clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2016 NFL Draft: Top 10 Mid-Late Round Prospects

New, comments

Now that the Rams will be primarily picking in the middle to late rounds of this years NFL draft, where should they be looking and who should they be looking at???

Missouri Western Cornerback Michael Jordan
Missouri Western Cornerback Michael Jordan
John Ellis

Following the trade to number one with the Titans, the Rams now find themselves in position to draft a new franchise quarterback. However, the cost to get in that position has left the Rams with no other picks in the top 100. This means Les Snead will have to hit a home run or two somewhere on his final four picks.

The Rams carry two fourth and two sixth round picks for the remainder of the draft. Now, knowing Les, it's highly likely that the Rams are not done pulling off trades and moving both up and down the board. But as it stands now, they will have to put a lot of attention on the players that will likely be fourth to seventh round draft picks.

The list I have comprised is not so much of a who's the best 10 players, but instead ten players that should be available between the fourth and seventh rounds. All of these players would fill a need, and all could develop into legitimate steals. Some can even come in and contribute from day one.

  1. Matt Judon DE 6'3" 274 Grand Valley St.
  2. Cody Core WR 6'3" 205 Ole Miss
  3. Tyler Higbee TE 6'5" 250 Western Kentucky
  4. Deon Bush FS 6' 200 Miami
  5. Kevin Byard FS 5'11" 216 Middle Tennessee St.
  6. Keith Marshall RB 5'11" 219Georgia
  7. Deiondre Hall CB 6'2" 200 Northern Iowa
  8. Temarrick Hemingway TE 6'5" 244 South Carolina St.
  9. Dom Williams WR 6'3" 200 Washington St.
  10. Michael Jordan CB 6'1" 205 Missouri Western

Matt Judon -- here we have an extremely powerful and explosive edge rusher. One has to believe if he played at a higher level that he likely would be viewed as a second round pick at the very least. Judon has prototypical size for the position and a true NFL motor. he comes around the edge on a mission and looks to deliver big blows on the quarterback .Judon is a very good run defender, and he sets the edge as well as any defensive end in this draft. He already shows a quality swim and rip move. While Judon is very powerful, his bull rush is a bit inconsistent, as he at times can get too high. He also does not show much elusiveness when facing the tackle. Don't expect to see him spinning and dipping too often. His go to moves are the rip, swim, and bull rush. Using his hands more consistently will help him develop into a more polished rusher with a better arsenal of moves.

4th-5th round pick

Cody Core -- is one of those guys that is pretty good in his own right, but is overshadowed to such an extreme, that it's almost like he was destined to never have any real shot at the national spotlight. Core is a big receiver with a lot of speed, and some really good hands. He's a legit sub 4.4 runner, and he has massive hands which he uses to engulf passes regularly. Much like his Ole Miss running mate -- and much more highly publicized teammate -- Laquon Treadwell, Core has extensive experience running the full route tree, thanks to the offense ran at Ole Miss. Core is a solid route runner, with speed to take the top off. This makes him a sneaky day three pick that can come in and contribute right away. With his advanced knowledge of the route tree, and his size, he can run intermediate routes and play the possession role. But he also has the size, speed, and catch radius to be major down field threat.

4th-5th round pick

Tyler Higbee -- Higbee has flown under the radar for most of the pre-draft festivities. However, he is a very solid tight end. Every time I watch him I can't help but think of a cross between Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce.  He's one of those do it all guys. The 6'5" former receiver, catches the ball extremely well. It doesn't matter if it is in traffic or not, if the ball touches his hands he usually comes away with it. Higbee, does a great job of finding holes in zones. He can work the middle of the field with the best of them. He has just enough speed to run the seems, and he the catch radius to go up and high point the ball in the red-zone. Higbee is a willing blocker, who needs to brush up on technique. He does a solid job with his footwork, but he often times allow his tall frame to get too high. He has to stay low to be more consistent at staying on his blocks.

4th-5th round pick

Deon Bush -- bush brings some of a true thumper element to  the free safety position. He is going to hurt you when he hits you. He lacks elite top end speed, but he has solid speed and loose hips with great instincts to get to the ball. He is much like a bigger version of Rodney McLeod. He doesn't play as smart as McLeod though, and that is his biggest flaw. However, that is one huge flaw to have for any player, but especially a safety. Bush does a good job identifying plays but at times can take too many risks. He also must improve his angles. Nevertheless, Bush plays Gregg Williams style of football. He plays fast and furious. He's moving at full speed at all times, and he will not shy away from contact. He also has decent ball skills, and plays the ball in the air really well.

