Post Senior Bowl, Mock 1.0
1st- Xavier Rhodes, CB, FSU
STRENGTHS: Rhodes is strong for the position with a solidly-built frame and excellent arm length. He loves to jam and get physical in press coverage, getting in the face of receivers at the line of scrimmage and staying aggressive through the whistle. Rhodes has very good click-and-close ability with strong plant-and-go burst to drive on plays in front of him, undercutting routes and knocking down passes. He does a nice job getting his head around to locate and high point with very good leaping ability and timing. Rhodes can flip his hips and easily change directions with a near-effortless transition, showing the ability to adjust and contort his body. He is confident and instinctive in coverage, coming off his man to make a play on the ball with very good ballskills. Rhodes does a nice job defeating blocks to be a factor against the run and is a punishing striker, making the decleating hit if it's there. He has very good experience with 39 career starts, finishing his collegiate career with eight interceptions and 31 passes defended.
WEAKNESSES: Rhodes tends to get too physical in tight coverage, playing too hands-on and grabby, which will attract pass interference penalties. He plays very aggressive with the ball in the air, but makes too much contact and needs to pay more attention to body position.Rhodes needs to show better discipline and is susceptible to play fakes and misdirection. He lacks elite long-speed and isn't a quick-twitch type of athlete. Rhodes needs to stay assignment-sound holding contain against the run. He needs to eliminate the penalties and stay focused, controlling his intensity.
COMPARES TO: Aqib Talib, CB, New England Patriots - While Rhodes isn't quite as fast as Talib, he doesn't have the same character concerns either, But both do have tall, long frames with a knack for making plays on the ball when it's in the air.
2nd- Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Johnson looks the part (6-6, 303) and has long arms to extend and meet the rusher at the point of attack while staying patient in his stance. Against Texas in the Red River Rivalry, he was matched up against projected early-round pick defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat most of the day, but held his own and held the Longhorns junior without a sack. Johnson does a nice job contorting his frame to keep rushers in front of him, selling out for the block and playing with a mean streak. In only his second year on the offensive line, he is still raw in several areas, including his hand use, but he doesn?t shy from using his strong hands to control rushers.
3rd- Baccari Rambo, FS, Georgia
STRENGTHS: Looks the part. Has a well-developed, evenly proportioned frame well suited to the position. Intuitive defender who reads the quarterback's eyes well and gets a jump on the ball in coverage. Shows good burst to the ball due to above average acceleration and straight-line speed. Times his leaps/contact with receivers nicely, showing good body control and hand-eye coordination to play physically without drawing the flag.
Locates the ball and has very good ball skills. Possesses soft hands to pluck the ball away from this frame as well as the ability to track it over his shoulder. Highly aggressive tackler. Looks to lower the boom on unsuspecting receivers crossing the middle. Lowers his shoulder into ball-carriers, though he sees what he's hitting, not lowering his head and spearing the opponent and drawing the flag. Generally takes good angles to the ball and plays a key role in Georgia's defense as the last line of defense. Made Georgia's secondary calls for at least the last two seasons. Played free safety at Georgia but possesses the size and physicality to play either of the traditional safety roles in the NFL.
WEAKNESSES: Has a tendency to lead with his shoulder rather than wrapping up fully as a tackler, leading to some slip-ups. Generally gauges pursuit angles well but can get caught up in the trash when he gets too aggressive, leading to some cut-back opportunities for backs with vision, burst to exploit. Does not possess the elite recovery speed that his 16 career interceptions might indicate and is, in fact, a bit of a gambler. Has twice failed drug tests while at Georgia and was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season due to his most recent violation.
COMPARES TO: Dashon Goldson, FS, San Francisco 49ers: Like the 49ers' standout free safety, Rambo has a tendency to make splashy plays as a pass thief and intimidating hitter but is prone to an occasional breakdown. If he can tighten up his game (and his off-field decision-making) Rambo has the talent to earn Pro Bowl consideration, just as Goldson has done for the 49ers.
4th- Brian Winters, OG, Kent State
Though 33 of his 49 career starts have come at left tackle, Winters' NFL future may lie at right tackle or perhaps even inside at guard. He has the requisite height to play on the outside but he's developed into a standout based more on his physicality and toughness rather than elite athleticism.
