A Look inside a typical Draft room

With the 2015 NFL Draft beginning tonight, many of you will be watching the draft on either ESPN or the NFL Network. Both Networks will have television cameras in various club draft rooms, and that can give you an idea of what goes on in these rooms during the draft. I have been on many draft rooms over the years, and I can tell you that each team runs the draft a little differently.
That said, one thing is certain, there is only one person who has control of the draft room and that is the person who has final say on the 53 man roster. Regardless of title, he is “the Boss” when it comes to decision making. There can only be one person with that control, and it is usually the general manager or the head coach. In New England, Head Coach Bill Belichick has the final say. In Philly, it’s Chip Kelly. While in Indianapolis, it’s GM Ryan Grigson and at the New York Jets complex, it’s new General Manager Mike Maccagnan.
When picks are made, it’s usually not a last second decision. In the weeks leading up to the draft, clubs hold meetings and very thoroughly go over every player they have interest in throughout the draft. If there are questions or concerns about a player, they are answered long before the draft begins. Just like game day is a culmination of a week’s worth of practice, the draft is a culmination of months of hard work.
During the pre-draft meetings a plan was drawn up as to what the team would like to do on draft day. Part of that plan has already played out in free agency. The draft is the finalization of that plan.
During meetings, a board is set and the club has a general idea of who will be available for each of their early round picks. There can be last second changes in the plan when something comes up with a player, like we saw this week regarding Shane Ray and La’el Collins. Being that the news on those players came a few days before the draft, clubs had plenty of time to react.
Trading up or down
If there is thought given to trading up or down, that is also discussed prior to the draft. What happens in situations like that is the team would make a decision as to how far up or down they would be willing to trade.
If the plan is to trade up, then the club would make calls in the days leading up to the draft to a few teams who are ahead of them in the drafting order. By basis of the trade chart, clubs already know what the approximate cost to move up. Obviously a club has to have the ammunition needed in order to move up. Sometimes it could be a combination of draft picks and/or players. The draft picks could even be a selection in the following year’s draft.
By making calls before the draft, the teams in front already know that you may be interested in moving up and are expecting the call come draft day. When a club moves up, it is most likely for one particular player, so obviously the player still has to be available or the call isn’t made. Also it should be noted, that the call isn’t being made when the team in front is “on the clock”, its done maybe 20 to 30 minutes before that team will be up. If the team you’re calling is willing to trade and the terms of the trade are acceptable, then the trade is made.
Trading down is a very similar process. A club doesn’t just trade down to get extra picks. The idea of the draft is to accumulate quality players so again a plan has to be in place. Part of the pre-draft planning is not only knowing the value you have of the players on your draft board but also knowing what the general value of those players is around the league. In each round, there are always cutoff points as to where you want to be to be able to draft a quality player. You never want to trade back below one of those cutoff points. The theory is to trade back only as far as the cutoff point in value. If you can still get a quality player and pick up an extra draft pick or two then you win.
Just like with trading up, calls to potentially move down are made in the days leading up to the draft. A club would only call the teams in the area to which they want to move. That could be two or three calls or as many as six or seven depending on how far back you are willing to move.
All that is said in the conversation is something like, “we have a player in mind when we pick at number 7. If he isn’t there we may be willing to move back. I just wanted to let you know in case you had any thoughts of moving up”. That’s it, just plant the seed. Come draft day, starting about an hour before you pick the phone will start ringing with teams looking to move up on the other end. If you’re lucky, you get put into a situation where you are auctioning off your original pick.
In the 2006 draft, when I was with Chicago, we went into the draft looking to trade back because we wanted to be in position to draft both Danieal Manning and Devin Hester. We also did not have a third round pick, so if we could get a third rounder as part of a trade down, we would be happy. We started making calls to move back about 4 or 5 days before the draft. Come draft day, we had six different teams wanting our original pick. We then had to decide which trade offer would best allow us to accomplish our goal. In the end, we were successful as we drafted both players.
Making the selection
If a club isn’t interested in trading up or down, in almost all cases, they have a general idea of who they want to draft. You can never pinpoint just one player, as they could be selected before it’s your chance to pick. Like I said above, you have to have a group of players with each player prioritized. Starting about 30 minutes before you pick, you may briefly discuss each of the players on your priority list, but usually, the decision has already been made.
In most of the draft rooms I have been in, the same holds true in each round. Going into the draft, it was predetermined which players you thought would be available in that round, and again, you prioritized each player before the draft began. If the draft goes as expected, it becomes easy to make the selection.
Things change when a player who you figured would be selected earlier is still “on the board”. When that happens, you start to see him slide well before it’s your turn to pick. If it is a player you may have interest in, then you have plenty of time to discuss him in case he is still there when you are on the clock. If it is a player you have no interest in, because he isn’t a scheme fit or has injury or character flaws, then you just let him slide some more.
Going into a draft, you have to be fully prepared. I have always felt that you have to prepare for the worst case scenarios, because they happen. If you can accept the worst case scenario, then you have done a good job with your preparation and you should have a good draft. Conversely, if you aren’t ready for the worst case scenarios, then you can panic when things don’t fall the way you expected. Panic leads to poor decisions. You can avoid that by being fully prepared for all potential scenarios and have a plan in place in case the worst is staring you in the face.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

Army RB Raymond Maples granted leave to attend team activities if drafted or signed

Army running back Raymond Maples has been granted administrative leave by his commanding officer at Ft. Benning, Ga., to attend team activities should he be drafted or signed by an NFL team, according to his agent, Scott Bergman.
“We appreciate the Army for allowing Raymond to be able to exercise his opportunity to pursue his goals within the NFL,” Bergman said in a telephone interview. “He’s a diamond in the rough that I’ve uncovered and I’m excited to be working with him and promoting the U.S. Army through Raymond’s ability to be a potential NFL elite player.”
Maples has drawn interest from the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders, according to Bergman.
A Philadelphia native, Maples has rushed for 2,755 career yards for the Black Knights.
“NFL teams didn’t know that he was available due to the service commitment,” said Bergman, who is a certified civilian military lawyer with the United States Court of Appeals for the U.S. Armed Forces in addition to his other law practice responsibilities in Bethesda, Md. “I have corrected that lost in translation situation with all interested NFL teams.”
Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider
Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

 

What's Next For Adrian Peterson?

The answer to the question, “where is Adrian Peterson going to play next season?” is probably the most anticipated news of the off-season. At one point, Peterson even said he was considering retirement and might pursue becoming an Olympic sprinter. He previously told ESPN, “For me, it’s like, ‘Why should I continue to be a part of an organization or a business that handles players the way they do? Making money off the field anyway, why not continue to pursue that [Olympic] dream and pursue other dreams and hang up the cleats?'” 

