn’t have done more at Miami, it doesn’t exactly bode well for his chances at the next level. Still, he is a tough, strong and quick player but with size limitations. Has to be in the right situation to make it and has to perform on special teams. That 2015 season can make him a late pick.

24 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST KHALID ABDULLAH JAMES MADISON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 220 e | 40-YARD: 4.60 e

Very productive FCS-level running back. Led James Madison to the national championship with 1,809 yards and 22 touchdowns. Tough inside runner with vision and instincts. Just wish he was a little faster.

MARCUS COX

APPALACHIAN STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 | WT: 207 | 40-YARD: 4.66 e

Ran for over 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons. Runs low to the ground and looks to finish each run. Has a burst and some quickness but not top-end speed.

FREDDIE STEVENSON FLORIDA STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 3/8 | WT: 236 | 40-YARD: 4.72 e

One of the better fullbacks in the country. Good inside runner, consistent blocker and adequate as a receiver. Has a burst and some wiggle for a big guy, plus he can move the chains.

DE’VEON SMITH MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 7/8 | WT: 220 | 40-YARD: 4.70 e

Has never put up great numbers but he is a very consistent player who can run inside, block and catch. Good free agent who will be tough to cut.

JORDAN JOHNSON BUFFALO

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 5/8 e | WT: 218 e | 40-YARD: 4.62 e

Ran for over 800 yards in 2015, then added 1,040 yards in 2016. Runs with power and makes good decisions. Adequate receiver. Lacks top-end speed.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“Best RB class in years. Many talented players who are ready to step in and start.”

• “It wouldn’t surpwrise me

if (Joe Mixon) goes undrafted. That video did him in. Awfully hard to meet the press after you draft him.”

“I love the way (Jamaal Williams) runs inside, but he puts the

JAMAAL WILLIAMS

ball on the ground too much. If he doesn’t fix that, he wont play.”

“Mixon is going to be an awfully hard sell, but the fact that the incident actually took place two years ago, he has for the most part stayed out of trouble since, has apologized and taken full responsibility and would otherwise be a late first-, high second-round pick, is almost certain to get him drafted late on Day Two or early on Day Three. Call it the Tyreek Hill effect.”

• “I can’t find anything not

to like about Leonard Fournette, but I am more troubled by the perception that he may have spent most of this season protecting himself than I am bothered by him skipping the bowl game.”

“Every time I put (Leonard) Fournette and (Dalvin) Cook side by side, I come away thinking Cook will prove to be the higher impact guy in our league. This kid’s burst is unbelievable!”

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 25


W POSITION GRADE

ideout is a position that has been wellstocked in recent drafts and this year is no exception. Five (2014), six (2015) and four (2016) wide receivers have gone in the first rounds of the past three drafts. This year’s group offers at least five potential first-rounders in Mike Williams, John Ross, Corey Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Curtis Samuel. 2014 saw 12 receivers drafted in the first two rounds, nine in 2015 and just seven this past year. Whether this group is as well thought of as ’14 and ’15 remains to be seen, but it does appear ready to surpass 2016’s group from the first two

A-

rounds. This crop does lack as much of the great size as we’ve seen in recent seasons, but speed to burn is always in vogue, and this class offers plenty of that. Williams in particular has scouts drooling because of his outstanding size at 6-3, 220 pounds. He can jump out of the gym and showed outstanding hands as he improved by leaps and bounds the second half of the 2016 season. Davis is interesting because he also has good size at 6-2, 205. He is the NCAA’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 5,205 and is a rare prospect that used all four years of his college eligibility. There is concern about the level of competition Davis faced at Western Michigan, but there’s a guy in the NFL right now named Antonio Brown who played at Central Michigan and he hasn’t turned out too badly.

JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER

MIKE WILLIAMS

26 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


WIDE

1 SMITH-SCHUSTER JUJU

STRONG POINTS • Great size to go along with very good strength and power for the position. Very good athlete. Has excellent speed, gets to full speed quickly, very good change of direction and flexibility. Very good route runner, can make quick cuts and get separation. Effective short and long. Has excellent hands, will compete in traffic and can win jump balls. Tracks the ball very well.

USC

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.42 e

WEAK POINTS • Will have an occasional concentration drop.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 13/12 54 724 13.4 5 2015 14/14 89 1,454 16.3 10 2016 13/13 70 914 13.1 10 TOT 40/39 213 3,092 14.5 25 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2WILLIAMS MIKE

CLEMSON

WEAK POINTS • Plays in a fairly simple spread offense with a limited route tree. Will have some concentration drops. Not a burner.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 13/3 20 316 2014 13/11 57 1,030 2015 1/1 2 20 15/15 98 1,361 2016 TOT 42/30 177 2,727

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Smith-Schuster is far and away the best wideout in the class. He is a third-year junior entering the draft and has been dominating college football since his freshman year. Has 213 career receptions and 25 touchdowns. Smith-Schuster is the rare complete package coming out of college, a year early to boot. He is a very good route runner who gets separation both long and short. He adjusts to the ball very well and has excellent hands. After the catch, he is like a running back with the ball in his hands. Overall, a very physical receiver in the mold of the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant. Will come in and start right away and will become a club’s No. 1 receiver in short order.

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size, strong athletic build with strength and power. Very good athlete, explosive. Has good hands and can make the acrobatic catch. Large receiving radius. Effective both short and long. Can catch in traffic. Strong runner after the catch. Knows how to use his size to his advantage. Gets in and out of cuts quickly to gain separation. Leaper who can high-point the ball.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 1/2 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.50 e

A

RECEIVERS

15.8 3 18.1 6 10.0 1 13.9 11 15.4 21

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A big and talented wide receiver. Really just has to become more consistent on every down. Take away the concentration drops and there is a lot to like. The question here will be similar to when Chicago took Kevin White at No. 7 two years ago. How long will it take him to learn all the routes? He has the skill set to eventually become a No. 1 receiver in the league. Will go through some growing pains as he adjusts to an NFL-style offense, but he has too much talent not to be productive as a rookie. Easily a first-round pick and will be one of the first receivers drafted.

JOHN ROSS

COREY DAVIS

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 27


WIDE

3DAVIS COREY

STRONG POINTS • Great size, speed, strength and athleticism. Has dominated the MAC for a few years. Gets double- and sometimes triple-teamed and still can’t be stopped. Very good route runner, adjusts to the ball well and can snatch it. With his size, he easily defeats press coverage. Can find the open spot in zone. Strong runner after the catch. Effective short and deep. Good blocker.

WESTERN MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 218 e | 40: 4.47 e

WEAK POINTS • Mostly plays against a lower level of competition. Wish he was a bit faster but fast enough.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 11/11 67 941 2014 12/12 78 1,408 2015 13/13 90 1,436 2016 14/14 97 1,500 TOT 50/50 326 5,212

14.0 6 18.1 15 16.0 12 15.5 19 16.0 51

4ROSS JOHN

WASHINGTON

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.35 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.8

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 13/0 16 208 13.0 1 13/7 17 371 21.8 4 2014 2015 (Missed season due to knee injury) 2016 14/14 81 1,150 14.2 17 TOT 40/21 114 1,729 15.2 22

5SAMUEL CURTIS

WR/RB/RS

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.40 e

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 14/1 11 95 8.6 0 2015 13/1 22 289 13.1 2 2016 13/3 74 865 11.7 7 TOT 40/5 107 1,249 11.7 9 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

6KUPP COOPER

EASTERN WASHINGTON

WEAK POINTS • Level of competition wasn’t very good. Played mostly inside and had a limited route tree at Eastern Washington.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 15/15 93 1,691 2014 13/13 104 1,431 2015 11/11 114 1,642 2016 13/13 117 1,700 TOT 52/52 428 6,464

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A true jack of all trades. Can help a team in several areas. Should have extra tread on his tires based on limited touches at Ohio State. The question is whether he will be a man without a position, or the guy who can beat you no matter where he’s lined up? I see him coming in and becoming a club’s No. 1 slot receiver who can also give that team some snaps at running back. He can also be their top kickoff returner. The key is getting the ball in his hands, because he makes things happen and is a home-run hitter. He has excellent speed and athleticism to go along with very good openfield run skills. A specialist, but a special specialist. Won’t find too many players like him.

STRONG POINTS • Very good size and play strength. Extremely productive. Has good hands, can adjust to the ball, has a large receiving radius, and makes the difficult catch. Strong runner after the catch with burst, speed and power. Willing blocker. Is a good punt returner.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 | WT: 198 | 40: 4.47 e

A

STRONG POINTS • Has great speed. Very good route quickness, breaks down and gets in and out of cuts quickly. Easily able to get separation. Effective as both a short and deep receiver. Uncovers versus man and zone coverage. Excellent initial quickness, easily avoids jam. Good hands, adjusts to the ball and makes the difficult catch. Returns kickoffs. Good run-after-catch skills. WEAK POINTS • Marginal size to play outside. Had a severe knee injury causing him to miss all of the 2015 season. One year as a full-time starter at WR. Started games in 2014, but that was at both WR and CB. Needs to get stronger, just an average blocker. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior who is entering the draft. Had a breakout year in 2016 with 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. Also returned 17 kickoffs for 411 yards and one touchdown. May be the fastest wide receiver in this draft. Has the speed to take the top off a defense. His lack of size may hurt him on the outside, but has great initial quickness, eludes jams and has excellent route quickness. Has good hands and makes the difficult catch; can go up and get it in traffic. Will contribute right away as a rookie but might play more in the slot than outside. Can be a club’s top return guy. High pick.

WEAK POINTS • Small size for a RB, first year as a starter. Won’t be a full-time RB in the NFL. Will need work on blocking skills.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.8

THE WAY WE SEE IT • As talented a receiver as you will find in this draft. A big, physical guy whose game can be compared to Brandon Marshall or Dez Bryant. Questions about his ability to go from the MAC to the NFL will be limited due to his great measureables, record-setting production and strong route running. Has a strong release, runs good patterns, gets separation and makes plays. Very good competing for the ball in traffic and makes some difficult catches. Strong runner after the catch. Should come in and start right away for almost any team and eventually will become a team’s No. 1 receiver.

STRONG POINTS • Versatile in that he can play RB, WR and return kicks. Excellent athlete with speed and body control. Good to very good route runner with very good hands. Is quick to hole with top vision/instincts. Has the strength to get yards after contact and very creative. Strong and explosive for his size.

OHIO STATE

A

RECEIVERS

18.2 21 13.8 16 14.4 19 14.5 17 15.1 78

THE WAY WE SEE IT • You won’t find a more productive receiver anywhere. Has 428 career receptions for 6,464 yards and 78 touchdowns. Dominated at a lower level of competition, but he really opened some eyes at the Senior Bowl and was one of the best receivers in Mobile. The offense he plays in has a limited route tree, but he runs good routes and can get separation. He has excellent hands, makes the difficult catch and consistently gets yardage after the catch. Will need some time to adjust to an NFL offense but has the talent to become an eventual starter in the league. Will also contribute as a returner. A lot to like about this player.

28 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


WIDE

7HANSEN CHAD

STRONG POINTS • Very productive (92 receptions in ‘16). Tall with length. Very good athlete with speed. Has a good release and is a good route runner. Able to get separation coming out of cuts. Excellent hands and can adjust to the ball. Competes for the ball in traffic and wins. Explosive and elusive after the catch. Good blocker.

CALIFORNIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-1 5/8 e | WT: 203 e | 40: 4.47 e

WEAK POINTS • Only a one-year starter. Has a limited route tree in the Cal offense. Always lines up on the right side.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013* 11/12 45 501 11.1 3 2014 (Redshirted) 2015 10/0 19 249 13.1 1 10/9 92 1,249 13.6 11 2016 TOT 31/21 156 1,999 12.8 15 * — PLAYED AT IDAHO STATE

8BROWN NOAH

OHIO STATE

WEAK POINTS • Still has two years of eligibility remaining. Missed all of 2015 with a broken leg. Needs to tighten up his body some. Although he keeps improving as a route runner, he is still raw and has to learn the nuances of route running.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 13/0 1 9 9 0 2015 (Redshirted) 32 402 12.6 7 2016 13/12 TOT 24/12 33 411 10.8 7 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

9REYNOLDS JOSH

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 187 | 40: 4.48 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 (Junior College) 2014 13/11 52 842 2015 12/12 51 907 2016 13/13 61 1,039 TOT 38/36 164 2,788

16.2 13 17.8 5 17.0 12 17.0 30

10DARBOH AMARA

MICHIGAN

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 (Redshirted) 2014 12/8 36 473 2015 13/9 58 727 2016 13/12 57 862 TOT 49/28 151 2,062

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter and very productive. Good height and length. Deceptive speed, good route runner. Has a very large receiving radius. Good to very good hands, snatches the ball and makes some very difficult catches. Smooth and fluid athlete with very good body control. Can break down and get out of cuts quickly to get separation. Consistently gets yards after the catch. Good blocker. WEAK POINTS • Narrow frame, needs to add some bulk. Will have a few concentration drops. Not a burner. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A former junior college transfer, he has played the past three seasons at Texas A&M and been their go-to receiver the past two. A tall, slender athlete with long arms and good overall athletic skills. He is a smooth semi-strider with deceptive speed. He has a quick release and is able to avoid or work through jams. Shows good route-running ability both long and short and is able to get separation. Has good hands, can extend to make the tough catch and is a very good runner after the catch. Comes back to the ball and is effective in traffic. Just needs to add some weight for the next level. See him as an eventual starter with a ceiling of being a solid No. 2 receiver.

WEAK POINTS • Not a burner. Needs to become a more consistent blocker. Was a late bloomer who began to emerge when new coaching staff arrived but didn’t put up huge numbers.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Brown is as talented a receiver as there is in this class, but he is raw. Really has only played one full year, as he missed all of 2015 with an injury. He is big and physical and can make the circus catch. Excellent runner after the catch. He’s smooth and gets in and out of cuts very quickly. Because he lacks experience, he might not be ready to produce right away, but two years down the road he might be the best receiver in this class. A wild-card selection.

STRONG POINTS • Productive both short and long. Sure-handed guy who can adjust to the ball and make the difficult catch. Fluid athlete with good speed, can get in and out of cuts quickly and is consistently able to get separation. Will compete for the ball in traffic and win. Good runner after the catch with good run instincts.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-13/4 | WT: 215 | 40: 4.48 e

A

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Initially enrolled at Idaho State but transferred to Cal after catching 45 passes as a true freshman. Was Cal’s goto guy in 2016. Missed two games with an ankle injury. Hansen is talented with speed, great hands and explosiveness. Good route runner and he competes for the ball in traffic. Exciting runner after the catch. Wide receivers can be tougher to evaluate than any position but quarterback coming out of spread offenses because of the limited routes they’ve run. But Hansen ran them well and, after adjusting to an NFL route tree, he has the talent to become a solid No. 2 receiver. Will play a lot as a rookie.

STRONG POINTS • Has great size and length. Big-framed guy. Very athletic, makes getting in and out of cuts looks easy. Outstanding body control. Very good hands and ball concentration. Strong runner after the catch. He is a physical blocker. Keeps improving as a route runner.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-21/4 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.47 e

A

RECEIVERS

13.1 2 12.5 5 15.1 7 13.7 14

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior who has really come on the past two years under Jim Harbaugh. Has great size, is a fluid athlete and has good play speed. He is productive both short and long, has real good hands and makes the circus catch. Competitive guy who will win in traffic. Instinctive runner after the catch with vision and elusiveness. See him as a guy who will compete for the No. 3 spot as a rookie and can ascend to a No. 2 by Year Two. Solid second-round pick.

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RECEIVERS

11TAYLOR

STRONG POINTS • Good size to go along with very good speed. Instant deep threat. Big playmaker. Can run after the catch. Productive in college. Quick cuts and is able to get separation. Flashes good blocking ability.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 | WT: 182 | 40: 4.40 e

WEAK POINTS • Raw as far as route running — that area will need development. Doesn’t consistently catch the ball cleanly and will have some drops. Does not return kicks.

TAYWAN

WESTERN KENTUCKY

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 11/7 24 270 2014 13/7 45 767 2015 14/5 86 1,467 2016 14/14 98 1,730 TOT 52/33 253 4,234

11.3 0 17.0 7 17.1 17 17.7 17 16.7 41

12WESTBROOK DEDE

STRONG POINTS • Productive, excellent athlete with great change of direction, flexibility and body control. Explosive with great speed. Home-run hitter. Can run after the catch. Tough and will compete in traffic. Very quick in and out of cuts to get separation. Can return kicks.

OKLAHOMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 178 e | 40: 4.40 e

WEAK POINTS • In games viewed, he only lined up on the right side. Plays in a simple spread offense with a limited route tree. Slight frame and small hands. Will have some drops. Not much of a blocker. Can be re-routed by physical corners.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 (At Blinn Community College) 13/13 46 743 16.2 4 2015 2016 13/12 80 1,524 19.0 17 TOT 26/25 126 2,267 18.0 21 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

13CANNON KD

BAYLOR

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal size and won’t get much bigger with his smallish frame. Has some drops and will body catch some balls. Limited route tree, raw as a route runner and will need work in this area. Doesn’t do much as a blocker.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 13/7 58 1,030 17.8 8 13/13 50 868 17.4 6 2015 2016 12/12 87 1,215 14.0 13 TOT 38/32 195 3,113 16.0 27 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

14FORD ISAIAH

VIRGINIA TECH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A similar style player to Texans’ 2016 first-rounder Will Fuller. He’s a former junior college transfer who came on in 2016. Tall and thin with small hands but is fast and athletic. Instant home-run threat in the college game. Get him in the open field and he’s gone. Like Fuller, he will struggle versus physical coverage at the NFL level and will have some drops that you have to live with. Coming from the Oklahoma offense, he will need to develop his route-running skills. A specialist early on who can be a good complementary receiver after he develops his game. Can return kicks.

STRONG POINTS • Great play speed, instant deep threat. Very good athlete with very good body control, can break down and get in and out of cuts quickly. Shows he can make the acrobatic catch. Dangerous after the catch with his speed. Has returned kicks (not in 2016).

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 180 e | 40: 4.43 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Talented but raw wide receiver. Has the size and strength to go along with excellent speed. Will need to improve his route-running skills and catch the ball consistently before he is ready to play on a regular basis. He was extremely productive in college with 184 receptions, 3,197 yards and 34 touchdowns the past two years. Has not been a returner but has the traits and can greatly enhance his value if he can convince teams at the Combine and his pro day he can do that job as well. Has a lot of upside, just not quite ready. Could be a starter by Year Two. Will be a role player as a rookie. Speed will get him drafted high.

YPC TD

2014 13/11 56 709 12.7 6 2015 13/12 75 1,164 15.5 11 2016 14/14 79 1,094 13.8 7 TOT 40/37 210 2,967 14.1 24 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior and 2½-year starter who is entering the draft. Had a big season for Baylor with 87 receptions for 1,215 yards and 13 touchdowns. A consistent big-play threat with his speed, but coming from the Baylor offense, he is raw as far as route running. Will need work on sight adjustments and overall route running. I see him as more of a role player in 2017 with a chance to become a No. 2 or 3 receiver once he develops. Might be more useful in the slot with his size. Has returned kicks in the past and may have a future as a returner in the NFL. STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter and very productive. Has a good release and good route quickness. Good to very good athlete with body control. Good speed. Shows he can get separation on short and long routes. Tracks the ball well. Comes up with big plays game after game. WEAK POINTS • Small-frame guy. Lacks good strength, can get knocked off routes by physical corner. Not a blocker. Too many drops and double catches. Doesn’t always catch the ball quickly. Might have small hands. Limited route tree at Virginia Tech. Needs to improve route running. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Tall and lean, needs to add some strength and bulk. He is a good athlete with speed but raw. In the Virginia Tech offense, the route tree is limited so he will need work on perfecting his routes. While he is productive, he has too many drops and/or double catches. The question, then, is whether it’s his hands or just concentration, which can be improved. Can be dangerous after the catch with his speed. Overall, I see him coming in as a No. 4 and has upside to becoming a No. 3. Too many deficiencies to see him becoming a 2. May get drafted higher than my grade because of speed.

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15GODWIN CHRIS

STRONG POINTS • Has good receiver size. One of the better blockers at the position. Has a good release and runs fairly good patterns. Has good hands, can make the difficult catch and will compete for the ball in traffic. Good runner after the catch. Is best as a short-to medium-range receiver.

PENN STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 7/8 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.55 e

WEAK POINTS • Lacks the speed to scare an opponent as a deep threat. Will have some concentration drops and double catches. Doesn’t consistently gain separation.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 13/3 25 321 12.8 2 2015 13/11 69 1,101 16.0 5 2016 14/14 59 982 16.6 11 TOT 40/28 153 2,404 15.1 18 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

16ROBINETTE JALEN

AIR FORCE

WEAK POINTS • In the Air Force offense, he only runs a couple of different routes. What is his Air Force commitment? Raw as far as route running.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 12/0 16 291 13/11 43 806 2014 14/13 25 641 2015 2016 13/13 35 959 TOT 52/37 119 2,697

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Chris is a third-year junior entering the draft. He has been very productive the past two seasons with 128 receptions and 16 touchdowns. He is a physical receiver who competes for the ball in traffic. Has good hands and can adjust to make the difficult catch, but he will also have some concentration drops. Strong runner after the catch and an excellent downfield blocker. Overall, he is more of a possession receiver but there is a definite need for these guys, particularly on third down in today’s high-octane, pass-first offenses. He won’t scare anyone in the NFL as a deep threat. Will come in as a No. 4 with a chance to ascend to a No. 2. STRONG POINTS • Has great size with huge hands (10.75”). Very good athlete with good speed. Strong looking physique. Can snatch the ball. Strong runner after the catch. Has done some punt returning. Can get deep. Strong blocker. Had a very good EastWest Shrine game practice week.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 7/8 | WT: 215 | 40: 4.50 e

B

RECEIVERS

18.2 3 18.7 4 24.7 5 27.4 6 22.7 18

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A tall, physical and raw wide receiver. Playing in the Air Force option offense, he ran very few routes and only caught 35 passes. Still, he is an outstanding physical talent. Might test off the charts. Just by virtue of being at the Academy his character and intelligence will be a big plus. Going to need time to develop his route-running skills but the talent is there. The big question is, when can he play with his Air Force commitment? Has third- to fourth-round talent but will get selected later than that.

17STEWART ALABAMA

STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete with very good speed. Well built and thick with good play strength. Has a quick release. Strong runner after the catch with top run instincts. Good kickoff returner. One of the best blocking receivers in college football.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-03/4 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.42 e

WEAK POINTS • Has too many drops. Raw as a route runner. Limited route tree. Limited receiving radius, has some body catches.

ArDARIUS

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 (Redshirted) 13/2 12 149 2014 2015 15/15 63 700 2016 12/12 54 864 TOT 40/29 129 1,552

12.4 0 11.1 4 16.0 8 13.3 12

18SCOTT ARTAVIS

CLEMSON

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 1/4 | WT: 193 | 40: 4.43 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 13/6 76 965 12.7 8 2015 15/15 93 901 9.7 6 2016 15/15 76 614 8.1 5 TOT 43/36 245 2,480 10.1 19 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior entering the draft. Redshirted as a freshman and was a backup in 2014. Played a huge role in the WR rotation the past two seasons. Stewart is a very good athlete with great speed but raw as far as route running. Can be dangerous once he gets the ball in his hands and is used on reverses and kickoff returns. His blocking skills should also be a big plus for him. But Stewart is a developmental prospect in spite of his 27 starts at ‘Bama because of the way he was used in their system, and he is going to need time to develop. He will most likely be a role player early in his career.

STRONG POINTS • Has explosive athleticism. Has played WR, lined up some at RB and returned punts and kickoffs. Good runner after the catch. Has breakaway speed. Is able to gain some separation coming out of cuts. WEAK POINTS • Size; measured only 5-10 1/4 at the Senior Bowl. Has some drops and ball-security issues. Needs to work on route running; his route tree at Clemson was minimal. Has some trouble coming up with the ball in traffic. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year junior entering the draft. Despite being the complementary receiver to Mike Williams, he was pretty good in his own right. Finished his career with 245 career receptions. Commanding the ball that much with Williams on the field says a lot about him. Has speed but was used mostly as a short-range receiver and on reverses. Can also return punts and kickoffs but is best at returning kickoffs. Scott needs work on his route running and concentration, as he has drops and fumble issues, but he is a talented developmental prospect. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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19JONES ZAY

STRONG POINTS • Has been a starter since midway through his freshman year. Good hands. Very productive (399 career receptions). Finds the open area. Tall with length and that creates matchup problems.

EAST CAROLINA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 7/8 | WT: 202 | 40: 4.63 e

WEAK POINTS • No speed or burst, long strider and it takes him a while to get up to full speed. Not a deep threat. Has some drops. Small hands (9” at Senior Bowl). Doesn’t do much after the catch.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/8 62 604 13/9 81 830 12/12 98 1,099 12/12 158 1,746 50/41 399 4,279

9.7 5 10.2 5 11.2 5 11.1 8 10.7 23

20DUPRE MALACHI

LSU

WEAK POINTS • Looks very nonchalant too often. Not a top competitor. While he shows he can catch the ball, he has too many drops and double catches. Not a blocker. Very lean build, will have trouble uncovering against physical corners.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2014 12/2 14 318 22.7 5 2015 12/8 43 698 16.2 6 12/9 41 593 14.5 3 2016 TOT 36/19 98 1,609 16.4 14 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

21TAYLOR TRENT

LOUISIANA TECH

WEAK POINTS • Size and timed speed. Won’t be a deep threat.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/0 28 260 14/9 64 834 11/10 99 1,282 14/14 136 1,803 51/33 327 4,179

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Junior entering the draft. I don’t know why this player came out because he is clearly not ready. Yes, he has talent, he is tall with length and athletic ability, but he shows little-to-no sense of urgency on the field. Doesn’t make anywhere near the number of plays he should and has a number of drops or double catches. Dupre has a fair amount of work in front of him, as much in interviews at the Combine as on the field in convincing scouts he has the desire to succeed at the next level. Overall, his talent might save him, but he has a long ways to go before he is ready for the big league.

STRONG POINTS • Extremely productive. Very good hands. Good route runner who is quick in and out of cuts. Consistently able to get separation. Good runner after the catch. Tough and courageous. Returns punts.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-7 5/8 | WT: 177 | 40: 4.56 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • The most productive receiver in East Carolina history, but Jones is a bit of an enigma when you look at his measureables. The problem is he averages just 10.7 yards per catch. Jones is tall, long and finds a way to get open, especially versus zone, but he lacks speed and a burst. He is sure-handed and will compete in traffic, but he doesn’t give you much after the catch. No more than a fourth or fifth receiver in the NFL because of his lack of speed and quickness. Jones will be drafted on his production in school but may have to become a special teams ace to have a long career in the league.

STRONG POINTS • Tall, long and athletic. Has adequate speed. Flashes making plays. Flashes running good routes and making the difficult catch. Has adequate run-after-thecatch skills

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-23/4 e | WT: 194 e | 40: 4.55 e

B

RECEIVERS

9.3 2 13.0 9 12.9 9 13.3 12 12.8 32

THE WAY WE SEE IT • When you see him physically, you are going to want to cut him. Make sure you watch the tape first. Taylor is a fascinating guy to keep an eye on because if you can get past his size and lack of elite speed, you see a guy with a couple of unique traits who can defy expectations. Has great production with 235 receptions and 21 TDs the past two seasons. He is a slot receiver at the next level. He is more quick than fast and knows how to get open. As quick as I’ve seen coming out of a break. Has very good hands and will compete in traffic. Can also return punts and, while he won’t be a homerun returner, he won’t lose the ball. Late pick because of measureables, but watch out, he will play. He won’t go as high as my grade says.

22SWITZER NORTH CAROLINA

STRONG POINTS • Very productive. Sure-handed guy who will compete for the ball in traffic. Tough. Very good punt returner. Good route runner who is very quick coming out of cuts to get separation. Good run-after-catch ability.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-8 1/2 | WT: 179 | 40: 4.58 e

WEAK POINTS • Size; will be the smallest guy on the field. While willing as a blocker, he is not that effective. More quick than fast; he won’t have great timed speed.

RYAN

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 13/0 32 341 10.7 3 2014 13/9 61 757 12.4 4 2015 14/10 55 697 12.7 6 2016 13/10 96 1,112 11.6 6 TOT 53/29 244 2,907 11.9 19

THE WAY WE SEE IT • He might be the smallest guy on the field but also one of the most productive. Work ethic and desire are definitely not an issue here. A very quick player who won’t time well, but because he is so quick, he is effective. He is also a very good punt returner and can be a club’s top return guy. Problem with players of his stature, though, is it is unlikely he can help on coverage units. The team that drafts him has to have a role for him. He can only play in the slot but he can be effective there, and at times will even benefit there from his ability to get lost in traffic. Size and timed speed will get him drafted low but he will play in the league.

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23STAPLES

AUDIBLES

JAMARI

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Good athlete with long speed. Shows he can be a deep threat. Has a large receiving radius with good hands. Has the flexibility to get low throws and still keep stride. Willing blocker. Tough and not afraid to go in traffic.

LOUISVILLE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 190 | 40: 4.48 e

WEAK POINTS • Durability; has missed time in each of the past three seasons because of injury, including four games in 2016 because of a knee injury. Has a very lean frame and lacks both weight room and functional strength. Physical corners can re-route him. Long-strider who has to gather a bit to make sharp cuts on the shorter routes.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013* 10/8 31 458 9/4 9 190 2014* 9/7 37 638 2015 2016 12/10 36 615 TOT 40/29 113 1,901 * — Played at UAB

RECEIVERS

13.8 4 21.1 1 17.2 3 17.1 2 16.8 10

24GOLLADAY KENNY

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Originally signed with Alabama–Birmingham but transferred to Louisville after UAB dropped football. He is tall, long and athletic with deep speed. Better long-range receiver than short because he cannot consistently get separation on the shorter routes with his long stride. He is tough and competes. Has good hands and a very large receiving radius. Has to get stronger and add some bulk to compete against NFL corners. Still developing but has upside.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

STRONG POINTS • Very productive in his two years at NIU. Has great size with long arms. Good athlete, with runaway speed. Can high-point the ball and make the difficult catch. Strong runner after the catch. Good blocker.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-33/4 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Flashes good routes, but really needs to refine his overall routerunning skills. Doesn’t show consistent ability to separate. Will body catch at times.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2012* 2013* 2015 2016 TOT

10/0 30 429 14.3 1 11/10 69 884 12.8 8 14/13 73 1,129 15.5 10 12/11 87 1,156 13.3 8 47/34 259 3,598 14.0 27 * — Played at North Dakota

25WESTERKAMP JORDAN

STRONG POINTS • A productive, sure-handed receiver. Runs good routes, can uncover vs man or zone. Very good competing for the ball in traffic. Quick, strong and elusive after the catch. Strong leader. Excellent football character.

NEBRASKA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-11 1/4 | WT: 194 | 40: 4.52 e

WEAK POINTS • Not quite as tall or fast as you would like. Not a deep threat. Had a late season injury that has to be checked but he did play in the East-West Shrine game.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 13/1 20 283 2014 13/9 44 747 2015 13/4 65 918 2016 10/2 38 526 TOT 49/16 167 2,474

14.1 1 17.0 5 14.1 7 13.8 5 14.8 18

26ROSS FRED

MISSISSIPPI STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 | WT: 203 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013 11/0 9 115 2014 13/1 30 489 2015 13/13 88 1,007 2016 13/13 72 917 TOT 50/27 199 2,528

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a transfer from North Dakota. He has great size and strength and shows he can make the tough catch. Needs to become a better route runner and consistently get separation. He is a very good natural talent, he is just raw. He showed very good durability, because of his great size and athletic ability he was very productive in college and is an excellent threat in the red zone. The kind of player a top coach can’t wait to get his hands on. It might take him a year or two but the team that drafts him could get a good player. His size and raw talent could get him drafted in the fourth round. More likely the fifth.

12.8 0 16.3 5 11.4 5 12.7 12 12.7 22

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Westerkamp was a productive three-year starter. He has lined up both outside and in the slot. He is a savvy route runner with nice quickness and hands. He also has outstanding toughness and does a great job coming up with the ball in traffic. I see him as an eventual starter as a slot receiver in the NFL. While he is going through the developmental process, he should be able to contribute on special teams. He isn’t special, but he can do things a lot of other players can’t or won’t and he is the type of player winning teams want.

STRONG POINTS • Very productive (160 catches, 17 TDs over the past two seasons). Good size with good atheticism and flexibility. Gets in and out of cuts quickly and can get some separation. Adjusts to the ball well, can make some tough catches and will compete when in traffic. Good runner after the catch. Adequate blocking. Can return punts. WEAK POINTS • Not a burner and not a consistent deep threat. Has too many drops. Needs to get stronger, as he can get knocked off routes by physical corners. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fred is a fourth-year senior and a two-year starter for Mississippi State. Has good size and athleticism but is not a burner. Gets off the line quickly and is a good route runner but physical corners have redirected him at times. While he is very productive and makes some tough catches, he also has too many drops. Once the ball is in his hands, he shows good run skills. At this time, I don’t see him as a potential starter in the NFL. Needs to continue to develop his skills. Can also return punts but is just adequate. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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27ETTA-TAWO AMBA

STRONG POINTS • Syracuse’s go-to guy, with 94 receptions for 1,482 yards and 14 TDs. Has moderately good size. Good athlete with adequate speed. Shows courage and will compete for balls in traffic. Good after-the-catch run skills.

SYRACUSE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-11/4 | WT: 198 | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Has a lean frame and needs to get bigger and stronger. The Syracuse offense has a minimal route tree with no sight adjustments. Willing blocker but not that effective (strength). Not a burner.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013* 12/6 31 500 13/6 10 222 2014* 2015* 12/2 20 216 2016 12/12 94 1,482 TOT 49/27 155 2,420 * — Played at Maryland

16.1 2 22.2 1 10.8 0 15.8 14 15.6 17

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior, graduate transfer from Maryland. Played three years at Maryland and was a part-time starter and rotational player. It is fair to wonder why he had such limited production three seasons at Maryland before starring at Syracuse. Has some height and length with a lean frame. Shows good initial quickness but needs to develop his route-running skills after Syracuse. He has good hands and gets yardage after the catch. Like many from that style offense, it will take some time for him to adjust to the NFL. Might never be a starter but can be in a rotation.

28ADAMS SOUTH FLORIDA

STRONG POINTS • Has adequate size. Fairly good athlete with speed and a real good burst. Is competitive and will compete in traffic. Good blocker and can be physical. Has good hands. Good runner after the catch. Adjusts well to the ball in the air.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Ran a very limited route tree and will need development. Needs to add a little bulk and strength. Has some tightness in his hips.

RODNEY

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2013* 8/0 2 15 10/3 23 323 2014 2015 13/13 45 822 2016 13/13 67 822 TOT 44/29 137 1,982 * — Played at Toledo

7.5 0 14.0 2 18.3 9 12.3 5 14.5 16

29DURAL TRAVIN

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Smooth athlete, can break down and make sharp cuts. Good jumping ability. Good release and a good route runner. Has good hands, can high-point the ball and will compete in traffic. Willing downfield blocker. An efficient short-to-medium-range receiver.

LSU

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 | WT: 206 | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t show good play speed, inconsistent with getting separation. Average run-after-the-catch skills.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

2012 (Redshirted) 2013 12/0 7 145 2014 13/13 37 758 2015 10/8 28 533 2016 11/9 28 280 TOT 46/30 100 1,716

20.7 2 20.5 7 19.0 3 10.0 1 17.1 13

30COLEY STACY

WEAK POINTS • Has a lean, narrow frame and won’t get much bigger. Needs to improve his route-running skills. While he makes some difficult catches, he has too may drops and double catches. Can be a bit shy in traffic.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS REC YDS YPC TD

13/7 33 591 12/5 23 184 11/9 47 689 13/10 63 754 49/31 166 2,218

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a three-year starter for LSU. Is supposed to be a top sprinter, but you don’t see good long speed on the field. Disappointing production from a guy with 30 starts over the last three seasons. Efficient short-to-medium range receiver who gets open vs. man and zone. Has good hands and will compete in traffic. Gets what’s there after the catch. I don’t see a deep threat. His route running and hands will give him a chance, but he has to be able to play on special teams. Dural has a lot of tools you like, but the biggest question on him at this point is how well he will test, and his timed speed will most likely dictate where he gets drafted.

STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete. Has real good play speed. Can get in and out of cuts quickly. Makes some tough catches. Quick, fast and elusive after the catch. Has returned punts and kickoffs and is productive at both. Willing blocker.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 e | WT: 193 e | 40: 4.46 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Transfer from Toledo and a two-year starter for South Florida. Productive player with 112 receptions the past two years with 14 touchdowns. Despite play time, he is raw. A good percentage of his receptions were bubble screens, making him much harder to project without knowing how close he may or may not be to running the full route tree. It was very limited at USF, and he will need time to adjust to an NFL passing attack. Has talent with his size, speed, athleticism, hands and run skills, just needs time to develop. Will have to show he is wiling to try and make his mark on special teams while he learns.

17.9 7 8.0 0 14.7 4 12.0 9 13.4 20

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Speed and return skills are his biggest asset. Not ready for prime-time as a route runner. Coley is a player who could really benefit from going to a team with patience and some talent at his position in front of him to give him time to develop as he has to get stronger, increase his concentration and catch the ball more consistently. There can be some big plays there if he checks all the boxes. He might never become a starter, but he will dress on Sunday and earn some snaps because of his return skills. Not a home-run hitter as a returner but solid.

34 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST CARLOS HENDERSON LOUISIANA TECH

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-0 3/4 e | WT: 191 e | 40-YARD: 4.57 e

Very productive player, had 85 receptions. A quicker than fast guy without long speed. Has good hands and can also contribute on special teams as a returner. May be a better return prospect than receiver. Shows very good vision when returning kicks.

JEHU CHESSON MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 e | WT: 205 e | 40-YARD: 4.55 e

Looked promising in 2015 but suffered a knee injury late in the season. Didn’t look like the same player in 2016. If he regains his pre-injury form, he has a solid chance of making a team.

DARREUS ROGERS USC

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Dede Westbrook) has a thin frame like Will Fuller and Fuller did nothing after the first three games. Throw in some character concerns and he might slip down some boards. Ours for sure.”

“Before the Senior Bowl, (Cooper Kupp) was the best WR no one heard of. Now he is a household name and will get picked in the second.”

“(Corey Davis and Ken Golladay) may be the two best WRs the MAC has ever had in a single year. Both are big, fast and productive. Davis has a

chance to become a great NFL player.”

“I have no doubt the Williams kid is going to be an outstanding contested ball catcher on day one, but do we really know enough about his route running? He’s a good enough athlete that there’s no way I drop him out of the first round, but I struggle to rank him as high as some are because of the limited routes he ran at Clemson.”

“I don’t care what conference Corey Davis played in or who he played against, that kid is a stud. Size, speed, want to, there’s nothing missing. He’s the top receiver on my board.”

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 3/4 e | WT: 212 e | 40-YARD: 4.62 e

Has good size with strength but he lacks speed. He has very good hands but is not an accomplished route runner. Has to really come on when he gets to camp in order to have a chance.

SPEEDY NOIL TEXAS A&M

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-11 3/8 e | WT: 208 e | 40-YARD: 4.40 e

Has very good athleticism and speed. Can be a dangerous return man but inconsistent in all phases of the game. Rep guy with some character questions. Speed might get him drafted.

RICKY SEALS-JONES TEXAS A&M

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-4 7/8 e | WT: 245 e | 40-YARD: 4.60 e

Was All-World coming out of high school and never lived up to expectations. He is a giant-sized receiver who could also be a “move” tight end. He is going to have to take the game seriously if he wants a chance in the big leagues. Up until now, it has been wasted talent.

AUSTIN CARR NORTHWESTERN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 195 e | 40-YARD: 4.58 e

Productive Big Ten receiver. Has good hands and can uncover versus zone but lacks the quicks and separation skills to consistently uncover versus man. More of a possession guy as he lacks top-end speed. Good camp receiver.PRO

COOPER KUPP

FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 35


W POSITION GRADE

e do our best to avoid hyperbole at Pro Football Weekly, but after the past two drafts did not have a tight end taken in the first round, in terms of prospects, this year’s group may be the best ever. O.J. Howard and David Njoku are likely first-round picks, Bucky Hodges should be, Evan Engram might be and Jake Butt would have been had he not torn his ACL in the Orange Bowl. The most recent time a draft offered this kind of talent at this position was 2010, when Jermaine Gresham went 21, Rob Gronkowski 42, Ed Dickson 70, Tony Moeaki 93, Jimmy Graham 95, Aaron Hernandez 113 and Dennis Pitta 114.

A-

1 HOWARD O.J.

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size to go along with very good athleticism and speed. Shows he can be a good blocker both in tight and in space. Good route runner with very good hands, can snatch the ball. Able to get separation coming out of cuts. Strong runner after the catch. Large receiving radius. Showed dominant ability in the 2015 College Football Playoff. Played in a pro-style offense and played multiple positions.

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 | WT: 249 | 40: 4.62 e

WEAK POINTS • Does not have the production a player with his talent should have (not his fault, design of offense). Can get lazy with his blocks and not finish.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

2013 13/5 2014 14/3 2015 15/15 2016 15/13 TOT 57/36

REC

YDS

14 269 17 260 38 602 45 595 114 1,726

YPC TD

19.2 15.3 15.8 13.2 15.1

2 0 2 3 7

2NJOKU DAVID

WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger to hold up as a blocker at the next level. Lacks good blocking technique. Raw as a route runner, doesn’t consistently finish routes. Still had two years of eligibility remaining.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

REC

YDS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Easily the best tight end in this year’s class. Because of the design of the Alabama offense, the tight end is not a vital part. Still, he showed how dominant he can be in the 2015 College Football Playoff. Played in tight, as a Y, split out, in the slot and as a wing in college and should be able to do the same as a pro. Has the blocking talent to be a very good blocking tight end, but he can be inconsistent with his technique. Should come in and play and contribute as a rookie. Will have much more production as a pro than he did in college. STRONG POINTS • Good athlete, solid hands, adjusts well to the ball and can make the difficult catch. Very good runner after the catch showing strength, power and some make-you-miss. Has a quick release and can get in and out of cuts to gain separation. Willing blocker.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-4 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.60 e

A

This year’s group might not turn out as good, but they will be drafted higher than those guys were because of their incredible athleticism. Howard, Leggett and Butt are accomplished in-line blockers, too. There is also great depth in this class, as some scouts have told us they like Jeremy Sprinkle and/or Pharaoh Brown as much or more than some of the top five. There also is a lot of interest in small school prospect Gerald Everett out of South Alabama. With the dominance of Gronkowski and more recent emerO.J. HOWARD gence of athletes like Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed, some teams are likely to put more of an emphasis on this position than they have in the past. Every team is looking to create mismatches, and this group could provide a number of them.

YPC TD

2014 (Redshirted) 2015 13/4 21 362 17.2 1 2016 13/5 43 698 16.2 8 TOT 26/9 64 1,060 16.6 9 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Njoku is a third-year sophomore entering the draft. He is a gifted athlete with speed and body control. Looks more like a jumbo wide receiver than a tight end. While he lines up in tight at times, more often than not he is flexed or split out. He is a bit raw as a route runner but he is so athletic he can still get in and out of cuts quickly. Has very good hands and adjusts nicely to the ball. Strong runner after the catch with speed and power. Will need work on blocking to be able to play tight end at the next level. Will most likely be used as a “move” tight end or as a huge wide receiver. Has similarities to Kelvin Benjamin.

36 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


TIGHT

3ENGRAM EVAN

MISSISSIPPI

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 236 | 40: 4.59 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

2013 8/6 2014 13/12 2015 13/12 2016 11/11 TOT 45/41

REC

YDS

21 268 38 662 38 464 65 926 162 2,320

YPC TD

12.8 17.4 12.2 14.2 14.3

3 2 2 8 15

4BUTT JAKE

MICHIGAN

WEAK POINTS • Tore his ACL at the Orange Bowl. Needs to add strength and bulk for the next level. While he is a willing blocker, he isn’t able to consistently get movement and can get stalemated. A bit of a one speed guy. Lacks a top burst.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

2013 13/8 2014 10/5 2015 13/11 2016 13/13 TOT 49/37

REC

YDS

20 235 21 211 51 654 46 546 138 1,646

YPC TD

11.8 10.0 12.8 11.9 11.9

2 2 3 4 11

5EVERETT GERALD

SOUTH ALABAMA

WEAK POINTS • Has been to three different schools. Lacks the bulk and power to play in-line as a tight end. Raw as far as overall route running.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC TD

2013 (Junior College) 2014* 12/1 17 292 17.2 2015 12/11 41 575 14.0 2016 13/11 49 717 14.6 TOT 37/23 107 1,584 14.8 * — Played at UAB

1 8 4 13

6HODGES BUCKY

VIRGINIA TECH

WEAK POINTS • Have seen him make some tough catches so you know he has good hands but has too many drops. Poor blocker for his size. Inconsistent effort and I question his overall toughness.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

2014 13/10 2015 13/13 2016 14/14 TOT 40/37

REC

45 40 48 133

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Productive and athletic tight end. Originally enrolled at Hutchinson Community College (Kan.), then transferred to Alabama Birmingham and then finally at South Alabama after UAB dropped football. Everett is long with very good speed and athleticism. While he is listed as a tight end, he rarely lines up in tight and probably doesn’t have the height or frame to develop into a guy who can play inside on a regular basis. He is a willing blocker but needs to add strength and bulk for the next level. Will be a move tight end in the NFL and will also play some WR. He is probably most similar to Detroit’s Eric Ebron but not even that big.

STRONG POINTS • Good size and an exceptional athlete. Will probably test out as the most athletic tight end. Has length. Adequate route runner. Can get in and out of cuts quickly to get separation. Very good deep threat. Makes some difficult catches.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-6 3/8 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.57 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Versatile in that he can line up as a Y, split out, in the slot or on the wing. Competitive and tough but he needs to get a little bigger and stronger so that he can be a good blocker at the next level. His medical at the Combine will help determine where he gets drafted. He is very reliable as a receiver, runs good routes and has good hands. Good runner after the catch. Will start off as a “move” tight end in the NFL, but if he adds some bulk and strength he will be fine for the Y position. STRONG POINTS • Not as tall as you’d like but has great length. Very good athlete with speed, change of direction and overall body control. Great hands, can snatch the ball and make the difficult catch. Competes for the ball in traffic. Very good runner after the catch. Gets separation on a consistent basis. Willing blocker.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 227 | 40: 4.60e

A

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter and very productive. Has the athleticism of a big wide receiver. Good body control and flexibility, can get in and out of cuts quickly. Sure hands, can snatch the ball. Good runner after the catch. Very good speed for a tight end. Willing blocker. Works to get open versus man and zone. Effective short and deep. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger, especially in the lower body. Narrow frame and does not have a lot of growth potential. A willing blocker, but he can get stalemated when blocking in-line. Plays in a simple spread offense, not a very large route tree. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Productive four-year stater for Ole Miss. Used mostly as a move tight end in the slot, split out and on the wing. Seldom lined up in tight. While he is a willing blocker, he lacks size and bulk to be effective as a Y at the next level. Is much better when blocking on the move. Being a willing blocker doesn’t help a run-based offense and won’t appeal as a high pick to some teams. Can get open and has reliable hands. Strong runner after the catch, shows speed and moves. Should be able to play right away as a “move” guy in the NFL. Needs to get bigger and stronger but can become an effective weapon if used correctly. Some teams might use him as a big wide receiver. STRONG POINTS • Adequate size. Is able to line up in a variety of ways (in tight, wing, slot, split out). Good release with good route quickness. Runs good patterns and shows the ability to get separation coming out of cuts. Has good hands and a large receiving radius. Good runner after the catch. Starter since midway through his sophomore year. Willing blocker for both run and pass. Tough and competitive.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 e | WT: 250 e | 40: 4.70 e

A

ENDS

YDS

526 530 691 1,747

YPC TD

11.7 7 13.3 6 14.4 7 13.1 20

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hodges will test off the charts but he is not as good a player as his testing results would indicate. He has great size and the frame to get bigger. He is listed as a tight end but is really a huge wide receiver. Seldom plays in tight and he is a poor blocker. Has very inconsistent blocking effort and lacks technique. As a receiver, he gets open and makes some big plays but he also has too many drops. Has the look of a boom or bust pick. Will never play as a Y and will always play flexed out. Will create matchup problems for the defense. Might get drafted much higher than my grade. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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TIGHT

7LEGGETT JORDAN

STRONG POINTS • Has very good tight end size. Shows good athleticism and body control. Adequate speed for the position. Has good hands and can extend. Will compete in traffic. Shows strength after the catch to get yardage. Willing blocker, but is better on the move than in-line.

CLEMSON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 e | WT: 255 e | 40: 4.70 e

WEAK POINTS • Needs to get stronger in order to be a productive blocker at the NFL level. Not a good in-line blocker at this time. Has just adequate speed. Don’t see a top burst coming out of cuts.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YDS

YEAR GP/GS

REC

2013 10/1 11/7 2014 2015 15/15 2016 15/15 TOT 51/38

12 176 14.7 14 161 11.5 40 525 13.1 46 736 16.0 112 1,598 14.3

YPC TD

2 1 8 7 18

8SPRINKLE JEREMY

ARKANSAS

WEAK POINTS • Speed — not going to scare anyone as a receiver. Not a deep threat, poor separation quickness.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

REC

2013 12/2 2014 13/0 2015 13/7 2016 13/7 TOT 50/20

4 68 7 84 27 389 33 380 71 921

YDS

YPC TD

17.0 0 12.0 1 14.4 6 11.5 4 13.0 11

9SMITH JONNU

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

WEAK POINTS • Not ideal size for a tight end or strength and power to be an in-line blocker. Has short arms. Missed the final four games of the 2015 season with an ACL injury. Missed one game in 2016 after being injured in a domestic incident.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

2013 12/12 2014 12/12 2015 8/8 2016 11/11 TOT 43/43

REC

YDS

YPC TD

39 388 9.9 61 710 11.6 36 397 11.0 42 506 12.0 178 2,001 11.2

2 8 4 4 18

10SAUBERT ERIC

DRAKE

WEAK POINTS • Lacks strength and power to play in-line at the NFL level. Played at a low level of competition. Run blocking needs work. Raw and needs to improve his route running.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR GP/GS

2012 2013 11/9 8/7 2014 2015 11/11 2016 11/10 TOT 41/37

REC

YDS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Smith was a productive four-year starter at Florida International. He is a very athletic “move” tight end. He is quick off the ball and a good route runner. Has good hands, can snatch the ball and will compete for the ball in traffic. He is athletic and shows speed and run instincts after the catch. Smith is willing as a blocker but lacks the required size to work inside and he will be more productive blocking on the move than in tight. See him as an eventual starter as a “move” or flexed tight end in the NFL who can become a more productive receiver than he was in college.

STRONG POINTS • Height, speed, hands, run-after-catch abilities. Growth potential to 255. Dominated lower level of competition. Able to get separation. Strong East-West Shrine game practices

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 | WT: 247 | 40: 4.62 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • This player is your old fashioned Y tight end. You don’t see many tight ends with his skill set anymore. He is not going to be the type to line up in the slot or flexed out to create a mismatch. Rather, he will work to get open in the short zones and be a reliable short receiver. What he does better than other TE prospects is block. He can knock opponents off the line and can mirror and anchor in pass protection. Will help a team’s run game. Won’t go high because his main strength is blocking, but he will help a team from Day One and is a perfect fit for any team that still prefers to run first, play great defense and special teams rather than filling the air with footballs. STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter who has been productive. Good to very good athlete who has speed and can get in and out of breaks quickly. Soft hands, can extend, has a large receiving radius. Willing blocker. Good runner after the catch.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 245 | 40: 4.67 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Productive 2½-year starter for Clemson. Has size and good to very good hands. Needs to get stronger and more explosive. Just an average blocker at this time. He is better on the move than blocking in-line. He is used in-tight, flexed out, on the wing and split. Runs good routes and can find the open seam in zone. Doesn’t have great route quickness and is inconsistent at getting separation. He can improve on some of these things with added strength. Mid-round guy who has a chance to become an eventual starter. STRONG POINTS • Size and has growth potential to get to 265. Good blocking both in-line and pass protection. Has bend and uses his hands well. Adequate route runner. Has reliable hands, gets what he can after the catch. Adequate short-range receiver. Will compete in traffic.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 3/4 | WT: 256 | 40: 4.80 e

B

ENDS

YPC TD

(Redshirted) 47 549 11.7 32 348 10.9 48 506 10.5 56 776 13.9 183 2,179 11.9

2 2 6 10 20

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a late-developing guy. Coming out of high school, he was a low-level recruit and went to Drake. Redshirted there for his freshman year, then became a four-year starter. Got better every year. Can run very well for a tight end, has great hands and can adjust to the ball. Will have to improve his route running at the NFL level. He is not a blocker and at present lacks the strength to block at the NFL level. Will be a “move” tight end and once he adjusts to NFL play, will cause mismatch problems because of his speed. He is an eventual starter in the league and has upside.

38 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


TIGHT

BEST OF THE REST MICHAEL ROBERTS TOLEDO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 3/8 | WT: 262 | 40-YARD: 4.87 e

Doesn’t have the speed or quickness to be a “move” TE. Has to play in tight as a Y. He shows good blocking ability against college competition but will need to improve his technique at the next level. Has the size and power, just needs to work on fundamentals. Lateround pick who will make a team and play because of his blocking skills.

BLAKE JARWIN OKLAHOMA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 | WT: 244 | 40-YARD: 4.80 e

Was used in a variety of ways in the Oklahoma State offense. Has played intight, on the wing, flexed out and as a fullback. More blocker than receiver in their scheme. Has good hands and is an adequate short-range receiver. Better blocking on the move than in-line. Has a chance in the right situation.

ENDS

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Bucky Hodges) is fast and gets open but has some drops and won’t block. He has to be a blocker to play for us.”

“Yes, (David Njoku) is raw and has to learn how to block, but he is going to be the best tight end in this class. He has WR skills.”

“Just give (Eric Saubert) some time to adjust to the speed and talent in the NFL and he will be fine. I can see him starting in another year.”

“There aren’t a lot of tight ends, but there are some really good ones. You can find a re-

ceiver-type or a blocker.”” “Not arguing that this isn’t the best group of tight ends in a while, but why do they look like a bunch of oversized wide receivers to me? Other than maybe (Jake) Butt and (Jeremy) Sprinkle, I just don’t see a lot of kids here who know how to block, and too many of them don’t appear to want to.” “(David) Njoku is a flat-out freak of an athlete. As much as I love (O.J.) Howard, I think Njoku will have the bigger impact when both are ready to go.” “I get why (O.J.) Howard is the better prospect, but I thought Jordan Leggett was the better player in the championship game.”

• •

SCOTT ORNDOFF PITTSBURGH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 3/4 | WT: 254 | 40-YARD: 4.78 e

In the Pitt offensive scheme, he is an old-fashioned Y, meaning he lines up intight and is a blocker first. He is effective as a run blocker, showing strength. Is a good athlete with adequate speed and finds a way to get open. Has good hands and gets what he can after the catch. A draftable prospect.

COLIN JETER LSU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 | WT: 250 | 40-YARD: 4.93 e

Started off at the Air Force Academy then a junior college and finally LSU. He does not have much production as a receiver (23 receptions over the past two seasons), but he can block. Needs to get stronger in order to be a productive blocker at the NFL level. Will get into camp because of his blocking skills. Every team is looking for a blocking TE.

COLE HIKUTINI LOUISVILLE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 e | WT: 242 e | 40-YARD: 4.78 e

A small “move” tight end. He is athletic and works to get open. Has good hands and adjusts well to the ball in the air. He doesn’t do much as a blocker, more of a stalker than a hitter.

BUCKY HODGES

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 39


O POSITION GRADE

ffensive tackle arguably has been the strongest position in the draft over the past four seasons, with 20 tackles drafted in the first round, including 13 picks in the top 13 and nine in the top 10. Unfortunately, while there is some depth in this year’s tackle group, 2017 may be the worst year to draft a tackle since 2012, when Matt Kalil (No. 4) and Riley Reiff (No. 23) were the only tackles taken in the first round. None of this year’s best will go as high as Kalil did. 2006 was the most recent time only one offensive tackle was taken in the first round, D’Brickashaw Fer-

C-

1 ROBINSON CAM

ALABAMA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-6 e | WT: 318 e | 40: 5.10 e

GRADE

A

RATING

7.0

PROJECTION

RD 1

2GARCIA ANTONIO

TROY

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-6 3/8 | WT: 293 | 40: 4.98 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.8

PROJECTION

RD 1

guson at No. 4 to the Jets. Cam Robinson out of Alabama is a top-10 talent with some off-the-field issues that make him difficult to project. If a team like the Bears, Jaguars, Jets or Chargers, with real needs at the position, can become comfortable with the young man, he could be a top-10 pick, or he could slide to the second half of the round depending on how he interviews. It wouldn’t be an NFL Draft without a Wisconsin Badger in the first round, and Ryan CAM ROBINSON Ramczyk is the other tackle likely to be a top-32 pick. Other than that, this group appears to be loaded with second- and third-rounders. Dion Dawkins out of Temple is a top prospect in this group with a nice back-story.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter at left tackle. Great size, strength and power. Explosive through the hips. Quick off the ball, stays low and consistently gets movement with run blocks. Agile in pass protection, can slide to stop wide speed and recover back to the inside. Excellent anchor. Quick hands, keeps them inside and has a strong punch. Used to pulling and is good in space to adjust on the move. WEAK POINTS • Had an arrest in the summer of 2016 in Louisiana that has to be looked into. Built more like a guard or a right tackle. Had some trouble with wide speed in game versus Tennessee (Derek Barnett). THE WAY WE SEE IT • A junior who has been a starter since the day he walked on campus at left tackle. Big, strong and powerful with length. Dominant run blocker who can cave in the D-line when he blocks down. Consistently gets movement. Sets quickly in pass protection, has quick hands and a strong punch. Excellent mirror skills versus moves. Agile and athletic for his size and can play in space. Should be the first offensive lineman drafted. Like many college left tackles, he might start off at right tackle or guard but will eventually move to the left side. Starter from Day One.

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Strong and explosive. Very good athlete, light on his feet, very good slide and recover, agile, can run. Plays with a nasty streak. Moves like a tight end and easily gets to second level. Has growth potential to 315. Makes things look easy. Uses his hands well and keeps them inside. Very explosive through his hips. WEAK POINTS • Measured in at 293 pounds at the Senior Bowl; needs to add bulk in both his upper and lower body. Sun Belt competition isn’t the best. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Going into the Senior Bowl, this was a guy many draft followers had not heard much about. Come Draft Day, he could be among the top two to three tackles. Very good athlete and a natural bender. Makes things look easy. He is strong and plays with a nasty streak. The only thing he needs to do is add bulk. Played at just over 300 during the season and needs to get to at least 315. Should be able to step in and start right away for most teams. Great upside.

40 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

3RAMCZYK RYAN

WISCONSIN

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-5 1/4 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.17 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.7

PROJECTION

RD 1

4BOLLES GARETT

UTAH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-5 3/4 e | WT: 300 e | 40: 5.10 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.7

PROJECTION

RD 1-2

5DAWKINS DION

TEMPLE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 7/8 | WT: 317 | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

6MOTON TAYLOR

WESTERN MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 3/8 e | WT: 330 | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Good size, strength and power. Good athlete, stays on his feet. Moves well, has good feet and good lateral agility. Can get out in space and adjust on the move. Good job getting his hands up and keeping them inside. Efficient pass blocker who can set, mirror, recover and anchor. Well coached. WEAK POINTS • Just a one-year starter at the major college level. May have short arms. Does not seem to have the range required to play left tackle in the NFL. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A very interesting prospect. Was a Division III player who transferred to Wisconsin prior to the 2015 season. Redshirted 2015 and was a starter at left tackle all of 2016. Efficient player who is technique sound, well coached and grades out well. The question is, can he play left tackle at the NFL level? I don’t see the range and length needed to play on the left side. Looks and moves more like a right tackle or a guard. If moved inside to guard, he could become a high-level player. Shows he can pull and adjust on the move and has the power to get movement with his run blocks. Regardless of where he lines up, he is a solid player who will play early in his career.

STRONG POINTS • Good height and length. Competitive kid who plays with a nasty disposition. Gets after people in both the run and pass game. Very athletic with quick feet and better than adequate bend. Can move well laterally and recover back in the opposite direction. Always looks to finish his blocks. WEAK POINTS • Age, he will be a 25-year-old rookie. A junior college transfer and has only one year of high-level football. Has only played tackle a couple of years. Gets tall. Has a narrow frame and is light in the butt. Very raw. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year junior entering the draft. Was a defensive tackle in high school and has only played offensive tackle since he has been in college. Very good movement skills but not a consistent bender. Tough and aggressive, he goes after people and grades well because of his tenacity. Because of his athleticism and competitive nature, he has a chance to become a very good player, but he is raw and needs a lot of technique work. Will go high this year because it’s a poor tackle class, but he doesn’t match up to the better tackles in previous classes. Should go in the second but will probably go in the first round.

STRONG POINTS • Good size and strength. Plays with a nasty streak and likes to be physical. Has some snap in his hips on contact. Able to get movement with run blocks. Shows he can get to the second level. Has a strong punch in pass protection. Has good lateral agility, can mirror opponent and anchor. WEAK POINTS • Can get lazy with his technique and make some mental mistakes (a number of false starts vs Penn State). Will drop his hands at times. Has good lateral agility but doesn’t always play with it. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Dawkins has the talent to become a winning left tackle in the NFL. Has some mental and technique errors but all are correctable with coaching and alertness. He is a big, strong guy with good athleticism, strength and power. Has a lot of upside, just has to get rid of the mental mistakes and play to his ability. This is a classic example of a young man who needs to land with the right coaching staff. How he played at the Senior Bowl and how he interviews will be important. Solid second-round pick if everything checks out.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter and a very good MAC-level player. Good size with strength and power. Can anchor in pass protection. Quick set, can use his hands in passing game, mirror, slide and recover. Shows he is able to get movement in the run game. Can get to second level. Stays on his feet. WEAK POINTS • Plays at a lower level of competition. In run game, he tends to stop and then restart his feet on contact. Can bend at waist at times. Has not played left tackle. Needs better hand use in run game. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a four-year starter. Has played mostly right tackle but did play right guard in 2015. Has great size but may be better off at between 315-320. Thick build with long arms. Effective pass blocker who can anchor and mirror against MAC-level opponents. Needs to improve his footwork and hand use in the run game. Overall, a talented player who needs some development. Start him off at right tackle but he might end up at guard. Should start by Year Two and can start as a rookie in the right situation. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 41


OFFENSIVE

7GENNESY AVERY

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.05 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

8WHEELER CHAD

USC

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 e | WT: 306 e | 40: 5.10 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

9JOHNSON RODERICK

FLORIDA STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-6 5/8 e | WT: 310 e | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2-3

10MAGNUSON ERIK

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 303 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2-3

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Good natural size. Has long arms and a thick lower body. Easily a good enough athlete to play left tackle in the NFL. Has range and can mirror in pass protection. Shows some pop on initial contact in the run game. Has as much natural bend as any tackle in this draft. WEAK POINTS • Not a consistent performer as he needs to finish blocks better. Will get good positioning but then lose it. Needs to increase upper body strength. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a junior college transfer. Two-year starter at Texas A&M at left tackle. Has size and strength to go along with good athleticism and quick feet. Is best as a pass blocker where he has the feet and agility to cut off wide speed and recover back to the inside. Strong in the lower body and can anchor. Not as consistent as a run blocker. Needs to get and keep better position and finish better. Overall, one of the better athletes at tackle this draft. Needs to add some upper body strength and just become more consistent in his overall play. Has upside and could be a starter early in his career.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at left tackle. Good initial quickness. Strong on contact. Shows some explosion. Athletic with quick feet. Able to pull and make a productive block in space. Good hand use. Stays on his feet. Can mirror in pass protection. Plays with bend. WEAK POINTS • Not a big-framed guy and might not be able to get bigger than 310. Adequate strength and power, will get neutralized at times. Will give some ground at times to explosive bull rushers. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter. Missed some time in 2014 with a knee injury. Very steady player who is smart and alert. He is a good athlete with bend and knows how to use his hands. Generally gets good position on opponent and makes productive blocks. About as big as he is going to get and that lack of great natural size limits him some and against big people. Still, he is a smart and consistent player and should become a solid starter in the league. In most years, he’s a second-round pick, but with this class being light on tackles, he could go late in the first.

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal height and length with the frame to carry 320. Good athlete with quick feet and good agility and recovery. Good snap reaction for both run and pass. Able to get to second level and adjust on the move. WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t play to his talent level or athleticism. Gets lazy with his technique. Shows he can play with a straight back and move his feet, then you will see plays where he bends his waist and crosses his feet. Lacks the strength and power needed to step in and play in the NFL. Gets stalemated too often. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-and-a-half year starter at left tackle. True junior entering the draft but he is not ready for the NFL. Has the height, length and athleticism to play, but he lacks strength and power and gets lazy with his technique. Inconsistent getting movement with his run blocks and can get stalemated. In pass protection, he gets lazy with his technique and then gets in trouble trying to catch up to play. Will cross his feet and bend at the waist. Overall, he has the tools, but does he have the desire? Hit-or-miss type and he needs to add strength and bulk. May never pan out but has the tools to go in the second or third.

STRONG POINTS • Experienced; has started 37 games during his career. Has been well coached and is fundamentally sound. Good initial quickness, has some snap on contact and gets movement with his run blocks. Good to second level. Very solid pass blocker who can mirror, use his hands and anchor. Good athlete with quickness and feet. WEAK POINTS • Came in at 303 pounds at the East-West Shrine weigh-in, might not be able to get much bigger. Arms were measured at 32.5”. Has never played left tackle. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Magnuson might not have some of the natural traits that some players in this draft have, but he is a very good and consistent performer. Is sound with his technique, strong, tough and physical. He’s consistent as both a run and pass blocker. Has the ability to come in and start at right tackle or guard as a rookie. He appears to have the athleticism and might be able to play on the left side but we won’t know that until he practices there. Arm measurement at the East-West was a bit short and is a concern but the real measurement will be at the Combine. Solid prospect.

42 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


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OFFENSIVE

11DAVENPORT JULIE’N

BUCKNELL

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-6 3/4 | WT: 310 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 3

12BISNOWATY ADAM

PITTSBURGH

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 | WT: 307 | 40: 5.20 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.5

PROJECTION

RD 4

13WARE JYLAN

ALABAMA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-7 5/8 e | WT: 298 e | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5-6

14SKIPPER DAN

ARKANSAS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-9 1/4 | WT: 317 | 40: 5.45e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Great size, can dominate level of competition. Has long arms. Good athlete with change of direction, agility and balance. Stays on his feet. Gets movement with run blocks. Has a good punch in pass protection and does a good job mirroring opponents. Solid anchor. Shows he can get to the second level. WEAK POINTS • Lower level of competition. Needs to play with more power. Not always the most physical guy. Raw as far as technique with both his hands and feet. Not a consistent finisher. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Four-year starter for Bucknell at left tackle. Has great natural size and the frame to get even bigger and stronger. Shows some dominating ability at the FCS level but often gets by on his natural traits. Doesn’t have to be technique sound to win at that level. Needs to be more physical but that should come with the jump in competition and NFL coaching. This kid has a lot of tools to work with and has great upside. Will probably start off on the right side and move back to the left when he is confident. Might get drafted higher than his talent level because this is a weak tackle class.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at left tackle. Good toughness, all-out performer every play. Has adequate bend. Can use his hands. Shows good initial quickness. Shows he can get to second level and adjust on the move. Technique sound. Very aware. WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal size. Has just average lateral agility and recovery for a left tackle. Can be beat by counter moves. Has some trouble with wide speed rushers. Doesn’t have great strength or explosion. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at left tackle. Smart, aware and experienced, but has some limitations. Not an overly big guy and he lacks top power. Lacks the quick lateral agility needed to play left tackle at the NFL level. He is a tough, hard-working player who needs to get bigger and stronger. Will be better off at right tackle or moved inside to guard. If he can get to 310+ and add strength and power, he has a chance to become an eventual starter in the league.

STRONG POINTS • Great height and length. Has the frame to carry 315. Has some bend to him and can move his feet. Good overall athleticism. Has a good punch. Flashes dominating ability at a lower level of competition. Comes off the ball fairly low in the run game and shows some pop on contact to get movement. WEAK POINTS • Faced low level of competition. Is thin in the calf and ankle area. Needs to add bulk and strength in order to compete at the NFL level. Very raw technique wise and also needs to develop his footwork. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Interesting developmental prospect. Has the height, athleticism and frame to be an NFL tackle. He is very raw and needs to get bigger and stronger. That said, if he accepts coaching, this player has a lot of natural tools. Will probably need a year on the practice squad and maybe more than that in the weight room, but if it all clicks then the team that drafts him could get very lucky. With this being a thin tackle class, he might go higher than usual, but not many have his kind of natural physical traits. Some risk but potential big reward.

STRONG POINTS • Plays hard and competes. Grades out well. Has surprising bend for such a tall guy. Looks to sustain and finish. Good athlete who can move his feet. Shows he can mirror and anchor. Gets low with run blocks. WEAK POINTS • Not quite strong enough and he is not explosive. Can have some trouble in space at the second level adjusting to movement. Arms are short for his height (under 34”). Not nifty with his feet. THE WAY WE SEE IT • When I looked at this player’s measurables, I didn’t want to like him, but he surprised me on tape. More than held his own versus Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett. In pass protection, he can set quickly, bend, slide and recover. He shows he can get low with his run blocks. While he isn’t real nifty, he has adequate movement skills. He has to get stronger if he is ever going to be a starter in the NFL. Will be able to play on the right side and could surprise and be OK on the left.

44 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

15HOLDEN WILLIAM

VANDERBILT

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-73/8 | WT: 313 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

16SHARPE DAVID

FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-5 7/8 e | WT: 350 e | 40: 5.45 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5-6

17McDERMOTT CONOR

UCLA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-8 1/8 | WT: 305 | 40: 5.33 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

18BANNER ZACH

USC

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-8 3/8 | WT: 361 | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Good natural size and frame to get a little bigger. Plays with strength and knows how to use his hands. Efficient with his foot movement to get and keep good position. Has experience on both the right and left side. Adequate to the second level and takes good angles. WEAK POINTS • Looks like he may have short arms. Not a top athlete and lacks the quickness and range to play on the left side in the NFL. Can have trouble with wide speed and quick counter moves back to the inside. THE WAY WE SEE IT • William has been a three-year starter at Vanderbilt with experience on both the left and right side. Will play either right tackle or guard at the NFL level as he lacks the feet, quickness and range to play on the left side. Arm length will determine if he can play outside or move to guard. He is tough and competitive and should challenge for a starting spot by Year Three. There are a lot of similar types playing in the league right now.

STRONG POINTS • Naturally huge man with length and girth. Has strength. When he stays low he is able to get a push in the run game. WEAK POINTS • At 350+ he is way too heavy. Lacks good movement traits. Slow with slow feet. Not a natural bender, which causes him to lean and bend at the waist. Doesn’t have the lateral agility and recovery quickness to stay with opponents vs. counter moves. More of a pusher than explosive drive blocker. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Sharpe is a junior entering the draft. He should have stayed in school. He has been a two-year starter at left tackle. While he has natural strength, he is not powerful or explosive and has very average movement skills. Struggles with wide speed and counter moves. Because he lacks good lateral agility, he has a tendency to bend at the waist to stay with opponent. Has to move inside to guard to have a chance and also needs to lose at least 20 pounds. At a lower weight, he has a chance as his athleticism will improve. Question is, with his natural size, is there a diamond under all that extra padding?

STRONG POINTS • Naturally big. Consistent competitor. Has good natural strength. Flashes being able to get movement with run blocks. Tough to beat wide because of his size and length. Has upside. WEAK POINTS • Like many tall guys, he is not the most agile and mobile guy. Not explosive. Can get tall. Inconsistent with his anchor. Inconsistent getting to second level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-and-a-half year starter at left tackle. He is very tall with length and has some natural strength. Has some bend but because he is so tall he needs to bend more. Opponents can get into his body and drive him back when he gets tall. Has growth potential and if he can get stronger, he has a chance to become an adequate starter. Needs to pay attention to detail when it comes to technique and if he can learn to consistently play lower there may be more upside in his game than I’ve seen so far. Overall, a mid-to-laterround pick with a chance to develop. Has to be on the right side, as he lacks the quicks and agility to play on the left side.

STRONG POINTS • Massive size, naturally strong. Can get movement with straight on drive blocks. Shows he can anchor in pass protection. WEAK POINTS • Speed, overall movement skills. Lacks good lateral agility and recovery. Struggles with wide speed. Feet will cross over. Doesn’t adjust on the move well. Can have trouble making productive blocks at the second level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Huge man with strength but he is too heavy. If this young man can drop 30-to-40 pounds of bulk and add 10-to-15 pounds of muscle, we might see a completly different player. Right now he lacks the lateral agility to play tackle in the NFL. Struggles with wide speed and staying with opponent with a counter move. Not very quick footed. Has to move inside where he has help on both sides. Can be a good drive blocker, but to get on the field he needs to drop the weight I talked about and improve his agility. At this time, he is no better than a backup. We’ll have to see how hard he wants to work to remake himself into an NFL player. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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OFFENSIVE

19NORTON STORM

TOLEDO

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-7 1/2 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6-7

20SALAKO VICTOR

OKLAHOMA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 | WT: 333 e | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6-7

21HECK JON

NORTH CAROLINA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-6 1/2 e | WT: 305 e | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter at left tackle. Natural size and length. Effective at the MAC level as a pass rusher and run blocker. Quick set in pass protection. Flashes getting movement with run blocks. WEAK POINTS • He is not a natural bender. Gets tall too often. At times he is able to stop wide speed but can’t recover quickly versus a counter move to the inside. Has a lean upper body and needs to add strength and bulk. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-year starter at left tackle. Norton is tall with adequate length for his height. He has a lean build for a tall guy and needs to add bulk and strength especially in his upper body. He has some tightness in his knees and ankles and has a tendency to play tall. Because of his size, he can be effective, but he has a long ways to go. Needs to get stronger and improve his lateral agility. Won’t be able to play left tackle and will have to settle in on the right side. Good candidate for the practice squad as a rookie.

STRONG POINTS • Massive size, naturally strong. Long arms. In the run game, he can generate some movement just because of his girth. Has a strong punch in pass protection to help control opponents. Tough to bull rush because of his size. WEAK POINTS • Plays tall, not a natural bender. Opponents get leverage because they are able to stay lower. Will overextend some. When that happens, his base narrows and he can fall off blocks. Doesn’t have good recovery quicks. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Salako started out at UAB where he redshirted as a freshman and then became a starter in 2013 and 2014 at left tackle. When UAB dropped football, he transferred to Oklahoma State and has been a two-year starter there. He is a smart player who knows how to use his size but he is limited athletically and could struggle at the next level with big-time rushers off the edge. Although he played on the left side in college, his only chance on the edge will be as a right tackle. Might also be able to play guard.

STRONG POINTS • Natural size and the frame to get bigger. Long arms. Has good strength, plays hard and knows how to play within himself. Alert player, doesn’t make mistakes. His dad Andy had a long career in the NFL. Durable. WEAK POINTS • Marginal athlete. Doesn’t have great foot quickness or lateral agility. Lacks the quicks and agility to consistently get to second level and make a productive block. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for North Carolina at right tackle. Has size and the frame to get to 310-315. Dad played 12 seasons with Seattle, Chicago and Washington and has spent past 12 seasons as offensive line coach in Jacksonville and Kansas City. He is strong and can use his hands but he is a limited athlete. Lacks good lateral agility and recovery versus speed. Can get tall and lose the leverage game. Still, he plays hard and doesn’t make mistakes. Would be better off if he moved inside to guard where he has help on both sides. He is smart and dependable and that may win him a job.

22SENIOR

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Very good size. Competes. Fairly good use of hands. Has good natural strength. Flashes as a run and pass blocker.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR

WEAK POINTS • Just an above average to good athlete. Doesn’t show as much bend as many coaches would like. Just an average foot athlete. Can be beat with a counter move.

JUSTIN

MISSISSIPPI STATE

HT: 6-4 5/8 | WT: 322 | 40: 5.43e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 6-7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Senior is a Canadian citizen from the Montreal area. He played five years at Mississippi State and was a three-year starter at right tackle. Has size and strength but he plays tall, not a natural bender and is not explosive. Still, when he gets his hands on his opponent, he can be tough to shed. May have to move inside to guard to have a chance. Looks to be a guy who needs a year on the practice squad. He’d be very good in the CFL. In most years he is an undrafted free agent, but because of the thin crop at tackle he will get drafted this year, and sometimes getting a shot in the right place is half the battle. If he can learn to play with his pads much lower he will have a shot.

46 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

23MOORE STEVEN

CALIFORNIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 e | WT: 305 e | 40: 5.42 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter and has played both right and left tackle. Good size, stays on his feet. Good hand use especially in pass protection. Smart player, alert to pick up stunts or blitzes. WEAK POINTS • Overall strength and power, more so in his lower body. Gets stalemated and isn’t consistently able to get movement. While he can set quickly in pass protection, he gets tall and doesn’t recover quickly when facing a counter move. Lacks a consistent anchor. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter. Started a total of 48 games. Played left tackle as a redshirt freshman, then moved over to the right side. He is tall with length, but he’s an average athlete and lacks top strength. Moore is a smart and alert player who doesn’t make mistakes, he just lacks some of the physical traits needed. In most years he would be a free agent, but he could be drafted late this year because it is a weak tackle class. If he improves his strength he has a chance, but would be best if he moved inside to guard.

AUDIBLES

BEST OF THE REST LEVON MYERS

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 e | WT: 305 e | 40-YARD: 5.28 e

Flashes as both a run and pass blocker. Has bend but can get lazy with his technique and get tall. Has the quick feet to slide and recover in pass protection. Will run his feet on contact in the run game. Lacks top strength but he is versatile and may be able to play both guard and tackle at the next level.

SAM TEVI UTAH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 | WT: 312 | 40-YARD: 5.30 e

Has some height and length to go along with quick feet and adequate overall athleticism. He lacks natural size and won’t get much bigger. While he can bend, he struggles versus bull rushes because he is light in the butt.

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING: “(Cam Robinson) hasn’t •

reached his potential. There are times when he doesn’t go all out. When he wants to play, he is outstanding.” “(Antonio Garcia) needs to get bigger, but my is he talented.” (Garett Bolles) will go in the first this year but he would not have been a first-round pick in any of the last four or five drafts.” “(Garett Bolles) is light in the ass and doesn’t always play with

• • •

bend.” “(Roderick Johnson) doesn’t play hard, isn’t strong, poor footwork. I don’t understand how people like him” “(Dion Dawkins) has enough ability to play right tackle. He’s big, massive and powerful.” “(Julie’n Davenport) will have a chance. He’s a left tackle project. Real good feet and athleticism. Needs to get stronger.” “For me, Cam Robinson is the toughest puzzle in this draft. His measureables are as good as any tackle I’ve seen in years and at times he played to them. Just wish I had a better feel for the off-the-field stuff.”

• • • •

JERRY UGOKWE

WILLIAM AND MARY

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-8 1/8 e | WT: 305 e | 40-YARD: 5.45 e

Has natural size and the frame to get to 320. Good athlete for his size and flashes being able to bend but can get tall. Raw technique-wise, needs better use of hands and to learn how to get and keep good positioning. Will most likely need at least a year on the practice squad to develop his raw traits.

DANIEL BRUNSKILL SAN DIEGO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-43/4 e | WT: 275 e | 40-YARD: 5.00 e

Very small but athletic tackle. Has limited growth potential but he shows talent on tape. Because of his size, some teams may move him to tight end and have him be their Y. Obviously he won’t be a receiving threat but he will be able to help the run game.

RODERICK JOHNSON

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 47


T POSITION GRADE

he guard position had become a bit of an after-thought in the draft until about five years ago, when the Steelers and Bengals drafted David DeCastro and Kevin Zeitler at 24 and 27 in 2012, respectively. The Titans then took Chance Warmack at 10 and the Bears took Kyle Long at 20 in 2013, and the Cowboys chose Zack Martin at 16 in 2014. 2015 was an off year with only Laken Tomlinson over-drafted at 28, but then the 49ers and Seahawks prioritized the position again last year taking Joshua Garnett and Germain Ifedi in the end of the first round. The early success and dominant play of DeCas-

B

1 FEENEY DAN

INDIANA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 | WT: 304 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.7

PROJECTION

RD 1

2LAMP FORREST

WESTERN KENTUCKY

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 | WT: 305 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

tro, Zeitler, Long and Martin and the proliferation of zonestretch blocking schemes, which rely on athletic offensive linemen who can move, has teams more willing to go for a top guard prospect these days than a second-tier tackle as some teams have leaned in the past. This year’s group is not exceptional and was weakened a bit when Ohio State’s Billy Price surprised many by staying in school for his senior year. But Pat Elflein, who played DAN FEENEY guard for the Buckeyes his first three seasons before moving to center as a senior, will be drafted high because of his versatility, and there is depth in this group that will yield some bargains in the middle rounds.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter mostly at right guard. Played right tackle the last four games of 2016. Good size. Athletic, runs well, can get out in space and adjust on the move. Stays on his feet. Good hand use for both run and pass. Plays a tough, physical game. Very good run and pass blocker. Plays with bend, has good feet, can mirror, slide and recover. Durable and versatile. WEAK POINTS • Not as big as some teams would like. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a four-year stater. Missed 2013 with a foot injury. Started 49 games. Feeney is smart, strong and tough to go along with having good overall athleticism. Good run and pass blocker, plays a physical game and knows how to use his hands. Very good in space and is productive with second level blocks. Will come in and start right away as a rookie, may also be able to play center. Wish he was a little bigger. Lack of great natural size might keep him out of the first round but should go high in the second.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter. Plays with strength and power. Naturally rolls his hips on contact. Good hand use for both run and pass blocks. Sets quickly in pass protection, has a good punch and shows he can mirror vs. moves. Plays with good bend. Good athlete, runs well, stays on his feet and can adjust on the move. WEAK POINTS • Has short arms. Too short to play tackle at the NFL level. Saw him get bullrushed a few times when he didn’t bend. Didn’t play in a strong conference. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Lamp is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at Western Kentucky. Except for a few games at guard as a freshman, he has played left tackle his whole career. Fundamentally sound player who is strong, tough and competes. Because of his height and arm length, he will need to move inside to guard at the NFL level. Has been well coached and is physically able to start early in his career. Solid player, might never be an All-Pro but you can win with him.

48 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

3JOHNSON DORIAN

PITTSBURGH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

4ELFLEIN PAT

OHIO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 305 e | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

5MAMA DAMIEN

USC

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 5/8 e | WT: 330 e | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 3

6SIRAGUSA NICO

SAN DIEGO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 326 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 3-4

GUARDS

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter at left guard. Good size and length, very strong, tough competitor. Plays a physical game and looks to finish. Good with combo blocks and getting out to linebackers. Consistent pass blocker. Can use his hands, mirror and anchor. Reliable on short pulls and traps. WEAK POINTS • While he has 10-15-yard quickness, he slows down after that period. Not as effective on the longer pulls. Will have occasional trouble vs combination moves. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior and has been a starter since late in his freshman year. Has very good size with long arms and is very strong. Shows explosiveness on contact when run blocking. Plays a physical game and consistently looks to finish. Goes all out every play. A good but not a great athlete, he can get to linebackers but is inconsistent with long pulls. Very consistent pass blocker who keeps good position and anchors. Will start early at guard and can perhaps play center.

STRONG POINTS • Good size, strong, stays on his feet. Very good hand use. Has some snap in his hips. Good in-line run blocker, good to second level and with combo blocks. Tough and physical, will try and maul opponent. Is able to get movement with run blocks. Consistent pass blocker, can set, get his hands on opponent and anchor. Adequate lateral agility. Has started at both guard and center. A smart, alert and instinctive player. Very competitive. WEAK POINTS • Only a marginally good athlete. Can be a bit inconsistent in space. His feet are average-to-good. Can have some trouble with counter moves. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Elflein is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Started at guard in 2014 and 2015, then moved inside to center this year. While he is a good guard, he was also a very good center. He is smart and alert and can make all the calls. Has a good chance to start as a rookie and his ability to play guard or center really helps. At guard he will need to be in the right scheme. Not a great athlete but tough, strong and competitive. Goes snap to whistle. The type of guy you can win with.

STRONG POINTS • Huge man with natural strength and power. Good athlete for his size. Stays on his feet. Flashes the ability to play in space. When he latches on to his opponent, it’s all over. Good run and pass blocker. Can anchor. WEAK POINTS • While he is a good athlete, he is not consistently quick off the ball. He is about 10 pounds too heavy. Doesn’t consistently get good position and when he doesn’t, he can have a tendency to turn his shoulders. THE WAY WE SEE IT • True junior entering the draft. Had some starts as a true freshman in 2014 and has started every game at left guard the past two seasons. Very powerful man who when he gets good position, will consistently get movement with run blocks. He is adequate out to the second level and shows he can pull and adjust on the move. In pass protection, he can’t be bull rushed. Again, when he gets his hands on his opponent he wins, but he has to improve his setup quicks. If he loses 10 pounds, he has a chance to start very early in his career and be a winning player. Has a lot of talent, just a bit too heavy.

