This week I’ve tried to project what a lot of mocks could look like immediately after the combine.
We’ll do another one next week to compare. Let’s see if some of the moves here come off.
For example, I’ve got Mike Evans at #5 going to Oakland. I suspect he’s going to run a lot faster than people think — possibly matching Vincent Jackson’s 4.46 in 2005.
If he does that to go along with everything he’s shown in college, he might be a top five pick. He might be the first receiver off the board.
And that’s no slight on Sammy Watkins. I have him going to Tampa Bay at #7. I just wonder, after weeks of Watkins being the perceived #1 wide out, whether a change will occur next week.
That’s just one example. There are others…
— Will Jadeveon Clowney convince the Texans they have to take him with the #1 pick? Or will he leave the door open for a quarterback instead? In this mock, I think he performs well enough to be the first name called.
— Can Kelvin Benjamin wow onlookers with a crazy work out at 6-5 and 230lbs? He’s a physical freak and this setting could suit him. By this time next week is he a consensus top-10/15 player?
— Two of my personal favourites — Ra’Shede Hageman and Brent Urban — will both perform well enough to get a little more attention. That’s my projection. Although I hope Urban doesn’t use the whole ‘moody Canadian Hockey Player’ persona during team interviews.
— Justin Gilbert is being tipped to run a fast time. Does he become the consensus #1 corner after running a fast forty?
— Can Brandon Coleman silence a few critics about a lack of production with a first round work out? I think he’s capable, he also has to clear medical checks over his knee.
Then there’s the players not involved here…
— Will Austin Seferian-Jenkins give his stock a boost, or does he run a middling 4.7 and remain a second rounder at best? I’m not expecting a sensational work.
— Stephon Tuitt, for me, looked cumbersome and ineffective in 2013. Does he show up in better shape or does he remain a 320lbs monster with marginal athletic skills?
— Will Allen Robinson actually run in the 4.5 range? I think it’s very possible, hampering his hopes of a first round grade.
— Is Kony Ealy really worth the first round chatter? I guess we’ll see what he’s made of during drills.
We’ll come back to this mock next week and review the before and after.
I’ve also gone in a different direction with Seattle’s pick at #32.
Over the last few days I took in some Demarcus Lawrence (DE, Boise State) tape. He’s generally ranked anywhere between rounds two and four by the internet pundits you all know.
I think he might be flying under the radar a little bit.
He’s far from the finished product. You’d want to get him in the weight room and add a bit more upper body power. He’s capable of carrying another 8-10lbs I reckon without losing any speed.
He also needs to develop a better bull rush and perform better against double teams. Again, these are things that can be rectified with pro-strength training.
Here are the positives — wonderful, long frame (ideal LEO size at 6-3 and around 250lbs). He’s a natural pass rusher with 20 sacks and 34 total TFL’s in two seasons after leaving the JUCO ranks.
Lawrence is a very fluid athlete who knows how to get off a block and explode to the ball carrier. I like the fact he plays with an edge — this is an underrated feature in a pass rusher. He’s a violent dude. But at the same time, he never seems to lose control and he has terrific balance.
I like his hand use, even if it could be even better (extra strength will help here). He’s got a great motor and he’ll chase across the field to get involved. Always finishes plays.
In a year where there aren’t a ton of great pass rushers, he’s one of the better ones. There are a few character issues (suspensions) that need to be addressed. Hopefully we’ll get some info on that during the combine.
He’s not going to be on every wish list. I’m not sure he’s got the coverage skills or mobility in space to convert to a 3-4 linebacker. He lacks the size to play a lot of downs at end in an orthodox 4-3.
Yet for the Seahawks he fits quite nicely. They can line him up across from Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett (if he re-signs) and limit how many double teams he faces. In that type of situation, I think you could generate an instant impact.
Seattle needs to consider the future at defensive end. Chris Clemons might be cut this off-season, while Avril is a free agent next year.
They spent a year training Benson Mayowa and Bruce Irvin could always return to the LEO. Even then, there’s no guarantee Mayowa takes the next step and Irvin might remain at linebacker.
Adding a long, athletic pass rusher into the mix might not be such a bad idea. The Seahawks tend to see things differently compared to other teams, and they might see some value in this particular edge rusher at #32.
I also wouldn’t rule out a late surge. Chandler Jones ran a 4.87 at the combine two years ago, but ended up going 21st overall. Lawrence could experience something similar — but I think he’ll run a lot faster than that.