While Peterson has shown that he plans on continuing his NFL career, his bitterness towards the Minnesota Vikings persists and grows stronger as they continue to hold on to him. His agent Ben Dogra recently told Jarrett Bell of USA Today, “We want out of Minnesota.” However, even if the Vikings give in to Peterson’s insistence, there is no sure answer to the question of where he will play next season. The most popular landing spot for the Texas native running back is with the Dallas Cowboys. The conversation between Adrian Peterson and Jerry Jones in the beginning of last season was what initially began the fascination towards the possibility that Peterson would play the rest of his years in his home state and end his career in fairy-tale fashion. 

However, this would not be a plausible move for the Cowboys and is one they are unlikely to make. After letting go of their star running back in DeMarco Murray because of the high price tag he came with, it is evident that the Cowboys are not looking to allocate any large portion of their salary cap to the backfield. This is understandable considering it is beyond unnecessary to do. With three pro-bowl offensive linemen in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, the Cowboys require nothing spectacular at the running back position. 

However, what they do require is a workhorse and a complete running back, one that can be a factor in the passing game as a receiver as well as a blocker. The success that Murray had in 2014 was not built on transcending skill at any particular phase of the game, but rather his ability to be versatile and take an average of 25 carries a game behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Peterson, on the other hand, has the opposite skill set of that ideal for success with the Cowboys. While Peterson is arguably the best pure runner in the NFL, he lacks the versatility the Cowboys’ offensive scheme requires a running back to have. 

In addition, the eight year NFL veteran has passed the infamous 2,000 carry mark, and as a result of Peterson’s physical running style, most of these carries came with heavy doses of contact. Not to mention the effects of a major knee surgery that are sure to linger. Therefore, it comes into question whether or not he can hold up much longer. The Cowboys have already shown resistance to investing heavily in a running back, and even if they decide to so, Peterson would be the wrong person to invest in. 

The right person to invest in for the Cowboys, if they decide to put out, would be Melvin Gordon. A young, fresh-legged back that has proven to play well behind a great offensive line, that has versatility and a large work capacity, would be a new and improved replacement for DeMarco Murray. Gordon could not only fill the shoes of Murray, but could give the Cowboys the extra big play potential that pushes them into the super bowl. 

But as far as Adrian Peterson goes, the real determinant to whether or not the Cowboys should invest in him, or any team for that matter, should go beyond what he has done on the playing field. The NFL’s case history of upholding morality is evidently not a commendable one. At the end of the day, the NFL is a business, but this situation is one in which the line needs to be drawn. After the recent Ray Rice scandal, one would think that the NFL would see these issues in a new light, but they continue to dismiss their moral responsibilities. 

While the current question is, “where is Adrian Peterson going to play next season?” it should be “should Adrian Peterson be even allowed to play next season?” And if the NFL once and for all decides to put their foot down with not only Peterson but the several other players in the league that have been found guilty of domestic violence, the answer to this question should be an austere NO. It is understood by most, if not all, that Peterson is one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL; but there needs to be an end to the dismissal of moral issues for the sake of saving an athlete’s playing career no matter how great or decorated he may be. 

It is this very dismissal and indifference towards domestic violence and other existing issues that enable them to continue, and the league has done just that; they have continued to protect their stars at the expense of enabling domestic violence. Just suspending Peterson and keeping the issue hushed up is not the answer. We would hope that a professional sports league as celebrated and influential as the NFL would use this opportunity to set an example not just to their players, but to the public as well as to the damaging and inhumane nature of domestic violence. 

However, rather than draw attention to the issue, the NFL persists in hiding from it. There has not been a single statement issued by the commissioner directly addressing the numerous cases of domestic violence among NFL players. But if there is anyone to be commended in this situation, it is the players that took a stand against domestic violence and the Minnesota Vikings for putting THEIR foot down and taking him off the field even though they struggled without him. The fact that he had even been reinstated is blasphemy towards those who are victimized by this type of violence and further shows our society’s complete disregard for victims and sycophancy towards “successful athletes.”

Here, Cris Carter addresses the real issue in this case, that goes beyond the general issue of domestic violence: this is a case of abuse. The graphic pictures of the child’s leg do not need to be explained, but sadly the issue of physical discipline does. Cris Carter said it best: “It is wrong,” plain and simple. The excuses, “That’s how we do it in the south” and “That’s how we were brought up” are in no way a valid justification for using physical discipline. 

One would hope that in 2015, we would be educated to acknowledge that physical discipline is flat-out wrong without making a controversial issue out of whether or not it should be used. There are innumerable scientific studies that again and again show that physical discipline is not only one-hundred percent ineffective, but is detrimental and damaging. And the worst part of it all is that this cycle of violence of people saying, “That’s how we were brought up” continues into future generations of victims of this practice. So its not about Adrian Peterson. Its about this child and the millions of other children who face the same abuse and are subjected to this inhumane and barbaric disciplinary practice. There are things much more important than football, and for once lets not let these things be forgotten. 

2015 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 200

The day we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. No more mock drafts (thank goodness) and no more guessing games. After what has felt like an eternity, we now get to see NFL teams play their cards.     

To give some context as to how I evaluate players, I have listed some guidelines for how I would want to build a team from a philosophical standpoint:

  • On offense, third and long is the enemy. In third and long the offense becomes one-dimensional, making the defense’s job substantially easier. 

  • The best way to avoid third and long is through the running game, short passing game and the occasional deep ball. 

  • The first priority, before anything else, is building an offensive line that can keep my quarterback upright and open holes for my running back. Football still is, and always will be, won and lost in the trenches.  

  • At the running back position I value power over long speed. I want my running backs who fall forward after contact and get 2+ yards per carry, every carry. 

  • Receivers who can get open quickly and have sure hands are extremely valuable to my offense. These receivers are de-facto running backs on the perimeter, with the short pass acting as a glorified handoff. 

  • For this offensive strategy to work, we must also have a deep threat to keep the defense honest when the safeties start to creep up. We don’t have to be successful every time, but the defense must respect the deep ball.   

  • On defense, the first priority is the defensive line. It all starts up front. A good defensive line makes the rest of the defense look much better.

  • In the secondary I prefer press-man, Cover 1. No short passes, no deep balls either. 

  • This leaves the intermediate range (11-19 yards) of the field vulnerable. Throws into this range are medium risk, medium reward plays. Good odds for the defense in the long run. 

Now that you understand my perspective, here is a link to my complete big board with position rankings.

My top 200 is also at the bottom of this page. Google Docs can always be edited, and I want this to be my final draft, for better or worse.

The big board is good for grading how teams drafted, and for learning from player evaluation mistakes in previous years. What is more important I feel, however, is identifying players who you like significantly more or less than your peers. How these players fare in the long-run will tell a lot about what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong. 

Listed below are players I feel will be underdrafted (later than they should) or overdrafted (earlier than they should) based on what I have heard about them throughout the draft process. NFL teams may view these players differently than the sources on which I have based my draft projections. I know how I differ in opinion from the media, but not from the NFL as a whole. 