STRONG POINTS • Has excellent size, thick and well built with long arms. Very strong player. Very good drive blocker, keeps his feet moving and is able to get movement. Works doubleteams well. Good to second level. Adequate with pulls and playing in space. Good hand use in pass protection. Good anchor, able to control opponent with his strength and bulk. Very durable. WEAK POINTS • Not the niftiest, quick-footed guy but good enough. Lacks speed to be consistent with long pulls. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Has started 42 games for San Diego State, mostly at left guard. Huge man who is strong and powerful. Very good run blocker and works well with the center or tackle on double-teams. Has a strong punch in pass protection and anchors very well. Not a great space player and won’t be more than adequate on pulls, but in the right scheme he can be a very good starter. Plays with a physical attitude and seems to enjoy the physical part of the game. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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WITH

Dan Feeney

‘CLICK-CLICK, IT’S ON BABY’

D

Pro Football Weekly’s top-ranked guard all smiles off the field, all business on it

an Feeney doesn’t come off as a mean, road-grading offensive lineman. Certainly most players – especially those entering the predraft process – are going to be polite with the media, but Feeney’s smile By and demeanor didn’t match his position. Don’t be fooled, though. “Buckling that helmet, you get that click-click, it’s on baby,” Feeney said about flipping a switch. “It’s just one of those little things you kind of take for granted, that little sound. When I hear it, I’m like, ‘Alright, it’s game time, baby.’” Feeney is Pro Football Weekly’s top-ranked guard, and the two-time All-American at Indiana prides himself on being a blue-collar player in the trenches. “I’m definitely an effort-based kind of guy,” he said. “I’m not the most talented, not the most athletic, but I’ll fight you every play and I’ll try and beat you every play.” Indiana’s offensive line coach during Feeney’s time in Bloomington, Greg Frey, first discovered Feeney when he was recruiting current Broncos offensive tackle Michael Schofield. The two went to the same high school in a Chicago suburb. “When I went to Indiana, he was one of the first offers we made because we believed in how he played, his mentality, family background, the whole nine yards,” said Frey, who is now back at Michigan as an assistant coach. “Everything was five stars.” Feeney knows he doesn’t play a sexy position. Left tackles get the money, and sometimes centers even get more attention than guards. It’s not a position that is going to

50 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

garner a lot of attention, money or high draft picks, but that description of the guard position seems to mirror the man leading it into the 2017 NFL Draft. “It’s not my kind of attitude,” Feeney said when asked if he noticed his draft rankings. “I’m just a come to work every day kind of guy, get better every day. Not a whole lot of flash.” Frey explained that Feeney’s game grew in his four years at Indiana through his preparation for opponents. As a freshman, Feeney simply used his strength and size to block, but as a senior he better understood blocking concepts and what opponents would try to do. Feeney played with current Packer Jason Spriggs on an O-line that sprung current Bear Jordan Howard for long runs. The Hoosiers’ shotgun, no-huddle offense should only help Feeney’s transition to the NFL through his conditioning as well as the quick decision-making necessary in that system. “Dan had to make a decision in 11 seconds,” Frey said. “It wasn’t like he heard the play in the huddle and had 40 seconds to process. He hears the play at the line of scrimmage and has to process how he’s blocking, where he’s going, what’s the call and that’s 80 times a game. His ability to sit there and think and be aware of his surroundings are heightened because of the style offense that we run. He has to make an instantaneous decision.” While the guard position may not get the accolades as tackles, the pass protection aspects of the job on the interior have grown in importance due to the amount of three-techniques that can get after the quarterback just as effectively as edge rushers. Of the 10 highest-paid defensive players, six are interior

KEVIN FISHBAIN


DAN FEENEY defensive linemen – Ndamukong Suh, Muhammad Wilkerson, Fletcher Cox, J.J. Watt, Marcell Dareus and Gerald McCoy. Feeney can’t simply be a run blocker, and his experience last season and in high school will help him as an interior pass blocker. Feeney played left tackle in high school and a few games at right tackle last season. “It was kind of weird because I flip-flopped back and forth a couple games,” he said. “Tackle, you have a longer time for blocks, at guard, everything’s happening right now. Getting the timing down was definitely a difference, but I think that kind of helped. Everything’s on me right now, or I have a half second before I have to do something right now. Once I picked it up, it worked out pretty good.” Feeney said that the key against three-techniques is being “willing to challenge them, go out there and try to be athletic with them. … Hold you down, keep your hands inside, dominate that block as fast as you can and try not to give them a chance.” The competition Feeney faced in the Big Ten East, including Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell, should provide NFL teams good tape on what Feeney can do as a pass protector. “He’s got long enough arms and athletic enough feet to

play right tackle in the Big Ten East,” Frey said. “He’s hard enough, thick enough to go inside and be an All-American at right guard as well.” Frey likens Feeney to All-Pro Cowboys guard Zack Martin, who also played tackle in high school, as well as in college, before moving to guard in the NFL. The measureables are similar, too. They are both 6-foot-4, with Martin weighing 308 pounds to Feeney’s 304 (as of the Senior Bowl). But Feeney has slightly longer arms (33 1/8 inches) and bigger hands (10 1/4 inches). Feeney returned for his senior year, where he wanted to “elevate my game. Get my feet faster, get my hands more aggressive, get my aiming points more on-point. Fine tuning.” It’s worked out for him as he gets set to be the first guard off the board in April. The tape should speak for itself, and NFL teams will also like his personality – even if it doesn’t necessarily reflect the way he pushes around defensive linemen. “He’s an awesome person,” Frey said. “He’s fun to be around. He has zero character flaws that I know of. Smile on his face when he’s working. Loves the work. … He’s just a fun person. Always has a smile on his face. He embraces life.” PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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OFFENSIVE

7ASIATA ISAAC

UTAH

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 325 | 40: 5.42 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.5

PROJECTION

RD 4

8ISIDORA DANNY

MIAMI (FLA.)

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/2 | WT: 311 | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.5

PROJECTION

RD 4

9DUNKER JESSAMEN

TENNESSEE STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/8 | WT: 306 | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

10MORGAN JORDAN

KUTZTOWN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 313 | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

GUARDS

STRONG POINTS • Versatile, has started games at three of the O-line positions (right tackle and both guard spots). Thick frame and has very good strength and power. Plays a very physical game and is a strong run blocker. Consistently looks for a second block. Seldom gives ground in pass protection. WEAK POINTS • Slightly overaged, will be a 24-year-old rookie and turn 25 during the season. Not a top space player, is best in a limited area. Can be a bit inconsistent getting to the second level and not consistent with pulls. THE WAY WE SEE IT • He should be able to play either guard position or center at the next level. A big, strong and physical player who will help the run game. Effective as a pass blocker because he has good hand use and can anchor but can be hurt by counter moves because he is an average foot athlete. Has to be in the right blocking scheme to be the most effective. Should be an eventual starter in the league but has some athletic limitations. His versatility will probably get him drafted a bit higher than those limitations might suggest.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter at right guard. Shows toughness and a strong competitive attitude. Has good size as well as good strength and power. Good with run blocks, keeps moving on contact. Efficient with combo blocks and getting to the second level in general. Consistent pass blocker who can mirror. WEAK POINTS • His base will narrow at times and when that happens he can have some trouble with his anchoring versus big people. Arms measured a bit short (32.5). Gets impatient and will over-run some blocks in space. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Isidora is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter at right guard. He is at a good enough level as an athlete with quick feet, change of direction and balance. Like most college linemen, he will need to add some bulk and strength to effectively play at the next level. He is a smart, alert player who has the tools to become an eventual starter in the NFL and every team likes a litte nasty in the guys up front. Any team that drafts him may also want to train him at center so he becomes more versatile.

STRONG POINTS • Versatile athlete, has started at both guard spots and left tackle. Good size. Has good athleticism with quick feet, bend and agility. Can slide and recover and mirror quick pass rushers. Shows dominating ability versus a lower level of competition. Quick hands and strong, shows he can control his opponent. WEAK POINTS • Originally enrolled at Florida but transferred because of an arrest for theft. Though he has good strength, he can have some trouble with bull rushers and will give some ground. Not technique-sound at this point. THE WAY WE SEE IT • This player has some upside. Leaving Florida meant he didn’t get the coaching or weight training he would have had. Still raw, but he has the natural traits. Has to get stronger and add some bulk but with time and coaching, he could develop into a good NFL player. His arrest will hurt and the character check and interviews will play a huge role into where he gets drafted. Has the athleticism to play left tackle but will most likely start off inside while he is developing. Might be a future starter if he develops well. Risk/reward selection.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at left tackle. Dominates Division II level of competition. Quick off the ball. Strong and gets movement with run blocks. Sets quickly in pass protection, easily mirrors and anchors vs D-II competition. Held his own at the Senior Bowl. WEAK POINTS • Faced low level of competition. Very raw when it comes to technique. Can get tall; lazy with his technique. He lacks ideal height. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at Kutztown. Dominated Division II level of competition while playing left tackle. Will have to move inside to guard at the NFL level. While he has size, bulk and strength, he will need to develop his technique. Gets away with things at D-II level that he won’t in the NFL. The Pennsylvania league has a history of putting linemen in the NFL and teams have been less reluctant to look at small school big men recently than they might have been in the past. It will take him some time to develop but he could become an eventual starter. Mid-round pick because of upside.

52 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

11KALIS KYLE

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.35 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5-6

12HARLOW SEAN

OREGON STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 5/8 e | WT: 310 e | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6

GUARDS

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at guard. Tough and tries to be physical. Good strength. Stays on his feet. Can get some movement with drive blocks. Keeps his hands inside. Alert and aware. Good with inside combination blocks. WEAK POINTS • Lacks top athleticism, especially in space. Lacks speed and can have trouble getting to a second block in space. Looks slow on pulls. Just adequate ability to bend. Can have some trouble with counter moves because he lacks quick lateral agility and recovery. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior who has been a starter since midway through his redshirt freshman year. Has played a lot of football for Michigan. A legitimate tough guy who is strong and plays hard. His problem is he is not that athletic and it shows in space. He can struggle to adjust on the move when he pulls or has to get to the second level. He is smart, alert and aware and that keeps him productive. Adequate as a pass blocker because he is strong and can use his hands but can have some trouble with athletic pass rushers. May be better off at center. See him as a backup-type who you can get by with if he has to play. May be an eventual starter at center.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter, has played or practiced at every position on the O-Line. Adequate size. Good strength. Fairly good hand use with a good punch in pass pro. Has “pop” on contact to get some movement. WEAK POINTS • Too short to play tackle. Looks to have short arms and that causes him to lose leverage at times. Just an average athlete for the position. Not consistent getting to the second level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior and a four-year starter. Missed the last five games of 2015 with a leg injury. Has started at both left and right tackle as well as practiced at guard and center. Lacks the height, feet, quickness and range to play tackle in the NFL. Will have to move inside to guard or center. Though he is athletically limited, his versatility will help win him a job. Doubt he will ever be a starter but he can be a versatile backup. Harlow is one of those guys most teams will covet because, with his great versatility, if he gets a little stronger and takes to the next level you can save an OL spot on the roster and use it elsewhere.

BEST OF THE REST EVAN GOODMAN ARIZONA STATE

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

• • “Ohio State did the right thing moving (Pat Elflein) to center. He can start at either position as a rookie but that added versatility gives him

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-35/8 e | WT: 310 e | 40-YARD: 5.30 e

“(Dan Freeney) will be a starter at guard or center the day he signs his contract. Love his toughness.”

Played tackle at Arizona State but doesn’t have the height or range to play outside in the NFL. Has a guard’s body to go along with good strength and power. Shows he can bend but has a tendency to get tall. Possible late round pick.

more value.”

• “The kid from Kutztown (Jordan Morgan) finishes with some nasty.”

GREG PYKE GEORGIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 e | WT: 322 e | 40-YARD: 5.38 e

I thought Pyke might come on in 2016 and have a top season. While he played OK, POINTS Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx XXXXX STRONG • his average athleticism hurt his chances of xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx getting drafted. Still, he has experience at xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx guard and tackle and versatility always helps. XXXXXXXX xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxx xx xx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Will most likely play inside in the NFL. YEAR: XXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

WEAK POINTS • Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR GRADE 3/8 | WT: 313 | 40-YARD: 5.40 e HT: 6-4X THE WAY WE SEE IT • Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx Has started at left tackle and both xx guard xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx RATING positions. He’s a tall guy with length xx xxand xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx X.X strength but limited athleticism. Not a xxhim xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxx xx xx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx natural bender and that can get in PROJECTION xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx trouble. use RD Has X to get by with his good hand ELFLEIN xxx xx xxx xxPAT xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxx xx xx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx. and strength. HT: X-X X/8 e |PANKEY WT: XXX e | 40: X.XX e ADAM

WEST VIRGINIA

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 53


C

enters are rarely high picks because often the best ones in the NFL pivot from college guards

POSITION GRADE

or tackles. The best recent example is Chicago’s Cody Whitehair, a left tackle at Kansas State whom the Bears drafted late in the second round last year to play guard. Whitehair was moved to center when 2015 third-round pick Hroniss Grasu, a true center out of Oregon, tore his ACL in training camp. Whitehair was an All-Rookie choice and now projects as one of the NFL’s premier snappers. The other issue is that true college centers like Grasu are often a bit undersized to play anywhere

C

1 ORLOSKY TYLER

WEST VIRGINIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 292 | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4

else on the line in the NFL. There are, of course, exceptions, including 2016 when the Colts drafted Ryan Kelly with the 18th overall pick. After a slow start, Kelly came on the second half of the season. In 2015, Grasu was the first center taken at 71 in the third round and the last first-round center before Kelly was Travis Frederick, whom the Cowboys took at 31 in 2013 and who has been a perennial Pro Bowler since. This year’s crop is average TYLER ORLOSKY and we don’t see a likely Day One or Day Two pick in the group. Kelly was the exception to the rule last year because he stood out on an Alabama offensive line full of underclassmen that won a national championship.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Makes offensive line calls. Tough, strong and durable. Good with the blind snap. Adequate initial quickness. Keeps his back straight on contact. Consistently looks to sustain blocks. Tenacious run blocker. Consistent with pass protection. Shows adequate mirror and recovery quicks. Plays with some bend. WEAK POINTS • About as big as he is going to get. Shorter arms, long torso, short legs. Anchors at the college level but I don’t see the power to consistently anchor at the NFL level. May be a center-only, as you don’t see him much in space. More strong than explosive. Not consistently able to make combo blocks. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year captain. Smart and tough with strength but he has physical limitations. Has a thick body but short legs and arms. He is strong but not explosive on contact. I like the way he competes and he will always look to finish, but he is just an average athlete who doesn’t have great quickness. Needs to get with a zone-type scheme. Has down-the-road starter potential in the right situation but with limitations.

2POCIC

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Has also played some tackle. Has adequate length. Plays hard. Quick to snap and step. Adequate hand use. Used to pull some and gets adequate production.

YEAR: SENIOR

WEAK POINTS • Gets tall, not a natural bender, widens his base to get low. Can give ground to power rushers. Not a power guy and can get stalemated in the run game.

ETHAN

LSU

HT: 6-6 | WT: 307 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Does have some starts at tackle. Has started 37 games over the course of his career. He is very tall for a center and not a natural bender. More of a finesse player than a power player. Shows he can get to blocks in space but his ability to adjust on the move is inconsistent. In pass protection, he is alert and does a good job picking up stunts and blitzes but can get bull-rushed. Overall, I don’t see him as an eventual quality starter. More of a backup-type who should be able to play any position on the line. That versatility will help him on draft day and is probably enough to keep him in the league early on, but he will really have to improve his technique and get stronger to stick long term.

54 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


CENTERS

3TOTH JON

KENTUCKY

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 7/8 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.28 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

4FULLER KYLE

BAYLOR

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 306 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

5ROULLIER CHASE

WYOMING

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/8 | WT: 321 | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6

6CROWLEY LUCAS

NORTH CAROLINA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 1/8 | WT: 297 | 40: 5.28 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

STRONG POINTS • Very good size for the position. Can snap and step. Good athlete, has good feet, can slide and recover. Quick hands, keeps his back straight. Good with combo blocks and can get out to a linebacker. Alert in pass protection, does a good job with stunts and blitzes. Makes line calls. WEAK POINTS • Left-handed snapper, needs to improve his lower body strength and power. Can bend but inconsistent with his anchor THE WAY WE SEE IT • Toth is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for Kentucky. He is a bit tall for a center, but he has good bend and can get under opponents. Has some pop on contact, keeps his back straight and his feet moving. Keeps his hands inside. Alert in pass protection, can mirror, slide and recover. Looks to be athletic enough to play guard and clearly has the size. Will need to get a little stronger, especially in the lower body, to become a starter in the NFL. Solid backup at first who should be able to play two positions while he is developing. Nice size and strong techniques give him a great chance.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Good size with long arms. Good enough strength and power. Shows that he can roll his hips on contact in the run game. Good pass blocker who gets and keeps good position. Can move his feet. Has a good punch. WEAK POINTS • While he can bend, he still has a tendency to get tall and lose the leverage game. Base can get too narrow. Body is a bit soft. Like many college linemen, he needs to get stronger. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fuller is tall for a center and can have a tendency to play tall. When that happens, he loses the leverage game. He can bend so it is more of a concentration thing. Has good size and natural strength but he needs to tighten up his body and get stronger and more explosive. He is athletic enough to play guard and block in space, just needs to work at the position. Right now, he is a developmental-type with some natural traits to become an eventual starter in the NFL. It’s all up to him as to how badly he wants it.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter and has started at two different positions (guard, center). Has real good size and good upper body strength. Makes all the line calls. Alert player, picks up stunts and blitzes well. Tough, competitive. WEAK POINTS • Not a natural bender, more through his waist than his knees. Has to widen his base to get low. Marginally good athlete. Lacks speed and not good at adjusting on the move in space. Needs to improve lower body strength. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and three-year starter. Started two years at left guard, then moved to center for 2016. Has size and upper body strength but needs to improve his lower body strength, base and anchor. More a pusher than an explosive hitter. Isn’t overly athletic and can struggle to make productive blocks in space. Still, there are guys like him playing in the league and he has a chance. Interviews will be important as tape suggests he might need to add a little more nasty to his game. May need a year on the practice squad.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Makes all the line calls. Strong and tenacious, gets after people. Tough competitor. Can get under opponent and get some movement. Has a good punch in pass protection; can mirror and anchor. WEAK POINTS • A center-only, lacks height and has short arms. Can be inconsistent getting to a block in space. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year senior and a three-year starter at center. He is a productive college player but his limitations will hurt him at the next level. He is short with short arms and a center only. Coaches will love his toughness and he doesn’t make assignment mistakes. Late-round draftable guy because of his strength, toughs and production, but because he lacks position versatility, it will hurt his chances of making the 53. 10 pounds of bulk/muscle might really help him but he is already likely to at least be on a practice squad as a rookie as he will be tough to run off. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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CENTERS

7HUGHLEY TOBIJAH

LOUISVILLE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/8 | WT: 289 | 40: 5.38 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Alert and instinctive, able to pick up blitzes and stunts. Good strength and balance. Has the upper body strength to turn and seal his opponent. Keeps good position in pass protection. Has some short-area quickness. WEAK POINTS • Short with short arms. Not a space player. Looks to be a center-only. Not used to pulling. Doesn’t consistently play with bend. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hughley is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Has a short, squatty build with shorter arms. He is a tough, competitive guy but has limited traits. An above average to good athlete with good balance. Gets good position with run and pass blocks but doesn’t get movement. Flashes anchor but when he doesn’t bend, he will give ground. Looks to be a center-only at the next level and that will cause him to get drafted later. Won’t dress on Sunday unless he becomes a starter. Bottom line is Hughley is a good football player who is small for a center and just too small to play anywhere else along the line.

JAY

8GUILLERMO

STRONG POINTS • Tough, strong, smart and aware. Makes all the line calls. Stays on his feet. Fairly productive. Can make combination blocks and get out to linebackers.

CLEMSON

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR

WEAK POINTS • Short with short legs and arms. Can’t play the leverage game. Lacks speed. Isn’t able to consistently make blocks in space. Lacks growth potential. Doesn’t consistently move his feet on contact.

HT: 6-2 e | WT: 308 e | 40: 5.35 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. A smart and aware player who is strong and tough. Makes the line calls. Has limitations but he is competitive and knows how to work with his limitations. Gets the most out of his natural traits. He is mostly a phone booth player who doesn’t have the athleticism to be productive in space. With his lack of speed and range, he may be limited to being a guard. Coaches will like his tenacity and that will make him tough to run off. Has to be in the right situation to make it but the kid is a football player and may have enough attitude to overcome his lower-end measureables.

BEST OF THE REST JOE SCELFO

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 1/4 | WT: 294 | 40-YARD: 5.35 e

His dad was a long-time coach and Scelfo understands the game. A short, tough overachiever with short arms. Gets all he can out of his limited traits. While he may lack the tools, he plays hard every down and grades out well.

GAVIN ANDREWS OREGON STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 7/8 | WT: 339 | 40-YARD: 5.50 e

Not the most athletic guy but he has versatility. Three-year starter who has lined up at center, guard and tackle. Was a former high school wrestler and that helps him with leverage. Best chance is inside at guard or center where he has help on both sides. Change of direction and range are average but he is strong and can use his hands.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“This is a tough group because unlike last year with Ryan Kelly at Alabama there’s just nobody who jumps out at you and says I’m a guy you have to have. Pocic is an interesting guy but I’m not so sure he’s really a center and i like the Clemson kid (Jay Guillermo) but he’s an all effort guy who may struggle with the step up in class”

“(Kyle) Fuller looks like a guy who can play in the league but is he a center or a guard? Not sure where he’ll end up playing but he looks like the kind of kid we like to work with and I think we could find a spot for him on our roster”

“A number of guys are projecting him at guard but I like (Pat) Elflein from Ohio St. at center. As thin as this group is

56 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

JOHN TOTH

he’s the cream of this crop.”

“To me John Toth is the safest bet this year at center. Yeah, there are a few warts but there’s also an awful lot to like about the kid and I like a lot of what I’ve seen on tape.”


L POSITION GRADE

ast year’s draft ended a mild drought at the position with Sheldon Rankins, Kenny Clark, Robert Nkemdiche and Vernon Butler all going in the first round, followed by Chris Jones picked 37 by the Chiefs. Part of the issue is that some college defensive tackles are now lumped in with five-technique defensive ends in the NFL, but the last time at least five of the top 37 picks were tackles was 2010, when Ndamukong Suh went second and Gerald McCoy went third, Tyson Alualu was 10th, Dan Williams 26th and Brian Price 35th. This year’s group is great at the top with Jonathan

A

1 ALLEN JONATHAN

STRONG POINTS • A dominant inside defensive lineman. Quick off the ball, very good hand use and both strong and powerful at the point. Never gives ground to an opponent. Instinctive, finds the ball. Very good pursuit player and a strong tackler. Great interior pass rusher with multiple pass rush moves.

ALABAMA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 290 e | 40: 4.80 e

WEAK POINTS • None really, but wish he was a bit bigger and faster.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.2

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 12/0 16 3.0 0.5 0 1 0 2014 14/12 33 11.5 5.5 1 0 0 2015 15/11 36 14.5 12.0 4 2 0 2016 15/15 69 16.0 10.5 2 0 3 TOT 56/38 154 45.0 28.5 7 3 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2McDOWELL MALIK

MICHIGAN STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-6 e | WT: 280 e | 40: 4.85 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 13/0 15 4.5 1.5 0 0 2015 14/14 41 13.0 4.5 1 2 2016 9/9 34 7.0 1.5 0 0 TOT 36/23 90 24.5 7.5 1 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

Allen and Solomon Thomas top10 to top-15 picks who are most likely to be five-techniques at the next level. It also is a very deep position this year, loaded with second-, third- and fourth-round picks and invariably one or two should make it into the first round. Malik McDowell might have been a top-15 pick were he not coming off a disappointing season in which he was hurt at times and less than focused when he wasn’t until coming on late in the season. His stock will JONATHAN ALLEN be interesting to watch after the Combine and his Pro Day. Caleb Brantley is another player to watch with firstround tangibles but enough question marks to make him difficult to project.

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior who would have been a first-round pick a year ago. Usually plays right defensive end in base three-man front but has played some on left side. Lines up both inside and outside in pass rush situations. There isn’t anything not to like about this young man’s game. He is a dominant college player who could be the first inside player drafted. One of the better inside pass rushers I have seen in years. Will be an instant starter and impact player as a rookie. Versatile and athletic enough to play in a three-man or four-man front. Will be a 5-technique for a 3-4 team or a 3-technique for a 4-3 scheme. He ould be a perennial Pro Bowler.

STRONG POINTS • Very good physical traits with his height, length, speed and overall athletic ability. Flashes the ability to dominate in both the run and pass game. Can really close to the QB off a block. Shows speed and takes good angles in pursuit. Has a high ceiling as far as natural talent. WEAK POINTS • Needs to add some bulk and strength to play inside at the next level. Inconsistent production both from down to down and play to play. Sack production isn’t what it should be. Can be slow to locate the ball in the run game. Needs to improve overall hand use. THE WAY WE SEE IT • McDowell is an enigma in that it can be frustrating when trying to evaluate him. He has the natural traits to totally dominate a game but only shows it in spurts. Had only 1.5 sacks and 34 total tackles in 2016. For his career, he has only 7.5 sacks. He is still young and will be only a 21-year-old rookie. He must mature both emotionally and physically. Has unlimited talent and can be as good as he wants to be. While his production says he should go in the second round, his talent will most likely get him drafted in the first. If he gets with the right team and the right coach, look out.

58 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


DEFENSIVE

3JOHNSON JALEEL

STRONG POINTS • Good size with good arm length. Thick build, plays with strength and power. Instinctive, quick to find the ball and make plays. Seldom out of position. Well coached and technique sound. Plays equally well versus both the run and pass. Very good interior pass rusher. Scheme versatile. Tough and competitive.

IOWA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 309 | 40: 5.05 e

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal height and speed, needs to tighten up body some.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 7/0 1 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 2014 13/0 11 2.5 1.0 0 0 0 2015 14/14 45 5.5 3.5 1 0 1 2016 13/13 55 10.0 7.5 2 0 0 TOT 47/27 112 18.0 12.0 3 0 1

4WORMLEY CHRIS

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 3/8 | WT: 297 | 40: 5.05 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 13/0 19 4.5 2.5 1 0 1 2014 12/6 21 5.0 3.0 0 0 0 2015 12/10 43 14.5 6.5 1 1 0 2016 13/13 40 9.0 6.0 0 0 0 TOT 50/29 123 33.0 18.0 2 1 1

5WATKINS CARLOS

CLEMSON

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2012 9/0 16 1.0 0.0 0 0 0 3/1 11 1.5 0.0 0 0 0 2013 2014 11/0 13 2.0 0.0 0 0 0 2015 15/14 69 8.0 3.5 3 0 0 2016 15/15 82 13.5 10.5 4 0 1 TOT 53/30 113 25.5 14.0 7 0 1

6BRANTLEY CALEB

FLORIDA

WEAK POINTS • Short, may not measure 6-foot-2. As big as he is going to get. Size limits him to scheme he can play in. Has some loaf plays and not a top pursuit player

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 12/1 21 4.0 0 0 2 2015 13/10 29 6.5 0 0 0 2016 13/11 31 9.5 2.5 0 1 TOT 38/22 81 20.0 2.5 0 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. Has gotten significant playing time every year. Has good size and can get to 315. Versatile in that he can play in a 4- or 3-man front. Consistent player versus the run, showing strength at the point and sheds quickly. Has the strength and power to hold the point versus double teams. One of the better inside pass rushers in the draft, can bull rush or use moves. Has the talent to come in and start as a rookie and contribute. Solid player with upside and if he learns how to go all out on every down he can be a difference maker.

STRONG POINTS • Strong and explosive, has good initial quickness with an explosive first two steps. Good interior pass rusher. Knows how to use his hands and has the ability to create counter moves. Good read and react skills, finds the ball. Stout, holds the point and consistently gets some penetration.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.10 e

A

STRONG POINTS • Two-and-a-half-year starter. Very good size. Plays with strength and power. Instinctive, quick to find the ball, seldom gets caught out of position. Not flashy but a steady player down after down. Has good hand use, can shed blocks and get to the ball in run game. Good at 2-gapping an OT. Consistently gets penetration. Solid pass rusher who can both bull rush or use moves. Competes and shows hustle in pursuit. WEAK POINTS • Good athlete but not really an explosive athlete. Plays outside at Michigan but has more of an inside player’s skill set. Average initial quickness. Don’t see a top closing burst off blocks. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a starter since midway through his redshirt sophomore year. A very steady workmanlike player. Not flashy; makes plays, not mistakes. Is solid vs. the run and pass and shows he can be a good inside pass rusher at the next level. Had 18 career sacks while at UM. Has good size and the frame to carry 315 without losing any of his athleticism. Excellent skill set to play as a 5-technique in a 3-4 scheme and should also be able to play either tackle spot in a 4-3. Solid second round type player.

WEAK POINTS • Average speed and not a top pursuit player. Will have some plays when he doesn’t go all out. Not as explosive as you’d want at the position.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. Good program guy who showed improvement every year. Plays defensive tackle in a 4-3 but with his physical traits, he should be able to play either defensive tackle position in a 4-3 or play as a 5-tech in a 3-4. Big and strong with good initial quickness and good instincts. He is quick to find the ball and makes plays. Well coached and technique sound, he plays well versus the run and pass. He will play early and contribute as a rookie. Some guys might have better physical traits, but there are not many who are better as a football player.

STRONG POINTS • Productive player with 50 tackles and 10.5 sacks this year. Has 13.5 sacks in the past two seasons. Good size, good athlete and strong. Has good initial quickness, stays low and controls blockers. Quick to find the ball. Quick hands to shed blocks. Does a good job versus double teams. Excellent inside pass rusher.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-35/8 | WT: 312 | 40: 5.05 e

A

TACKLES

1 0 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior and two-year starter for Florida. Redshirted his true freshman year. Brantley is short but very quick, strong, powerful and explosive. Gets off the ball as quick as anyone. Has good arm length and uses his quickness and hand use to get penetration and be disruptive in the run game. He is a good inside pass rusher who again uses his quickness and moves to his advantage. Gets more pressure than sacks but is very effective. Needs to become a better pursuit player, will quit on some plays that he feels he can’t get to. Size limits him to being a 3-technique in a 4-3 scheme but some 3-4 clubs might like him as a designated interior pass rusher. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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DEFENSIVE

7WALKER CHARLES

STRONG POINTS • Has very good bulk, strength and power. Good hand use. Doesn’t stay blocked very long. Makes some outstanding plays that very few can make. Good versus the run and a very good inside pass rusher. Has some special to him.

OKLAHOMA

WEAK POINTS • Only played four games in 2016. Missed a number of games because of a concussion, then quit on the team to “prepare for NFL” with still two regular season games and a bowl game left on the schedule. Hot and cold player; when he is on he can’t be blocked, but there are plays when he doesn’t go all out. Lazy pursuit player. Lacks ideal height for a DT.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-2 1/4 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.00 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

TACKLES

TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 8/0 10 1.0 0.5 0 0 0 2015 12/0 36 10.0 6.0 1 1 0 7 2.0 0 4 0 0 2016 4/4 TOT 24/4 53 13.0 6.5 5 1 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Walker is a very quick, strong and explosive player who can dominate a game when he wants to. Can be a force versus the run and as a pass rusher. That said, he is lazy and selfish. He quit on his team with three games to go. He is going to have to answer a lot of questions satisfactorily during interviews, otherwise some clubs will drop him from their boards. Has second-round talent but not a second-round attitude. This grade is on talent alone.

8QUALLS

STRONG POINTS • Huge wide body who occupies space. Has good initial quickness. Very strong and powerful at the point, never gives ground to blockers. Able to occupy two blockers. Stout. Quick to react and find ball. Very good run defender. Sure tackler.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 325 e | 40: 5.25 e

WEAK POINTS • Short and seems to have short arms. Lacks speed to chase. Not a pass rusher. Too heavy for his frame and needs to lose 10 pounds and tighten his body.

ELIJAH

WASHINGTON

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 14/0 13 2.0 0.0 0 0 0 2015 10/8 26 4.5 4.5 0 0 0 2016 14/11 38 5.0 3.0 0 0 0 TOT 38/36 77 11.5 7.5 0 0 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior and two-year starter who is entering the draft. A big wide body with strength and power who is a very good run defender. Gets off the ball quickly and is able to get penetration and be disruptive in the run game. Can and does occupy two blockers often. Very stout; never see him give ground. Can get a push as a pass rusher but that’s it. Qualls looks to be a proto-typical zero technique for a team that plays a base 30 front but he can play the anchor tackle in a 4-3 schee as well. While he can get some push he doesn’t collapse the pocket enough to be mre than a two-down player at the next level. Has value as a run defender.

9TOMLINSON ALABAMA

STRONG POINTS • Big, strong and powerful. Is best at taking on blockers and holding the line of scrimmage. Will not give ground. He is alert with good diagnose skills. Has good hand use and can shed quickly. Consistent tackler.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 312 | 40: 5.25 e

WEAK POINTS • Not an explosive athlete, lacks speed (but has short area quickness), not much more than a bull rusher when rushing the passer.

DALVIN

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 1/0 2014 14/0 2015 15/0 2016 15/15 TOT 45/15

4 22 34 62 122

0.0 5.5 0.5 5.5 11.5

0.0 0 2.0 0 0.0 6 3.0 4 5.0 10

0 0 0 1 1

0 0 0 0 0

10OGUNJOBI LARRY

STRONG POINTS • Thick, strong and explosive. Has good get-off, stays low and gets penetration. Has strength and power to go along with good hand use. Does a good job getting rid of blockers. Finds the ball and makes plays. More of a bull rusher but has some quick moves and can close on the quarterback.

CHARLOTTE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-21/2 | WT: 304 | 40: 5.18 e

WEAK POINTS • He lacks ideal height. Needs to get a little heavier. More quick than fast. Has to learn how to put combination moves together. Needs to finish pass rush with more consistency.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 11/11 42 9.5 2014 11/11 48 11.5 2015 12/12 62 14.5 2016 12/12 65 13.5 TOT 46/46 217 49.0

2.5 5.0 2.5 3.0 13.0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Dalvin is a fifth-year senior and 2016 was his first year as a starter. He received significant play time the preceding two years playing in the D-Line rotation. Tomlinson isn’t flashy and he is never going to get a lot of sacks, but he is a strong point-of-attack player who is very good at stopping the run. His best fit is as a nose, but can also play at the 5-technique on first and second down. Will mainly be a two-down player at the next level and give his team quality snaps. The type of guy you need in the rotation to win. Will probably play at about 320 once he gets into the league.

2 2 0 2 6

0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for Charlotte. He has been a productive player. With Charlotte being a new program and he being their best player, he faces a lot of double teams. He is strong at the point and doesn’t give ground. Can get penetration and be disruptive. As a pass rusher, he also is disruptive but has to finish better. See him mostly as a two-down player at the next level. His best fit is as a nose in a four-man front. Can play in a three-man front if he gets a little bigger.

60 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


DEFENSIVE

11GLASGOW RYAN

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Legitimate tough guy who competes every snap. Good initial quickness, stays low and is able to get penetration. Alert and instinctive and plays the run well. Flashes as a pass rusher, has enough power to get a push as a bull rusher. Good hand use. Hustles in pursuit. Very good tackler.

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 299 | 40: 5.10 e

WEAK POINTS • Has good but not great size, can’t see him getting any bigger than 310. Will never be a top pass rusher. Arms measured a bit short at the Senior Bowl (32 3/4). No special physical traits.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 11/0 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 2014 12/11 22 4.0 0.0 0 1 1 2015 9/9 25 5.0 1.0 0 0 0 2016 13/13 42 9.5 4.0 1 1 0 TOT 45/33 91 18.5 5.0 1 2 1

12ADAMS

MONTRAVIUS

AUBURN

WEAK POINTS • Just an above-average-to-good athlete. More a reactor than an anticipator. Keeps his head down too often. Gets tall and top heavy then loses balance. Can be slow to shed. Plays in spurts. Not much of a pass rusher.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

2013 13/0 2014 13/10 2015 13/13 2016 13/13 TOT 52/46

20 43 44 44 151

TFL SACK PD FF FR

1.5 8.0 3.0 8.5 21.0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Glasgow is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Improves with every year. Knows how to use his hands and is strong in the upper body. He is alert and finds the ball. Makes a lot of plays in the run game. Flashes as a pass rusher but will never be more than ordinary. See him as a very good rotational player who could eventually become a starter but will play mostly on run downs. Can play in either a threeor four-man front. A solid mid-round selection. STRONG POINTS • Just adequate size to play the nose. Very strong. Can two-gap an offensive lineman. Makes the plays he should make. Can get a push and disrupt run plays. Good tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-33/8 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.25 e

B

TACKLES

1.0 3.0 2.5 4.5 11.0

0 0 1 2 3

0 0 2 1 3

0 1 0 2 3

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Adams is an average size nose tackle who plays stronger than his size. He is not a top athlete and plays in spurts. Not overly instinctive, more of a reactor. Part of it is he plays with his head down and loses sight of the ball. The right coach will make a difference with him if he can learn better technique and be taught to keep his eyes up above his pads and find the ball. He is very strong and can control blockers but he doesn’t make a lot of plays. Will be a two-down player in the NFL as he will never be much of a pass rusher. More of a rotational type player.

13TAYLOR

OKLAHOMA STATE

STRONG POINTS • Has decent size and is strong and powerful. When he stays low, he can get a push and be disruptive in the run game. Flashes getting rid of blockers quickly. For being a marginal athlete, he has surprising sack production. Plays hard.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.30 e

WEAK POINTS • Not a top athlete for his position. Has tightness in his hips and knees. He’s a short strider with average change of direction. Has a tendency to get tall.

VINCENT

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 10/0 13 1.0 0.0 0 0 2015 13/13 48 8.5 5.0 0 0 2016 13/13 51 13.0 7.0 1 2 TOT 36/26 112 22.5 12.0 1 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

0 1 1 2

14ROCHELL ISAAC

STRONG POINTS • Adequate size to play inside in the NFL. Long arms, has growth potential to about 305. Plays hard. Quick off the ball, adequate hand use to shed, finds ball. Good toughness and competitive nature. Has some inside pass-rush skills.

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-43/8 | WT: 282 | 40: 5.20 e

WEAK POINTS • Not an overpowering player. Plays in streaks. Can get tall. While he has good overall skill set, there is nothing special about him. More of a flash player. Not explosive.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 11/0 2014 13/13 2015 13/12 2016 12/12 TOT 49/37

10 0.0 39 7.5 63 7.5 55 7.0 167 22.0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior who is entering the draft. Was a backup in 2014 and a starter the past two seasons. He plays hard and gets tackle production, but he doesn’t look good doing it. He’s a marginal athlete with average change of direction and can get tall but he makes plays (51 tackles, 7.0 sacks in 2016). Has natural strength and power and can be disruptive, especially when he stays low. He may be limited in the variety of schemes you can use him in, doesn’t really project well for a team that plays a lot of 40 fronts. I see him as a rotational player but probably not a starter. His best fit is as a nose in a 3-4 scheme.

0.0 2.5 1.0 1.0 4.5

0 3 2 1 6

0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior and a three-year starter for Notre Dame. Usually played as a strong-side end in a 4-3 but better suited to play inside. Lacks the explosiveness to play outside in the NFL. Has some strength but still needs to get a little stronger. Has a good motor but he is limited. Consistent versus run and pass but nothing special. See him as a 5-technique in a 3-4 or a DT in a 4-3. I don’t see him as a potential starter but he can develop into a rotational player after a period of adjustment and strength gain. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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DEFENSIVE

15TU’IKOLOVATU STEVIE

STRONG POINTS • Huge man with incredible natural strength. Can toy with blockers because he can’t be moved off the line of scrimmage. Has good initial quickness and a strong surge to get penetration to disrupt. Gets a good bull rush. Can easily occupy two blockers. Strong tackler, plays hard. Quick reactions.

USC

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/8 | WT: 350 | 40: 5.43 e

WEAK POINTS • Too heavy, would be better off at 335. While he has 10-yard quickness, he has no speed. Will never be a pass rusher at the next level. Will chase in pursuit but lacks the speed to make plays.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 (Redshirted) 2014 12/0 8 1.0 0.0 2015 13/2 28 6.0 2.0 2016 13/12 53 2.0 0.5 TOT 38/14 89 9.0 2.5

0 0 0 2 0 4 1 0 0 3 0 4

16JONES NAZAIR

NORTH CAROLINA

WEAK POINTS • Does little as a pass rusher. Can get tall. Doesn’t show consistent hand use and will get tied to blocks at times. Doesn’t make the plays a player with his talent should make.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 (Redshirted) 2014 13/0 35 7.5 2.5 4 1 2015 9/8 40 4.0 0.0 3 1 2016 12/12 70 9.5 2.5 3 1 TOT 34/20 145 21.0 5.0 10 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

0 2 1 3

17VANDERDOES EDDIE

UCLA

WEAK POINTS • Too heavy, lacks good movement skills. No speed. Loses track of ball at times. Not a pass rusher. While he can be disruptive, he does not make many plays. Has short arms.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 13/7 39 4.5 0.5 0 1 2014 13/12 39 4.5 0.5 0 1 2015 1/1 8 2.0 0.0 0 0 2016 12/12 29 1.5 1.5 0 0 TOT 39/32 115 12.5 2.5 0 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior who is entering the draft. Might have been better off staying in school. There is no question he has natural talent, but you don’t always see it. Should be more productive than he is. Can play the run, occupies blocks and can get some penetration. Disappointing as a pass rusher. Has only five career sacks and has played a lot of football the past three seasons. What I’ve seen so far projects to a first and second down five-technique. Has upside if he puts it all together. Will probably get drafted higher than his production dictates.

STRONG POINTS • Very strong. Quick off the ball. Is able to get penetration in the run game and can be a bit disruptive. Has a solid base, stays low and never gives ground. Does a good job with double teams.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 320 | 40: 5.30 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Tu’ikolovatu is a pure 3-4 nose tackle. Strictly a two-down player. That said, he can get a push when he rushes the passer. He is very strong and has some explosiveness. Can walk offensive linemen back when he has leverage. Very good at holding the point and occupying more than one blocker. If he drops a little weight and gains a step or two he could be a monster but right now see him as a backup nose who plays in a rotation. Good guy to have for 20-25 downs a game.

STRONG POINTS • Very good size and has the frame to carry about 310. Has long arms and natural strength and anchor. Adequate snap quickness. Is best as a run defender. Will get a push as a pass rusher but doesn’t finish. Can occupy blockers.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-41/2 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.20 e

C

TACKLES

1 1 0 0 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Was a top recruit out of high school who made an impact as a freshman and played well his second year. Got hurt in 2015 (knee Injury) and missed the rest of the season. Got heavy this year and he has lost the quickness and explosiveness he once had. He is strong and quick off the ball and that allows him to be a bit disruptive but he doesn’t make many plays. Can occupy blocks. Right now he is a late-round pick at best, maybe with another offseason to rehab his knee he regains the explosiveness he had. Not more than a backup at nose right now.

18GODCHAUX

STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter. Has good size and good-to-real-good strength. Has short area quickness and can change direction. Shows the power to handle a double team and hold the point. Flashes good instincts. Has some inside pass-rush ability.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 7/8 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.20 e

WEAK POINTS • Is often the last man off the ball. Plays in spurts, don’t see consistent effort. Only makes the plays he should. Can be slow to shed and gets tall.

DAVON

LSU

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 13/10 42 1.5 0.0 0 1 0 2015 12/12 41 9.0 6.0 1 1 1 2016 12/12 62 8.5 6.5 1 0 2 TOT 37/34 145 19.0 12.5 2 2 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year junior entering the draft, he is an enigma with talent. Problem is you don’t always see the talent. He is often the last man off the ball on the plays he should make. He flashes talent, but he doesn’t always give you the level of effort necessary to maximize it. Has some underachiever to him. He will make it in the league because he does have the talent but how long he lasts is up to him. A real hit-ormiss prospect who should get drafted late but could go higher to a team that’s convinced they’re the one to teach him how to be a pro and unleash that talent. If a team can get a sack every two games out of him as he did last two seasons at LSU he’s a keeper.

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DEFENSIVE

19JONES JARRON

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size with very long arms and good strength and power. Flashes dominating ability where he is quick off the ball, sheds and makes plays. Has some interior pass rush-skills. Good athlete with change of direction and balance, has a burst. Has knocked down a number of passes and blocked kicks.

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.12 e

WEAK POINTS • Missed 2015 with an ACL injury. Doesn’t play hard down after down and game after game. Inconsistent read-and-react skills. Mild-mannered personality; doesn’t seem like a “tough” guy. Has a tendency to get tall and then is slow to shed. Not a consistent pursuit player.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 12/1 20 2014 11/11 40 2015 1/0 0 2016 12/6 45 TOT 36/18 105

1.0 7.5 0.0 11.0 19.5

1.0 1.5 0.0 2.0 4.5

0 1 0 3 4

1 1 0 1 3

0 0 0 2 2

20SMART TANZEL

TULANE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 | WT: 296 | 40: 5.25 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6-7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

TACKLES

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 12/0 14 0.5 0.0 1 0 0 2014 12/12 47 6.5 2.0 1 1 0 2015 12/12 62 15.0 2.0 0 1 1 2016 12/12 67 18.5 5.5 0 1 1 TOT 48/36 190 40.5 9.5 2 3 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year starter at defensive tackle and nose tackle. Flashes the ability to make plays and has dominated at times, but can also look very average. If you grade the flashes, he could go high, but has too many poor plays. Might not have a defensive mentality and might be better off as an offensive tackle. Has the height, length, strength and athleticism to be very good on offense. Workouts and interviews will have a lot to say about where he gets drafted. Will need some time but it could pay off. STRONG POINTS • Very quick off the ball, has quick hands. Is disruptive in the run game because he gets penetration with his quicks. Has some inside pass rush skills and shows a burst coming off blocks. High motor guy. WEAK POINTS • Short. Will lose track of ball at times. Isn’t consistently quick off blocks. THE WAY WE SEE IT • His traits are limited because he is so short, but he plays hard and ends up making plays every game. Smart’s durability is a big plus as after playing in all 12 games as a true freshman he hast started 36 copnsecutive games for the Green Wave. Had 68 total tackles this year and 5.5 sacks in 2016. In 2015, he had 61 total tackles and 15 tackles for loss. Smart is relentless when chasing a play and often commanded double teams at Tulane. He is a top competitor who can’t be counted out. His best fit is as a nose in a 4-3 and he may be able to play a little 3-technique. Unfortunately Smart’s lack of size and bulk is a limitation that becomes very hard to overcome at the next level. Late pick who has a chance.

AUDIBLES

BEST OF THE REST JOSH AUGUSTA MISSOURI

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 | WT: 365 | 40-YARD: 5.30 e

Big and strong, tough to move off the line of scrimmage and can occupy blockers. Not overly athletic and can’t rush the passer. One- or two-down player.

CHUNKY CLEMENTS ILLINOIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 2/8 e | WT: 291 e | 40-YARD: 5.07 e

A bit undersized but he has some quickness. Can get some penetration to disrupt. Limited moves as a pass rusher. Solid 3-technique free agent who needs to improve in all phases to have a chance to make a club.

MATT GODIN

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Jarron Jones) had a few games where he really looked good but the rest of the season was poor. I wonder if he really likes to play. He might be better off as an offensive tackle.”

“I thought after (Eddie Vanderdoes’s) freshman year that he was going to be a top guy but after his injuries, he looks very average. If he can regain that old form, some team will get a bargain.”

JARRON JONES

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 | WT: 288 | 40-YARD: 5.05 e

JOSH TUPOU

CHRISTIAN BROWN

Tall but a bit lean and lacks good growth potential because of his frame. Has a very good motor and will go snap to whistle. Is instinctive and finds the ball in the run game but doesn’t do much as a pass rusher.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 | WT: 362 | 40-YARD: 5.44 e

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 305 e | 40-YARD: 5.10 e

COLORADO

WEST VIRGINIA

A big, strong, wide body but he has limited athleticism. Might need to lose 10 pounds. Phone-booth player but he can be effective in a short area.

Has some size and quickness. Can have a tendency to get tall. Doubt he can get any bigger. Better suited to play in a 4-3 than a 3-4.

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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T

POSITION GRADE

his is a new category for us this year, as we’ve combined 40-front defensive ends and pass-rushing outside linebackers who best fit in 3-4 schemes to treat these reports the same way most NFL teams do today. Last year, we had five-techniques and 40-front ends together, but the reality is five-techniques include a lot of college defensive tackles in today’s NFL while 40-front ends and pass-rushing outside linebackers have become somewhat interchangeable. Nowadays, most teams play more sub packages than they do a base 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. This group is loaded at the top and deep through the

A+

first couple of rounds, but falls off a bit after that. Myles Garrett is the consensus No. 1 prospect in this draft and at least going into the Combine is the most likely first overall pick. The comparison most scouts talk about is Von Miller, and many believe he has a chance to be all that and more. Tennessee’s Derek Barnett led the nation in sacks but isn’t quite as athletic as Garrett, and Michigan’s Taco Charlton is a late riser on a number of draft boards who looked like a Day Two pick coming into his senior year but could now sneak into the first round. J.J. Watt’s “little” brother T.J. is another late bloomer to keep an eye on.

MYLES GARRETT

64 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


EDGE

1 GARRETT MYLES

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-5 e | WT: 268 e | 40: 4.60 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.5

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 12/8 53 14.0 11.5 1 0 0 2015 13/13 59 19.5 12.5 3 5 0 2016 11/11 33 15.0 8.5 1 2 1 TOT 36/29 145 48.5 32.5 5 7 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2BARNETT DEREK

TENNESSEE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 265 e | 40: 4.62 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.2

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 13/10 72 20.5 10.0 0 0 1 2015 13/13 69 12.5 10.0 1 1 1 2016 13/13 56 19.0 13.0 5 2 0 TOT 39/36 197 52.0 33.0 6 3 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

3WILLIAMS TIM

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 e | WT: 250 e | 40: 4.59 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 7/0 3 1.0 0.0 0 0 0 2014 12/0 5 1.5 1.5 0 0 0 2015 15/0 19 12.5 10.5 1 0 0 2016 15/2 31 16.0 9.0 2 2 1 TOT 49/2 58 31.0 21.0 3 2 1

4CHARLTON TACO

MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-6 e | WT: 275 e | 40: 4.80 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 10/0 2 0.5 0.0 0 0 0 2014 12/1 19 5.5 3.5 0 0 0 2015 13/3 30 8.5 5.5 0 1 0 2016 11/11 43 13.0 9.5 2 0 0 TOT 46/15 94 27.5 18.5 2 1 0

RUSHERS

STRONG POINTS • Has been a dominant player in college football for the past three years. Exceptional athlete. Smooth with great flexibility and bend. Strong and explosive. Knows how to use his hands and set up his opponent. Excellent get-off, stays low, can dip under opponent and has a great burst to the QB. Good run defender who is quick to find the ball and can hold the point. WEAK POINTS • Played a good part of the 2016 season with an ankle sprain and that hurt his play and production. Can he play on his feet and drop into coverage? Might need to add some bulk, especially if he plays in a 4-3 scheme. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Became a starter at Texas A&M the day he stepped on the field. A very explosive edge rusher with speed and moves. Has excellent get-off and does a very good job keeping his opponents hands off him. Has a variety of moves and knows how to use them. Excellent at starting outside then countering to come back inside. Plays the run well, has top instincts and can get rid of blockers quickly. Makes pursuit plays. Can be a great 3-4 OLB or play right end in a 4-3. Either way, he is rushing the passer on passing downs. Might be a double-digit sack guy as a rookie. Has some rare traits. STRONG POINTS • Very good size, strength and power. Exceptional initial quickness and first step. Dominant edge pass rusher with moves and counter moves. Can really close on the quarterback. Good to very good run defender who finds the ball and makes plays. Can shed quickly and is a sure tackler. WEAK POINTS • Wish he was a little taller and had more length (arms might be just long enough). Needs to tighten up his body some. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior and a three-year starter. Going into the year, Garrett was looked upon as the premier pass rusher in the country. Barnett might have passed him in 2016 when he tallied 13 sacks. Plays end in a 4-3 (both sides) and does play on his feet at times. Really played well versus Alabama’s Cam Robinson. Has outstanding flexibility to dip his shoulder and get under opponents coming off the edge. Has shown he can drop into coverage but will need work on that skill. Can play in any scheme as DE or OLB. Should always be used as a pass rusher on passing downs. Has unlimited upside. STRONG POINTS • Outstanding athlete with speed, change of direction, burst, flexibility and body control. Explosive. Long arms. Outstanding outside pass rusher with counter moves. Good size with the frame to get bigger. Big playmaker. Has the strength to hold the point, can stack and shed quickly and make plays in the run game. Shows he can drop and transition. Consistent tackler. WEAK POINTS • While he has good size, he will need to get a little bigger to hold up in the NFL. Has had some off-field issues including an arrest that need to be checked out. Not a lot of experience in pass coverage. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year starter for Alabama. Played OLB in their base 3-4 defense and defensive end in their sub package. Tall and lean with very good arm length and the frame to get bigger. Is best as an edge rusher, where he is very explosive with moves and a burst to the quarterback. Quick to read and react and find the ball. Consistent versus the run, can get off blocks and get to the play. Aggressive tackler. Has some experience in coverage but is used mainly as a pass rusher. His pass-rush talent will get him drafted high assuming his character checks out OK. STRONG POINTS • Program guy who showed improvement every year. Excellent height and length. Has the frame to carry another 15 pounds. Quick snap reaction and get-off. Hand use has improved. Can be explosive off the edge with bend. Closes quickly. Good instincts, shows awareness for screens and draws. Has upside. Very good athlete with speed and change of direction. WEAK POINTS • Needs to improve pass rush moves and learn some counter moves. Can get tall at times. Needs to add strength and bulk. Overall play is up and down. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Came on strong in 2016, showing improvement from beginning of season to end. Had a dominant game in the Orange Bowl vs. Florida State. Has great height and length and a frame to get bigger. He is a real good athlete with quickness, speed and body control. Needs to get stronger. Can easily be a 4-3 DE, might grow into being a 5-technique in a 3-4 and might be able to play OLB in a 3-4. Has great upside, just needs to get stronger and improve his overall techniques. Solid late-first, earlysecond-round pick who could even go a shade higher because of very high ceiling. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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EDGE

5McKINLEY TAKKARIST

STRONG POINTS • Very strong and explosive. Great motor, goes all out every play. Really improved from 2015 to 2016. Very good athlete. Strong at the point, easily can twogap a tight end or offensive lineman. Never gives ground. Quick to find the ball. Disruptive in the run game with the penetration he gets. Explosive pass rusher who can bull rush or use moves. Closes well off blocks. Very good tackler and an excellent pursuit player.

UCLA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 263 e | 40: 4.72 e

WEAK POINTS • Still raw, needs to learn how to use his hands better. Can be slow to shed at times. Never see him used in pass coverage.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.8

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 (Junior College) 6 3.5 2.5 0 2014 10/1 2015 13/12 35 7.5 4.5 4 2016 11/11 61 18.0 10.0 6 TOT 34/24 102 29.0 17.0 10

1 0 2 0 3 1 6 1

6THOMAS SOLOMON

STANFORD

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 e | WT: 280 e | 40: 4.78 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.8

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 (Did not play) 2015 14/6 39 10.5 3.5 0 0 2 2016 13/13 62 15.0 8.0 0 1 2 TOT 27/19 101 25.5 11.5 0 1 4 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

7WATT T.J.

WISCONSIN

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-5 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.69 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.8

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 ( Did not play due to knee injury) 2015 13/0 8 1.5 0.0 3 0 0 2016 14/14 63 13.0 11.5 4 2 0 TOT 27/14 71 4.5 11.5 7 2 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

8HARRIS CHARLES

MISSOURI

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-31/4 e | WT: 264 e | 40: 4.78 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.8

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

RUSHERS

TFL SACK PD FF FR

2014 14/1 19 4.0 2.0 2 1 0 2015 12/12 56 18.5 7.0 1 2 0 2016 12/12 61 12.0 9.0 2 2 1 TOT 38/25 136 34.5 18.0 5 5 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has been at UCLA for three years and is a two-year starter as a standup D-end. Will also play some LB in special situations. A player on the rise but still a bit raw. Has as good a motor as you will see in college football. An all-out aggressive football player. He is strong, tough and physical with very good athleticism. Makes plays more on effort than technique. Will need technique work, but this player’s best football is in front of him. See him as a rotational player as a rookie and a full-time player by Year Two. Will be great on special teams. Really like this player’s tape. STRONG POINTS • Has a very good motor, goes all out on every play. He’s tough, physical and competitive. Good technician, has quick hands and uses them well to shed and rush the passer. Has very good ball reactions with a quick get-off. Adequate size with good to very good play speed and athleticism. Strong pursuit player. Top instincts, finds the ball. Very strong and explosive. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger to play inside at the NFL level. Has some tweener to him, not really big enough to play inside and lacks the speed and suddenness to be an edge player. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Highly productive third-year sophomore. Did not play as a freshman but has been a key player for Stanford the past two seasons. Very quick and explosive to go along with top strength. An all-out competitor with very good instincts. Plays the run and rushes the passer equally well. If he gets to 285-290 he can be a 3-technique in a 40-front. Should also be able to play left end. He lacks the bulk that most 3-4 teams would like to play at the 5-tech, though he is strong enough. Will make an immediate impact as an inside pass rusher but should start for most 4-3 teams as a rookie. STRONG POINTS • Has good to very good overall athletic ability. Can bend and change direction and has a quick burst. A tough physical competitor. Makes plays on effort. Instinctive and quick to react. Very good pass rusher with moves, very good hand use and a burst. Excellent effort in pursuit, shows speed and has a burst. WEAK POINTS • One-year starter. Needs to get bigger. Don’t see much in pass coverage. While he is an athlete, he can be a little mechanical in his movements. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fouth-year junior entering the draft. He is the younger brother of Houston All-Pro J.J. Watt. Plays with a similar demeanor as his brother. Redshirted as a freshman and missed 2014 with an injury. Got considerable time playing as a backup in 2015. A late bloomer who came on strong in 2016. Very good pass rusher who can bull rush or use moves. Has a top burst coming off blocks. All-out player who is tough and aggressive. Will need to improve his coverage skills but when it’s all said and done, he will be a pass rusher. Ideal fit for a 3-4 OLB and will put his hand down in pass rush situations. Has a lot of upside and just beginning to scratch the surface of his ability. STRONG POINTS • Adequate size. Very good athlete with change of direction and balance. Quick first step, stays low and has quick hands. Very good edge-rush ability, has counter moves and shows quick hands. Can close off block to the QB. Quick to find the ball in the run game, can hold the point, shed and make plays. Consistent tackler. Has played on his feet and dropped into coverage. Very good competitor who tries to play a physical game. WEAK POINTS • A bit short and small for a DE. Can get caught inside on run plays and lose contain. While he has a quick first step, he might only time in the high 4.7’s. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior who is entering the NFL Draft. Had a dominant 2016 with 9.0 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and 61 total tackles. Has 18 career sacks. While he can play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, he looks more like a 3-4 outside linebacker who can rush the passer from a 2-point or 3-point stance. Has the agility to drop into coverage as well as awareness. Will be a first-round prospect and should play and contribute as a rookie.

66 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


EDGE

9ANDERSON RYAN

STRONG POINTS • Very instinctive player who is quick to find ball and make plays. Tough and competitive prospect who plays with an aggressive attitude. Adequate size with very good strength and power. Strong at the point and quick to shed, gets to the ball. Strong edge pass rusher with both power and moves. Has a good drop and shows good receiver awareness. Has good ball skills.

ALABAMA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-21/8 | WT: 258 | 40: 4.70 e

WEAK POINTS • Marginal height for the position and looks to have short arms. This was his first year as a starter. Good, not great, long speed for the position.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 13/0 5 1.5 1.5 0 0 0 2014 14/0 25 8.0 3.0 0 0 1 2015 15/0 37 11.5 6.0 0 2 2 2016 15/15 61 19.0 9.0 3 4 3 TOT 57/15 128 40.0 19.5 3 6 6

10WALKER DeMARCUS

FLORIDA STATE

WEAK POINTS • Not a real edge pass rusher. Marginal bulk to play inside at the next level.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 3/12 18 2.0 1.0 2014 14/11 38 6.0 1.0 2015 13/13 58 15.5 10.5 2016 13/13 68 21.5 16.0 TOT 43/39 182 45.0 28.5

0 0 6 2 8

0 0 1 0 4 0 3 2 8 2

11LAWSON CARL

AUBURN

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 255 e | 40: 4.68 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 14/0 20 7.5 4.0 0 2 0 2014 (Did not play due to ACL injury) 2015 7/7 17 3.0 1.0 0 0 0 2016 13/13 30 13.5 9.0 0 1 0 TOT 34/20 67 24.0 14.0 0 3 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

12SMOOT DAWUANE

ILLINOIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 255 | 40: 4.73 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A rare fifth-year senior at Alabama. Anderson is a program guy who worked his way into a starting role. Saw significant playing time in 2014 and 2015 and became a starter in 2016, when he tallied 19 tackles for loss. He is an instinctive player with strength and a strong competitive nature. Consistent versus both the pass and run. Has a nice edge pass rush and can use moves or power. Very good pursuit player who takes good angles. Can come in and start for many teams as a rookie and will also be a very good special-teams player. STRONG POINTS • Productive pass rusher. Adequate size, good to very good athlete. Adequate speed with a burst. Strong and explosive. Can use his hands to keep blockers off his body. Top competitor who goes hard on every snap. Very good pursuit player. Instinctive and quick to find the ball. Disruptive in the run game.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/2 e | WT: 278 e | 40: 4.85 e

A

RUSHERS

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 7/0 8 1.0 1.0 0 0 0 2014 13/0 33 7.5 2.5 2 0 0 2015 12/12 40 15.0 8.0 2 3 2 2016 12/12 56 15.0 5.0 1 2 0 TOT 44/24 137 38.5 16.5 5 5 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very interesting prospect. Plays both inside and outside for Florida State and has outstanding pass rush production (26.5 sacks the past two seasons). He is built like a 4-3 left end but has the frame to carry 290. Often lines up inside in pass-rush situations. Lacks the speed to be an edge rusher in the NFL. His best move is an outsidein move with quick hand use. Has positional versatility to play in any scheme. Can be a 5-tech in a 3-4 with a little more bulk. Can also be a left end in a 4-3. Either way, I see him as an inside pass rusher on passing downs. Very solid second-round pick and may slip into the bottom of the first. STRONG POINTS • Good size for an OLB. Athletic, stays on his feet, strong and powerful. Has some explosion through his hips. Very good edge pass rusher. Can bull rush, use speed or use counter moves. Adequate at dipping his shoulder to get under opponent. Strong at the point, can two-gap a tight end and make play at the line of scrimmage. Grade the flashes and he looks awesome. Reads and reacts well, doesn’t lose contain. WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t make all the plays he could/should which is frustrating. Never see him used in pass coverage. Needs to be more of a consistent, every-down competitor. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior and a two-and-a-half year starter. Missed 2014 with an injury. Almost entered the 2016 draft. Plays as a standup DE but will put his hand in the dirt at times. Best suited for OLB in a 3-4 scheme. This player has great talent, just has to become a little more consistent and intense. While he makes a lot of plays, he also leaves some plays on the field. Doesn’t make all the plays he could/should. Still, he will get drafted high on his talent. Will need to learn how to drop and play in coverage but his main job will be to rush the passer. Probably a second-round pick who could slip into the bottom of the first. STRONG POINTS • Very good initial quickness. Has good strength and explosiveness. Good to very good athlete with top change of direction, balance and body control. Uses hands well. Can come off the edge as a pass rusher with speed and explosiveness. Can get under opponent or bull rush. Good instincts, finds the ball. Sure tackler. Good to very good pursuit player. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger to hold up in the NFL. Has to prove to the 3-4 teams that he can play on his feet and drop into coverage. Can be a bit slow off run blocks on plays to him. Needs to finish his pass rushes a bit better. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Started at left end in 4-3 front. Has marginal size but adequate strength and good explosion. Is primarily a pass rusher but not bad versus the run. Gets tall and can be slow to shed run blocks. Good pursuit player. As a pass rusher he can get under opponent and has good hand use and moves. Closes well. Sack count dipped in 2016 compared to 2015, but he still got a high number of pressures and hits. Will be best off as a 3-4 OLB but has to prove he can drop into coverage. Has upside. Good prospect. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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EDGE

13HALL

DAESHON

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 3/8 | WT: 265 | 40: 4.78 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 13/1 29 3.0 0.0 1 0 0 2014 13/5 29 6.0 4.5 0 0 0 2015 13/13 54 14.5 7.0 2 2 0 2016 13/13 50 13.0 4.5 1 0 2 TOT 52/32 162 36.5 16.0 4 2 2

14BASHAM TARELL

OHIO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 5/8 | WT: 259 | 40: 4.74 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 13/5 32 9.5 7.5 1 2 0 2014 12/7 33 6.0 5.0 2 1 0 2015 12/11 43 10.0 5.5 1 2 0 2016 14/14 50 16.0 11.5 2 2 1 TOT 51/37 158 41.5 29.5 6 7 1

15WILLIS JORDAN

KANSAS STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-33/4 | WT: 255 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 9/0 1 1.0 1.0 0 0 0 2014 13/13 26 6.5 4.0 1 0 0 2015 13/13 36 15.5 9.5 3 4 1 2016 13/13 52 17.5 11.5 3 3 1 TOT 48/39 115 40.5 26.0 7 7 2

16HENDRICKSON TREY

FLORIDA ATLANTIC

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-37/8 | WT: 255 | 40: 4.72 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2013 12/0 9 2.5 1.5 0 0 0 2014 12/0 32 10.0 5.0 1 2 0 2015 12/11 39 14.5 13.5 0 5 1 2016 12/12 50 15.0 9.5 2 1 1 TOT 48/23 130 42.0 29.0 3 8 2

RUSHERS

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal height and arm length for an edge player. Very good athlete who is quick, can change direction, is fast and has bend. Has quick hands and keeps blockers off his body. Good hand use. Reacts quickly and keeps sight of the ball. Strong enough to hold the point, gets penetration at times. Quick to shed. Good pass rusher. WEAK POINTS • Will get undisciplined at times and break contain. Needs to do a better job finishing pass rush and use some counter moves. Is lean at 265 and can easily add 10 pounds. While he has strength, he still needs to get stronger for the next level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hall is a fourth-year senior. He has been starting games since his sophomore year and has been a full-time starter opposite Myles Garrett the past two years. Has height and length with a lean frame and can easily add some weight and bulk. Plays both up and down and does drop into coverage some. Plays with good intensity but needs to get a little stronger in order to finish plays better. Can be undisciplined and break contain but that is a matter of concentration. Should be able to play down in a 4-3 or up in a 3-4. Has upside with added strength. Should be a starter by Year Two for most teams. STRONG POINTS • Has the physical attributes an edge player needs as far as size, speed, strength and athleticism. Strong in the upper body and explosive. Can shed quickly. Has played both on his feet and with his hand in the dirt. Very good get-off quickness. Stays low and can use his hands. Good chase player. In limited coverage reps, he shows awareness. WEAK POINTS • Has good but not great long speed, but he does have a short burst. Still has a long ways to go in coverage. Has to improve overall technique in order to play regularly at the next level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A dominant edge player in the MAC conference (17 sacks past two years). Has real good size for a 3-4 OLB. He is explosive with great get-off when rushing the passer. Can use his hands and put moves together. Alert and instinctive, finds the ball and makes plays in the run game. Will need work in coverage as he has not dropped all that often. Overall, a player with upside. Is best suited to be an OLB in a 3-4 but could play right end in a 4-3. Situational player as a rookie and a starter by Year Two. STRONG POINTS • Very strong and explosive for his size. Tough, aggressive and competitive. All-out performer on every play. Good get-off. Very good hand use, keeps blockers off his body. Productive, has 33 tackles for loss and 21 sacks the past two seasons. Alert and instinctive, seldom gets himself out of position. WEAK POINTS • Size — doubt he can get much bigger. He is not a top athlete, he is a bit of a strider with average change of direction. Needs to use counter moves more often. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fun player to watch. An all-out competitor on every down. While he isn’t a great athlete, he makes the most out of his natural skills. Techniquesound, really uses his hands well. He is alert and around the ball. Makes plays on effort. Gets a lot of sack production but could have even more if he would use some counter moves. Right now he is a left end in a 4-3 scheme. Has to prove he can drop and move around in coverage for the 3-4 clubs to be interested. If he shows he can do that, he could go higher than my grade says. STRONG POINTS • Can rush the passer. Quick off the ball, explosive with good hand use. Has counter moves. Shows strength at the point to hold up versus the run. Good chase player. Had a productive week at the East-West Shrine Game and he was named the game’s top player on defense. WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal DE size. Arms are a bit short for an NFL defensive end (32.5”). Has not played much on his feet. THE WAY WE SEE IT • He is quick off the ball, explosive, has good hand use and shows some counter moves. Has 23 sacks over the past two seasons. NFL clubs are always looking for pass rushers and Hendrickson fits the bill. He is a developmental prospect who will most likely have to convert to a 3-4 OLB but could become something special if he takes to the change. Might not have the size to play 4-3 DE. At any rate, he can always be a designated pass rusher in any scheme. Will get plenty of work on his feet during pre-draft workouts.

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EDGE

17KPASSAGNON TANOH

STRONG POINTS • Size and he has the frame to get to 300 easily. Very long arms. Adequate strength for his size. Good athlete, changes direction well, has balance and shows a short-area burst. Dominates a lower level of competition. Shows he can two-gap FCS-level opponents. Has a history of blocking kicks.

VILLANOVA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-67/8 | WT: 280 | 40: 4.90 e

WEAK POINTS • Played at a lower level of competition. Not quite strong enough to compete at the NFL level. Still raw technique-wise and doesn’t have the speed to “burn” the edge. Has a tendency to get tall. More of a reactor than an anticipator.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

TFL SACK PD FF FR

2012 (Redshirted) 1.5 1.0 2013 11/0 15 2014 6/0 12 5.0 3.5 2015 11/11 33 9.5 6.5 2016 12/12 45 21.5 11.0 TOT 40/23 105 37.5 22.0

0 0 0 1 1

0 0 2 0 1 1 1 2 4 3

18RIVERS DEREK

YOUNGSTOWN STATE

WEAK POINTS • Level of competition. Marginal size to play on the edge in the NFL. Arms are a bit short (measured 323/8 ” at the Senior Bowl). Can get wired to run blocks at times. Gives ground to blockers at times.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

2013 10/0 13 2014 12/11 50 2015 11/10 52 2016 16/16 58 TOT 49/37 173

TFL SACK PD FF FR

4.5 17.0 15.5 19.5 56.5

2.5 13.0 8.0 14.0 37.5

0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 3 1 3 4

19PRICE EJUAN

PITTSBURGH

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-107/8 | WT: 246 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2011 13/5 27 6.5 4.0 0 0 0 2012 (Redshirted) 6/4 23 4.0 1.0 1 0 0 2013 2014 (Missed season due to injury) 2015 13/13 48 19.5 11.5 2 1 1 2016 12/12 42 21.0 12.0 0 3 0 TOT 44/34 140 51.0 28.5 3 4 1

20MOSS AVERY

YOUNGSTOWN STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-31/4 e | WT: 263 e | 40: 4.80 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • An interesting developmental prospect. Has some excellent natural tools with his height, length and athleticism. Although he played well at the FCS level, he needs to add strength and bulk for the NFL. He will need a couple years of seasoning but he could turn into a very good player. As a rookie, he mainly will be a role player. By Year Two, he should be in the rotation and then potentially a starter by Year Three. The arrow is going up. His best fit is in a 3-4 scheme as a 5-technique. STRONG POINTS • Dominated FCS level of competition. Plays hard. Very good pass rusher at that level. Can close coming off blocks. Sure tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/8 | WT: 250 | 40: 4.78 e

B

RUSHERS

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2012* 4/0 0 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 2013* 12/3 36 8.0 4.5 0 0 0 2015 10/2 25 4.5 2.5 2 1 0 2016 15/15 59 17.0 10.5 3 4 1 TOT 41/20 120 29.5 17.5 5 5 1 * — PLAYED AT NEBRASKA

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A very good FCS player but not nearly as good as Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky) was last year. He doesn’t have the strength or power Spence had. Rivers flashes some big-time plays, but you also see him being slow off blocks and giving ground in the run game. He can dominate some games but looks average in others. Will need to get bigger and stronger to compete at the NFL level. He has the frame to get bigger but the big question is how much bulk and power can he add without losing explosion and quickness? Has upside but will go through a period of development. I see him as a role player to start out.

STRONG POINTS • All-out competitor who is productive. Is an explosive athlete with a quick first step. Has good instincts and finds the ball. Very good pass rusher at the college level. Very good pursuit player. Good to very good hand use. WEAK POINTS • Short to play D-end with 32-inch arms. Not as productive versus the run as he is as a pass rusher. Can he play on his feet? THE WAY WE SEE IT • You can’t discount the fact that he had 24.5 sacks the past two seasons against quality competition, but 5-foot-11 edge rushers at the NFL level are few and far between. Goes from snap to whistle on every play. Is best as a pass rusher because of his amazing get-off. There have been short pass rushers who have been successful in the NFL — Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are the obvious comps, but they are listed at 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-2, respectively, even though neither is quite that tall — so no one can count this guy out. Might have to convert to linebacker to play every down. Won’t go as high as his production says he should.

STRONG POINTS • Has excellent 3-4 OLB size. Good athlete with a short burst. Long arms with adequate hand use to shed FCS-level blocks. Has the flexibility and dip to get under opponents when coming off the edge. Flashes playmaking ability. Consistent run defender. WEAK POINTS • Originally enrolled at Nebraska but was banned from the campus following a public indecency charge. Flashes but doesn’t consistently show dominating ability versus FCS level of competition. Basically he is raw and needs time and coaching. Can he pass the character test? THE WAY WE SEE IT • Sat out the 2014 season then enrolled at Youngstown in 2015, where he reunited with Bo Pelini. Was a role player in 2015, but really came on this past season with 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. Has the athletic ability and talent to play in the NFL. Needs added strength and technique work but has eventual starter talent if he does things right. Has to get by the character check in order to get drafted and has upside if he does. Can play right end in a 4-3 or be an OLB in a 3-4 if he shows he can drop into coverage. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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EDGE

21WISE JR. DEATRICH

STRONG POINTS • Nice size for a DE with long arms. Shows strength and power. Is strong enough to two-gap a tight end or offensive tackle. Good hand use, sheds quickly. Good pass rusher with power and some moves. Had a strong 2015.

ARKANSAS

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-47/8 | WT: 275 | 40: 4.88 e

WEAK POINTS • Did not play as well in 2016. A bit of a tweener in that he isn’t as explosive as coaches would want for a 4-3 DE and lacks the bulk to be a 3-4 DE. Speed is very average for an outside player.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2012 2/0 2 1.0 1.0 0 0 0 2013 12/1 17 3.0 2.0 0 0 1 2014 10/1 13 3.0 2.0 0 0 0 2015 13/0 31 10.5 8.0 0 3 0 2016 13/8 49 5.5 3.5 3 1 0 TOT 50/10 112 23.0 16.5 3 4 1

22COX JR. BRYAN

FLORIDA

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal height to play down. Career has been side-tracked with injuries so he hasn’t fully played to his potential. His strongest year was 2015. Has to learn to finish better.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

TFL SACK PD FF FR

2012 (Redshirted) 2013 8/0 5 2.0 2.0 0 6.0 4.0 0 2014 11/10 29 2015 14/12 45 10.5 3.5 1 2016 11/5 19 2.5 0.5 0 TOT 44/27 98 21.0 10.0 1

0 0 0 0 2 2 1 0 3 2

23BEVINS COLLIN

NW MISSOURI STATE

WEAK POINTS • Played at a lower level of competition. Not an explosive athlete. Needs to get bigger and stronger in both the upper and lower body. Very raw technique-wise.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL

TFL

SACK PD FF FR

2012 (Redshirted) 2013 14/0 26 7.5 5.0 2014 10/2 26 9.0 5.5 2015 13/12 55 26.5 15.5 2016 15/15 61 15.5 8.0 TOT 52/29 168 58.5 34.0

2 1 0 0 3

1 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 3 2

24MARCUS JAMAL

AKRON

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-13/4 e | WT: 248e | 40: 4.85 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • The son of former NFL player and veteran coach Bryan Cox, so this young man has the bloodlines and should understand what it will take at the next level. Injuries have set him back and he hasn’t developed the way it was thought he would. The natural talent is still there, he just needs to play injury-free and get stronger. Should be able to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3, but spring workouts will better make that determination. Late-round pick who has a chance because of his natural traits. STRONG POINTS • Size and length. Productive versus a lower level of competition (58.5 career tackles for loss to go along with 34 sacks). With his wrestling background he knows how to use his hands and play the leverage game. Plays hard and is a consistent competitor. Has some short-area quickness.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-53/4 e | WT: 288 e | 40: 5.15 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Looking at 2015 tape, I really liked this player and thought he was primed for a big 2016. That didn’t happen as his play fell off this year for whatever reason. Still, he has the traits and natural talent, he just has to revert back to 2015 form. At his present size, he looks like a left end in a 4-3. He may be able to grow into a 5-tech and play DE in a 3-4. Some team might get a bargain. The unknown here will be what happened between his junior and senior years and how do you get him back to his 2015 form? Might be able to become a solid rotational player.

STRONG POINTS • An explosive athlete with a very good get-off. Has experience playing both on his feet and from a 3-point stance. Can be equally good as a pass rusher or run defender. Has good hand use. Quick to find the ball and he can be an explosive tackler.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-25/8 | WT: 264 | 40: 4.85 e

C

RUSHERS

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD FF FR

2012* 11/0 8 0.0 0.0 0 0 0 2013* 13/1 6 1.0 1.0 0 1 0 2015 11/10 30 12.5 5.5 1 1 1 2016 7/4 16 6.5 2.5 0 1 0 TOT 42/15 60 20.0 9.0 1 3 1 * — PLAYED AT OHIO STATE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Originally enrolled at Iowa State and transferred after redshirting his freshman year. Four-year starter at Northwest Missouri State who appeared in 52 games. He is an interesting prospect in that he has height, length, a wrestling background and he dominated a lower level of competition. He is still raw, but the natural traits are there. Will need to add strength and has to develop his technique. Probable practice squad player as a rookie who could ascend into a rotational role by Year Two. Best fit is in a 3-4 as a 5-technique.

STRONG POINTS • Speed and athleticism. Gets off the ball quickly. Has some outside pass-rush ability. When he stays low, he flashes being able to push the pocket. Flashes moments of good run defense. WEAK POINTS • Lacks size and has little growth potential. Not overly instinctive and can lose sight of the ball. Not very disciplined, breaks contain too often. Has missed time in each of the past two seasons with injuries. Had season-ending surgery last season. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Originally enrolled at Ohio State and played there two seasons with one start his sophomore year (2013). Transferred to Akron and sat out 2014. Has been a starter the past two seasons and has flashed outside pass-rush skills. Has speed and get-off and can put some moves together. Not disciplined though and will break some assignments. Speed and pass rush traits are his greatest asset. Might get drafted late because of that.

70 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST LEWIS NEAL LSU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 3/4 e | WT: 270 e | 40-YARD: 4.90 e

Good college player who lacks top traits. Not athletic enough to play on his feet in a 3-4 and lacks the required size to be a 4-3 end. He is tough and strong and can use his hands. His instincts are better than average and he makes plays.

KARTER SCHULT NORTHERN IOWA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 | WT: 263 | 40-YARD: 4.90 e

Led the FCS level with 17 sacks last year. A tough and hard-nosed competitor who lacks ideal size, speed and athleticism. Looks to have short arms and though he can get away with that at the FCS level, he won’t in the NFL. More of an effort guy than purely talented. Could become a special-teams terror.

JEREMIAH LEDBETTER ARKANSAS

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 281 | 40-YARD: 4.95 e

Good SEC player who lacks the physical tools to be a top prospect. He is short and not very fast but he plays hard. If he can get to 290 without losing any speed or quicks, he might be a backup 3-technique.

KEIONTA DAVIS

TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 274 | 40-YARD: 4.90 e

Like Ledbetter, he is a bit of a tweener. Has the attributes of an inside player but lacks the size. He is productive at FCS level but that won’t carry over to the NFL. He should bulk up to 290+ and move inside to play the 3-technique.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

• “(Tim Williams) had some

character concerns early on. If he stays the course, he could become a perennial Pro Bowler.” “If everyone played the game with the intensity that (Takkarist) McKinley does, it would be easy to scout players” “The draft analysts have Solomon Thomas as a top-10. He had the big bowl game but

• •

TAKKARIST McKINLEY

the rest of the tape isn’t like that. They figure he is only 6-2. He is a first-rounder but not a top-10 guy.”

• “If you watch (Derek)

Barnett and (Myles) Garrett against Alabama’s (Cam) Robinson, Barnett is clearly the better player. But you have to watch more than one game.”

“No doubt, (T.J.) Watt is a good player, but he will get over-drafted because some club will think they are drafting his older brother.”

• “Wherever Taco (Charlton)

gets drafted, it will be a bargain. He is just beginning to understand his own talent.”

“He won’t be a high pick but I’m telling you Trey Hendrickson from Florida Atlantic can really play. I liked him before the East-West game, but after watching him there I was so impressed I went back and watched some more tape and realized I had to move him up a round or two at least. Keep an eye on him, somebody’s going to get lucky there.”

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A POSITION GRADE

fter four straight outstanding years of top linebackers entering the draft, including firstround picks Luke Kuechly, Anthony Barr, Ryan Shazier, C.J. Mosley and Khalil Mack, the talent fell off a bit last season. Leonard Floyd and Darron Lee were the only linebackers taken in the first round in 2016. Injury question marks Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack led off the second round. This year is stacked again with clear first-round talent to play both inside and outside, including the deepest inside linebacker group we’ve seen in a while. Butkus Award winner Reuben Foster, Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan, who won the high school Butkus

B

1 FOSTER REUBEN

STRONG POINTS • Very instinctive. Never comes off the field and plays the run and pass equally well. Excellent athlete who can run. Strong at the point, can take on blocks and shed quickly. Excellent versus the run and makes plays sideline to sideline. Very quick with his drop with good receiver awareness and he transitions very well. Very effective rushing the passer. Great range and a very good tackler.

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 233 e | 40: 4.60 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.1

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal size for an ILB but should be able to get to 240+.

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 9/0 2014 11/1 2015 15/8 2016 15/15 TOT 50/24

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

12 1.0 22 2.0 73 8.0 115 13.0 222 24.0

0.0 1.0 2.0 5.0 8.0

0 0 0 0 9 0 2 0 11 0

2McMILLAN RAEKWON

OHIO STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-13/4 e | WT: 254 e | 40: 4.62 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

Award in 2013, and Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt are all likely first-rounders. On the outside, Jarrad Davis, Devonte Fields, Haason Reddick and Steven Taylor are highly rated as well. Foster and edge rusher Tim Williams continued the trend this year toward Alabama threatening to replace Penn St. as “Linebacker U,” as they are likely to join Reggie Ragland, Mosley, Nico Johnson, Dont’a Hightower and CourtREUBEN FOSTER ney Upshaw as high picks off Nick Saban’s defense. The volatility in projecting where all these prospects will go is because of the different ways different teams view them based on whether they’re drafting for a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Several of this year’s best linebacker prospects will be looked at both inside and outside.

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

2014 15/0 54 6.5 2.5 0 1 2015 13/13 119 4.0 1.5 4 0 2016 13/13 102 7.0 2.0 4 0 TOT 41/26 275 17.5 6.0 8 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year starter at ILB for Alabama. Like many players at ‘Bama, he had to wait his turn. Has outstanding linebacker traits with top instincts, strength and athleticism. Big-time playmaker and was Alabama’s leading tackler in 2016. Can play the run and pass and also rush the passer. Great speed and an excellent pursuit player. Not much he can’t do. Only thing he lacks is great size for the ILB position. Is scheme versatile and can play inside in a 3-4 or ‘Will’ in a 4-3. High pick and will start right away. Better than any linebacker in last year’s class.

STRONG POINTS • Excellent instincts, always around the ball. Big-time playmaker. Good frame, strong and explosive. Top athlete for his position. Has speed and agility. Can clear piles. Quick hands and is quick to stack and shed. Good pass rusher. Gets depth with pass drop, has very good receiver awareness and can close. Explosive tackler. WEAK POINTS • Wish he was a little taller. Doesn’t have great sack production but does get pressures when he blitzes. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior who is entering the draft. Got extensive playing time as a freshman when he was a backup and has been a starter the past two seasons. Has totaled more than 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons. Just what you want at inside linebacker. Strong, powerful, quick, fast and instinctive. He is stout at the point, sheds quickly and makes plays. Has great range and makes plays in pursuit. Shows quickness with his pass drop and is very alert in coverage. Not much he can’t do. Starter from Day One and maybe a future Pro Bowl player.

72 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


LINEBACKERS

3CUNNINGHAM ZACH

STRONG POINTS • Very productive (125 tackles in 2016), has excellent instincts and reactions. Able to slip blocks and get to the ball. Tall with great length. Very good athlete with speed, change of direction and body control. Explosive. Very good in coverage. Has great pursuit range. Very good tackler. Good hand use.

VANDERBILT

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-41/8 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.68 e

WEAK POINTS • Narrow frame. Needs to add strength and bulk to play inside at the NFL level. Wasn’t used much as a pass rusher in 2016. Will miss some tackles because he lacks top upper body strength.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7 RD1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL SACK PD INT

2014 11/5 67 6.5 1.5 2 0 2015 12/9 103 16.5 4.5 3 0 3 0 2016 13/13 125 16.5 0.0 TOT 36/27 295 39.5 6.0 8 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

4DAVIS JARRAD

STRONG POINTS • Has adequate size for the position. Shows good to very good overall athleticism. Strong player with good hand use. Quick to shed. Has good instincts, finds the ball and makes plays in the run game. Shows a good pass drop, can play man or zone and has range. Effective when used as a blitzer.

FLORIDA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-17/8 e | WT: 240 e | 40: 4.71 e

WEAK POINTS • Missed four games in 2016 with an ankle injury. Needs to get a little bigger and stronger. Will miss some tackles when he doesn’t wrap. Speed is just adequate.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

2013 12/1 24 2.0 2014 9/1 23 1.0 2015 14/12 98 11.0 2016 9/9 60 6.0 TOT 44/23 205 20.0

0.0 0.0 3.5 2.0 5.5

1 0 0 0 5 1 4 0 10 1

5FIELDS DEVONTE

LOUISVILLE

WEAK POINTS • Has marginal size for an outside linebacker in a 3-4. Frame is a bit narrow and he doesn’t have great growth potential. Sack numbers dropped significantly from ’15 to ’16.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Highly productive inside linebacker. Very instinctive. Plays faster than he times because of those instincts. Has adequate size but will need to get a little bigger and stronger to hold up at the NFL level. Has position versatility, he should be able to play ‘Mike’ or ‘Will’ in a 4-3 or either ILB position in a 3-4. Has good coverage skills and that should make him an every-down player. Has a good chance to start as a rookie and contribute. Worst case is he starts in his second year. Has upside if he can stay healthy. STRONG POINTS • Great athlete, very fluid for his size. Has real good play speed. Quickreacting and instinctive. Can rush the passer, play the run or drop into coverage. Very good “chase” player and a consistent tackler in close or in space.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 240 e | 40: 4.60 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Has been a two-and-a-half year starter for Vandy showing production behind the line with 33 TFLs the past two seasons. Has top instincts and is always around the ball. He has played about 5-6 yards off the ball to free him up from blockers, he won’t be able to be used that way in the NFL. Needs to get bigger and stronger to hold up versus NFL linemen. Can play inside in a 3-4 or ‘Will’ in a 4-3. Will play early and should be very productive if he can add strength and bulk. Has some special to him but lack of bulk hurts.

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

2012* 13/13 53 18.5 10.0 4 1 4 2.0 0.0 ‑ 0 2013* 3/1 2014 (Junior College) 63 22.0 10.5 3 0 2015 15/15 2016 12/11 45 9.0 6.0 3 1 TOT 43/40 165 51.5 26.5 10 2 * — Played for TCU

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A double transfer, started out at TCU, then transferred to a junior college and then on to Louisville. Difficult guy to evaluate. He is a very good football player, but where does a team play him? He plays both on his feet and down. Is used to rush the passer and drop into coverage. He lacks the size and bulk most 3-4 clubs want at OLB and he is also too small to play DE in a 4-3. While he can get a little bigger, he won’t grow much. His best bet may be as a ‘Will’ in a 4-3 scheme. He has the instincts and range and has experience on his feet. He can also be used some as a pass rusher in that scheme. He will be an interesting guy to track and is a bit of a wild card in the draft.

6REDDICK

STRONG POINTS • Intense player, very physical. Very good athlete with speed and explosiveness. Strong and a big hitter. Has played both up and down. Good in pass drop and can cover man-to-man. Good pass rusher with moves. Instinctive.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 | WT: 237 | 40: 4.65 e

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have ideal size to play outside at the next level. While he has experience in coverage, it isn’t a lot of experience. Needs to add some bulk.

