1. Blake Bortles, Central Florida
2. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
3. Aaron Murray, Georgia
4. Derek Carr, Fresno State
5. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
I wouldn't draft any of these QB's prior to the 20th pick of the 1st round. From what I have read and heard, Bortles has shown significant growth this offseason. What I have heard is that he received pretty poor coaching at UCF, but with the time he has spent with better coaches this offseason he has shown dramatic improvement in his footwork and the like.
1. Bishop Sankey, Washington
2. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State
3. Jeremy Hill, LSU
4. Tre Mason, Auburn
5. Andre Williams, Boston College
I'm in the minority, I think, with Sankey at #1. I see him as the most complete back in the draft. Hyde is getting a lot of love from the "experts" though. It will be interesting to see who goes first on draft day.
1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
3. Marqise Lee, USC
4. Odell Beckham Jr, LSU
5. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
Watkins is the top WR, but I think Evans or Matthews would actually be a better fit for the Rams and their offensive philosophy. Evans has great hands, which the Rams sure could use...
1. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
2. Eric Ebron, North Carolina
3. Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
4. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa
I'm not sold on Ebron as the top TE obviously, and to be honest I wouldn't be surprised if Troy Niklas became the best TE of this class - he's already the best blocker, and has only played the position for 2 seasons (he started as an OLB). Classic "high ceiling" prospect.
1. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
2. Taylor Lewan, Michigan
3. Greg Robinson, Auburn
4. Morgan Moses, Virginia
5. Ju'Wuan James, Tennessee
If you're looking for a pro-ready pass protector, then Matthews is your guy. If you want the "high ceiling" prospect, then it's Robinson hands down. Lost in the wash is Lewan - who's a better run blocker than Matthews and far better in pass pro than Robinson. Robinson supporters exclaim his pass pro will improve with better coaching and more experience (I agree). What you never really hear is that Lewan should also benefit from better coaching and more experience. Lewan's legal issues would keep me away however...
1. Zack Martin, Notre Dame
2. Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA
3. David Yankey, Stanford
4. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
5. Trai Turner, LSU
Yep, I have Martin listed as a Guard. I think he will ultimately end up at Guard in the NFL (like our own Mr. Saffold). He will be a valuable and versatile lineman that can play RT and OG at a high level, which gives him the edge over the others on this list. Watch out for Turner, he's one of those " low floor - high ceiling" guys. When you watch him play you can see the potential that good coaching can bring out in him.
1. Marcus Martin, USC
2. Weston Richburg, Colorado State
3. Russel Bodine, North Carolina
4. Travis Swanson, Arkansas
5. Bryan Stork, Florida State
Martin has grown on me. So has Bodine - who some project as a Guard.
4-3 DEFENSIVE TACKLES:
1. Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
2. Ra'Shede Hageman, Minnesota
3. Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
4. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
5. Dominique Easley, Florida
Tuitt will probably end up as a DE on a team that plays a base 3-4, but he has the versatility to play in a four man front and should be able to provide interior pressure on the QB. Easley is impressive, but a torn acl in his left knee in 2011, followed by another in his right knee in 2013, drops his stock. But when he's healthy...
4-3 DEFENSIVE ENDS:
1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
2. Kony Ealy, Missouri
3. Scott Crichton, Oregon State
4. Kareem Martin, North Carolina
5. Chris Smith, Arkansas
Let's just get this out of the way right off the bat - I wouldn't draft Clowney if I was running a team. He is the most physically gifted DE in this draft, and you have to go back to Mario Williams to find another like him. But, he will never live up to the hype that surrounds him nor realize that immense potential unless he undergoes a fundamental change of who he is as a person. A myriad of NFL scouts from several teams have expressed concerns regarding his work ethic, motivation, sense of entitlement, etc. Where there is smoke, there's fire, as the saying goes. For what it's worth, I really like Kony Ealy (reminds me of Quinn coming out - needs work vs. the run, but has the build of a NFL pass rusher and has natural pass rush ability) and Kareem Martin (should be a good rotational LDE that can move inside on obvious passing downs).
4-3 OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS:
1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
2. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
3. Kyle Van Noy, BYU
4. Jordan Tripp, Montana
5. Christian Jones, Florida State
Mack can play in the 4-3, no problem, even if it's not his "best" fit. I think Van Noy fits better as a WLB in a 4-3. Jordan Tripp is an interesting prospect to keep an eye on.
3-4 OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS:
1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
2. Anthony Barr, UCLA
3. Dee Ford, Auburn
4. Jeremiah Ataochu, Georgia Tech
5. Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State
I think a 3-4 defense is best suited for Mack, and definitely for Barr. Ford is listed as a DE by most, but in my opinion he's too small to play a conventional DE in a 4-3 alignment at the NFL level, and there's no way he can play LB in a 4-3, so I believe his best fit is also at OLB in a 3-4.
1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
2. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
3. Shayne Skov, Stanford
4. Preston Brown, Louisville
5. Max Bullough, Michigan St.
Mosley projects better as a WILB in a 3-4. Borland is short but he's one hell of a college player. Not a real exciting group.
1. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
2. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
3. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
4. Jason Verrett, TCU
5. Bradley Roby, Ohio State
If I'm looking for a corner to play the slot, Verrett is my top guy. If I'm looking for guys to play on the outside, I like more size and length and thus it's a toss-up between Dennard and Gilbert, with Dennard getting the nod today. Probably go with Gilbert tomorrow...
1. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
2. Calvin Pryor, Louisville
3. Deone Bucannon, Washington State
4. Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois
5. Terrence Brooks, Florida St.
After the QB's, this group was the most difficult for me. HaHa is the rangy centerfielder that the majority here on TST want the Rams to take at #13. I don't think his talent level matches that pick. He's not elite. He's not even as good as Kenny Vaccaro was, and Vaccaro lasted until the 15th pick. He also doesn't seem like a fit for the Jeff Fisher type Safety - he's not physical enough in my opinion. Pryor is better in run support, but I don't think he offers enough to draft at #13 either. Someone like Bucannon in the 2nd round makes a lot of sense to me, and he seems more like the type of player Jeff Fisher would draft.