Players I think will be underdrafted:

DT Grady Jarrett, Clemson

DE Henry Anderson, Stanford

OG Laken Tomlinson, Duke

WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

DE Trey Flowers, Arkansas

RB T.J. Yeldon, Alabama

DT Tyeler Davison, Fresno State

WR Deandre Smelter, Georgia Tech

EDGE Shaquille Riddick, West Virginia

DT Bobby Richardson, Indiana

RB David Cobb, Minnesota

TE Tyler Kroft, Rutgers

TE Jeff Heuermann, Ohio State

RB Mike Davis, South Carolina

EDGE Marcus Rush, Michigan State

LB James Vaughters, Stanford

DT Christian Ringo, Louisiana Lafayette

Players I think will be overdrafted:

CB Trae Waynes, Michigan State

DE Arik Armstead, Oregon

OT T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh

OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A & M

RB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

DT Eddie Goldman, Florida State

WR Phillip Dorsett, Miami

LB Bernardrick McKinney, Mississippi State

WR Sammie Coates, Auburn

RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana

CB P.J. Williams, Florida State

G Tre Jackson, Florida State

S Gerod Holliman, Louisville

Whether I ultimately consider these players to have been underdrafted or overdrafted will be based on how they were picked relative to my big board. After the draft I will write articles detailing my favorite picks from each round, which will be based on which players were actually underdrafted compared to my board.

By no means do I think all of the players on the underdrafted list will be stars, nor do I believe all of the players on the overdrafted list will be busts. The draft is about value, and getting the most value with your picks. I think, as a whole, teams who take players on the top list will get more value than teams who take players on the bottom list, but that will all depend on where they are drafted, which at this point is unknown.

I will undoubtedly miss on many of the players on my big board. However, grading NFL players is not about being perfect. Its about being better than your competition.

Much of the future success of these prospects, or lack thereof, will be based which team drafts them. I’m lower on Melvin Gordon than most, but if he is drafted by the Cowboys he will surely put up huge numbers. 

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Credit: cbssports.com

I think one of the most underrated players in this year’s draft is Tyler Lockett, but if he is drafted by the Raiders he may have his work cut out for him. The quality of a draft pick cannot be defined simply by the performance of a player, as much as we would like it to be.

As the great Daryl Morey (Houston Rockets GM) says: Don’t judge the result, judge the process.