HAASON

TEMPLE

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 9/1 2014 10/2 2015 14/12 2016 14/14 TOT 47/29

TKL

TFL SACK PD INT

14 4.0 1.0 1 23 7.0 1.5 1 45 12.5 5.0 1 65 22.5 10.5 4 147 46.0 18.0 7

0 0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Played mostly as a defensive end at Temple and played both up and down. Does not have the size or length 3-4 teams want for an OLB. Going to have to convert to play either ‘Will’ or ‘Sam’ in a 4-3. Will also be able to be used some as a designated pass rusher. Will need to go through a period of development to make the conversion, but he has the instincts to be able to do it. Teams that are convined he can cover based on his good drops and man-to-man ability will push him up their boards because those guys are hard to find. Has a chance to be very good in the NFL. Will be a terror on special teams while he makes the conversion. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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LINEBACKERS

7WALKER JR. ANTHONY

NORTHWESTERN

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-01/2 e | WT: 241 e | 40: 4.67 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

2014 12/7 51 9.0 1.5 3 2 4.0 4 1 2015 13/13 122 20.5 2016 13/13 105 10.0 2.0 5 1 TOT 38/33 278 39.5 7.5 12 4 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

8RILEY DUKE

LSU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 | WT: 231 | 40: 4.65 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL SACK PD INT

2013 13/0 7 0.5 0.0 0 0 13/1 20 0.0 0.0 0 0 2014 2015 12/0 24 0.5 0.0 0 0 93 9.0 1.5 2 1 2016 12/12 TOT 50/13 144 10.0 1.5 2 1

9BECKWITH KENDELL

LSU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-23/4 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.70 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4*

* — PRE-INJURY PROJECTION CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

2013 12/0 11 1.0 1.0 0 0 2014 13/7 77 7.5 2.0 3 1 2015 12/12 84 10.0 3.5 1 0 2016 10/10 91 6.0 1.0 4 0 TOT 47/29 263 24.5 7.5 8 1

10ANZALONE ALEX

FLORIDA

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 240 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B* 6.4 RD 4-5 * — Grade is better than where he will get drafted CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

2013 10/0 2 0.0 0.0 0 0 2014 12/0 14 1.0 0.0 0 0 2015 2/2 6 0.0 0.0 0 0 2016 8/8 53 4.0 3.0 2 0 TOT 31/10 75 5.0 3.0 2 0

STRONG POINTS • Very productive with top instincts and reactions. Plays the run well, can stack and shed. Good to very good athlete with speed and a burst. Has good play strength and shows he can be an explosive hitter. Good pass drop, has awareness and can close on the ball. WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t consistently play a physical game. More of a run-and-hit type. Will miss some tackles. About as big as he is going to get. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Has been a two-and-ahalf year starter. Has adequate size with good strength and explosion. Walker has good instincts and finds the ball. Makes a lot of plays in the run game. While he can stack and shed at the point, he is more of a run-and-hit type who tries to elude blocks. He is effective when used as a blitzer, especially on delays. He has a quick drop with range and awareness in coverage. Can plant and drive on the ball and has good hands. Overall, his best fit is as a ‘Will’ in a 4-3. Don’t see the power necessary to play inside in a 3-4. Should start early in his career. STRONG POINTS • An active and instinctive playmaker. Good to real good athlete with speed. Excels in pursuit as he has speed, range and takes very good angles to the ball. Can play the stack game but not consistently. Good in coverage, he is alert in zone and has the athleticism to play man. WEAK POINTS • Size, and I doubt he can get much bigger than 238-240. Can be slow to shed big linemen. Small frame for a linebacker. THE WAY WE SEE IT • This was Riley’s first year as a starter and he made the most of it. Was a core special-teams player and a spot player for his first three years. Wish it hadn’t taken him so long to crack the starting lineup but he is very instinctive and does a good job slipping blocks and getting to the ball. Is quick and agile in pass coverage and a top pursuit player. May lack size but he is a good tackler. His best fit is as a ‘Will’ in a 4-3 scheme. I doubt he can hold up in a 3-4 at his current size. As a ‘Will,’ he has a chance to become an eventual starter. STRONG POINTS • Ideal size with good strength and pop. Can stack at the line and get rid of blocks fairly quickly. Shows good awareness in coverage. Gets depth with his drops. Solid tackler who hits and wraps. Plays with good intensity. WEAK POINTS • Tore his ACL in Game 10 and missed the rest of the season. Has just average to adequate play speed. More of a reactor than an instinctive anticipator. Needs to make more plays at or near the line of scrimmage. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Beckwith has been starting since midway through his sophomore year. He has ideal size and is strong and productive to go along with good overall athleticism and adequate speed and range. Where he gets drafted will be determined by his medical. It’s possible he will miss most if not all of training camp and some of the regular season. Has eventual starter talent when he gets healthy and he looks like the rare linebacker who can go inside or out and be a three-down player who doesn’t have to come off the field in sub packages. Before his injury, he was a solid third- to fourth-round type. Will now get selected later in the draft. STRONG POINTS • Adequate size with good strength and pop. Smart player with good instincts. Quick to find ball. Shows strength and power at the point, good hand use and can shed. Good tackler. Quick with his drops, good awareness in coverage and reacts well to the ball in the air. Good tackler. WEAK POINTS • Huge durability issues. Had season-ending injuries in both 2015 and 2016 (shoulder, arm). Has played well when healthy but missed more games than he played the past two seasons. THE WAY WE SEE IT • When healthy, Anzalone can play, but he has missed significant time in his career. Has third- to fourth-round talent but his durability issues will cause him to get drafted later. The results of his medical at the Combine will be important. Anzalone has size, strength and athleticism to go along with good instincts. He is tough and makes plays when healthy. Hit-or-miss draft choice but if he can avoid the injury bug and find a way to stay on the field he could be a late-round steal who leaves teams who didn’t pull the trigger wondering how they missed him.

74 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


LINEBACKERS

11BIEGEL VINCE

STRONG POINTS • Adequate outside linebacker size with the frame to carry 255. Good athlete with good strength. Technique-sound, can use his hands, quick to shed, plays with bend. Tough and aggressive, all-out performer on every play. Good instincts, reacts well to run or pass.

WISCONSIN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-31/8 | WT: 242 | 40: 4.80 e

WEAK POINTS • Not explosive, don’t see any quick twitch. One-speed player and lacks good long speed. Gets high with his pedal and does not turn real smoothly.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 13/2 2014 14/13 2015 13/13 2016 14/12 TOT 56/30

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

25 3.0 56 16.5 66 14.0 51 5.0 198 38.5

2.0 7.5 8.0 3.0 20.5

2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 4 0

12GEDEON BEN

STRONG POINTS • An instinctive playmaker. Has good size and strength for the position. Shows strength at the point to take on and shed blocks. Strong run defender. Gets off blocks and makes plays. Can get depth with his pass drop and has awareness in coverage. Very good tackler.

MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-15/8 | WT: 243 | 40: 4.80 e

WEAK POINTS • While he is instinctive, he lacks speed and top range. Has to get a jump on plays. Don’t see range in coverage. Lacks the suddenness needed to play in man coverage.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

2013 13/0 19 17 2014 11/0 2015 12/1 34 2016 13/13 106 TOT 49/14 176

TFL SACK PD INT

1.0 1.5 3.0 15.5 21.0

1.0 1.0 0.0 4.5 6.5

0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0

13PHILLIPS JR. CARROLL

ILLINOIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-31/4 | WT: 237 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL TFL SACK PD INT

2013 (Junior College) 2014 7/0 6 1.0 1.0 0 0 2015 12/3 26 4.5 2.0 2 0 2016 12/11 56 20.0 9.0 0 0 TOT 31/14 88 25.5 12.0 2 0

14ONWUALU JAMES

NOTRE DAME

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 12/4 2014 13/8 2015 11/9 2016 12/12 TOT 48/33

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

6 24 38 75 143

0.0 2.0 6.0 11.5 19.5

STRONG POINTS • Makes plays (56 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, nine sacks in 2016). Athletic with speed. Can rush the passer. Uses his hands well. Top competitor. Good tackler. Athletic enough to play on his feet. Instincts. WEAK POINTS • Lacks the size and bulk needed to play down or outside in a 3-4. Has short arms. Has little experience in pass coverage as he played in in a 4-3. Will need to convert to linebacker in order to play in the NFL. Has short arms. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Carroll is a former junior college transfer. He played mostly as a backup in 2015. Starter at right end in Illinois’ base 4-3 defense in 2016. He is undersized and his arms are a bit short but this guy is a football player. Competes every play. Shows explosiveness coming off the edge, can use his hands and has moves. Quick to react versus the run but can get overpowered by big O-linemen at times. Needs to play linebacker at the next level. His best fit is as a ‘Sam’ in a 4-3. Might be able to play ‘Will.’ Showed at the Senior Bowl that he can play on his feet. Size and conversion will get him drafted lower than his talent level.

WEAK POINTS • Marginal LB size. Needs to get bigger and stronger. Might not have the speed to be a hybrid type.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year senior and a first-year starter. Really came on this year with 106 total tackles. Consummate overachiever who makes plays because of his outstanding awareness and instincts. He is strong and has a good feel for blockers. Can take on or slip a block. In coverage, he plays well in the short zones but he lacks the range and suddenness to play much man. Will be a very good backup with a chance to eventually start in the right situation.

STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete for a linebacker. Versatile, as he has played LB, WR and S in college. Has good instincts. Plays very well against the pass, gets depth with his drops and has real good awareness. Can play man on backs and tight ends. Solid tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-07/8 | WT: 230 | 40: 4.67 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • The type of linebacker you want on your team. He doesn’t have any special to him but he is a competitive tough guy and all-out performer. Lacks the physical traits to be a starter in the NFL but he can help you win as a solid backup and on special teams. A smart and instinctive player who won’t hurt you if he has to play, but will be somewhat limited by his lack of special athletic traits. That concern, however, will be somewhat balanced by a few bonus points based on how well Badgers linebackers have translated to the NFL in recent seasons. A solid Day Three selection who will be a good addition to any 3-4 team.

0.0 0.0 3.0 3.0 6.0

0 0 0 0 2 0 5 0 7 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Three-year starter for Notre Dame and has played three positions. Started out as a wide receiver and got playing time there as a true freshman. Moved to defense during his sophomore year and ended up starting games at OLB. Has improved each year. Undersized but aggressive with good instincts. Plays the pass very well. Good run defender but can be a bit slow off blocks. His best chance is as a hybrid linebacker because of his coverage skills. The question will be his speed. If he runs fast, he could go as high as the fifth. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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LINEBACKERS

15BOULWARE

STRONG POINTS • Very instinctive player who is highly competitive. Makes plays on effort. Good tackler, aware in coverage. Team leader. Great work habits. Has good strength.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 236 | 40: 4.77 e

WEAK POINTS • Size, just an average athlete with average speed. Not a very fluid guy and can look mechanical at times. Short arms.

BEN

CLEMSON

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL SACK PD INT

2013 11/0 25 1.5 2014 13/2 58 5.0 2015 15/15 138 8.0 11.5 2016 14/14 131 TOT 53/31 352 26.0

0.0 0 1 1.0 1 1 3.5 7 2 4.0 2 1 8.5 10 5

16BULLOUGH RILEY

STRONG POINTS • Very competitive. Chases the ball all over the field. Very consistent tackler. Quick with his pass drops and is very aware in coverage. Has the speed and athleticism to play man on a running back. Good to real good athlete with speed and a burst. Instinctive, consistently finds and gets to the ball. Team captain.

MICHIGAN STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-11/4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.68 e

WEAK POINTS • Size, does not have the frame to get much bigger. Not really a takeon type, is better at slipping blocks. Can get overpowered at the point by big offensive linemen.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 14/0 13/1 2014 2015 14/13 2016 9/9 TOT 50/23

TKL TFL SACK PD INT

3 29 106 76 214

0.0 4.0 7.5 6.5 18.0

0.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 7.5

0 0 0 2 2 2 0 0 2 4

17TAYLOR STEVEN

HOUSTON

WEAK POINTS • Marginal size to play LB in the NFL. Can be slow to get off blocks. Has a burst to the ball but don’t see good top-end speed. More of a reactor than an anticipator.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL SACK PD INT

2013 13/9 89 10.5 3.0 5 1 76 9.0 4.0 2 0 2014 12/10 2015 14/14 92 18.5 10.0 3 2 2016 12/12 74 12.0 8.5 3 1 TOT 51/45 331 50.0 25.5 13 4

18LANGI HARVEY

BYU

WEAK POINTS • An overaged player, graduated high school in 2010 and spent two years on a Mormon Mission. Does not look as quick or as fast as he did in 2015. Too heavy at 252, needs to be 240. Will lose sight of ball at times. Average instincts.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has production on paper but you don’t always see it on tape. Part of the problem is he doesn’t make a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage but rather downfield. Doesn’t anticipate as quickly as he should. Has sack production but I haven’t seen a top pass rusher on tape. Does time blitzes well and can find a seam. Overall, more of a backup type who will need to produce as a special teams player. Needs to add strength and bulk. It’s hard to envision him being able to add enough muscle to fix a lot of what’s missing. Still, there isn’t a team in the league that isn’t looking for a pass rusher so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares once he gets in a camp.

STRONG POINTS • Has good size, strength and power. Consistent tackler. Shows he can get depth with his pass drops. Has awareness in coverage.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-15/8 | WT: 252 | 40: 4.80 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Another in a long line of Bulloughs who played at Michigan State, starting with their grandfather Hank Bullough. Riley is an active, instinctive playmaker who lacks size. He is an athlete with speed and is best at slipping blocks or making pursuit plays. Also does a good job in coverage. Lacks the size to be an NFL starter but can be a nickel linebacker and a core special teams player. Late pick with a chance.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter. Shows marginally good overall athleticism. Productive in coverage. Has 18 sacks over the past two seasons.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-03/4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.78 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Boulware is a very good college football player but has limited traits to succeed at the next level. He is short, has just average athleticism and average speed yet he makes plays. High effort over-achiever. Even with ‘Bama’s Allen, Foster and Williams on the field, Boulware was arguably the best defensive player on the field in the national title game, at times appearing to know exactly what the Tide was running before the ball was snapped. With kids like this who are so football smart, it’s tough to know whether the intangibles are enough to outweigh his limitations. On paper, you say he can’t make it, but once he gets to camp he will be tough to run off. Very good special teams potential.

TKL

TFL SACK PD INT

2013 (Enrolled at Utah) 2014 12/1 14 0.0 0.0 2015 11/11 68 6.5 4.5 2016 13/12 57 5.0 2.0 TOT 36/24 139 11.5 6.5

0 0 1 2 2 0 3 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Transfer from Utah. Played running back while at Utah before he went on his church mission. After he completed his mission, he enrolled at BYU and was moved to linebacker. He is an aggressive, active player who gets most of his production between the tackles. Shows some versatility having played on both sides of the ball and it’s not easy to find big guys who can cover. See him as a backup and special teams player in the NFL. His best fit is in a 3-4. Doesn’t have the speed or range to play well in a 4-3. He should benefit from the proliferation of 3-4 schemes in the league right now and he will get a shot somewhere.

76 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST HARDY NICKERSON JR. ILLINOIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 3/4 | WT: 236 | 40-YARD: 4.70 e

Son of Illinois Defensive Coordinator and former All-Pro Hardy Nickerson. He has good instincts and makes a high number of tackles but he lacks a quality physical trait. Not big or fast. Will have to make it on special teams ability.

JOSH CARRAWAY TCU

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 241 | 40-YARD: 4.75 e

Has size and is a good athlete, reacts quickly and makes some plays. Not a real physical guy, has to get a little stronger. More of a run-and-hit than take-on type. Doesn’t stack well at the point. Possible late-round type especially if he works out well.

TYUS BOWSER HOUSTON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 1/2 | WT: 244 | 40-YARD: 4.70 e

Has a lot of things going for him. Has good size, is athletic, plays with strength and make plays. He needs to find a position. Is he a smaller edge guy or does he play inside? Probable late-round pick who can play in multiple schemes.

MARQUEL LEE WAKE FOREST

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/4 | WT: 230 | 40-YARD: 4.80 e

Tough guy with size, strength and instincts but he is a marginal athlete. Lacks speed and range. Had five games in which he recorded double-digit tackles. Has to come out on passing downs as he lacks the speed and range to be effective. Limited but productive.

CONNOR HARRIS LINDENWOOD

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-11 | WT: 241 | 40-YARD: 4.80 e

Very productive small college player who lacks the physical traits to be drafted in the NFL. Has top instincts but he is short with very short arms. I don’t see him as being more than a special teams player at the NFL level.

JAYON BROWN UCLA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 231 e | 40-YARD: 4.75 e

He is a small Will linebacker with instincts. If he had more size, he would easily be draftable. Quick to react and makes plays versus both the run and pass. If he runs well, he may be draftable as a nickel linebacker because of his cover skills. Worst case is he makes his mark on specials.

RAEKWON MCMILLAN

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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T POSITION GRADE

he most dependable position in the draft in recent seasons has been cornerback in terms of producing a number of top prospects. This year will be no exception. There have been five corners taken in the first round of each of the past three drafts, and in 2013, four cornerbacks went in the first round. This year is most likely to yield five first-rounders again with Marlon Humphrey, Marshon Lattimore, Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor near sure things and Gareon Conley likely to join them as well. Every team in the NFL is looking for “big” corners to match up with today’s over-

A+

MARSHON LATTIMORE

78 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

sized wide receivers, and every one of our top five prospects this year is six feet or taller. The only issue with rating these young men is all five are underclassmen and Lattimore and Humphrey are redshirt sophomores, which can be both a plus and a minus. The upside is, a few of them will still get bigger and stronger while none is likely to lose any speed or quickness, but the downside is they are youngsters who haven’t fully matured yet. Character, coachability and work ethic also can be tougher to evaluate. This group also has excellent depth with Jourdan Lewis, Desmond King and Tre’Davious White, to name just a few, who also could sneak into the first round. These latter three make up the second tier either because of size or top-end speed.

MARLON HUMPHREY


CORNERBACKS

1 LATTIMORE MARSHON

OHIO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-0 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.42 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.1

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2014 ( Redshirted) 2015 3/0 5 3 0 0 0 2016 13/12 41 9 4 61 0 TOT 16/12 46 12 4 61 0

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2HUMPHREY MARLON

ALABAMA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-1 e | WT: 200 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.0

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2014 ( Redshirted) 45 8 3 28 2 2015 15/15 36 5 2 18 1 2016 14/14 TOT 29/29 81 13 5 46 0

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TEEZ TABOR

STRONG POINTS • Has very good size with long arms. Exceptional athlete with speed, change of direction and flexibility. Very quick with his pedal and turn. No hesitation when he comes out of his pedal. Can play press, off, or zone and is very good at each. Good run-support player who can keep contain and tackle. Can play the physical game when he wants. Excellent ability to track the ball. WEAK POINTS • Missed his entire freshman year with a leg injury. Missed some time in 2015 with the same injury. Still has two years of college eligibility left. Only a one-year starter. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year sophomore entering the draft. Has the physical tools to become a shutdown corner early in his career. Great athlete with speed and body control. Can jam, turn and run. Plays the ball very well. Good run-support player who can shed and tackle. Plays physical when he has to. The sky is the limit as far as upside. Will be in the running to be the first corner selected in the draft. Has some special to him. STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter. Has excellent size with long arms to matchup against tall receivers. Very good athlete with speed and outstanding body control. Easy movement; he can quickly get out of his pedal. Turns smoothly. Plays the pass and run very well. Strong and explosive. Aggressive tackler, very good hands and ball skills. Very aware and instinctive in coverage. Followed up Freshman All-American honors with firstteam All-American recognition from the FWAA. WEAK POINTS • Young, still had two years of eligibility left. Will miss some tackles when he doesn’t wrap. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year sophomore, Humphrey was the No. 1 corner in the country coming out of high school, where he was also a track star as both a sprinter and in the hurdles. There may be some that are stronger in certain areas, but Humphrey’s overall skill set rivals any of the cornerbacks in this class. Can shed blocks, play the run, tackle, play man or zone and has great ball skills. Will come in right away and start for most NFL teams. Has future Pro Bowl-type talent. A potential top-10 selection.

QUINCY WILSON

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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CORNERBACKS

3TABOR TEEZ

FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 196 e | 40: 4.46 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2014 12/5 31 2015 13/9 41 2016 13/12 33 TOT 38/26 105

9 18 6 33

1 0 4 82 3 47 8 129

1 0 0 1

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

4WILSON QUINCY

STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter. Very good athlete. Has speed, excellent feet and body control. Has a quick low pedal, can turn and shows a burst out of his turn. Transitions very well. Great size and length, physical vs. wide receivers to jam and re-route. Reacts well to the ball and has good hands. Will support the run and shows he can shed.

FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.46 e

WEAK POINTS • With his size, he needs to be more physical versus the run. Doesn’t attack and at times takes poor pursuit angles. While he shows he can hit, he misses too many tackles because he doesn’t consistently wrap up.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2014 12/2 14/9 2015 2016 13/13 TOT 39/24

22 29 33 84

4 7 6 17

1 2 3 6

0 13 80 93

1 0 0 1

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

5CONLEY GAREON

OHIO STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2014 15/0 2015 13/13 2016 13/13 TOT 41/26

16 2 49 5 26 8 91 15

0 2 4 6

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

6JONES SIDNEY

WASHINGTON

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2014 13/12 61 7 2015 13/13 45 14 2016 14/14 39 9 TOT 40/39 145 30

STRONG POINTS • Good height, long arms. Very good athlete. Has speed, quickness, suddenness, change of direction and balance. Very good cover guy, be it man, off or zone. Instinctive and aware. Smooth pedal and turn. No hesitation or false step when he transitions. Very good hands and ball skills (four INTs in ’16). Willing run-support player. WEAK POINTS • Lean frame, needs to add upper and lower body strength. Will miss some tackles or can be slow to get off blocks because of his lack of strength. Still not physically mature. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior and two-year starter for Ohio State. Tall with length but he has a lean frame and needs to add some strength and bulk. Can easily hold 205. Has very good cover skills. Can pedal and turn very easily and shows excellent mirror skills in man coverage. Plays a lot of zone and is very aware. Plays the ball well in the air and has good hands. The only real weak part of his game is run support. He is willing but can be slow off blocks and misses some tackles because of his strength deficiencies. Overall, he should be a mid-first round selection and has excellent upside. Should start as a rookie and can eventually be a No. 1 corner for most teams. Very talented guy.

WEAK POINTS • Small frame. Lacks strength, bulk. Can get overpowered by big receivers. Struggles to take on blocks. More of a drag-down tackler. Good but not great play speed.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has the natural talent to be the best corner in this draft if he wants to be. While he plays a physical game versus receivers, he isn’t that way in the run game. Flashes that he can shed and tackle but too often tries to block tackle instead of wrapping up. Can take poor pursuit angles to the ball. As a cover guy, he is outstanding. Can play press, off or zone. Keeps good position, reacts to the ball and makes plays. He is a true junior coming out so he is still young and needs to mature. Best football should be in front of him. Will be a very high pick based on what he can be.

STRONG POINTS • Good to very good athlete with very good overall body control. Just adequate speed but can change direction, has quick feet, can turn and transition. Very good ability to track the ball and has good hands to make the interception. Can play man or zone. Shows good instincts and awareness in coverage.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 180 e | 40: 4.50 e

A

STRONG POINTS • Good height and length allowing him to play taller than he measures. Is very aware, reacts quickly and has top instincts. Fluid movement with loose hips, quick feet and speed. Has a good jam and excellent mirror skills in press man. Very good when in zone or off man. No weighted movement when he closes. Plays the ball very well and has very good hands. WIlling run-support player. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger especially in the upper body. More of a body tackler than hit-and-wrap, causing him to miss some. Can be slow to shed run blocks (upper body strength). THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has been starting since midway through his freshman year. There were some who felt that Tabor was a better player in 2015 than Vernon Hargreaves, who was selected No. 11 overall a year ago. Tabor has excellent cover skills to go along with top ball skills. With his height and length, he matches up well vs. taller receivers. Needs to add strength to become more of a force in the run game. Has the frame to carry 205-210 without a problem. He should be able to come in and start right away for most teams. Can play in any scheme. Will be one of the first corners drafted.

2 22 4 125 3 0 9 147

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

1 3 2 6

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior entering the draft. Has been a starter since his freshman year. Jones is a fluid athlete with the quickness and suddeness needed to play corner in the NFL. Has good to very good cover skills in both man and zone coverage and plays the ball very well. Has nine career interceptions. Where he struggles is that he is not a very physical player. Has a small frame and little growth potential. Played at about 180, and 190 looks like his max. Needs to get stronger so that he can shed and tackle better. Has the coverage skills to become a starter in the league but his lack of strength will be a concern.

80 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


CORNERBACKS

7JACKSON ADOREÉ

STRONG POINTS • Has played a variety of positions (CB, RB, WR, RS). Exceptional athletic ability and speed. Excellent return skills. Can play man, off, or zone. Keeps good position on receivers with good awareness. Willing run support player and a good tackler. Excellent hands.

USC

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 183 e | 40: 4.38 e

WEAK POINTS • Size. If he measures shorter than 5-foot-10, some teams will have him off their boards. Needs to add bulk and strength. Will have some trouble with taller receivers.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2014 13/9 49 10 0 0 2015 14/14 35 18 1 46 2016 13/13 55 11 5 21 TOT 40/36 139 39 6 67 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

1 1 0 2

8DOUGLAS RASUL

STRONG POINTS • Tall with long arms. Very good athlete. Has the speed and burst to stay with speedy receivers deep. Can be physical with his jam and shows he can re-route receivers. Good to very good transition. Great ball skills and hands. Does a good job jumping routes. Good open-field tackler.

WEST VIRGINIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 | WT: 204 | 40: 4.48 e

WEAK POINTS • Only a one-year starter. Needs to improve his overall footwork. As physical as he is versus receivers, he is not a physical run-support player. Needs to improve his ability to take on and shed blocks.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 2014 2015 11/0 2016 13/12 TOT 24/12

(Junior College) (Junior College) 8 1 1 0 1 70 8 8 101 1 78 9 9 101 2

9KING

DESMOND

IOWA

WEAK POINTS • Not a burner. Interception production was down in 2016, but teams weren’t throwing at him.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 13/12 69 8 2014 13/13 64 8 2015 14/14 72 21 2016 13/13 58 10 TOT 53/53 263 47

0 0 3 72 8 118 3 41 14 231

0 0 0 1 1

10TANKERSLEY CORDREA

CLEMSON

WEAK POINTS • Is more of a drag-down type of tackler and misses too many tackles. Not a strong run-support player. Needs to add upper body strength. Has good speed but he is not a burner and can be beat by real speed guys.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 12/0 13 2014 13/0 11 2015 15/15 60 2016 15/15 65 TOT 55/30 149

0 0 11 11 22

THE WAY WE SEE IT • King almost entered the 2016 draft and most likely would have been a second-round pick. Plays a very steady game and seldom gets caught out of position. Can be physical when he has to be. Consistent cover guy in both man and zone. Keeps good position and can close on the ball. Excellent hands and ball skills. Has the return talent to be a team’s No. 1 returner. Should come in and play right away as a third corner and will ascend to a solid No. 2. Timed speed will determine where he gets drafted but he is a good football player. STRONG POINTS • Very good size for a corner with long arms. Has the quickness and suddenness required to play corner in the NFL. Tracks the ball well with good ball skills and hands. Can play press, off, or zone. Alert in zone and looks to help out when free. Has smooth turn and is very quick to come out of pedal and close.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 200 e | 40: 4.49 e

A

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a one-year starter. Douglas is a junior college transfer who played as a backup in 2015 before having a breakout year in 2016. Finished the season with eight interceptions. He is a physical press cover corner with good to real good mirror skills. Needs to improve his play in zone and off but the physical tools are there. Not a force when supporting the run and that part of his game needs improvement also. Has a lot of upside and will go high in the draft. STRONG POINTS • Well-built athlete with strength and power. Good to very good athleticism with quick feet, loose hips and suddenness. Plays press, off, and zone equally well. Very good instincts and excellent ball reactions and hands. Good runsupport player and tackler. Can return both punts and kickoffs. No false steps when he transitions.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/8 | WT: 206 | 40: 4.50 e

A

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Jackson is really a specialist because of what he brings to the table. Has the skill set to play on offense or defense and be productive. Can be a slot receiver or a slot corner as well as a team’s top return man. Will be a difference maker as a returner the day he signs. I see him as a slot corner who will match up well on most slot receivers. He lacks the size to be a regular on the outside. Because of his playmaking ability, he will get drafted higher than his defensive skill set dictates, but his return skills are special.

0 0 0 0 5 50 4 22 9 72

0 0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year senior and a two-year starter for Clemson. He has ideal size and has good to very good overall cover skills. Usually keeps good positioning. Is an alert player who can track the ball and has good hands (nine interceptions the past two years). He needs to get stronger in the upper body and become more aggressive in run support as well as do a better job tackling. He has the skill set to come in and play as a third corner as a rookie and eventually become a good No. 2 corner in the league. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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CORNERBACKS

11LEWIS JOURDAN

STRONG POINTS • Quicker than fast but fast enough. Tough and competitive; plays bigger than his size. Quick, low pedal and a smooth turn. Very quick to transition. Tracks and plays the ball well. Good hands. Aggressive in run support. Productive and can return kicks.

MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 | WT: 188 | 40: 4.49 e

WEAK POINTS • Size – caught some evaluators by surprise at the Senior Bowl by measuring in at 5-foot-10. Has a small, narrow frame and has little growth potential as far as bulk. Doesn’t have great top-end speed. Doubt he would be more than a backup returner in the NFL.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 13/0 17 2 2014 12/7 39 6 2015 13/13 52 20 2016 10/10 25 11 TOT 48/30 133 39

0 0 2 4 2 46 2 0 6 50

0 0 1 0 1

12AWUZIE CHIDOBE

STRONG POINTS • Has been starting since midway through his freshman year. Excellent corner size and strength. Alert and instinctive. Asked to do a number of things in the Colorado defense and does all well. Good man and zone cover guy. Quick to support the run and a good tackler. Plays some on special teams.

COLORADO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.53 e

WEAK POINTS • Question his top-end speed. Plays the shorter routes very well but don’t see the long speed needed to cover deep in the NFL. Doesn’t consistently attack versus the run and can tackle high.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 12/7 59 2014 9/9 64 2015 13/12 90 2016 14/14 42 TOT 48/42 255

4 8 12 10 34

0 0 0 0 2 26 1 14 3 40

2 0 1 2 5

13WHITE

Tre’DAVIOUS

LSU

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.6

WEAK POINTS • Plays like a 4.52 type on tape. Don’t see great top-end speed. A bit short by today’s standards, but he does have long arms.

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 13/11 55 2014 13/13 33 2015 11/11 44 2016 12/12 35 TOT 49/49 112

7 6 7 14 34

2 2 0 2 6

40 0 0 21 61

1 0 0 0 0

14MOREAU FABIAN

UCLA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-117/8 | WT: 205 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very good college corner. Lines up wide and sometimes over a slot receiver. Also used to blitz often when lined up over the slot and was effective doing so. Aggressive player with strength and pop. He is instinctive and alert and you seldom see him make mistakes. My biggest concern is does he have the long speed to play corner in the NFL? Might be better off at safety if he doesn’t run well at the Combine or his Pro Day. Has the size and aggressiveness to play inside. It’s not a question of if he will play, it’s where he will play. STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter for LSU. Has played both the right and left sides. Very good length. Good athlete with quick feet, loose hips and body control. Good pedal and turn and no false steps with his transition. Alert in zone. Good jam and good press cover skills. Reacts well to the ball in the air. Solid run-support player and a good tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-111/8 | WT: 191 | 40: 4.52 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Love watching this guy on tape; he plays hard and with aggressiveness. Quick and athletic with enough speed. Even though he plays bigger than his size, there may be some teams that downgrade him based off his stature. I see him more as a nickel corner who can do an excellent job on slot receivers. In today’s game, that will have him on the field 75 percent of the time if not more. Very good player, just wish he was bigger.

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2012 11/0 5 0 0 0 0 2013 12/12 51 4 0 0 0 2014 13/13 51 4 0 0 0 2015 3/3 8 1 0 0 0 2016 12/12 31 12 2 32 1 TOT 40/40 146 21 2 32 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Solid college corner who plays a consistent game but has no special traits. A bit short and lacks good top-end speed but a solid cover guy with ball skills. Can play press and zone and keeps plays in front of him. Is quick to transition. Consistent run-support player and a good tackler. Overall has enough talent to eventually start for a team with a need but may never be more than a solid No. 3 corner. Grade could go up with a real good workout.

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal size for a corner. Good to real good athlete with a burst, good hips and quick feet. Moves quickly in transition. Good run-support player and a sure tackler. Plays the ball well, has good hands. WEAK POINTS • In tapes viewed, I never saw him in press coverage. Can give too much of a cushion in off coverage. How fast is he? THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Missed most of 2015 with an injury and got an injury redshirt. Plays a very consistent game. In the games I viewed, opponents didn’t go after him very often. Even though he is strong and has great size, you never see him in press coverage. UCLA plays a lot of man off or zone and Moreau is very dependable in these coverages. Is alert and has good receiver awareness. Plays the ball well, can close and has good hands. Based on his athleticism, I feel he can play press but may be best suited to play for a zone-type team. Has the talent to become an eventual starter. Day Two selection.

82 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


CORNERBACKS

15KING KEVIN

STRONG POINTS • Very tall with very good length. Good to real good athlete with better than adequate speed. Has a good jam and shows he can be a good press cover guy. Solid run-support player who can shed blocks and tackle. Good zone player with awareness. Played safety in 2014.

WASHINGTON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.55 e

WEAK POINTS • Long-legged corner who is not as sudden as preferred. At times, he will take extra steps when coming out of his pedal. Needs to improve his footwork. His long speed is just adequate. Can have some trouble when playing man off.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

YEAR

GP/GS

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS TKL

PBU INT YDS FF

2013 7/0 17 1 2014 13/12 65 4 2015 11/8 39 8 44 15 2016 14/14 TOT 45/34 165 28

0 1 3 2 6

0 0 6 0 6

0 1 1 0 2

16KAZEE

DAMONTAE

STRONG POINTS • Excellent ball skills (15 interceptions the past two seasons; school record 17 career picks). Speed, very good overall athleticism. Good in run support and a good tackler. Shows he can play man or zone. Strong Senior Bowl week. Two-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

SAN DIEGO STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/4 | WT: 183 | 40: 4.47 e

WEAK POINTS • Marginal size and does not have much growth potential. Has short arms (297/8 ). In some games, was playing soft in coverage, giving a lot in cushion and giving up the underneath throws.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 12/0 41 2 1 0 4 2014 13/13 58 13 1 0 0 2015 14/14 75 7 8 58 2 2016 14/14 65 8 7 156 0 TOT 53/41 239 30 17 214 6

17STRIBLING CHANNING

MICHIGAN

WEAK POINTS • Has a narrow, lean frame with little growth potential. While he is quick, he lacks long speed. Not big or physical enough to move to safety.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 13/1 16 2014 10/0 7 2015 11/4 17 2016 13/13 28 TOT 47/18 68

0 0 3 13 16

0 0 2 4 6

0 1 0 0 31 0 60 0 91 1

18ELDER CORN

WEAK POINTS • Measured a shade over 5-foot-10 and that could drop him a bit on some teams’ boards. Plays fast but might be a little slower than his game speed. Doubt he can get much bigger than 185.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4 RD 4-5*

* — Depending on size / speed

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 10/0 7 2014 13/1 34 2015 13/7 41 2016 13/13 76 TOT 49/21 158

0 4 11 12 27

THE WAY WE SEE IT • This player has interesting tape and he makes a lot of plays, but his lack of top-end speed will hurt him in the draft. Might not run faster than 4.58. Stribling has good cover skills and excellent ball skills. He shows very good mirror skills versus shorter routes and has the suddenness required to stick with receivers. His lack of long speed versus deep routes and while in pursuit also shows up. I see him as a lateround guy who will be tough to cut because of his instincts and ball skills. Probably not better than a No. 4 corner in the league. STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete who is quick and sudden. Can turn and run and transitions quickly. Tough and competitive, plays bigger than his size. Not afraid to defend the run and is a good tackler. Plays the ball well in the air and has good hands for the interception. Should be able to make an impact on special teams. Can return kicks.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/8 | WT: 179 | 40: 4.48 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Kazee is an athlete with speed and ball skills. He is not the most physical guy and he lacks the frame to get much bigger. Showed in the Senior Bowl he can cover aggressively. With his frame and short arms, I see him as a slot corner only. He doesn’t have the size that NFL clubs would want playing outside. He should test well at the Combine and could go higher than my grade.

STRONG POINTS • Good athlete with body control. Has quick feet, loose hips, can turn, run and transition smoothly. Has a fairly good jam at the line, can play press coverage versus shorter routes and has good mirror skills. Very alert in zone, keeps good position and has good receiver awareness. Has outstanding ball skills and very good hands. Willing hitter.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 | WT: 179 | 40: 4.58 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • At this time, he is a pure press-cover guy. Has a good jam and has the skill set to mirror his opponent vs. short or deep routes. Plays well in zone. Can have some trouble in off, as he needs to improve his foot work; will take extra steps at times when breaking out of his pedal. Shows good run-support skills and is a consistent tackler. Has experience at safety (2014) and that is where he may end up. Solid backuptype with a chance to be a starter if he develops properly.

0 0 0 0 2 47 1 2 3 49

0 0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Elder is a fun player to watch on tape. He is tough and competitive and plays bigger than his size. He has a quick pedal, can turn and run and shows he can transition quickly. Willing run-support player and he can tackle. Can play man or zone in coverage and has good mirror skills as well as top ball skills. Where he gets drafted will be determined by his verified measurables. If he runs slower than 4.50, he will drop on some teams’ boards. I see him as a slot corner who should be able to match up well versus the smaller slot receivers in the league. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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CORNERBACKS

19WHITE MARQUEZ

STRONG POINTS • Good height and length for a corner, and his arms measured in at 321/8 inches at the Senior Bowl. Has played press, off and zone. Two-year starter. Good athlete. Looks to help out when free. Has big-game experience. Athletic enough to spend time on the Florida State basketball team as a backup guard in 2014.

FLORIDA STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 184 | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Lean frame and lacks good growth potential. Just above average to good strength. Misses too many tackles because he doesn’t wrap well and lacks good upper body strength. Is not smooth with his transition. Ball skills are average — picked off only two passes in his first three collegiate seasons.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 13/0 12 1 1 0 0 12/0 3 0 0 0 0 2014 2015 13/13 25 2 1 0 0 2016 13/13 25 4 2 14 0 TOT 51/26 65 7 4 14 0

20LUKE COLE

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter with 51 career games of experience for the Irish. Has long arms. Looked like a top prospect in 2014 and 2015. In ‘14, picked off two passes and forced a fumble in a win over Stanford, earning National Defensive Player of the Week honors. Good instincts. Shows that he is a willing run-support player. Has good ball skills and hands. Has played press, man, and off.

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 190 e | 40: 4.58 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 13/0 2014 13/13 2015 13/13 2016 12/12 TOT 51/38

15 2 48 11 41 5 48 6 152 24

0 4 2 2 8

0 13 -3 14 24

0 2 0 0 2

21MABIN GREG

IOWA

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2013 Did not see game action 53 6 1 18 0 2014 13/12 2015 14/14 54 10 2 26 1 2016 9/9 37 3 0 0 1 TOT 36/35 144 19 3 44 2

22LAMPKIN ASHTON

OKLAHOMA STATE

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF

2012 13/0 18 2013 13/0 24 2014 4/4 4 2015 12/8 31 2016 13/13 38 TOT 55/25 115

0 1 3 5 4 13

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Moved from wide receiver to corner during spring practice in 2013, and he played cornerback for Iowa but he might be better off at safety. Does not have the movement skills or suddenness most NFL defensive backs coaches require of a corner. He is competitive and he will hit. His best chance is to convert to safety and become a solid special-teams player. Late-round or free-agent type who has a chance because of size, awareness and hitting skills.

STRONG POINTS • Has good height and length for the position. Has experience playing in press, off, and zone. Shows a smooth turn with an adequate burst coming out of his turn. Decent ball skills; has five career interceptions.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 189 | 40: 4.51 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • After looking like an impressive player in 2014 and 2015, he looked very ordinary in 2016. Smart player with good instincts and has played a lot of football for Notre Dame, just lacks the required speed and skill set. Might have to play for a Cover-2 team, as he lacks the speed to play press in the NFL. Late-round pick with a chance to be a team’s fourth or fifth corner because he will have special-teams value.

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have the ideal athletic skills to be a starting NFL corner. Average speed and lacks a smooth turn. Will take extra steps when he transitions. Ball skills are average. Missed the last few games of his college career because of a lower right leg fracture suffered in practice.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.3

WEAK POINTS • Really struggled the first half of 2016. Gave up numerous big plays and also missed tackles in the open field. Lacks ideal height. Not very fast for the position. Notre Dame moved him inside to the slot corner position after he struggled early this past season.

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal height and length. Good frame. Has strength and shows he will hit. Does an adequate job shedding blocks and is fairly physical in run support. Shows awareness in coverage.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 3/4 e | WT: 200 e | 40: 4.60 e

C

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Became a starter in 2015 and played fairly well. It was thought that he would make a jump in 2016, but instead his play leveled off. His height, athleticism and length are intriguing but he has to get stronger and become more physical. More of a developmental practice squad player at this point but he has some traits to work with.

1 0 0 0 0 0 2 50 0 1 28 0 1 1 1 5 79 1

WEAK POINTS • Lean frame and he needs to add some size and strength. Not a very physical player. Needs to attack run plays better and learn how to use his hands to shed blocks. Lacks consistent awareness in coverage. Not a burner. Will have durability questions after missing most of 2014 with an ankle injury and then he missed time in 2015 with a broken right thumb. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-year starter with 55 career games played. Shows flashes of good play, just not consistent. Has experience in press, man, and off and flashes good cover skills. Not physical and that will hurt his ability to make a team. Has the talent to be a fifth or sixth corner if he proves he can be physical on special teams.

84 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST EZRA ROBINSON TENNESSEE STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENOR HT: 5-11 | WT: 185 | 40-YARD: 4.50 e

Has some size and length to go along with adequate cover skills (five interceptions in 2016). Does little in run support. Lacks strength and struggles to take on blocks and will miss some tackles. He needs to get stronger and toughen up if he wants to make an NFL roster.

BOISE ROSS BUFFALO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 190 e | 40-YARD: 4.51 e

Was originally a wide receiver and moved to corner three games into his sophomore year and has flourished. Has size and length and tried to be physical. Plays the ball well and will support the run. If he runs well at his Pro Day, he has a chance to get drafted late.

BRAD WATSON WAKE FOREST

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 1/4 | WT: 192 | 40-YARD: 4.58 e

Solid zone and off corner. Has awareness and is good in run support but lacks the deep speed to stay with speedy wide receivers. Well coached and fundamentally sound. Might be better off at safety.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Marlon Humphrey) is physical and will run real fast but I don’t trust his ball skills.”

“I really like (Rasul Douglas), he can start for us right away.”

• “(Sidney Jones’s) cov-

er skills are as good as any corner in the draft, but he has to become more physical and tackle better.”

• “For my money, (Quincy

Wilson) is the best corner in the draft. His all-around game is tough to beat.”

• “(Channing Stribling) is

CHANNING STRIBLING

small and he doesn’t have speed, but he has the best ball skills of any corner in the draft.”

•“Is it just me or do the

corners coming out of school get better every year? There are at least five and maybe as many as seven in this group that I could see going in the first round.”

“Jourdan Lewis is a football player. My boss told me he didn’t have enough speed to make up for his lack of size and I said let’s look at a little more tape together. When we were done he asked me when Michigan’s Pro Day is and told me not to miss it. Forget his size, the kid can cover.”

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 85


T POSITION GRADE

his position has been the opposite of cornerback, as top prospects have been few and far between in recent seasons. Karl Joseph and Keanu Neal were the only firstround safeties last year and 2015 had none. 2014 had four first-rounders, but only Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor have become solid starters. There were three first-round safeties in 2013 and none in 2012. The last great safety class was 2010 with Eric Berry at No. 5, Earl Thomas at 14 and T.J. Ward at 38 ... until now. Much like we said about this year’s tight ends, this group is not only loaded, it might be one of the best

A

1 HOOKER MALIK

OHIO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-1 3/4 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.2

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2014 (Redshirted) 2015 13/0 10 0 0 0 0 0 2016 13/13 74 11 7 181 0 0 TOT 26/13 84 11 7 181 0 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2PEPPERS JABRILL

MICHIGAN

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 3/4 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

7.0

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2014 3/1 8 0 0 0 0 0 2015 12/12 45 10 0 0 0 0 2016 12/12 72 0 1 11 1 0 TOT 27/25 125 10 1 11 1 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

crops of safeties all-time as far as projectability. Redshirt sophomores Jabrill Peppers and Malik Hooker and junior Jamal Adams are all potential top-10 picks, and how the experts rank them is a matter of taste. There is also outstanding depth at safety this year. While there is a drop-off from the top three, there are a few Day Two picks in Marcus Maye, Justin MALIK HOOKER Evans, Eddie Jackson and Budda Baker. Baker in particular could go higher based on his production, but he is under-sized at 5-10 and under 195. Safety has become a hot position thanks to players like Berry, Thomas and Landon Collins, who the Giants found in the second round in 2015, so we expect this big three to be over-drafted.

STRONG POINTS • Very good size. Great athlete with speed, strength, explosiveness and body control. Good to real good instincts. Great range to the sideline coming from the middle of the field. Excellent ball reactions and hands. Quick to react to the run with good hitting ability and a consistent tackler. Keeps plays in front of him. Excellent awareness in zone. WEAK POINTS • Never see him in man coverage. Can get out of control at times and overrun a play. Only a one-year starter and has two years of eligibility left. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year sophomore. Has only been playing football for five years. Has size and speed to go along with natural instincts and ball skills. Free safety with range and awareness. Shows he can be a big hitter but don’t consistently see it. Very aware in zone coverage, keeps plays in front of him and makes plays at the sideline. Solid runsupport player and tackler. The arrow is still going up with this player. He isn’t close to reaching his potential as he is still learning the game. Has future All-Pro written all over him. Will be a high first-round pick and most likely the first safety selected. STRONG POINTS • Jack of all trades, has experience at CB, S, LB, RB, WR and KR. Great athlete with speed, body control and explosiveness. Makes plays. Very instinctive. Can play multiple positions at the next level. Excellent tackler in the open field. Showed in 2015 that he can play aggressive press coverage. Transitions quickly. Reacts well to the ball in the air. Has NFL kick returner talent. WEAK POINTS • Only one career interception is a concern, but he has shown he has good hands and ball reactions. Doesn’t have the size to play linebacker at the NFL level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A unique player. We don’t see players like this very often. Has the suddenness to play corner in the NFL, but will most likely be either a strong safety or a hybrid linebacker depending on the scheme of the team that drafts him. Can be a team’s No. 1 returner as well as a starting positional player. Will make an impact as a rookie but at what position? Has the talent and skill set to be a possible top-five selection and a probable top-10 pick.

86 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


SAFETIES

3ADAMS JAMAL

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size, speed, strength and overall athleticism for the position. Can line up and play man coverage on a slot receiver. Excellent awareness and anticipation in zone coverage. Has corner movement skills with excellent hips, a smooth turn and he can transition very well. Very good in run support and a good tackler. Plays the ball well and has good hands to make interceptions. Good cover guy on special teams.

LSU

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 4.48 e

WEAK POINTS • Junior coming out. A good hitter, but not a real banger.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.9

RD 1

2014 13/2 66 5 0 0 0 0 6 4 30 1 1 2015 12/12 67 2016 12/12 76 4 1 0 1 0 TOT 37/26 127 15 5 30 2 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A two-year starter who is entering the draft. One of the better safeties in the country. Has excellent size, speed and atheticism and has corner-like cover skills. Will often line up on a slot receiver and does a great job staying with the receiver. He is a very willing run-support player who is quick to react to the run, can shed blocks and make plays near the line of scrimmage. Can tackle in tight or in space. Plays on special teams and is a good cover guy. Overall, a talented size-speed player who has the skill set to become one of the more productive safeties in the league once he gets adjusted. Just needs to become a little more physical.

4WILLIAMS

STRONG POINTS • Good safety size. Very good athlete, smooth and fluid. Has good hips and can turn and run. Very aware in coverage with top instincts and ball awareness. Plays the ball very well and has good hands. Good tackler in the open field.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

MARCUS

UTAH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 197 e | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Not a big hitter and needs to improve his run-support skills. Will miss some tackles when he doesn’t wrap and doesn’t consistently take good angles to the ball in the run game. Needs to add some bulk and strength.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2014 13/6 59 0 1 6 2 2015 13/13 66 5 5 88 0 2016 11/9 64 3 4 20 2 TOT 37/28 189 8 10 114 4 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

0 1 2 3

5BAKER BUDDA

WASHINGTON

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2014 14/14 80 7 1 44 2 0 2015 12/12 49 9 2 0 0 0 2016 14/14 71 6 2 18 1 0 TOT 40/40 200 22 5 62 3 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • True junior entering the draft. He has been a starter since midway through his freshman year. Tall and rangy guy with cover skills and ball skills. Has nine interceptions over the past two seasons. Can roam the field as a free safety and make plays on the ball. As good as he is in coverage, he needs to get a little bigger and stronger and become more of a force versus the run. Waits for plays to come to him instead of attacking and he is not a big hitter. His coverage and ball skills will get him on the field early but he needs to become more aggressive to stay there. STRONG POINTS • Competitive and tough. Plays bigger than size. Has great instincts and reactions and is around the ball. Very aware in zone coverage. Has adequate range. Good ball reactions and very good hands for interceptions. Team’s leading tackler with 71 total tackles including 10 for loss in 2016. Despite his size, he does a good job taking on blocks and tackling and tries to play a physical game. WEAK POINTS • Might not measure 5-foot-10 at the Combine. Doubt he can get much bigger. Lack of top long speed shows up on some plays. Will lose some jump balls to bigger receivers. Seems to have shorter arms and that causes him to miss some tackles. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Three-year starter. Lacks good size but this is a tough, competitive kid with very good instincts. He puts himself in position to make plays. In sub situations, he lines up more as a linebacker and makes a number of plays. He can be physical and he attacks. Don’t see him a lot in man but he is a good zone player with adequate range. Size and his lack of long speed hurts him at times, especially in deep coverage. Because of his instincts, awareness and competitive nature, he has a chance to be an eventual starter, but his size will always limit him in some situations.

6EVANS

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Very good athlete with very good speed, change of direction and overall body control. Has a smooth turn and is quick to transition. Good man cover skills for a safety. Alert in zone. Very good ball skills. Returns kickoffs.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 193 | 40: 4.46 e

WEAK POINTS • Not a very physical player. Lacks upper body strength. Misses a lot of tackles. Doesn’t always take good pursuit angles. Struggles to shed blocks.

JUSTIN

TEXAS A&M

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2013 (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) 2014 (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) 2015 12/12 78 4 1 0 0 0 2016 13/13 87 12 4 0 0 0 TOT 25/25 165 16 5 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Junior college transfer and a two-year starter for Texas A&M at safety. Evans is tall with great length but he has a lean upper body and needs to improve his upper body strength and bulk. Is alert in coverage, can play man on a slot receiver and keeps plays in front of him in zone. His ball reactions and ball skills are very good. Credited with a high number of tackles, but he is not a physical player. Can be slow to shed and is more of a grab tackler. Has a lot of missed tackles. Kickoff-return skills are good to very good. Will need to get stronger and more physical before he becomes a starter in the NFL. The coverage skills and athletic traits are there. Might get drafted higher than my grade. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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SAFETIES

7JENKINS RAYSHAWN

STRONG POINTS • Super-sized safety with athleticism and speed. Big hitter, can tackle in tight or in the open field. Has range to the sideline. Good instincts. Has good ball skills. Can break on the ball quickly. Alert zone coverage guy.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-11/4 | WT: 220 | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Often will line up 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, leaving him with too much cushion on underneath routes. So aggressive he gets out of control at times and misses tackles. Don’t see much in man coverage.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2012 10/2 19 3 1 0 0 0 5 3 22 0 1 2013 13/12 30 2014 (missed season with injury) 2015 13/7 30 4 3 40 0 0 2016 13/12 56 7 2 0 0 0 TOT 49/33 135 19 9 62 0 1

8MAYE MARCUS

FLORIDA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 4.50 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2013 12/2 16 2014 11/9 62 2015 13/12 82 2016 9/9 50 TOT 45/32 210

1 6 8 6 21

1 1 2 1 5

30 0 1 2 0 5 6 0 37 7

0 0 2 0 2

9MELIFONWU OBI

CONNECTICUT

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 | WT: 219 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2013 12/12 70 5 2 15 2 0 3 0 0 0 1 2014 11/12 75 2015 13/12 85 5 2 16 0 0 2016 12/12 118 3 4 6 0 1 TOT 48/48 348 16 8 37 2 2

10JOHNSON JOHN

BOSTON COLLEGE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 5/8 | WT: 205 | 40: 4.52 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2013 12/0 4 0 0 0 0 1 2014 8/2 25 2 0 0 0 0 2015 12/12 63 6 3 0 2 0 2016 13/13 77 12 3 47 1 2 TOT 45/27 169 20 6 47 3 3

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Jenkins is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. He missed the 2014 season with an injury suffered in preseason. Has great size and is a very aggressive run-support player. Plays well in zone, showing anticipation and range. Reacts well to the ball in the air and has good hands. His best position at the next level is at strong safety, though he can play free. With his size, he might also get a look at the nickel linebacker position. He would be very good with matchups against tight ends and backs. Has outstanding special-teams potential. STRONG POINTS • Has very good safety size. Good athlete with speed and range. Good in coverage. Alert in zone and can play man on a slot receiver or tight end. Good reactions, quick to support run and a good tackler. Reacts well to the ball in the air. Good special-teams potential. WEAK POINTS • Broke his arm and missed the last four games of the year. Only has five career interceptions. Good but not great play speed for the position. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A three-year starter and the leader of one of the better secondaries in the country. Has good safety size and can play an aggressive game. Has adequate speed and range and tracks the ball well. Stays alert in coverage whether it is in man or zone. Doesn’t let plays get behind him. Does a solid job in run support, can shed and tackle. Overall, I see him as being more of a strong safety but he should also be able to play free. Wish he had more interception production over the course of his career. Eventual starter for a playoff-caliber club and can start right away for a team with a need. STRONG POINTS • Rare size for a safety. Very good athlete, smooth, loose hips. Real good play speed. Aggressive hitter. Reacts well to both run and pass. Can play man on slot receivers. Good awareness in zone. Has range to the sideline from the hash or center of field. Ball skills are improving. WEAK POINTS • Looking at tape, as an underclassman he wasn’t very good in man coverage. Still needs some work on his footwork. Hands are a little tight. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Melifonwu is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at safety. Has improved every year especially in the area of ball skills. Has great size and is a very good athlete with speed. Will be able to match up well against the athletic tight ends and tall wide receivers in the league. May also be able to play a hybrid linebacker position. The arrow is going up with this player, as he is just beginning to reach his potential. He is a big hitter and his coverage skills keep improving. Interesting guy to track this spring.

STRONG POINTS • Has starting experience at three different positions (strong and free safety, corner). Good size. Smooth athlete with better than adequate speed. Can play man or zone, has awareness, can close and has very good ball skills. Very good on special teams. WEAK POINTS • Been moved around a lot and hasn’t been able to lock in on one position. How fast is he? Might not have the speed needed to play corner at the NFL level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Johnson is a versatile and underrated prospect. Has started at three different positions and done well at each. He is also a very good cover guy on special teams. Johnson has the size and instincts to excel at free safety in the NFL. Could also be a good corner if he times fast enough. His versatility will get him on the field early. I see him as an eventual starter at safety and while he is developing, he will be a core special-teams player. Very good mid-round pick.

88 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


SAFETIES

11NICHOLSON MONTAE

STRONG POINTS • Has excellent size to go with good to real good athleticism. He is strong and a big-time hitter. Has very good range. Shows he can play in zone. Doesn’t play much man but has the skills to easily cover a tight end or a back.

MICHIGAN STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.57 e

WEAK POINTS • While he is a big-time hitter, he misses tackles because he gets out of control or doesn’t wrap up. More of a reactor in coverage than instinctive, can be late seeing things.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2014 13/3 31 0 0 0 0 2 3 60 1 2015 14/10 83 2016 11/10 86 2 1 10 0 TOT 38/23 200 4 5 70 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2 0 1 3

12JACKSON EDDIE

STRONG POINTS • Good height and excellent length. Very good athlete who can turn and run and transition. Better than adequate speed for a safety. Has some man cover skills and good awareness in zone. Solid hands. Willing run-support player. Returns punts. Smart and instinctive, reads things well.

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.53 e

WEAK POINTS • Has had two major injuries: a torn ACL suffered in April 2014 and a broken leg in 2016 (Game Eight). Not the banger some past Alabama safeties have been. Played corner early in his career and couldn’t hold up as a top cover guy. Is an average tackler.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5 RD 4-5*

* — Depends on the medical

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2013 7/4 19 2014 11/10 41 2015 15/15 46 2016 8/8 24 TOT 41/37 130

3 6 2 2 13

1 0 0 1 18 2 6 230 1 1 55 0 9 303 3

1 1 1 0 3

13HARVEY-CLEMONS JOSH

LOUISVILLE

WEAK POINTS • Originally enrolled at Georgia and played there for two years before being dismissed from the team. Had multiple rules violations and suspensions. Doesn’t show top instincts in coverage and can take some poor angles to the ball. No interceptions in 2016.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2012* 14/0 14 1 0 0 2013* 11/11 66 5 1 18 2015 13/13 88 3 3 7 2016 10/10 61 2 0 0 TOT 48/34 229 10 4 25 * — Played at Georgia

0 2 1 0 3

0 3 0 0 3

14JEROME LORENZO

ST. FRANCIS (PA.)

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/2 | WT: 202 | 40: 4.52 e GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2013 11/0 56 2014 11/11 79 2015 10/10 58 2016 10/10 59 TOT 42/31 252

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has to get by the medical people. A smart safety who can line everyone up and play smart. Has to be a free safety. Shows range to the sideline in zone and takes good angles. Can cover backs and tight ends in man. Not a top run-support guy and not a big hitter, but he gets the job done. An eventual starter at free safety. He’s serviceable but not special. STRONG POINTS • Height and length. Flashes big-hitting ability. Good ability to take on and shed blocks. Consistent tackler. Has frame to carry about 235-240 without losing speed. Good to very good athlete with speed and range. Shows ability to play zone coverage.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/8 e | WT: 229 e | 40: 4.59 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A talented kid who may have been better off had he stayed in school. Great size and athleticism but he lacks top instincts. He is more of a reactor type. Has the skill set to be good in man vs tight ends and running backs, we just don’t see it that often. More of a developmental prospect and some teams might look at him as a hybrid linebacker with his growth potential, speed and athleticism. Play him down low and he can be a force because he will hit. While he is learning, he will be excellent on special teams.

10 6 144 1 0 16 3 80 1 0 10 3 115 0 0 11 6 57 0 1 47 18 396 2 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Harvey-Clemons does not have the overall coverage skills to be a deep safety in the NFL. Will be best if used as a hybrid linebacker type. He is better in zone coverage than he is in man. Lacks top awareness and can take poor angles to the ball. He is aggressive and a good tackler. See him as a backup with good special-teams potential if his character checks out all right. STRONG POINTS • Dominates a very low level of competition. Has good size with some length. Good to very good athlete with speed. Has a quick pedal and can turn smoothly. Moves out of pedal quickly. Excellent ball skills (18 career interceptions). Instinctive in both coverage and run support. Good hitter. Very good kick returner. WEAK POINTS • Plays at a very low level of competition (non-scholarship FCS). While he is a good hitter, he needs to wrap better. Needs a lot of technique work. Gets away with things at FCS level that he won’t be able to in the NFL. Needs to be more disciplined. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Four-year starter at a low level, non-scholarship FCS school. Has adequate size to go along with good play speed and athleticism. Is alert in coverage and has excellent ball skills. He also is a dynamic kickoff returner. He is a very raw player with talent and upside. It will take him a couple of years to get adjusted to the speed and talent of the NFL game. Will be good on special teams while he develops. Potential starter down the road if he develops as expected. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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SAFETIES

15WOODS XAVIER

STRONG POINTS • Good skills to key and diagnose plays from the offense. Willing player in run support who can tackle. Plays well in zone and has good ball reactions and hands. Ranked first in Conference USA and 13th in the nation this past season with five interceptions and finished his collegiate career tied for fourth in FBS among active career leaders with 14 picks.

LOUISIANA TECH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 3/4 | WT: 203 | 40: 4.60 e

WEAK POINTS • Marginal size. Speed and overall range. Gets matched up in man-toman too often and he doesn’t have the speed or suddenness to mirror receivers. Will take poor angles at times.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS TKL PBU INT YDS FF FR

2013 12/10 61 2014 14/14 71 2015 11/11 56 2016 11/11 89 TOT 48/46 277

2 7 3 6 18

0 0 0 6 230 3 3 50 2 5 45 0 14 325 5

0 0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Three-year starter with 14 career interceptions but limited skills. Needs to be in a zone-type scheme because he will struggle in man on wide receivers. Will match up better vs. tight ends but he lacks ideal height. Overall, I see him as a backup who can be productive on special teams. Needs to time well at the Scouting Combine.

BEST OF THE REST NATE GERRY NEBRASKA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 7/8 | WT: 214 | 40-YARD: 4.55 e

Big, tough and strong. Disciplined player with instincts. Aggressive run-support guy and a good tackler in a close area. Has some tightness in his hips and that hurts him in coverage and with his open-field tackling. Will have trouble playing man at the NFL level.

FISH SMITHSON KANSAS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 1/8 | WT: 197 | 40-YARD: 4.57 e

Undersized but productive (92 tackles, four inter­ceptions). Reacts quickly and has aware­ ness in coverage. Can play man on some slot receivers. Lacks top traits, but he is just a good football player. Possible late-round selection.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“Some say (Jabrill Peppers) has poor ball skills. Are they nuts? Have you seen the way he adjusts to passes and punts? He catches the ball very cleanly.” “I never heard of St. Francis before. It’s out in the middle of nowhere but a great stop because this kid (Lorenzo Jerome) can play.” “I sure hope (Malik Hooker’s) surgeries went well because he is the best safety in the last 10 years. Maybe he’ll

• •

JAMAL CARTER MIAMI [FLA.]

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 5/8 | WT: 214 | 40-YARD: 4.52 e

Highly-recruited, but only a role player his first three years at Miami. Came on in 2016 with 85 tackles but no interceptions. He’s got size and physicality but he can be slow reacting. Will be a backup who is limited to a special-teams role.

DELANO HILL MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 5/8 | WT: 207 | 40-YARD: 4.60 e

Has size and he will hit. More of a box safety who may also have a role as a hybrid linebacker if he can get to 220. Physical but limited coverage skills to play deep.

TEDRIC THOMPSON COLORADO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 3/4 | WT: 211 | 40-YARD: 4.55 e

Has some coverage skills but is limited in run support. Lacks top strength to shed and tackle in close. Has range and adequate ball skills in coverage. Could very well be a lateround selection.

LORENZO JEROME

90 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

fall to us now!”

“I hope everybody keeps arguing over (Jabrill) Peppers and (Malik) Hooker because I think Jamal Adams is the safest bet I’ve seen since (Eric) Berry came out. If Adams falls to us I could end up with a bonus and a raise.”

“You know it’s funny, as much as I love the big three, if Budda Baker was two inches taller and 15 pounds heavier he’d absolutely be the consensus top safety. Unfortunately he isn’t but I’ll still beg my guys to take him if he’s there when we come up in the second round.”


ON

THE SAFETIES

GAME CHANGERS

Undervalued for years, safety is making a comeback thanks to this year’s talented crop By KEVIN FISHBAIN

F

ollow the money and the premium draft picks, and safety is the least important position on a defense. It’s also the position that teams are desperately looking to fill with a game-changer, and the position that is one of the strongest in the 2017 NFL Draft. We haven’t seen a safety taken in the top 10 in the draft since Mark Barron in 2012, and he’s now a linebacker. The last safety to go in the top five? Eric Berry in 2010, and we know what he’s accomplished in his NFL career. Other top-10 choices like LaRon Landry or Michael Huff might keep teams from reaching for a safety. But look at what Keanu Neal meant to the NFC Champion Falcons, or how important Landon Collins was to the Giants’ defense last season. It’s apparent why LSU’s Jamal Adams, Ohio State’s Malik Hooker and Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers will be getting just as much, if not more, attention in the coming weeks as the draft’s cornerbacks and edge rushers, the sexy and rich defensive positions.

•••

Malik Hooker played only two seasons of high school football, then one as a starter in college, but it was remarkable. Hooker was a first-team All-American for the Buckeyes in 2016, intercepting seven passes while also racking up 5.5 tackles for loss. “He’s got freaky ability,” Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano told PFW. “Great range. He’s one of the best I’ve ever coached. Incredible ball skills. He really has incredible hands and ability to catch the ball. When the ball is in the air, he believes it’s his, and then he goes and gets it. Once the

ball is in his hands, he’s an incredible ball-carrier.” Hooker reportedly underwent surgeries to repair a torn labrum and a hernia in late January that will prevent him from participating in the NFL Scouting Combine, but think about this: he put up those numbers in 2016 playing through those injuries. Jamal Adams was an All-American for LSU as a true junior. He leaves Baton Rouge with five career interceptions, 17.5 tackles for loss and 15 pass breakups. “We all feel that Jamal will not only be an excellent NFL player, we feel that he has All-Pro capabilities and perhaps could be a Hall of Famer one day,” LSU coach Ed Orgeron told reporters about Adams after the season, when the safety declared for the draft. Those two join Peppers, the versatile and electric athlete, to give the draft three blue-chip safeties and back-end game-changers.

•••

Schiano, who spent five years as an NFL coach including two as a head coach for the Buccaneers, explained why we see such fluctuation at the position in terms of the draft. Last year’s first-round safeties, Neal and Karl Joseph, were considered reach picks by some analysts. No safety went in the first round in 2015, and none went in the first 17 picks the previous two seasons. “I think you can get away with a good player at safety and not a great player. But when you have a guy like an Ed Reed, if he’s that outstanding, he can really change a game,” Schiano said. “But if he’s not that outstanding, incrementally I don’t think it’s as big a jump from a good player to a great player.” As for the player he coached last

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season, Hooker, Schiano believes some team is going to get that “great” player at the safety position. “I put Malik in that class of rare, rare ability in his range,” he said. “When you’re a free safety, a deep safety, range is everything. ... That’s where he’s unique.” Finding a player who can range from sideline to sideline can be a “lifesaver, both in the run game and the pass game,” Schiano said. With the increased passing in the NFL game to go along with the Rob Gronkowskis and Travis Kelces running down the middle of the field, finding that rare safety can change a defense. That’s why the position has evolved over the years. “Nowadays, you have big tight ends who can run, so they’re pretty much like a receiver in a tight end’s body. A safety has to do more than just tackle,” Bears assistant defensive backs coach Roy Anderson said. “They have to be able to cover guys and get guys lined up, so you want smart guys who are good in football situations. Just have to have the total package, but it’s changed how offenses have evolved.” Texas A&M’s Justin Evans is in the second tier of safeties in this impressive group. With four interceptions last season, Evans hopes to be that ball-hawking cover safety that teams hope to find every spring. “Offenses these days throw the ball 50, 60 times a game, I feel like it’s just as important as playing quarterback on offense, a safety roaming, playing free safety is just like a quarterback,” Evans said. “I feel like it’s really important for a defense.” UConn’s Obi Melifonwu is going to intrigue teams with his 6-foot-4 frame to go along with the ability to run with big receivers and tight ends. “I think I can be very good at the next level, especially with my versatili-


JABRILL PEPPERS

JAMAL ADAMS

MALIK HOOKER ty and the amount of receivers that are getting taller, the tight ends that are getting taller, I could definitely be an asset to every team,” he told reporters at the Senior Bowl. Anderson, who coached in the Senior Bowl, said it’s important for safeties in 2017 to show traits that are usually associated with cornerbacks. “You want to see guys who can back pedal, turn their hips and guys who can play the ball downfield,” Anderson said. “A lot of times you see guys who don’t judge the ball downfield, but you want guys who can attack the ball, high-point it and make plays on the ball.”

•••

When Schiano talks about Reed and those elite safeties, the type of player he believes Hooker can be, he’s discussing the most instinctive players on the defense. No position on ‘D’ relies on instincts like safety. Players have to read the quarterback to make a play on the ball. Anderson said during the pre-draft process, especially in an All-Star game setting like the Senior Bowl, coaches can see how draft prospects react to unique situations. “A new play they haven’t seen, how do they adjust? Can they be the quarterback on the field and get guys lined

up? If you see guys doing that,” Anderson said, “then you know, ‘Hey, this guy’s a football player.’” Schiano is confident that whichever team selects Hooker will find those important instincts. “He really has great spatial relations,” Schiano said. “You can coach a guy until you’re blue in the face, but to get him to understand when the quarterback is looking at a certain area and the receivers running, to get him to connect the dots and understand where that interception point is going to be, that’s not easy. That to me is instincts. Malik’s really blessed in that. That’s one of his strengths. He can really put together the pieces in his mind almost subconsciously and get in the right spot.” Evans prides himself on instincts and having a strong football IQ to try and predict what the offense is going to do next. “It’s a God-given talent. It’s natural ability, really,” he said. “I don’t think you can really teach instincts. You can teach technique and to see something a little quicker, but instinct-wise, I feel like it’s just natural.”

•••

Evans isn’t expected to be a firstround pick, let alone a top-10 or even

top-five selection like Adams or Hooker, but he has the same goals as the other highly touted players at his position. “We’re all trying to do the same thing,” he said. “They got them in the top five, so I’m trying to be just as good as them if not better. We’re all trying to be better than each other.” Hooker’s medical evaluation may help boost Adams to be the top safety taken, and Adams’ combination of size, speed, strength and athleticism will be valued highly in the center field of any secondary. Other early-round safeties include Washington’s Budda Baker, Utah’s Marcus Williams, Florida’s Marcus Maye and Alabama’s Eddie Jackson. Teams can certainly find Pro Bowl safeties in the later rounds, but this is the draft to find that potentially franchise-boosting player to patrol the back end for years to come, and for Schiano’s money, that player can be Hooker. “As good as he played, his best football is ahead of him just because he hasn’t played a ton,” Schiano said. “I think he’s going to get better and what he did this year was outstanding. He’s going to make somebody really happy.”

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L POSITION GRADE

ast season was big for special teamers, as the Bucs clearly over-reached when they drafted placekicker Roberto Aguayo in the second round. That might cause some teams to be more cautious this year, while some clubs will become more aggressive at the return position in search of the next Tyreek Hill. In 2015, 49ers punter Bradley Pinion was the only special-teamer drafted. On average, there are rarely more than four or five picks used on special-

D+

PKGONZALEZ ZANE

teams players. Punters are more likely to get drafted while teams find more of their placekickers as priority free agents, and returners are either position players or specialists usually brought in as undrafted free agents as well. Prior to 2016, the most recent time a special-teams player was drafted as high as the second round was 2005, when the Jets drafted placekickZANE GONZALEZ er Mike Nugent at 47. If a special-teams player is drafted this year, Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez is likely to be the first player off the board.

ARIZONA STATE

STRONG POINTS • Two-step kicker, gets the ball off quickly. Accurate. Very good with kickoffs. 75 percent of kickoffs went for touchbacks. Made 7-of-9 kicks over 50 yards in 2016.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 1/2 | WT: 201

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t get a lot of height on his kicks.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

14 12 13 12 51

FGM

25 22 26 23 96

FGA

LG

30 27 34 25 116

44 63 63 49 50 52 48 52 52 59 39 40 59 204 207

XPM

XPA

PBAKER TOBY

STRONG POINTS • Strong leg. Quick get off. Can directional kick and put the ball inside the 20. Good net average.

ARKANSAS

WEAK POINTS • Numbers in 2015 weren’t close to what they were in 2016.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 207 GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.3 RD 7-FA

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP PUNTS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • With the perception among some scouts and front-office execs that Robert Aguayo was over-drafted last year, it will be interesting to see how it affects this year’s crop of kickers. It is relevant because some think Gonzalez is a better prospect, but I don’t see him going as high as Aguayo. Gonzalez has been a very accurate kicker throughout his career. Missed only two attempts in 2016. Only three missed PATs for his career. Strong leg on kickoffs with a better than 75 percent touchback rate. Gonzalez is easily the top-rated special teamer in this draft and some scouts claim he is the best kicker they have evaluated.

YDS

AVG

LG

IN20 BLK

2013 (Did not see action) 2014 2 1 36 36.0 36 0 2015 13 43 1,772 41.2 52 23 2016 11 57 2,532 44.4 60 22 TOT 26 101 4,340 43.0 60 45

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has been the Arkansas punter the past two seasons. Improved his average punting by 3.2 yards from 2015 to 2016. His long is 60 yards. He had a total of 21 punts over 50 yards this year and had 22 punts land inside the 20. He also had three touchbacks. 24 of his punts were fair caught. His net was over 41 yards. Baker will benefit from his ability to directional kick, which has basically become a required skill to make an NFL club. Whether that’s enough remains to be seen. His big leg and high percentages of fair catches and punts inside the 20 will help. He obviously has the leg strength. Has a chance to make it, questionable if he gets drafted.

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SPECIAL

TEAMS

PKELLIOTT JAKE

STRONG POINTS • Has not missed a PAT in his career (202-of-202). Kicks have a quick rise.

MEMPHIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-9 1/4 | WT: 166

WEAK POINTS • Two-and-a-half step kicker. Kickoffs aren’t where they need to be (63.7-yard average for career). Lacks a great leg. Inconsistent with FG accuracy, as he has made just 81.4 percent the past two years.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.3

FA

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12 13 13 13 51

FGM

FGA

LG

16 18 21 32 23 28 21 26 81 104

XPM

XPA

56 24 24 54 57 57 53 63 63 50 58 58 56 202 202

P/PKREHKOW AUSTIN

STRONG POINTS • Does all the kicking for Idaho: punting, kickoffs and field goals. Accurate with FGs in 2016, making 26-of-29 attempts. Had 46 percent of his punts land inside the 20.

IDAHO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-25/8 | WT: 205

WEAK POINTS • Kicks at altitude. Punt average was only 41.6 yards last season. Doesn’t have the leg strength to handle place-kicking duties in the NFL. Snap to toe can be improved.

GRADE RATING PROJECTION

C

6.3

FA

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP

P

AVG

LG

12 75 47.8 65 11 44 47.8 73 12 56 45.7 65 13 56 41.6 60 48 224 45.8 73

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Not a sure shot to make it, as he has inconsistent accuracy and may not have an NFL leg. Kickoffs lack the range special-teams coaches want, and 77.9 career percent on field goals is a low number for an NFL kicker. Elliott has converted field goals from 50 yards or longer in each of his four seasons at Memphis, and hitting from 54 and 56 yards definitely caught the eyes of some scouts. Elliott should also benefit from his week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl; all 32 teams know who he is. Will get in a camp, then it’s up to him.

FGM FGA

LG

10 11 23 26 70

41 47 48 50 50

17 19 27 29 92

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Versatile in that he can handle all kicking duties, but reality is he doesn’t have an NFL leg for place-kicking duties. Can be a reliable fillin if the regular kicker is injured. His best chance is as a punter. Gets good hang time but needs a bit more distance. Rehkow looks the part and his chances may rely largely on how many scouts knock him for kicking in the thin air in college. Most likely a free agent with a chance in the right situation.

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TEAM

PROFILE

Kindred had 44 tackles and five passes defensed but zero takeaways. This is not a position the Browns have invested much in over the years, at least since using a second-round pick on T.J. Ward in 2010.

DRAFT SLOT

#

W

1

here do we begin? The Browns have four wins in their past two seasons and have not made the playoffs since 2002, starting a litany of quarterbacks in that time span. The new front office is more analytical and they are flush with draft picks for the third year in a row. The staff will be busy looking for talent, but it starts at the most important position on the field, like most drafts do for the Cleveland franchise known for its futility over the past two decades.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lQB

Robert Griffin III cer­ tain­ ly isn’t the longterm answer. Cody Kessler showed some flashes, but the Browns can do better here and add some competition, maybe – just maybe – finally finding the solution at a position that has been the biggest issue for the franchise since Bernie Kosar was under center in the late 1980s. Of the four quarterbacks drafted by the Browns in the first round in their expansion era – Tim Couch (1999), Brady Quinn (2007), Brandon Weeden (2012), and Johnny Manziel (2014), – the first, Couch, is by

4lOG ROBERT GRIFFIN III

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 19 PASSING 28 SCORING 31 TOTAL 30

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

31 21 30 31

far the best. And that speaks volumes.

2lRB

Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson are nice players, but neither is a blue-chip, lead back. Even though both players averaged nearly 5.0 yards per carry, the Browns could definitely seek an upgrade here in a draft that is top-heavy with running back talent. Cleveland hasn’t had a 1,000-yard rusher since Peyton Hillis in 2010.

3lS

The Browns have some nice players at corner, but the safety position lacks playmakers. 2015 fourth-rounder Ibraheim Campbell had only 43 tackles and zero passes defensed, while 2016 fourth-round pick Derrick

With solid play at the tackle spots, the Browns could definitely upgrade their interior O-line, or at a bare minimum add some competition at the guard spot where they currently have Joel Bitonio, John Greco and Spencer Drango. Better interior linemen would certainly help the pass protection for the future quarterback and running back in what should be a revamped Browns backfield.

5lEDGE

It’s important to note that need doesn’t always match who a team drafts. The Browns may not “need” an edge rusher, but with the top pick in the draft, they may grab one to help a front seven that includes recent draft picks Danny Shelton, Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Nassib, Nate Orchard and then former Patriot Jamie Collins. Getting an edge rusher to complement Collins would be huge for the pass rush.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

CB

There’s no position on the field that the Browns couldn’t upgrade or add depth to, but they do have Joe Haden, Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun at corner, a solid trio at an important position.

• BROWNS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 7

PK

15 32 65 76 93 99 114 129 138 154 168 172 173 250

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Corey Coleman Emmanuel Ogbah Carl Nassib Shon Coleman Cody Kessler Joe Schobert Ricardo Louis Derrick Kindred Seth Devalve Jordan Payton Spencer Drango Rashard Higgins Trey Caldwell Scooby Wright III

WR DE DE OT QB OLB WR S WR WR OT WR CB ILB

Baylor Oklahoma State Penn State Auburn USC Wisconsin Auburn TCU Princeton UCLA Baylor Colorado State Louisiana-Monroe Arizona

Hand injury limited him; 413 receiving yards, 3 TDs. 16-game starter had 5.5 sacks, 53 tackles, 3 PDs. Needs more time to develop; 2.5 sacks, 4 PDs. Played sparingly at one of team’s deepest positions. Threw 6 TDs, 2 INTs and had a rating of 92.3. Had 28 tackles, a half sack and one pass defensed. Caught 18 passes for 205 yards. Led Browns safeties with 46 tackles, five PDs. Caught 10 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. One reception. Suspended four games for PEDs Started at left guard for the Browns down the stretch. Had 6 catches for 77 yards. Spent most of the season on the practice squad. Waived and signed with the Cardinals.

GP/GS

10/10 16/16 14/3 7/0 9/8 16/4 16/3 12/5 12/2 4/0 16/9 16/0 1/0 3/0

Plenty of contributions from this class, but is there a difference-making player for the long-term?

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EMMANUEL OGBAH


TEAM

PROFILE

Achilles in Week Four, the Niners’ defense pretty much completely fell apart, especially against the run. Fellow starting ILB Gerald Hodges is an unrestricted free agent, as is backup/former starter Michael Wilhoite.

DRAFT SLOT

#

F

2

acing a major makeover with their fourth head coach in four years and a new general manager, the Niners need a ton of help on both sides of the ball at every position after matching the worst record in franchise history (2-14) with an offense that seldom clicked under QBs Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, and a pathetic defense that set marks for most points, yards and rushing yards allowed in a single season. But a quality quarterback they could rebuild around would probably best fill the bill with this year’s second overall pick.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lQB

North Carolina QB Mitch Traubisky and Washington QB Kirk Cousins have both been widely rumored as possible options for a team in dire need of a true leader under center with both brains and plenty of brawn. At the very least, the Niners will probably need some warm bodies with Kaepernick likely to opt out of his contract, and backups Gabbert, Christian Ponder and Thaddeus Lewis all becoming unrestricted free agents.

4lOL

Pick your position. At tackle, the right side is an absolute mess. At center, both Daniel Kilgore, who was the best performer on the line before getting hurt, and backup Marcus Martin ended up on injured reserve. At guard, the left side is in particular need of help.

COLIN KAEPERNICK

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 4 RUSHING PASSING 32 PASSING SCORING 37 SCORING TOTAL 31 TOTAL

32 14 32 32

5lWR

2lOLB

After procuring what would hopefully become their key building block on offense, a defensive counterpart in the form of an impact pass-rusher off the edge should be next on the Niners’ to-do list. Their co-leaders in sacks in 2016 were rookie DeForest Buckner and veteran OLB Ahmad Brooks with only six each. A few defenders capable of registering double digits in both sacks and tackles for loss are badly needed.

3lILB

After veteran ILB NaVorro Bowman, the team’s top defender by far, suffered a season-ending torn left

A consistent bigplay target on the perimeter is another glaring need. Just about every wideout on last year’s team either is an unrestricted free agent (Rod Streater, Jeremy Kerley) or finished the season on injured reserve (Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington, Eric Rogers).

AREA OF LEAST NEED

TE

Finding one on this team is a tough task indeed, but a decent case can be made for tight end, where Vance McDonald made a strong impression before being placed on injured reserve with a season-ending shoulder injury suffered in the Week 14 game vs. the Jets. Two days before that game, the Niners showed what they thought of McDonald by signing him to a fiveyear extension.

• 49ERS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK 1 7 1 28 3 68 4 133 5 142 5 145 5 174 6 207 6 211 6 213 7 249 SUMMARY

NAME

POS COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

DeForest Buckner Joshua Garnett Will Redmond Rashard Robinson Ronald Blair John Theus Fahn Cooper Jeff Driskel Kelvin Taylor Aaron Burbridge Prince Charles Iworah

DE OG CB CB DT OT OT QB RB WR CB

Appears to have good shot at becoming core defender. 15/15 Had moments starting at RG, but far from finished product. 15/11 Spent year on IR recovering from college injury (torn ACL) 0/0 Had an INT, 8 PDs and 28 tackles. 14/6 Averaged a tackle per game and registered three sacks. 16/0 Backup LT will likely see more action moving forward. 4/1 Spent 2016 on practice squad. Could be in mix for OLG spot. 0/0 Released and picked up by Bengals. 0/0 Released and picked up by Seahawks. 0/0 Had 7-88 receiving with 3 starts (5-68 in past three games). 16/3 Dare we say a royal project? Mostly on practice squad. 1/0

Oregon Stanford Mississippi State LSU Appalachian State Georgia Mississippi Louisiana Tech Florida Michigan State Western Kentucky

GP/GS

Quantity far outweighs quality. At least Buckner, Garnett shape up as long-term starters.

DeFOREST BUCKNER

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TEAM

PROFILE

panning out, the Bears have to try again to find a long-term starter on the outside.

DRAFT SLOT

#

D

3

4lOT

raft No. 3 for Ryan Pace gives the young Bears GM a chance to build on the talent he acquired in 2015 and 2016, and the team needs it. Key decisions at quarterback and with Alshon Jeffery will help dictate the direction during the draft. If Jeffery isn’t re-signed, then wide receiver becomes a top-five need.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1 l QB

Of course as of press time, the Bears still have Jay Cutler and could bring back Brian Hoyer and/ or Matt Barkley. Connor Shaw is an option, too, but none of those four quarterbacks is the long-term answer, and it’s clear the Bears need to invest in this position. Certainly, any big move in free agency, or a trade for a starter, could decrease the need here, but it’s time for the Bears to draft a quarterback. They haven’t used a pick in the first three rounds on a QB since 2003.

2lS

Both secondary positions make this list, and safety has been a mainstay on any ‘draft needs’ rankings for the Bears for over a decade. There was hope for Adrian Amos, Harold Jones-Quartey and Deon Bush, but those three

JAY CUTLER

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 17 PASSING 14 SCORING 28 TOTAL 15

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

27 7 24 15

combined for one interception. The Bears need a talented, playmaking, ball hawking player to help improve off two futile years taking the ball away.

3lCB

Safety gets the nod above corner because the Bears do like some of their young talent here (Cre’Von LeBlanc, Bryce Callahan, Deiondre’ Hall), but they have to add depth and find cover men who can create turnovers. Tracy Porter, the team’s best corner, turns 31 in August and has had durability issues throughout his career. With their 2014 first-rounder Kyle Fuller not

The Bears have some­ thing special in Jor­ dan Howard, Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long, and can probably get another good year (or two) out of Josh Sitton. Why not take a page out of the Cowboys’ playbook and add a blue chipper at tackle? Charles Leno is fine at left tackle, but far from elite. Bobby Massie got better by the end of the season but he isn’t a long-term answer. There is no depth at this position or young players to develop.

5lTE

Zach Miller can be the receiving threat the Bears need at the position, but he’s 32 and coming off another season-ending injury. The Bears went with Logan Paulsen, Ben Braunecker and Daniel Brown when Miller went out. They admitted not enough was done at the position. Especially with questions at wideout, the Bears could do a lot for the offense by adding another receiving threat to go with Miller (and serve as insurance).

AREA OF LEAST NEED

OG/C

With rookie Cody Whitehair shining at center, plus Pro Bowlers Kyle Long and Josh Sitton at guard, the Bears are set with the interior line, not to mention 2015 third-round center Hroniss Grasu as a backup.

• BEARS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 4 4 5 6 7

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

9 56 72 113 124 127 150 185 230

Leonard Floyd Cody Whitehair Jonathan Bullard Nick Kwiatkoski Deon Bush Deiondre’ Hall Jordan Howard Deandre Houston-Carson Daniel Braverman

OLB OG DE ILB S CB RB S WR

Georgia Kansas State Florida West Virginia Miami (FL) Northern Iowa Indiana William & Mary Western Michigan

Showed pass-rush flashes when he wasn’t injured. 12/12 Steady, solid-as-they-come at new position: center. 16/16 Seems to need more time to acclimate to NFL O-lines. 14/1 Stepped in nicely for injured vets and ascended vs. run. 14/7 Got starts late but notched only one pass defensed. 11/6 Had strong preseason but ankle injury limited him. 8/0 Bears’ bright spot, broke franchise rookie rushing record. 15/13 Contributed only on special teams in eight games. 8/0 Couldn’t see much time even with injuries at WR. 3/0

SUMMARY

GP/GS

Howard, Whitehair, Floyd proved to be building blocks and key players. DBs left plenty to be desired.

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JORDAN HOWARD


TEAM

PROFILE

mechanics and decision-making at the root of the problems.

DRAFT SLOT

#

A

4

4lRB

flashy offseason a year ago amounted to 3-13 and another coaching change and front-office reboot. New executive V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin returns for his second stint in Jacksonville but first in the NFL as a lead decision-maker, while Doug Marrone takes over for Gus Bradley. There’s a lot of talent for a 3-13 roster, but also plenty of holes, beginning with pressuring and protecting the passer. The Jaguars’ high-priced ‘D’ finished 31st in takeaways and 16th in sack percentage, while Blake Bortles’ Year Three regression again casts doubt over Jacksonville’s future at the most important position in sports.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1 lDE

They hit on thirdround pick Yannick Ngakoue, the team’s leader in sacks as a rookie, but the jury is out on 2015 third overall pick Dante Fowler, both inconsistent and undisciplined in his redshirt rookie season. Jacksonville, in search of its first double-digit sack producer in more than a decade, needs a havoc-wreaker to either capitalize on the attention Malik Jackson and Ngakoue command, or create more favorable matchups for them.

2lOG

If healthy, the front wall may be one piece away from proficiency – right guard. The Jaguars remain

DANTE FOWLER

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 22 PASSING 20 SCORING 25 TOTAL 23

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

19 5 25 6

high on C Brandon Linder and A.J. Cann, solid mid-round acquisitions in recent seasons, but Tyler Shatley is replaceable on a unit a lot more committed to running the football than Bortles. Jacksonville has plenty invested in its backfield (more on that shortly), but not much up front, LT Kelvin Beachum notwithstanding.

3lQB

Conventional wisdom says the promotion of Marrone and retention of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett is a recommitment to Bortles, as his best two games came in Weeks 16-17 under their watch. However, there are rumblings Coughlin isn’t enamored with Bortles, whose fifthyear rookie option for 2018 must be exercised by May, and that’d be understandable considering the offense finished 21st in interception rate, 29th on third down, with Bortles’

T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory combined for 904 rushing yards at 3.7 yards a pop – hardly commensurate for the third back selected two years ago and one handed $10 million guaranteed last offseason, respectively. Marrone’s Bills led the NFL in rushing attempts in his first season at the helm, in 2013, when he was forced to compensate for EJ Manuel’s shortcomings with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Yeldon and Ivory are an adequate tandem, but neither profiles as a game-changer capable of creating on his own while easing the burden of Bortles and Allen Robinson.