STRENGTHS: Naturally large man with good overall weight distribution. Shows at least adequate initial quickness off the snap. Takes short, quick power steps in pass protection and shoots his hands out to corral his opponent. Plays with a wide base and shuffles well laterally to remain squarely in front of the pass-rusher, controlling him with his upper body strength. Three-year high school letterman in wrestling and it shows in his play. Uses his hands and leverage well to control his opponent, seeming to enjoy the physicality and one on one nature of the game. Strength and tenacity are especially evident when run-blocking, as he latches onto his opponent and keeps driving his legs to finish blocks until the whistle is blown. Excellent durability. Has played in all 49 games of his collegiate career. Showed his toughness in playing through a left shoulder dislocation (third game of the season) that left him at what he described as "70%." The injury originally occured during the state wrestling tournament during his sophomore year of high school and ultimately required surgery following the 2011 season.
WEAKNESSES: May not possess the foot speed or flexibility required to remain at left tackle against NFL pass rushers. Has been able to rely on his strength and tenacity at this level but consistently plays with a high pad level, negating his own power and losing out on the leverage battle. Is being projected by many as a guard but has no experience inside. Shoulder injury requires a close look at the Combine.
5th- Sio Moore, LB, UConn
Moore registered 274 career tackles for the Huskies as a three-year starter while proving his ability to make an impact at the line of scrimmage, behind it and as a pass defender.
STRENGHTS: Reads the action quickly and has the speed to close, making him a classic 4-3 weak-side linebacker candidate. He was a versatile performer in college with good production as a hybrid linebacker for the Huskies, not looking out of place when asked to play in space against either the run or pass. Even in non-contact drills at the Shrine Game, Moore's competitive drive and explosive hitting ability were evident.
WEAKNESSES: At his size, Moore will need to continue to improve his strength in taking on and shedding blocks.
6th- Devin Taylor, DE/DT, South Carolina
Taylor is going to be an interesting grade for NFL clubs due to the fact that he offers a unique combination of size and overall athleticism. He shows an explosive burst off the snap and is a naturally smooth accelerator. Unfortunately, due to his high-cut frame, he's also stiff, struggling with the flexibility necessary to turn the corner efficiently when he does cross the line. His terrific speed allows him to chase down ball-carriers and make flashy plays but too often Taylor is eluded in short spaces. The fact that Taylor plays a physical brand of football and has such long, powerful arms, however, help him make tackles when, frankly, the rest of his body remains in poor position to do so.With Clowney operating at the RDE position, Taylor should be able to feast upon the generally slower-footed right tackles and enjoy a nice statline this season. He certainly looks the part but he could prove more of a second or third round prospect come April than the top 10 prospect that his success as a prospective three year standout in the SEC would seemingly warrant.
7th- Tyrann Mathieau, DB, Rehab
Positives: Plays bigger than his size. Doesn't back from the physical challenge of lining up opposite taller wideouts and is actually more effective the closer he is to the line of scrimmage, demonstrating stellar instincts and awareness to avoid blocks and make plays in close quarters. Possesses excellent lateral agility and acceleration which gives him the ability to close quickly on the ball. Is a tenacious defender with strong, active hands to rip the ball away. Excellent ball skills. Minimizes his natural height disadvantage by timing his leap well in jump-ball situations and competing throughout the catch process, ripping away at the ball as he and the intended receiver are descending. Naturally plucks the ball out of the air and secures it quickly. Tracks the ball well over his shoulder. Quick feet, fluid hips and a legitimate second gear make him very effective in coverage, especially on shorter routes. Dynamic returner with a flair for the dramatic. Has demonstrated the ability to play well on the big stage against elite competition.
Negatives: Lacks ideal height for the position and is quicker than he is fast, making him susceptible on longer throws. Highly aggressive and will bite on underneath routes. Possesses the suddenness to make up for a miss-step but does not have the elite straight-line speed to recover against a well-executed double-move and accurate pass. Trusts his instincts too much and can put his teammates in difficult positions by drifting to where he anticipates the quarterback will be going with the football. As such, cerebral NFL quarterbacks will be able to manipulate him with their eyes and potentially beat him over the top with accurate deep passes. Has a well-documented history of poor decisions off the field that could result in even more struggles given the money and notoriety he'll receive as an NFL player.