4th-5th round pick

Kevin Byard -- Byard might be the smartest safety prospect in the entire draft. He plays the game from the neck up with extremely high effort on every single snap. In four tapes, I couldn't find a single snap he took off. Byard has legit speed and a great backpedal. He's an ideal deep safety and has the best ball skills of every safety in the draft. Because of his football IQ, speed, and insane effort, he leaves college as one of the most productive players MTSU has ever seen. He was in on 25 turnovers for his career (19 int, 5 FF, 1 FR). He is a splash play king. The big issue is physicality with Byard. Its shocking considering his size, explosiveness, and effort. He has all the components to blow players up, but he almost never runs his feet upon contact. This doesn't mean he is a bad tackler, as he easily finished with well over 300 tackles for his career. In fact he was solid in that department as well. But facing bigger and badder competition at the next level could result in him missing a lot of tackles as guys will just look to run him over.

4th-6th round pick

Keith Marshall -- here we have an interesting specimen. There's probably not a football fan alive that doesn't know about his speed. But what goes undisclosed is his receiving ability and leg drive. While he doesn't just run guys over -- despite his size -- he is still a very hard player to tackle. He has some of the best leg drive in the draft, and he pushes the pile very well, consistently picking up 3-4 extra yards. Marshall is a solid open field runner, with above average vision. He has to show improve his blocking ability, as well as his patience as he likes to bounce runs unnecessarily to the outside running into trouble. Marshall has a ton of power, speed, and elusiveness, making him an open-field nightmare. With all of the Tre Mason trouble, and the Rams obvious need to add more explosiveness and play-makers, the reunion of Marshall and Todd Gurley, plus the retention of Benny Cunningham would give the Rams one of the scariest backfields in the NFL.

5th-6th round pick

Deiondre Hall -- Hall has that length that teams covet at the cornerback position. He has a knack for using that length in jump situations. He consistently wins that battle in the air. Hall is an ideal zone corner. He plays with discipline and shows some physicality with receivers that enter his zone, as well as running backs when they get outside. He still has work to do as a man cover corner. He shows some stiffness in the hips, and lacks recovery speed. If a receiver can gain separation in man coverage he panics at times rather than keep his composure and stick with his technique. Hall has above average ball skill, and a smooth back pedal, but he will need to work on his transition from the backpedal to running with the receiver if he ever wants to reach his full potential.

5th-7th round pick

Temarrick Hemingway -- another underrated tight end prospect, Hemingway is a true receiving tight end. He has the athletic ability team covet for the position and the ability to work the seams all day. Hemingway displays good hands, and solid understanding of when to sit the route down verses zone coverage. Hemingway is very physical after the catch and a tough guy to bring down. He has the size and and strength to really develop into a solid blocker, and she shows effort, but the technique is not there. Coming from a small school as a tight end, if you want your stock to rise you have to be able to block. But due to his effort on tape in this area, there is hope that he can and will become a much better player in when engaged with defenders.

5th-7th round pick

Dom Williams -- Williams is another big strong kid with legit deep speed. His size speed combo often times forces defenders to play off, and in these instances you will see catch the ball on slants and drags and literally split defenders. It's quite impressive especially considering his size. Williams also has extremely impressive hands. The guy catches everything. He won so many contested balls, I literally lost count. He has explosiveness to go up and take the ball with ease, and he does this with regularity. It's been hard for me to wrap my mind around how more people don't know about this kid. Outside of the scouting community he's no one. Then I remember he went to Washington State -- where there's little national recognition -- and he has little experience with a complete route tree. He was used for four things: running go routes, slants, drags, and red-zone jump balls. He excelled tremendously in all those areas, but there's more to playing the position. However, you have to love how physical he is with defensive backs. He makes life hell for those guys, and that's something every coach loves.

6th-7th round pick

Michael Jordan -- Jordan is one of my favorite sleepers in this draft. I have about five of them, and he's the second on that list (hint hint, number one is an offensive player on this list). Jordan absolutely dominated for four straight years at the Division-II level. And as a mere freshman he shut down current Cardinals star wide receiver, John Brown. But it's Jordan's ball skills that I love most. He always seems to be in position to either break the pass up or intercept it, as he finished his career with 72 of them combined (16 int and 56 deflections/broken passes). That is insane production from any corner. Standing at 6'1" and just over 200 pounds, with a mid 4.5 40 and a 37" vert, it explains why he has had such success to always be in position to interrupt passes. However, there are two areas that stand out with Jordan to improve. The first is physicality. With his size and strength you would like to him be more of a physical force on the outside. Both with receivers and running backs. He tends to allow the ball carrier to come to him rather than go get the ball carrier. Like Byard, this can and will likely result in a lot of missed tackles at the next level. He has to drive his legs upon contact. Jordan also has to do a better job with his transition from backpedaling to running with the receiver. Receivers are going to be coming out of their breaks faster than he has ever seen, and that foot has to plant and go like never before. As of right now, that is not happening in his transition allowing some separation.

6th-7th round pick