5lS

Though he didn’t contri­ bute the splash plays he did in Cleveland, Tashaun Gipson, still just 26, started 16 games for the first time in his career and isn’t going anywhere. What defensive coordinator Todd Wash lacks is a second safety with range and ball skills who can defend the run and pass and take the football away for a secondary with an NFL-low seven interceptions.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DT

Wideout may be as deep or deeper, but Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee both enter contract years. Malik Jackson, who’s still just 27, may be their most disruptive defender. Add in second-year player Sheldon Day, whom the club is high on, talented, but unestablished, third-year guy Michael Bennett and veterans Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks and a 3-13 club has at least one position to hang its hat on defensively.

• JAGUARS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK 1 5 2 36 3 69 4 103 6 181 6 201 7 226 SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Jalen Ramsey Myles Jack Yannick Ngakoue Sheldon Day Tyrone Holmes Brandon Allen Jonathan Woodard

CB OLB DE DT DE QB DE

Florida State UCLA Maryland Notre Dame Montana Arkansas Central Arkansas

All-Rookie and runner-up DROY already as advertised. 16/16 Stayed healthy but nondescript while shuffling positions. 16/10 Terrific surprise, sack leader outplayed Dante Fowler. 16/15 Ate 200+ snaps, lone sack broke Marcus Mariota’s leg. 16/0 Didn’t make Jags’ 53; claimed by Browns. 11/0 Inactive all 16 games; darkhorse if QB battle ensues? 0/0 Spent year on IR after minicamp Achilles tear. 0/0

GP/GS

Even without much from Jack, serious talent influx for defense spurred improvements.

JALEN RAMSEY

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TEAM

PROFILE

eighth overall in 2013, continues to underachieve, and backups Bradley Marquez, Nelson Spruce and Marquez North all landed on injured reserve.

DRAFT SLOT

#

5

3lDB

Starting CB Trumaine Johnson and starting SS T.J. McDonald are two more unrestricted free agents who are probably worth retaining, especially considering the serious lack of depth behind both of them, but they could also both command a fair share of attention on the open market.

PICK TRADED TO THE TENNESSEE TITANS

S

everely handicapped enter­ ing this year’s draft without their first- and third-round picks, which went to the Titans in the splashy deal to trade up to the 2016 top spot to obtain QB Jared Goff, don’t be surprised if the Rams focus more on filling multiple glaring needs via free-agency than the draft with roughly $40 million in cap space at their disposal. It will help somewhat that the Rams will be drafting in the fifth spot in the rounds in which they still have selections. An offense that finished last in the NFL the past two seasons needs major upgrades at receiver and on the offensive line, while the defense needs more depth at every position.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lOL

An across-the-board up­ grade is required after an offensive line that appeared to be ascending at the end of the 2015 season did a total nosedive both pass-blocking and run-blocking in 2016. It would certainly appear former first-rounder Greg Robinson’s days are numbered as the starting OLT after getting flagged 14 times and being widely ranked among the league’s worst run-blocking tackles. While RB Todd Gurley no doubt regressed, failing to gain 1,000

4lQB GREG ROBINSON

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 31 PASSING 31 SCORING 32 TOTAL 32

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

16 10 23 9

yards one season after being named Offensive Rookie of the Year, he deserves a mulligan considering the line’s horrendous run-blocking.

2lWR

Either through the draft or free agency, the Rams really need to catch lightning in a bottle at this position after averaging a feeble 184.4 passing yards per game in 2016. Both Kenny Britt and Brian Quick, the Rams’ top two receivers last season, are unrestricted free agents. Britt in particular could be worth keeping around (68-1,002-5 receiving in ’16), but he figures to have plenty of freeagent suitors. Tavon Austin, selected

The verdict remains very much out on Goff, who had the worst QB rating of any rookie quarterback in NFL history (63.6) in seven starts beginning in Week 11. Case Keenum, who was inconsistent as the starter in the first nine games, is an unrestricted free agent.

5lLB

Alec Ogletree made a mostly successful conversion to middle linebacker last season, and hybrid OLB-S Mark Barron has been a solid fit in a defense that could look a lot different under new coordinator Wade Phillips. But the depth behind those starters is distressingly thin.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DT

It doesn’t get any better at defensive tackle than Aaron Donald, who continues to set the gold standard at the position with quickness off the snap and top-grade technique that makes him nearly unblockable. Fellow former firstrounder Michael Brockers, Donald’s partner in crime on the Rams’ interior front line, is rock solid when healthy.

• RAMS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

1 Jared Goff

QB

California

Became starter 9 games into season, marginal at best.

4

110 Tyler Higbee

TE

Western Kentucky

Intermittent starter; drew rave reviews in training camp. 16/7

4

117 Pharoh Cooper

WR

South Carolina

17 targets for 106 yards, but had trouble staying healthy. 10/3

6 177 Temarrick Hemingway TE South Carolina St. 6

190 Josh Forrest

6 206 Michael Thomas SUMMARY

GP/GS

7/7

Could be starting blocking specialist in 2-TE offense.

8/0

ILB

Kentucky

Primarily a special-teamer before tearing his MCL.

10/4

WR

Southern Miss

Had 3 catches in reserve role final quarter of season.

15/0

Pretty weak from top to bottom after what was widely considered a quality draft class in 2016.

100 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

JARED GOFF


TEAM

PROFILE

replace someone like D’Brickashaw Ferguson, who stunningly retired last April. Ben Ijalana handled the position but the Jets should find a long-term answer here. They haven’t used a first-rounder on a tackle since Ferguson in 2006. Nick Mangold’s future is in question. They did re-sign RG Brian Winters to a four-year deal in January.

DRAFT SLOT

#

T

6

odd Bowles and GM Mike Maccagnan enter a crucial draft following an extremely disappoint­ ing 5-11 season. The franchise still needs to find its quarterback of the future, but it has 2015 fourth-rounder Bryce Petty and 2016 second-rounder Christian Hackenberg already, so the Jets may look to spend early picks in the draft fixing a ‘D’ that gave up 25.6 points per game, which was fifthworst in the league.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lOLB

4lQB DARRELLE REVIS

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 12 PASSING 27 SCORING 30 TOTAL 26

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

11 17 28 11

It’s been a while since the Jets drafted an edge rusher early in a draft, and it’s been a primary need for several seasons. Linebacker Darron Lee, taken 20th overall last season, is an inside player. The D-line has the horses to get after the QB, but not at outside linebacker. The OLB with the most sacks last season? 2015 third-rounder Lorenzo Mauldin and 2016 thirdrounder Jordan Jenkins, with only 2.5 apiece.

had his worst season in 2016. He had only one interception and was beat routinely by opposing receivers. No Jets cornerback had more than six passes defensed and the team had only eight interceptions, a staggering number for a team once known for its pass defense.

2lCB

3lOL

The Darrelle Revis decision will prove to be one of the worst moves in Jets history. He signed a five-year, $70 million contract in March 2015 to return to the Jets and

With a cap hit of $10 million, Ryan Clady may have only lasted one season (and nine games) with the Jets. He landed on IR with a shoulder injury. It’s not easy to

They shouldn’t ignore the position just because they used recent picks on Petty and Hackenberg — who thinks either of those quarterbacks is the definite answer for the Jets under center? Maccagnan will want to give himself as many options as possible and some competition for the two holdovers, so quarterback should once again be a position the Jets explore.

5lTE

The Jets’ receiving leader at the tight end position? Former Buc Austin Seferian-Jenkins … with 10 receptions for 110 yards. The Jets parted ways with 2014 second-round TE Jace Amaro and went with Seferian-Jenkins and former Packer Brandon Bostick. Amaro was the first tight end the team had drafted since Dustin Keller back in 2008.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DL

It’s unclear how long the Jets will have the triumvirate of Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams, but for now, at least, they don’t need to spend premiumround picks on the D-line. Even if Richardson is traded, the Jets have two top-line guys up front.

• JETS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 5 7 7

PK

NAME

20 51 83 118 158 235 241

Darron Lee OLB Christian Hackenberg QB Jordan Jenkins OLB Juston Burris CB Brandon Shell OT Loc Edwards P Charone Peake WR

SUMMARY

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Ohio State Penn State Georgia North Carolina St. South Carolina Sam Houston St. Clemson

73 tackles and one sack but only 3 PDs, 0 takeaways. Amazing he took 0 snaps considering Jets’ QB issues. Had 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2 passes defensed. 16 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception. Started final three games of the season at right tackle. 37.3-yard net average on his 75 punts. 43.1-yard gross. Caught 19 passes for 186 yards.

GP/GS

Not nearly enough big plays from rookie class, not to mention not giving the rookie QB a chance.

13/9 0/0 14/11 16/1 8/3 16/0 15/1 DARRON LEE

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4lWR

DRAFT SLOT

#

T

7

heir bolt to L.A. wasn’t well received, but rookie coach Anthony Lynn, flanked by experienced coordinators Ken Whisenhunt and Gus Bradley, has a chance to quickly re-energize the fan base. The early returns on GM Tom Telesco’s 2016 draft class are excellent, beginning with Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa. Although they again finished in last place in the rocksolid AFC West, their minus-13 point differential, young star power and Philip Rivers suggest a quick turnaround is attainable if Lynn can quickly instill a killer instinct.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lOG

D.J. Fluker hasn’t panned out at tackle or guard and could use a fresh start. High-priced LG Orlando Franklin hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations that accompanied his five-year deal two offseasons ago. If any team understands the need for quality O-line depth, it’s this one. C Matt Slauson has been terrific and boasts position flexibility, but he’ll be 31, and with Franklin approaching his age-30 season, fresh blocking blood is needed, particularly inside.

2lS

They haven’t shown an earnest commitment to this spot, letting Eric Weddle walk last offseason and replacing him

D.J. FLUKER

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 26 PASSING 8 SCORING 9 TOTAL 14

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

10 20 29 16

with journeyman Dwight Lowery and formerly undrafted Jahlee Addae, an impending free agent. In what’s expected to be a banner safety class, the Chargers could finally prioritize the position, especially after the incumbent duo combined for just three takeaways. Pairing opportunistic cornerbacks Casey Heyward and Jason Verrett with more playmakers on the back end would help.

3lOT

Joe Barksdale has been a solid performer and is just entering Year Two of his new deal, but King Dunlap has been in and out the lineup, limited to just one 16-game season in his nine campaigns as he approaches age 32. If Dunlap is deemed expendable — he’s already taken one pay cut and his release could free roughly $6 million more in cap space — this need is elevated.

Tyrell Williams and Dontrelle Inman certainly made the most of their opportunities, created partially by a third consecutive injury-shortened season for No. 1 wideout Keenan Allen. Travis Benjamin looked like a solid freeagent find in the first half of the season before injuries caught up to him. Maximizing Rivers’ remaining years is paramount, and after his protection, the pass-catching arsenal should take precedence on offense.

5lEDGE

As of press time, it seemed clear Melvin Ingram, one of the top pass-rush talents available on the open market, would be costly to retain. If the Chargers can reward their homegrown talent, this need is lessened, especially with Bosa’s game-wrecking potential only likely to continue translating into added production. But after Ingram, there isn’t someone who can scare opponents and help detract attention away from Bosa.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DT

With a pair of Pro Bowlers in Heyward and Verrett, corner could also fit here depending on the status of Brandon Flowers. Instead, we’ll say defensive tackle, where run-stuffer Brandon Mebane, whom new coordinator Gus Bradley is familiar with from their time together in Seattle, and Corey Liuget, the D-line room’s snap leader and No. 3 in tackles for loss, is entrenched. Add to that Joey Bosa, when he kicks inside in sub-packages, and the Chargers have a strong, proven group, with some youngsters to groom.

• CHARGERS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 7

PK

3 35 66 102 175 179 198 224

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

Joey Bosa Hunter Henry Max Tuerk Joshua Perry Jatavis Brown Drew Kaser Derek Watt Donavon Clark

DE TE OC ILB OLB P FB OG

Ohio State Holdout cost 4 games, still immediate game wrecker. Arkansas Looks ready to carry Gates’ torch; team-high 8 TDs. USC Matt Slauson’s surprise arrival prompted redshirt year. Ohio State Led club in special teams tackles; ‘D’ role could grow. Akron All-rookie, SD tackle leader seized opp after Teo injury. Texas A&M 39.8 net, likely cost SD a win with botched hold. Wisconsin Earned lead-blocking, core special teams role. Michigan State Spent season on IR following Aug. ACL tear.

THE SKINNY

Maiden voyage to L.A. accompanied by electrifying sophomore class with star power.

102 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

GP/GS

12/11 15/10 0/0 15/1 12/7 16/0 16/2 0/0 JOEY BOSA


TEAM

PROFILE

an upgrade over Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne.

DRAFT SLOT

#

H

8

3lDE

ow did the Carolina Panthers go from 15-1 NFC champions in 2015 to 6-10 and in last place in the NFC South in 2016? That’s what GM David Gettleman and head coach Ron Rivera will be figuring out this offseason while deciding how to best attack the draft to improve the team around young stars Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. Carolina had made the postseason in three consecutive years but fell to 19th in offense and 26th in points allowed while missing the playoffs last season.

We know what the Panthers have on the interior of their D-line with 2016 first-rounder Vernon Butler, 2013 first-rounder Star Lotulelei and ’13 second-rounder Kawann Short (who is set to be a free agent). Carolina can complement the interior with edge-rush talent. Resigning Mario Addison should be a top priority, but he is going to be a free agent. Veteran Charles Johnson is, too, and he turns 31 in July.

4lS MICHAEL OHER

2016 NFL RANKINGS

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lOT

Starting right tackle Mike Remmers is a free agent this offseason and left tackle Michael Oher played in only three games because of concussions. He said he plans to play in 2017, but the Panthers clearly have to add some depth and youth at the position – Oher turns 31 in April. Newton’s style of play will always leave him susceptible to punishment, but better protection could allow for Newton to be healthier while avoiding big hits. The franchise hasn’t taken an offensive tackle in the first round since they selected Jeff Otah in 2008, so the Panthers are due.

OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 10 PASSING 21 SCORING 15 TOTAL 19

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

6 29 26 21

2lRB

Veteran Jonathan Stewart averaged only 3.8 yards per carry last season while playing in 13 games – the same number of games he’s appeared in each of the past three seasons. There are some financial scenarios that could see the Panthers making a tough decision with Stewart, another first-round pick in ’08. Even if he remains, Carolina needs to find the runner to take over when Stewart does leave (or for when he’s hurt), and that player should be

Veteran Michael Griffin is set to be a free agent, and he is 32. Tre Boston is entering a contract year and coming off a knee injury. The Panthers could use a deep safety class to give Boston some competition to start next to Kurt Coleman, one of the league’s better ball hawks.

5lLB

We’re expecting (and hoping) for Kuechly to be his game-wrecking self next season after missing time with a concussion to end 2016. Shaq Thompson is a playmaker, but how many years does Thomas Davis have left? He turns 34 in March. Reserve A.J. Klein is heading to free agency, and the Panthers should add depth here.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

Even though he had an off year, Cam Newton, the 2015 MVP, isn’t going anywhere and the Panthers have a dependable, veteran backup in Derek Anderson. They don’t have to worry about this position for a while.

• PANTHERS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK

NAME

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

1

30

Vernon Butler

DT

Louisiana Tech

Only 13 tackles, 1.5 sacks; dealt with ankle injury.

10/0

2

62

James Bradberry

CB

Samford

Led Panthers with 10 passes defensed and had 2 INTs.

13/13 16/11

POS

GP/GS

3

77

Daryl Worley

CB

West Virginia

Had 88 tackles, 9 PDs and 1 interception.

5

141

Zack Sanchez

CB

Oklahoma

Didn’t make NFL debut until late, spent time on p-squad.

5/1

Beau Sandland

TE

Montana State

Waived and later joined Packers’ practice squad.

0/0

7 252 SUMMARY

Decision to go young at CB didn’t help pass ‘D’ last season. Need a much better class in 2017.

DARYL WORLEY

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QB Andy Dalton struggled to find a consistently reliable outside WR option, although ex-Patriot Brandon LaFell had his moments. So did 2016 second-round pick Tyler Boyd, but he is primarily a slot receiver.

DRAFT SLOT

#

T

9

he Bengals have whiffed badly in their past two drafts, getting precious little bang for their buck. Strike three in this year’s draft certainly wouldn’t seem to bode well for longtime head coach Marvin Lewis, who enters the 2017 season on shaky ground after the Bengals finished 6-91, their worst record since 2010, and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in six years. Help is required pretty much everywhere, but the biggest concern is an aging defense in dire need of more speedy front-seven playmakers and pass-rushers. The Bengals also really need to upgrade an offensive line that steadily got worse last year, as well as a WR corps that doesn’t offer much other than Pro Bowler A.J. Green, when he’s healthy.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lDL

DRT Geno Atkins and DLE Carlos Dunlap are quality Pro Bowlers who combined for 20 sacks. But there was a significant downgrade in the rest of the D-line, particularly at the DT spot alongside Atkins manned by UFA Domata Peko. With DE Michael Johnson also having seen his better days, both a talented young outside pass rusher to complement Dunlap and a potential replacement for Peko would fill the bill nicely.

4lCB

Former first-round LCB Dre Kirkpatrick, who got steadily better in 2016, is a free agent. Injuries took their toll on both 2015 first-rounder William Jackson, who sat out all of last season with a pectoral injury, and UFA Chykie Brown. And while RCB Adam Jones still has solid skills and plays his heart out, at what point does he perhaps become more trouble than he’s worth after ending the past two seasons with disturbing emotional meltdowns?

ANDREW WHITWORTH

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 13 PASSING 15 SCORING 24 TOTAL 13

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

21 11 8 17

2lOL

Free agency beckons for both OLT Andrew Whitworth, who is widely considered among the top UFAs available on this year’s open market, and former first-round ORG Kevin Zeitler, who is coming off another solid season. The odds that the Bengals will retain both of them are not great.

3lWR

Green was having another stellar season when he suffered a significant hamstring injury on the second play of the Week 11 game vs. Buffalo. Without Green on the field,

5lRB

With it being far from a lock that dual-threat No. 2 back Gio Bernard will be able to totally recover from the torn ACL he suffered in Week 11 last season, and both backups Rex Burkhead and Cedric Peerman becoming unrestricted free agents, more depth in the backfield is imperative.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

The Bengals’ offense was maddeningly inconsistent last season, in great part due to the season-ending injuries that claimed Green, Bernard and TE Tyler Eifert. Nonetheless, Dalton managed to throw for more than 4,000 yards with only eight interceptions, his careerlow for a full season, and continued to make quarterback arguably the team’s strongest position, despite operating under increasingly heavy pressure.

• BENGALS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

24 55 87 122 161 199 245

William Jackson III Tyler Boyd Nick Vigil Andrew Billings Christian Westerman Cody Core Clayton Fejedelem

CB WR ILB DT OG WR S

Houston Pittsburgh Utah State Baylor Arizona State Mississippi Illinois

Verdict still out after missing rookie season with injury. 0/0 Displayed flashes but far from finished product. 16/2 A vigilant special-teamer; 11 tackles in last three games. 16/0 Missed rookie season after suffering training camp injury. 0/0 Productive in college but never saw the field as a rookie. 0/0 Likely No. 4 WR. Had 82 receiving yards in season finale. 8/4 Special-teamer. Had only one game with multiple tackles. 16/0

SUMMARY

Underachieving numbers don’t lie. Only six starts among seven rookies.

104 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

GP/GS

TYLER BOYD


TEAM

PROFILE

no other receiver had more than 14 catches. The Bills’ need here is as simple as adding more bodies, but it wouldn’t hurt to find Watkins a better complement.

DRAFT SLOT

10

#

D

4lRT

Is Jordan Mills the Bills’ long-term answer at right tackle? If so, the Bills would have to re-sign the 16-game starter, as Mills is set to be a free agent. Buffalo had Erik Pears at this position for years and then tried to go young, but it didn’t work with Cyrus Kouandjio or Seantrel Henderson, which opened the door for Mills. The rest of Buffalo’s line is set, making right tackle the spot to try to solidify – again.

oug Whaley gets another shot at GM, this time with new head coach Sean McDermott, as the Bills look to once again try to get the quarterback position right while also trying to find the right mix of talent to help end the longest postseason drought in the NFL. This is a team with lots of draft picks from the past few seasons, but several who haven’t panned out and others who still could break through.

5lLB

TYROD TAYLOR

TOP 5 NEEDS

2016 NFL RANKINGS

1lQB

No decision had been made on Tyrod Taylor as of press time, but he took a step back in 2016 after getting a big contract, one that had an out for the Bills if the first year didn’t work. Taylor was the perfect tease with his 20 touchdown passes to only six picks in 2015. EJ Manuel didn’t work, and neither did J.P. Losman. Sorry, Bills fans, but it’s time to try again at a position that has consistently been a problem in Buffalo since Jim Kelly.

exposed this season. Williams was the last safety the team drafted in an early round when he was taken 34th overall in 2011. Guys like Corey White and Jonathan Meeks aren’t long-term answers.

2lS

3lWR

Corey Graham will be 32 in July and is entering the last year of his contract. Injuries have been an issue for Aaron Williams throughout his career, and the lack of depth at safety was

OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 1 RUSHING PASSING 30 PASSING SCORING 10 SCORING TOTAL 16 TOTAL

29 6 16 19

Robert Woods led the Bills in receiving … with 613 yards. That ranked 71st in the NFL. Sammy Watkins can’t stay healthy and after him and Marquise Goodwin,

The Bills have a formidable group of starting linebackers, but tackles leader Zach Brown is set to hit the open market. Sacks leader and breakout player Lorenzo Alexander is also a free agent, and turning 34 in May. Buffalo does have 2016 first-rounder Shaq Lawson, too, but they could use depth here, especially if they don’t bring back Brown, and it’d be hard to expect another double-digit sack campaign from Alexander.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

OG/C

With Pro Bowler Richie Incognito and third-round pick John Miller at the guard spots, the Bills are solid on the interior to bookend veteran center Eric Wood. Wood is coming off a broken fibula and turns 31 in March, but remains a solid anchor. Right tackle is the bigger need.

• BILLS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 5 6 6

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

19 41 80 139 156 192 218

Shaq Lawson Reggie Ragland Adolphus Washington Cardale Jones Jonathan Williams Kolby Listenbee Kevon Seymour

DE ILB DT QB RB WR CB

Clemson Alabama Ohio State Ohio State Arkansas TCU USC

Limited by shoulder surgery, he had 13 tackles, 2 sacks. 10/1 Missed season with torn ACL. 0/0 Recorded 21 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 pass defensed. 15/11 Went 6-for-11 with 1 INT in the season finale. 1/0 Had 94 yards on 27 carries, 1 TD, 2 lost fumbles. 11/0 Did not play after double hernia surgery. 0/0 22 tackles and three passes defensed. 15/3

SUMMARY

GP/GS

Injuries were brutal for the top of this class, which contributed very little to the 2016 Bills.

ADOLPHUS WASHINGTON

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Ellerbe did have four sacks, but he is 31 and has had injury issues. Stephone Anthony, who led the team in tackles as a rookie in 2015, saw his production and playing time decrease significantly. Robertson may be the only sure thing at this position.

DRAFT SLOT

#

F

11

ollowing three consecutive 7-9 seasons, and four such seasons out of the past five, head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis face a crucial draft with the Drew Brees window closing. The Saints haven’t made the playoffs since 2013 and haven’t advanced to the conference championship since their Super Bowl run in 2009. The offense ranked No. 1 for the sixth time since 2006, but the ‘D’ ranked 31st in points and 27th in yards allowed.

4lS CAMERON JORDAN

2016 NFL RANKINGS

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lDE

Time for the Saints to find the perfect complement for DE Cameron Jordan. Paul Kruger, who turned 31 in February, is a free agent and had only 1.5 sacks this season. Veteran journeyman Darryl Tapp was the other D-end, and he turns 33 in September and is a free agent. He had only a half sack. Hau’oli Kikaha’s return from a torn ACL could help boost the position, but it still needs plenty of depth and passrush help.

2lCB

The Saints had injury issues at corner last season, with P.J. Williams and Delvin Breaux landing on IR. Sterling Moore led the team with 13 passes defensed, but the

OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 16 PASSING 1 SCORING 2 TOTAL 1

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

14 32 31 27

Saints were his fourth team in six seasons and he’s a free agent. B.W. Webb was another stopgap, and he had 11 passes defensed but was just a fill-in. Kyle Wilson, who also spent the year on IR, is a free agent, too. The Saints last drafted a corner in the first round in 2010 (Patrick Robinson).

3lLB

Former Browns ILB Craig Robertson led the Saints in tackles, but this was not a position group that featured a ton of impact plays. Nathan Stupar had one sack, one interception and one pass defensed. Former Dolphin and Raven Dannell

Since signing a $54 million contract in 2014, Jarius Byrd has three interceptions in 33 games, but he played better down the stretch in 2016. 2013 first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro was suspended for the final four games for using PEDs. Secondrounder Vonn Bell had a solid rookie season. That group should return, but Vaccaro is entering the final year of his contract and Byrd is a big cap hit. Going with a three-safety look often, the Saints could definitely add more competition here.

5lOG

Is this finally it for Jahri Evans? The 33-year-old returned in September after being a cap casualty and played in 16 games. Evans signed a one-year contract. Andrus Peat will likely kick back inside next season. Senio Kelemete is versatile and started nine games. Especially if Evans isn’t back, the Saints should invest in this position to continue to protect Brees.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

WR

With Michael Thomas and Brandin Cooks emerging as one of the league’s best duos at wide receiver, the Saints are pretty set, not to mention Willie Snead, who had 895 receiving yards last season. Brandon Coleman gives them some depth, too.

• SAINTS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK

NAME

1

12

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Sheldon Rankins

DT

Louisville

Had 4 sacks after returning from broken fibula in camp.

GP/GS

9/0

2

47

Michael Thomas

WR

Ohio State

Star of the class with 92 catches, 1,137 yards and 9 TDs. 15/12

2

61

Vonn Bell

S

Ohio State

Steady contributor with 87 tackles, 4 PDs, 2 FFs.

4

120

David Onyemata

DT

Manitoba

Rotational D-lineman had 18 tackles.

7

237

Daniel Lasco

RB

California

Had 11 carries for 32 yards and two receptions.

SUMMARY

Thomas, Bell shined; now if Rankins can bounce back in Year Two, this could be a good class.

106 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

16/14 16/0 7/0 MICHAEL THOMAS


TEAM

PROFILE

in the eyes of many in Eagles Nation following a second straight season with health issues diminishing his production. While rookie Wendell Smallwood displayed some promising flashes, he also ended up on injured reserve.

DRAFT SLOT

12

#

4lDL

PICK TRADED TO THE CLEVELAND BROWNS

T

he Eagles ended up doubling their pleasure when they selected QB Carson Wentz with the second overall pick in the 2016 draft. Wentz displayed franchise-QB potential after being pressed into starting duty when the Eagles traded Sam Bradford to the Vikings eight days before the season opener, throwing for 3,782 yards with a rookie record 379 completions. Philadelphia was also able to recoup a pick in the first half of this year’s first round in exchange for Bradford. The smart money is on the Eagles using that pick on either a quality cornerback or the highest-octane playmaker still available at either the WR or RB position.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lCB

Put simply, the Eagles’ cornerbacks were col­ lec­ tively terrible in 2016. Starter Nolan Carroll is an unrestricted free agent and backup Jaylen Watkins is a restricted free agent. It’s hard to imagine the Eagles going out of their way to retain either of them after witnessing their repeated coverage breakdowns last season. Leodis McKelvin, Ron Brooks (before he got hurt) and rookie Jalen

NOLAN CARROLL

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 11 RUSHING PASSING 24 PASSING SCORING 16 SCORING TOTAL 22 TOTAL

15 13 12 13

Mills were equally bad.

2lWR

The Eagles have not had a 1,000yard receiver since 2014, when Jeremy Maclin had 1,318 yards receiving. Jordan Matthews has his moments, but he really is more a perfect No. 2 WR candidate. Neither Nelson Agholor nor Dorial Green-Beckham is the type of game-changing outside threat a la Odell Beckham that Wentz can only dream about. Don’t rule out a widely rumored DeSean Jackson reunion, which would be right up aggressive GM Howie Roseman’s alley.

3lRB

The Eagles have not had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2014 when LeSean McCoy had 1,319 yards rushing. Ryan Mathews has worn out his welcome

While the Eagles had one of the league’s most effective front sevens under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, the right side of the D-line, manned by DE Brandon Graham and DT Bennie Logan, left a lot to be desired. Logan is a UFA whose days could be numbered.

5lLB

The Eagles’ starting LB corps featuring MLB Jordan Hicks, a budding star whose five interceptions were tops among linebackers, and Nigel Bradham is top-notch. But depth could be a concern with key backup Stephen Tulloch becoming an unrestricted free agent, and the verdict still being out on both Alex McAlister and Joe Walker after suffering season-ending injuries last preseason.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

OT

Assuming OLT Jason Peters can continue performing at a Pro Bowl level at the age of 35, and ORT Lane Johnson can avoid prolonged suspensions and just focus on being one of the league’s best right tackles, Wentz figures to benefit from a rock-solid offensive line for the foreseeable future. Other starters include ORG Brandon Brooks, who allowed only one sack in his first season with the Eagles; C Jason Kelce, a Pro Bowl-alternate; and steady OLG Alan Barbre.

• EAGLES’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 3 5 5 6 7 7 7

PK

2 79 153 164 196 233 240 251

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Carson Wentz Isaac Seumalo Wendell Smallwood Halapoulivaati Vaitai Blake Countess Jalen Mills Alex McCalister Joe Walker

QB C RB OT CB S DE ILB

North Dakota State Oregon State West Virginia TCU Auburn LSU Florida Oregon

Unlike Jared Goff, looks like the real deal. 16/16 Very versatile. Took snaps at all spots except center. 9/4 Had his moments, including 86-yard KR return for TD. 13/3 First game was a disaster, but got steadily better. 7/6 Released and picked up by Rams; started 2 games for L.A. 0/0 With average speed, struggled more often than not. 16/2 On injured reserve after tearing calf muscle in preseason. 0/0 Spent year on IR after tearing ACL in preseason game. 0/0

GP/GS

While Wentz is worth getting excited about, rest of draft class looks pretty ordinary.

CARSON WENTZ

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unspectacular ILBs Kevin Minter and Sio Moore are both free agents.

DRAFT SLOT

13

4lOL

#

T

here’s no denying the Cardinals were a huge disappointment in 2016, experiencing their first losing campaign in four years under head coach Bruce Arians after being widely considered legitimate Super Bowl contenders before the season started. An immediate impact from their first-round selection in this year’s draft certainly wouldn’t hurt after experiencing major issues with three of their past four No. 1 picks – OG Jonathan Cooper, who sat out his rookie campaign in 2014 with a fractured fibula before eventually being traded to the Patriots; ORT D.J. Humphries, who was essentially redshirted two seasons ago; and DT Robert Nkemdiche, who was inactive in nine of the Cardinals’ first 14 games with a questionable work ethic that drew the ire of Arians.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lCB

Pro Bowl CB Patrick Peterson remains a stud, but the other starting CB slot is a major cause for concern after the Cardinals’ secondary significantly declined as last season wore on. Both Marcus Cooper, the primary starter opposite Peterson in 2016, and backup DB Tyvon Branch are unrestricted free agents.

After OLT Jared Veldheer was placed on injured reserve with a torn triceps at the end of October, and ORG Evan Mathis went down for the count with an ankle injury in Week Five, the Cardinals’ front wall steadily deteriorated. More depth is needed, especially since starting C A.Q. Shipley and backup OT-OG Earl Watford are unrestricted free agents, and C-OG Taylor Boggs is a restricted free agent.

CARSON PALMER

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 18 PASSING 9 SCORING 6 TOTAL 9

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

9 4 14 2

2lQB

At the age of 37, Carson Palmer definitely regressed last season (87.2 quarterback rating in 15 starts after registering a 104.6 rating in 16 starts in 2015). Backup Drew Stanton shapes up as a decent bridge starter at best.

3lILB

As solid as the Cardinals’ front seven may be, they could really use a playmaking inside ‘backer. Hardworking hybrid Deone Bucannon has had his moments, but the former first-rounder was average for the most part before being placed on injured reserve late last season with a high-ankle sprain. Steady but

5lWR

Future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald is apparently contem­ plating retirement, and even if he decides to keep on playing, the Cardinals have to start seriously thinking about reinforcements considering he will turn 34 at the end of August. It’s also worth noting that likely future starters John Brown and J.J. Nelson have both had their share of health issues.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

RB

With David Johnson emer­ ging as a dynamic force in his second season both as a runner and a receiver out of the backfield, the RB position must be considered a major strength. A model of consistency, only a sprained MCL in Week 17 kept Johnson from becoming the first player ever to top 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his 16 games. Don’t be surprised, though, if the Cardinals decide to spend a few late draft picks on RBs with backups Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor all entering the freeagent market.

• CARDINALS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK 1 29

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Robert Nkemdiche

DT

Mississippi

Started to show some first-round ability late in season.

5/0

3

92

Brandon Williams

CB

Texas A&M

Up and down as a spot starter in three games.

13/3

4

128

Evan Boehm

OG

Missouri

Got one token start at right guard in Week 17.

16/1

GP/GS

5

167

Marqui Christian

S

Midwestern State

Was released and picked up by Rams.

0/0

5

170

Cole Toner

OT

Harvard

Intriguing project after an impressive preseason.

2/0

Harlan Miller

CB

SE Louisiana

Could be moved to safety, looked good in emergency duty. 2/2

6 205 SUMMARY

Not good at all. A similar performance by 2017 draft class could put GM Steve Keim on very thin ice.

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TEAM

PROFILE

as a rookie but few impact plays. 10year veteran Kendall Langford is easily the unit’s most accomplished and experienced member, but he’ll be 31 and coming off the first injury shortened season of his career.

DRAFT SLOT

14

#

T

hey have missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, the first such occurrence since before Peyton Man­ning and Bill Polian resucitated the franchise. Coach Chuck Pagano and GM Ryan Grigson were then left twisting in the wind while Jim Irsay tried, and failed, to enlist Manning in a front-office role, and Jon Gruden as coach to better maximize Andrew Luck. Pagano has another opportunity to breathe life into a flat-lined defense, but Grigson was shown the door, as Chris Ballard will take over as a first-time GM.

TOP 5 NEEDS

5lRB ROBERT MATHIS

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 23 PASSING 5T SCORING 8 TOTAL 10

RUSHING 25 PASSING 27 SCORING 22 TOTAL 30

yards per carry – No. 30 in the NFL and the highest average since Pagano arrived in 2012.

1lEDGE

3lCB

2lILB

4lDL

Robert Mathis, the franchise’s all-time sack leader, retired. Erik Walden chose the right time for a team- and career-high 11 sacks as he entered free agency. Bjoern Werner, tabbed in the first round by Grigson in 2013 as the heir to Mathis and/or Freeney, just retired at age 26. What’s left? Indianapolis’ OLB corps has zero combined sacks. Indianapolis’ secondler was leading tack­ 33-year-old D’Qwell Jackson, who finished last season on the suspension list when his team needed him the most, before being released in February. The entire ILB corps accounted for zero takeaways and played a major hand in ceding 4.7

Vontae Davis, who matched a career-low with one interception in a step back from Pro Bowl nods in 2014-15, enters a contract year. No. 2 in snap percentage behind Davis, 27-year-old journeyman Rashaan Melvin, was signed the week before the season started. Patrick Robinson will be 30 when the 2017 season commences and is coming off an injury-marred debut in Indianapolis. Nickel Darius Butler hits free agency. NT David Parry and DE Henry Anderson, two of Grigson’s rare defensive picks who’ve stuck, struggled to build on their rookie seasons. Hassan Ridgeway, one of Indianapolis’ two fourth-rounders a year ago, gave the Colts a lot of mileage

Did you notice the trend with the top four needs? This inclusion, in many ways, is an extension of the team’s defensive deficiencies: if they can’t stop opponents, why not try and stop them from getting on the field? Frank Gore became the team’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Addai back in 2007, but even the ageless wonder on an aging team requires a contingency plan. Robert Turbin was solid near the goal line but managed 3.5 yards per carry. Few passing attacks have more talent than the Colts’. They need a back with homerun ability to complement Luck, T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

The Colts’ roster might have 99 problems, but Andrew Luck most assuredly isn’t one. The NFL’s highest-paid quarterback was battered for a second consecutive season, ending with shoulder surgery and team housecleaning, but he’s just 27, signed through 2021 and backed up by capable Scott Tolzien. Health notwithstanding – and that’s a big caveat knowing what we do about Indianapolis’ offensive line – under no circumstances can we envision the Colts not being built around Luck for the foreseeable future. Of course, being built better around Luck is precisely the expectation Jim Irsay has in his unorthodox offseason of change wherein Ballard was named Grigson’s replacement.

• COLTS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 4 5 7 7

PK

18 57 82 116 125 155 239 248

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

Ryan Kelly T.J. Green Le’Raven Clark Hassan Ridgeway Antonio Morrison Joe Haeg Trevor Bates Austin Blythe

OC S OT DT OLB OT OLB OC

Alabama 1-of-5 rookie OL to start 16 games; didn’t play like rookie. 16/16 Clemson Pressed into action early, oft looking overmatched. 15/4 Texas Tech Developmental OT solid while starting final 3 games. 8/3 Texas No. 2 on the D-line in play-time percentage. 16/5 Florida Key special teams guy but struggled on ‘D.’ 16/4 North Dakota State College LT didn’t look out of place on the inside. 15/14 Maine Earned a ring on Pats PS after being cut by Colts in Oct. 1/0 Iowa Made one start too many, Week Four vs. Jags. 8/1

THE SKINNY

GP/GS

Kelly a fixture, but Ballard could use at least one more O-line cog to emerge from Grigson’s final draft.

RYAN KELLY

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as a run-first club, but its 3.2-yard rushing average was the worst by an NFL club over the past three seasons.

DRAFT SLOT

15

#

4lQB

PICK TRADED TO THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

M

innesota became just the sixth team since 1990 to miss the playoffs following a 5-0 start. The Vikings’ ability to adapt at quarterback, where Sam Bradford capably replaced injured Teddy Bridgewater following his September acquisition, didn’t translate along the offensive line – a M.A.S.H. unit that required eight different starting combinations and their biggest issue entering a second consecutive offseason. The defense, despite playing its worst two games in the final three weeks, is young and deep. The anemic offense, meanwhile, is in need of more playmakers.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lOT

Whether or not they re-sign LT Matt Kalil, and his contract would reflect his injuries and regression since a standout rookie campaign in 2012, the Vikings have at least one void, and perhaps two. Andre Smith wasn’t panning out prior to seasonending triceps surgery in October. T.J. Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles, a restricted free agent, appear to be part of the problem, not the solution. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s offense must expand vertically, which is hard enough to do with Bradford and nearly impossible with the calamitous state of his line.

ADRIAN PETERSON

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 32 PASSING 18 SCORING 23 TOTAL 28

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

20 3 6 3

2lRB

Adrian Peterson was set to cost $18 million against the cap as of press time, a ridiculous number for any back, much less a 32-year-old coming off an injury-shortened year wherein he averaged 1.9 yards per rush. It’s likely Peterson’s purple reign is over. No. 2 Jerick McKinnon averaged a career-low 3.4 behind a line unable to generate movement, and Matt Asiata lacks the juice of the other two.

3lOG

Finding a tough, consistent blocker to pair with LG Alex Boone, along with C Joe Berger one of the unit’s two decent contributors a season ago, is imperative. Brandon Fusco struggled on the right side, Willie Beavers isn’t ready and no other clear starting options are on the roster. Minnesota’s identity is

Bradford, after setting the NFL’s singleseason completion percentage mark (71.6) in addition to new career-highs in yards (3,977) and passer rating (99.3), will enter his contract year as the starter. Teddy Bridgewater may also be entering a contract year, depending on Rick Spielman’s decision on whether to pick up his 2018 option, due in May and complicated by the devastating non-contact knee injury suffered on Aug. 30.

5lDT

The Vikings have Pro Bowler Linval Joseph, 32-year-old rush specialist Tom Johnson and question marks. Former firstrounder Sharrif Floyd, in his fourth season, was limited to one game due to a frustrating recovery from knee surgery. The starter in Floyd’s absence opposite Joseph, Shamar Stephen, has given Minnesota a lot of snaps as a former seventh-rounder but he’s unremarkable. The strength is its D-line, and maintaining it should include addressing the interior.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DE

Everson Griffen is at the height of his powers having gone to consecutive Pro Bowls, and Danielle Hunter is coming off a team-high 12.5 sacks in his, age-22 (!) campaign. At corner, 2015 first-rounder Trae Waynes and 2016 second-rounder Mackensie Alexander albeit unproven, are waiting in the wings behind free agents, 38-year-old Terence Newman and nickel, Captain Munnerlyn.

• VIKINGS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 4 5 6 6 7 7

PK

23 54 121 160 180 188 227 244

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Laquon Treadwell Mackensie Alexander Willie Beavers Kentrell Brothers Moritz Boehringer David Morgan Stephen Weatherly Jayron Kearse

WR CB OG ILB WR TE OLB S

Mississippi Clemson Western Michigan Missouri None UTSA Vanderbilt Clemson

Nonfactor with 1 catch, 15 yards in mere 80 snaps. Lost in NFL’s deepest CB corps but opportunity abound. NFL’s highest pick to miss 53 was re-signed to PS. Special teams role increased but unable to help ‘D.’ First-ever European drafted spent year on PS. 121 snaps split between offense and s/t; just 1 catch. Activated late in year from PS, namely to play s/t. 7 total tackles, landed in doghouse during lone start.

Treadwell’s 80 snaps made him the play-time leader for NFL’s least impactful rookie class.

110 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

GP/GS

9/1 13/0 2/0 10/0 0/0 12/0 2/0 16/1 JAYRON KEARSE


TEAM

PROFILE

West and rookie Kenneth Dixon provided a decent one-two punch, but West is a RFA who lacks explosion, and Dixon gets hurt a lot.

DRAFT SLOT

16

#

A

fter allowing an average of 28½ points in the final four games and surrendering a 10-point fourth-quarter lead to the Steelers on Christmas Day in a 31-27 loss that eliminated them from playoff contention, the Ravens are likely to concentrate on defenders in this year’s draft, particularly cornerbacks and quality replacements for aging pass-rushers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil. But if a potential heavyweight lead back was available with their first pick in the middle of the first round, the Ravens might find it very difficult to turn their back on him.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lCB

Jimmy Smith’s seasonending ankle injury led to journeyman Shareece Wright and undersized rookie Tavon Young often being overmatched in starting roles down the stretch. Head coach John Harbaugh concedes that more corners are a crucial need. Smith has had all kinds of problems staying healthy, and veteran backup Jerraud Powers is an UFA.

2lEDGE

A young highmotor stud that can repeatedly harass opposing QBs is a top priority.

4lWR

In addition to finding a replacement for the retired Steve Smith, who will be sorely missed, former first-rounder Breshard Perriman is another Raven who has had his share of injury issues, and Kamar Aiken is a free agent.

5lILB TERRELL SUGGS

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 28 PASSING 12 SCORING 21 TOTAL 17

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

5 9 9 7

Suggs will be turning 35 in October and has battled injuries the past two seasons. The Ravens could open up $6 million in salary-cap room by releasing the 33-year-old Dumervil, who has seen his better days.

3lRB

After throwing the ball almost twice as much as running it this past season, Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Marty Schottenheimer are determined to get more mileage out of their ground game. Terrance

The Ravens were thrown for a loop when leading tackler LB Zach Orr retired Jan. 20 after learning he has a congenital spinal condition. Possible replacement Kamalei Correa, a second-round pick last year, went down for the count with a rib injury late last season.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

PK

The Ravens are quite comfortable on the right side of the offensive line with perennial Pro Bowl OG Marshal Yanda and OT Ricky Wagner, a free agent they should try hard to retain. And rejuvenated Dennis Pitta spearheads a deep TE corps that will be bolstered by the return of freeagent addition Benjamin Watson, who missed only one game in four seasons before sitting out last season with a torn Achilles suffered during the summer. But the area of least need is placekicker due to Justin Tucker, who had one of the greatest seasons ever by a kicker last season, connecting on 38-of-39 FGs, including 10-of-10 from 50 yards and beyond.

• RAVENS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 6

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

6 42 70 104 107 130 132 134 146 182 209

Ronnie Stanley Kamalei Correa Bronson Kaufusi Tavon Young Chris Moore Alex Lewis Willie Henry Kenneth Dixon Matt Judon Keenan Reynolds Maurice Canady

OT OLB DE CB WR OT DT RB DE WR CB

Notre Dame Boise State Brigham Young Temple Cincinnati Nebraska Michigan Louisiana Tech Grand Valley State Navy Virginia

Was one of NFL’s best pass-protecting OTs last 8 games. 12/12 Mostly a special-teamer before going on I.R. in December. 9/1 Missed season with ankle injury. Team still likes potential. 0/0 Overachiever who stepped up replacing Jimmy Smith. 16/11 Returned kickoffs. Should get more playing time in 2017. 15/0 Capable starter first half before season-ending injury. 10/8 Never saw field. Went on I.R. with undisclosed injury. 0/0 Showed considerable promise both as rusher, receiver. 12/0 Four sacks. Potential heir-apparent to Suggs, Dumervil. 14/0 Spent most of last season on practice squad. 0/0 Special-teamer for 4 games, thigh injury ended season. 4/0

SUMMARY

GP/GS

Stanley, Young, Lewis, Dixon, Judon and undrafted DT Michael Pierce all get solid grades.

TAVON YOUNG

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as a hybrid LB-S last year before getting nicked up, will likely be concentrating solely on the safety position. But both starting SS Duke Ihenacho, who had 15 missed tackles last season, and veteran Donte Whitner, who ended up on injured reserve, are UFAs who would not be missed.

DRAFT SLOT

17

#

W

ith a new defensive coordinator after ranking 28th in total yards allowed for the second straight season, Washington figures to primarily focus in late April on defenders at every position who can consistently finish plays and know how to tackle. The defense’s failure in third-down situations and often-inept tackling are problems that must be corrected. The picture on offense is a lot brighter, but that could change significantly if the rumors on the free-agent front that QB Kirk Cousins and WR DeSean Jackson could be headed elsewhere actually materialize.

4lWR DeSEAN JACKSON

2016 NFL RANKINGS

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lDL

Washington is particularly needy up front, where a major infusion of youth is a must on a line whose youngest starter last season was 29 years old. A run on quality run defenders would not be a bad idea at all after shoddy showings up and down the line was a regular occurrence last season. DEs Chris Baker and Cullen Jenkins and NTs Ziggy Hood and Kedric Golston, who also went on injured reserve last September with a bum hamstring, are all eligible to hit the free-agent market.

2lLB

Pro Bowl starter Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy (combined 20

OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 21 PASSING 2 SCORING 19 TOTAL 3

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

24 25 19 28

sacks in 2016) are strong outside performers, and Mason Foster really played well inside. But the rest of the LB corps is shaky. Both RFA ILB Will Compton and SLB Preston Smith were major liabilities, and the verdict remains out on Steven Daniels and Houston Bates, who each sat out their rookie seasons with injuries. It’s worth noting that there could be a premium on inside ‘backers in this year’s draft.

3lS

An athletic, rangy safety or two would fit right in. It should help that secondyear pro Su’a Cravens, who im­pressed

Jackson and No. 2 WR Pierre Garcon are both UFAs who could be coveted on the open market after performing well last season in Washington’s lively second-ranked passing offense. Word is the team will probably not keep both of them with first-rounder Josh Doctson, who missed most of his rookie campaign with an Achilles tendon injury, hopefully healthy enough to make a first-round-type impact this season.

5lTE

Pro Bowler Jordan Reed’s only problem is that he’s injury-prone. Same goes for backups Niles Paul, who has ended up on injured reserve each of the past two seasons, and Derek Carrier, also an I.R. victim in 2016.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

The QB position appears rock-solid in the very capable hands of Cousins, who has been a prolific passer as Washington’s full-time starter the past two seasons. But should the team decide that the cost of keeping Cousins around is counterproductive in the long run, the QB position could very quickly become the team’s area of greatest need, which is a very scary thought.

• WASHINGTON’S 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 5 6 7 7

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

22 53 84 152 187 232 242

Josh Doctson Su’a Cravens Kendall Fuller Matt Ioannidis Nate Sudfeld Steven Daniels Keith Marshall

WR S CB DT QB ILB RB

TCU USC Virginia Tech Temple Indiana Boston College Georgia

Damaged goods? Placed on IR 10/27 with Achilles injury. 2/0 Had strong moments as hybrid S-OLB before December injury. 11/3 Had issues covering top receivers but can grow in nickel role. 13/6 Nonfactor in 2016. Should see more action this season. 10/0 Carried clipboard rookie year after looking so-so last summer. 0/0 Spent rookie season on injured reserve with shoulder injury. 0/0 Also spent rookie year on IR with elbow injury. 0/0

SUMMARY

Health issues abound. But payoff is a lot fatter when undrafted RB Rob Kelley is added to mix.

112 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

GP/GS

KENDALL FULLER


TEAM

PROFILE

it’s no secret what a do-it-all player at the position has meant for LeBeau defenses in the past.

DRAFT SLOT

18

#

A

fter parlaying the No. 1 overall pick last April into rookie All-Pro RT Jack Conklin and an extra 2017 first-rounder, GM Jon Robinson will continue trying to fortify franchise QB Marcus Mariota’s supporting cast. Mariota’s superb second season ended in Week 16 due to a broken fibula, but his protection and ground game, ironically, are major strengths. It’s the ‘D’ that requires attention before Tennessee looks to build on just its second winning season since 2009.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lCB

Only one team allowed more passing yards per game than the Titans, who cut nine-game starter Perrish Cox in Week 13, relegating them to rotating corners, including journeyman Brice McCain and free agent Antwon Blake as they fell one game short of the playoffs. Jason McCourty, who’ll be 30, hasn’t played up to his contract, and the Titans, who haven’t spent a premium pick here since Adam Jones in 2005, should tap into a talented pool to reshape a secondary lacking pedigree and playmaking.

2lWR

Rishard Matthews was excellent after arriving from Miami in free agency, but there isn’t much after him besides Tajae Sharpe, a possession

4lILB DELANIE WALKER

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 3 RUSHING PASSING 25 PASSING SCORING 14 SCORING TOTAL 11 TOTAL

2 30 17 20

receiver who was solid as a fifthround rookie. Robinson cut ties with inconsistent holdovers and the previous regime’s second-rounders, Dorial Green-Beckham and Justin Hunter. Matthews’ ceiling is probably as an ideal No. 2. Mariota would benefit from adding a big playmaker capable of working all parts of the field alongside him and Pro Bowl TE Delanie Walker.

3lS

It’s not as pressing as the need at corner, as the Titans are excited about athletic, yet raw, Kevin Byard and still have 28-year-old Da’Norris Searcy. Yet coordinator Dick LeBeau’s unit clearly lacks a difference-maker with range, ball skills and instincts, not unlike former longtime Titan Michael Griffin in his prime. This is a good draft to enlist help at safety, and

Starting duo Avery Williamson and Wesley Woodyard weren’t bad – Tennessee was No. 2 in rushing yards allowed per game and tied for 12th in yards per carry surrendered – but the two weren’t dynamic, either. They combined for just two takeaways and didn’t make a lot of plays in the backfield, plus they’re both entering contract years. Once again, LeBeau’s best defenses have usually featured some of the game’s best ‘backers, and that’s not exactly this pairing.

5lTE

Walker has been every­ thing the Titans could hope for and more, but he’ll be 33 when the season begins and hasn’t started 16 games during his four years in Nashville. Worse, there’s nothing behind him in terms of experience, and former TE-turnedcoach Mike Mularkey would surely enjoy having a two-way player to both strengthen his “exotic smashmouth” run game and assist Mariota by offering another complement to Walker and Matthews through the air.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

Inheriting Mariota was the ultimate luxury for Robinson, who deftly maxim­ ized the No. 1 overall pick in the trade with the Rams, and he’ll likely enjoy a second consecutive offseason without concern at the position – beyond Mariota’s recovery from injury. The Titans also enter 2017 with plenty of depth at offensive tackle and running back.

• TITANS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 2 2 3 5 5 6 7 7

PK

NAME

POS COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

8 33 43 45 64 140 157 193 222 253

Jack Conklin Kevin Dodd Austin Johnson Derrick Henry Kevin Byard Tajae Sharpe Leshaun Sims Sebastian Tretola Aaron Wallace Kalan Reed

OT DE DT RB S WR CB OG OLB CB

One of three NFL rookies named first team All-Pro. 16/16 Slow recovery from May foot surgery irked Titans. 9/1 14 tackles (1 TFL) in just 17 percent of defensive snaps. 10/0 Expected to shoulder larger burden behind Murray in ‘17. 15/2 LeBeau says “sky’s limit” for active, heady ball hawk. 16/7 Dependable if not dynamic; made strong impression. 16/10 Could be part of revamped CB stable after strong finish. 13/2 Wasn’t needed on one of league’s better front walls. 1/0 Played sparingly on ‘D,’ with solid rotation on edges. 10/0 ‘Mr. Irrelevant’ activated from PS in December. 4/0

SUMMARY

Michigan State Clemson Penn State Alabama Middle Tennessee State Massachusetts Southern Utah Arkansas UCLA Southern Miss

GP/GS

Robinson was superb in running his first draft, deftly trading, identifying value and plugging holes.

JACK CONKLIN

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clip and ended the season by getting hit with a four-game suspension for PEDs. He is due to make $7 million next season and his future in Tampa is in question. Charles Sims missed most of the season and is entering a contract year. Peyton Barber showed flashes, but the Bucs are thin here, especially if Martin doesn’t return – or doesn’t return to form.

DRAFT SLOT

19

#

C

oming off their first winning season since 2010, the Buccaneers are in position this offseason to add to a team that came a win or two away from making the playoffs and get over the hump in 2017. Jameis Winston and recent draft picks on the O-line lessen the need on that side of the ball, but a defense that ranked 23rd last year needs help, and Winston could use more playmakers after the offense ranked 18th in the league.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lS

Last year’s starting safeties, Chris Conte and Bradley McDougald, are free agents. McDougald was second on the team in tackles and passes defensed last season. The Buccaneerss have not invested in safety like they have with corner in recent years, so they’re overdue. Mark Barron was the last safety that they drafted, and the 2012 No. 7 pick didn’t pan out in Tampa. A ball-hawking safety would help a defense that ranked 22nd against the pass in 2016.

2lWR

34-year-old Vincent Jackson, whose year ended on injured reserve, is a free agent. The Bucs have to find a reliable complement to Mike Evans, the team’s offensive

4lLB

Part of improving the ‘D’ is getting more playmakers to join Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander in the second level. Daryl Smith, who turns 35 in March, is a free agent, and the Bucs are not at all flush with depth at the position. After the top three, the team’s leading tackling linebacker in 2016 was Adarius Glanton with nine tackles.

DOUG MARTIN

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 24 PASSING 16 SCORING 18 TOTAL 18

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

22 22 15 23

star. Adam Humphries was the second-leading wide receiver with only 622 yards and two touchdowns. Evans is the only wideout the Bucs have drafted in the first four rounds since 2011. It makes sense to build the offense around Winston and Evans, and a blue-chip No. 2 wideout only increases the potential.

3lRB

The Bucs were one of the league’s worst rushing offenses, aver­ ag­ ing 3.6 yards per carry in 2016. Doug Martin rushed at a 2.9-yard

5lDL

Defensive tackle Akeem Spence and defensive end William Gholston are set to be free agents – Gholston had three sacks last season. The Bucs did draft Noah Spence in the second round in 2016 and have veterans Robert Ayers and Gerald McCoy (13.5 combined sacks), but have to add more bodies and impact players.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

OL

The Buccaneers used second-rounders in 2015 to solidify left tackle with Donovan Smith and right guard with Ali Marpet. They’ve got Joe Hawley and Ben Gottschalk at center, J.R. Sweezy at left guard and veteran Demar Dotson at right tackle. Depth and competition aren’t out of the question, but the O-line isn’t a high priority.

• BUCCANEERS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 2 4 5 6 6

PK

NAME

POS

11 Vernon Hargreaves III CB 39 Noah Spence OLB 59 Roberto Aguayo PK 108 Ryan Smith CB 148 Caleb Benenoch OT 183 Devante Bond OLB 197 Dan Vitale FB

SUMMARY

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Florida Eastern Kentucky Florida State N. Carolina Central UCLA Oklahoma Northwestern

Starter from Day One had nine passes defensed, 1 INT Logged 22 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 2 PDs, 12 QB hits Battled early yips; finished 22-of-31 in field goals Special-teamer had one tackle. O-line reserve player dressed for five games. Went on injured reserve with hamstring injury. Waived and then picked up by the Browns.

GP/GS

Not a deep class, but Bucs have to be pleased with early experience for Hargreaves and Spence.

114 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

16/16 16/3 16/0 14/0 5/1 0/0 9/3 VERNON HARGREAVES III


TEAM

PROFILE

to develop, including Sambrailo, Schofield and Max Garcia, but they all appear replaceable.

DRAFT SLOT

20

#

A

4lTE

fter going from Super Bowl 50 champions to out of the playoffs and hiring a new coach, Vance Joseph, in one year, they still have plenty of star power but also several questions, namely at quarterback and in both trenches. Yet, due to their ready-made ‘D,’ and after failing to add instant impact rookies for too long, the Broncos seek quick fixes, more likely to come via free agency than the draft – particularly along the offensive line and if a certain veteran Cowboys QB was to hit the open market, where Elway is a proven closer.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lOT

After enduring the growing pains of Ty Sambrailo and Michael Schofield, their 2015 second- and 2014 third-rounder, respectively, the Broncos could be proactive in free agency while seeking more polished alternatives. What’s clear is Russell Okung, whose health unsurprisingly deteriorated throughout his first and likely only season in Denver, and Donald Stephenson didn’t provide ample returns on Elway’s investments. Trevor Siemian was also culpable, but an inability to secure the edges was one of the offense’s greatest issues.

2lDL

It’s easy to point to the departures of Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan as the driving forces behind

RUSSELL OKUNG

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 27 PASSING 21T SCORING 22 TOTAL 27

RUSHING 28 PASSING 1 SCORING 4 TOTAL 4

the demise of the run defense, but losing Vance Walker to a preseason ACL tear was nearly as crippling. Walker, who’ll be 30 when his ninth season begins, and former first-round NT Sylvester Williams were set to be unrestricted free agents. Derek Wolfe is powerful and disruptive but a lot more help is needed to keep Brandon Marshall, Todd Davis and Corey Nelson free at the second level.

3lOG

This is a slightly lesser need than tackle, and whomever the Broncos settle on has the benefit of playing next to C Matt Paradis, the unit’s best performer. But Denver missed Evan Mathis last season, when the run game was the worst of Gary Kubiak’s head-coaching career and didn’t offer nearly enough to complement a passing game in transition. There are some players worth continuing

A.J. Derby, who played his best late in the year after being acquired in a trade with New England, and Virgil Green comprise a pair with some intriguing versatility and athleticism, but they don’t offer a lot of past NFL production for the Broncos to hang their hat on. Jeff Heuerman, a 2015 third-rounder, has yet to prove he can stay on the field following his redshirt rookie season when he caught nine passes for 141 yards.

5lRB/RS

There’s one player, whose father Ed has Broncos roots, who could address a few needs, namely someone to threaten from all parts of the field as a runner, receiver and returner: Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey. But Denver, even if there’s an interest, may not be in position to acquire him, so we use his diverse skill set as the prototype for the kind of back who could nicely complement C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

CB

With Von Miller, Shane Ray and Shaq Barrett, outside linebacker is an acceptable choice, but because DeMarcus Ware seems unlikely to return, we’ll highlight cornerback. Denver has arguably the top two cover men in the game, Aqib Talib and Chris Harris, and an outstanding No. 3 in former first-rounder Bradley Roby. Sure, Joseph seems likely to lose Kayvon Webster, but the Broncos’ corner depth is still the envy of 31 teams.

• BRONCOS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 5 6 6 7

PK

26 63 98 136 144 176 219 228

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Paxton Lynch Adam Gotsis Justin Simmons Devontae Booker Connor McGovern Andy Janovich Will Parks Riley Dixon

QB DE S RB OG FB S PT

Memphis Georgia Tech Boston College Utah Missouri Nebraska Arizona Syracuse

They need mental side to catch up to physical gifts. Nondescript with 14 tackles, 3 QB hits in 200+ snaps. No. 3 S flashed on ‘D,’ had huge blocked PAT to spur win. Big drop-off after C.J.’s injury but flashed in spurts. Redshirted but has a chance on overhauled group in ‘17. Nov. ankle surgery ended nice year for tough blocker. No. 4 S, s/t stalwart returned blocked PAT for score. 41.3 net average the highest by a rookie in team history.

GP/GS

3/2 16/0 13/3 16/6 0/0 11/5 16/0 16/0

May have some nice future pieces, but didn’t provide quick impact needed in backfield, on both lines.

DEVONTAE BOOKER

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carry by season’s end.

DRAFT SLOT

4lWR

21

#

B

ob Quinn, in his first year as general manager, showed a penchant for overhauling the trenches, where two rookies (LT Taylor Decker and LG Graham Glasgow) emerged as potential O-line building blocks and a third, DT A’Shawn Robinson, made impressive strides while starting six of the final seven games. Now Quinn must improve the second level Robinson is tasked with protecting, in addition to continuing to fortify both fronts and upgrading Matthew Stafford’s artillery.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lLB

Publicly, the Lions ex­ press confidence WLB DeAndre Levy can regain his Pro Bowl form after consecutive lost seasons due to injury. Privately, Lions brass has to know Levy, 30, may never again be the dependable, everyweek, every-down ‘backer they need to bolster a ‘D’ that went the final five games without a takeaway and struggled to tackle in the wild-card loss in Seattle. MLB Tahir Whitehead is serviceable, but Detroit needs someone with his range and Levy’s peak ball skills and coverage.

2lDL

Ezekiel Ansah’s mas­ sive step back, largely the result of injuries, exposed a D-line that lacked additional

DeANDRE LEVY

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 30 PASSING 11 SCORING 20 TOTAL 21

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

18 19 13 18

necessary juice. Sack leader Kerry Hyder’s breakout season was vital with Ansah’s drop-off, but with NT Haloti Ngata likely entering his final season and UFA defensive end Devin Taylor’s status unknown as of press time, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin needs another pass rusher for a unit tied for 30th in sacks.

3lRB

Ameer Abdullah missed his second season with a broken foot, and Theo Riddick, in addition to missing the final six games, proved he’s one of the game’s best receiving backs but not an inside runner. Zach Zenner and Dwayne Washington are intriguing players without great pedigrees. Detroit finished 30th in rushing yards and 31st in attempts. A workhorse back would alleviate the intense burden Stafford struggled to

All Quinn had to do after his arrival was compensate for the retirement of Calvin Johnson, which he did by splurging in free agency on Marvin Jones and taking out an invaluable June insurance policy in Anquan Boldin. Jones faded after the first quarter of the season, and Boldin, 36 and a free agent, can’t be counted on to handle the thirddown and red-zone responsibilities he performed yeoman’s work with a season ago. Golden Tate picked up Jones’ slack, but the unraveling of Detroit’s wideouts in the postseason signaled the need for more help.

5lOT

If RT Riley Reiff is re-signed, cornerback replaces O-tackle, but Reiff covets a team willing to pay him blind-side money. Cornelius Lucas and Corey Robinson are best served as reserves, and Stafford would benefit from a solid young mauler to bookend impressive 2016 first-rounder Taylor Decker. Stafford is in line to soon become the NFL’s richest quarterback. Quinn needs to continue protecting the franchise’s most valuable asset with additional resources.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

P

Matthew Stafford isn’t going anywhere, but let’s focus on special teams. Sam Martin was acquired by former GM Martin Mayhew, but Quinn has already retained one of the game’s best punters with a fouryear contract to keep him in Motown through at least 2020.

• LIONS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 5 5 6 6 6 7

PK

16 46 95 111 151 169 191 202 210 236

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Taylor Decker A’Shawn Robinson Graham Glasgow Miles Killebrew Joe Dahl Antwione Williams Jake Rudock Anthony Zettel Jimmy Landes Dwayne Washington

OT DT OC S OG OLB QB DE LS RB

Ohio State Alabama Michigan Southern Utah Washington State Georgia Southern Michigan Penn State Baylor Washington

One of three Lions to play every snap, held his own at LT. 16/16 Nice ball-swatting, run-stuffing flashes as year wore on. 16/5 Exceeded expectations, usurping former first-round LG. 15/11 Flashed some versatility, ball skills as team’s dime S. 16/0 Tackled transition to OG; could be in RG mix in ‘17. 6/0 Notched 27 tackles while moving around second level. 14/3 Weekly inactive but promoted from PS to avoid leaving. 0/0 Earned rotational role, logging 200+ snaps and 1 sack. 13/0 Drafted to compete for job; went on IR with shoulder. 0/0 Big back with speed, but mustered 2.9 yards per carry. 12/2

GP/GS

Quinn’s debut draft more about substance than style — which is fine — but playmakers still needed.

116 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

TAYLOR DECKER


TEAM

PROFILE

who is 30 and ended the season on injured reserve with a neck injury, is due north of $4 million next season. Reports indicate Kiko Alonso could move to the weak side from the middle – he’s a restricted free agent. The Dolphins relied on journeyman Spencer Paysinger and they haven’t drafted a linebacker since Jordan Tripp in the fifth round in 2014.

DRAFT SLOT

22

#

C

oming off their best season in nearly a decade, the Dolphins enter the draft with several moving parts among their veterans, paving the way to draft new talent. Adam Gase enters his second draft as head coach, along with GM Chris Grier, looking to bolster a defense that ranked 29th in yards allowed last season. The offense wasn’t much better, ranking 24th.

4lTE

Jordan Cameron appeared in only three games because of concussions and is set to be a free agent in 2017, assuming he decides to keep playing football. Dion Sims was the Dolphins’ leading receiver at the position with only 256 receiving yards. He is also heading toward free agency, but said the Dolphins and Gase want him back as a starter. Even if that’s the case, Miami can add depth here.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lDE

It appears that former No. 1 pick Mario Wil­ liams could be cut – he was a healthy scratch in Week 17 and had only 1.5 sacks last season. Williams is due $8.45 million in 2017. As good as Cameron Wake is (11.5 sacks in 2016), he turned 35 on Jan. 30. Former overall No. 3 pick Dion Jordan hasn’t played since 2014 because of injuries and suspensions. Andre Branch, who had 5.5 sacks in his first season in Miami, is a free agent. Jordan is the last D-end the Dolphins have drafted prior to the seventh round, and that was in 2013.

2lOG/C

Miami has a few things to consider along the O-line. Jermon Bushrod is a free agent after his one season at right guard. Left tackle Branden Albert is 32 and due $8.875 million next season.

CAMERON WAKE

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 9 RUSHING PASSING 26 PASSING SCORING 17 SCORING TOTAL 24 TOTAL

30 15 18 29

If Albert is a cap casualty, Laremy Tunsil would move to left tackle, creating an even bigger need at guard. They also need to note that C Mike Pouncey played in only five games because of a hip injury last year and hasn’t played in 16 games since 2012.

3lLB

The trio of starters for the Dolphins in the second level could be in flux this offseason. Jelani Jenkins is entering free agency. Koa Misi,

5lDT

The Dolphins have question marks at defensive tackle outside Ndamukong Suh. They need more production at the position. Jordan Phillips had 23 tackles and five tackles for loss. Earl Mitchell, who turns 30 in September and is due nearly $4 million in 2016, appeared in only nine games and had zero sacks and three tackles for loss. Phillips is the only interior D-lineman the team has drafted since 2011.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

WR

The Dolphins have invested some early picks in this position lately – a secondrounder on Jarvis Landry in 2014, a first-rounder on DeVante Parker in ’15 and then a third-rounder on Leonte Carroo last year. Kenny Stills is a free agent, but he wants to stay in Miami and it seems the interest is mutual.

• DOLPHINS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 3 6 6 7 7

PK

13 38 73 86 186 204 223 231

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

Laremy Tunsil Xavien Howard Kenyan Drake Leonte Carroo Jakeem Grant Jordan Lucas Brandon Doughty Thomas Duarte

OT CB RB WR WR S QB WR

Mississippi Baylor Alabama Rutgers Texas Tech Penn State Western Kentucky UCLA

THE SKINNY

GP/GS

Rallied from draft night drama to be key starter at OG. Missed two months with meniscus injury. 6 PDs. 179 rushing yards with a TD, plus a kickoff-return TD. Had 3 catches for 29 yards and one touchdown. Special-teamer had 3 fumble recoveries. Had two tackles. Signed a reserve/futures contract after the season. Only appeared in one game, no receptions.

14/14 7/6 16/1 14/2 16/0 8/0 0/0 1/0

Tunsil seems to be a long-term starter, plus flashes from Howard and Drake. Need more from Carroo.

LAREMY TUNSIL

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to suggest a change on Eli Manning’s blindside might be necessary. In addition, starting ORG John Jerry and veteran backup OTs Marshall Newhouse and Will Beatty are all UFAs.

DRAFT SLOT

23

#

N

4lDL

The Giants’ D-line made gigantic strides last season, especially vs. the run. But help might be needed at both end and/or tackle with starting DRE Jason Pierre-Paul and starting DRT Johnathan Hankins becoming UFAs. Both Pierre-Paul (53 tackles, seven sacks and eight passes defended in 12 games) and Hankins (43 tackles and three sacks alongside stellar freeagent addition Damon Harrison in 16 games) could attract heavy interest on the free-agent market.

ot only did the Giants register double-digit victories and make the playoffs for the first time in five years, they also made tremendous strides on the defensive side of the ball, finishing second in points allowed and 10th in total yards allowed after ranking 30th and 32nd, respectively, in those categories the year prior. But even though there appear to be a lot more overall needs on offense, with only WR Odell Beckham qualifying as a consistent high-impact performer, arguably the Giants’ biggest need is still on defense at linebacker, where a lack of talent and potential freeagent defections are definite cause for concern.

5lQB

JASON PIERRE-PAUL

2016 NFL RANKINGS

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lLB

OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 29 PASSING 17 SCORING 26 TOTAL 25

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

T3 23 2 10

For starters, MLB Kelvin Sheppard, WLB Keenan Robinson and backup Mark Herzlich are unrestricted free agents, while SLB Devon Kennard and WLB J.T. Thomas were unable to stay healthy, both landing on the injured reserve list, along with backup MLB Uani’ Unga. In addition, Sheppard in particular had big problems stopping the run.

2016, and rookie Jerell Adams never showed enough to justify moving up the depth chart. A Travis Kelce-type tight end that could open things up for Beckham and the ground game would be a very welcome addition indeed.

2lTE

3lOL

As is the case at linebacker, the Giants’ talent at tight end is decidedly lackluster. Neither UFA Larry Donnell nor Will Tye was able to provide a sufficient spark in

Responsible for 20 turnovers last season, Eli Manning clearly regressed. At the age of 36, he is in the twilight of his career with no heir-apparent even remotely on the horizon. Backups Josh Johnson and Ryan Nassib, who spent last season on injured reserve, are both UFAs.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DB

After starting the season strong coming off a shaky rookie campaign, former first-round OLT Ereck Flowers completely unraveled down the stretch, playing bad enough

In a close call, the vastly improved secondary gets our vote over the stellar one-two WR punch provided by Beckham and rookie Sterling Shepard. SS Landon Collins, who made a quantum leap in 2016, and CB Janoris Jenkins were both named Pro Bowl starters, but a strong case could be made for slot CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie being every bit as good as either of them last season. Add mostly impressive firstround CB Eli Apple to the list, and the Giants just might have a secondary second to none in the NFL.

• GIANTS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK 1 10

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Eli Apple

CB

Ohio State

Solid rookie starter. Still has room to grow after shaky playoff. 14/11

2

Sterling Shepard

WR

Oklahoma

Excellent complement to Odell Beckham. Future is bright. 16/16

40

3

71

4

109

Darian Thompson

S

B.J. Goodson

ILB

GP/GS

Boise State

Impressive training camp. Foot surgery after Game Two.

2/1

Clemson

Free-agent departures could lead to more playing time.

15/0

5

149

Paul Perkins

RB

UCLA

Definite flashes down stretch as Giants’ lead back.

14/1

6

184

Jerell Adams

TE

South Carolina

Could move up depth chart based on potential.

13/2

SUMMARY

If you also include undrafted rookies Romeo Okwara, S Andrew Adams, Giants did A-OK.

118 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

STERLING SHEPARD


TEAM

PROFILE

4lS

DRAFT SLOT

24

#

T

hey won 12 games – two more than the previous two seasons combined — and snapped a 14-year playoff drought, making 2016 a decidedly successful campaign. Yet it ended on a down note even before Oakland was eliminated in the wild-card round by Houston, as Derek Carr’s broken leg in Week 16 capped the Raiders’ playoff ceiling. In all likelihood, so too did a defense unable to sufficiently complement the powerful offense, making Executive of the Year Reggie McKenzie’s directive clear: locate more young and dependable defenders.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lMLB

Oakland is strong on the edges with Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack and breakout star Bruce Irvin. The susceptibility is in the middle of the second level. Week One starter Ben Heeney suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week Five, preceded by his benching in favor of sixth-round rookie Cory James. Perry Riley, who started the final 12 games following his October signing, and former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, the leader among linebackers in play time, are free agents. The Raiders finished 23rd in run ‘D,’ 25th in yards per carry allowed and they lack a game-changer in the center of their high-priced ‘D.’

2lCB

Sean Smith, acquired to be a lockdown No. 1, fell well short of

SEAN SMITH

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 6 RUSHING PASSING 13 PASSING SCORING 7 SCORING TOTAL 6 TOTAL

23 24 20 26

expectations – just ask all-time Raiders great Charles Woodson. Worse, Smith underwent offseason shoulder surgery and he’ll be 30 when next season begins. D.J. Hayden, McKenzie’s first-ever first-rounder in Oakland, is a free agent who’s unlikely to return. The secondary ceded more explosive plays than any in football and needs more consistent and disciplined corners.

3lOT

Pro Bowl LT Donald Penn was as durable as any peer not named Joe Thomas prior to suffering a knee injury that kept him out of the postseason and badly exposed Oakland’s edge depth. Penn will be 34, and if the plan is to keep All-Pro Kelechi Osemele inside where he’s a destructive force, the time has arrived to think not only about reinforcements behind Penn and Austin Howard but life after. McKenzie has shown his commitment to the O-line by investing more in the group than any league-wide.

Karl Joseph couldn’t shed durability concerns that followed the rookie from West Virginia and those are likely to linger for a player with his size and aggressive temperament. Reggie Nelson continued to be a football magnet with five interceptions, upping his total to 17 over the past three seasons and earning him Pro Bowl recognition. He’ll also be 34 and lacks great range for a centerfieldertype. Travis Carrie and Keith McGill are entering contract years.

5lDT

Though Carr could use a playmaker at tight end, the offense isn’t lacking for firepower the way the defense requires sturdiness. The Raiders may move on from NT Dan Williams, who has no guaranteed money remaining on his deal. Oakland primarily needs a space eater like Williams at his best, but someone with some juice to take advantage of the favorable matchups the presence of Mack and Irvin outside creates is a plus.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

Carr’s blossoming elevated the organization, which will again soon be illustrated by his impending new contract. Fourthround rookie Connor Cook, who was pressed into the lineup and woefully overmatched in the wild-card round defeat in Houston following an injury to free agent backup Matt McGloin, has intriguing tools that clearly need more refining. The Raiders’ quarterback quandary in the postseason could help persuade even a Ron Wolf disciple like McKenzie, who believes in drafting quarterbacks almost annually, to bypass said tradition and opt for a steady veteran to insure what’s expected to be a massive investment in Carr.

• RAIDERS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

PK

14 44 75 100 143 194 234

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Karl Joseph Jihad Ward Shilique Calhoun Connor Cook Deandre Washington Cory James Vadal Alexander

S DE DE QB RB OLB OG

West Virginia Illinois Michigan State Michigan State Texas Tech Colorado State LSU

Serious pop when he’s playing — can he stay on field? 12/9 ‘Healthy scratch’ in playoffs, not suitable Edwards fill-in. 16/13 Didn’t provide team a third source of edge production. 14/2 Unsurprisingly overmatched in emergency playoff start. 1/0 Along with UDFA Richard, added versatility, playmaking. 12/2 Likely earned longer look after notching 48 tackles. 16/5 Showed positional flex, playing LG, RT and extra OT. 9/5

GP/GS

Dearth of difference-makers at top hurts, but Raiders boosted backfield and added a lot of talent.

KARL JOSEPH

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4lS

DRAFT SLOT

25

#

T

he Texans took a step forward in the playoffs following their third consecutive 9-7 campaign and second straight AFC South title, but a step back at the quarterback position despite investing $37 million guaranteed in Brock Osweiler last March. Indeed, GM Rick Smith has constructed a playoff-caliber roster with one vexing area, where Houston lacks legitimacy and, as we saw last season, any shot to make real noise in January without a marked upgrade.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lQB

The good news is Osweiler handled his December demotion in favor of Tom Savage well. But a December demotion during a playoff race for a player expected to be the answer to what’s long been the Texans’ greatest question says it all. Savage has flashed on separate occasions but they’ve both preceded him being injured. Osweiler likely can’t be any worse than he was last season, when in a sample size twice as large as his admittedly incomplete assessment with the Broncos, his passer rating plummeted to 72.2 (from 86.4) and his interception percentage skyrocketed to 3.1 (from 2.2).

2lOT

Three-time Pro Bowler Duane Brown, who’ll be 32 in August, is still getting it done on the blind side, where

BROCK OSWEILER

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 8 RUSHING 12 PASSING 29 PASSING 2 SCORING 28T SCORING 11 TOTAL 29 TOTAL 1 he helped stabilize the unit upon his return from a torn quadriceps in Week Five. Starting RT Derek Newton, however, faces a lengthy rehab after gruesomely tearing both of his patellar tendons in Week Seven, and his replacement, 32-year-old Chris Clark, who’s on the mend from offseason shoulder surgery, is ideally a serviceable swing tackle.

3lCB

The team’s best cover guy, 25-year-old A.J. Bouye, was also the best available free agent at his position as of press time. Retaining his former undrafted gem is a top priority for Smith, who has a reputation for keeping his own, but Bouye broke out at the perfect time, perhaps pricing himself out of Houston. Johnathan Joseph is still playing at a high level but he’s also entering a contract year at age 33.

If Houston can re-sign Bouye, No. 3 corner Kareem Jackson, a tough and versatile player, could be a safetyconversion candidate. Regardless of this scenario, it’d behoove the Texans, who haven’t earnestly invested here since missing on D.J. Swearinger in 2013, to alter that approach. All journeyman Quintin Demps does is exceed expectations, and the club likes 24-year-old ballhawk Andre Hal, but Demps will be 32 as he enters a contract year and he’s seemingly been a contingency for Houston rather than plan A.

5lILB

Brian Cushing, 30, has started 16 regularseason games in just three of eight seasons, and finding a future building block to pair with breakout star Benardrick McKinney would be prudent. Max Bullough, 25, hasn’t shown enough to suggest he’s a defensive asset – and special teams, where he, Brian Peters and UFA Akeem Dent are prominent, is a major liability. McKinney’s one knock in a sterling season is in coverage; Houston could target someone with speed and quickness.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DE

If J.J. Watt makes a successful return from back surgery, teaming the NFL’s three-time Defensive Player of the Year with Jadeveon Clowney, one of 2016’s most disruptive forces, will create the game’s most unstoppable bookend tandem, under team control through at least 2018. There’s certainly a chance Watt, 28, won’t regain his Hall of Fame-caliber form, but if anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, it’s him. Wide receiver could work here, too.

• TEXANS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK 1 21

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Will Fuller

WR

Notre Dame

Injuries hampered promising start; hands still big issue. 14/13

GP/GS

2

50

Nick Martin

C

Notre Dame

Penciled in as starter before Aug. ankle surgery, then IR.

0/0

3

85

Braxton Miller

WR

Ohio State

Just 15-99-1 as he endured injuries, adjustment period.

10/6 12/0

4

119

Tyler Ervin

RB

San Jose State

Earned punt return job but fumbles defined debut year.

5

159

KJ Dillon

S

West Virginia

Saddled with $16K hazing dinner bill, injuries as rookie.

5/0

5

166

D.J. Reader

DT

Clemson

They love his bulk and tenacity; can step in for Wilfork.

16/7

SUMMARY

Fuller’s fast start set lofty expectations that injuries and inconsistency ultimately shattered.

120 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

WILL FULLER


TEAM

PROFILE

suffered a broken leg in Week 13, and the pass defense immediately regressed. Another rangy, physical, play-making CB could come in handy, and it’s far from a lock the Seahawks will successfully renegotiate with SS Kam Chancellor in the final year of his contract after spending $31.5 million over the next three years to lock up DE Michael Bennett.

DRAFT SLOT

26

#

F

or the second consecutive year, the Seahawks’ biggest need by far is offensive linemen, particularly the tackles on both sides of the line. Arguably the biggest reason they failed to return to the Super Bowl for the third time in four years were the multiple injuries suffered by star QB Russell Wilson for the first time in his career, in no small part due to a cheaply constructed O-line that ranked 27th in sacks per pass attempt (five games allowing three or more sacks). Not helping matters is the possible loss of a secondround pick for failing to disclose CB Richard Sherman’s MCL injury after already losing their fifth-round pick this past September for violating rules regarding offseason workouts.

4lTE EARL THOMAS

2016 NFL RANKINGS

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lOLT

Improved protection on Wilson’s blind side is imperative, and the Seahawks are kidding themselves if they think undrafted George Fant, who was a basketball player less than two years ago, is the answer after 10 uninspired starts.

2lORT

Not only are Garry Gilliam, last year’s starter, and backup Bradley Sowell both journeymen of the highest order, Gilliam is a

Expensive starter Jimmy Graham is still one of the league’s best receiving tight ends, but the situation behind Graham could not be any shakier with Luke Willson and Brandon Williams both becoming unrestricted free agents, and Joe Sommers, Brandon Cottom and Ronnie Shields all landing on injured reserve last season.

OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 25 PASSING 10 SCORING T18 TOTAL 12

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

7 8 3 5

restricted free agent, while Sowell is an unrestricted free agent. Even if the Seahawks choose to add a veteran OT or two either via trade or free agency, which figures to be a strong possibility, they’d be foolish not to add at least three tackles in this year’s draft.

3lDB

A lack of depth in the secondary at both safety and cornerback was exposed after star S Earl Thomas

5lDT

While 2016 secondround pick Jarran Reed proved to be a decent inside complement to Seattle’s dynamic DE duo of Cliff Avril and Bennett, some more talent at the position wouldn’t hurt, especially with backups Tony McDaniel and John Jenkins both becoming unrestricted free agents.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DE

The Seahawks continue to have a huge edge over every opponent they face because of their imposing triple threat at defensive end with Pro Bowl starters Avril and Bennett and ascending third-year pro Frank Clark combining for a whopping 26½ sacks.

• SEAHAWKS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 3 3 5 5 6 7 7

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

31 49 90 94 97 147 171 215 243 247

Germain Ifedi Jarran Reed C.J. Prosise Nick Vannett Rees Odhiambo Quinton Jefferson Alex Collins Joey Hunt Kenny Lawler Zac Brooks

OT DT RB TE OG DT RB C WR RB

Texas A&M Alabama Notre Dame Ohio State Boise State Maryland Arkansas TCU California Clemson

Converted OT suffered some growing pains as starting ORG. 13/13 Has room to grow after holding own while starting six games. 15/6 Displayed flashes, especially in his 2 starts (combined 21-142-1). 6/2 Got off to slow start after high-ankle sprain in preseason. 9/2 Could give Mark Glowinski a run for his money at left guard. 8/0 Went on I.R. in late October after hurting knee in practice. 3/0 Team hopes he picks up where he left off in last 2 games. 11/0 Had strong preseason, but not yet in hunt for starting job. 9/1 On practice squad. Possible future possession receiver. 2/2 Did not survive final cuts and ended up with Broncos. 2/2

SUMMARY

GP/GS

Mediocre at best, but could be different story if RBs Prosise, Collins continue to improve.

GERMAIN IFEDI

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4lQB

DRAFT SLOT

27

#

T

he Chiefs have been to the playoffs three times in four seasons under Andy Reid and John Dorsey, and are coming off their first division title since 2010 and first 13-win season since 2003. They have constructed one of the NFL’s more competitive rosters. Yet, Kansas City may lose a defensive stalwart or two this offseason, and must continue to enhance an offense that managed just 16 points in the home playoff loss to the Steelers.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lILB

Derrick Johnson’s second ruptured Achilles in the past three seasons, sustained in Week 14, will be tough for even Kansas City’s all-time tackles leader and one of its most respected players to overcome at age 34. The Chiefs’ run ‘D’ was struggling even prior to Johnson’s injury, finishing the season No. 24 in yards per rush allowed (4.4) and 26th overall against the run. Pro Bowl special-teams ace D.J. Alexander and Ramik Wilson are young with upside, and both progressed last season, but neither profiles as the every-down replacement for one of the game’s better known defensive commodities.

2lOG

Replacing Jeff Allen last season proved problematic, as Jeff Fulton and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif

ERIC BERRY

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 15 PASSING 19 SCORING 13 TOTAL 20

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

26 18 7 24

both endured growing pains, and LG Parker Ehinger, perhaps the team’s best option and a Week One rookie starter, suffered a knee injury around midseason and didn’t play again. A zone-oriented, run-first team needs blockers who consistently create cutback opportunities, which were too rare a season ago.

3lS

Free agent Eric Berry was superb in a contract year; he’s going to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety, but it remains to be seen with whom. It seems likely one of Kansas City’s top free-agent defenders, Berry or Dontari Poe, won’t return. Complicating the safety situation is Berry’s running mate, Ron Parker, is the only one under contract. Daniel Sorensen could parlay his expanded sub-package role and timely big plays into a bigger opportunity elsewhere.

Using his legs less and still struggling to consistently connect downfield more often, Alex Smith took a step back last season. He still protected the football and showed some crunch-time ability, but in failing to build on his career year in 2015, Smith was unable to dissuade the critics who think he has a clear ceiling. Nick Foles’ nearly $11 million cap figure makes it unlikely he returns, and Tyler Bray remains solely a developmental prospect, not someone the Chiefs should feel comfortable entrusting in a pinch.

5lWR

Toss a coin between wideout and tailback, where Jamaal Charles, after another knee surgery, won’t be back without a restructured deal, and Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West, like most, lack his game-changing explosiveness. We’ll go receiver because, even after monster seasons from rookie home-run hitter Tyreek Hill and All-Pro TE Travis Kelce, this group wilted in the playoffs. Finding another big weapon on the outside to pair with Jeremy Maclin and maximize Hill all over the formation would be beneficial to Smith.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

OT

The light bulb finally flashed on for former No. 1 overall pick, LT Eric Fisher, in Year Four. RT Mitchell Schwartz was an excellent free-agent acquisition last offseason who continued to hold his own against the game’s elite rushers, including Von Miller and Khalil Mack. Dorsey has a ton invested in this position, including an able swing guy with starting experience in Jah Reid.

• CHIEFS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 2 3 4 4 4 5 5 6 6

PK

37 74 105 106 126 162 165 178 203

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Chris Jones Keivarae Russell Parker Ehinger Eric Murray Demarcus Robinson Kevin Hogan Tyreek Hill D.J. White Dadi Nicolas

DT CB OG CB WR QB WR CB OLB

Mississippi State Notre Dame Cincinnati Minnesota Florida Stanford West Alabama Georgia Tech Virginia Tech

Underrated; inside pass rush (10 QB hits, 4 PD) was key. Shockingly cut in Sept., unshockingly scooped by CIN. Team was amped by his growth before Oct. ACL tear. Safety convert facing key offseason, with change ahead. Failed to establish himself on average WR corps Waived by KC, claimed by CLEV, used as option QB. 12 TDs led all rookies; historic quadruple-threat debut. Nice preseason, buried on depth chart by postseason. Minimal role; suffered patellar tendon injury in finale.

GP/GS

A home-run gamble on Hill, ground-rule double on Jones and a few potential base hits. Very solid.