I’ve included his 2013 tape vs Nevada at the top of this article. Take a look for yourselves. Check out that last play to end the game.
|#1 Jadeveon Clowney (DE, South Carolina)
If Clowney performs as expected at the combine, this will be an easy decision — however much they need a quarterback.
|#2 Jake Matthews (T, Texas A&M)
It’s up to Matthews to flash the kind of athleticism Luke Joeckel failed to show at last years combine.
|#3 Johnny Manziel (QB, Texas A&M)
He could be the sparky competitor Gus Bradley needs at QB to continue the building job in Jacksonville.
|#4 Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville)
After all the changes, who knows what to expect in Cleveland any more?
|#5 Mike Evans (WR, Texas A&M)
He could blow up the combine. Seriously. Adding speed to the size and production could put him in the top five.
|#6 Greg Robinson (T, Auburn)
It would be the perfect review of the strength of this draft if Robinson lasted this far.
|#7 Sammy Watkins (WR, Clemson)
He’ll do everything well in Indy and won’t get out of the top ten. It’s just a case of how high does he go?
|#8 Blake Bortles (QB, UCF)
He’s a decent fit for Norv Turner’s offense, and they need a quarterback badly. He’ll throw at the combine apparently.
|#9 Kelvin Benjamin (WR, Florida State)
With his size, a good showing this week could put him in the top-ten mix.
|#10 Khalil Mack (DE, Buffalo)
Detroit could field a front four of Mack, Suh, Fairly and Ansah. All four are top-15 picks.
|#11 Anthony Barr (OLB, UCLA)
I’m still not overly convinced by Barr. Ray Horton’s arrival as defensive coordinator means they need a 3-4 OLB.
|#12 Taylor Lewan (T, Michigan)
He could easily go in the top ten and this is pretty much his floor.
|#13 Zack Martin (G, Notre Dame)
Doubling up on the offensive line might not be a bad idea for the Rams.
|#14 Calvin Pryor (S, Louisville)
Every team in the league is looking for a rangy safety. The Bears need one badly.
|#15 Eric Ebron (TE, North Carolina)
Terrific athlete with the potential to be the next big time tight end. He’s predicting an “illegal” work out on Saturday.
|#16 Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh)
If he shows above average athleticism at the combine, he deserves to go this early. Geno Atkins-esque.
|#17 Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
Baltimore always seems to get great value in the draft. They consistently make smart picks.
|#18 Jarvis Landry (WR, LSU)
Terrific receiver. It’s a toss up between Landry and Odell Beckham Jr who goes first. They’re both fantastic players.
|#19 Cyrus Kouandjio (T, Alabama)
He could easily go earlier based on potential, but he needs to impress this week to move up a talented tackle board.
|#20 Ra’Shede Hageman (DT, Minnesota)
They won ten games without a very good offensive line last year. Hageman is better value than any of the remaining tackles.
|#21 C.J. Mosley (LB, Alabama)
Green Bay needs to keep adding toughness to that defense. It’s holding them back.
|#22 Brent Urban (DE, Virginia)
Long, talented defensive lineman. Could have a big weekend. Personality is very ‘Canadian hockey player’.
|#23 Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech)
Big, third down converting tight end. Would have an instant impact in this offense. Needs to avoid a Gavin Escobar type work out.
|#24 Justin Gilbert (CB, Oklahoma State)
Touted to run very fast this weekend. It’s not a great corner class, so Gilbert has a shot to create some separation.
|#25 Xavier S’ua-Filo (G, UCLA)
Major upside and could impress on Saturday. Has the potential to ‘wow’.
|#26 Morgan Moses (T, Virginia)
The Browns might wait on a receiver and instead secure a book end tackle for their new quarterback.
|#27 Darqueze Dennard (CB, Michigan State)
The Saints could use a new corner and Dennard is probably the #1 or #2 corner available.
|#28 Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
Insane potential. Give him a year and he could be big time. Has a chance to silence a few critics this weekend.
|#29 Louis Nix (DT, Notre Dame)
Didn’t have a great 2013 and won’t be Dontari Poe at the combine. Needs to turn up in better shape.
|#30 Odell Beckham Jr (WR, LSU)
I’m not going to lie — this would be tough to accept. Beckham is such a good player.
|#31 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (S, Alabama)
Not a brilliant 2013 season and will probably struggle to match Calvin Pryor’s work out on Tuesday.
|#32 Demarcus Lawrence (DE, Boise State)
Keep an eye on how he performs. He has the required length and speed. He might be flying under the radar a little bit.