Overall Big Board

  1. Leonard Williams   

  2. Amari Cooper 

  3. Jameis Winston   

  4. La’El Collins   

  5. Brandon Scherff   

  6. Devante Parker 

  7. Vic Beasley 

  8. Dante Fowler   

  9. Todd Gurley 

  10. Danny Shelton   

  11. Andrus Peat 

  12. Kevin White (WVU)      

  13. Marcus Mariota   

  14. Cameron Erving 

  15. Bud Dupree 

  16. Kevin Johnson 

  17. Eric Kendricks 

  18. Byron Jones 

  19. Randy Gregory 

  20. Shane Ray 

  21. Marcus Peters   

  22. Landon Collins   

  23. Malcom Brown 

  24. Damarious Randall

  25. Henry Anderson 

  26. Grady Jarrett 

  27. Ronald Darby

  28. Ereck Flowers 

  29. Jaelen Strong 

  30. Jake Fisher         

  31. Dorial Green-Beckham 

  32. Eric Rowe 

  33. DJ Humphries 

  34. Preston Smith 

  35. Laken Tomlinson 

  36. Breshad Perriman   

  37. Owamagbe Odighizuwa 

  38. Nelson Agholor 

  39. Tyler Lockett 

  40. Trae Waynes 

  41. Arik Armste
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  42. Maxx Williams 

  43. Jalen Collins 

  44. Stephone Anthony 

  45. Trey Flowers 

  46. T. J. Yeldon 

  47. Jordan Phillips 

  48. Denzel Perryman 

  49. Duke Johnson 

  50. Carl Davis 

  51. Ameer Abdullah 

  52. Clive Walford

  53. TJ Clemmings 

  54. Paul Dawson 

  55. Eli Harold 

  56. Melvin Gordon 

  57. Shaq Thompson 

  58. Cedric Ogbuehi 

  59. Devin Funchess 

  60. Mario Edwards 

  61. Devin Smith 

  62. Eddie Goldman 

  63. Philip Dorsett 

  64. Bernardrick McKinney

  65. Donovan Smith 

  66. AJ Cann 

  67. Adrian Amos 

  68. Michael Bennett 

  69. James Sample 

  70. Jaquiski Tartt 

  71. Quentin Rollins 

  72. David Cobb 

  73. Sammie Coates 

  74. Mike Davis 

  75. Jay Ajayi 

  76. Justin Hardy 

  77. Steven Nelson 

  78. Tyeler Davison 

  79. Derron Smith 

  80. Frank Clark 

  81. PJ Williams 

  82. Nate Orchard 

  83. Hroniss Grasu 

  84. Tyler Kroft 

  85. Tevin Coleman 

  86. Jeff Heuermann 

  87. David Johnson 

  88. Ali Marpet 

  89. Ben Heeney 

  90. Danielle Hunter 

  91. Deandre Smelter 

  92. Bobby Richardson 

  93. Xavier Cooper 

  94. Shaq Riddick 

  95. Dezmin Lewis 

  96. Quandre Diggs 

  97. Hau’Oli Kikaha 

  98. Bryce Petty 

  99. Daryl Williams 

  100. Stefon Diggs 

  101. Troy Hill  

  102. Tony Lippett 

  103. Tre McBride 

  104. JaCorey Shepherd   

  105. Ty Sambrailo 

  106. Senquez Golson 

  107. Jeremiah Poutasi 

  108. Alex Carter 

  109. Rob Havenstein 

  110. D’Joun Smith 

  111. Jordan Hicks

  112. Markus Golden 

  113. Rashad Greene 

  114. Kwon Alexander 

  115. Josh Shaw 

  116. Anthony Chickillo 

  117. Marcus Hardison 

  118. Mitch Morse 

  119. Kyle Emanuel 

  120. Kenny Bell 

  121. MyCole Pruitt 

  122. Shaq Mason 

  123. Ben Koyack 

  124. Jacoby Glenn 

  125. Javorius Allen 

  126. Lynden Trail 

  127. Chris Conley

  128. Brett Hundley

  129. Anthony Harris

  130. Zadarius Smith 

  131. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu 

  132. Garrett Grayson 

  133. Corey Robinson 

  134. John Miller 

  135. Marcus Rush 

  136. Ibraheim Campbell 

  137. Davis Tull 

  138. Lorenzo Mauldin 

  139. Hayes Pullard 

  140. Tre Jackson 

  141. Rakeem Nunez-Roches 

  142. Garry Peters 

  143. Tyrus Thompson 

  144. Vince Mayle 

  145. Karlos Williams 

  146. Doran Grant 

  147. Jake Ryan 

  148. Malcolm Brown

  149. Jarvis Harrison 

  150. Gerod Holliman 

  151. Greg Mancz 

  152. Arie Kouandijo 

  153. Matt Jones 

  154. Andrew Donnal

  155. Gabe Wright 

  156. Jeremy Langford 

  157. Clayton Geathers 

  158. Josh Robinson 

  159. Max Garcia 

  160. Donald Celiscar 

  161. BJ Finney 

  162. Cedric Thompson 

  163. Jamison Crowder 

  164. Cody Prewitt 

  165. James Vaughters 

  166. Derrick Lott 

  167. Christian Covington 

  168. Rory Anderson 

  169. Blake Bell 

  170. Tray Walker 

  171. Jesse James 

  172. Deshazor Everett 

  173. Taiwan Jones 

  174. Matt Rotheram

  175. Zach Zenner 

  176. Nick O’Leary 

  177. Dres Anderson 

  178. Darryl Roberts 

  179. Wes Saxton  

  180. Zack Vigil 

  181. Christian Ringo   

  182. Charles Gaines 

  183. Ellis McCarthy 

  184. Craig Mager    

  185. Cam Artis Payne 

  186. Xzavier Dickson 

  187. Tyson Chandler

  188. Jalston Fowler

  189. Ramik Wilson

  190. Martrell Speight

  191. Alani Fua

  192. Dexter McDonald

  193. Kevin White (TCU)

  194. Ty Montgomery

  195. Cedric Reed

  196. Devante Davis

  197. Jamil Douglas

  198. Cameron Clear

  199. Austin Shepherd

  200. Devante Bausby

Dion Jordan issues statement of apology

Suspended by the NFL for the entire season  for another violation of the league’s substance-abuse program, Dion Jordan has issued an apologetic statement through the NFL Players Association.
Jordan has been a bust since the Dolphins drated him third overall. He has just three career sacks.
“I’m very disappointed that I will not be playing in the NFL in the 2015 season,” Jordan said. “Because of past positive tests and my status in the drug program, the consequence of dilute (not positive) tests is severe.  I deeply regret putting myself in this position, and I apologize to my teammates and the Dolphins organization.  I will use the time away from playing to finish my college degree.  I will stay in excellent physical shape and look forward to returning to the NFL as soon as possible.  I’m deeply grateful to my family and friends for their continued support.”
Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider
Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Sources: Texas A&M corner Deshazor Everett worked out for Buccaneers, Chargers, Bengals, Dolphins, Jets

Texas A&M cornerback Deshazor Everett had private workouts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, according to sources.
Everett ran the 40-yard dash in 4.49 seconds at his campus Pro Day workout. The 5-foot-10, 188-pounder also had a 38-inch vertical leap and a 10-10 broad jump.
Everett has been projected anywhere from the fourth round to the sixth round.
Everett was a three-year starter who has played cornerback and safety.
He had 73 tackles in 2013 and 16 passes broken up over the past two seasons.
He once intercepted former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron during a win over the Crimson Tide.

Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider
Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Iowa State tight end E.J. Bibbs making strong bid for NFL

Iowa State tight end E.J. Bibbs is making a strong bid for the NFL
A Chicago native who worked out for the hometown Bears during their local prospect day as well as working out for the Green Bay Packers, Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, Bibbs draws high marks as an all-around tight end for his pass-catching and blocking skills.
“I’m a hybrid guy who can do multiple things on the field,” Bibbs said in a telephone interview. “I can play fullback, H-back, tight end and receiver and do multiple things. It ain’t just about catching the football. You have to be able to do it all.”

Bibbs has been projected as a fifth-round to seventh-round draft target by ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

“I’ve had him in my top 10 tight ends pretty much the entire way, but he’s a late-round pick,” Kiper Jr. said. “You’re talking about a fifth- to seventh-round pick. Bibbs can make a football team as a backup tight end in this league and have a nice career.”
Bibbs caught 45 passes for 382 yards and eight touchdowns last season and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection.
“I like Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark, those two guys,” Bibbs said. “Clark is old-school, undersized, no gloves. He got after it.”Bibbs has recovered from a meniscus surgery that sidelined him during the Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine.
“I’m close to 100 percent,” Bibbs said. “My knee’s fine. I had a bruised bone during the season. It took a while to heal. I’m completely fine now.”
Bibbs is represented by Marc Lillibridge, a former Iowa State and NFL linebacker who was a Green Bay Packers assistant personnel director prior to becoming an agent.
“The day he walked into my house I knew he was my agent,” Bibbs said. “He believes in me. When he walked in, I knew he was the guy.”
Bibbs met with the Baltimore Ravens informally at the NFL scouting combine.
He bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times at the combine. At his Pro Day, he did 22 reps and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. He had a 31 1/2 inch vertical leap, a 9-2 broad jump and a 7.22 three-cone drill.
“My Pro Day went pretty smooth,” Bibbs said. “I got out there and let the guys judge how I performed.”

The 6-foot-2, 258-pounder was a Mackey Award semifinalist.

He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2013 when he caught 39 passes for 462 yards and two touchdowns.  and honorable-mention All-Big 12 Newcomer of the year.
In two seasons, Bibbs had 84 catches for 844 yards and 10 touchdowns.
He played in 2012 and 2011 at Arizona Western where he was a second-team junior college All-American and caught the game-winning touchdown in the NJCAA national championship game.
He chose Iowa State over Oklahoma and Nebraska.

“I’ve been working out and staying in shape,” Bibbs said. “All I do with my spare time is hang out and play video games. I’m more of a Madden, Call of Duty guy. “
Bibbs said he’s set simple goals for his rookie season.
“I want to be on that 53-man roster,” Bibbs said. “I want to play and go out and make plays. I play special teams. I like doing that, too. It’s not bad. It’s another way to show what you can do and help the team win.”
Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider
Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

 
 

Bengals cut linebacker L.J. Fort

The Cincinnati Bengals have cut linebacker L.J. Fort.
Fort was on the Bengals’ practice squad last season.
He was signed this offseason to another contract.
Fort has played in 17 games, including stints with the Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks.
Fort played collegiately at Northern Iowa.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun
 

The 2015 SQ NFL Mock Draft

The SQ team presents the official SQ Mock Draft for the first three rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft.  To accurately reflect how this draft could go down, our writers were able to make trades for picks following the Pro Football Focus trade value chart.  The following trades were made:

(1)    San Francisco trades 1-15 to Detroit for 1-23, 3-88

(2)    San Francisco trades 1-23, 2-46 to Dallas for 1-27, 2-60, 3-91

(3)    Cleveland trades 2-43 to Green Bay for 2-62, 3-94

(4)    Indianapolis trades 2-61 to Tampa Bay for 3-65, 7-218

   Pick (Rnd)

1 (1)

Tampa Bay

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St.

