Wrapping things up as we got the draft going down live. terdferg is taking Denver to add some talent to the tail end of Peyton Manning's NFL career:
#28, Denver Broncos - Denzel Perryman (MLB, Miami)
The Broncos are stuck in a pickle. A really tasty, crunchy, delicious pickle but still…a pickle of sorts because while Peyton Manning still takes snaps from center, it won’t be forever. Brock Osweiler is still the plan to take over for Peyton when he is gone because Paul Bunyan wouldn’t suffice.
The Denver Broncos seem to be in a position somewhat similar to the St. Louis Rams were prior to the trade for Nick Foles – Offensive line (I remember the screams for Mike Iupati, Evan Mathis, and still the cries for Stefen Wisniewski are ringing) or the Jeff Fisher mantra of DEFENSE. After the losses of G Zane Beadles and G Orlando Franklin on the line, Denver Broncos fans are calling for some pickups on the OL in the draft this year. Granted their QB hasn’t injured as often as ‘ol Sam Bradford was but still, you get my point.
But there are two problems. One is named Gary Kubiak and the other is named Wade Phillips. (Really there is a third – OT’s were taken like hot cakes in this mock draft) While I was hoping against hope that La’el Collins would fall to the Broncos, it didn’t happen. Enter Denzel Perryman out of the University of Miami. Run blocker extraordinaire, it is rumored that he eats the entire alphabet with each scoop of his soup. Placed alongside Von Miller at left side ILB, the Broncos will take last year’s 2nd ranked rush defense and take the number one spot under the direction of Wade Phillips. His pass coverage is lacking but will be developed. Sorry Bronco fans, Brock Osweiler will be looking for future protection later on in this draft.
Next up is g2rams and Indianapolis:
#29, Indianapolis Colts - Melvin Gordon (RB, Wisconsin)
The Indianapolis Colts were the number 1 passing offense in the league last year, passing for over 300 yards a game. Their rushing offense was pedestrian tho, ranking 22nd in the league. They only managed 100.8 yards a game. With Trent Richardson being a severe bust and a waste of a first round pick, and Ahmad Bradshaw gone they picked up the soon to be 32 year old Frank Gore. Gore has been on the decline and is only a stop gap player at this point in his career.
So with the 29th pick in the 2015 TST Mock Draft the Indianapolis Colts choose Melvin Gordon.
Gordon had the 2nd highest single season rushing yards in FBS history, coming 2nd to Barry Sanders. That says alot. Gordon is explosive in his first few steps, and can turn it up field with his agility. He ran a 4.52 40 yard dash and can cover 5 yards in two strides in the open field. And has home run ability on any play. Paired with Frank Gore the Colts rushing attack will flourish.
Breaking into the 30s is LA Champ with Green Bay:
#30, Green Bay Packers - Byron Jones (CB, Connecticut)
This young man has shot up the draft boards due to some incredible combine numbers, but don’t be mistaken, he can play. The Packers have lost 2 quality defensive backs and to continue their hunt for a championship, they need to strengthen their only true weakness. Is this a reach, who knows? That’s why GM’s make the big bucks or get fired and become ESPN analysts. He shows excellent coverage in press & zone schemes. Jones may also be able to help Ha Ha at the safety position.
#31, New Orleans Saints - Phillip Dorsett (WR, Miami)
While the #1 focal point of this draft for New Orleans has to be continuing to re-tool on defense, they will also likely make at least one early pick on the offensive side of the ball. The porous defense is their obvious main liability, but now with some extra draft capital they can afford to replace some of the offensive production they've lost in their offseason moves.
In my opinion, as I see it today, this is a pick that is very likely to occur. First, let's talk about the fit. Some may wonder why New Orleans would have interest in another small receiver when they just drafted Brandin Cooks early last year. The answer to that question is multi-faceted. For one thing, Dorsett and Cooks are very different types of receivers. Cooks is the quick, underneath, Wes Welker prototype whereas Dorsett is a true burner. It just so happens that New Orleans has a role already carved out in their offense for this type of receiver, a role which also happens to be vacant at the moment after they traded Kenny Stills to the Dolphins in March. With a receiving corps that, outside of Cooks, looked very much more suspect last season than in recent years, it stands to reason that New Orleans will be open to adding more talent. Drew Brees is still Drew Brees for the time being, but as he inevitably regresses some in his graying years, he'll need effective targets around him.
Now for the player side of this pick: Dorsett isn't getting just a ton of hype as a player who could sneak into the back end of the first round, but there's no doubt in my mind it could happen. First of all, he's one of the guys who has helped himself the most i the pre-draft process in the entire class. It's not surprising given his tremendous speed that he turned heads at the Combine, but the positive impression he's left on scouts runs deeper than that. He ran in the mid 4.2s in his 40 yard dash at his pro day, which is impressive enough, but what's even more important is that he reportedly ran very crisp routes. His raw route-running was the big question about him coming into the pre-draft process, but after what he has shown so far, scouts now consider him a more polished route runner than Mike Wallace (his most common pro comparison) when Wallace was drafted. In addition, his hands look solid as well. To add to the likeliness of this pick, it's been reported that Sean Payton has been gushing over Dorsett at his workouts. Dorsett has largely been viewed as an early to mid second round pick, but if the Saints' brass likes him as much as it's been reported they do, they would have no problem snatching him up at 31. He could become a huge playmaker in their offense for years to come.
And closing out the 1st is Jesus loves Ewes & Rams with the Cheat Chengland Cheatriots:
#32, New England Patriots - Kevin Johnson (CB, Wake Forest)
Guard, interior defensive lineman, and cornerback are the top needs of the Super Bowl Champs. The odds of drafting an adequate lineman in later rounds are much better than that of getting a cornerback, so I went corner in the first.
Kevin Johnson has shown to be a smooth & quick athlete with excellent cover skills. He does well in man, press & zone. Johnson wants to win every play, he has zero lack of confidence or aggressiveness. He might be too aggressive. One week after he was ejected from the Louisville game for targeting, he got away with the throat slashing gesture after a successful play against FSU. Due to his thin frame, weight & missed tackles, there is concern about his ability in run support. Yet, corners with disrupting the passing game skills can be successful without being very good in run support.
Jalen Collins was a strong consideration at 32. I believe that his natural talent & size give him a higher ceiling than Johnson. What made me pass on Collins is his lack of experience and his need for quite a bit of work on his technique. Until now he's played with talent over technique. Johnson is more ready to contribute now. Being that the Patriots are in a good position this year to, again, compete for the Lombardi, and that they lost two very good starting cornerbacks from last year is enough for me to live for today and draft Johnson.