Gotta roll these up as we near the actual first round tonight. Let's get through some of the early 20s.
#20, Philadelphia Eagles - D.J. Humphries (OT, Florida)
After doing some research and borrowing a few words from a lot of guys I decided that a story here needs to be told about why my 20th pick for the Eagles came about.
Despite the Eagles having just finished one of the craziest free agency periods in the history of the Eagles so far, I really believe that the conversation has really never changed ,it is and will be until April 30th Marcus Mariota. Will they be able to make a trade with the Browns and will Buccaneers pass on him not counting the Titans, Redskins, Jets and even the Rams. I guess the biggest question is will be on draft day is will the Eagles organization want Marcus Mariota.
I have studied on this and pondered and even questioned my own sanity about what I would do and what my real options are? Do I shoot for a dream or do I take a serious decision and face the facts. After serious thought I have decided to take a Offensive line man #20 D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida to protect whomever the starting QB will be and which one will win out this coming training camp. The reason I chose D.J. Humphries was that he has that on the field footwork and he can become the team’s future and starting him at guard and having him switch out with Jason Peters on the left side and Lane Johnson on that must protect side.
Makes sense. So did the Jake Fisher Oregon-connected pick from Brandon Lee Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation in the SBN NFL Blogger Mock. The bottom line is that the Eagles, much like the Rams, are a huge wild card. Nobody knows what they're going to do tonight.
#21, Cincinnati Bengals - Bud Dupree (DE, Kentucky)
After posting a league worst 20 sacks last year, Cinci couldn't ask for a better prospect to fall into their lap. Bud Dupree leaves Kentucky as the most prolific SEC pass rusher in this years draft with 24 career sacks.
Dupree is an athletic freak that could fill either one of 2 weak positions for the bengals SAM Linebacker or DE, though I like him better as a DE here based solely on their defensive scheme, he could easily be moved around with his ability to both rush the passer and drop back in coverage. Last year he put up very solid numbers with 74 tackles, 12.5 TFL and 7.5 Sacks, and at 6'4" and about 270 lbs. posted a 42" and vertical leap and a 4.56 forty at the combine.
In all honesty, I can't say I watched any Kentucky games this college football season, however watching his highlight clips I notice two things: He is very, VERY athletic for a man his size, and he is pretty raw as far as his technique is concerned. With the production he had against solid SEC competition, Dupree could be a Pro Bowl level player for the Bengals with some good coaching.
I was also considering SS Landon Collins with this pick, but it came down to team needs for me with pass rush definitely being the biggest for the Bengals. This pick would instantly improve the bengals pass rushing and I think Dupree could immediately start in passing situations.
Great value if you buy the conventional wisdom that he's a potential top 10 pick. The Collins thirst is real if you go off the SBN NFL Blogger Mock where Jason Marcum of Cincy Jungle went for the Bama safety.
#22, Pittsburgh Steelers - Landon Collins (S, Alabama)
Pittsburgh has been rather vocal this off season about moving on from Troy Polamalu. This will become a large hole it the once stout Pittsburgh defense. Luckily the best safety in the draft is left on the board, so with 22nd pick the Steelers select Landon Collins, safety, Alabama. Collins was the third player on my big board behind Danny Shelton and Trae Waynes. I'm happy with this pick here because this draft seems much deeper in d-linemen and corners than it is in safeties. A few months ago Collins was seen has a top ten pick, if he falls to 22nd this could be a huge steal for the Steelers, pun intended.
Landon Collins measured in at six foot 228 pounds. He was selected unanimously to the All-American team and twice to the All-SEC team. Collins strength is in the run game, he is a hard nosed, no non-sense player who isn't afraid to lay the big hit on someone, the best replacement in this draft for Polamalu. He has the size and skill set to cover a tight end man to man and can play zone coverage pretty well. His weaknesses are he can be burnt by above average wide-receivers and has been caught peeking in the backfield. Walter compared him to Matt Elam, Mark Barron, and DJ Swearinger. All and all I'd say the Steelers would be more than happy with Collins at 22.
Too easy. Jeff Hartman of Behind the Steel Curtain went with Washington CB Marcus Peters in the SBN NFL Blogger Mock, but Collins was already gone from the aforementioned Bengals selection. This just feels right.
#23, Detroit Lions - Andrus Peat (OT, Stanford)
I was fortunate to have a little perspective on the Lions as my little brother lives in Michigan and is a fan. One would think the Rams have one of the most frustrated fan bases in all of professional sports and then I had the pleasure of listening to 8 frustrated lifelong Lions fans during a bachelor party. I’m paraphrasing due to language but the gist was the Lions fans told me to stop complaining because the Rams have been to 3 Super Bowls and have one victory.
The Lions are now Ndamukong Suh-less and have recently lost Nick Fairley to the Rams in free agency. To compound the problem, many Lions fans were dying for the front offense to select Aaron Donald in the 2014 draft. The Lions have a glaring need at defensive tackle, but the opinion of most Lions fans that I spoke with is the need for an offensive tackle.
Two excellent choices remain that fit that need. Offensive tackles Andrus Peat and La’el Peat are on the board. Collins is a great offensive lineman and would help any team in the first season but he is probably not left tackle material. He is a great run blocker and would most likely fit in at right tackle or guard. I just don’t see him being an NFL caliber left tackle.
Peat has and NFL pedigree as his father played in the league for 6 seasons. He has started the last two seasons at left tackle for the Stanford Cardinal, a program that continues to pump out premium NFL talent. He may be a little raw and a bit of a project but the kid seems to have the passion for the game.
The Lions have a great quarterback in Stafford and a talented group of pass catchers in Johnson, Tate, and Pettigrew. The teams that survive in the NFL playoffs must win the battle in the trenches. The big boys that do a ton of work and are the back bone of NFL teams get little credit, but are a must for a franchises success.
A lot of Peat love for the Rams at 10 in recent days, so hard to get goofy on the Lions taking him at 23. In the SBN NFL Blogger Mock, the Lions went for Humphries thanks to Sean Yuille from Pride of Detroit.