He’s pro-ready, he’s the prototype for a QB, and the team believes in him off the field. As do I. (Dan Allweiss)

2 (1)

Tennessee

Leonard Williams, DE, USC

I eventually expect this pick to be traded away to either the Chargers, Eagles, or some mystery team. That being said, I believe that Williams stands to be the best pick available here for the Titans. I think Mettenberger has shown that he can produce in the NFL, and I would like to see what he can do next year in his sophomore season with a strengthened cast of recievers. (Zachary Themer)

3 (1)

Jacksonville

Dante Fowler, DE, Florida

Gus Bradley’s defense relies a lot on defensive line depth and pressure. Fowler can do everything an end needs to do. (Dan Allweiss)

4 (1)

Oakland

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Derek Carr is a young QB, and his eventual success may depend on the tools placed around him in his formative NFL years. To that end, Amari Cooper is undoubtedly a superb tool. Able to build separation with his crisp route running and speed, he could give any NFL QB a solid competitive receiver for 2015, and he’s bringing his talents to Oakland. (David Lloyd)

5 (1)

Washington

Brandon Scherff, OT, Iowa

He fits the physical and mental makeup of the Washington O-line brass: big and tough. Worst case scenario is that he fills a gaping need at RT; best case scenario is that he’s an All-Pro guard for years to come. (Adrian Nelson)

6 (1)

New York Jets

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

The Jets have been searching for far too long at the quarterback position. After the disgraceful performance by Geno Smith last year, I think it is about time the Jets get a franchise QB. Coming out of the NFC West, Bowles knows how to handle spread quarterbacks , so I like this fit (Matthew Gideon)

7 (1)

Chicago

Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

The Bears ditched their top receiver in Brandon Marshall over the offseason, and I believe White is a prime replacement. He’s fast, run’s a hell of a route, and will eventually prove to be a dominant 1–2 punch with Alshon Jeffrey for the next decade. (Zachary Themer)

8 (1)

Atlanta

Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson

Atlanta has been arguably the league’s worst pass rushing team over the last two seasons, and Beasley has the combination of excellent collegiate production (44.5 TFLs and 25 sacks in last two seasons) and elite athleticism to warrant a top-10 pick. (Miller Mrosek)

9 (1)

New York Giants

La’el Collins, G, LSU

The Giants had one of the worst run-blocking O-lines in the league last year. Collins can slot in immediately at guard to beef up the interior line and help out Rashad Jennings and Shane Vereen. (Josh Connelly)

10 (1)

St. Louis

DeVante Parker, WR, Louisville

Adding a number one receiver to put alongside Tavon Austin is what the Rams need. Giving Nick Foles as many weapons as possible is key, and the 6’3″ WR is a perfect fit. (Aaron Vetter )

11 (1)

Minnesota

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

This selection is a similar pick the Vikings made back in 2007 when they took Adrian Peterson at number 7 overall. Gurley also has his fair share of injury concerns coming out of college like Peterson did, but when if he’s able to stay on the field, he could be special. This would signal the Vikings are shopping the 30-year-old Adrian Peterson, as it would be smart for the Vikings to get value for their aging running back while they still can. (Ryan Dickey)

12 (1)

Cleveland

Danny Shelton, NT, Washington

Shelton at 12th overall would be a blessing for the Browns, a team starved along the front seven. He’s the best nose tackle in the draft, and he will be a huge presence in the pass rush. (Josh Connelly)

13 (1)

New Orleans

Bud Dupree, DE, Kentucky

His first step and size make him a starter right away. His 6’4″ frame s
till has room to fill out at only 269 lbs, and the Saints can expect an elite pass rusher out of this Wildcat. Getting him at 13 without moving up for more edge rusher talent is a huge win for a promising Saints team. (Andy Narotsky)

14 (1)

Miami

Andrus Peat, OT, Stanford

Miami’s offensive line fell apart last year when Branden Albert went down, and he’s not getting any more durable. Peat could allow 2014 1st round pick Ja’Wuan James to slide inside to guard and greatly improve the offensive line as a unit. (Miller Mrosek)

15 (1)

Detroit (via SF, SQ trade)

Ereck Flowers, OT, Miami (FL)

Detroit’s line is an absolute mess between injuries and guys with limited, if any, potential. This may be a bit of a panic trade, but Flowers was the last guy that could really make the needed difference (Dan Allweiss)

16 (1)

Houston

Landon Collins, SS, Alabama

D.J. Swearinger isn’t cutting it, and while Rahim Moore was a solid pickup that should significantly improve the FS position, SS was still a need. Collins is a very good in-the-box strong safety, and should immediately help the defense. (David Lloyd)

17 (1)

San Diego

D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida

San Diego needs help on the offensive front and I think many expect a RB to go here, but Humphries offers unique athleticism for an offensive lineman and the Chargers’ run game may just need some help in the trenches. (Andy Narotsky)

18 (1)

Kansas City

Cam Erving, OL, Florida State

The Chiefs already have an awesome defense, so they need to find the best guy available to protect Alex Smith. Erving is massive at 6’6″ 311 pounds and can be a force for the KC offensive line. (Aaron Vetter)

19 (1)

Cleveland (via BUF)

Breshad Perriman, WR, UCF

Perriman has great height and is quick as lightning. The Browns really need a receiver to replace Josh Gordon, who will miss the entire season after another failed drug/alcohol test, and since Cooper, White and Parker are all off the board already, Perriman makes sense here. (Josh Connelly)

20 (1)

Philadelphia

Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon

Chip Kelly is looking for depth on defense, and though the defensive front may not be an immediate need, Armstead is a 6’7 monster that will quickly gel with Kelly’s style. Throwing out fresh pass rushing bodies is becoming a necessity for any NFL defense. (Nick Cicere)

21 (1)

Cincinnati

Malcom Brown, DT, Texas

Malcom Brown is a just about a “best case scenario” for Cincinnati. They need to replace Peko, and Brown is a legitimate first round DT talent who will start immediately. Brown is an excellent run defender who has the quickness to penetrate and threaten sacks and tackles for loss, but also the size to plug holes and running lanes. (David Lloyd)

22 (1)

Pittsburgh

Kevin Johnson, CB, Wake Forest

Pittsburgh’s secondary was a weakness last season, and Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor are no longer with the team. Johnson is the most pro-ready corner in the draft and will make valuable contributions as a rookie. (Miller Mrosek)

23 (1)

Dallas (via SF, via DET, SQ trade)

Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska

Gregory has his fair share of red flags, but his upside is tantalizing. I’m almost never a fan of trading up, but Gregory’s ceiling is too enticing to let him fall any further. (Miller Mrosek)

24 (1)

Arizona

Marcus Peters, CB, Washington

The Cardinals have a history of taking chances on extremely talented players on defense that had off-the-field trouble in college. Peters is no different, but if he can stay out of trouble and play opposite Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals should have one of the Top 5 secondaries for the next half decade. (Ryan Dickey)

25 (1)

Carolina

Jake Fisher, OT, Oregon

Clemmings is an option here, but Fisher is a more polished product for a team that is in desperate need of a plug-and-play tackle. (Nick Cicere)

26 (1)

Baltimore

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma

The red flags are there, obviously. But, with the loss of Torrey Smith, the Ravens need a playmaker on offense for Joe Flacco. (Aaron Vetter)

27 (1)