122 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

16/11 5/0 5/4 16/0 16/0 4/0 16/1 11/0 11/0 TYREEK HILL


TEAM

PROFILE

and has to at least be thinking more about retirement. Behind him, Gavin Escobar is an unrestricted free agent, while Geoff Swaim went on injured reserve in mid-November with a pectoral injury.

DRAFT SLOT

28

#

I

t will be next to impossible for the Cowboys to duplicate their otherworldly drafting success in 2016, when they selected what could end up being one of the best classes in NFL history, if highly regarded second-round OLB Jaylon Smith can follow in the footstepts of first-round RB Ezekiel Elliott and fourth-round QB Dak Prescott after sitting out his rookie season with a left-knee injury. With Elliott leading the league in rushing and dominating from the get-go, and Prescott emerging as their likely starting QB for the next decade, the Cowboys hit a draft parlay for the ages. After striking gold on offense late last April, look for them to concentrate more on the defensive side of the ball this time around.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lDE

The Cowboys can be excused if they feel a bit squeamish focusing prominently on this position after selecting defensive ends in the second round of two of the past three drafts with character issues (DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory). But they continue to really need an impact edge pass-rusher who poses a threat on every play in every game, especially considering Lawrence’s

4lQB DeMARCUS LAWRENCE

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 2 RUSHING 1 PASSING 23 PASSING 26 SCORING 5 SCORING 5 TOTAL 5 TOTAL 14 back issues.

2lDB

The Cowboys’ second­ ary has three starters (CBs Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne and SS Barry Church) and a key reserve (S J.J. Wilcox) entering the free-agent market. While they usually lean toward re-signing worthy players, it’s unlikely they will be able to retain all four of these UFAs, each of whom has something to offer. Expect them to look hard for a CB or two with starting potential.

3lTE

While he showed no signs whatsoever of slowing down, veteran Jason Witten turns 35 in early May

The Cowboys appear to be set under center for a long time to come after lucking out on Prescott. But the team’s backup situation could be totally up in the air with veteran Tony Romo more likely than not to move on to another team, and both Mark Sanchez and Kellen Moore becoming free agents.

5lRB

As is the case with Prescott, Elliott could be lacking backups with both Darren McFadden and Lance Dunbar set to test the freeagent waters. Alfred Morris is a proven performer who shapes up as a very solid No. 2 back, but he is only one player.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

OL

With apologies to Elliott, Prescott and Witten, the Cowboys’ stellar offensive line continues to be the team’s biggest strength with three perennial Pro Bowl starters in OLT Tyron Smith, C Travis Frederick and ORG Zack Martin. When OLG La’el Collins, who plays with a real edge when healthy, went on injured reserve last season with a toe injury, veteran UFA Ronald Leary did a great job in his place, managing to not allow a single sack and likely setting the stage for a new contract, as opposed to a new team.

• COWBOYS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 4 6 6 6 6

PK

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

4 34 67 101 135 189 212 216 217

Ezekiel Elliott Jaylon Smith Maliek Collins Charles Tapper Dak Prescott Anthony Brown Kavon Frazier Darius Jackson Rico Gathers

RB OLB DT DE QB CB S RB TE

Ohio State Notre Dame Nebraska Oklahoma Mississippi State Purdue Central Michigan Eastern Michigan Baylor

Outstanding value, a complete back right from the start. 15/15 2015 Butkus award winner, top-5 talent – when healthy. 0/0 Became a starter in Week 3 and more than held his own. 16/14 Placed on injured reserve in September with back ailment. 0/0 Managed to make Romo an afterthought. Great presence. 16/16 Versatility is his greatest asset. A steal in Round Six. 16/9 Primarily a special-teamer, rarely saw action as backup. 9/0 Released in December, he was picked up by Browns. 0/0 Spent season on practice squad. An intriguing reach. 0/0

SUMMARY

GP/GS

A-plus. Cowboys hit a tape-measure home run – even without Jaylon Smith entering fray.

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT

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TEAM

PROFILE

DRAFT SLOT

4lWR

29

#

A

aron Rodgers said after his team was demolished by the Falcons in the NFC title game they must “reload,” not “rebuild,” and he’s right – though it’s tough to overstate what one player meant to overcoming a 4-6 start en route to their fifth NFC North crown in six seasons. Indeed, while the gap between the Packers and the rest of the division remains, it isn’t nearly as wide as one between Rodgers and his supporting cast.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lCB

No position unraveled due to injury and poor play last season more than cornerback, where the season, and Packers career-ending concussion suffered by Sam Shields in Week One magnified the inability of Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins to take sizeable sophomore strides. The pair missed a combined nine games with injuries and struggled when they were on the field, burdening LaDarius Gunter, the team’s best corner a season ago, who was exposed by Dez Bryant and Julio Jones in the playoffs.

2lOLB

Nick Perry, who had his best season and led the Packers with a career-high 11 sacks, and ageless Julius Peppers, No. 2 in sacks with 7.5, were poised to test the market as of press time. So, too, is Datone Jones. Clay Matthews, who played the second half of the season with a painful and

the need is dire. This group grew up considerably, beginning with Davante Adams, one of the league’s most improved players, who logged 12 touchdowns and missed his first 1,000-yard campaign by merely three yards. Undrafted rookie Geronimo Allison also came up big in pinchhitting duty as the season wore on and, of course, Jordy Nelson returned from a lost 2015 to secure a league-high 14 touchdowns and Comeback Player of the Year honors. But Randall Cobb had a down year, the group lacks a true burner, and valuable TE Jared Cook, a free agent whose return Rodgers wasted no time stumping for, isn’t guaranteed.

EDDIE LACY

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 20 PASSING 7 SCORING 4 TOTAL 8

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

8 31 21 22

limiting separated shoulder, will be 31 and is slated to earn more than $15 million next season. Dom Capers’ ‘D,’ ultra-reliant on pressure, lacks a clear source for its next wave.

3lRB

When Eddie Lacy’s contract year ended in Week Seven due to an ankle injury necessitating surgery, coach Mike McCarthy said his piledriving back was having his best year. But Lacy’s weight was again a topic of conversation, reportedly north of 250 pounds, and paired with his health, it made him a candidate for a short-term, prove-it deal. Converted receiver Ty Montgomery, save for his No. 88, looked like a natural in the backfield. Together, they could solve Green Bay’s run-game woes — Rodgers was the second-leading rusher and scorer in the backfield of the most imbalanced offense of McCarthy’s tenure. If Lacy walks,

5lOL

Like wideout, the offensive line’s inclu­ sion here is mostly for depth purposes. Pro Bowl RG T.J. Lang is a free agent, as is his primary backup, Don Barclay. J.C. Tretter started the first six games at the pivot prior to a season-ending knee injury requiring offseason surgery.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

All Rodgers did was toss 27 of his league-leading 40 touchdowns, with just two interceptions, over the final 10 games. Indeed, the 33-year-old, signed through 2019, is still the best quarterback on the planet. Talented Brett Hundley, with two years of team control remaining, despite his limited track record, could potentially bring the Packers a nice return in a trade. Until then, Ted Thompson’s singular focus should be surrounding the quarterback position, not messing with what’s worked best for this team for the better part of the past two decades.

• PACKERS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 4 5 6

PK

27 48 88 131 137 163 200

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Kenny Clark Jason Spriggs Kyler Fackrell Blake Martinez Dean Lowry Trevor Davis Kyle Murphy

DT OT OLB ILB DE WR OT

UCLA Indiana Utah State Stanford Northwestern California Stanford

400+ snaps, impressively saved best for last. Strength deficiency made it tough for him to compete. Flashed in 176 snaps; major OLB change likely ahead. Wasn’t necessary answer in coverage, or overall, inside. Solid pass-rush production should earn him bigger role. 3-24-1, all in Week 8 — a shame given GB’s speed need. Played just 8 snaps but has some desirable traits.

GP/GS

16/2 16/2 13/0 13/9 15/0 11/0 3/0

Decent defensive line impact, and future seems bright here, but jury out among O-linemen, ‘backers.

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BLAKE MARTINEZ


TEAM

PROFILE

would like to have the dynamic, dual-threat back who lit it up the last month of the season, but it’s also worth noting Bell’s suspension and injury history as negotiations get underway. Even if he does return, DeAngelo Williams, 33, is a free agent, and the next running back in line is Fitzgerald Toussaint. At a bare minimum, the Steelers need a reliable complement for Bell.

DRAFT SLOT

30

#

C

oming off an AFC Championship loss, the Steelers have to continue to use the draft to improve a defense that isn’t as intimidating as it was during their Super Bowl trips. The offense has firepower, but pending free agency for Le’Veon Bell throws a wrench into things for 2017.

4lTE

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lEDGE

The Steelers are expected to lose Jarvis Jones, their 2013 first-round pick, to free agency, though he had only six sacks in his four seasons with Pittsburgh. They can’t expect another effective pass-rushing season from the ageless (and free-agency-bound) James Harrison. Bud Dupree showed flashes late, but the Steelers have to add outside edge rushers. No player on the defense had more than Harrison’s five sacks this past season, so this is a position that required not only talent but also depth. In their loss to the Patriots in the AFC title game, the Steelers hit Tom Brady only three times.

2lCB

Even though Pittsburgh used its first two picks on corners last year and a second-rounder in 2015, that doesn’t mean it’s not a need. Remember: you can’t have enough cornerbacks. Sean

JAMES HARRISON

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 14 PASSING 5 SCORING 10 TOTAL 7

RUSHING PASSING SCORING TOTAL

13 16 10 12

Davis and Artie Burns got plenty of valuable experience as rookies, with Burns collecting 13 passes defensed. Ross Cockrell was solid, too, but the Steelers struggled to defend the pass overall. Long-time Steeler William Gay is 32, something to note when thinking about the future in the secondary.

3lRB

Le’Veon Bell may be one of the highestprofile free agents in the league. Certainly the Steelers

The Ladarius Green experience was a fru­ stra­ting one. He played in six games in his first season because of concussions and could be released if the Steelers want to start over. Jesse James showed flashes with 338 receiving yards, but this is an important position in Pittsburgh’s offense (see: Heath Miller) and they could use more talent. Even if Green is back, adding insurance is important.

5lILB

10-year veteran Law­ rence Timmons turns 31 in May and is a free agent. The Steelers have a very good inside ‘backer in Ryan Shazier, so is it time to find a better long-term answer to pair with him in the middle of the ‘D,’ even if Timmons returns? In the least, the Steelers could afford to add depth at the position.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

DL

With veterans Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt, the Steelers have two pretty good defensive ends. 2016 third-round pick Javon Hargrave got valuable reps as a rookie along with Daniel McCullers, giving the Steelers a deep group up front.

• STEELERS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 1 2 3 4 6 7 7

PK

25 58 89 123 220 229 246

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Artie Burns Sean Davis Javon Hargrave Jerald Hawkins Travis Feeney Demarcus Ayers Tyler Matakevich

CB S DT OT OLB WR ILB

Miami (FL) Maryland South Carolina State LSU Washington Houston Temple

Had 65 tackles, 13 passes defensed and 3 INTs Made 70 tackles, 5 passes defensed and had 1 INT. Stepped up in the middle with 27 tackles, 2 sacks. Spent year on IR with a shoulder injury. Waived and claimed by the Saints. Played in final 2 games. Had 5 catches and TD vs. Cle. Led team with 10 tackles on special teams.

GP/GS

16/9 16/9 15/13 0/0 0/0 2/1 16/0

Secondary and D-line got boost from top three picks; important for those players to keep ascending.

ARTIE BURNS

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TEAM

PROFILE

(22 catches) and Levine Toilolo (13 catches) are both free agents. Assuming the Falcons don’t bring back both players, they’ll have depth questions at tight end. With Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and the emerging Taylor Gabriel, think of what the offense could do with a tight end to pair with Hooper.

DRAFT SLOT

31

#

T

he NFC champion Falcons used a fantastic 2016 draft class to help them get to the Super Bowl and now have the foundation of a young, talented team that can be in contention for a while. There are still needs to fill, especially on defense to help complement the league’s highest-scoring offense. They’ve concentrated heavily on ‘D’ in the past two drafts, but more work is necessary to get the unit to a higher level of play.

4lCB JONATHAN BABINEAUX

2016 NFL RANKINGS

TOP 5 NEEDS

OFFENSIVE RANK

1lDT

The Falcons did use a 2015 fifth-rounder on Grady Jarrett and a 2014 second-round pick on Ra’Shede Hageman, but they can get more production from the interior, where that duo combined for seven tackles for loss in 2016. Veteran Jonathan Babineaux is 35 and a free agent, and Hageman will be entering the last year of his rookie contract. Atlanta lacks depth at the position, too, and could load up to help Vic Beasley off the edge.

2lOG

The offensive line gave up way too many QB hits on Matt Ryan. Fortunately for Atlanta, he remained upright enough to dominate the league en route to an

The Falcons got pretty good secondary play from their cornerbacks Robert Alford, Brian Poole and Jalen Collins, especially after Desmond Trufant’s injury. They should be able to build off that next season, which will be important with Trufant entering the last year of his rookie contract. The Falcons still, as a whole, struggled in their pass defense and could certainly add depth to the secondary.

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 5 RUSHING PASSING 3 PASSING SCORING 1 SCORING TOTAL 2 TOTAL

17 28 27 25

MVP award, but that doesn’t mean they can’t upgrade the interior O-line spots. 34-year-old right guard Chris Chester is a free agent. Andy Levitre, who turns 31 in May, is due $6.5 million in 2017. Atlanta does have 2016 sixth-rounder Wes Schweitzer as a reserve but might want to find a future, long-term starter here in the draft.

3lTE

2016 third-round pick, Austin Hooper, had only 19 catches during the regular season. Jacob Tamme

5lEDGE

Vic Beasley had a great Year Two, leading the league with 15.5 sacks. Adrian Clayborn, before his biceps injury, played well, too, with 15 QB hits. He’s entering the final year of his deal in 2017. 36-year-old Dwight Freeney is a free agent and Tyson Jackson turns 31 in June. The Falcons could use another quick-twitch edge bender to pair with Beasley.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

WR

The Falcons have the best receiver in the game in Jones, plus a solid complement in Sanu and a fieldstretcher in Gabriel. Last year’s seventh-rounder Devin Fuller and 2015 fourth-round pick Justin Hardy give them depth.

• FALCONS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD PK 1 17

Keanu Neal

S

2

52

Deion Jones

3

81

Austin Hooper

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Florida

Hard hitter had 106 tackles, 9 PDs, 5 forced fumbles.

GP/GS

14/14

OLB

LSU

Very productive: 108 tackles, 11 PDs, 3 INTs, 2 TDs.

15/13

TE

Stanford

Caught 19 passes for 271 yards and 3 touchdowns.

14/3

4

115

De’Vondre Campbell OLB

Minnesota

Had 48 tackles, 7 PDs and one interception.

6

195

Wes Schweitzer

OG

San Jose State

Reserve lineman spent season inactive but on roster.

0/0

Devin Fuller

WR

UCLA

Spent season on injured reserve with shoulder injury.

0/0

7 238 SUMMARY

Neal, Jones, Campbell proved to be great picks, helped Falcons’ defense get to the Super Bowl.

126 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

11/10

DEION JONES


TEAM

PROFILE

and James White. White is the only back the Patriots have drafted since taking Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley in 2011.

DRAFT SLOT

32

#

O

ften flush with picks thanks to trading down (or unloading veterans), the Super Bowl champs have consistently found key contributors through the draft over the years. It’s sometimes hard to peg high-priority needs for a franchise that reached the conference title for the sixth year in a row, but turnover can be high on both sides of the ball each offseason.

TOP 5 NEEDS

1lEDGE

Adding Chris Long helped the Pats’ defense in 2016, as he notched 10 QB hits and four sacks, but Long was on a oneyear contract and turns 32 in March. Jabaal Sheard, who was second on the team with five sacks, is set to hit free agency. Long-time edge rusher Rob Ninkovich is 33. Trey Flowers stepped up with seven sacks in his second NFL season, but the Patriots could use a young pass-rush help off the edge.

2lOT

Yes, the Patriots have very good bookends in Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon, with the latter filling in admirably for Sebastian

4lTE CHRIS LONG

2016 NFL RANKINGS OFFENSIVE RANK

DEFENSIVE RANK

RUSHING 7 RUSHING 3 PASSING 4 PASSING 12 SCORING 3 SCORING 1 TOTAL 4 TOTAL 8 Vollmer. Vollmer, who turns 33 in July, is a free agent who played only one 16-game season since 2009. The Pats have to add depth this year while also thinking about the future – Solder is entering the last year of a three-year deal.

3lRB

The Patriots have made a living of finding running backs off the scrap heap or in later rounds of the draft, so don’t expect them to target one early in a deep RB class. However, with LeGarrette Blount, 30, heading to free agency, there is a need here to get a back to join Dion Lewis

The Patriots have the greatest tight end to ever play the game, but with Rob Gronkowski having undergone his third back surgery, it wouldn’t hurt to add more insurance at the position. Yes, Gronk has battled to stay on the field, but he played in eight games in 2016 and seven in 2013. Martellus Bennett, who turns 30 in March, is a free agent and could return, but for an offense that likes using multiple tight ends, finding another pass catcher would help.

5lLB

Dont’a Hightower figures to be a key player to watch this offseason, as one of the Patriots’ top defenders enters free agency. The aforementioned Ninkovich is in the tail end of his career. After trading Jamie Collins, the Pats relied on 2016 sixth-rounder Elandon Roberts. They also have Bears cast-off Shea McClellin and former Lion Kyle Van Noy, so there are bodies here, but the Patriots can look to add more youth in the second level.

AREA OF LEAST NEED

QB

Of course, don’t rule out the Patriots taking a quarterback, but as of press time, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett were still on the roster behind Tom Brady. They like to take quarterbacks, but they certainly don’t “need” one.

• PATRIOTS’ 2016 DRAFT SELECTIONS RD 2 3 3 3 4 6 6 6 7

PK

60 78 91 96 112 208 214 221 225

SUMMARY

NAME

POS

COLLEGE

THE SKINNY

Cyrus Jones Joe Thuney Jacoby Brissett Vincent Valentine Malcolm Mitchell Kamu Grugier-Hill Elandon Roberts Ted Karras Devin Lucien

CB OG QB DT WR CB ILB OG WR

Alabama North Carolina St. North Carolina St. Nebraska Georgia Eastern Illinois Houston Illinois Arizona State

Logged 7 tackles; returned 11 punts but had 5 fumbles. 10/1 Stepped in as a starter and earned All-Rookie honors. 16/16 Helped guide Pats to win over Texans; 0 TDs, 0 INTs. 3/2 Had 19 tackles and one sack as well as 2 TFLs. 13/2 Caught 32 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns. 14/6 Waived and claimed by the Eagles. 12/0 Stepped up after Collins trade; racked up 45 tackles. 13/5 Appeared in every game as a reserve O-lineman. 16/1 Waived on Sept. 3. 0/0

GP/GS

Important contributions on offense from Mitchell, Thuney. Will Brissett be a starter down the line?

MALCOLM MITCHELL

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PLAYER /SCHOOL PAGE

Abdullah, Khalid / James Madison........ 25 Adams, Jamal / LSU................................. 87 Adams, Montravius / Auburn..................61 Adams, Rodney / South Florida............. 34 Allen, Jonathan / Alabama..................... 58 Anderson, Ryan / Alabama..................... 67 Andrews, Gavin / Oregon State............. 56 Anzalone, Alex / Florida...........................74 Asiata, Isaac / Utah................................. 52 Augusta, Josh / Missouri........................ 63 Awuzie, Chidobe / Colorado................... 82 Baker, Budda / Washington.................... 87 Baker, Toby / Arkansas............................ 94 Banner, Zach / USC.................................. 45 Barnett, Derek / Tennessee.................... 65 Basham, Tarell / Ohio.............................. 68 Beathard, C.J. / Iowa.................................15 Beckwith, Kendell / LSU...........................74 Biegel, Vince / Wisconsin........................75 Bisnowaty, Adam / Pittsburgh............... 44 Bevins, Collin / NW Missouri State....... 70 Bolles, Garett / Utah.................................41 Boulware, Ben / Clemson........................76 Bowser, Tyus / Houston...........................77 Brantley, Caleb / Florida.......................... 59 Brown, Christian / West Virginia........... 63 Brown, Jayon / UCLA................................77 Brown, Noah / Ohio State....................... 29 Brunskill, Daniel / San Diego State....... 47 Bullough, Riley / Michigan State............76 Butt, Jake / Michigan................................37 Cannon, KD / Baylor................................ 30 Carr, Austin / Northwestern................... 35 Carraway, Josh / TCU...............................77 Carter, Jamal / Miami (Fla.)....................90 Charlton, Taco / Michigan...................... 65 Chesson, Jehu / Michigan...................... 35 Clement, Corey / Wisconsin.................. 22 Clements, Chunky / Illinois.................... 63 Coley, Stacy / Miami (Fla.)..................... 34 Conley, Gareon / Ohio State...................80 Conner, James / Pittsburgh.................... 20 Cook, Dalvin / Florida State.....................19 Cox, Marcus / Appalachian State.......... 25 Cox Jr., Bryan / Florirda........................... 70 Crowley, Lucas / North Carolina............ 55 Cunningham, Zach / Vanderbilt..............73 Darboh, Amara / Michigan..................... 29 Davenport, Julie’n / Bucknell................. 44 Davis, Corey / Western Michigan.......... 28 Davis, Jarrad / Florida...............................73 Davis, Justin / USC................................... 24 Davis, Keionta / Tenn. Chattanooga......71 Dawkins, Dion / Temple...........................41 Dayes, Matthew / N.C. State.................. 23 Dobbs, Joshua / Tennessee.....................14 Douglas, Rasul / West Virginia...............81 Dunker, Jessamen / Tennessee State... 52 Dupre, Malachi / LSU................................32 Dural, Travin / LSU................................... 34 Elder, Corn / Miami (Fla.)........................ 83 Elflein, Pat / Ohio State........................... 49 Elliott, Jake / Memphis............................ 95 Engram, Evan / Mississippi.....................37 Etta-Tawo, Amba / Syracuse.................. 34 Evans, Jerod / Virginia Tech.....................14 Evans, Justin / Texas A&M...................... 87 Everett, Gerald / South Alabama............37

Feeney, Dan / Indiana..............................48 Fields, Devonte / Louisville......................73 Folston, Tarean / Notre Dame................ 24 Ford, Isaiah / Virginia Tech..................... 30 Foreman, D’Onta / Texas......................... 20 Foster, Reuben / Alabama.......................72 Fournette, Leonard / LSU.........................19 Fuller, Kyle / Baylor.................................. 55 Gallman, Wayne / Clemson.....................19 Garcia, Antonio / Troy.............................40 Garrett, Myles / Texas A&M................... 65 Gedeon, Ben / Michigan..........................75 Gennesy, Avery / Texas A&M................. 42 Gerry, Nate / Nebraska............................90 Glasgow, Ryan / Michigan.......................61 Godchaux, Davon / LSU.......................... 62 Godin, Matt / Michigan........................... 63 Godwin, Chris / Penn State.....................31 Golladay, Kenny / Northern Illinois........33 Gonzalez, Zane / Arizona State............. 94 Goodman, Evan / Arizona State............. 53 Guillermo, Jay / Clemson........................ 56 Hall, Daeshon / Texas A&M.................... 68 Hansen, Chad / California....................... 29 Harlow, Sean / Oregon State................. 53 Harris, Charles / Missouri....................... 66 Harris, Connor / Lindenwood..................77 Harvey-Clemons, Josh / Louisville........ 89 Heck, Jon / North Carolina..................... 46 Henderson, Carlos / Louisiana Tech..... 35 Hendrickson, Trey / Florida Atlantic..... 68 Hikutini, Cole / Louisville........................ 39 Hill, Brian / Wyoming.............................. 23 Hill, Delano / Michigan............................90 Hodges, Bucky / Virginia Tech................37 Holden, William / Vanderbilt.................. 45 Hood, Elijah / North Carolina................. 23 Hooker, Malik / Ohio State..................... 86 Howard, O.J. / Alabama........................... 36 Hughley, Tobijah / Louisville................... 56 Humphrey, Marlon / Alabama................ 79 Hunt, Kareem / Toledo............................ 22 Isidora, Danny / Miami (Fla.).................. 52 Jackson, Adoreé / USC.............................81 Jackson, Eddie / Alabama....................... 89 Jarwin, Blake / Oklahoma State............. 39 Jenkins, Rayshawn / Miami (Fla.)..........88 Jerome, Lorenzo / St. Francis (Pa.)........ 89 Jeter, Colin / LSU...................................... 39 Johnson, Dorian / Pittsburgh................. 49 Johnson, Jaleel / Iowa............................. 59 Johnson, John / Boston College............88 Johnson, Jordan / Buffalo....................... 25 Johnson, Roderick / Florida State......... 42 Jones, Jarron / Notre Dame.................... 63 Jones, Nazair / North Carolina............... 62 Jones, Sidney / Washington...................80 Jones, Zay / East Carolina.......................32 Kaaya, Brad / Miami (Fla.).......................14 Kalis, Kyle / Michigan.............................. 53 Kamara, Alvin / Tennessee..................... 22 Kazee, Damontae / San Diego State..... 83 Kelly, Chad / Mississippi..........................13 King, Desmond / Iowa..............................81 King, Kevin / Washington....................... 83 Kizer, DeShone / Notre Dame.................12 Kpassagnon, Tanoh / Villanova.............. 69 Kupp, Cooper / Eastern Washington.... 28

128 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

Lamp, Forrest / Western Kentucky.......48 Lampkin, Ashton / Oklahoma State......84 Langi, Harvey / BYU..................................76 Lattimore, Marshon / Ohio State.......... 79 Lawson, Carl / Auburn............................. 67 Ledbetter, Jeremiah / Arkansas..............71 Lee, Marquel / Wake Forest....................77 Leggett, Jordan / Clemson..................... 38 Lewis, Jourdan / Michigan...................... 82 Liufau, Sefo / Colorado.............................15 Luke, Cole / Notre Dame.........................84 Mabin, Greg / Iowa..................................84 Mack, Marlon / South Florida................ 20 Magnuson, Erik / Michigan.................... 42 Mahomes, Patrick / Texas Tech..............13 Mama, Damien / USC.............................. 49 Marcus, Jamal / Akron............................ 70 Maye, Marcus / Florida...........................88 McCaffrey, Christian / Stanford..............19 McDermott, Conor / UCLA..................... 45 McDowell, Malik / Michigan State........ 58 McGuire, Elijah / Louisiana-Lafayette... 24 McKinley, Takkarist / UCLA.................... 66 McMillan, Raekwon / Ohio State............72 McNichols, Jeremy / Boise State...........21 Melifonwu, Obi / Connecticut...............88 Mixon, Joe / Oklahoma............................21 Moore, Steven / California...................... 47 Moreau, Fabian / UCLA........................... 82 Morgan, Jordan / Kutztown.................... 52 Moss, Avery / Youngstown State.......... 69 Moton, Taylor / Western MIchigan........41 Myers, Levon / Northern Illinois............ 47 Neal, Lewis / LSU......................................71 Nicholson, Montae / Michigan State.... 89 Nickerson Jr., Hardy / Illinois...................77 Njoku, David / Miami (Fla.)..................... 36 Noil, Speedy / Texas A&M...................... 35 Norton, Storm / Toledo........................... 46 Ogunjobi, Larry / Charlotte....................60 Onwualu, James / Notre Dame...............75 Orlosky, Tyler / West Virginia................. 54 Orndoff, Scott / Pittsburgh..................... 39 Pankey, Adam / West Virginia................ 53 Peppers, Jabrill / Michigan..................... 86 Perine, Samaje / Oklahoma.................... 20 Peterman, Nathan / Pittsburgh...............13 Phillips Jr., Carroll / Illinois.......................75 Pipkin, Antonio / Tiffin..............................15 Pocic, Ethan / LSU.................................... 54 Price, Ejuan / Pittsburgh......................... 69 Pumphrey, Donnel / San Diego State...... 23 Pyke, Greg / Georgia............................... 53 Qualls, Elijah / Washington....................60 Ramczyk, Ryan / Wisconsin....................41 Reddick, Haason / Temple.......................73 Rehkow, Austin / Idaho........................... 95 Reynolds, Josh / Texas A&M.................. 29 Riley, Duke / LSU.......................................74 Rivers, Derek / Youngstown State........ 69 Roberts, Michael / Toledo....................... 39 Robinette, Jalen / Air Force.....................31 Robinson, Cam / Alabama......................40 Robinson, Ezra / Tennessee State......... 85 Rochell, Isaac / Notre Dame....................61 Rogers, Darreus / USC............................. 35 Rogers, Sam / Virginia Tech....................21 Ross, Boise / Buffalo................................ 85

Ross, Fred / Mississippi State.................33 Ross, John / Washington........................ 28 Roullier, Chase / Wyoming..................... 55 Russell, Seth / Baylor...............................15 Salako, Victor / Oklahoma State........... 46 Samuel, Curtis / Ohio State................... 28 Saubert, Eric / Drake............................... 38 Scelfo, Joe / North Carolina State......... 56 Schult, Karter / Northern Iowa...............71 Scott, Artavis / Clemson.........................31 Seals-Jones, Ricky / Texas A&M............ 35 Senior, Justin / Mississippi State.......... 46 Sharpe, David / Florida............................ 45 Siragusa, Nico / San Diego State.......... 49 Skipper, Dan / Arkansas.......................... 44 Smart, Tanzel / Tulane............................. 63 Smith, De’Veon / Michigan..................... 25 Smith, Jonnu / Florida International..... 38 Smith-Schuster, JuJu / USC.....................27 Smithson, Fish / Kansas..........................90 Smoot, Dawuane / Illinois...................... 67 Sprinkle, Jeremy / Arkansas................... 38 Staples, Jamari / Louisville......................33 Stevenson, Freddie / Florida State........ 25 Stewart, ArDarius / Alabama..................31 Stribling, Channing / Michigan.............. 83 Switzer, Ryan / North Carolina...............32 Tabor, Teez / Florida.................................80 Tankersley, Cordrea / Clemson...............81 Taylor, Steven / Houston..........................76 Taylor, Taywan / Western Kentucky...... 30 Taylor, Trent / Louisiana Tech.................32 Taylor, Vincent / Oklahoma State...........61 Tevi, Sam / Utah....................................... 47 Thomas, Solomon / Stanford................. 66 Thompson, Tedric / Colorado.................90 Tomlinson, Dalvin / Alabama.................60 Torgersen, Alek / Penn.............................15 Toth, Jon / Kentucky................................ 55 Trubisky, Mitch / North Carolina............13 Tu’ikolovatu, Stevie / USC....................... 62 Tupou, Josh / Colorado............................ 63 Ugokwe, Jerry / William and Mary........ 47 Vanderdoes, Eddie / UCLA...................... 62 Walker, Charles / Oklahoma...................60 Walker, DeMarcus / Florida State.......... 67 Walker Jr., Anthony / Northwestern.......74 Ware, Jylan / Alabama State.................. 44 Watkins, Carlos / Clemson..................... 59 Watson, Brad / Wake Forest................... 85 Watson, Deshaun / Clemson..................12 Watt, T.J. / Wisconsin.............................. 66 Webb, Davis / California..........................14 Westbrook, Dede / Oklahoma................ 30 Westerkamp, Jordan / Nebraska............33 Wheeler, Chad / USC............................... 42 White, Marquez / Florida State..............84 White, Tre’Davious / LSU........................ 82 Williams, Jamaal / BYU............................21 Williams, Joe / Utah................................. 22 Williams, Marcus / Utah......................... 87 Williams, Mike / Clemson........................27 Williams, Tim / Alabama......................... 65 Willis, Jordan / Kansas State.................. 68 Wilson, Quincy / Florida..........................80 Wise Jr., Deatrich / Arkansas................. 70 Woods, Xavier / Louisiana Tech.............90 Wormley, Chris / Michigan..................... 59 Yearby, Joseph / Miami (Fla.)................. 24


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ADMINISTRATION General Manager/Editor Hub Arkush EDITORIAL STAFF Associate editors Kevin Fishbain Arthur Arkush Contributing Editors Dan McCaleb Jake Bartelson Contributing Writer Greg Gabriel Art director Bob Peters Production manager R. Scott Helmchen ADVERTISING SALES Executive director/Sales Laura Shaw Photography courtesy of SportPics Pro Football Weekly 7717 S. Ill. Route 31 Crystal Lake, Ill. 60014 General inquiries: 815-459-4122 Published by Shaw Media President John Rung

About the author

Greg Gabriel has been Pro Football Weekly’s Scouting/Draft expert since 2015. Prior to that, he spent 32 years as an NFL Scout and Director of College Scouting. 1981-1982 Quadra Scouting Combine 1982-1984 Buffalo Bills 1984-1985 National Scouting 1985-2001 New York Giants, Area Scout 2001-2010 Chicago Bears, Director of College Scouting 2012-2013 Philadelphia Eagles, Player Personnel Gabriel’s past colleagues include Bill Parcells, George Young, Ernie Accorsi, Dan Reeves, Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin, to name a few. Gabriel is currently a partner and NFL analyst at NFPOST.com.

2 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


UP FRONT

DeShone Kizer

The first-round quarterbacks ..................... PFW’s exclusive mock draft .......................... Draft rankings by position ......................

4 8

10

SCOUTING REPORTS QUARTERBACKS ................12 UP CLOSE WITH NATHAN PETERMAN......... 16 JuJu Smith-Schuster

RUNNING BACKS ...............18 WIDE RECEIVERS ..............26 TIGHT ENDS .......................36 OFFENSIVE TACKLES........40 OFFENSIVE GUARDS ........48 UP CLOSE WITH INDIANA’S DAN FEENEY ... 50

CENTERS.............................54 DEFENSIVE TACKLES .......58 EDGE RUSHERS .................64 LINEBACKERS..................... 72 CORNERBACKS .................78 SAFETIES ............................86 SPOTLIGHT ON THE SAFETIES ....................92

SPECIALISTS ......................94 TEAM ANALYSIS

Myles Garrett

CLEVELAND ............96 SAN FRANCISCO...... 97 CHICAGO .................98 JACKSONVILLE ......99 L.A. RAMS ............. 100 N.Y. JETS ................ 101 L.A. CHARGERS ..... 102 CAROLINA..............103 CINCINNATI ......... 104 BUFFALO ............... 105 NEW ORLEANS ... 106 PHILADELPHIA.....107 ARIZONA ............... 108 INDIANAPOLIS .... 109 MINNESOTA ......... 110 BALTIMORE ........... 111

WASHINGTON ......112 TENNESSEE ............113 TAMPA BAY .......... 114 DENVER .................. 115 DETROIT ................. 116 MIAMI ......................117 N.Y. GIANTS .......... 118 OAKLAND............... 119 HOUSTON ............. 120 SEATTLE ..................121 KANSAS CITY ....... 122 DALLAS ................... 123 GREEN BAY ...........124 PITTSBURGH ........ 125 ATLANTA................126 NEW ENGLAND.... 127

ALPHABETICAL PLAYER INDEX ......... 128

Scouting reports by Greg Gabriel. Team analysis pages by the PFW editorial staff. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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T By

Kizer, Trubisky & Watson are the top QB prospects in 2017

ARTHUR ARKUSH

here are two types of teams in today’s NFL: those equipped to pass, and those that aren’t. The former group has established franchise quarterbacks, enabling them to bypass tantalizing first-round prospects who aren’t the best talents, the top current options at professional sports’ hardest position to fill. The less fortunate segment operates with their backs against the wall, a competitive void clouding judgment and threatening to banish decision-makers and coaches if it remains. This is the NFL rat race, where franchise quarterbacks, in ominously short supply, make the football world go round.

•••

The data, like Tom Brady ascending from 199th overall pick to his record fifth Lombardi trophy following the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, is both telling and tormenting for the clubs without one: of the 56 first-round quarterbacks drafted from 1990-2012, 43 haven’t reached a Super Bowl, and 35 have losing records. Even though Brady’s brilliance set the table for the NFL’s greatest dynasty, history proves he and Joe Montana are ultimate outliers. Most franchise passers are born as NFL premium picks. Of the 46 quarterbacks selected in the top five since the NFL merger, 27 have earned Pro Bowl recognition. The busts, from JaMarcus Russell to Ryan Leaf to Heath Shuler to Jeff George, help form cautionary tales of overvaluing physical traits while overlooking intangibles, but many of their peers’ busts will reside in Canton.

•••

The 2011 draft was historically robust with blue-chip defenders and, we now know, rife with QB flameouts. The Titans began the domino effect,

4 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

choosing Jake Locker at No. 8 overall, one pick ahead of perennial All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith. The Jaguars moved up six spots to pluck Blaine Gabbert at No. 10, one slot before three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. The Vikings tabbed Christian Ponder 12th when picks 14 through 16 were Robert Quinn, Mike Pouncey and Ryan Kerrigan. Locker retired at age 27 due to health concerns following 23 starts with fleeting flashes, and the general manager responsible for his selection, Ruston Webster, was fired. Gabbert and Ponder have failed in

multiple stops, with former Jaguars GM Gene Smith jettisoned out of the league entirely and Vikings GM Rick Spielman’s QB post unsettled in Minnesota six years later. “That’s what happens around the league when you risk a high pick on a quarterback – you’re gambling your career,” PFW talent evaluator Greg Gabriel, formerly the Bears’ Director of College Scouting, says, admitting his stance has recently changed. “But at the same time, if you don’t take the gamble – and this is where I’m sorry to change – you’re going to get fired anyway. It’s like you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.” Is the 2016 QB crop, one PFW pegged as


(L. to R.) Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky and DeShon Kizer are the consensus top three QBs in the 2017 NFL Draft. How high they get selected remains an ongoing debate among analysts.

average last spring, destined for a similar fate? It’s irresponsibly premature to write off Jared Goff and Carson Wentz, whom the Rams and Eagles aggressively maneuvered to the top of the draft to acquire first and second overall, respectively. Wentz showed major promise, albeit earlier than late. But Defensive Rookie of the Year Joey Bosa and first-team All-Pro Ezekiel Elliott, selected with the next two picks, are already among the NFL’s best at their positions. “Were Carson Wentz and Jared Goff the best two players in last year’s draft?” Gabriel asks, rhetorically. “Hell no. They were the best two quarterbacks and went to the teams that had to have quarterbacks.” Of course, a team’s duty to locate a franchise QB doesn’t stop once the pick is in. Wentz, and especially Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott, were better positioned for early success than Goff. “Any team that’s going to draft a quarterback, you better be sure you’ve got the right people to help develop him,” says Gabriel, citing longtime NFL quarterbacks-turned-experienced coaches in Dallas and Philadelphia – a luxury that evaded Goff on a staff whose lack of qualifications are evident by its offseason upheaval.

•••

The four quarterbacks playing in the 2016 conference championship weekend combined for a record seven Super Bowl rings: Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers – all first-rounders – and Brady. Five of the top six clubs drafting in April have significant quarterback questions, an illustration of the league’s QB shortage but a uniquely high total, potentially creating an even more unpredictable situation in a reactionary league come April. One NFL scouting director without a need at quarterback, speaking on the condition of anonymity, sums up the dilemma, ironically. “It’s like with anything, when you’re

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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in a pressure situation to win, you’re going to make some decisions that you don’t make when you have a clear head,” he says, essentially admitting a flaw teams have when it comes to making decisions about overdrafting quarterbacks. The Browns and Bears entered this offseason with similar quarterback quandaries despite different routes there. Cleveland’s infamous quarterback carousel has spun 27 times since 1999, the most in the league, including four in the first round and three additional top-100 picks. “I came here to coach that position and get it better, and I plan on doing that,’’ Browns second-year coach Hue Jackson said, with the remarkable leverage of five picks in the top 64, including No. 1 overall. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ll put a quarterback on this football team that can win. That’s my job. We’re going to do it collectively as a group. But hopefully, we’re going to lean on my expertise and what I need at that position to win. “… A guy needs to be able to process football and [have] arm talent,” explained Jackson. “I think that’s really important, especially in our division … If you can’t stand in there in snow and the elements and throw the football, then it’s tough. And if you can’t process information, because the defenses are so good … it’s hard to play. So those things are non-negotiable for me.” Jackson said finding the right kind of leader is a “feel” thing stemming from experience, an inherent grey area Bears coach John Fox, whose staff lacks a QB guru like Jackson, admits makes the task particularly difficult. “I think that’s what makes everybody’s job in evaluating quarterbacks tough, because it’s a pretty invaluable skill set, looking to that guy – whether it’s at the end of a game, or fourth-quarter drive, and some of the things they do to prepare for the competition,” Fox said. Fox and Bears GM Ryan Pace, entering their third draft yet to have picked a quarterback, could finally be unshackled from Jay Cutler’s cost-prohibitive contract they inherited. But Chicago might not have time to develop a quarterback after winning a combined nine games through two years of the Pace-Fox regime. “You want to look for a player who

Jimmy Garoppolo

has lifted his program,” Pace, who hails from the Saints personnel department that traded for Drew Brees, explained of leading his first-ever QB search. “… Quarterbacks we’ve been around, Drew Brees for example, when he was at Purdue, he lifted the program. That’s definitely a factor added into about 30 other things you factor into that position.” Cleveland and Chicago, plus the Jets, selecting sixth overall following their contract standoff with Ryan Fitzpatrick last offseason, all face vast pressure coming off disastrous seasons in which high-level jobs were spared despite sparse QB optimism. The 49ers and Jaguars brass weren’t as lucky; those clubs have more time to get it right but likely a strong desire to lead new searches.

•••

Talk to five different NFL evaluators and get five different answers regarding Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo, as of press time the potential crown jewel of the NFL trade market. His polarizing status, and the top three QBs being underclassmen penciled in as top-15 picks in early February but with their own question marks, makes this offseason’s QB riddle all the more vexing. Several teams PFW spoke with think Garoppolo, the 62nd overall pick in 2014, is both more prepared to pilot a team in Week One of the 2017 season than April’s projects, and also a better overall prospect. Others are leery of falling prey to

6 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

the “Patriot Way” trap, where Bill Belichick maximizes his players before they historically falter upon exiting his winning culture. Then there’s Garoppolo’s condensed résumé – six scintillating quarters amid Brady’s suspension to begin 2016 prior to a shoulder injury opening the door for fifth-round rookie Jacoby Brissett, whom some clubs feel is more talented. Will teams be more comfortable attempting to deal for Garoppolo and his 94 career attempts, or perhaps brittle but proven vet Tony Romo, than drafting Kizer, “a victim of circumstances beyond his own control” at Notre Dame, according to Gabriel? “I’m of the belief that Kizer is going to be a better pro than he was a collegian this year,” Gabriel says. “He still has three years of eligibility left and there’s development still. But the raw traits are great. He made a lot of pre-snap reads, changed plays – that puts him ahead of the curve getting ready for the NFL.” Like Kizer, Trubisky has “great” physical tools, but how long is it going to take to coax dependable production from a one-year starter with 572 career attempts coming from a “scary” half-field spread offense? “There used to be an old saying [among] evaluators or coaches, you wanted the quarterbacks to be at least a two-year starter, preferably a threeyear starter, throw a minimum of 900 attempts before you think the guy is ready to play,” Gabriel says. Neither Kizer nor Trubisky stood as tall on as big a stage – twice – as Watson, the reigning national champion. He may lack their prototypical size, and his final season started rough after he entered as the consensus top QB prospect, but his final flourish versus Alabama can’t be discounted, either. “The important thing is that he won when he had to, and how many guys have gotten their team to the national championship game two years in a row, wins this one? I think that says a lot about him as a player. I think he’s got the intangibles that you want,” Gabriel says. The teams solely wanting a talent like Watson, Trubisky or Kizer in their QB room for the long-term are in business. It’s the clubs that need their help immediately whose livelihoods are at stake.


PFW

T

2017

his is Pro Football Weekly Mock Draft 1.0, our first attempt at trying to project the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. It should be noted that this Mock Draft was done prior to the NFL Combine, and our editors took into account team needs as well as player grades. Stay tuned to ProFootballWeekly.com for Mock Drafts leading up to our final version on April 26, the day before the NFL Draft. We will also have an updated Mock Draft in our exclusive, must-have Draft Preview Magazine Update available April 1 as well as in our Pro Football Weekly newspaper inserts, available across the country on April 23.

* — DENOTES THAT THE PLAYER IS AN UNDERCLASSMAN

CLEVELAND BROWNS

MYLES GARRETT* | EDGE | TEXAS A&M

u Near unaminous consent, even the Browns can’t miss this one.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

DeSHONE KIZER* | QB | NOTRE DAME

u Flip a coin between him and Trubisky but Kizer might be ready sooner.

CHICAGO BEARS

JONATHAN ALLEN | DT | ALABAMA

u Allen would join Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks to form quite the D-line.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

JAMAL ADAMS* | S | LSU

u Jaguars fill biggest need with the best player on the board.

TENNESSEE TITANS

MARSHON LATTIMORE* | CB | OHIO STATE u They find No. 1 of present and future as secondary overhaul begins.

NEW YORK JETS

MARLON HUMPHREY* | CB | ALABAMA u Time to revamp the corner position after a rough year for Revis.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

MALIK HOOKER* | S | OHIO STATE

u Tempted by Peppers, Bolts go with Hooker’s athletic gifts.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

LEONARD FOURNETTE* | RB | LSU

u Good luck finding a more physically gifted backfield in the NFL.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

REUBEN FOSTER* | LB | ALABAMA

u Run defense took a step back. Foster can be instant improvement.

BUFFALO BILLS

MIKE WILLIAMS* | WR | CLEMSON

u Bills are stunned best wideout is still on the board, fill huge need.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

DEREK BARNETT* | EDGE | TENNESSEE

u No. 32 pass ‘D,’ 27th in sacks; hello, Barnett’s huge rush production.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

DESHAUN WATSON* | QB | CLEMSON

u Ideal scenario for Hue to snag potential long-term QB answer at 12.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

COREY DAVIS | WR | WESTERN MICHIGAN u One more year of Fitz, Michael Floyd is gone, Cards fill big need.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

RYAN RAMCZYK* | OT | WISCONSIN

u Chris Ballard debuts with safe, sound pick to protect the franchise.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER* | WR | USC

u Does any team need a playmaking WR more than the Eagles?

BALTIMORE RAVENS

QUINCY WILSON* | CB | FLORIDA MYLES GARRETT

8 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

u Wizard of OZ can’t pass this over-sized corner who can run.


By Pro

Football Weekly staff

WASHINGTON

SOLOMON THOMAS* | EDGE | STANFORD u A prototypical McCloughan pick to help strengthen soft interior ‘D.’

TENNESSEE TITANS

JABRILL PEPPERS* | S | MICHIGAN

u Titans double-up on secondary help to revamp the back end.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

MALIK McDOWELL* | DT | MICHIGAN STATE u After just missing on Peppers, Bucs go best athlete/player available.

DENVER BRONCOS

CAM ROBINSON* | OT | ALABAMA

MITCH TRUBISKY

u They need immediate help – can Robinson be consistent enough?

DETROIT LIONS

DALVIN COOK* | RB | FLORIDA STATE

u Perfect bellcow for Detroit’s offense to help out Matthew Stafford.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

TACO CHARLTON* | EDGE | MICHIGAN

u Taco one of fastest risers on the board and Dolphins need pass rush.

NEW YORK GIANTS

O.J. HOWARD | TE | ALABAMA

u Howard, OBJ and Shepard, oh my. If Eli’s declining, they’ll help lift him.

OAKLAND RAIDERS

TEEZ TABOR* | CB | FLORIDA

JAMAL ADAMS

u Time to use the draft to fix the pass ‘D’, and it starts with Tabor.

HOUSTON TEXANS

DAVID NJOKU* | TE | MIAMI (FLA.)

u Sadly for Texans, it’s a down year for OTs, but great for athletic TEs.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

FORREST LAMP | OG | WESTERN KENTUCKY u Classic Seattle O-line pick – except Lamp even has O-line pedigree.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

MITCH TRUBISKY* | QB | UNC

u Great value pick and would be heir-apparent to Alex Smith

DALLAS COWBOYS

TAKKARIST McKINLEY | EDGE | UCLA

JABRILL PEPPERS

u Cowboys desperately need pass rush and McKinley best ER left.

GREEN BAY PACKERS

ZACH CUNNINGHAM* | LB | VANDERBILT

u Ted Thompson finally makes earnest investment to reshape ILB corps.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

TIM WILLIAMS* | EDGE | ALABAMA

u Brings his pass-rushing prowess to a defense that needs it.

ATLANTA FALCONS

OBI MELIFONWU | S | CONNECTICUT

u Call them Seattle East as Neal, Melifonwu mirror Thomas, Chancellor.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY* | RB | STANFORD u Belichick can’t help himself with versatile game-breaker sitting there.

O.J. HOWARD PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

|9


NOTE: Players are listed according to PFW’s rankings at the position they project best to in the pros. The draft projection reflects where the player likely will come off the board during the 2017 draft.

QUARTERBACKS RK PLAYER

1 DeShone Kizer

SCHOOL

Notre Dame

PROJ

1

2 Deshaun Watson

Clemson

1

3 Mitch Trubisky

North Carolina

1

4 Patrick Mahomes

Texas Tech

1-2

5 Nathan Peterman

Pittsburgh

2-3

6 Chad Kelly

Mississippi

4

7 Joshua Dobbs

Tennessee

4

8 David Webb

California

4-5

9 Brad Kaaya

Miami (Fla.)

5

10 Jerod Evans

Virginia Tech

5

11 C.J. Beathard

Iowa

5

12 Sefo Liufau

Colorado

5-6

NR Seth Russell

Baylor

NR

NR Antonio Pipkin

Tiffin

NR

NR Alek Torgersen

Penn

NR

RUNNING BACKS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 Leonard Fournette

LSU

1

2 Dalvin Cook

Florida State

1

3 Christian McCaffrey Stanford

1

4 Wayne Gallman

2

Clemson

5 Samaje Perine

Oklahoma

2

6 D’Onta Foreman

Texas

2

7 Marlon Mack

South Florida

2-3

8 James Conner

Pittsburgh

3

9 Joe Mixon 10 Jeremy McNichols

Oklahoma

4-5

Boise State

3-4

11 Jamaal Williams

BYU

4

12 Sam Rogers

Virginia Tech

4-5

NR De’Veon Smith

Michigan

NR

9 Jonnu Smith

NR Jordan Johnson

Buffalo

NR

10 Eric Saubert

WIDE RECEIVERS

11 Michael Roberts

RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 NR NR NR NR NR NR

USC 1 Clemson 1 Western Michigan 1 Washington 1-2 Ohio State 1-2 Eastern Washington 2 California 2 Ohio State 2 Texas A&M 2-3 Michigan 2-3 Western Kentucky 2-3 Oklahoma 3 Baylor 3 Virginia Tech 3 Penn State 3 Air Force 3 Alabama 4 Clemson 4 East Carolina 4 LSU 4-5 Louisiana Tech 4-5 North Carolina 4-5 Louisville 4-5 Northern Illinois 5 Nebraska 5 Mississippi State 5 Syracuse 5 South Florida 5-6 LSU 6 Miami (Fla.) 7 Louisiana Tech NR Michigan NR USC NR Texas A&M NR Texas A&M NR Northwestern NR

Juju Smith-Schuster Mike Williams Corey Davis John Ross Curtis Samuel Cooper Kupp Chad Hansen Noah Brown Josh Reynolds Amara Darboh Taywan Taylor Dede Westbrook KD Cannon Isaiah Ford Chris Godwin Jalen Robinette ArDarius Stewart Artavis Scott Zay Jones Malachi Dupre Trent Taylor Ryan Switzer Jamari Staples Kenny Golladay Jordan Westerkamp Fred Ross Amba Etta-Tawo Rodney Adams Travin Dural Stacy Coley Carlos Henderson Jehu Chesson Darreus Rogers Speedy Noil Ricky Seals-Jones Austin Carr

PROJ

13 Kareem Hunt

Toledo

4-5

14 Joe Williams

Utah

5

15 Alvin Kamara

Tennessee

5

16 Corey Clement

Wisconsin

5

17 Matthew Dayes

N.C. State

5-6

18 Brian Hill

Wyoming

5-6

19 Donnel Pumphrey

San Diego State

6

20 Elijah Hood

North Carolina

6-7

21 Elijah McGuire

Louisiana-Lafayette 6-7

22 Justin Davis

USC

7

23 Tarean Folston

Notre Dame

7-FA

4 Jake Butt

Michigan

2-3

24 Joseph Yearby

Miami (Fla.)

7-FA

5 Gerald Everett

South Alabama

2-3

TIGHT ENDS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 O.J. Howard

Alabama

1

2 David Njoku

Miami (Fla.)

1-2

3 Evan Engram

Mississippi

2

NR Khalid Abdullah

James Madison

NR

6 Bucky Hodges

Virginia Tech

3

NR Marcus Cox

Appalachian State NR

7 Jordan Leggett

Clemson

4

NR Freddie Stevenson

Florida State

8 Jeremy Sprinkle

Arkansas

4

NR

10 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

NR Blake Jarwin

Fla. International

4-5

Drake

5

Toledo

6

Oklahoma State

NR

NR Colin Jeter

LSU

NR

NR Cole Hikutini

Louisville

NR

OFFENSIVE TACKLES RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 NR NR NR NR

Alabama Troy Wisconsin Utah Temple Western Michigan Texas A&M USC Florida State Michigan Bucknell Pittsburgh Alabama State Arkansas Vanderbilt Florida UCLA USC Toledo Oklahoma State North Carolina Mississippi State California Northern Illinois Utah William and Mary San Diego State

Cam Robinson Antonio Garcia Ryan Ramczyk Garett Bolles Dion Dawkins Taylor Moton Avery Gennesy Chad Wheeler Roderick Johnson Erik Magnuson Julie’n Davenport Adam Bisnowaty Jylan Ware Dan Skipper William Holden David Sharpe Conor McDermott Zach Banner Storm Norton Victor Salako Jon Heck Justin Senior Steven Moore Levon Myers Sam Tevi Jerry Ugokwe Daniel Brunskill

OFFENSIVE GUARDS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NR

Indiana Western Kentucky Pittsburgh Ohio State USC San Diego State Utah Miami (Fla.) Tennessee State Kutztown Michigan Oregon State Arizona State

Dan Feeney Forrest Lamp Dorian Johnson Pat Elflein Damien Mama Nico Siragusa Isaac Asiata Danny Isidora Jessamen Dunker Jordan Morgan Kyle Kalis Sean Harlow Evan Goodman

PROJ

1 1 1 1-2 2 2 2 2 2-3 2-3 3-4 4 4 4 4-5 4-5 4-5 5 5 5-6 6 7 7 NR NR NR NR PROJ

1 2 2 2 3 3-4 4 4 4-5 5 5-6 6 NR


By

GREG GABRIEL NR Greg Pyke NR Adam Pankey

CENTERS

Georgia West Virginia

RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 NR NR

West Virginia LSU Kentucky Baylor Wyoming North Carolina Louisville Clemson North Carolina St. Oregon State

Tyler Orlosky Ethan Pocic Jon Toth Kyle Fuller Chase Roullier Lucas Crowley Tobijah Hughley Jay Guillermo Joe Scelfo Gavin Andrew

DEFENSIVE TACKLES RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 NR NR NR NR NR

Alabama Michigan State Iowa Michigan Clemson Florida Oklahoma Washington Alabama Charlotte Michigan Auburn Oklahoma State Notre Dame USC North Carolina UCLA LSU Notre Dame Tulave Missouri Colorado Illinois West Virginia Michigan

Jonathan Allen Malik McDowell Jaleel Johnson Chris Wormley Carlos Watkins Caleb Brantley Charles Walker Elijah Qualls Dalvin Tomlinson Larry Ogunjobi Ryan Glasgow Montravius Adams Vincent Taylor Isaac Rochell Stevie Tu’ikolovatu Nazair Jones Eddie Vanderdoes Davon Godchaux Jarron Jones Tanzel Smart Josh Augusta Josh Topou Chuncky Clements Christian Brown Matt Godin

LINEBACKERS RK PLAYER

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Reuben Foster Raekwon McMillan Zach Cunningham Jarrad Davis Devonte Fields Haason Reddick Anthony Walker Jr. Duke Riley

SCHOOL

Alabama Ohio State Vanderbilt Florida Louisville Temple Northwestern LSU

NR NR PROJ

4 4-5 5 5 6 7 7 7 NR NR PROJ

1 1-2 1-2 1-2 2 2 2-3 3 3 3-4 4 4 4-5 4-5 4-5 5 6 6 6 6-7 NR NR NR NR NR

PROJ

1 1 1-2 2 3 3 3-4 4

9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 NR NR NR NR NR NR

Kendell Beckwith Alex Anzalone Vince Biegel Ben Gedeon Carroll Phillips Jr. James Onwualu Ben Boulware Riley Bullough Steven Taylor Harvey Langi Hardy Nickerson Jr. Josh Carraway Tyus Bowser Marquel Lee Connor Harris Jayon Brown

LSU Florida Wisconsin Michigan Illinois Notre Dame Clemson Michigan State Houston BYU Illinois TCU Houston Wake Forest Lindenwood UCLA

EDGE RUSHERS

4 4-5 4-5 4-5 4-5 5-6 5-6 6 7 7 NR NR NR NR NR NR

RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 NR NR NR NR

Texas A&M Tennessee Alabama Michigan UCLA Stanford Wisconsin Missouri Alabama Florida State Auburn Illinois Texas A&M Ohio Kansas State Florida Atlantic Villanova Youngstown State Pittsburgh Youngstown State Arkansas Florida NW Missouri St. Akron LSU Northern Iowa Arkansas Tenn.-Chattanooga

Myles Garrett Derek Barnett Tim Williams Taco Charlton Takkarist McKinley Solomon Thomas T.J. Watt Charles Harris Ryan Anderson DeMarcus Walker Carl Lawson Dawuane Smoot Daeshon Hall Tarell Basham Jordan Willis Trey Hendrickson Tanoh Kpassagnon Derek Rivers Ejuan Price Avery Moss Deatrich Wise Jr. Bryan Cox Jr. Collin Bevins Jamal Marcus Lewis Neal Karter Schult Jeremiah Ledbetter Keionta Davis

CORNERBACKS RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 1 1 1 2 1 1-2 1-2 2 2 2 2-3 3 3 3-4 3-4 4 4 4-5 4-5 5 6 6 7 NR NR NR NR

4 Quincy Wilson

Florida

1

5 Gareon Conley

Ohio State

1

6 Sidney Jones

Washington

1

7 Adoreé Jackson

USC

2

8 Rasul Douglas

West Virginia

2

9 Desmond King

Iowa

2

10 Cordrea Tankersley Clemson

2

11 Jourdan Lewis

2-3

12 Chidobe Awuzie

Colorado

2-3

13 Tre’Davious White

LSU

2-3

14 Fabian Moreau

UCLA

3

15 Kevin King

Washington

3

16 Damontae Kazee

San Diego State

4

17 Channing Stribling Michigan

4

18 Corn Elder

Miami

4-5

19 Marquez White

Florida State

5-6

20 Cole Luke

Notre Dame

6

21 Greg Mabin

Iowa

7

22 Ashton Lampkin

Oklahoma State

7

NR Ezra Robinson

Tennessee State

NR

NR Boise Ross

Buffalo

NR

NR Brad Watson

Wake Forest

NR

SAFETIES RK PLAYER

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 Malik Hooker

Ohio State

1

2 Jabrill Peppers

Michigan

1

3 Jamal Adams

LSU

1

4 Marcus Williams

Utah

2

5 Budda Baker

Washington

2-3

6 Justin Evans

Texas A&M

3

7 Rayshawn Jenkins

Miami (Fla.)

3-4

8 Marcus Maye

Florida

3-4

9 Obi Melifonwu 10 John Johnson

Connecticut

3-4

Boston College

4

11 Montae Nicholson

Michigan State

4-5

12 Eddie Jackson

Alabama

4-5

13 Josh Harvey-Clemons Louisville

5

14 Lorenzo Jerome

5

St. Francis (Pa.)

15 Xavier Woods

Louisiana Tech

7

NR Nate Gerry

Nebraska

NR

NR Fish Smithson

Kansas

NR

NR Jamal Carter

Miami (Fla.)

NR

NR Delano Hill

Michigan

NR

NR Tedric Thompson

Colorado

NR

KICKERS/PUNTERS RK PLAYER

PROJ

Michigan

SCHOOL

PROJ

1 Zane Gonzalez

Arizona State

7-FA

1 Marshon Lattimore Ohio State

1

2 Toby Baker

Arkansas

FA

2 Marlon Humphrey

Alabama

1

3 Jake Elliott

Memphis

FA

3 Teez Tabor

Florida

1

4 Austin Rehkow

Idaho

FA

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 11


T POSITION GRADE

his is a tough year for any club looking for a franchise quarterback prospect at the top of the draft. It might be the weakest group of prospects since 2013, when EJ Manuel was the only first-rounder at 16, Geno Smith was alone in the second round at 39, Mike Glennon was next in the third round at 73, and Matt Barkley was the first fourthround QB at 98. Prior to that, you can go all the way back to 2007, when JaMarcus Russell went No 1, Brady Quinn was 22nd, Kevin Kolb 36th and John Beck out of BYU went 40th. DeShone Kizer, Deshaun Watson and Mitch Tru-

B

bisky are the top three this year. In any other draft, it’s possible none would go in the first round. The most recent time that happened was 1996, when Tony Banks was the first signal-caller tabbed at 42 in the second round. It won’t happen this year either, as some club(s) will reach for one of the top three. We won’t be shocked if all three go in the top 32 because of the premium some teams put on drafting at the position DeSHONE KIZER and the desperation other clubs are feeling to find a quarterback right now. Although traffic could be slow in the first round, look for a lot of activity in Rounds 2-4, as the depth of this group is better than the top end talent.

NOTE: Scouting reports were written by Greg Gabriel. An ‘e’ after a player’s height, weight or 40-yard dash time denotes that it is an estimate

1 KIZER DeSHONE

STRONG POINTS • Prototypical size with good to very good athletic ability, speed and quick feet. Very strong arm. Played in an NFL-style passing game. Was able to change plays and protections at the line of scrimmage. Accurate with good ball placement short and deep. Quick delivery. Good ability to read the field and go through a progression. Can extend plays and make plays with his feet. Good runner.

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.70 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Playing with an inexperienced receiver corps in 2016, his production slipped from 2015. Made some poor decisions and forced some throws in 2016.

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

CMP

ATT

CMP%

YDS

YPA

TD INT

2014 (Did not play) 2015 13/11 211 335 63.0 2,884 8.6 21 10 2016 12/12 212 361 58.7 2,925 8.1 26 9 TOT 25/23 423 696 60.9 5,809 8.4 47 19 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2WATSON DESHAUN

CLEMSON

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.62e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP

ATT

2014 8/5 93 137 2015 15/15 333 491 2016 15/15 388 579 TOT 38/35 814 1,207

CMP%

68.0 68.0 67.0 67.6

YDS

YPA

TD INT

1,466 4,109 4,593 10,168

10.7 8.4 7.9 9.0

14 2 35 13 41 17 90 32

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • As talented a QB as there is in this class. Looked like a top-three pick in 2015 playing with an experienced receiver group and a strong offensive line. His play slipped in 2016 with a less experienced supporting cast. Play-calling did not help him either as we didn’t see some throws that we saw often in 2015. Has all the tools with a very strong arm and can make any NFL throw. Has great size and is athletic to extend plays or run. Has to settle down and work on his fundamentals. Has the smarts and leadership skills needed. With the right coaching and supporting cast, he can become a very good NFL quarterback. STRONG POINTS • Very productive. Extremely athletic with quick feet, speed and body control. Has a strong arm and is accurate with good ball placement. Can find the open man and gets the ball out of his hand quickly. Very good at throwing the ball on the run. Has an excellent feel for pass rushers, can extend and make plays with his feet. Capable of making all the throws an NFL QB has to make. Very competitive, a winner and a good leader. WEAK POINTS • Plays in a rather simple spread offense with mostly half-field reads. Started the 2016 season slowly but came on strong after the first month. Lacks the size NFL evaluators want at the position. Listed at 6-3, 215 pounds but more likely 6-1½, 207. Will force some throws and make some poor reads. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Going into the season, Watson was everyone’s No. 1 QB, but he had a slow start and slipped in the ratings. Is very capable of becoming a quality NFL starter but will need time to learn and understand the NFL game because of the system he played in college. Would be best if he could sit for most of his rookie year. Has some special traits and could turn out to be a bigger Russell Wilson type. If he gets with the right team, watch out because this kid is talented.

12 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


QUARTERBACKS

3TRUBISKY MITCH

NORTH CAROLINA

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 225 e | 40: 4.68 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

CMP

ATT CMP%

YDS

YPA

TD INT

2014 10/0 42 78 53.8 459 5.9 4 4 2015 9/0 40 47 85.1 555 11.8 6 0 2016 13/13 304 447 68.0 3,748 8.4 30 6 TOT 32/13 386 572 67.5 4,762 8.7 40 10 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

4MAHOMES PATRICK

TEXAS TECH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 5.00e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP

2014 7/4 2015 13/13 2016 12/12 TOT 32/29

ATT

105 185 364 573 388 591 857 1,349

CMP%

YDS

YPA

TD INT

56.8 63.5 65.7 63.5

1,547 4,653 5,052 11,252

8.4 8.1 8.5 8.3

16 36 41 93

4 15 10 29

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

5PETERMAN NATHAN

PITTSBURGH

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS (* - at Tennesse) YEAR

GP/GS

CMP

ATT CMP%

YDS

YPA

TD INT

2013* 4/1 10 23 43.5 45 2.0 0 2014* 7/1 10 20 50.0 49 2.5 0 2015 13/11 193 314 61.5 2,287 7.3 20 2016 13/12 185 306 60.5 2,855 9.3 27 TOT 37/25 398 663 60.0 5,236 8.7 47

2 0 8 7 17

6KELLY CHAD

MISSISSIPPI

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 e | WT: 218 e | 40: 4.75 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP

ATT

CMP%

STRONG POINTS • Very productive, excellent arm talent. Has thrown for over 11,000 yards and 93 touchdowns in 2½ seasons. Has a quick release. Can make NFL throws. Good accuracy and ball placement. His dad played MLB so he should “get it.” Has a good feel for pass rushers. Can see the field. Flashes going through a minimal progression (Texas Tech offense). Flashed the ability to extend plays. WEAK POINTS • Looks too heavy, has to get in better shape. Plays in a simple spread offense. Not the most mobile guy and he lacks the speed to create on the run, but he is able to extend some. Has many throws where he doesn’t set his feet and is all arm. Needs work on his mechanics. Will force some throws because he trusts his arm too much. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Interesting talent. Has some outstanding traits, but is still raw. Put up great numbers in the Texas Tech offense but that isn’t the NFL. Needs to lose about 10 pounds and get in better shape. Will need time and coaching but could be a very good NFL QB. Has to work on his footwork and overall throwing mechanics, but the tools are there. Get the right coaching around this guy and he could turn out to be special. While he may go in the first round, I see him more as a second because he needs so much development. Interviews will be important. STRONG POINTS • Runs an NFL-type system that allows him to audible and change protections. Can read defenses, go through a progression and make good decisions. Has a very quick release. Shows good accuracy with good ball placement. Has adequate arm strength. Displays good athletic ability and can avoid pass rushers and make plays with his feet. Shows he can look off one target and come back to another. Strong leader on the field.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-21/2 | WT: 225 | 40: 4.75 e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Ideal size for an NFL quarterback. Has real good athletic ability with speed, quick feet and change of direction. Very strong arm. Can make all the NFL-type throws. Shows good accuracy and ball placement. Has a good feel for pass rushers, can avoid and extend plays with his feet. Has a quick overhand delivery and throws a tight ball. Generally a good decision-maker. WEAK POINTS • Only a one-year starter. Plays in a very simple, half-field spread offense. Struggled some in his final games, losing three of last four. Will force some throws. Doesn’t play from under center. THE WAY WE SEE IT • 2016 was his first year as a full-time starter. He has ideal size with excellent athleticism. Shows a quick delivery, throws with accuracy and has good ball placement. Can make all the required NFL throws and has a very strong arm as well as throwing a tight ball. Overall, Trubisky has tremendous upside, but is inexperienced. He’s going to need time and coaching and is more of a developmental pick. His raw talent is as good as any QB in this class, but his lack of experience makes him a high-risk, high-reward selection. Interviews and workouts will be very important.

YDS

YPA

TD INT

2014 (Transferred from Clemson) 2015 13/13 298 458 65.0 4,042 8.8 31 13 2016 9/9 205 328 62.5 2,758 8.4 19 8 TOT 22/22 503 786 63.8 6,800 8.6 50 21 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have ideal size at 6-2 1/2 . Doesn’t consistently throw a tight ball. A high percentage of his throws are in the short-to-medium range, so I am unsure of his actual arm strength. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very interesting prospect. Graduate transfer from Tennessee after three years where he started only a few games. Two-year starter at Pitt, where he put up good numbers. Peterman is smart, makes good decisions and is a strong leader on the field. He has as quick a delivery as any quarterback in the draft. He is accurate and is able to place the ball in the right spots. If his arm were a little stronger, he would be considered one of the better QBs in this draft. STRONG POINTS • Cocky and believes he can get the job done. Very good arm strength. Makes some outstanding throws. Is athletic and can extend and make plays with his feet. Accurate with good ball placement. Can make all necessary NFL throws. Quick delivery and quick decision-maker. Can drive the ball when he has to. WEAK POINTS • Suffered a serious knee injury (ACL, lateral meniscus) late in the season that could prevent him from being ready for training camp. Has some off-field issues, hot-headed and will make some poor decisions off the football field. Not as tall as some teams would like. Needs work on his mechanics (doesn’t always set his feet before he throws). Played in a simple, half-field spread offense. Double transfer. THE WAY WE SEE IT • One of the more interesting guys in this draft. Nephew of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and has similar traits. His injury and medical will affect where and when he gets drafted. Could miss all or part of rookie season. Off-field issues are a problem but he is not a bad kid, just immature. Has very good talent and has the skill set to be a good NFL QB. Has to settle down and mature. Won’t go as high as his talent level because of injury and off-field issues, but he could make some team very happy. There is a lot to like about him when you do enough work. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 13


QUARTERBACKS

7DOBBS JOSHUA

STRONG POINTS • Good height, outstanding athlete with speed. Very quick-footed. Very strong arm. Shows he can make all the required throws. With his speed and athleticism, he can avoid pass rushers, extend plays and make plays with his feet. Makes some big-time throws. Throws well on the run.

TENNESSEE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-31/4 | WT: 216 | 40: 4.55 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Will stare receivers down and make some poor decisions. Will make some poor throws, thinking he can make the throw with his arm strength. Has stretches when his accuracy is off and he gets erratic.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

CMP

ATT

2013 5/4 72 121 2014 6/5 112 177 2015 13/13 205 344 2016 13/13 225 357 TOT 37/35 614 999

CMP%

59.5 63.3 59.6 63.0 61.5

YDS

695 1,206 2,291 2,946 7,138

YPA

TD INT

5.7 2 6 6.8 9 6 6.7 15 5 8.3 27 12 6.9 53 29

8WEBB DAVIS

STRONG POINTS • Very good size. Smart and aware, generally a good decision-maker. Can find the open man and has a fairly quick release. Poised and shows good leadership ability on the field.

CALIFORNIA

WEAK POINTS • Has quick feet but he is an average athlete. Lacks a “live” arm and cannot drive the ball. Not the type to extend or make plays with his feet. Inconsistent accuracy, especially downfield. Never played from under center. Lost his starting job at Texas Tech causing him to transfer.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 | WT: 229 | 40: 5.00 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS CMP

2013* 10/6 2014* 8/8 2015* 5/0 2016 12/12 TOT 35/26

ATT

CMP%

226 361 62.6 211 345 61.2 22 41 53.7 382 620 61.6 841 1,367 61.5

YDS

YPA

TD

INT

2,718 2,539 300 4,295 9,852

7.5 7.4 7.3 6.9 7.2

20 24 2 37 83

9 13 0 12 34

* — AT TEXAS TECH

9KAAYA BRAD

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 5.00 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

CMP

ATT

2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/13 12/12 13/13 38/38

221 238 261 720

378 389 421 1,188

CMP%

58.5 61.2 62.0 60.6

YDS

YPA

TD INT

3,198 3,238 3,532 9,968

8.5 8.3 8.4 8.4

26 12 16 5 27 7 69 24

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

10 EVANS JEROD

VIRGINIA TECH

B

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

CMP

ATT

CMP%

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Good height. Adequate arm strength. Has streaks when he completes everything. Has a fairly quick release. Can go through a progression and find the open man. Flashes poise and confidence. WEAK POINTS • Lean frame, needs to get stronger. Average athlete, average feet. Cannot extend plays with his feet and gets sacked too often. Doesn’t throw a consistently tight ball and can have problems with wind. Streak thrower, but when he is off he is way off. Inconsistent accuracy and ball placement. Inconsistent with decision-making and can throw into coverage. THE WAY WE SEE IT • After the 2015 season, he looked like he could become a very good NFL prospect, but his play leveled off instead of improving. Played in a new offense this year and that might have hindered his development. Does not seem like a quick processor and is a streaky passer. Can get hot and make every throw but has periods when his accuracy and ball placement are awful. He is not very mobile and lacks a good feel for pass rushers. Gets sacked a lot and is not able to extend plays with his feet. He should have stayed in school. There are times when he looks like a top prospect and other times when he looks like an UDFA. Hit-ormiss prospect who needs time and coaching.

WEAK POINTS • A junior college transfer who has only played one year of major college football. Does not go through a full progression and often throws to his first read. Almost never see him go to a third option. The Virginia Tech offense is a fairly simple spread offense. Doesn’t call audibles.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Graduate transfer to Cal after playing three years at Texas Tech, two in which he was a starter. Has size with quick feet, but just an average athlete and he lacks a live arm. His accuracy is average and he has never completed more than 62 percent of his throws in high percentage offenses. While he is a good decision-maker and has a quick release, he can’t drive the ball and doesn’t throw a consistently tight ball. His intangibles are good but he lacks the physical traits to be an NFL starter. See him as a backup only who could develop in the right situation.

STRONG POINTS • Great size to go along with very good athletic ability and speed for a man his size. Has an extremely strong arm. Shows he can throw with touch or drive the ball. Has good accuracy and ball placement. Very good ability to avoid pass rushers and make plays with his feet.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 e | WT: 240 e | 40: 4.67 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Dobbs has been starting since midway through his sophomore year. He has height and a great arm to go along with excellent athleticism. His arm strength is very good. His problem is he can have stretches when he gets very erratic. Flashes top accuracy and ball placement, then he will throw the ball all over the place. Development will depend a great deal on the right coach who can improve his focus. With his athleticism, he can avoid pass rushers, extend plays and make plays with his feet. Overall, he has the talent but will need time and coaching. Could be a starter by Year Three if he settles down.

YDS

YPA

TD INT

2014 (Trinity Valley Community College ) 2015 (Trinity Valley Community College ) 2016 14/14 268 422 63.5 3,552 8.4 29 8 TOT 14/14 268 422 63.5 3,552 8.4 29 8 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • While Evans is physically talented, I don’t know why he came out. He has very limited experience at the major college level and that experience is in an easyread spread offense. While Evans has the physical tools to play, he is a long ways away from being ready to play in the NFL. Will need a lot of time to learn the nuances of an NFL offense and go through a full-field progression. His physical traits may get him drafted higher than he deserves. Hit or miss guy. Interviews at Combine and private workouts will be very important.

14 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


QUARTERBACKS

11BEATHARD C.J.

STRONG POINTS • Plays under center in an NFL offense, where he has to go through a full progression. Has a good arm and a quick overhand release. Good arm strength, can easily throw the ball 55 yards. Shows he can make all the throws needed to play in the NFL. Good enough athlete to extend plays at times. For the most part, he finds the open receiver and makes good decisions.

IOWA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-25/8 | WT: 219 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • A bit shorter than desired. Takes a number of hits. Will force some throws and accuracy can be off at times. Just average completion percentage. Doesn’t consistently come up big when he needs to.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

CMP

ATT

2013 5/0 9 27 2014 9/1 52 92 2015 14/14 223 362 2016 13/13 170 301 TOT 41/28 454 782

CMP%

YDS

YPA

TD INT

33.3 179 6.6 1 56.5 645 7.0 5 61.6 2,809 7.8 17 56.5 1,929 6.4 17 58.1 5,562 7.0 40

2 2 5 10 19

12LIUFAU SEFO

STRONG POINTS • Three-and-a-half-year starter. Adequate arm strength. Shows adequate accuracy and ball placement. Adequate runner. Good athlete. When he makes the decision to throw the ball, it is out of his hand quickly.

COLORADO

WEAK POINTS • Plays in a mostly two-read, half-field offense. Doesn’t have a consistently good feel for pass rushers. Touchdown pass production is really down (11 this year). Accuracy drops off with deeper throws.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-33/8 | WT: 240 | 40: 4.82 e GRADE

C

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS CMP

8/7 12/11 11/11 11/10 41/39

ATT

149 251 325 498 214 345 182 290 817 1,286

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a two-year starter at Iowa. Grandson of Bobby Beathard, one of the all-time great NFL evaluators. Played on an average team with an average supporting cast, which hurts him. Many NFL people feel he will be a better pro than a college player. Will need some time to develop but has the tools, leadership and passion to become an eventual starter in the NFL. Because of where he came from, he gets it and understands what it takes to be successful.

CMP%

YDS

YPA

59.4 65.3 61.9 62.8 62.8

1,779 3,200 2,418 2,171 9,746

7.1 6.4 7.0 7.5 6.9

TD INT

12 28 9 11 60

8 15 6 6 35

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Liufau is a very good college player with some limitations for the next level. Needs to get stronger and try to improve his arm strength, but he does have nice size to withstand NFL hits and good athleticism to be able to do what NFL coaches will ask him to do. He will need time to adjust to an NFL offense after playing in a half-field read offense in college. Has some important intangibles (intelligence, instincts, leadership) to help his development. Might not become more than a solid backup in the NFL but he looks the part and will get every chance to reach his full potential.

BEST OF THE REST SETH RUSSELL BAYLOR

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-23/4 e | WT: 220 e | 40-YARD: 4.80 e Russell has talent but has been inconsistent. He flashes the ability to make NFL-type throws but lacks consistent ball placement and accuracy. He has a quick release but lacks the arm strength to really drive the ball. Going to need a lot of time to adjust to NFL offenses and may never be better than an adequate No. 2 in the league.

ANTONIO PIPKIN TIFFIN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 7/8 | WT: 225 | 40-YARD: 4.85 e Productive player at a real low level of competition. Has bulk but is short and good arm strength but not a good feel. A real project who will need maybe two years on the practice squad just to challenge for a roster spot.

ALEK TORGERSEN PENN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-13/4 | WT: 215 | 40-YARD: 4.83 e Has size and dominated the Ivy League. Had a good week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game. Has a good arm and throws a tight ball. Needs to adapt to an NFL style offense. He could get drafted because of his smarts and arm but it will take a while to adjust.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING: “There is no consensus as •

to who is number 1, 2 or 3. You could ask five clubs and get five different answers.” “(DeShone Kizer) can start for many teams right away. Not many have his traits.” “If you look at just this year, I can see why some would be down on (Kizer), but with QBs, you have to look at every game they started. Kizer was outstanding in 2015.” “People keep trying to compare (Deshaun Watson) to RGIII, it’s not close. Watson played in a more sophisticated offense and got to the Championship game twice.” “(Trubisky) has a lot of talent, but being a one-year starter is scary. Not many have succeeded with only one year starting experience.”

• •

MITCH TRUBISKY

“He doesn’t have the hype some others do, but the kid I like the most in this group at the next level is (Nathan) Peterman from Pitt.” “ I thought (Brad Kaaya) would come on and be special this year. Instead he regressed. I really lowered my grade.” “I don’t know why (Jerod Evans) came out. He clearly isn’t ready for the NFL.”

• •

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 15


WITH

Nathan Peterman

FROM QUICK HOOKS TO A QUICK RISE Senior Bowl success has Nathan Peterman climbing QB draft boards

N By

ARTHUR ARKUSH

athan Peterman has certainly learned how to make a first impression. Increasingly projected following his excellent Senior Bowl as potentially this year’s Day Two QB steal, the former Pittsburgh passer, interestingly, overcame a disastrous initial introduction to the college football world – a pair of them, really – to get to where he is today. “I knew that it was kind of God letting me know that it was time to move on,” said Peterman of his decision to transfer from Tennessee to Pitt with two years of eligibility. Peterman made just two starts for the Volunteers over two seasons, each after replacing injured starter Justin Worley. Both resulted in quick hooks in favor of Joshua Dobbs – a two-interception outing in a 31-17 loss in Septempter 2013 in Gainesville lasting just 11 attempts; and just two series the following October versus Alabama. Fast-forward 26 months. After he transferred, again linking up with John Chaney, the Vols coordinator who helped recruit him, and following his usurping of incumbent Panthers starter Chad Voytik, Peterman started his final 24 games and clawed away at many school records. Now it’s Peterman, not Dobbs, who was the Senior Bowl QB prospect piquing the most interest from NFL clubs following a strong week in Mobile. “When he comes in as a quarterback with an NFL team, I think people are going to be very happy with the way he carries himself, as well,” said Matt Canada, Peterman’s offensive coordinator in 2016.

•••

Canada easily recalls his first impression of Peterman. Like Peterman one year earlier, Canada was the new man on campus, having spent the previous three seasons in the same post at North Carolina State. “I think Nate’s accuracy is something I’ve talked about

16 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

since the day I met him,” Canada said. “Something that people will continue to see him do, putting the balls into windows they need to be put into. “The first time we started throwing, I really was impressed with his arm strength. He does have the right size and everything, but his arm, his ability to make throws across the field were really, really big time.” This is coming from a coach who worked with rifle-armed Jacoby Brissett, the Patriots’ third-round pick in 2016, the year prior. Indeed, Peterman, in addition to clearly being the most polished of his Senior Bowl peers in terms of lower-body mechanics and accuracy, zipped a throw to the left sideline from the right hash mark into a micro window during one team drill that epitomized “NFL throw.” And here’s the thing: Peterman’s arm strength – which, given his stature and hand size, should only improve assuming he benefits from strong NFL coaching – his accuracy and functional mobility, while all pluses, also aren’t the traits that have NFL teams most excited.

•••

“The baseline thing I think you have to do is lead the team and make the guys around you better,” Peterman said of what he feels is his most endearing quality. “Learning from mistakes, trying to mature, focusing on the right things and also kind of figuring out who you can push, what guys you might have to put your arm around their shoulder and just learning how to play chess rather than checkers knowing that every guy is different.” If that sounds like a remarkably sharp and mature 22-yearold, well, your ears are trained similarly to NFL brass. And NFL evaluators didn’t have to scour far to learn that Peterman, already married and seeking his MBA, backs up that talk through his actions. “That is what Nate is. When you look at Nate and really study his history, he’s had to learn multiple offenses and work with different coordinators, which isn’t always the best situation,” Canada said. “But he handled it extremely well, obviously made the decision to switch schools, earned


NATHAN PETERMAN the respect of his team, won the job a year ago, before I was there, within a few games, which is always a challenge.” The reunion at Pitt of Peterman and Chaney propelled Chaney to the coordinator post at Georgia last season. Canada’s and Peterman’s resoundingly successful 2016, wherein Pitt went 8-5 while averaging 40.9 points per game — No. 10 in the nation and the most points per game ever in Panthers history — also helped guide Canada to the SEC, where he’ll coordinate LSU’s offense next season. Think Peterman is coachable? Clearly, his past two mentor-mentee marriages have been mutually beneficial. Interestingly, the comparison PFW Draft Guide and former college scouting director Greg Gabriel has for Peterman is Kirk Cousins, another former Senior Bowl star whose success in his first two years as a full-time starter in Washington launched coordinator Sean McVay to the Rams’ head coaching job. McVay is the youngest head coach in NFL history, just 30 at the time of his hiring in January.

•••

It’s difficult to avoid discussing the positive influence the Senior Bowl had on Peterman, particularly on the heels of Dak Prescott’s transcendent rookie campaign preceded by Senior Bowl success, not unlike that of Cousins, Russell Wilson and Derek Carr, among others. That Peterman and Prescott share an agent, and Prescott offered him some advice entering Senior Bowl week, was almost too perfect a narrative for the assembled reporters chatting with him on Media night. “To have fun, be yourself, you can’t fake it but it’s football, it’s meant to be fun,” Peterman recalled of Prescott’s advice. But it wasn’t as if Peterman arrived in Mobile as an

unknown, as FCS star Carson Wentz, relatively speaking, one year earlier. Peterman, after all, handed the national champion Clemson Tigers and their star-laden defense its only defeat, a five-touchdown, zero-interception assault, just one week after Pitt was blown out by Miami. Peterman led another upset of a top-10 club, Penn State, with surgical efficiency. Those types of performances certainly helped land him on the NFL radar in 2016. “There were a lot of scouts who told me, ‘the quarterback at Pitt is really interesting,’” said Senior Bowl director and former Browns GM Phil Savage, adding Peterman was an “automatic invite” to the all-star game. Perhaps some media members, then, were surprised by Peterman’s success, just not Savage or Canada. “He’s a winner, by that I mean not a selfish guy,” Canada said. “[If] we’re going to run it 80 times and win, he’s going to be happy, and then the game when you have to throw it 40-something times, the Clemson game, had five touchdown passes in a game, you got to be able to do that, too, on those days and not blink on either day and I think when you look at Nate, that’s who Nate is.” If there’s one common denominator for all the previous Senior Bowl success stories selected after Day One, it’s pristine intangibles, an ability to overcome adversity by compartmentalizing, and that’s what Peterman does, too. “The best thing for me is just to put blinders on and work,” Peterman said of tuning out the growing buzz as he continues his draft preparation. “I have no control over [rankings]; a lot of the things I’ve put on film already this season and all I can do is go out there and try and be the best player I can every day.” PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 17


U POSITION GRADE

nlike the signal-callers, the running back position is loaded this year with plenty of talent at the top and tremendous depth through the middle and late rounds. As recently as 2013 and 2014, there were no backs taken in the first round, but this is probably the best group since 2008, when Darren McFadden, Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones, Rashard Mendenhall and Chris Johnson all came off the board in the first round and Matt Forte at 44 and Ray Rice at 55 led off the second round. Jamaal Charles was actually the 10th back taken, at 73 that year. This group may not be that good,

A

LEONARD FOURNETTE

18 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

but Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook look like potential franchise backs and Christian McCaffrey and D’Onta Foreman have a good shot at being late first-round picks as well. The idea that NFL teams don’t value the position like they used to is absurd, but clubs have learned they can sometimes find the best talent in the middle and later rounds, i.e. Jordan Howard to the Bears in the fifth round last year, and that does cause top running back prospects to last longer in the draft than players with similar grades at other positions might. There are potential gems stacked throughout our top 20 this year. This could be a season when the next Howard, DeMarco Murray or Lamar Miller emerges.


RUNNING

1 FOURNETTE LEONARD

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size, strength and power. Plays in a pro-style offense. Big time home-run hitter. If he gets a seam, he’s gone. Can outrun the pursuit. Very good power, can move the pile and consistently get yards after contact. Has a physical running style and can punish tacklers. Effective as a pass blocker, will face up. Good receiver out of the backfield. Great speed and burst to turn the corner. Ran for 3,830 yards in only 32 games. Very good kickoff returner.

