Let's keep it movin'. TST author Douglas M has the podium for Arizona:
#24, Arizona Cardinals - Todd Gurley (RB, Georgia)
As the Turf Show Times Draft began to take shape, pass rushers and wide receivers flew off the board. I began thinking about the Cardinals' needs, but it was some 2014 statistics that turned me toward this pick: #31 in NFL rushing yardage! In the post season, they had 27 rushing yards... 27? Nothing Bruce Arians wants to accomplish on offense is going to happen if they don't find an elite running back. The down side of the Gurley pick is I'm saddling Arizona with yet another injury question mark. The Georgia star running back suffered an ACL injury in November, and is borderline to be ready for the start of training camp...
I've seen some great breakdowns of Todd Gurley. Some are calling him the most gifted running back in the draft since Adrian Peterson. Many bang the gong for Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon, and I personally have Indiana's Tevin Coleman listed higher than both of the aforementioned running backs. But the tale of the tape - game film - leaned strongly in Gurley's favor as I tried to discern which running back to take for Arizona. Coleman is a home-run hitter, but there are times when he's too easily tackled. Gordon has flashes, but he'll be scheme dependent in my opinion. Gurley is the whole package, and to succeed in the NFC West, a running back has to have a boat load of tools in his belt.
Other needs I looked at in this draft were center, middle linebacker, and defensive tackle. FSU's Cameron Erving would've been a solid choice here, with his ability to play any position across the offensive line. Run stuffing Bendardrick McKinney from MSU would add depth to a depleted linebacker corp, and Oklahoma's Jordan Phillips would be a near perfect fit at defensive tackle for Arizona. But 27 yards rushing in the post season, and a #31 NFL ranking on the ground sealed the deal for me....
Carolina's at 25, held by RiseOfTheRam:
#25, Carolina Panthers - La'el Collins (OT, LSU)
The Panthers may have made the playoffs last year, but they were also 7-8-1. This implies that they have holes in their roster, and this is in fact very true. The Panthers aren’t in the position to draft based on talent available, and this puts them in a bad position because of where they are picking in the draft. They need a legitimate LT, and they didn’t fix this problem during free agency, nor could they have. That is why the Panthers must go offensive tackle in the first round. Especially since the talent at tackle in this year’s draft has a quick drop off. La'el Collins is the best tackle available when they pick, and according to NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock the top tackle prospect. He is a mauler in the run game, but lacks polish and good hands in pass protection. I would say he is a less athletic version of our own Greg Robinson. He will however be more equipped to learn a pro-style system due to his years at LSU. Bottom line is that Panthers have a major need at LT, and Collins is able to fill that need for them and likely be an immediate starter.
Next up is new TST author Shields3L with Charm City:
#26, Baltimore Ravens - Breshad Perriman (WR, UCF)
This pick was a great intersection of need meeting best player available. With Torrey Smith's departure to the Niners, it was only a matter of time until the Ravens add a wide receiver. Lucky, this draft has a couple of good ones. Perriman's elite speed will allow him to step into Smith's role and give the Ravens someone that can vertically stretch the defense. The knock on Perriman is that he drops too many balls. That was the same knock Smith had when he came into the league and he turned out alright.
Last up for this run is BMillz:
#27, Dallas Cowboys - Eli Harold (OLB, Virginia)
I have to be honest. As I started this write up I didn't even have a pick. The Cowboys could use a cornerback, as Brandon Carr & Morris Claiborne have combined for 9 picks in 3 years. They lost Demarco Murray at running back. The defensive line is full of questions, even with the addition of Greg Hardy. The linebacking core could use depth. The offensive line could use a 6th man and eventual Doug Free replacement. To top it all off, the TST community has set up a worst-case scenario for Dallas, taking the top 2 defensive backs, top running back, 9 pass rushers, and 6 offensive lineman.
In my opinion, the BPA on defense is probably Arik Armstead, but I question his legitimacy as a first round pick because of his lack of production at Oregon. The remaining corners also are fringe first round talent at best due to character issues, inexperience, and lack of elite measurables, among other things. The remaining running backs are good, but there is depth at the position, and most top-tier running backs in this draft could run well behind the beast that is the Cowboys offensive line. Adding depth on the offensive line and at the linebacker position are not necessarily top needs.
Ideally, the Cowboys would be able trade out of this situation to bring in more options for better value. However, being unable to trade the pick, I went with Harold. I watched Harold go against Cameron Erving and against Louisville on draftbreakdown.com and liked what I saw. He is quick and constantly works his hands and feet. He weighs nearly 250 lbs at 6 foot 3, ran a 4.6 40, and had a broad jump of 123 inches at the Combine. Harold is quick enough to play OLB and be a pass rush specialist. He could also add a few pounds of muscle and line up at defensive end, which he did numerous times for Virginia last season. In Harold, the Cowboys bolster their pass rush and run defense and add linebacker depth. Getting a top corner or defensive lineman would've been nice, but I think Harold has a high ceiling, and a higher floor than Armstead.
Other players considered: Melvin Gordon, Arik Armstead, Marcus Peters.