San Francisco (via DAL, via DET, SQ trade)

Trae Waynes, CB, Michigan State

Trading back from 15 and 23 for a couple of 3rd rounders makes sense for the 49ers who need to replenish their depth at multiple positions. Taking Waynes who seems to hav
e fallen here gives the Niners some much needed height and talent in the secondary as the Niners current starting cornerbacks are both well under 6 feet tall. (Ryan Dickey)

28 (1)

Denver

Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA

Offensive line is arguably a much higher priority for Denver in this slot, but it is hard to pass up on an overall talented LB when your team plays the 3-4. LB is still a big need for this team and they went with the better player rather than the more crucial need. (Adrian Nelson)

29 (1)

Indianapolis

T.J. Clemmings, OT, Pittsburgh

A stress fracture in his foot caused Clemmings to drop in our draft, but the Colts weren’t going to let him fall past them, even though he is still a raw prospect. Clemmings will not need to start right away, and can eventually replace Gosder Cherilus, who is playing on borrowed time in Indy. (Josh Connelly)

30 (1)

Green Bay

Jalen Collins, CB, LSU

This is the case of Green Bay filling a need with a kid that is incredibly talented. The Pack rolled the dice last year with a productive SEC player from Alabama. This time, they draw a stud from the LSU pile of NFL talent. (Matthew Gideon)

31 (1)

New Orleans (via SEA)

Jaelen Strong, WR, ASU

With Drew Brees sticking around New Orleans for at least the forseeable future coupled with the departures of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills, the franchise QB has to throw to someone. Strong is an underdeveloped receiver with a lot of promising talent. He could be Marques Colston 2.0 (Andy Narotsky)

32 (1)

New England

Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

LeGarrette Blount is a solid No. 2, but with no more Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, the Pats need a three-down back. Gordon is a grinder that fits the New England personality Bill Belichick has created. (Nick Cicere)

33 (2)

Tennessee

Phillip Dorsett, WR, Miami

While the Titans may have bolstered their wide receivers corps this season, I think Dorsett has flown under the radar and will prove to be an excellent NFL receiver, especially under the leadership of Jennings and company in Tennessee. (Zachary Themer)

34 (2)

Tampa Bay

Shane Ray, DE/OLB, Missouri

EMBRACE THE HATE… reading up, doesn’t sound like the weed thing is going to be a big deal and the Bucs need a pass rusher so badly. (Dan Allweiss)

35 (2)

Oakland

Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE, UCLA

His numbers aren’t flashy, but as a 4-3 DE, he is a solid prospect who can seal the edge but also work his way inside. Rarely asked to rush the passer at UCLA (was primarily asked to seal the edge, and did quite well), in the limited snaps that he did rush the passer, he got to show off some quickness and strength to beat tackles to the edge while simultaneously demonstrating moves to work his back inside. He will get to flash his pass rushing skillset more for the Raiders, who need more pass rush from their defensive line. (David Lloyd)

36 (2)

Jacksonville

Byron Jones, CB, UCONN

At this point, Jones is the best player available, and the Jags need a corner. Win-win. (Dan Allweiss)

37 (2)

New York Jets

Eli Harold, LB, Virginia

This kid is a little-known pass rusher that has the potential to be molded into a five to ten sack a year outside linebacker on any other team. With the Jets’ front seven, this kid could really flourish and become a pro bowler. (Matthew Gideon)

38 (2)

Washington

Eric Rowe, DB, Utah

The Skins have already tried to address the safety and corner positions with a few signings, but at this point everything is still up in the air. Rowe is a good coverage guy that is versatile (something that Gruden likes) and will be a good addition to the defensive backfield mix. (Adrian Nelson)

39 (2)

Chicago

Jordan Phillips, DT, Oklahoma

The Bears defense is bad, and Phillips will be sure to bolster a line that looks better on paper, but failed to perform up to the task last season. (Zachary Themer)

40 (2)

New York Giants

Preston Smith, DE, Mississippi St.

Smith is a great value pick for the Giants at this point, and he fills a position of need. He may never become a full-time starter, but he can play solidly in a rotation role if nothing else. New York needs a pass rush, and Smith will bring it. (Josh Connelly)

41 (2)

St. Louis

DaMarious Randall, S, Arizona State

With a stacked front seven, the Ram
s can focus on their secondary, which was not too good, even with the addition of Mark Barron midseason. If Randall falls, he is theirs. (Aaron Vetter)

42 (2)

Atlanta

Henry Anderson, DE, Stanford

Quietly one of the most productive defensive lineman in the country in 2014, Anderson will fit perfectly as a DE in Atlanta’s 3-4 defense. (Miller Mrosek)

43 (2)

Green Bay (via CLE, SQ trade)

Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida State

BJ Raji proved that he was replaceable. It’s time to replace him with a player that will become a difference maker in the running game. (Matthew Gideon)

44 (2)

New Orleans

Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota

Going offense with two straight picks here, I expect Williams to start 16 games in New Orelans. Adding Williams to Strong can revitalize this side of the ball. Williams is a bit of a project, but in a lot of ways he is similar to Jimmy Graham, and Drew Brees knows how to work with that kind of tight end. (Andy Narotsky)

45 (2)

Minnesota

Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami (FL)

It seems like every year the Vikings are looking to draft a MLB, but fail to do so. Well this year, that changes when they take a tackle machine in Perryman. He’s small in stature, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in leadership and technique. With Greenway nearing the end of his career it might be time for Zimmer to find his new signal caller on defense. (Ryan Dickey)

46 (2)

Dallas (via SF, SQ trade)

Grady Jarrett, DT, Clemson

Jarrett has been overshadowed by teammates Vic Beasley and Stephone Anthony in the pre-draft process, but he was a disruptive force for Clemson during his time in Death Valley. His lack of size is the only reason he is available here, and a lot of teams will regret passing on him when all is said and done. (Miller Mrosek)

47 (2)

Miami

Nelson Agholor, WR, USC

Agholor may be the best route-runner in the draft, and will give the Dolphins some much needed help at receiver after trading Mike Wallace this offseason. (Miller Mrosek)

48 (2)

San Diego

Tevin Coleman, RB, Indiana

After losing Ryan Mathews to Philadelphia this offseason, the Chargers need someone like Coleman to keep the offense afloat. Assuming Rivers stays the course in San Diego this season, Coleman could prove indespensible to the Bolts. (Andy Narotsky)

49 (2)

Kansas City

Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State

Losing Dwayne Bowe may not be a massive hit, but the Chiefs need someone to go along with speedster Jeremy Maclin. Smith is that guy and can help a team who did not have a WR catch a touchdown pass last season. (Aaron Vetter)

50 (2)

Buffalo

Shaq Thompson, LB, Washington

Experience and leadership are what Thompson brings to the table in Buffalo. With an already staunch defense, Thompson can provide the needed depth in the Bills’ front seven behind Mario Williams and Jerry Hughes. (Andy Narotsky)

51 (2)