LSU

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.43 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

7.1

RD 1

WEAK POINTS • Missed games this year because of injury. Has had some fumbles. Good but not great cutback runner. Can make the first man miss but lacks great elusiveness.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2014 13/6 187 1,034 2015 12/12 300 1,953 2016 7/6 129 843 TOT 32/24 616 3,830

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

5.5 10 7 127 0 6.5 22 19 253 1 6.5 8 15 146 0 6.2 40 41 526 1

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2COOK DALVIN

FLORIDA STATE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

WEAK POINTS • Size; does he have the frame to hold up in the NFL for multiple seasons? Needs work on pass-block technique.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2014 13/3 170 1,052 2015 12/12 229 1,691 2016 13/13 288 1,765 TOT 38/28 687 4,464

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

5.9 8 22 203 7.4 19 24 244 6.1 19 33 488 6.5 46 79 935

0 1 1 2

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

3McCAFFREY CHRISTIAN

STANFORD

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 1

WEAK POINTS • Has marginal size and that might limit the amount of touches he gets each game. Missed some time with injuries in 2016.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD REC

YDS TD

13/0 42 300 7.1 0 17 251 14/14 337 2,019 6.0 8 45 645 11/11 253 1,603 6.3 13 37 310 38/25 632 3,922 6.5 21 99 1,206

2 5 3 10

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

4GALLMAN WAYNE

CLEMSON

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

WEAK POINTS • Needs to get a little bigger and stronger (closer to 220). Needs work on pass-block technique. Needs work on pass routes.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

THE WAY WE SEE IT • McCaffrey is a third-year junior who is entering the draft. Outstanding all-purpose back who can play a variety of positions. Ran for almost 4,000 yards and had 99 receptions in his three years at Stanford. His only real negative is he lacks ideal NFL running back size and that might limit his number of touches per game. Can be a big-play guy with his skill set and versatility, and that will benefit any NFL offense. Will be best utilized in a rotation but he can still be a difference-maker. STRONG POINTS • Very productive the past two seasons with 2,736 yards and 28 touchdowns. Quick starter with excellent vision/instincts. Good jump-cutter and quickfooted. Finds the open seam and cutback lanes. Has a burst to daylight. Good with stop and go. Runs with power and consistently gets yardage after contact. Can make people miss in tight or in the open field. Equally good inside or outside. Reliable pass receiver and a willing pass blocker.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has made an impact since his freshman year. Has great speed, athleticism and run instincts. Capable of taking it to the house on any given play. Lack of size is a concern. Has been durable in college but will he hold up over a period of time in the NFL? Should be an instant contributor as a rookie and can be used in a variety of ways. Similar in size, speed and style to C.J. Spiller when he came out of Clemson. Will be drafted high and be productive, but longevity is a concern. This kid is talented. STRONG POINTS • Excellent multi-purpose back. Has played running back, wide receiver and returns kicks. Very productive. Has excellent overall athletic traits with speed, strength, change of direction, burst and balance. Runs low with good vision/instincts. Productive inside and out. Quick-footed with elusiveness both in tight and in space. Very creative. Good blocker. Good receiver who runs good routes and has soft hands. Can come in and be a team’s No. 1 returner. Played in an NFL-style system at Stanford.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 202 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • As a freshman and a sophomore, he looked like the next Adrian Peterson and probably a top-three pick. Had a more “normal” year in 2016 because of injuries. Opponents have to find a way to stop him. He is big, powerful and productive and can dominate a game once he gets going. Few have his natural traits. Will need to become a better cutback runner but the vision and instincts are there for him to become that. Could very well become the first back taken. Not as good as Ezekiel Elliott but not far behind. STRONG POINTS • Exceptional overall athlete, with speed, change of direction, balance and foot quickness. Very productive with 4,464 yards and 46 rushing TDs in three seasons. Also has 79 receptions. Plays with good strength. Very quick to the hole with excellent vision and decision-making skills. Runs low, is explosive on contact and gets yards after contact. Home-run hitter. Reliable receiver and route runner. Willing pass and run blocker. Very nifty and elusive. Excellent stop and go, can make people miss on all levels.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 3/4 e | WT: 204 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE

BACKS

TD

REC

YDS TD

2013 (Redshirted) 2014 13/9 161 769 4.8 4 24 108 1 2015 14/13 283 1,527 5.4 13 21 213 1 2016 15/15 232 1,133 4.9 17 20 152 0 TOT 42/37 676 3,429 5.1 34 65 473 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • I like this player’s running style. It’s similar to Matt Forte’s style in that he has a quick jump inside. These types of runners generally make good NFL running backs. While he is a reliable receiver, he will need work on his pass routes and pass blocking. I like his toughness and competitive attitude. Makes plays when they are needed. I see him as a rotational back as a rookie and a starter by Year Two. Has very good upside. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 19


RUNNING

5PERINE SAMAJE

STRONG POINTS • Big, thick and athletic. Has good play speed and outstanding balance. Quick to the hole with very good vision/instincts and a good decision-maker. Runs with exceptional power and consistently gets yards after contact. Can move the pile. Breaks some long runs and is very difficult to tackle in the open field.

OKLAHOMA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.57 e GRADE

WEAK POINTS • Not really an outside threat, not used much in the passing game. Needs work on his pass protection technique, pass routes.

RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

2014 13/8 263 1,713 2015 13/13 226 1,349 2016 10/9 196 1,060 TOT 36/30 685 4,122

6.5 6.0 5.4 6.0

21 15 108 16 15 107 12 10 106 49 40 321

REC

YDS TD

0 1 1 2

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

6FOREMAN D’ONTA

TEXAS

A

WEAK POINTS • Not a consistent breakaway threat. Will need work on pass-block technique. Not used much as a receiver, might not have real good hands.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2014 7/0 15 73 2015 10/0 95 681 2016 11/10 323 2,028 TOT 28/10 433 2,782

AVG

THE WAY WE SEE IT • True junior entering the draft. Has run for more than 4,100 yards in three seasons. Short but thick and a very powerful inside runner. Quick to the hole with good vision and instincts. Makes good decisions. Is patient, sets up his blocks and finds the opening. Mostly an inside, between-the-tackles type who can move the pile. Consistently gets yards after contact. Was the man in 2014 and 2015 but split time with Joe Mixon in 2016. Not a big part of the passing game. As good as he is, he won’t be the bellcow in the NFL until he learns how to pass protect and run better routes. Still, he will be an important contributor. STRONG POINTS • Great size to go along with good strength and power. A good athlete with good speed and a burst. Can change direction and has excellent balance. Very good vision, can pick and slide as well as create. Good cutback skills. Consistently gets yards after contact. Very punishing runner. Willing pass blocker.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 1/2 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.57 e GRADE

BACKS

TD

4.9 0 7.2 5 6.3 15 6.4 20

REC

YDS TD

1 7 5 64 7 75 13 146

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A bigger, faster version of Bears running back Jordan Howard, Foreman is big and powerful and an excellent inside runner. Instinctive runner who can create, pick and slide and make his own hole. Consistently gets yards after contact. Has the burst to turn the corner and will get some long runs. Was not a big part of the Texas passing game and will need work on his receiving skills. Willing pass blocker who needs technique work. Should come in and play right away as a rookie. The type of runner who has a lot of success in the NFL.

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

7MACK MARLON

SOUTH FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-115/8 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

12/12 12/12 12/12 36/36

202 210 174 586

1,041 1,381 1,187 3,609

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

5.2 9 21 160 0 6.6 8 16 111 1 6.8 15 28 227 0 6.2 32 65 498 1

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

8CONNER JAMES

STRONG POINTS • Good initial quickness. Strong and powerful inside runner who consistently gets yards after contact. Very good vision/instincts, makes good decisions and can find cutback lanes. Has a burst to get outside. Quick-footed and can make the first man miss. Runs low and attacks tacklers. Tough to bring down. Good hands and a good receiver out of the backfield. Reliable blocker. Productive.

PITTSBURGH

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-11/2 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.58 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Injured knee in 2015 opener and missed the rest of the season, then was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. Doesn’t have great top-end speed.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2013 12/0 146 799 2014 13/13 298 1,765 2015 1/1 8 77 2016 12/12 216 1,092 TOT 38/26 668 3,733

AVG

TD

STRONG POINTS • Very quick and fast with excellent vision and decision-making ability. Able to make the big play. Runs with power and can get yards after contact. Reliable receiver with good hands. Shows patience until he finds a seam. WEAK POINTS • Marginal size and needs to add strength and bulk to his upper body. Needs a lot of work with pass protection technique and positioning. While he has good hands, he needs to improve his route-running ability. Not physically ready to be a fulltime player at the NFL level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Mack is a true junior entering the draft. He had an outstanding career at South Florida, rushing for more than 3,600 yards in three seasons. While he lacks great size, he has excellent quickness and speed to go along with very good vision and decision-making skills. Has a way of finding an open seam. He is a true big-play threat at the college level. Has the skill set to turn a short gain into a large one. He has good hands and is a reliable receiver. At the next level, he is going to have to get bigger and stronger, especially in the upper body, to hold up. Until that happens, I see him as a rotational player. Like most college backs, he will also need work on his pass-blocking skills.

REC

YDS TD

5.5 8 3 33 0 5.9 26 5 70 0 9.6 2 1 7 0 5.1 16 21 302 4 5.6 52 30 412 4

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • An inspirational player with the way he came back from a serious knee injury and then cancer. James is a punishing inside runner with great size, strength and power. He is more quick than fast but he’s fast enough. In a way, he reminds me of the Chiefs’ Spencer Ware with his run style. The type of back who becomes a productive pro. Can be an every-down player and move the chains. His medical will have a lot to do with where he gets drafted, but he is easily a second- to third-round talent. Will be a great pick if he gets a thumbs up from the doctors.

20 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


RUNNING

9MIXON JOE

STRONG POINTS • Great size. Plays with strength and power. Very good vision, makes good decisions and can find the open seams. Has good initial quickness and is quick to the hole. Has some pick and slide. Runs low and is able to get yards after contact with consistency. A reliable receiver with good hands and a good route runner. Willing pass blocker.

OKLAHOMA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-0 1/2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.57e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Missed 2014 because of disciplinary reasons. Has some serious offfield issues. Speed is good, not great.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

2014 (Did not play) 2015 13/4 113 753 6.7 7 28 356 4 2016 12/5 187 1,274 6.8 10 37 538 5 TOT 25/9 300 2,027 6.8 17 65 894 9 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

10McNICHOLS JEREMY

BOISE STATE

B

WEAK POINTS • Size (height). Will need some work on pass-protection technique. Not a real home-run threat. Plays in a conference (Mountain West) that does not have strong defenses.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2014 9/0 17 159 2015 12/12 240 1,337 2016 13/13 314 1,709 TOT 34/25 571 3,205

AVG

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Mixon has the talent to eventually become an NFL starter or at worst play in a rotation. That said, he has some serious off-field issues that might stop teams from drafting him. The issue happened when he was a freshman at Oklahoma but it still happened and teams will take notice, particularly because it involves severe violence against a woman even though there have been no issues since and Mixon has apologized and taken full responsibility. Grade is based on talent, not character issues. His talent says third-to-fourth round. STRONG POINTS • Very strong for his size. Has good speed but is even quicker. Very productive. Lacks size, but shows better than adequate pass-blocking skills. Quick to hole. Creative runner with patience and a good decision-maker. Runs low and gets yards after contact. Reliable receiver with good hands.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-9 1/8 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE

BACKS

TD

REC

YDS TD

9.4 1 15 155 5.6 20 51 460 5.4 23 37 474 5.6 44 103 1,089

1 6 4 11

THE WAY WE SEE IT • McNichols doesn’t have the size you look for but he plays bigger. He is tough and competitive and has good strength and power. He can hit the hole quickly and find a seam. He has creativity and a burst. Shows very good ability as a receiver. As a pass blocker he lacks some technique but he is tough, will face up and can anchor. Overall, he looks to be a good rotational back at the next level. Might not be a bellcow, but can be productive with 15 touches a game.

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

11WILLIAMS JAMAAL

BYU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-01/2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.52e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

2012 13/8 166 775 4.7 12 27 315 1 2013 12/12 217 1,233 5.7 7 18 125 0 2014 7/5 109 518 4.8 4 8 47 0 2016 10/9 234 1,375 5.9 12 7 80 0 TOT 42/34 726 3,901 5.4 35 60 567 1

12ROGERS SAM

STRONG POINTS • Tough and aggressive. Reliable as an inside runner, blocker and short-range receiver. Can face up and anchor in pass protection. Shows power as a runner and consistently gets yards after initial contact. Has good hands and does a good job getting open on short-range passes.

VIRGINIA TECH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 1/4 | WT: 231 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Short with short arms, which can hurt him in pass protection against long-armed defenders. Just adequate speed.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

STRONG POINTS • Good size. Productive when healthy (3,900 career yards). Good play speed. Plays in a pro-style offense. Quick to the hole with good vision/instincts. Can pick and slide, jump cut and find a seam. Runs low and consistently gets yardage after contact. Don’t see him knocked backward. Gets a number of mid- to long-range runs. Good hands. WEAK POINTS • Missed three games this year because of an ankle injury. Missed time in 2014 with a knee injury. Missed all of 2015 because of a rules violation. Not used much in the passing game. Needs work on pass protection (positioning, anchor, hand use). Not a real breakaway threat. THE WAY WE SEE IT • An impressive back when he is healthy. Quick to the hole and a tough inside runner who gets yards after contact and can move the pile. Has good vision, is patient and a good decision maker. Once he sees an opening, he has a good burst to daylight. Has good hands but is not used in the passing game that often, and needs work on pass protection. Not a complete back yet, but has the traits to become a good NFL running back. Really like this guy. Won’t get drafted as high as talent says.

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

2013 13/2 5 2014 13/6 32 2015 13/5 61 2016 14/12 67 TOT 53/25 165

9 140 260 283 692

1.8 4.4 4.3 4.2 4.2

0 12 78 0 0 20 230 1 2 16 193 2 2 24 301 4 4 72 802 7

REC

YDS TD

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fullbacks aren’t in high demand as draft choices but Rogers is the best fullback in the country. He can block, run inside and is reliable as a receiver. Can be a three-down player in some offensive schemes and minimally could be invauable in 3rd and medium situations and short yardage and goal line. He will also be a very effective special teams player because of his aggressive, competitive nature. Late pick because of his position, but he will start in the league. Grade is higher than where he will get drafted. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 21


RUNNING

13HUNT KAREEM

STRONG POINTS • Very productive at the MAC level. Very good size with good strength and power. Runs low and gets yards after initial contact. Has good hands. Willing pass blocker.

TOLEDO

WEAK POINTS • Played against a lower level of competition. Lacks breakaway speed. Isn’t real creative. Needs work on pass-block technique. Most pass routes are of the check-down variety. In Toledo scheme, many runs are lateral to line then cut up. Average initial quickness.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/2 | WT: 208 | 40: 4.63 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

C

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

2013 12/3 137 866 6.3 6 12 68 2014 10/10 205 1,631 8.0 16 9 39 2015 9/7 178 973 5.5 12 11 45 2016 13/13 262 1,475 5.6 10 41 403 TOT 44/33 782 4,945 6.3 44 73 555

0 0 0 1 1

14WILLIAMS JOE

UTAH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 210 e | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

BACKS

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

2013 (Junior College) 2014 (Junior College) 2015 10/2 104 477 4.6 3 11 84 0 2016 9/9 210 1,407 6.7 10 9 107 0 TOT 19/11 314 1,884 6.0 13 20 191 0

15KAMARA

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hunt was very productive at the MAC level but that isn’t the NFL. He has size, strength and power but he is not real creative. He runs low and can get yards after contact. Not a breakaway type. Has good hands but will need to work on pass routes as well as pass-blocking technique. Is the toughest kind of player to evaluate because level of competition makes it hard to gauge how much his want-to can overcome lack of great speed and make-you-miss. See him as a backup type with a chance to grow into a rotational player, but I don’t see a guy who can be an NFL starter. STRONG POINTS • Adequate RB size. Very good initial quickness and vision. Real good decision-maker. Powerful runner for his size, breaks tackles and gets yards after contact. Big-play guy. Excellent effort. Good hands. Durable. Ran for more than 1,400 yards in only eight games. WEAK POINTS • “Retired” from football after Game Two, then came back after missing four games. Has fumbled some. Not used much as a receiver. Pass protection. Has played at three different schools. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Double transfer, started out at UConn, then transferred to a JC after one year. After a season at the JC, he transferred to Utah. Backup in 2015 then played sparingly at the start of 2016. “Retired” because he wasn’t playing. Came back after missing four games and took off. Ran for 1,332 yards and 10 TDs in the final seven games. He is strong, quick and fast to go along with good power and vision. Where he gets drafted is a question mark. Interviews will be huge as teams will need to know if he is committed to the game. Probably will get selected later than his talent level, but has the talent to be a starter in the league.

ALVIN

STRONG POINTS • Good speed and is a good athlete. Very good hands. Runs good routes. Has fairly good vision. Can break the long run. Returns punts.

TENNESSEE

WEAK POINTS • Size; listed as 5-10, 215, looks more like a 200-pound guy and plays like he is 190. Not powerful or explosive. Does little as a blocker. Not a full-time player. Average as an inside runner. Played at three different schools while in college.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.49 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

2014 (At Hutchinson Community College) 2015 13/1 107 698 6.5 7 34 291 3 2016 11/7 103 596 5.8 9 40 392 4 TOT 24/8 210 1,294 6.2 16 74 683 7 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

16CLEMENT COREY

STRONG POINTS • Has a thick, strong frame and is a competitive runner. Has good initial quickness to go along with very good vision and instincts. Runs low and with balance and is a good inside runner. Has power and consistently gets yards after contact; can get what is needed in short yardage. Has quick feet and can make cuts in the hole to find a seam. Good hands and can get open on short routes. Willing pass blocker.

WISCONSIN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/4 | WT: 221 | 40: 4.62 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Lacks long speed. Not a breakaway runner. Needs work on passblock technique. Has had some games where he puts the ball on the ground.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Started out at Alabama, redshirted there then transferred to Hutchinson CC in Kansas. After a year there, he transferred to Tennessee. College travels won’t necessarily hurt his evaluation but it does add one more batch of questions that certainly don’t help. Role player at Tennessee. Not a tough inside runner; on many plays he runs horizontal then cuts up. Average instincts as a runner. Is best as a punt returner and a receiver out of the backfield. Can also line up split out. Has route quickness and good hands and shows he can be an NFL return man. Late choice and has a chance to be a role player if he can prove he can be a capable return guy.

TD

REC

YDS TD

2013 12/0 67 547 8.2 7 1 9 0 2014 14/1 147 949 6.5 9 14 119 2 2015 4/1 48 221 4.6 5 2 19 0 2016 13/13 314 1,375 4.4 15 12 132 0 TOT 43/15 576 3,092 5.4 36 29 279 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A productive Big Ten power back. The type of player that NFL teams appreciate, and recent production of Badger backs cetainly won’t hurt his evaluation. Might not ever be a starter but will be very productive in a rotational role. Is best as a between-the-tackles type where he has quickness to the hole, power and vision. While he might not break many long runs, he will consistently get his three to five yards. Has good hands and can be a reliable short receiver. Needs work on his pass protection. Good special teams potential.

22 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


RUNNING

17DAYES MATTHEW

STRONG POINTS • Productive as a runner and a receiver. Good vision and cutback runner. Has a quick burst when he sees a lane. Runs low to the ground, has good balance and keeps legs driving on contact. Good hands. While he is not a power guy, he gets yardage after contact. Very competitive.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-85/8 | WT: 207 | 40: 4.57 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Size. He’s more quick than fast. Needs a lot of work with pass protection. Most of his routes are check-downs and swings.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

2013 11/0 63 252 4.0 4 10 173 2014 13/3 104 573 5.5 8 32 321 2015 8/8 134 865 6.5 12 24 172 2016 13/12 249 1,166 4.7 10 32 271 TOT 45/23 550 2,856 5.2 34 98 937

1 5 0 0 6

18HILL BRIAN

WEAK POINTS • Listed as being 219 but plays like a 200-pound guy. Lacks power and gets limited yardage after contact. Not a good pass blocker. Average running back speed. Plays in Mountain West Conference. Not used often in the passing game.

WYOMING

C

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

THE WAY WE SEE IT • He will never be a starter, but he can become a quality backup who can play in a rotation or as a role player. His versatility in the run and pass games is a plus for him. He is quicker than fast but has strength and gets yards after contact. Has a strong overall game but like many college backs, he needs to improve his passprotection skills. His running style suggests that he might be able to return kickoffs, which would be huge in helping make him one of those guys who may not start but is too versatile and valuable not to find a spot for.

STRONG POINTS • Very productive with good vision and instincts. Quick to hole. Runs low. Has good pick and slide and some jump cut skills. Good hands.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 1/2 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.58 e GRADE

BACKS

YDS

2014 12/4 145 796 2015 12/11 281 1,631 2016 14/14 349 1,860 TOT 38/29 775 4,287

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

5.5 7 13 204 5.8 6 20 132 5.3 22 8 67 5.5 35 41 403

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very productive player. Ran for over 1,800 yards in 2016 but did little against upper-echelon schools. He has good vision and is a good decisionmaker, but he doesn’t play with power and plays smaller than he measures. Don’t see much after-contact power. While he has great RB production, his receiving numbers are pedestrian. But how many guys can you find with 1,800-plus yard rushing seasons, even in the Mountain West? Needs work on pass protection. He’ll be one of those guys with a wide range of grades depending on the eye of the beholder. See him as a backup-only in the NFL unless he has some outstanding workouts.

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

19PUMPHREY DONNEL

STRONG POINTS • Quick, fast and elusive with outstanding vision and instincts. Great production to go along with very good durability. Good hands and a good route runner. If he gets a seam, he can break it. Willing blocker.

SAN DIEGO STATE

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have ideal size and he won’t get any bigger. Has no history of return work at San Diego State. While he is tough, his lack of size and strength limit his after-contact ability. He can get overpowered as a pass blocker.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-81/4 | WT: 169 | 40: 4.45 e GRADE

C

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

AVG

TD

REC

13/1 125 13/13 276 14/13 309 14/14 349 54/41 1,059

752 1,867 1,653 2,133 6,405

6.0 6.8 5.3 6.1 6.0

8 20 17 17 62

22 23 28 27 100

YDS TD

234 160 416 231 1,041

2 0 3 0 5

20HOOD

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Impressive college player but his lack of size limits what he will be able to do at the next level. Players of his size with limited or no return ability are tough to project. He will have to be a situational back put in the right situations. Interested clubs will hope that he can return kicks, as he has very limited return work while in college. If he can add 10 pounds of muscle and show some special athletic traits at Combine and Pro Day, he can be a late-round guy who will have a chance if he gets drafted by the right team. His key will be landing with a club willing to devote a roster spot to a guy who may only give them a handful of special situational plays a game.

ELIJAH

STRONG POINTS • Size, strength and power. Quick to the hole. Gets yards after contact. Good decision-maker. True power guy. Good hands. Willing blocker.

NORTH CAROLINA

WEAK POINTS • Not very elusive, can’t make people miss in tight or in space. Lacks speed. Needs to improve pass blocking. Pass routes are usually check-down type. Average outside runner.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-113/4 e | WT: 225 e | 40: 4.62e GRADE

C

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6-7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2014 9/0 67 259 2015 14/14 219 1,463 2016 11/11 145 858 TOT 34/25 431 2,580

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

3.9 4 2 -2 0 6.7 17 13 71 0 5.9 8 25 142 0 6.0 29 40 211 0

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hood is a third-year junior entering the draft. Another example of a young man who might have been better served by staying in school, but players come out for a variety of reasons that aren’t always connected to their likely draft status or even whether they will have long careers in the league. Don’t know why Hood chose to come out but he is a big, powerful inside runner who can get the tough yards. While he may never become a starter, he can contribute as a rotational player. There is always a place for between-the-tackles bangers. Hood has limitations in that he lacks speed and won’t be very effective outside, but he will do the dirty work. Will need to improve his pass blocking. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 23


RUNNING

21McGUIRE ELIJAH

STRONG POINTS • Very productive. Averaged more than 1,000 yards rushing per season in his four years in school. Good hands and very effective as a receiver. Not fast but quick. Has a thick frame that allows him to run with strength inside. Can find the cutback lanes.

LOUISIANA LAFAYETTE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-91/2 | WT: 212 | 40: 4.58 e GRADE

C

WEAK POINTS • More a reacting runner than instinctive. Fails to see some open areas at times. Not a great after-contact runner, and not the most elusive guy.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6-7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2013 13/3 103 863 2014 13/5 166 1,264 2015 12/12 209 1,047 2016 13/13 232 1,127 TOT 51/33 710 4,301

AVG

YDS

TD

8.4 8 22 384 7.6 14 45 468 5.0 13 34 304 4.9 7 29 238 6.1 42 130 1,394

TD

REC

3 2 3 2 10

22DAVIS JUSTIN

USC

C

WEAK POINTS • Size; has a lean frame and minimal growth potential. Has never been the lead guy, always been a rotational back or role player. Average blocker. Can he withstand the rigors of more than a handful of touches a game?

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2013 7/0 53 361 2014 13/0 129 595 2015 13/8 169 902 2016 10/7 110 607 TOT 43/15 461 2,465

AVG

TD

REC

YDS TD

6.8 6 1 7 0 4.6 4 13 92 2 5.3 7 18 189 0 5.5 2 14 112 0 5.3 19 46 400 2

23FOLSTON TAREAN

NOTRE DAME

C

WEAK POINTS • Marginal size, lacks top-end speed. Has had a problem staying healthy. Not a big-play type. Mostly an inside runner despite his size.

RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7-FA

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

2013 12/2 88 470 2014 13/10 175 889 2015 1/1 3 19 2016 10/2 77 334 TOT 36/15 343 1,712

AVG

TD

5.3 3 5.1 6 6.3 0 4.3 2 5.0 11

REC

YDS TD

5 35 0 18 190 1 0 0 0 8 66 0 31 291 1

24YEARBY JOSEPH

C

WEAK POINTS • Size and he won’t get any bigger. Is tight in the hips and has a short stride. Not elusive. Pass blocking. Not a breakaway threat.

RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7-FA

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

ATT

YDS

12/0 86 509 13/13 205 1,002 13/0 102 608 38/13 393 2,119

AVG

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Showed promise as a rotational back in 2014 when he ran for 889 yards and a 5.1-yard average per carry. Went into the 2015 season as the starter, then tore his ACL in the season opener. Used as a backup in 2016. ACLs can heal enough to play again a season later, but it can take longer to return to 100 percent. Folston has quickness, vision and is a tough inside runner. If he gets back to full strength, he might surprise once he gets into camp. As a sophomore, he looked like a potential mid-round pick, then he got hurt. A strong Pro Day might get him drafted late. STRONG POINTS • Very quick. Shows good cutback skills. Has strength and power and can get some yards after initial contact. Very good balance.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-9 e | WT: 198 e | 40: 4.58 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Was on his way to perhaps his best season when he suffered a severe ankle sprain. Missed three games and was never the same player the rest of the season. Needs to add some bulk and strength for the next level. That he was at USC will alleviate some of the concern about his never stepping out and becoming the lead guy who could demand the ball. Because of his speed, he has a chance to be a role-playing third back. Has to prove he can be effective on special teams if he wants that role. Has talent and speed and that always helps. STRONG POINTS • Quick to the hole, has very nimble feet. Good vision and a good decision-maker. Runs low and can get yards after contact. Fairly reliable as a pass blocker. Has good hands and is a reliable receiver. Best running between the tackles; with his quickness he has some elusiveness and quick-cutting ability.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-93/4 e | WT: 213e | 40: 4.67e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A smaller, quicker-than-fast running back. While he isn’t coming from a Power 5 school, Louisiana Lafayette is an excellent program that has produced a number of NFL players in recent years. McGuire is productive, although he leaves some yards on the table as his vision is average. He is very reliable as a receiver and the “James White effect” we saw in Super Bowl LI will help him and players like him. While I don’t see him as a starting NFL back, he can be a role-playing, situational back. Has to prove he can play on special teams.

STRONG POINTS • Speed! Patient runner who has an excellent burst once he finds an open lane. Quick-footed type who can stop and go. Can make a cut in the hole. Has the speed to take it the distance. Good hands, reliable receiver.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.48 e GRADE

BACKS

TD

REC

YDS TD

5.9 1 8 118 4.9 6 23 273 6.0 7 10 65 5.4 14 41 456

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

1 2 0 3

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Junior entering the draft and you really have to wonder why. If he is leaving Miami for academic reasons, it’s not a killer in the eyes of NFL teams, but it’s not exactly an asset either. Had a 1,000-yard season in 2015 but his production fell off in 2016 as other backs surpassed him in the Miami offense. Had he stayed in school and reclaimed his starting role or at least forced coaches to get him the ball more, it clearly would have helped his status in the eyes of NFL evaluators. If he’s leaving over fear he couldn’t have done more at Miami, it doesn’t exactly bode well for his chances at the next level. Still, he is a tough, strong and quick player but with size limitations. Has to be in the right situation to make it and has to perform on special teams. That 2015 season can make him a late pick.

24 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST KHALID ABDULLAH JAMES MADISON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 220 e | 40-YARD: 4.60 e

Very productive FCS-level running back. Led James Madison to the national championship with 1,809 yards and 22 touchdowns. Tough inside runner with vision and instincts. Just wish he was a little faster.

MARCUS COX

APPALACHIAN STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 | WT: 207 | 40-YARD: 4.66 e

Ran for over 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons. Runs low to the ground and looks to finish each run. Has a burst and some quickness but not top-end speed.

FREDDIE STEVENSON FLORIDA STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 3/8 | WT: 236 | 40-YARD: 4.72 e

One of the better fullbacks in the country. Good inside runner, consistent blocker and adequate as a receiver. Has a burst and some wiggle for a big guy, plus he can move the chains.

DE’VEON SMITH MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 7/8 | WT: 220 | 40-YARD: 4.70 e

Has never put up great numbers but he is a very consistent player who can run inside, block and catch. Good free agent who will be tough to cut.

JORDAN JOHNSON BUFFALO

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 5/8 e | WT: 218 e | 40-YARD: 4.62 e

Ran for over 800 yards in 2015, then added 1,040 yards in 2016. Runs with power and makes good decisions. Adequate receiver. Lacks top-end speed.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“Best RB class in years. Many talented players who are ready to step in and start.”

• “It wouldn’t surpwrise me

if (Joe Mixon) goes undrafted. That video did him in. Awfully hard to meet the press after you draft him.”

“I love the way (Jamaal Williams) runs inside, but he puts the

JAMAAL WILLIAMS

ball on the ground too much. If he doesn’t fix that, he wont play.”

“Mixon is going to be an awfully hard sell, but the fact that the incident actually took place two years ago, he has for the most part stayed out of trouble since, has apologized and taken full responsibility and would otherwise be a late first-, high second-round pick, is almost certain to get him drafted late on Day Two or early on Day Three. Call it the Tyreek Hill effect.”

• “I can’t find anything not

to like about Leonard Fournette, but I am more troubled by the perception that he may have spent most of this season protecting himself than I am bothered by him skipping the bowl game.”

“Every time I put (Leonard) Fournette and (Dalvin) Cook side by side, I come away thinking Cook will prove to be the higher impact guy in our league. This kid’s burst is unbelievable!”

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 25


W POSITION GRADE

ideout is a position that has been wellstocked in recent drafts and this year is no exception. Five (2014), six (2015) and four (2016) wide receivers have gone in the first rounds of the past three drafts. This year’s group offers at least five potential first-rounders in Mike Williams, John Ross, Corey Davis, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Curtis Samuel. 2014 saw 12 receivers drafted in the first two rounds, nine in 2015 and just seven this past year. Whether this group is as well thought of as ’14 and ’15 remains to be seen, but it does appear ready to surpass 2016’s group from the first two

A-

rounds. This crop does lack as much of the great size as we’ve seen in recent seasons, but speed to burn is always in vogue, and this class offers plenty of that. Williams in particular has scouts drooling because of his outstanding size at 6-3, 220 pounds. He can jump out of the gym and showed outstanding hands as he improved by leaps and bounds the second half of the 2016 season. Davis is interesting because he also has good size at 6-2, 205. He is the NCAA’s all-time leader in receiving yards with 5,205 and is a rare prospect that used all four years of his college eligibility. There is concern about the level of competition Davis faced at Western Michigan, but there’s a guy in the NFL right now named Antonio Brown who played at Central Michigan and he hasn’t turned out too badly.

JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER

MIKE WILLIAMS

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1 SMITH-SCHUSTER JUJU

STRONG POINTS • Great size to go along with very good strength and power for the position. Very good athlete. Has excellent speed, gets to full speed quickly, very good change of direction and flexibility. Very good route runner, can make quick cuts and get separation. Effective short and long. Has excellent hands, will compete in traffic and can win jump balls. Tracks the ball very well.

USC

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.42 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Will have an occasional concentration drop.

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

2014 13/12 54 724 13.4 2015 14/14 89 1,454 16.3 2016 13/13 70 914 13.1 TOT 40/39 213 3,092 14.5 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TD

5 10 10 25

2WILLIAMS MIKE

CLEMSON

WEAK POINTS • Plays in a fairly simple spread offense with a limited route tree. Will have some concentration drops. Not a burner.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/3 13/11 1/1 15/15 42/30

20 57 2 98 177

316 1,030 20 1,361 2,727

15.8 18.1 10.0 13.9 15.4

3 6 1 11 21

6.9

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Smith-Schuster is far and away the best wideout in the class. He is a third-year junior entering the draft and has been dominating college football since his freshman year. Has 213 career receptions and 25 touchdowns. Smith-Schuster is the rare complete package coming out of college, a year early to boot. He is a very good route runner who gets separation both long and short. He adjusts to the ball very well and has excellent hands. After the catch, he is like a running back with the ball in his hands. Overall, a very physical receiver in the mold of the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant. Will come in and start right away and will become a club’s No. 1 receiver in short order.

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size, strong athletic build with strength and power. Very good athlete, explosive. Has good hands and can make the acrobatic catch. Large receiving radius. Effective both short and long. Can catch in traffic. Strong runner after the catch. Knows how to use his size to his advantage. Gets in and out of cuts quickly to gain separation. Leaper who can high-point the ball.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 1/2 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.50 e

A

RECEIVERS

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A big and talented wide receiver. Really just has to become more consistent on every down. Take away the concentration drops and there is a lot to like. The question here will be similar to when Chicago took Kevin White at No. 7 two years ago. How long will it take him to learn all the routes? He has the skill set to eventually become a No. 1 receiver in the league. Will go through some growing pains as he adjusts to an NFL-style offense, but he has too much talent not to be productive as a rookie. Easily a first-round pick and will be one of the first receivers drafted.

JOHN ROSS

COREY DAVIS

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3DAVIS COREY

STRONG POINTS • Great size, speed, strength and athleticism. Has dominated the MAC for a few years. Gets double- and sometimes triple-teamed and still can’t be stopped. Very good route runner, adjusts to the ball well and can snatch it. With his size, he easily defeats press coverage. Can find the open spot in zone. Strong runner after the catch. Effective short and deep. Good blocker.

WESTERN MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 218 e | 40: 4.47 e

WEAK POINTS • Mostly plays against a lower level of competition. Wish he was a bit faster but fast enough.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

11/11 12/12 13/13 14/14 50/50

67 78 90 97 326

941 1,408 1,436 1,500 5,212

14.0 18.1 16.0 15.5 16.0

6 15 12 19 51

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS

4ROSS JOHN

WASHINGTON

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.35 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

A

6.8

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

REC

YPC

TD

13/0 16 208 13.0 13/7 17 371 21.8 (Missed season due to knee injury) 14/14 81 1,150 14.2 40/21 114 1,729 15.2

1 4

5SAMUEL

YDS

17 22

CURTIS

WR/RB/RS

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.40 e

A

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

2014 14/1 11 95 8.6 2015 13/1 22 289 13.1 2016 13/3 74 865 11.7 TOT 40/5 107 1,249 11.7 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TD

0 2 7 9

6KUPP COOPER

EASTERN WASHINGTON

A

WEAK POINTS • Level of competition wasn’t very good. Played mostly inside and had a limited route tree at Eastern Washington.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A true jack of all trades. Can help a team in several areas. Should have extra tread on his tires based on limited touches at Ohio State. The question is whether he will be a man without a position, or the guy who can beat you no matter where he’s lined up? I see him coming in and becoming a club’s No. 1 slot receiver who can also give that team some snaps at running back. He can also be their top kickoff returner. The key is getting the ball in his hands, because he makes things happen and is a home-run hitter. He has excellent speed and athleticism to go along with very good openfield run skills. A specialist, but a special specialist. Won’t find too many players like him.

STRONG POINTS • Very good size and play strength. Extremely productive. Has good hands, can adjust to the ball, has a large receiving radius, and makes the difficult catch. Strong runner after the catch with burst, speed and power. Willing blocker. Is a good punt returner.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 | WT: 198 | 40: 4.47 e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Has great speed. Very good route quickness, breaks down and gets in and out of cuts quickly. Easily able to get separation. Effective as both a short and deep receiver. Uncovers versus man and zone coverage. Excellent initial quickness, easily avoids jam. Good hands, adjusts to the ball and makes the difficult catch. Returns kickoffs. Good run-after-catch skills. WEAK POINTS • Marginal size to play outside. Had a severe knee injury causing him to miss all of the 2015 season. One year as a full-time starter at WR. Started games in 2014, but that was at both WR and CB. Needs to get stronger, just an average blocker. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior who is entering the draft. Had a breakout year in 2016 with 81 receptions for 1,150 yards and 17 touchdowns. Also returned 17 kickoffs for 411 yards and one touchdown. May be the fastest wide receiver in this draft. Has the speed to take the top off a defense. His lack of size may hurt him on the outside, but has great initial quickness, eludes jams and has excellent route quickness. Has good hands and makes the difficult catch; can go up and get it in traffic. Will contribute right away as a rookie but might play more in the slot than outside. Can be a club’s top return guy. High pick.

WEAK POINTS • Small size for a RB, first year as a starter. Won’t be a full-time RB in the NFL. Will need work on blocking skills.

RATING PROJECTION

6.8

THE WAY WE SEE IT • As talented a receiver as you will find in this draft. A big, physical guy whose game can be compared to Brandon Marshall or Dez Bryant. Questions about his ability to go from the MAC to the NFL will be limited due to his great measureables, record-setting production and strong route running. Has a strong release, runs good patterns, gets separation and makes plays. Very good competing for the ball in traffic and makes some difficult catches. Strong runner after the catch. Should come in and start right away for almost any team and eventually will become a team’s No. 1 receiver.

STRONG POINTS • Versatile in that he can play RB, WR and return kicks. Excellent athlete with speed and body control. Good to very good route runner with very good hands. Is quick to hole with top vision/instincts. Has the strength to get yards after contact and very creative. Strong and explosive for his size.

OHIO STATE

GRADE

RECEIVERS

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

15/15 13/13 11/11 13/13 52/52

93 104 114 117 428

1,691 1,431 1,642 1,700 6,464

18.2 13.8 14.4 14.5 15.1

21 16 19 17 78

THE WAY WE SEE IT • You won’t find a more productive receiver anywhere. Has 428 career receptions for 6,464 yards and 78 touchdowns. Dominated at a lower level of competition, but he really opened some eyes at the Senior Bowl and was one of the best receivers in Mobile. The offense he plays in has a limited route tree, but he runs good routes and can get separation. He has excellent hands, makes the difficult catch and consistently gets yardage after the catch. Will need some time to adjust to an NFL offense but has the talent to become an eventual starter in the league. Will also contribute as a returner. A lot to like about this player.

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7HANSEN CHAD

STRONG POINTS • Very productive (92 receptions in ‘16). Tall with length. Very good athlete with speed. Has a good release and is a good route runner. Able to get separation coming out of cuts. Excellent hands and can adjust to the ball. Competes for the ball in traffic and wins. Explosive and elusive after the catch. Good blocker.

CALIFORNIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-1 5/8 e | WT: 203 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Only a one-year starter. Has a limited route tree in the Cal offense. Always lines up on the right side.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013* 2014 2015 2016 TOT

11/12

REC

YPC

TD

45 501 11.1 (Redshirted) 10/0 19 249 13.1 10/9 92 1,249 13.6 31/21 156 1,999 12.8 * — PLAYED AT IDAHO STATE

YDS

3 1 11 15

8BROWN NOAH

OHIO STATE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

A

6.6

WEAK POINTS • Still has two years of eligibility remaining. Missed all of 2015 with a broken leg. Needs to tighten up his body some. Although he keeps improving as a route runner, he is still raw and has to learn the nuances of route running.

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2014 13/0 1 9 9 0 2015 (Redshirted) 2016 13/12 32 402 12.6 7 TOT 24/12 33 411 10.8 7 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

9REYNOLDS JOSH

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 187 | 40: 4.48 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

A

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/11 12/12 13/13 38/36

REC

YDS

(Junior College) 52 842 51 907 61 1,039 164 2,788

YPC

TD

16.2 17.8 17.0 17.0

13 5 12 30

10DARBOH AMARA

MICHIGAN

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/8 13/9 13/12 49/28

6.6

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter and very productive. Good height and length. Deceptive speed, good route runner. Has a very large receiving radius. Good to very good hands, snatches the ball and makes some very difficult catches. Smooth and fluid athlete with very good body control. Can break down and get out of cuts quickly to get separation. Consistently gets yards after the catch. Good blocker. WEAK POINTS • Narrow frame, needs to add some bulk. Will have a few concentration drops. Not a burner. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A former junior college transfer, he has played the past three seasons at Texas A&M and been their go-to receiver the past two. A tall, slender athlete with long arms and good overall athletic skills. He is a smooth semi-strider with deceptive speed. He has a quick release and is able to avoid or work through jams. Shows good route-running ability both long and short and is able to get separation. Has good hands, can extend to make the tough catch and is a very good runner after the catch. Comes back to the ball and is effective in traffic. Just needs to add some weight for the next level. See him as an eventual starter with a ceiling of being a solid No. 2 receiver.

WEAK POINTS • Not a burner. Needs to become a more consistent blocker. Was a late bloomer who began to emerge when new coaching staff arrived but didn’t put up huge numbers.

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS REC

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Brown is as talented a receiver as there is in this class, but he is raw. Really has only played one full year, as he missed all of 2015 with an injury. He is big and physical and can make the circus catch. Excellent runner after the catch. He’s smooth and gets in and out of cuts very quickly. Because he lacks experience, he might not be ready to produce right away, but two years down the road he might be the best receiver in this class. A wild-card selection.

STRONG POINTS • Productive both short and long. Sure-handed guy who can adjust to the ball and make the difficult catch. Fluid athlete with good speed, can get in and out of cuts quickly and is consistently able to get separation. Will compete for the ball in traffic and win. Good runner after the catch with good run instincts.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-13/4 | WT: 215 | 40: 4.48 e

A

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Initially enrolled at Idaho State but transferred to Cal after catching 45 passes as a true freshman. Was Cal’s goto guy in 2016. Missed two games with an ankle injury. Hansen is talented with speed, great hands and explosiveness. Good route runner and he competes for the ball in traffic. Exciting runner after the catch. Wide receivers can be tougher to evaluate than any position but quarterback coming out of spread offenses because of the limited routes they’ve run. But Hansen ran them well and, after adjusting to an NFL route tree, he has the talent to become a solid No. 2 receiver. Will play a lot as a rookie.

STRONG POINTS • Has great size and length. Big-framed guy. Very athletic, makes getting in and out of cuts looks easy. Outstanding body control. Very good hands and ball concentration. Strong runner after the catch. He is a physical blocker. Keeps improving as a route runner.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-21/4 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE

RECEIVERS

YDS

YPC

TD

(Redshirted) 36 473 58 727 57 862 151 2,062

13.1 12.5 15.1 13.7

2 5 7 14

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior who has really come on the past two years under Jim Harbaugh. Has great size, is a fluid athlete and has good play speed. He is productive both short and long, has real good hands and makes the circus catch. Competitive guy who will win in traffic. Instinctive runner after the catch with vision and elusiveness. See him as a guy who will compete for the No. 3 spot as a rookie and can ascend to a No. 2 by Year Two. Solid second-round pick.

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RECEIVERS

11TAYLOR

STRONG POINTS • Good size to go along with very good speed. Instant deep threat. Big playmaker. Can run after the catch. Productive in college. Quick cuts and is able to get separation. Flashes good blocking ability.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 | WT: 182 | 40: 4.40 e

WEAK POINTS • Raw as far as route running — that area will need development. Doesn’t consistently catch the ball cleanly and will have some drops. Does not return kicks.

TAYWAN

WESTERN KENTUCKY

GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

11/7 13/7 14/5 14/14 52/33

24 45 86 98 253

270 767 1,467 1,730 4,234

11.3 17.0 17.1 17.7 16.7

0 7 17 17 41

12WESTBROOK DEDE

STRONG POINTS • Productive, excellent athlete with great change of direction, flexibility and body control. Explosive with great speed. Home-run hitter. Can run after the catch. Tough and will compete in traffic. Very quick in and out of cuts to get separation. Can return kicks.

OKLAHOMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 178 e | 40: 4.40 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.6

WEAK POINTS • In games viewed, he only lined up on the right side. Plays in a simple spread offense with a limited route tree. Slight frame and small hands. Will have some drops. Not much of a blocker. Can be re-routed by physical corners.

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2014 (At Blinn Community College) 2015 13/13 46 743 16.2 4 2016 13/12 80 1,524 19.0 17 TOT 26/25 126 2,267 18.0 21 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

13CANNON KD

BAYLOR

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.6

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal size and won’t get much bigger with his smallish frame. Has some drops and will body catch some balls. Limited route tree, raw as a route runner and will need work in this area. Doesn’t do much as a blocker.

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS REC

YDS

YPC

2014 13/7 58 1,030 17.8 2015 13/13 50 868 17.4 2016 12/12 87 1,215 14.0 TOT 38/32 195 3,113 16.0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TD

8 6 13 27

14FORD ISAIAH

VIRGINIA TECH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS REC

YDS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A similar style player to Texans’ 2016 first-rounder Will Fuller. He’s a former junior college transfer who came on in 2016. Tall and thin with small hands but is fast and athletic. Instant home-run threat in the college game. Get him in the open field and he’s gone. Like Fuller, he will struggle versus physical coverage at the NFL level and will have some drops that you have to live with. Coming from the Oklahoma offense, he will need to develop his route-running skills. A specialist early on who can be a good complementary receiver after he develops his game. Can return kicks.

STRONG POINTS • Great play speed, instant deep threat. Very good athlete with very good body control, can break down and get in and out of cuts quickly. Shows he can make the acrobatic catch. Dangerous after the catch with his speed. Has returned kicks (not in 2016).

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 180 e | 40: 4.43 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Talented but raw wide receiver. Has the size and strength to go along with excellent speed. Will need to improve his route-running skills and catch the ball consistently before he is ready to play on a regular basis. He was extremely productive in college with 184 receptions, 3,197 yards and 34 touchdowns the past two years. Has not been a returner but has the traits and can greatly enhance his value if he can convince teams at the Combine and his pro day he can do that job as well. Has a lot of upside, just not quite ready. Could be a starter by Year Two. Will be a role player as a rookie. Speed will get him drafted high.

YPC

2014 13/11 56 709 12.7 2015 13/12 75 1,164 15.5 2016 14/14 79 1,094 13.8 TOT 40/37 210 2,967 14.1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TD

6 11 7 24

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior and 2½-year starter who is entering the draft. Had a big season for Baylor with 87 receptions for 1,215 yards and 13 touchdowns. A consistent big-play threat with his speed, but coming from the Baylor offense, he is raw as far as route running. Will need work on sight adjustments and overall route running. I see him as more of a role player in 2017 with a chance to become a No. 2 or 3 receiver once he develops. Might be more useful in the slot with his size. Has returned kicks in the past and may have a future as a returner in the NFL. STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter and very productive. Has a good release and good route quickness. Good to very good athlete with body control. Good speed. Shows he can get separation on short and long routes. Tracks the ball well. Comes up with big plays game after game. WEAK POINTS • Small-frame guy. Lacks good strength, can get knocked off routes by physical corner. Not a blocker. Too many drops and double catches. Doesn’t always catch the ball quickly. Might have small hands. Limited route tree at Virginia Tech. Needs to improve route running. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Tall and lean, needs to add some strength and bulk. He is a good athlete with speed but raw. In the Virginia Tech offense, the route tree is limited so he will need work on perfecting his routes. While he is productive, he has too many drops and/or double catches. The question, then, is whether it’s his hands or just concentration, which can be improved. Can be dangerous after the catch with his speed. Overall, I see him coming in as a No. 4 and has upside to becoming a No. 3. Too many deficiencies to see him becoming a 2. May get drafted higher than my grade because of speed.

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15GODWIN CHRIS

STRONG POINTS • Has good receiver size. One of the better blockers at the position. Has a good release and runs fairly good patterns. Has good hands, can make the difficult catch and will compete for the ball in traffic. Good runner after the catch. Is best as a short-to medium-range receiver.

PENN STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 7/8 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Lacks the speed to scare an opponent as a deep threat. Will have some concentration drops and double catches. Doesn’t consistently gain separation.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

2014 13/3 25 321 12.8 2015 13/11 69 1,101 16.0 2016 14/14 59 982 16.6 TOT 40/28 153 2,404 15.1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TD

2 5 11 18

16ROBINETTE JALEN

AIR FORCE

WEAK POINTS • In the Air Force offense, he only runs a couple of different routes. What is his Air Force commitment? Raw as far as route running.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/0 13/11 14/13 13/13 52/37

16 43 25 35 119

291 806 641 959 2,697

18.2 18.7 24.7 27.4 22.7

3 4 5 6 18

6.5

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Chris is a third-year junior entering the draft. He has been very productive the past two seasons with 128 receptions and 16 touchdowns. He is a physical receiver who competes for the ball in traffic. Has good hands and can adjust to make the difficult catch, but he will also have some concentration drops. Strong runner after the catch and an excellent downfield blocker. Overall, he is more of a possession receiver but there is a definite need for these guys, particularly on third down in today’s high-octane, pass-first offenses. He won’t scare anyone in the NFL as a deep threat. Will come in as a No. 4 with a chance to ascend to a No. 2. STRONG POINTS • Has great size with huge hands (10.75”). Very good athlete with good speed. Strong looking physique. Can snatch the ball. Strong runner after the catch. Has done some punt returning. Can get deep. Strong blocker. Had a very good EastWest Shrine game practice week.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 7/8 | WT: 215 | 40: 4.50 e

B

RECEIVERS

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A tall, physical and raw wide receiver. Playing in the Air Force option offense, he ran very few routes and only caught 35 passes. Still, he is an outstanding physical talent. Might test off the charts. Just by virtue of being at the Academy his character and intelligence will be a big plus. Going to need time to develop his route-running skills but the talent is there. The big question is, when can he play with his Air Force commitment? Has third- to fourth-round talent but will get selected later than that.

17STEWART ALABAMA

STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete with very good speed. Well built and thick with good play strength. Has a quick release. Strong runner after the catch with top run instincts. Good kickoff returner. One of the best blocking receivers in college football.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-03/4 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.42 e

WEAK POINTS • Has too many drops. Raw as a route runner. Limited route tree. Limited receiving radius, has some body catches.

ArDARIUS

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/2 15/15 12/12 40/29

YDS

YPC

TD

(Redshirted) 12 149 63 700 54 864 129 1,552

REC

12.4 11.1 16.0 13.3

0 4 8 12

18SCOTT ARTAVIS

STRONG POINTS • Has explosive athleticism. Has played WR, lined up some at RB and returned punts and kickoffs. Good runner after the catch. Has breakaway speed. Is able to gain some separation coming out of cuts.

CLEMSON

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 1/4 | WT: 193 | 40: 4.43 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.4

WEAK POINTS • Size; measured only 5-10 1/4 at the Senior Bowl. Has some drops and ball-security issues. Needs to work on route running; his route tree at Clemson was minimal. Has some trouble coming up with the ball in traffic.

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS REC

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior entering the draft. Redshirted as a freshman and was a backup in 2014. Played a huge role in the WR rotation the past two seasons. Stewart is a very good athlete with great speed but raw as far as route running. Can be dangerous once he gets the ball in his hands and is used on reverses and kickoff returns. His blocking skills should also be a big plus for him. But Stewart is a developmental prospect in spite of his 27 starts at ‘Bama because of the way he was used in their system, and he is going to need time to develop. He will most likely be a role player early in his career.

YDS

YPC

2014 13/6 76 965 12.7 2015 15/15 93 901 9.7 2016 15/15 76 614 8.1 TOT 43/36 245 2,480 10.1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TD

8 6 5 19

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year junior entering the draft. Despite being the complementary receiver to Mike Williams, he was pretty good in his own right. Finished his career with 245 career receptions. Commanding the ball that much with Williams on the field says a lot about him. Has speed but was used mostly as a short-range receiver and on reverses. Can also return punts and kickoffs but is best at returning kickoffs. Scott needs work on his route running and concentration, as he has drops and fumble issues, but he is a talented developmental prospect. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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19JONES ZAY

STRONG POINTS • Has been a starter since midway through his freshman year. Good hands. Very productive (399 career receptions). Finds the open area. Tall with length and that creates matchup problems.

EAST CAROLINA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 7/8 | WT: 202 | 40: 4.63 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • No speed or burst, long strider and it takes him a while to get up to full speed. Not a deep threat. Has some drops. Small hands (9” at Senior Bowl). Doesn’t do much after the catch.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/8 13/9 12/12 12/12 50/41

62 81 98 158 399

604 830 1,099 1,746 4,279

9.7 10.2 11.2 11.1 10.7

5 5 5 8 23

20DUPRE MALACHI

LSU

B

WEAK POINTS • Looks very nonchalant too often. Not a top competitor. While he shows he can catch the ball, he has too many drops and double catches. Not a blocker. Very lean build, will have trouble uncovering against physical corners.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

2014 12/2 14 318 22.7 2015 12/8 43 698 16.2 2016 12/9 41 593 14.5 TOT 36/19 98 1,609 16.4 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TD

5 6 3 14

21TAYLOR TRENT

LOUISIANA TECH

WEAK POINTS • Size and timed speed. Won’t be a deep threat.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/0 14/9 11/10 14/14 51/33

28 64 99 136 327

260 834 1,282 1,803 4,179

9.3 13.0 12.9 13.3 12.8

2 9 9 12 32

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Junior entering the draft. I don’t know why this player came out because he is clearly not ready. Yes, he has talent, he is tall with length and athletic ability, but he shows little-to-no sense of urgency on the field. Doesn’t make anywhere near the number of plays he should and has a number of drops or double catches. Dupre has a fair amount of work in front of him, as much in interviews at the Combine as on the field in convincing scouts he has the desire to succeed at the next level. Overall, his talent might save him, but he has a long ways to go before he is ready for the big league.

STRONG POINTS • Extremely productive. Very good hands. Good route runner who is quick in and out of cuts. Consistently able to get separation. Good runner after the catch. Tough and courageous. Returns punts.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-7 5/8 | WT: 177 | 40: 4.56 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • The most productive receiver in East Carolina history, but Jones is a bit of an enigma when you look at his measureables. The problem is he averages just 10.7 yards per catch. Jones is tall, long and finds a way to get open, especially versus zone, but he lacks speed and a burst. He is sure-handed and will compete in traffic, but he doesn’t give you much after the catch. No more than a fourth or fifth receiver in the NFL because of his lack of speed and quickness. Jones will be drafted on his production in school but may have to become a special teams ace to have a long career in the league.

STRONG POINTS • Tall, long and athletic. Has adequate speed. Flashes making plays. Flashes running good routes and making the difficult catch. Has adequate run-after-thecatch skills

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-23/4 e | WT: 194 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE

RECEIVERS

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • When you see him physically, you are going to want to cut him. Make sure you watch the tape first. Taylor is a fascinating guy to keep an eye on because if you can get past his size and lack of elite speed, you see a guy with a couple of unique traits who can defy expectations. Has great production with 235 receptions and 21 TDs the past two seasons. He is a slot receiver at the next level. He is more quick than fast and knows how to get open. As quick as I’ve seen coming out of a break. Has very good hands and will compete in traffic. Can also return punts and, while he won’t be a homerun returner, he won’t lose the ball. Late pick because of measureables, but watch out, he will play. He won’t go as high as my grade says.

22SWITZER NORTH CAROLINA

STRONG POINTS • Very productive. Sure-handed guy who will compete for the ball in traffic. Tough. Very good punt returner. Good route runner who is very quick coming out of cuts to get separation. Good run-after-catch ability.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-8 1/2 | WT: 179 | 40: 4.58 e

WEAK POINTS • Size; will be the smallest guy on the field. While willing as a blocker, he is not that effective. More quick than fast; he won’t have great timed speed.

RYAN

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/0 13/9 14/10 13/10 53/29

32 61 55 96 244

341 757 697 1,112 2,907

10.7 12.4 12.7 11.6 11.9

3 4 6 6 19

B

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • He might be the smallest guy on the field but also one of the most productive. Work ethic and desire are definitely not an issue here. A very quick player who won’t time well, but because he is so quick, he is effective. He is also a very good punt returner and can be a club’s top return guy. Problem with players of his stature, though, is it is unlikely he can help on coverage units. The team that drafts him has to have a role for him. He can only play in the slot but he can be effective there, and at times will even benefit there from his ability to get lost in traffic. Size and timed speed will get him drafted low but he will play in the league.

32 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


WIDE

23STAPLES

AUDIBLES

JAMARI

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Good athlete with long speed. Shows he can be a deep threat. Has a large receiving radius with good hands. Has the flexibility to get low throws and still keep stride. Willing blocker. Tough and not afraid to go in traffic.

LOUISVILLE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 190 | 40: 4.48 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.4

WEAK POINTS • Durability; has missed time in each of the past three seasons because of injury, including four games in 2016 because of a knee injury. Has a very lean frame and lacks both weight room and functional strength. Physical corners can re-route him. Long-strider who has to gather a bit to make sharp cuts on the shorter routes.

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS 2013* 2014* 2015 2016 TOT

10/8 9/4 9/7 12/10 40/29

REC

RECEIVERS

YDS

31 458 9 190 37 638 36 615 113 1,901 * — Played at UAB

YPC

TD

13.8 21.1 17.2 17.1 16.8

4 1 3 2 10

24GOLLADAY KENNY

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Originally signed with Alabama–Birmingham but transferred to Louisville after UAB dropped football. He is tall, long and athletic with deep speed. Better long-range receiver than short because he cannot consistently get separation on the shorter routes with his long stride. He is tough and competes. Has good hands and a very large receiving radius. Has to get stronger and add some bulk to compete against NFL corners. Still developing but has upside.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

STRONG POINTS • Very productive in his two years at NIU. Has great size with long arms. Good athlete, with runaway speed. Can high-point the ball and make the difficult catch. Strong runner after the catch. Good blocker.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-33/4 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Flashes good routes, but really needs to refine his overall routerunning skills. Doesn’t show consistent ability to separate. Will body catch at times.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS 2012* 2013* 2015 2016 TOT

YPC

TD

10/0 30 429 14.3 11/10 69 884 12.8 14/13 73 1,129 15.5 12/11 87 1,156 13.3 47/34 259 3,598 14.0 * — Played at North Dakota

REC

YDS

1 8 10 8 27

25WESTERKAMP JORDAN

STRONG POINTS • A productive, sure-handed receiver. Runs good routes, can uncover vs man or zone. Very good competing for the ball in traffic. Quick, strong and elusive after the catch. Strong leader. Excellent football character.

NEBRASKA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-11 1/4 | WT: 194 | 40: 4.52 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Not quite as tall or fast as you would like. Not a deep threat. Had a late season injury that has to be checked but he did play in the East-West Shrine game.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/1 13/9 13/4 10/2 49/16

20 44 65 38 167

283 747 918 526 2,474

14.1 17.0 14.1 13.8 14.8

1 5 7 5 18

26ROSS FRED

MISSISSIPPI STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 | WT: 203 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

11/0 13/1 13/13 13/13 50/27

9 30 88 72 199

115 489 1,007 917 2,528

12.8 16.3 11.4 12.7 12.7

0 5 5 12 22

B

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a transfer from North Dakota. He has great size and strength and shows he can make the tough catch. Needs to become a better route runner and consistently get separation. He is a very good natural talent, he is just raw. He showed very good durability, because of his great size and athletic ability he was very productive in college and is an excellent threat in the red zone. The kind of player a top coach can’t wait to get his hands on. It might take him a year or two but the team that drafts him could get a good player. His size and raw talent could get him drafted in the fourth round. More likely the fifth.

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Westerkamp was a productive three-year starter. He has lined up both outside and in the slot. He is a savvy route runner with nice quickness and hands. He also has outstanding toughness and does a great job coming up with the ball in traffic. I see him as an eventual starter as a slot receiver in the NFL. While he is going through the developmental process, he should be able to contribute on special teams. He isn’t special, but he can do things a lot of other players can’t or won’t and he is the type of player winning teams want.

STRONG POINTS • Very productive (160 catches, 17 TDs over the past two seasons). Good size with good atheticism and flexibility. Gets in and out of cuts quickly and can get some separation. Adjusts to the ball well, can make some tough catches and will compete when in traffic. Good runner after the catch. Adequate blocking. Can return punts. WEAK POINTS • Not a burner and not a consistent deep threat. Has too many drops. Needs to get stronger, as he can get knocked off routes by physical corners. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fred is a fourth-year senior and a two-year starter for Mississippi State. Has good size and athleticism but is not a burner. Gets off the line quickly and is a good route runner but physical corners have redirected him at times. While he is very productive and makes some tough catches, he also has too many drops. Once the ball is in his hands, he shows good run skills. At this time, I don’t see him as a potential starter in the NFL. Needs to continue to develop his skills. Can also return punts but is just adequate. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 33


27ETTA-TAWO AMBA

STRONG POINTS • Syracuse’s go-to guy, with 94 receptions for 1,482 yards and 14 TDs. Has moderately good size. Good athlete with adequate speed. Shows courage and will compete for balls in traffic. Good after-the-catch run skills.

SYRACUSE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-11/4 | WT: 198 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Has a lean frame and needs to get bigger and stronger. The Syracuse offense has a minimal route tree with no sight adjustments. Willing blocker but not that effective (strength). Not a burner.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013* 2014* 2015* 2016 TOT

REC

YDS

12/6 31 500 13/6 10 222 12/2 20 216 12/12 94 1,482 49/27 155 2,420 * — Played at Maryland

YPC

TD

16.1 22.2 10.8 15.8 15.6

2 1 0 14 17

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior, graduate transfer from Maryland. Played three years at Maryland and was a part-time starter and rotational player. It is fair to wonder why he had such limited production three seasons at Maryland before starring at Syracuse. Has some height and length with a lean frame. Shows good initial quickness but needs to develop his route-running skills after Syracuse. He has good hands and gets yardage after the catch. Like many from that style offense, it will take some time for him to adjust to the NFL. Might never be a starter but can be in a rotation.

28ADAMS SOUTH FLORIDA

STRONG POINTS • Has adequate size. Fairly good athlete with speed and a real good burst. Is competitive and will compete in traffic. Good blocker and can be physical. Has good hands. Good runner after the catch. Adjusts well to the ball in the air.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.50 e

WEAK POINTS • Ran a very limited route tree and will need development. Needs to add a little bulk and strength. Has some tightness in his hips.

RODNEY

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

B

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS 2013* 2014 2015 2016 TOT

REC

YDS

8/0 2 15 10/3 23 323 13/13 45 822 13/13 67 822 44/29 137 1,982 * — Played at Toledo

YPC

TD

7.5 14.0 18.3 12.3 14.5

0 2 9 5 16

29DURAL TRAVIN

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Smooth athlete, can break down and make sharp cuts. Good jumping ability. Good release and a good route runner. Has good hands, can high-point the ball and will compete in traffic. Willing downfield blocker. An efficient short-to-medium-range receiver.

LSU

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 | WT: 206 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

C

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t show good play speed, inconsistent with getting separation. Average run-after-the-catch skills.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

12/0 13/13 10/8 11/9 46/30

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

(Redshirted) 7 145 37 758 28 533 28 280 100 1,716

20.7 20.5 19.0 10.0 17.1

2 7 3 1 13

30COLEY STACY

C

WEAK POINTS • Has a lean, narrow frame and won’t get much bigger. Needs to improve his route-running skills. While he makes some difficult catches, he has too may drops and double catches. Can be a bit shy in traffic.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a three-year starter for LSU. Is supposed to be a top sprinter, but you don’t see good long speed on the field. Disappointing production from a guy with 30 starts over the last three seasons. Efficient short-to-medium range receiver who gets open vs. man and zone. Has good hands and will compete in traffic. Gets what’s there after the catch. I don’t see a deep threat. His route running and hands will give him a chance, but he has to be able to play on special teams. Dural has a lot of tools you like, but the biggest question on him at this point is how well he will test, and his timed speed will most likely dictate where he gets drafted.

STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete. Has real good play speed. Can get in and out of cuts quickly. Makes some tough catches. Quick, fast and elusive after the catch. Has returned punts and kickoffs and is productive at both. Willing blocker.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 e | WT: 193 e | 40: 4.46 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Transfer from Toledo and a two-year starter for South Florida. Productive player with 112 receptions the past two years with 14 touchdowns. Despite play time, he is raw. A good percentage of his receptions were bubble screens, making him much harder to project without knowing how close he may or may not be to running the full route tree. It was very limited at USF, and he will need time to adjust to an NFL passing attack. Has talent with his size, speed, athleticism, hands and run skills, just needs time to develop. Will have to show he is wiling to try and make his mark on special teams while he learns.

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/7 12/5 11/9 13/10 49/31

33 23 47 63 166

591 184 689 754 2,218

17.9 8.0 14.7 12.0 13.4

7 0 4 9 20

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Speed and return skills are his biggest asset. Not ready for prime-time as a route runner. Coley is a player who could really benefit from going to a team with patience and some talent at his position in front of him to give him time to develop as he has to get stronger, increase his concentration and catch the ball more consistently. There can be some big plays there if he checks all the boxes. He might never become a starter, but he will dress on Sunday and earn some snaps because of his return skills. Not a home-run hitter as a returner but solid.

34 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST CARLOS HENDERSON LOUISIANA TECH

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-0 3/4 e | WT: 191 e | 40-YARD: 4.57 e

Very productive player, had 85 receptions. A quicker than fast guy without long speed. Has good hands and can also contribute on special teams as a returner. May be a better return prospect than receiver. Shows very good vision when returning kicks.

JEHU CHESSON MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 e | WT: 205 e | 40-YARD: 4.55 e

Looked promising in 2015 but suffered a knee injury late in the season. Didn’t look like the same player in 2016. If he regains his pre-injury form, he has a solid chance of making a team.

DARREUS ROGERS USC

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Dede Westbrook) has a thin frame like Will Fuller and Fuller did nothing after the first three games. Throw in some character concerns and he might slip down some boards. Ours for sure.”

“Before the Senior Bowl, (Cooper Kupp) was the best WR no one heard of. Now he is a household name and will get picked in the second.”

“(Corey Davis and Ken Golladay) may be the two best WRs the MAC has ever had in a single year. Both are big, fast and productive. Davis has a

chance to become a great NFL player.”

“I have no doubt the Williams kid is going to be an outstanding contested ball catcher on day one, but do we really know enough about his route running? He’s a good enough athlete that there’s no way I drop him out of the first round, but I struggle to rank him as high as some are because of the limited routes he ran at Clemson.”

“I don’t care what conference Corey Davis played in or who he played against, that kid is a stud. Size, speed, want to, there’s nothing missing. He’s the top receiver on my board.”

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 3/4 e | WT: 212 e | 40-YARD: 4.62 e

Has good size with strength but he lacks speed. He has very good hands but is not an accomplished route runner. Has to really come on when he gets to camp in order to have a chance.

SPEEDY NOIL TEXAS A&M

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-11 3/8 e | WT: 208 e | 40-YARD: 4.40 e

Has very good athleticism and speed. Can be a dangerous return man but inconsistent in all phases of the game. Rep guy with some character questions. Speed might get him drafted.

RICKY SEALS-JONES TEXAS A&M

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-4 7/8 e | WT: 245 e | 40-YARD: 4.60 e

Was All-World coming out of high school and never lived up to expectations. He is a giant-sized receiver who could also be a “move” tight end. He is going to have to take the game seriously if he wants a chance in the big leagues. Up until now, it has been wasted talent.

AUSTIN CARR NORTHWESTERN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 195 e | 40-YARD: 4.58 e

Productive Big Ten receiver. Has good hands and can uncover versus zone but lacks the quicks and separation skills to consistently uncover versus man. More of a possession guy as he lacks top-end speed. Good camp receiver.PRO

COOPER KUPP

FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 35


W POSITION GRADE

e do our best to avoid hyperbole at Pro Football Weekly, but after the past two drafts did not have a tight end taken in the first round, in terms of prospects, this year’s group may be the best ever. O.J. Howard and David Njoku are likely first-round picks, Bucky Hodges should be, Evan Engram might be and Jake Butt would have been had he not torn his ACL in the Orange Bowl. The most recent time a draft offered this kind of talent at this position was 2010, when Jermaine Gresham went 21, Rob Gronkowski 42, Ed Dickson 70, Tony Moeaki 93, Jimmy Graham 95, Aaron Hernandez 113 and Dennis Pitta 114.

A-

1 HOWARD O.J.

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size to go along with very good athleticism and speed. Shows he can be a good blocker both in tight and in space. Good route runner with very good hands, can snatch the ball. Able to get separation coming out of cuts. Strong runner after the catch. Large receiving radius. Showed dominant ability in the 2015 College Football Playoff. Played in a pro-style offense and played multiple positions.

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 | WT: 249 | 40: 4.62 e

WEAK POINTS • Does not have the production a player with his talent should have (not his fault, design of offense). Can get lazy with his blocks and not finish.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

13/5 14/3 15/15 15/13 57/36

14 17 38 45 114

269 260 602 595 1,726

19.2 15.3 15.8 13.2 15.1

2 0 2 3 7

A

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

2NJOKU DAVID

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/4 13/5 26/9

(Redshirted) 21 362 43 698 64 1,060

A

6.7

WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger to hold up as a blocker at the next level. Lacks good blocking technique. Raw as a route runner, doesn’t consistently finish routes. Still had two years of eligibility remaining.

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YDS

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Easily the best tight end in this year’s class. Because of the design of the Alabama offense, the tight end is not a vital part. Still, he showed how dominant he can be in the 2015 College Football Playoff. Played in tight, as a Y, split out, in the slot and as a wing in college and should be able to do the same as a pro. Has the blocking talent to be a very good blocking tight end, but he can be inconsistent with his technique. Should come in and play and contribute as a rookie. Will have much more production as a pro than he did in college. STRONG POINTS • Good athlete, solid hands, adjusts well to the ball and can make the difficult catch. Very good runner after the catch showing strength, power and some make-you-miss. Has a quick release and can get in and out of cuts to gain separation. Willing blocker.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-4 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.60 e GRADE

This year’s group might not turn out as good, but they will be drafted higher than those guys were because of their incredible athleticism. Howard, Leggett and Butt are accomplished in-line blockers, too. There is also great depth in this class, as some scouts have told us they like Jeremy Sprinkle and/or Pharaoh Brown as much or more than some of the top five. There also is a lot of interest in small school prospect Gerald Everett out of South Alabama. With the dominance of Gronkowski and more recent emerO.J. HOWARD gence of athletes like Travis Kelce and Jordan Reed, some teams are likely to put more of an emphasis on this position than they have in the past. Every team is looking to create mismatches, and this group could provide a number of them.

YPC

TD

17.2 16.2 16.6

1 8 9

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Njoku is a third-year sophomore entering the draft. He is a gifted athlete with speed and body control. Looks more like a jumbo wide receiver than a tight end. While he lines up in tight at times, more often than not he is flexed or split out. He is a bit raw as a route runner but he is so athletic he can still get in and out of cuts quickly. Has very good hands and adjusts nicely to the ball. Strong runner after the catch with speed and power. Will need work on blocking to be able to play tight end at the next level. Will most likely be used as a “move” tight end or as a huge wide receiver. Has similarities to Kelvin Benjamin.

36 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


TIGHT

3ENGRAM EVAN

MISSISSIPPI

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 236 | 40: 4.59 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

8/6 13/12 13/12 11/11 45/41

21 38 38 65 162

268 662 464 926 2,320

12.8 17.4 12.2 14.2 14.3

3 2 2 8 15

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS

4BUTT JAKE

MICHIGAN

WEAK POINTS • Tore his ACL at the Orange Bowl. Needs to add strength and bulk for the next level. While he is a willing blocker, he isn’t able to consistently get movement and can get stalemated. A bit of a one speed guy. Lacks a top burst.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

13/8 10/5 13/11 13/13 49/37

20 21 51 46 138

235 211 654 546 1,646

11.8 10.0 12.8 11.9 11.9

2 2 3 4 11

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

5EVERETT GERALD

SOUTH ALABAMA

A

WEAK POINTS • Has been to three different schools. Lacks the bulk and power to play in-line as a tight end. Raw as far as overall route running.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 2014* 12/1 2015 12/11 2016 13/11 TOT 37/23

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

(Junior College) 17 292 17.2 41 575 14.0 49 717 14.6 107 1,584 14.8 * — Played at UAB

1 8 4 13

6HODGES BUCKY

VIRGINIA TECH

B

WEAK POINTS • Have seen him make some tough catches so you know he has good hands but has too many drops. Poor blocker for his size. Inconsistent effort and I question his overall toughness.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2014 2015 2016 TOT

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Productive and athletic tight end. Originally enrolled at Hutchinson Community College (Kan.), then transferred to Alabama Birmingham and then finally at South Alabama after UAB dropped football. Everett is long with very good speed and athleticism. While he is listed as a tight end, he rarely lines up in tight and probably doesn’t have the height or frame to develop into a guy who can play inside on a regular basis. He is a willing blocker but needs to add strength and bulk for the next level. Will be a move tight end in the NFL and will also play some WR. He is probably most similar to Detroit’s Eric Ebron but not even that big.

STRONG POINTS • Good size and an exceptional athlete. Will probably test out as the most athletic tight end. Has length. Adequate route runner. Can get in and out of cuts quickly to get separation. Very good deep threat. Makes some difficult catches.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-6 3/8 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.57 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Versatile in that he can line up as a Y, split out, in the slot or on the wing. Competitive and tough but he needs to get a little bigger and stronger so that he can be a good blocker at the next level. His medical at the Combine will help determine where he gets drafted. He is very reliable as a receiver, runs good routes and has good hands. Good runner after the catch. Will start off as a “move” tight end in the NFL, but if he adds some bulk and strength he will be fine for the Y position. STRONG POINTS • Not as tall as you’d like but has great length. Very good athlete with speed, change of direction and overall body control. Great hands, can snatch the ball and make the difficult catch. Competes for the ball in traffic. Very good runner after the catch. Gets separation on a consistent basis. Willing blocker.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 227 | 40: 4.60e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter and very productive. Has the athleticism of a big wide receiver. Good body control and flexibility, can get in and out of cuts quickly. Sure hands, can snatch the ball. Good runner after the catch. Very good speed for a tight end. Willing blocker. Works to get open versus man and zone. Effective short and deep. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger, especially in the lower body. Narrow frame and does not have a lot of growth potential. A willing blocker, but he can get stalemated when blocking in-line. Plays in a simple spread offense, not a very large route tree. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Productive four-year stater for Ole Miss. Used mostly as a move tight end in the slot, split out and on the wing. Seldom lined up in tight. While he is a willing blocker, he lacks size and bulk to be effective as a Y at the next level. Is much better when blocking on the move. Being a willing blocker doesn’t help a run-based offense and won’t appeal as a high pick to some teams. Can get open and has reliable hands. Strong runner after the catch, shows speed and moves. Should be able to play right away as a “move” guy in the NFL. Needs to get bigger and stronger but can become an effective weapon if used correctly. Some teams might use him as a big wide receiver. STRONG POINTS • Adequate size. Is able to line up in a variety of ways (in tight, wing, slot, split out). Good release with good route quickness. Runs good patterns and shows the ability to get separation coming out of cuts. Has good hands and a large receiving radius. Good runner after the catch. Starter since midway through his sophomore year. Willing blocker for both run and pass. Tough and competitive.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 e | WT: 250 e | 40: 4.70 e

A

ENDS

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

13/10 13/13 14/14 40/37

45 40 48 133

526 530 691 1,747

11.7 13.3 14.4 13.1

7 6 7 20

(RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hodges will test off the charts but he is not as good a player as his testing results would indicate. He has great size and the frame to get bigger. He is listed as a tight end but is really a huge wide receiver. Seldom plays in tight and he is a poor blocker. Has very inconsistent blocking effort and lacks technique. As a receiver, he gets open and makes some big plays but he also has too many drops. Has the look of a boom or bust pick. Will never play as a Y and will always play flexed out. Will create matchup problems for the defense. Might get drafted much higher than my grade. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 37


TIGHT

7LEGGETT JORDAN

STRONG POINTS • Has very good tight end size. Shows good athleticism and body control. Adequate speed for the position. Has good hands and can extend. Will compete in traffic. Shows strength after the catch to get yardage. Willing blocker, but is better on the move than in-line.

CLEMSON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 e | WT: 255 e | 40: 4.70 e

WEAK POINTS • Needs to get stronger in order to be a productive blocker at the NFL level. Not a good in-line blocker at this time. Has just adequate speed. Don’t see a top burst coming out of cuts.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

10/1 11/7 15/15 15/15 51/38

12 14 40 46 112

176 161 525 736 1,598

14.7 11.5 13.1 16.0 14.3

2 1 8 7 18

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

8SPRINKLE JEREMY

ARKANSAS

WEAK POINTS • Speed — not going to scare anyone as a receiver. Not a deep threat, poor separation quickness.

RATING PROJECTION

B

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

2013 12/2 2014 13/0 2015 13/7 2016 13/7 TOT 50/20

4 7 27 33 71

68 84 389 380 921

17.0 12.0 14.4 11.5 13.0

0 1 6 4 11

9SMITH JONNU

FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL

WEAK POINTS • Not ideal size for a tight end or strength and power to be an in-line blocker. Has short arms. Missed the final four games of the 2015 season with an ACL injury. Missed one game in 2016 after being injured in a domestic incident.

GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

YEAR

GP/GS

REC

YDS

YPC

TD

12/12 12/12 8/8 11/11 43/43

39 61 36 42 178

388 710 397 506 2,001

9.9 11.6 11.0 12.0 11.2

2 8 4 4 18

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

10SAUBERT ERIC

DRAKE

B

WEAK POINTS • Lacks strength and power to play in-line at the NFL level. Played at a low level of competition. Run blocking needs work. Raw and needs to improve his route running.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

11/9 8/7 11/11 11/10 41/37

REC

YDS

(Redshirted) 47 549 32 348 48 506 56 776 183 2,179

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Smith was a productive four-year starter at Florida International. He is a very athletic “move” tight end. He is quick off the ball and a good route runner. Has good hands, can snatch the ball and will compete for the ball in traffic. He is athletic and shows speed and run instincts after the catch. Smith is willing as a blocker but lacks the required size to work inside and he will be more productive blocking on the move than in tight. See him as an eventual starter as a “move” or flexed tight end in the NFL who can become a more productive receiver than he was in college.

STRONG POINTS • Height, speed, hands, run-after-catch abilities. Growth potential to 255. Dominated lower level of competition. Able to get separation. Strong East-West Shrine game practices

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 | WT: 247 | 40: 4.62 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • This player is your old fashioned Y tight end. You don’t see many tight ends with his skill set anymore. He is not going to be the type to line up in the slot or flexed out to create a mismatch. Rather, he will work to get open in the short zones and be a reliable short receiver. What he does better than other TE prospects is block. He can knock opponents off the line and can mirror and anchor in pass protection. Will help a team’s run game. Won’t go high because his main strength is blocking, but he will help a team from Day One and is a perfect fit for any team that still prefers to run first, play great defense and special teams rather than filling the air with footballs. STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter who has been productive. Good to very good athlete who has speed and can get in and out of breaks quickly. Soft hands, can extend, has a large receiving radius. Willing blocker. Good runner after the catch.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 245 | 40: 4.67 e

B

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Productive 2½-year starter for Clemson. Has size and good to very good hands. Needs to get stronger and more explosive. Just an average blocker at this time. He is better on the move than blocking in-line. He is used in-tight, flexed out, on the wing and split. Runs good routes and can find the open seam in zone. Doesn’t have great route quickness and is inconsistent at getting separation. He can improve on some of these things with added strength. Mid-round guy who has a chance to become an eventual starter. STRONG POINTS • Size and has growth potential to get to 265. Good blocking both in-line and pass protection. Has bend and uses his hands well. Adequate route runner. Has reliable hands, gets what he can after the catch. Adequate short-range receiver. Will compete in traffic.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 3/4 | WT: 256 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

ENDS

YPC

TD

11.7 10.9 10.5 13.9 11.9

2 2 6 10 20

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a late-developing guy. Coming out of high school, he was a low-level recruit and went to Drake. Redshirted there for his freshman year, then became a four-year starter. Got better every year. Can run very well for a tight end, has great hands and can adjust to the ball. Will have to improve his route running at the NFL level. He is not a blocker and at present lacks the strength to block at the NFL level. Will be a “move” tight end and once he adjusts to NFL play, will cause mismatch problems because of his speed. He is an eventual starter in the league and has upside.

38 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


TIGHT

BEST OF THE REST MICHAEL ROBERTS TOLEDO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 3/8 | WT: 262 | 40-YARD: 4.87 e

Doesn’t have the speed or quickness to be a “move” TE. Has to play in tight as a Y. He shows good blocking ability against college competition but will need to improve his technique at the next level. Has the size and power, just needs to work on fundamentals. Lateround pick who will make a team and play because of his blocking skills.

BLAKE JARWIN OKLAHOMA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 | WT: 244 | 40-YARD: 4.80 e

Was used in a variety of ways in the Oklahoma State offense. Has played intight, on the wing, flexed out and as a fullback. More blocker than receiver in their scheme. Has good hands and is an adequate short-range receiver. Better blocking on the move than in-line. Has a chance in the right situation.

ENDS

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Bucky Hodges) is fast and gets open but has some drops and won’t block. He has to be a blocker to play for us.”

“Yes, (David Njoku) is raw and has to learn how to block, but he is going to be the best tight end in this class. He has WR skills.”

“Just give (Eric Saubert) some time to adjust to the speed and talent in the NFL and he will be fine. I can see him starting in another year.”

“There aren’t a lot of tight ends, but there are some really good ones. You can find a re-

ceiver-type or a blocker.”” “Not arguing that this isn’t the best group of tight ends in a while, but why do they look like a bunch of oversized wide receivers to me? Other than maybe (Jake) Butt and (Jeremy) Sprinkle, I just don’t see a lot of kids here who know how to block, and too many of them don’t appear to want to.” “(David) Njoku is a flat-out freak of an athlete. As much as I love (O.J.) Howard, I think Njoku will have the bigger impact when both are ready to go.” “I get why (O.J.) Howard is the better prospect, but I thought Jordan Leggett was the better player in the championship game.”

• •

SCOTT ORNDOFF PITTSBURGH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 3/4 | WT: 254 | 40-YARD: 4.78 e

In the Pitt offensive scheme, he is an old-fashioned Y, meaning he lines up intight and is a blocker first. He is effective as a run blocker, showing strength. Is a good athlete with adequate speed and finds a way to get open. Has good hands and gets what he can after the catch. A draftable prospect.

COLIN JETER LSU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 | WT: 250 | 40-YARD: 4.93 e

Started off at the Air Force Academy then a junior college and finally LSU. He does not have much production as a receiver (23 receptions over the past two seasons), but he can block. Needs to get stronger in order to be a productive blocker at the NFL level. Will get into camp because of his blocking skills. Every team is looking for a blocking TE.

COLE HIKUTINI LOUISVILLE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 5/8 e | WT: 242 e | 40-YARD: 4.78 e

A small “move” tight end. He is athletic and works to get open. Has good hands and adjusts well to the ball in the air. He doesn’t do much as a blocker, more of a stalker than a hitter.

BUCKY HODGES

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 39


O POSITION GRADE

ffensive tackle arguably has been the strongest position in the draft over the past four seasons, with 20 tackles drafted in the first round, including 13 picks in the top 13 and nine in the top 10. Unfortunately, while there is some depth in this year’s tackle group, 2017 may be the worst year to draft a tackle since 2012, when Matt Kalil (No. 4) and Riley Reiff (No. 23) were the only tackles taken in the first round. None of this year’s best will go as high as Kalil did. 2006 was the most recent time only one offensive tackle was taken in the first round, D’Brickashaw Fer-

C-

1 ROBINSON CAM

ALABAMA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-6 e | WT: 318 e | 40: 5.10 e

GRADE

A

RATING

7.0

PROJECTION

RD 1

2GARCIA ANTONIO

TROY

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-6 3/8 | WT: 293 | 40: 4.98 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.8

PROJECTION

RD 1

guson at No. 4 to the Jets. Cam Robinson out of Alabama is a top-10 talent with some off-the-field issues that make him difficult to project. If a team like the Bears, Jaguars, Jets or Chargers, with real needs at the position, can become comfortable with the young man, he could be a top-10 pick, or he could slide to the second half of the round depending on how he interviews. It wouldn’t be an NFL Draft without a Wisconsin Badger in the first round, and Ryan CAM ROBINSON Ramczyk is the other tackle likely to be a top-32 pick. Other than that, this group appears to be loaded with second- and third-rounders. Dion Dawkins out of Temple is a top prospect in this group with a nice back-story.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter at left tackle. Great size, strength and power. Explosive through the hips. Quick off the ball, stays low and consistently gets movement with run blocks. Agile in pass protection, can slide to stop wide speed and recover back to the inside. Excellent anchor. Quick hands, keeps them inside and has a strong punch. Used to pulling and is good in space to adjust on the move. WEAK POINTS • Had an arrest in the summer of 2016 in Louisiana that has to be looked into. Built more like a guard or a right tackle. Had some trouble with wide speed in game versus Tennessee (Derek Barnett). THE WAY WE SEE IT • A junior who has been a starter since the day he walked on campus at left tackle. Big, strong and powerful with length. Dominant run blocker who can cave in the D-line when he blocks down. Consistently gets movement. Sets quickly in pass protection, has quick hands and a strong punch. Excellent mirror skills versus moves. Agile and athletic for his size and can play in space. Should be the first offensive lineman drafted. Like many college left tackles, he might start off at right tackle or guard but will eventually move to the left side. Starter from Day One.

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Strong and explosive. Very good athlete, light on his feet, very good slide and recover, agile, can run. Plays with a nasty streak. Moves like a tight end and easily gets to second level. Has growth potential to 315. Makes things look easy. Uses his hands well and keeps them inside. Very explosive through his hips. WEAK POINTS • Measured in at 293 pounds at the Senior Bowl; needs to add bulk in both his upper and lower body. Sun Belt competition isn’t the best. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Going into the Senior Bowl, this was a guy many draft followers had not heard much about. Come Draft Day, he could be among the top two to three tackles. Very good athlete and a natural bender. Makes things look easy. He is strong and plays with a nasty streak. The only thing he needs to do is add bulk. Played at just over 300 during the season and needs to get to at least 315. Should be able to step in and start right away for most teams. Great upside.

40 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

3RAMCZYK RYAN

WISCONSIN

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-5 1/4 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.17 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.7

PROJECTION

RD 1

4BOLLES GARETT

UTAH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-5 3/4 e | WT: 300 e | 40: 5.10 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.7

PROJECTION

RD 1-2

5DAWKINS DION

TEMPLE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 7/8 | WT: 317 | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

6MOTON TAYLOR

WESTERN MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 3/8 e | WT: 330 | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Good size, strength and power. Good athlete, stays on his feet. Moves well, has good feet and good lateral agility. Can get out in space and adjust on the move. Good job getting his hands up and keeping them inside. Efficient pass blocker who can set, mirror, recover and anchor. Well coached. WEAK POINTS • Just a one-year starter at the major college level. May have short arms. Does not seem to have the range required to play left tackle in the NFL. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A very interesting prospect. Was a Division III player who transferred to Wisconsin prior to the 2015 season. Redshirted 2015 and was a starter at left tackle all of 2016. Efficient player who is technique sound, well coached and grades out well. The question is, can he play left tackle at the NFL level? I don’t see the range and length needed to play on the left side. Looks and moves more like a right tackle or a guard. If moved inside to guard, he could become a high-level player. Shows he can pull and adjust on the move and has the power to get movement with his run blocks. Regardless of where he lines up, he is a solid player who will play early in his career.