Houston

Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn

Coates has good size and fast speed, he can accelerate quickly and be a solid deep threat. While he needs more experience with a full route tree, and periodically would drop catchable balls, his Senior Bowl tape was very nice. Houston needs a WR to pair with Hopkins for the future, and Coates can be that guy. (David Lloyd)

52 (2)

Philadelphia

P.J. Williams, CB, Florida State

Combine numbers were disappointing, but the Noles gave Williams a lot of freedom on the outside, and understands how to play corner at a high level. He has the potential to be a real “shutdown” cornerback. (Nick Cicere)

53 (2)

Cincinnati

Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke

Tomlinson isn’t exactly a speedy guy, even among offensive linemen. He is, however, a mauler at the line of scrimmage, and a solid pass blocker. He should be able to start for Cincinnati immediately, and should be of assistance both in defending Dalton and opening holes for Bernard and Hill. (David Lloyd)

54 (2)

Detroit

Quinten Rollins, CB, Miami (OH)

He’s a raw talent which fits perfectly with what Detroit has in a rejuvinated but aging Rasheen Mathis (and not a lot of depth). (Dan Allweiss)

55 (2)

Arizona

Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

I could definitely see the Cardinals trade this pick and other assets for Adrian Peterson, but if that doesn’t happen look for them to take Abdullah here. The Senior out of Lincoln is a similar player
to Andre Ellington and should be interchangeable on offense which should keep both healthy throughout the season. (Ryan Dickey)

56 (2)

Pittsburgh

Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State

Lockett is undersized, but checks off every other box. Extremely productive with exceptional athleticism, he doesn’t have quite as much straight line speed as T.Y. Hilton but may be better with the ball in his hands. (Miller Mrosek)

57 (2)

Carolina

Mario Edwards Jr., DE, Florida State

Edwards had effort concerns as a junior, but he is a freakish big man that can disrupt all facets of an offense. He may very well find himself starting in Carolina’s 4-3 as a rookie. (Nick Cicere)

58 (2)

Baltimore

Ronald Darby, CB, Florida State

The Ravens biggest weakness last season was their corners, since few could stay healthy. Darby would be third on the depth chart and may even help out as a safety with his speed and hitting ability. (Aaron Vetter)

59 (2)

Denver

Cedric Ogbuehi, OT, Texas A&M

With the Broncos failing to go OL in the first round, they need grab one here if someone relatively good is around. Ogbuehi is a talented player but has some character flaws. If there’s any cure for that it’s Peyton Manning, John Fox, and a winning culture. (Adrian Nelson)

60 (2)

San Francisco (via DAL, SQ trade)

Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson

Anthony is a great fit for the 49ers 3-4 defense and should help fill the void of retired Willis and Borland. He’s got excellent size and speed which should allow him to plug up the holes against the run and be able to cover most tight ends on 3rd downs. (Ryan Dickey)

61 (2)

Tampa Bay (via IND, SQ trade)

A.J. Cann, OG, South Carolina

There won’t be more North/South offenses than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a stable of backs, giant receivers, Jameis at the helm, and Koetter in control. (Dan Allweiss)

62 (2)

Cleveland (via GB, SQ trade)

Benardrick McKinney, ILB, MSU

A strong finisher with above-average size, McKinney fills a position of need and is a value pick this late in the second round. (Josh Connelly)

63 (2)

Seattle Seahawks

Ali Marpet, OL, Hobart

Marpet can fill in any spot in Seattle’s line which needs some replenishing after losing Max Unger in the Jimmy Graham trade. Investing in the trenches can help Russel Wilson hit Graham downfield more often, and open up running lanes for Marshawn Lynch. Marpet is a hard working small school kid who can really help this lackluster line. (Andy Narotsky)

64 (2)

New England

Danielle Hunter, DE, LSU

Hunter is a bit of a project, but the Pats are known to mold marble sculptures out of clay. He can be a long-term solution to Rob Ninkovich’s eventual departure. (Nick Cicere)

65 (3)

Indianapolis (via TB + 7th, SQ trade)

Duke Johnson, RB, Miami (FL)

Indy trades back four spots and picks up a seventh rounder (even though this mock is only three rounds long), and the Colts still get a great playmaker in Johnson, whom the Colts would love to see fall to them in the third. He’s lightning quick, and doesn’t have to do it all from day one, as the Colts paid good money to Frank Gore this offseason. (Josh Connelly)

66 (3)

Tennessee

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

I think the Titans will eventually take a QB in this draft, and I think Petty is someone they will consider giving a look. He’s a strong thrower and has proven that he can play under pressure. Worst case scenario, he just pushes Mettenberger to be better. (Zachary Themer)

67 (3)

Jacksonville

Nate Orchard, DE/OLB, Utah

Orchard falls and Jacksonville adds another versatile passrusher. Double dips don’t have a great history of success, but value is too much to pass up. (Dan Allweiss)

68 (3)

Oakland

Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State

Oakland needs an outside corner, and Nelson has good fluidity, coordination, and speed. Capable of jamming at the line of scrimmage, Nelson should be able to take up outside duties as a corner quickly. Moreover, he didn’t miss a tackle all of 2014, something that will help Oakland’s defense limit damage from WRs, and also from RBs who get to the second level. (David Lloyd)

69 (3)

Washington

Carl Davis, NT, Iowa

Again, this is a need that Washington attempted to address during free agency. Although they could probably use more of an outside
pass rush presence, with the team maintaining a 3-4 and a couple guys on short term deals, a solid nose tackle like Davis would be a smart pick. (Adrian Nelson)

70 (3)

New York Jets

Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan

A young receiver like Funchess can learn a lot from a star like Brandon Marshall. He can especially help Marcus Mariota begin a comfortable transition into the NFL. (Matthew Gideon)

71 (3)

Chicago

Ty Sambrailo, OT, Colorado State

The Bears offensive line has been getting better over the past couple of years, especially with the addition of Jake Long, but it still has a long way to go. Stick Sambrailo in there and you have some progress being made, as the left tackle for the Bison has proven to be an effective playmaker at the left tackle position (Zachary Themer)

72 (3)

St. Louis

Trey Flowers, DE, Arkansas

Despite already having a great front line of defense, Flowers makes sense here because he is possibly the best player available. No harm in going with that rather than reaching for a “fit” pick. (Aaron Vetter)

73 (3)

Atlanta

Adrian Amos, S, Penn State

Amos excels in the slot and has the size to cover tight ends. He should help solidify the safety position that has proven to be a weakness for Atlanta in recent years. (Miller Mrosek)

74 (3)

New York Giants

Hau’oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington

Another pass rusher for the Giants is waiting here in the third. Kikaha could be a steal if he stays healthy. He’s twice torn ACLs, which is a big red flag, but in the third, he’s worth the gamble. (Josh Connelly)

75 (3)

New Orleans

Daryl Williams, OT, Oklahoma

One of New Orelans’ biggest issues last season was a collapsing pocket. Williams will likely serve as depth for his first season but the Saints have a lot of cap space allocated to aging tackle Zach Streif, who could be on his way out come 2016. (Andy Narotsky)

76 (3)

Minnesota

Donovan Smith, OT, Penn State

Minnesota is in need of a cornerback right here, but its hard to pass on Smith who’s fallen from his mid-2nd round projection. With Khalil and Loadholt both struggling in 2014, Minnesota would probably like to add depth behind those two with the potential to move Loadholt to guard and start Smith at either tackle. (Ryan Dickey)

77 (3)

Cleveland

Clive Walford, TE, Miami (FL)

The Browns grab their replacement for Jordan Cameron. Walford is becoming a good blocker, and he’s great after the catch. Drops have been a concern, but if he can sure up his hands, he can be very good in Cleveland. (Josh Connelly)

78 (3)

New Orleans (via MIA)

Alex Carter, CB, Stanford

Carter is experienced, after facing the likes of Marcus Mariota, Jalen Strong, and Nelson Agholor in college. He is likely to make an impact quickly in what has been a tawdry-at-best secondary in New Orleans. (Andy Narotsky)

79 (3)

San Francisco

Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State

Greene gives Kaepernick a possession receiver who can run the valuable check down routes when Kaepernick is scrambling. Pencil in Greene to play in the slot from day 1. (Ryan Dickey)

80 (3)

Kansas City

TJ Yeldon, RB, Alabama

The Chiefs may already have Jamaal Charles (a top 3 RB) as their starter, but with his injuries last year, they could use a goal line power back. Yeldon is massive and runs like a truck but has some great speed too. (Aaron Vetter)

81 (3)

Buffalo

Garrett Grayson, QB, Colorado State

The Bills have a good amount of confusion at signal caller with Matt Cassel, EJ Manuel, and Tyrod Taylor currently on the roster. Grayson would almost certainly sit out the 2015 campaign, but down the road his arm talent and pocket presence could help him become a legitimate starting quarterback. (Andy Narotsky)

82 (3)

Houston

Michael Bennett, DE, Ohio State

Houston would love to add someone opposite J.J. Watt. Bennett was a solid producer who fits the 3-4 DE spot nicely, capable of handling either rushing the passer or tackling a runner well. He should get significant rotational snaps immediately, and could quickly become a starter. (David Lloyd)

83 (3)

San Diego

Markus Golden, DE, Missouri

With Dwight Freeny gone and Melvin Ingram frequently injured, pass rushing depth is key for the Chargers. (Andy Narotsk
y
)

84 (3)

Philadelphia

Paul Dawson, OLB, TCU

Another case of best player available, and the Eagles get a very good football player in Dawson. (Nick Cicere)

85 (3)

Cincinnati

D’Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic

Cincinnati needs to add to the secondary, as Pacman Jones, Leon Hall, and Reggie Nelson are all on the wrong side of 30. Smith has good speed and covers up opponents well enough to keep yards to a minimum. With a year to learn behind the veterans, Smith should flourish. (David Lloyd)

86 (3)

Arizona

Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon

Center is a huge need for the Cardinals and getting Grasu at this point in the draft makes sense. Grasu was the leader of the offensive line for college’s fastest offense last season, so he’s certainly capable of leading a pro line right from the get go. (Ryan Dickey)

87 (3)

Pittsburgh

James Sample, S, Louisville

The Steelers add another piece to their secondary. Sample will help fill the void left by Troy Polamalu. (Miller Mrosek)

88 (3)

San Francisco (via DET, SQ trade)

Kwon Alexander, OLB, LSU

Continuing to add depth to a depleted Niners defense, Alexander has the potential to be starter for this team down the road with fantastic speed in coverage, but his small stature could be his down fall and force him to 3rd down duties. (Ryan Dickey)

89 (3)

Carolina

Anthony Harris, S, Virginia

There’s nthing flashy about Harris, but he is an instinctive safety that plays deep and in the box. (Nick Cicere)

90 (3)

Baltimore

Troy Hill, CB, Oregon

Going with another corner for Baltimore is the right choice. Ozzie Newsome knows that this is his team’s biggest weakness and he will address it heavily. (Aaron Vetter)

91 (3)

San Francisco (via DAL, SQ trade)

Shaq Riddick, DE, West Virginia

Riddick has tremendous height and speed for DE, but he lacks strength right now to get by opposing tackles. After a few years of development and weight training we could be looking at a poor man’s Aldon Smith. (Ryan Dickey)

92 (3)

Denver

Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA

Peyton Manning won’t be around forever. This may be his last year and a nice parting gift (besides a possible SB trophy) would be to tutor Hundley and help grow him into a passable NFL starting QB. Brock Osweiler has an expiring contract, making this pick make all the more sense. (Adrian Nelson)

93 (3)

Indianapolis

Jaquiski Tartt, S, Samford

Great size and great athleticism will likely get Tartt drafted in the third round. The Colts have a huge need at safety, and Tartt is a solid pickup late in the third. He played at a smaller school, which could hurt him in the beginning, but the Colts have to bet that he can learn the ropes quickly. (Josh Connelly)

94 (3)

Cleveland (via GB, SQ trade)

Lorenzo Mauldin, OLB, Louisviille

Five picks at five positions of need? How lucky would the Browns be if their real draft turned out so well? Mauldin has rushing linebacker written all over him, and he can help strengthen Cleveland’s weak front seven in a rotational role from day one. (Josh Connelly)

95 (3)

Seattle

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State

Hear me out. Marshawn Lynch has a very different running style than Ajayi, and the two can coexist under the proper scheme. Ajayi could be used even in a Percy Harvin role – focused on open field speed and return abilities. Coupled with Lynch’s “Will he-Won’t he” charade of threatening retirement, this seems like a smart pick for Seattle in the late 3rd. (Andy Narotsky)

96 (3)

New England

Nick O’Leary, TE, Florida State

O’Leary is a perfect No. 2 tight end in Belichick’s offensive scheme, given his willingness to block and his strong hands. (Nick Cicere)

97* (3)

New England

Kurtis Drummond, S, Michigan State

Would work better as a deep safety, given his unwillingness to tackle, but his ball skills are undeniable. A deep playmaker is a need for the Pats. (Nick Cicere)

98* (3)

Kansas City

Frank Clark, OLB, Michigan

Clark is one of the quickest LBs in the draft and has some awesome athleticism. Off-field domestic abuse issues will cause him to drop, and a smart team like KC will take him for his talen
t and try to keep his off-field issues toned down. (Aaron Vetter)

99* (3)

Cincinnati

Senquez Golson, CB/SS, Ole Miss

Golson is a bit of a high risk, high reward guy, having allowed 4 TDs over the course of the year, but also picking off 10 passes (allowing just the 5th best QB rating among prospects as a result). The real value here is in Golson’s tackling; he didn’t miss a single tackle all year on pass plays. Will start alongside fellow rookie D’Joun Smith learning to play as a cornerback at the NFL level, but may switch to safety at some point, where his tackling abilities will be put to good use. (David Lloyd)