STRONG POINTS • Good height and length. Competitive kid who plays with a nasty disposition. Gets after people in both the run and pass game. Very athletic with quick feet and better than adequate bend. Can move well laterally and recover back in the opposite direction. Always looks to finish his blocks. WEAK POINTS • Age, he will be a 25-year-old rookie. A junior college transfer and has only one year of high-level football. Has only played tackle a couple of years. Gets tall. Has a narrow frame and is light in the butt. Very raw. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year junior entering the draft. Was a defensive tackle in high school and has only played offensive tackle since he has been in college. Very good movement skills but not a consistent bender. Tough and aggressive, he goes after people and grades well because of his tenacity. Because of his athleticism and competitive nature, he has a chance to become a very good player, but he is raw and needs a lot of technique work. Will go high this year because it’s a poor tackle class, but he doesn’t match up to the better tackles in previous classes. Should go in the second but will probably go in the first round.

STRONG POINTS • Good size and strength. Plays with a nasty streak and likes to be physical. Has some snap in his hips on contact. Able to get movement with run blocks. Shows he can get to the second level. Has a strong punch in pass protection. Has good lateral agility, can mirror opponent and anchor. WEAK POINTS • Can get lazy with his technique and make some mental mistakes (a number of false starts vs Penn State). Will drop his hands at times. Has good lateral agility but doesn’t always play with it. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Dawkins has the talent to become a winning left tackle in the NFL. Has some mental and technique errors but all are correctable with coaching and alertness. He is a big, strong guy with good athleticism, strength and power. Has a lot of upside, just has to get rid of the mental mistakes and play to his ability. This is a classic example of a young man who needs to land with the right coaching staff. How he played at the Senior Bowl and how he interviews will be important. Solid second-round pick if everything checks out.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter and a very good MAC-level player. Good size with strength and power. Can anchor in pass protection. Quick set, can use his hands in passing game, mirror, slide and recover. Shows he is able to get movement in the run game. Can get to second level. Stays on his feet. WEAK POINTS • Plays at a lower level of competition. In run game, he tends to stop and then restart his feet on contact. Can bend at waist at times. Has not played left tackle. Needs better hand use in run game. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a four-year starter. Has played mostly right tackle but did play right guard in 2015. Has great size but may be better off at between 315-320. Thick build with long arms. Effective pass blocker who can anchor and mirror against MAC-level opponents. Needs to improve his footwork and hand use in the run game. Overall, a talented player who needs some development. Start him off at right tackle but he might end up at guard. Should start by Year Two and can start as a rookie in the right situation. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 41


OFFENSIVE

7GENNESY AVERY

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.05 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

8WHEELER CHAD

USC

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 e | WT: 306 e | 40: 5.10 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

9JOHNSON RODERICK

FLORIDA STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-6 5/8 e | WT: 310 e | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2-3

10MAGNUSON ERIK

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 303 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2-3

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Good natural size. Has long arms and a thick lower body. Easily a good enough athlete to play left tackle in the NFL. Has range and can mirror in pass protection. Shows some pop on initial contact in the run game. Has as much natural bend as any tackle in this draft. WEAK POINTS • Not a consistent performer as he needs to finish blocks better. Will get good positioning but then lose it. Needs to increase upper body strength. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a junior college transfer. Two-year starter at Texas A&M at left tackle. Has size and strength to go along with good athleticism and quick feet. Is best as a pass blocker where he has the feet and agility to cut off wide speed and recover back to the inside. Strong in the lower body and can anchor. Not as consistent as a run blocker. Needs to get and keep better position and finish better. Overall, one of the better athletes at tackle this draft. Needs to add some upper body strength and just become more consistent in his overall play. Has upside and could be a starter early in his career.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at left tackle. Good initial quickness. Strong on contact. Shows some explosion. Athletic with quick feet. Able to pull and make a productive block in space. Good hand use. Stays on his feet. Can mirror in pass protection. Plays with bend. WEAK POINTS • Not a big-framed guy and might not be able to get bigger than 310. Adequate strength and power, will get neutralized at times. Will give some ground at times to explosive bull rushers. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter. Missed some time in 2014 with a knee injury. Very steady player who is smart and alert. He is a good athlete with bend and knows how to use his hands. Generally gets good position on opponent and makes productive blocks. About as big as he is going to get and that lack of great natural size limits him some and against big people. Still, he is a smart and consistent player and should become a solid starter in the league. In most years, he’s a second-round pick, but with this class being light on tackles, he could go late in the first.

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal height and length with the frame to carry 320. Good athlete with quick feet and good agility and recovery. Good snap reaction for both run and pass. Able to get to second level and adjust on the move. WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t play to his talent level or athleticism. Gets lazy with his technique. Shows he can play with a straight back and move his feet, then you will see plays where he bends his waist and crosses his feet. Lacks the strength and power needed to step in and play in the NFL. Gets stalemated too often. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-and-a-half year starter at left tackle. True junior entering the draft but he is not ready for the NFL. Has the height, length and athleticism to play, but he lacks strength and power and gets lazy with his technique. Inconsistent getting movement with his run blocks and can get stalemated. In pass protection, he gets lazy with his technique and then gets in trouble trying to catch up to play. Will cross his feet and bend at the waist. Overall, he has the tools, but does he have the desire? Hit-or-miss type and he needs to add strength and bulk. May never pan out but has the tools to go in the second or third.

STRONG POINTS • Experienced; has started 37 games during his career. Has been well coached and is fundamentally sound. Good initial quickness, has some snap on contact and gets movement with his run blocks. Good to second level. Very solid pass blocker who can mirror, use his hands and anchor. Good athlete with quickness and feet. WEAK POINTS • Came in at 303 pounds at the East-West Shrine weigh-in, might not be able to get much bigger. Arms were measured at 32.5”. Has never played left tackle. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Magnuson might not have some of the natural traits that some players in this draft have, but he is a very good and consistent performer. Is sound with his technique, strong, tough and physical. He’s consistent as both a run and pass blocker. Has the ability to come in and start at right tackle or guard as a rookie. He appears to have the athleticism and might be able to play on the left side but we won’t know that until he practices there. Arm measurement at the East-West was a bit short and is a concern but the real measurement will be at the Combine. Solid prospect.

42 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


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OFFENSIVE

11DAVENPORT JULIE’N

BUCKNELL

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-6 3/4 | WT: 310 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 3

12BISNOWATY ADAM

PITTSBURGH

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 | WT: 307 | 40: 5.20 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.5

PROJECTION

RD 4

13WARE JYLAN

ALABAMA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-7 5/8 e | WT: 298 e | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5-6

14SKIPPER DAN

ARKANSAS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-9 1/4 | WT: 317 | 40: 5.45e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Great size, can dominate level of competition. Has long arms. Good athlete with change of direction, agility and balance. Stays on his feet. Gets movement with run blocks. Has a good punch in pass protection and does a good job mirroring opponents. Solid anchor. Shows he can get to the second level. WEAK POINTS • Lower level of competition. Needs to play with more power. Not always the most physical guy. Raw as far as technique with both his hands and feet. Not a consistent finisher. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Four-year starter for Bucknell at left tackle. Has great natural size and the frame to get even bigger and stronger. Shows some dominating ability at the FCS level but often gets by on his natural traits. Doesn’t have to be technique sound to win at that level. Needs to be more physical but that should come with the jump in competition and NFL coaching. This kid has a lot of tools to work with and has great upside. Will probably start off on the right side and move back to the left when he is confident. Might get drafted higher than his talent level because this is a weak tackle class.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at left tackle. Good toughness, all-out performer every play. Has adequate bend. Can use his hands. Shows good initial quickness. Shows he can get to second level and adjust on the move. Technique sound. Very aware. WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal size. Has just average lateral agility and recovery for a left tackle. Can be beat by counter moves. Has some trouble with wide speed rushers. Doesn’t have great strength or explosion. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at left tackle. Smart, aware and experienced, but has some limitations. Not an overly big guy and he lacks top power. Lacks the quick lateral agility needed to play left tackle at the NFL level. He is a tough, hard-working player who needs to get bigger and stronger. Will be better off at right tackle or moved inside to guard. If he can get to 310+ and add strength and power, he has a chance to become an eventual starter in the league.

STRONG POINTS • Great height and length. Has the frame to carry 315. Has some bend to him and can move his feet. Good overall athleticism. Has a good punch. Flashes dominating ability at a lower level of competition. Comes off the ball fairly low in the run game and shows some pop on contact to get movement. WEAK POINTS • Faced low level of competition. Is thin in the calf and ankle area. Needs to add bulk and strength in order to compete at the NFL level. Very raw technique wise and also needs to develop his footwork. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Interesting developmental prospect. Has the height, athleticism and frame to be an NFL tackle. He is very raw and needs to get bigger and stronger. That said, if he accepts coaching, this player has a lot of natural tools. Will probably need a year on the practice squad and maybe more than that in the weight room, but if it all clicks then the team that drafts him could get very lucky. With this being a thin tackle class, he might go higher than usual, but not many have his kind of natural physical traits. Some risk but potential big reward.

STRONG POINTS • Plays hard and competes. Grades out well. Has surprising bend for such a tall guy. Looks to sustain and finish. Good athlete who can move his feet. Shows he can mirror and anchor. Gets low with run blocks. WEAK POINTS • Not quite strong enough and he is not explosive. Can have some trouble in space at the second level adjusting to movement. Arms are short for his height (under 34”). Not nifty with his feet. THE WAY WE SEE IT • When I looked at this player’s measurables, I didn’t want to like him, but he surprised me on tape. More than held his own versus Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett. In pass protection, he can set quickly, bend, slide and recover. He shows he can get low with his run blocks. While he isn’t real nifty, he has adequate movement skills. He has to get stronger if he is ever going to be a starter in the NFL. Will be able to play on the right side and could surprise and be OK on the left.

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OFFENSIVE

15HOLDEN WILLIAM

VANDERBILT

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-73/8 | WT: 313 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

16SHARPE DAVID

FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-5 7/8 e | WT: 350 e | 40: 5.45 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5-6

17McDERMOTT CONOR

UCLA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-8 1/8 | WT: 305 | 40: 5.33 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

18BANNER ZACH

USC

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-8 3/8 | WT: 361 | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Good natural size and frame to get a little bigger. Plays with strength and knows how to use his hands. Efficient with his foot movement to get and keep good position. Has experience on both the right and left side. Adequate to the second level and takes good angles. WEAK POINTS • Looks like he may have short arms. Not a top athlete and lacks the quickness and range to play on the left side in the NFL. Can have trouble with wide speed and quick counter moves back to the inside. THE WAY WE SEE IT • William has been a three-year starter at Vanderbilt with experience on both the left and right side. Will play either right tackle or guard at the NFL level as he lacks the feet, quickness and range to play on the left side. Arm length will determine if he can play outside or move to guard. He is tough and competitive and should challenge for a starting spot by Year Three. There are a lot of similar types playing in the league right now.

STRONG POINTS • Naturally huge man with length and girth. Has strength. When he stays low he is able to get a push in the run game. WEAK POINTS • At 350+ he is way too heavy. Lacks good movement traits. Slow with slow feet. Not a natural bender, which causes him to lean and bend at the waist. Doesn’t have the lateral agility and recovery quickness to stay with opponents vs. counter moves. More of a pusher than explosive drive blocker. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Sharpe is a junior entering the draft. He should have stayed in school. He has been a two-year starter at left tackle. While he has natural strength, he is not powerful or explosive and has very average movement skills. Struggles with wide speed and counter moves. Because he lacks good lateral agility, he has a tendency to bend at the waist to stay with opponent. Has to move inside to guard to have a chance and also needs to lose at least 20 pounds. At a lower weight, he has a chance as his athleticism will improve. Question is, with his natural size, is there a diamond under all that extra padding?

STRONG POINTS • Naturally big. Consistent competitor. Has good natural strength. Flashes being able to get movement with run blocks. Tough to beat wide because of his size and length. Has upside. WEAK POINTS • Like many tall guys, he is not the most agile and mobile guy. Not explosive. Can get tall. Inconsistent with his anchor. Inconsistent getting to second level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-and-a-half year starter at left tackle. He is very tall with length and has some natural strength. Has some bend but because he is so tall he needs to bend more. Opponents can get into his body and drive him back when he gets tall. Has growth potential and if he can get stronger, he has a chance to become an adequate starter. Needs to pay attention to detail when it comes to technique and if he can learn to consistently play lower there may be more upside in his game than I’ve seen so far. Overall, a mid-to-laterround pick with a chance to develop. Has to be on the right side, as he lacks the quicks and agility to play on the left side.

STRONG POINTS • Massive size, naturally strong. Can get movement with straight on drive blocks. Shows he can anchor in pass protection. WEAK POINTS • Speed, overall movement skills. Lacks good lateral agility and recovery. Struggles with wide speed. Feet will cross over. Doesn’t adjust on the move well. Can have trouble making productive blocks at the second level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Huge man with strength but he is too heavy. If this young man can drop 30-to-40 pounds of bulk and add 10-to-15 pounds of muscle, we might see a completly different player. Right now he lacks the lateral agility to play tackle in the NFL. Struggles with wide speed and staying with opponent with a counter move. Not very quick footed. Has to move inside where he has help on both sides. Can be a good drive blocker, but to get on the field he needs to drop the weight I talked about and improve his agility. At this time, he is no better than a backup. We’ll have to see how hard he wants to work to remake himself into an NFL player. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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OFFENSIVE

19NORTON STORM

TOLEDO

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-7 1/2 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6-7

20SALAKO VICTOR

OKLAHOMA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 | WT: 333 e | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6-7

21HECK JON

NORTH CAROLINA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-6 1/2 e | WT: 305 e | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter at left tackle. Natural size and length. Effective at the MAC level as a pass rusher and run blocker. Quick set in pass protection. Flashes getting movement with run blocks. WEAK POINTS • He is not a natural bender. Gets tall too often. At times he is able to stop wide speed but can’t recover quickly versus a counter move to the inside. Has a lean upper body and needs to add strength and bulk. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-year starter at left tackle. Norton is tall with adequate length for his height. He has a lean build for a tall guy and needs to add bulk and strength especially in his upper body. He has some tightness in his knees and ankles and has a tendency to play tall. Because of his size, he can be effective, but he has a long ways to go. Needs to get stronger and improve his lateral agility. Won’t be able to play left tackle and will have to settle in on the right side. Good candidate for the practice squad as a rookie.

STRONG POINTS • Massive size, naturally strong. Long arms. In the run game, he can generate some movement just because of his girth. Has a strong punch in pass protection to help control opponents. Tough to bull rush because of his size. WEAK POINTS • Plays tall, not a natural bender. Opponents get leverage because they are able to stay lower. Will overextend some. When that happens, his base narrows and he can fall off blocks. Doesn’t have good recovery quicks. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Salako started out at UAB where he redshirted as a freshman and then became a starter in 2013 and 2014 at left tackle. When UAB dropped football, he transferred to Oklahoma State and has been a two-year starter there. He is a smart player who knows how to use his size but he is limited athletically and could struggle at the next level with big-time rushers off the edge. Although he played on the left side in college, his only chance on the edge will be as a right tackle. Might also be able to play guard.

STRONG POINTS • Natural size and the frame to get bigger. Long arms. Has good strength, plays hard and knows how to play within himself. Alert player, doesn’t make mistakes. His dad Andy had a long career in the NFL. Durable. WEAK POINTS • Marginal athlete. Doesn’t have great foot quickness or lateral agility. Lacks the quicks and agility to consistently get to second level and make a productive block. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for North Carolina at right tackle. Has size and the frame to get to 310-315. Dad played 12 seasons with Seattle, Chicago and Washington and has spent past 12 seasons as offensive line coach in Jacksonville and Kansas City. He is strong and can use his hands but he is a limited athlete. Lacks good lateral agility and recovery versus speed. Can get tall and lose the leverage game. Still, he plays hard and doesn’t make mistakes. Would be better off if he moved inside to guard where he has help on both sides. He is smart and dependable and that may win him a job.

22SENIOR

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Very good size. Competes. Fairly good use of hands. Has good natural strength. Flashes as a run and pass blocker.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR

WEAK POINTS • Just an above average to good athlete. Doesn’t show as much bend as many coaches would like. Just an average foot athlete. Can be beat with a counter move.

JUSTIN

MISSISSIPPI STATE

HT: 6-4 5/8 | WT: 322 | 40: 5.43e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 6-7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Senior is a Canadian citizen from the Montreal area. He played five years at Mississippi State and was a three-year starter at right tackle. Has size and strength but he plays tall, not a natural bender and is not explosive. Still, when he gets his hands on his opponent, he can be tough to shed. May have to move inside to guard to have a chance. Looks to be a guy who needs a year on the practice squad. He’d be very good in the CFL. In most years he is an undrafted free agent, but because of the thin crop at tackle he will get drafted this year, and sometimes getting a shot in the right place is half the battle. If he can learn to play with his pads much lower he will have a shot.

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OFFENSIVE

23MOORE STEVEN

CALIFORNIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 e | WT: 305 e | 40: 5.42 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

TACKLES

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter and has played both right and left tackle. Good size, stays on his feet. Good hand use especially in pass protection. Smart player, alert to pick up stunts or blitzes. WEAK POINTS • Overall strength and power, more so in his lower body. Gets stalemated and isn’t consistently able to get movement. While he can set quickly in pass protection, he gets tall and doesn’t recover quickly when facing a counter move. Lacks a consistent anchor. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter. Started a total of 48 games. Played left tackle as a redshirt freshman, then moved over to the right side. He is tall with length, but he’s an average athlete and lacks top strength. Moore is a smart and alert player who doesn’t make mistakes, he just lacks some of the physical traits needed. In most years he would be a free agent, but he could be drafted late this year because it is a weak tackle class. If he improves his strength he has a chance, but would be best if he moved inside to guard.

AUDIBLES

BEST OF THE REST LEVON MYERS

NORTHERN ILLINOIS

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 e | WT: 305 e | 40-YARD: 5.28 e

Flashes as both a run and pass blocker. Has bend but can get lazy with his technique and get tall. Has the quick feet to slide and recover in pass protection. Will run his feet on contact in the run game. Lacks top strength but he is versatile and may be able to play both guard and tackle at the next level.

SAM TEVI UTAH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 | WT: 312 | 40-YARD: 5.30 e

Has some height and length to go along with quick feet and adequate overall athleticism. He lacks natural size and won’t get much bigger. While he can bend, he struggles versus bull rushes because he is light in the butt.

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING: “(Cam Robinson) hasn’t •

reached his potential. There are times when he doesn’t go all out. When he wants to play, he is outstanding.” “(Antonio Garcia) needs to get bigger, but my is he talented.” (Garett Bolles) will go in the first this year but he would not have been a first-round pick in any of the last four or five drafts.” “(Garett Bolles) is light in the ass and doesn’t always play with

• • •

bend.” “(Roderick Johnson) doesn’t play hard, isn’t strong, poor footwork. I don’t understand how people like him” “(Dion Dawkins) has enough ability to play right tackle. He’s big, massive and powerful.” “(Julie’n Davenport) will have a chance. He’s a left tackle project. Real good feet and athleticism. Needs to get stronger.” “For me, Cam Robinson is the toughest puzzle in this draft. His measureables are as good as any tackle I’ve seen in years and at times he played to them. Just wish I had a better feel for the off-the-field stuff.”

• • • •

JERRY UGOKWE

WILLIAM AND MARY

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-8 1/8 e | WT: 305 e | 40-YARD: 5.45 e

Has natural size and the frame to get to 320. Good athlete for his size and flashes being able to bend but can get tall. Raw technique-wise, needs better use of hands and to learn how to get and keep good positioning. Will most likely need at least a year on the practice squad to develop his raw traits.

DANIEL BRUNSKILL SAN DIEGO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-43/4 e | WT: 275 e | 40-YARD: 5.00 e

Very small but athletic tackle. Has limited growth potential but he shows talent on tape. Because of his size, some teams may move him to tight end and have him be their Y. Obviously he won’t be a receiving threat but he will be able to help the run game.

RODERICK JOHNSON

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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T POSITION GRADE

he guard position had become a bit of an after-thought in the draft until about five years ago, when the Steelers and Bengals drafted David DeCastro and Kevin Zeitler at 24 and 27 in 2012, respectively. The Titans then took Chance Warmack at 10 and the Bears took Kyle Long at 20 in 2013, and the Cowboys chose Zack Martin at 16 in 2014. 2015 was an off year with only Laken Tomlinson over-drafted at 28, but then the 49ers and Seahawks prioritized the position again last year taking Joshua Garnett and Germain Ifedi in the end of the first round. The early success and dominant play of DeCas-

B

1 FEENEY DAN

INDIANA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 | WT: 304 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.7

PROJECTION

RD 1

2LAMP FORREST

WESTERN KENTUCKY

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 | WT: 305 | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

tro, Zeitler, Long and Martin and the proliferation of zonestretch blocking schemes, which rely on athletic offensive linemen who can move, has teams more willing to go for a top guard prospect these days than a second-tier tackle as some teams have leaned in the past. This year’s group is not exceptional and was weakened a bit when Ohio State’s Billy Price surprised many by staying in school for his senior year. But Pat Elflein, who played DAN FEENEY guard for the Buckeyes his first three seasons before moving to center as a senior, will be drafted high because of his versatility, and there is depth in this group that will yield some bargains in the middle rounds.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter mostly at right guard. Played right tackle the last four games of 2016. Good size. Athletic, runs well, can get out in space and adjust on the move. Stays on his feet. Good hand use for both run and pass. Plays a tough, physical game. Very good run and pass blocker. Plays with bend, has good feet, can mirror, slide and recover. Durable and versatile. WEAK POINTS • Not as big as some teams would like. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a four-year stater. Missed 2013 with a foot injury. Started 49 games. Feeney is smart, strong and tough to go along with having good overall athleticism. Good run and pass blocker, plays a physical game and knows how to use his hands. Very good in space and is productive with second level blocks. Will come in and start right away as a rookie, may also be able to play center. Wish he was a little bigger. Lack of great natural size might keep him out of the first round but should go high in the second.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter. Plays with strength and power. Naturally rolls his hips on contact. Good hand use for both run and pass blocks. Sets quickly in pass protection, has a good punch and shows he can mirror vs. moves. Plays with good bend. Good athlete, runs well, stays on his feet and can adjust on the move. WEAK POINTS • Has short arms. Too short to play tackle at the NFL level. Saw him get bullrushed a few times when he didn’t bend. Didn’t play in a strong conference. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Lamp is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at Western Kentucky. Except for a few games at guard as a freshman, he has played left tackle his whole career. Fundamentally sound player who is strong, tough and competes. Because of his height and arm length, he will need to move inside to guard at the NFL level. Has been well coached and is physically able to start early in his career. Solid player, might never be an All-Pro but you can win with him.

48 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

3JOHNSON DORIAN

PITTSBURGH

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

4ELFLEIN PAT

OHIO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 305 e | 40: 5.15 e

GRADE

A

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 2

5MAMA DAMIEN

USC

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 5/8 e | WT: 330 e | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 3

6SIRAGUSA NICO

SAN DIEGO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 326 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.6

PROJECTION

RD 3-4

GUARDS

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter at left guard. Good size and length, very strong, tough competitor. Plays a physical game and looks to finish. Good with combo blocks and getting out to linebackers. Consistent pass blocker. Can use his hands, mirror and anchor. Reliable on short pulls and traps. WEAK POINTS • While he has 10-15-yard quickness, he slows down after that period. Not as effective on the longer pulls. Will have occasional trouble vs combination moves. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior and has been a starter since late in his freshman year. Has very good size with long arms and is very strong. Shows explosiveness on contact when run blocking. Plays a physical game and consistently looks to finish. Goes all out every play. A good but not a great athlete, he can get to linebackers but is inconsistent with long pulls. Very consistent pass blocker who keeps good position and anchors. Will start early at guard and can perhaps play center.

STRONG POINTS • Good size, strong, stays on his feet. Very good hand use. Has some snap in his hips. Good in-line run blocker, good to second level and with combo blocks. Tough and physical, will try and maul opponent. Is able to get movement with run blocks. Consistent pass blocker, can set, get his hands on opponent and anchor. Adequate lateral agility. Has started at both guard and center. A smart, alert and instinctive player. Very competitive. WEAK POINTS • Only a marginally good athlete. Can be a bit inconsistent in space. His feet are average-to-good. Can have some trouble with counter moves. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Elflein is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Started at guard in 2014 and 2015, then moved inside to center this year. While he is a good guard, he was also a very good center. He is smart and alert and can make all the calls. Has a good chance to start as a rookie and his ability to play guard or center really helps. At guard he will need to be in the right scheme. Not a great athlete but tough, strong and competitive. Goes snap to whistle. The type of guy you can win with.

STRONG POINTS • Huge man with natural strength and power. Good athlete for his size. Stays on his feet. Flashes the ability to play in space. When he latches on to his opponent, it’s all over. Good run and pass blocker. Can anchor. WEAK POINTS • While he is a good athlete, he is not consistently quick off the ball. He is about 10 pounds too heavy. Doesn’t consistently get good position and when he doesn’t, he can have a tendency to turn his shoulders. THE WAY WE SEE IT • True junior entering the draft. Had some starts as a true freshman in 2014 and has started every game at left guard the past two seasons. Very powerful man who when he gets good position, will consistently get movement with run blocks. He is adequate out to the second level and shows he can pull and adjust on the move. In pass protection, he can’t be bull rushed. Again, when he gets his hands on his opponent he wins, but he has to improve his setup quicks. If he loses 10 pounds, he has a chance to start very early in his career and be a winning player. Has a lot of talent, just a bit too heavy.

STRONG POINTS • Has excellent size, thick and well built with long arms. Very strong player. Very good drive blocker, keeps his feet moving and is able to get movement. Works doubleteams well. Good to second level. Adequate with pulls and playing in space. Good hand use in pass protection. Good anchor, able to control opponent with his strength and bulk. Very durable. WEAK POINTS • Not the niftiest, quick-footed guy but good enough. Lacks speed to be consistent with long pulls. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Has started 42 games for San Diego State, mostly at left guard. Huge man who is strong and powerful. Very good run blocker and works well with the center or tackle on double-teams. Has a strong punch in pass protection and anchors very well. Not a great space player and won’t be more than adequate on pulls, but in the right scheme he can be a very good starter. Plays with a physical attitude and seems to enjoy the physical part of the game. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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WITH

Dan Feeney

‘CLICK-CLICK, IT’S ON BABY’

D

Pro Football Weekly’s top-ranked guard all smiles off the field, all business on it

an Feeney doesn’t come off as a mean, road-grading offensive lineman. Certainly most players – especially those entering the predraft process – are going to be polite with the media, but Feeney’s smile By and demeanor didn’t match his position. Don’t be fooled, though. “Buckling that helmet, you get that click-click, it’s on baby,” Feeney said about flipping a switch. “It’s just one of those little things you kind of take for granted, that little sound. When I hear it, I’m like, ‘Alright, it’s game time, baby.’” Feeney is Pro Football Weekly’s top-ranked guard, and the two-time All-American at Indiana prides himself on being a blue-collar player in the trenches. “I’m definitely an effort-based kind of guy,” he said. “I’m not the most talented, not the most athletic, but I’ll fight you every play and I’ll try and beat you every play.” Indiana’s offensive line coach during Feeney’s time in Bloomington, Greg Frey, first discovered Feeney when he was recruiting current Broncos offensive tackle Michael Schofield. The two went to the same high school in a Chicago suburb. “When I went to Indiana, he was one of the first offers we made because we believed in how he played, his mentality, family background, the whole nine yards,” said Frey, who is now back at Michigan as an assistant coach. “Everything was five stars.” Feeney knows he doesn’t play a sexy position. Left tackles get the money, and sometimes centers even get more attention than guards. It’s not a position that is going to

50 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

garner a lot of attention, money or high draft picks, but that description of the guard position seems to mirror the man leading it into the 2017 NFL Draft. “It’s not my kind of attitude,” Feeney said when asked if he noticed his draft rankings. “I’m just a come to work every day kind of guy, get better every day. Not a whole lot of flash.” Frey explained that Feeney’s game grew in his four years at Indiana through his preparation for opponents. As a freshman, Feeney simply used his strength and size to block, but as a senior he better understood blocking concepts and what opponents would try to do. Feeney played with current Packer Jason Spriggs on an O-line that sprung current Bear Jordan Howard for long runs. The Hoosiers’ shotgun, no-huddle offense should only help Feeney’s transition to the NFL through his conditioning as well as the quick decision-making necessary in that system. “Dan had to make a decision in 11 seconds,” Frey said. “It wasn’t like he heard the play in the huddle and had 40 seconds to process. He hears the play at the line of scrimmage and has to process how he’s blocking, where he’s going, what’s the call and that’s 80 times a game. His ability to sit there and think and be aware of his surroundings are heightened because of the style offense that we run. He has to make an instantaneous decision.” While the guard position may not get the accolades as tackles, the pass protection aspects of the job on the interior have grown in importance due to the amount of three-techniques that can get after the quarterback just as effectively as edge rushers. Of the 10 highest-paid defensive players, six are interior

KEVIN FISHBAIN


DAN FEENEY defensive linemen – Ndamukong Suh, Muhammad Wilkerson, Fletcher Cox, J.J. Watt, Marcell Dareus and Gerald McCoy. Feeney can’t simply be a run blocker, and his experience last season and in high school will help him as an interior pass blocker. Feeney played left tackle in high school and a few games at right tackle last season. “It was kind of weird because I flip-flopped back and forth a couple games,” he said. “Tackle, you have a longer time for blocks, at guard, everything’s happening right now. Getting the timing down was definitely a difference, but I think that kind of helped. Everything’s on me right now, or I have a half second before I have to do something right now. Once I picked it up, it worked out pretty good.” Feeney said that the key against three-techniques is being “willing to challenge them, go out there and try to be athletic with them. … Hold you down, keep your hands inside, dominate that block as fast as you can and try not to give them a chance.” The competition Feeney faced in the Big Ten East, including Michigan State defensive tackle Malik McDowell, should provide NFL teams good tape on what Feeney can do as a pass protector. “He’s got long enough arms and athletic enough feet to

play right tackle in the Big Ten East,” Frey said. “He’s hard enough, thick enough to go inside and be an All-American at right guard as well.” Frey likens Feeney to All-Pro Cowboys guard Zack Martin, who also played tackle in high school, as well as in college, before moving to guard in the NFL. The measureables are similar, too. They are both 6-foot-4, with Martin weighing 308 pounds to Feeney’s 304 (as of the Senior Bowl). But Feeney has slightly longer arms (33 1/8 inches) and bigger hands (10 1/4 inches). Feeney returned for his senior year, where he wanted to “elevate my game. Get my feet faster, get my hands more aggressive, get my aiming points more on-point. Fine tuning.” It’s worked out for him as he gets set to be the first guard off the board in April. The tape should speak for itself, and NFL teams will also like his personality – even if it doesn’t necessarily reflect the way he pushes around defensive linemen. “He’s an awesome person,” Frey said. “He’s fun to be around. He has zero character flaws that I know of. Smile on his face when he’s working. Loves the work. … He’s just a fun person. Always has a smile on his face. He embraces life.” PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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OFFENSIVE

7ASIATA ISAAC

UTAH

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 325 | 40: 5.42 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.5

PROJECTION

RD 4

8ISIDORA DANNY

MIAMI (FLA.)

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/2 | WT: 311 | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.5

PROJECTION

RD 4

9DUNKER JESSAMEN

TENNESSEE STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/8 | WT: 306 | 40: 5.27 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

10MORGAN JORDAN

KUTZTOWN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 3/4 | WT: 313 | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

GUARDS

STRONG POINTS • Versatile, has started games at three of the O-line positions (right tackle and both guard spots). Thick frame and has very good strength and power. Plays a very physical game and is a strong run blocker. Consistently looks for a second block. Seldom gives ground in pass protection. WEAK POINTS • Slightly overaged, will be a 24-year-old rookie and turn 25 during the season. Not a top space player, is best in a limited area. Can be a bit inconsistent getting to the second level and not consistent with pulls. THE WAY WE SEE IT • He should be able to play either guard position or center at the next level. A big, strong and physical player who will help the run game. Effective as a pass blocker because he has good hand use and can anchor but can be hurt by counter moves because he is an average foot athlete. Has to be in the right blocking scheme to be the most effective. Should be an eventual starter in the league but has some athletic limitations. His versatility will probably get him drafted a bit higher than those limitations might suggest.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter at right guard. Shows toughness and a strong competitive attitude. Has good size as well as good strength and power. Good with run blocks, keeps moving on contact. Efficient with combo blocks and getting to the second level in general. Consistent pass blocker who can mirror. WEAK POINTS • His base will narrow at times and when that happens he can have some trouble with his anchoring versus big people. Arms measured a bit short (32.5). Gets impatient and will over-run some blocks in space. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Isidora is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter at right guard. He is at a good enough level as an athlete with quick feet, change of direction and balance. Like most college linemen, he will need to add some bulk and strength to effectively play at the next level. He is a smart, alert player who has the tools to become an eventual starter in the NFL and every team likes a litte nasty in the guys up front. Any team that drafts him may also want to train him at center so he becomes more versatile.

STRONG POINTS • Versatile athlete, has started at both guard spots and left tackle. Good size. Has good athleticism with quick feet, bend and agility. Can slide and recover and mirror quick pass rushers. Shows dominating ability versus a lower level of competition. Quick hands and strong, shows he can control his opponent. WEAK POINTS • Originally enrolled at Florida but transferred because of an arrest for theft. Though he has good strength, he can have some trouble with bull rushers and will give some ground. Not technique-sound at this point. THE WAY WE SEE IT • This player has some upside. Leaving Florida meant he didn’t get the coaching or weight training he would have had. Still raw, but he has the natural traits. Has to get stronger and add some bulk but with time and coaching, he could develop into a good NFL player. His arrest will hurt and the character check and interviews will play a huge role into where he gets drafted. Has the athleticism to play left tackle but will most likely start off inside while he is developing. Might be a future starter if he develops well. Risk/reward selection.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at left tackle. Dominates Division II level of competition. Quick off the ball. Strong and gets movement with run blocks. Sets quickly in pass protection, easily mirrors and anchors vs D-II competition. Held his own at the Senior Bowl. WEAK POINTS • Faced low level of competition. Very raw when it comes to technique. Can get tall; lazy with his technique. He lacks ideal height. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at Kutztown. Dominated Division II level of competition while playing left tackle. Will have to move inside to guard at the NFL level. While he has size, bulk and strength, he will need to develop his technique. Gets away with things at D-II level that he won’t in the NFL. The Pennsylvania league has a history of putting linemen in the NFL and teams have been less reluctant to look at small school big men recently than they might have been in the past. It will take him some time to develop but he could become an eventual starter. Mid-round pick because of upside.

52 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


OFFENSIVE

11KALIS KYLE

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.35 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5-6

12HARLOW SEAN

OREGON STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 5/8 e | WT: 310 e | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6

GUARDS

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter at guard. Tough and tries to be physical. Good strength. Stays on his feet. Can get some movement with drive blocks. Keeps his hands inside. Alert and aware. Good with inside combination blocks. WEAK POINTS • Lacks top athleticism, especially in space. Lacks speed and can have trouble getting to a second block in space. Looks slow on pulls. Just adequate ability to bend. Can have some trouble with counter moves because he lacks quick lateral agility and recovery. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior who has been a starter since midway through his redshirt freshman year. Has played a lot of football for Michigan. A legitimate tough guy who is strong and plays hard. His problem is he is not that athletic and it shows in space. He can struggle to adjust on the move when he pulls or has to get to the second level. He is smart, alert and aware and that keeps him productive. Adequate as a pass blocker because he is strong and can use his hands but can have some trouble with athletic pass rushers. May be better off at center. See him as a backup-type who you can get by with if he has to play. May be an eventual starter at center.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter, has played or practiced at every position on the O-Line. Adequate size. Good strength. Fairly good hand use with a good punch in pass pro. Has “pop” on contact to get some movement. WEAK POINTS • Too short to play tackle. Looks to have short arms and that causes him to lose leverage at times. Just an average athlete for the position. Not consistent getting to the second level. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior and a four-year starter. Missed the last five games of 2015 with a leg injury. Has started at both left and right tackle as well as practiced at guard and center. Lacks the height, feet, quickness and range to play tackle in the NFL. Will have to move inside to guard or center. Though he is athletically limited, his versatility will help win him a job. Doubt he will ever be a starter but he can be a versatile backup. Harlow is one of those guys most teams will covet because, with his great versatility, if he gets a little stronger and takes to the next level you can save an OL spot on the roster and use it elsewhere.

BEST OF THE REST EVAN GOODMAN ARIZONA STATE

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

• • “Ohio State did the right thing moving (Pat Elflein) to center. He can start at either position as a rookie but that added versatility gives him

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-35/8 e | WT: 310 e | 40-YARD: 5.30 e

“(Dan Freeney) will be a starter at guard or center the day he signs his contract. Love his toughness.”

Played tackle at Arizona State but doesn’t have the height or range to play outside in the NFL. Has a guard’s body to go along with good strength and power. Shows he can bend but has a tendency to get tall. Possible late round pick.

more value.”

• “The kid from Kutztown (Jordan Morgan) finishes with some nasty.”

GREG PYKE GEORGIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 5/8 e | WT: 322 e | 40-YARD: 5.38 e

I thought Pyke might come on in 2016 and have a top season. While he played OK, POINTS Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx XXXXX STRONG • his average athleticism hurt his chances of xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx getting drafted. Still, he has experience at xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx guard and tackle and versatility always helps. XXXXXXXX xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxx xx xx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Will most likely play inside in the NFL. YEAR: XXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

WEAK POINTS • Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR GRADE 3/8 | WT: 313 | 40-YARD: 5.40 e HT: 6-4X THE WAY WE SEE IT • Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx Has started at left tackle and both xx guard xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx RATING positions. He’s a tall guy with length xx xxand xxx x xxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx xxx xx xxx X.X strength but limited athleticism. Not a xxhim xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxx xx xx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx natural bender and that can get in PROJECTION xxx xx xxx xx xxx xx xxxx xxx xxx xxxxxx xx xx xxx xx xx xxxxxxx. Xxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxx xx trouble. use RD Has X to get by with his good hand ELFLEIN xxx xx xxx xxPAT xxxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xx xx xx xxx x xxx xxx xx xx xx xxxxxxxxxxxxxx. and strength. HT: X-X X/8 e |PANKEY WT: XXX e | 40: X.XX e ADAM

WEST VIRGINIA

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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C

enters are rarely high picks because often the best ones in the NFL pivot from college guards

POSITION GRADE

or tackles. The best recent example is Chicago’s Cody Whitehair, a left tackle at Kansas State whom the Bears drafted late in the second round last year Whiteto play guard. White hair was moved to center when 2015 third-round pick Hroniss Grasu, a true center out of Or Oregon, tore his ACL in training camp. Whitehair was an All-Rookie choice and now projects as one of the NFL’s premier snappers. The other issue is that true college centers like Grasu are often a bit undersized to play anywhere

C

1 ORLOSKY TYLER

WEST VIRGINIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 292 | 40: 5.25 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4

else on the line in the NFL. There are, of course, exceptions, including 2016 when the Colts drafted Ryan Kelly with the 18th overall pick. After a slow start, Kelly came on the second half of the season. In 2015, Grasu was the first center taken at 71 in the third round and the last first-round center before Kelly was Travis Frederick, whom the Cowboys took at 31 in 2013 and who has been a perennial Pro Bowler since. This year’s crop is average TYLER ORLOSKY and we don’t see a likely Day One or Day Two pick in the group. Kelly was the exception to the rule last year because he stood out on an Alabama offensive line full of underclassmen that won a national championship.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Makes offensive line calls. Tough, strong and durable. Good with the blind snap. Adequate initial quickness. Keeps his back straight on contact. Consistently looks to sustain blocks. Tenacious run blocker. Consistent with pass protection. Shows adequate mirror and recovery quicks. Plays with some bend. WEAK POINTS • About as big as he is going to get. Shorter arms, long torso, short legs. Anchors at the college level but I don’t see the power to consistently anchor at the NFL level. May be a center-only, as you don’t see him much in space. More strong than explosive. Not consistently able to make combo blocks. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year captain. Smart and tough with strength but he has physical limitations. Has a thick body but short legs and arms. He is strong but not explosive on contact. I like the way he competes and he will always look to finish, but he is just an average athlete who doesn’t have great quickness. Needs to get with a zone-type scheme. Has down-the-road starter potential in the right situation but with limitations.

2POCIC

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Has also played some tackle. Has adequate length. Plays hard. Quick to snap and step. Adequate hand use. Used to pull some and gets adequate production.

YEAR: SENIOR

WEAK POINTS • Gets tall, not a natural bender, widens his base to get low. Can give ground to power rushers. Not a power guy and can get stalemated in the run game.

ETHAN

LSU

HT: 6-6 | WT: 307 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 4-5

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Does have some starts at tackle. Has started 37 games over the course of his career. He is very tall for a center and not a natural bender. More of a finesse player than a power player. Shows he can get to blocks in space but his ability to adjust on the move is inconsistent. In pass protection, he is alert and does a good job picking up stunts and blitzes but can get bull-rushed. Overall, I don’t see him as an eventual quality starter. More of a backup-type who should be able to play any position on the line. That versatility will help him on draft day and is probably enough to keep him in the league early on, but he will really have to improve his technique and get stronger to stick long term.

54 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


CENTERS

3TOTH JON

KENTUCKY

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 7/8 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.28 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

4FULLER KYLE

BAYLOR

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/2 | WT: 306 | 40: 5.30 e

GRADE

B

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 5

5ROULLIER CHASE

WYOMING

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/8 | WT: 321 | 40: 5.40 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.4

PROJECTION

RD 6

6CROWLEY LUCAS

NORTH CAROLINA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 1/8 | WT: 297 | 40: 5.28 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

STRONG POINTS • Very good size for the position. Can snap and step. Good athlete, has good feet, can slide and recover. Quick hands, keeps his back straight. Good with combo blocks and can get out to a linebacker. Alert in pass protection, does a good job with stunts and blitzes. Makes line calls. WEAK POINTS • Left-handed snapper, needs to improve his lower body strength and power. Can bend but inconsistent with his anchor THE WAY WE SEE IT • Toth is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for Kentucky. He is a bit tall for a center, but he has good bend and can get under opponents. Has some pop on contact, keeps his back straight and his feet moving. Keeps his hands inside. Alert in pass protection, can mirror, slide and recover. Looks to be athletic enough to play guard and clearly has the size. Will need to get a little stronger, especially in the lower body, to become a starter in the NFL. Solid backup at first who should be able to play two positions while he is developing. Nice size and strong techniques give him a great chance.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Good size with long arms. Good enough strength and power. Shows that he can roll his hips on contact in the run game. Good pass blocker who gets and keeps good position. Can move his feet. Has a good punch. WEAK POINTS • While he can bend, he still has a tendency to get tall and lose the leverage game. Base can get too narrow. Body is a bit soft. Like many college linemen, he needs to get stronger. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fuller is tall for a center and can have a tendency to play tall. When that happens, he loses the leverage game. He can bend so it is more of a concentration thing. Has good size and natural strength but he needs to tighten up his body and get stronger and more explosive. He is athletic enough to play guard and block in space, just needs to work at the position. Right now, he is a developmental-type with some natural traits to become an eventual starter in the NFL. It’s all up to him as to how badly he wants it.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter and has started at two different positions (guard, center). Has real good size and good upper body strength. Makes all the line calls. Alert player, picks up stunts and blitzes well. Tough, competitive. WEAK POINTS • Not a natural bender, more through his waist than his knees. Has to widen his base to get low. Marginally good athlete. Lacks speed and not good at adjusting on the move in space. Needs to improve lower body strength. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and three-year starter. Started two years at left guard, then moved to center for 2016. Has size and upper body strength but needs to improve his lower body strength, base and anchor. More a pusher than an explosive hitter. Isn’t overly athletic and can struggle to make productive blocks in space. Still, there are guys like him playing in the league and he has a chance. Interviews will be important as tape suggests he might need to add a little more nasty to his game. May need a year on the practice squad.

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Makes all the line calls. Strong and tenacious, gets after people. Tough competitor. Can get under opponent and get some movement. Has a good punch in pass protection; can mirror and anchor. WEAK POINTS • A center-only, lacks height and has short arms. Can be inconsistent getting to a block in space. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year senior and a three-year starter at center. He is a productive college player but his limitations will hurt him at the next level. He is short with short arms and a center only. Coaches will love his toughness and he doesn’t make assignment mistakes. Late-round draftable guy because of his strength, toughs and production, but because he lacks position versatility, it will hurt his chances of making the 53. 10 pounds of bulk/muscle might really help him but he is already likely to at least be on a practice squad as a rookie as he will be tough to run off. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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CENTERS

7HUGHLEY TOBIJAH

LOUISVILLE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/8 | WT: 289 | 40: 5.38 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Alert and instinctive, able to pick up blitzes and stunts. Good strength and balance. Has the upper body strength to turn and seal his opponent. Keeps good position in pass protection. Has some short-area quickness. WEAK POINTS • Short with short arms. Not a space player. Looks to be a center-only. Not used to pulling. Doesn’t consistently play with bend. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hughley is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Has a short, squatty build with shorter arms. He is a tough, competitive guy but has limited traits. An above average to good athlete with good balance. Gets good position with run and pass blocks but doesn’t get movement. Flashes anchor but when he doesn’t bend, he will give ground. Looks to be a center-only at the next level and that will cause him to get drafted later. Won’t dress on Sunday unless he becomes a starter. Bottom line is Hughley is a good football player who is small for a center and just too small to play anywhere else along the line.

JAY

8GUILLERMO

STRONG POINTS • Tough, strong, smart and aware. Makes all the line calls. Stays on his feet. Fairly productive. Can make combination blocks and get out to linebackers.

CLEMSON

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR

WEAK POINTS • Short with short legs and arms. Can’t play the leverage game. Lacks speed. Isn’t able to consistently make blocks in space. Lacks growth potential. Doesn’t consistently move his feet on contact.

HT: 6-2 e | WT: 308 e | 40: 5.35 e

GRADE

C

RATING

6.3

PROJECTION

RD 7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. A smart and aware player who is strong and tough. Makes the line calls. Has limitations but he is competitive and knows how to work with his limitations. Gets the most out of his natural traits. He is mostly a phone booth player who doesn’t have the athleticism to be productive in space. With his lack of speed and range, he may be limited to being a guard. Coaches will like his tenacity and that will make him tough to run off. Has to be in the right situation to make it but the kid is a football player and may have enough attitude to overcome his lower-end measureables.

BEST OF THE REST JOE SCELFO

NORTH CAROLINA STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 1/4 | WT: 294 | 40-YARD: 5.35 e

His dad was a long-time coach and Scelfo understands the game. A short, tough overachiever with short arms. Gets all he can out of his limited traits. While he may lack the tools, he plays hard every down and grades out well.

GAVIN ANDREWS OREGON STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 7/8 | WT: 339 | 40-YARD: 5.50 e

Not the most athletic guy but he has versatility. Three-year starter who has lined up at center, guard and tackle. Was a former high school wrestler and that helps him with leverage. Best chance is inside at guard or center where he has help on both sides. Change of direction and range are average but he is strong and can use his hands.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“This is a tough group because unlike last year with Ryan Kelly at Alabama there’s just nobody who jumps out at you and says I’m a guy you have to have. Pocic is an interesting guy but I’m not so sure he’s really a center and i like the Clemson kid (Jay Guillermo) but he’s an all effort guy who may struggle with the step up in class”

“(Kyle) Fuller looks like a guy who can play in the league but is he a center or a guard? Not sure where he’ll end up playing but he looks like the kind of kid we like to work with and I think we could find a spot for him on our roster”

“A number of guys are projecting him at guard but I like (Pat) Elflein from Ohio St. at center. As thin as this group is

56 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

JOHN TOTH

he’s the cream of this crop.”

“To me John Toth is the safest bet this year at center. Yeah, there are a few warts but there’s also an awful lot to like about the kid and I like a lot of what I’ve seen on tape.”


L POSITION GRADE

ast year’s draft ended a mild drought at the position with Sheldon Rankins, Kenny Clark, Robert Nkemdiche and Vernon Butler all going in the first round, followed by Chris Jones picked 37 by the Chiefs. Part of the issue is that some college defensive tackles are now lumped in with five-technique defensive ends in the NFL, but the last time at least five of the top 37 picks were tackles was 2010, when Ndamukong Suh went second and Gerald McCoy went third, Tyson Alualu was 10th, Dan Williams 26th and Brian Price 35th. This year’s group is great at the top with Jonathan

A

1 ALLEN JONATHAN

STRONG POINTS • A dominant inside defensive lineman. Quick off the ball, very good hand use and both strong and powerful at the point. Never gives ground to an opponent. Instinctive, finds the ball. Very good pursuit player and a strong tackler. Great interior pass rusher with multiple pass rush moves.

ALABAMA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 290 e | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • None really, but wish he was a bit bigger and faster.

RATING PROJECTION

7.2

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

2013 12/0 16 3.0 0.5 0 1 2014 14/12 33 11.5 5.5 1 0 2015 15/11 36 14.5 12.0 4 2 2016 15/15 69 16.0 10.5 2 0 TOT 56/38 154 45.0 28.5 7 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 0 3 3

2McDOWELL MALIK

MICHIGAN STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-6 e | WT: 280 e | 40: 4.85 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

Allen and Solomon Thomas top10 to top-15 picks who are most likely to be five-techniques at the next level. It also is a very deep position this year, loaded with second-, third- and fourth-round picks and invariably one or two should make it into the first round. Malik McDowell might have been a top-15 pick were he not coming off a disappointing season in which he was hurt at times and less than focused when he wasn’t until coming on late in the season. His stock will JONATHAN ALLEN be interesting to watch after the Combine and his Pro Day. Caleb Brantley is another player to watch with firstround tangibles but enough question marks to make him difficult to project.

PD

FF

2014 13/0 15 4.5 1.5 0 0 2015 14/14 41 13.0 4.5 1 2 2016 9/9 34 7.0 1.5 0 0 TOT 36/23 90 24.5 7.5 1 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior who would have been a first-round pick a year ago. Usually plays right defensive end in base three-man front but has played some on left side. Lines up both inside and outside in pass rush situations. There isn’t anything not to like about this young man’s game. He is a dominant college player who could be the first inside player drafted. One of the better inside pass rushers I have seen in years. Will be an instant starter and impact player as a rookie. Versatile and athletic enough to play in a three-man or four-man front. Will be a 5-technique for a 3-4 team or a 3-technique for a 4-3 scheme. He ould be a perennial Pro Bowler.

STRONG POINTS • Very good physical traits with his height, length, speed and overall athletic ability. Flashes the ability to dominate in both the run and pass game. Can really close to the QB off a block. Shows speed and takes good angles in pursuit. Has a high ceiling as far as natural talent. WEAK POINTS • Needs to add some bulk and strength to play inside at the next level. Inconsistent production both from down to down and play to play. Sack production isn’t what it should be. Can be slow to locate the ball in the run game. Needs to improve overall hand use. THE WAY WE SEE IT • McDowell is an enigma in that it can be frustrating when trying to evaluate him. He has the natural traits to totally dominate a game but only shows it in spurts. Had only 1.5 sacks and 34 total tackles in 2016. For his career, he has only 7.5 sacks. He is still young and will be only a 21-year-old rookie. He must mature both emotionally and physically. Has unlimited talent and can be as good as he wants to be. While his production says he should go in the second round, his talent will most likely get him drafted in the first. If he gets with the right team and the right coach, look out.

58 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


DEFENSIVE

3JOHNSON JALEEL

STRONG POINTS • Good size with good arm length. Thick build, plays with strength and power. Instinctive, quick to find the ball and make plays. Seldom out of position. Well coached and technique sound. Plays equally well versus both the run and pass. Very good interior pass rusher. Scheme versatile. Tough and competitive.

IOWA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 309 | 40: 5.05 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal height and speed, needs to tighten up body some.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 7/0 2014 13/0 2015 14/14 2016 13/13 TOT 47/27

1 11 45 55 112

0.0 2.5 5.5 10.0 18.0

0.0 1.0 3.5 7.5 12.0

0 0 1 2 3

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 1 0 1

4WORMLEY CHRIS

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 3/8 | WT: 297 | 40: 5.05 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 13/0 2014 12/6 2015 12/10 2016 13/13 TOT 50/29

19 21 43 40 123

4.5 5.0 14.5 9.0 33.0

2.5 3.0 6.5 6.0 18.0

1 0 1 0 2

0 0 1 0 1

1 0 0 0 1

5WATKINS CARLOS

CLEMSON

A

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2012 9/0 2013 3/1 2014 11/0 2015 15/14 2016 15/15 TOT 53/30

16 11 13 69 82 113

1.0 1.5 2.0 8.0 13.5 25.5

0.0 0.0 0.0 3.5 10.5 14.0

0 0 0 3 4 7

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 1 1

6BRANTLEY CALEB

FLORIDA

A

WEAK POINTS • Short, may not measure 6-foot-2. As big as he is going to get. Size limits him to scheme he can play in. Has some loaf plays and not a top pursuit player

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. Has gotten significant playing time every year. Has good size and can get to 315. Versatile in that he can play in a 4- or 3-man front. Consistent player versus the run, showing strength at the point and sheds quickly. Has the strength and power to hold the point versus double teams. One of the better inside pass rushers in the draft, can bull rush or use moves. Has the talent to come in and start as a rookie and contribute. Solid player with upside and if he learns how to go all out on every down he can be a difference maker.

STRONG POINTS • Strong and explosive, has good initial quickness with an explosive first two steps. Good interior pass rusher. Knows how to use his hands and has the ability to create counter moves. Good read and react skills, finds the ball. Stout, holds the point and consistently gets some penetration.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.10 e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Two-and-a-half-year starter. Very good size. Plays with strength and power. Instinctive, quick to find the ball, seldom gets caught out of position. Not flashy but a steady player down after down. Has good hand use, can shed blocks and get to the ball in run game. Good at 2-gapping an OT. Consistently gets penetration. Solid pass rusher who can both bull rush or use moves. Competes and shows hustle in pursuit. WEAK POINTS • Good athlete but not really an explosive athlete. Plays outside at Michigan but has more of an inside player’s skill set. Average initial quickness. Don’t see a top closing burst off blocks. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a starter since midway through his redshirt sophomore year. A very steady workmanlike player. Not flashy; makes plays, not mistakes. Is solid vs. the run and pass and shows he can be a good inside pass rusher at the next level. Had 18 career sacks while at UM. Has good size and the frame to carry 315 without losing any of his athleticism. Excellent skill set to play as a 5-technique in a 3-4 scheme and should also be able to play either tackle spot in a 4-3. Solid second round type player.

WEAK POINTS • Average speed and not a top pursuit player. Will have some plays when he doesn’t go all out. Not as explosive as you’d want at the position.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-year starter. Good program guy who showed improvement every year. Plays defensive tackle in a 4-3 but with his physical traits, he should be able to play either defensive tackle position in a 4-3 or play as a 5-tech in a 3-4. Big and strong with good initial quickness and good instincts. He is quick to find the ball and makes plays. Well coached and technique sound, he plays well versus the run and pass. He will play early and contribute as a rookie. Some guys might have better physical traits, but there are not many who are better as a football player.

STRONG POINTS • Productive player with 50 tackles and 10.5 sacks this year. Has 13.5 sacks in the past two seasons. Good size, good athlete and strong. Has good initial quickness, stays low and controls blockers. Quick to find the ball. Quick hands to shed blocks. Does a good job versus double teams. Excellent inside pass rusher.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-35/8 | WT: 312 | 40: 5.05 e GRADE

TACKLES

PD

FF

2014 12/1 21 4.0 0 0 2 2015 13/10 29 6.5 0 0 0 2016 13/11 31 9.5 2.5 0 1 TOT 38/22 81 20.0 2.5 0 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

1 0 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior and two-year starter for Florida. Redshirted his true freshman year. Brantley is short but very quick, strong, powerful and explosive. Gets off the ball as quick as anyone. Has good arm length and uses his quickness and hand use to get penetration and be disruptive in the run game. He is a good inside pass rusher who again uses his quickness and moves to his advantage. Gets more pressure than sacks but is very effective. Needs to become a better pursuit player, will quit on some plays that he feels he can’t get to. Size limits him to being a 3-technique in a 4-3 scheme but some 3-4 clubs might like him as a designated interior pass rusher. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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DEFENSIVE

7WALKER CHARLES

STRONG POINTS • Has very good bulk, strength and power. Good hand use. Doesn’t stay blocked very long. Makes some outstanding plays that very few can make. Good versus the run and a very good inside pass rusher. Has some special to him.

OKLAHOMA

WEAK POINTS • Only played four games in 2016. Missed a number of games because of a concussion, then quit on the team to “prepare for NFL” with still two regular season games and a bowl game left on the schedule. Hot and cold player; when he is on he can’t be blocked, but there are plays when he doesn’t go all out. Lazy pursuit player. Lacks ideal height for a DT.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-2 1/4 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.00 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

TACKLES

SACK

PD

FF

2014 8/0 10 1.0 0.5 0 0 2015 12/0 36 10.0 6.0 1 1 2016 4/4 7 2.0 0 4 0 TOT 24/4 53 13.0 6.5 5 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Walker is a very quick, strong and explosive player who can dominate a game when he wants to. Can be a force versus the run and as a pass rusher. That said, he is lazy and selfish. He quit on his team with three games to go. He is going to have to answer a lot of questions satisfactorily during interviews, otherwise some clubs will drop him from their boards. Has second-round talent but not a second-round attitude. This grade is on talent alone.

8QUALLS

STRONG POINTS • Huge wide body who occupies space. Has good initial quickness. Very strong and powerful at the point, never gives ground to blockers. Able to occupy two blockers. Stout. Quick to react and find ball. Very good run defender. Sure tackler.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 325 e | 40: 5.25 e

WEAK POINTS • Short and seems to have short arms. Lacks speed to chase. Not a pass rusher. Too heavy for his frame and needs to lose 10 pounds and tighten his body.

ELIJAH

WASHINGTON

GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

2014 14/0 13 2.0 0.0 0 0 2015 10/8 26 4.5 4.5 0 0 2016 14/11 38 5.0 3.0 0 0 TOT 38/36 77 11.5 7.5 0 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior and two-year starter who is entering the draft. A big wide body with strength and power who is a very good run defender. Gets off the ball quickly and is able to get penetration and be disruptive in the run game. Can and does occupy two blockers often. Very stout; never see him give ground. Can get a push as a pass rusher but that’s it. Qualls looks to be a proto-typical zero technique for a team that plays a base 30 front but he can play the anchor tackle in a 4-3 schee as well. While he can get some push he doesn’t collapse the pocket enough to be mre than a two-down player at the next level. Has value as a run defender.

9TOMLINSON ALABAMA

STRONG POINTS • Big, strong and powerful. Is best at taking on blockers and holding the line of scrimmage. Will not give ground. He is alert with good diagnose skills. Has good hand use and can shed quickly. Consistent tackler.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 312 | 40: 5.25 e

WEAK POINTS • Not an explosive athlete, lacks speed (but has short area quickness), not much more than a bull rusher when rushing the passer.

DALVIN

GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 1/0 2014 14/0 2015 15/0 2016 15/15 TOT 45/15

4 22 34 62 122

0.0 5.5 0.5 5.5 11.5

0.0 2.0 0.0 3.0 5.0

0 0 6 4 10

0 0 0 1 1

0 0 0 0 0

10OGUNJOBI LARRY

STRONG POINTS • Thick, strong and explosive. Has good get-off, stays low and gets penetration. Has strength and power to go along with good hand use. Does a good job getting rid of blockers. Finds the ball and makes plays. More of a bull rusher but has some quick moves and can close on the quarterback.

CHARLOTTE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-21/2 | WT: 304 | 40: 5.18 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • He lacks ideal height. Needs to get a little heavier. More quick than fast. Has to learn how to put combination moves together. Needs to finish pass rush with more consistency.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Dalvin is a fifth-year senior and 2016 was his first year as a starter. He received significant play time the preceding two years playing in the D-Line rotation. Tomlinson isn’t flashy and he is never going to get a lot of sacks, but he is a strong point-of-attack player who is very good at stopping the run. His best fit is as a nose, but can also play at the 5-technique on first and second down. Will mainly be a two-down player at the next level and give his team quality snaps. The type of guy you need in the rotation to win. Will probably play at about 320 once he gets into the league.

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 11/11 2014 11/11 2015 12/12 2016 12/12 TOT 46/46

42 48 62 65 217

9.5 11.5 14.5 13.5 49.0

2.5 5.0 2.5 3.0 13.0

2 2 0 2 6

0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a four-year starter for Charlotte. He has been a productive player. With Charlotte being a new program and he being their best player, he faces a lot of double teams. He is strong at the point and doesn’t give ground. Can get penetration and be disruptive. As a pass rusher, he also is disruptive but has to finish better. See him mostly as a two-down player at the next level. His best fit is as a nose in a four-man front. Can play in a three-man front if he gets a little bigger.

60 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


DEFENSIVE

11GLASGOW RYAN

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter. Legitimate tough guy who competes every snap. Good initial quickness, stays low and is able to get penetration. Alert and instinctive and plays the run well. Flashes as a pass rusher, has enough power to get a push as a bull rusher. Good hand use. Hustles in pursuit. Very good tackler.

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 299 | 40: 5.10 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Has good but not great size, can’t see him getting any bigger than 310. Will never be a top pass rusher. Arms measured a bit short at the Senior Bowl (32 3/4). No special physical traits.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 11/0 2014 12/11 2015 9/9 2016 13/13 TOT 45/33

2 22 25 42 91

0.0 4.0 5.0 9.5 18.5

0.0 0.0 1.0 4.0 5.0

0 0 0 1 1

0 1 0 1 2

0 1 0 0 1

12ADAMS

MONTRAVIUS

AUBURN

B

WEAK POINTS • Just an above-average-to-good athlete. More a reactor than an anticipator. Keeps his head down too often. Gets tall and top heavy then loses balance. Can be slow to shed. Plays in spurts. Not much of a pass rusher.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Glasgow is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Improves with every year. Knows how to use his hands and is strong in the upper body. He is alert and finds the ball. Makes a lot of plays in the run game. Flashes as a pass rusher but will never be more than ordinary. See him as a very good rotational player who could eventually become a starter but will play mostly on run downs. Can play in either a threeor four-man front. A solid mid-round selection. STRONG POINTS • Just adequate size to play the nose. Very strong. Can two-gap an offensive lineman. Makes the plays he should make. Can get a push and disrupt run plays. Good tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-33/8 | WT: 308 | 40: 5.25 e GRADE

TACKLES

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/0 13/10 13/13 13/13 52/46

20 43 44 44 151

1.5 8.0 3.0 8.5 21.0

1.0 3.0 2.5 4.5 11.0

0 0 1 2 3

0 0 2 1 3

0 1 0 2 3

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Adams is an average size nose tackle who plays stronger than his size. He is not a top athlete and plays in spurts. Not overly instinctive, more of a reactor. Part of it is he plays with his head down and loses sight of the ball. The right coach will make a difference with him if he can learn better technique and be taught to keep his eyes up above his pads and find the ball. He is very strong and can control blockers but he doesn’t make a lot of plays. Will be a two-down player in the NFL as he will never be much of a pass rusher. More of a rotational type player.

13TAYLOR

OKLAHOMA STATE

STRONG POINTS • Has decent size and is strong and powerful. When he stays low, he can get a push and be disruptive in the run game. Flashes getting rid of blockers quickly. For being a marginal athlete, he has surprising sack production. Plays hard.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.30 e

WEAK POINTS • Not a top athlete for his position. Has tightness in his hips and knees. He’s a short strider with average change of direction. Has a tendency to get tall.

VINCENT

GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

2014 10/0 13 1.0 0.0 0 0 2015 13/13 48 8.5 5.0 0 0 2016 13/13 51 13.0 7.0 1 2 TOT 36/26 112 22.5 12.0 1 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 1 1 2

14ROCHELL ISAAC

STRONG POINTS • Adequate size to play inside in the NFL. Long arms, has growth potential to about 305. Plays hard. Quick off the ball, adequate hand use to shed, finds ball. Good toughness and competitive nature. Has some inside pass-rush skills.

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-43/8 | WT: 282 | 40: 5.20 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Not an overpowering player. Plays in streaks. Can get tall. While he has good overall skill set, there is nothing special about him. More of a flash player. Not explosive.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior who is entering the draft. Was a backup in 2014 and a starter the past two seasons. He plays hard and gets tackle production, but he doesn’t look good doing it. He’s a marginal athlete with average change of direction and can get tall but he makes plays (51 tackles, 7.0 sacks in 2016). Has natural strength and power and can be disruptive, especially when he stays low. He may be limited in the variety of schemes you can use him in, doesn’t really project well for a team that plays a lot of 40 fronts. I see him as a rotational player but probably not a starter. His best fit is as a nose in a 3-4 scheme.

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

11/0 13/13 13/12 12/12 49/37

10 39 63 55 167

0.0 7.5 7.5 7.0 22.0

0.0 2.5 1.0 1.0 4.5

0 3 2 1 6

0 0 0 0 0

0 1 0 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year senior and a three-year starter for Notre Dame. Usually played as a strong-side end in a 4-3 but better suited to play inside. Lacks the explosiveness to play outside in the NFL. Has some strength but still needs to get a little stronger. Has a good motor but he is limited. Consistent versus run and pass but nothing special. See him as a 5-technique in a 3-4 or a DT in a 4-3. I don’t see him as a potential starter but he can develop into a rotational player after a period of adjustment and strength gain. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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DEFENSIVE

15TU’IKOLOVATU STEVIE

STRONG POINTS • Huge man with incredible natural strength. Can toy with blockers because he can’t be moved off the line of scrimmage. Has good initial quickness and a strong surge to get penetration to disrupt. Gets a good bull rush. Can easily occupy two blockers. Strong tackler, plays hard. Quick reactions.

USC

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/8 | WT: 350 | 40: 5.43 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Too heavy, would be better off at 335. While he has 10-yard quickness, he has no speed. Will never be a pass rusher at the next level. Will chase in pursuit but lacks the speed to make plays.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

2013 2014 12/0 2015 13/2 2016 13/12 TOT 38/14

8 28 53 89

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

(Redshirted) 1.0 0.0 6.0 2.0 2.0 0.5 9.0 2.5

0 2 1 3

0 0 0 0

0 4 0 4

16JONES NAZAIR

NORTH CAROLINA

C

WEAK POINTS • Does little as a pass rusher. Can get tall. Doesn’t show consistent hand use and will get tied to blocks at times. Doesn’t make the plays a player with his talent should make.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

2013 (Redshirted) 2014 13/0 35 7.5 2.5 4 1 2015 9/8 40 4.0 0.0 3 1 2016 12/12 70 9.5 2.5 3 1 TOT 34/20 145 21.0 5.0 10 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 2 1 3

17VANDERDOES EDDIE

UCLA

C

WEAK POINTS • Too heavy, lacks good movement skills. No speed. Loses track of ball at times. Not a pass rusher. While he can be disruptive, he does not make many plays. Has short arms.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year junior who is entering the draft. Might have been better off staying in school. There is no question he has natural talent, but you don’t always see it. Should be more productive than he is. Can play the run, occupies blocks and can get some penetration. Disappointing as a pass rusher. Has only five career sacks and has played a lot of football the past three seasons. What I’ve seen so far projects to a first and second down five-technique. Has upside if he puts it all together. Will probably get drafted higher than his production dictates.

STRONG POINTS • Very strong. Quick off the ball. Is able to get penetration in the run game and can be a bit disruptive. Has a solid base, stays low and never gives ground. Does a good job with double teams.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 1/8 | WT: 320 | 40: 5.30 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Tu’ikolovatu is a pure 3-4 nose tackle. Strictly a two-down player. That said, he can get a push when he rushes the passer. He is very strong and has some explosiveness. Can walk offensive linemen back when he has leverage. Very good at holding the point and occupying more than one blocker. If he drops a little weight and gains a step or two he could be a monster but right now see him as a backup nose who plays in a rotation. Good guy to have for 20-25 downs a game.

STRONG POINTS • Very good size and has the frame to carry about 310. Has long arms and natural strength and anchor. Adequate snap quickness. Is best as a run defender. Will get a push as a pass rusher but doesn’t finish. Can occupy blockers.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-41/2 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.20 e GRADE

TACKLES

PD

FF

2013 13/7 39 4.5 0.5 0 1 2014 13/12 39 4.5 0.5 0 1 2015 1/1 8 2.0 0.0 0 0 2016 12/12 29 1.5 1.5 0 0 TOT 39/32 115 12.5 2.5 0 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

1 1 0 0 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Was a top recruit out of high school who made an impact as a freshman and played well his second year. Got hurt in 2015 (knee Injury) and missed the rest of the season. Got heavy this year and he has lost the quickness and explosiveness he once had. He is strong and quick off the ball and that allows him to be a bit disruptive but he doesn’t make many plays. Can occupy blocks. Right now he is a late-round pick at best, maybe with another offseason to rehab his knee he regains the explosiveness he had. Not more than a backup at nose right now.

18GODCHAUX

STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter. Has good size and good-to-real-good strength. Has short area quickness and can change direction. Shows the power to handle a double team and hold the point. Flashes good instincts. Has some inside pass-rush ability.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 7/8 e | WT: 295 e | 40: 5.20 e

WEAK POINTS • Is often the last man off the ball. Plays in spurts, don’t see consistent effort. Only makes the plays he should. Can be slow to shed and gets tall.

DAVON

LSU

GRADE

C

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

2014 13/10 42 1.5 0.0 0 1 2015 12/12 41 9.0 6.0 1 1 2016 12/12 62 8.5 6.5 1 0 TOT 37/34 145 19.0 12.5 2 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 1 2 3

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year junior entering the draft, he is an enigma with talent. Problem is you don’t always see the talent. He is often the last man off the ball on the plays he should make. He flashes talent, but he doesn’t always give you the level of effort necessary to maximize it. Has some underachiever to him. He will make it in the league because he does have the talent but how long he lasts is up to him. A real hit-ormiss prospect who should get drafted late but could go higher to a team that’s convinced they’re the one to teach him how to be a pro and unleash that talent. If a team can get a sack every two games out of him as he did last two seasons at LSU he’s a keeper.

62 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


DEFENSIVE

19JONES JARRON

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size with very long arms and good strength and power. Flashes dominating ability where he is quick off the ball, sheds and makes plays. Has some interior pass rush-skills. Good athlete with change of direction and balance, has a burst. Has knocked down a number of passes and blocked kicks.

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 1/2 e | WT: 315 e | 40: 5.12 e GRADE

C

WEAK POINTS • Missed 2015 with an ACL injury. Doesn’t play hard down after down and game after game. Inconsistent read-and-react skills. Mild-mannered personality; doesn’t seem like a “tough” guy. Has a tendency to get tall and then is slow to shed. Not a consistent pursuit player.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 12/1 2014 11/11 2015 1/0 2016 12/6 TOT 36/18

20 40 0 45 105

1.0 7.5 0.0 11.0 19.5

1.0 1.5 0.0 2.0 4.5

0 1 0 3 4

1 1 0 1 3

0 0 0 2 2

20SMART TANZEL

TULANE

C

WEAK POINTS • Short. Will lose track of ball at times. Isn’t consistently quick off blocks.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6-7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year starter at defensive tackle and nose tackle. Flashes the ability to make plays and has dominated at times, but can also look very average. If you grade the flashes, he could go high, but has too many poor plays. Might not have a defensive mentality and might be better off as an offensive tackle. Has the height, length, strength and athleticism to be very good on offense. Workouts and interviews will have a lot to say about where he gets drafted. Will need some time but it could pay off. STRONG POINTS • Very quick off the ball, has quick hands. Is disruptive in the run game because he gets penetration with his quicks. Has some inside pass rush skills and shows a burst coming off blocks. High motor guy.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 | WT: 296 | 40: 5.25 e GRADE

TACKLES

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 12/0 2014 12/12 2015 12/12 2016 12/12 TOT 48/36

14 47 62 67 190

0.5 6.5 15.0 18.5 40.5

0.0 2.0 2.0 5.5 9.5

1 1 0 0 2

0 1 1 1 3

0 0 1 1 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • His traits are limited because he is so short, but he plays hard and ends up making plays every game. Smart’s durability is a big plus as after playing in all 12 games as a true freshman he hast started 36 copnsecutive games for the Green Wave. Had 68 total tackles this year and 5.5 sacks in 2016. In 2015, he had 61 total tackles and 15 tackles for loss. Smart is relentless when chasing a play and often commanded double teams at Tulane. He is a top competitor who can’t be counted out. His best fit is as a nose in a 4-3 and he may be able to play a little 3-technique. Unfortunately Smart’s lack of size and bulk is a limitation that becomes very hard to overcome at the next level. Late pick who has a chance.

AUDIBLES

BEST OF THE REST JOSH AUGUSTA MISSOURI

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 3/4 | WT: 365 | 40-YARD: 5.30 e

Big and strong, tough to move off the line of scrimmage and can occupy blockers. Not overly athletic and can’t rush the passer. One- or two-down player.

CHUNKY CLEMENTS ILLINOIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 2/8 e | WT: 291 e | 40-YARD: 5.07 e

A bit undersized but he has some quickness. Can get some penetration to disrupt. Limited moves as a pass rusher. Solid 3-technique free agent who needs to improve in all phases to have a chance to make a club.

MATT GODIN

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Jarron Jones) had a few games where he really looked good but the rest of the season was poor. I wonder if he really likes to play. He might be better off as an offensive tackle.”

“I thought after (Eddie Vanderdoes’s) freshman year that he was going to be a top guy but after his injuries, he looks very average. If he can regain that old form, some team will get a bargain.”

JARRON JONES

MICHIGAN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-5 | WT: 288 | 40-YARD: 5.05 e

JOSH TUPOU

CHRISTIAN BROWN

Tall but a bit lean and lacks good growth potential because of his frame. Has a very good motor and will go snap to whistle. Is instinctive and finds the ball in the run game but doesn’t do much as a pass rusher.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 | WT: 362 | 40-YARD: 5.44 e

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 305 e | 40-YARD: 5.10 e

COLORADO

WEST VIRGINIA

A big, strong, wide body but he has limited athleticism. Might need to lose 10 pounds. Phone-booth player but he can be effective in a short area.

Has some size and quickness. Can have a tendency to get tall. Doubt he can get any bigger. Better suited to play in a 4-3 than a 3-4.

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T

POSITION GRADE

his is a new category for us this year, as we’ve combined 40-front defensive ends and pass-rushing outside linebackers who best fit in 3-4 schemes to treat these reports the same way most NFL teams do today. Last year, we had five-techniques and 40-front ends together, but the reality is five-techniques include a lot of college defensive tackles in today’s NFL while 40-front ends and pass-rushing outside linebackers have become somewhat interchangeable. Nowadays, most teams play more sub packages than they do a base 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. This group is loaded at the top and deep through the

A+

first couple of rounds, but falls off a bit after that. Myles Garrett is the consensus No. 1 prospect in this draft and at least going into the Combine is the most likely first overall pick. The comparison most scouts talk about is Von Miller, and many believe he has a chance to be all that and more. Tennessee’s Derek Barnett led the nation in sacks but isn’t quite as athletic as Garrett, and Michigan’s Taco Charlton is a late riser on a number of draft boards who looked like a Day Two pick coming into his senior year but could now sneak into the first round. J.J. Watt’s “little” brother T.J. is another late bloomer to keep an eye on.

MYLES GARRETT

64 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


EDGE

1 GARRETT MYLES

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-5 e | WT: 268 e | 40: 4.60 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

A

7.5

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

2014 12/8 53 14.0 11.5 1 0 2015 13/13 59 19.5 12.5 3 5 2016 11/11 33 15.0 8.5 1 2 TOT 36/29 145 48.5 32.5 5 7 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 1 1

2BARNETT DEREK

TENNESSEE

WEAK POINTS • Wish he was a little taller and had more length (arms might be just long enough). Needs to tighten up his body some.

RATING PROJECTION

A

7.2

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

2014 13/10 72 20.5 10.0 0 0 2015 13/13 69 12.5 10.0 1 1 2016 13/13 56 19.0 13.0 5 2 TOT 39/36 197 52.0 33.0 6 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

1 1 0 2

3WILLIAMS TIM

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 e | WT: 250 e | 40: 4.59 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

7/0 12/0 15/0 15/2 49/2

3 5 19 31 58

1.0 1.5 12.5 16.0 31.0

0.0 1.5 10.5 9.0 21.0

0 0 1 2 3

0 0 0 2 2

0 0 0 1 1

4CHARLTON TACO

MICHIGAN

A

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

STRONG POINTS • Outstanding athlete with speed, change of direction, burst, flexibility and body control. Explosive. Long arms. Outstanding outside pass rusher with counter moves. Good size with the frame to get bigger. Big playmaker. Has the strength to hold the point, can stack and shed quickly and make plays in the run game. Shows he can drop and transition. Consistent tackler. WEAK POINTS • While he has good size, he will need to get a little bigger to hold up in the NFL. Has had some off-field issues including an arrest that need to be checked out. Not a lot of experience in pass coverage. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year starter for Alabama. Played OLB in their base 3-4 defense and defensive end in their sub package. Tall and lean with very good arm length and the frame to get bigger. Is best as an edge rusher, where he is very explosive with moves and a burst to the quarterback. Quick to read and react and find the ball. Consistent versus the run, can get off blocks and get to the play. Aggressive tackler. Has some experience in coverage but is used mainly as a pass rusher. His pass-rush talent will get him drafted high assuming his character checks out OK.

WEAK POINTS • Needs to improve pass rush moves and learn some counter moves. Can get tall at times. Needs to add strength and bulk. Overall play is up and down.

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior and a three-year starter. Going into the year, Garrett was looked upon as the premier pass rusher in the country. Barnett might have passed him in 2016 when he tallied 13 sacks. Plays end in a 4-3 (both sides) and does play on his feet at times. Really played well versus Alabama’s Cam Robinson. Has outstanding flexibility to dip his shoulder and get under opponents coming off the edge. Has shown he can drop into coverage but will need work on that skill. Can play in any scheme as DE or OLB. Should always be used as a pass rusher on passing downs. Has unlimited upside.

STRONG POINTS • Program guy who showed improvement every year. Excellent height and length. Has the frame to carry another 15 pounds. Quick snap reaction and get-off. Hand use has improved. Can be explosive off the edge with bend. Closes quickly. Good instincts, shows awareness for screens and draws. Has upside. Very good athlete with speed and change of direction.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-6 e | WT: 275 e | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Has been a dominant player in college football for the past three years. Exceptional athlete. Smooth with great flexibility and bend. Strong and explosive. Knows how to use his hands and set up his opponent. Excellent get-off, stays low, can dip under opponent and has a great burst to the QB. Good run defender who is quick to find the ball and can hold the point. WEAK POINTS • Played a good part of the 2016 season with an ankle sprain and that hurt his play and production. Can he play on his feet and drop into coverage? Might need to add some bulk, especially if he plays in a 4-3 scheme. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Became a starter at Texas A&M the day he stepped on the field. A very explosive edge rusher with speed and moves. Has excellent get-off and does a very good job keeping his opponents hands off him. Has a variety of moves and knows how to use them. Excellent at starting outside then countering to come back inside. Plays the run well, has top instincts and can get rid of blockers quickly. Makes pursuit plays. Can be a great 3-4 OLB or play right end in a 4-3. Either way, he is rushing the passer on passing downs. Might be a double-digit sack guy as a rookie. Has some rare traits. STRONG POINTS • Very good size, strength and power. Exceptional initial quickness and first step. Dominant edge pass rusher with moves and counter moves. Can really close on the quarterback. Good to very good run defender who finds the ball and makes plays. Can shed quickly and is a sure tackler.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 265 e | 40: 4.62 e GRADE

RUSHERS

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 10/0 2014 12/1 2015 13/3 2016 11/11 TOT 46/15

2 19 30 43 94

0.5 5.5 8.5 13.0 27.5

0.0 3.5 5.5 9.5 18.5

0 0 0 2 2

0 0 1 0 1

0 0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Came on strong in 2016, showing improvement from beginning of season to end. Had a dominant game in the Orange Bowl vs. Florida State. Has great height and length and a frame to get bigger. He is a real good athlete with quickness, speed and body control. Needs to get stronger. Can easily be a 4-3 DE, might grow into being a 5-technique in a 3-4 and might be able to play OLB in a 3-4. Has great upside, just needs to get stronger and improve his overall techniques. Solid late-first, earlysecond-round pick who could even go a shade higher because of very high ceiling. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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EDGE

5McKINLEY TAKKARIST

STRONG POINTS • Very strong and explosive. Great motor, goes all out every play. Really improved from 2015 to 2016. Very good athlete. Strong at the point, easily can twogap a tight end or offensive lineman. Never gives ground. Quick to find the ball. Disruptive in the run game with the penetration he gets. Explosive pass rusher who can bull rush or use moves. Closes well off blocks. Very good tackler and an excellent pursuit player.

UCLA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 263 e | 40: 4.72 e GRADE

WEAK POINTS • Still raw, needs to learn how to use his hands better. Can be slow to shed at times. Never see him used in pass coverage.

RATING PROJECTION

A

6.8

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 (Junior College) 2014 10/1 6 3.5 2.5 0 2015 13/12 35 7.5 4.5 4 2016 11/11 61 18.0 10.0 6 TOT 34/24 102 29.0 17.0 10

1 2 3 6

0 0 1 1

6THOMAS SOLOMON

STANFORD

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 e | WT: 280 e | 40: 4.78 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

A

6.8

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2014 (Did not play) 2015 14/6 39 10.5 3.5 0 0 2 2016 13/13 62 15.0 8.0 0 1 2 TOT 27/19 101 25.5 11.5 0 1 4 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

7WATT T.J.

WISCONSIN

A

RD 1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2014 (Did not play due to knee injury) 2015 13/0 8 1.5 0.0 3 0 0 2016 14/14 63 13.0 11.5 4 2 0 TOT 27/14 71 4.5 11.5 7 2 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

8HARRIS CHARLES

MISSOURI

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.8

RD 1-2

WEAK POINTS • A bit short and small for a DE. Can get caught inside on run plays and lose contain. While he has a quick first step, he might only time in the high 4.7’s.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fouth-year junior entering the draft. He is the younger brother of Houston All-Pro J.J. Watt. Plays with a similar demeanor as his brother. Redshirted as a freshman and missed 2014 with an injury. Got considerable time playing as a backup in 2015. A late bloomer who came on strong in 2016. Very good pass rusher who can bull rush or use moves. Has a top burst coming off blocks. All-out player who is tough and aggressive. Will need to improve his coverage skills but when it’s all said and done, he will be a pass rusher. Ideal fit for a 3-4 OLB and will put his hand down in pass rush situations. Has a lot of upside and just beginning to scratch the surface of his ability. STRONG POINTS • Adequate size. Very good athlete with change of direction and balance. Quick first step, stays low and has quick hands. Very good edge-rush ability, has counter moves and shows quick hands. Can close off block to the QB. Quick to find the ball in the run game, can hold the point, shed and make plays. Consistent tackler. Has played on his feet and dropped into coverage. Very good competitor who tries to play a physical game.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-31/4 e | WT: 264 e | 40: 4.78 e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Has a very good motor, goes all out on every play. He’s tough, physical and competitive. Good technician, has quick hands and uses them well to shed and rush the passer. Has very good ball reactions with a quick get-off. Adequate size with good to very good play speed and athleticism. Strong pursuit player. Top instincts, finds the ball. Very strong and explosive. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger to play inside at the NFL level. Has some tweener to him, not really big enough to play inside and lacks the speed and suddenness to be an edge player. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Highly productive third-year sophomore. Did not play as a freshman but has been a key player for Stanford the past two seasons. Very quick and explosive to go along with top strength. An all-out competitor with very good instincts. Plays the run and rushes the passer equally well. If he gets to 285-290 he can be a 3-technique in a 40-front. Should also be able to play left end. He lacks the bulk that most 3-4 teams would like to play at the 5-tech, though he is strong enough. Will make an immediate impact as an inside pass rusher but should start for most 4-3 teams as a rookie.

WEAK POINTS • One-year starter. Needs to get bigger. Don’t see much in pass coverage. While he is an athlete, he can be a little mechanical in his movements.

RATING PROJECTION

6.8

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has been at UCLA for three years and is a two-year starter as a standup D-end. Will also play some LB in special situations. A player on the rise but still a bit raw. Has as good a motor as you will see in college football. An all-out aggressive football player. He is strong, tough and physical with very good athleticism. Makes plays more on effort than technique. Will need technique work, but this player’s best football is in front of him. See him as a rotational player as a rookie and a full-time player by Year Two. Will be great on special teams. Really like this player’s tape.

STRONG POINTS • Has good to very good overall athletic ability. Can bend and change direction and has a quick burst. A tough physical competitor. Makes plays on effort. Instinctive and quick to react. Very good pass rusher with moves, very good hand use and a burst. Excellent effort in pursuit, shows speed and has a burst.

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-5 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.69 e GRADE

RUSHERS

PD

FF

2014 14/1 19 4.0 2.0 2 1 2015 12/12 56 18.5 7.0 1 2 2016 12/12 61 12.0 9.0 2 2 TOT 38/25 136 34.5 18.0 5 5 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior who is entering the NFL Draft. Had a dominant 2016 with 9.0 sacks, 12 tackles for loss and 61 total tackles. Has 18 career sacks. While he can play defensive end in a 4-3 scheme, he looks more like a 3-4 outside linebacker who can rush the passer from a 2-point or 3-point stance. Has the agility to drop into coverage as well as awareness. Will be a first-round prospect and should play and contribute as a rookie.

66 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


EDGE

9ANDERSON RYAN

STRONG POINTS • Very instinctive player who is quick to find ball and make plays. Tough and competitive prospect who plays with an aggressive attitude. Adequate size with very good strength and power. Strong at the point and quick to shed, gets to the ball. Strong edge pass rusher with both power and moves. Has a good drop and shows good receiver awareness. Has good ball skills.

ALABAMA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-21/8 | WT: 258 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Marginal height for the position and looks to have short arms. This was his first year as a starter. Good, not great, long speed for the position.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 13/0 2014 14/0 2015 15/0 2016 15/15 TOT 57/15

5 25 37 61 128

1.5 8.0 11.5 19.0 40.0

1.5 3.0 6.0 9.0 19.5

0 0 0 3 3

0 0 2 4 6

0 1 2 3 6

10WALKER DeMARCUS

FLORIDA STATE

A

WEAK POINTS • Not a real edge pass rusher. Marginal bulk to play inside at the next level.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 3/12 2014 14/11 2015 13/13 2016 13/13 TOT 43/39

18 38 58 68 182

2.0 6.0 15.5 21.5 45.0

1.0 1.0 10.5 16.0 28.5

0 0 6 2 8

0 1 4 3 8

0 0 0 2 2

11LAWSON CARL

AUBURN

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 255 e | 40: 4.68 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

FF

FR

2013 14/0 20 7.5 4.0 0 2 2014 (Did not play due to ACL injury) 2015 7/7 17 3.0 1.0 0 0 2016 13/13 30 13.5 9.0 0 1 TOT 34/20 67 24.0 14.0 0 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

0

PD

0 0 0

12SMOOT DAWUANE

ILLINOIS

A

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

STRONG POINTS • Good size for an OLB. Athletic, stays on his feet, strong and powerful. Has some explosion through his hips. Very good edge pass rusher. Can bull rush, use speed or use counter moves. Adequate at dipping his shoulder to get under opponent. Strong at the point, can two-gap a tight end and make play at the line of scrimmage. Grade the flashes and he looks awesome. Reads and reacts well, doesn’t lose contain. WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t make all the plays he could/should which is frustrating. Never see him used in pass coverage. Needs to be more of a consistent, every-down competitor. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior and a two-and-a-half year starter. Missed 2014 with an injury. Almost entered the 2016 draft. Plays as a standup DE but will put his hand in the dirt at times. Best suited for OLB in a 3-4 scheme. This player has great talent, just has to become a little more consistent and intense. While he makes a lot of plays, he also leaves some plays on the field. Doesn’t make all the plays he could/should. Still, he will get drafted high on his talent. Will need to learn how to drop and play in coverage but his main job will be to rush the passer. Probably a second-round pick who could slip into the bottom of the first.

WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger to hold up in the NFL. Has to prove to the 3-4 teams that he can play on his feet and drop into coverage. Can be a bit slow off run blocks on plays to him. Needs to finish his pass rushes a bit better.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very interesting prospect. Plays both inside and outside for Florida State and has outstanding pass rush production (26.5 sacks the past two seasons). He is built like a 4-3 left end but has the frame to carry 290. Often lines up inside in pass-rush situations. Lacks the speed to be an edge rusher in the NFL. His best move is an outsidein move with quick hand use. Has positional versatility to play in any scheme. Can be a 5-tech in a 3-4 with a little more bulk. Can also be a left end in a 4-3. Either way, I see him as an inside pass rusher on passing downs. Very solid second-round pick and may slip into the bottom of the first.

STRONG POINTS • Very good initial quickness. Has good strength and explosiveness. Good to very good athlete with top change of direction, balance and body control. Uses hands well. Can come off the edge as a pass rusher with speed and explosiveness. Can get under opponent or bull rush. Good instincts, finds the ball. Sure tackler. Good to very good pursuit player.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 255 | 40: 4.73 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A rare fifth-year senior at Alabama. Anderson is a program guy who worked his way into a starting role. Saw significant playing time in 2014 and 2015 and became a starter in 2016, when he tallied 19 tackles for loss. He is an instinctive player with strength and a strong competitive nature. Consistent versus both the pass and run. Has a nice edge pass rush and can use moves or power. Very good pursuit player who takes good angles. Can come in and start for many teams as a rookie and will also be a very good special-teams player. STRONG POINTS • Productive pass rusher. Adequate size, good to very good athlete. Adequate speed with a burst. Strong and explosive. Can use his hands to keep blockers off his body. Top competitor who goes hard on every snap. Very good pursuit player. Instinctive and quick to find the ball. Disruptive in the run game.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/2 e | WT: 278 e | 40: 4.85 e GRADE

RUSHERS

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 7/0 2014 13/0 2015 12/12 2016 12/12 TOT 44/24

8 33 40 56 137

1.0 7.5 15.0 15.0 38.5

1.0 2.5 8.0 5.0 16.5

0 2 2 1 5

0 0 3 2 5

0 0 2 0 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Started at left end in 4-3 front. Has marginal size but adequate strength and good explosion. Is primarily a pass rusher but not bad versus the run. Gets tall and can be slow to shed run blocks. Good pursuit player. As a pass rusher he can get under opponent and has good hand use and moves. Closes well. Sack count dipped in 2016 compared to 2015, but he still got a high number of pressures and hits. Will be best off as a 3-4 OLB but has to prove he can drop into coverage. Has upside. Good prospect. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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EDGE

13HALL

DAESHON

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal height and arm length for an edge player. Very good athlete who is quick, can change direction, is fast and has bend. Has quick hands and keeps blockers off his body. Good hand use. Reacts quickly and keeps sight of the ball. Strong enough to hold the point, gets penetration at times. Quick to shed. Good pass rusher.

TEXAS A&M

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-5 3/8 | WT: 265 | 40: 4.78 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Will get undisciplined at times and break contain. Needs to do a better job finishing pass rush and use some counter moves. Is lean at 265 and can easily add 10 pounds. While he has strength, he still needs to get stronger for the next level.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 13/1 2014 13/5 2015 13/13 2016 13/13 TOT 52/32

29 29 54 50 162

3.0 6.0 14.5 13.0 36.5

0.0 4.5 7.0 4.5 16.0

1 0 2 1 4

0 0 2 0 2

0 0 0 2 2

14BASHAM TARELL

OHIO

B

WEAK POINTS • Has good but not great long speed, but he does have a short burst. Still has a long ways to go in coverage. Has to improve overall technique in order to play regularly at the next level.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

2013 13/5 32 2014 12/7 33 2015 12/11 43 2016 14/14 50 TOT 51/37 158

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

9.5 6.0 10.0 16.0 41.5

7.5 5.0 5.5 11.5 29.5

1 2 1 2 6

2 1 2 2 7

0 0 0 1 1

15WILLIS JORDAN

KANSAS STATE

B

WEAK POINTS • Size — doubt he can get much bigger. He is not a top athlete, he is a bit of a strider with average change of direction. Needs to use counter moves more often.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 9/0 2014 13/13 2015 13/13 2016 13/13 TOT 48/39

1 26 36 52 115

1.0 6.5 15.5 17.5 40.5

1.0 4.0 9.5 11.5 26.0

0 1 3 3 7

0 0 4 3 7

0 0 1 1 2

16HENDRICKSON TREY

FLORIDA ATLANTIC

B

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal DE size. Arms are a bit short for an NFL defensive end (32.5”). Has not played much on his feet.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

2013 12/0 9 2014 12/0 32 2015 12/11 39 2016 12/12 50 TOT 48/23 130

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fun player to watch. An all-out competitor on every down. While he isn’t a great athlete, he makes the most out of his natural skills. Techniquesound, really uses his hands well. He is alert and around the ball. Makes plays on effort. Gets a lot of sack production but could have even more if he would use some counter moves. Right now he is a left end in a 4-3 scheme. Has to prove he can drop and move around in coverage for the 3-4 clubs to be interested. If he shows he can do that, he could go higher than my grade says. STRONG POINTS • Can rush the passer. Quick off the ball, explosive with good hand use. Has counter moves. Shows strength at the point to hold up versus the run. Good chase player. Had a productive week at the East-West Shrine Game and he was named the game’s top player on defense.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-37/8 | WT: 255 | 40: 4.72 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A dominant edge player in the MAC conference (17 sacks past two years). Has real good size for a 3-4 OLB. He is explosive with great get-off when rushing the passer. Can use his hands and put moves together. Alert and instinctive, finds the ball and makes plays in the run game. Will need work in coverage as he has not dropped all that often. Overall, a player with upside. Is best suited to be an OLB in a 3-4 but could play right end in a 4-3. Situational player as a rookie and a starter by Year Two. STRONG POINTS • Very strong and explosive for his size. Tough, aggressive and competitive. All-out performer on every play. Good get-off. Very good hand use, keeps blockers off his body. Productive, has 33 tackles for loss and 21 sacks the past two seasons. Alert and instinctive, seldom gets himself out of position.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-33/4 | WT: 255 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Hall is a fourth-year senior. He has been starting games since his sophomore year and has been a full-time starter opposite Myles Garrett the past two years. Has height and length with a lean frame and can easily add some weight and bulk. Plays both up and down and does drop into coverage some. Plays with good intensity but needs to get a little stronger in order to finish plays better. Can be undisciplined and break contain but that is a matter of concentration. Should be able to play down in a 4-3 or up in a 3-4. Has upside with added strength. Should be a starter by Year Two for most teams. STRONG POINTS • Has the physical attributes an edge player needs as far as size, speed, strength and athleticism. Strong in the upper body and explosive. Can shed quickly. Has played both on his feet and with his hand in the dirt. Very good get-off quickness. Stays low and can use his hands. Good chase player. In limited coverage reps, he shows awareness.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 5/8 | WT: 259 | 40: 4.74 e GRADE

RUSHERS

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2.5 10.0 14.5 15.0 42.0

1.5 5.0 13.5 9.5 29.0

0 1 0 2 3

0 2 5 1 8

0 0 1 1 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • He is quick off the ball, explosive, has good hand use and shows some counter moves. Has 23 sacks over the past two seasons. NFL clubs are always looking for pass rushers and Hendrickson fits the bill. He is a developmental prospect who will most likely have to convert to a 3-4 OLB but could become something special if he takes to the change. Might not have the size to play 4-3 DE. At any rate, he can always be a designated pass rusher in any scheme. Will get plenty of work on his feet during pre-draft workouts.

68 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


EDGE

17KPASSAGNON TANOH

STRONG POINTS • Size and he has the frame to get to 300 easily. Very long arms. Adequate strength for his size. Good athlete, changes direction well, has balance and shows a short-area burst. Dominates a lower level of competition. Shows he can two-gap FCS-level opponents. Has a history of blocking kicks.

VILLANOVA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-67/8 | WT: 280 | 40: 4.90 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Played at a lower level of competition. Not quite strong enough to compete at the NFL level. Still raw technique-wise and doesn’t have the speed to “burn” the edge. Has a tendency to get tall. More of a reactor than an anticipator.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2012 (Redshirted) 2013 11/0 15 1.5 1.0 2014 6/0 12 5.0 3.5 2015 11/11 33 9.5 6.5 2016 12/12 45 21.5 11.0 TOT 40/23 105 37.5 22.0

0 0 0 1 1

0 2 1 1 4

0 0 1 2 3

18RIVERS DEREK

YOUNGSTOWN STATE

B

WEAK POINTS • Level of competition. Marginal size to play on the edge in the NFL. Arms are a bit short (measured 323/8 ” at the Senior Bowl). Can get wired to run blocks at times. Gives ground to blockers at times.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2013 10/0 2014 12/11 2015 11/10 2016 16/16 TOT 49/37

13 50 52 58 173

4.5 17.0 15.5 19.5 56.5

2.5 13.0 8.0 14.0 37.5

0 0 0 1 1

0 1 1 1 3

0 1 0 3 4

19PRICE EJUAN

PITTSBURGH

B

WEAK POINTS • Short to play D-end with 32-inch arms. Not as productive versus the run as he is as a pass rusher. Can he play on his feet?

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

2011 13/5 27 6.5 4.0 0 2012 (Redshirted) 2013 6/4 23 4.0 1.0 1 2014 (Missed season due to injury) 2015 13/13 48 19.5 11.5 2 2016 12/12 42 21.0 12.0 0 TOT 44/34 140 51.0 28.5 3

FF

FR

0

0

0

0

1 3 4

1 0 1

20MOSS AVERY

YOUNGSTOWN STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-31/4 e | WT: 263 e | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2012* 2013* 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

TKL

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A very good FCS player but not nearly as good as Noah Spence (Eastern Kentucky) was last year. He doesn’t have the strength or power Spence had. Rivers flashes some big-time plays, but you also see him being slow off blocks and giving ground in the run game. He can dominate some games but looks average in others. Will need to get bigger and stronger to compete at the NFL level. He has the frame to get bigger but the big question is how much bulk and power can he add without losing explosion and quickness? Has upside but will go through a period of development. I see him as a role player to start out.

STRONG POINTS • All-out competitor who is productive. Is an explosive athlete with a quick first step. Has good instincts and finds the ball. Very good pass rusher at the college level. Very good pursuit player. Good to very good hand use.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-107/8 | WT: 246 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • An interesting developmental prospect. Has some excellent natural tools with his height, length and athleticism. Although he played well at the FCS level, he needs to add strength and bulk for the NFL. He will need a couple years of seasoning but he could turn into a very good player. As a rookie, he mainly will be a role player. By Year Two, he should be in the rotation and then potentially a starter by Year Three. The arrow is going up. His best fit is in a 3-4 scheme as a 5-technique. STRONG POINTS • Dominated FCS level of competition. Plays hard. Very good pass rusher at that level. Can close coming off blocks. Sure tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-4 1/8 | WT: 250 | 40: 4.78 e GRADE

RUSHERS

PD

FF

FR

4/0 0 0.0 0.0 0 12/3 36 8.0 4.5 0 10/2 25 4.5 2.5 2 15/15 59 17.0 10.5 3 41/20 120 29.5 17.5 5 * — PLAYED AT NEBRASKA

TFL

SACK

0 0 1 4 5

0 0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • You can’t discount the fact that he had 24.5 sacks the past two seasons against quality competition, but 5-foot-11 edge rushers at the NFL level are few and far between. Goes from snap to whistle on every play. Is best as a pass rusher because of his amazing get-off. There have been short pass rushers who have been successful in the NFL — Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are the obvious comps, but they are listed at 6-foot-1 and 6-foot-2, respectively, even though neither is quite that tall — so no one can count this guy out. Might have to convert to linebacker to play every down. Won’t go as high as his production says he should.

STRONG POINTS • Has excellent 3-4 OLB size. Good athlete with a short burst. Long arms with adequate hand use to shed FCS-level blocks. Has the flexibility and dip to get under opponents when coming off the edge. Flashes playmaking ability. Consistent run defender. WEAK POINTS • Originally enrolled at Nebraska but was banned from the campus following a public indecency charge. Flashes but doesn’t consistently show dominating ability versus FCS level of competition. Basically he is raw and needs time and coaching. Can he pass the character test? THE WAY WE SEE IT • Sat out the 2014 season then enrolled at Youngstown in 2015, where he reunited with Bo Pelini. Was a role player in 2015, but really came on this past season with 10.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss. Has the athletic ability and talent to play in the NFL. Needs added strength and technique work but has eventual starter talent if he does things right. Has to get by the character check in order to get drafted and has upside if he does. Can play right end in a 4-3 or be an OLB in a 3-4 if he shows he can drop into coverage. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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EDGE

21WISE JR. DEATRICH

STRONG POINTS • Nice size for a DE with long arms. Shows strength and power. Is strong enough to two-gap a tight end or offensive tackle. Good hand use, sheds quickly. Good pass rusher with power and some moves. Had a strong 2015.

ARKANSAS

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-47/8 | WT: 275 | 40: 4.88 e GRADE

WEAK POINTS • Did not play as well in 2016. A bit of a tweener in that he isn’t as explosive as coaches would want for a 4-3 DE and lacks the bulk to be a 3-4 DE. Speed is very average for an outside player.

RATING PROJECTION

B

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2012 2/0 2013 12/1 2014 10/1 2015 13/0 2016 13/8 TOT 50/10

2 17 13 31 49 112

1.0 3.0 3.0 10.5 5.5 23.0

1.0 2.0 2.0 8.0 3.5 16.5

0 0 0 0 3 3

0 0 0 3 1 4

0 1 0 0 0 1

22COX JR. BRYAN

FLORIDA

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal height to play down. Career has been side-tracked with injuries so he hasn’t fully played to his potential. His strongest year was 2015. Has to learn to finish better.

RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

2012 2013 8/0 2014 11/10 2015 14/12 2016 11/5 TOT 44/27

5 29 45 19 98

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

(Redshirted) 2.0 2.0 6.0 4.0 10.5 3.5 2.5 0.5 21.0 10.0

0 0 1 0 1

0 0 2 1 3

0 0 2 0 2

23BEVINS COLLIN

NW MISSOURI STATE

WEAK POINTS • Played at a lower level of competition. Not an explosive athlete. Needs to get bigger and stronger in both the upper and lower body. Very raw technique-wise.

RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

FF

FR

2012 (Redshirted) 2013 14/0 26 7.5 5.0 2014 10/2 26 9.0 5.5 2015 13/12 55 26.5 15.5 2016 15/15 61 15.5 8.0 TOT 52/29 168 58.5 34.0

2 1 0 0 3

1 0 2 0 3

0 1 1 0 2

24MARCUS JAMAL

AKRON

C

WEAK POINTS • Lacks size and has little growth potential. Not overly instinctive and can lose sight of the ball. Not very disciplined, breaks contain too often. Has missed time in each of the past two seasons with injuries. Had season-ending surgery last season.

RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Originally enrolled at Iowa State and transferred after redshirting his freshman year. Four-year starter at Northwest Missouri State who appeared in 52 games. He is an interesting prospect in that he has height, length, a wrestling background and he dominated a lower level of competition. He is still raw, but the natural traits are there. Will need to add strength and has to develop his technique. Probable practice squad player as a rookie who could ascend into a rotational role by Year Two. Best fit is in a 3-4 as a 5-technique.

STRONG POINTS • Speed and athleticism. Gets off the ball quickly. Has some outside pass-rush ability. When he stays low, he flashes being able to push the pocket. Flashes moments of good run defense.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-13/4 e | WT: 248e | 40: 4.85 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • The son of former NFL player and veteran coach Bryan Cox, so this young man has the bloodlines and should understand what it will take at the next level. Injuries have set him back and he hasn’t developed the way it was thought he would. The natural talent is still there, he just needs to play injury-free and get stronger. Should be able to play in either a 3-4 or 4-3, but spring workouts will better make that determination. Late-round pick who has a chance because of his natural traits. STRONG POINTS • Size and length. Productive versus a lower level of competition (58.5 career tackles for loss to go along with 34 sacks). With his wrestling background he knows how to use his hands and play the leverage game. Plays hard and is a consistent competitor. Has some short-area quickness.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-53/4 e | WT: 288 e | 40: 5.15 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Looking at 2015 tape, I really liked this player and thought he was primed for a big 2016. That didn’t happen as his play fell off this year for whatever reason. Still, he has the traits and natural talent, he just has to revert back to 2015 form. At his present size, he looks like a left end in a 4-3. He may be able to grow into a 5-tech and play DE in a 3-4. Some team might get a bargain. The unknown here will be what happened between his junior and senior years and how do you get him back to his 2015 form? Might be able to become a solid rotational player.

STRONG POINTS • An explosive athlete with a very good get-off. Has experience playing both on his feet and from a 3-point stance. Can be equally good as a pass rusher or run defender. Has good hand use. Quick to find the ball and he can be an explosive tackler.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-25/8 | WT: 264 | 40: 4.85 e GRADE

RUSHERS

PD

FF

FR

2012* 11/0 8 0.0 0.0 0 2013* 13/1 6 1.0 1.0 0 2015 11/10 30 12.5 5.5 1 2016 7/4 16 6.5 2.5 0 TOT 42/15 60 20.0 9.0 1 * — PLAYED AT OHIO STATE

0 1 1 1 3

0 0 1 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Originally enrolled at Ohio State and played there two seasons with one start his sophomore year (2013). Transferred to Akron and sat out 2014. Has been a starter the past two seasons and has flashed outside pass-rush skills. Has speed and get-off and can put some moves together. Not disciplined though and will break some assignments. Speed and pass rush traits are his greatest asset. Might get drafted late because of that.

70 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST LEWIS NEAL LSU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 3/4 e | WT: 270 e | 40-YARD: 4.90 e

Good college player who lacks top traits. Not athletic enough to play on his feet in a 3-4 and lacks the required size to be a 4-3 end. He is tough and strong and can use his hands. His instincts are better than average and he makes plays.

KARTER SCHULT NORTHERN IOWA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 | WT: 263 | 40-YARD: 4.90 e

Led the FCS level with 17 sacks last year. A tough and hard-nosed competitor who lacks ideal size, speed and athleticism. Looks to have short arms and though he can get away with that at the FCS level, he won’t in the NFL. More of an effort guy than purely talented. Could become a special-teams terror.

JEREMIAH LEDBETTER ARKANSAS

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-27/8 | WT: 281 | 40-YARD: 4.95 e

Good SEC player who lacks the physical tools to be a top prospect. He is short and not very fast but he plays hard. If he can get to 290 without losing any speed or quicks, he might be a backup 3-technique.

KEIONTA DAVIS

TENNESSEE-CHATTANOOGA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 274 | 40-YARD: 4.90 e

Like Ledbetter, he is a bit of a tweener. Has the attributes of an inside player but lacks the size. He is productive at FCS level but that won’t carry over to the NFL. He should bulk up to 290+ and move inside to play the 3-technique.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

• “(Tim Williams) had some

character concerns early on. If he stays the course, he could become a perennial Pro Bowler.” “If everyone played the game with the intensity that (Takkarist) McKinley does, it would be easy to scout players” “The draft analysts have Solomon Thomas as a top-10. He had the big bowl game but

• •

TAKKARIST McKINLEY

the rest of the tape isn’t like that. They figure he is only 6-2. He is a first-rounder but not a top-10 guy.”

• “If you watch (Derek)

Barnett and (Myles) Garrett against Alabama’s (Cam) Robinson, Barnett is clearly the better player. But you have to watch more than one game.”

“No doubt, (T.J.) Watt is a good player, but he will get over-drafted because some club will think they are drafting his older brother.”

• “Wherever Taco (Charlton)

gets drafted, it will be a bargain. He is just beginning to understand his own talent.”

“He won’t be a high pick but I’m telling you Trey Hendrickson from Florida Atlantic can really play. I liked him before the East-West game, but after watching him there I was so impressed I went back and watched some more tape and realized I had to move him up a round or two at least. Keep an eye on him, somebody’s going to get lucky there.”

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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A POSITION GRADE

fter four straight outstanding years of top linebackers entering the draft, including firstround picks Luke Kuechly, Anthony Barr, Ryan Shazier, C.J. Mosley and Khalil Mack, the talent fell off a bit last season. Leonard Floyd and Darron Lee were the only linebackers taken in the first round in 2016. Injury question marks Jaylon Smith and Myles Jack led off the second round. This year is stacked again with clear first-round talent to play both inside and outside, including the deepest inside linebacker group we’ve seen in a while. Butkus Award winner Reuben Foster, Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan, who won the high school Butkus

B

1 FOSTER REUBEN

STRONG POINTS • Very instinctive. Never comes off the field and plays the run and pass equally well. Excellent athlete who can run. Strong at the point, can take on blocks and shed quickly. Excellent versus the run and makes plays sideline to sideline. Very quick with his drop with good receiver awareness and he transitions very well. Very effective rushing the passer. Great range and a very good tackler.

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 233 e | 40: 4.60 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

7.1

WEAK POINTS • Lacks ideal size for an ILB but should be able to get to 240+.

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 9/0 2014 11/1 2015 15/8 2016 15/15 TOT 50/24

12 22 73 115 222

1.0 2.0 8.0 13.0 24.0

0.0 1.0 2.0 5.0 8.0

0 0 9 2 11

0 0 0 0 0

2McMILLAN RAEKWON

OHIO STATE

A

WEAK POINTS • Wish he was a little taller. Doesn’t have great sack production but does get pressures when he blitzes.

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Two-year starter at ILB for Alabama. Like many players at ‘Bama, he had to wait his turn. Has outstanding linebacker traits with top instincts, strength and athleticism. Big-time playmaker and was Alabama’s leading tackler in 2016. Can play the run and pass and also rush the passer. Great speed and an excellent pursuit player. Not much he can’t do. Only thing he lacks is great size for the ILB position. Is scheme versatile and can play inside in a 3-4 or ‘Will’ in a 4-3. High pick and will start right away. Better than any linebacker in last year’s class.

STRONG POINTS • Excellent instincts, always around the ball. Big-time playmaker. Good frame, strong and explosive. Top athlete for his position. Has speed and agility. Can clear piles. Quick hands and is quick to stack and shed. Good pass rusher. Gets depth with pass drop, has very good receiver awareness and can close. Explosive tackler.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-13/4 e | WT: 254 e | 40: 4.62 e GRADE

Award in 2013, and Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt are all likely first-rounders. On the outside, Jarrad Davis, Devonte Fields, Haason Reddick and Steven Taylor are highly rated as well. Foster and edge rusher Tim Williams continued the trend this year toward Alabama threatening to replace Penn St. as “Linebacker U,” as they are likely to join Reggie Ragland, Mosley, Nico Johnson, Dont’a Hightower and CourtREUBEN FOSTER ney Upshaw as high picks off Nick Saban’s defense. The volatility in projecting where all these prospects will go is because of the different ways different teams view them based on whether they’re drafting for a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme. Several of this year’s best linebacker prospects will be looked at both inside and outside.

SACK

PD

2014 15/0 54 6.5 2.5 0 2015 13/13 119 4.0 1.5 4 2016 13/13 102 7.0 2.0 4 TOT 41/26 275 17.5 6.0 8 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

INT

1 0 0 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior who is entering the draft. Got extensive playing time as a freshman when he was a backup and has been a starter the past two seasons. Has totaled more than 100 tackles in each of the past two seasons. Just what you want at inside linebacker. Strong, powerful, quick, fast and instinctive. He is stout at the point, sheds quickly and makes plays. Has great range and makes plays in pursuit. Shows quickness with his pass drop and is very alert in coverage. Not much he can’t do. Starter from Day One and maybe a future Pro Bowl player.

72 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


LINEBACKERS

3CUNNINGHAM ZACH

STRONG POINTS • Very productive (125 tackles in 2016), has excellent instincts and reactions. Able to slip blocks and get to the ball. Tall with great length. Very good athlete with speed, change of direction and body control. Explosive. Very good in coverage. Has great pursuit range. Very good tackler. Good hand use.

VANDERBILT

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-41/8 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.68 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Narrow frame. Needs to add strength and bulk to play inside at the NFL level. Wasn’t used much as a pass rusher in 2016. Will miss some tackles because he lacks top upper body strength.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD1-2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

2014 11/5 67 6.5 1.5 2 2015 12/9 103 16.5 4.5 3 2016 13/13 125 16.5 0.0 3 TOT 36/27 295 39.5 6.0 8 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

INT

0 0 0 0

4DAVIS JARRAD

STRONG POINTS • Has adequate size for the position. Shows good to very good overall athleticism. Strong player with good hand use. Quick to shed. Has good instincts, finds the ball and makes plays in the run game. Shows a good pass drop, can play man or zone and has range. Effective when used as a blitzer.

FLORIDA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-17/8 e | WT: 240 e | 40: 4.71 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Missed four games in 2016 with an ankle injury. Needs to get a little bigger and stronger. Will miss some tackles when he doesn’t wrap. Speed is just adequate.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/1 9/1 14/12 9/9 44/23

24 23 98 60 205

2.0 1.0 11.0 6.0 20.0

0.0 0.0 3.5 2.0 5.5

1 0 5 4 10

0 0 1 0 1

5FIELDS DEVONTE

LOUISVILLE

B

WEAK POINTS • Has marginal size for an outside linebacker in a 3-4. Frame is a bit narrow and he doesn’t have great growth potential. Sack numbers dropped significantly from ’15 to ’16.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2012* 2013* 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/13 3/1

TKL

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Highly productive inside linebacker. Very instinctive. Plays faster than he times because of those instincts. Has adequate size but will need to get a little bigger and stronger to hold up at the NFL level. Has position versatility, he should be able to play ‘Mike’ or ‘Will’ in a 4-3 or either ILB position in a 3-4. Has good coverage skills and that should make him an every-down player. Has a good chance to start as a rookie and contribute. Worst case is he starts in his second year. Has upside if he can stay healthy. STRONG POINTS • Great athlete, very fluid for his size. Has real good play speed. Quickreacting and instinctive. Can rush the passer, play the run or drop into coverage. Very good “chase” player and a consistent tackler in close or in space.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 e | WT: 240 e | 40: 4.60 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Has been a two-and-a-half year starter for Vandy showing production behind the line with 33 TFLs the past two seasons. Has top instincts and is always around the ball. He has played about 5-6 yards off the ball to free him up from blockers, he won’t be able to be used that way in the NFL. Needs to get bigger and stronger to hold up versus NFL linemen. Can play inside in a 3-4 or ‘Will’ in a 4-3. Will play early and should be very productive if he can add strength and bulk. Has some special to him but lack of bulk hurts.

SACK

PD

INT

53 18.5 10.0 4 2.0 0.0 (Junior College) 15/15 63 22.0 10.5 12/11 45 9.0 6.0 43/40 165 51.5 26.5 * — Played for TCU

TFL

4 -

1 0

3 3 10

0 1 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A double transfer, started out at TCU, then transferred to a junior college and then on to Louisville. Difficult guy to evaluate. He is a very good football player, but where does a team play him? He plays both on his feet and down. Is used to rush the passer and drop into coverage. He lacks the size and bulk most 3-4 clubs want at OLB and he is also too small to play DE in a 4-3. While he can get a little bigger, he won’t grow much. His best bet may be as a ‘Will’ in a 4-3 scheme. He has the instincts and range and has experience on his feet. He can also be used some as a pass rusher in that scheme. He will be an interesting guy to track and is a bit of a wild card in the draft.

6REDDICK

STRONG POINTS • Intense player, very physical. Very good athlete with speed and explosiveness. Strong and a big hitter. Has played both up and down. Good in pass drop and can cover man-to-man. Good pass rusher with moves. Instinctive.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-1 1/2 | WT: 237 | 40: 4.65 e

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have ideal size to play outside at the next level. While he has experience in coverage, it isn’t a lot of experience. Needs to add some bulk.

HAASON

TEMPLE

GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

9/1 10/2 14/12 14/14 47/29

14 23 45 65 147

4.0 7.0 12.5 22.5 46.0

1.0 1.5 5.0 10.5 18.0

1 1 1 4 7

0 0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Played mostly as a defensive end at Temple and played both up and down. Does not have the size or length 3-4 teams want for an OLB. Going to have to convert to play either ‘Will’ or ‘Sam’ in a 4-3. Will also be able to be used some as a designated pass rusher. Will need to go through a period of development to make the conversion, but he has the instincts to be able to do it. Teams that are convined he can cover based on his good drops and man-to-man ability will push him up their boards because those guys are hard to find. Has a chance to be very good in the NFL. Will be a terror on special teams while he makes the conversion. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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LINEBACKERS

7WALKER JR. ANTHONY

STRONG POINTS • Very productive with top instincts and reactions. Plays the run well, can stack and shed. Good to very good athlete with speed and a burst. Has good play strength and shows he can be an explosive hitter. Good pass drop, has awareness and can close on the ball.

NORTHWESTERN

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-01/2 e | WT: 241 e | 40: 4.67 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t consistently play a physical game. More of a run-and-hit type. Will miss some tackles. About as big as he is going to get.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

2014 12/7 51 9.0 1.5 3 2015 13/13 122 20.5 4.0 4 2016 13/13 105 10.0 2.0 5 TOT 38/33 278 39.5 7.5 12 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

INT

2 1 1 4

8RILEY DUKE

STRONG POINTS • An active and instinctive playmaker. Good to real good athlete with speed. Excels in pursuit as he has speed, range and takes very good angles to the ball. Can play the stack game but not consistently. Good in coverage, he is alert in zone and has the athleticism to play man.

LSU

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 | WT: 231 | 40: 4.65 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Size, and I doubt he can get much bigger than 238-240. Can be slow to shed big linemen. Small frame for a linebacker.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/0 13/1 12/0 12/12 50/13

7 20 24 93 144

0.5 0.0 0.5 9.0 10.0

0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5 1.5

0 0 0 2 2

0 0 0 1 1

9BECKWITH KENDELL

LSU

B

WEAK POINTS • Tore his ACL in Game 10 and missed the rest of the season. Has just average to adequate play speed. More of a reactor than an instinctive anticipator. Needs to make more plays at or near the line of scrimmage.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4*

* — PRE-INJURY PROJECTION CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/0 13/7 12/12 10/10 47/29

11 77 84 91 263

1.0 7.5 10.0 6.0 24.5

1.0 2.0 3.5 1.0 7.5

0 3 1 4 8

0 1 0 0 1

10ANZALONE ALEX

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Beckwith has been starting since midway through his sophomore year. He has ideal size and is strong and productive to go along with good overall athleticism and adequate speed and range. Where he gets drafted will be determined by his medical. It’s possible he will miss most if not all of training camp and some of the regular season. Has eventual starter talent when he gets healthy and he looks like the rare linebacker who can go inside or out and be a three-down player who doesn’t have to come off the field in sub packages. Before his injury, he was a solid third- to fourth-round type. Will now get selected later in the draft. STRONG POINTS • Adequate size with good strength and pop. Smart player with good instincts. Quick to find ball. Shows strength and power at the point, good hand use and can shed. Good tackler. Quick with his drops, good awareness in coverage and reacts well to the ball in the air. Good tackler.

FLORIDA

YEAR: REDSHIRT JUNIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 240 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • This was Riley’s first year as a starter and he made the most of it. Was a core special-teams player and a spot player for his first three years. Wish it hadn’t taken him so long to crack the starting lineup but he is very instinctive and does a good job slipping blocks and getting to the ball. Is quick and agile in pass coverage and a top pursuit player. May lack size but he is a good tackler. His best fit is as a ‘Will’ in a 4-3 scheme. I doubt he can hold up in a 3-4 at his current size. As a ‘Will,’ he has a chance to become an eventual starter. STRONG POINTS • Ideal size with good strength and pop. Can stack at the line and get rid of blocks fairly quickly. Shows good awareness in coverage. Gets depth with his drops. Solid tackler who hits and wraps. Plays with good intensity.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-23/4 e | WT: 245 e | 40: 4.70 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fourth-year junior entering the draft. Has been a two-and-ahalf year starter. Has adequate size with good strength and explosion. Walker has good instincts and finds the ball. Makes a lot of plays in the run game. While he can stack and shed at the point, he is more of a run-and-hit type who tries to elude blocks. He is effective when used as a blitzer, especially on delays. He has a quick drop with range and awareness in coverage. Can plant and drive on the ball and has good hands. Overall, his best fit is as a ‘Will’ in a 4-3. Don’t see the power necessary to play inside in a 3-4. Should start early in his career.

RATING PROJECTION

B* 6.4 RD 4-5 * — Grade is better than where he will get drafted CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

10/0 12/0 2/2 8/8 31/10

2 14 6 53 75

0.0 1.0 0.0 4.0 5.0

0.0 0.0 0.0 3.0 3.0

0 0 0 2 2

0 0 0 0 0

WEAK POINTS • Huge durability issues. Had season-ending injuries in both 2015 and 2016 (shoulder, arm). Has played well when healthy but missed more games than he played the past two seasons. THE WAY WE SEE IT • When healthy, Anzalone can play, but he has missed significant time in his career. Has third- to fourth-round talent but his durability issues will cause him to get drafted later. The results of his medical at the Combine will be important. Anzalone has size, strength and athleticism to go along with good instincts. He is tough and makes plays when healthy. Hit-or-miss draft choice but if he can avoid the injury bug and find a way to stay on the field he could be a late-round steal who leaves teams who didn’t pull the trigger wondering how they missed him.

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LINEBACKERS

11BIEGEL VINCE

STRONG POINTS • Adequate outside linebacker size with the frame to carry 255. Good athlete with good strength. Technique-sound, can use his hands, quick to shed, plays with bend. Tough and aggressive, all-out performer on every play. Good instincts, reacts well to run or pass.

WISCONSIN

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-31/8 | WT: 242 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Not explosive, don’t see any quick twitch. One-speed player and lacks good long speed. Gets high with his pedal and does not turn real smoothly.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 13/2 2014 14/13 2015 13/13 2016 14/12 TOT 56/30

YEAR

25 56 66 51 198

3.0 16.5 14.0 5.0 38.5

2.0 7.5 8.0 3.0 20.5

2 2 0 0 4

0 0 0 0 0

12GEDEON BEN

STRONG POINTS • An instinctive playmaker. Has good size and strength for the position. Shows strength at the point to take on and shed blocks. Strong run defender. Gets off blocks and makes plays. Can get depth with his pass drop and has awareness in coverage. Very good tackler.

MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-15/8 | WT: 243 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • While he is instinctive, he lacks speed and top range. Has to get a jump on plays. Don’t see range in coverage. Lacks the suddenness needed to play in man coverage.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/0 11/0 12/1 13/13 49/14

19 17 34 106 176

1.0 1.5 3.0 15.5 21.0

1.0 1.0 0.0 4.5 6.5

0 0 0 2 2

0 0 0 0 0

13PHILLIPS JR. CARROLL

ILLINOIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-31/4 | WT: 237 | 40: 4.70 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

TFL

GP/GS

TKL

SACK

PD

INT

7/0 12/3 12/11 31/14

(Junior College) 6 1.0 1.0 26 4.5 2.0 56 20.0 9.0 88 25.5 12.0

0 2 0 2

0 0 0 0

14ONWUALU JAMES

NOTRE DAME

C

STRONG POINTS • Makes plays (56 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, nine sacks in 2016). Athletic with speed. Can rush the passer. Uses his hands well. Top competitor. Good tackler. Athletic enough to play on his feet. Instincts. WEAK POINTS • Lacks the size and bulk needed to play down or outside in a 3-4. Has short arms. Has little experience in pass coverage as he played in in a 4-3. Will need to convert to linebacker in order to play in the NFL. Has short arms. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Carroll is a former junior college transfer. He played mostly as a backup in 2015. Starter at right end in Illinois’ base 4-3 defense in 2016. He is undersized and his arms are a bit short but this guy is a football player. Competes every play. Shows explosiveness coming off the edge, can use his hands and has moves. Quick to react versus the run but can get overpowered by big O-linemen at times. Needs to play linebacker at the next level. His best fit is as a ‘Sam’ in a 4-3. Might be able to play ‘Will.’ Showed at the Senior Bowl that he can play on his feet. Size and conversion will get him drafted lower than his talent level.

WEAK POINTS • Marginal LB size. Needs to get bigger and stronger. Might not have the speed to be a hybrid type.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year senior and a first-year starter. Really came on this year with 106 total tackles. Consummate overachiever who makes plays because of his outstanding awareness and instincts. He is strong and has a good feel for blockers. Can take on or slip a block. In coverage, he plays well in the short zones but he lacks the range and suddenness to play much man. Will be a very good backup with a chance to eventually start in the right situation.

STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete for a linebacker. Versatile, as he has played LB, WR and S in college. Has good instincts. Plays very well against the pass, gets depth with his drops and has real good awareness. Can play man on backs and tight ends. Solid tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-07/8 | WT: 230 | 40: 4.67 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • The type of linebacker you want on your team. He doesn’t have any special to him but he is a competitive tough guy and all-out performer. Lacks the physical traits to be a starter in the NFL but he can help you win as a solid backup and on special teams. A smart and instinctive player who won’t hurt you if he has to play, but will be somewhat limited by his lack of special athletic traits. That concern, however, will be somewhat balanced by a few bonus points based on how well Badgers linebackers have translated to the NFL in recent seasons. A solid Day Three selection who will be a good addition to any 3-4 team.

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/4 13/8 11/9 12/12 48/33

6 24 38 75 143

0.0 2.0 6.0 11.5 19.5

0.0 0.0 3.0 3.0 6.0

0 0 2 5 7

0 0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Three-year starter for Notre Dame and has played three positions. Started out as a wide receiver and got playing time there as a true freshman. Moved to defense during his sophomore year and ended up starting games at OLB. Has improved each year. Undersized but aggressive with good instincts. Plays the pass very well. Good run defender but can be a bit slow off blocks. His best chance is as a hybrid linebacker because of his coverage skills. The question will be his speed. If he runs fast, he could go as high as the fifth. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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LINEBACKERS

15BOULWARE

STRONG POINTS • Very instinctive player who is highly competitive. Makes plays on effort. Good tackler, aware in coverage. Team leader. Great work habits. Has good strength.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 236 | 40: 4.77 e

WEAK POINTS • Size, just an average athlete with average speed. Not a very fluid guy and can look mechanical at times. Short arms.

BEN

CLEMSON

GRADE

C

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

11/0 13/2 15/15 14/14 53/31

25 58 138 131 352

1.5 5.0 8.0 11.5 26.0

0.0 1.0 3.5 4.0 8.5

0 1 7 2 10

1 1 2 1 5

16BULLOUGH RILEY

STRONG POINTS • Very competitive. Chases the ball all over the field. Very consistent tackler. Quick with his pass drops and is very aware in coverage. Has the speed and athleticism to play man on a running back. Good to real good athlete with speed and a burst. Instinctive, consistently finds and gets to the ball. Team captain.

MICHIGAN STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-11/4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.68 e GRADE

C

WEAK POINTS • Size, does not have the frame to get much bigger. Not really a takeon type, is better at slipping blocks. Can get overpowered at the point by big offensive linemen.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

14/0 13/1 14/13 9/9 50/23

3 29 106 76 214

0.0 4.0 7.5 6.5 18.0

0.0 3.5 4.0 0.0 7.5

0 0 2 0 2

0 2 2 0 4

17TAYLOR STEVEN

HOUSTON

C

WEAK POINTS • Marginal size to play LB in the NFL. Can be slow to get off blocks. Has a burst to the ball but don’t see good top-end speed. More of a reactor than an anticipator.

RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

TFL

SACK

PD

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/9 12/10 14/14 12/12 51/45

89 76 92 74 331

10.5 9.0 18.5 12.0 50.0

3.0 4.0 10.0 8.5 25.5

5 2 3 3 13

1 0 2 1 4

18LANGI HARVEY

BYU

C

WEAK POINTS • An overaged player, graduated high school in 2010 and spent two years on a Mormon Mission. Does not look as quick or as fast as he did in 2015. Too heavy at 252, needs to be 240. Will lose sight of ball at times. Average instincts.

RATING PROJECTION

6.3

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

12/1 11/11 13/12 36/24

TKL

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has production on paper but you don’t always see it on tape. Part of the problem is he doesn’t make a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage but rather downfield. Doesn’t anticipate as quickly as he should. Has sack production but I haven’t seen a top pass rusher on tape. Does time blitzes well and can find a seam. Overall, more of a backup type who will need to produce as a special teams player. Needs to add strength and bulk. It’s hard to envision him being able to add enough muscle to fix a lot of what’s missing. Still, there isn’t a team in the league that isn’t looking for a pass rusher so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares once he gets in a camp.

STRONG POINTS • Has good size, strength and power. Consistent tackler. Shows he can get depth with his pass drops. Has awareness in coverage.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-15/8 | WT: 252 | 40: 4.80 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Another in a long line of Bulloughs who played at Michigan State, starting with their grandfather Hank Bullough. Riley is an active, instinctive playmaker who lacks size. He is an athlete with speed and is best at slipping blocks or making pursuit plays. Also does a good job in coverage. Lacks the size to be an NFL starter but can be a nickel linebacker and a core special teams player. Late pick with a chance.

STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter. Shows marginally good overall athleticism. Productive in coverage. Has 18 sacks over the past two seasons.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-03/4 e | WT: 230 e | 40: 4.78 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Boulware is a very good college football player but has limited traits to succeed at the next level. He is short, has just average athleticism and average speed yet he makes plays. High effort over-achiever. Even with ‘Bama’s Allen, Foster and Williams on the field, Boulware was arguably the best defensive player on the field in the national title game, at times appearing to know exactly what the Tide was running before the ball was snapped. With kids like this who are so football smart, it’s tough to know whether the intangibles are enough to outweigh his limitations. On paper, you say he can’t make it, but once he gets to camp he will be tough to run off. Very good special teams potential.

SACK

PD

INT

(Enrolled at Utah) 14 0.0 0.0 68 6.5 4.5 57 5.0 2.0 139 11.5 6.5

TFL

0 1 2 3

0 2 0 2

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Transfer from Utah. Played running back while at Utah before he went on his church mission. After he completed his mission, he enrolled at BYU and was moved to linebacker. He is an aggressive, active player who gets most of his production between the tackles. Shows some versatility having played on both sides of the ball and it’s not easy to find big guys who can cover. See him as a backup and special teams player in the NFL. His best fit is in a 3-4. Doesn’t have the speed or range to play well in a 4-3. He should benefit from the proliferation of 3-4 schemes in the league right now and he will get a shot somewhere.

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BEST OF THE REST HARDY NICKERSON JR. ILLINOIS

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 3/4 | WT: 236 | 40-YARD: 4.70 e

Son of Illinois Defensive Coordinator and former All-Pro Hardy Nickerson. He has good instincts and makes a high number of tackles but he lacks a quality physical trait. Not big or fast. Will have to make it on special teams ability.

JOSH CARRAWAY TCU

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-3 | WT: 241 | 40-YARD: 4.75 e

Has size and is a good athlete, reacts quickly and makes some plays. Not a real physical guy, has to get a little stronger. More of a run-and-hit than take-on type. Doesn’t stack well at the point. Possible late-round type especially if he works out well.

TYUS BOWSER HOUSTON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 1/2 | WT: 244 | 40-YARD: 4.70 e

Has a lot of things going for him. Has good size, is athletic, plays with strength and make plays. He needs to find a position. Is he a smaller edge guy or does he play inside? Probable late-round pick who can play in multiple schemes.

MARQUEL LEE WAKE FOREST

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-3 1/4 | WT: 230 | 40-YARD: 4.80 e

Tough guy with size, strength and instincts but he is a marginal athlete. Lacks speed and range. Had five games in which he recorded double-digit tackles. Has to come out on passing downs as he lacks the speed and range to be effective. Limited but productive.

CONNOR HARRIS LINDENWOOD

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-11 | WT: 241 | 40-YARD: 4.80 e

Very productive small college player who lacks the physical traits to be drafted in the NFL. Has top instincts but he is short with very short arms. I don’t see him as being more than a special teams player at the NFL level.

JAYON BROWN UCLA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 231 e | 40-YARD: 4.75 e

He is a small Will linebacker with instincts. If he had more size, he would easily be draftable. Quick to react and makes plays versus both the run and pass. If he runs well, he may be draftable as a nickel linebacker because of his cover skills. Worst case is he makes his mark on specials.

RAEKWON MCMILLAN

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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T POSITION GRADE

he most dependable position in the draft in recent seasons has been cornerback in terms of producing a number of top prospects. This year will be no exception. There have been five corners taken in the first round of each of the past three drafts, and in 2013, four cornerbacks went in the first round. This year is most likely to yield five first-rounders again with Marlon Humphrey, Marshon Lattimore, Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor near sure things and Gareon Conley likely to join them as well. Every team in the NFL is looking for “big” corners to match up with today’s over-

A+

MARSHON LATTIMORE

78 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

sized wide receivers, and every one of our top five prospects this year is six feet or taller. The only issue with rating these young men is all five are underclassmen and Lattimore and Humphrey are redshirt sophomores, which can be both a plus and a minus. The upside is, a few of them will still get bigger and stronger while none is likely to lose any speed or quickness, but the downside is they are youngsters who haven’t fully matured yet. Character, coachability and work ethic also can be tougher to evaluate. This group also has excellent depth with Jourdan Lewis, Desmond King and Tre’Davious White, to name just a few, who also could sneak into the first round. These latter three make up the second tier either because of size or top-end speed.

MARLON HUMPHREY


CORNERBACKS

1 LATTIMORE MARSHON

STRONG POINTS • Has very good size with long arms. Exceptional athlete with speed, change of direction and flexibility. Very quick with his pedal and turn. No hesitation when he comes out of his pedal. Can play press, off, or zone and is very good at each. Good run-support player who can keep contain and tackle. Can play the physical game when he wants. Excellent ability to track the ball.

OHIO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-0 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.42 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Missed his entire freshman year with a leg injury. Missed some time in 2015 with the same injury. Still has two years of college eligibility left. Only a one-year starter.

RATING PROJECTION

7.1

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2014 2015 2016

GP/GS

TKL

3/0 13/12 16/12

(Redshirted) 5 3 0 41 9 4 46 12 4

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

0 61 61

0 0 0

TOT (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2HUMPHREY MARLON

STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter. Has excellent size with long arms to matchup against tall receivers. Very good athlete with speed and outstanding body control. Easy movement; he can quickly get out of his pedal. Turns smoothly. Plays the pass and run very well. Strong and explosive. Aggressive tackler, very good hands and ball skills. Very aware and instinctive in coverage. Followed up Freshman All-American honors with firstteam All-American recognition from the FWAA.

ALABAMA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-1 e | WT: 200 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

7.0

RD 1

WEAK POINTS • Young, still had two years of eligibility left. Will miss some tackles when he doesn’t wrap.

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2014 2015 2016

GP/GS

15/15 14/14 29/29

TKL

PBU

INT

(Redshirted) 45 8 3 36 5 2 81 13 5

YDS

FF

28 18 46

2 1 0

TOT (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

TEEZ TABOR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year sophomore entering the draft. Has the physical tools to become a shutdown corner early in his career. Great athlete with speed and body control. Can jam, turn and run. Plays the ball very well. Good run-support player who can shed and tackle. Plays physical when he has to. The sky is the limit as far as upside. Will be in the running to be the first corner selected in the draft. Has some special to him.

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A third-year sophomore, Humphrey was the No. 1 corner in the country coming out of high school, where he was also a track star as both a sprinter and in the hurdles. There may be some that are stronger in certain areas, but Humphrey’s overall skill set rivals any of the cornerbacks in this class. Can shed blocks, play the run, tackle, play man or zone and has great ball skills. Will come in right away and start for most NFL teams. Has future Pro Bowl-type talent. A potential top-10 selection.

QUINCY WILSON

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CORNERBACKS

3TABOR TEEZ

FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 196 e | 40: 4.46 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2014 2015 2016

12/5 13/9 13/12 38/26

31 41 33 105

9 18 6 33

1 4 3 8

0 82 47 129

1 0 0 1

TOT (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

4WILSON QUINCY

STRONG POINTS • Two-year starter. Very good athlete. Has speed, excellent feet and body control. Has a quick low pedal, can turn and shows a burst out of his turn. Transitions very well. Great size and length, physical vs. wide receivers to jam and re-route. Reacts well to the ball and has good hands. Will support the run and shows he can shed.

FLORIDA

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 212 e | 40: 4.46 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • With his size, he needs to be more physical versus the run. Doesn’t attack and at times takes poor pursuit angles. While he shows he can hit, he misses too many tackles because he doesn’t consistently wrap up.

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2014 2015 2016

12/2 14/9 13/13 39/24

22 29 33 84

4 7 6 17

1 2 3 6

0 13 80 93

1 0 0 1

TOT (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

5CONLEY GAREON

OHIO STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE

A

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

2014 2015 2016

15/0 13/13 13/13 41/26

16 49 26 91

2 5 8 15

0 2 4 6

YDS

FF

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

TOT (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

6JONES SIDNEY

WASHINGTON

A

STRONG POINTS • Good height, long arms. Very good athlete. Has speed, quickness, suddenness, change of direction and balance. Very good cover guy, be it man, off or zone. Instinctive and aware. Smooth pedal and turn. No hesitation or false step when he transitions. Very good hands and ball skills (four INTs in ’16). Willing run-support player. WEAK POINTS • Lean frame, needs to add upper and lower body strength. Will miss some tackles or can be slow to get off blocks because of his lack of strength. Still not physically mature. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior and two-year starter for Ohio State. Tall with length but he has a lean frame and needs to add some strength and bulk. Can easily hold 205. Has very good cover skills. Can pedal and turn very easily and shows excellent mirror skills in man coverage. Plays a lot of zone and is very aware. Plays the ball well in the air and has good hands. The only real weak part of his game is run support. He is willing but can be slow off blocks and misses some tackles because of his strength deficiencies. Overall, he should be a mid-first round selection and has excellent upside. Should start as a rookie and can eventually be a No. 1 corner for most teams. Very talented guy.

WEAK POINTS • Small frame. Lacks strength, bulk. Can get overpowered by big receivers. Struggles to take on blocks. More of a drag-down tackler. Good but not great play speed.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has the natural talent to be the best corner in this draft if he wants to be. While he plays a physical game versus receivers, he isn’t that way in the run game. Flashes that he can shed and tackle but too often tries to block tackle instead of wrapping up. Can take poor pursuit angles to the ball. As a cover guy, he is outstanding. Can play press, off or zone. Keeps good position, reacts to the ball and makes plays. He is a true junior coming out so he is still young and needs to mature. Best football should be in front of him. Will be a very high pick based on what he can be.

STRONG POINTS • Good to very good athlete with very good overall body control. Just adequate speed but can change direction, has quick feet, can turn and transition. Very good ability to track the ball and has good hands to make the interception. Can play man or zone. Shows good instincts and awareness in coverage.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 180 e | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Good height and length allowing him to play taller than he measures. Is very aware, reacts quickly and has top instincts. Fluid movement with loose hips, quick feet and speed. Has a good jam and excellent mirror skills in press man. Very good when in zone or off man. No weighted movement when he closes. Plays the ball very well and has very good hands. WIlling run-support player. WEAK POINTS • Needs to get bigger and stronger especially in the upper body. More of a body tackler than hit-and-wrap, causing him to miss some. Can be slow to shed run blocks (upper body strength). THE WAY WE SEE IT • Has been starting since midway through his freshman year. There were some who felt that Tabor was a better player in 2015 than Vernon Hargreaves, who was selected No. 11 overall a year ago. Tabor has excellent cover skills to go along with top ball skills. With his height and length, he matches up well vs. taller receivers. Needs to add strength to become more of a force in the run game. Has the frame to carry 205-210 without a problem. He should be able to come in and start right away for most teams. Can play in any scheme. Will be one of the first corners drafted.

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2014 2015 2016

13/12 13/13 14/14 40/39

61 45 39 145

7 14 9 30

2 4 3 9

22 125 0 147

1 3 2 6

TOT (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year junior entering the draft. Has been a starter since his freshman year. Jones is a fluid athlete with the quickness and suddeness needed to play corner in the NFL. Has good to very good cover skills in both man and zone coverage and plays the ball very well. Has nine career interceptions. Where he struggles is that he is not a very physical player. Has a small frame and little growth potential. Played at about 180, and 190 looks like his max. Needs to get stronger so that he can shed and tackle better. Has the coverage skills to become a starter in the league but his lack of strength will be a concern.

80 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


CORNERBACKS

7JACKSON ADOREÉ

STRONG POINTS • Has played a variety of positions (CB, RB, WR, RS). Exceptional athletic ability and speed. Excellent return skills. Can play man, off, or zone. Keeps good position on receivers with good awareness. Willing run support player and a good tackler. Excellent hands.

USC

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 183 e | 40: 4.38 e GRADE

WEAK POINTS • Size. If he measures shorter than 5-foot-10, some teams will have him off their boards. Needs to add bulk and strength. Will have some trouble with taller receivers.

RATING PROJECTION

A

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

2014 13/9 49 10 0 0 2015 14/14 35 18 1 46 2016 13/13 55 11 5 21 TOT 40/36 139 39 6 67 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FF

1 1 0 2

8DOUGLAS RASUL

STRONG POINTS • Tall with long arms. Very good athlete. Has the speed and burst to stay with speedy receivers deep. Can be physical with his jam and shows he can re-route receivers. Good to very good transition. Great ball skills and hands. Does a good job jumping routes. Good open-field tackler.

WEST VIRGINIA

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-2 | WT: 204 | 40: 4.48 e GRADE

WEAK POINTS • Only a one-year starter. Needs to improve his overall footwork. As physical as he is versus receivers, he is not a physical run-support player. Needs to improve his ability to take on and shed blocks.

RATING PROJECTION

A

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

11/0 13/12 24/12

TKL

INT

YDS

FF

(Junior College) (Junior College) 8 1 1 70 8 8 78 9 9

PBU

0 101 101

1 1 2

9KING

DESMOND

IOWA

A

WEAK POINTS • Not a burner. Interception production was down in 2016, but teams weren’t throwing at him.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/12 13/13 14/14 13/13 53/53

69 64 72 58 263

8 8 21 10 47

0 3 8 3 14

0 72 118 41 231

0 0 0 1 1

10TANKERSLEY CORDREA

CLEMSON

A

WEAK POINTS • Is more of a drag-down type of tackler and misses too many tackles. Not a strong run-support player. Needs to add upper body strength. Has good speed but he is not a burner and can be beat by real speed guys.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016

12/0 13/0 15/15 15/15 55/30

13 11 60 65 149

0 0 11 11 22

0 0 5 4 9

0 0 50 22 72

0 0 0 0 0

TOT

THE WAY WE SEE IT • King almost entered the 2016 draft and most likely would have been a second-round pick. Plays a very steady game and seldom gets caught out of position. Can be physical when he has to be. Consistent cover guy in both man and zone. Keeps good position and can close on the ball. Excellent hands and ball skills. Has the return talent to be a team’s No. 1 returner. Should come in and play right away as a third corner and will ascend to a solid No. 2. Timed speed will determine where he gets drafted but he is a good football player. STRONG POINTS • Very good size for a corner with long arms. Has the quickness and suddenness required to play corner in the NFL. Tracks the ball well with good ball skills and hands. Can play press, off, or zone. Alert in zone and looks to help out when free. Has smooth turn and is very quick to come out of pedal and close.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 200 e | 40: 4.49 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a one-year starter. Douglas is a junior college transfer who played as a backup in 2015 before having a breakout year in 2016. Finished the season with eight interceptions. He is a physical press cover corner with good to real good mirror skills. Needs to improve his play in zone and off but the physical tools are there. Not a force when supporting the run and that part of his game needs improvement also. Has a lot of upside and will go high in the draft. STRONG POINTS • Well-built athlete with strength and power. Good to very good athleticism with quick feet, loose hips and suddenness. Plays press, off, and zone equally well. Very good instincts and excellent ball reactions and hands. Good runsupport player and tackler. Can return both punts and kickoffs. No false steps when he transitions.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/8 | WT: 206 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Jackson is really a specialist because of what he brings to the table. Has the skill set to play on offense or defense and be productive. Can be a slot receiver or a slot corner as well as a team’s top return man. Will be a difference maker as a returner the day he signs. I see him as a slot corner who will match up well on most slot receivers. He lacks the size to be a regular on the outside. Because of his playmaking ability, he will get drafted higher than his defensive skill set dictates, but his return skills are special.

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fourth-year senior and a two-year starter for Clemson. He has ideal size and has good to very good overall cover skills. Usually keeps good positioning. Is an alert player who can track the ball and has good hands (nine interceptions the past two years). He needs to get stronger in the upper body and become more aggressive in run support as well as do a better job tackling. He has the skill set to come in and play as a third corner as a rookie and eventually become a good No. 2 corner in the league. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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CORNERBACKS

11LEWIS JOURDAN

STRONG POINTS • Quicker than fast but fast enough. Tough and competitive; plays bigger than his size. Quick, low pedal and a smooth turn. Very quick to transition. Tracks and plays the ball well. Good hands. Aggressive in run support. Productive and can return kicks.

MICHIGAN

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-10 | WT: 188 | 40: 4.49 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Size – caught some evaluators by surprise at the Senior Bowl by measuring in at 5-foot-10. Has a small, narrow frame and has little growth potential as far as bulk. Doesn’t have great top-end speed. Doubt he would be more than a backup returner in the NFL.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016

13/0 12/7 13/13 10/10 48/30

17 39 52 25 133

2 6 20 11 39

0 2 2 2 6

0 4 46 0 50

0 0 1 0 1

TOT

12AWUZIE CHIDOBE

STRONG POINTS • Has been starting since midway through his freshman year. Excellent corner size and strength. Alert and instinctive. Asked to do a number of things in the Colorado defense and does all well. Good man and zone cover guy. Quick to support the run and a good tackler. Plays some on special teams.

COLORADO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 205 e | 40: 4.53 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Question his top-end speed. Plays the shorter routes very well but don’t see the long speed needed to cover deep in the NFL. Doesn’t consistently attack versus the run and can tackle high.

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016

12/7 9/9 13/12 14/14 48/42

59 64 90 42 255

4 8 12 10 34

0 0 2 1 3

0 0 26 14 40

2 0 1 2 5

TOT

13WHITE

Tre’DAVIOUS

LSU

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

WEAK POINTS • Plays like a 4.52 type on tape. Don’t see great top-end speed. A bit short by today’s standards, but he does have long arms.

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016

13/11 13/13 11/11 12/12 49/49

55 33 44 35 112

7 6 7 14 34

2 2 0 2 6

40 0 0 21 61

1 0 0 0 0

TOT

14MOREAU FABIAN

UCLA

B

WEAK POINTS • In tapes viewed, I never saw him in press coverage. Can give too much of a cushion in off coverage. How fast is he?

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Solid college corner who plays a consistent game but has no special traits. A bit short and lacks good top-end speed but a solid cover guy with ball skills. Can play press and zone and keeps plays in front of him. Is quick to transition. Consistent run-support player and a good tackler. Overall has enough talent to eventually start for a team with a need but may never be more than a solid No. 3 corner. Grade could go up with a real good workout.

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal size for a corner. Good to real good athlete with a burst, good hips and quick feet. Moves quickly in transition. Good run-support player and a sure tackler. Plays the ball well, has good hands.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 5-117/8 | WT: 205 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Very good college corner. Lines up wide and sometimes over a slot receiver. Also used to blitz often when lined up over the slot and was effective doing so. Aggressive player with strength and pop. He is instinctive and alert and you seldom see him make mistakes. My biggest concern is does he have the long speed to play corner in the NFL? Might be better off at safety if he doesn’t run well at the Combine or his Pro Day. Has the size and aggressiveness to play inside. It’s not a question of if he will play, it’s where he will play. STRONG POINTS • Four-year starter for LSU. Has played both the right and left sides. Very good length. Good athlete with quick feet, loose hips and body control. Good pedal and turn and no false steps with his transition. Alert in zone. Good jam and good press cover skills. Reacts well to the ball in the air. Solid run-support player and a good tackler.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-111/8 | WT: 191 | 40: 4.52 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Love watching this guy on tape; he plays hard and with aggressiveness. Quick and athletic with enough speed. Even though he plays bigger than his size, there may be some teams that downgrade him based off his stature. I see him more as a nickel corner who can do an excellent job on slot receivers. In today’s game, that will have him on the field 75 percent of the time if not more. Very good player, just wish he was bigger.

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2012 11/0 2013 12/12 2014 13/13 2015 3/3 2016 12/12 TOT 40/40

5 51 51 8 31 146

0 4 4 1 12 21

0 0 0 0 2 2

0 0 0 0 32 32

0 0 0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Missed most of 2015 with an injury and got an injury redshirt. Plays a very consistent game. In the games I viewed, opponents didn’t go after him very often. Even though he is strong and has great size, you never see him in press coverage. UCLA plays a lot of man off or zone and Moreau is very dependable in these coverages. Is alert and has good receiver awareness. Plays the ball well, can close and has good hands. Based on his athleticism, I feel he can play press but may be best suited to play for a zone-type team. Has the talent to become an eventual starter. Day Two selection.

82 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


CORNERBACKS

15KING KEVIN

STRONG POINTS • Very tall with very good length. Good to real good athlete with better than adequate speed. Has a good jam and shows he can be a good press cover guy. Solid run-support player who can shed blocks and tackle. Good zone player with awareness. Played safety in 2014.

WASHINGTON

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-2 5/8 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Long-legged corner who is not as sudden as preferred. At times, he will take extra steps when coming out of his pedal. Needs to improve his footwork. His long speed is just adequate. Can have some trouble when playing man off.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

7/0 13/12 11/8 14/14 45/34

17 65 39 44 165

1 4 8 15 28

0 1 3 2 6

0 0 6 0 6

0 1 1 0 2

16KAZEE

DAMONTAE

STRONG POINTS • Excellent ball skills (15 interceptions the past two seasons; school record 17 career picks). Speed, very good overall athleticism. Good in run support and a good tackler. Shows he can play man or zone. Strong Senior Bowl week. Two-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year.

SAN DIEGO STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/4 | WT: 183 | 40: 4.47 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Marginal size and does not have much growth potential. Has short arms (297/8 ). In some games, was playing soft in coverage, giving a lot in cushion and giving up the underneath throws.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

12/0 13/13 14/14 14/14 53/41

41 58 75 65 239

2 13 7 8 30

1 1 8 7 17

0 0 58 156 214

4 0 2 0 6

17STRIBLING CHANNING

MICHIGAN

C

WEAK POINTS • Has a narrow, lean frame with little growth potential. While he is quick, he lacks long speed. Not big or physical enough to move to safety.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016

13/1 10/0 11/4 13/13 47/18

16 7 17 28 68

0 0 3 13 16

0 0 2 4 6

0 0 31 60 91

1 0 0 0 1

TOT

18ELDER CORN

B

WEAK POINTS • Measured a shade over 5-foot-10 and that could drop him a bit on some teams’ boards. Plays fast but might be a little slower than his game speed. Doubt he can get much bigger than 185.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • This player has interesting tape and he makes a lot of plays, but his lack of top-end speed will hurt him in the draft. Might not run faster than 4.58. Stribling has good cover skills and excellent ball skills. He shows very good mirror skills versus shorter routes and has the suddenness required to stick with receivers. His lack of long speed versus deep routes and while in pursuit also shows up. I see him as a lateround guy who will be tough to cut because of his instincts and ball skills. Probably not better than a No. 4 corner in the league. STRONG POINTS • Very good athlete who is quick and sudden. Can turn and run and transitions quickly. Tough and competitive, plays bigger than his size. Not afraid to defend the run and is a good tackler. Plays the ball well in the air and has good hands for the interception. Should be able to make an impact on special teams. Can return kicks.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-101/8 | WT: 179 | 40: 4.48 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. Kazee is an athlete with speed and ball skills. He is not the most physical guy and he lacks the frame to get much bigger. Showed in the Senior Bowl he can cover aggressively. With his frame and short arms, I see him as a slot corner only. He doesn’t have the size that NFL clubs would want playing outside. He should test well at the Combine and could go higher than my grade.

STRONG POINTS • Good athlete with body control. Has quick feet, loose hips, can turn, run and transition smoothly. Has a fairly good jam at the line, can play press coverage versus shorter routes and has good mirror skills. Very alert in zone, keeps good position and has good receiver awareness. Has outstanding ball skills and very good hands. Willing hitter.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 | WT: 179 | 40: 4.58 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • At this time, he is a pure press-cover guy. Has a good jam and has the skill set to mirror his opponent vs. short or deep routes. Plays well in zone. Can have some trouble in off, as he needs to improve his foot work; will take extra steps at times when breaking out of his pedal. Shows good run-support skills and is a consistent tackler. Has experience at safety (2014) and that is where he may end up. Solid backuptype with a chance to be a starter if he develops properly.

RD 4-5*

* — Depending on size / speed

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

10/0 13/1 13/7 13/13 49/21

7 34 41 76 158

0 4 11 12 27

0 0 2 1 3

0 0 47 2 49

0 0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Elder is a fun player to watch on tape. He is tough and competitive and plays bigger than his size. He has a quick pedal, can turn and run and shows he can transition quickly. Willing run-support player and he can tackle. Can play man or zone in coverage and has good mirror skills as well as top ball skills. Where he gets drafted will be determined by his verified measurables. If he runs slower than 4.50, he will drop on some teams’ boards. I see him as a slot corner who should be able to match up well versus the smaller slot receivers in the league. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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CORNERBACKS

19WHITE MARQUEZ

STRONG POINTS • Good height and length for a corner, and his arms measured in at 321/8 inches at the Senior Bowl. Has played press, off and zone. Two-year starter. Good athlete. Looks to help out when free. Has big-game experience. Athletic enough to spend time on the Florida State basketball team as a backup guard in 2014.

FLORIDA STATE

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 184 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

WEAK POINTS • Lean frame and lacks good growth potential. Just above average to good strength. Misses too many tackles because he doesn’t wrap well and lacks good upper body strength. Is not smooth with his transition. Ball skills are average — picked off only two passes in his first three collegiate seasons.

RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 5-6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/0 12/0 13/13 13/13 51/26

12 3 25 25 65

1 0 2 4 7

1 0 1 2 4

0 0 0 14 14

0 0 0 0 0

20LUKE COLE

STRONG POINTS • Three-year starter with 51 career games of experience for the Irish. Has long arms. Looked like a top prospect in 2014 and 2015. In ‘14, picked off two passes and forced a fumble in a win over Stanford, earning National Defensive Player of the Week honors. Good instincts. Shows that he is a willing run-support player. Has good ball skills and hands. Has played press, man, and off.

NOTRE DAME

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 5-11 e | WT: 190 e | 40: 4.58 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

C

6.4

RD 6

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/0 13/13 13/13 12/12 51/38

15 48 41 48 152

2 11 5 6 24

0 4 2 2 8

0 13 -3 14 24

0 2 0 0 2

21MABIN GREG

IOWA

C

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

Did not see game action 13/12 53 6 1 18 14/14 54 10 2 26 9/9 37 3 0 0 36/35 144 19 3 44

0 1 1 2

22LAMPKIN ASHTON

OKLAHOMA STATE

C

WEAK POINTS • Lean frame and he needs to add some size and strength. Not a very physical player. Needs to attack run plays better and learn how to use his hands to shed blocks. Lacks consistent awareness in coverage. Not a burner. Will have durability questions after missing most of 2014 with an ankle injury and then he missed time in 2015 with a broken right thumb.

RATING PROJECTION

6.3

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Moved from wide receiver to corner during spring practice in 2013, and he played cornerback for Iowa but he might be better off at safety. Does not have the movement skills or suddenness most NFL defensive backs coaches require of a corner. He is competitive and he will hit. His best chance is to convert to safety and become a solid special-teams player. Late-round or free-agent type who has a chance because of size, awareness and hitting skills.

STRONG POINTS • Has good height and length for the position. Has experience playing in press, off, and zone. Shows a smooth turn with an adequate burst coming out of his turn. Decent ball skills; has five career interceptions.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 189 | 40: 4.51 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • After looking like an impressive player in 2014 and 2015, he looked very ordinary in 2016. Smart player with good instincts and has played a lot of football for Notre Dame, just lacks the required speed and skill set. Might have to play for a Cover-2 team, as he lacks the speed to play press in the NFL. Late-round pick with a chance to be a team’s fourth or fifth corner because he will have special-teams value.

WEAK POINTS • Doesn’t have the ideal athletic skills to be a starting NFL corner. Average speed and lacks a smooth turn. Will take extra steps when he transitions. Ball skills are average. Missed the last few games of his college career because of a lower right leg fracture suffered in practice.

RATING PROJECTION

6.3

WEAK POINTS • Really struggled the first half of 2016. Gave up numerous big plays and also missed tackles in the open field. Lacks ideal height. Not very fast for the position. Notre Dame moved him inside to the slot corner position after he struggled early this past season.

STRONG POINTS • Has ideal height and length. Good frame. Has strength and shows he will hit. Does an adequate job shedding blocks and is fairly physical in run support. Shows awareness in coverage.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-1 3/4 e | WT: 200 e | 40: 4.60 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Became a starter in 2015 and played fairly well. It was thought that he would make a jump in 2016, but instead his play leveled off. His height, athleticism and length are intriguing but he has to get stronger and become more physical. More of a developmental practice squad player at this point but he has some traits to work with.

RD 7

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

13/0 13/0 4/4 12/8 13/13 55/25

18 24 4 31 38 115

0 1 3 5 4 13

1 0 2 1 1 5

0 0 50 28 1 79

0 0 0 0 1 1

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A fifth-year senior and a two-year starter with 55 career games played. Shows flashes of good play, just not consistent. Has experience in press, man, and off and flashes good cover skills. Not physical and that will hurt his ability to make a team. Has the talent to be a fifth or sixth corner if he proves he can be physical on special teams.

84 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


BEST OF THE REST EZRA ROBINSON TENNESSEE STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENOR HT: 5-11 | WT: 185 | 40-YARD: 4.50 e

Has some size and length to go along with adequate cover skills (five interceptions in 2016). Does little in run support. Lacks strength and struggles to take on blocks and will miss some tackles. He needs to get stronger and toughen up if he wants to make an NFL roster.

BOISE ROSS BUFFALO

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 190 e | 40-YARD: 4.51 e

Was originally a wide receiver and moved to corner three games into his sophomore year and has flourished. Has size and length and tried to be physical. Plays the ball well and will support the run. If he runs well at his Pro Day, he has a chance to get drafted late.

BRAD WATSON WAKE FOREST

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 1/4 | WT: 192 | 40-YARD: 4.58 e

Solid zone and off corner. Has awareness and is good in run support but lacks the deep speed to stay with speedy wide receivers. Well coached and fundamentally sound. Might be better off at safety.

AUDIBLES

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:

“(Marlon Humphrey) is physical and will run real fast but I don’t trust his ball skills.”

“I really like (Rasul Douglas), he can start for us right away.”

• “(Sidney Jones’s) cov-

er skills are as good as any corner in the draft, but he has to become more physical and tackle better.”

• “For my money, (Quincy

Wilson) is the best corner in the draft. His all-around game is tough to beat.”

• “(Channing Stribling) is

CHANNING STRIBLING

small and he doesn’t have speed, but he has the best ball skills of any corner in the draft.”

•“Is it just me or do the

corners coming out of school get better every year? There are at least five and maybe as many as seven in this group that I could see going in the first round.”

“Jourdan Lewis is a football player. My boss told me he didn’t have enough speed to make up for his lack of size and I said let’s look at a little more tape together. When we were done he asked me when Michigan’s Pro Day is and told me not to miss it. Forget his size, the kid can cover.”

PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

| 85


T POSITION GRADE

his position has been the opposite of cornerback, as top prospects have been few and far between in recent seasons. Karl Joseph and Keanu Neal were the only firstround safeties last year and 2015 had none. 2014 had four first-rounders, but only Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor have become solid starters. There were three first-round safeties in 2013 and none in 2012. The last great safety class was 2010 with Eric Berry at No. 5, Earl Thomas at 14 and T.J. Ward at 38 ... until now. Much like we said about this year’s tight ends, this group is not only loaded, it might be one of the best

A

1 HOOKER MALIK

STRONG POINTS • Very good size. Great athlete with speed, strength, explosiveness and body control. Good to real good instincts. Great range to the sideline coming from the middle of the field. Excellent ball reactions and hands. Quick to react to the run with good hitting ability and a consistent tackler. Keeps plays in front of him. Excellent awareness in zone.

OHIO STATE

YEAR: REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE HT: 6-1 3/4 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.45 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Never see him in man coverage. Can get out of control at times and overrun a play. Only a one-year starter and has two years of eligibility left.

RATING PROJECTION

7.2

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

FR

2014 (Redshirted) 2015 13/0 10 0 0 0 0 0 2016 13/13 74 11 7 181 0 0 TOT 26/13 84 11 7 181 0 0 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

2PEPPERS JABRILL

MICHIGAN

A

WEAK POINTS • Only one career interception is a concern, but he has shown he has good hands and ball reactions. Doesn’t have the size to play linebacker at the NFL level.

RATING PROJECTION

7.0

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Third-year sophomore. Has only been playing football for five years. Has size and speed to go along with natural instincts and ball skills. Free safety with range and awareness. Shows he can be a big hitter but don’t consistently see it. Very aware in zone coverage, keeps plays in front of him and makes plays at the sideline. Solid runsupport player and tackler. The arrow is still going up with this player. He isn’t close to reaching his potential as he is still learning the game. Has future All-Pro written all over him. Will be a high first-round pick and most likely the first safety selected. STRONG POINTS • Jack of all trades, has experience at CB, S, LB, RB, WR and KR. Great athlete with speed, body control and explosiveness. Makes plays. Very instinctive. Can play multiple positions at the next level. Excellent tackler in the open field. Showed in 2015 that he can play aggressive press coverage. Transitions quickly. Reacts well to the ball in the air. Has NFL kick returner talent.

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-0 3/4 e | WT: 207 e | 40: 4.47 e GRADE

crops of safeties all-time as far as projectability. Redshirt sophomores Jabrill Peppers and Malik Hooker and junior Jamal Adams are all potential top-10 picks, and how the experts rank them is a matter of taste. There is also outstanding depth at safety this year. While there is a drop-off from the top three, there are a few Day Two picks in Marcus Maye, Justin MALIK HOOKER Evans, Eddie Jackson and Budda Baker. Baker in particular could go higher based on his production, but he is under-sized at 5-10 and under 195. Safety has become a hot position thanks to players like Berry, Thomas and Landon Collins, who the Giants found in the second round in 2015, so we expect this big three to be over-drafted.

YDS

FF

2014 3/1 8 0 0 0 0 2015 12/12 45 10 0 0 0 2016 12/12 72 0 1 11 1 TOT 27/25 125 10 1 11 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A unique player. We don’t see players like this very often. Has the suddenness to play corner in the NFL, but will most likely be either a strong safety or a hybrid linebacker depending on the scheme of the team that drafts him. Can be a team’s No. 1 returner as well as a starting positional player. Will make an impact as a rookie but at what position? Has the talent and skill set to be a possible top-five selection and a probable top-10 pick.

86 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


SAFETIES

3ADAMS JAMAL

STRONG POINTS • Excellent size, speed, strength and overall athleticism for the position. Can line up and play man coverage on a slot receiver. Excellent awareness and anticipation in zone coverage. Has corner movement skills with excellent hips, a smooth turn and he can transition very well. Very good in run support and a good tackler. Plays the ball well and has good hands to make interceptions. Good cover guy on special teams.

LSU

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 4.48 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Junior coming out. A good hitter, but not a real banger.

RATING PROJECTION

6.9

RD 1

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2014 13/2 66 5 0 0 0 2015 12/12 67 6 4 30 1 2016 12/12 76 4 1 0 1 TOT 37/26 127 15 5 30 2 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 1 0 1

4WILLIAMS MARCUS

STRONG POINTS • Good safety size. Very good athlete, smooth and fluid. Has good hips and can turn and run. Very aware in coverage with top instincts and ball awareness. Plays the ball very well and has good hands. Good tackler in the open field.

UTAH

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-1 e | WT: 197 e | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

A

WEAK POINTS • Not a big hitter and needs to improve his run-support skills. Will miss some tackles when he doesn’t wrap and doesn’t consistently take good angles to the ball in the run game. Needs to add some bulk and strength.

RATING PROJECTION

6.7

RD 2

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2014 13/6 59 0 1 6 2 2015 13/13 66 5 5 88 0 2016 11/9 64 3 4 20 2 TOT 37/28 189 8 10 114 4 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 1 2 3

5BAKER BUDDA

WASHINGTON

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 5-10 e | WT: 192 e | 40: 4.55 e GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 2-3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

THE WAY WE SEE IT • A two-year starter who is entering the draft. One of the better safeties in the country. Has excellent size, speed and atheticism and has corner-like cover skills. Will often line up on a slot receiver and does a great job staying with the receiver. He is a very willing run-support player who is quick to react to the run, can shed blocks and make plays near the line of scrimmage. Can tackle in tight or in space. Plays on special teams and is a good cover guy. Overall, a talented size-speed player who has the skill set to become one of the more productive safeties in the league once he gets adjusted. Just needs to become a little more physical.

YDS

FF

2014 14/14 80 7 1 44 2 2015 12/12 49 9 2 0 0 2016 14/14 71 6 2 18 1 TOT 40/40 200 22 5 62 3 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

0 0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • True junior entering the draft. He has been a starter since midway through his freshman year. Tall and rangy guy with cover skills and ball skills. Has nine interceptions over the past two seasons. Can roam the field as a free safety and make plays on the ball. As good as he is in coverage, he needs to get a little bigger and stronger and become more of a force versus the run. Waits for plays to come to him instead of attacking and he is not a big hitter. His coverage and ball skills will get him on the field early but he needs to become more aggressive to stay there. STRONG POINTS • Competitive and tough. Plays bigger than size. Has great instincts and reactions and is around the ball. Very aware in zone coverage. Has adequate range. Good ball reactions and very good hands for interceptions. Team’s leading tackler with 71 total tackles including 10 for loss in 2016. Despite his size, he does a good job taking on blocks and tackling and tries to play a physical game. WEAK POINTS • Might not measure 5-foot-10 at the Combine. Doubt he can get much bigger. Lack of top long speed shows up on some plays. Will lose some jump balls to bigger receivers. Seems to have shorter arms and that causes him to miss some tackles. THE WAY WE SEE IT • Three-year starter. Lacks good size but this is a tough, competitive kid with very good instincts. He puts himself in position to make plays. In sub situations, he lines up more as a linebacker and makes a number of plays. He can be physical and he attacks. Don’t see him a lot in man but he is a good zone player with adequate range. Size and his lack of long speed hurts him at times, especially in deep coverage. Because of his instincts, awareness and competitive nature, he has a chance to be an eventual starter, but his size will always limit him in some situations.

6EVANS

STRONG POINTS • Tall with length. Very good athlete with very good speed, change of direction and overall body control. Has a smooth turn and is quick to transition. Good man cover skills for a safety. Alert in zone. Very good ball skills. Returns kickoffs.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 | WT: 193 | 40: 4.46 e

WEAK POINTS • Not a very physical player. Lacks upper body strength. Misses a lot of tackles. Doesn’t always take good pursuit angles. Struggles to shed blocks.

JUSTIN

TEXAS A&M

GRADE

B

RATING PROJECTION

6.6

RD 3

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

FF

FR

2013 (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) 2014 (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) 2015 12/12 78 4 1 0 0 2016 13/13 87 12 4 0 0 TOT 25/25 165 16 5 0 0

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

0 0 0

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Junior college transfer and a two-year starter for Texas A&M at safety. Evans is tall with great length but he has a lean upper body and needs to improve his upper body strength and bulk. Is alert in coverage, can play man on a slot receiver and keeps plays in front of him in zone. His ball reactions and ball skills are very good. Credited with a high number of tackles, but he is not a physical player. Can be slow to shed and is more of a grab tackler. Has a lot of missed tackles. Kickoff-return skills are good to very good. Will need to get stronger and more physical before he becomes a starter in the NFL. The coverage skills and athletic traits are there. Might get drafted higher than my grade. PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE

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SAFETIES

7JENKINS RAYSHAWN

STRONG POINTS • Super-sized safety with athleticism and speed. Big hitter, can tackle in tight or in the open field. Has range to the sideline. Good instincts. Has good ball skills. Can break on the ball quickly. Alert zone coverage guy.

MIAMI (FLA.) YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-11/4 | WT: 220 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

WEAK POINTS • Often will line up 15 yards from the line of scrimmage, leaving him with too much cushion on underneath routes. So aggressive he gets out of control at times and misses tackles. Don’t see much in man coverage.

RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

2012 10/2 19 3 1 0 2013 13/12 30 5 3 22 2014 (missed season with injury) 2015 13/7 30 4 3 40 2016 13/12 56 7 2 0 TOT 49/33 135 19 9 62

FF

FR

0 0

0 1

0 0 0

0 0 1

8MAYE MARCUS

FLORIDA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 e | WT: 215 e | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

RATING PROJECTION

B

6.6

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

FR

2013 12/2 2014 11/9 2015 13/12 2016 9/9 TOT 45/32

16 62 82 50 210

1 6 8 6 21

1 1 2 1 5

30 1 0 6 37

0 2 5 0 7

0 0 2 0 2

9MELIFONWU OBI

CONNECTICUT

B

WEAK POINTS • Looking at tape, as an underclassman he wasn’t very good in man coverage. Still needs some work on his footwork. Hands are a little tight.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 3-4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

FR

2013 12/12 70 2014 11/12 75 2015 13/12 85 2016 12/12 118 TOT 48/48 348

5 3 5 3 16

2 0 2 4 8

15 0 16 6 37

2 0 0 0 2

0 1 0 1 2

10JOHNSON JOHN

BOSTON COLLEGE

B

WEAK POINTS • Been moved around a lot and hasn’t been able to lock in on one position. How fast is he? Might not have the speed needed to play corner at the NFL level.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Melifonwu is a fifth-year senior and a four-year starter at safety. Has improved every year especially in the area of ball skills. Has great size and is a very good athlete with speed. Will be able to match up well against the athletic tight ends and tall wide receivers in the league. May also be able to play a hybrid linebacker position. The arrow is going up with this player, as he is just beginning to reach his potential. He is a big hitter and his coverage skills keep improving. Interesting guy to track this spring.

STRONG POINTS • Has starting experience at three different positions (strong and free safety, corner). Good size. Smooth athlete with better than adequate speed. Can play man or zone, has awareness, can close and has very good ball skills. Very good on special teams.

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-0 5/8 | WT: 205 | 40: 4.52 e GRADE

STRONG POINTS • Has very good safety size. Good athlete with speed and range. Good in coverage. Alert in zone and can play man on a slot receiver or tight end. Good reactions, quick to support run and a good tackler. Reacts well to the ball in the air. Good special-teams potential. WEAK POINTS • Broke his arm and missed the last four games of the year. Only has five career interceptions. Good but not great play speed for the position. THE WAY WE SEE IT • A three-year starter and the leader of one of the better secondaries in the country. Has good safety size and can play an aggressive game. Has adequate speed and range and tracks the ball well. Stays alert in coverage whether it is in man or zone. Doesn’t let plays get behind him. Does a solid job in run support, can shed and tackle. Overall, I see him as being more of a strong safety but he should also be able to play free. Wish he had more interception production over the course of his career. Eventual starter for a playoff-caliber club and can start right away for a team with a need. STRONG POINTS • Rare size for a safety. Very good athlete, smooth, loose hips. Real good play speed. Aggressive hitter. Reacts well to both run and pass. Can play man on slot receivers. Good awareness in zone. Has range to the sideline from the hash or center of field. Ball skills are improving.

YEAR: REDSHIRT SENIOR HT: 6-4 | WT: 219 | 40: 4.50 e GRADE

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Jenkins is a fifth-year senior and a three-year starter. He missed the 2014 season with an injury suffered in preseason. Has great size and is a very aggressive run-support player. Plays well in zone, showing anticipation and range. Reacts well to the ball in the air and has good hands. His best position at the next level is at strong safety, though he can play free. With his size, he might also get a look at the nickel linebacker position. He would be very good with matchups against tight ends and backs. Has outstanding special-teams potential.

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

FR

2013 12/0 2014 8/2 2015 12/12 2016 13/13 TOT 45/27

4 25 63 77 169

0 2 6 12 20

0 0 3 3 6

0 0 0 47 47

0 0 2 1 3

1 0 0 2 3

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Johnson is a versatile and underrated prospect. Has started at three different positions and done well at each. He is also a very good cover guy on special teams. Johnson has the size and instincts to excel at free safety in the NFL. Could also be a good corner if he times fast enough. His versatility will get him on the field early. I see him as an eventual starter at safety and while he is developing, he will be a core special-teams player. Very good mid-round pick.

88 | PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY • 2017 DRAFT GUIDE


SAFETIES

11NICHOLSON MONTAE

STRONG POINTS • Has excellent size to go with good to real good athleticism. He is strong and a big-time hitter. Has very good range. Shows he can play in zone. Doesn’t play much man but has the skills to easily cover a tight end or a back.

MICHIGAN STATE

YEAR: JUNIOR HT: 6-2 e | WT: 220 e | 40: 4.57 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • While he is a big-time hitter, he misses tackles because he gets out of control or doesn’t wrap up. More of a reactor in coverage than instinctive, can be late seeing things.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4-5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

2014 13/3 31 0 0 0 0 2015 14/10 83 2 3 60 1 2016 11/10 86 2 1 10 0 TOT 38/23 200 4 5 70 1 (RENOUNCED FINAL YEAR OF ELIGIBILITY)

FR

2 0 1 3

12JACKSON EDDIE

STRONG POINTS • Good height and excellent length. Very good athlete who can turn and run and transition. Better than adequate speed for a safety. Has some man cover skills and good awareness in zone. Solid hands. Willing run-support player. Returns punts. Smart and instinctive, reads things well.

ALABAMA

YEAR: SENIOR HT: 6-05/8 e | WT: 195 e | 40: 4.53 e GRADE

B

WEAK POINTS • Has had two major injuries: a torn ACL suffered in April 2014 and a broken leg in 2016 (Game Eight). Not the banger some past Alabama safeties have been. Played corner early in his career and couldn’t hold up as a top cover guy. Is an average tackler.

RATING PROJECTION

6.5

RD 4-5*

* — Depends on the medical

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

GP/GS

TKL

PBU

INT

2013 2014 2015 2016 TOT

7/4 11/10 15/15 8/8 41/37

19 41 46 24 130

3 6 2 2 13

1 1 6 1 9

YDS

FF

FR

0 18 230 55 303

0 2 1 0 3

1 1 1 0 3

13HARVEY-CLEMONS JOSH

LOUISVILLE

B

WEAK POINTS • Originally enrolled at Georgia and played there for two years before being dismissed from the team. Had multiple rules violations and suspensions. Doesn’t show top instincts in coverage and can take some poor angles to the ball. No interceptions in 2016.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

RD 5

CAREER STATISTICS YEAR

2012* 2013* 2015 2016 TOT

GP/GS

14/0 11/11 13/13 10/10 48/34

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

FF

FR

14 1 0 0 66 5 1 18 88 3 3 7 61 2 0 0 229 10 4 25 * — Played at Georgia

0 2 1 0 3

0 3 0 0 3

14JEROME LORENZO

ST. FRANCIS (PA.)

B

WEAK POINTS • Plays at a very low level of competition (non-scholarship FCS). While he is a good hitter, he needs to wrap better. Needs a lot of technique work. Gets away with things at FCS level that he won’t be able to in the NFL. Needs to be more disciplined.

RATING PROJECTION

6.4

THE WAY WE SEE IT • Harvey-Clemons does not have the overall coverage skills to be a deep safety in the NFL. Will be best if used as a hybrid linebacker type. He is better in zone coverage than he is in man. Lacks top awareness and can take poor angles to the ball. He is aggressive and a good tackler. See him as a backup with good special-teams potential if his character checks out all right. STRONG POINTS • Dominates a very low level of competition. Has good size with some length. Good to very good athlete with speed. Has a quick pedal and can turn smoothly. Moves out of pedal quickly. Excellent ball skills (18 career interceptions). Instinctive in both coverage and run support. Good hitter. Very good kick